First Thoughts

A Personal Update from Pastor Heath

| Heath Lambert |
Dear First Baptist Family, Today is the first day I’ve felt able to reach out to you (and been allowed to!), so I wanted to share with you some of what has happened. Most of you know that on August 4, I went to the hospital for surgery to relieve the pressure on the trigeminal nerve in my brain that now, for five years, has been causing pain, spasms, and difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing. After surgery, it was immediately clear that the operation came with some significant costs as…

The Snare of People-Pleasing

| Matt Cummings |
Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” The Bible sounds an alarm in Proverbs 29:25, telling us that we are in danger. It is a warning for a subtle, nearby sin that regularly visits though most are often unaware of it and the snare it lays. A snare is a trap laid and disguised to catch an animal. The trap is set, so the animal never sees it and is ultimately killed by it. Likewise, this sin is a hidden trap that will capture us if we are no…

The Amazing Grace of Friendship

| Scott Connell |
January 1, 1773 is a momentous date for hymnody. It not only serves as the date that ‘Amazing Grace’ was first presented to the public by John Newton now almost 250 years ago, but it is also the date that William Cowper penned ‘Conflict: Light Shining Out of Darkness,’ based on John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” We know the hymn today as ‘God Moves in a Mysterious Way.’ It is hard to imagine a more fruitful single day in English hymnody nor a st…

How To Help Your LGBTQ Friend

| Spencer Harmon |
If you are an evangelical Christian, the odds are that you know someone in the LGBTQ+ community. If you don’t, you will. 20% of Gen Z identifies as something other than heterosexual. Pretty soon, you will meet someone who has a partner of the same sex or “identifies” as something other than their biological sex. What do you need to know as you minister to your friend? This can be an overwhelming question if you are a Christian who believes the Bible. That is because two things are crystal cle…

Miscarriage and Mercy

| Andrew Morrell |
A Dark Day “Oh, my! It looks like you are having twins.” These were the first words the doctor spoke to us at my wife Kate’s routine ten-week ultrasound. The news was surprising and wonderful. God had given us not one beautiful child created in his image but two. “Hang on,” the doctor said only a few seconds later. “One of them doesn’t have a heartbeat.” We walked out of our doctor’s office that day bearing the weight of a reality that was unthinkable when we walked in. One of the beautiful a…

Loving Difficult People

| Ernie Baker |
Let’s be honest; some people are hard to love. Unfortunately, from the stories I hear, it is often a spouse. Your difficult person may not be a spouse; he could be an extended family member or even someone in your church who just “rubs you the wrong way.”  A Model to Follow As we live our lives, the realities of our fallen world are realized in our difficult relationships. Scripture is realistic about this. In particular, as Paul writes, he applies biblical teaching to this very subject. In …

Will the Church Arise in the Ashes of Roe?

| RJ Lago |
The Fall of Roe In the 8th century, Saint Boniface[1] was implored to not cut the tree of Thor down. This mighty oak was believed to be a tree belonging to Thor, the god of thunder. The people pleaded with Boniface to not cut down the tree or else bring curses, fire, and destruction to the people. As he approached with an ax, the people shouted piercing screams till they saw the ax thunder into the tree’s side. When the tree finally fell, many in the town immediately repented at the proclaime…

A Personal Health Update

| Heath Lambert |
Dear First Baptist Family, This morning I shared with our church the bad news that I now require another surgery in an attempt to correct the nerve problems in my brain. For anyone who was not there, I wanted to share this information with you. Many of you know that since my second surgery last year, I have endured ongoing symptoms of pain, discomfort, and spasms. I have been able to manage some of these symptoms with medication that have stifled the pain and minimized the involuntary movemen…

Refusing to Celebrate in a Post-Roe World

| Heath Lambert |
A Moral Earthquake The Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v Jackson was a massive earthquake that rocked the entire world. Only time will tell how massive is the number it registered on the cultural Richter scale. What we know right now is that there was a massive fault line separating professing believers. You might not have seen it before, but the Dobbs earthquake has turned that fault line into a massive chasm. That chasm separates two kinds of people in the Christian community. A Chasm Betwe…

The Bible, The Supreme Court, and Bodily Autonomy

| Heath Lambert |
Since Dobbs v Jackson overturned Roe v Wade the cry of opposition has been that the fundamental rights of women have been abridged. Sometimes that cry sounds like, “my body, my choice.” At other times it sounds like women refusing to let their “reproductive rights” be infringed. The driving logic behind all this is a belief in bodily autonomy. The idea is that since my body is—well—mine, I can do what I want with it. We must think through such a claim from the standpoint of biblical faithfuln…

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