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  • God has a plan

    by Jon Locke MOUNT MORRIS, MI – Growing up I always knew I was different, on the inside that is. I knew that my mind did not work or process like everyone else’s. Being born in the seventies there weren’t a lot of diagnoses floating around, but there was plenty of name calling. “Dumb, hyper, bad, worthless, class clown” and countless others that were attached to me growing up in Houston, Texas. Sadly, most of the names came from adults, teachers, and even “well meaning” church folk. It was difficult knowing that you were different, but not being able to verbalize what that difference was even harder. I was also taller and bigger than most kids too so that was a blessing and a curse. I had to learn to fight from an early age. I honestly fell through the cracks in the education system. I do not know how big those cracks were, but I fell through them, all of them. To be fair, I did get snagged a few times, but my well-meaning parents somehow would talk my teachers into passing me. This happened on multiple occasions. It wasn’t till high school that I thought my luck had run out. I was being forced to redo some credits, and I had to do them by correspondence. Well, I refused. So, my mom and my older sister who wanted me to have a high school diploma did all the work for me. There you have it, I did not earn my diploma on my own merit. In fact, it wasn’t till I went off to college at the age of 28 that I learned how to put a sentence together properly. This was only because a professor saw something in me and took the time to help me. Maybe it was pity, because all my other professors thought they were on that tv show “punk’d.” My papers were marked with so much red ink, they were questioning their own admission policies. Remember I started off with God has a plan. I honestly shouldn’t be alive. In fact, I tried most of my early life not to be alive. In my desire to be “normal”, to be like everyone else, or to even to just have friends, my plan was destruction and death. Looking from the outside in, most would never have known that I was suicidal even from a young age. Who would think that the jovial, class clown, wanted desperately to leave this earth? To be honest, I still struggle with thoughts. It was after a failed suicide attempt when a borrowed handgun did not fire that I finally surrendered my life to Christ. Not some of my life, but all of it. So how does a husband, father, grandfather, pastor of a local church struggle with depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD and a host of other acronyms? I’m human, I’m a real person, just like everyone else. It wasn’t until much later in life that I was diagnosed with being on the Autism Spectrum. It is hard for adults to be diagnosed because we learn to cope, we learn to hide our “little secrets.” Sadly, ASD can be genetic and in a roundabout way that’s how I was diagnosed. We have five children and two grandchildren. Well, our fourteen-year-old son when he was ten had to be hospitalized because of suicidal ideations. He had already been diagnosed with ASD several years earlier, but some of his behaviors he was no longer able to control even with medicines. During the intake at the hospital, we learned that our son was very much like me, or I was like him. The intake nurse asked him if he had ever attempted suicide before and our hearts sunk. His little crying voice said that at eight he tried to hang himself in his closet. Why? He just wanted to be “normal.” Where have I heard this before? God has a plan, and He has a plan for you. It’s ok to be different, there is no “normal.” So many people are hurting and suffering in silence, but they don’t have to be. We have to take the stigma away from mental illnesses. We have to be able to open up without fear of rejection and shame before it’s too late. There are people and kids just like me and my son in your families and in your churches, reach out to them, open the lines of communication! If you, your child or loved one has a diagnosis or diagnoses they aren’t bound by those acronyms. Look at me! Who would have thought that a punk kid who everyone else threw away, who couldn’t even put a sentence together has multiple degrees. I'm a pastor, an author and have a beautiful family who loves me. All because God has a plan! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jon Locke serves on the staff of North End Baptist Church in Mount Morris. He is the Senior Pastor. #JULY21

  • Why am I a Southern Baptist?

    by Seth Springs WATERFORD, MI – At the beginning of June, my wife and I attended our first ever Southern Baptist Convention meeting. It was an encouraging time as we gathered with 16,000 other Southern Baptists, including 2 of our church planting teammates. But, as we heard reports and casted votes, I began to ask myself a question that I believe many others have been asking themselves, “What makes me a Southern Baptist?” Why have I chosen to engage in Southern Baptist life? What keeps me committed to this family of Great Commission Baptist Churches? While you answer this line of questioning for yourself, I’d like to share 3 reasons why I am a Southern Baptist. LOTTIE MOON If you’ve been around SBC life for long, you know the name Lottie Moon (1840-1912). As a young lady, Lottie Moon offered her life to Christ through missionary service. This route included denying the comforts of home and declining a seemingly attractive marriage proposal. She would set sail for China at the age of 32, and never look back, making Jesus known among Chinese peoples for 39 years. You probably know Lottie Moon as the namesake of the SBC’s annual Christmas offering. This is because, while serving overseas, Lottie wrote letters urging churches to give generously and send missionaries so that the Nations might hear the Good News about Jesus. This has resulted in Southern Baptists giving over $5 billion to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. That’s $5 billion so that missionaries can be sent, the Gospel can be preached, and people “from every nation, tribe, people, and language” can call on the name of the Lord and be saved. This global cooperative effort is what makes me want to be a Southern Baptist. ANNIE ARMSTRONG Behind the organization of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering was a group of Southern Baptist women known as the Women’s Missionary Union. Behind that group was a woman named Annie Armstrong (1850-1938). Born and raised in the city of Baltimore, Annie always had a passion for serving those in need. As leader of the WMU, she helped mobilize other women, and their churches, to live on mission near and far. In 1934, The Home Mission Board (NAMB) renamed its annual offering for North American missions after her. Each year, Southern Baptists support the work of meeting needs, planting churches, and changing lives across North America through the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Without this offering, the ministries of church planters like me would look vastly different! This cooperative effort, that our new church plant now has the privilege of participating in, makes me want to be a Southern Baptist! BRENDA CARTER Another significant reason I am a committed Southern Baptist is a name that you may not know. Brenda Carter has championed cooperative missions for the entirety of her adult life. For years she has led WMU efforts in her church and local Baptist association. Once a month, she meets with ladies of her church to pray for international missionaries by name. Brenda has been on close to 30 short-term mission trips to the country of Brazil, and has served hard-hit communities through Disaster Relief. I know all of this because Brenda Carter is my grandmother. My favorite memories of VBS are of my grandmother giving the weekly “missions moments.” The first time I can remember hearing someone share the Gospel was when my grandmother shared the Good News about Jesus with a UPS delivery man right in her kitchen. When I was radically saved at the age of 15, years of mission moments and evangelistic enthusiasm finally made sense. I am thankful for the work of Southern Baptists, especially this one! What makes me a Southern Baptist? Simply put, I don’t want to miss out. The Great Commission really is great and we are better together. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Seth Springs serves in Waterford, MI alongside his wife Taylor and 3 young children. Seth is a church planter and one of the pastors at Transformation Church Waterford. #JULY21

  • Centershot event helps Hillsdale church hit a bullseye in their community

    by Chip Faulkner HILLSDALE, MI – “What just happened?” exclaimed John after we got back in my car. We had finished meeting again with the marketing director of radio station WCSR about our Centershot outreach event. How stunned we were to hear that a corporate sponsor, Whitetail Properties, had offered to cover the bulk of the fees for a huge advertising blitz to promote a multi-state tournament. The blitz promised to use radio, social media, and remote broadcasts to reach thousands of households. Centershot is a faith-based program that uses archery as an outreach tool to share the Gospel. Some of the folks in our church knew about Centershot, and I had recently become more interested in Centershot while on retreat at Bambi Lake. We contacted Roscommon Baptist Church to see about the possibility of having a one-day Centershot event at our church so we could better evaluate the potential of the ministry in our context. We soon learned that Centershot, the National Archery in Schools Program, and the International BowHunting Organization were looking for a location in our area to hold a Regional Open Tournament. A simple idea just kept growing into a bigger and bigger opportunity! The county fairground opened their facility to us and local businesses likewise got involved. In addition to the tournament, we were able to offer a Centershot “Fun Shoot.” The shooting range was full all day with young people safely enjoying archery. The response from the community proved hugely positive. Our church, as tournament host, not only got to serve our community, but we also staffed a prayer table and made many new friends. Through the registration process we were able to gather the contact information of numerous families interested in our Centershot ministry. What really stood out to me happened during the awards program at the conclusion of the tournament. The Centershot representative clearly shared the Gospel to the whole group using a color-coded LifeBow. For follow-up we will have another Fun Shoot outreach in August, and then we will be starting our first 8-week Centershot ministry starting in September. Several of our members have received their Basic Archery Instructor certification. We believe Centershot will be a vital evangelistic channel in our purpose of exalting God, equipping mentors, and engaging community. It’s so amazing to be on mission and experience the Lord Jesus showing his provision beyond what we could ever ask or imagine. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Chip was called to Hillsdale Baptist Church in March of 2020. He has served churches in Oklahoma and Illinois and also as a missionary with the IMB. Chip and his wife Gail have three grown children and 5 grandchildren. #JULY21

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  • Baptist Beacon

    Telling the story of Michigan Baptists TOP STORIES God has a plan Why am I a Southern Baptist? Centershot event helps Hillsdale church hit a bullseye in their community Don’t quit: how to succeed in ministry COLUMNS an hour ago 3 min Opinions by Tim Patterson PLYMOUTH, MI – Have you noticed that all of the sudden it seems as though everyone has become an "authority" on... an hour ago 3 min Detroit growth by Dr. Tony L.Lynn PLYMOUTH, MI – Wayne Parker, Send City Missionary for Detroit, created an outstanding newsletter and I thought I would... 2 hours ago 3 min Time to re-connect by Coye Bouyer PLYMOUTH, MI – In 2020, churches were forced to move to services on-line and while many of us sat and watched worship in... 2 hours ago 2 min Light it up and shine bright! by Mick Schatz ROSCOMMON, MI – One of my favorite celebrations is July 4th. I love the color, the pageantry and celebrating the fact that... STARTING STORIES Why am I a Southern Baptist? CrossWinds West Side, Spring update Send Detroit Update More STARTING stories… STRENGTHENING STORIES Don’t quit: how to succeed in ministry If God dwells inside of me Three keys to ministry leadership 3 Ways my kids learn scripture The miracle man of Traverse City First Person: It's just not your turn More STRENGTHENING stories… SENDING STORIES Why am I a Southern Baptist? Centershot event helps Hillsdale church hit a bullseye in their community Baby bottle mix-up leads pastor to missionary connection Florida pastor uses BBQ sauce to reach souls CrossWinds West Side, Spring update Punching Holes in the Darkness sits down with Ronnie Floyd about the state of the SBC More SENDING stories… MICHIGAN STORIES God has a plan Why am I a Southern Baptist? Centershot event helps Hillsdale church hit a bullseye in their community Don’t quit: how to succeed in ministry If God dwells inside of me Three keys to ministry leadership But God! One Michigan messenger’s view of the Southern Baptist Convention Detroit pastor Dr. Rochelle Davis Jr. retires Michigan pastors graduate from Southern Seminary Classified Ads CrossWinds West Side, Spring update Punching Holes in the Darkness sits down with Ronnie Floyd about the state of the SBC More MICHIGAN stories… SBC & OTHER STORIES Baby bottle mix-up leads pastor to missionary connection 3 Ways my kids learn scripture But God! One Michigan messenger’s view of the Southern Baptist Convention First-Person: Unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace Punching Holes in the Darkness sits down with Ronnie Floyd about the state of the SBC First Person: It's just not your turn More SBC stories…

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  • June 2016 | Baptist Beacon

    Columns Tim Patterson, Executive Director Antiques Tony Lynn, State Director of Missions Send Me Michigan Mike Durbin, State Director of Evangelism Mulligan! Please reload Other links Archives Classifieds Cooperative Program Giving Report BSCM Calendar of Events Contact Us Submit an Article Download Printable PDF of this issue Social Media SENDING CHURCHES Canada's 'Beast' Wildfire Sends SBDR Into Action College: More Than Education Door-to-Door Evangelism Actually Works Against All Odds Please reload SOUTHERN BAPTIST NEWS NAMB Is Our Friend Abortion Mandate Cases Returned to Lower Court SBC Pastors' Conference Canada's 'Beast' Wildfire Sends SBDR Into Action 'Grand Reopening' Helps Resurrect Church Please reload MICHIGAN BAPTIST NEWS Boot Camp: Learning to Pray Against All Odds College: More Than Education Redemption Church Celebration Around the State: Church Events & Staff Changes Please reload STARTING CHURCHES 'Grand Reopening' Helps Resurrect Church Redemption Church Celebration Please reload STRENGTHENING CHURCHES SBC Pastors' Conference Boot Camp: Learning to Pray A Sober Faith Bi-Vocationally Leading in Today's Church Ministering to and Remembering Those Who Can't Transgenderism Is Growing Ministry Focus Please reload JUNE 2016 Volume 60, Number 6 Download printable PDF file of this issue of the Baptist Beacon 1/3

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