January 2010

Grace Baptist Gives Back

By Diana Chandler, Special to the Message BASTROP – What would happen if a church gave an offering to its members one Sunday, instead of passing the collection basket? Multiple blessings transpired at Grace Baptist Church in Bastrop when Pastor Chris Wright obeyed God’s inspiration to give an offering to the members for use in the community, forgoing the Sunday collection. “First and foremost, my heart as a pastor was burdened to lead a church to be a driving force in meeting needs in our local community,” Wright said. “We’re to be Great Commission and Great Commandment people.”


Is there archaeological evidence for the birth of Christ?

Steve Ortiz Director at SWBTS Charles C. Tandy Archaeology
By Steve Ortiz Director at SWBTS Charles C. Tandy Archaeology Museum It is Christmas time. Time for holiday events, Christmas trees, gifts, etc. It is also the season to  ask the question, “What is the archaeological evidence for the birth of Jesus?” This question has been especially prevalent in recent years because of all the publicity and hype surrounding the “lost gospels” of Jesus and the “lost tombs” of Jesus. Herod the Great’s tomb was also discovered a few years ago at the Herodium just outside of Bethlehem.


Levels of spiritual disconnect in worship

By Ed Steele, Professor of Music in Leavell College at NOBTS What are those things that impede worship or make worship more distant? A list could be made rather quickly: anger, impatience, worry, ungratefulness, and the list could go on. Certainly this is not exhaustive, but I would like to focus on the last: ungratefulness. Gratitude is a key component of biblical worship. Although there are many passages, let’s just consider the following:



By Archie England, PH.D., NOBTS Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew “Behold, He is coming!” – Malachi 3:1. Messiah is coming: that’s Malachi’s message. God’s anointed one – the seed of Adam, the promised son of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the scion of the Davidic covenant, Isaiah’s kingly child, Micah’s Ancient of Days, Zechariah’s regal champion – had become Malachi’s future hope. He would indeed be the ONE they sought and delighted in, because He would attend to His temple and the covenant. What joy might that bring?



By Philip Timothy, Message Staff Writer MONTEREY – Brad Mount’s goal is to use his exceptional singing and musical talents to reach as many people as he can to further the kingdom of God. And he’s very good at what he does. Drawn more to the country-style of Gospel music, Mount, a gifted singer and musician, uses a number of well-loved Gospel favorites, hymns, in addition to original songs he’s written to reach people’s hearts and souls. His busy, and very full, calendar. indicates just how highly successful he is.


Bringing GLOBAL MISSIONS home to Louisiana

By Diana Chandler, Special to the Message NEW ORLEANS – Thanksgiving gatherings at Cornelius Tilton’s childhood home swelled with extended family members and African and South American guests, developing in him a love of foreign languages and cultures. After spending his junior year in France as a Dillard University business administration and French major, Tilton surmised he would work in middle management in a French-speaking African country.


Bayou Bell Ringers resonate with La joie de vie

By Diana Chandler Special to the Message GOLDEN MEADOW – Mary’s proclamation in Luke 1:52 that the Lord has exalted those of low degree resonates when the Bayou Bell Ringers perform selections honoring Jesus’ birth and sacrifice for our sins. God stills the performers’ disabilities as they create with the bells a joyous serenity that culminates in a ringing crescendo of praise. Says Bayou Bell Ringers Director Aaron Champagne, “Where our Lord has seen fit to take away several advantages, he has much more richly blessed them in other areas.”


FORGIVENESS: Best Christmas Gift One Can Give

By Dean Nelson, Special to the Message In the movie “27 Dresses,” Jane embarrasses her younger sister Tess in the days just before Tess’s wedding by confiding to a newspaper reporter how greedy, demanding, and out of control the bride-to-be is. Tess explodes when the feature story appears, and it seems the sisters’ relationship is ruined forever. But a remarkably brief time later, Tess tells Jane, “I’ve decided to forgive you.” She then checks off a line on a piece of paper she’s holding – as if forgiving her sister was an item on her to-do list. If it were only that simple.


The Counseling Connection

By Michele Louviere Director of Counseling Celebration Church, Metairie Question:  Often when I am at church, I hear the pastor talk about how important it is to forgive those who have hurt me. I am having a hard time with forgiveness. Can you help me forgive? Michele Louviere responds: Forgiveness is something that the Lord requires of Christians (Mark 11:25), but that doesn’t mean that it is an easy, simple or a quick process.