Be all that you can be — Aim High!

You can be anything you set your mind to be! These are but a few examples of nice-sounding slogans intended to build up our self-esteem, or self-concept. While it is true that we live in a nation of vast opportunities, it is not factual to say we can always be anything we want to be.

We all have limitations with which we must learn to deal. These limitations can be physical and/or mental. What each of us needs to do is come to grips with our own personal situation. This does not, in any way, mean that we cannot overcome obstacles by striving to improve our life, but in all our efforts we must remember who is providing our abilities, and watching over our lives.

We do not have to ride the wave to the top in order to find happiness. Very often happiness is right under our noses, yet we fail to smell the roses. We may have the highest of ambitions, but if God has other plans (see Proverbs 16:9) we must find happiness where we are, and give it our all, and our all to the Lord.

If we place our trust in God, nothing else is of much consequence. We can make the most of what we have been given. In this way, we will learn many valuable lessons, including patience. So frequently, we look around and see what others have acquired or accomplished, and wonder why the same has not fallen into our lives. We must be willing to grow at our own pace, the pace God has set for us. At the same time, we must not fail to do our part. We are in this race together with God, and He will be there for us, if we are there for Him.

Be all you can be for Him!

Grace and Peace,

Ryan Haddox

Restoration Projects

by Rev Robert A Wendel

“Shall I forgive my brother as many as seven times?  You must forgive your brother from the heart.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.  You ought to forgive and comfort him.  Old things are passed away: behold all things are become new.” (Matt. 18:21-23, 35; Matt. 6:14-15; 2 Cor. 2:7;2 Cor. 5:17, NRSV.)

My former wife Kathryn’s family has owned fifty acres in the New York state mountains since 1912, on which they erected a pair of cabins and use as a family get-a-way.  During a vacation visit we went up there and I watched my father-in-law restore the large picnic table everyone ate upon breakfast, lunch and dinner.

After he stripped the table down to the bare wood, I saw why someone had painted it white.  It was ugly.  The top was gouged, discolored and scarred.  That was one day.  A second day began with me thinking “Will this table, which was so much part of the property, ever live again?”  Mr. Roberts placed the veneer on top, applied an oak stain and clear varnish.  Like new, the table was returned in all its grandeur, ready for another generation or two.

Seeing what happened with that old picnic table reminded me of what God can do with people.  He can forgive us of any sin and sand away our scars and imperfections if you will, and transform us into new creatures.  That’s how amazing His grace and how glorious His love is.

Fred Bauer wrote “Thank God that with Him sin knows no size, and that His forgiveness can take us to paradise.”

Marilyn Morgan Helleberg wrote for Guideposts, “Mr. Clark cheated my doctor father out of a considerable sum of money.  My dad was not a vengeful kind of man.  Then one night Mr. Clark was brought to the hospital ER hemorrhaging critically.  He said “I wouldn’t blame you if you let me bleed to death, Doc.”  Their blood types matched.  So, the doctor donated his own blood, saving Mr. Clark’s life and giving himself the opportunity to forgive.”

Hot Days of Summer

As those long hot days of summer are now upon us, Christmas seems so, so far away but truly for a child who has nothing, these shoeboxes are distributed every day to children around the world to help spread the name and message of Jesus Christ.

In June we were blessed to hear from a young man who as a child had received a shoebox.  This young man is now a spokesman for Samaritan’s Purse sharing his message of how that one small shoebox impacted and changed his life.

For the months of July and August we will be collecting school supplies such as crayons, markers, pencils and pens.  Collection boxes are located in the Welcome Center and in Fellowship Hall.  Above all, keep this program in your prayers as they reach out to children and families around the world.

Time to Replenish the Pantry

Summer is the time for vacation and rest.  While we do not pack our children’s backpacks during the summer we shop to replenish our food pantry.

We are ordering some food from the Mountaineer Food Bank at a greatly reduced cost.  Other food we purchase locally when it is on sale.  New backpacks are needed to start the school year.  After the children use a backpack for a full school term they are tattered and dirty.

Please pray for our children during the summer that they will be fed and safe.  Also continue to pray for the continued success of our Backpack Ministry.

For the months of July and August we request you purchase packets of instant oatmeal.

Thanks to you all for your contributions.  God Bless You!

Helping Hands is Reaching Out

Edna Nasby and her crew at Helping Hands have created a display that can be used in any business to help collect donations of food and clothing.  If you know of a business or work at a place where this display can be used, please contact her.

Their mission statement reads as follows:

  • To function as an inter-faith inter-denominational community ministry providing information, referral and emergency assistance for those in need in Raleigh  County.
  • To exist to maximize resources available to those in need, to act within the network of churches and organizations providing emergency services.
  • To seek to offer coordinated information for the community and public good.
  • To provide boxed food to a family in a 30-day period.   Clothing is also on a 30-day period.

To do all of the above, your help is needed both in providing non-perishable food and clothing but also to volunteer a morning of your time.  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated and you will be blessed.  As always, keep this mission in your prayers as they help the less fortunate here in Raleigh County.

Life Lesson #10,000

by Pastor Doc Adkins

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Matthew 5:13 

I am not quite sure why, but the other day I say a little girl having the time of her life evidently, with her own pack of chewing gum.  First it was one piece and another and so on, until I heard her mother say, “you chew it all now there’ll be nothing left for later.”  I nearly laughed out loud when I saw her reach in and stretch it out of her mouth as far as it would go. And then it happened! Smack!  It broke into and now gum is in her hair, on her chin, and stuck to her fingers.  Bummer!

Maybe I was just at the right place to see it all but maybe it was where I needed to be.  Kids are God’s living illustrations to life.

Here are a few random thoughts that came out of the moment.

Don’t Get Stuck.

Sometimes we get stuck in our spiritual walk. We have times where we just get in a rut. We kind of get stalled and it seems like nothing is going to work to fix it. We may not be spending time in God’s Word or we may be reading our Bible on a regular basis but we aren’t getting anything out of it. It’s like stretching out chewing gum.  Why do kids do it?  Chewing gum is meant for one thing only.  Chewing!!  Our walk with the Lord is for one thing only, to bring us closer to Him

Don’t Lose Your Flavor.

Gum is only tasty those first few seconds that you put it in your mouth.  It loses its flavor really quickly. How about you?  Do you feel like life has chewed you up and made you lose your desire to serve the Lord?  Infuse some flavor into your life by getting back to walking and talking with the One who can sustain you.  Read your Bible more.  Pray more.  Draw closer to the Lord and allow Him to encourage you and breathe new life into you.

We have to make a difference in this world.  Remember what Jesus said about being the salt of the earth in Matthew 5:13.…but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?…

Don’t Pop!

Have you ever been going along in your walk with the Lord and all of a sudden someone or outside forces brings you down?  The air goes out and you deflate.

I’ve had that happen to me and it can really bring you low.  I think that’s when we have to learn to keep our eyes on eternal values.  We can’t allow other people or circumstances to pop our bubbles.  We have to just keep on doing what we know is right and serving the Lord to the best of our ability.

We can also pop when we get too busy with life and forget to slow down.  There is so much wisdom in that old phrase, “learn to take life one day at a time”.

Don’t be Distracting.

Gum in someone’s mouth can be the most distracting thing.  It can annoy us.  It can throw us off focus. How about us?  Are we living in such a way that we distract the cause of Christ?  Do we bicker, gossip, and act unbecoming as a Christian?

Don’t be a stumbling block for others to reject Christ or for other Christians to falter in their Christian life. We have to keep our attitudes in check.  We have to keep our tongues in check.  We have to show the love of Christ.

Don’t Get Stuck to the Bottom of Someone’s Shoe.

Recently I got out of the car at Walmart and stepped in some gum.  It was a little warm and that gum stuck to my shoe big time.  I tried wiping it off by rubbing my foot in the little grassy area by the car and scraping my shoe on the cement but it just wouldn’t come off.

As I went on my way my foot kept sticking to the floor everywhere I went.  I have to tell you that that sticky gum put me in a bad mood.  I hate going to Walmart anyway but I just needed a couple things so I stopped there while I was out.  By the time I left I was pretty cranky and out of sorts.

As I pulled out of the parking lot, I realized that I had just let a little wad of gum spoil my day and cause my whole outlook to change.  I was in such a good mood when I pulled into the parking space.

I had allowed that insignificant sticky gum on the bottom of my shoe to determine the direction for my day—that direction being a pretty miserable attitude.

I know I need to not allow circumstances or other people to control how I act.  That day with the gum on my shoe, I had to stop right there and ask the Lord to forgive me and my attitude.

I think when we become that person with the bad attitude and the grumbling spirit; we end up being the gum stuck to someone else’s shoe.  We start annoying them.  We start being the thing that makes other people cranky and out of sorts.

Don’t Become Ugly.

Chewing gum comes out of the package all fresh and new.  It looks nice.  It smells nice.  Look what happens when it gets chewed though.  Chewed gum is just plain ugly.

It actually becomes little wads of ugly.  We have the potential to become little wads of ugly too.  As Christians, we have to continually allow the filling of the Holy Spirit and be sensitive to God’s leading or we will become dried out, ugly, and stuck to the bottom of a chair somewhere.

Don’t you love being around new Christians?  They are full of life and eager to learn and serve the Lord.  They are fresh and new and just out of the package

Conclusion:  I hope I can avoid some of the pitfalls of being gummed up in my life.  I don’t want someone to look under a desk someday and find me in a wad, dried out, and stuck fast.  I know I need to start by drawing closer to the Lord.  Ever soaked a jar to remove a stuck label?  That is what soaking in God’s Word can do for us.  It can break us free.

God’s Word is like that Goo Be Gone stuff.  It has the power to release us.  It can help scrape us off of the ledge.  It has the power to move us and get us unstuck.

When we are stuck and gummed up it clogs up the wheels of the cause of Christ.  I want my life to count for the Lord.  I want to make a difference.  In order to do that I have to remember that the Christian life is all about being that salt and light of the earth.

School is out!

School is out!  Not only do students love those words so do the many volunteers who work weekly to make sure our Backpack Kids receive their food.  A little break is good for everyone.

May was a month of blessings for the Backpack Ministry. Once again New Vision Pioneers provided $300.00 to purchase sneakers for every child.  Thank you New Vision Pioneers!   L&S Toyota of Beckley granted our ministry $200.00 from the L & S Toyota Facebook Challenge.  Thank you to Shawn Ball! We are blessed to have companies in our community who care for the well-being of our children.  Thanks again to everyone who has helped in any way to make this ministry possible.

For the month of June we will ask for more peanut butter contributions.  You can never have too much peanut butter for kids!

Please pray for our kids during the summer that they may have adequate food.

Summer Lift

by Rev Robert A Wendel

“There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven.  A time to laugh, a time to dance, a time to be quiet and a time to speak up.  It was like a dream!  We were filled with laughter, and sang with joy.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4,7; Psalm 126:1-2 New Living Translation)

Suddenly comes summer.  A chance to relax.  Put the date book aside.  Wear lighter clothes.  Eat ice cream, hot dogs, watermelon, and hamburgers, maybe even some cotton candy

A time out.  A planned break from our working life, perhaps an intentional relocation for days or a week or two. An opportunity to spend extra time with our children, our extended family or friends.  Vacation; a chance to literally take time to slow down and “smell the roses.”  Rest is a gift of God.“ (Heb. 4:9-11)

In our down time can come a gentle thought and we lift up our eyes.  It might be a story of kindness, heroism or courage as we read a novel or biography lying on a sandy beach or while sitting outside our pup tent in a wooded clearing with our pages turned by an occasional breeze.

While we’re driving our automobile, we might hear the notes of a melody long forgotten, stirring up teenage feelings of days gone by or nights replaced by today’s bright sunshine.

On his vacation I clearly remember how my dad would get so much pure job from showing us kids the places where he ‘grew up’.  That could have been meant to remind us that we had memories too.,

In the decades of ministry I have left, I want to promise myself to lift up my eyes to life so that I may read the guideposts along my way and not miss the important turns in the road.  Now, as a community minister I will lift up my eyes to love, not close my heart to the knocking hand, the tender cry or the anxious reach.

After all, at my ordination, Dr. Asquith told me “Your ministry will be among people in low places.”  Life’s narrow places, weekdays outside church walls, is where I am most needed, summer and winter!

Cultivate your life in Him

by Ryan Haddox

Matthew 13:3-9

3“He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

At any time, how receptive your heart is will determine your response to God’s word. If your heart has been trampled, and harden by bitterness and unforgiveness, then receiving God’s message for you will become more difficult. If your heart is like shallow soil on top of a rock, then your mind comprehends God’s truths, yet these truths do not penetrate your heart to make a real difference in your actions. Or if you are concerned about the riches of this life, then your focus is on the here and now, and these pursuits prevent God’s Word from taking hold and producing quality fruit. But a heart that is on good soil, receives the Word, applies the Word, and in due time bring forth abundant fruit! This is God’s desire for you — to have a heart cultivated on good soil!

How do you cultivate a heart on good soil? Repent of any bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, or any other sin that is hardening your heart! Seek the power of God to search your heart thoroughly and completely to root out all the weeds that hinder cultivating good soil. Cultivating good soil is a daily task — weeds spring up out of nowhere to hinder our growth. But , you are not ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Cor. 2:11). So break up your fallow ground, sow yourself in His righteousness, and soon you will bring forth abundant fruit fit for the kingdom!

Cultivate your life in Him — and He will produce His fruit through you!

Hospice needs our help

Hospice of Southern West Virginia is in need of volunteers to work at the Bower’s Hospice House.  Training will be offered on June 11th and June 13th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm each day.  For further information contact Becky at 304-255-6404.   You will be blessed.