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  • Almond Tree Substance Abuse Ministry Article 

    BURLINGTON – Those with additions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, pornography and other abnormal dependencies have a new source of help in Burlington. George Shove, the pastor at Burlington Bible Church, will be offering Bible-based, Christ-centered classes to fight addictions, beginning in April.

          The classes will be at 7 p.m. Fridays in the fellowship hall at Burlington Baptist Bible Church, 302 Juniatta Street. Enrollment starts April 11 with classes beginning approximately two weeks following. There is no charge. However, donations are accepted but not expected.

          “Typically when people think of substance abuse, they think of individuals hooked on illegal drugs,” Shove said. “But the problem goes well beyond the stereotype. The number one problem in America is alcohol, a legal substance. Some statistics show there are 113 million people with an alcohol problem and 18 million alcoholics, of which six million are women. Nicotine, the drug found in tobacco products, is a very powerfully addictive drug. Although it is legal, it is nearly as addictive as heroin.”

          Shove said the classes are held in a group setting, but confidential one-on-one counseling is available. “We ask everyone involved to practice confidentiality,” he said.

          Since the classes are open to both men and women, Shove’s wife, Ardie, will be assisting him with the program. “The classes are strictly voluntary, but those under court order must have prior approval from the court to participate in this program,” Shove said. “Typically, someone will spend about 14 weeks in the program, but there are no rigid time restraints.

          “The program, Almond Tree Ministry, is based on the belief the Bible is the source of hope, help and solution for mankind’s problems,” Shove said. “The participants learn to identify triggers for the undesirable behavior and are taught new life coping skills. They also identify roots of anger and learn alternate response skills. The counseling works in harmony with the other ministries of the church as a means of helping people grow spiritually in every area of life.”

          Shove said Almond Tree classes help people successfully leave addictions of all kinds and helps them deal with addiction-related issues such as damaged relationships and abuse. They also learn new life development skills and gain true peace of mind and learn to be free to enjoy life to the fullest.

          “I became acquainted with the author of the program while working briefly as a regional director for a national organization,” Shove said. “That organization trained individuals to serve as police department chaplains as well as correctional facility chaplains.”

          Shove grew up in Lawrence and moved to the Chicago area in 2004 to work in prison ministry. He later started a church, Harmony Baptist Church, in Lake Village, Ind. He served as pastor there for two years before moving to Burlington in March 2009 and accepting the position as pastor of the Burlington Baptist Bible Church in August 2009. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies.

          Shove has also served as an assistant volunteer chaplain for the Douglas County Jail and spent 10 years as a volunteer with the Kansas Department of Corrections in Topeka. He has worked with the Topeka Juvenile Detention Center and as a clergy volunteer with the Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee, Ill.

          Shove said everyone is welcome to attend, and all those participating will benefit.

  • A drought in the Land 

    I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the wonderful people we recently met at the Coffey County Fair. It was truly a pleasure to talk with so many terrific and friendly people. Especially when one considers the extraordinarily hot weather that everyone had to endure, it truly was amazing.

       All of us have read the recent headlines which have declared that we are experiencing the worst drought in fifty-six years. Likewise we have seen the data indicating that the last time our region has endured such a long period of record or near record temperatures was in 1936 during the Great Depression. I know that I have never seen, in my fifty plus years, a summer that began so early and has hung on so long, as this one.

       Recently, while driving on our county back roads I noticed what seemed to be all of creation pleading for a respite from the relentless heat and longing for the heavens to release from their vast reserves the rain showers that are so desperately needed.

    I observed fowls of all kinds, large and small, moving about having their beaks gaping open in an effort to keep themselves cool. I saw fields and crops so devastated that many farmers conceded and prematurely cut their crops in an effort to salvage what they could. I witness trees of various shapes and sizes, whose leaves had turned brown, withered and fallen to the ground as if they were the onset of fall. And animals, both domestic and wild, that were extremely reluctant to venture too far from the precious vanishing pools of water.

       These scenes that had captured my attention, caused me to recall Psalms 42:1 “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”

    The hart was a male fallow deer or stag that once inhabited the Holy land. It was this animal that captured the psalmist attention which vividly portrayed to him, his own thirst and desire for intimate communion with his God. 

       Might we once again as a nation realize how far we have strayed and recognize that there is a drought that exists in our land that goes beyond heat and a lack of moisture.

    It is a drought that affects all levels of our society. Would to God, we would once again as a nation realize our desperate condition.  Might we like the Psalmist, hunger and thirst for that sweet fellowship with God; for he states in the very next verse “My soul thirsts for God; for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”

       We desperately need his presence and fellowship, we need his help and strength, we need his loving favor and protection and we need his refreshing. II Chronicles 7:14 states, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”

    The sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ has made communion between sinful man and a Holy God possible. And those of us that have accepted him as Lord and Saviour have access to the very Throne of God.

    But we must, with clean hearts, take advantage of that rite of passage and exercise our privilege in approaching unto him.  Not only do we need relief from the current weather conditions, but also the spiritual drought that exists in the land.

    Hebrews 11: 6 “… for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarded of them that diligently seek him.” 

  • Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

    Paul is often considered to be one of the greatest Christians to have ever lived. Yet he realized that his spiritual life must be consistently monitored and maintained. Paul was constantly evaluating himself and his relationship with God. In this text Paul determines to prioritize some things in his life, separated them into two distinct categories: Things that must be discarded and things that to be retained.

    I can recall from my childhood the many times that my family and I would visit my grandparents.  There never seemed to be much for a restless young boy to do there, but one of the things that helped to pass the time was to locate one of my grandmother’s junk drawers. There I would embark upon my own miniature treasure hunt. Inside that container would be a wide variety of items: from paperclips to pocketknives and everything in between.

    The things I considered to be valuable went into one pile, and that which remained went in another. Those days have long since faded away, but occasionally I may stop by a garage sale or an auction and latch on to one of those $1 boxes, marked miscellaneous. Inevitably I find myself sorting through that box and separating out the things I want to keep and things that need to be thrown away. We, like the apostle Paul, should consistently evaluate our relationship with God, sorting through various things in our life and placing them into the keep or discard pile. 

    The first category in our life is that of “Things to forget”.

    Past failures fall under this category. Prior to his conversion to Christ, Paul was an enemy and persecutor of Christians. It would have been easy for Paul to be shackled with guilt and discouragement if he had not simply let it go. Are there any of us who have not failed God?  Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  If you know Christ as your personal Saviour, the past is the past. Whether it is past behavior or past attitudes, it is under the blood. Forget it and move on for Christ.

    Something else that could be placed under this category would be past accomplishments. Paul was highly educated; he had power, prestige, and position. Paul said in Philippians 3:7-8 “… but what things were gain to me, these I count loss for Christ…and do count them but dung.”  Placing too much emphasis upon past accomplishments can lead one to be haughty and self-reliant taking unto themselves the honor and glory that rightfully belongs to God.

    Past accomplishments can also be a temptation to return to the ‘glory days’, desiring the attention, the respect, the wealth, and the power. Focusing too much upon these can easily jeopardize our sweet communion and fellowship with God. 

    In this second category Paul points to things that we are to both strive toward and endeavor to excel in.  Paul uses two words to emphasize this point, reach and press. Too many of us Christians have the ‘been there’, ‘done that mentality’.  We too often become satisfied and complacent, failing to move beyond our comfort zone. Paul in essence was saying that he was not going to allow himself to become complacent and apathetic. If we in our Christians lives are not gaining, but are simply maintaining, it will not be long until we begin declining.

    We need to continue to make personal spiritual advancements in our lives growing in faith, love, joy, as well as the other aspects of the Spirit. We must continue to exercise ourselves in prayer, in Bible study, and in becoming a more effective witness for Christ. We as God’s people should not simply be sitting but rather reaching and pressing.

  • One Way 

    Late one evening several summers ago, a friend and I were attempting to get some last minute yard work completed. The project was large and need to be finished before the day ended. Needless to say, we were in a hurry. Suddenly, my friend hit a small stump that was hidden in the tall grass causing damage to our lawn mower. The damage, though significant, was repairable, but the only mower parts supply store in town was going to be closing in just a few minutes. After calling the store and making arrangements, I removed the damaged parts, jumped into my car, and raced across town.  Since the store was getting ready to close, the manager had told me to enter through the back door. I was making my last turn before pulling into the parking lot, when all of a sudden one of our city’s finest pulled in behind me, turned on his lights and pulled me over. I had watched my speed, had stopped properly, and had signaled my intentions; I had no idea why in the world he was pulling me over!

    The officer approached the vehicle and said, “Sir, do you realize that you just turned onto a one-way street the wrong way?

    I answered, “You are kidding me, right?” I have lived in this town all of my life and I have never known this to be a one-way street. How long has it been marked one way? (Thinking that it had been recently changed) He told me that he had been with the department for 8yrs. and that it had been marked for at least that long. He then needed me to step out of the vehicle; and as I did, he pointed to the sign that I was parked directly underneath. Yes, it was true, though the street was a two way for the entire length of the city, this one block segment was marked "one-way".

    I acquired my parts, a traffic ticket, and some valuable spiritual truths that day. Many times while traveling down life’s road, we think that we are headed the right way when all the while, we are truly headed in the wrong direction.

    Instead of complying with God and His will, we find ourselves running contrary to Him. Whether it is intentionally or unintentionally, we find that we have deviated from God’s plan and direction.  I looked at that sign that day, I realized that I had a choice to make. I could either continue to defy the sign and suffer the consequences or I could admit my error, turn around, and start going the right way. I chose to turn around.

    I had a change of mind that caused a change in action and that is what the biblical term, repentance, means. Paul stated that he had taught them, “testifying both to the Jews and also the Greeks, Repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20-21)”.

    An unsaved person must admit that they have been headed in a way that is contrary to God, turn around, and comply with Him! Further, there must be a change of mind concerning Jesus. He was not simply a good man, or even a figure head of some religion, but he is that Son of God that died, was buried, and that rose from the grave.  And this he did for YOU! Jesus said of himself, “I am the way, the truth and the life no man cometh unto the Father but by me (John 14:6)”. 

    Finally, there are those of us who have already accepted Christ as our personal Saviour yet we too, from time to time, deviate off of God’s path. We too must have a change of mind that causes a change in direction. We must stop, turn around, and start walking in the right direction. For we know that there really is only one way; His way! 


Service Times
Sunday Morning........................10:30 A.M.
Sunday Evening..........................6:00 P.M.
Wednesday Evening...................7:00 P.M.
    Pastor G. M. Shove                                    302 Juniatta St. Burlington, KS 66839                                           620-364-2050