This Sunday Ashland’s church plant in Madison County (Ashland in Madison County) will move to new temporary facilities. 124 South Keeneland RIchmond Ky 40475 Join us at 10 am! And bring someone with you!
Like it or not kid’s are selfish. This is one reason why I’m committed to my kids having to participate in things that force them to come to terms with the reality that the universe doesn’t revolve around them. Playing sports has been this central activity for our family. Walking our boys through the process of learning controlled aggression, teamwork, and failure through competition is something for which my wife and I are abundantly thankful for as parents. This is why I’m disheartened by the practice of not keeping score for fear of harming children’s self-esteem. This trend jeopardizes the basic benefits of competition.
Here he argues for keeping score in youth sport from a biblical perspective.
Sunday night at our Access service in Madison County on the Campus of EKU we began a sermon series through the book of Proverbs. Here are some videos pastor David and I did in preview to the series.
Picture this situation: you have served as pastor of a particular church for less than five years. The church is growing and you think it would be wise to construct a new building… Read the rest of the interview here
2010 World Impact Conference Reflection #1
a key point of reflection for me from the conference was that:
Orphan care must be more organic than programmatic.
- Tools, structures, and resources must be in place for us to be effective at fleshing out our passion to serve vulnerable children. And yet, we must be primarily driven, not by a program, but by the gospel.
Mercy and love are not abstract concepts. They are realities that we experience because of our relationship to the Father. They are what force us to respond to the crisis of the moment for the least of these in society with mercy and love.
The natural and immediate response to the crisis of 145,000,000 vulnerable children in the world has to mercy and love for those who are experiencing mercy and love.
This is why our greatest service to orphans is to continue to preach the gospel in our church, in the world, and in our homes. As we preach Christ and Him crucified to the former and current spiritual orphans among us, we seek to cultivate, not an adoption ministry, but an adoption culture.
For a long-term effective ministry, caring for orphans and widows must not just be something we do. It has to be more of who we are as children of God.
GUEST POST by David E. Prince
Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them. Psalm 115:8
In the verse above the Psalmist provides a warning about idolatry. Those who create idols to worship become like them (lifeless, useless, empty). Whatever you heart relies on, clings to, and trusts for security that is your god/God. If it is not the triune God of the Bible then it is an idol god. There is no neutrality or static middle ground; if you worship an idol you become like the object of your worship.
We become like what we worship. Therefore it is equally true that if we worship the triune God of the Bible as revealed in Jesus Christ we will become like Him. And as John Stott has written, “The God of the Bible is a missionary God” and if we worship Him we will be a missionary people. But one of the primary ways that God describes His work of saving and gathering His people from every tribe, tongue and nation is adoption. The children of God through Jesus (His only Son, John 3:16) are those He gave the right to sonship and now these adopted Sons cry out “Abba, Father” (John 1:12; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:5) with their elder brother, Jesus (Mark 14:36; Hebrews 2:11-12).
Therefore, since we become like what we worship, we must be a missionary people who preach the Gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation and we must also be a people picture that Gospel among every tribe, tongue, and nation through adoption.
What God has joined together let no man separate.
GUEST POST: by David E. Prince
“I thought you said you were having a Mission Conference?” That is not an unusual reaction when people find out that responding to the global orphan crisis through adoption is the topic of our 2010 Mission Conference. The adoption of orphans and the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are completely distinct categories in the mind of many evangelical Christians.
The adoption of orphans is a good thing that we are glad some people are involved in but glorifying God through the Great Commission is the central task of all followers of Jesus Christ. Such a view ignores the fact that the Scripture describes the unfolding of the Great Commission as God’s work of adoption (Romans 8:15; 23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). As J.I. Packer so powerfully stated in Knowing God, “adoption is the highest privilege of the Gospel.” We are not only declared righteous in a legal sense in the Gospel we are also totally embraced in the family of God with a new identity and inheritance.
Human families exist because they are a reflection of the eternal Fatherhood of God and His plan for the eternal Son to be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 2:11-18). These brothers in the family of God were not born into His family but they are those who by grace “He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:13). They are the adopted children of God. We look to God as Father to understand and define the role of earthly Fathers and as we live with earthly fathers we better understand His perfect fatherly provision in our lives.
Consider how Jesus reasons when He calls for His followers to forgive others their trespasses and for those who refuse to forgive others He warns “neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). This plea and warning do not provide a plan for justification by forgiveness but assert the direct relationship between being forgiven by God and forgiving others. Jesus points to the reciprocal relationship between the forgiveness He provides in the Gospel and the forgiveness of the flesh and blood people we rub shoulders with every day. According to Jesus, it is nonsensical for someone who has been eternally forgiven to refuse to forgive.
This reciprocal relationship is the way it always works with Christian living and why the believer never moves past the Gospel. Thus, it is nonsensical for those who were spiritual orphans and have been adopted into the family of God through the atoning blood of Jesus to refuse to be involved in the adoption of the millions of physical orphans in the world today. When we understand this it becomes clear why James refers to rescuing orphans as “Religion that is pure and undefiled” (James 1:27). Not all Christians will or should become adoptive parents but all Christians must be involved in seeing orphans adopted into families and look into the face of an earthly abba, father who will tell them about the Abba, Father and His eternal Son.
As my friend Russell Moore has said, “The Great Commission is a call to spiritual warfare not a public relations campaign.” The same is true for adoption. Christian adoption is not simply a nice thing for kind, charity-minded people. Living the Gospel in the world by adopting orphans is spiritual warfare and Satan hates it because it cannot be severed from the Great Commission. Adoption is a fundamental aspect of the battle against the principalities and powers who hate the Gospel. When we can ignore the cries of the millions of orphans in the world we are not simply saying something about our charity but about our missiology.
“I thought you said you were having a Mission Conference?”
“We are, we really are.”
On August 20th we will be hosting an Adoption Awareness Luncheon at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. The purpose of the Luncheon is to connect with adoptive families, adoption and orphan care ministries, as well as, church leaders in the Lexington – Louisville metro areas. We are privileged to have Rosalynn Robb of Rosalynn’s Hope join us for the Luncheon. Rosalynn’s Hope is the adoption ministry named after her at 9th and 0 Baptist Church in Louisville Kentucky.
Rosalynn has been able to visit the place she was born and reflect on the grace God has provided her in adoption. And yet, she understands that the greatest gift an orphan can ever received is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Having previously seen fatherless children in three different orphanages, I saw what matters to them: they long for, and dream of, a family of their own. They desire to have a sense of belonging, and they anxiously wait to receive the love of a mom and dad. As believers we have the ability to give more than temporal gifts. The greatest gift we can ever share with them is the gospel. We can be instruments of grace and hope to the millions of children who have no place to call home
I hope you will plan on hearing from Rosalynn firsthand at our Luncheon on August 20th.
Read Rosalynn’s story here
You can hear her testimony here
Ashland Avenue Baptist Church
August 20, 2010
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Free Chickfila Lunch
AABC is committed to serving the 145 million children around the world who right now are languishing in abandonment. This is why we want to connect our church family with others in our community who are passionate about caring for orphans.
On August 20, 2010, we are hosting an Adoption Awareness Luncheon. If you are family who has adopted or who is looking into adoption, we want you to join us. If you want to know how your church can be more effective in ministering to orphans, we want to meet you. Or maybe you are involved with an organization who helps to assist families and churches in adoption and orphan care. If so, we would love for you to join us as well.
Our prayer is that this lunch will help to increase the network of people in our community who are concerned about serving the fatherless around the world.
The lunch will include a special testimony about God’s grace in adoption along with a discussion, “Creating An Adoption Culture In Your Church.” The discussion will be led by Pastor David Prince and myself.
For more information call 8592664341 or email me here
visit ashlandbaptistchurch.org to rsvp
(this is a picture of issac and jonah 1 year ago. we sent them atlanta braves hats while they were still in ethiopia)
We began the process of adopting two boys from Ethiopia nearly 14 months ago. Because my two older boys love baseball and spend just about every day of their spring and summer on a baseball diamond, I was consistently asked, “Are your new sons going to play baseball?”
For some, this was just a question to communicate their excitement about our family’s adoption. But for others, there was a suspicion that maybe Isaac and Jonah, would be treated differently. My response was always, ” They are my sons aren’t they? Then they’ll play baseball.”
Neither, Isaac or Jonah, have ever touched the dirt of a baseball diamond. And yet, they already love the game. Why? Because I love the game! Isaac already states emphatically that Chipper Jones is his favorite baseball player. (He stares up at a Chipper Jones fathead each night as he goes to sleep!) He even knows a few things about Hammering Hank Aaron. His number this season will be #44 just like his older brothers.
Baseball is apart of my life. It’s a staple in my family. Isaac and Jonah really are my sons. Therefore, they really will be baseball freaks. (And just like their great granddad taught me to do they will always cheer for America’s team.) And it goes much deeper than even this.
My pastor and mentor, David Prince, is also known for his love for baseball. In a recent article for Baptist Press, he explains how baseball provides the perfect context for fathers to teach their sons the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Understanding this concept, I cannot help but be excited about spring and what it will mean for all four of my sons.
My friend Pastor Jason Thompson has also written a post explaining why baseball helps him connect with his sons who were just adopted.