Message from our Pastor
You may know the story of John Newton, the former captain of a slave ship that was converted to Christ, and then went onto fight against slavery and write one of the most famous hymns of all time, “Amazing Grace.” But you may not know how we was converted. On one of his voyages, a terrible storm hit his ship; he, along with everybody on board, was in danger of losing their life. It was then that the scriptures his mother taught him when he was a young child flashed into his mind: “Because I have called and ye have refused, … I will also laugh at your calamity." Proverbs 1:24-28. It was then that he was converted and started a life that would shape the church for centuries to come.
One of the amazing things about this story is that we have the very same Word that is just as living and active and powerful today, (Hebrews 4:12) And the Lord still invites us into that power and peace. If you’re like me, you have seasons where you feel motivated to read God’s Word and seasons where it is difficult. Maybe the difficult seasons come more often than the easy ones. If that’s you, I would venture an educated guess that you are struggling to find joy, intimacy and peace with Jesus. It’s also likely that holiness is difficult too, as the saying goes, “when our Bibles get dusty our eyes get lusty.” Newton put it this way, “There are many who stumble in the noon-day, not for want of light, but for want of eyes.” If you're discontent in your walk with The Lord, could it be because you're not giving your eyes to His Word, to see Him?
This is not legalism, which I once saw defined as “taking gray issues and making them black and white, while liberalism is taking black and white issues and making them gray.” The Lord has been clear, if we want to enjoy Him, know Him, and grow in Him, then one of the avenues He gives us for that is His word. It's there, in black ink on white paper, on every page of our Bibles.
So my encouragement for you is seek Him in his word today. Don’t wait to make it a New Year’s resolution (that actually can be legalism). Instead use this new day with with new grace and new mercies to seek His face. If you’re a novice or if your dust jacket has literal dust on it, then I would suggest starting with this reading plan. My community group just started working together on it and it’s been phenomenal. In five minutes a day, five days a week, you can read through the New Testament in a year. Can you imagine what the Lord could and will do through that kind of time in His Word?
As Hosea sang, “Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord”.
Pressing on with you,
New Sermon Series | This Weekend
We highly encourage you to make church a priority over the next three weeks as we begin a new sermon series on where we believe God is leading us as a church!
All Church Prayer
We would love for you to join us on the first Sunday of every month for our all church prayer night. This is an informal event where we pray for personal, church and global things going on in the world around us. Kids are welcome to participate!
Our last Women's Gathering of the year will take place on November 9th from 7:00-8:30pm! Mark your calendars and join us for some fun! Please register here so we know who's coming and what Thanksgiving side/dessert you'll be bringing to share.
Additionally, Barb Soden mentioned that Call for Help is in need of clothing for women this winter. Call for Help is a Belleville women’s shelter that provides emergency help to victims of abuse and short term housing for women and their children. If you are able to come this evening, would you consider bringing a shirt or pair of tnat you no longer need that's in good condition (or new underwear)? If so, please put it in a ziplock bag and label it with the size so we can give it to women in need.
Assemblies of God and Journey Metro East Worship Night
You are invited to attend a night of worship with our brothers and sisters at First Belleville Assemblies of God church (900 Fair Oaks Dr. Belleville, IL, 62221) on Wednesday, Nov. 22nd at 7pm. Our worship teams will be joining together to lead this service of prayer and worship, and Pastor Curtis will be speaking on unity in Christ. Let's take some time before the busy holiday to foster thankfulness in our hearts towards God.
It's the last call for our all-church surveys!
If you're over 18 and haven't taken our survey (even if a spouse or family member has), we want to hear from you so we can serve you better! Additionally, if you took our first survey, but have yet to take the followup survey, please take a moment to fill it out. We appreciate you taking the time to help us know you better!
Chili Cook Off Winner
Here is Bob Hursey, the winner of the 5th Annual Chili Cook-Off. It was his first year entering, and he WON!! His wife Amanda told me he wanted to make it three times to practice the week of the event but he only made it once. Way to go Bob!!
This month, we were able to snag a copy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together and a yummy smelling soap called Afternoon Apple Picking from Bath & Body Works! The first person to leave the church a message about who Ruth's sister-in-law was wins!