Helping Hands that Help Others

Helping Hands Community Resource Center is a ministry not only of First Baptist Church but of other churches in the Raleigh County area.  We have volunteers from several churches and from the community who volunteer on a weekly basis both in our front office and back in our food and clothing room.  A special thank you to those volunteers.

This ministry is growing on a daily basis and so does the need for non-perishable food, soap, toilet paper and gently used men’s, ladies and children’s clothing. These donations allow us to help those in our community are in need of our services.  Please keep this ministry and these families in your prayers on a daily basis.   Your donations can be brought to Helping Hands Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 to noon or they can be left in the large box outside the church office.

The Flowers of God’s Garden

Julia Johnston, 1908 (Edited and Adapted by Doc Adkins)

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11

Have you ever seen a garden in full bloom?  Do you remember it?  I remember my Grandmother’s flower garden. Actually, she had them everywhere. Some were by the front porch of the farmhouse, some huge sunflowers at the end of the garden, and some flowers planted in pots she kept and accumulated from year to year. Each flower there was carefully arranged, carefully spaced, carefully pruned, and tenderly cared for.

I learned a lot about planting and caring for what you plant from my Grandmother and it in a small way reminds me of our relationship with God.

Despite the weather, the garden is always tended, the gardener never taking a break from his labors. Do you see it? Smell the air, with the odors of hundreds, thousands, billions of flowers, each one separate, and each one contributing to the bouquet. Feel the breeze, changing directions and bringing new petals to lie at your feet. You see this garden? This is the garden of God. Each flower and each plant is a life, a person, a soul.

Some of the flowers bloom fully and mightily, giving their all for their short span in the garden while some sulk and refuse to blossom.  Some flowers hold back their distinctive smells and colors while others refuse to be dragged down to the mundane. In every case, each flower is tended by the great gardener Himself. Each flower, each shrub, tree, bush, and plant is pruned so that it will have the maximum growth possible and will be displayed to its fullest potential.

Each plant is carefully planted and watered, from the seed to full maturity because the Gardener knows what is best for that plant. The Gardener also knows where He wants that plant and how He desires to show off and display the plant that each plant is the most beautiful to be seen. The Gardener has a plan for His garden and nothing will get in the way.

Each arrangement shows off every flower to its best potential, each skilled grouping takes every flower to its utmost. In every case the Gardener knows what is best, encouraging, cajoling, challenging, pruning, or just letting it go. Every flower is different, every plant is unique, and the Gardener knows each one by name. It is the most beautiful garden in the universe. Do you see it?

You are part of it. You are an integral part of it, not just a sideline attraction. You are the main show, the primary exhibition in God’s great garden of Life!

Don’t be ashamed of what you are in God’s sight but rather be glad for that is how God, our Gardener sees you. Glorious, filled, and given every chance to exceed! You are His prized selection! There is no pressure to perform, just be! Just by existing you make Him so proud! Don’t be ashamed if you are a petunia, a daisy, or lily. The orchids and roses display you to your best! He is pleased with you no matter what the beauty of the others may be, no matter the size of their petals or the depth of their roots. You are unique and only you can do and be where He wants you to be or to do.


Operation Christmas Child 2017

by Debbie Vanaman

As you are reading this article, children all around the world are receiving a shoebox, perhaps one that you packed, and learning about the love of Jesus for the very first time.  As they open up their boxes, they shout for joy at the contents and that someone whom they do not know thought enough of them to pack a shoebox and show the love of God.

We here in the southern part of West Virginia last year packed over 16,000 shoeboxes and that was a record for our area.  The grand total world-wide last year topped 11 million and there still isn’t enough shoeboxes to fill the demands that Samaritan’s Purse receives each year.  Thank you so very much for your support and prayers for this project.

For the month of April, we will be collecting school supplies such as pencils, pens, crayons, markers, small note pads or notebooks, erasers and pencil sharpeners.  Donation boxes are located in the Welcome Center and at the top of the ramp in Fellowship Hall.   Again thank you so very much for your prayers and donations as we strive to carry out the Great Commission to spread the name of Jesus to every corner of the world.

Helping Hands to Help Others in Need

Thanks so very much for your support over these past winter months.  The need was greater than ever and with God’s help we managed to serve the people in our community with coats and blankets as well as food, clothing, soap and toilet paper.  But, the need is still there and grows weekly.    Donations can be dropped off at Helping Hands or placed in the box outside the church office.

We could also use some help working during the hours we are open which is Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 until noon.  Some of our regular workers can no longer help and there are days when we are short-handed.  Please contact Edna Nasby and ask her when she needs help.

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.