August 13, 2009 Volume 2 – Issue 31
A Word from our Family Pastor: Drew Dixon
Training in Godliness
I have always been a runner. In fact there are few things that are more natural to me than running.
However, no matter how natural of a runner I am, I have discovered how much of a difference training
makes. Last March when our church ran the Hospice of Marshall County 5K, I had not been running
since before I came to Albertville. I got up and ran a rather disappointing race in comparison to what I
have done before.
Recently Jennifer and I have taken up running more regularly. We have been holding each other
accountable and running 4-5x a week. A couple weeks ago, we signed up for a 5K in Huntsville at
which I improved my time from the Hospice 5K by almost 2 minutes. Jennifer recently improved her
5K time by a minute and a half. That is a big improvement! What was the difference?
The difference was training. Consistent training coupled with accountability resulted in tremendous
improvement. What if we applied the same idea to our walk with Christ? Surely we all want to grow
in our relationship with Christ? Surely we all want to be less hindered by sin and more conformed to
the image of Christ? Why not train? Why not invite some accountability?
Certainly, I don’t want to give the idea that our spiritual growth is completely up to us. Just as we are
saved by grace through faith, we ought to seek to grow by grace through faith—meaning we should
never boast in our spiritual discipline or growth because all spiritual growth is God’s grace at work in
our lives--so if we boast, we must boast in the cross (Gal. 3:1-3; 6:14). However, if you are like me,
boasting in your spiritual discipline is not as much of a struggle as being disciplined is.
Before you discredit my running analogy, consider that Paul used such an analogy in his epistles (1
Cor. 9:24-27; Gal. 2:2; Phil. 2:16; Heb. 12:1—evidence of why I think Paul wrote Hebrews!). Here is
my favorite:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that
you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishablewreath, but we an imperishable.26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I
discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be
disqualified. (1 Cor. 9)
Apparently Paul sees discipline as essential to the Christian life. Just as a runner will not see
noticeable improvement apart from disciplined training, it seems that growth for the Christian and even
the Christian’s participation in ministry are directly tied to discipline. How are you training yourselffor the purpose of godliness? This is a command, “train yourself for godliness; for while bodily
training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and
also for the life to come” (1 Tim. 4:7-8).
Our salvation did not come cheap, it cost Jesus his life.* Why would we expect to be able to live the
Christian life cheaply? Jesus calls each of us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him.
Paul gives us a good example when he says, “I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after
preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” The phrase, I “keep [my body] under control,”
could be translated “I make my body my slave.” This is the talk of a disciplined man who sees the
supreme value of Christ and the passing riches of this world. This is the talk of someone who
desperately wants to know Christ and grow to be more like Him.
How are you disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness? How are you inviting accountability
into your life in order to walk more closely with Christ? It is “appointed for man to die once, and after
that comes judgment” (Heb. 9:27) and in that day of judgment, none of us will wish we would have
spent more time watching TV, surfing the internet, or playing video games.
Our salvation is a free gift from God, but it did not come cheap. Those who receive salvation will not
live cheaply. Discipleship requires taking up your cross. Discipleship requires discipline.
Your brother in Christ,
Drew*I must admit that Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship was influential in the writing of this
article, I commend the book to you. Bonhoeffer was a man understood that discipleship is filled with
joy but it is not cheap—it is costly. He lived what he preached. Bonhoeffer was a pastor in Germany
during WWII who spoke out openly against Hitler and the Nazi’s and was eventually hanged by them
in April 1945.
Announcements:• Ladies Fellowship – Our monthly Ladies fellowship is TONIGHT! The theme is Mexican so bring
Mexican food. The food, fun and fellowship will start at 6pm at the Plaza.• Men’s Rafting trip – The men are taking a rafting trip on Saturday, August 22. See Matt Colvin if
you want to go.• Community Groups – This Sunday night is the last night of this session of Community Groups.
The next two weeks (August 23 and 30) we will have regular Sunday night services. The next week,
Labor Day will be our off week and there will be no services that Sunday night. Our Family
meeting is scheduled for September 13. If you would like to volunteer your home for the next set
of Community groups, please let us know.• Ladies True Woman Conference – March 25 – 27 in Chattanooga. Speaking will be Nancy LeighDeMoss, Mary Kassian, Dannah Gresh, and others. Worship leaders are Keith and Kristyn Getty.
Registration is open. The price is $129 plus hotel accommodations. Let Lisa Spence or Amy
Williams know if you are interested. Here’s a link: http://www.truewoman.com/?id=760• Church Softball – Come cheer for the Men’s Softball team. Monday night, August 17 at 6pm and
8pm and Tuesday night, August 18 at 9pm.
• Track Ministry – If you would like to help with the Track Ministry, please see Ron Champion.
Youth Announcements:• The youth will be going to the Don't Waste Your Life Concert in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, August
29. The concert features Lecrae, Tedashi, Trip Lee, Flame, and more. The concert starts at 7:00
P.M., but we will leave Albertville around 1:00 P.M. in order to eat dinner in Atlanta before the
concert. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door, let Drew know ASAP if you want to go so
he can order you a ticket in advance and save some $.• Drew would like to resume having Student night in the home of a family of our church on the first
Wednesday of every month. Please let him know if you would be interested in hosting a student
Bible study one Wednesday night. He would like to begin with the first Wednesday in September
which is the 2nd. Let him know which first Wednesday you would be available to host a Student
Bible study.• Wednesday, August 26, we would like to invite all of our 7th graders to join us for Student
Night. Drew will be in Nicaragua next week, so we will welcome the 7th graders to the Student
Ministry Wednesday, August 26. We will have cake and ice cream to celebrate!
Prayer Requests:• Pray for Charlie Nash Foley. He is the 5 month old son of a coworker of Ron Champion. He has a
heart defect that is being repaired this next week in Boston. The baby will have a 7 hour surgery in
which he is on a heart bypass machine. He will remain on the machine for several months for
recovery.• Pray for Regina Gregg’s family: her Dad, Leeroy Malone who is recovering from lap band surgery.
Pray for her nephew, Hunter Pointer, who is 14 dealing with many health issues. Pray for Jeff and
Suzanne Davis as Suzanne is pregnant and considered high risk and is having some major health
issues.• Pray for Denise Bledsoe’s mother, Shirley McLendon, who is in congestive heart failure. Please
pray for Denise as she is trying to help her mother as much as possible.• Pray for Ruth Thompson, Wanda Parker’s mother. Pray for her husband, Dalton, as he cares for
• Pray for those with cancer: Linda Duran.
Please pray for Brad, Drew and Eric as they leave for Nicaragua on Saturday, August 15. Pray for safe
travel and that they will be able to minster to pastors and preach the gospel. They will return on
Saturday, August 22.
Volunteers for this week, August 16:
1’s and 2’s – Jim Parker/Gloria Childress
3’s and 4’s – Jason and Allison PrattFood – Lisa Spence – sweet
Allison Pratt – salty
Birthdays – August 16-22:
Friday, August 21 – Ron Champion
Saturday, August 22 – Haley Coy
Last Sunday Stats – August 9, 2009:
Attendance: Worship Service - 83
Offering: Budget - $ 6,200.00
Youth - $ 60.00
New Covenant Baptist Church – www.DiscoverNewCovenant.com
104 W. Alabama Avenue, Suite A - Albertville, AL 35950
9:30am - Statement of Faith Class
10:30am - Worship Service
6:00pm – Community Groups
6:00pm – Children’s Activities
6:00pm – Student Activities
6:15pm – Adult Bible Study
Pastor – Brad Williams Family Pastor – Drew Dixon
Our mission and passion at New Covenant Baptist Church is to glorify God by becoming a community that
fosters the love of God with all of the heart, soul, mind and strength, and by learning to love one another as Christ
Jesus has loved us. The answer to every heart's need and the satisfaction of all our longing is found in Jesus Christ
our Lord, who is Himself the very image of Almighty God. We exist to adore Him, and to spread the knowledge
of His greatness to the ends of the earth.