On The Journey, Judy Bowman

“A model for fathers”

We’re about to celebrate Father’s Day and we honor all the men in our lives who have been our fathers. Whether they are related to us by biology or marriage or by the fatherhood of ordination, our lives are blessed and enriched by the men we know and love. Just a few months ago we celebrated Jesus’ birth at Christmas. As we recall the events surrounding the birth of Christ, it is the Baby Who is the “star of the show.” It’s that way at every birth, isn’t it? All eyes are on the child. The “co-star” of the blessed event is the mom, whose love and labor helped bring the new life into the world. In the case of Jesus’ mother Mary, it was also her great faith and cooperation with God’s will that brought Christ to save us. And in the Christmas drama, there was also a “supporting actor” who played a most important role. Joseph wasn’t Jesus’ biological father, but he was His father in every other sense of the word.

God certainly carefully selected the woman who would be the mother of His Son. He must have been just as careful finding the perfect foster-father. The prophets had foretold that the Messiah would be of King David’s royal line and at that time, a child’s lineage was determined by that of his father. Joseph legally bound Jesus to the house of David and because of these ties, it was required that Joseph and Mary journey to Bethlehem for the census which would fulfill prophecy. Joseph protected Mary and the Child Jesus by taking them to Egypt when Herod sought them out. He gave Jesus a stable, loving, and prayerful home where He could “grow in wisdom, age, and grace” (Luke 2:52). Joseph was the man in Jesus’ life, His role model. From him, Jesus learned a trade, but He also learned how to be a man.

Joseph was a just man, an honest man, a courageous man of integrity. For a few moments, consider this remarkable life. His fiancee Mary had become pregnant before their marriage, but not by him. Try to imagine his shame, hurt and anger as he struggled to come to terms with her news. Joseph believed in Mary’s virginal purity. He didn’t understand how she could have become pregnant, but he did not doubt her purity. At the same time, he loved her and didn’t want to leave her vulnerable to the shame and punishment he fully expected would be her lot. He had to make a decision and make it quickly. So, as difficult as it must have been for him, he decided to quietly divorce Mary. That is, until an angel of the Lord appeared to him and affirmed that Mary’s Child was the Son of God.

Just as Mary is for us, so too is Joseph a model of incredible faith. From the moment of his angelic dream, Joseph’s life was consumed by his overwhelming faith in God’s plan for his family. Jesus came into the world within a specific family at a precise moment in history. The marriage of Joseph and Mary provided the unique home to fulfill all the prophecies surrounding the Messiah. Their relationship of joyful celibacy and self-giving can be seen as mirroring the marriage feast of the Lamb in Heaven. And in living out God’s will for our salvation, remember that Joseph just didn’t “go along with” God’s plan because of Mary’s special role in it. He was a vital and active participant in the formation of the Holy Family. As St. Luke describes him: “Here is the wise and faithful servant, whom the Lord has put in charge of his household” (12:42). St. Joseph is the model of guardians and protectors of our precious faith. This gentle and caring man, who held his own Salvation in his arms, never failed in his duties as husband and father. From his humble home in Nazareth, his unquestioning faith in God allowed Love to grow and mature and ultimately, to conquer the world. We celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph each March 19. And we celebrate the fathers in our own lives every day. Pray for these men and ask St. Joseph to protect, to guide and to watch over them always.

“St. Joseph was an ordinary sort of man on whom God relied to do great things. He did exactly what the Lord wanted him to do, in each and every event that made up his life.” — St. Jose Maria Escriva

MaKayla Thomas, North Whitfield Baptist Church

This Sunday Brother JT Sanders preached on salvation and where you go after death. Either you’re ready or you’re not; you’re saved or you’re lost. After you die you don’t get a second chance at salvation; you either take the opportunity while you have it or you don’t. As for upcoming events we have the youth meeting to put together the bags for the homeless this Friday, May 31st, and will be giving them out June 1st, this Saturday. On June 3rd we will be having visitation at 6:30pm and June 8th at 10am. June 9th is when we will be holding Homecoming. Then on June 13th-15th the men and boys will be going on a fishing trip, so be sure to ask JT for more information on that. Be sure to come down to North Whitfield sometime, we would love to have you!

Glenda Smiley, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

Pleasant Valley Baptist had a great day Sunday honoring the Lord and our great country. Memorial Day is a national holiday set aside to acknowledge, respect and honor our nation and all the brave men and women who have served some having paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we hold dear. As it has been said, “freedom isn’t free”. America is only some 200 years old and her history is one of fighting to have and to maintain freedom for all. America has fought on foreign soils for the freedom of others to maintain their freedom.

Psalm 60:4 “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.” Banner is mentioned some twenty times in the Bible. Most often it is translated a standard, an ensign. God gave the house of Israel a flag (Isaiah 13:2). God has given America a flag, Old Glory, The flag should be respected. It cannot be respected by disrespectful acts of opposition. Our flag represents freedom including the right to dissent and to protest, but should never included being trampled upon, burned, spit upon, and degraded such as by refusing to stand and salute the flag which has given and guarantees freedom for all. God has also given Christians a flag to be respected and reverenced. The flags both stand for pride, pledge of loyalty, protection, proclamation and power. Godly pride in the grace of God. All government rises and falls on Christ. Pledge of loyalty is loyalty to something that is worth dying for. Protection speaks of the thousands who stand ready every day to protect, defend and assure our freedoms. They rise to the challenge as do Christians to defend their faith. Proclamation, proclaiming all are free. In American, all are free and Christians are free in Christ. Our nation and our faith in Christ gives the ability to be what we desire. Americans and Christian are free to worship without intervention of soldiers, police, or government oversight. Power, a military that is the most powerful in the world, well equipped and ready. As is our God! Power comes from God (Ps 33:12, Prov 14:34, Is 26:15). As an American, we have soldiers to defend our nation. As Christians, we are soldiers of the cross. There are no secret Christians. God needs people who will stand and proclaim the gospel of Christ and God’s holy Word. Soldiers who will defend unto death. God never changes and stands for all the Christian values so important to our faith in Him and our nation upon which it was founded. Pledge loyalty first to God, rest assured in the protection of God (thousand of angels at His command), proclaim that all are free in Christ from sin and lift high the banner (flag) of Christ and of our great country, America! Stand up for our nation and for our Savior.

Continue to pray with us for all the many needs in our community, our state, and our nation. Pray for leadership of our country, defenders, and first responders. Pray for our churches preaching faithfully God’s Word. Pray for people to realize their needs and privileges abounding in our nation and in Christ. Pray for missionaries around the world, pray for revival, for souls to be saved. Remember our church, our pastor and family, our needs and opportunity to reach those around us. Pray for Vacation Bible School scheduled for July 22-26, 6:30 pm to be used of God and for kids to attend. We ask special pray for Eleventh Street Baptist, Dalton, in the loss of Pastor Ron Guffey’s wife this past week and for Brother Stinnett Ballew with illness.

Birthday wishes to Dianne Hullender on the 29th. Have a wonderful day!

Our service times are Sunday School 10 AM, Worship 11 AM, Evening 6 PM with prayer time at 5:45 PM. Wednesday evening Bible Study and Youth at 7 PM. Call for transportation 706 537-3633.

We sincerely invite you to attend our services and be part of our fellowship in the Lord. Truth is always preached and lifted up with music to touch your heart and prepare you for worshipping God.