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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One Hundred Day Bible Reading Challenge

I am very excited about something we will be sharing with everyone this Sunday. Watch this space for more information. The challenge officially begins on Wednesday, January 5.

You can visit our Facebook Event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=172475932791635.

Pastor Noel

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jesus is God!

Below is some supporting material for my message preached on December 12. I hope this helps...

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Jesus is God

A. Jesus has the attributes of deity.

1. He is eternal.


-John 1:1‑3, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

-Micah 5:2, But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.

-Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

-Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

2. He is omnipresent.

-John 3:13, No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

-Matthew 18:20, For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

-Matthew 28:20, Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

3. He is omniscient.

-John 16:30, Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.

-John 21:17, He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.

-Colossians 2:3, In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

-John 4:28‑29, The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"

-Luke 6:8, But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, "Arise and stand here." And he arose and stood.

-It is true that Jesus said that he didn’t know the time of his return and he did ‘marvel’ at the people’s unbelief, and he went to the fig tree expecting figs, but these have explanations...

4. He is omnipotent.

-John 5:19, Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

-Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

-Revelation 1:8, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

-Hebrews 1:3, Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

-John 5:36, But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish‑‑ the very works that I do‑‑ bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.

5. He is immutable.

-Hebrews 1:12, Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail.

-Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

B. Jesus has the offices of deity.

1. He is the Creator.

-John 1:3, All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

-Colossians 1:16, For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

-Hebrews 1:10, And: "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands.

2. He is the Sustainer.

-Colossians 1:17, And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

-Colossians 1:17, He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (NIV)

-Hebrews 1:3, Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

C. Jesus has the authority of deity.

1. He forgave sins.


-Matthew 9:2, 6, Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you. But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"‑‑ then He said to the paralytic, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house."

2. He will raise the dead in the resurrection.

-John 5:28‑29, Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth‑‑ those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

3. He will execute judgment.

-Romans 14:10. But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

-2 Corinthians 5:10, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

D. Jesus claimed to be Yahweh (Jehovah)

-Other words for titles can be used in varying ways.

-Adonai (Lord) can sometimes be used of man.

-Genesis 18:12, Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord (adonai) being old also?"

-Elohim (god) can sometimes be used of false gods.

-Deuteronomy 6:14, You shall not go after other gods (elohim), the gods of the peoples who are all around you.

-YHWH only refers to the one true God.

-Exodus 3:14, And God said to Moses, "I AM (YHWH) WHO I AM (YHWH)." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM (YHWH) has sent me to you.'"

-Isaiah 44:6, Thus says the LORD (YHWH), the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD (YHWH) of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.

-John 8:58‑59, Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

E. Jesus claimed to be equal with God.

-Mark 2:5‑12, When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you." And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk'? "But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins"‑‑ He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go your way to your house." Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

-John 5:21, For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

F. Jesus claimed to be Messiah-God.

-When Isaiah talked about the coming Messiah, he called Him, ‘Mighty God.’

-Isaiah 9:6, For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

-Mark 14:61‑64, But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "What further need do we have of witnesses? "You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" And they all condemned Him to be worthy of death.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Better Living Through The Book of Proverbs

We are quickly approaching time for sign-ups for the next Connect Group Semester. I am really looking forward to this next semester. I have decided to lead a Sunday, 9:30 co-ed group instead of my usual weekday group for men. All total we believe we will have six young co-ed groups meeting in the Sunday, 9:30 slot this go around.

I just put together the description piece for my Connect Group for this next semester. (Catalogs are being printed next week.) Take a look...

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Better Living Through The Book of Proverbs

In this group, we will study the principles taught by the book of Proverbs and learn how those principles can impact and improve our daily lives. So many practical issues are dealt with in Proverbs:

* How To Be a Better Wife
* How To Raise Godly Children
* How To Lower the Stress of Finances
* How To Manage Time and Priorities
* How To Deal with Bad Relationships
* How To Refrain from Sexual Sin
* How To Have Lasting Integrity
* How To Have a Happier Home
* How To Be a Leader
* How To Make Wise Decisions
* How To Be a Better Husband & Dad
* How To Overcome Anger
* How To Always Have Enough Money
* How To Live Without Regret
* And on and on...

We will begin our study by learning about the background and the structure of the book of Proverbs so that we will be well equipped to mine its riches. Then we will begin to study the book for practical application. We will use both teaching and discussion to sort out the meanings because as the book of Proverbs says, "Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established and there you will find safety." (Proverbs 15:22, Proverbs 11:14)

As our book for this group, we will use the Crossway Classic Commentary on Proverbs by Charles Bridges.

This group will be geared to the age range of those with children still in the home.

Pastor Noel

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Jesus Thank You

This past Sunday we sang one of my very favorite songs, "Jesus, Thank You". Each line in this song refers to a biblical picture of Salvation. As you sing through the song, it serves as a reminder of all of those great scriptural lessons about the cross, salvation, and God's grace and mercy.

I'm thinking about preaching a message soon, where I take each of Bible passages the song references and show how that reference increases our understanding of the amazing grace of God.

Here are the lyrics...

The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me

Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You

By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end

Lover of my soul
I want to live for You


Pastor Noel

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Working With The Schools

One of the things you will be hearing much about in the months to come is how we are committed to trying to be a blessing to the three public elementary schools within one mile of our church. We are looking for ways to encourage the schools, the teachers and administrators, the children and their parents. There are going to be many ways you can partner with the church to help with this outreach in the days to come. More to come...

One thing we were able to be a part of was hosting the Veterans Day celebration done by Cherry Valley Elementary last week. Here is a letter I received from one of their teachers...

Hi Pastor Dear!

I just had to say THANK YOU!!!!! The bagged lunches and "thank you" cards just "made the day" for all the teachers at school!!! They are just all walking around in AWE! What a precious testimony! I have been walking around the school saying, "That is MY church!" :) I am so proud and thankful to be a member of such a kind and thoughtful church!

Thank you and everyone else involved!!!

In Him, Susan Brown

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Cherry Valley contacted us this week to say they would like to do a food drive to help our food pantry feed families going through difficulties. Wow. What a great gesture.

Last week, Garfield Elementary school donated a truck full of food for our food pantry that came from the hard work of the students and parents there. We are so thankful for these schools and we look forward to partnering with them in any way we can.

Pastor Noel

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Good Few Days...

We have had a good few days at the church. Let me give you some highlights...

- We had about 700 kids, parents, and veterans connected to Cherry Valley Elementary School at our church for a program on Friday. It was great to be a small partner in this event. We love our local schools.

- A good morning today. Praise team and choir did a great job. We had one public profession of faith during the service, a long time member that has never had assurance of her faith. Crowd was good with several visitors. Last week we had our largest crowd since Easter. I haven't seen numbers yet, but today could have been as good or better.

- This is out of order, but we had four people officially join the church this past Wednesday in our New Member's class.

- Thursday morning we had a bunch of men show up early to just pray for revival. What an encouragement that was.

- Tonight we had a young mom make a public profession of faith just before the service began! Pastor Wally started a new series of messages from the life of Elijah tonight.

- Garfield Elementary School PTO gave our food pantry a ton of food to help us meet needs in our community. We are incredibly thankful for this gift and for the kids and families who worked hard to provide it.

I am so thankful for what the Lord is doing in and through our church!

Pastor Noel

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ten Reasons Why Christians Should Vote

I saw this on Nelson Searcy's blog... I though I would share it with you.

Ten Reasons Why Christians Should Vote
  • Voting publicly recognizes that we submit to the authority of the political system in our nation as established by God. Romans 13:1-7
  • Voting recognizes the equality of all people and their right to speak and be heard. Deuteronomy 10:17-19
  • Voting is one way that we can obey God’s command to seek the good of those around us and our nation as a whole. Jeremiah 29:7
  • Voting shows that we care deeply about who our leaders are as we are urged to offer prayer and intercession on their behalf. 1 Timothy 2:1,2
  • Voting is a simple yet significant way we can do something about politics in our nation. ‘All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing’, Edmund Burke. Psalms 34:14
  • Voting makes a difference the way a grain of salt makes a difference, and that is how we are to influence our society for good. Matthew 5:13
  • Voting is a privilege not to be taken for granted. Those of us who reap the benefits of living in a democracy should play a part in upholding democracy.
  • Not voting is a form of voting, as it will influence the outcome. We need to take responsibility for our actions, as well as our lack of actions. Luke 10:25-37
  • Voting is part of our stewardship to use all the resources we have been given in ways that honor God; to waste a vote is to squander a gift.
  • Voting is Biblical. The Bible contains numerous references to “casting lots.” (ex. Proverbs 16:33) Acts 14:23 shows that the early Christians elected elders by voting.
Pastor Noel

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

On My Heart...

Quick note to our church family (and other kind readers) of what is on my heart this morning...

... Recently read an old book titled "How To Pray" by a R.A. Torrey. It has been a life changing book! I read a lot of books and I rarely say that, but this small book is worth reading. Currently all of our deacons and council are reading the book and they are saying the same thing about it. Ask Bill Marriott or Henry Zigan or Martin Bauer what they think about the book. I imagine any deacon will give you a strong recommendation to read it.

... I'm excited about our new Church Council. We had our first leadership meeting this past Sunday night. I look forward to how we can work together to serve the Lord and the church. Pray for these eight men: Billy Andrews, Jeff Salyer, Ray Wagner, Andrew Roth, Henry Zigan, Bo Bogardus, Sean Hall, Michael George.

I've got to take a break. More to come...

Pastor Noel

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leave a Comment on our New Blog




Check out a new blog we are using to get the word out about an upcoming message series.

www.InvestigatingEvidence.com

Leave a comment about any objection to the Bible's trustworthiness and I will be sure to address it during this message series.

Pastor Noel


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Tomorrow I will begin a new series of messages I have titled, "Everyone Lives Forever, Somewhere". I think that sometimes we get in the middle of the busyness and stress of life and forget why we are still here, what our purpose is as believers and as a church.

My prayer is that in the next four weeks we can recapture a real sense of urgency for sharing the good news of God's love and forgiveness with those who haven't yet experienced it. I pray that we while see real change in our lives and our church in these next few weeks.

On another note... Our Ukraine mission team will land back in Columbus around 5:30 pm on Monday. Pray for their last Sunday in country. All the reports we have heard are that it has been a great trip.

Pastor Noel

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lord's Supper

This Sunday morning we will share in the taking of the Lord's Supper in our main worship service. Ordinarily we do this in the evening, so this will be a special event.

I've been thinking about what I want to say for a while now. As I have studied the first Lord's Supper in Scripture, I believe the Lord has shown me a great insight into how to communicate the importance and value of this special celebration.

We will be focusing on the account of the events just preceding the Lord's Supper in John 13. I encourage you to prepare by reading the chapter and asking the Lord to prepare your heart. It will be a good day of worship!

Pastor Noel



Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Ministry Staff

Dear FBC Heath Family,

As I shared with you back in January, we are making a concerted effort to increase our outreach to young families by improving and expanding our preschool, children, and youth ministries.

The first step in that was to begin the process of renovating our preschool facilities. The cost of that project will be around $190,000, and it is our commitment to pay cash for this expense. So this past March we began to collect the needed funds. As of today, four months later, through your generosity and sacrifice, you have given $140,722.45! Construction will begin as soon as we have the needed funds in that account.

This Sunday we will take another step in this effort to reach more young families. We will ask the church to create two new ministry staff positions. Both of them will be under the umbrella title of “Family Ministry Directors”. We have asked Phil and Christine Lintz to serve in these positions once they are approved.

Phil will be working along side Pastor Troy in the youth ministry. We will eventually see that ministry split into a junior high and a senior high ministry. It is our desire to see our youth ministry grow to reach more and more young people. One of the steps we believe is needed for this is to free up Troy’s time to focus on the Senior High youth and then to have Phil focus on reaching and discipling the younger ones.

It is often difficult to preach a message to teens when you have 12-year-olds and 18-year-olds in the same group. Many of the issues an eighteen year old in our culture will face are different from those the twelve year old encounters.

Troy and I have spent much time talking and praying about this, and we believe this will be a valuable step toward increasing the effectiveness of our youth ministry.

Christine will work with Pastor Wally in the preschool and children’s ministry. With the new preschool facility, our new security procedures, and our expanding children’s ministries, we simply need more hands on deck. Christine has become a great assistant to Pastor Wally and an effective leader alongside many others in our children’s ministry in the last year. Pastor Wally and I are looking forward to seeing how an expanded role for Christine will help us reach more families.

In order to facilitate these new positions and also to increase Pastor Troy’s salary to better reflect his responsibilities, we will need to make some financial adjustments. I believe at this time, with the financial climate of our nation and state, we do not need to increase our budget requirements. So I have asked Scott, our administrator, to identify sufficient funds that we can move from one area of the budget to another to take care of this need. He has put together a recommendation that will accommodate the change without negatively impacting any of our ministries. After the church approves this ministry step, we will ask the finance team to officially make those changes.

If you have any questions, please call or email me or Pastor Wally at the church. Or you can contact any of our church council members. We will try to answer all your questions during the week. Sunday we will vote without discussion in our morning worship service.

I am thankful for how the Lord has provided our church with such excellent leaders… both those I get to work with on staff and those godly, faithful laypeople in our church.

In Christ,
Pastor Noel

Fourth of July Message

I am very excited about what I believe the Lord has shown me in His Word to share with you on Sunday morning!

In the Scripture story of a man by the funny name of Hezekiah we see that he makes a grave mistake near the end of his life that tarnished his legacy and hurt his nation. I believe it is that same error that we are facing as a nation, and perhaps even as a church.

Sunday we will focus on Isaiah 39 and the passages that give us background to the story.

My prayer is that the Lord will shake us from our complacency and our selfishness as a nation, as a church, as fathers and mothers, and as the children of God!

I hope you will make plans to join us, even though it is a holiday weekend.

Pastor Noel

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Graduation and Recitals

This has been a busy week, not a good week to have a cold. Today there is a homeschool recital and then a graduation service to follow. Tonight is dance recital number two. Wednesday's recital lasted until nearly 11:00 p.m.! But the nine minutes my girls were dancing were really exciting. During the other three hours and twenty one minutes I read the new Craig Groeschel book, The Christian Atheist. Pretty good book.

Two big events coming up at the church...

Youth leave for youth camp this Sunday!

VBS begins the following week (6/26)!

Be in prayer for these events.

By the way, a lady in our church, Tonya Carlisle, is expecting to give birth to her baby today. She is only at 34 weeks, so we are all in prayer for mom and baby.

Pastor Noel

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ready for Sunday!

I'm sitting at an airport in birmingham AL this morning waiting to catch a flight home. I flew down yesterday to spend some time with my mom who is undergoing treatment for cancer. We had a good day yesterday... My sister and her boys from Atlanta were in too so it was good to spend time with them.

It has been a very busy week. Due to the holiday on Monday everything has been compressed, but tomorrow is the beginning of a new week.

I am really looking forward to worship tomorrow. I will be preaching the last message in our series on Joseph in Genesis. We will be focused on the one thing you see throughout Joseph's life that allowed him to handle everything that came his way.

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Sometimes people ask me what I am especially praying for right now. Well, let me share...

... Of course I am praying much for my mother as she goes throughout her treatments.

... I am praying for Edward Rafferty who lost his mother this week.

... I am praying for a very serious community issue that impacts a number of people in our church and also impacts the whole faith family in our area. Just pray that the Lord's will be done.

... I am praying for our missions work in Kenya. I had a good meeting with the Kenya team this week. I am enthused for this ministry right now.

... I am praying for youth camp and vacation Bible school, both of which are just around the corner.

Well, it's time to line up to get on the plane...

Pastor Noel



Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Weekend Wrap Up

Well as I'm preparing my Connect Group Bible study for tomorrow morning and thinking back through the weekend, I am so thankful for the last three days. I got to spend some good quality time with my girls; I was able to ride my bike with some good weather, finally; we had a great day of worship; I got to go out on a date with my wonderful wife; and I got to spend some time with some good friends...

This upcoming week will be extra busy because I'm starting one day behind, but it should be a good week.

Tomorrow morning starts off with my Men's Connect Group, then a quick meeting with the bank (they are lowering my interest rate on my mortgage!!!), then staff meeting, then hopefully I can focus on preparing for upcoming messages for a few hours.

I hope you had a good weekend and I pray that this next week is a great week for both you and me...

Pastor Noel

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Blessing For My Girls

In the morning message today, I shared how I prayed and asked the Lord to show me what I should pray for my daughters. I wrote down what I felt like the Lord wanted me to pray and I shared it with them by praying this prayer over them. For more info, you can listen to the message when it is posted on our church website next week. If it would help you to pray about what you should specifically pray for your kids or grand kids, you can take a look at the prayers I prayed.

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Hannah...

… Lord, I thank you for Hannah, my first daughter. Donna and I prayed and asked you for her and she is one of the best answers to prayer we have ever received from you. You have shown us your kindness through Hannah and we will always praise you for that.

… Lord in heaven, you have given Hannah such a sensitive spirit. That sensitivity shields her from some temptations. I pray that never changes. You have given her an exceptional intelligence. I pray she always uses that to serve you and your kingdom. You have given her remarkable self-discipline, which can help her accomplish much in life if she doesn’t lose it through distraction. So I pray that you keep her focused on the right priorities and never let the world steal the value of this special gift from you.

… Lord, thank you for the salvation that you have given to her. My greatest desire for my girls is that they would become your girls… that they would be children of God. Thank you for convicting Hannah’s heart and giving her the gift of faith so that she could call on you. Thank you for forgiving her sins and securing her eternal life through the sacrifice of Christ.

… Lord, I ask that you increase Hannah’s faith. I know she struggles with fear and worry at times. I pray that you remind her of your faithfulness and trustworthiness. You have been so good and so faithful to our family through the years. I cannot count your blessings. Please let the memory of that faithfulness always be at the forefront of Hannah’s thoughts and let it guard her mind with the peace that passes understanding.

… Lord, I pray that you give Hannah a strong desire to study and know your Word. I believe you have specifically gifted her to excel in this. I ask that you will give her a special insight into what she reads. I pray the Holy Spirit will be her teacher. I pray that she will have the commitment to your Word as an eleven year old that will allow her to be used in an unusual way to teach your Word as a teen and as an adult. I pray that Donna and I will do the things we should do to foster this special gift. I pray that we will be a catalyst in what you want to do in her life and not a hindrance or a distraction.

… Lord, I ask even now that you bless Hannah’s future family. Please protect her innocence and purity. Fix in her mind the value of being a godly wife and a godly mom. Don’t let the world teach her that those are somehow less important roles than the roles the world may offer. I pray for her future husband. I pray that you protect his innocence and his purity. I pray that his parents are leading him to a close walk with you.

… Father, I give you my daughter, Hannah. She belongs to you. Use me to guide her, to teach her, to protect her. But Lord, don’t let me take her back. My desire is that she always be set apart for your honor.

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Emily...

… Lord, thank you for Emily, my baby daughter. You gave her to me and Donna at a time in life when so many good things were happening. She was the best of those things. Your undeserved goodness to us is amazing. Praise you for your kindness.

… Lord, thank you for the salvation that you have given to her. My greatest desire for my girls is that they would become your girls… that they would be children of God. Thank you for convicting Emily’s heart and giving her the gift of faith so that she could call on you. Thank you for forgiving her sins and securing her eternal life through the sacrifice of Christ.

… Lord, there is no doubt that Emily is fearfully and wonderfully made. I thank you for her winsome personality and her caring, soft heart. I believe you have gifted her with an unusual ability to encourage people and to bring joy into their lives. I pray that you will protect that. I ask that this special giftedness become a real ministry that changes lives and I pray that this ministry begins very early in her life. Please give Donna and I the direction we need to foster this ministry and to put her in the best situations to help her be a blessing to others.

… Lord, thank you also for giving Emily such a quick, sharp mind, and a love for reading, especially an early passion for reading your Word. I pray that her love for reading the Bible will be a transforming thing in her life. I pray she will be daily washed in your Word in such a way that her purity will be guarded, her wisdom will increase, and her joy will be contagious.

… Lord I ask that you give Emily greater focus. I know that she struggles with distractions, but with your help she can overcome this. I believe you have such important things for Emily to do in this life. I pray that she doesn’t miss any of them because of distraction.

… I pray, Lord, that you will make Emily into a prayer warrior. I pray that she will draw near to you in a special way and that you will draw near to her in a special way. I ask that you will increase her faith and expand her understanding such that prayer becomes one of the most important things in her life. I ask that this devotion to prayer becomes a source of help and strength not only for her but for our church and our community. I ask that you make her a leader in this ministry throughout her life. I pray that you will be honored in an uncommon way because of her heart for prayer to you.

… Lord, I ask even now that you bless Emily’s future family. Please protect her innocence and purity. Fix in her mind the value of being a godly wife and a godly mom. Don’t let the world teach her that those are somehow less important roles than the roles the world may offer. I pray for her future husband. I pray that you protect his innocence and his purity. I pray that his parents are leading him to a close walk with you.

… Father, I give you my daughter, Emily. She belongs to you. Use me to guide her, to teach her, to protect her. But Lord, don’t let me take her back. My desire is that she always be set apart for your honor.

Pastor Noel

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wrap Up for the Week

It's been a pretty good week. I began the week praying that the Lord would help me be very productive this week. He has done so. Every item on this week's to-do list has been marked off. (That never happens.) Sermon is ready to go. I was able to make a ton of visits and pastoral phone calls. I was able to do every pending counseling request...

Yesterday was a very good day. I drove over to the Stowe Center in Columbus, a church and community mission our church helps sponsor. There I watched eleven of our church kids serve over 100 people in the soup kitchen. They did an excellent job. It is amazing to see how mature these kids can be when they are engaged in service. All the kids seemed anxious to come back for their assigned serving day in June.

I hope to have a lazy day today. This morning, I need to put together a little bit of lawn furniture Donna wanted, and then I'm going to spend a few hours on my bike. Maybe a family picnic this evening.

I hope to see you tomorrow. We are going to have a great day of worship.

Pastor Noel

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Good Finish

A couple posts ago I said that Tuesday was a day with a good start and a good finish. Let me tell you about the finish.

One of our young church members, Matt Parker, who owns a consulting business based in Columbus asked me to attend an open house for some new offices he opened. It was an honor to attend.

At the open house were a bunch of people I didn't know, political leaders and consultants from around the state and even some who had flown in from around the country. Some of these were Matt's business peers, some were clients, some were potential clients.

During the program part of the evening, Matt shared how the business started and a little of their history and services. Then Matt got to the part about his faith in Jesus Christ. I stood there with a heart filled with pride, the good kind, as this young business man boldly talked about his relationship with Christ and then went on to honor the Lord in very specific words.

Unfortunately, few men today would have the courage to so boldly profess their faith before their business peers and clients. I am thankful to the Lord that we have some of those men, women, and young people in our church family.

It should thrill us all when our Lord is honored!

Pastor Noel

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How To Be A Blessing To Your Kids

I just finished the first draft of my Sunday message. It has been a convicting study process. Since we are focusing on the life of Joseph in our Sunday messages these last few weeks I have spent time this week learning how Joseph and his father Jacob sought to be a blessing to Manasseh and Ephraim (Joseph's sons).

I realize that sometimes we just take the growth, maturity, and spiritual development of our kids or grandkids for granted. Joseph and Jacob were much more intentional. I have been convicted as I have outlined the things they did.

So Sunday we will study through this. I think it will be helpful whether your kids or grandkids are young or old. It is never too late to have some influence on those around us. In fact, the principles we will learn will teach us how to have influence in the lives of everyone around us, not just kids and grandkids.

Looking forward to Sunday!
Pastor Noel

A Good Start

Yesterday had a great start and a great finish. I'll tell you a little about the start here and I'll fill you in on the finish in my next post.

Yesterday was day one of our Tuesday morning men's Connect Group for the Summer semester. Things went well. All the men shared some personal prayer needs and we prayed individually for each of those needs. We also began to look at the Genesis story of the life of Joseph. I can't wait to see what the Lord will do through these 15 weeks.

-----

Today I will be preaching at Violet Conners' funeral. I sat down yesterday with her husband and their three adult children. I've got to say there have been few times I've been with families that seem as close and as supportive of each other as them. I am actually looking forward to the funeral today. It will be a real celebration of Vi's life.

Pastor Noel

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Joseph Group

This morning is the first day of our new men's Connect Group for the summer semester. I'm really looking forward to it. As I was studying yesterday and preparing for how we would begin, I realized that almost every issue or struggle that men deal with is dealt with somewhere in the story of Joseph. Thirteen chapters in the book of Genesis... More than almost anyone else in the Bible... Joseph is a man every Christian man should study closely.

By the way, we had a pretty good day Sunday. Good crowd in worship despite the first really good weather day in a while.

Well, I had a good devotional time today. Time to get ready to head out...

Pastor Noel

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reasons I'm Looking Forward To Tomorrow

I'm looking forward to tomorrow for several reasons...

... Tomorrow is the first day of our new Connect group semester. We have some new groups and some carry over groups. All of them will be good. Tomorrow we will have several people attend a Connect Group for the first time. In fact, I just received an email from someone that will be doing that. If you have not yet signed up for a group, just join us tomorrow at 9:30 and we will help you find a group that will be a good fit for you.

... Tomorrow we will begin again our Sunday morning prayer time around the alter. During weeks we have Connect Groups, many people from our church meet at 9:10 and gather around the altar as our deacons lead us in prayer for the upcoming service. I look forward to these special times.

... I'm fired up about my message tomorrow morning. See previous blog posts to read about that.

... I'm looking forward to our new Sunday night study. You can also read more about this in previous blog posts.

... I'm looking forward to meeting new people who will be visiting our church for the first time tomorrow.

... I'm looking forward to worshiping the Lord tomorrow!

Pastor Noel



Friday, May 21, 2010

Why We Aren't A Liberal Church

I made a last minute decision yesterday to change the focus of our upcoming Sunday night series. I still want to do what we had planned, but at a later time. Now we are going to spend the next three weeks focusing on who we are as a church and why we are that way.

The three message titles will be...

-- Why We Aren't A Liberal Church
-- Why We Aren't An Emerging Church
-- Why We Aren't A Liturgical Church

The point of this study is not to bash other churches but to help our church understand who we are and why. Churches across the country and in our area are changing. Some of those changes are good and have a biblical basis. Some of those changes are very bad and have no biblical basis. All kinds of activities, lifestyles, and beliefs are endorsed by churches and are said to be sanctioned by the Lord when Scripture clearly contradicts those claims.

The church is defined by God's Word.

I want us to look into Scripture and learn what the church should look like. I want us to know some of the errors of direction churches make and how they make them.

This first week we will answer the question: Why aren't we a liberal church? We will learn what is meant by the phrase 'liberal church'. We will look at some examples of practices and beliefs. We will learn how churches get to that place. And of course we will study the biblical model that speaks to this error.

I think this will be a profitable study. I hope you will join us.

Pastor Noel

Thursday, May 20, 2010

If Someone Hurts You -- Post II

I just finished the final draft of Sunday's message about what to do if you have been hurt. I can't wait until Sunday. There is so much relevant and life changing wisdom in Scripture and the Lord has taught me much about this subject as I have studied these last two days.

When we've been hurt, we find ourselves at a critical juncture in our lives. How we handle our hurt and the offending party will go a long ways toward determining our future and God's role in our lives. If you would like to really get prepared, read the story of Joseph in Genesis 39-50. I look forward to diving deep into parts of this Sunday morning.

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On another subject, we had a great New Member's Class last night. The group asked many questions as we went through the material. The Lord added a number of new people to our church family last night!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What To Do If Someone Hurts You

Has someone ever hurt you? Maybe it was someone in your family... Maybe a close friend... A coworker...

Often people carry that hurt around for years or even decades, and then worse than that when a hurt person gets a chance for revenge, some pretty negative things can happen. The result is more hurt, more broken relationships, bitterness, anger, and on and on.

I've spent the day studying part of the life of Joseph found in Genesis 40-45. In this passage we learn what to do if someone hurts us. We learn how to take a bad situation and make something redeeming out of it.

This is something we all need to learn. We will be focusing on this Sunday morning in our 10:45 worship service. I hope you will join us.

I usually study from my home study on Wednesdays, but I'm heading in to the church now for a meeting and for tonight's New Member Class. I'm liking forward to meeting new people the Lord is adding to our church family.

Pastor Noel

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day of Meetings and More

Tuesdays are mostly meeting days. Things went well. Pastor Shawn tells me we have 256 adults signed up for adult Connect Groups for the Summer semester. That is good. We will likely have a few more sign up this week and a number of people will just show up for a group this next week and we will sign them up then. So this should be another good semester.

Think through people you know that could still be invited to the group you are going to attend. Give them a call this week. I think I'm going to invite the guy who has been working on my car lately and also our church architect. I don't know if either has a church but it can't hurt to ask.

Well, today is also the day I take a kid to dance practice, so I'm sitting outside the dance studio watching people fight over parking places in the rain. Fun, fun...

Pastor Noel



Monday, May 17, 2010

Upcoming Week

It is going to be a busy week but I had a refreshing time with the Lord this morning so I am ready...

This morning is the Heartbeats Golf Tournament. That is an annual event where we try to raise a little money for Heartbeats, a great organization that helps women in crisis situations, and have a little fun as well. Looks like it is going to rain all morning, so I don't know what that is going to do to the schedule.

I will be preaching a funeral at 1:00 p.m. today. The funeral is for someone I never met. These kinds of funerals can be difficult. Pray that I will have wisdom.

A couple of meetings this afternoon, and I hope to get a little bit of a jump on message prep this week since we are starting a new PM series.

Here is what I'm praying for this week...

... Some decisions about construction plans for preschool facility...
... Connect Ministry: The new semester begins Sunday...
... PM Series. I'll blog more on this tomorrow.
... Youth Ministry: Troy and I will be working together this week...
... New Member Class on Wednesday night...

Pastor Noel




Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Morning Prayer

What I'm praying for is morning...

... That our worship service will feature the Lord. I am praying at people will experience the presence of the Lord is morning through singing praises and responding to the preaching of His Word.

... I'm praying for the two special speakers we have this morning. I am praying that each of them will be able to convey a contagious enthusiasm and love for the Lord.

... Visitors and guests! I'm praying that those who are here this morning for the first time will feel the warm love of our church. I pray that they will be able to see how much our church loves Jesus and how much we care about them.

... I am asking the Lord to help me preach with clarity and passion. I want my words to reflect His words. I am praying for few distractions during the message time. I'm praying that people will have soft, receptive hearts.

... I am praying for Kids Praise...

... I am praying for those who will be in our service today who don't yet know the Lord. I pray that today is the day that choose to make Him their Lord.

... I am praying for the testimony a couple pin our church will be doing during the service this morning.

... I am praying, because I know that makes a difference!

Pastor Noel


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunday

I'm sitting in Lexington, KY this morning waiting for the family to wake up and looking over my notes for tomorrow morning's message. Tomorrow we will be continuing our focus on life lessons we can learn as we study the Old Testament character of Joseph. This Sunday we will be focusing on Genesis 39 where we see Joseph showing an unusual amount of character in the face of temptation. When you stand back and look at this event from a distance, you can't help but marvel at his integrity, and when you take a very close up look you can't help but learn some important lessons that Joseph knew to help him live with so much integrity. We all need to learn these lessons.

We will also take some time to focus on the upcoming Connect Ministry semester. We have a testimony planned that will thrill you as we point to some of the life change we've seen in recent semesters. If you haven't yet signed up for a group, read through my recent blog posts for some suggestions or go to our website (www.FirstBaptistHeath.com) to see the whole catalog.

I've been in Anniston, AL these past two days visiting with my Mom. She has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. She started chemotherapy last week, and she will start radiation next week. I wanted my girls to be able to spend some time with her before the treatment got into full swing. We had a good couple of days. Thank you for all who have been praying for her as she goes through is difficult time in her life.

Pastor Noel

Friday, May 14, 2010

More Connect Groups

We have so many great Connect Groups this next semester. It is hard to know which ones to blog about before Sunday. I've listed the descriptions for two more adult co-ed classes below.

Crazy Love is taught by Sam Smith. This will be a good group. I've read the Crazy Love book by Francis Chan. It is one of the best books I've read. I know it has made an impact on Sam's life too when he read it a year or so ago. I recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn to a have a more intimate walk with the Lord.

Essential Truths is taught by Ron Baughman. This group is going to focus on having a better grip on the core truths of the Christian faith. Not only will this help you in your personal walk but it will also help you to share and make an impact on those around you. I think this will be a good group both for those who have been walking with the Lord a while and those new to the faith.

Both of these groups meet Sundays at 9:30 at the church. If you would like to sign-up for either of these or any other group for this next semester you can fill out a Connection Card at church this Sunday or you can sign-up on our website at www.FirstBaptistHeath.com. Remember this Sunday is the last official sign-up day.

Below are the group descriptions. A catalog of all the groups can be found on the church website.

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

The God of the universe is crazy about you! His love is the most powerful thing in the world and He wants to give it to you, so you can live for Him. If you have made a commitment to follow Christ, then join this group to be reminded and challenged in your walk. Let the love you have received from God impact your life like never before.

Essential Truths: Knowing Christ Personally

In this study you’ll learn what God expects of you, how to make life more meaningful, apply what you learn, and embrace life changing goals for yourself. Perhaps you’re a new follower of Jesus Christ, or maybe you’ve never fully understood the essential, core truths of the Christian faith. This revealing 13-week study will answer many of the questions you bump into as you seek to live out real-life faith.

Pastor Noel

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Total Money Makeover

One of the Connect Groups I am excited about this next semester is Total Money Makeover led by Scott Parry and Eugene Danner.

Scott and Eugene are going to lead this group through the Dave Ramsey book by the same title. Donna and I have read this book and tried to put it's principles, which are really Biblical principles, into practice. It has made such a big difference in our lives, and not just financially.

I believe every couple and every adult should go through this book no matter where they are financially. If we could learn to apply God's principles of money management to our lives, it would change our marriages, the direction for our future, our joy and contentment, and on and on...

I give away literally dozens of these books every year as I counsel with people struggling to get their footing in life and marriage. I believe going through this with Scott and Eugene would be a great experience.

This group meets on Wednesday evenings at 6:00. If you would like to sign up for this or any other Connect Group you may do so by filling out a card at the church and dropping it in a Connection Box or you can just go to our website: www.FirstBaptistHeath.com. There is also a catalogue there of all of the Summer semester Connect Groups.

This coming Sunday, 5/16, is the last day to sign-up, so don't wait too long!

Pastor Noel



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Men's & Ladies' Speakers

This Sunday morning we have a special treat. At 9:30 all the men will gather together in Harmon Hall, and all the ladies will gather in the worship center to listen to some very special speakers.

For the ladies we have Julie Gilliam, a Christian inspirational speaker from the Columbus area and for the men we have Coach Klontz, the head baseball coach from Heath High school, and an outspoken believer.

Regular worship will still begin at 10:45, but plan to come early. This will be a great day!

Pastor Noel

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Connect Group: Evangelism

I want to highlight one of our upcoming Connect Groups for the summer semester.

Evangelism: The Way of the Master

This group will be led by Jason Hurley. In this group, Jason is going to lead people to have the tools and the confidence to be able to share their faith in any circumstance. The book, The Way of the Master, by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort teaches people how to lead people in make a profession of faith the way Jesus led people.

In addition to the regular group times which take place on Sunday mornings at 9:30, Jason is setting up opportunities for the group to go out and share the gospel in non-threatening environments. The goal is that when the fifteen week period is over, that everyone in the group will not only have the know-how but the practical experience that will help them be more bold and effective for the Lord.

Jason will be a great leader, in fact he has led this study multiple times before in a previous church. I believe this could be a great group for any adult who wants to take another step in their faith and make a difference in the lives of those around them.

If you have any questions, send me an email. I would love to help you. You can sign-up for this group either by filling out a Connections Card at church or by visiting our website at www.FirstBaptistHeath.com.

Pastor Noel

P.S.
By the way, don’t forget that this Sunday morning we have a special ladies speaker for the ladies and a special men’s speaker for the men. Both of those are at 9:30. The men are in Harmon Hall, and the ladies are in the worship center. Worship is at our regular time of 10:45 a.m..

One Good Year

I'm praying especially for Scott and Heather Parry this morning. They are flying to Dallas today to spend a week at a Fellowship One conference. It should be a beneficial conference. Fellowship One is the software we use to manage church information, track prospects and prospect assignments, facilitate Connect ministry, and some online registrations. It is also the software that will manage our preschool security check-in when the new preschool facility is open.

But the reason I'm praying for Scott and Heather this morning is not just the trip to Dallas. This Sunday will mark Scott's one ear anniversary of serving as our church administrator. Most of scott's work takes place behind the scenes, but his contribution is invaluable to what we do as a church. Two of our recent successes, the amazing results of the Securing Future Disciples financial campaign and this past Sunday's Mother's Day outreach would not have happened without Scott's help.

So join me in praying for this family. Thank the Lord that both of them and their family are such a blessing to our church.

Pastor Noel

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Real Commitment To Prayer

I just had a conversation with Hui Cha, one of our church members who is spending a few weeks back in her home country of North Korea. I asked her to tell me about the churches there. She talked about their passionate love for the Lord and for their concern for lost people. I asked her what she attributed that to, and she told me that most of the churches had a prayer meeting from 5:00 am to 6:00 am six days a week (everyday but Sunday).

That makes me think...

Would we be willing to do that?

How many people would be there each morning?

Pastor Noel

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Great Sunday

What a great time of worship we had this morning! We were completely packed out... Probably had nearly 100 visitors in the service... Thirteen babies dedicated... One public profession of faith... Great worship... Great spirit...

I'll comment more later on, but I want to say thanks to everyone who made this happen. We had special teams greeting visitors, we had people make a ton of prospect phone calls this last week, we had people put together gift bags, we had people park in the lot behind the gym to free up spaces in the main lots, and more...

Good team effort today. I am thankful to the Lord for letting us have this special day.

Pastor Noel



Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dead Flies

Ecclesiastes 10:1 (NLT) Dead flies will cause even a bottle of perfume to stink! Yes, an ounce of foolishness can outweigh a pound of wisdom and honor.

Lord, remind me that one hundred right and godly decisions in life, in marriage, and in my family, can be made meaningless with one foolish decision.

Pastor Noel


Babies...

I just looked over an email the church office sent me last night listing thirteen families who have RSVP'd for baby dedication tomorrow. On top of that I know we already have another half dozen we plan to have dedications for this Summer. On top of that I know of at least three pregnant ladies in the church now.

So, what is my point?

I am so thankful to the Lord and to our church for the pending construction of the new preschool ministry suite. You have been so faithful to give to this. I don't recall off the top of my head what the latest total is, but it will be in the bulletin tomorrow. I do know a few thousand dollars more came in this week and that we are well over $100,000 collected for this project in the last couple of months.

Perfect timing... huh?

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I've been praying for the service tomorrow morning. I hope you will join me in this. We are looking for a big crowd and a great opportunity to make an impact in our community.

Pastor Noel


Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day Service

I am looking forward to Sunday. It is Mother's Day, and we are going to turn it up a notch at the church!

One thing we are doing is moving our regular worship time to 9:30. We think this will make it easier for new families to come to worship who may have Mother's Day plans that would preclude them from the 10:45 service.

We are also having a very special parent/child dedication time in the service for both families in our church and families in our community. We have tried to contact all of the families in our community who have had babies in the last year. Many of those who do not have a church home have RSVP'd to be with us this Sunday.

It's going to be a good day. Pray that the Spirit of God is encountered in our service in a powerful way as we worship the Lord and preach His word.

Glad I belong to Him,
Pastor Noel


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

AWANA Awards Night II

The Awards Ceremony was great. Seeing so many kids being recognized for their hard work was really exciting. I loved seeing so many of the kids who come on the bus being recognized for their achievement.

The youth praise band led us in worship. One of the songs they sang was unfamiliar to me, but I saw how the kids were worshipping and I remembered that the point isn't to pick songs I enjoy, it is to encourage others to worship. I smiled and tried my best to learn the new song.

My hat's off to all of the dedicated workers and especially to Cheryl Wyrick, our leader, who, by the way skipped out on her daughter's labor to be with the kids tonight!

Pastor Noel

AWANA Awards Night

Tonight at 6:00 we will host our seventeenth AWANA Awards Night. This is an important night for a number of reasons...

-- It gives us a chance to honor a whole bunch of kids, many of whom have done a remarkable job learning Bible verses in this last year.

-- It gives us a chance to meet and thank the parents who have supported their kids in a this endeavor this year.

-- It gives us a chance to say thanks for the dozens and dozens of AWANA workers who have faithfully served week by week.

-- It serves as a reminder that our church does not exist just to make those of us who have been around a while feel comfortable. No! We exist to reach children, and youth, and unreached families in our community. That is the best way we can please the Lord and show His love. May our church never loose sight of our purpose!

If you're free, join us tonight at 6:00... It will be a good night.

Pastor Noel



Location:AWANA Awards Night

Upcoming Messages

Today is a study day. As I do most Wednesdays, I will spend my time today studying and preparing for upcoming messages. Other concerns and issues can wait until Thursday. On Wednesdays I hunker down in an office I built in my basement and just study. I have counseling appointments on Wednesday evenings, usually several. Today I have only two, with AWANA Awards night in between.

My upcoming Sunday morning message, a Mother's Day message, will focus primarily from Genesis 41 as we look at the dream Joseph interpreted for the Pharoah. I'll blog more on this later.

I'm also working on our next Sunday night Bible Study Series. The working title is "You Have Never Read The Bible: A Surprising Approach To How To Study Your Bible." Obviously the title needs some work. This series will last three weeks and it will begin Sunday evening, May 23. I would love to have the notebooks written by the end of the day so Carla could begin to put them together, but I doubt I'll get that far.

Well, time to begin...

Glad I Belong To Him,
Pastor Noel

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Date Night

Tap dance practice was canceled tonight and my kid's Ohio 'grandparents' asked last night if they could have the girls overnight, so a free night with the wife!

We just finished up chores, piano lessons, and church work... About to fire up the grill...

Noel

Attention Men

Below is an email I sent to the men in our church and community today. if you would like to be a part of this or any other Connect Group this summer, you can register online at www.FirstBaptistHeath.com.

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Dear Men,

This Summer semester, I will be leading a Men's Connect Group on Tuesday mornings at 7:00 a.m. focusing on the life of Joseph in the Old Testament.

As men, we can learn much from Joseph. He faced many of the same issues we face. As leaders in our families, our careers, and our church, we need to know what Joseph has to say. Take a look at a list of some of the things Joseph faced in his life...

Rejection by his peers...
Sexual temptation...
Career failures...
Career successes...
Poverty...
Wealth...
Oportunities to get revenge...
Family issues...

So we will take 15 weeks this Summer beginning on Tuesday, May 25. We will immerse ourselves as deeply into Joseph's life as we can. We will help each other see how the lessons we learn can make a real difference in our lives. It's going to be a great study.

I know many of you will be traveling some through the summer and you know today that you will not be able to make all fifteen Tuesdays. That's OK. If you have an interest, still sign up. Let's help each other find the help we need from the Lord and His Word this summer.

To register for this group you can go to our website (www.firstbaptistheath.com), register at church by completing a registration card, or by simply replying to this email.

I look forward to having many of you in my group.

Pastor Noel



P.S.

~~ Pass this email around. The class is open to any men who are interested in coming.

Early Morning Meeting

I'm looking forward to an early morning meeting today with a couple of men in our church.

Matt Parker owner of Front Door Strategies, a company that helps conservative political candidates around the country get their message out, has agreed to lead our First Impressions and Greeters ministries.

Brian Haught, who is responsible for the print and online publicity for a chain of jewelry stores, has agreed to help us with brochures and other print publicity.

It is encouraging to see godly men like these find ways to leverage their professional skills for the Kingdom of God!

Glad I belong to Him,
Pastor Noel

Monday, May 3, 2010

Interesting Day

There have been no shortages of interesting days lately. Frankly, I wouldn't mind a good, long, boring, uneventful day. Well, the Lord is in control... No doubt.

One of the biggest things going on around the church this week is preparation for the next semester or small groups (Connect Ministry). Sign-ups are coming along, but we are still looking for a number of new people to sign-up in the next two weeks.

Last Sunday Ken and Denise Tobin pulled me aside. (They are one of the middle aged couples we've recently baptized.) They told me that it was our new semester strategy for Connect Ministry that finally got them to transition from worship attenders to being involved in small groups. It was only a few weeks after being in a small group (they were in Greg Burns' group) that they came to see me about their salvation. I had the wonderful privilege of leading them to the Lord.

There are more stories like that to tell about each Connect Ministry semester we've had so far. I'm praying for more and more of our worship attenders to take the step this semester.

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On another note, didn't Julia George do a great job leading us in special music this past Sunday. It was neat seeing her sing while her dad played the drums and her brother played the guitar. We have some talented people in our church.

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Also thanks for the calls, emails, and words of encouragement many of you shared Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. It means more than you know.

Glad to belong to the Lord,
Pastor Noel

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Securing Future Disciples Update II

Update... More information has come in since yesterday...

Here are the latest Securing Future Disciples numbers: (This is going to be reason to cheer!)

  • $181,094 -- Total of One Year Pledges & Initial Offering
  • $ 14,000 -- Total Savings from Not Borrowing the Needed Funds
  • $195,094 -- Total Available (Assuming 100% of Pledges are Given)
When the savings are included this puts us at 102.7% of our high goal! Even better news is this... After only four weeks, we have collected $95,406.13! That is 52.7% of our new one year pledge total.

We are still praying for a few more commitments to be made and of course for the faithfulness of those who have made commitments, but it is apparent that the Lord has certainly blessed us in this endeavor!

Take a few minutes and thank the Lord in prayer for his gracious provision.

Pastor Noel

Monday, April 5, 2010

Securing Future Disciples Update

What a great time we had in worship yesterday! A good crowd in the 8:00 service and a packed crowd in the 10:45 service... One profession of faith in the early service... Choir did a great job... We got to meet so many new people...

I love Easter Sunday!

On another subject... Here are the latest Securing Future Disciples numbers: (This is going to be reason to cheer!)

  • $181,094 -- Total of One Year Pledges & Initial Offering
  • $ 14,000 -- Total Savings from Not Borrowing the Needed Funds
  • $195,094 -- Total Available (Assuming 100% of Pledges are Given)
When the savings are included this puts us at 102.7% of our high goal! Even better news is this... After only four weeks, we have collected $93,006.13! That is 51.4% of our new one year pledge total.

We are still praying for a few more commitments to be made and of course for the faithfulness of those who have made commitments, but it is apparent that the Lord has certainly blessed us in this endeavor!

Take a few minutes and thank the Lord in prayer for his gracious provision.

Pastor Noel