From the Pastor: The Other Flood
The photos of the flooding in eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa have been shocking. The level of devastation is incomprehensible, and when we think about the months and years of clean-up and repair that will come, it’s overwhelming.
When we ponder the flooding, it’s easy to wonder why such a disastrous thing has happened. Our minds drift to the most memorable flood in the Bible—Noah’s flood—but that isn’t much help, to be honest. Was God angry with us? Was this flood discipline or wrath from God? It’s impossible to say for certain. My simple answer to the “why” question, is that we live in a fallen, broken world where things often disappoint us. In our hearts, we cling to the idea of a perfect world—either as a memory of Eden or a hopeful longing for the Age to Come—which only throws into relief just how out-of-joint this world actually is.
So instead of thinking about Noah’s flood, let us think about another flood passage from the Bible: The Lord says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a NIV)
You’ll notice it doesn’t say “IF you pass through the waters,” but rather “WHEN you pass through the waters.” It is an acknowledgement that suffering will happen in this present, evil age. But it is also a promise that when we face suffering—whether it’s the extremes of fire or water—the Lord will be with us.
We have a living Savior who has walked on the water (Matthew 14:25; Job 38:16) and who has calmed with raging waves with his word alone (Mark 4:39). Our Lord has mastery over all creation—indeed, over life and death itself. So we don’t need to speculate about why things happen; those things are beyond our comprehension anyway. But we can cling to the promise that WHEN we pass through the trials of fire and water, the Lord will be with us—and therefore we need not fear.
We are revamping the way we alert people to pray. There are two groups of people: those who wish to be contacted by text message and those who wish to be called. When a request comes in, Pastor Ray (or whoever is available) will send out a group text message with the details. Then he will call the first person on the call list; that person will pass the message long down the line. REMEMBER: When you receive a prayer request, write down the request right away! Don’t wait till you hang up; you may be interrupted or forget. Pray RIGHT AWAY. Prayer chain requests are urgent. A brief word of prayer when you receive the call will start the prayer coverage immediately and will help you remember to continue to pray later. Also, if you are calling on the chain, call RIGHT AWAY. If the person you are to call is not available, leave a message and the call the next person on the list. If you would like your name added, removed, or moved to a different spot, let Vicki Brown know.
If you have a prayer request, please leave a message at the church office (243-4651).
As many of you know, Lisa Smith’s daughter and son-in-law suffered a complete loss during a house fire in March. Jerry was badly burned during the fire but will recover. They still need our help as they rebuild! If you would like support them, please send a check made out to Jen or Jerry McCarty with a memo of “Jen & Jerry McCarty Benefit Fund.” Then mail the check to:
- First Option Bank
- PO Box 429
- La Cygne, KS 66040
The Lenten Journey
First Baptist will be hosting the ecumenical Lenten supper and service on April 10. We will need help providing food, setting up tables and chairs, as well as serving and cleaning up on the day itself. Stay tuned for more details of how you can serve.
We will gather in our sanctuary at 7:00 p.m. on Maundy Thursday for a special service of Communion and remembering Jesus’ last supper. If you would like to read Scripture for the service, please contact Pastor Ray.
First United Methodist Church has invited us and the Presbyterian congregation to worship with them at their Good Friday service: April 19, 7:00 p.m. in their sanctuary. Let us remember the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
America for Christ
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” Galatians 6:9-10 NIV
We will be receiving the America for Christ offering on April 14 and 21 (Palm Sunday and Easter). Your gifts to the America for Christ Offering impact thousands—through ministries with marginalized children, mission trips that transform lives torn asunder by hurricanes, resources that cultivate Christian leaders, chaplains who bring comfort to hospitals and nursing homes, and much more.
Let us not become weary in doing good!
America For Christ 2019: Partners In Mission:
American For Christ 2019: Healing Communities:
There is an enormous recovery ahead for eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa! The need is great. There are many different ways you can support the clean-up effort. One of the most efficient ways, however, is to support the work of disaster relief agencies. So give generously!
American Red Cross:
American Baptist Disaster Response Ministries:
American Baptist Men:
Join us for Sunday school every Sunday morning at 9:30. There is no shortage of fellowship and coffee! During April we will start a study on heaven (based on Randy Alcorn’s work). Don’t miss out! Oh, and by the way, sometimes we even have donuts!
Thank You, Debbie!
A special thank you to Debbie Cross. Debbie is always changing the big bulletin board in our fellowship hall to coincide with the season. It’s one of those things that makes our life together a bit more special. Thanks, Debbie, for enhancing our church life!
The deacons will gather after worship on Sunday, April 14.
American Baptist Women
ABWM will gather on Wednesday, April 17, at 1:30 p.m.
(Baptist-United Methodist-Presbyterian Youth)
BUMPY will resume meeting after Easter. The gathering will be at the Methodist fellowship hall on Wednesday, April 24, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Supper is included, as usual!
Camp is Coming!
Summer camp has the potential to impact a young person’s life and eternity! Dayton Oaks Camp, one of our ABC camps in Iowa, is offering some terrific camps this summer. Visit www.daytonoaks.org to learn more and to register. FBC also offers scholarships to help cover the cost of attending.
The Cass County Choral Society
CCCS is gearing up for a spring-summer show. The production will be Thursday and Friday, June 6 and 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Atlantic Middle School. If you would like to sing, rehearsals are Sunday afternoons from 2:00-3:00 at Heritage House, beginning March 3 (NOTE: We will not meet on Easter or Memorial Day weekend.).
Birthdays and Anniversaries
Our church has gained some new attenders, and that’s terrific! If you or someone you know would like to receive this newsletter or be included in our birthday and wedding anniversary list, please let us know: email@example.com. You can also always read our newsletter online: https://fbcatlantic.wordpress.com/blog.