Tuesday, October 30, 2012

September, October Prayer Letter


October 22, 2012
Dear Pastor and Praying Friends,

Praise the Lord that the three digit temperatures of our Arkansas Summer have ended and Autumn has brought with it some beautiful, cool weather. We also praise God for His goodness to us and our church and this season of blessing. Since our last letter we have seen many souls saved and baptized.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and , lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” - Matthew 28: 19,20

Two of the people who were baptized I met one Saturday while on visitation. The girlfriend and her sixteen year old “step-daughter” called us for a ride to church about a month later. We continued to visit them on Saturdays and eventually the man joined his family in church.

I often preach about God’s desire for our homes. By that I mean God desires for there to be a saved and surrendered husband and wife first and then children to follow. You can’t unscramble eggs, but you can make them better. After attending several services and hearing this type of preaching; this couple approached me about getting married. During the process of marital counseling I asked them their salvation testimonies and found out they had a Church of Christ background. The lady thought she had lost her salvation and the husband couldn’t give me a clear and sure testimony of having been previously saved either. To make a long story shorter, they both received the Lord that day and were scripturally baptized the next. Two weeks later we had a beautiful wedding at our church.

Another one of the people who were baptized is a young lady in her twenties. (Her brother and niece were saved and baptized here in July.) She came for a visit and raised her hand for salvation during the invitation. My wife took her out and talked with her. She prayed to be saved that Sunday! The next day she called us about her twelve year old son. He had asked why she left at the end of the service and what the papers we gave her about baptism meant. I told her to read the papers to him and that we would talk with him later to make sure he understood about salvation and baptism. The next Sunday we showed him from scripture how he could know he was saved and he prayed and received the Lord as well. Afterward he said he wanted to be baptized because now he was saved just like his Mama. So, that day we had two baptisms instead of one. This young lady’s zeal and trust in the Lord has been a real blessing to all of our church family.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundatly.” - John 10:10

These families represent the burden of our ministry here. There are so many people in Newport shacking up – some in their forties and fifties who just never thought it important to be married. There are even more religious people here who are on their way to Hell. Thank you for your prayers and financial support which enables us to show them God’s desire for their souls as well as their lives.

Prayer Requests

· We are asking God to double our number by next Fall. This would give us about fifty souls on Sunday mornings.

· Wisdom and provision as our family moves from the church into the parsonage.

· That God would bless us with good health. Recently our whole family was down with some type of sickness. On top of the sickness I had an allergic reaction to something and it turned my eyes fiery red. After I preached Sunday morning one of our members (who is a nurse) came to me and said, “You look awful!”.

In His Service,


Pastor Raymond Beckles


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flower Girl


I was so excited when a lady in our church asked Aaliyah to be her flower girl!  She was excited too! Once we picked out her dress, basket, and flowers she was REALLY excited!!!  She kept asking me if she could practise.  I let her twice; but got tired of picking the flowers back up so that was the end of practising.  Finally the day came and she did a great job.  So proud of my little flower girl.  On a side note...I praise God for this young couple who got saved, baptised, and then married after about six weeks of marriage counseling with me and my hubby/pastor. 

P.S.  I think her favorite part of the wedding was when Daddy said to the groom, "You may kiss the bride."  Aaliyah has been rehearsing this with her babies ever since Friday night. 

Until next time,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Confessions (1)



Confessions

I have been a pastor’s wife (officially) for three years.  I know…it’s hard to believe that so much time really has past.  I intended to write a “things I have learned my first year….”  Post; but that didn’t happen.  Plus you probably would not have wanted to read what I had to say anyway.   Let’s just say it was a very short “honeymoon”.  When you are about to embark on this journey (becoming a pastor’s wife), you enter it with a little bit of nieveness and some rose colored glasses on.  I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble; but if you plan to be a pastor's wife here are a few things to remember...  Promises made will be broken.  Expectations will be disappointed (even the ity bity ones).  Hopes will be deferred leading to a “sick” heart. And last but not least, there will be surprises- some good some bad.  This new series will be a lot of fun, I hope.  I will do my best to make them positive and uplifting while being real; but not whiney (if that isn’t a word, it should be.) All names (if even given) will be fake; and some scenarios will be encoded as to not offend the offendor(s).  Enough said…let’s move on to confession number one.

 

Taxi!  This confession is neither the most important, nor one with the greatest eternal value. it is simply first because I received a phone call about half an hour ago (at the moment it is 7:17 a.m….Yes,  as in in the morning!)  Normally, I get up between 8:00 – 8:30 (I have become a bit of a night owl, so am no longer an early riser);but after getting off the phone I couldn’t go back to sleep.  So here I am venting…sharing with you all.

Newport has no public transportation. No buses, not taxis, no nothing; but it has about six government housing additions.  Living in these government houses are a lot of people with a lot of needs…one of them is transportation.  For some odd reason we meet up with quite a lot of them on a pretty regular basis.  Some of them never frequent our church on Sunday; but they know we have a vehicle that runs pretty well.  The call this morning was for a ride to the health department; but there have been others.  One that sticks out in my mind was the time when one young man and his girlfriend – two perfectly able; but non-working people  -  called us on Thursday evening at about 9:00 (that is just about the time my Honey returns home from dropping the kids off after Bible Club)  to see if  we would take them to pick up a pizza they had ordered.  I will confess that I didn’t handle that one very well.   Our first year here we (I use that term very loosely) always said yes; but with time and after a lot of prayer for wisdom we have learned that sometimes it is ok to say, "No, not this time. ".

Some may not ever understand; but each phone call you receive represents a soul.  Each ride you provide is an opportunity to witness, after all you have a captive audience.  They called you.  They are in your vehicle.  They have to listen to whatever you have to say.  Some, after the first “sermon”, never call again.  Some do, but eventually find some other person to tote them around; and some come to church, get saved, and begin to grow.  The Lord blesses and  provides them with a car of their own…then they never come back!  Really, it has happened!

What is the lesson in all of this?  As a dear friend once said to me (in my first year) Tinyla, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.  I often feel like hiding away and becoming too busy with the kids, my house, or the garden; but instead I have to smile and be friendly and inconvenience myself for people who seem to be taking advantage of me. I have learned that whatever I do, do for the Lord and not for people.  With that heart attitude you will never feel taken advantage of.  We serve a good God! The Lord makes a promise that if we give it will be given unto us.  There is a very popular verse quoted in philippians about God supplying all our needs. This is a promise given to a giving people, not to people who never give.  That makes me excited!  Sometimes it may be your money…more money will come. Sometimes it may be your resources (diapers, food, etc)…more of those will come as well.  I struggle the most with giving my time.  Time is something that can never be refunded. I always have a list of things that I want done everyday.  When the phone rings, I may as well just cross one or all of them off and prepare to write them again tomorrow.  But, when I am walking with the Lord and my plans are changed, I easily remember the Lord’s promises and I know that He is setting my priorities, and with a little bit of wisdom I can please God, help others – deserving or not, and get everything that NEEDS to be done accomplished. 
 
Philippians 4
 
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.  I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.  And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.  But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
 
Matthew 25:34 - 45
 
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

I hope this helps someone.

Until next time,

 

KHATS 12- Learn to Cook



 

I am in the process of making a little cook book for a singe mom in our church.  (31 days - breakfast,lunch, and dinner for one month) this, for me, is a huge task. Sometimes I can be a bit of a perfectionist, especially when I am putting something with my name on it in print for someone else to examine and use.

My mother could not cook when she first started her family, but she is a GREAT cook now. My brother’s dad taught her. My grandmother grew up in an orphanage, and unless they had cooking classes, she probably learned later in life as well. I knew how to cook a few things when I first got married…like Top Ramen noodles and microwave popcorn! Oh, and a turkey for Christmas. Long story short - when my husband and I were dating I visited him for Christmas. Just before I arrived he informed me that he wanted me to cook the turkey and his sisters to make the side dishes.  I made an emergency call to my roommate and she gave me strict instructions. I followed them and it was the best Christmas turkey I have ever eaten!  (He bought a ring about two weeks later.).

Husband or no husband learn to cook. You and your kids need to eat more than instant meals and take-out. I will also add learn to cook healthy meals. They don’t need to be elaborate or gourmet; just simple and good will do.   If you can read and follow directions, you can cook! 

Proverbs 15:17

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

Until Next Time,





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