Happy New Year, FBC!

by Pastor Bryan Knight

We will all feel an atmosphere of newness, new number, new roles at church. Some will seek a new start or what many will call, a new year’s resolution. Have you ever stopped to ask what a new year resolution is? Many sources mention its beginnings with the Babylonians thus being adopted by the Romans. And it seems with the Babylonians and Romans that many debts were settled during this time. Now that’s a nice thought. Having any type of debt settled will make anyone excited about the New Year.

The origins of the word “resolution” as applied to our current usage and understanding is slightly comical. According to www.etymonline.com, “late 14c., resolucioun, “a breaking or reducing into parts; process of breaking up, dissolution,” from Old French resolution (14c.) and directly from Latin resolutionem (nominative resolutio) “process of reducing things into simpler forms,” noun of action from past participle stem of resolvere “to loosen”. Well, this sounds like what most folks do with their new lofty goals, they dissolve them.

Around a hundred years later that changed, “In mid-15c. it also meant “frame of mind,” often implying a pious or moral determination. By 1580s as “a statement upon some matter;” hence “formal decision or expression of a meeting or assembly,” c. 1600. New Year’s resolution in reference to a specific intention to better oneself is from at least the 1780s, and through 19c. they generally were of a pious nature.” Now this definition makes more sense. I see nothing wrong with a person pursuing to better themselves.

Many will make resolutions to promote their health, such as diet, physical fitness etc. Most will neglect their spiritual growth, while suggesting they will grow closer to God. 1 Timothy 4:7b-10, “… Rather, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily training is just slightly beneficial, but godliness is beneficial for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. 10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers.”

If we apply this to the reality of God/YHWH and the scriptures, we see the debt of sin. Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, …”, we have inherited the sin nature. We all owe a debt to God. This debt isn’t paid once a year nor during any new year or change of a number. Our debt was paid by Christ, as you well know. Promoting the Great Commission must be at the core of our new goals! Not just once a year, but daily! For each day, each breath is a blessing and a new opportunity to present the Gospel message of Christ. Create a perpetual New Day’s Resolution attached to Matthew 28.

Notes from the Church Office

Let’s be good stewards in God’s house.
When you’re working in the church during the week, please remember if you turn the lights on, turn them off. If you turn the heat on, turn it off. This may sound a bit trivial, but every penny counts.

We will be closing our financial books for this year on Friday, December 30th. Any contributions for this year must be in the office by noon that day.

The church office will be closed on Monday, December 26th and Monday, January 2nd in observance of Christmas and New Years.

Undie Sunday is a Success!

Undie Sunday has been a great success thanks to our generous congregation.

We will continue to collect undies on the last Sunday of each month to provide Helping Hands with an adequate supply for their clients. We currently have enough socks so just undies please. Our next Undie Sunday will be December 18th. Thanks to everyone.

Make a Joyful Noise

Our sanctuary choir is a vital part of our morning worship and they could always use some new volunteers. You don’t have to sing well – just be willing to use your singing talents to praise God. Choir rehearsal is Wednesday evening at 7:00 following prayer meeting in the choir room.

The Count is In!

As a collection center, First Baptist Church was blessed with receiving 2,350 Shoeboxes as part of Operation Christmas Child.

To all of those who packed a shoebox, prayed for a shoebox or worked in our collection center. Your help and support means that children around the world will know that someone loved them enough to pack a box just for them. Please keep these boxes in your prayers as they start their journey to the special child God has already selected to receive it.

A Blanket for Each Family Member

Helping Hands continues to reach out to those less fortunate in the Beckley and Raleigh County by distributing food and clothing. They are also giving a blanket to each family member when they come for assistance. Blankets, non-perishable food  items, soap and toilet paper are always needed. A special thank you to all who have helped us this year. Please keep us in your prayers as to the weather starts to turn cold, their needs will increase. 

Backpack Christmas Shopping has Started!

Christmas shopping has started for our Backpack Children. This year we are shopping for 24 children. Their wish lists vary from shirts and pants to skateboards. We try to purchase as many of their wishes as possible. Our volunteers who shop are thrifty and smart shoppers. After purchasing gifts they wrap each one and put them in a large bag marked for their child. We are so thankful for each one of our volunteers who take their time to help make Christmas special for each of the children.

We are also thankful for each person who has donated cash, food and prayers for our Backpack Ministry. May God Bless You!

For the month of December please donate Vienna Sausages.

Christmas Blessings!

by Pastor Bryan

It’s Christmas time again and what a blessed time it is. According to Luke 2:14 God is pleased with men and peace has been offered. Luke 2:13-14, “13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’” That peace is in the name Jesus Christ. Isaiah 7:14 tells us, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.” And this prophecy is fulfilled with the acknowledgment of Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”

עִמָּנוּאֵל/`Immanuw’el—Immanuel = “God with us” or “with us is God”. Symbolic and prophetic name of the Messiah, the Christ, prophesying that He would be born of a virgin and would be ‘God with us’. (Hebrew)

Ἐμμανουήλ/Emmanouēl—Emmanuel = “God with us”. The title applied to the Messiah, born of the virgin, Mt 1:23, Is. 7:14, because Jesus was God united with man, and showed that God was dwelling with man. (Koine Greek)

Remember how blessed you are this Xmas (Christmas) season as a Xian (Christian) and spread the “PEACE” of Xmas through sharing, with “LOVE”, that Ἰησοῦ(Jesus/Iēsous) Χριστός (Christ/Christos: Koine Greek) is the giver of life, the author of peace and the epitome of love. We all know the world will attempt to reject and remove Christ from any area, but instead of driving a wedge of dissension between them and the Gospel say, “Thank you for being more traditional than myself and wishing a Merry Xmas by using the original Greek terminology because you can’t spell Christ in the Greek without an ‘X’. And according to Indiana Jones, “X marks the spot.” In this case “X” marks the spot of Salvation and Peace with God/YHWH/יְהֹוָה

Yeah! Undie Sunday is a Success!

Undie Sunday has been a great success thanks to our generous congregation. During the month of October, we collected the following:

Boys Underwear 2-3T: 14 pairs small: 20 pairs medium: 34 pairs large: 32 pairs
Girls Underwear 2-3T: 10 pairs 4: 14 pairs 6: 11 pairs 8-10: 19 pairs
Boys Socks medium: 36 pairs large: 6 pairs men: 10 pairs
Girls Sock small: 10 pairs medium: 23 pairs

We will continue to collect undies on the last Sunday of each month to provide Helping Hands with an adequate supply for their clients.  We currently have enough socks so just undies please.   Our next Undie Sunday will be November 27th.   Thanks to everyone!