Saturday, April 21, 2018

Jesus’ Inclusive Message of Loving One’s Neighbor

With a background as family pastor in Lufkin, Texas, Eric Garland holds responsibilities with Combatt Oil Field Solutions in Midland. Passionate about Christ, Eric Garland was active with Lufkin’s Denman Avenue Baptist Church and spoke at a number of Baptist camp events. 

One of the most famous statements of Jesus appears in Mark 12:28ff when he speaks with a Scribe about the commandment that is most important. Jesus presents two commandments, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” and, “You shall love God with heart, mind, strength and soul.” 

With Jesus’ message about neighbors echoing that found in Leviticus 19:18, he is also expanding it beyond the context of one’s own tribe or family, as presented in the Old Testament. 

When asked by a lawyer “and who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered indirectly through the Good Samaritan story, in which the Samaritan was included within the definition of neighbor, though he was from a despised background. Thus Jesus’ message is uniquely one of inclusion and compassion toward others, regardless of whether they are related or of a similar background.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Ministering to Children as God’s Capable Vessels

Based in Lufkin, Texas, Eric Thomas Garland is an operator at Combat Oil Field Solutions. Also a family pastor in Lufkin, Eric Garland enjoys ministering to children. 

In the Bible, there are instances where God used children to accomplish His will. This shows that in God’s eyes, children are strong and mighty and can be used to establish His kingdom. It is incumbent upon children’s pastors, therefore, to minister to children as people completely capable of delivering God’s message of love and salvation. Following are some suggestions for pastors on how to do it.

-Believe in each of your children. Go a step further and tell them you believe in their individual abilities. 

-Do not be afraid of teaching God’s Word to them. Teach it fully. Kids are smarter than you think.

-Teach your children about worship. Show them how to do it, in a way that makes them fall in love with it. 

-Teach your children not to sin. God hates sin; tell your children they should do so too.

-Teach your children to share God’s Word with others.