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FRAZER IS THE PLACE TO BE FOR CHILDREN THIS SUMMER! CHILDREN'S

CAMP at Camp Chandler CAMP SONSHINE Rising 1st-3rd Graders June 9-11 3 Days 2 Nights $150

CAMP CHALLENGE Rising 4th-6th Graders June 9-13 5 Days 4 Nights $275

Boys and girls, join us for an unforgettable week as we practice following Jesus and learn “His Story” in the midst of fun outdoor experiences including swimming, fishing, horseback riding, crafts, and more. Worship led by Rev. Patrick Quinn. Frazer Children’s Ministry staff and parents will serve as camp leaders. Registration Deadline: May 9. Late Registration Deadline: May 25 ($25 fee) PICK UP A BROCHURE IN THE FRAZER CHILDREN’S MINISTRY AREA rising OR VISIT FRAZERUMC.ORG/CAMP FOR MORE INFORMATION.

CAM P S O N S H I N E June 9-11 $150

rising

4 th- 6 th graders

1st- 3 rd

frazerumc.org

graders

CAM P C H AL L E N G E June 9-13 $275

Vacation Bible School for 4 yrs.–rising 6th grade

9-12 A.M. MON.-FRI. JULY 14-18, 2014

Children are a top priority to Jesus, and they are a top priority at Frazer! That’s why we strive to offer your child a week of Vacation Bible School that’s not only fun and educational, it’s also life-transformational. Through the “Workshop of Wonder,” Kids discover the Creator and the creative

gifts He has given them as they “imagine and build with God” in the “Workshop of Wonders.” Register online at Frazerumc.org/ vbs starting April 1. Register in May and get a free VBS music CD! Registration is free before July 1; $10 thereafter.

Frazer United Methodist Church Theresa Reiter, Children’s Ministry Craig McKissick, Sports & Fitness Sunday worship 8, 9:30 & 11AM children’s Ministry at all hours 6000 atlanta Hwy. Montgomery frazerumc.org • 334.272.8622


Volume 16, Issue 1

Feature Articles

MAY 2014 Columns page 2

page 16

Publisher’s Note

Blessings Too Big

Jason Watson

by Toby Sumpter Children bring with them many rewards and also many challenges. Discover a fresh perspective on how we should view our kids and all the ups and downs they bring to our lives.

page 4

Pastor's Perspective Pastor Travis Coleman, First Baptist Prattville

page 6

Books to Read Tim Challies

page 18

Vacation Bible School Guide

Our listing of River Region VBS opportunities offers fun and Christian enrichment for you kids this summer. Choose one or several!

page 12

With All Your Mind Matt Jordan, Ph.D.

page 14

Shine

Kim Hendrix

page 26

Meet Linnie and Debbie Dickson Shepherd’s Staff Ministries

page 24

The Intersection Bob Crittenden

page 30

by Rachel Fisher For 30 years, the Dickson’s have invested their lives to help in the healing process of brokenhearted children and broken families. Learn how their ministry has evolved and the variety of ways they are serving our community, plus how you can get involved.

Family Teams for Christ Lisa and Mike Conn

page 34

Counselor’s Corner Lou Priolo

page 39

Kicking off our 16th year serving the River Region, we welcome you to our 2014 Children’s Issue of River Region’s Journey! 1

Dave $ays Dave Ramsey

In Every Issue page 8

Around Our Community page 32

Support Groups page 36

Event Calendar page 40

Movie Reviews May 2014

River Region’s Journey


Our Mission... We believe the Good News concerning the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is worth sharing with our friends and neighbors in the River Region. Each month we deliver this life-changing message to the centers of activity across our community in a user-friendly and relevant way to empower and equip all those seeking to grow closer to God. Join us in this mission by sharing a copy with your neighbor or by becoming an advertising partner starting next month.

Editor DeAnne Watson deanne@readjourneymagazine.com

Publisher

Jason Watson jason@readjourneymagazine.com

Associate Publisher Savannah Bowden

Research Editor Wendy McCollum

Contributing Writers Tim Challies Pastor Travis Coleman, Jr. Lisa and Mike Conn Bob Crittenden Rachel Fisher Kim Hendrix Matt Jordan, Ph.D. Lou Priolo Dave Ramsey Toby Sumpter

Advertising Opportunities Jason Watson ads@readjourneymagazine.com (334) 213-7940 ext 703

Ad Design

Tim Welch, Welch Designs

Distribution Team Kristy Brennan Wendy McCollum Chris Mitchell Manzie Moore Richard Ward Lesa Youngblood

From the Publisher Sixteen years ago we began publishing Journey. Having arrived at our “Sweet 16” it’s natural to look back and see the changes in the design and authors, the hard subjects we’ve taken on, and most importantly, the lives that have been touched for Christ’s sake. In the month to month grind of publishing it’s easy to miss seeing the specialness of what we do because of the busyness of working with writers, designers and advertisers. Sitting here now at number 16, it’s good to think about the blessings and joy that have come to our lives, and hopefully to yours, from sharing Journey each month. Do you have kids? Do you ever get so caught up in the chores of parenting that you forget the blessing your children are in your life? Similar to what I was saying above about Journey, when we get busy grinding through life, we can forget how special our children are. We want to invite you this month to slow down and give some time to thinking about God’s calling of being a parent. Start with an encouraging article, “Blessings Too Big: How We Should View the Gift of Children,” on page 16. Summer is the perfect time to get connected with the children’s ministry of a local church. Are you attending a church? When I talk with families, often they’ll share how they just haven’t been able to get connected with a church, so they remain on the fringes. This can go on for years. Stop that cycle and experience the joy of being connected with a Christian church by using this simple method... Sign your child up for Vacation Bible School! Your child will make new friends, learn about God’s love for them, and afterwards, they’ll be your new alarm clock on Sundays to help you follow through with your desire to grow in your own faith. To help with this plan, on page 18, we have the River Region’s premiere VBS Directory. Throughout the magazine you’ll also see our church partners who have placed VBS ads to make where to attend an easy choice. Finally, when thinking about your children, do you think about how you can pour joy and peace into their hearts? I was greatly encouraged to do so with my own children after Rachel Fisher’s interview with Linnie and Debbie Dickson came across my desk. Linnie and Debbie run Shepherd’s Staff Ministries, a ministry focused on children and families who are suffering from generational cycles of poverty, substance abuse and fatherlessness. Please read about this ministry, but not to just learn about what they’re doing and how you can help, but also to see how ministering to a child’s heart opens the door to life-long success because their lives are being built on the power of God’s purpose and plan. Thank you for allowing us to make an investment into your hearts for the past 16 years. Please continue to support Journey and share an issue with your co-workers and neighbors so we can continue sharing the Good News of Christ outside of the church walls where people work and play across the River Region!

River Region’s Journey is published monthly by Keep Sharing, P.O. Box 230367, Montgomery, AL 36123. For information, call 334-213-7940. River Region’s Journey is copyrighted 2014 by KeepSharing. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. The opinions expressed in River Region’s Journey are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. River Region’s Journey has the right to refuse any content that is not consistent with its statement of faith.

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Pastor’s Perspective

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Pastor Travis Coleman, First Baptist Church Prattville

What a Glorious Day It Will Be! My wife and I, along with our three children and their families, vacationed at Disney World during spring break 2014. It was a wonderful experience of five days and four nights in Walt Disney’s playground. The best part was spending time with our six grandchildren. We knew it would be too hard navigating the Disney parks with a group of 14 so we divided up. Gram and Granddaddy stayed with a different family each day. From time to time the families met up for the same attraction or to eat a meal together. Everyone agreed it was the best vacation we have had as a family. My wife and I visited the Magic Kingdom two months after it opened in

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1971. We’ve been several other times since, but this was the first time we had been in over 25 years. My how it has changed! This recreational empire now has something for everyone. The crowd was very representative of that fact. People from all over the United States and the world were there. Just as Epcot has an international global flavor, the crowd reflected that and much more. The parks’ visitors were there for the purpose of enjoying the colorful and varied opportunities to be thrilled and entertained. I didn’t see anyone disappointed. As I witnessed the blend of people from all over our country and world two great Bible verses from Revelation 5 came to mind, “And they sang a new song: ‘You (Jesus) are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth (vv.9-10).’” These verses convey numerous truths, but the one I want you to note is that many men, women, and children have already been saved and will in the future be saved “from every tribe, 4

and language and people and nation.” What a glorious day that will be as the children of God will be gathered in heaven. They will sing, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise (v.12).” Imagine Christians from every corner of the earth, every people group, every language group, and every color singing unto the Lord. I witnessed an example of what that crowd will look like at Disney World. While there were not representatives “from every tribe and language and people and nation” present in the parks, it sure looked like it. We mingled with people from various countries around the world. It is true they weren’t there to worship God and His Son, Jesus, but the atmosphere created there reminded me of that great day that is coming for every believer. I have to admit there was sadness in my heart as I looked over the mass of people. Many of the people I saw were not believers in Jesus Christ, God’s only way of salvation. What a reminder for Christians to be diligent in sharing the gospel. We want that number “from every tribe and language and people and nation” to be as large as possible. What a glorious day it will be as we praise God before His throne with all of God’s children!

Travis Coleman, Jr. is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Prattville.

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Our Statement of Faith In keeping with Protestant theology, we believe that the Bible, as contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is fully inspired by God and therefore inerrant in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the only essential and infallible record of God’s self-disclosure to mankind. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice, and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. The Bible is perfect in every way and shows us how to become and live as Christians.

Weʼre here for the few they canʼt.

The way of becoming a Christian is by faith alone in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, who came to us, born of a virgin, in full human form while remaining fully God. Jesus was, and is, perfect, and was crucified so that others could live. Three days later He rose from the dead, never to die again. He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own. Those who have faith in Jesus as their Lord in this life, and Savior from damnation in the next life, now live by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, becoming more like Jesus everyday. We believe that God is one God. The one God has three persons: the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Just as God is one, so also, all believers are to be one. We believe in the unity and fellowship of all those that have faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We are one in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, His Body, which is composed of all men, living and dead, who have been joined to Him through saving faith.

Giving hope to parents and providing care to children is what we’ve done for over 100 years. Our nationally ranked healthcare team treated children from 42 states and 4 foreign countries just last year. Children’s of Alabama is recognized locally and around the world as providing a level of care that presents children with a much brighter future. 1600 7T H AV E N U E S O U T H B I R M I N G H A M , A L 35233 (205) 638-9100

ChildrensAL.org

*All editorial content published must be in agreement with our Statement of Faith

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Over the past few years I have found myself thinking often about beauty. I suppose my interest in the subject may relate to the fact that I am the father of two girls. Though they are still young, they are already being exposed to so many messages about the importance of beauty and the kind of beauty society expects from them. They already know they will be judged on the basis of it. For this reason I want to equip them with a knowledge of what the Bible says about beauty. But what does it say? What should I be teaching them? Beauty is the subject of a new book from mother-daughter team Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Whitacre. In True Beauty they go looking beyond society’s perceptions and misperceptions of beauty and attempt to bring the Bible to bear. They do it well. Before I had two daughters I had three younger sisters, and for years I heard them grapple with being beautiful, looking beautiful, feeling beautiful. I heard them as they asked questions about the appropriate standards for beauty and as they doubted all we tried to tell them. I saw them try to deal with the false gospel of beauty: that beauty equals happiness, that more beauty brings more happiness, and that to be without beauty is to be without hope and fulfillment. What they didn’t want to hear is the too-easy message that outer beauty is meaningless while inner beauty is everything. River Region’s Journey

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They could have used this book. Speaking for both authors, Mahaney says, “My hope is that you too will be encouraged to bring every question about beauty and every struggle with your appearance to God’s Word. My prayer is that you will trust in his Word and submit to his Word, finding hope, freedom, and delight in the beauty of his truth.” It is only God’s Word that can direct us to the deepest and sweetest beauty. The authors begin by grounding beauty in the image of God. Because we are all made in God’s image, we all have inherent beauty. If God is beautiful, then so too are we, having been made in his image. “We are not beautiful because we fit the popular ideal of beauty, and we are not ugly or unattractive because we don’t measure up. Our beauty as human beings is not derived from ourselves. It comes from a beautiful God.” From Creation they go to the Fall and then to the gospel, showing that the gospel lays a double claim to our taste for beauty, first through creation and then through redemption. True beauty, they say, is to behold and reflect the beauty of God. From the source of beauty, they go to the heart, showing that human beings are glory thieves, eager to steal the glory that is rightly God’s. A woman who wishes to use beauty to draw attention to herself, is robbing God of the glory that is his. From the heart they move to the body and deal with common issues—body image, weight, and the 6

like. They speak here of stewardship, they encourage women to care for their bodies in ways that serve the Lord, and they warn against grumbling and dissatisfaction. They move outward again from the body to the clothing, discussing the importance of modest dress and rightly showing that clothing is simply an outer reflection of the inner woman. As the book begins to draw to a close, they look at two important New Testament texts that speak to inner beauty and outer beauty. A helpful appendix provides guidance to parents who want to help their children understand God’s perspective on the subject. What you will not find in True Beauty is the all-too-common attitude that frumpiness is next to godliness. You will not find the authors trying to convince you that beauty is a problem, that Christian women ought to be ashamed of the beauty God has given them, that they’d better not do anything to enhance it. You won’t find them saying that character is all that matters. What you will find is simple, clear, practical teaching on the nature of beauty and the sheer goodness of beauty. Society gets beauty all wrong. As we examine the messages we see and hear all around us, we quickly spot the presence of idolatry. The beautiful are worshiped, while the plain are ignored or even reviled. Beauty is a cultural god. Mahaney and Whitacre do an exemplary job of going to Scripture to bring God’s wisdom to bear. And, as we would expect, his perspective is infinitely better. This is a book for any woman—an especially any young woman—to read and absorb.


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www.herbshopal.com May 2014 River Region’s Journey


Empowerment Training Classes for Women presented by Women in Ministry International

Coming May 20-25 to Fresh Anointing House of Worship, 203 East Fleming Rd, Montgomery, AL. These classes are designed for women who desire to fulfill their God-ordained purpose in this generation and touch the world for Jesus Christ. Many women know that God is calling them to do greater works for Him, but have questions and concerns or feel restricted in some way. This training will provide the necessary tools, opportunities for networking, and a home base for support and future enrichment. Join the hundreds of women from around the world, as far as Africa, who have launched from this site and are now advancing the Kingdom of God, reaching their maximum potential, and changing the world. Classes are weekdays 5:30 - 9 pm, and Saturdays, 9 am - 4 pm. Graduation Sunday. Contact (334) 613-3364 or www.wimiwomen.org.

For EvEry G E n E r at i o n .

TRADI TI O NAL W O RSH I P 8 : 3 0 AM & 11 : 0 0 A M SUNDAY SCH O O L 9 : 4 5 AM TH E W ELL 11 : 0 0 AM

www.prattvillemethodist.org May 2014

Talent Show for Gospel/Country Singing

Saturday, June 14 @ The Destiny Christian Center, Hwy. 14, Prattville Alabama. Sponsored By: Miranda Promotions. Winners will go to the Alabama Gospel / Country Music Showcase and Awards to be held June 28th, with some of Gospel/Country’s most popular recording artists. FREE TO ENTER CONTEST! For more information, call 334-657-9599 or e-mail mirandastars2000@yahoo.com or www.facebook.com/mirandaleake. Deadline to enter is May 23, 2014.

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Prattville First United Methodist Church 100 E. 4th Street, Prattville, AL 36067

River Region’s Journey

Frazer Flea Market

The Annual Frazer Flea Market will be held Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 7:00 am -1:00 pm in the parking lot across S. Burbank from Frazer (by the Soccer Field). Call 495-6390 for more information or to reserve your booth space.

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Denver Bierman in Concert

May 3, 7 pm Location: Coosada Baptist Church 5687 Coosada Road Denver is the writer, bandleader, and singer for Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. In 2007, DMHO placed 3rd on Fox’s reality show “The Next American Band.” Denver takes the classic sounds from the 60s, 70s, and 80s and mixes them with current musical influences to bring a familiar, yet fresh concert experience. Tickets are not needed for this event; a love offering will be taken that evening. For questions, email brittany@ coosadabaptist.org.

Email your ministry or church news to deanne@ readjourneymagazine.com.

GOD HAS A PLAN AND A PURPOSE FOR ME

EVANGEL CHRISTIAN ACADEMY Evangel Christian Academy exists to partner with Christian parents to provide their child with a Christ-centered education. Our desire is to help each child achieve their God-given potential through providing activities designed to foster spiritual, academic and social growth. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord... Jeremiah 29:11

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Cake and ‘Cue

The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the return of Cake and ‘Cue. This popular barbecue and bake sale will be May 3, from 10:00 – 2:00. The church welcomes pre-orders for whole Boston butts ($30), quarts of camp stew ($10) and eat-in buffet plates ($10). Plan to pick up delicious cakes and baked goods, too. Call the church office to reserve your order today, 281-1337. Located at 2911 Woodley Road, under the water tower, off the Southern Bypass. 9

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Destiny Christian Rider’s 3rd Annual Benefit Ride

Spring Fling

May 17th / 9am Proceeds go to Bread of Life Ministry Destiny Christian Center - Gym 1852 Highway 14 E, Prattville Registration @ 9am, kickstands up @ 9:15, leave out @ 9:30 $25 per bike, $10 per rider Lunch is provided Questions: Sharon Carden c 612-9152/ h 517-4312

Missions Yard Sale

Heritage Baptist Church is having our annual Missions Yard Sale on Saturday, May 24 from 6am until noon. We are also having a Pre-Sale on Friday, May 23 from 5-7pm with a $5 entry fee. Each year, our yard sale has a wide assortment of furniture, housewares, electronics, books and other hard to find items for sale with each dollar benefiting mission opportunities for our church in the United States and overseas. Contact Adam Bishop at 279.9976 if you have any questions.

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Cornerstone Christian Church, 301 Dalraida Rd., will host their annual Spring Fling from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 17th. We invite the whole community to come and enjoy an afternoon of face painting, games with prizes, bouncy houses and much more. A lunch of BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, chips and drinks will be served to anyone with an appetite. Our Fling continues on Sunday, May 18th with a music concert performed by our very own Praise Music Team from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You don’t want to miss it! Come and join us for a weekend of family fun... FREE!

Email ministry or church news to deanne@readjourneymagazine.com.

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Summer Patriot Camp for Kids

The all new Summer Patriot Camp for Children is planned for June 9-13, 2014 at His Vessel Ministries in the Union Station, downtown Montgomery. The Patriot Camp is designed to teach young children ages 6 through 12 about the founding history of our nation. This is the third year His Vessel Ministries has hosted Patriot Camp and this year we are excited to introduce the newest version with new lessons and activities! Each of the five morning sessions will focus on a different aspect of the establishment of America and will include the Revolutionary War, Founding Documents, American Ingenuity, Songs and Symbols, and the great founders of our Nation. The teaching curriculum includes not only learning the history about each topic but also fun-filled activities, crafts, and snacks. Also incorporated into each teaching topic will be how God was actively involved in the founding of this great nation. For more detailed information regarding the Patriot Camp or to register children, contact His Vessel Ministries at 334-356-4478 or info@hisvessel.org.

Mark Lowry & the Martins in Concert

Frazer UMC’s Wesley Hall. 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. Music & Madness will be an uproarious night of laughter and song. Mark Lowry will perform your comedy favorites and mix it up with Gospel trio The Martins! Music & Madness plans to showcase a little bit of everything from Mark Lowry, The Martins and former Legacy Five Pianist, Tim Parton. Visit www.frazerumc. org to order tickets online or charge by phone at (855) 223-1008.

Samaritan Counseling Center’s Invites Community to 15 Year Celebration

The Samaritan Counseling Center is having a party honoring our past and celebrating our accomplishments in the River Region. We would like to invite the public to attend. The price is $15 a ticket which includes food, two drink tickets, and the live band The Second Coming. The party will be held at Academy Events, 17 Coosa St. - 5th floor Renasant Bank Building on Thursday May 15. To purchase tickets, call 262-7787.

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Evolution and Christianity I am neither a biologist nor a theologian. But I know enough science and enough theology to be worried about the ways in which American Christians tend to think and talk about biological evolution. Many well-meaning believers have embraced three false ideas that have needlessly damaged the reputation of the Church and, with it, the advancement of the Gospel. In this column, I’ll address two of those ideas. Next month, I’ll talk about the third, and I’ll also argue that evolution causes (or should cause) much bigger problems for atheists than it does for Christians. False Idea #1 is this: Evolution, understood as the idea that all life on Earth has descended from a single common ancestor, is inherently atheistic. It’s true, of course, that evolutionary theory purports to explain the diversity of life on Earth in terms that make no direct reference to God. But that’s not the same thing as “inherently atheistic.” Consider: virtually all theists will agree that God sometimes accomplishes His purposes by means of “secondary causes.” For example, when someone is ill, we often pray for miraculous healing, but we also pray that God would make knowledgeable doctors or the right kind of medicine available. When such things happen—e.g., when a new drug becomes available, and effectively treats the disease—we are thankful to God for the healing. Well, if we agree that God can achieve His therapeutic purposes by means of doctors and medicine, we ought also to agree that it’s at least possible for God to achieve His zoological purposes by means of evolution. Evolution is not inherently atheistic. Of course, there’s a pretty big gap between “not inherently atheistic” and “compatible with Christianity.” Islam is River Region’s Journey

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certainly not atheistic but it’s just as certainly not Christian. This leads us to False Idea #2: Evolution is inherently opposed to orthodox Christianity. Though false, this idea is much more plausible than the first one. After all, evolution clearly is incompatible with a straightforward, “plain sense” reading of the first few chapters of Genesis. For many Christians, this fact is decisive. But it poses a real problem only if a straightforward, “plain sense” reading is what the text itself demands of us. So we need to ask: does it? Obviously, that question can’t be answered definitively here, but we can note that the history of biblical interpretation includes many theologians who would say “no.” The earliest unambiguous example is Origen in the third century A.D.; the more orthodox St. Augustine endorsed a similar view of Genesis two hundred years later. The key idea is to notice that a text can contain real, important, objective truth even if it is not intended to be a primer in biological science. On such a view, we have, in the opening chapters of Genesis, the expression of vital truths: that there is just one God, the creator of all; that humankind exists not by accident, but for the sake of God’s purposes; and that we are fallen, estranged from our Creator. And all of these claims are perfectly compatible with an evolutionary account of life on Earth. 12

The upshot is this: Christians who are interested in the biological sciences can, and should, approach the various possibilities with a genuinely open mind. We can consider the arguments and evidence and try to figure out which claims make the most sense, in light of the things we know from both science and scripture. Unlike the committed atheist, for whom it’s Darwin-or-bust when it comes to understanding the diversity of life on Earth, the Christian has real freedom to follow the evidence where it leads. Unfortunately for us, the cultural stereotype of closed-minded Christians who are ignorant of (and even openly hostile to) science has a basis in reality. Happily, if I’m right, it doesn’t need to.


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Wade In Isaiah 41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Last month, Easter weekend in fact, our teenaged daughter found a photo from when she was barely two years old. It shows Annie, as a sweet little toddler, cautiously wading into the surf with her daddy by her side, watching over her. Daddy looks sure and strong, while Annie seems cautious but determined--stepping into something new with great excitement because she knew she was protected. She knew her father was right there, every step of the way. Are you “wading” into something new? Do you know with great certainty your Father is with you every step of the way? Whether it’s venturing into the waters of the Gulf for the first time as a child; moving to a new town and entering a new school; starting a new job; moving forward after losing a spouse; getting married; having a baby--you fill in the blank-trust with great certainty your Father will be with you every step of the way! I ran into a mom recently, back in town after moving her family to TuscaRiver Region’s Journey

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loosa last summer. This move required her son to change schools as he was about to enter 10th grade, and this after attending the same school for the previous 10 years. You can imagine the apprehension and concern for both the parent and the child. As she updated me on the move, she couldn’t stop listing all the “good” that came from this move for her son. She said a lot of “kneetime” went into the decision, prayers that gave her the strength and confidence to “wade in” and now they’re telling the story of their Father being with them every step of the way. Hebrews 10:19-23: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter The Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” What a perfect photo for Annie to find on Easter weekend. Jesus’ death opened the door for us to have a direct, intimate relationship with our Savior, allowing us to draw near in prayer anytime we desire. That time in prayer, with our hearts for 14

Him, allows us to feel his mighty presence and to know the hope He has promised. Jesus’ death and resurrection means our Father is with us always...“For he who promised is faithful.” As we wade into the unknown, the story of His presence doesn’t always mean our circumstances will be good. Sometimes, even when we are certain God opens a new door, walking through can mean tough times, long hours, low pay, exhaustion, concern, even sadness, but your peace and hope and comfort will be “good” -“for he who promised is faithful.” Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for watching over us and being there every step of the way. May we draw near to you in all seasons and as we wade into the unknown, may we know with great certainty that your promises are true. We love you, dear Lord, and pray that our hearts and minds are pure, filled with your love and wisdom. In the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.


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River Region’s Journey

4/21/14 10:42 AM


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Recently, my son (age 2) looked up at his big sister (age 5) sitting on the bathroom counter next to the sink, raised his little arms and said confidently, “Jump my arms! My catch wu!” [Let the reader be aware that my son says “wu” instead of “you.”] When my daughter laughed and told her little brother that she was too big, he insisted confidently, “Wu not too big. My can catch wu!” When God said that children were a blessing, he wasn’t kidding (Psalm 127:3). I’ve got blessings doing cartwheels in my living room and blessings smeared on my kitchen nook windows. The signs of this shocking blessedness is all over the place. My wife and I spend our evenings mopping up the remnants of this blessing, regrouping, catching our breath, getting ready for another day of drinking this blessing from the fire hose of five insanely cute, creative, and (let’s admit it) slightly crazy people under the age of ten. River Region’s Journey

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Part of the Blessing

But not only are we juggling diapers and naps and studies and bath times and stomach bugs, it turns out that these little people are sinners in need of grace. So in a healthy Christian home, we spend a goodish bit of time correcting, disciplining, training, and spanking. The path to the proverbial woodshed is well worn, shall we say. The thing that is often hard to remember when the two-yearold is going red-faced and screaming, when everybody’s getting their feelings hurt and fussing — the thing that is really hard to remember is that this is part of the blessing, too. It’s easy to think that blessing is all butterflies and sunsets. Children are blessings when they keep their outfits clean, obey cheerfully, and say cute things. But blessing isn’t a simple, paint-by-numbers kit. Without challenges, life would leave all of us (our kids included) a bunch of stunted, simplistic fools. So God in his great love sends us problems, trials, afflictions, and a pack of wild monkeys affectionately known as our children. So, how is your heart? Do you resent the fact that this is the fourth trip to the woodshed this morning? (And you were planning to get your dishes done!) Were you hoping for a quiet evening after a long day of work but the kids won’t be nice to each other? How will you receive God’s interruption of your plans?

God is sovereign, and he has given you children that fuss and quarrel. If your heart is already bent out of shape, and the next kid that walks by is going to be a sinner in the hands of an angry god, then you’re well on your way to forfeiting the blessing God is trying to give you.

His Scheme to Bless

The first task in receiving the blessing of disciplining little ones is seeing what God is up to. He’s scheming to bless you. He’s conspiring to bless your socks off. Do you see it? When God said children were a blessing, he knew they were conceived in iniquity (Psalm 51:5). He knew they would write on your walls with a permanent marker. When that old dragon of sin rears up in the hearts of your children, do you think something has gone terribly wrong? Remember, God sends his favorite sons into battle with the dragon. He wants you to fight and get the victory. He wants you to get the blessing, renewed fellowship, the grace of forgiveness.

Much Too Big

Finally, for discipline of children to be a blessing, the act itself must be full of Jesus and his gospel of grace. Jesus is the center, the fountainhead of every spiritual blessing. And when the little guy shoves his mom and

declares his independence from the empire, something inside you should smile because not only is his high-handed rebellion terribly cute, but now you get to preach the gospel to him. If you laugh it off, if you refuse to intervene, if you refuse to discipline, you are refusing an evangelistic opportunity. You are refusing a chance to proclaim the grace of Jesus to your family. A spanking is not primarily punishment. It’s discipline. We are discouraging one way of life and aiming for an audience with our children. It hurts in this small, temporary way because we do not want them to go down the path of pain that goes on and on. This is why it is love. Come with us, we say, come with us and follow Jesus. He stood in our place and took the death that we deserve. His blood makes us all clean. It’s not really about the tantrum. It’s certainly not about your peace and quiet. It’s about a cross, an empty tomb, and overwhelming grace. In this way, we see that the blessing of God is actually much too big for us to handle, much too big for us to catch. But it is still a blessing from top to bottom, a blessing in the tears, a blessing in the laughter. Reprinted with permission from www.desiringgod.org. Written by Toby J. Sumpter who serves as a minister at Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow, Idaho and is the author of the commentary Job Through New Eyes: A Son for Glory.

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Ages: K5-12 yrs. Call 272.1133 or visit www.covenantmontgomery.com

Dalraida Baptist Church

Aldersgate UMC

6610 Vaughn Road Theme: Workshop of Wonders: Imagine and Build with God When: July, 20-24, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Optional supper $2, 5:30 p.m. Ages: 3 yrs – 5th grade Register at www.aldersgateumc.org or call 272.6152.

Autauga Heights Baptist Church

1393 Highway 31 N, Prattville Theme: Arrow Island: Choosing God’s Way When: June 23rd-27th Ages: 4 years – 6th grade Call: (334) 322.3222.

Blue Ridge Baptist Church

4471 Jasmine Hill Road, Wetumpka Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend. When: July 20-24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A family night musical performance will be held July 27th at 6 p.m. Van pick up for children is available. Call 567.4325.

River Region’s Journey

May 2014

Camellia Baptist Church

201 Woodvale Road, Prattville Theme: Son Treasure Island When: June 16-20, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Ages: 3 year preschool through 6th grade, plus adult classes. Register at www.camelliabaptist.com. Call 365.0231.

Capitol Heights Baptist Church 2514 Madison Avenue Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 2-6, 9 a.m. to noon Ages: 4 years old by Sept. 1 through 6th grade. Nursery provided for VBS workers only. Call 264.6461.

Centerpoint Fellowship Church

Theme: Wilderness Escape When: June 8-10 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 at Hunter Hills Church in Prattville Ages: K-6th grade Visit www.centeringlives.com or call 356.3076.

Covenant Presbyterian Church Address: 5 Arden Road, Montgomery Theme: Son Island Treasure When: July 14-18, 9 a.m. to 12 noon

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3838 Wares Ferry Rd. Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 2-6; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Age: Kindergarten through 6th grade Pre-registration Family Fun Day: June 1 from 5-7:30 p.m. Call 272.2412.

Eastern Hills Baptist

3604 Pleasant Ridge Road Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 16-23; 8:30 – 12 p.m. Ages: 4 (by August 1st) through 6th grade Call 272.0604 or register online@ www.ehbconline.com.

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East Memorial Baptist

1320 Old Ridge Road, Prattville Theme: International Spy Academy When: June 16-20, 8:50 a.m.–12 p.m. Family Night, Thursday, June 19 at 6 p.m. with hotdog supper beginning at 5 p.m. Ages: 4 years through 8th Grade Call 365.7500.

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Eastmont Baptist Church

4505 Atlanta Highway Theme: SonTreasure Island When: June 16 - 20; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Ages: 4 yr. - grade 6 Register online @ www.eastmont.org or call 277.6300.

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Evangel Church

3974 Vaughn Road Theme: Weird Animals: Where Jesus’s Love is One of a Kind When: July 7-11: 6-9 p.m. Ages: 3 to upcoming 6th graders Call 272.4882 ext. 107.

First Baptist, Montgomery

305 South Perry Street Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 23-27; 9 a.m. to Noon Call 241.6310.

First Baptist Church, Prattville

138 South Washington Street Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 23-27, 8:30 a.m.-12 Noon Ages: Finishing K5 Kindergarten in Fall - 8th Grade Call 365.0606, ext. 220.

First Baptist, Wetumpka

205 W. Bridge Street Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 2-6, 8:30 a.m.-noon Ages: K-6th grade. Call 567.5191.

First Christian Church

1705 Taylor Road Theme: Avalanche Ranch Time: Kick-off is Sunday, July 20 from 12 p.m. until

2 p.m.; July 23-July 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Closing program on Saturday, July 26. Ages 4 years old – 6 grade First Christian – 270.1320

First Presbyterian, Prattville

211 S. Chestnut Street Theme: TBA When: July 7-11, Registration daily at 8:30, VBS starts at 9 a.m. to Noon Ages: 3 years old through entering 6th grade Call 365.6387.

First UMC, Montgomery

2416 W. Cloverdale Park Theme: Workshop of Wonders When: June 9-13; 9 a.m. to 12 noon Ages: Age 3 (by Sept 1 of 2012) through 5th grade. Call 834.8990.

First UMC, Prattville

100 E. Fourth Street Theme: Weird Animals When: June 9-13, 9 a.m. to Noon Ages: Open to children who have just completed Kindergarten through 5th grade Call 365.5977.

Fountain City Baptist

492 East Main Street, Prattville Theme: Arrow Island: Choosing God’s Way When: June 22-26; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ages: 3 to 12. Call 365.2034.

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Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church

6000 Atlanta Highway Theme: Workshop of Wonders When: July 14-18; 9 a.m. to 12 noon Ages: Finishing K4 year olds (as of Sept. 2 of 2013) - Finishing 5th grade Call 272.8622.

Grace Community Church 3515 Highway 14, Millbrook Theme: Son Treasure Island When: June 2-6, 6 pm - 8:00 pm Ages: 3 years - 6th Grade Call (334) 285.4655.

GracePointe VBS

1565 Ray Thorington Road Theme: Puzzled: The Confusing Events in the Life of Moses When: July 20-23, 6-8 pm Ages: 4-12 Visit www.grace-pointe.com to register.

GracePoint Community Church

78223 Tallassee Hwy, Wetumpka Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: TBA Ages: 3yrs.-6th Grade Call 514.9292.

Hall Memorial CME Church 541 Seibles Road, Montgomery Theme: TBA When: June 13-17, 6:00-8:00 pm Call 288.0577.

continued...

May 2014

River Region’s Journey


Montgomery Area Episcopal Churches

Hayneville Baptist Church

1180 State Hwy 21 N, Hayneville, AL Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: July 13-17, 5:45 until 8:30 Ages: Pre K - 6th Grade (grade completed) Email: hbc@connecthbc.com or (334) 548.2620.

Heritage Baptist Church

1849 Perry Hill Road Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 23-27, 8:30 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. Ages: Complete 4K - 6th grade Call 279.9976.

Heritage Baptist, Prattville

1357 S. Memorial Drive Theme: International Spy Academy Dates: June 8-12, Time: 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Ages: K3 through completion of 6th grade Call 365-2372.

His Vessels Ministry, Montgomery

Union Station, Downtown Montgomery Theme: Patriot Camp Dates: June 9-13; Times: 9 a.m. until noon Ages: 6 – 12. The Patriot Camp is designed to teach children about the founding of our nation. Call 334-356-4478 or email info@hisvessel.org.

Holy Spirit Catholic Church

8570 Vaughn Road, East Montgomery Theme: The Vatican Express Kidz Camp When: June 9-13; 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Call 277.1989 or register online @ www.holy-spirit-church.com.

Lakeview Baptist Church

9225 Atlanta Highway Theme: Backyard Bible Camp When: July 21-25; 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Ages: K3-6th grade. Call 213.3080.

Landmark Church

1800 Halcyon Boulevard Theme: Fix Your Eyes On Jesus When: July 13-16, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Ages: Nursery through adults Call 277.5800.

Love Center Full Gospel Church

3659 Debby Drive (Lecroy Shopping Center) Theme: Hip Hop Hope Jesus Makes Me Glad When: June 21 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Ages: 2- 8th grade welcomed For more information call (334) 315.6851.

Episcopal Church of the Ascension, 315 Clanton Ave. Theme: Kingdom Rock Dates: June 2-5, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 Ages: Rising K4 through Rising 6th grade For registration or more info, call 263.5529.

Morningview Baptist Church

125 Calhoun Road Theme: Weird Animals: Where Jesus’s Love is One of a Kind When: June 2-6, 9 a.m. to Noon Ages: Completed Kindergarten-5th grade Call 272.2304.

Mountain View Baptist Church

1025 Rifle Range Rd., Wetumpka Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 16-20, Times: 8 a.m.- 11:30 Ages: 4 years old - completed 6th grade Call (334) 567.4458.

Mulder UMC

3454 Firetower Road ~ Wetumpka Theme: Jungle Safari: Discovering the Nature of God When: June 22-25; 6 – 8 p.m. For more info please call 567.4225.

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Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist 1550 E. Washington Street Theme: TBA Dates: June 23-27, 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

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May 2014

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Dinner will served from 5:30 until 6 p.m. Please call 265.1807.

Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist 501 Doster Rd, Prattville Theme: TBA When: June 24-28; 6-8:30 pm Ages: 3 years old to Adult Call 365.2807.

Redland Baptist Church

1266 Dozier Rd, Wetumpka Theme: Arrow Island: Choosing God’s Way Dates: June 16-20, 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Ages: Kindergarten – 6th grade Please call 567.8649.

Ridgecrest Baptist Church

5260 Vaughn Road Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 1-5, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. There will be a light snack supper each evening. On Sunday, June 8th, we are inviting parents and families to join us for morning worship and a VBS presentation; a hot dog lunch will follow. Families can pre-register online at www.rbcmontgomery.com/register. VBS t-shirts are only available for pre-orders (those that register in advance) at a cost of $11 each. Call 277.0011.

Saint James UMC

9045 Vaughn Road Theme: Wilderness Escape: Where God Guides and Provides When: June 23-25, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Ages: K4-5th grade Call 277.3037.

Taylor Road Baptist Church

1685 Taylor Road Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: July 21-25, 8:30 a.m. to Noon Ages: Completion of Kindergarten through 6th grade. Call 271.3363.

Thorington Road Baptist

450 Ray Thorington Road Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 1-5; 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Ages: 5 yrs. to 5th grade Call 396.9376.

Trinity Presbyterian Church

1728 S. Hull Street Theme: Genesis 1: Space Probe When: June 2-6, 9 a.m. to noon. Ages: Pre-K 4 through completed 6th grade Call 262.3892 to pre-register.

Trinity UMC, Prattville

610 Fairview Avenue, Prattville Theme: Workshop of Wonders When: June 22-26, starts at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Dinner provided for children every night. Call 365.7339.

University Church of Christ

5315 Atlanta Highway Theme: There’s No Place Like Home When: June 22-25; Time: Sunday, 5 p.m. and Monday – Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. Ages: newborn thru 6th grade Adult classes will be available Please call 386.7320 or visit www.ucoc.org.

Vaughn Forest Church

8660 Vaughn Road Theme: Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend When: June 2-6; 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Ages: Entering Kindergarten through entering 6th grade. Registration online at www. vaughnforest.com. Call 279.5433.

Whitfield UMC

2673 Fisk Road Theme: Workshop of Wonders When: June 22-26, 5:30 to 8 p.m. Ages: 3 years to 6th grade. Call 281.2467.

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Woodland UMC

4428 Wallahatchee Rd, Pike Road Theme: Weird Animals When: June 15-18, 5:30 – 8 p.m Ages: 3 years old -6th grade Call 272.7230.

Young Meadows Presbyterian Church 5780 Vaughn Road Theme: Sports Camp When: June 2-6, 9 a.m. until noon Ages: Kindergarten -5th grade Call 244.1385.

To have your church’s VBS listed next month, send information to Deanne@readjourneymagazine.com. May 2014

River Region’s Journey


His joy, peace, purpose and love. I grew up in church, had a loving family and received a private school education, but was never introduced to a real, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Shortly after my arrival here, I was given my first Bible and the Gospel was presented to me on campus so I could repent, believe and be born again. RRJ: Did your faith in Christ change how you approached your sport, both as a player and now as a coach?

RRJ: Where are you from originally and how did you end up in the River Region? I came to Montgomery from Brazil in 2001 as a transfer college soccer athlete during my sophomore year. I came from a city of around four million people in the Southeast part of Brazil, the business center of the country. It was not too hard for me to adapt to Montgomery because of the Southern hospitality and all the great friends I made here. RRJ: When did you trust in Christ for salvation and become His follower? I came to the United States searching for the “American Dream,” but God had different plans for me. I was seeking fame, but found faith. God actually led me to lay down my soccer career dreams, academic goals and personal relationships so he could have time in my very busy schedule and space in my overly entertained heart. He had to convict me about some idols in my life and start teaching me the difference between worldly happiness, tranquility, busyness and lust compared to River Region’s Journey

May 2014

Definitely. God is so gracious to help us to renew our minds and change our perspectives on things so we can experience more freedom to live life. I’m still learning and I need his grace everyday to deal with pride, selfishness and game losses, but God can and does make all the difference. He has also helped me to have more of a holistic approach to playing and coaching. Even though I still believe in and work towards excellence on successful winning seasons, I know there is much more involved than just winning games, especially in the early childhood stages. When I play now, I am called not to do it for individual glory, but to put my neighbor before myself. As a coach, I do not want to just focus on numbers anymore, even though I am competitive and I push my players very hard. Now I have a passion to coach and encourage athletes to reach their full potential and get to their next level holistically. At our FC Montgomery Soccer Club we seek to offer a positive and healthy environment where athletes are challenged to work really hard, but also have fun. I want them to know we care for them for who they are, not just for what they can do. We value sportsmanship and character development. We support the kids’ faith and allow for athlete-led prayer during training, and we like to pray before our home games. That being said, we welcome and respect families from all “walks of life” and faith backgrounds, and do not push our personal beliefs onto any child. RRJ: You’re involved in doing soccer outreach camps. What exactly are those and what have you seen come from that work? Our soccer outreach camps are done at local churches that invite us to run non-profit camps for them. It is an opportunity for churches to reach out to their communities while also bring22

ing awareness of world missions and fundraising opportunities. We are currently doing it through CDI Sports. We have done soccer camps for many churches in Montgomery during summer, weekends or holidays and see people from the community getting involved, loving on the kids and some even accepting Christ and joining the church. We have also been able to raise some funds that have benefited underprivileged kids overseas. We have taken teams to Brazil and are also connected with outreach programs in Haiti, India and Uganda. These camps are great opportunities for more time and depth spiritually with the kids, since our FC Montgomery Soccer Club’s main focus is technical development and successful soccer careers. If any church would like to host one of our camps they can get more details by visiting www.communitydevelopmentinitiatives.org. RRJ: Can you help encourage our readers by sharing what has helped you most to integrate your faith into all areas of your life? Romans 11:36: “For from him and through him and for him are all things...” is what started opening my eyes to this reality. My pastor and a teacher from college also brought to my attention the fact that God is the source of all things, including relationships, jobs and sports. I used to see church separate from those other areas of life, but I have learned that God wants to save us and be in a loving relationship with us where He is the foundation of all things. If I believe that God created me, gave me specific gifts, a unique family, health and opportunities, I can’t help but to live it all through Him and for His Glory. I think the problem is sometimes we think we deserve what we have and it was with our own strength only that we got to where we are. We forget that life is a gift from God and He can take us “home” at anytime and close any doors He pleases. Our families, careers and hobbies should not be just about us. This is challenging because of the demands of the market place, competitiveness of the sports’ world and distractions around us. I do fall short on doing this consistently, but I am encouraged by people like Tony Dungy, Tim Tebow and ordinary men and women who love Jesus and pick up their cross to follow Him daily, in spite of criticism and costs. Bruno and wife Brooke recently welcomed their first child, Susana Joy (SJ for her soccer buddies). They live in Montgomery, AL.


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River Region’s Journey


Living as a Boundary Pioneer There has been debate about the compatibility of faith and science. If anyone perceives that there are relatively few Christian believers working in the scientific fields, then a new survey conducted by sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund and her colleagues at Rice University and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) might call for a rethinking of that position. Christianity Today reported on the results of the survey of more than 10,000 people, including 574 self-identified as scientists, who responded to a 75-question survey. Among the scientists, 17 percent said the term “evangelical” describes them “somewhat” or “very well,” compared to 23 percent of all respondents. If you extrapolate these findings, you can conclude, as the article points out, that 2 million out of nearly 12 million scientists are evangelical Christians. If you were to bring all the evangelical scientists together, they could populate the city of Houston, Texas. This is not the first time that Ecklund has researched the faith perspective of scientists. In her 2010 book Science vs. Religion: What Scientists Really Believe, Ecklund surveyed 1,700 natural and social scientists at top universities and found that only about two percent identify as evangelical. This new survey, by contrast, focused on “rank and file” scientists, including those in health care, life sciences, computers, and engineering. In addition to religious identity, the new survey focused on perceptions people have about science and religion. About the same number of people in the general public perceive hostility by religious people toward science as perceive hostility by scientists toward religion— about 1 in 5. But among evangelical scientists, a strong majority (57 percent) River Region’s Journey

May 2014

perceive hostility from scientists toward religion, which may suggest Christians in scientific fields have negative experiences with fellow scientists in the workplace regarding their faith. The survey also found that evangelical scientists are more active in their faith than American evangelicals in general. They are more likely to consider themselves very religious, to attend religious services weekly, and to read religious texts at least every week. For instance, 54.2% of evangelical scientists attend church weekly, as opposed to 42.4% of all evangelicals. The article points out that AAAS is a partner in an effort to incorporate science education into seminary classrooms across the country so that future clergy will be better prepared to address questions regarding science, ethics, and religion with their congregations. Scientists at AAAS are hopeful that scientists who are evangelicals will be the ones serving as mediators. “We ought to maybe think of them as a type of boundary pioneer of sorts, able to live well in both of these worlds,” Ecklund said. A boundary pioneer? I like how that sounds, but what or who is it? In a piece for the website, TheHighCalling.org, Ecklund is quoted as saying, “A boundary pioneer is a scientist who is well respected in the scientific community and does cutting edge research, but is able to openly discuss issues related to faith in their work. By doing so, they are able to break down what is sometimes thought of as a very concrete boundary between science and faith.” The writer of that article, Christine Scheller, states that, “I would argue then that a ‘boundary pioneer’ could be a leader in a non-scientific vocation like business, education, or law.” 24

The CT story states that the data suggests that many Americans, including both scientists and evangelicals, believe that when it comes to science and religion, each can be used to support the other. This information can help us to think about our approach to our work. Our relationship with Christ and our occupation are not separate entities. If we view our work as a calling, then it’s important that we explore ways in which we can live out our faith and apply our faith principles in our vocation. There may indeed be areas in our jobs where we are being called to be “boundary pioneers.” We can ask ourselves how we can glorify God in the way we approach our work and in the application of His principles to what He has called us to do. While exploring those boundaries, we recognize that we lend credibility to the Christian faith by the way we relate to our co-workers. We may be attempting to engage in faith conversations, but if our character is disconnected from our faith, then we undermine our witness. I would think that the little things we do help validate our walk with Christ, including: to show respect and courtesy, to demonstrate a strong work ethic, to walk in integrity and make sure that we are being honest, and to present ourselves as an encourager rather than a complainer. We can seek to be people who attempt to build bridges, not in compromise, but with a dedication to project Christ. Bob Crittenden is host of “The Meeting House”, heard weekday afternoons from 4-6pm on Faith Radio, 89.1FM in Montgomery. Described as “the intersection of faith and culture”, the program features Christian music and conversation about a variety of topics. Learn more by visiting www. meetinghouseonline.info.


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May 2014

River Region’s Journey


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By Rachel Fisher

The premature and tragic deaths of both parents led Linnie into a four-year battle with drug and alcohol abuse. His no-care view of life and fast lane mentality echoed the only truth he had ever known: there is no hope and no way out. The drug and alcohol use was constant; a vicious, numbing cycle to take away the pain life had dealt him. Yet, there was still some small trace of the positive values his parents had left for him. A strong work ethic was at the top of the list.

Linnie Dickson grew up with parents who were World War II veterans determined to give their kids a better life. Working long hours eventually allowed them to move from public housing to an upscale neighborhood, but financial success did not bring the happiness they thought it would. Instead, the pursuit of the American Dream, and the mounting pressure for more, eventually led to a broken family. River Region’s Journey

May 2014

26

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When his job landed him in the path of a woman who saw straight through his rough façade, Linnie’s life took a turn and led him to a life he never dreamed could be true for him. The investment this woman was willing to make in Linnie not only brought him face to face with the person of Jesus Christ and a life free from substance abuse and generational sin patterns, but also introduced him to the woman who would be his wife and partner in ministry. That was close to 33 years ago. Today, Linnie and his wife Debbie are continuing to reap the benefits and blessings of an investment another person made in both of their lives. Most importantly, they continue to pass this investment on to others through their ministry, Shepherd’s Staff, a ministry focused on children and families who are suffering from generational cycles of poverty, substance abuse and fatherlessness. Linnie’s evangelistic approach coupled with his personal expe-

riences, and Debbie’s social work background, provide the ideal pairing as they seek to see children and families restored to their original design. This para-church and non-denominational ministry works alongside the body of Christ to provide for both the spiritual and physical needs of those they serve. Most importantly, they long to see the churches of Montgomery serve beyond their four walls and make an investment that can change the course of a lifetime. In 1985, Linnie and Debbie Dickson moved from their home in Virginia to Enterprise, Alabama to take care of 10 little 27

May 2014

River Region’s Journey


boys in a group home setting. Or so they thought. What began as a two-year plan to take care of these 10 children turned into nearly 30 years of ministry and parenting over 100 children in the process. In 1995, the Dickson family made the move to Montgomery, AL. It was then that the Shepherd’s Staff Ministry was born and the ministry as it is known today began to take shape. “We thought we were coming for one thing, but the Lord called us into ministry with the fatherless children we were encountering,” says Debbie. “It was during this time we saw how each child carried a broken heart.” “We were Mom and Dad to some, aunt and uncle to some, Mr. and Mrs. to others, and when things got difficult in their lives, we would all realize we were truly family. But even with those relationships and taking care of so many children, Linnie and Debbie kept seeing the same kind of brokenness. “No matter how much of a family we provided for those children, we learned we had to encourage them to look back and forgive and honor their biological parents, whether they knew them, saw them or none of the above,” says Debbie. Linnie says he believes firmly that the family was God’s idea. “We were able to adopt some and parent those we didn’t adopt. We found that if they could forgive their parents they could go on and have their own families.” Out of the 100 kids in their care, one was incarcerated (but is now out of prison and a productive citizen) and one died. The rest are functional, successful, familyoriented people giving back to their communities. Some are in law enforcement, some are in education, and one is a pastor. “Many consider us their “forever family,” says Debbie. “It looks like we were a diverse family before it was common!” The investment Linnie and Debbie have made continues to pay out in a million little ways. River Region’s Journey

May 2014

The ministry God had planned for the Dickson family didn’t just come out of the disintegration of Linnie’s family, but also from the strong family background Debbie experienced. Knowing what family isn’t and experiencing what it can be has allowed them to invite the people they serve to see for themselves what is possible through discipleship and building relationships that come out of a lifestyle of loving and caring for the people around them. While Shepherd’s Staff no longer houses children through group homes or foster care, they are working alongside foster parents through training, advocacy and helping them navigate the challenges and struggles that come with being a foster parent. And it doesn’t stop there. The ministry tutors children from subsidized housing projects, mentors single mothers and disciples young men with the goal of helping keep them off the streets, out of prison and see them set free through the power of the gospel of Jesus. Linnie and Debbie know what they do isn’t complicated, but it does take a level of commitment and compassion that is sometimes hard to find and other times comes from the most unexpected people. For instance, Highland Gardens is an area where Shepherd’s Staff has a presence in the community. At the time they started going to this area, the church in the community had no pastor and very few members. However, the people who were a part of the church welcomed Linnie and the volunteers in and helped set up one of the largest tutor28

ing programs, as well as one of the most well-stocked clothes closets around. To this day, the women at Highland Gardens Baptist Church and others are some of their most committed volunteers. The most astounding part is they are a part of the community Shepherd’s Staff is serving. At the heart of the ministry is the desire to bring several networks, organizations and churches together for a bigger purpose. “We work in partnership with each agency, church and volunteer group, working to the benefit of families to support areas that are weak,” says Debbie. Debbie has been a foster mom, a step-mom, a biological mom, and an adoptive mom, just to name a few of her titles. Her unique calling has enabled her to speak into the lives of many women and children, help them navigate the broken pieces of their lives and find the way into a new way of doing life. “We want to move women from government dependence and man dependence to Jesus dependence,” says Linnie. “If you can tell a family that’s struggling that you can help them budget or find a place to live, for instance, they begin to realize, if they have the tools and know how to use them, they will be fine.” Shepherd’s Staff is there to help facilitate the change that they believe the Lord wants to accomplish in the life of every believer, but especially in the lives of those who are forgotten.

For Linnie and Debbie and those who work with them, they have seen how many people in Montgomery are, in fact, forgotten. “You technically don’t have to go to Haiti to find the poor,” says Linnie. “If you look hard enough you’ll see we’ve got Haiti right here in Montgomery.” It’s true. The areas where most wouldn’t dare go

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or venture to are right where you will find Linnie and Debbie. And instead of being program oriented, Shepherd’s Staff maintains a focus that is primarily relational and founded on a lifestyle of what they call “as you go” ministry. The ministry mission is James 1:27: “ Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” Put simply, they exist to make an investment in individuals, families and communities that will make a remarkable difference in the present, and impact future generations by presenting the restorative message of Jesus Christ in word and action. The ways they accomplish this are varied. From hosting Care Fairs and Bible studies at local subsidized housing projects to game nights at retirement communities, to tutoring children and mentoring young mothers on how to care for their babies, plus moving families to a new home and equipping volunteers, they seem to have a place for anyone to get involved. More than anything, they want people to come be the hands and feet of Christ in the lives of people. “If you have a passion, we can find a place for you,” says Debbie. The needs they encounter are innumerable. The ways for people to get involved in serving and loving Montgomery’s least, lost and forgotten are not difficult to find, but often require more than one Saturday of service. Debbie and Linnie long to see churches and individuals jump in and take the plunge and discover the joy and blessing of being a part of the lives of people who look different from theirs. “With Shepherd’s Staff there are no lights, no cameras, but a lot of action,” says Debbie. “Follow us! There’s plenty to do. Whatever your passion is we can plug you in. But most importantly, invest in another life. It’s the most important thing you’ll ever do.” ** To learn more about ways you can get involved and support the work of Shepherd’s Staff, call Linnie and Debbie at 313-1991. Rachel Fisher loves learning what God is doing in the world and writing about it. She and her husband Chase live in Montgomery. 29

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Marital Temptation and “The Tingles” Covenant Family Ministries has a heart for military families. We’ve never forgotten the challenges that a military family faces-months of separation, frequent moves, living far from family and friends, and dealing with the stress from performing dangerous training and missions on a regular basis. Today, we’ve forged a strong link to military couples, particularly “Captain” families who are in Montgomery for the 8-week Squadron Officer School (SOS) and are at a critical crossroads in their married life. These couples are in their late 20s to early 30s, and have been married 5-10 years. Most of them have two or three children under the age of five. Many of the active duty members-especially the flyers--are away from home, on average, 200 to 250 days/year. All these factors combined add up to a young couple facing many challenges on the home front. Each Wednesday night, we have a Maxwell Chapel-sponsored family supper followed by a Bible study taught by Mike and me, which focuses upon learning to apply God’s blueprints for marriage. We use FamilyLife’s video resource, “The Art of Marriage” as our primary teaching tool, along with Dr. Gary Chapman’s “The Five Languages of Love” video study. Many are familiar with the five languages Chapman has identified as primary ways to express love to your spouse: physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, gift giving, and spending quality time together, but not so much the accompanying video Chapman offers which addresses what he calls, “The Tingles.” The Tingles is that obsessed feeling you feel when you are “in love.” It’s a normal feeling of wanting to be with that person all the time. They are perfect in every way and the perfect partner for you. Unfortunately, as Chapman points out, the tingles are not a permanent state of being. The tingles fade sometime after the wedding, leaving the couple wondering if they chose the wrong partner. Then, if a spouse succumbs to River Region’s Journey

May 2014

temptation outside the marriage--or forms the tingles for someone else because of problems at home--the “in love process” or the “tingles” start all over again with a different person. Eventually the tingles will leave that relationship as well and the reality of building a marriage must be faced. With a divorce rate of 50% for first-time marriages and 70% for second marriages, you can see the validity of this. During the last two years, we have asked several groups to honestly address “The Tingles” issue, revealing interesting data which applies to military and civilian couples alike. What makes a military wife susceptible to temptation and the tingles? • Comparing your marriage to others. • Deployments/separations. • Receiving male attention at gym or elsewhere. • Clinging to the fairy tale we grow up thinking marriage will be. • His long work hours; job takes precedence over family. • When I am missing family and feeling alone. • Discontentment of wishing he had a “normal” or less demanding job. • A man who speaks your love language when your husband doesn’t. • Someone you communicate better with-someone who understands you. What makes a military husband susceptible to temptation and the tingles? • Trips with co-workers, deployments. • Drinking, going out on TDYs, influence of nonbelievers. • Unresolved conflict at home. • Internet, social media, pornography. • Comparing your wife to other women. • At work faced with attractive, “put together” women. • “Love Tank” is empty and lots of opportunities for temptation. • Not feeling respected or appreciated at home. 30

• Long hours at work with female co-workers. • Being flattered and appreciated at work, but not at home. As you can see, there are many temptations that husbands and wives face, particularly when there is strife and dissatisfaction at home. These types of discussions have been motivating to military members and their spouses, helping them become aware of possible temptations and how to avoid turning those temptations into sin. How to fight temptation: • Pray for your marriage and your spouse. • Focus on the positive qualities in your spouse, not their flaws or failures. • Speak your spouse’s love language often-keep their love tank full. • Have someone trustworthy and like-minded to talk to--of the same sex. • Limit time on social media; set boundaries that keep marriage a priority. • Communicate and set boundaries on hobbies and extracurricular activities. • Fulfill your spouse’s need for physical intimacy. • Don’t let children sleep in your bed--if already a problem, wean them now. • Leave parents and cleave to your spouse. Communicate and set boundaries. • Don’t favor children over spouse. Have regular date nights to improve your marriage. • Be aware of temptations your spouse may face and don’t assume you are safe from them. • Know what struggles your spouse is facing and help them. • Be in the word--put on the full armor of God! Lt. Col Mike Conn and wife, Lisa, founded Covenant Family Ministries when Mike retired from the Air Force in 1997. CFM is an independent marriage and family education ministry committed to partnering with churches, organizations, and individuals in Montgomery and across Alabama to build Family Teams for Christ. Married for over 30 years, Mike and Lisa have three daughters, two sons-in-law, and two grandchildren.


May 2014 New Programs ad_Layout 1 4/23/14 3:46 PM Page 1

Have you heard the

GOOD NEWS? Faith Radio presents...

new hosts...

Faith Radio welcomes two new local program hosts. Praise Through the Night with Ken Senes Monday - Friday, 12:00midnight - 6:00am

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Ken is a veteran radio broadcaster who is devoted to exalting Christ and sharing worshipful music and devotional thoughts with you each weekday morning.

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Shine with Kim Hendrix Saturday and Sunday, 2:00 - 6:00pm

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Kim Hendrix is an experienced television journalist and women’s ministry leader who brings praise and worship music, combined with a joyful perspective to encourage you during your weekend.

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new worship...

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We offer two new Sunday worship services. Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN, with Senior Pastor Steve Gaines Sunday, 10:00am

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Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA, with Senior Pastor Jonathan Falwell Sunday, 7:00pm

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Both of these churches have rich tradition, and the current pastors are dedicated to proclaiming the Word of God and providing strong leadership for the future. We are delighted to allow Faith Radio listeners to tune in and participate in these worship experiences!

To help support these and other great programs that help people grow in Christ all day every day and night, you can donate at our May 2014 River Region’s Journey 31 website www.faithradio.org or contact us at 271-8900.


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Adoption

Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy and Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville APAC- Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connection Support Group provides education and social interaction for adoptive families. Montgomery Group meets 3rd Thursdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Room 8114 at Frazer UMC. For information, call Hannah Taylor at 409-9477 or the church office at 272-8622. Autauga/Elmore Group meets 4th Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Glynwood Baptist Church, Prattville. Childcare, children’s group and dinner provided. For more info, call 409-9477 or e-mail htaylor@childrensaid.org. Location: Landmark Church, 1800 Halcyon Blvd. Leaders: Chad & Betsy Emerson (334) 201-5241 Wednesday, 6:30pm in Rm. 116. The Orphan Care Group will focus on God’s call to help orphans through adoption, foster care, and missions work. The group will share experiences, study and Biblical themes regarding orphan care, and provide a support and network for individuals who want to support orphans.

Alcoholic / Addict

Location: Caring Center of FBC, 52 Adams Avenue CrossRoads Support Group is for addicts/alcoholics and family members. Meets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and follows a Christ-centered 12-step program. Call 264-4949. Location: Cloverdale Baptist, 608 E. Fairview Celebrate Recovery, a Bible-based Christ centered approach to recovery from hurts, habits and hang-ups, meets Friday nights, beginning with dinner at 5:30 p.m., Praise and worship, 6:30, Open Share Small Groups, 7:30, and Cafe, at 8:30. Call 265-9223. Location: Dalraida UMC, 3817 Atlanta Highway Alcoholics Anonymous meets at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. 272.2190. Alanon meets at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Location: Grace @ Bell Road, Corner of Bell Road and Atlanta Hwy. Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon meetings are held Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 6 p.m. An Open AA Speaker meeting is held on Saturday at 6 p.m. An Alanon & AA held on Sundays at 2 p.m. Location: Grace Point Community Church, 78223 Tallassee Hwy (Hwy 14), Wetumpka Celebrate Recovery- every Tuesday night- 6:15pm. All are welcome! These meetings are a safe and loving environment for individuals seeking to conquer their hurts, habits and hang-ups! gracepoint.info. River Region’s Journey

May 2014

Location: Journey Church, group meets in Fellowship Hall at Coosada Baptist Church, Millbrook Celebrate Recovery - Christ-centered 12-step for anyone struggling with addiction or life-challenging issues. Mondays at 5:30pm (meal), 6pm (large group), 7pm (small group). Childcare available. Call Larry at 334-832-5714 or visit myjourneychurch.com. Location: Prattville Church of Christ, 344 East Main St. RSVP - 12 step (Christians Against Substance AbuseCASA) spiritual recovery program, for overcoming addictions. Using the steps and the Bible we help build self-esteem, responsible behavior, learn to make amends for our destructive behavior, then fill the void in our hearts by developing a loving relationship with God. Class begins each Wednesday evening @6:30 PM. Please call 334-365-4201 for addition information. Location: Santuck Baptist Church, 7250 Central Plank Rd. (Hwy 9), Wetumpka. Celebrate Recovery meets each Thursday evening at 6:15 in the Fellowship Hall. This is a Chrsit centered 12 step-program for anyone struggling with hurts, habits, and hang-ups. Call 567-2364. Location: Landmark Church, 1800 Halcyon Blvd. RSVP- This is a 12 step spiritual recovery program for overcoming addictions. Using the steps and Bible we help build self-esteem, responsible behavior, the making of amends for our destructive actions, and to fill the void in our hearts in a loving relationship with God. Wednesday @ 6:30pm in Rm. 121 of the Life Center. Location: St. James UMC, 9045 Vaughn Road Celebrate Recovery meets every Thursday night from 6-8 pm in the Youth Room. This is a Christ-centered 12-step group for anyone struggling with an “addiction or life-challenging issues.” For information, call Chris Henderson at 334-215-0427. Location: Trinity Episcopal, Wetumpka (Across from Winn Dixie on HWY 231) Gamblers AnonymousSaturdays at 7 p.m.

Alzheimer’s / Dementia

Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy An Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers’ Support Group meets on the first Thursday of each month at 11 a.m. in Room 3103. Call 272.8622. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy A Dementia Daycare is held each Thursday in Rm. 3101 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Each participant may bring a sack lunch. There is no charge. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. For info, call the LifeCare office at 272-8622. Location: Memorial Presbyterian, 2130 Bell Road A Dementia Morning Out for caregivers is offered each Tuesday from 8:45-noon. There is no charge. Each participant may bring a sack lunch (juice provided). Registration is required by calling 274-1018. 32

Cancer

Location: Dalraida Baptist, 3838 Wares Ferry Road. Just for Men -- Montgomery’s first and only faith based cancer support group for men is intent on providing information, Christian fellowship, and helping turn adversity into prosperity. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the conference center. Please call 272-2412 email stan.hurst@knology.net. Location: ChristChurch, 8800 Vaughn Road Cancer Support Group for general cancer. Tuesday afternoons at 1 pm. For more info, please call Christy Holding at 531-1390 or Debbie at 467-4578. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy Women of Hope Breast Cancer Support Group, providing education, awareness, and mentoring for breast cancer patients/survivors, family, friends or anyone interested in becoming a part of this compassionate journey, meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in Rm 8253. Call 272-8622 or womenofhope@charter.net.

Depression

Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy A Depression/Bipolar Support Group meets on the 1st Thursday of each month from 7:00-8:30pm in Room 3101. This group also meets on the 3rd Saturday afternoon, 12-2 pm, Dalraida UMC, 3817 Atlanta Highway in Church Annex. For more info, call 334.652.1431 or email dbsamontgomery@yahoo.com.

Divorce

Location: First Baptist Church, 305 S. Perry Street Divorce Care and Divorce Care 4 Kids, Wednesdays starting August 22, 6:30 pm. Cost $15.00 (scholarships available) Contact Kathy Cooper at kcooper@montgomeryfbc.org or 334-241-5125. Location: First UMC, 100 E. Fourth Street, Prattville Divorce Recovery meets Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m., Bldg. 101. Call 365.5977. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy A Divorce Recovery Support Group meets each Tuesday, at 5:30 p.m., in Fellowship Hall Lobby. 272-8622.

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Location: Heritage Baptist Church, 1849 Perry Hill Divorce Care Support Group meetings are held Sundays at 6:15 p.m. Divorce Care for Children also at this time. Call 279.9976. Grief Share groups are held each Sunday at 5 p.m. Call 279.9976.

Gambling

Location: Trinity Episcopal Church, 5375 US HWY 231 (Across from the Winn-Dixie shopping center) Wetumpka. Saturdays @ 7pm. 334-567-7534

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Location: Mental Health Association, 1116 South Hull Street, Montgomery. Sundays @ 5 pm. Location: St Paul’s Lutheran Church, 4475 Atlanta Hwy, Mondays @ 6pm. Gamblers Anonymous Hotline number: 334-541-5420

Grief

Location: Eastmont Baptist, 4505 Atlanta Hwy. Compassionate Friends is a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child meeting first Tuesdays at 7 pm. We have an annual special event on Tuesday, Dec. 4. We will hold a Candlelight Ceremony in memory of our children at 7 p.m. at Eastmont Baptist Church. Registration is encouraged and may be made by calling (334) 284-2721. We will also collect Toys for Tots. Location: First UMC, 100 E. Fourth St, Prattville Grief Recovery, Thursday nights at 7 p.m., in Wesley Hall Room 104. Call 365.5977.

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Location: Frazer UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy Grief Recovery Support Group meets Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., Rm 3105, in Fellowship Hall Lobby. 272.8622. Location: Grace Baptist Church, 304 Old Montgomery Highway, Wetumpka Mourning to Morning is a Christian growth group for mothers who have lost a child, from before birth through adulthood. Meets the last Thursday night of each month. For more information, contact Alice Scarborough (334) 462-4775 or Gwen Ellis (334) 567-8754 or e-mail us at mourningtomorning@ gmail.com. Join us on Facebook--Mourning to Morning Group. Location: Millbrook FUMC, 3350 Edgewood Rd Grief Share meets – Tuesday 5:30 PM in the Friendship Sunday School Class Room. Call 285-4114 for more info. Grief Share is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experience. Location: Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church 1550 E. Washington Street Grief Ministry is a grief recovery support group that meets every Monday at 6:00 P.M. The ministry is designed to help anyone through the hurt of losing a loved one by successfully traveling the journey from mourning to joy. Alicia Glover is the coordinator. For information contact Glover at 334-281-2754.

Homosexuality

Location: Landmark Church, 1800 Halcyon Blvd. The Barnabas Group, created to address the needs of those in conflict with homosexual thoughts and feelings meets first, third and fifth Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m., in the library at the Life Center. 277.5800.

Mental Illness

Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy NAMI Montgomery (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) This group provides understanding, education and information to family members & friends of those who suffer mental illness. This group will meet on the second Monday of each month from 6:30-8:30 in room 3103. For more information contact Mary Jo Logan (334) 271-2280.

Parenting

Location: First Baptist Prattville, 138 S. Washington Moms LIFE (living in faith everyday) meets twice monthly from 8:30 - 11:45 am in the chapel at the Church from Aug - May. We offer a time of fellowship, Bible study, musical guest, special guest speakers and a lot of fun!! Cost is $5 per meeting. For moms of all stages and ages of life. Childcare provided by reservation. For more info and to reserve your spot, call Kelley Manning at 361-7919. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy Frazer mom2mom is a playgroup to connect mothers of preschoolers at Frazer United Methodist Church to share fun and inspiration in our journey together, with our children, and with Christ. Email Mom2mom@frazerumc.org for more information. Location: Vaughn Forest Church, 8660 Vaughn Road Are you in need of a time-out? MOPS joins mothers together by a common bond, to be better wives, moms, and friends along this journey in the trenches of motherhood. We meet the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 9:30—11:30 a.m. Childcare is provided. For info e-mail VFCMOPS@gmail.com. Location: First Baptist Church, Montgomery 305 S. Perry Street MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) If you are a woman who is pregnant or has a child birth through kindergarten, desires to make new friends, wants to share the challenges and joys of motherhood, is looking for opportunities for personal growth through trusted resources,then MOPS is for you. Call Kristi Gay at (334) 233-8989 for more information.

Physical Challenges

Location: Aldersgate UMC, 6610 Vaughn Road Visually Impaired Support Group – Meets monthly on second Thursday 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. The group is called Outward Sight - Inward Vision and is for those with vision loss and their caregivers. Our mission is to assist those experiencing vision loss to maintain 33

their independence by providing access to valuable information and spiritual support. Call 272-6152. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy An MDA/ALS Support Group will meet Tuesday August 10 6:00p.m. – 8:00 p.m. in room 3101. Anyone who is affected by a neuromuscular disease or family members of those affected are encouraged to attend. To receive information, please call 396-4534. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy A Parkinson’s Support Group will meet the 4th Thursday at 6 p.m., in room 8114 at Frazer UMC. This group is for those who have Parkinson’s disease and the family members. 272-8622. Location: Taylor Road Baptist Church, 1785 Taylor Rd., Montgomery Gluten Intolerance Group of Montgomery meets on 2nd Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. Check the blog for special “alternate site” meetings and other info at www.glutenfreemontgomery.blogspot.com.

Pregnancy Loss & Infertility

Location: First UMC, 100 E. Fourth Street, Prattville Hannah’s Prayer--for women dealing with pregnancy loss/infertility issues. Meeting 2nd Thursday and 3rd Sunday of each month. Call 365.5977.

Singlehood

Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy Singles’ Small Groups meet each Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall Lobby. Call 272-8622. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy T.N.T. (Tuesday Night Together) for Singles meets Tuesdays from 7-8 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall, bldg. 7000. A meal ($5.00) and program are provided. For reservations, call 272-8622. Location: Cornerstone Christian, 301 Dalraida Rd. Unavoidably Single Again (USA) Fellowship, a support group for widows and widowers. Informal meetings for fellowship and fun are held on the third Saturday of each month starting at 10 AM. Contact Lynda at farauthor@aol.com or 354-8869.

Veterans

Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Highway Veterans OEF/OIF Caregivers Support Group meets on the 3rd Wednesday from 11am1pm in Room 3108. Contact LaQuana Edwards, Caregiver Support Coordinator at CAVHCS (334) 727-0550 ext. 5350.

May 2014

River Region’s Journey


To Speak or Not to Speak King Solomon said, “There is. . . a time to keep silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7b). Do you know the time and circumstance for each option? Because there are a number of familiar Scripture passages that seem to indicate silence is the preferable option, many Christians err on the side of keeping quiet. But is this always the best option? Not necessarily! Here are five biblical communication principles along with some corresponding Scripture passages from which the principles have been extrapolated, that shed light on the “speaking up” alternative. It is my hope that by unpacking them, you may find more freedom to communicate when and as you ought. 1. Sometimes, to not speak is a sin. There are many situations when we are obligated to speak. When we refuse to do what God tells us we are required to do, we are sinning. “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand.” (Ezekiel 33:8)

Sometimes we are commanded to speak, for example, when asked questions by a person in position of authority. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14; see also 7:4)

Sometimes we are obligated to speak by virtue of biblical injunctions that require the River Region’s Journey

May 2014

use of communication to carry out the biblical directions. For example, when you know that a fellow believer is burdened and you do not say anything to help him carry that burden, you sin my omitting your responsibility to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). 2. Because love does not act unbecomingly (it is not rude; 1 Corinthians 13:5a), it does not impolitely become unresponsive, but rather gives an appropriate answer. Most Americans consider it quite rude to not respond to a direct question. Similarly, some statements, though not interrogatives, implicitly obligate the receiver to a response which, if not given (or at least acknowledged) will be taken as rudely offensive. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:6) Give preference to one another in (outdo one another in showing) honor. (Romans 12:10)

3. Love takes the initiative to express itself— even when it may “hurt” the person being loved. Love gives another what he needs, not necessarily what he wants. It follows then, that it is not necessarily a sin to “hurt someone’s feelings”—as long as what “hurt” him is the fact that he did not receive what he wanted, but rather he did receive what he needed. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you. (2 Corinthians 2:4)

4. Those in superior positions (parents, bosses, teachers, rulers) have a right and responsibility to request information from their subordinates. Those in subordinate positions have a responsibility to open up to (communicate with) their superiors. When someone in a position of authority has a biblical “need to know” or a biblical right to know something, 34

and we conceal that information from him, we are sinning (concealment is a form of lying). It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2) Since the word of the king is authoritative, who will say to him, “What are you doing?” (Ecclesiastes 8:4)

5. Sometimes we must speak even when we are asked to keep quiet. God doesn’t give anyone absolute authority. No one has the authority to give a gag order to a Christian who is required to speak (i.e., no one has the authority to command a believer to disobey God). And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:18-20)

Finally, consider the instructions of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians: We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange—I speak as to my children—open wide your hearts also (2 Corinthians 6:11–13 NIV ).

In this intimate epistle, Paul reminds the Corinthians of his love, affection, and concern for them. He has opened his heart to them and urges them to open their hearts to him. You cannot open up and clam up at the same time. May God grant all of the discretion and courage necessary to know when to speak and when to keep silent. Lou Priolo is the author of several books, including The Heart of Anger, The Complete Husband, Teach Them Diligently, Getting a Grip, Picking Up the Pieces and Pleasing People. In addition to his books, Lou has dozens of recordings extrapolated from his twenty seven years of lectures, teaching and preaching. He is the editor of the Resources for Biblical Living series of booklets dealing with numerous counselling issues. Lou is a Fellow in the Association of Certified Biblical Counsellors and an instructor with the Birmingham Theological Seminary. He travels frequently throughout the United States and abroad training pastors, laymen, and fellow counsellors.


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May 2014

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May 2014 Community Calendar Monthly events can also be found in the Around Our Community Section starting on page 8. Thursday, May 1

The 2014 Montgomery Prayer Breakfast for the City and County of Montgomery is scheduled for 7 am, in downtown Montgomery. Mayor Todd Strange and Commissioner Elton Dean invite the citizens of the River Region Area to join him on this day in a spirit of humility and pray. The breakfast will be held at the Alabama Activity Center, located at 201 Dexter Avenue, downtown Montgomery, from 7 am to 8:15 am. A full buffet breakfast will be served. Tickets for the breakfast are $12 per person. Individuals may purchase tickets at His Vessel® Ministries, Union Station, 300 Water Street, Suite 100, Montgomery or St. James United Methodist Church on the corner of Vaughn and Ryan Road. Seating is limited and will be available on a first come first served bases. For questions or more information call 334-356-4478. Destiny’s National Day of Prayer will be held from 6am - 6pm, at Destiny Christian Center, 1852 Highway 14 E, in Prattville. We will open our doors to all who want to come and participate in the National Day of Prayer. Please come and join others as we pray in one accord for our Nation and Communities. This years theme is: One Voice, United in Prayer

Saturday, May 3

Denver Bierman will be in concert at 7 pm. at Coosada Baptist Church, 5687 Coosada Road, Coosada, AL. Denver is the writer, bandleader, and singer for Denver and the Mile High Orchestra. Tickets are not needed for this event; a love offering will be taken. For questions: brittany@ coosadabaptist.org. The Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the return of Cake and ‘Cue. This popular barbecue and bake sale will be held from 10:00 – 2:00. The church welcomes pre-orders for whole Boston butts ($30), quarts of camp stew ($10) and eat-in buffet plates ($10). Plan to pick up delicious cakes and baked goods, too. Call the church office to reserve your order today! 281-1337. 2911 Woodley River Region’s Journey

May 2014

Road, under the water tower off the Southern Bypass. The Annual Frazer Flea Market will be held from 7:00 am -1:00 pm in the parking lot across S. Burbank from Frazer (by the Soccer Field). All proceeds will be used to support missions.

Thursday, May 15

Mark Lowry & the Martins in concert Frazer UMC’s Wesley Hall. 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. Music & Madness will be an uproarious night of laughter and song. Mark Lowry will perform your comedy favorites and mix it up with Gospel trio The Martins! Music & Madness plans to showcase a little bit of everything from Mark Lowry, The Martins and former Legacy Five Pianist, Tim Parton. Visit www.frazerumc.org to order tickets online or charge by phone at (855) 223-1008. The Samaritan Counseling Center is having a party honoring our past and celebrating our accomplishments in the River Region. We would like to invite the public to attend. The price is $15 a ticket which includes food, two drink tickets, and the live band The Second Coming. The party will be held at Academy Events, 17 Coosa St. - 5th floor Renasant Bank Building. To purchase tickets, call 262-7787.

Saturday, May 17

Destiny Christian Rider’s 3rd Annual Benefit Ride with proceeds going to Bread of Life Ministry. Destiny Christian Center - Gym 1852 Highway 14 E, Prattville. Registration @ 9am, kickstands up @ 9:15, leave out @ 9:30 $25 per bike, $10 per rider. Lunch is provided Questions call: Sharon Carden, c 612-9152/ h 517-4312. Cornerstone Christian Church, 301 Dalraida Rd., will host their annual Spring Fling from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon of face painting, games with prizes, bouncy houses and much more. A lunch of BBQ sandwiches, hot dogs, chips and drinks will be served to anyone with an appetite. The Fling continues on Sunday, May 18th with a concert performed by their very own Praise Team from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 5th Annual Lebanese Food Festival—dinner, ala carte sales, and silent auction—to benefit programs and services provided by Catholic Social Services in Montgomery, will be held from 5:00-7:00pm, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 8570 Vaughn Rd. The $15 plated meal or $8 Kibee sandwich plate will include traditional Middle Eastern foods prepared by local cooks. For more information contact CSS at 334-288-8890, Ext. 219.

May 20-25

Empowerment Training Classes for Women presented by Women in Ministry International (WIMI) at Fresh Anointing House of Worship, 203 East Fleming Rd, Montgomery, AL. These classes are designed for women who desire to fulfill their God-ordained purpose in this generation and touch the world for Jesus Christ. Classes are weekdays 5:30- 9 PM, Saturday 9 36

AM-4 PM. Graduation Sunday. Contact 334 6133364 or www.wimiwomen.org.

Saturday, May 24

Missions Yard Sale at Heritage Baptist Church from 6am until noon. Pre-Sale on Friday, May 23 from 5-7pm with a $5 entry fee. Each year, our yard sale has a wide assortment of furniture, housewares, electronics, books and other hard to find items for sale with each dollar benefiting mission opportunities for our church in the United States and overseas. Contact Adam Bishop at 279.9976 if you have any questions.

Saturday, June 14

Talent Show for Country and Gospel Music @ The Destiny Christian Center, Hwy. 14, Prattville, Alabama. FREE TO ENTER CONTEST. For more information, 334-657-9599 or e-mail mirandastars2000@yahoo.com. Deadline to enter is May 23, 2014.

Ongoing Happenings AGLOW International meets every third Thursday, 9:30 at the Montgomery House of Prayer. All women welcome to join together for praise, prayer and an anointed message. Contact mboudousquie@yahoo.com. Bridge of Life Assembly of God, 9000 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, holds Sunday morning worship at 10:30 a.m. each week. Sunday school classes meet at 9:30 a.m. We offer classes for all age groups and childcare is provided. Our goal is to build bridges...not walls. We invite you to come join us if you need to learn how to build those bridges. For directions or information call 334-396-0208. Email jon@bridgeoflife.tv or visit www.bridgeoflife.tv. Capital City Church of the Nazarene, 4450 Vaughn Road, Montgomery. Free Tutoring throughout the school year. All subjects. Grades K-12. Every Wednesday night from 5:00 to 6:00. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information: 272-8176. Central Community Christian Church, 981 South Perry Street, Montgomery, holds new members training classes on Sundays at 9 a.m. Sunday School (9:30), morning worship (11:00), Tuesday night Bible study (6:30). Every fourth Sunday of the month is our youth Sunday. For more information please call (334) 269-0457 or by email at centralccchurch1@gmail.com. We are a church where you can be you, you can be loved and where you can grow! Christchurch, 8800 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, offers a Women’s Enrichment Bible Study led by Jeanne Dean on Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m., in Canterbury Hall. All women are welcome. Childcare for ages birth-4 years is provided. Call 387-0566 x 201 for more info. Christchurch offers a men’s Bible study led by Fr. John-Michael van Dyke, on Thursday mornings on the 11th floor of Goode Medical Bldg, Jackson Hospital. Breakfast is served beginning

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at 6:45 a.m. and teaching begins at 7:15 a.m. Call 387-0566 x 201.

ditional information please contact NeeNee Webb at 834-8990.

Chisholm Baptist Church, 2938 Lower Wetumpka Road, Montgomery, holds Sunday morning Bible study (9:30), Morning worship (10:45), Tuesday prayer breakfast (8:30) Wednesday evening prayer service (6 pm) and Senior Body and Soul Group (every 1st Tuesday at 1 pm). Email jbass9784@charter.net or call 262-6437. First Presbyterian Church, 9299 Vaughn Road, hosts Family Night every Wednesday beginning at 5:20 p.m. with supper, followed by a study on prayer. Everyone is welcome. For more information call (279-1372).

Frazer mom2mom is a playgroup to connect mothers of preschoolers at Frazer United Methodist Church to share fun and inspiration in our journey together, with our children, and with Christ. Email Mom2mom@frazerumc.org.

First Presbyterian Church, 9299 Vaughn Road, hosts a Men’s Prayer Breakfast every Friday morning, 6 a.m. The Youth of First United Methodist Church, Montgomery every Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. for Wednesday Night Live, a time of praise and worship in “the attic”. Also, every Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. is MYF which includes a snack supper $3.00 followed by activities, small groups and lots of fun! Visit www.fumcmontgomery.org. First United Methodist Church will host Terrific Tuesdays. Please come and join us for fellowship, a program and lunch. Terrific Tuesdays will meet each Tuesday in room 204 of Wesley Hall. Fellowship time will begin at 10:00 a.m. followed by a program at 10:30 a.m. and lunch at 11:30 a.m. The cost of lunch is $2.50. For ad-

Good News @ Noon is an interdenominational Bible study, held at the First Baptist Community Ministries Building on Adams Street, Thursdays, at noon. Small cost for hot lunch. Call 272.1133. Hall Memorial CME Church, 541 Seibles Road, Montgomery, offers Bible Study Tuesdays at 5:30 P.M. and Wednesdays at 6: 30 P.M. For directions or information call 334-288-0577. Email HallMemorialCME1@aol.com or visit www.HallMemorialCME.blogspot.com. Hall Memorial CME Church says: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Tutors, prayer-warriors, and office/clerical volunteers needed for the Montgomery City Jail Ministry & G.E.D program. Opportunities are ongoing. No experience or certification necessary. Contact Pastor Anderson T. Graves II, at hallmemorialcme1@aol.com. Call 334-288-0577. The City Jail ministry is an in-reach ministry of Hall Memorial CME Church, 541 Seibles Road, Montgomery. www.hallmemorialcme.blogspot.com. Macedonia Miracle Kingdom & Worship Center (MMKWC), 3070 Selma Highway, Montgomery, services are Sunday School and New

Members Class, 9:00 a.m., Morning Worship, 10:45 a.m.; Tuesday Night Bible Class, 7:00 p.m. and Friday Night Prayer, 6:00 p.m. (BOTH at The Pattern-Mt Meigs Road) Messiah Lutheran Church, 6670 Vaughn Road, invites all to Wonderful Wednesdays starting with a $3-5 meal at 5:30 pm (RSVP 277-4213 by Monday noon), worship with eucharist 6:15-7:00 pm, and adult choir rehearsal and Catechism class for 7th-9th graders at 7:00 pm. Please call for Wednesday schedule due to seasonal breaks. For information, call 277-4213. Mt. Gillard Missionary Baptist Church, 3323 Day Street, holds Wednesday Bible Study in the church Fellowship Hall and lasts for one hour. Please come and participate in roaming the Bible learning God’s word through teaching. The Rev. Henry M. Carnegie, Jr. is the teacher and pastor. Mid-day Bible Study begins each Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. Evening Bible Study begins each Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Call 233-8750. New Freedom Worship Center, 6004 –A East Shirley Lane, Apostle T. Briggs~ Pastor; Sunday Worship Service 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday Night Bible Study 7:30 p.m. Open Door Christian Faith Church, 1601 Dewey St. Montgomery, offers Women’s Prayer Mondays at 5:00, Men’s prayer Wednesday at 5:00, followed by bible study at 6:00. Couples ministry held every 1st Wednesday of the month at 7:00. Pastor William Cromblin, and the Open Door Church family invites you to “come experience the move of God. Call 334-269-6498.

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Perry Hill UMC, 910 Perry Hill Rd, sponsors a Bluegrass Jam in the Church Fellowship Hall on the third Saturday of each month from 9AM - 12AM. All Bluegrass Artist plus Fans are invited to attend. Attendance is FREE. For information call Kathy@ 272-3174.

Saint James UMC, 9045 Vaughn Road, offers S.N.A.G. (Sunday Nights About God!) This program starts at 5:00p.m. and ends at 6:30p.m. Childcare is provided for small groups until 7:00p.m. Don’t forget this program is available for all children!

Perry Hill UMC, 910 Perry Hill Rd, hosts a Wednesday Night Supper and Revive! program each week from 5:30pm til 7:00pm. Reservations are required by noon on the Monday prior to the supper. Cost is $4 per person or $12 per family. Call 334272-3174 for more information.

Saint James UMC, 9045 Vaughn Road, offers Wild & Wacky Wednesdays! Wednesday night supper starts at 5:15p.m. We will start checking children in at 6:00p.m. This program ends at 7:30p.m. and childcare is provided until 8:00p.m. for small group participants. Call 277.3037 for more info.

River City Church, 301 Dexter Avenue, offers a Friday Christian Night Club (free of alcohol and smoking) with Ballroom Dancing every Friday at 6:30 P.M. Cost is $10 for a one hour lesson, devotional, and 3 hours of DJ music. All denominations welcome. 7:30-10:30 open dance floor.

Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, 706 E. Patton Avenue, “Clothes Closet” is open to the public each Thursday morning from 10 a.m. – Noon. The Men of Saint Paul host a free Men’s Prayer Breakfast the Third Saturday of each month at 8 a.m. in the Church Fellowship Hall. The Men’s Prayer Breakfast is open to all men of all ages. Come and share your concerns and needs of our Men of today. For more information, please contact (334) 354-1897. Bible Study is held each Wednesday, 6-7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Pastor Farrell J. Duncombe is the teacher and Senior Pastor of the church. Come and join us for Sunday School each Sunday at 9 a.m. and Morning Worship at 10 a.m. Need transportation, call (334) 264-7618. For info call 286.8577 or www.saintpaulamemontgomery.com. S-STOP, a commUNITY Bible study for Singles. Souls Strengthened Together for One Purpose. Psalm 46:10 “BE STILL and know that I am God.” Meets at Prattville Christian Academy on Sunday nights at 6 p.m. For info email sstop04@gmail.com.

The River of Life Church, located at 116 County Road 40 E (in the Pine Level Community Center) Prattville. Pastor Nick Edwards invites you to a “Place of New Beginnings”, where families come and grow together. Church Service Schedule: Sunday 10:30 a.m. Sunday School; 11:00 a.m. Morning Worship; 5:00 p.m. Evening Worship. Wednesday 6:00 p.m. Adult Bible Study, Teens (Genesis Project), Jr. High (Limitless), Royal Rangers, MPact Girls, Rainbow’s/Noah’s Zoo Club. Thursday 9:00 a.m.Women of Grace Bible Study. Nursery provided. We invite you to”come experience God in a personal way, feel loved by all and know that you belong”. Call the church office 334-657-0392 or visit www.theriveroflifechurch.net.

Vision Full Gospel Ministries, 163 Rifle Range Road, Montgomery, holds Bible Study Tues. Night 7:00 p.m., Pray & Praise 2nd & 4th Thurs. Night 7:00 p.m., Sunday School 9:30 am, Sunday Worship Service 10:45 a.m., Internet radio-homecominggospel.com Sunday 3:00p.m. Central & 4:00 p.m. Eastern. and Satellite Radio -wlsg 1340am Sunday 3:00p.m. Women at The Well Ministry invites you to attend its women’s fellowship at 1 pm every 1st and 3rd Saturday. We are women who desire and have a heart to see broken, crushed, hurting women be transformed through the one man who can fulfill their every need... JESUS...THE POTTER. All women of all denominations or race are welcome. This ministry is available to teenagers as well. Come join us as we lift, encourage and build each other up through the Word of God and the words of our testimonies. For more information contact Evangelist Dr. Linda McCall, 334-220-1924. Young Meadows Presbyterian Church, 5780 Vaughn Road, invites you to attend its Sunday Respite Care Program on 1st Sundays from 4-6 pm. Children with physical and cognitive disabilities (and their siblings) ages 6-18 are invited for a time of activities and a light dinner so parents can have a night out. Call Susan Clements at 301-0355 for information and to make a reservation, or email rooftopfriends@gmail.com.

Send your events to deanne@readjourneymagazine.com.

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May 2014

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Q. I want to roll over a 401(k), and my

bank is encouraging me to roll it over to fixed annuities. Is this a good investment?

A. More times than not, when you go to a bank for investment advice, what you’ll get in the bargain is bad advice. And that’s the case here. I’d move toward a traditional IRA, in a series of good growth stock mutual funds. Put it across four types of accounts: growth, growth and income, aggressive growth and international. What you’re looking for is a great track record for your investments. You want a track record so ridiculously good that it gives you a great sense of comfort, even though there’s no guarantee of what’s to come. And there are mutual funds out there that can do just that for you. I own one that’s over 70 years old, and it has averaged nearly 12 percent over that time. Lots of people talk in “what ifs” when it comes to investing. Well, you can play that little game all day. But if the economy goes completely down the tubes, and the government destroys things like mutual funds and real estate completely, your little bank-

recommended annuity isn’t going to make it, either. The banking system as a whole will fail if all the mutual funds close because they’re all based in publicly traded companies. And that means virtually every business you drive by on your way to work would be out of business. A bank’s not going to survive that kind of thing. If you’re looking for things to help you survive the apocalypse, you’re talking about food and water. But if you want rational, well-reasoned investments, you need to look at growth stock mutual funds and paid-for real estate. That’s what I do!

Q. Why do you think debt consolidation is such a bad thing? A. Debt consolidation is a bad thing because it makes you feel like you really did something to get out of debt and change

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your financial world when you didn’t. People come to me all the time saying stuff like, “Dave, I got a second mortgage. I paid off all my debt!” Well, no you didn’t pay off all your debt. You just moved it around. That’s part of the catch when it comes to debt consolidation. If you get a lower payment and move things around a little bit, you feel like you actually accomplished something. The problem with that is you don’t do anything to address the real problem, which is you. Interest rates aren’t your problem, and the number of payments isn’t your problem. Your problem is the person you look at in the mirror every morning. Until you fix that person and get mad enough at your financial situation and the real cause of it, you’ll never make any progress toward getting control of your finances. Trying to borrow your way out of debt is not a good plan!

May 2014

River Region’s Journey


Movie Reviews Reviews provided by MovieGuide: A Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment Ratings are based on production quality and moral acceptability. See details below. ***Reviews do not necessarily reflect views of the publishers of River Region’s Journey.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Transcendence Production Quality: **** Moral Acceptability: -1 (Caution) Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Cole Hauser, Clifton Collins Jr., Cory Hardrict, Falk Hentschel, Josh Stewart, Luce Rains, Fernando Chien Genre: Science Fiction Audience: Teenagers and adults Rating: PG-13 Content: Four obscenities (two “s” words and two “h” words), two Jesus profanities, and three MGs; strong and light violence with some blood includes a mugging leading to a healing, people are hurt and bleeding, some explosions, gun battles where those shot are regenerated, several artillery shots are fired and exploded, people collapse, thin needles inject people (including a man’s blind eye) with nano technology to cure them, and shooter turns gun on himself but his suicide isn’t shown; woman has a dream of her husband briefly kissing her in bed but it turns into a nightmare; no nudity; brief alcohol use; no smoking or illegal drugs but futuristic biomedical cures; and, man is mugged, man is kidnapped, and man becomes power mad. TRANSCENDENCE is a science fiction thriller starring Johnny Depp as Will Caster, a scientist pressing the frontiers of artificial intelligence. Will’s scientist wife, Evelyn, loves the possibility of using artificial intelligence to cure cancer, end poverty, and clean the environment. Their life is shattered when radicals opposing artificial intelligence shoot Will with a radioactive bullet. As Will’s slowly dies, Evelyn uploads his mind to a computer. When connected to the Internet, he’s able to study the world’s surveillance cameras and alert the FBI about bad guys. He discovers ways to regenerate severely injured bodies. However, there are drawbacks. Will knows almost everything about everyone. Also, those he has healed have super strength and live almost as his drones. Can Will be stopped? Superbly crafted, TRANCENDENCE causes viewers to think. How far do we want technology to go? What keeps it from being misused? Can it be stopped? Should it? TRANSCENDENCE has a less than satisfying resolution, but the trip there is some of the best science fiction in years. It has less foul language and less violence than most science fiction movies.

Production Quality: **** Moral Acceptability: -1 (Caution) Starring: Kevin Sorbo, David A.R. White, Shane Harper, Dean Cain, Willie Robertson, Korie Robertson Genre: Drama Audience: Older children and adults Rating: PG Content: 13 or 14 obscenities (including six “h” words, five or six “d” words, one SOB, and one a** word) and one light “My God” profanity, plus one “s” word seems to be cut short and not fully uttered; strong, sometimes intense action violence includes gun battles, hand-to-hand combat and martial arts fighting, some use of knives and objects, falling from great heights, assassins riddle protect SUV with bullets trying to murder driver, explosions, hero gets shot in leg and shoulder, other people shot, lots of derring-do with swinging and jumping and hiding from bullets; no sex, even when hero and female lead banter where she advises him about him dating other people with whom they work when they seem attracted to one another; upper male nudity; alcohol use; no smoking or drugs. In CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, a mysterious assassin called “the Winter Soldier” critically wounds Nick Fury, Captain America’s boss at SHIELD. Fury hands Captain America a flash drive showing SHIELD is compromised. “Don’t trust anyone,” Fury tells Cap before lapsing into a coma. Using the flash drive, Cap learns a secret cabal has infiltrated SHIELD. They also control the Winter Soldier. Ultimately, they plan to use newly developed SHIELD technology to rule the world. Now, Captain America and the two friends he trusts must avoid not only the Winter Soldier, but all of SHIELD, so they can stop this evil plot. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is a terrific action movie. It hits all the right plot points and adds some nifty twists. Once again, Chris Evans does a superb job as the iconic hero. The supporting players are also excellent. Happily, THE WINTER SOLIDER has a strong moral, patriotic worldview. Captain America and his friends are working to protect both American liberty and world freedom. The movie warrants caution, however, for intense action violence and brief foul language.

The previous reviews are a selected sample of informative reviews from MOVIEGUIDE: A FAMILY GUIDE TO MOVIES AND ENTERTAINMENT, a syndicated feature of Good News Communications, Inc. To subscribe to MOVIEGUIDE which includes a complete set of at least 10 reviews of the latest movies as well as many informative articles, please visit our web site at www.movieguide.org or write or call:”MOVIEGUIDE,” P.O. Box 190010, Atlanta, GA 31119 (800) 899-6684. What the ratings mean: Production Quality: (1 to 4 stars) Moral Acceptability: -4 (Abhorrent), -3 (Excessive), -2 (Extreme Caution), -1 (Caution), +1 (Wholesome), +2 (Good), +3 (Moral), +4 (Exemplary) River Region’s Journey

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Third time’s the charm!

It

. take d e t c s t hr e t o r p e e do s y l l u f es of the H P V vacc ine to be HPV causes cervical cancer and many other cancers in men and women. The HPV vaccine is recommended for boys and girls at age 11-12 to prevent cancers and diseases later in life. For those not yet vaccinated, the vaccine is recommended through age 21 for boys and age 26 for girls. The ADPH encourages you to pair the first dose of the HPV vaccine with the required 6th grade vaccinations (TDAP/Meningococcal) The vaccine is available at ALL County Health Departments at little or no cost to children ages 9 to 18. Dependents up to age 26 may be covered by their parents’ insurance.

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facebook.com/ALCompCancerCoalition


Trace it back to the facts! The evidence is clear. The proof is all right here! Discover, decide, and defend the truth about who Jesus really is.

Vacation Bible School June 23 – 27 :: 9:00 AM to Noon ages 4 through 6th grade :: FREE!

For more information or to register, visit

www.montgomeryfbc.org/vbs

Join us for these events plus many more! First Baptist Church Montgomery

305 South Perry Street | Montgomery, AL 36104 334.834.6310 | www.montgomeryfbc.org

River Region's Journey May 2014  

The River Region's 2014 VBS Directory is here. Plus, Faith at Work, Dave Says, and much more!