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BGAV Blog

Encountering Hope in Your Valley of Trouble

I have been reading the book of Hosea, one of God’s Old Testament prophets. It is an interesting read, because the family life of Hosea was a living parable of the people of Israel’s relationship with God.

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Standing Rock: Building Relationships Together

All in Jesus’ name—hand in hand and heart to heart—we build relationships and trust with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of The Dakotas through loving kindness, listening ears, and words of encouragement. We do this together as one.

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Revitalize Your Sunday School, Step 1: Creative Teaching

To let the message of Christ dwell among you as you teach, perhaps you need to follow Jesus’ example. As shared by my friend, Ken Braddy, in his new book, Breathing Life into Sunday School: 12 Essentials to Revive your Most Important Ministry, Jesus taught in a variety of ways.

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Disaster Response Update: Hurricane Dorian

All volunteers are now in STAND DOWN from a response for Hurricane Dorian in the U.S. There is no need for mass care feeding and it appears that there will be little to no need for our assistance with recovery efforts. The affected states to our south appear to have their needs covered at this time. As far as Virginia is concerned, we continue to monitor the situation but all current indicators point to minimal damage and no need for any response larger than those being handled by local congregations. If you hear of any needs then please feel free to communicate that information to our office and we will be more than happy to respond. .

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When Your Hands Are Tied

There are always events in our lives which are beyond our control. As I write this, we are awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Dorian. There has been a week of anxiety for many people up and down the east coast of the United States. I live on an island, just off the mainland of Virginia. The church property is about 7.5 feet above sea level. Projections of the tidal swell are around 7 feet above sea level. It is a situation in which if the storm continues to move further east into the ocean, we might not get the high tides, and we’ll mainly have rain and wind. But you never know.

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Revitalize!

On Saturday, August 24, at Heritage Baptist Church in Farmville, we saw God at work at the Revitalize! Conference.

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Jesus Has Set the Table; You Just Need to Show Up

I can’t remember exactly when it was that the idea of starting a dinner church grabbed hold of me. But I do know that for several years the thought just wouldn’t let me go. I attended a Fresh Expressions Vision Day when I was serving a church in Northern Virginia, and we watched a video about the Dinner Church movement that was emerging out of the Seattle area. As I watched it, something within me said, “Yes. This is what church is supposed to look like.”

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Performance Planning Has a Role in Ministry

The idea of conducting performance reviews in a church requires first that the reasons for doing it are aligned with the guiding principles of the church, edifying to the community, and supportive of the individuals involved. There are good reasons to implement performance reviews, but there are also risks if it’s not done well or if it’s done with less than honorable motives.

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The Importance of First Impressions

People who come to your church for the first time are making a serious investment of two or three hours of their time, facing anxiety about going to a new place, and often entrusting their children to complete strangers. Churches must reciprocate by making their own efforts to make their environments welcoming and comfortable.

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The Christian Opportunist

Today’s column is a “timely” message (pun intended) for each of us. We all feel the pressure of losing time—once lost, it cannot be reclaimed. For some it was a lifetime of the enjoying the present with no thought to the future; for others it is being so future-minded that they squander present opportunities.

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Impact Mission Camps Provide New Opportunities for Students to Serve

Impact Mission Camps, in its 26th year overall and its second year of five-year partnerships with communities where it serves, gave students and partners new opportunities to share God’s love through service this summer.  For the last several years, the theme for Impact has come from the parable of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25, with themes such as Hungry, More than Welcome, and Robes of Hope. This year, we practiced Just Visiting—being one expression of the presence of Christ by visiting, forming relationships, and serving.

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via Missio Alliance: The Local Church is a Living Sign of Hope

They bring pulled pork or chicken, maybe a salad and watermelon, and, every so often, a Kool-Aid pie. We sit around our living room eating, drinking, and reading the Gospel of John, or Nehemiah, or most recently, Deuteronomy. Some Wednesdays I remember to recognize the miracle of this little group of people, made up of two men with PhDs, a young woman with a significant learning disability, college students, a young couple, and a 58-year-old man who can’t read. This small, sometimes awkward, group of people embodies the strange, life-giving power of the local church both to me and for the whole world.

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Seeing New Possibilities

I am getting older each day. I realize my days ahead are statistically fewer in the future than my days before now. I have been dealing with a bad cold for over a week. I realize that I am overweight and have health issues. Perhaps that has called me to consider what happens afterwards here. As I consider my trip to heaven, what have I done to bring God’s Kingdom to Earth?

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