From The Baptist Testimony – Volume 59 Number 2 Second Quarter 2013
Summertime in Michigan is typically a time identified by phrases such as “change of pace,” “vacation get-away,” “cabins and cottages,” “weekend camping,” and “heading up north.” Who hasn’t heard Tim Allen’s narration along with the background of soothing music and stopped to see which wonderful scenic views from around Michigan will be shown in the next segment of the tourism advertisements titled “Pure Michigan?” The emphasis of the campaign seems to focus upon opportunities for refreshment and renewal.
Summertime “change of pace” for those in the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches can be summarized by labels such as Daily Vacation Bible School, outreach events, All-Church picnics, summer camp, weekend retreats, CPR projects, short-term missions trips, and other specialized ministries.
We learn from God’s Word that the most meaningful refreshment and renewal do not come from that which benefits a person physically. If that were the case, some of the most significant stories and statements from the Bible would be irrelevant. This would include the majority of the Psalms, the statements and examples of Jesus and His Apostles, and the encouragement to live by faith in Hebrews 11:1-12:3. Paul the Apostle notes this important principle in 2 Corinthians 4:16 – “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”
Renewal is further defined scripturally as a spiritual emphasis: “renew a steadfast spirit in me” (Psalm 51:10). It emphasizes the refocusing of the believer’s thinking: “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2), “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23).
Renewal was emphasized in the early summer as Michigan served as the host of the GARBC Annual Conference. We praise God for the abundant blessings bestowed upon the that was held at the beautiful and spacious Adoba Hotel and Convention Center in Dearborn. The conference theme, “Renew Our Strength,” was based upon Isaiah 40:31.
Servants from MARBC Churches sought to assist in this goal by ministering as wonderful hosts and facilitators of this special event. We are grateful for the special support Evangel Baptist Church in Taylor and Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hazel Park, whose members assisted daily in many areas of ministry. We express our great appreciation for those who served on the GARBC Local Committee as committee chairs:
Nursery: Rick and Julie Yokel, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Hazel Park
Pre-school: Michael Breznau, Evangel Baptist Church, Taylor
Primary: Deanna Miller, First Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, Rochester
Ushers: Jerry Diserens, Evangel Baptist Church, Taylor
Outreach: Bill Jenkin, Continental Baptist Missions, Rockford
Communications: Ken Pierpont, Evangel Baptist Church, Taylor
MARBC pastors preached or led worship in many of the conference main sessions, while other MARBC servants led workshops or participated in roundtable discussions. Several MARBC pastors spoke to the teens that participated in the “Students Alive” conference that ran simultaneously to the main conference. The national Talents for Christ (TFC) competition was held in conjunction with “Students Alive.” A report regarding MARBC teens involved in TFC is shared later in this issue.
Three Michigan churches became a part of the national association during the Tuesday business session: Grace Hispanic Bible Baptist Church, Grant (Pastor Pepe Morales); Sycamore Community Baptist Church, Dorr (Pastors Jerry Hopkins and Kelly Ryan); and South Litchfield Baptist Church, Litchfield (Pastor Ken Pierpont, Sr.).
You are encouraged to access the impacting conference messages and read news reports related to the conference and business sessions at www.garbc.org.
Our prayer is that those who attended the conference returned to their homes and ministries renewed in their commitment to God, the gospel, and Christ’s church. May all of our readers enjoy a refreshing and meaningful summer season that includes a time of spiritual renewal. Focus upon being “satisfied with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:5). And, take to heart the words of Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
You have His Word on it! (KEF)