This week God called home, arguably the most influential evangelical evangelist of our day. Billy Graham was called by God to give his life to preaching the gospel and he did that in such a simple way that it inspired millions to become followers of Jesus.
On my shelf are several books by Billy Graham and my favorite is a daily devotional titled, "Unto the Hills". As I picked it up and read the devotional excerpt for today, I thought to myself, "How appropriate for what we are currently experiencing in our nation." Below are Billy Graham's thoughts for February 23rd.
"Have you ever seen someone unconscious? Such a person will usually have vital signs but is not aware of anything that is occurring. There is a lack of any perception of reality.
There is a difference between revival and resuscitation. Resuscitation is used on a person who is dead and whom the doctors are trying to bring back to life. Revival is for a person who is alive but unconscious. Spiritually, we can be unconscious and completely out of touch with the Spirit of God. We may be unaware of the God who made us and what He wants to do in and through us.
When one comes to Christ in faith and is born again, he or she is brought back from the dead into life. But when revival occurs, a person who is already a Christian is brought back from the brink of apathy, of taking God for granted, of ignoring God and trying to live under one's own power and strength. This can be deadly for others, because the Christian in need of revival is not producing any fruit for God. "I've got mine and that's all that matters" is not an attitude that is pleasing to God.
We have not seen a revival in America since shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. But, as the hymn says, "Lord, send a revival and let it begin with me." If we are to see a revival in our nation, it must begin in the hearts of individual believers. What are you doing in your daily walk with God that will bring revival to your life?
Our Father and our God, I pray for Your forgiveness and mercy. I know that I need to be revived from apathy in certain areas of my spiritual life. Please renew my spirit, Lord. Build a fire within me again that will warm the hearts of others around me. I pray this through Jesus, my constant Companion. Amen
(Excerpt from Unto the Hills by Billy Graham)
Just a reminder that tomorrow at 3:00pm, we will gather together for our annual worship and celebration meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to elect new members to church council, personnel committee and legal committee and to approve our church budget for 2018. You will also hear from some of our leadership, as they share where God has taken us this past year and where we believe He wants to take us this next year. We want to spend time thanking God for the blessings of the past and praying about the open doors he will place in front of us in the future. We will meet at 3:00pm in the Fireside Room.
Finally, join us Sunday as we conclude our series in the Beatitudes.
Hope to see you then.
This next week will be a busy one at FBC and I want to make sure you don't miss out on any of the following opportunities to connect with others from our church family and learn how we can better love our community.
Thursday, February 22
Adults on Mission--learn how FBC is helping to expand God's kingdom, both in our neighborhood and around the world. This group meets at 10:30am in the Fireside Room.
Young @ Heart--Stick around after our Adults on Mission meeting and enjoy lunch. This month's menu will feature Fried Chicken. Pastor Doug will also spend a few minutes updating you on how he sees God moving in our church. Lunch is served at Noon in the Fireside Room.
Room 4 Hope--I was excited to have several of you join us this past Monday for some volunteer training by the Executive Director of Family Promise Beaverton. I want to extend an invitation to the rest of you to consider being a part of this great opportunity to serve families in our community who are struggling to find some hope in the midst of what seems like a hopeless situation. Come hear how you can play an active role in providing a safe place to call home.....if only for a short time. We will meet at 7:00pm in the Fireside Room.
Saturday, February 24
FBC Annual Meeting and Celebration-- The purpose of this meeting is to elect new members to church council, personnel committee and legal committee and to approve our church budget for 2018. You will also hear from some of our leadership, as they share where God has taken us this past year and where we believe He wants to take us this next year. We want to spend time thanking God for the blessings of the past and praying about the open doors he will place in front of us in the future. We will meet at 3:00pm in the Fireside Room.
Finally, don't forget to join us this Sunday as we look to wrap-up our study of the Beatitudes. This Sunday, we will focus on being peacemakers. Jesus calls us to be peacemakers in a world that is currently experiencing unprecedented division and is anything but peaceful. Peacemakers are people who breathe grace. To breathe grace means to continually draw on the power of Jesus in order to bring God's love, mercy, forgiveness, strength and wisdom to the conflicts of daily life. God loves to breathe His grace through peacemakers and to use us to dissipate anger, improve understanding, promote justice and encourage repentance.
Are you a peacemaker? Join us Sunday at 9:00am and learn how you can become one.
See you Sunday.
Our church By-Laws state that “A meeting of the members shall be held annually at such a time determined by the Church Council.” The date for this year’s meeting will be Saturday, February 24th at 3:00pm and will take place in the Fireside Room. The purpose of this meeting is to elect new members to church council, personnel committee and legal committee (see the nominees below); as well as to approve our church budget for 2018 (see attached).
The other purpose for this meeting is to allow our leadership to share where God has taken us this past year and where we believe He wants to take us this next year. We want to spend time thanking God for the blessings of the past and praying about the open doors he will place in front of us in the future. Please join us on Saturday, February 24th for a time of testimonies, music, prayer and celebration as we continue on our journey to Think, Act and Be Like Jesus!
Church Council Nominees: Mary Stevens, Sidney Moore and Nina Hoopes
Legal Committee: David Douglas
Personnel Committee: Nancy Hester, Larry Bell, Bitsy Law
Don't forget to join us tomorrow, at 9:00am, as we learn that in order to see God at work in our lives, we must commit ourselves to maintaining a pure heart. We will also be celebrating with two members of our church family who will be taking the next step in their spiritual journey and will be baptized! Don't miss out on this opportunity to show your love and support.
See you Sunday.
With the new year now one month old, our church calendar is really beginning to fill-up. As we continue to juggle more and more activities and responsibilities, I want to let you know about a couple of important dates that I would encourage you to consider putting on your personal calendar.
On Monday, February 12th at 7:00pm, Family Promise will be on our campus to provide us with some valuable volunteer training, as we look forward to hosting families who are struggling with being homeless. In case you missed our service on Sunday, let me share with you briefly who Family Promise is. Family Promise is a faith-based organization whose mission is to help stabilize and transform children and their families who are experiencing homelessness here in Beaverton. Their main focus is to help families get back into permanent, sustainable housing and employment as quickly as possible. Through host churches like FBC, families will receive food, shelter, and most importantly, love and compassion. In addition to food and shelter, families will also have the opportunity to develop life skills through individualized case management by Family Promise staff and mentoring volunteers. A few of you have already expressed interest in being a volunteer during our host week and I want to encourage all of us to consider this opportunity to be Jesus to those who lack hope. Consider joining us on Monday, February 12th at 7:00pm and learn more about how we can serve families in our community who are struggling with homelessness.
Also, our annual church meeting will take place on Saturday, February 24th at 3:00pm in the Fireside room. This will be a time for us to gather together as a church family and thank God for how he has blessed us during this past year. You will also hear how God is leading us to "walk across the street" and begin to transform our neighborhood with the gospel. We will also be voting on our 2018 budget and the nominees for church council, as well as, our personnel and legal committees.
This Sunday we will continue our series in the Beatitudes. The focus this week will be on Matthew 5:7, where Jesus said, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy". Mercy is compassion for people in need. Jesus does not specify the categories of people we are to show mercy too. He gives no indication whether he is thinking primarily of those who have been hurt or have suffered loss, like the traveler from Jerusalem to Jericho whom robbers assaulted and to whom the good Samaritan "had mercy", or could he be referring to the sick and outcast on whom he himself regularly took pity, or for those who have wronged us so that justice cries out for punishment but mercy screams for forgiveness. God's mercy extends to all those people and so must our mercy.
See you Sunday.