October 2020 Newsletter
SAVE THE DATE
October is Pastor Appreciation month. The day observed is October 11.
Fall has come and with it comes the challenges of seasonal allergies and flu. Please join us in praying for health for our communities as well as ongoing prayer concerning the threat of Covid-19. Additionally, we want to encourage our readers to pray for our nation with the ongoing civic troubles and with local, state and national elections just a few weeks away.
(2Co 5:20) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
by Bill Powell
We are ambassadors for Jesus Christ. Together we need to live and be an influence that will help our society be reconciled to God. The battle going on in our country and around the world is a spiritual battle. To all of you who see the value of this ministry and prayed and pledged- thank you so much. We finished at $30,000. As usual short of our goal, but we will trust the Lord for the rest. The Cornerstone is His work for His glory. The Lord has blessed us through these past decades. There is no reason to believe that will change if we are faithful, and I will pledge that.
As I thought about what to write, the elephant in the room is the Election coming soon. I hope you all see that for so many they are driven by hyped emotions. It almost has an atmosphere of the civil war. Obviously, I was not there but have read much about it. For the Christian, we must vote our faith. Our judge is the Lord. Who will preserve our freedom of religion, and the life of the unborn or just born? Our kingdom is not of this world. However, we are citizens and have the right to exercise our rights as a citizen. It is imperative to look past the person for we are not confirming a pastor.
There is so much false information and hatred that stokes the emotions. Politics will always be politics. I am 71 years old, and I have seen the effects of socialism, and it has always turned out bad. Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Germany, Italy and the Bolshevik revolution all led to communism. That leads to no freedom and poverty. The fabric of this nation was woven with the fabric of Christianity, and those threads have been removed thread by thread. Jesus made heaven and earth, designed the family, and His Word shows us how to live, prosper, and be happy. Through Adam we all became sinners, but in Christ we are made righteous.
No man is the Savior, only Christ. Unless as a society we turn back to God and His design, we can only expect what we are seeing. The book of Ephesians teaches us the way to live. Designed by the Lord Himself. The creator designer knows the way; any other way can only lead to destruction. I implore you to read the book of Ephesians and model it. We must recall history and never forget what it took to have the freedoms we have. Know your history and Bible. We need to pray and support those who are in authority over us.We have a job to do and an example to set. The Lord is the judge and jury, and He will make all things right on His timing. It is our responsibility to love Him and our neighbor.
(1Ti 2:1,2 NASB) First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
Thanks again for your support of the Lord’s work here in Volusia, Flagler, St. Augustine and around the world on the Web.
SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN...
by Chris Johnson
Would you classify yourself as bold or mild-mannered? Boisterous or placid? Are you quick to engage in conversation and let your opinions be known? Or are you slow to speak, calculated, and methodical in your correspondence? How would others classify you? Do you think they would agree with your assessment of yourself? I ask these questions not to pit one personality type against the other but to encourage both. You see, God has created each of us with a unique persona sovereignly selected to accomplish his goodwill and purpose in the world. Each of us finds ourselves in a wide variety of situations in which we can uniquely interject our viewpoints and perspective. This is a good thing and part of what makes up great dialogue and helpful conversations. This is also good because as Christians we have the responsibility to bring a Biblical perspective to every situation with winsomeness, graciousness, and truthfulness. In order to do this well, we must be students of the Word of God. Filled with the knowledge of God and wisdom that’s from above and not of this world. Gentleness, kindness, and patience must also be part of the attitude and actions that mark our lives. Far too often we can become hostile and rude instead of remaining humble and self-controlled. In a word, we must be filled with the Holy Spirit and under His control as we engage those around us. A key to this kind of responsiveness is the knowledge that God’s truth can only be received as the Spirit of God gives wisdom to the hearer. We can wax eloquent all we want but without the Spirit’s enablement, no man or woman can receive the truth. This is not only true as it relates to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ but also as we engage in all manner of discussions relating to this life. Jesus’ wise engagement with anyone he encountered shows us how we should follow his pattern and speak the truth honestly, humbly, and powerfully with those we meet. Our confidence in the truthfulness of the Scriptures and the power of the Holy Spirit sets us on a course to be courteous, not cantankerous, to be pleasant, not impolite, and to be compassionate not overly critical. Remember the various passages that command the Christian to do everything to God’s glory and to be honorable in every way so that even unbelievers might glorify God as they witness our good deeds and behavior. May the Lord give us grace in every situation and bring forth good fruit from each one of our lives.
Football... Oh Joy!
by Denisha Stearns
Football season is here, Yes! Over the years, with two football fans in the house, I have grown to love watching the sport. I am sure the players love playing, too; the cameraperson’s close-up reveals the joy on their faces after they catch a long pass or run in a touchdown. Even with a helmet and all the padding, players knowingly face the threat of dislocations, fractures, and concussions in any given game.
That got me thinking. What did Jesus feel on Crucifixion Day when He was beaten, His blood spilled…He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5)? How much more did He endure than the injuries of the worst player on the poorest team in the NFL?
Jesus willingly faced the fate of the betrayal, rejection, and pain in His crucifixion What is most mind-blowing, in my opinion, is not that he endured all this willingly, but that He did so when we didn’t even know Him as our Savior and didn’t even care, when I didn’t even care… Yet, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Even when He was put Him to shame… Yet, for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, despised the shame (Hebrews 12:2). What joy? Glorifying God, most likely. Maybe His joy was that we would repent of our sins, be reconciled to God, and live to do good works that have been planned in advance for us. Maybe also it is the joy of our living with Him in our eternal home. Does this scripture mean my relationship with Jesus would bring Him joy? Mind-blowing again.
So, this weekend, when you are watching “The Big Game” on TV and see your favorite (or not-so-favorite) players get tackled and carried off the field on a stretcher, remember Jesus stretched out on a cross because of His love for you, for the joy set before Him.
RECONCILIATION AND HEALING
by Christina Hutchinson
The clock is set, and time continues to barrel through. In one sense, time is a gift, because we really don't know how much time we have here in our earthly home. We spend our time with family, friends, our church, and yet time escapes us so quickly. I'm sure there is a good handful of us who wish we could turn the clocks back a few months, because hind-sight is 2020 (yes, that's a pun.) But in all seriousness, I think we would have played out the last 7 months a little differently.
Going beyond that, I'm sure there have been moments through the years we would like to do differently. I recently saw a post from an old friend of mine, the post was along the lines of using your words wisely and don't ever be that person that made someone quit using their talents because of your words. That post spoke to me because I remember the person I was as a teenager. Oof! Those teen years. I was mean. But I felt like I had to be. I was in survival mode. I couldn't let anyone see that I was hurting and instead lashed out at those closest to me. But I regret many things I said or did to those who were my friends. This same friend of mine was one that I mistreated with my words. But she and I were reconciled because I jumped on the opportunity to apologize and regain her friendship.
I'm thankful that Jesus is one of whom will never write us off, but rather with arms wide open, awaits our repentance and, our return to Him. His desire for us to be reconciled to Him is known and felt by all of us who have been there. Whether it be our initial coming to Christ or times when we have ventured off the path for a season. He heals our relationships with Him and others around us through apology and reconciliation. Maybe before the year ends there is someone in your life you have felt the need to be reconciled with. If that's the case, don't wait. Reach out and ask God to heal hearts. I also urge you that if you are not reconciled with Jesus to repent and ask forgiveness.