Note: Pastor Ryan will be on vacation beginning Monday, July 31 through Sunday, August 6 to allow for moving Samantha into college at Liberty. The next Good News Brief will be on Tuesday, August 8. If you have a situation that requires pastoral care, please contact one of the deacons next week!
RECAP: HEAR AND ACT based on Matthew 7:24-29
Jesus closed his famous Sermon on the Mount with a parable that many of us have known since we were children. We all want to be like the wise person who built their house on the rock and not like the foolish individual who built on the sand. For when the storm came, what was built on the stand was destroyed. But how do we know we have rock-solid faith and that our life of faith is not built on the sand?
The storms of life are inevitable. It is very miserable to be caught outside in one like my family experienced back in 2016 heading home from Grand Caverns to Fishersville. In addition to the torrential rain, we had to dodge tree limbs that were being blown down all around us. When we finally arrived home, there were several inches of standing water in our basement! Just as literal storms come, we also can experience storms that come from anywhere. The storm might look like losing someone we love, or the diagnosis of an illness, or loss of a job, or a crisis that shocks your faith and belief in Jesus to your core. It is when these storms of life and faith arise that reveal if we are truly rock-solid or built on sand. No one knows when the storm will come. Rock-solid faith is proactively built before the storms come.
What did Jesus say were the characteristics of such faith?
- Open your ears to listen. We need to tune our ears to hear God speak. Remove distractions that prevent us from hearing or listening to other voices that compete with God. It is not enough to just hear God’s instruction; we have to do something about what we are hearing. The loss of 2,208 individuals in the Great Johnstown Flood of 1889 if the person who received the telegraph of the impending failure of the dam had believed what he heard and did not dismiss it as a false alarm! We need to hear and be sensitive to God speaking.
- Act upon the Word of God. We cannot be merely hearers of the Word, but doers also. Don’t let God’s Word just be words; rather, allow it to shape us and guide our living. We need to be committed to orthodoxy, or right teaching and ethics. We also need to be committed to orthopraxy, or right practice and orthopathy, or having a right heart or disposition. That is what the whole Sermon on the Mount is about. If we can live out what God teaches us, our faith will grow strong.
- Live in wisdom. We do need to listen to and act upon the Word, but we also need to apply wisdom. Wisdom knows the truth and then applies it to every area of living. Those living in Israel know about the dangers of building in a wadi; when the flash flood comes, everything in its path is destroyed. If we know something causes destruction or can damage our faith, wisdom encourages us to remove those things or not build our lives upon them. We have to take what we know and make common sense decisions based on its truth.
- Build your life on Christ. Our foundation is critically important to our future. We can build on the sand, those things which are easy and can change regularly. The heart of humanity is fickle and fads come and go. Or we can build our life on the Eternal One, the one who does not change like shifting shadows! In the end, our effort does not truly matter; what matters is who we built our life upon.
If we do these things, our faith will be rock-solid. But if we ignore the Word of God by listening to other voices, if we do not practice life by the Word by doing instead whatever feels good at the moment, if we are driven by folly, gambling that the storm will never come, and if we build our lives on any other foundation other than Jesus, when the storm comes, we will fall with a thundering crash! Take the time now to build your faith in what is important!
Questions for Reflection
1) What other voices distract you from hearing Christ well? What can help you focus on Christ’s voice more?
2) In what areas can you improve in living the Bible?
3) Do you proactively build your faith daily?
4) Can people tell your life is built on Christ?
5) What storms have you faced recently? How has your faith been in the midst of it?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will conclude the study in the discipline of meditation with the sermon titled, “What Are You Thinking?”, based on Philippians 4:8. How do our thoughts influence our faith? Why is it important to focus on healthy things? Come or tune in on Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for July 25 – August 7
July 25: Romans 9:1-29 What is the limitation of human obedience? Why do we need mercy?
July 26: Romans 9:30-10:4 What should our attitude be toward unbelievers?
July 27: Romans 10:5-15 How can one find true salvation?
July 28: Romans 10:16-21 What role does free will play in following God?
July 29: Romans 11:1-24 How did God demonstrate his mercy?
July 30: Romans 11:25-36 What is God’s heart?
July 31: Romans 12:1-8 How should we live in response to God’s mercy?
August 1: Romans 12:9-21 How also should we live in response to God’s mercy?
August 2: Romans 13:1-7 How should we treat those in authority?
August 3: Romans 13:8-14 What does true love look like?
August 4: Romans 14:1-23 How should we encourage and support one another?
August 5: Romans 15:1-13 How should we encourage and support one another?
August 6: Romans 15:14-22 Why did Paul want to minister to the Gentiles?
August 7: Romans 15:23-33 How did Paul desire to help both the Romans and the people of God?
This Week’s Events:
Saturday, July 29–Men’s Fellowship Breakfast, 7:15 am @ Thomas House
Sunday, July 30–Vespers @ 6 pm
Sunday, August 6–First Sunday Breakfast
Sunday, August 6–Get Out Of Your Head Bible Study Resumes, 4 pm @ Melissa Poulson’s house (see Lynne or Bill for details)
Friday, August 11 – Sunday, August 13–Church Retreat @ Natural Chimneys
Sunday, August 13–Children’s Church begins
Meditation– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
Meditation comes from intentionally setting your mind on something and repeatedly thinking about it. In the book Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen (the book used for the Bible study led by Lynne and Bill this summer), there is a pattern that all of us as human beings follow when it comes to our minds:
Emotion –> Thought –> Behavior –> Relationships –> Consequence
Our emotions, what we feel in the moment, produce thoughts. Our thoughts influence our decisions, which we act out in behavior. Our behaviors and choices influence our relationships with God, family, friends, and neighbors. The result of these choices and their influence on relationships leads to long-term consequences. A toxic spiral ultimately will lead to destruction, loss of purpose, and loss of fruitfulness–just like David described in Psalm 1!
But we have a choice! That choice is where meditation comes in. When we choose to delight in the law of the Lord and meditate upon the things of God and the Scriptures, we can interrupt the toxic spiral and turn it around for good (again, just like Psalm 1!).
This week, we are going to focus on building upward spirals. To not spiral out of control and away from God, we have to intentionally change what we focus on and think about. Over the last few Sundays, we have focused on the Word of God. This upcoming Sunday, we will focus on some other things as well to help our mindsets. First, we need awareness of how many negative thoughts flood our minds. One day this week, I want you to keep a tally. Draw two columns on a piece of paper. In the left column, title it positive thoughts; in the right column, write negative. Every time you have a negative or positive thought I would like for you to intentionally notate with a tally mark. At the end of your day, add up your tally marks. Which one did you focus on more? Were you surprised at how many negative thoughts come into your brain?
To reduce the amount of negative thoughts, you must identify the sources of negativity. Evaluate all areas of your life. Which sources tend to sour your mood? After interactions with what things make you feel angry or depressed? Those are the influences you need to reduce. It might be forms of media–news, paper, social media, television, music, etc. It might be some friends or coworkers. Whatever it is, reduce the power of that influence by removing yourself as much as possible from that exposure.
Once you identify the negative, fill yourself up with positive things. Spend time in nature, enjoying God’s wonderful creation. Fill yourself with God’s Word, or praise and worship music, or classic hymns. Surround yourself with joyful individuals. Enjoy a good book, cuddle with your pet, or listen to the rain. Whatever brings you joy, fill yourself with those things!
What you will find is that the more you intentionally replace the negative with the positive, your outlook will improve, and you will find yourself drawing closer to God every day.
We will have our next Vespers of the summer this Sunday, July 30, at 6 pm. We will have a simple meal together, sing some camp-song favorites, have a fellowship activity, and share in God’s Word. These have been very enjoyable in the past, so I encourage you to come attend!
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office or leave in the offering plate your birth date so we do not miss anyone!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. Contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Phyllis Simmons (children’s story) if you want to serve.
Beaver Creek Church Retreat
Natural Chimneys Campground
August 11-13, 2023
RV sites: C3, C4, C22 (see Winnie for details)
An additional site for tent camping and overflow parking: C21 (see Jane for details)
(We saw online this morning that adjacent sites are still available).
Friday, August 11
Arrive and set up camp.
Campground’s official check-in time is 2 p.m.
Informal supper around the campfire in Beaver Creek camping zone 6 p.m.: Hot dogs and fixings provided
(Note: Pool not available Friday.)
Saturday, August 12
Lunch: noon. Bring something for yourself or to share (We will provide drinks, chips, paper plates, cups, ice, and materials for a make-a-sandwich lunch.)
Open group swim for all interested: 3 p.m. at the pool
(Pool admission is $4/person. Children 3 and under are free. Admission can be purchased from the Visitor Center with VISA, MasterCard, Discover, cash, or check.)
The fire starts at 5 p.m. at Shelter 2.
Make a mountain pie for supper at 6 p.m. (mountain pie materials are provided along with drinks, chips, paper plates, cups, and ice). Bring a side dish, and a mountain pie iron if you have one.
Vespers at 7 p.m. at Shelter 2.
S’mores around the fire in the Beaver Creek camping zone: 8:15 p.m.
Sunday, August 13
Break camp: Campground’s official check-out time is 12 noon
Sunday School and worship at Beaver Creek as usual
CHILDREN’S CHURCH & NURSERY
We are hoping to launch a children’s church and nursery beginning in August. If you attended the meeting or are interested in helping and DID NOT receive the email with the Child Protection Policy and background check information, please check your Spam folder or contact the church office to ensure we have the correct email address on file. The Christian Education Team needs the background check information and a signed copy of the signature pages for the Child Protection Policy no later than Sunday morning!
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place them in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
The Christian Education Team is looking for six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour and church hour. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to be able to participate in worship, please let one of the members of Christian Education know (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!
Sight & Sound Interest
The Fidelis class is looking at sponsoring a church-wide trip to Sight & Sound in 2024. But before the class can investigate bus prices and total cost, we want to gauge the true interest in the church. We have had several express interest and are trying to the best package for us as a church body. If you are interested and would like to be considered for this one-day event next year, please contact the office or let Pastor Ryan know in the next few weeks.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe to the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Place in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller & Carolyn Wine
Keep Evy Kaye’s friend Mary Beth and Tami Plaugher’s friend Vicki (cancer)
Pray also for those departing to college in the next few weeks.
Eddie Baker (health)
Terri Burkholder (health)
Deanne Dastoli (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
Bill Eckard (health)
Emma Eckard (safe travels)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Alma Long (recovery)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (health)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Norma Samalot (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Cindy Wittig (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church