Operation Christmas Child: Celebrating 30 Years of Service

We here at FBC have been actively invovled in Operation Christmas Child for over 20 years and for that you should be proud. You have helped spread the name of Jesus and the love of God to over 200 million children who have never heard the name Jesus before. Their lives have been forever changed by someone they don’t even know who cared enough to pack a box just for them.

Due to a restructuring of our southern West Virgnia team, we will no longer be a drop off point as the new central drop off point has been moved up to Beckley to Calvary Assembly of God church right off Harper Road. What this means is we will gather our boxes in November and sometime during the week of November 13th we will take them to Calvary and drop them off there.

We have just about completed collecting for our boxes that we pack here at the church and you’ve been so generous with your donations. You were also given the opportunity to take a box home with you last month to pack for that I thank you. That box needs to be returned to the church by November 12th.

For the month of September we will be collecting children’s socks for ages 2-4; 5-9 and 10-14. There is a large brown box located in the Welcome Center for your donations. As always, please keep this ministry in your prayers as they continue to spread the name of Jesus to children around the world.

Helping Hands has a New Project!

Helping Hands has initiated a new project and here’s how you can help. When you go to your favorite hairdresser, barber, bank and any other local business, ask them if you can place a collection box in their business to collect non-perishable canned goods. If they agree, contact Edna Nasby at Helping Hands and she will see that one gets delivered. They are also in need of toilet paper, bar soap, blankets and non-perishable food. With fall coming upon us, that means winter is not too far away so winter clothing and blankets are always needed and greatly appreciate. They continue to serve well over 600 families a month and that need is steadily growing. Please keep this ministry in your prayers as they strive to help those less fortunate in Raleigh County.

School is Back!

School is back in session and we will be packing food for our children as soon as the guidance counselor notifies us they are ready.

We have been shopping all summer for food to stock our pantry. We have purchased several items from the Mountaineer Food Bank including 8oz containers of shelf safe milk, juice boxes, cans of chicken and tuna. They are donating 72 jars of peanut butter which is a great blessing.

God has blessed us over the past 10 years in providing us what is necessary to help these children and we look forward to continuing this help. Thanks to everyone who has donated food, money or prayed for our Backpack Ministry. May God bless each of you!

For the month of September please donate packets of instant oatmeal.

God’s Sovereign Hand and Our Cycles of Life

by Pastor Bryan Knight

Growing up around my dad and his dad, I remember hearing them speak of Autumn being their favorite time of the year. As a child I was confused as to why, to us kids it was a return to the school year, colder weather and the beginning of the end of the leaves. Now, I know why Autumn was their favorite. Just like my dad and his dad I sweat very easily in any situation where I’m exerting myself. When I sweat I grow agitated. It’s in these moments I also laugh as I remember my dad working on the house and sweat would drip from his nose and fall on whatever he was working on. I remember cutting wood with my grandpa and seeing the same image, but grandpa always carried a bandana in his back pocket for the sweat.

When I see the seasons begin to change I think of Ecclesiastes 3, I’m sure you do too. In verse 1 we read, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” Whether you choose to use appointed time or season we understand that life comes in cycles or periods. When I was the kid cycle I played and helped my dad and grandpa, but I don’t remember paying much attention to sweating like them. Now, in my appointed time of adulthood I understand fully the misery brought on by sweat and just like my grandpa I have my own sweat towel!

But this article isn’t about the sweat of our brows, it’s about God’s sovereign hand involved in our cycles of life. You see verse one is aided by verse 11, “He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.” We understand with this verse that though things may come to an end it is because another “thing”, appointed time/season is about to start. Just as there are cycles in our personal lives, there are cycles at every level, up to and including God’s design of the universe. I write this article to remind us all that though things may end, they end in order to allow other things to begin. So, the end of an appointed time also means the beginning of an appointed time.

Ecclesiastes 3:2-8

2 A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

3 A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.

4 A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.

5 A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.

7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.

8 A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

OCC: A Few Changes with the Same Mission

Much has happened within the OCC team since I last wrote you. Calvary Assembly of God Church is now going to be the central drop off point for Raleigh and Fayette County. This means that FBC will no longer be a regional drop off site. I can’t let this go by without thanking the hundreds of people, both members and non-members, who staffed our drop off location over the past 21 years. We could not have accomplished all that was done without your support. God has taken us into a new direction, and we have to be ready to serve God when and where it’s needed.

We still have our own 120 boxes that I have pledged to fill for this year and so far, your donations have been outstanding. For July and August, you can catch the back-to-school sale for supplies such as crayons, pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, erasers, small note pads and glue sticks. I caught a good sale on composition books recently so those we don’t need. Donations can be left in the large brown box in the Welcome Center marked Samaritan’s Purse. If you’re not one that likes to shop, I would be glad to shop for you. So just put your donation in the church offering plate and mark it shoebox school supplies and your shopping will be done. Your past support of this program has been outstanding, and I am asking you to keep shoeboxes in your prayers and we continue to spread the name of Jesus to children around the world.

Can You Help Our Helping Hands?

As summer rolls along, so does our steady stream of clients seek help with food and clothing. We distribute non-perishable food and clothing to all eligible clients on a monthly basis depending on the size of their family. WE ARE ALSO IN NEED OF BLANKETS!!!

We are currently still looking for volunteers to work on Thursday and Friday mornings. It’s only three hours and you will be blessed. You can also provide financial support for Helping Hands through the Kroger Rewards Program. Just click on Rewards on your Kroger account and click down to Community Rewards and then select Helping Hands Community Resource Center. A portion of your purchase will go directly to us without costing you a dime! What a better way to support them. We are open Tuesday through Friday from 9AM to noon. We take donations during those times or they can be left in the large black container outside the church office.

Thank you for your generous support and please continue to keep us in your prayers as we reach out to help those less fortunate.

Get the Backpacks Ready!

School is starting on August 24th and we are preparing for a new school year. We feed children at Beckley Elementary that may not have food at home on the weekends. We will search local stores as well as the Mountaineer Food Bank for bargains. Prices continue to go up but we do our best to find the lowest prices available.

We are asking once again for donations of peanut butter. Every other week we try to give the children a jar of peanut butter. Each week we give them a loaf of fresh bread as well. We have purchased small packets of jelly for them so that they can make PB&J sandwiches. So, if you can, please donate 12oz. jars of peanut butter.

Thanks to each one of you for your donations of food, money and prayers for our Backpack Ministry. May God Bless You All!

Always a Tasty Lunch!

The Lizzie Lewis Circle is a group of ladies who meet the first Thursday of every month right here at the church. We gather for what is always a tasty lunch and discuss our various mission projects that we are involved in such as quarters for grades for the Weirton Christian Center. We have already collected over $100 and are well on our way to another $100. Our meeting for July will be on the 6th at 12:15 pm and it will be a carry-in luncheon. So bring a small dish to share and come join the ladies for a time of food, fellowship and learning what these ladies are doing for FBC and our community.

“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace.”

“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war has actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” March 23, 1775; A speech by Patrick Henry made at the Second Virginia Convention at St. Johns Church in Richmond, Virginia.

I remember learning of Patrick Henry in school. As a kid I often wondered what was special about liberty. I also often wondered why Patrick Henry chose not to use the term/idea of “freedom”. It honestly wasn’t until within the last few years that I revisited these ponderings, but with a new understanding from a biblical perspective. First, let’s define the two terms. Liberty—the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views. Freedom—the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

According to The Jefferson Perceptive: Commentary on Today’s Social and Political Issues

Based on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson (http://eyler.freeservers.com/JeffPers/jefpco26.htm) “One should distinguish between the terms ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty.’ Speaking generally, Freedom usually means to be free from something, whereas Liberty usually means to be free to do something, although both refer to the quality or state of being free. Jefferson’s use of the terms almost always reflected those meanings. Thus, he never spoke of freedom as a right, though liberty is listed in the Declaration as one of our inalienable rights.”

It seems to me that Liberty encompasses Freedom. Regarding scripture, both words/concepts are used in Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18. Yes, Jesus is quoting the scroll of Isaiah in Luke 4, but Hebrew doesn’t always equal Greek, and English, well I’ll behave myself. We get a fuller understanding for what Christ did on the Cross for us in Romans 6:22, “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” We have been “freed” from sin, “freed” from bondage through the power of Christ on the Cross. With this freedom through Christ we can now approach God’s throne with “Liberty”! Encompassing the Christ relationship is a freedom to approach the Throne of Grace with Liberty, that is, without FEAR of judgment from God’s Wrath.

In conclusion, Jude vs24-25, “24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

In Christ,
Pastor Bryan