Just last week, I saw a post that contained a picture of a banner that said, "Bloom where you are planted," with the caption, "This has taken on a whole new meaning." That is an accurate observation. We are where we are, not able to do all that we would like to do, our lifestyles altered from what they were just weeks ago, and facing struggles we had not anticipated we would encounter.
The adage "bloom where you are planted" is usually applied in a circumstance when we find ourselves in a place or a position that is not really our first choice, but we are unable to change the circumstance. That would be a pretty accurate description of what is taking place now. What we would do at those times where the adage "Bloom where you are planted" fits would be something we can do now. Actually, there are several "somethings." Some of these are from an article written by Paul Chernyak. Most of what I will say is simply a reminder of suggestions I have written before, but sometimes reminders are helpful.
A good place to begin is to remember that we are in control of our thoughts. Acknowledge that you can take charge of your attitude about the situation. Another "something" we can do is to acknowledge the change that has occurred. There have been changes, and will be others. Of course, we can include our realistic hope that this circumstance will change in a positive way at some point. Thirdly, focus on what you have, not on what you don't. Look for things you can appreciate. Another "something" is to try to learn from what you are experiencing. Now, I know it is easy to say, "Grief, do I have to go through this to learn that?" Yes, this is difficult, but this is all part of trying to channel what we are experiencing in such a way as to decrease frustration, not elevate it. Finally, focus on acceptance. I hope some time of reflection on these thoughts will be helpful to some who may be struggling.
Let me conclude with some biblical perspective. Jonathon is a good example of someone who "bloomed where he was planted." Although he was Saul's son, and according to the prevailing practice at the time would be next in line for the throne of Israel, he accepted God's decision to choose David as the successor to his father. Jonathon chose to be David's friend and supported him in any way he could, even working against his father to save David's life.
We read about Jonathon's decision in I Samuel 18:1-4, "After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself...And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt." He learned how to bloom where he was planted.
Learning how to bloom where we are planted is good advice for us in a number of situations. Practicing these principles and following the example of Jonathon is something that can be helpful as we are experiencing a time that has given new meaning to an old phrase.Pastor Steve Willis - First Baptist Church - Newton, IL
Stephen G. Wllis has been the pastor of the First Baptist Church since August of 1983. He and his wife, the former Scherry Roth, are natives of Ironton, OH and were married in 1977. Steve has an A.B. in education from Marshall University in Huntington, WV and a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary. In October 2004 he received his Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Theological Seminary. He has been active in ministry since 1971, serving as an evangelist and as a pastor before moving to Dallas in 1979 and then to the pastorate in Newton after obtaining his master's degree. In addition to his ministerial duties, Steve is a member of several committees and boards in Jasper County. He has served as president of the Jasper County Ministerial Association and Newton Rotary, and is currently the secretary-treasurer of the ministerial association.
Scherry is a graduate of ITT with certification in interior design. In Ohio she worked as a secretary and then with the Ohio Department of Health and Human Services. She was a secretary in Dallas at Dallas Theological Seminary. After moving with Steve to Newton, she took some time away from the workplace to have two daughters, Stephanie, born in 1983 and Megan, born in 1985. When both the girls were in school, Scherry returned to the workplace, first at Arndt's Stores, then as a painter with Hidden Blessings, and since 1994, as a secretary for the Jasper County Unit #1 School District. She retired in June of 2016. She is active in the church as leader of the Children's Choirs and directing the adult choir.
Megan graduated from Judson University, Elgin, IL in December of 2007, and received her ThM from Edinburgh University (Scotland) in August of 2008. She married Casey Robbins in February of 2014, and they have one child, Sullivan. She also teaches English at Williamsfield High School.
Stephanie is a graduate of the University of Illinois (2005) and received a master's degree from Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, in May of 2007. She is now a speech pathologist with Southern Ohio Educational Services in Portsmouth, Ohio. She married Jimmy Bailey in July of 2009. Jimmy is a teacher and coach with the New Boston, Ohio, School District. They live in Wheelersburg, OH. They have two children, Madelyn and Cullen.
For those of you not currently attending church on a regular basis we would like to extend an invitation to you. Regular church attendance can make a big difference in your life. Worshiping God, learning more about Him and enjoying fellowship with other Christians is a very rewarding way to spend Sunday morning. Our service at the First Baptist Church starts at 9:00 AM and we hope you will join us soon. You will be greeted by some of the friendliest people in downstate Illinois. If you sometimes feel that there is something missing in your life this could be a great opportunity to fill that void. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life." Through faith in Him, the void you have can be filled. He said in Matthew 11:32 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
A good way to find out what you need to do to place your faith in Him is to find a church where you can learn what it means to have a relationship with Christ and what that can mean to you. If you are too far away from our location, please try to find a church near by. It can change your life. If you would like to invite Christ to come into your heart as your Savior and Lord, you may do so by simply asking him to do so. Here is what you can do to receive the free gift of eternal life he offers:1. Acknowledge that you have sinned and need to be forgiven. Romans 3:23 - "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 6:23 - "The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." 2. Believe that Jesus died for you and wants to forgive you and give you the free gift of eternal life. John 6:47 - "I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life." 3. Confess your sins to him and ask him to come into your heart as your Savior. Romans 10:9-10 - "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."
If you are now enjoying all the benefits of being part of a church family, wherever it might be, we offer you a challenge. In your community there are people waiting for you to extend an invitation to them. We urge you to find them, invite them to your church and show them how a relationship with Jesus can enrich their lives. The Word of God ends with an invitation. Revelation 22:17 says, "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." Be an inviting person!
Welcome to the internet home of the First Baptist Church, located at 400 W. Washington Street in Newton IL. This church was established in January of 1886 as the Newton Baptist Church. The first pastor was J.W Reed who served until 1891 and again from 1896 to 1898. The first meetings were held at the Presbyterian Church until 1892 when it was decided to build a new church. The actual construction was started in 1893 and completed in 1895. The first services in the new building were on April 27th. In 1957 a new educational wing and fellowship hall were added.
The name of the church was changed from "Newton Baptist Church" to "First Baptist Church" on July 25th, 1926. The church has had 31 pastors since its inception including our current pastor, Dr. Steve Willis who has served since 1983.
Our mission is to delight God by developing a church full of people whose integrity is beyond question, whose faith is beyond reason, and whose compassion is beyond compare.
Services at First Baptist start at 9:00 am every Sunday morning followed by Sunday school at 10:30. Our Sunday evening service starts at 6:00 and CrossTraining Bible study is held each Wednesday at 6:30. From September to May, we have CrossTraining classes on Wednesdays for ages 3 through the 8th grade. Our High School group is entitled CIA (Christians in Action) and meets on the first and third Sundays at 6 p.m.
We would like to invite you to join us next Sunday. You will find us to be a very friendly family of believers that loves our Lord and truly enjoys our Sunday morning fellowship.
What a great time we had together this past week in worship! We want to inform you of some changes that will take place for our worship this coming Sunday, June 7. In light of information from the Illinois Department of Public Health, we are planning on moving worship inside this week. While we are eager to do so, there are some guidelines we need to follow in order to provide a safe environment for us as we make this transition. Below you will find an outline of what our worship experience will be. Continue to pray in the midst of all that is taking place, and continue to pray for our church and our ministries. Here are some guidelines for our time together as we take this step forward:
We will have two worship times to ensure that we can remain under the suggested number of folks for a gathering. There is not a perfect way to make this division, but here is what we are going to do. Folks with last names from A - L will attend the 9 a.m. service. Folks with last names from M - Z will attend the 10:30 service. We do NOT want to split families, of course, so if this is the case because of our method, please decide as a family which service to attend. We have a little room to be flexible in this area, but we still need to be careful with numbers for reasons outlined below.
Please be patient with us in this arrangement; we know it is not ideal, but we are in an experience that has rendered many of our activities less than ideal. The services will be identical in format.
Please enter through the west doors. Your family will be seated by ushers as we will be working to maintain spacing.
We will use "wedding dismissal" procedure, and ask you to exit using the north doors - we also ask that there be no congregating as you exit, especially for the 9 a.m. service, as we will be needing as much time as possible to prepare the church for the 10:30 service. Pews will be wiped down between services. Those arriving for the second service, please wait until doors are opened.
We are forming teams to prepare the church before the second service - if you would be willing to help, please contact the church office.
We will observe communion on Sunday, June 7th. The deacons, wearing gloves, will pass out the elements individually. If you want, you can bring your own bread and juice for this.
We will continue to have services on the website, YouTube, and Facebook. Blessings to all of you as we continue to move forward as God's people!Update effective Sunday 6/14.
We had marvelous worship services last week but thought we may want to "tweak" our experiences in some areas.
We think we can do better with our people division, so the groups will consist of folks from A - I in one group, and from J - Z in the second group.
This week, Sunday, June 14, folks in the group from J - Z, will meet at 9 a.m. for worship. Folks in the group from A - I will meet at 10:30. Once again - we do not want to split families, so decide which service to attend.
We will flip the groups from week to week - weekly emails, website news, and Facebook postings will help to keep you on top of your worship time from week to week.
Communion this week! Deacons will serve individually or bring your own elements!Update effective Sunday 6/18. Sunday - June 21st - Group A - I will attend the 9 am service and group J - Z will attend the 10:30 service. Update - VBS 6/18.
Folks - as we announced earlier, we will not have a traditional VBS this year, but we can still have a VBS experience. Attached to this email you will find a letter that details all the information needed about BOLT VBS, which is available now to our church as the CE Board decided to go this route.
The attached letter should answer any questions you might have as to when, how, what, etc. Contact the church if you have something not covered. This is for anyone in the church, and grandparents, if you have grandkids who might enjoy this experience, pass along the contact information contained in the letter! This is VBS, so we can invite whom we wish! If any of you know of other kids who might like this - pass the info along! The website and the password for the information and all you need for the VBS is in the letter!
We hope you enjoy the VBS experience - Great Bible stories, crafts, games, and really good music!FBC CE Board Hi Folks!
BOLT VBS IS HERE! We previously sent you an announcement about our VBS this year - it will be an alternative to our traditional program since COVID-19 has led us to change our plans. Though it will be different - this looks like an exciting program that we are sending your way!
With minimal preparation, easy-to-follow instructions, and a video that leads you and your kids step-by-step through each of the 3 days, BOLT is designed for you to perform with your family at home. It's so simple!
We want to give you some more details to help you and your family have the best possible experience. Decide when you would like to have your BOLT VBS experience and then. ahead of time, go to https://www.gocurriculum.com/bolt-vbs - click on the "Family Portal:link, and then enter this password:
LETSBOLT (all caps).
Start by reading the "Parent and Leader Guide" ahead of time. (I've also attached the guide to this email for your convenience.) The guide will answer so many of your questions and give you simple step-by-step directions for using BOLT. There are a few materials you'll want to gather beforehand, but when BOLT begins, the videos will tell you what to do and when to do it. It really is easy!
The "Family Portal" also has all of the videos and documents you'll need for each day. Be sure to read the games document ahead of time so you can be prepared. Then, when you're ready to begin, simply go to the "Family Portal" and play the Day 1 video. The video will periodically tell you to pause in order to play a game, read from the Bible, or answer a question.
And remember, if you feel comfortable gathering with more people, you can invite as many neighbors, friends, and family to your house for BOLT as you would like. It's such an easy and fun way to share the good news of Jesus with our community.
Lastly, take lots of pictures! We'll give you some opportunities to share them with everyone. In the meantime, let me know how we can help you. You and your family are going to LOVE THIS! If you have any issues or questions, contact the church office at 618/783-2226, or call Pastor Steve at 618/553-4264.Update effective Sunday 7/4.
WORSHIP TIMES THIS WEEKEND: A - I MEETS AT 9 A.M., J - Z MEETS AT 10:30! REMEMBER, OUR SERVICES WILL BE ON OUR WEBSITE, ON FACEBOOK, AND ON YOUTUBE! WE WILL CELEBRATE COMMUNION, SO IF YOU ARE WATCHING INTERNET SERVICES AND WANT TO PARTICIPATE, HAVE THINGS READY!Update effective Sunday 7/11.
WORSHIP TIMES THIS WEEKEND: J - Z MEETS AT 9 A.M., A - I MEETS AT 10:30! REMEMBER, OUR SERVICES WILL BE ON OUR WEBSITE, ON FACEBOOK, AND ON YOUTUBE! ! COMMUNION IS NOT THIS SUNDAY.Update effective Sunday 7/19.
WORSHIP TIMES THIS WEEKEND: A - I MEETS AT 9 A.M., J - Z MEETS AT 10:30! REMEMBER, OUR SERVICES WILL BE ON OUR WEBSITE, ON FACEBOOK, AND ON YOUTUBE!
IN ADDITION. . .
The deacons met this past week and have a recommendation. We are strongly encouraging everyone to wear a mask during worship services. There is an increase in COVID cases in the surrounding counties as well as a slight upward movement in our county. We want to do our part to keep our church members and community safe. This is something that is up to you to decide, but we wanted to make this recommendationUpdate effective Sunday 7/25.
LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING WITH YOU IN OUR WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY MORNING! THIS SUNDAY, GROUP J - Z WILL MEET AT 9 A.M., AND GROUP A - I WILL WORSHIP AT 10:30! REMEMBER THAT OUR SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE, ON YOUTUBE, AND ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE!Update effective Sunday 8/2.
LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING WITH YOU IN OUR WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY MORNING! THIS SUNDAY, GROUP A - I WILL MEET AT 9 A.M., AND GROUP J - Z WILL WORSHIP AT 10:30! REMEMBER THAT OUR SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE, ON YOUTUBE, AND ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE! A REMINDER ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WORSHIPPING AT HOME - WE WILL CELEBRATE COMMUNION SUNDAY - PREPARE TO CELEBRATE WITH US!Update effective Sunday 8/9.
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THIS SUNDAY! OUR WORSHIP WILL BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT. DANNY FUNDERBURK, FORMER TENOR SINGER WITH THE CATHEDRALS AS WELL AS OTHER GROUPS, WILL BE WITH US! WE WILL STILL HAVE TWO SERVICES - THIS WEEK J - Z COMES AT 9 AND A - I COMES AT 10:30, AND DANNY WILL BE SINGING IN BOTH SERVICES. WE WILL HAVE A SERVICE ON THE INTERNET, BUT BECAUSE OF A NUMBER OF REASONS, WE WILL NOT BE BROADCASTING HIS CONCERT. HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US FOR THIS SPECIAL TIME OF WORSHIP! STILL OBSERVING OUR SAFETY PROTOCOLS - BUT THAT WON'T HINDER OUR TIME TOGETHER!