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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

The Look of the Kingdom

The Look of  the Kingdom

By Pastor Josh Wamble

 

 

At our church’s Wednesday and Thursday morning Bible studies a few weeks ago, one of the attenders asked if we could think about what the Bible’s authors mean when they talk about the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven.  So we did.  If you want to read about what this Kingdom of God is like, you can do that here.

Sometimes we are better at recognizing something than we are at describing it.  It may be difficult to come up with a good definition of “art,” but most of us can recognize art when we see it.  The Kingdom of God is often like this.  It has a look to it.  We can often recognize the Kingdom of God reigning in someone’s heart even if we are not able to give a detailed definition or description of what all the kingdom consists of.  Below, we will look at 15 scenarios from everyday life that exhibit the Kingdom reigning in the believer’s heart.

1.  The Kingdom looks like the countless martyrs who have been willing to give up their lives instead of deny the King because they knew that citizenship in the Kingdom is better than life itself.

2.  The Kingdom looks like a husband or wife bearing with the weaknesses and failings of his/her partner and faithfully keeping his/her vows even in spite of friends or family who habitually encourage them to divorce because “you deserve to be happy,” “you’re too good for him/her,” “they are not as devoted/committed/faithful” as you, or similar arguments.

3.  The Kingdom looks like a husband and wife sitting in a doctor’s office resisting the pressure to terminate their pregnancy through abortion because the yet-to-be-born child has tested positive for Down’s Syndrome, trisomy 13, or some other debilitating genetic disorder or disease.

4.  The Kingdom looks like something as simple as a believer who is totally committed to his local church.  One of the most counter-cultural things a believer can do is prioritize gathering with other believers to worship, study, and serve together on a regular basis.

5.  The Kingdom looks like a young believer who uses his vacation time from his job so that he is available to serve at his church’s VBS or youth camp or to participate in a short-term mission trip.

6.  The Kingdom looks like a senior believer who lives on a fixed income but scrapes together money to help support her local church or to send to foreign missionaries so that the Kingdom spreads throughout the world.

7.  The Kingdom looks like a “shut-in” believer who is no longer physically capable of regularly gathering with her local church but continues to faithfully pray day in and day out for her pastor, her church, and its ministries.

8.  The Kingdom looks like a man and wife leaving the comforts of their home, their families, their friends, and all they have ever known in order to move across the world to different cultures, to learn different languages, to get used to different foods, to endanger themselves with different diseases and sicknesses, and often to risk death, as they devote their entire lives to spreading the gospel of the Kingdom to those who have never heard of the King.

9.  The Kingdom looks like a believer who refuses to lie in her normal everyday business life knowing that the refusal to do so will likely prevent her from being considered for a future promotion with all the prestige, power, and financial benefit that would include because she is wholeheartedly convinced that the ethics of the Kingdom bring eternal rewards not even to be compared with their earthly counterfeits.

10. The Kingdom looks like a man who battles dyslexia and stage-fright week in and week out as he studies and thinks and prays for hours and stands before a crowd to preach the gospel week after week, year after year in a small unknown church until he dies in obscurity for the sake of the Kingdom expanding in the hearts of his hearers.

11. The Kingdom looks like a man who is dying of cancer who lives with more joy and peace and contentment than he has at any other point in his life and routinely encourages and strengthens those who visit to encourage and strengthen him and time after time comforts those around him by declaring that cancer is the best thing that has ever happened to him because it has forced him to rely on and trust Jesus more than he ever had at any other point in his life.

12. The Kingdom looks like a dad who, instead of going out to eat or to get drinks with co-workers after a long day of work, rushes home to spend the evening loving/serving/enjoying time with his wife and playing with his kids.  It looks like a dad who reads the Bible with his kids and leads his family in family devotions.  It looks like a dad who lovingly disciplines his kids so that they would learn self-control and responsibility and rightful authority so that they would develop a rightful, healthy, Biblical fear of the good, merciful, gracious, holy Lord God who lovingly reigns over the subjects of his Kingdom.

13. The Kingdom looks like a mom who sacrifices her time and energy, giving, teaching, loving, disciplining, and caring for her kids.  It looks like a mom who regularly reads the Bible with her kids and pours out her heart in prayer on behalf of her kids that they would come to love the God that she does.

14. The Kingdom looks like a man and woman who had been divorced from one another for several years hearing a sermon about divorce, realizing their previous divorce did not have a Biblical justification, and deciding to get re-married as a way to show that their commitment to God and his Word is greater than their commitment to their own convenience.  It looks like a renewed commitment and effort to love one another, forgive one another, serve one another, bear with one another, and please one another because they are convinced that their marriage is a picture of the gospel and the relationship between Jesus and his bride—the church.

15. Finally, the Kingdom looks like any number of “regular” mundane people who live their lives constantly giving thanks to God for all that they have, regularly resisting, confessing, and fighting sin, and loyally following Jesus as their Lord, Master, and King. 

The Look of the Kingdom 2017-08-19T14:13:09+00:00

May Newsletter

Dear Church,

We need to be careful how we are living! We are representing God to the world. There is a responsibility that comes with being a part of a church.

In Titus 1:16 Paul says this about some fake church people “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.”

That is a scary description of a church!

How seriously do you take the fact that you are claiming to be Christians? Are you really a child of God? Are you mindful that many people are forming their beliefs, or lack thereof, about God based off of what they see in you?

I was reminded of this recently when I was up at the local community ball fields. The baseball fields in the evenings are typically a place where people are relaxed and at ease. We wear shorts and shirts and ball caps and dirty shoes, and we do not put much thought toward looking very church-like. There are many people at the Fairdale Youth League that I do not know and that I have never seen before. Well this past week, I was up around the ball fields and I had a stranger approach me and began asking me about our church. They talked to me about our church as if we were both aware of the fact that I was the pastor. To be honest, I did not know that they knew I was a pastor.

After that conversation, I began to wonder how they knew. Did someone tell them? I wonder how they explained it. Did they speak well of us at FBCF? Or was their perception of us not so positive?

I further wondered, had they seen me with a bad attitude? Had they seen me frustrated? Had they seen me prideful? Had they seen me be rude with my children or my wife?

These things matter! What they see in us is often what they think of God!

Let’s be careful to live faithful lives to God!

With all sincerity,

Your pastor, Josh

 

May Newsletter 2017-05-03T19:00:21+00:00

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

 

 

April Newsletter 2017-04-05T18:10:29+00:00

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

 

March Newsletter 2017-03-06T15:15:57+00:00

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

 

February Newsletter 2017-02-01T19:30:03+00:00

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

 

January Newsletter 2017 2017-01-11T19:21:58+00:00
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