G’day Mate as they say in New Zealand!

Yesterday was our Annual Church Family Meeting after the morning service.  It was much longer than usual because it involved my stepping back to half-time rather than full-time ministry in 2019.  That brought up a lot of questions from the congregation.  There was not critical questions or spirit, but rather genuine care & love expressed that Diane & I might get the relief that we need from the responsibilities that we carry these days for my 91 year old mother, Diane’s 88 year old father, Diane’s sister who has severe kidney failure, & Diane’s on-going physical issues.  So I talked with the church family a couple of weeks ago about a proposed plan for me to go half-time for 2019 so that they would have time to digest it & then yesterday we could address more specifically some of the complications.  And that we did.  PTL for such a supportive & encouraging church family.  I am deeply humbled by such care & love for us.

The AM service yesterday began with rousing congregational singing of “May Jesus Christ Be Praised.”  (Can you think of a better opening song?)  I then prayed in the pastoral prayer for Missionary Don & Jill Vanderhoof in Germany, for the Ray Virtue Family in Germany for Ray’s homegoing to heaven this week, for the Bob Jones III family in the homegoing of Mrs. Beneth Jones, for Pastor Adam Roland at Castle Rock Baptist Church here in Tucson, & for Pastor Jason Pilchard at Beth Eden Baptist Church in CO.  PTL for all of these fine servants for which we could publicly pray! 

The choir then sang, “Taste & See That the Lord Is Good.”  Mrs. Emily Blewett accompanied them on the pain in their joyous sound from the very first word of it.  They had such good balance & nice harmony to this bouncy melody.   We were then treated to a piano solo offertory by our own Pastor Seth!  The flowing, smooth, delightful to the ear song “There Is a Redeemer” was also moving on the heart & the words on the screen were illuminating to the mind.  How precious to have such blessed music!  We then read publicly from Jeremiah 32:17-27 & I preached an expositional message on it entitled, “There Is NOTHING Too Hard for the Lord.”  The Omnipotence of our Great God is beyond human comprehension, but we were encouraged by what we could comprehend. 

We did not have an evening service because of the afternoon annual meeting.  It was truly good to fellowship with God’s people.  We had two first time families with us yesterday who seemed VERY interested in Bethel.  For this we are always delighted.  His work & blessing upon us as a church family is incredible indeed.

Thanks for tuning in again today for this brief report.  We cherish you, your interest in Bethel Baptist, & your prayers for us here in the desert.  May God bless you all week long!

Pastor Stertzbach