Category Archives: Articles

A Challenge to the Meramec Association Part II

by Pastor Ben Kingston, Bethel Baptist Church • Lonedell, MO
In light of my last letter you may not want to hear from me again, but I hope this paper finds you doing well and enjoying the grace and ministry of our Lord.

I would like to continue the conversation that we began last month about greater involvement in the camp and allowing this to be a catalyst for revival among our churches. (As Bro. Jim pointed out last week, this letter is to our Meramec Association Churches regarding our Meramec Church Camp that will meet July 19-25, 2015.)

Specifically this month, I would like to talk about a greater awareness, understanding, and participation in our camp ministry as a whole. A point of frustration for some of our folks that have rented the camp is that when they get there it looks as if it hasn’t been cleaned in 3-4 months and ironically, that is exactly what has happened.
One of the funnier phrases and illustrations in my ministry has been: “what is everybody’s business is nobody’s business.” When somebody doesn’t do what is everybody’s job, nobody does it and when nobody does it, everybody gets upset. The reality is that a 5-person committee cannot keep a facility like this clean on a monthly basis and that camp (which has been discussed ad nauseum) does not belong to 5 men – it belongs to the association. Therefore, we are asking the association and the individual churches to get involved on a deeper level so that when someone does rent the facility it looks like someone has cleaned it because truly in fact someone has.

So, how do we make this happen? I want to broach the subject today of a liaison approach. I’m asking each Pastor to appoint a liaison to the camp. This person will meet with myself and/or the committee will get on the same page as to the direction we’re going and how we are going to get there, will exchange phone numbers, etc. This person will be the liaison between the camp and their church. When we have something we need the church to know, we will get the word out to the liaison. Likewise, when the church needs to get a message to the committee, they would do this through their liaison.

Case in point: the challenge I gave last month for each church to have a sign up sheet and encourage their membership to sign up for a particular night, or as many nights as they can come to worship services at church camp. The liaison would take charge of this list, keep it before the church and, if you will, lovingly hound folks to participate.

One of the things that I try to put in place as Pastor at Bethel is that when I ask you to do something, I’m not asking you to personally do it as much as I’m asking you to see that it gets done. So, if the liaison in your church never does the task themselves, but has that uncanny ability to get someone else to do it for them, that would be a perfect person. Or, if you have someone in your church who just cannot get enough of volunteering and they love to do everything themselves, this person would be a great liaison.
In the next month, I’m asking you, our churches, to please call me (636) 629-2526 with your questions and/or ideas of who would be a good liaison to the camp committee for your church. We will then set up training time, job description, etc.

Just to refresh the challenge from last week: Mikaela Sanders and I are challenging and asking anyone and everyone first and foremost to pray for revival to start in them. Then, if you have a physical need to get in shape, we are asking you to accept that challenge. One of the ways to motivate you to get in shape is to accept the challenge of running ‘The Beast’ obstacle course this year.

As I write this letter, I have taken a break and reviewed the video of myself running ‘The Beast’ last year and that me, being in questionable, I ran it in under 2 minutes. Our most in-shape young men and women run the course in just under a minute. So if you’re not in shape and want to take up this challenge, for your own health’s sake, get prepared! You probably know someone that has done a mud run or something along those lines. I certainly would not put this obstacle course on the same challenging level as those, but I guarantee you will fare better if you take this as a challenge and begin walking, weight training, watching food intake, losing some weight, and preparing on some level. The ultimate goal is to get our bodies to appear on the outside that we are taking very seriously the scripture 1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”

As I was watching this video of a 49 year old man doing something that he possibly shouldn’t do, what caught my eye was all the kids that were watching me. Adults, your kids, your grand kids, the kids in your church – they’re watching you and they need to. Let’s give them an example worth following. May the Lord richly bless you and your church. Please help us with Jesus Camp.

A Challenge to the Meramec Association

by Pastor Ben Kingston, Bethel Baptist Church • Lonedell, MO

I’m sitting here on Wednesday night at one of the most beautiful evenings that I’ve ever seen at Jesus Camp at the Meramec Retreat Center. We had a good crowd; however it is small. I’m sitting here wondering aloud that out of 20 churches why is this tabernacle not full on Wednesday night? This campus is within 20 to 40 minutes of most of our churches.

About 5 years ago I had the idea to challenge our churches to have a Camp attendance sign-up by March, challenging each member and attendee to pick a night to attend. If you want to pick all the same night for your church, that’s great. Or, if you have folks that want to come different nights whatever the case may be.

As the Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church and the Chairman of the Camp Committee, I’m asking every church to participate in the Meramec Association Jesus Camp and by March that you put a sign-up sheet. I’m challenging the Pastors to challenge your members and attendees to pick a night and come. The goal is to get as many folks of your membership here that you can.

So now, a test question: “Do I have to convince anyone in this association that America needs revival? If so, then I’ll love you enough to tell you that you have your head firmly in the sand. We are a broken nation. We are a dying nation, and as a result, we are a suffering nation. I don’t believe our kids are the problem. I believe Christians refusing to sell out to the Great Commission is.

I know that our churches are full of people that are sold out today to the Commission, so I’m asking you to be the change that you want to see in our youth and here is an opportunity to do just that.

One of the things that is wrong with Christianity in America is a refusal to join in where you see God working. We had 13 saved at Kid Camp. God is working! Please come. Bring your kids and grand kids, or send hem and then come in the evening and see what God has done on that day.

This association has somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 invested. We should not only support because of finances. We should support this Camp because of the commitment to Christ. Our goal is to reach lost men, women, boys, and girls.

I was told as a young lad that the reason that we are part of an association is because we can do together more than what we can do alone, so I’m asking you to come together and let’s do more.

Those words were spoken into my phone over 6 months ago. You may notice it is not the most eloquent letter you have ever heard, but I hope you hear the passion and desperation that we all should feel about the condition of our nation.

In those 6 months we have seen a government cast off the Constitution in her dealings. Many of our states that voted to uphold the scriptural definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman have seen that vote overturned. Ferguson has happened. A minister has been told that if he does not solemnize marriages between homosexuals he will face jail time. The Houston Mayor subpoenaed the sermons of Houston Churches because of their stand against a policy she was supporting that furthered the LBGT agenda (she has since dropped it). And now, the Mayor of Atlanta, GA has fired the Fire Chief for a Christian book that he wrote that has 1-2 pages addressing homosexuality as a sin. We are in trouble.

I am submitting this challenge now to get involved in any way and everywhere you can. Specifically, come to Camp.

Following is a letter from Makayla Sanders encouraging you not to just come and worship, but come and participate. Have you got your steel-toed boots on?
There is one main area that is physically noticeable wherein most Baptist Churches are in disobedience and that is our eating habits. What would happen in our Churches if we got in line with scripture and treated the body that He gave us as His temple and did not defile it with too much sugar, fat, etc.? I believe we would see an outpouring of God’s power that would surprise us and most likely revive us.

So please hear Makayla:

Hello, my name is Makayla Sanders. Bro. Ben asked me to write this letter to you. We were talking during ‘The Beast’ challenge at camp last year about how many people in our association could and should run ‘The Beast.’ Then we got onto health, so I just want to share these thoughts with you in light of that conversation.

Do you think it is a sin to be overweight? Why would it be? “It is not hurting anyone” is what most people think. Well, you are hurting someone, more than one person – you’re hurting yourself and God. Being overweight is a sin. Proverbs 23:1-3 says ‘when you sit down to eat with a ruler consider carefully what is in front of you and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to your appetite. Do not desire his delicacies for they are deceptive food.” The Bible does not really mean to put a knife to your throat, it is just saying to curb your appetite; control it. As Christians, we look at people that drink and think, “I can’t believe they are doing that” or “drinking is not the answer to your problems.” Well, when we look down on them for doing that, we should look at what we do wrong. Proverbs 23:20 “Do not mix with wine bibbers or with gluttonous eaters of meat.” This is saying that overeating is just as bad as drinking.

God wants us to live a healthy, joyful life. I’m almost 100% sure that you want to live a healthy, joyful life as well, so why not take a stand? Do what you’re called to do and be a good example for people; for the kids growing up behind you.

I am 16 years old and one of my biggest fears is becoming overweight so what I need to do is eat healthy. A website that I have used to see if I can find a type of healthy snack is Pinterest. Pinterest has a ton of great ideas for eating healthy. If you and your family are always on the go, then you can look up quick and easy healthy dinners or you could prepare a meal, freeze it, and pop it in the oven when you are ready to have that meal.

Another thing I need to do is to stay active. We are always busy running around, some of us taking our kids to places that we need to go. Well, that doesn’t always leave time to be active so we say,“Okay, I can’t workout today, I’ll do it tomorrow,” or “I cannot fit it in my schedule, I cannot do it today.” Then the cycle repeats itself everyday. We need to make it a habit and make it a part of our schedule. Being active doesn’t always mean to go on a run, lift weights or see how many sit ups or push ups we can do. Being active can mean to play outside with our families or go on a bike ride – something enjoyable. You could even start a group and work out together and use each other as motivation. When you start falling behind you can ask someone else to help you. I know it is very hard to keep going and stay in that routine, but if you use each other for motivation and ask God for the strength, you will be able to do it if it is something you truly want for yourself and your family.

I’m writing this paper because I want to be able to help people out with their struggles. I am wanting to become a personal trainer after high school. God has blessed me with an opportunity to become a personal trainer. At the age right now, I think I would be able to use this job as a mission field. If I get this job it would be such a blessing. If I do not get the job then it’s OK, I will still try to stay active and eat healthy.

Please join us at Jesus Camp this year. Accept Bro. Ben’s challenge and let’s attend the worship services. Accept the challenge to get in shape and run ‘The Beast’!

Did you hear her passion? This is just one of many of our young people that attend our church not once a week, not twice a week, but three times a week and they love us. They want us to live as long as God wants us to. They want us to be healthy. They want us to set the example for them. They want us to be around long enough to see their VBS closing program, to see their Awana closing program, to see their baptism, to see their graduation, to see their wedding, to see their children.

Adults, I hear it all the time from quite honestly, I believe, preachers that are tired of talking to disinterested adults. Those preachers say that they believe the next revival is going to come from the youth and that most, if not all great revivals have come from the youth. I’m not trying to argue against history as much as tell you that I don’t believe that is God’s design. According to Scripture, it’s the adults that are to set the example. It’s the adults that are to lead.

So, I’m challenging myself and the Meramec Association to: #1 Pick at least one night to come to camp worship and be there by 6:30 p.m. #2 If you’re overweight, accept the challenge and let’s get in shape. #3 If you are able, take the challenge of the obstacle course that we call ‘The Beast’ and let’s have some fun. #4 and greatest of all, let’s individually daily pray for revival in America and please end your prayer with “Lord, start with me.”

Meramec Camp is July 19-25, 2015 – See YOU There!!

December 2012 – Mission Director’s Report

Last month I reported my resignation from Lindsay Lane Baptist Church as their pastor. The past 14 years of my life have been blessed due to the wonderful relationship that I have enjoyed with these people. Please pray for them as they seek a new shepherd and if you know of men who are available to fill the pulpit for them, please contact Mike Jenkins at 314-355-2859.

Due to my resignation I have a change of address for all mission offerings and correspondence. Please mail to: Danny Kirk, 224 N. Hwy 67, # 255, Florissant, MO 63031. Please let your church treasurer know of the new address.

When I moved to Missouri 14 years ago, I made a new friend with a fellow pastor, Mike Quillman. I found Bro. Mike to be a fierce warrior for the Lord and for the souls of men. Everywhere I traveled with him, Bro. Mike was faithful to share his testimony of knowing Jesus and he would then ask them if they had a saving relationship with Him. Bro. Mike was always encouraging to me and a great help in time of need. Last month, Bro. Mike finally made it to the Home he had preached about for four decades. I will miss him, but I know that there will come a glad reunion day. I wonder if he will greet me in heaven with the line, “Hello, Jesus loves you!”
Let’s be faithful to pray for his dear wife and family.

Bro. Danny

Your Kid Is Like A Kleenex

by Travis Plumlee, Director of Family Ark Ministries

So many kids grow up and turn to alcohol and drugs. Many others get discouraged, and develop depression or anxiety. Still others start running with the wrong crowd, and as a result, make poor choices; which begins a pathway of destruction for them. So what can you do as a parent to help assure that your child will be less likely to follow these pathways? There are no 100% guarantees in an imperfect world. You can always raise your kids right, and by the bible; and they can still grow up and choose to live wrong.

However, you can say some things, avoid some things, and give your child the right foundation. Then, if they fall apart later in life, it won’t be because of a failure on your part as a parent. The foundation is poured early-on in life. Discouraged kids do drugs. Shamed kids become anxious, depressed and develop addictive behaviors. When kids feel like they are not fully accepted at home, they will start to run with the wrong crowd. There are many other explanations besides these I am listing, to cause these troubles. But many of these problems might occur because of things you say to your kids, and that is an easy thing to avoid doing.
Start off by understanding that your child or children, are like Kleenex tissues in two ways. Let me explain both.

1). Children are like Kleenex tissues in that their developing personality and self-esteem are very easy to get torn or crumpled. Think of how easy it is to tear a Kleenex in pieces. It takes very little effort. That is how it is with your kid. It doesn’t take much on your part to destroy their little hearts before they ever have a chance to grow. You are stressed out. You have had a bad day. And you snap at them. This marks their heart.

Perhaps they were talking in school. The teacher told them to be quiet and your child talked just a second longer. They didn’t get a star on their chart this week. They got a frown face instead. Don’t shame them. They already feel bad. Kids want to do well and please you. Say, “It will be okay. We will just continue to work on these things. Everyone makes mistakes. I think you are a very smart and good kid and I know you will do well in school the rest of the week, right!” Smile at them and give them a hug.

Sometimes your kids are in a bad mood. Don’t shame them if they don’t feel like hugging and kissing you and tell you 100 times they love you. Every person, even little ones, sometimes just need some down time. Don’t shame them here either. As my readers know I am a big proponent of biblical discipline. There are many instances where your kids do wrong, and you need to take disciplinary action. If your child develops an on-going pattern of misbehavior in the home or school, then we need to give them reproof or the rod. But no one is perfect. Kids make mistakes and learn from them. Help them learn from them. You don’t always have to make them feel bad to get them to do better.

Remember to always attack the behavior, and not them as a person. Don’t call them names. Cry Baby. Selfish. Brat.(Fill in the blank). You may need to correct behavior, but don’t have them feel like there is something wrong with them. Don’t think that somehow God made a mistake when He made them. And by the way, God doesn’t make any child with a deficit. They may have attention different, but they don’t have attention deficit. How would you like to be 10 and think you have a deficit compared to other kids! Don’t label.

2). Children are like Kleenex because they are absorbent. They absorb what they hear you say and do. Not all misbehavior has to be disciplined. So they messed up. Let them learn from their mistakes. Ask them what they learned. Ask them to help you problem solve. Ask, “What do we need to do different next time?” Kids want to correct their mistakes because no child wants to be a failure. They all want to succeed. And God wants them to succeed. They are His kids after all. God doesn’t want any of His kids to not be successful. Help them find the pathways that will make them successful. Not every kid has to go the same pathway. Each child is unique. Work with the teachers. Work with their educational modality, so that even with homework, they are given the right environment to be successful. Some kids take 30 minutes, and they are disciplined, motivated and done. Other kids are just as smart, but they need prodding, isolation, structured environment and help. Find what works for each kid.

Just remember you make a deposit or withdrawal every day in your child’s memory bank. When parents shame them, ignore them or criticize them; those are withdrawal days. These kids will soon be bankrupt and have troubles. Deposits are encouragement, praise and attention and affection.These kids are rich because their parents invest in them. Don’t ever forget that your children’s personality and self-esteem are as fragile as a Kleenex. They absorb. They tear easily. Constantly pray and seek God.

Mission Director’s Annual Report 2012

October 27, 2012

This year we had some last minute speaker changes to our Mission Symposium plans. With a few minutes notice, Bro. Jamie Jones stepped up and did an excellent job in sharing his heart about the church planting efforts in Smithville. The Lord continues to bless the work with new leaders being raised up, new life groups started, and, in addition to a very public baptism of 10 souls in Smithville Lake. I spent a couple of days with the Jones family this month assessing a new associate, Jared Kathcart. I believe that Bro. Jared and his wife, Nikki, will be a wonderful addition to the staff at North Lake Church.

At the Symposium we received an offering from our churches in the amount of $2,397.58 to help the Abundant Life In Christ Baptist Church in Charleston, MO with their building fund.

The financial record will show that the offerings from the churches during the past associational year has continue to decrease from $42,648.14 to $39,829.36…a decrease of $2,800 for the year. I am very grateful for the 30 churches that continue to support the work of state missions and I want to encourage the remainder of our churches to please add state missions to their budgets.

A passion that has continued to grow within me is a desire to help our churches as well as our church planters. Of course, the energy and time this would require, has been hindered by my role as a pastor. I have been praying about my role as a Director of Missions and about my role as a pastor and what God would have me to do. Last week I informed the Lindsay Lane Baptist Church that I am resigning as pastor so I can give more time to the work of missions and offer my help to the churches of Missouri. Please pray for Lindsay Lane as they seek a new pastor and pray for me as I make myself available to our churches in the areas of church health, church planting, and leadership training. I am available to come to your church to preach and share about the work of missions.

Once again, I appreciate the opportunity to serve the churches of the BMA of Missouri.

by Danny Kirk

Paul Harvey’s America

by Dr. John M. Adams • Executive Director – Moral Action

Paul Harvey (1918-2009) transformed radio by inspiring a nation to listen to common sense. This man was unique not only in radio voice but in timely sayings.

The brutal murder of his father shaped Paul Harvey’s life and career, howbeit, through many tears. He had a wonderful high school teacher who helped launch his career into radio. He became a champion for God, His church, those serving in uniform, and our American nation.

Paul Harvey wrote and quoted a prayer that he wrote in 1952. It was a plea for God to raise up a certain type of President for our country. The following is that excerpt:

“Almighty God, send us a leader.
A man with his feet planted firmly in American tradition.
A tall man…with his head above the fog of selfish interests.
Not a common man.
This time, God, send us an“Uncommon man”…a statesman.
We don’t deserve him, but send him anyway.
And hurry, please. The hour is late.
The candle of freedom burns low.”

In the foreword of the book by Stephen Mansfield and David Holland, Paul Harvey’s America, is presented the fact that Paul Harvey understood that America is unique in human history, a nation founded in a vision of freedom that was new in the world at that time.

Harvey wanted Americans to never forget the price our forefathers had to pay for freedom. He would give us the “Rest of the Story” series to teach us what little we knew of our Founding Fathers and Mothers. They were stalwart souls who paved a great path for each of us.

So, that is the reason that at the peak of his radio talk it was estimated that 24,000,000 people a week listened to his inspirational presentations of hope and love.

One of his greatest speeches was given on April 3, 1965. It is as follows:

“If I were the Devil…I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve; ‘do as you please.’ ‘Do as you please.’ To the young, I would whisper, ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is ‘square.’ In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’

“If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions…let those run wild. I would designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say ‘she’s right.’ With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.

“If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my policestate would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.”

Paul Harvey, Good Day.

I recommend for enjoyable reading the patriotic common sense book, Paul Harvey’s America, written by Stephen Mansfield and David Holland, Tyndale House, $19.99.