BP Ledger, Dec. 3 edition
EDITOR'S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today's BP Ledger contains items from:
California Baptist University
Kentucky Baptist Convention
Baptist College of Florida
World Congress of Families
A. Larry Ross Communications
Fred Luter advises CBU chapel audience 'what to do when trouble comes'
By Kathie Chute/CBU
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (California Baptist University) -- It doesn't matter what age you are or what your vocation is, sooner or later tough times will come into your life," the Rev. Fred Luter Jr. said during a chapel service at California Baptist University. "One of these days when you least expect it, your life will be turned upside down."
Luter, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, spoke Nov. 26 to an audience that included area pastors about his experiences during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He has served as senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans for 26 years.
"I lost my church, lost my salary, our 8,000 church members were scattered," he said. "I could look on television and see that everything I knew—my home, my church—was all under water. I asked God 'why would you let this happen? If you wanted Bourbon Street to be destroyed, why didn't you just destroy Bourbon Street?' But Bourbon Street stayed dry on high ground."
Luter said he sat in his daughter's home in Birmingham and watched as his city struggled with the aftermath of the hurricane.
"For the first time in my life, my faith was shaken," he said. "Faith is the first area that the enemy works on, and fear is the opposite of faith. Anybody can preach about faith, but every once in awhile, something happens to where God asks 'do you believe what you preach.'?"
Luter pointed out that in Mark 4:35-41, the disciples of Jesus were in a boat when a storm came up, and they were afraid.
"Don't you know those disciples were asking 'Why doesn't He do something? Doesn't He care about us?'" he said. "But Jesus was right in the boat with the disciples. He could have chosen otherwise. He could have told them He would meet them on the other side."
Luter said we need to remember that no matter what we're going through, Jesus is going through it, too, because He's living in us.
"He's right there with you," he said. "He will give you peace in whatever the circumstance."
Luter recalled that as a boy growing up in New Orleans he looked to television for role models in his life, instead of the drug dealers and pimps that surrounded him. He chose Superman, because Clark Kent could go into a phone booth and transform himself into someone who could handle anything.
"When trouble comes, we don't have a phone booth but we do have a prayer closet," he said. "When you come out of that closet, you have an S on your chest—You're saved, and you're a soldier in the army of God."
He told the audience that in times of trouble, they need to remember the three P's: the promises of Jesus, the presence of Jesus and the power of Jesus to overcome anything.
"If God brings you to it," he said, "He will bring you through it."
Partnerships on Horizon for Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief
Ken Walker/KBC Communications
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Kentucky Baptist Convention) -- On the verge of their planned departure last spring to help clean up after a tornado in Alabama, the Baptist Campus Ministry at Morehead State University shifted gears.
Instead of making an eight-hour trip, its spring break mission teams traveled 30 miles south to West Liberty. There, 75 students joined adult leaders from Kentucky and Virginia for training and disaster relief work following the March 2 tornado.
It included massive chainsaw operations and other clean-up in the town of 3,500 and neighboring Menifee County. Students also served breakfast and dinner in West Liberty for nine days.
"This was a unique experience," MSU Baptist Campus Ministry Gene Parr said. "One of our students came back in tears and said, 'I just spent the day cleaning up somebody's life. It was spread all over the hillside.'"
Morehead State's students did more than help Kentuckians recover from disaster. They planted the seeds for a collegiate disaster relief program, eyed for a 2013 start along with a new international emphasis.
While dates and sites aren't set, Coy Webb, disaster relief director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said the KBC soon will offer campus training to help mobilize student crews after a disaster strikes.
Phillip Ritchey, director of missions for Anderson Baptist Association, and Raven Weaver of Carter Creek Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, have joined with Webb to organize the program.
"It was a good response and worked well," Webb said of the Morehead State project. "It demonstrated to us the potential college students offer."
KBC won't relax standards requiring training to respond to a disaster, he said, but fewer lectures and more video and hands-on training could be the standard for collegiate volunteers.
Kentucky will join Florida, California and Alabama Baptists in offering college training, according to Fritz Wilson, the Southern Baptist Convention's national disaster relief director.
Wilson said so many volunteers are retirees, students will bring a freshness and enthusiasm to the field, as well as a passion to share the gospel.
"Kentucky's collegiate program, like those in other states, is an investment in the future of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief," Wilson said.
"Many students who train and respond will get what we call the 'disaster bug.' It will also allow them to see that if God can use them in a disaster setting, He can use them in their everyday lives."
Though a relative newcomer to the program, Weaver has served with the National Guard for 10 years, including the aftermath of the the 2009 ice storm that blanketed Kentucky.
She anticipates that collegians also will be interested in another new KBC initiative which will coordinate international disaster relief services through Baptist Global Response.
Working through international missionaries—and Ashland-area natives—Mark and Susan Hatfield, the program will send teams to sub-Saharan Africa to assist with "level 2" disasters.
The term refers to calamities that don't attract the kind of international media attention that 2010-11 earthquakes in Haiti and Japan did.
While attending training on water purification, Weaver said Webb's mention of the new initiative caused "bells and whistles" to go off in her mind.
"I see myself as one of those leaders taking a group overseas," she said. "They will be able to plan for a summer-time mission trip. I can see where students would be eager to be involved."
The new program is to include representatives from the Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia.
Ironically, their state's response to Hurricane Sandy prevented two members of Virginia's unit from attending an Oct. 31 planning meeting at KBC headquarters. It attracted about 40 people.
Mark Hatfield called the session encouraging. The veteran missionary said focusing on the 41-nation region will help expand BGR's reach and provide more assessments after disasters.
Recent flooding in Niger is one example where Kentuckians can help. Another is a brush fire, which can wipe out a village and its crop harvest.
"In Niger we were just asked if we can help with shovels and picks," said Hatfield, who lives in Kenya. "It can take people a long time to get back to where they were before."
Hatfield hopes to host a vision tour by the KBC during the first half of 2013 and several community development teams after that. The latter would get involved in such projects as providing clean water, nutrition and hospice care.
And, because of the long-term nature of many regional disasters, Hatfield thinks the new college teams can play a valuable role in international relief.
Parr, who has served 30 years as campus minister at Morehead State, said he is gratified that MSU students helped inspire some of this activity.
"I'm so glad that Coy has jumped on this," he said. "We currently have a generation of students that is very interested in making a difference."
For details on Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief, visit www.kybaptist.org/dr.
Campbellsville University music professor has role in Spielberg's 'Lincoln' movie
By Samantha Stevenson, student newswriter
CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY (Campbellsville University) -- Imagine keeping a secret as big as being in a Steven Spielberg film to yourself for a year.
Dr. Reese Land, associate professor of music/trumpet in Campbellsville University's School of Music, did just that. And he is now able to talk about his role in the newly released movie "Lincoln" starring Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Steven Spielberg, who has been called one of America's most popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema.
Land appears within the first 15 minutes of the film during a flag-raising scene. Land, who is a trumpeter, can be seen to the left of Lincoln, played by Day-Lewis, among the crowd containing approximately 200 people. He is in a red Civil War-style uniform playing an over-the-shoulder baritone. Land used an original instrument that dates back to 1865.
Land was to remain silent about the production, shot in December 2011, until the premiere. Under a strict contract, Land was unable to tell anyone about his performance or disclose any information about the film until its release.
Land described the set as "chaotic at best."
"Hairdressers, camera men, all of these people were running around. When you have 200 people on set, it gets crazy," he said.
Land has been playing the trumpet for more than 30 years. He is a member of many ensembles in the region including the President Lincoln's Own Band, under the direction of Don Johnson. Johnson is involved with the National Association for Civil War Brass Music, which landed the group the role. Land was one of three band members from Kentucky who appear in the film.
Other Kentuckians include Michael Tunnell of Louisville and Wayne Collier of Lexington. Land had Tunnell as a professor at the University of Louisville, where he completed his graduate studies.
The band in the movie play the song "We Are Coming, Father Abram" on their instruments then sing the song once the flag has been raised.
Land said learning the vocals was more difficult than performing the piece on baritone to the poetic language in the song. "I sang some in college, but trumpet is my main thing. We can all sing, so it wasn't a big deal," he said.
Renowned composer John Williams, who has won numerous Grammy and Academy Awards and Golden Globes and is best known for composing music in the Star Wars and Harry Potter films, also arranged the old Civil War song, "We are Coming, Father Abraham."
Land said that even though he wasn't nervous, performing in front of Spielberg for the first time was surreal.
"He really liked what he heard," Land said. "We were in our costumes, and he really liked the authenticity of it all."
Land has performed little as an actor on stage.
"I did a few musicals in college, but they were all very small roles. I was only on stage when the band was on stage."
Land traveled to Petersburg, Va., in December 2011, where the scene was shot. The scene was the final shot needed to complete the film. The flag-raising scene took three hours to shoot with 13 takes.
"It was really cold that morning, and we were all freezing to death," Land said. "It got kind of tiring, but you have to stay focused, which we all did."
Land and the other members of the band got to meet and be photographed with Sally Field, who plays Mary Todd Lincoln in the film. They did not, however, get to meet Day-Lewis, who stayed secluded from everyone when he wasn't needed on set.
"He's a method actor, which means he stayed in character the entire time it was filmed. It was cool to see him acting like Lincoln all the time."
The film is expected to arrive at Green River Cinema Six in Campbellsville at the beginning of December.
After watching the premiere in Louisville, Land predicts an Oscar nomination for the film.
"It's a great movie, and not just because I'm in it," Land said. "Daniel Day-Lewis' performance is incredible, and the movie is very emotional and touching. You wouldn't think a film featuring lawmaking would have that much emotion behind it."
President Lincoln's Own Band was also featured at the 149th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg, Penn., on Nov. 19, 2012 when Land and other members of the band performed during the ceremony, which featured Spielberg.
Spielberg spoke in reference to Lincoln's address, his presidency and the film. An Abraham Lincoln impersonator and other civil war reenactments were also present at the ceremony.
Land is a graduate of the University of Louisville, where he earned his master's in music. He earned his doctorate at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana in trumpet performance. This is his sixth year at Campbellsville University.
BCF Awards Certificates in Brazil
GRACEVILLE, Fla. (Baptist College of Florida) -- Over 5 years ago, a partnership began between The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) and LINC-UP Missions, Inc. with the goal of providing well trained leadership for the new church plants in northeast Brazil. The BCF Leadership Certificate Program was a result of that partnership and is specifically designed to be completed within eighteen months, providing Brazilian ministers with the resources and techniques of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to Brazil.
The first leadership graduation ceremony was held in December, 2008. This semester, three graduations were held in various locations in Brazil. BCF Dean of Faculty and Chair of the Theology Division Robin Jumper preached the graduation sermon and awarded certificates on behalf of BCF President Thomas A. Kinchen.
Jumper arrived in Sao Luis, Brazil, Thursday, November 1, and was met by missionaries Richie and Heather Allen. Richie Allen is a BCF graduate, former trustee, and director of LINC-UP Missions, Inc. On Friday, November 2, they traveled to First Baptist Church in Penalva, Brazil for the first graduation where 27 certificates were awarded. On Saturday, November 3, the second graduation was held at First Baptist Church in Cururupu, Brazil where 38 certificates were awarded. Jumper led a Bible study Sunday morning in Cururupu, and then Sunday night, November 4, the third graduation was held at First Baptist Church in Santa Helena where 24 certificates were awarded.
Each graduation ceremony, Jumper preached with a translator from Mathew 28:18 reminding the students that Jesus, who has the authority over heaven and earth, is the authority behind the Great Commission. He encouraged the students and reminded them that as they adhere to the command to make disciples, they are doing so with Jesus' authority.
With standing room only, each church was packed with people as family and friends gathered in support of their graduates. The churches had special decorations and music for the occasion, representing several congregations from around the area.
"I have never seen students more appreciative of their training, their graduation ceremony, and their certificates," stated Jumper. "The graduates were very appreciative of their opportunity for training, for their certificates, and for the work of The Baptist College of Florida."
The primary objective of the certificate training program is to prepare and equip students for ministry in villages beyond their own, particularly in the 700 unreached villages of the Quilombolas, an unreached people group of northeast Brazil. The program clearly demonstrates the commitment of the BCF family to carry out the Great Commission of the Lord and champion the registered trademark of "Changing the World through the Unchanging Word®."
World Congress of Families Mourns Passing of Richard Wilkins -- Friend, Colleague and Pro-Family Leader
ROCKFORD, Ill. (World Congress of Families) -- World Congress of Families and The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society mourns the passing of our friend and colleague Richard G. Wilkins -- who died on Monday after a short illness -- and recalls his significant contributions to the international pro-family movement.
World Congress of Families Founder and International Secretary Dr. Allan C. Carlson, who worked closely with Wilkins in organizing World Congress of Families II in Geneva in 1999, observed: "Richard was one of the greatest and most energetic advocates of the natural family. He was particularly effective on legal matters involving the family and the United Nations."
Carlson added: "Richard was a vital partner in making the Geneva Congress the success that it was. World Congress of Families II set the stage and established standards for all of our future Congresses, including World Congress of Families VI, held in Madrid in May."
Richard's remarks at WCF II, "Recognizing Our Shared Commitment to the Family," inspired many pro-family leaders to action and are still as relevant today as they were then.
Jesus Hernandez, organizer of the Mexico City World Congress of Families, added: "Richard was kind, open and loyal, a friend, a dedicated husband and father, and a man who fought to defend his ideals: love of God, love of mankind and love for the family. He was tireless in promoting the family perspective. In Mexico, we owe him the zeal and example he brought to World Congress of Families III in 2004 and the International Colloquium on the Family of the Migrant Worker in 2009. We will miss his enthusiasm and his kindness. May he rest in peace and may God bless his family and friends."
Besides his involvement in World Congresses in Geneva and Mexico City and many regional WCF events, Dr. Wilkins was actively involved in WCF IV (Warsaw, 2007), also delivering a plenary speech.
In his long and distinguished career, Wilkins was variously an Assistant U.S. Solicitor General in the Reagan Administration (arguing eight cases before the Supreme Court), a professor of law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and director of the World Family Policy Center at BYU.
Starting with his participation in the 1996 United Nations Habitat Conference in Istanbul, (where he argued passionately against "same-sex unions"), Richard's work increasingly focused on defending the family in the international arena.
Besides his leadership of the World Policy Forum, he campaigned tirelessly for Amendment 3 to the Utah Constitution (defining marriage exclusively as the union of a man and a woman), which was approved by voters in 2004.
Following his retirement from the BYU Law School, Wilkins became the Managing Director of the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development in Qatar. Because of Dr. Wilkins work, The Doha Institute, The Howard Center, Family First Foundation and United Families International co-published the book, "The Family and the MDG's: Using Family Capital to Achieve The 8 Millennium Development Goals." Susan Roylance, Director of International Policy at the Howard Center, produced the book with a grant from the Doha Institute and worked closely with Richard who was a co-author for this important publication. In the "Forward," Dr. Wilkins details the benefits to society of a stable family life for all ages. He also gives information concerning the tremendous costs associated with family instability, both to individuals and society as a whole. He issues a "call to action," citing numerous sources to encourage readers to focus on the power of families and the value of family capital.
Dr. Wilkins was also a talented thespian. At the time of his death, he was in rehearsals for what would have been his 28th consecutive performance as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" at Salt Lake City's Hale Centre Theater. He also regularly played Tevye in a local production of "Fiddler On The Roof." Richard and his wife did a scene from "Fiddler" at the closing session of the Geneva World Congress of Families.
World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs said: "Richard was a constant source of hope and joy as well as an inspiration to his many friends in the international pro-family movement. He could argue passionately for supporting the natural family through international law, and then delight us with an amusing anecdote which ended with his contagious laugher. To say he will be sorely missed is an understatement."
Richard and his wife Melany have four children and eight grandchildren.
Joni and Ken Tada share relationship secrets in 'Joni & Ken: an Untold Love Story'
AGOURA HILLS, Calif. (A. Larry Ross Communications) -- When Ken Tada married quadriplegic Joni Eareckson in 1982, he expected some "for worse" in their marriage, but knew that God had brought them together for a reason. After chronic pain came along, followed by severe depression, then breast cancer, they struggled a bit in their relationship, but soon learned secret to the "for better." Now, for the first time, the Tadas share their inspiring love story in "Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story," releasing April 2, 2013, from Zondervan.
"Joni & Ken" shows the true story between and man and a woman who know the reality of "in sickness and in health." While Ken thought he knew what he was getting into, marrying a woman who had lived with quadriplegia since a diving accident at age 17, he soon became overwhelmed by the never-ending responsibility of caring for a disabled spouse.
Though committed to their relationship and his love for her, the emotional toll exacerbated by Joni's chronic pain drove Ken back into the severe depression he struggled with earlier in life, coincidentally having entertained thoughts of taking his own life the very summer Joni took her fateful dive. Soon, they found themselves living separate but parallel lives. When Joni found the lump in her breast, she wondered if this would be the final wedge that would drive them emotionally apart. But in another example of God's perfect timing, Ken had recently experienced a spiritual transformation of his own, embracing a part of his heritage he had long misunderstood.
The Tadas knew their experience with emotional distance was symptomatic of too many marriages today, especially among Christian couples who stay committed to their vows despite lack of a close relationship. So, once they figured out the secret to not just surviving, but thriving as a couple, they were compelled to share that with others.
"Although Ken and I probably don't meet all the family-counseling criteria for 'a happy marriage,' this I know for sure," Joni writes, "Home is wherever we are together.
"It's why this book was written. For many people . . . I think all of our lives are spent looking for and wanting to go home. But what if it were as close as the hand of your spouse? That would make for a contented and complete marriage."
Co-written with Larry Libby – Joni's writing partner on several previous works – "Joni & Ken" is written in the third-person perspective, capturing moments and insights they might have missed if writing it themselves. The Tadas feel Libby has crafted "an artful exposé of 'life with Joni and Ken.'"
The Tadas' love story begins unconventionally, with Joni's mind wandering in church one Sunday, finally focusing on the back of the man's head sitting in front of her. Upon officially being introduced to Ken several weeks later, her first words to him were "turn around."
Their courtship had its own hazards with Ken having to learn how to take care of many of Joni's physical needs. As a football coach, his strength came in handy for carrying her up stairs and mountains for romantic views. Their marriage began strong, but like so many others when the first blush of romantic love fades, they struggled to go deeper and weren't really connecting spiritually as a couple.
Because of their honesty, many readers will identify with the couple's experience of being together yet operating on emotionally separate tracks. As each looked to God to find strength to carry on, they also found themselves drawing closer, in God's perfect love triangle. They transparently share how they got to this point, and how they had to become vulnerable with each other as well as God. Readers will be riveted, touched, inspired and transported with them as they encounter Jesus in a new and fresh way, in their marriage.
"Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story," will release in hardback, 192 pages, for $18.99 as well as in digital formats for $7.99.
Following her paralysis in 1967 and her journey out of depression and learning to paint with her mouth, Joni shared her story with Barbara Walters, then in a book and movie whose response showed the need for a ministry of encouragement to those with disabilities around the world. She established Joni and Friends in 1979 with the mission to accelerate ministry to those with disabilities. The son of Japanese immigrants, Ken was a high school teacher and coach for more than 30 years before retiring to serve full time with Joni and Friends. Co-author Larry Libby is a writer and editor who has penned a number of books, including "Someday Heaven" and "Who Made God?" For additional information, visit http://www.joniandfriends.org.