Page 1







FUN for children 12 and under! Instead of going from house to house, children can go from car to car in Frazer’s parking lot receiving candy or other treats from the trunks of vehicles.


cotton candy, burgers and hot dogs will be available for a small fee.

No scary costumes please.

WHAT’S GOING ON AT FRAZER IN OCTOBER? 6000 Atlanta Highway 334.272.8622


REGISTER Oct. 1 – Nov. 2 Frazer Activity Center Cost is $85 Boys 4-years – 9th grade Girls 4-years – 12th grade

For more information visit

Volume 14, Issue 5

Feature Articles

O CTO BER 2 0 1 2 Columns page 2

page 18

Publisher’s Note

Why Christians SHOULD Be Involved in Politics

page 4

by Alan Cross

God has given Christians a responsibility to influence the culture and society for we all have a part to play.

Jason Watson

Pastor's Perspective

Reverend Carmen Falcione, The Gathering

page 14

Dave $ays Dave Ramsey

page 16

page 24


2012 Fall Festival Guide

page 22

Kim Hendrix

Churches across the River Region invite you to enjoy fall festivals, bazaars and more during the month of October!

The Intersection Bob Crittenden

page 28

Grace to You

page 30

John MacArthur

Inside: Footprints Ministry

page 33

Family Teams for Christ

by Rachel Fisher

When families are going through one of the most difficult and uncertain times in their lives, the Footprints Ministry offers hands-on love and support in the NICU.

Lisa and Mike Conn

page 37

Counselor’s Corner Pamela Boswell

page 42

Got Life?

On Our Cover . . .

Elaine Britt

Jason and Brie Smith have been greatly blessed by the Footprints Ministry, founded by Kim Wilson (left). The Smith’s son, Colby, was born July 28th weighing 1lb 10 oz. and is still being cared for in the NICU at Baptist South. Colby has a big sister, Ainsley, who can’t wait for him to come home! Call 334.213.7940 today!

In Every Issue page 6

On the Bookshelf page 8

Around Our Community page 38

Event Calendar page 44

Movie Reviews 1

October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Publisher’s Note by Jason Watson

Our Mission River Region’s Journey is committed to connecting all those who profess Jesus Christ as their Savior, regardless of denomination. Our aim is to share information and resources that promote a fulfilled, Christ-centered life. Further, we seek to reach unbelievers with the life-changing truth of God’s Word.


DeAnne Watson


Jason Watson

Research Editor Wendy McCollum

Contributing Writers Pamela Boswell Elaine Britt Lisa and Mike Conn Bob Crittenden Pastor Alan Cross Reverend Carmen Falcione Rachel Fisher Kim Hendrix John MacArthur Dave Ramsey Gail Welborn

Advertising Opportunities 334.213.7940

Cover Photography

Savannah Bowden Photography

Ad Design

Tim Welch, Welch Designs

Distribution Team Wendy McCollum Richard Ward Lesa Youngblood

River Region’s Journey is published monthly by Keep Sharing, P.O. Box 230367, Montgomery, AL 36123. For information, call 213-7940 or FAX to 213-7990. River Region’s Journey is copyrighted 2012 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.

River Region’s Journey • October 2012

Jason is available to speak at your church or conference. If you would like to contact him about a preaching engagement or to share about his testimony and Journey magazine, please call 334-213-7940 ext 701. 2

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October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Pastor’s Perspective


Reverend Carmen Falcione, The Gathering

Whose Church Is It Anyway? The church is not a building or an event. It is identified as the “called out ones, a gathering of believers.” We are the church. It is His Church. The Church was not created for our benefit. The church was created by God for His great pleasure and His glory! Throughout my years of experience in ministry I have observed a lot of dissension, attitude, and bickering within church leadership; between leadership and sheep, the sheep finding fault with leadership, and sheep coming against sheep. Even though I have not been exempt from any of this, I was really burdened about it. The Holy Spirit revealed a disease in the body of Christ and showed me some of the major symptoms of this disease. This disease is identified as a religious spirit which is a form of godliness without

River Region’s Journey • October 2012

the power and life of the Holy Spirit as defined in I Timothy 3:5. The first symptom is comparing, which means to judge or examine. This is overwhelming in the church today, especially with pastors and church leaders. One of the first questions asked when attending a pastors’ conference is, “How many are you running?” Sheep of a local assembly say with pride, “We have the best worship team in town!” Paul in I Corinthians 10:12-15 summarizes this by saying we should never compare our calling or the sphere of ministry the Lord has given us. The second symptom is competing. It is seeking and striving for the same things as another, to have rivalry or strive to claim to be equal or better than someone else. Comparing breeds competition which grieves the Holy Spirit. Paul says in Romans 12:3 that God has given or allotted to each saint a measure of grace and faith that is needed to do what we are called to do. When we are not satisfied with what God has given us, we are essentially saying that He cut us short, plays favorites, and that we are second string Christians. MAY IT NEVER BE! (Galatians 2:6) When we participate in comparing and competing, fueled by jealousy, it then produces the third symptom which is compromise. It means to concede your own convictions, faith, truth, calling, and destiny. (2 Timothy 4:3-5) God knew exactly what He was doing when He created you. If you want to experience true joy then fulfill your own calling and destiny not someone else’s. 4

The fourth and fifth symptoms go hand in hand. The fourth symptom is complaining. It means to utter negative expressions of grief, bitterness, dissatisfaction, murmur, discontent, and ungratefulness. Numbers 11 tell you exactly how God feels about this symptom. This is so pervasive in the church. The leadership and the sheep are not happy with one another whether it is the concern over the building plans, length of sermons, the worship music, choir director, nursery, Sunday School, etc. You get the picture. I’m not talking about whether it is unbiblical or not. I am talking about preference. Paul tells us in Philippians 2 that we are to prefer one another and in verse 14 we are to do all things without grumbling or complaining. Complaining produces the last but not least symptom, criticizing. It means to examine or judge critically, to make negative remarks on performance or position. Sometimes this is identified as Christian sharing. If we were honest, it should be called gossip. Jesus was very clear when He said in Matthew 7:1, “When it comes to judging and criticizing, don’t! Father God loves the church! Jesus certainly does because He died for it. The Holy Spirit does because He participated in the wonderful work of redemption. (Hebrews 9:14). Let us cease striving and watch as He builds His church. After all He is the author and finisher, the Alpha and Omega. He is bringing many sons to glory! Rev. Carmen Falcione is the founder and director of The Gathering, an interracial and interdenominational ministry committed to foster unity in the body of Christ. He is a member of the International Reconciliation Coalition. He is also the leader of John 17 Pastors Fellowship and associate director of the Montgomery House of Prayer. He is also a host of the “Praise the Lord” program on TBN, Channel 45. Carmen and his wife Elaine reside in Montgomery with their children and grandchildren. Visit For Advertising Information:

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

Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

On The Bookshelf

by Gail Welborn

Power Up! Outdoor: Devotional thoughts for Sportsmen

Edited by Dave Branon, Hardcover, Barbour Publishing, 2009, 224 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-1572933194, $11.99

If you’re looking for a men’s book with spiritual significance, look no further! This devotional for men is especially suited for the sportsman in your life, whether father, friend, husband or son. Within these pages faith combines with sports, such as hunting, fishing or golf, to deliver spiritual truth and biblical principles in language men understand. Entries include Scripture, a brief article, Fast Facts, (interesting sports trivia), and life application questions titled, Follow Through. The fishing and hunting stories enhance the “life-changing” Bible truths necessary for spiritual growth and drawing closer to Jesus Christ. One hundred tips from categories like hunting, fishing, safety and more are also included. For example, “Never store a gun in a hard case with foam padding overnight unless you first place it in a silicone sleeve…” (pg. 63) Or, “Hunt in rubber boots. Leather boots retain smells that animals pick up on…” (pg. 83) Two-page spreads, written by well-known professional writers and sportsmen, encourage readers to consider the role God plays in nature and in their personal lives. All I can say is —excellent!

‘Why Can’t He Be More Like Me’

by Poppy Smith, Harvest House Publishers, 2012, 224 Pages, ISBN-13: 9780736943338, $12.99

When the honeymoon ends, sometimes months into a marriage, wives begin to wonder if they have anything in common with their spouse other than their marriage day. Mutual dreams and choices once shared with anticipation, excitement and intimacy now only divide and cause bad feelings, arguments and marital discord. Some wives even wonder if they made a “terrible mistake.” In Why Can’t He Be More Like Me, Poppy Smith, with refreshing and humorous insight, offers “9 secrets to understanding your husband.” The book, organized into three sections, begins with why some marriages don’t live up to expectations. The second section includes topics like how to handle money, different spiritual beliefs, headaches and sex, the plague of pornography, negative self-talk and how to determine priorities. Chapters end with simple prayers from Poppy to her “sisters.” This well-crafted book provides the tools to understand prior influences and how those influences impact spouse’s expectations, especially for women committed to Christ. It would also be an excellent resource for use in classes, small groups, seminars or individually for wives and couples.

After you Die: Unveiling the Mysteries of Heaven and the Afterlife

by Frank Santora, Howard Books, 2012, 288 Pages, ISBN-13: 978-1416597315, $14.99

Frank Santora, pastor, author and speaker, tackles questions of life and death with captivating logic and humor in his new release where he notes, “Nobody gets out of here alive.” He begins with a story about his grandfather who died when he was 11-years-old, the first of many personal losses that prepared him to deal with death later in life as a pastor, where Frank learned “… death is a part of life.” In this book he provides solid evidence for why we are born with body, soul and spirit, which means we have eternal souls that go to Heaven or Hell determined by our choices. With that in mind, he hopes to persuade readers to live in light of eternity because there are no second chances. Written for both unbelievers and those of faith, the wise and insightful answers look at questions many fear to think about or ask. The author’s beliefs are biblical, as is his foundation for hope, Heaven and Hell. Consider reading this book if you have similar questions. It just might have eternal consequences for you… River Region’s Journey book reviewer Gail Welborn lives in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.

River Region’s Journey • October 2012


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October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

VeggieTales Live! God Made You Special

First Baptist Church, Prattville, is proud to announce that “Veggie Tales Live!” will be coming on Sunday, November 11th, at 6pm. Tickets will go on sale to the community September 17th. Tickets purchased in advance are $15, Day of the Show $20 and VIP (Meet ‘n Greet Larry and Bob) tickets are $25. Make plans to get your tickets promptly, as this is the ONLY Alabama show scheduled this year and they will go fast! Call 334.365.0606 or visit www.

Know Who to Call When You Don’t Know When to Say When!

For many people gambling has become an acceptable way of fun and recreation. Casinos are located on just about every cruise ship. Internet poker and other card games are rapidly becoming very popular. With the new school year, many people will be involved in sports betting. For some people, gambling can become a problem, even an addiction. When the situation finally comes out into the open, the financial destruction can be devastating. If there is someone in your church, a friend or family member that you suspect might have a problem with gambling, then please contact us for help!” The Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling” is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that helps to connect problem gamblers with trained counselors and support groups. The ALCCG covers the entire State of Alabama and they exist for the sole purpose of helping others who need treatment. Their job is to help provide a way for others to get into recovery. They create public awareness and prevention programs to educate the public about the problems that can arise from gambling. Like many other lifestyle choices, gambling can easily get out of control and not only affects the gambler, but the entire family as well. Here is a list of just a few of the warning signs: The person is gone for long periods of time, cannot account for missing funds, talks all the time about gambling, is constantly lying, gets defensive if you even suggest that the gambler may have a problem, and is always having to borrow money. Call us today, at 334-277-5100 and the ALCCG can put you in touch with a trained counselor. No one is ever turned away, even if you have you no resources to pay for your counseling. Call Today! Don’t gamble with your recovery!

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Frazer Volunteers Help Restore Local School

A small group of volunteers from Frazer made a big impact on one local Montgomery middle school this summer, in hopes that the Frazer congregation can continue to help restore the school facility into an ideal place for learning. “Another Great Day of Service,” as the day was called, took place Aug. 4. Volunteers met at Goodwyn Middle School with plans to clean up and repaint the floors and walls of several classrooms, and make other minor repairs. Butch McPherson, director of missions and outreach events, said he first learned of the facility’s dire needs during the 2012 Great Day of Service. He was visiting the various service project sites with Senior Pastor Tim Thompson. When they arrived at the school to meet up with volunteers that day, Butch said they realized what poor condition the school building was in, and they were determined to find a way to help make it a better environment for the students and staff. The school’s principal was grateful for assistance in cleaning up the school, and after hitting a few roadblocks, Butch said they were able to come up with a plan to work on three of the classrooms. Butch said that plans are still in the works for scheduling another work day at the school but feels confident that if Sunday School classes, small groups, families and individuals will step up to help, Frazer can help restore the Goodwyn facility back to a place where students can be proud to attend and learn. If you are interested in volunteering to help with painting and cleaning up classrooms at Goodwyn Middle School, please call Butch McPherson at 495-6325.

Aldersgate Holds Annual Barbecue

The 28th Annual Aldersgate Church BBQ sale to benefit local and international missions and ministries will be held October 13. Boxes are $8 and include both pulled pork and a chicken quarter, plus beans, slaw and bread. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the church, or boxes can be bought the day of sale. Drive-thru service is provided at the front of the church on Vaughn Road. Proceeds will benefit the Aldersgate Methodist Men’s mission and service projects which include Boy Scouts, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Montgomery Area Food Bank and other hunger relief projects, short-term mission trips, and assistance for the elderly. Aldersgate is located at 6610 Vaughn Road and you may contact them at (334) 272.6152. River Region’s Journey • October 2012


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Judgement House is Back!

Coach Gene Stallings to Speak at Local Event

After being packed away for the past few years, Judgement House is coming back and now it is The River Region Judgement House. The location is on Atlanta Highway in the shopping center with Marco’s Pizza and Sunday Dinner, behind Hardee’s. Judgement House is on the far end, right next door to Sunday Dinner. The dates are Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 6-9pm; Saturday, Oct. 27, 6-10 pm; Sunday, Oct. 28, 6-9pm; Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday 30, 6-9 pm; Halloween night, Oct. 31, 6-10 pm and Thursday, Nov. 1st, 6-9 pm. Many churches have taken part in R.R. Judgement House to make it a success. We invite all people and groups big and small to come out and visit this Christian alternative to a haunted house.

The 2nd Annual Women of Influence presents An Evening with Coach Gene Stallings on November 15th, 2012. Coach Stallings will share stories of family, faith and football at this event for men and women, beginning at 7 pm. at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. For more information or tickets, please call 866-456-9982 or visit

Church Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Messiah Lutheran Church on Vaughn Road in Montgomery celebrates its silver anniversary in mid-October. Twenty-five years ago the church received its charter from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. During the weekend of October 18- 21, the church will celebrate. Events include 7:00 P.M Evening Vespers at Messiah on Thursday, October 18; a reception for The Reverend Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA at Aldersgate Methodist Church on Saturday; and a Festival Eucharist with the Bishop presiding at 10:30 A.M., Sunday, October 21, at Messiah Lutheran Church. The current pastor, Reverend Randy Jones, expresses his feelings about the anniversary: “I am excited to celebrate this momentous occasion, and I think the presence of our Presiding Bishop is a great compliment to Messiah’s 25 years of ministry here in Montgomery.”

Mercy Me Coming to MPAC

Montgomery Performing Arts Centre 201 Tallapoosa Street, Thursday, November 29, at 7 pm. Call (334) 481-5136




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Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Bebo Norman in Concert

Thursday, October 11 @ 6:30 pm, First Baptist Church in Montgomery. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door. This event is a benefit for TheTransMission and is sponsored by Beasley Allen Law Firm, Phillip Pouncey Builder, & OB-GYN of Montgomery. Bebo and TheTransMission founder, Tommy McGregor, have been friends for over 15 years. Bebo has become a vocal supporter of TheTransMission, saying in a 2011 podcast, “The first great transition in our lives is the one that TheTransMission is trying to address, and that is going from high school to college. Life is (made of) consistent seasons with transitional periods in between, and the season of time from high school to college can really be a cornerstone in how you handle those transitions for the rest of your life.” Ticket Locations (on sale Sept 1): Montgomery - Family Christian Stores (Atlanta Hwy) & First Baptist Church office (305 S Perry St); Prattville Blessings, A Christian Store (inside Laser Copy- 103 N Memorial Dr) More info at

River Region’s Journey • October 2012

1st Annual River Region Prayer Walk

Saturday, October 13, Union Station Train Shed Registration Time: 8:00 a.m. Prayer Time: 8:45 a.m. 5k Prayer Walk Begins: 9:00 a.m. Registration Fee: $10.00 per person (includes T-shirt, prayer guide, concert) Children under 12 free Vaughn Forest G2 Women’s Ministry is hosting a prayer walk to bring together the citizens of the River Region to pray over our cities, our government leaders, schools and teachers, uniformed heroes and servants, pastors and ministry leaders, and all of the people that make up the River Region. All men, women and children of the River Region are invited. If you are unable to participate in the walk, we invite all River Region prayer warriors to bring a chair and join us under the train shed for prayer. Online Registration: For information, contact Brooke Freeman at: or 334-284-0755.


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Apologetics Event Coming to Prattville

For the second time, Fountain of Grace Church in Prattville will host the Family Apologetics Conference and Training (FACT) on Friday, Oct. 12, Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14. The event is free and is open to families and individuals. The conference will address three areas: (1) How to answer common objections to the truth claims of Christianity; (2) demonstrating the errors of cults and comparative religion and how to share the truth of Christianity; (3) and how to address the errors of cultural ideas and institutions with a Biblical worldview and life. Cults and other religions will be studied as well as cultural issues like homosexuality and same-sex marriage, a Biblical view of economics versus secular ones, environmentalism and global warming, and the positions and negatives of social networking and technology. Registration is free. Those interested should e-mail and notify the church how many will be attending. To learn more, go online to http:// lw&feature=plcp and watch a short video regarding the event.

The Glorious Ruin Tour with Tullian Tchividjian

Tullian’s message of Glorious Ruin avoids the typical mistakes we make when we try to deal with the pain in our lives. He shows that we don’t need answers and explanations as much as we need God’s presence in and through suffering. For sufferers, one thing is beautifully and abundantly true: God’s chief concern in your pain is to be with you and be Himself for you. The good news of the Gospel is not ultimately a defense from pain, it is the message of God’s rescue through pain. In other words, our ruin may not ultimately spell our undoing. It may in fact spell the beginning of freedom. For info contact: 800-729-0815 or visit Event will be held October 17 at 7 pm (doors open at 6) at Cathedral Church of the Advent, 2017 6th Ave. North, Birmingham, AL.

First UMC’s Annual Fall Bazaar!

Wednesday, October 10th 5:00-7:00; Fall BBQ, Preview Party, and Silent Auction Please join us for our Fall Bazaar. Guaranteeing a fun night of fellowship for church members, families, and the community, the event gives everyone a chance to participate in carnival games and inflatables. Everyone is invited to enjoy delicious barbeque, make Thursday shopping plans, and bid on fabulous items at the Silent Auction. Thursday, October 11th 10:00-1:30; Fall Bazaar and Luncheon The Bazaar will offer heavenly baked goodies, delicious frozen casseroles and soups, pre-loved items in our kid’s closet and nice-as-new room, an art gallery, and a gardengift shop with items for every occasion. A delicious lunch will be served in the Fellowship Hall from 11:00-1:00. Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased in advance from the church office @ 834-8990. ALL PROCEEDS SUPPORT MISSIONS!

Centerpoint Fellowship Church at Pike Road Join us for a celebration of God’s goodness through praise and worship, followed by a life-applicable Bible-based teaching by senior pastor John Schmidt via video. Come casual and enjoy our service that starts at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday at the Jim Wilson YMCA at New Park. Nursery and children’s program provided.

For more information contact our office at (334) 356-3076 or visit our website at

Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Frazer Partners with Compassion 21 for ‘School Supply Store’

CEF Golf Fundraiser

Frazer’s Transformation Montgomery Ministry recently partnered with local ministry Compassion 21 to provide affordable school supplies to low income families in Garden Square and surrounding areas. Compassion 21 is a local ministry that provides services to low-income individuals and families in the community. One of those services is a thrift store located on Lower Wetumpka Road, which also served as the location for the Aug. 18 School Supply Store. The Frazer congregation collected donations of school supplies for a few weeks before the event. Volunteers arrived early on Saturday morning to set up the store; doors opened to the public at 9 a.m. In all, 187 children were able to obtain the school supplies they needed for the year, while their parents or guardians were able to maintain dignity by purchasing the items themselves at an affordable cost. If you would like more information, or you would like to volunteer with Transformation Montgomery, please contact Robin in Community Ministries 334-495-6312. To learn more about Compassion 21 and the ways they minister to the community, go to

River Region’s Journey • October 2012


October 18, 2012 2nd Annual Church Challenge! Wear Your Church Golf Shirts for a Friendly Competition! The Golf Marathon is to raise funds to support reaching children with CEF of Central Alabama. Teams are organized into threesomes, and each team plays 72 holes (average) marathon. Included in your registration: Green Fees -- Hole in One contests -- Cart -- Tee Prizes -- Lunch -Awards Reception. Located at Wynlakes Golf & Country Club – 7900 Wynlakes Boulevard Registration & Coffee: 7am; Shotgun Start: 7:30am; Lunch: 12 pm (on course) Finish: 5 pm No entry fee is required but each team must raise a minimum pledge amount of $1,500. A desired goal would be each team raising $2,000+. Every $2,000 raised means over 350 children will have the opportunity to attend a Good News Club in Central Alabama. We will provide you the forms and sample letters and emails you will need to raise pledges. Call CEF at 334-213-7388 or email:

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At Trinity, we believe our student athletes are true champions... in life and on the field. Our winning teams not only rack up trophies and awards, but godly character and development too!

True champions know how to take a knee. | Contact Monica Lott 334.213.2137

Nondiscriminatory statement as to students: Trinity admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origins to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Trinity does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origins in any of the educational policies, scholarship programs and athletics, and other school-administered programs.

Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey TRIN-5133-MgmJourney-fullpg.indd 1

8/8/11 11:32 AM

Dave Says...

by Dave Ramsey

Fun to Date, But Not to Marry Q.

I’m dating a man who is really exciting and fun, but he has well over $100,000 in debt. He has nice cars, a boat and he travels a lot, and he does it all on credit. He wants us to get married, but his view of money worries me. What should I do?


The fact that you’re worried about this situation means you realize that fun and exciting don’t necessarily translate into being wise. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but your concern tells me that you two are from completely different planets when it comes to handling money. And that can be a death knell to a marriage. Disagreements over money and finances are the number-one cause of marital strife and divorce in North America today. Fighting over debt and the stress brought on by financial problems will take a heavy toll on any relationship. When you’re not on the same page with how to handle your money, you’re not on the same page of life. How you spend your money says volumes about who you are, where your values lie, and what’s important to you. This guy is fun because he’s impulsive and has a lot of toys. But the fact that he’s gone into debt for this lifestyle also means he’s a little boy and not a responsible man. And unless you guys can get on the same page with how money is handled, I would strongly advise not going forward with a wedding. For this to get serious and turn into marriage material, one of you will have to change. Either he’ll have to straighten up and start behaving wisely with

River Region’s Journey • October 2012


money, or you’ll have to agree to enjoy living deeply in debt.

Q. I made the mistake of leasing a car a while back, and the lease is up in about nine months. Should I save up the money between now and then to buy it, or save as much as I can to pay down my student loans?



At the end of a lease the price for which you can purchase the car is called the residual value. This amount is preset when you lease the vehicle. So the big question right now is, what’s the car actually worth? If the company thought it would be worth $12,000 and it’s actually worth $14,000, that would be a good deal, and you’d want to buy it instead of turning in the car. Even if you were going to turn around and resell it, you’d still want to go ahead and buy. Another big thing is that I’d never tell you to finance a car after the lease term. There’s no difference between that and walking onto a car lot and financing any other $12,000 car. Look at it this way. You basically have a $12,000 car loan right now, and you’d only be changing the format from leasing to payments if you financed the thing. Should you keep this vehicle? Only if it’s a small percentage of your income. If you make $60,000 or more, I’d probably say save up, pay cash, and keep the car. But if you’re making closer to $30,000 the answer is no.




Dave is the author of The New York Times best-selling book Financial Peace. He is also the host of the nationally syndicated The Dave Ramsey Show, and is a regular guest on television. All of his financial counseling is based on biblical truths. You can hear Dave from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., weekdays, on WLWI 1440 AM or online at Send your questions to He resides with his wife Sharon and their three children, Denise, Rachel, and Daniel, in Nashville, Tennessee. For Advertising Information:


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The 24th Annual

Holiday Market October 18-20, 2012

Presented by the Junior League of Montgomery

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Premier Investor: Baptist Health

JLM Kicks-Off Montgomery’s 2012 Holiday Shopping Season! Holiday Market begins October 18th, 2012 at an EXCITING NEW VENUE!

Wednesday, October 17 ~ 6-9pm Mistletoe and Martinis: Preview Party & Silent Auction - $35

Montgomery’s Multiplex at Cramton Bowl!

Beverage tickets, hors d'oeuvres and entertainment

Thursday, October 18 Shopping Hours ~ 9am-9pm

TICKETS: Advance - $5 • Daily - $10

Friday, October 19 Shopping Hours ~ 9am-9pm Girls Night Out 6-9pm

Valet Parking will be available for $5

Saturday, October 20 Shopping Hours ~ 9am-5pm

Military & Seniors - $5 Children 10 & under - FREE

Advance Ticket Outlets: Junior League Office, River Bank and Trust (Montgomery, Wetumpka & Prattville locations), Eastdale Mall, My Kid's Attic, and Barb's on Mulberry

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October 2012 • River Region’s Journey


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by Kim Hendrix

Are You a Human GPS? Isaiah 48:17: “This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” When people spend time with you or even watch your life from afar—does it help show them the way? Do they see and hear the directions that will lead them to a life filled with Jesus Christ? Recent reports indicate in the age group of 18-35, only 15% consider themselves Christian. That’s a troubling statistic. This age group doesn’t like the idea of traditional church—going to a building and sitting in worship at a designated time. They want to be out in the mission field serving others. As one leader in my church put it, “They want to change the world, they just

don’t know how.” So let’s show them the way. Psalm 25:4-5: “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Maybe instead of bringing this younger generation to our church and sitting them in our pews on Sunday morning, we roll up our sleeves and join them in their projects—whether it’s doing repairs for the elderly, reading to little ones or feeding the homeless. Let’s join them and pray God will do a mighty work through us. I recently had the privilege of talking with an older couple who just endured a terrible crime. A home invasion in broad daylight left the wife badly beaten, and their housekeeper injured as well. As

I spoke with this faithful couple, the husband of the woman badly beaten said, “God has been so good to us, I have no complaints.” He pointed at his wife, still bandaged and bruised, and said, “I wish that would have been me instead of her, but our God is good, so good.” There are no clearer directions in this life, no better GPS showing the way than a bold witness for Christ during extremely difficult circumstances. These are the stories our younger generation needs to hear, the peo-

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River Region’s Journey • October 2012


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ple they need to spend time with—those who walk the path shown to us through His word and never lose hope. A story shared recently by a hero in aviation reveals our younger generation is onto something regarding the human connection and our level of hope. Gail Halvorsen shared his memories of taking part in the Berlin Airlift—flying missions to drop food, medicine and other supplies to the blockaded West Berlin. One day when his crew was resting, he secretly took a plane to Berlin and toured the city. The children he met told him they never had enough to eat. He reached in his pockets and found two sticks of gum and promised to return with more candy. As he left, he told the children to watch for the plane that rocked its wings as it passed over because it would drop treats for them. Those missions earned Halvorsen the title of the “Berlin Candy Bomber”. Halvorsen says years later a young man from West Berlin who was a boy during those candy drops told him, “It wasn’t the chocolate that mattered, it was that somebody in America knew I was in trouble and they cared. I can live on thin rations,” he said, “but not without hope.” Psalm 62:5: “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone: my hope comes from him.” When we “show up” we show we care. When we’ve given our lives to Christ, we bring a hope that never wavers. If we can bring those two forces together in the lives of our younger generation— showing them the way while helping others—God will use each of us in changing the world. Are you a Human GPS? Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the hope that never runs dry, for your unwavering love and forgiveness. You tell us in your word that the generations need to encourage one another, so please help us do that as we work together to help those less fortunate. May our lives, no matter what our age, show others the way to you. Help us to surrender our days to you Dear Lord, and please help us share the path revealed through your Holy Word. In the name of your son Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.



Kim Hendrix is the Director of Development at Saint James School in Montgomery. She leads the Shine Your Light ministry at Frazer Memorial U.M.C. and recently ended a 26 year career in television news. Kim and her husband Scott, have a 11 year old daughter, Annie, who brings them great joy. Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Why Christians SHOULD Be Involved

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in Politics by Pastor Alan Cross

Over the years, I have advocated a position that I call Prophetic vs. Political when it comes to a Christian’s relationship with the political realm. What I have meant by that is that Christians should not be beholden to a political party or be involved in grasping after power on this earth, even if they think that they can use it for good purposes. Having worldly power in the temporal sphere almost always happens through worldly means, and River Region’s Journey • October 2012

eventually, corruption is the result. The Christian siding with one political party or another is eventually led down the road of compromise as his allegiance is used for whatever the Party wants to do. So, I have advocated a Prophetic stance. What I mean by that is that Christians should affirm righteousness wherever it is found and should denounce evil and injustice wherever it is found - no matter which party is doing either right or wrong. We see this when John the Baptist denounced 18

Herod’s immorality and when the prophets of Israel called the Hebrew Kings to account for the evil that they tolerated and promoted in turning against God and oppressing the poor and powerless. The Church is to be Salt and Light (Matthew 5:13-16) and we do that best when we are independent of political party allegiances, but we are engaging our Prophetic role. But, I want to revise this a bit. Being Prophetic does not mean that we eschew the Political arena. “Politics” comes from For Advertising Information:



the Greek word “Politikos” and it means, “of, or relating to citizens” and it applies to the art or science of running government. Politics is simply how a society organizes and governs itself. It involves how a society makes decisions, what it declares to be right and wrong, how it takes care of its members, and how it develops a vision of who/what it is and what the future will look like. Politics involves decisions on justice and economics and how the poor and vulnerable will be treated and how order will be created and preserved in society. These are all important issues and they are all things that are addressed in Scripture.

The way of Jesus is the Way of the Cross. This means that we are willing to suffer and die and lay down our lives for others. We are not trying to grasp power so we can use it to force others to do what we think they should do. Jesus could have taken over the world with a snap of his fingers and turned us all into robots. But, He did not. He came and suffered and died for us, and taking the place of a servant, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death on a Cross (Phil. 2:5-8) so He could be our salvation. So, the way of Jesus is the way that we are to represent Him in the world. In this, we are called to be witnesses (Acts 1:8). We are to witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ, which involves not only how we get to heaven when we die, but also involves how we live here on earth (see Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount for starters). The political arena is a place where we can witness to the truth of Jesus and where we display where our hope lies. Politics is where we talk about life and

Political discussions are ultimately spiritual discussions because they deal with meaning and how we best live life on this planet. Every time we talk or think about politics, we are talking about truth and justice and how we live and organize ourselves. Christians should speak into this with great hope and imagination.

The Ethics of God’s Kingdom

Christians should be a part of making these decisions and, even though we live in a society that does not recognize Biblical truth as authoritative, we should be “Salt and Light” and work to bring the eth-

ics of the Kingdom of God into every area of life, leavening the loaf with the yeast of God’s Truth, as it were (Matt. 13:33). Salt gives flavor and preserves meat, keeping it from decay. Light illuminates so we can see where we are going and so we do not wander around in darkness. Christians are to give flavor, to preserve and keep from decay, and to guide the way into the right direction. We are not to dominate or coerce or force our views upon others - rather, we are to be ambassadors of another Kingdom - the Kingdom of God which is not of this world (John 18:36).



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October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

death and everything in between and Jesus has something to say about that. He is not just concerned with life eternal, but He also speaks into how we can live life now, and Christians have a prophetic role in witnessing to society the character of God as sovereign over all things. But, we must tread carefully.

Christians Reflecting God in Society

We must do this without thinking that getting society to reflect Godly principles is going to solve things. We cannot get the Kingdom to come by force or by getting a law passed or by cleaning up corruption. We stand for justice and peace because that is how we witness to who Jesus is. As His followers, we can imagine no other way to live. He is the God of Justice. He is the Prince of Peace. But, we know that the heart is wicked and we know what is in a man. We know that we cannot “reclaim America for God” through the political sphere because only when a man’s heart is transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ can anyone be changed. Law does not bring change. It only reveals and punishes sin and

shows us what righteousness is. We still need the Gospel to bring real change and the proclamation of the Gospel is our great mandate. Salvation only comes through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, not in establishing moral law. But, as Christians who are also citizens, we have a role to play in our society. We reflect Godly ways and we bring fairness and ethics and justice with us wherever we go. We reflect mercy and humility and we care for the poor and the weak and the oppressed (Micah 6:8; Isaiah 58; Matthew 25:31-46). In our role as citizens, we witness to the ethic of Jesus’ Kingdom and we call upon our social, political, and economic structures to reflect this reality not because we think that we can usher in some kind of utopia, but because this is part of how we witness to who God is. How does the world know that God is a God of Justice who cares for the poor and punishes the corrupt and the evil doer? Not just because we read those passages in the Bible, but because we, as His people, reflect this attitude in society now and the political realm is one place that we can reflect God’s character because it is the place that we all decide together how we are going to live.

Political Discussions = Spiritual Discussions

Political discussions are ultimately spiritual discussions because they deal with meaning and how we best live life on this planet. Every time we talk or think about politics, we are talking about truth and justice and how we live and organize ourselves. Christians should speak into this with great hope and imagination. All people everywhere are asking the world view questions of who/what is ultimate reality, who/what is man, what is wrong with the world, and how do we fix it? These spiritual questions are what world religions seek to answer, but they are also the questions that we try to answer through our politics. Christians know how to answer these questions. The political realm is just one more arena to witness to the truth of God and we should not shy away from it even when we place no faith in it at all - even when we are persecuted for doing so, because when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, we are also blessed (Matthew 5:10-12). Alan Cross is senior pastor of Gateway Baptist Church on Bell Road in Montgomery. Visit his blog at


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The Intersection:

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Christian Cultural Commentary by Bob Crittenden

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The Superiority of the Gospel The apostle Paul wrote in the first chapter of Romans that he was not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. So often, I think we look at the gospel as simply the message that Christ came to save sinners, and that by accepting Him, we become saved and we get to go to heaven. But there’s more – by embracing the gospel, we do enter in to eternal life, and we have a responsibility to share what Jesus has done in our hearts, as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission. Plus, I think God intends for His life to flow from us and influence the culture at large for good…and His glory.

By virtue of our acceptance of Christ and this dramatic life change, we are inducted into the body of Christ, the church of the living God, an entity that contains the most powerful force on earth – the Holy Spirit. But, one could ask: if God is so powerful, then why do we seem to see so little evidence of Him in our culture today? The gospel is full of power, but we have to believe that it is superior. There is a big difference between cultural Christianity, which may involve regular church attendance and the occasional act of service, and Biblical Christianity, a demonstration of radical grace and confidence in the presence of God in us. If we

really embrace the words of Jesus, that He is the way, the truth, and the life, there will be a marked difference in the way we live, compared to those around us who either do not profess Christ or perhaps claim Him and pay lip service to Him, but do not experience true life change. And, there’s plenty of lip service to go around these days. True, we’re seeing a rise in the so-called “new atheism” and an apparent increase in what is termed,

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River Region’s Journey • October 2012


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“religious hostility”, but there are still many who say they believe in God. Unfortunately, they deny Him in their actions: relational in the way they treat their families or co-worker, or cultural as they advocate positions that contradict the teachings of Scripture. One of the big lies in our society today is that our faith is to be kept completely separate from the other compartments of our lives. Buying into this deception can lead people to attend church regularly and be thought of as “religious”, but they do not believe the exclusivity of the gospel and accept other faith paths as legitimate ways to find God. We have to be convinced that Christianity gives humanity access to the most powerful force for good in our culture today, the one true way to eternal life and a relationship with God. I believe that lack of conviction is a component that is lacking in the church today. If we’re resolute in our beliefs, then our challenge is to release that power. We have to learn how that superiority works. The gospel is the main thing! We cannot seek cultural change using worldly means. For instance, we place our trust in the political realm, thinking that if we elect enough leaders that reflect our political philosophy, then the ills of society will disappear. As long as we’re dealing with fallen creatures whom we elect into leadership, then that method will fall short. Of course, I would rather have people in office who reflect my ideals than people who do not, but it’s not the whole solution. In the current climate, our political activism is unfortunately misinterpreted as an unabashed effort to establish a theocracy where if someone doesn’t embrace Christianity, that person is ostracized and demonized. To be truthful, that’s what we see in other parts of the world, but that hopefully is not what’s at the heart of most Christian activism. If we believe that the ways of Christ are the best (and we should), we have to express that concept with humility and compassion. We are facing a culture that is rife with polarization – just spend some time reading op-ed pieces from liberals and conservatives alike. And, Christians often march lock-step with the analysts and commentators, devoid of compassion and determined in confrontation. We have to face the sobering fact that we are trying to win those whom we tend to denigrate. If we do not possess humility as we communicate truth, and compassion as we relate to those with whom we disagree, we are not aiding the cause of Christ and are instead driving people away from Him. The gospel is the main thing, and we reinforce the presence of the Lord in our culture as we utilize its instructions and view its principles as superior to the ways of the world.

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Dr. R. Lawson Bryan Senior Minister 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 Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Fall Festival Guide








Ca m N s

Fall Festival at Alabama Christian Academy

Thursday, November 8th, 3:00-7:00 p.m. Inflatables, pony rides, games and more. They will have a silent auction and Country Kitchen, chili cook off and photo booth. Each class sponsors games for children of all ages. Concessions will be available. Admission is $5. Please call 277-1985 ext. 221 for more information.

Fall Festival Aldersgate UMC

Wednesday, October 31st, 5:30 to 7:15 p.m. 6610 Vaughn Road Trunk or Treat, games, prizes, crafts, hayride, inflatables. A fun-filled family night open to everyone free of charge. Call 272-6152.

Fall Festival Camellia Baptist Church

Wednesday, October 31, 6-8 pm 201 Woodvale Road, Prattville Lots of games, food, candy and a lifeRiver Region’s Journey • October 2012

changing message. Free Admission. Games for ages preschool-6. No scary costumes. Bring your family and friends. Call 365.0755 for more info.

hayride, and sure to be plenty of candy! Free and open to the entire public. Kids are welcome to dress up, if they would like. No scary costumes, please.

Halloween Carnival Camp Chandler

Annual Family Fall Festival Dalraida Baptist Church

Saturday, October 20, 5-8 p.m. Camp Chandler is located just off U.S. 231 North in Wetumpka on Lake Jordan. Hayrides, carnival games, trick or treating and cake walk will all be part of the fun. Cost is $5 per child. Parents free. Proceeds go to the camper scholarship fund. Hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy and drinks available for purchase. For more information, call 269-4362, ext. 241 or 252. Visit

Christ Community Church Fall Festival

8285 Ryan Rd., 273-8110 October 28, 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Join us as we come together to enjoy some great food, fun, and fellowship at our annual fall festival. There will be games, a 24

Sunday, October 28, 5:00 until 7:30 p.m.. 3838 Wares Ferry Road Games, Prizes, Food, Hayride, Inflatables and More! Call 272-2412.

Fall Festival Dalraida UMC

Saturday, October 27, 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. 3817 Atlanta Highway Games, food, prizes, costume contest and other surprises. Please call 272.2190.

Family Fun Fall Festival East Memorial Baptist Church

Wednesday, October 31st, 5 until 7 p.m. 1320 Old Ridge Road, Prattville, AL Games, Candy, Balloon Animals, and all sorts of fun for the whole family! FREE!! For Advertising Information:


For more info call 334.365.7500 or visit us at

For more information, call Julie Palmer at 365.0606.

Fall Family Festival Eastern Hills Baptist Church

Pumpkinfest First UMC, Montgomery

Wednesday, October 31st, 5;30-7:30 p.m. 3604 Pleasant Ridge Road Trunk or Treat in back parking lot. Candy, free popcorn and games, games, games! Hot dog supper for $1.50. Please, no scary costumes. Call 272.0604.

Fall Family Fest First Baptist Church, Montgomery

Sunday, October 28, 4:30-6:30 pm Perry Street Lot. FREE! Games, fun and prizes. Hot dog dinner with chips and drink for $3 per person. Call 834.6310 for info. 305 S. Perry Street

Family Fall Festival First Baptist Church, Prattville

Thursday, October 30, 5:00-7:00 p.m. 138 S. Washington Street Candy, prizes, games, rides, live entertainment and more. Fun for the whole family. No scary costumes, please. Free admission. Ages preschool through 6th grade.

Sunday, October 28, Time TBA 2416 W. Cloverdale Park For children of all ages - Front lawn of the church. Fun, games, horse-drawn hayride, moonwalk, refreshments and more! Happy costumes are welcome! Come join the fun! In the event of rain, the Pumpkinfest will be moved indoors. For children age toddler through 3rd grade! Call 834.8990.

Hallow-Him Festivities First UMC, Wetumpka

Sunday, October 28, 4 p.m.until 7 p.m. 306 W. Tuskeena Street Contest, games, concessions, inflatables, dunking booth and treats for all ages. Tasteful, non-scary costumes are optional. Parents are encouraged to attend with child. Call 567-7865, email: sean. or visit

Trunk or Treat Frazer Memorial UMC

Frazer will hold a Trunk or Treat Sunday, Oct. 28 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Frazer parking lot and Soccer Fields, 6000 Atlanta Highway. Trunk or Treat is free and open to the public. Inflatables and games will add to the fun. Concessions will also be available for a small fee.

Fall Family Festival Gateway Baptist Church

Wednesday, October 31, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 3300 Bell Road Free admission. Games, inflatables and trunk or treat. Little bit of something for everyone. Call 272-9494 for more information.

Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch

Opens October 1 until October 31 Monday thru Saturday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Sunday 1p.m. until dark Alabama’s Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch is located just off of Interstate 65 in Clanton, Alabama. The Alabama Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch has more entertainment than









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October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

you can shake a stick at. From the acres of fresh-off-the-vine pumpkins, pony rides, face painting and hay rides, all the way to helicopter rides and funnel cakes, we have something for each member of the family. We’re sure you’ll have a memorable adventure each time you visit the Alabama’s Grand Ole Pumpkin Patch in Clanton, Alabama. Call 205-755-4553 or visit www.

Fall Festival Heritage Baptist Church

Wednesday, October 31st, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 1849 Perry Hill Road Inflatables, Face Painting, Trunk A Treat, Music & More. Free Admission Concessions Available Call 279-9976.

Trunk or Treat Mulder United Methodist Church Wednesday, October 31, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 3454 Firetower Road, Wetumpka Fun for the whole family. There will be inflatables, games, trunks of treats, hayrides, face painting, Live music and more. No scary costumes please. For more info call 567-4225.

River Region’s Journey • October 2012

Youth Fall Festival Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist

October 21, 3-5 p.m. 1436 East Washington Street We welcome the entire family to come and enjoy the fun. Call 265.1807.

River Region Judgement House

After being packed away for the past few years, Judgement House is coming back and now it is The River Region Judgement House. The location is on Atlanta Highway in the shopping center with Marco’s Pizza and Sunday Dinner, behind Hardee’s. Judgement House is on the far end, right next door to Sunday Dinner. The dates are Wednesday, Oct. 17th, 6-9pm; Saturday, Oct. 27, 6-10 pm; Sunday, Oct. 28, 6-9pm; Monday, Oct. 29 and Tuesday 30, 6-9 pm; Halloween night, Oct. 31, 6-10 pm and Thursday, Nov. 1st, 6-9 pm. Many churches have taken part in R.R. Judgement House to make it a success. We invite all people and groups big and small to come out and visit this Christian alternative to a haunted house.


Trunk or Treat Saint James UMC

Sunday, October 28, 5 to 6:30 p.m. 9045 Vaughn Road Parking lot at back of church. Hayride, inflatables, games, candy, and much more! Wear your costume, but please nothing scary. For more info, call Jennifer at 277-3037.

Taylor Road Treats the Town Taylor Road Baptist Church

Wednesday, October 31, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 1685 Taylor Road Concessions, games, hayride, inflatables, balloons, face painting, fabulous door prizes. Treat street with lots of candy. For all ages. Call 271.3363.

Fall Festival Thorington Road Baptist Church Sunday, October 21st, 4-6 p.m. 450 Ray Thorington Road Come join us for Inflatables, games, and fun for the entire family. Free! Rain or shine! Call 396.9376.

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Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Grace to You

sch ne rel no sta an as An or wi ou po in spi en

by John MacArthur

Temptation and the Sovereignty of God No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) A Christian should recognize that victory is always available, because a believer can never get into temptation that he cannot get out of. For one thing, Paul explains, No temptation has overtaken you but such as is Common to man. The basic meaning of temptation (peirasmos) is simply to test or prove, and has no negative connotation. Whether it becomes a proof of righteousness or an inducement to evil depends on our response. If we resist

River Region’s Journey • October 2012

it in God’s power, it is a test that proves our faithfulness. If we do not resist, it becomes a solicitation to sin. The Bible uses the term in both ways, and I believe that Paul has both meanings in mind here. God’s tests are never a solicitation to evil, and James strongly corrects those who suggest such a thing. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone” (James 1:13). “By evil” is the key to the difference between the two types of temptation. In the wilderness God tested Jesus by righteousness, whereas Satan tested Him by evil. A temptation becomes an inducement to evil only when a person “is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin” (James 1:14–15).


Earlier in his letter James wrote, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials” (1:2). The nouns trials (see also verse 12) and testing (v. 3) are from the same Greek root as the verb tempted in verses 13–14. The context indicates which sense is meant. God often brings circumstances into our lives to test us. Like Job, we usually do not at the time recognize them as tests, certainly not from God. But our response to them proves our faithfulness or unfaithfulness. How we react to financial difficulty,

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school problems, health trouble, or business setbacks will always test our faith, our reliance on our heavenly Father. If we do not turn to Him, however, the same circumstances can make us bitter, resentful, and angry. Rather than thanking God for the test, as James advises, we may even accuse Him. An opportunity to cheat on our income tax or take unfair advantage in a business deal will either prove our righteousness or prove our weakness. The circumstance or the opportunity is only a test, neither good nor evil in itself. Whether it results in good or evil, spiritual growth or spiritual decline, depends entirely on our response. In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus says that we should ask God not to “lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13). “Evil” is better translated “the evil one,” referring to Satan. In other words we should pray that God will not allow tests to become temptations, in the sense of inducement to evil. The idea is, “Lord, stop us before Satan can turn your test into his temptation.” Common to man is one word (anthropinos) in Greek and simply means “that which is human, characteristic of or belonging to mankind.” In other words, Paul says there is no such thing as a superhuman or supernatural temptation. Temptations are human

Call 334.213.7940 today!

experiences. The term also carries the idea of usual or typical, as indicated by common. Temptations are never unique experiences to us. We can never have a temptation that has not been experienced by millions of other people. Circumstances differ, but basic temptations do not. Even the Son of God was “tempted in all things as we are” (Heb. 4:15), and because of that “He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (2:18). And because temptations are common to us all we are able to “confess [our] sins to one another” (James 5:16) and to “bear one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2). We are all in the same boat. Not only are temptations common to men but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. No believer can claim that he was overwhelmed by temptation or that “the devil made me do it.” No one, not even Satan, can make us sin. He cannot even make an unbeliever sin. No temptation is inherently stronger than our spiritual resources. People sin because they willingly sin. The Christian, however, has his heavenly Father’s help in resisting temptation. God is faithful. He remains true to His own. “From six troubles He will deliver you, even in seven evil will not touch you” (Job 5:19).


When our faithfulness is tested we have God’s own faithfulness as our resource. We can be absolutely certain that He will not allow [us] to be tempted beyond what [we] are able. That is God’s response when we pray, “do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13). He will not let us experience any test we are not able to meet. But with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. The phrase the way is formed by the definite article and a singular noun. In other words, there is only one way. The way of escape from every temptation, no matter what it is, is the same: it is through. Whether we have a test by God to prove our righteousness or a test by Satan to induce to sin, there is only one way we can pass the test. We escape temptation not by getting out of it but by passing through it. God does not take us out; He sees us through by making us able to endure it. Widely known for his thorough, candid approach to teaching God’s Word, John MacArthur is a fifthgeneration pastor, a popular author and conference speaker, and has served as pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969. John and his wife, Patricia, have four grown children and fifteen grandchildren. John’s pulpit ministry has been extended around the globe through his media ministry, Grace to You.

October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Footprints Ministry

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Providing Hands-On Love and Support to NICU Families by Rachel Fisher

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is an uncertain and scary place for any new parent. Brie and Jason Smith know this all too well, along with thousands of other families in the River Region. Brie and Jason’s son, Colby, was born at only 23 weeks old on July 28th, 2012. For the past two months, the Smith family says they have experienced fear and uncertainty, but also love. That love River Region’s Journey • October 2012

has come not only in the form of the support of family and friends, but through a ministry that reaches out to families like the Smiths, who are walking through having a baby in the NICU. That ministry is the Footprints Ministry, a 501(C) 3 non-profit organization that began in August of 2007 at Heritage Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. after director Kim Wilson and her family had their own experience with the NICU. 30

Kim’s son was born premature and with a collapsed lung. During their stay in the NICU, Kim says she felt the desire to let God use her experience to help other families in the same unexpected situation. A year later, Footprints began. “Our prayer is that we will share the love of Christ with NICU families and provide support and encouragement to them during the most exciting and difficult time in their life,” explains Kim. “We just want to be For Advertising Information:

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there for them and make this time, whether it’s ten days or three months, a time where they know they are cared for and being prayed for.” It seems that Wilson and others who volunteer with Footprints are doing just that. “It’s so easy to be overwhelmed with all the numbers and statistics the doctors are telling you,” says Brie. “But after we met Kim and read about Footprints we immediately felt the love and support from people who have been where we are. Kim has sent us cards and Scripture that have come at just the right moments. God has definitely used this ministry to encourage us!” Footprints first began serving Baptist South hospital in Montgomery. In December of 2007, they expanded their ministry to Baptist East hospital in Montgomery as well. With the help of other volunteers who live in other cities, more Footprints chapters have started and are now serving St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville and Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster, Alabama. The primary way the Footprints Ministry ministers to families is by distributing gift bags filled with basic necessities to parents who have a baby admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This is how families, like the Smiths, are initially introduced to the ministry. “Every item is important because most families are not prepared when their premature baby comes into the world,” says Wilson. The gift bags are put together and wrapped by a group of volunteers who then take them to the different hospitals. Many of the volunteers are actually parents who were ministered to by Footprints when their child was in the NICU. Brie and Jason say they are planning to be a part of putting the bags together and are looking forward to meeting other families who have walked this same road. Each bag contains a Bible, disposable camera, gift cards to local restaurants and stores, burp cloth, a scent blanket for the mother to sleep with and return to the baby, prayer request card, tissues, Montgomery Parents and Journey magazines, pens and notepads and travel necessities. Brie Smith says the disposable camera has been her favorite item in the gift bag. “There have been days when Colby has done something, like open his eyes, and Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

since we weren’t there to see him, the NICU nurses were able to take photos and give them to us.” Kim explains that many of the families who receive a bag are also receiving their first Bible. “I’ve had women tell me that the Bible in the gift bag was the first Bible they have ever had,” says Kim. Brandi Cox, a case worker at Baptist East, is responsible for handing out the bags to the NICU families at the hospital. “The parents are just so thankful,” says Brandi. “We make sure every family that comes through the doors of the NICU has a bag from Footprints. Kim and her volunteers truly go above and beyond to care for these families.” According to Kim, Baptist East and Baptist South hospitals serve 800 babies per year from 20 surrounding counties. St. Vincent’s hospital serves around 350 babies per year. “We have distributed over 10,000 bags since August of 2007,” says Kim. By the end of 2012, Kim says they will have distributed over 2,700 Footprints bags this year. In addition to the Footprints gift bags, they also make seasonal visits during Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas. Aubie, the Easter Bunny and Santa have even made an appearance in the NICU! “This ministry has touched the lives of so many families,” says Kim. “We’ve had opportunities to meet with these families and pray with them. We’ve also made many friends through this ministry.” Brie and Jason agree. “We have loved learning the stories of other families who have been where we are. It’s that hope that keeps us encouraged and looking forward to the day where we can encourage another family,” says Brie. A group of committed volunteers and donations are what allow Footprints Ministry to be a continued presence in the NICU. To find out more about how you or your group can be involved in helping this ministry share the love of Christ with families in the NICU visit www. or call (334) 391-1594. To follow Colby Smith’s story visit www.



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Rachel Fisher loves learning what God is doing in the world and writing about it. Rachel and her husband, Chase, are members of Strong Tower at Washington Park, a church plant of Common Ground Ministries. **Photo of Colby Smith provided by Savannah Bowden Photography.

River Region’s Journey • October 2012


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Family Teams for Christ by Lisa and Mike Conn

Preparing for the Challenges of Life sufferings, or what we prefer to call the challenges they faced and overcame together, such as illness, loss of a loved one, loss of job, financial difficulties, and war. Romans 5:3-5, says, planned challenges--like daily devo“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, be- tions, classroom exercises, local mission projects, kayaking together on the Coosa, cause we know that suffering [or challenges] produces ringing the bells for the Salvation Army, perseverance, perseverance, and international mission trips, to help our couples learn how to face and overcharacter; and character, come life’s unplanned challenges and to hope. And hope does not be a bright light for Christ regardless of disappoint us, because God their circumstances. has poured out his love What challenges do you anticipate into our hearts by the Holy you or your family members will face Spirit, whom he has given in the future? Start now to study God’s us.” I haven’t met a couple word and prepare your marriage and yet who has not had to face Bringing joy to Sam’s Club patrons while ringing the bells challenges for Salvation Army. in their lives, so wouldn’t it In 2004, prior to the FamilyLife make sense to learn Rekindling the Romance Conference, we how God wants us did just that. In taped interviews lasting to view them? God more than an hour, we asked that queswants us not to mortion to twelve couples who had been bidly rejoice because married 50 or more years. First and foremost, their Christian faith and trust in we are suffering, but in the midst of sufferGod was at the top of their list. Surprising, to maintain a joyingly, their second answer was that their ful, trusting attitude. marriage was stronger as a result of the Overcoming the challenges of the rapids on the Coosa River. We can rejoice family to face and overcome those chalbecause we know that the lenges, to persevere, to build Christ-like challenges we face are character, to bring hope to others, and, not meaningless, but are most importantly, to bring honor and a part of God’s plan to glory to God! perfect our character as Christians. Lt. Col Mike Conn and wife, Lisa, founded Covenant With that objective Family Ministries when Mike retired from the Air in mind, each year during Force in 1997. CFM is an independent marriage and family education ministry committed to partnernine months of classroom ing with churches, organizations, and individuals in training in our course, Montgomery and across Alabama to build Family Teams for Christ. Married for over 30 years, Mike Family Teams for Christ, and Lisa have three wonderful daughters, two great we use planned activities/ sons-in-law, and two precious grandchildren. Biblical Foundation: Romans 5:3-5 Have you ever asked a couple married for many years what it took to hold their marriage together?

Being a bright light for Christ building a church in Brazil in 2010

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October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

River Region Support Groups Adoption

Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy APAC- Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connection Support Group meets the 3rd Thursday from 6:007:30pm in room 8253 at Frazer Memorial UMC. Provides education and social interaction for adoptive families. For more info, call 409-9477 or email 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 interest 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: Centerpoint Fellowship, 2050 Commerce St., Millbrook. We are located one block east of I-65 just off Cobbs Ford Road. Celebrate Recovery meeting every Tuesday night at 6 pm. Call (334) 356-3076. Location: Cloverdale Baptist Church, 608 E. Fairview Celebrate Recovery, a Bible-based Christ centered approach to recovery from hurts, habits and hangups, meets Friday nights, beginning with dinner at 5:30 p.m., Praise and worship, 6:30, Open Share Small Groups, 7:30, and Solid Rock 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! E-mail www. 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 6pm (meal), 7pm (large group),

River Region’s Journey • October 2012

8pm (small group). Childcare available. Call Chuck at 850-7239705. 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.

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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 Anonymous-Saturdays 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: Aldersgate UMC, 6610 Vaughn Alzheimer’s Support Group – Meets monthly on second Tuesday 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. This support group is for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer or other forms of dementia. Each session provides information about the disease and community services available to help you. The group is open to the community. Call 272-6152. 34


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 third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Please call 272-2412 email cancerpatient@

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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 Diemayer 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


Location: Aldersgate UMC, 6610 Vaughn Road Caregiver’s Support Group – Meets monthly on third Wednesday 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Caring for an elderly or terminally ill patient can be challenging and, at times, overwhelming. A support group provides a safe place to express your concerns and fears and find help and strength to care for your loved one. The group is open to the community. Call Aldersgate UMC 272-6152.


Location: Landmark Church, 1800 Halcyon Blvd. Leaders: Mike & Suzanne Greene (334-271-3331) For Advertising Information:




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Every other Tuesday, 6:30pm in Rm. 117. Goal is to create an atmosphere of acceptance and trust, where people can feel free and safe to discuss their feelings and thoughts without shame or embarrassment.

Location: Vaughn Park Church, 3800 Vaughn Road A Divorce Recovery group meets on Wednesday nights, from 7 to 8 p.m. Children’s classes available. Call 386-7295.

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@



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@ 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. 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.

Location: Aldersgate UMC, 6610 Vaughn Road Bereavement Support Group – Meets quarterly – six week classes that meet on Thursdays 11:30 – 1:00 p.m. Free meal is provided by our church women. Group is led by a professional grief counselor and is open to the community. For dates, call Aldersgate UMC 272-6152. Location: First UMC, 100 E. Fourth Street, Prattville Grief Recovery, Thursday nights at 7 p.m., in Wesley Hall Room 104. Call 365.5977. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy Grief Recovery Support Group meets Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., Rm 3105, in Fellowship Hall Lobby. 272.8622. 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 more information contact Glover at 334-281-2754.

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: Dalraida UMC, 3817 Atlanta Highway AMI (Alliance for the Mentally Ill Support Group) meets on first and third Mondays at 6:30 p.m. Montgomery Share Group for the recovering mentally ill meets at the Dalraida UMC annex (3775 Atlanta Highway), 1st and 3rd Mondays, at 6:30 p.m. Call 265.2804.


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: 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 more information please e-mail







A Christ centered peer based support group for those struggling with unwanted same sex attractions and family members or loved


support and encouragement are available. Meets 1st, 3rd, & 5th Tuesdays @ 6:30 PM - Landmark Church More information: call (334) 277.5800 OR email



Landmark Church is a member of the Exodus International network of churches that welcomes those who struggle with unwanted same sex attractions. a ministry of






Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

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 their independence by providing access to valuable information and spiritual support. Call Aldersgate UMC 272-6152. Location: Cloverdale School Bldg. (First UMC) Parkinson’s Support Group of Montgomery meets the fourth Sunday of the month in Room 103 at 2:00pm. More information, contact Nathan Attwood at First United Methodist Church (334-834-8990). Location: First UMC Montgomery, 2416 W. Cloverdale Montgomery Hearing Loss Support Group meets every second Thursday in Wesley Hall at 4 pm. The entrance is on Park Avenue. Informative speakers are present, refreshments are served and no reservations are required. The public is welcome.

Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy A Fibromyaligia Support Group meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6-8pm in room 8114. Call 272-8622. 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 further information, please call 396-4534. Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy A Parkinson’s Support Group will meet the 3rd Thursday at 6:30 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: Landmark Church, 1800 Halcyon Blvd. Leaders: Junior Bagwell (334) 669-9334 Meets every 2nd Tuesday of each month at 345 Melanie Drive, in Carol Villa. Our goal is to share and use the struggles that we as a group are facing, biblical principals, prayer, medical experts or any other resources available to help us deal with the life-long challenges that are caused by the various diseases that we have encountered. 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

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. Location: St. James UMC, 9045 Vaughn Road Renewed Hope - Infertility/Pregnancy Loss Support Group for Women. Meets quarterly on the third Thursday of the month, 6pm at Panera Bread in EastChase. Next meeting Oct 18th, 2012. Please email Tina Holmes at or call 277-5771.


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 the Singles office at 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 or 354-8869.


Location: Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy Veterans OEF/OIF Caregivers Support Group meets on the 3rd Wednesday from 11am-1pm in Room 3108. Cntact Joy at (334) 725-2542.



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Counselor’s Corner

by Pamela Boswell, Eastwood Counseling Center

Advice for In-Law Relationships Have you ever had a conflict with your mate because of the way that one of you was relating to your parents or in-laws? Have either of you ever thought that your mate was more devoted to and concerned about his or her parents than about you?* You are not alone. You will be involved in many types of relationships in life. Some of the most common are the parent/child, husband/wife, employee/employer and various interpersonal or friendly relationships. The first relationship you experience in life is with your parents. Biblical instructions are given concerning this relationship in Exodus, Proverbs and the Epistles. BUT....marriage changes the relationship between parents and children and the Bible has more to say about this relationship than you might imagine. Probably the best place to start is Genesis 2:24. Parents and married children need to understand the meaning and implications of this crucial passage in order to understand God’s plan for parent-child relationships after marriage. Often referred to as leaving and cleaving, this verse instructs the man to leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. Marriage is intended to be a permanent relationship and takes priority over all other earthly relationships. It is necessary to understand this one flesh thoroughly to appreciate the resulting in-law relationship properly. The Bible describes change in a two step process which involves putting off the old habits and putting on the new. Leaving and cleaving requires this putting off and putting on. Dr. Wayne Mack, author and professor of counseling at Master’s College, said that though most would deny they have a problem in this area, leaving is one of the most significant and problematic issues in marriage relationships. Leaving is a broad term and involves more than most people realize. The word is actually translated elsewhere in Scripture as abandon or forsake. But this strong break in the parent child relationship does not nullify the 5th commandment: “Honor your father and your mother.” In Mark 7 Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for finding ways to avoid honoring or caring for their parents. 1 Timothy 5:8 gives one of the strongest Call 334.213.7940 today!

warnings to believers: “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Neither does leaving mean that married children should stop receiving counsel from their parents. (They are just not obligated to follow that counsel unless it is a matter of clear biblical directive.) Proverbs 23:22 warns: “Listen to your father who begot you and do not despise your mother when she is old.” Of course, married individuals should seek counsel from their spouse first before seeking counsel from anyone outside of the marriage. Leaving also does not simply mean moving out of the parents’ house. Children can move thousands of miles away and really not have left them. Leaving does mean an end to parental authority. The husband is the new head of the home. Should a widowed or aging parent move in with one of their children, they are members of their child’s household and are therefore subject to the husband’s authority. Leaving does mean putting off close and exclusive confidence with parents. For example, no longer should a daughter share all her secrets with her mother. When she and her husband quarrel, her mother does not necessarily need to know. Most likely the husband and wife will resolve the issue and grant forgiveness if needed much quicker than will their parents. Leaving does mean putting off an inordinate dependency on ones parents— whether it is dependency for material things, emotional support or spiritual guidance. (It should also be noted that harboring bitterness or resentment toward your parents binds you to them.) We have a legitimate dependency on parents as we are growing up. Babies can do virtually nothing for themselves and depend on their parents for food and care. As for approval, each spouse should be more concerned with fulfilling his mate’s desires than his parents desires (1Corinthians 7:3234). At all times pleasing God should be the first concern of every believer. And finally it may be necessary to leave behind certain family traditions and habits. As a couple you must be prepared to examine family traditions that are preferences and not clearly delineated in Scripture, and only bring those to the marriage that are agreed upon by both of you. The process of cleaving involves many other things. It can begin with putting on a 37

willingness to discuss family backgrounds with your spouse without becoming defensive. Family history does have an impact on your expectations of life together. Wayne Mack’s booklet has a very helpful Family of Origin Study which provides a guide for you to work through and evaluate together. Cleaving does mean being prepared to give your mate’s parents the same respect and honor as due your own parents. Assuming a new set of parents is part of becoming one flesh. Cleaving does mean putting on the determination to make your mate the most significant person in your life (Ephesians 5). Leaving Father and Mother as God intended and cleaving to your spouse may not be simple (it involves consciously doing many things). However, making the effort to put off old habits and put on the new will enable you to enjoy the intimacy and relationship in marriage that God intends, and develop a good but new relationship with your parents. Practical Guidelines 1. Do not allow parents to demean your mate. 2. Look for ways to commend and build up your mate to your parents. 3. Make an effort to include your mate in family discussions and activities. 4. Choose a course of action together when a problem arises with a parent. *In-Laws Married with Parents by Wayne A. Mack Pamela Boswell is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Horticulture Business in 1980, she and her husband moved to Orlando, Florida where she worked and they started their family. Moving back to Montgomery in 1995 she pursued a Master’s degree in Counseling from Auburn University Montgomery, which she received in 2001. She has 8 years experience in a non-profit organization obtaining extensive experience with troubled children and their families. She has recently received certification from the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors having been supervised by Lou Priolo. Pamela currently leads a small group Bible study at Trinity Presbyterian Church finally accepting that she is an “older women” according to Titus 2. October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Community Calendar Christian Community Calendar Christian 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 Beacon Light Ministries, Food Ministry is open on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday, 5:30-6:45 p.m. Please bring I. D. and Proof of Government Assistance. Capitol Heights UMC, 2000 Winona Ave., Montgomery offers Parenting Classes beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays. 264-2464. 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 at 6:45 a.m. and teaching begins at 7:15 a.m. Call 387-0566 x 201. Church of the Highlands meets each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. downtown Montgomery in the MPAC theater located in the Renaissance Hotel, 201 Tallapoosa Street. Visit

River Region’s Journey • October 2012 or call 1-205-9805577. 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 or call 262-6437. Dexter Avenue UMC, 301 Dexter Avenue, offers a Friday Christian Night Club with Ballroom Dancing every Friday at 6:30 P.M. Cost is $5 for a one hour lesson, devotional, and 3 hours of DJ music. People of all denominations are welcome. 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). 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. or call 334-834-8990. 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 $2.00. Every fourth Tuesday the time will extend until 3:00 p.m. for bridge, games, and other activities in room 203 in Wesley Hall. For additional information please contact NeeNee Webb at 834-8990. 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 or visit iConnect.coffeehouse provides a place for women to experience meaningful fellowship with women seeking genuine connection. Meetings will be held in the Atrium at Frazer UMC 3rd Tuesdays from 9-11 a.m. For more info, call Frazer’s Women’s Ministry at 495-6391.

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Messiah Lutheran Church, 6670 Vaughn Road, invites all to Wonderful Wednesdays starting with a $3.00 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 2338750. 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. For more info, call the church at 334-269-6498. 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. 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 334-272-3174 for more information or to make reservations. The River of Life Church, 116 County Road 40 East (Pine Level Community Center) Prattville. You are invited to “A Place of New Beginnings. Services are held each Sunday: Early Worship 9:15 a.m.; Sunday School 10:30 a.m.; Worship Service 11:00 a.m.; Evening Worship 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday: Adult Bible Study 6:00 p.m.; Teens, “The Genesis Project” 6:00 p.m.: Royal Rangers, Stars & Prims 6:00 p.m. Nursery provided. Pastor Nick Edwards invites you to “come experience God in a personal way, feel loved by all and know that you belong”. Call 334-657-0392 or visit www.theriveroflifechurch. net. 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! 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. Call 334.213.7940 today!

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 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 Sunday 3:00p.m. Central & 4:00 p.m. Eastern. and Satellite Radio -wlsg 1340am Sunday 3:00p.m. Women at The Well Ministry meet at Remnant Worship Center on Endover Street off of Court Street behind the Feed and Seed Store at 1:00pm 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 are welcome to come and share the Word of God encourage, and build one another up through the words of our testimonies. Evangelist Linda McCall, 334-220-1924.

This Month Monday, October 1 thru Thursday, October 4

Macedonia Miracle Kingdom & Worship Center (MMKWC) will be hosting a revival on the campus of Alabama State University (ASU), 915 S. Jackson Street, at the Ralph David Abernathy Hall, Monday, October 1 - Thursday, October 4, 2012. 7:00 p.m. For further information, please call the church at 334-284-8535.

Wednesday, October 10 and Thursday, October 11

First UMC Montgomery Fall Bazaar Wednesday, October 10th 5:00-7:00; Fall BBQ, Preview Party, and Silent Auction. Please join us for our Fall Bazaar. Guaranteeing a fun night of fellowship for church members, families, and the community, the event gives everyone a chance 39

October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Community Calendar Christian Community Calendar Christian to participate in carnival games and inflatables. Everyone is invited to enjoy delicious barbeque, make Thursday shopping plans, and bid on fabulous items at the Silent Auction. Thursday, October 11th 10:00-1:30; Fall Bazaar and Luncheon. The Bazaar will offer heavenly baked goodies, delicious frozen casseroles and soups, pre-loved items in our kid’s closet and nice-asnew room, an art gallery, and a garden-gift shop with items for every occasion. A delicious lunch will be served in the Fellowship Hall from 11:001:00. Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased in advance from the church office @ 834-8990. ALL PROCEEDS SUPPORT MISSIONS!

Thursday, October11

Bebo Norman in concert at @ 6:30 pm, at First Baptist Church in Montgomery. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $15 at the door. This event is a benefit for TheTransMission and is sponsored by Beasley Allen Law Firm, Phillip Pouncey Builder, & OB-GYN of Montgomery. More info at www.

Friday, October 12

For the second time, Fountain of Grace Church in Prattville will host the Family Apologetics Conference and Training (FACT) on Friday, Oct. 12, Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14. The event

is free and is open to families and individuals. Registration is free. Those interested should e-mail and notify the church how many will be attending. To learn more, go online to UWt5lw&feature=plcp.

Saturday, October 13

1st Annual River Region Prayer Walk at Union Station Train Shed. Registration Time: 8:00 a.m. Prayer Time: 8:45 a.m.; 5k Prayer Walk Begins: 9:00 a.m. Registration Fee: $10.00 per person (includes T-shirt, prayer guide, concert) Online Registration: http://riverregionprayerwalk2012. For info, contact Brooke at: or 334-284-0755. The 28th Annual Aldersgate Church BBQ sale will be held to benefit local and international missions and ministries. Boxes are $8 and include both pulled pork and a chicken quarter, plus beans, slaw and bread. Aldersgate is located at 6610 Vaughn Road and you may contact them at (334) 272.6152.

Sunday, October 14

Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist, 1550 E. Washington St., will celebrate its 88th Church Anniversary at 11:15 a.m. with guest speaker, Rev. Juan D. McFarland, Moderator, AL Middle District, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Montgomery.

Also, Pilgrim Rest will combine its 8am and 11am services starting November 4. The new, united in worship service will begin at 9:30am and Sunday School at 8:15am. Come worship with us!

Wednesday, October 17

Glorious Ruin Tour with Tullian Tchividjian. The good news of the Gospel is not ultimately a defense from pain, it is the message of God’s rescue through pain. In other words, our ruin may not ultimately spell our undoing. It may in fact spell the beginning of freedom. For info contact: 800-729-0815 or visit Event will be held at 7 pm (doors open at 6) at Cathedral Church of the Advent, 2017 6th Ave. North, Birmingham, AL.

October 18-21

Messiah Lutheran Church on Vaughn Road in Montgomery celebrates its 25th anniversary. During the weekend of October 18- 21, the church will celebrate. Events include 7:00 P.M Evening Vespers at Messiah on Thursday, October 18; a reception for The Reverend Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA at Aldersgate Methodist Church on Saturday; and a Festival Eucharist with the Bishop presiding at 10:30 A.M., Sunday, October 21, at Messiah Lutheran Church.

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Building the lives of young people on Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone.

Join us in welcoming our new families and faculty members Amy Buxbaum, Jennifer Graham and Wanda Purvis! At Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy, our goal is to equip students with the knowledge, skill and vision necessary to be effective leaders and servants for our Lord Jesus Christ. Morningview Baptist Church • 125 Calhoun Road • (334) 356-7788 • River Region’s Journey • October 2012


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Tuesday, October 23

His Vessel Ministries invites you to the teaching event “Making It Easy to Know the Bible” from 6pm-9pm. Please join us as Jo Hancock shows you how the Bible is God’s story of His Kingdom on earth and how YOU fit into His plan. This teaching is open to men and women. To register call 334-356-4478 or

Sunday, November 11

First Baptist Church, Prattville, is proud to announce that “Veggie Tales Live!” at 6pm. Tickets purchased in advance are $15, Day of the Show $20 and VIP (Meet ‘n Greet Larry and Bob) tickets are $25. Call 334.365.0606 or visit

Thursday, November 15

The 2nd Annual Women of Influence presents An Evening with Coach Gene Stallings. Coach Stallings will share stories of family, faith and football at this event for men and women, at 7 pm. at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. For information or tickets, call 866-456-9982 or visit

Thursday, November 29

Mercy Me will be in concert at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre, 201 Tallapoosa Street, at 7 pm. Call (334) 481-5136.


Please send your calendar events to deanne@ by the 12th of the month for FREE print.


Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • River Region’s Journey

Got Life?

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by Elaine Britt

Got Praise? Time after time, the Bible illustrates that there is power in praise. Consider these verses: I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalms 139:14). You who fear the Lord, praise Him!... For He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from him but has heard his cry for help (Psalms 22:23-24). It is good to praise the Lord and make music to Your name, O Most High, to proclaim Your love in the morning... For You make me glad by Your deeds, O

Lord; I sing for joy at the work of Your hands (Psalms 92: 1-4). Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves (Ephesians 1:3-6). But You are a chosen people...a people belonging to God, that You may declare the praises of Him who called You out of darkness into His wonderful light (1Peter 2:9). Amazing, isn’t it? We are fearfully and wonderfully made, heard when we are afflicted, loved and made glad by God’s deeds, chosen and blessed before


the world was created, gifted with his grace through Jesus, and brought into light from darkness. Simply writing these words has lifted my spirits! Upon first hearing the declaration that there is “Power in Praise,” my reaction was, “Huh?” We can sing hymns, pray individually or as a group, read the Bible and attend studies...the list goes on. While engaged in these and other activities, we are “doing” praise, aren’t we? Hmmm, maybe a little research is in order.

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“Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.”


Proverbs 22:6

C hallenging a CademiC a tmosphere in a C hristian e nvironment Accredited AISA Blue Ribbon School Evangel Christian Academy is a ministry of Evangel Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

334-272-3882 Evangel Christian Academy admits students of any race, color, gender and national or ethnic origin.

River Region’s Journey • October 2012


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Various Greek and Hebrew words for praise are translated in Vine’s Dictionary as “only of praise to God,” “... ascribed to God, in respect of His glory,” “the genuine confession of facts in one’s life which gives glory to God,” “to sing, to laud, sing to the praise of,” and “to bless.” These explanations confirm that particular activities do indeed qualify as praise. So where does power fit into the equation? I am reminded of an ancient bit of wisdom: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” When the world began, it was whole and beautiful. When God in His wisdom created us, He placed us in a setting that was nothing short of total perfection. When we chose sin, we “broke” it, and human history is a running documentation of the sordid results. Ouch! The truth hurts. But praise God, for He is still the same! He IS power, He IS perfection, and the closer we are drawn to the original plan – that amazing intimacy with God – the greater our awareness of His awesome power. What, then, is our desired destination? Why, back to the garden, of course.

One verse caught and has held my attention for many years. Genesis 2:8 refers to Adam and Eve hearing “the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day...” Did you catch that? The sound was one with which they were intimately familiar, fully implying that they had accompanied Him on these walks more than once. The rest of the verse tells us that they hid from Him because they had already made the fateful choice, but we’ll rewind and hold on to the intimacy. As the definition detailed, “... ascribed to God, in respect of his glory,” so is our praise to be. In the beginning, humanity was fully focused on the Creator. Every thought, every move, every action was a re-action to God. Setting aside time to praise was unnecessary as their very lives were innately a gift to the Lord. An analogy of their dependence on God would be that of a baby and its parents; cradled in the arms of the parent, there is complete peace and rest. Now that you – like the baby – are all settled, ponder this question. If you had one wish, (I know, you’ve heard it

before – just hang in there) what would it be? Think carefully before you answer. Would it be wealth? Power? Fame? My eternal and immediate answer is peace. Peace of mind, peace of soul, peace among nations and peoples. Tall order? Not necessarily. In fact, it has as its basis only one prerequisite and that is praise. Praise to God – all of our focus on God – every thought taken captive by God. Every baby step achieved toward this goal draws us closer to Him and affords us a glimpse of His majesty and His consummate power. Got Praise? It comes highly recommended by countless saints who are now savoring the immortal and everlasting praises of Heaven. Join the Psalmist in his victorious proclamation, “...His praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:2). Elaine Britt, husband Tim, and teenage son Kevin reside in Montgomery, with son Bryan at UAH in Huntsville. She counts her family as a great blessing. By profession, Elaine is a 30-year-veteran Interior Decorator and owner of Carriage House Interiors. By God’s calling and to her great joy, she is a writer, whose published works include stories in A Cup of Comfort Devotionals; Lord, I Was Happy Shallow; and Heavenly Patchwork; one book, Messages, as well as various articles in several magazines and e-zines.



Call 334.213.7940 today!


October 2012 • 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.

Race to the Finish

Unconditional Quality: *** Moral Acceptability: -1 (Caution) Starring: Lynn Collins, Michael Ealy, Bruce McGill, Kwesi Boakye, Diego Klattenhoff Genre: Drama Audience: Older children and adults Rating: PG-13 Content: Strong Christian worldview with references to God’s love and providence, with strong emphasis on serving those in need; no foul language; brief violence when a hand to hand fight breaks out in a prison, a man get’s his hand sliced with a knife by another prisoner, some blood is seen after a man is shot, and hit and run off screen; no sexuality; no nudity; light drinking; light smoking; and, children steal food from a convenience store. UNCONDITIONAL is about Samantha Crawford, a writer and illustrator who makes children’s books. Samantha lives a comfortable life with her husband Billy. Her entire world is suddenly turned upside down when her husband is murdered in an alley. The man who murdered Billy gets away and the police never find him. Samantha is devastated to the point where she’s ready to give up on life. Her plans are interrupted when she encounters two children in need of help after one gets hit by a car. Through this encounter, Samantha reconnects with an old friend who just might be able to help her rebuild her life, but only if she can get past her grief. Despite some choppy moments, UNCONDITIONAL is a beautifully made movie with a captivating, inspiring story. The high quality acting makes the characters quite charming. UNCONDITIONAL has a strong Christian worldview about God’s redeeming power of unconditional love. There’s brief violence and some thematic elements requiring caution for younger children. Otherwise, UNCONDITIONAL is wholesome, redemptive, uplifting family entertainment.

Quality: *** Moral Acceptability: +3 (Moral) Starring: Gregory Paul Robbins, AJ Jabaji, Jon Southwell, Nancy Stafford Genre: Drama Audience: Older children to adults Rating: Not Rated Content: A touching one-hour drama with a very strong Christian, moral worldview about a mentally challenged boy who overcomes bullying through his Christian faith and belief in Scripture as well as an understanding friend; no foul language; a couple light bullying scenes; no sexual content; no nudity; mo alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, bullies verbally taunt disabled boy and his friend, but bully repents after being told God loves him and is always with him. RACE TO THE FINISH is an inspiring, entertaining one-hour Christian television drama. It follows the story of Harlan, a mentally disabled teenage boy who’s the victim of bullies. Cut to years later, where a pastor at Harlan’s funeral tells Harlan’s story. Harlan is beaten up and taunted by bullies due to his diminished mental state. Paul, another student, befriends Harlan and invites him to play a game of street football. It becomes clear Harlan has an incredible gift for speed. This leads Paul to inspire Harlan to join the school track team. When the bullies taunt Harlan again, Harlan whispers something in the lead bully’s ear. Will the bullies bother Harlan and Paul again? How will Harlan do at the big track meet? RACE TO THE FINISH features a strong message extolling forgiveness and prayer. It also promotes God’s presence in all our lives and the value of every humans being. It has strong performances and some solid cinematography. A montage sequence showing Harlan’s track and field training has a good sense of humor and pacing. RACE TO THE FINISH is positive, redemptive entertainment that will inspire and captivate viewers.

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 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 • October 2012


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River Region's Journey October 2012  

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