Valentine's Day Greetings All!
Well, it's my birthday... again... already! The years are clicking by like dashed lines on the highway at full-speed (okay, maybe not quite that quick, but you get the picture.) All joking aside, a birthday is a perfect day to be reminded that life is a precious thing--to be thankful for all the "dashed lines" that have passed, and hopeful for those yet to come.
I'm happy to be alive today, but yet I'm heavy-hearted over the devaluing of life that we see all around us. The living God gives life, and therefore the most precious life of all is that life which He has made uniquely in His image: human life. And human life is precious at every age and stage from conception to coffin! I don't need to tell you, but human life is under attack in our cultural moment: unborn human life, elderly and infirm human life, disabled human life--basically any form of human life that finds itself at the mercy of a stronger human who would assert power over a weaker human in selfish ways for selfish ends. Abortion, abduction, abuse, absence and abandonment are just a few ways the strong who bear God's image can prey on the weak who also bear His image. What an awful, tragic consequence of the Fall! Those tragic realities have always been there, but they've come to light AMONG US as Southern Baptists in ugly ways in recent days; and we have to answer for it!
The Houston Chronicle Investigation: Abuse of Faith
I am sure most of you have already read and/or heard about The Houston Chronicle investigative three-part series on Southern Baptists and Sexual Abuse that dropped this past Sunday (link in heading above). If you have not, you need to read it and the following articles by Baptist Press to get a handle on what is going on. As church and community leaders we need to be able to offer informed answers to potential questions. Let’s seek to have a consistent voice as Southern Baptists. One case of abuse is too many. We should pray for SBC President, J.D. Greear and his Presidential Task Force on Sexual Abuse. I want to begin hearing and sharing tangible and viable ways to make our churches “hard targets” versus “soft targets” for molesters and abusers.
Coming Up This Week
Breaking Barriers to Transformation - Friday, Feb. 22
Every church leader longs to see transformation in the lives of their leaders and members. Yet, most are confronted with personal obstacles that undermine fruitful, prayer-ignited influence. This session will address eight barriers to transformation that every leader encounters, with practical tools for a fresh breakthrough in spiritual impact. Join 6:4 Fellowship president, Daniel Henderson, 9-12 a.m. on Friday, February 22, at Cuyahoga Valley Church for this FREE event! (Click HERE for more info.) RSVP to Kristy Klasa email@example.com with your church name, address, email, and headcount. (No childcare provided.) Questions? Call CVC at (440) 746-0404.
Pastor & Wife Survey
Responses are trickling in! If you haven't taken our pastor & wife survey yet, complete the survey and I promise to send you a small gift at some point this year. But only if you fill out the survey! Here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KGCDRG8.
Who's Your One - Evangelism Initiative
If you couldn't join us a couple of weeks ago at CVC for the "Who’s Your One" preview simulcast with J.D. Greear, or would like to see it again, visit WhosYourOne.com/preview, and enter password WYO19. Download the Who’s Your One implementation guide and prayer guide for you to reference as you consider launching the campaign at your church. I'm excited to see how the Lord chooses to use this initiative to eternally change lives, and am grateful for your partnership in leading your church to be part of it. If you have questions or need more information, please call (800) 634-2462!
Please pray individually for this effort and, as you have availability, make it a point to join us in a biweekly prayer call on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m., EST. The next prayer call will be on February 19. Join the call at (515) 604-3112. The call will not go more than 15 minutes.
More resources pertaining to Who’s Your One will be available on February 20 at whosyourone.com and will be broadly circulated on social media, Baptist Press and other communication channels.
Weekend to Remember
Family Life is hosting two "Weekend to Remember" marriage conferences in northeast Ohio this March (Akron, Mar. 8-10 & Cleveland, Mar. 22-24). Senior pastors and full-time associate pastors can visit familylife.com/pastorwtr to learn about scholarships. Dave Rossiter can help answer questions as well (firstname.lastname@example.org). To start the registration process visit http://familylifeministries.org/weekend-to-remember/ and remember to use the group name "ClevelandHope".