April 2004

Family Bible Study for May 16: Nurturing Family Relationships : Friday, April 30, 2004

April 30 2004 by Vic Ramsey

Family Bible Study for May 16: Nurturing Family Relationships : Friday, April 30, 2004
Friday, April 30, 2004

Family Bible Study for May 16: Nurturing Family Relationships

By Vic Ramsey
Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 5:1-8

James Dobson, in his books, Dare to Discipline and The Strong-Willed Child, argues that our relationship with God and our relationship with our parents run on parallel tracks.

Children need to know from their parents, just as we need to know from God, two things above all else: that we are loved beyond our comprehension, and that it matters how we live.

Honor

Ephesians 6:1-3

We must assume that these "children" were old enough to hear Paul's letter read in the congregational meeting, and old enough to be held accountable for their behavior.

The phrase "in the Lord" does not mean that the parents in question were necessarily Christian. Many who heard the letter were undoubtedly the grown children of unbelievers. On the contrary, "in the Lord" means that obedience to parents is also an expression of Christian discipleship.

Paul asserts that obedience to parents is "right." He means that a child's deference to parental authority is grounded in a universal truth, grounded in natural law.

A family is not a democracy - parents unite to exercise authority over their children. That authority is not unlimited. It is exercised on behalf of the children and in their best interests. But it is authority, nonetheless.

Paul concludes the instruction to children by quoting the 5th commandment. We tend to place this commandment in the "second table," along with others about social relationships. Properly, however, the commandment belongs in the "first table." It is a commandment about how we relate to God. After all, a child's first picture of God is his parents.

Train

Ephesians 6:4

Paul addresses "fathers" because in Paul's world the raising of children was exclusively a father's responsibility. The mother would no doubt be involved in this task, especially when the children were very young. But, if children turned out badly, the father alone would be held responsible.

Paul's instruction not to "stir up anger" (HCSB) or "exasperate" (NIV) refers to deep-seated resentment resulting from parental abuse or neglect. What causes such resentment?

  • Overbearing harshness and rigid control - prevents a child from developing independent judgment and confidence, and may crush a child's spirit.
  • Inconsistency - leaves a child not knowing what to do, or when.
  • Neglect and indifference - "teaches" the child that he or she is not important enough to care about.
  • In contrast, Paul says that parents should raise their children in the "training and instruction of the Lord." "Discipline" is often seen exclusively in terms of punishment, but Paul reminds us that the goal of discipline, like the meaning of the word, is education. If it doesn't teach, it's not discipline.

    Exhort

    1 Timothy 5:1-2

    Here Paul extends the image of the household to include the church family. Paul's instruction to Timothy is to treat each age group, and each gender, with the respect and propriety that each is due.

    Paul is especially concerned that Timothy treat young women "as sisters, with absolute purity." Paul knows, and, sadly, so do we, that nothing hinders the work of the church as ministerial misconduct.

    Support

    1 Timothy 5:3-8

    As parents age, it falls to children and grandchildren to care for them. This, too, is part of "honoring our parents."

    Often, as parents grow older, they resist decisions that may be in their best interest - when to stop driving, employ household help, etc. In those cases involving memory loss and mental confusion, a child may be confronted with the choice between what a parent wants and what a parent needs. Taking care of an aging parent, and making that parent happy, are not necessarily the same things.

    Nothing in Paul's letter to Timothy requires that children care for their aged parents in their own home. In our own day, the technical demands of skilled nursing care often require that elderly parents move to institutional settings. A retirement community or a nursing home might be the proper instrument of a child's care for his or her parents, but it must never be used as a substitute.

    Nothing is sadder, or more unchristian, than forgotten parents, languishing alone in a nursing home.

    4/30/2004 12:00:00 AM by Vic Ramsey | with 0 comments



    Family Bible Study lesson for May 23: Improving Sibling Relationships : Friday, April 30, 2004

    April 30 2004 by Vic Ramsey

    Family Bible Study lesson for May 23: Improving Sibling Relationships : Friday, April 30, 2004
    Friday, April 30, 2004

    Family Bible Study lesson for May 23: Improving Sibling Relationships

    By Vic Ramsey
    Genesis 27:41; 32:3-5, 9-11; 33:1-5, 10-11

    Some time ago, during a Vacation Bible School lesson, my wife asked a fourth-grade girl to read Proverbs 17:17.

    "A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity," she read.

    After explaining that "adversity" means "trouble," my wife asked her student to explain what she'd read.

    "Well," the girl replied, "it means that your friends always love you, and that your brother is always making trouble!"

    Not quite what the writer had in mind, but surely true to life, wouldn't you say?

    Acknowledge problems

    Genesis 27:41

    Born as twins, and fighting ever since, Jacob and Esau competed for Isaac's favor. On two occasions, Jacob deceived Esau to win, first the birthright as the oldest son, and later, their father's blessing.

    Esau resolved to kill his brother as soon as Isaac died. One is reminded of awkward funeral services with family members refusing to sit with one another, and of unseemly disputes over the property of a deceased parent.

    It is worth noting that the conflict between Jacob and Esau is caused, in large part, by Isaac and Rebekah's inability to cooperate in their parental responsibilities. Instead of forming a strong alliance on behalf of both their sons, they each favor one over the other, pitting the brothers against each other.

    Pray about the conflict

    Genesis 32:9-11

    Jacob spent 14 years in exile living with his uncle, Laban, and marrying two of Laban's daughters, Leah and Rachel. He had great wealth. Then the Lord instructed him to return home. To do so meant facing Esau.

    Jacob received word that Esau was coming to meet him. Esau brought 400 men, and Jacob feared the worst.

    Jacob's prayer was simple and sincere. He had come to appreciate God's grace, and desired only that he and his family be saved from his brother's anger.

    Jacob's swagger and arrogance were gone. Getting our own pride out of the way is the first step in reconciliation. When proving that we were right becomes less important than being right today, then we are ready to reconcile.

    Take steps to reconcile

    Genesis 32:3-5; 33:1-3

    Jacob took positive steps to foster an atmosphere of reconciliation. He sent his brother a portion of his flocks; a gift intended to soften his brother's heart.

    Then following a night of "wrestling with God," Jacob went to meet Esau.

    Every reconciliation requires that someone take the first step. Jacob accepted responsibility for his actions, prepared himself for the consequences, and humbled himself before his brother.

    Rejoice in reconciliation

    Genesis 33:4-5, 10-11

    Esau ran to meet Jacob, not in anger or hostility, but in love and grace. He threw his arms around him, kissed him, and they wept in each other's arms. This scene is one of the most beautiful in the Bible.

    Esau asked about Jacob's family, and the flocks he sent. Jacob introduced his wives and children, and after overcoming Esau's objections, convinced him to accept the flocks as his gift.

    The two men, separated first by suspicion and competition, and later by sheer physical distance, were reunited as family.

    It is worth noting that Esau and Jacob never straightened out who should be considered the first-born. Both had been successful, and both had been blessed by God. The past, they simply ignored.

    In accounting, a "bad debt" is one that a person does not reasonably expect to be repaid. Continuing to carry the debt as a potential asset gives an unrealistic picture of a business's finances. Such debts are simply forgotten; they are "written off."

    Reconciliation requires that we "write off" the sins committed against us. Our sense of justice sometimes makes it difficult for us to do so. But, if we care about relationships more than we do about being right, then "writing off" the past is what we need to do.

    4/30/2004 12:00:00 AM by Vic Ramsey | with 0 comments



    Formations lesson for May 16: Deciding What Is Important : Friday, April 30, 2004

    April 30 2004 by Linda Jones

    Formations lesson for May 16: Deciding What Is Important : Friday, April 30, 2004
    Friday, April 30, 2004

    Formations lesson for May 16: Deciding What Is Important

    By Linda Jones
    Philippians 3

    We are encouraged each new year to make new goals. A Gallup Poll once showed that our top four resolutions were to improve personal finances, stop smoking, lose weight and get more exercise.

    What goals do we choose? To be more loving? To love God with all our heart, mind and soul? To love our neighbor as ourselves? We could set a goal of being more compassionate, having more courage. What kind of a life does God want for us?

    These are depressing times with stress, illness, crime, war and divorce. Often hope is destroyed.

    In Lamentations 3:17-26, Jeremiah says: "Peace has been stripped away and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out ... Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this; the unfailing love of the Lord never ends. By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness. His mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself the Lord is my inheritance Therefore I will hope in Him."

    First things first

    The first step in deciding what is a worthy goal for our lives is to remember what is true about God.

    1. God knows us by name. Scripture tells us He knows every hair on our head, and knew us in our mother's womb.

    2. God truly loves us with grace. We don't deserve His love and can't earn it. He loves us so much that He sent His son Jesus to us.

    3. He has a purpose for each of our lives.

    God gave Abraham the first great commission: "I will cause you to become the father of a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous and I will make you a blessing to others ... All the families of the earth will be blessed through you."

    Paul, in writing to the Galatians, quotes Genesis: "God promised this good news to Abraham long ago when He said: 'All nations will be blessed through you.' And so it is all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessings Abraham received because of his faith."

    You are to be a blessing

    Like Abraham, God's purpose is for us to be a blessing to all people. In John 14:12 we read: "The truth is, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father."

    Ephesians 3:20 says: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power at work within us."

    What does God want to do through you? Jesus ministered to the people around Him. He sent His disciples to teach, to heal the sick and to share the good news.

    We live in a culture that teaches selfishness rather than self-sacrifice. We are constantly bombarded with books, television programs, magazine and newspaper articles that urge us to focus on ourselves, meet our own needs, and to accumulate more. However, true fulfillment will never come from self-gratification. True fulfillment will come when we give ourselves to God and His mission, by sharing His love with the entire world.

    The world doesn't understand sacrificial love to one another. But God is love and He pours His love into us, enabling us to truly love one another. Christ calls us to be on mission with Him.

    Why did God create you? What are you supposed to give away? Whose life will you influence by giving your time and talents? Whose life will you change?

    "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be" (Philippians 3:12).

    4/30/2004 12:00:00 AM by Linda Jones | with 0 comments



    Formations lesson for May 23: Getting Along in Church : Friday, April 30, 2004

    April 30 2004 by Linda Jones

    Formations lesson for May 23: Getting Along in Church : Friday, April 30, 2004
    Friday, April 30, 2004

    Formations lesson for May 23: Getting Along in Church

    By Linda Jones
    Philippians 2:14-30; 3:17-4:3; 4:14-23

    What is the reality of our contemporary life? We chase the American dream. We want the highest paying jobs, most comfortable homes, best cars, and wonderful vacations.

    In the business world, there is a definite pecking order. We strive for recognition and prestige. Competition, rivalry, self-promotion is found everywhere. The world's view of power is to get it, hoard it and use it!

    This is not a new problem. Even James and John, two of Jesus' disciples, wanted to sit on the right and left hand of Christ! Jesus told them that whoever wishes to be great must be a servant (Mark 10:43).

    From Philippians 2:5-8, we read: "your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made Himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross."

    But it is so difficult to lay down your self - self-rights, self-promotion, self-prestige, power and money. Do we imitate Francis of Assisi who "lived a life of simplicity, gave up all his inheritance and lived in poverty, kissing lepers and begging for bread (Discipleship Journal)?"

    Or does God have in mind an underlying attitude, to live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us (Eph. 5:2)?

    The "me-first" mind-set is deeply rooted in our human heart and we have fears about entrusting ourselves to anyone else.

    Domination or servanthood?

    Our human instinct is to dominate others. Rules are laid down by society to restrain this instinct so we can live in community.

    Having humility, a servant's heart, is not submitting to another person out of fear or out of an insensible desire to please. It's a choice that comes from a strong sense of our worth and identity in Christ.

    Being a humble servant does not mean that you allow yourself to be abused. If you think that you are being dominated in a relationship or in your marriage through physical or sexual violence, intimidation or threats - kept away from family and friends - then you need help and support.

    Domination is wrong. It is not possible to justify abuse through scripture. In the book of John, Jesus said: "I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly" A life of abuse is not what is described when we talk about servanthood and pouring your life out.

    Christ is the opposite of the human drive to dominate. In His essence, in His very being, He is God! He had access to all privilege and power. Yet the great characteristics of Jesus' life were humility, obedience, self denial. He did not desire to control and rule men but to serve them. He did not desire His own way but only God's way. He did not desire to exalt Himself, but relinquished all His glory for our sake.

    Christ and the church: one body

    "No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for His body, which is the church. And we are His body. As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one" (Eph. 5:29-31).

    This is a picture of an intimate relationship of love. In fact, when Christ appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus in Act. 9:4, the Lord asked Paul: "Why are you persecuting me?", not "why are you persecuting the church?" or "why are you persecuting my disciples?"

    How we behave towards the body of Christ is what we are doing to Christ, Himself. "Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had." Serving, expressing God's love, makes His love real. It means freely undertaking any task or commitment necessary or helpful to another's spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.

    4/30/2004 12:00:00 AM by Linda Jones | with 0 comments



    Dearest Dorothy, Are We There Yet? And Dearest Dorothy, Slow Down, You're Wearing Us Out! : Thursday, April 29, 2004

    April 29 2004 by Charlene Ann Baumbich. Penguin Books. 2004. $10.95 each.

    Dearest Dorothy, Are We There Yet? And Dearest Dorothy, Slow Down, You're Wearing Us Out! : Thursday, April 29, 2004
    Thursday, April 29, 2004

    Dearest Dorothy, Are We There Yet? And Dearest Dorothy, Slow Down, You're Wearing Us Out!

    By Charlene Ann Baumbich. Penguin Books. 2004. $10.95 each.
    Review by Wayne Hager

    Watch out Mitford, N.C. and Father Tim. Dorothy Jean Westray and her hometown of Partonville, Ill. have arrived on the scene. Fans of Jan Karon and her Mitford series will be pleased to meet a new hometown and its matriarch, octogenarian Dorothy Jean Westray. Dorothy is full of faith, spunk and humor enough to keep the reader chuckling all through the book. Dorothy is joined by a host of unforgettable characters that provide the backdrop for Dorothy's exploits. This series will warm your heart and draw you willingly into Dorothy's life as she lives in faith and confidence in a loving God.

    As we meet Dorothy, she is trying to decide whether to sell her beloved farm to a development company. Her decision will not only change her life but will have profound effects for her community. All through her story, Dorothy's moves as easily in and out of conversation with God as she does the entertaining assortment of characters who live in Partonville.

    Baumbich has created a delightful character in Dorothy and placed her among people that are most memorable. More mature adults will probably find one of their friends among the pages and younger adults will wish that they had someone like Dorothy to glean wisdom. If you want some enjoyable, good-hearted reading, try this series. I hope more books are in the works for the future.

    4/29/2004 12:00:00 AM by Charlene Ann Baumbich. Penguin Books. 2004. $10.95 each. | with 0 comments



    Shepherd Leadership: Wisdom for Leaders from Psalm 23 : Thursday, April 29, 2004

    April 29 2004 by Blaine McCormick and David Davenport. Jossey-Bass. 149 pages. $14.95.

    Shepherd Leadership: Wisdom for Leaders from Psalm 23 : Thursday, April 29, 2004
    Thursday, April 29, 2004

    Shepherd Leadership: Wisdom for Leaders from Psalm 23

    By Blaine McCormick and David Davenport. Jossey-Bass. 149 pages. $14.95.
    Review by Wayne Hager

    The 23rd Psalm is possibly the most memorized passage of scripture in the Bible. Young children learn it and mature people recite it for comfort. McCormick and Davenport see more than just spiritual comfort in the 23rd Psalm. They see a good model for leaders, not only in churches but business as well.

    In order to make their point, the authors sometimes stretch the analogy of the shepherd a bit too far, and they sometimes admit that they are moving beyond the strict boundaries of the image of a shepherd. Nevertheless, this is an excellent book that points out that leaders can be vigilant without being adversarial, serve without being passive, and can guide without commanding.

    I particularly took chapter one to heart, which is entitled, "Shepherds Transform Conflict." Most leaders attempt to keep conflict from happening, but the authors point out there is such a thing as "healthy" conflict. The problem is that most conflict is interpersonal rather than intellectual. The shepherd leader seeks a culture in which destructive conflict is held in check, while healthy conflict contributes to productivity.

    I also found their concept of "seeing the immortal soul" within people as an important adjustment to the attitude of a leader.

    This book is well written and not overly detailed. It can be utilized by anyone, in any job situation where leadership and supervision are required. Shepherd Leadership is not a book of techniques but rather a guide to a particular spiritual life, which will make a more effective leader.

    4/29/2004 12:00:00 AM by Blaine McCormick and David Davenport. Jossey-Bass. 149 pages. $14.95. | with 0 comments



    Funding proposal called 'moral insanity' : Monday, April 26, 2004

    April 26 2004 by

    Funding proposal called 'moral insanity' : Monday, April 26, 2004
    Monday, April 26, 2004

    Funding proposal called 'moral insanity'

    It seems that forces are trying again to force their agenda on autonomous churches that didn't ask for change. Recent proposals to change the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) funding formula to send more bucks to the anti-democratic SBC are nothing but a poorly veiled attempt to usurp the choices of individual churches.

    If there could be a more divisive issue to present to the BSCNC convention it is these proposed changes to the funding schedules.

    To propose to right thinking, moderate churches that a condition of association in the BSCNC is that they must contribute to the SBC is to propose moral insanity.

    Let's leave the money issue alone and stop this right-wing attempt to usurp individual church authority.

    David S. Roberts

    Lumberton, N.C.

    4/26/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



    Love says it all - Jean and Larry Elliott : Wednesday, April 21, 2004

    April 21 2004 by

    Love says it all - Jean and Larry Elliott : Wednesday, April 21, 2004
    Wednesday, April 21, 2004

    Love says it all - Jean and Larry Elliott

    Since the brutal drive-by shootings of my sister and brother-in-law, Larry and Jean Dover Elliott, in Mosul, Iraq, on March 15, I have spent much time reflecting on my memories of two wonderful people I was blessed to have in my life. Jean had a gentle quiet spirit and was extraordinarily loving, caring and thoughtful, always putting others before herself. Larry was a hard worker, liked to help people, was energetic and a joy to be around. I will really miss their wonderful sense of humor and the laughter we shared.

    Jean and Larry loved Jesus Christ with all their hearts, minds and souls, obedient in doing His will whatever it involved, regardless of the risks. They often quoted Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you." They lived their lives by this verse.

    I talked with Jean and Larry by phone on Feb. 15, and again with Jean the next day - the same day they flew to Amman, Jordan, on their way to Baghdad. I could hear the joyous anticipation in their voices as they related that their call had been confirmed.

    In an e-mail from Baghdad, Jean wrote lovingly of a mother and her small son and daughter: "It's amazing what smiles and laughter can do ... Please pray that we can be a light to these people and that they will come to know the true light."

    To know Jean and Larry was to love them.

    Joyce Dover Whitten

    Rising Sun, Ind.

    4/21/2004 12:00:00 AM by | with 0 comments



    Confronting the church's greatest threat : Friday, April 16, 2004

    April 16 2004 by Tony W. Cartledge

    Confronting the church's greatest threat : Friday, April 16, 2004
    Friday, April 16, 2004

    Confronting the church's greatest threat

    By Tony W. Cartledge
    BR Editor

    "We are in bad trouble in the churches, and we won't be out of it in your lifetime or mine."

    Those dire words, describing financial issues facing the church, were spoken by Loren Mead during the recent "Recasting the Net" stewardship conference at Ridgecrest. Mead, founder of the Alban Institute and now in his 70s, has devoted his life to the task of understanding and communicating congregational dynamics. He's written a book on church finances. If anyone knows, he should know.

    But it doesn't take an expert for most congregations to recognize that they are in deep financial trouble. For many churches, it takes a great effort just to raise sufficient funds to cover the bare expenses. Meanwhile, needed maintenance on church property is often left undone, leading to a bigger bill to come due when things start falling apart. The core group of the churches' most faithful givers is getting older and smaller. Reserve funds are rare, and extra money for outreach and missions is hard to come by.

    When a congregation's budget is tight and expenses have to be cut, the ax often points toward missions giving, sending budgetary tremors on up the line. That is being felt in North Carolina, where declining income led the Baptist State Convention to cut its annual budget by 6.3 percent for 2004, and church contributions are still 7 percent behind through the first three months of the year.

    There was a time when North Carolina Baptist churches routinely gave 10, 20 or 30 percent for cooperative missions through the state convention. Now, more churches are choosing to keep more money at home, and it's getting harder to find congregations that contribute more than five percent through cooperative missions. Many give far less.

    According to BSC Executive Director-treasurer Jim Royston, the percentage of offering plate money that churches contribute to cooperative missions giving has dropped by half in the past 20 years, falling from 8.5 percent to about 4.5 percent.

    Churches and individuals are following similar patterns. In May 2003, George Barna's research organization (www.barna.org) reported that the percentage of tithers - persons contributing at least 10 percent of their income through the church - had decreased 62 percent in the previous year. In 2002, eight percent of households reported that they tithed. In 2003, the number had dropped to three percent.

    Evangelicals are more likely to tithe than any other group, Barna said. Even so, only six percent of evangelicals tithed in 2003.

    The Empty Tomb organization (www.emptytomb.org) has calculated that church members gave an average of 2.55 percent of their income through their churches in 2001.

    One could suggest many reasons for the downturn in church giving. The country's economy has struggled in recent years, while overseas military involvement has increased and government deficits have soared, leaving many people uncertain and on edge. Cultural trends show that people are becoming less likely to support institutions (such as denominations), preferring to put their money into ministries they can see at work.

    Those factors have had an impact, but they are not the primary contributor. The bottom line, I believe, is that more and more Christians have simply fallen prey to the gospel of greed, to the call of consumerism. They have chosen selfishness over selflessness, loving themselves a whole lot more than they love their neighbors.

    In our commercialized culture, we are constantly bombarded by advertisements designed to convince us that we need a new truck, a new shampoo, a new TV, a new toy. We need to try a new convenience food or install a more stylish floor.

    As a result, many believers have bought into the very secular idea that happiness is found in things. As Dick Towner said at the "Recasting the Net" conference, "If things brought happiness, the United States would be delirious, but we're not a happy nation despite having many things."

    Believers are in danger of being brainwashed by the culture of consumerism, Towner said. The essence of brainwashing, he said, is to be told a lie so often that, in spite of evidence to the contrary, it begins to feel true.

    American churches face no greater threat than the alluring lie of materialism. The gospel of greed and the gospel of Christ are diametrically opposed - yet many believers have swallowed the deceitful notion that gaining personal possessions is more important than supporting Christian missions.

    No one who reads the gospels or studies the life of Jesus can have any doubt about whether Christians are called to self-giving or self-indulgence. We simply cannot serve both God and money, Jesus said (Matt. 6:24), though many of us try.

    For many Christians and churches, financial issues are not a programmatic problem, but a spiritual one. To be truly devoted to Christ and still governed by possessions is a contradiction in terms: the spirit of Christ is a spirit of generosity.

    As churches and conventions face an uncertain financial future, new stewardship programs may be helpful, but the ultimate solution will require new hearts.
    4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge | with 0 comments



    Fathers and sons wanted : Friday, April 16, 2004

    April 16 2004 by Tony W. Cartledge

    Fathers and sons wanted : Friday, April 16, 2004
    Friday, April 16, 2004

    Fathers and sons wanted

    By Tony W. Cartledge
    BR Editor

    The world would be a better place if more families could get it right. It seems that every modern novel I read has at its heart a dysfunctional family, and the identified culprit in many of those families is a father who is either overly demanding or emotionally distant from his children. This seems to have a particular effect on boys, whose need for affection and affirmation is no less than that of girls - and they need it from their fathers as well as their mothers.

    The North American Mission Board is encouraging fathers and sons to grow in their relationship with each other and with God through a new program called "Sons of Virtue."

    The kick-off event for the program is a Father's Day essay contest, which in North Carolina will be sponsored by N.C. Baptist Men and the Biblical Recorder.

    Here are the rules:
  • Boys are encouraged to submit essays on subjects like (but not limited to) "Why I want to be like my dad ...," "My dad is the greatest because ...," or "The greatest lesson my dad has taught me is ..."
  • Entries will be judged in three categories: boys in grades 1-3 should submit essays of 25-75 words, while 4-6th graders should write 75-150 words, and 7-12th graders should submit 100-300 words.
  • Winners in each category will receive a scholarship to R.A. camp and will have their essay published in the June 20 issue of the Biblical Recorder. All entrants will receive a thank-you letter and logo items from N.C. Baptist Men and the Biblical Recorder.
  • Essays may be handwritten or typed, and should be the boys' own work.
  • To enter, send essays to Tom Beam, BSCNC, P.O. Box 1107, Cary, N.C. 27512-1107. Be sure to include the writer's name, age, address and home church.
  • Essays should arrive by May 15, and winners will be notified by June 1.
  • Ready, set, write!

    4/16/2004 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge | with 0 comments



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