Oswald Chambers lived over 100 years ago and died following surgery at the young age of 43 while serving his Lord ministering to allied troops stationed in Egypt during the first World War. How is it that one so young could have plumbed the depths of the Christian life as Oswald did? It is for our blessed benefit that he walked with God as a giant, because even after so many years countless lives have been encouraged and challenged by the wisdom that flowed from the mind and pen of an extraordinary saint devoted to his Lord. I have known very few true spiritual giants. Far too many of those reported to be “spiritual” too often turn out to be motivated by the flesh and more full of self than the mind of Christ. How sad.
I hope this month’s article taken from “My Utmost for His Highest” will minister to your spirit as it did mine. I would also suggest that you get a copy of this wonderful devotional and use it along with your private Bible reading throughout the year for some added insight to how God can speak to each of us to be a blessing as we surrender to His Lordship. It’s still possible for men and women to become giants of faith, but definitely not easy as men count ease.
“...do you love Me?...Tend My sheep” (John 21:16)
Jesus did not say to make converts to your way of thinking, but He said to look after His sheep, to see that they get nourished in the knowledge of Him. We consider what we do in the way of Christian work as service, yet Jesus Christ calls service to be what we are to Him, not what we do for Him. Discipleship is based solely on devotion to Jesus Christ, not on following after a particular belief or doctrine. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate..., he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). In this verse, there is no argument and no pressure from Jesus to follow Him; He is simply saying, in effect, “If you want to be My disciple, you must be devoted solely to Me.” A person touched by the Spirit of God suddenly says, “Now I see who Jesus is!”—that is the source of devotion.
Today we have substituted doctrinal belief for personal belief, and that is why so many people are devoted to causes and so few are devoted to Jesus Christ. People do not really want to be devoted to Jesus, but only to the cause He started. Jesus Christ is deeply offensive to the educated minds of today, to those who only want Him to be their Friend, and who are unwilling to accept Him in any other way. Our Lord’s primary obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of people—the saving of people was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted solely to the cause of humanity, I will soon be exhausted and come to the point where my love will waver and stumble. But if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity, even though people may treat me like a “doormat.” The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ, and the characteristic of that life is its seeming insignificance and its meekness. Yet it is like a grain of wheat that “falls into the ground and dies”—it will spring up and change the entire landscape (John 12:24).
Mt. Olivet is seeking a Christian man or woman willing to work part time as a church secretary. For more info please call Katrina at 587.5899.
The Gospelaires, a southern gospel quartet based in Mooresville, NC, will be in our area on August 16-17, 2008. If you are interested in having them share at your church, please call Rick Campbell at 704.528.5307 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. "The Gospelaires mission is to devote our lives to Him and share with others the greatest story ever told- Jesus! Our primary goal is to worship Jesus, see souls saved, lives rededicated and hearts uplifted."
Still Waters Coffee House hosted its Grand Opening on Saturday, June 21. It is located at 117 S. Bridge Street in Bedford. For more information call 540.583.1003 or visit www.stillwaterscoffeehouse.com.
August 19 David Burgess (Interim Pastor/Mt. Olivet/1 yr.)
We want to thank the churches and individuals who have contributed thus far to our Associational Missions Week Offering. Through June 23, we have received $2,714 for the work of the ministry in our local mission field. Though AMW was calendared for May 18-25, we know that some have chosen to promote the emphasis later. Thank you for considering Strawberry a genuine and worthy mission field to invest in. Without the faithful contributions of those who make up this Association it would be impossible to do what we do.
Bill Lininger, former pianist at Beaverdam, will give a religious concert at Beaverdam on Friday, July 11, at 7 p.m. All are invited. The Skyline Boys will be in concert at Beaverdam on Sunday, July 27, during the 11 a.m. worship service. Check them out at theskylineboys.com.
Beaverdam will host a Beth Moore Living Proof Live simulcast on Friday, August 1, 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday, August 2, 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tickets are now available at $25.00 per person (non-refundable). To purchase tickets, please call Ellen Karnes at 540.890.5648.
Rev. Michael Smith assumed the pastorate of Bethel, effective April 6, 2008. Rev. Smith and his wife Pam have four children—Hannah, Emily, Ben, and Grace.
Rev. John M. Boyles has accepted a call by Mentow to be full-time interim pastor, effective July 1. The Rev. Boyles retired from Centra Health at the end of 2007, after having served as a Staff Chaplain for seventeen years. During that time he has also served as a supply pastor for many churches in the area. Prior to being Staff Chaplain at Virginia Baptist and Lynchburg General Hospitals, he served as a pastor, a minister of education, and a youth minister. The Rev. Boyles also served alongside the American Red Cross as Director of the Spiritual Care Team in New York City following the events of 9/11.
The Rev. Boyles received his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from North Carolina State University and his Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Seminary. He has been licensed for Intentional Interim Ministry by The Center for Congregational Health in Winston Salem. Over the years he has taken many continuing education classes and refresher courses. Earlier this year, he and Mrs. Boyles took the refresher course for Intentional Interim Ministry, and work as a team to assist churches to heal and grow.
He and his wife, Bonnie, have three children and eight grandchildren. They both have been active in hospital and church related organizations.
Since November 2007, Rev. Kyle Dooley; Rev. Rick Dellinger; and Randy Krantz, Commonwealth’s Attorney, have very ably supplied Mentow’s pulpit, and Rev. Steve Manuel has led many Wednesday night Bible studies.
Mount Hermon has called Jonathan Lilley to serve as Children and Youth Minister for the summer and possibly through his senior year at Liberty University.
Julie Arthur, a member of Palestine, and coordinator of SBA’s CenterFest ministry, requests your prayers for the mission team to Peru with which she will be serving from June 26 to July 11.
Palestine will be partnering with Renaissance Bible Church to sponsor a soccer camp in Rawdon, Quebec. A mission team from Palestine will be serving there from July 18 August 1.
August 4 Tim & Ruby Dooley (Bethlehem)
August 7 Vernon & Wanda DeLong (Trinity)
August 7 David & Suzann Timma (Quaker)
August 9 Steve & Barbara Manuel (SBA)
August 12 Rick & Laura Mallory (Morgans)
August 17 David & Donna Henderson (Bedford)
August 19 Dennis & Mary Moore (Beaverdam)
August 20 Gary & Becky Fowler (Flint Hill)
August 20 Ed & Nancy Greer (Retired)
August 26 Mike & Edith Grooms (Rainbow Forest)
(For children who have completed grades K-6)
9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Bedford Baptist Church
Registration fee: $25 per child
Director, Susan Batten-Bell
Musical Program, Friday, 7:00 p.m.
Based on the Old Testament book, Oh, Jonah! is a frolicking, fun-filled children's musical that carries a serious message about responsibility. Diverse in musical styles, it is immediately appealing—especially the whale's song!
See your Pastor or Music Leader for registration materials, call the SBA office, or download forms here.
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Women on Mission: Radford is leading devotionals at Oakwood Manor in July; Rainbow Forest will lead them in August. Radford will host the July birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Morgans will host it in August.
Following are excerpts from correspondence received recently:
On behalf of the Bedford Hospice House, Inc., Board of Directors and the Capital Campaign Committee, I would like to thank the Strawberry WMU for the generous gift of $500. Your gift will help us build a home-like facility where Bedford area residents within a 50 mile radius can live out their last days of terminal illness in dignity and comfort.
This is to acknowledge the receipt of your wonderful contribution in the amount of $500. On behalf of our board of directors, our staff, volunteers, and the patients we serve each week, please know how much we appreciate your financial support to the volunteer free clinic program in Bedford.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your recent contribution in the amount of $500. All services are free of charge to victims of domestic violence and their children. It is only with your strong support that we can continue our mission and Bedford families can begin “building a future without fear.”
Thank you for your most generous donation to Bedford Ride. Between generous organizations like you all and the dedicated and effective volunteers of Bedford Ride, the non emergency but medical transport needs of Bedford City and County residents are effectively and compassionately carried out.
We appreciate your very generous donation to Bedford Community Resource Center. Due to the increased cost of fuel and food, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of families who come here daily looking for financial assistance. Your contribution will enable us to continue to help low income families pay for necessities such as rent, fuel, medication, utilities, and food. —Karen Hughes, Volunteer Services Coordinator Bedford Domestic Violence Services
Joseph Jones of Chesapeake, VA, died June 6, following a courageous battle with cancer. He is the father of Mike Jones, pastor of Sedalia Church.
Copyright© Strawberry Baptist Association