Book Review: Fool Moon Rising

screensaver_5Kristi and T. Lively Fluharty. Fool Moon Rising. Wheaton, Il: Crossway, 2009. 32 pages.

Nowadays, it’s not hard to find books kids love. It’s just hard to find books kids ought to love. With Fool Moon Rising, you’ll get both. Your children (toddlers and up) will be glued to the bold pictures and drawn in by the rhythmic rhymes on each page.

They’ll also be challenged to humbly recognize God’s greatness and His great plan for them as reflectors of His brilliant glory. We all need this message. In fact, I tried to get Pastor Campbell to let me read the book to the congregation next Sunday morning, but we couldn’t find enough carpet squares for everyone.

That was a joke.

In all seriousness, Fool Moon Rising makes a great devotional tool that kids will want to pick up again and again. It also makes a great gift. You can pick it up wherever books are sold–especially at the Bethel Baptist Church Bookstore.

Commission or Omission

flag-globeI just finished listening to Pastor’s message from this past Sunday titled, Characteristics of a Soul-Winner’s Heart and my heart was stirred to write this short post.

Matthew 28.19-20 gives the local church our marching orders, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Notice the three all-encompassing words: Continue reading

Tools for Personal Devotions: The Bible

bible“So, how’s the devos goin’?”

That’s a question my college buddies and I used to ask each other at our more spiritual moments. We had decided at different points to keep each other accountable in the area of personal devotions, a matter that gets pushed aside amid the seemingly overwhelming pressures of college life.

The fact is that none of us was particularly adept at spending time with God. Not that I’m an expert now. Life is busy. Things–important things–get in the way of our crucial quiet times. . . Hello? . . . I’m not the only one, am I?

In a world that’s as fast-paced and loud as the one in which we live, we need all the help we can get to stay fresh and faithful in our times with the Lord. That’s why I decided to do a series of posts on some all-important tools for personal worship/devotions/quiet time/whatever people are calling it these days. Continue reading

Bethel Baptist Remembers 9/11

I’d Like to Buy a Vowel, Please.

Wheel of Fortune“I’d like to buy a vowel, please.” Famous words, but sometimes a vowel can make all the difference in the world. By simply changing a vowel, it goes from being a task to being an opportunity. Let me explain.

I would often say to myself as a teenager and sometimes my parents, especially on Sunday mornings, “I got to get up because today is church.” My parents taught me to change one simple letter within that word. “Joel, it’s not that you got to go to church. It’s that you get to go to church today.” Continue reading

Preparing for a New Member – part 4

babyThis is the fourth and final part of the series – Preparing for a New Member. We’ve compared the welcoming of a new child into a family similar to the welcoming of a guest into a church family. There are three phases of welcoming a guest into our church family: preparation, process and finally, the product.

The preparation deals primarily with how we as a church family can prepare both our church facility and ourselves with having guests at our church. The process went into specific details of we can best make a guest feel at ease during a service at Bethel. The product is the third and final step as we seek to disciple people to become fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. We must never back down from the truth that this happens through the local church. Continue reading

Preparing for a New Member – part 3

babyWhen I began this series I likened the welcoming of a newborn child into a family, similar to the welcoming of a guest to our church. There are three phases of welcoming a guest into our church family: preparation, process and product. The preparation has to do with what we as a church family can do to prepare to welcome a guest.

The process identifies what we as a church family can do to move a first-time guest into a second time attendee and further along into Bethel life and culture. Do you remember what it was like when you first attended Bethel? Continue reading