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The Pastor’s Perspective – June 26, 2022

Dear First Family,

I was not where I intended to be last Sunday.  I had highly anticipated preaching on Father’s Day, dedicating a child, and being a part of Vacation Bible School. However, as I have shared with you, I was struck down with Covid. (At least, at times, it felt like a strike down.) However, I now anticipate much more what is coming over the next two Sundays.

This Sunday we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper together during worship,  Prepackaged juice cups will be available in the foyer as you come in.  In preparation for our time together, I encourage you to read over 1 Corinthians 11.  This chapter is Paul’s instructions telling us how to take the Lord’s Supper and how to prepare for the Lord’s Supper.  Prepare for a wonderful time with your church in worship around the table of the Lord.

The following Sunday will be July 3rd.  Our worship time together will be followed by a Freedom Fellowship Meal.  Hamburgers, beans, chips, and drinks are provided. If you would like to bring a dessert, we promise to eat it.  This meal will be right after morning worship, so come to Sunday School and stay all the way through lunch as we celebrate the freedom that we have to meet in His Name in our country.

I am biting at the bit to get back with you. It is a joy to be your pastor.

Daniel

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The Pastor’s Perspective – June 12, 2022

Dear First Family,

After a weekend away to do a wedding in Mississippi, I am looking forward to worship on Sunday! I am excited about it for several reasons. Let me share the two that stand out the most to me.

On Sunday we will begin a new sermon series entitled “Stories Jesus Told.” This is a sermon series on the Parables of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke. I love a good story. No one tells them better than the Master Teacher, Jesus, Himself. No one retells them with more color and detail than Dr. Luke in his gospel. There is also no better truth to be taught than a Gospel Truth through a Biblical parable. Pray now that God’s personalized message to each one of us will be clear, constructive, and convicting. May God have His Will and Way in our midst.

I am also looking forward to this weekend because of our time with Griffin Ebenezer Church. We will share a wonderful meal and fellowship with them at their church on Saturday. On Sunday at 4 PM we will worship together in our sanctuary. This is a treasured opportunity. Do not miss this “red letter day.” May we make a strong statement with a bold and unified witness to our community that unifies and builds bonds when His People follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.

It is a joy to be your pastor. I look forward to our time together.

Daniel


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The Pastor’s Perspective – May 29, 2022

Dear First Family,

I want to begin by thanking you for great days of worship. The music ministry is a blessing and your kindness throughout these days of transition has been amazing. Thank you for all you do for the Lord.

During the discussions with the search team, I brought up that I had started a midday time of worship on Wednesday that I called Midweek Prayer and Bible Study. Due to regular Wednesday evening events being inactive during the summer, I had a plan to only meet at that midday time for the upcoming summer. The idea caught on in the meeting. The deacons liked it as well, therefore, based upon some of those discussions, please notice a change for the summer months. A Wednesday evening opportunity for adults that are not in choir will return during the fall semester. Beginning June 1:

Midweek Prayer and Bible Study
11:30 AM Each Wednesday
A Study of the Songs of the Ascents (Psalm 120-134)
Invite a friend and take them to lunch.
If you are not out of town for Memorial Day weekend, be sure to be in your place for Sunday School and worship this Sunday.
 
It is a joy to be your pastor.
Daniel

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The Pastor’s Perspective – May 22, 2022

Dear First Family, 

 
Last Sunday, I introduced a Bible Reading Plan that allows each of us to read God’s Word on the same plan in such a way that we can connect with each other around God’s Word.  I cannot think of a better way for God’s People to grow more in Christ and more united for His Cause that common Scripture that speaks to us daily.  I want to add to that discussion and reiterate some of what I shared with the following suggestions:
  1. Pick up a bookmark or go to here.  The bookmarks are available in the church office, at the Welcome Center, and in the foyer.  The church website even allows you to “add to your calendar” on your phone for a daily reminder. 
  2. Start Journaling.  Write down what God shows you.  Write down those that you are praying for.  Keep a record of the spiritual journey that God is leading you on. Life Journals with the reading plan and an “express” reading plan are available in the office for $7. However, you do not have to buy a journal to read God’s Word.  A spiral notebook is fine and, as I use, a moleskine type, hard back journal works great.  
  3. Encourage your children to start reading, journaling, and interacting with the Word of God.  The Children’s Journals that are available are awesome and have three different reading levels.  They start with ages 8 or younger and encourage just a few verses a day to 12 year olds reading about a dozen verses.  
  4. The greatest part of this is the interaction that can come from it.  You interact with the Holy Spirit as you read.  After reading, you can interact with others, because children, express readers, and classic readers are all reading from the same text. You will cover more than your children cover each day, but you will cover their scripture in your reading. It is a great family devotion starter and it is not hard to do.
  5. Post your verse.  Share it, text it, build accountability with others.  As iron sharpens iron, let us sharpen one another to spend time daily in God’s Word. 
  6. If you run out of time or miss a day, do not try to make it up.  People that try to read the Bible through do well until they hit Leviticus. 
In February, often, the wheels come off and it is given up or they are always trailing behind and feeling defeated.  Be defeated no longer.  If you read the Classic Reading Plan, you will read through the Bible in a year and the New Testament twice, BUT that is not the goal.  The goal is daily time with the Lord. If you miss a day, the grace of God is great.  Do not fret.  Do not make it up.  Start with the next day on the next day.  
 
In other words, as I said Sunday, wash up (let the Spirit of God thorugh the Word of God clean you up) and eat.  Get on a spiritual self-feeding program. You need to sup on God’s Word more than just on Sunday.  If I can help in anyway on your journey, just let me know. 
 
It is a joy to be your pastor. 
 
Daniel 

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The Pastor’s Perspective – May 15, 2022

Dear First Family,

What a wonderful day of worship on Sunday! It is wonderful to acknowledge Godly ladies that make a difference in our lives and in our church. It is my hope that ladies were honored and God was glorified.

Deacon Election is this Sunday. Names of male members that are eligible to be considered have been made available this month. You have been encouraged to use that sheet as a prayer list for God to lead you to the right men to lead us through deacon ministry. It is wonderful when God has placed good leaders in the church that are faithful and knowledgeable in the multiple matters that the church needs insights on. We are blessed to have men that come from many walks of life. However, the most important part of being a deacon is not a man’s knowledge and know-how of a walk of life, but a man’s walk with God. I am fully convinced that God can give us all the guidance that we need when we rely on Him. We need servant leaders that will rely upon the Lord. We need men that support faithfully, worship faithfully, pray faithfully, and seek the Lord through His Word faithfully. I am thankful that this church has good, Godly deacons that are wonderfully faithful. They bless my heart as we pray together every Sunday morning before worship. Let’s make sure the men that will serve next in this capacity are faithful as well.

We will also honor our graduates this week. Be sure to encourage them as they accomplish this major step in their education, and begin their walk into the next stage of life. Our encouragement at this point could be crucial for their walk with the Lord and our ability to minister to them in the future.

Thank you again for being so kind to us. It is a joy to be your pastor.

Daniel


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The Pastor’s Perspective – May 8, 2022

Dear First Family,

What a wonderful blessing this past Sunday was! You are a gracious and kind people and your welcome to me as your new pastor could not have been better. I look forward to our days ahead!

Sunday is Mother’s Day. We will take time during worship to allow parents to dedicate their children to the Lord. This is a time for, not only the parents, but the church as a whole to enter into a commitment to do all we can to help these children come up in the love and admonition of the Lord. As parents invest their lives in our church, where they will raise their children, we, as a body of believers, should be careful to come alongside the family and do our part to help and guide their children in the ways of the Lord. May our every action encourage and strengthen them in their walk to know Christ at an early age!

I have appreciated your prayers and encouragement during my time of finishing one ministry and arriving as your pastor. As an update to your prayers, now please pray that God will bless our efforts as we strive to move forward together in His Name. My family will be here in the coming days as they finish up the school year. We anticipate our move in June, and we seek His discernment and some open doors (literally) as we strive to secure housing.

We are blessed to be here. We look forward to the days ahead. It is a joy to be your pastor.

Daniel


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The Pastor’s Perspective – May 1, 2022

Dear First Family,
It is with joy and excitement that I look forward to a month of May (and beyond) of worship with you! As you know, April was, for my family and me, a month of events that seldom come around in a lifetime. My family was welcomed into a body of believers and we have concluded a decade and half with another body of believers. That makes for a rollercoaster ride in one month. The grace of God, your kind words, and your prayers have been a constant reassurance for my family and me. We have sought your prayers and we are seeing answers. I asked for you to pray that I finish well. April 24th concluded my preaching ministry. I asked many of you to pray that my Ole Miss graduating daughter would find a teaching job, and she did!! Throughout that time I have prayed for Pickens First Baptist and our days together.
The month of May is a crucial month. Not only is it a month filled with celebrations of Godly mothers, congratulations to our graduates, and appreciation to those who have sacrificed for our freedoms, but it is also the month before the “Long, Hot Summer.” I call it that because nothing is really normal at church during the summer. There are more vacations than normal, less opportunities for weekly ministry, and more opportunities to do missional work. Between your week off and another one’s week off, we miss each other. Lives are changed during the summer, lifelong memories are made, but it is, no doubt, different days. Therefore, let’s make the most of May together.
This Sunday I will begin a one month series entitled “First Things First”. I want to begin our time together by making clear what my priorities are as your pastor. What we talk about in May is really the foundation of what drives my passion in ministry. Pray that we start strong, and, on a personal note, please pray that our new housing is secure. Again, I look forward to these much anticipated days.
It is a joy to be your pastor.
Daniel


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