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)
It’s America’s fourth favorite social media website: Pinterest has something or everyone. One of the site’s top pinners created a board that has nearly 30,000 — yes, 30,000 — of the most popular pins, which are mostly recipes. Check it out: The Girl Who Ate Everything (Sounds like a perfect title for many of us, eh?)
Looking for some new pins on Pinterest? Do a search for “Christian Living” and see what pops up. A recent search found “Bad habits every Christian must break,” which is also an e-book and the author says putting other things before God is our No. 1 bad habit. Yikes!
The author also lists:
No. 2: Not making enough time for prayer
No. 3: Laziness (we’re all guilty and we know it)
No. 4: Poor stewardship
No. 5: Grumbling and complaining (who, me?)
No. 6 Gluttony (maybe the food pins being so popular is our first sign?)
Check out that pin here and read more.
We all need a good recommendation for music to listen to in the car, in our headphones, during workouts, at work … anywhere.
If you’re not in the 11 a.m. service on Sundays at First Baptist Church Hamilton, you can still enjoy the songs that are sung there. In this blog, we’ll try to list those for you on a regular basis so you can go to your favorite music app and stream them. Here are some popular Christian songs to create a great praise a worship playlist (many we have sung in the service):
Fear Is A Liar (Zach Williams) Watch it on YouTube
You Say (Lauren Daigle) Watch it on YouTube
What A Beautiful Name (Hillsong) Watch it on YouTube
Born Again (Austin French) Watch it on YouTube
Reckless Love (Cory Asbury) Watch it on YouTube
Great Are You Lord (All Sons & Daughters) Watch it on YouTube
Who You Say I am (Hillsong) Watch it on YouTube
Here Again (Elevation Worship) Watch it on YouTube
Great Things (Phil Wickham) Watch it on YouTube
To see what will be sung in the 11 a.m. service each Sunday, go to the YouVersion app, click events, find First Baptist Church of Hamilton, and check out the weekly bulletin there. Bonus: The sermon notes are there, too.
It’s a fairly obvious thing: We should all read the Bible in full. But unless someone is studying to be a pastor or faith leader of any sort, chances are, reading the entire thing is a very slow process or isn’t happening at all.
Good news: The popular Bible app YouVersion is offering a “Bible in One Year 2019” plan that, really, you may start at any time. It offers daily readings to get you where you want to be by Day 365. It’s not too late to catch up on the first or second weeks of the year, either. Some folks at FBC Hamilton are doing it, and you can join that effort, even if you’re late to the game.
Don’t let the current date stop you from getting started. Download the YouVersion app if you haven’t already and search for the plan. How cool would it be if most folks at FBC read the entire Bible and could apply it to every situation? We would be bringing more people to Christ through that unity and effort. CHALLENGE!
Here’s an example of what you will find in this YouVersion plan: On Day 6 of the “Bible in One Year” challenge, the plan included a devotional to read, and the Bible passages to read include Psalms 5, Matthew 5:21-42, Genesis 11:10-32, Genesis 12 and Genesis 13. It can be a lot. But it’s your goal to read the whole Bible right? How much time have you spent mindlessly watching TV and movies, or playing games on your phone? Swap that time out. In one year you will be able to say you have read THE ENTIRE BIBLE. Seriously, this is important.
Let the challenge begin!
This word came up a lot in the first sermon of 2019 at First Baptist Church Hamilton. The pastor, Dan Clemens, laid out a number of challenges for the new year. But he didn’t put a one-year limit on these challenges … he simply wants people to renew their devotion to things they should be or are already doing. A challenge is a call to take part in a contest or competition. But it is also an invitation to engage. Pastor Dan is inviting everyone to engage in:
• Group meetings. You are encouraged to get together with a community group through First Baptist Church Hamilton, or any church to which you belong, and do so as often as possible. (Can’t find one? Start one!) Weekly meetings would be ideal. Why are groups so important? It keeps us connected. It pushes us a little farther away from loneliness. It keeps us accountable. It creates lasting friendships. The benefits are limitless. (Suggestion: If your group has members who are all smart phone users, download the free “GroupMe” app to stay connected and avoid getting a ton of texts in your phone’s default messenger app.)
• Regular attendance at church. This is sort of a “duh” — and a very obvious “challenge.” But it IS a challenge … it is reverence to the Lord if you are at church in a worship service on a weekly basis. It’s required of all of us, as Christians. We owe it to God. He asks us to worship Him. We don’t owe it to the pastor or the music leaders or the children’s ministry or our friends at church. We owe it only to God. So if others aren’t noticing your presence, so what? God will notice, and that’s what matters. Frankly, if you feel like no one is noticing your presence, have you met the above challenge of finding a group and having regular gatherings? Are you purposefully speaking to others? Are you at the right church for you? Is your reason for going the right reason?
There are several more “challenges” to consider. Download the podcast by going to your favorite podcast app (We recommend Stitcher) and searching “First Baptist Church of Hamilton.” You can listen to any Sunday sermon there.