Friday, February 29, 2008

Missionary Spotlight ~ Ruth Dinkins, Brazil

Ruth Dinkins was reared on the mission field of Brazil. Although she grew up in a strong Christian home, she did not submit her life to the Lord until she was 18 years of age. She earned her associate’s degree from Montreat Anderson Junior College and her bachelor’s degree from Pembroke State University in Pembroke, North Carolina. She returned home to Brazil in 1980 and was a teacher of Christian education at the Edward Lane Bible Institute from 1982-1987.

After earning her master’s of Christian education degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi in May of 1991, she accepted the position of Director of Children’s Ministries at Christ Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During her years of ministry there, Ruth invested much energy in making missions an integral part of the Christian education curriculum. She also served on the missions committee and went on various youth and adult mission trips to Brazil and Mexico.

In 1997, Ruth was invited to return to Brazil to serve as director of the Christian Education Department of the Edward Lane Bible Institute in Patrocinio, Minas Gerais. Besides teaching classes, she also administrates and coordinates all the students’ field/practical work.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Forrest G. "Bud" Bratley ~ Mustard Seed, Flowood, MS

Bud has been serving at the Mustard Seed as the Interim Executive Director for the past few months. He has served on the Board of Trustees in several different capacities over the last 20 years. Bud and his wife, Mary, have three daughters, one of whom, Rebecca, has been participating in the Mustard Seed handbell choir, ceramic workshop, and other activities for the last 10 years. Mary and Bud have been members of First Presbyterian Jackson for 30 years.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Kind Providence

For over a year now, it’s been the distinct privilege of the Young Adult Dept. at FPC to lead a weekly Bible study at the Mississippi College School of Law. We meet during the lunch hour every Monday for a time of teaching and discussion from a passage of Scripture. The title of the series for this semester is “Heavenly Wisdom for Earthly Good: A Study of the Book of James.”

Yesterday we focused our attention on James 1:19-21 and 3:1-12. This is the section in James where the dangers of the tongue are addressed frankly, and where we receive this very convicting command: “…be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” Discussion regarding the sins of the tongue make almost any group of Christians squirm, but you can imagine how affecting these words were for a room full of soon-to-be lawyers! (Almost as affecting as a room full of soon-to-be ministers!)

Well, in God’s kind providence it pleased him to re-emphasize this truth to me today. When I opened J.I. Packer’s Knowing and Doing the Will of God to read the devotional for February 12, the reading came from James 1:21—the exact passage I taught the day before. Here’s what it says, “Humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” Though I knew what James intended in his instruction, I found my soul needing to hear this admonition afresh this morning. Humility prepares the soil of the heart to receive the seed of the gospel. It's not my words or your words that save; it's God's Word.

Here’s what Packer had to say: “God plants the word in our hearts just as we plant bulbs and seeds in our flower pots. The word takes root in our hearts and changes us in ways of which we are not at first conscious; in due course, however, we become aware that we are different from the way we were. Once I didn't see Jesus in his glory, now I do. Once I didn’t love my heavenly Father, and now I do. Once I didn’t find worship a joy, and now I do. Once I didn’t desire to please God more than I desire anything else in the world; once I didn’t desire God’s fellowship at all—but that has changed. What has happened? The Word has been planted and taken root, and through the Holy Spirit it has become the means of life to my—and your—heart.” (p.53)


Friday, February 01, 2008

FPC's Upcoming 2008 Missions Conference

The Missions Conference is quickly approaching, so this a great opportunity for us to list all of the missionaries that will be attending the Conference. The 2008 Conference will kick off Wednesday, February 20th, and go through Sunday, February 24th. There will be a church-wide luncheon on Thursday, February 21st at 11:30am in Miller Hall.

Friday, February 22nd, will be a memorable evening, with a missions celebration featuring Ginny Owens in concert and missionary guests. The concert will take place in the sanctuary. Everyone is invited to this great time of celebration.

Our missionaries will be speaking at the luncheon, during church services, at the Day School, and in Sunday school classes., providing a number of opportunities to meet our missionaries. Please take this opportunity to get to know them and make them feel welcomed.

We need to pray for the Conference, our missionaries that will be attending, and that we would reach our Faith Promise Goal of $1.1 million dollars. May God bless this time of gathering with such a great group of people.

The Key note speaker is Dr. Iain D. Campbell, Minister of Back Free Church of Scotland, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Listed below are the missionaries that will be attending the Missions Conference.

Keith and Debbie, Africa
John and Kathy Lesondak, Slovakia
Dan and Janet McBride, Africa
Glenn and Mary Rowan, East Asia
Bill and Suzanne, North America
Ron and Peg Smith, Florida
Jim and Caty Tate, Ecuador

Ed and Stefanie Dunnington, Roanoke, VA ~ Church Planter
David and Amie McIntosh, Hartsville, SC ~ Church Planter
J.R. and Eliza Foster, RUF, Virginia Tech ~ Campus Ministry
Joey and Summer Wright, RUF, Mississippi College ~ Campus Ministry

Bud Bratley, Mustard Seed ~ Flowood, MS