main image

Missions Emphasis 2021

 Wow, what a year was 2020!  We are indeed grateful to put it behind us and move forward into 2021.  Prayer is a powerful tool and was used across the country and around the world as Covid-19 spread like wildfire.  Many lives were lost without Christ.  We need to remain in prayer for those who have this illness that the Father turn back this disease and would have mercy and heal our land. 

 Many plans and activities were put on hold for the better part of the year, and we are ready to take action! We need to continue to pray that the Lord use FBC Wentzville and show us what He would have us do.

 The book of James is one of my favorite books because it is about faith in action.  In chapter two, James tells us that faith without works is dead.  So, this year we intend to demonstrate our faith in action.  You, too, can be involved by praying, giving, and going—in support of international and domestic missions and disaster relief.  That said, it would be disingenuous to say we have made plans for mission trips and not taken into consideration the limitations imposed at local, state, and national levels before going on a mission trip.   So first, let us take a look at our work in Disaster Relief. 

 Despite the pandemic, last October seven were trained to give our church a team of 14 certified to go and support the Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief teams wherever needed.  They respond to hurricanes, tornados, floods, and other catastrophic events when called.  Training will be offered again April 9-10, at the closest location in recent history, FBC O’Fallon.  There will be other training opportunities, but NONE so close to our region.  MO Baptists were called out to help for flood response 13 times in 2019, with 11 events here in Missouri.

 Today we can assist by filling sand bags and having them ready to go when called up.  On February 20, we need volunteers to join us and help fill sandbags and get them on pallets, ready for shipment to the sites when needed.  When the floods strike, it is too late.  We must prepare and be ready.  That will be here at the church at 9AM.  If interested, call the church office and leave your name and number so we have an idea of how many volunteers we will have.

 Next, the Missouri Baptist convention is seeking churches that are willing to consider partnering with churches in Montana.  This spring we will send a small team to examine and survey opportunities in Montana.

 Finally, we have been going and working in international partnerships, most recently in Panama, for almost twenty years.  While the Covid vaccine is slowly being made available, international travel requires time for quarantine which makes a one-week trip impossible to accomplish.  We are still optimistic and have scheduled a tentative return mission trip to Panama, July 31 – August 7.  But, we will go only if we are confident that it is safe to do so, and we are not time constrained by the quarantine.

 This is our plan for 2021.  International, domestic, disaster relief work, bathed in your prayers and your willingness to go and give.  We continue to support missionaries around the world through Cooperative Giving Program with thousands of other Southern Baptist Churches.  Your continued giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering for international missions and the Annie Armstrong offering of North American missions keeps spreading the good news of the gospel.   Every missionary I speak to, without exception, says “Thank you” for giving to Lottie Moon or Annie Armstrong because without those offerings, they would not be able to go.  They rely on you!

Posted by Glen Locklear with
main image

WORD FAST ANYONE?

 Word fast???  What’s a word fast?  Most of us are familiar with the concept of fasting and it’s also probably something few of us attempt on a regular basis.  And, when we do think of fasting, it is most likely a food fast.  As the New Year starts, some of us may have overindulged over the holidays, so we might be thinking of a healthier diet, eliminating certain foods completely, or even starting an exercise program.  But, how does a person start a word fast?

 I recently read an article by Sylvia Gunter entitled, “Fast of Words: A Different Kind of Fast” (Fast Of Words: A Different Kind of Fast | by Sylvia Gunter (thoughts-about-god.com).  In this article, she states that God has led her to fast from critical, complaining, judgmental, and negative words. Wow! This might severely restrict our vocabulary. For most of us, it will be much harder to do a word fast than it would be to do a food fast. At some point in our lives, we may have already decided that we will never write harmful words down on paper that could come back and haunt us. We have all heard the chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” We also know this is definitely not true. Even though we may apologize for our words (spoken or written), our careless, unkind words do indeed hurt, leave scars, and are often remembered longer than a physical wound.    

 While we may be making progress in the spoken and/or written word areas, most of us will have to admit we have a really hard time controlling our thoughts and making them obedient to Christ. A person cuts us off on the highway, a clerk is rude to us in the store, someone says something unkind about a member of our family, we remember a past hurt or an insult, or any other attack Satan decides to send our way—and immediately our thoughts take a wrong turn.  The battle is lost or won in our hearts before we ever speak or write a word. We sometimes forget that God not only sees and hears all—He also knows every thought we have.

 God’s Word has so much to say about our hearts and our words, and I challenge you to read all of them.  The following verses are just a few of His instructions in this area:

 Proverbs 4:23-24: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.  Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” 

 Proverb 12:18: “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” 

 Jesus tells us in Luke 6:45: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

 Colossians 3:8: “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these:  anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”

 Colossians 3:12-14: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

 Philippians 4:8:  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

 Most of us are familiar with this anonymous poem: 

 A careless word may kindle strife; 

A cruel word may wreck a life;

A timely word may level stress;

A loving word may heal and bless.

 In 1988, when the late president George H. W. Bush gave his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for president, he voiced a desire for a “kinder, gentler nation.”  In my opinion, we were kinder and gentler in years past. Unfortunately, again in my opinion, this past year 2020 strongly surpassed all previous years with constant displays of uncontrolled anger, criticism, condemnation, ridicule, sarcasm, and all the other behaviors God hates.

 What can a believer do?  Let’s consider a “word fast.”  Don’t expect it to be easy, and don’t expect Satan to take a vacation and leave us alone while we try to follow God’s commands about the words we think, speak, or write. Remember, we cannot do this in our own strength—we need the Holy Spirit to strengthen us. Ask Him to convict us immediately when our thoughts take a nose dive, a wrong turn, or we fret and stew about past offenses. Confess this wrong thought or attitude to God, receive His forgiveness, and start all over again. While we cannot change the whole world, we can work right where we are.  Let’s resolve to do our part and work together to help make our country a “kinder, gentler nation,” our church a “kinder, gentler church,” and our family a “kinder, gentler family.”  Let’s amaze our families and friends!

 May the words of my mouth

And the meditation of my heart

Be pleasing in your sight,

O Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

 

 

 

 

Posted by Dee Schneider with

Previous12345678910 ... 118119