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Does your church calendar cause burnout?

Posted on Dec 14 , 2013 in Blog

A good article that should make us stop and think about “being busy” compared to accomplishing God’s purpose for the chruch and family:     http://jeremywallace.net/2013/12/11/the-family-casualties-of-a-hectic-church-calendar/

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Is Your Church Attendance Irregular?

Posted on Dec 13 , 2013 in Blog

Here is an article to get you thinking: The Scandal of the Semi Churched.

I quote but one paragraph and then let your read the rest on your own.

I want to talk about church members who attend their home church with great irregularity. These aren’t unchurched folks, or de-churched, or under-churched. They are semi-churched. They show up some of the time, but not every week. They are on again/off again, in and out, here on Sunday and gone for two. That’s the scandal of the semi-churched. In fact, Thom Rainer argues that the number one reason for the decline in church attendance is that church members don’t go to church as often as they used to.”

Frankly irregular attendance is not good for you, fellow believers in the Body, nor for your local church’s health.  To say nothing of the impact on the unsaved or newly saved.

Make plans to be in church not just during this Christmas season, but on regular basis starting this week.

PH

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Without the first advent of Christ we would still be spiritually dead

Posted on Dec 07 , 2013 in Blog

Let this quote sink in: “Historically, Christians have begun their reflections upon the incarnation, not by celebrating it, but by remembering why it was necessary. Advent is not a feast, it is a fast. It is a season for reminding ourselves of what we were without Christ, and of what we would be if He had not come.” (Why He had to Come)

 

Matthew 1:21 – She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Luke 2:11 – For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Gal 4:4-5- But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

This Christmas as we reflect on His birth, let us be reminded why He had to come: we were lost and dying in our sins. 

 

PH

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House rules for a church family

Posted on Dec 06 , 2013 in Blog

I have on my desk a list of 30 “one anothers” that stand as a reminder to me that church is not a place where go to keep a seat warm, or making sure there’s a quorum for a business meeting.  Rather, a local church is about building relationships with fellow believers.  Not simply believers who are “like you” but believers who are older, young, married, single, widow/widower…learning to share our lives as we travel on in our Christian journey.

Maybe you’ve been hurt before.  Maybe you’re an introvert.  Maybe you simply have never been taught that a “church family” is a spiritually bonded family learning from each other.  John Loftness writes “Fellowship is participating together in the life and truth made possible by the Holy Spirit through our union with Christ.  Fellowship is sharing something in common at the deepest level of human relationships—our experience of God himself.”

The best gift you can give your local church this Christmas is YOU.  Let me strongly suggest that as you give yourselves to one another think beyond the Sunday morning service.  Think of the “house rules” as family rules of conduct:

  • Be at peace with one another
  • Be devoted to one another
  • Weep with one another
  • Rejoice with one another
  • Serve one another
  • Bear with one another
  • Forgive one another…

…You get the point intentionally put yourself in a vulnerable position, a position where you have to trust God to walk you through the growing pains of a relationship with fellow believers.  It will take commitment, prayer, work, patience, but it will be a commitment that is well worth it because you will be investing yourself in people. And guess what,  you’ll learn, grow, and become a better Christian and local church for having taken the time to share your life with fellow believers. 

 

PH

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Origin of Bible Baptist Church of New Hartford, New York

Posted on Nov 25 , 2013 in Blog

A Bible study was started by several Baptist Bible Seminary students then located in Johnson City, N.Y. before 1956.  Among this group of students was (Pastor) Hymann Vann and (Pastor) Robert Barrett.  When they were enable to continue the Bible study due to distance, finances and their own studies, the Bible study was discontinued. 

Some two years later the Lord burdened Hymann Vann to contact Judson Poole, a student at Seminary, to look over the area for a possible new church.  Many times Judson Poole was contacted and refused to survey the area. 

However, to put a stop to the urging of Hymann Vann, he agreed to go to New Hartford on Palm Sunday, March 1956.  A bad snow storm made traveling impossible so the trip was postponed to Easter Sunday.  After visiting the area, the Lord budened Judson Poole’s heart for the area’s need of a Baptist Church.  The Poole family moved to the area in April of 1956.

(more…)

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Getting the Gospel Message Right

Posted on Nov 21 , 2013 in Blog

I appreciate the fact that we have people in our church who have a desire to reach people with the Gospel.  It is a joy to see their excitement.  What has been interesting is to see how God has been directing my reading of late in this area.  This article by Mark Dever 5 things mistaken for evangelism, got me to thinking about what is the Gospel message that we need to be sharing?

Here in just six points is the Gospel message the unsaved need to hear:

  1. God is our Holy Creator and righteous Judge-Gen 2:7, 16-17; 18:25; Rev 20:11-13
  2. We have all sinned against Him Gen 3:1-7; Rom 3:23; Eph 2:1-3
  3. He has sent Christ to die the death that we deserved for our sins Jn 1:14; Rom 3:21-26; 5:6-8; Eph 2:4-6
  4. Christ death and resurrection is the only way to be reconciled to the one true God. Rom 10:9-10
  5. We must respond to this good news by repenting of our sins and believing in the gospel if we would be forgiven by God, reconciled to Him and saved from the wrath to come Matt 3:2; 4:17; Mk 1:15; Lu 3:7-9; Jn 20:31; Acts 26:20
  6. We must preserver in a lifestyle of repentance and belief displaying an increasingly loving and holy lifestyle that proves we are His disciples: Jn 15:8; 1 Thess 3:12-13; James 2:14-26; 1 Jn 2:3; 3:14; 4:8 ..

Allow me to suggest no program, no plan is ever going to replace or create more results than this: Believers sharing the Gospel message.  The Apostle Paul said that he was commissioned to tell people to REPENT, TURN TO GOD, and PERFORM DEEDS IN KEEPING WITH REPENTANCE (Acts 26:20).  In fact in his first letter to the Thessalonians that is exactly how Paul described the “conversion” of the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10  “…they turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God…and wait for His Son from heaven…”

Christ in Matthew 28:19-20 “19 "Go therefore and make disciples [the idea is to take a person from rejecting God to repenting and turning to God and be His disciple] of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching [the idea is to teach them how to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ] them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Thus evangelism is NOT filling people with knowledge, but rather helping them to see their spiritual need in light of Who God is; their lost condition; and that Jesus Christ is the only way, the truth and the life.

Now, we as believers also have a responsibility to let people who repent and turn to God know how they ought to live.  Though this point could fill several blog postings, allow me to share but 3 basic things we need to help people with when they first repent:

  1. Learn to love God with your whole being. Matthew 22:37
  2. Learn to love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39
  3. Learn to treat your enemy with love. Romans 12:14-21; 13:8-10

Because this matter has eternal consequences it is so important that we get the Gospel message right, so people can KNOW they are saved and on their way to an eternal home with God. 

So let’s get the Gospel right, share it, and help those who repent to grow in their relationships with Christ.

 

PH

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Two ways to live

Posted on Nov 19 , 2013 in Blog

As we fast approach the Christmas season I’m reminded that many people will be enjoying the cultural and commercial sides of Christmas but will neglect the religious side.  Let me suggest that this is dangerous for your spiritual health.  Christmas is the celebration of the first advent of Christ.  Simply put the first advent was when Christ was born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-25).  He lived a life in full obedience to the law, then died on the cross in our place, was buried, and rose again the third day victorious over death and sin. 

Now you may wonder what does that matter, well for some of you going to church around the Christmas season is perhaps the one time of the year when you, actually go to church.  Though I am thankful for those who come out at that time, let me share with you that does not save you from your sins.

Paul in Romans 10:9-10 “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”

There’s two ways to enjoy this Christmas enjoying the cultural and commercialism of the day or rejoicing in the fact that Christ became a man to save us from our sins on the cross of Calvary.

Take a few moments to view and contemplate this short video entitled Two Ways to Live: Two ways to live, the choice we all face.

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Name and Purpose

Posted on Nov 18 , 2013 in Blog

Name

This congregation of believers shall be known as Bible Baptist Church of New Hartford, NY.

Purpose

The church shall also ordain and license men to the Gospel ministry; evangelize the unsaved by the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; educate believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Holy Scriptures (both in Sunday and weekday school of Christian education) maintain missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country; and engage in any other ministry that the church may decide (from time to time) to pursue in obedience to the will of God.

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One Mediator between God and man

Posted on Nov 15 , 2013 in Blog

I am so thankful that Christ Jesus has become the mediator between God and man.  I can’t imagine the stress that the OT Priests incurred, day after day, with the people bringing their sacrifices to the Temple so that their sins could be covered.  Not simply the physical strain of the sacrificial system, but more so the strain of seeing day after day the very same people bringing their sin offerings for the very same sins.  I wonder from time to time if some of the Children of Israel stopped their obedience of bringing their offerings because they got tired, embarrassed, or complacent about their sins.

Today there are some religions that have set-up their system of doing things and pattern it after the people coming to the OT Priest with their sin offerings and confessions.

But please note 1 Timothy 2:5-6 “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,  who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”  As bishop/elder/shepherd it is on one hand a relief that I do not have to sit and listen to everyone’s confessions, because sooner or later as a human being I would tire of it.  But the far greater reason it is a relief is because  the “God-Man, Christ Jesus” knows our every worry.  He understands all our situations, and he has made the once for all sacrifice and now is our mediator who brings peace between sinful man and God.

What a privilege is ours as believers to bring all our cares, confess our sins, and know that 24-7 our Mediator is always available never putting us on hold, or asking us to leave a voice mail.

Praise God for His unspeakable gift.

PH

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Introduction

Posted on Nov 11 , 2013 in Blog

History, as defined by E.L. Thorndike and Clarence L. Barnhart in the Scott, Foresman Advanced Dictionary, is “a story or record of important past events connected with a person or a nation; all past events considered together; course of human affairs.”

This written historical record was compiled, not only for our enjoyment and knowledge, but to show forth the mighty hand of God as He has worked in and through the assembly at New Hartford.  To compile such a record, a search for truth is necessary to discover what occurred, when it occurred, and whom was involved.

In striving for accuracy in presenting this history, information was found from the following sources:

  1. The official church minutes as recorded from August 1958-August 1998.
  2. The annual reports compiled by the church from 1965-1998.
  3. Facts received from past and present members of Bible Baptist Church.
  4. Correspondence with the church’s first pastor, Judson Poole.
  5. A phone conversation with Pastor Manley.
  6. The Church Constitution.
  7. Maranatha Christian Academy yearbooks.

As with any work involving numerous details, the reader may disagree with the dates, names, or other information used in this composition; or may question why some specific item was not included.  Only those events and actions that could be documented have been included in this research.

“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”

Ephesians 1:11