Good News Brief–September 8, 2020

RECAP: UNAFRAID–based on Acts 20:22-24 and 21:3-15

If there is any word that can describe our current time, it is a time of fear. We have messages of fear all around us (losing our traditions, losing our way of life, the virus, the economy, socialism, etc.). Fear is one of the greatest tools that Satan uses to cripple people and keep the church on the sidelines. Too often decisions are made by fear, and the results become disastrous. We create that which we fear. Even the COB is not immune: we were afraid of the decline of church membership, but in our attempts to bolster membership, we as a denomination have allowed some unorthodox teachings to exist and have sped the decline!

Fear is nothing new; it has always existed. Even the strongest churches faced fear. In Acts 20-21, Paul was on his journey to Jerusalem. He knew he would face hardships, but the disciples and church leaders were afraid for him. What does this scripture teach us about fear?

First, sometimes fear causes us to hear God’s voice poorly. The disciples accurately discerned the voice of the Holy Spirit; Paul was going to face prison once he arrived in Jerusalem. But because of fear, the disciples interpreted the revelation to be a warning from God to stop Paul from going. Paul, on the other hand, took the warning as confirmation of God’s plan, and an encouragement that God would be with him despite prison. Sometimes, fear masquerades as God’s voice. But remember, God has not given us a spirit of fear. If the voice that we hear makes us afraid, maybe it is not God’s voice! The enemy wants us to remain in fear, because when we are afraid, we want to run from adversity!

Second, fear will ultimately derail us from God’s will. Sometimes we confuse God’s will with our will. We think we know what God wants from us, but it might not be God’s plan. But when we allow ourselves to be afraid, we begin to confuse God’s will with our unrealistic expectations. We succumb to the fears of hardship, loss, the unknown, the future, and death. And when bad things begin to happen, we give up, just like the disciples here did, saying, “The Lord’s will be done.” God never promised that a life of following Jesus would be prosperous; rather, he promised that even though we have those times of adversity, we will not be alone. And sometimes God’s plan is the struggle. Because of Paul’s obedience, the gospel eventually made its way to Rome and eventually to you and me!

Fear can cripple us. But we too, like Paul can be unafraid and conquer that fear. How did Paul do it, and how can we overcome as well?

First, make everything about Jesus. Paul’s singular goal was to complete the task Jesus had given him. He was no longer attached to things of the world. Personal gain, victories, or successes no longer mattered. The only thing that mattered was Jesus. Fear focuses on what we might have to give up, but faith focuses on the fact that with Jesus, we already have everything we could possibly need. Is Jesus our only goal, or are there other attachments we might possibly need to sever?

Second, remember that loss is gain. For Paul, he considered everything a loss compared to knowing Jesus, and for him to live was Christ, and to die was gain. To be absent from the body was to be present with Jesus. What Paul had learned was that the greatest loss was the loss of eternal life. So if something else causes us to lose eternal life, then it should be let go. And if we lose in this life, but have eternal life, we only have gain! Are there things that could keep us from eternal life?

Last, do what is right, no matter the cost. Paul was committed to doing the right thing. There will always be a consequence for every choice, either good or bad. If we are motivated by the consequence, we might change our trajectory to avoid a negative consequence. But when we are committed to do what is right, no matter the cost, we don’t give room for fear to grab a foothold. Paul did the right thing and faced the consequence; but more came to know Jesus!

Will we choose to allow the fear sown by this world to cripple us? Or will we be like Paul, completely unafraid, and live for Jesus even in the midst of the struggles of life?

Questions for reflection

1) Why is fear so debilitating?

2) What are some techniques you use to separate the voice of God from the voice of fear?

3) Why can fear derail us from God’s will?

4) How can an understanding of “loss is gain” help us overcome fear?

Next Sunday

Pastor Ryan will continue the Acts Church series with the sermon titled, “Knowing Your Story,” based upon Acts 22:1-21. What kept Paul going, even when his world was crashing down around him? And what gives us the strength to remain faithful in these times? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!

Daily Bible Readings for September 1 – 7

September 8: Esther 4:11-5:8 How did Esther show she was unafraid of death?

September 9: Daniel 3 How did the three Hebrew youths show they were not afraid of Nebuchadnezzar?

September 10: Daniel 6 How did Daniel show he was unafraid of the Persian edict?

September 11: Romans 1:8-17 Why was Paul unashamed of the gospel?

September 12: 2 Timothy 4:1-8 Why was Paul unafraid? And how did he encourage Timothy?

September 13: Psalm 22 What is the power of testimony?

September 14: John 4 How did a Samaritan woman’s testimony change lives?

This Week’s Events:

Wednesday, September 9–Worship Team Meeting @ 6:30 pm

Sunday, September 13–Baptism Class @ 7 pm

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, September 17–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm

Sunday, September 20–Baptism/New Member Sunday

Saturday, September 26–National Day of Prayer for our country

Saturday, September 26–Drive by outreach for White Birch

Sunday, October 4–World Wide Communion Sunday

Sunday, November 1–Congregational Business Meeting

Announcements:

Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story

As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).

Bible Study

We will take the month of July and August off from Bible study due to vacations and other scheduling conflicts. We are running into Wednesday night conflicts. For those who have been participating, would a Sunday evening suit for you? Please let Pastor Ryan know. Pastor Ryan has received to date only one response.

Call to Prayer

As we know, right now has been a time of unrest in our land. Our nation needs healing! Let us take five minutes every day to pray for our country. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” If we want to see our nation healed, it starts with us as the church in fervent prayer and leading the way of repentance. September 18-28 has been called as a ten day season of repentance. On Saturday, September 26, there will be a national day of prayer for our nation. Let us take that day and time to pray!

We will also have a special time of prayer set aside at the church on September 26, the day of the Return, the call for a national day of prayer. We will open the church at 7 pm. We ask that you RSVP for a time slot with the church office. We want to make sure we keep the numbers limited due to COVID safety.

Also, we will begin this week with a weekly area of repentance that you can pray for at home. This week’s area of national repentance is the violation of the third commandment: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain (or misuse the name in other translations).” The whole point behind this commandment is a warning to take God seriously. But today, we use his name flippantly; sometimes, it is attached to cuss words. At other times, we use the name so commonly that we forget that God is holy. In addition, sometimes we take God for granted, that we have convinced ourselves that if all we do is call on his name, he will grant us our wish, like a genie out of a bottle or a magician. For this, we need as a nation to repent.

Nursery

Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.

Sunshine Box

More details will be coming soon, but the Outreach Team has agreed to lead the creation of Sunshine Boxes for our members in long term care facilities.

Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.

1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website

2) Mail your tithe into the church office

3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm

4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving

5) Drop off in the offering plate at main entrance as you enter for church

Prayer Needs

Continue to Keep in Prayer: 

Anonymous–The office received an anonymous request for prayer.

Prayers for our Congregation–pray for those who have been unable to visit or spend time with family, those who have lost their jobs or seen furloughs, for those who have been discouraged, and those in our nursing homes, who have not been able to have any physical contact since early March.

Mary Batterman–recovering at home. To take in a meal: www.TakeThemAMeal.com/XHOZ8636.

Regina Harlow (health)

LaDawn Knicely (health)

Alda Miller (health)

Betty Miller (Roger & Nancy Simmons’ neighbor, health)

Tami Plaugher (health)

Evy Kaye Sandin (health)

Chris Shirk (Reba’s brother, health)

Grayson Whitmore (recovery)

Tom Wilfong (recovery)

Charles Wright (health)

Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)

Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB

Good News Brief–September 1, 2020

RECAP: SEEING THINGS DIFFERENTLY–based on Acts 17:16-34

Paul was in Athens. This was a very religious city which was full of idols to the Olympian pantheon of gods. It was also a city that was deeply rooted in philosophy, specifically Epicureanism (pleasure is the greatest good, no afterlife, live for here and now), and Stoicism (free yourself from emotion, pain, divine intervention, providence). Athens was also the birthplace of democracy and concepts such as trial by jury. Paul was troubled by what he saw in the culture around him. But instead of using tactics like he used in Philippi or Lystra, Paul was able to not only dialogue with the leaders of the city, but bring some of them to Jesus. How was Paul able to help others see things differently and find Jesus? And how can we do the same in our day?

1) He took time to understand the culture, or the why behind their thinking. He studied their religions, understood their philosophers, and researched their own documents. Before speaking to the culture, he sought to find the why, the underlying fears, concerns, and heartbeat.

2) He took the time to find common ground. He found the points of intersection between Christianity and the religions of antiquity and their philosophy. He found an idol to an unknown god. Even the Athenians acknowledged there was another being out there! He used this as a springboard to start a conversation about Jesus. He also quoted “In him we live and move and have our being” and “We are his offspring”–two commonly understood writings of the people that have ties to John’s gospel.

3) He then identified sin and error. Instead of coming out and attacking the people for their incorrect views, he started with the common ground and what they understood correctly. Then he pointed out the errors in the description of Jesus. Jesus is not an idol; he does not dwell in a temple. Jesus has ordered the events of life. Jesus has raised from the dead.

These three tactics in tandem helped the city see differently and led them to Jesus. We live in a day where symbols of Christianity is so common, that we often face a culture unwilling to listen to the gospel message. But what if we see things differently and change our tactics? What if we took the time to understand the culture, find the common ground first? What if we then approach the error and help people see the need for repentance and belief in Jesus through those points of intersection? Who knows who we might be able to touch too!

Questions for reflection

1) What part of culture is the most difficult to understand? Why?

2) How is finding common ground different than compromise?

3) Why is building relationship important, especially when it comes to correction?

4) Who can you reach with the gospel?

Next Sunday

Pastor Ryan will continue the Acts Church series with the sermon titled, “Unafraid,” based upon Acts 21:1-15. Paul knew faithfulness to God would lead to persecution. What can we learn from Paul about being unafraid in our faith? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!

Daily Bible Readings for September 1 – 7

September 1: 2 Kings 6:8-23 How did Elisha see things differently than Aram?

September 2: Daniel 1 How did the Hebrew boys see differently than the Babylonians?

September 3: Daniel 5 How did Daniel see differently than Belshazzar?

September 4: Habakkuk 1 How did God see the crisis differently than the prophet?

September 5: Acts 9:1-19a What did Paul see that changed his life?

September 6: Genesis 14:1-16 How did Abram show he was unafraid in light of Lot’s capture?

September 7: Numbers 13:26-14:9 How did Caleb and Joshua show they were unafraid of the Canaanites?

This Week’s Events:

Sunday, September 6–Return of regular worship hours

Sunday, September 6–Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day

Sunday, September 6–Baptism Class @ 7 pm

Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, September 9–Worship Team Meeting @ 6:30 pm

Wednesday, September 16–Ministry Team Meeting @ 6:30 pm

Thursday, September 17–Leadership Team Meeting @ 7 pm

Sunday, September 20–Baptism/New Member Sunday

Saturday, September 26–National Day of Prayer for our country

Saturday, September 26–Drive by outreach for White Birch

Sunday, October 4–World Wide Communion Sunday

Sunday, November 1–Congregational Business Meeting

Announcements:

Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story

As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).

Bible Study

We will take the month of July and August off from Bible study due to vacations and other scheduling conflicts. We are running into Wednesday night conflicts. For those who have been participating, would a Sunday evening suit for you? Please let Pastor Ryan know.

Call to Prayer

As we know, right now has been a time of unrest in our land. Our nation needs healing! Let us take five minutes every day to pray for our country. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” If we want to see our nation healed, it starts with us as the church in fervent prayer and leading the way of repentance. September 18-28 has been called as a ten day season of repentance. On Saturday, September 26, there will be a national day of prayer for our nation. Let us take that day and time to pray!

We will also have a special time of prayer set aside at the church on September 26, the day of the Return, the call for a national day of prayer. We will open the church four times on that Saturday: 10 am, 12 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm. Each session will last about an hour, and we will have specific areas to pray for.

To make the day of prayer, we are asking for two things: first, if you are willing to serve as the facilitator for one of the sessions, please let Alice Over or the church office know. We need to additional volunteers. Second, we ask that you RSVP for a time slot with the church office. We want to make sure we keep the numbers limited due to COVID safety.

Also, we will begin this week with a weekly area of repentance that you can pray for at home. This week’s area of national repentance is the violation of the second commandment: “You shall have no idols.” We may not have images of gold or silver, or objects or talismans today. But at the core of this commandment is a simple charge: we are not to make God into an image that we fashion or worship another false god. We sometimes make a Jesus in our image instead of allowing us to be changed into his image. Let us pray for national repentance, that we as a people instead of making Jesus fit our agenda, that we would be shaped by his holiness!

Nursery

Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.

Sunshine Box

More details will be coming soon, but the Outreach Team has agreed to lead the creation of Sunshine Boxes for our members in long term care facilities.

Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.

1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website

2) Mail your tithe into the church office

3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm

4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving

5) Drop off in the offering plate at main entrance as you enter for church

Prayer Needs

Continue to Keep in Prayer: 

Prayers for our Congregation–pray for those who have been unable to visit or spend time with family, those who have lost their jobs or seen furloughs, for those who have been discouraged, and those in our nursing homes, who have not been able to have any physical contact since early March.

Mary Batterman–recovering at home; sign up to provide a meal at: www.TakeThemAMeal.com/XHOZ8636.

Regina Harlow (health)

LaDawn Knicely (health, surgery upcoming)

Alda Miller (health)

Betty Miller (Roger & Nancy Simmons’ neighbor, health)

Tami Plaugher (health)

Evy Kaye Sandin (health)

Chris Shirk (Reba’s brother, health)

Grayson Whitmore (recovery)

Tom Wilfong (recovery)

Charles Wright (health)

Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)

Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB

Good News Brief–August 25, 2020

RECAP: FULL OF JOY–based on Acts 16:16-34

Paul and Silas had every reason to not be full of joy. They were arrested and essentially attacked by a mob. Why? Because they had a set a slave girl free who had a demon within her. This girl made money for her employers by telling the future. Paul and Silas set her free, and her bosses were out for revenge! Then, Paul and Silas were publicly beaten and flogged. They were whipped 39 times according to 2 Corinthians 11, one away from what was considered death. The whip was made of pieces of leather with broken pieces of pottery, glass, and bone attached at the tips, with the intent to injure and wound. And then they were thrown into prison, placed in the inner cell, and in stocks–a device meant to torture the most violent criminals, and enemies of the state.

What made this worse? Paul was a Roman citizen! His rights were violated! He went from setting someone free from oppression to being brutally beaten and placed in stocks because of a vendetta! And technically, he did not have to face this fate because of his legal status. Certainly Paul had no reason to be full of joy either.

Likewise, the jailer had no reason to be full of joy either. He fell asleep on the job. He was told to guard the prisoners carefully. When he woke up, all the doors were open! The penalty for jail break was his own death and the imprisonment of his family. His life was over, and was about to take his own life.

Yet this whole scene did not end in complaint, despondency, or death. Instead, several prisoners who could have chosen to escape ended up staying in prison. Why? Instead of taking his own life, the jailer and his entire household ended up coming to know Jesus. Further, the jailer was vindicated when the magistrate came to personally escort Paul and Silas out of prison. Why? And the church in Philippi ended up being one of the most successful church plants beyond Antioch. Why? Because in the midnight hour, when they had every reason to not be full of joy, Paul and Silas chose joy. They chose to sing praises to God. What a witness for God they gave to everyone there!

Once we declare we are a Christian, the world looks to us. Christ means hope! But when we wallow in pity, or become angry as things are turned against us, are we showing the hope of Christ? But Paul and Silas chose to be joyful in the midst of their dark circumstance, and more people found hope that night. So what will we choose when things are against us? Let us be full of joy!

Questions for reflection

1) Why is it difficult to be joyful in adversity?

2) Who is the most joy filled person you know? Why do you feel that way?

3) Joy is birthed from relationship with Christ. When times are tough, what is your relationship with Jesus like?

4) In what ways can you be a joy filled witness for Jesus?

Next Sunday

Pastor Ryan will continue the Acts Church series with the sermon titled, “Seeing Things Differently,” based upon Acts 17:16-34. Athens did not know anything about God–or did they? What does Paul teach us about the revelation of God? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!

Daily Bible Readings for August 25 – 31

August 25: John 5:1-15 Why was there reason for joy?

August 26: Mark 2:1-11 Why were people filled with joy?

August 27: Luke 19:35-43 Why was Bartimeus filled with joy?

August 28: Philippians 4:4-9 How do we find joy?

August 29: Luke 15:1-10 When is God filled with joy?

August 30: Judges 16:1-21 When did Samson see the truth? Why was it too late?

August 31: 1 Samuel 17:1-50 How did David see things differently than the army of Israel?

Birthdays

August 31–Garry Kline

This Week’s Events:

Sunday, August 30–Baptism/Membership Class @ 7 pm

Upcoming Events:

Sunday, September 6–Return of regular worship hours

Sunday, September 6–Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day

Wednesday, September 9–Bible Study resumes

Sunday, September 20–Baptism/New Member Sunday

Saturday, September 26–National Day of Prayer for our country

Sunday, October 4–World Wide Communion Sunday

Announcements:

Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story

As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).

Bible Study

We will take the month of July and August off from Bible study due to vacations and other scheduling conflicts. We will resume Bible study beginning September 9 (subject to change).

Call to Prayer

As we know, right now has been a time of unrest in our land. Our nation needs healing! Let us take five minutes every day to pray for our country. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” If we want to see our nation healed, it starts with us as the church in fervent prayer and leading the way of repentance. September 18-28 has been called as a ten day season of repentance. On Saturday, September 26, there will be a national day of prayer for our nation. Let us take that day and time to pray!

We will also have a special time of prayer set aside at the church on September 26, the day of the Return, the call for a national day of prayer. We will open the church four times on that Saturday: 10 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, and 7 pm. Each session will last about an hour, and we will have specific areas to pray for.

To make the day of prayer, we are asking for two things: first, if you are willing to serve as the facilitator for one of the sessions, please let Alice Over or the church office know. We need to additional volunteers. Second, we ask that you RSVP for a time slot with the church office. We want to make sure we keep the numbers limited due to COVID safety.

Also, we will begin this week with a weekly area of repentance that you can pray for at home. This week’s area of national repentance is the violation of the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.” Even though we as a country might not worship other gods, we have placed other things and declared them more important than God. Further, we are devoted to those things far more as a country than seeking the face of God. These other gods might be different for every person; for one it might be money, for another political ideology, sports, traditions, etc. Our first and foremost priority should be God himself…let us as a people pray for a reordering of priorities, a return to seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

Nursery

Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.

Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.

1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website

2) Mail your tithe into the church office

3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm

4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving

5) Drop off in the offering plate at main entrance as you enter for church

Prayer Needs

Continue to Keep in Prayer: 

Prayers for our Congregation–pray for those who have been unable to visit or spend time with family, those who have lost their jobs or seen furloughs, for those who have been discouraged, and those in our nursing homes, who have not been able to have any physical contact since early March.

Mary Batterman–recovering at home. To volunteer to take a meal: www.TakeThemAMeal.com/XHOZ8636.

Regina Harlow (health)

LaDawn Knicely (health)

Alda Miller (health)

Betty Miller (Roger & Nancy Simmons’ neighbor, health)

Rhoda Phifer (health/Dan Rhodes’ mother-in-law)

Tami Plaugher (health)

Lottie Ritchie (health/Sandy Bennington’s mother, at LifeCare)

Evy Kaye Sandin (health)

Chris Shirk (Reba’s brother, health)

Grayson Whitmore (recovery)

Tom Wilfong (recovery)

Charles Wright (health)

John Wright (health)

Owen Wright (health–Charles Wright’s brother)

Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB