Ordination–Jeremy Wise

Bethany was blessed with a large congregation to share the occasion of the ordination of Brother Jeremy Wise to the work of the ministry on Sunday January 14, 2018 in spite of the wintry weather. There were 27 ordained ministers and deacons who sat in the presbytery to perform the official work of the ordination. Brother Larry Wise was chosen as moderator of the presbytery and Brother David Wise as clerk to record all the proceedings. Brother Jerry Wise was chosen to question Bro. Jeremy on the articles of faith of Bethany church and his agreement with them and promise to stand by these articles in his ministry to which he agreed on all 13 articles read to him by Jerry Wise and Brother Larry Wise was chosen to deliver the charge as to responsibilities of the ministry. Brother Steve Weaver was chosen to pray the ordination prayer accompanied by the laying on of hands by the members of the presbytery. After the ordination prayer, Bro. Jeremy and his wife, Hillery were asked to sit in from of the pulpit as Brother Larry Wise delivered the charge focusing on the calling to the ministry and responsibilities as a servant of the Lord, a steward of the mysteries of God, a soldier in the army of God, and a student of the word of God. Brief charge also given to his faithful wife Hillery and to the church, Antioch to which he has been called as Pastor.

Brother Jeremy and Sister Hillery were asked to stand in front as everyone gave them the right hand of fellowship and best wishes as they go forward in the service of God amid a hymn that was sung. Elder Joe Nettles dismissed the congregation with a very fervent prayer. 

 

 

Posted in Beliefs | Comments Off on Ordination–Jeremy Wise

New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018 to each and everyone and may God bless with His goodness and mercy throughout the year. Our prayer for you this year and every year is what Aaron was told as to how to bless the people: “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:  The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:  The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” (Numb. 6:24-26). What greater things could anyone enjoy during 2018 more than these six things: 1) To be blessed 2) To be kept 3) To have His face shine upon you 4) To have His gracious presence 5) To have His countenance lifted upon you 6) to have His peace. There are 365 days in the year and we pray the Lord will bless you with these six things each day; however, we know that Satan is always ready to rob us of the joys of our salvation. If we aren’t blessed with all six things experimentally in our lives each day, we know that we shall be blessed with all six things in glory after awhile.

There isn’t a single human that knows what the year may have in store but we serve a God who does know. Elder Michael Gowens gives quote from someone in one of his sermons that states; “Never be afraid to trust an UNKNOWN future to a KNOWN God.” The future on earth is not known by anyone but we aren’t in the dark about God as He is KNOWN by His born again children of God. We can trust God to give us strength day by day because he is faithful. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (I Cor.10:13). God has never broken a promise and never will but we are fleshly individuals at times and doubt if God will come to our rescue. Jesus said that the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. God doesn’t gives us a week’s supply of grace at once but we are taught to pray “Give us day by day our daily bread.” This breeds continual trust in a KNOWN God who has everything is His storehouse that His people need.

Even though there are 365 days in the year, no two days are alike as each one has its own unique characteristics. When our hope seems dim as the dawn arises, we can remember the promise of God given by Jeremiah who also felt his hope had disappeared. He was made to declare, ” It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:23). The mercies and compassions of the Lord are NEW every day even though that mercy may bring the same blessing we enjoyed the day before: however, we need it today as we cannot use yesterday’s mercy today. The scripture says that “today is the day of salvation.” The scripture also says to take up our cross DAILY and follow the Lord through self-denial and commit our ways to the Lord.

This is what happens to those who TRUST the Lord, DELIGHT in the Lord, and COMMIT their way unto the Lord. “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. ” (Palm 37:3-5) May we all be blessed to follow this recipe for happiness each day during 2018.–January 1 2018–Elder Larry Wise

 

 

Posted in Church | Comments Off on New Year 2018

Christmas Singing 2017

Bethany was blessed with  a Spirit-filled singing on Sunday night December 10 with many visitors from sister church and friends that made up a large congregation. The singing was excellent with traditional Christmas songs and worship songs as everyone sang from the heart and the fellowship in the singing and afterwards in the meal provided was wonderful indeed. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col. 3:16). We are thankful to all who came and those who brought food as we had a fellowship hall that was about full of those who stayed for food and fellowship. Here are some scene from the singing and fellowship that was enjoyed by those in attendance:

Posted in Beliefs | Comments Off on Christmas Singing 2017

Thanksgiving–Sacrifice

This is a partial repeat of a prior Thanksgiving post but still good to meditate upon and as a Thanksgiving sacrifice it is all centered around the greatest sacrifice of all; that being the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of His people. The sacrifices of thanksgiving are also a sweet smelling savour in the nostrils of God just as the sacrifice of Christ which is the greatest example of love that ever transpired. “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” (Eph. 5:2). Thanksgiving is more than Black Friday sales and feasting on a turkey or ham. May we all ask ourselves what we are thankful for and it shouldn’t be hard to come up with something. Consider this thought posted by Elder David Wise as you read the following: “I read a devotional today that asked the question, “What if God only blessed you today with what you thanked Him for yesterday?” What a sobering and convicting question, and I’m afraid I won’t get too many blessings today if that were the case!” We always get better than we deserve.

This is the week of the observance of the Thanksgiving holiday that is usually identified with Turkey and Dressing and football games along with gatherings of family and friends. There is more to Thanksgiving than those things. We are told in scripture, especially is the Psalms, to praise the Lord for His wonderful works toward the children of men. This is done with sacrifice and that is really what the word “thanksgiving” means; however, how many of us realize that thanksgiving is a sacrifice?

The Psalmist identifies praising the Lord for His wonderful works with the sacrifice of thanksgiving. “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.” (Psalm 107:22). The servant that had been loosed from his bonds declared what he needed to do for this blessing: “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:17). True thanksgiving involves sacrifice. It is not the sacrifice of animals but it is the sacrifice of self to the will of God. We are told to present our bodices as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. We are told to deny self and take up our cross  and follow Christ and this involves daily sacrifice and not just a Sunday morning worship service for an hour and a half.

Jonah disobeyed the will of God and found himself in the belly of a whale but it was there that he learned much about thanksgiving as a sacrifice. He said, “But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.” (Jonah 2:9). Everyone knows, or should, that Jonah said “salvation is of the Lord” but how many connect it with the sacrifice of thanksgiving which Jonah said he would do with his voice which of itself is a sacrifice as the tongue is an unruly member which no man can tame. Paul writes concerning thanksgiving as a sacrifice: “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Heb. 13:15-16).

Let us verbally express our thanksgiving but let it be more than just saying thanks over a meal. Thanksgiving is a way of life; it is the way of an abundant life of joy and peace and it all revolves around the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!–November 22, 2017–Elder Larry Wise

Posted in Church | Comments Off on Thanksgiving–Sacrifice

Fruit Baskets Nov. 26

Cheese and Nuts Classic Fruit Basket

The church has set Sunday after church, November 26, to assemble the fruit baskets for the shut-ins and the needy. There will be a pizza lunch served that day and the baskets assembled at that time. If members have someone they would like to have a fruit basket, let someone know at the day of the assembly or put their names on a notebook in the vestibule. Those who receive these baskets seem to enjoy receiving them, whether or not they use them or not, knowing that someone was thinking of them. We should all count our blessings which in reality cannot be counted. The scripture says that God always takes recognition of the smallest deeds regardless if not recognized by fellow men. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (Heb. 6:10) “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Col. 3:17)–November 20, 2017–Elder Larry Wise

Posted in Church | Comments Off on Fruit Baskets Nov. 26

Be Careful Out There

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE–Elder David Montgomery October 17, 2017

The Apostle Paul wrote that we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices. If we believe this then we must acknowledge that Satan is real and he wants to mess with us and get us to follow him. That’s what he’s always wanted. He’s wanted this since the Garden of Eden. Here’s what he’ll do to get you:

1. He will tell you that you are smarter than God and you know better what you need more than anyone else. The preachers are wrong, the old folks are wrong, everybody’s wrong but you. If that doesn’t work then…
2. He will throw up a counterfeit God and this “god” wants you to do this and that…problem is, “this” and “that” are bad things and will hurt you. If that doesn’t work then…
3. He will tell you that he doesn’t exist and that God doesn’t exist and he and God are fairy tales designed to keep people in ignorance. Problem is, refusing to believe is the worst form of ignorance.

Sadly, I have listened to Satan in the past and paid a great price. My home was broken; my faith shattered, my heart was made sick. Kind Readers, don’t be stupid! Satan has ministers and angels out there spreading his “gospel.” But we can resist…we can overcome. Greater is he that is in you then he that is in the world. King David said the Lord is his refuge, his rock, his covert from the storm and his high tower. Remember your weapons of warfare and the armor of God. We can stand against the devil because the Lord has got our back.

Posted in Church | Comments Off on Be Careful Out There

Report On September Meeting

Bethany was blessed with a Spirit filled meeting Sept. 8-10 with Elder Ricky Harcrow from Fort Payne, AL. Friday night we had a good singing but not quite as many attending as usual on a Friday night but still an excellent congregation with good singing and a great sermon from Heb. 9: 26 on One Sacrifice For Sins by the man, Christ Jesus. Sacrifices of the Old Testament were many but they could never take away sin but the one sacrifice of Jesus did what they could not do.

Saturday was blessed with excellent weather and really good attendance for a Saturday morning service with many visitors and once again had excellent singing, prayers and outstanding sermon by Brother Harcrow on Benefits In Christ from Psalm 107:2. How blessed we are to have so many benefits; many of which we never are aware. We had a great lunch prepared by the sisters and then Saturday night we enjoyed a good fish and chicken supper with many other dishes to suit the appetite of any one. Good attendance was manifest again with good singing and prayer and another Spirit filled sermon by Brother Harcrow on Unfrustrated Grace from Gal. 2:20-21. “I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness come by the law then Christ is dead in vain.”

Elder Harcrow was able to stay through Sunday and we had good singing and an enlightening sermon by Brother Harcrow on Mount of Transfiguration as Peter, James and John saw Jesus’ countenance changed and talking with Moses and Elias and illustrating how experience is the most effective teacher but not necessarily the best. Peter remembered this experience the rest of his life and I am sure James and John did also.

You can find more pictures under Annual Meetings Page with September 2017 drop down selection.

 

Posted in Church | Comments Off on Report On September Meeting

Blooming In Hard Times

BLOOMING, IN HARD TIMES …….
On the morning of 9-11-11, as I pulled out of my driveway and was headed to the worship services at my little church, my eyes caught sight of my neighbors house, where the concrete foundation of her house met with the concrete of her driveway, I saw, to my amazement, a most beautiful and healthy flower in full bloom. It not only had healthy stems and leaves but showed several lovely blooms all over the plant. I paused and said to my son, “Oh, Justin, Look at the beautiful flower, growing in the concrete! It is not only thriving, but look, it is blooming abundantly!”

The flower so inspired me, that I couldn’t quit talking. Justin had to listen to me all the way as I drove to church. “Oh, Justin, we have been through some hard times, but we are like that flower. The Great God Who Delivers, has blessed us abundantly. We have overcome so much! Oh, the years 1999 and 2000, when Mom passed away and so much happened following that, I thought my grief and worries would destroy me. Oh, my…it was definitely hard times. Then, from 2004 to 2007, so many sorrows came our way. It seemed that I could not survive under these conditions. Yet by the Sweet Amazing Grace of the Almighty God, we made it.”

The little flower in the concrete, didn’t look like it could survive, yet by its beautiful flowers, you could easily see that all was well and the supply to meet its needs was sufficient. I knew, likewise, in my life, that even when I had days that I thought I couldn’t make it, life was too hard, worries were never ending, heartaches were too severe, yet….in the midst of all this…I found all my needs were met. And even as the flower, not only could I continue to survive, but I could bloom (with joy and praise) in my heart to my Lord, My Redeemer, My Friend.

God, Who Loves Us and Sustains Us, is a God of Hope! Hard times may surround us all, even like the hard concrete, yet with the Lord, like the lovely flower, not only can we survive…but….we can grow…and….Bloom! With the Lord, There Is Always Hope!

My love and blessings to you all. —Neetcie Buell–9-12-2017

Posted in Church | Comments Off on Blooming In Hard Times

Mountain View

MOUNTAIN VIEW–by Elder David Montgomery July 19, 2017

I am sure the von Trapp family wasn’t singing “Climb Every Mountain” as they went over the Alps to escape the Nazis. And even if they did, I don’t think they were smiling, while not even breaking a sweat with every hair in place. Years ago, I read an interview with Maria von Trapp and she said that particular scene in “The Sound of Music” was nowhere close to reality. Mountains get in our way and we must climb them. They represent life’s many challenges and sometimes we shrink back from them in fear. Never let fear stop you. Remember what Jesus said:

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Faith gives us the courage to climb every mountain and by climbing them, we are stronger from the experience and we see a view is spectacular. I think that is what Jesus meant by faith removing the mountain. The strength of faith and the reward of faith made that mountain disappear. It has been removed just as the Lord said it would. It’s gone! You did it! You believed and the Lord helped your unbelief!

Not all mountains are a burden. Mt. Zion is a pleasure to climb. King David said, “The joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion.” It is a picture of the church and fellowship with God. Mt. Pisgah is another good one. It is a picture the few lucid moments when we get a glimmer of our eternal destiny.

“And from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.”

Kind Readers, never let fear rob you of this incredible experience. Let faith triumphant cry and every mountain can and will be removed.

Posted in Church | Comments Off on Mountain View

The Godly Tentmakers

The Godly Tentmakers–Acquila and Prisicilla (From marchtozion.com)

Written by David Wise
Thursday, 06 July 2017
“Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” – Rom. 16:3-4

 

We are first introduced to the godly couple of Aquila and Priscilla as Paul arrives in Corinth in Acts 18:2. They were Jewish tentmakers who had fled Italy under the discriminatory decree of Claudius Caesar expelling Jews from Rome. The couple comes in contact with Paul because they were of the same profession (they were tentmakers), and Paul comes to reside with them during his ministry in Corinth (Acts 18:3-4). They are presented initially as simply quiet, unassuming disciples of Christ, but these simple tentmakers had a profound impact on the kingdom of God and on the first-century church.

 

Paul ministered in Corinth for eighteen months after his initial arrival at the beginning of Acts 18, and when he leaves, Aquila and Priscilla journey with him.  Paul stops briefly in Ephesus, but Aquila and Priscilla remain there and settle in that city (Acts 18:18-19).  In Ephesus, there came up an eloquent and zealous believer, known as Apollos, but despite being instructed in the way of the Lord to some degree, he was ignorant of the full gospel message since he only knew the baptism of John.  When the faithful couple of Aquila and Priscilla hurt a slightly uncertain sound, they lovingly brought Apollos into their home and expounded unto him the full gospel of the finished work of Jesus Christ – “when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18:26) Having the full gospel message Apollos was successful in converting many to the truth that Jesus was the Christ (Acts 18:28) and had a very successful ministry later in Corinth (Acts 19:1, 1 Cor. 1 & 3).  Unfortunately, many today would hear a young brother preaching something that wasn’t quite right (simply due to ignorance, having not heard the full truth), and would try to immediately distance themselves from him.  However, we should learn from the godly example of this couple to lovingly bring a zealous, but somewhat ignorant, young man under our instruction and attempt to “expound the way of God more perfectly” unto him.  May we be found ministering to others who do not “perfectly” understand the truth, following the example of this godly couple.

 

Paul arrives back in Ephesus where he resides and ministers for three years.  During that time, the church at Ephesus met in the home of Aquila and Priscilla. Paul’s first canonized epistle to the Corinthians was written from Ephesus – “Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house” (1 Cor. 16:19).  This godly couple’s home was the focal point and meeting place of the church at Ephesus, during the establishment and growth of one of the most prominent and devout churches in the New Testament – the church at Ephesus.  They no doubt set the example for the Ephesus church as they lovingly welcomed their brothers and sisters into their home to minister to them, just as they had done earlier with Apollos.

 

Maybe three to four years after penning 1st Corinthians, Paul writes an epistle to the church at Rome, where he commends Aquila and Priscilla specially again. This couple was originally from Italy, and it appears that by this time, they had made their way back to their homeland to build up the church at Rome, which was now also meeting in their home. “Greet Aquila and Priscilla… Likewise greet the church that is in their house.” (Rom. 16:3-5)  It appears that they were instrumental in the church at Rome, just as they were at Ephesus, again hosting the church in their own home.  How amazing is it, that two of the most pivotal churches in the early church at two different locations – in Ephesus and in Rome – both met in the home of the same godly, devout couple!

 

Paul commends Aquila and Priscilla further for their commitment towards him personally. He says that they both had “laid down their own necks”, they had literally risked their own lives, for the protection of Paul and for the furtherance of his ministry.  It’s one thing to be willing to be a martyr and give your own life for Christ, but what a commendation to be so sold out for the kingdom that they were willing to risk their own lives for the Apostle Paul!  That is truly exhibiting Christ’s command to love one another as ourselves and to lay down our lives for our friends – that was lived out by Aquila and Priscilla on the behalf of Paul.  He thanks them for their sacrifice on his behalf, and then he gives them one of the most impressive commendations (in my opinion) in all the New Testament.  Paul says that “all the churches of the Gentiles” also give thanks for their commitment and sacrifice for the church and for the kingdom.  The godly life of Aquila and Priscilla (and sacrifice for the Apostle Paul’s sake) was known so well throughout all the Gentile churches, and their manner of godliness was so impressive, that all the Gentile churches gave thanks to God on their behalf!  Think about how many Gentile churches had been planted by this time around 60 AD, and every one of those churches knew Aquila and Priscilla by name and gave thanks to God on their behalf.  Wow, what a testimony!

 

Another important point taught to us by Aquila and Priscilla is how the husband and wife are a complimentary team in regards to ministry.  Every time one is mentioned in the New Testament, the other spouse is mentioned as well (six times total). Three times Aquila is addressed first (Acts 18:2, Acts 18:26, 1 Cor. 16:19) and three times Priscilla is addressed first (Acts 18:18, Rom. 16:3, 2 Tim. 4:19). They traveled together, they instructed Apollos more perfectly together (“they” taught him together, Acts 18:26), they hosted the church at Ephesus and Rome in their home together (1 Cor. 16:19, Rom. 16:5), and they even risked their own lives together (Rom. 16:3).  While God did place the husband as head over the wife and gave the man the authority to teach in a public way in the church, it’s a beautiful thing to see a wife compliment the teaching ministry of her husband in the manner that Priscilla did to Aquilla. We also see the beautiful picture of how the husband and wife are truly one flesh, in how Aquila and Priscilla are always presented together in every reference. Furthermore, they promote the equality in the kingdom of God – “male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28) – as they are both addressed interchangeably.

 

The impact of Aquila and Priscilla in the early church shows us that the rank-and-file believers are what really make the church grow.  While from our perspective one member of the body may appear more visible and therefore more important to the church as a whole, I believe rather that it’s the Aquilas and Priscillas, it’s the rank and file godly couples in the church, and it’s the ordinary tentmakers among us that can have the most profound impact on the kingdom of God.  We have a tendency to say, “if I’m not a hand in the body, then God has no use for me in the church or in the kingdom” (read 1 Cor. 12:12-25 for context).  However, Aquila and Priscilla teach us that it’s oftentimes the “ordinary rank-and-file believers” who can have a great impact on the kingdom, so profound an impact that literally hundreds of churches all knew them both by name and knew their godly manner of life.  After all, it was those ordinary tentmakers, who the greatest Apostle in the New Testament ascribed with saving his own life and living such a godly life that all the Gentile churches glorified God for them!

Posted in Church | Comments Off on The Godly Tentmakers