Building

Can you believe it is March already?

Whoa!  I can hardly believe it is the first of March already this new year, but it in fact is.  That being the case, I am giving you my personal assessment of the day yesterday here at Bethel Baptist.  Now, others may see it quite differently, but from where I stood, this is how I saw things.  The service was opened with announcement.  It was boring, but what do you expect from announcements?  That is why we have them as preliminaries … so we can get them out of the way.  THEN … we begin the worship service with the “good stuff.”  

The choir sang, “Depth of Mercy.”  It featured outstanding blessed harmony from the outset of the song.  The powerful words bolstered the fine healing sound to the hearts of the hearers:

Depth of mercy! Can there be 
mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear?
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?
Whence to me this waste of love?
Ask my Advocate above!
See the cause in Jesus’ face,
Now before the throne of grace.

2 I have long withstood His grace:
long provoked Him to His face;
would not hearken to His calls;
grieved Him by a thousand falls.
Jesus speaks, and pleads His blood!
He disarms the wrath of God;
Now my Father’s mercies move,
He receives me with His love.

3 I my Master have denied,
I afresh have crucified,
and profaned His hallowed name,
put Him to an open shame.
There for me the Savior stands,
shows His wounds and spreads His hands:
God is love! His grace is free;
Depth of mercy, there for me!

See what I mean?  Wow, what a blessing the words AND choral sound truly were to my own heart!

Then Mrs. Autumn Clark’s trumpet offertory solo to “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us’ was in combination with her husband’s piano accompaniment!  The first stanza’s melody was crystal clear in the first verse.  Then the second verse shone in brass brilliance.  They make such a great musical team!  We are blessed as a church family indeed.  I then preached from Psalm 101 on “The Perfect Heart.”  Before David was crowned king, but probably after he was anointed as the next king, he wrote this pledge to the Lord about his own heart. Mmm, it is good stuff.  

The evening service again featured our excellent choir.  Mrs. Emily Blewett’s piano intro prepared the choral harmony that “He put a new song in my heart.”  It was delicious.  Then the cello solo offertory by Joseph Burt  of “Come Christians Join to Sing” made me want to stand & sing!  The instruments (cello & piano) struggled to be in synch a bit, but once they got it, it was delightful!   After a stirring testimony time of truly answered prayer & God’s obvious hand working, Pastor Seth preached from James 3:8-10 on “Two Conflicting Things about the Tongue.”  It was good stuff with some excellent quotables such as:  “Our tongue is the examination of our faith.”  (Think about that one for a while.)   We cannot control our tongue, but God can control it. In us.”

So there you have it from Bethel yesterday.  The attendance in the AM was UP.   It was increased so that we will have to put up the extra section in the auditorium this coming Sunday & until further notice!  Now … that is a good sign.  Also we will try to baptize this coming Sunday as the weather seems that it will be amenable.  Having an outside baptistery makes it challenging sometimes!  See you Sunday with a smile on my face & a prayer in my heart for just you!

Pastor Stertzbach