On The Journey, Judy Bowman

“Hope”

After so many hours of terrible waiting and pain in the darkness and rubble, the little girl was pulled alive from the wreck of her Italian home. Saving her gave the rescue workers hope that others still needed them, and so they went on digging and listening, searching for other survivors. In the convent, the sisters were injured and bleeding. Only two of them had survived, scared and trapped and unsure if anyone was around to hear their cries for help. They were afraid. Using her cell phone, one of the sisters sent goodbye messages to her family, believing she was about to die. But she didn’t die. A worker from their convent rescued them.

In Louisiana, neighbors with boats went around saving neighbors without boats in the recent floods. They pulled them through windows and off of roofs and lifted them out of the dark water. They took their dogs and cats along, too. They wrapped them in blankets and gave them coffee and sandwiches. It wasn’t their job to rescue people, but they did it anyway. Because that’s what neighbors do for one another.

The firefighters have been battling in the hills and canyons for months now. The heat and drought and winds make it hard to get ahead of the flames. So many fires in so many places. This part of California, with all its homes and ranches and horse farms is a tinder keg of desert scrub. In the 120 degree heat, the firefighters cut brush, build fire breaks and help people and animals evacuate. They’re nearly always in danger themselves and they’ll work until the last fire is out and the ashes are cold.

Every day across the world people are reaching out to help one another. Some in big ways—like in an earthquake or a flood or a wildfire. But many, many more are in a million other small ways that never make the headlines. And it’s in those million small connections that love and mercy live. That’s where and how the Kingdom of God is built. J.R.R. Tolkien and I agree on that. He writes that where some folks believe “only great power can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found that it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folks that keeps the darkness at bay.” Oh, yes, Mr. Tolkien, once again, you’ve got things right.

Because for every headline rescue, there are a million of those “small acts” of kindness and love. And they save lives, and spirits, too. They give hope and joy to countless people every day, all over the world. And I believe it is in these person-to-person non-headline kindnesses that the mercy of God is most fully revealed in our world. And every day, each one of us is called to participate. Called by the King of Kings, no less. This is how we share in the Hope of Christ.

I know the world looks like a mess. On the face of things, it seems broken beyond repair. So it can be easy to hide behind all sorts of masks and excuses and we can choose to stay on the sidelines. But not if we follow Christ. Being a Christian means jumping in with both feet and engaging the chaos and darkness of the world. And our armor is the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11). It’s not by taking a pass, but by meeting life head-on, in the trenches, and reflecting the light of Christ to others. You might not see your name in the headlines, but you’ll be building the Kingdom of Heaven—person to person, moment to moment, heart to heart. Choose hope!

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage: anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” — St. Augustine

MaKayla Thomas, North Whitfield Baptist Church

This Sunday Brother JT Sanders preached on salvation and what it means to be saved. He said salvation is deliverance to everlasting joy and away from sin. We’ve needed salvation since we were created, without it we will face the wrath of God and not be able to get into Heaven. You cannot work or buy your way into Heaven, salvation is the only way.

As for upcoming events, we have Old Fashioned Day the 11th, cookies and watermelon after church the 25th, and the youth is going bowling the 31st. We’ve also opened sign ups for the drama and would love for anyone that could to join.

Be sure to come down to North Whitfield sometime, we would love to have you!

Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

Life is discouraging and wickedness reigns. Everyday lived on this earth, the world becomes more wicked. Man came from the womb dying and everyday we are closer to death.

Pastor Flood’s worship message was based from Haggai 1:2-3. Chapter 1 vs 2 the Lord is speaking through Haggai the prophet, so the need must be great. The Lord is telling the people it is time, indeed, high time, His house, the temple, should be built. The temple had actually been started about sixteen years earlier (Ezra 3-2-4:5). They had left off the work of the temple because of discouragement and worked on their own homes. Their comfort and pleasure came before God’s dwelling place. God told them to “consider their ways”. They had sown but reaped little. They had food and drink but not enough. They had clothes that did not keep them warm and what they earned was like putting it in a bag with holes. The remedy to their situation was to obey the command of God to build His house and He would take pleasure in it and be glorified. God rebuked them. They looked for much and got little because God’s house was in ruins. They suffered from drought. There was no dew and no fruit. They had returned to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon only to find it in ruins. They became discouraged and felt it was not worth trying. It was too much. God’s people are the same today, If the work is too great they withdraw and become overwhelmed. The task may be great and may be impossible for us, but definitely not impossible with God.

Secondly, consider our time. Time is a quickly passing commodity. The amount of time is unknown for each of us but impacts eternity relating to ourselves and to others. The judgment of God is coming and believers must stay the course. The people had said it was not time to rebuild, God said build. If task for God are postponed, it may be with great eternal cost. There is no more convenient time! With ever trial of life, God’s timing is right! The future may be unknown, but God knows. It is high time to awake, and change our garments and put on righteousness. Who should question God? If Christ comes to rapture the church tomorrow, what would be the cost of all that was put off today for a more convenient time? The captives had a personal interest in their own homes while God’s house wasted. Material things do not bring satisfaction. Churches are famished and lacking faith. God’s Word tells us to “seek ye first the kingdom of God”.

Third, consider the view of judgment. Material things never complete or satisfy. They are one thing after another. The spiritual, if not fed, falls to sinfulness and selfishness. If there is never a spiritual increase or eternal profit i.e. souls saved, work of church, there is reason for concern. God is the same today and is still in business of saving souls. Paul said he labored to be accepted in the Lord, this life and eternity. God’s approval. It should be our goal for God to see Christ in us and living through us.

Consider the view of commandment. The temple was for worship and testimony. The body of Christ, the spiritual temple is for worship and witness. Often praying is not enough, but are commanded to go. The temple was not prayed into existence; there was work. Eph 2:19-20 God has given the commandment to go into all the world. Time is running short! Consider thy ways with regard to time, judgment and God’s commands. Christ could return at any moment!

Saturday, August 10, 3 pm, we will acknowledge the start of school. PVBC will hold a Back 2 School Bash. There will be good food and fun with inflatables. There will be free book bags with school supplies presented. Please let us be a blessing and help provide some of the school needs kids may have.

Sunday, August 11th, PVBC will honor and recognize the retirement of Brother Harry Hullender. Harry is friend and family to many in the area. Please come and celebrate this great moment in his life. He would be blessed and so would you! There will be a reception following the morning service.

Please pray with us for those with physical needs, Jewel Mitchell, Carolyn Denton, Lula Petty, Denise Pitts, Claudette Armstrong, and many other of which the Lord knows their name and their need. Pray for Pastor Flood and his family, for the church and ministries including missionaries, Sunday school, youth, nursing homes and homeless, orphans. Pray for our country/leaders, congress, Israel/America. Remember about the border and the Iran/N. Korea/China situations. Pray for families of recent shooting victims El Paso, Tx. and Dayton, Oh. Pray about this growing problem in America. Pray for PVBC to grow and spread the gospel in this area. Souls to be saved.

Services are live streamed on Facebook. Service times are Sunday School 10AM, Worship 11AM, Evening 6PM with prayer at 5:45PM. Wednesday Bible Study and Youth Kid’s Zone meet at 7PM. Call for transportation 706-537-3633.