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Pastor’s Pen
 

 

General Baptist, as a group of churches, hold up ten statements of faith that we believe unify our movement and express our core beliefs. This month, we will focus on the ninth statement that reads as follows, “We believe in the sanctity of the Lord’s Day, the first day of the week, and that this day ought to be observed by worshiping God, witnessing for Christ, and ministering to the needs of humanity. We believe that secular work on Sunday should be limited to cases of necessity or mercy.” It is clear, from this statement, that General Baptist believe that Sunday is unlike any other day of the week because it has been “set apart” as a day of worship. But, why did this happen? And, why is it important at all?

Lets address the second question first. The need for a Sabbath predates the Law of Moses or any other rule of religion. We discover, in the story of God’s creation, that in six days God created all things that were made including humankind and then on the seventh day rested. Did God do this because He was exhausted after all the work He had done? The answer is, “of course not” our God does not need a rest. Our God rested because we need to rest! The command to keep the Sabbath that was given as one of the “Ten Commandments” was not for God’s benefit, but for ours. Jesus said, “Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man.” That is, for our benefit. It is not good for people to live without rest or refreshment. God gave the law of Sabbath rest after the people were rescued from bondage in Egypt, in part, to show the world that they were no longer slaves. Slaves have no choice. They must work seven days a week if their master requires it. But, you and I are not slaves unless we enslave ourselves. For people under the Law, our Saturday was their Sabbath day. There were rules and laws that governed what people could or could not do on the Sabbath Day. For Christians, Sunday is our day of worship and refreshment. It is unlike any other day of the week. We gather to worship on Sunday because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday. Also, the birthday of the Church which was on the day of Pentecost, happened on Sunday. Also, the book of Revelation says that the Lord appeared to His servant John on the “Lord’s Day”. So, very early in the Christian movement, we find followers of Jesus meeting on the “Lord’s Day”.

There has been in recent years, a trend towards downplaying the importance of Sunday worship. Thirty years ago we had “blue laws” that forbid businesses to open on Sunday. The only exceptions were gas stations, restaurants, and essential services. Now, those laws are gone and in their place we have endless choices as to what to do and where to go on Sunday. Many of the people who attend our Church are required to work on Sunday. I wish it was not so. Sunday is still a special day when Christians all around the world gather to worship. When I attend Church and Sunday school on Sunday, I am in solidarity with millions of other Christians all around the world. It also serves as a testimony to my friends, family, neighbors and co-workers that I am a Jesus follower and believe that worship with other believers is important. I am fully aware of the truth that some among us must work on Sunday and miss that opportunity to assemble and worship with other believers. I am also aware of the social pressures our culture applies on all of us to conform. Sunday can become “family day” or “laundry day” or “fun day”, but remember this, in the Bible it is called “The Lord’s Day”. I believe it still is and we should decide to keep it holy. So, I hope to meet and worship with you on this “Lord’s Day”.

 

See You Sunday!

 

Oren

 

 

 

May 

Nursery And Ushers Schedule

 

Nursery

 

8:30am                                Sunday School                          10:45am

07 – Janice Gray                  07 – Heather Dias                        07 – Helen

14 – Denise Reese              14 – Carla Denton                        14 – Alisha Jones

21 – Cindy Williams             21 – Millie Pellham                       21 – Nance Swofford

28 – Courtney Collins          28 – Helen                                    28 – Lyndsey Reese

 

 

Users

8:30am Service                                                            10:45am Service

 07 – Rick Miller                                                               07 – Jackie Holman

        Roger Barlow                                                                  Dale Davis

        Mike McMaster                                                                Dave Harper

        Paul Kester                                                                      Ronnie Norman

14 – Brent Lakey                                                               14 – David Denton

        Denny Roberts                                                                 Eugene Jones

        Jim Voyles                                                                        Jr. Heriford

        Bob Sterling                                                                      Kenny Wilson

21 – Jon Schaff                                                                  21 – Leonard Thompson

        Keith Pellham                                                                   Jim Billingsley

        Burrley Loftin                                                                     Chris Sims

        Nick Key                                                                            Jackie Holman

28 – Bud Everett                                                                  28 – Dale Davis

        Rick Miller                                                                           Dave Harper

        Roger Barlow                                                                      Ronnie Norman

        Mike McMaster                                                                    David Denton

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     May is Here! And so is the start to yet another season packed with opportunities for us to serve our Lord in this wonderful community.

                  I’d like to wish a happy early Mother’s Day to all the mothers in our congregation! As I think about both my mother and observe Lyndsey as a mother, I notice one thing: it’s a very tough, and sometimes underappreciated, position! But thank you for your commitment to your family and the Lord.

                  April showers will surely bring more flowers in May, as we have already enjoyed the early bloomers during April. Lyndsey, Emmalynn and I will soon be planting our small garden and summer will be in full swing. But there’s something we have to watch as we kick off this growing season: weeds. Oh, those dreaded things. I remember my grandparents and parents tending their large family garden growing up in central Illinois, and one thing we had to constantly watch every growing season were those dreaded, annoying, and unwanted weeds.

Our walk with God is the exact same way! In both the Old and New Testaments we are warned to examine ourselves. (Lamentations 3:40 & 2 Corinthians 13:5) What do we examine ourselves for?  Weeds.  Weeds such as: “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,

20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” (Galatians 5:19-21)

No matter what role we play in our church: Sunday school teacher, small group leader, choir singer, musician, pastor, deacon, children’s church worker, Wednesday night youth leader, tech worker, trustee, nursery worker, someone who serves our mourning families by bringing food during their time of loss, or any other serving position through our church, we all must be a disciple in order to make disciples. That means being constantly on guard against weeds that show up in our spiritual lives. What has crept up in your life? What weed do you need Jesus to pull from among you?
 
         Another aspect of spiritual gardening is that we cannot tend to our garden alone. We need God. And we need each other! Sometimes we need a brother or sister in Christ to point out our weeds for us. We need the accountability. We need to be in Bible studies, attending services, and to be in fellowship with God and one another in order to grow strong in our faith!  I’m thankful to be serving alongside you in this community to spread the light of Jesus so others can grow as well!
 
If you are not currently serving in the church or are interested in serving elsewhere, let Oren or me know and we will find a ministry for you.
 
Tim

 

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