Easter Evening by Joe Lawson

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I wonder what the disciples were doing Easter evening. I’m pretty sure they weren’t going through their kid’s Easter candy picking out the good stuff. They definitely weren’t finishing off the ham left over from dinner. They most likely were in a daze wondering what would happen next. They very likely were reflecting on the appearance of Jesus that day. Perhaps a bit frightened that they were living in the presence of God. They were living an experience which left them speechless and breathless.
I had a similar experience today at church. Preaching an early service was good. The service was an Easter musical. The music was moving, the narration clear, at the invitation a little girl gave her heart to Jesus. Wow! I am humbled when I am in the presence of a person who comes into the kingdom. Thanks Lord for including me today.

Sacred Moments by Joe Lawson

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There are many sacred moments in our lives. These are often found during times when we sense the presence of God and are present as he works in the lives of people around us. Some distinct sacred moments have happened as people have prayed to come to Christ. I was present with a couple of my children as they prayed to receive Christ. The other children told me their story. I witnessed a person I shared Christ with pray and ask Jesus into his heart. Two distinct sacred moments occurred as I sat with my parents as they went from this world to their heavenly home. April 5, 1994 Hazel Lawson died. I held her hand, my sisters held her hand, my dad held her hand. She was surrounded by other loved ones. It was a silent moment as she took her last earthy breath. Yet in the silence we sensed the presence of God. That night it snowed and my California nieces saw and played in the snow the next morning. That afternoon it was sunny and 70. Welcome to Illinois girls. The most distinctive sacred moment came when learning of Debbie’s death in 2004. God gives us sacred moments to announce His daily presence to us.
A very vivid sacred moment occurred as I shared Christ in the home of a man named Glenn. I had performed the wedding ceremony of Glenn and Shelia a few weeks before. During our time of talking about the wedding he indicated he didn’t have anything against God. He hadn’t professed faith in Christ, wasn’t very fond of church and some Christians which didn’t act Christ like. I liked Glenn, his open honesty, his dry sense of humor, and his ability to cut to the heart of what he saw in life. A few months later I went back and visited with Glenn and Shelia. I didn’t invite him to church. I continued to visit and shared Christ with him. He had questions. We talked over the answers. A few visits later Glenn prayed to receive Christ. The simple sincere heartfelt prayer was humbling. We talked about baptism and attending church. He seemed a bit reluctant. He called me the following Sunday afternoon to invite me to his Baptism the next Sunday. In two weeks he was a baptized believer. He then attended church fairly regular. Occasionally we would talk about something he read in the Bible.
A few more weeks passed and he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He told me I know where I am going when I leave this world. Then he asked “How does that work?” We read in scripture about the mystery of being absent from the body and present with the Lord. He came home from the hospital with a few weeks maybe a couple of months to live. I stopped by his home to visit the afternoon he arrived home. As I entered his room he said hello, I am going. Then he went to Jesus. I was in the presence of God in a very sacred moment.
I often reflect on my Glenn experience from first contact to his going home to heaven and am reminded of this scripture: 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. (HCSB)
I must daily remind myself to not delay sharing the Lord. In fact at times I remember the times I didn’t share more than the ones I did.

Camp Dates for 2014

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Camp Dates for 2014 have been set!

Older Boys (ages 13-18): July 7—11
Older Girls (ages 13-18): July 14-18

Younger Boys (ages 9-12): July 21-25
Younger Girls (ages 9-12): July 28-August 1

Make plans to send your children to camp. Get more info and download forms.

Ministry Days by Joe Lawson

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Days in ministry are often filled with opposites. On Monday I celebrated the good health of a minister’s child who was being released from treatment 2 weeks early. His reoccurring infection was cleared up, his IV line had been removed, and he was a free boy. Later that day I spent time with a 50 something grandparent who had buried his 5 day old grandchild before Christmas. We spoke of many things, cried together, and even laughed a little. The days of ministry run the gamete from euphoria to grief. God celebrates both with us.

Welcome to Agency D3: Discover, Decide, Defend

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Vacation Bible School logo

Now is the time to enlist directors, teachers, and other workers for Vacation Bible School. The VBS clinic will be held Monday, April 21 at 7 PM at First Baptist Church of Brownstown.

You will find a new session this year on missions. This session gives us a full array of rotations recommended for Vacation Bible School. Our team of 12 people have been well-trained by IBSA and is eager to help you get started with your preparations.

IT IS BEST TO HAVE YOUR WORKERS ENLISTED BEFORE THE CLINIC SO THEY MAY ATTEND THE APPROPRIATE SESSIONS.

If your church has not conducted VBS recently, we highly recommend you attend this clinic. Our younger generation must be reached with the Gospel and this outreach is a good place to start. If you need assistance with visitation, planning, or workers please feel free to call us. We promise to provide whatever you need to conduct VBS in your church. Money, literature, a team, or just a few teachers can be enlisted for your church. There is no reason your church cannot reach children for Christ this year. Any need will be met. You may call me or the associational office to request help. Please feel free to do so.

We look forward to seeing you at First Baptist Church of Brownstown on April 21 at 7 PM. You will find the church by turning north on Route 40 onto Chestnut Street. The church is located at the end of the street on the corner of Chestnut and Oat streets.

In Christ,

Olen Evans, associational VBS director