I hope you and your family had a wonderful 4th of July! This holiday is always a great time to spend time with family and friends and reflect on our wonderful country. I hope you took the time to thank God for the many men and women who have fought (and are fighting today) to give us the freedoms we enjoy. We are blessed to live in such an incredible nation!
In the last several weeks, in preparation for Sunday's message, I read Tim Keller's book Walking with God through Pain and Suffering. I highly recommend this book as a resource for those going through pain and those seeking to comfort someone going through a difficult season in life. I want to share with you a quote that stuck out while reading this book. "Suffering is unbearable if you aren't certain that God is for you and with you."
A little less than a year ago, Ray Pickering, approached me after a Sunday service and said, "I need to find a way to use my gifts and talents to impact eternity." We dialogued back and forth for the next several weeks trying to determine where his passions and gifts matched the needs of our community. We landed on an opportunity to tutor less fortunate kids. After a meeting with Beth Hales, then principal at Austinville Elementary School, a partnership was formed between FBC and the school to begin a tutoring program on Thursday afternoons.
Are you like me and shocked by what is going on in Nashville? Have you seen pictures and videos of how crazy that city has become because of their hockey team? Yes, you read that right, their hockey team. Be honest with me - if I had asked you 7 months ago to name the NHL team in Nashville, would you have been able to say the Grizzles? (If you said yes, that proves you don't know the hockey team because actually, they are the Predators!)
I hope you had a blessed Memorial Day! Things are gearing up at FBC as we prepare for an exciting summer filled with VBS, mission trips, School of Fine Arts Camps, senior adult Bible studies, and many other ministry opportunities. If you don't have a summer calendar, make sure to pick one up at the coffee bar area this week. There is also a PDF of the calendar available here.
This Sunday, we have the opportunity to celebrate moms. Where would we be without the countless sacrifices that mothers make each and every day? My mother-in-law told Lindsey and me "Being a mom is the only job you ever have where you don't receive a performance review until 18 years later." There's a lot of truth to that, isn't there?!
We all have different ways of clearing our minds. Some people want to go play golf, others say retail therapy helps, and still some clear their minds by binge watching Netflix at home! I have found that exercising is the best way for me to start the day. I get up early, go to the gym, clean up there, and drive straight to church. This morning, as I was getting ready to come into work, something strange happened.
What a wonderful day of worship we had on Easter Sunday! It was exciting to be at First Baptist, to see so many friendly faces, and hear our voices raised together to worship our risen Savior! There was a sense of anticipation and energy in both the sanctuary and the ROC during our worship hour. It was also encouraging to see so many in our small groups as this was the first time in a long time that we had Sunday School on Easter. I want to thank our teachers, especially, for all that they do week in and week out to faithfully teach God's Word to our church family. We are blessed with a wonderful group of gifted teachers.