September 2009

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Recession or Revival

Friends, our nation is at a crossroads right now. We are in the worst recession since the Great Depression. In the Bible, Israel would have either turmoil or revival. God said if they did certain things, He would bless their nation. But, if they didn’t follow Him there would be severe consequences for the nation. This was true for Israel and it is true for any nation today. God gives us this promise-“If you return to the Lord your God, and you and your children begin wholeheartedly to obey all the commands I have given you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes” Deuteronomy 30:2-3. Today we will look at three steps to personal and national revival.

1. We Must Reconnect With God.The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says, ‘Only in returning to me and waiting on me will you be saved’” Isaiah 30:15. Somehow America got disconnected from God and we have been drifting farther and farther from God for some time. Now all the bills are coming due. How do we reconnect with God?

A. We have to recognize that God is God and we are not. We have thought we are God, that we are the one in charge, that we’re calling the shots. Reconnecting means that we are going to look to God for answers and guidance, and not to ourselves.

B. God wants us to have a connection with Him. No matter what we have done, God wants us back. “Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity” Joel 2:13. Like in the parable of the Prodigal Son, we need to realize that we have drifted away from God and it is time to come back to our Heavenly Father.

Elijah, God's Faithful Prophet

Since 2005, Susan Batten-Bell has directed SBA’s Summer Music Camp. Her musical ability, creativity, enthusiasm, and boundless energy combine to offer a fun-filled and exciting week of camp. We are blessed by her willingness to share her gifts and by Bedford Baptist’s willingness to share her as well as their facilities with the association each year. Following is a note from Susan about this year’s camp.

The week of July 27-31 was a full week with the Summer Music Camp. We had a great week with 29 campers coming together to present the musical “Elijah! God’s Faithful Prophet.” Eight churches from our community were represented.

Many thanks to all who took part in the week as a camper or leader.

There were many lessons to be learned from Elijah! Perhaps the most important one is that God will provide for every need of those who follow Him. He will give us strength for our journey, hope for the weary and will sustain us all the days of our lives.

Parents/Grandparents/Guardians, thank you for the opportunity to work with your children.


Sep 1 Mike Jones (Sedalia)
Sep 11 Seaburn Daniel (In Memoriam)
Sep 12 Michael Cox (Suck Spring)
Sep 12 David Henderson (Bedford)
Sep 21 Mark Flores (Mount Hermon)
Sep 25 David Timma (Quaker)
Oct 11 Rick Dellinger (Music Evangelist)
Oct 24 Ken Butterworth (Diamond Hill)
Oct 28 Rick Foster (Timber Ridge)
Oct 29 Todd Childers (Norwood)
Focus on Our Family

On Sunday, July 26, Hunting Creek voted unanimously to call Rev. Jim Newman as interim pastor.

On Sunday, September 6, Staunton will host Rick Via who will share details of his recent mission trip to Uganda.

Staunton will hold an International Mission Conference on October 16, 17, and 18.

Trinity will be having its third annual family-oriented Community Cook-out on Saturday, September 26, from 5 to 9 p.m. (following CenterFest). Bring your favorite chair, relax, and enjoy free food and great music! If you have a group at your church who would like to sing, please call the church at 540.586.8010. EVERYONE IS INVITED!

See You at the Pole 2009
Wednesday, September 23
GATHER at your school flagpole.
PRAY for your school, friends, families, and world.
CONNECT—Listen as God speaks to you.

Check with your pastor or youth minister to see what details have been arranged at your local school for this special observance.

Self Study Team

Your input is vital to the direction of the association and the completion of the task undertaken by the Self Study Team. The Team has heard from pastors and members of the Executive Board, and now it’s your turn. At their meeting on August 14, the SST determined it would be beneficial to offer regional Dessert ’n Dialogue meetings for the “people in the pews.” These meetings will be held at churches in the North, East, South, West, and Central parts of the county. If you are unable to attend the meeting in your area, you are welcome and encouraged to participate at one of the other locations. Dates, times, and location are listed below:

Sunday, September 13, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Norwood
Tuesday, September 15, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Trinity
Sunday, September 20, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Mount Zion
Sunday, September 27, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Morgans
Sunday, October 11, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Big Island

The Self Study Team will be reporting at the Annual Meeting on Monday, October 26, at Thaxton.

Self-Study Team Contact Info: Billy Burnette, 540.586.8087; Rita Calhoun, 540.297.5271 or; Hoyt Dellis, 540.297.5622 or; Vernon DeLong, 540.586.8010 or; Rick Mallory, 540.297.4959 or; Dennis Moore, 540.890.1294 or; Rebekah Overstreet, 540.586.2956 or; David Timma, 540.297.3715 or

In Gratitude

Thanks to John Woodford for recently taking care of several electrical/plumbing projects at the SBA office.

CenterFest 2009
September 26

For the eighth consecutive year, Strawberry 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 care station 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.

Our booth will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with volunteers serving one hour shifts—the 10 a.m. to Noon slots have been filled. If you are willing to be a missionary at an SBA booth, pray, or take part in the various street ministries, please contact Julie Arthur at or Rita Calhoun at 540.297.5271 or

We will conduct a rally at Trinity on Thursday, September 17, 7 p.m., to help us get ready for the big day. We ask that at least one person from each participating church attend this brief orientation session which will prepare everyone for what we will be doing in the booths, on the stage, and among the crowd as we prayer walk and pass out literature.

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 2009!

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Rebekah Overstreet, WMU Director
1813 Oakwood St., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540.586.2956

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

Please continue to remember in prayer Rebekah Overstreet as she concludes a six-week English as a Second Language ministry in Peru. She will be returning home in mid to late September.

Annie Mae Broyles Group Meeting
Thursday, October 15, 2009, 10 a.m.
Bethlehem Baptist Church
Covered dish lunch

Wedding Anniversaries

Sep 11 Rick & Cheri Dellinger (Music Evangelist)
Oct 8 Bryan & Ada Sheehan (Pecks)
Oct 29 Gary & Patricia Kingery (Mountain View)

Click for September Calendar

You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
—Anne Lamott

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 Tuesday, September 22.

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

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Updated 8/29/2009
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