June 30, 2015

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church
June 30, 2015

Upcoming Activities

* Business Meeting:  Our monthly meeting is on Wednesday, July 8 beginning at
7 p.m.
* Family Movie Night:  Join us for movie night at Bethesda Baptist Church on
Friday, July 10 beginning at 6:30 p.m.


There will be MANY celebrations among our membership in July!:

Happy Birthday to:

* Caitlin on the 7th
* DiAndre on the 14th
* Rich on the 17th
* Ellen on the 18th
* Georgia on the 26th
* Elijah on the 27th
* Nolan on the 30th

Happy Anniversary to:

* Aaron & Cynthia on the 27th

and, Happy Independence Day on the 4th!

The Luther Monthly

“A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to no one. A Christian is a
perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all. … Who can understand the riches of the glory of this grace? Here this rich and divine bridegroom Christ marries this poor, wicked harlot, redeems her from all her evil, and adorns her with all his goodness. Her sins cannot now destroy her, since they are laid upon Christ and swallowed up by him. And she has that righteousness in Christ, her husband, of which she may boast as of her own and which she can confidently display alongside her sins in the face of death and hell and say, ‘If I have sinned, yet my Christ, in whom I believe, has not sinned, and all his is mine and all mine is his.’”
Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian, 1520

Pastor’s Postscript

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”  
Thomas Paine

Given the events of the past week, now is a good time to remember that you and I, members of Bethesda Baptist, are Christians first and Americans second.  We live in a nation with a government that has been ordained by God (Romans 13).  We are to be obedient to the laws of that government in the same way we obey the laws of God:  promptly & sincerely.  BUT, when any government strays from the Word of God and passes laws which are contrary to His Word, our first allegiance is to God, not man.

Forty-two years ago, the Supreme Court of our nation decided that unborn children were not children and could be aborted if so desired.  In other words, the Court ruled that such a murderous act is legal.  It has been and remains the law of our land.  It is certainly not God’s law.  Our nation is wrong on this matter no matter how many people believe it is right.  Men have decided that murdering children is legal but God has not changed His Word or Mind.  One day, people will give an account for failing to govern according to God’s Word.

Now, last Friday, the Supreme Court (same body, different justices) decided that homosexuals may legally marry.  Five of the nine justices ruled that the definition of marriage accepted by society for 6000 plus years is no longer valid.  Two men may marry.  Two women may marry.  In other words, the Court ruled that such an abominable act is legal.  Despite what citizens of several states had decided on this matter, the Court has now declared  such marriage legal.  Men have decided that homosexuals getting married is legal but God has not changed His Word or Mind.  Again, one day, people will give an account for failing to govern according to God’s Word.

While there are many actions taken by our government that are questionable in the sight of God, certainly these two stand out.  We, as Christians, must remain firm on our convictions, convictions which come from the Word of God.  We have protested abortion for over forty years and must continue to do so.  We must continue to protest homosexual marriage as well.  In both cases, it is our duty to God to stand with Him and not with man.  Let us not yield to public opinion or pressure.  Rather, let us cling to Christ and His Leadership.  As the great preacher Dr. R. G. Lee once preached:  “Payday Someday! Judgment day is coming America!”

Let us be on the right side of this judgment!

May 28, 2015

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

May 28, 2015

Upcoming Activities

* Breakfast Fellowship: This Sunday morning we join together at 8:45 a.m. in the fellowship hall for a breakfast fellowship. We will gather together and share what others have prepared and God has provided, spend a few moments sharing in each other’s life, and then attending Sunday school at 9:30 a.m. Make sure and come early for breakfast!

* Swim Party & BBQ: The Diamonds have opened up their home for a swimming party and BBQ on Saturday, June 6 beginning at 2 p.m. We will BBQ around 5 p.m. People may swim before and after the meal. Swimming, of course, is optional but if you plan on swimming please bring your towel and sunscreen. The meat will be provided for the meal. Everyone is asked to bring a side dish and a drink to share. The Diamonds live at 14 South Trail in St. Peters.

* Business Meeting: Our monthly business meeting is Wednesday, June 10. Everyone is invited to attend the meeting which will be held in fellowship hall as we seek God’s will concerning practical matters facing our church.


Our monthly calendar indicates several celebrations are slated for June:

Happy Birthday to:

* Ken on the 13th
* Samuel on the 16th
* Austin on the 26th

Happy Anniversary to:

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

and, Happy Fathers’ Day on the 21st
The Luther Monthly

Last month we celebrated Mothers’ Day and, in a couple of weeks, we celebrate Fathers’ Day. So I decided to share with you 2 of the many paragraphs from Martin Luther’s Large Catechism on the commandment “Honor your Father and Mother”. If you have internet access you may read the full article there. Remember, the words you are reading were written in the 16th century German and translated over a hundred years ago and likely had a different meaning then!

“To this estate of fatherhood and motherhood God has given the special distinction above all estates that are beneath it that He not simply commands us to love our parents, but to honor them. For with respect to brothers, sisters, and our neighbors in general He commands nothing higher than that we love them, so that He separates and distinguishes father and mother above all other persons upon earth, and places them at His side. For it is a far higher thing to honor than to love one, inasmuch as it comprehends not only love, but also modesty, humility, and deference as to a majesty there hidden, and requires not only that they be addressed kindly and with reverence, but, most of all, that both in heart and with the body we so act as to show that we esteem them very highly, and that, next to God, we regard them as the very highest. For one whom we are to honor from the heart we must truly regard as high and great.

We must, therefore, impress it upon the young that they should regard their parents as in God’s stead, and remember that however lowly, poor, frail, and queer they may be, nevertheless they are father and mother given them by God. They are not to be deprived of their honor because of their conduct or their failings. Therefore we are not to regard their persons, how they may be, but the will of God who has thus created and ordained. In other respects we are, indeed, all alike in the eyes of God; but among us there must necessarily be such inequality and ordered difference, and therefore God commands it to be observed, that you obey me as your father, and that I have the supremacy.”

Pastor’s Postscript

I do hope everyone plans on attending the breakfast fellowship this Sunday morning. This will be a good time to get together with fellow members and to share what the Lord is doing in your life.

The adult Sunday school class has been examining a chapter of the book of Ecclesiastes each week. This Sunday finds us in chapter 7 with less time than usual to tackle the material. So I believe I am going to postpone our look at chapter 7 until June 7 and do something different this Sunday during our abbreviated session.

With summer upon us, we are “out and about”. So, let each of us seek new ways to share Christ with those in our influence. May you glorify Jesus in all you do!

Pastor Bruce

April 30, 2015


A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

April 30, 2015
Volume VI Number 4

Upcoming Activities

* Business Meeting:  our monthly business meeting is Wednesday, May 13 at 7 p.m.  Our God is a God of order and our business meeting is a time each month when we can conduct the matters of the church in an orderly way.  Each of our members is encouraged to attend.
* Ladies Book Study has reached the half-way point.  The study continues to meet on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. through May 19.
* Breakfast Fellowship: On Sunday, May 31 we will have a breakfast fellowship before Sunday School.  The fellowship will begin at 9 a.m. and we will start our Sunday School classes 15 minutes late at 9:30.  More details will follow in upcoming bulletins, but mark your calendars and plan on joining us for this unique time of fellowship.

“Submission to the lordship of Christ—a heart attitude that works itself out in obedience to Him—is the defining mark of those who are genuinely converted.”
John MacArthur

Our monthly calendar indicates several celebrations are slated for May:

Happy Birthday to:

* Tom on the 3rd
* Alicia on the 23rd
* Nick on the 25th
* Bruce on the 27th
Happy Anniversary to:

* Jon & Kate on the 11th

and, Happy Mothers’ Day on the 10th!

“Promptly and Sincerely in the Work of God”
John Calvin


The Luther Monthly

“Our natural reason looks at marriage and turns up its nose and says, ‘Alas!  Must I rock the baby?  Wash its diapers?  Makes its bed?  Smell its stench?  Stay at nights with it?  Take care of it when it cries?  Heal its rashes and sores?  And on top of that care for my spouse, provide labor at my trade, take care of this and take care of that?  Do this and do that?  And endure this and endure that?  Why should I make such a prison of myself?’  
What then does Christian faith say to this?  It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful and despised duties in the spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels.   
It says, ‘O God, I confess I am not worthy to rock that little babe or wash its diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of a child and its mother.  How is it that I without any merit have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and thy most precious will?  Oh, how gladly will I do so.  Though the duty should be even more insignificant and despised, neither frost nor heat, neither drudgery nor labor will distress me for I am certain that it is thus pleasing in thy sight.’”

Martin Luther

Pastor’s Postscript

Recently I was reading the final chapter of a book by Christopher Love, a 17th century Welsh Puritan, and came across these words:

“A gracious heart knows his own inability, and his own insufficiency and imperfection, that he is unable to overcome the least sin though never so small.”

As we grow spiritually, we better understand how little we have done and how much God has done on our behalf.  We contribute sin; He contributes everything else by reason of His grace.

His grace designed the plan to save some out of all lost humanity.  His grace chose me as one of those  whom He would save.  His grace sent His only Son to live among men and to die in my place.  His grace sent His Holy Spirit to work in the affairs of my life to slowly but surely draw me to Christ.  His grace brought conviction to my heart over my sin.  His grace regenerated my soul, caused me to be born again, and gave me new life.  His grace resulted in my repenting of my sins.  His grace enabled me to trust Christ alone for my salvation.  Over 40+ years, His grace has continued to mold me into a servant more and more like Jesus.   And, finally, His grace will welcome me into heaven for all eternity!

The more we learn of the importance of God’s grace in our life, the more we recognize who we really are apart from Christ:  poor, wretched sinners.  And recognition of that truth makes God’s grace even more precious!

May God continue to pour out His grace and then grace upon grace to each of you and upon our church.  May His Spirit bring true revival to each of our hearts and, through all of this, may Jesus Christ be glorified in each of our lives and in the ministries of Bethesda Baptist Church!

Pastor Bruce

March 31, 2015


A Monthly Publication of Bethesda Baptist Church

March 31, 2015
Upcoming Activities

* Good Friday Tenebrae Service.  This year marks our 3rd Good Friday worship service scheduled for April 3 at 6:30 p.m.  The service will last about an hour and will focus on the events of the day marking the death of our Lord.  Brother Gary Robnett, the former pastor of Highland View Baptist Church in St. Charles, will deliver the message.  You are encouraged to join us for this special time of worship.
* Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is this Sunday, April 5.  The message will be the final in a series on the “professions of Jesus Christ”.  We have already examined the Private Profession of Simon Peter and the Public Professions of the crowd.  On Sunday we look at the Angelic Profession based on Matthew 28.  While every Sunday is a reminder of our Lord’s victory over death, this Sunday is most special since it marks the anniversary of his resurrection.

* Election Day, is Tuesday, April 7.  Our church is a local polling place and will be busy on that day providing local citizens with an opportunity to vote.

* Business Meeting:  our monthly business meeting is Wednesday, April 8 at 7 p.m.  Each member is encouraged to attend and participate in the decision making process of our church.

* Ladies Book Study has already begun with an introductory meeting.  But the study begins its weekly sessions on Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30 p.m.  It’s not too late to be a part of this time of study and fellowship.  If you failed to sign up but would like to participate, contact Pam DePriest as soon as possible and plan on being there on the 14th.

* Spring Clean Up is Saturday, April 18 beginning at 8 a.m.  We need volunteers for our church work day.  We want to do some landscaping, clean up around our property line and, yes, paint our fellowship hall!

* Ladies Tea is scheduled for Saturday, April 25 at 11 a.m.  Last year’s tea was well attended and everyone had a great time.  This year should be no different.  Mark your calendars.

“WHY do you seek the LIVING among the dead?  HE is NOT here, but has RISEN.”
Luke 24:5
The Luther Monthly

“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.”
Martin Luther
Pastor’s Postscript

This Sunday is Easter.  Therefore I am making a personal request to each of you:  Invite your family, friends, and neighbors to join you in worship at Bethesda!

Most “unchurched” (or uncommitted) individuals will usually make an effort to attend one or two services a year.  They likely choose Christmas, Mothers’ Day, and/or Easter.  So this Sunday provides a great opportunity for you to invite someone who rarely attends church.

Let’s face the truth for a moment.  Most small churches in America are holding their own or declining.  Lost people are highly unlikely to simply visit our church.  If they do go to a church they will select a large one where they may get lost in the big crowds.  We can NOT wait for those outside the church to seek us out.  We are commanded to take the Gospel to them.

I realize many believers are uncomfortable sharing their faith with others.  Some of Christ’s faithful struggle with this their entire life.  But this is what God has called us to do.  And, surely if you are unable to share the Gospel with those in your family, with your neighbors, or with your co-workers, you can at least invite them to church where they will hear the Gospel preached.

So take advantage of Easter this Sunday and reach out to those you know who do not attend church.  Ask them to go with you this one time to celebrate Easter.  If you can’t share your faith then at least share your time and bring them to our church this Sunday.

May the Lord bless our ministries at Bethesda and our efforts in sharing the Gospel with the lost in our community and around the world.

Pastor Bruce

February 28, 2015

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

February 28, 2015

“In fact, anyone who claims to be a Christian yet is not an active member of a church may not actually be a follower of Christ.”
David Platt
President, SBC International Mission Board
Upcoming Activities

* Easter Egg Hunt and Soup/Salad Fellowship.  Yes, Easter is almost here!  Following our worship service on Sunday, March 29, the children will hunt for some Easter Eggs and everyone will join together for soup & salad and a time of fellowship.  Please mark your calendars and watch upcoming bulletins for specific information.

* Our monthly business meeting is Wednesday, March 4 at 7 p.m.  Every member is encouraged to attend as we look to the practical matters of the church.  Join us as we seek the Lord’s leadership in deciding the various issues which confront our church family!

“Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
Ephesians 5:25

Wednesday Evening

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:1

We have made some changes to our Wednesday evening prayer service.  First, we are no longer meeting in the auditorium, rather, we are gathering in the Fellowship Hall.  I believe it helps us feel more like the church family we are as we pray.  Second, we have dropped the use of the two sided prayer request sheet that has been part of our prayer meeting since before I came as your pastor.  Instead, we are praying over requests made at the beginning of our prayer time and as the Holy Spirit leads.  Furthermore, we are selecting different Bethesda families each week, gathering their specific requests, and lifting those requests to the Lord.

Our new approach is only two weeks old but I have been blessed by our time together.  We all know the Bethesda membership is not very large (only 37) BUT there are NOT 37 members attending our prayer meetings!  Those of you not joining us are missing out on one of the most important elements of Christian service:  prayer.

Before our prayer time this past Wednesday, I read and shared briefly on the text above, 2 Peter 1:1.  The various translations brought out different aspects of this text and we had a brief discussion on it.  I enjoyed the discussion enough that I decided to engage in just a little personal study and seek some clarification as well as illumination from this passage.

1.  The ESV uses “Simeon” for Peter’s name while other translations use “Simon”.  Both forms of his name are used interchangeably in the NT.  The difference in this verse lies with different manuscripts.  Some of the ancient texts use “Simon” while others use “Simeon”.  I think you will agree it really makes no difference relative to the content.  Peter is doing the writing!

2.  The phrase “have obtained” in the ESV is rendered “have received” in other versions.  “Obtain” almost sounds like the faith they received is something they reached for and got.  But the word translated “obtained” actually means to “obtain by lot”.  In today’s speech we might say “I got lucky!”  You received something you weren’t striving for, it just came.  Surely that is true of our faith.  God alone must provide the faith we require.

3.  “A faith of equal standing with ours” is another phrase we spent some time discussing.  The NAS renders this phrase as “the same kind of faith as ours”.  The King James reads “like precious faith with us”.  The NIV is similar with “a faith as precious as ours.”

The differences come from the word Peter used:  “isotimon”, a word only used here in the New Testament  You may recognize the “iso” prefix from English words such as “isotope” (from the Greek “equal place”), used to describe two forms of the same element.  This prefix means “equal”.  The last part of the word means “honor” or “price”.  So Peter is describing our faith as “equal honor” or “equal value”.  That is why the various translations read slightly differently.  The translators either take the “equal honor” aspect (hence, “equal standing”) or the “equal value” aspect (giving us “like precious”).

The great Southern Baptist Greek scholar A. T. Robertson wrote, “The faith which they have obtained is like in honor and privilege with that of Peter or any of the apostles.”  WOW!  The faith we have in Christ is just like the faith Peter had, a man who was with the Lord, saw the Lord, heard the Lord, walked on water with the Lord, etc.!

That thought alone blows my mind!

Come join us this Wednesday evening as we share some Scripture and then lift our requests to the throne of our heavenly Father.

The Luther Monthly

Since your pastor is fond of Luther, I thought I would invoke some personal privilege and include a Luther quote each month.  Much of what the good doctor says stirs one’s mind as well as “stirs the pot” of discussion!

“Apart from the church, salvation is impossible.”
Martin Luther

Good Friday Service

Easter is the first Sunday of April this year, only a month away.  For the past two years, Bethesda has held a Good Friday evening service and that will be the case once again this year.  Please watch the bulletins over the coming Sundays for announcements relative to our Good Friday service on April 3, make plans to attend, and bring family and friends.

“If you call yourself a Christian but you are not a member of the church you regularly attend, I worry that you might be going to hell.”
Mark Dever
Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

Some special prayer requests have been shared this week and I want us to keep lifting them to the Lord.

First, former pastor Randy Curless lost his mother this week.  Randy is well known not only by our church but also throughout the St. Louis community.  Please keep him and the family in your prayers.

Second, our brother Nolan Brook is still fighting a high fever which comes and goes.  In diagnosing the problem, doctors have found that three of his lymph nodes are very swollen.  As of this writing, doctors are pursuing the possibility it is the result of a fungal infection actually common in our area.  Please continue to pray for Nolan, those treating him, and his parents.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8

Special Ministry Opportunity

On Saturday, March 28, Bethesda members may take a tour of our local fire station from 11 a.m. to noon.  Cottleville Station #1 is at the corner of N and Motherhead.  This opportunity is led by our Outreach Committee which is also organizing a meal to take to the station.  We are showing our appreciation for all that the firefighters do.

There will be sign-up sheets in the foyer of the church for those who wish to take the tour and/or donate food.

Ladies Book Study

Ladies, Pam is leading you in a spring book study beginning this month!

The introductory session will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31.  The study will then meet on Tuesdays from April 14 through May 19.  You will be studying the book “He Speaks to Me:  Preparing to Hear from God” by Priscilla Shirer.

This is a great opportunity not only to study a book but also a time to study Scripture and fellowship with one another.  Mark your calendars and watch future bulletins for more information.

Pastor’s Postscript

A public thank you to brother Gary Robnett for stepping in at the very last minute and preaching for me last Sunday morning.  I truly appreciate his willingness to do so.

Furthermore, I appreciate the prayers of everyone at Bethesda on my behalf.  I am feeling much better and more like myself (I don’t know, is that good?).  If the Lord wills I will be back in the pulpit this Sunday.

Debbie mentioned to me last evening how quickly February has gone.  We are already two months through 2015.  Spring will be here before we know it!  I know the Trustees will be having a work day within the next two months, somewhat like our spring cleaning day for our church.

As February ends and March begins, I pray the Lord would pour out His blessings on each of you.  I also pray that He gives us both the wisdom and the desire to serve Him in our community.

May all we say and do bring glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Pastor Bruce

January 31, 2015

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”
(Matthew 22:37-38)

Upcoming Activities

Check your church calendar for the activities scheduled this month.  Two activities to particularly note are:

* Making Valentines for the Retirement Center.  This event will be held on Monday, February 2 at 6:30 p.m.  Everyone is invited.  Bring scissors if you can.  Snacks provided.

* Valentine Fondue Party.  We have held this event for a couple of years and it has been a big hit.  More details will follow in our bulletin about this fellowship next week but, for now, mark your calendar for Saturday, February 14 beginning at 5 p.m.

“”As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.””
Martin Luther


At our January business meeting, the church approved several bylaw changes relative to our committees.  If you are on a committee, especially if you are a chairman, please make sure you review those changes and take them into consideration as your committee functions this year.

If your committee has not yet met and selected a chairman & secretary, please do so within the next couple of weeks.

Pastor’s Postscript

As your pastor, I am spending time this year reviewing the various ministries of the church.  I’m looking at each one to see if there are any changes we need to or want to make in order to improve those ministries.  IF you have any suggestions, please let me know so I can share them with our deacons.

A brief newsletter for a brief month!  May the Lord bless your February!

December 29, 2014


A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

December 29, 2014

“One of God’s glorious gifts to mankind is to bestow upon him the dawn of a new year. New opportunities and challenges are before him. A chance to try again, to make another endeavor to successfully accomplish the ambitions which were perhaps cast aside with discouragement in the year past. Life is full of beginnings. As one stands at the gate and with doubtful hand draws aside the curtain and peers into the unknown, he begins today by taking his first step across the threshold of the new year. It is already a beautiful year because it is another year of Our Lord.”
C. E. Cowman

Upcoming Activities

A new church year begins this Thursday and that means opportunities for fellowship!  One of the more significant January fellowship activities is our January Bible Study which meets each Sunday evening during the Discipleship Training time (5 p.m.).  The 2015 study is on Deuteronomy and you are greatly encouraged to come and be a part of our time together.

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

WE REACHED OUR GOAL of $1300, in fact, we surpassed it!  Our final tally will be announced next Sunday in our worship service.

Thank you to everyone who gave.  You are truly a generous people!

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee brought their recommendations for the various church positions to the church for approval at our December business meeting and they were approved.  The new officers, teachers, and committee members begin their work with the new calendar year.  Thank you to the committee for their diligent work.

Though the most difficult task that committee faces each year is complete until late 2015, there remain a few positions still open which means the committee has not ceased their efforts.  On the table in the foyer is a list of all volunteers and the positions they hold for next year plus which positions remain vacant.  Please take a sheet and pray about the open positions!


As noted earlier, the new committees begin work on Thursday.  Your first order of business per our bylaws is to meet.  Here is the section from our present Constitution and Bylaws:

Committee Officers.
a. The first order of business at the first meeting of each committee following elections is to select committee officers.
b. Committee officers shall consist of a chairperson and a secretary unless otherwise designated.
c. Chairperson: Shall preside over and direct the meetings; shall ensure that the business at hand is discussed in an orderly and Christian way; and shall ensure that proper and necessary recommendations and actions are taken by the committee
d. Secretary: Shall prepare and maintain all committee records, including minutes of each meeting.  Shall have available to the board of directors the minutes of each meeting
The committee shall report the selection of its officers at the next church business meeting.
So, to those on committees, thank you for serving!  Now, get together and elect your officers!

Proposed Changes

At the December business meeting, the Nominating Committee presented several proposed changes to our bylaws.  These were moved and seconded and, per our bylaws, will be voted on at our January business meeting.  You are encouraged to pick up a copy of these proposed changes (many having to do with committees) from the table in the foyer.  If you need an electronic copy, please request one from Sandy Brandel.

Also, last spring a committee was formed to consider modifying our Constitution to adopt the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message in lieu of the 1963 statement.  The committee studied the 2000 version and is recommending the church amend our Constitution to indicate the 2000 version is our statement of faith.  If you would like a copy of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, see the pastor on Sunday and he will give you one.  Or, if you are online, you can read the statement at www.sbc.net/bfm2000/ .

“In nature, we see God above us.   
In a convicted conscience, we see God against us.   
in the GOSPEL,  
we see ‘God with us’.”

Pastor’s Postscript

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:1-2)

These words were among the last ones ever written by the Apostle Paul.  He wrote them to Timothy, one of his converts, mission partner, and, at the time of their writing, the pastor of the church at Ephesus.  I suspect most pastors view Paul’s charge to Timothy as also a charge to them.  I know I do!

Since coming to Bethesda in the fall of 2009, I have ministered with a specific plan in mind.  This plan has been based on what I believed the Lord wanted done both inside and outside our church.

For the past couple of months I have reflected on my first five years as your pastor.  First, I assessed those things I believed the Lord wanted accomplished from that plan over this period of time.  Some of them have been accomplished and some have not.  Next I sought His direction concerning the future of our church for this year, five years, and ten years out. Then I spent the last week putting pen to paper and documenting some specific plans for our church over the next ten years.

I am sharing these plans with our deacons at our January 7th  Deacons’ meeting.  After receiving their feedback, I will share my thoughts with the entire church, possibly as early as the January 14th business meeting.

Ultimately our goal at Bethesda is to glorify our God in everything we do!  There is so much more we can do together!

Happy New Year and may Christ richly bless you in 2015!

Pastor Bruce

The Case of the Departing Visitor – December 7, 2014

To the Members of Bethesda Baptist and to our Departing Visitor this morning,

I thought it would be wise for me to say something about the guest we had this morning.  Everyone in attendance witnessed his departure and many are probably wondering what happened.  It is important for our church family to know what he said and what your pastor thinks about his remarks.

When the gentleman entered our church, I was holding the door open for him, shook his hand, greeted him, and gave him a bulletin.  He said, “Hello” and walked directly to the auditorium, not saying another word, or providing me with an opportunity to give him a clipboard with a guest card on it.  The service then started so I intended to take the clipboard to him during the welcoming time after our first song.  Well, he didn’t make it through the first song.  Instead, he made a rather noticeable exit.  Therefore, I do not know his name, address, or phone number which is probably a good thing!

I was still at the door anticipating the Wordlaws’ arrival when he entered the foyer.  I opened the door and asked him, “Are you leaving?”  Without looking at me, he walked by and said, “I am looking for a church, not a nightclub.”  Hoping to talk with him a bit more on the matter, I stepped outside the door and said, “Sir, I’m sorry you are leaving.”  But he never turned around.  He stormed to his car, got in, and slammed the door.

Those are the events which took place today.  As far as I know, this man has never visited with us and I truly am sorry he did not stay and worship with us.  I do hope he found a service in which he could worship this morning.

Obviously his remark was directed to our band.  We had read Scripture, prayed, and sang part of the first song when he departed.  I can’t believe he thought the Scripture reading and/or prayer was like a nightclub.

Personally, I can say this man has never been to a nightclub if he believes that’s what he was seeing this morning!  Our band was leading us in worship, not attempting to entertain us.  I suspect our visitor believes any music which may be loud or involve praise songs or includes guitars and drums is inappropriate in a church.  Well, he is dead wrong and has absolutely no basis in Scripture for such thinking.  Your pastor prefers the hymns to contemporary songs and our band knows this.  But I also know that music does not come in one form and any music, properly used, can assist in the worship of God and raise praises to Him.  I do not believe our band ever uses the music they play inappropriately (as though they were performing in a night club).  They play to the glory of God and I am grateful they do!  They are extremely gifted musicians and I am grateful they are willing to use those gifts in the service of the Lord.

Our gentleman visitor today is confusing his personal preference with Biblical principles.  His remark was not only inappropriate, it was completely wrong.  He had an opportunity to sing praises to God, to read the Scripture with us, to pray with us, to learn about missions with us, and to hear God’s Word preached.  Instead, he chose to leave because he didn’t like the music.  I am sorry for him for, in the end, it was his loss.  Even if he went to another church, I suspect he was so upset on the inside he couldn’t properly worship.

I pray the Lord convicts Him concerning his attitude toward music and toward our church.  I also pray that he doesn’t spread false words about our church as a result of his visit today.  Please pray for him, brothers and sisters.

And, if he happens to read this post and would like to discuss his view of music and our service with me, I welcome the opportunity.  You may contact me at 636-233-0645 and we’ll find some time to chat.

Pastor Bruce

December 1, 2014

A Monthly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

December 2014

Upcoming Activities

The activities for the month are provided in the December calendar.  Here are the exceptions for December to our usual schedule.

* The final Discipleship Training of 2014 will be Sunday, December 14 at 5 p.m.  There will be no DT on the 7th, 21st, or 28th.
* There will also be no prayer meeting on the last 2 Wednesdays of the month (24th and 31st).

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Our 2014 goal is $1300 and we have already collected $100.  All money received for the Lottie Moon offering supports our mission activities on fields outside of North America.  We will collect through the month of December.  Please seek the Lord and give as He wills.

“Justification is not a process.  It is a verdict.  It is a singular act of counting someone righteous and acceptable to God on the basis of the righteousness of another, namely, Christ.”  
John Piper

Christmas Party

Our annual Christmas Party will be held on Saturday evening, December 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Every family is asked to bring an appetizer and a drink to share.  If you have any games you would like to play, please bring them as well.  We’ll share the appetizers, play some games, and enjoy the fellowship.  Please make certain not to miss this fun fellowship!

There will NOT be a gift exchange.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee is finishing its work at filling open positions for 2015.  If the Lord has convicted you to an area in which you may serve Him, please contact Sandy, Debbie, or David quickly.  We will vote on these nominations at the business meeting on December 10.

“When we possess the benefit of Christ’s death and resurrection, there is nothing wanting to the completion of perfect righteousness.”
John Calvin

Our Newsletter

The time has come for changes to our newsletter.  For five years we have published one almost weekly.  A couple of years ago we began adding the monthly calendar which provides not only the church functions for the month but also the birthdays and anniversaries.  But even good things need changing from time to time.

First, most of our weekly newsletters have become essentially repetitious.  Week after week the items shared by our paper are the same with only minor changes.  Of course, some of the activities vary week to week but these differences are captured on our monthly calendar.  So, publishing a weekly newsletter for our church size is probably not a wise task.  It consumes time and money (paper, ink, stamps) and basically shares the same info found in previous newsletters.  So, beginning with this newsletter, we will publish only once a month.  We’ll send out the newsletter the last week of each month with a calendar for the upcoming month.

Second, going to a monthly schedule will demand earlier input from the various organizations that wish to have information published.  These groups would include the fellowship committee, the mission organizations, and various committees (e.g., Trustees) who are planning specific events for the upcoming month.  Of course, most church members have e-mail so, if something is overlooked in the monthly paper, we can send out a quick e-mail on the matter.

Third, the pastor has “hogged” the newsletter long enough.  While I enjoy writing, I suspect there are others in our congregation who would like to do some writing of their own.  So, I am soliciting for additional newsletter “staff”.  If you believe the Lord would have you take over the entire production of the paper, please let me know!  I will gladly contribute a monthly article.  Or, if that is a bit too much for you, would you like to share an article from time to time?  I would encourage committees who wish to publish information for the church in the newsletter to write their own article and then send it to me to be included in the next edition.

Finally, I am open to any suggestions you may have.  If you have anything for the January edition, it will be published during the last week of December.

May our Lord be glorified in you this week.
Pastor Bruce

November 24, 2014

A Weekly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

November 24, 2014

Upcoming Activities

1. NO Bible Study & Prayer Meeting this week.
2. Sunday School, Sunday, 9:15 a.m.
3. Worship Service, Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
4. Discipleship Training, Sunday,5 p.m.

Operation Christmas Child

As Pam reported yesterday, we packed 54 boxes and had extra items we could not pack since we ran out of boxes.  Nevertheless, those items were sent as well and will be used to fill boxes.  Thank you again for your generosity.

“Scottish minister Alexander Whyte was known for his uplifting prayers in the pulpit. He always found something for which to be grateful. One Sunday morning the weather was so gloomy that one church member thought to himself, ‘Certainly the preacher won’t think of anything for which to thank the Lord on a wretched day like this.’ Much to his surprise, however, Whyte began by praying, ‘We thank Thee, O God, that it is not always like this.’ 
Daily Bread, August 26, 1989.
Christmas Party

Yes, it’s that time of year again!  Our annual Christmas Party will be held on Saturday evening, December 13, beginning at 5 p.m.  Mark the event on your calendar and keep an eye on future newsletters and bulletins for specific information on the party.  Everyone who attended last year had a great time and this year’s event should be as much fun!  You don’t want to miss it!

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Southern Baptists have designated the Christmas season as the time when we collect funds to support our international missions endeavors.  This offering, named the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, goes entirely to the missionaries and their work. 

So as Bethesda Baptist begins our emphasis on this offering, I exhort you to seek the Lord as to what He would have you contribute this year to support international missions.

May God once again bless your generosity!

“Thanks to this Great, Sovereign Ruler for the eternal mercy He has.  Despite the rebellion of many of His subjects to His Lordship, He continues to offer His mercy to them even today.  Salvation is possible and available for He is a merciful God.”

Nominating Committee

The Lord has given each of His children spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ.  How does Christ want you to utilize your gifts through our church in 2015?  Please contact Sandy, Debbie, or David, our Nominating Committee, and share your thoughts with them.
Pastir’s Postscript

Our national annual celebration of Thanksgiving was a result of President Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863 which established the last Thursday of November as the date (later changed to the 4th Thursday).  Here is the proclamation in its entirety.

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widow, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and direct your thanks to our blessed God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

May He watch over you this week.

 Pastor Bruce