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Writings on Church Life and Events at First Baptist Church Fairdale

April Newsletter

Dear Church,

Here recently, our church has been experiencing some heavy passages, and therefore sermons, in our Sunday morning worship services. In our worship services, we are committed to preaching through God’s word.

In Acts 20:27, we hear the Apostle Paul saying to the Ephesian Elders “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”

What Paul means is that he faithfully preached to them all that God’s Word contains. He did not shy away from certain topics. He did not preach the subjects he was most interested in. He did not stick with certain subjects in the Bible while neglecting other subjects.

No, Paul did not do that. He did not shrink back. In fact, He did declare to them the whole counsel of God! And that is an outstanding example for us to follow.

God has spoken and revealed himself! We can know God through the truth of His word which tells us of His Son who died for our sins and rose again!

As a church, it is our desire to live our lives faithfully to God through our faith in Christ. We do that by knowing and following His word, and we know His word by learning from the preaching and teaching of His word. In other words, the consistent, on-going, faithful commitment to God’s word is exactly what God expects us to be doing!

When we read in Acts 27 that Paul declared the whole counsel of God, we should be encouraged. We should be drawn to that type of teaching ministry. We should want to know the whole counsel of God. If there is something that God is saying, then we should be wanting to know that is.

So as we continue to walk through the Gospel of Mark on Sunday mornings, lets be eager to grow from it. Let’s be aware that it takes a long time to cover one book of the Bible and that is perfectly ok! Walking slowly through one book of the Bible means that we will cover lots of various topics – some more desirable and appealing than others – but we understand that is part of God’s counsel. And God’s whole counsel is what we are eager to know!

Church, I am thankful for your willing hearts that want me to preach to you! May God give us grace in this effort!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

 

March Newsletter

Dear Church,

When this school year began back in August of last year, I was looking for a way to be Christ-focused and devotional with my sons in the morning before school. I wasn’t really sure what would be do-able. Realistically, I wanted it to be simple and easy. And I wanted it to be something that they could follow and that we could do consistently.

I decided on us reading the Proverbs. We miss some mornings, but for the most part we read the chapter of Proverbs that lines up with the day of the month. For example, on the 5th we read chapter 5, on the 25th we read chapter 25. And we repeat that every month. And that is our aim each morning.

Usually, I sit there at the table while the boys are eating their breakfast and I read and teach them about the Proverbs. We have found this small devotional time very beneficial!

Some of the more memorable moments have been:

  • Proverbs 12:1 “whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” -The boys thought it was fascinating that God would call something stupid.
  • Proverbs 18:10 “the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” -The boys like thinking of God as our safety.
  • Proverbs 23:17 “let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all they day.” I was glad to remind the boys that we don’t want to be jealous of people who disobey God.

Verses like these three and others have sparked the boys interest in God’s ways, and it has led us into many good and fruitful conversations. I thank God that something as small as 2-3 minutes in the Proverbs each morning can impact our home and family relationships so well.

This week we entered into March, and March 1st allowed me to bring the boys back to the whole purpose of the Proverbs. Chapter 1 verse 7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 

Life is about God, and the Proverbs each morning are helping me and my sons remember that the beginning of all godliness is fearing the Lord. May God give my family, your family and all of our church grace to begin there!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

February Newsletter

Dear Church,

Often times there are some common characteristics among admirable people. Some are early-risers, some are committed to exercise, some are high-energy, some are caffeine dependent, some are introverts, some are extraverts and so on and so on. I find it fascinating to look into the lives and practices of people that I look up to.

There is no one I admire and adore more than Jesus Christ. He is the most complete man. He is the most worthy man of any and all emulation. In short, Jesus is the one we all should be like. Jesus is the standard. With that said, we should look to Jesus and his way of life. We should want to know what He was like.

Recently I was looking into just how often Jesus prayed. Wow! I knew he prayed. I knew he was faithfully committed to prayer. And I knew he prayed often. But I was totally taken back by just how much Jesus prayed. He prayed all the time. He prayed about everything.

As I look to Jesus’s life as an example to follow, I am convicted and encouraged to be more committed to prayer. I want to pray like Jesus. I want to be praying man.

I want to be a praying husband. I want to be a praying father. I wanting to be a praying pastor. I want you to know that I am praying for you. I want you to be sure of that!

In Matthew 6:5, Jesus says “And when you pray …” 

Jesus teaches us to pray, asks us to pray, commands us to pray, and even expects us to pray.

Not only do I want to be like Jesus, but I really want to be what Jesus wants me to be. Again, I want to be a praying man. And that desire for myself is the same desire that I have for our church.

This month we will do the 24-Hours of Prayer event again. We do it every six months. I want to challenge you to pray. Begin to pray and learn to pray. Commit to it. I can help you with this in any way.

I look forward to this event. And I look forward to God growing us into a praying church.

Will you join us for this event?

 

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

January Newsletter 2017

Dear Church,

I recently re-read the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. I was interested in two things. I wanted to study the leadership characteristics of Nehemiah. And I wanted to study the people Nehemiah was leading. I have been encouraged and challenged by this study.

The setting is that Nehemiah gets a heart to go to destroy Jerusalem and rebuild its walls. This desire and effort is met with much opposition. There were many people opposed to them doing this work. In short, it was not an easy thing to accomplish. However, by God’s strength and their trust in God’s strength, they completed the job. It is a fantastic read and an awesome story of God’s strength at work in His people for His glory and purposes.

What I want to share with our church concerning the story of Nehemiah is the response of Nehemiah and the people in the face of challenging circumstances.

In 4:1 the Bible says, “Now when Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he jeered at the Jews.”

Then in 4:4 it says that Nehemiah prayed to God for help concerning this predicament.

Then in 4:6 the Bible says “So we built the wall. …for the people had a mind to work.”

Remarkable!

Their faith and resolve is remarkable. Their determination is remarkable. And their work ethic is remarkable as well!

As we continue to move forward in life, I pray that we would be a church who works hard. We may or may not be building any walls literally, but we have lots of work to do. We have prayers to pray. We have money to give. We have people to love. We have people that God wants us to spend time with. We have people that God wants us to lead to Jesus. We have relationships that we need to invest in. And we have a church here that needs a lot of work spiritually.

This is the reason why I share this with you all – that we, too, would be a people “who had a mind to work.”

Please consider how you can renew your work, involvement, and commitment to our church. May God strengthen us this year to be a church where all of our people are committed to being a part of what God is doing around here.

 

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

December Newsletter

Dear Church,

“How’s life going?”

That is a question that I have been asking many people lately. On one hand, it is just another way of me saying ‘What’s up?’ or ‘How you doing?’ On the other hand, it is my slight attempt to dig deeper into really how their life is going.

Life is a peculiar thing. Everyone’s life is different. Life is unpredictable. I recall Forrest Gump saying that his mama taught him “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.”

The longer I live the more I agree. Life is short and sweet. Life is long and hard. Life is fun and happy. Life is challenging and sad. Life is up and down. Life is good and bad. Life is not so simple and easy.

James is right when he asks “What is your life?” (James 4:14) And that question is desperately something we all need to consider. We need to make sense of this thing we call life.

In my line of work it is not uncommon for me to hear people say “I love my life.” And it is also not uncommon for me to hear people say “I hate my life.”

While many people just shake their head at the various challenges of life, I want us to look a little further into life. Life is meant to be understood in light of God’s love.

Psalm 63:3 says “Your love is better than life.” God’s love is better than life. Let me say that again – Better than!

I know it is a real temptation to think life is the biggest and most important thing, but that is a mistake. God is bigger than us. And God’s love for us in Jesus is better than life.

So, whether your life is high or low, good or bad, happy or sad, look to Jesus. God loves you in such a way that Jesus died for you. Forgiveness is real. Life is better with forgiveness!

This Christmas season, may God help us all evaluate our lives not so much by just our lives, but rather by God’s love being very real and present in our lives.

Always remember, God’s love is better than life!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

 

 

November Newsletter

Dear Church,

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Every pastor knows that October is Pastor Appreciation Month! And each year we wonder what that month’s experience will be like! This year you all, our church, did a super job! I felt, and I feel, appreciated by our church. Thank you!

It is hard to explain how a pastor feels about being appreciated. I want to be used by God in your lives. I want to feel appreciated by you all. I want you all to like me and love me, but your appreciation is not my goal nor my identity. God’s glory in Jesus is both my goal and my identity! And so there is something that I desire even more than your expression of appreciation — that is that you would love and obey God by appreciating your pastor! This is real and true. This is a spiritual issue and a spiritual desire of mine. I pray that God would be causing this type of appreciation in your hearts. I desire for you to love and worship Jesus by appreciating your pastor.

Hebrews 13:17 says: “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.” 

According to this passage, I should be able to find joy in how you follow my pastoral leadership. God has given us a very unique relationship. While you believe in Jesus and follow Him with your life, God has provided me to be your pastor. And I am keeping watch over your souls because one day I will have to give an account to God for you and for my pastoring you. Wow! That is some heavy stuff, and I assure you that I do not take it lightly.

I do receive much joy from you all. I am happy and humbled to be your pastor. I thank God for FBC Fairdale. As you all expressed your appreciation for me in October, I was strengthened in my faith in Jesus and my love for Him. He has given us a beautiful relationship – Pastor and church!

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

October Newsletter from Dan Pomeroy, Chairman of Deacons

Dear Church Family,

I know you are used to seeing a note from Pastor Josh in this spot every month. Like you, I enjoy getting to hear what is on his heart each month, but for October I asked him if he would like to take a break and let me speak to you.

If you are like me, it can be real easy to enjoy all the blessings we receive at church each week without saying thank you to those who make it all possible. We are blessed to have 2 ordained pastors who put in a lot of work each week, so during October we are going to take some time to show and tell them (and their families) how much we 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 a few weeks ago that 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. Be prepared to resuscitate him after #1
  3. Mow the pastor’s lawn when his family is on vacation or ministry leave
  4. Give a gift card to a favorite restaurant
  5. Provide creative childcare for a date night
  6. Ask your pastor how you can specifically pray for his family
  7. Deliver a homemade dessert/meal to his home or office
  8. Arrange and purchase a couple’s retreat somewhere fun
  9. Give a brief word of affirmation and prayer on a Sunday morning
  10. Provide for and encourage time off for vacations „
  11. Take your pastor for a meal and talk about his life, not ministry
  12. Loan out your favorite vacation spot (cabin, camper, timeshare)
  13. Support your pastor as he ministers outside your church „
  14. Encourage at least one day of Sabbath rest each week
  15. Care for your pastor’s health by sponsoring a health club membership
  16. Take your pastor somewhere fun: game, concert, hunting, etc.
  17. Specifically share how God has used him to challenge, enrich, and encourage your walk with Jesus
  18. Provide a generous salary, insurance, and retirement „
  19. Allow your pastor’s wife to “be herself” and find her own ministry
  20. Financially support your pastor and spouse as they attend marriage-strengthening events
  21. Publicly support your pastor’s involvement in missions
  22. Remember birthdays with a personal card or on social media „
  23. Initiate a sabbatical for every 5-7 years of ministry„ at your church
  24. Send a gift card to your pastor’s kids
  25. Give unused sports or concert tickets to your pastor’s family

Keep your eye out for more information about a reception where we will celebrate how much Josh & Val, along with Jake & Samantha, mean to all of us. And if someone comes up to you asking what you appreciate about your Pastor, be prepared to give them an answer!

Chairman of Deacons, Dan Pomeroy

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September Newsletter Column

Dear Church,

This month, we are beginning again with the Philippians 1:6 Testimony.

These testimonies are pictures of God’s grace and power at work in the lives of our people.

Philippians 1:6 says “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

 Paul, in writing this letter to the Philippians, aims to encourage them with the mighty truth that God is not finished with them. Christians are to find hope and encouragement in the fact that they are a work in progress.

Our desire is to be holy and pure like Jesus our savior. We also know that God is conforming us to the image of Christ. And while we know that we are not there yet, we also know and can say confidently that we are not what we used to be! God’s work is evident in His people.

We find strength in knowing and affirming that God is not done with us yet!

So, each Sunday, we will have another person from our church come forward and share their story with us. I will conduct this testimony like an interview with each person. These are the 3 questions I will ask:

1.  How did you come to know Jesus?

2.  Looking back since you came to know Jesus, what was a season of your life where you can now see

that God grew you?

3.   How is God growing you now? (This is usually the toughest question.)

These testimonies will be a great opportunity for our church family to get to know each other’s story better. It will also highlight the life-changing power of Jesus in our lives. I am excited about our church giving testimony to God!

I am humbled to be your pastor, and I will be looking forward to these testimonies each Sunday.

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

 

 

 

AUGUST Newsletter Column

Dear Church,

This Summer has been a good one! VBS, Youth Camp, and Ecuador were all great. The College Ministry meeting every week has been awesome! The lighter schedule through July was helpful. The extra time spent with my children has been priceless. Getting to see our out-of-town families was a blessing. And another great aspect of this summer was the opportunity to take a step back and observe our church. I was able to examine some things from an angle that is not the normal view. I have noticed some areas in our church where we need to get stronger. But praise God, I also recognized several elements of our church that are thriving. I thank God for the different perspectives to see our church.

One of the areas I am very encouraged by is our Associate Pastor, Jake Beattie. In the last year, God has grown Jake so much, and God has strengthened our church by Jake. I am so thankful for Jake and Samantha!

One of the areas that I continually desire for our church to grow in is prayer! I do not think prayer is a weakness in our church. I do think we can pray more. And I do think we can teach our people how to pray. I mostly desire for our church people to have a heart’s desire to pray.

I am reminded of Acts 1:14 “All of these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer.”

 Not knowing much else about a people or a church, that description is a strong one. People who have a desire to pray are people who have a strong faith & knowledge of their Father in heaven whom they are praying to. I desire that for our church. I desire that for you and your family. I pray that for our church. It was once said The family that prays together, stays together. Well, I believe the same is true for the church. The church that prays together stays focused together in faith and commitment to the Great Commission!

With this said, it is time for us again to do the 24 HOURS OF PRAYER! We do this every six months. It always proves to be such a real blessing!

Over the next 3 weeks we will be having sign-ups. Please choose a one-hour slot for you and some others to come to church and pray.

I love being your pastor. Lets keep praying!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

July Newsletter Column

Dear Church,

God’s Word is powerful, and when it gets inside of you, it will go to work on you. Your heart and mind and life and soul will be gripped by the truth of God.

This brings to mind some well-known verses:

Isaiah 55:11 “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,” and also,

Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword …” 

These verses tell us of the power of God’s word. Christians are to be people who live by the Word of God. (This is one of the main reasons why Sunday Worship is so crucial. To neglect worship is to neglect the preached Word of God in your life. Your faith will suffer without it!)

Well, I want to share with you a verse that has been a powerful force in my life. It has truly been like a wrecking ball to my way of thinking and living. My faith is so greatly impacted by this verse.

Psalm 96:10 “Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.””

God tells us to tell the world of His reign! He is King. He reigns. And the whole world needs to know that He reigns! This is no small truth, and therefore it cannot be left alone or ignored. It is too big of a truth and command to just pass over. If the Lord reigns, (which He does), then we must go and say that among the nations!

I feel called and convicted by this verse. I want to say “The LORD reigns” among the nations. I want them to hear it, and I want them to hear it from me and my voice. I want the people of the world to know how awesome King Jesus is. He does indeed reign, and His reign is the best thing one can ever know. To know His reign is to know His love and His salvation.

The true church of Jesus, a healthy faithful church, is one that hears the Word of God and obeys it. I pray that we will hear this Psalm 96 and obey the Lord by working to tell the nations. May God help us in this effort. Our upcoming mission trip to Ecuador is a good (but small) step in this direction. Please be in prayer for our trip and our desire to say among the nation “The LORD reigns.”

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

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