A love that never lets go

Women worship with the Jeff and Jourdan Johnson band. DAVIS—“Every single one of us has a cross that we will bear. Everything is more than what we can handle . . . that’s why we have God,”  declared Angie Smith, one of the keynote speakers at the 2013 Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) Women’s Retreat April 19-20 at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center. Smith, wife of the lead singer of the band, Selah, led two sessions during which the women laughed, studied the Bible and cried. Smith shared with the women at the retreat about the deep wound that remains after losing a child. She bore a daughter, and got to hold her for two and a half hours before the newborn passed away. At the conclusion of the emotional general session, Smith asked the women in the audience to stand if they had ever lost a child, and more than half of the women stood up. Smith then said “look around. You are not alone, your neighbor, sister, friend, understands and can be your support. (God says) I handpicked you. You have a purpose.” The session continued with additional keynote Lisa Harper who shared “No matter the difficult chapters in your story, Jesus loves you. He knows your name, you are His beloved.” Harper travels around the world sharing God’s love with women. Kelly King, BGCO women’s ministry specialist, in conjunction with BGCO men’s ministry specialist, Keith Burkhart, had a wall set up where on one side it says “On Our Knees,” and on the other, “Surrender.” Continue Reading...

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Falls Creek: Thirst

DAVIS—John 4:13-14 says, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.’”  Our need for water is only a shadow of our real need for Christ, and though water may quench our physical thirst for a period of time, Christ quenches the deep thirst of our soul forever. He,  alone, is able to do so. At Falls Creek 2013, we will talk about the longings of every human heart, and the salvation that exists only in Jesus Christ. We also will teach on personal evangelism; the need, the how-to and the conviction to carry Christ to a thirsty world. During our morning Tabernacle times, we will focus on the theme THIRST. Tuesday morning, we will talk about “The Thirst For Life.” We will explore how this thirst is common to us all, and how the world presents us with a seemingly limitless number of options to choose from to quench our thirst. We will then look at the choices we make from our options and examine the results of those choices. Wednesday morning, we will look at how to provide “Water for the Thirsty.” We will teach a new way of sharing your testimony using the example of the blind man from John 9. Thursday morning, we will challenge students to become a “Bucket Brigade” by leading a missional lifestyle. And finally, on Friday, we will interactively encourage students to routinely quench the believer’s “new” thirst for intimacy with Christ. Our theme has the look of a post-apocalyptic world, where the search for water means survival. We have created a four-part, live-action film series called “THIRST,” which we will use each morning to fully build and communicate our theme. It is the story of four teenagers trying to survive in a world rocked by a cataclysmic event. They are running low on safe drinking water and unless they find some soon, they will perish. Once a possible solution presents itself, hope ensues, but a doubter in the group has reason to distrust the information they have received. One choice will save them and one will doom them, but which is right? Can she convince her friends of what she believes, or will it mean going it alone? Join us in prayer for Falls Creek this summer. Pray that students will hear and respond to the Word of God as never before.  More than emotion or a spiritual high, we desire for students to submit their lives to Christ in a way that shows they are truly His. We want them to know that God has built them for a relationship with Himself, and He is the only true way to satisfaction, the only true “thirst quencher.” To comment on this article, visit...

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Falls Creek: The outcome is dependent on prayer

DAVIS—The power of God poured out on the lives of those who attend Falls Creek in the summer is equally proportionate to the prayer of those back home.  No prayer means no power. Our 2013 prayer strategy offers people three different ways to pray for Falls Creek. All three of these prayer plans can be found on our youth ministry website, www.skopos.org. Click on Falls Creek, and then click on “Prayer Strategy” to get involved. The first approach to praying for students is called “Five Critical Concerns.” We are asking people to pray for students in regards to the following: Personal Brokenness, Salvation, Family Life, Perseverance and Call to Ministry. Specific prayer requests for each of these concerns are listed on our Skopos website. So many students come to camp with the need to be broken about their sin.  God speaks so loudly at camp and collectively, we need to pray for students to respond to His voice by repenting of sin and turning to Christ for salvation. Students are also facing desperate situations in their homes and families.  We need to pray for God to miraculously intervene and rebuild families. The decisions made by students at Falls Creek can often feel less than real when students return home, so we must pray that God will help these students persevere in their faith. Finally, we must pray for God to call many students to become preachers, missionaries, worship leaders and into other types of full-time Christian ministry. The second approach is our 60-day guide. This prayer guide will help you to pray for students with a renewed passion. The prayer guide prepares your heart as you pray for the preparation of your church group as it gets ready for camp. It is a day-by-day, single-item prayer guide that should be started 60 days before your group leaves for Falls Creek. Finally, our third option for lifting up Falls Creek in prayer is our Adopt-A-Cabin prayer effort. Go online to skopos.org and select a cabin to pray for all summer. This is so simple, yet so powerful. We want all 120 cabins adopted for prayer for the summer. Online, just select the cabin you want to pray for, and we will mark it as adopted on our website page. Pray that God would speak mightily to those who occupy that cabin for the summer. Pray for God’s protection on the cabin and for the enemy’s efforts to disrupt camp to be thwarted. With people praying for the critical concerns of all students, for the needs of their own church youth groups and for all the cabins at Falls Creek, we can surely expect God to move in an overwhelming way in 2013! Please join us in this prayer effort! If you are not an online kind of person, just call our office at 405/942-3000, ext.  4643, and tell us how you are praying for this summer. Thanks for loving God and the youth of Oklahoma and beyond. We can’t wait to see what God is going to do this summer at Falls...

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Saved! Living legend Green, wife honored at Falls Creek

DAVIS—For years, he led multitudes to proclaim their lives are now sweet and their joy is complete. Now, Bill Green and his wife Linda will be linked to the place where they served many summers and impacted many lives. On April 6, the Singing Churchmen and Churchwomen were in the R.A. Young Tabernacle at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center for a recording session of an upcoming release. That morning, Anthony L. Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, made a surprise presentation to Bill and Linda Green, reading the following proclamation: “For his 14 years of esteemed and excellent leadership of Falls Creek Youth Assembly as its program leader and as project manager during the building of the R.A. Young Tabernacle; and Linda Green as she has sacrificially and faithfully stood beside Dr. Green during his years of service; we therefore, joyfully and gratefully acknowledge their significant contribution by naming the choir loft in the R.A. Young Tabernacle as the ‘Dr. Bill and Linda Green Choir Loft.’” Jordan expressed to the combined singing groups, which Green led both for many years while serving as BGCO associate executive director, that there were several venues to make this presentation, but he said, “I couldn’t think of a better place or a better time than when you are all here together at Falls Creek. Continue Reading...

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The Master’s plan: $2.5M gift to Falls Creek will build new lodge

The former site of the Falls Creek maintenance barn is projected to be the future home of the new 50-room lodge/welcome center/events center complex. DAVIS—When the Master Plan for improvements at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center was drawn up several years ago, it included the construction of a multi-room hotel or lodge. Now, years later, the Master’s Plan has provided the impetus for that man-made dream to become a reality, thanks to the generosity of a faithful Oklahoma Baptist family, who have given $2.5 million to build a 50-room lodge at Falls Creek. “In our long range master plan we, from the very beginning, had a lodge on the plan,” said Anthony L. Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “We have known all along that you have to have a lodge and dining facility to accommodate the activities you have outside of the 12 weeks of youth camps in the summer. “And while our non-summer events have grown significantly, we have always had the issue of adults not wanting to stay in dormitories.” The recent $7 million gift by another donor family for what BGCO officials are calling an “events center,” provided the impetus for the most recent gift, Jordan said. “The events center is a dining hall/multi-purpose structure of around 30,000 square feet which will allow us to stage events accommodating almost 2,000 people,” Jordan explained. “The family which made this $2.5 million commitment recognized the need for a lodge to support our non-summer month ministry. Continue Reading...

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