Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What A Weekend!

We are rapidly approaching a giant weekend here at FBC Heath.

Our Global Focus emphasis will kick off this weekend!

I can't wait for the church to see and hear some of what I've seen and heard about how Global Focus can help us become a truly "Missions Driven" Church. You are going to love hearing from these three guys!

Sportsman Banquet, Saturday evening!

A lot of preparation is going into this event on Saturday evening. I am looking forward to it. I hope everyone will come and enjoy some wonderful food, music, and message!

Keep all of this in your prayers!

Pastor Noel

P.S. Parking lot renovation will not hinder our services tonight. Hope to see you here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Global Focus

We are getting geared up for our upcoming Global Focus weekend. As it turns out, the entire Global Focus all star team will be with us for the weekend. Larry Reeser, the founder of the organization will be preaching here on Sunday morning. Jim Sheffield, the vice president of Global Focus and the author behind much of the material that is used will be leading our Friday and Saturday sessions. Bill Leonhard, a former Wycliffe Bible translater, and the head of their mentoring services will be leading sessions on Friday and Saturday, but will also be teaching during our Sunday School // Connect Group hour on Sunday.

It's going to be a great weekend.

Bill shared with me and Pastor Jeff yesterday about what he will do during the Sunday School hour. It is going to be an eye opening time for our church.

Pray that our focus will be God's focus as we seek to become the church He would have us to be!

Pastor Noel Dear

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I now regret the 'fairly wholesome' comment.

Noel Dear

American Idol

There is no Adult Bible Study tonight due to the parking lot reconstruction, therefore I have a hole in my schedule where I would usually be studying for the message. What could I do with those hours?

I could write an article on a really deep theological issue such as 'The Five Points of Calvinism" or "The Mystery of the Trinity. " Or I could dig really deep and write about... American Idol.

I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but I've watched the show this year. I didn't see the previous seasons, although I heard a great deal about them. Several times someone from Alabama has been in the finals and it was always a big deal when I lived there.

This year, we decided to watch as a family. As it turns out, for the most part, it is a fairly wholesome show. It probably helps that I can't understand what words they are singing half the time, and I can't understand what the words mean the other half the time. (What does 'He shall be levon' mean anyway?)

I don't really have a problem with the show. My problem lies with the show title and the poor job I've done talking to my kids about it.

Last night this was brought home when I heard one of my daughters say, "Who's Your Idol" (a phrase they use often on the show).

Who's Your Idol?

If you could rank sins from bad to worse, it is clear with just a cursory glance at the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, that nothing beats idolatry. In fact, Who's Your Idol was a game the Israelites played time and again, and each time God brought swift judgment and devastating calamity on those who played.

I am not suggesting that watching the "American Idol" television show is idolatry. It's just a show. But I am saying that we have become way too casual about idols, idol worship, and idolatry.

When four-year-olds are asking, 'Who's Your Idol,' we have a problem!

Biblically speaking, an Idol is...
  • Anything we use to represent God.
  • Anything we trust in more than God.
  • Anything we love more than God.
  • Anything we celebrate more than God.

With that definition, we can see that there are many, many American Idols!

So, what's my point?

Perhaps it would be wise for us to stop and compare the love, devotion, worship we direct toward God with the love, devotion, and worship we direct toward other things in our lives (whether they be pop singers, or jobs, or money, or ...)

Perhaps it would be wise to talk to our children about what an idol really is, and take the opportunity to ask them what the most important thing in their life is.

Perhaps it would be wise not to be so casual with the phrase, 'Who's Your Idol.' I know that sounds legalistic, but let me put it this way... If the word 'idol' refers to the 'god' in your life (as it does in the Bible), then we're really saying, "Who's Your God?" Would you, in a million years, ever say about a two bit pop singer, "He/She Is My God!" No? Then let us choose our words wisely.

What do you think?

Pastor Noel Dear

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pretty In Pink

I will probably get fussed at for sharing this, but I just can't keep it in.

We are receiving resumes for our Music Pastor position almost daily. In fact, it is cumbersome to sort through them all. But we did received one at the end of last week that really stuck out...


What kind of thought processes go into a decision to print your resume in PINK? What kind of message were you trying to send?

Not to be too harsh, but if you are the one who sent the resume and you are reading this blog, I'm sorry to inform you, that you just don't fit the initial profile for this position.

All kidding aside (although we really did get the PINK resume), pray for our search process. It is moving forward. I am trying now to identify candidates that we will take a closer look at.

We need the Lord's guidance and provision in this. Keep praying.

Pastor Noel Dear

P.S. Comments will be moderated on this post.... :)

On a more serious note... Chuck Cameron was hospitalized yesterday in Zanesville. Possible heart attack. Keep he and Connie in your prayers.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Catch Up Blog

The Blogs have been slow in coming the last several days. Maybe this week will be a little better.

My new most embarrassing moment: Yesterday morning's sermon... Point 3, Sub point 4, Illustration 1.

If you weren't there... well, you should have been. See what you miss.

We baptized again yesterday. Good service. Good response.

Today is the annual Heartbeats golf tournament at the Country Club. That is a very worthwhile organization. I am looking forward to being able to support them today. And it has nothing to do with it being a guilt-free day on the golf course... :)

The major part of the parking lot reconstruction should take place this week. Therefore the office may be closed a couple days. There will be no Wednesday services.

Global Focus is just around the corner!

Enough rambling for today.

Pastor Noel

P.S. Be praying for Bo Bogardus (is that really his name?) today. He is having some critical medical tests done.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Yesterday & Misc.

We had a pretty good day yesterday. Good crowd. Good spirit. The kids did a fine job of kicking off the morning service! We saw another person come forward to make public a profession of faith, and we closed the service with Baptism for the who knows how many weeks in a row!

Busy week ahead... keep the church in your prayers this week. Probably the most exciting thing on the agenda is that we are preparing for our biggest ever New Members Class this coming Sunday.

Tonight is our monthy Meals-Made-With-Love. If you have never been to this event, stop by on your way home tonight. We'll have over 100 people from the community come in for a hot meal. This is a great opportunity to sit down and show the Love of Christ to people you might not otherwise talk to! Many of these people are lonely and hurting, and the only kindness they experience in life is what they get when they come here for this meal.

Another request for prayer... Dick Freeman will begin cancer treatments this week. Also, a friend of mine's wife, Penny Leonhard, will be undergoing cancer treatments this Wednesday.

Pastor Noel

Friday, May 12, 2006

What's Up?

Let me give you a brief heads up for Sunday...
  • Our Sunday morning message will focus on marriage. We will see Bible answers to questions such as, "How Can I Help My Marriage Last Forever?"
  • Our kids choir will be singing Sunday morning.
  • We will collect our Annie Armstrong offering for North American Missions in the morning service.
  • In the Evening we will continue our walk through the last part of the book of Romans. We will be in Romans 14.

Pastor Noel

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Very Pleasant & Loud Racket

When I study, I like things quiet, very quiet. The window in my study opens up to a small enclosed courtyard, so no traffic noise... We've replaced the two doors in my study that go back into the office area, with sound dampening doors to keep out noise from that direction... I sometimes even turn on 'pink noise' in my office to drown out any other distractions.

This morning, none of that is helping. It is loud; it is distracting; it is irritating; it is WONDERFUL! How could that be? I am hearing the sounds of concrete saws and tractors tearing out our current parking lot and digging ditches for more drainage lines in preparation for our new parking lot which will be going down next week.

We have looked forward to this for so long. People have given so faithfully and generously. The work is finally being done!

Pray and thank God for how far He has brought us. And while you are praying, ask for a little divine help. Next week we have several big events, not the least of which is Meals-Made-With-Love, a wedding with an expected guest count of five hundred plus, and of course, church services. On top of that, the weather man says it will rain every day. Pray that we will be able to dodge around the weather and the events and not have any major problems. The critical time (when the asphalt meets the road) will be Monday through Wednesday of next week.

We may have to cancel an event or two. Watch the web page for updates.

Pastor Noel

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Ohio Winter Blues

About a month or so ago, I was visiting a man by the name of E.J. Franks in the hospital. Medically, things were very uncertain for E.J., and it could have gone either way. It was a hard time for him and for his wife Barb.

E.J. told me then about a piece of music he had written called, "Ohio Winter Blues." He said he wanted to play it for me on his guitar when he recovered. Together, E.J. and Barb and I prayed that he would in fact be able to play it for me one day.

E.J. and Barb just stopped by the office. E.J. played the song. It was beautiful. Not just because of the quality of the song and the playing, but because it represented an answer to prayer!

Thank the Lord for how He responds to the prayers of His servants!

Pastor Noel Dear

Monday, May 8, 2006

Sunday Replay

Yesterday started off well. We had over fifty people attend the prayer wall breakfast. Several people shared testimonies of how much the prayer ministry has meant to them both from the side of those doing the praying and those being prayed for. As I sat to the side and watched and listened, God reminded me of the warm fellowship He has given us here, and He reminded me of the unlimited potential there is when so many people are praying.

Thanks to Pastor Wally for his leadership in the prayer ministry. We wouldn't have a prayer ministry if he didn't have such a heart for it. He has done a good job of organization and motivation to get us where we are today in this ministry.

Good worship services yesterday. We saw someone make a profession of faith following the morning service.

I took a stroll through the parking lots around 10:30 yesterday morning. I wanted to see how we were doing parking wise. We were nearly out of spaces then. In the next couple of weeks, construction crews will tear up our parking lots; install new drainage pipes; resurface the parking areas; and re-stripe. At that time, we will stripe off the parking lot behind the gym. I know it is a long hike, but we need many of you to begin to park there. More on that later.

We had fun at Baccalaureate Services yesterday. I had a chance to meet Ellis Booth, the assistant principal of Heath High School, and several of the parents. Thanks a million to our praise team. They did an excellent job kicking off the service. We hope to be able to host this event on an annual basis.

Busy week as usual around here. We covet your prayers.

Pastor Noel

Friday, May 5, 2006

Update on Prayer Requests

Here is an update on some of those you have been asking about (and my first blog by email).

Ray Wagner came through his heart procedure great!

Tex Sulivan had to have emergency bypass surgery, but he did well and is recovering nicely.

Noel Dear

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Prayer List

Here are some things pretty high up my prayer list this morning...

  • Sunday morning's message. We will be finishing up the 'God Code' series by focusing on 'The Nature of Christ.' I am really looking forward to this. Through prayer and study, I think God has given me a unique way to approach this subject. Pray that everything will continue to come together as I study this week.
  • CONNECT Groups. We're pushing some of this along in the next two weeks. This is the biggest non-sermon thing on my plate right now. Pray that God will make us productive and fruitful in this endeavor.
  • Baccalaureate Services. We will be hosting the Heath High School service this week. Ask God to help us make it an experience that will point these young people and their families toward Him. As of right now, I don't know what I should preach. Pray that the direction will be clear by tomorrow morning.
  • Ray Wagner. We have several people in and out of the hospital this week and we should pray for them all, but Ray is having a particularly difficult catheterization on Thursday. Pray for his health and his peace.
  • Global Focus Missions. We'll talk more about this on Sunday evening.
  • Music Pastor Search.
  • Youth Ministry.
  • Prayer Wall.

Noel Dear

Monday, May 1, 2006


Good day yesterday. We got to see one make a profession of faith in the morning service; two baptized; great crowd!

The children did a wonderful job in their musical last night. Look for pictures soon on the website.

Pastor Noel Dear