We have reached the end of the 2014-2015 church year. This was indeed a year of transition. Just a little over a year ago our previous minister, Greg Hammer, left after 10 years of service and the congregation began a new journey together. Dr. Lynn Hardaway soon became our Interim Pastor and has helped guide the good people of Blackwater through times of turmoil, hurt, sadness, and healing. We have experienced grief and loss, internal discovery and strength, and a new focus on glorifying God to further His kingdom.
During today's service we recognized with grateful appreciation the service and dedication shown by Jeremy Schratwieser. As Chairman of the Board of Deacons he did an outstanding job of helping our church remain calm in the face of adversity and a clear attack by Satan to destroy our faithful congregation.
We now look forward to a new beginning and an exciting year of serving God. To this end, a former deacon has come on board and will begin serving again this year. The Pastor Search Committee is starting their interview process for our next minister. New officers and volunteers, voted in at the last business meeting, are ready and anxious to begin their service! The Joyful Noise spontaneous pop-up choir is getting ready to make a joyful noise. We have a new Youth Director and many volunteers who will be working with the large group of children that God has blessed to BBC. We are looking forward to fresh new mission project ideas from our new WMU Director.
Yes, we have exciting times ahead and hope that you will be part of it. Sunday School starts at 9am and the Worship service is at 10am.
Today was awesome! It's always awesome to be in God's house with brothers and sisters in Christ! First we started the day in small groups, learning more about Jesus in our Sunday School classes. There's something for every age and adults have several classes using different literature to guide the lessons. Forty-five minutes can go by fast and before you know it, it's time for worship.
One of the beauties of a small country church is that we're a loving, extended family. Country people seldom meet a stranger; only a friend they haven't met before. We were blessed with several visitors today and our time of Greetings was all a-buzz as regular attendees and church members welcomed the new-comers.
Worship really started with everyone getting into the heavy-hitting updated contemporary hymn, The Solid Rock - a classic hymn with a new sound and the same ever-solid message: that Jesus is Our Solid Rock! The congregation continued with another classic from the hymn book, Count Your Blessings (yes, we should every day!) followed by The Shades of Grace singing Precious Lord, Take My Hand. We do try to mix things up, err... blend song styles when it comes to singing. BBC loves singing! The Bible speaks about "singing praises to God" and to "sing a new song" a lot. We think singing to Glorify His Holy Name is a vital part of any service. Can you imagine church without music??
Our message was First Things First by Dr. Lynn Hardaway. It was taken from Matthew 7: 1-5 and admonished us to not be so quick to judge others. Dr. Hardaway presented many examples of everyday life when we're often guilty of doing just that. But he also gave us words to guide us when those times come. He told use to Connect before we Correct, not to jump to conclusions. Here's some food for thought: "The more insecure you are the more judgmental you are." Another thing to remember: "The way God corrects you is the way you correct others." If we can exude patience, kindness and compassion to each other just think how much better the world would be. There's so much more - please take time to listen to the entire message on the 2015 Sermons page.
The annual business meeting and fellowship meal is tonight. New officers, teachers, and volunteers will be voted into service for the new church year that starts in September. It's always a fresh start kind of moment. There's always a place to serve God, whether it's at church, home, work, or school. Ask God to show you this week, how you can serve Him. He'll do it.
What a great turnout we had for our annual Blood Drive. Ms Leslie did an outstanding job of making all the arrangements and overseeing the volunteers who helped. She had been worried that our goal would not be met, but she had nothing to worry about. Leslie says,
"It was amazing! Our goal was 42 [pints]. The most we have ever collected was 45 and we collected 47!"
Without all our wonderful volunteers - registration, photos, food, set-up and clean-up, and of course, Leslie's leadership, this would have never taken place! We are grateful for those who volunteered to donate and those who tried, but could not. And we certainly don't want to forget all those who offered their support through prayer, the backbone of any project or event!
We give God the glory for allowing this to be such a wonderful success, both in donations and as a community event! The donations of life-giving blood that God gave us will be used to save lives of more of His Children, often times during a dark hour. it is our prayer that our donations continue to foster life and a pursuit of a closer walk with God.
What a joy to have Tom Thomasson as our guest speaker today! Speaking to us from Philippians 3:12-16 he brought it upfront and center that our main focus should always be to Glorify God. We all have a self-centereness and an "I" disease that afflicts everyone one way or another. It gets in our way, preventing us from the true purpose of every Christian and the mission of every church - to Glorify God. It's not about how many members a church has or how many come to church... it's all about Glorying our King. Everything we do as a church body of Christ or individually in our walk through life should be focused on this, our main focus.
A good line to remember: "If you aim at nothing you'll hit it every time." Listen to the entire sermon and hear for yourself what this means as you stay focused on God our King.
This great Sunday service everyone singing "How Great Is Our God" which set the mood perfectly, for we have come to worship our King and Savior, Jesus. After the announcements Pastor Lynn presented our special music by playing his guitar and singing "Who Killed Jesus" for us! What a treat and what a great message in song! Thank you Dr. Hardaway!!
Our sermon was on Peacemakers from Matthew 5:9, and about us, as Christians, planting seeds of peace. The line to remember was, "Never underestimate the power of a seed" -- a seed that's been planted, a seed of peace, a seed of a word of love. The message was very inspirational. We're to be Peacemakers, not Power Mongers.
(We had a few techno difficulties this morning so today's audio was recorded via "the best backup plan" we have in place, a little hand-held recorder. It's not as clear as the regular sound system, but will do in a pinch and today was a pinch).
The kids headed out to Ocean Breeze Water Park after church. They have a great day for it. We're sure a cool dip will be exhilarating on this hot day!
Today was the end of our mission project of collecting migrant health kit items and the beginning of our new project - school supplies, which will go through the whole month of August. This is for anybody to do, not just our WMU ladies! We had an awesome response on the previous project and hope to do even more in August!
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!