It's beginning to look a lot like ... February. And there's a lot of activity happening at First Baptist Church Hamilton. There is a Tuesday morning Bible study for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) from 9:45-11 a.m. Feb. 12 in Room 203 at the church. Childcare is provided. MOPS and MOMSNext have a monthly meeting coming up — 9:45-11:45 a.m. Feb. 19 in Room 200. Childcare is provided then, too.
Wednesdays are a big deal at FBCH:
• Dinner at 5:30 p.m. (for everyone)
• Kids — Awana, 6-7:30 p.m.
• Youth — First Student Ministries, 6-7:30 p.m.
• Adults — Bible study in Room 200, MOPS in Room 203 and Small Men's Group in the board room, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Also happening in February is a luncheon for our childcare workers. That's slated for Feb. 24 and we need folks to sign up here.
We also have a class for new folks called "belonging." That's on Feb. 10. Get info and sign up here.
Need more information? Surf this website or call the church: (513) 868-1412. There's also info on the church's Facebook page.
They were having church! That's what Pastor Dan Clemens said about a video he showed in Sunday's Modern Worship service. The video featured a performer from the popular musical movie, "The Greatest Showman." In it, Keala Settle, who plays a shy bearded lady who gains confidence when she joins the circus, is shy as a performer rehearsing with the cast and orchestra ahead of filming. While she is singing, "This is Me," Settle begins to walk about the room and really gain confidence in the rehearsal. She and her director talk about this experience at the beginning of the video (watch it here). It gets exciting in a way that praise and worship also gets exciting in church — the energy and connection of the people in the video was very real.
We are all created in God's image. Everyone. Genesis 1:26-27 says, "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
And in Romans 5:12, the Bible reads: "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin,and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned."
James 3:9: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness."
Who are you?
Anyone who has seen the children's film "Finding Nemo" has heard the phrase by Dory, "Just keep swimming." It's been turned into countless memes and said many times since the film's release.
Life is tough. We all have demands. We all have internal struggles such as anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness, boredom, and more. Maybe you have a job that's brought you down, but you can't leave it for money reasons. Or you have a family that makes you crazy. Or your body issues are overwhelming you with self-loathing. Maybe you have a life-altering illness or struggle with addictions.
Dory says it best: We're all swimming and we just have to keep on doing it. We all might be on different paths, but we're in the same stream.
God says that with Him, all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
His word is a light to our paths. (Psalm 119:105)
If we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will keep our paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
There are so many references in the Holy Bible about not fearing anything, walking in the right direction, and staying focused on Him. This will lighten our loads and make life more bearable. Christians have protection.
Getting this reminder that God has your back is a top reason for following a daily devotional plan, like what's available (for free!) on the YouVersion app. And starting your day with it will help you be reminded that God will make lemonade out of lemons.
Think of Him whispering, "Just keep swimming ... just keep swimming."
Spoiler alert: If you watch "The Masked Singer" on Fox and haven't seen the episode that aired Wednesday, Jan. 16, stop reading. You have been warned!
"The Masked Singer" is an interesting competition. Famous people get dressed in elaborate costumes and sing on stage in front of a handful of other famous people who are judges. Each week, the singer with the least votes leaves the show — but he or she must first reveal their identity. Throughout the show, there are clues to help judges and the audience figure out who they are.
On Wednesday's episode, a singer who appears to be female and is dressed as a sparkly white unicorn says she likes singing behind the mask because it has given her freedom to try something new and not fear the rejection. Her voice is not as strong as the other competitors, which has led the panelists to believe she is a model or actor. Still, they have flowered her with compliments on her bravery, her decent voice and her strength.
Are we all hiding behind masks? What forces us to stay in our shells and not do things we want to do? Have you ever thought about being a performer, a writer, a preacher, a teacher, or someone who must speak or perform to crowds? What held you back?
We conform to what we think society requires of us. Those with true bravery are leaders: They aren't afraid to try it, to be judged, to stand in front of the rest.
Is this a year to conquer a fear? Is time moving quickly for you?
"Be strong and of good courage," Deuteronomy 31:6 reads. "Do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.
"He will not leave you, nor forsake you."
Six weeks ago, I moved in with two other people. We're in a tiny 3-bedroom home with no basement and a storage shed out back. (Read: We have very limited space.) I am climbing over unpacked boxes and Rubbermaid bins every night when I get home from work because I haven't committed to fully unpacking. It's overwhelming!
If I can live six weeks without opening those boxes and bins and remembering really what's in them, do I need any of it? What should I do with it if I don't?
Recently I watched "Tidy Up" on Netflix in which an organization specialist from Japan came to various homes in the United States and helped folks declutter. I watched a few episodes and got insipired to at least get rid of clothes.
On the show, Marie Kondo has the clients unload EVERY item of clothing they have from all of their closets, the laundry room, boxes, anywhere they have clothing — and pile them onto a bed. One family had a pile that touched the ceiling. Another had to use two beds.
As they went through their belongings, Kondo had them think about the article of clothing individually from the rest. When did you purchase it, or when was it given to you? Who was the giver? Does it mean anything to you? Is it something you love and wear regularly? If it isn't, put it in a pile to donate. But before you do that, say "thank you" to the item. Show appreciation for what it did for you.
I have not thanked my clothing. That part is a little weird to me. But I did think about each item and it helped me get everything down to one operational closet. What I mean by operational is I can sift through the closet without forcing clothes to be pushed to slide on the bar, and I can see all of my shoes. I don't miss the things I pulled off hangers and gently folded and placed in a bag to give to a woman at church whom I know will appreciate getting them. That's the other thing Kondo asks her clients to do — don't just throw the items in a pile, fold and place them and show care. It will be easier for the person or donation place receiving the items to unpack or consider.
I am a believer in minimizing, for sure, and that part of me is really faith-based. I know that God wants us not to be materialistic and to be givers. So as I sort through the tonnage, I think about His plan for me, and the saying that some folks use: "You can't take it with you."
Just yesterday, my mom stopped by with a bag of stuff she had cleared from her home. I said, don't leave it here! We just have too much. She still left it (she won't ever listen to me, LOL!), and I am sure at least some of it will make it to my donation pile.
Organization is spurring me to focus on other things and have a clearer mind. How about you? Do you need to declutter?
Luke 12:33-34 (ESV):
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Blog post author: Mandy Gambrell
Those who are following the YouVersion plan for reading the Bible in 365 days may have read about the three Ps: Praising, proclaiming, and praying. The author of the devotional focused on these "cries" to the Lord.
Praising: Psalm 9:11 says to sing praise to the Lord.
Proclaiming: Psalm 9:11 also says to proclaim among the nations what He has done.
Praying: Psalm 9:12 says the Lord does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.
The author of the devotional points out that God is called a "sovereign Lord" many times in the Bible and that we are to trust in Him. We may never know why bad things happen in life but we should know there is purpose behind it. Don't panic. Pray. TRUST. Follow.
Trust. ... Pray. ... Praise. ... Proclaim.
Bible reading: Psalm 9:7-12
The "hustle and bustle" of the holidays, as they like to say (and, who is "they"?), ended 21 days ago. It's this time of year we think about how we might better our lives or steer our futures. As Pastor Dan Clemens preached the first Sunday in January, he listed faith-related challenges to consider. Did you take any of those challenges to heart? Which one will you focus on most?
Day 17 in January is known as the day most folks officially are done trying to push their New Year's resolutions forward. It's actually called "Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day." We're at Day 15. Are you still moving forward with yours? Are you still attempting any challenge put before you at the beginning of this year? Most folks make the pledge to exercise, diet, and clean up their finances. One resolution that's popular but falls lower on the list: Finding love or rebuilding relationships that have some cracks. Is this a resolution of yours?
This blog post isn't going to give you advice on how to keep resolutions, accept challenges, or moving forward with any commitments. There are hundreds out there that will. This post is a simple reminder that you are strong and do not have to "ditch" your New Year's resolution on Day 17. You can restart challenges.
There are many new faces at First Baptist Church Hamilton, and two have been standing up front during the Modern Worship service on Sundays.
Geoff and Ruth Culbertson are helping to lead the music when Shon Morgan calls upon them to do so. Ruth is expecting the couple’s fourth child in March.
They met while serving in music ministry, having gone on a music mission trip to Nicaragua with their then-worship team.
“We came back knowing we would get married,” Ruth said.
They were engaged just a few months later and married 11 months after that. Now they have a big family — the three children some may have seen with them at FBCH are 7-year-old Peyton, 4-year-old Colton and 2-year-old Sadie.
Geoff, 34, and Ruth, 32, have been involved in music ministry since they were teenagers.
When they are not on stage, the couple are busy. Geoff leads a sales team for Omni Technologies based out of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Ruth is a stay-at-home mom and is homeschooling the children.
We asked Ruth for some suggestions for good music in the Christian genre:
“Geoff appreciates all different styles of music. Specific artists we enjoy are Steven Curtis Chapman, Kari Jobe, Phil Wickham, Brandon Heath, Kristian Stanfill, All Sons and Daughters, The Afters, Francesca Batestelli, and the list goes on.”
You have no excuse for the boredom that winter might bring, no matter your age. First Baptist Church Hamilton is offering a lot of ways to serve the Lord and to have fellowship with others in the coming weeks. Here’s a spotlight on a few of those activities. Anyone from the public may participate — just call or message the church for information on how to get involved.
These are the Christian songs topping the Billboard chart for first part of January 2019.
The Christmas Song (Lauren Daigle)
You Say (Lauren Daigle)
Who You Say I Am (Hillsong Worship)
Joy. (King & Country)
Reckless Love (Cory Asbury)
Known (Tauren Wells)
Head Above Water (Avril Lavigne)
Only Jesus (Casting Crowns)
Even Then (Micah Tyler)