Notes from the Pastor’s Study – January 27, 2021

Church Family, today we have two big things going on. First, at 11 a.m. in the FBCO Sanctuary we will celebrate God’s goodness in the life of Jannie Snody. Funerals of church members are very important events in the life of our church. In the past few years I have noticed that funeral attendance has steadily declined, COVID-19 has only exacerbated this trend. I would like for us as a congregation to start doing better about attending funerals in 2021. If you can make it out today for this funeral, not only will that show love to Gary and his family, but you will be encouraged as well as we worship as a community of faith.

Tonight we will also hold our Mid-Week service at 6pm. I am looking forward to our gathering.

Sunday was kind of a weird day.  Rue and Anna told me on Saturday night that we wouldn’t have water on Sunday morning.  My first reaction was, “Big deal, we don’t need to have water to have church.”  Then Melissa started telling me about how difficult it would be for the children’s workers and others to try to have morning services with no water.  There was also the fact that people were going to wake up with no water and they were going to be unable to get ready! 

We decided to push the service back to 6pm to give everybody time to be ready for church, but alas, the leak was much more difficult to fix than was anticipated.  We had a good group for Worship considering the circumstances (and there are sooo many circumstances these days!) and we had a good number watching on Facebook and YouTube. 

It was just one of those weird days and that is OK, we’re all learning to roll with the punches.  This last year, as we will say forever, has taught us to be flexible. 

The good news is that we are blessed people.  It is hard to imagine what life would have been like without running water and all the things we are so accustomed to as a people.  We should be thanking God daily for all the amazing things we do have, rather than longing for what we don’t have and probably don’t need anyway!

However, as a result of most folks missing the regular worship service, we are $5,045.00 below regular budget needs.  Let’s be sure to all bring an extra generous gift to the Lord this week so we can ensure that all our ministries and programs are funded.  We don’t want to fall behind this soon in the year.  Remember every one of us are expected to bring a generous gift.  It is vital that we start exercising generosity as we move closer to our building campaign.  You are going to be asked to give till it hurts!  We are all in this together trusting that it is a cheerful giver that God loves (2 Cor 9:7).  Just remember, as I used to hear people say when I was growing up, “you can’t out-give the Lord!”

Sunday I introduced the FBCO Testimony Project.  Our goal for this year is to have every member write out their Christian testimony.  We ask every new member to share their story, we should all be able to do this.  The benefits of this project are manifold.  Go to fbcolney.com and click the green button and start working on telling your story!   

This Saturday we will hold our Short-Term Missions Conference with Mat Kountz beginning at 8:30am.  It isn’t too late to sign-up to come.  Be we are going to have an amazing time thinking and learning about how we, as First Baptist Olney, can best reach the world for Christ. 

Make sure you are here this Sunday.  I believe the message from God’s Word will be timely.  I anticipate it will step on some toes, garner some angry emails, and maybe prompt some passive aggressive Facebook posts.  I know you don’t want to miss that!  In all seriousness, when God’s word comes to us, we should expect that most of the time it will challenge and oppose us.  As I studied for this sermon I was challenged and convicted.  Yet, we know that when the Word wounds us, it offers healing and growth as well.  When you lift weights, the way your muscle gets stronger is to first be torn down. 

We had 13 people attend our New Member Class meeting!  I think we have 8 folks that are interested in joining the church. Praise God!  We will probably have four of those joining by baptism.  

Sunday Evening Training Union this Sunday will be one you will not want to miss.  The course is called “The God Who Speaks.”  This week’s lesson will be on the transmission of Scripture.  Have you ever wondered how we know we are reading what the Apostles wrote?  Come Sunday and find out why we can have confidence in the Word.  Jake Bailey will be teaching.

Baby Bottle Fundraiser– We still have some bottles left.  Come pick one up and put change in it, or a $10 or $20 dollar bill.  This is a way we can show we are pro-life instead of just saying it. 

These are great and exciting days in the life of our church.  We need to all be praying for our new Associate Pastor search, a new building campaign, and an exciting year of re-vitalizing ministry (post-Covid).  I need your prayers as I strive to follow Christ, seek to carefully shepherd your soul, serve the pastors in our association, serve on state convention executive board, study for my doctoral work, serve our community, and serve my family.  I have a full plate and a full heart.  I love how you all make my job so easy by being so generous, so responsive, and so ready to serve those in need wherever they are and whoever they are.  You are patient with me, forgiving, and encouraging all the time.  I love you and I love being your pastor.  I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday!