Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blessed are the Peacemakers

Note to self: Remember this the next time someone cuts me off in traffic... or in other potentially hostile situations. Words of wisdom from David Jeremiah (Turning Point Magazine - October 2011):
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5:9

A word. A slight. A look. A forgotten birthday or anniversary. A piece of gossip about us - yes, it was true but no, it didn't need to be spoken. Things happen to us every day, from minor to major, that could serve as an excuse for vengeance. And each time something hurtful happens, we have a choice to make: Will we be a peacemaker or a revenge seeker? Will we inflame the event with the fire of revenge or will we smother it with the blanket of peace?

Let's assume you've been hurt purposefully. What should you do? God said, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (Ezekiel 33:11). Substitute whatever you're tempted to do in retaliation for the word "death" in that verse and you'll get God's counsel on your contemplated course of action. God said that vengeance is His; He will repay (Romans 12:19). And Paul wrote that we are to do everything possible to "live peaceably with all men" (Romans 12:18). When we choose to forgive instead of fight, we are bringing peace to the world.

If you are faced with the choice of seeking peace or seeking vengeance today, choose peace. Receive the blessing of God in return for spreading the peace of God.

The noblest revenge is to forgive - Thomas Fuller

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:14-21)

Rejoicing in Heaven

We are saddened by the loss, but know that heaven is rejoicing as Dr Kim Hall is welcomed to his eternal home on October 21. Kim was the Pastor of Hunters Glen Baptist Church here in Plano. From HGBC:
Kim earned his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and his Masters and Doctor of Ministry degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served churches in Louisiana and Mississippi during his 35 years of ministry. Dr Hall has served on the Executive Board and the Mission Funding Committee of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. He has served in numerous positions with the Collin Baptist Association. He also has served as a chaplain for the Plano Police and Fire Departments. He has been active in missions worldwide. He is the founder of Advance International, which partners with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and the IMB to provide theological education to Christian leaders in remote areas of the world.

Dr Hall was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Luther & Floriene Hall. He is survived by his loving wife and partner in the ministry Martha Miller Hall, loving son Hunter Hall and wife Becky Merrick Hall, loving son Daniel Hall and his fiancé Jessi James. Two beautiful grandchildren Carson and Saige Hall, siblings; Gladden & Lydia Hall Willis, Bob & Myrna Hall Tarver, David & Madeline Hall and Joey & Judy Hall and many nieces and nephews.

To say that Kim was well-loved would be a vast understatement. His memorial service at Hunter's Glen was standing-room only, overflowed via video to other rooms as well as an internet feed for his international friends and others who could not make the trip. Under the lordship of Christ, Kim was a man of unique vision, reaching out to all peoples without compromising the integrity of the Word of God. Hunters Glen Baptist will continue to reap the benefits of Kim's God-given visions for years to come.

Even though Kim served at Hunters Glen for over 20 years, his influence and love for others was felt worldwide because of his great passion for missions. His vision was that HGBC would involve all the multi-ethnicities of our community by the year 2020 in such a way that the various groups would retain their culturally specific opportunities, yet integrated in order that all members at times could come together for worship as one unified body of believers. Under Kim's leadership, this program was well underway with the establishment of local Chinese, Indian, Russian, Iranian, Spanish and Korean churches. Kim was also instrumental in the establishment of multiple international churches, particularly in Russia. The HGBC staff members remain steadfastly committed to this vision.

For those who would like to help further Kim's vision, memorials & donations can be made to the above-mentioned Advance International, which provides needed training to those serving the Lord in places where there is little to no access to theological education. We miss you Kim, but look forward to seeing you again one day.

Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 1Cor 15:20-23

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bridge to Life - Gospel Graffiti

After several weeks of being overwhelmed at work, I'm finally seeing some daylight. The overtime came in handy, but it was difficult to find time to study, write or do most anything else. I'm certainly not complaining, especially considering the overall employment situation. We continue to pray for those who would like to work but have been victimized by BHO's De-Development of America agenda.

My workload is beginning to level off, and I even got to watch some college football this weekend. I'm also teaching a Bible study class again and have several new articles in progress for the blog and the main website. In the meantime, here's an outstanding video from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association containing an excellent blend of graffiti and the Gospel.