Saturday, April 29, 2006


It worked. (See previous blog.) Brownies are now in the oven.

Pastor Noel Dear

Random Thoughts

Just a few thoughts and tidbits...
  • I went to a missions conference in Greenville, SC on Thursday. I left after AWANA awards night on Wednesday and made it to Greenville at 5:00 a.m. the next day. I learned this: I'm not as young as I used to be!
  • The pastor of the church I met with in Greenville, SC used to live in Heath, OH! Not only that, but he used to live on Fieldpoint (the same street I live on today)! It's a small world.
  • The missions conference was very insightful. I look forward to sharing with our church what I learned.
  • My wife got sick while I was out of town. Steve and Barb Moyer rescued her by picking up our children. It's great to have people like them! (My kids told me Steve's bedroom is purple. I'm not sure why that's funny, but it is.)
  • I saw a glimpse of the Children's musical this afternoon. It is good! We will have a very good evening tomorrow (Sunday).
  • We found a music pastor; moved him in this morning; he'll start tomorrow. Just kidding. Everyone keeps asking how close we are to having someone. I keep saying, it all depends on how much you pray.
  • A house caught on fire six houses down from mine today... four fire engines... one rescue squad. It was a big deal to my girls. Thankfully, no one appeared to be hurt.
  • Tomorrow is family day at church. I'm preaching on part 2 of THE GOD CODE.
  • I just finished reading, "The Jesus I Never Knew" by Phillip Yancey. The author takes too liberal a view of Scripture, but the book was interesting. It has encouraged me to be committed to reading through the gospels more often.
  • My seven year old can solve Sudoku better than her dad. I don't know if that makes me proud or humble.
  • My wife bought brownie mix today. She said she might make brownies. She changed her mind. Enough said about that.

Pastor Noel Dear

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Still Here!

Everyone's emailing and asking when the next blog is coming. Here it is.

(Things have been a little busy.)

Good opportunities for outreach...

1. We're about to have our AWANA awards night (in twenty minutes). This will be a great opportunity to reach out to families in our community. (I started to say, "we're fixin' to have our AWANA night," but I knew people would say I even talk southern when I type.)

2. Heath High School just called and asked if we would host their baccalaureate service and bring the message. This will be a very very good opportunity to reach out to families we might not ordinarily come in contact with.

Pray for both of these!

Pastor Noel Dear

Monday, April 24, 2006

Big Announcement

I can't sleep so I thought I would do a quick update on the blog about yesterday's services.

It was great to see our families back from working the winter for the Wycliffe Bible Translators in Orlando. I can't wait to hear their stories!

Sam told me we had more children in Praise Kids (our worship service for children) than we had on Easter Day. That is good news. The regular worship crowd looked good too. Several visitors came out for the kick off of our series of messages dealing with the Da Vinci Code. I look forward to seeing how God will use that in the weeks to come.

We had our "Big Announcement" yesterday. For those who weren't in the service, we passed the milestone of collecting $100,000.00 in our New Beginnings campaign. That is pretty good considering we were on week 23 of 52. Thank you again for your faithfulness, and thank God for His graciousness! Hopefully we are just a couple weeks away from sharing with the church that we've signed a contract for drainage and parking lot repairs. Pray for those details as they come together.

I really enjoyed hearing from our Katrina Relief Mission Team last night. I think they got the whole church more fired up about missions...

Business meeting... I never look forward to business meetings, but what can you do? Last night we had our third consequitive business meeting that lasted less than five minutes! In that time, we formally approved 43 new church members for the quarter. That was exciting! Maybe I can learn to like business meetings...

Back to bed.

Pastor Noel Dear

Friday, April 21, 2006

Da Vinci Deception

It's 12:30 a.m. Friday morning. I finally have a peace about how to approach these messages debunking the Da Vinci Code. This is harder than it seems. It's not a hard task to debunk the book and upcoming movie, but it is hard to do so and keep the focus on the gospel truth that we are here to communicate.

Just in case you would like to read and study ahead of the messages, here is the approach we will take...

This Sunday, we will reveal the danger, the source, and the remedy of deception. People today are too easily deceived by all kinds of things! The Da Vinci Code deception is not the problem, it is merely a symptom of the problem. So first, we will study God's Word on deception. There are many Scripture verses we could go to, but I've decided to focus our attention on Ephesians 6:10-17.

Next Sunday, Lord willing, we will focus on the reliability of Scripture, and then on May 7, we will focus on the nature of Christ. We still plan to do the Q & A on May 10 as has been previously announced.

I am looking forward to Sunday. We will be baptizing again; we have had two people make appointments to talk with someone before the service about their salvation; we have two more parent/child dedications (It seems like people are having babies every week!); and the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

Hope to see you here.

Pastor Noel Dear

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cubbies' Awards Night

Last night, I shortened my Bible Study a bit and slipped out for the Cubbies Awards Night in Harman Hall. 'Cubbies' are those who are not quite old enough to be in the regular AWANA ministry. We had about 30 kids ages 3-5 receive awards last night. Sherry Carter is their leader and has done a great job with this ministry.

It was fun to see the parents (I was one of them) smile as their child walked up to receive his or her award and then dash out into the audience to show mom and dad!

Next Wednesday will be AWANA awards night. That will be something worth looking forward to. Cheryl Wyrick who is our AWANA commander (we have a lot of Sheryl's, Cheryl's, Sherry's, Sherri's, and Sheri's around here) will be leading that service.

Pastor Noel Dear

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Da Plan

This Sunday morning we will begin our series of messages dealing with some of the questions raised by the book and upcoming movie, The Da Vinci Code.

We will spend three Sunday mornings on this and we will have a Q & A on Wednesday, May 10. It is my hope that we can take advantage of our community's interest in the Da Vinci Code to share the truth and proclaim the gospel. Many people have told me that this is the topic of the month in their work places! If it is not yet being discussed where you work, just give it a month. When the movie comes out, everyone will be talking about this! And hopefully you will gain the knowledge and the insight in these messages to share with your friends the truth about Christ and the Bible.

The movie comes out May 19 (the weekend following Mother's Day). We will have completed our study prior to that and will have packaged CD albums of our messages and the Q&A available for a nominal cost. Pray that God will allow us to spread the Word, during this time of questioning in our culture.

What if you have never heard of the Da Vinci Code, you have not read the book and are not going to the movie (which would be a good thing), and no one you know has any interest in this subject? You still need to hear these messages! In reality, the messages won't focus on the Da Vinci Code, they will focus on Scripture. And the questions we will answer ('How can we have confidence in Scripture?' and 'What is the true nature of Christ?') will be of interest to every follower of Jesus.

Look forward to seeing you Sunday!

Pastor Noel Dear

P.S. This coming Sunday (4/23), I will make a big announcement! Stay tuned this week for hints as to what it may be.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Resurrection Day

What a good day we have had! It was exciting to see so many people coming together to worship God. In fact, I'm told our attendance was a record for our church. We had 919 in worship on campus! Pastor Jeff told me we had 141 in worship at New Life, our mission church. That is a total of 1,060 worshippers!

We had at least two people make professions of faith in the FBC services and at least one in the New Life service!

Many people who haven't been in worship in a long time said they would be back next week. Let us pray that they will follow through with their commitments.

Have a great week!

Pastor Noel Dear

P.S. This coming Sunday (4/23), I will make a big announcement! Stay tuned this week for hints as to what it may be.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

46.7 Million

Yesterday we officially decided to go to the Ukraine on missions. We have been kicking this around in various forms for the past couple of months. Pastor Wally and Pastor Jeff have done a great deal of background work on the different scenarios of the trip. Finally, we all feel a peace that we should go and share the gospel in Ukraine.

We will depart on Wednesday, August 23, and return Saturday, September 2. As they say where I grew up... Yall come!

Pastor Wally and Pastor Jeff will be talking to our church about opportunities to go, very shortly. It will be a good trip. Begin now to pray. Pray for the arrangements (which I understand are pretty complicated), the people we will be ministering to, and your own involvement. We are going to ask that everyone in the church be involved in some way. Some can go, some can help prepare, some can give, some can fill in for missed responsibilities while others are gone...

There are 46.7 million people in Ukraine. Most are lost. God has been slowly opening the door for the gospel and for churches in the last fifteen years. In 1991 the country broke away from the old Soviet Union. That event began the lifting of restrictions on the protestant churches. In December of 2004, due to the 'Orange Revolution,' a reformer named Viktor YUSHCHENKO became the president. (You may remember the news story of the man who was poisoned with dioxin while he ran for president. He lost the election, but then there were mass demonstrations. They held a new election, and the previously poisoned man won. That was Ukraine.) This new president has further opened the door for visitors and missionaries to share the gospel.

I think this will be a very good trip for us. I believe God will use us there in a significant way!

Pastor Noel Dear

Monday, April 10, 2006

Looking Back... Looking Forward...

Looking Back...

We had a pretty good day yesterday. We had a packed house in our morning worship; we saw two more people baptized; our mission team had returned safely from Mississippi; our choir, drama team, and banner team did an outstanding job on our Easter musical; and we saw two men make professions of faith during our musical!

My hat is off to Gina DeVault. Her behind the scenes leadership with the musical was outstanding. It is hard to have so many elements of a musical come off so well. From lighting and spotlight people, to sound people, to costumes, to make-up teams, not to mention the acting, singing, and banners... Great job, Gina!

Looking Forward...

This is Easter week. Please be praying for our services this Sunday. Pray for people as they invite family, friends, and neighbors. Pray as we prepare the music and the message. Most of all, pray and thank God for the miracle of Easter, the resurrection of Christ, that makes our abundant life possible.

Pastor Noel Dear

Monday, April 3, 2006

Make A Difference In Two Minutes

What if you could really make a difference in two minutes? It might be the best two minutes of your day. Interested? Here it goes...

Stop what you're doing right now and pray for the things on this list. God will honor your prayers in two ways. First, your prayers will change things on this end! Secondly, every time we pray, our prayer strengthens the fellowship and the closeness we have with our Lord. So give it two minutes... really...

  • Pray for the safety and the fruitfulness of our missions team in Mississippi today working on Katrina Relief.
  • Pray for our church as we make final preparations for Easter this week.
  • Pray for our choir, drama team, banner team, and production team as they prepare for Saturday night's Easter Musical.
  • Pray for the music pastor search team as we meet today for the first time.
  • Pray for yourself; pray that you will bring honor to God by the things you do and say today.

Pastor Noel Dear