If you are like me, you love hearing a good testimony. Recently I was reading in the book of Galatians. As I read, I came across Galatians 1:23-24, "They only heard the report: 'The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.' And they praised God because of me." This is Paul's testimony in a soundbite. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be in Paul's presence as he shared his testimony of God's grace. I can't imagine what it would have been like to hear about the persecutions he had endured, people whom had abandoned him, and the stories about his travels/adventures. I can't imagine what it would be like to see Paul, see his scars, his bruises, his wounds. I can't imagine what it would be like to hear him as he shared his concern about the Jewish people: "For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel." (Romans 9:3) I would love to hear his passion for the Word of God, God's global mission, and his transformation from Saul to Paul.
However, I think that we are often more comfortable hearing a testimony of complete transformation than being with the person in the middle of transformation. For example, after Jesus intersects Paul on the road to Damascus, Jesus tells Ananias go to the house where Saul (Paul) was staying. Here is Ananias' response after hearing from the Lord, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name." (Acts 9:13-14) Clearly you can hear and understand the fear in Ananias' response. This is where many Christians find themselves today in terms of evangelism. We love the testimonies, but rarely are we bold enough and obedient enough to be the resource that God uses to change lives. I encourage you to be bold and witness to those around you. Look for opportunities to share your story, your faith, and God's Word with others. You never know, you may be a part of someone's testimony one day. Ananias ended up being obedient and we are still mentioning his name. Never fear people. After all, the worse they can do is kill you. But Jesus says, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Remember, telling someone about Jesus is actually the most loving thing you can do for them!
" There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven." -Ecclesiastes 3:1
A few weeks ago I looked at the calendar hanging in our kitchen and read: "First Day of Spring". My mind immediately filled with pleasant thoughts about longer days and grilled burgers, followed by some not so pleasant thoughts about yellow jackets (You know I have a history with those godless little demons) and pollen. But overall, I love the seasons and have found over the years something to look forward to about each one.
It seems to me that God, in His infinite awesomeness, designed the seasons of nature to help us better understand the metaphorical seasons we go through in our lives, our families, our churches, and our personal journeys with Christ. Seasons represent CHANGE, and on one hand it's nice because they are fairly predictable. For example, we know that springtime will inevitably bring more sunshine and dazzling floral arrays. But in the back of our minds we may also be thinking about unpredictable weather patterns and tornadoes. So, while spring is a time of beauty and splendor, it can also be quite terrifying. The seasons of life are like that, too.
Not only do seasons change, but you and I change, and that affects how we perceive and accept the seasons of our lives. Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, is known for this quote:
"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man." To live is to change.
Once upon a time I was a newlywed, a young dad, brand new to the ministry. Sometimes I reminisce about those days and think wistfully, "Ahh, those were such simpler times"--not EASY, by any stretch of the imagination but, in some ways, SIMPLE. (There is a difference.) And then I look at the stage of life in which I now find myself. The empty nest and grandparenthood are exciting and welcome changes. But the scattering of my family, wondering when we'll all be together in one place again (not even a sure thing at Christmas anymore) are definitely down sides. But I, myself, have become seasoned. I'm able to deal with the present and look to the future with confidence learned, wisdom acquired, and a few nasty scars collected along the way.
The BAD thing about seasons is that they are LONG, relatively speaking. Winter doesn't just last a few hours or a few days or even a few weeks. At the onset of cold weather, we must settle in and make some preparations in order to survive it. But the GOOD thing about seasons is that they are, relatively speaking, SHORT. We know in the dead of winter that the new life of spring is going to bloom again. Perspective is key.
I don't know what season you are going through right now. I pray that you are basking in heavenly sunlight, feeling the warmth of God's love and grace shining down on you, and gathering up fragrant bouquets of new mercies. But if your circumstances feel more like a long, harsh, bitter frost, just hold on. Seasons do change. And our God never does.
"He has made everything beautiful in its time." -Ecclesiastes 3:11
Do you suffer from "Nomophobia?"
Do you feel anxious when your cell phone isn't nearby? You may suffer from nomophobia, the fear of being without your cell phone. The term, derived from "no mobile phone," was coined in 2008 by the U. K. Post Office. Research revealed 66 percent of 1,000 people surveyed in the United Kingdom said they fear losing or being without their cell phones.
I fear I suffer from this disorder. I find myself becoming more and more tethered to my cell phone. It is often the last thing I put down at night and the first I will pick up in the morning. I carry it with me all day long. Checking messages, making calls, staying up to date and connected - That's me!!!
What if we treated our Bible, God's word and principles, like we treated our cell phone?
What if we flipped through it several times a day looking for new insights and messages?
What if we picked it up first thing in the morning and checked it out at the end of the day?
We don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill!
Just think of the difference in our lives if we treated our Bible the same way we treat our cell phone.
Under His grace,
Deposit of $50 DUE BY JUNE 11TH - Get this deposit made in order to save your spot! Only a limited amount of spots available!
Remainder of Cost $100 DUE BY JULY 5TH.
FUGE Paperwork must be filled out when making your Deposit online. Paperwork can be brought to Bro. Jarod or Faith Carpenter.
FUGE Forms are available on our website
Register only CLICK HERE
Praises from Personal Ministries
The Personal Ministries Department is expressing gratefulness this month for our faithful "Meals on Wheels" volunteers. Every seven weeks, Woodmont Baptist Church is responsible for a week of delivering meals during the lunch hour to 10-11 homes in the North Florence area. Some of our volunteers are couples who work the route together, and others are women who go with another friend or by themselves. The type of person receiving the meal varies: retired, homebound, or vision /hearing impaired. Often the volunteer will find the recipient already waiting by the door and the majority of the time they express much appreciation for the warm meal.
If you are looking for an opportunity to serve in our community, this is an excellent outreach to local Sr. Adults and the disabled. The deliveries take about an hour and half plus the time it takes to stop and pick up the meals in the morning before starting the delivery route. You will bring a smile to someone's face even though you are only able to spend a few minutes at each location.
Contact Becky or Loretta if you would like to add your name to our list of wonderful volunteers!
Becky and Loretta
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
" Ephesians 3:20
A little more than 30 years ago, a newly divorced mother of three visited Woodmont Baptist Church looking for peace and direction for her life. That person was me and never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined that the Lord would redeem my life and actually use me in ministry. He showed me that I was accepted and loved in spite of my failures. He gave me a wonderful church family.
Many divorced people don't believe they will be welcome in church .This might be the case in some churches, however, I always make sure they know that Woodmont is a loving and accepting church. About 25 years ago, a Sunday school class just for single adults was started and it has evolved into an active ministry.
In addition to several Bible study classes for Singles on Sunday morning, the Singles Ministry has also offered DivorceCare and DC4Kids for over 20 years. Hundreds of people from our community have benefitted from attending these classes. About 8 years ago, our history of divorce recovery allowed us the opportunity to become a part of the Family court's program to help children of divorcing parents in Lauderdale County cope with their parent's divorce. A class is held once a month for parents to be able to meet the required court mandate. Our DivorceCare team has felt very fortunate to walk alongside those who are experiencing the trauma of divorce.
One of the highlights of our year is the Single Parent Family Beach Retreat. There is always at least one family who has never been to the beach, and it is really neat watching how much they enjoy it. The devotion time is always a blessing, especially when the kids share.
About 10 years ago, the Singles leadership made a decision to make missions a part of our ministry. Thus far, groups have gone on mission to Honduras, Brazil, and to Guatemala twice. Those trips were life changing for many and would not have been possible except for the fundraising by the Singles ministry. Our yearly golf tournament is our biggest fundraiser. We will be hosting our 12th event this year. We always appreciate our church families who help support this event by sponsoring a hole and /or playing .
A very special local mission opportunity that the Singles enjoy participating in is the downtown Soup Kitchen. Every 5th Saturday, you can find a large group of singles preparing and serving over 100 meals to the guests there.
Recently at a game night, a group of especially loud singles enjoyed a fun game of spoons, and another group of quieter players enjoyed a long game of Mexican Train Dominoes. So, whether the singles are studying God's word, having fun at the beach, serving God on missions, or enjoying times of fellowship, we are trying to be a Single Light in the Darkness.
For the last six weeks I have been taking an online class through International Network Children's Ministry. It is associated with Bethel University. I am not going to tell you it wasn't always easy, but it's so worth it, and I feel so accomplished.
These are a few things I took away from this course, I don't have to have it all together, I just need to be available when God calls.
Five key passages of why kids matter. How can I use them to cast a vision for children's ministry?
1. Matthew 19:14, Children have direct access
2. I Timothy 4:12, Children can be examples
3. Luke 2:;49, Children desire to learn about God
4. Acts 2:38-39, Children receive all of Him
5. I Samuel 3:10, Children can hear from God
So our vision for children's ministry should first and foremost begin with God's vision for our children. I am surrounded by a great children's ministry team. They have a great vision and love for our children. I am so honored and proud of each one of them. We love children and want them to come to know and grow in the Lord. Thank you, team, for all you do.
Kids Kamp May 30 - 31
Kindergarten - 2nd grade
3rd grand - 6th grade May 31 - June 3
VBS June 12-16
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
This year, as we focus on the marvels painted in the sky by the Creator, we will discover the wonder beyond all wonders - that the God that created everything there is - the knowable and the unknowable, the visible and the invisible - wants a personal relationship with each of us! Join us as we share with kids that God is over the moon in love with them!
55 and Older Join Us For These Upcoming Events...
Game Day at East Campus on Thursday, May 4, and May 25. Bring a finger food and join us at 12:30 for games and fellowship.
Monthly Luncheon, will be Thursday, May 18 at 12 noon. We will have a pot luck, so bring a dish to share. Bread and drink will be furnished. Our speaker will be Dianne Pollock, who is a Hostess at the Amish Welcome Center in Ethridge TN. She will present a program on the Amish people and their community. Plan to attend this very interesting and educational program. Sign up in the breezeway so we will have a place for you.
Joel & Erica Wallace, Letter Tim & Mary Ross, Letter
Kenneth Tate, Baptism Cari McCanless, Baptism
Woodmont Baptist Church's MISSION STATEMENT is:
"To do the Lord's will through prayer, worship, discipleship, service, missions
and evangelism - In His name, by His spirit and for His glory."
Bro. Chad Hess
Rev. Steve Thompson
, Assoc. Pastor/Min. of Ed/Admin.
Rev. Kevin Reese,
Singles and Families Minister
Becky Daughtery & Loretta Young
Personal Ministries Director
Communications Secretary/Education Secretary
Jennifer Jones, King's Kids Director