Saturday
May142016

This Sunday at Bristol . . . "The Power of the Bible"

No one knows the full extent of the effect the Bible has on people. What we do know is that the Lord said, Isaiah 55:10-11, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Distributing the Bible is what Gideons International is all about and since 1908 they have been relentless in their task. In fact, most recently the two billionth Bible milestone was reached and now they have begun on the second billion. I remember reaching a Gideon New Testament when I was in the fifth grade - in fact, I still have that Testament.

Did you know that the Gideons distributed more than 88 million copies of God's Word last year? On average, more than two copies of the Word are distributed per second and over one million Bibles and New Testaments are distributed every four days. You talk about return on investment! WOW!

So, we will take a break this Sunday from the current teaching series, “We are Family - Who is the King of Your Castle?” as we listen to Mr. David Peterson share on behalf of the ministry of Gideons International. You will have the opportunity to hear first-hand about the work of the Gideons.

Following his presentation, you will also have the privilege of helping them provide Bibles and New Testaments through your generous giving. When you give, you have the confidence of knowing that your gift will allow someone, somewhere the opportunity to read God’s Word. So, please give generously.

I truly look forward to seeing you Sunday!

You are very much loved in the Lord,

Pastor Terry

Thursday
May052016

This Sunday at Bristol . . . "Mrs. Zebedee - An Awesome Mom"

No one knows the name of this mother of two who were called to become Jesus’ disciples. She is only referred to as “the mother of Zebedee’s sons.”

Her boys are James and John. James became the leader of the early church and was martyred for his faith (Acts 12) and John became known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, and 21:20)

What did this mother do that was so extraordinary? She had the audacity to ask large for her boys. She wanted them to not just be followers of Jesus. 

Much more than that she wanted them to be involved in His work and then, in His Kingdom, have the privilege of being seated at the right AND left hand of Jesus. That is a picture of boldness.

Here was a mother who wanted more for her sons than she wanted for herself. She wanted them to have the very best the Lord had to give. WOW! What a mother!

There are “Mrs. Zebedees" all over - just like this New Testament mother - just like you who are willing to think and dream big for your children. That is why she, along with you, can truly be called an AWESOME MOM!

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we celebrate Mother’s Day.

You are very much loved in the Lord,

Pastor Terry

Friday
Apr292016

This Sunday at Bristol . . . "Never Forgetting What is Really Important"

The Children of Israel made their exit from Egypt and, in Exodus 17:9-13, are now on their way to the Promised Land. While on this journey they encounter a group of people called the Amalekites who want to stop their progress.

The Lord instructs Moses to take Aaron and Hur (two spiritual leaders) and climb to the top of a nearby hill that overlooked the battlefield. Joshua would command the troops that would, by the end of the day, lead to a Jewish victory.

Honestly, I never viewed this story from the perspective of prayer, but after studying these verses I now see things differently. Hopefully you will as well. 

Something powerful about prayer is indicated in the raising of the staff by Moses and the holding up of his arms by Aaron and Hur. The message? Praying can be difficult becasue there are things that can hinder our prayers, but if we refuse to give up, we will see positive changes.

In this study, we will consider several important thoughts about prayer framed in this Old Testament story.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we learn and grow together.

You are very much loved in the Lord,

Pastor Terry

Friday
Apr152016

This Sunday at Bristol . . . "The Value of Being Still

We live in a fast-paced society that has declared war on the practice of “being still” In fact, slowing down is a rarity. Sometimes the hectic demands on our day can crowd out our time with God, and yet, if we wish to know the Lord better, and get a grip on our busy lives, then learning the discipline of quietness is necessary.
 
To prove my point, read Psalm 46, especially verse 10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” When we remain still, we have the opportunity to get to know God as He should be known. As we face the daily grind of frustrating situations, “be still,” is imperative. We can trust that He will be faithful to His promise to care for us when we do our part.
 
The Hebrew word for “still” means “to cease striving.” It is the idea of putting our hands down and letting God intervene in our situation without our interference. We use our hands for many things including pushing things out of our way, protecting ourselves, and even striking back. So when we drop our hands, it makes us feel defenseless and vulnerable which is an uncomfortable position for most people. Unless we can trust that, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (verse 1), and that “. . . the Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (verse 7) we will be continue on in our busy lives and the Lord will become nothing more than a footnote.
 
With Psalm 46:10 being our text for this Sunday’s message, I encourage you to take some time to consider how doing what God says can be, and will be, a benefit to you. For us to get close to Him, we must learn the art of being still for which there are no shortcuts, no quick routes.
 
I do look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
 
You are deeply loved in the Lord
 
Pastor Terry

 

Friday
Apr012016

This Sunday at Bristol . . . "Jesus, Teach Us to Pray"

Let me start by saying that it is an amazing thing to realize that when we read the Gospels, we are reading the very words of Jesus. We have all heard teachers and preachers tell us about God. Some are accurate and some are not when they speak to us about Jesus and what He taught. 

Jesus, God in the flesh, is unique as a teacher. His teaching was special because what He said was the actual word of God, not just words of men about God. Jesus came to tell us directly what God expects of us.

So when Jesus teaches us about prayer, we should sit up and take notice. The disciples asked Him to teach them to pray and the result was what we call the Lord’s Prayer. That will be our subject this Sunday as we take a look at Matthew 6:9-13.

The Lord’s Prayer is known by millions of people and the prayer is often quote from rote, like learning the alphabet or some part of mathematics as a child. Consequently, many recite this prayer as a paragraph of empty words almost without any personal meaning at all. Many who quote the prayer do not even understand what they are saying.

Jesus intended the Lord’s Prayer to be so much more than words that were quoted in a worship service on Sunday morning. He did not give this model prayer to us as a script of what we should pray, but rather as an example of how we should pray.

I encourage you to read the Lord’s Prayer a half a dozen times before Sunday and see if you can pick out how Jesus says we are to pray. Understanding this prayer may revolutionize our prayer life and that is exactly what Jesus wants.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we continue with this second lesson in this teaching series, “Igniting the Flame - A Mandate for Prayer.”

You are loved in the Lord!

Pastor Terry