The story of persecuted Baptists in the colonial South is a reminder that religious liberty came at a cost and should be prized and defended today. While the persecution of Baptists in Virginia before the American Revolution is well documented, other persecution across the South has often been overlooked. Including the fact that persecution helped lay the foundation of what would become the largest denomination in Georgia and its defining role in addressing laws concerning the separation of church and state.
One of the perils of life is putting too much value on “stuff.” Stuff can be about anything. It can consist of what we have or what we don’t have. Much of life is about our stuff. Our house, cars, things in the house. Things around the house and things in the garage, storage building, barns and more barns. If we work hard, it’s possible to accumulate lots of stuff. Often, we have more than we need.
As many of you may remember, last June 24 was a very important day in the history of the United States. On that day, Roe versus Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Dobbs case. The bottom line is that the original Roe v. Wade decision was unconstitutional because there has NEVER been a national constitutional right to abortion!
Send Relief’s Atlanta Ministry Center, where I work as Outreach Coordinator, was created to work with and through local churches to serve former refugees in the United States. For me, refugee ministry is personal because I was born in a refugee camp, grew up in a refugee camp and came to America as a refugee. Yes—I am also a former refugee, like many others in the numerous cities across the United States, like Clarkston, Georgia.
Several years ago, Shaun Cunningham treated his son Landon to a Spring training baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Landon was looking at his dad’s cell phone sending pictures of the action to his mom when, suddenly, Pittsburgh’s Danny Ortiz swung hard and lost his bat, propelling it into the stands.
It’s always amazing to me how rude some people can be to waiters in restaurants and clerks in stores. You would think the world operates solely for their wants. I have a perfect example. It was the fall of 1986 and I was sitting in a restaurant in Washington, D.C. The man at the table next to me called over the waiter and demanded, “Smell this lemon. It’s stale. Bring me some fresh lemon.”
According to an insect identification database, 647 types of bugs and insects are found in Alabama. Some downright scare me. I looked at images of each until I located the entry most resembling the flying insect I watched from a chair on my back deck.
The only beef I have with my fellow Kentucky native and 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln is that he never joined a church. I’m quite sure he was a Christian, not to mention a great leader and honest man. Yet, history tells us he never officially connected with a local congregation. So what’s the big deal, many would say, especially in an age of cascading commitment and denominational decline?
As we recognized our graduates in a worship service recently, I made the comment that, “It’s been a loooong time since many of us graduated from high school.” A light chuckle rippled through the congregation as people briefly recalled their own graduation. I reflected, also, with a sense of disbelief at how fast the past 40-plus years since high school have flown.
As the Crisis Response Director for Send Relief, my objective is to help local churches in the United States understand the importance of training their volunteer teams in disaster relief and partnering with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief network. Preparation is a crucial part of ministry because it empowers us to be more effective as we seek to be used by God to reach and minister to others.