My Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Family,
Please read and reread this email. This information will also be presented in video format tomorrow (3/21). I will send a link to the video. Also, If you know of someone who did not receive this email, please let me know their email address and I will add them to my email list.
Today CORONAVIRUS may be the word on everyone’s minds, and even lips. However, FRUSTRATION may be the emotion of our hearts. When the routine of our lives is disturbed, we can become frustrated and anxious. During this time, whatever you call your emotions, whether fear or frustration, whether anxiousness or worry, whether displacement or uncertainty, or even something else, during a time when human life exists in a season of disruption, believers must rest in the truth of God’s word.
2 Timothy 1:3-7:
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit NOT of fear but of power and love and self-control.
God’s Word tells us in this passage that the Apostle Paul is affectionately remembering the loyalty of his co-laborer in the gospel. Paul’s words describe a relationship of loyalty and honesty, one of candor, and endurance, and one of hope and love. His words describe a relationship that has brought him “JOY!” Paul’s mind is turned toward remembering and longing to maintain, preserve, and protect, a relationship with Timothy. Why? Because it was a relationship based on their common “FAITH,” in Christ, and common purpose of discipleship. Church family, I believe God is asking us also, to guard our relationships as a church and our relationship with Him, especially in these uncertain times.
Paul tells Timothy, that there was a time when he became the spiritual father of Timothy. Part of Paul’s ministry as a tenured disciple of Christ was the official commissioning of Timothy. That is what Paul meant when he said, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, . . .” What Paul is saying is Timothy has been given the job of ministry, and Paul does not want Timothy’s job to go unattended, just because of his absence. Church family, God does not want our job of ministry to go unattended simply because we are unable to meet together physically.
Then Paul gives Timothy a reason to have assurance, even in times of uncertainty and trials – because God has gifted believers with a spirit of “power and love and self-control.”
Brothers and Sisters, this means you and me, as members of God’s universal church, and as members of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, we ought to live in this season of uncertainty; in fact we are called to live and remain faithful and fearless, in this season of uncertainty, based on the indwelling Spirit of God.
In a time like this, what better news can we have than to know that God’s Holy Spirit indwells every believer, and strengthens us and gives us the power and presence of mind to not panic, but rely on His supernatural calming strength and omnipotent power.
Because I know you are invested in the work of God and the continuance of His church, I want to let you know how we, as Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, can be the same bold disciple as the Apostle Paul charged Timothy to be.
During this time of physical isolation, God still expects us to be His church. He still expects us to meet with regularity. He still expects us to support His call on our lives. He still (maybe even in a greater way than before) expects us to be His disciples and reach out to a lost world, who themselves, as we look at empty store shelves, have proven to live lives based on fear and uncertainty, rather than a spirit of “power and love and self-control.”
Here is how we are going to do this.
· First, we are going to continue meeting as a body of believers – VIRTUALLY (online).
We are going to meet together through ZOOM at our regular meeting time on Wednesday (6:00 PM) and Sunday (11:00 AM).
I will send you a link in your email, each time we have a regularly scheduled meeting. All you will need to do is click on that link, and it will guide you through a simple process of logging into the session.
· Second, I want you to share the online messages and Bible studies we enjoy.
I encourage you to forward the link to your friends and family encouraging them join us at our regularly scheduled meeting times.
These messages and Bible studies will be recorded, in video and audio only formats. We will do our best to post them on the church website where you can view them again, or the first time if you were not able to participate live.
Like the Jewish diaspora, this season in the life of our church, can be used to extend God’s message through us, and build up this church. There has not been a time when we have had such an opportunity to invite others to hear the gospel.
· Third, we will continue to pray.
We will pray for one another. We will pray for our church. We will pray for our city and culture.
I will address a more formal prayer commitment later on, but for now I ask you to be diligent about daily prayer. The world needs it, let’s do it.
The link for our church’s online prayer request/praise report is below. If you click on it, while holding down the “control key” it will take you directly to the form. You can also cut and paste it in your browser. It takes about 2 minutes to complete and your responses come directly to me. I will only share responses with the church where I have been given permission to do so.
· Fourth, we are going to continue our regular support of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
If we are not physically there present, it can be easy to get in the habit of not giving regularly to God’s work. As your pastor, I am asking that however your give, and whatever you give, may you continue to do so joyfully and regularly. Giving is part of worship, and if we do not offer sacrifice, we are not completely worshiping. The ministry of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church will continue, and I urge you play a vital role in maintaining your regular support. If your bank offers Zelle you can still transfer your tithes and offerings to the church. The church email your bank will need to perform this is: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions regarding this, please call John E. or Jo H.
This Sunday (3/22) we will have a trial run with ZOOM. You will receive a link from me in your email on Saturday. If possible, go ahead and try to get ZOOM all set up on your computer, so on Sunday you will be all set to go. It will not be a normal Sunday sermon, rather very similar to a Wednesday night Bible study. You will even be able to participate with questions and responses, if you are using a computer with video and audio capabilities. The following Sunday (3/29) I will begin preaching regular sermons. I will ask that you mute your computer. We will do our best to post them on the website as well. On Wednesday, we will have a time of prayer and continue with regular Bible study. However long isolation continues, we will try to get better with online worship.
I want to thank you for your diligence in discipleship and look forward to seeing you online in Bible study and worship. May God bless our continued efforts to be His church.
Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
6709 Circle "S" Road
Austin, TX 78745
9:00 a.m. Welcome & Coffee and Snacks
9:30 a.m. Bible Study
11:00 a.m. Worship Service
6:00 p.m. Prayer and Bible Study
Map and Directions
6709 Circle "S" Road
Austin, Texas 78745
Directions from Interstate Highway 35:
Take the William Cannon Drive exit and go west 1/2 mile to Circle "S" Road. Turn SOUTH on Circle "S" Road.