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  • Pneumonia; When infection finds its way in

    by Tim Patterson PLYMOUTH, MI – Twenty months! That is the very least number of months we here in the good ol’ USA have been dealing with a very difficult and deadly viral epidemic that has turned into a global pandemic. Person after person has contracted and sadly many have succumbed to, the reactionary ravages of this disease. COVID-19 does not kill an individual, but the way our bodies react to it does; the subsequent infections and organ failures that accompany this vicious little crown of a virus. By the grace of God and a very good vaccine, Sabrina and I have not contracted this bad bug. We have been as cautious and careful as we could be and followed the appropriate protocols. To say the least, we are most grateful. I know what it is like to have pneumonia, which is one of the deadliest attributes of the COVID infection. It is no fun! A few years back I encountered the gnarly nemesis called pneumonia, and to this day remain susceptible to this kind of lung infection. There I was, minding my own business when it began to take over. I had felt fatigued for a few days, but other than that I was fine. A little tightening of the chest and just a slight elevation of my body temperature was all that I noticed. Then within just a few hours, my lungs were congested, fever was rising, and I felt like I had been in an inordinate encounter with a Mack truck and lost. I had pneumonia and didn't know it. I thought it was just a slight case of the flu that was going around, and I would be over it in a few days. As you may know, pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by a wide variety of agents, including viruses, bacteria, micro-organisms know as Mycoplasma and Rickettsia, and some fungi. Inflammation also occurs with the inhalation of various dusts or gases and with the aspiration of food or stomach acid. The pathological process usually begins with the irritation of lung tissue. The walls of air sacs (alveoli) that compose one’s lungs, swell, or are destroyed, and plasma, red blood cells, and white blood cells from lung capillaries fill the alveolar spaces. The portion of the lung involved becomes relatively solid and basically is rendered temporarily nonfunctional. The once soft and pliable tissues that transfers oxygen to the blood become hardened sacks of gunk filled (medical term lol) balloons. Typical symptoms include fever, chills, cough, chest pain, increased production of sputum, sweating, aching, expectoration of blood, and difficulty in breathing. How I contracted this case of pneumonia is still a mystery to me. I didn't go out looking for it, nor did I invite it to invade my body and incapacitate me for more than a week. Was there something I was doing that created an atmosphere that was conducive for this infection to take root? Had I defied some of the basic laws of good health and placed myself in jeopardy? I doubt that I will ever know for sure the direct cause, but this I do know, the results were the same. I was eventually suffering the ravages of this very uncomfortable invader and unless personal physician had intervened, with the proper treatment, the outcome could have been fatal. Sin has many of the same characteristics that influenza or pneumonia possess. It comes into the life of every man, woman, boy and girl in much the same way as does a physical disease, but unlike pneumonia, it does not attack the body, but it attacks the soul and spirit. All mankind has been infected with sin and the source and vestiges of sin is always within us. It is just waiting for the best (or might I say worst) atmosphere in which to grow. Just as our bodies are covered and filled with bacteria and viruses, so are our souls with sin. If left untreated by our Great Physician, then we will eventually succumb to its fatal infection. Had I not chosen to go to my physician for treatment when I did, it is questionable as to whether I would be breathing the air of this world today. It may be that you do not notice the effects of the infection of sin in your life but believe me; it will one day take its toll. It will eventually kill you. I strongly advise you to make an appointment with the Good Doctor who will be able to heal you from all your souls’ diseases. And the good thing about this Doctor is that there are no lines in which to wait, He’s always in, and His services are free. What a deal! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tim Patterson is Executive Director/Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Elected unanimously in May of 2015, Patterson formerly served for 9 years as pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla. He also served as trustee chair and national mobilizer for the North American Mission Board. #OCTOBER21

  • Six advances in church planting

    by Dr. Tony L. Lynn PLYMOUTH, MI – I hope your late spring, summer, and early autumn has gone as well as mine. Once again in my role, daily, I get to see the Lord do amazing things that make me smile, even laugh, with joy during my morning quiet times. Here are six advances that have taken place during the past five months. Because you pray, provide support, and participate these advances are happening because of what you do through your local church; so, thank you for what you do for the Lord. Ryan Cabildo in Wayne Church planter, Ryan Cabildo, passed NAMB assessment and is in the early stage of launching Lanterns Church in Wayne, Michigan. His sending church is Mile City Church, Plymouth. Cabildo is creating a launch team while refining the preparations that go into starting a new church. I love it that Cabildo is launching where he spent most of his lifetime. He is a creative with a warm heart who always has time to listen to those in need. Zac and Emily Zielinski in Flint Church planter, Zac Zielinski, and his wife Emily passed NAMB assessment and are in the early stage of launching a church plant in Flint, Michigan among university students while serving as a campus pastor in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Their sending church is Grumlaw Church, Grand Blanc & Hartland, Michigan. They are inviting people to join their launch team. I remember the moment when I knew Zac had been overcome with the calling to plant a new church. He attended the Send Network Gathering at Mile City Church back on March 17. At the close of the final part of that inspiring day, Zac was exiting the day’s events and I felt compelled to stop and ask, “What has this day meant to you?” Zac responded, “I think God is calling me to plant a church.” Little did I know that Zac and Emily were already pressing into the calling with the counsel of their pastor, Shea Prisk. Henry and Lily Zual in Kentwood Church planter, Henry Zual, and his wife Lily passed NAMB assessment and have planted Chin Mission Baptist Church in Kentwood, Michigan. His sending church is Falam Christian Church of Indianapolis, Indiana. The people on this church plant are from Myanmar (Burma) where warlike conditions threaten the lives of their family members and friends, daily. Twice with no success during these past two years, Burmese pastors in Michigan invited me to take mission trips to Myanmar to share the Good News of Christ and to develop believers. Pray fervently for our brothers and sisters who face a sorrow we do not understand. On a brighter note, a former missionary with the International Mission Board, who speaks the language of the Burma people, is on staff in a North American church and has agreed to come visit the three Burmese congregations we have in Michigan. I cannot wait until I see the faces of the Burmese people in Michigan shine with smiles because someone who learned their language 15 years ago is here to help us help them. Nathan and Alison Sharpe in Adrian Church planter, Nathan Sharpe, and his wife Alison passed NAMB assessment and launched Catalyst Church, Adrian, Michigan on Sunday, September 12, within a community they believe is underserved and in need of more witnesses for Jesus Christ. Their sending church is Redemption Church, Grandville, Michigan. Nathan and Alison already share a lot of life with their community. Nathan is a well-loved coach and teacher in a nearby school. The church plant is the result of a collaboration between wise people who had building and property, but needed spiritual leadership. After spending launch Sunday with the congregation, I can sense the unity among the people and the pursuit to see people become devoted followers of Christ. David and Stefanie Livingston in Ann Arbor Church planter, David Livingston, and his wife Stefanie passed NAMB assessment and are conducting autumn vision tours while creating a core team for a new church plant among the students at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their sending church is Doxa Church, Madison, Wisconsin. I already participated in one of the early vision tours and found I was surrounded by young adults on the threshold of post-university careers who were putting their careers on hold to devote the next 2-3 years of their personal lives to launching a new church in Ann Arbor. I know it sounds crazy, but I have already witnessed a success using this strategy in East Lansing. Austin and Lesley Wadlow in East Lansing Church planter, Austin Wadlow, and his wife Lesley along with people of The Commons Church, East Lansing, a two-year old church, are celebrating remarkable growth and inspiring professions of faith in Christ. One September Sunday was dedicated to hearing about life changes and witnessing the baptisms of those who have trusted in Christ. The young church plant created a second Sunday morning service with a total morning attendance of 455 people; however, what is equally as important is that almost everyone has registered to join discipleship groups which is a primary focus of the church’s purpose. This church plant is exploding with growth on 7 acres with a 20,000 square foot building that was gifted to them for $1 because the senior citizens of that existing church wanted to share their lifelong legacy with the vibrant ministry of The Commons Church. As you can see, I serve the Lord, the BSCM, and the Send Network with joy because my days are filled watching the testimony of God’s love for the peoples of Michigan. I am always available to talk if you want to find your place in planting churches everywhere for everyone. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Tony L. Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe. #OCTOBER21

  • Stronger Together: Re-fueling pastors

    by Mike Durbin PLYMOUTH, MI – God is re-fueling pastors across Michigan as they reach out to strengthen and encourage one another in the Lord. The Pandemic has been a challenging time for those in positions of spiritual leadership, but Michigan Baptist pastors have served the Lord and His church well. They have reached out to one another for prayer, fellowship, accountability, and direction as they have served through this unique season. They are living out the spiritual truth that “iron sharpens iron.” Approximately 35 pastors are engaging monthly in five “Be The Church” Cohorts, 55 ministry couples gathered in three Refresh Pastor/Wife Retreats, and 11 pastors started the re:Focus journeys together. Pastors are impacting pastors! Here are several testimonies! Be The Church Cohorts “I have been part of a “Be The Church Cohort” with four other pastors since June 2021. We meet monthly and rotate churches, so we can see each other’s ministry context. During the 90 minutes that we are together, our BTC cohort strives to be more than pre-assigned discussion points. We check up on each other’s families. We listen to what is going on in each ministry. We pray for and encourage one another. Our BTC cohort breathes life and energy into me. In my first year of ministry, a few decades ago, a veteran pastor told me “Every pastor needs a pastor”. My BTC cohort serves as the pastor this pastor needs in his life. I am very thankful for men that I meet with monthly” (Chris Peoples, Trinity Baptist Church). Refresh Pastor/Wife Retreats “My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Refresh Pastor/Wife Retreat, even with our newborn tagging along. While there was no cathartic moment, it was nice to get away and just spend time together as husband and wife. While Tim Dowdy gave some great spiritual reminders and did a great job offering encouragement, the refreshment really came from spending time together in Frankenmuth, getting to meet other pastors and wives and learning about their families and ministries, and the love we felt from Sabrina and Shar loving on our little one so that we could enjoy the dinner. Over the past few years, the BSCM has offered other events like this along with pastor and wife date nights. While these are small events and only comprise a day or two out of the year, they are meaningful and refreshing. This is one other way that Michigan Baptists is saying, “we see the work you’re doing, we know it can be difficult, but you’re valued and appreciated.” That goes a long way in refreshing the soul. So, from my wife and I, thank you Michigan Baptists for loving on pastors and their wives. Thank you for investing in our ministry and in our marriage through opportunities like this. Thank you for ministering to us so that we can continue to minister to those that God has entrusted to us” (Jonathan Turner, Clinton Baptist). Re-Focus “I had the opportunity to attend the re:Focus Retreat at Bambi Lake. I must say that this has been a helpful tool for me as a pastor. I came away from the retreat with three definite areas that encouraged me as a pastor. 1. We were asked about our trust level with God; 1being the lowest and 10 being the highest. As I took inventory of myself, I realized my trusting God for everything was not where I wanted it to be. I have shared this with my wife, and we are now trying to trust God in the simplest of everything. Trusting Him in everyday life whether big or small, trusting Him for everything instead of trying to manufacture it up myself. 2. Challenged in my personal goal. What do I want to see more of in my life? My personal goal became to know Jesus more in my everyday life. Philippians 3:10, "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;" To know Him more I needed to spend more time with Him and less time with everyday distractions. As a pastor it is easy to get distracted by others and their needs. I have tried to spend more time in prayer and focusing on what God can do. As a result, He has become more precious to me in my everyday life. 3. Given the book "The Me I Want to Be", by John Ortberg. Part 5 of this book is "deepening my relationships." Chapter 15 is, “Try Going off the Deep End with God.” This chapter has really encouraged me to spend more time in earnest prayer, and getting into a deeper relationship with God. Powerful and life changing. I believe as a result of just the first re:Focus, God has enriched my life and through prayer God has been changing things for His good in His church. I am eagerly looking forward to God speaking in our next retreat about Redefining” (Ken Hale, Community Baptist Church) Pastors are reaching out to each other across Michigan, demonstrating once again that we are stronger together. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil. #OCTOBER21

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  • Baptist Beacon

    Telling the story of Michigan Baptists TOP STORIES BSCM officers and trustees pass resolution on Sexual Abuse Task Force stalemate Focusing on Christ Back to school and back to work; Punching Holes in the Darkness podcast Global Hunger Sunday is October 10th COLUMNS 6 days ago 4 min Pneumonia; When infection finds its way in by Tim Patterson PLYMOUTH, MI – Twenty months! That is the very least number of months we here in the good ol’ USA have been dealing with... 6 days ago 4 min Six advances in church planting by Dr. Tony L. Lynn PLYMOUTH, MI – I hope your late spring, summer, and early autumn has gone as well as mine. Once again in my role,... 6 days ago 4 min Stronger Together: Re-fueling pastors by Mike Durbin PLYMOUTH, MI – God is re-fueling pastors across Michigan as they reach out to strengthen and encourage one another in the... 6 days ago 3 min The providence of God in your life by Coye Bouyer LANSING, MI – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according... 6 days ago 3 min Past, present, and future by Mick Schatz ROSCOMMON, MI – God’s faithfulness never ends. Even in the midst of the COVID pandemic, Bambi has encountered new growth... STARTING STORIES Six advances in church planting The world at our doorstep The church is a better plan More STARTING stories… STRENGTHENING STORIES Focusing on Christ First-Person: Compare and despair Making a difference More STRENGTHENING stories… SENDING STORIES Back to school and back to work; Punching Holes in the Darkness podcast Global Hunger Sunday is October 10th Back To School Bash Catching up with Campers On Mission Long road to Hurricane Ida recovery continues for Louisiana, SBDR, Send Relief Journey into new More SENDING stories… MICHIGAN STORIES BSCM officers and trustees pass resolution on Sexual Abuse Task Force stalemate Focusing on Christ Back to school and back to work; Punching Holes in the Darkness podcast Six advances in church planting Back To School Bash Catching up with Campers On Mission Classified Ads Making a difference State Mission Offering: “Strong medicine for my wounded spirit” More MICHIGAN stories… SBC & OTHER STORIES BSCM officers and trustees pass resolution on Sexual Abuse Task Force stalemate Global Hunger Sunday is October 10th First-Person: Compare and despair Long road to Hurricane Ida recovery continues for Louisiana, SBDR, Send Relief Southern Baptist pastors, leaders weigh in on EC-Task Force stalemate 2022 SBC Annual Meeting online hotel registration opens Oct. 1 More SBC stories…

  • Cooperative Program | Baptist Beacon

    COOPERATIVE PROGRAM GIVING For archived reports from previous months, click here . 1/3

  • Archives | baptistbeacon2019

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