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Friday, May 20, 2016

Whatchadoin on the Lord's Day?

It's not just Sunday, you know. It's the LORD'S DAY… The day the Lord has set aside for us to gather, worship, praise, learn, teach, fellowship, recharge, and grow in our faith.

So whatchadoin on the Lord's Day? 

Start it out right by joining us at Friendship Bible Church for Sunday School at 9:30 and Worship at 10:30. We always strive to provide edifying worship and thought provoking teaching. This week we're going even further. We're providing ice cream!


Men's Prayer Meeting


It's that time again. Time to gather on Saturday morning for prayer, praise and powerfully good eating! 

Invite a brother and join us at 8:00 Saturday morning, because YOU HAVE FRIENDS AT FRIENDSHIP BIBLE CHURCH!

Friday, May 13, 2016


We are hoping to see you this evening at the Cookout at Sherry's place (136 SR 44 in Hartville) at 6:30.

Bring a dish to pass (or not… we will have plenty of food if you can't bring anything) and your Bible and your copy of "They Were Single Too" if you have it. If you still need a copy, there will be some available at the meeting.

Burgers and drinks will be provided, as will sweet fellowship and fun.  Remember that all FBC singles activities are open to all, as long as somebody in your group is single. 

Turning Your World Upside Down For Jesus

I've been working on a revised version of my book "Digging Into the Acts of the Apostles" and came across this section in the chapter entitled "Turning Your World Upside Down" from Acts 17:1-9:

We need to be plodders at CHURCH ATTENDANCE. 
I am constantly amazed at Christians who submit prayer requests for their unsaved kids, and then miss church when their kids are in town. "I won't be in church today, preacher, because my lost and bound-for-hell kids and grandkids will be visiting." Of course, that's not what people say, but it may as well be. We wonder why our loved ones don't take the things of God seriously, but they see from our example that the things of God are less important than sleeping in with lost people who are visiting, or attending some recreational activity that can be done any day of the week. Our kids and our friends and our families and our co-workers are far more influenced by what they see in us than in what they hear from us. Someone once said, "I'm sorry, what you do shouts so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” 
Even if you are a faithful plodder in this area today, I think it important to mention it, for Satan will use every tool in his considerable tool chest to get you out of church, or to just get you to be a casual and unfaithful attender. He knows such will never turn their world upside down for Christ. He doesn't have to worry about such. 
Oh my brothers and sisters! Be plodders in this thing. Develop the habit of attending church, and don't let minor things keep you away. Let your friends and family know that when they drop in on a Sunday morning, they can either come with you or wait until you return, but church is important! 
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)

That's right on, if I do say so myself.  Don't forget to join your brothers and sisters this Lord's Day at church!  It's important for them and for you. It's important if you ever want to turn your world upside down for Jesus.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Why We Encourage More Than Just Attending

If you are one who attends church regularly, you are miles ahead of most in America who don't even faithfully do that.  But we always encourage more than just once a week attendance.  Why?  Because it benefits you and helps you in your walk with Christ, that's why.  

Consider this text I received just today from one of our church members:

This is a sad fact... but if I wasn't serving at FBC, my focus would be Sunday only most likely.  I typically can't be devoted unless I'm involved. I would be filling the time with work.  
FBC is such a continual blessing in my family's life.  
God would have gotten His plan done, but I can't imagine what He would have needed to do if I had continued down the road I was traveling. What an amazing God we serve.  The gentle subtleties that He uses to influence our lives - worthy of an eternity of praise.

When we serve Christ in His church, it is a win win for everybody concerned.  And it certainly brings benefits into our own lives.  Are you involved at FBC?  There are lots of things to do and lots of opportunities to serve.  Hit up one of the elders if you'd like to know more.

Friday, May 6, 2016

I'm concerned about words

This post has meaning only for the Christian.

I have many friends who have not made a decision to follow Christ, and I don't mean for this post to be directed at you if you're in that category - one who is not yet in the family of God. There are a bunch of verses herein, but they apply to Christians, so if you are not yet one of those, there is only one verse you need to meditate on, and it's no doubt familiar to you - John 3:16 - For God so loved the world (you) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life - I encourage you to stop reading now, and go meditate on that instead. It will help you.

But if you are one my Christian friends, I hope you'll read on and let me unburden myself about something. You see - I spend more time on Facebook than I should. And I also spend too much time reading news stories online. Of course these things can provide a lot of useful information. But they can also be (and usually are) tremendous time wasters.

Nonetheless, in my time pursuing Facebook and Twitter and various news feeds, I have noticed something that is of concern - words.

Some words just simply need to be retired from use, for they are so overused, and used so often when they don't apply, that they have become meaningless. If I read another article that contains the words "speechless" or "awesome" or "jaw-dropping" or "shocking" or the grand daddy of all the overused words - "EPIC", I'm going to scream.

I have never read an article online that contained the word "speechless" where I was left with no words. Usually just the opposite.

And nothing shocks anybody anymore so why is the word "shocking" found in nearly every headline these days?

And "EPIC"?

The Grand Canyon is epic. Thermopylae was epic. The 1980 Olympic Hockey Team was epic. Secretariat was epic. But that's not the kind of stories that I see constantly headlined as "EPIC!"

Let's please retire these words from Facebook and Twitter and the online-verse. At least until something truly deserving of their meaning surfaces.

Yes. I'm concerned about words. And my distress reaches to another aspect of words seen constantly on Facebook and Twitter et al.

I'm thinking of course of the coarse language and crude speech employed AND SHARED by those who name the name of Christ and call themselves His. I just spent about 2 minutes on Facebook and came across several posts that had been shared by some of my Christian friends. They contained things like "F***" "B***" and the granddaddy of them all - "OMG".

Brothers and Sisters, how have we forgotten the clear teachings of the Bible concerning our speech patterns? Perhaps we need a refresher:

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:29–31‬)

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:3–4)

"Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:34–37)

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, (Colossians 3:8–9)

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. (Colossians 4:6)

For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:2–8)

The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. (Psalm 37:30)

The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut out. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse. (Proverbs 10:31–32)

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit. (Proverbs 15:2–4)

The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so. (Proverbs 15:7)

The wise in heart will be called prudent, And sweetness of the lips increases learning. (Proverbs 16:21)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:16–17)

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Yes, I'm concerned about words.

I'm concerned that Christians have forgotten the need to use words to draw people to the Savior. I'm concerned that the words of Christians are no kinder or sweeter or more wholesome than those of the rankest heathens in the blogosphere today. I'm concerned that Christians make a distinction between applying the verses above to words that come out of their mouth and words that come out of their keyboards.  I'm concerned that Christians seem to think that sharing somebody else's corrupt language is somehow more acceptable than typing it out themselves.

I'm concerned about words. And I pray God helps me, and any of my friends who haven't yet unfriended me because of this post, to do better as believers in the Savior.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A National Day of Prayer Prayer

Lord of the Universe. Lord of this planet. Lord of the nations. Lord of our hearts.

On this National Day of Prayer, we look to You… In the darkness, You are our Light. In the storm, You are our Anchor. In our weakness, You are our Strength. In our grief, You are our Comfort. In our despair, You are our Hope. In our confusion, You are our Wisdom. In time of terrorism, You are our Shield. In time of war, You are our Peace. In times of uncertainty,You are the Rock on which we stand.

We make our prayer to You using the words of the prophet Daniel: O Lord, You are the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandments. You are merciful and forgiving. You are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame because we have sinned against You, and done wrong. We have turned away from Your commands and principles. We have turned away from You.

Yet You have promised in 2 Chronicles 7, that if we–a people identified with You- would humble ourselves, pray, seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways, then You would hear our prayer, forgive our sin and heal our land.

So we choose to stop pointing our finger at the sins of others, and examine our own hearts and lives. We choose to acknowledge our own sin–our neglect and defiance and ignorance and even rejection of You. This day we choose to repent.

In response to our heartfelt repentance, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Father of Jesus Christ, in keeping with all Your righteous acts and according to Your promise, turn away Your anger and Your wrath from the United States of America. Hear the prayers and petitions offered to You on this National Day of Prayer, as we give You our full attention. Give ear, our God, and hear; open Your eyes and see. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy.

For the glory of Your Name hear our prayer, forgive our sin, and heal our land.

We ask this in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ who offers us salvation from Your judgment, forgiveness for our sin, and reconciliation with You through His own blood shed on the Cross. Amen.

-- Anne Graham Lotz

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

National Day Of Prayer

Don't forget that our Wednesday prayer meeting is cancelled this week and we will observe the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, instead.

The theme of this year's National Day of Prayer is "WAKE UP AMERICA!"

The church will be open from 5–9 PM for prayer. There is no service, and no agenda. Just come and pray. Suggested prayer topics will be provided, but you can come and pray as you see fit.

Mothers' Day Music

Don't forget, moms and dads, that the Jr. Church kids will be singing during this Sunday's Mothers' Day service.

They've been given the words and have a practice CD, so you might want to take some time and run through it with them.

Remember, too, that they have a 1/2 hour long practice on Saturday at 6:30 PM.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Seven Principals

The following article is from the Answers in Genesis website, and really gives a good overview of seven principals from Genesis (and the rest of Scripture) concerning men, women, children, family and marriage. It's long, but well worth the time to read.

Lest I Forget...

I received a happy birthday wish from a dear brother this morning, reminding me I hadn't posted this yet today.  Praise the Lord for 46 years with my Savior.

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. (I Timothy 1:15 NKJV)

I've published this same blog posting for the last few years. Each year it gets more precious. Praise the Lord.

It was May 3, 1970. In just 24 hours one of this area's most well-known historical events would occur - the shootings at Kent State University. But on May 3, something happened that didn't make the news, and is unknown to all but a select few now. On that day, a twelve year old boy experienced the most important event in his personal history. That boy was me, and on May 3, 1970, I trusted Christ as my Savior. I am, spiritually, 46 years old today. And so it is a special day as I look back over the journey Christ has led me on so far - a journey that has included both ups and downs, successes and failures, victories and defeats. But one thing is certain. I am more sure today of His love for me than I have ever been. He promised, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5) I can testify after 46 years of walking with Him, that He never has, and He never will.

“Although my memory's fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.” (John Newton)