Seeking a Deeper Walk
By Pastor Manny
Our relationship with God is deep, or at least it should be. For too many people, however, it has become this surface, action-based lifestyle of commands and restrictions.
“Keep your thoughts pure.”
“Go to church.”
“Don’t be rude.”
But when we reduce our relationship with God and our spirituality to a list of dos and don’ts we are no closer to God than we were before we “accepted Jesus”.
If you are one of those people who goes to church, prays, reads your Bible, and has really good self-control when it comes to public sin but you lack joy, peace, and hope in your life, I’m probably writing to you.
If you sit in church on Sunday morning and grumble at what you see, hear, or experience, I’m probably writing this to you.
If you are more concerned with being served than serving, having your needs meet than meeting needs, and keeping things “traditional” than seeking God’s leading, I’m probably writing to you.
In my recent studies I came across a wonderful quote that sums up our relationship to God in terms of His commands and His covenant with us. Concerning our adherence to God’s commands, “In short, it could qualify, hamper, or negate Israel’s experience of sanctification and ministry to others; but it hardly could effect her election, salvation, or present and future transmission of the ancient promise to others. She must obey God’s voice and heed his covenant, not ‘in order to’ live and have things go well for her, but ‘with the result that’ she will experience authentic living and things going well for her” (The Promise-Plan of God, Walter Kaiser Jr. 78).
In other words, keeping a set of rules for the sake of keeping the rules, or worse yet, because we think it qualifies us in God’s eyes, falls incredibly short of the kind of relationship we were created to have with Him. It’s not about the results of God’s grace, i.e., happiness, prosperity, comfort, etc. It’s about God! Failing to come to this realization and walk deeply with God does not discount God’s grace as a whole, but it may disqualify us, individually, from receiving our portion of the promise.
When you pray, read Scripture, or worship (corporately or alone) do you recognize and cherish the reality that you are in God’s company? Or do you, like so many others, miss out on this very vital reality and simply fulfill some cosmic expectation of you from a distant and aloof God so that you can feel accomplished in your “Christian” agenda?
These are hard and probing questions, but they are necessary questions for anyone who truly desires to walk with God.
The truth revealed in Scripture is that there will be massive numbers of people who claimed to follow Christ that will miss out on the gift of eternal life because they never had a relationship with him. My heart breaks when I think about this being true of anyone, especially those in our church whom I have come to love deeply. But, the choice to walk deeply with God is not one I can make for you. You must choose for yourself to either continue to live out a faith of appearances or to willingly, with God’s help, go deeper in your walk with Him each day. If you’d like to explore the latter, I would love to journey with you as you flesh that out.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.”
-1 Timothy 2:1-7
Join us each Wednesday evening at 6:15 for a shared meal and at 7:00 for adult, teen and children’s classes. A nursery is available for preschool children. You’ll enjoy an evening of food, fellowship and growing in your faith together with friends. *Note that we will not meet on the 26th, the day before Thanksgiving.
Adult Classes offered each Wednesday-
-Purpose Driven Life led by Joe Feltz
-Follow by Andy Stanley, led by Loren Peters
Liberty USFW ladies will meet at Karen Hammers’ home for a work night on November 20th at 7 pm. The project will be tying fleece blankets. All ladies are welcome.
Bangor USFW ladies will meet November 18th at 1:30 at Ann Nichols’ home in Marshalltown. Barbara Jo will provide the program. Members are reminded to bring their Christmas offering for the local Union family. All ladies are welcome.
HOC Meal Report
86 guests were served vegetable beef, bean and pasta soup, cornbread or biscuits, raw carrots, oriental salad, mixed fruit, bananas, apple crisp with whipped topping or Halloween cupcakes or chocolate cake and milk or coffee. Thank you to all of our great volunteers! Our next meal is Saturday, November 29th...after Thanksgiving.
HOC Supply Closet Report
Donations were generous for the HOC supply closet. You gave 18 tooth brushes, 12 shampoo, 11 hand soap 10 toothpaste, 10 pkg razors, 6 deodorant, 4 tissue, 3 pkg. toilet paper, along with over-the-counter meds, dish soap, detergent and diapers. Thanks! The families who use the closet each month will appreciate all of your donations.
Annual Thank Offering Service
Bangor Liberty’s annual Thank Offering Service will be held Sunday, November 23rd at 10:30 a.m. with a potluck meal afterwards. The Missions Committee encourages all to participate in the service by giving gratitude to God with their words and funds.
They have chosen the following projects and ask us to prayerfully consider how blessed we are and how we can share with these areas or with other work that we may feel called to support. All undesignated offering collected will be divided equally between:
More details about these projects will be in upcoming bulletins, or you can find information on the web. Social Committee #2 will be in charge of setup and cleanup for the potluck meal.
Dear God, I didn’t sleep well last night but I did wake up. My muscles are sore, but they work. My wallet is not full but my belly is.
I may not have all I want but I have all I need. My life is not perfect but my life is good. Thank you! -quote by Jesse Joseph
Remember in Prayer
~Agape Ames Ministry, for direction
~All missionaries who are serving overseas
and away from family during the holiday seasons
~Farmers’ safety as they finish harvest
~Those who are ill with Ebola or who have
lost family members to the illness, safety
for those treating the ill.
GROW (God Rewards Our Witnessing) Ministry
GROW is a new visitation ministry committed to seeing our church grow, not only in number, but more importantly, spiritually. You may receive a call from our visitation team and we hope you will be open to sharing some time with us so that we can get to know you better. We also are committed to helping the un-churched establish a relationship with Jesus Christ and a faith community, so if you know someone who is in need of a visit, please pass their name on to us. Our current team members are Rick Bachman, Vi Gray, Don & Shirley Davis, Peg Martin, Mike & Charlene Martin and Pastor Manny. If you feel led or gifted in this way and would like to join the team, please let Charlene Martin know. This is an exciting ministry not only for BLFC, but more importantly for the Kingdom of God.
I Corinthians 12:1-14
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
Because of Your Love
Music speaks to my life loud and clear, and so when I hear new musicians or bands that share a message of Christ, it makes me excited. The last few weeks I have been listening to Phil Wickham. He’s not new. The first time I heard him was at the National Youth Worker’s Convention in San Diego in 2007. I like his voice and his music, but more importantly, I like the message that his music speaks.
Now I don’t want to make this article all about him, but the way he writes lyrics just speaks very clearly to me. We’re all different, and music might speak loudly in my life, but it may not in your life, and that’s okay. God uses all different ways to communicate with the people who believe in Him. The song I have been listening to by him is called, “Because of Your Love.” There is a line in that song that says, “Lord, you gave your life for me, so I will live my life for You.”
Should we want to do that as Christians? He sent His Son to this earth to die so that we wouldn’t have to. What is our response? In our worldly minds, we don’t give Him the time of day. If someone sacrifices everything, wouldn’t you be in awe of Him because of His love?
He gave the ultimate sacrifice of His only son, Jesus, and how do most people respond to that? They say a quick little prayer before they eat. They try not to say bad words. I think that type of love requires a little more on our part. Lord, you GAVE your life for ME, so I will live my life for You.
What am I willing to sacrifice for the sake of others? What am I willing to sacrifice so I can live for Jesus?
-Kris Smitherman, Youth Pastor
Library Ledge - Thanksgiving
I am thankful for all the donations we have received for our library and for all the help I have received with the library. This month please enjoy Dee Henderson’s books: True Devotion, True Honor, & True Valor, from her Uncommon Heroes series. She also wrote God’s Gift – Missionary work in Africa was the most difficult and faith-affirming labor James had ever faced, until circumstances sent him home. There, he met Rachel, and was intrigued by her sadness. Bringing light back into Rachel's face gave him new purpose, but was he ready to open his heart to Rachel? And The Marriage Wish is about a thirty-eight year old man, whose life seemed perfect, and yet he felt that something was missing. How could he admit he yearned for a family of his own?
We also have The Wisdom of Tenderness and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings. If you like Joyce Meyer, we have If Not for the Grace of God and The Root of Rejection for you. Enjoy!
"A book is a gift you can open again and again." — Garrison Keillor
Coming November 15th!
1st Annual Soup/Chili/Dessert Contest
Saturday, November 15th
5 pm, BLFC
Gather your favorite recipes & enter!
Those attending will vote for their favorites with $$$$.
All proceeds will go towards expenses
of those attending SUMMIT
Conference in late December.
We have the opportunity to assist the House of Compassion with their Adopt-A-Family project to provide Christmas gifts to folks in our area who would not have gifts without our help. You do not have to be wealthy to care for a family in need. Together our $ add up. HOC recommends 2-3 gifts (totaling under $50) be given per child and 1 gift plus household supplies (totaling under $50) for adults.
$20 could buy toys for a young child or a gift for a senior citizen; $30 could provide clothing; $40 could provide a family meal; $50 could buy gifts for a teen; $75 could provide gifts and a meal for a widowed senior and $250 could provide Christmas for a family of 4-5. A SS or DEEPER class might want to adopt a family together. Or 2 church families might share a family.
If you would like to adopt an individual or family, tell Margaret the number of people you wish to help by Nov. 19. After you are given your family information, you will call and let them know they have been adopted. Then purchase the gifts and food for their holiday meal and deliver by Dec. 21.
There will be a family chosen for our church to share. Let me know if you would like to help by buying 1 or 2 gifts or some food. If you are unable or prefer not to shop, you may give funds and others will shop for you. Thanks in advance for bringing smiles to families in need this Christmas.
BLFC has a prayer team that meets every Sunday at 8:30 am at the back of the sanctuary. Worshipping God sometimes starts as a duty but it becomes a great delight when we truly experience His presence and hear His voice. The prayer team is currently using the PRAISE acronym that was shared by Charlotte Stangeland (a recorded minister, prayer warrior, and friend.) It helps our team to develop and maintain the kind of prayer life that deepens our love for God while preparing to face whatever life brings your way. PRAISE stands for:
P - Praise and Adoration
R - Receive God’s grace for today
A - Align our hearts with God
I - Intercession
S - Say what God says (Declaration)
E - Encounter God in The Word
This team is a “doors-open” ministry
so I hope you will feel free to join at any time. Our purpose is: to know and love God well; to have prayer change us; and to see ourselves, others, and life’s situations the way God sees them while seeking God’s will.
“For where two or more gather in
my name, there am I with them.”
Thank you to Garrett Nichols for the great job of mowing the church lawn this past summer!