Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Please pray for the Beakleys

  1. Pray for our incoming 1st-year students who begin their semester this week. We have a number of new students along with a group of returning 1st-year students who did not pass their first year and are repeating. Pray that God's grace will be abundant.
  2. Pray for wisdom for our leaders (and me) as we deal with the Lord working in many lives in our church. We have seen about a 30% increase in church attendance, and there are many people from diverse backgrounds who are now attending.
  3. Pray for our training institute in Malawi, (Central African Preaching Academy) who are working to achieve their national accreditation. They have many difficulties (Malawi is truly a 3rd world country) and are striving daily to train about 40 men for the ministry.

Want to be 100% sure?

I often hear from friends who are professing believers that they are not 100% they are going to heaven. Here is how I reply:
I am 100% sure I am going to heaven. Is that because I have confidence
that I am good enough left to myself?—meaning I think that since I haven’t murdered anyone that I’ll get in?
By no means! I am 100% sure because I have asked Christ to pay the penalty of sin I deserved to pay and only He is 100% able to pay the penalty for me.
1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal
Charles Spurgeon said, “ If you believe in the Lord Jesus, if you have repented of sin, if you have been renewed in heart, if you are one of the Lord’s people, there’s a place reserved for you.”

So what percentage are you? 
Pastor Ben 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Apps for Your Kid’s Tech

As a parent it can be very difficult determining screen time, if/when to get your child a device, what is the right device, how to keep your child safe while on the device, and many other questions. Another issue beyond those is what apps are good for the kids to be using and how can they actually benefit the child. I recently got to be privy to a helpful answer to some of this from Martha Hangartner, our Children’s Ministry Sunday School Coordinator and with her permission thought it might be helpful for you as well.
Here are a few app recommendations she made…
New City Catechism App
-More for high functioning older kids
-Question and Answers (good sound theology)
-Has scripture to songs
-Great teaching tool
-Adult interaction might be helpful too
Bible App for Kids
-For younger kids
-Narrated bible stories 
-Kids can interact with pages by touching a character in a scene that responds by moving or making noise
Look & Find Bible Stories ($2.99)
-For around 4 yrs on up
-Picture game 
-Kids look for certain things 
-5 different scenes
Adventures in Odyssey App
-The stories are great to pass the time on road trips
-There are all kinds of podcasts and album downloads on their App
-Focus on the Family does a good job of mixing entertainment with biblical truth...always ending their stories with a biblical lesson or encouraging note.  
-The App has audio downloads, either as a podcast or from their albums, for kids to listen to, but you may have to pay for some, and would need a username and password on set up
-Also, as a warning up front...some of stories are more “scary” than others as they solve all kinds of mysteries in the town of Odyssey
You could also look into coloring or puzzle apps.?  Something like Kids' Puzzles and Dino Puzzle Kid Dinosaur Games might be fun?  Other non-biblical apps I would highly recommend are Lego Juniors and PeekABoo Barn (for young kids).

As a bonus, Martha added…
Also, we really like our “Circle” device, which is a filter for all devices that connect to your home wifi.   Once the devices are set up under an individual profile, you 
can set limits on screen time, block certain apps, manage internet use, and view a history log for sites visited.  It’s been a helpful tool for our family the past couple years.

I personally am very grateful for the folks, like Martha, we have overseeing all our Children’s Ministry areas and the help they seek to offer parents as they raise their kids. Hopefully this gives you parents, especially of younger kids, a bit of help as you think through tech and your child! 

May we continually be growing to, “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,”

Monday, January 13, 2020

How to Celebrate God This Week

Imagine this: You are walking along the beach one morning searching for pearls.  It’s your great joy and passion.
  Near the beach, you see some people who have set up some tables, selling a wide assortment of jewels and trinkets.  There is a table with pearls over by the side but none of them are impressive to you.  You ask the merchant, “Are these all the pearls you have?”  She smiles and says “No.”  Then she pulls out from under the table a massive case.  As she opens it, you see a pearl that takes your breath away.  It is about 9 ½ x 5 ½ inches and weighs 14 pounds.  How much does it cost?” 

Three million dollars.

Well, obviously, you can’t come up with that kind of money.  You begin to think – if you sold your boat, that would cover some of it.  You could sell your business and call in favors with people who owe you money.  You quickly figure out your retirement plan and it’s cash value… you sell your house…

You trade it all.  There you stand on the beach: unemployed, penniless and homeless, but holding the pearl.  You’re the happiest person in the world.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46 (ESV))

That is a crazy, ridiculous story, but it is exactly the picture that Jesus used to describe worship: giving my highest value to my greatest treasure even when it costs everything.

This is what we talked about at our December Sunday evening during our series, Growing as a Bethany Family.  We considered how to grow in the worship of our Savior.  God created us for worship, and He loves us to demonstrate our love for Him through words and actions.  I gave two Biblical examples of that in Job 2 and I Samuel 15.  I would encourage you to read those for yourself to see how God was honored or dishonored through words and actions.  

I ended our evening with six words that can have a huge impact on each of our hearts and lives for God.  I would love for you to consider these words as you think about gathering with the church this coming Sunday, the Lord’s Day.  

Commit:  Make every effort to go to church.  Don’t allow excuses to keep you from gathering with God’s people.  

Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Prepare: Go to sleep on time.  Ask God the night before to give you strength for this important gathering.

Expect: God has given many promises about our meeting together as the church.  He promises to be with us in our gathering: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20).  About His word, God says, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it”(Isaiah 55:11).  Come expecting great things!

Arrive:  Get to church early.  Read the Weekly (our bulletin) to find out what’s going on.  Pray and tell God how ready you are to hear from Him and to celebrate His goodness with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Do this before the service starts.

Participate:  Use your hands and your voice to express to God your love for Him.  Be a participant, not a spectator!  Take notes.  Write in your Bible. Sit through the whole service.  We are given seventy-five-ish minutes each week as a group to unite our hearts with joy about the most important thing.  We can’t afford to go after it half-hearted.

Protect: Ask God to help you remember what you learned.  Jesus warned us in Matthew 13:19 that the evil one wants to take away what we have learned.  But “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (I John 4:4).  Pray and ask Him to keep it fresh in your mind throughout the week. Hope to see you on Sunday!

Mike Chambers

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Please Pray for Peoria Rescue Ministries

Here are some ways that you can be praying for Peoria Rescue Ministries:
  1. Godly wisdom
  2. Godly discernment
  3. Protection (spiritually & physically & mentally)
  4. Regular provisions
  5. Godly volunteers to help minister to our men

Godly Discipline

In order to implant the Scripture into our kids' hearts at BCC, we need to be consistently sharing with them the godly principles each time they disobey. This kind of repetition can help our kids hide His Word in their hearts. Have your kids or the kids your are ministering to memorize these 4 words and go over these passages (plus more!) to help them to see the sin cycle in which we all get stuck. It is good to keep in mind that kids respond differently--especially kids from hard situations and backgrounds.

1. Idol-James 4:1
Questions to ask:
-Why did you do what you did?
-What were you wanting?
-Were you wanting attention, the toy, for your friend to play with you, etc? (give them multiple choice if they can't figure
it out on their own)
-Affirm that those desires are not necessarily bad, but they allowed them to be.
-Teach that their desire became a demand. They wanted their desire more than to please God. They were worshipping an idol or something other than God.

2. Purpose-2 Cor 5:9
-What should you be wanting instead of that demand?--To please God!
-Share the joy of living for His glory and that God promises satisfaction in Him alone.

3. Discipline-Heb 12:6
-Give godly, controlled consequences to the child.

4. Forgiveness-Rom 3:23-24
-Give them a hug (if appropriate).
-Tell them that there is nothing they can do to make you love them less.
-Tell them that God asks for them to ask Him for forgiveness as well as the person(s) they have sinned against.
-It is okay to make them pray to ask for forgiveness. You are training them.
-It is okay to have them repeat after you in prayer. You are training them.
-This puts the gospel on display! Remind them of their need for the gospel in everyday living.

May God give us much grace as we shepherd our kids and the kids of BCC,
Pastor Ben

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Please Pray for the Borisuks

Here are some ways that you can be praying for Mark and Charity Borisuk as they serve in China:
  1. Pray for three couples in our church who we are discipling this year. One of the husbands is an elder in training, one is a deacon and the other is a deacon in training. Pray that they would all be growing in their knowledge of the truth and that they would exalt Christ before the church as couples and parents.
  2. Pray for the pastors, leaders, deacons, and students that we are working with would be growing in their knowledge of the Lord, faithfully living out their faith, and accurately proclaiming the Word.
  3. We praise the Lord for the thousands who are using IRC’s translated resources and the Chinese Bible Study Toolbox. We praise the Lord for modern technology, especially WeChat, that allows for the widespread availability of these resources in China. Pray for continued open doors and opportunities, and that these materials would help lead people to the truth for the glory of God.
  4. Pray for continued protection in China with our training, church, websites, and translation "business".