I told my wife Betsy, I'd never go back. But God has a sense of humor.
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.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
We’ve been working on a ministry to a local Nursing Home. It consists of singing hymns and visiting with the residents. As usual we’ve had some bumps in the road. When you say yes to doing God’s work in the world there is no promise from God that it will be easy. I can definitely testify that this is the case.
Please pray for our mission and our church today. And thank you for all of your prayers in the past.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
While Health Care is argued on Capitol Hill, Christians in Arlington Texas are reaching out to those in need. Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex operates a variety of ministries which relate to the physical and emotional well-being of people.
Allan Saxe Dental ClinicMission Arlington/Mission Metroplex operates the Allan Saxe Dental Clinic at our main offices, offering patients dental care free of charge. The clinic provides care for patients beyond the initial visit with regularly scheduled appointments.
Dr. Bob Mann Medical ClinicMedical: Our free-of-charge Medical Clinic provides quality health care, sample medications and help with prescriptions as well as providing medical education to promote long-term health. The clinic also provides assistance to patients with accessing available community health care programs.
Vision: Volunteer doctors provide free eye exams as well as providing free or low-cost prescription glasses to people who cannot otherwise afford them.
Counseling ServicesLocal counselors volunteer their time and resources to help families, individuals, and children who cannot afford the counseling necessary during a healing process.
Personal Medical EquipmentThe Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex Medical Equipment Closet loans out durable medical equipment to those in need. There is no charge for the equipment, and it is loaned out for as long as the individual needs it.
To learn more…
Monday, March 26, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Lacking inspiration today, I have decided to reprise my Easter Rant. Many things about this holiday need fixing. And if everyone listens to me, I will be happy and that is what counts. Enjoy.
In 325 AD a group of Christian leaders got together in a room and tried to settle, among other things, the Easter mess. It was a mess because people around the world were setting the date of Easter on different days of the week and at different times during the spring season. The work the council did lead to a fix. But I think right now we need to get everyone together in room and fix the fix, as well as some other things surrounding modern Easter.
Every year the date of Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. Did you understand that – because I don’t. But it gets worse. The church has fixed the equinox to March 21st. However, the real equinox can be a day before or a day after. And so if the real equinox and the full moon is March 20th, then that’s not the full moon the church uses to set Easter. It will be the next one later in April. I think this system is dumb and does not work in the modern world. We have to get together and fix the date to the second Sunday of April so I don’t have to figure out when it is every year.
Speaking of change, what is with the bunny rabbit? This symbol of fertility and the rebirth of the world in springtime came from German immigrants and became very popular after the civil war. I don’t know about you but I don’t see any rabbits procreating around my home in the spring or any other time of the year. So I propose that we change the symbol of Easter to the mosquito. As soon as spring comes they come and as far as procreating rabbits can’t hold a candle to them. What do you say? Let’s get together and talk.
Why do we give kids candy during Easter? My kids get hyper, lose their teeth, and fight over the big chocolate bunny. Other than aggravation, what do I get out of it? We need to get together in a room and decide to give the kids something useful. Like turkeys and hams. A great gift that lowers my food bill.
And finally we should do something about the name. The word Easter has German roots. Estre was the goddess of the rising light of day. Brought to England by the Saxons the word was applied to the Christian holiday. But this is not what Easter is about. It is the day that celebrates the hope of a new life that will extend into eternity. It is the day that Christians all around the world believe is the sure sign that there is more to this life than daily struggles. We believe Jesus rose from the dead and promised that we would do the same. The name Easter should be changed to Resurrection Day.
And so some changes need to be made. We should get together in a room somewhere and fix these things, as well as a few other minor problems like world peace, eliminating hunger and poverty – stuff like that. Now I think I will go and arrange to get at that chocolate bunny before the kids do.
Happy Resurrection Day
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I want to keep you informed concerning Eric LeGrand's progress. For those who have not heard his story before, he is a young man from a town next to Rahway who was paralyzed in a Rutgers football game a the fall of 2010. He has made steady progress and is currently sitting up in a chair without aid. Below is his latest upbeat message from Twitter (@EricLeGrand52).
"These back muscles continue to get stronger every day. Now I need to get some nerve flow to my abs so I can do some situps for the summer"
Please pray for Eric and ask God for a miracle. We want to see him walk again!
Peace, Pastor Bill
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
In a March 7 press release posted on the American Center for Law and Justice Web site, Iran says there is no death sentence on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.
The release was made available to the ACLJ by Department of the Press, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In it, the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran at Brasilia not only denies the report, but also states: "Article 13 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes followers of major Heavenly religions, including Christians, as religious minorities, accepting and assuring their rights as religious citizens." According to this Article, they are free to hold services and religious teachings and to practice civil rights based in their background.
Read More from Mission Network News…
Keep praying for Pastor Youcef who is imprisoned in Iran for his faith, and his family.
Monday, March 19, 2012
In 1832 three separate villages occupied the ground where the City of Rahway now stands. They were divided from each other by the three branches of the Rahway River and undrained meadows. The Rahway River also was the boundary between the counties of Essex and Middlesex. The northern most village situated in Essex County was called Upper Rahway. The other two villages lying south of the river in Middlesex County were Milton and Bridgetown, also called Lower Rahway.
Early in 1933, thirteen people united in adopting articles of faith and organized themselves into The First Baptist Church of Rahway. These Constitute members were:
Susan Bartow Mary Cox Mary Day Ezra Frazee Huldah Frazee Mary Frazee
Rhoda Laing William Marsh Frances Moore Sarah Mundy Mary Osborn Sarah Ross
Shortly after the organization of the church they took steps toward the erection of a house of worship. The building was located in downtown Rahway on Milton Ave. near the intersection with Second St. which is now known as Irving St.
Here is a description of Rahway from 1834. The town consists of from 350 – 400 houses, population about 3,000. Stores of various kinds, taverns, public buildings and churches. One Academy called the Athenian, another called the Boarding School. Six other schools were located in the town. One bank, a post office, a newspaper office, an incorporated fire engine company and a mutual insurance company. There is a railroad from Jersey City to New Brunswick that passes through the town. Five vessels dock in Rahway, two leave to New York each day.
To be continued…
Friday, March 16, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Please pray for our Indian Telugu service as we continue to minister to Indian immigrants in the New York / New Jersey area.
Also, pray for Christians in India who continue to be persecuted for their faith. The following is from www.persecution.com
Christian groups are reviled by Hindu extremist groups in India, who see Christian evangelistic efforts as undermining the Hindu-based caste system. Violence against Christians continues at an alarming rate. Persecution comes in the form of beatings, murders, imprisonments, church demolitions, destruction of property and Bible burnings. Perpetrators are rarely charged with these crimes. Most of the violence is initiated by the 30 Hindu nationalist organizations that subscribe to an extremist ideology called Hindutva, which advocates the expulsion of non-Hindus from India. Six Indian states have laws against coerced religious conversion that are often used against Christians. The “anti-conversion” laws impose prison terms and hefty fines on anyone who converts Indians by force, fraud or allurement. On March 28, 2011, 16 new Christian converts were arrested in Odisha (formerly Orissa) state for converting to Christianity without a permit.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
For 20 years,northern Uganda was one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a child. There, a man named Joseph Kony and his commandoes have wreaked havoc on an entire generation of children. Joseph Kony can only be described as one of the worst incarnations of evil the earth has seen. Claiming to receive his directions from angels, one of whom was associated with Idi Amin, Kony has named his guerilla troops the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The "lord" he serves is certainly not the Lord Jesus Christ, and no one is clear who or what he is resisting. He claims to be fighting to bring down the Ugandan government of Museveni and claims to be fighting for the Acholi tribesmen of the north who were neglected under colonial rule. The truth is, he has just as often been found attacking the Acholi as anyone else. His attacks have shown no discernible pattern of reason and can only be described as brutal and devastating.
At long last, in recent years Kony and his cohorts have moved out of Uganda, allowing the land to begin rebuilding at last. Good news for Uganda, but terrible news for neighboring DR Congo and South Sudan, because he has only moved his terror to those unhappy lands.
Stealing from children--their families, their hopes, their futureThe LRA has kidnapped about 30,000 children in northern Uganda. Kony's main generals are almost all children kidnapped and trained by his forces. Coercing a child to become a combat soldier is bad enough. Kony's tactics go well beyond that. To toughen up the children, break their bonds with family and society, and to tie their consciences and their hopes to him alone, Kony usually forces children to kill or maim family members or other kidnapped children soon after capture. He then tells them that since they have done such atrocious things, they can never be forgiven or accepted again by society. Their only hope is now with him. Kidnapped children are marched for a week or more without food into his training camps in southern Sudan. Denied water, they are forced to drink muddy ground water or urine in order to survive. There they are trained to shoot, cut off lips, noses and limbs, and to accept the word of their commanders without question. They are then sent out to spread the kind of terror they themselves experienced.
The "Invisible Children" or Night Commuters
His forces usually strike at night in small villages, so for years it was unsafe for any child in northern Uganda to sleep with his family. Tens of thousands of children began "night commuting", walking for hours into towns. The fortunate ones crowd into shelters provided by Christian and humanitarian agencies, where they lay back-to-back like sardines in a can. Some of the agencies enclosed their shelters with razor wire and provided armed guards. The unfortunate children had to sleep on the street. There, many of them were subject to theft, beating, and rape, but none of these are as bad as being inducted into the LRA. These "night commuters" were called "invisible children" because when night falls, they seemed to appear in droves in the cities, as if from nowhere. Thank God that with the peace of the last few years, former night commuters now sleep with their own families once again.
Read More from Every Child Ministries…
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
by James Purcell Jr.
It isn't fair to judge the chill of a Nebraska night by an ordinary gauge. Even if it were 40 degrees in early March there is still a quality to the night that grabs onto bones through layered clothes and wraps itself around them, chilling the bones' owner until he or she would shake uncontrollably.
Lincoln is a bustling place by day, but it has its homeless wandering the Downtown, along O Street, here and there. They might be mistaken for mountain men come down from the high air in Colorado. Their eyes are fixed and their hair and beards are wild. They shuffle with vacant eyes, mostly not begging but just milling about among passers by with their 1,000-yard stares. Often I think these men may have crossed some unseen meridian and we walk among them unseen as they travel through some world I cannot see. Maybe it is a world where they are not cold, or hungry, and can ignore the blast of the Great Plains' nightly torrent. In the morning, most have survived and some have not.
And then there are the others, who have not taken to the streets yet or who have just left the confines of indoor living in an early foray into their homelessness. One of the last tethers of hope for these people are the day labor jobs that can be found from the town's two big employment agencies.
I signed up with one, which promised back-breaking work and little pay for long hours and outdoor conditions. The brickyard was a favorite spot for labor. Brickyards need lots of labor -- lots of day labor. One might draw pulling bricks off the assembly line after they are broken up by machine, or quality controlling the bricks to be packaged, or packaging or -- breaking up the bricks that were found wanting from the sorting process. And, those bricks were broken up the old-fashioned way, by sledge hammer. To the naked eye, the 25 or so men sent from the employment agency might just as well have been a prison road gang off to do its chores under the tight control of uniformed officers. What was lacking were the orange jumpsuits, the supervisors wearing uniforms or guns. But then again, the brickyard supervisors didn't need guns because they had something much more important to hold over these men.
Of the 25 or so day laborers they received everyday, there were at least a half-dozen already turned out and living in the small woods just behind the employment agency, where day help received their assignments for the brickyard. Others slept in the deeper woods, huddled in nothing but a good jacket, jeans and work boots. I was one of those still lucky enough to have a car before it would be repossessed in a week or so. Hence, the boss at the employment agency told me to "take two men with you and I'll give you $3 at the end of the day. But, you best be takin' those men, ya hear!?"
'Yes, sir.' I needed the money as much as anyone and was willing to endure whatever I had to in order to just get through the day and live inside.
The $70 from today would go far. I could have meat with my meal. Maybe I could get warm gloves and put a few dollars away for my trip back to New Jersey in a few days. My two charges opened their doors and got in the car. Both had been living outside overnight. The fellow in the backseat, Joey, called out in the middle of the silent ride: "That bitch threw me out for nothing. I can't live in a field. I'm going to die out there."
He might. It could happen. It wouldn't be the first time. It sure wouldn't be the last. What happened if it got legitimately cold out? Joey's Thinsulate jacket wasn't going to do much against 25 degrees with either rain, hail or snow atop it. His eyes were gaunt and wide with fear. I cannot imagine what he felt like after his night's sleep, or how he could propel himself forward to come back for a day's wage at the brickyard.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The American Center for Law and Justice's sources in Iran confirmed Saturday that Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is in fact alive, and rumors that he was to be executed over the weekend were false.
Photos surfaced on the Internet Saturday, allegedly showing a blindfolded Nadarkhani facing execution by hanging. These photos are outdated and false, the ACLJ reported Saturday.
Although Nadarkhani is still alive, the ACLJ does still believe that Iranian courts have issued an execution order. In the past, Iran has not informed the public of an execution, oftentimes dropping the prisoner's executed body on the family's doorstep.
Keep Praying for Pastor Youcef and his family. Thank You!!!!
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
A frontier mission strategist who worked among Muslims in the Philippines for ten years weighed in on the debate over the controversial Camel method of reaching Muslims, calling it “very useful.”
The Camel method uses a legend from Islam to introduce Jesus to Muslims. The legend says every good Muslim knows 99 names for Allah, but the 100th name was only revealed to the camel. Users of the method then say the 100th name is Jesus, or in Arabic “Isa.” Muslims are then pointed to verses in the Quran that shows Isa is holy, has power over death, and knows the path to heaven. Afterwards, the person sharing about Jesus connects the Islamic feast of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, with God’s plan of salvation for mankind.
International Mission Board strategist Kevin Greeson developed the Camel method after working among Muslims for several years without success. The IMB is the mission arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest protestant denomination in the United States. Greeson says the method treats Muslims with respect while challenging them to confront their own sacred writings as a bridge to the Good News revealed in the Bible.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Why is the sky blue? It’s a simple question, but it has messed me up for years. I have heard so many explanations; light passing through water molecules, light reflecting off of nitrogen or oxygen or something. I have finally found out the correct explanation, and I now realize that I was approaching the question from the wrong angle. I had always assumed that it was a particular particle in the atmosphere that caused the effect. Instead, blue sky is caused by the frequency of the blue part of the spectrum of light. The resonance frequency of blue light causes the light waves to deflect off of everything in the atmosphere; oxygen, nitrogen, dust, pollution, and scatters the light waves in every direction causing the blue sky effect. And so it was the direction of my thinking that caused me to look at this problem in the wrong way. Instead of coming at the problem by looking at particles, I needed to look at the frequency of light waves.
In the same way, many people are not looking at the assumed problems between science and religion from the correct direction. Most of us assume that science and religion can come together with some kind of shared experience. In the world of science, shared experience is through experimentation that can be duplicated by other scientists. Several friends are going to help me make a telescope mirror. If I don’t mess things up, the mirror should turn out the same as the mirrors that they have made. Thus science is experiential; we can all experience the same things. If the formula or experiment works once, then anyone can repeat it and it should work every time.
Religion is experiential as well, but in a completely different way. Jesus said; “The Kingdom of God is within you” Luke 17:21. People of faith experience God’s presence. God talks with me and I talk to Him. There is no other way to explain it. And therefore, experiencing God in a real and personal way is at the core of religion. People of faith can verbally share their experiences with God, but no one can duplicate an individual’s personal spiritual relationship. There are no formulas or experiments that can be performed over and over. And so though both science and religion are experiential, they are profoundly different.
Scientists and religionists are trying to understand one another through dialogue. But most of the current dialogue approaches the subject from the wrong direction. Too often religionists are trying to create a proof of religious experience. They try to create an argument or some kind of model that will sway the audience to their side. Since there are no experiments or formulas that can be repeated by others, these attempts to prove religious experience fail. Scientists also fail to win over the religious audience. That is because they argue for proof through shared experience, like experiments. But no one can experience God in the unique and personal way that each person of faith does. I know that God is with me right now. I can’t prove it, but I don’t have to.
Both sides of the debate need to approach science and religion from the correct angles. Science is based upon shared experience. Religion is based upon personal experience. It’s as simple as understanding why the sky is blue.
God bless you,