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

Metairie Missive — March 28, 2014

 

               Welcome to the middle of the week! This day is always a good day to stop and reflect upon the days that have passed as we anticipate the days ahead. God spoke through Haggai and told the people to “Consider your ways.” (Hag 1:5) Each day is a gift and an opportunity – so, let’s make certain we are grasping each day as a gift from God!

 

               Sunday, June 1, is going to be a great day – and you will not want to miss it! During the morning worship service, we will be celebrating the life change that God brings about as we observe the baptism of our new sister in Christ. Also, during the morning worship service, we will be led in worship by Chi Rho, which is the youth choir from First Baptist Church of Cookeville, TN.

 

               On Sunday afternoon, you are invited to come and participate in the community blitz. We are attempting to invite approximately 2,000 of our neighbors to Vacation Bible School. The time has changed for the blitz – and we are now meeting for the blitz on Sunday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Joining us will be the youth from Cookeville to support us as we let our community know of the exciting time to be had at VBS.

 

               SPEAKING OF VBS! A meeting for all those who have signed up to help or are interested in helping will be held on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We are thankful for all who are a part of the ministry of VBS. This meeting will be a time to have your questions answered and to receive additional information.

 

               Make plans to join us tonight for our final gathering as small groups for this season. We will be meeting again for small groups in the Fall, but throughout the summer we will be meeting as a large group in the Fellowship Hall.

 

               Thank you to all who were able to be a part of the discussion at Church Council/Business Meeting on Sunday night. God continues to bless his church in Metairie and for that we are thankful. We do have some major decisions ahead – and have made some major decisions as well. On Sunday night, we heard of the strong giving to the church budget this year – and I want you to know that I am thankful for your faithfulness. We also made a decision as a church to establish a line of credit in order to make preparations for the upcoming roof repair/replacement (this decision about the roof of the main building is still pending and will be decided in the upcoming weeks by the church). Ray Pace was elected as a new member of the Trustees, and John Hutto was elected as the Outreach Director for the church.

 

               In addition, the Deacons recommended at the Business Meeting, and the church voted to affirm, that Mark DeSoto be licensed to the Gospel Ministry. Mark has been an active member of our church and serves in many ways.   He has experienced a call to ministry and licensing is the first step in affirming the call of God upon his life. Recently Metairie Baptist voted to recommend Mark to the seminary where he is currently seeking a degree and continuing his preparation for ministry. This is an exciting time in the life of Mark and in the life of our church.

 

               I would ask you to continue to pray for many of our members who are walking through some very challenging times. We continue to pray for the Beaman family as God continues to provide comfort for them during this time of mourning.  Remember to pray for Bob and Lillian Bowser, as well as many of our church family members.

 

               God continues to work in and through Metairie Baptist. Be certain to be a part of all that He is doing – and join us in the ministry. Also, continue to pray for God’s working in the church and in our individual lives. See you tonight.

On the journey,

Thomas

 

MBC Missive – May 21, 2014

 

Good morning! I pray that you have had time with God this morning and that you have been reminded of His faithfulness. God always uses this passage to encourage me: “This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’” (Lam 3:21-24)

Thank you for the birthday gift on Sunday! Jana and I have both celebrated birthdays this week and we will enjoy a dinner on the town.

I hope you are making plans to join us tonight as we continue our small group studies. We only have two weeks left of the small group studies and then we will be coming together for the summer as a larger group. Studying together and the fellowship on Wednesday night are key encouragers that God uses to help us on our walk with Him so don’t miss these opportunities.

Church Council/Business Meeting will be this Sunday night in the Fellowship Hall at 5:00 p.m. We will be discussing some important matters as we plan for the future. In addition, we will be hearing a report from the Building and Grounds Committee.

Immediately after the Business Meeting, the youth will be hosting a “Servant Auction.” You can hire a youth or multiple youths to help you with tasks around your house. This will be a fun way to help our youth as they continue to earn money towards their camp this summer. They will attending Centrifuge in Pensacola; it will be an exciting mixture of fun, fellowship, and growth – and you can help support them!

The Helping Hands Day that was scheduled for this week has been postponed until the first Saturday in June (June 7). You can contact Linda Bordelon or the church office for more information.

We have many people in our church family who are walking through some very challenging times. I would encourage you to continue to lift them up in prayer. Many times we struggle with how to help others. There are many things we can do, but nothing is more valuable than praying for them.

As you pray, continue to remember the Beaman family. The memorial service for Beth will be this Saturday. Visitation is from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of Metairie Baptist. The service will be held immediately after the visitation at 1:00 p.m. We will be remembering and celebrating the life that Beth lived and seeking God’s encouragement, especially for the family. Your continued prayers are encouraged.

Be certain of my continued prayers for you.

 

On the journey,
Thomas