Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and welcome to the Friendship Bible Church BLOG, your source for announcements and information about what's happening at FBC.

For up to the minute information, follow us on Twitter.

And check out our main website, too, for everything else related to Friendship Bible Church in Randolph, Ohio -

Monday, November 26, 2007

Focus On Your Assignment

I didn't get to watch the Cleveland Browns wallop the Texans yesterday afternoon, so I had to read about it this morning. Braylon Edwards figured prominently in the article I was reading, and the thrust of the article was how this young man has improved - maybe even transformed himself from being a problem player to a real contributor to the Browns success this year.
"Yeah, to some extent, the biggest thing for me was that I needed to focus on Braylon on the field and stop worrying about what what's going on with other parts of the team," said Edwards, who during one in-game flare up ripped the offensive line for missing assignments. "Instead of me worrying about that other stuff, I needed to realize that if I just run my routes and I do what I'm supposed to do, everybody else will do their job." (Braylon Edwards)
Interesting how the formula for success in other endeavors is sometimes instructive to us who are trying to succeed in our walk with God. Imagine how successful the church would be if all of us who trust Christ, would just concentrate on doing our part,without worrying about what's going on in other parts of the team! If we just focused on the job at hand... if we just focused on the gift we each have from the Holy Spirit...if we focused on exercising that gift constantly and always for the good of the church!

May I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 12 today, and consider its implications for your lives. Paul taught therein that we all have a spiritual gift, and that the purpose of that gift is the overall good of the local church. Are you focusing on your gift?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Think and Thank

A thanksgiving thought from our brother Dr. David Jeremiah:

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalm 34:1)

The words "thank" and "think" hail from the same root, reminding us that thanksgiving comes from thinking about our blessings. That's what David did in Psalm 34. He scribbled out the words of this passage during a distressing time in his life. According to the superscription of Psalm 34, this was David's prayer as he fled from King Abimelech by feigning insanity. After escaping by the skin of his teeth, David declared he would "bless the Lord at all times," because, he said, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears . . . . This poor man cried out, and the Lord . . . saved him out of all his troubles."

How many times has the Lord saved us out of all our troubles? How many times has He protected us in near-accidents? Healed us during sickness? Provided in moments of need? Given us verses to calm us, friends to help us, and blessings to enrich us?

Think of all the prayers God has answered in our lives. How many answers has He given you? A thousand? Ten thousand? A hundred thousand?

Let's think - and thank!

The person who has stopped being thankful has fallen asleep in life. (Robert Louis Stevenson)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men. (Psalm 107:8 NIV)

I hope this morning's post finds you and yours enjoying a blessed thanksgiving celebration. As Christians, we do have so much to be thankful for. It may not always feel like it, especially during those days where we are struggling through some of the issues of life. But God never leaves us. His unfailing love is always there, washing over us like a flood. And His wonderful deeds are always being worked out in our lives.

As we gather around our tables today, we will give thanks for God's provision in our lives... we'll give thanks for food and health... for family and friends. But let us remember the words of the Psalmist, and remember how much our God loves us, and how many and varied are His workings in our lives. May we give thanks for that, today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Don't forget! This Saturday from 9-4!

We are praying specifically for the opportunity to reach 100+ people with this event. Are you praying?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Evil lips? Evil ears?

A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to a malicious tongue. (Proverbs 17:4 NIV)

Here is an interesting verse I came across in my devotions this morning. Now we know that gossip is always condemned in our Bible. Hopefully, you and I will not participate in gossip, ever, for to do so would be sin. I came across a definition of gossip once, which I've used ever since. "Gossip is anything spoken about another person outside their hearing, which does not edify them, or build them up." That's a tough definition to integrate into our own speech patterns, isn't it? I struggle with it, and I'm sure you do to. Let's pray for each other that we can learn to not gossip!

But that verse in Proverbs says something even more troubling - it's not only the speaker who is in the wrong - but the listener! The one who listens to gossip is wicked! The one who pays attention to lies is a liar!

So we need to expand our prayer this morning, don't we? "Lord, help us as believers to not only abandon evil lips, but also evil ears!"

Friday, November 16, 2007

A future and a hope

Four of us toured the Haven of Rest rescue mission in Akron last evening. It was a great time of fellowship, and it was an amazing time of seeing God work. RCC supports the Haven of Rest both financially and physically - a few of us give up one Saturday morning every month to help serve meals.

There were scripture verses displayed prominently throughout each facility, and each verse seemed chosen to convey hope to a person who desperately needs hope - for the people helped by the Haven of Rest are often at the very end of their rope. One verse struck me:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

As I considered that verse, I pondered what it would mean to a homeless man, or to a single mother who had desperately sought shelter at the Haven for her small children. I wondered how many people had fled the addictions that so tore them apart, and found hope in the walls of the Haven of Rest - found hope in the promise of that verse.

Leaving the Haven of Rest we travelled to the hospital to visit with one of our membership who has been stricken with health problems. As we talked with her, the same verse came to my mind. Looking at her lying there I could not help but rejoice in the fact that God has great plans for her.

Whatever state you find yourself in today, know that God loves you, and has amazing plans for your life. Plans of hope... plans for a future with Him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Extraneous Words

It is an annual ritual, and obligatory where I work - the sexual harrassment training session. Many of you probably have to attend these annual sessions, which are now common in many organizations.

Where I work, the session was conducted by an attorney from a large law firm, and the presenter, a litigator, actually made the session very interesting. After concluding the session, and returning to my office, I found myself meditating on one particular phrase he used in his presentation. He displayed a slide containing a definition of sexual harrassment, and then he said, "No word in this definition is extraneous or unnecessary. Every word is here for a purpose."

Wow. My mind couldn't help but go back to the Bible, where we read that "every word of God is flawless." (Proverbs 30:5) And Jesus said "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." (Matthew 5:18)

Our courts understand the value of language - every single word or punctuation point has meaning. Do you understand the value of the language used in your Bible? Do you understand that the Holy Spirit of God inspired men to use the exact words He wanted them to use to convey the exact truth He wanted conveyed? (2 Peter 1:21) Do you understand that every word in your Bible is important? That "no word therein is extraneous or unnecessary. Every word is there for a purpose?"

This is why we are safe in regulating our lives by the Bible, obeying its every command, and living daily according to its instructions.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Big Week

Things are really getting exciting at Randolph Christian Church. I've been praying lately that the Lord would do something BIG here. My life verse, as I've shared before, is Jeremiah 33:3, "Call unto me and I will answer thee, and show thee GREAT and MIGHTY THINGS, that thou knowest not." I don't want little answers to prayer. I want to see God do something GREAT and MIGHTY at Randolph Christian Church.

The hymn writer Daniel Whittle said it like this:
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy drops round us are falling,
But for the showers we plead.
Not just the drops, but the showers. Is that what you want for Randolph Christian Church? Will you join me in praying for God to open the heavens and do something GREAT and MIGHTY here?

Well this coming week we have several opportunities to see God do wonderful things.

Sunday - Missionary Greg Bryan will be with us. He ministers to college kids at KSU. Pray for and invite every young person you know to join us for this service.

Thursday, November 15th - We have the opportunity to tour the Haven of Rest during their annual open house. Some of you have expressed just such a desire. See where your missionary dollars go! And see how God uses the gifts and service of little churches like ours to help those in great need.

Friday, November 16th - Those who bought tickets will be traveling to Youngstown for the Gaither Vocal Band and Signature Sound concert.

It's gonna be a great week to be a part of Randolph Christian Church!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

One Mistake Away

"Sometimes I feel like I'm one mistake away from You leaving me this way."

I listened to that lyric from Casting Crowns this morning as I drove to work, and I couldn't help but relate.

The song, entitled "East to West," goes on to say, "Jesus, can you show me just how far the east is from the west?" - a reference to the promise in God's word that "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12)

Does the struggle get you down, Christian? As believers, we face the disappointments of a world that hates our Savior, and we face the disillusionment that comes when other believers don't do their part in serving the Savior. But we also face great disappointment within our own selves, don't we, as we find it is not so easy to live the Christian life. Ever feel like that? Ever feel like you are "one mistake away from God leaving you that way?"

If you do, consider the promise of Psalm 103:12. Consider just how far the east is from the west. Consider how truly and absolutely you are forgiven and loved by the Savior. And then get up and keep serving Him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This Poor Man Cried

In my morning Bible reading today I came across Psalm 34:6, "This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles." My mind was instantly transported back to an old friend who claimed this verse as his life verse. His voice would waver a bit as he recited it, saying often that it described exactly how the Lord had saved him. And from the day that poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles, he claimed that verse as his life verse.

You know, no matter what troubles you go through, you can always cry out to the Lord, and be assured of two wonderful truths:
  1. He will hear you.
  2. He will help you.
Are you experiencing a time of "trouble?" Learn from my old friend's life verse - cry out to God and watch Him save you from all your troubles.


By the way, remember tonight is Midweek Prayer Meeting - the church will be open for prayer between 6:30 and 7:00 this evening.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Four Faithful Sayings

From Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening devotional:

"It is a faithful saying." —2 Timothy 2:11

Paul has four of these "faithful sayings." The first occurs in 1 Timothy 1:15, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." The next is in 1 Timothy 4:6, "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation." The third is in 2 Timothy 2:12, "It is a faithful saying—If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him"; and the fourth is in Titus 3:3, "This is a faithful saying, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works."

We may trace a connection between these faithful sayings. The first one lays the foundation of our eternal salvation in the free grace of God, as shown to us in the mission of the great Redeemer. The next affirms the double blessedness which we obtain through this salvation—the blessings of the upper and nether springs—of time and of eternity. The third shows one of the duties to which the chosen people are called; we are ordained to suffer for Christ with the promise that "if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him." The last sets forth the active form of Christian service, bidding us diligently to maintain good works. Thus we have the root of salvation in free grace; next, the privileges of that salvation in the life which now is, and in that which is to come; and we have also the two great branches of suffering with Christ and serving with Christ, loaded with the fruits of the Spirit.

Treasure up these faithful sayings. Let them be the guides of your life, your comfort, and your instruction. The apostle of the Gentiles proved them to be faithful, they are faithful still, not one word shall fall to the ground; they are worthy of all acceptation, let us accept them now, and prove their faithfulness.