First Person

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FIRST-PERSON: What if Southern Baptists ceased to exist?

More and more, I’m hearing people talk about the slow death of the SBC. Some are even saying last year’s presidential election shows a three-way separation between Traditional Baptists, Reformed Baptists and so-called Moderate Baptists.

FIRST-PERSON: We gotta talk to each other

Sam pointed across the road to the spot about 50 yards away where he first heard the distinctive “pop” of tear gas canisters fired at the long line of marchers descending from the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The group of 600 stretched from downtown Selma and over the Alabama River. It was the beginning of the 51-mile journey to the state capital in Montgomery to demand long-denied voting rights. Sam was 11 years old and trailing some distance behind his older brother when he saw him running from the consuming mist.

FIRST-PERSON: 5 ways to pray for your pastor

FAIRVIEW, Texas (BP) – Many years ago, someone asked Charles Spurgeon why he was so successful. His response? “Because my people pray for me.”

FIRST-PERSON: Grateful for my Baptist brothers and sisters

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – God called me into full-time Christian service on a mission trip in 1977. Our church in Forest Park, Ga., had commissioned a team to travel to Sells, Ariz., in partnership with our Home Mission Board (HMB), now the North American Mission Board (NAMB), to do Vacation Bible School, Backyard Bible Clubs, and a revival on the Indian Reservation of the Tohono O’odham Indians. It was on the Monday night revival service at the First Papago Baptist Church that I received and responded to that call to ministry.

FIRST-PERSON: A nourishing faith

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) -- The Master Gardener – our Heavenly Father – is also the Divine Nutritionist. Having made us with a biological need for certain vitamins and minerals, He designed odd-looking, sweet-tasting, orange-colored tubes with the very nutrients we require to maintain our health. To make use of the nutrients it needs to be dug up and squeezed.

FIRST-PERSON: 9 barriers to conflict resolution

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) – Because we are all real people with real problems, living in a world that is deeply and desperately scarred by sin, conflict is a normal part of the human experience.

Why we cannot look away from the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

One of my favorite spots in the entire world is in Washington, D.C. Specifically, it is inside the Capitol rotunda around sunset. It’s not uncommon for a series of votes to occur in either the U.S. House or Senate at that time of the day. When I worked there, I would often accompany my boss over to the chamber and discuss the legislative business of the day. Once he arrived at the area known as the speaker’s lounge, I would occasionally peel off and stroll through the rest of the historic building for some down time after a hectic day. 

FIRST-PERSON: Building effective team structure

PRATVILLE, Ala. (BP) – Teams are not only for the sports world anymore. They have also become commonplace in the business world, private sector and in the spiritual community. While the team concept has been around for ages, it has certainly increased in the past few decades.

FIRST-PERSON: Stop stealing from my mother-in-law

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) – My mother-in-law is an 88-year old loyal Southern Baptist who lives on a fixed income in a modest retirement center. She loves the Lord, her church and Southern Baptists. She has been a lifelong advocate of the Cooperative Program and understands, as a contributing member of a Southern Baptist church, she is a primary funder of Gateway Seminary. She reflects that understanding when she often asks, “How is my seminary doing?”

FIRST-PERSON: Tips for planning a family devotional for the New Year

The New Year brings the opportunity to start fresh and create a plan for the months ahead. It gives us each a chance to look at our past year and see what worked, what didn’t, where God showed up, and what He spoke to us in our struggles, strengths, losses and victories.is