New Beginnings participated in the City of Pickens Trick or Treating on Main. We gave away over 10,000 pieces of candy.
THE RICH FAMILY IN CHURCH
By Eddie Ogan
I’ll never forget Easter 1946. I was 14, my little sister Ocy was 12,and my older sister Darlene 16. We lived at home with our mother, and the four of us knew what it was to do without many things. My dad had died five years before, leaving Mom with seven school kids to raise and no money.
By 1946 my older sisters were married and my brothers had left home. A month before Easter the pastor of our church announced that a special Easter offering would be taken to help a poor family. He asked everyone to save and give sacrificially.
When we got home, we talked about what we could do. We decided to buy 50 pounds of potatoes and live on them for a month. This would allow us to save $20 of our grocery money for the offering. When we thought that if we kept our electric lights turned out as much as possible and didn’t listen to the radio, we’d save money on that month’s electric bill. Darlene got as many house and yard cleaning jobs as possible, and both of us babysat for everyone we could. For 15 cents we could buy enough cotton loops to make three pot holders to sell for $1.
We made $20 on pot holders. That month was one of the best of our lives.
Every day we counted the money to see how much we had saved. At night we’d sit in the dark and talk about how the poor family was going to enjoy having the money the church would give them. We had about 80 people in church, so figured that whatever amount of money we had to give, the offering would surely be 20 times that much. After all, every Sunday the pastor had reminded everyone to save for the sacrificial offering.
The day before Easter, Ocy and I walked to the grocery store and got the manager to give us three crisp $20 bills and one $10 bill for all our change.
We ran all the way home to show Mom and Darlene. We had never had so much money before.
That night we were so excited we could hardly sleep. We didn’t care that we wouldn’t have new clothes for Easter; we had $70 for the sacrificial offering.
We could hardly wait to get to church! On Sunday morning, rain was pouring. We didn’t own an umbrella, and the church was over a mile from our home, but it didn’t seem to matter how wet we got. Darlene had cardboard in her shoes to fill the holes. The cardboard came apart, and her feet got wet.
But we sat in church proudly. I heard some teenagers talking about the Smith girls having on their old dresses. I looked at them in their new clothes, and I felt rich.
When the sacrificial offering was taken, we were sitting on the second row from the front. Mom put in the $10 bill, and each of us kids put in a $20.
As we walked home after church, we sang all the way. At lunch Mom had a surprise for us. She had bought a dozen eggs, and we had boiled Easter eggs with our fried potatoes! Late that afternoon the minister drove up in his car. Mom went to the door, talked with him for a moment, and then came back with an envelope in her hand. We asked what it was, but she didn’t say a word. She opened the envelope and out fell a bunch of money. There were three crisp $20 bills, one $10 and seventeen $1 bills.
Mom put the money back in the envelope. We didn’t talk, just sat and stared at the floor. We had gone from feeling like millionaires to feeling like poor white trash. We kids had such a happy life that we felt sorry for anyone who didn’t have our Mom and Dad for parents and a house full of brothers and sisters and other kids visiting constantly. We thought it was fun to share silverware and see whether we got the spoon or the fork that night.
We had two knifes that we passed around to whoever needed them. I knew we didn’t have a lot of things that other people had, but I’d never thought we were poor.
That Easter day I found out we were. The minister had brought us the money for the poor family, so we must be poor. I didn’t like being poor. I looked at my dress and worn-out shoes and felt so ashamed–I didn’t even want to go back to church. Everyone there probably already knew we were poor!
I thought about school. I was in the ninth grade and at the top of my class of over 100 students. I wondered if the kids at school knew that we were poor. I decided that I could quit school since I had finished the eighth grade. That was all the law required at that time. We sat in silence for a long time. Then it got dark, and we went to bed. All that week, we girls went to school and came home, and no one talked much. Finally on Saturday, Mom asked us what we wanted to do with the money. What did poor people do with money? We didn’t know. We’d never known we were poor. We didn’t want to go to church on Sunday, but Mom said we had to. Although it was a sunny day, we didn’t talk on the way.
Mom started to sing, but no one joined in and she only sang one verse. At church we had a missionary speaker. He talked about how churches in Africa made buildings out of sun dried bricks, but they needed money to buy roofs. He said $100 would put a roof on a church. The minister said, “Can’t we all sacrifice to help these poor people?” We looked at each other and smiled for the first time in a week.
Mom reached into her purse and pulled out the envelope. She passed it to Darlene. Darlene gave it to me, and I handed it to Ocy. Ocy put it in the offering.
When the offering was counted, the minister announced that it was a little over $100. The missionary was excited. He hadn’t expected such a large offering from our small church. He said, “You must have some rich people in this church.”
Suddenly it struck us! We had given $87 of that “little over $100.”
We were the rich family in the church! Hadn’t the missionary said so? From that day on I’ve never been poor again. I’ve always remembered how rich I am because I have Jesus!
[forwarded by Willard Caddell, who was a very rich man]
Love All, Serve All, 24/7
These are portions of two prayers given by George Washington.
The Prayer below was written by Washington at Newburgh, New York, at the close of the Revolutionary War on June 14, 1783. It was sent to the thirteen governors of the newly freed states in a “Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors of all the States on the Disbanding of the Army.”
Circular Letter Addressed to the Governors of all the States on the Disbanding of the Army, June 14, 1783
I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow-citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for brethren who have served in the field; and finally that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.
At his first inauguration, George Washington took the oath of office for the presidency on April 30, 1789. He was standing on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City with his hand on an open Bible. After he finished taking the oath, the audience in attendance gave a thunderous ovation and bells of the various churches began ringing in his honor. After his oath of office was completed, he went to deliver his inaugural address to Congress.
April 30, 1789
We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps finally, staked of the experiment…
I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the Benign Parent of the Human Race, in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessings may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend.
By Bob Russell
(Reposted with permission from www.worklife.org)
Read Genesis 37-40
Was any Bible character let down by more people than Joseph? Think of the disappointments he experienced in the first thirty years of his life. He was let down by his family. His mother had died when he was very young. His father was overindulgent and openly displayed unhealthy favoritism toward him. Joseph’s ten brothers were so envious that they heartlessly plotted to kill him and then offhandedly sold him to passing slave traders.
Think of how he was let down by the Egyptians. A frightened teenage slave, Joseph showed his character by serving Potiphar, his owner, so well that he was eventually put in charge of his master’s household. But one day Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of rape and, even though he was completely innocent, Potiphar incarcerated him.
At this point a lesser man may have concluded that God let him down too. He could have become a bitter agnostic. But Joseph was special. He refused to quit. He sensed the hand of God on him even in jail. Although in the worst of surroundings, Joseph again did his best and was soon put in charge of the other prisoners.
However, he was again let down by a fellow inmate. When Pharaoh’s cupbearer was temporarily imprisoned, Joseph interpreted this man’s strange dream and promised his anxious, newfound friend that he would soon return to the king’s dining room. Then Joseph pleaded with the cupbearer to remember him and seek his release when he returned to the palace. Although Joseph’s interpretation unfolded exactly as predicted, the king’s servant forgot about Joseph and he languished in prison for two miserable, long years.
When people close to you let you down it’s devastating. You believed in them. You were loyal to them and you were convinced they loved you. When a family member, co-worker, or friend neglects you it shakes your self-confidence. You’re tempted to distrust everybody, to withdraw into a shell, and to protect yourself. Or worse still, you seek some way to get even with them. Or worst of all you renounce God for not protecting you.
But Joseph was faithful to God in spite of an abusive family, a deceitful woman, an unappreciative employer, and a neglectful friend. He shook off three decades of mistreatment and kept a positive spirit. Then one day Joseph was summoned from prison to interpret a dream for Pharaoh. The king was so impressed that, incredibly, Joseph was promoted instantly to second in command in all Egypt.
Guess who was now under Joseph’s authority? Potiphar and his wife, as well as the cupbearer. Joseph could have called them in and growled, “I wallowed in prison for two years because of you; now it’s payback time!” But he didn’t. And when his hateful brothers came begging for a handout, Joseph forgave and assisted them. Someone suggested that bitterness can be like acid – It can do more damage to the container in which it is stored than the object on which it is poured. Joseph didn’t allow the acid of bitterness to eat away at him. He graciously forgave all who let him down. What an inspiring example he is!
There are three lessons from Joseph’s experience that we ought to recall when people let us down: (1) All people are imperfect so expect some disappointment—be realistic, no one is totally dependable. (2) Even though friends let you down, keep trusting people anyway—it’s better to be disillusioned on occasion than to be cynical or friendless for the rest of your life. (3) Put your total trust only in Jesus Christ—He’s the only One who will never let you down.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Only Jesus Christ can be believed when He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” You can count on Him forever!
Copyright 2002 by Bob Russell, Senior Minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. This article originally appeared in the January 12, 2002 issue of Lookout Magazine. Contents distributed by WorkLife.org > used for non-profit teaching purposes only.
On October 29, 2011, New Beginings church joined other businesses and organizations to give away candy to thousands of children. We set up several “Trunks of Treats” and gave away over 10,000 pieces of candy. In the photos below you can see our church passing out the love of Christ (and giving candy to the kids).
Written by Pastor Mark Driskill
October 13, 2011
Read Ephesians 3:14-19
Read Ephesians 3:14-19
“…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints…”
The love of Christ is four dimensional. It is greater than any other love could ever be. In fact Paul prays that we will have the strength to comprehend, together with all the saints, the love of Christ’s in all its dimensions. His love is so great it cannot be fully grasped by any one of us.
It takes all of God’s people together to fully explore it. Imagine being on a large unexplored island with 100 other people. Imagine that you all decide you need to explore the territory in order to survive. Imagine now that one person decides to explore it all alone. Or imagine that you all decide to go exploring but some stay back and sunbathe while the rest go brave the unknown terrain. How foolish both choices would be. Yet so many in our churches today have taken one of these two approaches to their own spiritual growth.
So many in the church make one of two mistakes. Some set out on their own to learn of Christ and his love and never allow themselves to learn from anyone else. They assume the little bit they have learned is all there is. They spend their days living in a small glass bubble of religious pride because they think they know all that can be known of Christ and his love.
The other mistake is just as deadly. Many today sit on the beach of salvation and never explore at all. They are totally dependent on what others have experienced of Christ and never set out to find anything of Christ on their own. They would rather sit on the outer shore of redemption and guard the supplies while the rest of us do the hard work of growing and learning. Then they mooch off of those who have paid the price to know Christ more deeply. They live in a delusion of security feeding off of the Christianity of others and never discover his love for themselves.
Oh friend, Paul tells us to link arms together with our brothers and sisters in Christ and explore the island of Christ’s amazing love. His love has a height that is higher, a width that is greater, a depth that is deeper, and a length that goes beyond any love we can drum up on our own. You could live a million lifetimes and still never exhaust the supply of his amazing love.
Friend, are you still sitting on the shoreline of salvation? Are you becoming bored and listless in your faith? Then set out on a journey with the people of God and determine to grow in love and faith. Dig deeper into the word and prayer. Step out and do something you have never done that will require a greater faith than you have needed before. Go deeper into the love of Christ. You will be glad you did. Get off the shoreline and find more of God.
Pastor Mark Driskill
Web Minister of Begotten By the Word web ministry
See our website at http://ourchurch.com/member/b/bbtw
www.facebook.com (to group “begotten by the word”)
Begotten By the Word is a ministry of Helping Hands Christian resources-Evangelism Outreach
(Feel free to copy in any way that will bring glory to God and further his kingdom.)
Watch as an 11 year-old boy explains how Jesus is revealed throughout the Bible. Isn’t it amazing how God works through His Word the Bible? Jesus… the living Word of God.
Jack Stockton, from Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball Texas, memorized and recited all of this in front of his church. It’s incredible. Absolutely well done! From what I understand, Jack was in 6th grade at the time and is home schooled. Watch it!
In Genesis, Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman.
In Exodus, He is the passover lamb.
In Leviticus, He is our high priest.
In Numbers, He is the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
In Deuteronomy, He is the prophet like unto Moses.
In Joshua, He is the captain of our salvation.
In Judges, He is our judge and lawgiver.
In Ruth, He is our kinsman redeemer.
In 1st and 2nd Samuel, He is our trusted prophet.
In Kings and Chronicles, He is our reigning king.
In Ezra, He is the rebuilder of the broken down walls of human life.
In Esther, He is our Mordecai.
In Job, He is our ever-living redeemer.
In Psalms, He is our shepherd.
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, He is our wisdom.
In the Song of Solomon, He is our loving bridegroom.
In Isaiah, He is the prince of peace.
In Jeremiah, He is the righteous branch.
In Lamentations, He is our weeping prophet.
In Ezekiel, He is the wonderful four-faced man.
In Daniel, He is the forth man in life’s “fiery furnace.”
In Hosea, He is the faithful husband, forever married to the backslider.
In Joel, He is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost and fire.
In Amos, He is our burden-bearer.
In Obadiah, He is the mighty to save.
In Jonah, He is our great foreign missionary.
In Micah, He is the messenger of beautiful feet.
In Nahum, He is the avenger of God’s elect.
In Habakkuk, he is God’s evangelist, crying, “revive thy work in the midst of the years.”
In Zephaniah, He is our Saviour.
In Haggai, He is the restorer of God’s lost heritage.
In Zechariah, He is the fountain opened up in the house of David for sin and uncleanness.
In Malachi, He is the Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.
In Matthew, He is King of the Jews.
In Mark, He is the Servant.
In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.
In John, He is the Son of God.
In Acts, He is the Savior of the world.
In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.
In I Corinthians, He is the Rock that followed Israel.
In II Corinthians, He is the Triumphant One, giving victory.
In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.
In Ephesians, He is the Head of the Church.
In Philippians, He is your joy.
In Colossians, He is your completeness.
In 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, He is your hope.
In I Timothy, He is your faith.
In II Timothy, He is your stability.
In Philemon, He is your Benefactor.
In Titus, He is truth.
In Hebrews, He is your perfection.
In James, he is the Power behind your faith.
In I Peter, He is your example.
In II Peter, He is your purity.
In I John, He is your life.
In II John, He is your pattern.
In III John, He is your motivation.
In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.
In Revelation, He is your coming King.
He is the First and Last, the Beginning and the End!
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all!
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times.
He always was, He always is, and He always will be…
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom!
He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power!
He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can’t understand him,
The armies can’t defeat Him,
The schools can’t explain Him, and
The leaders can’t ignore Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him,
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, and
The people couldn’t hold Him!
Nero couldn’t crush Him,
Hitler couldn’t silence Him,
The New Age can’t replace Him,
and Oprah… can’t explain Him away!
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord.
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God.
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right, His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Redeemer, He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and He is my peace!
He is my Joy, He is my comfort,
He is my Lord, and He rules my life!