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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

InterVarsity Under Fire at Universities


InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA is a vibrant campus ministry that establishes and advances witnessing communities of students and faculty. We minister to students and faculty through small group Bible studies, large gatherings on campus, leadership training, thoughtful discipleship and life-changing conferences and events.
InterVarsity Senior Vice President Jim Lundgren is calling on InterVarsity’s staff, students, faculty supporters, alumni, and friends to be in prayer about campus ministry at Vanderbilt University.
The leadership of Vanderbilt University has decided that several campus Christian organizations, including InterVarsity’s Graduate Christian Fellowship, should be placed on provisional status until coming into compliance with Vanderbilt’s anti-discrimination policy. The policy, as it currently stands, would prohibit a Christian organization from using any religious criteria when selecting leaders.
We believe such a policy not only flies in the face of common sense but is also contrary to the spirit of the Freedom of Religion protections in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
InterVarsity is asking for prayers that Vanderbilt will change its position and allow religious organizations to choose leaders who believe in the principles and beliefs of those organizations. A Town Hall meeting will be held on the Vanderbilt campus on Tuesday evening, January 31, 2012. University officials will explain how the anti-discrimination policy will be applied to student groups at that time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More Than Just Me

(I wrote this seven years ago. I just rediscovered it. My daughter is in 42nd Street now and so it seems appropriate to reprint it)

My Son Edward became part of the cast of 42nd Street at the High School, and for a while my world revolved around that famous street in NYC. First there were endless shuttles back and forth from rehearsal. We needed to buy the CD and listen to it over and over. Then we bought the video and watched it over and over. Edward came home from school everyday and tapped danced across the oak floors while singing the songs we just listened to on the CD. For months leading up to the big moment we lived 42nd Street, we dreamed 42nd Street, we existed in a 42nd Street universe.
Finally it was on with the show. We attended multiple performances. There were cast parties, award ceremonies, etc… My wife even won an award for costume design. And then it ended. We returned to something resembling normal – though Edward still tap dances on the oak floors. And here I sit wondering – how did my world become so caught up in the worlds of others?
Well that’s an easy question to answer. I got married and had babies. It used to be just me. I could go where I wanted to go – do what I wanted to do. I could go out with my friends – or not. I could stay with my parents – or not. Then I met Betsy and then it was Betsy and me. And my orbital path fell into her orbital path and we would go where we wanted to go and do what we wanted to do. And then we had children. And more orbital paths fell in with ours – including in-laws, siblings, nieces, nephews, friends, coworkers and so on and so forth. For the briefest time it seemed that my world consisted of just me. But it quickly became more than me.
God didn’t need us. Have you ever thought about that? God didn’t need to create anyone or anything. God could have existed as a monolith – massive yet alone. Yet God wanted us – all of us. God wanted to fill the creation with unique individuals – beings in God’s image with whom God could care and share. I think God wanted this because existence is better with others. My life was not so great when it was just me. I could do what I wanted, but it was mostly boring and lonely. My life has been getting better and better as more people become a part of it. No wonder God said that the creation was good.
Edward is trying out for another musical. My other children are in the band, chorus, and scouts. Life is busy with all of these people demanding more and more of my time. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
God bless you,

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pray for the Church in America


 A popular political and economic analyst and African-American culture critic has stirred controversy with a column bashing Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church over his multiple sexual misconduct allegations, calling the Atlanta, Ga., minister a "bold-faced liar."

Dr. Boyce Watkins, a published author and Scholar in Residence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Syracuse University, bashed the Georgia minister, known for multiple controversies including alleged sexual misconduct with male church members. The critic expressed admiration that the young men who accused Long have been speaking out, "in spite of the consequences for doing so," which he expressed in a column in his online publication, Your Black World.

Read the Rest of the Story…

That such a thing could happen, and continues to happen is unspeakable. Please pray for Jesus’ Church in America.

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christian Publishing Boom in China

China's communist government may be constricting freedom of worship in some places, such as Beijing's Shouwang house church, but Chinese consumers are gaining access like never before to legally published books by best-selling American evangelical authors.
Since early April, the 1,000-member-strong Shouwang church has held services outdoors rain or shine, and eight of its pastors are under house arrest. The government, citing the church's lack of registration, pressured the church's landlord to cancel Shouwang's lease.
At the same time, there has been a surge across China in the availability of popular Christian titles by authors Rick Warren, Gary Chapman, and Beth Moore, as well as classic titles by C. S. Lewis and others. Statistics on Christian book sales are unreliable in China. But figures on Bible publishing provide one reliable snapshot of the phenomenal growth. Amity, the official publisher of Bibles inside China, increased Bible printing each year from 1998 (2.8 million) to 2008 (10 million). Other than Bibles, top sellers are Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life, with more than 100,000 in print, and the Francine Rivers novel Redeeming Love.
Read the Rest of the Article…

Monday, January 23, 2012

Starting New Churches

tim-keller (1)

The greatest evangelical impact Christians can take part in is to plant new churches, say leaders at the Acts 29 Network, an organization aimed at facilitating a global church planting movement. Acts 29 is a network of church planters founded by Mars Hill lead pastor Mark Driscoll. Thomas says that in the last 10 years, "Acts 29 has emerged from a small band of brothers to over 400 churches in the United States and networks of churches in multiple countries."
"Keller reflects our biblically-informed approach to church planting," Thomas told The Christian Post. "The Book of Acts is a record of Spirit-led Christians proclaiming the Gospel boldly in places where the Gospel is not known and establishing churches among the new believers. The Book ends in chapter 28. Acts 29 (Network) is seeking to continue the call to redeem broken lives into a community of God worshippers for His glory."
Read More…
Find out about the Acts 29 Network…

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keep Praying for Eric

Eric LeGrand continues to work hard on his recovery from a paralyzing hit on the Football field. He has been working on sitting up in his chair without support. Last week he said he can sit up for 2 minutes and 5 seconds. His goal for this month is to hit the 3 minute mark. If you with to keep up with Eric’s progress you can find him on Twitter; @BigE52_RU.

This past weekend Eric was on the field at the New England Patriots football game. Despite his injury, he has been a very busy person.

Please pray for Eric to walk again!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Helping People Find Jobs

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped in late 2011, but the decrease was misleading. The U.S. Department of Labor didn't count more than 1.1 million jobless people who were classified as "discouraged workers": those who were willing and able to work but did not seek employment during the previous 30 days. Such discouragement has many roots. Their employers might have eliminated jobs due to belt-tightening or moved jobs overseas to cut labor costs.

Research shows that discouragement often grows the longer a worker is unemployed. Such individuals begin to spend less time each month looking for a new job. Dan Coffey, an outplacement expert who previously led the jobless ministry at Christ Church in Oakbrook, Illinois, said, "We fail to realize there is a grieving process involved—denial, anger, bargaining, acceptance. People who go through unemployment need to go through that." Job loss is considered one of the top 10 most stressful life events.

The needs of the discouraged worker are complex—which is where local churches can step in. "The church has a unique and wonderful role to play. The church provides spirituality and emotional support that can cut through the anxiety and the depression and give people hope," said Steve Murata, a leader of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church's Career Actions Ministry (CAM). Unlike secular agencies, the church can help people see their true worth in Christ, give them a new sense of purpose for their work lives, and re-energize them for the job search process.

Continue Reading…

More About the Ministry…

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Fiery Tongue in Politics


I have a mouth on me. I grew up a nasty little kid who used his mouth to attain a little self respect. I became an expert at attacking my friends and enemies alike and learned to brush off the verbal abuse that I received in return. As a result of this special training in verbal jousting I am still very capable of making a sarcastic comment at just the wrong time.

I was attending one of the many dinners we had at Trinity Baptist in Scranton when the Lord Mayor walked in. My opinion of our Mayor was very low at that time. And I remarked to a friend, “vote for me” with the proper sarcastic vocal inflexions. I was over heard by several church members who reamed me out at a council meeting later in the month. They were very proud that the Mayor was shilling for votes at our church, and they were very upset that I dared to point out the obvious (as you can see I am quite unrepentant). I was severely chastised for the episode and I slunk out of that meeting like a scolded puppy. I have tried to learn my lesson and keep my mouth shut, but every once in a while, I let a nasty comment rip. I guess you can’t change a leopards spots.

You must be hiding under a rock if you don’t know that the Presidential campaign is in full swing and the discourse has turned ugly. On second thought, the discourse was ugly right from the start. From now until November we are looking at an ever increasing bombardment of political attack ads on the radio and television. If the past is any indication, no one will be spared. John McCain’s wife was accused of being addicted to prescription painkillers in the South Carolina primary twelve years ago. No attack will be considered too low. Four years ago the McCain campaign accused President Obama of being a “friend of terrorists”. I wasn’t the only one to think that someone would try and kill the big O after that accusation. And don’t think for one minute that any of this is new. President John Adams was called “His Rotundness” by a newspaper man paid by Thomas Jefferson. Prior to this, Jefferson and Adams were very close friends.

I know that the world of politics is ugly, but should it be this ugly? This is a question I can’t answer, but I can tell you what the Bible says about social discourse in general. And the Bible isn’t on the side of the politicians.

In the book of James, the tongue is compared to an out of control fire (3:6), an animal that cannot be tamed (3:7-8), and a double dealer that praises God and curses man at the same time (3:9-12). In the book of Proverbs it says that our words can “pierce like a sword” (12:18). It also says that words can have the power of life and death (18:21). This saying comes true in the story of Naboth’s Vineyard found in the 21st chapter of 1 Kings. King Ahab wants to buy the vineyard but Naboth says no. Queen Jezebel spreads a rumor that Naboth has cursed God, and he is stoned to death. This event becomes the last straw as their sinful reign comes to an end. Fly to Saudi Arabia and curse the Prophet Mohammad in a busy square and you will see that words really can have the power over life and death.

James says; “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” (3:18). The Bible teaches us to be loving and supportive of the people around us. This should apply to everyone, even politicians. Unfortunately the winner take all reality of politics makes the participants desperate for success. And thus, they will say and in some cases do anything to win. But this reality does not spare them from following God’s Word. God calls all of us to be peacemakers and not fire starters. God calls us to do His work in the world, not be the servants of Queen Jezebel. God calls us to be peacemakers, while the political war rages.

Now, if I can only stop from calling people I don’t like Bozo’s. It is totally unfair to Bozo the Clown.


Pastor Bill

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Haiti Two Years after the Earthquake

So where is Haiti now? Nearly fixed? Lewis says, "Hardly."

"There are still about half a million people living in some type of very temporary shelter. That number's down from like a million and a half," notes Lewis.

Progress to be certain, but more to go. Fear is still present throughout the nation, and Lewis says many middle class Haitians he has met are still far from obtaining permanent housing as they knew it before January 12, 2010.

"The idea of actually rebuilding back to a brick-and-mortar or concrete type of structure comparable to what they had prior to the earthquake just seems like that's going to be a decade away for so many."
Read the rest of the article…
Link to EFCA Haiti Mission…

Pray for the People of Haiti!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christian Hospital Struggles During Greek Financial Crisis


The financial crisis that began in 2009 continues in Greece. The economy is declining and, as a result, the people are suffering greatly. Unemployment officially exceeds 16%, salaries have been reduced, and taxes have increased tremendously.AMG missionary Argyris Petrou puts it this way, “There is pain and agony, even despair. People are losing jobs, families are devastated, the young are without hope, and the old are suffering.” Fotis Romeos, AMG’s Eastern Europe Director writes, “A gigantic protest is in progress today, including two days of general strikes. Please be praying for wisdom and that the crisis will become an opportunity for the advancement of the kingdom of God.”

Our coworkers in Greece are under a lot of pressure. St. Luke’s Hospital in Thessaloniki has been particularly affected, as the government insurance agencies have been very slow in meeting their financial obligations to the hospital. Yet, demand for its services continues to grow, particularly as public health services decline further. And this is a great opportunity to share the Gospel. We just recently received yet another testimony of an individual who came to St. Luke’s for physical care and found Christ as Savior as well.

Please pray for the financial needs of St. Luke’s, for Dr. and Mrs. Demosthenes Katsarkas as they lead that ministry, and for Fotis Romeos as he leads other AMG ministries from AMG’s Athens office.

Learn more about AMG Ministries in Greece and St. Luke’s Hospital…

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Mormon or a Christian President?


Since politics currently takes up a lot of space in the news I thought I would ask you, my gentle readers, another question.

Does it matter what religious faith the President is? Does it matter if the President is a Christian, a Mormon, a Muslim or a Jew?

Some say yes, some say no. What do you say? Feel free to answer in the comment section below. Before you do, consider this passage from the Bible.

Isaiah 44:24, and 28
I am the LORD,
   the Maker of all things,…
who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd
   and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,”
   and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”’

(Cyrus was a Persian King, not a child of Abraham. And yet, God uses Cyrus to fulfill God’s purposes).

Peace, Pastor Bill

Friday, January 6, 2012

Faith and Reason

seven sisters
(The Seven Sisters by Helder Jacinto)
I am a person of faith. I have been a person of faith since I was a little kid. I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t talking to God. When I was little I used to ask God for the usual stuff; help with tests, protection from bullies, etc… Over the years I started to have conversations with God. These conversations were mostly philosophical. What do I do in this situation? Why do bad things happen to good people? Stuff like that. I was never a normal teenager.

Today I continue my conversations with God. I find myself saying thank you a lot. I guess I do that because I feel very lucky. I have a wonderful life, with an amazing wife, and a great family. And so when I talk with God I always end up saying thank you, regardless of whether my situation is good or bad.

I am a person of reason. I have always been a person of reason. I have always asked questions when confronted with difficult to explain phenomenon. I have always been a person that demanded explanations. I also love to hear the explanations. I love to learn something new. I love to figure out something that was a mystery to me.

And so it is not so mysterious that I eventually wandered into the world of astrophysics. The stars kept pulling at me until I decided to build a telescope and see what they looked like through the eyepiece. I was not disappointed and I still love to view the night sky as often as possible. The heavens speak to me of the glories of God.

The night sky also speaks to me of the glories of reason. When I was learning how my telescope worked, I found out that there was a purpose to all that trigonometry I didn’t learn in High School. A friend gave me the trigonometric formula for finding faint celestial objects that can’t be seen with the naked eye. I sat down with a scientific calculator and did the trigonometry on a pad of paper, comparing the results with calculations made by my computer until I got the numbers right. What that exercise taught me was that the formulas work. If you do them right, they work every time. And I remember thinking, wow, this really makes sense. Now that is reason in action.

I can’t apply a formula to God. When it comes to my faith I can’t punch in the numbers and get the result I want. I can talk about my faith, but I can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. In fact I can’t prove it at all. I can only tell people that I talk with God all of the time. I can only say that I experience the presence of God within me. I can only testify to what I know and that is that God is with me all of the time and I am never alone. I know this to be true. I can’t prove it to you, or verify it, or calculate it. But I can tell you about my relationship with God, and you can judge for yourself. I can also tell you that if you look, you can also find God within you. But that is entirely up to you. I can show you how to find a galaxy in the night sky, but I can’t show you how to find God. I can only tell you that I speak with God, and that God knows me and cares for me. God knows you and cares for you. But you need to start talking to God to find that out.

Now excuse me while I make a few requests to the Almighty. A bigger telescope would be nice. A lot bigger. And a few of those really expensive eyepieces. And how about some astro-photography equipment…

(God’s response; You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid)

Pastor Bill

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Politics and the Bible

Now that the Presidential Election has gotten off the ground, I’d like to ask you a question or two about politics and religion. How much involvement should religious people have in the political process?

Some Quotes from the Bible to consider.

• Priests and Prophets have been involved in politics from the beginning.

  • The Prophet Nathan and King Solomon from 1 Kings 1:11-14.
  • The Apostle Paul bows to the demands of local politics in Acts 20:17-25.
  • Moses needed good people to serve in his government in Exodus 18:18-22.
  • Moses gathered together the leaders of the local tribes for decision making councils in Exodus 3:16.
• Prophets of God attack Injustice

  • God wants us to root out injustice in Proverbs 25:5.
  • Jeremiah says God will punish those who are politically corrupt in Jeremiah 22:1-5.
  • Jeremiah has been sent to destroy the unjust system and build up a new political system; Jeremiah 1:9-10.
• Religious people have a Duty to the State

  • Jesus says pay your taxes in Matthew 22:17-21.
  • The Apostle Paul says that the government is the sword of God in Romans 13:1-7.
  • The Apostle Peter says we should show people how good we are by following the rules in 1 Peter 2:13-17.

More Questions for your consideration. Please feel free to give your answers in the Comment section below.

  • Do you think Christians should run for political office and openly talk about their faith?
  • Do you think Christians should obey the law even when you think it is wrong?
  • Do you think Churches should openly support political candidates?
  • Do you think Churches should openly support political positions?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pray for the People of Nigeria


(Above, Nigerian Christian Church bombed at Christmas)

An Islamist group in the northern part of Nigeria has said they will kill all of the Christians in the north unless they all leave. Christian groups are saying that they will defend themselves. A religious war is threatening the people of Nigeria with misery and chaos. Please pray for the people of Nigeria.

Read more…

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

SAT-7 for Kids in Arabic


SAT-7 is a satellite TV service that sends Christian programing into the Arabic speaking world. Most countries with Muslim dominated governments make Christian evangelism illegal. SAT-7 has found a way to bring the good news of Jesus Christ into the homes of millions of people who are denied the opportunity to hear our message. The organization has created a satellite channel and website for kids who speak Arabic. Check out their website (in English) and see what they are doing.