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Operation Christmas Child
Thursday, August 13, 2020 - Thursday, October 15, 2020

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD  The tradition continues Plans are being made to have three outdoor shoebox-packing parties in the fall for Operation Christmas Child...

 
 

 

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Jonah
Sep 15, 2020
As I read through Jonah 3, studied it, and consulted commentaries on this chapter, God made me aware of all that was going on in this chapter. The Warren Wiersbe Bible Commentary has helped me understand so much of the Bible and often times when he shares an illustration or gives an explanation, the light seems to go off and I understand it better. I am thankful for his work and thankful the Lord uses it in my life to help me learn and understand the Bible better. I don’t mention that to praise anyone but God, I just always want to be careful to acknowledge and give credit to those that have helped me learn and point me to Christ. I would like to share some of the things that I have learned. To have a better understanding of what I have written below, I challenge you to stop and read Jonah 3.I hope it blesses you like it blessed me.
 
God met Jonah
  • We know that wherever Jonah was, God was there also
  •  I heard a statement once that stuck with me, “God is more concerned about His workers than He is about their work, for if the workers are what they ought to be, the work will be what it ought to be”
  •  Throughout Jonah’s rebellion, the Lord was displeased with Him but He never left Him
  •  It was God who controlled the storm, prepared the great fish, and rescued Jonah from the deep.
  •  His promise is the same to us, “I will never leave you or forsake you” Hebrews 13:5
  • “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” Isaiah 43:2
 
God Spoke to Jonah
  • After Jonah had turned His back on God it was a wonder that the Lord spoke to him at all
  • He wouldn’t listen to God’s Word so God got his attention another way
  •  But now that Jonah had confessed his sins and turned back to the Lord, God could once again speak to Him through His Word.
  • That’s how God speaks to all of us is through His Word
  •  Warren Wiersbe said, “One of the tests of our relationship with God is, Does God speak to me through His Word? If we don’t hear God speaking to us in our hearts, maybe we have some unfinished business to be settled with Him”
 
God commissioned Jonah
  • “The victorious Christian life, is a series of new beginnings.” Said George Morrison
  • When we fall, the enemy wants us to believe that our ministry is over and there is no hope for recovery
  • But our God is the God of 2nd chances (read vs 1)
  • Micah 7:8 says “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a Light to me”
  • How great that the Lord forgives us even when we’ve blown it bad
 
Look at these examples in the Bible:
  1. Abraham fled to Egypt, where he lied about his wife, but God gave him another chance.
  2. Jacob lied to his father, Isaac, but God restored him and used him to build the nation of Israel.
  3. Moses killed a man (probably in self-defense) and fled from Egypt, but God called him to be the leader of His people.
  4. Peter denied the Lord three times, but Jesus forgave him and said, “Follow me”
**No matter how bad we’ve blown it God still wants to use us**
**The enemy uses our past failures to attack us and tell us we aren’t good enough**
 
God challenged Jonah
  • Nineveh was a very powerful city about 600,000 people, great wealth and a fierce army
  • Nineveh was great in sin, for the Assyrians were known far and wide for their violence, showing no mercy to their enemies. They impaled live victims on sharp poles, leaving them to roast to death in the desert sun; they beheaded people by the thousands and stacked their skulls up in piles by the city gates; and they even skinned people alive. They respected neither age nor sex and followed a policy of killing babies and young children so they wouldn’t have to care for them.
 
  • Can you imagine God calling you to a place like this?
  • We would say today…well God they aren’t going to hear your Word. There is no need in me even going
  • We forget so easily that God does the work He just asks us to be faithful!
  • The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God can’t keep you and the power of God can’t use you. “And who is sufficient for these things? … Our sufficiency is of God” 2 Cor. 2:16; 3:5
 
Message & Repentance
So, what did Jonah tell them?
  • It doesn’t go into great detail but in vs 4 he tells them that judgement is coming to them.
  • vs 5 says the people of Nineveh believed God
  • What Jonah thought, and probably anybody else that knew the wickedness of Nineveh thought, could never be done, was done by God. He called the people to repentance and they answered
  • They turned from their wicked ways and turned to God
  • God used Jonah, who ran and didn’t want to do this, to deliver the message.
 
What is the point of it all?
  1. God will never leave us no matter what, He is always with His children
  2.  God uses us when we mess up, but that is not an ok to go ahead and mess up.
  3. What God calls us to do is not always going to be easy. In fact, it may seem impossible but we must put our faith in God and believe He can accomplish anything.
  4. People are never too far gone and God wants to use us to deliver His message
  5. God will give you the message regardless of how you feel about those who you are sharing with or how you feel about yourself.
  6. God does the work. There is power in His Word, not our words or wisdom
 
Jarod

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Geraniums
Sep 14, 2020

I was looking out my kitchen window at the geraniums that had been so pretty when I first got them. No longer did they have the big pink and red blooms that once were so beautiful. I had watered them and tried to care for the, but slowly, the blooms died and no new ones took their place. All at once, I realized that it had been a while since they had been fed some nutrients. I ran out of Bloom Buster and forgot to buy more. Wanting to have those pretty blooms again became a serious goal. I made sure that I watered regularly with the newly bought fertilizer that was advertised to promote BIG blooms… I couldn’t wait. Soon my commitment and dedication paid off and I had beautiful pink and red blooms to enjoy.

As I was looking out the window this morning at my pretty flowers, I thought about how I could apply this story about my flowers to my spiritual growth. When I get lazy with the things that nourish and feed my spiritual growth, I suffer. My life doesn’t reflect the beauty of Christ living inside me when that happens. I was reminded how important it is to intentionally “feed” and nourish my spiritual life. Some of the things that do that for me are:

Daily Bible Study
A commitment to prayer and intercession
Worshiping with my church family
Serving others
Listening to uplifting Christian music
Remembering to be grateful

Belinda

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Allasso Ministry
Aug 26, 2020
Jennie was a junior at UNA majoring in nursing in the fall of 2004. Life as a single divorced mom was a struggle for her and her 4 year old daughter, Molly. They lived in a Section 8 apartment, received Food Stamps, and Molly was on Medicaid. Juggling a part time job, school, and being a single mom were overwhelming to her, but she was determined to complete her education because she knew this would be the opportunity for her and Molly to have a better life, in addition to her desire to help other people through nursing. However, in the fall of 2005, she felt as if she hit a brick wall. She was notified that Westway Child Development Center, where Molly attended at the cost of $30.00 per week was closing due to financial difficulties. She felt all her dreams crashing down because she was barely surviving on part time work and student loans. How could she possibly continue with child care more than double the amount she currently paid?
 
Meanwhile, the social services committee (now Personal Ministries) at Woodmont Baptist Church had been discussing for some time how the crisis ministry often felt like they were “putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.” They wanted to be a part of changing lives for the long term. One of the members of the committee was on the board of the Westway Child Development Center and was made aware of Jennie’s plight and her desperation. The committee decided to put their idea to work and instituted a pilot program to determine if they could help change lives through a different approach. The ministry was named Allasso which is a Greek word found six times in the New Testament (Acts 6:14, Romans 1:23, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, Galatians 4:20, and Hebrews 1:12) which means “to change; to exchange one thing for another; to transform.” (KJV and NAS New Testament Greek Lexicons) Their desire was to change a lifestyle of poverty and dependency to one of independence and financial self-sufficiency while showing God’s love through tangible ways. The class taught by Tommy Pirkle, Kay Parker and Patrick Daugherty agreed to “adopt” this family and help Jennie achieve her goals. They paid the difference in child care of $50.00 per week, paid some utility bills, and purchased some school clothes for Molly. They also provided some weekend child care when Jennie’s mother was not available. In December, 2006, Jennie was awarded her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from UNA. She obtained jobs in two hospital emergency rooms, which was her passion, and within six months they no longer received food stamps, Section 8 housing, or any government assistance. (The names have been changed but the story is real).
 
Having found real hope in this approach, the committee was determined to engage other Sunday School classes, groups, and families to help other people to achieve their goals based on the belief that education or job training is the means to change poverty to independence while providing an awesome opportunity to share Christ’s love and salvation to make a difference for eternity. Allasso is a ministry of accountability. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, send a copy of their grades at the end of the semester and their class schedule for the following semester. Mentoring is also available by the Personal Ministries Director and the supporting BSC class as needed in areas of budgeting, counseling, and encouragement, as well as prayer and spiritual support.
 
Since 2006, Allasso has assisted 32 students in achieving their chosen degrees by providing utilities, rent, gas vouchers, tuition, books, computers, child care, car payments, car insurance, and car repairs. Students have received a GED, high school diploma, certificates, and associate, bachelors, and masters degrees. Some of the majors included nursing, social work, welding (both females!) industrial hygiene, dental hygienist, accounting and cosmetology. Several others have attempted to get a college degree but were unsuccessful in completing it for various reasons. We can only pray that we helped make a difference in their lives physically and spiritually.
 
Allasso is such an exciting facet of Personal Ministries. If your BSC class or family would like to be a part of this ministry and help change lives or would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at (256) 766-1255 Ext. 12. We currently have seven young ladies who are working hard to obtain various degrees. You can be a part of helping them achieve their goals and possibly their eternity destiny.
       
Becky

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Quarentine Life
Aug 19, 2020

When the quarantine began back in March, I have to admit that Kelly and I really enjoyed the first several weeks of doing nothing. It brought a calmness and slowness to life that never seemed possible. Now there were things we missed for sure, but the time to “stop and smell the roses” was refreshing. You see for us life has always moved at a fast pace. We’ve always said we needed to do less and just enjoy more time together as a family unscheduled, but expectations of family, church and culture have always pushed us to do more.

Now after five months of our new normal with no real end in sight we find ourselves craving activity and relationships. I don’t know about your kids, but mine are tired of their parents. And sometimes we (the parents) are tired of them. Maybe you can relate?

As I have thought about our life before COVID and our life now the question comes to me, What will we do if and when life goes back to normal, if such a thing even exists? The word that comes to mind is balance. And the scripture that comes to mind is Micah 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” 

At the end of the day our relationship with Jesus Christ and how we share His love with one another are all that really matters. As life returns to some semblance of normal let us resist the pressure to fill our lives with meaningless activity and things that will only distract us from the One who truly matters.

Ryan

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Hess's Headlines August
Aug 12, 2020
Dear Church,
 
If I could be honest with you, I’m uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable with so many decisions being made, the things I see on the news, the weight of leadership, all things covid related, the social unrest, the politics, and I have great concern for each of you, the living stones built up into the household of God. However, if I’m honest, I also read in the Word of God about many uncomfortable times, situations, seasons, and circumstances that God used in marvelous ways to bring about His purposes and His plan. Times when God intervened and leveraged “what was meant for evil, God used for good.” (Genesis 50:20). Here are a few examples of uncomfortable from the Word of God:
 
       Joseph
  • Rejected by his family; his own flesh and blood
  • A victim of human trafficking; Sold into slavery
  • A victim of character assassination
  • A prisoner; forgotten by those he assisted
  • Lived through an uncomfortable famine
  • Yet, he encourages his brothers that sold him into slavery to not be angry with themselves, for God used all of this to save their lives and many others.
 
        Moses
  • An abandoned baby left in the Nile to avoid...
  • An murderous government that wanted to kill him and many other babies
  • A man with a physical defect in his speaking ability
  • A murderer
  • A refugee that fled after committing a gruesome crime and covering up his tracks
  • His requests were ignored and dismissed by the government officials
  • Yet, he is called the most humble man to live and met with the Lord face to face as in Exodus 33.
 
         Daniel
  • A victim of human trafficking – kidnapped to Babylon
  • A victim of attempted cultural and moral brainwashing in a new land
  • A victim of religious persecution for the simple act of praying – his friends were thrown into a fire and he was thrown into a lion’s den
  • A person who watched drastic political change from King Nebuchadnezzar to King Darius
  • Yet, God used him and his friends to change the decrees of kings, shut the mouth of lions, and remain a faithful remnant in times of exile.
 
         John the Baptist
  • A faithful preacher; but rejected by many because of his radical commitment to live outside the city and dress different than others
  • Sent to prison for “hate speech” against an unbelieving ruler practicing immorality
  • Ultimately executed by a government of nepotism in fulfillment of a birthday wish for one of the ruler’s family members
  • Yet, the Holy Spirit was with him from birth and he was used mightily to point people to Jesus Christ – He baptized Jesus and Jesus said of him, “there is no one greater than John.”
 
         Paul
  • At one time, he was approved by government officials and religious officials as one to complete their missions – He was a favorite of these institutions of his day
  • He fell out of favor because Paul encountered Jesus while traveling
  • A victim of five vicious beatings by a religious group – “five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews”
  • A person beaten with rods and was once stoned in Lystra
  • Survivor of three uncomfortable shipwrecks
  • “On frequent journeys, {Paul} faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, and dangers among false brothers; toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and without clothing.”
  • Yet, the Lord used him in the uncomfortable, often in prison, to write many books of the New Testament under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He planted churches, won people to Christ, and lead many revival meetings and caused many riots in various cities. 
 
       Jesus
  • Never did anything wrong
  • Hated by his brothers and his countrymen
  • Despised by many of the religious leaders and government officials
  • Never did anything wrong
  • Some of those he healed never said thank you
  • A victim of character assassination and accused of being: a demon, a glutton, a drunk, a fool, crazy, and Satan.
  • A victim of corrupt court systems
  • Convicted of crimes he never committed
  • Sentenced to die; the cruelest death invented or imaginable
  • Unmercifully mocked, beaten, tortured, and questioned
  • Never did anything wrong
  • Yet, God worked through all the evil and all of Jesus’ discomfort to bring about our salvation in His righteousness, through His cross, and in the power of His resurrection. 
 
May we not miss what God does in the uncomfortable. I’m often tired, frustrated, indecisive, weary, but then I read His Word. I see His faithfulness. I marvel at His timing, His purposes, His provision. And then and there – I rest. I find the comfort. I rejoice in a God who is in control and working all things for our good and His glory. 
 
In Christ,
 
Chad

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