First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Please pray for our brothers and sisters at Zarephath Christian Church in Somerset NJ. They had 14 feet of water covering the campus of their church, day care center, and Christian college earlier this week. They have lots of cleaning up to do before they get back to normal.
If you can help out financially it would be a great blessing to them. Go to their website to learn more.
Peace, Pastor Bill
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Maxine is our oldest member at 95, and she is doing remarkably well. However, her house has a tree on it. Fortunately she told me she has insurance and her children live nearby and take good care of her.
If Maxine, or anyone else, needs help from the wider community, I’ll let you all know.
Please pray for Miss Maxine and everyone else effected by the hurricane.
God bless you,
Monday, August 29, 2011
At least six inches of rain hit Rahway Saturday into Sunday. Lots of flooding and some areas without power. The church did ok, with some water in the basement. We got a call from the city asking us to cancel worship on Sunday. We've had many storms and blizzards, but never has the city called and asked us to shut down! We are having Sunday worship this week on Wednesday, 7PM.
Hope you all fared well.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friends, it is predicted that we will get 8 inches of rain by the end of Sunday from Hurricane Irene. We are rescheduling our Sunday morning worship service to Wednesday evening 7PM. The afternoon Telugu service is cancelled for this week.
I’ll keep you updated on our status during the storm. Rahway has had major floods during storms like this, so I’m sure sections of the town will be a mess.
Please pray for us and pray for everyone in the path of Irene.
God bless you,
(the above picture is the football field in Rahway, after a flood in 2008)
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Google Apps is a program to help businesses with their Internet Marketing. It has some very good applications. They have a program for nonprofits, Google for nonprofits, which a friend told me about. It looked good to me so I signed up for it on behalf of the church. They rejected us. Google does not accommodate churches in their not-for-profit program. Below is from Google’s guidelines.
The following organizations are not eligible for Google for Nonprofits:
Commercial / Goods and Services
· Car, boat and real estate donation websites
· Websites with a primary focus on selling goods, products or services
· Consumer credit counseling
Communities and Groups
· Programs requiring membership and/or providing benefit solely to members, such as clubs, sports teams, alumni, networking and other membership organizations
· Religious content or proselytizing on website as well as organizations that use religion or sexual orientation as factor in hiring or populations served
· Groups serving a primarily political function such as lobbying, think tanks and special interests
· Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions, and universities, unless the organization’s sole (entire) purpose entails serving a disadvantaged community (e.g., the blind, hearing impaired, low-income members, etc.) or the organization is a philanthropic arm of a school (e.g. research programs)
· Places or institutions of worship (e.g., churches, ministries, temples, synagogues)
Any ideas on why this policy exists?
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My son Edward is living and working at a field station in El Yunque, a tropical rain forest in Puerto Rico. Below is his report after Hurricane Irene hit the island. So far, he is well, but he still has not been able to travel out of El Yunque because downed trees cover the roadway.
Hey everyone. So my e-mail is down, and I can't get onto Facebook to let you know that we are all okay here at the field station. We lost power Sunday evening and are still without, but thanks to our generator, we are one of the only locations on the island with electricity. It got a little crazy up here, the wind, the rain (so much rain!), and the trees; it got a little crazy up here. Let's start from the beginning.
Now, I didn't know about Tropical Storm Irene until probably Saturday night, when we all started talking about how it's probably a bad idea for us to try to hike El Torro the next day with a hurricane coming. So we opted out of hiking in exchange for building a pillow/blanket fort in the conference room. We thought it was the safest thing we could do during a hurricane. Also, by mid day on Sunday, Irene was still a tropical storm and was set to make landfall here in PR late Sunday night. We literally hung out in the fort all day Sunday, we ate dinner there, and watched Gladiator there too. We still had power when we went to sleep Sunday night, but we figured that was going to change. It had been raining since early afternoon, and the wind was really picking up by then. We also knew that UPR had closed down for Monday, and told everyone to stay indoors and not to try to go to work, so we had Monday off. When we woke up Monday, there was no power, branches were down in the parking lot, debris everywhere, but it didn't look too bad. I turned on the generator so we could keep the fridges cold, and so we could see if the internet was down, which it was. I wanted to see the what happened in the night to the surrounding area, so Rachel, Seth, and I went out to see what the damage was. Well, we didn't have to walk far, nor did we want to. The storm was sill happening around us, rain and crazy wind, but we wanted to see if people could get to us if anything happened. They couldn't. There was a tree down in our driveway, but many more on the roads outside it. The Sonadora River was cresting over the bridge lower down the mountain, and there was a landslide further up the mountain near the Espiritu Santo river, and there was of course the downed trees everywhere, it was crazy. The water flow on these rivers was insane, more power then I have ever seen coming from a river. It was intense. We headed back, and hunkered down inside because the storm wasn't over. The rest of the island was still black, Fajardo was flooded, all of the traffic lights are down, and people can't get anywhere. It's Tuesday, people are still stuck, and we don't know how long we will be without power. The Hurricane was a Cat 2 by the time it left the island and looks like it will be a Cat 4 by the time it reaches the Eastern side of Florida. Pray for Florida everyone.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
With more than 40 canteens (mobile kitchens), shower trailers, field kitchens, and additional logistics equipment across the state, The Florida Division of The Salvation Army is taking Hurricane Irene very seriously. Currently models are showing a significant impact from Palm Beach County stretching to the Florida-Georgia border. While the forecast keeps the eye of the storm just off the coast, there is a significant possibility that as it moves north, Hurricane Irene will produce severe storms and possibly numerous tornado warnings and potential flooding.
At this time these mobile kitchens that are strategically placed around Florida are gearing up to support a response along the east coast. If Irene passes without significant damage in Florida, the units will be available to support our neighboring states from Georgia to North Carolina. This morning Director Kevin Smith spoke with the Georgia Divisional Director pledging support should they need it. “The reality is, if a storm that makes landfall from Jacksonville to Savannah, we will work together to meet the needs of Hurricane survivors and responders.” Smith said.
It has been since 1964 when Hurricane Dora made landfall in the Jacksonville-Savannah area. “We know that in cases like this many of the population tend to think they are not vulnerable to the impacts of a hurricane.” Smith reiterates, “This is the reason we see so many unprepared when the storm actually makes landfall.”
In 2004 there were many residents in St. Lucie County, Florida that felt the same way. Yet three weeks later they were reeling from the impacts of two Hurricanes. Many people found themselves needing life sustaining support because they believed they were invulnerable and did not prepare. The Salvation Army is asking residents of the entire east coast of Florida to be ready, get a plan, and know your options. Critical decisions need to be made now, not in the middle of the storm.
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.
Monday, August 22, 2011
From Samaritan’s Purse
As famine spreads across the Horn of Africa, Samaritan's Purse is supplying food and other aid to thousands of hungry families and malnourished children.
More than 12 million people are in urgent need of food, water, and medical care in drought-stricken Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. Experts estimate that starvation and related diseases have already claimed the lives of over 29,000 children under age five. The United Nations is calling the crisis "the world's worst humanitarian disaster.”
Samaritan’s Purse has a team based in Garissa, Kenya, along the Somalia border, where we are distributing tons of maize, beans, corn-soy blend, cooking oil, and other necessities.
Our team—which includes experts in nutrition, healthcare, water, and sanitation—is reporting that these are some of the harshest conditions they ever have encountered.
“We drove to a local cattle market, and dead animals could be seen all along the road,” a staff member said. “At the market we spoke with local residents who said this is the worst drought they have experienced in living memory. They made a point to mention that ‘even the older generation has never seen a drought this bad.’ Many of the rural residents are flocking to town because of a lack of water and their diminishing animals stocks. At the market, there were several animals writhing on the ground, left to die because they were so badly off.”
Our emergency response includes plans to implement therapeutic care and supplemental feeding programs for malnourished children. In coordination with our local partners, we have identified sites for food distributions and therapeutic nutritional interventions.
In addition, Samaritan's Purse has launched a cash-for-work program in several villages. We are paying people to build latrines, which will help with health and hygiene conditions while providing some income in these poverty-stricken communities.
"If they are in desperate need, they can use the cash for food, but they can also use it for healthcare or other necessities," said Ruco Van Der Merwe, team leader for the response.
Clean water is another dire need. In some areas, only 20 percent of the families have access to safe drinking water. Many people are now forced to walk miles to reach a water source. As populations are shifting toward areas with better access to water, community resources are being severely strained. Our team is using tanker trucks to haul water to vulnerable villages while we identify longer-term solutions such as drilling boreholes.
“Water is such an issue,” said Zeke Rhodes, program officer. “We see women in the middle of nowhere waving their jerry cans, asking for water. It’s not unusual for people to walk 10-15 miles for water.”
The crisis in the Horn of Africa was brought on by two years of drought that is the worst in 60 years. Massive crop failure and loss of livestock have led to extreme food shortages in a region straddling Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia—a region that has been labeled the “triangle of death.”
As a result, hundreds of thousands of people without food and water have fled to makeshift camps in eastern Kenya looking for emergency aid. Many of the displaced are refugees from neighboring Somalia, who left their war-torn country in hopes of finding help over the border. Much of Somalia is controlled by a militant group, affiliated with al Qaeda, that has denied that a food shortage exists and threatened to maintain their ban on food aid.
“We saw a family with a donkey cart. It was a father and mother, an infant, and two daughters,” Rhodes said. “The girls were in bad shape, emaciated, but still able to walk. It was kind of a glimpse at the journey they’ve taken over the last couple of months. They’ve come a long way, and they’re going to a camp of half-a-million people in some of the most harsh environments you could imagine. It was very sobering.”
The camps in Kenya are overcrowded, and resources are stretched beyond capacity. Conditions aren’t much better outside the camps. Samaritan’s Purse church partners are finding households facing dire shortages of food and water.
Some of the worst hit counties include Wajir and Garissa, areas considered the focal point of the Somalia refugee influx. In these areas, particularly where Samaritan’s Purse partners are involved, there is limited government assistance and little help from other agencies.
Please pray for the people impacted by malnutrition and starvation, for our staff and church partners as they respond in the Name of Christ, that the conditions that are causing this catastrophic food shortage will end, and for God's help in meeting the overwhelming needs of the region.
If you want to help…
Friday, August 19, 2011
I nice version done with a slide guitar.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
In this writing I hope that I can give a reasonable answer to the eternal question; why does God cause disasters? A recent article found in Christian Chronicle quotes people asking this question in Japan while cleaning up after the earthquake and tsunami. Lots of theologians have attempted to answer this question, but there is also a geological answer that you may not be aware of. If not for earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, life on Earth wouldn’t exist. Let me explain.
Earth is located at just the right distance from the Sun to sustain life. Venus is a little too close and so the surface is too hot. Mars is also within the habitable zone and could have abundant life on it as well, but doesn’t. Why not? The answer has to do with Earth’s molten core and the lack of one on Mars.
Earth’s core is mostly iron, and is heated through pressure and radioactivity. We have lots of uranium inside our world, and that keeps the core of our planet good and hot. The heat and pressure causes the molten iron to move around a lot, called convection. When molecules get hot they expand and move away from each other. That movement of massive amounts of metal causes several beneficial occurrences. First, early planetary volcanism filled our atmosphere with carbon dioxide. Being a greenhouse gas it warmed up our world and laid the foundation for plant life to use the carbon as food and spew out the oxygen as a byproduct. We in turn, benefit from the spewed out oxygen. The second outcome of a molten metallic core is our magnetic field. The earth is surrounded by a very large and powerful magnetic field that blocks much of the radiation aimed at our planet from the Sun. Without our magnetic field, the radiation falling on our planet wouldn’t just give us a sun burn, but would be too deadly for any life to eke out a sad little existence. The solar wind that the sun produces would also interact with our atmosphere and push the molecules in it away from our planet. In other words, no more atmosphere. Sadly this is what happened to Mars.
Our red neighbor is much smaller than Earth. As a result, the radioactive elements in its core were not sufficient to keep the core molten. At one time in the distant past, Mars had a molten core, because there are dead volcanoes on the surface. At one time Mars had an atmosphere similar to ours, because there are signs of dead rivers and lakes on the surface. Unfortunately, by the time we came along, the core has cooled down and the magnetic field has disappeared. The atmosphere that sustained flowing water on the surface was blown away by the solar wind and the planet has become the home of deserts, dust storms and NASA rovers.
Since we don’t want to end up as thirsty sun burned Martians, we need our molten metal core to keep producing our protective magnetic field which keeps our life sustaining atmosphere intact. But our life sustaining molten metal core means earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis. Shake your fist at God when natural disasters strike, but without the planetary forces that cause these problems, we wouldn’t be here to complain.
Which leaves the question, why did God make it this way in the first place? I will give you my two simple answers for this. First, because it works. The forces of the cosmos are perfectly balanced to allow us to exist on this wonderful world. But the same forces that give us life are also very destructive. So even though we live on the edge of a knife, the system works brilliantly. Second, if you believe in God and if you believe that God has an eternal plan for you, it all makes perfect sense. For those of us with faith, our lives here are just a small part of the eternal universe adventure that God has in store for us. If an earthquake causes my house to fall in on me, I will continue to live on in the ever expanding cosmos. Hopefully someday I will truly see all of the good that comes from the bad, and understand God’s plan more than I can today. In the meantime, I thank God everyday for this incredible creation and the precise design that makes my life and yours possible.
God bless you,
Pastor Bill Whitehead
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The DreamCenter in Los Angeles
Los Angeles County has the highest number of children in foster care with approximately 25,000. 60 percent of these children were removed from their homes and separated from loving parents whose only infraction was extreme poverty.
Since 2008, Project Prevention has reunited over 80 families and kept nearly 250 families in tact by providing the necessary items – ranging from appliances and furniture to cleaning supplies and food – to assure that homes with minor children meet the requirements of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. Most recently, The Dream Center’s Project Prevention established a visitation center at Angelus Temple’s Kidz Dream Zone so parents that are in the process of having their children returned to them can have scheduled supervised visitation. Project Prevention staff also coordinates the training of volunteers who wish to give their time as visitation monitors.
To learn more…
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Betsy and I will be joining our Telugu friends on Madison Ave. in Manhattan this Sunday for the India Independence Day Parade. We will be handing out Christian Tracts with the only Christian Float in the parade. Check out the video below for a glimpse of last year’s parade.
Enter video caption here
Monday, August 15, 2011
Betsy and I returned from vacation to the Outer Banks of NC, Williamsburg VA, and Reading PA. A wonderful and restful trip.
View from our campsite on the Outer Banks.
Fife and Drum Corps at Colonial Williamsburg.
Bill and Betsy at French Creek State Park, PA.
The Edison Museum in West Orange NJ
View from our campsite on the Outer Banks.
Fife and Drum Corps at Colonial Williamsburg.
Bill and Betsy at French Creek State Park, PA.
The Edison Museum in West Orange NJ