First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Praising God in the Himalayas

High and deep into the Himalaya Mountains we were introduced to the Lepcha people. The Lepchas, who live in a place found only on God's map, are a beautiful people.

Because they live in one of the loveliest spots of God's creation it is no wonder that they compose songs that express their love of a God who is over all of creation. Such is this song.

The instruments are indigenous to the Lepcha people and date back to very ancient of times. They are all hand crafted.

Click here to find out more.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Right Time to Give Advice

If you are a friend it is natural to want to give advice now and again. And I think that a little friendly advice is a good thing. However, not all of our advice is well received. Have you ever had your good-natured advice thrown back in your face? I certainly have. So are there any guidelines for us to follow concerning advice giving? I believe a little common sense mixed together with experience can help us with this question.

I hate asking for directions when I am lost. Is that so like a man, or what? I figure that I should be able to navigate my way around the world without anyone else’s help. So what is wrong with that? What is wrong is when I fail miserably in this endeavor. When I am helplessly lost, my wonderfully helpful wife comes to the rescue. She says, “Bill why don’t you pull into this gas station and ask for help?” Wise advice considering we have been driving around in circles for an hour or more. Now, how do I respond to this advice? With a pleasant “thank you honey”? And then wisely turn into the gas station? Of course not. I say, “I know what I am doing. I don’t need your help.” And I keep driving in circles. I am sure that some learned person has a rational theory for why I respond in this way, but I don’t care. All I know is that I don’t want Betsy’s or anyone else’s advice when I am driving. So stop aggravating me.

People don’t always appreciate advice. Sometimes we don’t want to be helped; we want to do it ourselves. Sometimes we don’t want to be told what to do. Sometimes we are so mad at whatever is going wrong, we just don't want to hear anything from anyone. So I realized that there must be a trick to offering advice to people. So I thought about the times when I am grateful for the advice I am given. And the answer was simple. I accept it when I ask for it. I usually get mad when I am offered unsolicited advice. But when I need help and ask for it, no problem. So it makes sense to me to wait for my opportunities to give advice. I try to withhold my opinion until someone asks for it. I don’t see the point of giving something if there is no one to receive it. When people need help they will ask for it. I just wait for the question to come.

Around and around I drive until my wife makes me stop and car and she asks for help. She would be better off if she waited until I became so frustrated that I give up my stubbornness and grudgingly ask for help. Maybe some day she will learn the right time to give advice, and maybe I will learn to take it.

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pray for Sufferers of ALS

Please Pray for Laurel Brook as well as everyone who suffers from ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease. Here is a description of the illness.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. "A" means no or negative. "Myo" refers to muscle, and "Trophic" means nourishment–"No muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it "atrophies" or wastes away. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region.

As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.
Although the cause of ALS is not completely understood, the recent years have brought a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease.

While there is not a cure or treatment today that halts or reverses ALS, there is one FDA approved drug, riluzole, that modestly slows the progression of ALS, as well as several other drugs in clinical trials that hold promise.

Importantly, there are significant devices and therapies that can manage the symptoms of ALS that help people maintain as much independence as possible and prolong survival. It is important to remember that ALS is a quite variable disease; no two people will have the same journey or experiences. There are medically documented cases of people in whom ALS ‘burns out,’ stops progressing or progresses at a very slow rate. No matter what your individual course or situation may be. The ALS Association and your medical team are here to help.

To learn more about the personal stories of people who are living fully go to the ALS Association Web Site. As one man put it, “I’ve made ALS part of my life, not my whole life.”

From the ALS Association.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Helping Children with AIDS in India

Ark Family Ministries is a Mission devoted to Healthy Families. They have a boarding school for children with AIDS who have been abandoned by their families. Bharathi is on the right hand side of this picture.

Bharathi is our first totally orphaned child. If you see her today and compare to how she was when she arrived on December 14th 2005, you will marvel at God’s grace in transforming this little one. Bharathi was born on November 15th 1999. Her father died next day on November 16th due to complications with AIDS. Her mother continued working as a basket weaver until she died in November 2005. It was shortly after her death that friends approached us and requested if we would accept Bharathi in our residential school. Bharathi’s brother was in their children’s home but they were unable to take her in as Bharathi tested HIV positive. As we evaluated the situation and prayed about the desperate need for a proper home for this little one, the Lord motivated us to admit her in Ashirvad School.

To make it possible for her to adjust faster, we kept her 10 year old brother, Sunil, with us for a few days. How she clung to Sunil when it came time for him to leave to return to his children’s home! She was very insecure and found very hard to trust anyone. It is anyone’s guess what all she may have endured in her young life.

But we praise God and rejoice to share with you that she soon became a very special part of Ashirvad School. Her impish, cheerful smile wins our hearts. She has been a slow learner but now beginning to go forward in her studies. Her relatives, also basket weavers, have visited couple times but are afraid to invite her to their homes on account of her HIV condition. We have tried to explain to them how HIV can and cannot be transmitted, but there is no change in their response towards her. During first Summer we invited her brother, Sunil to spend 2 weeks in our home while all the other Ashirvad School children went to their homes or relatives’ homes. Now her relatives take Sunil home during holidays but Bharathi is not included. We were very grateful when Annapurna, our caregiver happily included Bharathi along with her 2 children on her visit to her family in May 2007.

Bro. Jayaraj Chinta of Ark Family Ministries will be preaching this Sunday during the 9:45 AM service at First Baptist Church of Rahway. Learn More about this wonderful mission here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Where is God When...

Where is God when we are happy? Is He joyously celebrating too?
Where is God when we are sad, and life's storms leave us feeling blue?
Where is God when we are angry, lose our temper, maybe come unglued?
Where is God when we are hurting, like our heart has been broken in two?
God is right there with us, it doesn't matter whether we are happy or sad!
God is right there with us, when our heart is broken, or we are fighting mad!

Where is God when we are all alone, and we could really use a friend?
Where is God when death claims a loved one and a life comes to an end?
Where is God when we are stressed, feel like breaking because we can no more bend?
Where is God when we feel lost and confused, will His peace and direction He send?
God is right there with us, He brings to us comfort, companionship, guidance, clarity!
God is right there with us, transitioning lost loved ones to their lives with Him in eternity!

Where is God when we are scared, will He help to put all of our fears to rest?
Where is God when we have failed, even though we have tried our very best?
Where is God when things are going well, and we feel that we are blessed?
Where is God when the enemy attacks, and our lives feel like one big test?
God is right there with us, we must reach for His hand, and to it we must cling!
God is right there with us, blessings, protection, and assurance, a part of His offering!

Where is God when we are quiet, and take time to listen for His voice?
Where is God when we go astray, when we do not make the right choice?
Where is God when we triumph over something, does He too rejoice?
Where is God when we lack confidence, and we waver in our poise?
God is right there with us, if we search our hearts, listen, look, and seek!
God is right there with us, giving peace to the troubled, and strength to the weak!

Sometimes He knows all He need do is walk with us, walking quietly by our sides,
When life's storms become rough, it is those times He carries us through raging tides!
When times are good, it's easy to see the footprints of everywhere God has been,
It's when times become tough, we need to remember His Spirit that dwells within!
We invited Him into our hearts, He remains, even when at times we forget He's here,
We may go astray, or turn our backs on Him completely, but He is faithfully there!

by: Dina Lalumiere

Friday, July 23, 2010

Samba! Praising God in Brazil

The Perfect Way

This video comes from the northern part of Brazil near the coastal city of Recife. It is the center of the historic slave trade that made its way into South America about 350 years ago. Although the trade no longer exists it has greatly affected the country of Brazil.

Brazil is the fifth wealthiest country of the world, yet poverty is endemic with about one-third of its population living in "favelas" or slums. A large percentage of the people in the favelas are of "mixed blood" having roots in the African slave trade. The rhythms and music of the Africans have greatly influenced Brazil's music, and Samba is an example of this flavoring.

Samba is the a heart music of the poorer people of Brazil and, as such, is often rejected by those of means. The church, too, has typically opposed the use of Samba due to its association with lewd practices.

However, a number of Christian musical groups have "redeemed" this musical form, setting it to lyrics with a Christian message.

The four young men in this video are a part of a ministry that is reaching into the favelas with the compassion and love of the gospel of Christ. They are a street band who use this Samba to attract the attention of those who love Samba music. Once drawn to the music, the lyrics suprise the listener with a different message than is normally heard.

The growing worship expression by the churches which are forming within the favelas often incorporate Samba musical forms into their music by which they return their love and devotion to God.

Samba also has its accompaning dance form, and this, too, is increasingly found in worship in sectors of the church.

Heart Sounds International

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Family Seminar and Retreat

Saturday, August 7th
3 PM to 8 PM

Bro. Jayaraj Chinta &
Kailas Chinta

Ark Family Ministries
Hyderabad, India


Enriched Christian Family
Hebrews 13:4


1. Blessing and preciousness of Marriage
2. Conflicts/Conflict Resolution in a Christian Home
Dinner will be served after the Seminar

Pastor William Whitehead
First Baptist Church Rahway
FBC Telugu Service
177 Elm Ave. Rahway, NJ 07065
Call for more Details: 973-979-3536 / 908-380-3075 (Directions) - TELUGU—Bro. Ebenezer Pattabhi

I'd Be Dead if Mom Could Have Got Away With It

A Story of Forgiveness by Pastor Bill

I look back on my life and I give a loud ‘thank you’ for the patience and understanding of my friends and family. When I think about all of the stupid things that I have done I am amazed that they have forgiven me. Because of all the times I have been forgiven I understand what forgiveness is all about.

I remember a time when I was around ten years old, my mom was so angry with me she could have killed me with a look. We attended a church in Rahway, NJ. Mom sang in the choir and I was active in the Sunday school. Mom was up in the choir loft, only ten feet from my friends and I sitting in the front pew. We used to fool around a lot, like all boys our age. Mom and the other adults used to warn us every now and then to keep us in line. Warnings only go so far, while death threats are much more effective.

The way we Baptists take communion is different from many other Christian denominations. We slice plain white bread into little cubes and place them onto silver communion trays that stack up real nice and pretty on the communion table. We then take grape juice, never wine because of our prohibitionist roots, and pour it into little plastic cups. We used to use glass cups but people got tired of cleaning them. They are now in a box in a storage closet somewhere, want to buy some? We put these cups into silver communion trays that also stack. It all looks lovely shining on the communion table. Deacons then pass the trays around the congregation on communion Sunday, for us once a month. The only people who should partake of the bread and cup are people who have professed faith in Jesus Christ and been baptized. With this in mind, I return to my story. The ten-year olds sitting in the front row had not been baptized and thus were excluded from communion.

Now as you probably know when you exclude kids from something there are always consequences. Try taking your child to an ice cream shop and buying one for yourself but not for your child. The reaction will be swift and furious. Or try drinking a glass of wine in front of your children. You get the big-eyed look and the question; can I have some? You say no and they want to know why not. Have some wine after the kids have gone to bed. Life is easier that way. It’s the same thing that happens in church. Tell the kids that they can’t take part in the communion service and they might seem to accept it but there is trouble brewing down the road.

On this one very memorable Sunday morning I was with my coconspirators in the front row only a few feet from my ever-watchful mother. And as the bread was passed around the congregation I pretended to take some bread and eat it. My friends and I giggled and had a good time over this. Then as the cup was being passed around, I pretended to take a cup and drink it. I acted like I was looking at it up and down and then I pretended to eat the cup. Roars of laughter rose up from the front row bouncing off of our high tin ceiling and down onto the congregant’s reverent ears. One congregant in particular was no longer focused on Jesus’ sacrifice, she was focused on a ten-year old ‘dead boy walking’ in the front row only a few feet away. I looked up and the eyes were boring into me. Mental daggers flew out of those eyes and struck me full of holes. To be told at that point that I was in trouble was an understatement. I am sure to this day that she was thinking about leaping over the wall that separated the choir from the congregation, quickly covering the few feet of space and throttling me right then and there. Fortunately for me she was after all celebrating communion.

I was forgiven a long time ago for that little episode. Though the memory lingers for me, my mom no longer remembers. I think about the many times that I have messed up over the years. I think about all of the people I so foolishly hurt. And I realize how often and how many people have forgiven me. Because of this I am truly blessed. The gift that I have received is the practical experience of being forgiven. Being forgiven over and over taught me how to forgive. And if it weren’t for this valuable lesson I wouldn’t have any friends, I wouldn’t be married. Healthy relationships depend upon going beyond the failings of each individual. They depend on forgiving and forgetting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Emma is Freed from Slavery through Courage and Trust in God

By Debbie Kelsey

A young woman who we’ll call “Emma,” was 22 years old when she left her African village for what she thought would be a brighter future in Holland. She had grown up without finishing high school and worked in a local shop to help support her mother and siblings. When the shop owner asked Emma to work in her husband’s large store in Holland, she gratefully accepted.

But Emma’s hopeful dream became a frightful nightmare when her plane landed in Italy, not Holland. Upon meeting the shop owner’s dishonest husband, she learned that she would owe him 30,000 Euros ($45,000) to pay for her air flight and living expenses. He then said that prostitution was the only work for her since she didn’t have a legal document permitting her to work in Italy.

The man took Emma to an area of his town where other African women stood waiting for customers and told them to teach her. Night after night when Emma produced only a little income, the man threatened to beat her. The other women asked her to stay with them until she could get her own place.

Emma was full of fear. Would the man find her and beat her? Without documents and not speaking Italian, how was she going to survive? She came from a culture where the police could not be trusted so she never thought to ask for help, fearing that she might be sent back to Africa. She felt her only option was to work the streets in Italy.

Eventually someone invited Emma to the Baptist church where my husband, Jim, and I were serving. Emma attended every week, but she still felt shame and fear. Without feeling there were any other options, Emma continued to work on the streets, just enough to survive. I explained to her and the other young women in the church how Italy had a program to help trafficked women get out of prostitution and stay in Italy. Out of fear Emma chose not to the program, and in time she was arrested for being undocumented.

When I visited Emma in jail I suggested that she enter this special program sponsored by the Italian government. Even though her fear was great, Emma announced, “I am not going back to the streets. God has let me be arrested so I can get out of that life.”

Following 60 days in jail, Emma worshipped again with us, giving glory to God, who had set her free! But she remained without work and in danger of deportation if she were arrested again. The church helped her financially as much as possible.

In 2009, we found a Baptist family who agreed to have Emma help with their elderly mother and work at their bed and breakfast. This family has been teaching Emma marketable skills that can be used to get other jobs once her residency paperwork is completed. Since they were not able to pay for the costs of getting Emma registered, we were able to use some of the funds from our American Baptist Women’s Ministries “Break the Chains” project. Because of the love of Christ shown through his church, Emma has been freed from slavery. She is now trusting God and is no longer a slave to a trafficker, to sexual exploitation, and to the fear of being arrested and deported.

Debbie and Jim Kelsey are American Baptist Missionaries in Italy. Learn more about them here.

Pray for the Victims of Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Please pray for Ethan, a boy who like the actor Andy Griffith, recently developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome. He lost the ability to walk and was hospitalized for several months. Right now he is home and is learning how to walk again. He has been tutored while out of school and is hoping to be able to return in the fall. Here is a description from the National Institutes of Health.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances, the weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body. These symptoms can increase in intensity until the muscles cannot be used at all and the patient is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases, the disorder is life-threatening and is considered a medical emergency. The patient is often put on a respirator to assist with breathing. Most patients, however, recover from even the most severe cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, although some continue to have some degree of weakness. Guillain-Barré syndrome is rare. Usually Guillain-Barré occurs a few days or weeks after the patient has had symptoms of a respiratory or gastrointestinal viral infection. Occasionally, surgery or vaccinations will trigger the syndrome. The disorder can develop over the course of hours or days, or it may take up to 3 to 4 weeks. No one yet knows why Guillain-Barré strikes some people and not others or what sets the disease in motion. What scientists do know is that the body's immune system begins to attack the body itself, causing what is known as an autoimmune disease. Guillain-Barré is called a syndrome rather than a disease because it is not clear that a specific disease-causing agent is involved.

Pray that God will heal all sufferers of this terrible illness.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Quarterback Tim Tebow and His Mom Tell of their Faith in God

Courtesy of ESPN and YouTube.

Sept. 12th: FBC Rahway honors Maxine Carey!

First Baptist Church Rahway Touching hearts, Changing lives.

There will be a special service and lunch honoring Maxine Carey on Sunday, September 12th, 2010 (Spread the Word, But Don’t Mention It to Maxine)

For more information call, write or visit...
Pastor William Whitehead
First Baptist Church Rahway - TELUGU

177 Elm Street
Rahway, NJ 07065

Monday, July 19, 2010

Delivering Babies in the Dark of the Congo

Boko in the Dark - Nurse Burnadette Preparing to Deliver a Baby

Imagine delivering a baby in the dark! Lightening struck the solar lighting system at the Baptist hospital in Boko several months ago. Since then the staff works by candle light to assist night time deliveries, tend newborn babies and do emergencies. Serving a population that earns less than a dollar a daythe hospital saw no option but to go on as best as possible in the dark. The Boko Baptist hospital has been without a doctor for two years.

In November Dr. Kapenze who worked with us at the Kintambo Baptist Health Center in Kinshasa agreed to become the medical director there. A few weeks ago he came back to Kinshasa to purchase medicines supplies and find light for the hospital. IM missionary Bill Clemmer agreed to fund replacement parts for the solar lighting system purchase a modest stock of medicines, and to fund a road trip to Boko with Dr. Kapenze, as a way to encourage those laboring there. Jonathan and I went along. We also took Esaie, a Kinshasa based technician, who would repair the solar light system.

It’s a 250 mile trek to Boko, with the last 90 over dirt roads, but a rain storm that followed us most of the way nicely packed the deep sand so we arrived at Boko mid-afternoon. After eating a delicious meal served by Mrs Kapenze (Naomi), Esaie went to work on the lighting system and Jonathan and I headed out (in rain gear) to explore Boko, a mission station where his Niles grandparents lived for four years and where his Grandfather Fountain regularly visited to build up the health work.
Under a persistent drizzle, we hiked the overgrown airstrip, visited the church, and chased refuge seeking goats from a school room that had no door. We slipped down a steep ravine to a crystal clear waterfall, where, 30 years ago, Jonathan’s dad, Wayne, as a college student, installed a pump and water system for the Boko station. The pump’s skeleton lies in the clear water; nothing runs forever without regular maintenance. We mused about running water, lights and facilities that were, but are no more.

As dark fell, we ended up at the hospital with the circle of spectators watching Esaie poke amongst wires and connections in the maternity ward. When the fluorescent tube he manipulated finally flickered to light, a cheer went up from all. Mrs. Bernadette, the nurse midwife, did not leave Esaie’s side, constantly pleading the case for the light to be hung directly over the delivery table. A priority spot! We lingered to see another light installed. As we glanced back on our way through the darkness to Dr. Kapenze’s house, those two solitary lights illuminated the whole landscape. When light shines into darkness, darkness cannot overcome it. People are attracted to light, and light makes a difference.

The next morning, with the staff in their work places, Dr. Kapenze gave us an exhaustive walk through the hospital, certain to point out every need and deficiency. The poverty of the population exaggerates even mundane daily tasks and the quality of services at the hospital have sunk to a minimum level. Dr. Kapenza faces the enormous challenge of pulling things together. In each department, we tarried long enough to hear about and appreciate the work done, to encourage each one to do the best job possible, and to reflect God’s light with a word of admonishment or encouragement. A spontaneous “round table discussion” with hospital leaders unfolded in the operating room. Their struggles are real: patients who can pay little, a 250 mile long and difficult supply pipeline, isolation, debts, things that were, but are no more; even darkness.

The darkness and weight of the poverty experienced by our colleagues from Boko burden their work completely. Yet, the shackles of poverty go far beyond the lack of financial and material resources. They are more often a result of the way people think and behave. How do you fight such poverty? We fight it with the Light of the World,which penetrates people’s thoughts and ideas and dispels darkness. Then people walk in the light; for their minds, thoughts, ideas, and behavior or transformed by the light. For light to penetrate and entire community, it takes years, even generations.

I invite you to help keep the lights shining at the Boko hospital, or at any of the eleven American Baptist Mission hospitals in Congo. How? A regular gift to the “Congo Permanent Medical Fund” at International Ministries, in the name of Boko, or any of our hospitals, will facilitate maintaining the lights. A solar lighting system costs $3000 by the time it’s installed in a remote destination. Or, a regular gift to International Ministries “for the support of Wayne and Katherine Niles”, keeps us here, reflecting the Light of the World. We cannot remain without that required support. Or, you can come join us, Dr. Kapenze, Mrs. Bernadette, and many other’s in Congo where, the work of shining the Light into places like Boko still needs to be done. When light shines in the darkness, darkness cannot overcome it, but this is a very dark world. Thank you for your part in keeping the Lights shining in Congo.

Wayne and Katherine Niles
American Baptist Missionaries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
For more information click here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Inspirational Video of the Week

"Love the Lord Your God, With all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might and with all your strength"

Performed by Lincoln Brewster

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Prayers for Friends with Cancer

Our Father in Heaven,
We ask that you continue to bless those who have cancer and heal them according to Your perfect will. Let them feel You close to them and watch over their families and caretakers too. In Jesus's name we pray.

Dear Lord,
I pray that you bless us with a cure for this disease that has taken so many of our loved ones from us. Please have mercy on us and help us find a way to stop cancer. Please ease the pain in those who suffer from it and protect those who might get it. In Jesus' name,

Dear Heavenly Father,
For all those who are in pain and suffering this day with cancer I ask that you touch them, heal them and let them know how close you are to them, watching over them and holding them close in this time of need.
Keep them safe and in Your loving arms as Your perfect will is done.
I ask this in the precious name of Jesus.

Please Pray for;
Debbi – cancer
Michael – cancer
Jackie – cancer
Hema – cancer, recovering after treatment
Laura Ann – Cancer
Bob – Cancer, recovering after treatment
Bethany – leukemia
Matthew – cancer
Luci – cancer
Bridget – cancer
Sylvia – cancer
Rey – cancer
Dave – Tumor
Jacqueline – cancer
Connor – Tumor
Donald – cancer
David – Tumor
Mark – cancer

If you want to add a friend to the list, Send Pastor Bill an email (link is above this post) or tell us about your friend in a comment. Peace.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

From Darkness into Light

Former Drug Dealer and Gang member tells of giving his life to Jesus Christ in prison.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Make a Sale Everyday

I was never any good at selling things. When I had to sell candy for the Boy Scouts I was petrified. Going door to door was absolute torture for me. And so the last thing that I thought I would be when I grew up was a salesperson. A funny thing happened on the way to adult-ville. I felt a calling to become an evangelist or a salesperson for God. Sounds like a peculiar calling for a person who lacks natural gifts in this area. For some strange reason I embraced the idea and set out to find out what it takes to be a great salesperson. I learned two rules that have become my credo.

Rule No. 1 – Love the People
I have met so many wonderful people in my life. One of them is Bernie. He is a retired paint salesman from New York City who now winters in Florida and summers in Pennsylvania. Bernie is always busy. He works around his house fixing the endless problems that come up when you live in a house older than you. He has beautiful gardens and is always tending to them. And Bernie paints. You would think that after so many years in the paint business Bernie would not want to touch a paintbrush. But he keeps the paint on his house in tiptop shape. And he has painted some of the common areas in his homeowners association. And when Bernie paints something it comes out beautiful and lasts forever.

I asked Bernie one day about what it takes to be a good paint salesperson. Bernie’s answer was simple and surprising. He said that a successful salesperson has to “love the people.” It was that simple. Bernie traveled from store to store talking to the owners. He would always smile and be gracious even when he was asked to leave. But he would always come back. He said that he showed them through his actions that he was dependable and caring. He simply loved his customers and that made all the difference. After many years of persistent selling he told me he didn’t have to leave his office to have enough orders for the month. People responded to his love.

Rule No. 2 – Don’t let the sun go down without making a sale
I asked another friend who was a fine salesman the same question that I asked Bernie. I expected to hear from him sage advice on how to approach people or how to pitch a product. Or maybe he would suggest I read a book on how to be a success. He suggested a book alright, but it wasn’t what I expected.

He gave me a book called, “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino. I love this book. It has communicated so many wonderful things to me. At one point it says that a great salesperson should make a sale everyday. “Don’t let the sun go down without making a sale.” I have taken that saying to mean that each day I should try to understand another person, or help another person, or encourage another person. Each and every day I should try to lead someone to a closer relationship with God. Every single day I should try to love someone else. And this is exactly what I have been striving to do. Sometimes the sun goes down and I felt that I haven’t made a sale. But when I do, I can’t describe the wonderful feeling that comes over me.

And so like the Fuller Brush man I plod along the road of life searching for a sale. Over time, and to my surprise, I have found that I do have some gifts in this profession. Maybe I had them all of the time and didn’t realize it? Maybe God gave me what I needed? Or maybe it’s just plain easy to love people every day and anybody can do it? You decide. And while you are pondering this riddle, make sure you don’t let the sun go down without making a sale.

Friday, July 9, 2010

God Understands Our Troubles

The Rev. William "Bill" Whitehead is the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Rahway, in Rahway, New Jersey. He is also a graduate of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Ark Family Ministries Family Conference in India

Leaders Family Conference was conducted in Manipur state in T. Khullen village which is Kerry’s home village. Here we ministered to 4 pastor couples and other church leaders couples. Initially we were very disappointed at the small attendance of the pastor couples of that area, but our hearts rejoiced when the Lord allowed us the privilege of ministering to the local church couples at Kerry’s home church. Kerry had reminded us that we need to be very clear in our gospel presentation as there were many nominal Christians in the church. At least 5 couples trusted the Lord as their Savior during the family conference. Each night at the gospel meeting, there was tremendous moving of the Holy Spirit and many more trusted the Lord as their Savior. Please pray that adequate follow-up will be undertaken by the church leaders to disciple these new babes in the Lord.

"We thank the Lord for allowing us to join the couples conference. We have learnt things that we have missed and we regretted, but we will be doing what God require for each other and for our children. And one thing that impressed us is the time to pray with each other-husband praying for wife and wife praying for husband.” Kangsong & Salila

“We didn’t know the Lord before we came for the Conference, but both of us are sure we accepted the Lord as our personal Savior. Now we are born again believers in the Lord. So do kindly remember us in your prayer.” Suibipa & Malati

*Rev. Jayaraj Chintas of Ark Family Ministries will be speaking at FBC Rahway on Sunday, August 1st. To learn more go to;,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Little Garlic Makes for Good Friends

There is no greater gift than that of a good friend. I have close friends who have supported me over the years through many of my ups and downs. I have friends who despite being separated by long distances are still a big part of my life. How empty our lives would be without our friends. I want to be the best friend I can be to all of these supportive people.

I met Peter while I was out of work. He had befriended my wife while working on his product. Peter created an amazing garlic spread, Don Pietro’s Gourmet Garlic Delight. He used to say it makes every meal a feast! It was a great product. Betsy worked in a food processing plant and Peter used to come over and make his garlic spread. The place smelled great. And Betsy used to come home smelling a little too garlicky good.

Peter needed a bookkeeper so he hired me. I would go over his house and wrestle with his company’s checkbook. I got to know him pretty well in a short period of time. He would tell me of his struggles to keep the company afloat. He went to small grocery stores selling his spread. Some people would give him some shelf space, others would tell him to get lost. He had battles over the location of the product. If it were too high on the shelf, nobody would see it. The place everybody wants is eye level. He would stand in the stores for hours and give out free samples. Most people liked it, but some would give him a hard time. Peter always had a smart-ass reply for anyone who gave him a hard time.

Peter is a wise guy from Brooklyn, NY. Verbally abusing your fellows is a right of passage there. I am a wise guy from Rahway, NJ. We got along great. He would give me a hard time and I would give it right back to him. He tells me that he can beat me in basketball any time he wants to, artificial knees and all. But I tell him that at 40, I am playing the best basketball of my life, and getting better every year. At 50 I’ll be ready for the NBA. Not everybody likes a wise guy, but both of us love the verbal sparring. Maybe it helps us to deal with the challenges that we face in life.

It’s great to have a friend who accepts you for who you are. If I start in with the wise guy stuff around anyone else but Peter I get into trouble. People don’t expect their pastor to make sarcastic comments. And I can understand why. I am held to higher standards in their regard. I am ok with this. But it is so nice to get on the phone with Peter, relax, loosen up and be a wise guy. It’s so wonderful to have a friend who accepts me for who I am.

Peter and I had big dreams. We dreamed of making the product a big success. He was going to mass produce it and put it in every store in the country. I was going to go to work for him, maybe even be a partner. At the time I was in seminary, and I even thought of putting off becoming a full time pastor until I made my fortune with Peter and his gastronomic success. We would become the Kings of Garlic. Everyone would know who we were, if only by the smell alone. Peter’s story would be in newspapers and magazines as a rags-to-riches story. Yes indeed, Peter and I had big dreams.

Things started to collapse for Peter not too long after I got my job back. Peter always had trouble getting enough of his spread produced. He would sign a contract with a company to package his product, and then they either wouldn’t do it, or the product would be lousy. Then he signed a contract with a grocery store chain to sell the product, and they ripped him off. In the end he was left with no more money and he had to fold the operation. All dreams end badly.

There are several things that I have learned from my friendship with Peter. First, a true friend supports you beyond what is expected. We have stood by each other through some pretty tough times. For Peter, watching your dream crash and burn was terrible. I had to endure some trouble when he wasn’t thinking too clearly. And when my life got rocky, he had to listen to me whine. I’m surprised that he didn’t slap me around some to snap me out of it. Second, a real friend accepts you no matter what. Some people just don’t understand me. But Peter doesn’t care if he understands me or not. He loves me even when I’m acting like an idiot. That’s what friendship looks like.

A close friend is a precious gift. A gift that we need to hold dear for the rest of our lives. Treat your friend’s right and you will always be rewarded.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pastor Jayaraj Chintas to Speak Sunday August 1st

Ark Family Ministries is committed to building strong, Bible based families. We believe that godly families will pass on the godly heritage to their children. This way several generations can be influenced to live out the Biblical principles.

The Challenge
Families in India are undergoing crisis.
Poverty, disease, influences of the secular media especially the western media, busyness, the lack of proper and adequate teaching on family life are some of the major causes for the conflicts in families and breakdown in relationships.

Divorce rate in urban India is estimated at 20%.
Sunday Times dated July 24, 2004 reports the following:

The divorce boom has been split wide open. As marriage melt-down sweeps across India and Asia, lawyers predict this is the biggest divorce boom on this side of the planet… 40 divorces are filed everyday in eight district courts of Delhi. Last year, 6,500 matrimonial disputes were registered in Delhi courts… One Indian psychologist says, “The reality of marriage is so unglamorous that the couples can’t adjust to it. There’s role conflicts, expectation conflicts and emotional conflicts.”

Even the Christian community is not immune from the above for example, in one church we know, all 4 young couples married that year separated before one year was over. The believing pastor was very distraught over this.

Rural families are facing tremendous problems due to dowry and dowry related deaths. Addiction to alcohol and unfaithfulness in marriage presents additional problems which often lead to conditions like HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is spreading fast and has reached pandemic proportions in India.

Our Burden
During 1980s as we ministered to boys and girls, we had the joy of seeing many children understandingly and with true conviction receive the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior from sin.

In the process of discipling these children, we realized that unless the husband-wife relationship in a home was a strong and a growing relationship founded on the Word of God and centered in Jesus Christ, they would fail to have a significant and lasting impact on their children. We were convinced that the Christian faith was only one generation away from extinction IF the families were not centered in the Word of God.

With this burden in our hearts, we were able to conduct our first two family seminars in Gujarat state in 1989. The response to these seminars was so overwhelming that we recognized that this Bible based family life teaching was the key to growing strong families for Christ.

The Birth of Ark Family Ministries
We have served the Lord in various capacities since 1974. It was in 1995 that the Lord called us in a very specific way to begin a ministry to build, strengthen and enrich families all over India. The challenge for this ministry was given to us from Hebrews 11:7, ”... Noah built an ark for the salvation of his family.” Just as Noah worked hard and was guided by the Lord to work for the salvation of his family, we were encouraged to challenge the Christian families to do the same.

Our Goal
Ministering to families provides us with open doors to bring the unsaved to the saving knowledge of the Lord and also to build families in the Word of God. We realized that with God’s help and teaching from God’s Word, families can become all that God intended them to be… fruit bearing families to the glory of God.

As doors for evangelism are quickly closing down in our land, preparing families for personal evangelism is a powerful means of reaching the lost with His gospel.

The best way to prevent HIV/AIDS and other dreadful sexually transmitted diseases is to build strong, faithful families.