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.


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.



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.


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.


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.

Everyone knows that forgiveness is not so easy that it can be put on a chore list next to “pick up dry cleaning” and “rotate tires.” It’s complicated. Messy. Guilt-inducing. Especially as the holidays approach.


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.