Bethany Baptist Church

Norma Stillings visited at Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center a couple of times in the week. She visited at Ava Place one day, and drove to Springfield, Wednesday afternoon, to visit her friend, Paulette Walls, who was in the hospital for a few days. Norma took part in the Ladies Bible study, Friday afternoon, and ate some good pizza that evening and saw a good movie with the folks at church.

We have had several people sick and some of them are in or have been in hospitals. We have some traveling and we have concerns for the people who have and are experiencing flooding in one part of the country and forest fires in another. We had some people dealing with the deaths of loved ones. We have a great need to be praying and ready to lend a hand when we can. Paulette was back home, Sunday night, but we still have others not home.

We are looking forward to our Mission Conference that will begin next Wednesday evening. Our Mission Conference is a highlight in our year. This year we are having evangelist Claude Slate and his family with us. The children are good singers. We know that we are in for some good music and some good preaching.

Pastor’s message was on the “Heartbeat of the Local Church.” Reading in the Book of Acts we read that 3,000 persons got saved and then we read that in a rather short time that new church had grown so much that they had to appoint seven deacons to serve the church. What is notable is that so many of them who had gladly received the word, continued with the church. Too many people fall away when temptations come. But these early Christians stood faithful even when faced with persecution. What made the difference?

In order to endure through temptations and trials one must first of all be truly saved. Acts 2:42 says, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and prayers.”  We have the “apostles’ doctrine,” in our Bibles right at our fingertips. By reading our Bibles daily and taking it to heart, we learn this doctrine. By fellowshipping and breaking bread with other believing Christians we will be encouraged. By making prayer our daily practice, we will have the power to “continue” to the end.