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FBCW – Pastor’s Report

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Philemon 1:4-7
4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; 6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. 7 For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

Looking Back

The previous year has been a year of challenges on a variety of fronts, personally and professionally. I am thankful for the support, love, and partnership of the church with me and my family. The church has demonstrated the love of Christ through prayers, generosity, and partnership.

That is one of the benefits of being a part of a church family. Sometimes you are the one being a blessing to others, and other times you are the one receiving the blessing. I’m including the piece I wrote for the Wallingford News earlier this year with regard to being a part of a church family to share the reasons why it matters, and to encourage you to invite others to be part of the family here in Wallingford.

Looking Ahead

My hope and vision is that Sunday School, special Bible Studies, fellowships, and ministry opportunities will increase in the coming year. I am also praying that the commitment that many have made to reading through the Word of God will have an impact on the life and ministry of the members and the church. Here are somethings to consider being a part of as they progress:

  • Wednesday Night Prayer via SKYPE.
  • Sunday School at 9:30 (September – May)
  • Bethel Camp Meeting (July 3-9 – Pastor Dave Preaching)
  • Vacation Bible School – “THE CAVE”
  • Women of Worth Ministry (periodically)
  • Ironmen Men’s Ministry (in planning stage)

Borrowing from Paul, I close with this prayer: (Philemon 1.6)

I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.

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Points from the Pastor’s Pen

-Dave Bentley, Wallingford Baptist Church

Why does being a part of a church family make a difference?

I love the church. It’s the center of my life and has been since childhood. I grew up in the church. Every time the doors were open I was there. It’s the place where I was led to the knowledge of God, where I learned about the life and death of Jesus Christ, and where I gained the knowledge of salvation and eternal life through faith. It’s where I learned how to pray, how to sing, how to worship, how to love, and how to serve. It is where as a young man I experienced the leading of the Spirit of God directing me to a life of ministry. I met my wife through youth activities in church. We raised our children in the church, and now our grandchildren, too. The church touches every part of my life—in fact you could say it is my life.

People tell me that they are glad that has worked out for me, but it’s not for them. Many claim that they can’t find any relevance in the church to their life. I wonder, however, if people have really explored what is available to them through participation in the life of the church. Here are just a few things that the church offers, and that most people I know can benefit from:

  • A family to belong to.
  • Wisdom to live by.
  • Help in times of need.
  • Lessons that impact life.
  • Connection with something greater.
  • Knowledge of life and eternity.

People spend so much time and effort finding reasons and excuses for not being part of a church family. If only they could invest a portion of that energy in looking for a church to connect with in their life, I am convinced that they would find a place to belong and a mission in which they could participate.

Perhaps First Baptist Church of Wallingford is not the church they would choose. Believe it or not, that is not my purpose. My goal is that people would find a place where they can connect with God and with other believers. On the other hand, perhaps FBCW is exactly that church for you. You will never know until you step out and try. Find the church in your area where you can connect, and commit to attending for a period of time, at least one or two months consistently. I know you will locate a family of God where you will be welcome and where you can connect and serve the living God.

Blessings,

Dave Bentley, Pastor

First Baptist of Wallingford

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In The Middle of a Pity Party…

-Dave Bentley

A post this morning from my friend Terry Dorsett drew me into Psalm 46. I realized that I have been throwing a little pity party lately because of the physical and financial struggles that my wife and I have been facing. Looking at our struggles so closely has moved my focus from the “very present help in trouble” to just the trouble.

The financial hardship has been significant. The physical struggles, especially for my beloved, have been difficult. The troubles we face are large. However, God is able to work wonders, even in the midst of the troubles. He has seen us through and has provided what is needed at the moment it is needed. He has proven time and time again that He is my refuge and strength, and my very present help in trouble.

Wait….look at that verse again.

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.

Did you catch that little word slipped into the message of that verse? It states that God s “a very present help…IN…trouble.” Now, I would much rather that God were “the present help keeping me out of trouble,” but His word assures me that, though I face hardship, He is there with me IN the difficulty.

Financial challenges of car payments, educational pursuits, and a variety of mounting expenses may loom large, but God is “a very present help IN trouble.”

Health problems such as dental expenses, slow recovery, extended illness, and unexplained pains are difficult to bear, but God is “a very present help IN trouble.”

The demands of life and work may seem overwhelming, the piles of unfinished assignments may be expanding daily, and the energy needed to complete the work may seem unavailable, but God is “a very present help IN trouble.”

The message for me, in the midst of all my worry, is that God is PRESENT and IN the midst of my life’s trouble. I do not need to fear, worry, or panic. What I need is to trust and rest in the One who is my REFUGE and STRENGTH.

Pray for me, and I will pray for you as well.

Blessings,

Dave Bentley