Master Creator

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Here we are and it’s fall again in West Virginia. Also, in a while it will be just beginning to cool off from the summer heat. Some of the trees are just beginning to lose a few leaves but eventually the fall weather will be here and the leaves will turn to their beauty and fall completely from the trees.

Fall is one of the most glorious times of the year. It’s filled with the chill of the air in sharp contradiction to the warmth of the colors of the leaves, making it just breathtaking. It leaves us just in awe of how wonderful God is and how so perfect each of His creations are.

As I look at the fall leaves and enjoy being out in a tree stand hunting or taking a drive with Sarah, I think about how beautiful a creation of God those are and I wonder how and what kind of a change God has for me. Think about how leaves change color can be such a lesson to us.

Did you know that the yellow to orange pigments are there inside the leaf the whole time but we only see them in the fall because they are masked by so much green pigment? During the summer the growth of the tree is making food inside cells in the leaves, which contain chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color.

In the fall the chlorophyll breaks down because of certain elements, which cause the other pigments to break out, and we see what becomes our beautiful fall leaves. There are three basic elements that affect that chlorophyll breaking down. Those are temperature, light, and water. During the fall the temperature drops having an effect. The days are shorter so there is less sunlight, and there is less water because of the rain level.

Considering all this set me to thinking how that is how we are as Christians. When we are sailing along without any problems we stay green and in the comfortable zone, but if it weren’t for the little less sunlight of a few bumps in the road in the way of trials, a few cold days of heartaches, and a little less water when we feel we can’t handle the burdens, then all of a sudden we become beautiful as a Christian.

God uses all those bumps, heartaches, and burdens to bring out our color and brilliance so that we can be a reflection for Him. He is the Master Creator. He knows what He is doing.

But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

When we get back to realizing that God is the Master Creator and begin taking in how awesome and powerful He is, just like we take in the beauty of the fall, it will cause us to be a little more vibrant in our color. Perhaps a little more vibrant in witnessing, reading our Bibles, our prayer life.

God knows us in such a personal way. He knows each situation, each thing that becomes important for us, and each thing that we have weighing on our heart. He knows every one of our joys, burdens, and sorrows. We forget sometimes that He gives us our color in only ways that He can. We sometimes in a sense forget that He is God.

Be still, and know that I am God… Psalm 46:10

It’s back to school!

Well it is back to school for our Backpack Kids. We have already started packing food for them to take home every weekend. As you may know, we pack two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, a loaf of bread and a bag of snacks for every child.

Please be in prayer for these children and for our Backpack Ministry. Thanks to everyone who prays for this ministry. Also, thanks to everyone who donates food or money. May God bless you!

For the month of September please bring small cans of tomato or chicken noodle soup.

Over 20 years and growing!

by Debbie Vanaman

As a drop-off center here in Beckley for over 20 years, I’ve seen this program here at First Baptist grow from 700 shoeboxes received back in the late 90’s to over 3,000 for the past two years and for this I give thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to watch this mission grow and expand beyond my wildest dreams. Countless numbers of children and their families have been given the opportunity to learn about Jesus and his love not to mention the joy that each child feels as they open a box prepared just for them with what we would think as everyday items such as a toothbrush or a brush and comb or that special toy. Seeing pictures of those faces is what keeps me going year after year just warms my heart. We had an awesome speaker here at First Baptist in August who shared with us first-hand how she received a shoebox as a child and she has come full circle now as a speaker for Operation Christmas child – what a blessing.

Collection week will be November 18th through November 25th and I will be needing lots of volunteers to staff our collection center. So keep that week open and I’ll be in contact soon to set up the schedule.

For the month of September, your donations of colored pencils, small coloring books and small toys is what we will be collecting. These donations can be left in the boxes located in Fellowship Hall or in the Welcome Center.

Please keep this program in your prayers as all year long shoeboxes are delivered to children around the world and the name of Jesus is shared all through something as simple as a shoebox. God bless you all.

Winter is Coming

Helping Hands is continuing to help those less fortunate here in Beckley and in Raleigh County. Now that fall is here, winter can’t be far behind and that’s where our need really grows tremendously. We will be needing blankets, winter coats and winter clothing. We also are in desperate need of men’s clothing and under garments.

Thank you for your continued support of bar soap, toilet paper and non-perishable food items and please keep these donations coming. Donations can be either dropped off at Helping Hands or left in the container outside the church office. We also thank you for your prayers as we continue to serve our community.

A Glimpse into the Kingdom

by Rev Robert A Wendel

“We all know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding that we may know Him. Hear for I will speak noble things from my lips will come what is right.” (I John 5:20, Proverbs 8:6, Matt. 13 (NRSV.)

“Strive first for the Kingdom and righteousness and all these things will be given to you. He who wishes to be first, let him be the last of every man, and the (humble) minister to every man. (Matt. 23:11 Aramaic translation.)

Jesus’ disciples all focused on “The Kingdom”. Not that they were concerned about that honor of the King or the success of the Kingdom; no, what obsessed them was their place in that Kingdom. For them, the Kingdom was all about personal power, prominence and position. (Matt. 19:27).

In Mark 9:33-34 the disciples argued about who was the greatest of them. Jesus said, “The first one must be the last and servant of all. “ Those who follow Jesus should not suppose a prime place in the Kingdom of Heaven for themselves.

We love being in control. We love getting our own way. We love being indulged and served. We love being right. It’s hard to admit that we’re more like the disciples who all wanted first place. Jesus said that he did not come to use his power to make their little kingdoms work, but to welcome you, by grace, to a much greater Kingdom than you could get on your own. “I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1-3, Psalm 145:13-13)NRSV).

One of the concise parables is contained in a single scripture verse – Matthew 13:33. Jesus taught them saying “The Kingdom is like yeast that a women took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked the dough.”

The woman had a plan. She introduced yeast into the dough and mixed it together. The yeast spread throughout the dough, it fermented, causing the dough to rise. The result was freshly baked bread. So it is with Heaven’s Kingdom. God always has a plan and a purpose. (Psalm 16:4)

Since it’s small beginnings 2000 years ago, Christianity has affected and elevated every successive culture and generation. God has placed his Church in the world permanently. Like yeast into dough, the Church cannot be taken out!

Mission Update: World Mission Offering

We have started our third mission offering which will be collected through the end of October. This offering helps fund missionaries around the world and will be taken through the month of October. Our goal is $1500. Your prayers and support are greatly needed.

Also please keep our missionaries here and overseas in your prayers. Some are living in dangerous areas of the world and your prayers are extremely important.

ABW Fall Rally

Saturday, October 5th – Registration is at 9:30 – Program begins at 10:00 and concludes with lunch at noon at Breckenridge Baptist Church in Bolt. The program will be on the Pinehaven Homeless Shelter. Guest speakers are Chessie Collins from Crab Orchard Baptist and Virginia Peele the RCCAA Coordinator. Rally Mission Project is towels, washcloths, pillows, twin bedding and blankets. All items must be new and light colors.

My Favorite Season

by Pastor Doc Adkins

My childhood autumns in Hinton hold precious memories—the fall revival at church, unpacking warmer clothing, hot cocoa, harvest moons, fires in the hearth, a well-stocked pantry, and best of all—FOOTBALL! I loved it, playing it and watching my Steelers in their heyday.

Of course then, there was and still is the endless desire to go hunting if only just to watch and see God in our beautiful mountains.

You know…sometimes when I think about all the “life” experiences I had growing up in that old farm house…man, it does at times seem so very long ago. In reality, it was a long time ago.

Life has it seasons: The autumn of life is a strange mixture of nostalgia, blessings, and potential. It yields the harvest of seeds we’ve sown throughout life and braces us for colder days to come.

When life’s autumn arrives, we look back and better understand the way God led us; but we still have work to do—the best and fullest. It’s a good transition time.

“Autumn” only occurs once in the Bible. In Jude 1:12, false teachers are compared to “autumn trees without fruit,” implying that autumn should be a fruitful season, the most abundant of the year. How can we take advantage of the “autumn of life”?

The Unchanging Nature of God

The seasons come and go, so focus on the God who remains unchanged and unchanging. “LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:1-2).

There’s a lot of unwelcome changes in our world. Moral and societal changes brother us most when we turn on our television or glance at the magazines. We’re painfully aware our kids are growing up in a world far different from the one we knew as children.

And personal changes—children leaving home, the passing of dear friends, and the slow, or possibly steady decline in vitality and health. Sometimes we feel outdated at work.

But amid all the changes, one thing, one person, never changes—our eternal God. Remember this verse from John 15, “Abide with Me”?

J. I. Packer points out that God does not change. His life is always the same. His character is always dependable. His truth, ways, and purposes do not change. His Son does not change. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

His children will enjoy His fellowship a million years from now. The world may fade, the stars may fall, the seasons may change, and winter may come. But the God who has been our help in ages past is our hope for years to come. In Him we have permanence, stability, joy unshakable, and life unending.

The Divine Foresight of God

We’ve all suffered setbacks along the way. But God promised, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten. . . . You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God” (Joel 2:25-26). His divine forethought knew it all in advance, and He can be trusted with what has happened to us in years past.

Our omniscient Savior knows the end from the beginning, and He will bless whatever is yielded to Him. Focus on His foreknowledge, providence, and sovereignty.

The Wonderful Blessings of God

The autumn of life is a great time to focus on God’s wonderful blessings—family, friends, strength, shelter, provision, guidance, care, fruitful ministry, opportunities to serve, more time to pray and study His Word, and eternal life still to come.

During life’s autumn, we have a richer perspective and can count more blessings than ever before.

A Renewed Commitment to God

Autumn is a good time to focus on your commitment to God. Some of the saddest words in the Bible are in Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” If you’ve never made a commitment to Jesus Christ, do it now, while there is still time.

If you are a follower of Christ, remember to remain close to Him during the shifting seasons of life.

During autumn, we all know that winter lies ahead, but if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Romance: More than Holding Hands

by Rev Robert A Wendel

Be eager to love because that gift comes from the Holy Spirit. Do not stir up or awaken love until it is ready. This is my beloved and this is my friend. (James 1:17, Song of Solomon 2:7, 5:16 NRSV). To get heaven’s help with romance you must live out your faith. Pray about loves attraction. True romance involves both the ‘heart and the head.” Real love is spiritual. Chronic health problems will impact any relationship.

There are dozens of factors that attract you to one person or another. We form snap judgments based on physical attractiveness, likeability, competence, money wisdom and financial stability. We are drawn to people like us with a similar family history, tradition and religious preferences. Smiling is a sign of someone who is emotionally well adjusted and has a good personality. Romantic love lasts about two years. Then we grow into a deeper more mature love connection. Get to know your future possible in-laws or step children

When trying to decide if couples will stay together, one indicator is how they describe their courtship, hoping that you chose each other through mutual agreeability and similar beliefs which reflect their computability. These are things like daily habits, past-times, child rearing ideas, political leanings and their goals.

If you’re ready to date, think of it as fun, interesting and possibly enriching. Be sure you are aware of what went wrong in your last serious relationship. In the new relationship: Be friends. Spend time together. Laugh together. Be a good and patient listener. Trust, leave some separate alone time and space.

There are bound to be differences. But, over time your brain gets used to the other person. Sharing understandings reduces anxiety, depression and stress and may boost immunity and longevity. The ultimate key to solid relationships is a good verbal communication. Instead of arguing, give each other the benefit of the doubt by hearing each other out first.

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible,” wrote screen writer Nora Ephron. American poet Ogned Nash said, “Whenever you’re wrong, admit it. When you’re right, shut up.”

Board of Missions Update

We are growing closer to reaching our goal for the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering. The total as of June 23rd was $1,038 which means we are $462 from our goal of $1,500.

During the summer, please add these missionaries to your prayer list:

The Reed Family – They are natives of West Virginia and are currently serving in Bolivia. They live in Santa Cruz and minister to the Latin American pastors and teachers as they lead their people to grow in God’s word. Last year they trained 70 men and women – all local pastors and leaders.

Rick & Anita Gutierrez – They have been in South Africa for over 18 years. Both of them are physicians with a family practice. They also train and equip local pastors and churches in weekly neighborhood health classes, conduct Bible studies and encourage local churches. Their latest program is the chicken project which at present serves over 150 people. Apparently this is similar to the program in which our own Jim Adkins is involved.

PLEASE KEEP THEM ALL IN YOUR PRAYERS.