Editor in Chief To Step Down

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Last December Pastor Chad Graves and the Pauline Missionary Baptist Church in Monticello, Arkansas, called me to serve on staff as associate pastor to the senior adults. After much prayer and consideration, I accepted their call with the understanding that I would stay in this office until a new editor in chief was elected at the ABA messenger meeting in June.  It seems unreal, but June 2014 will complete eleven years I will have been in this office. Serving the Lord here at Bogard Press has been a great experience for Pat, Deborah Sue and me, as we have seen God do amazing things through this publishing ministry. There have been many advances in the use of computer technology, an improved quality in our Vacation Bible School as well as the addition of eBooks, apps, Fellowship Bible Study books, a Young Adult Quarterly and the development of a new line of children’s curriculum. For this I thank the Lord and the great staff here in Texarkana.

I believe the timing of the call from Pauline Church is from God and I am excited about getting back into ministry in the church I was privileged to pastor for almost twenty years. During this decade in Texarkana it has been a great joy to work with Wayne Sewell, Randy Cloud, Bryan Sellers and the Baptist Sunday School Committee. It is a highlight of my life. I thank God for the honor of serving the Lord and the churches of the American Baptist Association in this office. My prayer is that God would continue His blessing on this publishing ministry for His glory. I also appreciate many of you who have been supportive of this work and me. If you have any questions please email LarryClements@BogardPress.org or call 903-793-5131. Thank you!  – Larry E. Clements.

 

 

 

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The Wonder of the Word

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

A week of work had gone into the preparation of my Sunday sermon. More than twenty hours of study, research and alliteration that preachers do, had been poured into that message. Then, in a flash the computer monitor flickered and it was gone. The entire sermon was deleted, never to be preached nor seen again. The worst part of this loss was that it occurred early on a Sunday morning as I was putting the finishing touches to it. So, I sat down, for I had stood up when it passed, and wrote out as much as I could remember while I prayed hard for recall of the rest. God heard my desperate prayer and blessed with what I remembered as I preached that sermon.

Written words, manuscripts, books and articles are so fragile. In a heartbeat the work of a week or the accumulation of a lifetime can be gone. When Julius Caesar burned his ships in the harbor of Alexandria, Egypt, in 47 B.C., to prevent them from falling into enemy hands, the fire quickly spread to the docks, the naval arsenal, then to the great library of Alexandria. In a short while he had destroyed more than 400,000 ancient scrolls of that great library.

This fact makes the preservation of our Bible an amazing thing. God’s Word has survived floods, fires, riots, book burnings, persecutions and catastrophes. The Bible has been inerrantly preserved through three and a half millennia. Isaiah revealed this great promise around 700 B.C., “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isa. 40:8). It stood then. It stands now. It will stand forever! Archeological finds constantly reinforce the truth of Isaiah’s words. One of the greatest discoveries of all time occurred in 1947 in eleven caves by Wadi Qumran, called the Dead Sea Scrolls. Among the scrolls and fragments, scholars found the complete sixty-six chapters of Isaiah, that, when translated, reads identically to the book of Isaiah in our Bibles today. This is fantastic when you consider the scrolls were hidden there almost two thousand years ago!

This Word that is eternal, inspired and inerrant is also applicable. Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). God’s Word does not reach its full purpose and weight until its truths are applied to the human heart. This Word of God makes you “throughly furnished”—through  and through—equipping you for all the good works He calls you to do.

As you open your Bible to hear from God, stop a moment to reflect on how precious it is. Will you also pray for those who still do not have a Bible in their native tongue? Pray for dedicated Christian linguists who are translating Scripture into the heart language of these people. Then, pray also for those who cannot own Bibles of their own, or who are persecuted for doing so. They, as well as we, need the Word of God.

If we can help you with any Bible studies, curriculum, lessons, reference books, or Christian education material, please contact us! Call 1-800-264-2482 or Email LarryClements@bogardpress.org. May God bless His everlasting Word to your heart!

 

Progress on New Children’s Curriculum

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

The first quarter outlines of SPLAT, our new children’s curriculum, are in the hands of our writers and work has begun to meet the publication target date of fall, 2015. SPLAT is an acronym for Share—Pray—Learn—Apply—Tell. It is a modified chronological approach to presenting Bible lessons for five grade levels: 2 & 3 year olds, 4 & 5 year olds, 1st & 2nd grades, 3rd & 4th grades and 5th & 6th grades. In conjunction, we are also producing SPLASH, an extended session (children’s chapel) for kindergarten with adaptations for 2 & 3 year olds and 1st & 2nd grades. SPLASH is an acronym for Sing—Pray—Learn—Activity—Scripture—Home. Writing for this curriculum are Brenda Jackson (TX)—2 & 3 year olds, Laura Wirges (AR)—4 & 5 year olds, Shannon Harvill (TX) 1st & 2nd grades, Elizabeth Stacks (AR)—3rd & 4th grades, Jason Carlton (AR)—5th & 6th grades, Patricia Richey (TX)—theme lessons, and Artesia Watkins (OK)—extended session. I am so thankful for this staff of writers who will be developing one hundred four lessons for the two-year cycle.

Children's Sunday School Writers

(L to R: Elizabeth Stacks, Shannon Harvill, Jason Carlton, Patricia Richey, Artesia Watkins, Brenda Jackson, Laura Wirges)

In December I was called by Pastor Chad Graves and the Pauline Missionary Baptist Church in Monticello, Arkansas, to serve on staff as their senior adult pastor. After much prayer and thought, I accepted their call with the understanding that I would stay on here until a new editor in chief was elected at the ABA messenger meeting in June. That month will complete eleven years I will have served in this office and it has been a great experience for Pat, Deborah Sue and me.  We have been blessed to see God do amazing things through the publishing ministry of Bogard Press. We have also seen many advances in the use of technology and, I think, an improved quality in our publications. For this I thank the Lord and the great staff here in Texarkana.

I believe the timing of Pauline Missionary Baptist Church’s call is from God and I am excited about getting back into personal ministry in the church I pastored for almost twenty years. It has been a great joy to work with Wayne Sewell, Randy Cloud, Bryan Sellers and the Baptist Sunday School Committee during this decade and it is a highlight of my life. I thank God for the honor of serving the Lord and the churches of the American Baptist Association and my prayer is that God would continue His blessing on this publishing ministry for His glory. I also appreciate many of you who have been supportive of this work and me. If you have any questions concerning Bogard Press publications, SPLAT, SPLASH, or any literature we produce, please email LarryClements@BogardPress.org or call 903-793-5131. Thank you!

 

 

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New Book – Be An iWitness by Brian Langley and Jason Larson

Be An iWitness - Cover
Be An iWitness

by Brian Langley and Jason Larson

Evangelism & Apologetics

$10.99 – Print

$6.99 – eBook

Be An iWitness – Sample Pages

 

You Can Be An iWitness

A mixture of evangelism and apologetics, this practical book instructs Christians on how to share the gospel with people of various religious backgrounds: Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Jews, Muslims and Atheists.

Be An iWitness encourages every Christian who has been an eyewitness of Jesus Christ to become an iWitness. The book begins with the Great Commission that Jesus gave to His first disciples – to go into all the world making disciples. The premise of the book is that every disciple can become involved in evangelism and outreach. The book provides an abundance of biblical truth for anyone attempting to be an evangelist, or an iWitness. An explanation of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is presented in understandable terminology along with Scripture references. Counterfeit gospels are presented and confronted – the only plan of salvation is defended.

You can become an iWitness, and learn how to share the gospel with people of various religious backgrounds: Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Jews, Muslims and Atheists.

 

Print Version

The print version of Be An iWitness (192 pages) is available at BogardStore.org.

 

eBook – App

An eBook version will be available on our Bogard Press eBook App. Our free app is designed for Apple iPhone/iPad, Android phones/tablets and Kindle Fire.

 

eBook – eReaders

Be An iWitness is available in various eBook formats, such as: iBooks, Kindle, Nook, Sony, and others. Just click over to your store and search for Be An iWitness or “Bogard Press.”

 

eBook – PDF 

An eBook (PDF version) will be available for computers at BogardStore.org.

 

Be An iWitness - Contents Page 1

 

Be An iWitness Contents Page 2

 

 

Contact us at 800-264-2482 – Bogard Press, 4605 N. State Line Ave, Texarkana, TX 75503. Email us at info@bogardpress.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Press Toward the Mark

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Press Toward the Mark

As Paul reflected on his life and spiritual goals, he wrote, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13, 14).  As great a spiritual leader as Paul was, he recognized that he had not yet arrived.  He was not willing to stay in the same place spiritually, with the same level of commitment.  He felt compelled to press on to higher ground, to stretch out in his devotion to Jesus Christ and to do more to be conformed to Him.  He was leaving behind all the past mistakes and failures, not letting them handicap his future.  Paul had lived in Ephesus for three years, where he had probably attended Olympic events in the 100,000-seat amphitheater.  He used the analogy of a track meet when he wrote, “I press toward the mark” and saw himself running, all out, not holding back, to win the race. The prize that motivated him was the upward call of God, which he would experience when he stood before Christ Himself.

As Christians, beginning a New Year, you need the same driving motivation to grow spiritually, serve faithfully and extend yourselves sacrificially, for our Lord Jesus Christ.  The New Year is a great time to get a new view of the prize for which you run, the goal for which you strive.  Think about this—each New Year you get to begin with a clean slate.  This is a good time for evaluation, retrospection and goal setting. It is a great time to renew your commitments to Christ and the spiritual disciplines that help you become more like Him. There are four essential disciplines in every Christian life. These basic, but necessary duties should be part of your daily life, just like brushing your teeth. Think about these disciplines in 2014.

 

Invest time daily in the Bible—His Word is inspired and all that you need to equip yourself for service (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).  It “throughly” furnishes to every good work.  The Scripture teaches, reproves, corrects and trains you to live righteously, but it must be received to work. All who invest in God’s Word will prosper (Joshua 1:8).

 

Spend time daily in prayer—this direct communication with God is one of the greatest privileges you have. God invites you to come confidently to Him (Heb. 4:16).  Jesus always prayed and encouraged His followers to make it a high priority (Matt. 6:5-8; Luke 18:1).

 

Faithfully fellowship with God’s people—you need the mutual encouragement, admonition and sharpening that church fellowship offers.  You are blessed as you continue to grow (Acts 2:41).  You need to be faithful (Heb. 10:24, 25) because Jesus Himself meets with His people (Matt. 18:20).

 

Consistently witness of God’s salvation—you are here to be His witness to the lost. He commands everyone in His churches to share the gospel (Matt. 4:19; Mark 16:15).  Faithfully share the saving gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16).

 

This New Year you will have a fresh opportunity to grow stronger in your Christian life, to live more faithfully and to be more fruitful.  However, to reach these goals calls for commitment, sacrifice and discipline.  If we can help you with literature or your spiritual growth and Bible-teaching needs, please call (800) 264-2482 or email me LarryClements@bogardpress.org.  Happy New Year!

 

 

Christmas In Sanity

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

While many people participate in and endure Christmas insanity, what is needed is Christmas in sanity. A sane Christmas happens when Christians practice sound thinking, actions and deeds and make the Yuletide season an opportunity to further the cause of Christ and share the gospel.

In many ways, the Christmas season represents both the best and worst of traditions, passions and emotions. Both extremes are evident when we see the need of being benevolent to the poor while spending extravagantly on unneeded and unaffordable gifts. Petty jealousies, latent hostilities or unforgiven offenses can poison precious family gatherings. While the idea of irresponsible revelry connected with the birth of our Savior is outrageous, it is all too common.

Threaded into the accounts of our Savior’s birth, recorded in Matthew and Luke, are several recurring themes which should dominate our commemoration of His birth today. What are these themes?

SALVATION—The primary purpose of Christ’s coming was to introduce a Savior who would provide salvation to a world of lost people. The only qualified Savior identifies with us because God was His Father and Mary His mother. He came as “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23). As you enjoy Christmas, remember to communicate the message of salvation.

CELEBRATION—After the angels announced the glorious tidings that a Savior was born, the shepherds heard the angelic host in amazing celebration: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13, 14). The celebration continued as “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20). As you observe Christmas, remember to celebrate the birth of the Savior with your family.

WORSHIP—When the magi found Jesus, their first reaction was to fall before Him: “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him” (Matt. 2:11). Our reaction and celebration of His birth should include a time of worship directed toward our Savior.

AWE—A time of quiet reflection about the person of Christ, who He was and what He did for us, leads to pure wonder at the event. Consider this description of Jesus: “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:3). As you spend time with your family at Christmas, stop and contemplate the greatness of God sending His Son to redeem you.

During this season of the year, it is not too early to begin praying about and planning for Vacation Bible School. Sample kits for VBS 2014, Cross Canyon Trail—Ridin’ Strong with Jesus, will be available the first week of December. Check it out at www.vbs.bogardpress.org. A new book, on sharing your faith with people in cults and false religion, Be An iWitness, is now available at www.bogardstore.org. You may also want a free subscription to our Daily Devotionals at www.yourdailyword.us and they will be delivered to your e-mail inbox.

May you have a safe and sane Christmas, as you share His Salvation, Celebration, Worship and Awe! Merry Christmas!  – LarryClements@BogardPress.org

 

 

 

 

 

The New Young Adult Quarterly

Young Adult Sunday School

The New Young Adult Quarterly

by Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

(Available – Spring 2014)

In the world of commerce the bottom line is the last figure on a financial statement or the lowest line of the earnings report of a company that reveals its net profit or loss.  Figuratively, the bottom line means the basic or most important factor, result, final outcome or conclusion.  The apostle Peter’s final command in his second epistle summarizes the focus of the publishing ministry of Bogard Press, and for us comprises the bottom line.  Peter encouraged his readers to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).

At the Baptist Sunday School Committee and Bogard Press our bottom line is to produce literature that helps people grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and to glorify Him alone. Our whole purpose, focus and aim is to provide solid biblical literature that attains that end.  Stated or not, this has been the aim of this ministry since its inception by our namesake, Ben M. Bogard, in 1905.  Through the years Bogard Press has reached this goal by producing Sunday School and Baptist Training Course lessons, Women’s Auxiliary, Youth and Teen Discovery, Vacation Bible School, Fellowship Bible Study books, hymnals, many books, tracts and church supplies.

One new tool to help church members grow, a Sunday School quarterly specifically for young adults, will be available for the spring quarter, 2014.  Robbie Horne has designed courses of study specifically for the young adult market.  The goals of this new quarterly are twofold:  To provide young adults with relevant material that meets their unique interests and problems and to present applicable biblical truth in a creative format and style.

Below are other unique facts about the new Young Adult Quarterly.

•  It is not tied to the ten-year-Through-the-Bible format of our standard adult Sunday School curriculum.  Although books of the Bible will often be covered, there will be quarters when relevant and inspirational subjects are introduced.  For instance, “The Life, Ministry and Teaching of Jesus” will be covered in the summer of 2014.

•  The Young Adult Quarterly contains marginal notes beside each lesson exposition.  Some notes are humorous.  Some are serious.  The marginal notes are designed to illustrate the lesson exposition and help students understand and apply the Scriptures.

•  Each lesson contains an activity page.  The activities are not long, drawn out or difficult.  The activities are not make-work.  They are designed to help the students apply the lesson to their daily lives.

•  The Young Adult Quarterly contains graphics keyed to the theme of each quarter.

New Young Adult Curriculum

Excerpt from the Christian Education Bulletin – October 2013

 

New Young Adult Curriculum

 

Upcoming Young Adult Quarterly Titles and Subjects:

 

SPRING 2014

•     Building Against the Odds (Nehemiah)

SUMMER 2014

•     The Life, Teaching and Ministry of Jesus – Part One

FALL 2014

•     Growing Churches, Growing People, Growing Problems (1 Corinthians)

WINTER 2014

•     Seasons of Life – Part One
•     Daniel 1, 2

SPRING 2015

•     The Life, Teaching and Ministry of Jesus – Part Two

SUMMER 2015

•     Seasons of Life – Part Two
•     Daniel 3-12

 

LIMITED TIME OFFER

Bogard Press will mail a free copy of the first quarterly to anyone who calls 800-264-2482 and requests it.  A free copy may be obtained online at www.bogardpress.org.

 

 

 

Porch Lessons

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

You can learn a lot about life sitting on a porch. As I type this, I am on a porch with a beautiful view. All day the skies have been dropping a lovely, steady, needed rain. My wife is sitting with me enjoying the sights and sounds of God’s creation at work. These porch lessons have come during recuperation from a medical procedure a few days ago. My time of recuperation was  doctor-ordered and wife-enforced.

So, what can you learn while sitting on a porch?

One, you learn that life goes on, even without you. No one is irreplaceable or indispensable and most of us are not even that essential. Though your life is unique and valuable to God, and you are the only one of you ever made, not everything you do is that important. The sun will rise tomorrow and no matter what happens today life will go on. After you are gone, in a short while few people will even remember your name.

Two, you learn that the people who really matter in your life are those who come closest when you are in need—your spouse, your children, your church family and close friends. The first institution God made for mankind was marriage and the home. Paul wrote that if a man is not a good husband and father, he is not qualified to be a pastor. Howard Hendricks used to say that if a man cannot lead in a limited sphere, don’t enlarge it! You learn that no people are as important as your family. On a human level, the greatest joys in life are connected with family. Nothing comes close to that and no amount of fame, fortune or success can ever replace that.

Three, you learn that you should focus your life more on things that are eternal, and less on things that are temporal. Most highly desired things in this life are fluff, pith and chaff. Much of it is fleeting fantasy. It does not satisfy and quickly disappears. A life focused on things of eternal value is a life well lived. So, what is eternal that should become your focus?

Only two things you can see are eternal: the Word of God and people. Learning and living by God’s Word as you minister to people results in eternal value.

 Four, you realize that the really wonderful and memorable times in life always gravitate around ministry to people. On the porch I was reminded that through four decades of pastoral ministry people do not remember the sermons I preached, but never forget the love, concern and care I showed in their hour of need. One of the greatest joys in life has been being with the hurting, and praying and loving them through tragedies. What a privilege to, as Mark Hall sings, love them like Jesus.

You do not need medical procedures before spending quality time on your porch. Occasional porch time may be the most productive time you spend. Settle down to the real values in life and toss aside vain pursuits. Spend time in His Word then share its truths with others. If you have any comments, please contact me at (800) 264-2482 or LarryClements@BogardPress.org.

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