Men: Clean out your closet!

We have been truly blessed in this ministry with your prayers, support and donations of food, clothing and monetary gifts.  Through these donations, we have been able to help countless numbers of families this year who have fallen on hard times and need what we have to give.

We are constantly in need of men’s clothing and shoes.  So men, let’s help your wives with that spring cleaning and clean out a closet or two.

Now that summer has come and the children are out of school, let’s remember those families who may not have enough to keep their children fed while they are out of school.   Non-perishable food items can be left in the donation box outside the church office.

Alex is Coming!

Our main focus for the month of June will be our guest speaker on June 3rd at 6:00 pm here at the church.  His first name is Alex (and his last name I cannot begin to pronounce, but he is from Rwanda, Africa), and as a child in an orphanage he received a shoebox from Operation Christmas Child.  That box was the start of turning his life around.  He now is a speaker for OCC and shares his testimony and his love for Jesus Christ.    We will be having a pie social at the conclusion of his testimony so you can meet Alex and have a time of fellowship.  I ask you to make every effort to attend this special service.

For the month of June we will be collecting small stuffed animals as well as combs and hairbrushes.  Another suggestion would be children’s sunglasses.  Evidently they are one of those items that are a big hit with the children.  Donation boxes are located in the Welcome Center and in Fellowship Hall.    

Hey, Preacher! Wanna get a cup?    

by Pastor Doc Adkins

…Be ye holy; for I am holy.  1 Peter 1:16

Many years ago while living in Pineville, WV, I had a great buddy in the church who every time he saw me in town would yell to me, “hey Preacher, wanna go get a cup”?  I must say most times, if time permitted I would.  We would go to the Pineville Restaurant and share a cup of coffee.  Most times the coffee was pretty good but there were a few times that it couldn’t have been worse.

I think everyone disagrees on what makes a good cup of coffee. With today’s hot coffee trend, we try all kinds of flavorings and different ways of experiencing coffee. It used to be basically served black or with cream and sugar. There wasn’t much variety.

Nowadays, people like coffee served and brewed a lot of different ways. We tend to disagree on what’s good. What we usually agree on is the basics on what makes a bad cup of coffee.

It can be weak, bitter, stale, cold, or soured by something we put in it and we’d probably all agree that it tastes bad. Face it. No one likes to drink a bad cup of coffee.

I don’t suppose people like those bad tasting Christians they come across either. I wonder what type of coffee we’d be.

Weak

When we are weak Christians, we don’t have much faith. Sometimes when we are weak we don’t know God’s Word enough to know what we stand on. The way to remedy our weakness is to add some grounds.

Dig into God’s Word and get grounded on the principles found in the bible. Study the attributes of God. Learn what you believe concerning doctrine and bone up on the basics of living the Christian life. Enrich yourself with a vibrant prayer life and rely on God’s strength and not your own.

Bitter

I’ve known my share of bitter Christians and I’ve been there at a few points in my own life but if bitterness isn’t dealt with, it starts growing and eating up your life. Bitterness doesn’t leave a pleasant aroma.

You can’t do much with a bitter cup of coffee. No matter how much cream or sugar, or even how much whip cream you want to plop on top, the bitter taste is still there. You have to dump it out and refill the cup with a new fresh brewed pot of coffee. Isn’t that just so like in the Christian life? No matter how much we add to our Christian lives, no matter how many good deeds we do, how many church programs we become involved with, if our bitterness is still there, we are still bitter and it hinders us in our Christian walk.

What we need to do is empty all our bitterness and ourselves of self and then allow the filling of the Holy Spirit to take control of our lives.

Stale

The dictionary describes, stale as “tasteless or unpalatable from age”. Do you ever get complacent about your Christianity? Just have lost that first love? It’s easy to do, especially for those of us who’ve known the Lord for a very long time. We kind of get weary in well doing.

I know we don’t want to just sit as Christians and not do anything but we do. “Unpalatable” doesn’t go far enough to describe us sometimes. I guess we need to freshen up.

There’s a worship chorus that says, “Holy Spirit fall fresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.” I think that’s what we all need so that we will get busy for the Lord. We don’t want to be Christians that just sit and get stale and tasteless.

Cold

You may have brought a cup of coffee to your lips that you hadn’t realized had gotten cold. You think it’s going to be warm and good and then you realize that it’s cold. We get that way in our desire to serve Christ. We grow cold as a Christian.

There are probably a lot of reasons. We get away from Christ, slowdown in our bible reading and prayer life, stop going to church and pretty soon we are cold.

What do you do to a cold cup of coffee? Most of us just add a little bit of hot stuff from the coffee pot. We go to the source of the heat. That’s how we should do as Christians. Go to the Source. Get on our knees and talk to the Lord. Draw closer to Him and then we’ll get warmed up in our Christian walk.

Sour

Have you ever tried something new in your coffee? With all those new flavorings and things out there, I’m sure some have. Ever tried something in your coffee that just left a sour taste in your mouth and that didn’t agree with you? Or maybe you’ve put some cream that had gone bad into your coffee. That’s a sure fire way to ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee.

It’s the same thing when we allow worldly and ungodly things into our lives as Christians. It doesn’t agree with us because we are in the world but not of it. As Christians, those things sour us and basically make us rotten. We become ineffective in our Christian lives when we allow the things of the world to come spilling in.

Conclusion:

I hope I don’t prove to be a bad cup of coffee. The verse, “…Be ye holy; for I am holy”,  1 Peter 1:16 is a powerful verse. One way of preaching it is talking about how spending time with the Lord brings that sweet aroma.

I think that’s what this is all about. In order to avoid being weak, bitter, stale, cold, and sour as Christians, we have to learn to be in the presence of God more.

Spending time with the Lord through prayer, bible reading and study is what’s going to make us into those strong cups of coffee. It will allow us to let the Holy Spirit stir us. I know I need to work on spending more time with Christ. I think we sometimes take our time with the Lord lightly. I know, perhaps, I do.

Thoughts from Our Youth Pastor…

Throughout the Bible we read about the great joy we can have in the Lord –

“…the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)

“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.” (Psalm 5:11)

“… in your presence there is fullness of joy…” (Psalm 16:11)

“Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous…” (Psalm 32:11)

“Then I will go to … God my exceeding joy…” (Psalm 43:4)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy … in believing” (Romans 15:13)

“The fruit of the Spirit is… joy” (Galatians 5:22)

“Rejoice in the Lord always…”  (Philippians 4:4)

But what exactly is this joy?

Pleasure and Satisfaction in Christ

Many passages show that this joy is an emotional feeling of pleasure and satisfaction (Psalm 4:7, for example).

But this joy is not pleasure and satisfaction in our circumstances; it’s pleasure and satisfaction in God as he is revealed in Jesus Christ (Habakkuk 3:17-18 and 1 Peter 1:8, for example).

So why is it that many Christians don’t experience this joy?

Why so Little Joy?

One answer dawned on me yesterday as I was praying about my lack of joy.

God does promise to give this joy to every believer (Psalm 63:7;Psalm 68:3; Luke 2:10; John 16:20,22; for example).

But he also tells us how he will give it to us – through faith.

Notice how joy and faith are connected in these verses –

  • “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” (Psalm 13:5)
  • “You make him glad with the joy of your presence. For the king trusts in the LORD (Psalm 21:6-7)
  • “For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33:21)
  • “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13)
  • “I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith” (Philippians 1:25)
  • “Though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8 New American Standard Version)

So there is a cause-effect relationship between faith and joy.  God promises to pour out this joy when we turn to him in faith.

So maybe one reason we don’t experience this joy is because we don’t pursue it by faith.

Getting There by Faith

If someone told you that the way to get to your destination was by bicycle, what would you do?

You would not start walking, or get in the car.  You would hop on your bicycle, and start peddling.

So when God tells us that the way to get to joy is by faith, what should we do?  We should turn to him in faith.

But so often, when I lack joy, I don’t turn to God in faith.

Instead, I languish in spiritual dullness, or busy myself with activity, or complain to my wife.

But what I should do is turn to God in faith.

But How?

Faith means trusting all that God promises to be to us in Christ Jesus.

So how do I turn to God in faith?

First — I turn to God just as I am, in my dullness and sinfulness, knowing that because of Christ’s death I will be loved and welcomed.

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)

Second – I confess all known sin to the Father.  I confess whatever I am seeking joy in besides Christ, and ask him to help me turn my heart back to him.  I am assured that through Christ I am completely forgiven.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Third — I look to God, trusting him to give me what I need.  All that I bring to the table is neediness.  But in Christ God promises to give me everything I need.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Fourth — I earnestly ask God to give me joy in him by strengthening my faith, overcoming my sinful blindness, and showing me his glory.

Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:18)

Fifth – I notice whatever worries or desires are keeping me from joy in the Lord, and work on slaying those with promises from the word of God — the sword of the Spirit.

… and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God … (Ephesians 6:17)

Sixth – I pray over passages describing God’s glory until I experience the Spirit enlightening the eyes of my heart so I once again see and feel the all-satisfying glory of God in Christ.

… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened … (Ephesians 1:17-18)

Try This

As soon as you can, set everything else aside, and take time to turn to God by faith.

As you do, notice how the Holy Spirit strengthens your faith, shows you God’s glory, and gives you joy in beholding Christ.

And notice how that happened — by faith.

It’s by faith that God promises to give us joy in him.

So seek him — by faith.

 

Grace and Peace,

Ryan Haddox

News for Helping Hands

God has richly blessed the ministry of Helping Hands with many, many volunteers without whom this ministry could not function.  We have also been blessed with the outpour of donations that are given to help those less fortunate in Beckley and Raleigh County.  Each month our ministry continues to grow and reach out to these families with food and clothing.

At the ABW Spring Rally last month their special project was what they called “Love Rolls” or toilet tissue.  You need to look for the Power Point picture to see the result – let’s say it was enormous and thanks to all the ladies who contributed.

As always, we are in need of non-perishable food items  and bar soap as our supply sometimes goes out as quickly as it comes in. Also, when you are doing your spring cleaning, if you come across any blankets that you wish to donate, we can store them until winter.   Donations can be left in the box outside the church office.  Please keep us in your prayers as we help those who pass through our doors.

Changing Lives Around the World

by Debbie Vanaman

Operation Christmas Child has been a part of our church for almost 20 years and in all that time, there are children around the world who still have not heard the name Jesus.  Most of these children live in remote villages and towns in less than desirable conditions.

On June evening, June 3rd, we here at FBC will have the opportunity to hear first-hand from someone who as a child received a shoebox and how that shoebox has impacted his life.  I’ve heard stories like this and you will truly be blessed to hear how something that you have packed has impacted a child, a family and even an entire town.  We will be having refreshments and a time of fellowship following the service.

For the month of May we will be collecting soap and washcloths.   Donation boxes are in Fellowship Hall and in the Welcome Center.  Also throughout the year, if we feel so led, we are also asking for monetary contributions to help with shipping the shoeboxes that the youth will be making later this year.

I ask that you pray for this ministry and that its mission of spreading the name of Jesus to children around the world continue to touch young lives through the word of God.

Only one more month of school is remaining!

by Helen Greene

Only one more month of school is remaining for the 2017-2018 school year.  We have been successful in delivering backpacks to Beckley Elementary weekly thanks to the efforts of many volunteers.  We have a menu planner, shoppers and packers.  Volunteers pick up the empty backpacks and those who deliver the filled ones back to the school. Of course we can’t forget those who donate food and money every month.  Without all of these willing volunteers it would be impossible to complete these tasks weekly. Each volunteer is such a blessing to this ministry.  Thanks to every one of you and May God Bless You.

Continue to pray for this ministry and each of the children being served.

Please donate 16 oz. plastic jars of peanut butter for the month of May.

  

Is handbell ringing one of your hidden talents?

If God has given you this talent (or maybe you just want to try something new) and you might be interested in playing hand bells, please see Cathy Broughman and give her your contact info and a day or evening when you would be available when school is over.  I believe my last day is June 7th.    These handbells have been in the church for many, many years and if we have no volunteers, their sounds will never be heard again.                                 

Thanks and God Bless  from Cathy Broughman

The Kindest Cut

by Rev Robert A Wendel

Do not overlook hospitality to (strangers), for some have entertained angels without knowing it.  King David asked, “Is there no member of Saul’s family to whom I may show kindness?  There is a son of Jonathan; he is a cripple, lame in both feet.”  David replied “I mean to show him kindness for his father’s sake.  Mephibosheth will be a regular guest at my table.” (Hebrews 13:2, 2Samual 9:3,10 NEB, NET

As a boy, I was fortunate to have been in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout Programs from age eight to age eighteen, earning the God and County Award.  Later as a pastor after six years as a District Chairman in western New York State, I was awarded the Silver Beaver for outstanding service to the local Scout Council and its troops approved by the National BSA Court of Honor in 2003.  Every Scout knows the Scout slogan “Do a Good Turn Daily”

“This does not mean that you should do one good turn every day and then stop.  It means you should always be looking for opportunities to help others, quietly and without boasting.   Remember that a good turn is an act of kindness, not just something you do because it is good manners.  Good turns should be done for family, friends, children and adults and especially for those who are not able to do the task themselves.”  The Boy Scout Handbook.

It was the noon hour Thursday, March 8th at a busy lunch counter in the Waffle House in La Marque, Texas when 18  year-old Evoni Williams noticed 78 year old Ardain Chpentair, who suffers from weakness in his hands, having trouble cutting his ham.  So, Miss Williams offered to cut it for him.  Another patron photographed it all and put it on the internet.  A local college official saw the recorded event and responded giving the waitress a $16,000 scholarship for the next calendar year,

One Sunday, after concluding the weekly worship at the Beckley, WV VA Medical Center, an elderly volunteer asked me to have lunch with him at a nearby restaurant.  VA staff lifted me into his Land Rover.  After we finished our meal, we were in a tough spot until I noticed a pair of W.V. State Troopers eating and they kindly agreed to lift me into the chapel volunteer’s vehicle, one cop saying “Glad to do it chaplain.  You prayed with my dad before his same day surgery at the VA.”

A Moroccan proverb says “God is merciful to those who are kind.”

The Power that Keeps Us Turning in the Right Direction

by Pastor Doc Adkins

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.    Ephesians 4:30

Just some weeks ago I was traveling on I-64 E coming back into Beckley and as I passed the Erma Byrd Center I notice that the big windmill beside it was spinning around like crazy. The wind was just “whipping“ through the air that day and boy did the windmill cut a shine!

Then not long ago I saw a little girl with a colorful pinwheel. She seemed intrigued at watching it and waving it around to get the blades to turn. I amused myself at watching her get it going really good and the use her finger to stop it. It surely did keep her attention. You remember the pinwheel from our youth.  We all had one and how much fun it would be watching the colors fly by as the wind blew the blades and we used every imaginable thing we could to stop the blades and then start over again.

Most of us know that pinwheels or windmills don’t just spin around on their own volition. There has to be a wind source of some kind. You have to blow on it with your own breath or take it outside and allow the wind to move it. (Just a thought of from days gone by, “don’t stick your pinwheel out of the car window unless you hang on to it really tightly”…just a lesson learned).

Of course pinwheels and windmills won’t spin around on their own strength. That’s just like us as Christians. We can’t spin around on our own either. We need God’s strength and power.

Sadly, some of us try to spin around in our own strength anyway but we are not getting very far. Some of us have got some things stuck in our blades that are blocking our wind.

Our power source is the Holy Spirit, and that is a powerful wind. So much can be accomplished for Christ when we allow the leading of the Holy Spirit in us. Just think about the disciples. They turned the world upside down.

We’ve all got things that get stuck in our blades and slow us down or even make our effectiveness for Christ come to a complete standstill. Here are a few that came to my mind.

Power Blockers:

Bitterness
Whew! This one can really be a clog in your wheels. If you have bitterness in your life, you have to deal with it in order to have the power you need to keep spinning. Bitterness can rob you of your joy and eat away at you until you’re not useful to anyone, let alone God.

Let all bitterness…be put away from you. Ephesians 4:31

Unforgiveness
If there is a rift between you and someone else and you don’t deal with it, it’s like running a rod right through your blades. You are not going to keep spinning with something like that stuck in your life. You’ll find yourself not doing anything for Christ.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

Our Own Will
Trying to spin around all by ourselves and in our own direction isn’t going to work. We have to give ourselves over to what God wants for us, which at times may not be exactly what we might want. Living with our lives in tune with Christ daily is the only way we’ll be sensitive to His will and not our own.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Unconfessed Sin
Of course if we have unconfessed sin in our lives, it’s going to affect how the Holy Spirit works in us. We can’t have something between God and us or there’s not going to be any wind flow.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Conclusion:
We often block the “turning of God” in our lives. We keep our guards up and don’t let the Holy Spirit get to us even when we need to be refreshed. We steal ourselves from being touched by a special song in church, or by a sermon, Sunday School lesson, and worship service because we’re too inward focused and not Godward focused. We go into defense mode at invitation time because we don’t want to go forward and deal with our issues even when we feel the Holy Spirit trying to work in us. We miss out on so much power that way and by keeping those power blockers stuck in our blades. Those things grieve the Holy Spirit which we are told not to do in Ephesians 4:30. We need to allow the breath of the Holy Spirit to go all the way through us so we can spin round and round doing the things Christ would have us to do.

If we are Christians, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us. We have to be sensitive in order to allow His working.  Remember that the wind is what makes the difference. In Scripture, the Holy Spirit is compared to a “rushing mighty wind”.

So, how are you spinning?