In the words of the John Denver classic, “Hey, it’s good to be back home again!” I missed you and greatly appreciated your prayers while I was away. Each year at this time, I go to Jacksonville, FL where I teach a course at the First Baptist Church Pastor’s Conference. This conference is always a time of refreshing as it proved to be this year. In addition to hearing from some great preachers and having the opportunity to worship at the conference, I was able to spend time praying, planning, and dreaming about the days ahead at MBC. Despite all the good that happened at the conference, I am glad to be home. I have been praying for you and looking forward to being back together with you.
Don’t forget about our small group studies tonight. I am so thankful for what God is doing in and through these studies. God is working in the lives of many to help us become more like Him and to encourage us in our everyday walk with Him. Join us tonight at 6:10 p.m. for the group meetings. If you are uncertain which group to attend, we will be glad to help you find just the right group.
We are starting a new ministry at MBC called “Loaves and Fishes.” The name, of course, is taken from the day Jesus fed the 5,000 men (plus their wives and children) with a little boy’s lunch. Occasionally, we have members of MBC who have need of food and basic care items. The purpose of this ministry is to provide assistance to members of the church who have these temporary needs. You should be aware that this ministry is distinct from the Benevolence Ministry and the Homeless Ministry. This unique ministry will give us the resources to help those in the church when a crisis occurs.
In order to provide a pantry full of needed items for this ministry, we are encouraging you throughout the month of February to pick up an extra item while you are shopping and donate it to the church. Specifically for the month of February, we are looking for the following items:
*Canned Fruit (peaches, pineapple, pears, etc.)
*Canned soup (Any kind is fine)
*Canned pasta sauce
*Flour (All Purpose)
*Canned chicken or fish (tuna, salmon)
*Hand soap (bar soap or liquid soap).
A collection point is in the Orion Foyer. Each month you will be provided with an additional list of items that you can bring. Please know that we understand that not everyone is in a position to help. For those who are able, we wanted to provide a list for the month so that if you find an item on sale or if you would like to purchase an extra item while shopping, you could know of the need. Please join me in praying for this very important ministry. By the way, at the Evergreens’ Meeting on Tuesday, they decided to be a part of this ministry by organizing and stocking the pantry with the items you bring! I am so thankful for their willingness to be a part of this ministry.
If you know of someone who has a need, you can contact one of the deacons who will be ready to help. You can always contact one of the staff as well, and we can get the process moving forward. The desire is to demonstrate Christlike compassion to those at MBC.
Since Katrina, we have hosted numerous groups at our facilities who have helped our city and our church recover. No other church has contributed as greatly to the effort as Gladeville Baptist Church from Tennessee has. They provided many hours of service and ministry, as well as the shower trailer which enabled people to stay at our building. On Monday, they removed the shower trailer in order to utilize it in their next phase of ministry. As you enter the education building from the Codifer parking lot, you’ll notice the space is now empty! We are grateful for Gladeville’s ministry and express gratitude for their being used by God to encourage us in many ways. Please join me in continuing to pray for their church and the ministries.
I look forward to seeing you tonight – and being able to worship with you on Sunday. We will be considering more of “Life Choices” on Sunday morning. Join me in praying for God’s continued work at MBC as we are on the journey!
On the journey,