Church Family Newsletter | April 22, 2022
When I think about that, my mind is blown! The years are truly flying by! Sure, I've messaged her and her family via Facebook but it's not the same as spending time with someone "in the flesh." It was really nice to catch up with each other - or as they say in Hawaii - "talking story"! It was interesting to hear what the various family members were doing now and what life lessons we have each learned so far.
We laughed. We got serious at moments. And then we laughed again! I think the wait staff was wondering what was going on in our corner of the restaurant. (We actually would have kept talking but the restaurant was closing.)
It was good for the soul. It was good to hear of the faithfulness of God. Through good times and bad times, He is always near. And as we parted, it didn't have to be said. We know that God will continue to see us through the next chapters of our lives.
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20
A few weeks ago I shared a story about the Stolperstein in former German-occupied countries in Europe [https://www.salvationarmyconcordca.org/bitsnpieces/?id=stolpersteine] pointing out that physical memorials are important in ensuring that essential lessons of history are not forgotten. That same verse from Joshua which prompted my thinking is still on my mind but for a different reason this time.
“When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land.”
Joshua 4:21-22 KJV
The Old Testament is full of sad stories of the nation of Israel stumbling, bumbling, and fumbling on the way from Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. But one of the saddest verses in the Bible is found in the Book of Judges:
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.”
How could this be?
The first generation of Israelites who were freed from captivity in Egypt was not permitted to enter the promised land because of their constant moaning and groaning, whining and disobedience, and their refusal to trust God to provide for them despite the many miracles and blessings showered upon them. So God waited for a second generation who would obey his commands and believe he was faithful to his promises.
It was forty years after they left Egypt to wander in the Sinai Desert that Joshua and Caleb (not Moses and Aaron) were ready to lead the nation into the promised land. As usual, this looked like an impossibility, because to get there they would have to cross the River Jordan at flood stage. Sounding like the challenge Moses faced at the Red Sea?
As soon as the priests leading the people stepped into the roaring water, the flow stopped twenty miles upstream and “stood up in a heap”! After all the twelve tribes had crossed over, God told Joshua to have twelve men gather twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan and build a cairn to remind the people what God had done for them.
Joshua told the people:
“In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” Joshua 4:6-7
So why didn’t the following generation know about it? Their parents obeyed up to a point. They set up the memorial, they praised God for delivering them yet again. But they didn’t tell their children the story. The miraculous account of God’s dealing died with them and as a result their children just had no idea! For the want of personal testimony, another generation was lost.
People need to be told that God will be faithful in perilous times and it becomes all the more believable because you have experienced his faithfulness in perilous times. Your personal knowledge of God’s greatness and goodness is worth thousands of eloquent sermons on the subject.
After his resurrection and before His ascension Jesus told his followers:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV
The apostles figured out what to do. There is a marvelous story in the book of Acts:
“Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people all about this new life.”
Acts 5:17-20 NIV
Your personal testimony about being freed from some metaphorical (or even real) prison may be what moves the Kingdom of God forward for the next generation. You do not have a right to withhold your experience, rather, I would suggest you have an obligation to share it, for the sake of future generations.
“Go! And tell!"
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
This Week's Schedule
- 9:00 AM - Jr. Praise Team Rehearsal - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - Corps Cadets - Library
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom 3
- 10:15 AM - Prayer Time - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service - Chapel
- 12:15 PM - Refreshments & Fellowship - Fireside Room
- 12:30 PM - Youth Music Rehearsals - Chapel
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- 6:00 PM - Women's Bible Study - Zoom
- 7:00 PM - Songster Practice - Chapel
- 8:00 PM - Musicians' Devotions & Prayer - Chapel
- 8:15 PM - Senior Band Practice - Chapel
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: Estate Planning - Fireside Room
- 4:00 - 7:00 PM - Spring Craft Fair - Vendors Set-Up
- 7:30 - 9:00 AM - Spring Craft Fair - Vendors Set-Up
- 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM - Spring Craft Fair
NEXT SUNDAY (May 1st)
Mike McKaigg is going to start a Music Theory 101/Basic Fundamentals Class geared mostly toward adults. This will include learning how to read music - notes and rhythm. For beginners or those that need a refresher. If you are interested in attending, please let Mike know. This will be done during the Youth Music Rehearsal in Classroom 2.
Spring Craft Fair
Leave your contact information at the Registration Table. Names will be drawn for prizes every half hour.
Good Friday Service
Scorpy Receives an Award
World Service/Self-Denial Campaign
World Services Information Table
Click here to share your requests. Requests will be prayed for in our Prayer Room and distributed through our Prayer Chain. Requests can be made anonymously.
Save the Dates
Bethel One Day Retreat
As we witness the increasing instability of our culture, now is not the time for us as Christians to wring our hands and stick our heads in the sand. Nothing is happening that God has not already told us would happen. As women of faith, we are to be strong and of good courage. The Bible tells us repeatedly to not be afraid. We are in this place and this time in history because God has a particular purpose for each one of us. So, let's get together and try to understand what is going on in the world and focus on where we go from here!
- Coffee and muffins will be served in the morning.
- Lunch will be at no cost, however, donations are gratefully accepted.
- There will be a short prayer walk during the lunch break for those who are able.
- We will have a raffle drawing at the end of the day.
- We will have music and some entertainment.
- This is a FREE event!
Date: Saturday, May 21
Time: 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Bethel Baptist Church
3578 Clayton Road
Concord, CA 94519
Contact Patty Lim at (925) 323-4296 or email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
The deadline is May 14th.
National Prayer Focus: Cadets & Candidates
Dear Salvationist Friends:
I bring you an urgent message. We still do not have the number of Candidates for the upcoming Session in the Fall. We need to be even more persistent in our prayers to our Great and Faithful God.
I read something on Facebook the other day, that I would like to share.
"God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers, and never silent to your pain. He sees, He hears, and He will deliver."
That is why I come to you for this month of April in this unique way: By Session*: Praying this prayer, or your version of it:
Lord, You see our need, will You meet it? We need 50 Cadets in each of our four Training Colleges in order for us to maintain our service to You and the populace of this Nation and World. 'Fifty or more for '24' as my friend Rick put it last week. Lord lay a mighty calling on Your choices. We give you praise and we worship You today and all of our tomorrows. Amen and Amen!
April 1 Hold Fast, Crusader, Soldiers of the Cross
April 2 Steadfast, Valiant, Overcomers
April 3 Liberty, Companions of Christ, Heralds of Good News
April 4 Fearless, Visionaries, God's Fellow Workers
April 5 Challengers, Disciples of Jesus, Witnesses for Jesus
April 6 Warriors, Joyful Evangelist, Heralds of Good News
April 7 Kings Messengers, Proclaimers of Salvation, Prayer Warriors
April 8 Peacemakers, God's Soldiers, Ambassadors of Holiness
April 9 Standard Bearers, God's Messengers, Friends of Christ
April 10 Ambassadors, Heralds of Hope, Lightbringers
April 11 The Intercessors, Servants of God, Blood and Fire
April 12 The Shepherds, Proclaimers of the Resurrection
April 13 Soul Winners, Crusaders of the Truth, Followers of Christ
April 14 Sword Bearers, Proclaimers of the Gospel, Forward
April 15 Faithful, Messengers of Peace, Believers
April 16 Courageous, Disciples of Christ, Crossbearers
April 17 Pioneers, Messengers of Joy
April 18 Great Hearts, Heralds of Grace, Builders of the Kingdom
April 19 Soldiers of Christ, Guardians of the Truth
April 20 Servants of Christ, Messengers of hope, Bridgebuilders
April 21 Heroes of the Faith, Witnesses for Jesus
April 22 Proclaimers of the Faith, Ambassadors for Christ
April 23 Witnesses of the Faith, Joyful Intercessors
April 24 Defenders of the Faith, Messengers of the Gospel
April 25 Messengers of the Faith, Followers of Jesus
April 26 The Evangelist, Messengers of God's Love
April 27 Undaunted, Heralds of Jesus
April 28 Victorious, Messengers of Compassion
April 29 Crusaders for Christ, Messengers of the Kingdom, Preparers of the Way
April 30 Faithful Intercessors, Messengers of Light, Messengers of Grace
William Booth once said, "Work as if everything depended upon work and pray as if everything depends upon your prayer".
May God bless each of you abundantly.
Under the Blood and Fire, I am,
Major Ray Patrick
Note: A "session" is what each group of cadets is called. A cadet is a person in training to be an officer or pastor in The Salvation Army - similar to a seminary student. They receive their session name when they enter the College for Officers Training and they carry this name throughout their years of service.
International Prayer Focus
EASTERN EUROPE TERRITORY
- The Strategic Mission Plan theme for the Territory is Faith and Courage, based on Joshua 1:9. Pray that all that happens in EET will be underpinned by this and that the Salvationists of the Territory will desire to be people of Faith and Courage.
- The Territory has just concluded 40 Days of Scripture and we praise God for the way in which Salvationists of all ages have delved into Scripture during this time. Pray that this will set in the hearts of all who participated a daily desire to read God's Word.
- We praise God for the young people of the Territory as they are led by an enthusiastic and forward-thinking Youth and Children's Team. Pray for this generation that they will rise to be spiritually strong and mature leaders who make a difference for God's Kingdom within the Territory.
- We praise God for the way He continues to call people into service as Officers. Pray for the current sessions of Cadets and that more people will say ‘yes’ to full-time service.
- Praise is given for the continued opening of doors for the ministry in Bulgaria. Pray for the team as they discern God's direction for ministries in that country.
- Covid continues its hold on the people, ministry, and economy of the Territory. Pray for resources to help with the physical impact and resilience of those who minister both spiritually and practically.
- Pray for peace, unity, wisdom, and protection for people who are in places of unrest within the Territory.
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