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New Beginnings

We have just had our first "cold" spell of the season in Caldwell county. 

Everyone it seemed could not get enough of the faint, cool, breezes that crooned through the trees. The crisp, new, chilly, autumn air unearthed an enthusiasm and a "get up and go" attitude that had been missing for quite some time.

What is it about a simple change in weather that can bring out the best in people? It's almost like each new season is a new beginning of sorts. It's very representation of newness stirs up changes in our souls. Autumn visions of our favorite warm cozy sweater; rich hot cocoa; and steaming hot apple cider spring into action in our hearts.

The Bible also references new changes and beginnings in our lives as being seasons. Seasons are metaphors for God's perfect timing in delivering us through all the changes He makes in our lives. These certain seasons can bring about the blessings we reap from having been obedient in following him through those changes even if we did not fully understand or welcome them.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

This scripture tells us to never give up. No matter how long, strenuous and painstaking the road or trials are in our lives, there is always a new season ahead, a season of new beginnings.

Every day we can make the decision to begin again. We can adopt a positive mindset to overcome, conquer, and live triumphantly. All beginnings must eventually come to an end so a new beginning, a new season, can commence. We need to take the opportunity to look ahead at what can be and forget the what-might-have-beens. We can challenge ourselves to be better, live higher, rise above our own self-appointed limitations. We can look ahead to a new season of thinking, speaking, acting and living more positively. Each subtle change we implement towards living a more positive life will eventually take root and manifest itself into our days, weeks, months and years.

A beautiful tree full of wonderful green foliage and rich, ripened fruit can offer shelter, nourishment, and shade, but only temporarily. The leaves eventually turn brilliant hues of crimsons, golds, reds and oranges, offering us a wonderful spectacle to behold, a brushstroke of genius only God can artfully paint. Then, those leaves must fall, leaving that beautiful tree bare and vulnerable as it must survive the harshest of seasons.The tree must go through that season to begin a new life, a new cycle,with budding blossoms fragrant and beautiful.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3

We need to be incessantly grateful and thank God continually even when our future seems very unclear. We can still stay firmly planted in faith so we will never wither; but always prosper and produce good fruit.

All glory comes then from daring to begin, daring to change, ushering in each new season, and forever trusting God with each unpredictable new step. Never stop believing and growing. We can never fully know what God's intentions are for us, but we can always do our absolute best with where He has placed us right now. Only then, when we have learned all there is to learn and are truly grateful in this place, this season, will God move us to a new, more bountiful, and blessed season.

For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

 

 

 

 


Dear Friends,
 
If you look in our Sunday bulletins you will see these words at the top of the page:  “Enter to Worship.”  Worship is an essential part of living the Christian life.  We come together as a family in Christ to bow down before Him, to lift up the name of Jesus, and to worship Him in spirit and in truth.  Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Worship is so important.  It keeps us connected with God and it keeps us connected with our church family.
 
At the bottom of the page you will see these words:  “Depart to Serve.”  Worship isn’t the end…it’s just the beginning.  Worship is what gets us ready to go back out into the world to serve and minister and tell others about the God we worship.  Coming in and going out are both needed in order to live a full and fruitful Christian life.  
 
Our new deacons are:  Michael Correll, Bret Hollar, Dwight Joplin and Jeff Starnes.  They were chosen on Sunday, August 11, to serve a three year term.  Please keep them in your prayers.  We will have an ordination service for Michael in September.
 
As we have begun a new church year, please let all of our church leaders, our committee members, your Sunday School teacher or group leader, know how much you appreciate them.  They mean so much to the ministry of our church, just as you do as well.  We need each other as well as the Lord.  Thank you so much for what you do to help make our church what it is today.
 
Be praying for the Endure Race on September 28.  Not only is this an opportunity to raise money for missions, it is also a time to meet people at the race and talk with them about Jesus.  With these funds, we have helped support missions in places around our world.  We have started the Good News Bible Club in Dudley Shoals Elementary School, helped with South Caldwell Christian Ministries, the Helping Hands Clinic, sent Bible sticks to our military, bought Bibles in Spanish and Kekchi, helped support ministry outreach to Appalachian State, NC State and Campbell University, bought the trailer to use with the Hope Box ministry, and much more.  Thank you especially to Melissa Sims, the chairperson of this ministry.
 
Sunday, September 29, is “Bring A Friend to Church Day.”  You have been doing a great job inviting people to come and bringing them to church with you.  It is a joy to meet new people and welcome them to our church.  Several of our guests have become new family members.  Keep up the good work.  Invite someone and bring them with you especially on the 29th.  Let’s make this a very special day.        
 
On October 10, Franklin Graham will be at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory as a part of the Decision America Tour.  If you would like to be a volunteer for this event, please go to DECISIONAMERICA.COM.  Music will be provided by Jeremy Camp and Dennis Agajanian. 
 
Also, in October (20-23) we will be having our Fall Revival.  Rev. Bradley Johnson will be our guest speaker.  It will be good to have “one of our own” back with us.  Put those dates on your calendar and make plans now to attend.  Please keep all of these events and others in your prayers.
 
From my heart,
 
Pastor Gordon

Greetings from Astoria!

Fall is just around the corner but we’re hanging onto a few remaining days of summer! Here are a few updates and prayer requests. As always, we are so appreciative of your prayers and support! 
  • We celebrated the baptism of Donna, a waitress we met at a local restaurant during our Coats for the City celebration.  Many of you who volunteered that weekend interacted with Donna. We’ve been studying the Bible together for several months.  Please pray for Donna’s husband, Tim and her teenage son, Dreyton.  Pray for Donna to grow as a new believer—we meet once a week and she joins our house church too!
  • Several new men have joined our House Church group and Randy is meeting with them through the week.  The group meeting has moved from Wednesday night to Tuesdays. This is when Randy is introduced to the group and offers to meet with any who are interested. Pray for these men—many are Veterans and their struggles are difficult.  Pray for Randy to have wisdom and discernment.
  • Debbie has been enjoying a new opportunity to meet women by participating in the lap/walk swim program and the Senior Adult water aerobics class offered but the NYC Parks Department at the Astoria Pool. The ladies have been very welcoming and helpful. Pray for more opportunities to have gospel conversations as our time together in the pool comes to an end soon.  Other opportunities are possible such as senior tennis and some of the group joins the YMCA in the winter. 
Thank you again for your prayers and support!
Randy and Debbie Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Better Late Than Never Report"

The start of school marks the end of another summer for this Youth Pastor. I shared it Sunday, but more than ever my heart/passion for seeing the next generation rise up is stronger than ever. We had our share of fun time this summer; from camp to tubing, to throwing buckets of paint on each other. But nothing thrills my heart more than to see teenagers serve others in the name of the Lord. Most Thursdays throughout the summer we meet for something called, “Thursday Serveday.” This day is specifically used to reach or serve someone in need within our surrounding community. 

Our teenagers were able to restore a driveway washed out by a storm, prepare the Endure Race trails, and help the countless number of families get back on track with minor maintenance around their homes. Our very last Serveday was probably our most challenging. A lady from one of our chapels reached out to us to help work on some projects around her home. Agreeing to help, not knowing the shape of the home left us with quite the surprise when we showed up to do work. Furniture was throughout the yard, trash was piled high on the back porch, and the grass was about waist high at certain points. It was one of those days that you tightened up your shoelaces and pulled the gloves up as high as they would go. I was blown away by the sheer “servants heart” displayed by each of our students. I think we all learned a lot that day. We learned what happens when you just give up emotionally, physically and maybe even spiritually. But more than anything we learned that there’s no stopping the local church when there is truly a need around us. 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. DON’T COUNT OUT THIS GENERATION. THEY’RE PRETTY AWESOME!

 

-Pastor Kyle 

 

 

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1882 Dudley Shoals Rd
Granite Falls, NC 28630

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