While I do not officially hold this title, I feel like a circuit-riding preacher from time to time; and by the way, it feels great! Like Sunday, I enjoyed being with Cherrywood Baptist in Sherwood. I mentioned State Missions and then spoke on “The Power of the Gospel.” Cherrywood’s folks are very kind and loving, and it is always a pleasure to be with them. Thanks, Pastor Glenn Alston, for this opportunity.
Sunday afternoon, we gathered with the Greenbrier Association at First Baptist in Damascus. There was a good crowd and, again, it was good to be back for the wonderful fellowship. It was one of those dates that had more than one meeting and, unfortunately, I was able to attend only one. But I am thankful to those who have graciously helped me out by standing in for me. In earnest, the report was the same.
I, along with the BMA of Arkansas officers, encourage you and your church to be represented at this year’s meeting in Conway on Nov. 3-4. While I have heard it said through the years that there is no use in attending for the decisions have already been made, that is just not true! I personally attended a national meeting in the early years of my ministry and an important issue was passed by one vote (my vote). Association meetings often fall victim to having the same ones elected year after year, not because they are more deserving, but due to the fact that they are faithful and attend important meetings.
Pastors, I am sure there are members in your church who would be glad to represent their church if asked, and they might even be willing to serve the association in some capacity. Even if you can’t attend, ask if there are those who would fill in. After all, we need to have all churches represented. It is encouraging to see our folks focused on the work of the association, which exists to serve the people, not to govern the autonomy of any church. I hope to see you there!
From Our Missionaries
Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “Norma could not attend the Bible study on Thursday night at Ramon and Rosa’s house, but her daughter, Lizeth came for the first time, accompanied by her little son. As always, we had a good time studying the Word of God, and this time, the gospel was presented through the story of Cornelius, the Roman Centurion, narrated in Acts 10.
It is evident that the Holy Spirit is working in some lives. Let us pray that they all come to repentance.
“On Sunday, I heeded an invitation from our new mother church, First Baptist Church in Caldwell, whose pastor is Michael Hight. In the morning meeting, I had the privilege of preaching on ‘An Exhortation to Holy Living and Its Implications,’ based on I Peter 1:13-25. In the evening, I had the opportunity to present the Growing in Christ Church Planting project. It was a good opportunity to get to know the members of the mother church and for them to get to know my family.
“The greatest thing about all this is that, for the first time, Oscar Lopez preached in our congregation. According to reports, he did very well. Oscar is one of the four men who are studying at the Bible Institute. We thank God for the lives of these four men (Oscar Lopez, Oscar Gomez, Fernando Rivera and Jamin Navarro) and the fruits that we are already enjoying. Let us continue to pray for these brothers.
“We give thanks to the First Baptist Church who have opened the doors of their hearts to support this mission in North Little Rock.”
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “Attendance improved compared to last week. The sick recovered and we were able to see them in the congregation.
“This week, we were able to start a new sermon and study series. We want every disciple at Ebenezer to have a basic ‘Bible Overview.’ Last Sunday, we gave an introduction with general Bible facts. Next, we will begin with the first stage of the Bible — Creation. Pray that each Ebenezer attendee will not only have knowledge of God’s Word but also be able to live it. Pray that God will connect me with new people for the purpose of sharing the gospel with them.
“There are some who ask me how they can help. Almost always, my answer is… pray, pray, pray to God! I believe, that to establish a new church, its fundamental base is to pray. Only God, in a supernatural way, will plant a new church. You are my partners and you sustain us. Your prayer to the Father will do great wonders. To God be the glory!”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “Praise God, what a day Sunday! We had a wonderful morning service! First, we set a new record for attendance, and we only had a few empty chairs. Then the church completely surprised Karen and me with a very sweet and generous gift and many kind words for Pastor’s Appreciation Day. They got to see me cry again. I can’t help it, I’m a bawler.
“Then, after the morning service, we all went to Bull Shoals Lake and had a baptism for our two newest members. And they got to see me cry again.
“We topped it off with a great study in the evening, and everyone was engaged and participating. I think we all came away stronger in the Word and closer to God. The Lord truly blessed the whole day. My heart is full!
“Thank you for your prayers for us, Flippin, our community and the people God wants us to reach here. Please continue because He is hearing and answering them.”
The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “There is lots of sickness descending upon our church family. Several of my kids have been sick over the last two weeks and other families within the church also have sick kids. I am praying this all goes back to normal soon.
“DeAnna and I had to cancel our Monday Night Event for the last two weeks due to sickness. We have decided to publicly cancel it until January. Pray for our outreach contacts as we continue to try to meet people.”
Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes, “We had a great night of fellowship and worship at Faith Journey this week! We had music and chili with all the fixings.
“Keeping with our study of Joshua, we shared with each other about the victories God has had in our lives. In Joshua 12, we see the summary of all the battles that the Israelites had that ended in victory. We’ve learned, through the Scriptures, that Jesus already provided victory to us from our sins on the cross.
“Keep praying over our mission. We are starting to see lives that are growing in faith among those who are faithfully attending Faith Journey. God is working and His presence is felt at every meeting. We are so excited to see what God has in store for us in the days ahead.”
Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “After we make the connection with people and they are exposed to the gospel, we invite them to our initial Bible study that we have designed for new converts and all who come to our mission, no matter if they have any background of having gone to churches.
This initial discipleship is called, ‘Are you Safe?’ The purpose is to encourage them to examine themselves through the Word whether their conversion is credible and whether they are bearing ‘fruits worthy of repentance’ (Matt. 3:8). There is nothing more important in this life than their eternal destiny. They are encouraged to examine what their spiritual condition is despite being new believers the true believer bears fruit, to analyze the reason he put his faith in Christ, and that the correct motivation is the need for justice, for having broken the moral law of God — the 10 Commandments — and that for breaking that law he is worthy of punishment from that justice. If he approached another need such as a better life, because of the need for work or some other need, that is not the right motivation and may be engaged, and it is best to meditate on the right gospel. There are five lessons in which we analyze the biblical gospel.
“This week, we continue to prepare people through discipleship. On Monday, we meet in Springdale with a beloved couple who have many desires to know Christ and advance in the Christian life and also a woman who accompanies us and who is very happy with what she is learning each week.
“Thursday, we continued with this young man who. Apart from discipleship, we are giving him biblical counseling and give him tasks to do at home. He has begun to write a diary and joyfully tells the progress he has had week-by-week, hand-in-hand with the Lord.
“Friday, at our apartment, the largest group arrived this week — 10 people — and we had a very special time of worship, prayer of word and companionship. Preparing them for our first service in November fills us with joy and much expectation. They are eager for us to start what we have planned on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 12:30 p.m. We are making some arrangements, such as notices, banners and invitations. I appreciate your prayers for this service.
“A couple arrived last night for biblical counseling and we were late talking about what the Bible says about relationships and how a couple who wants to start a life together should start. They were encouraged to pray, strengthen a friendship and that the purpose of Christian courtship is marriage.”
Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “We’re facing one of our first challenges as the building we’re using for our monthly collective gathering and Sunday connection will no longer be available after October. We will continue to have our Connection Group there on Sundays and will have our next collective worship night on Oct. 23.
Pray that a new place will open. We are disappointed because this space seemed to fit our need and aim, but are already in the process of searching. A partnership possibility has come to light.
“One of our Connection Group coaches, Brian and I went to a house meeting in Siloam Springs this week with the ministry Generation 2 Generation. We have been leaning on their multi-generational model. They are from the UK, so it was great to connect with them.
“Our Woodbridge Connection Group also celebrated a group member’s birthday at the Exeter Corn Maze. We had great fellowship bumping on the go-cart track and finding our way through the maze.”