The holiday weekend report from Bethel Baptist!
Yes, it was a holiday weekend, & we also had many people gone for the “last hurray” of the summer. And it was stifling hot here over 100 degrees again. But it was a good day in spite of the holiday & the hindrances that sought to impede the work of God here. PTL for that!
The attendance was not that bad for which I am thankful. I was expecting a lot worse. The congregational singing was vibrant & the keyboard & orchestra were delightful. And on top of those things, we had a raft of visitors. Some were visiting relatives, but some were out “church shopping” & they came to look us over. That is not unusual, but several of them were quite excited by what they found! And that got my motor humming. After the AM service an adult lady came to join the church too. She promised to get baptized in October because of some commitments in her life between now & then, but still it energized the whole church family to welcome her in this step.
I opened in the pastoral prayer & lifted up Pastor Adam Thompson in TX & Pastor Dan Budgick in Marana, AZ. Both are fine faithful servants with churches seeking to truly be faithful to the Lord. The choir sang, “Jesus Is Lord.” They were right on too! The men were exceptional, and we enjoyed the choir again. I am so thankful for the wonderful choir that regularly labors with Pastor Seth. They usually set the tempo for the entire service! Then Mrs. Elizabeth (Barragan) Gallagher played a violin solo offertory of “Hallelujah, What a Savior.” It was “great, professionally done, & delightful.” And the piano accompaniment by Pastor Seth was just amazing!
I preached from Hebrews 2:1-4 on “How Shall We Escape If We Neglect So Great a Salvation?” It was a Power Point message & the congregation was definitely tuned in. BTW, you can beam up the messages at the church web site www.bethelaz.org. Why not drop in there & look around?
The evening service was punctuated with a thrilling testimony time. There were laughs, tears, & amens all across the auditorium. For a holiday evening service when most churches were closed, it was tremendous indeed. The altos in the choir were featured & did a wonderful job making the choir song memorable. Then Mr. Lance Owen played his steady trumpet solo for the offertory, “I Belong to the King.” It was another solid performance by our children’s church director. (BTW, if you want to see Lance light up like an electric bulb, just ask him about his children’s church lesson!
I preached from Numbers 33:51-45 on “Pricks, Thorns, & Vexations.” It was a message to the Children of Israel about their responsibilities & rewards for entering the Promised Land. So after such a day as this, we had much for which to praise the Lord. I was the very last one to leave the church last Sunday night, but it was with a heart filled with joy unspeakable & full of glory. I had fellowshipped with God’s people that day. I had experienced God’s presence & power with them. And I left there singing out loud all the way home. It was a good day indeed.