Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC!

Praise the LORD!  I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation (Psalm 111:1).
Amen and amen.  The LORD is worthy of our praise!  We have so much to be thankful for.  He desires praise and thanksgiving with our whole hearts!  Let’s EXALT His Name together.  Looking forward to doing that this Sunday – and I hope YOU will be here!
I will be continuing the sermon series “Family Matters” with a message from Genesis 2:18-25 called “Wedding Bells in Paradise.”  We will discover three principles upon which successful marriages are built.  Please read the passage ahead of time to prepare your heart for the message.  I will especially “zoom in” on verses 24-25, so chew on those a little longer as you prepare for Sunday.
I know I keep recommending sermons and messages I hear on the radio, but I heard part of another good one from Chuck Swindoll today on PRAYER (I have his “app” for my smart phone, so I plan to listen to the whole message some time today!).  If you get a chance try to listen to that on the radio, online (Insight for Living), or get the “app”!
Speaking of prayer – We have started 2 new corporate prayer meetings on Wednesdays: one at 5:00am and one at 7:00pm.  Praying together as a church family is absolutely one of the best things we can do.  I am fully expecting that the little room we are currently meeting in for these prayer times will at some point not be big enough, and we will have to move down the hall to the large room!  Please help make that a reality!  “The family that prays together, stays together.”
Don’t forget the AWANA BBQ and Awards night this Sunday at 5:30pm!  Come celebrate with us a great year of training boys and girls to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ!  You’ll be encouraged by how much of God’s Word these kids have learned this year.  Hope to see you there.
Giving thanks to the LORD with my whole heart…
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC!

Praise the LORD!  I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation (Psalm 111:1).
Amen and amen.  The LORD is worthy of our praise!  We have so much to be thankful for.  He desires praise and thanksgiving with our whole hearts!  Let’s EXALT His Name together.  Looking forward to doing that this Sunday – and I hope YOU will be here!
I will be continuing the sermon series “Family Matters” with a message from Genesis 2:18-25 called “Wedding Bells in Paradise.”  We will discover three principles upon which successful marriages are built.  Please read the passage ahead of time to prepare your heart for the message.  I will especially “zoom in” on verses 24-25, so chew on those a little longer as you prepare for Sunday.
I know I keep recommending sermons and messages I hear on the radio, but I heard part of another good one from Chuck Swindoll today on PRAYER (I have his “app” for my smart phone, so I plan to listen to the whole message some time today!).  If you get a chance try to listen to that on the radio, online (Insight for Living), or get the “app”!
 

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New Weekly Prayer Meetings at FBC

Hi Friends of FBC,

… but I give myself to prayer. (Psalm 109:4)
We are starting 2 new weekly prayer times at FBC Brownsville tomorrow!
1) Every Wednesday, beginning May 14, from 5:00 – 6:00 a.m.
2) Every Wednesday, beginning May 14, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (there is a possibility of changing this to 6pm in the future, but tomorrow it will be at 7pm for sure)
Come join us!  We will meet in Room 1 of the new classroom addition.  For the morning session, Lord willing, I plan to come early and have coffee ready.  So stop by the kitchen and get a cup if you want, then proceed to the classroom.  If the room gets too crowded (which would be fantastic!), then we will move down to Room 3 (the larger room).
We will pray for requests that people have written down on Sunday, for any requests you bring to us, for our missionaries, for people in our “oikos”, for our church leadership, for our church’s direction for the future, and for whatever else the Holy Spirit brings to our hearts.  I don’t intend for us to spend a long time discussing requests, but to spend the large majority of the time in prayer.  You can bring your Bible and pray Scripture.  You can come and just silently agree in prayer.  Or you can come and pray out loud.  We will pray short prayers, so everyone who wants to can have a chance to pray out loud.  We will pray loud enough for us all to hear so we can agree together in prayer.
Come thirsty! (John 7:37-38)
Hopefully we’ll see you tomorrow!
Love,
Pastor Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life.  He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)
Has eternal life is one of the most striking statements in John regarding the present possession of eternal life.  Eternal life begins immediately, in a partially realized but significant way, when one believes in Jesus.  Those who believe can face the last judgment with confidence (cf. 1 John 5:11-13)” (ESV Study Bible, pg. 2032).  Do you hear His word?  Do you believe?  If so, you have passed from death to life!
THIS SUNDAY IS MOTHER’S DAY!  Don’t forget to honor your mother (and/or your wife)!  Also don’t forget to join us for the Mother’s Day breakfast here at FBC from 8:30 – 10:00am in the Fellowship Hall.  The guys have a great meal planned to honor our ladies.  There is no Sunday School this week.
I will be preaching on John 19:24-27, a message titled, “Behold, Your Mother!”  The goal will be to recognize Jesus’ heart of care and compassion for His mother even in the midst of His great suffering.  Please read that in preparation for Sunday!
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC Friends!
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant and remember to do His commandments (Psalm 103:17-18).
I believe the heart of God burns with a desire for the truth of His steadfast love and righteousness to be passed on from generation to generation (“to children’s children”).  That’s what our hearts ought to burn with as well.  I am beginning a new sermon series this week entitled, “Family Matters“.  This series will include a Mother’s Day message, Father’ Day message, a message for wives, a message for husbands, a message about communication in the family, and more.  This Sunday the message will be “Religious Parents & Rebellious Kids” from Luke 15:11-32.  I would encourage you to read that ahead of time to prepare your heart for Sunday.  In fact, you should read the whole 15th chapter of Luke so you understand the context of the parable. I am hoping this message will help us discover the heart of God the Father for His lost children.
If you invited someone to come to church with you for Easter, this week would be a good opportunity to follow up with them and encourage them to come hear these biblical messages about family.
Focus on the Family is putting out a movie exploring the importance of family in our word today called Irreplaceable.  It will be in theaters one day only, Tuesday, May 6.  The closest theater that I know of that will be showing it is at Gateway Mall in Springfield, and it is showing at 7:30pm on May 6 only.  To watch the trailer, click on the link below:
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi FBC Bville Friends!  (For those of you new to getting this e-mail, this is my weekly communication to our church family.  If you’d like to not receive this in the future just let me know.  If you’re glad you got it and want to get it from now on, please reply and say so!  Thanks!)

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Luke 22:39-46 ESV)
I know we just finished “Passion Week”, the focus on the last week of Jesus’ life on earth, the cross, and of course the celebration of His resurrection.  But the above verses from Luke 22 were part of our One Year Bible reading for today, and I continue to just be amazed at what our Lord Jesus endured on our behalf, even before He went to the cross!  Not only is there deep theological significance in the words of His prayer, but as always Jesus also sets the perfect example for our lives.  How refreshing it would be if we all came to God in fervent prayer, but ended with, “Not my will, but Yours, be done.”  His admonition to His disciples stands true for us today as well: “Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”  The best way to grow in Christlikeness, that is, being conformed to Jesus’ character, is to become a person of much prayer.  The best way to fight off temptation is through prayer, the Word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit (often along with much needed help from Christian brothers and sisters).  Let’s thank Jesus again today for being willing to drink the cup of God’s wrath against sin – the cup that you and I deserve to drink ourselves.  And let’s ask Him to help us grow to be more like Him each day.
REMINDER: Tonight is the kick-off of our Annual Missions Conference!!  The meal and special speaker is here in the Fellowship Hall beginning at 6:30pm.  The nursery will be available for little ones.
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!

And taking the twelve, He said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.  For He will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.  And after flogging Him, they will kill Him, and on the third day He will rise.”  But they understood none of these things.  This saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what was said.  (Luke 18:31-34)
These words are profoundly timely for us this week!  Jesus told His disciples (again) precisely what was going to happen to Him, and they were still not able to understand.  Their eyes and minds had not yet been opened.  That didn’t happen until after the Resurrection (Luke 24).  We have been praying and inviting people in our lives to come to FBC and hear the truth of the gospel and the power of the resurrection.  I have specifically prayed that people who do not yet know the Lord personally will be able to understand, that they will have their eyes opened, and have their minds opened.  Please continue to pray for that too.
I will be speaking on Luke 24, and we will see not only the marvelous scene of the empty tomb, but also incredible post-resurrection appearances of Christ to His followers.  Please read that before Sunday to prepare your heart.
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hello again FBC Friends!

When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 But he said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet and invited many. 17 And at the time for the banquet he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, and I must go out and see it. Please have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them. Please have me excused.’ 20 And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ 23 And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'” (Luke 14:15-24 ESV)
The passage above, from our reading in the One Year Bible today, is powerful and intriguing.  Jesus is primarily warning the Pharisees and other Jewish religious leaders with this parable, but of course it had tremendous relevance for His disciples, and I believe for us today as well.  I especially think it’s pertinent in light of our desire to invite people to come hear about Jesus, the resurrected Lord, at our Easter services in 9 days.  I did a little reading about this parable today and wanted to share some with you:
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!

We give thanks to You, O God; we give thanks, for Your name is near.  We recount Your wondrous deeds. (Psalm 75:1)
We have so much to be thankful for, don’t we church?  Have you stopped today to give thanks to the Lord today?  Take a few moments to “recount” His “wondrous deeds”.  The more we remember the glorious things God has done, the less we will worry about all the stuff in our lives today!  This is a great season of the year focus on being thankful for all He has done for us.
17 Days to Easter!!  Are you praying for someone(s)?  Are you asking the Lord to use you in their lives in some way?  Are you inviting them to FBC?  Remember we will be having a 9am and a 11am service.  We will have Junior Church for kids during the 11am service.  If you have children and want them to participate in Junior Church or Children’s Church, then the 11am service is for you.  If you are inviting friends, and the 11am service is the one they would prefer, then by all means go with them to the 11am.  But I want to encourage as many of you regulars as possible to consider going to the 9am service, as the one we expect to have the most “overcrowding” issues due to visitors is the 11am service.  Of course, you can go to both if you want!
11 Days to the start of 4 Days of Prayer!!  Please, PLease, PLEASE, join us for as much of these 4 Days as possible!  We are hoping to see the Lord work in people’s lives in incredible ways in the next few weeks.  This is a spiritual battle we are in.  We must use spiritual weapons.  Nothing of significance will happen if we don’t pray.  A lot of things will happen, of eternal significance, in a lot of people’s lives, IF WE PRAY A LOT TOGETHER!  Do you believe that God wants to impact lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ?  (say Yes).  Do you believe God answers prayer? (say Yes again).  If you said Yes to the previous two questions (which I expect you all did since I told you to!), then I expect to see you here at FBC during our 4 Days of Prayer: April 14-17, from 5-9am & 5-9pm (except Thursday, which will only be 5-9am).  We pray in 45 minute sessions with a 15 minute break in between, so you can easily come and go during a break.
 

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Love From Your Pastor

Hi Friends!  (Sorry this is later than normal)

For your eyes have seen all the great work of the LORD that He did. (Deut. 11:7)
The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with Him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.”  And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:38-39)
This theme seems to run all throughout the Scriptures – God has done great things for us!  We have seen them.  We are to proclaim all He has done!  Sometimes believers are intimidated and think they are not able to “witness” because they don’t have the whole Bible memorized or don’t have the answers to every question they might possibly be asked.  But often the best witness is simply telling others what the Lord has done for you.  You have experienced His grace and power in your life.  You know you’ve been forgiven of sin and are being transformed into His image.  Just share that!  One other note I love about the Luke 8 passage is that Jesus told the man to declare how much GOD had done for him, and Luke says the man went and told how much JESUS had done for him!  Just another (not so subtle) declaration of the Deity of Jesus Christ!
 

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