QUARTERLY JOURNAL
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A Time of Refreshing: Green Pastures, Quiet Waters & Paths of Righteousness

“He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:3
 
Tradition in our Church has been that August on our church calendar is a time of Refreshing. Each month of the year has a different prayer theme and focus, and August has been designated as such; the 8th month of the year, the time after winter, Spring & Summer, and just before fall. Our Pastor is a visionary, and it was his vision that we as a church body would unite in prayer around the monthly focus during our calendar year. He knew the time would come when we would need to gather together to pray for strength, and for one another. How fitting it is that we have that time right now! 

In the Old Testament Jews believed that when the awaited Messiah came there would be times of physical rest and refreshing. They anticipated the times of the gospel as a period when they would have rest from their enemies, and respite from the evil oppression of war.

Well, Messiah has come and He has promised us rest for our souls. Surely after all these many months since Covid, and dealing with the fallout of this deadly disease, we could all use a vacation. But this year refreshment may not look like what we are used to. Certainly after one year and several months of dealing with the evils of Covid 19, and all that we have had to endure individually, and otherwise, we are just ripe for a time of refreshing. We may still not be unable to openly visit with one another without our masks, or staying six feet apart. We may still not be unable to book a flight or to go on a cruise because the threat of Delta is making itself known, and we must be careful and prayerful.

Yet we have so much to be thankful for, in spite of all that we’ve been through. We have had consistent preaching and teaching of God’s Word. We have had consistent prayer and fellowship time. We’ve had funerals, and endured the loss of friends and loved ones, but we have celebrated new births, new babies, new marriages, and new engagements. We’ve had retirements and new entrepreneurships. We have had each other. God has not forgotten us. He has been with us from the beginning, and He is with us now.

If nothing else Covid 19, has taught us that though life is full of hardship it is also full of beauty; if we have eyes to see. Pastor has been preaching about “Seeing God Clearly,” and the messages have forced us to look at the way we view our life with God.  After experiencing all the world had to offer in terms of opulent luxuries and worldly pleasures, Solomon writes, in Ecclesiastes that true joy can be found in life through gratitude for God’s gifts. We’re grateful for Solomon’s wisdom. It is an example for us.

We go after many things in life, and they come after us. We exhaust ourselves with the cares of this life and don’t think we’ll ever have enough until we’re spiritually bankrupt. But we have found out that whether you have enough money or not, there is no happiness or peace or refreshing apart from God Himself. Life is a gift, and we were created to worship Him.

 If we are going to come out from under the burden of the past many months, and get some rest, we must do what Jesus said; “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Green pastures, quiet waters, and paths of righteousness.  Rest for your soul. I’ll meet you there.      
 
Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon


Why Baptism?

Healthy families have family pride; members are not ashamed to be recognized as part of the family. Sadly, some church members never publicly identify themselves with God’s family by being baptized. Baptism is not some optional ritual to be delayed or postponed. It signifies your inclusion in God’s family. Baptism declares your faith, shares Christ’s burial and resurrection symbolizes your death to your old life and announces your new life in Christ. It is also a celebration of your inclusion in God’s family.

Your baptism is a physical picture of a spiritual truth. It represents what happened the moment God brought you into His family. Baptism does not make you a member of God’s family; only faith in Christ does that, but it is a visible reminder of an inward commitment made in your heart. The Bible says faith is something we do; not just what we feel. The only biblical condition is that you believe. If you haven’t been baptized as an expression of your faith in Christ, do so!

“It’s judgment time for Christians. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s message.”
1 Peter 4:17-19 TMB

 

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon



Unlike Any Other Word

“The word of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” 
Psalm 12:6 KJV

God’s Word is unlike any other word. It’s alive. God’s Word generates life; creates faith; produces change; frightens the Devil; makes miracles; heals hurts; builds character; transforms circumstances; imparts joy; overcomes adversity; defeats temptation; infuses hope; releases power; cleanses our minds; bring things into being; reveals truth; illuminates darkness; feeds our hunger; quenches our thirst; cleanses our heart; renews our mind; strengthens our resolve; saves our lives; builds our trust; comforts us; give us peace; rebukes us; corrects us; and guarantees our future forever!

Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon