Metairie Baptist Missive — Sept 17, 2014

Half way through the week already! Time keeps marching forward. This became even more apparent to me when I walked into a store the other day and saw Christmas trees!   We have had a great year at Metairie Baptist, but let’s determine that we will use this last third of the church year for His honor and finish the year strong! In the words of Paul, let’s “press on.” (Phil. 3:14)

A special thanks to all who participated in Helping Hands last Saturday. Lots of great work was done around the church – and all was definitely needed to be done! They cleaned the kitchen, worked on the fence rows, cleaned out some areas, and performed a number of other helpful tasks. I greatly rejoice in your willingness to help with the necessary tasks around the church. Thank you.

I rejoiced in the opportunity to baptize Hunter Winn on Sunday morning. He is a great young man, and we are thankful for his willingness to follow after Christ. Join me in praying for Hunter. Pray also for Nolan Lovering, who joined the church by watchcare on Sunday morning. Nolan is currently a student at the seminary and has made a decision to invest his life in Metairie Baptist while he is here. Of course, Nolan has been active at the church already (but now it is official!).

Sunday night was a meaningful time as we had the chance to participate in the ordination of Josh Grimsley and Joe Ensminger. These are two men on whom the church affirmed the call of God into the deacon ministry. I am thankful for these two, as well as all of those who are currently serving as deacons. Thanks as well to those ladies who helped with the reception afterwards.

Our Bible Studies continue tonight – join us at 6:10 p.m. for a time of fellowship and encouragement. All three studies (the ladies, the men, and the discipleship group for men and women) will be taking place tonight and you are invited to join in these. We are encouraging you to participate in these because we believe that God uses these times to help us in our walk with Him. If you have been attending, keep on coming! If you have not been able to attend a group yet, make tonight your first night!

Make plans to join us this Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall for our monthly Business Meeting/Church Council. You will hear reports about the finances of the church as well as some decisions which are being made. In addition, you will be given the opportunity to be a part of discussing the plans for the future. Of particular note, we will be discussing the plans for the upcoming Fall Festival which is right around the corner! This is your opportunity as a church member to be involved in the planning and processes of the church.

We voted at the last business meeting to begin the process of replacing the roof on the education buildings. In case you haven’t noticed, the work has begun. Please pardon the inconveniences for this period. We are excited to have this project under way so that we can begin the next step of repairing the inside of the facility.

I am thankful for you. Please remember to be in prayer for God’s continued working at Metairie Baptist, and make yourself available to His use both in the ministry of the church and in your daily life. I am praying for you!

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — Sept. 10, 2014

Metairie Baptist Missive

September 10, 2014

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

               Good morning!  I find myself getting up each morning with a sense of anticipation that God is going to do a great work.  I do so with a understanding that He has not finished with my life, with His church in Metairie, and with His world.  As a result of that anticipation, I keep my eyes open and my ears listening because I don’t want to miss a single working of God this day.  My prayer is that you live each day with that same anticipation.  I am reminded of Paul’s words to the Philippians:  “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:6)

               Our hearts were saddened to hear of the sudden death of Dave Galubenski.  He was a man that God used in so many ways to encourage others through his happy demeanor and his Christlike attitude of service to others.  The memorial service was this morning in Denton, TX.  We sent flowers as a reminder to the family of our love and prayers.  Because Dave knew Christ personally, we have great confidence that he is with His Father in heaven.

               Tonight is another opportunity to study together in small groups –“The Walk:  Encouraging you on your walk with Christ.” I am so excited about what God is doing through these studies.  If you were not able to make it last week, you are encourage to come and to join one of the groups tonight.  Several opportunities are provided: 

               *A women’s study led by Terry Dickson.

               *A men’s study led by Patrick Weaver.

               *A discipleship study for men and women led by myself.

In addition, remember that our preschoolers, children, and youth will be participating in studies during this time.  Signs will be posted so you will be able to find your place tonight – make plans to come and join us at 6:10 p.m. tonight!

               Saturday is a special Helping Hands day at MBC!  All are invited to meet at the church at 8:00 a.m. on this Saturday, Sept 13.  The purpose of the day will be to give the kitchen a thorough cleaning since it has been used by so many various groups (and is in need of a thorough cleaning).  Also, if you are a senior adult and you have need around your house for which you would like some assistance, please feel free to contact the office and leave a message (504-835-2611).  Helping Hands will be working to help with these needs this Saturday as well.

               This Sunday (Sept. 14) is going to be another great day at Metairie Baptist. 

               *Join us for Sunday School at 9:15 a.m.  We had 170 in Sunday School last week – make plans to join us this week.  God uses this time of Bible study and fellowship to encourage us in our lives.

               *Join us for Worship at 10:30 a.m.  Hunter Winn will be baptized during the service as a testimony of his commitment to follow after Christ.  I will continue the sermon series “Majoring on the Minors” by preaching from Zechariah.

               *Join us for Deacon Ordination at 5:00 p.m.  We recently elected two men as deacons who will be ordained into the deacon ministry:  Joe Ensminger and Josh Grimsley.  Come and affirm the work of God in the lives of these men.  A reception will follow.

               *If you are an ordained man, please join us at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday in the conference room for the Deacon Ordination Council. 

               As mentioned briefly above, this past Sunday was a great Sunday.  We kicked off the new Sunday School year with a high attendance.  Thank you to our wonderful teachers who give sacrificially of themselves each week as they study and prepare for the teaching opportunity.  Also, thanks to all who made the breakfast a special time last Sunday.  If you received an “apple” with a student’s name on it, don’t forget to pray for them!

               I look forward to seeing you tonight!  God has graciously given us the fellowship at Metairie Baptist to encourage us – don’t miss out on the encouragement and the work of God in your life!

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — September 3, 2014

 

Metairie Baptist Missive

September 3, 2014

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

               Good Wednesday Morning!  I trust you are doing well.  This is both a busy and an exciting week at Metairie Baptist.  My prayers have been consistent for you – that you would grow in a deeper knowledge of God and His desire for your life.  The opportunities that are taking place at MBC this week will encourage you to know Him more.

I have greatly enjoyed the past weeks of being able to lead Bible Study on Wednesday night.  As we have studied, we have discovered not only more about the life of Jesus, but we have been confronted with what it means to be a disciple, a daily follower of Christ.  We will return to Mark at some point in the future to complete the study, but tonight begins a new series!

We are referring to our Bible Study opportunities as “The Walk” because each study is designed to encourage you in your daily walk with Christ.  Three opportunities are being offered on Wednesday night beginning tonight:

*Patrick Weaver is going to be leading a study for men entitled “Autopsy of a Deceased Church.”  The purpose of the study is designed to encourage you to be an active part of the ministry and life of the church.  You’ll be challenged to find your place in the church and to be reminded that the church exists to bring God the glory He deserves.

*Terry Dickson will be leading a women’s Bible study entitled “Seed.”  The ladies will be encouraged to look towards the Word of God which is implanted within one to give hope and help for daily living.  Come and be encouraged to be the person God has designed you to be.

*I will be facilitating a study entitled “The Disciple’s Cross.”  We will be studying what it means to be in a relationship with Christ – to abide in Christ daily.  This study will provide the challenge of a daily experience with Christ as we work through our study workbook together.  Both men and women are invited.

I am confident that God is going to use these Bible Study experiences.  As a result, I want to encourage you to make plans not only to attend tonight, but to be a part of these in the upcoming weeks.

In addition to the studies tonight, we are offering additional opportunities for study and encouragement.  Specifically, I wanted to remind the ladies of our church that a new Ladies’ Bible Study is being held on Sunday night at 5:00 p.m. in the Parlor.  Lisa Drumm will be facilitating this study which is designed to encourage and to challenge.  This study will begin this Sunday, Sept. 7.

The “New Day” is this Sunday, Sept. 7.  We have called it a “new day” because it is the start of the new church year.  We will begin with a Fellowship Breakfast at 8:30 until 9:15 a.m.  During this time, you will be given the opportunity to enjoy the fellowship and to make a commitment to pray for our students throughout the upcoming year.  Sunday School begins at 9:15 a.m.  Our children and youth will be promoting to their new classes this week.  If you haven’t been a part of this Bible Study/fellowship opportunity, I encourage you to begin this week.  If you have come regularly, keep the commitment!

Don’t forget the special presentation of “3 Women, 3 Paths, One True God” which will take place in the sanctuary at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday night, Sept. 6.

I look forward to seeing you tonight.  Be certain of my prayers for you.  If I can pray specifically with you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive — August 27, 2014

Metairie Baptist Missive

August 27, 2014

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

               What an exciting time we are experiencing at Metairie Baptist!  God continues to move as lives are being changed and as He continues to give us direction for the days ahead.  We are rejoicing in Hunter’s decision to tell everyone of his personal decision to follow Christ – and of his desire to follow Jesus’ example of being baptized.   I encourage each of you from the opening of this note to continue to seek after God’s direction for your individual life – and then be willing to take the step of faith that He is calling you to make.     

 

               On Sunday, we had a wonderful time of welcoming new university and seminary students to Metairie Baptist.  We also enjoyed the fellowship with our returning students.  Many of the ministries at Metairie Baptist are supported and encouraged by the service of these students.  Thank you to all who helped make the luncheon for these a great success.  A special thanks to Lori, Tarcela, Kathryn, and Pat for their going the extra mile to coordinate, prepare, and carry out the entire event.  Also, thank you to all who brought dishes for the meal; your incredible acts of generosity and Christlikeness were greatly appreciated – and delicious!

              

               We are nearing the completion of our church year and the beginning of a new church year (which starts Sept 1).  As we anticipate the days ahead, remember:

              

               *This Sunday, August 31, we will be observing the Lord’s Supper during the morning worship service.

 

               *Sunday, Sept. 7, is “A New Day.”  We will be celebrating the beginning of our church year by starting with a fellowship breakfast prior to Sunday School (8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.).  You are all invited to join us for this time of fellowship.  Please join us as well for Sunday School which begins at 9:15 a.m.  If you haven’t been involved in Sunday School previously, we are more than happy to help you find a place to study God’s word and to enjoy the fellowship.  Greeters will be in the foyer to help you find the right place, and the staff is always willing to help as well.  For the preschoolers, children, and youth, this day is Promotion Sunday as well.

 

               *During the past years, we have made a commitment to pray for our children, youth, and university/seminary students as they start a new year.  Also, we have made a commitment to pray for our teachers.  We want to continue that commitment throughout this year.  During the breakfast on September 7, you will have a chance to make a commitment to pray for one of our students or teachers throughout the year.  By the way – if you are a student of any level or teacher who has not submitted your name to the church office, please do so as soon as possible so that we can add you to our list of people for whom we will be praying.

              

               *”The Walk:  Encouraging you on your walk with Christ” is our new Bible study/small group emphases.  Included in this emphases will be the beginning of new studies for the Fall.  On September 3 (Wednesday at 6:10 p.m.), you can participate in one of the following:  A Men’s Study led by Patrick Weaver, A Women’s Study led by Terry Dickson, or A Discipleship Study (for men and women) led by me.  On Sunday evening, Sept. 7, a new study designed specifically for women will be led by Lisa Drumm in the Parlor at 5:00 p.m.  Additional studies will be offered throughout the week.  More details about each of these studies will be found in the Sunday Bulletin or you can contact the church office for more details.

              

               Make plans to join us tonight for our Bible study.  We are working our way through the Gospel of Mark as we examine the life and teachings of Jesus and seek to apply those truths to our lives.  We start at 6:10 p.m. in the fellowship hall.

              

               I have been praying for you and ask that you join me in continuing to pray for God’s working in Metairie Baptist and through Metairie Baptist.  Each Sunday we have been able to know of God doing tremendous things.  Come this Sunday with a prayerful anticipation of His working in your life and in the lives of all those present.

 

               May God bless you this week with a greater understanding of His love and grace for you!

 

On the journey,
Thomas

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