Woodmont Baptist Church exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ from all generations who will make disciples of all nations in all generations for God’s glory.

 

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Diligent or Lazy
Jan 19, 2022
I think I’ve used the Shema here before as a prompt for connecting with the church through the newsletter, but to be fair, for thousands of years Jewish people were to repeat this same passage daily. So, I hope you’ll forgive me if I’ve been redundant. I cannot think of a better time of the year to establish a game plan for household worship.
 
“Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I’ve commanded you this day shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise. And you shall bind them as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9, ESV (Emphasis added)
 
First, I want to acknowledge that some of the greatest influencers in the next generation's lives are not their parents, so if you do not have children, I believe this verse still applies to the entire church. I believe this because it was declared to all the children of Israel as they gathered.
 
One phrase stands out to me at this goal-setting time of the year. “You shall teach them diligently...”
 
To be honest, in an effort to remain connected and not feel I’ve ever shamed anyone (myself included) I tend to connect with parents by providing the easiest route of discipleship in the home. By saying, "even if you don’t have a formal time, at least try this or that." But, let’s take a moment to confess. If we are not doing this diligently in the home, then we are doing this wrong.
 
A few poignant synonyms for diligent include: rigorous, careful, exacting, persevering, committed, active, driven, hard-working, constant, careful, tireless, thorough, dedicated...
 
Antonyms for the same: lazy or casual
 
In your homes or in your relationships, are you teaching the words the Lord has given through His Word diligently? Even if your home is just yourself right now, how diligently are you focusing on His commands?
 
The encouragement I find is that we are a community, a family of faith. We’re all in this together, just as the Israelites heard this command together in a community setting. Spur one another on in this. I love the model provided right here within the Shema, to talk of them when you sit in your house, go down the road, when you’re getting up and going to bed! Four very natural times for every human life. I also think, at the start of a new year is a great time to establish what family worship will be like. Will your family read or pray the Word together along with the church’s plan? Will you learn a new hymn every month? Will you serve together? Will you memorize certain verses together? Lazy or casual would not create a plan; but diligent would.
 
I’ve just begun training for a marathon I will complete before my 30th birthday later this year, if the Lord allows. The hilarious irony is that a decade ago, I posted on Facebook that I was beginning to train for a marathon. I do not even recall ever intending to run a marathon before. And I certainly didn’t train with intention, register for one, or finish a marathon. I know that myself at that age had great high hopes and no rigor, no planning, no diligence to get it done. On the contrary, I have mapped out this year of running pretty thoroughly and know when I’ll be running each long run and am a month into following the plan. I know which race I want to run and when to register. Of course, just like with spiritual disciplines, there are many plans out there already created. I just had to find one, write it down, and show up to do it. The question is – will you find or create a plan for family discipleship, and will you stick to it?
 
As it’s often been said, freedom comes through discipline. I’m praying for all of the Believers at Woodmont to start the year disciplined in order to find freedom to share faith and live a godly life. Within the context of families, to discover the freedom to have Biblical spiritual conversations regularly with the family and in the community.
 
Hope Murphy

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Rest
Jan 12, 2022
Well, here we are in January 2022. The excitement and joy of the Christmas season is past; our beautiful snow gave us a winter wonderland for a couple of days, which was followed by rain, which left us with mud, lots of mud. I don’t know about you, but I’ve enjoyed a few fires, roasted a few marshmallows, and now I’m through “enjoying” winter and ready for April in all of its glory. Nope, not a winter person at all! I kind of go dormant from about November - March. But this last week as I was coming down my driveway looking at the “dead” trees, brown grass and bushes that just look like a clump of sticks, I was feeling a bit grumpy in my spirit. However, I’m trying to focus on the positive, even in winter, and it was as if God spoke to me and said, “They’re not dead. They are just resting!” As I pondered this idea, it occurred to me how we all can use that concept in our own lives. How important rest is for our bodies, minds, and spirits.
 
Rest is defined as “ceasing work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” This is important for each of us as we care for our bodies and minds. However, rest in the scriptures is a much deeper concept. In Psalm 37:7 we are told to “Be still (or rest) before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Resting in the Lord involves a spiritual rest from worry, stress, confusion and human effort. It involves a total trust in and reliance on God, a complete surrender to the Lord. Only in this type of relationship with God, by dwelling in His presence, can we find the peace that comes with this type of rest. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for you souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” As we rest in the Lord, we can take everything to Him in prayer – all our burdens, fears, anxieties, and problems. As we do this while we abide in God’s presence, He promises in Philippians 4:6-7 to give us a supernatural, incomprehensible peace to guard our hearts and minds. So as nature rests for a season, may we find rest in Him as we abide in Him in every season, every moment of our lives here on earth, and then for eternity.
 
Becky Daugherty

Our Blog

First Snow
Jan 05, 2022
Sunday evening the first snow of the new year fell in the Shoals. It created a beautiful white blanket over almost everything. Trees, grass, automobiles' roofs were all covered with ice and snow. It took several minutes Monday morning to get the ice and snow off of my windshield. But I still enjoyed the winter event. As I looked out my window at the snow this morning I am reminded of the Isaiah 1:18 verse.  
Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”  
 
I am reminded as this new year begins of God’s forgiveness and redemptive work that changes the crimson red sin of my life and heart to be white and pure as snow. By reasoning together with God, through the study of His Word and prayer, we can know and walk with God. Just like Enoch did in Genesis 5. What an awesome truth.  
I am enjoying the Bible readings each day that our church fellowship has been encouraged to do. Using my Bible app I am able to listen to the scriptures being read aloud as I follow along with the text. It’s a new and different way for me to get into His word. I challenge you to get into God’s word in a new and deeper way this year.  
A few months ago I was diagnosed with early stage of Leukemia MDS. Thank you for your encouragement and prayer support. I am taking medication for my low platelet levels, and am a bit tired at times, but holding up well. I will have a bone marrow biopsy later this month. Trusting Him in the days ahead.  
 
Under His grace,
 
Steve  

Our Blog

Hess's Headlines 12/28/21
Jan 03, 2022
Dear Woodmont,
 
What a year! As we look now to enter into 2022, some will be timid in their expectations for a new year. Over the last two years, we have now learned to enter cautiously, expecting the unexpected instead of setting lofty goals or resolutions. The month of January is named after the Roman god Janus, who is depicted as a man with two faces. One of his faces looks to the future, while the other looks behind. A new year provides us with the opportunity to look back and then take what we have learned and look ahead.
As we look back in 2021, we can see God’s hand of blessing and faithfulness to Woodmont Baptist Church. New members have continued to come and invest themselves in the work of God through the local church. The Lord has been faithful to bring new opportunities to serve the local community. For example, recently there was a story told to me about a family that had to find refuge at SafePlace, a local shelter for victims of domestic violence. There was a young adolescent boy in the family that found release through playing basketball. By the Lord’s grace, the men’s ministry of Woodmont had put up a basketball goal at the shelter for such situations. Another example: did you know that there is a Bible Study Connection group that provides birthday care packages for every single student in a local elementary school? When a child has a birthday, they are sure to receive a birthday blessing because a class is intentional with the mission of God through the local church. 2021 also allowed Woodmont the opportunity to partner with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a ministry providing beds for children in our area. On March 12, 2022, the people at Woodmont will build 50 beds. The Lord has planted many discipleship groups, using them to rekindle a desire for the Lord, His Word, and revival. The Lord also allowed us to raise the goal for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering significantly to ensure that missionaries around the world are still equipped with the resources they need to share the gospel. Your faithfulness in the Lord also provided many Bibles for a drug rehab facility in our area that will help spiritual recovery and healing to take place through the living and active Word of God. Your ministry fed those in jail and ministered to those in their lowest moments. The Lord allowed us to establish a new staff position for 2022, a pastor of missions and discipleship that will continue to build opportunities for people to serve and be discipled in Jesus Christ. While many faced difficult challenges, they were met with the comfort of the body of Christ through their trials. In fact, I would summarize 2021 as one of the most challenging, and yet, incredible years I have ever experienced in Christian leadership.
 
That is what makes our start to 2022 so important. You see, I believe that when the church is mobilized for the mission of God, when the Lord has blessed His church with His resources, and when the church is taking seriously the Great Commission, I believe that the enemy, Satan, is not just sitting idle. In fact, I believe that the adversary, the Devil, would love to attack Woodmont, to divide Woodmont, and to destroy every effort the Lord is accomplishing through His people. His attacks are not always bold and easy to see, the enemy may simply distract us or make us comfortable. That is why 2022’s Bible reading plan and prayer guide is so significant. This will help us read the Word, pray the Word, and unite the church! My prayer is that a revival breaks out like in the days of King Josiah as they listened to the Lord and worshipped. My prayer is that we will be fully equipped in the armor of the Lord just as Ephesians 6 commands. My prayer is that we would be alert and able to see the enemy prowling around like a lion looking for one to devour. More than seeing the enemy clearly, reading the Word and praying the Word will help us to unite under God’s calling to do His work for His glory. I look forward to seeing how God will mobilize His people to serve, how He will use those gifted in teaching to equip, how He will call us to go and where He will send His church in 2022. As we build beds, build discipleship, and build on His work of the Great Commission, I pray that you will be looking forward to 2022 as well!
 
Happy New Year!
 
Chad Hess

Our Blog

O Holy Night
Dec 22, 2021
O Holy Night is a much loved and requested Christmas song. The Woodmont Worship Choir & Orchestra presented it at this year's A Woodmont Christmas.
 
In 1843, Placide Cappeau wrote a Christmas poem at the request of a parish priest in Roquemaure, France to celebrate the renovation of the church organ. That same year Adolphe Adam composed the music and the song premiered in 1847 in Roquemaure, France.
 
John Sullivan Dwight discovered the song and translated it into English in 1855 with some modifications, and its popularity grew in the United States. An abolitionist, Dwight especially loved the third verse, “chains shall He break for the slave is our brother; and in His name all oppression shall cease.”
 
The song was eventually banned in France because its author became a socialist. However, it continued to be sung by the people and has found its place as one of the most beloved Christmas songs of all time.
 
Several years ago I attended a worship conference and the speaker was talking about this song. He referenced a phrase that I was obviously familiar with but had never really thought about. The phrase was, “Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.” And the speaker asked, “When was the last time your soul felt its worth?”
 
This fallen world we live in can badly beat us up. At times it’s of our own doing because of the choices we make, and other times it’s the circumstances we find ourselves in because sin is all around us. No matter what direction it comes from, we can feel worthless and in some ways we are…But God.
 
In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus tell us, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (ESV) Your heavenly Father loves you! In John 3:16, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
 
This Christmas season understand the great sacrifice God made for you. He loves you more than you know or understand. May your soul feel and know it’s worth in Christ this Christmas.
 
Ryan Leffel, Worship Pastor

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