Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How to Minister During Disasters

We have all seen the devastation of disasters across the country recently. We know Christ is with us in these times, and He also asks His people to help when these situations occur.  Although this is not an area close to us, this is some helpful information to hold on to...just in case it is ever needed.
How do we help in the midst of the messiness of a disaster?
Here is what does not work when ministering in a disaster:
  • Assuming that all the needs are being met by others or by agencies.
  • Forgetting about the victims. This happens quickly.
  • Thinking the victims do not need/want to be bothered. Help is needed and wanted!
  • Saying, “Call me if you need anything.”
  • Thinking that insurance covers all the related expenses.
Here is what does work when ministering in a disaster:
  • Prayer! Pray for and with the victims!
  • Cards and notes. Encouragement keeps everyone going.
  • Do something. Jump in and help by doing something!
  • Gift cards! Disasters are expensive. Insurance does not cover all the expenses. Restaurant gift cards give flexibility and offer needed meals. Building supply stories, big box stores, or home d├ęcor stores are great for buying those things the insurance will not cover.
  • A home-cooked meal. Nothing says love like food, especially when life is busy dealing with the disaster.
  • Asking for an update. Disasters last a long time after the news trucks have packed up and left town. Victims need to know they are not alone during the long haul of the disaster.
  • Helping with practical needs. Practical everyday things become major obstacles in a flood:
    • Washing clothes. In a flood, all the clothes in the house and all the linens have to be washed.
    • School supplies, toys, and baby gear (diapers, wipes—all those things needed for babies!)
    • Paper products
    • Help finding and moving to a temporary home
    • Childcare to allow the parents time to deal with the disaster
    • Assistance in finding resources and help
  • Listening and understanding.
    • To the frustration
    • To the anger
    • To the loneliness
    • Referrals to professional counselling
Disasters are messy and they stay messy for months, sometimes years. Victims of disaster will go through the stages of grief, they will struggle, and they will face challenges. With the compassionate love of Christ as our motivation, we can make a difference in this messy time in their lives.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Great Marriages Don't Just Happen

Great marriages require intentionality and investment—just like a garden that must be watered in order to grow.

FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember getaway offers:

  • Biblically-based insights from top speakers and marriage experts.
  • Relaxing alone time to rediscover the reasons you fell in love, free from distractions
  • Helpful tools, projects, and resources for an immediate impact on your marriage.
There will be a Weekend to Remember coming close to our area on October 21-22.  Be encouraged to pray about attending!  Listen during church services for more details. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

National Minute of Prayer

God + You + 1 Minute = HOPE FOR AMERICA

National Minute of Prayer
History tells us that, during World War II, millions of people across Great Britain joined in 1 minute of silent prayer every night as Big Ben chimed the 9:00 hour. A grassroots effort is now underway to establish a daily National Minute of Prayer for America.

We Need That Minute!
Morally and spiritually, America is facing its darkest hour. Let us reach into the arsenal of history and bring out what one high Nazi official referred to as the Brits' "powerful secret weapon."

Read more about this movement at Minute of Prayer


Friday, August 26, 2016

Voter Guides

The Florida Primaries are coming right up. As a church, may we be found praying and seeking godly wisdom and of course, planning to do our part and VOTE!

The Florida Family Policy Council puts out each election year a voter guide local, created by local activists.. The guides for informational purposes only, but cover many topics that are important to Christian families today. 

Click VOTER GUIDE to see a variety of guides on candidates, amendments, judges and local races.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Back to School Peanuts and Ice Cream

An annual treat we look forward to is the Back to School Boiled Peanuts and Homemade Ice Cream Fellowship.  This year, it will be August 28 following the evening service. 
The peanuts will be provided, if you have an ice cream churn, please plan to make a batch of ice cream to share. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ladies Bible Study Morning Edition?

God is not looking for us to perform for Him, He's looking for us to delight in Him. Many of us hit invisible barriers when we seek the Lord with questions like:
  • Is God happy with me?
  • Does He really love me?
  • Am I doing enough?
  • Why do I feel guilty all the time?
  • Why can't I seem to grow more spiritually?
Join Tammie Head on a journey to overcome spiritual insecurity using six foundational truths from Ephesians 1:3-23. You will discover the beautiful news that God has not only chosen you for a deep, soul-satisfying relationship but He also constantly supplies everything you need to know Him this way. If you've been longing for a deeper relationship with God, this study is for you!
Our new Ladies Bible Study "Duty or Delight" will begin September 7 at 6:30 PM and run for 6 weeks during the Family Ministry hour.  We are excited about this study the changes in our attitude and life it may bring.
Some ladies have expressed an interest in participating in a morning study. We are prayerfully considering 2 sessions. Please let Sis. Caroline know if you would like to be a part of either time slot for the study.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ladies Fellowship Meeting

There will be a Ladies Fellowship Meeting this Thursday night beginning at 5:30 PM.  This will be held at Gayle M.'s home. We will enjoy a light meal together followed by a devotion by one of our godly older women.  Please plan to bring a finger food or dessert to share.

This will be a wonderful time of fellowship of women of all ages coming together to grow as a woman of God.  Be encouraged to come and enjoy this time, grow and be blessed!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Family Ministries Meal Meetting

The Family Ministries Meal will be resuming on Wednesday, September 7 at 5:30 PM.  We are excited about coming back together for that special time of fellowship around the table! 
There will be a meeting on Wednesday night at 5:30 PM for anyone interested in helping to prepare the meals.  No task is too small, for 'many hands make light work'!  If you would like to be part of this ministry opportunity, please come Wednesday at 5:30 PM for the meeting.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sunday School Lesson - Respect

This week's Sunday School lesson is on "Respect".  Here is an interesting commentary from Explore the Bible.

Not all open doors should be entered. David encountered such a door as he came across Saul asleep. Abishai interpreted it as God handing Saul into David’s hands. David saw it as an opportunity to demonstrate trust in God.
So how do we know if the door should be entered? How do we know if the opportunity is really from God and in His will? Here are some actions to take to determine if the door should be entered.

  • Invest in your relationship with God. All else is obsolete. Knowing God’s will is another way of saying knowing the mind and heart of God. The only way that happens is by spending time with Him. We shouldn’t expect God to tell us His deepest thoughts when we are distant. These deepest thoughts are usually told as a whisper which requires us to be close to hear.
  • Know God’s Word. God made His principles known to us through His Word. We must take time to read it to know what the Bible says. We must keep on reading it, studying it, and reflecting on it. God’s will for us today is consistent with God’s will throughout history. His principles do not change.
  • Evaluate the options. God gave us the ability to think and to critically evaluate our thoughts. Define the decision. Make a list of all options, even the options you know would be ill-advised. Identify the pros and cons of each option. This will help you know the risks involved with each option and will give you a potential course of action. A word of caution: God’s principles always override our evaluation.
  • Seek out friends. God places people in our lives who can and should influence us. Not all of them will influence us in the proper direction (Abishai being an example), but they at least give us an opportunity to process our thoughts and define our rationale for acting. One of the values of discussing a decision with a trusted friend is the perspective they bring to the table. A fresh or different perspective often moves us forward in the decision-making process.
  • Expect assurance. The Holy Spirit confirms God’s will in our lives. We don’t need all the answers to have peace about a decision. David was able to sleep after refusing to kill Saul, knowing he had done the right thing. David didn’t know exactly when he would become king or the specific circumstances that would usher in his reign, but he knew God could be trusted. In that trust, David found peace.
  • Stay the course. God’s path is not always the easiest. Paul talked about being beaten, left for dead, and shipwrecked (2 Cor. 11:23-29). Paul faced all these things and more, knowing the peace of being within God’s will. We often quit way too early to get to the end of the course God desires us to finish!

These actions usually happen in the order listed. God does not hide His will, nor does He dictate whether we should choose door number one or number two. He gives us pointers and road markers that move us forward on the path of life if we are attentive.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Prayer Points for Elections Part 2

4. The Church

Pray for a spirit of humility and an outreach in the Church toward those whom the Bible calls the least among us. (Psalm 9:18)

Pray that the churches in your community and area will preach the gospel of Christ powerfully.

Thank the Lord for the freedom we have in Him and for the wisdom to understand that freedom. (Gal. 5:13)

Pray for a spirit of consecration and holiness to come upon the Church in America. (Joshua 3:5)

Pray for a spirit of compassion to come over the Church in the United States so that we will begin seriously to live out the lifestyle of Jesus in our communities. (Philemon 1:6)

Ask the Lord to help strengthen the trumpet call to intensive prayer so that it is heard throughout the Church in the United States. (1 Tim. 2:8)

Ask the Lord for the Church to rise up with a strong prophetic voice for America. (Eph. 6:19)

Pray for a spirit of repentance to fall upon the Church in America that would cause us to turn back to God and seek Him. (2 Cor. 5:10)

Pray for a spirit of courage to rise within the Church. Commit to enduring whatever it takes to see the fulfillment of God’s purposes in our nation. (1 Thess.1:6)

Pray that the Church in America will live in such a way that the peace of Christ comes into the councils of our nation. (Rom.12:2)

Pray for a movement of the Spirit that creates a dramatic cultural transformation in the United States, bringing about a nation that has learned to put its hope in the Word of God. (Matt. 4:16)

Ask the Lord to awaken the Church to the temporary nature of the nations and to the eternal nature of the reign of God. (Matt. 6:33)

Pray that courage born of wisdom will be given to Christians in places of leadership in government, the courts, and law schools across the nation so that they will stand for a godly basis for law. (Joshua 1:9)

5. Media

Pray specifically for truth to be an established standard in our news media. (John 8:32)

Pray that media bias will be tempered by fairness. (Eph. 5:11)

Ask that Christianity will receive fair coverage in all reports. (1 Sam. 2:24)

6. Spiritual Warfare

Ask for great awareness and discernment for the Lord’s praying people as they pray over the election. (Numbers 10:9)

Pray for physical protection for all candidates and their families throughout this campaign season. (Isaiah 54:1)

Beseech the Lord for a strong hedge of protection around the nation itself during this time of decision. (Deut. 31:6)

7. Revival

Pray for another great spiritual awakening to sweep the nation as the Lord’s people learn to humble themselves with a contrite spirit, and to tremble at the Word of the Lord. (Isaiah 66:2)

Ask the Lord to bring revival to the Church in America. (Heb. 12:2)

Pray for the preachers of America to fearlessly proclaim the Word of God regarding sin and God’s love. (Rom. 5:8)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What the Pastor Does on Vacation

Summer is winding down and many in our church have taken vacations this month.

Our pastor is no exception, except his vacation hosts share their photos!

Praying for a great week of refreshing for Pastor and Caroline.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How to Pray for our Elections

This prayer guide is loosely structured for multiple usage. An individual might pick out a few prayer points from each category and pray those daily. A group might choose to divide the points among its members and cover the entire guide at one prayer gathering. Some families or individuals may want to pray from this guide for months leading up to the election and perhaps even beyond. Ask the Lord to show you how you best should pray. We encourage you to look up the verse with each prayer point; perhaps pray that verse as part of your prayers.

Prayer Points

1. The Nation and the Issues It Faces

Pray for the judges of this nation, that they would seek the wisdom that comes from above. (Deut. 4:8)

Ask the Lord to thwart the efforts of those who would remove religious freedom from our nation. (Gal. 5:1)

Pray for truth to become valued again in American society. (John 8:32)

Pray that our nation will increasingly see that God is our only refuge in the midst of the troubles of this world. (Jer. 33:6)

Pray for our judicial system and lawmakers, that justice for all, tempered by mercy and compassion, would guide our nation. (Isaiah 1:17)

Repent on behalf of our nation, because we have turned from making Scripture the basis of law, leaving behind wisdom, and looking to ourselves for truth. (Zech. 7:9)

Ask the Lord to pour out a spirit of repentance on our nation that we might become a nation committed to following His ways. (Jer. 29:13)

Pray that the U.S. would repent of its corporate rejection of the Word of God as the basis of law.

Pray that a holy fear of God will sweep across our nation, leading us back to a place of wisdom. (Isaiah 50:10)

2. The Election Process

Pray for a safe and fair election. (John 14:1)

Ask the Lord to remove those who might try to unjustly and illegally change the outcome of the voting.

Pray for a huge turnout of voters. (Prov. 4:6)

Pray for protection from any attacks from enemies that would prevent or delay the election. (Deut.3:22)

3. Candidates and Leaders

Pray for the salvation of those who are in leadership of our nation. Ask the Lord to remove all envy and selfish ambition. (James 3:16)

Pray that candidates will take brave stands for righteousness, even when it may not be well received.

Pray that their families will be protected from harm and unnecessary scrutiny. (Psalm 9:9)

Ask the Lord to surround them with godly advisors. (Prov. 1:7)

Pray that each candidate would focus on the issues we face as a nation and not on personal attacks on other candidates. (1 Tim. 1:6)

Monday, August 15, 2016


Just a reminder about the upcoming Association Wide Leadership Conference which August 23.  The deadline to get a free meal ticket is August 18.  Please contact the association office for your ticket if you plan to come at 6:00 PM for the meal.

This conference is for everyone, greeters, choir members, teachers, and all church members from deacons to nursery workers.  Be encouraged to come and be better equipped to grow and serve.

Some of the seminar outlines include:

Women's Ministries "Making Our Homes a Sanctuary" - Christian Homes in a Broken World

 Church Worship: “It’s ALL About the Relationship” Do we begin a relationship the minute someone enters our doors?

Youth: Student “Ministries 101 – Not Ya Mama’s Youth Group”

Missions: “Plan a Mission Trip A-Z”

Children’s Ministry: Track 1 – Why is it important to do a Background Check?   
Track 2: Safety in the Nursery / Kids Building

Friday, August 12, 2016

Praying for the Elections

In every election cycle, American Christians face both amazing opportunities and grave dangers. We are privileged to be a part of those who can choose their own leaders. As people who believe that godly leaders are a source of blessing to a nation, this provides us with great opportunity. The dangers arise, however, when we begin to put our hope in leaders rather than the Lord.

Praying for the electoral process is the first step in seeing the fulfillment of what Paul wrote in 1 Timothy. We should not wait for a leader to be selected before we move into obedient prayer for those in authority. In prayer, we invite the Lord into the process of electing those leaders who will ultimately allow us to “lead peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2,).

So why pray for the elections? There are a number of compelling reasons:

1. The Bible commands us to pray for those who are in leadership. This should certainly include those who are vying to become leaders.

2. Godly leaders can help slow the erosion of religious liberties in our land. This can provide an increased window of opportunity for the Church to pray and evangelize.

3. According to Scripture, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Prov. 14:34, NASB). The selection of leaders who understand and lead according to God’s righteous standards can bring great blessing to a nation.

4. Scripture also says, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisors” (Proverbs 11:14, NIV). The determination of who leads our nation will also determine who advises that leader and how we are guided.

We will be sharing various points to pray for our upcoming elections.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ladies Fellowship Meeting

Our ladies met last month for a time of fellowship, food and a time to hear a devotion from God's Word. What a wonderful evening it was with 20 ladies in attendance, delicious food and rich encouragement for our hearts.

 There will be another meeting on August 25 at the home of Gayle M. All ladies are welcome and encouraged to come share in the joy of fellowship together.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Church Project

We love making progress on our church projects!  This sandy area outside our kitchen door has been an inconvenience to trek through, especially while bringing food in. It could easily be a hazard for our older adults who may be a bit unsteady on their feet.

A huge thank you goes to all involved in getting concrete poured in this area to provide a smooth and even entrance.   It looks great and with the planned  upcoming additions will be such a safe and stable walkway.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Leadership Conference

The Association Wide Leadership Conference will be August 23 at Westwood Baptist beginning at 6:00 PM.  

Highlights include:

Featured Guest Speaker: Lewis Miller
Music by Stephen Wells &
Westwood Worship Choir

Conference Leaders:
Christy Wells ~ women’s ministries
Stephen Wells ~ church worship
Billy Young ~ youth ministries
Debbie McCall ~ children's ministries
Phillip Herrington ~ mission trips 

Dinner 6:00 - 6:30
Track 1 6:40- 7:10
Track 2 7:20 - 7:50
Rally w/Lewis Miller 7:55

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Weekend to Remember

At Weekend to Remember, you and your spouse will:

  • Enjoy a romantic getaway at a destination of your choosing.
  • Hear words of wisdom from people who have been in the trenches of marriage.
  • Apply what you learn in one-on-one projects with your spouse.
  • Positively change your relationship for a lifetime.

The format of the weekend combines general sessions (with messages delivered by a three-person speaker team) and designated times set aside for projects to complete as a couple. The "Date Night" on Saturday gives you and your spouse the opportunity to spend a romantic evening alone.

A Weekend to Remember will be in Jacksonville on October 21-23, 2016.  For more details click Family Life Event for detailed information. 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

4 Vows of God's People

For the people of God in Nehemiah’s day, the hard times, the painful losses, and deep hurts were a spiritual wake up call. They didn’t chalk up their experiences to bad luck; they examined themselves before the Lord. God had thrown them in the freezer and it shook them up. They realized that their harsh trials were in fact a severe mercy from God to call them to clean hearts and renewed commitments.

Chapter 10 tells us that they made four solemn promises. The opening verses record the names of the leaders who personally signed this pledge to do these four commitments. Thousands of others followed their lead verbally. As we contemplate the mercy of God to us all after our storm, will you pledge as well?

Promise #1: Submission to God’s Word
God is looking for people who are loyal to Him.  The depth of our devotion to God determines our impact on others. 
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army was once asked what his secret was to his incredible ministry. This is what he said, “God has had all that there was of me. There have been men with greater brains than I…but from the day I got the poor of London on my heart and caught a vision of what Jesus Christ could do with me and them, on that day I made up my mind that God should have all of William Booth that there was.”
Does God have all of us?

Promise #2: Separation From the World
The underlying principle here is that God wants His people to be profoundly different, uncompromised in their values and undivided in their loyalties. But the broader application is sorely needed today—living a life of such radical difference from what the world pursues that you stand out.  Can anyone tell you are a Christian? Has there been a Holy Spirit-wrought change in your life that touches your speech, your habits, your choices, your values? Oh that there would be after this day! 
"It's not the ship in the water but the water in the ship that sinks it. It's not the Christian in the world but the world in the Christian that constitutes the danger."

Promise #3: Sabbathing for God’s People
The word Sabbath means "to cease, to stop working, to celebrate, to be finished." God instituted Sabbath as a day of the week to set a godly rhythm into the calendar.  Jesus told us that the Sabbath was made for man (Mk. 2:27). It is a gift that is so important God demands you receive it. What makes it so valuable? Sabbathing re calibrates the soul and recuperates the body. It tunes your life to the greatness and goodness and nearness of God and His right to call the shots and carry your burdens.

Promise #4: Support For God’s Work
 They pledged to do all the offerings, to bring their firstfruits—the best of their harvest—to bring their tithes to the house of the Lord.
Verse 39 sums up their commitment: “We will not neglect the house of our God.” You need to know that at this time, they had not yet built their own homes. But they nevertheless trusted God’s provision and stated their commitment to give to God’s work systematically and sacrificially.

4 promises: Submission to God’s Word, Separation from the world, sabbathing for God’s people, and support for God’s work.  All of us can enter into the plan. This is the time to return to the Lord, to enter into the promises that make God’s people a light in this world, useful to God for His glory. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Parrot Joke

Did you hear the parrot joke from Sunday's sermon?

There was this man who bought a beautiful parrot. He admired its beauty and the novelty of having it—just one problem: that bird used foul language! The man’s parrot could swear for five minutes straight without repeating itself. What added to the difficulty was the embarrassment the man experienced when his dirty bird would cuss a blue streak in front of people!

The man tried everything! Behavior modification was first, rewarding the parrot for good speech and punishing the bird for the off-color stuff. It would work temporarily, but then his swearing would return with increased volume and frequency. One time, he blew his stack, grabbed the parrot and shook it hard, yelling, “Cut that out!” But this only made the parrot angry and he swore more than ever.

Well, that did it! The man tossed his beautiful parrot into the freezer. For the first few seconds the bird squawked and screamed and thrashed around, and then there was silence. A couple more minutes past without a sound and the man started envisioning his frozen parrot.

Uncertain what to expect, the man opened the freezer door, at which time the bird calmly climbed onto the man’s outstretched arm and said, “I’m really sorry about all the trouble I’ve been giving you. I make a solemn promise to clean up my language from now on.” The man was astounded. What could have accounted for this sudden transformation? The parrot cleared it up for him when he said, “I just have one question: What did that chicken in there do?”

Monday, August 1, 2016

Youth Project

We love our young people at Antioch!  They meet each Wednesday night for a time of Bible Study and enjoy several outing.  This summer, they went to camp for a few days and shared a few Sunday mornings later the blessings of it.

During these youth trips, the group uses the church van.  Teaching them responsibility and appreciation a recent morning gave them some time to clean and wash the church van.  They did a great job!  Thanks youth!  We love you!