Yesterday was a beautiful day in the desert!

It was cool, but not too cool.  And we had a lovely day at Bethel “in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3b)  Here is how it looked to me from the under-shepherd’s view.

Our attendance was not outstanding, but worship of our Great God is not evaluated by numbers in attendance.  It is measured by God in our heart attitude of sincerity toward Him.  Therefore our praise of God in various ways in corporate worship seemed to me very praise-worthy of Him.  The congregational singing was vibrant.  The choir song, “On Christ I Stand” had nice harmonic balance.  The eight ladies & five men warmed our hearts & the tenors did a fine job on their special section, but when the choir hit second gear on this song, it was truly an “amen moment.”  Then Mrs. Liz Gallagher’s violin offertory of “I Will Praise Him” excellently presented worship of the Lord in fine fashion.  The keyboard support of the string sound by Miss Anna Carpenter on the piano was outstanding in drawing our hearts to true praise of the Lord.  The congregation’s reading of II Peter 1:5-7 in unison was unifying & focusing of our hearts upon God’s Word so that when I stood to preach on “Additives to our Elemental Faith” from the passage, the people were already there & tuned in to God’s message from His Word.  This led us right into a blessed & sacred time at the Lord’s Table in remembrance & self-examination.  Amen.

We had a couple of new families visiting us yesterday.  It was a special season of delight & rejoicing.  I do not remember such a satisfying time in delivering a preached message for some time.  PTL for His presence & the communication of His Word.  These are not things done by the human communicator, but done by the Spirit & received by the congregation.  And when that happens, it is satisfying to the communicator to be a part of it as it is to the communicants in the congregation.  PTL.

Then last night we had a sweet evening service.  The choir song started out with a bang!  There was great accompaniment on the piano by Mrs. Emily Blewett.  When the whole choir sang, there was power & glorious harmony.  Then for the offertory, the “Men of Music” played.  Pastor Seth on the piano & Mr. Lance Owen on the trumpet.  It was a wonderful musical treat for all in attendance.  The spontaneous testimony time included three different men & a lady attesting to God’s work, blessing, & miraculous work in these recent days!  That time set the stage for Pastor Seth’s preached message from James 3:2-5 on “Control the Tongue.”  He promised to continue the message this coming Sunday night.  We were blessed indeed.

Afterwards the master teachers for VBS met with Pastor Seth to plan for a spectacular time for the children this summer at VBS.  BTW, the dates are June 9-13th.  It is a cowboy theme about “Taking God’s Love to New Frontiers.”  So contact your nieces & nephews, grandchildren, cousins & kinfolk to invite them to come & stay for that week of God’s wonder-working grace.  It works so well to have your young relatives then.  You can enjoy them during the day when you have energy & get a break in the evening while they are at VBS absorbing God’s truth!  Then when they come home all excited about what they have learned, you can sit back & enjoy the wonderful work of God in their young lives.  Sound like a plan?  Well, NOW is the time to start working on scheduling it with their parents. 

So that is how it was at Bethel Baptist yesterday.  Come & join us this week for a marvelous season to again worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.  It is amazing.

Pastor Stertzbach