Monthly Archives: July 2012

Summer Psalms

The following questions are posted for your personal reflection on the Psalms that we’ve studied together on Sunday Mornings. If you have comments, please feel free to post them below.

Psalm 13

1) Consider v.1 for a moment. Do you ever feel as though God “hides his face” from you? What causes/caused you to feel that way?

2) Read v. 2-5 again. Is your fear of abandonment something from God or something from within your own heart? What do you find when you seek counsel within your own heart? What is the remedy to what you find?

3) Can you see how God has dealt bountifully with you (v.6)? Do you see his faithfulness and gracious provision for you despite how unworthy you are? List some ways which God’s “bountiful care” is evident in your life. Does this cause you to praise him?

Psalm 14

1) According to this Psalm, what makes a person a fool? What do the words “there is no God” reveal about the inclinations of the human heart?

2) What do vs. 2-4 tell you about yourself? Apart from God’s grace, what is your status before God?

3) God is for his people, what Psalm 14 calls the “righteous generation (v.5).” But how can you be certain that you are part of the righteous generation? Who is your refuge? (hint: Philippians 3:8-11)

Psalm 15

1) What is the Psalmist asking in v. 1?

2) What do vs. 2-5 tell us about the character of those who “dwell with God?”

3) Where have you been disobedient in regards to these expectations?

4) Turn to Jesus. Repent of your sin and pray for the Lord’s strength to help you submit to his word. Remember, he is for you and your good.

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WE ARE DOWNTOWN


This phrase has 2 intended meanings. First, and most obviously, FBC Baton Rouge is located in downtown Baton Rouge (on the corner of 5th and Convention). You might say that’s probably unnecessary to mention, and you may be right, (although we like that you know where we are). But that is not the full meaning of this blog’s title. Our church family is not only located downtown, but we desire to identify ourselves with the downtown community. While our congregation is made up of people of all ages and backgrounds who live in many different parts of our city, we all desire to see FBC have the greatest impact on our neighbors and local community. As a corporate body, our neighbors and local community are those residents and businesses in the downtown area. So, to use a play on words, WE ARE DOWNTOWN.

For the Good of Our City

Part of the vision of FBC Baton Rouge is to be a church that seeks the renewal of our city through service, outreach, and cultural influence. We do not desire to take a stance that is always opposed to the culture as much as we want to stand for the truth of the gospel in the midst of the culture. We are a church for the city of Baton Rouge because we love her and desire to see her flourish. We believe the city is the place that not only creates culture, but also proclaims cultural ideas and philosophies that influence all people and communities. So if we are located downtown, and if we are committed to the downtown community, then we will seek to identify with downtown Baton Rouge and speak the gospel into the culture. From the residents, to businesses, to restaurants, to the arts and entertainment culture, we want to have a gospel-fueled impact on all aspects of Downtown Baton Rouge.

Rooted in Scripture

The Biblical foundation for this is found in the book of Jeremiah 29, where the prophet of God is commanded to write a letter to the people of God concerning their recent captivity in Babylon. In his grace, God called his people to remain faithful to Him, even while in a foreign land and in a foreign culture. God’s plan for his people was to make wherever they lived a better place. And so, in Jeremiah 29:7 we read what God commanded his people to do: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

We have the God given mandate and privilege to “seek the welfare of our city”. And our prayer is that in that grace-filled effort built on love and mercy, we will find much peace and renewal in our city for the glory of God who has graciously called us to this task. C.S. Lewis once said “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” As Christians, we admit that this world is not our permanent home. But while we are here, we want to seek the good of our city for the glory of our God.

Welcome to the FBC Baton Rouge Blog

Hello. My name is Oren Conner and I have the honor of serving as the lead pastor of First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, LA. We are a centrally located church in the heart of downtown Baton Rouge. Our church has a rich history (138 years) of effective gospel ministry and cultural influence in the city of Baton Rouge, and our prayer is that we will continue to see that gospel influence continue for years to come. It is only by the grace of God that we are here and it is only by His grace that will continue to move forward, with the prayer that we will be able to do something good for the welfare and health of our city.

I am honored that you have dropped by to check out the new blog. By no means am I a blogging expert, and to be honest, I’ve been quite reluctant to pick up this new concept, only because of the time and commitment it requires to do it well. This is not something that I want to enter into half-heartedly or with the notion that this will somehow magically write itself. The truth is, this blog will require time and effort to make it effective and useful for those who read it.

But why a blog? Let me briefly share with you the threefold purpose of this blog:

1) This will be another way to communicate important information with our church members. Technology is wonderful and we plan to use it!
2) We hope to introduce ourselves to our local community and to the city of Baton Rouge through what is regularly posted here.
3) This blog is an opportunity to express the truths of God’s Word in written form in hopes that it will be a benefit to those who read it.

Our church exists to be a blessing to the city in which we live. We want to be a church that is FOR our city, not just IN our city. So we are here, by God’s grace, to make some significant contribution to the welfare of downtown Baton Rouge because we love our city and because Jesus loves our city. Baton Rouge is a wonderful and beautiful place to live and we are proud to call it home. If you are wondering about the title of this blog “WE ARE DOWNTOWN”, you will have to wait a bit. There is much more on that later. . .

Thanks for reading. We hope to see you back here very soon.