Recently, those of us who are concerned about the encroachment of our culture on religious freedom were alarmed at the move by the mayor of Houston in issuing subpoenas to pastors for their sermons. Though the subpoena was rescinded, it is certainly a warning to the church that we should expect intimidation and persecution to increase in the days ahead.
The Family Research Council and other partners are hosting a live webcast on Sunday, November 2 at 7pm ET with a rebroadcast at 9pm ET. In this event, speakers from across the nation will gather at Grace Community Church in Houston, Texas to focus on the freedom to live out our faith free of government intrusion or monitoring.
You can find out more about “I Stand Sunday” at http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?c=ISTANDSUNDAY or join the webcast here at 7 or 9pm on Sunday evening.
Most normal people like Krispy Kreme donuts (in my opinion). Some of us like them TOO much! No one, however, would enjoy eating a cold ball of fat and dough which is what a Krispy Kreme really is….before the fire.
These tasteless little dough-balls are placed through an intricate process of preparation which begins by creating a hole in the center with a blast of air. The now circular dough is then placed in a proof box and through the application of heat and humidity made to rise. After the dough has risen, it is then dumped unceremoniously into a vat of boiling oil. When it is cooked through, the newly created doughnut is run through a cascading waterfall of sweet icing. Voila! A Krispy Kreme doughnut is born.
The New Testament books and letters compiled from Hebrews to Revelation are directed to Christians going through the fire. Sometimes we wonder why we’re being blasted, boiled, and “proven.” It is, as Peter said, “… so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:7)
As with our little doughball, the result of the fire always brings about a sweeter outcome than we began with. There are things that God can only do with us as He places us in “the proof box” and turns up the heat. We have a choice. We can resent the process and fight it every step of the way, or we can surrender to the greater will of the Father and accept it “with joy.” (James 1:3)
God promises the sweetness will come as He finishes what He started in your life and mine. Hang in there. Don’t give up. The best is yet to be.
For a number of years, Fruit Cove ladies have traveled to Greenbrier Birthing Center in West Virginia to serve expectant mothers currently serving sentences in that correctional facility. This year, Dianne Werner participated for the first time and offers this report:
We had a wonderful time ministering to the 13 girls at Greenbrier Birthing Center (GBC). Five women were still expecting so there were 8 babies ranging in age from a few months to almost a year old. We provide lunch each day and Annette Holley had all the meals and cooking planned and got us busy in the kitchen from the time we got there, but we had fun chopping and cooking and washing dishes in the kitchen together.
We had prayed for God to prepare the hearts of the women there and we found out that one of the women there had already heard about “the girls from Fruit Cove” when she first arrived last November and she was the only woman waiting for us when we arrived at GBC on Monday. They told her she would love the team from Fruit Cove and that the food would be great, so there was a positive anticipation among them when we arrived.
Five women from Deer Meadows Baptist Church joined us for our visits to GBC. They were great help to us as they learned what ministry looked like at GBC. The first couple days, we took in lunch, held their babies, ate with them and got to know them a little. We asked lots of questions about their families and what was waiting for them at home. We asked them questions about God, about their faith, and about their childhood when opportunities arose. We encouraged them, shared scriptures with them, and let them know we were there because we cared and because God’s love is so amazing and we wanted them to know how much He loves them! We took them Chocolate Fondue one day, a Keurig with all the ingredients for flavored coffees on another day and we loved on them and shared our hearts with them every day.
When we got ready to leave on Friday, there were many hugs passed out, some tears and prayers said with the whole group holding hands. God blessed us so richly! This was my first time to participate in this mission trip. I loved it and I am ready to do it again!
Thanks, Dianne, for this report and your perspective!
This Sunday, October 26, we have the opportunity to host No Other Name in concert in each of our morning worship services (9:30 and 11).
Comprising brother-sister duo, Sam and Laura Allen, along with their friend Chad Smith, the group is known not only for their musical abilities, but for their heart for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ around the globe.
The group shot music videos for “Lead You to the Cross” in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and “Let It Start With Me” in Bangkok, Thailand, emphasizing the group’s aim to spread the gospel worldwide. No Other Name is a strong proponent of international missions and has partnered with the International Mission Board to help recruit missionaries while joining the organization on recent trips to Nicaragua as well as Brazil.
No Other Name contributed the song “More than Moved” to the Insanity of God CD project. Don’t miss hearing the gospel through music on Sunday!
Let me take this space to encourage you to complete and return your Giving Beyond Ourselves commitment form this week or next if at all possible.
Again, it is hard to overstate how important it is that we hear from YOU regarding this. It will have an impact on our strategy and planning for some time. EVERY CARD is important even if it contains no financial commitment. We just need to know that you are ALL IN as we continue to grow and as God enlarges our boundaries. Whether through the offering plate, the commitment box, or by mail…your prayerful commitment is important to us. As God leads us onward lets “be strong and courageous” for we know the Lord our God is with us.
Yours for the Victory,
It’s time to pack the shoeboxes! For the next two weeks (October 19 and 26), shoeboxes will be available at the Welcome Center Patio for you to pack for a child who needs to hear the love of Christ through you.
How do you pack a shoebox, you ask? Well, take a few minutes and let Uncle Si help you out.
Remember, you can make a difference in the life of a child. Invest a few minutes and a few dollars, and share the Gospel with a child.
Boxes can be dropped off at Fruit Cove Baptist Church in the church office.
Drop Off Times:
- Tuesday, November 18: 9 am – 5 pm
- Wednesday. November 19: 9 am – 5 pm & before & after Wednesday night activities (outside the worship center)
- Thursday, November 20: 9 am – 5 pm
- Friday, November 21: 9 am – 12 Noon
- Saturday, November 22: 10 am – 2 pm
- Sunday , November 23: Before and after each morning worship service (outside the worship center)
It’s all about perspective, isn’t it? How we view the circumstances, both good and bad, that come to our lives turns on perspective.
Whether a situation is received as preparation or punishment is a matter of our perspective. The trials and traumas of our lives also are seen through a lens called perspective.
What if you were offered the possibility of living the rest of your life pain free, trouble free, tear free with one condition. For a millisecond, you would experience excruciating pain but then you would not be able to remember it? Would you sign up for such a deal? No more pain? Sorrow? Weeping? Difficulty? Sounds too good to be true? Think about this with perspective.
You already have a better deal than that…if you’re a believer in Jesus. For a millisecond, (for some, 70 years or 90…for others less than that) you are experiencing pain, trials, sorrows, suffering…some excruciating. But then, what do we get? An eternity where there is no pain, neither sorrow or crying, for the former things (the pain) have passed away. (Read Revelation 21:6) The pain…the tears… the sorrow pass away even (I believe) from our memories!! The millisecond of life on earth compared to the unending reality of eternity is “not worthy to be compared” to what lies ahead for the believer.
Do you understand? PERSPECTIVE makes pain endurable, sorrow and suffering tolerable, tears no longer terrible. “The former things will pass away.” And all that will be left is…
Today begins a month of commitment to the Giving Beyond Ourselves 3 campaign. Once again, you have or will receive a commitment card. We want each church member to pray about their part of this campaign. Some, frankly, may not be able to do as much. Some can do much more than others.
My desire is to hear SOMETHING from every individual and family. Maybe it’s a relatively minor commitment financially. For others, your commitment may be to pray for the ongoing effort to eliminate our debt. As we give to Giving Beyond Ourselves 3 we are giving to help move toward lowering our debt to free us for the next level that God is calling us to participate in. Your gift may be a one time gift. It may be a weekly or monthly commitment.
I hope, as you have been a part of this, that you may choose to move to the next level of giving on a weekly or monthly basis. So many have been deeply committed to helping us get beyond by giving beyond ourselves. We are blessing Kingdom work and Kingdom purposes as we do this.
Please pray about your part. As we Give Beyond Ourselves in this campaign, we can give more of ourselves to God’s Kingdom and the harvest to which He has called us. Thank you for your genuine consideration and your generosity that will result in thanksgiving to the Father. I pray God’s richest grace to abound to you as you obey Him in this important campaign!