Music: The Rhythm of Our Lives

by Rev Robert A Wendel

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the psaltery and the harp.”
“With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.”

Psalm 150:3 (KJV); Colossians 3:17 (NRSV)

I used to wonder why my parents and their friends went into moments of joy whenever they heard big-band tunes like “String of Pearls” or “Sing, Sing, Sing”. I like them too. Music in my generation included rock-n-roll, the British invasion, folk music and protest songs. The point here is that each generation has its own favorite music.

Church worship hymns span the decades. When I hear “The Church’s One Foundation”, I am reminded of the small churches where I grew up. Hymns like “Holy, Holy, Holy” take me back to any of the four congregations I was privileged to pastor. When it comes to the holidays, the seven days of Easter Week have their own handful of memory hymns which no yearly commemoration can do without. Hymns like these have connected worshipping congregations for hundreds of years. They are passed down from grandparents to grandchildren. Each hymn tells a part of the story about Jesus Christ. We learn them during our grade school days and carry them along from season to season without ever needing to look at the words in our hymnals.

Hopefully more of us will be able to gather in church during this Easter season. Remember, each spring we are obligated to remember Christ and let the joy of the music touch our hearts.

“According to survey data, there are more than three times the number of self-identifying conservation congregations in the U.S. than liberal churches. Conservatives make up nearly half of the nation’s churches, 15% identify as liberal… and 39% report they stand in the middle of the political spectrum…Black Protestants have taken the lead in reviving the liberal traditions of Christianity.”
Christian Science Monitor, March 8, 2021 p. 11

ABW Ministries Here at FBC

For the past year even though our ABW ladies have not been meeting in person, they are still hard at work.   They have two projects ongoing.  The first is our Quarters for Grades project for Weirton Christian Center and the second is our used postage stamp mission project.  These projects have been part of the ABW for quite a few years.   There is a box on the counter in the office for your used postage stamps.  Donations for the Quarters for Grades project can be turned into the church office.    The ladies are anxious to get back to meeting in person for their monthly meetings and helping with the ABW projects.

Backpacks and Springtime

Spring is finally here with a few warm days and spring showers. I am sure our Backpack

Ministry children are thankful to be able to play outside once again. Last fall we were given about 500 jars of peanut butter from Helping Hands. While doing inventory recently we found over 150 jars would expire before we could use them. With help from Debbie V. we learned that Fairdale Freewill Baptist could use some peanut butter for their Backpack program. We donated 160 jars to them for their children. They were grateful to receive the donation and we were blessed by sharing our bounty.

We are continuing to pack food bags for our children weekly and delivering them to Beckley Elementary School. Thanks everyone for all your prayers and support to this ministry. May God Bless You!

For the month of April, please donate fruit cups.

The Power of a Shoebox

As winter finally leaves and spring is officially here, Samaritan’s Purse is continuing to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to children around the world through the power of a shoebox. These boxes were filled last year with love and contain items such as school supplies, personal items, a small toy and a stuffed animal. Through your donations last year, we packed over 100 shoeboxes to help in this mission. This month we are asking for small stuffed animals (and I mean small enough to put in a shoebox). A good idea is to check the after Easter sales and find some stuffed rabbits or chicks. (Just a suggestion). There is a collection box in the Welcome Center for your donations. Please keep Samaritan’s Purse in your prayers as they continue to mission to spread the name of Jesus to children around the world.

Helping Hands: It’s getting warmer!

Now that the temperatures are gradually warming up, Helping Hands is continuing to lend a hand with food and clothing to those less fortunate in Beckley and Raleigh County. We are taking clothing donations at Helping Hands on Tuesday’s only and we’re asking for spring and summer clothing in good condition. We are also collecting non-perishable food items, toilet paper, bar soap and canned food. These items can either be taken directly to Helping Hands or left in the black container outside the church office.

Through some generous donations and grants, we have been able to update some of our freezers and refrigerators. This was a necessary purchase as some of our equipment was quite old. We thank God for these donations so that we can continue our mission.

We are always in need of volunteers. We are open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 AM until noon. So if you can spare a few hours a week, contact Edna Nasby and she will be more than willing to find a spot for you. As always, continue to keep us in your prayers.

FBC’s Blessing Box

We have started a new mission project here at the church and there’s a way you can lend a hand. We have a new blessing box located on the college side of the building out by Neville Street to help those in need. This box will be filled daily with ready to eat food items as well as some personal items for both men and women. If you would like to help, there is a collection box located outside the pastor’s office and items can be left there. Please keep these people in your prayers daily as they struggle.

ABW Events

Register now for
Women’s Day

Let the Walls Fall Down
Derribando Las Barreras

Saturday, June 12, 2021
1:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) is hosting our first Women and Girls’ Virtual Weekend on June 11-12, 2021. On Friday, June 11, 2021, at 8:00 PM EDT, ABWM hosts our first virtual Gala.

On Saturday, June 12, 2021, at 1:00 PM EDT, our biennial Women’s Day program will be held. Women and girls from across the country and Puerto Rico will gather via Zoom for Women’s Day. Our theme is “Let the Walls Fall Down/Derribando Las Barreras,” based on Ephesians 2:14 NIV.

Register Now for Women’s Day! Registration fee is $50; $65 after May 1, 2021.

The Power that Keeps Us Turning in the Right Direction

by Pastor Doc Adkins

“And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30

Just some weeks ago I was traveling on I-64 E coming back into Beckley and as I passed the Erma Byrd Center I notice that the big windmill beside it was spinning around like crazy. The wind was just “whipping “through the air that day and boy did the windmill cut a shine!

Then not long ago I saw a little girl with a colorful pinwheel. She seemed intrigued at watching it and waving it around to get the blades to turn. I amused myself at watching her get it going really good and the use her finger to stop it. It surely did keep her attention. You remember the pinwheel from our youth, we all had one and how much fun it would be watching the colors fly by as the wind blew the blades and we used every imaginable thing we could to stop the blades and then start over again.

Most of us know that pinwheels or windmills don’t just spin around on their own volition. There has to be a wind source of some kind. You have to blow on it with your own breath or take it outside and allow the wind to move it. (Just a thought of from days gone by, “don’t stick your pinwheel out of the car window unless you hang on to it really tightly”…just a lesson learned).

Of course pinwheels and windmills won’t spin around on their own strength. That’s just like us as Christians. We can’t spin around on our own either. We need God’s strength and power.

Sadly, some of us try to spin around in our own strength anyway but we are not getting very far. Some of us have got some things stuck in our blades that are blocking our wind.

Our power source is the Holy Spirit, and that is a powerful wind. So much can be accomplished for Christ when we allow the leading of the Holy Spirit in us. Just think about the disciples. They turned the world upside down.

We’ve all got things that get stuck in our blades and slow us down or even make our effectiveness for Christ come to a complete standstill. Here are a few that came to my mind.

Power Blockers:

Bitterness
Whew! This one can really be a clog in your wheels. If you have bitterness in your life, you have to deal with it in order to have the power you need to keep spinning. Bitterness can rob you of your joy and eat away at you until you’re not useful to anyone, let alone God.
Let all bitterness…be put away from you. Ephesians 4:31

Unforgiveness
If there is a rift between you and someone else and you don’t deal with it, it’s like running a rod right through your blades. You are not going to keep spinning with something like that stuck in your life. You’ll find yourself not doing anything for Christ.
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Our Own Will
Trying to spin around all by ourselves and in our own direction isn’t going to work. We have to give ourselves over to what God wants for us, which at times may not be exactly what we might want. Living with our lives in tune with Christ daily is the only way we’ll be sensitive to His will and not our own.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1,2

Unconfessed Sin
Of course if we have unconfessed sin in our lives, it’s going to affect how the Holy Spirit works in us. We can’t have something between God and us or there’s not going to be any wind flow.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Conclusion:
We often block the “turning of God” in our lives. We keep our guards up and don’t let the Holy Spirit get to us even when we need to be refreshed. We steel ourselves from being touched by a special song in church, or by a sermon, Sunday School lesson, and worship service because we’re too inward focused and not Godward focused. We go into defense mode at invitation time because we don’t want to go forward and deal with our issues even when we feel the Holy Spirit trying to work in us. We miss out on so much power that way and by keeping those power blockers stuck in our blades. Those things grieve the Holy Spirit which we are told not to do in Ephesians 4:30. We need to allow the breath of the Holy Spirit to go all the way through us so we can spin round and round doing the things Christ would have us to do.

If we are Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us. We have to be sensitive in order to allow His working. Remember that the winds are what makes the difference. In Scripture, the Holy Spirit is compared to a “rushing mighty wind”.

So, how are you spinning?

Worry: Thinking About the Future

by Rev Robert A Wendel

“I was glad and rejoiced in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” “Do not be anxious about anything, but with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Psalm 31:7 NIV) (Philippians 4-6 NIV)

I have always been a world class worrier. All ministers worry; that’s their job. Some clergy worry more than others. Parents also worry about where their children are and how things are going for them.

Perhaps things aren’t so nice in the area where children are growing up. Most mothers think they have a life-time privilege to be concerned for their children.

As I grew up, I developed an appreciation for the strength of my mother’s faith. It puzzled me that a woman who believed so much could worry so much. One day I asked her about her habit of worry. She replied “I believe God worries too, about us. Jesus worried. He wept. When I worry, I feel closer to him. It’s like we worry on the same problem together.

Praying goes along with worry. How can you love and not worry? Mom handled her worry by making it a spiritual exercise, a way to grow closer to the God she knew protected her. Worry was not just a form of prayer, but a form of love. If we can’t be spared from a worry or two especially for ourselves of the people whom we love, please, dear Lord, let our worries draw us closer to You.

“America has military and economic strength, Bic Macs and Hollywood movies from a political culture rooted in individual rights, freedom of expression, fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power, as well is rule of law.” Christian Science Monitor Jan, 25, 2021 pg.6.

Shoeboxes 2021

It’s hard to believe it’s March already and spring is just around the corner. Through your generous packing of shoeboxes, the gospel of Jesus Christ is being spread around the world on a daily basis. This year Samaritan’s Purse is focusing on those little known islands in the Pacific Ocean where the name of Jesus is virtually unknown. These children will know that they are loved and blessed when they receive a shoebox packed just for them and will hear the name of Jesus and how he loves them.

Although we are still facing the challenges of the COVID virus, we are confident that this ministry will continue with its mission and that’s where you can help. Pray for the ministry. Prayer can move mountains and sometimes the devil puts those mountains in front of us but only through prayer can they be overcome.

Keep those donations coming in. It may not seem like much now but by November we will have enough, hopefully, to pack 100 shoeboxes and send them on their way.

For the month of March, I am asking for donations of toothbrushes, hair brushes and combs. The donation box is in the Welcome Center. Thank you for your support of this mission to spread the love of God through the power of a shoebox.