Announcements and devotional, March 23, 2020
For the very first time, after almost 33 years in pastoral ministry, the church I pastor had to cancel all services and activities due to a health pandemic. I deeply missed our time of worship, prayers, fellowship and ministry of the Word we normally enjoy together.
Until we meet again when plausible, a good “service” I recommend is on WVCY, channel 30, at 8:00 AM each Sunday. Pastor Bob Loggans is from Calvary Baptist Church of Watertown, and has sound, Christ honoring services (recorded previously, of course).
I trust you are spending quality time with the Lord in Bible Study and prayer. Please continue to pray for our ministry and its needs, our missionaries and of course, one another. Please call one another, sharing prayer requests and encouraging one another.
Some have called with special prayer requests concerning health issues to post on the website, but due to privacy concerns, we cannot post them. This makes it all the more needful to remain in contact with one another.
Be assured of our prayers and concerns for the church family, individually and collectively. We appreciate the messages, emails, prayers and continued support of the ministry. Feel free to call us if you have requests or needs. My hope and prayer is that you are doing well physically, spiritually, emotionally and economically. These are truly interesting times!
Pastor and Diane
An Anchor of Hope
“… we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil,” Hebrews 6:18-19
Life has constant challenges. It was during deep persecution on believers that our text was written. Note the encouragement from our text for refuge and unfailing hope in the Lord and His grace. It’s likely this verse that led William C. Martin to write the hymn, My Anchor Holds. “Though the angry surges roll, On my tempest-driven soul, I am peaceful, for I know, Wildly though the winds may blow, I’ve an anchor safe and sure, That can evermore endure. Refrain: And it holds, my anchor holds: Blow your wildest, then, O gale, On my bark so small and frail; By His grace I shall not fail, For my anchor holds, my anchor holds.” Folks, in the Lord Jesus Christ there is always unchanging hope, a glorious expectation!
The noun “hope,” when used in the New Testament, generally does not imply an “if” or a wishful attitude that might occur, but rather a joyous and confident expectation in something promised which will certainly occur! In most contexts it is the promised blessings of God that are sure and unchanging. I’d like to note the few times it is used.
First, Paul tells us that our good hope comes from both “… our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father,” 2 Thes. 2:16. The Truth is, you will never find any hope that is lasting, real or certain outside of the Lord Himself. In a different text Paul noted, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable,” 1 Cor. 15:19. Times change, people change, circumstances change, even friends today might be foes tomorrow. What’s the hope in this world?!
Second, 2 Thes. 2:16 teaches such Divine hope is given to us along with “everlasting consolation” (comfort) that will last forever. The Father and Son have done this “through grace” which brings eternal salvation.
Third, we have a hope which is alive. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3. We have been “begotten again” from the dead to a living hope just as surely as Christ has been raised from the dead. His resurrection accomplished it and we possess it!
Fourth, we are taught to be “… looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,” Titus 2:13. This blessed hope is the coming of “… our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope,” 1 Tim. 1:1. He will certainly return for His own!
Our hope, under grace, is guaranteed by Jesus Christ. It is “A better hope . . . by the which we draw nigh unto God,” Heb. 7:19. In fact, it is a glorious hope, 2 Cor. 3:11-12. This kind of hope can be “an anchor of the soul.” Yet know for certain, it is for those “Who by Him (Christ) do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” The hope of the Scriptures is reality for those who believe Jesus Christ is Lord, have trusted in His sacrificial death for the forgiveness of sins and believe He rose again. Jesus Christ and the Truths of Scripture are the anchors to our soul!
Dear Calvary Baptist Church Family,
Due to the spread of the Corona 19 Virus, the President has recommended that we limit
our gatherings to groups of ten or less. On March 17, Governor Evers ordered a state wide
ban for meeting in groups greater than ten, with some necessary exceptions. Thus in order
to “… be subject unto the higher powers …” of Romans 13:1, and for the health, safety
and welfare of our church family, all activities of Calvary Baptist Church will be canceled
until the ban is lifted and the purpose of the ban is resolved.
I prayed about our course of action, and believe it is the good and right decision. We’d all
feel bad if someone from our church would pick up or spread the virus to others because
we didn’t follow directives. I was also informed that in another state, when the “state ban”
was ignored, a police officer had to leave his regular duties to go to a church service and
tell them to disband. Obviously, we want to be doing the right thing and be above
reproach in our community.
Each week I will be posting general announcements, some devotional thoughts, and a
longer “sermonette” to read for each Sunday. I would encourage you to keep reading your
Bible and spending time in worship and prayer on Sunday.
As we move through the pandemic and ban, please pray for one another. Call, email, or
text one another. Share prayer requests, consider ways to serve the Lord. E. g., use this as
an opportunity to reach out to neighbors who are experiencing the same things. Perhaps
there is an older person or shut-in who might need help with a ride to the store, medical
appointments, etc. What great opportunities to share the Gospel!
Don’t waste time getting bored at home. Invest your time by completing chores, projects,
extra time in Bible reading or prayer, …
God remains on His Throne, and His promises haven’t changed. This, too shall pass.
Be Smart, Be Safe, and Blessings,
Pastor and Diane
Copied from WFBC newsletter: “Your pastor has never pastored a church through a
pandemic before. When he opens people are going to say he should have closed. When
he closes people are going to say he should have opened. When he shakes hands people
are going to say he has faith. When he shakes hands people are going to say he’s foolish.
He’s going to make some difficult decisions to protect the flock considering everything
from your spiritual growth to legal liabilities that you aren’t even thinking about. Every
pastor believes that he pastors the most amazing group of people.
Remember this: No one wants things to go well at church as much as your pastor(s). Your pastor needs your prayers and support right now.”
President Trump, Vice President Pence, the administration and Congress as the work with CDC and other public health officials as they deal with and work through
Governor Evers, the administration and State officials in handling the pandemic.
Healing for those that have the virus, and families that have lost loved ones as a
result of the virus.
The safety and well-being of family, church family, friends, our fellow Americans,
and those so affected across the globe.
Multitudes to hear and respond to the glorious Gospel of our Savior.
The medical staff and needs for testing to be met, and a cure to be discovered.
Protection for medical staff, CDC, police officers, first responders, military, social
workers, … from sickness and harm.
The nation to come together and resolve the problems, and not capitalize upon it for