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Extravagant Love

Extravagant Love

Welcome to the First Seniors blog. I am so honored to help shepherd and minister to the senior adults at First Baptist Church of Columbia, SC. Our senior adults have so much energy and enthusiasm. It is hard to keep up with them. I am always impressed with the great extravagant love they have for one another. In John 13:35 it says, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Continue reading →

Celebrate Women’s Ministry

Celebrate Women’s Ministry

This past Saturday, over 200 women, college-age up to senior adults, gathered together to “Celebrate Women’s Ministry.” Not only was it an opportunity for our ladies to hear from our new pastor’s wife, Rachel Church, about her life and ministry, but also an opportunity to learn about what First Women’s Ministry “DOES” and respond to the call to get involved.

If you’re a woman at First Baptist, you’re a part of First Women’s Ministry,” said Rene White, who has recently taken the role of First Women’s Ministry Chair. “You have gifts to share and we need you,” added Rachel.

One of the priorities of First Women’s Ministry is facilitating women serving our church, community and even beyond. In that vein, the event also included a service project for Operation Christmas Child. Women chatted around their tables as they assembled sewing kits for teenage girls, an often overlooked demographic of shoe box recipients.

Alex Hipkins, a young professional who recently joined the church, said, “As a new member at First Baptist, I found the event to be a great way to meet women of all ages! It was an opportunity to put names to the faces I see every week and meet new people.”

Interested in learning about all that First Women’s Ministry does, getting involved, and/or serving on a FWM team? Click here to submit an interest form.

(Browse through the pictures from Saturday’s Event)

Celebrate Women's Ministry

Open Eyes and Hard Love

Open Eyes and Hard Love

I didn’t learn anything that I didn’t know before. I knew that it would be weird. I knew that it would be dark. I knew that my heart would break. But knowing and experiencing are two different things. As I stood in Temple Square surrounded by beautiful flowers and impressive buildings, the phrase “whitewashed tombs” kept coming to mind. Salt Lake City, Utah is Latter Day-Saints (LDS) headquarters. On the surface, the religion looks a lot like Christianity. Get into a conversation with a LDS (I did, more than once) and they will likely speak reverently about Jesus. They’ll probably tell you that salvation comes through Jesus. They might even tell you that LDS are Christians too. After all, LDS theology does include the Bible. Get a little deeper though and you’ll find that it involves three other books, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. The official English Bible of the LDS church is the KJV and includes footnotes to interpret the passages to coincide with LDS doctrine.
Continue reading →

The Blunt Truth

The Blunt Truth

Medical Marijuana. What is it? How does it work? How does it impact YOU?

It’s time to learn the TRUTH about Medical Marijuana. Get the facts straight and get your questions answered.

Come learn everything involved with Medical Marijuana and the impact legalization will have in our state. Major Frank O’ Neal will be giving the presentation and he will open up a time for questions at the end.
Continue reading →

When The Dead Come To Life

When The Dead Come To Life

The Believers gathered to worship like Christians do. As songs to Jesus were lifted up, one fell out on the ground and then another until four women were out on the ground, possessed by demons. It’s not something that most Baptists are used to seeing during a worship service in the United States, but on Beth Greer’s latest trip to Tanzania, this scene, albeit intense, was not completely unordinary. On Kome Island off the coast of the Tanzanian mainland in Lake Victoria, six out of ten inhabitants are demon possessed. Beth spent part of her trip on the island, sleeping in a tent, using a ziplock bag as a restroom at night, and telling the residents about Jesus using a stick and the dirt on the ground.

Continue reading →

Sing! National City Tour – with the Gettys

Sing! National City Tour – with the Gettys

On October 18th, Keith & Kristyn Getty, along with their troupe of talented instrumentalists, will be coming to Columbia for a fun filled day of events all leading up to their evening concert taking place @ 7:00pm in the Sanctuary of First Baptist Columbia. It’s a free concert, and no ticket is required to attend, but a love offering will be taken up during the performance.

The other events of the day start in the morning and extend to early afternoon focusing on teaching and workshops designed to help worship leaders, pastors, and church musicians lead their congregations in deeper and more personal worship.

The concert is free but if you want to attend all of the workshop events then please click here to go to their website and purchase tickets, as well as find out more information about the entire days events.

We look forward to seeing you on October 18th!

First College Welcome Week 2018

First College Welcome Week 2018

Welcome Week, or some form of it, has been going on this week at the University of South Carolina and other midlands colleges. This mission field of over 40,000 students is just a few city blocks away from us. Be in prayer for our students as they get into their regular school routines and build relationships with other students in their classes, residence halls, and apartments. If you have a college student that you would like to send our way or if you would like to get involved as a volunteer with First College Ministry, please e-mail Rob Nicholes.

See what’s been going on in this video below.

Sunday Lunch Blog : Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant

Sunday Lunch Blog : Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant

SundayLunchBlog

Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant -2006 Senate St, Columbia, SC 

If you’re looking for something different and unique, Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant is a great option for something new and delicious. To get an up close look at the food and to learn about the life and ministry (a.k.a. testimony) of First Family member Beth Greer, check out the new Sunday Lunch Blog video.
Continue reading →

Managing Your Finances – The Basics

Managing Your Finances – The Basics

While I’m writing this with my friends who are in college or about to spring forth into the “real world” in mind, these resources are useful for anyone. Debt seems to be the reality for the majority of Americans. Scratch that, it doesn’t just seem like it, it is. As of September 2017, outstanding student load debt grew to $1.36 trillion. Credit card debt increased by $24 billion. Household indebtedness is up to $12.96 trillion! I wish that I was making these numbers up, but you can read the full report here. Most starting out their adult lives, begin in the hole, and instead of climbing out of that hole, it only grows deeper and deeper as time progresses. That hole is one of the contributing factors to why people are getting married later in life and why many marriages end in divorceOnce the hole gets that deep, it can feel like you’re being buried alive with no chance of getting out.

Fortunately, there is hope! There are some things that we can do to get out of the hole. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. 

  1. Keep an Expense Journal.

    Before you can budget, you have to know how much money is required for you to live. Chances are, you’re mindlessly spending money in certain areas, or could manage to cut out a few things.

  2. Set a Budget.

    Each month, write out your income and then allot money for each expense. Work from your expected income and work all the way down to zero to make sure that each dollar is accounted for. You can create a free account using a website/app like EveryDollar and/or download these printable budget sheets and expense journals here

  3. Set up an Emergency Fund.

    Your goal should first be to save $1,000. You’ll rest easier knowing that you have some contingency money and won’t be thrown off too bad when the unexpected happens.

  4. Start Paying off Your Debt 

    Tackle your smallest debt first, paying the most on that while paying the minimum payments on the others. This article and this other article offer advice in greater detail. 

  5. Save 3-6 Months Worth of Expenses 

    Once your debt is paid off, take that money that you were using to pay off loans and save enough to cover you for a while in case you lose your job or some other emergency happens.

While this is not an extensive and detailed list for financial management, we didn’t even talk about retirement funds and investment options, it is a starting point for getting out of the hole and moving forward. I want to encourage you to check out sites like EveryDollar (by Dave Ramsey) and experiment with some of their tools. They also have tons of articles to help you budget, cut spending, and save. Sign up for their e-mail list and they should send you a free budgeting guide. If they don’t, e-mail me and I’ll send it to you. Set up savings funds through a bank like Capital One 360 Savings that offers a higher interest rate for your savings. The accounts are free to open with no minimum balance required and they are FDIC insured. If you have questions, don’t be shy about reaching out!

Gather-Care-Work

Gather-Care-Work

Lesson originally delivered on 4/29

  • Romans 12:4-21
    • Collectively, we need to understand the function of the body
    • The Church is a body that works in the world, not simply a place to gather
    • We must work for each other and with each other
      • It sounds right, but we don’t always experience that
      • How do we do this?
        • We Gather together
        • We Care for one another
        • We Work in the world
    • If we have the Holy Spirit we are supposed to use our gifts for the good of the body
      • If you are discipling someone, disciple them with excitement
      • If you are running sound, run it to the best of your ability
      • Find purpose in serving.
  • How can I serve? What is my contribution to the body? How am I helping my community?
  • Look at verses 13-21, there are 12 exhortations. What would it look like if I were to do these in my own life?