Friends & Social Media Blues

Friends & Social Media Blues

Here’s a profound truth about social media: it allows people to make their lives look like they are blissfully perfect. Whether it is intentional or not, most of us do this when we only post pictures or status updates that highlight exciting events or happy times with friends. Occasionally, people share prayer requests, which reveal that life isn’t perfect for them, but not everyone is willing to share their serious struggles on social media. All this leaves us scrolling through profile after profile thinking everyone else has a perfect life, and over time we start to feel discontent with our lives and lose a sense of reality. It also makes us want to hide behind the social media curtain and never talk to people about hard times in life, which leads to something I like to call the “social media blues”. In First Student Ministries, we are going through a series about friendships, and we discussed how good friends don’t let others live disconnected lives and get stuck in a spiritual or emotional rut. Although social media is supposed to keep us engaged and “social”, it often times has an adverse effect, and that is why each one of us needs good, real friends to lift us up when we are alone or discouraged. Genuine friendships are the cure for the social media blues.
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March Madness

March Madness

March Madness – the time of year when Americans fall in love with college basketball. Last year the NCAA reported that the NCAA tournament averaged 11.3 million total viewers – an increase of 8% over last year’s viewership and the highest average viewership in 22 years! 1 Many fans love the Cinderella teams that bust brackets and win it all. Other fans enjoy the backstory of a team’s rise to success or glory. As the backstories unfold this year, what will the commentators discuss? Will it be the improprieties of Syracuse, the accusations against Louisville and their self-imposed ban on post-season play, or the North Carolina academic investigation that has yet to produce an NCAA ruling?
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FIRST Seniors Fellowship

FIRST Seniors Fellowship

Tuesday, April 26th

11:45am in Ellis Hall

Cost: $8, Includes Lunch

 

THE LEGACY CHOIR FROM TAYLORS FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH WILL BE BRINGING A FANTASTIC MUSICAL PROGRAM!

This dynamic choir of senior adults sings for worship services and ministers through music whenever invited to retirement homes, nursing facilities, and to other church groups. A love for God, for people, and for music inspires the ministry of the Legacy Choir.

CALL NATALIE AT 803.343.8585 TO MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS.

Kids vs. Marriage

Kids vs. Marriage

Should children be parents’ number one priority?

 

It almost sounds heretical to suggest otherwise. Of course, the nurture and guidance of our children is a very important responsibility of any parent. Deuteronomy 6 states that our number one responsibility is to love God with all our heart, soul and strength. Then we are to teach that “diligently” to our children. But this command should not be interpreted to mean that our children are our second highest priority after loving God. What it says is that teaching them to love God should be second only to our own love for the Lord. One of the best ways to teach them this is by having all other relationships in proper priority. When our world revolves around our children we are teaching them that they are our number one priority.
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Welcoming the Stranger

Welcoming the Stranger

“He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing.  So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:18-19

 

Recently immigration has become a very popular topic in the news and everywhere else. As I listen to all that is being said of immigration in the mainstream media and talk radio along with various people’s viewpoints, I realize, two things. First, that most Christians in America don’t know what God’s heart is concerning immigrants and the Church’s role in ministry to immigrants. Second, that Christians are allowing their knowledge about immigration to be developed by the media, not Scripture. By their own admission, most Christians do not think about immigration from a biblical perspective. Just 12% of evangelical Christians say that their views on immigration are primarily influenced by the Bible (LifeWay Research, 2015). Why? Perhaps because just 21% of evangelical Christians say they have ever been challenged with a biblical message about reaching out to immigrants by their local church (LifeWay Research, 2015). I want us to dig into the Scriptures and discover God’s heart on immigrants so that we can continue to be effective in demonstrating to the world who God is as well as the Church’s role regarding immigration.

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Believing What We Sing

Believing What We Sing

When I was pastor of a church in Oklahoma I had another minister in town say to me, “what we believe is what we sing.”

I have thought about that statement many times. There is so much of our theology wrapped up in the hymns and songs that we sing. We believe in the power of the blood of Jesus to cleanse our sin. That is why we love to sing the hymn, “There’s Power in the Blood.” We believe that God’s grace is amazing, therefore we sing, “Amazing Grace.” I believe that there needs to be a fresh call to examine what we sing. Whenever we come to a worship service we are involved in singing. Is the theology in the song sound? Does the text stand the scrutiny of scripture? Our hymns and songs of praise declare our faith. When we sing we are declaring to God our praise for Him. When we sing we are declaring to a lost world, this is what I believe!
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