Monday, December 29, 2014

A recent article shared 10 Characteristics of Leaders Who Last.  As the New Year approaches, may we be encouraged to set our minds on being the best we can be.  Time is important and what we do for Christ needs to be done with diligence and unwavering commitment.   

Here are a few characteristics and some encouragement to be an effective leader.

1. They begin with a determination to finish well.
I have not yet met a leader who led well over the course of time by accident. Instead, they decide up front that they will run the race with the end goal in mind. They establish appropriate boundaries to maintain their integrity, and they continually push themselves to improve.

2. They always have a vision bigger than they are.
Regardless of their age, these leaders do not settle for maintenance mode. Their vision is so big— o “God-sized,” in theological terms—that relaxing makes little sense as long as more remains to be accomplished. Nor do these leaders ever want to fail morally or ethically; their task matters too much to let that happen.

3. They take care of themselves spiritually.
I realize this point sounds cliché, but it is nevertheless valid. These leaders understand that what they do behind the scenes matters. They read the Scriptures, pray, study, worship, fellowship—and lead out of the overflow of their walk with God.

4. They take care of themselves physically.
Again, this point is obvious, yet significant. The long-lasting leaders I have met eat properly, exercise regularly and sleep well. They cannot avoid the effects of aging, but they don’t contribute to poor health by making bad decisions. I confess I have much to learn here.

5. They invest in their family.  
My experiences reveal a common pattern: Leaders who last are good spouses and parents. They work hard at their profession, but not at the expense of their family. Indeed, their relationships keep them grounded; nothing they gain through their work is worth harming their loved ones.

6. They treat people well.
To put it simply, these leaders are nice people. They respect others, including those who disagree with them. They are seldom rude or impatient. Long track records of strong, healthy relationships give them credibility as they lead over many years. Some of these leaders are so kind that I have never heard a negative word about them.

7. They share the workload.
These leaders delegate well without shirking their responsibility to lead through influence and vision casting. They have learned that failing to share the work is not only exhausting, but it is also arrogant. In fact, it is nothing less than idolatry of the self.

8. They do not let discouragement set in. 
It’s not that they don’t get discouraged; it’s just that they don’t wallow in that emotion. They deal with fires of conflict before they become consuming. They do not like failure, but they know failure is seldom the end of the story. Sometimes, accountability partners have permission to challenge them when they seem emotionally down.

9. They have genuine friends.  
Their friendships may not be numerous, but they are nevertheless real. Because they have friends, these leaders know they always have a support system. Regardless of what leadership challenges they face, they know they are not alone.

10. They have learned to laugh.
Some of the best long-term leaders I know are also the ones who most readily laugh. Somehow, they are deadly serious without taking themselves too seriously. They can put their followers at ease even while they cast a vision with life-changing ramifications.



Saturday, December 27, 2014

Communion This Sunday




This Sunday is the last Sunday of 2014.  What a better time to be in church together as we share Communion.  Our Lord commanded us to take the bread and wine (grape juice), to remember His great love and sacrifice for us. We will be observing the Lord's Supper Sunday morning.  
Be encouraged to come with a heart of thanksgiving and worship!

Friday, December 26, 2014

New Year's Eve Dinner and Movie Night



Wednesday night (New Year's Eve) we will have a dinner and movie celebration!  Be encouraged to spend New Year's Eve with church family as we reflect on the past year and eagerly look forward to 2015.

Soup and sandwiches will be provided, please bring a salad, chips, dessert to share.  Please make plans to attend!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What to Give This Christmas

Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent,  tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all,  charity.
To every  child, a good example.
To yourself, respect."

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Cantata



This Sunday will be a very special day at Antioch as our choir will present "The First Noel", a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.  

The choir has worked very hard getting the music, narration and order of the musical together.  We are excited and thankful for their diligence and faithfulness to lead our church in praise and worship.

Please make plans to come and share in the joy and praise of this joyous season!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Party!!




This Saturday (December 13) there will be a time of fun, food and Christmas fellowship for our Adult and Young Adults Sunday School classes.  The party will be at the home of Rem and Joyce F. beginning with some fellowship time around 5:00 PM  and a meal following at 6:00 PM.  Be encouraged to come out for a casual time to celebrate Christ and the gift of church family!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Caroling

This Wednesday night at 5:30 PM, we will leave the church to make a round of Christmas carolling.  We will be visiting the nursing home residents along with a few of our homebound church family to bring a song of Christmas cheer.  Following the carolling, we will gather back at the church for a time of soup, salad and fellowship.  Please plan to bring a finger food or dessert to share.  All are welcome!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Parade

Last weekend Antioch participated in the community Christmas parade. Several put in long hours making our "Down Home Christmas" float absolutely beautiful!!  Here are some pictures of the float.





Monday, November 17, 2014

Church Wide Thanksgiving Lunch



On November 23, immediately following the morning service will be our annual church wide Thanksgiving lunch.  All church family and friends are welcome and encouraged to stay and enjoy a special time of fellowship, food and a time to celebrate God's blessings on Antioch.  

The meat (ham and turkey) will be provided, church family is asked to bring a complimentary covered dish to share.  Hope you'll make plans to be there and share in our gratitude!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Christmas Parade

Our community will hold a Christmas parade on Saturday, December 6. The theme will be "A Down Home Christmas".  Antioch will again be participating with a float in the pararde.
 
We will needs lots of inspiration, creative ideas and lots of work!!  There will be a meeting next Sunday (November 23) immediately following the Thanksgiving lunch to make plans for the float.  If you are interested in helping, please plan to attend the meeting.

Sermon Notes - Overcoming Fear

Some powerful reminders from our sermon today!

Jesus expects steadfast faithfulness from His followers.  Fear causes us to fail to be and do all we can to be and do what God has planned for us.
 
How to overcome fear:

1.  Remain faithful by reassuring one another that we are God's children.
 
2. Remembering what Jesus has done in our live and reflecting on His faithfulness will inspire us to remain faithful.
 
3.  Rekindling the gifts God has given us.
 
4.  Relying on God's strength and remembering we are not along.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Baby Shower this Saturday!!



This Saturday (November 15) at 3:00 PM in the church fellowship hall, we will be celebrating the upcoming birth of the baby boy expected by Clay and Tiffany D.  

Church family and friends are encouraged to come and show your love and blessings as we rejoice in this special time in their lives.  


Tiffany is registered at Baby's R Us.



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Belonging to a Great Church

A recent article shared some signs of belonging to a great church.

"No church is perfect, but there are some biblical blueprints that dictate whether or not a church is fulfilling its God-given mission as the bride of Christ. The reason a church cannot be perfect is because we as humans are flawed. Inevitably, the second any one of us step inside a church building, we in fact have contaminated the idea of perfection. Regardless of the human imperfections, here are 10 signs you belong to a great church."

1. Sound doctrine.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.” 2 Timothy 4:3

2. A striving for relevance.
“To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” 2 Corinthians 9:21-23

3. Puts Jesus before religion.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

4. Christ-centered worship.
“For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:3

5. Passionate about discipleship.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19

6. A heart for the nations.
“And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.” Mark 13:10

7. Pours into the next-generation.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

8. Offers small-groups/life-groups.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

9. Thriving community.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42

10. Transparency (nobody is perfect).
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.” Proverbs 11:3

Monday, November 3, 2014

Operation Christmas Child



It's that time of year again..where we are blessed with the opportunity to share Good News across the world!  It all begins with a shoebox!

Operation Christmas Child is a ministry Antioch has been involved in for years.  A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal. Be a part of changing children's lives all over the world in Jesus' Name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child.

How to Pack a Shoebox

SHOEBOX
Use an empty cardboard or plastic shoebox (average size). You can wrap the box, lid separately, but wrapping is not required.

BOY OR GIRL
Decide whether your gift will be for a boy or a girl, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Download and print the appropriate boy/girl label. Mark the correct age category and tape the label to the top of your box.

FILL WITH GIFTS
Fill the box with a variety of gifts that will bring delight to a child (see Gift Suggestions below).

INCLUDE $7 DONATION PER BOX
Help cover shipping and other costs related to delivering your shoeboxes to children overseas by donating $7 for each gift you prepare. You can give online to discover the destination of your box. Or, you can write a check to Samaritan’s Purse (note “OCC” on the memo line) and place it in an envelope on top of the items inside your shoebox. If you are preparing multiple gifts, please make one combined donation. Note: Follow Your Box is only available through online giving.

PRAY
Ask God to use your gifts to show His love to the child who will receive your shoebox.

On November 23, bring your shoebox to church and there will be a time of prayer for the children receiving them.  They will be delivered to our local drop off point on Monday, November 24.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fall Back TONIGHT!!




Remember to set your clocks BACK one hour tonight!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Festival SATURDAY!!



Don't forget about the Family Fall Festival on Saturday from 4:00-6:00 PM.  There will be games, prizes, bounce house, popcorn cart, cake walk, hay ride and candy!

Games will be from 4::00 - 5:00 PM with chili and hot dog supper being served at 5:00 PM.  Hay ride and candy pass out will follow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Hope America



A Simple Way to Help You Share Jesus
There is no greater—or more urgent—task than sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world around us. The local church is called to have an impact in our communities, our nation, and our world, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association wants to be a resource for you.

My Hope combines the impact of video programs with the power of personal relationships. Christians can share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors using one of several evangelistic video programs featuring life-changing testimonies & powerful messages from Billy Graham.

Last year, God mightily used our My Hope America 30-minute program, The Cross, to draw over 100,000 people into a personal relationship with Jesus. We would like to partner with you in evangelism and provide special resources like this each year to help you share the hope of Jesus Christ. This November, we will release a new 30-minute film that will feature compelling testimonies and a never-before-released message from Billy Graham on Heaven.

To Get Started
  • Pray for unsaved loved ones.
  • Order Your Free Heaven DVD, a new 30-minute film that will feature compelling testimonies and a never-before-released message from Billy Graham.
  • Follow the four simple steps and watch the video below. They explain how to effectively use the films.
More details will be coming, but for more information, please visit My Hope with Billy Graham

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Community Chorus

The Suwanne Baptist Association will host a mass community chorus that will be singing several patriotic selections on Veterans Day (Tuesday, Nov 11) @ 2:30 p.m. at the Suwannee County Coliseum. This special choir is just a part of a larger community-wide Veterans Day parade that is being sponsored by many of our local organizations. I believe it will be a fitting way for those of us who love to sing to honor all of our local veterans.

Here is a portion of an email from the choir director:

If you would like to participate, all you need to do is be there for the first rehearsal, which will be held
THIS Tuesday, October 21 @ 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Live Oak.
If you are unable to be there for this rehearsal, please email me at fbcmusic@windstream.net
and share your contact information with me (e.g., phone #, email, etc.) so that I may follow up with you and make sure you are able to have access to the sheet music and audio resources you need, as well as to inform you of future rehearsal dates/times.

Again, if you are interested in participating, please be there THIS Tuesday, Oct 21 @ 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Live Oak and just look for the signs telling you which building & room to go to.

Friday, October 17, 2014

5th Quarter




The Suwannee Baptist Association will be hosting a 5th Quarter Youth Activity.   The event, designed for middle school and high school students, will take place in the First Baptist Church  parking lot on Friday October 24th,  immediately following the homecoming football game between Suwannee and Fort White. 


Speaking that evening at the Fifth Quarter will be Stephen Wilson from www.godscience.info. He is a dynamic presenter who uses scientific object lessons to illustrate the Gospel message.  

Let's encourage our youth to participate in a fun time where the power of the Gospel will be shared!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Festival



We will be having a Family Fall Festival on November 1 from 4:00-6:00 PM at Antioch.  This will be a fun filled time of games, booths, inflatables, candy, popcorn, supper and loads of fun!!

We are looking for donations of wrapped candy from the church family and will need lots of volunteers to make this a fantastic fall festival!!  Watch for details and mark the date!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Who We Are In Christ

Last Wednesday night, our pastor shared some powerful Scriptures with us on "Who We Are In Christ."  What a great reminder of how great our God is and how great His love for us is.

  • We have Power, Love and a Sound Mind - II Timothy 1:7
  • We are Chosen to bear fruit - John 15:16
  • We are Complete in Christ  - Romans 8:31-39
  • We are Chosen for success - Colossians 2:9-10
  • We are Secure in Him
  • We are More than Conquerors
  • We are Confident
  • We are Free from Sin
  • We are Capable
  • We are Protected by God
  • We are Bought, Redeemed and Valuable

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ministry Opportunties





There are two ministry opportunities for us as a church going on right now!

Our local Guardian Ad Litem is an organization that looks out for the best interest of children.  Often a child is in a crisis home situation that is unsafe for them.  Guardian Ad Litem takes action to remove the child from dangerous situations and places them in a safe environment while decisions are made for what is best for the child and family.  During this time of rapid transition, children often leave the homes with no clothes or toys.  Our S.T.A.R.S. (widows ministry) is hosting a collection for new clothes and new toys for children ages newborn to 18. There is a box to receive donations at the church.  

Every month, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and Orphan’s Heart use more than 30,000 
diapers to meet the needs of the children they serve! Will you help provide diapers for these abused, neglected and abandoned children?On September 24 until Orphan Sunday, which The Florida Baptist Children's Home each year sponsors a "Diaper Drive".  This gives an opportunity for us to help fill a need for diapers that these homes go through so quickly.  Any size box of diapers is welcome and appreciated.  There is also a box for your donations at church.

These ministry opportunities will be open through October.  Thank you for sharing!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prayer Need

This is very late notice, but we are trying to get the word out about an opportunity to show love and support in our church family.

Skeet H. had a brother to pass away this week.  We just learned of the arrangements and his viewing will be tonight from 6:00 - 8:00 PM at Daniels.  Funeral will be tomorrow at 11:00 AM at Mt. Olive.  Be encouraged to show Skeet and his family your love and of course lift them all up in prayer.

A few other prayer needs in the church family are the family of Bill D. as his grandaugher passed away last night.  Also please remember Mary Lou R. as she recently spent some time in the hospital and is now home recovering.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

163rd Homecoming

This coming Sunday (October 12) we will be celebrating our 163rd church Homecoming!  God has surely been good to Antioch and we appreciate and praise Him for His blessings.

The day of celebration will begin at 9:45 AM with our Sunday School classes.  Morning service will be at 11:00 AM with special guest Rev. James Croft.  Dinner on the grounds will follow at 12:30 PM.  


Church family is encouraged to bring covered food dishes to share with our guests.  Church family and friends are encouraged to stay for the lunch and enjoy fellowship with longtime friends and spend some time getting better acquainted with new friends.  

There will be no evening service that night.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's a Busy Week!!!


This week will be very busy with opportunities each day for you to connect, fellowship and minister with church family.  

Here is a quick schedule:

Tuesday - Cottage prayer meeting at the pastor's home at 7:00 PM.
Wednesday - Youth rally, adult prayer meeting
Thursday - Cottage prayer meeting at Rem and Joyce F.'s home
Friday - Family Supper at 6:00 PM followed by revival service at 7:00 PM
Saturday - 8:30 AM pancake breakfast followed by Evangelism Training at 9:30 AM
*for those not attending the training, the annual Walk/Run for Life will begin at 9:00 AM (come early to register)
Revival service at 7:00 PM.
Sunday - 9:54 AM Sunday School, 11:00 AM Revival Service and 6:00 PM Revival Service

Although it takes much time, energy and effort to be involved in a week like this, may we be encouraged to take part in what we can.  Prayer and fellowship help draw our hearts closer to God and to one another and our prayer is for God to truly revive our hearts, our church and our community. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

See You at the Pole



From that very first year in 1990, See You at the Pole has been about one simple act—prayer. Today, SYATP is still about students humbling themselves, turning to God, and interceding for their generation.

SEE YOU AT THE POLE day is on Wednesday, September 24, at 7:00 a.m. local time. All around the globe, in every time zone, students will be gathering at their flagpoles, praying for their school, friends, families, churches, and communities. SEE YOU AT THE POLE is a day committed to global unity in Christ and prayer for your generation.

Adults, may we be encouraged to pray for our students, children, grandchildren.  
Since See You at the Pole™ is all about students praying, start praying for your students now! Pray for:
  • your students and their friends to take part in See You at the Pole™.
  • the other students in your community (or church) to take part in See You at the Pole™.
  • your youth pastor/leader in your church as he/she motivates and guides students for See You at the Pole™.
  • your students' parents to be supportive of their involvement in See You at the Pole™.
  • the non-Christian students that could be reached through See You at the Pole™.
  • the Christian students in your community to strengthen their unity on campus all year long.
The youth at Antioch will be participating in the event in the morning and will conclude in the evening with an association wide youth rally.  Please pray for hearts to be touched, changed and a generation impacted by the power of God.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014



Our Revival Weekend is coming soon!

September 26-28 there will be opportunities for you to come and be a part of Antioch's Revival.


Friday night at 6:30 PM we will kick off with a Family Supper.  Pizza will be served, church family is encouraged to bring a salad or dessert.  Revival service will follow at 7:00 PM.

Saturday morning at 8:30 AM, our Brotherhood is hosting a pancake breakfast.  Following the breakfast will be an evangelism training workshop.  Be encouraged to come and grow in this vital area of sharing your faith!

Saturday evening service will begin at 7:00 PM.  Sunday services will be at regular times- 11:00 AM and 6:00 PM.  

The special speaker is Dr. David Burton - Lead Strategist Florida Baptist Convention.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Operation Christmas Child SIng




A World of Opportunity at the 2nd Annual Operation Christmas Child Meeting and Gospel Sing

Westwood Baptist Church Family Center, Live Oak, FL – 2:00 – 5:00 PM - September 13, 2014 

Enjoy first-hand the unique experience of how a small Christmas gift box can mean so much to needy children all over the world.   We are honored and excited to learn more about the impact of a shoebox on the lives of Lejla Allison from Bosnia;  Alex Nsengimana, a survivor of genocide in Rwanda; and Livia Satterfield from Romania.

Gospel music will be provided by Amber Jones, Life Song Gospel Music Trio and Amber Lee Abbott.  
Along with the Gospel music there will be a baked potato bar with all the fixings.  There is a suggested donation of $5.00 each, all of which will go toward Operation Christmas Child.

For more information,
contact: Colleen Ruehl
Suwannee Valley & NC FL Area Coordinator
Operation Christmas Child - Samaritan's Purse
(850) 556-1787 - cell
jcruehl@aol.com
www.facebook.com/groups/OCCSuwanneeValleyArea

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Get Your Walking Shoes On..

The annual Pregnancy Care Center's Walk/Run for Life will be September 27.  Last year our church took the prize for most participants!  We have a trophy we've kept all year at our church.

This year the competition is open among our area churches for the trophy.  Let's keep a hold of it another year!!  Please plan to attend the walk and show your support for our local Pregnancy Care Center!


Friday, August 15, 2014

How to Grow In God

Are you thirsty? Are you craving time in God’s Word? Peter instructs us to yearn for the Word of God as a baby needs milk. This reflects the way our longing should feel as we thirst for knowledge of God. It’s also a lovely reminder that studying God’s Word should never be a labor; it should always be a delight. Filling up on God’s promises and instructions is a satisfying, nourishing, enlightening experience.

Make it a goal to grow in the Lord. To do this calls for you to discard behaviors that are unlike your God. To embrace the spiritual truths found in God’s Word. Getting rid of the bad and desiring the good are actions you can take each and every day of your life. No matter how long you have been a believer—10, 20, or 30 years—you should still crave the Word of God. In fact, the desire increases the more you grow in Christ!

God calls you to discard… and to desire. Make God’s goal your goal. Purge whatever is not righteous and good in your life so you can grow in Him.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Characteristics of an Effective Leader

The new church year will be starting soon!  This is always an exciting time for the church as new leaders emerge and seasoned leaders can be revitalized for the coming year.

If you are a involved in a church ministry or considering becoming a part, a recent article shared some characteristics of an effective leader.  Remember, we're not leading if no one is following and when others follow, we want to lead as Christ leads.  May we seek the Lord for effective ministry and for Him to work in our lives His character.

Intentional: You need to know your purpose and make deliberate efforts to follow the process for getting there. Intentionality is important because people need to believe that where you are going will make a difference in their lives.

Honest: You need to be authentic, transparent, real. Honesty is important because people need to sense that they can trust you.

Consistent: You need to practice what you preach, always be fair, and bring some sense of stability into this chaotic world. Consistency is important because people need to know that they can count on you.

Sensitive: You need to understand and accept that not everybody is at the same place in their walk nor do they have the same needs. Sensitivity is important because people need to feel that they matter to you.

Loving: You need to give of yourself to others in ways let them see how devoted you are to them which would include all of the above traits and more. Love is important because people need to know you truly care about them.

Notice that the importance of these characteristics is not merely to make us more effective or make us look good to others. Rather, it’s the effect we have on the people we serve, … the message these traits relay to the people we serve. If we are not connecting with people, all our smooth-running programs or eloquent words will lack the full impact they could have.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Cor. 13:1-3)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Showing Jesus to Others




If Jesus is who He says He is, then we should want to introduce Him to others who might not know Him in these ways. We can do that through . . .

Our words ... what we say

Lecture might occasionally be good in the classroom, if used effectively, but in every day life we can't just preach at people about Jesus. We need to respectfully engage in dialog with them. See 1 Peter 3:15-16.

Our actions ... how we live

What we do communicates volumes more than what we say. See Matthew 5:16.

Our character ... who we are

This past month the MinTools Blog looked at characteristics of an effective ministry worker. These traits will obviously affect what we do. For example, one of the traits in that post is consistency. There are so many traits that could have been included in that post like this month's Be-Attitude, being concerned. What about being reliable?  See Galatians 5:22-23.

Our reactions ... how we emote

When faced with the difficulties of life do we exhibit the peace that comes from knowing the Source of peace or are we frazzled and in despair? How do we react when ministry doesn't go as expected? How do we react when somebody on our ministry team has a different opinion than us? See 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.

People are looking at the whole of who we are, not just our words, to see if they want this Jesus who claims to be the way, the truth, and the life. What do they see when they look at you?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Family is forever ...and it is important.  Churches are all about family and seeking for families to worship together. But in our fast paced society, family time cam be scarce and should be guarded.  But in our quest for family time, are we shutting out God and turning our backs on His opportunities?  A very interesting article challenges church families to look deep at their lives.  Are we putting God first and allowing His order to be in our families or are we putting our family first and shutting out God? 
 
"If we aren’t careful, instead of encouraging worshipping families, we become family worshippers. The following are possible signs that we have begun worshipping the family rather than encouraging our family to be worshippers:"
 
We Seldom Host Others:  If our home is seen primarily as a citadel set against the world, there is a problem. A home centered upon Christ will be marked by growing hospitality. It is a way station of truth and worship. We gladly invite others into it for rest, encouragement, and strengthening.
 
We Seldom Reach Out to Others:  If our family is so insular that others don’t know us, there is a problem. A Christian family filled with love and worship should overflow to those around them. Neighbors and co-workers can’t help but be touched by the love that permeates in and cascades from our family.
 
We Seldom Serve in the Church: If our family is so focused on just being a family that we can’t attend  mid-week bible studies or are so intent on being together Sunday morning that the parents can’t teach Sunday School or assist in the nursery, there is a problem. As a Christian family we are to see ourselves as part of the community. Not separate from it. Not more important than it. But essential to it.
 
We Seldom Have Time: If our family is always busy with its own activities, whether soccer, piano, ballet, family vacations, or even family worship to the point that we have little time for others, there is a problem. The enrichment and growth of our children, even in spiritual things, is not to pull us away from people but towards them. Yes, we only have so many years to train and teach our children while they are at home. But are we teaching them that they and their activities are the center of life or worshipping Christ and loving others is what is most important?
 
We Seldom Sacrifice: If our family is reluctant to give generously, because of what it costs our family, there is a problem. We hesitate to give above our tithe to missionaries, the local church, the building fund, or the homeless shelter because our children’s college education comes first. We neglect supporting the church member headed out on a short-term mission’s trip, because our family “educational trip” is more important. We always have an excuse. And it is always our family’s need that provides the ground for that excuse. Rather, the Christian family should be generous in giving—generous to the point of giving sacrificially.
 
e Seldom Have Flexibility: If others feel like they are always interrupting our family by calling, visiting, or proposing a time to get-together, there is a problem. Others will notice it before us. They begin to feel like our family’s routine cannot be interrupted under any circumstances. We convey this consciously or even subconsciously and others pickup on it. Rather, our family should be noted by its flexibility and joy when others stop by, friendliness when called, and availability when needed.
 
We Seldom Speak Well of Others: If our family tends to have an arrogant air about it, there is a problem. We have it together. Others don’t quite understand the importance of the family, worship, and our calling as parents. Our conversations are too often critical and judgmental. If only others understood as we do. May it never be! Our families should be filled with thanking God for others. Our children should hear us commending and promoting others. People should find that we are refreshing to their souls, rather than critical of their practices.
 
By all means, let us enjoy and treasure our families. Let us celebrate the gift they are. Let us pour out our lives and hearts into ministering to our spouse, rearing our children in Christ, and filling our homes with the love and truth of Christ. However, in so doing, let us also be worshippers of the Christ we are seeking to honor. Let us worship Him in our worshipping families, rather than worship our families in the name of worshipping Him.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Take Some Time

Take some time:
Take time to work—it is the price of success.

Take time to think—it is the source of power.

Take time to play—it is the secret of perpetual youth.

Take time to read—it is the fountain of wisdom.

Take time to be friendly—it is a road to happiness.

Take time to dream—it is hitching your wagon to a star.

Take time to love and be loved—it is the privilege of redeemed people.

Take time to care for others—it is too short a day to be selfish.

Take time to laugh—it is the music of the soul.

Take time for God—it is life’s only lasting investment.

Friday, July 18, 2014

777 Prayer Update

The following picture was taken on Day 8 of 7 7 7 by a woman who prayer-walked the White House, Capitol, and the Supreme Court, using our prayers as a guide.  Since the rainbow was given as a sign of God's covenant to Noah underscoring that never again would the world be destroyed by a flood, could it be that God has sent it as a sign that He has heard our prayers, will forgive our sin, and heal our land? For the glory of His great name!  



From the photographer: "This was taken July 8. My friend and I … drove around Independence Avenue and crossed in front of the Capitol, we saw this magnificent, double rainbow. I firmly believe the Lord sent this "DOUBLE" rainbow as a direct answer to all of our prayers with the 777 initiative, reminding us He is a covenant-keeping Lord and He has heard our prayers.  This double rainbow is a reminder of the double portion of His grace I believe He desires to shed on this great nation."



Please accept this free e-book as our gift of appreciation for participatingin 7 7 7: An Urgent Call to Prayer: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

VBS Week!!

This week Vacation Bible School is going full force! All around the church you can hear children's laughter and chatter, singing, games and fun creating crafts.  In the midst of all this, our teachers and workers are implanting the truth of God's Word into these young lives.  This is a powerful, effective ministry that sows seeds of the Gospel in many lives.  

Please continue to pray throughout this week for hearts to be touched  and lives to be changed through VBS.  
VBS will close with Family Night on Friday.  Closing ceremony will begin at 6:30 PM followed by a light meal and fellowship.  All parents and family are welcome and encouraged to join Family Night. Church family is encouraged to bring finger food/dessert to share with our guests.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Church Renovations Almost Complete!!


The church renovations have gone pretty smoothly!!  Old carpet and pews have been removed, the sanctuary has been repainted and new carpet installed.  The last step of the project is for the new pews to be placed.  That should happen this week!!

If all goes according to plans, next Sunday, we will worship in the newly renovated sanctuary!  This will be a wonderful time of gratitude and praise to the Lord.  A baptism is scheduled along with a time of worship as we partake of the Lord's Supper.  Be encouraged to make plans to share the joy, fellowship and praise to God as we honor Him.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Children's Camp

Last week was a wonderful week filled with children having fun, enjoying fellowship together and having their hearts touched by the Holy Spirit.  Here are a few pictures from the week!!






Monday, June 30, 2014

777 - An Urgent Call For Prayer



Blow the trumpet...sound the alarm...for the day of the Lord
is coming. It is close at hand-- Rend your heart and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God... ~Joel 2:1, 13  

Join Anne Graham Lotz and thousands of other followers of Jesus Christ across our nation and around the world, as together we return to the Lord our God, rend our hearts, repent of our sin, and cry out to God for His mercy on behalf of our nation. Before it's too late.

Pray! in the 7th month, July 
Pray! on each of the first 7 days of July 
Pray! and fast on July 7th for 7 hours (of your choosing)


The Purpose:
For God the Father to restrain, protect, and deliver His people from the evil that has come into our world.
For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, in our nation, and in our lives.
For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting in a great national spiritual awakening.
Sign up below to receive prayers Anne has written specifically for each day, July 1 through July 7, that will help us be united with one voice and one spirit as together we cry out to God.


Will you participate in this deducted time of prayer?  Sign up HERE to receive prayers Anne has written specifically for each day,  July 1 through July 7, that will help us be united with one voice and one spirit as together we cry out to God. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Patience, Please


God's patience is referenced all the time.. Throughout Scripture, God withholds judgment and extends mercy in patient love.  And, of course, there's no better example of patience than Jesus Christ. God became a man and was willing to walk so deeply beneath his dignity, patiently teaching the foolish disciples, patiently rebuking the hard-hearted Pharisees, and patiently loving the tax collectors and prostitutes.

In the same way, God calls you to be patient with your fellow believers...

Is isn't easy  to be patient; we all struggle with patience everyday. But here are 3 reminders for when we are feeling low on patience:

1. God extends His patience to me everyday: (those who are generous with patience know that they've generously received patience from the Lord)

2. Change is a process, not an event: (it's rare for a believer to have victory over areas of sin immediately and forever)

3. The God of Patience now lives inside me by His Spirit: (I don't have the power to be patient, but Jesus does, and He is with me)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Our Sanctuary This Week!!!!

Here is a peek into our church sanctuary this week:





Painting is well underway and carpet will go in this week!  Things are moving along smoothly and your prayers are still appreciated!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Father's Day is Sunday...




Father's Day is Sunday.  Here is a wonderful article written by a father, to fathers with the reminder of how vital their influence is in our world today.

"If there’s one thing the 21st century has tried to teach us –  it’s that Dads are dispensable.

But nobody asked the kids who stare down the road wondering when Dad is coming back. Ever been to an orphanage? They don’t think Dad doesn’t matter.

There is a unique space in the heart of every kid that only the love of a father can fill. Many single moms have done well but you’ll never meet one who will tell you their child didn’t need a father.

And that’s why Father’s Day is so much more than a card with a joke inside. It’s not about the guy who brought someone into the world. Biology doesn’t make a father.

The real father is the man who quietly steps up and lays down his life day after day, doing all those unseen things that say, I’m there for you; I love you; your needs come before mine; you are an important, valuable person.

Dad, you matter.

Who thought you were the man for the job of being “Daddy”? God did.

We often think, “I’m so blessed to have these kids.” And, that’s true, but something else is true, as well. Your kids are blessed to have you as their dad. God chose you not only to be a father, but to be the father of the specific children you have.

From God’s perspective, you are His blessing to your children. God wants your children to know about Him and He picked you out of all the dad’s on earth to make it happen. Read Deuteronomy 6.

So, the next time your tempted to think you’re not that important – that you’re not getting anywhere, the next time you see an advertisement with a mocking reference to the buffoon dad, the next time you wonder if what you’re doing matters over the long haul, remember, God doesn’t make mistakes.

He chose you, Dad.

He chose you for His purposes and His plan. That’s one of the great comforts we Dads can take in knowing God. He always has a plan. It may not be apparent in those everyday moments that often seem unimportant but faithful fatherhood is a marathon, not a sprint.

You matter, Dad.

You matter because God chose you and you’re there, day after day, faithfully doing all those things that add up to being a loving dad. And that’s becoming an increasingly rare gift to kids, these days. Your quiet faithfulness does not go unnoticed by your Heavenly Father.

To all the Dads out there: Happy Father’s Day."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Building Renovation!

 Our building renovations are in full swing!!!

Here is a last peek of our sanctuary in red!


Progress this week::  taking everything out:




Monday, June 2, 2014

Family Meal This Wednesday



This Wednesday will be our last Family Meal for a few months as we will break for the summer.  But, be encouraged to come out and enjoy a special time of fellowship with the church family as we share a meal together.  Ministries for the entire family will follow the meal.

Bring a covered food dish to share.  Meal begins at 6:00 PM, family ministries begin at 7:00 PM.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

God's Promises and Our Character

God always keeps His promises to us, and God cannot lie or be unfaithful. 

Therefore…

  • You can always count on God.
  • You can always believe in God’s Word.
  • You can always depend on God’s nature.
  • You can always rely on God’s power.


Here’s the challenge: You mirror God’s nature or character when you keep your word and your promises to others. If you are going to make a promise, whether that promise is made to your marriage partner, your children, a fellow church member, your boss, a workmate, or anyone else, be sure you keep it. Your character is at stake!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Camp Sonrise

Don't forget about Camp Sonrise which is June 23-26.  This camp is for children who have completed grades 2-6 and are looking for a summer adventure filled with water, friends, fun and a life changing time of learning about God!

If you have a child interested in going, applications are ready and are due back June 8.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

International Spy Academy...coming to our church!!



Our Vacation Bible School will be held July 14-18.  This year's theme is "International Spy Academy".  

This is more than a week of fun, it is an opportunity to impart Biblcial teaching to children in a fun way which they will remember.  Here is a brief description of the week planned:

Biblical Teaching
At The International Spy Academy, excitement and adventure abound from the first minute of each day when kids meet in their Truth Force teams. The teams gather at the Agents’ Assembly for the opening assembly, a high-energy beginning that includes wacky intros, lively songs, a missions moment, and prayer. Teams then rotate through four fun sites:

  • ISA Headquarters, where God’s Word is taught in hands on ways;
  • Agent-in-Action Games, where training challenges of the utmost fun are mastered;
  • Top Secret Snacks, where top level treats vanish in a hurry;
  • Classified Crafts, where agents-in-training engage in hands-on crafting.


After training and mission assignments are completed, agents regroup for the closing assembly, which includes more singing, contest results, Get a Clue about God time, and the highly anticipated daily drama. The drama is set in a European city that has drifted away from following the one true God. The Truth Force is sent in to expose the truth about God and the country’s godly heritage. Agents Jess, Dresden, and Casey find foes in unlikely places as their assignment takes unexpected twists and turns. All this adds up to a week filled with high impact. Ready, special agents? The world awaits!


Monday, May 26, 2014

The Most Important Part of the Service

 
 
What part of the church service do you like best? 
 
Is it the singing?  The fellowship time?  The preaching where we listen and absorb God's Word?
 
All these play a vital role in worship.  If there was to be a most important part, would it be the time when we are still and seeking God?  In our minds when we may be  evaluating our actions, allowing God to search our hearts and bring us to a wholeness with Him.
 
After the sermon, our pastor asks a few soul searching questions for Christians. He encourages us to search our hearts for sin, be reconciled to God in any area we find conviction. He speaks to those who have not yet invited Christ into their lives and implores them to obey the Holy Spirit drawing them to come to God. 
 
These few moments bring the entire worship service to a place where we can respond....to God.  These moments are vital, they are moments hovering between spiritual life and death. 
 
Last Sunday a woman came to church, it was the first time in several years.  She sat with her family, feeling a bit uncomfortable.  She fumbled along to find the hymns in the hymnal, but she did, she opened her Bible and read along.  She heard the preaching and answered his heart searching questions with a nod.  She had a deep need and came looking for something...Praise God, she came to church. 
 
As the pastor began to speak, she began to wipe the tears from her eyes.  The time came when he asked everyone to bow their heads as we went before the throne of grace and mercy.  It was clear that the Lord was doing a work in her heart.  As heads bowed, my hope was that she would surrender to the Lord.  
 
But as the pastor began to speak, people began to get up to leave. Even though attempting to quietly slip out, the slightest noise or movement can be just the distraction needed to take the focus off the voice of God in our hearts.  She just sat for a few moments, then stood to sing.  When she turned to leave, she still had tears in her eyes. 
 
The purpose of this heartfelt post is to encourage us to be sensitive to the working of the Lord in other's lives, especially during this time of critical decision.  There is a member of our church family who sits close to the front.  Every Sunday once the pastor finishes his message, this man bows his head in prayer and stays there until the invitation begins.  One can only imagine his prayers for God to move and do what only He can do.  What a powerful way to partner with God and petition Him on behalf of others.
 
May we be in prayer all week, but especially during the time of the service when the Holy Spirit has been invited to work in the hearts and lives of those in our church.  God is able to do so much more than we us, nothing is impossible to Him .  May we welcome and invite His work in our church and in our lives.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Homegoing

Our church family has been in prayer for Elizabeth O and family as her father has been in poor health and in his last days here on  earth.  

He passed away this week and we rejoice in the fact that he is no longer suffering, but safely in the arms of Jesus.  As his family will be grieving the loss of his presence, please be in prayer for them.  

Funeral arrangements are as follows: Visitation will be Thursday night at Harris Funeral Home from 5:00- 7:00 PM.  Funeral will be Friday at 11:00 AM at Mt. Beulah Baptist Church.

May we be encouraged to wrap the family up with God's  love as we pray and share our support with them. 


Monday, May 19, 2014

Leadership For Everyday Life

"Leadership is influence - nothing more and nothing less." ~ Dr. John C. Maxwell. 


Being an influential leader is not about power, title or position, it is about being able to influence people and decisions.  Although you may not be in a visible leadership position, we are all people of influence and as Christians should seek to be the best leaders we can be.

The key factor to people allowing you to influence them is to develop trust, because if they do not trust you, you will be limited in your ability to influence them. Therefore, you will not be able to effectively lead them,  if people cannot trust you they will not follow you

The word "trust" by definition means:  "reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, of a person or thing; confidence". That also sounds like some key ingredients to any relationship. You see as a leader, trust will establish a relationship between you and your team. One way to develop that trust, and maintain it, is to focus on personally and emotionally connecting with the individuals on your team. These actions will enable you to implement a very important leadership law - The Law of Connection, which states  - "leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand"
(Dr. John C. Maxwell "21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership").

When you are focused on a person's heart and not just their talent it is then that the true connection begins. It tells them that you value them. That relationship should be of as much value to them as it is to you, the team, or the organization.

Here are four proven ways to connect, develop trust and add value to your team members:

1. Listen to them.

2.Respect them.

3.Grow them.

4.Reward them.

If you consistently follow these simple proven principles of influential leadership you will continue to expand your influence and lead your team to even greater success.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Homegoing...

Please be aware of the homegoing of one of our church family.  Ms. Katherine Oxendine passed away earlier this week.  She has been in poor health for a long time and we rejoice in the fact that she is now with our Lord and in perfect health.

Services will be Friday with a visitation with the family from 10:00 - 11:00 AM. Funeral service will follow at 11:00 AM..  All services will be at Antioch and our church will be ministering to the family by providing a meal.  Your donations of food and/or service would be such a blessing to the family during this time.  Be encouraged to keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Church Prayer Meeting



Charles Spurgeon on the Church Prayer Meeting


Here is a powerful article on the importance of church prayer meeting.  May we be encouraged to make the weekly sacrifice to not simply attend prayer meeting, but truly seek and believe in the power of God through prayer.

"The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. So is the prayer meeting a grace-ometer, and from it we may judge of the amount of divine working among a people. If God be near a church, it must pray. And if He be not there, one of the first tokens of His absence will be slothfulness in prayer.

If a church is to be what it ought to be for the purposes of God, we must train it in the holy art of prayer. Churches without prayer-meetings are grievously common. Even if there were only one such, it would be one to weep over. In many churches the prayer-meeting is only the skeleton of a gathering: the form is kept up, but the people do not come. There is no interest, no power, in connection with the meeting. Oh, my brothers, let it not be so with you! Do train the people to continually meet together for prayer. Rouse them to incessant supplication. There is a holy art in it. Study to show yourselves approved by the prayerfulness of your people. If you pray yourself, you will want them to pray with you; and when they begin to pray with you, and for you, and for the work of the Lord, they will want more prayer themselves, and the appetite will grow. Believe me, if a church does not pray, it is dead. Instead of putting united prayer last, put it first. Everything will hinge upon the power of prayer in the church.

Beloved, let every church learn the value of its prayer-meetings in its darkest hour. When the pastor is gone, and when it has been difficult to find a suitable successor; when, it may be, there are splits and divisions; when death falls upon honored members, when poverty comes in, when there is a spiritual famine, and when the Holy Spirit appears to have withdrawn himself — then there is but one remedy for these and a thousand other evils, and that one remedy is contained in this short sentence, “Let us pray.”

United prayer is useful inasmuch as God has promised extraordinary and special blessings in connection with it, [we see this principle described in the context of church discipline]: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” [Matthew 18:20]. “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” [Matthew 18:19]. God asks for agreement, and, once the saints agree, He pledges Himself that the prayer of His agreeing ones shall be answered. Why, see what accumulated force there is in prayer, when one after another pours out their passionate desires; when many seem to be tugging at the rope; when many seem to be knocking at mercy’s gate; when the mighty cries of many burning hearts come up to heaven. When, my beloved, you go and shake the very gates of heaven with the powerful battering-ram of holy passion, and sacred insistence, then will the kingdom of heaven forcefully advance. When first one, and then another, and yet another, throws their whole soul into the prayer, the kingdom of heaven is conquered and the victory is very great indeed."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Special Prayer Request



This email came out from our Association Office.  Let's join with our community churches and pray for this opportunity!

This coming weekend will be the largest evangelism event ever in Suwannee Baptist Association. I have some of my friends from the NFL coming in to do our first Weekend of Champions. We will be in the schools SHARING CHRIST on Friday, doing a clinic  and a concert at the football stadium on Saturday, and in churches on Sunday.

Please join me in praying up this opportunity! I can’t wait to see what God does.

Blessings, Don Walker

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Loving Our Mothers



Mother's Day usually brings up emotions of happiness and thankfulness.  In our church services, we celebrate Mom, her influence, her love and her service.  We acknowledge and bless our mothers publicly.   

But...Mother's Day can bring other emotions besides joy.  Mothers come in a variety of roles. Some joyful, some painful. May we be sensitive to honor mothers without alienating others. As a church, we want women to feel welcome, appreciated, seen, and needed here in our little neck of the body of Christ. 

May we be sensitive to the wide continuum of mothering.  May we honor and connect with all moms:

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you

To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you

To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you

To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children – we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be

To those who step-parent – we walk with you on these complex paths

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren -yet that dream is not to be, we grieve with you

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you

To those who placed children up for adoption — we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.

We commend mothering for the ways it reflects the image of God by bringing forth new life, nurturing those on her path, and living with the tension of providing both freedom and a safety net.

Let's wish a Happy Mother's Day to all moms and bring blessing, hope and joy to their lives.