Jesus' simple Message of God's love.

Monday, 31 December 2007

Yesterday

"You shall not go out with haste, … for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard" (Isaiah 52:12).

Security from Yesterday.
"… God requires an account of what is past" (Ecclesiastes 3:15). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.

Security for Tomorrow.
"… the Lord will go before you … ." This is a gracious revelation—that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our "rear guard." And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.

Security for Today.
"You shall not go out with haste … ." As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.

Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

(Exerpt from My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers)

Saturday, 24 November 2007

God is Moving!

Its getting cold in Scotland! But that drove in about 10+ teenagers last night to our kids club at Alva Baptist Church (on top of the 12 or so kids who already come). And they didn’t ruin it for the younger kids AND they stayed for the preachy bit to hear about how the righteous live by faith and a part about Sheep & Goats where Jesus describes the righteous sheep as those who love one another well in action. We also got to teach that God did not create Hell for people, but for the Devil. And encouraged that Jesus came to save every person! (Even the jerks, as one kid asked)

AND this one rude, scoffer actually stepped into the main sanctuary, into the pulpit and began to read my sermon from last week about abiding in Christ’s word, knowing the truth and being made free! He stopped at each line and asked “now what the #@!$#$% does that mean?” And I patiently explained, loving beyond my offended heart!

We could have insisted on appropriate language, we could have insisted on a sterile place untouched by the hands of unbelievers, but instead I watched as God tugs on the heart of a sinner. Ministry is a messy business. (sheep smell) I can see how God chooses the least and the lost and calls them to serve Him. (in the mirror!)

We are seriously committed to being nice to young people whom God loves; and showing Christian love in the face of insults and derision from the blind and the captives.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Dave & Liz

An Historic Event


Many were blessed and honored to be present at the first time, since opening the Scottish parliament 8 years ago, that the chamber and all elected leaders present were lead in the Lord's prayer.

Shivers as Anne McIntyre, invited to preside over the chamber for only 4 minutes that day, encouraged our leaders and turned to honor Our Father through the words of His Son Jesus Christ, and seek whole-heartedly for His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven!

In the delegated authority of the land, on behalf of the nation, standing for God in the seat of government. Our Lord reigns!

Praising God and thanking Him for VICTORY in Jesus name!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

It's Simple

God is moving in this wee church

This land aches for a change in the way we see God
from ‘Religious Maintenance’ to ‘Heroic, Historic, Life-defining relationship'.

Friday, 16 November 2007

The church meeting

I find that I love my neighbors at Alva Baptist Church more after seeing how much they care about our community of faith. It gets a bit intense some times but the work will get done and God will get all the credit. It can only be Him.

I am praying that God give us wisdom about how to care for all that He will bring along. The Church in Alva, Scotland is better off with these people praying for her.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Be a Hero on Rememberance Day

Memorize This Verse!Romans 6:23 on a dinner napkin takes REAL courage.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Church Meeting: Wednesday 14 November

We will begin promptly at @ 7:30pm.
At the wee hall toward the rear of the church.
Enter on the side door off Brook Street.
All members of Alva Baptist Church are encouraged to attend.
Any visitors welcome

Tentative Agenda:
-Prayer
-Praise
-Pastoral Exhortation
-Approval of Minutes
-Financial Report
-Discussion:
  • Expansion of the role of Praise in the worship service
  • Reinstitution of the Prayer of Intercession
  • The Communion Service
  • Christmas Preparations: Services: Christmas Eve? Christmas Day? Decorations? Carols Selection? Choir? Children’s contribution, and all that
  • The 'expectation' of membership - The opportunities to serve in the church and sincere desire to see each person fulfilling their unique role in the body of Christ.
  • Suggest the consideration of clarifying the existing constitution through policies, amendment or revision.
  • AOCB

What we are about

A Christian's job description:

1 Timmothy 4:12-16
…in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed upon you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things; for as you do this you will insure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

~~~

A Vision and mission statement for Alva Baptist Church:

Vision: Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Mission: Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

~~~

Motto:

“Instead of looking to fall back on a 1st century model for the Church, we are striving forward toward a 21st century expression of the Body of Christ”


Luke 2:49b "...did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?"

Friday, 5 October 2007

So Baptists probably baptize right?

But why?

Well, here is the story:
In baptism we identify with the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a symbolic act driven by a real faith that Jesus is the Son of God.

Going under the water symbolizes death & burial; and coming up out of the water symbolizes resurrection. When we are baptized, we declare that we are willing to 'die' to the former selfish life and live as a friend of God.

A person comes to believe the message that God the Father loves us and forgives us all offenses, because we believe that Jesus is His Son; we ask and receive forgiveness in Jesus' name. And one of the first deliberate acts of obedience is to be baptized as Jesus commands in Matthew 28:19

Through faith in Christ, we are born spiritually into the life that God intended for Adam & Eve. A life that was lost through sin. Adam and Eve sinned by breaking the only rule there ever was, at first.
See Genesis Ch.3

"Sin" merely means 'missing the mark of perfection'.
Even if one drives very well, all I have to do is talk on my mobile while driving and I will still get pulled over. I could say: "But officer, I stop at every red light; I never speed; I'm wearing my seatbelt!" But he needs to talk about the law that I didn't follow.

God's standard for his home in heaven is holiness; perfection. Only God is perfect. Thats why the scripture says in Paul's letter to the Romans: "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" Rom 3:23

The spiritual cost is much higher than the worldly cost.
If I violate a traffic law, the penalties are Pounds and points.
But "...the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23
Not because God kills us, but because we step off a cliff when we sin; and fall, fall, fall away.

But God didn't turn His back on us and walk away...
"...the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."Romans 6:23

God loves us. He gave himself as a bridge across the expanse between our failing and His perfection.

Jesus agreed to the Father's plan be the final sacrifice offered for all sin. God did not 'wink' at sin and just overlook the law. That would be unfair.

Jesus paid the price of every 'violation' with his own life:
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-- only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
~John 10:17


Baptism is a symbolic act that proclaims a spiritual truth:
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; (they have) crossed over from death to life." ~John 5:24

We go down into the water (from death)
and come up out of it (to life)

We don't necessarily look different. Maybe we don't immediately feel different. But the life lived from that point forward begins to show 'evidence' that reflects 'the spiritual life' we are now living as a friend of God.

"Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him." ~Acts 8:36-38 (NKJ)

If you believe and want to be baptized, please contact us at:
david (@) alvabaptist (dot) org
Please comment below.

Before...




...After


"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."~Matthew 28:19-20

Thursday, 4 October 2007

So you are invited?

If you have recently been invited to enjoy the Christianity Explored event at ABC you have the right place!

The meeting starts with a meal at 7pm..
Please come hungry. You can enter by the side door.

We are located on Brook Street one block north of Stirling St.

Bring a friend if you like and a question about Jesus Christ or Christians that you hope to see answered. Any type of question is welcome.

~Pastor David Fraser

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

125th Anniversary










Another year has gone by in the life of Alva Baptist Church, as we now celebrate our 125th anniversary. The celebration of this anniversary will be held on Sunday, 23rd September, with a musical programme at the 6:30pm Evening Service. Refreshments will be served.



We Miss you Hamers! God is good.
Jesus will receive the reward of His suffering.
Thanks for all your hard work.
We are seeing the fruit of it.
~All of us at ABC
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Sunday, 19 August 2007

Induction Service

The Deacons of the church: Mary McFarlane,
Etta Stephen,
Matty Woodbridge,
Bill Campbell,
Moira Peters;




Laying hands on the Frasers, asking for God's blessing in ministry.








The event filled God's house with faithful members and supportive neighbors.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

A New Song

What a glorious time at the Cochrine Hall on Sunday night, 12 August!

There was a strong showing among a diverse group of Alva residents and neighbors. More than five churches along the foothills, an article in the Wee County News, and several gracious shops that lent window space all contributed to the buzz as the event brought out more than a hundred people (actual figure subject to 'pastoral rounding').

The Choir shared the beautiful songs of their homelands: Romania and Chile. They learned many songs in English to share with their new friends. We enjoyed the music, and the honest expression of their hearts.

It is not common to hear the gospel preached in a secular hall, nor was the response of the crowd at all common. I have rarely seen people lifting their hands in front of strangers for prayer at a public event that was not billed as a Christian event. Hearts were ripe to respond to God's invitation.

Kind people from several churches from Alva to Dollar fed and hosted the choir members.

Many were blessed.

Life Without Stabilizers

So my son has training wheels on his spider man bike.
He leans right and left and thinks he can ride.

It was so nice and cozy with three pastors: Dave Barrie, Marc Hamer and David Fraser.
Well, we are now trucking along with just the 'new' minister to look to.
Thank God he looks to God!

Be careful when you think you stand lest you fall.
Be careful when you insist you can ride and demand the stabilizers off! :)

God is good and this church is a blessing to serve.

WATCH THIS SPACE!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

It's Unanimous

By 100% unanimous decision, David Fraser will be the next pastor of Alva Baptist Church effective 15 July.

Stay tuned for a a picture and bio.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

The Latest

New Pastor? Stay Tuned.
No. it's not one of those guys to the left. More on that down below.
This past Sunday we had David Fraser preach and it was a great message he shared from John 5:31-47. I wish we could post it on here for you but unfortunately we don't have things together for that yet. We do have a real website in the works where we will have podcasts of all the sermons and as soon as that is completed we'll let you know.

The main reason David came to preach was that he is a candidate for the role of the pastor at Alva Baptist Church. He was very well received and this Wednesday the church will have an official vote to officially offer him the position. I will post an update on that as soon as we have the final results.

Film Night This Friday

That's right, this Friday night we will be having our 3rd film night. We look forward to another thought provoking film to spark some good discussion afterwards. The popcorn should be good as well.

Stay tuned for more updates soon.



Monday, 28 May 2007

David Fraser Preaching June 10th

Just wanted to let you all know that on the 10th of June, we are pleased to have David Fraser from Metro Calvary Chapel (Santa Monica, California) preaching at the 11am service. David was an associate pastor at Metro for several years but has just in the last month moved to Scotland along with his family and is eager to serve God in this new environment wherever He may call.

We all look forward to hearing what God has laid on David's heart to share with us and if you're in the area, please stop on by, we'd love to meet you.

Monday, 23 April 2007

'Time Changer'

This past Friday we had our first ever movie night at Alva Baptist Church. We had a great time of fellowship together and enjoyed this very thought provoking film. Afterward we had a time of discussion and prayer as many of us were convicted to do some serious spiritual inventory of our own lives. Here's an overview of the story:

The year is 1890 and bible professor Russel Carlisle has written a new manuscript entitled "The Changing Times". His book is about to receive a unanimous endorsement from the board members of the Grace Bible Seminary until his colleague Dr. Norris Anderson raises an objection.

Dr. Anderson believes that what Carlisle has written could greatly affect the future of coming generations. Using a secret time machine, Anderson sends Carlisle over 100 years into the future, offering him a glimpse of where his beliefs will lead.

The main thing Dr. Anderson objected to was Carlisle's view that you can teach morality apart from the basis of morality which is Jesus and his word. Among many things that made the movie interesting was the prediction from Anderson that morals would begin to collapse if there's no basis for them. This is exactly where we find ourselves today in our post-modern culture. There's no longer any such thing as absolute truth and unfortunately this is not only being proclaimed in the media and secular universities, it's being taught in many churches and seminaries by those who would identify themselves as Christians.
It was an eye opening film as to how far we have fallen in little over 100 years. In 1890 the divorce rate was at around 5%. The latest stat. on divorce here in the UK has it at nearly 66%. In America it is over 50% and the church is no different. The stuff we see and blow off everyday as no big deal would have been considered complete filth 100 years ago. It makes me wonder how far things will go and reminds me that our only hope is a true revival especially of those that fill churches every Sunday. We have allowed ourselves to fall asleep while moral filth and decay has overspread the land and crept into the churches.

I would highly recommend this film as I think with the power of the Holy Spirit it will cause many including Christians to go to their knees afterward in prayer and repentance.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

The Great Flyer Drop



Over the past week or so we have been distributing flyers throughout the Alva and Menstrie communities. Fortunately the weather has been downright amazing which actually made this an excellent reason to get outside and catch a good Scottish suntan. Special thanks to Frank who designed the flyer and all the volunteers who helped to distribute close to 3000 flyers.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Things Coming up at Alva Baptist

Spring is just about officially here although the temps. outside aren't quite cooperating as yet. Soon enough though I hope. With the new spring season we have some new things in the works here at the church.

Here are a few of the things that are happening:

Easter
6 April 7pm - Good Friday Service
7 April 10-11:30 - Kids (Primary School Age) Easter Party
8 April 11am - Family Easter Service

Movie Nights (Films TBA - Stay tuned to this site for announcements on the films we will be watching and yes, popcorn will be served.)

20 April 7pm
18 May 7pm
15 June 7pm

Kids Holiday Club
2 July-6 July (Times to announced soon)

These are just a few of the things that are happening. Stay tuned for more esciting things happening in the next few months.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Walk For Romania

Sorry we're a bit behind here in posting. We intended to have this post up about a week ago but some technical difficulties got in the way.

The shot to the left is of those of us that went out walking to raise money for the team heading down to Romania to help out an orphanage.

We had a great time covering about 6 miles of Clackmananshire and when our tired feet finally arrived back at the church, we had some really nice soup and sandwiches to greet us.

Amazingly, with just this small group we were able to raise several hundred pounds which will go very far in Romania. Praise God for that and the weather that held out during the walk. We were a little worried because it was raining before the walk and after it but during, we never felt a drop.

Thanks also to all those who sponsored us as well as the cooks who made the amazing soup, sandwiches and chocolate cake.

This month in leading up to the trip to Romania we are praying specifically for this nation and the team heading down. We will have report when the team returns so stay tuned.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Jesus' Family Tomb?


Well, here we go again. Last year we had the the Da Vinci Code which was nothing more than a re-hashing of the 1982 book, 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' which was completely debunked back then.
All through history there have been people trying to discount the validity of the scriptures and the significance of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The latest which I'm sure many of you have heard about is the so called discovery of the tomb of Jesus and his so-called son. Once again this is an old story that was debunked several years ago. Unfortunately, some will buy into it without doing any research and the damage will be done. This is another reminder that we always need to be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks the reason for the hope that lies within us. 1Peter 3:15
Here is a great refutation of this latest attack on Christianity by Paul L. Maier Ph.D.,Litt.D:

Dear Friends and Readers,

...Please, lose no sleep over the Talpiot “discoveries” for the following reasons, and here are the facts:.

1) Nothing is new here: scholars have known about the ossuaries ever since March of 1980. The general public learned when the BBC filmed a documentary on them in 1996. James Tabor’s book, The Jesus Dynasty, also made a big fuss over the Talpiot tombs more recently, and now James Cameron (The Titanic) and Simcha Jacobovici have climbed aboard the sensationalist bandwagon as well.

2) All the names – Yeshua, Joseph, Maria, Mariamene, Matia, Judah, and Jose -- are extremely frequent Jewish names for that time and place, and thus most scholars consider this merely coincidental, as they did from the start. One-quarter of Jewish women at that time, for example, were named Maria.

3) There is no reason whatever to equate “Mary Magdalene” with “Mariamene,”as Jacobovici claims.

4) So what if her DNA is different from that of “Yeshua” ? That particular :Mariamme” (as it is usually spelled today) could indeed have been the wife of that particular “Yeshua.”

5) What in the world is the “Jesus Family” doing, having a burial plot in Jerusalem, of all places, the very city that crucified Jesus? Galilee was their home. In Galilee they could have had such a family plot, not Judea. Besides all of which, church tradition – and Eusebius – are unanimous in reporting that Mary died in Ephesus, where the apostle John, faithful to his commission from Jesus on the cross, had accompanied Mary.

6) If this were Jesus’ family burial, what is Matthew doing there – if indeed “Ma-tia” is thus to be translated?

7) How come there is no tradition whatever – Christian, Jewish, or secular -- that any part of the Holy Family was buried at Jerusalem?

8) Please note the extreme bias of the director and narrator, Simcha Jacobovici. The man is an Indiana-Jones-wannabe, who oversensationalizes anything he touches. You may have caught him on his TV special regarding The Exodus, in which the man “explained” just everything that still needed proving or explaining in the Exodus account in the Old Testament! It finally became ludicrous, and now he’s doing it again. – As for James Cameron, how do you follow The Titanic? Well, with an even more “titanic” story. He should have known better.

There are more arguments, to be sure, but I want to get this off pronto.

With warm regards,
Paul L. Maier

Pray for those that are easily decieved by this kind of nonsense.

God bless,

Marc

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Preaching The Word

A few years ago while my family and I were on the first leg of our missionary journey (in New Zealand) that would eventually lead us to Scotland we found ourselves struggling to find a decent church. In the course of the two plus months while in New Zealand we visited about five different churches for Sunday morning services. There was one we heard that had some life and the preacher was apparently a good communicator so we decided to give that a try. Well after things didn't pan out the way we had hoped once again I decided I would just read my bible and found God leading me to 2 Timothy 4:2 which says, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction." Now, I had read this passage many times before but this time it jumped out at me as though God were screaming it in my ear. Just prior to this in chapter 3 Paul is speaking about how in the last days people will try and find someone to tickle their itching ears. In other words tell them nice little fluffy feel good stories to make them feel good about themselves and the world instead of the truth.
Today this mentality is everywhere in the church where people show up on a Sunday at church to get a good vibe, network with other people to grow their businesses or just socialize. So many times the preacher will choose topical messages that keep them in safe territory with the congregation so that hopefully the numbers will grow.
So, what do we do at Alva Baptist? We are preaching straight through the bible starting with the gospel of John and dealing with the feel good stories and the difficult ones as well and letting God's word speak for itself. Our prayer in doing this is that instead of leaning on our own cleverness we will lean on the power of the Holy Spirit through God's word to speak directly to hearts so that they are changed not just for time but for eternity.
Whether we have 5 people or 5,000, our main goal is that people are fed the word of God. Jesus said, 'feed my sheep'! He didn't say do whatever you have to do to get more people in the building.
Later after that service we attended we went to pick up the kids from Sunday School and found their Sunday School lesson consisted of watching Eddie Murphy in 'Daddy Daycare'. Well, at least they were consistent.

Monday, 29 January 2007

Sunday Service and Paint Pots


This was the scene today at 'Paint Pots'. As you can see there was a good turnout and there was fun had by all. We were also graced by the presence of a local newspaper photographer who is doing a story on 'Paint Pots'. We'll post it when it makes it to the paper which shouldn't be too long.

Yesterday was a good day as we had a great turnout for church as well and as usual many stayed after the service for a good while to chat which is always a good sign. When people are hangin' out chatting after church for at least an hour, it means they must enjoy each others company.

Right now we are going though the Gospel of John. Last week we covered the first 18 verses where it is made clear that Jesus is God (the word was God...and the word became flesh) and this week we see the main reason he came (in verses 19-29), to die on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins (the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world). Man, it doesn't get any clearer than that. Next week we'll be moving forward and looking at verses 30-51 as well as having a missions update from one of our attenders about an upcoming missions trip to Romania. We will also have Nick Bulbeck leading worship.

Christianity explored continues on with week three. Should be good stuff as usual.

Until next time God bless,

Marc

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Christianity Explored & Paint Pots



We had a great first night of Christianity Explored last Thursday evening. Though there were just a few of us (7 in total) we had a great time viewing the dvd and discussion afterwards. Last week was pretty much just intro. stuff so there's still time to jump in if you've come upon the blog and are curious about the Christian faith. The course will run every Thursday evening from 7-9pm @ Alva Baptist Church.

'Paint Pots'

The first 'Paint Pots' mom and tots creative arts program started this past Monday and was a major success as several moms and young children came out to do some pottery together and found they could have good conversation as well. Come on out and join in on the fun.
'Paint Pots' will be held every Monday 1-3:30pm @ Alva Baptist Church.



Friday, 12 January 2007

Christianity Explored


Christianity Explored

Alva Baptist Church

Starts: Thursday 18 Jan.
7:00 pm (runs for 10 weeks)
*Come explore with us in a friendly atmosphere
E-mail: alvabaptist@hotmail.co.uk
www.christianityexplored.com/whatisce.htm
Alva Baptist Church Green Square Alva FK12 5JQ

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

My Utmost for His Highest in the New Year

Here is a great devotional from Oswald Chambers to start off the new year right.

" I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." - Phil. 1:20

My Utmost for His Highest.

We will all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus the areas of our lives he has asked us to yield to him. It's as if Paul were saying, "My determined purpose is the be the utmost for His highest-my best for His glory." To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning. It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point. An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making that decision, although we cover it up with the pretense that it is others we are considering. When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn't know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point - He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only - my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.