Love From Your Pastor

Greetings FBC!

 
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
 (Romans 10:17)
 
Tomorrow we conclude our 3-part series on
Extending Christ’s Invitation.
  We will look at the importance of sharing the gospel verbally, not only with our deeds.  We will be focusing on Romans 10:14-17, but to get the context of what Paul is saying there, please read verses 5-17 before worship tomorrow.
 
As I write this there is a dedicated crew of workers helping make the church facility and grounds look nice!  Thank you to everyone who came to serve. 
All the bark dust is gone, so there will be another opportunity next Saturday morning!
  Please join us.
 
Easter is in 8 days!  Are you praying for the people in your oikos?  Practicing hospitality?  Looking for ways to serve them?  Praying for opportunities to share the gospel? 
We will have extra Easter invite flyers available tomorrow if you want to pick some up to invite people!
  Remember we are having two services, 9am and 11am, with some refreshments in between.  Let’s pray that our hearts will be stirred to great love and appreciation of Christ, and that all guests who come will be convicted, challenged, and touched in their hearts by the worship, the love of our people, and the message from God’s Word.
 
Tomorrow night the team that went to Haiti will be sharing at 5:30pm.  Everyone is invited to come and be encouraged with their reports!
 
Grace be with you all!
 
Love from your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
 (Mark 10:45)
 
This Sunday we’ll continue our brief series on “Extending Christ’s Invitation” with a look at “SERVICE”.  Some of the Scriptures we’ll touch on include: Mark 10:42-45; Romans 2:4; Acts 2:46-47; 1 Cor. 3:6-9; and Luke 6:32-35.  You may want to look at those ahead of time and ask the Lord to instruct us Sunday!  As for last week, how are you doing on practicing hospitality?  Do you have someone in mind to invite?
 
This Sunday night Will & Lisa Copeland are beginning a Care Group at their home from 5:30-7:30.  They will be going through what looks like a great series by James MacDonald called “Downpour”.  If you are interested or want to know more, please contact Will or Lisa.
 
Monday thru Wednesday, April 3-5, we will be live streaming the main sessions from the Gospel Coalition’s conference, which this year is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!
  Speakers include John Piper, Tim Keller, Don Carson, and more!  There will be a focus on the book of Galatians throughout the conference.  There is a schedule of the sessions on the table in the foyer.
 
Easter Sunday is just a couple weeks away!  Are you praying for the people on your Oikos list?  Look for opportunities this week to show them God’s love and for opportunities to share about the hope you have.
 
In preparation for Easter, the trustees are heading up two work days, April 8 and 15 in the mornings.  Please join us for cleaning up the property, taking care of weeds, and spreading bark dust!
 
This Sunday we will also be dedicating 2 more little ones (and their parents!), so I hope you will be able to join us for that.  And we will remember the Lord’s Table together, let’s come with hearts prepared!
 
Baptism classes for children are starting during Sunday School this Sunday (9am).
  Adults, contact me if you’d like to talk about being baptized too!
 
Grace be with you!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC family! (Sorry this is later than usual – but better late than never I guess!)

 
After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:27-32 ESV)
 
Levi (Matthew) is a great example of someone who used hospitality as a tool for evangelism.  Shortly after leaving everything behind to follow Jesus, he “extended the invitation” to many of his friends and former associates (notorious sinners) to come to a meal in his house in order to meet Jesus.  And while the religious leaders grumbled against him, Jesus made it clear that this “Levi dinner” was exactly what He wanted.  His response is one of His more memorable statements: “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
 
Tomorrow I will begin a short 3-part series on “Extending Christ’s Invitation” with a message on hospitality.
Reflect some more on Luke 5:27-32 in preparation, as well as Hebrews 13:1-2.
 
Samantha had her twins on Thursday morning There is a website set up to sign up for bringing meals to the family if you’d like.  Click here and sign up:
 
I heard from Pastor Justin a while ago, and they were just getting ready to cross the border into Mexico.  Please keep them in prayer this week!
 
Only 3 weeks until Easter Sunday!  Who are the people in your life that you are praying for and looking for opportunities to invite?  We will be having 2 services: 9am and 11am.  And remember the 6:30am sunrise service on Buttercup Hill!
 
Looking forward to a great Sunday!
 
Grace be with you.
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael 
 


Love From Your Other Pastor

Dear Friends,

 
Pastor Michael and Elizabeth were at Seaside this week enjoying the CBNW conference.  I’ve connected briefly with pastor and he said it was excellent.  So you get to hear from me!
 
I’ve been thinking about the Holy Spirit a lot recently.  You’ll notice that again this Sunday.  I have heard a lot about God and Jesus my whole life, but if I stop and think about it, little was ever said about the Holy Spirit.  He’s the third part of the Trinity no one ever talked about.  I wonder why that was.  I know the impact it’s had in my life.  A class I am taking has talked about a balance of teaching kids knowledge from Scripture and giving them time to hear from the Lord.  We live in a busy world, and as such it’s hard for us to stop and be still before the Lord.  I’ve been challenged to be aware of whether I’m helping students learn to hear the Spirit’s voice in their life, or always just mine.  If they don’t know personally how to hear from the Lord, who will they listen to when they are on their own.  I wonder if the same is true for you.  Does God challenge you personally with His Words?  Or is your relationship strictly through pastor’s teachings on Sunday morning?  Do you know how to be still and listen to the Guide that God has given you for this life?
 
Consider John 14:15-17, 26 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you…But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” 
 
We have a Helper who will teach us all things; that is with us forever, who dwells in us.  What a blessing!  Are you taking advantage of the Helper you have?  This Sunday we will be looking at Galatians 5:16-25, also on the work off the Holy Spirit.  I’d encourage you to read the verses ahead of time and come prepared for what God wants to teach you.
 
Some things to remember, we have our quarterly business meeting after church this Sunday.  It won’t be a long one so we hope you can stay.
 
Don’t forget this Saturday at 7 am is our monthly men’s breakfast.  Please join us for good food, fellowship, and time in God’s Word.
 
Also, Saturday afternoon at 2 pm there will be a dance recital put on by all the little girls that Molly Beach has been teaching ballet to over the last two months.  We hope you can join us at the church for this special time.  
 
Looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday! -Pastor Justin


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
And it was the third hour when they crucified Him
. (Mark 15:25)
 
If you’re reading the One Year Bible plan, today we read Mark’s account of the crucifixion.  Though many of us have read it or heard it too many times to count, it should never cease to bring us to a place of awe and amazement.  The price the Father paid to secure our salvation and a restored relationship with Him is almost too much to fathom.  But because of His grace and His love for the world, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ sacrificed His life on the cross in our place.  May we always marvel at His amazing grace and love!  As we are in a season of preparing for Easter, it is incredibly valuable to take the time to consider again the price Christ paid for us.
 
Please remember to pray for Mike Kirk and the team in Haiti.  They are staying tonight at a resort to wrap up and reflect together on their time in Terra Blanche. 
Tomorrow they will be traveling home, and Mike is expected to be home late Sunday night.
  For a safe journey and a good time of reflecting on the week.
 
SET YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD ONE HOUR TONIGHT!!!
 You don’t want to be late to church now do you?  Daylight Savings Time begins tonight!
 
Remember tomorrow is going to be eventful – Abigail Robertson will be baptized, we will be doing child dedications for 3 sets of parents and their little ones, we are having a potluck after the worship service for anyone to join in who is either on a commission, or who just wants to join in the fellowship and talk to the Robertsons!  So if you plan to stay please bring a main dish and either a side dish, salad, or dessert.  When we finish eating, we invite all commission members to stay for the meeting.  We plan to all stay together in the fellowship hall for the beginning of the meeting, and I will be sharing a few thoughts with the whole group.  Then you will break into groups – each commission going to meet separately (hopefully just around 20 minutes) to go over some responsibilities from the policy manual.
  Then we will come back together to the fellowship hall to have a time of prayer all together.  We are hoping this won’t be an extremely long meeting, yet we hope it will be a meaningful time!
 
Conclusion of COLOSSIANS sermon series!  I will be speaking on the last verse in Colossians – 4:18!  I will also be summarizing what we’ve studied in this amazing letter.  I also plan to ask you, What has impacted you, or what stands out to you the most, from our study in Colossians?
 So think back through our time in Colossians and consider what the Lord has been doing in your life as a result.
 
Looking forward to a full and blessed Sunday!
 
GRACE BE WITH YOU!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
“See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles.  And they will mock Him and spit on Him, and flog Him and kill Him.  And after three days He will rise.”
 (Mark 10:33-34)
 
Of course, what Jesus predicted and announced would happen, is exactly what happened.  This is the time of year when Christians around the world are preparing for Easter, or Resurrection Sunday.  Some traditions commemorate the season of Lent, which runs from Ash Wednesday (yesterday) until Easter (April 16).  This is intended to be a 40 day period of reflection, repentance, and considering the great sacrifice of our Savior and Lord.  (It actually is more than 40 days, but in the early Christian tradition, it is the 40 days between now and Easter, but not counting the other Sundays. 
So Sunday, “the Lord’s day,” has been seen as a day of celebration, so those days are not part of the period of repentance.)  Many Christians choose to give up something during this season, as a way to remember to focus on Christ instead of personal desires.

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Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
 (Proverbs 10:11)
 
I love that image – that the words we say can be a “fountain of life”.  That’s what I want my mouth to be all about.  Too many times in my life, it hasn’t been.  This proverb reminded me of our challenge from last Sunday,
“Let your speech always be gracious…”
 (Col. 4:6).
 
“How we use words is a major theme in Proverbs 10–31.  Every day we speak words, each one marked by either wisdom or folly.  Jesus said we will give account even
‘for every careless word’ (Matt. 12:36).  The book of Proverbs guides us toward wise words that can be a fountain of life to others.” (Gospel Transformation Bible
)
 
Please continue to pray for our team in Haiti (Rosemary, Susan, Ron, and Ethan).  Their week is winding down, and tomorrow will be the last full day of the clinic.  Saturday will be a very busy day, including the long drive back to Port-au-Prince, and will conclude with an evening at the beach to recap their week.  Sunday they will be flying home.  Please pray for God to use them mightily in Terra Blanche these last few days, and for a safe journey home.  May each of the team experience God’s grace through this trip and may they see spiritual growth in their own lives because of it!
 
This Sunday I will be speaking on “Encouraging Words” from Colossians 4:7-9.
  You may not know a whole lot about guys named Tychicus and Onesimus, but I think there is a lot to learn from what Paul says about them!  Please read that ahead of time and come prepared to let the Word do its work in you!
 
We will also have the blessing of being a part of more baptisms this Sunday!  So come celebrate God’s work in the lives of a couple of our children!
 
God’s grace and peace be with you as you seek Him today!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
“Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — He said to the paralytic — “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”
 (Mark 2:8-11)
 
“As disciples, we learn that Jesus’ authority to forgive sins is unique, since only God has such authority.  And this gospel of forgiveness, which Jesus ultimately accomplishes through being punished as our substitute on the cross, is of greater value to human existence than anything else.  The gospel serves as the basis for personal healing, with the call to live in reconciled relationships in all areas of personal and corporate life.” (Gospel Transformation Bible)
 
Please pray for our Haiti Mission Team – There are prayer letters available in the foyer for the current team, which includes Susan Ruckert, Rosemary Whitmore, and Ron & Ethan Whitted from FBC.  They will be leaving tonight and traveling tomorrow.
  Pray for effective ministry and life-changing experience for them.
 
Colossians 4:5-6
 – This Sunday we will dive into these 2 great verses in Colossians.  They are pretty straightforward, but as we dig deep there is plenty of great food for thought here.  We will examine how God wants us to walk and how He wants us to talk, especially as it concerns those currently outside the faith.
 
Spaghetti lunch and auction – the fundraiser for the youth Mexico mission trip is this Sunday right after the worship service.
  If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, they will be available at the door.  There will be items available for a silent auction as well.  Thank you for supporting the students heading to Mexico to serve!
 
Meet & greet at the Droback home – Nick & Erika are hosting this get-together Sunday at 6pm, in preparation for the parenting Bible study that will be beginning in at their home in March.  We will be studying Hopeful Parenting by David Jeremiah together.  Come check it out, and get your study guide.  Please bring a snack.  Call Nick for more info.  I’ve been listening to these messages on CD, and they are phenomenal!  Look here for info about the series: http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/monthly/1216_PEKBK_PEKCDPKG.aspx?premium=pekcdpkg&request=true
 
So looking forward to seeing you this weekend!  God’s grace, peace, and joy be yours!
 
Love From Your Pastor,
Michael


Love From Your Pastor

Hello FBC!

 
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.  The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
 (Matthew 26:41)
 
Last Sunday I challenged all of us to become faithful in prayer, according to Paul’s direction in Colossians 4:2, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”  In our New Testament reading today in the One Year Bible, we see a similar charge: watch and pray.  Unfortunately, as we read the account
by
Matthew we see that the disciples failed.  They not only failed to pray, they even failed to stay awake!  “They did not have enough compassion toward Jesus even to stay awake with Him during the stressful night of His arrest, and when the crowd arrived to arrest Him, Matthew tells us that all Jesus’ disciples ‘left Him and fled.'” (The Gospel Transformation Bible)  Sadly, that often describes us, doesn’t it?  Jesus (obviously) knew what He was talking about when He said, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  But I find encouragement in this account as we consider “the rest of the story.”
 
“Jesus knew that His disciples would be faithless, but He offered them the hope of forgiveness and restoration in His comment that, after His resurrection, He would go before them to Galilee (26:32).  The death to which their unfaithfulness had consigned Him was a death for the forgiveness of this sin also (26:28).” (GTB)  Jesus knows our weakness!  But He offers not only
forgiveness,
but also restoration to usefulness in His kingdom.  Think of how each of the disciples (except Judas of course) went on to be used in such amazing ways by the Lord!  So when you get frustrated with yourself about your prayer life, or you fall asleep
yet again
 when trying to read your Bible, don’t despair.  When you fall down, don’t stay down.  Get back up, dust yourself off, and try again.  And ask Him to help you.  Ask Him not only to teach you how to pray, but also to help you practice it more faithfully, steadfastly, watchfully, and thankfully.  Seems to me that that is a prayer that is in accordance with His will – I trust He will answer!
 
This Sunday the men from Adult & Teen Challenge in Shedd will be our special guests.  They have amazing testimonies to share
of
God’s powerful grace in their lives.  You’ll be encouraged by their stories.  Remember that there is a time of sharing finger foods, so bring something if you can!  We will be receiving a love offering for the ministry of Teen Challenge at the end of the service.  Please come with a generous gift to help support the great work being done.

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