Encouraging Word

The Ultimate Planner

The word PLAN is defined as design; procedure; or purpose. We know God is very organized and orderly. We see from creation He is detailed. He has a master plan. Genesis 1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth and everything on the earth. God also has individual plans for His people. In Jeremiah 29:11, God says, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare (to bless you) and not for calamity (harm) to give you a future and a hope.”

God’s plan began by giving us life. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Following our physical birth, God desires that we experience spiritual birth. John 3:3 says, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’“ II Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” A part of the new spiritual life is both a fullness (to be complete) of life (John 10:10); and eternal life (John 3:16, Romans 6:23). To experience the spiritual life we need to respond to God’s call to salvation; call to sanctification (process of spiritual growth); and call to Christian service.

Be encouraged, God has a plan for you. However, you must receive and follow His plan. His plans are to bless you and give you hope, a future and a fullness of life.

Tony Cooper

Tony Cooper 

In his 26th Year of Service as Exe. Dir.,

Jimmie Hale Mission

www.jimmiehalemission.com

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Mission Makers

GriefShare Offers Hopegrief-share-logo

If you’ve lost a spouse, parent, child, or family member, you’ve probably found there are not many people who understand the deep hurt you feel. This can be a confusing time when you feel isolated and have many questions about things you’ve never before faced.

For almost 25 years, GriefShare has been providing a friendly, caring group of people to walk alongside those who are grieving. GriefShare is a Christ centered ministry and a product of The Church Initiative, Inc. in Wake Forest, N.C. It is one of the most widely acclaimed and highly successful grief recovery programs of its kind and has support groups in our area, including Hoover and Trussville. Trained facilitators, who have experienced this kind of grief themselves, guide participants and provide tools and resources necessary to move forward. Pete Jackson is a local GriefShare leader and facilitator who lost his wife of 34 years due to a sudden and massive hemorrhagic stroke and went through the program himself. “Although all of us at some time or another will face this difficult situation, we are never fully prepared. Losing my wife was similar to a 9/11 experience. Something you never get over completely, changing your life from that point forward, but you learn to live with,” says Jackson adding, “You simply adjust to what we call ‘the new normal’. That’s what GriefShare can do for those suffering from such a loss and it will be done in a safe, secure, loving and confidential environment with a group of others that have experienced similar loses.” Jackson is the group facilitator for GriefShare meetings at Faith Presbyterian Church on Valleydale Road. See Support Groups on page 28 for more details about this GriefShare group and others in the Birmingham area.

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Best Books

The Bible Tells Me SoWhy Defending Scripture Had Made Us Unable to Read It

Best Books Peter Enns Cover Art Bible Tells Me So Feb 16 BCF

This month’s recommendation is for those who are brave. If you are afraid to read anything which may call into question your established beliefs about the Bible, or if you’re of the opinion that all Christians must share the same perspective (yours) regarding the inspiration of the Scriptures, then I’d advise you to think twice before engaging in this selection. On the other hand, if you’re one of those “love wins,” God is nice, inclusive, progressive types, then reading The Bible Tells Me So (HarperOne, $15.99) should be the next thing you purchase. You will want to own this, share it with your friends, and extol its virtues on sundry forms of social media.

In The Bible Tells Me So, Peter Enns explains why he believes many Christians need an “attitude adjustment” when it comes to how we approach the Bible. In fact, he is concerned that some Christians may have elevated the Bible to heights which belong only to the person of Jesus, putting themselves at risk in the process. As a person with a deep commitment to the Christian faith, Peter Enns asserts that the Bible is “God’s Word.” What he means when he makes that assertion is far different, however, than what many of his fellow Christians mean when they speak of the Bible. For Enns, reading the Bible as historically reliable literature is not only problematic, it may also cause one to miss the point.

I loved reading The Bible Tells Me So. As one who has read, studied, and taught about the Bible for years, I found the book very interesting. I also learned some things, which is always nice. Do I agree with everything? Not at all, but that has nothing to do with the value of reading such books. I have little regard for those who advocate a literary diet comprised solely of books written by those with whom they agree. So, if you’re brave and secure enough to read something that may cause you to think hard about what you believe regarding the Bible, then I strongly recommend The Bible Tells Me So. If, however, you believe Christians should keep their literary diet within the safe confines of evangelical orthodoxy, you should probably pass – and pray for my imperiled soul.

Author Peter Enns is scheduled to speak at Samford University Reid Chapel at 10a.m. on February 25. The lecture is open to the public.

Best Books Peter Enns ap 2. PC Patti Singleton, Eastern University

-Darrel Holcombe, Owner

Sanctuary Christian Books and Gifts

Colonial Promenade, Alabaster

Author Image Photo Credit- Patti Singleton/Eastern Univ.

 

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Bringing Out the Winner In Your Child

Cultivating Common Sense

Recently, a young man from the Boys’ Ranch helped me with a couple of projects in our yard. As we were working in the garage, we passed by a stack of manuals that were sitting on my workbench. He asked, “What are those?” Piled about six inches high were manuals, parts lists and operational booklets for our lawnmower, grill, weed eater and various other yard tools. I stopped what I was doing, looked at him, and said, “As you grow up, you need to keep every instruction book and operational manual for each individual machine or tool that you have. You never know when you may need them.”

Later that day, it hit me that what I had given him was not a deep spiritual truth or a profound piece of wisdom—but simply a “nugget” to help him grow into being a fine man, husband and father. As parents, we sometimes get so wrapped up in making sure that we give off the overall appearance that we have done a “great” job raising our children, by providing the best education, clothes, degrees, cars or whatever we think is “SO” important, that we neglect a very crucial and necessary characteristic within our child’s heart – Common Sense. This key ingredient, missing in so many children (and adults), CAN be taught. It just takes practice and consistency. God’s word is the BEST place I know to start to develop common sense. The book of Proverbs is a great place to begin, and can be a guide for every day life. Check it out!

unnamed-1

-John Croyle

Executive Director, Big Oak Ranch

Author, Who You Are/Defying the Circumstances that Define Us, Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child, The Two Minute Drill to Manhood and Raising a Princess, www.bigoak.org

Fill your Facebook feed with more good news from Birmingham Christian Family!
Click the Like button below.

Pin It on Pinterest