Metairie Baptist Missive — August 20, 2014

Metairie Baptist Missive

August 20, 2014

“So the world will know, the saved will grow, and the church will go.”

 

     Good morning! We have had a great week at Metairie Baptist Church. I have enjoyed preaching through the Minor Prophets – “Majoring on the Minors.” My prayer is that our encounter with these prophets has been both convicting and encouraging. The truths found within them are timeless and profitable for our lives today. Make plans to join us this Sunday as we continue our study “Majoring on the Minors” and look specifically at the prophecy of Habakkuk. You’ll be encouraged as you hear God’s word to you through looking into His Word.

     Sunday night was busy – our business meeting and church council meeting was full of conversation and decisions. First, we elected three new deacons for the upcoming year: Bob Frechette, Joe Ensminger, and Josh Grimsley. We also approved the new slate for committees and for church leadership/ministry leadership/Bible study leadership in the upcoming year as we received the reports from the Committee on Committees and the Nominating Committee. After several months of discussion, we voted to proceed forward with the needed roof repair for the education buildings. In addition, we looked at a proposed calendar for the entire church year ahead. Thank you to the committees who have worked diligently and for all who were able to attend as we considered the business of the church.

     During the upcoming weeks, we have some exciting Sunday events planned! Keep these in mind as you make your plans to be a part of God’s workings in and through Metairie Baptist:

*August 24 – we will be hosting a luncheon for new university and seminary students in our city. The purpose is to introduce our church to these who are new in the city. More so, it is to encourage them as they make a transition into our city to find a church where God is leading them for encouragement and ministry while they are here. HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP: 1. Would you be willing to help with the luncheon by providing your favorite side dish or desert? The main entrée is being provided but we need additional dishes. You can leave your dish in the Kitchen on Sunday morning. This will allow those who are overseeing the luncheon to share it with those students in attendance. Your dish will be washed and available for you to pick up the next time you return to church! 2. Also, would you be willing to pray for these students in transition?

*August 31 – We will be remembering all that God has done for us as we participate in the Lord’s Supper. This worship time is always a special time in the life of God’s children so make plans to join us.

*Sept 7 – A New Day! We have several activities planned for this Sunday as we begin our new church year. Join us from 8:30 to 9:15 for a quick breakfast as we enjoy the family fellowship prior to our Bible Study time. During this breakfast, we will be reminded to pray for our children/youth in school, as well as those who teach. During the morning worship service we will pray specifically for those who are in school or teaching. We will also be praying for our Sunday School teachers as they begin their new year of teaching.

     By the way, Sunday School is a great way to be encouraged, to grow in Christlikeness, and to connect with the Metairie Baptist family. If you haven’t made Sunday School attendance a priority, we have a place for you. Each Sunday, greeters are in the Orion Foyer to help you find your way. You’ll be blessed by this commitment.

     In September, we will be launching our new series of Bible Studies. This year we are referring to the entire opportunity of Bible Study as “The Walk.” We believe that God can use these studies to encourage you on your walk with Christ. Multiple opportunities will be offered on Wednesday night: A women’s study led by Terry Dickson, a men’s study led by Patrick Weaver, and a discipleship study (for both men and women) led by me. In addition, our preschool, children, and youth will be involved in Bible study. On Sunday night, a new study will be launched for the women which will be led by Lisa Drumm. Various other opportunities are scattered throughout the week. In the upcoming days, we are going to provide detailed information regarding these, but I wanted you to begin to pray about God’s leading in your life towards participation.

     God has given me the great privilege of being your pastor for over nine years now (almost 11 including the interim time). I pray for you and pray that God would continue to do a great work in you and through you. I do so with the confidence expressed by Paul: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will continue it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6)  I hope to see you tonight as we continue our study through the Gospel of Mark.

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — August 6, 2014

               Have you ever had one of those mornings when the day just gets away from you? It hasn’t been a bad day; it has just been a busy day. That has been my morning. I find myself asking, “Where did it go?” For many, that is the same description for their lives. Day after day passes by, followed by week after week. Before one realizes, life has slipped by! I am reminded that God teaches us plainly in Scripture to “number our days.” (Psalm 90:12). Let’s make certain we use each day as an opportunity to live for Christ and to help others know Him! Number your days!

               I look forward to Bible Study tonight at 6:10 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We continue our study through the Gospel of Mark to better understand his description of the life of Christ and to discover truths that we can apply to our lives. Bring your Bibles and join us!

               Join me in praying for many of our organizational committees that are busily at work. The Nominating Committee and the Committee on Committee are both diligently seeking to get leadership in place for the upcoming year. In addition, the Deacon Selection Committee will be meeting this week to finalize the deacon nominations for the upcoming year. Remember that we will be voting on these matters at the upcoming August Business Meeting/Church Council which will be held next Sunday, August 17, at 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

               Thank you for praying for our staff. During the past couple of weeks, we have been praying and planning for the upcoming year. It has been a great time of dreaming and preparing; we will be presenting many of these plans at the church council meeting. I am excited particularly about some discipleship opportunities that will be starting in September.

               In case you haven’t heard, an update for the recent church directory is about to take place. If you weren’t able to have your picture made previously or have joined the church since the last directory pictures were taken, you can schedule an appointment. LifeTouch will be taking the pictures during the second weekend of September. You can contact Mitch at the church office for more information.

               Aren’t you excited about all that God is doing at Metairie Baptist? I rejoice daily at His working and am grateful that He is working in the lives of many people. The movement of the Spirit in and through the services each week has been obvious and impacting. Join me in praying for God’s continued work in all of our lives. Pray specifically for Sunday – and come expecting God’s work in your life and in the lives of others.

On the journey, 
Thomas

 

Metairie Baptist Missive — July 16, 2014

               Sunday was a great day! I rejoiced throughout the day of all that God is doing. The baptisms of Samantha and Lilly were reminders of God’s working in the lives of individuals to bring them to Himself. The recognition during the service of Mark Desoto’s call to the ministry was also a reminder of God’s working in the lives of members at MBC to follow after Him into ministry. As we concluded the service, God brought Darrin to be a part of our church family as he moved his letter. These were just some of the ways that I saw God working on Sunday – and these were the reasons I found myself thankfully rejoicing in God’s work at Metairie Baptist.

 

              Please join me in praying for our youth and chaperones. They made it to Centrifuge/Xfuge camp on Monday. God has been doing a great work among them as they have enjoyed time together and learned more about Him. Pray for all the youth – that God would use this time to encourage them and that they would become more aware of God’s perfect plan for their lives. Also, pray for our chaperones/leaders – and thank God for their willingness to invest in the lives of our youth: Daniel and Sarah Guagliardo, Josh and Noelle Grimsley, and Michael Dalton.

 

               We continue our study through Mark tonight – join us at 6:10 in the Fellowship Hall. Each time I read through the Gospel of Mark, I learn more about what it means to follow after Christ, and I find myself both challenged and encouraged. The purpose of our study is to do that very thing: challenge and encourage each person on that walk. Bring your Bibles and make plans to attend.

 

               A special thank you to our Women’s Ministry leaders for a great Saturday event: Burlap Beauties. The women not only enjoyed a great time of crafts, but they also enjoyed an encouraging time of fellowship with one another.

 

               During the upcoming Sunday morning worship service, our Deacons will be leading in worship. They will be singing during the worship time. We have a great group of men with great hearts – and I am looking forward to hearing them on Sunday.  I will also continue the sermon series:  Majoring on the Minors as we think about the message of the prophet Amos.

 

               Don’t forget that the Business Meeting/Church Council will be held this Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. As always, you are invited and encouraged to attend. We will be considering some important matters related to the life of the church and our church building.

 

               I am thankful for you and look forward to seeing you tonight.

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — July 9, 2014

               I am continuing to rejoice in all that God is doing at Metairie Baptist. Last week was a great time of celebrating as we witnessed the baptism of Steve. He made a decision to follow Christ and wanted to make that statement public by baptism. Please join me in praying for Steve as he begins his walk with Christ – and pray that we as a church will be the support and encouragement he needs.   At the conclusion of the morning service, we also rejoiced as Lily made her decision to follow after Christ and walk with Him throughout her life. Her decision came in part as a result of the investment of men and women into her life during VBS. We are also thankful for her godly family that has nurtured her in Christlikeness for years. I know that you too you will join me in praying for Lily as she begins her walk with Christ.

              

               This Sunday, we are going to be able to witness the baptism of Samantha. Samantha started visiting Metairie Baptist a few months ago and since that time God has been working in her heart. A couple of weeks ago, she came forward and decided to “choose life” as she trusted in what Jesus had done for her. What a great testimony of God’s working.

 

               A few quick reminders for the week ahead:

              

               *. Join us tonight for Bible Study in the Fellowship Hall at 6:10 p.m. We began our study through the Gospel of Mark last week and will continue tonight. If you were unable to make it last week, you will have no problem picking up where we are at tonight in our study. Bring your Bibles and come prepared to discover more about God’s word and how it applies to your life.

 

               *. Ladies – don’t forget your special event this weekend: Burlap Beauties! Our ladies are always having a great time as they enjoy Christian fellowship with one another – and this time they will be making crafts as well. The even takes place in the Fellowship Hall on this Saturday, beginning at 2:00 p.m.

 

               *. The Deacons will be meeting Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. The ladies will be gathering for prayer during this same time in the parlor.

              

               *Our Youth and Chaperones will be leaving on Monday morning to go to Centrifuge/Xfuge. Please be in prayer now for God’s working in their lives. At the conclusion of the service on Sunday, we will be praying specifically for them as a church.

 

               We have many great ministries taking place at Metairie Baptist. One of the key ways that every person can be involved is through prayer. Would you make prayer a priority in your life? Would you join me in praying for God’s continued working through the church and in the ministries of the church? We have a great group of people who are helping to keep our priorities focused on prayer – our prayer committee. Would you also ask that God would continue to provide wisdom for them as they lead us in this most important ministry – the ministry of prayer? You are going to be hearing soon of some exciting opportunities for the new year.

 

               May God bless you today with a deeper understanding of His grace and His love for you. Regardless of what you face today, remember that He is faithful!

 

On the journey,
Thomas

 

The Metairie Baptist Missive — July 2, 2014

     This week has been quite an adjustment! I have this sense that I need to be heading to church every night for VBS! Thanks again to all for the tremendous work you put into last week at Vacation Bible School. We had a great time of sharing about who Jesus is and His plan for all. Your prayers were important, and God responded. Continue to pray for those who were present last week.

     Sunday was a great day. Personally, I always enjoy the opportunity to remember what God has done for us as we participate in the Lord’s Supper; it was truly a time of worship. I am also rejoicing in Samantha Graci’s decision to “choose life” on Sunday. What a wonderful day of worship!

     We also had a good business meeting/church council. Thank you to all who made attendance a priority. Some important decisions were made of which you will hear in the upcoming days, such as the decision to put up for sell the Orion rental property. In the days ahead, we are preparing to make a decision about the roof repair for the education building – so please make this a matter of prayer and be prepared to participate in the upcoming discussions.

     Make plans to join us tonight for the Fellowship Supper and for Bible Study. Over the next few weeks, I will be leading a study on selected passages in the Gospel of Mark. Bring your Bibles and join us in the Fellowship Hall – the study begins at 6:10 p.m. By the way, reservations for the Fellowship Meal are not required during the summer – so join us!

     This Sunday, I will begin a series on the Minor Prophets – starting with Hosea. Though they are called “minor” due to their length, the messages they contain are “major” messages of truth for us. If you are unable to attend each week, you can hear the messages online at http://www.metairiebc.org.

     Ladies – don’t forget to sign up for your upcoming event which will take place on July 12. More information is available on the Women’s Ministry bulletin board. This will be a great time of fellowship and crafts!

     Remember – if you have an emergency and need to get in touch with the staff or with someone at the church after hours, please contact the Samaritan Ministry who will relay those messages to the appropriate people. You can contact Andrea Neesley at 504-737-1410 or 504-458-5405; she is available to help 24 hours a day!

     We will be gathering on this Saturday to remember the life of Mr. Bob Bowser. He was a godly man with an incredible smile and a constant voice of encouragement. Visitation with the family will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. The Memorial Service will begin at 11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. The family has asked for memorial donations to be made to Metairie Baptist in lieu of flowers. Also, Mr. Bob’s favorite color was red – and the family has asked that you would wear red in honor of Mr. Bob if you are able. Join me as we continue to pray for Mrs. Lillian and the entire family.

     I am thankful for what God is doing in and through Metairie Baptist Church. Let’s keep praying and keep placing ourselves in a place where God can use us in the days ahead for His honor.

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — June 18, 2014

               Good morning! I trust that you are doing well and that you have taken the opportunity to spend some time this morning enjoying your relationship with God — reading God’s word and praying. If you haven’t stopped yet, now is a good time to pause for a few moments. I have discovered that it makes a tremendous difference in my life as I make a priority of time with God each day. Also, I know you have discovered this same truth and encourage you to be faithful!

TONIGHT

               Please join us tonight for Bible Study and prayer at 6:10. It is my privilege to be able to lead the Bible study tonight. I will begin a study of the Gospel of Mark as we consider what it means to follow Christ daily. Mark is the only gospel that was written specifically for the purpose of discipleship and encouragement to those who were following Christ. The original readers were living in a very difficult time in Rome. Mark, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote to help them discover strength in Jesus Christ for the journey. After the Bible study tonight, we will spend some time praying for our friends and family – and we will pray specifically for our Vacation Bible School ministry.

Vacation Bible School

               As a child, I remember hearing my parents plan for vacation. When they first started talking about it, the event seemed so far away. Then before we knew it, the time had arrived. Much planning has been taking place for VBS. Now, it is here! Vacation Bible School at Metairie Baptist will begin on Sunday night at 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. VBS continues throughout the week and will conclude on Friday night with our Parents’ Night.

               *Leaders and workers of VBS are encouraged to be at the final organizational meeting on Saturday morning (June 21) at 10:00 a.m. in the large children’s room.

               *Invite your neighbors and friends – this is a great time to reach out to those around you and let them know of the wonderful time that one can have at VBS.

               *Come and help! Many of you have volunteered already and we are thankful for your willingness. If you have not volunteered already, please make plans to come and help, even if you cannot help all week. You can contact Leah Weaver or Kathryn Burns for more information (or call the church office to leave a message – 504-835-2611).

               *Remember that we are seeking items as listed in Sunday’s bulletin. These items will help defray the cost of the week.We are collecting the following supplies for VBS. Collection bins will be located in the Orion Foyer.

-            Dry Drink mixes (Kool Aid & Lemonade)

-            Bags of Plain Potato Chips

-            Paper Towel and Toilet Paper Tubes

-            Kid Friendly Desserts (Brownies, Cookies, Rice Krispy Treats, etc.)

-            Egg Cartons

-            Mini Notebooks for each child

-            Scrap Yarn

 

           *As part of this year’s VBS Missions rotation, we are allowing our kids to be missionaries right where they are! Our kids will be putting together compassion kits during one night’s mission rotation. Could you help us in bringing compassion kit items? We need:

-            Canned Fruit

-            Granola Bars

-            Bottled Water

-            Nuts

-            Packaged Peanut Butter and Crackers

-            Peppermints

-            Travel Size Toiletries

-            White Inexpensive Bath Cloths

 

               *Make plans to join us on Friday night for Parents’ Night. We want to celebrate the children’s accomplishments, but we also want to let all present know of the great work that God is doing at MBC.

               *Pray – most importantly! Pray for God’s work throughout the week both in the lives of the children and in the lives of the workers.

Business Meeting

               We have delayed our Business Meeting due to VBS. The Church Council/Business Meeting will take place on June 29 at 5:00 p.m.

 

               Jana and I enjoyed our time away though we are extremely glad to be back home. The meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention reminded me of days past. It was a time that lacked controversy. Instead, a real unity permeated the meeting as we heard of the great things God is doing through the ministries of the SBC. Fred Luter led the convention as president with a real sense of the need for revival. As a result, the sermons were challenging, the reports were inspiring, and the fellowship was encouraging. Though all expected the convention to be a very small convention due to the location being in Baltimore, a larger than expected number registered for the convention (over 5,000) – and we were honored to represent you at the convention.

               I am looking forward to the days ahead. Though they will be busy, they hold so many great opportunities to know God better and to help others know Him.

Blessings,
Thomas

The Missive — June 4, 2014

         One major focus is found in the life of Metairie Baptist at the present time: Vacation Bible School! We are now within a few weeks of the beginning of this most important ministry. Our VBS will begin on Sunday, June 22. The parent night will be held at the end of that week on Friday, June 27. You can help in a number ways:

        

         *Prioritize prayer for this week. Begin now to pray for those who will be working in VBS throughout the week that they would experience God’s grace, strength, and wisdom. Pray for the children who will be coming throughout the week that they would be open to hearing the truths taught. Pray for parents upon whom the students depend for transportation – and pray that the parents will hear the truths presented to their children as their children tell them with excitement of what they learned at VBS.

        

         *Pray for the parents’ night on Friday, June 27. This is a great time to introduce our church to families and to share with them the hope that we have found in Christ. We would also request that you all join us for this special night so that the parents can interact with our church family.

        

         *Volunteer to help, if you haven’t already. You can contact the church office at 504-835-2611 to volunteer – or you can contact Leah Weaver or Kathryn Burns for more information. You are needed to help in a variety of ways. Even if you are unable to attend the entire week, you can still volunteer to help on specific days.

        

         *Resources are going to be needed for crafts and for other activities. A list of items will be made available this week which will give you further ideas of what items we will need.

 

         I would like to request that you join me in praying for God’s continued guidance and encouragement through our Homeless Ministry. This has been an incredible ministry that was begun by some of the members of MBC who go each Saturday to provide a meal and to share about the hope that is found in Christ.   If you are interested in helping, please contact the church office. Especially during these summer months, a need for additional workers has arisen. In addition, if you feel led and would like to make a financial contribution to this very important ministry, you can do so by giving above your tithes and offerings to the designed item “homeless ministry.” Thanks to their efficiency and servant spirits, they are able to provide meals for about 80 people each week at the cost of about $100 per week.

 

         As you pray, would you join me in praying for a sweet member of our church who is looking for a new job. She is trained in the area of care giving; the person for whom she was caring has moved out of the city. If you know of someone who is looking for someone to help, you can either contact me or Sharon Kirk at 504-835-2611.

 

         We are always attempting to make certain that we have the most current information related to those who are experiencing illnesses, hospitalized, or in need of prayers. If you know of anyone who is in need of prayer or you would like to add someone to the prayer list, please take the initiative to contact the church office. We need your help as we attempt to stay current on these matters.

 

         We have many church family members who are walking through some challenging times.   Please continue to pray for Bob and Lillian Bowser. I had the opportunity to visit with Bob yesterday morning. We had a good visit during which I spoke briefly with him and prayed with him. I also spoke with Lillian yesterday and would ask that you continue to pray for God’s grace and strength to be evident in her life. A number of others continue to be in need of prayer – so please join us in praying. You can sign up for the prayer list by contacting the church office and requesting to receive the prayer list email.

 

         Tonight we will have a great time of fellowship and encouragement as we hear about the ministry of the Gideons during our time at 6:10 p.m.

 

Blessings to you,
Thomas