In Times Like These…

Floods. Hurricanes. Acts of Terror. Disasters of both natural and man-made sources.

Politics—everyday, all day—with charges, counter-charges and counter-counter charges. Challenging times to say the least.

So, in times like these…what do we do? What is to be our response? How do we act and react?

Let me suggest the following:

When considering the floods and other disasters, let’s put faces to those affected. Instead of seeing the water in the houses, picture the occupants, now homeless. Instead of thinking about an act of terror, picture the victims and their families who will never be the same. Considering the people adversely affected makes the situation much more personal than if we focus only on the event. When we remember that those are people, souls—the events will take on a completely different meaning—and so will our response.

Realizing that we always have personal responsibilities to help where we can and to do what is right, the other response that I suggest is that we all voluntarily fast and pray.

What’s that?

Yes, you read it right. Fast and pray. That is a scriptural concept, you know, even though the biblical sense of “fast” has not been applied too often in American culture. (Or, at least we don’t know that it has, which would be a good thing according to Matt. 6:17-18). Fasting is the giving up of something good for that which is better. It can be food, it can be any number of good things from which we will willfully abstain in order to focus on prayer. What would be the result if as a congregation we specifically focus on combining fasting and prayer over the next few weeks. Somehow I think our world can be drastically changed!

Focus on people (souls) and increase our prayer and fasting–that’s what I believe should be done

In Times Like These!

I cant wait to see you

THANKSGIVING

By the time you receive this bulletin, you have hopefully had a great time sharing a meal with family and/or friends. I hope it was a beautiful time for everyone. But most of all I hope we especially expressed our thanks to God because the good things we experience in this life comes from Him.

We have some things to be thankful for at Parkway Drive as well.  In recent weeks we have been blessed with more people placing their membership with us. Our family is growing.

Sunday afternoon I was proud to witness our youth group “Finder’s Keepers” visit some of our brothers and sisters at The Plaza.  They sang songs and had a prayer for them and as they left, they talked and hugged each and every one.

There are many other things that I am thankful for as well.  I look forward to seeing each one of you each time the doors are open. I love seeing the smiles, the hugs and the conversations going on around me. We do a great job of greeting our visitors and making them feel welcome.

I am very thankful for Parkway Drive, it is a good and wonderful place to worship, where all are loved and loved by God who continues to bless us.

1 Timothy 4:4 (ESV)
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving

Grace and peace,

Tim Norman

Come On In! – Romans 12:13

Last Sunday night we talked about fellowship, this is a very important part of our worship to God. Even though it is very important, it is one facet that is often overlooked. Throughout the Bible we see many instances where this service to one another is not a recommendation but a commandment; it was also a way of life for the early church. “They devoted themselves to the apostlesʼ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47 NIV

May we learn from this passage and put into practice the same actions of our brothers and sisters as we see they had daily meetings from house to house. This is so vital to the growth both numerically and spiritually.

As the holidays quickly approach we all look forward to fellowship with our families. In my opinion, it is far more important to spend time with our church family. Going about this is key. If we say, “let’s get together soon” most likely it will not happen. So, try this: set a date and time and invite someone over. When that knock on the door comes, open with a smile and say, “come on in!” 

I can’t wait to see you!

Jason

A Note From Your Elders

After many years of service to this congregation, Doris and
Richard Welch, will relinquish their duties respectively as church
secretary and assisting with church finances. This will be effective on
Wednesday, November 23rd. The legacy of Parkway Drive is built upon
people of great faith such as Richard and Doris and we believe God will
continue to raise up future generations of faithful followers as we strive
together to follow His will and continue to reach out to this community.
We as your Elders, love each member of the body of Christ that
assembles here at Parkway Drive. With this announcement, we
especially want Doris and Richard to know we love you and sincerely
thank you for all that you have done. We now look forward to the days
ahead as we can worship together with you unencumbered with these
responsibilities that you have carried for decades. Where we go from
here with these responsibilities will be addressed in the near future,
but for now we ask each of you of the Parkway Family to join us in
extending honor and appreciation for our beloved Richard and Doris
Welch and for over 70 years of combined service to the Lord at this
congregation. At their request, there will not be a reception or meal in
their honor yet they humbly know due reward will come from the Lord
of whom we serve.
It is our hope they will continue to worship with us and always feel like
Parkway Drive is home to them.

Shepherding with sincerity and love,

Kelvin Wells & Tim Norman

Just One More Cast

I would wake up early in the morning, before the sun would come up. In search of something, something that I have never had. Something I was trying to get. It brings to mind, Matthew 13:45-46, seeking after this great and valuable pearl. I would beat the sun to the water and as it came up shining on my face, I would cast my fishing line over and over. As I think back over my fishing trip and the many times I had to force myself to leave the water. I would often say to myself “just one more cast” and “I just might hook into the big one!”

Jesus saw something in fishermen, was it their patience, was it the skill or was it the willingness that fishermen have to go after the catch no matter the bugs, heat or waves? God seems to have these characteristics; He never stops pursuing us (just one more cast).

Paul is one of my heroes, a spiritual giant, what a catch! When we look at the actions of Saul (Paul) our reaction to this man is totally opposite of the Lord’s. He pursued this man kind of like a fisherman chasing a stinky fish. After caught and cleaned up it is so valuable. The outcome of (just one more cast). Read: I Timothy 1:12-17 NKJV

I hope to encourage you, either if God is pursuing you or He is using you to real one in, don’t give up! It can get rough at times but stay focused on the prize, your soul and their souls. God is encouraging and showing us that it pays off to make one more cast. You just might hook into the big one!

I can’t wait to see you!

Jason Freed

Where is God? If we seek Him, we will find Him…

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town, their two young sons were in some way involved.

The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a minister in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the minister.

The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The minister agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The minister sat the boy down and asked him sternly, ‘Where is God?’  The boy made no response, so the minister repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the minister raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’

At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it.’

Mischievous as the boys were, this humorous account of their experience should serve as a reminder to us all.  This reminder takes us to Matthew 6:33 where the words of Jesus tell us to, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”   Let us set our lives in order with this familiar passage.

With all that is going on in our world today, we can be flooded with distractions that can cause us to drift into excessive worry, thus causing us to stumble in our pursuit of seeking God first in all that we read, study, speak and do.  So let us decide now to answer the question of “Where is God ?” by seeking Him in the pages of the Word and committing ourselves to live for him no matter what comes our way. 

These thoughts shared from the love that I have for this congregation,

Kelvin Wells

He Reigns!

Does God want us to worry about the things going on around us? Evil is running ramped, some politicians are corrupt and some cops are crooked. Many people I talk to daily are greatly distressed in the direction this nation is headed. What should the Christian stand for, is the ultimate question. Throughout the Bible we see many instances when God’s people were oppressed and attacked. Many rulers have stood up against them, throwing them in prison, even physically hurting them. How could God allow this, or did God allow it to happen? It is a troubling thing to try and wrap your mind around; it can even shake your faith, if you let it.

How can we maintain our faith in God when it seems things are out of control? The answer is simple, God reigns. He is in control and His ways are above our ways, Isaiah 55:8-9. He knows exactly what he is doing and it is impossible for us to understand His purpose. We simply need to trust Him. He has everything under control. Psalm 45:6, He is on the throne.

It is, however, very important to take advantage of the blessing of our freedom to vote. With that being said, let us remember God is on the throne no matter who is in office. God is in control. We can gain encouragement from Paul’s words to the church in Rome, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

As we talk to folks don’t be drawn into the doom and gloom of the things in the headlines. Rather, tell them your father reigns and He is still on the throne. This is the blessing we have in Christ, the peace that surpasses all understanding. Read Philippians 4:4-7.

I can’t wait to see you!

Jason Freed

 

What Is Your “Go to Guide?”

There are all kinds of self-help books on the market today. Books like, Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” or Eckart Tolle’s book, “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.

But for the Christian, what is our “go-to guide?”

As Christians we have a goal that reaches beyond this life and extends into the realms of heaven itself.  And one way to measure our spiritual progress is determined by what we choose to use as our spiritual “go-to guide.” And that “guide” should be our Bibles.

The Bible should be regarded by us as something extremely valuable, and something that we esteem highly.

Whenever a decision needs to be made, we should “go-to” the Bible. When troubles arise we should “go-to” the Bible. When comfort is needed we should “go-to” the Bible. When questions arise we should “go-to” the Bible.

Every deed we do, every decision we make, should all be done according to our “go-to guide” our Bibles. Because when it comes to our spiritual health the Word of God is our “go-to guide.”

Psalm 119:105 (ESV) –  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

The Word of God alone shows us where we presently stand in our relationship to God and it also reveals whether we are walking toward God or away from Him. If we find ourselves standing or walking in darkness, are we willing to do whatever it takes to correct it and realign ourselves in the light of His word?

I pray that all of us will make every effort, every day to evaluate our spiritual progress using God’s “go-to guide” for our spiritual health. Because, living Christian lives involves the whole person, – body, soul and spirit!

Grace and peace,

Tim Norman

Wake Up and Sing! – Psalm 59

Have you ever woke up with a song in your head? One of our sisters just went home and received her reward. As we sat in her living room, a story was told how she would wake up singing. Not just any old song, but a song of praise to her Father in heaven. When we allow the blessings of God and the power He has to fill us up, it really  doesn’t matter how much we possess or how much money we have in the bank. We will rejoice in His power and His shelter.

In Psalm 59, you see David is in a tough spot. Many evil people are after him. Yet in his distress, he praises God for being his shelter and the one who holds all power. Let’s take this lesson from David and reflect his action. When the world around us is falling apart, when our enemies are stacked against us, let us not forget who is in control.

So wake up singing! Sing of the Lord’s mercy. Sing aloud of His goodness. Allow His grace, goodness and love for you to stir up your soul. Allow God’s goodness to motivate us with the attitude like David. When the world is against us, sing hallelujah for He is a great God and the King above all Kings! And He is our Father who loves us, delivers us and forgives us. He is our shelter. He is our mercy. He is our defense.

“But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.” Psalms 59:16 NKJV

Brothers and sisters, sing how great He is!

I cant wait to see you!

 

Jason Freed

BUILDING BLOCKS

Recently as I sat in the living room floor with my granddaughter, we constructed a house using blocks of different shapes, sizes  and colors.    It wasn’t your normal house, but having the joy of building it together made it even a greater joy to build and when finished, it was something we were both very happy with.    In a similar fashion, we at Parkway Drive have the opportunity of constructing something beautiful for the glory of God.  Something made from a unified effort from each of us who claim to be associated with the Parkway Drive congregation.  Each of us can be its building blocks or as the Apostle Peter wrote, Living Stones”.  (I Peter 2:5)  A living stone will be alive, active and doing its part to support the others.

We at Parkway Drive are much like those blocks that my granddaughter and I built with.  We are of different colors, different sizes, different ages and from different backgrounds, yet we are of one spirit.  (I Cor. 12:13)  May we all bring our individual differences together, and in peace and unity, allow the master to build us into something that each of us as well as God can be very happy with. 

It’s been said that if you have a penny and I have a penny and if we exchange pennies, you still have one cent and I still have one cent.  But if you have an idea and we exchange ideas, you now have two ideas and I now have two ideas.  Such dialogue is evidence of something beautiful being built by living stones.  This is when our thoughts, ideas and goals are always with God at the forefront of our ideas and plans.

So let us be busy with love and joy in our hearts throughout the week, both in our assembled times together and when we are in our individual places.  Let us bring our differences together and allow the Master to create with us something beautiful in His sight.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear Jesus speak to us as He did to Peter when he said, “”I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”  

Excited to serve Him,

Kelvin Wells