EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today’s BP Ledger includes items from:
Home School Legal Defense Association
LifeWay Christian Resources (3 items)
University of the Cumberlands
UN Treaty Threatens Families: Senate Considers United Nations Treaty Undermining Parental Rights
PURCELLVILLE, Va. (Home School Legal Defense Association) — United States Senate Committee to consider dangerous United Nations treaty; parental rights advocates cry foul.
The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was signed by President Obama in July 2009, but it has not received the necessary two-thirds approval from the United States Senate for ratification. Recently, Obama has pushed the Senate to ratify the CRPD, and the treaty is now getting a hearing in the Senate.
Michael Farris, co-founder and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), was scheduled to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 12 to highlight the concerns of parents across the county.
“We all want to show our love and care for people with disabilities,” Farris said. “This treaty, however, is not the way to do it. This treaty will give United Nations and government agents, not parents, the authority to decide all educational and treatment issues for disabled children. All of the rights that parents have under both traditional American law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will be undermined by this treaty.”
J. Michael Smith, President of HSLDA, agrees, “The question is, who should make critical decisions regarding the care and raising of children who have disabilities? Their parents or United Nations social workers?”
The CRPD, if ratified by the U.S. Senate, would transform the parent-child relationship by establishing a new legal standard for dealing with children with disabilities: the best interests of the child standard. The CRPD states in Article 7: “In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”
“Parental rights will be eviscerated by the mandatory application of the ‘best interest of the child’ standard,” said Farris. “If parents think that private education is best for their child, the CRPD gives the government the authority and the legal duty to override that judgment and keep the child in the government-approved program that the officials think is best for the child.”
“There is no need for the Senate to ratify the CRPD, as our nation’s state and federal laws already protect our precious loved ones with disabilities. It is outrageous that U.S. senators would support a treaty that surrenders U.S. sovereignty and family integrity to unelected U.N. bureaucrats.”
Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Visit us online at www.HSLDA.org.
Women Meet Bible Study Authors at LifeWay’s Abundance Conferences
By Polly House
HOUSTON (LifeWay Christian Resources) — She’s done the Bible studies, so what’s next?
It’s time to live out of the abundance.
A new event from LifeWay Women called Abundance made its debut at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston.
“We have hosted many events for women like Living Proof Live with Beth Moore and Going Beyond with Priscilla Shirer, and women love that, but we wanted to offer something new, something different,” said Betsy Langmade, a women’s event coordinator at LifeWay Christian Resources.
Conference participant Donna Winstone from Houston said getting to meet the authors and hear them speak in person made the Bible studies they had written mean even more to her.
“I was really glad to hear Kelly Minter since our group had done her Nehemiah study,” she said. “Now I really look forward to doing some of these other studies from the women I heard speak.”
In addition to hearing from Bible study authors and musical guests, women were given the opportunity to learn about local and global mission opportunities.
Featured speakers at the Houston event included LifeWay authors Angela Thomas, Jennifer Rothschild, Kelly Minter and Tammie Head. Travis Cottrell and CeCe Winans led worship and Lisa Harper, known to many in the women’s ministry world for her time as women’s ministry director for Focus on the Family, emceed the event.
“We were enormously blessed to be able to have CeCe Winans as the musical guest at this first Abundance event,” Langmade said. “Her talent and passion for Jesus is just unbelievable. At future Abundance events our special musical guests will be equally amazing. We will have Mandisa, Sara Groves, Laura Story, Brandon Heath, and Anthony Evans.”
Authors featured in upcoming Abundance events will include Vicki Courtney, Angie Smith and Mary Kassian, Langmade said.
“About 80 percent of the women who do our LifeWay-produced Bible studies never get the chance to meet the authors,” Langmade said. “Abundance is part of a bigger strategy that lets the authors and teachers have a platform to interact with the women who know them through their studies.”
Kelly Minter, author of the LifeWay study titled Nehemiah, reminded the women that God sent Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, not build it from scratch.
“Building isn’t that hard, but rebuilding is tough,” she said. “The difference in building and rebuilding is that with rebuilding, you have to deal with all the rubble. To rebuild – whether it’s a wall or a woman – you have to deal with a lot of stuff.”
Angela Thomas, author of the study Brave, spoke on weariness.
“There is no plateau we can ever reach where we won’t be tired,” she said. “But while we will always be tired, we have to remember that God never gets tired. God is not some grandpa who needs a nap in His La-Z-Boy so he can be a better God. He doesn’t slumber or sleep. He doesn’t need to. There is nothing He can – or needs – to do to be a better God.”
Tammie Head, a new LifeWay author from Houston, has written Duty or Delight. She reminded the women that God is the only One who deserves to receive our glory.
“Your struggle each day is who is going to be the recipient of your glory,” she said. “The enemy wants to receive your glory. But, only God deserves your glory. He is the only One worthy.”
Jennifer Rothschild, author of Me, Myself and Lies, closed the March 23-24 Abundance event speaking from Habakkuk.
“It’s in the time when you are really beaten down and don’t have any answers that God can use you for His purposes,” she said, using a biblical metaphor of when the figs don’t blossom and the olive crop fails.
During a low point in her own life she said she realized “I wanted God to need me more than I needed Him. I didn’t want to be like the broken man in the Good Samaritan story. I finally realized that God doesn’t need me at all, but I constantly need Him.”
LifeWay Women will host an Abundance event Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Greenville, S.C. Go to LifeWay.com/Abundance to find out details, including scheduled speakers and musical guests.
Women Urged to Live Out from Their Personal Abundance
By Polly House
HOUSTON (LifeWay Christian Resources) — Studying the Word of God isn’t an end to itself. It is a call to action.
The 850 women attending LifeWay Women’s premier Abundance event in Houston had the opportunity to answer this call.
“Women have asked us for a way to meet their favorite Bible study authors, said LifeWay event coordinator Betsy Langmade. “Abundance is designed to do that, but we also want to give women an opportunity to get involved in missions.”
The name of the event – Abundance – speaks to the resulting outpouring of the filling the women get from their study of God’s Word.
“Women can participate in many wonderful Bible studies, but if the studies don’t lead the women to action, they have missed something,” said Langmade.
Both international and local missions organizations representing ministries to single mothers, orphans, women victimized by the sex trade and human trafficking, the poor and the sick exhibited at the conference.
Conference attendees also heard stories from some of the women who had been helped by these organizations.
Olive, a native of Uganda, spoke briefly about how being sponsored as a child changed her life. As a 6-year-old in Uganda she received a sponsor through Compassion International. That sponsor’s support allowed Olive to go to school, get healthcare and nourishing food. Olive grew up, came to America, and now is a social worker in Georgia working on a master’s degree. She is married and has a son. Her family sponsors three children.
Oksana lived in an orphanage in Russia when she was a child. She said while the orphanage was not good, it was better than her life with her drug-addicted mother. She said all she wanted, as a child was to be in a family that loved her. Receiving a Christmas shoebox from Samaritan’s Purse one year was the first time she had ever received a gift from anyone. It gave her more than just the small gifts in the box. It gave her hope, she said. Oksana’s dream came true when she was adopted by an American family and was able to live in a loving home.
Debbie Rippstein, executive director of Gracewood, a Houston-area group that helps single parent mothers and their children shared how the facility helps resolve temporary family instability through residential care and other types of assistance.
Conference attendees had the opportunity to give “shower gifts” for a new Gracewood facility. Women filled a table with diapers, kitchen goods, linens and gift cards to help set up the new home.
“These women who commit to the Bible studies are disciples,” Langmade said. “They want to serve and reach out to people with the love of Christ. Abundance is more than just the name of this event. It’s what these women have – an abundance of love, compassion and resources. They give from this abundance.”
Girls and their leaders
learn a holy obsession is OK
By Polly House
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (LifeWay Christian Resources) — Teenage girls would do better to be obsessed with God, foregoing such cultural passions as fashion and pop stars, according to Christian author Hayley DiMarco.
DiMarco addressed about 400 girls and their leaders at this year’s LifeWay Girls’ Ministry Conference, joined by Miss Black USA Ocielia Gibson.
“Loving God with everything you are and with everything you do, now that is a true obsession,” DiMarco said, encouraging girls to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength.
“Most obsessions are over [a thing] we love because it makes us feel good,” DiMarco said. “First we love it, then we crave it. This leads us to worship our obsession.”
Such obsession demands sacrifice and a desire to fellowship and converse with those who share our passions, DiMarco said. Ultimately, we become controlled and enslaved by our obsession, she said.
Gibson encouraged girls to use whatever platform they are given to speak for the Lord.
“I have been given such a wonderful opportunity to be able to speak truth to people because of my position as Miss Black USA,” Gibson said. “Being faithful in whatever position God has given you will lead to more opportunities to be a witness for Him.”
Gibson, founder of More Than a Pretty Face Ministry and a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, told the girls she has seen God work miracles in her life.
Event worship leader Jaime Jamgochian shared with girls her journey to becoming a believer in Christ.
“I was a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston when I was saved,” she said. “I didn’t grow up in a Christian home; [I] didn’t go to church. But I knew that I believed in God. I just didn’t know about Jesus.”
When another student at Berklee shared the Gospel with her, Jamgochian said she felt a new freedom.
“All I wanted to do then, and now, is worship,” said Jamgochian, founder of the ministry Modest is Hottest.
Joining Jamgochian in leading worship was high school junior Rachel Chan, who recently released her first music CD.
“I had a time in my life when I was really all wrapped up in what people thought of me,” she said. “But after I came to the realization I was the king’s daughter, it made all the difference.”
The conference was held in February at LifeWay. Details for next year’s confab Feb. 22-23, 2013, are forthcoming at LifeWay.com/Girls.
University of the Cumberlands to partner with Clear Creek Baptist Bible College
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (University of the Cumberlands) — Beginning this fall, University of the Cumberlands (UC) will partner with Clear Creek Baptist Bible College alumni through a special scholarship opportunity for Clear Creek alumni to pursue a master’s degree in Christian studies (MACS).
“We are very pleased to be able to provide the special scholarship opportunity for Clear Creek graduates. As sister institutions of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, UC and Clear Creek already partner together on many levels through the ministry of Christian education with the goal of reaching others for Christ. Clear Creek Baptist Bible College is a fine institution with a long history of training adults for ministry. We are glad that Cumberlands can partner with Clear Creek to provide this opportunity for their graduates to pursue an option for graduate study through our MACS program at a greatly reduced cost,” said Dr. Jim Taylor, President of University of the Cumberlands. “The special scholarship opportunity is named in honor of our son, James H. Taylor, II. Many lives have been impacted through the kindness and generosity of the individuals who have made this scholarship possible.”
UC’s Master of Arts in Christian Studies program is a fully accredited, online program that requires students to complete 30 hours of academic credit. The program focuses on providing a thorough understanding of the Bible, theology, education, contemporary culture and ministry strategies to prepare individuals to minister effectively in the 21 century. In addition to being lead through courses by UC’s own respected faculty members, students will also learn from and interact with some of the most outstanding and influential Christian leaders in the United States.
“One thing that has always made me proud to be a part of the Kentucky Baptist Convention as President of a Convention Educational Institution is the cooperative spirit that exists between all the agencies and institutions. I am grateful to Dr Taylor and his administration for their cooperative spirit in providing the special scholarship opportunity for Clear Creek graduates interested in the Master of Arts in Christian Studies program at Cumberlands,” said Dr. Donnie Fox, President of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College.
Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; seven graduate degrees, including a doctorate and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.