An Ambassador of Christ in Russia

The world events happening lead us to ask questions. Where is God in all of this? What does this mean today, and what does this mean for the future of our world?

Then I was reminded of my friend Sean Baulch and a timely podcast post by Kevin East that gave me insight to what God might be up to. So here is a post for you to grab on to as we pray through this current circumstance of events and a reminder of who we are called to be in Christ.

We are also pleasantly reminded of what Paul speaks to in 2 Corinthians chapter five:

For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Corinthians 5:14-21

HOW WE CAN PRAY FOR UKRAINE

1. Ask God to redeem this situation by drawing many people to Himself. May Ukrainians and Russians discover that Jesus is the only true source of peace, safety, comfort, truth and freedom.

2. Pray that Ukrainians ultimately would hope not in governments, elections or diplomacy, but in Jesus Christ.

3. Ask God to deliver Ukraine from evil. May He have mercy and heal this land. May He give Ukraine peace and the chance to develop as a nation that values truth, justice and freedom, all rooted in the goodness of God.

4. Pray for a culture in which political disagreements don’t lead to hatred or violence.  

5. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia can spill over into personal conflict within families, especially when family members live on opposite sides of the border and are influenced by different sides of the “information war.” Pray for unity and a love for one another that supersedes the problems between the countries.

6. Ask God to bless soldiers’ wives and children with peace and safety while their husbands and fathers are gone.

7. Pray for the various world leaders involved in diplomacy over Ukraine. 

8. Pray that the evangelical church will remain united, even as it faces difficult questions, such as how involved believers ought to be in politics or in armed conflict.

9. In the past few years, the Ukrainian evangelical church has become much more passionate about sending its own cross-cultural workers to reach the lost. Pray that this conflict will not dissuade Ukrainians from taking the gospel message to Russia and to other lands.

10. Pray for Christians in the military. This is a challenging time; ask God to guide them as their faith is being tested in new ways.

11. Fears stemming from the conflict come up frequently in conversation. Pray that missionaries and other believers will have many opportunities to explain to their neighbors and friends the reason for the hope within them, even in this time of trial.

Middle School Summer Camp

MIDDLE SCHOOL CAMP IS JUNE 5-10 @ FOCUS POINTE BASE CAMP IN ALBA, TX.

We have been partnering with GLOWING HEART MINISTRIES for 10+ years with their Middle School Pacesetters Camp. Students have the opportunity to engage in a family group, enjoy creative, team building recreation activities, work together in afternoon serve projects, swim in the lake nearby, and experience what it means to live as a servant leader. We have seen many lives impacted for the Kingdom of God over the years and expect this Summer not to be anything less!

The Right Way to Have “The Talk”

MIDDLE SCHOOL SERIES STARTS TONIGHT

PARENT CUE ARTICLE

BY Mike Clear

I remember getting “the talk” from my stepdad when I was 12 years old. I could tell by his efforts and timing that it was thrown together at the last minute. He fumbled and stumbled his way through the 30-minute awkward conversation and in the end, we were both relieved when it was finally over.

Fast forward thirtyish years and I now find myself in the same position with my eleven-year-old son. And even though I’ve consumed as much information as possible in preparation for “the talk,” I still fear having it. The lyrics from Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” best describe my feelings on the matter. “His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, there’s vomit on his sweater already: Mom’s spaghetti.” Yup, that was me. My fear of “the talk” not only stemmed from my own forgettable experience with my stepdad, but also because I wanted to make sure that with my son I said the right things, in the right way, at the right time.

Well, I recently had the chance to interview Dr. Jim Burns about “the talk” on a podcast I host, and I came to learn that my whole viewpoint on the matter was flawed. Here’s what I learned:

There are no right things.

Jim said that anytime you talk to your kid about sex, you may walk away feeling like there were things you didn’t say that you wish you would have said, or things you said that you wish you had said better. You won’t always get it right, or even know what to say and that’s okay.

He recommended to always finish the conversation with room to pick it back up again later by simply saying, “Can we talk about this another time?”

There is no right way.

Do I have “the talk” with my kid while driving around in the car?
Or do I have “the talk” with them in their bedroom?
Is this a 30-minute conversation?
Or is this an all-day retreat?
Is this a morning conversation before breakfast?
Or is the evening more effective?
Do we sit down from each other and have a formal conversation?
Or do we have it while doing something informal together?

These are the questions I asked myself. And like me, you can overthink these all day long.
Jim’s advice was to simply use the rhythm of your day to start conversations about sex.

There is also no right time.

The talk can take place intentionally by you scheduling time with your child and saying, “What kind of things have you heard about sex?”

Or, it can take place unintentionally when your child one day randomly asks you a question about sex or puberty because the topic came up at school, or on the bus, or at a friend’s house and you respond by saying something calmly like, “I’m so glad you asked me” (while internally freaking out).

Jim’s advice: It’s important to start the conversation while your kids are young. You don’t have to tell them everything in that moment, or in one talk. This should be many talks—over time—but start young. And that right there was my biggest take-away from my time with Jim.

“The talk” is not a one-time talk.
And, it’s not a lecture.
Instead, it’s a conversation.
It’s a dialogue that hopefully continues through the phases.

Depending on the phase, your kid may be uncomfortable talking about sex and puberty with you, but they need to know you care enough about them and their body that you will push through the awkwardness to have the conversations.

Believe Weekend 2022 Band

BRING YOUR BURDENS

We are excited to have Bring Your Burdens Worship with us for Believe Weekend 2022.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you.
He will never permit the righteous to be moved. 
Psalm 55:22

A group of Christ-following young adults dedicated to using our talents to glorify the Lord, and to further His kingdom. 

We grew up together in our home church, First Baptist Church of Highlands. Throughout middle & high school, a few of us played together in the student ministry band. We graduated high school and pursued our educational goals until we were asked to lead worship together as a band for our home church’s DNOW in early 2017. That weekend was incredibly eye opening for all of us and we knew that God had a plan for our future. Playing together for this event planted the seed for what would become BYB. After much prayer and consideration, we felt God’s calling to worship ministry.

Thus, we united as Bring Your Burdens Worship in June 2017.