Thursday, July 20, 2017

Joy…That Lasts A Lifetime

This past Sunday we started a new teaching series on the book of Philippians. This book, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God and written by the Apostle Paul is only four chapters long. It is an example of the old saying that dynamite comes in small packages. This is one of my favorite books written by Paul. It is often referred to as The Epistle of Joy for a good reason. It may be the most personal of all Paul’s writings as he reveals his thoughts on living and dying. Inside this little epistle is a guide to building joy into our lives. We will focus on the spiritual disciplines and habits needed to experience the fruit of the Holy Spirit…joy! That will be my focus for the next six to eight weeks. We can learn from Paul how to sing in the cell, how to praise in our self inflicted prisons and how to focus on a God that can touch the world from any place we might find ourselves. This is a letter of thanksgiving and joy. The two are almost always found thriving together. Thankfulness is the soil that allows joy to grow to full maturity.

I encourage you to read and reread Philippians in your quiet time. Come with your cup running over ready to explore the wonderful truths of God’s Word. At least 16 times Paul refers to joy or rejoicing. This little letter is filled to the brim with joy…let’s enjoy it and drink deeply. “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!” Philippians 4:4.

There are several verses in this little book that I encourage you to memorize. I know, that is a hard word for many of us. OK, if you can’t memorize, how about meditate on them. If you will hear the word, read the word and then meditate on the word…you might get a wonderful surprise and find that you can also memorize the word. Try these verses first: 1:6, 1:21, 2:5-11(one of my favorite), 4:4, 4:13 and 4:19. All these and many more are worthy of our efforts to hide them in our hearts.

“I thank my God for you every time I remember you. In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy…”

See you Sunday, Good Lord willing,

Pastor Tom

Thursday, July 13, 2017


This year’s anniversary Sunday could not have ended better. We had a wonderful day of worship even without the projector (the storm knocked it out). The highlight had to be the picnic at the park. Oh my, what a success. The air conditioned Edisto Hall was just the ticket. It seated around 175 not 200. That is only because we had three complete tables filled to the brim with delicious desserts!

I am sure we cannot remember everyone to thank, but let’s give it a try. First, our all star Kitchen Krew. This team gave out over 350 plates of food, cooking, prepping and serving from a kitchen far smaller than the one at JIBC. They served a record number in record time. The Cookin’ Krew grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for Sunday’s picnic and enough for Celebrate Recovery Sunday night! Is there anything better than a grilled hamburger? Great job. The set up team was able to set all the tables and chairs, decorate and put out all the anniversary pictures and still made it back to JIBC in time for worship. Outstanding. Sean and company had the largest kickball I have ever seen. I stopped by to observe but ran for cover when recruited to be in the field! Marty and his band of praise provided great music for us to enjoy. That made three services for Marty and his crew. Before and after, we had dozens of volunteers helping to put up tables and chairs, carry equipment and clean up. Great servants one and all. Your church staff, as usual, went above and beyond the call of duty. They led, served, worked and even had time to enjoy fellowship. I am proud to serve with such a team. The amount of effort to pull of such an event is tremendous. It sure provided for an AAA+ day of enjoyment. I will say that after I got home from Sunday night’s Celebrate Recovery…I was toast! The overwhelming feedback was the day was a great success. Our thanks to all who made it so.

Pastor Tom

Thursday, July 6, 2017


This Sunday, July 9 will be the 70th Anniversary for the James Island Baptist Family. Here are the basics again: Sunday Connection Groups at 9:45 just as always; Worship at 11:00 same as each week. We will celebrate Communion this Sunday as part of our Anniversary Celebration. We will conclude the service by 11:45 and gather at James Island County Park/Edisto Hall and begin serving at 12:30.

Our kitchen crews and set up teams will go early. So, we will be able to start eating by the time we get there. You can pick up your pre-paid tickets at the church office any day this week. We will have 200 pre-paid park entrance tickets available on a first come/first served basis. They will be available at both welcome centers and the Plymouth Avenue side door. If you have a park pass, then you are already able to get in free...what a great perk!

We will have air conditioned seating for 200 people in the Edisto Hall. There will also be picnic tables outside. Take advantage of the park and enjoy the day. We will serve hamburgers, hot dogs, chili, coleslaw and potato salad. We will also have watermelons and desserts. Drinks, ice and all paper products will be supplied for you. If you are bringing a dessert, please bring it to the park as you come to the park. Our Kitchen Krew will already be at the park and not able to transport desserts from the church campus.

RAIN OR SHINE, the Edisto Hall is rented and we will have a grand old time. Join us and bring a friend. Let’s celebrate all He has done for us!

Pastor Tom

Thursday, June 29, 2017

70th Church Anniversary Plans

Sunday, July 9 will be the 70th Anniversary for JIBC. We are planning on a fun day of celebration. Sunday Connection Groups will meet at their regular time of 9:45. Worship will begin at 11 but will dismiss at 11:45. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper together during worship. Dress casual and ready to join us at the James Island County Park. Or bring a change of clothes and change here before you join us.

Entrance fee to the park is $2 per person or free if you have a park pass. We will buy 200 tickets for the first 200 that pick them up…then it will be free! The tickets we purchase will be available to anyone who would like them. Drop by and see the Welcome Team before or after the service. We are purchasing the tickets for you. So anyone coming to the picnic is more than welcome to get the tickets. JIBC is purchasing them for you.

We are meeting in the air conditioned Edisto Hall at the park. Easy-peazy to find. Enter the park, take the first right, follow the road around and look for Edisto Hall sign or JIBC flags! The hall seats 200 people and there will be picnic tables outside for those who prefer outside seating under the oaks. Our Kitchen Krew will be cooking picnic food with all the fixings! You can bring your favorite dessert if you would like to add to the festivities.

There will be some great games. Pastor Sean is putting together the plans; horse shoes, corn hole, ladder climb and the all time greatest giant kickball game ever in the universe. No pressure. Sean can make it happen! Did I mention watermelon?

After dessert, while some are still gathered n the Edisto Hall, we will have a time to share about some of our favorite JIBC members who have gone on to glory. Let’s honor the Lord by remembering those who faithfully served and helped to build James Island Baptist. What a day of rejoicing that will be. See you Sunday, good Lord willing.

Pastor Tom

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


This past Thursday, Randi Benton, Mary Braxton and a whole gaggle of children combined a trip to the Columbia Zoo with driving the new bus back home! Thank you, ladies. For those who might not have known, both of our buses were involved in a horrific accident right in our own parking lot. A young man travelling at an estimated 112 mph lost control of his car and crashed through the JIBC parking lot taking out both buses. The new 14 passenger bus was less than a week old and had only been driven twice. The two buses were parked over 200 feet from each other but the excessive speed took the car the entire length of our parking lot. Tragically, the young man lost his life in this horrific accident.

Well, the new bus is back and has already been used in ministry. I drove it Sunday to pick up 12 patients from the Charleston Rehab Center. The bus looks fantastic and as far as I can tell, there is no evidence it had ever been involved in an accident. It will be a welcomed ministry tool at JIBC. The big bus, our older bus, is still on the operating room table. It was a little more difficult to find all the parts for the older bus. We are looking forward to getting it back as well. It seats 39 people. Our senior adult Joy Club has ridden that bus all over South Carolina enjoying great times together. We look forward to many more trips to come.

We are always looking for drivers for the buses. The big bus requires a CDL. I like that it requires some effort. You have to pass a written test, a driving test and then also have a DOT physical. Those are good things. The small bus does not require a CDL but requires everything right up to having a CDL. You must still do the complete bus inspection and record it before each trip and you must also have a DOT physical. Again, I like that. We want to make sure our drivers are fit to drive and do not have problems with seizures, disorders or other issues that would put passengers at risk.

How will we protect the buses, our buildings and our people from future wrecks at the 5 Points curve? The DOT says there is nothing wrong with the curve. The problem is excessive speed combined with alcohol and/or drugs. That does not help much. Just last week a motorcycle crashed onto our property from that curve. Geesh! Our leadership is considering what options we have and will report soon on possible protective solutions.

Until then…the new bus is back! Our thanks to Pastor Claudio for the use of the Hispanic Van and to Randi Benton for going to pick the van up from North Charleston every Sunday. Did I mention how happy I am that the new bus is back?

Pastor Tom

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Daring Faith Devotional

I really want to encourage everyone to get a copy of JIBC’s new Daring Faith Devotional. It is a 33 day devotional by our church family about our church family. These are your friends and fellow church members sharing from their hearts about what they sense God doing at JIBC. They are available and we want everyone to have one. Let us know if you cannot come out to get one, and we will arrange to have it delivered to you!

I had the privilege of taking my copy with me on vacation. So every day I planned to have my Bible reading and prayer time and planned to include one day of the devotion. I could not just stop at one day. I found myself reading several days at a time. When I finished reading all 33 last Saturday, I found myself wishing we had even more of our members writing and sharing their thoughts.

Here was my original goal and thoughts. This July 9th, JIBC celebrates our 70th year anniversary.

In a day when so many churches are dying or are in decline, I celebrate what God is doing at JIBC. We are a healthy outward focused church family. We are a friendly group of believers who are welcoming and loving, especially to those wounded by life. Our worship is strong and our ministries are many. Financially we are blessed. We see dozens of new believers come to know the Lord and follow Him in baptism each year. We send out members to several foreign countries each year. I wanted us to begin the celebration with daily giving thanks for what God has done. I wanted us to give Him the glory, thanks and praise. I thought it would be a good warm-up for an anniversary celebration.

On July 9, we are going to have a special day of celebration. We will meet for Sunday Connection Groups just as we always do and then meet for worship at 11. We are planning for an abbreviated worship time to be followed by a church-wide lunch at the Charleston County Park here on James Island. We have the air conditioned Edisto Hall reserved. The rest…well details to follow.

Love you all,

Pastor Tom

Thursday, June 1, 2017


On Sunday, June 11, we will be giving out a devotional guide by our church family and for our church family. It is a 33 day devotional designed to go along with whatever daily Bible Reading you are currently doing. The goal is that it will take us up to and through our 70th Church Anniversary. It is hard to believe, but on Sunday, July 9, JIBC will be celebrating 70 years of missions and ministry. My hope is that the devotional will help us rejoice at what God is doing, inspire us to faithfully continue reaching out to our community and around the world. The emphasis is on what God is doing and how we are joining Him.

So, there are basically two parts to the devotional. Each of the 33 days begins with a brief testimony from a church member on “Why I Love My Church”. The reasons are different and yet very similar. I think you will enjoy reading each of them. For the second part of each days devotionals, we asked our Missions and Ministry Team Leaders to write a devotional description of their mission or ministry. Share a description, a thought and a specific way the church family could pray for you. My guess is there will be missions and ministries listed that you did not know we had and supported. Again, the goal is not to pat ourselves on the back, but to give God glory. Even as Matthew 5:16 says “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” All glory is given to God. And perhaps, just perhaps, someone will be inspired or convicted to join one of these missions and ministries or start one of their own.

If you already know you will not be here on Sunday, June 11, for the distribution Sunday, please come by when you can and pick up a copy. If you know someone who would enjoy reading this devotional, please take one for them. First printing will be 300 copies for our JIBC family. The second printing will be as needed. Enjoy and give Him praise and thanks.

Pastor Tom