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Writings on Church Life and Events at First Baptist Church Fairdale

February Newsletter

From Pastor Josh Wamble

Our worship services the past few weeks have had me thinking a lot about 2 John 4—not because the sermon was on that text or because we read that passage during our scripture reading time and not even because we sang a song that reminded me of it. This single verse came to my mind for a whole different reason altogether.

2 John is a small letter that the apostle John is writing to a church that he had either started or been involved with at some previous time. It seems to be the case that John has run into some members of this church, and he gives them a letter to take back to the full congregation. In the letter, he warns them against false teaching and encourages them to continue loving one another the way that God commanded.

In verse 4, John writes, “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.” Think of how big a joy it would have been for John, who had not visited this church or seen any of these believers in quite sometime, to discover that they were doing well. They were walking in the truth. They were living lives of love toward one another. They were obeying the command of the Father. John would have been overflowing with joy and thankfulness to God.

The reason I have been thinking about this passage during the last couple of weeks, is that as I have looked around the sanctuary on Sunday mornings or the basement on Wednesday nights I have noticed several people in attendance who have not been around in some time. It does my heart good to see them back here among us seeking to walk in the truth.

However, it also makes me think of many who were walking with us at one time but who are no longer here on a regular basis. It makes me wonder where they are and what they are doing. It makes me long for them to be walking in the truth with us. It burdens me to wonder and think about how we have or have not been pursuing them as a church.

As we look to better ways of doing this, join me and the other pastors here in rejoicing for those who are coming back, praying for those who are not yet, and encouraging those that you see here among us or out in our community.

In Christ,
Pastor Josh Wamble

February Newsletter 2018-02-08T17:44:09+00:00

The Scandal of Jesus’ Birth

The Sandal of Jesus’ Birth

By Pastor Josh Wamble

 

When we think of Jesus’ life, several scandalous truths may come to mind.  It was common for Jesus to be seen eating and socializing with outcasts—even welcoming them though also challenging them with their sin.  In Matthew 8, Jesus said about himself, “the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”  It is scandalous that the King of the universe came to his creation in humility not in regalia.  It is also scandalous that as John says, when Jesus did come to his creation in humility, “his own people did not receive him.”

Perhaps the most scandalous part of Jesus’ life is that he died the death of a disgraced, humiliated, criminal on a cross for the sins of his people.  The fact that the God who created the heavens and earth and holds them together died is scandal enough.  The manner in which he died adds to the scandal and magnifies it almost beyond belief.  Yet there is another aspect of Jesus’ life that is scandalous, and it comes not at the end of his life but at the beginning.

Matthew begins his gospel with a genealogical introduction to Jesus.  He traces Jesus’ family lineage through Joseph and David back to Abraham.  There is nothing particularly noteworthy about this.  Genealogies are fairly common in the bible, and this is how Luke begins his gospel account as well.  What is noteworthy about Matthew’s account is some of the people he includes.  In particular, Matthew includes five women in his genealogy of Jesus.  None of these women are necessary to the genealogy.  If Matthew had left them out, we would still have a full account of Jesus’ ancestors from Joseph to Abraham.  Yet, Matthew included them on purpose, I think, to teach us something about Jesus and about us.  As we look at the background and history of these five women, we will attempt to see just what that is.

1. TAMAR

The first woman mentioned is Tamar.  Tamar’s history is found in Genesis 38.  She was the daughter-in-law of Judah, and yet Matthew says that Perez and Hezra were Judah’s sons through her.  What happened was Tamar married Judah’s firstborn son, Er.  Er died without having an heir.  So, based on Jewish custom and law, Judah gave Tamar his second son, Onan, to provide an heir for Er.  Onan didn’t like the idea of having a son who would be counted the son of his older brother, so he sabotaged the marriage bed and refused to fulfill his duty toward his older brother.  Because of this wickedness, the Lord struck Onan, and he died too.

Tamar was now left a widow of both Judah’s sons.  Judah came to her and promised that he would give her his last son, Shelah, as a husband once he reached marrying age.  when Shelah grew up, Judah failed to give him to Tamar because he was afraid that he would die like his two older brothers.

When Tamar found out, she devised a plan.  She found out about a trip that Judah would be taking, and she set a trap.  She dressed as a prostitute, set up on the road the Judah would be traveling, and waited for him.  When he came by, she enticed him to sleep with her.  Judah did, not knowing that she was his daughter-in-law.  Tamar became pregnant with twins, and one of them, Perez, is an ancestor of Jesus.  God used Tamar and Judah despite both of them acting through immorality, trickery, and unrighteousness. 

 

2. RAHAB

We first read about Rahab in Joshua chapter 2.  Joshua is preparing to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land but before he does, he sends out two spies to check out the land—especially a city called Jericho.  When the spies reach the city, a prostitute named Rahab invites them into her house.  She tells them that she has heard all about what God had done for the Israelites—how he parted the Red Sea and delivered them from Egypt and how he protected them through their migration.  She told them that she knew God had given them the land and that he was the true creator of heaven and earth.

When the King of Jericho heard that the spies were there and sent men to find them, she hid them on the roof of her house amid the flax crop.  She sent the King’s men on a wild goose chase and gave the spies directions on how to leave travel back to their camp without being caught.

Before she let them down by rope through a window cut in the city wall, she made them promise that they would return the favor when they Israelite army invaded Jericho.  She made them promise that they would not destroy her or her family.  They promised that no harm would come to her or anyone who took refuge in her house when God gave them the city.

In Joshua chapter 6, we read about the Israelites keeping their promise.  God supernaturally caused the walls of Jericho to fall, and the Israelites conquered the city utterly destroying it by fire.  However, they did not harm one prostitute and her family who were citizens of Jericho.  Instead, they accepted them as Jewish proselytes.  When Joshua wrote his history, he even indicated that Rahab had lived in Israel up until his very own day.

Matthew tells us that Rahab was assimilated into the Israelite people so fully that she even, at some point, married Salmon and became the mother of Boaz who was David’s great-grandfather and a distant ancestor of Jesus.  So, not only did God use immoral, unrighteous, conniving people like Judah and Tamar, but he also even used a Canaanite prostitute to bring about the birth of his son into the world. 

 

3. RUTH

The third woman listed in Matthew’s genealogy is Ruth.  Ruth has an entire book in the Old Testament dedicated to telling her story.  She was a gentile Moabite who ended up being the great-grandmother of David and an ancestor of Jesus.

An Israelite named Naomi and her husband, Elimilech, moved to Moab with their sons Chilion and Mahlon to escape a famine in Israel.  While in Moab Naomi’s husband, Elimilech died, and the two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth.  After living in Moab for around ten years, both of Naomi’s sons, Mahlon and Chilion, died as well.  This left Naomi, along with Orpah and Ruth, as widows.

Naomi pleaded with Orpah and Ruth to return to their families, remain in Moab, and remarry so that they would be provided for and taken care of.  Orpah complied, but Ruth refused and accompanied Naomi back to Israel.

When they returned to Israel, Ruth went out to glean grain from he fields and met a generous man named Boaz.  Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimilech, ended up marrying Ruth as her and Naomi’s kinsman redeemer and providing an offspring, Obed, who became the grandfather of David.

So, in the case of Ruth, we see that God providentially set up a famine, a “chance” meeting between Chilean and Ruth, another chance meeting between Ruth and Boaz, and the Hebrew custom of Levirate marriage and the kinsman redeemer to work it out so that a gentile Moabite was included in the genealogy of Jesus.

 

4. URIAH’S WIFE

Matthew doesn’t mention the fourth woman by name.  Instead, he refers to her as the wife of Uriah.  I wonder if this is because he wants to emphasize the sinfulness of Bathsheba’s introduction to David.  The story begins with the narrator signally to us that David was not fully meeting his duty as the king.  It was in the spring when kings go off to war, yet David was at home.  Through a window of his palace he noticed Bathsheba bathing.  He was attracted to her, and instructed his servants to bring her to him.  They did, and David slept with her.

When she became pregnant, David began planning ways to hide his sin.  First he called for Uriah, her husband, to come back from battle.  He hoped that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba, and everyone would assume that he had fathered the child.  Uriah refused on the grounds that he did not want to enjoy any comforts that his fellow soldiers did not have access to.  David’s second attempt was to throw a banquet in Uriah’s honor the next night, get him drunk, and send him home to Bathsheba.  When Uriah still refused to sleep with her, David had to resort to extreme measures.

He sent Uriah back to the battle with sealed instructions for his commander.  The commander was instructed to put Uriah on the front lines of his forces, charge the enemy, and then call for a retreat without telling Uriah.  Left by himself, Uriah was easily killed by the enemy army.  Once David received word that Uriah had been killed, he married Bathsheba, and everyone assumed the baby was conceived after their marriage.

While Bathsheba may have been entirely a victim in the story recorded in 2 Samuel 11, the encounter is full of sin on top of sin, immorality, attempts to cover up sin, and even murder.  Yet, Matthew includes her in Jesus’ genealogy.

More importantly, God includes her in Jesus’ genealogy.  Again, we see God take a totally messed up situation and not only bring good out of it, but use it to bring about his good and perfect purposes—even his very will to send his son as the savior for people involved in such messed up situations.

 

5. MARY

The last woman mentioned by Matthew is, of course, Mary—Jesus’ mother.  Her story is preserved for us in the succeeding chapters of Matthew’s gospel as well as in other parts of the New Testament.

While Mary was not involved in any sin as far as giving birth to Jesus was concerned, she was perceived by those around her as immoral and adulterous.  God could have worked it out so that Jesus was born as the son of a King or a nobleman.  However, it was God’s plan for the messiah to be born of a commoner in a way that would be unbelievable as far as earthly logic goes.  The true explanation was impossible if not for the work of the Holy Spirit.

Even her betrothed, Joseph, who knew her best and rusted her most did not believe her until an angel appeared to him and confirmed that the baby she was carrying was in fact conceived by the Holy Spirit not through sexual unfaithfulness and immorality.  It was not until then that he changed his mind about divorcing her and putting her away (even if he had planned to do so quietly so as to save her reputation as much as possible).

 

In this genealogy, we see five women included.  I think it is undeniable that Matthew includes them on purpose and for a reason.  In fact, I think he means to teach us several truths.  Some of them are listed below:

1. One of the biggest truths illustrated here is that Jesus is one of us.  Just like many (all?) of us have families that are messy and often messed up, Jesus comes from a long line of sinners as well.  He truly did become one of us.  He had black sheep in his heritage just like we do.  Further, it doesn’t seem that he is ashamed of that—in fact, the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 2:11 tells us explicitly, “He is not ashamed to call them brothers.”

 

2. Secondly, we see that God’s plan will come about.  God is the sovereign ruler of his creation, and he will do what he wants to do.  He providentially controls the events of the world and the decisions of his creatures in a way that brings about his purposes.  He will bring his messiah into the world and keep the promises that he made long ago.

 

3. Finally, and related to the last truth, the success of God’s plan is not dependent on the righteousness of people.  God will succeed in spite of our failures.  In fact, God uses our failures to bring about his plan.

God was able to take Tamar in spite of her immoral conniving against a sinful Judah, Rahab in spite of her history as a Canaanite prostitute, Ruth inspire of her background as an idol worshipping Moabite, the immoral incident between David and Bathsheba, and the supposed immorality of Mary and bring about his plan to provide the world with a savior.

A corollary of this is that God is also able to take sinful people like you and me and (in spite of all our sinful histories, situations, and actions) establish and expand his kingdom in the world.  He is able to providentially take our disobedience and unfaithfulness and use it to bring about the salvation of the nations and our own sanctification.  And, make no mistake, he will bring his plan to completion through an imperfect and often less than fully faithful church.

One day, Jesus will return to judge the world in righteousness and remove the last lingering remnants of sin forever!  When he does, we will be able to look back and see how he providentially worked a million situations just like Rahab’s and Tamar’s and mine and yours into salvation for us and for the nations around us!

The Scandal of Jesus’ Birth 2018-02-02T01:18:47+00:00

Investing in the Word

Investing in the Word

By Pastor Josh Wamble


As 2018 has gotten off to a start, it is only natural for people to begin to evaluate 2017 and set goals for 2018.  Many people make one or more “New Year’s Resolutions.”  Others are not as formal but still have in mind ways that they want this year to be better than the last.  For believers, often we look back, evaluate our use of the spiritual disciplines over the past year, and resolve to be more disciplined in prayer, evangelism, bible reading, and the like in the year to come.

Often this takes the form of a plan to read all or part of the bible during the new year.  Sometimes this looks like reading the entire Bible by the end oft he year.  Sometimes this looks like reading just the New Testament or some other portion of the bible by the end of the year.  I personally have made it a goal to read through each of the minor prophets multiple times during this year.  The minor prophets are a portion of scripture often overlooked, so that will be my focus this year.  There are 12 minor prophets and 12 months in the year, so I have made a schedule to read each one 5 times during this year.

This renewed focus on the bible and on reading it has made me think through again the purpose of reading it.  We do not read the bible simply to know what it says—to memorize it or to learn it like we would some other subject or trivia.  We are committed to reading it because we believe that it is one of the means the Holy Spirit uses to make us who God would have us to be.  We believe that the very words of the bible are the very words of God himself, and we believe that through reading them we are transformed into different kinds of beings—we gradually take on the characteristics of the new creations that we are in Christ.

When we start to think about what the bible says about itself, a few prominent passages come immediately to mind.  In Isaiah 55, Isaiah tells us that God’s word is effective—it is guaranteed to accomplish the goal that God has set for it.  Perhaps no passage of the bible speaks of scripture itself in a more comprehensive or moving way than does Psalm 119.  Yet, another passage that comes to mind is 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  In these two verses, Paul tells us that the entire Bible is breathed out by God himself.  As mentioned above, it is literally God speaking to us.  Paul goes on to say that because it is God’s word, it is profitable—it accomplishes its goal—in at least 4 ways:

1. It is profitable for TEACHING
Because the bible is literally God speaking to us, it is our only authoritative source of truth.  Whatever it says is absolutely true.  Because it is the source of truth, we learn from it.  In it, God tells us everything that he deemed it important for us to know.  Everything god wanted to say to us is written in the words of scripture.  The only way for us to know what God thinks about any topic, how he would have us to live, or what he would have us to trust in is for us to faithfully read it, and learn from it.

2. It is profitable for REPROOF
Because the Bible is the source of truth, it is the standard that we must measure ourselves against.  When we read the bible regularly, it becomes evident to us the many ways in which we do not measure up to that standard.  The bible acts like a mirror.  As we read it, we cannot escape the truth of who were are and what we are like.  It reproves us—shows us that we are wrong.

3. It is profitable for CORRECTION
Not only does the bible reprove us—or show us that we are wrong; it also corrects us—or shows us how to be right.  The 66 books of the bible contain everything that we need to know in order to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord.  Most importantly, it corrects our default belief that we must find a way to make ourselves measure up to God’s standard and shows us that God desires humility, repentance, and a heartfelt devotion to him.

4. It is profitable for TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS
Finally, the bible is said to be profitable for training in righteousness.  This happens because the bible is not like any other book that has ever been written.  When we read the bible, we learn new pieces of information; we progressively understand how those pieces of information fit together; we see ourselves in a new light; but those are not the only things that happen.  In addition to these benefits, there is a supernatural dimension to our reading the bible.  When we read the bible, the Holy Spirit is working in it and through it and in us to train us in righteousness—to make us more like Jesus.

Finally, at the end of this passage, Paul tells us that all of these benefits are meant to work together to accomplish a unified purpose—the scriptures teach, reprove, correct, and train in righteousness “that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

Our goal in reading the bible should not be to simply gain more knowledge of what the bible says—although that is one good goal.  It should not be to mark off each section in our “read through the bible in a year plan”—although having such a plan is a good thing.  It should not be to become bible trivia masters.  Our goal in reading the bible should be that we would be competent and equipped for every good work that God has prepared for us.  This competency is acquired as the Holy spirit goes to work through our prayerful reading of the Bible asking the questions:

1. What is this passage TEACHING me?
2. How is this passage REPROVING me?
3. How is this passage CORRECTING me?
4. How is the Holy Spirit TRAINING ME IN RIGHTEOUSNESS through this passage?

Investing in the Word 2018-01-19T00:55:40+00:00

January Newsletter

Dear Church,

Finding comfort

Coming out of the holidays is always tough for me. I feel tired, I feel emotional, I feel distracted. This year is especially tough because of the cold. I’m so cold, I don’t feel like doing anything.

When I feel this way, I know the solution = I have to lean into God. I can’t allow myself to drift. I can’t allow myself to get wayward. I have to press on. I have to lean in. When I do, God will meet me there.

One of my heavy thoughts during this post-holidays/emotional season is about all the hurting people I know. There are a lot of burdened and hurting people these days.

So I was reminded of a phrase in 2 Corinthians 1. In verse 3, Paul describes God in this way “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”

That is just what I needed to hear. That is life to my soul. That is fuel to my faith.

God is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. If you need mercy, you can find it in God. If you need comfort, you can find it in God.

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

January Newsletter 2018-01-15T00:15:06+00:00

How Did We Get Here?

How Did We Get Here?

By Pastor Josh Wamble

 


Have you ever been on a trip, gotten off the Interstate, and turned onto a highway only to find yourself wondering, “What would life have been like if I had grown up in this town—in that house?”  Or, “I wonder how my life would have been different if I had gone to this school and had different friends, teachers, and coaches or if my family had been members of that church with different friends, Sunday School teachers, and pastors.” 

When you think about it, our lives are made up of a succession of small interactions with various people, situations, and events.  Each of these episodes end up shaping us and forming us into the people that we are.  I grew up in a small town in West TN, Trenton, and really am who I am today because God used the people in that town to form me.  I moved away to college and was influenced by the teachers and friends that I met there.  I moved to Louisville, KY for graduate school and ended up in Fairdale, KY for some 12 years and am still being changed by the people I have met here.

I have been influenced and changed in innumerable ways by friends I went to school with like Will and Brian and Patrick, Luke and Jana and Cicily, Clint and Derek and J-Raz.  I have been influenced and changed in innumerable ways by coaches like Tim Haney, Jim Nunelley, and Todd Lumley and by teachers like Faye Parnell, Mrs. Nowell, Geraldine Taylor, Broeck Horner, Ray VanNeste, Brad Green, and many others.  I have been influenced and changed in innumerable ways by the pastors and people in the churches I have been a part of like Walter Lockhart, Lee Tankersley, and Josh Powell, Josh Greene, Bob and Raymie Samuels, Russell and Linda McDaniel, Tony and Kathi Burriss, Bob Barton, Bettie Lou Powell, Bruce and Dorothy Niven, Jodi Marsh, and Annette Darnell just to name a few.  I have also had many coworkers like Mr. Mast, Venus Sudduth, Chris Harper, Brett O’Laughlin, and Tim Ferree who have made a deep impact on me.  And, if I had grown up in a different house, in a different town or if I had gone to a different school in a different place the influences and shapers of my life would have been completely different.  Even with the same family, in many ways, I would have ended up as a different person.

It is neat to think that God uses all of these people in all of our lives to form us into the people that he would have us to be, but it is even neater to realize that He not only uses them but also plans them and sets them in place.  In Acts 17:26, Paul says, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place.”  That means that not only does God use the people around us but he plans for us to be in certain places at certain times.

God decided and planned for you and me to be born where we were and when we were.  He decided that your neighbor would be your neighbor and that your coworker would be your coworker.  He decided that your pastor would be your pastor and your church family would be your church family.  And, he did this for a reason.  Romans 8 says that He is working all of these things together so that we would be conformed to the image of his Son, Jesus.  God has you where you are so that all of these people around you would be agents of change in your life influencing you in different ways to make you slowly and gradually more and more like Jesus.

Finally not only has he put them in your life for this reason, but he has put you in their lives for the very same reason.  God has planned it and worked it out so that the gas station attendant and the grocery store checker and the Wal-Mart employee are here in this place and this time so that you might have an influence on them.

As we go about our everyday lives this new year, let us look for ways that we might influence those around us for Christ and openings through which we might speak to people around us about Christ.  God has placed us here and now for this very purpose.

How Did We Get Here? 2018-01-06T18:49:16+00:00

December Newsletter

Church Family,

This past Saturday, Valeria and I loaded up JJ, Eli, Noah, Carolina and Liliana in our van, and we headed up to the local Christmas tree lot. We searched out all the Frasier Fir trees and finally decided on one that was just perfect for our family. We then tied it to the top of our van and brought it home. The kids had a blast decorating the tree. What a great time!

I love Christmas season! This holiday, like Easter, goes along with church beautifully. It is normal and right for Christians to enjoy celebrating Christmas.

For a while now, we have been having a Christmas Candlelight service.
But a few years ago, we moved this special service to Christmas Eve. On December 24th at 6pm, we will all gather here for a very meaningful Christmas Eve service. The service will end with all of us holding a lit candle and singing songs to God. I am really looking forward to this special night. I will have my wife and children with me in the service and any other relatives that may be up visiting us.

The Christmas season is such a time for gathering and family and parties. I say that to say that the Christmas Eve service is an excellent way for you to lead your friends and loved ones to look to God. The service will be very simple and friendly. It will only last about 45-50 minutes. There will be plenty of children in the service. There will be lots of singing. I will speak from God’s Word, but only for about five minutes. Again, the Christmas Eve service is the ideal situation to bring someone to church.

We are printing out invite cards for all of you to have and use leading up to the service. I am already praying and seeking who all we can invite. I hope you will do the same.

This Christmas I am longing for my family to be focused on Jesus more than ever, and I am sure that the Christmas Eve service will help us look to Christ!

With all sincerity, Your pastor!

December Newsletter 2018-01-15T00:15:50+00:00

November Newsletter

Hebrews 13:17 “Let them do this with joy…”

Church Family,

Sunday was such a special day. It brought us so much joy! Valeria and I will remember it fondly!

This past Sunday our church recognized and celebrated Pastor Appreciation Day! You expressed your love for me, and I cannot tell you just how meaningful and encouraging that is to me!

While that is a kind gesture and gifts and cards are very thoughtful, I want to assure you that this Pastor Appreciation is also a godly biblical thought. In the last chapter of Hebrews, chapter 13 verse 17 says this:

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

What a loaded verse! You guys are supposed to do church in such a way that brings me joy. You guys are supposed to follow Jesus in such a way that brings me joy. You guys are supposed to follow my lead (as I follow Jesus) in way that brings me joy.

That sounds heavy and serious. Honestly, church life is serious. It means something to be the church. And it means something to be the pastor of a church. We do not shy away from that truth. We embrace it by the strength and power of God. God knows what He is doing. We trust Him. We can follow Him. In fact, that heavy and serious relationship between church and pastor is beautiful and glorious when the Holy Spirit is in it. I thank God for our church. And I thank God for my position at our church.

What a beautiful relationship we have! I love you guys, and I feel your love and support for me. Praise God for calling us to each other.

May God use our relationship to get glory for Him and to give joy to us!

With all sincerity, Your pastor!

 

November Newsletter 2017-11-03T16:06:54+00:00

October Newsletter

From Chairman of Deacons:

Dear Church Family,

Last year, you allowed me to speak with you through this same venue, and I appreciate the opportunity to come to you again this year to speak about Pastor Appreciation Month!

The month of October last year was a great time in the life of our church. We were able to celebrate the 100th year of our church with many old friends who returned to town to join us, along with many new friends who have recently joined the church. We then ended the month by recognizing our pastors and their families.

I don’t know about you, but I get a little torn with picking one month out of the entire year to show our appreciation to our pastors. We should really be showing our appreciation every day of the year. They don’t stop being our pastors all year, so we in turn should be showing each of them what they mean to us ALL YEAR!

As a church, we are blessed to have a godly leader who has assembled a staff who works hard every week to make sure each of us are given the opportunity to experience God each time we come through the doors of First Baptist Church Fairdale. I hope everyone is praying and thinking about a new or unique way to show all of our pastors how much we love them and appreciate all that they do for us.

You might be saying to yourself… “What can I do to show them my appreciation?”

I am so glad you asked!  I came across an article last year and thought it was worth sharing again. It gives a few suggestions on ways we can show how much we appreciate our pastors (including their wives and families).  It does not mean that you have to do everything on the list. You may think of something even better which would be great.  Hopefully the list will get your creative juices flowing!

1. Write a note with encouraging feedback from his sermon
2. Mow the pastor’s lawn when his family is on vacation or ministry leave
3. Give a gift card to a favorite restaurant
4. Provide creative childcare for a date night
5. Ask your pastor how you can specifically pray for his family
6. Deliver a homemade dessert/meal to his home or office
7. Arrange and purchase a couple’s retreat somewhere fun
8. Give a brief word of affirmation and prayer on a Sunday morning
9. Provide for and encourage time off for vacations
10. Take your pastor for a meal and talk about his life, not ministry
11. Loan out your favorite vacation spot (cabin, camper, timeshare)
12. Support your pastor as he ministers outside your church
13. Encourage at least one day of Sabbath rest each week
14. Care for your pastor’s health by sponsoring a health club membership
15. Take your pastor somewhere fun: game, concert, hunting, etc.
16. Specifically share how God has used him to challenge, enrich, and encourage your walk with Jesus
17. Financially support your pastor and spouse as they attend marriage-strengthening events
18. Remember birthdays with a personal card or on social media
19. Send a gift card to your pastor’s kids
20. Give unused sports or concert tickets to your pastor’s family

Mark your calendars for the last Sunday evening in October (29th). After the evening service, we will have a reception to honor all of our pastors and their families. We will be asking for volunteers to bring food items to share that night along with cards and gifts for the pastors.

Chairman of Deacons,

Dan Pomeroy

October Newsletter 2017-10-27T17:15:59+00:00

September Newsletter

Dear Church,

Outreach! Outreach! Outreach!

This time of year has us so involved in many different efforts! I thank God for opportunities and open doors!

Every week for the next 10 weeks we will be feeding the High School football team a pre-game meal. Last week, that brought 90 teenagers and several coaches into our church to be served a nice meal by our kitchen crew and to hear an inspiring message from God’s Word.

We also have some additional opportunities to feed other sports teams from the high school. This past week, we fed the soccer team. That was over 30 teenagers in our church, loved and served by our kitchen crew. I was able to open God’s word with them as well. These soccer kids are a different group than the football kids.

We are in the middle of giving every teacher in Fairdale an encouraging note enclosed with a gift card to the local coffee shop. That is around 50 to Fairdale Elementary, 50 more to Coral Ridge Elementary, and about 100 to Fairdale High. Each of those teachers is being loved and served by our church people. Along with that, we are also supporting local business!

The Fairdale Fair is this weekend – September 7-9. This special weekend is a big boost for our church family. I know of multiple people in our church that we met through the fair. Our church will have a booth at the fair. We will give out free popcorn; we will take prayer requests; and we will seek to interact with as many people as we can.

Homecoming is in the middle of October! October 15th, we will have our celebration service of our church being 101 years old! This big day serves as a big outreach. We have a guest preacher. We have lunch here at church. We play lots of games outside.

I remember when Paul wrote to Titus (3:2) “to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” What an awesome exhortation to the church! As God has opened up so many doors in this community for us to serve, may we be found faithfully serving the Lord! And may our community, or anyone that we come into contact with, see us showing them perfect courtesy!

With all sincerity,

Your Pastor, Josh

September Newsletter 2017-10-27T17:30:36+00:00

The Age of Creation

The Age of Creation

By Pastor Josh Wamble

 

How old is the earth?  When did God create people?  Did God create the universe directly micro-managing each particular aspect of creation or did he do it indirectly using one or more natural forces such as evolution?  These are big questions, and they are questions that sincere God-loving, Christ-following, Bible-believing Christians have genuine, and sometimes heated, disagreements over.  One reason is because the Bible does not speak directly to this question.  While God has given us lots of information about who created, what was created, how it was created, and why it was created, he does not definitively answer the question of when creation took place.  However, the scriptures do give some very clear guidelines.

If we are to be a bible-believing and bible-committed people then we must stay within the boundaries of the scriptures even on questions that are not directly spoken to.   Even in those situations, we still must make judgments and take positions that are consistent with what the bible does say and in no way contradict it.  We absolutely can disagree over the age of the earth and remain united to one another, but we can only do so if the positions we take honor and affirm everything the bible says.  I believe there are at least four of these non-negotiable positions that every follower of Christ must affirm whether we end up concluding the earth is very old (several million years old) or relatively young (several thousand years old).

 

1. God Created the World.  The universe we see around us did not come about by chance or by natural processes alone.  It is the result of a supernatural direct act of God.  Several passages of scripture say this outright.  In Genesis 1:1, we read, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  And as Genesis 1 and 2 continue, we are told in more detail exactly how he did it; he spoke it into existence.  If we are to believe what the Bible says, one non-negotiable truth that we cannot deviate from is God created everything that exists outside of himself.

 

2. God Did it Without any Pre-Existing Materials.  The Bible teaches that God is the only eternal being that there is—nothing else is eternal.  Some say that God and matter are both eternal and God used the matter that was already here and formed it into the world that we see around us.  The Bible is clear that God alone is eternal, and if we are to believe what it says, then we must believe that God created the world without using any pre-existent material.

 

3. Adam and Eve were Real Historical People.  If we are going to believe what the Bible says about creation, then we must believe that Adam and Eve were real historical people.  We cannot write them off as mythological or figurative in any way.  If we read the creation account in Genesis 2 (where Moses tells us how God created Adam and built Eve out of his rib) in a straightforward way, it seems like God literally took dirt and formed it into a man and breathed life into him then took one of his ribs and formed it into a woman.

And, Genesis 2 is not the only place in the bible that leads to this conclusion.  There are also several places in the New Testament that either explicitly assert or assume that Adam and Eve were real historical people who really existed in history.  In Luke 3:38, Luke asserts that Jesus’ genealogy can be traced all the way back to a real human being named Adam who was created directly by God.  In Romans 5:12-14, Paul traces the origins of sin to one man—Adam.  He says that death reigned “from Adam to Moses.”  It seems like if we are consistent we must either believe that both Adam and Moses were real historical people or they were both figurative/mythological people.  It seems clear, that Paul believed they were both historical.  Further, just a few verses later in Romans 5:15-17, Paul makes an argument that places Adam and Jesus in parallel positions (Adam brings death; Jesus brings life).  Again, if we are consistent then either both Adam and Jesus are figurative/mythological, or they are both historical.  Paul presents them both as historical.

Finally, in 1 Timothy 2:13-14, Paul is making an argument about men and women being created to fulfill different (co-equal) roles in the world and, specifically, in the church.  Here he makes a reference to both creation and the fall as an illustration to prove his point.  It is interesting that here he doesn’t argue that Adam and Ever were real historical people, he simply assumes it as if it were a fact not in question.

If we are going to believe the Bible (Both Old and New Testaments) is God’s word and that Jesus is a real historical person, and that Jesus has a real historical family tree, it seems that we have no choice but to also believe that Adam and Eve were both real historical people.

 

4. Adam and Eve were the First Humans Directly Created by God.  Not only were Adam and Eve real historical people, but the bible is clear that they were the first real historical people who were created directly by God.  Again, beyond Genesis 2, Paul makes this point in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49.  He calls Adam the “first man” two different times in those short five verses.  This seems to exclude any notion that God began creation at some point several million or billion years ago, and left evolution to take its course gradually, through trillions and trillions of minute mutations over millions and millions of years indirectly producing what we now describe as Homo Sapiens some 200,000 to 3 million years ago.

 

While the age of creation is definitely not an issue worth dividing over, and while faithful, bible-believing, Jesus-following, God-loving believers can disagree over whether the earth is a few thousand years old or several million years old, it does seem clear that there are some boundaries beyond which we are not free to travel.

If we are going to be people who take the bible seriously and believe what it says, we must at least affirm these four non-negotiable beliefs about creation:  (1) God did it.  (2) He did not use any pre-existing material.  (3) Adam and Eve were real historical people who lived at a specific time in a specific place, had specific descendants, etc.  And (4) Adam and Eve were the first real historical people created directly by God the way described in Genesis 2:7 and 21-23.

The Age of Creation 2017-10-27T17:23:55+00:00
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