Sunday School Lessons: May 5, 2013, Explore the Bible

?Keep on keeping on? is an expression we often use to encourage one another to be faithful. Paul senses that the end of his earthly life is near and it is time to pass the mantle of leadership on to his friend and partner in ministry. He writes of his own faithfulness in order that he might encourage young Timothy to remain faithful to the end. The apostle desires that his associate put his full confidence in the Lord, who will supply all that he needs. In light of this, there are several things Timothy must keep doing.

Why We Should Rein in Payday Lenders

The debt trap. Millions of Americans are caught up in it. It's easy to get in debt and often very hard to get out. This is especially true if you live on the edge of poverty. People on the edge of poverty have very little room for an unexpected expense. So what do they do when one inevitably occurs? Many turn to payday lenders. And in doing so, they often make their poverty worse.

‘Lord, Bless the Missionaries’

It's a familiar prayer. Too familiar, some say, to mean much. ?Lord, bless the missionaries.? For church folks of a certain age, these words are as comfortable and automatic as ?Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies? or ?Bless the gift and the giver.? Mission leaders who?ve heard this prayer uttered countless times sometimes criticize it as perfunctory, meaningless or ritualistic. Which missionaries? Where? Bless them how? And what about the people the missionaries are trying to reach with the gospel? Don't they need prayer, too?

Irmo minister plans to run Boston Marathon again

Jeremy Lloyd had completed the Boston Marathon in just over three hours, a ?pretty good? time for him. After crossing the finish line on Boylston Street, he cooled down for several minutes, then gathered his belongings and sat down on a curb on a side street about a block away.

Kermit Gosnell and the Gospel

Last week I was typing the name ?Kermit Gosnell,? and my phone auto-corrected the name to ?gospel.? I shuddered momentarily. After all, what could be more contradictory than the name of a notorious abortionist on trial for child murder, and the good news of the mercies of God in Christ? My smartphone, it turns out, was smarter than I was.

SBC annual meeting: Crossover to aid ‘Loving Houston’ launch

Hundreds of Southern Baptists will arrive for Crossover Saturday in Houston on the weekend leading up to the Southern Baptist Convention's June 11-12 annual meeting. As in previous years, Crossover participants will help host block parties and special outreach events on Saturday, June 8, to share the gospel.

Evangelical coalition launches immigration ads in S.C.

An advertising campaign in South Carolina supporting immigration reform is about more than politics, Southern Baptist leaders say. The Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of evangelical Christian leaders, began advertising March 13 on Christian radio stations in South Carolina in an effort to promote congressional passage this year of broad immigration reform legislation. The ad buy is an effort to bolster support from the state's senators and representatives in Congress for such a bill in the face of a competing effort by reform foes.

Outside the Walls: Swing the Bat

?Coach, will you pray I hit the ball?? The request caught me off guard as I entered the dugout full of 9- and 10-year-olds. The purity of his request reminded me of why Jesus used the faith of little children as a metric for adults to aspire to.

Sunday Dinner: Pork Chop Casserole – by Juanita Garrison

?Aren't you going to pick up that paper?? a visiting child asked as I stepped over a newspaper that had slipped off the table onto the floor. ?No,? I answered. ?I?m waiting until I drop something else. Then I can make one bendover do two pickups.? She rolled her eyes, picked up the paper and went home.