Connections MARCH APRIL 2018
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THE RESURRECTION Pastor William T. Monroe has seen many Easter Sundays at the Florence Baptist Temple over his 48 years in the pulpit. However, each year, he faithfully reminds the church of the importance of Easter. For many people, this is one of the only two Sundays they may step foot into a sanctuary, and if they could only pick one, Easter would be the day of choice. So why is Easter important? Why is it different from Labor Day, Thanksgiving or even Christmas? It because Jesus, God’s Son, rose from the dead on Easter. Claiming to be God’s Son, He had gone through His life healing the blind, casting out demons, controlling nature, feeding 5000 people from one basket of food and raising the dead. However, near the end of His life, He was convicted of a crime He did not commit and sentenced to die on the cross. Immediately upon His death, He was buried in a tomb lent to Him by a friend. Easter is not, however, the commemoration of a life well lived, but rather a celebration of what happened the third day following His death. On that day, history’s greatest miracle occurred: Jesus Christ demonstrated His power over death and came out of the grave alive. Many have said this was not a miracle, but a conspiracy. “Maybe He didn’t die,” they say. But the evidence says He did. First, Pastor Monroe pointed out that the Roman executioners in charge were professional killers. If they got it wrong and the prisoner escaped death, their
lives would then be on the line. Second, a Roman flogging often brought death by shock and blood loss even before the victim was crucified. Third, when Jesus was pierced with a spear, a mixture of blood and water poured from His side—evidence His heart had been pierced. Fourth, for His burial His body was wrapped in about 100 feet of linen, along with many pounds of spices and ointments, and then placed in a cave. Even secular skeptics agree no one could survive what Jesus went through and live. Some believe His body was stolen and hidden by His disciples to make it appear He had resurrected. But how did His followers get past Roman guards who had been posted and then move a two-ton stone? Lastly, how do we account for the amazing transformation in His disciples— from hiding in fear to spending the remainder of their lives proclaiming the Gospel to the people of Jerusalem and beyond? The Resurrection gives Christians hope for the future. Jesus said, “Because I live you shall live also.” The fact that we have a living Savior separates Christianity from every other religion and worldview. Florence Baptist Temple will celebrate Easter with two services on April 1st, 2018 at 8:30 am and 10:30 am. All families are encouraged to join for a time of powerful, Christ-honoring music from a 150-member choir and orchestra, and a Biblecentered message from Pastor Bill Monroe. Make plans to join the celebration!
Time Change March 11 - Spring Forward
IF I TOLD YOU 'MY STORY' By: Abby Feistal, FBT member
Disbelief hung heavy in the air the day we found out at sixteen weeks our unborn son had a life threatening blockage to his bladder. We sat quietly at our dining room table contemplating the news, my hand absentmindedly fingering a tiny pajama set scattered with red fire trucks that I had bought on the way home, my first outfit to buy for the little boy I always wanted. Our daughter's ventilator was the only thing that broke the silence with its rhythmic swishing noise from her corner in our living room. It seemed surreal, one child with a tube strapped in her throat to breath, one child facing a grim prognosis before we even had laid an eye on him, and two older siblings full of child size questions. Are all babies born with tubes? Why can't baby sister play with us? Will our new baby be okay? Our daughter, Christina, born thirteen weeks premature, spent seven and a half months in the hospital before coming home, two years on a ventilator, and has permanent neurological damage from her traumatic beginnings. She was our endurance training for the marathon that would be her little brother, Jedediah. Jed, as we called him, born with kidney failure, and later developing liver cancer, spent most of his two years in the hospital. He bounced from one dramatic crisis to the next
with a chubby cheeked grin that defied his sterile world, and challenged us all to smile too. If he could do it, we could. We were told several times, starting well before he was born, that he wouldn't live. We agreed to treatment that never should have worked, we prayed, we hoped, we gave him every medical assistance to live that was possible, we split our time between two cities driving hours every day to see him, and we even got as far as a successful liver transplant. After all that, his body completely overcome by a sudden infection, we had to say goodbye. We held his hand, stroked his hair, and told him what a good job he had done as he went to be with Jesus. When the soul has been filled to running over with all the pain it can hold, and there seems to be no point or reason for any of it, what then? This dusty spot, where hope shrivels and disintegrates before your very eyes, this is the spot where Jesus walks. It is here, hiding from the heat of a cruelly broken world, in the shadow of the Almighty, that I may know a small something of the great heart of love that sent our Savior to Calvary. Because you see, our Father hates our pain, our soul sickness, our death. He hates it so much so, He chose to live in the filth of it Himself. He gave His very life to pay the heavy debt of it, and then He smashed the power of it all to bits by walking out of His grave, alive.
For more info about fbt, MEET THE PASTOR, March 26 or April 30. Call 843-662-0453 for details.
It is His hope that will trickle its way, one gentle drop at a time into the parched, doubting heart. It is His love that will silently sit with the shattered soul in the dirt of disappointments. And grace. It is His great grace that persistently invites the broken to see more, that opens the door to rest, that lays a place at the table of healing, and endlessly whistles its tune of redemption. God’s plan does not span the meager decades of my life, it spans the entire breadth of time. His purposes are generational, His patience is long, He is past, He is present, and He is the future for eternity. His salvation is equal, His love personal, His truth indestructible, and His attention to detail precise. I am safe with a God like this. If the story is mess, and the mess has no point, no good, no glory, no song, no unmistakable signature of the love of God toward mankind, than the story is not done. The story of our life is really only a line or two in a much larger story. This is the story of Jesus. I’ve hummed the words to this song in a hospital room to a blue eyed little boy, and we read them at his funeral. Our church choir sings them in a great, beautiful swelling voice. Whether you are in the deepest pit of pain, sitting clean and tidy in church, or somewhere in between, these words pull us all to the same place. The foot of the cross where hope is found. “If I told you my story You would hear hope that wouldn't let go If I told you my story You would hear love that never gave up If I told you my story You would hear life but it wasn't mine If I should speak then let it be Of the grace that is greater than all my sin Of when justice was served and where mercy wins Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in To tell you my story is to tell of Him If I told you my story You would hear victory over the enemy If told you my story You would hear freedom that was won for me If I told you my story You would hear life overcome the grave If I should speak than let be This is my story this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.” Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof "
April 1 • 8:30 and 10:30 When was the last time you had meaningful family time with no one staring at their devices? Gather your family, grab a Bible and discover what makes this week so important! Read the following verses together and answer the questions together. Romans 5:8 – You may question whether God really loves you. Based on this verse, how did God show His love for you? Romans 4:25 - Your kids probably understand a few economic principles. When they go
shopping for something, they must pay for it. And when they pay, they get a receipt. This receipt validates the purchase. If there is ever a question about the item, the receipt proves that payment was made. According to Scripture, Christ’s resurrection serves as a sort of “receipt” from God to prove that our sins are forgiven.
Romans 10:9-13 – We celebrate Easter because of what the Lord did for us on the cross and because of His victory over the grave. From these verses, what should our response be to Him?
FBT Eggstravaganza. March 24. 12:00 p.m.
Multiple age-appropriate egg hunts. Lunch provided. Free of charge. Subscribe to the FBTChannel on YouTube!
Florence Baptist Temple 2308 South Irby Street Florence, SC 29504 843.662.0453 www.FBT.org
Friday, March 2 - 6 p.m. For more info or to register, go to fbt.org.
Published on Mar 1, 2018