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,