Here it is, a month later since our last post already. It's not that we had nothing to share, but that we have been very busy. This is our most joyous season of all, when we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. There were children's play rehearsals and favorite Christmas carols to prepare. There have been meetings and parties and other special events to plan and to cook for. BBC has been beautifully dressed with wreaths and scounces adorned and a lovely Christmas tree with an angel atop in the baptistry.
And of course, on more personal levels, there has been plenty of shopping happening throughout the region, homes have been decorated, cookies and candy made. Trees with tiny lights have gone up, gifts purchased and kids sitting on department store Santa knees.
But even amid the hustle and bustle of an all too commercialized season our hearts recognize and remember the true reason we celebrate.... God's spectacular gift, the amazing birth of His Only Son, sent from the seat of honor next to God Himself to become a human man, ready to take on our sins and those of the world. Who does that?!
Only someone with enormous and unending love.
Our world becomes more self-centered and shallow-hearted every day. Compassion and caring seem like archaic ideals of the past, like whisps of smoke rising to be gone forever in a moment. But those who know Jesus as Savior, know the real deal about Christmas. We know that when He came as a baby, born of a virgin, that He came to save the whole world. We know that He loved us enough to die for us.
There are not enough presents in the world to over-shaddow this one gift of God, the Christ-child, Jesus. We are so very blessed and look forward to spending eteral life with Him someday. We say "thank you" to Him by sharing Jesus with others, and by living as Jesus, our example, showed us to do.
Take time to remember what it's really all about and have a joyous blessed Christmas!
Last night we had an awesome Thanksgiving Eve service at BBC. For 45 minutes we took time out of our busy schedules to stop and say thank you to God for all He has blessed us with over the past year. There were about 70 people in attendance (which is terrific for our neck of the woods). Everything was country casual and laid back; and even Pastor Lynn was sporting his blue jeans along with everybody else!
While waiting for a quick technical difficulty to be sorted out congregants shared what they were thankful for, which ranged from everything to being thankful for all the cooks who made the food in the social hall to God Himself, for giving us Salvation! It's always a delight when everyone participates -- these are the kinds of moments that bring the BBC family closer together, just like a real family.
We had some great music starting with the favorite contemporary, "Thank You, Lord" followed by (what could be more traditional?) "We Gather Together." The Shades of Grace sang "So Much To Thank Him For," for the first time, accompanied by Pastor Lynn on guitar.
Pastor Lynn brought us a beautiful message based on Psalm 103. Our time of worship ended with singing "Give Thanks." Afterwards everyone went to the social hall for refreshments and a time of good fellowship.
Sunday services were terrific! Following our welcome and opening prayer we sang the classic Thanksgiving song, "Come, Ye Thankful People, Come." Don't you love that open invitation to everyone? Who doesn't have something they can't be thankful for?
Next the Praise Team led us in "How Great Is Our God," another perfect song for Thanksgiving. Seriously, how great is He, who loves us so very much, who are so unworthy?
Ms Angela presented us with a beautiful rendition of "My Tribute" and the congregation joined her on the chorus, singing 'to God be the glory for the things He has done.'
Pastor Lynn's message reminded us that God is always working for us, in us, and through us, and that what we do as a church in reaching others for Christ is our important mission.
We just love Sundays that do not start out "perfect." Today was one of them. Early before most people arrive for Sunday School, the Praise Team started rehearsing their music special, Cornerstone. It was son decided that the guitar was just not functioning properly, which sent Ms Laurie to her North Carolina home to get another one. Meanwhile the Instrumental group began rehearsing the day's hymns. One song had already been changed during Saturday's rehearsal, but at the last minute the other song was changed as well. So everyone in both groups ended up starting over!
Sometimes God has other things planned that we don't always see coming!
After Sunday School ended Worship began with prayer and announcements, followed by the two new hymns. Luckily BBC's congregation sings with gusto and any 'errors' in playing the music was overshadowed. God was glorified through song despite Satan's best efforts!
Pastor Lynn brought us a great sermon about How People Come To Jesus, expounding on the three main ways God uses to reach us: Individually, Providentially, and Supernaturally. The Scripture came from John 1.
The service ended with the Invitation, "I Need Thee Every Hour" and people came to the alter to pray for people they know who need Christ in their lives. It was very moving to see God emboldening His people to pray.
Our continued prayer is for God to place people in our own paths so that we can have opportunity to share God to those who often need Him most. It's not about being a perfect preacher or a trained witness -- often it's just talking to a friend or neighbor and simply telling who Jesus is and what He's done in your own life. You don't have to know ahead of time what to say; God will always give you the words.
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.
Sunday turned out the way God had planned it all along. Many people felt it as they left the building....It was a very good day.
Before his sermon, Pastor Lynn, shared with us a Facebook Post he wrote to the pastors of The Bridge Network of Churches regarding this upcoming Presidential election. More so now, than any other Presidential election, we need to keep things in perspective. Regardless of the outcome, four facts will still be true.
Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth; Christ sits at the right hand of the Father. ~ Colossians 3:1-4
Like thousands of churches across America BBC remembered and honored the lives lost and the heroes created on September 11, 2001. Our service began with the entire church singing "America The Beautiful." We'd planned accompaniment with piano and guitar but God changed our plans with a techo glitch. Quickly moving on Pastor Lynn started singing in his wonderful clear voice and the church erupted in the most beautiful ac apella version ever heard. It was a from-the-heart moment.
Pastor Lynn then asked people to share where they were on that fateful morning. There was a great diversity of answers from teaching in a school to peeling potatoes at the kitchen sink. But all remembered the devastating feeling of horror and loss for our country.
The new Praise Team led us in "Holy Is The Lord," reminding us that He is still on the throne! It went perfectly with the sermon, The Glory Of God
Next Sunday begins our Week of State Missions. Next Sunday also starts our Backpack collection, sponsored by SBCV. After church we will have our annual picnic at Mundens Point Park.
After a great service in the morning members of BBC met Sunday evening for the Annual Business Meeting. This is when plans for the upcoming church year really start becoming reality! After a terrific fellowship meal the meeting began with prayer by Pastor Lynn and then reading the minutes by outgoing Church Clerk, Phyllis A. A round of applause in recognition of her years of service followed.
Committee reports from the building fund, cemetery, music dept., and other discussions ensued before the Old and New Business began. The highlight of the evening was voting for the new officers and volunteers who will serve during the coming year as well as voting for the new church budget. Both passed unanimously.
A new year is always an exciting time at BBC. New people in new places of service have lots of enthusiasm, a fresh perspective, and great ideas. It's wonderful to see God working through His people! Even if there is ever dissent, things always seem to work out. That's what real families do and that's exactly what the folks at BBC are.... family.
We missed Pastor Lynn today who had obligations elsewhere. Gary and Pat carried on with their guitar and harmonica talents, helping to keep BBC singing uplifting songs to praise God. The Praise Team led everyone in singing "All In All" and of course all had a great time doing so!
We were blessed to have Dr. Peter McLewin bring the message today in Pastor's Lynn's absence. Dr. McLewin is an international pastor who has worked in so many wonderful places sharing God's Word. For BBC the sermon, "The Power Of The Gospel" was based on Acts: 1 and emphasized that it is not for us to know when or how God will use us. After the message we celebrated Communion.
The kids were definitely excited today. After church the Youth were heading to Ocean Breeze Water Park. Can' wait to see photos from that!
The church's Blood drive is tomorrow. We always have great time together, regardless of whether we can donate or don't meet requirements. It's just such a good neighborhood outreach moment.
It was lovely to be in God's house today. The weather has not been kind lately. In fact yesterday the electricity was out for a lot of people for many hours. Today, right as we sang the last chorus of "I Surrender All" the lights went out again. With that we lost the sound system recording but a backup recording came in handy.
Music was lively and when it came time to sing "How Great Is Our God" it was nothing but awesome! You could tell God's spirit was moving through His people! Just lovely!
We had a terrific sermon today called "What Is Heaven Like?" by Pastor Lynn. It's always interesting to hear what God's Word has to say about our future in Heaven. He gave a similar one back in October 2014, but I don't think you can ever hear this message too much, do you?
We're excited to be in the last few weeks before the new church year starts. Some people keep on keeping on with what they've been doing, some gain new jobs, Some start volunteering outside of their comfort zones. You know, God qualifies those He calls, right? You can never go wrong by serving God. And there's always room when it comes to helping with the kids ;) If you haven't volunteered yet please let someone know where you feel God leading you. It's never too late!
Temps are extremely high these days, but we're nice and cool on Sunday mornings between the AC and the overhead fans. None of which keeps us from getting Hot for Jesus! This morning was rousing if nothing else.
After prayers and announcements we cranked the music up and put some real feeling into "Nothing But the Blood" with lots of guitars, a keyboard version of a honky-tonk piano, and one awesome harmonica. Then we took things down a notch for "We Have Come Into His House" and felt the Spirit take hold of us as Mr. Pat played his harmonica.
Pastor Lynn brought the 2nd message in a summer series of questions for God. Today we heard "How Can I Tell What You Want Me To Do?" We need to understand the will of God; experience a fellowship / relationship with God; and listen for God, knowing that He reveals Himself to those in the right spirit (being confident, humble, obedient, and listening).
Do listen to the message for yourself @ www.blackwaterbaptist.org/uploads/6/0/7/8/6078740/2016-07-24.mp3
We're in the last few weeks of this church year. Please pray as people continue to seek God's guidance regarding where to best serve in the new year.
BBC is a warm and welcoming family of like-minded believers who come together to worship our amazing God. Since 1774 BBC has served the Blackwater community and while steeped in tradition we also blend in a bit of contemporary to transition to an exciting future. We'd love to have you join us!