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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Worldwide Ministry on the Web


Global Media Outreach is a global ministry presenting the good news of Jesus Christ online 24/7. Our goal is to stay on the cutting edge of global communication technologies to share Jesus and help believers grow in their faith worldwide.

Learn More…

Thursday, April 26, 2012

God and the Cosmic Microwave Background

Promoting Science and Faith


(Photo by Helder Jacinto)

A week ago I was at an astronomy club meeting and I heard a brilliant lecture by Dr. Michele Limon from Columbia University. He talked about the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and his cutting edge research into this amazing subject. Several days afterwards, my friend Helder and I rushed to take a look at the Horn Antenna, a microwave receiver from the 1960’s that established the existence of the CMB. This very obscure antenna (how many of you reading this right now have heard the name?) is responsible for one of the greatest discovery’s of the twentieth century. This crazy looking object should be as famous as the Hubble telescope, but it is hiding in plain sight in Holmdel NJ right near the Garden State Parkway. In a way it is just like the CMB. It too has been hiding in plain sight since the beginning of time. And why is it important? It is an imprint, or an echo of the creation of the universe.
The CMB was discovered by accident. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were doing telecommunication research for Bell Labs when they discovered microwave noise that came from every direction and was at a uniform temperature. There were theories about the CMB being written by math geniuses around the world, but these guys nailed it down. When the universe was first created, the energy levels were extreme. So extreme, that if we were exposed to them today all life on earth would be fried to a crisp. Over time the universe has expanded and the energy levels have spread out to the point where we are safe from dangerous exposure. The CMB has slight temperature variations in it, which are due to large galaxy clusters absorbing part of the radiation. Because of this we can ‘see’ how the universe formed and from that derive how it came to look like it does today.
LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
   You have set your glory in the heavens (Psalm 8:1)

The psalmist looked up at the sky and cried glorified God, because of how magnificent the heavens are. I say the same thing when I consider the CMB and how it gives us the ability to look back in time and see the creation of the universe. Rather than consider the universe as something mechanical, I see it as a creation of relationships. All of the cosmos is in relationship with itself, even the tiny photons that make up the CMB. While they fly through the vastness of space they experience slight changes in velocity and wavelength, which are due to their interaction with massive material structures such as galaxy clusters. Eventually they are captured by our microwave receivers. Thus with the CMB we can picture and analyze the relationship between energy and matter in the universe. In the same way, God created the world in which we exist upon one of relationships. Large societal structures (governments) interact with people in ways that affect even the most obscure individual. Even if we hide in the woods, we are in relationship with our environment and with the other inhabitants of our world. God created a universe that is in relationship with itself. And that includes you and I.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place.
What is mankind that you are mindful of us,
   human beings that you care for us? (Psalm 8:3-4)

There is a reason that we are in relationship with the world around us. It is because God cares for all of us. God made a remarkable universe just for you and I to live in. The universe is beautifully balanced to create a place where we can exist. The early universe had to be highly energetic in order for the energy to exist for us to live on a world bathed in sunlight. But at the same time, the universe had to expand in order for the radiation to spread out and become less lethal to living things. The CMB shows us the process that God created that went from high energy to moderate energy, from nothingness to structure. All of this was done so that you and I can exist in this time and place. All of this we done because God cares for us.
So, marvel at the creation my friends. It was created for us.
LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
God bless you,
Pastor Bill

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pray for the People of Greece



Economic disaster has struck Greece. The economy is in free fall. Below are two excerpts from mission groups working in the country.


Painful austerity measures in Greece and economic drama are exacting a deadly toll on the nation.

In the fifth straight year of recession, poverty has deepened, unemployment has hit an unprecedented 18% (with over 42% affecting the 25 to 40 age group), and crime has skyrocketed. Wages have fallen by a third since 2009 and are set to slide a further 15% in the next three years.

Read More…


I spent the entire day walking in downtown Athens... I wanted to share the feelings of people as they were riding on the metro, walking in the streets, working in the main market, gathering outside of Parliament in Syntagma square.  The people of Greece have been shocked by the public suicide of a 77 year old retired pharmacist yesterday morning,  in the most central place of Athens, in front of Parliament. He did not make any previous announcement.  He paid all his bills, wrote a little note, took his gun and placed a bullet in his head.

Read More…

Monday, April 23, 2012

All Out War in South Sudan

Tragedy in the Sudan. The war is on again and villages are being destroyed. Above is a recent video by Samaritan's Purse on the suffering of the people of Sudan. Please pray for these people.

Below is a link to Samaritan's Purse that has more information.

To Learn More...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Embrace the Adventure

I used to get really mad when I was lost while driving. My poor wife has had to suffer through several of my ‘which way do I go’ meltdowns. I really hate the feelings of fear and confusion that wash over me when I don’t know where I am and which direction I should be going in. But I have found a way to defeat these feelings. I try to replace them by filling up my head with the idea that I am on an adventure. Instead of cursing myself and the world, I try and think about how I’ve never been to this place before and the houses are really interesting and maybe we’ll stumble onto a new and wonderful place that we may want to return to again and again. Strangely enough this strategy has worked. I am much calmer when we are wandering around. We are not lost, we are experiencing an adventure. The thing is, by their very nature, adventures can be very stressful.

The story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-50 is one huge adventure. It is such a compelling story it was made into a Broadway show and Movie. I call the Joseph story an adventure because it has all of the classic elements of one. It has heroes and villains. It features the suffering and possible death of the innocent. It has God coming to the rescue of our troubled hero just in the nick of time. The guilty are brought to justice and then forgiven. It all ends in a wonderfully happy ending. Who could ask for more?

The story of Joseph shows us that God is in the adventure business. Just like Joseph we are often challenged with difficult situations in which there doesn’t seem to be any way out. And just like Joseph when all seems lost, God comes into our life and pulls a happy ending out of nowhere. That is because God is in the happy ending business as well. God always wants what is best for us. Sometimes that means trouble. But if you have faith, it always results in a happy ending.

So the next time you feel like you are lost, just embrace the adventure.
Pastor Bill

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pray for the People of Sudan

Sudan bombing 2

Above is a picture of a church built by Samaritan’s Purse in 2009 and recently destroyed by government aircraft. The civil war continues in that country, and a big part of that war is the animosity between Muslim’s and Christian’s.

Please pray for the people of Sudan.

Read more…

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Church Ponzi Schemes Unravel



Madoff is not the only one who created a successful Ponzi scheme during in the last ten years. Many individuals in churches did the same thing. They worked because they claimed to be Christians, and because all of us tend to trust our friends. Now, the schemes are unraveling. Below is part of a story from Christianity Today that documents the collapsing Ponzi schemes in Americas churches. Jesus said; Be as wise as serpents, and as gentle as doves. My interpretation of this quote; Give but don’t be Taken!


Prosecutors have uncovered more financial fraud in church networks than they ever imagined. "It took the financial downturn. Money was drying up—the new investors were not coming in, so Ponzi schemes collapsed," IRS Special Agent in Charge for Criminal Investigations Ken Hines told Christianity Today.


Hines, based in Seattle, has helped expose Ponzi’s for more than 20 years. He has seen first-hand how the church environment has proven to be an ideal context for affinity fraud. "When you go to church, you don't expect to get lied to or deceived or manipulated into losing your life's savings."


Read the rest of the story from Christianity Today…

Monday, April 16, 2012

Amish at Play


Two interesting links today. The first link is to an article from The New York Times about a resort in Florida that caters to Plain folks; Amish and Mennonites from Pennsylvania and Ohio (Plain is the word they use to describe themselves). Plain families go during the winter months to relax and play in the sun, just like everyone else. I thought the Plain folk never took vacations. You learn something new everyday.

The second link is to a Blog created by a Plain woman who posts pictures of the Amish enjoying themselves in Florida and interacting with the locals. I found the pictures to be wonderful.

In the purpose of full disclosure, I am not a fan of the Plain folk. My Mom’s family is from Southeast Pennsylvania and my Uncle was a Minister in that area. And so I have a lot of experience with that unique culture. I’ll just say that they are not as cute and cuddly as they appear. However, the men do grow great beards. Peace, Pastor Bill.

NY Times article…

Pictures of Amish at Play…

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why Believe in God?

Betsy and I went on our annual Easter Campout this week. Betsy is a teacher and I am a minister, so we both get a little burnt out when Easter rolls around. We packed up our trailer and head out to the wilderness expecting some wonderful experiences. We were anticipating sitting beside a warm fire, we were expecting to meet and talk with other campers, and we were hoping to be able to relax and enjoy a few days with nothing else to do except enjoy each other’s company.
Of course, things don’t always go as planned. First there was a ban on campfires. This was because it has been an extremely dry spring, and we were experiencing high winds. We hauled boxes of wood down there for nothing. And it was extremely cold. Too bad so sad, no fire allowed. Second, the campground just opened the day we arrived. That meant that we were one of the very few campers to be enjoying the week. Too bad so sad, no other campers to talk with. However, my third expectation was fulfilled. Betsy and I had a wonderful time together. Even though the nights were cold, the days were clear and warm. We spent time on the beach, did some bird watching and some wine tasting. In general we relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. And that is what it was all about.
Everyone needs a present, and everyone needs a future.
By saying, everyone needs a present I mean that we all need to know that there are people in our lives that will be present when and if we need them. Everyone needs to know someone cares for them. Everyone needs to know someone will be faithful to them. Everyone needs to know that they are important to someone else. Betsy and I are comfortable and confident that we will always have someone present for us when we are in need.
But, here is an interesting question. What about people who have had terrible break-ups with spouses, friends and/or family? If your present has been blown apart by someone walking out on you, why try again? I have friends who have just recently walked out on their spouses. Not too long after that they walked into the arms of someone new. Why try again? If you had a tough experience living with someone, why take another shot?
The answer is in the second concept, everyone needs a future. All of us need to believe that things are going to be better. I think I am not exaggerating when I say that everyone has a set of expectations about their future, and they will pursue those expectations regardless of what has happened in the past. My friends have jumped right back into relationships because they believe that their new spouses will be faithful, supportive and caring. Of course that might not happen, but everyone hopes that it will.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). So why believe in God? First, because we all need a present. We need to know that someone is here with us right now who will be faithful, supportive and caring. And I can tell you from my experience that this is true. God has been faithfully with me since as far back as I can remember. And I know that God will never leave me. And that leads to statement number two, we all need a future. We need to know that someone is with us who will be faithful and supportive and caring into our future. The Bible promises that God will be with us forever. And the Bible also promises people who have faith, that our future will extend into eternity. Everyone needs hope that the future will get better. God provides that hope.
The next time Betsy and I go camping; we will be able to have a fire, we will meet new and interesting people and we will have fun. Now I can’t guarantee the first two items, but I can guarantee the last one.
Pastor Bill

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jesus Sacrificed for Us, I Sacrifice for My Cat

Momma-Kitty showed up one day and never left. I had told my family, no more pets! Betsy and I decided that we wanted to travel when the kids were grown and moving on in their lives. So we decided that pets and traveling didn’t go together, and so we told our children that they were not to bring any more pets into our home. And that was that.

Then, Momma-Kitty showed up and refused to leave. She appeared on the back porch and nothing I did convinced her to go find some other family to mooch off of. I chased her away a few times, she just came back. Betsy took pity and started to feed her, but we decided that she would stay outside. Then she started getting all friendly and cuddly and I started to pet her and that was it. Momma-Kitty became my cat. She moved into the house and our carefully crafted policy against pets went out the window. I suppose Betsy and I will be able to work around the pet issue and travel anyway. But, taking care of pets is a sacrifice. Instead of seeing our burdens slowly disappear as we get older, a pet adds to them. On the other hand, when I am sitting next to a cute little kitty and she is purring as I pet her, I guess it is worth it.

My life is not just about me. Do I really have to say this? As I go through life I know far too many people who need to be convinced that they are not the center of the universe. Several of my close friends have recently walked away from their twenty-plus years of marriage. Their spouses want to keep trying to make the marriage work. Doesn’t matter, time to move on. I guess that I am a bit thick headed, but I just don’t understand being in love one day and not in love the next. This lack of understanding comes from my twenty-six happy years of marriage to Betsy. We are both very happy and looking forward to a wonderful and blessed future together. I have thought about our relationship many times and have come up with one thing that separates us from others. We are both willing to sacrifice for the sake of our loved one.

Now I’m sure that my divorcing friends would throw themselves in front of a speeding train to save their soon to be ex-spouses. But that is not what I am talking about. Betsy and I are willing to give a little every day to make sure that our life long partner is content. Betsy and I live a life of sacrifice every day, not just once in a while. We do this for each other, for our children, for our extended family, for our friends, and even for our pets. And this is the one thing that separates us from people who have problems in their relationships. Everyone can love, everyone can communicate, everyone can be passionate, but not everyone sacrifices. I would say we who sacrifice are in the minority. And yet, in sacrifice we find happiness.

Jesus sacrificed himself for us. We Christians passionately believe that through Jesus’ sacrifice the Doors to Heaven were opened for us. We also believe that Jesus’ sacrifice is the ultimate sign of God’s love. God cares for everyone, and so caring for others originates from the source of all things. And, the most powerful way a person can communicate caring and love for another is to give, to sacrifice. Once again God is the example of this by way of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We already know this! We know this because our parents sacrificed for us when we were small. We know this because many people throughout our lives have sacrificed to help us. We know this because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. We know this, but it seems to sink in very slowly.

Momma-Kitty wants me to feed her. Momma-Kitty wants me to pet her. Momma-Kitty wants to be left alone, and I have a scratch on my hand to prove it. Momma-Kitty gets what Momma-Kitty wants. But I get something out of the arrangement as well. I get to give my heart to a cute little cuddly kitty cat.

Happy Easter,

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Pray for Texas Tornado Victims


Lot’s of damage around Dallas as several big tornado’s touched down the other day. Samaritan’s Purse is heading to the scene right now. Below is a report from them. Please pray for the victims and the relief crews in Texas.

Samaritan’s Purse is responding to a series of tornadoes that hit the Dallas/Fort Worth area on Tuesday.

At least two twisters were confirmed on the ground, one five miles east of downtown Dallas and the other near the Tarrant County cities of Arlington and Kennedale. Potential twisters were reported in nearby Johnson County, and in Lancaster and Mesquite in Dallas County.

The storms reportedly caused widespread damage to homes and other structures.
Staff and equipment departed from our U.S. disaster relief headquarters in North Carolina Tuesday afternoon. They will determine how we can help when they arrive on the scene.

To Learn More…

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Tebow Family Mission

The Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association has been serving in the Philippines since 1985 with five major priorities: Evangelism, Church Planting, Pastor Training, an Orphanage, and the Training of the Next Generation of Evangelists. It is the primary goal of BTEA to make the gospel of Jesus Christ available to every person in the world.
In 1998, BTEA began to implement a plan to preach the gospel in every barangay (village) in the Philippines. There are approximately 42,000 barangays in the Philippines and it is estimated that over 64% of them do not have a single evangelical church. In a country of over 92 million, the number of people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ is staggering. These statistics do not even take into account the dozens of ethnic tribal groups that have been living on obscure islands and in remote mountain villages for centuries. It is our goal to go to each and every barangay and give the people the opportunity to hear the gospel at least one time. In addition to preaching the gospel, we are endeavoring to plant indigenous churches with the new converts and train national pastors. It is a tremendous task that must be completed.
Learn More…

Monday, April 2, 2012

Receiving A Call From God

On the recent video I uploaded to the site I mention that “God Called” me to serve as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Rahway. It didn’t occur to me that some of you good folks who regularly visit this site are not familiar with that expression. I’ve spent my whole life in the Christian World so it didn’t dawn on me that a common expression that I use is really jargon and needs to be defined. So, here is my attempt to define what a calling from God is, and I hope that I am up to the task.
People in the ministry refer to calling as receiving a clear message from God that we are supposed to do something. That is a very broad, general definition. So let’s try to break it down. How does God send a person a message? That’s a tough one to answer. In the Bible messages are delivered by; God directly, Angels as intermediaries, Dreams, Visions, Voices from Above, Prophets, and in at least one occurrence, a ghost. In my experience, friends of mine have described all of these types of callings, with the exception of the ghostly kind. On several occasions I have heard God’s voice in my head telling me to do something. God called me into the ministry while I was in the balcony of my church, during a sermon the subject of which I still can’t remember. I just knew that God was speaking to me and told me it was time for me to enter the ministry. I was already thinking about it, but God’s voice pushed me over the brink. At other times, I have had a profound feeling that I needed to do something and I felt that God was moving me in a certain direction. Now in both of these circumstances I can’t prove that the communications were from God. But this gives you an idea what we people of faith are talking about when we speak about being called by God.
The only other thing I can say on the subject is this. Faith is based entirely upon personal experience with the Creator. There is no way any of us who experience God’s presence in our lives can provide evidence that we are not kidding ourselves. I have known many people who were kidding themselves, and the evidence I point to is that they ended up doing evil things in their ministry. However, for the large majority of people who have received some kind of calling from The Lord, the experience is real. The only proof of which is the way we live. People who are truly called by God, live a life worth living. And that is because God helps us to make that happen. If you want to know more, start talking to God, and you’ll find God will talk to you in return.
Pastor Bill Whitehead