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.....

Sunday, September 18, 2011

It's September ?

So, time has literally flown by since April.  Our summer was quite a busy one.  We started with the Caledonia Fireman's Event in June - this required alot of planning and it was so worth it.  We walked in the parade on Friday night and we also opened our doors to the kids - we had lots of fun stuff to do.  On Saturday, Open Door teens came along side us and we had a great outreach.  We offered lots of stuff to do, basketball, pie eating, face painting....see pics on our FB page.  While we were busy at the event, Open Door was busy finishing Pastor Curtis' office - what a blessing!!!  They even bought us a computer and printer.  We are so grateful.....

July and August flew by......Curtis and I participated in the Caledonia VBS with some people from 3 other churches in Caledonia.  We were able to share our love and the gospel with some young folks and also met many new people!  Later in August, we had our first movie night - Soul Surfer - it was a great movie and good attendance. 

We have also had 4 missionary visits over the past few months!  We are so excited to know new people who are ministering to people in the Lord's name in Kenya, India and Poland.  Peter Nilson's visit was very special - we had a cookout on that Sunday and were moved by his sermon afterwards.  We were also excited to hear from Marie Saager about her experience in Poland and now her future plans to go there in a long-term position. 

September will be another busy month - Facing the Giants is our movie this month, Friday, 9/23.  And then we get to go back to Open Door Baptist Church for their Missions Conference 9/26-9/28.  We can't wait to see old friends and to see what God wants to show us.  We also started a Ladies Bible Study this month on Brokenness....and the men started studying Experiencing God.  

We are humbled by the opportunity to bring forth God's Word here in Caledonia.  We pray we are blessing every new person we meet.  We are anxious for new faces in church and grateful for the spiritual growth of our members.  We pray for them continually.

“By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another” (John 13:35).

Saturday, April 30, 2011

enjoying our first spring in Caledonia

Well, spring is finally here.....well at least we hope so :)  A week ago Saturday, we gave out food to 5 families in the area.  We pray they were blessed and touched by the love of Charity which is really the love of Jesus.  We are praying for these families. 

Last Sunday, we celebrated our first Resurrection Day at Charity.  We started off with a breakfast for all.  It was so neat to start the day with our new church family.  Each person is just so special to us.  We really love them.  We had worship and sermon following breakfast.  What a blessing!

We are anxious now that the good weather is here.  We hope to participate in the Caledonia Firemen's Carnival and Parade night.  The parade will go right by our church and the town will be filled with people.  Looking to spread a little more love......and hoping to introduce ourselves at the Carnival.  We'll have lots of fun stuff for the children to do; Open Door teens will be coming along side us.  We pray we get to meet lots of people and make a real connection to the community. 

Let all that you do be done with love.
1 Corinthians 16:14

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And we go on......

So, I have decided to write this blog.  To journal the story of Charity Bible.....  We have been so blessed by the Lord.  We have had several visitors over the past weeks.  We also have some regular attendance by a couple of wonderful new families.  God is Good.....Charity is growing.

I won't be writing up every sermon or service, but I will share special moments, things we are grateful for, important events and such....

Time has just been going so fast!  Pastor Paul, Tabitha and family visited last week - they brought us some green hymnals from Open Door - this is really a blessing because Karen Marsh had recorded many songs for us (another blessing)- using the music from these hymn books and we were sort of struggling....
In addition to Karen's recordings, we also have live guitar music at some services - Dean has blessed us with his talent. 

Speaking of blessings.....Scott and Terese have worked so hard - they seem to just take care of everything for, financial tasks, bulletins, kid's pages, painting, decorating, the list goes on and on......soldiers for the Lord and true friends indeed.  Charity would not be where it is at without their giving.....Thank you!!!

Oh, and we got our building permit this week!  We'll be building some walls soon, an office for our Pastor, a kitchen area, an extra bathroom......exciting....

And I almost forgot the most important thing - we had our first communion service on Sunday evening, March 6th.  It was wonderful.....Pastor Curtis preached about getting your heart right with God before receiving communion.  It is not good to receive it unworthily.  Then, in the evening, we had it family style, with the heads of each home passing out to their family.  It was a blessed evening.

Another week

We learned that Caledonia has lost a wonderful young man.  We hope to minister to them as they suffer through this loss.
Sunday Feb. 20th
Sermon - Real Hope
1 Peter 1 - our only Hope is in Jesus.  He is a true and lasting hope.  Thru faith we have this Hope- it is held in heaven - it does not fade away.  Jesus resurrection is proof of our Hope.  Any hope in anything else is corrupted.  Our Hope in Jesus is more concrete than anything this world can provide.  We can't manufacture it, it comes from and is kept by the power of God.  We reveal our hope by the way we live it out.  Be honest, be pure, plant seeds, have no hypocrisy, remember your personal testimony.  Does your life reflect Christ?  We can reach out to the community and give hope.  Our hope is an anchor, it cannot be moved.  Hebrews 6:17-19
"Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; "
If our hope is in Jesus - we won't worry about the other stuff.  We will rest in the fact that God is in control.  We will know this.  We can live in the world, know that storms will come and He will carry us through.  Put your arms around someone - make disciples - love them in the middle of where they are.

We came back for evening service - 20+ people
Sermon - Compassionate Shepherd
Curtis taught about the True Shepherd who cares about us - who laid down His life for us.  We are to be one flock with one shepherd, listening to one voice. 
John 10:11-18 - .....As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Have you heard God's voice lately?  Find some quiet time, turn everything off.  God talks in a still, small voice. 

Feb. 22 - candlelight vigil for the young man - Curtis was asked to pray and speak for a moment - He expressed sympathy, lifted the family up in prayer and told folks about our church. 

Wow things happen fast around here

We found out our town meeting was this week - instead of next week!  Curtis went on Wednesday night, accompanied by Matt and Jen Brandes - everything went very well and we were approved.  Curtis was able to share with the town board about our vision for Charity Bible.  We are official now.

Thursday night service - Feb. 17
Acts 2
We studied this chapter tonight - Curtis spent time sharing about the Day of Pentecost and how the Holy Spirit (The Comforter) came upon the new believers who were meeting in one accord (one mind, one purpose).  How exciting - they heard the sound of wind - no wind - just the sound ....and how each could hear in their own language - what a miracle! 

We had some new visitors tonight - so happy to meet new people.  We were also encouraged by visitors from Open Door.

Moving on......

Feb. 13th - second Sunday

We had 10 for service in the morning.  Pastor Curtis asked us pray about the upcoming town meeting where we would be seeking permission to operate as a church in the town.  He preached on how we should live like Christians - with loveliness, gentleness, patience and love.  If His Spirit lives in me, there will be a natural outpouring.  He used scripture from Ephesians 4 and I Corinthians 3:9-11.  Our effort is not what matters, if we lift the Lord high, He will do it.  The Word of God is real, it has value, get into it every day.  We were encouraged to do things in such a way that the world sees we are different.  The reason we are different is that we have a love relationship with our God.  In our obedience, God is always glorified.

When we returned in the evening, we had 18 folks for service.  John 15:12 "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."  How does Jesus love us?  He laid down His life for us.  Husbands love your wives, children obey your parents.  Our love for one another should be a servant type of love - giving without concern about getting anything back - unconditional.  Show compassion - find the need and then minister to the people - no matter what it takes.

Today is the day before Valentine's Day - we wore our new t-shirts!
I love my husband - he is just the best - God gave him to me and he knew exactly what I needed.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We found our home

On February 5th we were moved into our new home and prepared for our first service the next day.  I had read somewhere that there is nothing like "the first service" in your new church plant.  Well, Amen, I say, it was wonderful....

Check out these pictures:

Pastor Curtis gave his first sermon on "A Little Faith" - faith like a mustard seed.  We are here in Caledonia, to love people just the way they are.  We hope to touch their lives in a real and different way - with Jesus.  There were 12 people at the morning service and 16 in the evening!  Dean and his family came to the evening service and we had live guitar music for our songs!!!  It really touched my heart....

We are still waiting for town approval.....

Hometown Holidays and Signing a Charter

On 12/11/2010, we went to Caledonia Hometown Holidays - we handed out some flyers about our church.

We signed our charter on 12/18/2010 and sent it off to the lawyer.  Little did we know then that we would not be approved by the county until February!

So, we took some time off to celebrate the holidays.

Shortly after the new year, we found a place to rent.  We only stayed there a couple of weeks.  We didn't sign the lease - God had a better place for us!
We did have a couple of meetings there and met some new people from was exciting to see how God was working.....

the work continues.....

December 4th
We meet and discuss lots of, rentals, lawyer, by-laws, doctrine statement.  Seems there is so much to do.  We are anxious to get started.  Beginning to look at rental options in the town. 

Curtis shared these verses:
We are called to make disciples, not just decision makers.

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen

We are to be holy.

1Pe 1:16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Let us have love for one another and be set apart from sin.

1Jo 3:9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
1Jo 3:10  In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
1Jo 3:11  For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

We are committed to the start of Charity Bible. 
We have quite a "to-do" list.....lots of questions, lots of God.

To be effective in the community

1 Thessolonians 1:1-10

1Th 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians [which is] in God the Father and [in] the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 1:2  We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
1Th 1:3  Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
1Th 1:4  Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
1Th 1:5  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
1Th 1:6  And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:
1Th 1:7  So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
1Th 1:8  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
1Th 1:9  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
1Th 1:10  And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, [even] Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Leaders pray for one another. If we pray for one another we will be less critical of each other.
1 - are thankful for the people
2 - focus on the strengths of the people
3 - are characterized by faith, love and hope
4 - teach and preach with power and conviction
5 - exhibit a sense of joy during trials
6 - model a life of faith for others
7 - touch the world around them with the Good News of Jesus Christ

we started meeting......

November 20, 2010
We hosted our first planning meeting in our home.  We met each other for the first time and shared testimonies and Caledonia information.  We discussed our intentions on starting a church.  Curtis shared his call to Caledonia.  We shared copies of our doctrine statements from our current church.  We also talked about possible locations for our church.  Three families were prepared to answer the call. 

November 27, 2010
Our second planning meeting....we named our church "Charity Bible Church" - our mission statement "Do What Jesus Did". 
Curtis shared these verses:
John 5:17 "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."  We believe God is working here.
James 2:14-18 faith and works
Jam 2:14  What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jam 2:15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
Jam 2:16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?
Jam 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Jam 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
We set up a facebook page - Charity Bible - Caledonia.
And an email address.
Matt G will be designing  our website.
God is Good.....

The call - Pastor Curtis

I knew since the earliest day of my salvation that I had a call to preach the word.  But I never thought it would happen the way that this has worked out.
Some ten years  ago, I and others went to Word of Life and God spoke to me.  I knew that I must start Men’s ministries and I came back and talked to Pastor Tom who, in his wisdom, said “If God is in it, do it, and if it is of His will it will work”.  So I stepped out in faith that day and started.   God has blessed that work.  Not too long after that I was appointed as a Deacon, and through much prayer due to my past, (a divorce and a life of sinfulness) and after seeking God out on that stuff, I accepted and God blessed.
Now I’ve heard God speak once again, and it would be sin for me not to go to the calling in which He has called me. And this is the call as well as I remember it as it happened.
It was around one year or so ago during a sermon that was being preached by Pastor Tom.  I can’t even remember what was said from Tom. But I do know what I heard from God … “you are not doing everything that I’ve called you to.” I did not understand what was meant by that. So I kept on doing all the things that I knew to do and added some other Bible studies. Not long after that Pastor Bill was preaching and I heard God speak again the same thing “you are not doing all that I’ve called you to do.” So that night I went forward and told that to Bill.  I was in tears; the Spirit of God was heavy on me. What more can I do I thought? I cannot be a preacher.  I am divorced  man, so what more could I do. God would not let up, in my prayers, almost every move, and in most of the sermons that I heard, the message did not change. Till one day as I was traveling through the town of Caledonia.  I heard the voice of God  “my truth has no witness in this town.” And I said “so what. What can I do?”  Then I went to speak with Pastor Bill once more in his office and Scott was with me.  Bill asked “Have I thought about being a pastor?” I told Bill “I can’t, I’ve been  divorced.” Then we talked about the scripture and after examining the scriptures: 1st divorced before salvation and 2nd allowing the unbeliever to depart (1Cor7:15).  So then, sometime later, I was compelled to see the town once more. It was a rain soaked day just before Pastor Tom went to Africa. I came to his office and we talked.
He said “if God has called you to preach He has called people to listen, so put a add in the paper see what will happen.” So I did and got some responses. This brings us up to date.
We have started with prayer and now we meet with some families every Saturday night,  and are seeking for a place to meet in the town.
Pastor Paul asked me to explain what we want from the Church? I say we have need of nothing. God has not called me to ask for money or people. In making  that statement, I felt the need to explain one thing. Scott Main was not asked by me to come on this journey. God placed it on His heart, he is following God, not me. Other than that, I do not know if anyone else has been called by God to step out in this work. I do need your prayers and a chance to pick your brains for advice on all of the many things I have no idea of how to do. This is a walk of faith, I’m  just doing the thing that I know God has told me to do. There are more unanswered questions than I can ask. I am having a hard time just following God and trusting that He has everything in His control. Many times my head is spinning and doing all I can just to pray. This Saturday we will look at a building to see if God would have us to rent it or not. Need your prayers, nothing else. If God is willing, we will be passing out some tracts and hand outs in the town this Saturday also.
We love Open Door; we have been loved here.  It is not easy to think about leaving, but a step of faith we need to take.  We have been blessed by this church and each pastor.  We have learned so much here.  Now, we want to go and share the Good News of Jesus Christ and His love in Caledonia.  We covet your prayers.   We are forever grateful for them and for each one of you.
Your servant in Christ,