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Whitesburg FEBRUARY 2014

for i am persuaded that not even

death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come,

hostile powers, height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us

from the love of God. romans 8:38-39


WHITESBURG BAPTIST

OUTDOOR MARCH 7, 2014 Whitesburg Baptist Center 7300 Whitesburg Drive Huntsville, Alabama 35802

Speaker: Jason Cruise Jason is the Founder of Outdoor Ministry Network and Outdoor Nation. Jason has produced many videos and evangelism tools that are used by publishers, ministries, and churches nationwide to reach outdoorsmen for Christ. 4:30 pm - Doors open Fishing, Hunting & Outdoor Vendors Wild Game Tasting & Snacks 6:00 pm - LIVE MUSIC! 7:00 pm - Jason Cruise

Tickets available in the ROC office during the week and also in the North Lobby on Sunday mornings in February.

Adult tickets $12 ($15 the day of the event) Kids 10 & under $6 ($8 the day of the event)


Inside

Whitesburg FEBRUARY 2014

Page 3 amazing love

from the pastor

3 amazing love

By Dr. Jimmy Jackson

at home

Page 16 handwritten letters

5 transparency

Showing Love To Your Kids By Andrea Thoenes

7 hosting

A Small Event By Yvonne Morris

9 the power of prayer In the Word of God By Courtney Todd

Reaching out 11 anna caye luttrell Someone You Should Know the caring place

WHITESBURG BAPTIST CHURCH

Whitesburg magazine is a publication by Whitesburg Baptist Church, 6806 Whitesburg Dr., Huntsville, AL 35802-2299. (Permit No. 446) Publisher: Whitesburg Baptist Church Editor-in-Chief: Rev. David Dye Editor: Courtney Todd Graphics & Publishing: Melissa Schuster, Ron Snyder Editorial Assistants: Dana Hubbard, Karen Tidwell, Beverly Dishman

13 love

By Kelley Shaffer

16 The Power of handwritten letters

By Courtney Todd

17 amy carmichael’s letters

By Dana Hubbard

February 2014 | Whitesburg

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FROM THE PASTOR

amazing love By DR. JIMMY JACKSON If there is a holy and helpful thought for the child of God for any season or circumstance, it is simply but profoundly, “For God so loved the world…” Finish that verse from John 3:16 as you meditate upon each word. There is no greater need for each of us. We are hopeless without this amazing love of God. If we were an artist, we might paint the humble nativity scene. Carefully, we would use the brush to focus on the precious little Christ child in the manger. What a gift! How deep the love of God must be to send His one and only Son from His splendor in heaven all the way down to a smelly little stable in a dark and depraved world. If we would try to grasp the magnitude of this event, we would be wise to do as other

artists have done. We would add a cross in the background in a subtle way so that the intent observer would see it more clearly the longer he gazed upon it. The message is riveting. This baby, the Son of God, born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, sinless in life is headed for the cross motivated by His great reverence for the holiness of His Heavenly Father and His unconditional love for “the world”—all of us. This love is so wide that it covers everyone. Not even one person lives outside of the scope of Divine Love. May our response be one of grateful faith and a life of devoted love. May we be daily transformed as God renews our mind with His Word. Both the manger and the cross declare irrevocably, “I love you. Yes, I mean you.” - Jesus

February 2014 | Whitesburg

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AT HOME

transparency

showing love to your kids By andrea thoenes

“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored… The earnest (heart-felt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” James 5:16 (Amplified)

My kids know I’m not

perfect. They’ve seen me at my worst. And more, they’ve heard it from my lips. It’s a scary thing, to sit down with wide, adoring eyes and speak the truth: “I have to call someone and tell them I’m unprepared. I’m being tempted to lie. Would you pray for me?” You say that to your kids??? Yes. I do. I told you it is scary. Scary, yes, but right. And when those little hands grasp yours and they pray, “Help Mom do the right thing,” I’m strengthened inside. Sin loses its luster. Confession is good for the soul. One way to show love to your kids is to be transparent before

them. Being transparent means that I don’t try to hide my weaknesses and failures from my children under a cloak of authority or legalism. The way I am at home is the truest form of me; me without an audience, me in my baggy sweats and no makeup. It is the truest “me” that my kids know best, not the one spruced up for company. And that true me has issues (a lot of them)! Talking about our weaknesses honestly with our kids promotes a sense of closeness and trust. It makes us vulnerable and leads to a deep honesty and openness about our own hearts, sin and God. When my children hear that I struggle with sin and my flesh, they feel February 2014 | Whitesburg

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safe and accepted, and share their struggles, too. “I didn’t know moms could lie.” “Yes, we can. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I want to lie because I want them to think I’m great. I want them to like me and ask me to help them again. I’m too worried about what others think of me. It’s called fear-of-man. It’s sinful. But I want to tell the truth because that is what will honor God. I’ll feel better about me too, if I do the right thing. So I have a tug-of-war going on inside me.” “I thought I was the only one who felt that way, Mom.” “Nope. I feel that way too. And God knows and understands our feelings.” “It’s kind of like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego” (Daniel 3). “It’s exactly like that. They had to decide to do the right thing, just like we do. And it’s easier to do the right thing when people are praying for you. So, thanks for praying me through.” Some of the best discussions our family has ever had about Jesus have been when I humbled 6

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myself before my children and asked for prayer. My kids know I love them when I bridge that gulf between adult and child with the truth: I make mistakes too, and I need a God who will forgive me and change me—just like they do! Transparency levels the playing field when communicating with your children because they see you humbly admit you aren’t perfect. It opens up avenues of deep conversation about spiritual things. It ties eternal bonds between family members as you learn to pray for each other, forgive each other, and change in the likeness of Christ-together.


AT HOME

hosting a small event By yvonne morris

If you want to share the love of Christ with someone, a great opportunity to do so is to invite them into your home. Here are a few practical tips to hosting a small event.

Hosting – The first thing

is to realize it is not about you. You are not trying to impress everyone with your home, your food or your gift of hospitality. You are simply there to make others feel welcome and wanted in your home, to give of yourself.  Think about why you are hosting and for whom you are hosting and be diligent to try and not leave anyone off of your invite list.  Even as adults, feelings are still hurt

when someone feels left out. It is always a good idea to get help with the list of people to invite; two heads are generally better than one!   Remember that invitations should be in the hands of the invitees two weeks in advance of the event. Next, it is time to think about FOOD--everyone’s favorite!  You should try to maintain a balance between savory and sweet items and remember, finger foods are generally much easier to deal February 2014 | Whitesburg

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with in a party setting. Do not allow this to stress you out. You can ALWAYS ask for help!  People really appreciate the effort of hosting a get together and do not mind assisting you with some simple party food. Sometimes it even helps those that are not as social as others, if they are tasked with a job or a food to bring. Do not hesitate to ask. Now you have your invite list and food.  Send out invites two weeks in advance. If it is wordof-mouth, make sure that those spreading the word are doing it two weeks in advance to make sure it gets on calendars of invitees.  What is your focus when you are hosting? To give. Give great food and great fellowship. How do you make sure all details are covered?  Make checklists! Make a list of who to invite, a list of the food, and even make a drawing of how things should be set up. 

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I always think of the examples of Mary and Martha when they were hosting Jesus (Luke 10:3842). Each of these women had very important roles. You want everything ready and set up as was Martha’s job and then you want to spend time with each guest as Mary demonstrated.  I have discovered, through the years, the importance of a nice, relaxed evening.  To attain this, you must use your preparation and set up time very carefully.  Anything that can be done ahead of time, do it!  Then, the evening can be the calm and fun gathering you envisioned.  If you are enjoying yourself, chances are that others are as well.  Remember your focus of making each guest feel welcome and wanted--who would not enjoy that?   Giving of yourself is the best gift you can present to your guests. True joy comes from serving others.


at home

The POWER OF PRAYER in the Word of God

By COURTNEY TODD Scripture is essential to living by the Spirit of the Lord and is helpful in every way. We’ve listed a few Scripture references to help you pray through various circumstances and questions in life. Anger James 1:19-20 Ephesians 4:26, 31

Fear Romans 8:15 2 Timothy 1:7

Anxiety Philippians 4:6-7, 9 1 Peter 5:6-7

Forgiveness Exodus 34:9 Matthew 18:21-22

Condemnation Romans 8:1-2 John 5:24

Healing 1 Peter 2:24 Isaiah 61:1

Depression Psalm 51:11-12 Romans 8:28, 31

Hope Jeremiah 29:11 Psalm 39:7

Discouragement Galatians 6:9 Psalm 138:7-8

Humility James 4:10 Proverbs 22:4

Faith Hebrews 11:1, 6 Mark 9:24

Identity In Christ 1 Peter 2:9 Ephesians 2:10 February 2014 | Whitesburg

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the power of prayer... continued

Loneliness Isaiah 54:10 Love One Another 1 Peter 1:22 1 John 2:10 Love of God Exodus 34:6-7 Romans 5:8 Obedience 1 John 2:3 James 1:22 Prayer 1 John 5:14-15 James 5:16 Pride Proverbs 29:23 James 4:6 Reconciliation 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Matthew 5:23-24

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Salvation John 3:16-18 Romans 6:23 Trials James 1:12 1 Peter 5:10 Trust in The Lord Proverbs 3:5-6 Psalm 56:4 Temptation 1 Corinthians 10:13 Romans 6:6 Thanksgiving Psalm 100:4 Ezra 3:11 Words and Their Power Ephesians 4:29 Proverbs 18:21


reaching out

Anna Caye luttrell Anna Caye (Hatchett) Luttrell is the College and Young Professionals Coordinator at Whitesburg Baptist Church. She also coordinates the Heart to Serve ministry. Anna Caye recently married Josh Luttrell on October 19, 2013. We asked Anna Caye to tell us a little bit more about her heart for ministry. I grew up in a godly home, attending Whitesburg, and believed in Jesus when I was seven years old. I was at church every time the doors were open, and have known about Jesus for as long as I can remember. I went to college at the University of North Alabama in Florence, AL, majoring in Elementary Education. As I made my way through college, the Lord began impressing on my heart the heavy urge to get out of my comfort zone. This led to my going to Brazil as a Journeyman with the International Mission Board upon graduating from UNA. In Brazil, I taught fourth grade in an international Christian school and led a young women’s Bible Study in Portuguese. I absolutely loved Brazil, and it

was then that the Lord showed me the importance in investing in my spheres of influence. When I returned home from Brazil in July of 2011, there was a spot open at Whitesburg, working with college students! I knew I had to jump on board immediately and have been working with them ever since. My favorite part about my job is the opportunity to build relationships with a lot of different people. I love to hear stories of what God is doing in lives all around me. I love the look on a young person’s face when they have discovered Jesus in a new way. I love discipling girls in the truth and watching them grow deeper in their hunger for spiritual closeness to their Creator. February 2014 | Whitesburg

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reaching out

love

By kelley shaffer

In the midst of an ever-

growing pool of 20-something year olds searching for their soul mate, I oftentimes begin to feel my definition of love slip into the hands of my surroundings. This human love I see all around me – is it really the greatest thing this world has to offer? As limited as this love is, at the very least I found comfort in my apparent ability to comprehend love and its limits. God’s love is a completely different story. It makes absolutely no sense. It is unconditional. Nothing I have ever experienced from humans can match it. I struggle every day to accept it. A few months ago, I went on a mad search to try to comprehend the mysterious love of God that I could not seem to grasp. I read through various books of the Bible, including about 15 thorough readings of “the love

chapter” (1 Corinthians 13). I frantically skimmed topical Christian books on love and engaged in many conversations about the subject. At the end of it all I was still left with no answer. It was not until one day when I went to work at Manna House— a local Christian charity that provides food assistance— that I finally began to understand an incredibly small piece of God’s love. I went there as an intern with Whitesburg’s middle school ministry. As a leader, I began my time there shouting orders to the students. As time progressed I found myself immersed in the act of serving. As I passed out food to people that society has stamped as insignificant, I felt myself begin to shrink. As I served them, I thought less of my personal problems than I had in weeks. February 2014 | Whitesburg

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The laughing Hispanic family gave me feelings of joy. The tiny smiling handicapped boy gave me feelings of compassion. The complaining angry man taught me patience. To be able to love people, pray over them, and supply their basic needs is a privilege higher than words can describe. Their very existence provided an escape from my selfishness. I walked away from that place on what started out as a normal day, feeling refreshed and renewed in an unexplainable way. This feeling did not simply come from aimlessly handing food out to homeless people; it came from my beautiful God, the hope that comes through Him, and the ability to share that with others. 1 John 3:16 and 18 say “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” When Jesus came down to earth, He did not sit around thinking and 14

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jesus simply acted upon the love he knew existed

speculating about His Father’s love. He simply acted upon the love He knew existed. In my desperate search for love, I was completely focused on myself and my selfish desire for understanding. I had forgotten God’s command to love Him first with every ounce of my being, and then to pass that love on to others (Matthew 22:37-39). It is not by coincidence that God gives His children fulfillment when they are given the opportunity to share a love that is perfect. This love was powerful enough to drive the Son of God to unspeakable suffering on the behalf of dirty pitiful beings. Is this love enough to compel me to relentlessly and compassionately serve others? Would it be enough to make me die for a prostitute I was handing bread to? As I learn more about God’s love, I continuously discover that I have much more to learn. I am no longer frustrated by its


reaching out

mystery, but comforted by its of returning it. I am a treasured wonder. God continuously and being who was crafted to love steadily reveals His love to me in my Creator and others. Through both small circumstances, and this love story, I can direct big events. God’s others towards the love is everything. miraculous God It is a reason to that saves. It is love people without my purpose and reasonable human destiny to love. I justification. It is the will never be able only real comfort to to fully understand the brokenhearted. God’s love, but It is joy in the when it allows midst of suffering. me to put others everything above myself and It is the truth. It is often times the gain joy from that, it is a reason sole reason I have I truly catch a to love people to wake up in the glimpse of heaven without mornings. It is the and am content to reasonable only true fairytale. remain a wonderhuman It is found in the filled, starry-eyed justification act of smiling child in absolute at a stranger or admiration. telling someone The mission of they are loved. Manna House is to love It is the reason I on those in need and could be content help in any way they to die without ever can. It is located next having found my human “soul to The Rock Family Worship Center mate.” My soul has been given on South Memorial Parkway in to its Creator. Huntsville, AL and is a great place for individuals or families to serve God’s irrational gift of love our community. awes me into the continuous act

god’s love is

February 2014 | Whitesburg

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The Power of

handwritten letters By COURTNEY TODD

Handwriting letters may be a lost art, but it still has value in today’s society. In this age of social media and digital communication, lack of time becomes a burden. I truly believe time is what makes letters so special. A handwritten letter, among many things, is a unique gift of time. How many of you have sat down recently to write a letter to a friend or loved one? If you have, then

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you know it takes a decent amount of time and intentional thought. I believe in the power of a handwritten letter, but I am not always the best at taking time to participate in the art. So I devised a plan to combine a favorite hobby of mine with fellowship and outreach. With my last year of college wrapping up, leading any kind of rigorous Bible study would be too ambitious (just being


reaching out

honest). Writing letters with girls my own age seemed like a perfect way to fellowship while doing something productive. My idea began to grow. I knew I wanted to add a Spiritual aspect to the group, something that would move each of us one step closer to God, so I began to dig deep into the purpose behind writing letters. What I found personally is that writing a letter is a simple way to encourage others. If you want to speak life into someone, you need to be filled up with the love of Christ yourself. God really led the group into something special. We now meet each week, talk about our own lives and what God is doing in them and then we pray specifically for what God might have us say to another person. Writing letters is fun and easy. When taken to the next level, they can be used to comfort or encourage others. Giving your time and letting the Holy Spirit lead you in what you write to others produces such a tangible gift to show Christ’s love. So, who could you encourage with

letter-writing in action:

a handwritten letter?

Amy Carmichael ’s Letters By dana hubbard After twenty years of ministry in Dohnavur, India, Irish missionary Amy Carmichael became very ill. At age 64, she suffered a broken leg and was physically no longer able to work as hard as she had. For the remaining twenty years of her life, Amy made letter-writing her ministry. She wrote birthday notes, advice and encouragement to fellow missionaries, reports to send home, and notes of appreciation to those around her. Amy Carmichael has often been quoted to say, “One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving.” Her letters were treasured long after her death. February 2014 | Whitesburg

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BAPTIST CHURCH

WHITESBURG

the caring place

LIFE Groups 8:00, 9:30 & 11:00 am Blended Traditional Service 9:30 am Contemporary Service 11:00 am Evening Service 6:15 pm

Come worship with us on Sundays! 6806 Whitesburg Drive Huntsville, AL 35802

Whitesburg Baptist Church

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Huntsville, AL Permit 446

Non-Profit Organization US Postage

February 2014 Whitesburg Magazine  

A Bi-Monthly Publication of Whitesburg Baptist Church

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