GREETINGS, EVERYONE! Thanksgiving Day is my favorite holiday of the year for many reasons. For many people, it's all about the three "F"s: family, food, and football! But for me, there is a fourth "F": Faith. And this is the primary reason for the day. Giving thanks to the true and living God for the manifold blessings of this life and the promise of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Take time to do that with intentionality this week and especially on Thursday.
Here is what is happening this week:
Thank you for indulging me on a personal note as I invite you to hear our eldest daughter, Hannah, perform her senior violin recital for our church and community. So many of you have prayed for and ministered to her during her years in Bolivar attending Southwest Baptist University. This recital is the culmination of those years of study and practice. Please join us in the sanctuary this evening for this violin recital at 7 pm, coupled with piano duet prelude (and a piano trio interlude!). This is not strictly a church-sponsored event, but rather a family event to which you are heartily invited. Featured composers will be Kabalevsky, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, and Novacek. Prelude will be piano duets from Lorrie Dixon and Judy McElwain. Approximately one hour in length, dress comfortably.
THE LORD'S DAY (11/21)
FRIDAY (11/26) - OFFICE CLOSED
ICYMI: Last Few Sundays' Messages Hearing and Doing the Word of God, Luke 8:16-21
Jesus, Master of Wind and Wave Luke 8:22-25Please visit our YouTube Channel to see the edited service video.
READ THROUGH THE BIBLE schedule is attached. We are in Week 47.
ON THIS DATE IN CHURCH HISTORY In 1806, Isaac Backus, influential Massachusetts Baptist leader, died at age 82. Backus began as a Congregationalist, and he even served as the pastor for the Separatist Congregational church in Middleboro. This was the group which stood in direct succession to the Pilgrims who settled Massachusetts. Having been born in 1724, Backus was deeply influenced by Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening of the late 1730s and early 1740s. He was soundly converted in 1741. While pastor in Middleboro, Backus became convinced of Baptist doctrine -- believer baptism by immersion only -- and Baptist ideals -- namely separation of church and state. He started baptizing believers by immersion upon their profession of faith. For a time, he continued to sprinkle the babies of church members (paedobaptism) as well. Not surprisingly, more and more members began to adopt their pastor's convictions which created a rift between the so-called "credobaptists" (those who baptized believers only by immersion) and the paedobaptists. Whenever a believer was immersed in baptism, the paedobaptists would roll their eyes. Whenever a baby was sprinkled, the credobaptists would roll their eyes. This went on for about five years under Backus' leadership. Determining it best to separate from the "separatists," Backus became the pastor of a new congregation of Baptists in Middleboro, largely those who came to Baptist convictions under Backus' preaching. Happily, that church continues to this day as an evangelical Baptist congregation, First Baptist Church of North Middleboro, under an evangelical pastor, Jason Genest. (Their website served as a resource for this paragraph for the things I couldn't recall from the seminary paper I wrote on Isaac Backus many years ago!). Praise the Lord for their faithfulness across many generations.
BONUS: And now, some inspirational music for Thanksgiving from Perry Como, the Norman Luboff Singers, and the Boston Pops. Enjoy!
See you in church!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Greg Dixon