Carrying Out the Great Commandment
We’ve talked about the changes and challenges facing Strawberry. We’ve talked about Living Out the Great Commandment in everything we do—loving God and others, touching, impacting the lives of those around us. We are also commanded to Carry Out the Great Commission, to “go ye therefore.”
Most Churches have too many spectators, rather than servants, we spend too much time and effort keeping the church solvent rather than keeping sinners out of Hell, and we’re too busy with schedules rather than soul-winning. The first two letters of the Gospel, the Good News, is “GO.”
We have too many reasons, excuses for not going. Our priorities are out of order, from schedules to sports to socializing. There is apathy among Christians who really don’t care if someone goes to Hell. We are afraid; we feel we are not qualified or trained. “What will I say?” “What will others say?” Christians are Commanded by Jesus to GO; there are no excuses.
We have to overcome obstacles to go. We need to re-order our priorities. Jesus simply said Follow, Fish and bear Fruit for Him, in that order. We have to overcome apathy, to sense the urgency of someone dying and the imminence of His return. We have to rise above our fears; remember His promise, “I AM with you always.”Obedience demands we GO, whether we feel like it or not.
We always ask, “Where Shall I Go?” The Bible says to go to our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). The hurting are in hospitals; the lonely in nursing homes; and the weird are at Wal-Mart. We need to go to people we see every day, and as we are going, Share Jesus . We have visitation ministries—are you concerned enough to GO?
How shall they call on whom they have not believed? how shall they believe in whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:14)
The Church is a body of baptized believers banded together to carry out the Great Commission. Strawberry Association is a body of churches banded together to carry out the Great Commission. Neither is a building, but a Body of Believers.
As churches and Association, Jesus left us an Un-Finished Task—to Spread the Gospel. Our task, our job is to Carry Out the Great Commission, to carry the Gospel to a lost and dying world. Jesus said “GO,” go out into the homes, down the highways, and even into the hedges. “GO” visit your neighbors, the nursing homes, grocery store, work, even Wal-Mart.
Jesus left us an Un-Challenged Message—that Jesus Saves. He Still Does. Neither the Devil, the world, our friends, nor our enemies can challenge the message that Jesus Saves (the Only Way). It doesn’t matter what the problem is—money, marital or mama, physical, emotional, or spiritual. Jesus can save anyone. We just need to tell them about Jesus, and let Him do the Saving!
Jesus left us His Un-limited Power—the Power of the Holy Spirit. His Power is unlimited; God can do anything except Fail. His Power is also available, so allow His Power to guide you as to where you should go and who to speak to. Let the Holy Spirit guide you to say the right words, or do the right things as you share the love of Christ with them. If you have His Presence, you can also have His Power.
Jesus left us His Un-Failing Promise—He’s Coming Again! Jesus said He would come back for His children. God promised Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. Preach, teach, live and share the Gospel, all with a sense of urgency. Remember, God promised, and He's never failed us yet.
As Christians, churches and Strawberry Association, we must be “about Our Father’s business”—Sharing the Gospel. “People Need The Lord!” What are you doing for God—watching, waiting, working, and witnessing?
—Vernon DeLong, Moderator
2013 Annual Report of the Strawberry Baptist Association will be ready for pick up at the office by the middle of March. Please call 540.586.8345 before stopping by.
’Tis the season—not that one. Lent! Beginning March 5, Christian communities will begin the journey to Easter .
http://www.stophungernow.org/lenten2014 is the web address for 2014 Bulletin Inserts. They are one page messages for Ash Wednesday, Lent 1-5, one each for “Palm Sunday” and “Passion” liturgies, and finally one for Easter Sunday.
If I can be of help in interpreting Stop Hunger Now to your community, please be in touch!
Rev. Steve Hickle
Focus on Our Family
Mt. Zion had their yearly Soup Day on Saturday, January 25. With plenty of great help, 64 quarts were canned and delivered to shut-ins, widows, and widowers.
Norwood will be hosting Smokey Wilson in a benefit concert for Relay for Life on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 6 p.m. A love offering will be taken.
Pecks received $8,920 for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, exceeding their goal of $6,000
Trinity has a Coffee House Ministry on the last Friday of every month, 7-9 p.m. Lots of coffee, popcorn, snacks, and music. Everyone is invited for this great time of Christian Fellowship. Hope to see you March 28!
For their 5 th Sunday Sing, on March 30, 11 a.m. ( morning worship service), Trinity will host New Direction, a Southern Gospel Group from West Virginia.
The initial planning meeting for our second annual Youth Encounter was held on Tuesday, February 4. Plans are to have the event in September again. Currently, our planning team has representatives from Mentow, Morgans, Timber Ridge, and Pecks Baptist churches as well as Bethesda Methodist, Huddleston Church of God, Averett University, and Strawberry Association. We would value partnership with other area churches and invite you to our next planning meeting on Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m., in Mentow’s fellowship hall. For additional info, contact Kim Kirby at email@example.com or 540.330.8071.
Baptist Builders Team Leaders
Mission Trip to Staten Island, March 15-22, 2014
If you have skills in the building trade and would love to lead a team of college students as they work to rebuild/repair homes hit by the Sandy Storm, then step forward.
I received the following email from Ronda Corn, Project Co-Leader for the Staten Island Sandy Rebuild, under the North American Mission Board (NAMB). Ronda’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“A team of Baptist Builders Team Leaders is needed on Staten Island the week of March 15 th to the 22 nd, 2014. There are 100 college students signed up to work that week and they need team leaders that love Jesus Christ and would love to guide and direct these students as they work to repair homes on Staten Island. The team leaders are to direct the work and train the college students. Housing, showers, and meals are provided.”
Will you give the Lord our God just one week of your time to help spread the gospel?
Contact Chuck Stebbins: home 540.297.5151, cell 732.766.5559, email email@example.com.
Mar 2 Philip Ayers (Glade Creek)
Apr 29 Elmer & Tiena Sellers (Retired)
Church Ministry Anniversaries
Feb 24 Mark Beck (Intentional Interim Pastor/Thaxton/1 yr.)
A Place for You in WMU!
125th Annual Meeting of Strawberry WMU
This meeting will be different from those in the past and will be a hands-on project. We will be packaging meals for Stop Hunger Now.
The cost of this project is $2,500.00 of which Virginia Baptists have given $500.00. The offering taken at the meeting will go toward the cost of the meals. If any WMU organization would like to donate toward this prior to the meeting, donations may be sent to our WMU Treasurer, Lynne Stebbins, at 5644 Chestnut Fork Road, Bedford, Virginia 24523.
Following the packaging event, there will be a short business meeting and then lunch. We are asking each church WMU organization to bring one dessert—everything else will be provided.
Please inform all of your members of this meeting so that we will have a good attendance. If you are not the current WMU Director in your church, please forward this letter on to her.
If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Lois Stevens.
Sisters of Grace , the Sedalia Baptist Women‘s Ministry, is pleased to present its seventh annual Women‘s Conference on Saturday, March 8, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The conference theme is “The Yes, No, and Maybe of a Balanced Life.” We invite you and the women of your congregation to be part of this very special opportunity with Wendy Pope from the Proverbs 31 Ministries sharing from the word of God. Sedalia Baptist Church’s Worship Director, Luis Mendez, will be providing special music.
Here is a little bit about Wendy in her own words. “I am Wendy Barnette Pope. In 1991 I married the man of my dreams, Scott. Together, with the Lord’s help, we are raising two amazing children.
“I am a woman who loves home, work, and ministry. However, many times I fall short of finding a happy balance. The Lord blessed me through the early years of motherhood to be at home with my children and then later called me into ministry. My life, as chaotic as it might get sometimes, is fulfillment of scripture. The Lord has truly blessed me far more than I could have dreamed or imagined. There are days I feel the need to pinch myself, not because I have material wealth or success as defined by the world, but because God, the Creator of heaven and earth, allows me to be an active part of His story. It is the passion of my life to live Christ out loud in everything I say and do. He is so good and so faithful to His creation that I simply must proclaim His greatness.
“I love being part of the sisterhood of Christ. Being sisters in Christ means that, even though we may not know each other personally, our hearts are joined together. We can share our joys and trials with each other with an understanding that each knows exactly how the other feels. Isn’t God cool to make us like this?”
We are having a devotional swap this year. If you would like to participate, please bring a devotional to give away, and you can take one that someone else has brought. As always, there will be door prizes, door prizes, and more door prizes!!
We encourage you and the women from your congregation to be part of this special time of Bible study, worship, and fellowship.
The registration fee is $20 ($25 if you would like lunch), and the deadline is March 1. (Forms are available in the SBA office.) If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to call the church at 434.299.5039. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing together the ministries of Wendy Pope and Luis Mendez.
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.
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.
“How did you learn to skate?” someone asked the winner.
“By getting up every time I fell down,” was the reply.
Help us all stay informed. If you have information about what's going on at your church, please share it with us.
Items for the next newsletter submitted by Wednesday, March 19.
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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