Over the past few days we have watched the devastation that Hurricane Harvey brought to Houston, Texas. On some level, a common question rises to the surface of thought: "If God is good, where was He? Why did He allow such destruction on people?" If you have asked this question, you are not alone. In fact, Jesus himself was asked this same question in Luke 13:1-5:
"Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, 'Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
Sometimes it is hard to think about the goodness of God in relation to such devastation. You see, t
he people during Jesus' time were asking for a reason for such suffering. The people in our day are asking the same. The people in Jesus' day knew there was some link between sin and suffering, and they thought that perhaps God was punishing the people because of sin in their lives. Jesus proves this in his response, "Do you think that these...were worse sinners than all the others?" Christians know that natural disasters come as a result of the Fall (Gen.3); however, that does not mean that suffering is proportionate to sin/righteousness on this earth. Let me try to explain.
The Bible is clear that the "wicked" often prosper, and the "righteous" often suffer. In fact, we have an entire book of the Bible called Job that deals with this philosophical/theological issue. Jeremiah asks the Lord, "Righteous are You, O Lord, that I would plead my case with You; Indeed, I would discuss matters of justice with You: why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?" (Jeremiah 12:1). Psalm 73:3 confesses, "For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked." Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 3, "Anyone who wants to live a Godly life will be persecuted." So here are some important take-a-ways from what we are seeing in Texas.
Lessons To Know:
- Pray for those affected by this event (Philippians 2:3-4)
- Give your financial support/assistance to the Alabama Southern Baptist Disaster Relief program through namb.org or by giving designated disaster relief funds to Woodmont Baptist Church.
- Go - When the time is right, there will be opportunities of service to go and help the people there. Look for opportunities and go as the Lord directs you and your family (Romans 12:1-2).
- Just because there is flooding/devastation, it does not necessarily mean that God is showing us that the people of Texas are any more wicked than we are. (Luke 13:1-5)
- God has given us the responsibility to love our neighbor and to offer help and assistance to those in need much like the "Good Samaritan" (Luke 10:25-37), so we must be faithful to provide help through our resources, disaster relief, and mission opportunities.
Struggles Men Face
In the spring 2014 issue of Deacon Magazine the following graphic was printed:
In Romans 7:21-25, Paul writes: "So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law, but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me prisoner of the law of sin at work within me...Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" God's word and reading and studying it regularly is one of the best tools to use in the struggles men face.
Under His grace,
From the mouths of children and babies come songs of praise to you. Psalm 8:2
There is no question that our God ordains praise from even the smallest of His children. I'm excited to say that He is currently doing some great things, with regard to praise and worship, in the hearts and lives of our children here at Woodmont.
First, let me back up and say that it was a sad, sad day when Elaine Hagler shared with me that she and Karl will be relocating this fall. She has been our Kids' Choir coordinator and musical director for approximately a dozen years! The faithfulness and love she has poured into so many young lives during her ministry here have been an inspiration to many, including myself. The hearts and minds of many youngsters have been transformed through the singing, dancing, reciting, signing, acting, and praising for which Mrs. Elaine provided numerous opportunities and capable leadership. And I haven't even mentioned all the other thin
gs she has done! (Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Elaine!)
And because our God is always faithful to provide in times of change and loss, new laborers are being raised up to build on the foundation that Elaine has laid for us. Carol Johns is bringing her vast musical gifts, years of experience as an elementary music teacher, and love for children to pick up the torch and lead Kids' Choirs to new heights. She is assisted by some wonderful faithful women: Alexis Craig, Demi Simmons, Shannon Johnson, and Kim Butler. Much gratitude to all of you!
And following the essence of that Psalm 8 passage, even Woodmont's babies are learning how to praise God and give Him glory. Two dynamic and servant-hearted young moms, Kelsey Campbell and Amy Thompson, are b
eginning a new venture called Preschool Praise for 2 year olds - kindergarten, because it's never too early to expose our little ones to ways they can give Him the glory He is worthy of. Preschool Praise will feature not only singing, but a lot of fun movement, introductions to rhythm with instruments, and worship brought down to their level of understanding.
And now, a word to parents of children, 6th grade and under: Please, please, please encourage your child to get involved in these programs and support them fully when they do so. Sometimes even parents may inadvertently send the message to their kids that singing isn't cool. But praising the Lord is not only cool, it's commanded for believers, young and old! Let's start them praising early before "coolness" becomes an issue.
Kids' Choir (1st-6th) meets every Wednesday from 6 to 6:30 PM in Room 10.
Preschool Praise (2's-K) meets every Sunday, 10-10:20 AM in our children's area, starting Sept. 10.
(And by the way, if you have kids in the 7th through 12th grades,
send them MY way.
Youth Choir meets every Sunday at 5 PM in the choir room.)
I hope to see all of you at Singin' With The Saints, Sunday, September 24, at 6:30 PM. Bring a friend!
Singing as I go,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart."
Many people wonder, God, can you really use me? Can you really make something of my life?
The answer is YES, HE MOST CERTAINLY CAN!
It doesn't matter how young or old you are, what has happened in your past, or what you may be struggling with right now; God has a plan for your life. You may not understand why the Lord directs you on a certain path, or what is going to happen, but if you put all your trust in Him, step out in faith and obey Him, the joy you will receive is beyond anything you have ever experienced.
I remember moving to Florence four years ago and thinking I was only going to be here for two years until I finished my degree, and then we would be moving because I would have my first coaching job.
My my how things have changed! When I was asked to be the student minister here, fear and confusion immediately came over me. Every excuse known to man began to fill my mind. After spending time in prayer and consulting godly influences in my life, I knew if I said no I would be miserable. See God had a plan for my life but I wasn't very sure of how he was going to make this work, nor why he would even allow me to have one of the greatest honors ever, that is to preach His word and serve him. I was going to have to trust him and step out in faith and obey Him. It was time to walk the walk. I had talked about having faith but now it was time to put all my trust in Him. These past two years have been two of the greatest years of my life! Had I said no I would have missed all the great things God has allowed me to be a part of. I'm in awe of how God is constantly transforming my life and the things he has done here at Woodmont.
As I sat in my first two seminary classes last night I couldn't help but almost get emotional thinking how far the Lord has brought me and how He has never turned His back on me. It's amazing to see how the Lord can use people like me that don't bring anything to the table. I'm not a great speaker, don't know much about youth ministry, and I'm not a Bible scholar, but I love the Lord and want to make much of His name. I want people to know that God took something like me and chose to use me to bring honor and glory to His great name.
Will you allow God to use you? To transform your life? It is a scary thought but God has a plan for your life if you will just trust Him and say, "Yes, Lord."
How blessed we have been this summer by the presence of our summer interns. Their creativity, and willingness to learn, work hard, and share God's love with our children, youth, and adults have been inspiring.
In the Personal Ministries office, we have had the privilege of being assisted by Sara Wilson. Her quickness in learning and her ease in working with our clients was especially valuable on "Intake" day when many would come to complete applications for the food pantry or for financial assistance with rental, utilities, or medical bills.
This summer, Sara worked in VBS, Kids Kamp, C-Fuge and M-Fuge @ Glorietta with our youth. Besides working with our other interns to plan our annual "Back to School Bash," she planned and led the discipleship training class in Ministering to the Community as her personal intern project. Sara also assisted in the planning of the upcoming Ministry Fair scheduled for this Fall.
She is now at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where she will be doing course work for her M.A. in Church and Community Ministries. Sara will also be working towards a Masters of Social Work Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Becky & Loretta
Ladies, You're invited to a Beth Moore Simulcast
"Captivated: The Wonder of Christ on the Winding Road"
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Event begins at 8:30 a.m. (Worship Center) Concludes between 3:30 and 4:00 (
Doors open at 7:45 a.m.)
Ticket price is $20,
includes lunch (sandwich, chips, cookie, beverage), and must be purchased in advance through the church office.
You may register online by clicking
or you may purchase tickets in the office.
Sponsored by the Women's Ministry
Childcare not provided
Kathy Austin, Women's Ministry Director
Cookout on the Lake at the Woods' home @ 2:00 PM
Bring a dish to go with hot dogs and hamburgers.
Game Night at the East Campus @ 6:00 PM
Bring a finger food.
Downtown Soup Kitchen from 10:30 AM -1:30PM
If you would like to help or bring a dessert,
contact Rhonda Parrish, Brenda Walker, or Belinda Green.
I have been told so many times, "I admire your strength." I don't think of it as strength; I think of it as survival! I know God has many things in store for me. I look at my church children and think, "I can't leave them yet." There is so much I want to teach them. I know it's not my sole responsibility but, along with their parents, we must keep reminding them of God's love. If we don't the world will teach them otherwise.
One night Tony and I were sitting in a hot tub in Nashville and a young girl kept whispering to her mom. She finally said, Ma'am what is wrong with you?" I preceded to tell her about my journey. I told her that God was taking care of me. The mom said, "What is your job?" I said, "I work with children at church." She then gave me the greatest compliment.She said, "I could tell by the way you talked to my daughter." She was so scared to talk to you, but you put her at such ease and reassured her it would be all right. God is not finished with me yet!
If we have hope, we can go on.
55 and Older Join Us For These Upcoming Events...
Game Days - Thursday, Sept. 7 and 28, at East Campus. Bring a Finger Food to share at 12:30 and play Games until around 4 p.m. If there is enough interest we will have Game Day twice a month. If not we will only have Game Day the first Thursday of each month.
Thursday, Sept. 14 - Trip to Nashville TN to see "Mamma Mia" at Chaffin's Barn. All tickets are sold. We will leave the back Parking Lot C at 8:30 a.m. We will make a stop in Columbia for coffee. We will have a late lunch after the play. Due to Loveless Café being booked we will travel to Franklin TN for lunch and some shopping time. Drinks and snacks will be provided before the Play.
Thursday, Sept. 21 - Monthly Luncheon will be at East Campus under the bus pavilion at 12 noon. Bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert will be furnished. Bring your lawn chairs. We will play board games and yard games and have a time of fellowship. Invite someone to come with you to this fun day.
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
Ministry Quick Links