This article was written by Pastor Wicks.
What a great night our Sunday Vision Banquet turned out to be!
WE HAD A GREAT CROWD of about 250 people in the banquet area plus the many others in the children’s program at the school and the nursery area at the church. We enjoyed a beautiful atmosphere and great food served by some of the teenagers of FBC.
DR. SISK DID A WONDERFUL JOB challenging us with personal stories of how he began tithing, giving to Faith Promise, and learning to become a joyful abundant giver. Commitments were made to Faith Promise missions of $81,679.00 ($1,570.75/week) plus a one time commitment of $14,940.00 for a total of $96,619.00 for the year. The building fund commitments were $87,763.00 ($1,687.75/week) plus one time commitments of $9,262.00 for a total of $97,025.00. A $41,032.50 offering was taken up that night for the building fund as well. I appreciate those who value the efforts that FBC gives to reach our world and the world for Jesus Christ.
BEFORE WE LAUNCHED INTO THE VISION for 2014, we went over a few of the previous year’s victories, including:
- New staff: Diana Hammond, Amy Kent, Hannah Smith, and Bro. and Mrs. Jerry Lee
- New Children’s ministry enhancements: new children’s church, child safety policies, and worker background checks
- New security and medical teams
- New adult connection group classes: Navigators Class, New Journeys (young couples’) Class
- New nursing homes: from 7 to now 9 sites, and Bible studies during the week at some locations
- New opportunities for YES Clubs: in Plattsmouth High School
- New Attendees: the average increased from 340/week last year to 390/week this year (the AM service).
- New monthly Bible reading program
- New Financial victories: dispersed over $26,000 more in missions to date this year over 2012, $86,184+ paid on the mortgage principle, insurance shopping saves us $9690/year
- New parking lot on the south side of the building
AFTER A REVIEW OF 2013′S VICTORIES, we spent a little time clarifying our identity.
- We are not just the First Baptist Church of Plattsmouth, but the First Baptist Church for Plattsmouth—and not just for Plattsmouth, but for Nebraska, the nation, and the world.
- Our Ultimate Purpose is to reach the world for Christ (Acts 1:8). We currently are committed to support 31 missionaries and helped 27 more in various ways in the last year. In addition to ‘missionaries,’ many other local churches & pastors in our area and around America were helped this last year as well!
LASTLY, WE TALKED ABOUT our Vision Theme for 2014: Knowing Him & Making Him Known.
- Sermon Series
- New discipleship programs
“Making Him Known”
- Impact Group: Offutt AFB ministry to singles in the “Connection” (place sponsored by the chaplains) at the newest dormitory on base (Monday evenings).
- Outreach philosophy: many varieties of ways to allow more people to become involved
- Nebraska City Church Project: PM Bible study starting January 5th!
- Radio: potential for weekly programing on KFAB
- Mobile site: making our content more accessible to users of the newest technology
- Missions trips: another trip to Guatemala with the Wilder family is tentatively planned
- Other topics: including a missions emphasis using media for the world and a local addictions program
I AM TRULY EXCITED about what God will do through the collective ministry of FBC in this next year.
Pastor Raymond Wicks
This article was written by Trevor Marsteller.
If you’re a young adult, you may find yourself asking the question, “Why should I give to my church?” You may have answered that question (or heard it answered) in several different ways: I don’t need to give that much. I need the little money I have. I can’t afford to give. I don’t have to give to my church since I give elsewhere. I’ll give later when I have more money.
Notwithstanding the evasive answers that are like dribble from the mouths of young adults like you and I, there are some very good reasons why you should give to your church.
Giving follows receiving
You should give because God gives to you so that you would generously give to others. Paul testifies in 2 Cor. 9:11 that “being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” Have you received anything? Then you should give generously. God doesn’t want you to hoard anything. He structured his provision to not only be received, but also spread.
Giving meets needs
Local churches don’t have money trees growing in the prayer garden; they need financial support. It is appropriate to fund those who tirelessly minister the gospel to our souls (1 Cor. 9:9-14). It’s heartbreaking to see a church struggle when its people don’t provide financial support. Those who labor full time in the ministry will almost always need the financial support of those who aren’t in full time ministry, i.e. the vast majority of the church – you and I.
Giving glorifies God
Think through this exchange of hands: God gives, you receive, you give, another receives, and then what does the recipient do? What is your natural reaction when someone gives you something you need? You thank them. When we give what God has given us, we are putting a match to the fuel of praise that will burn up in thanksgivings that glorify God (2 Cor. 9:12).
Giving benefits us
God has wonderfully orchestrated giving to benefit the recipient and the giver. The extremely poor people in Macedonia begged to take part in an offering to meet the needs of other Christians. They saw giving as something that benefitted them. When we give, we become like the character personified in Ps. 112:9 – “He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever“ (emphasis mine). There is a soul-strengthening, vivifying, gladdening stream that is reserved for givers.
Giving imitates Jesus
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9). Jesus gave more than we can imagine so that we would become rich beyond our wildest dreams. If Jesus gave and we call ourselves his people, his Church, we should imitate our Lord and become loving, living examples of our heavenly Benefactor.
I’ve heard it said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Lk. 12:34). So follow your treasure map to that X placed over your heart, cut open that steeled vault, and find a new home for your treasure.
By Trevor Marsteller
Originally published here.
WHY DO WE GIVE? Giving is a privilege. The storehouse spoken of in Malachi is what we consider the local church. By partnering our monies together, God’s work is done more effectively. Even Paul recognized this in the newly formed churches of the New Testament. He tells the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 8:13-15, “For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.”
WHY IS GIVING SO IMPORTANT? We also recognize that Jesus talked more about giving than the subjects of heaven, hell, or prayer. In Matthew 6:21 and 24 Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also…No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” In Luke 6:38 He says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TITHE AND AN OFFERING? A tithe is giving the first 10% of your gross income as defined by Malachi 3:10. An offering is given above and beyond the tithe.
WHAT IS AN OFFERING? We believe that we are mere stewards of what God has given us. Therefore, we see tithing as giving back what is God’s to God (and He lets us keep the other 90% to use appropriately). Any amount above 10% is considered an offering to God. This type of giving is over and above and should also be done with cheerfulness.
WHAT IS A TITHE? As Christ’s followers, we believe that we are to follow God’s command regarding tithing. “Tithe” means “tenth” or 10 percent. Leviticus 27:30 says, “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.” In Malachi 3:8-10 God speaks to His people, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
WHAT ARE ‘ALMS’ AND ‘ALMSGIVING’? Alms are money or goods given the needy as in charity. This is the type of giving that is to be done secretly, as in Matthew 6:1,3,4, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven…But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” Almsgiving is an important expression of Christian love, but should be done out of love for the Lord and for the needy, and not for personal gratification.
CAN I EXCEL IN GIVING? The apostle Paul spoke to the new churches about giving. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Paul admonishes the Corinthian church, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” He prompted the believers to be generous. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” And in 2 Corinthians 8:7 he encourages, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
This article was first published on foxnews.com
Here’s a revelation: A whopping 41 percent of Americans used the Internet to read the Bible in the past year.
According to the American Bible Society’s “State of the Bible 2013” survey, Americans are increasingly looking to digital devices to read the good book. The study revealed that 29 percent of Americans said they searched for Bible verses on smartphones, while 17 percent read the Bible on a Kindle or an iPad, according to the Washington Examiner.
“The data shows a continual shift to digital content. The number of Bible readers who use their smartphone or cell phone to search for Bible content has increased each year, with a 6 percent increase in the use of this format from 2012,” said the Society. “Use of Internet to find Bible content has also increased, up 4 percent from 2011.”
The survey of 2,083 households found that the most read and searched version of the Bible was the King James version, the Examiner said, with 38 percent preferring that over the New King James version, which just 14 percent prefer.
However, the report also found a decrease in Bible ownership: 92 percent of American households owned a physical copy of the book in 1993, while only 88 percent do today. That’s still a tremendous number, of course; the decrease is likely more indicative of the increased access to scripture online than lessened interest.
“The general idea is to leverage today’s technology in a way that engages this generation,” he tells Mashable.
According to the “State of the Bible” report, 15 percent of Americans have downloaded a Bible app on their smartphones.
This article was originally published on foxnews.com
1) Be a savvy user of technology and ensure your child knows the electronics usage policy at the school.
Technology is moving at lightning speed and the school policies change frequently to keep up. Know what the rules are for phones, texting, going on the Internet, school laptops, iPads, iPods, etc..
And for your child’s own electronics, label everything; in fact scratch their name on the device if you own it so it will get returned if lost.
Today, information coming home in paper format is more and more limited. Don’t be the parent who doesn’t read e-mail so the teacher/school has to base the communication process on you.
2) Eliminate the 50+ pound backpack that your child drags back and forth to school.
Electronics and other valuables will get smashed from the shear weight if dropped.
E-mail the teacher for the list of books, go to Amazon.com and buy used textbooks and keep this set at home. They cost $5-$8 each and you can find all of them. I can’t tell you how much this helps – no more forgotten or lost books.
In a few years, textbooks will be on laptops or tablets so this is a transitional strategy.
Also, pack the backpack together with your child so that all the forms, back-to-school list items, extra clothes, snacks, etc. are in place. They should know where everything is and feel organized.
3) Any food should be able to be served for breakfast.
During the first week, let them eat what they want as long as it will keep them filled up until lunch. Agree on the menu in advance. Soups, leftover meats, mac and cheese are all fine.
We would prefer they eat fresh eggs and toast with a side of ham but it is more important they eat. Send snacks with your child every day. They usually do not eat or drink enough during the first days of school so sending snacks is important.
4) Design a ‘wake up agreement’ with each child for how he/she will get up.
We carry our youngest to the kitchen and put her in a chair to help her wake up, as she simply cannot get out of bed.
Our oldest uses her alarm clock with music and hits snooze a few times. It bugs her sister but it works. The wake-up agreements are based on each child’s specific suggestion but once they are made, then each child has to stick to it.
5) Lock in the fall schedule.
We all hear about how our kids are over-scheduled with activities. My kids have lots of activities because these are essentially modern playdates. They participate in activities with their friends. I think busy kids tend to manage their time better! Yes, I said it – go ahead and schedule your kids.
I will say, however, I think it is over the top to tutor for advantage versus tutoring due to necessity so keep things in perspective while you are scheduling.
Get them to own the fall schedule. Having them own their activities is key. Otherwise I am begging them to go to Karate or piano or swimming. These lessons and activities cost money and I do not want to be the police officer that forces them to show up. We let them choose between options we outline but it is their routine. Many parents are too invested in their kids’ routines and the kids are not invested enough.
6) Follow the rules, parents!
We are all busy and none of us likes sitting in traffic and waiting in drop-off lines but what really makes people upset are cutters, line cheaters and speeders.
Drive the route in advance to understand the pick up and drop off dynamics; don’t make the first day of school your dry run. And do not go with your child to the class unless this is the school’s process. This creates drama and traffic jams, and, the teacher does not really want to converse with anxious parents at this point. She/he wants to meet your child and other children so they can begin their learning journey together. Teachers really want to meet the parents at the Orientation Night, which all parents should attend.
Positive attitudes go a long way. I can’t control my children’s moods but I can influence them, and I work very hard to control my attitude. This is my biggest challenge because the kids are very difficult the first few days. Most kids don’t embrace change right away and this is a big change from the summer. This is their biggest transition each year and they can act moody and/or quirky.
I admit I am delighted the kids are going back to school.
I Kings 6
A brief look into this chapter reveals some of the splendor for which Solomon’s temple was known. We know that he hired skilled craftsmen from around the world to do specialized jobs – he had the stones dressed offsite and assembled in relative silence; everything was done ‘better’ and ‘grander’ than ever before.
One of the interesting things about Solomon’s project was the amount of gold overlay he used. According to the story, gold was so plentiful in Jerusalem that silver was treated like gravel. But let us not simply assume that he used a lot of gold just because he had it. This was no gaudy, tasteless look he was aiming for.
The article below, taken from ScienceDaily two weeks ago, relates how some of Solomon’s craftsmanship may have not only excelled others in the world, but hos it could have excelled our own ability to create beautiful gold overlays even with today’s technology.
Ancient Technology for Metal Coatings 2,000 Years Ago Can’t Be Matched Even Today
July 24, 2013 — Artists and craftsmen more than 2,000 years ago developed thin-film coating technology unrivaled even by today’s standards for producing DVDs, solar cells, electronic devices and other products. Understanding these sophisticated metal-plating techniques from ancient times, described in the ACS journal Accounts of Chemical Research, could help preserve priceless artistic and other treasures from the past.
Gabriel Maria Ingo and colleagues…discovered that gold- and silversmiths 2,000 years ago developed a variety of techniques, including using mercury like a glue to apply thin films of metals to statues and other objects. Sometimes, the technology was used to apply real gold and silver. It also was used fraudulently, to make cheap metal statues that look like solid gold or silver. The scientists say that their findings confirm “the high level of competence reached by the artists and craftsmen of these ancient periods who produced objects of an artistic quality that could not be bettered in ancient times and has not yet been reached in modern ones.”
For more from this article and others like it, visit http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130724124919.htm
Building from last year, VBS saw an average of 26 more attendees than last year, with many decisions being made for Christ. Elementary-aged children enjoyed stories, lessons and rally times at the church facility; the teenagers had a wonderful week of activities as well, culminating in DestinationUnknown at the Stewart’s house on Thursday evening!
All of this was based around the object of sharing the gospel and basic Bible truths with the young people.
To view, order, or print pictures of the week’s events, visit FBC Plattsmouth’s shutterfly page here.
Special thank you’s go out to the more than 40 workers who were involved with the program each night; to those who prepared refreshments and played other support roles; and to those who helped the two buses to come in with 39 riders each on Tuesday night alone!
Praise the Lord for a task well done!
VBS 2013 gallery