Love From Your Pastor

“Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are My witnesses! Is there a God besides Me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44:8 ESV)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Free MOVIE, popcorn, and childcare at FBC TONIGHT!  Join us at 6:30pm for a showing of “Like Arrows,” a movie produced by the same people who brought us “Fireproof,” “Courageous,” and “Facing the Giants”. It’s a great movie to motivate us as parents and grandparents to consider how quickly life flies by, and how important it is to have real spiritual influence in our children’s lives.  Watch the trailer for the movie HERE.

This Sunday we are back in our study of the great book of Isaiah!  The text is Isaiah 44, and the title of the message is, “The Only Creator & Redeemer.”  I hope you will be able to join us! Please read the passage ahead of time and ask the Lord to speak to us powerfully through it.

I want to continue to encourage all of us to be regularly in God’s Word, so once again I am recommending a Bible reading plan that we can do together.  I found this article recently, and decided to try using this plan for 2019. It’s the first time I’ve used this particular plan, but I think we’re going to enjoy it!  You can read the article, and download the PDF of the reading plan, HERE.  Or you can pick up a hard copy in the church foyer.  Happy Bible reading!

There was a very generous offering received this past Sunday.  Thank you to everyone for your end-of-the-year gifts to FBC! We finished 2018 very strong financially, which will certainly help us prepare for a vibrant and effective year of ministry in 2019! Praise the Lord!

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”  Also He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5 ESV)

I hope you and your family were able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas, and that it was a Christ-centered celebration!  It was a great season of Advent at FBC as we reflected each week on Immanuel: “God with Us.”  Thank you to everyone who helped make it a special time.

This Sunday as we wrap up 2018 and prepare for 2019, we will look at Revelation 21:1-8.  The message is called “All Things New!”  I hope you will be here for our last Sunday of this year together!

Many of you have told me you were reading along with the Bible-in-a-year reading plan with us this year!  I want to continue to encourage all of us to be regularly in God’s Word, so once again I am recommending a reading plan that we can do together.  I found this article recently, and decided to try using this plan for 2019. It’s the first time I’ve used this particular plan, but I think we’re going to enjoy it!  You can read the article, and download the PDF of the reading plan, HERE.  Or you can pick up a hard copy in the church foyer.  Happy Bible reading!

Thank you for the generous gifts you gave to me and my family, as well as to Pastor Justin and his family.  You are a generous and gracious church family, and we are grateful!

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23 ESV)

This Sunday we will continue our observance of Advent, the season where we are waiting and anticipating the Lord’s coming. During the month of December, our theme is “God with Us.”  This fourth week we will look at how “God with Us Brings PEACE”.  Our world is filled with much conflict and war, but we can experience peace with God and peace with each other because Immanuel, the Prince of Peace, or Lord Jesus Christ has come!

We will be looking at the promise of peace given to the shepherds when they received the birth announcement from the angel.  Read Luke 2:8-14 in preparation for this message, and consider how amazing it would have been to have been one of those shepherds! We will again be hearing from our Brownsville Gospel Choir with “Night of Silence.” Be sure to come, and invite a friend!

Again this year, on Christmas Eve, we will celebrate the season with: Christmas by Candlelight on Monday, December 24th, at 6pm.  There will be congregational singing of carols, some special musical numbers, a beautiful dance by some of our girls, and of course lighting our candles as we sing “Silent Night.”  Please bring some cookies or finger foods to share for a time of fellowship after the service. This is always one of the most meaningful parts of the Christmas season for many of us. Hope you can join us!

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23 ESV)

This Sunday we will continue our observance of Advent, the season where we are waiting and anticipating the Lord’s coming. During the month of December, our theme is “God with Us.”  This third week we will look at how “God with Us Brings JOY”.  In a time of heartache and troubles, what we all need is a deep, abiding joy.  Not a happiness that comes and goes based on circumstances, but a joy that comes because God is with us! 

We’re going to look at how the Lord brought a great joy into the life of Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother), removing her shame and granting her great privilege.  To prepare your heart and mind for this message, read again the beginning of the Christmas story found in Luke 1, paying attention to Elizabeth’s place in the story, and how she experienced and expressed her joy.  We will also be blessed with a performance from some dancing angels during the worship service this week. We will also be hearing from our Brownsville Gospel Choir with some selections from Handel’s Messiah! Be sure to come, and invite a friend!

This Saturday at 8am is our monthly Men’s Breakfast.  Please come join in on good food, and a great time together with fellow brothers in Christ.  The gathering will take place in the Fellowship Hall — come, bring your appetite, and invite a friend! There will be a discussion based on R.C. Sproul’s teaching on “From Dust to Glory,” which is an apologetic overview of the Bible. Don’t miss it!

As you’re making your Christmas plans with your family, don’t forget to plan on attending Christmas by Candlelight on Monday, December 24th, at 6pm.  Please bring some cookies or finger foods to share for a time of fellowship after the service. This is always one of the most meaningful parts of the Christmas season for many of us. Hope you can join us!

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). (Matthew 1:23 ESV)

This Sunday we will continue our observance of Advent, the season where we are waiting and anticipating the Lord’s coming. During the month of December, our theme is “God with Us.”  This second week we will look at how “God with Us Brings LOVE“.  Our world is full of movies, books, and songs about love.  But does it understand what true love is and where (or Whom) it comes from? 

We’ll be looking at how Joseph and Mary provide for us a very unique lovestory, as well as how the coming of Immanuel for us demonstrates God’s great love.  To prepare your heart and mind for this message, look back over the story of Mary and Joseph in Matthew 1 and Luke 1.

We will also be blessed with a performance from some of our FBC children during the worship service this week. Be sure to come, and invite a friend!

Remember that this Sunday, December 9th is our All-Church Christmas Dinner, followed by the Annual Business Meeting. This is a great time of fellowship, celebrating what God has done in and through FBC this past year, and looking ahead to our ministry in the coming year. The meal will be after the worship service, and that will be followed by the meeting. The elders are providing the ham for the main dish, please bring side dishes, salads, or desserts.  For members who will be voting on the upcoming officers and the 2019 budget, the information we will be voting on is posted on the bulletin board next to the office, and there are a few copies available to take.

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. (1 Peter 3:12 ESV)

Sunday I will be speaking from 1 Peter 3:8-12, a message entitled, “God’s Ears are Open.”  In preparation for our 4 Days of Prayer, we will discuss how God listens to the prayers of His people when we are in right relationship with Him and each other.  Please read the passage before Sunday!

Our 4 Days of Prayer starts Monday (Nov. 26)! We will be praying together from 5-9am & 5-9pm, Monday through Wednesday, and 5-9am Thursday. Please come pray with us! We will be praying for 45 minute sessions with a break between. We will pray for our upcoming Advent season, for our outreach to our community, for our ministry in 2019, for the Lord’s financial provision, and many other things!

Thank you for your generous support of our FBC anniversary special offering!  Here are the totals that were reported to me: Pioneer: $1440.33, East Linn: $2,115.33, Central Linn: $1,075.34. Total Special Offering: $4,631. These gifts will surely be a great blessing to each school.

Lastly, Elizabeth and I have thought of a few families that could possibly use help with Christmas gifts, etc. If you are interested in “sponsoring” a family for Christmas, please talk to one of us. Thank you!

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. (Colossians 1:3 ESV)

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF BROWNSVILLE!

Wow, we ought to feel old today! On November 16th, 1853, the First Baptist Church of Brownsville, Oregon was founded. That makes us 165 years old!

Men’s Breakfast — Men, come join us tomorrow (Saturday) at 8am for a great breakfast! Our guest speaker will be Art, the son-in-law of Merle Caldwell, who recently finished his book, “What I’ve Learned About God in My First 99 Years.” Art will speak, and there will be some copies of Merle’s book available.

Sunday morning in the 10:30am service, we will get to see a couple children following Jesus in baptism! You’ll be encouraged and blessed – be sure to be here!  Also, Pastor Justin, Dave, and Tina will be sharing about their recent mission trip to Alaska during the service.

I will be speaking on “Thanksgiving & Prayer” from Colossians 1:3-14. Please (prayerfully & thankfully) read the passage before Sunday, and let’s come with hearts prepared to hear from God’s Word.

In honor of our 165th anniversary, we will be receiving a special offeringthis Sunday. This is intended to be above and beyond our normal tithes and offerings. So we will have 2 times of offering this week.  The special offering this year will be going toward three schools in our community:  Central Linn in Halsey (for the music programs needs), East Linn Christian Academy in Lebanon (for tuition assistance and/or new cafeteria), and Pioneer Christian Academy in Brownsville (for remodeling of facilities).  Please be praying and asking God what He would have you contribute. We’d love to make a generous donation to each of these schools. You can make a check (or cash in an envelope) marked “Special Offering” if you’d like it to go toward all three.  If you’d like to designate one or two schools in particular, please be sure to write that on the memo line of your check or on an envelope. Thank you for giving generously to our community!

Lastly, on Sunday evening at 6pm at Brownsville Community Church(196 Washburn St.), there is a Community Thanksgiving Service, which will include people from a number of Christian churches in our community. We are all invited to come and participate. They will also have cookies and refreshments after the service (7pm), so you are invited to stay for that. If you’d like to bring some cookies to share, that is appreciated too!

Looking forward to a great weekend!

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael

P.S. I hope you have marked your calendars for our “4 Days of Prayer” — November 26-29!  5-9am & 5-9pm each day (no evening session on Thursday).  Come and pray with us for one hour session, or more!



Love From Your Pastor

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2 ESV)

This Sunday’s message is “I Am Your Only Savior” from Isaiah 43.  Going through the chapter, I discovered 29 “I” statements by God in the 28 verses!  “I have… I will… I am… I give… I love… etc.” Check it out for yourself – the chapter is full of statements from the Lord about His love for His people. I hope you will read the chapter ahead of time and join us this Sunday!

Thank you everyone for your help making our 8th annual Trunk-or-Treat a great success! We are so thankful for everyone’s generous donations, servant’s hearts, and creative displays! I don’t have final stats yet, but we certainly were a blessing to many people in our community and did our best to shine His light! Please pray that those who were on our campus and experienced His love from FBC will have their hearts drawn to Him and His church!

Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes are due the week of November 11-18! Please make sure and have your boxes filled and brought back to the church.  Brianna Wrightson is working on around 100 boxes! She will have some of them here at FBC this Sunday – if anyone would like to help her with the shipping costs for some boxes that would be great!

Friends, let me encourage you to vote! If you have not completed your ballot and mailed it in, please make sure and do that. What a privilege we have in our country to have a voice in our laws. I am especially concerned about measure 106 – which is a statewide citizen initiative to stop our tax dollars from funding elective and late-term abortions. If it passes with enough “Yes” votes, it will give Oregon taxpayers freedom from having to pay for other people’s choices. Please vote!

Remember that this Sunday is a potluck and 93rd birthday celebration for Liz Van Leeuwen right after the worship service. Bring some food to share and share in the celebration of Liz!

Also this Sunday, we will be baptizing three adults during the worship service! This is always an encouraging and uplifting time, I hope you’ll be here to witness it.

Finally, a big thank you for your very encouraging and generous cards and gifts for pastor appreciation!  I am humbled and honored to serve alongside you here in Brownsville. Thank you so much for your love for my family and me!

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Behold My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights; I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1 ESV)

This Sunday I will be preaching on Isaiah 42, “My Chosen Servant.”  Here we see that the Servant of the Lord will patiently and gently build His kingdom with broken sinners.  This chapter is filled with wonderful truth about our Lord. We are inspired to “sing a new song” as we see what He will do for the world! Please prayerfully read the passage before Sunday and be sure to join us at 10:30am!

New Sunday School classes are beginning! We have classes for all ages of kids through adults, which begin at 9am each Sunday. Randy Waldie is beginning a new class on the book of Ecclesiastes for adults which meets in the worship center.  Gwen Landon is continuing a study for ladies on the book of Exodus, which meets in classroom #3.  The “Digging Deeper” class, also for adults, will soon begin a new study in Apologetics, and it meets in classroom #4. Come, bring the whole family, and grow your faith by participating in Sunday School! Why not start this week?

6 days to Trunk-or-Treat! It’s almost here – and here’s how you can help. We are in need of 3 C’s — Candy, Cars, and Cookies!  Our goal is at least 400 lbs. of candy, and after last Sunday we were at 214 lbs, 6 oz! So we have a ways to go! Please continue bringing in the bags of candy. This Sunday is the last Sunday before Oct. 31.  The good news is that the DOGS are winning our contest over the CATS — 115.3 lbs to 99.3 lbs!  We would also like to have 6 more cars. Can you join us? Talk to Elizabeth Beach if you need help with a creative idea for decorating your trunk and possibly yourself! And we like to provide hot dogs, chili, and drinks (thank you kitchen crew!), but we also like to provide cookies for our guests that night. So there is a sign up sheet in the foyer, and if you can help by bringing some cookies we would appreciate it!

Most importantly, please be praying for the impact this event can have on our community! Isaiah 42 includes a statement about God “turning darkness into light,” which is a theme repeated many times in the New Testament. That’s what we are trying to do on that dark night of October 31! So pray for the many families that will be on our campus that evening. Pray for God to be at work in people’s hearts, and that as we share God’s love, the gospel message, and information about FBC, that people will be drawn to Jesus and want to know more about following Him!

Some of you may know who Eugene Peterson is. He is the author of The Message, which is a paraphrase of the Bible in contemporary language.  He is also the author of many, many, other books. Some have called him a “Pastor to pastors” because of how many of his books address the spiritual life of pastors and Christian leaders. Eugene went to be with Jesus this week, on October 22.  If you’d like to read a little about his legacy, click on the following article:  EUGENE PETERSON

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael



Love From Your Pastor

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)

“Fear Not!” is the title of this Sunday’s message from Isaiah 41. In this chapter, the Lord challenges the idols to do what only He can do: predict the future and then carry it out. God alone is sovereign over the affairs of mankind. The Lord also declares to His chosen people that they do not need to fear because of the promise of God’s presence. That same promise applies to us today. Please join us Sunday as we dive into Isaiah 41.

13 days to Trunk-or-Treat! We have a goal once again of 500 lbs. of candy! There are only 2 Sundays to go, so please bring in lots of bags of candy for the cause! The contest is between cats and dogs (go dogs!).  Thank you to those who have signed up to decorate your vehicles (and perhaps yourselves)! Of course, Elizabeth is still looking for some more cars to fill up the parking lot! Trunk-or-Treat will take place in the FBC parking lot on Wednesday, October 31, from 6 — 7:30pm.

Men, in case you haven’t heard, there will be no Men’s Breakfast (or Bible Study) this Saturday the 20th.

Many of you are aware by now that our dear brother Tom James went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this past Tuesday night. The memorial service for Tom is this Saturday, October 20, at 3pm here at FBC. There will be a potluck for family and church family after the service. So you are invited to bring some food to share and stay for the meal and fellowship. My last visit with Tom on Tuesday included a sweet time of him praying, thanking the Lord for His forgiveness and blessings, and praying for his family. What a delight to see the faith with which a godly man faced his final moments on earth. Tom and Coe have been a tremendous part of the FBC family for 50 years. Thank you for your prayers for Coe and the family during this time. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. (Psalm 116:15 ESV)

Love From Your Pastor,

Michael