Wednesday, May 20, 2015

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL: JOURNEY OFF THE MAP (June 15-19)

Every year churches across the country participate in Vacation Bible School. And for good reason: It is a leading tool in reaching children before they have to be rescued. There is probably no other ministry and mission that results in boys and girls coming to know Christ. Think about it this way: great Christian music every night; loving teachers prepared; scripture memorization; heartfelt Bible stories; fun crafts and recreation! What’s not to love?

A SLIGHT CHANGE IN THIS YEAR’S VBS. We are trying to focus all of our attention on children this year. So we will not have the Adult VBS as we have in the past. We are encouraging all adults to volunteer to lead, teach, help, greet, serve, or pray. We will have a prayer team this week that meets to pray for every child by name. And, we are going to not have a youth VBS this year. Many, if not, most of our youth are ready, willing and able to volunteer to help in VBS. This has not always been the case. We have a very solid group of youth and Pastor Sean feels they are more than ready to serve! The week right after VBS our youth will go for an intensive week of mission and discipleship at Fuge Camp at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. Be in prayer for this life changing event.

You can volunteer for one night of VBS, a few nights or all week long. Be a part of the greatest evangelistic children’s ministry of the year!

AWANA AWARD NIGHT: WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 6:30-7:30
You cannot beat this line up. The all time favorite Wednesday night dinner…fried chicken! The dinner will be followed by a celebration award night for all our Awanas. Marie Smith, Commander ReRe, and her team continue to do a spectacular job year after year. This night will be a good way to culminate a year of work and fun. Come on out and enjoy the best meal in town and see the children get their awards.

Warning: there is a rumor that Charles Wiggins and yours truly will be doing their last performance of the year this night. I thought this was a “one and done” for me. I am pretty sure there should not be a Rocky 3! I feel like me singing is like watching Nascar…there is going to be a wreck, you just don’t know when. To God be the glory and let’s make a joyful noise.

Pastor Tom


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

FRUIT INSPECTION: I Can Do Bad All By Myself

We are currently in a series of messages based on Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:19 and following list the works of the flesh. This list refers to our sinful nature and lists things like sexual immorality, hatred, jealousy, angry fits and the like. There is an old Tyler Perry movie title that reminds me of this list: I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Our old sinful nature, the works of the flesh, are things we can do on our own, actions and attitudes that are motivated and empowered by our natural, human nature. It takes little or no effort to let these works rule or control our lives. We can, as the movie title suggests, do bad all by ourselves.

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22-23 are motivated and empowered by our new nature, by the Holy Spirit of God. These are actions and attitudes that do not come naturally to us. They come, as it were, supernaturally, by the Spirit of God. The motivation and power is from our surrender to God, our filling with the Holy Spirit. It is quite natural to say something like “I am not patient”. That is very accurate and understandable. Empowered by our old, human nature, we probably are not very patient. It is a new experience, with our new nature as followers of Christ, to say I can do all things through Christ Jesus. Now, empowered by Him, I can be patient, kind, gentle, loving, joyful, etc. It is no longer me, but Christ who lives in me and enables me to experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

This past Sunday we spoke of the fruit kindness. Kindness is love expressed. It is not just the action of love, but the attitude behind the action. This is what I like about kindness: we don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another. Christ in me and in you is the hope of kindness. The command to be kind to one another can be kept because of Christ in us. Otherwise, I can do bad all by myself.

See you this Sunday, good Lord willing…

Pastor Tom


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Daily Bible Reading

From time to time I like to change up my Bible reading habit. As long as you are reading His Word, I think almost any plan is a good plan. But here is what I am currently doing. This week, for instance, I am reading Psalm 19. I will read this same Psalm each day, all week long. Each morning my goal is to spend some time reading, thinking about, and applying this Psalm to life. About the third day of reading, I will pick up a commentary and see what others are saying about this particular Psalm. If I didn’t have commentaries in my library, I would do the same thing by googling. There are more resources online that I could ever have time to use. Then I try to find ways to share the Psalm. I might use it to open any meetings that I lead. I look for opportunities to share insights with those I meet with. I know I could cover more ground by reading a Psalm a day or by trying to read through the Psalms in a month. I have done that before. But for now, I am enjoying reading one Psalm, every day, all week. After that, I read the Proverb chapter of the day. There are 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs. It works out that you could read one chapter for each day of the month. The day I am typing this is Monday, May 4. So, it was Proverbs chapter 4 for today. Proverbs 4:23 happens to be one of my favorite verses: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Then I will try to add a New Testament passage. Reading and meditating on God’s Word is one way I try to guard my heart.

If you are looking for a more systematic way of studying the Bible, I would suggest one of our Sunday Connection groups. For example, during May, our Sunday Connection groups will be studying what the Bible says about relationships…making relationships stick. What a great on-time message from God’s Word to God’s people. So, back to my earlier statement: as long as you are reading His Word, I think almost any plan is a good plan.

See you this Sunday as we continue our series on Fruit Inspection, Galatians 5:22-23.


Pastor Tom


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What's Going On...

MINISTRY MANAGEMENT TEAM MEETING 

We are planning for a Ministry Management Team meeting on Wednesday night, May 13, beginning at 6:30. This will include Staff, Elders, the Renovation/Decoration Team, Ministry Team Leaders and Deacons. Come and enjoy the Wednesday night dinner from 5:30-6:30.

PRAYER FOR NEPAL 

Thank you for your loving response in praying for Nepal. Prayer and love are always appreciated. We have former members who serve as missionaries in Kathmandu, Nepal. We had immediate word that they and all their teammates were safe. As always, in times like this, you can safely make financial contributions to our Southern Baptist International Mission Board. Please check them out at www.imb.org. They are featuring articles about our work happening right now and there is a special message from our IMB president, David Platt. They also show you how you can donate on line. Another resource that you may consider is Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse. You can check them out at www.samaritanspurse.org. If you do not have access to check them out on line, call the church office. If you make a donation through JIBC we will make sure it gets to them. You may also want to consider the American Red Cross. They also are quickly responding to the Nepal earthquake victims. Check out their work and service at www.redcross.org.


TASTE OF JAMES ISLAND 

Just a reminder about this Saturday’s annual Taste of James Island. You can drop by anytime from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You do not have to stay for the whole event. Come by for great food, fun and fellowship. Many of the churches of different denominations will be present and participating. The event takes place behind James Island Christian Church, just off of Folly Road, behind Arby’s. It will be great and the weather should be perfect.


See you Sunday, good Lord willing,

Pastor Tom



But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A SURE THING!



It’s a sure thing: the sun will go down this evening. Beyond that, there are not a lot of things I would call a sure thing. The upcoming TASTE OF JAMES ISLAND is about as close to a sure thing as I think we can get. Churches of many denominations will have their best cooks cooking; groups from many churches will be praising; food will be brought to help the poor; fellowship across all barriers will be enjoyed. That is about as sure a thing as I could imagine.

There are 2 or 3 times a year when all churches of all denominations come together for a common purpose. The Sunday before Thanksgiving, we come together to worship, give thanks, fellowship and give to help the poor. On Saturday, May 2, the James Island Churches will join together at James Island Christian church for our annual TASTE OF JAMES ISLAND. Admission is one non-perishable food item for the JI Outreach Ministry. Each church is asked to do a food drive these next 2 weeks to help replenish the shelves. We are the “JELLY” church…but you absolutely can bring anything!

You can’t miss…it is about as sure of a thing as you can get. Helping the poor, fellowship between all races and denominations, praise music AND great food. Where is the down side? Rain or shine, the event will happen.

To put it in perspective, last year the James Island Baptist Church family gave 1 ½ tons of jelly and food…approximately $5, 600 worth of food. The James Island Outreach gives out about 150 jars of jelly each month. We have 7 of our members actively serving in this ministry. Way to go team JIBC. Put it on your calendar. Drop by that day for a Taste of James Island…it is a sure thing!

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Whew, what a ride!

I want to thank our staff for picking up the slack while I was took a week off to enjoy the early spring pollen and virus. Yikes. I will understand if you avoid me for the next 2 weeks while this thing runs its course. Knuckle bumps or elbow greetings will be just fine and understood. I am grateful for Sean being willing to step up and hit it out of the park. Thanks Sean. 

Sean began our newest teaching series on Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit. The title we chose is “Fruit Inspection”. The idea is that we inspect our own hearts and lives first. The focus is not on inspecting others fruit…although among people in covenant, that is a good thing, not a bad thing. We have gone over this a dozen times and it bears repeating. There is a significant difference in judging and being judgmental. We make judgment calls every day, all day in almost all situations. Based on God’s Word and the life of our Lord, we judge an action to be right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy. When you judge the person, you have taken over God’s role. Not a good idea. A doctor telling you the x-ray looks bad is making a judgment. The doctor is not being judgmental. Neither would the doctor be a very good doctor by pretending there was nothing wrong with the x-ray. You are in a type of covenant relationship with your doctor and you expect honesty and help. At times, believers can become judgmental, better than you, holier than thou. That is the hurtful and non-helpful attitude. I know it is difficult to not judge…especially when we think our sins are not as bad as “their” sins.

The goal of this series on Fruit Inspection is to challenge us to submit our lives to the Holy Spirit. Let Him be the inspector of our lives. Invite Him to live in and through us. Bear fruit that remains and that is attractive and winsome to a lost and broken world. I suspect we will lead more people to Jesus and discipleship by exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit than by being judgmental and condemning.

Anyone can condemn the darkness…let’s be people that light a light.

Pastor Tom



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A DIFFERENT KIND OF KING

This past Sunday was Palm Sunday.  What a wonderful way to begin our focus on Holy Week.  We chose to build Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter around the message that Jesus was and is a different kind of King. 

This Friday is Good Friday, named so not because of what happened to Jesus, but what happened for us.  The terrible suffering, crucifixion and death were so tragic that even nature mourned and darkness covered the earth at noon day.  Join us this Friday at 7:00 pm as we read the stories, sing the songs and feel the emotions of the sacrificial love of our Father and Lord Jesus.  We will observe communion together and join our hearts in gratitude for the wonderful love crucified for our sins…our hurts, habits and hang-ups.  It is not too much to say Jesus was hung up for my hang ups.

It’s Friday…but Sunday is coming!  This coming Sunday is Resurrection Sunday…Easter.  We are combining to have one service on Easter.  Please note that our Sunday Connection Groups will meet as they always do at their appointed times.  The 8:30 service and Luz Y Verdad will join together with the 11:00 worship service for one Easter Celebration.  Luz Y Verdad will most likely join us toward the end of the service for the celebration of baptism.  It is an annual event to “flower” the cross.  We will have a smaller cross on the floor level that will be transformed by flowers from your yard.  You may bring them before, during or after Sunday Connection groups or just before the worship service.  There will be someone there to help you place your flowers on the cross.  It is always beautiful.

Bring an offering of jelly.  As you know, JIBC is the jelly provider for the James Island Outreach.  Churches, businesses, schools and individuals join together to help provide food and other assistance to those in need.  Cal Worthington is the new Executive Director.  We have several people that make up 2 or 3 teams that volunteer at J.I.O.  They are low on jelly.  Watch for those bogo deals and bring an offering that will be a blessing.  Just drop the jelly off in front of the church office in the box just outside the door. 

He is risen…He is risen indeed!

Pastor Tom