Black Americans Are the Most Bible-Engaged Ethnic Group
May 16, 2018
For over a decade, social media has played a vital role in North American culture. On average, U.S. adults spend about 10 hours and 39 minutes a day consuming social media. Percentage of U.S. Internet users who access social networks weekly.
Source: TIME, March 13, 2017, AdWeek.com, June 27, 2016
Source: Barna.com, March 1, 2017
Source: The New York Times, February 9, 2017
Source: The Week, March 10, 2017 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Source: Barna.com, June 24, 2016
Source: RelevantMagazine.com, November 16, 2016
Source: Barna.com, March 8, 2017
Source: The Week, January 2017
Who says Dinosaurs are extinct?”
Giant gator caught strolling through Polk nature center
A giant alligator was caught on camera during a morning stroll at a nature center in Polk County.
The Lakeland Police Department shared the video, taken by Kim Joiner, on their Facebook page saying, “Who says Dinosaurs are extinct?”
The big daddy gator was strolling through the Circle B Bar Reserve, an area of of protected lands in Polk County.
In the video you can see four other people recording the surprise encounter, and not from a far distance – Ekkk!
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Lottie Moon was a Southern Baptist missionary to China. She was single, well under five feet tall, and probably about ninety pounds soak and wet. She broke all of man’s rules for women missionaries, yet obeyed the Lord’s plan for all of her life. She personified the Great Commission. She is the namesake and poster girl for the annual Southern Baptist International Mission Board (IMB) Christmas Offering. She never took a furlough while serving in China. Barely over one hundred years ago, and prior to finally going back to Virginia, she gave all of her sustenance to the needy Chinese people, and died of malnutrition on a ship on the way home on Christmas Eve. She is truly a heroine of mine.
Blessings, Pastor Steve
Lottie Moon. I want to be like her, but I didn’t realize how much until I dove into her life story.
You could draw a line in the sand, mention the name Lottie Moon, and people who revere her will move to one side of the line while people whispering, “Who’s that?” will migrate to the other. I had one foot in each camp.
My current church is in the “who’s that?” category. Most people at my church, planted fifteen years ago, did not grow up thoroughbred Southern Baptists. While they participate in and give to global missions, they’re not familiar with Lottie. But I grew up in a church that revered her, and I raised money for missions in my rice-bowl-shaped piggy bank to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
Her photos in a Victorian-laced collar might give the impression she was a stuffy school marm who adhered to strict rules. Yet, she was playfully defiant, poking fun at the church until she chose to follow Christ at age eighteen. And she was ambitiously smart and became one of the first women in the South to earn a master’s degree.
Whether you’re already familiar with her story or this is your first introduction, you’ll find that her somewhat terse language flows from a contagious, tenacious heart for God’s mission.
The gospel came through Christ to us to save us, but not to stop with us. We are saved for God’s glory and then appointed to declare his glory. “Should we not press it home upon our consciences that the sole object of our conversion was not the salvation of our own souls, but that we might become coworkers with our Lord and Master in the conversion of the world?” Lottie asked.
If the Great Commission is for all believers, then we must personally answer the question, “Am I going or sending?”
Although salvation is free, sending people where the gospel has not been shared has a cost. Giving to God’s mission is an investment. Lottie’s questions create a jolt meant to stir hearts to an urgent need. “Why this strange indifferences to missions?” she wrote. “Why these scant contributions? Why does money fail to be forthcoming when approved men and women are asking to be sent to proclaim the ‘unsearchable riches of Christ’ to the heathen?”
The eternal reality that people were dying without hearing of Jesus trumped the reality of living in a place devoid of convenience and comfort. Living in China during political upheaval and among people who “had an aversion to foreigners”were mere splinters of the difficulties she faced. Yet she wrote from a village, “The circumstance would suggest an utter absence of comfort, yet we find ourselves more than contented.”
Lottie didn’t merely play at missions but confidently persuaded others to consider the reality of people going to an eternal hell. “We implore you to send us help. Let not these heathen sink down into eternal death without one opportunity to hear that blessed gospel, which is to you the source of all joy and comfort,” she wrote.
Lottie defied the limits of generational, cultural, and missional norms for the sake of the gospel. I want to be so bold. With nearly three billion people who have never heard of Jesus, we should dare be the same kind of rebel, disrupting casual mission thinking and ambitiously resolved to get the gospel to all nations at all costs.
I’ll unapologetically ask the same words as Lottie: “Is not the festive season when families and friends exchange gifts in memory of the Gift laid on the altar of the world for the redemption of the human race, the most appropriate time to consecrate a portion from abounding riches and scant poverty to send forth the good tidings of great joy into all the earth?”
Let us go. But if we stay, let us give, so that others may be sent.
*All quotes are from Lottie’s letters written while she lived in China.
Lori McDaniel is church initiatives leader at IMB. She served with her family for several years in Africa before returning to plant a church in the United States. You can find her on Twitter @lorimmcdaniel.
To be a part of the ongoing missions efforts that are Lottie Moon’s namesake, visit here nd explore the opportunities.
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