Friday, May 8, 2015

I Love you Mom

My mom always loved a party and could turn any normal “happening” into something fun, almost outrageous and always with lots of yummy food.  It is fun to hear my three sons talk about “gramma” with those same special memories sometimes even with a tear in their eyes.  She was a treasure and left her mark on our heart.                    -Janice Adams

From Mom I learned to enjoy and appreciate music and the importance of prayer.         

-Wayne Bernard

I learned from my mom how to love people and build people up through reinforcing the gifts that God has given them.  She has always believed in me and told me that God has made me with specific gifts to accomplish a specific purpose and to allow no man to change who God made me to be.      

-Pastor Patrick

My mom taught me the power of listening.  No matter the time of day or night, she always made herself available to hear about my day, the challenges of high school, or my hopes and dreams.  Her life was never too important to put on hold for a few moments to listen and encourage her children.  Thanks, mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!                    

-Nate Dunn

There are a lot of lessons I’ve learned over the years from my mom:  how to cook, do my laundry, clean the house, but the most profound has been to not let my past define my future, to live today in God’s grace and out of who He says I am.  Who I am is not what I’ve done but what God has done in me and can do through me.  That He who began a good work in me will complete it.  Thanks for pulling over to the side of the road so many years ago when I was thinking of leaving the ministry to remind me who I am.  Love you, Mom.    

-Pastor Brian

I learned that winning isn’t everything, that the people on the team are what counts.  Mom coached my 2nd grade girls softball team. We were a last-minute entry, and got the last of the girls that no one wanted.  Two of them, twins with cerebral palsy, played every game.  We never won a game, but we were never skunked.  We were all very proud of our team that year.                           

-Sherri Sperling

Thank you, Mom, for showing me how to see the best in people by never speaking badly toward another person. When people were rude to you, you would always respond by saying that they were probably having a bad day. Then you would mention a good quality that person had.               

-Pastor Leon

My mom taught me the truth behind the adage, “it is better to give than to receive.”  I have learned the joy of giving to others by watching her consistently and generously give gifts to those she cares about. 

 -Pastor Jeff

Ruth Edwards, who lived to a full 97 years, had lots of time to teach me what is really important in life.  I trusted Christ at nine years of age, but it was Mom who laid the foundation and took us three kids to church and Sunday School.  Above all else, Mom loved the Lord and prayed without ceasing for family members who did not know Jesus. Her devotion to the Bible was a solid example for me.  Mom also loved people and was sacrificial in sharing and doing for others.  If there was not enough pie to go around, she willingly did without.  She also gave me a sense of humor, but never to match hers.  I also inherited from her an appreciation for good, home cooked and delicious family meals.  I am sure it was due to her prayers that I was led by God to the mission field.                           

-Pastor Ed

My mom taught me to use whatever God has given to you for the blessing of others, she taught me to forgive others so they would not wound you twice, and she taught me that you can face anything if God is your strength.
 - Pastor Mark 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Coming Full Circle

How can so many things be so right and so wrong, all at the same time?  I only knew I was out of control, losing it.  Nineteen years old, married over a year, and my marriage and life were in a shambles.  Unstoppable tears fell despite my iron will as emotions overwhelmed the resolve to bear up.  Driving home from work that sunny spring evening, I knew I could no longer move forward while afflicted with the brokenness of my past.
I had never paid much attention to the big church on the corner where I turned, but this day desperation drove me to stop and walk through the cavernous entry.  It didn’t matter … nothing mattered except that it felt like I was dying and needed hope to live.
The Pastor kindly welcomed me, sharing the hope of salvation.  I had attended church as a child and been baptized at 12 but didn’t understand what it meant to make Jesus Lord of my life.  He explained it and suddenly I knew!  I was free, it was real!  It didn’t matter that there were no stars exploding or church bells ringing!  My salvation was real and Jesus gave me life and a purpose for life!
Knowing I would need mentoring Pastor made arrangements for us to meet with another young couple from church.  We had a delightful connection for a few weeks, yet never attended church.   Shortly thereafter we moved out of town.  In a long and round- about way we ended up in a nearby town and were actively involved in church, and grew in our relationship with the Lord.  But it was on a particular spring evening, in a large church on a busy street corner, that my true life began.
Nearly 40 years later, life came full circle.  I was hired as Director of Children’s Ministries at that same church on that same busy street corner in Salem.  What a delightful reunion when I saw the precious couple who had aspired to mentor us those many years ago!  Jerry and Doris VanDeKoppel’s hair has a bit more gray than it did in the spring of 1972, and Pastor Whitwell has gone home to be with the Jesus he introduced me to.  The call of Jesus to make disciples, and the mission and vision of Salem First Baptist has gone unchanged.  God put us here for a reason … as a beacon in a dark world.  Thank you, SFBC, for being a beacon now, and so many years ago, to damaged and dark souls.
Sherri Sperling, Children's Ministries Director
Those who read lead.  That thought was burned into my brain years ago by an effective leader.  It is true the great leaders are learners.  Therefore, go check out the library.  Our team of librarians work weekly to have a quality resource tool so that you can grow.  Check it out this weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Grandparent Conference

It was such a thrill to be on the ground floor watching God inspire and put together His plan and program for the Grandparent Conference.  What a faith builder to those of us He called together as a committee to be a part of His vision.  He unfolded step by step the vision, speakers, topics, and program.  It was exciting to see how each of our spiritual gifts came into play to bring a truly professional conference into being.  

Following the conference there were many exciting comments.  One grandparent commented they appreciated the encouragement of being an active and godly grandparent along with the many ideas to be a “grand” grandparent.  Another reports that she has now put together her Prayer Journal having interviewed her grandchildren for their specific prayer needs.

For one grandparent, just one slide showing a family tree of a Boomer to a Millennial made a huge impact.  It was amazing to see how our families have changed over the past decades. From two parents and four grandparents to a multitude of both, as well as siblings that are not related biologically. In our own city, where we could make a difference, children are shoved from foster home to foster home; their parents no longer able to care for them because of drug abuse.  

Another grandparent was reminded by a comment by John Coulombe that “we need to be multigenerational in our church.”  It is so easy to get in our comfort zone with our activities, our style of music, and our lifestyle.  It is a challenge to interact with someone not years but decades younger and try to relate to their world.

As we age, it seems it becomes harder to accept change and even to learn some of the new technologies available and used on a daily basis by our own grandchildren.  It was enlightening to have a breakout session where grandparents were made aware of how much our grandchildren use social media.  We were reminded not only of its uses but also of some of the dangers these sites hold for our grandchildren.  They are so connected yet so isolated because there is no longer the face to face interaction with another person.  Seeing some their peers’ postings that make their life look so much better than the life they live can lead our grandchildren into times of despondency.  It is these times that we as grandparents need to come alongside in prayer and encouragement.

--Nancy Sperling for The Grandparent Committee



REMINDER:  Turkey Mission Trip Garage Sale is this weekend!

Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and 

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
The address is 220 Superior St S.