EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each Monday 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:
Florida Baptist Convention
Joni and Friends International Disability Center
New Hope Publishers (WMU)
e3 Resources (EvangeCube)
Compass Direct News
Nancy Sullivan undergoes successful emergency heart surgery
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Florida Baptist Convention)–Nancy H. Sullivan, spouse of Florida Baptist Convention Executive Director-Treasurer John Sullivan, underwent emergency cardiac surgery on Sunday, Sept. 18, in Shreveport, La.
Mrs. Sullivan experienced chest pains on Sunday morning around 3:45 a.m. and was subsequently rushed by paramedics to a nearby hospital located within one-half mile of the hotel where the Sullivans were staying. Doctors inserted a cardiac arterial stent. The attending physician expressed confidence that Mrs. Sullivan’s prognosis was “good,” and she will be moving from critical care to a regular room. Mrs. Sullivan has had no history of cardiac problems. She is expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Dr. Sullivan reported that Nancy is in good spirits as reflected in a comment she made following surgery. She told her husband to make sure he paid the hospital bill before they left the hospital, Sullivan said.
The Sullivans, who have been married 56 years, were in Shreveport to participate in the 25th anniversary of Ellerbe Road Baptist Church, a congregation Dr. Sullivan helped start while he was serving as pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church (1975-1989).
Dr. Sullivan indicated he plans to return to Jacksonville Wed. Sept. 21, and anticipates participating in the State Board of Missions meeting set for Thursday and Friday (Sept. 22 and 23) at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg.
A Statement by Joni Eareckson Tada, CEO,
Joni and Friends International Disability Center on Pat Robertson’s comment on Divorce and Alzheimer’s
AUGORA HILLS, Calif. (Joni and Friends International Disability Center)–“Any marriage has its challenges, but add a serious disability and they can, at times, seem overwhelming. This is why God instituted marriage as a lifelong commitment — Heaven knows it requires vows, solemn and serious, to weather a couple through the demands of disability.
“I was dismayed when this week Pat Robertson said to a nationwide audience that Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of death that makes divorce justifiable. When a Christian leader views marriage on a sliding scale, what does this say to the millions of couples who must deal daily with catastrophic injuries and illnesses?
“At the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, we encounter thousands of couples who, despite living with serious disabling conditions, showcase the grace of God in their weakness every day. Marriage is designed to be a picture of God’s sacrificial love for us. Alzheimer’s disease is never an ‘accident’ in a marriage; it falls under the purview of God’s sovereignty. In the case of someone with Alzheimer’s, this means God’s unconditional and sacrificial love has an opportunity to be even more gloriously displayed in a life together!”
New Hope Publishers Releases Christmas Fiction Novel by Kathi Macias
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (New Hope Publishers, Woman’s Missionary Union)–Award-winning author Kathi Macias releases a Christmas novel, A Christmas Journey Home: Miracle in the Manger (978-1-59669-328-9, N124135, $12.99).
A Christmas Journey Home is the story of two widows — one driven by fear and a promise, the other by bitterness and revenge — who must make their journeys along different pathways, but with the same destination: a barn full of animals that stands waiting for them on Christmas Eve. Forced to face their personal demons, Isabella and Miriam soon discover a common yearning that will bind them together in a most miraculous way.
“Kathi Macias has earned a reputation for crafting stories that feature believable characters who face true-to-life situations, and she does it again in A Christmas Journey Home,” says Loree Lough, award-winning author of 80 books, including From Ashes to Honor. Readers will quickly identify with Isabella and Miriam — very different women, forever changed by heartache and loss — and find themselves forever changed by Macias’s powerful, spirit-charged story. Definitely a ‘keeper!'”
Red Ink, one of Kathi’s current fiction books, recently won Novel of the Year by the Golden Scroll Book Awards. Red Ink has been named one of three finalists for the Long Contemporary Carol Award by the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).
Award-winning author Kathi Macias (www.kathimacias.com) has written more than 30 books, including the award-winning devotional A Moment a Day and the popular “Matthews” mystery novels. Kathi has won many awards, including the Angel Award from Excellence in Media, fiction awards from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild, and the grand prize in an international writing contest. With women’s ministry as her primary interest, Kathi is a popular speaker for women’s retreats, conferences, and churches. A mother and grandmother, Kathi and her husband, Al, call California home.
Representing more than 80 authors and more than 130 individual works, the mission of New Hope® Publishers is to provide books that challenge readers to understand and be radically involved in the mission of God. New Hope Publishers is the general trade publishing imprint for WMU®, a missions auxiliary to the Southern Baptist Convention. New Hope Publishers is a member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).
Live “The Power of 12” with EvangeCube
FRANLIN, Tenn. (e3 Resources)–In the past 12 years EvangeCube has gone from “Unfolding the Answer to Life’s Greatest Puzzle” to encouraging believers to “Simply Share Jesus”. Today, e3 Resources is issuing a bold, new challenge — “The Power of 12”.
To commemorate 12 years of EvangeCube, between now and December 12, 2012 (12/12/12), e3 is challenging one million Christians to use EvangeCube and share the gospel with one new person each month for 12 months — with the ultimate goal of 12 million gospel presentations!
With more than 2 billion Christians around the world, e3 wants to spread the word and power of God’s message of Christ from your neighborhood to rest of the world. e3 is looking for one million believers to answer the call to share the gospel (Matthew 28:19). The challenge is as simple as using EvangeCube. Will you, your family, your church join Team xii and LIVE “the Power of 12” by being the face of Jesus to those who don’t know Him?
Why 12? The number 12 represents perfection. It is the product of 3 (which represents what is perfectly Divine and heavenly number) and 4 (which represents the earth, what is material and organic). The number 12 also has prominent usages throughout the Bible — mentioned are 12 sons (tribes) of Israel, 12 judges, 12 gates, 12 disciples and Jesus was 12 years of age when He spoke His first recorded words.
The “power” is in creating the spark and watching it spread — to be a part of history, while sharing His Story. EvangeCube can help fellow believers be the face of Jesus to those who don’t know Him. With Team xii and “The Power of 12” you can become the face of Jesus.
The next and most exciting part of the challenge is this — as people share EvangeCube with others, e3 is asking that they document their experience. To send in photos, videos and stories of THEIR eCube experience to excite, encourage, and invite others to join the “team”.
As the year passes, these pictures and stories will become the example of what it is to live “The Power of 12”. On 12/12/12, these images will become a photo-collage that creates the face of Jesus, showing how it takes ALL of us to make a difference and how we can each share in reflecting HIS presence in our lives.
Ultimately, The Power of 12 is more than just numbers or an event that spans a period of time. It’s a call for a spiritual lifestyle change. It’s being the face of Jesus everyday — sharing His love while sharing His story.
“The Power of 12”. Using EvangeCube to change the world one life at a time.
Beginning with the creation of EvangeCube® in 2000, e3 Resources now provides an extensive line of innovative tools and resources used in over 75 countries worldwide. e3 Resources is a division of e3 Partners, recognized as a world leader in short-term missions and church planting, as well as the innovative new discipleship movement I AM SECOND. For more information on e3 Resources visit http://e3resources.org/.
Campbellsville University hears message on leadership from KBC President
By Tori Banks, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University)–“Real leadership is not about how good you look or how popular you are,” Dr. Floyd Paris, president of Kentucky Baptist Convention and pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Ashland, Ky., said.
Paris spoke at Campbellsville University’s weekly chapel service.
Paris utilized the book of 1 Samuel to display the qualities of leadership that all individuals should strive to possess. He compared the attributes of the biblical character of Saul and his son Jonathan to capture what being a true leader really looks like and what it means to Christians today.
Paris focused on the idea that leadership is based on more than outward appearance. He stated that Saul, in looks, epitomized the perfect leader. “He was the tallest man in Israel. He ruled by intimidation,” said Paris.
According to Paris, Saul’s son, Jonathan, was the true leader in this story. He described that while his father was encouraging the Israelite people to hide in caves from their Philistine enemies, Jonathan was putting his trust in the Lord.
Paris described that the Israelite people were highly outnumbered by their Philistine enemies. While this intimated the Israelite’s chosen leader, Saul, Jonathan knew numbers meant nothing as long as he had the Lord on his side. “Confidence brings courage,” Paris said as he continued to explain how Jonathan, along with the help of his servant, singlehandedly took out 20 Philistine soldiers in his first conquest.
“Because of his faith in the Lord, Jonathan caused the entire Philistine army to retreat,” Paris said.
Jonathan may have not displayed the outward appearance of leadership like his father did, but it was by his efforts and his trust in the Heavenly Father that the Israelite people were spared.
Paris left the congregation with this challenge: “Don’t be a Saul; be a Jonathan.”
He encouraged all to display good character and to follow the Lord with consistency and commitment.
Paris ended with this statement, “Jonathans can change the nation. Jonathans can change the world” leaving all in attendance with an inward desire to become the Jonathans of our world today.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.
Messianic Jews Singled Out in Israeli Town
Flyers post addresses, phone numbers of harassed minority.
By Wayne King
ISTANBUL (Compass Direct News)–Messianic Jews in a suburb west of Jerusalem continue to be harassed for following their faith, this time by someone anonymously placing flyers in public areas singling out members of Messianic congregations.
The flyers began appearing two weeks ago in the town of Mevasseret Zion. Asher Intrater, leader of the Ahavat Yeshua Congregation, said he thinks the flyers are “an effort to drive us out of the neighborhood.”
The flyers posted the addresses and phone numbers of the Messianic Jews, and in some cases included their photographs. Intrater said he thinks the addresses were placed on the flyers to incite others to harass or harm the Messianic Jews.
“Why else would you put the addresses on the flyers?” he said.
This is the second time in three months that a group has singled out Messianic Jews in Mevasseret Zion for ridicule. On June 26, members of Yad L’Achim, an ultra-Orthodox, anti-Christian group, protested outside the home of Serge and Naama Kogen, a messianic couple.
Yad L’Achim claimed the couple had befriended and then manipulated a teenager into becoming a Christian. The Kogens denied the charge, as did the 16-year-old girl who was the alleged conversion target. The girl’s parents, with considerable help from Yad L’Achim, filed charges against the Kogens and Intrater. The judge found in favor of Intrater and the Kogens and dismissed all the charges.
It is unclear who actually posted the flyers, and Intrater declined to speculate. But the flyers match a well-established pattern in Israel. According to a classified communiqué issued by the U.S. State Department in May 2008 and leaked on Aug. 30 by Internet activist group Wikileaks, “‘Outing’ Messianic Jews and Evangelical Christians through the publication of names, photos and addresses alongside flyers with hysterical allegations about ‘soul stealing’ and ‘brainwashing’ is a favorite tactic of Yad L’Achim branches throughout the country.”
The State Department further noted links between Yad L’Achim and both national and local governments in Israel.
“Yad L’Achim and other anti-missionary activists may also have allies, tacit or active, in the Interior Ministry and police departments, where clerks and police officers have wide discretion in deciding which national benefits a person is entitled to and which crimes are worth investigating, given limited resources,” the State Department communiqué said.
As an example of the links, the communiqué referred to comments made by Uzi Aharon, one-time deputy mayor of the Tel Aviv suburb of Or Yehuda. According to the State Department, Aharon told the Israeli daily Ma’ariv in 2008 that the Or Yehuda municipality “operated a team of activists, available 24-hours a day, devoted entirely to uprooting missionary activity, and that the burning [of Christian materials] was a fulfillment of the commandment to ‘burn the evil from your midst.'”
Aharon was a prime player in a May 15, 2008 incident in which, on his instruction, a group of students from a local ultra-Orthodox school collected hundreds of New Testaments from throughout the town. The Bibles were later burned in front of a synagogue.
Kogen said that the flyers in Mevasseret Zion stay up only a brief while before someone rips them down. Intrater added that the latest round of harassment has been viewed as such an invasion of privacy that it may have “backfired a little bit.”
“This is the first time we have seen a positive response from the local government, The Jerusalem Post and possibly the police,” Intrater said.