Greetings Church Family!
Well - we've already almost made it through a month. God continues to amaze me with His presence and ever-present love. Quite a while ago, when I had just started at FBC Wartburg, Leamon Woods gave me the pocket knife you see pictured above. I was in my dress uniform, ready to go in and help officiate Ducky Jones' funeral. He said, "Pastor, I always try to give the preacher a pocket knife. I want you to have this one." He told me of many other ministers that have come before me and have received their pocket knife.
Now - I bet I have 25 knives of various designs, shapes, sharpness (most of them are dull) in my nightstand. I like the idea of a knife in my pocket - but I've rarely been in the habit of keeping one on me all the time. Since leaving home, I've kept this little guy in my pocket. It probably doesn't surprise you - I bet there are 2-3 times, every single day that I need a knife. The first few times, it almost surprised me to remember that I had my little knife in my pocket. Then the more that I got used to it being there, I grew confident every time I needed to cut something open.
You can have all the knives in the world at your disposal - but without that one in your pocket when you need it, it's not worth a whole lot. When I think about walking in this sin-stained world - I think about collecting a lot of friends and acquaintances along the way. People that know you in some form or fashion... People that you can call on and (hopefully) count on when the chips are down... But what about the Lord Jesus Christ who has promised to never leave your side. What about the Son of God who stepped into this world so that you can have some real freedom and liberty to live a life of righteousness.
When the going gets tough, and the world doesn't feel like it's on your side... I just want to remind you, there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. His name is Jesus. Jesus loves you and intends to stay the course with you. Reach out and grab ahold of him with confident assurance that He is here, and He is able to do all things!
In this time of quarantine, the church's building has remained mostly empty. An occasional visitor stops by to drop something off, and there has been a skeleton crew that arrives for worship and departs without shaking a hand or hugging a neck. A few key points to remember during this time if you find yourself discouraged...
1. God continues to be very active.
2. The people of God are called to be active.
3. The church's building has gotten some much-needed repairs to the sanctuary entrance/steps!
Russell Davis and his crew came out to replace the steps, landing, and sidewalk in front of the church due to cracks and broken bricks that were safety concerns. Here is the step-by-step:
Day 1: Busting the brick steps and forming the sides of the new steps
Day 2: Forming up the new steps - ready to pour!
Day 3: Busting up the sidewalk - pouring the new steps...
Days 4 & 5: Forming and Pouring the new landing and sidewalk
Day 6: Finished Product!
Matt Ward is Pastor of First Baptist Church of Wartburg and has been a proud resident of Morgan County since being called to the church in December 2018. He loves Jesus, his family, the Church, the military, running, tennis, and starburst jelly beans.