What’s Happening @ Central
Yesterday was a day to remember.
It was cold, with slippery road conditions. Of course, we are still following pandemic restrictions. I knew that the combination of cold, bad roads, and pandemic restrictions would mean a smaller than average in-person attendance. However, I also knew we have a brand-new A/V system that I really wanted to debut for the congregation, both in-person and online. So, I decided to not cancel services and go ahead with our regular schedule. Sure enough, our attendance in-person was affected. Apart from the worship team and Bro. Wellington, we had (if memory serves me well) five additional people in attendance. I was actually pleased we had that many, especially since two of the five were guests. However, none of that is what made the day one to remember.
The service went well. The new A/V system performed nicely, adding a much richer sound in-person as well as making the online experience much more appealing. However, that wasn’t the best part of the day, or what made it memorable. That happened after the service was over and the two young men who were guests came into my office. I was able to share in more detail what it meant to become a Christian and invite them to invite Jesus into their lives. Both of these young men said they wanted to do that! I am looking forward to getting to know these young men better as the process of discipling begins.
I am also encouraged to announce that we will be starting some new member classes for some of our younger (teenagers) folks. This is an opportunity for some additional discipling time and will allow them to make an informed decision about formally joining the church as members.
I would ask for your prayers in the coming months. I have been invited to preach the Monday evening message at this year’s Missouri State Association meeting. Pray that God will prepare me and empower me to deliver a message that is helpful and encouraging to those who will be in attendance. The kitchen remodeling project is continuing forward. Our kitchen area is getting a much-needed facelift, and I am looking forward to seeing the finished project. If you want to help, let Tim or Amy Smith know, I am sure they can find a part of the project for you to help with.
Thought for the Day
I have a confession to make. I get really irritated by an advertisement from one particular local firm. The owner of the firm is seen making a comment about Israel crossing the Jordan River to attack Jericho. He declares that the event is an example of blind faith, and that he exercised the same kind of faith when he launched his own company. Maybe he did launch his company on blind faith, but I have an issue with his statement concerning Israel. Let’s take a look at whether or not Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River was, indeed, blind faith.
First, Israel had a long history with the Lord prior to crossing over the Jordan River. The nation had been wandering in the desert for 40 years. During that time there was a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day to lead the nation. Additionally, every day there was manna and quail to eat that the Lord provided for them. The presence of the Lord would rest over the tabernacle and provide visual evidence. The nation had been delivered from the army of pharaoh as they had crossed the Red Sea on dry land. Moses’ own testimony was, I am sure, widely known; how he had been called to lead Israel from bondage and deliver them to the Promised Land. The spies that Israel sent into the Promised Land before crossing the Jordan would be divinely aided so they could return and give their report. None of this sounds like Israel was forced to rely upon blind faith for their venture into the land that God had promised them. In fact, it seems like God went out of his way to show Israel that they could trust him. Which brings me to something for us, today. We do not follow a ‘blind faith’ when we come to know Jesus as our Savior. There is strong evidence to support our faith. We have the testimony of the writers of the New Testament, for one thing. The New Testament is, arguably, the most well documented ancient manuscript in existence. The Bible, as a whole, is an amazing piece of literature (I believe it is more than that, but for the sake of simplicity I will call it that here). Written by more than 40 authors, over a span of thousands of years, in three different languages, on three different continents, yet it still provides a consistent picture of God and his dealings with humanity. Most important of all is the testimony of the Holy Spirit within every believer. When I begin to have doubts about things the Spirit reminds me again of all that God has done for me. So, remember this: Galatians 2:20 (ESV) ~ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.