August 20, 2017

Looking for the skinny on yesterday at Bethel?

Here it is from my unprejudiced mouth …  ah, fingers.  The morning theme was praise to our God.  The message, songs, & all were focused on praise to Him.  It was delightful.

The choir sang, “You Think of Me” in praising God for His personal care for each of His children.  Johnathan Burt accompanied the choir on the cello which added a unique sound & atmosphere.  Mrs. Emily Blewett accompanied on the piano.  The ladies opened the song in two parts.  Then the men only sang part of a verse & finally the choir totally joined in for a sound that was reminiscent of “a heavenly host.”  Wow, it was good.  The offertory was a piano solo by Emily of “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”  It was smooth, pleasant to the ears & the words on the screen warmed our hearts.  The congregation joined me to read Mark 14;10-11 & I preached on “Convenient Betrayal.”  Because of the preliminaries in the service, I cut out every illustration except one.  I think it hurt the message, but the “time monster’ was pressing down hard upon me.  🙁

We had a plethora of guests from far away with us.  Firstly we had two national preachers from Papua New Guinea.  James & Eric just graduated from a Bible college in Marietta, Ohio.  They are headed back to PNG to serve the Lord there.  They gave a brief testimony & shared a five minute video on PNG with us.  It was wonderful.  Then we also had Mr. & Mrs. Matt Pederson with us (via pre-recorded video) from Seattle, Washington.  They gave a heartfelt testimony of their experience with Financial Peace University which we are hosting beginning September 6th on Wednesday nights.  It was so good to see & hear Matt & Theresa again.  We really miss them around here since they moved!

So now you can see why I had to cut down the message.  With the special guests, things were different than usual.  I really try to be careful & considerate of our people & their time constraints.  Yesterday was no exception.  We also had two adult ladies join the church in the AM.  Mrs. Arlene Roe & her daughter, Misty just moved back to Tucson & came to re-join us.  They had moved to New England several years ago.  It was such a delight for the church family to welcome them back home!  🙂

The evening service featured the choir again doing a marvelous job & Mr. Justin Longway on the offertory performing “Amazing Grace’ on a strange wooden instrument.  It had a mellow, lonesome sound to it which captured our attention.  Pastor Seth accompanied him on the piano.  It was delightful!  Another special time in the evening service was the vibrant testimony time.  Several sterling testimonies of God’s grace were shared & our hearts were instantly warmed by them!  I then preached from Exodus 15:1-3 on “Moses’ Song.” 

We had visitors in the AM & PM services.  It was great to have new & returning guests for both services.  Nothing gets a pastor’s blood running like guests, a big crowd, or a huge offering.  🙂  Mine heart was blessed by our passel of guests for the day (although I would not have been disappointed by the other things had they been available.)  🙂

So that is the skinny on yesterday at Bethel.  It was a day of blessing, guests, great music, missions, & some of the most wonderful church folks in the world.  See what you missed.  Don’t miss it again.  Plan now to be with us this weekend for Baby Dedication Day & other heart-stirring events.