Matthew 18:23-35 gives us a picture of a man that owes the king ten thousand talents (well over $100,000). When he could not repay it, the king demanded that his wife and kids be sold until the debt was repaid! The servant fell to his knees and begged for patience so he could repay the debt and the king compassionately removed the debt from him. Did you catch that last part? The man asked only for some more time to pay off the debt, but instead, the king cancelled the debt altogether!
That same servant, after leaving the meeting with the king, went out and found one of his servants who owed him 3 months worth of wages, maybe $15,000. As he choked the man, he should have thought back to earlier that day when he asked the king for mercy on a much larger debt. Instead of showing the same type of mercy that had been extended to him, he uttered the most remarkably arrogant and ungrateful words...…."Pay what you owe!"
How insane that the one who had just received mercy upon mercy for a large debt, now offers none for a much smaller one!
So it is with mercy and forgiveness, is it not? We have been forgiven greatly from God and He has, through the blood of Christ, taken our punishment for sin from us. We should be the most humble, merciful, forgiving people on the planet, right? We should live lives in constant gratitude to the One that has forgiven us much. But do we?
As we continue our journey through the book of Philippians, we will be focusing on Philippians 2:1-4. Below is the question I hope to answer as we begin chapter 2...…
If we truly believe that Jesus has the power to rescue us and sustain us through the darkest seasons of life, then what should be the correct Christian response to the saving power of the Gospel? What's the virtue that should be the foundational, defining virtue of a Christian's life?
Join us this Sunday as we talk humility!
Also, don't forget that this Sunday is our 2nd Concert of Prayer from 6:00pm to 7:00pm in the Fireside Room.
The focus will be "Seeking God's Deliverance". During this time of prayer, we will remember the goodness of God, rejoice in His greatness and seek his deliverance. Please join us and let's see what can happen when God's Spirit invades the hearts of His people.
See you Sunday.
I know it's only Monday afternoon, but I wanted to take a minute, in the midst of chaos, and let you know about all the excitement that is taking place this week on our church campus.
Today kicked-off a combined VBS week with Anthem, New Creation and Global Community Church. They had almost 30 kids attend day #1 and the mission team from First Baptist in Sylacauga, Alabama, did an amazing job teaching the kids about Jesus! In addition to VBS, more than 30 kids showed-up for the first day of the PAL Kids Camp, that is meeting on our campus for the summer. Beaverton School District is providing breakfast and lunch and the volunteers come from both the police department and the school district. Finally, the kids from El Buen Pastor left this morning for their summer camp, with more than 50 kids in attendance.
In fact, if you had been at the church between 7:30am and 9:30am this morning, you would have been welcomed by about 120 kids.....plus parents! It's so fun to see our building being used to express the love of God.
Note: Young @ Heart WILL STILL meet this Thursday at Noon, for their monthly lunch. We will be using the portion of the Fireside Room where Norm's Sunday School class once met. I hope to see you there!
Have a great week!
Hi FBC Family,
\\nA couple of weeks ago, Michael Wong, who is the editor of the Beaverton Resource Guide called and asked if I would like to write a piece for the Community Message section of the paper. I was excited to have this opportunity to connect with our community and I agreed to write a short article that will appear in the July issue.
\\nI thought I would give you a "sneak peek" at the article, with some additional thoughts that I was not able to include in the original article. I hope you enjoy my thoughts on the importance of creating memories with those we love. Note: the words in italic do not appear in the original article.
Make Memories This Summer
\\nWhen you hear the word “Memories”, what song, trip, special event or image immediately pops into your head? For me, summer always takes me back to my childhood when our family would pile into my parent's Oldsmobile Cutlass 4 door sedan and drive to my grandparent’s house. There we would spend the week fishing, hunting, climbing trees and eating freshly baked cookies.
\\nWith the end of school, comes the opportunity for us to continue the one tradition that never grows old…..making memories. Whether it’s a family vacation, a 4th of July picnic, a family reunion, a neighborhood block party or just lounging by the pool, summer should be about creating a scrapbook of scattered pictures filled with smiling faces.
\\nUnfortunately, the enemy to making memories is the daily grind of life. Our jobs, traffic, much needed home and car repairs, relational and marital tension, all these can impact our ability and/or desire to create memory-making opportunities. When it comes to those things that get us down, it helps for us to remember that we are not in charge of our day......God is. While I'm sure God wants us to make the most of our time here on earth, I'm convinced He is more concerned with the development of our character and the cultivation of the qualities that make us more Christlike. James 1:2-4, speaks to the idea of God using life's irritations in our journey to become more like Jesus. Don’t let the chaos and tension of life get in the way of painting some watercolor memories together this summer; instead remember the words of James and allow God to build within you the same character qualities of His Son, Jesus....patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control.....just to name a few.
In addition to maintaining a healthy relationship with Jesus, building memories can actually help lift the load that tends to weigh us down. People who make memories are not just sentimental...….they're smart! So, what memories are you planning to make this summer?
\\nAs you prepare for Sunday, please pray for our "Grow Young" team, which will meet Saturday night to begin praying about and developing a plan for reaching the young families in our community. If you're wondering who is on this team, its members include: Mark and Nancy Hester, Greg and Jonella Malinowski, Charles Niggley, Doug and Rose Boyd, Tim and Bitsy Law, Brenda Rhine, Martha Bailey, Jim and Laura Small and Larry and Melanie Annes. I know each of them would appreciate your prayers during this season of change.
See you Sunday.
As the school year winds-down, the same can't necessarily be said for our church calendar. In fact, the final two weeks of June will be pretty busy ones here on our church campus. With this in mind, I thought it would be helpful if I filled this week's edition of Think, Act and Be Like Jesus, with some "Dates to Remember". So, below are some important dates and information on upcoming events at FBC:
Friday, June 15 (tomorrow): Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age @ 7:00pm in the Sanctuary. This is a great documentary looking at the impact of technology on our kids and grandkids. In our effort to "Grow Younger" this would be a great opportunity to invite a family with Junior High or High School-age kids.
Saturday, June 16th: Concert of Prayer @ 5:00pm in the Sanctuary. Join us as we cry out to God, asking Him to redeem our church for His purpose and glory.
Sunday, June 17th: Sunday Worship Service @ 9:00am in the Sanctuary. This Sunday, as we conclude our series on Faith, our focus will be on Jesus and how the greatness of His faith was rooted in the greatness of his surrender to His Heavenly Father.
Wednesday, June 20th: Adults on Mission @ 10:30am. This month's meeting will be at the home of Troy and Lenora Smith (14285 SW Cherryhill Drive, Beaverton) Our focus will be on the kids in our community and how we can reach them with the story of Jesus.
Saturday, June 30th: Landscaping and Cleanup Day @ 9:00am (FBC Campus). Help us clean-up the exterior of our church. We will focus our attention on weeding and cutting back vegetation near the buildings.
Sunday, July 1st: Sunday Worship Service @ 9:00am in the Sanctuary. On this first Sunday of July, we will begin a new summer sermon series on the book of Philippians. Join us as we walk through the most intimate of Paul's letters, where he paints for us a beautiful picture of what it is to be a mature Christian.
WOW! I know your thinking, "That's a lot of dates/times and information to remember", which is why you now have it in an email and can refer to it as needed.
I hope you will take advantage of all or at least most of the opportunities listed above. Each opportunity, even cleaning the church grounds, serves to help us accomplish our mission to Preach the Gospel in Beaverton!
See you tomorrow and/or Saturday and/or Sunday and/or...…
I want to thank you for voting last Sunday in favor of selling our rental properties. Our hope is that as we sell these homes, we will be able to significantly reduce our monthly loan payment. All this will help us to further our calling to "Preach the Gospel in Beaverton". The vote was unanimous with 73 yes votes and 0 no votes. I want to give praise to God for how he is continuing to clarify for FBC, His plans for the future of His church.
As we continue to ask God for clarity in moving forward as a church, I want to invite all of you to join us on Saturday night June 16th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, for a Concert of Prayer. I also want to ask you to take time each day, between now and June 16th, to read Psalm 90:12-17. These final six verses of Psalm 90 were written by Moses as a prayer by and for people who are in need of God's grace...….that includes you and me.
In this prayer to God, Moses asks for two things. First, he prays that in view of life's limitations, in view of life's frustrations: give us the grace to live life wisely. Look at what he wrote, "teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom". Moses is asking God to help the nation of Israel "get it right", to help them live life in the awareness of their limits. I want this to be our prayer, too!
Moses goes on to make a second request in verses 13-17. In these verses, Moses prays for God to remove their limitations and frustrations, but only after he'd prayed for God to give them the grace to live in the midst of their frustrations and weaknesses. He then ends his prayer by asking God to use their hands to bring His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. This was the prayer of Moses for the nation of Israel and I want this to be our prayer today.....that we would gain hearts of wisdom, that God would continue to show His splendor to future generations, and that our hands and feet would be used to share the message of the cross.
Please block-out 9:00am to Noon on Saturday, June 30th, as we take time to do some much needed work on the exterior landscape of our church campus. The focus will be on weeding and cutting back vegetation near the buildings. See the bulletin on Sunday for more information.
This Sunday, we will continue in our series on Faith, as Larry Annes will share how to have a rock-solid faith.....even when God says "NO"!
See you Sunday
This Sunday, we will continue are series called Faith, Hope and Luck. The first week, we talked about the dangers of circumstantial faith and the importance of having our faith anchored to the resurrection of Jesus. The reason for this is if God never does another thing in your life, never answers another prayer, never heals another illness, never performs another miracle, we can still maintain faith in our God. Why? Because our faith is not based on God showing up in our lives or in our circumstances, instead, our faith in God is based on the reality that 2,000 years ago He sent His only Son, Jesus, to walk on the earth, live a perfect life, die on a cross, predict his own resurrection, which he fulfills, and then appears to over 500 people. Our faith is based on the simple truth that God loves us.
Then last week, I gave you this definition for faith…..
Faith is confidence that God is who he says he is and that he will do everything he has promised to do.
This simply means that we can, with confidence, bring all of our requests, all of our hurts, our doubts, our fears to God, knowing with absolute certainty that he can overcome any obstacle we place in front of him, but having the type of faith that trusts God to do His will……not ours!
This Sunday, we will unpack the second half of our definition for faith…..that God will do everything he has promised to do. Our focus will be on answering the question, "What has God promised to do?"
Take some time over the next two days to read Romans 8:28-39. As Paul wraps up chapter 8, he writes with full apostolic authority, "For I am sure (or convinced)". The verb is a Greek perfect tense, indicating that something occurred in the past with ongoing results to the present time. He was convinced that nothing in life, or even our archenemy, death, can keep the love of Christ from us. His own death and resurrection reveal His power over anything and everything that threatens us in the natural realm. Furthermore, nothing in the supernatural realm, including angels and spiritual forces, can harm us. God created all things, including everything in the supernatural realm, and He continues to rule over His universe.
Because God rules over everything in time and space, nothing can subvert His will, which is to bring His people to Himself, cleanse us of sin inside and out, shape us into the image of Christ, restore us to life, and allow us to enjoy "peace with God" forever! Can I get an "AMEN!"
Don't forget that tomorrow, Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, is a time for you to drop by the Fireside room and ask questions regarding the selling of our rental properties and the future direction of our church. Then on Sunday, you will have the opportunity to cast your ballot on whether or not to sell these properties.
See you Sunday.
What is faith? How would you define Biblical Faith? Is it the same as hope? Is it a formula? Is it the ultimate Christian "power-tool"?
In Old Testament times, men and women had to rest on the promises of God. God had told them of a coming Messiah, a Deliverer who would take away sin. He told them that one day all Israel would be made clean and be ruled by this righteous Messiah. God's faithful believed God's promises, as incomplete and vague as many of those promises were. They did not have a great deal of specifics, by New Testament standards, but they knew God was in the specifics, so they put their full trust and hope in it.
That is what faith is. Faith is living in a hope that is so real it gives absolute assurance. The promises given to the Old Testament saints were so real to them, because they believed that God was who He said He was, that they based their lives on these promises. All the Old Testament promises related to the future--for many believers, far into the future. But the faithful among God's people acted as if they were in the present tense. They simply took God at His word and lived on that basis.
Hebrews 11:13 tells us that these Old Testament saints "died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them......from afar". They saw the fulfillment of God's promise with the eye of faith, which, when it is in God, has immeasurably better vision than the best of physical eyes.
This week, we will put a definition to true Biblical faith. As you prepare your hearts and minds for the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, I want to encourage you to take some time over the next few days to read the story of Noah, in Genesis 6 and 7, along with the story of Abraham in Genesis 12. As you read these stories, ask yourself this question, "Why did Noah build the ark"? Was it because he prayed for rain and wanted to be ready just in case God answered his prayer? What about Abraham? Why did he leave everything that was familiar and comfortable in order to travel to an unknown land? Was it because he got bored of Haran and wanted a change scenery? Was it because he prayed to God asking God to take him on a great adventure? What motivated these men to act in such a seemingly foolish manner?
Join us on Sunday at 9:00am as we look at the actions of these Old Testament heroes and through their lives, gain a better understanding of what true Biblical faith looks like.
Please Note: Members of FBC are invited to a special time of Q & A next Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in the Fireside Room. This is an opportunity for members to ask questions regarding the selling of our rental properties and the future direction of our church.
See you Sunday.
WHEW.....I think this word best describes this past week. Besides the "normal" ministry activities that take place every week on our church campus, this week, through our Room 4 Hope ministry, we hosted 2 families who are struggling with homelessness. Each family came to us with their own unique set of circumstances, but as God has allowed us to minister to them throughout the week, I believe that they will leave with a better understanding of God's love! As they prepare to leave us on Sunday morning, please continue to pray for their practical, emotional and most importantly, their spiritual needs.
It's also not too late to get involved. We have 2 unfilled volunteer opportunities. We need a couple people to provide and serve dinner tomorrow (Saturday night) and we also have a need for an overnight host to sleep on campus and provide a safe environment for our guests. Larry Collins has already volunteered to be one of our Saturday overnight hosts, but we need two and I know Larry would appreciate the company.....right Larry!
If you are able to help with either Saturday night dinner or as an overnight host, please call Pastor Doug at 949-838-6981. I also want to take this opportunity to say a huge "Thank You" to all those who donated food, prepared and served meals, helped set-up and tear-down bedrooms, helped with breakfast, spent time talking with and playing with the kids and spent the night on our campus, thus providing a safe experience for our guests. We could not have done it without all of our amazing volunteers!
This next week will again be a busy one for our campus. On Thursday, both our Adults on Mission and Young at Heart will hold their monthly gatherings. Adults on Mission will meet at 10:30am in the Fireside Room (East), followed immediately by our Young at Heart Luncheon at Noon, also in the Fireside Room. Please join us on Thursday as we pray for those who are on the frontlines of spreading the Gospel. Then stick around for what is always an amazing lunch! Hope to see you there!
On Sunday morning we will begin a 4 week series on Faith. Some of the questions we will answer are:
1. Where does faith in Jesus begin?
2. What is the definition of true Biblical faith?
3. What role do the promises of God play in our faith?
4. How can my faith stand the test of time?
This week, our focus will be on the anchor for our faith.....Jesus! In preparation for Sunday, take some time over the next few days to read and meditate on I Corinthians 15:3-17, then join us on Sunday at 9:00am and learn about this God that loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. Don't come alone.
Finally, a few weeks ago, our church council hosted a Soup Sunday business meeting. At this meeting, our leadership provided you with an update on the refinance of our church loan, that has a balloon payment due on June 5th. During this meeting, we shared with you the possibility that our refinance application could be denied and that we would need to consider selling our rental homes. We learned late last week that in fact, our request for a refinance had been denied and were encouraged by the bank to consider selling these homes.
I then contacted the Northwest Baptist Foundation about the possibility of securing financing through them. They too, felt that our best option was to sell our rental homes, which would greatly reduce and possibly even help us eliminate our debt altogether. I then contacted Umpqua Bank, who is our current lender and asked them about the possibility of providing us with a 6 month loan extension, while we worked on selling these homes. They have verbally agreed to begin the paperwork to extend our loan, provided that we also begin the process of selling these properties.
Because our Church Council views this as a significant decision in the future of our church, we are requesting a vote be taken of our church membership, seeking your approval to move forward in the sale of these homes. The opportunity to vote will take place on Sunday, June 3rd, immediately following the 9:00am service. Our Church Council would also like to provide you with the opportunity to ask questions prior to Sunday's vote. To accommodate this, members of our church council will be available to answer questions on Saturday, June 2nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Please note that this Q&A time will not be a formal meeting, but is simply an opportunity for you to ask questions and make an informed decision as you cast your ballot.
I want to personally thank all of you for your prayers during this season of transformation. I know God has an amazing plan for FBC and that His desire is for us to remain faithful to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Please continue to pray as God continues to move and always remember, God still sits on the throne, He is in control and His plan, in His time, is PERFECT!
See you Sunday.
Because this Sunday is Mother's Day, I want to devote this week's edition of Think, Act and Be Like Jesus to honoring mothers. If there's one attitude families are guilty of more than any other when it comes to mothers, it's presumption.....taking them for granted. As a child and even well into my teenager years, I never lost sleep wondering who was going to type my history term paper. Never felt compelled to make my school lunch before I went to bed. Never thought about making sure the clothes I wanted to wear where clean. All of those things just magically took care of themselves.....THANKS MOM!
As each of us, in our own way, prepares to honor the mothers in our lives, I want to encourage you to think about her example, her support, her humor, her counsel, her humility, her hospitality, her insight, her patience, her sacrifices.
Old "honest Abe" was correct: "He is not poor who has had a godly mother." Indebted, but not poor.
Moms, on Mother's Day Sunday we rise up and call you blessed. But knowing you, you'll feel uneasy in the limelight. You'll probably look for a place to hide. True servants are like that.
In preparation for Mother's Day, I would encourage you to take the time to read Proverbs 31:10-31 and thank God for the "mother" in your life!
Finally, before I wrap-up this edition of my weekly email, I wanted to let you know that beginning Sunday evening, we will be hosting two families on our campus through our Room4Hope outreach ministry. I think it is only fitting that the two families we will be hosting are both single moms who need our love and support during this season of transition in their lives. If you are interested in volunteering, we are still in need of overnight hosts for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Dinner hosts for Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and breakfast hosts for Monday, Friday and Saturday. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Pastor Doug at email@example.com.
See you Sunday.
That's right......Pastor Doug is back from cruising the Pacific Ocean and, although not as rested as I would like to be, ready to continue serving alongside you to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Beaverton. I want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to Pastor Avery, Pastor Norm and Larry Annes for preaching in my absence. We are so lucky to have such gifted preachers in our church family.
This Sunday, we will conclude our series in Joshua. Over the past 4 weeks, we have been reminded.....
1. Be strong and courageous as we follow God into the "Promised-Land" Life that is waiting for all of us.
2. Don't let the pressures of life divert our eyes from God's presence, because God's presence will lead us to places that we have never been before.
3. Pastor Norm asked the question, when facing our own "walls of Jericho", will we flee back into the wilderness or by faith, stand and face the challenge of the wall, knowing that by faith, the wall will fall.
4. A "Promised-Land" life needs to be prayed for and fought for, but it will be worth it.
On Sunday, we will dive into the life of Caleb and see how his faith had God saying....."But my servant Caleb has a different spirit." What do you think God meant by "different spirit"? As you prepare your hearts for Sunday, take some time over the next few days to read Joshua 14:7-12 and look for the secret to Caleb's faith that is revealed within this text. You might just receive a prize!
Also, don't forget that this Sunday is a special "Soup Sunday" business meeting. Join us at noon in the Fireside room for some good soup, even better desserts and hear from our church leaders about topics ranging from community outreach to finances.
See you Sunday.