Paslay2The Pastor’s Pen

October 2019 Edition from the Proclaimer Newsletter

This past Sunday night, we voted to call Bro. Daniel Rasor as our Family Ministries Pastor. The vote was unanimous and Bro. Daniel has accepted the call and will be here on Sunday, October 20th to begin his ministry. This has been a process that began with Bro. Earl retiring back in December and the church voting to select a committee to look for God’s man in the family ministries area. I commend the church for accepting the challenge to make this particular area of ministry a priority. I want to thank Joel McCorkle and the Search Committee for their leadership and due diligence in seeking God’s direction for our church. We prayed for God’s man and He has come through!

I want to thank Bro. Thomas as he has pulled double duty the last eight months in balancing the youth ministry with the finances and church administration. Pray for Thomas as he makes the transition from youth ministry to church administration and finance. We are blessed to have such a great organizer and administrator serving in our church. I also want to thank Terri Hillis for her double duty work as secretary and leading our children’s ministry. She has worn many hats and has done a wonderful job for the church. You will not find a more dedicated person that loves the church and wants God’s best for us. Thank you, both!

And, now, we welcome Bro. Daniel, his wife Ash Lynn and their two wonderful daughters, Adelaide and Merritt to our church family. We pray for them as a family as they begin to wind down their ministry at Quapaw and begin to look for housing in the Grove area. Pray that the Lord will open the doors to help them as they begin a fruitful ministry here at Grove’s First Baptist Church. Start the discipline of praying for them as a family and be an encouragement to them.

God has led Bro. Daniel to come and join us in reaching this community for Christ. Whatever we do as a church we must always keep in mind that God wants us to share the Gospel with the lost people of this community. With a staff that includes Bro. Matt leading us in worship, I believe the Lord has great things in store for our church. We have some challenges in the area of space and buildings that we must address in order to grow, but there is nothing too great that God cannot lead us through. God has blessed in the area of finances and I believe He will continue to do so as long as we are faithful to Him. This is an exciting time for our church! To God be the glory, for the great things He has done! Bro. Jim

September 2019 Edition from the Proclaimer Newsletter

This past Monday night we had a storm blow through in our area and has damaged some homes and businesses. Others had barns and other buildings either destroyed or damaged. Immediately, there was a response from neighbors and friends in the community to help those affected by the storm. For some the damage was too much for them to take or be able to deal with, but with the help of others, the task doesn’t seem so large.

We had several families in our church that have been affected as well. We are trying to help in various ways to lessen the burden. The Roberts’ barn that we use for our Fall Festival and our Easter Sonrise services was destroyed in the storm. Hopefully, we can do something to help bring back something in its place. Our associational campground was hit hard as well. Trees are down everywhere but only three cabins were directly affected by falling trees. Our cabin did not sustain any damage and the tabernacle and dining hall were spared as well.

The storm this past Monday evening is an illustration of life in general. Storms of all shapes and sizes can come at any moment. Some storms affect us more than others. We never know when life is going to try and blow us over. As believers, we learn to trust God in the good times and the bad times. That is called commitment. Commitment is the glue that keeps a man and woman together in a marriage relationship. It refuses to quit or bail out just because times get hard. Commitment stands the test of time and refuses to throw in the towel. It is not easy to hang in there when things are bad, but God has promised “to work all things for the good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” You can tuck that promise away and put it to memory. Romans 8:28. Claim it but don’t misquote it! It doesn’t say everything in life is good. But it does say that God will work all things for the good!

I keep going back to the lyrics of a song that I heard several years ago at a funeral of a woman who left four children and a husband. It didn’t seem fair that this wife and mother was being taken from her family. But the song in the funeral service that really touched my heart had words that I have never forgotten. Let them sink in today! God is too wise to be mistaken; God is too good to be unkind; So when you don’t under-stand; When don’t see His plan; When you can’t trace His hand; Trust His Heart. Start trusting today!

Bro. Jim

August 2019 Edition from the Proclaimer Newsletter

One of my favorite illustrations comes from a sermon by Dr. Adrian Rogers. There was a tourist who was in Northern Italy up by Lake Como, and he was wondering around. He saw a beautiful castle-a home castle- called the Villa Ascona, and he pushed the gate open and went in. Everything was beautiful. There was a gardener there. He was clipping every blade of grass, the flowers were blooming, the shrubbery was magnificent-luxuriously green and so forth. And, the man said, “May I come in and look at the gardens?” The gardener said, “Come right in. You’re very welcome. I’m glad to have a guest.” So, the man looked around, and he said, “Who owns this place?” And the gardener said, Well…” And he named the owner. The man said, “Does he live here now?” Said the gardener, “Oh, no. He’s away.” The man asked, “Does he come here often?” The gardener replied, “Oh, no.” The man then asked, “When’s the last time you’ve seen him?” The gardener said, Twelve years ago.” The man replied, “Twelve years? This place is empty?” The gardener said, “Yes.” “Who tells you what to do?” “Well,” the gardener said, “he has an agent in Milan.” The man said, “Do you ever see him?” The gardener replied, “Never, he just sends instructions.” He is still clipping, and pruning, and trimming. And the man said, “Why, you’ve got everything so beautiful. It looks like you are expecting him to-morrow.” The gardener replied, “Today, sir—today.” I expect him to come at any time.
I have recently been preaching from some passages about the end times. The question for the moment; are we living our lives as though Jesus is coming back today? Do we have a concern for our lost family members and neighbors? If we truly believe that Jesus is coming back and that He could come at any time, we need to be alert and be watchful. Matthew 24:42 reminds us concerning His coming; “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” I am convinced that our enemy, Satan, wants us to be unprepared and in a spiritual slumber concerning the return of Christ. When we are disobedient to His will, do we ever think about that Jesus could come back and find us unprepared? The verse in Matthew 24 gives us a warning so to speak about not be ready for His coming. A person who has never repented of sin and trusted Christ is not ready. That person is in danger of spending an eternity in hell. Whereas, the person who has trusted Christ must be on the alert because the enemy will attack and seek to distract us from living everyday as if it is our last. We must have a sense of urgency.
I close with a quote from Columnist Sydney J. Harris who was on target when he wrote, “The art of living successfully consists of being able to hold two opposite ideas in tension at the same time: first, to make long-term plans as if we were going to live forever; and second, to conduct ourselves daily as if we were going to die tomorrow.” Jesus is coming back! Are you ready right now if the Father decides to send back His Son? If not, get ready and live your life in such a way that shows the world that Jesus could come back today!

Bro. Jim

July 2019 Edition from the Proclaimer Newsletter

Summer is a busy time for most church bodies. We have already taken our youth to Falls Creek. There were several salvation decisions made and a decision to go into Christian ministry. We just got back a week ago from Children’s Camp at Grand Lake Baptist Assembly. There were five salvation decisions. Two youth have recently been baptized and we are work-ing on seeing the others followed up as well. Families have recently joined our congregation and the Lord is moving by providing new families almost every week who come seeking a church home.

In my most recent Wednesday night study in the book of 1 Peter, there is a passage that mentions baptism in reference to salvation. It is the passage in Chapter 3:18-22. It is a difficult passage to translate and interpret because of the words and the structure of the thoughts that Peter is trying to convey to his readers. Some of Peter’s recipients to his first letter were new converts. Some of them had followed up in Christian baptism but some were hesitant because of the suffering that was going on among the believers. Peter was encouraging them to follow up their decision to accept Christ as Savior and be obedient in believer’s baptism. There are some groups today who would like to take this passage in 1 Peter and other places to teach baptismal regeneration or you must be baptized in order to be saved. If baptism was essential for salvation, then true salvation would not be by grace but works. Anything that adds to the message of the Gospel is not the Gospel.

Peter used an analogy from Noah’s day to teach his readers about the saving work of Christ. Baptism is a beautiful picture of the work that Christ does when someone accepts Him as Sav-ior. The old person is buried in the water and the new person is raised out of the water. That is why the proper mode of baptism is immersion and not sprinkling. Jesus was not sprinkled in death; He was buried in death. Baptism is one of the two ordinances we practice as a New Testament church. When a person follows the Lord in Christian baptism, he or she is publicly testifying and identifying with Christ. It is the first step of obedience after conversion. A person who has truly been saved will want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist as an example for His followers. It is enough to follow Jesus by the example that He set for us. The Bible says to “repent and be baptized” so we teach and practice believer’s baptism. Have you followed your conversion with baptism? Are you really interested in obedience to Christ? If so, baptism will be a part of that experience. Read Romans 6:1-4 as a reference to Christian baptism. I invite you to talk with me or come forward in a service if you have not
followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. The readers of Peter’s letter were being persecuted for their faith, but Peter encouraged them to follow their conversion with baptism. I encourage you to do the same!

Bro. Jim

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