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A WORD from OUR PASTOR
I’m going to give you a passage of Scripture that I want you to read very slowly, very meticulously, annunciate each word and let each word sink in. Please be very discerning and open to the Holy Spirit’s voice as you are reading this passage… you may even be familiar with this passage, but try to read it with fresh eyes and a fresh openness. Be warned! It’s a heavy passage, maybe even a wearisome passage in some ways, not a bright cheery passage, more prophetic, but it is an “oh so very important” passage for you and I to hear and wake up to in our day… it speaks to our day. Here you go… 1 Timothy 3:1-5, “1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
You know, truth be told, we are living under that kind of “cloud” right now… the kind of “cloud” described in 1 Timothy 3:1-5. In case you didn’t know we are living in those “last days” referenced in this passage, and boy did God the Holy Spirit working through the pen of the Apostle Paul peg it! Didn’t he? It just recently came to me that what I have been feeling and experiencing lately… even in a spiritual sense, is a sort of cloudiness… a fog of sorts. Things are pretty hazy in our day… pretty bleak, dark, dreary… cloudy, and in lots of ways! Right? You know, we are living in “foggy times” and things just seem to be getting fuzzier, and cloudier all the time. Buddy feels like his head is full of this cloudiness at times.
The problem with living in a cloud is that you can’t see, you get disoriented, you don’t think straight, up seems down and down seems up… or we might say it another way, “men call good evil and evil good” (Isaiah 5:20). You can’t see where you are going or where you’ve been or what’s ahead. It disorienting! Up in the clouds it’s not only foggy and visibility a problem, but there’s not enough oxygen in the clouds… so we become oxygen deprived. We can’t think straight, become easily confused, and our thinking can actually become easily deceived and jumbled up. I think we can see this happening in so many ways in our institutions like government, our schools, even our local communities, certainly our media outlets. We even see it happening in churches who are beginning to accept and take on more and more of the world’s philosophies and ideas, fully buying in to things, thoughts and ideas that are unbiblical, against God, secular and irreligious and yet they don’t see it. Do you know why many don’t see it? Clouds! Their heads are cloudy and spinning from the foggy times we are living in, and we are disoriented. If you think I’m speaking out of turn or exaggerating, just take a little time and do a little personal investigation into what is taking place in our Southern Baptist Convention and many, if not most, of its entities. We better wake up! Listen to what some of the lead pulpits of our nation are preaching these days… some of the most solid, seeming Biblically grounded preachers of our time, many of whom I have quoted and read are speaking things now from their pulpits that don’t sound anything like Biblical Christianity. They sound more like the talking points, and propaganda of some of the radical groups in our country. I’m not kidding!
Now listen, the Bible is constantly calling us, as believer/Christian, to be “sober” or “sober-minded.” Titus 2:6, “Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded.” Titus 1:8, “(Be) hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled.” 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks, about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober…” The Bible also is constantly calling us to “wake up.” Romans 13:11-12,“11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6, “You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” Ephesians 5:14, “Therefore He (God/Jesus) says: ‘Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’” Revelation 3:2-3, “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I come to you.” Colossians 2:6-8, “6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Can I just say it this way… I think the Bible is calling us out of the cloudiness, out of the stupor, out of the haziness of our times. As believers, we must… we must shake it off and come to our senses.
You say, “I see it! I hear you! I get what you are saying, but what can I possible do about it?” You can do what all of the Scripture I just quoted to you says. That is God’s Word, and it’s what we better be paying attention to and heeding, and obeying in the “cloudy” times we are living in. You can pray! You can be discerning… don’t buy everything you hear these days even from some pulpits. Hold it all up to the light of God’s Word. You can be “wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove” as Jesus called us to be in Matthew 10:16. You can hold to the truth, and stand for the truth and what is right. You can keep your eyes fully focused on Jesus in these “cloudy” days. He will be an anchor for your soul and a true light shining through the clouds of our day. But whatever you do don’t be overcome by the clouds, you overcome them. I like how Paul says it in 2 Timothy 4:5, “But you (Christians), keep your head in all situations…” Out of the clouds! God bless you! Maybe when I get home I’ll be less cloudy! God bless you, Bro. Buddy
YOUTH NEWS – RE-MIND+
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV.
I would like to take this article to once again to express my thanks to the generosity of this church and the impact the Lord was able to do through camp this year. The heart the people of this church has for the younger generation has always been a joy to witness, and I firmly believe the desire for our young people to grow closer to the Lord will be honored. God is continuing to bless our ministry in a number of ways and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for us in the days to come. We ask for your continued prayers and support as we build on the foundation the Lord has laid during camp. Trey Johnson
Could it really be August?? You know the school teacher in me is very conflicted about this month. I’m sad that my summer is coming to an end…but at the same time, I LOVE school supplies and can’t wait to buy them all.
Haha. August also means, Christmas musical time. We’ll be starting to learn our music for Christmas. It’s a great time to join the choir if you’ve been wanting to. Come join us on Wednesdays at 7:30pm right after Bible Study.
In His Name, Nancy
OCC Project: We are excited to introduce a new project for Operation Christmas Child (OCC). Andree Brunk has been making dresses and skirts for her boxes. She has volunteered to share her skills with us. First, we are asking for donations of cotton material (at least 1 yard), ¾ inch elastic and ¾ inch grosgrain ribbon. Second, we will need people to sew. If you would be interested in helping with this project, please contact Andree at email@example.com. More information in the future!!! You may go online to our church website and click on Build A Shoebox to pack a box through Samaritans Purse. Our church online goal is 300 boxes.
We have been having a super successful summer program led by the fearless Ms. Caitlin Quigley! She is averaging 8-10 each Wednesday! Such a blessing! And in other news mark your calendars and begin praying for our AWANA ministry- we will begin club this school year on Sept 8th, 2021; for any 3 year old (as of September 1st) through 5th grader. We are excited to grow again this year. Our leaders from last year will be returning again so let’s lift them up as we start to prep for an amazing year!
The Children’s Ministry Team