January 2013

Questions We Ponder



I hear the word "grace" used a lot by church people in singing and Bible readings. What is grace and how is it different from faith?


Bill Warren responds:



Impact of a Baptist missionary’s widow on Lottie Moon

J. Landrum Holmes and his wife, Sallie, went to China before 1860 as pioneer Southern Baptist missionaries in Chefoo in the Shantung providence of northern China.

Mr. and Mrs. Jesse B. Hartwell joined them in 1860, living in Tengchow.

In a few short years the lives of Sallie Holmes and two missionary sisters, Edmonia and Charlotte (Lottie) Moon, would intersect.


Twelve spiritual tips for new year

As the New Year rolls around, many folks will make New Year’s resolutions to change or improve something in their lives. One of the topics that make every Top Ten list is "get out of debt." But what about spiritual goals? With the Bible as our guide, here are 12 tips and corresponding scriptures to help you make the coming year your best ever:

1. Commit yourself fully to Jesus Christ. God wants more than a relationship; He wants a total commitment. Happy are those who keep His decrees and seek Him with all their heart. – Psalm 119:2.


It is time for us to speak up for those who have no voice

By Nathan Rush, Pastor, First Baptist Houma

We have all grieved with a deep sadness over the tragedy at an elementary school in Connecticut. A single gunman murdered 26 other people, 20 of them children aged 7 and under.

The numbers are staggering, in what is now the second deadliest school shooting on American soil.

Across the nation, hearts are broken – and well they should be! But, there are some other numbers we, as God’s people, should consider.


Do you know how much I really, really hate typos?

By Art Toalston, Editor, Baptist Press

I hate typos.

I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.

Working in the media, I’m horrified when I see a typo on our website, especially in something I’ve written or edited.

I’d rather stub my toe.

Typos make me look stupid. They make me drop everything and urgently fix them.

You probably hate something with a passion. Go for it, I’m prone to say.

I hate typos so much that I don’t care if I’m blatantly repetitive: I hate my typos. I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.


Sandy Hook a tragedy to be sure, but what about abortion?

While I believe that the shooting in Newtown, Conn., that took the lives of 26 people – 20 of them precious children – was a horrible senseless tragedy, I believe the lives of 3,562 preborn children perishing at the hands of an abortionist because their mothers do not want to be inconvenienced is also a horrible, senseless tragedy.

By Kelly Boggs, Editor

On Friday morning, Dec. 14, a gunman shot his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and gunned down 20 precious children and four adults before taking his own like.

Earlier that same day, the shooter fired several shots into his mother, killing her while she slept in her home.

The death toll of Friday’s murderous rampage that shocked the nation was 26. In the ensuing days memorials were held all over the country.

People wept and wondered how someone could be so calloused as to murder children in cold blood.


Big ministry in Big Apple: Sandy ends busy 2012 for Louisiana Disaster Relief volunteers

Sailboats lay stacked up like cordwood after being swept ashore by the fierce wind and storm surge from Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island in New York.

By Brian Blackwell, Marketing Director

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers exhibited the spirit of Christmas recently when they gave back to those affected in one of the hardest-hit areas by Hurricane Sandy.

No stranger to receiving assistance from others during disasters, Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers spent most of November and some of December – including the week just before Christmas – helping those in need in Northeast communities not accustomed to direct impact of major hurricanes.


Louisiana church’s poverty game raises $30,000 for hunger

Sweetwaters, South Africa, is a community whose population has been decimated by HIV/AIDS. Tabitha Ministries in Sweetwaters uses resources from the World Hunger Fund, channeled through Baptist Global Response, to provide food parcels to more than 6,000 orphaned children living in child-headed households.

By Mark H Hunter, Regional Reporter

AMITE (BP) – Instead of preaching a sermon for World Hunger Sunday Oct. 14, pastor Mike Foster divided his congregation in Amite, into three groups and played the Poverty Bean Game.

The game, which demonstrates the disparity of wealth between developed countries like the United States and Third World countries like Haiti, convicted members of First Baptist Church to put nearly $30,000 in the offering basket – more than three times the usual Sunday morning offering, Foster said.


Hobby Lobby finds short-term way to avoid fines

Hobby Lobby's website reports that the company has 525 stores in the US, including six in Louisiana. The company is facing possible fines of $1.3 million each day, though lawyers for Hobby Lobby say they have found a short-term way to avoid the fines from the federal government over its decision not to comply with a plan for its employees that covers abortion-inducing drugs.

By Michael Foust, Baptist Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) -- Hobby Lobby says it has found a way to avoid for "several months" being penalized by the federal government for not covering abortion-inducing drugs in its employee health care plans.


Roe v. Wade helped awaken, renew Southern Baptists

In this photo, pro-lifers in Washington hold signs showing the number of abortions performed each year. On Jan. 22, America will reach the 40th anniversary of legalized abortion. There will be little to celebrate though, as Roe v. Wade has caused the death of millions of children who were aborted by their mothers.

By Tom Strode, Baptist Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BP) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision not only awakened Southern Baptists eventually to the gruesome reality of abortion but helped power what came to be known as their convention’s Conservative Resurgence, two longtime observers say.