Bethany Baptist – Norma Stilllings

Feb. 3 – Jim Corder, Pastor Robert Sorensen, Darlene Sorensen, and Norma Stillings attended the Memorial Service for Tom Hawkins, Monday, February 03 at Mound Fundamental Baptist Church. Remembering Tom brought back many happy memories and a few tears. The scripture that brought comfort was from Revelation “Blessed are they that die in the Lord. 

The beautiful weather last Sunday that continued through Monday was a welcome break in the winter weather even though we knew that winter was not over. 

Our guests Sunday were Chris and Erika Lanier and their four children: Ashley 10, Charley 8, Stefany 7, and Nicky 5. The children sang out with enthusiasm during the congregational singing and also sang several specials for us. Chris sang in the afternoon service. 

The Laniers have been serving in an industrial area in the mountains in Mexico since Ashley was just a baby. The children are fluent in two languages. They have a flourishing church in Mexico and have the goal of establishing a Bible Institute as well. 

Chris Lanier spoke on the brevity of life. We know that babies die, teenagers die, and people of any age. There are people in perfect health that will die before this day is over. Actually even a long life span of 70 years or more are just a moment in eternity.   

The Bible warns us not to boast about tomorrow, that life is just like a vapor that passes away so quickly. We are to redeem the time. We must not waste God’s time. What really matters is our own salvation, the salvation of our families and friends, our own personal testimony, and our responsibility for souls all around the world.  Time is precious, use it wisely.   

Last week’s news: Jan. 27 – The Bethany Baptist Church folks and guests that came out for Pizza and a movie, Friday evening, all seemed to enjoy Pastor and Darlene’s Pizza. The movie, “Overcomer,” gave us hope that anyone can overcome in some really serious situations if we put God first in our priorities. 

We are hoping for good weather this Friday so that the ladies can meet for their Bible study that afternoon. We dismissed that last time because ice was freezing on the trees and we could not be sure that the roads and sidewalks would be safe for everyone. It may look perfectly safe on the street that goes by the house, but we can’t see over the hill. We have not had to cancel the Sunday morning preaching service, but we have the Wednesday evening. 

Next Sunday we will have a missionary family with us. We will have lunch at noon, an afternoon service at 1:00 PM and no evening service. 

Norma Stillings sang one of her old songs Sunday morning before Pastor Bob spoke on “How we can know we are saved.” 

1st John has several statements about how we can know for sure that we are saved. In Romans 10 we are told that when we call upon the name of the Lord with all sincerity, believing that Jesus did indeed die and rise again, that we are saved. We are told in other scriptures that we receive the Holy Spirit at that time. We will have the witness of the Holy Spirit within us and his leading. 

Evidences that we have the Holy Spirit are that we practice and desire to practice righteousness, we will not make a practice of sin, and we will love to fellowship with saved people. We will have power to overcome sin, to obey the commandments, and the commandments of the Lord will not seem restrictive or grievous. We will love the Lord and be faithful in church attendance, tithing and witnessing to others. 

If we do sin and Christians do sin, we have an advocate in the Lord Jesus. If we confess those sins, he is faithful to forgive us. If in doubt, go back read 1st John  and remember that God is not willing that any should perish and the door for salvation is still open to those who sincerely desire to be saved.