Monday, February 4, 2013

2 Years Old

We just finished our second full year at Charity Bible Church!  We have been blessed. 

On Jan. 7, 2013 - we started a bible reading plan - read the Bible in one year - as a church.  We are all following the same plan.  We have Sunday School now before service on Sunday morning - where we discuss this weeks' readings.  We are learning so much.  Personally, God's Word is speaking to me differently through this because it is intentional. He has so much he wants to say to each and every one of us.  His Word is alive!  Every time I read it - He shows me something new. 

In Genesis - His majesty, Noah's obedience, Abraham's faith, God's judgement and mercy to Lot and his family, His protection for Haagar and Ishmael,  Genesis 24:21 - patience after we pray, v. 26 we are to worship after answered prayer, v. 27 we acknowledge His divine guidance.  In Ezra and Nehemiah we see prayer should be first - we see people putting God first - we see fasting - we see His protection, we see people who listen to God, follow His Word, and then disobey again and again, and when they cry out they see His mercy again and again.....we see songs of praise and thanksgiving. In Esther - we see a woman who realizes God placed her in a special position at a special time - she willingly took risks to save her people.  In Matthew, we learn so much about Jesus, how He loves, heals, beckons us to follow Him.  He teaches us about love, compassion, faith, prayer, reaching out and losing our life for His sake, the greatest commandment, His deity.  In Acts, we see the church being built, the Word of God increases and multiplies, the Holy Spirit is real, salvation through the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Paul's suffering, obedience, protection of God, importance of testimonies, to worship, to believe, God has a plan.  In Romans, God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance, we have hard hearts, the redeemed are saved, have eternal life and we are to seek to give glory and honor to God.  We are to seek praise not from man, but from God. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  We can have peace with God through faith;  Suffering leads to endurance, endurance to character, and character to hope - and we have the free gift of God which is eternal life in Jesus Christ.

This past year we said good-bye to dear friends - who are no longer called to our body.  Each time we said goodbye with heavy hearts.  Yet, it is clear that God has a plan in all of this.  We also welcomed new people and have been blessed by each and every one.  We are learning that people aren't ours - they are all God's.  He has control and knowledge that we could never know or begin to understand.  We let go and pray for those who come and go, we embrace visitors with love and acceptance. 

We stand strong in God's Word - our Pastor preaches from it and encourages us to read it and grow.  We love this community - we hope to leave His fingerprints of Love all over it - in January we opened our Food Pantry - we hope to meet the needs of whomever God sends our way.  We give thanks to Him for his ongoing provisions.  We start year 3 - with a plan - to continue reaching out to the community - we pray we can give the town small glimpses of God's great love for us and an understanding of the Hope we have in Him.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's been too long....or has it?

Confession: I am not a blogger...nothing wrong with that, but I did start a blog a year ago :) so maybe I'll pretend right now.

I am not sure why I thought I would actually have time to write in a blog.... - actually I was hoping for it to be an electronic history of our time in Caledonia - well if that's the case, we lost almost a year's worth. lol We have learned a lot this year; lots of things about God, His Word, ministry, church, people...and there were a couple of main themes....

1) There is only one thing to hold on to - Jesus.  If you think you are saved and have a relationship with Him - it is important to test it.  II Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?  - unless indeed you are disqualified."  A speaker at a conference I recently intended used this scripture to start us thinking on that....when you say a prayer of repentance and salvation - it may be the beginning of the relationship - but, until you truly allow Jesus to move in with you.....move right in and take control - and a significant change takes place in your life....well...then......maybe it isn't real.  Just because you go to church, read your Bible, serve in a ministry, it doesn't mean your salvation is real.  Do you know Him?  Do you really know Him? Did you allow Him to "move in with you?"  Love that....

2) You can't hold on to people.  This truth has been very clear to us this year.  While they are with you, love them deeply.  When they move on, let them go and pray for them always and forever.  Everyone is in a different place in their walk.  Our church is not about numbers.  It is about shining the light of Jesus in a very dark world and most especially in our little corner of the very dark world - 14423, planting seeds, giving without expectations, sharing how He changed your life, living like you believe it and letting Him do the work. 

3) Everybody hurts.  Believers and unbelievers alike - we all have hurts.  You can't get through life without being hurt. The best solution is to relax into God, let Him comfort you, AND live with a kingdom mentality.  Everything, weighed against that and our short time here on earth, seems minor and easier to let go of.  We need to forgive - and once we receive the forgiveness of Jesus - we can.  Without it, we can't.  Unforgiving people do not really believe they are forgiven (or don't even know the forgiveness of God).  Unforgiving people have not experienced grace....they live by works. 

We are studying the Truth Project on Sunday nights - what a blessing.....

4) Eternal Life  - In a nutshell, John 17:1-3 "Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.""

I have never felt closer to God than right now.  He is changing me daily.  Jesus is in my heart.
Glory and Thanksgiving to God!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

1 Year and forward......

Here we are, 1 year later......there are times it feels like just a day.  We have been so blessed. 
On Feb. 5th we had a 1 year anniversary celebration with a special service.  There were many guests and we were once again reminded of how good our God is. 
We pray that He will continue to bless Charity Bible Church and all who cross the threshold of our building.  We want to share the love of Jesus with the Caledonia community. 

Things in the works:
  • Ladies group - studying Proverbs on Monday nights
  • Mens group - meets on Tuesday nights
  • Kids' drop in - Monday afternoon - read the Bible with Pastor Curtis
  • AWANA - Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. - led by Matt and Jen Brandes
  • Regular services :  Sundays 9:30 a.m., 6:00 p.m. (studying Genesis) Thursday at 7:00 p.m. (studying Romans)
  • Praying about
    • Easter outreach
    • Special event with the residents of Village Squire - springtime
    • Our participation in Fireman's parade and event this year
    • VBS

Monday, December 26, 2011

what a wonderful season

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has simply flown by!  Wow - we had a busy month.  So many blessings, new people, lots of children......  Charity Bible has been an active place - we started out with Hometown Holidays - we made an awesome float that lifted Jesus high!  The greatest gift, no greater gift - we told the town.  We gave out ~500 boxes with tracts, candy canes and random gift certificates inside of them.  The reactions were so varied among the receipients on the parade route.  Most were truly surprised when we said "A gift for you"  - all the white boxes, wrapped in ribbons, and carried in bright red bags, yes we made a "scene"....Post-parade the church was "open for business" - with a clothes closet, christmas cookies to frost yourself, hot dogs on the grill, and a wrapping area for gifts, and boy did we serve up alot of hot chocolate.  It was truly a wonderful day.

On the second weekend, we took our p3 to the streets.....Christmas caroling thru the town with a special destination of the "Village Squire" apartments.  There we sang inside individual units - where folks came out and listened, some sang with us, some cried - our hearts and their's were truly touched by the special moments.  We also handed out homemade cookies and cards to all.  Sharing the love of Jesus in a different way.  We look forward to going back in January to visit with some of the people we met.  Our desire is to show them that Charity is year round - not just at Christmas time. 

Christmas approached quickly after that - we had a special kids' service on the Sunday evening before Christmas - "What does God want for Christmas?" was the title (hint: the answer is You!) was a fun time for all as Pastor Curtis got into the rhyming. 

Over the past month, many young people have crossed the threshold of our church - after school time has become the time and place to be at Charity.  Bible reading on Mondays for kids is the favorite event. 

Oh and we had AWANA training this month also.  We are so looking forward to this new program for children.  We hope to start up after the first of the year.  We are expecting a good turnout and praying about a large place to handle more children comfortably.  God knows what we need and we trust Him to provide.

It's not about religion, but about the relationship.  Ours with others and all with Jesus.
Loving God and Loving People - our mission.
Hearts are changing; Lives are changing......and people are hearing about Jesus, our Savior.  We praise God for that and are ever so grateful! 
The New Year is at our doorstep - we are seeking Him, excited, and reaching out....God is Good , All the Time, All the Time, God is Good!

"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

On this day......

           I have been praying for Caledonia, for the Hometown Holiday event, for our church, Charity Bible, this morning.  We will soon reach out to the community and tell them that there is No Greater Gift - Jesus is the Gift.  There is a harvest waiting in this community, I believe it with all my heart.  Can God awaken the people of this town?  The answer is yes, of course He can.  Our prayer is that we can be a tool He can use for it.  There is a Call, Jesus is calling.....get on your knees with us, pray for the Holy Spirit to move mightily in this town.

John 1:14 "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. "   

Monday, October 31, 2011

looking for revival

The last couple of weeks have been exciting and encouraging at Charity and in Caledonia. 

We have had several new visitors (please pray for a special young man that God has sent to us - we pray we are a blessing to him); hosted a  movie night "Fireproof"; studied together in groups; Mondays - women, Tuesdays - men; kids' bible reading with the Pastor - Monday afternoons!

Thanks to Pastor Curtis for his sermons, check out "A City on a Hill" -

Pastor Curtis has met with other pastors in the area for prayer.  We were also invited to a movie screening of a fantastic movie - we were unable to attend, but they gave us a copy of the movie. We will pass this around family by family so everyone can see it!
See this website for more info: 
The movie name is Appalachian Dawn.  We watched it Saturday night.  What a great story about a community in Kentucky.  We were totally inspired and moved by how God worked in that area. 

We are also praying and asking the Lord to show us how to reach the ones He is calling to Him in Caledonia and the surrounding area.  We have begun plans for our participation in the Hometown Holidays in town on December 3rd.  Our theme is "No Greater Gift" - for truly Jesus is the Gift.  "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."  John 15:13  We are planning a small float for the parade and then loving the people in crazy, random ways.....showing them the love of Jesus.
And Camp Ottie.....oh, what are the possibilities?  We don't know yet.  Praying and waiting on God....but stay tuned, maybe next summer, we'll have an old-fashioned revival meeting, right here in the middle of upstate N.Y. 

We simply want to serve our God and love His people.  How we carry it out is up to Him.......and He places the people in our lives exactly when and where He desires. Our purpose is to glorify Him in everything we do. Our goal is to stay attentive to Him and please Him in all we do. 

"That you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Romans 15:6

Dear Lord,
Order our steps; show us what we are to do; we love You!  We praise You!  We thank You! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We were blessed this week!

Today is October 1 - my how time has gone so fast.  Just a week ago, we were preparing to celebrate the marriage of our son, Daniel.  It was a lovely day, everything was just perfect as it should be.  We are so grateful to the Lord for bringing Laura and Dan together.

So, the weekend was a whirlwind (and the week prior).  On Sunday, many of our extended family came to visit Charity Bible.  We had regular service on Sunday morning and then a lunch following.  We were blessed by all who came.  We were especially blessed to have our Atlanta family here for the whole weekend.  Sue, Kelly, Jamie and Molly were a special addition to all the festivities.  We don't see them enough and miss them already.  Molly sang a beautiful song at the morning service.  Thank you Molly!!  She lifted her voice in praise to our King. 

All of this was followed by the Open Door Baptist Church Missions Conference.  It was so good to visit there.  We had not really been back there since February and it was great to see old friends and meet new ones.  On Tuesday night, Curtis was the guest preacher and lots of our Charity family came out!!!  This really touched our hearts.  They were all decked out in our wine colored t-shirts!  Wednesday night was the closing ceremonies and God spoke to us there.  Two nights in a row we heard messages about showing the love of Jesus right where we are at.  How important it is to share His love and His message with those around us.  That is what He calls us to do.  The theme verse of the conference was Romans 10:14 "How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?"  We are all preachers in our daily lives; our words, our actions, our love can speak volumes.  I pray I will remember that daily and look for opportunities to live out His Word.
Throughout the week, we laughed and we cried, we were encouraged and we were convicted.  And the sum of it was a true blessing.  We pray we can reflect the love of Jesus like the members of Open Door do - they love and give like there is no tomorrow.  This is how we should live.

Thursday night we had regular service at Charity.  Can you say exhaustion?  I do want to say that I was ill during much of this week, but God......

And so....we go on.... as my friend Terese says.....never surprised, but always amazed.  God is so good.  Amen?  Amen.

Stay tuned....we will be busy at Charity over the next few months.....