Lessons from a Dusty Hope Chest

by Pastor Dan Miller

Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted with permission from Dan Miller’s book Spiritual Reflections
A Baby Is ComingShe was a young, single college student: no money, no husband, no children. Yet her hands nearly quivered with delight as she held at arm’s length the several pieces of a white, crocheted set of clothes designed for an infant girl. Meticulously handcrafted, these delicate treasures proved simply irresistible. She quickly purchased the set—matching bonnet, booties, sweater and blanket—and had them wrapped for safe-keeping.

She had no immediate plans to bear a child, just an innocent dream that she would someday know the joy of dressing an infant daughter. With light heart and a twinkle of hope in her eye, she brought her purchase to her dorm room and placed it in her Hope Chest. It remained there for a very long time.

A Hope Chest stores treasures that symbolize one’s dreams. Tangible items are tucked away in such a chest with keen hope that the future will play out so as to permit their use. But sometimes a Hope Chest becomes a casket where dreams are buried.
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Reflections upon Hearing the Announcement

In The Nick of TimeWord arrived earlier this week that Pillsbury Baptist Bible College will cease operations in December. This announcement was not entirely unexpected. Nearly two years ago, announcements were made nationwide that if the situation did not improve, Pillsbury would be in jeopardy. Those of us in Minnesota have been watching the slow strangulation of our college ever since.

Pillsbury nearly closed in the mid-1990s when it experienced multiple turnovers of administration and a purge of the faculty. This was not the first controversial period in the history of the college, but it was the one that did the most enduring damage. At that time, the decision was made to try to keep the doors open, and Dr. Bob Crane finally accepted the presidency. Frankly, no one expected it to survive. It is a testimony to Dr. Crane’s leadership and to the faculty’s commitment that it has remained in operation for more than a decade since.
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Christian Fellowship on the “N” Train

by Dr. Steve Davis and Dr. John Davis
Metro 2The “N” Train runs from Coney Island in Brooklyn to Astoria in Queens, taking the long route as an express train through Manhattan. Half the time it runs above ground and includes views of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan as it travels across the Manhattan Bridge and views of Astoria and Long Island City as it runs through Queens. The route of the “N” Train captures the ethnic diversity of the city as the train winds through Russian, Hasidic, Chinese, Italian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and other ethnic neighborhoods. The economic diversity of the city is also reflected in its path as it stops in a lower-income area like Sunset Park, which is situated among a flurry of small businesses in Chinatown, or at the upscale stores of both Fifth Avenue and Lexington Avenue. If you love to eat, then you can enjoy the cuisines of the world starting with borsch in Coney Island, ending with fried kefalotiri cheese in Astoria, and enjoying the rest of the world in between.
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Our Help Is Here, Part 1

Help for the People of God

Psalm 46:1-11 (NKJV)

HandsTo the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song for Alamoth.

1 God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear,

Even though the earth be removed,

And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

3Though its waters roar and be troubled,

Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah.

4There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,

The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;

God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.

6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;

He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

7 The LORD of hosts is with us;

The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,

Who has made desolations in the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;

He burns the chariot in the fire. Read more about Our Help Is Here, Part 1

To the Young Guys: Speak to Be Heard

In The Nick of Time

Read Part 1.

Let me talk to all you younger guys out there. I’m on your side—I agree that younger leaders have something to contribute and should be heard. I don’t think that they should have to wait until they’re forty to get people to listen to them.

But the fact of the matter is that younger voices are more easily dismissed. Even if you have great ideas, it’s going to be harder for you to get people to hear them. Please don’t let yourself get impatient. There are ways that you can help yourself. I’d like to list a few of them here.

You want people to listen to you? One of the best things that you can do is to finish school. You see, nearly everybody has an opinion about nearly everything. Most expressions of opinion are ill-informed, and quite often they turn out to be nothing more than emotional burps. So people filter out most of the noise or static and focus on the opinions that are likely to mean something. One of the filters is education: a poorly educated person is more likely to have poorly formed opinions, while a better educated person is likely to have more coherent ones. Read more about To the Young Guys: Speak to Be Heard

2008 Mid-America Conference on Preaching, Part 3

General Session 2: Departures (James 4:4)—Sam Horn

MACP LogoSam Horn earned B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in New Testament Exegesis at Bob Jones University. In 1996, he joined the staff at Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin. He is also pastor of Brookside Baptist Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. Sam and his wife, Beth, are regular speakers at couple’s conferences, family camps, and teen retreats across the country. Dr. Horn spoke during General Session 2. Below is a summary of his message.

The topic we are looking at this year is one of the most significant topics we could be looking at in this time in history. Pastors today are concerned that their young people are not interested in being part of the ministry that raised them once they go off to school. Many of these young people are looking for others to engage in certain conversations and to give responsible answers. Since their churches are not willing to have those conversations, they are being swayed by those who are willing to do so.1611.jpg
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2008 Mid-America Conference on Preaching, Part 2

General Session 1: The Wisdom of God vs. the Wisdom of This Age

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

MACP LogoThe opening session of the conference began simply with prayer, two hymns, and a musical ensemble. Dave Doran delivered the first address.
Jigsaw WorldDr. Dave Doran is senior pastor at Inter-City Baptist Church and president of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, both in Allen Park, Michigan. He serves as chairman of the Practical Theology Department and teaches the core pastoral theology courses in the M.Div. program. He received his education at Bob Jones University (B.A.), Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div., Th.M.), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (D.Min.). The following is a summary of his presentation:

The conference theme is “Culture, Contextualization, and the Church.” Hearing this theme engenders lots of reactions, some of confusion and some of rejection. There are about as many definitions of “contextualization” as there are people talking about it. For some it means applying the Scripture. For others it shapes the very message they are going to proclaim. The term is only about thirty-five years old, but it’s not going to go away.
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