Wrinkles and Smiles

by Joyce Mills

Mark Twain once said, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”  Did you know it takes twenty-six muscles to smile and sixty-two to frown? So what are you waiting for?  Always be smiling!  Especially smile when you hear stories like the following:

In life, real joy is not in the possession of things, it is found in a thankful heart.  My heart was full of joy the other day when I heard Helen Greene telling this story.  As most of you know, Helen has wonderful passion for the Backpack Ministry.  She and Mary spend hours shopping for the best buy in food for the backpack kids and keeping the shelves full of kid friendly food.  As Helen was helping with the Chonda Pierce Concert she was walking through Fellowship Hall and noticed some very fine tote bags on a vendor’s table.  Katie and Lindsay were in charge of the Spirit FM table and Helen asked if she could have some tote bags for the backpack kids who sometimes forget their backpack.  Katie and Lindsay became very interested in hearing about the backpack program and Helen took them to the pantry where all the supplies and food are kept.  They were very impressed with what they saw and heard.  Of course, they gave Helen all the totes they had left, as well as pencils, bracelets, stickers and suckers to go in the backpacks.

A few days after the concert a box arrived for Helen at the church.  Katie and Lindsay had sent 24 more nice totes and goodies for the kids.  There was also a very special note to Helen.

Hi Helen, We are touched by your heart and wanted to help too.  Hope this will help!

Keep Shining for Jesus!  Katie and Lindsay

Helen is such a fine example of having a happy heart!  She not only has compassion for our Backpack program, she shares it with whoever will listen.  Because she shares how her heat is feeling, an organization to which she belongs “New Vision Pioneers” gave the Backpack Ministry $300 to buy tennis shoes for the backpack kids.  What a great joy we have in our hearts!

Boxes of macaroni and cheese is the food donation for April.  Just put it on the back counter in the kitchen.   Thanks and HAPPY EASTER!

ABW Spring Update

by Martha Bennett

This year’s spring rally will be held at Breckenridge Baptist Church on Sat., April 22, 2017.  Registration begins at 9:30 and the program starts at 10:00.  We will have our guests “The Sparrow’s Nest”.  It is a rehabilitation house for women who want to leave addiction problems behind and start anew.  They have been open for about a year.

Non-aerosol cleaning products are always needed. However, there is a need for outdoor toys and perhaps small indoor toys as well.   Learning parenting skills with their children once a week is part of the program.  Please come and join us to learn about what’s being done and what else we can do to address this situation prevalent in our country.  A luncheon hosted by the Breckenridge ladies, Angels of Hospitality, will conclude the meeting.

ABW April Update

by Norma Gunter

The American Baptist Women’s Ministry Focus for April, 2017 is See…the Poetry of God. The scripture is Luke 24:1-.35, John 20:19-29.  April is designated National Poetry Month, which seems fitting for Easter.  The word poetry comes from an ancient Greek word that means. “I create.”  Through the story of resurrection, God creates God’s people in new ways!  The writer of Hebrews tells us that “faith is the assurances of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” But the Easter story is all about seeing.  The resurrection became real for Mary when she saw Jesus in the garden.  Thomas could not believe until he saw the nail prints in Jesus’ hands.  Jesus was recognized by Cleopas and another when they saw him break bread.  This month we’ll try to see with new eyes!”

We, Beckley First Baptist American Baptist Women, can see a new thing in our 2017 SPECIAL PROJECT.  We are joining the American Baptist Women of West Virginia in a state wide effort to make the Sunny Day Leadership and Activities Center a reality.  The new facility, being built at Camp Cowen, is scheduled to be open for the 2018 camp season.  The building will house three class rooms and a gymnasium.  Our goal is $12,000 for furnishings of the meeting spaces.

Another new thing we can see in 2017 is our MOP (Mission Outreach Project) to help our new missionary family to Mexico with a 4-WD VEHICLE. Juan and Denise Aragon are raising money now for their support and will be working in an area of Mexico that requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

Lizzie Lewis Mission Circle members rolled over 80 bandages along with 4” x 4” cotton squares for hospitals in Africa.  Watch for the dedication of these gifts made with our hands for God.

While going through old mission papers I found a thank you letter written July l, 1974 from a missionary in Nigeria that proves that Beckley First Baptist Church American Baptist Women have been making the roller bandages for over 43 years.  In the letter the missionary wrote, “We surely thank God for your help and share in the work here.  Thanks to all who spent so many hours making them and packing them so beautifully, and also for the expense and effort it was to get them sent.  It’s not an easy job, but we know it was a work of love.  Please pray with us that the hospital may be a true light for Jesus Christ in this part of Africa.”  After the dedication the supplies will be shipped to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Maryland where they will be joined with roller bandages from all across the USA and shipped to Africa.  Thanks to everyone who supplied old sheets, tore the strips, sewed them together, measured the length and rolled each bandage, using our hands for God.

Easter is for Second Chances

by Pastor Doc Adkins

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” Mark 16:6-7

Do you need a second chance today? On the first Easter morning, Peter needed one. There in the Upper Room, he had insisted that he would never deny Christ. But just as Jesus had predicted, Peter not only denied the Lord, but he denied Him three times.

The last glimpse Peter had of Jesus before His crucifixion was in the glow of the fire in the high priest’s courtyard, where he actually made eye contact with Jesus. And then he went out and wept bitterly.

What kind of look do you think Jesus gave Peter when their eyes met?

Do you think it was one of those I-told-you-so looks?

Do you think it was one of scorn, as if to say, “How could you betray Me?”

I don’t think it was either one.

I think it was a look of love, a look of compassion that said, “I still love you, Peter.”

And I believe that is why Peter went out and wept bitterly. He had failed the Lord so miserably. He probably thought there was no hope for him.

But then a message went out from the empty tomb that Jesus had risen, followed by these instructions, “Go, tell His disciples—and Peter. . . .”

It was not, “Go tell the disciples, including Peter, James, and John. . . .” It was just Peter, because Peter needed a special word of encouragement.

Do you need encouragement today? Maybe you have come on difficult times. Personally.  Spiritually.  You didn’t plan on it, but it happened. And like Peter, maybe you ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time, ultimately finding things going wrong. Way wrong!

God gave Peter a second chance. And He will give you one, too—because Easter is for the person who needs a second chance.

Dare2Share and Glow Kids

by Ryan Haddox

Illuminate Ministries will be traveling to Washington D.C. on March 10-12 for the Dare2Share Conference. This is a high school and middle school aged event that has been changing lives all over the world for years and our kids get to take part in it!   The cost is $75 and that covers hotels, travel, and meals. Students will only need to bring money for personal stuff that they want to buy.

The Glow Kids Children’s Ministry is meeting EVERY WEDNESDAY at 6pm on the 4th floor for Glow Night! We’ll be discovering what God has in store for us and why we need to stay rooted in Him in order to do great things!

Please plan on bringing your children. It’s so important that we get children involved in stuff like this when they’re young so they can grow up in middle school and high school knowing God’s word and carry it to whatever college campus they attend

It’s Never Too Early

by Debbie Vanaman

It may seem that Christmas is far, far away but it’s never too early to start thinking about packing a shoebox this year.  This program distributes shoeboxes filled with personal items, school supplies and toys to children around the world all year long.  Many of these children have never heard about Jesus and this is their one and possibly only opportunity to learn about his love for them.

Due to the fact that I was out of the office for most of February and didn’t get my collection boxes out until the middle of February, we are going to again collect soap and washcloths during the month of March.  These boxes are located in the Welcome Center and in Fellowship Hall.

Please keep this program in your daily prayers as they strive to carry the word of God throughout the world.

Helping Hands Exists to Help Others – Your Help is Needed

Helping Hands is always in need of bar soap and toilet tissue.  These items are given out on a monthly basis to their clients and the need is growing every month.   Non-perishable food items are also needed.   Donations can be left in the box outside the church office.

Help is also needed in the form of actually working at Helping Hands.  Many of the workers have had to leave for medical or other reasons and the need for workers is great.  We are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until noon.  Please pray about this need and see Edna Nasby to let her know when you can work.

See…Spiritual Growth

by Norma Gunter

The American Baptist Women’s Ministry Focus for March, 2017 is See…Spiritual Growth.  The scripture is Psalm 34.  “As we enter the season of Lent, what spiritual disciplines might enable us to see with new eyes, to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God’s love, and to discover God’s will for us?  Spiritual growth occurs when we deepen our relationship with God and allow the Holy Spirit to open our eyes so that we see God everywhere we turn and in every person we encounter.”

One way, we as women, can grow and deepen our relationship with God is to watch the videos of the American Baptist Women’s Ministry of WV LEADERSHIP ACADEMY SESSIONS on YouTube.

We are so proud of our own Joyce Mills who was the speaker February 4, 2017 at the fourth session at Parchment Valley.  It’s too late to attend but we can all watch all four sessions.  They are available by going to the American Baptist Women’s Ministries of WV web site.  Click on Leadership Academy, on the left side of the site, which will direct you to YouTube.

In the past three months I’ve listed the three mission families we support here at First Baptist Church; the Aragon Family, the Myers Family and the Reed family.  We also support Debbie Mulneix, Lauren Bethel and Deborah House (where I visited several years ago).  Information on all of the missionaries we support can be found on www.internationalministries.org

The new year, 2017, brings with it a new M.O.P. (Mission Outreach Project).  The goal for 2017 is $6,000.  The ABW is, “helping the Aragon’s hit the road in southern Mexico with a 4-WD vehicle.” In December. 2016 I shared with you in the BEAM about our new mission family from WV.  They will be going to the mission field when they raise their support.  The new vehicle along with the other “Start Up” costs is $65,000.  West Virginia’s share is $6,000.  Our ABW will give to this offering.  Anyone else who would like to help, make the check to FBC and designate it to the Aragon’s.  Juan and Denise will be working with another of our supported missionaries, Keith and Debbie Myers. Their work is in the mountains which will  requires a 4-WD vehicle.

Our 2017 SPECIAL PROJECT is the Sunny Day Leadership and Activities Center furnishings of the meeting spaces.  The goal for this project is $12.000.

Another opportunity for spiritual growth and deepen our relationship with God is the second Women’s Camp March 31 to April 1, 2017 at Camp Cowen.  The first camp last year was a huge success.  The goal, “To unite generations of women to experience a weekend focused on living life as a Christian woman.”  The camp is for all ages 18 and older and costs $45.00.