ABW April Update

Lizzie Lewis Circle continues to meet on the first Thursday of every month in Fellowship Hall. We will be working on several mission projects and we would love to have you join them.

We are continuing to collect used postage stamps for a mission project and also woman’s tampons, soap, hand sanitizer and deodorant for the Woman’s Resource Center and Helping Hands. Collection boxes for these two projects are located in the church office.

Christmas Seems So Far Away

As the world deals with this Coronavirus Pandemic and the thousands of people who are affected by this, it seems like Christmas is oh so far away. But to the children around the world who receive a shoebox, Christmas not in December but in March, July and September and the rest of the year. These boxes are filled with things that we take for granted like pencils, crayons, toiletry items and that special toy that was bought just for that child. Samaritan’s Purse celebrated it’s 50th anniversary last year and Operation Christmas Child is a vital integral part of that ministry.

We’ve been collecting various items since the beginning of the year and for that I thank you. You’ve given us a great start on filling our boxes in November but in these uncertain times, I don’t want you traveling to a store to buy something for our shoeboxes. Yes, I said that – believe it or not. What I am asking you to do for the month of April is donate towards the shipping of these boxes. The cost is $9.00 a box and that goes for the transportation and delivery of these boxes as well as the printed material called “The Greatest Journey” which is included in each box. We will be sending out, hopefully, 100 boxes in November so that means we need $900. While that sounds like an awesome amount, each dollar you donate adds up. You can drop this off or mail it to the church until we resume services.

America for Christ Offering 2020

Through the month of April, we will continue to collect our first mission offering which is the America For Christ offering. This year we will be donating our offering directly to the Weirton Christian Center right here in West Virginia. They have an outstanding day program, after school and summer programs which serve hundreds of children in the Weirton area.

We have set a goal of $1500 and as of March 22nd, we were almost there. Let’s push this offering over the top and let the children of Weirton Christian Center know that they are loved right here in Beckley.

You can send or drop off this offering to the church office until we once again gather in the sanctuary. Just be sure to put America For Christ on the memo line. Please keep these children in your prayers as well as the staff of the center. Thank you and may God bless you.

Pain and Suffering: The Darker Side of Easter

by Rev Robert A Wendel

‘The Son of Man must suffer for the sake of many. Thy will be done.” (Psalm 13; Romans 5:3; Matthew 6:10 RSV)

In the world-wide Christian church the last seven days in the earthly life of Jesus of Nazareth is known as Holy Week. Older and more formal worship communities focus on the Cross of Good Friday and the death of the Savior. Less formal churches highlight the night of the Last Supper. All Christians hail Easter as the highest holiday of each church year.

The Jewish prophet Isaiah wrote about the Passion of Christ some 700 years before it happened. This series of scriptures is known as the Suffering Servant Passages in Chapters 42-53. Isaiah predicted the future birth of Jesus in Chapter Nine (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Since September, I have been learning the power that physical pain can have in a person’s life as I have been battling a persistent case of cellulitis in my lower legs. So, this temporary problem has given me the opportunity to focus on the pain and suffering in the Easter Story.

Palm Sunday is full of joy. The cleansing of the temple came next. Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts, challenging the authority of the religious leaders. Probably on Wednesday of Holy Week an unknown woman washed his feet while Jesus and his disciples were at dinner. Judas betrayed the Master on Wednesday as well.

Thursday was the Passover Seder followed by emotional pain as Jesus prayed in the garden. And, of course, Friday included the suffering and death of the Savior. Let us not overlook his suffering as we mark another Holy Week.

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received him, to them He gave the power to become the sons and daughters of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (John 1:1-2, 4, 11-12).

Why do we love? Because we were created to. We are made in the image of divine love. That’s the truth, as Christ reassured us. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make ye free.” (John 8:32). John Talbot

Far Less Than Perfect

In a perfect world, there would be no need for places like Helping Hands but we all know this world is far less than perfect. Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, we’ve had to temporarily adjust our days and hours of operation. Like everyone else, we are concerned for the safety of not only our volunteers but our clients as well. We are making every effort to do both and still be of service to the people of Raleigh County.

Once this medical outbreak is passed, we will resume our regular hours of operation which are Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 until noon. We ask that you hold off on any clothing donations as we are inundated with clothing at this time. We continue to need your donations of non-perishable food items. Once we re-open, those donations can be dropped off either at the church or at Helping Hands.

Please continue to pray for us as well as those less fortunate who we will continue to serve.

BAM!

March was a month full of surprises. Everyone was carrying on with their everyday lives then BAM! Coronavirus Pandemic. That changed everything. Suddenly we were faced with self-quarantine advice, grocery and TP hoarding and fear of any cough or sneeze by a stranger.

We were prepared to pack food for our Backpack Kids for March 20th and during the entire school closure. We were told by the Board of Education that they did not want us to send food the first week. At this time we have no idea when we can resume sending backpacks. Since Helping Hands is closed Doc suggested we make up a few bags of food for anyone who came to the church wanting food for their children. We prepared 10 bags packed with some canned food, mac & cheese, etc. If needed they are ready.

Please pray for our Backpack Kids during this time. We trust they will have adequate food to keep them happy and healthy. Thanks to everyone who has contributed time, food, money or prayers for this ministry. May God bless you.

For the month of April please donate Instant Oatmeal Packets. Your donation can be dropped off at the church or you can bring it when we resume services.

“And sitting down they watched him there”

by Pastor Doc Adkins

This week I read the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection again. Each gospel gives a few details that the other three don’t give. I noticed that Matthew gives the only account of the four centurion soldiers sitting at the foot of the cross.

In Mark 15:24, the soldiers cast lots for his garments, but it doesn’t speak of them sitting and watching. Luke’s account of the crucifixion tells that the people stood beholding. John’s account speaks of those who crucified him casting lots for His coat, with the next verse speaking of Mary the mother of Jesus standing at the cross.

I know the soldiers were ordered to guard Jesus carefully because that was the custom of the day. Anyone who was crucified was guarded by soldiers because there was the fear someone might remove them from the cross. Also, the guards had to make sure the crucified actually died. In the case of Jesus, even though they doubted Jesus being who He said He was, they still thought it was possible Jesus might come down off the cross by His own miraculous power.

Even though I understood the why of Jesus being guarded, I wondered, what was the significance of the soldiers sitting and keeping their watch.

Those soldiers who sat and kept guard had more time to not only observe Jesus hanging on the cross, but also to think about what they had done to put Him there. As it turned out those who had driven the nails and sat and guarded Him were the ones who gave the best testimony in their world as to who Jesus Christ was.

Matthew 27:54
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God”.

The soldiers who sat still and watched Jesus experienced His power first hand. Whatever doubt had been with them as to who Jesus was, ceased to exist when they felt the earth move.

They realized the magnitude of what they had done, driving nails into His hands and feet. I believe they were not only frightened as the verse says, but I believe they were sorrowful for the part they played in His death as well.

All those who simply stood awhile in the crowd and moved on didn’t experience a powerful movement up close and personal like the soldiers who had sat and observed Jesus at the foot of the cross.

Those who simply stood and moved on didn’t realize their part in driving the nails.

They may never have realized that Jesus truly was the Son of God.

They may never have been sorrowful for the part they played in His death.

In our world today there are still those who follow Jesus when it is the convenient and popular thing to do, when things are going good crowds are shouting praise. When things aren’t as exciting they turn their backs on Jesus.

If there is a big Spiritual movement “event” the crowds stand and watch. When they see what they have come to see they go back home.

However, there are Christians who sit and observe Jesus every day. They experience His awesome power first hand and know without a doubt He truly is the Son Of God. They realize the part they played in His death. They know He died for them. They are truly sorrowful and ask Him for His forgiveness.

Today are you sitting at the foot of the cross, or are you simply standing in the crowd?

The very best witnesses for Jesus Christ spend time sitting and observing Him.

JUST A REMINDER
Until at least April 5th, we will not be gathering at the church for services but we will join together for Sunday morning Sunday School and worship by way of our outreach ministries: The radio ministry at 560AM WJLS and the sermon on the web site Facebook page at Facebook.com/ beckleyfirstbaptist.

All Wednesday and Sunday evening services are cancelled through April 5th with a targeted date of Easter Sunday as a new beginning in our church. What a wonderful day to look forward to. We will keep you posted if this date changes.

Please join me in an act of faith. I ask that we faithfully continue to support the church in giving. You may bring your offering by the church office or mail it to First Baptist Church, 422 Neville, St., Beckley, WV 25801 .

Should you need assistance or help with anything: food, transportation, medicine pick ups, etc., please call the church office at 304-253-4252. One of our Deacons or Trustees will be glad to assist you. If there’s someone that you can think of that may not have email or access to the internet, please call them and share this information.

Having “Enough”

March is here already which means there are only three more months of school. We all have been fortunate that this winter has been mild with very little snow. Our Backpack Kids have been able to have breakfast and lunch at school every day before going home. We know they have been fed two meals even if there is not a supper meal for them at home. Our backpacks provide plenty of food for the weekends.

Our Backpack Ministry has been very blessed to always have “enough” money to purchase food for our children. The first few years of this ministry we did not have an abundance of money but we always had “enough.” This year we have been so blessed with contributions from our congregation and from sources outside Beckley First Baptist.

When Joyce Mills started this ministry about seven years ago we knew God would always provide “enough” for us to operate. How right we were! Thank God for blessing this ministry.

Thanks to everyone who has donated food, cash or prayed for our children. We appreciate you so much. God bless you! Please continue to pray for our Backpack Kids. For the month of March please donate peanut butter. Donations can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.

Too Early to Think About Christmas?

I know most people think it’s way too early to think about Christmas, but in the word of shoeboxes it’s never too early to start purchasing items to put in your shoebox. These shoeboxes, once they are delivered to the children, help spread the word of Jesus and His gospel to children and their families all around the world. These are places that we would never be able to travel to but this is just one way that the love of Christ can be spread all over the world.

For the month of March, I am asking for donations of small toys and stuffed animals. Remember these have to fit in a shoebox so small is the operative word. Collection boxes are located in Fellowship Hall and in the Welcome Center for your donations. Once again, please keep Samaritan’s Purse in your prayers as they distribute these boxes and work to spread the name and love of God.

Marching into a New Month

As we “March” into the month of March and hopefully winter is behind us, first off we would like to thank you for your prayers, support and donations. We couldn’t do what we do without you. Your donations of food, clothing and money are greatly appreciated.

We help on average of 700 plus families a month and that number continues to increase. Men’s clothing is always a great need along with toiletry items such as toilet paper and women’s feminine products. These items, along with any other spring and summer clothing items, can be either taken to Helping Hands which is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 until 12:00 noon or dropped off in the large black container outside the church office.

If you happen to have a few spare hours during the morning, your help would be greatly appreciated. As always, keep us in your prayers as we continue to ministry to the people of Beckley and Raleigh County.