We continue to have good services and good attendance at Bethlehem for all services. This past Sunday’s message was "Qualities Of An Effective Spiritual Leader." We welcomed Dina Pollan into our church family as a candidate for baptism.
Sunday afternoon Bethlehem hosted a wedding shower for Shane Atkinson and Sarah Murry. They will be married Jan. 5 at Bethlehem.
Wednesday evening was our quarterly business meeting. The major item of business was the approval of a new church sign for the complex. It will be placed on the office property.
Tomorrow will be a big day at Bethlehem. In the morning service we will be receiving the bi-annual special offering to benefit debt reduction, SOAR and mission trips. The evening service will be in the Family Life Center with the annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Bring your favorite vegetables, salads, and desserts and the church will furnish the meat. Visitors are welcome. Starting time is 6:30p.m. Please try to have all food there by 5:15 p.m. so it can be arranged on the tables.
Services next Wednesday have been cancelled so families can have free time for Thanksgiving.
If you are looking for a church home, come visit Bethlehem and check us out. Visit the website www.bethlehembaptistchurch.info for services, events, and times.
Curtis Sebren, clarinetist, will present the next Under the Dome recital at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, in the Sanctuary at First United Methodist Church.
His performance will include "Folk Songs" by Eric Mandat; "Sonata for Clarinet and Piano" by Francis Poulenc; "Csardas" by Vittorio Monti; "Flight of the Bumblebee" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov; and "Round of the Goblins" by Antonio Bazzini.
Sebren elaborated on the movements associated with "Folk Songs." The first movement will be "spirited; as if from a distant Appalachian hill." For the second movement, the music will be presented "heavily, with a fuzzy, unfocused, breathy tone." The third movement is "expansive; as if hurtling through space." Movement four is played "with devotion, like a prayer," and the fifth movement is "like a Flamenco dancer."
Sebren will be accompanied by Kazuo Murakami on piano.
Sebren, a professional clarinetist in the Phoenix metropolitan area, is an active performer and teacher. He received a bachelor of music degree in music performance from the University of Central Arkansas in 2010 and is currently working on his Masters degree in clarinet performance at Arizona State University. He plays with the Arizona Pro Arte ensemble and the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble. He has also performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Conway Symphony Orchestra, and the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra. His primary teachers include Dr. Robert Spring, Dr. Joshua Gardner, and Dr. Kelly Johnson.
The recital is free and open to the public. Invite your friends to accompany you for this wonderful afternoon of music.
Sunday morning Brother John Evans titled his message "Orphans in the storms." Preaching from John he said that Jesus never promised us an easy time in this life. We’re told, "In the world you will have tribulation." What brings tribulation into the life of a Christian? Life is full of trouble because we’re in a world filled with sin. God never said we would be sealed off from sin. In fact as Christians we may be called to suffer more. The world despises Him therefore does not receive us.
A man outside of Christ is an orphan in the storms of life because he faces them alone. But as believers facing the same storms we never face them alone. There are three things He said He’d give us. 1) Promise — "I will not leave you comfortless," Christ said. The disciples thought if Jesus left they would be alone. Through His death, burial, and resurrection He is able to be with us always. He promises, "I will never orphan you." 2) Presence — He gives the presence of the Holy Spirit, Comforter. He said He was sending One just like Him. They would be more privileged than when He was with them because the Holy Spirit would be with them all the time. 3) Power — This promise is only for those who are His. He has the power to sustain, lift, and deliver us. We overcome in His power.
We receive Him, submit to Him, and trust Him. He teaches, guides, and reminds us .We don’t have to be orphans in the storms.
Monday night several ladies gathered at the church for the "soup and shoe box" event. We filled shoe boxes with a variety of gifts for Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse outreach. We older ladies enjoyed the help and company of several younger ones. The soup was delicious!
We had a wonderful group of kids Wednesday night. I enjoyed my class tremendously! We’re looking forward to some Christmas surprises.
We’ll continue collecting offering for Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes through the month of November. Birthday offerings also go to this cause.
The church/community Thanksgiving Supper is tomorrow night following a time of singing, praise, and thankfulness beginning at 6 p.m. It’s potluck and everyone is invited. All activities for Nov. 21 are canceled.
We’re thankful that Richard Johnston is home and improving after his second hospital stay. We’re praying for his brother, Buddy Johnston, who isn’t well. Many others remain on our prayer list.
May you be blessed and thankful for who God is and all He’s done for you.