Archive for August, 2012


The Good and Beautiful God

August 30, 2012

Guest post by Gerry Wakeland

 In July 2009 I attended a spiritual renewal conference in San Antonio, TX. It was at this conference that I met James Bryan Smith and was first introduced to the Apprentice Series. The Apprentice program is designed for anyone who wants to follow Jesus more closely and experience the life He promised.

Book One in the Apprentice series, The Good and Beautiful God helps participants explore their own understanding of God and how it differs from the image of God as it is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. What does this mean? We have all been influenced by many things in our lifetime. People, circumstances, and world events are but a few. Sometimes these outside forces influence our perception of God. This is what Smith calls narratives.

Smith contends that if we can see and understand God as Jesus saw Him these narratives would be changed and our relationship with Him will go to an entirely new level, a level of deeper love and commitment.

This week our church launches two classes of “apprentices.” Pastor Mike Cook will lead a group of men and women on Sunday evenings and I will lead a group of women on Wednesday evenings. Together we will discover new ways to experience life, ways that will guide us into a life of intimacy with God.

Included in this study will be the practice of spiritual exercises that will help us grow in the knowledge of the Christ that loves and cares for you.

Our desire is for you to come to know God and His love in a new and powerful way. We encourage you to join us for one of these classes so that you can experience firsthand our good and beautiful God.




Gerry Wakeland is a member of Albuquerque’s First Baptist Church. She currently serves as President of CLASSEMINARS, Inc., a training and equipping ministry for Christian communicators based here in Albuquerque. Contact her at


Senior Adult VBS 2012

August 21, 2012

This week we are in the midst of Sr. Adult Vacation Bible School. That’s right….”SENIOR” VBS. These “mature” adults are amazing. Every single day I am reminded of their immense value. In them resides an incredible amount of wisdom, stability, and dependability. I wish you could witness the exercising of their minds and bodies. 

God continues to reinforce and remind me how much energy and enthusiasm they possess. I am thrilled to see the willingness they demonstrate to help others, to invest, and to mentor. Here at FBC Albuquerque they continue to lead the way with immense influence. 

However, in many churches seniors have a diminishing influence. Sometimes it’s because younger leaders, eager to reach the youth in the community, marginalize and ridicule older people. Other times it’s because older people have lost their credibility by being vocal critics of younger leaders over petty issues.  

I’m convinced – most of the time – it’s because older adults, able to retire from their jobs, erroneously think it’s time to coast spiritually. They back off church responsibilities and rationalize, “It’s time for the younger generation to take over.”

Since people are retiring younger and living longer, older adults should become some of the most reliable and dedicated volunteers in the church.

I agree seniors need to prepare to pass the baton to the next generation. The Bible says older men are to teach the younger men and older women are to guide the younger women (See Titus 2:1-8). The church needs the vision and vitality of youth to be balanced with the wisdom and experience of age. 

If young leaders get the impression that seniors want what is best for them and the church and not just to satisfy their personal preferences, then seniors will gain credibility. The older a believer gets the more they should move from leadership to mentoring young leaders. This will insure a smooth pass of the baton.