Welcome New Editor in Chief

Kyle Elkins, Editor in Chief

Kyle Elkins, Editor in Chief

It is with a heart of thanksgiving that I make this report concerning the work of the Bogard Press and the Baptist Sunday School Committee in publishing doctrinally sound literature for the churches of the American Baptist Association.

 

Smooth Transition

The transition from Production Supervisor to Editor in Chief is going well. However, the need to answer questions and direct the production of literature is still present. Until I am able to fill the Production Supervisor’s position, I will carry out both. The staff in the Editorial Department is doing a good job in getting the literature to the press. They are to be commended for their dedication to Bogard Press.

I am thankful for Brother Larry Clements who has been a tremendous help and support through the transition process. He has encouraged me, and I appreciate him in so many ways. I worked under his supervision for 11 years. I am grateful for what I have learned under his leadership.

Business Manager Brother Wayne Sewell has also been helpful and encouraging during the transition process. Brother Sewell and I work well together and have enjoyed  previous business trips together. I look forward to working with him.

 

Curriculum Highlights

Sunday School and Baptist Training Course. The curriculum for the fall quarter for Sunday School and BTC has gone to press and is currently waiting to be bound into a finished product. The mail-out for the fall quarter curriculum should move forward on schedule.

The winter quarter’s production is ahead of schedule. The spring quarter’s materials are being received in the editorial office and are being worked into the daily workflow. The writers are to be commended for their faithfulness in writing biblically sound literature for Bogard Press and the Baptist Sunday School Committee.

SPLAT! The first quarter of the new children’s curriculum has been sent in by the writers and is currently going through the editing process. Due to the demands required in the artwork, and the shortage of artists we currently have, this will present a challenge in meeting the estimated completion date. I am praying for the Lord to direct the right artist who is willing and capable of doing the work we need.

Vacation Bible School. VBS for 2015, Camp Courageous—Equipping for Life, has been edited and has gone to the artists and typesetters for layout work. Promotional items for VBS 2015 are already being sent to the press. The date for all VBS material to go to press is in August. This may seem like a long time off, but we must and will be diligent to meet this deadline.

Bogard Press Books. We are always evaluating the need to reprint books that are unique to Bogard Press and Missionary Baptist churches. Currently, Ben M. Bogard’s book The Golden Key is being reprinted. Other books are also scheduled for reprinting. These books are printed on the Print on Demand machine. This means we can print lesser quantity of books but maintain the quality and keep the cost to a minimum.

 

I count it a privilege to serve the churches of the American Baptist Association in the office of editor in chief. I look forward to working with Brother Sewell and Brother Sellers. Above all, I look forward to serving our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is to  be exalted.

I close with one of my favorite passages. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10, 11).

 

 

Perpetual Praise

 

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Larry Clements, Editor in Chief

Creative writing and singing by people in multiplied billions of combinations of words and notes amaze me. Every piece of music ever written, played or sung is based on only 7 notes with about 120 pitches.  From Beethoven to Bill Gaither or the Beatles to the Newsboys, all of it is based on the same 7 notes. Every word spoken and every book written is based on combinations of words.  Whether Homer’s Odyssey, Hitler’s Mein Kampf or the New York Times’ Best Seller—it all comes down to various combinations of familiar words.

Such amazing creativity reaches its zenith when words or music are employed to express, sing or speak God’s praise and His message. David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, was on such an exalted plane when he, by inspiration, penned Psalm 108:1-5.  Listen to the majesty of these words: “O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. 2 Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. 3 I will praise thee, O LORD, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 4 For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds. 5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth.”

Only our perfect God could design the crown of His creation with almost unlimited ability to create repeatedly changing combinations of words and music. Though based on the same musical notes and simple words, they are continually re-combined to uniquely speak to people’s hearts. Christian musician, Phil Wickam, wrote these lyrics of his powerful song, “This is Amazing Grace’”

Who breaks the power of sin and darkness
Whose love is mighty and so much stronger
The King of Glory, the King above all kings
Who shakes the whole earth with holy thunder
And leaves us breathless in awe and wonder
The King of Glory, the King above all kings
Who brings our chaos back into order
Who makes the orphan a son and daughter
The King of Glory, the King of Glory
Who rules the nations with truth and justice
Shines like the sun in all of its brilliance
The King of Glory, the King above all kings

[Chorus:]

This is amazing grace, This is unfailing love
That You would take my place, That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life, That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for All that You’ve done for me

Mr. Wickam ends his song by reminding hearers of the One who is worthy of our highest worship and deepest devotion—the Lord Jesus Christ. God made people in such a way that they can creatively praise and exalt Him—or as the song goes: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain…Worthy is the King who conquered the grave…Worthy, worthy, worthy.” Amen! Keep on with perpetual praise! – LarryClements@BogardPress.org.

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