Some of you may remember when I wrote my weekly “North Country Notes”. That was a few years ago. Well, I’m bringing them back, but they’re going to be different. I’ve decided to share with you a weekly North Country Note for the purpose of highlighting some of the great things that God has been doing in or around the church. God has been and continues to be so gracious to us as a church and I’d like for as many as possible to know just what HE is doing. So, here goes…
On Monday, some of my children and I traveled to Kalamazoo to Northeastern Baptist Church where my younger brother Nathan is Pastor of Worship and Discipleship. They are one of our sister churches in the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches (MARBC). The 69th Annual Conference of the MARBC was being held there and we were able to be there for the first day of meetings. What a great encouragement that was to see again some of the pastors and leaders from our fellow churches around the state. I so enjoyed hearing how God is working in many of the association churches. We also enjoyed messages from Ken Floyd, the Executive Director of the MARBC, and from Dr. Charles Ware, President of Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Dr. Ware delivered messages that were well received and much needed. The audio for those messages will be available on the MARBC.net website soon.
I was also greatly encouraged by the music ministry during our time there on Monday. Of course I’m biased since my brother leads the music ministry there. But our times of worship there on Monday were simply incredible. And I was most encouraged by the participation of the people of Northeastern Baptist Church. What faithful and humble servants of the Lord there at Northeastern who helped lead us in worship. They are a real asset to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word that takes place every week in that church. We came home late Monday night but how refreshing to be able be at the meetings with our brothers and sisters in Christ from all over Michigan.
For our Wednesday evening meeting, Ken and Lois Beach, were with us. They are our missionaries we’ve supported for many years who are with Word of Life in Quebec. I was happy to see a good turnout to hear from Ken and Lois — we don’t get to see them very often — they too were very grateful for the number of you who came to the meeting. So, thank you, to those who were here Wednesday night, I know it was a great encouragement to the Beaches as well, since they had just come from Lansing after about 5 days in a missions conference and meetings. And thanks to Roberta Miller who made calls reminding folks of the meeting.
Ken Beach mentioned something Wednesday evening that I think was a challenge we needed to hear. He noted that as they’ve entered semi-retirement they’ve found themselves as busy as ever. I hear some of you saying that too. But then he said that one of their partners in ministry had encouraged them that you don’t “retire”, you just get “reassigned”. And that’s really as it should be for followers of Christ. I hope that’s what we’re learning together, just as we’ve been challenged lately in our series in John 13, that we never stop serving, we’re to never stop loving one another, we’re to never stop loving our neighbors. You may have reached your retirement years, but as God’s people you never retire, you’re just reassigned.
As always, if you missed a Sunday, I’d encourage you to go online and listen to the latest Sunday morning messages. This past Sunday’s message was especially important. It touches on the most necessary area of obedience — this one area is so crucial to all other Christian disciplines. I wonder if you can guess what it is? I hope you’ll have a listen. Here’s a link to that message. And you can always find a link to the latest sermon audio on the church website home page here.
On another note, we’ve been encouraging you to fill out the Ministry Survey so that we might better help you find your place to serve as a part of HLBC. If you call Higgins Lake Baptist Church home, it would be a great help to us if you’d fill out the survey as soon as possible. We minister most effectively as God’s church when we each find our place to serve. And please do fill out the form even if you are away for the season or you are already serving. To make it easier for you, we put the form online this week — you’ll find it here.
This Sunday I plan to finish John 13:36-38. Read ahead and think about your devotion to Christ and your willingness follow Christ wherever He leads.
One more thing. God graciously supplied for the church parsonage a new dishwasher to replace the older, failed unit. Carolyn is looking forward to using it soon and the kids are looking forward to a break from regular dish duties. Or maybe just Carolyn and I will use it on our dish night.
Wow. It’s been a full week.
I hope to see you Sunday.
Thankful for God’s grace,