Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year

Good morning! Seems like forever since I have been at church. I miss my church kids!! Remember we do not meet this Wednesday, Jan. 1. I look forward to seeing all my kids in Sunday school next Sunday & we will be back to our old schedule of children’s church right after the singing is over. Thank you Lauren Ayres for teaching for me yesterday!
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a safe and blessed New Year. We had a great Christmas. I guess like many of you, I look at January as a new fresh start. I challenged those of you not in Sunday school to get into a Sunday school class back in September. I said give it 3 weeks of getting up early, not missing and it would be a habit. I know one family that took that challenge and I think if you asked them they would say they are glad they started Sunday school.  If you want to be involved in church, Sunday school is where to start. SS allows you a time to build relationships with others in the church. You learn their needs & situations, they learn yours. Your relationship grows as you learn about Jesus together. You can pray for each other. Even in a child’s SS class, the same is true. Children get to know each other better. The teacher gets to know the child better & pray for specific things that a child might need or be concern or afraid of. Sunday school is where the basic Bible stories are taught & where the foundation is laid. So I am going to send out the challenge again. Start the New Year in Sunday school. You will not regret the decision.
I am also going to challenge you to invite people to church. I was blessed to watch the fruits of a child being invited to VBS this summer. One of our church kids invited a friend to VBS. The girls moved up to youth this school yr. so the original church girl & her friend went to Winter Extreme. The “friends” parents went to Gburg to so they could be in the same town while their daughter was on the trip. So while we were at Ober the parents came up there too. Joey was there and spent almost the entire time while we were at Ober talking to the parents. Not preaching, just talking and getting to know the family. Yall know I am the quiet one so I chimed in just a little bit. When Joey walked off to go do something, the man asked me who he was & how we were related. I explained he was our churches preacher & my brother. He said, “Wow, he just seemed like a regular, old, laid back guy.” I said he is & that is how he preaches. He was very inquisitive about church & so was the wife. I later got to sit at lunch w/ the mans’ daughter and ask her if they go to church somewhere regularly. She said no. The only time she goes to church is at ours w her friend or with a grandmother. Arlo said the parents were so nice & offered to help w/ the next thing the youth does.  Now I know none of this is the person actually walking into our church & turning their life over to Jesus but…. I do know that family left knowing the preacher at WBBC and they had a good, growing relationship w/ Arlo and that is a huge start in getting someone to come to visit your church. So what started out as a 5th grade girl inviting a friend to VBS ended up w/ the friend & her sister participating in youth events at Winter Extreme and the girl’s parents developing relationships w our church family.  I am not a gambler but I am going to bet that family ends up at WBBC! We have to step out, open our mouths and invite people to church.  In most cases they will not just drive down the road and say,”Hey, let’s visit that church.” In most cases they have to know someone at the church before they are going to walk thru the doors. I know it is hard to just cold invite someone to church… believe me I know because being shy it is hard for me. I would struggle just inviting a stranger but if I can find something in common with a person, make some small talk & get to know them better then it is easier for me to invite someone. So I am challenging you to get out & invite those you already have relationships with.  You might be the person God uses to lead them to Him.
Most of you know Winter Extreme was this past Fri, Sat. & Sun. I believe Arlo hauled 56 people up there plus there were several other church families up there to hang out with the students during the free time.  I know the stress involved in planning church trips and you worry the whole time you are gone if you are going to lose a child or if something is going to happen while you are on the trip, if you are over budget or you worry for your own children who you left at home. Arlo and Jeannie did a great job on this trip. My boys talked nonstop last night about the fun, about the music and about the conference speakers. Thank you to the chaperones who went & to the church family who supports our youth. Without your tithes, fundraiser support & prayers, trips for the youth and children’s groups would not be possible. I am sure the youth will have a Sunday soon to share their stories. Thank you again Arlo & Jeannie! My boys have been blessed to have you as their youth leaders!
I am almost done! I wanted to just ask yall to pray for mom as she has her heart cath Jan. 10 at St.Vincents East. The Gburg trip was a huge struggle for her. Her breathing is so bad. She only left the house to go eat & that was with us letting her out at the front door & her walking w/ her oxygen attached. She is miserable. Keep the Mayos in your prayers to as they depart for Africa in about 9 days. Pray for travel safety and that God places Christians in their path.  I hope you have a very blessed New Years and I look forward to a great New Year full of blessings, new faces, hearts saved, baptisms & new members at Whorton Bend Baptist Church!
Let's meet right after church Sunday about the Disney World trip... be thingkning of fundraisers!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Good morning! I am up early, probably like most of you, with a list of things to do & places to be. It was so nice to come into church last night, relax and enjoy the show. I told Jami when we got home last night I thought the choir sounded better than ever.(I think I say that every time we have something special but I mean it) Their voices just made the sweetest sounds. Then there was Macy! I was so glad to hear her sing yesterday morning & last night. My momma has been asking all season, “When is that little blonde headed girl going to sing?” My momma was happy yesterday! Macy did such a great job singing Happy Birthday Jesus in the morning service. Even Jack yelled out from the back when she finished,”great job girl!” She did a great job last night singing Mary Did You Know. Mary Did You Know is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I guess as a mother that song hits home because many times I have thought how emotional it must have been during those days for Mary. It is emotional, stressful and scary just having a baby but can you imagine the excitement and the fear Mary experienced. She had to be scared not knowing what the world would hold for the ‘Savior”. I can only imagine the fear she experienced knowing King Herrod wanted her baby boy dead and then having to go on the run with a baby. I can’t imagine the pain, heartache and disbelief she experienced as she watched Jesus be beaten and crucified. God knew he was picking a special woman to be Jesus’s mother. I thought Leslie did a great job singing to baby Jesus. As I watched Macy & Leslie all I could think of is this is what Christmas is about. Coming together & praising Jesus. I would rather be in church with my family listening to a wonderful choir & hearing the Christmas story than unwrapping gifts any day. Don’t get me wrong, I love gifts & I will not turn one down but they so pale in comparison to the gift I have already been given! Jesus is amazing & I am so thankful & blessed He lives in my heart & in the heart of my husband & children. I pray you have received the gift of Jesus! Wayne Fotenberry… you did a great job pulling last night together. It has been a blessing to get to know you over the last few years and we are very blessed to have you step in for Randy.  The Lord’s Supper was great too. It is always special, but I could hear Jami quietly telling Jack what each thing was and why we do this and that. Jami must have asked Jack a question and I could hear him say Jesus. There is just something so special hearing a child say Jesus. My heart was so full! It was a perfect night!
I wanted to make sure everyone knew that we do not have Wednesday night services for Dec. 25 & Jan. 1. Wednesday night children’s church will resume Jan. 8 at 6 pm. I will not be at church Dec. 29 but Lauren Ayres will be teaching my Sunday school class. There will be no children’s church. That will resume Jan. 5. Please be in prayer for the youth & chaperones as they travel this week. They leave out Friday morning & will come home Sunday night. Be in prayer for any heart that might be lost. We also have a lot of church folks sick. Please be in prayer for them. Be in prayer for those who ring the Salvation Army bell today. We want the love of Jesus to shine thru us and people really see something different when they look at us! I also wanted to thank who ever got the youth mission center service project together. My boys came home with great stories. Judson said he walked into a room nervous because he was supposed to serve drinks to the “less fortunate” and he was scared because they looked rough & some looked mean. I know God took control of that situation & gave him the courage to do what he was there for & he said when he asked the people if they would like a drink that the faces changed & the people were so nice & humble. I am so thankful my boys got to experience helping others. Thank you to Arlo for doing all the butts & ribs. You work hard for our students and I am so thankful for your dedication and commitment!
As a final thought, I am so blessed to call you all my church family. Many of you have become close friends. Each of you are special to me. I love my church kids & their families and I am so blessed to know each of you. I look forward to a new year, getting to know some of you more and watching to see how God moves in your family’s lives. I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week Before Christmas Message

Good morning! Let me start out by apologizing for not blogging last week. It was a crazy week. I was so proud of the job out angels did performing Hark the Herald Angel. I know they made their families proud. I didn’t get to thank those who helped me with the play last week so I am going to do that now. Ashley Fortenberry did a great job directing & teaching the kids the music. She is so talented. My aunt Debbie said she got a kick out of watching Ashley move those hands & arms directing. We need to get her up to sing in the adult choir! She has a great voice! When we discussed costumes I said I would like some sashes. Catherine McBurnett & Candace Harwood shocked me with the most beautiful sashes. They were handmade & perfect!! They made the costume. Thank you to Bruce & Wendy Benefield for making our painting our sign & Tom Coley for building it. Thank you to Tyla, Courtney & Teresa for whatever I needed. They helped watch kids, change costumes, build a manger & serve supper. Thank you to Arlo for recording the program and providing us with copies. If you still need one there are a few on the table in the hall. (WE NEED TO DISCUSS YOU HAVING ME ON IN THE BEGINNING…THE KIDS MADE FUN OF MY HAND MOVEMENTS & CONSTANT FEET SHUFFLING…NEXT TIME LEAVE ME OFF PLEASE!)Thank you to those who supplied snacks for practice, brought in decorations & those who handled getting the desserts set up. I am so thankful to God for each individual who took part in helping making “Hark” a successful night. I pray that someone who saw it got a little bit of Jesus that night & the seed has begun to grow!
I forgot to mention the Santa Breakfast when I did announcements yesterday. Thank you to Catherine & Candace for the decorating! They did a fabulous job! Santa did a great job too. He is such a special man & has a huge heart for children! Thank you to the cooks… Bruce Free, Wayne Fortenberry & Wayne Patterson. They were up early & they worked hard! Thank you to Josh, Glenda, Lindsey, Teresa, Debbie & our youth for helping too! For a rainy cold morning, we had a great turn out. Some people did not show up but we had 80+ there with many visitors. It was a great morning.
The children will have a Christmas party this Wed. night 6-7 in the gym. I’ll pick up the cupcakes & I’ll message everyone else & see if they can bring something. It will be a fun night; we’ll eat, play a few reindeer games & sing a few “fun carols”.
During Sunday school, this coming Sunday we will learn the story of the “Birth of Jesus.” This is a very special lesson so please have your children in SS. There will be no children’s church that Sunday, Dec. 22 or the Sunday after, Dec. 29.

We have one more night to sing. This coming Sunday night, December 22, we will have a special evening service at 6:00. The adult choir will sing, Joey will read the Christmas story, we will partake in the Lord’s Supper & the children will sing one song. We practiced Away in a Manger yesterday during children’s church. Again, this is another great night to invite visitors to church.
I think this is the last thing. Dec. 23, we are down to ring the Salvation Army bell at the Gadsden Mall fountain. This has turned into a wonderful tradition for the WBBC children & youth. Our hours are 10-8 and right now 10, 11 & 4 are taken. Please let me know what hour your family would like to sign up for. Most of the time the kids just jingle the bucket & parents watch from a bench. I have so many wonderful memories of children caroling while they collected money, I have seen a child show up dressed as Mickey Mouse, I have seen families share hours and bond together & I have had so many strangers walk up and complement our children for serving. Please don’t miss out on this…. You will be so blessed by participating. Let me know what hour you can fill!
I hope as you run from party to party this week, hit the stores for last minute gifts or for those who are just starting to shop that you’ll take time to remember that Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas. If you haven’t incorporated Jesus into your Christmas festivities at home, step out this year and start adding Him. Tell your kids this year on Christmas Eve we are going to sit around the tree and read the story of Jesus’s birth, ask the kids why Jesus is important to them, explain that the gifts are nice but the greatest gift was born to a virgin in a manger with animals, or be the one that speaks up before the Christmas meal and offers to bless the food. I think you’ll find as you add more Jesus year after year that the other things will fade in importance. I hope this is the most wonderful Christmas for the WBBC families!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Info

I am in Jack's preschool car line trying to type while I have few minutes. This will prob have all kind of errors but I wanted to get the next weeks plan out to y'all. I am pretty sure Leslie's ssclass will he in my room Sunday due to her dad's sickness. During preaching we will stay until choir finishes like we normly do. The children have been asked to sing 1 song Dec 22 at the evening candle light service, so we need to practice 1 song Sunday during Children's Church. I have no idea what song yet   . I had told the kids we would have a Christmas party this Sunday. I am moving that to next Wed night dec 18, 6-7. I'll send out a text & maybe some parents can send a treat. So I guess that a it. Let me know if your child will not be at church dec 22(evening) to sing. We will have no children's church Dec 22 morning.  Forgot also Salvation Army bell ringing dec 23 Gadsden Mall. Let me know to your family would like to sign up for 1 - hour shift. In need someone to teach my SS class Dec 29. They'll be no children's church that say either. Thanks!!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Super Quick Note

This is going tone super quick & if the week calms down I'll post on the play. Mom is in the hospital & my internet had been out so not a great Monday. Just wanted you to know that Katie will be teaching Wednesday night. Remember Santa Breakfast Saturday @ 9. If you haven't gotten tickets... wed is the last day. Y'all have a great week!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hark, The Hearld Angel Week is Here!!!!!

This is it. The week of the Christmas musical is finally here. I plan on making this a short blog post with the info you need to know for the rest of the week before I do that I have one message and I hope you will use it to encourage your children. Timothy 4:12 tells us to not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but to set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.  To me this means that just because you are young doesn’t mean you can’t do God’s work or make a difference in someone eternal life.  Our children have so much faith and have hearts full of so much love not just for God but for His people too. I challenge you this week, parents, as I challenge myself with my own children, to encourage the children. Tell them how loved they are, tell them how much God loves them, tell the children they can make a difference in this world by letting people see God in them, tell them you are proud of their efforts on with the musical, tell them how proud you are that they are willing to participate. . Let them know that age doesn’t matter when you are working for God. I have told the children since we started “Hark” and in the years past, people will come to church to see children sing and perform when they will not come to church for anything else. Let’s use this opportunity to make sure our kids know just the act of singing about God and putting on a performance might be the only time someone hears about Jesus. They might be the reason that someone’s life is changed! How awesome is that? I know some of you might doubt me but I have seen it happen. I have seen people never come to church except when the kids perform & I have seen families changed just because a child was in church and they encouraged their parents to come too. It just takes one time for someone to hear God’s message and the seed is planted. So this week pray for your children & encourage them.
I woke up last night at 1:30 to Jack’s screams. I guess he was having at nightmare. After he fell back to sleep all I could think about was the musical. I found myself singing the songs and my mind running over and over about how to decorate the stage. I still don’t know when or what I am going to do but as soon as I do I’ll send out a message to see if I can get some help. Thank you to Wendy & Bruce for painting one of our props. It turned out great! Catherine McBurnett did a great job on Gabriel’s scroll too. Be in prayer for her as she works on sashes this week. I know she has had the flu, Josh has the flu plus they had the wreck so I know she is feeling some stress, or at least I would be!  Thank you to Tyla & Courtney for assembling the manger for me, or almost assembling ! haha. If you could see all the pieces & the instructions & how it fell back apart you all would laugh too! Thank you to Ashley Fortenberry who has so much musical talent! Practice would be a mess without her, especially since I can’t sing nor read music!  On a plus side, I am learning how to work the sound board (I think that is the term for that thing) this year! I hope everyone has their white robes by now, if you do not please let me know ASAP!!  I know the robes are see thru so please have your child wear something under them. I would prefer something white, maybe a white t-shirt or turtleneck & either white bottoms or very light colored shorts. We want to maintain the look of WHITE!!!! On their feet just wear white tall socks. no shoes. White tights might work well for the girls.  REMEMBER Looking for a SOLID WHITE appearance. The children need to be at church no later than 5:30, DRESSED IN THEIR COSTUME Sunday night Dec. 8.  We have practice Wed. night from 6-7 in the sanctuary. Friday night is dress rehearsal. The children need to be at church at 6:00. I had said we will be finished at 8 but I am changing that to 8:30. They will be fed a pizza supper.  Many kids have missed the extra practices which we have done in the sanctuary so it is very important they are there Wed. & Friday night because they are not going to know where to enter from, where to stand, when to move to the nativity set/costume change or how & when to use the mics.  If your child has a speaking part please make sure they get it memorized by Wed. Kids are always so nervous when they get on the stage, having the confidence that they know their lines & where to be when will really help them feel better about the performance. Please continue to have your child practice the songs. Thank you for your dedication to this musical! I do know making extra practices has not been easy but I appreciate yall supporting me in this! I want to encourage you, just as I encouraged the children last night to get out and invite people.  I had mentioned in several posts that I would like to offer refreshments when we finished with the musical. I would love for the children to have time to mingle with visitors & the children socialize with those who came out to support them. So let’s plan on desserts & drinks in the gym. Nothing fancy, just a table with desserts & drinks & people can help themselves. I can get every parent to bring a dessert & a 2 L drink or a tea. Let me know if you can help & their might be some parents that do not have kids in the musical who would bring too. I think the musical will last about 30-40 minutes & then refreshments so we should be out of church no later than 7:30. I can’t think of anything else about that night.
Breakfast with Santa is Dec. 14, 9am in the gym. This year I am using tickets so I can better plan for the purchase of food. The tickets are free but you must have a ticket to enter. Please get with me to get your tickets. Breakfast will probably be pancakes, bacon, sausage and fruit. Santa will be available for pictures. Feel free to bring a camera. We will have someone available to take pics if you are not able too. I am striving for a more organized breakfast than last yrs. so this year as you request tickets I am assigning a number to them & that number will be called for you to go have your picture taken with Santa. There will also be a few doors prizes. I know as usual I am all over the place with this stuff but my mind is running in circles a little more than normal. I wonder if Lauren Ayres or Brandi Johnson has one of those essential oils that are supposed to help you focus... I don’t know the name of it but I need to rub it all over my head! Invite people to the Santa breakfast too. Get some extra tickets! I know I have left something out on the breakfast too!
I was so proud of our youth who gave up a HUGE Iron Bowl game to so work for Operation Christmas Child. I know the youth had a great time bonding & working on such an awesome mission! My boys said the boxes they worked on were going to Madagascar. Isn’t it just amazing to know our youth’s hands were on boxes going to Africa & to know that they touched something that a child will touch who might have never known about Jesus without the mission of ‘Operation Christmas Child”. Thank you to Arlo, Jennie, Teresa, the adults from Riverbend & the youth from WBBC & Riverbend for stepping out of what would be the “Southern Football Saturday Norm” and being the hands & feet of Jesus.
One last thought….As “Gabriel” said last night,” You might be the only Jesus someone sees!’  So I encourage you to get this week and make a difference!! Be the hands & feet of Jesus!