May 2022 Newsletter

A Word from the Pastor: Don’t Waste Your Life!

Christian author and pastor John Piper tells the story of his father, who was a preacher and an evangelist:

“He had stories, so many stories, for each age group—stories of glorious conversions, and stories of horrific refusals to believe followed by tragic deaths. Seldom could those stories come without tears. For me as a boy, one of the most gripping illustrations my fiery father used was the story of a man converted in old age. The church had prayed for this man for decades. He was hard and resistant. But this time, for some reason, he showed up when my father was preaching. At the end of the service, during a hymn, to everyone’s amazement he came and took my father’s hand. They sat down together on the front pew of the church as the people were dismissed. God opened his heart to the gospel of Christ, and he was saved from his sins and given eternal life. But that did not stop him from sobbing and saying, as the tears ran down his wrinkled face…‘I’ve wasted it! I’ve wasted it!’” The old man, while joyful in Christ, came to the crushing realization that he had spent nearly his whole long life on inferior pursuits.

Piper also remembers a particular plaque that hung over their family’s kitchen sink for his entire childhood. “It was a simple piece of glass painted black on the back with a gray link chain snug around it for a border and for hanging. On the front, in old English script, painted in white, were the words: ‘Only one life / ‘Twill soon be past; / Only what’s done / for Christ will last.’ To the left, beside these words, was a painted green hill with two trees and a brown path that disappeared over the hill. How many times, as a little boy, and then as a teenager with pimples and longings and anxieties, I looked at that brown path (my life) and wondered what would be over that hill. The message was clear. You get one pass at life. That’s all. Only one. And the lasting measure of that life is Jesus Christ.”

The point of John Piper’s exhortation is so simple, that it’s the title of his book: “Don’t Waste Your Life.” Which should hit each of us squarely in the solar plexus and knock the breath out of our lungs. What are you living for? What is your highest priority? What are you accomplishing in life? Sadly, for many people, especially young people, their minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years are spent scrolling through the infinite inanity of social media. We mindlessly imbibe worldly entertainment, and our souls are anesthetized to the urgency to do something significant with our one, precious life. We spend our passing moments fussing over inferior things like other people’s business, how our lawns look, or the mysterious dings on our car’s fenders.

But we were made for more. We were made for glory. We were made for eternal life that begins now in Christ. Jesus said, “I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance” (John 10:10b CSB). Sometimes this verse is misapplied to mean that Jesus came to give us the “good life” of material comfort and temporal ease. But it’s much more radical than that. Jesus has come to fill us with his unending life—abundant, bounteous, joyful life that stretches into eternity.

So, what will you do with your one, exquisite life? What will you do with your minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years? “Whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 CSB). And don’t waste your life!

Pastor Ray

Excerpts from Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. 2018. Crossway. Pages 11-13.

The Life of Our Church

Online or In-Person Services

Please join us for in-person worship! You can also worship virtually through our YouTube channel. We will stream the service live, and the service will be archived after that. Please visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel to discover our videos:

http://www.tinyurl.com/FBCAtlanticYouTube

LC Clinic Update

The Atlantic LC Clinic continues to make progress toward opening this year. Future staff and volunteers are already training in other LC sites. There will be a fundraising banquet on Thursday, April 21, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Cass County Community Center. To register, visit: http://www.iowalcclinic.org/events.html

Diaconate

Our deacons will gather together for a brief meeting after worship on Sunday, May 8.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also praises her: “Many women have done noble deeds, but you surpass them all!” Proverbs 31:28-29 CSB Happy Mother’s Day to our mothers—the spiritual mothers and the biological mothers alike. May the Lord bless you richly!

American Baptist Women’s Ministries

ABWM will meet on Wednesday, May 11. This is the second Wednesday of the month, rather than the usual third Wednesday. Everyone is invited to have lunch at Sweet Joy Shoppe at 11:30. The meeting will be at the church building at 1:30 p.m.

Pioneer Bible Translators

The Smiths are open to receiving care packages from their supporters here in the United States. For more information on this—and more—find them on Facebook, “Smith Family Translates.”

Communion

We celebrate the Lord’s Supper every first Sunday of the month. We will be observing it next on May 1. And if you are watching worship on YouTube, you are certainly encouraged to participate at home with your own elements.

Ray’s Doctor of Ministry Program

Ray will be out of town for his doctor of ministry seminar through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary May 8-20. If you have pastoral concerns, you may contact Rachelle McCalla at (712) 250-1409.

Thank You from Amy Frields’ Family

Thank you! All of your prayers, cards, and good thoughts are appreciated.

Duane & Mary Maher, Amy Frields’ Family

Online Devotionals and Apps

If you’re looking for a portable, electronic devotional, there are lots of great options that will draw you more deeply into relationship with Jesus:

  • The Upper Room (app and site; Methodist oriented)
  • Daily Prayer (app and site; Church of England)
  • Our Daily Bread (app and site; evangelical)
  • Open Doors (app and site; pray for persecuted Christians)
  • Guideposts (online; general)
  • Morning and Evening (app and site; Baptist)

Stay Connected!

Facebook: Follow our Facebook page for updates and alerts.

(https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistatlantic)

Text: Subscribe to our text message service for prayer requests and updates: Text (712) 250-1607 to be added.

YouTube: Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

http://www.tinyurl.com/FBCAtlanticYouTube.

Newsletter: Visit our Web site and subscribe to receive our newsletter (blog) by email (at the bottom-left of the homepage). https://fbcatlantic.wordpress.com.

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