Building Walls of Witness

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Nehemiah led the residents of Jerusalem to begin rebuilding the walls of the City. The city walls held great significance in the way people of the area viewed God. When the walls of the city were in disrepair or broken those outside the city would say the God of the city was weak. The Lord Jehovah was not weak the people were. The people needed and earthly leader to lead them to repair the city. Nehemiah led them to rebuild the walls. More importantly the people returned to God. The return to God propelled the rekindling of the nation.
The Church Planting and Revitalization Team is building walls of witness with a church restart in Donnellson, IL at the community center. Over the next few weeks you are invited to join in two prayer times: May 19, 7pm at the Community Center in Donnellson. June 2 we will prayer walk in Donnellson at 7pm and distribute fliers for VBS which will be conducted June 8-10. Please come and spend an hour in Donnellson with other believers. The first prayer meeting we had over 20 people participate.
God is alive in our region. We are building spiritual walls of witness each time we leave the church and present Christ in some form in our community. Several of our churches prayer walked in and around school before school started. One church fed the teachers lunch before the beginning of school when all teachers were present. Several churches were instrumental in See You at the Pole last fall as students and teachers gathered for prayer. Many of our churches have revivals providing an opportunity for evangelism and renewal. Smithgrove Church had a Walk to the Cross before Easter providing a time of reflection and evangelism. Bethel has a Back to School Bash in the park sharing Christ at the beginning of the School year. I am positive I have left out many churches that do great things consistently. Pleasant Mound and Columbus have active youth and children’s programs sharing Christ and teaching the Bible. Bethel, Effingham, Altamont, Ramsey, Herrick, Celebration, Taylor Springs, Unity, and Smithgrove also have ongoing youth and children’s programs that build walls of witness. Why mention all these churches? Perhaps you would like to see something similar in your church. Give the pastor a call from one of these churches. There are churches of every size mentioned. Discover how they began and what they do that has allowed them to share with so many diverse people. Begin today to build your wall of witness.
Another way to build a wall of witness is to conduct VBS at your church. Many of our churches have VBS annually. Some have VBS for 2 or 3 days, some 5 consecutive Wednesday nights, some for 5 nights and then have a parent night on Sunday night. Don’t give in to the mindset we can’t but be a can do church. Need Help? Call Olen Evans and let him know. We will enlist some folks from the Association to come and help with your VBS.
Camp is approaching and it is another Wall of Witness in our Association. The churches of Rehoboth provide camp. Each church is needed in some way. Provide a meal, send a few workers, give money for supplies for Rec, the list goes on.

Building Walls of Worship

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I enjoy the challenge and intrigue of Nehemiah as I read it. Nehemiah hits the story hard from verse one and doesn’t mince words. He is a man of a God mission of rebuilding. God shakes Nehemiah out of his comfort zone as he learns the plight of his people left in Jerusalem. He learns of the disrepair of the city he longs to live in. it is now trashed and looked at as a ghetto of homeless helpless people. Lesson one from Nehemiah is to seek God first.
Nehemiah upon hearing the bad news spends time listening to God and hearing his voice. I suppose at some point he debates with God about being the leader of the renovation of the Temple and walls of Jerusalem. I can sense his humanness and hesitancy as he looks at the overwhelming task of leading to rebuild. I can sense his words to God as he asks the basic questions we produce fear and uncertainty. Here are a few of the questions I believe he asked the Lord:
1. Who will do the work of renovation?
2. Where will the money and materials come from?
3. How can I handle the opposition of people to the renovation?
4. God are you sure you want me to lead?
Nehemiah leaves his time of prayer and fasting and in Chapter 2 of Nehemiah takes the faith step of requesting help from the King he serves. This is a bold move asking a King to help the people he has conquered and forced many into exile. The king grants Nehemiah’s request and the great God sized adventure of rebuilding takes shape. Enemies and opposition come from within and without. I find it interesting that throughout scripture and today in life many would rather remain where and how we are rather than step out in faith. Nehemiah trusted God through all this. He started with God and walked with God through the renovation.
Renovations of Rehoboth Camp and Rehoboth Office are both underway. This is a God sized task for our association. It has been prayed over, talked about, and now embarked upon. Faith is stepping out. We the people of Rehoboth are stepping out in faith and walking together. Like Nehemiah we are leading for the present yet much more for the future. I am confident we are following the Lord in what we are doing. I would never put myself in Nehemiah’s class.
We need to work together with volunteer labor to get the cabins renovated by camp time. you can bring a group to work of cabins. There is framing, door and window installation, roofing and siding to be done. Materials are on hand. Instructions will be printed out on hand. Call Joe, Roger Bowman 217-663-0221, or Don Price 618-322-5046 to schedule your church to work.
We need your gifts. Olen Evans is heading up our capital needs campaign for the renovation projects. Simply stated if each family attending a Rehoboth Church will give $15 a week for 13 weeks the project will be paid for. Pledge cards are available through your church or the office. Each church was invited to a capital needs banquet where this info and materials were available. When you send your gift to the office clearly mark your designation for the building projects.
God is moving in many ways in our association. I pray for God’s blessing upon you and your church.

Summer Camp

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We updated the forms and dates for summer camp, so head over to the Rehoboth Camp page, and download the forms to send your children to summer camp and/or kids’ camp!

Business as usual

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Many weeks my days and nights seem to run together with much sameness. I may speak with different people yet the conversations are the same. The more things change the more they seem to stay the same. I receive an occasional jolt to awaken my soul to hurt and hopeless life of many people I deal with. A jolt came in the form in the death of an under 40 mom. She held a special place in my heart for many reasons. I was deeply saddened and a bit troubled with the Lord. Theologically I know how God works and acts down to the chapter and verse. Emotionally the Lord and had several long talks about issues revolving around young death. My big jolt from God came as he reminded me of the brevity of life and not to waste moments on the minute. Keep focused on healthy relationships both with the Lord and those he created. Following healthy relationships as God places a name in my thoughts then I should speak with them as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate what should be a priority.

Cell Phone God

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I am studying the book of James, again using a study guide developed by Beth Moore. Reading, praying, and studying I became aware that my cell phone might be receiving too much attention. It might even become a little “god”. That evening I was driving home from a church meeting minding my own business and accidently set my cell phone in a partial cup of water. I discovered the accident after a few minutes afterward when I received a call.
The phone barely worked. I remembered placing your phone in rice would dry it out. It would take 48 hours to see if that would work. I would be removed from many people and demands during that time. I emailed family and let them know how to get in touch via email.
I found I missed my phone. I would catch myself wanting to check the news, FB, and email. I was in phone withdrawal. God said good, don’t let it be a god. I have the phone working again and am resolved not to let it be a God. I remember telling my youngest son that my phone was a work tool. It must work for the Lord not a distraction from the Lord.