"Weak and wounded sinner, lost and left to die. Raise your head for love is passing by. Come to Jesus...and live." Lyrics from Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus) by Chris Rice
So, how are those resolutions? Maybe that is a tough question for you to answer. Maybe you have already broken them, disappointed yourself, and maybe you even feel like you have disappointed God because you have failed to grow in spiritual and physical commitments. I love that a New Year comes, with its hopes, wishes, and resolutions. However, at the same time I believe it's appropriate that February follows January. In February we celebrate love, mostly on Valentine's Day. I hope that you remember that you are loved, cherished, and wanted, and there is a cross and resurrection of Christ that prove this for all eternity. I pray that you do not beat yourself up with guilt and shame and forget the wonderful love of God that He has so gracefully lavished on you. Ephesians 1:7-8a, "In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us."
Recently, I was reading Psalm 119 as part of my quiet time. If you are familiar with the Psalm, it is speaking of the Word of God as worth more than riches and gold. I instantly felt guilty for neglecting time in the Word. However, the last verse of the Psalm brought great comfort. Psalm 119:176 says, "I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands." The psalmist, after pouring their heart out about the Word of God, comes to the Lord with a humble confession: I have strayed. He confesses our wandering heart, our tendency to stray, our dangerous drift from the Shepherd. The good news is the gospel is that God knows all of this, and then the Good Shepherd watches out for us, searches for us, finds us, and rescues us. He is the Good Shepherd (John 10) and I am a sheep. Thankful for His compassion to those of His flock, including me. I pray that the second year of my ministry at Woodmont will reflect His heart and compassion for His sheep more each day.
New Young Adult Classroom Wing to Open Soon!
In the coming weeks we will be opening the old nursery classrooms to a new young adult classroom wing. The five preschool classrooms were moved downstairs last year so that all the preschool and children's classrooms could be on one level. We anticipate opening these rooms in February as part of our emphasis in reaching young adults. A new young adult class for singles and married is also being started and will meet in the young adult wing.
Pictured above is a training meeting that our Bible Study Connections teachers attended on January 21. The meeting included divisional training for preschool and children, youth and adults. New updated policies were reviewed for the Preschool through Youth divisions. The adults focused on outreach and being aware of how cliques can form in groups over time where it becomes hard for new people to join the group. Brother Chad shared part of a letter about a family that recently visited at Woodmont where they did not feel greeted and welcomed during our worship services after visiting a number of times. We are working on addressing this through our welcome team and other strategies. Any group or class can over time become cliquish and make it difficult for new people to feel welcomed. Brother Chad has challenged Woodmont to be extra sensitive to new people and reach out whenever possible to new folks the Lord brings our way.
Under His grace,
I've been thinking about marriage a lot lately--probably because, as I write this, I am five days away from my thirtieth wedding anniversary. Even as I type that, I feel I need to go back and recheck my math: 30 years? That can't be right... Can it???
I've also been reminiscing about my first full-time ministry position--also 30 years ago--leading music (and youth) in a smallish, rural church in Southeast Missouri. Often on Sunday nights, I would impose upon my new bride to pick up a microphone and join me as I led worship songs from the piano. I would sing the lead vocal, and she would add her lovely alto, and while it was not at all what that country church was accustomed to, the way I saw it, they were blessed to get two for the price of one.
One day, a dear lady in the church approached me and thanked me for having my wife lead with me. She said she'd been in church all her life and never felt comfortable singing out because, always having had a male worship leader, she couldn't make her voice find the right range of pitches. She said, "But I can hear what your wife is doing, and it makes sense to me; I can follow her!"
This woman's testimony expresses one of many reasons to have a team of worship leaders (a praise team.) But it also strikes me as a pretty strong metaphor for my marriage. On my own, I am a melody. A single line of notes is all I can accomplish. And it's...okay. But joined together and in concert with Corinne? There is harmony, richer tone color, and added depth, and suddenly I make sense. There is also complexity, and sometimes discordance that is always ultimately drowned out by beauty.
Last night Larry McCluskey told me that the song he has chosen to sing in church this Sunday is "Sweet Beulah Land." What a coincidence, I thought, as I remembered from seminary days that Beulah is a Hebrew word meaning marriage. It reminds us that we are the Bride of Christ and that one day our Groom will come for us and we will live happily ever after in glorious wedded bliss, permanent residents of the City of Zion.
The covenant of marriage: joy of earth and joy of Heaven. Until I am called to take my place at the table for a wedding feast to end them all, I will rejoice in the wife of my youth, gladly growing old and wise with her, and will keep the music playing as long this life shall last.
(Happy Anniversary to my darling.)
Where: East Campus
Who: All youth groups in the Shoals area
Sign up in the lobby of Worship Center or
This year we are trying something new and going to Student Life Camp
in the Smokies! I have heard awesome things about Student Life and
wanted to give it a shot! I have no doubt that God will do a mighty work
in us during our time there!
Cost: $275 regular; $250 if you sign up before April 1
Where: Sevierville, TN (Smokies)
When: July 23-27
Sign up in the lobby of Worship Center or online.
DivorceCare and DC4Kids programs are in full swing.
We are still taking new participants if you know
who is going through divorce.
Singles Game Nite
Friday, Feb 2nd at East Campus
@ 6:00 PM.
Please bring a finger food and join the fun.
Monthly Covered Dish Lunch
February 25th - @ East Campus
Please bring a casserole, veggie dish or dessert.
The meat and drinks are provided.
March 31st - Soup Kitchen
Singles work the Downtown Soup Kitchen.
If you would like to help, contact Belinda Green,
Latricia Hensley or Rhonda Parrish to sign up.
The Singles Ministry is considering a mission trip this fall to work with BBIC in Guatemala once again. There will be an interest meeting Sunday, February 11th at 4:30 in the chapel. If you cannot attend the meeting but are interested in going on this trip, please contact Belinda Green. If you aren't part of the Singles Ministry but have an interest in going, please contact Belinda Green or Charlotte Cramer.
What is your approach to life? Are you "just passing through," moving quickly toward the future, passing by opportunities to engage with the world around you? Are you unable to lift your head and see what the future holds?
What can I learn from the way Jesus numbered His days? In my present state of mind or circumstances I can become blind to God's promises and think I'm defeated. The truth is I can't always do anything about my circumstances, but I can call out to God, and that is all I need to do. I want to encourage you if you feel your days are too hard to handle, that you call a church friend, an intercessor, and just pray for wisdom, and strength that God will help you through this time. I don't always have the best attitude, or I just try to do things on my own, but I do know without a doubt that God has my life in His hands.
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
Prayer: Thank You Jesus for giving me this day. Thank You for the opportunity to live it for You. Make me a blessing to those around me. Make my heart beat in time with Yours.
PS: Watch for new magnets in children's area with upcoming events.
55 and Older Join Us For These Upcoming Events...
We are planning our trips for 2018. If there is someplace interesting that you have heard of or that you would like to see, please get the information to the Travel Committee (Frances and Mike Moore, Jim and Niva Green). We would appreciate your input.
|Stan & Lisa Clement, Statement
Brynley Voorhies, 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 /Education Secretary
King's Kids Director
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