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Perspective - February 2013
We are living in a time with many distractions, making it difficult to focus on our daily ministries. Often the disappointments of yesterday and anxieties of tomorrow drown out the joy of living in the moment. There are people who relish living in the agony of uncertainty. The immediacy of news 24 hours a day is daunting. There are times I long for a quiet place to sit and reflect. The Bible encourages us to "be still and know that I am God."

As a young Christian, I would rise early in the morning, just as the sun was making itself known. Sitting outside our apartment and facing a concrete wall, my time with God was very special. Not much noise, only the barking of the dogs, crowing of the roosters and the sound of street cleaners. During those moments, before leaving for school, God was very real and visited with me. I found strength, peace and a love from my Heavenly Father. I also found the assurance of His continued presence each day.

Many years have gone by since that season in my life, but I still remember the beauty of the mornings and the calmness in my heart as I began the day. Our mission as a convention of churches is to lead men and women, boys and girls to a saving knowledge of Christ. Churches do that in three ways - evangelism, ministry and church starting.

From the latest complete Annual Church Profile report, CSBC ranked ninth in total baptisms among the 42 state Baptist conventions and fellowships in the Southern Baptist Convention. This month our healthy church group is sponsoring four On Target Evangelism Rallies to encourage evangelism among churches and their members. I would encourage pastors and staff to attend with as many church members as possible (see ad on page 6).

We also reach people through starting new churches. In 2013, we started 126 congregations - 106 new congregations and 20 newly affiliated. These are throughout the state and cover a variety of language, ethnic and culture groups.

Ministry is one way we serve communities while reaching people for Christ. Even though our missionary force has been reduced, California Southern Baptists are committed to serving Californians through hunger, literacy, chaplain and resort ministries.

Let's not get too busy and miss the exciting events in our lives. I am excited about 2013 and what God has in store for California Southern Baptists. We are in His hands, and His resources "will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory." Slow down, reflect and thank Him for the joy of serving in ministry.
Last Published: January 29, 2013 12:13 AM