Helping Hands Needs You

We continue to need toilet paper, bar soap and winter clothing.  Donations can be either delivered to Helping Hands Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 until noon or left in the large black container outside the church office.  We are still in need of volunteers to help out.  See Edna Nasby if you can donate even a few hours a week.

As always, please keep us in your prayers as we continue to minister to the less fortunate in Raleigh County.

Walking in the Sunlight

by Rev Robert A Wendel

“Light is sweet, and it is a pleasure for the eyes to see the sun.  Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.  Let days speak and many years teach wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 11:7, 7:11, Job 32:7 NRSV)

It is 2000 in Fredonia, New York.  The local clergy group usually met eight times a year for lunch.  But our January pow-wow was always at 8:00 a.m. to plan for the year’s shared events including a series of Lenten and Advent rotating, fund-raising luncheons supporting community ministry.

Less than two weeks before we all had celebrated Christmas as pastors in our various congregations.  Mine was Fredonia Baptist.

It’s the first month of a new decade and as I watched the sun come into full glow, I wondered what critical decisions would shape the direction of the future.  In the next eighteen years, I would live in Ashland, Ohio, Beckley and Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.  Each relocation changed my live.

We all have made good and bad decisions.  Decision-making really begins as we enter 9th grade to start our chosen course of study taking us through the public high school years.  Career choices, like where to live and work, marriage, children, health issues and retirement, lay ahead.  Our train can run off the track but decisions do not define us.

God is not limited by our poor navigation or circumstances. He is faithful in enabling our personal river to flow to the sea.  And surely, grace from on High lights our way.

British novelist James Hilton wrote Lost Horizon about a group of climbers who stumble upon Shangri-La, a Utopian-like settlement in the mountains of Tibet where people enjoy unheard of longevity.  The High Lama shares this wisdom with the stranded visitors:

‘The first quarter century of your life was, doubtless, lived under the cloud of being too young for things, while the next quarter-century would, normally, be shadowed by the still darker cloud of being too old for them; and between these two clouds, small and narrow sunlight illuminates the human lifetime.” (page 153)

ABW January Update

The Lizzie Lewis Circle meets the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 here at the church.  They are an active group of ladies who carry on the mission of the American Baptist Women by being involved in various mission projects through the ABW Ministries as well as mission projects right here in Beckley.

They are also involved in a project of collecting used postage stamps. So save your used postage stamps and leave them in the church office in the container on the counter.

Join these ladies on the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m.  and see what all the fun is about.

It’s 2019 Already?

by Debbie Vanaman

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s 2019 already and it’s really hard to think about Christmas 2019 because it seems so far away.  This past shoebox season was a huge success all because of the generosity of people just like you.  We packed and packed and packed so many boxes that came in from churches and organizations until I thought we could pack no more.  So many children will be blessed by these shoeboxes and will learn first-hand of the love of Jesus Christ.

Now it’s time to start to plan for our 2019 season and it all starts with a bar of soap and a washcloth which is what I am asking you to bring during the month of January.  Collection boxes will be in Fellowship Hall and the Welcome Center for your donations.

Once again, as always, I ask you to keep this mission in your prayers as they continue to spread the love of Jesus Christ through something as simple as a shoebox.  God bless you all.

The Christmas rush is over.

by Helen Greene

All the Christmas rush has passed and we can relax a little.

With the help of lots of shoppers, we purchased Christmas gifts for 23 children.  Every shopper did a great job finding items on each child’s wish list at the lowest prices.  Doc and Jeff delivered everything to Beckley Elementary so that the parents or guardians of the kids could take the gifts home for the children’s Christmas.

Many thanks go to everyone who helped with this project.  Thanks also to everyone who has donated food or money.

Please continue to pray for our Backpack Ministry and the children we are serving.

For the month of January please bring plastic jars of peanut butter.

Starting New

by Pastor Doc Adkins

We rang in the New Year. Some may have gotten out a clean piece of paper and written down their intentions for this year.  Well, I didn’t. You see, I decided not to jot down anything, but to make a commitment to increase my prayer time with the Lord and to continue with finding contentment in what God is doing, whether I understand it or not.  Most times it takes a while to find out what those things are.

I believe it is the spiritual condition in my life that the Lord is the most interested in. He says in His Word that my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit.

I found out long ago, those long lists of dos and don’ts either get lost or forgotten. The things that really matter to us, we usually work on, so I find it best to limit any desires each year to a few things and concentrate on the really important ones — whatever they might be.

Most people want a fresh start in life. Those who are sick want a clean bill of health. Those in financial trouble want to be out of debt. We can do these things, but we need to work on them one day at a time.  Try not to overwhelm yourself with too many good intentions. Just pray and ask the Lord what you might need to work on in your life, spiritually, financially, and maybe even how to improve relationships or your health, but don’t get bogged down with so many resolutions.

For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 NIV

The Bible says to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. What is the Kingdom of God? It is righteousness, peace, and joy. If we have those three things most everything else will fall into place. If we seek to please the Lord and find out what He wants us to do, then it will all work out. I know He tells us to seek wisdom, so if we do that our health issues and financial priorities will change.

The Bible tells us His mercies are new every morning, so I will daily ask Him what He wants me to do. There is nothing wrong with accomplishing some short-term goals, but never let them consume your entire energy by making them so hard they are beyond your reach. Simply trust God to help you each step of the way!  Get a fresh start each year, but plan for a wise one too.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

Can God change your life?   God has made it possible for you to know Him and experience an amazing change in your own life. Discover how you can find peace with God.

Helping Hands Continues its Mission

A big thank you for the Thanksgiving donations of non-perishable food items, blankets and coats that were donated during the month of November.  These will help us re-stock our shelves and be prepared for the colder months ahead.

We continue to need toilet paper, bar soap and winter clothing.  Donations can be either delivered to Helping Hands Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 until noon or left in the large black container outside the church office.  We are still in need of volunteers to help out.  See Edna Nasby if you can donate even a few hours a week.

As always, please keep us in your prayers as we continue to minister to the less fortunate in Raleigh County.

Christmas -Just in Time!

by Rev Robert A Wendel

“Blessings on the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has turned his face toward his people and has set them free!  He has raised up for us a standard of salvation.  Don’t be afraid!  May the God of hope fill you with joy.”  (Luke 1:68; 2:10, Romans 15:13)

Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful, joyous time of the year.  But, for many folks, it’s a time of acute stress and sorrow.  Physical pain, loss, downright loneliness and depression is common even among church-going Christians.

Our world has been torn by bombings, shootings and world-wide acts of violence.  Natural disasters – fire, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes have taken lives and made thousands homeless.  Families have been broken by troubled relationships.  And it’s hard to escape hearing or reading reports of the above and mistreatment of the fairer sex even reaching the Halls of Congress.

For so many it will be hard to hear or sign the hymns, carols and songs of the season.  It might very well be difficult to think about giving or getting gifts.  Still, in congregations around the globe, the Sunday before Christmas we’ll light the Candle of Joy singing the carols as people have done for more years than we can count.

One such carol is “O Little Town of Bethlehem” with lyrics by Church Rector Phillips Brooks penned in Philadelphia in 1868 as an emotional reaction to the assassination of President Lincoln and the Civil War.  To attempt to heal his spirit, Brooks traveled to the Holy Land.  The young Episcopal priest was so impressed by the worship service at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem that ‘he felt at peace’ and told friends, “Forever there will be a singing in my soul.”

Concentration camp survivor Corrie ten Boom made the following entry in her diary for 12/24: “What can we add to Christmas?  The perfect motive is that God so loved the world.  The percent gift is that HE gave His only Son.  The only requirement is to believe in Him.  The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”

Nothing but the Best

by Pastor Ryan Haddox

It’s not easy being queen. So it should come as no surprise that monarchs like Queen Elizabeth like to escape from London sometimes. On one such occasion, the queen asked her chauffeur to take her for a ride in the country. Then she asked him to pull over so she could just take a little walk by herself. No crown, no gown – dressed down. So for those golden moments, the queen was just an ordinary lady, taking a walk in the country. She had gone about a mile down the road when this sudden rain shower opened up. The queen knocked on the door of a small hut that was nearby and she asked the lady if she had an umbrella. The lady actually had two umbrellas – a tattered, battered old umbrella and a brand new one. She gave her beat up umbrella to the queen. The queen promised it would be returned the next day. Well, you’ve got to imagine the scene as a uniformed chauffeur pulls up in this royal limousine. He goes to the door of the hut and he announces, “I’m returning this for the queen.” Needless to say, the woman was in shock. All she could say was, “If I had known it was for the queen, I would have given her my best!”

It’s amazing how many people give their least, not their best – to the King, that is. The King. The one an ancient hymn calls the “High King of Heaven.” The one the Bible calls the “King of kings and Lord of lords.” Oh, we’ll stand when they sing that in the “Hallelujah Chorus.” We’ll really get into singing praise songs to Him, but when it comes to the stuff that really matters in our life, we hold onto the best and give what’s left to the King of all kings.

Hanging onto our best – giving the King less than our best is not a new thing. In our word for today from the Word of God in Malachi 1:13-14, God rejects the offerings that His people have been bringing. He had commanded them from the beginning to bring the best of their flocks to Him as an expression of their love for Him. He says: “‘When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?’ says the Lord. ‘Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great King,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and My name is to be feared among the nations.’”

Later in this same book, God poses this shocking question, “Will a man rob God?” Then He gives the answer. “Yet you rob Me.” When God’s people ask how they have robbed Him, He says, “In tithes and offerings.” That’s one example of withholding your best from the King – by giving Him the money you have left over after you’ve spent what you really want to spend on yourself. But there are many ways to rob our King. By giving Him your leftover time; by making Him Lord of the things that don’t matter that much to you and holding onto the things that you really care about – that relationship, that child, that dream, that favorite thing – that sin. You can rob God by taking on a work for Him and just doing it halfheartedly, by being lazy or irresponsible in getting it done.

This is heavy on my heart in this season of mine and Anna’s life. We are so grateful for the ministry of this church and the opportunity to share Jesus with these young students and children, but also the whole church and the community! God is moving in big ways in this community and state and I’m excited to see where He can take this church!

Grace and Peace,

Ryan

RMMO Offering

During the month of December, we will be collecting our final mission offering, the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering.

Since 1935, American Baptists have contributed to special offerings received in their churches for retired ABC ministers and missionaries or their widowed spouses. In 1977, American Baptist Churches USA launched the Retired Ministers and Missionaries Offering (RMMO) to continue this tradition of thanks.   Offering envelopes are available in the pew racks in the sanctuary.