From the pastor
We have enjoyed good attendance by our membership during the winter months. Even though the weather has been bad, our people have shown a faithful commitment to God's house. I am also thankful for the many visitors we are having. I appreciate the evangelistic efforts of our membership as they have invited friends and relatives to worship with us. It was Andrew, Peter's brother, who brought Peter, the man who would preach the great sermon at Pentecost, to see Jesus. He said, "We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus"-John 1:41,42. Not only did he invite Peter, he brought him to the place that Jesus was found. Many times, a person will not come on their own. But that extra effort of bringing a person makes a big difference……..and it is scriptural. I remember the story my great uncle shared with me about a man that they invited to church every Sunday. Every Sunday they would ride past his house in their wagon and he would be sitting on his porch. Every Sunday they would invite him to go with them and he would say, "Not today." Rather than giving up on the man, they continued to invite him until one day they arrived as his house and he was sitting on his porch as usual, but that day he had on a suit. When they invited him that day he said, "I think I will". He got in their wagon with them went to church that day and was baptized. My point is this. Just because someone has said no in the past is no reason to give up on them. Just keep on inviting them.
What is happening at Donaldson
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, the time of our annual meeting is rapidly approaching. Since we are hosting the Union Meeting of the South Arkansas Association we have decided to combine the two meetings. The meeting will begin Thursday night, April 5th and conclude Sunday, April 8th with communion and feet washing services.
The following is a schedule of our planned services:
Thursday night, April 5th:
Supper 5:30 followed by preaching and singing. Friday and Saturday the services are planned as follows:
10 a.m. singing
10:30 a.m. preaching
12 noon lunch
1:30 p.m singing
2:00 p.m. preaching
5:00 p.m. supper
Sunday morning we will begin singing at 10 a.m.
These meetings afford us a gracious opportunity to fellowship with brethren from our sister churches but let us always remember that our church must grow from visitors. As I have already suggested, let us be careful to bring others with us who have not previously attended our services.
Hosting a meeting of this size requires a great deal of planning and preparation. We met the first Wednesday night in March to discuss meals and serving our guests. I appreciate the good number of members who turned out to discuss this necessary preparation. Our meal Thursday night will be potluck. All other meals will be served by our church. We have posted a schedule of the meals we will be serving in the basement. Volunteers may sign up for any meals that wish to assist in serving and preparing.
We are expecting ministers and visitors from several states to be with us during our meeting. I am preparing a list for those who would like to entertain company. Marilyn and I have found it to be a special blessing to have other families of like precious faith in our home and we want to provide every opportunity to share this blessing with our membership. For your convenience, this list will be posted on the bulletin board in the entrance of our building. Let us all prepare for our meeting and pray for God's blessings.
At this time we are discussing an addition of a study to our facility. Several ideas have been suggested. The least expensive would be to put the study in a corner of the basement. This would take in the small room in the back already used for our tape ministry. The other suggestion is to add on to the outside of the building on the back corner facing the south. At this time we are open to the suggestions of the membership. The cost of placing the study on the inside of the church has been projected to be about $2500.00. The cost of placing it on the outside has been projected to be from $15,000.00 to $20,000.00. If you have a preference or if you would like to donate to this project please let us know.
Our steps have been completed and thanks to the diligence of our membership they look great. They are a wonder addition to our facility.
Elder J.R. Rakes is to be at Sardis Church the night of April 4th. This is the night before our meeting starts at Donaldson. It is also the night of our regularly scheduled deacons meeting. Due to this conflict, we have moved our deacons meeting to Tuesday night, April 3rd, at 6pm.
On the third weekend of February we enjoyed our family outing. A number of families went bowling. After lunch that day I met with a group of our children and gave them the opportunity to ask questions. I read to them from Psalm 34:11, "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord". I shared with them the importance of fearing the Lord at an early age. I also gave them some examples of the different kinds of fear we experience in life and the difference between a terrible fear and a proper reverential fear that the Psalmist speaks of. I asked them if they prayed every day and when they prayed. Then we discussed the need for daily prayer. I felt it was a very blessed time.
When we speak of fellowship, I hope we will all treasure the opportunities made available to us to enjoy the "fellowship of the saints". Dinner on the grounds has always been one of the most profitable avenues of fellowship that our people have enjoyed for many years. Many times, it is the only opportunity we have to visit with our brothers and sisters in Christ. If you have stayed for dinner, you know that our sisters are the best cooks in the world and eating their cooking seems to promote an atmosphere of peace and prosperity as well as Christian fellowship. I have also been reminded that some of our men do a little of the cooking too. I have been very thankful for the good number of people who have taken advantage of this special time of fellowship. This, too, is a wonderful time for our families and children to get to know one another. I hope everyone will take advantage of this special opportunity.
This month I will call your attention to one of my favorites: "The Autobiography of Elder Wilson Thompson". This is a remarkable book about a Primitive Baptist Minister who was born late in the 1700's. This man was contemporary with Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Though their ministries were quite different, they both faced their own particular struggles and trials. While Spurgeon was preaching to thousands at Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, England, Elder Thompson was called of God to preach in the wilderness areas of Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri of this country. What a contrast!! Elder Thompson endured many trials and struggles as he labored among the hardships of the wilderness. Every time I read this book I feel I have gained some new experience with my brethren of days gone by.
Elder Thompson lived during the time of the split among the Baptist denomination and gives some personal insights concerning the problems of that day. I would recommend this book for every member of the church. It is rich in history as it reveals many of the struggles of the primitive church.
REMEMBER IN PRAYER
Brother Bob Huskey has been diagnosed again with cancer. He continues to suffer. Please pray for him and sister Grace as she faithfully ministers to his needs.
Sister Attsy Jacobs is still having difficulty breathing.
Sister Maureen McDade is still have problems after her surgery.
If you know of others who need our prayers, please let us know.
FOR THE KIDS
The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom for life. Read the scriptures provided and try to match them with the explanations below:
A.( )By speaking kindly to others we make friends and avoid conflict in our lives.
B.( )Even when our parents are not around, the Lord sees and knows everything we say and do.
C.( )Fools do not tell the truth. God describes telling the truth as dressing ourselves up in princely garments.
D.( )Sloth, or laziness, has caused many people to be without food and clothing. God expects us to work for our needs.
(2) Proverbs 15:3
(3) Proverbs 17:7
(4) Proverbs 21:23
Check your answers at the conclusion of tape ministry.
I would like to conclude this letter with the words of our Lord: "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it"-Luke 16:16. This was the subject of my message last Sunday. God's kingdom began with the preaching of Christ by John the baptist. It was then that His people, the elect, began to press into His kingdom, the church. As you must know, this requires an exerted effort on the part of the believer. Surely, Satan will do everything to prevent our pressing into the kingdom, from making a public confession of our love for Jesus Christ by water baptism, to continuing in the faith once delivered to the saints. He well knows that this is the place our lives are enriched, our families are blessed, our marriages are strengthened and our life finds purpose. These are not only words of encouragement, admonishment and warning, but they are equally words of reality. The greatest feat that a mortal can accomplish is to find themselves faithful to God's house. I am persuaded this may only be done with a close fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ, by abiding in the vine. As your pastor I encourage every one to be more dedicated in the days to come to Christ and His church. May the Lord abundantly bless you all.-Pastor.