February 1, 2019 – I once worked for a man, not a believer by any stretch of the imagination, but he had a famous saying, “It’s as sure as the second coming of Christ”. I’m not sure he knew what he was saying? But maybe, who knows? As we observe today’s news, we hear the words, but most of the time we also wonder what they mean. As Bible believers we have to put today’s events into the scope of what the Bible says to understand what is going on.
The Day of the Lord, different from the Rapture of believers, is revealed in 1 Thess 5. Scripture defines it as a seven-year period of devastation, worse than the world has ever seen or ever will see again. This is the second coming of Jesus. He comes to judge the world and to bring Israel, as a nation to receive Jesus as the Lamb of God, the Messiah.
Sunday’s sermon title is “What is really going on”. The text will come from 1 Thess 5. We’ll answer some of the questions on the second coming of Jesus to the earth. on Sunday. Some of the markings of this event are beginning to show up more clearly. Watch what is happening in and around the nation of Israel.
The Bible is clear, that Jesus is coming back, but it is fair to debate the when. There are signs we can watch for the second coming of Jesus. We are seeing some of those today as we have seen over the years, earthquakes in strange places, excessive tornado’s, hurricanes, wars around the world, human trafficking, international civil unrest and acts violence, people against people, evil acts beyond comprehension. We could go on but you know the story. The real sign of the second coming is the activity in/of Israel, specifically, the signing of the peace, treaty between Israel and the Arab nations. We have heard of this for a long time, but it is beginning to look like it may come before long. I am not putting dates on future events, just suggesting you watch for the signs.
November 30, 2018 – As Christmas comes most tend to think of home. I recently got a series of pictures of World War II Vets coming home from the Pacific Theater. The ships were so overloaded and crowded there wasn’t room for anything but the necessities and the soldiers with their personal bags. But, no one complained because it was time to go home! On the home front people were waiting with baited breath. The same level of excitement as the soldiers was on the home front; they were going to be home!
No matter where we go or how long we’ve been gone, getting home is a great feeling. This year my Christmas theme is “Home”. It is a great place for us, and the place we love to have time with family. Normally it is a place we can “let our hair down” and sit a while”.
As we ponder Jesus coming to earth, several things come to mind but His coming was not to “come and sit a while”. He came with a purpose and you and I are part of that purpose. He came so all the world could experience the presence of God in our midst. He came to be the Savior. He came for the Jews, but he allowed Gentiles to become part of His family too.
“Jesus came not for, the gifted, the famous, those blessed with high intelligence, but he came for those who could not figure out how to get it together.” He came for the down and out, the up and out who are lost in the fog, those with moral failure, those who think they have it all and along with those who really couldn’t get it together!
As we travel through the Advent season to Christmas, We’re going to look at how accepting Him makes sense and how he impacts our lives. Really, How Jesus makes us feel at home.
Sunday’s title is “The Hope of Home”. The scripture text is 1 Peter 1:3-5. The theme is “reflecting on the comfort of home”. I hope you’ll join us.
Looking ahead Plan to join with us Christmas Eve at 5 O’clock for our Christmas Eve service.
Yours and His,
August 31, 2018 – A friend recently sent this quote to us, “ If you think you have blown God’s plan for life, rest in this: You my friend, are not that powerful” Jonathan Feinberg
Every day we hear of tragedy after tragedy. Much of our world is ravaged by war, genocide, abuse and disasters. It is easier for us to push the bad news aside when it is halfway around the world but when it happens next door, or in our own life circle, it isn’t so easy to push tragedy aside.
Sunday my theme is “When Life Gets Brutal”. We’ve all been there; maybe you’re there now. Sunday we’ll talk about our opportunity for confidence, hope and privilege of laying our need before our loving heavenly Father. The Bible is full of events and people who found comfort, protection and help from God in the devastating events of their life. I’ll be using Psalm 60 and 139 as background material, why not turn over there now and do a quick read so you’ll be familiar with our text for Sunday.
It is valuable to us to tap into the promises of God in the brutal times of life. That privilege is only available to the believer. I hope you fit into this category. If you’re not sure, I welcome your call so we can help you find assurance of your desired destination, heaven.
Election day is near. I hope you’ll take your privilege to vote seriously. In the meantime study the positions of the candidates so you can make an intelligent choice. In the meantime, life goes on. Some of you are struggling with not so good news, some are anticipating unhappy events in the near future and some are trying to find their way through brutal moments of life. No matter how brutal things seem you cannot go beyond the reach of our God who cares for you.
I hope you’re planning to share your Labor Day Sunday with us at Bethel.
Yours and His,
July 20, 2018 – Are you looking forward to Sunday Worship? This week I will continue the series on WHY the epistles were written, and what lesson is there for us. This week I am sharing the reason for Paul’s writing to the Romans. There are some great applications for us. Paul’s reason for writing to the church at Rome was seriously different than his other epistles. To get the answers for WHY he wrote to the church at Rome we have to look beyond the book of Romans at other New Testament references. The Romans were neither divided nor disorderly. Their faith had a worldwide reputation [Rom 1:8] and they were full of goodness. Instead Paul was writing to solicit their support and help in going to Spain to further the evangelization of Europe. So, what is the lesson for us? Come Sunday and I’ll answer the question.
Jesus left two ordinances for the church, Believers baptism and the Lord’s Supper or the communion service as we often call it. We are planning a baptismal service in the later part of August. Sunday at 9:30 I’ll begin an instruction class for people curious and or interested in being baptized. As part of the class we’ll also talk about communion. We will look carefully at what the Bible says about baptism, and communion, the biblical mode of baptism and why believers should be baptized. I welcome your calls if you would like to discuss this before the class begins on Sunday.
Remember, Bethel is a sponsoring church of the Back To School Bash. Needed items were published in last week’s bulletin and posted on the bulletin board. There is also the need for helpers for set up and work on the day of the event. Additional information will be given Sunday during the information break.
I hope you plan to be with us on Sunday.
Sincerely, Pastor Shockley
June 15, 2018 – This Sunday is Fathers Day. I hope you have something special planned for dad on his special day. We have some special plans for Dad at Church on Sunday!
Sundays Topic is DAD’s DIFFICULT DECISIONS. My text is Luke15:11-32. This parable fits in with other parables in Lk 15. There is a practical application for dads today but there is also a prophetic application. To get the picture look at Luke the text then look at Romans 3:1-2 and 9:4,6.
I was privileged to have a great dad. There were times when he seemed to be really difficult and didn’t give or let me have some things I thought I had a right to. In the long run, dad was right and very wise. We’ll explore both sides of the difficult decisions dads have to deal with. The younger son had open rebellion that the Father had to deal with. The older son had a legalistic, I served you because I thought I had to and I was looking forward to my rewards because I did what you expected.
This is an awesome passage to show the real love of fathers. It is especially a picture of our heavenly Father. I hope you’ll come Sunday as we unpack this beautiful passage of God’s Word.
I hope you’ll do something special for the “dad” in your house before you get to church. It can be a big thing, or it can be a small thing, but dads, respect and appreciate every act, whether big or small. Every act of appreciation is a big thing to us. At the fellowship dinner we will honor our dads by serving them pie! And if you’re there you’ll get a piece too.
Looking ahead, we’re planning July 1 as Barbecue Sunday in celebration of the 4th of July. There will be more details shortly, but for now put the date on your calendar and come to have some great food and fun. This would be a great time to invite friends to come with you.
Please pray for Franklin Graham and the west coast tour in July and August. Pray for a great turnout at each rally, pray that people will come to know Jesus and pray that America will gain moral and spiritual ground because the prayer of God’s people and the BGE team’s ministry.
In addition, pray for Israel. JEWS FOR JESUS are heading a major evangelist thrust in Jerusalem now. 57 people have prayed to receive Jesus as Messiah in the last few weeks.
I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday!
Sincerely, Pastor Shockley
December 15, 2017 – In a recent conversation, a friend and I were talking of the urgent needs that are all around us. My companion’s final remark was this: “ everyday we stand in constant hope of a miracle!” When I think of all the issues around me – insurmountable health issues for some, national disasters, falling morality, crisis after crisis on the national and international scene, then there are the personal needs we face, I stand in constant hope of a miracle. How about you?
That is just what Jesus came to do, give us a miracle every day. During the Christmas season we read about, study and worship the one who is the light of the world. The Bible says He is the light; a light that shines in darkness and the darkness can’t stop it.
This is a great time to come to church, and an even greater time to invite our friends and family to church with us. It has been statistically proven that more people find their way into the church during the Christmas season than any other time. Some of them are only waiting for a personal invitation from a friend or relative. That would be you.
Who are you going to invite to come with you this week? Here are some events planned to help you with that opportunity:
Sunday at 9:30 Pastor Alan will continue his teaching on the Advent season. This has been a great study. I hope you’ll join us this Sunday. At the 11 AM service, I’ll be speaking on the topic “Guiding Light”. My text will be comparing Matthew 2 and Micah 5. Micah gives the prophecy of Jesus coming and Matthew tells of the event in real life.
We are planning for two Christmas Eve services, at 11AM and then at 6 PM. Sunday morning, we’ll add more to the Advent teaching and worship, enjoy some seasonal music, and make a personal application for our lives today. Our Christmas Eve candle light service will be at 6 PM. We’ll sing some of the familiar Christmas carols, add some special music, and include personal testimonies. To top off the evening, we’ll celebrate communion.
I hope you’ll make a special effort to worship with us during this Christmas season. It is a great time to invite your friends to fellowship with us. I’m looking forward to seeing you Sunday and again on Christmas Eve. I’m praying you have a Merry Christmas, a blessed New Year, and that you give Jesus more room in your life in the coming year.
Yours and His,
August 11, 2017 – Dear Bethel Family,
This quote was passed on to us today. The West [11 states] is burning, the South is flooding and the East is blowing away! If people don’t now Jesus this would be a good time to get acquainted. If you do know Jesus this is a good time to share your faith.
These things make me ask, what should I be doing?
First I should be actively sharing my faith. Secondly I should be praying, though prayer alone may not be enough it is the place to start. Third, if you can send some financial support this is a worthy opportunity. When you give to these there is a spiritual and physical ministry. If you have the ability to do other things, helping people with recovery tasks and animal care:
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. Ecc 9:10 NKJV
Unless we have gone through the devastation of loosing everything we have we can only imagine the levels of fear, anger, stress & defeat that comes along with the tragedy in life.
Let me suggest some ways to pray for the people in the flooded south, the fires in the West and the devastating storm coming at the East coast.
Let me suggest some ways to pray for the flooded South and the burning West:
- Pray for God’s protection of life and physical injury
- Pray that they will find some things that give encouragement
- Pray that the losses will be replaced wherever possible
- Because emotions are raw the stress tends to begin the blame game.
- Pray for relationships within the family. In the times of devastation, families beginning at the mom and dad level and throughout the house
- Pray for emotional, spiritual and physical healing for the families.
- Pray that in this crisis time people will find Jesus.
For those In the pathway of Irma pray:
- For wisdom and strength in the anticipation of the devastation
- For protection during the storm
- For God’s intervention and provision after the storm.
- That God will stop the storm.
Yours and His,
August 11, 2017 – Dear Bethel Family,
As I’ve been pondering the events of this past week, my thoughts run in many directions. Life has its ups and downs. Every day all of us face things we love and things that “bust our bubble.” I am reminded of the words of Paul, the Apostle in 2 Corinthians 11:28. None of us would say his life was a breeze, but he laid out some of the things that he had often faced in his travels and ministry that remind us of what we face too often. There was social pressure, religious pressure, physical pressure, every day pressures and events of life, but he went on to say in v28 “And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.” It is a delight to rejoice with you in your days of victory. It is privilege to pray with you in your times of disappointment, to agonize with you in your hours of hardship and to learn with you as God takes us through events and circumstances designed by God to make us better people, more capable of serving Him.
Life can be stressful and sometimes we feel that we’ll not make the next day. But the author said in another place [1 Cor 10:13], “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Are you experiencing His strength this week?
Every person that attends Bethel has been on my mind and heart this week. I have talked with to some of you, prayed with some of you, quietly rejoiced with some of you.
Sunday I’ll continue our series on “Being the Church”. This week we’ll look at how we, the people fit into the local church. What did local churches look like in the New Testament and how does Bethel stack up?
I hope you’ll take time out of your busy week and join us on Sunday. We’re looking forward to membership expansion, personal growth in individual lives and looking forward to a baptismal service on August 20. Pray for and volunteer where you can to advance the progress of our landscaping in the front and beautification of the Bethel grounds.
Pray for one another, love each other and love Jesus!
You are in our Prayers,
Pastor Dwane and Vetra
July 6, 2017 – Dear Bethel Family,
Where ever and however you have celebrated the 4th of July this week, I hope we have all realized the privileges and freedoms we have experienced as a nation as well as the sacrifices made to preserve these freedoms.
It is always good to have a time of debriefing. In doing so I want to commend our team of workers for the excellent patriotic setting (presentation) they blessed us with on Sunday through, music, décor and food).
Thank you to the Schmidt family for leading the congregation in enthusiastic Patriotic worship time. Thank you to Patty and her team for the very appropriate and well-done decorations that added much to the day of celebration. Thank you to those who added their touch through food, fun and fellowship. God has blessed the Bethel family with a desire to be together and enjoy each other.
This coming Sunday we look forward to added blessings as we are challenged by a couple who has given many volunteer hours in the last 15 years working with at-risk boys ages 13-17. Chuck and Jamie have cooked, cleaned, taught and filled many needed positions on this 430-acre ranch that has served more than 2,000 boys and their families. Now they are preparing to go full time serving in a ministry that God laid on their hearts many years ago. Come and be challenged to explore God’s future for your life.
Please pray as we are forming a class at Bethel for 9-13 year olds. Curriculum is under observation and we will announce the starting the beginning of this class soon. Our appreciation goes to Shirley Arndt and her helpers who have faithfully taught several ages in one small classroom for the last few years.
Continue to pray for June and it was good to have Fay with us again Sunday. Pray for her complete healing as well.
As you celebrate the blessings of freedom this week, let’s thank our Lord for His grace and forgiveness to this nation and pray for a revival and turning back to Him.
I am looking forward to seeing you and Chuck and Jamie this Sunday as we worship, study and learn together.
April 6, 2017 – Along with Easter and Christmas, Palm Sunday is one of the most significant days on the Christian calendar. Christmas announced the Birth of Jesus the Messiah and Easter proclaimed his resurrection, but Palm Sunday was the event that marked the beginning of the end of Jesus’ work on earth and the accomplishment of all He set out to do. He entered Jerusalem as a hero of the people, a king; and as He entered the city on that glorious day, He also neared the culmination of a long, long journey toward Golgotha. What a blessing He brought to mankind! He came to save the lost, He came to bring salvation, and through His sacrifice, he conquered death and the grave for all who believe.
This week at Bethel, we plan to look at the whole Gospel story starting with Palm Sunday and following through to the resurrection of Jesus. We will begin this Sunday by examining Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. Next, we will celebrate Maundy Thursday on Thursday at 7 P.M. The time Jesus spent with His disciples on that last evening before the cross is rich in meaning for the Church. As He shared the Passover meal with those around Him, the true meaning of Passover and the sacrificial lamb for the remission of sins became clear. Our Maundy Thursday service will be a program of congregational singing, scriptural discussions around the events of the Garden, celebration of Communion and a look at Hallel psalms prophetically leading to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. The Jews often chanted these psalms in their celebrations. Then, on Easter Sunday we will take a fresh look at the resurrection of Jesus, truly the crowning event of the gospel message.
Saturday April 15th is a fun day for the kids. There is an Easter egg hunt for the young, along with fun, games and treats for the kids and parents who come.
Sincerely, Pastor Shockley
March 15, 2017 – This week we’ll continue our study of the Gospel of John as we look at “Conversations” Jesus’ had with people around him. Sunday’s title is, Asking the Right Question as we look at John 5:1-15. We’ll look at Jesus’ conversation with the Crippled man at the pool of Bethesda. Did he want to get into the pool because it was believed if he got in first he “could” be healed? Or did he want to be healed “Did the man ask the right question? Did his question get answered?
Here is a quote that may have relevance. “When you’re standing in alligators up to your neck it is hard to remember that you are here to drain the swamp.” The crippled man seems to be occupied with his bitterness because someone else always beats him to the pool, no one will help him. He is alone. Was his real desire to get in the pool or was his urgent need to be healed? Remember he’s been here in this condition for 38 years.
How many times are we asking God for the wrong thing? Are we praying that God will give us a break in the rain when what we really want is some sunshine! Why not ask God for some dryer days with Sunshine? We’re going to answer the question of John 5 Sunday. What’s in this passage for us today? Why is it even in the Gospel of John? Did this man really accept Jesus as Messiah? Look at v13.
The man appears to be guilty of some sin he has not given up yet. In spite of this, Jesus heals him. But we must keep in mind that sin has to be dealt with, and Jesus returned later to tell him, “he must give up his sin or face the possibility of something worse.
There is no indication of any repentance no mention of faith, and no inquiry as to who Jesus is or what he is about as there was with the Samaritan woman. Why did Jesus do the miracle? We’re only told that after this confrontation the man goes to the authorities to reveal Jesus’ identity to them. It is almost too terrible to be true! Perhaps this is why we find it so hard to accept.
Join us Sunday and we’ll answer some of your questions.
Sincerely, Pastor Shockley
January 19, 2017 – This has been quite a winter! According to the National Weather channel the NW has been most impacted part of the nation this winter. Five heavy storms have hit the area since Dec 2nd. Bethel experienced it too. After two consecutive weeks of closure, we are anxious to get back in stride. We miss the fellowship, the times of worship, and our times in the Word. In addition, we need to come together to pray for the nation during this transition time and to get an update on our people.
It is especially time to pray for America! The peaceful transition of power is an “American thing” but that does not stop terrorism and violence on a local or national level. Pray that God will protect our new president and vice president, their families, and the incoming administration. Pray that our God will overcome the spirit of terrorism and violence. Pray also for the progress and blessing of God on the nation as the new administration begins their work.
On September 11 of last year, Bethel officially became free from the Evangelical Methodist denomination. The church has been forced to re-incorporate and we are drafting a new constitution and Bylaws. In the meantime, we will use what is appropriate from our old guidelines during this transition.
As we move through the process, our current board of Stewards and Trustees will continue as the official board. However, we can now receive new members. If you have been attending Bethel and would like to become a member, an official partner for greater participation in the decisions of Bethel, we welcome your inclusion. We need to expand and modify our current slate of officers. If you would like (and I hope many of you will) want to explore this further, please contact me soon. In closing, I would like to encourage each of you with this thought: as we think about the needs around Bethel, lets talk!
Sincerely, Pastor Shockley