Wednesday, September 28, 2011

See You at the Pole

Today, September 28, was the National See You At the Pole.

See You at the Pole is a student-initiated and student-led movement that started in  Ft. Worth, Texas, in 1990.  Since then, it has grown by leaps and bounds.  The following year, 1991, an estimated one million people gathered at flag poles outside schools to lift up the students, teachers, and administrators, to God.  Some sang, some read Scripture, but most importantly, they prayed. Like those first students the year before, they prayed for their schools, for their friends, for their leaders, and for their country.

Today you can find See You At the Pole in schools in every state in the US, and in more than 20  other countries. In places like Canada, Korea, Japan, Turkey, and the Ivory Coast, students are responding to God and taking seriously the challenge to pray.

It is estimated over three million students gathered this morning at their schools.  I was at Alfred Almond this morning, and was a part of about 20 people who had gathered.  Let's get behind our students and support them as they try to live a life of faith in sometimes harsh surroundings.

Doing the Master's Will

Have you, like me, struggled at times to know what God's will is for your life. 

I know that I am saved by God's grace, not by anything I do, because of my faith in Jesus Christ.  I know I'm not saved by works.  But what is the proper relationship between my faith and my works.  Does my salvation seal my status and a child of God?  Is there something else I should be doing?

Sunday's message dealt with some of these questions.  If you've struggled with these questions, I invite you to read it.  Just click the link below:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Be the Church!

I was watching a video of Dr. Tony Evans on the Role of the Church.  It was an excellent video, and I'll share some interesting and challenging thoughts from it later, as I've had a chance to digest them a little more.

But for now, I wanted to share some of his closing words:
It is my hope that God would enable you in whatever ministry He has called you to, to not simply go to church, or grow a church, but to be the church...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ministry at School alive and well!

There are two things happening at the Alfred Almond school that you should be aware of, and pass along if you have children or grandchildren in the school

First is happening this Wednesday, September 28, at 7:15 am, and it’s the National See You at the Pole event.  This is a national ministry, yet student led activity.  It will be held all over the country, and students at Alfred Almond will be involved as well.  They will meet around the flagpole for some singing, a short time of devotion, and most of all, for prayer.

Everyone is inivited to attend, and I encourage you to stop by Wednesday, 7:15 am, and show your support to the students, take a few minutes to pray with the students, and encourage them as they seek God before starting their day at school.

The second thing at the school is that Bible Club is starting up again.  It will meet every Thursday morning, at 7:15, in Mr. Vance’s room.  The Bible club again is a student led ministry open to any students from 7th to 12th grades. 

Again if you have children or grandchildren, mention the Bible club!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Can I Help?

Pastor Ben was working in his study when the newly ordained deacon, Don, knocked at the open door with a question, "Pastor, how can I help the church?  I don't have special gifts."

Pastor Ben paused for a moment and replied, "Each of us is a witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives and we can each send that message to others."

Pastor continued talking, "We may not be able to serve as a missionary in a foreign country or preach or sing in the choir but our lives send little words and deeds of encouragement to another who is struggling with some problem or crisis.  What we become is important to God more than what we think we can do.  I remember when I was younger that a woman in my home church encouraged me to become a minister of the Gospel.  She wrote me while I was in seminary and sought me for conversation when I was home on holiday.  Her life was a living testimony to Christ and inspired me when I was going through a period of doubting.  I learned that encouragement of another doesn't require a talent, only a dedication and commitment to Christ.

Pastor Ben leaned backward in his chair and asked Deacon Don what were his thoughts on helping.

Don thoughtfully responded, "Pastor, I thought you might help me learn how to visit members with needs.  I'm not confident enough to say the right word or do the right thing."

Pastor Ben suggested that Don might wish to accompany one of the experienced deacons in hospital or home visits.  Pastor continued relating a personal experience.  "In an early church where I was pastor the choir director wanted to produce a Resurrection Cantata.  He recruited a church member to sing the part of Christ.  This member had initially declined saying he had no musical talent.  It seems this church member denied he had the talent to sing other than hymns in worship.  The choir director assured the reluctant member that he had the voice and that the choir director, who had a trained tenor voice, would sing with the member during practices.  Practice after practice they sang together.  This director arranged special coaching sessions and extra practice for the doubting singer.  Always the choir director encouraged the novice singer as he struggled.

"At the reception following the evening performance, which was open to the public, a neighborhood woman approached the church member with a question, 'were you the Irish tenor who sang the part of Christ?'"

Pastor Ben said to Deacon Don, "You and I hope that when our concert of life is over, someone will say, "Were you the one who lived for Jesus Christ?"

Rev. Dr. Ernest Bee
from the QUEST, the Newsletter of the
Alfred Station Seventh Day Baptist Church.

Faith First

  Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”  Taking him...