By Kris Smitherman, BL Youth Pastor
Have you ever just sat in a room with no TV, no iPad, no cell phone and just listened? The sad thing is, most of Americans will answer, “Why would I do that?” One of the main themes of camp was silence. Creating some room for the Lord to speak. We are very good at talking and telling Jesus that we need more of Him, especially when things are rough for us. But communication is a two way street. We need to listen to Him!
1 Kings 19 and the story of Elijah reminds us that it’s not always in the wind, or the earthquakes or the noise that God speaks to us. We can truly hear Him. 1 Kings 19:11-14 says, “The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”
Are our lives constantly in a state of noise? Are the earthquakes in our lives distracting us from hearing the voice of God? The first thing we need to do is recognize those things in our lives that are keeping us from hearing what God is saying. What is it in our lives that we do just to “kill time?” Should we be spending some of that time in prayer, listening for God’s still small voice?
Next, we need to practice silence. That might be the hardest thing to do, especially with the things we have available at our fingertips. Facebook, Instagram, the Internet, Netfilix, the list goes on. In our humanness, we might think that we have to do all those things to be more productive, but sometimes we just need to be silent. Now I’m not saying those things are bad, I love each of those things, but when we start using them just because “we’re bored” maybe something needs to change.
So the next time there is some “downtime” in your day, don’t just automatically whip out your cell phone, spend some time with the Father. Listen for His voice. Because remember, just as Elijah found out, he couldn’t hear His voice in the wind, the fire, or the earthquake. He heard His voice in the quiet.
Remember in Prayer
~Our Weird Animals VBS, kids & volunteers
~Nathan & Brianna Martin & sons who will return to Cambodia this fall
~IAYM Sessions, July 30-Aug 2
Weird Animals VBS
It’s almost here! Kids age 3 through age 12 (completed 6th) will have a fun adventure! We begin Sunday, July 20 at 6:15 and continue through the week with a closing program and free picnic on Friday. The more kids the merrier so invite friends and neighbors to come for the awesome music, crafts, Bible adventures, games and a new KidVid station where they’ll learn about God’s one-of-a-kind love. (Margaret would appreciate registrations as soon as possible.)
Adults and teens – thanks in advance for volunteering to make this ministry possible! Most importantly we need everyone to pray for this week. A prayer guide is available at the church but it is not necessary, as God knows our needs. If the week is covered in prayer, anything is possible!
July Mission Emphasis:
Education for Esther
Our July mission offering will help support the education of girls in Samburu and Turkana. As girls get older they often are asked to stay home to help with household chores, work outside the home or even marry as young as 13. “Education for Esther” is the Friends United Meeting summer project which the children will support during Bible School. We felt it would be good to have the whole church aware of this need.
Esther was the only girl in the Standard 7 class. It was unlikely she would stay in school long enough to complete Standard 8 let alone proceed to secondary school. Eden Grace took a leap of faith and promised Esther that if she passed her Standard 8 exams, FUM would send her to high school. FUM would ensure that all girls who qualified for high school were given funds to continue their education, ensuring them a healthier and happier life.
The impact of this promise of scholarship has affected the number of girls entering high school. In the beginning only one girl graduated from primary school and accepted the scholarship. Now, there are more than 20 qualifying. The promise of a high school scholarship helps prevent dropouts. It costs $400 per year to cover fees for one girl. Can you give to keep “Esther” in school?
Looking Ahead - Dates to Remember!
~Wednesday, August 13 - Mission Meal with
Paul & Andrea (Siebring) Goodrich, 6:15 pm,
BLFC, video & special offering for their work
~September 5-7 - IAYM Family Camp at Quaker Heights
~Saturday, September 13 - BLFC Concert Under the Stars
HOC Meal Report
On June 26, 17 were involved in preparing, serving and cleanup for 97 guests. The menu: cheesy chicken soup, tostada chips with salsa, corn bread, sandwiches from a funeral, mixed fruit salad, left over salads, peppers, radishes, fresh lettuce from HOC garden, blueberries on angel food cake, brownies or cherry cake roll, milk, coffee and tea. The last man ate the last bowl of soup at 6:15. Many thanked us and said how much they liked the soup. We appreciate our faithful volunteers who provided food or funds, prepared, served or did the cleanup.
Ideas to “Live Love” during the
Summer: July 20th is National Lollipop Day. Buy a bag of lollipops and hand them out to children or adults as you go about your day.
Ideas for Living Love in Your Family:
Once each week pick a different family member to honor with their favorite meal.
Andrea Siebring Goodrich and husband Paul will be sharing a typical Lebanon meal with us on Wednesday, August 13 at 6:15 pm. Andrea grew up at BLFC and looks forward to reconnecting with those who knew her and meeting new Ffriends. A video presentation of their ministry to Muslims will follow the meal and an offering will be collected for their work. Nursery will be available for preschool children.
July is a time for Celebration
July 4th we will celebrate the independence of our country. We go all out with fireworks, sparklers, music,
picnics, and the list goes on. Let us celebrate our Savior with the same enthusiasm every day of the year.
While you celebrate, don’t forget to pick up a good book to read while you relax. We have books that show courage
and conquering great hardships, just as our forefathers did. Check out these:
Soul Surfer is a true story of faith, family, and fighting to get back on the surfboard; Unlikely Angel is an uplifting true story
of courage, survival, salvation, and faith, and Hostage Bound, Hostage Free gives a hostage viewpoint and a wife’s counterpart version showing courage and perseverance.
Or you may want to check out Max Lucado. He has written many inspirational books.
“Every book contains a life. The more we read the more we live.” Author Unknown
Study Groups Available
-Study Group meets at Glenwood Place, Marshalltown, the 1st & 3rd Monday at
2 pm. A new study, Guidance and God’s Will, will start on July 21st.
-Molded Bible Study, 2nd & 4th Monday evenings at BLFC at 7 pm.
-Men’s Bible Study Group, 2nd & 4th Thursday evenings at BLFC, 7 pm.
Ladies will meet in Marshalltown at 1:30 on Tuesday, July 15 at the home of Betty Arterburn. Any woman interested is welcome to join us at Glenwood Place. Donna Williams will provide the program.
Back to School Time
You may think it's too early to talk about school, but the House of Compassion needs to collect supplies in July to combine and distribute in August. Last year nearly 1000 students were given backpacks and supplies.
Our church is asked to help provide the following: wide line notebook paper, 3-ring notebooks, pocket folders, facial tissue, scissors, black and blue erasable pens, spiral notebooks, wide line washable markers, erasers (pencil tip and regular) and colored pencils.
The children will be collecting during Bible School so the school bus will be available in the entryway for your purchases. Financial help is welcome
also. Please bring items or funds by Sunday, August 3. Thanks in advance for giving smiles to the faces of children!
Standing on the
Shoulders of Giants
Iowa Yearly Meeting
July 30- August 2, 2014 at Oskaloosa
IAYM is sponsoring a Meals from the Heartland Event on Saturday, August 2nd from 9-11 am during the annual sessions. Rice/soy meals and Mac & Cheese meals will be packed. On July 27th BLFC will collect a special offering during Worship to help pay for food used by Iowa Yearly Meeting participants to package 20,000 meals for people in need both locally and around the world. IAYM participants have been asked to give $20 per person for this, but more will be needed to cover the cost of this ministry.
Ice Cream Social
On Tuesday, July 29th, an Ice Cream Social will be held at BLFC to introduce Robert J Wafula to Friends. He is called to serve as Principal of Friends Theological College in Kenya. Ice cream will be provided and friends who attend are encouraged to bring cookies or bars to share. Ann Nichols is the contact person for this event.
FUM is endeavoring to recruit a “full load” of pledges for his support before Robert departs for Kaimosi by asking Friends to pledge or make a faith promise towards his support for 3 years. One-time gifts will still be accepted.