Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

November 29, 2012

‘Rejoice’ theme of Baptist meeting


Their voices lifted up in praise and worship, and accompanied by the tinkly sounds of a piano, an estimated 140 attendees of the 112th annual meeting of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas on Wednesday lived out the theme of the event: Rejoice!

Praise is “always active, assertive, demonstrative, open. It is not passive or presumptuous or secretive. Whenever it is mentioned in the Bible, movement, action, sounds and songs are seen and heard and felt,” said Dr. Allen Tilley, BMAT president, in his opening address. “It can't be silenced. It is an expression of our lips, it's a reflection of what's on our hearts.”

The annual gathering is a two-day event that allows BMA members to conduct business and join in fellowship with each other as they continue the mission of Christ throughout Texas. This year, the meeting was hosted by Jacksonville's First Baptist Church on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Rejoice,” based on the Bible passage Deuteronomy 26:11, is a call for church leaders to focus on  the joy one's relationship with God brings.

As pastors and preachers, Tilley said, “we know a whole lot about the grace of God, but I'm not real sure we understand the joy of God. I believe one of the reasons why Christianity is losing ground is because we see so many unhappy people. We offer very little proof that Jesus really does transform lives. I think it's time we become a time who rejoice, who see the blessings of God in our lives and who rejoice over them.”

The Lord, he added, “has a message for his people, and this message is 'I want a people who rejoice. I want them to see how much I have blessed them until their hearts are overwhelmed with joy,'” Tilley said. “He wants us people to rejoice, (to be) a people how blessed they are and whose hearts are filled with joy.”

Despite our best efforts, however, we encounter negativity and unhappy events, which turn our thoughts away from being joyful or rejoicing.

“God is on the cross, he is in charge and he loves us. But so often we have that one thing that happens to us that's not pleasant – it's a little painful, and we allow that one thing to totally consume us, to saturate our lives until we develop critical, negative, unhealthy attitudes and we end up bitter and sour in life,” he said. “We can have thousands of good things that happen, but we allow that one thing to rob us of our joy.”

We must take care to protect ourselves from the “joy-stealers out there, because if not, they'll the joy from us. The world … wants to rob us of what God has given us. The devil is unhappy with God's people, our joys, he wants to take that away,” Tilley said.

An outlook that incorporates what he terms “positive praise” is the best way to combat negative and unhealthy attitudes caused by pain.

Positive praise should be offered continuously, in all circumstances, and must be shared to be effective, Tilley said, citing Hebrews 13:15. “The Bible teaches whether life is pleasant or it is painful, we are to praise the Lord. Why? Not because we feel like it, but because he is worthy. He's always worthy … there are no exclusions, no restrictions, no loopholes, we're to praise the Lord all the time.”

By adopting a praise-positive attitude, one becomes freer because he is not bound to the hurt or pain that formally consumed him.

“You can either allow pain to sit upon the throne of your heart, or you can allow God to sit upon the throne of your heart. But remember this: There is no help from pain,” he said, adding, “joy is a gift that comes from Jesus.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Father Mark 3.tif Godspeed, Father

    The news that Father Mark Kusmirek would leave Jacksonville to accept a new assignment Aug. 1 in Longview spread quickly around town this month.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alto City Council examines gas line issue

    City leaders have started looking into the process of moving a gas line that runs from Alto through Wells along U.S. Hwy. 69 to meet requirements of TxDOT, which is widening the road through the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Proposed JISD budget to get hearing date

    Jacksonville school board members will meet Monday evening for a combination budget workshop, regular board meeting and a summer board retreat, according to an JISD meeting agenda.

    July 26, 2014

  • County leaders to consider backhoe purchase

    Cherokee County Commissioners' Court will meet in regular session 10 a.m. Monday in the County Courtroom in the County Courthouse to consider approval of a backhoe purchase through a cooperative purchasing exchange for Precinct 2.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sheriff's officials bust Mixon steroid lab

    About 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24., investigators and deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at a residence on FM 3052 in the Mixon Community near Bullard.

    July 25, 2014

  • UPDATE: County co-op says many customers may not have power until Friday

    July 24, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014