Metairie Baptist Missive for July 1, 2015

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

Can you believe that it is July already? With the dawn of July, we suddenly discover that half of 2015 is now over. We can’t go back and recover any of the past days but we can determine that we will capture each day ahead. Now is a good time for that mid-year check-up. How are you doing in your walk with Christ? Are you growing to be more like Him in your life/walk, thoughts, and actions? Are you consistently spending time with Him? Are you seeking to tell others about him through your conversations and passing out TrueLife cards? Are you being used by Him in the ministry of MBC? Are you intentionally helping someone grow in their walk with Christ by investing in someone’s life? Pray, give consideration of your life, and make those decisions today to utilize the days ahead for His glory! Paul reminds us, “As you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, so walk in Him . . . .” (Col. 3:6)

Sunday was a great day at Metairie Baptist. We are thankful for an effective and a meaningful time during Bible study/Sunday School. At MBC, we have some of the finest teachers who diligently study and consistently practice the Word of God. We are also thankful for a great time of worship and Bible study during the morning worship service. The presence and working of the Spirit was obvious. Thanks for your attentiveness and patience as we studied through the first verses of Hebrews 7 and explored the comparison of Jesus and Melchizedek. We are also thankful for John and Kathy Occhipinti who felt God calling them to move their membership to MBC and plant their lives here! In addition, we are thankful for a great Business Meeting/Church Council. I love how we can come together to talk through not only the business of the church but, even more so, the ministry of the church. The council time reminds me of the truth that the church really is made up of individuals, each of which is uniquely gifted with insights and gifts. We made some plans for the future and talked through many issues including:

*For the sake of ministry continuity, August 2 will be promotion Sunday this year. We are going to begin with a breakfast at 8:30-9:15 during which time we will begin praying for our students as they prepare to begin school.

*We rescheduled the Family Picnic for August 30 – to be held at the church. Included in this time will be an opportunity for our entire church to enjoy great fellowship and the children to enjoy water slide fun! The men of the church are going to participate in a cake baking contest!

*A Family Movie night is going to be held in the Fellowship Hall on July 17. More details will be coming but the purpose of this night is for ALL the family of MBC to join together for a great time of fellowship. This will be a wonderful time to invite family guests, especially those who came during VBS. The move is still to be determined but will be targeted toward our younger ones so all present can enjoy the night (even though targeted for the younger ones, it will also be a movie that all will enjoy).

*A mission project to encourage the teachers at a local school was discussed with plans to implement possibly in November – more details will be coming!

*In September, we will begin MasterLife small group studies for all adults on Wednesday night.

*Education and outreach ministry teams are being developed to strengthen these ministries at MBC.

*We are in need of support help for our preschool and children’s ministry. If you can help in Sunday School (either weekly or sporadically) or in Extended Teaching Care during the morning service, please contact the church office to leave a contact number and someone will return your call with more information.

*We are praying for someone to oversee the Samaritan Ministry. If you are interested in knowing more, please contact either Mitch or myself.

*Our children will be leaving for camp on July 20. Please join me in praying for them as they begin their preparations. Also, if you would like to sponsor a child for camp or help sponsor a child, please let Leah Weaver or myself know.

We discussed a great deal at the council meeting — if you missed it, make plans to join us next week to be a part of the discussion.  I left the meeting encouraged and challenged. I am encouraged by all that God is doing, especially as we considered the wonderful week of VBS. I am challenged as I look into the future and want to make certain we grasp every opportunity that God presents to us.

Youth Centrifuge Trip

Our youth will be leaving on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. to leave for Jackson, MS where they will be attending Centrifuge. Please join me in praying for our youth and the leaders. This is always an exciting time of great encouragement and fun. Pray that God would provide safety for travels and while they are there. In addition, pray that each person present would be aware of God’s working and that there would be a willingness to respond to His working. Continue to pray for Daniel as he leads the youth ministry at MBC!

Wednesday Night Bible Study Continues Tonight!

Join us tonight as we continue our study on the “Life of Paul.” Tonight we will begin looking at Acts 13 as the Holy Spirit calls out Barnabas and Paul to begin the first journey of spreading the word and establishing new churches. You’ll be encouraged in your walk so bring your Bibles and join us tonight in the sanctuary at 6:10 p.m.

Many will be traveling this weekend for the celebration of July 4th. Whether you travel or stay at home, let’s covenant to pray for each other that we would demonstrate a consistency in our walk with Christ throughout the weekend. For those of you in town, I look forward to seeing you at Metairie Baptist on Sunday.

On the journey,
Thomas
Thomas Strong III, Ph.D.
Senior Pastor
Metairie Baptist Church
401 Codifer Blvd.
Metairie, LA  70005
504-835-2611

thomas.strong@metairiebc.org

Metairie Baptist Missive for June 24, 2015

VBS WAS A GREAT SUCCESS!

What a great week! Vacation Bible School was a tremendous success and God definitely blessed the time/effort. We at Metairie Baptist owe a great deal of thanks to so many who helped make the week a wonderful time as the children “journeyed off the map” and learned to follow Jesus as their guide. If you were around the church last week, you heard lots of singing, laughing, and teaching. It was a great week. Though I hesitate to single any out for appreciation, let me try and express thanks to some:

*A special thanks to Leah Weaver and Kathryn Burns. They really pulled it all together as the co-directors of VBS. Over the past months, they have invested countless hours into the planning and throughout the week they dealt with numerous details – and the entire time they kept the VBS on track and effective!

*Thanks to all who volunteered! Without your help, VBS would never happen. Thank you for giving of your time and efforts – and for modeling Christlikeness in front of the children throughout the week.

*Thanks to parents and adults who brought the children. As I mentioned on Sunday, the children can’t get to church by themselves so we are thankful to parents and other adults who felt it was important enough for the children to be brought to MBC.

*Thanks to you who donated items/supplies – your donations helped make the week not only effective, but affordable. Your investment will reap greatly in the lives of the children in the days ahead.

*Thanks to all who prayed throughout the week. Ultimately, any good thing that happens will be the result of God’s work – and I thank you for interceding on behalf of the children and volunteers throughout the week.

Now I ask that you join me as we continue to pray that the seeds planted in Vacation Bible School within the hearts of the children will continue to grow. We rejoice over decisions that have been made and pray that God will give us wisdom as we seek to nurture those decisions.

Wednesday Night Bible Study: The Life of Paul

Make plans to join us in the sanctuary tonight at 6:10 p.m. as we continue our study on “The Life of Paul.” Over the past weeks, we have discovered some about Paul’s early life as well as his conversion on the Road to Damascus. Join us tonight as we continue thinking about those days immediately following his conversion which led up to his being commissioned by the Holy Spirit as a missionary! If you were not able to make it to the previous studies, join us tonight – you’ll be able to pick right up where we are as we continue forward. Remember as well that we have activities for all ages tonight – and don’t forget to come early to enjoy our fellowship supper.

Sunday, June 28th

I look forward to seeing you Sunday. Make plans to join us as we study the Word in both Sunday School/Bible Study and during the morning worship service. During the morning service, we will be looking at Hebrews 7: Melchizedek! Pray that God would use the service for His honor in our lives – and invite others to join you!

Church Council/Business Meeting

Sunday night at 5:00 p.m., we will meet as a church in the Fellowship Hall for our monthly Business Meeting/Church Council. Join us as we discuss our financial matters and other business issues (including the new AC unit needed for the education building). In addition, we will begin talking through some matters related to our new church year which will begin in August. Come hear about the possibility of a new mission project as well. In addition, this is the time for you to have the opportunity to raise questions or to offer suggestions. After all, you make up the church!

Memorial Service for Bill Goynes

We were saddened and surprised to hear of the passing of Bill Goynes. I know you join me in continuing to pray for Mary, Jason, Jordan, and Joel – as well as the extended family and friends impacted by Bill’s passing. The memorial service will be held at Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp Funeral Home on Friday, June 26, 2015. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., followed by a service at 12:00 p.m.

Reflections on the SBC Meeting in Columbus

Personally, I wanted to thank you for your prayers while I was away at the Southern Baptist Convention Meeting last week in Columbus, Ohio. Over the years, I have attended more conventions than I can remember. I do so usually as an employee of the SBC due to my serving at Leavell College/New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. But I am also glad to be able to do so as a representative of Metairie Baptist. This year the convention was extremely unusual. There were few matters of debate and controversy (which is a nice change). The emphasis was upon prayer for our work in the United States and in the world, as well as prayer for the renewal of God’s church. A different spirit was noted among those attending as there was an anticipation of God’s speaking throughout the preaching and the reports. One of my favorite moments of the convention was the time of prayer for spiritual renewal and kingdom effectiveness which took place on Tuesday night. Over 5,000 people gathered together that night at the convention hall for the purpose of prayer and praise – it was a tremendous night. In my opinion, if we keep this as our focus, we have better days ahead for the SBC. Like all denominations, the SBC is in a period of decline. Last year over 2,000 churches were started in the United States through the North American Mission Board. Despite these great gains, during that same year over 3,700 churches closed their doors. We live in a world that needs to know of the hope that is found in Christ – only through individuals who are committed to Christ and through churches who are committed to Kingdom effectiveness will be able to spread this great hope to those who need to know. You may be asking, “So what does this mean for MBC?” It simply means that we must continue the journey of growing individually in Christlikeness, of being a church that stays focused on matters of discipleship, and of determining that we will continue to reach out to those who need to know of Jesus through intentional ministry.

I am thankful for you and will continue to pray for you! If I can pray specifically for you, please let me know. You can reach me at thomas.strong@metairiebc.org or 504-835-2611.
On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive for May 27, 2015

Metairie Baptist Missive

May 27, 2015

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

Good rainy afternoon! I am thankful that regardless of how many times the weather may change in a day or week, God never changes. I love the Scripture that reminds us that “Jesus is the same, yesterday, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Today has been a busy day but I wanted to make certain you were aware of several matters before the day continues forward.

As of this moment, we are still waiting on the final arrangements for Susan Sanson’s memorial service. We can only imagine all the challenges involved with the logistics. I would encourage you to continue to pray for Billy and the family during these days. As soon as we hear something more certain, we will use all our means to make it known to you, including sending an email from the church to this address.

The Gathering At the Park Has Been Postponed

Due to the uncertainties of the happenings of this weekend, we have postponed the church wide picnic to be held at the park. Our plans are to reschedule this event to happen later in the summer.

Vacation Bible School is June 14-19

We have been planning and praying for Vacation Bible School – and now it is almost here. In just over two weeks, our church will be filled with children – all of whom have come to have a good time while hearing the great stories about Jesus! What can you do to help?

First and foremost – Pray! Pray for the children who come and for the parents/adults who bring them. Pray for Leah Weaver and Kathryn Burns as they lead us. Pray for the myriad of workers who are volunteering of their time to make this week a success. Pray for the Family Night that it would be a great time to introduce many to our church family. Pray for hearts to be changed!

Second – Make plans to come and help! You can make a difference by volunteering. You can volunteer to help one night or every night – see Leah or Kathryn for more details.

Third – Donate items! On the children’s ministry bulletin board (across from the glass window in the hall) are leaves. Each leaf contains an items that is needed during the week of VBS (items like KoolAid). Take a leaf and bring the items back to the church no later than June 9th. If you would like, you can also make a monetary donation to purchase these items by designating your gift to VBS.

Fourth – Attend the Family Night on June 19. We want to encourage all of the MBC church family to be at the VBS Family Night. You’ll enjoy seeing what the children have learned, but we would like for you to also enjoy the fellowship with those visiting.

Join Us This Sunday for a Great Day of Worship

This Sunday we will be observing the Lord’s Supper during the morning worship service. Come with hearts ready to spend some time reflecting upon all that God has done for us through Jesus Christ.

I have been praying for you. Don’t forget to join us tonight as Dr. Mike Edens continues his study – 6:10 p.m. tonight in the sanctuary.

Blessings,

Thomas

Thomas Strong III, Ph.D.

Senior Pastor

Metairie Baptist Church

401 Codifer Blvd.

Metairie, LA  70005

504-835-2611

thomas.strong@metairiebc.org

Metairie Baptist Missive for April 22, 2015

Metairie Baptist Missive

April 22, 2015

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

Good morning! What a great week we have ahead! I pray that you will find the opportunity to use each moment for God’s honor and glory. After all, He has done so much for us and demonstrated His grace towards us repeatedly that we should only seek to live for him consistently.

FAMILY MINISTRY DAY IS THIS SATURDAY!

One of the ways you can be involved in His work at Metairie Baptist is through participating in Family Ministry Day! Yes – it is here! Join us this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. as we begin a great morning of ministry activity as a church family. We need you – and you will not want to miss the chance to demonstrate love to others and to enjoy the great joy of fellowship as a church. Various opportunities are available in which you can participate. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the office for more information or contact Patrick Weaver or Dale Garvin.

One of the many activities during Family Ministry Day will be the compiling of Compassion Kits to help those you see on the streets who are in need.  You can help by bringing any of the following items that will be used to make compassion kits:

Bottled water
Small bags of chips (individual size)
Applesauce (individual size)
Fruit cups (individual size)
Beef jerky
Snack crackers such as peanut butter or cheese crackers
Raisins (individual boxes)
Individually wrapped hard candy
Wet wipes (small packages)

A place is available in the Orion Foyer for you to bring these if you would like to drop them off tonight on the way to Bible study/fellowship supper.

Remember – we begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. A light breakfast will be provided. At the conclusion of the morning, we will have a closing time together as we share a lunch and also share the opportunities that God gave us that morning.

Join us in praying and in participating. We are asking for all at MBC to be involved in this special day. If the weather becomes a problem, we will be notifying you of any changes.

Bible Study Tonight

Patrick Weaver will be leading our time of Bible study tonight, which begins at 6:10 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Come and hear what God has placed on his heart. Last week, God used Dale Garvin to speak to our hearts as I am confident He will do tonight through Patrick. Next week, Craig Warren will be leading.

Senior Adult Sunday is May 3

We are excited to be able to honor our Senior Adults on Sunday, May 3. Each year this Sunday is set aside by churches to remember the great contributions that Senior Adults provide to our churches through their lives. This year we will be honoring our Seniors by inviting them to a breakfast given in their honor. The breakfast is hosted by our Men’s and Women’s ministry specifically for our Senior Adults. During the morning service, we will have a special time of prayer honoring them as well.

Gathering at the Park!

Mark your calendars for a special Gathering on Sunday night, May 31, at Wally Pontiff Playground. We will meet for a church wide picnic on Sunday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. More details will be forthcoming but mark your calendars now!

The Search Is On!

Sharon Kirk has served our church faithfully over the past months as our secretary. She has recently resigned to accept another position. As a result, we are searching for a new secretary. If you know of someone who might be interested, you can contact Lori Brown, our Personnel Committee Chair, at lorilbrown@cox.net or you can see her at church (or leave a message for her by calling the church office). Also, if you are interested in helping in a temporary way to help fill the gap while a permanent person is found, please let Lori know. We can use your help even if it is only for a day!

Please take a moment to express your thanks to Sharon for her work at MBC. We will be praying for her as she continues on the journey!

In closing, let me express thanks for your prayers. I am mending well (and I certainly don’t like being sick!). Thanks to Mitch and Carol for taking care of all on Sunday and for their going the extra mile to cover all the details. I am so looking forward to Saturday – and can’t wait to see what God is going to do at Family Ministry Day through the family of Metairie Baptist Church.

On the journey,
Thomas

Thomas Strong III, Ph.D.

Senior Pastor

Metairie Baptist Church

401 Codifer Blvd.

Metairie, LA  70005

504-835-2611

thomas.strong@metairiebc.org

Metairie Baptist Missive for April 15, 2015

Metairie Baptist Missive

April 15, 2015

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

               We have had a small glimpse of what Noah must have felt like during those initial days of rain! I am thankful for the rain that refreshes the ground, but I am thankful also that the rain has slowed down (at least for the moment). My heart does grieve over the three who lost their lives in the city due to rain related accidents yesterday, and I know you join me in praying for their families.

Rain or not, we are having Bible Study tonight at 6:10 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. For the next three weeks, we are going to be led on Wednesday night by some of our seminary students. Dale Garvin will be leading the Bible Study tonight with Patrick Weaver and Craig Warren following the next two Wednesday nights. These three are men that God has used in various ways as a part of the ministry of MBC. Join us not only as we support these men, but join us as we come ready to hear from God as they lead us in our study. Bring your Bible tonight!

Three major events/happenings will occur at Metairie Baptist this weekend in addition to our time of worship and Bible study on Sunday morning which is always the major event of the weekend. First, On Saturday, join a group that will be gathering for Helping Hands, which will begin at 8:00 a.m. Be certain to wear your painting and planting clothes as the group will be doing some needed work around the church facilities. All are welcome to come and be a part of this event.

Second, the Youth Jambalaya Fundraiser will occur immediately following the morning service. If you have not purchased your tickets yet, you can still do so today at the church. The meals cost $8 each with the proceeds going to supporting the youth as they prepare for Centrifuge this summer. You can also contact Daniel for more information: Daniel.guagliardo@metairiebc.org or 504-835-2611.

Third, don’t forget that Business Meeting/Church Council is this Sunday at 5:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Among other matters, we will be discussing the adoption of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a church doctrinal statement. Copies are available in the Orion Foyer or online at sbc.net if you would like to look over the statement before Business Meeting.

FAMILY MINISTRY DAY IS A LITTLE OVER A WEEK AWAY! On April 25, we are inviting and encouraging all members of MBC to join us at 8:30 as we begin a morning of ministry to those in our area. You can participate in this day by helping with the free car wash for our neighbors, ministering to the homeless of our city, visiting our homebound, or compiling compassion kits. There is an opportunity for everyone – all ages! If you have not signed up yet, we encourage you to do so in order that we can prepare adequately. A small breakfast will be available for all those participating and a fellowship lunch afterwards.

As we prepare for Family Ministry Day, we also need your help by donating needed items for the Compassion Kits. If you aren’t familiar with these kits, they are Ziploc bags filled with food items that can be given to those who are hungry in our city as an opportunity to demonstrate love and kindness towards them. We need these items:

Bottled water
Small bags of chips (individual size)
Applesauce (individual size)
Fruit cups (individual size)
Beef jerky
Snack crackers such as peanut butter or cheese crackers
Raisins (individual boxes)
Individually wrapped hard candy
Wet wipes (small packages)

Thank you for your help in donating these. You can leave them in the Orion Foyer or church office. During Family Ministry Day, the kits will be assembled and made available to be given to those in need.

I am thankful for you and rejoice greatly in what God is doing in and through Metairie Baptist. Keep up the good progress as you allow Christ to shape you continually into His image.

On the journey,
Thomas
Thomas Strong III, Ph.D.

Senior Pastor

Metairie Baptist Church

401 Codifer Blvd.

Metairie, LA  70005

504-835-2611

thomas.strong@metairiebc.org

Metairie Baptist Missive for April 8, 2015

Metairie Baptist Missive

April 8, 2015

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

Good morning!  What a wonderful time of worship we had at Metairie Baptist Church on Easter Sunday as we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus!  The Lord is risen indeed!  My prayer is that we have all been reminded consistently throughout this week of the great gift of our salvation.  Throughout the week I have been singing songs like “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “Up From the Grave,” “In Christ Alone,” and “Victory in Jesus.”  Thank you to all who helped lead in worship on Sunday, especially our Youth (KG2 – Kristin, Song, and Lillian).  The day was meaningful!

Tonight is an important night as we begin the final phase of our planning for Family Ministry Day.  Please join us in the Fellowship Hall at 6:10 p.m. as we talk through the details of the upcoming day.  Dale Garvin and Patrick Weaver will be leading us as we plan, pray, and organize.  This is a great time to get the big picture of the day and then discover where God would have you involved.  I believe that tonight will help us as we move towards Family Ministry Day (April 25) to be better prepared for the day.  Join us tonight!

As a part of Family Ministry Day, a group will be making Compassion Kits.  These are packages of food items that can be given to those on the street who are in need and hungry.  You can help by bringing the items that will be utilized for these packages.  Please bring any of the following during the next two weeks and leave in the Orion Foyer boxes:

Bottled water
Small bags of chips (lunch size)
Applesauce (lunch size)
Fruit cups (lunch size)
Beef jerky
Snack crackers such as peanut butter or cheese crackers
Raisins (individual boxes)
Individually wrapped hard candy
Wet wipes (small packages)

Thank you for your help in collecting these.  During Family Ministry Day, the kits will be assembled and made available to be given to those in need.

At the March Business Meeting, the church decided to consider adopting the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as the doctrinal statement of the church.  Currently, the church does not have an adopted doctrinal statement.  We will begin the process of discussing this matter at the Business Meeting on Sunday, April 19, at 5:00.  You can pick up a copy of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 in the Orion Foyer if you would like to review it.  It is also available online at www.sbc.net.  Take the opportunity to read through this statement and come prepared to discuss this matter at the upcoming Business Meeting/Church Council.  Please be aware that since this is a matter of great importance (and a constitutional amendment) the discussion will take place over the next weeks ahead.

I wanted to share with you some great news from Carol Wilken.  Carol wrote:  “We are very excited to welcome Donna Settoon on board in our music ministry as MBC’s new pianist!  Donna comes to us with a great deal of experience in piano performance, piano instruction, and church accompanying with both piano and organ.  She came to know Christ at the young age of eight years old and desires to serve the Lord fully with her talents. You will enjoy getting to know Donna, and I hope you will give her a great big MBC welcome!”  I join Carol in welcoming Donna to our ministry team and am excited about the days ahead.  Join me in not only welcoming Donna but in praying for her and all involved in the worship ministry at Metairie Baptist.

Vacation Bible School will be happening at Metairie Baptist before we know it!  This Sunday (April 12) a meeting will be held at 4:00 p.m. for all interested in VBS.  Makes plans to join Leah Weaver and Kathryn Burns as they unveil the theme, the plans, and how you can be a part of this exciting time.

Remember these other upcoming happenings at MBC:

*  Deacons Meeting will be held this Sunday, April 12, at 5 p.m.

*  ”Brown Bags and Books” will meet in the Fellowship Hall on Tuesday, April 14 at 11:30 a.m.

*  Helping Hands will meet on Saturday, April 18 beginning at 9 a.m. to give some attention to areas around the church that need painting and cleaning.  All are invited to be a part of this!

*  A Youth Jambalaya Fundraiser for Centrifuge Sunday will be held on April 19 after the morning worship service. The deadline to buy tickets is Wednesday, April 15. Cost is $8.00 per dinner.

The next few weeks are going to be busy at Metairie Baptist.  Pray about what God would have you to be a part of – and make plans now.  I personally want to encourage you to be a part of the Family Ministry Day.  This has always been a special day as we come together as a church to do ministry to those around us.  It is a great time of encouragement and a great time of fellowship.   Remember – Saturday, April 25 is the day!

I look forward to seeing you tonight.  Be certain of my prayers for you.  I am excited about God’s working in our midst – don’t miss what He is trying to do within you and through you!  “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Rom 12:1-3)

On the journey,
Thomas

Metairie Baptist Missive for April 1, 2015

Metairie Baptist Missive

April 1, 2015

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

Each morning that we teach at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the faculty gathers for a time of prayer and devotion.  Dr. Jeff Griffin, a former member of Metairie Baptist who now lives on the Northshore, is leading the devotion this week.  He began by reminding us, “In history, this was a week that changed everything.”  What an incredible reminder that because of God’s great love for us everything changed the week He sent His Son to the cross for us!  My prayer has been that this would be a week in which we would know God better and understand His love for us more fully with the result that this would be a week that changed everything in our lives as well.

As you know, this is my favorite time of the year to preach.  I love preaching about God’s love for us, His act of grace of our behalf since we are undeserving, and His victory which is secured forever.  Please make plans to join us on Sunday as we celebrate this victory found in Christ.  This is a great week to invite your family and friends to join you for the time of worship on Sunday.  Also, take the opportunity this week to pass out TrueLife cards to invite.  I think one of the ways that we can express our gratitude to God for His gift of salvation is by allowing others to know of that salvation – invite others!  On Sunday morning, we are going to celebrate the risen Lord!

This past Sunday was a great day at Metairie Baptist.  We rejoiced over the baptism of David Normann.  I am rejoicing over his decision and I know you will join me in praying for his continued walk with Christ.  The time of worship was wonderful with a special thanks to the choir and Carol for their leadership.  Also, the observance of the Lord’s Supper gave us a great time to set our hearts on the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Thank you to the Deacons for their servant hearts as they organized and participated in the Lord’s Supper.  The day was a great day!

Thank you as well to all those who helped with the Easter Blitz.  A great group of willing individuals showed up to make certain those around us are invited to join us on Easter Sunday.  We accomplished a lot by putting invitations on the doors of many of our neighbors.  Several groups of invitations are left that need to be put out. If you are able to help, pick up a bag tonight or see Mitch.  We hope to have all the invitations distributed in time for individuals to make a decision about attending the service.  Included in the invitation packet is a TrueLife card which will also give the recipients an opportunity to view the videos and website.  Pray for these seeds that are being sown each day.

Tonight is the last night for our small group studies.  Thanks to all who have led these studies and for all who attended. I hear continually how God has used this time to encourage a deeper walk with Christ.  Plan are being made now for our next set of small group studies which will begin in August!  In the meantime, we have some exciting and special plans for our Wednesday night study time.

Next Wednesday night, April 8, we will meet as a group in the Fellowship Hall at our regular study time – 6:10 p.m.  The purpose of the time together is to prepare for the Family Ministry Day.  Dale Garvin and Patrick Weaver will be leading us so that we will all know of the plan for the day, how we can participate in the day, and how we can utilize the opportunities given to us as an encouragement to others.  Please make plans to join us on this most important night.

A special thank you to Ronnie and Margaret Harrison.  The flower beds in the front of the church look great thanks to their work.  Take time to look at the beautiful flowers and then take time to express your thanks to Ronnie and Margaret.

Let’s use the rest of this week as an opportunity to reflect upon God’s great gift of salvation.  This truly was a week in history that changed everything.  As mentioned on Sunday, I love the synopsis of the happenings of this week as found in the song:  “Living he loved me, dying he saved me, buried he carried my sins far away, rising he justified freely forever, one day he’s coming, o glorious day!”  Jesus who died for our sins, who was buried, and who was raised from the dead will one day be coming back!  In the meantime, be reminded that He is victoriously reigning!  He lives!  He lives!

On the journey,
Thomas

BTW, I realize that today is April Fool’s Day.  Think on this quote by Jim Elliot:  “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep for that which he cannot lose.”

thomas.strong@metairiebc.org