Newsletters

 

July 7, 2009 Volume 2 – Issue 27

A Word from our Family Pastor: Drew Dixon

Your Walk With God is a Community Project

As you probably know, I spent the last week in Chattanooga, TN at a youth conference called "Reality Check" with Jennifer and 6 of the middle school and high school students from our church. It was the best youth trip I have ever been on and I have been on a lot of them!

It was the best youth trip I have been on for a number of reasons. Our students were very well behaved and a lot of fun to hang out with. We all know that teenagers have their challenges, but our students are really delightful young people and I am thankful to the Lord for each of them! Our students took notes, they shared prayer requests, they included one another in their free time activities. Our students wanted to be together ALL the time! Seriously, there were a couple of times when I said that they did not have to all hang out together during some of our free time, but sure enough all our students would be gravitating to the same activity! At the end of the week when we went to Lake Winnie, I told them that we didn’t all have to stay together, but that everyone needed to have a buddy no matter where they went. It didn’t matter, we literally spent the entire day together as one big group! Our kids are all pretty unique, they have different interests, different hobbies and personalities, and yet they stick together—I find that very encouraging!

Another reason why I felt that this was the best youth trip I have ever been on is because the teaching was excellent and really connected with what God was doing in our group this week. I really sensed some genuine community begin to spring up amongst our students and by the grace of God, Paul David Tripp (one of the main speakers of the conference) focused his talks on grace-driven-community. The series of talks that Paul Tripp gave were called, "Your Walk with God is a Community Project." Meaning you cannot live for Christ on your own—"true spiritual insight is impossible in isolation." Our students need each other, they need me and Jennifer, more importantly they need their parents in order to grow spiritually.

Tripp talked a great deal about identity. He said the two pillars of Christian identity are our identity as sinners and our identity as children of grace. If either of those two pillars is absent from our lives we misplace our identity. If we forget that we are sinners, then we fall prey to self-righteousness and fail to recognize the sin in our lives that is hurting us and those around us. Most importantly we forget our desperate need for Christ. If we lose sight of our identity as children of grace, we will fall into the despair of living on our own works-righteousness. When either of these two pillars is not present, we fall into what Tripp calls "identity amnesia." We forget who we are in Christ and we stop pursuing what is ours in Christ. And as we forget who we are in Christ, we move from "identity amnesia" to "identity replacement." This is where community comes in . . .

Every single person who reads this newsletter is a sinner. If you are reading this, you are a sinner. If there is anything you need to know about sin, Satan, and the flesh, it is this—they are NOT your friends. They seek to deceive and destroy you and all those around you (Jer. 17:9; John 10:10; John 8:44; 2 Peter 1:9). Sin so clouds our identity that we begin to become deceived about who we are and how we are living. Before too long we become blind to sin in our life because we are living out of a false identity. What needs to happen? We need to wake up to the sin in our life and identify it for what it is and turn to Christ. But so often we don’t do that do we? We wallow in self-pity or self-justification. When we sin we respond to it in one of two ways—we either identify it for what it is or (perhaps more often than not) we justify ourselves (trigger our own "inner defense attorney" as Tripp says). If we are honest, we are all pretty good at self-justification. So what needs to happen?

Community needs to happen! Because sin is so deceitful, we are often the worst judges of our own hearts before God. We need brothers and sisters in our lives who will love us enough to speak truth into our lives and we need to pray that God would make us humble enough to receive the truth they speak! So if any of this connects with you (as it did with me when I heard Tripp preach it), won’t you join me in praying for two things? First pray for "humble approachability." What is the predominate sin issue in your life right now? What if someone close to you called you out on it (in love of course; Eph. 5:12)? How would you respond—are you humbly approachable and willing to let others speak into your life? Secondly, pray for courageous honesty. Perhaps for sometime now you have seen a destructive sin at work in a brother or sister’s life—maybe its time to courageously (and humbly) talk to them about it. Make sure you that your motive is genuine love for the person and not a desire to show yourself better than them, but perhaps its time to talk honestly about sin with a friend, relative or your spouse.

Your walk with God and my walk with God is a community project. We are in this thing together—won’t you join me in praying that we would be humbly approachable and courageously honest?

Hebrews 3:12-14 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

Sincerely,

Drew

Announcements:

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL IS NEXT WEEK!!! See Regina if you want to sign up to help or bring any of the items listed below.

Snacks needed for VBS:

16 bags shredded cheese 4 large bags miniature marshmallows 4 bags semi-sweet chocolate morsels 6 boxes raisins 4 bags bite-size or square pretzels 4 bags Tostitos Scoops corn chips 3 boxes Keebler Townhouse Toppers Crackers 3 boxes vanilla wafers 3 boxes graham crackers 4 cans vanilla frosting 4 bags butterscotch chips 150 - 200 Fruit Gushers 210 snack size paper plates 350 napkins 350 9-oz. plastic or paper drinking cups 100 snack size resealable plastic bags 3 rolls paper towels 350 hand wipes Empty Paper Towel Rolls

Decorations needed for VBS:

Fishing poles

Fishing nets

Greenery (such as vines, ferns, moss, etc)

Tiki torches

Rope

Lanterns

Carpet tubes or tubes of different diameters

Canoe, row boat, paddles

2 inch Styrofoam panels for backdrop painting

Large stuffed animals - like alligators, turtles

VBS Kickoff Party – This Saturday from 9am to 11am at Cahill Baptist Church, there will be a moon bounce, rock slide obstacle course, face painting, etc. We need people to help run the kickoff party. We are inviting the community, especially the area around Cahill Baptist Church in hopes of preregistering many kids that will come to VBS.
  1. Passing out Flyers for VBS: Wednesday Night at 5:00 just prior to our Wednesday night services, we will be going out to pass out flyers for VBS and for our VBS kick off on Saturday. We will pass out flyers for about 45 minutes and then return to church for our evening services. Some of the students and I may stay a little bit longer to pass out remaining flyers but we will return to the church in time to continue our "Don't Waste Your Life" study. Please contact Drew if you are able help drive Wednesday as we pass out flyers so that he can plan accordingly.
  2. Thursday Flyer Passing out has been CANCELLED. Rescheduled for Friday at 5:30 and pass out any remaining flyers then after passing out flyers we will have a youth pizza fellowship immediately following passing out flyers at the church from 6:30 to 9:30 P.M.
  3. Church Softball – If you are interested in playing in Church League Softball please see Robert Sims ASAP. Games will start around July 13 and are only on Monday nights. The church team will have uniforms that need to be ordered, see Robert for size and cost. Joint Practice with FBC Albertville at Albertville Rec Center Church Softball Field, THIS Monday Night, July 6 at 7pm.
  4. Breakfast Help –Denise Bledsoe needs someone to serve as her backup when she is unable to be there to get the coffee ready and make sure everything is in place for breakfast on Sunday mornings. Please see Denise if you are willing to help.
  5. No Confidence Retreat (Philippians 3:3): July 30-August 1, Braselton, GA. We will be staying at Jennifer's parents house in Braselton, GA (about 40 minutes Northeast of Atlanta). Friday we will go to Six Flags White Water, Cost is $60 per student which will cover all Rec (including White Water) and all breakfasts and dinners and a T-Shirt. Students will be responsible to pay for their own lunch Friday and Saturday. Please let Drew know ASAP if you are planning to attend.
  6. Mission Giving – Brad and Drew are going to Nicaragua in August. Please begin to pray for them and for their trip. Also, it will cost them $1500 each to go. Please prayerfully consider how much
  7.  

    you can give to help them go. Any money over their cost will go into a missions fund to help others in our church go on future mission trips.

Prayer Requests:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Pray for Ruth Thompson, Wanda Parker’s mother. Pray for her husband, Dalton, as he cares for her.
  4. Pray for those with cancer: Linda Duran and Paula Chamblee.

Volunteers for this week:

1’s and 2’s – Robert and Ellen Sims

3’s and 4’s – Jason and Allison Pratt

Food – Kathy Coy - sweet

Wanda Parker - salty

Sunday Stats – July 5, 2009:

Attendance: Worship Service - 59

Offering: $2,517.00

New Covenant Baptist Church – www.DiscoverNewCovenant.com

104 W. Alabama Avenue, Suite A - Albertville, AL 35950 Sunday:

9:30am - Statement of Faith Class

10:30am - Worship Service

6:00pm – Community Groups

Wednesday:

6:00pm – Children’s Activities

6:00pm – Student Activities

6:15pm – Adult Bible Study

July 1, 2009 Volume 2 – Issue 26

A word from our Pastor: Brad Williams

Prepared to Suffer

I have been meditating on the verses of Philippians 3:10-11 where Paul writes, "that I may know Him and the power of his resurrection,
and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead." What does it mean that Paul longed to know Christ so much that he was prepared to share in His sufferings? Is Paul really saying something like, "I want to know Jesus Christ so badly that I am prepared to suffer like him, even to suffer a death like His, if it means I can obtain a resurrection like His." I think he did mean something like that.

Along those lines today, I read an interview of a panel that had "The Endurance of the Saints" as its theme. A question was asked of the panel regarding the consolation of people concerning the death of loved ones, or the impending death of loved ones. John Piper’s answer, the only pastor on the panel, struck me as very apropos to what I had been thinking about. He said, "What you want to do as a pastor is build into their lives the kind of vision of God and his sovereignty and his goodness that gets them ready. I consider that one of my main responsibilities at Bethlehem: to so preach and so teach and so live as to prepare people to suffer."

How do I do that? How do I prepare you to suffer? How do I prepare the church to suffer inevitable loss in this life? How do I prepare people for the pain of the doctor’s visit and they hear, "You have cancer." Or, "I’m sorry, we did all we could, but he didn’t make it." Or, "We just don’t have a place here for you anymore. We’re going to have to let you go."

I thought of this same thing when a pastor friend of mine jokingly said that I should write a book on how to do church discipline. His implication was that I knew how to carry it out and that I could help him and others carry it out. As he said it, my recent life flashed before my eyes, all of the things that myself, my family, and our church has been through, some very private and some very public. Much of it, I believe, the Lord used to discipline myself and others for the purpose of godliness. It has been, and continues to be, quite painful.

I told him that my experience of the Lord’s discipline has been much like a gunshot wound to the leg. Pastors know what to do with a spiritual gunshot wound caused by sin just as the surgeon does. So I told him that in the day when God calls him to be disciplined like that, or calls him to help another through discipline like that, all I know to do is offer him a stick to bite down on.

Another friend and I confessed recently, with tears, that sin is a horror worse than words can describe. Sin is a killer and a murderer that stalks our families, steals our love, kills our joy, seeks our misery, and destroys our relationships. God means to get that sin out, and He will. And it will hurt. He will pry

from our bloodied and clinging hands the poison that is killing us. He is ruthless in killing sin. He is relentless. How do you prepare people for this?

I believe in this context that Paul is not speaking of his suffering over his own personal sin, though we know he did suffer because of it. He is speaking of the sufferings of Jesus Christ who suffered because of the sin of others. It is interesting that after Paul speaks of sharing the sufferings of Christ, he implores Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord. There was in-fighting in Philippi. The people were wounded through sin and strife, and Paul asked Clement to "help these women." That means that Clement would be called to suffer.

When we bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters, when we weep with those who weep, we share their griefs. We share in the fallout of the horrors of sin. Are we prepared to suffer for Christ’s sake? For the sake of others?

The only way I know to prepare us to suffer like this is to keep reminding us that Jesus Christ is Lord, that if we suffer His discipline in our lives it is worth it because God is molding us into His image, that if we suffer because of the sin of others we are doing no more than our Lord and Master did before us and that this is a glorious honor, and that if we suffer with others in their hour of distress, God is bestowing upon us the privilege of being His comforting arm and His listening ear and His sympathetic heart. In all of these things, we are being made like Christ, whose excellencies are greater than anything that a fallen world can offer.

I hope that we reach the place where we all give an answer similar to that of Pastor John Piper. When asked what he would personally do in the face of great tragedy, of great suffering. His response was simple and elegant, "I do know what I would do. I would throw myself on God. That’s what I would do. Weeping my eyes out, I would throw myself on God, and he’d be enough."

May we all long for Jesus so much that we are prepared to endure the fellowship of His suffering, and when that hour of suffering comes, may we trust the Scripture that says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Announcements:

  1. Vacation Bible School – Please begin praying for Vacation Bible School, July 13 – 17. Please pray how the Lord would have you help. See Regina if you want to sign up to help or bring any of the items needed. Things needed for VBS:

 

16 bags shredded cheese 4 large bags miniature marshmallows 4 bags semi-sweet chocolate morsels 6 boxes raisins 4 bags bite-size or square pretzels 4 bags Tostitos Scoops corn chips 3 boxes Keebler Townhouse Toppers Crackers 3 boxes vanilla wafers 3 boxes graham crackers

4 cans vanilla frosting

4 bags butterscotch chips

150 - 200 Fruit Gushers 210 snack size paper plates

350 napkins

350 9-oz. plastic or paper drinking cups

100 snack size resealable plastic bags

3 rolls paper towels

350 hand wipes

Empty Paper Towel Rolls

  1. Groovy Gallery – Next Tuesday the kids are painting pottery at Groovy Gallery. Meet at 1pm at Groovy Gallery in Boaz. Cost is $4.50 plus the cost of item to paint. RSVP with Rory by THIS Sunday. Also some are meeting at Noon at Frizzles in Boaz to eat before hand.
  2. Church Softball – If you are interested in playing in Church League Softball please see Robert Sims ASAP. Games will start around July 13 and are only on Monday nights. The church team will have uniforms that need to be ordered, see Robert for size and cost. Joint Practice with FBC Albertville at Albertville Rec Center Church Softball Field, THIS Monday Night, July 6 at 7pm.
  3. Breakfast Help –Denise Bledsoe needs someone to serve as her backup when she is unable to be there to get the coffee ready and make sure everything is in place for breakfast on Sunday mornings. Please see Denise if you are willing to help.
  4. Mission Giving – Brad and Drew are going to Nicaragua in August. Please begin to pray for them and for their trip. Also, it will cost them $1500 each to go. Please prayerfully consider how much you can give to help them go. Any money over their cost will go into a missions fund to help others in our church go on future mission trips.
  5. Student Retreat - Toward the end of the summer, sometime in late July in Atlanta. We are going to do some fun things in Atlanta and have Bible studies at night. We will be staying at Jennifer’s parents house to cut costs. Stay tuned for details and also let Drew know about any dates that are not good for you and your family.

 

Prayer Requests:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Pray for Ruth Thompson, Wanda Parker’s mother. Pray for her husband, Dalton, as he cares for her.
  4. Pray for those with cancer: Linda Duran and Paula Chamblee.

Volunteers for this week:

1’s and 2’s – Todd Gregg and Steve Hellums

3’s and 4’s – Lisa Spence and Chris Knight

Food – See Denise Bledsoe

Sunday Stats – June 28, 2009:

Attendance: Worship Service - 40

Offering: $3,350.00

New Covenant Baptist Church – www.DiscoverNewCovenant.com

104 W. Alabama Avenue, Suite A - Albertville, AL 35950

Sunday:

9:30am - Statement of Faith Class

10:30am - Worship Service

6:00pm – Community Groups

Wednesday:

6:00pm – Children’s Activities

6:00pm – Student Activities

6:15pm – Adult Bible Study


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.

 

Contact the church office :  (256) 660 0330