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

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

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

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

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!

October 27, 2014

Stirrings at Bethesda
A Weekly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church
October 27, 2014

Upcoming Activities

1. NO Academy Monday
2. Bible Study & Prayer Meeting, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
3. Men’s Breakfast & Book Study, Saturday, 8 a.m.
4.  Sunday School, Sunday, 9:15 a.m.
5. Worship Service, Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
6. Discipleship Training, Sunday, 5 p.m.

Daylight Savings Time…

… ENDS on Sunday morning!  Remember to set your clocks BACK one hour on Saturday evening before going to bed.

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child is underway!  You may help in several ways.

1. Pray
2. Pack a box or two.
3. Donate gifts for the packing party.
4. Give financially to help with the postage.
5. Be at the packing party and help pack some boxes.

We close out our role in Operation Christmas Child with a Packing Party on Monday, November 17 beginning at 6:30pm in Fellowship Hall.


Happy Birthday to Dan who turns another year wiser on Tuesday!

Church Council

Our final Church Council meeting is this Saturday, November 1, at 9 a.m.  The Council is primarily a scheduling body and we have several items to place on the church calendar.

If you are a council member and will not be present, please find someone to represent you at the meeting this Saturday.

Men’s Breakfast & Book Study

Men, bring your breakfast and join us at 8am on Saturday. We’ll spend 15-20 minutes sharing with one another and then resume our study of the book “Holiness” by J. C. Ryle.  Even if you missed all of our previous sessions, you are more than welcome to join us.

Missouri Baptist Convention

Every year, delegates from the various Southern Baptist churches in Missouri meet to  conduct business related to all Missouri Baptists.  This year the convention is meeting at Tan-Tar-A in the Ozarks.  David and Christy Diamond were elected by our church at the last business meeting to represent us there.  Please keep them in your prayers as they express our church’s conscience at the meetings this week.  The convention meets Monday through Wednesday.

“If there be granted for you to trust in your own righteousness, then all that Christ did to purchase salvation, and all that God did to prepare the way for salvation, is in vain.”   
Jonathan Edwards

The Bethesda Academy

We will not meet tonight (October 27) but will resume next Monday evening in Revelation 20.  Our final Fall session will be on Monday, November 10.  I’m open to any suggestions for a topic to cover next Spring.  If you have something you would like us to examine, please let me know soon.

“God did not look at Abraham and say, ‘Abe, you have a lot of faith.  Therefore, I am going to make you righteous.’  Faith is the means, the instrument by which God declares us to be just.  It does not cause God to save us.”

It was on October 31, 1517 (497 years ago) that Martin Luther, a German monk, posted his 95 protests against the Roman Catholic Church practice of indulgences on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg.  This “nailing of the 95 theses” ignited what became known as the Protestant Reformation (protests against the church in an effort to reform her). I believe it is almost impossible to overstate the impact of this movement in the history of the Western World including our our nation. The 19th century essayist, editor, and novelist Charles Dudley Warner wrote, “The United States, Great Britain … are to-day what they are largely because of the life of Martin Luther.”

Pastor’s Postscript

Thank you, everyone, for yesterday’s breakfast and the cards and gifts.  You are a very kind and very generous people and I am blessed (and honored) to be your pastor.  A special thank you to Karla for organizing the breakfast and picking up the food.

May Christ bless you for such kindness and grant you a wonderful week.

October 20, 2014

A Weekly Publication of
Bethesda Baptist Church

Upcoming Activities

1. Bethesda Academy, Monday, 6:30 p.m.
2. Bible Study & Prayer Meeting, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.
3. Outreach Day, Saturday, 9 a.m.
4. Sunday School, Sunday, 9:15 a.m.
5. Worship Service, Sunday, 10:30 a.m. Including the Lord’s Supper
6. Discipleship Training, Sunday, 5 p.m.

Outreach Day

Our first Outreach Day is this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.  We’ll meet at the church and organize into teams.  Then we’ll move into the neighborhood off Highway N and leave packets at the door of every home, if possible.

There will be a lot of walking but, the more we have the less walking it will be!  If you intend to go, please let the pastor know as soon as possible.

If the weather is bad on Saturday morning, we will postpone the event until another day.

See you at 9 a.m. on Saturday.  Dress appropriately for walking and visiting.

“The Gospel of the grace of God is the best vindication of His Law.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Operation Christmas Child

Next Sunday marks the beginning of our collection for Operation Christmas Child.  We will have shoe boxes for you take home and pack.  Or, you may bring some items and place them in the big box.  We will have a packing party next month and put all of those into boxes.  Or, you may do both!

“Sinner, you think that because of your sins and your infirmities that I cannot save your soul.  But behold, My Son is by Me and upon Him I look, not upon you, and I will deal with you as I am pleased with Him.”
John Bunyan

Martin Luther’s Definition of Faith
Faith is not what some people think it is. Their human dream is a delusion. Because they observe that faith is not followed by good works or a better life, they fall into error, even though they speak and hear much about faith. “Faith is not enough,” they say, “You must do good works, you must be pious to be saved.” They think that, when you hear the gospel, you start working, creating by your own strength a thankful heart which says, “I believe.” That is what they think true faith is. But, because this is a human idea, a dream, the heart never learns anything from it, so it does nothing and reform doesn’t come from this `faith,’ either.

Instead, faith is God’s work in us, that changes us and gives new birth from God. (John 1:13. It kills the Old Adam and makes us completely different people. It changes our hearts, our spirits, our thoughts and all our powers. It brings the Holy Spirit with it. Yes, it is a living, creative, active and powerful thing, this faith. Faith cannot help doing good works constantly. It doesn’t stop to ask if good works ought to be done, but before anyone asks, it already has done them and continues to do them without ceasing. Anyone who does not do good works in this manner is an unbeliever. He stumbles around and looks for faith and good works, even though he does not know what faith or good works are. Yet he gossips and chatters about faith and good works with many words.

Faith is a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it. Such confidence and knowledge of God’s grace makes you happy, joyful and bold in your relationship to God and all creatures. The Holy Spirit makes this happen through faith. Because of it, you freely, willingly and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace. Thus, it is just as impossible to separate faith and works as it is to separate heat and light from fire! Therefore, watch out for your own false ideas and guard against good-for-nothing gossips, who think they’re smart enough to define faith and works, but really are the greatest of fools. Ask God to work faith in you, or you will remain forever without faith, no matter what you wish, say or can do.

Pastor’s Postscript

I encourage those who are able to do so to join us this Saturday as we distribute the Gospel as well as information on our church to our neighbors.  It has been some time since we engaged in such an effort and I am excited about doing so.  I realize there are some members who are not healthy enough to participate in all the walking and I am sorry you will be left out of that part of the effort.  HOWEVER, even if you can’t walk and hand out the material, we would REALLY appreciate your prayers!  See, you will be helping us after all!

Again, if you plan on going Saturday, please let me know as soon as you can.  I hope I see many of you there!

May Christ bless you in all you do this week.

March 24, 2014

LADIES Book Study

The Ladies Book Study begins tomorrow evening, Tuesday, March 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the church’s Fellowship Hall.  If you did not sign up but would like to attend, contact Pam DePriest and let her know.

Recent Prayer Requests

* Elijah Mueller – recovering at home
* Alicia’s mother
* Meghan Bartner
* Zachary Mueller
* Cynthia Wordlaw, need for a kidney
* Dennis fighting kidney failure
* Marilynn Norvell
* Debbie, recovering from foot surgery
* Prayer for the conversions of the lost, especially those in our community
* Prayer for those involved in North American missions.
* Praise to the Lord for our visitors
* Our church and need for revival

The Bethesda Academy

The Academy continues its look at future events this evening (Monday) at 6:30 p.m.  Come and join us for some study as well as fellowship.

“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

Julie’s Mission Trip

Another reminder that Julie is preparing for a 10 week mission trip this summer.  Your prayers for her trip are appreciated as is any financial help you may be able to provide.  You may give with a check by making the check out to Bethesda Baptist and noting it is for “Julie’s Trip”.

Upcoming Activities

1.  Bethesda Academy, Monday, 6:30 p.m.
2.  Ladies Book Study, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
3.  Prayer Meeting, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
4.  Sunday School, Sunday, 9:15 a.m.
5. Worship Service, Sunday, 10:30 a.m.
6. Discipleship Training (Ruth), Sunday, 5 p.m.
7.  5th Sunday Q & A Fellowship, Sunday, 6 p.m.

“I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain that, if God had not chosen me, I should never have chosen Him; and I am sure He chose me before I was born, or else He never would have chosen me afterwards; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.”
Charles Spurgeon

Bethesda Congratulations for the Week

Happy Birthday wishes this week to:

* Luke Bounds – Tuesday

“You must understand that your faith and salvation rest entirely on God’s election (cf. Acts 13:48). And yet the day you came to Jesus Christ, you did so because of an internal desire — you did nothing against your will. But even that desire is God-given — He supplies the necessary faith so we can believe (Eph. 2:8).”
John MacArthur

Sermon Extras

Part of my preparation for yesterday’s sermon took me to a message preached by the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, W. A. Criswell.  I did not quote from this passage yesterday but I do want to share it with you this morning.  Dr. Criswell was an excellent preacher as you will see in how he closes the message.

“To that little flock in Thessalonica—just a little band of feeble Christians in a Roman world of brutality and godlessness and darkness and heathenism—Paul saying to them, “God hath elected you, little flock.  It is His good pleasure to give you the kingdom, little flock.  Weak lambs, God hath chosen you.  Be of good courage. Comfort your heart.  Lift up your faces.  God hath chosen you.”  Oh, what it is to be in the elective will and purpose of the Lord.  However the day, whatever the fortune, we are in Him and He is in God and the whole world shall turn for His elect into victory and triumph and glory, both now and for ever.  No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly, that love and trust Him.  The world is yours.  And in the fortunes of life, if He takes it from the earth before He comes—to face that future in glory and in triumph, to live like a Christian, and to die like a child of Jesus—unafraid, in the glory of the hope and the presence of the Lord.”

North American Missions

We are getting closer to our goal of $1200 for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. is $1200.  All the monies received towards this offering goes to support North American missions.  We will continue collecting to support North American missions through the month of April.  Please contribute as the Lord leads you to do..

Pastor’s Postscript

Easter is only a month away.  I want you to be aware that we will hold another Good Friday service this year on Friday, April 18.  Pastor Bill Savage of St. Clair Southern Baptist Church in St. Clair, MO will deliver the message.  I encourage you to add the date to your calendar.

Thanks to all who prayed for me over this past weekend and yesterday morning.  I spent most of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in bed feeling miserable.  But the Lord was gracious and enabled me to attend worship and preach the Gospel.  I am feeling somewhat better this morning but extremely exhausted.  I do appreciate your prayers.

I am also very grateful for the visitors the Lord continues to send our way.  Furthermore, yesterday was probably the first Sunday in 2014 where most of our members were able to join together for worship at the same time!  Praise the Lord!

May He richly bless your week!