Showers of Blessings

I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalm 81:10

By: David Beatty Jr

In 1998, Calvary Baptist Church received some bad news. The leaseholders on the building notified us that they had sold the building we were occupying and we had only 30 days to move out of it. Though the church had been praying about moving to a new location, we didn't expect to have to move so quickly! The church had recently purchased 13.5 acres outside of the city, but the property was still farmland. There was no running water, electricity, or sewer. It seemed impossible that an entire church and school could move to this undeveloped acreage in that amount of time, but God’s grace was abundant and evident.

Within 30 days, a dirt road was built, utilities installed and a manufactured home was moved onto the site! What seemed like an impossible feat was really just the Lord very clearly showing us His purpose. The church was buzzing with joy and excitement as we held our first services in this property! We were on our new property not in our timeframe, but in the Lord’s.

The church met faithfully in the living room and dining room of the manufactured home every service, and it was tight. Every Sunday the church would stack up chairs, put hymn books away, and set up for school on Monday. Even though it was tight, God blessed Calvary with growth.

Exodus 33:13-15 says:

Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.

God was with our church in those constricting times and His grace was sufficient. Calvary Baptist Church then took the step of faith in holding double services, believing that the Lord would bless, and He did! As the church continued to grow, we only had the kitchen, the pastor’s office, and the porch available to hold Sunday School classes. Soon, the church had grown enough to receive financing through a bond program in order to have a new church building built on the property. The 5,000 sq foot building was more than enough to accommodate the church family, and the LORD had provided abundantly.

For the past fifteen years, we have been eagerly awaiting this time when our bond will have been paid off and we can begin looking toward the future for what God has in store for us. It is time for another step of faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”( Heb. 11:6)

We have been entrusted with this task. The Lord established our church body here to reach the lost, teach the saints, and inspire to service. Room for growth is necessary when we are fulfilling God’s purpose for our church. We know the LORD will bless more abundantly if we but trust in His power. We can then look forward to the day when He will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things…” (Matt. 25:21)

If a man sees rain clouds on the horizon in the midst of a drought, it would be derisory for him to set out a tea cup to catch any possible drops. Instead, he would stake out tarps and line up buckets to be fully prepared for the showers of blessings. Psalm 81:10 says, “I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Open thy mouth wide. Beginning August 3rd, Calvary Baptist Church will be having two Sunday morning worship services. The first will be at 9am, followed by Sunday School at 10, and then the second service at 11. This is a step of faith on our part, and our belief in God’s power is necessary to receive the blessings God has in store for us. Matthew 13:57 and 58 says, “And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom. 11:34) We do not claim to know what the Lord has in store or how He will bless, only that He will as long as we walk by faith.

We need more than growth; we need an epidemic. We need to have an uncompromised stand on God’s Word, yet be open and accepting of the lost. We have to make the commitment to put our own selves last and to intentionally minister to others, putting Christ first. We need Christians who love God and allow His love to shine through. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” (1 Pet. 2:9)

Being Encouraged by Chastisement

Lessons from the Fish's Belly

By: Brad Nichols

Jonah 2:1-2

"Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and He heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

 

I have learned my greatest lessons in the "Fish’s Belly". I should've because that is the point of the lesson, to learn one. When we have reached a point to where God has to intervene in ...a drastic way, or any other way, we had better learn that lesson.

The "Fish's Belly" is good and righteous simply because God is good and God is righteous. We would do well to grasp that Bible truth very early on too. Just remember the "Fish's Belly" is not worse than the path of destruction we pave for ourselves. We need to praise the Lord for making the "Fish's Belly" because He made it to take our attention off of the destruction we created in our life.

I remember one of my times in the "Fish's Belly". Kingsville, Texas. I was down there to play football in college but when I went down there, God took everything from me and made me realize how much I had neglected Him in my life. He, through conviction from good Bible preaching, showed me how much I had destroyed my life and that it was time to put Him first.

If the Lord wants to put you in a "Fish's Belly" He can!! Ye are not your own!!! If you are in a "Fish's Belly" then leave whatever brought there behind you. Do you really believe God wants better for you? Of course He does. So TRUST Him; the Lord is good and wants good for you!

Pilgrims in this World

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” – Hebrews 11:13

I am sure glad that I am only a pilgrim in this world. However, I pray continually for my children and grandchildren as they face the future in this wicked world. I fear for America as I have never feared before. It seems as though the floodgates of Hell have been opened upon us and some are tempted to surrender and be swept along with the torrent.

However, we have the Lord to sustain us through the persecutions and troubles to come.

Isaiah 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

I hereby do make a promise to my family, to my friends, to my church, and especially to my Lord that I will not quit, I will not give up, I will not waiver, I will not allow the Devil a victory in my life, but I will continue the battle for the Lord, because I know I am on the winning side.

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."  1 John 5:4
 

An "Old Man" Reflects on His Grandkids

Proverbs 17:6 Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

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As I sit here this morning in my office, I find myself observing all of the “artwork” and get-well cards, and little notes of love that I have received this last couple of years from some of the most precious people in my life. They hang on my wall as one, a beautiful tapestry, the warp and woof of which is love. These strands are woven together by my precious grandchildren. I have saved everything they have ever given me, and treasure each one of those little gifts.

I have crayon colored “masterpieces” by famous artists such as Leah and Livy and Joshua and Ethan. I also have in my collection sketches by such masters as Lilly and Davey, and water colors by Melanie and Haley and Kate. There are also several collages, again masterful works, by the likes of Amelia, and Emily, these, almost invariably hand-delivered to me, personally, with sticky little fingers. My collection also includes precious stones, meticulously extracted from the church playground and sticks formed into a beautiful frame.

Now, we lovers of art are a persnickety bunch. Our cultured tastes, that have been refined over the years, admittedly become a passion for only the greatest artists. We undeniably begin finding ourselves shying away from more inferior works.

Some of the Master Pieces I have hanging on the walls of my office include portraits of Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, and sketches of horses and mountain blue birds, and hawks and butterflies. There are also many hand drawn get-well cards and, “I love you” cards, and deflated balloons that were presented to me with wide smiles and sticky little fingers, anticipating my joy at receiving them.

Thankfully, most of these treasures include signatures, signed by the artist’s own hand. Many of the “signatures” include their names written below by their mother to reveal who they really are. (We all know how some of those famous artists are with their cryptic signatures.)

I love these little one’s with all of my heart and all of my strength. God gave them to me, and I pray every day, that they will be saved at an early age, that they will grow strong in the Lord, and that they will find a spouse that loves and serves the Lord in His church, and that they will serve Him for the rest of their lives.

I am struck with the truth of how often my children’s children are in my thoughts and my prayers. They are like a glimpse of sunshine in a dark world; they are like a spring rain after a drought. It is like a sweet homecoming every time they come through the front door. We always treat them like we hadn’t seen them for decades! (Even though it may have been just yesterday)

And when it is time for them to leave and go home, we make it a big deal, like we may never see them again…which will be the case some day. This is the time for huggykissy’s, (all one word.) They all know that this is the time to present themselves to NanaPapap (that is one word too) and get hugged and kissed and told how much we dearly love them. As they go out the door I always say, “see you later alligator” which always brings the retort, “after while crocodile!”

Then Linda and I in the quiet and peace, sit and talk of those sweet grandchildren and rehearse the things they did, and the words that they said. And then we thank God, for His mercy and His grace to have allowed us to spend one more day with some of the greatest people on earth! Sweet, sweet, times.

My children’s children, truly are a Crown to this old man.

 

Only Two Spiritual Families

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And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. - 1 Jn 2:2–7

John is speaking here of the fact that those who truly know God will continue to abide with Him in His presence. That is, they will live with Him, with His conscious presence, under His conscious rule, in His kingdom, even in the midst of Satan’s world order and his rule and deceit. You are either living by God’s rules or you are living by Satan’s rules. Christians are not supposed to sin since we are abiding with the Lord even here in this wicked world. We are living in His house now, under His rule, with His fellowship, as opposed to Satan’s world and rule and deceit.

However, if a Christian sins, the Holy Spirit immediately convicts him of that sin, and his fellowship with God (not his relationship) is directly affected. But the true believer can claim 1 Jn 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” By the way this passage was written for believers, those who are abiding in Christ. But even as a true believer encounters sin in his own life, he continues to abide with Christ, and sin, as it is confessed and forsaken, becomes more and more unnatural for a believer the longer He abides with His Lord.

However, there are many today who profess that they are saved or born again and thereby abiding “with Him”, yet their testimony betrays them. They live much more like they are abiding under Satan’s authority, under his world order, under his rules of conduct and deceit and duplicity. There's something very wrong with a person’s life that professes Christ as their Master with their lips, but actually live their lives as though they served Satan as their master. Their lifestyle and their lying tongues almost always betray them, because what is in the heart, inevitably comes out at the mouth.

Jas 3:8–12 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Reminder; This was spoken to professed believers also. A true believer is different from the world and as a believer grows in the Lord he becomes more and more like his Spiritual family. However, there are multitudes being deceived today by the master deceiver, Satan, the wicked one.

1 Co 6:9–10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Heb 10:29 But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Concluding Passage:

1 Jn 3:1–3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Christian, can you honestly say today that you are living a life of purity even as He is pure? Maybe you need fall to your knees before a kind and merciful God and admit your sin. And after you confess your sin to God, then forsake it.

There may be some reading this that are trusting a prayer prayed when you were a child for salvation. But you know in your heart that you have really never been born into His family. And you need to step in prayer and ask for His forgiveness and turn from your sin to follow Him, to begin to abide with Him.

There may be families here that that need to pray as a family together.

What is an Independent Baptist Church?

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At Calvary, we consider ourselves an Independent Baptist church.  So what does that mean?  An Independent Baptist Church is simply a church that operates autonomously and is not a member of (or affiliated with) a religious denomination.

There are many good people who work in denominational churches and organizations across the world.  And there are many good things that are being done by these churches.  We believe, however, that the church and its members should be autonomous and are to be responsible to each other and to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the head of the Church.

In many denominations there is an organizational structure that de-emphasizes this autonomy, even to the extent that the denomination chooses the pastor rather than the local congregation.

Denominationalism usually has a span of control that limits affiliated churches and its members and adds a layer of bureaucracy. We believe that a church and its members should not have to navigate through bureaucratic channels or lobby denominational leaders in order to follow through on their convictions.  Conversely, we don’t believe that we should affiliate with an organization that condones certain activities in member churches that we believe are unscriptural.

We also believe that the local church should retain 100% of what church members sacrificially give and that these offerings should be used as the local church and its members sees fit.  Many denominations operate similar to a franchise in that a portion of a church’s offering is sent to the home organization to pay for overhead.  This can drain churches of funds that could be better spent locally.

Though denominational organizations can helpful in many circumstances, we believe the New Testament gives us a clear example for how a church should organize, function and operate.

In many denominations there is an organizational structure that de-emphasizes this autonomy, even to the extent that the denomination chooses the pastor rather than the local congregation.

Denominationalism usually has a span of control that limits affiliated churches and its members and adds a layer of bureaucracy. We believe that a church and its members should not have to navigate through bureaucratic channels or lobby denominational leaders in order to follow through on their convictions.  Conversely, we don’t believe that we should affiliate with an organization that condones certain activities in member churches that we believe are unscriptural.

We also believe that the local church should retain 100% of what church members sacrificially give and that these offerings should be used as the local church and its members sees fit.  Many denominations operate similar to a franchise in that a portion of a church’s offering is sent to the home organization to pay for overhead.  This can drain churches of funds that could be better spent locally.

Though denominational organizations can helpful in many circumstances, we believe the New Testament gives us a clear example for how a church should organize, function and operate.

 

New Creature

The Bible states in 2nd Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 We see that, according to the Scriptures, when someone is saved they have a new birth. Jesus stated in John 3:6, That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Our Lord states in this verse that two births have occurred, for Christians. The first is a physical birth if you are alive then you were born, we could argue that some may have been hatched, just kidding. The second birth is a spiritual birth, or birth from above. This is what the Bible means when someone is born again.

 Our first verse, as stated above, indicates that, if we are born again, then we are a new creation. Simply meaning that we are not what we used to be, we are something new, because of the new birth that has occurred. The Bible states that born again Believers are “Heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). In John 1:12 it says, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

According to the Scriptures, if we are truly saved, and we are a new creature, and we are joint-heirs with Christ, and we are the sons of God then we should be expected to act a certain way. Not only are we to act a certain way, we should have a hard time feeling comfortable living the way we used to. Sinning should be uncomfortable for a Christian. When a Christian sins there should be conviction. This does not mean that we never sin again, we are human, and God understands that we are sinners. However, God does not excuse our behavior or take it lightly. God hates sin, His son died for it. If you gave your child as a price for sin and you witnessed others sinning wouldn’t it bother you? I in no way mean to put God on a human level because His ways are above our ways. It is important to never forget the price that sin has caused the world and mankind. If we start to view sin the way God does then a Christian should really struggle with their sin.

Traditionally, I don’t like to name specific sins because that is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict individuals of their sin. Also, I don’t ever want to give anybody the idea that quitting a certain sin will bring them closer to salvation, but sometimes you should bring to remembrance that the Bible speaks clearly about specific sins. There are some things that a Christian should not do, plain and simple. I understand that we still have the flesh and our sin nature, but we are not animals and we should be able to control ourselves. In fact the Bible tells us that we should be holy. That’s a good old fashioned Bible word, the Bible speaks very clearly that we should be holy.

I think we get the idea sometimes that we are to act a certain way in church and once we leave God doesn’t expect us to act the same way. For example, I used to work with a guy and he was as foul mouthed as you could imagine. He even spoke of attending church, so I asked him, at work, one day “Do you talk like that in Church? And he responded “We aren’t in church right now.” So I asked him “So is God deaf when you leave the church building?” This is just one of many examples that, I believe, we as Christians seem to forget or neglect, or perhaps just not care enough about. We ruin our testimonies and we give the unbelieving crowd another reason to not believe that a holy God can change lives. Consider what James says:

 James 3:10, Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 

The Bible says you can tell by an individual’s fruits. A man’s testimony should be very telling of him being a new creature. When Saul met the Lord on the road to Damascus his life was changed. The reformation was revealed by his testimony. Paul tells us in Galatians 1:13, For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it. However, we know that through the Scriptures, Paul was used greatly of God because he was a new creature and old things had passed away. Jesus said in Matthew 7:17, Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

So I would ask the fair question. Are you really saved? Are you really a new creation? Your fruits or testimony can answer that question. Allow the Holy Spirit to mold you and change you through Bible reading, and prayer, and faithful church attendance to a local Bible believing Bible preaching church. Listen to good preaching that it may increase your faith. The Lord is good, trust Him. 

There Are Only Two Spiritual Families You Can Belong To In Time and Eternity

And the Ultimate question is, to who’s Family Do You Belong? 

By David Beatty Sr.

1 Jn 2:2–7 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

John is speaking here of the fact that those who truly know God will continue to abide with Him in His presence. That is, they will live with Him, with His conscious presence, under His conscious rule, in His kingdom, even in the midst of Satan’s world order and his rule and deceit. You are either living by God’s rules or you are living by Satan’s rules. Christians are not supposed to sin since we are abiding with the Lord even here in this wicked world. We are living in His house now, under His rule, with His fellowship, as opposed to Satan’s world and rule and deceit.

However, if a Christian sins, the Holy Spirit immediately convicts him of that sin, and his fellowship with God (not his relationship) is directly affected. But the true believer can claim 1 Jn 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” By the way this passage was written for believers, those who are abiding in Christ. But even as a true believer encounters sin in his own life, he continues to abide with Christ, and sin, as it is confessed and forsaken, becomes more and more unnatural for a believer the longer He abides with His Lord.

However, there are many today who profess that they are saved or born again and thereby abiding “with Him”, yet their testimony betrays them. They live much more like they are abiding under Satan’s authority, under his world order, under his rules of conduct and deceit and duplicity. There's something very wrong with a person’s life that professes Christ as their Master with their lips, but actually live their lives as though they served Satan as their master. Their lifestyle and their lying tongues almost always betray them, because what is in the heart, inevitably comes out at the mouth.

Jas 3:8–12 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.  Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.  Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?  Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

Reminder; This was spoken to professed believers also. A true believer is different from the world and as a believer grows in the Lord he becomes more and more like his Spiritual family. However, there are multitudes being deceived today by the master deceiver, Satan, the wicked one.

1 Co 6:9–10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Heb 10:29 But we are not of them that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Concluding Passage:

1 Jn 3:1–3 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Christian, can you honestly say today that you are living a life of purity even as He is pure? Maybe you need fall to your knees before a kind and merciful God and admit your sin. And after you confess your sin to God, then forsake it.

There may be some reading this that are trusting a prayer prayed when you were a child for salvation. But you know in your heart that you have really never been born into His family. And you need to step in prayer and ask for His forgiveness and turn from your sin to follow Him, to begin to abide with Him.

There may be families here that that need to pray as a family together.

What is Happening to America?

Prov 23:7 “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

The type of person we are, or are becoming, is a natural response to what we think, and what we think comes from what we have been taught, and what we have been taught and accepted as truth shapes our worldview.  

You’ve heard the expression that “you are what you eat.” (Speaking of our physical bodies)  But more importantly, spiritually, you are “what you think.”

Right thinking fosters right living. Wrong thinking, for a believer, can result in disaster or at least a diminished ability to achieve anything good for God.

Romans 12:1–2

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The Bible teaches us that we should not to be conformed to this world. The word “conformed” in this passage means “the pattern of this world.” So we are taught that we should not conform, should not follow the pattern of, this world. The world operates from a base, a root of sin.

First John gives us the three-fold definition of “the world.”

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Did you see them? (1) The lust of the flesh, (2.) the lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life. All sin may be categorized under one of these three headings. The root of any sin that man can commit can be found in John 2:16.  And man’s sinful nature is what makes up the “world” or pattern that Christians are admonished to not conform to.

Most honest people would agree that America is in great decline when it comes to moral values. I needn’t spend time on the obvious, but our nation is in trouble.

Many are asking the question “WHY is our Nation heading in this direction?” I believe that one of the main reasons for our decline is that we no longer value the truth in America. I am speaking of God’s truth. We have lost our anchor to God’s Word, those principles that steered our founding fathers as they set up this great “American experiment.”

In fact many today don’t value truth at all, and many others foolishly believe that objective truth does not exist.  However, God’s moral truths do not change. What was moral sinfulness and wickedness 3000 years ago is still sin and wickedness in these modern times.

God blessed Israel when Israel obeyed His truth. But when His people disobeyed and turned to heathen gods, he left them to their own devices. America is not Israel, but America became the greatest nation on earth because it was founded on Godly principles and an acknowledgment that individual rights come from our Creator, not government, and principles that are compatible with “the laws of nature, and of natures God.” It restrained those in power, knowing the tendency of sinful man to abuse power over his fellows.

Not all of our founding fathers were Christians but even those who weren’t joined a larger majority that adhered to Christian principles, and precepts taken from the word of God. Our thinking, as a Nation has changed radically over the last one hundred years, and not for the better. The problem is our thinking has been distorted, little by little, slowly turning us into a Nation that has forgotten God.

What we as believers need, is to turn our hearts back to God and change our thinking patterns from “worldly thinking” and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:

David Beatty Sr

Life is Fragile. Handle with Care.

life is fragile

We’ve all seen packages that say, “Fragile, handle with care”.  Usually it’s because something inside is obviously fragile, breakable, or perhaps valuable.  I look at our lives in this way.

Recently, I was driving along I-10 through Louisiana.  I was on my way to Florida to visit my daughter who was attending college there.  As I made my way through Baton Rouge, I came to a very bad traffic jam.  It was the kind that stretches for miles.  Traffic was stop and go for what seemed to be forever.  As I made my way across the bridge over the Mississippi River, with traffic finally starting to move again, the vehicle in front of me suddenly slammed on their brakes hard.  I could not avoid the vehicle in front of me.  I had to make a split second decision whether to rear-end the vehicle in front of me or try to swerve into the lane next to me, which also had traffic.  An accident was unavoidable.  As I attempted to swerve to miss the vehicle in front, I entered the lane next to me but was unable to avoid the vehicle.  The whole situation could have been a very bad accident, with my entire family in the car.  Fortunately, I was able to get out of the ordeal with no injuries and only some damage to my vehicle.  The Lord is so good and gracious to me.  It could have been worse.

Each week, as I travel along I-35 to work, it seems I see at least one serious accident.  Many of them involve overturned trucks.  This brings me to a couple thoughts.  First, we are not guaranteed tomorrow.  God is not required to give us next year, next month, or next week.  When you think about what God has given us today, it should cause us to be thankful.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” - Ephesians 5:20

Are you thankful daily for what the Lord has blessed your with?  Every time you draw a breath, every time your heart beats, every time you can open your eyes, it is a blessing from God.  Thank you, Lord, for blessing me with THIS day.  I’m thankful for the time He has given me and hopefully, I will learn to use it wisely.

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” - Ephesians 5:16

This brings me to my second thought.  Since we are not guaranteed time by God, what we intend to do, we should begin now.

Do you want to be a better parent?  Start now.  How about a better husband or wife?  Start now.  How about treating others with kindness and love?  Start now.  Should you become a better employee?  Start now.  Do you need to begin to live according to God’s Word?  Then start right now.  What’s past is past, but you have the opportunity to seek forgiveness where necessary.  Turn and start fresh right now, this very second.  You can begin anew, and turn from whatever is causing you harm.  Time is fleeting, so I would encourage you to begin now what you know to be good and right.  May God bless you.

Jim Syers – Bus Director for Calvary Baptist Church

 

Troubled Crickets and Pastoral Searches

As Job was going through the difficulty of coping with the loss of everything, his friend Elihu said in Job 34:33 “Should it be according to thy mind?”  His friend bluntly revealed to Job that sometimes life does not go as planned. Whenever uncertainty enters our life, we are prone to imagine how pleasant life would be had our plan only been implemented in place of God’s. And Elihu, through God’s Word, asks the question: “Should it be according to our minds?”

Charles Spurgeon gave the following illustration about a happy cricket whose world was turned upside down. He said:

The cricket, in the spring, builds his house in the meadow and chirps for joy because all is going so well for him. But when he hears the sound of the plough a few furrows off, and the thunder of the oxen’s tread, then his sky begins to darken, and his young heart fails him. Soon the plough comes noisily along, and turns his dwelling bottom-side up, and as he goes rolling over and over, without a house and without a home, he says, “Oh, the foundations of the world are bearing up and everything is hastening to destruction.” But the farmer, as he walks behind the plough, does he think the foundations of the world are breaking up? No. He is thinking only of the harvest that is to follow in the wake of the plough. And if the cricket will but wait, will see the farmer’s purpose. We are all like crickets. When we get our own way, we are happy and contend. When we’re subjected to disappointment, we become victims of despair.

If things always followed our plan, God’s glory would be obscured in our lives. There is nothing more revealing in a Christian’s life than how they respond to difficult situations. It is through these difficulties that we are able to act in a supernatural way that brings honor and glory to Him.

Just recently our church began the process of searching for its next pastor. As head of the pulpit committee (and son of the pastor), I am faced with choices that can seem overwhelming. But I take comfort in knowing that God is in control. And as long as we recognize that fact and focus on what God has given us, He will perform a work that will show His power.

Here are three comforting thoughts to realize:

God has chosen the next pastor

“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” – Jer 3:15

As the chief Shepherd, He is not only concerned with his sheep, but is greatly concerned about the direction of Calvary and who should be its Pastor. The Lord has chosen an under-shepherd who will fulfill the calling of the church through its members. How comforting to know that God has been preparing His choice for many years! How assuring to know that God knows and has chosen a man who will be able to manage all the unique aspects of our ministry.

God knows what the church needs more than I do

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” – Isa 55:8

If we allow ourselves to begin determining specific attributes and characteristics of this person, then we limit God. God told Samuel, “Man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh at the heart.” Outward appearances and characteristics do often revel what is in a person’s heart; however it is also possible to draw incorrect conclusions based on what we see and know.

God has a specific role for His people in this decision

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” – Matt 17:20-21

While God does have everything in control, and He has chosen a pastor according to His heart, our response should not be one of laziness or carelessness. It is possible for the church to incorrectly discern the will of God because of the flesh.

So what is our responsibility as a church? We are to be spiritually prepared for the process. Nothing of eternal value is accomplished through our own strength, wisdom, or knowledge. We must lean on God in faith so that we can be spiritually tuned to His will. In great earnestness we should fall on our faces before God prayerfully asking for guidance and wisdom.

As our church begins the process of finding the Pastor of God’s choosing, I find myself developing the perspective of that little cricket: my whole world is turned upside down! But it is important to understand that God has a perspective that far exceeds my own and He has bigger plans. Life might not go as you plan, but it is exciting to know that it will go according to His!

 

A Conversation with my Grandson

What a joy I had yesterday morning talking to my oldest grandson, Joshua. He is 7 years old, was saved when he was 5 and I had the privilege of baptizing him earlier this year.

He came over to our house yesterday morning and wanted to ask me a question about the Bible. When I began to answer his question he went and got a chair and brought it over and sat down right beside me, looking up into my eyes and hanging on every word I said.

We spent a long time together just talking about the Lord and how exciting it was going to be to see the Lord face to face. Every time we talked about Heaven or the Jesus his little face just beamed!

He told me how he couldn’t wait to get to Heaven, but that he was very concerned about his little brother getting saved too. I explained how the Holy Spirit works to bring a person to Him and that he needed to continue to pray that when Ethan gets old enough to understand that he will get saved also.

He went on. He had more questions about Heaven. He told me the story about the conquest of Jericho. He also wanted to know about the Rapture of the church and “that one thousand years thing” (the Millennial reign of Christ). He continued reflecting on how important it is to live a life that honors the Lord and how he wanted to be the best Christian daddy and Papap that he could be. He wanted to be an example to his children and his grandchildren. This from a 7 year old!

I have had a bad couple of weeks this month. The side effects from the cancer treatment really had me in a deep valley physically. I had blisters on the bottoms of my feet and in my mouth, blood sugar completely out of whack, extreme fatigue, nausea etc.

Little Joshua will never know what a blessing he was to me in this exciting conversation with his old Papap, until he has the opportunity to have the same conversations with his own children and grandchildren.

I thank the Lord for all that He has done for me during this time of trial and for His allowing me to spend just a little more time with these incredibly special “little people” before I have the opportunity of seeing Him face to face. 

[Originally posted July 31, 2012 by David Beatty Sr.]

Pastor Announces Retirement

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One of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, I made last week. I love our church and I love our people. I always look forward to the services and the fellowship that is part of Calvary Baptist Church.

But there comes a time when the Lord makes it clear to you that you must begin to make different arrangements, head in a different direction, prepare for the future.

The most important thing in my life, outside of my wife and my family and our dear friends, is His church here at Calvary. After much prayer and consultation with my family, who are in complete agreement, as of today, June 24th 2012 I am resigning as your Pastor. I do not do this lightly but because I believe it is best for our church. As most of you know, I have terminal Renal Cell Carcinoma in both lungs and in one adrenal gland.

The last C.A.T scan showed it shrinking in the adrenal gland but the lungs showed no improvement. The doctors tell me that the cancer will eventually begin growing in size again where the medication cannot keep up with it.

I am on a cancer drug that can have varied side effects. There have been times, just in the last several weeks where I have preached with blisters in my mouth and on my tongue from the chemo drug. In the last several weeks I had gained 15 pounds of fluid and now in the last week have lost the 15 pounds.

There is body pain, headaches, nausea, vomiting etc. that all go with it. Most of the time this keeps me very weak.

They told me that the average life expectancy with this type of cancer is one to two years. That was 7 months ago. However, even if I lived for another year or two, it does not necessarily follow that I would be able to function in a way that is beneficial to our church. Of course this is all contingent on the Lord’s plans, He could completely heal the cancer tomorrow if it were His will.

Even now there are sometimes that I am so sick when I come to church that I have to pray that the Lord gives me the physical strength to just to be able to preach or teach. And by the way that is not just an empty statement that is a fact. So far the Lord has given me that strength, supernaturally, but I seem to be headed down hill.

One thing we are pretty sure of outside of a miracle of God, my condition is not going to get better but only deteriorate. In other words I am probably at my best health right now.

I do not want to continue to hang on to the Pastorate and then get to the point that the Church has to make a quick decision on a new Pastor. I hope that my resigning now will give us the opportunity to form a pulpit committee that can take the time to pray and wait on God for the Pastor He wants here.

Now that does not mean that I will be gone after today, I plan on staying here and doing what I have done all along, up to my ability, until we can call a new Pastor. My resignation will be finally effective the day we vote in a new Pastor.

I am excited for Calvary Baptist Church. This church will continue on, of course, because it is His church. He died for His church. He loves His church and He works daily in His church.

And I believe that with the base of spiritually strong, scripturally grounded, godly, dedicated, people that we have here at Calvary to build on, that this Church will flourish under a new Pastor.

I am NOT retiring. I am retooling; to be used of the Lord in whatever way He sees fit, for as long as He gives me the strength, to the abundance of His glory.

1 Peter 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

And remember: The Lord has everything under control.