Grace Undeniable

by Robert A Wendell

“Do Not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace. But, grow in the knowledge of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Meanwhile), God, himself, will restore, support, strengthen and establish you.” (Hebrews 13:9, 2 Peter 3:18, I Peter 5:10 NRSV).

Grace seems to be the one word in a Christian vocabulary that unlocks the necessity and the power of the relationship between the Almighty and humankind. Still, there are those moments when we doubt that unique connection.   I may not be doing the most exciting things with my days, but in the middle of those highs and lows and downright monotonous chores, one thing remains true:  I am here for a purpose – a mission.  And the mission is to glorify God.  God in all I do.  God in all I say – and in every word I write.

Grace provides ‘the wind beneath my wings.’  Grace is the oil that makes everything run smoothly and gently.  Having a graceful flow to the day or the week doesn’t just come from having a laid-back attitude.  It comes from understanding that grace is God – generated and heaven – sent.

Grace is flexible.  Grace trumps fear and worry with the sure notion that the Lord is at the spiritual helm of our lives.  After all, each one of us is a reflection of God’s all-intelligent control.  Even in pressure-packed times, it’s wise to wait on our Maker.  Feeling grace helps me pursue what seems the right move for that moment.

Grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more.  He invites me to sit at His table.  Grace also helps me feel more gracious, looking outward toward others first.  As we actively run toward the Divine and make room for grace, order and pace can ‘flow like a river.

Jerry Bridges, author for the Navigators Discipleship Organization wrote, “Our worst days are never so bad that we are beyond the reach of grace.  And our best days are never so good that we are beyond the need of God’s grace.”

Things You Might Not Know About Beckley First Baptist

  • We have a very active prayer chain ministry.  Call the church office at 304-253-4252 if you have a prayer concern or if you wish to be added as a prayer warrior to one of our three prayer chains.
  • We have a birthday list and birthdays are listed every month here in the BEAM as well as receiving a birthday card from Pastor Doc. If you would like your name added, please contact the church office.
  • We have a mass email messaging system for cancellations or other important events as well as reminders of board and committee meetings.   If you would like to be included, drop an email to the church at fbcbeckley@hotmail.com with your name and email address and we will be glad to add you to the list. 
  • If for any reason church services are cancelled, it will be shown on WVVA TV’s closing announcement that usually scroll at the bottom of the TV screen. 
  • We also collect used printer ink cartridges to be recycled at Staples.  We receive $2.00 for each cartridge and this helps in purchasing office supplies.   They can be left in the church office on the long counter. 

ABW February Update

The Lizzie Lewis Circle meets the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 pm here at the church. They are an active group of ladies who carry on the mission of the American Baptist Women by being involved in various mission projects through the ABW Ministries as well as mission projects right here in Beckley.  They are also involved in a project of collecting used postage stamps. So save your used postage stamps and leave them in the church office in the container on the counter.

Join these ladies on the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m. and see what all the fun is about.

Helping Hands Continues Its Mission

We continue to need toilet paper, bar soap and winter clothing.  Donations can be either delivered to Helping Hands Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 until noon or left in the large black container outside the church office.  We are still in need of volunteers to help out.  Contact them at 304-253-3467 if you can donate even a few hours a week.  If you shop at Kroger, check out their Community Rewards page at Kroger.com. You can select Helping Hands and a portion of our purchase is donated to them.  Contact the church office if you have any questions on this program.

As always, please keep us in your prayers as we continue to minister to the less fortunate in Raleigh County.  

Operation Christmas Child 2019

by Debbie Vanaman

Well the month of January certainly was a snowy and cold month.  So for the month of February we will continue to collect bar soap and washcloths.  Collection boxes will be in Fellowship all and the Welcome Center for your your donations.

Once again, as always, I ask you to keep this mission in your prayers as they continue to spread the love of Jesus Christ through something as simple as a shoebox.  God bless you all.

America for Christ Offering 2019

Our goal is $1,500

The America for Christ Offering is the American Baptist response to the needs of home missions within and beyond the local congregation in witness and service for Christ as mandated by the Great Commission.

The Lord Jesus Christ intends for every member of the church to do the work of the ministry. The intention of ministry is to build up each other’s faith and love. God’s design is to use human support and encouragement to sustain the faith of God’s children and to lighten the burdens they bear in the service of love for their community.

American Baptists minister as God’s heart and hands, healing the broken and the downtrodden. Congregations and individuals serve on the front lines of local communities, opening wide our doors, intervening amid the messiness, healing the broken-hearted, and caring for others amid disaster and devastation.

There are contribution envelopes located in the pew racks in the sanctuary for your donation.

Loved

by Pastor Doc Adkins

“Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.’” Acts 10:34-35 (NIV)

Think for a minute about some of
your favorite things: your favorite food, your favorite show, your favorite
outfit, your favorite hobby. We all have things in life that we just enjoy.
Mine are hunting and football. Oh! Opps! And my Church family.  We may even have a few people that we like
more than others. I’m just going to let you guess if I’m talking about you and
thinking about you.  We tend to gravitate
toward people who are kind, compassionate, loyal, and selfless. It’s hard not
to have a few favorite people in your life that you are drawn to more than
others.

But God isn’t like that. Boy! Am I
glad! He “does not show favoritism.” We are all incredibly and equally special
to Him! Even when we become “spiritually crazy’ and let our sin nature get the
best of us, He does not love us any less. He never picks favorites, and nothing
we do can ever diminish His all-consuming love for us. He loves each one of us
individually, and we are all complete in Him. There is no favoritism with our
Father.

Yet at the same time, He does show
us his favor by lavishing His love on each and every one of us! Just take a
minute to think about the fact that, as Psalm 30:5 (NIV) says, “… his favor
lasts a lifetime… ” God favors me? Yep. And he does so throughout your entire
life. Wow.

What does this mean for us? It means
that we can rejoice in God’s favor! But it also means that we need to show
favor to the people around us, recognizing that they are all loved by God just
as much as we are. Maybe it’s that person who just rubs you the wrong way.
Maybe it’s that person you’re harboring a grudge against. Let’s follow God’s
example today and show love to everyone!

“God has no favorite children.”

 In Zephaniah 3:17 (NKJV) we
read,  “The Lord your God is in your
midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He
will quiet you with His love,  He will
rejoice over you with singing.”

Over the years, I have talked with
folk who have a blind spot when it comes to God’s love. Oh, they believe that
God is love, that He loves the world and the sinner and their neighbor. Yet it
is difficult for them to let the reality sink in that God loves them—personally.
God really loves you. Deeply, passionately, individually—God loves you.

There are several factors that
contribute to our difficulty in understanding and accepting that we are loved.
Perhaps it is a painful past or deep insecurity. There may be an old sin or
unfulfilled longing. Once a seed of doubt is sown (“Does God really love me?”)
we can allow circumstances and fears to push us further down the path of
disbelief in God’s love for us.

Part of what makes it so sad to see
folk doubting God’s love for them is the sheer magnitude of His love. Scripture
tells us that not only does God love us, He delights in us. I love that thought
and image of my Father in heaven delighting in me. He is not just tolerating or
putting up with me!  And, there are many
times I would just deserve it all!

Although we may feel unloved, that
is simply untrue. The truth is that you are the object of His affection, day in
and day out. He wants you, He likes you, He pursues you, and He enjoys being
with you and He chooses you. You are as much His favorite as anyone.  The state of your house, car, bank account,
or even your “dirty laundry” in no way affects His love for you. Nothing in
this world can hinder, not even in the slightest, His great love for you and
me.

“It’s not about finding ways to
avoid God’s judgment and feeling like a failure if you don’t do everything
perfectly. It’s about fully experiencing God’s love and letting it perfect you.
It’s not about being somebody you are not. It’s about becoming who you really
are.”
– Stormie Omartian

SO:   Be fearless: We are His, and that is
enough. He welcomes us, period. You are favored by Him, and nothing you can do
will change that fact!  He loves you!

Helping Hands Needs You

We continue to need toilet paper, bar soap and winter clothing.  Donations can be either delivered to Helping Hands Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 until noon or left in the large black container outside the church office.  We are still in need of volunteers to help out.  See Edna Nasby if you can donate even a few hours a week.

As always, please keep us in your prayers as we continue to minister to the less fortunate in Raleigh County.

Walking in the Sunlight

by Rev Robert A Wendel

“Light is sweet, and it is a pleasure for the eyes to see the sun.  Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.  Let days speak and many years teach wisdom.” (Ecclesiastes 11:7, 7:11, Job 32:7 NRSV)

It is 2000 in Fredonia, New York.  The local clergy group usually met eight times a year for lunch.  But our January pow-wow was always at 8:00 a.m. to plan for the year’s shared events including a series of Lenten and Advent rotating, fund-raising luncheons supporting community ministry.

Less than two weeks before we all had celebrated Christmas as pastors in our various congregations.  Mine was Fredonia Baptist.

It’s the first month of a new decade and as I watched the sun come into full glow, I wondered what critical decisions would shape the direction of the future.  In the next eighteen years, I would live in Ashland, Ohio, Beckley and Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.  Each relocation changed my live.

We all have made good and bad decisions.  Decision-making really begins as we enter 9th grade to start our chosen course of study taking us through the public high school years.  Career choices, like where to live and work, marriage, children, health issues and retirement, lay ahead.  Our train can run off the track but decisions do not define us.

God is not limited by our poor navigation or circumstances. He is faithful in enabling our personal river to flow to the sea.  And surely, grace from on High lights our way.

British novelist James Hilton wrote Lost Horizon about a group of climbers who stumble upon Shangri-La, a Utopian-like settlement in the mountains of Tibet where people enjoy unheard of longevity.  The High Lama shares this wisdom with the stranded visitors:

‘The first quarter century of your life was, doubtless, lived under the cloud of being too young for things, while the next quarter-century would, normally, be shadowed by the still darker cloud of being too old for them; and between these two clouds, small and narrow sunlight illuminates the human lifetime.” (page 153)

ABW January Update

The Lizzie Lewis Circle meets the first Thursday of each month at 1:00 here at the church.  They are an active group of ladies who carry on the mission of the American Baptist Women by being involved in various mission projects through the ABW Ministries as well as mission projects right here in Beckley.

They are also involved in a project of collecting used postage stamps. So save your used postage stamps and leave them in the church office in the container on the counter.

Join these ladies on the first Thursday of the month at 1:00 p.m.  and see what all the fun is about.