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May 26, 2015, 2:45 PM

Moved to Pray


Have you ever heard someone say that they were 'moved to pray' about a certain thing or for a certain person? Well, our church has been moved to pray!

The Lord has been deepening Wooster Baptist's praying in 2015. It began earlier this year with one small change and one big promise. The small change took place in our order of services in our Sunday morning worship service. The church wide 'call to prayer' that previously was in the middle of the service was moved to the invitation time. This switch allows those coming forward to pray to utilize the prayer cards given in the offering plate in the service. This small change in the order has resulted in many people coming forward to pray on their knees in our worship services!

The big promise came out of a sermon that I preached in January.  In Psalm 34:18 we find this promise:  "the Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit."  'Broken heart' has to do with us being spiritually broken. When we experience that brokenness whereby we wholeheartedly admit that we absolutely must have God's help, God promises to work mightily! We are taking God at His Word.

We have also had a day of prayer event and also have had youth night of prayer as well (and another will take place this Friday night!)

We also recently had a Sunday morning prayer meeting. That doesn't quite describe it, but I'm not sure what other terms to give it. We took the entire Sunday morning worship service, broken it up by various elements of prayer and prayed in those various ways throughout the service.  I've had more encouraging comments on that one service than any service that I've ever led! To God be the Glory!

I recently was given two new suggestions from one of our senior adults in regards to prayer lists and using our prayer room more regularly. We will continue to humble ourselves in prayer and trust in the mighty workings of our God.  My hope and prayer is that you also will be moved to pray and will be inspired to deepen your own prayer life.

Prayerfully,

Parson Jay




April 1, 2015, 3:00 PM

Holy Week


Holy week is such a special week in the life of Christians. Imagine how we along with Christians all over the world are focusing on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and drawing near to Him this week!

This Thursday night is one of the my favorite services that we enjoy together each year. We call it: the Upper Room Lord's Supper service. It is on that night that Jesus would've met with his disciples in the upper room and began what we call the Lord's Supper. What a great night for us to continue to gather on all of these years later for the same purpose! Imagine all that happened that night: the Passover meal, the Lord's Supper, washing the feet, tremendous teaching. It was followed by the Gethsemane praying and the arrest and trials and crucifixion of Jesus.

On good Friday, I hope you will be mindful of Jesus' suffering, His sayings on the cross and ultimately giving His life for us even unto death.

But, of course, the story doesn't end there! On Easter Sunday, Jesus Christ triumphantly rose from the dead! He's alive. He's alive. Sing it, shout it, rejoice, our Savior is risen and alive forevermore. We invite you to join us on Thursday night at 6pm in our fellowship hall for our Upper Room service and on Easter Sunday at 10:45am as our choir leads us in celebration with an Easter Cantata.

Prayerfully,

Pastor Jay




February 24, 2015, 5:00 PM

The Power of the Tongue


A little girl came to her mother one day and asked, "Momma, which is worse, to tell a lie or to steal?" The mother replied that both were so terrible that she did not know which was worse. The little girl replied, "Well, I've been thinking a lot about it, and I think it's so much worse to lie than steal." "Why, my child?" asked the mother. The girl went on and said, "Well, you see, it's like this, if you steal a thing, you can take it back, unless you've eaten it, and if you've eaten it, you can pay for it; but a lie is forever."

Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of having to eat our words. We wished desperately that we could take it back, but we could not.  God's Word puts it this way: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Proverbs 18:21) and "Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles" (Proverbs 21:23). 

Words are powerful! Words can hurt, destroy, and tear people down. Words can also bless, heal, encourage, and tell people about Jesus.  

God has given us two ears and only one mouth. Now doesn't that tell us something?! The Bible teaches us to: "be swift to hear, slow to speak" (James 1:19). Many relationships would be immediatley improved if not transformed if we would learn to be careful with our words and use our words to encourage and lift up.

Have you ever asked God to aid you in the use of your tongue? Have you ever yielded it over to the Lord for His purposes? Why not stop now and pray? God, the Creator of our mouths and of words, has given us the ability to communicate and will surely hear your humble prayer and come to your aid.

 Frances Ridley Havergal penned the words to this old favorite hymn, 'Take My Life and Let it Be':

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.

Praying for you,

Pastor Jay

 




February 3, 2015, 9:00 PM

News, Notes, Happenings


News, Notes, and Happenings:

*For the last three Sunday mornings, we've had tremendous times of prayer at the invitation time in our services. Many have come forward to pray at the front on their knees. The people have really responded to the messages on prayer and revival. This is a wonderfully exciting development! We give praise to the Lord for moving our hearts towards Him in prayer as a congregation!  

*On Sunday March 1st, we will have a Western Day and Men's Chili Cookoff. Come dressed in your cowboy clothes and get out your chili recipes! Details to come!

*VBS dates have been set for June 28 to July 2nd. We've moved our dates up from our usual time in July and will be begin on a Sunday evening and use a different material as well.

*Psalm 34:18 continues to move in my heart- 'the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who contrite in heart.' God moves and works in the lives of those and the congregation that approaches Him with a spiritual brokenheartedness and seek Him with their whole hearts.

Good things are happening. Keep praying and seeking the Lord!

Parson Jay




December 10, 2014, 2:00 PM

Valley Mission Trip 2014



A group of us from the San Jacinto Baptist Association went to the Rio Grande Valley this past weekend on a mission trip. This trip is an annual mission trip in our association. This year we went to Mercedes, Texas.

 I look forward to this activity each year for a number of reasons:

*It is a fairly inexpensive mission trip

*it is only a 6 hour or so one way trip

*it is a kid friendly trip (I counted 5 kids, 7 youth)

*we are able to help and encourage a smaller church and a small church pastor

*we are able to bring smiles to the faces of the children

*the good news of Jesus is shared

On Saturday, we heard a brief accounting of that little church's history. It was amazing to hear how God brought about what other's were saying was impossible. We then went door to door in the colonias. We invited people to the block party, handed out gospel tracts and verbally told people about Jesus. It was tremendous. I personally was able to share the gospel with two people.

In the afternoon, we set up for the block party. Since the church grounds were filed with mud, we set it up right on the street.  Everyone had a role. I didn't see anyone doing nothing. Isn't that the way it should be in our churches? Everyone busy serving.

Again the good news of Jesus was shared. One of the ones to share their testimony was my son Benjamin. He's 11 yeas old. He shared about five sentences in total with each being translated into Spanish. My wife shared the real Christmas story using a coloring book and an evanga-cube. She shared with lots of children and finally to the whole crowd. But, they weren't the only ones to share! Many others shared their testimonies. Willie and Angie Rosales sang gospel songs. And an evangelist at the end brought it all together. I don't know the numbers, but the result was new brothers and sisters in Christ.

God was so good to us. He even held off the rain until we had everthing packed back into the trailer. And boy did it rain!

When we arrived at the church building on Sunday morning, the mud in front of the buildng was now a small pond. However, we overcame this challenge, and it didn't seem to keep the people from coming either! It was standing room only! I would dare say that 300 people were there in that small buildilng. The children even had a happy birthday cake for Jesus. And the last item on the agenda was to distribute the Christmas stockings to the kids. My favorite picture from this trip is that of a little girl holding on to her stocking present and it's over half her size!

It's still amazing what happens when God's people pray, work together with perseverance and flexibilty, give of themselves to others, and step out to share Christ!  You don't have to go to the Valley to be a part of such an amazing adventure. Start right where you are today. God can use you.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others this Christmas season!

Bro. Jason

 




November 17, 2014, 5:41 PM

WBC Thanksgiving and Christmas Plans



I love this time of the year. It can be a very busy season and yet it is a very wonderful season. Our schedules and routines are adjusted as we set our hearts and minds on the Lord.  Here is list of happenings at Wooster for this holiday season:

*Annual Thanksgiving Meal   Nov. 23rd at 6pm

*Decorating our Sanctuary Nov. 29th at 9am

*Lighting of First Advent Candle and Hanging of the Greens service Nov. 30th  (a.m. worship service)

*Lottie Moon International Missions Christmas Emphasis and Offering and continues throughout December!!!

*Lighting of Second Advent Candle and Presentation of White Christmas gifts  Dec. 7th (a.m. worship service)

*Lighting of Third Advent Candle and Presentation of White Christmas gifts Dec. 14th (a.m. worship service)

*Choir Cantata  Dec. 14th at 5pm

*Wooster Family Christmas (for the kids!!!)  Dec. 17th from 6-8pm

*Lighting of Fourth Advent Candle  Dec. 21st (a.m. worship service)

*Christmas Eve Service and Lighting of the Fifth Advent Candle- the Christ Candle 5pm

{this doesn't even include any Christmas parties!!!}

It's going to fun, and it's going to be about Jesus! Come join us!

Bro. Jason




November 10, 2014, 10:00 AM

One Necessity for the Holiday Season: Prayer!


One excuse for lack of praying is: I don't know what to pray. If this applies to you, I recommend using a Model for praying. The Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 is still the premier model. I highly recommend praying through the points of that marvelous model. At times, I still use the ACTS model for praying. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

When it comes to supplication (making requests),  I use five "L's" - 

Leaders        (government, SBC, church)  

Laborers      (missionaries, local church workers, pastor)

Lost people  (make this specific)

Love ones    (members of your family)

Little ole me

If you'll use the ACTS model and include praying for leaders, laborers, lost people, loved ones and yourself, you'll not be able to say: I don't know what to pray.

Another excuse for our neglect of prayer is:  I'm too busy to pray. I don't have enough time in my day to pray.   Martin Luther gave the opposite view. His attitude was more along the lines of: I'm too busy NOT to pray.

The holidays are upon us. Our church activities and personal activities will likely increase at this time of the year. We sure can find ourselves in a whirlwind of activity! And if we're not careful, we'll neglect dwelling with God in prayer. Before we get any closer to the holidays, let's settle it in our hearts and minds that we will make time in our schedules to pray.

If I can add one more suggestion, before you say "Amen," quiet your heart, dwell upon Jesus and prayerfully ponder a promise from the Lord and just listen and be still. Henry Drummond once said, "Ten minutes spent in Christ's presence every day, aye, two minutes, will make the whole day different."

Let's not neglect praying this holiday season. Let's dwell even more in the presence of our Savior!

Blessings to you all,

Parson Jay




October 28, 2014, 5:00 PM

Serving in a Little Place


A certain man after being mightily delivered by Jesus Christ begged Jesus to let him go with Him wherever He was going. Jesus told him 'No.' However, He did have an assignment for this now free man: "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you" (Mark 5:19). It's not what he wanted. Perhaps he had dreams of doing something 'big' for Jesus. What would you do if you found yourself in a similar situation with Christ? Would you obey an assignment from Jesus even if it wasn't what you really desired?  Let the following poem called "My Place" by Eleanor Scott Sharples sink in:

"Father, where shall I work today?"

And my love flowed warm and free.

Then He pointed me out a tiny spot,

And said, "Tend that for me."

I answered quickly, "Oh, no, not there.

Why no one would ever see,

No matter how well my work was done;

Not that little place for me!"

And the words He spoke, it was not stern;

He answered tenderly:

"Ah, little one, search that heart of thine;

Art thou working for them or me?

Nazareth was a little place,

And so was Galilee."

What marvelous truth we find in these words! Let's listen for the Lord's assignment, whether we'd call it big or small. And let's work for Him rather then for them. This Jesus deserves from us and so much more. Go home and tell of the great things Jesus has done for you.

Prayerfully,

Parson Jay
 




October 22, 2014, 10:25 AM

SJBA Annual Meeting 2014


Last night our local San Jacinto Baptist Association held it's annual meeting for 2014. We met at Central Baptist Church in Baytown, Texas. The Theme was: "Now is the Time." Randy Gilchrist shared with us how our nation has been moving further away from God and showed us some grim statistics in relation to our own work in our own area. SJBA consists of 49 total churches with five being African American, 12 being Hispanic, and 32 being Anglo. We have our 26,000 members, average over 7200 in worship attendance, and have over 4500 in Bible studies. These numbers equate to less than 3% of our population. Now is the time. We reported a very meager 399 baptisms over the last year which was down by 148 from the year before. Now is the time. Fellow pastor Jake Porter brought the annual sermon to us from Hebrews 13:8-16. He did a fantastic job at calling us to boldly follow Christ. Now is the time to boldly follow Christ and be about His work. I was excited to hear that our association is calling for a day of unity and solemn assembly amongst our churches on May 7th, 2014. It is to be a day of prayer and fasting and repenting.  The fellowship, the food, the singing were all really good. The challenge to wake up and to boldly follow Christ was even better. Now is the time. Let's get to it.

Prayerfully,

Parson Jay




September 9, 2014, 9:23 AM

Monday was a Ministry Day


Yesterday was a really good ministry day, and it was on a Monday. Sometimes Monday gets a bad rap. But, yesterday Monday was terrific because I had many opportunities to be a blessing to others.

It began with an opportunity to witness to a young married man who came to our church for help with some food. I proceeded to the hospital a little while later to minister to a church member who recently broke his leg/hip area. He's been through a lot and endures a lot of pain on a daily basis. He was jolly and ready to face this new challenge. As I was turning in our church's ACP (annual church profile) to the associational office, I heard of the new plans for this year's Valley Mission Trip. We will be helping with a new church plant!

Then it was time to lead our service in a local nursing home. We were met with a new couple! We don't have many of those in the nursing home ministry. They just moved back to Baytown. They must both be around 85 years old or so and such a delightful couple! We did receive news that one of our regulars in our service there changed his address to heaven this past weekend. We rejoice in the hope of the Lord. He will be missed.

A wonderful personal time of prayer was acheived late in the afternoon. "Just a little talk with Jesus" sure does a help a person! Then my family showed up for us to do some outreach visitation together! We visited an inactive member and her family. We had an initial ministry visit with a older man who is not doing well physically and certainly has spiritual needs. We had a very productive visit with a good prospect. And we finished the night by aiding a family in our church to supply some much needed encouragement and advice.

A good day of ministering to some people may be exactly what you need to find yourself encouraged, renewed and ready to move forward.

Prayerfully,

Parson Jay


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