Monday, July 23, 2012

Welcome Pastor Chad and Natalie

I would like to welcome pastor Chad and Natalie Winder to our church and community!  Yesterday our church overwhelmingly voted to call Chad to serve as our pastor of worship and small groups.

I am so excited about what I believe the Lord is going to do in and through our church in the years to come.  And I am thankful that He has called this family to help lead us to that place of fruitful ministry.

The Winders will be on the ground before the end August.  Pray for them as they search for a place to buy or rent.  Pray for them as they make the difficult transition from somewhere they have been serving for a number of years.  Pray for their children as they seek to get used to unfamiliar surroundings.

I want to say thank you to a number of people who made this happen.  First, of course, to the Lord for His leadership and guidance.  I believe He has led us step-by-step through this whole process.  Secondly, our worship pastor search team.  The team has done everything that was asked of them.  Our church is deeply indebted to them and their prayerful work.  Thank you to Ron Baughman, who has been leading our worship ministry for the past couple of years.  Ron has done a stellar job under sometimes difficult circumstances.  Ron has shown wisdom, leadership, faithfulness, and spiritual maturity in more ways than most of the church is aware.

Fourth, thank you to First Baptist Church.  There are few ministry positions as difficult to fill as that of worship pastor.  Music is such an emotional subject, and we all have our preferences.  We prayed to the Lord for unity, and we asked the church to come together in this search for God's man for this hour, and the church has done so in historic fashion.  I can't say I wasn't nervous at times through the process, but to stand in one of the offices and watch the ballots as they were counted and to see the overwhelmingly positive vote (99.1% with the official ballots, 99.2% if you include the unofficial absentee ballots) made me so thankful to be a part of the faith family of First Baptist Church of Heath.

If you would like to send a note of encouragement to pastor Chad, he can be contacted at

Pastor Noel

Friday, July 20, 2012

Why Does God Allow Tragedies?

Early this morning in Aurora, Colorado as hundreds of people gathered for the premier of a comic book movie, a man wearing a gas mask and dressed in black pulled out his weapons and proceeded to shoot over fifty people.  As of the writing of this post, thirteen people have been publicly confirmed killed.  

While this is not the only tragedy this week, it is the one that has the attention of America.  The nation is in a state of shock that something so senseless and so violent can happen and happen so often.  It makes us ask the hard questions:  Where is God in all of this?  Did God not know about this?  Could he not have stopped it?  Was there something about those people in that theater that can explain this? Of all the theaters and all of the movies playing last night and all of the ballgames and restaurants and malls and family gatherings... why did those particular people die?

Those are difficult questions.  They aren't bad questions, just difficult.  So here are few things we should know as we seek the answers:
  • This is not the first time these questions have been asked.  These are age old questions.  They have been asked before and unfortunately, they will be asked again.
  • This is not the time for hasty answers.  It is inevitable that some misguided people who have more words than wisdom will try to use this tragedy to promote their own agenda, political or otherwise.  That too is unfortunate.
  • The word of God speaks to this.  There are few questions the Bible does not answer if we will only be humble enough to listen and careful enough to study.
I had planned to wrap up our series on David this Sunday in our 10:45 worship service, but I believe the Lord is leading me to speak to this tragedy.  People have questions, good questions.  Thankfully the Bible has answers, good answers.  You have friends and family who will be asking questions.  Let us be prepared to honestly and humbly give a reason for the hope we have.

I hope you will join us this Sunday as we focus on the question, "Why does God allow Tragedies?"  This would be a good weekend to invite your friends and family to join you for this time of worship.

If you out of town and unable to attend Sunday, I plan to post a few comments on this next week at