August 2008

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An Encounter with God Is to Choose the Best
Luke 10:38-42

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

One of the principles from Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God" is that when God takes the initiative to speak to us, this becomes an encounter with God. Our priority is to maintain a personal encounter with the Lord and help others have a similar encounter. The encounter with God is always the focus or primary task. Activities, programs, worship, Christian service and all ministry follow as a result of the encounter that we have with God. The emphasis is on the personal and real relationship with God and not on surrounding circumstances or events.

In the Luke account it is very likely that Martha is the older of the two sisters. Luke mentions her first, and it is she who admits or receives Jesus into the house. The Greek word used here for "opened" or "received" carries the idea of entertaining or being hospitable. It is the same term used in Luke 19:6 when Zaccheaus excitedly comes down from the tree in order to "receive Jesus into his house." In Acts 17 the authorities condemn Jason after he had "received" the Christians into his home. The last instance of the term in the New Testament is found in James 2 where he spoke of Rahab as one who "received" the Hebrew spies into her home.

Mission Trip

Our Association, in partnership with the Green Mountain Baptist Association of Vermont, put together a mission trip for the week of June 1-7, 2008. We had four volunteers serving. David Timma, and Lynwood and Alma Blankenship of Quaker along with Raymond Strachan of Staunton represented us as they assisted in construction at Capstone Baptist Church, formerly the Old Stone Church in North Bennington. Their assignment was to do finish trim work, install rebuilt windows, put up drywall, paint, and build a hallway in the lower part of the structure.

With volunteers from around the country, Capstone hopes to complete work on the church in 2008 so the mission group meeting in the town may move into the remodeled facility. Thank you for praying for these workers. Please continue to remember Capstone and their mission effort.

College-Credit Bible Classes

College-credit Bible classes will be offered at Bonsack Baptist Church in Roanoke the weeks of August 18 through December 8. Life & Letters of Paul will be presented on Mondays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. and is facilitated by Scot Finley, minister of single adults at Bonsack Baptist Church. Baptist Beliefs and History will be taught on Thursdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. with facilitator Bob Hetherington, director of missions for the Roanoke Valley Baptist Association. Cost is $375/class (Additional scholarshipping available for members of Baptist General Association of Virginia churches). Those only auditing will pay $188. This is a partnership of The John Leland Center for Theological Studies and The Southwest Virginia Christian Leadership Network. For more information, please contact Gary Chapman at 777.3014 in Roanoke or toll-free at 866.223.9344. You may also email Gary at

Focus on Our Family

Big Island sponsored a 40 member mission team to West Charleston Baptist Church in West Virginia, July 12-19. They were joined by 15 people from Darbyville Baptist Church in VA. The team hosted three block parties, a week long Bible School, and did construction on the public school as well as several houses there.

Big Island also has 8 members who will be serving on a mission team to Haiti the week of August 2-9.

Flint Hill will saddle up and hit the trail for a way-out-west Vacation Bible School adventure in Cactus Canyon, August 3-7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Each day's trail ride will teach kids about the good news in John 3:16. And while they're around the campfire, they'll learn ways they can tell family, friends, and people around the world about Jesus.

Recently, Hunting Creek's R.A.'s sponsored a St. Jude Bike-a-thon in the parking lot of the church. Total money raised for St. Jude Children's Hospital was $1,387.00.

The WMU at Hunting Creek spends time visiting and singing at Runk & Pratt Residential Care on the third Saturday of each month.

The 2008 SBA Annual Meeting will be at Bedford Baptist on Monday, October 27. Following is the number of elected messengers to which each church is entitled: Beaverdam-10; Bedford 12; Bethel-4; Bethlehem-4; Big Island-8; Diamond Hill-5; Flint Hill-10; Glade Creek-5; Hunting Creek-9; Mentow-10; Morgans-12; Mount Hermon-10; Mount Olivet-10; Mount Zion-8; Mountain View-4; North Bedford-13; Norwood-11; Palestine-10; Pecks-4; Quaker-8; Rainbow Forest-9; Sedalia-5; Shady Grove-9; Suck Spring-6; Thaxton-11; Timber Ridge-9; Trinity-10; Walnut Grove-5. Please note: Only SBA officers are automatically messengers—all other messengers (including pastors) must be elected by their churches. Clerks, will need to get names of messengers to the SBA office by Monday, October 13. Information about the meal will be in next month's newsletter.

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.


September 1 Mike Jones (Sedalia)
September 11 Seaburn Daniel (In Memoriam)
September 12 Michael Cox (Suck Spring)
September 12 David Henderson (Bedford)
September 15 Steve Manuel (SBA)
September 21 Mark Flores (Mount Hermon)
September 25 David Timma (Quaker)

Wedding Anniversaries

September 11 Rick & Cheri Dellinger (Music Evang)

Click for August Calendar

CenterFest 2008 Saturday,
September 27

For the seventh year, our Association will have booths set up at Bedford's CenterFest where we will be privileged to minister to thousands who will walk the streets of our Jerusalem. Our volunteers serve up free cold water and lemonade; provide a baby changing table for life's little emergencies; minister through puppets, music, and more; and distribute literature. We also encourage churches to put together teams who will mingle among the crowd to meet neighbors, share who we are and what we are about, and spend time prayer walking throughout the day. If you are willing to be a missionary for a day at an SBA booth, pray, or take part in the various street ministries, please contact Julie Arthur at or the Association office at 540.586.8345 or

Before CenterFest we will conduct a rally to help us get ready for the big day. This brief orientation session will prepare everyone for what we will be doing in the booths, on the stage, and among the crowd as we prayerwalk and pass out literature. We'll share rally details later.

Our service as witnesses must first begin at home if it is to be genuine and effective on the distant field. Please help us promote this "mission trip," and come join your brothers and sisters for a fun and eventful day at CenterFest 2008!

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Lois Stevens, WMU Director
1118 Roundtree Dr., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540-586-7409

Women on Mission: Rainbow Forest is leading devotionals at Oakwood Manor in August; Bedford will lead them in September. Morgans will host the August birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Thaxton will host it in September.

WMU Directors, please send your Annual Report to Lois Stevens by September 1. If you need a form, just let her know.

The WMUV Executive Director/Treasurer Search Committee unanimously recommended Laura Shannon McDaniel to be presented to the membership of WMUV to serve as the next Executive Director/Treasurer. This received the endorsement of the Board of Trustees at a recent meeting. Laura will be presented to the WMUV membership at a Called Meeting on Saturday, September 6, 2008, at 2:00 p.m., at Rivermont Avenue Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA. Not only will there be an election, there will also be a special time of celebration and commitment to reflect on the rich heritage and the exciting future of WMUV.

You are invited to be a part of this important time in the history of WMU of Virginia. Acteens and GAs are also encouraged to join us on September 6 to celebrate God's calling for us individually and corporately in the days ahead.

A reception will conclude the celebration.

The Bedford Area YMCA Day Camp needs new or gently used games/puzzles/crafts/etc. Items may be left for Virginia Ayers at the Y.

Miss Alma Hunt died Saturday, June 14, 2008, at the age of 98. Virginia Baptists knew her affectionately as "Miss Alma." A celebration of her life was held at Rosalind Hills Baptist Church, Roanoke, on Wednesday, June 18. Miss Alma was a native of Roanoke, a teacher, and Executive Secretary of Woman's Missionary Union for 26 years. She is best known for her support and promotion of missions worldwide. Many of us in Strawberry have cherished memories of her participation in our 2004 WMU Annual Meeting at Sedalia.

There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.
—Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

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 should be written and in the association office by Wednesday, August 20.

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Strawberry Baptist Association
163 West Main, Bedford, VA 24523
FAX: (540) 586-4246

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Updated 7/27/2008
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