April 2004

HARMONY NEWSLETTER

April 2004

From the pastor

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Harmony Church recently rejoiced to receive Sister Willow Welch into her membership.  Sister Willow came forward on the 3RD Sunday in February asking for a home in the Church.  She was baptized the following Sunday.  Sister Willow is in the 8th grade, the daughter of Brother Justin and Sister Belinda Welch.  On the day of Sister Willow’s baptism, Brother Justin shared with our church his testimony in finding us.  As he shared the story, we could see the providential hand of God in their lives, as well as our own.  They were looking for a Primitive Baptist Church near their home and one day, Brother Justin was driving down highway 67 and saw our sign.  He went home and told his family about finding the meeting house and they determined to visit the next Sunday not knowing what they might find.  I still remember them walking up the steps on that first Sunday morning.  Their youngest daughter, Wynn, drew me a picture that day.  It was during that time that I was praying for God to send us some new families.  God gets the glory, but we see Him working on both ends.  They were praying, we were praying and God was supplying our needs.  

I have been told that our people used to have more testimonials like this one and I believe we have left off something very important. Brother Justin’s story was a great encouragement to us all!

On the first Sunday afternoon in March, several of our members attended a showing of “THE PASSION OF CHRIST”.  After the show, we met in our home and discussed the movie. Many interesting questions were posed as we surveyed cross and the sufferings of our Lord together.  It was a very profitable time for the children and adults.  After our discussion, I asked one of the children if the young people would like an opportunity to meet with me from time to time to ask questions.  I loved the response as I felt it was quite biblical: “No, we like for the grown ups to be there because they ask things that we might not think about.”  So…….who needs a Sunday school when you have parents who will meet and ask questions with their children!  After all, that IS what the children want!!!  P.s., For the record, I was not suggesting a Sunday school.

I grew up in a Sunday School and have had the opportunity to see both sides of the coin.  In the Sunday School program, the lessons we received were given to us from a little book they gave us each quarter.  We were taught from this lesson guide by well meaning people.  Yet, our parents were not present, they were in another room.  The message was not from the individual teachers, not from their own hearts, not from their own spirit, it was handed down from a board.  Is this the pattern of the New Testament?  Every worship service that we read about in the New Testament was a mixed multitude of families. Each message was from the heart, not the board. From experience, I have found that ten minutes with praying parents present, involved in the teaching, is more profitable than 10 hours with a lesson handed down from another source.  This method is both biblical and historical.  It was the way the Hebrews taught their children. Concerning the commandments of God, God through Moses taught them to “ bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes…..And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”  This was the method the Christian parents in the infant Church taught their children.  I have the old fashioned, yet biblical, idea that this remains to be the best method.  

In Acts 20, we read, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continues his speech until midnight.  And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together.  And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, had sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves: for his life in him”-v7-10. The word “preached” in verse 7 and “preaching” in verse 9 is translated from the Greek word, dialegomai, from which we get our word dialogue.  Thus, they were having dialogue, talking back and forth, sharing their knowledge. What a beautiful picture Luke paints for us!!! The “Many lights” came from candles and lamps held by those present that night so that they could see the scriptures they were discussing.  Eutychus was a young man.  He was not head of a youth movement or a youth group.  He was there with the adults learning from the apostle.  As we learned from our visit after the movie, this biblical approach to teaching is very profitable!!

What is happening at DONALDSON

The time of our annual meeting is rapidly approaching.  Elders Marty Smith and Dickie Halbgewachs have promised to be with us.  Elder Marty is the pastor of Union Church at Roswell, Georgia, and Elder Dickie is the pastor of Oak Hill Church near Austin.  Both of these men are very dedicated and gifted ministers.  Our meeting will begin Friday night, April 9th.  We plan to have services on both Friday night and Saturday night at 6:30, with dinner at 5:30.  Our Communion and feet washing services will follow lunch that Sunday, April 11th.  Please pray for this meeting and for these men as they come our way.  Let us pray that God will bless them to preach just the messages that we need at Harmony Church.  

On the last Wednesday night in April, the 28th, Elder Gus Harter is scheduled to be with Harmony Church along with several ministers from the Philippines.  We plan to have dinner at the Church at 5:30 with services following.  We greatly enjoyed their visit two years ago and are looking forward to their return. As always, it will be a special treat to be with Brother Gus again.  We miss him greatly, yet, we are thankful for his and Sister Betty Jo’s labor of love in the Philippines. Please pray for these services as well.

We greatly enjoyed Elder Justin Huffman’s visit with our Church.  It was a special blessing to have him and his wife, Sister Cho, with us in our home.  After his visit I well understood why the Cincinnati Church asked him to assist Brother Bradley with his labors there.

Our visit to the Church at Star City was a blessing as well.  Elder Justin was well received as we enjoyed their fellowship and hospitality. 

I hope to finish my new book in the next few months. This book will be a devotional book that I pray will be of great use for private as well as family devotions.  After each short message there are several “Helpful Hints” given to encourage dialogue and stimulate one’s thinking.  There is a page for planning a lesson following the hints.  From experience, I have learned that family devotions can be intimidating to us, as well as demanding after one has come home from a long days work.  Some of the material that I have found in the Bible book stores has not been doctrinally accurate and hopefully this will be of great benefit to our people.  

Our library has been opened and many are already enjoying the various materials and books.  Again, we want to thank all of those who contributed to our library.  

We have had several of our members request an additional service at our church. Though it is difficult to tell whether there is more interest in a Sunday night or a Wednesday night service, I plan to try a Sunday night service for a month to see if there is enough interest.  The meeting will begin the first Sunday night in May and the time will be 6:30 p.m. with the following formats:

1st Sunday night: Visiting Minister

2nd Sunday night: Pastoral Message

3rd Sunday night: Pastoral Message

4th Sunday night: Q & A

If this meeting is well supported by our church we will continue with it.

Elder Harold Stumbaugh has promised to preach for us on the first Sunday night in May.

   We have planned our annual trek to Lake Catherine State Park for the 3rd Sunday in April.  I realize this is short notice but due to our new meetings in May this was the only Sunday we had available before the hot weather sets in.  This outing has always been a blessing for our church. Please mark your calendar and make plans to be with us and bring friends!

Book review

We have recently received into our library several pieces of media from an organization called, “Answers In Genesis”.  These materials include CD’S, Videos and books on the subject of creation.  Many of these are geared towards the young mind and will be of great benefit to them in understanding God’s miraculous account of creation vs. the popular theory of evolution that they hear so much about today. I encourage every parent to ground their children in this fundamental principal before they are exposed to man’s philosophy.  It is much easier to plant seeds of truth than it is to uproot the tares of error.

REMEMBER IN PRAYER

Sister Lori Drennan who has recently undergone laser surgery on her eyes due to diabetes.

Sister Norma Phelan who has suffered from vertigo and low potassium.

Sister Thelma Samons who has recently undergone hip replacement surgery.

Wesley Boyce recovering from broken leg due to automobile accident.

John Shaffer recently suffered from heart blockage.

Brother Carl Osterloh has recently been hospitalized due to lung and heart problems.

I encourage you to pray for these, visit them, send them a card, offer them a word of encouragement and minister to their needs.(Matthew 25:40).

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