DECEMBER 2012 EDITION
Mission Statement: To develop our spiritual lives, evangelize the wider community and influence the world through Christ by organized preaching, public and private worship, Christian education and fellowship, while co-operating with other Christian bodies.
What we wear to Church (Does it matter?…)
Effectively Guiding Against Sexual Immorality (Youth Week)
Sex and The Bible (Sexual Immorality)
Children with Special Needs in the Family and the Church Giving Thanks when bad things happen (Dear Preacher)
The Cost of being a Christian (Editor’s Pick of the month)
Issue No. 2
BOULEVARD BAPTIST CHURCH
Managing God’s Money
New Members’ Fellowship Testimony of Bro. Washbert McKnight Climate Change & Global Warming Marriage & Sex
“ The only source of knowledge is experience.” Albert Einstein
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Effectively Guiding Against
SEXUAL IMMORALITY Youth Week Panel Discussions: “How do we effectively guide our young people to raise a standard against the temptation of sexual immorality?” Part 1: Panelists: Rohan Phillips, Gerard Mercier and Ruth Downie
With the intention of recognizing the importance of defeating sexual immorality, Deacon Rohan made it clear that the decisions we make in life determine our destiny. He argued that as Christians we can no longer rely on society to guard our young people against sexual immorality and indicated that many among us are struggling. He pointed to television entertainment programmes which play a key role in impacting the sexual immorality of our young people. Deacon Rohan alluded to the fact that this type of exposure is just a click away on a computer. On the other hand, Deacon Gerard emphasized that sexual immorality is not restricted to young people. Referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he noted that sex appears at the bottom, thus establishing the fact that it is one of the most basic needs for humans. Outlining a few scenarios during his presentation, Deacon Gerard posited that it is important that we always have someone with us when we are faced with situations which may compromise our own morals or beliefs, as their presence can possibly thwart any such temptation. Furthermore, he stated that we usually behave holy at church and pretend that we don’t have sex. However, he asserted that sex is here to stay; therefore we must give consideration to how we are going to raise the standard… to be continued.
Sex &The Bible Youth Week Panel discussion Part 1: Panelists Sister Ruth Downie and Deacon Rohan Phillips
Sis. Ruth Downie acknowledged that we need to make wise choices in relationships but it is first important to develop a relationship with God. She urged young people not to put themselves in the way of temptation, indicating that sexual immorality is everywhere…. on the bill boards, texting, music videos, conversations and in what we choose to read. She explained that these are entry points that lead us down a certain road. We must recognize that the body is the temple of the Lord – 1 Corinthian 6. Sis. Ruth encouraged the group to imitate Jesus. She advised that if we are bound up in sexual immorality we cannot glorify God. Furthermore, she highlighted scripture text which states ‘judge not lest you be judged’ as she cautioned against being critical, because we need to help others to overcome. Sis Ruth declared that we should flee the very appearance of evil: surrendering our lives daily to God…. continuously guarding our thoughts. She encouraged young people to have clear defined goals, warning that unplanned sex can interrupt the progress of our lives. If you have started to get intimate, you must repent and genuinely ask God’s help to overcome.… to be continued.
GSAT blues? YOUTH INSPIRATIONS
Didn’t get your choice? Don’t worry… there is real hope!
The earlier Common Entrance and current GSAT have been nerve racking experiences for students and parents from their inception. I will share with you the experiences of some individuals who did not do well in these examinations and are by no means less important now than those who excelled. First I will share the experiences of my family siblings. Although all of us sat the Common Entrance Examination, the one who did not pass this exam turned out to be the highest paid of all after becoming a Chartered Accountant/Auditor for the government in a foreign country. Another sibling who attended a non-traditional high school is the only sibling in the family to hold the title “Manager” in a large organization. Additionally, a relative of mine who did not pass his Common Entrance is now a Director in a large corporate entity. My former neighbour who attended an All Age school did not do well in his GSAT and even failed to score in one subject. (Yes – zero!) He was placed at one of the least known Primary and Junior High Schools; however his mother sought a transfer to another Junior High. At this school he became Head Boy. He eventually sat the Grade Nine Achievement Test and passed for one of the top Technical High Schools in Kingston. His ambition is to become a lawyer. Therefore, do not give up if you do not do well in your GSAT. Set your goals and never abandon them. Put God ahead in everything you do. If possible, get a mentor to guide you and work smartly. Success will be yours!
Children with Special Needs in the Family and the Church Family Month Meeting discussion Part 2:
Presenter: Deacon Pauline Watson-Campbell, Paediatric Occupational Therapist
In the church We need to have even basic knowledge about the special needs of the children we serve. There are basic terminologies to know and understand. Intellectual Disability Significant limitations in daily living skills. These limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child. Levels of disability are expressed as mild, moderate and severe. However, the mild ID child can have highly developed skills in a particular area. Autism Spectrum Disorders The child plays by self, has poor eye contact, limited or no speech and cognitive skills are poor. However, the child maybe gifted in a particular area. Physical development may be on target but may be hypersensitive to touch, sounds, smells and visuals. Responses may include covering his/her ears and crying for no apparent reason. Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Diagnosis must be made before age 7 years to minimize the effects of the disorder. Child is usually: - Overactive - Getting into trouble - Inattentive - Average to above average in intelligence How do we accommodate these children in Church? 1. They need more than our prayers 2. Be careful of the comments we make in our ignorance – show concern, do not judge 3. Provide children with a range of abilities in church activities 4. Provide enough persons as caregivers. Parents must be seated in areas which will cause the least disturbance for worshippers and the child involved 5. Have information about resource persons and places for medical/emergency services in case a child needs referral 6. Be prepared to give emotional and financial support to families.
How can I give thanks for everything when bad things happen? (Part 1) “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 18. Is it insensitive to tell someone to give thanks in everything after being robbed or raped? To give thanks in everything is not to be stoic in the face of trials, tests and tribulations. It is not a call to be indifferent to or unaffected by grief or pain. It is not to pretend as if nothing bad had happened. This is not a call to be schizophrenic with split personalities, or to hallucinate thereby getting false sensations, like seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there and giving thanks for that which does not exist. It is not a call to be delusionary having false beliefs or disordered thinking and giving thanks based on a false belief or not knowing what we are giving thanks for. It is not to fail to understand the gravity of the problem and pain. To give thanks in everything is to recognize that certain things are bad but there are other things that are going well and give thanks for things that are pure, noble and just. In life some things do not go well while others do. There is always a silver lining behind every dark cloud, therefore we give thanks. According to 2 Cor. 11: 23-28, Paul knew suffering, shipwreck, false accusations, beatings, stoning, dangers from rivers, robbers, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, hardship, hunger and thirst, and “ … the daily pressure of my concern for all the churches.” However, Paul gave thanks for other good things that were happening in his life. In 2 Cor. 8: 1-7 he gave thanks for the Macedonians who gave unsolicited gifts. We give thanks because we are down but not out, and the fact that it could have been worse for us.
Editor’s Pick of the Month
The Cost of Being
A Christian June 24, 2012 In an incisive and enlightening sermon entitled, “The cost of being a Christian”, Rev. Dr. Devon Dick provided three important points for reflection: cheap Christianity, counting the cost and paying the cost. He pointed out that one cannot be a Christian and make it big by world standards, questioning if we were willing to give up everything for God. Referencing 2 Samuel 24:24 in relation to cheap Christianity, he emphasized that cheap grace is grace without the cross, indicating that it is like a free ride without paying our dues. Similarly, prosperity gospel is also cheap Christianity, where some of us expect no illness or poverty. The pastor emphasized that we are really fooling ourselves when we have these expectations. We want pleasure without paying; not willing to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Rev. Dick likened ‘cheapening the gospel’ to being a level 5 hoarder. We hoard things outside their usefulness. He remarked that this made no sense and compared it to having a lack of faith in God to supply our needs. Furthermore, he stated, if we fail to share our testimonies, we hoard our blessings from God. Serving means to count the cost of discipleship (Luke 14:28). Like Baptists Paul Bogle and Sam Sharpe they knew the consequences they faced based on their actions. Disciples of Christ must look at opportunity cost. We can’t have two incompatible things. We must choose. Choose Christ! Seek ye first the kingdom of God. To pay the cost is carrying the cross. As Christ did, we have our own persecutions and trials. Exemplify Christ and the cross, even if it leads to your death. It is about self-denial and love. A love so amazing that demands our all. He who has a religion that costs nothing has a religion that is worth nothing – 2 Samuel 24:24.
The Bible’s Perspective On Topical Issues:
Does it matter
What we wear to Church? This is a never ending topical issue. How we dress for any occasion may depend on our mood, age, personality, values and culture or how important we think the particular event is. “Does it warrant or deserve me looking my best?” Let us bear in mind that certain occasions carry particular dress codes … parties, banquets, weddings, graduations. There is no guessing about how we should dress and look for these occasions. What about what we wear to church? This Bible Study presented by Rev. Dr. Devon Dick is asking the question, ‘Does it matter what we wear to church?’ Hebrews 12:28 instructs us to, “Offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe.” Romans 12:2 states, “By testing we are able to discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Therefore our public worship should influence how we dress for the occasion.
Reverend Dick established that there is no dress code in the Bible, but asked what modesty in the Bible means. Quoting 1 Tim. 2: 9, “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God” [And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.] Referencing this portion of scripture, Rev. Dick explained that we should appear in apparel suitable to the place and the occasion. (Bible Study Topic: March 12, 2012 – Part 1)
Brother Hugh Reid Chairman, Financial Education Ministry and President of Scotia Jamaica Life Insurance
FINANCIAL EDUCATION MINISTRY
Managing God’s Money The number one lesson from the Bible about money and wealth is Mark 12:29-30 (NIV): “The most important one [commandment],” answered Jesus, “is this: “… the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” If we act on this commandment, we are able to handle money and life issues according to Bible principles. Our decisions shift from obsession with us to seeking God’s will; be more concerned about others and we move away from self-centeredness to Godcenteredness. It will become more difficult for the world to trap us in debt and overspending by appealing to our greed and selfishness. Jesus reminds us in Luke 12:15 to beware of all forms of greed because our lives do not consist of the abundance of our possessions.
The second key teaching from the Bible that deals with money is Psalm 37:21, which states that the wicked borrows and does not repay, but the righteous gives generously. When we think about the implications of this Bible verse, we are likely to evaluate items we buy, particularly on credit, more carefully because we will know when we borrow, we must repay; bankruptcy is not an option for a Christian. The third key teaching is that God is a God of order and structure. We see this: in creation, building the ark, building the temple, the training and sending of his apostles and many more instances. That’s why we should examine our approaches to the resources he gives us. Are you working with him to set goals, strategies and spending plans? … to be continued.
New Members’ Fellowship New members’ fellowship was held on September 2, 2012. Thirty two members who joined the Boulevard Baptist fellowship between December 2011 and July 2012 attended. They participated in a range of activities including a movie and games. The main speaker, Deacon Coretta Phillips, (Dea. Pat) presented her charge to these members stressing the importance of ‘service’. Referencing Phillipians 12:5-8 and Matthew 20:26-28, she told the group that when we say yes to the Lord, we become his disciples…. we pledge to serve. She explained that it’s God’s desire to mold us. Therefore, we need to establish a personal relationship to function his way. Dea. Pat emphasized that we are saved to serve. Regrettably, sometimes God gives us a vision of his purpose for us, and we share it with persons who may only be a source of discouragement. However, she explained that God will equip us to do his work. Dea. Pat challenged the new members to be aware of their purpose in the church, and encouraged them to play their part - referencing a verse in Galatians – “All we do must come from God, not people. At all times make sure our well-done is from God.” Her final charge to the group was to serve with a smile and have encouraging words for everyone. Don’t focus on what others say, as a relationship with God gives you the strength to carry out his will. Three new members gave their experience since they joined the fellowship. Thus far they are delighted to be part of the Boulevard Baptist membership and are pleased with the opportunity to be involved in church programmes and the various ministries, in particular Sis. Simone Lloyd who is inspired and motivated through her involvement in church programme and activities.
Bro. Washbert McKnight me to gain wisdom and understanding of the words of God and His love for His people. My grandfather taught me one thing which I will never forget. He said that ‘I should never forget God in anything I do.’ From then until now, whatever I do and wherever I go, I have always remembered those words and lived by them. In addition, from that tender age, I asked God not to give me anything that would make me forget him.
Washbert McKnight, a member of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), has been a member of Boulevard Baptist Church since April 2012. He shares his testimony with us for the period leading up to his baptism. My love for Christ started from a very tender age as I was nurtured at the Dundee Baptist Church in Westmoreland where my grandfather was a deacon. Every Sunday morning at 5:00 o’ clock he would wake up all his grandchildren for devotion. I always enjoyed reading and was the person who would read the Bible. Proverbs was his main book and this assisted
At age 18 I became a member of the JDF. Leaving the country to be a part of the army in Kingston changed my life significantly. I was not in church so often anymore, but I still prayed and always asked for God’s protection and guidance. One night I had a vision from my deceased grandfather who was very disappointed with me. He said, “Son, look how I brought you up in the fear of the Lord and now you are losing your way.” I had a feeling of sadness and guilt and I started to cry. …to be continued.
Climate Change and Global Warming Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. Since the early 20th century, Earth’s mean surface temperature has increased by approximately 0.8 °C (1.4 °F). Warming of the climate system is clear and scientists are more than confident that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. It happens when greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and methane trap heat and light from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere, resulting in increased temperatures. A continuous flow of energy from the sun heats the Earth. Naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases, trap this heat like a blanket, keeping the earth at an average of 15 degrees
Celsius – warm enough to sustain life. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most significant of these gases. The naturally produced CO2 is almost perfectly balanced by the amount naturally removed through photosynthesis and dissolution in oceans. The overuse of fossil fuels is leading to increased CO2 in the atmosphere, trapping more and more heat and warming the earth. As a result, we are seeing more dramatic weather patterns across the globe. The effects of the Earth’s changing weather not only cause devastating natural disasters but shrinking of the world’s glaciers and ice shelves due to warming sea waters. Because ice acts as a solar reflector, the less ice there is the less heat the earth will reflect. This impacts people, animals, and plants negatively. Many cannot tolerate this change, so they die, such as what happens in some parts of the United States during summer.
Marriage and Sex (Part 1) By: Sophia Williams Of all the problems that couples encounter in a marriage, sex has emerged as the number one concern of this holy institution. This is ironic given the fact that sex is primarily the one thing that God has created for the man and the woman to enjoy and to create a family, thus realizing the procreation of the human race. Instead, sex in many cases has become a major discomfort in marriages. Let us first scrutinize the man. What is his role in this scenario? The Bible recognizes man as the head of the house. If one should simplify this, it is saying that the man is largely responsible for most things; he most likely may have the last say in any decision. He must ensure that the woman is satisfied, happy and all her needs are met. To add more substance to this, the woman must be treated in special ways. Life may just end up being routine, therefore something special every now and then is important. A woman wants to be respected and wants to know that she is remembered and treated special on occasions such as her birthday, anniversary, Mothers’ Day, Valentines’ Day, Christmas and so on. However, it does not always require money to treat a woman special. The man can provide a special meal, breakfast in bed, give a rose and do the chores, among other things, while allowing the woman to rest for the day. How about writing your own message of appreciation and love for her? It’s true that money can always achieve more, but lack of funds should be communicated in advance. Women want to be treated well and with respect. Once this is achieved the door is open for anything the man needs. A woman grows cold towards her man and “lock shop” when these things are absent. In addition, most times there is a difficulty to communicate this to the man, as some men view it as being petty or foolish to be upset over not being treated on her special day. To be continued
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