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.

ABW March Update

Lizzie Lewis Circle continues to meet on the first Thursday of every month which this month will be March 5th at 1:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. We will be working on several mission projects and they 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.

Red Ink in the Gospels

by Rev Robert A Wendel

“You call me teacher for so I am. Teach me your statues. If (anyone) loves me they will keep my words and my Father will love them.” (John 13:13, Psalm 119:12, John 14-23 KJV).

The gospels were written between 40 AD and 100 AD. There are other first century sources not included in the standard biblical text. The Gospel of Matthew reflects the method and deliberation of a careful Hebrew man. Young John Mark betrays the eagerness of a man who does not think too long before he acts. Luke is the work of a warmhearted Greek physician. John reveals the profound brooding thoughts of a devote apostle who had pondered long upon the mystery of Christ.

Red print (1901) is like a grammatical slowdown sign. These words, phrases and paragraphs are the essence of Jesus’ instructions for life, first recorded by Mark decades after the resurrection.

The story of Jesus began as an Aramaic and Greek oral tradition. Some non-academic New Testament publishers print Jesus’ supposed actual words using red typeface like bright patches of scarlet among all the lines of black ink.

Jesus was indeed a man of new words. “Let your light shine.” (Matthew 5:15). “Come and follow me.” (Matthew 19:21). “Make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19). “I am the resurrection and the life. (John 11:25.)

This Lenten season we’ll read the red letter sentences and think about what Jesus thought was important. He is our salvation.

According to Thomas Jefferson “A valuable talent is that of not using two words when one will do.” Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen remarked “Only the teachable find a teacher, only the docile find the doctor, only the humble find God.”

Blessing Bags

Our children have started a new project and are asking for your help. They are learning how everyone is not as fortunate as they are and how blessed they are.

They are making blessing bags that will consist of soap, socks, gloves, a washcloth, toothpaste and toothbrush, brush or comb and hand sanitizer and be put in a gallon Ziploc bag. These are going to be made by our children, distributed as needed. Donations can be left in the box in the Welcome Center.

Our Glow Kids meet every Wednesday at 6:00 PM on the third floor. If you have a child or grandchild grades K-5, they are welcome to come and join the fun and learn about Jesus.

Higher Lord!

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Back on the farm in Summers County there was a huge pasture field beside the old farm house. It gradually got steeper the further out you went and after a time you’d come to a huge knoll near the backside of the field. From there it was a long hill that went downward for a hundred yards or so. You get the picture? The great thing about this knoll was that it was a perfect place to fly a kite. March is kite flying weather because of the wind. March is also unpredictable. It can be sunny, raining, snowing and lots of wind all in the same day if not in a same hour.

Wind is a powerful thing and a must for kite flying. Without a good strong blowing wind you’re just wasting your time. Prayer is a lot like an amazing wind. To know that we as Christians can tap into the almighty power of God just because we are His children is such a wonderful thing. Think about God’s power for a few moments.

We see it in creation, in the plagues of Egypt, in Daniel in the lion’s den, in Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego walking in the fiery furnace, in the miraculous story of Joseph’s safety, and in Noah and the flood. We pray to the same God and that should be exciting to us as Christians.

The power of prayer can lift us to new heights and we begin to fly like kites. We can sail along because we know we can bring our petitions and situations to an Almighty God who loves and cares for us, yet has the power to change things.

We can fly because God has the power to change our lives.

Think about Paul. Before he met Christ his name was Saul, and he went around persecuting Christians, but God changed him. Paul’s whole life was changed. His thoughts, attitudes, his whole mission in life changed for God’s glory. It’s the same God that has power to change us as well.

We can fly because God has the power to change those around us.

Is there someone you know whom you are concerned about in the area of salvation? Keep praying. Is there someone around you such as a family member or maybe even co-worker who seems to constantly bug you and get you down? Make them a matter of prayer. God can change the people around us.

We can fly because God has the power to change our circumstances.

Ever felt like your kite of life has hit a tree? I’ve been through my share of circumstances and I know first-hand that circumstances can knock the wind right out of your sails. With a few bad circumstances your kite can come tumbling down. You might not be able to do anything about those circumstances on your own but God can do something about them.

Look at how the circumstances changed in Joseph’s life. Remember how Joseph was put into a pit by his brothers and sold into slavery? He even ended up in prison, but God had a way of changing the circumstances for Joseph till he became the ruler over all that Pharaoh had.

That’s our God that did that. The same one we pray to is able to change the circumstances we face.

We can fly because God has the power to heal.

We have several examples in the bible of how Jesus healed the sick and lame. We have that same power available to us through prayer. Not only can Christ heal physically but He has the power to heal our hurts and feelings as well.

Maybe you feel like your kite has a big hole in it where someone wronged you or you’re going through a situation that is leaving you just torn apart and a little ragged inside. Your life may seem to be heading down in a spiral motion. Make it a matter of prayer and let that wonderful healing power of Christ lift you back up into the air again.

We can fly because God has the power to sustain.

Maybe you feel like your kite of life got stuck in the telephone wires somewhere along the way and you’re absorbing just a little bit too much shock. God has the power to lift you above that and sustain you. I think of Joseph again. He endured a lot but God brought him through it.

Look how David relied on God’s strength when Saul was seeking to kill him. David prayed and cried out continuously to God and God brought him through all of that. We still have the same God to sustain us as we fly through life. He gives us the strength and courage to keep flying along.

Look at Paul and his ailment that seemed to just be a continual bother to him. What did God show him?

And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Conclusion: It really encourages me to think about these things that God has the power to do in our lives, in our circumstances, and in the lives of others around us.

When we think all we can do is float down, down, down, we need to tap into that awesome power of God by way of prayer. With prayer we can be lifted to new heights. BUT! The only way to reach these heights is to loosen the strings that binds us and let God take us where His wind leads us.

So, how’s your prayer life flying?

Rolling Along

Our
GLOW kids continue to meet on Wednesday evenings at 6PM on the third
floor.  There is a time of fun, a great
lesson and maybe a craft.    Contact
Debbie King for further information on this great children’s program. 

Our
Illuminate Youth Group is also continuing to meet on Sunday evenings at 6PM on
the Youth Floor. They had a lock-in during Christmas break and a great time was
had by all who attended.    You can
contact Pastor Tim Mitchem and find out what is next on the youth’s
program.