June 30, 2016

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

June 30, 2016

Independence Day!

Here are some words about the birth of our nation from our Founding 

You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments: rights that 
cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from 
the Great Legislator of the universe. – John Adams 

We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human 
passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was 
made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate 
for the government of any other. – John Adams

The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected, 
in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the 
principles of Christianity. - John Quincy Adams

Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants. – Benjamin 

A nation of well informed men who have been taught to know and prize 
the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the 
region of ignorance that tyranny begins. – Benjamin Franklin

The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: 
'that God governs in the affairs of men.' And if a sparrow cannot 
fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire 
can rise without His aid? – Benjamin Franklin

A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every 
district - all studied and appreciated as they merit - are the 
principle support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty. –  
Benjamin Franklin

It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great 
nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on 
religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason 
peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and 
freedom of worship here. – Patrick Henry

Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God 
that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a 
corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free 
government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any 
people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, 
frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental 
principles. – Patrick Henry

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,
 religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible 
to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. – George 

Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it 
is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian 
nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. – John Jay

We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon 
the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future 
...upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, 
to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God. – 
James Madison

…the belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to 
the moral order of the World and to the happiness of man, that 
arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources 
nor adapted with too much solicitude to the difference characters 
and capacities to be impressed with it. James Madison

"He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and 
active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who set himself 
with the greatest firmness to bear down on profanity and immorality 
of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to 
call him an enemy to his country." John Witherspoon

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have 
removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the 
people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not 
to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country 
when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for 
ever. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 
18, 1781

It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn 
Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. ... I am well aware of the Toil 
and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this 
Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all 
the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can 
see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that 
Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We 
should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not." ~ John Adams

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created 
equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain 
unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the 
pursuit of happiness. Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence.

BUSINESS MEETING; Wednesday, July 13th, 7 p.m.


Happy Birthday to the following Bethesda family members:
* Caitlin Brook on the 7th 
* DiAndre Wordlaw on the 14th 
* Rich Norvell on the 17th 
* Ellen Brook on the 18th
* Georgia Baggett on the 26th
* Elijah Mueller on the 27th
* Nolan Brook on the 30th


and Happy Anniversary to:
* Aaron & Cynthia Wordlaw on the 27th 
Church Progressive Dinner

Saturday, July 23 beginning at 4:00 p.m. we’ll begin a progressive 
dinner fellowship! If you have never been a part of such a dinner, 
you will find it is a lot of fun. You’re encouraged to mark your 
calendar and plan on being a part of this fun fellowship in just 
a few short weeks.

More specifics will appear in upcoming bulletins so stay turn for 
additional information.

The Luther Monthly

“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in 
righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not 
rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are 
growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going 
on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam 
in glory, but all is being purified.” 

Pastor’s Postscript

In the past 6 weeks I have found myself at the hospital twice. Apart 
from repairing a broken arm many years ago, I do not frequent 
hospitals as a patient! But health issues compelled me to go, once 
for 4 days and the other for just 1.

Reflecting on these visits, I found myself mentally quoting an old 
saying: “It stinks getting old.” But that’s really not true.  Getting 
old is not really the problem. Living a long life is not a bad thing. 
Longevity is not what causes us the various pains associated with 
old age. Per the Bible, the problem is not age; it’s sin.

While not every one of our aches and pains is the result of our own 
personal sin, without sin in the world there would be no such aches 
and pains. Adding another year to our age would truly be a time of 
celebration if there was no sin.

And, of course, for those of us in Christ, this will be the case one 
day. Because of Christ’s life and death, his followers have ETERNAL 
life. We will live on and on without pain, without illness, without 
death. Who said “It stinks getting old?” That born again slave 
trader turned preacher John Newton got it right when he wrote,

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, 
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.”

Let us praise our Lord for the many years we will all have together 
in glory! 

Pastor Bruce
Church phone: 636-447-2121
Church web site: www.bethesdabc.org

May 31, 2016

A Monthly Publication of 
Bethesda Baptist Church

May 31, 2016

 Church Picnic!

The annual Bethesda Baptist Church Picnic begins at high 
noon on Saturday, June 18th at our church.  The church will 
provide the meat as well as lemonade. 

Families are asked to bring a side dish or a dessert and, 
if you don’t want lemonade, something to drink.

Come out and join us for some good Christian fellowship!

Bethesda Church Picnic
Saturday, June 18

Wednesday, June 8th 
7 p.m.


Happy Birthday to the following Bethesda family members:

* Ken Romans on the 13th 
* Samuel Bounds on the 16th 
* Austin Wildgrube on the 26th 


and Happy Anniversary to:

* Dennis & Pam DePriest on the 7th 
* Jeff & Alicia Mueller on the 12th 

The Book of James

Having completed our exposition of Paul’s letter to the 
Romans, beginning this Sunday we turn our attention to what 
is likely the oldest of the New Testament books: James. 

Come and hear the Word of God this Sunday! 

The Luther Monthly

Martin Luther was very much a theologian. He lived and 
breathed theology and loved teaching, preaching, discussing, 
and arguing the doctrines of the faith. His love of theology is 
one of the reasons he adored the Gospel of John, the Epistle to 
the Romans, and Paul’s letter to the Galatians. However, 
concerning the less theological and more practical book of 
James (which we begin this Sunday), here is what the good 
doctor had to say:

“In fine, Saint John’s Gospel and his first epistle, Saint Paul’s 
epistles, especially those to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, 
and Saint Peter’s first epistle,--these are the books which show 
thee Christ, and teach thee everything that is needful and 
blessed for thee to know even though thou never see or hear 
any other book or doctrine. Therefore is Saint James’s epistle 
a right strawy epistle in comparison with them, for it has no 
gospel character to it.”

As far as I know, Luther never denied that James was inspired 
by God. Actually, on my bookshelves are some of Luther’s 
sermons. One that he preached and was first printed in 1536 
is on James 1:16-21. I do not believe Luther would have used 
this text for any sermon if he did not believe it was the Word 
of God. 

In the above quote Luther says “in comparison with them” 
which I believe supports that opinion. His problem with James 
was likely two-fold. First, as I have already mentioned, James 
does not contain a great deal of teaching on the doctrines of 
the faith which Luther thoroughly enjoyed. That doesn’t 
mean there is an absence of theology in the book, rather, there 
are simply no extended discussions on the person of Christ, 
justification by grace through faith, or other doctrines.

A second problem I believe Luther had with James is the fact 
that his Roman Catholic opponents misused James chapter 2 
in their attempt to defend justification by works. For Roman 
Catholics, Luther’s idea that one could be saved on the basis 
of his faith in Christ alone was heresy. They read James 2 to 
imply that salvation required the performance of good deeds 
(e.g., baptism, observing the mass, confession, penance, etc.). 

James chapter 2, as we will see, is not at odds with Romans 
chapter 3. James is not teaching a salvation requiring works. 
The Roman Catholics are wrong in their understanding of the 
text and Luther was wrong to lessen the value of James when 
compared with other books of the New Testament.

The Epistle of James is the inspired Word of God. It is far 
more practical and less theological than many of the Pauline 
epistles. Nevertheless, as Scripture it is profitable to us. 
So let’s see what we can learn from this small but very 
powerful book!

Pastor’s Postscript

As I mentioned at the beginning of my sermon on Sunday, 
while we spent over 2 years in the book of Romans, there is so 
much more gold to be mined from that book that I almost feel 
guilty leaving it! Yet I sense God wants us to move on to 
other texts.

Given our society’s demand for “satisfaction now” and our 
short attention spans, I applaud you who regularly attend our 
worship and listen to the preaching of the Word. There are 
some (perhaps many based on what other preachers tell me!) 
who do not like preachers who preach from one book for 
many weeks. They believe such expository preaching “robs 
them” of other parts of God’s Word. Personally, I believe 
expository preaching is the best way to proclaim the Word of 

Some time ago I took some time and prayed about my future 
direction in preaching the Word. Given my age as well as my 
commitment to preach expository messages, I realized I will 
never be able to preach through every book of the Bible. So I 
decided to focus on the New Testament for my sermons.

Do not misunderstand my decision to mean that I consider the 
Old Testament of no value. To the contrary, it has so much to 
offer. No, my decision to focus on the New Testament is 
simply based on the amount of time I have left to preach and 
the need to proclaim the message of Christ. The New 
Testament is the best place for doing that.

There will likely be some Sundays when I take a “time out” 
and preach a message from the Old Testament. At the 
moment the adult Sunday School class is looking at an Old 
Testament book. So your pastor has not “disowned” the Old 
Testament! But until God changes my mind, I will continue to 
preach through New Testament books.

Beginning this Sunday we turn our attention to the book of 
James. I do hope you make every effort to join us each week 
as we see what God has for us from this wonderful book.

May the Lord bless your June! 

Pastor Bruce

March 30, 2016

A Monthly Publication of

Bethesda Baptist Church

March 30, 2016


Game Night Fellowship

Friendly Christian competition begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 at the church. It’s our Game Night Fellowship!  Attendees are asked to bring a finger food or a snack plus a drink.

Ladies Tea

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, April 30th, ladies.  The annual Ladies Tea will begin at 2 p.m. More information will follow later.

Wednesday, April 13th, 7 p.m.

Happy Birthday to the following Bethesda family members:

* Jimmy Bartner on the 11th
* Karla Repperger on the 23rd
* Christi Bartner on the 26th
* Cynthia Wordlaw on the 29th

and Happy Anniversary to:

* Bruce & Debbie Walker on the 20th
Ladies Book Study

Pam DePriest leads another Ladies Book Study beginning on Tuesday evening, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. The ladies will meet each Tuesday evening into May with a brand new study on the book of Nehemiah. If you wish to participate, either sign up on the sheet in the church foyer or inform Pam of your intention.

The Luther Monthly

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”  Attributed to Martin Luther

Pastor’s Postscript

Spring is here and everywhere we look we see rebirth! The leaves are coming out, the flowers are blooming, and my lawn needs mowing.

April promises to be rebirth at Bethesda as well. One Saturday features friendly competition at our Game Night Fellowship.  Another Saturday has the Ladies Tea. And the spring book study for the Ladies begins in only 2 weeks!

Also, we draw very close to the end of our exposition through the book of Romans meaning we will begin a new book in less than 2 months. Our weekly Bible reading from the book of Acts also finishes soon and that spells new readings from a new book. The adult Sunday school class completes its study of parables this month as well and a new study will begin in there.

Yes, April marks a rebirth at Bethesda. If you are not part of all that is going on, why not plan on joining us in the coming weeks? The Game Night is April 9. The book study begins on the 12th. The ladies tea is on the 30th. And the other changes take place throughout the month.

If you are a member of our church, then be a member who is engaged with what the church is doing. Get involved! Use your gifts and abilities to serve Christ through our church.  There is so much we can do, so much we should do, so let’s get busy doing it!

May our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, richly

bless you this month!

Pastor Bruce

January 31, 2016

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

January 31, 2016

Valentine Fondue Party

Bethesda will celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 13th with a 
Fondue Party in Fellowship Hall.  The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m.   

Parents’ Day Out

On Friday, February 26, babysitting services will be provided at 
the church for Bethesda couples who would like some time alone.  
The services will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be available until 
11:30 p.m.  So drop off your children and have an adult night out!

BUSINESS MEETING:  Wednesday, February 10th, 7 p.m.


Happy Birthday to the following  Bethesda family members:

* Kate Bounds on the 9th.
* Marilynn Norvell on the 17th.  
* Jeff Mueller on the 22nd. 
* Steve Brook on the 28th. 

The Luther Monthly

Formerly a monk, Luther married a former nun in 1525, Katherine 
(Katie) Von Bora.  Over the years, he frequently spoke and wrote 
on his marriage, his wife, and marital love.  In recognition of 
Valentine’s Day, here are a few quotes on these subjects.

On marriage: 

“There is a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage. 
One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the 
pillow which were not there before.” 

On his wife Katie & his children: 

“To the rich lady of Zulsdorf, Mrs. Dr. Katherine Luther, who lives 
in the flesh at Wittenberg but in the spirit at Zulsdorf.” 

“My Katie is in all things so obliging and pleasing to me that I 
would not exchange my poverty for the riches of Croesus.” 
“My lord Katie greets you. She plants our fields, pastures and sells 
cows, et cetera. In between she has started to read the Bible. I 
have promised her 50 gulden if she finishes by Easter. She is hard 
at it and is at the end of the fifth book of Moses.”

“To my beloved wife, Katherine, Mrs. Dr. Luther, mistress of the 
pig market, lady of Zulsdorf, and whatsoever other titles may befit 
thy Grace.” 

During his wife’s illness:  “Oh, Katie do not die and leave me.” 

“All my life is patience. I have to have patience with the pope, 
the heretics, my family, and Katie.” 

“My dear Katie brought into the world yesterday by God's grace at 
two o'clock a little son, Hans Luther. I must stop. Sick Katie 
calls me.” 

“Hans is cutting his teeth and beginning to make a joyous nuisance 
of himself. These are the joys of marriage of which the pope is not 

 “Child, what have you done that I should love you so? You have 
disturbed the whole household with your bawling.” 

“This is the sort of thing (a baby crying for over an hour) that 
has caused the Church fathers to vilify marriage. But God before 
the last day has brought back marriage and the magistracy to their 
proper esteem.” 

“Good God, what a lot of trouble there is in marriage! Adam has made 
a mess of our nature. Think of all the squabbles Adam and Eve must 
have had in the course of their nine hundred years. Eve would say, 
'You ate the apple,' and Adam would retort, 'You gave it to me.'” 

Katie to her husband:  “Doctor, why don't you stop talking and eat?” 
Martin’s response:  “I wish that women would repeat the Lord's Prayer 
before opening their mouths.” 

On marital love: 
“The first love is drunken. When the intoxication wears off, then 
comes the real marriage love.” 

“Union of the flesh does nothing. There must also be union of manners 
and mind.” 

Pastor’s Postscript

2016 is a month old and we have observed a baptism as well as several 
visitors in our worship service.  Please continue to pray that the 
Lord would open up the opportunities for us to minister to those who 
need Christ as well as provide opportunities for believers to serve 
the Lord!

This Sunday is our pizza party followed by Valentine card-making.  
Those who shared in this ministry last year had a great time making 
the cards.  We can fellowship while we do so and we know the residents 
of the Lake Charles Retirement Center appreciate receiving the “work 
of our hands”.  You might be thinking you are not “crafty” but, I can 
assure you, you are more “crafty” than I will ever be and I had a good 
time making cards last year!  So, there’s no excuse for missing this 
fun activity.

In just over a couple of weeks we’ll have our Valentine’s Fondue 
Party.  And, at the end of February, those parents who have children 
may take advantage of a ministry of some Bethesda members who have 
volunteered to watch your children while you have a date night!

While often considered much more mundane than our fellowships, there 
are practical business matters which the church must address from time 
to time.  Next Saturday (February 6) is our first church council 
meeting of 2016.  The church council meets once a quarter and reviews 
the upcoming schedule of church activities.  Our constitution requires 
certain church office holders to be a part of this meeting and, of 
course, permits any member to attend.  If you hold one of the 
following church positions, you are a member of the council and I 
encourage you to be at our first meeting.

* Pastor
* Chairman of Deacons
* Worship Leader
* Sunday School Director
* Church Clerk
* Treasurer
* Chairman of Finance Committee
* Youth Director
* Chairman of Outreach Committee
* Chairman of Fellowship Committee
* Chairman of Trustees

Let us continue to serve our Lord through our church with the gifts He 
has given to each of us! 

May the Lord richly bless each of you in the coming month!

Pastor Bruce

December 30, 2015

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church
December 30, 2015

BUSINESS MEETING: Wednesday, January 6th, 7 p.m.


The Bethesda family has some congratulations this month!

* Steve & Ellen have an anniversary on the 3rd
* Brenda has a birthday on the 18th
* Julie has a birthday on the 23rd 

Learn to Crochet!

The ladies are meeting on Thursday, January 7th at the church to learn 
how to crochet! This time of fellowship will allow the ladies to crochet
 edges for dish cloths which will later be included in next year’s 
gift bags to Powell Terrace.

If you want to learn how to crochet and have a great evening of 
fellowship, join us on January 7th at 6:30 p.m. as Glenda and 
Rachelle provide the instruction.

January Bible Study

During our Discipleship Training Hour on Sundays at 5 p.m. in January 
and February, Dennis leads us in our “January Bible Study”. This year 
our study is on the book of 2nd Corinthians and is entitled “The 
Church’s Ministry Handbook”. Join us this Sunday evening (January 3) 
as we begin our journey through this great book!

The Luther Monthly

From a sermon on Luke 2:21 preached by Martin Luther on New Year’s Day. 

”So we see that the Scriptures in all places urge to faith, but only 
to faith in Christ. Therefore circumcision was not given by the law 
of Moses, nor to the fathers before Abraham, but to Abraham, to whom 
Christ, his seed, was promised for a blessing, so that the bodily 
circumcision might everywhere be in accord with the spiritual 

Why then has it ceased, if that same faith in Christ, to which it 
points, still remains? The answer is, God has always, from the 
beginning of the world to the end, maintained one faith in Christ; 
but he has not given only one sign of it. If all the signs which refer 
to faith remained, who could keep them? But since faith is inward and 
invisible, God has foreshadowed it to men by many external signs, in 
order that they might be incited to believe as by many examples, and 
has permitted each to continue for its time. How many signs did Moses 
alone do in Egypt and in the wilderness, which have all passed away 
and lasted during their time, and still were all signs of faith? So 
when God promised to Abraham the blessings in his seed and gave to him 
a sign of it, namely circumcision, it could not exist by virtue of 
that promise longer than the fulfillment of the promise. But when 
Christ, the blessed seed, came, the promise was finished and fulfilled;
it was no longer to be expected.  
Therefore the sign also necessarily was finished and fulfilled; why 
should it continue any longer, when the promise on which it depended 
was finished? But that which it signified, faith, remains always, 
whether the promise with its sign passes away or remains. 

Pastor’s Postscript

A new year is upon us and, for many, another attempt at resolutions 
are underway. Most resolutions are broken before the end of January. 
Nevertheless, resolutions can be of great value, especially if one 
knows Christ and resolves to change their behavior to be in line with 
the will of God! Here are 4 simple resolutions for 2016:

1. Resolve to study the Word of God daily, at least for a few minutes. 
Reading the Bible through each year is a great objective. But, simply 
reading and meditating on small portions of the Bible each day is also 
a worthy goal. 

2. Resolve to memorize more of the Word than you have in the past. 
Maybe you wish to set a specific number of verses (or books) you will 
memorize. I simply challenge you to increase the number of Scriptures 
you have stored in your heart & mind.

3. Resolve to join your brothers and sisters in worship each Sunday 
unless providentially hindered. Be present, sing, pray, give, and 
listen to the Word as often as you can.

4. Resolve to share the Gospel with the lost when the opportunities 
arise. I know that, for some, sharing Christ is an extremely difficult 
task. Nevertheless, God has called each of us to do so. Ask God to 
grant you the courage you need in 2016.

May our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, bless you in 
2016! May He also bless Bethesda Baptist Church! 

Pastor Bruce

November 30, 2015

 November 30, 2015

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church


The Bethesda family has several Happy Birthday wishes this month!

* Debbie on the 4th 
* Meghan on the 6th
* Rachelle on the 11th
* Jon on the 15th
* Rick on the 21st
* Pam on the 31st

December 9th 
7 p.m.

Merry Christmas!

The Luther Monthly

On Christmas Eve of 1538, one of Martin Luther’s students recorded 
the following: 
“All his words and songs and thoughts were of the incarnation of 
our Lord. Then with a sigh he said, ‘Oh, we poor men that we should 
be so cold and indifferent to this great joy which has been given 
us. This indeed is the greatest gift, which far exceeds all else 
that God has created. And we believe so feebly even though the 
angels proclaim and preach and sing, and their song is fair and 
sums up the whole Christian religion, for glory to God in the highest 
is the very heart of worship. This they wish for us and bring to us 
in Christ.’”

Christmas Fellowship

Our annual Christmas Fellowship will be on Saturday, December 12 
beginning at 5 p.m. Every family is asked to bring a finger food 
and a drink to share. We’ll fellowship together, snack together, 
and maybe play some games as well. 

Make plans to join us! 

Bethesda will host a Christmas Eve service on Thursday, December 24 
at 6 p.m. We’ll sing some songs and recount the story of the birth 
of Christ as we worship our Lord and celebrate His birth.

If you would like to participate in the service (e.g., perhaps sing a
song, read some Scripture, etc.), please let the pastor know as soon 
as possible.

Since we will meet on Thursday that week, our normal Wednesday 
service for December 23 is canceled.

Pastor’s Postscript

Christmas time seems to “sneak up” on me faster with every passing 
year. My clocks appear to speed up beginning at Thanksgiving and 
do not slow down again until the 1st of the year! I believe the 
many activities in which we participate at this time every year 
help to contribute to this illusion. There are parties, family 
gatherings, Christmas cards, cookies to make, presents to buy, 
carols to sing, etc., etc., etc. Before you know it, December the 
25th has arrived!

Despite all the activities during this season, there are 4 I 
strongly encourage you to be a part of leading up to Christmas. 

1. Bethesda’s Christmas Fellowship. We have held it on Saturday 
evening for a few years now and each year has been great fun. 
This year we gather on December 12.

2. Bethesda’s Christmas Eve Service. Over my years as your pastor, 
we have hosted a few such services and I have been blessed at each 
one. This year we are meeting once again on December 24th and would 
love to have every member present.

3. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. 
We begin collecting this Sunday and every penny goes to support 
our international missionaries & their work.

4. Remembering Christ. Let’s not forget why we celebrate! Worship 
Him each and every day.

May Christ grant you a wonderful December and terrific Christmas!

Pastor Bruce

October 27, 2015

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

October 27, 2015


We wish a very Happy Birthday this month to the following Bethesda Baptist family members:

* Noah on the 6th
* Sandy on the 17th

BACK to Standard Time…

Daylight Savings Time ends this Saturday evening/Sunday morning. Please remember to turn your clocks BACK one hour before you go to bed on Saturday.

November Fellowship

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. As is our tradition, we, as a church, will gather together on Sunday, November 22 after morning worship for our annual Thanksgiving fellowship dinner.

More information will follow in future church bulletins.

November 11
7 p.m.

Men’s Book Study

Brother Dennis is leading the men in a weekly book study over the next couple of months. The study, entitled, “Living the Life” begins this Thursday, October 29, at 7 p.m. at the church.  If you wish to attend but did not sign the sheet at the church, please contact Dennis as soon as possible so he can make certain he has enough books for those coming.


The Luther Monthly

Saturday marks the 498th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of the 95 theses to the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany. That act is considered by most historians as the spark that lit the flame of the Protestant Reformation. Below is the opening paragraph of that document, announcing Luther’s desire to debate. That “debate” lasted for the rest of his life!

“Out of love for the truth and from desire to elucidate it, the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and ordinary lecturer therein at Wittenberg, intends to defend the following statements and to dispute on them in that place. Therefore he asks that those who cannot be present and dispute with him orally shall do so in their absence by letter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Pastor’s Postscript

October 31st has been called Protestant Reformation Day for many, many years. For some time Martin Luther, a German monk, had been greatly convicted by his own personal sins as well as by the abuse he read and saw among many Roman Catholic church leaders. On of these abuses was the sale of indulgences. The Church proclaimed that by contributing to the building of St. Peter’s in Rome, you could buy complete forgiveness for you or a loved one presently in purgatory.

Luther did not believe in indulgences and that all the church was doing was stealing the money of the German people.  November 1, a Sunday in 1517, was a holy church day still known as “All Saints’ Day”. In his town of Wittenberg, many church relics would be on display. The Church promised a reduced sentence in purgatory for those who viewed them.  Therefore, there was a large crowd in town by “All Hallow’s Eve”, October 31 (“Halloween”).

The door of the local church served as a bulletin board. With a good crowd in town, Luther decided to announce he wanted to debate his thoughts and beliefs on indulgences, so he posted his notice and his theses for debate on that church door 498 years ago this Saturday.

Luther never intended to split the Roman church. A year before his death, he even admitted that, in 1517, he would have killed anyone who fought with the pope! His remark was probably a bit of hyperbole but nevertheless it reveals that, at the time, Luther was a Roman Catholic and intended to remain one.

The original theses, written in Latin, were taken from the door, translated into German, and, with the help of the recently invented printing press, distributed throughout Europe. The fire storm which ensued almost cost Luther his life and ultimately resulted in a seismic split within the church. In less than 5 years, Luther had been excommunicated from the church and was deemed an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor.

The 95 theses Luther posted were 95 matters he wished to debate. Some of them have little to offer in terms of debate.  Some of them are mired in the teachings of the church of that day and require knowledge of church doctrine in order to understand what he was debating. But some of them are priceless! How about #86?

86. Again, “Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?”

You can be certain that was political incorrectness of the first order back in 1517! I wonder how deeply the Pope gasped when he read it?

Or, read this one:

82. Such as: “Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church?” The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.

I suspect the Pope AND those preaching indulgences were quite upset with #82!

And, for a final sample, here is #53.

53. They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.  We see in that thesis the importance Luther placed in the preaching of the Word. Preaching the Word would become a hallmark of Protestant Christianity, a clear, distinguishing mark of separation with the Roman church.

So, maybe on this Saturday we should set aside our candy for a moment and have a sausage for our supper in honor of the beginning of the Reformation!

May Christ richly bless you this coming month!

September 28, 2015


A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church
September 28, 2015

BUSINESS MEETING, Wednesday, October 13, 7 p.m.

We have several October celebrations! Happy Birthday to:

* Gene on the 1st
* Glenda on the 4th
* Christy on the 6th
* Brady on the 20th
* Dan on the 28th

Also, we say Happy Anniversary to the following couples:

* Dan & Karla on the 9th
* Jimmy & Christi on the 23rd
October Fellowship

Annual Church Bonfire! Our church bonfire will be held on Friday the 9th beginning at 6:30 p.m. The church will provide the hot dogs. You bring some munchies, drinks, and a lawn chair!


The Luther Monthly

The book of Romans teaches the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Martin Luther said much on this subject. Here is one sample from his commentary on Galatians (written 1531).

“Sin is not canceled by lawful living, for no person is able to live up to the Law. The Law reveals guilt, fills the conscience with terror, and drives men to despair. Much less is sin taken away by man-invented endeavors.  The fact is, the more a person seeks credit for himself by his own efforts, the deeper he goes into debt. Nothing can take away sin except the grace of God. In actual living, however, it is not so easy to persuade oneself that by grace alone, in opposition to every other means, we obtain the forgiveness of our sins and peace with God.”

Pastor’s Postscript

For reasons I do not comprehend, when football season begins, I hear TV ads, radio commercials, and newspapers talk more about gambling than they do other times of the year. So I thought I would share some thoughts on the subject with you this month. WARNING: if you are buying lottery tickets, visiting the boats, or putting down wages on games, I simply say to you, “STOP IT!” The remainder of this column may make you mad!

Gambling is a “big deal” in our country these days because such activity is no longer isolated to a few communities in Nevada. Even here in St. Charles we are faced with gambling not only by means of the various lotteries but also from local casinos. Is it wrong for a Christian to be engaged in the gambling industry by participating in lotteries and casino games? Is gambling contrary to Godly principles?

I believe the Bible does speak on the subject. First, though, what is meant by gambling? How does gambling differ from, say, spending $100 to go to a Cardinals game? The Oxford Dictionary’s primary definition on gambling states: “playing games of chance for money”. Obviously, when you attend a sporting event and pay a considerable price to do so, you are not involved in a game of chance and you are not looking for a financial gain. You are truly going for entertainment.

But is that ever the case with gambling activities such as lotteries, slot machines, or blackjack tables? Certainly these games are “games of chance”. And are you truly playing them for entertainment? What entertainment is there in pulling a slot machine handle? While I can never fully judge someone’s motive, I would seriously doubt there are many people purchasing lottery tickets at convenient stores for the fun of it. No, they are buying those tickets with some hope of gaining wealth. These games are gambles, not entertainment: you pay your money to play a game of chance in hope of financial gain. If an individual believes they gamble only for entertainment then please just go ahead and give me the money you were going to spend in the casino.

Often gambling is compared not only to forms of entertainment but to investments such as the stock market. Some will defend their stance on gambling by noting anyone who has money in the stock market is also gambling. But such arguments as these fail to understand the “guts” behind gambling.

All gambling involves: (1) putting something of value at risk (usually money), (2) chance involved in determining the outcome, and (3) something of value belonging to someone else as the possible prize. The bottom line: (1) no new wealth is created and (2) for every winner there are one or more (usually many) losers.

Now, if you want the Bible to say “Thou shall not gamble” then you will not find it. But this does not mean the Bible does not call gambling a sin.So, here are some reasons why I believe the Bible teaches against all forms of gambling and why Christians should not participate in such activities.

1. Gambling leads to destruction.
“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

2. Gambling is driven by covetousness.
Reread the above verses. People gamble with some hope (either great or small) that they might make some money. They covet some level of financial gain.

3. Gambling is a form of stealing.
As noted above, gambling does not create new wealth. Rather it takes the money of the losers and gives it to the winners. This is nothing like the investment world. If a stock goes up, ALL investors win. If a stock goes down, ALL investors lose. But gambling takes the money of some and gives it to another. We know what the Bible says about stealing.

4. Gambling is improper stewardship of God’s possessions.
All that we have belongs to God. We are simply a trustee of those possessions and that includes the money in our possession. We are the stewards of the Master’s finances. Through the parable of the talents, Jesus taught that the good steward wisely invests, not gambles, the master’s money (Matthew 25). God calls on us to work and labor with what He has given us (1 Corinthians 4:12; Ephesians 4:28). Gambling the Master’s money is never acceptable.

5. Gambling argues against the sovereignty of God.
When folks gamble, they are risking their money on what they believe to be luck or chance. To do so denies the Biblical truth of the Sovereignty of God:

“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.” (Proverbs 16:33)

6. Gambling takes advantage of the poor.
Statistics and common sense bear this out. Those who make the least are far more likely to gamble and to risk a higher percentage of their income than those who make more. The poor desire to quickly and easily end their poverty and become wealthy. A recent survey found individuals in the United States making less than $13,000 a year spend 9% of their income on lottery tickets. Gambling appeals to greed and the false hope of quick riches rather than a dependency on God and hard work.

7. Gambling is foolish.
The odds of winning in any gambling event are very, very low. This is especially true in the lottery. If you have extra money to spend on gambling, it is far better to place it in some interest bearing account and, ultimately, create wealth.

“Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.” (Proverbs 21:20)

8. Gambling provides an improper testimony of God.
A Christian who is gambling in a casino, for example, is not honoring God by his action. He communicates to those who are watching him that he believes it is proper and right to win the money of others, mostly the poor, by playing a game of chance. He is teaching the lost around him that God approves of gaining (NOT MAKING) wealth in such a manner. Yet God clearly indicates we are to work and labor for such wealth as noted above.

There are other things I could say. I close with this thought: Jesus is standing before the boat on the Missouri River with a $100 bill. You finish the story.

May our Lord and Savior bless your October!

Pastor Bruce

August 31, 2015

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

August 31, 2015

September Fellowships

Please note the changed dates.

* Fellowship BBQ:  Immediately following the morning worship on Sunday, September 13, we’ll join together for a BBQ fellowship downstairs.  The church will provide the buns and the meat.  You provide salad, side or dessert and drinks.

* Family Campout:  This fellowship is now scheduled for Friday and Saturday, September 18-19.  For more details contact Jeff or Karla.

* Coming in October!  Our church bonfire will be held on a Friday night this year.  The fun begins on October 9 at 6:30 p.m.  The church will provide the hot dogs.  You bring some munchies, drinks, and a lawn chair!


September celebrations!  Happy Birthday to:

* Dennis DePriest on the 2nd
* Aaron Wordlaw on the 3rd
* Brida Lovett on the 26th

The Luther Monthly

Politics have been heating up in our country over the past couple of months.  Luther had some words on that subject as well.  Here are three of his thoughts concerning government.

“You ask whether the magistrate may kill false prophets. I am slow in a judgment of blood even when it is deserved. In this matter I am terrified by the example of the papists and the Jews before Christ, for when there was a statute for the killing of false prophets and heretics, in time it came about that only the most saintly and innocent were killed. … I cannot admit that false teachers are to be put to death. It is enough to banish.”

“There are lazy and useless preachers who do not denounce the evils of princes and lords, some because they do not even notice them. … Some even fear for their skins and worry that they will lose body and goods for it. They do not stand up and be true to Christ!”

“The spiritual government or authority should direct the people vertically toward God that they may do right and be saved; just so the secular government should direct the people horizontally toward one another, seeing to it that body, property, honor, wife, child, house, home, and all manner of goods remain in peace and security and are blessed on earth. God wants the government of the world to be a symbol of true salvation and of his kingdom of heaven, like a pantomime or a mask.”

September 9
7 p.m.


Two More Weeks to Contribute to the Missouri Missions Offering!

We will be collecting gifts to the MMO for two more weeks.  Our church goal is $500.  The church will match up to $500.

Pastor’s Postscript

For several months I have been filling in as the adult Sunday School teacher.  We worked our way through the book of Ecclesiastes and will wrap up the book of Esther in two weeks.  IF you’re not attending class, I urge you to consider joining us.  If you have any thoughts on what we should tackle next in class (whether you are a part or not), please met me know.

The men have been looking at J. C. Ryle’s book “Holiness” for several months.  Although we are NOT having our study this month (I will be out of town), I am hopeful we will finish the study in 3 to 4 months.  With that thought in mind, I am appealing to the men for some input on our future men’s meetings beginning in 2016.  Do you still want to meet on the first Saturday of each month at 8 a.m.?  Is there a better day or time?  What would you like to do at these meetings?  I would love to know why more men do not attend our meetings and change that trend in 2016.  So, PLEASE, if you have any thoughts on how to improve our monthly time together, please let me know!

May Christ grant you a terrific month!

Pastor Bruce

July 29, 2015

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

July 29, 2015

Upcoming Activities

* Roller Skating Fellowship:  Let’s meet at Great Skate in St. Peters on Saturday, August 8 for two hours of fellowship!  We have the rink from 5:15-7:15 p.m. that evening.  Even if you do not intend to skate, come out, watch the others skate, and share some Christian fellowship!
* Business Meeting:  Our monthly meeting is on Wednesday, August 12 beginning at 7 p.m.
* Rascals Game:  Join your Bethesda family at T. R. Hughes Field as manager Steve Brook leads the River City Rascals against the Lake Erie Crushers on Saturday, August 29 at 6:35 p.m.


Here are the celebrations among our membership in August!

Happy Birthday to:

* Lacey Mueller on the 22nd
* Isabel Mueller on the 29th
* Zachary Mueller on the 31st

BUSINESS MEETING:  Wednesday, August 12, 7 p.m.

The Luther Monthly

Writing on Muslims (Turks) and Islam, Luther had the following to say:

“The Turk wants to put his Muhammad in the place of thy dear Son, Jesus Christ, for the Turk blasphemes him and asserts that Christ is no true Son of  God and that Muhammad is a greater prophet than he. … We are fighting that  the Turk may not put his devilish filth and the blasphemous Muhammad in the place of our dear Lord, Jesus Christ. That is the real reason and serious  purpose for which we now fight, die, or live. Therefore we are fighting a just  war against the Turk and are Christ’s holy saints and will die a blessed death.”
Martin Luther

THANK YOU to Everyone Who Contributed to Our Backpack Collection!

“It is the Word from whence you had your life.  That’s the immortal seed of the Word by which you are begotten.  If your souls are begotten to God, it was by the Word.  I appeal to you, either you are begotten again or not.  IF you are begotten, it is the Word that has begotten you, and it is that which is the object of your faith, for your souls, and eternal estate.  Surely that must be reverenced by you.”
Jeremiah Burroughs

Pastor’s Postscript

In the July 14th edition of the Pathway, Dennis Fletcher published a cartoon which grabbed my attention.  It shows two of the framers of our Constitution discussing a dream Franklin, Washington, and Hamilton each had the evening before.  The dream contained 3 individuals apparently screaming their stance on different issues:

* “I will determine if I’m Male or Female!”
* “I will determine if I’m Black or White!”  (her shirt reads “NAACP”)
* “I will determine what’s moral and immoral!” (his shirt, with rainbow sleeves and neckline, reads “Marry Whoever You Luv!”)

Humans love to be in control.  Many believe they can be or do whatever they choose to be or do.  But that philosophy belongs to one living in a Fantasyland.  In reality, we don’t have that much control over the affairs of life.  For example, consider your birth.  You had no say if you would be born.  You had no say when you would be born, who would be your parents, the country of your birth, the wealth of your family at your birth.  And those are only a few aspects of your birth over which you had no control.

This is true of our gender.  You may call yourself a male even if you are a female.  But that does not change who you are.  You may undergo multiple surgeries, be injected with tons of hormones, and change your name but your internal structure, which comes from God, still reveals your true gender.  Gender selection is out of your hands no matter what you think or say or do.  God made us male or female.

This is also true concerning your race.  A white man can not be changed into a black man or vice versa no matter what one tries to do.  It is absolute foolishness to believe one can call themselves a black female when they were born a white male.  Common sense tells us so, our genetic structure tells us so, and God tells us so.

Finally, while man, via governments, may determine the laws which govern his behavior living within an earthly nation, the only true morality is that which has been established by the only perfect moral lawgiver in the universe:  God.  When a nation establishes its moral laws based upon God’s moral law, then society is better off.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Our country has lost its way.  If you claim one cannot pick their own gender, then you are considered to be a hater.  If you claim one cannot select their own race, then you are considered to be a hater.  And if you do not believe men may marry men and women may marry women, you are a hater.  That is the nature of our society today.  Political correctness says we must understand those seeking their “true” gender or race and accept what they decide.  We must permit homosexuals to marry.  Those who do not bow are deemed wicked, evil, racist, bigoted, and hateful.

Unless God does a great work of revival throughout our land, the situation will only get worse.  And that means each of us who confess the name of Jesus are going to be faced with choices sooner or later.  I know of Christian county clerks who have resigned their position because they cannot, in good conscience, grant marriage licenses to homosexuals.  This is only the beginning.

The United States is more like Babylon than Jerusalem today and we are Daniel and the Hebrew children in exile.  Will you eat the food the pagans provide or only eat the bread of life?  Will you bow to their idols or face the fiery furnace?  Will you yield to their religious restrictions or will you continue to bow your head in public and pray to the one true God, knowing the den of lions is ready for you?

Now is the time to prepare for the trials to come.  Stay in the Word.  Draw close to God in prayer.  Take advantage of the time and opportunities available to hear God’s Word preached and taught and to share with your brothers and sisters.  Memorize His Word.  Follow closer to Christ each day.  Do so now for when the trial comes it will be too late to prepare.

May Christ be more real to you today than He was yesterday.  May His Word be more clear today than it was yesterday.

God bless you and keep you!