Highland Park Baptist Church
Header

Matthew 19:14

May 30th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Kid City - (Comments Off on Matthew 19:14)

Did you know….

•Babies are born ready to absorb knowledge. Research shows that a child’s mental

development is most rapid during the first 18 months.

•The pre-school years are of unparalleled importance in building character, love

and a positive response to Jesus and the church.

People who have been around me for years have often heard me repeat this mantra over
and over. The nursery and early childhood programs are not simply drop off babysitting.
Too often the church culture views children’s ministry as a place the children can go
so “real” church can happen on the other side of the building. But if we look at the Bible,
this viewpoint could not be farther from Jesus’ heart.

Matthew 19:14 Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the
kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

We value our babies and our nursery workers, knowing that we are affecting eternity
through all the smiles, hugs, diaper changes, lessons, prayers, worship songs, snacks and
so much more! We are dedicated to take every opportunity to fill their minds with God
and His love for them.

In our early childhood programs, we use our own curriculum that connects God and
His truth in their everyday lives using age appropriate, concrete methods. We know
that preschoolers learn best by doing! Our lessons include stories, play, songs and fun
activities to teach Bible truths.

We have an amazing team of people who serve and pour their hearts into these children
every week – often unnoticed and without much fanfare. Whether you have a child in
these programs or not, please take a moment next Sunday to thank these faithful servants
who are pouring their hearts and lives into the next generation. And if you want to be a
part of this wonderful opportunity to serve and love on our little ones…YOU are needed!
Men, women, singles, college, teens… where can God be using you?

-Nancy Baughman

The Enjoyment of Creation

May 30th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Jimmy - (Comments Off on The Enjoyment of Creation)

I believe it’s safe to assume many of us can eventually feel programed by the routine
of everyday life. For example, when traveling to and from regular destinations,
we’re often devoted to a standard route, and outside slight deviations to avoid
traffic, it’s as if an autopilot mechanism is launched at the start of our commute.
There are also those days in which we consider all of life’s happenings during our
voyage, until lo and behold a half an hour jaunt only felt like a matter of minutes.

While having days such as these aren’t wrong, If we’re not careful too many of
these moments will lead to missing out on observing God’s continual presence in
the wonderful creation that surrounds us. For example, we may miss the gradual
opening of flowers, or may not consider the patience of God and the beauty of our Creator’s
designs. If we’re careful we might just observe the setting sun, which prompts us to
unload our burdens and transgressions to a provident and forgiving God.

It’s so easy for us to unintentionally wear blinders and miss the powerfully dynamic
works of God in the creation among us. In fact, observing and enjoying God’s work
of creation is an important element for understanding our relationship with Him.
David understood his place in the universe after reflecting on Creation: “When I
consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you
have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you
care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him
with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:3-5).

Our relationship with God truly benefits when we take time to study His general
revelation. At the end of June, many involved with our Young Adult Ministry will be
retreating from the hubbub of everyday life to intentionally enjoy the magnificent
creation of God. We will be heading north to Oscoda, Michigan for a weekend to
study both the general (Creation) and special (His Word) revelation of God. If you’re
a college student, young professional or young married couple, I personally invite
you to consider joining us for special weekend.

Jimmy Smith
Young Adults

Instagram

May 24th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Brian - (Comments Off on Instagram)

Facebook is everywhere! You cannot turn on the news and not hear about how many
new users they have, how much their IPO is going to make or what the founder, Mark
Zuckerburg, is up to. Every day it seems like there is something new happening with
Facebook.

A recent event that really got my attention was their purchase of Instagram. Instagram
is a free photo sharing program that allows people to take pictures and post them to
different social media websites. Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars. Not a
million dollars…. a BILLION!

There are tons of programs that take pictures and tons of ways to post those pictures to
any number of different social media outlets. In fact most phones come with a camera
program built in when you purchase the phone. So what makes Instagram stand out
above the rest? How did they command a billion dollars?

The statistics about instagram are pretty impressive.

-Each day on Facebook 300 million photos are uploaded

-Instagram gains one new user every second

-One billion photos have been taken with the app

-There are roughly 58 photos uploaded each second

With such staggering figures the question begs us to repeat…what makes Instagram stand
out above the rest?

You get to use filters.

Instagram doesn’t just take pictures it also gives you the ability to apply a digital filter on
the photo. This unique feature has made it wildly popular. It takes your average photo
and turns it into an eye catching piece of art. It takes an average person, snapping the
photos, and transforms them into a creative genius.

A simple reason that Instagram has gained such popularity is that there is something in all
of us that wants to create, to make beautiful things. We were not put on this earth to just
go to work, watch TV, sleep and repeat. Genesis 1 paints for us this beautiful picture of
the ultimate creativity, as God designed and wove creation together for His glory. And
then we come to verse 27 which declares that He didn’t just create us but He created,
formed, fashioned us…in His own image. Our God is a creative God, therefore, we are
creative people.

What you are creating doesn’t have to be artistic in the traditional sense, but it should be
yours. God has created you uniquely and in His image. There is no one else like you.
Our creative God has made you exactly as you are for His purpose and His plan. Let
me encourage you this week to follow His lead….create something. Unleash that inner
artist

-Brian Atkins

Philippians 4:13

May 23rd, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Kid City - (Comments Off on Philippians 4:13)

Philippians4:13:  I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

This verse helps us as believers to overcome adversity in Christ Jesus. It does not give us freedom to accomplish our own selfish plans but refers to submitting to the will of the Father and He will give us the strength to carry out His will. This passage reflects Christ’s power and ability in our lives.

-Sue Reddypogu

Just Maybe…

May 21st, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Gordon - (2 Comments)

In the Bible idolatry meant more than a means of worship. It was designed to attribute glory
to the gods in order to manipulate them so that a culture might maintain personal peace and
prosperity (i.e., maintaining a good standard of living and peace in the land). And all of this
came about at any expense, including the sacrifice of children. Ezekiel 23 is an allegory about
Israel (portrayed as two sisters) caught up in political adultery (and as the context makes clear,
the adultery was for material gain). The pursuit of this “adultery” perverted the mind of the
nation to the point of willingness to sacrifice their own children as an offering to God (23:36-39).
As a result, God pronounced judgment upon the land and its people (23:46-49). The economy of
the people came at the expense of the morality of the people . . . and God adjusted His dealings
with the nation on that basis. The end result was the collapse of the culture and exile to Babylon.

Just maybe our ruptured economy . . . just maybe our fractured chaotic culture . . . just maybe
our loss of world prominence . . . just maybe our inability to produce jobs for people . . . just
maybe all of this (and more!) might be flashing red lights from the Lord that we as a nation have
lost our moral bearings. (Remember, economy and morality do go together.) The generation
of the 60’s demanded sexual freedom; the generation of the 70’s demanded abortion rights;
and the present generation has given us the exaltation of homosexuality. We have worshipped
at the altar of personal peace, personal rights, and personal prosperity. Could it be more than
accidental that our nation might be struggling for its very survival?

But this is not the time for us to seek how to save the country. That is for politicians. We as
believers in Jesus as the Messiah must use the bleak outlook to point people to the glory of the
gospel. The gospel (good news) penetrates through the veneer of our pragmatic and feeling-
good society. It exposes our moral bankruptcy and it points us to a fulfilled and fruitful life in
the Lord Jesus. God never commissioned us to change the culture. But He did send us forth
to produce the fruit of godly character by the power of the Holy Spirit and to seek the fruit of
converts to be disciples of the Savior. The gospel is not intended to somehow manipulate God
into saving our country and our way of life. The gospel is designed to bring Him glory as people
come to their wits end and realize they have nowhere to turn.

Thus, let us be men and women who find our life-sustaining food in a Christ-saturated
mindset that pursues eternal life rather than the unsatisfying practices of our culture that end in
fruitlessness and self-destruction. And let us continue to proclaim the Lord Jesus as the One who
forgives sins and restores sinners to a relationship with God who gives meaning and satisfaction
in life.

-Gordon Ainsworth

Speak with your life!

May 10th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Derrick - (Comments Off on Speak with your life!)
An idiom that has dominated American Christianity since the eighties reads: It is easy to talk the talk, but can you walk the walk. This is something we have heard and been challenged to do our whole Christian life. Something that delineates between “Jesus Freaks” and “Jesus Believers.” Walking the walk is actually really hard to do, but something required of those who profess Jesus to be Lord of their life. I implore you to DO more than you TALK. To be imitators of Christ is no small feat, however we are challenged to try (Eph. 5:1-2). Through the power of the Holy Spirit, one can be empowered to give there ALL in trying. I have found in my evangelism opportunities, people are much more interested in how I live, than what I say. In fact, how I live gives credibility to what I say. How I live gives meaning and power to scriptural truth that I proclaim from my mouth. You want people to know Christ and experience His love….. stop only talking and LIVE OUT THE GOSPEL:
1 John 2:4-6
The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
Derrick Jackson
Music & Worship

It’s Global Missions Fest week! I have been a part of the HPBC family for my entire life and some of the best and most meaningful memories I have center around the annual Global Missions Fest. As a kid, I have great memories of participating in the processional of flags to start what was then called Missions Conference.  I can remember watching for the red-light to go on over the balcony which indicated a foreign missionary was on the phone and it was time to talk to them live.  After school each day, I would make my way down to the kitchen where countless volunteers would be preparing for the nightly dinner. My assignment was normally to wash dishes.  In our home, we would always house a missionary couple or family during the conference and then through-out the year we had many missionary guests. All of these experiences developed in me a heart and passion for missions.

Psalm 67:2,3 says, “Your way be known on earth, your saving power among all the nations. Let the peoples praise you oh God let all peoples praise you.” God’s heart is for the nations; not political nations but ethnic nations. The ultimate goal of missions is God’s glory.  This is accomplished as more and more individuals representing an ever-increasing number of people groups enter into a worshipping relationship with our Lord. As that happens, God is glorified to a greater and greater degree. Why do we dedicate so much time and money to missions? Because it represents the very heart and passion of God!

Billy Kim and the Korean Children’s choir started off our week with a wonderful time of celebration. Dick Gascho, one of our own missionaries, will close our conference on Sunday.  In between, it’s been an honor to rub shoulders with our missionary family – who so faithfully represent the Lord in their places of service. We enjoyed a rich time of prayer with them on Wednesday night and have enjoyed getting to know each of them in a more deeper way.  I am also excited about Saturday night’s Discovery Night – where we will highlight the ministry activities of our youth and young adults. We’ll also enjoy an international cafe and a casual time of interaction with our missionaries. The gym will be full of activities for kids as well. Don’t miss it!

When I was asked to consider adding Director of Missions to my responsibilities, it was easy for me to say “yes”.  I look forward to serving in this way and to watching God work through the people of HPBC – for His glory!

-Dave Kuntzman

An Exalted View of God

May 2nd, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Brent - (Comments Off on An Exalted View of God)

An exalted view of God. Why is it so important? As I prepared to preach from Isaiah chapter six two weeks ago, I was reminded of how essential it is that I worship Him in every aspect of my life. Nothing, no one compares with Him. To focus my attention or thought anywhere but Him is both idolatry and empty. It is amazing that when life gets busy with good things or when I focus on checking things off my task list, I also experience a increasing lack of passion, joy, and fulfillment. It is only when I am constantly conscious of His majesty and His perfections, that the other aspects of life are filled with purpose.

I was talking with Inell the other night about this and she reminded me of how true this is in our prayer life as well. Sometimes we begin to pray about our needs, or our dreams, or against the enemy. All of these have their place. But whenever the wonder and worship of God Himself takes second place to intercession or petition, the problems and challenges that fill our prayers begin to fill our minds and hearts. They drag us down. They depress our spirits. He must fill my mind. He must consume my heart. He alone satisfies. When His glory is what I see, my petitions and battles cannot pull me down.

Lord, may your glory fill my thoughts and prayers, motivate my work and labor, and possess my passions and dreams. You alone! I live for you alone!

-Brent