Men’s Group – Feb 11 – Ask It: Musical Chairs

Tom SmithMen's Ministry

Greetings Men – First of all, let me say thank you to all of you who came out last Wednesday evening for “Pizza Night” and for eating 104 pieces of pizza. The other 8 (Pineapple & Ham) MAY have been eaten by Pastor Michael… but I think I saw a couple of other guys attacking that one too! In any case, it was a GREAT night of FOOD, FUN & FELLOWSHIP as our men reunited after a two month break. It was great to see all of you guys back at our Men’s Group, and we welcomed a few new men as well. I heard and saw many of us reconnecting, and was told of how our group had connected over the Christmas break and had actually ministered to one another! Praise God!

I was reminded once again this morning how quickly life can bring changes. Sunday afternoon people were outside in shorts, riding motorcycles and buying flowers to plant outside. Spring has sprung – or so they thought! When my bride and I woke up this morning she looked out the window and asked “Is that SNOW out there on the ground?” Now before I put on my glasses in the morning, everything looks the same – large fuzzy masses of barely indiscernible colors – usually brownish green since our bedroom window looks into the woods. But sure enough, when I put on my spectacles, there was a thin layer of snow on the ground. Now I don’t recall any of the weather forecasters saying anything about snow. Rainy and chilly maybe, but not snow. With all of the sophisticated “forecasting” equipment, data models, satellites and weather monitoring equipment, it is God who is ultimately in control not only of the weather, but everything else, and He alone has full knowledge of what has and is and is going to happen in our world! As Pastor Michael reminded us on Sunday, God does not forecast the weather, He ordains it!

Aren’t you glad we can know and serve a God who has complete knowledge and all wisdom? As we continue in our series ASK IT, Andy encouraged us to ask every day “What is the WISE thing for me to do?” What is the relationship between knowledge (which is what weather forecasters presume to have) and WISDOM? How are they similar and how are they different? Where do both knowledge and wisdom originate? How can we as men gain access to that knowledge and wisdom? Can we have one and not the other?

If these questions intrigue you, join us this Wednesday as we learn what Solomon – considered the WISEST human to live on earth – has to say about knowledge, wisdom, and the difference between the two. This is part two of this very practical and fascinating series. Don’t miss it!

JAY COX and BOB TERRELL are on for snacks this week. Both of these guys are experience “chefs” and we can expect great things! Thanks Bob and Jay!

God bless you men… Tom

News – February 6th

Paul DreillingChurch News

Dear Immanuel family,

Bold Truth in 50 Shades of Grey

Steamy is the word used to summarize the books, the trailer, and the soon to be released movie, 50 Shades of Grey. The story involves an illicit romance between a college graduate, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, a 27 year old successful, wealthy entrepreneur. And that is about all we need to know.

What began as a self-published eBook was acquired by Vintage Books in 2012. Two volumes were added the same year making it a trilogy with combined sales topping 100 million copies. 50 Shades hits the theater this week just in time for Valentine’s Day. But the story is not about love. It’s a sadistic blend of erotic dreams, selfish pride, and sexual abuse correctly called “mommy porn.” Read anonymously as a book on your personal device, the story will now seduce audiences in packed theaters. Owen Strachan, the President of the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, writes of its cultural impact, “50 Shades of Grey is disgusting, despicable, and unerringly awful for women. Don’t view this film as just a film. Know that it is much more. It is representative of the new sexual progressivism and its amoral worldview. 50 Shades of Grey speaks to where things are headed in our culture.”

On Friday’s episode of the Today Show the cast of 50 Shades including Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson, who plays Anastasia Steele, gathered with Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, and Savannah Guthrie for an advanced screening of the movie. During the interview Carson Daly asked Johnson, “Who in your inner circle is allowed to see this movie?” Johnson answered, “My friends, my sisters.”  Hesitating she added, “But I don’t want my parents to see it.” Savannah Guthrie cut short the awkward laughter concluding, “We can understand why.”

We all know why. We know why eBooks are safer than paperback. We know why Johnson, the lead actress, doesn’t want dad and mom to see her work. We understand the immature laughter of 1,000 movie watchers. We identify with it because we understand shame. Shame works like pain for the soul. It alerts us to the danger and harm caused by sin. Our culture is not losing its shame. It’s hiding it. Hiding shame is nothing new. We’re not that far from Eden.

The Christian response is not avoiding conversation about 50 Shades, but sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Son of God bore the shame of sin when he was crucified in plain view of his mother. By atoning for us Jesus offers forgiveness to sinners, and when you believe in his death and resurrection, shame disappears because the sin is expiated. No longer is there reason to hide shame in shades of grey.

Avoid the movie. Avoid the books. Skip the trailer during commercials. But be ready to speak the bold truth of the Gospel in this cultural conversation.

cross

Pastor Michael Wilburn


Preparing for Sunday’s Worship:

  • Sermon title and text: Israel: Judged for Idolatry/False Worship (Amos 4:1-13)
  • Sunday’s Scripture Reading – 1 John 5:18-21

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND UPDATES:

Churchwide Elder Fellowship – Around the World in 80 Minutes :   The next Churchwide Fellowship is on February 22 at 5:30 pm.  AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 MINUTES will be unique, engaging and well-worth your time.  As usual, we ask that you purchase tickets at the Welcome Center after AM service, so we can know how many to prepare for.  Tickets are $4/person or maximum of $20/family.  Plan ahead.  You don’t want to miss this!

Church Photo Directory – Plans are under way for a new pictorial directory with photography starting March 11, 2015. There is no cost to you or the church to have your portraits taken, and you will receive a complimentary 8×10 portrait and directory for participating.  You will be able to view your images immediately after you are photographed and additional portraits will be available to order.

  • You will be able to sign up for your photography session online at your convenience at www.immanuelbaptist.org [bottom of the construction page] and there will also be opportunities to sign-up after services beginning January 25.  Don’t forget to include your email address when you sign-up.  You’ll receive a reminder message about your appointment and a $10 coupon off any photography you purchase.  You may bring props if you would like (musical instrument, family Bible, a well behaved pet) and you will have an opportunity to have generational portraits of children, parents and grandparents taken.  Stop buy the sign up tables and pick up your 20% discount coupon off any purchase you make. 
  • Don’t Miss Out –Photography dates NOW include March 19, 20, 24 & 25 (2pm to 9pm) and <>March 21 (10 am to 5pm). Sign up at the Welcome Center – 1) after Sunday School, 2) after AM service and 3) before PM service! ***Except on Feb. 8, registration available online only***

Contact ibcphotodirectory@gmail.com if you have any questions.

lifetouch

Opportunities to serve in our Children’s ministry –  Are you looking for an opportunity to give back to others in a way that you have received from the Lord?  Our Children’s Program has some open spaces that maybe you could fill.

2015 Mission’s Trip – Camp Nathanael – Nestled in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky is Camp Nathanael.   We are preparing a team of 10-15 to help with general construction, brick laying and meal preparation in May (probable dates: May 3-9).  Some funds will need to be raised by each participant.  If you are interested, please contact Myron Saffritt (myronsafritt@centurylink.net) or Paul Dreiling (pdreiling@immanuelbaptist.org)

camp

New Library Hours – The library will be open for 20-30 minutes immediately following the evening service beginning on Sunday, February 1, 2015 and running through the month of March. If the trial is successful, these hours will become permanent. Because the Mizpah wing is not used on Sunday evenings, it will be necessary to leave the Thompson St. door locked.  If coming down the sidewalk, knock on the window to be let in.  Patrons may also go down the inside breezeway to the primary dept. across from the nursery, and go through the Mizpah room.  The library is on the other side of the swinging doorway. Hope to see you there.

Women’s Ministry Bible Study Jan 2014

Tami JonesWomen's Ministry

SermonOnTheMountWhat does it mean to be a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven? Matthew’s gospel opens with three chapters containing Jesus’ longest recorded message – a sermon given to His disciples early in His ministry to articulate what the life of a Christ-follower would look like. It was a message intended to turn upside down every expectation His closest followers might have. Both practical and profound, the sermon asks of us the same questions it posed to its original hearers: How should a disciple relate to sin? To others? To the Law? How does a disciple think, speak, and act? What is the nature of true righteousness?

Come join us as we delve into God’s Word and study one of Jesus’s most famous messages to His disciples and to us.

Friday Morning Study begins January 23 at 9:30 am in the Mizpah room. This group meets every other Friday morning.

Wednesday Night Bible study begins January 28 with a Kick Off Soup Dinner and will then meet weekly from 7:00 – 8:30 pm.

Registration will take place the first session of Bible study. Cost is $12.00

News – December 19th

Paul DreillingChurch News

Dear Immanuel family,

Yesterday I was invited over to my son’s house for dinner.  My granddaughter climbed up in my lap, looked up at me with those big blue eyes and then put her head down on my chest.  Although she can’t talk yet she was “communicating.”  It was one of those moments that happen on this side of heaven when we say, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”  It reminded me that some of the best gifts this Christmas will not be under the Christmas tree.

Certainly the greatest gift came that first Christmas.  Augustus’ decree sent everyone bustling back to their home towns for a census. The sleepy quaint town of Bethlehem was thriving with visitors who filled the streets and hotels to the max.  My mind can imagine the sounds and smells of food venders, people traveling on horseback or in ox carts, and even some like Mary and Joseph on donkeys.   To think that the creator of the universe stepped into time in such a lowly fashion is just beyond comprehension; an event largely unnoticed in Bethlehem except by a few shepherds and three wise men.

As Mary looked at those tiny hands, little did she know they would touch a leper’s open wound, wipe a widow’s tear, and be used to hold her son on Calvary’s cross.What a gift our Lord gave us.   We don’t have to wait for this gift.   “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17). The world received the greatest Gift ever: Jesus Christ.

Mary was given a gift – Jesus.
The shepherds were told where to find the gift – Jesus.
The wise men came bringing gifts – to Jesus.
Will you receive the Gift – of Jesus?

If you haven’t opened this gift yet, please do it now.   If you are interested see the attached “Romans Road.”

PSD

Preparing for Sunday Worship – Sunday’s Scripture Reading – Isaiah 42:1-9.  Message Title: Paul to Agrippa, Bernice and Festus – Acts 26:2-23.

Cookies for Inmates – Good News Jail & Prison Ministry will be distributing cookies to inmates at the Chesterfield County Jail for Christmas.  They can be any type of cookie; ones made from scratch, a mix or ones from the dairy case.  The cookies will need to be brought to the church by Sunday, December 21st. You may leave them in the Fellowship Hall kitchen or Naomi Corcoran’s office and be sure they are marked for Good News Jail Ministry.  If you have any questions, contact Chaplain John Corcoran .

Children’s Concert, Cookies, and Cocoa – Please remember that on Sundayevening, December 21st, the Children’s concert (voices and instruments), in the Fellowship Hall, will begin at 6:00 pm instead of the normal 6:30 pm.   The children participating in the program need to arrive at 5:00 pm.   Please come and enjoy a casual evening of singing and refreshments as we celebrate the Lord’s birth.

Clothes Closet Ministry – As you make room for your new Christmas gifts, please remember the Clothes Closet for any items you either don’t need or no longer want.  With this ongoing cold winter we are in need of warm clothing, coats, gloves, and leather shoes, especially in men’s sizes.  We are constantly in need of toiletries.  Presently, we are low on deodorant, disposable razors and toothpaste.  We are also looking for warm blankets.  Any help you could provide would be so appreciated by our Clothes Closet visitors!

News – December 12

Paul DreillingChurch News

Dear Immanuel Family,

What a joyous time is Christmas!  Over 2000 years ago, God dispatched the Son of the Trinity to earth to take on human form.  To do this, God chose a carpenter, Joseph and his wife, Mary, to be the parents of the Son of God.  The angel Gabriel approached Mary by saying, “Greetings, O favored one….” This greeting comes from the Greek word meaning “much grace.”  Mary was a righteous women favored by God, but she was a sinful person just like us in need of God’s grace.

Although she was not the Mother of God as some say, she was Jesus’ mother and the vessel by which “the Word became flesh.”  I love what Ephesians says – “He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things” (4:10) proving the pre-existence of Jesus.  The Lord God Almighty has no mother, since He has no beginning and no end (Genesis 1:1;Revelation 4:8).

On one occasion, Jesus was speaking and a woman in the crowd proclaimed,“Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” What a perfect segue for Jesus to declare that Mary was worthy of praise and adoration.  How did Jesus respond?  He said, ““Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”  Jesus Christ is the only human to ever deserve our worship.  The Bible says, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” and that is worth celebrating this Christmas.

PSD

Sunday, December 14th – This Sunday during the 10:45 am service, the Immanuel Baptist adult choir will present its annual Christmas Concert “The Work of Christmas.” We are sure you will be blessed by this special presentation that includes 36 voices, a 10 piece orchestra, narration and congregational singing.

  • The Missionary Praise and Prayer lists will be available on tables around the sanctuary.
  • Pastor Wilburn will be back with us Sunday evening with a message “Come and Hear the Soul’s Testimony of God” from Psalm 66:16-20.

Cookies for Inmates – Good News Jail & Prison Ministry will be distributing cookies to inmates at the Chesterfield County Jail for Christmas.  They can be any type of cookie; ones made from scratch, a mix or ones from the dairy case.  The cookies will need to be brought to the church by Sunday, December 21st. You may leave them in the Fellowship Hall kitchen or Naomi Corcoran’s office and be sure they are marked for Good News Jail Ministry.  If you have any questions, contact Chaplain John Corcoran.

Upcoming Events:

Dec 17 – Churchwide Caroling in the neighborhood

Dec 21 – PM Children’s concert, Cookies and Cocoa

Dec 24 – Christmas Eve Candlelight service – Prelude 6:30

Immanuel Mobile App

Paul DreillingChurch News

Dear Immanuelites,

Immanuel-Baptist-Churchc-Richmond-VA-AppIf you were in church yesterday, you heard about the new app that we have just created. In case you weren’t, it is free and available for you to download right now! It will work with almost any smart phone and tablet and there is a link below to help you get connected. You will need to know the password to your account so make sure to have that handy before you try to download it.

It is our desire that this app will allow you to stay plugged in with Immanuel. You will have sermons, newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and more right at your fingertips. We also want to stay connected with you! The app allows us to send you direct notifications and these will be crucial when there is a service cancellation due to weather or to send you a reminder of big event.

Don’t have a smart phone or tablet? No worries! There is a web page you can visit that allows you to see all of the media we have on our app. See the link for this web page below.

Last, but not least, we hope you would be willing to share the app. Is there a co-worker, neighbor, classmate that you know that is interested in God but won’t go to a church? Maybe this app would allow them to hear the preaching of the Word for the first time.

As time goes on, we’ll continue to try to improve this app. We’re thankful for it, yet we understand this is just a tool. So may God use the resources within this app to encourage you and build you up that we, His people, might see our Father glorified as you grow in your walk with Him.

In Christ Alone,

The Immanuel Staff

LINKS:

Get the App!  Check Out the Browser Version 

Reaching Out

Geoffrey ChanChinese Ministry

In the early 1980’s, Operation Mobilization sponsored a special mission conference in Richmond focusing on then the inaccessible China.  In one of the evening sessions, the conference fervently prayed that the Lord will open the door to China once again. That door has certainly been opened.  In 2001, I had the privilege of visiting one of our own missionary in China.

Recently, Dr. Pat Cate, one of our own missionary, reminded us that the world is now at our door step.  The world, including China, has poured into cities all across the United States.  Here in Richmond, there are a substantial number of Chinese students and scholars at VCU.  We can now all be missionaries to the most populous country in the world without stepping onto an airplane.

Many of these students and scholars will return to China when they finish their studies.  What is interesting is that some of these students/students can one day be missionaries to their own people themselves.  Here is a fascinating example how the Lord used a small act of kindness and turned it into a huge evangelistic opportunity.

The following was taken from the September 29, 2014 FB posting of China Outreach Ministries.

In 2010, we reached out to a visiting scholar… as we did towards many visiting scholars from China. We provided an airport pick-up, temporary housing, used furniture, and trips to interesting places. He also enjoyed our weekly friendship dinners and Bible studies. Several months later [this visiting scholar] returned to China without accepting Jesus. However, he was deeply impressed by what we did for him. Eventually [the visiting scholar] became the department head of a famous university in China. A brother from our outreach team went to China to visit and was invited by [the scholar] to give a seminar on ‘Science and Faith’ that turned out to be an ‘official’ evangelism meeting with thousands of college students. Can you imagine? This happened behind the communist iron curtain? We made a hole in it!

WOW! Reaching out to an international visitor in the local college campus turns into reaching out to thousands of college students in a foreign land.  We can never underestimate how the Lord will use each one of us.  May we all be His instruments in building His kingdom.