Veterans Day

Warm Fall Greetings from Tucson!

The temperature here is in the low 80 or high 70’s each day.  It is absolutely beautiful weather, my favorite time of the year.  Diane & I got into our new downsized place & are busy putting away boxes of stuff.  We have different ideas of what downsizing means.  My male opinion is that we get rid of “stuff”.  He female opinion is that we keep “stuff’ & just cram it into the smaller place.  “Isn’t that what stuffing it in means?” 

Yesterday was a good day here at Bethel in many ways.  We had a respectable attendance with a number of first time visitors & a couple of returning visitors.  PTL for all of these precious ones.  We honored the veterans today in the AM service.  Did you know that only about 6.5% of the population has served in the US military?  And it was just about that amount of folks that were honored here yesterday.  PTL for every one that has protected our nation & our precious freedoms!

I preached from John 8:31-18 on “Freedom Indeed.”  It was a Gospel message where Jesus was speaking about freedom in Christ.  The message came across clear &was well received.  I have not heard of any salvation decisions from it yet, but I suspect there may be some indications this week.  The music in the AM was excellent again.  Although the choir is greatly reduced in size, their sound is full & continues to bless us as a congregation in a marvelous way each week.  The piano solo offertory by Miss Anna Carpenter was excellent!  The enthusiastic, energetic, powerful rendition of “The Church’s One Foundation” was indeed memorable!  Our hearts were blessed by it, the choir, & the orchestra.  PTL for strong congregational singing too. 

The evening service was blessed in several ways.  I was touched by the testimony time especially when a seventh grade lad shared how God spoke to him this week at the IBC Youth Conference in Chandler, AZ.  For a seventh grade guy to share before his church family is a rarity these days.  So my heart rejoiced greatly in his words & his attitude.  The choir again had touching harmony in praise to God & the smiles from the choir as they sang was a welcome addition.  Then Pastor Seth’s piano offertory of “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place” was delightful.  I love to hear him play the piano!  His evangelistic touch adds much to its effect on the listeners.  And with the words on the screen as he played, it was extraordinary.  I preached from I Sam. 30:11-15 on “The Way the World Treats Its Own.”  It was clearly a message to the kids & teens on how the world uses you & then discards you when you will not serve their purposes any longer.  I think they got it & the Lord spoke through it.

After the PM service, the SS Workers had their best staff meeting in over a year!  It too was a blessing & much was discussed & progress made.  So yesterday was a good day here at Bethel!  The rafters were not shaken, nor did full-blown revival break out, but God’s presence was felt; His Word was clearly proclaimed; & God’s people were bonded together in unity & praise to Him.  So PTL for all of these things.  I am rejoicing in it all & will be through this week.  I hope you are also.

Pastor Stertzbach