Payh Blog
Christian Woman Hands Praying To God On The Mountain Background
Feb 27, 2019

The Nature of Your Belief in God

“Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him. -Job 13:15


There is a difference of translations when it comes to this verse in Job. Regardless, the truth remains that, no matter which translation you choose, Job never questions that God is! He is in the midst of a quandary, wondering, Why is God doing this to me? However, he never questions if God is. It is always, God is! But I still must know why He is causing this to happen to me. By the end of the book, Job has his answer. He has done this to me justly because He is God. Who am I to question God’s wisdom? Blessed be the name of the Lord. At the end it really is, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him, without question. Job never wavers in his belief that God is and that it is God with whom he has to do!
What is the nature of your own belief in God? You may think, as long as He does what I expect of Him, I will believe He is. Is this the condition of your belief? Or is it God is, no matter how wrongly I interpret or misinterpret Him. There is no wavering in the belief that God is! He is as much or more than I am. God has always been, is, and will always be.

I can personally say, by God’s mercy and grace, that I have never once doubted His being. My belief in Him has always been firm from my earliest memory. But this is not the nature of the belief of some. There are those who say they once “believed in God but no longer do. Or, they say they once believed in God but no longer pay Him any attention. They now ignore that He is there and ignore what He says. Consequently, in their eyes, He has no impact on their life. Unbeknownst to them, He has every impact on their life in His own hands!
This all has to do with the nature of your belief. You can say you once believed in God but no longer do. This only shows your belief in God was not authentic. It was only a fleeting dabbling. Once one has put their complete trust in the God who is, through their trust in Jesus, His Son, and His death on the cross for their personal sins, His Spirit truly indwells them; according to God’s own words, they are reborn in Him. He never again leaves them or forsakes them. Such is a sacred and fixed promise. If one says he once believed and now does not, the “belief he once had was inauthentic. This appears to be a more frequent occurrence then we may realize, but we see evidence of it too often.
Is falling away possible after an authentic faith in the God who is? Hebrews 6 hints at the real possibility of this but also declares that such as these cannot be renewed to repentance once they turn away. This passage must be carefully interpreted; it must be interpreted by other Scriptures which declare that once the rebirth by the Spirit of God takes place, such a spiritual remake is as certain as God’s own spoken promises. Hebrews 6 is more a warning against doing what cannot even be conceived. It is a warning not even to think you can imagine walking away from the God of your salvation.
Once genuine faith is truly activated, it accomplishes a certain transformation. The Scriptures say that, “Now, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen and “without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.
The Scriptures encourage us, “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls. Furthermore, “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
There are numerous Scriptures that affirm the “begun work of salvation being “accomplished in you, not by your own power, but by Him who promises the certain salvation of those who place their faith authentically in Him. You are asked, nevertheless, to “be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fail. You cannot authentically believe and then not exercise your faith in following Jesus and hanging on His every word.
Re-examine the nature of your belief in the God who is. Make certain you have believed in the God of your salvation and in His Son who makes it possible for you to draw near to God. Ask His Spirit to indwell your life as the Comforter, promised by Jesus Himself to assure your heart of your confidence in Him. The nature of your belief matters. Your continued pursuit of God authenticates that belief.


“O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be; let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander—Lord, I feel it—prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.
(Third verse of Robert Robinson’s hymn, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, 1758)
 

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GBC-2019-Grant-Picture-(Web)GBC-2019-Grant-Picture-(Web)
Feb 26, 2019

Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant to PAYH

Bill Shepherd (center), PAYH Director of Advancement, receives the GBHCMF grant check on behalf of Paul Anderson Youth Home. Pictured with him are Houston Bass (left) of the GA Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation and Thomas Hammond (right), Executive Director of the GA Baptist Mission Board.


This year marks the 14th annual Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation’s Grant Award Luncheon. This luncheon allows the GBHCMF’s Board the opportunity to recognize those ministries throughout the state that have demonstrated effective and efficient direct health care services to their local communities. GBHCMF is both honored and blessed to provide financial support to these ministries. Organizations receiving an award represent some of the most efficient “hands-on providers of health care services in the state. They have also demonstrated excellent core competency service to those in need of health care. It is the GBHCMF’s hope that these funds will help lighten the burden of those who offer health care services as well as those who ultimately receive those benefits. This year the Paul Anderson Youth Home was awarded a grant of $50,000 to assist in the organization’s continued efforts to provide direct health care services to their community. GBHCMF believes the Paul Anderson Youth Home ministry has demonstrated an active service that aligns with the GBHCMF’s core mission to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ through the provision of direct health care services. For more than 100 years, the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry has offered a ministry of healing to those in need.  Providing grant funds to these nonprofit health care providers fulfills their mission of service through local organizations.


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Worried senior woman in bed at night suffering from insomnia
Feb 20, 2019

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

“I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. -Psalm 3:5


“I didn’t sleep a wink last night! How often have you had to say that? Just what is the function of sleep in your life? Sleep is, you know, a necessity of life; you can’t live without it! It is almost as important as air and water, as taking in life-sustaining nutrients.
Every time you see “sleep in the Psalms, it is not with the same outcome. There are sleepless nights, “bones-aching nights, nights when the Psalmist rises to pray, nights when he tosses and turns, nights when he has a mind that will not rest, and nights when he is rewarded with sound, restful sleep. So it is with us. Sleep differs with us all. Some struggle with the terrible malady of insomnia, while others can fall asleep anywhere and at any time. Some nights we find rest, and some nights rest will not come.
You are created with the need for regular sleep. Irregular sleep produces health problems. Is the inability to get a good night’s rest a spiritual problem? Not necessarily. We are made with a body which is complexly integrated with spirit and soul. Discerning what is the cause of sleep problems is no easy matter. Body chemistry is involved, the mind weighs in, biological components play their part, and the way we are made, the influence of hereditary genes, stress, and pain all may contribute.
In any case, those who sleep regularly may take it for granted, and those who struggle for sleep pray it would soon come. The Bible teaches that God is the One who sustains your life. The Lord gives or restricts sleep whether or not you believe it. Some live ignorantly of this truth, while others live with the knowledge that the Lord sustains their life, thanking Him while asking for His continuing mercy and grace.
Sleep is a reminder of His daily care, and we should be mindful of His moment-by-moment attention. We learn this from the marvelous Book of the Psalms and from all the pages of His Word. When you cannot find sleep, you should rise to read His Word and pray. The Psalmist did so; so should you.
You might be amazed that a partial night of sleep combined with reading His Word and prayer will equally give you a full night’s rest, maybe even more. Many saints through the ages have proved this so. Their prodigious prayer life is a testament that God sustains the prayer life of His saints. Heaven will reveal the power of faithful prayer – prayer which substituted for sleep.
Perhaps not finding sleep is a reminder to rise, pray, and read. Spend the time with your Lord. Those quiet hours alone with Him are sustenance in themselves. Such “work is the most restful and sustaining you can find. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. He will, as you open your heart to His feeding – feeding which may well come in the middle of the night.


“When in the night I sleepless lie, my soul with heavenly thoughts supply; let no ill dreams disturb my rest, no powers of darkness me molest.
(Fourth verse of Thomas Ken’s hymn, “All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night, 1695)
 

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Man Kissing His Woman On Cheek
Feb 13, 2019

Kiss the Son: A Valentine Message

“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way. -Psalm 2:12


A kiss of another can signify many different things; after all, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Kisses can be deceitful. On the other hand, they can and usually do communicate affection. They can express passion and surrender. In Scripture, these kisses are accompanied with passionate embraces, depicting a great and transforming love between two persons.
So what is the meaning of the Psalmist when he says demonstratively, “Kiss the Son? What is he telling us by emphatically saying, “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way? The former appears to be a command and the latter a punishment for refraining from doing so; a quickly kindled wrath when there is no kiss, a secure refuge from danger when the kiss happens.
The context makes the point that this kiss is a serious kiss because the consequences of not kissing are so severe. This is a kiss of total commitment and also overwhelming love. It is a kiss of fearing and serving the One kissed. It is a kiss of rejoicing mixed with trembling – an interesting stir of emotions which convey the all-encompassing nature of this kiss.
Kissing connotes nearness: face to face, lips to lips, with an embrace. If not coming from a deceitful heart and lips, this is a kiss of love, joy, and surrender. This is what it says about such union with the Son. This union means refuge in Him. No kiss means perishing. Very serious consequences accrue to the one who will not “kiss the Son!
Perhaps this stirs up in you a feeling of shrinking back from such a stark proposition. Kiss the Son or..! Shouldn’t there be an accompanying and overwhelming compassion which draws you willingly into His arms so naturally, with no twinge of retreat, no concern of either-or, just, “I want this kiss, this union, regardless of anything else. This is just the way it is with His amazing grace!
The “cold and clear facts of the matter are that you cannot come to the Father except through the Son. If you choose not to come through the Son, you do not come at all. If anything is clear in a full reading of Scripture, it is this: Jesus is the only way to the Father! Genuine kissing of the Son means life. Denial and rejection of Him lead to only one result: death! If this is the case, would you want Scripture to dance around this truth, providing many paths to heaven? This is the nature of human opinion. This is what prevaricating humanity has come up with: many paths. However, the genuine truth is different. There is only The Way!
What is noteworthy, to say the least, is that a relationship with Jesus is expressed in a kiss – the most comprehensive kiss in all history where you are concerned, the most transformative kiss ever made. You can call it “the eternal kiss! But it is a kiss: love, surrender, refuge, safety, romance, and trust all are found in it. Your prayer and desire, as it is expressed allegorically in The Song of Solomon, is “let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth. There really is no more intimate, meaningful, and all-comprehending relationship to have than what you may enjoy with the Son.
Psalm 2 reveals anger, rage, hatred, derision, and all kinds of evil machinations, but the Psalm ends with a kiss. It reaches a wonderful conclusion when you yourself kiss the Son. This kiss is the expression of His love for you and your reciprocal love for Him. Do not draw back from this kiss which you, through faith, must avidly and continuously pursue. You pursue it in making your relationship with Jesus a living one. As Jude reminds us, “Keep yourselves in the love of God waiting for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.


“When all your mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys, transported with the view, I’m lost in wonder, love, and praise.
When worn with sickness, oft have You with health renewed my face, and in sins and sorrows sunk, revived my soul with grace.
Through all eternity to You a joyful song I’ll raise for O, eternity’s too short to utter all your praise.
(First, third, and sixth verses of Joseph Addison’s hymn, “When All Your Mercies, O My God, 1712)
 

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Two Friends Arguing at the Park
Feb 06, 2019

The Older Brother

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to Him. And the Pharisees and the Scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So He told them this parable… -Luke 15


The Parable of the Prodigal Son, recorded in Luke 15, is remembered by most as the story of a rebellious son who ran away from his father; after wild living and finally becoming destitute, he ended up repenting of his sin in a far country. He returned home to an overwhelming reception of love by his welcoming father.
The other figure in the story, an older brother, is seldom even given a second thought by those who know of the Prodigal Son Parable. Yet, according to the text of Jesus’ own words, the lesson of the older brother was the primary purpose of Jesus telling this story. The occasion of Jesus’ parable was an answer to His fierce critics; Luke 15 is His response to those who hated Him.
These critics were complaining that Jesus welcomed and even sat down to eat with sinners, whom His critics wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. In answer, Jesus told them three parables. The first two parables are stories ending in exuberant joy: one of finding a lost sheep, the other of finding lost coins. Exceptional joy accompanies each discovery. Jesus relates there is the same overwhelming joy in heaven over every single sinner who repents.
The third and longer parable is about finding a lost son, one who repents, and the celebration which follows that genuine repentance. What is different about the third story is a lack of joy, rather an irritated resentment, by the older brother who will not join in his father’s happiness. He will not even welcome his younger brother back home.
This is exactly why Jesus tells this story. He essentially says to His critics, “You want me by the nature of your criticisms to act just like this older brother in the story. But, I am not like that, and, in fact, I am actually acting very differently. You who claim to be already men and women of faith must follow My example, not his! But the nature of the older brother whom Jesus describes is typical of the Pharisees and Scribes in relation to sinners. In fact, they will neither pursue them nor work to win them into the fold of God’s family. Instead, they shun them and go so far as to lambast Jesus for doing so.
These critics, those who allege to be within the fold already, who are religious followers in their life, are enjoying the inheritance which, like the older brother of Jesus’ story, belongs to them by virtue of not squandering what remains in wild living exhibited by the younger son. They have no interest in sharing their part of the inheritance.
You see, the story Jesus told began with the father’s inheritance being divided equally between his two sons. The younger brother asked ahead for his share, received it, left home, and squandered it. The other half of the inheritance belonged now to this older son. So, when the prodigal returns home and receives a signet ring, sandals, and a fatted-calf feast, these are all in essence part of this older son’s inheritance. He does not want to share any of it with his sinning, rebellious younger brother who had already squandered his part. This older son in no uncertain terms lets his father know that with all the ire he can muster.
So Jesus tells these critics through this parable that they are behaving just like that. You see, God the Father has already said to His Son, “All that I have has been given to You. All which is Mine is now Yours. Does Jesus then hoard this all to Himself? No, He shares it all with those who by faith unite themselves to Him. In fact, He doesn’t even remain at home in heaven for the wandering lost son to return as the father in this story is waiting and watching for him to come home. Jesus goes and looks for him, unlike the older brother of this story. He leaves the courts of heaven, empties Himself, comes to the pigsty of this earth, finds the lost soul, and brings him home, by giving His life blood to redeem him.
The story of the prodigal son is not the story of the Gospel! Jesus’ actions are. Those of us who are already enjoying an inheritance from Him by virtue of our salvation need to share it with those still lost. Do not do as the older brother did in this parable; do what Jesus actually did. Sacrifice yourself and what you already enjoy to win one more sinner into His arms!


“E’er since by faith I saw the stream your flowing wounds supply, redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die.
(Third verse of William Cowper’s hymn, “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood, 1771)
 

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A Busy Start to 2019
Feb 05, 2019

eNewsletter: February 2019

A Busy Start to 2019

It’s been an interesting start to 2019; the month of January kept us very busy. Here are just a few of the highlights of this past month, as well as some things for us to look forward to. Thank you for partnering with us in this ministry.

Stories from the Home

Wild-Game-SupperWild Game Supper

The PAYH annual wild game supper was a big success. We had approximately 75 attendees, who joined us for a meal consisting of deer, elk, dove, wild turkey, quail, gator, and even bear. Afterward, Kerry Terrell and Jason Beard of the KT Team gave us a great program, giving advanced tips on turkey calling, demonstrating numerous calls, and sharing a powerful testimony. To learn more about the KT Team and the ministry that they do, check out their website or their Facebook page.

Prodigal-Child-MinistriesProdigal Child Ministries

Two of our staff members (Tim Ritchie and Steven Richardson) were joined by one of our senior young men (Travis) on a visit to the Prodigal Child Ministries, a Marietta-based organization that provides resources and support for parents of struggling teens and young adults in crisis. They spoke about PAYH and what we do, and Travis gave his testimony and let the parents there know that there was hope for their child in Christ. Afterward, the three of them stayed for an extended Q&A, which was a blessing for both PAYH and PCM.

Leadership Toombs

This past month, Leadership Toombs came to tour our campus and to learn more about who we are and what we do. Under the authority of the Toombs-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, “Leadership Toombs-Montgomery is designed to bring together new, emerging and potential leaders from the area to address pertinent community needs, strengthen individual leadership abilities, and encourage participants to personally commit to assuming new leadership roles in the community. After the conclusion of the tour, we enjoyed a delicious meal courtesy of Papa Buck’s BBQ.

Upcoming Event

Race-logo-10k-5k-1-mileWhether you’re a competitive runner or enjoy a casual stroll, there’s a place for you at the 4th Annual Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race. Benefiting both PAYH and Winshape Camps in Vidalia, we are expecting over 500 runners to join us on March 2nd. Sign up at RunVidalia.com and visit the race’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/RunVidalia.
We can’t wait to see you there!

Upcoming Event

PAGC-2019-Save-the-Date

Whether you’re a casual golfer or just barely missed your chance at the PGA tour, the 26th Annual PAGC is a great opportunity for you to show off your skills or simply have a great time while helping transform the lives of troubled young men. We hope you’ll join us May 13th for a day of fun and fellowship. Morning and afternoon rounds, 4 man scramble format.

Tickets sales available starting March 1st. 


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