On December 10th the BLFC Youth Group served a delicious chili and chicken noodle soup lunch after Morning Worship. The Youth also sponsored a bake sale and silent auction of a variety of goods and services to raise funds. Those funds were used to purchase gifts and food for Christmas for their adopted House of Compassion family and also for the monthly support of a child thru the Christian Children’s Fund. Almost $500 was raised for these projects.
The White Gift offering received on Christmas Eve totaling $500 was given to the Youth Group. The youth and their leaders appreciate everyone’s most generous support as they reach out to others in need.
2007 Blizzard Blast
Sponsored by Young Friends Board
of Iowa Yearly Meeting
Worship and registration will be at Marshalltown First Friends, 2409 South Sixth St, at 9 p.m. Friday evening. From there youth will go to the Marshalltown YMCA for a lock-in and the following activities:
Worship - Swimming - Volleyball
Basketball - Movie Room - Board Games
Snacks - Pizza Party
Breakfast will be served at Marshalltown First Friends Church Saturday morning.
Price is $20 if registered before February 1st. $25 at the door.
Please RSVP using the registration forms available at the church.
A medical release/parent permission form also needs to be filled out and sent with the registration.
A New Mindset for the New Year
Happy New Year everyone! Now that we have entered “Ought Seven”, the concept of reevaluating how we lived our lives last year has surely crossed our minds at least once over the last few days or weeks. If not, why don’t we just take some time right now to ask God to open our eyes and minds so that we are able to see ourselves as He sees us. Now let’s sit back, close our eyes and allow Him to rerun last year with us in our minds. There, now that we are all on the same page, let’s move on.
As we consider our need to reevaluate how we live, we must first consider the reasoning behind our desire to reconsider and reevaluate. If we are doing it to please others or ourselves, then no matter how good intentioned it may be, we are doing it for the wrong reason. We need to take all these things that we see as possible changes in our lives before God and seek His blessing and direction as we deal in them and with them. After we are at peace with the fact that these are truly things that we know God is either directly asking us to change or He has added His blessing to, then we need to ask Him to change us and help us allow Him to change us. What do I mean? What I mean is we need to resign ourselves to the fact that we are going to allow these changes to happen in our lives.
This means no matter how long it may take, we will never quit, give up, or give into the temptation to think that God cannot change me. Change doesn’t happen over night, or as the cliché goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It is going to take time and each day must be looked at as a learning experience as we move on toward those smaller goals marked out for us on our pathway to the greater goal of heaven. As Paul put it,
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14(NIV)
Each New Year is like a do over and so is each day. Every day we wake up is a fresh start to live a life for Jesus and shine for Him in a cold dark world. It doesn’t stop there though! Each second of each minute of each hour has the capacity of becoming a “do over” if necessary. Our God is a God of justice and He does require that justice be served. At the same time though, He is a God overflowing with grace who has given through His mercy, His Son; a sacrifice providing a way that justice may be fulfilled for sin.
Therefore, we have a wonderful God that is not only overflowing with love, and grace; He also is overflowing with second chances! That does not mean we should or can take advantage of His grace. Paul put it this way:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? – Romans 6:1-2 (NIV)
The best advice we find for living daily a life pleasing in His sight, is found in Psalm 1:1-2 and then we see the results of such living laid out in verse 3.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. – Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)
So as we start this New Year, let us approach it with prayer and confidence in God and His ability to work in and through us His perfect will and plan. I’ll be praying for you, and I’ll trust you’ll be praying for me. With that kind of teamwork and backup, how can we fail? We can’t!
House of Compassion Report
On December 20, 2006, 25 people from BLFC provided a meal for 40 guests. (Likely the count was down because of the rain.) Our menu was sausage, egg and cheese casserole, peas, baby carrots, applesauce or cranberry sauce, blueberry or peach dump cake with whipped topping, various pies, milk and coffee.
Thanks to all who helped provide the meal. Our next meal is Jan. 25. See Margaret to join the fun and fellowship.
It’s That Time Again
Want to keep up with what’s going on in Iowa Yearly Meeting and also with Friends United Meeting and Friends missions? The Iowa Friend newsletter and the Quaker Life magazine are great ways to do that. The Iowa Friend costs $9.50 per year, and a Quaker Life subscription is $15.00 per year thru the church subscription plan. Please contact Diane Teske to subscribe or renew by Sunday, January 21st.
Prayer for the New Year
The books on the library ledge will focus on prayer this month. A Passion for Prayer seeks to help Christians develop a prayer habit and a more effective prayer life by sharing the principles of prayer and challenging you to pray a matter through to its conclusion. This book will strengthen you in your boldness and desire as you daily come to Jesus in prayer.
The Power of a Praying Parent instructs us to turn to God and place every detail of our child’s life in His loving and capable hands: safety, character, career choices, peer pressures, etc. Whatever your child’s age it is not too late to discover the joy of being a part of God’s work in your child’s life through prayer.
Visit our library this month for some encouragement for your prayer life.
Do You Know…?
Who’s on First?
1. What were the Corinthians to lay aside on the first day of the week?
2. What is the first fruit of the Spirit?
3. What shall the first be?
4. What are Jesus’ disciples to seek first?
5. Who had the first fight?
6. Who made the first clothes?
“You Are a Gift”
This is the theme chosen for this year’s IAYM Christian Education Training to be offered at two locations. The dates are February 10th and March 17th. The topics are (1) Experiences with Children and Worship, (2) Adult Ministries, and (3) Behavior Management Ideas. The topics and information will be the same at both workshops so churches can choose which location to attend. The locations have not yet been confirmed but tentatively the February meeting is planned for Oskaloosa and the March workshop is planned for the Marshalltown area. More details will be announced soon.
*Always remember to forget the troubles that have passed away, but never forget to remember the blessings that come each day!
If you always do
What you’ve always done
You’ll always be
What you’ve always been.
We will continue to study the Ten Commandments on January 14 and 28. Our service projects will be to promote giving to the Union Food Box and to make tray favors for a nursing home. Children who are age 4 though 5th grade are welcome to participate.
The ladies of Bangor USFW will meet at the home of Peggy Martin at 9:30 on January 16th to continue sewing baby blankets. Lunch will be provided by Peggy, Betty and Ann. Our business and program by Betty, will take place in the afternoon. USFW dues can be paid this month.
Ladies Bible Study
The Thursday Morning Ladies Bible Study group will start a new study January 11 using the book Living a Life Of Balance. Women of the church and community are invited to join them as they meet at BLFC at 10 a.m. on Thursdays. Contact Ann Nichols if you would be interested in joining the group.
Monday Night Bible Study
On January 8th we’ll conclude the Christmas review, then return to our study of Paul’s letter to Timothy and Titus on the 15th. All adults are welcome to join us at the church at 7:00 Monday evenings.
Iowa Quaker Men Banquet
Mark your calendars! The annual Quaker Men Banquet will be Saturday, Feb. 24th at noon at Vennard College. Banquet speaker and musician will be Kent Bottenfield, a former major league baseball pitcher, especially known for playing with the St. Louis Cardinals.
This banquet is for everyone - men, women, boys and girls, and teens. Cost has not been determined yet, but will be similar to last year - $10 if paid ahead of time and $12 at the door. There will also be a craft/bake sale before and after the banquet to raise funds for Friends Disaster Service, an important ministry and deserving of our support.
“Empowering Missional Leaders in a
Changing Ministry World”
A Workshop to Equip You with New and Advanced Coaching Skills
Brought to you by Iowa Yearly Meeting, Vennard College and Church Resource Ministries’ A*C*T*S Team
Dates: Friday, February 9th &
Saturday, February 10th
Times: 1 PM Friday - 3 PM Saturday
Location: Vennard College, University Park, IA www.vennard.edu
Lead Coach/Trainer: Dr. Tim Roehl
Who Should Attend: Any leader who leads leaders! Pastors, Church Staff, Ministry Directors, Volunteer Leaders, Denominational Leaders, Church Planters and other Ministry Leaders will all grown in coaching knowledge and skills. It’s all about empowering leaders on every level of ministry!
What You’ll Learn: Basic coaching and advanced coaching practices.
Topics will include Biblical Foundations for Coaching, Coaching Environments-the “Four C’s”, Missional Coaching Process-the “Four D’s”, Seven Habits of Great Coaches, The Art of Listening and Asking, How to G*R*O*W Your Coaching Skills, How to Gain Coaching Authority and Credibility, Coaching Different Leadership Styles, and Insights for Coaching Postmodern Leaders.
During our interactive workshop, you’ll have time to ask questions, gain understanding, experience a live coaching demonstration and have several opportunities to practice and sharpen your coaching skills. You’ll be equipped to empower others more effectively!
Price: $114 per person (includes seminar, materials, two meals and refreshments) Register: For more information, contact Prudy Olson at 641-673-8391 ext. 113.
HOC Adopt a Family Report
17 families and individuals provided gifts, funds or food for our shared church families. A single mother with a 3½ year old and a 1 year old and an 81 year old widowed lady were given several gifts and generous food baskets. Both were very appreciative of our gifts to them and hugged us while expressing their thanks.
The Youth and their families adopted two single moms and two teens. Five other family units in our church adopted a total of eight adults and ten children.
153 family units were adopted at the House of Compassion this Christmas. They represent 542 individuals. Thanks to everyone who helped to make it a happier Christmas for these people.