Sunday, January 11, 2009

Acceptable Religion and this Week's Feature from Baptist Press

As my church's AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed) secretary, Christi, and I were talking in the library this morning, she, getting awards ready and, me, not doing very well in getting thoughts together for AWANA Sunday, she told me about a song she loves. One of her sons loaded it on her Ipod for her. As her eyes welled up with tears describing a song that touches her heart, we started talking about getting "real" in our Christianity. I know a lot of people talk about "real" Christianity and they can mean a whole host of things when they say that. The Bible says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world," (James 1:27). That's the verse I usually use as a guide when doing a bit of retrospection in my own life.

The Book of James is my favorite book of the Bible because, I find it the most useful in defining how a Christian should be living their lives everyday. One of my favorite verses is James 1:25, "...the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does." We're supposed to take action on our religion, not keep it retained in our houses, hearts and between walls in a building with a steeple placed prominently on top.

Our pastor keeps referring to a song he likes in his messages, "We've Got to Live our Religion Every Day." I tried to find it on YouTube but it's just not there.

Anyway, the discussion reminded me of what I wanted to post about from Baptist Press (BP) this week, SPLASH people with God's love. It's a new 6 week study. One of the co-authors, Jim Hemphill explained the inspiration for the study in this week's BP featured article:

"I was bathing my grandbaby one day and, by the time I finished, I was wetter than she was. I walked away from that event and the Holy Spirit stopped me and said, 'That's what evangelism ought to look like. You get around Christians who love Me, then you get splashed with living water.'"

SPLASH is an acronym for Show People Love And Share Him. It's a 6 week study of Christ's life on earth and how He demonstrated God's love in every day life, setting an example for how we can demonstrate that love in our ordinary daily life and routines too.

According to the BP article, a SPLASH training seminar was recently held in Nixa, Missouri. Jim Wells, director of missions for the Tri-County Baptist Association in Nixa hosted the author in presenting the training to 64 congregations. The article indicated, "A Sunday night rally this past November drew 360 pastors and church members."

I liked the concept so I thought I'd share it. You can read more about SPLASH at the link to BP.


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