Living the Great Commandment
Last month we talked about the changes and the challenges in our Association. Even as we deal with the changes, some better than others, and we face the challenges before us as an association, we need to remember that God called All of us to be On Mission for Him. Jesus left us the Great Commandment as well as the Great Commission. Before we can carry out the Great Commission, to “go ye therefore,” we have to Live Out the Great Commandment.
Jesus said, “If you Love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) Jesus also said, “You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt 22:37-40)
78% of the 314 million people in the United States call themselves Christians. Most of them would say they Love God, but because of the prosperity Gospel that has invaded our culture, most people only Love God when things are going well or they are reminded of His blessings on them. But Jesus tells us as Christians that we are to Love God with All our Heart, Mind & Soul. Love God with All our Being—Body, Mind and Soul; meaning everything we are, everything we have. God’s Name means “Everything.” Sometimes it’s hard to Love God with everything we have, but God would do anything for us. We Love God because He first Loved us and gave us His Son; the greatest Gift of all. You can’t say you really Love God and not spend time with Him; reading His Word, praying to Him, attending Church, or Worshipping Him, Learning more about Him. Is He Everything to you?
Jesus also tells us to Love our Neighbor as much as we Love God.Love God first and foremost. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God….” (Matt 6:33) Out of our Love for God flows everything we do; Love of people, Love for His Church, Love of Serving Him. As Christians, we are commanded to “Love our neighbor.” Now is not the time to get into a theological argument as to who our neighbor is. Our neighbors are anyone who needs Mercy or Ministering to; whoever we come in contact with, whenever we come in contact with them. Love is shown by our actions, but action without Love is worthless. God does not want us “Doing” religious things, simply going through the motions. Doing Church Work, Serving God, even Ministry is not as important as people; showing Care, Compassion and Concern for others—being involved in their lives and needs. “Love one another as I have Loved you.” (John 15:12)
God wants us to Serve Him, doing things for His Glory, demonstrating Love in action. We are to Love our neighbors as someone worth Saving; Jesus died to save them just like He died to save us. As the song says, we’re all “Sinners, Saved by Grace” and we’re all Saved the same way—(John 14:6) No other way, (Acts 4:12) No other Name.
Love includes and embraces all the commandments, because God is Love. All Scripture hangs on the Love of God and Love of neighbors. The sum & substance of all God has ever done is Love. (John 3:16) What are we doing to impact the lives of those around us? We really don’t Love God as much as we say we do, if we’re not Loving and ministering to those around us.
As a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, you cannot Carry Out the Great Commission until you Live Out the Great Commandment. Then you are Loving and Living as Jesus commanded.
—Vernon DeLong, Moderator
Edith Vaughn-Parker , 92, of Lexington, died Monday, January 6, 2014, at Benjamin Borden Center in Lexington. Edith was born in Pulaski, Virginia, on September 24, 1921. Her parents were Dora Fitzgerald Vaughn and Everett Sidney Vaughn (who pastored at Big Island and Hunting Creek from 1938 to 1952). She was the middle child of five; an older brother and sister, and a younger brother and sister.
Edith received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Va., and her Masters of Religious Education from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, Ky. She also completed special studies at Lynchburg College and at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary. Edith taught high school in Allegheny County for two years. She went on to be a missionary near Norton, Va., for two years and also worked in social ministry in Louisville, Ky., for two years. As a child in Goshen, Va., when she walked down the aisle of the small Baptist church, she felt she was answering “Yes” to Jesus. Then she seemed to hear Him say: “If you really love me, it will take you a long way from Goshen.” Edith never got away from this feeling of “call.” From 1952 until 1987, Edith served as a missionary in North-Eastern Brazil. After a year of Portuguese study, she helped establish “Friendship House” in Recife where she worked for 27 years, then moved to Triunfo for eight years. There she worked in evangelism and the establishment of small churches. Upon retirement in 1987, she cared of her aunt.
On October 25, 1997, Edith married John A. Parker, a retired missionary to Chile. They enjoyed working together with their church in Lexington, VA, and also a truck-stop ministry and various retirement and nursing homes.
A funeral service was conducted on January 10, 2014, at Manly Memorial Baptist Church, with Dr. J. Michael Wilkins and Dr. Tom Harvey officiating. Edith Vaughn-Parker was buried beside her parent’s in Oakwood Cemetery, Pulaski.
Focus on Our Family
Mentow’s Men’s Ministry is sponsoring a Mission Evening on Saturday, February 8, 5:00, with guest speakers William and Erin Brown. The Browns spent a year in Nazareth, Israel, serving as Venturers through the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. While in Israel, they volunteered and taught in an Arab Christian seminary and Baptist K-12 school. They will be speaking about their time in Israel, about their work with the school and seminary, and about the life of Arab Christians and others in the Holy Land. Both William and Erin grew up in Virginia Baptist churches, William in Gretna and Erin in Hampton. They now live in Charlottesville where William is a hospital chaplain and Erin is a teacher. They have one son, Luke.
The program will be followed by a “Crockpot Supper.” The public is invited, and there is no charge. The Rev. Greg Soult is pastor. For further information, contact email@example.com or call 540.297.4051.
Morgans has called Rev. John Stephen Parker as Intentional Interim Pastor, beginning February 2. Steve earned a B.A. in Religion and Classics from Mars Hill College, NC., and a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, NC. He served as a Chaplain in the US Army from July 1979 to April 2000. Immediately before moving to our area, he pastored in Silver Spring, Maryland. He and his wife Rosilyn have two adult sons. There will be a “meet and greet” reception for Rev. Parker at noon on Sunday, February 2.
Mt. Zion had their first Clothes Closet on Saturday, January 11, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. After we closed, the remainder of the clothes were picked up by Rev. Danny Holdren and taken to a ministry in West Va. We had such a blessed day!
Palestine’sWild Game Dinner will be Saturday, February 11, 6:30 p.m. The speaker will be Steve Scheibner, pilot that was scheduled to fly 9/11. Check out his video here. For ticket info, contact the church office, 540.297.4442. Be sure to invite your friends.
Timber Ridge Baptist Church
Speakers include: Makaela Suitt, Emily Bass, Robin Foutz
Topics include: Marriage and Family, Spiritual Growth, Forgiveness, Redemption, Learning God’s Grace & Mercy. Call 540.586.9267 to register—$5 ($10 family). Visit www.timberridgebaptist.org.
Trinity collected $2,065 for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, exceeding their goal of $2,000!
Trinity has some old “Glory Songs” they would like to give away. The books date from 1980 through 1993. If you know of a church who could use these books, contact Carol Easterly at Trinity, 540.586.8010.
SPHERE Project Training
March 10-14, 2014
The SPHERE Project is an intensive international disaster relief and response training designed to provide the volunteer with all the tools necessary to work with international governments and other NGO’s in large-scale response situations. Volunteers will learn how to set up and operate refugee camps, manage large volumes of materials and victims, and understand the workings of other NGO’s among other things.
Volunteers should have a valid passport, current vaccinations, and will be expected to make themselves available during international disaster responses. Cost is $100 per person (includes all training materials, 4 lunches and snacks) + lodging (we can make these arrangements if requested for $67 + tax per night at a Best Western within walking distance with a continental breakfast. Or, you can make your own arrangements at many other nearby hotels.)
To register, please call or e-mail Jeannette Hildebrand at 804.915.5000 ext. 7260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb 17 Billy Leonard (Retired)
Feb 14 Todd & Dana Childers (Norwood)
A Place for You in WMU!
Women on Mission : Radford will lead weekly devotionals at Oakwood Manor in January, February, and March. Mount Olivet will host the February birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Diamond Hill will host it in March. What appeared to be a dreary Saturday, January 11, became a day of cheer as the Sedalia Stars gathered at the church to make vegetable soup (39 quarts) and deliver it to area folks who were sick, shut-in, or just needed to know some cared about them.
The following churches have submitted Annual Dues for 2013-2014: Beaverdam, Bethlehem, Flint Hill, Glade Creek, Mentow, Morgans, Mount Hermon, Mount Zion, Pecks, Quaker, Radford, Sedalia, Shady Grove, and Thaxton. If your WMU organization still needs to do this, checks should be payable to Strawberry WMU and mailed to Lynne Stebbins, 5644 Chestnut Fork Rd., Bedford 24523.
Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia is pleased to announce the recommendation by the Board of Trustees of Dr. Valerie Carter as Executive Director/Treasurer of WMUV.
Dr. Carter’s calling is to inspire, equip, and mobilize Christ followers to be on mission for Christ locally and globally. She has lived out this call working with Virginia Baptists in various ways since 1988. Valerie served for ten years as Director of the Hillside Baptist Center in Richmond, as Associate of Christian Social Ministries at WMUV for five years, and for the past ten years as Associate Pastor for Glocal Ministries at the Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond.
Click for complete biographical information.
Feedback regarding our 2013 Christmas Gift Ministry at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy, Virginia. We want to let our donors know the impact of their giving. Here’s a brief overview of our ministry:
2013 was another very successful year for the Christmas Gift Ministry. The number of donors has increased each of the last four years to a total of 150 in 2013. Forty-two of these donors were individuals and 143 were churches and other organizations. In addition to the gift items, we received about $3,600 in cash donations, which we use to purchase needed gift items. We were able to give each inmate 47 greeting cards or stationery (nine Christmas cards had postage stamps), and a kit of hygiene items.
Once again, we are deeply grateful for your continued support. Beyond the very practical use of the gift items you donated, you communicated a powerful and Godly message to each inmate. The message is, you’re not forgotten; people beyond the walls and fences care enough to share the love of God with you. It’s this message that will bear fruit in the lives of the inmates long after the donations are gone. No one is more aware of this than Chaplain Julie Perry, and she conveys her personal note of deep appreciation.
Please remember to let us know of changes to your contact information, including your e-mail address.
In His name,
Ron Switzer, Chaplain's Office Volunteer
125th Annual Meeting of Strawberry WMU
We will be packaging 10,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now. Following the meal packaging project, we will have a brief business session and then lunch. The offering will go toward the $2,500 cost for the rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables, and flavoring mix (including 21 essential vitamins and minerals)that go into the meal packages. These meal packages are shipped around the world to support school feeding programs and crisis relief. The food stores easily, transports quickly, and has a shelf-life of two years.
SBA’s Vision Statement: Due to our common faith in Jesus Christ and His body, the Church, we Commit ourselves to Connecting with one another for Coordinating the missions and ministries of our member churches and Communicating opportunities to partner together to fulfil the Great Commission and Great Commandment.
God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts!”
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Items for the next newsletter submitted by Monday, February 17.
Occasionally the administrative assistant has to close the SBA office for errands or meetings. Before coming by to drop off or pick up items, please call 540.586.8345 to be sure the office is open.
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