Monday, April 26, 2010

Danger! Don't Build on a Weak Foundation

By Austin Pryor for Sound Mind Investing – America's largest electric utility. Our largest independent steel company. The largest gas company. The country's largest business monopoly. The New York Stock Exchange. And the Bank of International Settlements.

In 1923, the presidents of these six prestigious institutions came together in Chicago for a meeting of many of the world's most successful financiers. Jesse Livermore, Wall Street's most famous speculator of the day, was also in attendance. They were all men of great wealth, stature, and influence. Yet, within 25 years, these seven men had discovered what we all learn eventually — the world just doesn't offer enough. One man had gone to prison, another was insane. Two died penniless. Three were suicides. All had mastered the art of making a living, but none had learned how to live.

Now, as then, quality of life is difficult to come by — even though we live in the most affluent society in all of history.

Why? I believe it's because we have moved away from the Judeo-Christian ethic on which our nation was founded. Consider the differences between contemporary society's prevailing attitudes toward life, work, and investing in contrast with the historical biblical view of these same areas. To begin with, society (and government) often teach that we came into existence strictly by chance. If that is so, then we are in essence just animals seeking to fulfill our needs.

Now, reason from there into the financial and work areas of life:

1. The goal of work is to do whatever is necessary to achieve success. Indicators of success are the acquisition of money, possessions, and influence.

2. Because life is short, lifestyles are geared to immediate gratification — gaining as much pleasure as possible as quickly as possible. This leads to higher consumption now and less saving for the future. A high level of debt and continuous use of credit is considered an acceptable means to this end.

3. Investing is geared to get-rich-quick strategies with a short-term time horizon. The recessionary phases of economic cycles are dreaded and pose a constant threat to economic survival.

4. Because there is no ultimate purpose or morality, we are free to invent our own. Ethics are relative and personal. They generally play little, if any, role in making spending or investing decisions.

Now, contrast these views with a biblical perspective that maintains, as a foundational principle, that we came into existence through the creative hand of God. Therefore, we are essentially spirit beings with an eternal purpose. It follows that:

1. The goal of work is to use our God-given talents to serve others or fulfill a calling. Indicators of success are peace with God, love for others, and contentment.

2. Because eternal life is possible, a lifestyle focused on eternal issues is appropriate. This leads to a willingness to accept deferred gratification, which means less consumption now and more saving for the future — and for giving to Christian ministry. High levels of debt and continuous use of credit are discouraged as an unnatural and enslaving lifestyle.

3. Investing is geared to slow-but-sure strategies with a long-term time horizon. Economic cycles are prepared for through a strategy of saving and diversification.

4. Because God has a moral purpose for His creation, a law of sowing and reaping prevails. One's ethical outlook is based on biblical wisdom and plays an important role in making spending and investing decisions.

Jesus is almost universally regarded as the wisest moral teacher of all time, even by millions who don't consider themselves Christians. At the end of what we call "The Sermon on the Mount," He said this:

Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

Although many in our society may choose to ignore His words, you and I still have the choice of preparing for the inevitable storms Jesus spoke of by following biblical teaching.

Take a good look around you. Rarely has the truth of the old hymn been so obvious: "On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Sound Mind Investing exists to help individuals understand and apply biblically-based principles for making spending and investing decisions in order that their future financial security would be strengthened, and their giving to worldwide missionary efforts for the cause of Christ would accelerate. In other words, we want to help you have more so that you can give more.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Chandler Indoor Camp 2010

  • Saturday April 24,2010: 7:00PM-Newburgh Church of the Nazarene:Newburgh Indiana-Speaker: Rev. D. Edson Ames-Boonville Wesleyan Church
  • Sunday April 25, 2010: 6:00PM-Boonville Wesleyan Church: 509 East Walnut Boonville Indiana-Speaker: Rev. Dennis King-Newburgh Church of the Nazarene
Special music provided nightly by the hosting church...
Only Two nights left, you will be blessed!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Pregnancy Center's Link

As Wesleyans, we believe that life begins at conception (Section 410-11) [The Discipline of the Wesleyan Church] and are therefore opposed to abortion. As Christians and Wesleyans we also believe the Gospel as preached by the Reverend John Wesley has social and moral implications as well. Because of this we believe that viable alternatives should be provided to those who become pregnant and feel they have no other options. People find our blog and facebook page in different ways including Google word searches. Because of this we now have a Pregnancy Center Link in the left hand column of our blogpage...God bless, keith 1 Cor 13

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bits & Bytes

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~ Bits & Bytes for Bagley Backers - April 2010 ~
Zambia Field Visit Highlights

From March 23rd to April 13th we traveled to southern Africa to consult with church leaders and meet with Global Partners' missionaries serving in Africa. The first week and a half were spent visiting Global Partners' work in Zambia. Highlights of the visit included the following:

  • Bob met with the Zambian National Superintendent, Rev. Sitali Kakungu, along with members of the national board and several District Superintendents. They discussed issues of vision and strategy as the Zambian church continues to grow both within the country as well as in neighboring countries of Uganda and Malawi.

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  • We toured several thriving Pilgrim Wesleyan churches in the capital city of Lusaka, including John Howard Pilgrim Wesleyan Church, a congregation of over 600 located in a sprawling shanty town. How exciting to view the varied ministries of this congregation as they minister to the needs in their community! What a thrill to hear the pastor tell of taking two Bible College students "fishing" the day before and of winning 46 people to Christ.

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  • We visited Zimba Mission Hospital, the sole hospital serving a population of thousands from miles around. We observed the dedication and commitment of the GP missionaries stationed there: Drs. Dan and Joan Jones, mission administrator and hostess Selinda Ingalls, and maintenance supervisor Jesse Van Horn.

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  • We enjoyed Sunday morning worship at Zimba Pilgrim Wesleyan Church and viewed the new church building that is presently under construction.

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  • We had several days of fellowship with missionaries Mike & Cindy Helvie at Pilgrim Wesleyan Bible College at Jembo. (The photo at the top of the newsletter is of the road leading to Jembo.) While there Bob helped the college get started with computerized academic record keeping and consulted with the Principal, Rev. Harrison Jani (pictured below).

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In This Issue
Our Event Calendar

April 25 -- Greenville, OH - Trinity Wesleyan Church

May 25 -- Indianapolis, IN - Theological Education Consultation

May 26-28 -- Indianapolis, IN - Leadership Council

May 30 -- Bolivar, OH - Bolivar Wesleyan Church

June 8 -- Brockville, ON - International Partnership Team for Ghana

We Are Available

We would love to have an opportunity to come and share what God is doing in the Wesleyan Church in Africa with the people at your church.

We are available in May and June to share through Sunday morning or evening services, Sunday School classes, mission conferences, Wesleyan Women's events, Bible studies, prayer meetings, mission moments during any service - or whatever would work in your setting.

Support Team

We are grateful for all who have made a commitment to become part of our regular prayer and/or financial support team. If you haven't done so, you can join the team by clicking the link below. Thanks!

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Forward to a Friend

You can help us by forwarding "Bits & Bytes" to friends who will be interested in the work of Global Partners in Africa. Just click on the link below.

Friends who receive the email will also be given an opportunity to sign up to receive it in the future.

Africa's Generosity Continues

In last month's edition of Bits & Bytes we reported that the Sierra Leone Wesleyan Church had donated $1000 toward Haiti relief. But they were not the only Wesleyan church in Africa who responded to the need in Haiti. While in the Sunday morning service in Zimba, we learned they had collected a special offering for Haiti relief a few weeks earlier. Later, in Swaziland, Dorcas Croft, missionary serving at Emmanuel Wesleyan Bible College, also reported that the students there had just had a missions conference during which they collected faith promises designated for Haiti.

The emerging transition of African churches from being merely "receivers" to becoming "givers" is an important sign of developing maturity.

Prayer Requests

Please help us pray for the following needs:

  • Pray for the national superintendent of Zambia, Rev. Sitali Kakungu and members of the national board as they explore new areas of outreach.

  • Pray that God will give wisdom to Rev. Bhekisisa Maziya, the newly appointed Principal of Emmanuel Wesleyan Bible College in Swaziland. The college is facing significant enrollment and financial challenges.
  • Please pray for strength and encouragement for the missionaries at Zimba Mission in Zambia (Dan & Joan Jones, Selinda Ingalls, Jesse Van Horn) as they minister in the midst of high demands on their time and energy. Pray also that God will fully restore physical health and strength to Mike & Cindy Helvie at Pilgrim Wesleyan Bible College following several bouts with malaria. (Click here to see a slideshow of GP's missionaries in Zambia and their work.)
  • Pray for Rev. and Mrs. Harrison Jani, Mike and Cindy Helvie, and Selinda Ingalls as they travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo at the end of this month to minister to and encourage churches there.

Praise Points

  • Praise God for safety in our travels and for a highly profitable trip to Zambia, South Africa, and Swaziland.
  • Praise God for a record enrollment (30) at Pilgrim Wesleyan Bible College in Zambia.
  • Thank the Lord for dedicated pastors and church leaders in Zambia who are winning the lost and ministering effectively in their communities.

The "Aha" Moment

One of the major realizations that sunk in during our three weeks in Africa was how important it is for us to get deployed to the field as soon as possible. Bob keeps quite busy communicating with African leaders and missionaries through email, Skype, and telephone. It gave us the false impression that technology made it possible for him to adequately do a major portion of his job from almost anywhere in the world. This trip made us see that our physical presence adds significantly to the effectiveness and scope in which we will be able to serve the African church and our missionaries.

We discovered that the level of access to technology for African leaders and missionaries was far below the level we had anticipated. For example, at the missionary retreat Bob intended to unveil a networking website he had developed for the GP Africa team, but had to scrap the idea because the Internet connection at the retreat center was inadequate to load the site. And, missionaries at the retreat were rejoicing at the "high speed" Internet connections at the retreat because it was so far superior than what they enjoyed in their places of service!

From the first day in Lusaka with National Superintendent Sitali Kakungu it became quickly clear that emails and brief phone conversations could not substitute for face to face discussions for communicating vision and passion. The walk through Zimba Mission Hospital with Dan Jones brought about a clearer picture of the scope of ministry and challenges being faced there than a stack of newsletters, photos, formal reports, and statistics.

Would you help us as we seek to raise the remaining support needed so we can be deployed to the field? Please pray that we can make the right connections with churches and individuals who can provide the finances that still are needed. Could you act as an advocate on our behalf with acquaintances and your church to help us raise the additional support needed? Thanks for your partnership with us!

Bob & Brenda Bagley |

Monday, April 12, 2010

God Cares About You!

We live in a chaotic and uncertain world. Events confront us that can make us question: how can I know God and what is His plan for me, today? Even in the most troubled times you can be sure of these things:

1. God loves you and has an incredible future planned for you.

In the Bible, God tells us:

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Jesus, Himself, when speaking about the people who belong to Him, put it this way:

"My purpose is to give life in all its fullness." John 10:10

Even when life seems out of control, you can be sure of this...God has a plan and a purpose for you. Because of God’s love for each one of us, He provided a plan for our salvation - the way that we can become a part of His family and live the life He has promised us.

2. Our sin has separated us from God.

Mankind is sinful. We only have to look at the world around us to know this is true. You and I have not lived up to the standard of God’s holy and perfect law. As a result of our sin, we are separated from God. In this state of separation, we cannot know God or experience the peace and hope of the life He has planned for us.

"For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard." Romans 3:23

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

"If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth." I John 1:8

But, because of God’s deep love for each one of us, He provided the way of salvation – the only way that we are able to enter a relationship with Him. This plan is called "the Gospel." The word Gospel means "Good News." The Good News is that God Himself has already made all the arrangements for your salvation. No matter what you have done, Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is able to pay the penalty for your sin. God loves you and wants you to be His own child.

3. Jesus Christ is the only provision for our sin.

Through Jesus Christ, you can experience a personal relationship with God and enjoy a life of peace and hope. When Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sin, He bridged the gap that separated us from God. The Bible outlines this incredible plan:

"God showed us how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sin." I John 4:9 –10

"So we praise God for the wonderful kindness He has poured out on us because we belong to His dearly loved Son. He is so rich in kindness that He purchased our freedom through the blood of His Son, and our sins are forgiven." Ephesians 1:6-7

"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." II Corinthians 5:21

It is only through Jesus Christ that we can know God personally. It is through Jesus alone, that we can experience God’s love, enjoy peace and hope, and receive the gift of eternal life.

4. We must each receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Just to give mental agreement that Jesus died on the cross is not enough. Each of us must turn to God, acknowledging our sin and powerlessness to save ourselves. We must ask Jesus to come into our lives and receive His sacrifice as total payment for our sins. We exercise our will and do this as an act of faith.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

"I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sin, but they have already passed from death into life." John 5:24

"Jesus told her, 'I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.' " John 11:25

"God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." Ephesians 2:8–9

Would you like to give your life over to Jesus Christ right now?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Spring 2010 Indoor Holiness Campmeeting

  • Thursday April 22, 2010: 7:00PM- Chandler General Baptist Church: 213 Iowa Street Chandler Indiana Speaker: Rev. Kenton Daugherty-Pastor Chandler Church of the Nazarene
  • Friday April 23, 2010: 7:00PM-Chandler Church of the Nazarene: 204 North 4th Street Chandler Indiana-Speaker: Rev. Steve Claspel-Chandler General Baptist Church
  • Saturday April 24,2010: 7:00PM-Newburgh Church of the Nazarene:Newburgh Indiana-Speaker: Rev. D. Edson Ames-Boonville Wesleyan Church
  • Sunday April 25, 2010: 6:00PM-Boonville Wesleyan Church: 509 East Walnut Boonville Indiana-Speaker: Rev. Dennis King-Newburgh Church of the Nazarene
Special music provided nightly by the hosting church.

"For God has not called us unto uncleaness, but unto holiness"
1 Thessalonians 4:7

Camp Board of Trustees

  • Rev. Dennis King/ President
  • Rev. Keith Kiper /1st Vice-president
  • Rev. Robert Buchanan/ 2nd Vice-president
  • Jeani Lutz /Secretary
  • Jacquita Daugherty /Treasurer

  • Rev. Allen Adams
  • Rev. Ed Ames
  • Rev. Kenton Daugherty
  • Susan Ice
  • Bill Johnson
  • Jeff Knirs
  • Caleb Konopka
  • Keith Lochmueller
  • Wanda McGuinn

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Were You There?

Weekly News

  • Resurrection Sunday Breakfast: Sunday April 4th, 2010. Eating begins at just bring your appetite.
  • Sunday Morning Worship: begins at 10:30AM.
  • Happy Anniversary: Bill and May Johnson

Thursday, April 1, 2010

2010 Missions Prayer Calendar

Cuba: A New Addition to Our Global Family
By Dr. H. C. Wilson, GP General Director
I recently returned from Cuba where I visited with a group with whom we have had intermittent contact over the last few years through former GP missionary Rod Guptill and Yuri Benitez, a Cuban American Wesleyan church planter from the Iowa/Minnesota District. The leader of the group, Rev. Nehemias Cardenas, attended a meeting of our Ibero-America area leaders in Panama a few months ago. That was my first time to meet him. Rev. Luis Azofeifa, the Costa Rican national superintendent, had been to Cuba earlier on an exploratory trip and was in Cuba while I was there.
I am pleased to announce that this group of 18 churches, 19 preaching points, and 24 missions, with a total membership of circa 3000, is now a part of the global family of The Wesleyan Church. Pictured here is the congregation at the annual conference held in the church at La Quinta. Please thank the Lord for this new addition to our family and remember to pray for them in their ministry.