Summer is Officially Here

The year is half over and summer is officially here.   Summer is a great time to relax, possibly go on vacation or just lie around the house drinking a cool glass of sweet tea.  But lying around the house is not something that I do very well so here goes.During July and August, it’s also a good time to find those back to school bargains so we will be collecting school supply items such as pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, crayons, colored pencils and markers and small note pads.    Many children who receive these shoeboxes cannot start school because they don’t have the proper supplies so these things are very important.

During July and August, it’s also a good time to find those back to school bargains so we will be collecting school supply items such as pencils, pens, erasers, pencil sharpeners, crayons, colored pencils and markers and small note pads.    Many children who receive these shoeboxes cannot start school because they don’t have the proper supplies so these things are very important.

Donations can be left in the Samaritan’s Purse boxes located in the Welcome Center and also at the top of the ramp in Fellowship Hall.    This program goes year-round so your prayers are always needed.

Happiness is Like Jelly

bu Joyce Mills

It has been said that “Happiness is like jelly; you can’t spread even a little bit without getting some on yourself.”  This is so true when you think of mission projects and especially the Backpack Ministry.

When we know there is a need and we help by giving time or money for that hungry child it makes us feel so good and even happy.  Our initiative is to provide six nutritious meals each weekend of the school year for hungry children at Beckley Elementary School.  We hear comments from the families that receive backpacks.  The comment most often is something like “the backpack food helps us so much.”  And, we have been told that children who receive the backpacks are seldom absent on Friday.  This bit of information helps us understand that the filled backpack does make a difference.

Summer is a good time to help us stock up for the coming school year.  Of course, we need money.  If you gave $30 each month that would take care of one child.  If you have a meal at a fast food place, the cost for your meal would feed a child for a weekend.  No one likes to think that there are hungry children in our community.

A suggestion for you might be if you’re having a family picnic or a birthday party, etc., have everyone bring a 16 oz. plastic jar of peanut butter.  Be creative!  We have a big pantry for the Backpack Ministry.

Thanks for any contribution of food, money or time that you give to the Backpack Ministry.  School will be starting in August and we always need people to help with this Ministry.  Contact Helen Greene or Pastor Doc if you can help.

We’re stocking up on Peanut Butter for the next two months.  The jar should be 16 or 18 oz. size and plastic.  Just put your contribution in the church kitchen on the back counter and enjoy that happy feeling because you gave.

VBS Super Saturday

by Addie Gilkerson

We are so excited to announce the return of the “Super Saturday” VBS. We have found in previous years we get a better turnout for a one day VBS extravaganza! So this year we will be hosting it on Saturday, August 12 from 5:00-7:00 PM. The theme is “Wide Open Spaces.” We are pleased to be using the YMCA’s Paul Cline Soccer Complex for this event. We will be using the great outdoors to teach the children about the wonders of God’s creation. While there, we will be grilling out and food will be plentiful.  Fun games and activities will also be abundant! All children between the ages of 5-12 are welcome to come and join us! Please tell your friends and neighbors; bring the grandkids; or offer someone less fortunate a ride! Should there be rain, there will be someone at the Complex to direct you to the alternate indoor location. But let’s pray for beautiful weather! We also ask you pray for a good turnout. We really want to see a lot of kids come out for this exciting event!

Eyes Wide Open

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.  Psalm 25:15

It is finally warming up around here and I’ve been noticing all the little bugs and insects around.  I also notice some days ago when I was at our camp in Hinton that a summer creature you see a lot around the river is the “dragon fly”.  That peculiar looking thing with two sets of wings, a long skinny body and BIG EYES!  REALLY BIG EYES!  They are funny looking creatures to say the least. I am not sure what purpose they have except when they land on the water in the river…fish love them.

I’ve read that their sight encompasses basically 360 degrees and that they can see everything at most angles.

Wish I could see like that, especially those things that seem to sneak up on me and sideswipe me.

There are things I wish I could have seen coming.  I know there are things that as Christians we should watch out for so we don’t get off track in our daily living. We need to have our eyes wide open like a dragonfly.

Eyes Open to Understanding.

If we would keep our eyes open to understanding the Lord, just think how much better we would get to know Him.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:17, 18

Eyes Open to the Word.

I guess if we had our eyes wide open to what God’s Word says, we’d learn more and be better able to handle those things that get into our view.

Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word. Psalm 119:148

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Psalm 119:18

Eyes Open to Temptation.

Just think how much smoother our lives would be if we were constantly on guard for this one.  We know we are supposed to be on our toes for it to come sneaking in but sometimes it’s there right in front of us before we see it.

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.  Matthew 26:41

Eyes Open to God’s Help.

We get into these situations and our eyes are bugging out because here comes trouble.  How much better we could handle it if we constantly had our eyes on God and were really relying on the Lord.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.  Psalms 121:1

Without that 360 degree sight, dragonflies wouldn’t be able to be ready to make the quick maneuvers that they need to make in midair.  I think that when we keep our eyes wide open to certain things, we are better able to maneuver too.  We are better able to handle all those things that come sailing into our view.

All in all, I think we need to keep our eyes on the Lord because He’s the One who sees all.  The Lord can see up ahead where we can’t and that’s a nice fact to rest in.  He can see behind us where we may have missed something.  He can also help us handle those things that come whizzing past us.

So, maybe God created these little strange creatures like the ‘dragon fly ’just to teach us to keep our eyes wide open for Him to show us our way in life, too.

See…

by Norma Gunter

The American Baptist Women’s Ministry Focus for June, 2017 is See… .  “This is the last official month of the two-year program theme See… .  “before AB Women’s Ministries launches the new theme on Women’s Day at the end of the month.  It’s time to wrap things up!  How have these two years helped you better understand how you see God, how God calls you to see others, and how God sees you?”

Ladies since January 2016 I’ve shared with you from the American Baptist Women’s Ministry Focus Resource book for 2016-2017.  Each month focused on a different aspect of what it means to see or be seen.  We learned about See… The Risen Christ, Angels Among US, Healthy Families, My Neighbor, Poverty In America, Spiritual Growth, How God Sees You and ten other subjects.  These and all the others can be found on beckleyfirstbaptist.org web site where the BEAM is published each month.

Next month the AB Women’s Ministry will introduce a new two-year, 2017-2019, focus.  I pray the 2016-2017 focus themes have been helpful and the new one will be too.

The American Baptist Women’s Conference is at the Parchment Valley Conference Center June 2-4, 2017.  The theme is “Getting to Know You”  The scripture Is Ephesians 1:17, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”  The Keynote Speaker is Pastor Jeff Davenport and his wife Beth Davenport is the Music Director.  The Guest Speaker is IM Missionary Debbie Muliniex. Several from Beckley First Baptist American Baptist Women will be attending.

A trip to the Fruits of Labor Cafe in Rainelle is planned for June 15, 2017.  PTL, the new church van is available.  A sign-up sheet, at the church office, for anyone that wants to go.

Help Spread Smiles

Helping Hands is starting a program to provide each child in a client’s family with a new toothbrush and full size tube of toothpaste.

Their goal is to have these ready to go in August just as the children are going back to school.

They serve over 700 clients each month and each family has several children so the need is tremendous.

Donations can either be brought to Helping Hands on Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 until noon or left in the donation box outside the church office.

Please keep these families in your prayers daily.

We also continue to need non-perishable food items, soap and toilet tissue.  These items can be placed in the donation box outside the church office as well. 

When it’s warm, it’s hard to think about Christmas

by Debbie Vanaman

As summer is now upon us and the weather is turning warmer by the day, I know it’s hard to think about Christmas and shoeboxes but this need goes on around the world 365 days a year.  Children who live far from Beckley, West Virginia every day are learning, some for the first time, about the love of God and the name Jesus.  We here at First Baptist have been involved in this program for well over 10 years and most of you I would say are very familiar with the name Samaritan’s Purse and Operation Christmas Child but just on the off chance you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the short version.

You take a trip to the dollar shore and you pick up pencils, pens, crayons, coloring book, personal hygiene items such as hair brushes or combs, soap, washcloth, a small stuff animal and a small toy.  Then you find an empty shoebox and put all these things in them and the week before Thanksgiving you bring it back to the church with a shipping donation this year of $9.00 (this is an increase from previous years due to shipping costs rising dramatically) and that box will eventually find its way around the world to a child.  You have a second option of checking the bulletin or this newsletter each month that tells you a particular item or items that we are collecting.   Then the beginning of November our youth gather all of these items and they fill empty shoeboxes on a Sunday evening.  They really get a kick out of doing this.    Last year we collected enough items to do 100 shoeboxes.  This year I hope it’s more.

Anyway, that’s what Operation Christmas Child is all about.  Please consider being a part of this ministry to spread the name of Jesus around the world to children and eventually to their parents, families and the towns that they live in.  It’s one small way to bring love to a child.

Remember – you can change a child’s life through the power of a simple shoebox.

Another School Year is Behind Us

by Helen Greene

Another school year is behind us and we are preparing for the upcoming 2017-2018 term. This year we have served 24 children every week with two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, a loaf of bread and a bag of snacks.  Due to a $300.00 grant given to us by New Vision Telephone Pioneers we were able to purchase a pair of new sneakers for each child in May.

To help us restock our food supply,  please bring jars of peanut butter in the month of June.  Donations can be left on the back counter in the kitchen.  Many thanks to each person who donated money, food or your time volunteering to make this a very successful year.  This project could not have been a success without you.

Minister Abroad: Dusting Off Seminary Notes

by Rev Robert A Wendel

I feel fortunate to have earned my M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary after completing three years of on-campus studies and being taught by a world renowned facility which included Bruce Metzger, Bernhard Anderson, Seward Halter and Seminary President James McCord.  On June 4th as we celebrate another Pentecost, here are some of my notes from Dr. McCord’s sermon-like classroom lecture: Easter Hope, given in Stuart Hall during the Spring of 1979.

“The meaning of biblical history is justification by faith and forgiveness of sins.  Is this not true of our lives as persons?  Being a Christian means that our past, with all its burdens, is canceled when our sin is forgiven, and that God opens up a new future filled with fresh possibilities for us when he justifies us by faith.  We know the experience of being freed through God’s redeeming grace.  It happens to us again and again when we confess and are forgiven.

God is able to overcome our mistakes and create new opportunities for building a world that is just humane and more in accord with his intention for his people.  Easter is a guarantee of all this.  The Easter event began when the Word became flesh, when God and (humanity) were united forever in Jesus of Nazareth.  In this act God took our future upon himself and at Easter life triumphed over death for all eternity.

Easter represents the triumph of light over darkness, freedom over bondage, hope over despair and life over death.  It is the miracle of grace that enables us to rise above the perils of today and to become witnesses and partners in God’s work of making all things new (Acts 2:37-42).

St. Pauls’ great statement on the resurrection includes a doxology: “But, thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  However, he did not stop there.  In the light of the resurrection every human being is set free to serve the living God.  So, Paul concluded “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for your labor is not in vain in the Lord (I Corinthians 15:17.)”

As President McCord told us students many times, “I cannot think of a better definition of Christianity than that ”give, give, give.”

Upsy Daisy

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Psalm 30:1 “I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up…”

I’m sure you are familiar with the expression “upsy daisy”. It’s a phrase I have heard most of my life and yet for whatever the reason it seems forever ago since I actually have heard it. But, the other day, I saw a grandmother with her little granddaughter or maybe even great granddaughter and the beautiful little gal evidently had just learned to walk. Actually, she was doing pretty well but, it wasn’t the walking that seem to be the challenging thing…it was the stopping. As soon as she  stopped …down on her little bottom she went and immediately Grandma, in that Grandma assuring voice proclaimed, “upsy daisy”. And you know what?  The beautiful little girl laughed out loud. You see “upsy daisy” is the phrase we use when we want to give encouragement to our children when they are learning to walk or when they’ve had a fall.  It means “up you go”.

I think that God does the same with us.  We go walking along in our Christian life and hit some bumps in the sidewalk or maybe we even fall into a big hole and God helps us up and says, “upsy daisy”.

He brushes us off and tells us everything is going to be okay.

It’s not fun when we are down and we find our lives turned upside down.  It’s sometimes hard to see everything in the right perspective when we aren’t standing upright.  But we have a God who cares about us and is there when we get down and He helps us up.

There are some great examples in the bible of some people who had some “upsy daisy” moments.

I think of Job first and foremost. I guess because when he went down, it was with such a sudden force and a big thud.  Here he was, going through life so blessed by God and all of a sudden, Job was laid low.

So much happened to Job in such a short time but God was with him all the way and in the end said, “upsy daisy, Job”.

Job is such a great example to show that when we don’t see God, God still sees us.

It’s like when a toddler falls down and doesn’t see his mother because she’s out of site for a little bit while he’s lying on the ground after he’s fallen.  It’s kind of scary.  But then after a few moments when he sees the face of his mother and knows she’s there to help him up, he’s okay again.

Job might not have been able to see God but God could see Job and Job knew God was still there within reach.  What’s worth remembering is that even though he couldn’t see God, Job still obeyed God.

Job 23:8-12  Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

It’s so exciting to see how God said, “upsy daisy” to Job.  The Lord had a way of showing Job that all was okay.  God lifted up Job and put him upright on his feet once again and “the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and everyone an earring of gold.

Job 42:10-12a  So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.

Conclusion:

Maybe you feel like your life has been turned over on its head and you are feeling the pressure of an “upsy daisy” moment.  Just hold on. God knows you are down.  He’s not far from you.

I know it’s hard to be thankful for those “upsy daisy” moments in our lives but don’t you just love the fact that it is God that does the “upsy” part.  It is Him that lifts us up.  It may be through several circumstances that work together but God has His hand working in all of it.

There has been many a moment that I’ve wondered why I’d been brought so low but those are the moments that I’ve seen God the closest and had to rely on His encouragement the most.

If I just look around for Him and listen to His voice I know He’s there even when I’m down and I know I can get through anything when I have Him with me.

God has that way of giving us His presence and saying, “upsy daisy”. It’s all going to be okay.  You’ll get back on your feet again.  Up you go!

So, are you thankful for your “upsy daisy” moments?