Your Voice

Hotel hospitality reflects God’s faithfulness

By Anteneshia Sanders
Student, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

I didn’t think much about hotels until I started working at one. Crisp linens, a TV, hopefully breakfast and some of those tiny lotions — what else was there to think about?

A whole lot more, I’ve learned.

Aside from the preparation involved in making sure everybody has a comfortable place to rest, we also learn to practice empathy. Our guests come from all over for all kinds of reasons: weddings, funerals, reunions and business meetings just to name a few.

As a believer hospitality could never just be an industry to me. Hospitality is wrapped up in Christ’s call to love my neighbor. 

The goal to make people feel welcomed and valued is prefaced by their dignity and value as image-bearers of God. Work has become a joy as God has allowed me in on sharing His heart for us through genuine service. 

This is a gospel gateway disguised as career.

I often think of Hebrews 13:2 when I’m working: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” I’m not sure if I’ve ever encountered any angels but I have been blessed plenty of times. 

Believing guests have encouraged me in the Lord. Guests have told me their stories, their eyes filled with tears. I’ve done a lot of listening and a lot of praying. What a grace to be able to petition God for a stranger. 

Yes, we have difficult guests and that’s hard. But God has been gentle and patient with me in my worst moments so I can extend that same kind of courtesy for a moment. 

While our human acts of kindness are just a shadow, they echo the divine. God calls us all to hospitality.

God is faithful. His hospitality toward us is a perfect supply — enough to give to those around us. (BP)

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ACP shows big picture

Why is the Annual Church Profile (ACP) important? A short answer regarding the gathering of data from our churches on baptisms, discipleship and stewardship: Numbers represent people.

In the Great Commission our Lord gives us a mandate to reach all nations. This means groups of people.

Furthermore the Bible makes extensive use of key numbers including:

  • that more than 500 witnesses saw the resurrected Christ (1 Cor. 15)
  • that about 3,000 souls were saved on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)
  • that multitudes of 5,000 and 4,000 (Matt. 14–15) were miraculously fed by Jesus.

The ACP numbers provide a unique glimpse at the eternal impact churches are making for the Lord and allow us to know how to pray through rejoicing and intercession for our fellow Baptists here in Alabama and across the country.

Let me say a word of appreciation to each church clerk, associational clerk and others who provide a detailed and often tedious labor of love through faithful and accurate reporting through the ACP.

Your Kingdom labor, like any work for the Lord, is not in vain (1 Cor. 15).

—Rick Lance

EDITOR’S NOTE — Rick Lance is executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

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Letters to the Editor

Please issue a retraction of the false statement in the article “History of American Immigration” in the Aug. 15, 2019, issue of TAB. 

You state in the timeline that “during his 2016 campaign Donald Trump promises to eliminate immigration from Muslim countries.” 

This is absolutely false. He banned immigration from eight countries. Turkey, Indonesia and dozens of Muslim countries were not included in this ban. 

Your readers deserve better than to interject incorrect, politically charged statements in your articles. 

Brad Renneke
Enterprise, Ala.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The timeline of U.S. immigration policy included in the Aug. 15 article was a sampling of policies from the past 250 years and was not intended to be all inclusive nor political in nature. 

However, the summary should have reported what actually happened rather than what was stated as part of a campaign. 

During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump said he was “calling for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” 

Once elected, President Trump took action related to his campaign pledge, including: 

  • Executive Order 13769, which placed travel restrictions on residents of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. 
  • Executive Order 13780, dropped Iraq and Sudan and added North Korea, Venezuela and Chad (later dropped). 

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the travel bans in June 2018. 

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Thank you, Lord, for your Word that teaches us to be honest with you, to pour our hearts to you. We know that you already know our hearts and our thoughts, but your Word today reminds us that you still want us to talk with you. Thank you, Lord, for your Word that keeps on teaching and giving.

Vernet C. Nettles
www.vcndailypray.com

I love the real and interesting stories in The Alabama Baptist of people who are joyfully serving Christ!

Jennifer Davis Scott
via Facebook

Encouraging people to
invite is not the same as equipping them to invite.

Michael Lukaszewski
ChurchFuel.com

Dr. Batson’s weekly column “Theology 101” is always enriching.

Jud Becki Jones
via Facebook

Today, more than ever, there is a need to redeem rural mission.

Josh Laxton
Assistant director, Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College

Bivocational ministers have the toughest task of all. I served eight years in a bivocational capacity and remember very well what those days were like. … I cherish those times, places and certainly the people. But I do remember that the unending responsibilities can become quite consuming of your life. You are a special kind indeed. My prayers are ever with you as you plow forward with the help and strength of the Lord. 

Mike Snow
Associational missions director, Bethel Baptist Association

We’re here [in Puerto Rico] because God commands us and gives us the privilege to be here to be able to meet needs, to see lives change, to be able to share the hope of the gospel and see a movement all across this island.

David Melber
President, Send Relief

[Withdrawal from Title X] shows what is truly important to [Planned Parenthood]: Care for women is expendable but abortion is not.

Russell Moore
President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

The things you need to be successful in athletics are the same things that Christ teaches and the Bible teaches.

Tommy Bowden
Former football coach

We believe God has called us to be an undivided example in a divided world.

Robert Lee
Pastor of Collinswood Agape Baptist Church, formed by a merger of a majority white and a majority black congregation in Portsmouth, Virginia

We are known as Baptists because we believe baptism is an outward picture of an inward change of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. We also believe that baptism is a joyous celebration by the whole church that another child has been born into the family of God. 

Ronnie Floyd
President and CEO, SBC Executive Committee

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From the Twitterverse

@jordaneasley

Great biblical reminder for social media users today — You don’t have to share your opinion on every issue. “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.” (Prov. 10:19 NLT)

@MichaelHyatt

Most of us have a real problem with concentration. Until we are willing to take a hard look at how and why we are driving ourselves to distraction, it’s going to be hard to find the focus that we so badly need.

@rayortlund 

We Christians are at our political best when we are so loyal to Christ that we support anyone at any point where their cause aligns with Christ, and we oppose anyone at any point where their cause denies Christ. Also, our support is courageous and our opposition respectful.

@SBCHistory

On this date in 1925 Bill Wallace was appointed as a medical missionary to China by the Foreign Mission Board @IMB_SBC. He served in China until his arrest and martyrdom in prison in 1951. His faithfulness and legacy still inspire many today. 

@alsbom

Pray for your church’s music ministry! Pray that they will be able to effectively lead others in worship! #PrayingAlabama

@drtonyevans

Obedience doesn’t require full knowledge of how God is going to work things out. Obedience means doing what He has asked you to do while leaving the unknown in His hands.

@garyfenton07

Changing actions is much easier than changing attitudes. That is why leadership begins as a spiritual discipline in the heart of the leader.

@PastorCroft

Spending my morning driving an hour each way to visit a widow in assisted living because she is valuable, a member of our congregation and worth my time to do so.

@GraceV96

Are you worshipping Jesus? Or are you worshipping people who talk about Jesus? Because there’s a big difference.

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As we are celebrating Read The Alabama Baptist Day this month we want to hear from our readers. 

Why do you read The Alabama Baptist? What do you love about the content provided in print/online? Do you have any favorite articles or columns?

Let us know your thoughts at news@thealabamabaptist.org.

Yes, 51 years have passed since I started reading The Alabama Baptist each week and I have always found it to be a meaningful source of information from Alabama and the world. I am now a retired pastor, 91 years old, so that means I have been reading The Alabama Baptist for more than half of my life. I really look forward to each issue because it is inspiring, meaningful and informing in many ways. The entire staff does a great job. 

Jack Kinley
Russell Baptist Association

TAB wants to touch the lives of Alabama Baptists from every corner of the state providing the best news coverage whether it is print, digital or social media. This commitment of bringing news and human interest stories to the people of Alabama and beyond is one of the things I admire most about the paper.

Melanie McKinney
Advertising manager, TAB

As a Sunday School teacher I appreciate the Sunday School lesson commentary provided each week in The Alabama Baptist. The additional perspectives on the focal Scripture helps me prepare and discuss the lesson each week. And since the Sunday School commentary is part of the TAB News podcast’s audio digest, I can listen to the commentary while I’m on the go, which is a big help!

Carrie Brown McWhorter
Content editor, TAB

TAB has traditionally been like reading my hometown newspaper and keeping up with people I know and admire. Now TAB is all that and much more with the concerts, podcasts, online offerings, expanded news, missions involvement and other new ministries. My favorite phrase is, “It ain’t your granddaddy’s newspaper anymore.” 

Cynthia Watts
Executive assistant to editor, TAB

Woman’s Missionary Union and the WMU Foundation are blessed to have TAB as a ministry partner. We can count on them for accurate reporting and for providing news from across the country and around the world as well as what is happening in Alabama. This helps shape our worldview and realize the need for Christ’s healing message to be shared with everyone.

David George
WMU Foundation president