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SLBC Blog Post
Hey Christian, Did You Forget Me?
Hey Christian, Did You Forget Me?

SLBC of Danville • October 08, 2020

I apologize for interrupting you, after all I can see you are very busy with all the Christian things you have going on. I realize the upcoming elections are keeping most of you busy with reading and posting on social media, going to rallies for your political party, and arguing with those who disagree with you. I thought you might add me to the churches prayer page, but I could not expect to take priority over the upcoming surgeries, sickness, and/or the latest, most urgent "unspoken" request. Honestly, I would not mind if you just fit me in during your private prayer and devotion time but I realize now that time has been pushed aside to make room for watching debates, and worrying about the latest news topic. I was hoping to benefit from some of your passionate demands to change the world, but I am afraid that energy is fully dedicated to the latest hotly debated conspiracy theory, or propaganda. Well anyway when you get time, and if you don't forget, at you convenience, would you pray for me? I really do need it. ~ the unsaved soul.


Obviously the above paragraph is not meant to criticize the church for praying about sickness, national leadership, or social injustice. It is however meant to awaken and remind Christians that God gave us one mission and that is to go into all the world with the gospel. Every church has a circle of influence inside it's perspective community and we serve God best when our energy and resources are focused on taking the gospel to the unsaved.


The members of SLBC thank you for reading this post. We recognize the challenges of staying focused on the mission God has given us to evangelize the world. We desire to work with other churches and Christians to take the message of God unto all the world. We practice praying to God about our nation, sickness, and many other issues. Currently we are intentionally evaluating our focus on God's instruction to evangelize the unsaved souls of our world. We welcome working with other churches and Christians, because together we accomplish more.

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Prehab not Rehab
Prehab not Rehab

SLBC of Danville • April 29, 2020



"Prehab not Rehab"

By: 

Noah Campbell

with

Jessica Campbell


      As we go through these tough times right now, such as dealing with covid-19, it can get us down and stressed out. With churches not being able to hold services at this time, it makes it hard on everyone especially if you're a person of habit such as myself. I was feeling the effects of this and was needing the motivation to prevent me from backsliding. I went to the Lord in prayer and HE reminded me something I read in a book recently. The book was "Meb For Mortals" written by Meb Keflezighi with Scott Douglas. In one part of this book, it talks about to "Prehab not rehab". GOD was reminding me that I could apply this to my life now. Rehabilitation is the act of restoring something to its original state. Prehab simply means to do things to prevent from having to rehab.

      When I prehab in my personal life, I like to think positive and learn from my life lesson. I focus on my weaknesses and try to strengthen them. One of my weaknesses is vulnerable muscles and tendons. I put time and effort to strengthen them, so I do not have to "rehab" later on. We can do the same in our own Christian walk. My personal Christian weakness would be reading.

One way I have learned to motivate myself in this area is to find Christian athletes and read about them. A few examples are Ryan Hall, Tony Dungy, Meb Keflezighi, and Josh Cox. They all talk about how God helped them with their hobbies. Before reading anything, I pray to GOD to help me focus on what I am reading and how to use it. This then motivates me to read the bible to see the verses that helped them. I would encourage you to find a Christian that is involved in your hobby and read about them.

      Another prehab method for me is my mental state of mind. If I always think negative or about how weak I am, then I will lose motivation and think I am never good enough. We do need to know what our weaknesses are to be able to get better, but do not dwell on them. We will never be perfect (only GOD is), but as a child of God, we can have hope. When feeling negative, pray to God for him to help you see the positives.

      We all have life lessons that we can learn from. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. Our growth comes from how we handle them. When I was younger, I had a very bad accident. I could have given up and lived a unhappy life. But instead, I was saved by God and did not give up. I went on to play sports and become very active in church. Without this bad experience, I may never have found God or to help others. Another example would be oversleeping. When I was younger I would over sleep and not make it to church and would feel bad all day about it. I learned from this by making changes in my daily life and prioritizing. My wife has a saying that she tries to live by, "Always find the positive in the negative." What she means by this is that a positive usually comes from a negative. It may not happen that day or even a year from the day, but you will see it. We may not always see what God is doing, but he will eventually show us. We need to learn to trust God and his timing.

      In conclusion, our main goal is to prevent rehab by practicing prehab. We should strive to be a Christian that is a leader to the believers and the nonbelievers. One who follows Christ and motivates others to do so. We should love others as GOD loves us. "For God so loved the word that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ever lasting life." (John 3:16) We should not let our weaknesses, mental state, or life lessons cause us to have to rehab our Christian life, but to motivate us to be the best we can be and practice prehab.


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Easter Beyond Church Walls
Easter Beyond Church Walls

SLBC of Danville • April 12, 2020

Today is Easter Sunday but the services are not the same as they have always been. Some churches are hosting drive in church, while others are streaming the sermon over the internet. While the necessary change is disappointing, it can also remind us that the gospel is not limited by our temporary restrictions. The very successful ministry of John the Baptist was not dependent upon keeping religious traditions; he even overcome preaching from a non-traditional location. Jesus was known to preach from a boat, or from open fields, and He even shared the love of God from a hill called Calvary. The gospel, has found success inside prison walls, out in jungle villages, throughout desert lands, tucked away in underground churches, and from inside gloomy hospital rooms. While this does not alleviate the disappointment of missing our church family, this truth gives us hope that still today God's message will renew our hope in eternal life, as well as His eternal love.

Happy Easter! He is risen! Celebrate this wherever you are!

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Canceled Services; One Pastor's Perspective
Canceled Services; One Pastor's Perspective

SLBC of Danville • April 01, 2020

While people around the word are practicing social distancing, and an increasing number of Americans are ordered to shelter-in-place, covid-19 temporarily cancels our church services. This article is one pastors perspective on the positive effect of canceled services in American churches.


Covid-19 forces Christians to realize the truth pastors have preached for years: the building is not the church. This is a good lesson, with a potentially positive effect on Christians. And covid-19 has created a perfect opportunity to learn what this looks like in real-life. When this pandemic is behind us, churches may see their members gather for worship and leave to serve.


Covid-19 forces pastors to preach to souls, not faces. As our congregations are replaced with a camera lens and microphones an irony occurs. We are simply preaching to souls not to faces. The irony is that an empty room is the humble reminder that our sermons must change the condition of the heart not the expression of the face. Covid-19 is useful in reminding us of this truth.


Covid-19 reminds pastors to feed people and starve our egos. It may not be a pastors intention to use his sermon to feed his ego but pride has a way of hijacking even the best of intentions. Empty rooms offer no emotional response such as verbal amen's, lifting of hands, or smiles of approval. The empty room and camera lens reminds us there are people at home tuning in for biblical truth and spiritual healing. When the sermon is done there are no pats on the back or words of validation from church members, just shut down the equipment and trust God's promise that His word will not return void.


Covid-19 is connecting people together. Although social distancing prevents us from physical contact and face to face interaction, Christians are intentionally connecting with each other. Volunteers are calling church members to check in on them. In some cases they are talking to people they rarely take time to talk to at church. In other cases volunteers are dropping off care packages or groceries at the homes of church members. Through social distancing, church members are serving one another and forging bonds that will last long past the pandemic.


Covid-19 reinforces the truth that the home, not the church, is the front lines of biblical training. While the church is vital to the development of its members, it is the training in the home that has a greater influence. Covid-19 places parents back in the lead position of training their families in the word of God. Eventually the pandemic will come to an end and churches will once again come along side parents to aid them in training their families, but may parents continue taking the lead in the spiritual development and protection of their homes.


In conclusion, this article addressed only a few positive effects of canceling church services due to covid-19. There are numerous effects with negative and potentially long term consequences as well; perhaps they will be the subject of a different article. We hope this article reminds Christians of the truth in Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."


Check back for more articles from SLBCofDanville.

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You Can't Handle the Truth!
You Can't Handle the Truth!

SLBC of Danville • December 03, 2019

 In 1992, Castle Rock Entertainment Columbia Pictures released the movie: A Few Good Men, which grossed over $243 million at the Box Office. One of the more familiar lines from the movie is spoken during a heated exchange between Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise) and Base Commander Colonel Nathan Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson). While Nicholson is under oath, Tom Cruise pushes the Commander to tell the truth about giving an order that resulted in the death of a marine under his command. Lieutenant Kaffee (aka Tom Cruise) emphatically states, “I want the truth!” to which Jack Nicholson immediately replies, “You Can’t Handle the Truth”! At the time of this writing, the scene has 5,741,776 views on YouTube. To this day, when someone says anything close to “tell me the truth” or “I want the truth” there is a good chance someone is going to automatically respond with “You Can’t Handle the Truth”!

In the previous two-blog post SLBC declared our apprehension to being voices for God’s Word. One of the reasons for our apprehension is summed up in the famous line, “You can’t handle the truth”! God’s truth convicts Christians and non-Christians alike. Generally speaking, Christians look for, and join, churches that ‘preach the truth’. However, Christians are also known for leaving churches when the truth being preached addresses a sin in themselves, their family, or a close friend. How do you measure up? Can you handle the truth? Here are some observations of how people react to those being voices for God’s word.

Observation #1: The Bull’s-eye Syndrome. The bulls-eye is the small red circle in the middle of a target. If you were shooting a bow and arrow at a target the goal would be to make the arrow land inside the red circle (bulls-eye). Have you ever had a day when you felt like a big bulls-eye was on your back and everyone was taking aim at you? If so then you understand the bulls-eye syndrome. Consider this question: have you ever sensed God has spoken to you through a sermon, a testimony, or just a conversation with someone? You may have said something like “I think God sent that just for me today?” One side of that coin is positive: this is when God seems to encourage, comfort, or send special instruction through a sermon, testimony, or conversation. Often someone at church will share with the pastor that the sermon was just for them; these people appreciate that God knew what they needed and sent someone to deliver it. But the other side of that coin is negative, such as when the sermon, testimony, or conversation addresses a personal sin or problem. When this happens people are less likely to acknowledge God for recognizing what they need and sending someone to speak truth into their life. Instead they assume the preacher, or person speaking, was intentionally targeting them with the sermon, testimony, conversation, or social media post. Instead of saying “that was just for me, God knew what I needed” people are more likely to express frustration, resentment, or hostility toward the preacher, or person delivering the message. Although Christians desire their churches to preach truth thy often don’t want that truth to land on the bulls-eye of their own shortcomings, failures, or sins. Here is a way to test out our theory. Answer the next question as honestly as you can? When is the last time you felt the sermon or conversation was just for you because it dealt with your sin? Also answer the question: how often in the past year have you been frustrated with a preacher or person for talking about a sin or problem you happen to be involved in? Now one more question: Why is it when the sermon, conversation, etc makes you feel good you credit God for using the person who delivered the message, but when it convicts you of sin you don’t see God as having any part in it. You only blame the person you perceive put a bulls eye on your back and took aim at you?

Is it possible you can’t handle the truth? Is it possible you credit God for speaking comfort and assurance through His word and His messengers but you blame people for meddling, or singling you out when speaking about a sin or problem you are involved in? Shouldn’t you credit and thank God for both the comfort and the conviction? Do you have the bulls-eye syndrome? And finally the biggest question: What are you going to do about it? Here are a few suggestions: (1) confess this to God. He deserves credit for both the comfort and the conviction. (2) stop blaming people and start seeing them as God’s instruments to help you. (3) next time God speaks to you through a person, either for comfort or conviction, share with that person what God is doing in your life through them.

 

Thank you for reading our blog post. SLBC exist to be voices for God’s word and hands for God’s work. Keep an eye out for our next post covering the second observation of how people react to those being voices to God’s word.  

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Apprehension about being a voice 4 God's Word! (Part 2)
Apprehension about being a voice 4 God's Word! (Part 2)

SLBC of Danville • November 11, 2019

In our previous post we shared how SLBC desires to be a voice for God's word, as well as our apprehension when it comes to speaking up and speaking out about issues that need God's truth. We also asked you to withhold judgment until you read this post, so thank you for coming back for this second blog post.

Let's begin with sharing what we mean by having apprehensions. According to Dictionary.com the word apprehension means "anxiety or fear that something bad or unpleasant will happen." So is it wrong for a church, or a Christian to be anxious/fearful that something bad will happen if they speak the truth of God? Of course not! It is normal to have apprehension. It is only wrong when we allow our anxiety/fear to silence us. Did you know the apostle Paul himself had apprehensions about being a voice for Gods word? How do we know this? Because in Ephesians 6:19-21 Paul asked the church at Ephesus to pray for him...."that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21" Why did Paul ask for prayer to speak boldly? It was because his human nature wanted to be silent. He knew the cost of speaking up and speaking out. Paul was stoned, beaten, imprisoned, etc. all because he was being a voice for Gods word. He knew the pain of being hated, misunderstood, and rejected by his peers. He asked for prayer because he was honest about his internal battle to be a voice for God's word. He knew the prayers of God's people would help him overcome his apprehension and enable him to speak boldly.

The prophet Jeremiah is a second example of someone with apprehension about being a voice for God's word. He experienced so many repercussions for being a voice for God that he determined not to make mention of God or speak in His name (Jeremiah 20:9). The good news is Jeremiah got over his apprehension pretty quick, and we read that he could not keep silent very long before he just had to be God's voice again. But the fact remains he experienced this apprehension. Both Jeremiah and Paul were apprehensive about being a voice for God's word but neither of them was able to remain silent.

Although we do not consider our self on the same level as Jeremiah or Paul, we do find encouragement knowing their struggles to be a voice for God, and knowing they were able to overcome their apprehensions to be His voices on earth. At SLBC we hope that our honesty regarding our own apprehensions in being a voice for God's word will inspire you to overcome your own battle and encourage more Christians to also be voices for God's word.

Read our next blog post entitled You Can't Handle the Truth, an article that challenges the notion that all Christians embrace biblical preaching!

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Apprehension about being a voice 4 God's Word!
Apprehension about being a voice 4 God's Word!

SLBC of Danville • November 07, 2019

Shining Light Baptist Church (SLBC) is a local church, located in Danville Va, which happens to be one of seventeen cities in America identified as "the city of churches". If you google the term City of Churches you will find that title is used to identify cities throughout the world that have a large number of churches. The question we had to answer as a congregation is "why do we exist?" Obviously there are a number of generic responses we could offer, such as: "for the glory of God", or "to preach the gospel", etc.. but those responses felt superficial, and our question came from a desire to establish our vision for the ministry. We had to ask ourselves "with so many churches in our city preaching the truth, why does God need/want SLBC to be here in Danville?" As you read this we want you to understand we were not questioning if we should be here but rather determining our specific purpose. You see, on paper our church should not have made it these twenty years! Twenty years ago our church had to be replanted (if you are not familiar with this term it refers to a church that is like a dying plant that someone uproots and plants again in fresh soil, and is nurtured until it grows into a strong plant again). Anyway twenty years ago we were dying, and got a new start. Not only did God give us a new start, He continues to keep the doors open, the lights on, and the funds to support the ministry in ways that remind us it's all His doing. Have you every heard one of those stories where someone goes through a sickness or near death experience and decides that God left them on earth to do something special for Him? Well that is the story of SLBC! We know we only exist because God keeps us going; and we know we have a purpose in His Kingdom work.

This brings us back to the original question "why do we exist?" We have sumemd up that answer in nine words that have a lot of meaning to us: We believe SLBC exist to be Voices for God's Word & Hands for God's Work. These nine words now help guide our decisions about ministry. We strive to invest our time and resources in ways to use our voice and our hands to further the Kingdom of God.

Social media and the internet provide a platform for using our voice to speak God's word to people near and far from our community. Video's of our sermons are streamed live on Facebook, and audio recordings are posted on Faithlife.com and can be found by searching SLBCofDanville. This blog is our next experiment!

Thank you for reading this far into our first blog because here is where we reveal the purpose of this experimental blog. We find it easy to say we are voices for God's word, but very challenging to speak up and speak out on issues where God's word is needed to be voiced. In a world where a post, or a tweet, can cause intense and immediate backlash, SLBC desires to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) but find we approach this goal with apprehension. Does it sound strange that a church is apprehensive to speak Gods word? Before you write us off as compromising, or classify us as cowards read our next blog post where we clarify our apprehension.

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