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SBC DIGEST: Georgia DR at work after tornadoes; NOBTS Stanfield Preaching Lectures

Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief at work after tornadoes

By Roger Alford/The Christian Index

PEMBROKE, Ga. (BP) – With parents busy making home repairs after an outbreak of tornadoes last week, Georgia Baptists Disaster Relief is deploying a childcare unit to the hard-hit town of Pembroke.

A tornado left little of this home in Pembroke, Ga., where Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief workers are helping with cleanup.

“We’ve already got volunteers out with chainsaws removing fallen trees,” said Disaster Relief worker Bob Sprinkel. “Others are tarping roofs. But it became clear that we also needed to provide childcare for affected families.”

Best known for providing muscle to help storm victims with cleanup, Disaster Relief also has a long history of providing volunteers devoted to childcare ministry, which is especially important when parents are busy doing all they can to make their damaged homes livable.

In the Pembroke area, survivors have their hands full with cleanup and repairs after the deadly tornado outbreak, which was blamed for three deaths across the South.

In Ellabell, about 30 miles west of Savannah, a woman was found dead April 5 in the mangled wreckage of her mobile home, killed by one of several tornadoes that hopscotched across Georgia.

Bryan County Coroner Bill Cox said the mobile home was ripped to pieces. “It’s like it exploded,” he said.

Sprinkel said devastation is widespread as are daunting stories of survival. He pointed to a mobile home that was rolled by one of the tornadoes.

“This huge oak tree stopped it cold in its tracks,” he said. “No injuries.”

Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief Director Dwain Carter said chaplains have been dispatched to minister to survivors.

“There are some neighborhoods that are flattened,” Carter said. “There are other neighborhoods that have tree and roof damage. We’re seeing neighbors helping neighbors, and that’s what you want to see. That’s what America was founded on.

Carter said Disaster Relief also has dispatched a shower unit so that emergency workers and local residents will have a way to clean up after long days working on the community’s recovery.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who toured the destruction Wednesday (April 6), said damage and loss of life would likely have been far greater if the tornado had stayed on the ground longer.

“It is literally total devastation for some homes,” Kemp said. “We walked through a house where there’s no wood left on that house. It’s nothing but a foundation with a water heater sitting there.”

At NOBTS preaching lectures, Shaddix urges preachers to ‘exult’ in the text

By Marilyn Stewart/NOBTS

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – Preaching must be informed by the doctrine of inspiration of Scripture, said Jim Shaddix, guest lecturer for the annual V.L. Stanfield Preaching Lectures at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College, April 5 and 7.

Jim Shaddix, professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, preached from Nehemiah 8 during the Stanfield Lectures at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary April 5 and 6.

Shaddix, a former NOBTS professor of preaching and dean of chapel, serves as professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Some of Shaddix’s former students, now pastors, joined Shaddix for panel discussions after the lectures and in closing, expressed their gratitude for his ministry.

In the opening lecture at NOBTS’ Leavell Chapel, Shaddix posed a question:

“What do you think is going to happen when you come to the preaching event?” Shaddix asked. “Do you think you’re going to get a sermon, and that’s enough because that’s what we do? Or do you think you’re actually going to be in a room where God is going to speak?”

Shaddix challenged the chapel audience to remember what former NOBTS preaching professor V. L. Stanfield meant when he said, “Preaching is giving the Bible a voice.” The lecture series was established to honor Stanfield’s memory.

Drawing from Nehemiah 8, Shaddix pointed to the importance of seeing the sermon as the opportunity for God’s people to “encounter the living God … and hear His voice, hear Him speak in a way that transforms our lives,” Shaddix said.

Shaddix expressed his confidence in Scripture as the inspired, inerrant and infallible word of God.

“If that’s true, and this is a supernatural book and something supernatural happens when it is proclaimed rightly … then that means [the people] get to hear the voice of God when that is going on,” Shaddix said.

David Platt, pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C., shared a testimony about the mentoring he received from Jim Shaddix as a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Shaddix, now professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, led the Stanfield Preaching Lectures at NOBTS April 5 and 7.

Pastors must convey to their people that they believe the Scripture is inspired, Shaddix said, adding that a pastor that “exults” in his time with the Lord and shows his congregation that he delights in God’s word can call them to listen as God speaks through Scripture.

“People need to see us ‘caught up’ in the glory and grace of God and that we delight in the text,” Shaddix said. “It’s contagious. Exult in it. Our Lord is worth it.”

Pointing to the “one truth” he wished all listeners to hear, Shaddix said, “The preaching of the Bible is absolutely essential for the people of God to hear the voice of God and to respond accordingly.”

The series of lectures included panel discussions with David Platt, Washington D.C.; Israel Cox, Mississippi; Bradley Rushing, Alabama; Landon Dowden, Georgia; D. J. Horton, South Carolina; Byron Townsend, Louisiana; Byron Brown, Louisiana, and Brian Upshaw, North Carolina. Bo Rice, dean of graduate studies and also one of Shaddix’s former students, moderated the discussions.

Read the full story here.

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