Blog

Advancing Christian Fellowship

2020 has presented a number of unique challenges affecting Christians across our nation. COVID-19 completely disrupted church attendance, traditional church programming, and Bible Fellowship / small groups. In addition, the riots in major cities and protests across the nation over perceived racial injustice has largely fractured a mending and growing interracial church brotherhood that transcended historical racial lines. Couple these with growing uncertainty over the lines of truth and the shifting morality of our society, and it is no wonder that individuals are statistically more worried and more stressed than ever before.

We have heard many Christians say that 2020 is a lost year. Some have gone as far as to say that 2020 is a year that Satan owns, and that His work to separate and divide Christians has caused irreparable harm to the church.

It is our belief that Satan is not strong enough to separate God’s people no matter how hard he tries. He does not own one single day, and we believe it is our time to fight back against the evil’s of this world with new tools and with a new fellowship.

The American Christian Association is looking to begin a new chapter with growth of local fellowship groups and a more organized presence in our communities. These fellowship groups would be very similar to local civic groups such as Rotary, Lions Club, and many others. However, one key difference is that it would be exclusively for Christian brothers and sisters looking to take their faith in the Lord and fellowship with others to the next level.

This group would in no way substitute for the local church. Rather, it would supplement and support the local churches and allow Christians from all Bible-believing denominations to unite under the umbrella of truth and love. This group would share stories, educate members, empower fellow believers, and prayerfully grow as a body ready to defend the church and one another against the many evils of this world.

Be looking for more details about this exciting new development from the American Christian Association. We will be looking for brothers and sisters from around the nation to step forward in leading local groups. Together, we will build a more unified organization of Christians in our nation.

If you are interested in learning more or helping to start a local group, please contact us at communications@myamericanchristian.org.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

I took this photo just a couple of years ago in Helen, Georgia.  The quaint little town of Helen was once a mill town, situated right on the Chattahoochee River.  Some of the town leaders got together with some suggestions to increase interest in their town and from that meeting was borne the idea of building and rebuilding some of their town to resemble a mountain village one of the men had visited.

Helen, GA, then grew to be like an Alpine village in Bavaria, as you can see from the picture.  German festivals are held.  German restaurants offer wonderful foods.  Little shops line the main street through town, inviting visitors to experience some place different.

Well, the town of Helen, although a very neat place to visit, is not really an Alpine Village.  It is just built to look like one.  

Have you ever thought about what you are built to look like?  As a Christian, we, having all been made in the image of God, and now calling ourselves by His name, have been created to be like Christ in this world.

I may never visit a true Bavarian town, but I’ve enjoyed visiting Helen, GA.  I’ve seen what Bavaria is like.  As folks see and visit with you this week, will they see what God is like?

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

If I asked you to name your favorite flower, many of you would respond with “rose”.  I’ve always loved roses, and although I don’t have many, I do enjoy the rose bushes we have around our house.  You are looking at one of them here.  

It’s hard to explain why it’s my favorite flower.  “Nanny,” my Dad’s mother, cherished her many rose bushes that ran along the side yard between her house and the woods.  My father-in-law, the bear-sized manly-man, had the red roses as his favorite, and we continue to place some on his grave from time to time.  My wife and I spent some time on our honeymoon lots of years ago walking through the hundreds of rose bushes in Mobile, Alabama’s Bellingrath Gardens.  There’s just something about the rose.

New Testament Scripture never actually refers to Jesus as the Rose of Sharon, although man has used that terminology.  The rose is thought of as the most “perfect” of all flowers.  That certainly is an accurate description of Jesus.  And the rose itself represents God at work in whatever situation the roses appear.

I like that.  I see roses blooming in my yard, and I see God at work.  And I surely know it’s a play on words and not the same definition, but Jesus ‘rose’ on the third day as well!  There is definitely something special about the rose!

My very simple prayer for you this week is that you will see rose.  Yes, fall is almost upon us and there aren’t too many blooms left in the yard, so look for the rose in the lives of those around you.  And, see God at work in your situation.  Stop and smell the roses.

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

I was wandering around in a large cemetery the other day.  I know that sounds strange to a lot of you, but I find it quite relaxing and very interesting at times.  This particular morning, the sun was shining, and although it was very warm, there was a nice breeze blowing too.

I had a lot on my mind.  Nothing terribly wrong, but lots of things going on and several people and their needs on my mind as well.  I won’t say I was praying right then, but the Lord and I were nevertheless enjoying our time alone.

While I pondered all those scrambled thoughts in my mind, I turned around to notice a very tall statue of Jesus behind me.  I had seen it already, of course, as I walked around.  But now it was right there.  I turned, realizing how close I was to it, and looked up to see His face with the sun shining over the Son’s shoulder, and I jerked my phone out of my pocket to get this picture.

I can’t speak for your week, although I try to.  (Hence the reason for these “thoughts”.)  I can only speak for me when I say that this was exactly what I needed to see that morning.  Because regardless of all that may be going on in our lives, regardless of the issues the coronavirus may have caused, regardless of family situations and health issues, regardless of busy schedules with not enough time in the day, regardless of heart break and physical ailments, the Lord our Savior is ALWAYS looking down upon His children.

He sees, He knows, and He hears the cries of our hearts even we utter not a word.  The Son is always shining down on you.  I pray you needed that reminder this week.

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

What you see here is known as the St. Andrew’s Church at Prairieville (near Gallion), AL.  This tiny little church building has seen many a faithful person come through her doors and worship from her pews.  She has heard many a beautiful voice sing praises to On High.  This church building, very familiar to folks who live in my area of the state, is on the National Register of Historic Places and has also been declared a National Historic Landmark.  Built with slave labor about 1853, St. Andrew’s Church offers a nice photo opportunity for the occasional passerby.  It is indeed a beautiful place to visit.  But is that all there is?

No disrespect to those who may occasionally gather there or in any other church these days, but if the only “claim to fame” of our church is its historical significance, are we doing our job as God’s people?  Is your church known in your community for making a difference in the lives of those who live there?  Is your congregation faithful to deliver the love of the Father in such a neighborly way that others want to come and be a part?

I once heard it said, in speaking of youth group gatherings, “Feed them pizza!  It doesn’t matter how you get them there.  Just get them there.”  While there is a lot of truth in that statement, getting them there is just part of it.  We need to keep them there.  We need to engage one another in worship and in service.

Many of our churches these days are still on a coronavirus-disrupted schedule of some sort and are longing for brighter days ahead.  As your church works in your community and neighborhood, are you doing your part?  A beautiful building is one thing.  Beautiful Godly worship, praise, and service coming from those who gather within its walls is even greater!  Be a part of something great this week.  Share the love of Jesus.

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

You’ve seen squirrels playing around in your yard or elsewhere.  I’ve shared pictures of more than one squirrel with you through the years, but here is another one today.  Take a close look at this picture, the squirrel, and his surroundings.  I wonder if we might take a lesson from him.

Maybe you’re frustrated because this year of 2020 hasn’t been quite what you signed up for.  Maybe you’ve had no great life threatening issues, but you feel isolated, discouraged, and worn out.  Many of us have had those moments or even days.

But look at our furry friend here.  The impending danger (me) approaching him doesn’t seem to bother him.  He’s aware, but he isn’t running away.  There are also thorns that have sprouted up in front and behind him, and yet he sits contented between them.  He would probably be more comfortable hiding in his safe nest somewhere high up in the trees, but here he sits on an old worn out fence rail snacking on an acorn.

The point is that the squirrel hasn’t let the problems surrounding him stop him from his normal routine.  Have you?  Too many times we allow our problems or self-imposed perceived difficulties keep us from carrying on with life.

The truth is that the squirrel really isn’t in any danger.  As a matter of fact, he is probably safer on that old fence rail between the thorns, surrounded by the things that keep the enemy at bay.  It’s all a matter of perspective.

Don’t let the thorns and other issues of this week keep you from your responsibilities for His Kingdom, and remember that those little thorns (perspective!) may be keeping you away from even greater danger from which the Lord has spared you.

Just a thought.

This Weeks Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

Water.  It is vital for our human survival.  We can get it from our own kitchen faucet.  We can buy it bottled in bulk at the big box stores.  We can stop for a sip at the occasional water fountain.  However we get our water, we must have it.

This is not a picture of some ornate work of art or simply a statue I’ve run across.  What you see here is a public water fountain in Paris.  The French believe that good, clean, drinkable water should be freely accessible to everyone.  There are multiple little streams flowing from places on this fountain.  Each can be used to fill personal water bottles or containers at any time of the day or night.

The interesting thing is that no one in our group of 30-plus knew this was a water fountain until our tour guide told us we could stop for a drink, and then laughingly watched us wonder where.

The Lord God offers a living water to anyone who would stop for a drink.  It is readily accessible and available to anyone who seeks.  It is free and available at any time of the day or night.  All you have to do is stop and fill your cup.

After a long walk through the city streets and up the steep hills, we were thankful for the water break that day.  After the long walk up the hills of this life, I’m thankful for the quench of the water from the Holy Spirit each and every day!  Won’t you stop for a drink?  And better yet, share the water.  It is meant for everyone.

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

These two lone pine trees have stood for several years just across the gravel driveway from the front of our house.  They aren’t large and magnificent, but they have reminded me of twins, very much alike and standing strong together.  Pine trees, of course, are evergreen trees and remain green and full all year round.

Except these two trees no longer look like they did when I took the picture.  They have both dried up, turned brown, lost all their needles, and have died.  They will simply remain where they are until they fall or are cut down.

If this corona-virus experience of 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that nothing remains the same.  You could no doubt list the things, places, and friends and family that are no longer the same.  For some, families are no longer the same either because a loved one has passed away or because someone is having a difficult time dealing with the physical effects of this virus or any number of other things.

You see, I had looked at those two trees for a few years now, thinking about how they would make excellent “posts” for a swinging hammock.  But that time has past, things have changed, and will no longer be the same.

Take advantage of your opportunities this week to make a difference somewhere, somehow.  And most importantly, I believe, cherish the relationships you have with those who are right in front of you, because things change, and we may never have these wonderful opportunities again.  Cherish those you love, hang the hammock, & experience the blessings the Lord offers this week!

Just a thought.

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

What you are looking at here is a fishing float.  I noticed it bobbing along in the pond.  There’s nothing special about it.  It’s made from the same plastic that most floats are.  It is also the same red and white colors that most floats like this are.  It’s small.  It’s round.  It’s just a simple fishing float.

What is different about this little float is that it is not attached to anything.  There is no fishing line, no hook, no sinker, no nearby rod and reel.  The float is simply living up to its name and floating around in the pond.

You were designed by the Creator for some specific tasks and given some specific traits and talents made just for you.  You were put in this big pond to make a difference over the course of your time here.  Attached to fishing line from a rod and reel you become a great signaler for the fisherman, letting him know of the slightest nibble below the water’s surface.  But without the connection to the Master on the other end of that rod and reel, you are nothing more than an empty shell bob-bob-bobbing along.

The Lord longs for His children to remain connected to Him.  Although during this world-wide pandemic it may be more difficult to remain connected to certain people and things, don’t allow the interruptions to disconnect you from the Master.  You are much more useful for the kingdom when you remain connected to God and are involved in the process of fishing for souls.

Don’t just float along this week, stay connected and make a difference.

Just a thought.

 

This Week’s Thought

By Brad Campbell –

Just a thought to help start your week.

Beach or mountains?  Have you ever been asked that question?  Some of you might think it’s rather absurd having to choose between the two, after all, either place can be majestic and show off God’s handiwork.  And even though I like both for different reasons, ask me that question and you’ll hear a resounding, “mountains!”

You see in my picture the awesomeness of Mt. Hood, Oregon, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  Smoky Mountains, Rocky Mountains, or any mountains — they’re all amazing to me.

In your life’s journey, where is it that you normally feel closest to God?  Usually it happens in a mountaintop experience of some kind.  You’ve grown closer to the Lord, and you feel His presence there closer than anywhere else lately.

In my many visits to the mountains, I’ve always found it difficult to leave them behind.  But one thing I know for sure, and one thing we as God’s children can hang onto in this corona-crazy world of ours right now is the fact that, as the song says, the God on the mountain is still God in the valley!  And I will be forever grateful.

Wherever you find yourself this week, relish the moments you have with the Father.

Just a thought.