July 2018 Newsletter
Save The Date: July 4- Independence Day!
Prayer Corner: The month of July provides many opportunities to pray. Let's join together in praying for the United States of America. We thank the Lord for this nation and the many freedoms and liberties we enjoy. We also pray for revival to come to our land. Let's also pray for the many families that are traveling this time of year. Finally, let's pray for the many Vacation Bible schools that will be hosted throughout the month. Pray the Lord would open the eyes of the children to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
DOING THE LORD'S WORK
by Bill Powell
(1Co 15:58) Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
This verse got me thinking about how Christians use their God-given abilities to do the work of the Lord. Many times, we think of pastors’ and teachers’ work as the work of the Lord. We also equate mission work, serving at the church, deacon responsibilities- these things- as the work of the Lord. Actually, the responsibility of a pastor is to equip the church body for the work of the ministry. Eph 4:12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
I think the work of the Cornerstone is the work of the Lord, and it has helped me see how the Lord uses the skills and abilities of His people in ways that too often get overlooked as the work of the ministry. Here at The Cornerstone, we use the resources the Lord has entrusted to us to reach people with the gospel and to proclaim the truths of His word. This would not be possible without the skills and abilities of His people. The church could not function without the skills and abilities of its members. The body has many members, and they are all interconnected. Read 1 Cor 12. Here is a recent example.
For many years we have needed a generator for WJLH 90.3. If the power goes out or flickers, we go off the air. Last year during Irma, we were off for several days. During this year’s Sharathon, someone heard me say we have things we needed in addition to our day-to-day expenses. These are things Sharathon will not cover. I was asked what things, and on the top of my list was a generator. Well the Lord had blessed him, and he want to do something for the ministry, and he donated the money to buy the generator.
It doesn’t end there. This is a highly technical operation and needs the skills and abilities of a variety disciplines: engineering skills to determine what generator to get and where to place it, electrical skills to wire it and make it work, manual labor to prepare the site, a concrete pad to put it on, and clerical skills to coordinate everything and everybody. This ministry was built by the skills of faithful Christians whose desire was to use their skills and businesses for the work of the ministry. (1Th 4:11) and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you.
Thousands of people have given of their time, talent, and treasure to build this ministry. Churches are built and maintained by a variety of skills and talents. To each and every one who has had a hand in this ministry whether it has been of your time, talent, or treasure, we say thank you. If you ever wonder if you are making a difference, think on these verses. (Heb 6:10) For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 1Th 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
(Heb 6:10) For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
1Th 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
by Chris Johnson
For the first time in many years summer time has brought a season of rest to my schedule. Family, ministry, and pursuing educational goals make up most of my daily life, and since graduating in early May I’ve enjoyed a season of respite from the daily assignments of reading, writing and testing that came with those educational pursuits. If I’m honest however, in the first few weeks of the 3 months between ending one pursuit and beginning another (seminary begins in the Fall) I’ve felt much more like a fish out of water than someone enjoying a relaxing time on the beach. I love learning and believe that God’s people need to be learning all the time. He has created us in a marvelous way, and the capacity we have to learn new things and put them into practice is remarkable. Our age is indifferent in this matter because God is always teaching us, and our intentional efforts to learn will reap many benefits in this life and the life to come. However, I do believe that taking time away and purposefully resting is also important. Jesus demonstrated this very principle when he purposefully took his disciples aside to provide them a season of rest following a very busy season of ministry (Mark 6:31). The key here seems to be striking a right balance and knowing the benefits of both fruitful work and recharging rest. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t learned to “rest well” in the first half of my summer break, but by God’s grace July will provide some unique opportunities for just that. It’s funny really, because just as we have to work hard to do well in the home, workplace, classroom, and other areas of life, we must be careful to rest “well” too. I pray the Lord’s blessings on you and your family as you navigate the summer months together. May He strengthen and proper your labor, and may He fill you up and recharge you in your pursuit of rest and relaxation.
FROM A TO Z
by Denisha Stearns
In our society of ever-growing distractions, pressures, and problems, how does one get quiet and still before the Lord to have prayer or a time devoted to Him? I admit that at times, I give in to my nervous energy and my endless to-do list and relegate God to small check-in times through the day rather than a time of both quantity and quality. Is it any wonder, then, when I feel distant from Him? David wrote in Psalm 29:2, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.” David was really good at focusing on God as well as bringing Him glory. Since I need a bit more help with focusing, I give glory to God through what I call Alphabet Worship. For each letter of the English alphabet, from A to Z, I think of an attribute of God that begins with that letter. Then, before I go on to the next letter and attribute, I reflect on the truth that God is the perfect and best example of what is good.
Lord, You are…
Do you have your own list, or even your own way of focusing on God in your time with Him? Tell us about it!
FAITH OR SIGHT
by Christina Hutchinson
I was given a really pretty ceramic mug recently that has engraved the Scripture you just read above. 2 Corinthians 5:7- For we walk by faith not by sight. I had applied the verse to the reason I was given the mug in the first place but I hadn’t really given in any further thought. But at this point and time in my life I have found myself in a situation I’ve never really been in before. One moment I am ready to take on my fears and face them and the next moment I just want to run and hide from them. Most of my growing up I was a dare devil. I loved gymnastics because I loved to do the balance beam and swing on the bars. I would practice at home on a swing set we had, and I would practice on the bars at school. I had no fear of falling. I wasn’t afraid of getting hurt which happened often. When I was a cheerleader, my favorite part was getting thrown about 10 feet in the air. I also grew up riding horses, motorcycles, and four wheelers all of which I jumped over things with, and yes, I have been hurt in the process.
My whole point in writing those things is to showcase that I didn’t play on the “safe side” because I was confident in my abilities. I had proper training and skills to be able to do what I did. As Christians we have what we need to be confident in God’s abilities and not our own. That’s why we: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 I’ve been struggling with a decision lately and it all became so clear to me when I asked myself the question: Is it faith or is it sight? Coming to the realization that I cannot prevent what God has planned, I cannot change the path He has already made brings me to only one option; to trust Him. I’m going to “go for the jump” because I’m confident in His abilities, not my own. I’m going to lift up my fears to Him and not be persuaded by them because in doing so I’m walking by faith and not by sight.