On our Pastor’s mind (6-8-14)

The Unfair Prisoner Exchange

Our country has been in quite an uproar over the prisoner exchange that occurred this past week. The exchange was a 1 to 5 ratio: one American who, by most accounts, is guilty of desertion for five enemies of the United States who, at least at one point in time, were some of our country’s greatest threats (perhaps still). Many are asking the question: How could our leaders grant such an exchange?

Ball and ChainI have another question for us to ponder: How could God the Father exchange His own Son to ransom a whole world of prisoners – a whole world of men and women who were prisoners to sin and death and hell? The exchange was one for the world: One perfectly innocent Son of God for all of us who were despicably evil and enemies of God. That, my friends, was truly an unfair prisoner exchange.

Mark 10:45 says,

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.

1 Timothy 2:5-6a says,

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all.

I am baffled and awed by the truth that even though God knew how sinful and evil we would be before the foundation of the world, He still purposed to send His Son to ransom us from His own holy justice and wrath. We deserve eternal separation and hell; and yet, God loved us and sent His own son to die for us. Hammer

Praise God for His unfair exchange!

On our Pastor’s mind

VBS 2014 – Is Here!

Next Sunday evening, we begin our Vacation Bible School. Our hope is definitely to reach lots of children, but we want to make an impact on the families as well.

So pray for families.

Pray for God to give us a breakthrough in their lives. Pray that these families will continue to come and experience the life that we have in Christ. Pray that they would be drawn to Christ through us. Pray for life-transformations through Jesus and His Word, as we lead people to DISCOVER, DECIDE and DEFEND the Gospel at VBS this year.

Supporting Our Own Missionaries

Many of you were born and raised in this part of the country. You may think that the rest of the country and the world are just like East Tennessee with churches at ever other corner, but it is not! There are parts of our country that are barely evangelized, where you have to go miles to find a church and a God-fearing pastor. We need families serving in these areas, sharing the Gospel, planting churches, and equipping the saints.

Good News!

One of our families is going to serve in one of these areas of the country. Scott and Anita Hill are permanently transplanting to a small community in Iowa next month. They are going to help continue a work started by Southern Baptists. Scott will be the pastor in that community.

Their new congregation is much like a new church plant.

It is small in number, at the moment, but it has great potential to grow once the Hills arrive to provide leadership. And yet, as they get started, this mission work needs support financially in order to do what needs to be done to reach that community with the Gospel.

In Philippians 4:14-19, the Apostle Paul tells of the Philippians who share in his ministry to advance the Gospel. Paul was grateful for their financial help and was confident that God would supply all their needs.

Please pray and consider helping this congregation and work financially, because it is a mission front in the U.S., and because Scott and Anita are missionaries going out from our church to lead this work.

On our Pastor’s mind

Those Who Have Gone Before

Memorial Day is a time for purposefully remembering those men and women who have given their lives for this nation. Perhaps we could think back to the Revolutionary War to remind ourselves that our freedom did not come easily. The problem is that it is hard to focus on people we do not know by name. So we tend to focus our attention in more recent history because we know and remember people who went to fight and serve our nation. Knowing who they were helps us understand their commitment and devotion to our country.

In Hebrews 11, we find a type of memorial. The writer of Hebrews lists the names of several men and women of faith who were committed to the Kingdom of God. We affectionately refer to this chapter of the Bible as the Hall of Faith. Not only does he give us their names, but he writes about their faith put into action. These men and women did incredible things because they trusted in God. (I hope you will take time to read this chapter for yourself.)

What is most exciting is how the writer of Hebrews uses the faith and commitment of these great heroes of the faith to encourage and challenge us in our journeys of faith:

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin
which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2, NKJV)

(A cooperative effort by Bro. Gene and Bro. Luckey)

VBS 2014 – Fast Approaching

Please continue praying for VBS and for lives to be transformed this year.
VBS 2014

Parent Child Dedication

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who builds it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127:1)

We believe that our children are not ours only but are a gift from God.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” (Psalm 127:3-4)

ChildDedication_Page_1We believe that we have a responsibility as followers of Christ to raise them in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. God commands us as parents to teach our children to know and love Him (Psalm 78:5-7).

As parents we have the responsibilities of praying for our children, instructing them in the way of the Lord, setting a godly example, and disciplining them as the Lord would discipline us. As parents, we need the strength Christ gives (Philippians 4:13).

We believe the parents have the primary responsibility for instruction in faith; but we believe the church is to be a partner. Training our children is to be done in the context of a believing community the church. So as a church we commit ourselves to this task as well.

What Parent-Child Dedication is not

It is not salvation or the bestowing of temporary salvation. Salvation is a gift of God – by grace and through faith.

It is not baptism for the child being dedicated. Baptism is the symbolic declaration of our faith in Christ.

Our prayer is that each of these children will hear the Word of God, believe in the Lord Jesus, and call on His name (Romans 10:13-14).

Dedication Commitment

Parents…

  • Do you recognize this child as a gift of God and give heartfelt thanks for God’s blessing?
  • Do you now dedicate your child to the Lord?
  • Do you dedicate yourselves to God as stewards of His gift, trusting your child wholly to God?
  • Do you pledge as parents, with God’s fatherly help, to bring up your child in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, with patience and love, to build into your child’s life the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord?
  • With God’s help and by His grace, will you promise to pray regularly for your child to come to faith in Jesus Christ and to follow Him as Lord?
  • Will you raise your child in the fellowship and instruction of a faithful 1ocal church congregation?

ChildDedication_Page_2

Congregation…

Church, we are part of the family of God. As the church we have the responsibility to work alongside these parents as they teach them to love the Lord.

  • Do you today commit to be brothers and sisters in Christ, to display godly characteristics, and to provide continuity to what is being taught from God’s Word at home?
  • Having seen these parents and heard their commitments to raise their children to know and love the Lord, will you recognize their commitment and pledge your support in helping them keep these commitments?

VBS Craft Donations

d3

 

 

 

 

 

Vacation Bible School workers are in need of the following items for their crafts. Please see Linda B. or Jenny B. for donations. Thank you in advance!!!

  • Black duct tape
  • Craft sticks
  • Battery-operated tea lights
  • Craft wire
  • Prescription bottle caps
  • Tri-shaped beads
  • Keychain rings
  • 3 1/2-in. metal hose clamps
  • 1/2-in. dowels
  • Tissue paper (all colors)

On our Pastor’s mind (5-18-14)

VBS 2014 – Agency D3

VBS 2014

The theme this year in VBS is all about secret agents. We will be training secret agents to be ready to go back to their own neighborhoods and share the truth about Jesus!

These secret agent trainees (the children) will discover, decide, and defend (D3) the truth about who Jesus is at Agency D3. They will trace truth back to just the facts! The evidence will be clear.

As a church, we need to be praying for VBS. VBS is designed to reach the entire family. It continues to be one of the most succesVBS 2014_2sful means for churches to share the Gospel. God works through VBS that typically results in ~80,000 professions of faith each year in North America. For the sake of the Kingdom, we need to be on our knees in prayer.

Individually, we need you to plugin to VBS.

  • We ask that you invite your family, friends and neighbors to come. Be excited and get them excited. Offer to bring them or arrange transportation if necessary.
  • Volunteer to help in some facet or area of VBS. There are still several areas that need help.
  • Decide to attend the Adult VBS class. Richard Spencer will be teaching that class again this year.

We need you for VBS!

Roof Repair Fund – Thank You’s

On Wednesday, we voted as a church to repair the roof on the educational building. Several committees have worked together to find the best solution for our church. The cost will be $26,600.

Because of this huge price tag, we have made a plea to our church for financial help above and beyond our tithes. Some have already responded to this plea, and we would like to thank you for your support and generous gifts.

Thank you!

 

 

 

Deacon Family Ministry

We want our church family to know that you have a deacon that you can call on to pray with you and share your needs and concerns with. If your last name begins with:

A-B: John I.
C-E: Rick L.
F-H: Randy C.
I-N: Tim B.
O-R: Buddy S.
S-T: Jeff C.
V-W: Berk F.
Youth: Keith J.