Sunday, February 9, 2014

Letter from the Pastor Concerning our Church Anniversary and Building Fund

Dear Friends,
            Today, Sunday, February 9, 2014 we celebrate our 102nd Church Anniversary at First Baptist Church LaBelle.  The Lord has truly blessed this church during that time.  In the last five years since the education building was built, God has done some remarkable things in our midst.  God has opened and enlarged our ministry.  We now have a pre-school with 70 children and their parents to whom God has given to us a ministry.  Our Mommie and Me Ministry has expanded to 20 - 30 mothers and preschoolers.  Several of these mothers are now taking leadership roles in Mommie and Me and others are leading Mommie and Me in other places because of their experience here at First Baptist.  We have joined with other churches in our community in Operation Backpack where we are providing food for school children on weekends.
Our church in the past was used two days a week, Wednesday and Sundays.  Now our church facilities are used 6 days a week.  We have groups from the community that use our facilities for various ministries.  Groups like - Relay for Life, Early Learning Coalition, Upthegrove Elementary School, FDLRS and others serve our community through this building.
When the decision to build our education building was made, we knew it would be a step of faith.  Our state and nation was experiencing some of the worst economic times in a long while.  We knew this project would have to be a God thing and it wouldn’t be something we could do by ourselves.  We found that this church community would have to walk in faith in Jesus.  We also made a commitment to God that we wouldn’t cut our giving or going on mission trips during this time.  I believe because we have remained faithful to God and our standing commitment on Missions, God is providing what we need for the payment of our education building.
On December 10, 2008 we made our first payment on the education building.  We pay $12,941.31 a month to finance this project.  Our church sold $1,700,000 in bonds to finance this project.  As of December 31, 2013 the principal we owe is $1,120,750.00.  We have made great progress in reducing our debt and God is providing through using our church family and their faithful giving to our Building Fund.
We have done two stewardship campaigns which God used to pay down this debt.  Our   second campaign is ending in February 2014.  Many of you have sacrificed in giving to the education building and the ministries it allows us to do.  Your gifts to our building fund have been a blessing.  In the days ahead we ask that you continue your sacrifices of Love that helps us continue and strengthen these ministries. 
Reverend Frank Deerey, Jr
Pastor, First Baptist Church LaBelle

Monday, January 6, 2014

Questions for the New Year - Part 2

In addition to these questions, here are 21 more to help you "Consider your ways." Think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.
  1. What's the most important decision you need to make this year?
  2. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what's one way you could simplify in that area?
  3. What's the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?
  4. What habit would you most like to establish this year?
  5. Who do you most want to encourage this year?
  6. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?
  7. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?
  8. What's one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?
  9. What's one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?
  10. What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?
  11. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?
  12. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?
  13. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?
  14. What's the most important trip you want to take this year?
  15. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?
  16. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?
  17. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your commute this year?
  18. What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, and what will you do about it?
  19. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What will you do about it?
  20. What's the most important new item you want to buy this year?
  21. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?
The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year, you will be more likely to remember to encourage that person than if you hadn't considered the question.

If you've found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace – in a day planner, PDA, calendar, bulletin board, etc. – where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let's evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, "The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage" (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let's also remember our dependence on our King who said, "Apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

Questions for a New Year

Questions for a New Year

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the prophet Haggai. "Consider your ways!" (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It's so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we're going and where we should be going.

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to stop, look up and get our bearings. For starters, here are 10 questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God:

  1. What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?
  2. What's the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?
  3. What's the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?
  4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?
  5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
  6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?
  7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?
  8. What's the most important way you will, by God's grace, try to make this year different from last year?
  9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?
  10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in 10 years? In eternity?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Christmas Wish
I’ve wished a very special wish
      For you this Christmas-tide;
    It reaches far beyond today, 
      ’Tis high and deep, and wide. 

    I wish for you the angels’ song
      That tells of hope and love;
    I wish the radiance of the Star
      To guide your thoughts above. 

    I wish for you the sturdy faith
      That led the Wise Men three
    Through cold of night, o’er desert drear, 
      The Holy Child to see. 

    I wish for you a humble heart, 
      With purpose strong and true—
    The blessing of the Christ, our Lord—
      This is my wish for you. 
—Edward Bos

Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times. Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Teaching in Panama - fourth class

This afternoon was a rainy one.  When Brother Ameth picked me up it from the hotel it was rainy hard.  Bro. Ameth told me that it was harder for the students to get to the church when it rains.  He said many of them walk from work and the bus system takes longer. He was right because when we started we didnt have many students but a little later we had a full house.
After our break we gave out certificates to the students for the class they took in April.   This was a fun time for all.
These students will be graduating in November.   They have two more classes to take.  Please continue to pray for them.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Teaching in Panama - Third class

Each evening we take a break from our class and a snack is provided since many of them are coming straight from work. 

Last night we covered several periods in history.  We spent some of our time talking about the reformation period.  Our attendamce was down some because it was Wednesday night - church night and some had responsibities.

The spirit in class has been very good.  For the majority of the class most of this material they have never heard of.  When I mention John Wycliffe they never heard of him.  Please continue to pray for us. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Teaching in Panama - Second Class

It had rain more on Tuesday so it was cooler that evening for class.  We had several more students tonight.  In our study of Church History we studied about the Universal "Catholic" Church through Medieval times. During this time Councils were formred to settle doctrinal issues and as a results Creeds were issue.  The Apostle Creed and the Nicena Creed were two.
Classes are going well.  Please continue to pray for the classes in Panama.