- Rev. Paul Pruitt's Article
- A Woman's Perspective
- Paul's Pen
- Counseling Corner
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Rev. Paul Pruitt’s Article
Family is Mission Critical
A Woman’s Perspective
Mrs. Donna McCall
What Can God Do?
Rev. Paul Ritchie
Dealing Wisely in the Affairs of Life
Rev. Don Loss
Grasping for Rest
Bethel Women’s Campus 2 Year Anniversary
– Chris & Bethany Williams
Women’s Campus Land Repayment
Bethel Lawn Care
What Can God Do?
Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, …. being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”
As I reflect on the past two years at Bethel Women’s Campus, I remember the hugs we gave the first 5 students. They came from different areas and backgrounds. They all came for the same reason. Where they had been; not where they wanted to stay. Each one came wanting a new beginning, a new direction. They wanted to be able to say “Old things have passed away; all things have become new.”
Fifty-eight students later, I can see clearly God has given so many ladies a new direction, a new beginning. So many have come who had never met Jesus before. They get the opportunity to know Him. Not just know about Him, but know Him. His love, His forgiveness, His ultimate sacrifice for them. As they sit in the counseling seat, they come face to face with the realization they need this Healer, this Friend, this Deliverer. Those who have gone astray get to redevelop that relationship they had lost. The prodigal can return and experience the love of the Father who was watching for them when they were a long way off.
“I don’t see how I can be forgiven.” Words from those who believe they have gone so far away they cannot get back. 1 John 1:9 promises “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is what they hear and are overjoyed that “though their sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is. 1:18) Oh, the tears that flow! The joy of knowing they can see the plans and future God has for them. You can see what a great relief and release takes place at that moment.
“But I have done too much. I have caused others to fall into addiction. I have hurt people. I have….” Oh, the sad faces of those who remember what they have done when they were under the influence and not thinking properly. Then they hear “All have sinned and fall short.” (Rom. 3:23) “For there is no partiality with God.” (Rom. 2:11) Sin is sin and in God’s eyes all sin is equal. The consequences of sin are different but in God’s eyes sin is disobedience to Him. That is what Jesus came to earth to die for, our sin. All of a sudden the sadness is replaced with hope. It is as if they were behind prison bars but they have just been given their release papers.
So many testimonies of what God has done. So many lives He has changed. All it took was a few people who could catch a vision and follow through with it. All it takes is people who still believe God rescues and redeems. People who will make a commitment to do whatever it takes to help those hurting and broken. People who will get outside the comfort zone and into the battlefield where satan is robbing us of our families and friends.
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…”. Jesus walked into the temple and made this declaration. When He ascended back to the Father, He charged us to do what He showed us how to do. This is our charge today. We have the words to say. We have the means to do what needs to be done. We hear the cries every day for a bed. Those needing to get away from what is to have what God says can be. They are out there. They are your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, and, yes, your family. What can you do?
Will you help them get their application turned in? Will you take them to get the test done that we need? Can they depend on you to keep them safe until they get to us? Are you financially blessed and able to pay the application fee? Maybe you are able to help us with food and supplies while the ladies are with us. There is still an outstanding debt for the land for our Women’s Campus. Maybe you can bless us by paying off the debt so we can expand our rooms and take in more who are in need.
Remember, we are here allowing God to use us to make a difference in this crisis of addiction. Maybe you are a father or mother of an addict or who was an addict. What better way to celebrate our Two Year Anniversary, Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day? Help us continue to hear: 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
Where mercy flows,
Dealing Wisely in the Affairs of Life
Within the covers of the Holy Bible are the answers needed to deal wisely in the affairs of this life as well as the life to come, which is eternity. The word prosper is used several times in Joshua 1: 5-9. It implies dealing wisely in the affairs of life, not only in this life, but a wise man, while he is dealing wisely in this life, will want to also be dealing wisely in regards to his eternal life, or he is not a very wise man, otherwise a fool. Matthew 6:33 says that if you gain the whole world and its wealth and lose your soul for all eternity you have played a fool’s game with the devil, and you lost. So be sure that you understand this is not a game and you cannot afford to lose. If Jesus is not in your heart (I said, “heart; not head, which is dead faith”) your destiny is, for all eternity, in the lake of fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels and is not a place you want to be, for eternity is a long – – long – time.
You and I, are spirits, we live in a body, and we have a soul. Now note the soul and spirit are not the same thing. Hebrews 4:12 says; ”For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” 2nd Thessalonians 5:23; “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely: and may your whole spirit and soul and body (a new heavenly body) be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now when we die the body will turn back to dust, but the soul and spirit will go to be with the Lord. So those who have been born again will go to be with the Lord, don’t miss it, it’s a one-way ticket. 2nd Corinthians 5:7-8; “for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
Now John chapter 3:1-8 is a good picture by Jesus, please read this Scripture carefully. Jesus made a very strong statement using very intense words such as, most assuredly, cannot, must, unless, and born-again, leaving no doubt there is but one way into heaven. The English word again is used twice and inferred a third time.
We think along a TIME LINE
PAST PRESENT FUTURE
But the Gospels are written in INTENSITY. Because again was emphasized so strongly I decided to look up the word in the Strong’s Concordance. I was amazed to find that, that Greek word is only used 3 times in the whole New Testament. The word means to be raised up to the top. Ephesians 2:6 explains, you are now seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. When you open up your heart to the Heavenly Father He sends the Spirit of Christ into you and you go to the very top. This all happens with the new birth, all at the same time, praise the Lord! The spirit of Christ contains the DNA of God, Christ in you the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). You are now a new creature in Christ, a new species. Romans 8:9 declares if you have not the spirit of Christ you are none of his. WOW!! It is the only way you can become a new creature in Christ. Christ in you the hope of glory is what enables you to live above the old life. Acts 4:12 says; “nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Isaiah 53:9-11: explains how God is able to accept us because Jesus took our sin “and they made his grave with the wicked- but with the rich at his death, because he had done no violence. Nor was any deceit in his mouth. It pleased the Lord to bruise him (to crush), His own offspring, to put him to grief (pain). When you make his soul an offering for our sins. He shall see his seed. He shall prolong his days, the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” He (God the Father) shall see the labor of his soul (His Son, Jesus Christ) and be satisfied. 1st Peter 2:24 “who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree that we being dead to sin might (or should) live unto righteousness by whose stripes we were healed.” This will not help you a bit unless you also ARE satisfied with what Jesus Christ did on that cross. With his blood HE paid it all for you and me.
The Lord bless you with health and safety in 2021 and especially a closer walk with the Lord Jesus.
Pastor Paul Ritchie
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear (be cautious) lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:1-2)
In the above text we have the promise of rest. But that rest is conditional upon obedience. The people of God in the Old Testament received a promise from God. “So I have come down to deliver them out of the land of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey to the place of the Canaanites…” (Exodus 3:8) The writer of Hebrews’ purpose was to emphasize that the promise of rest was given to the Israelites as it has been given to the believers of the day. “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:2)
The author of the letter had previously warned of failing to heed the word. “Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion in the day of trial in the wilderness…They always go astray in their hearts…They shall not enter My Rest.” (Hebrews 3:7-11) He continues with the consequence of straying in their hearts. “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God…lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-14)
He ends with the judgment of not obeying. “For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not His rest, but those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (Hebrews 3:16-19)
My friends, is this not why the human psyche is troubled, confused, and full of restlessness? Everyone who has gone their own way cannot enter His rest. All those who are frolicking in the world trying to find rest will find it is in vain for, “they have an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God —hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:12-13) Brokenness, hopelessness, pain, and suffering have come like a flood in so many. They are grasping for rest for the psyche of the soul.
All the wisdom, counseling, psychology, rehabs, from the wisdom of the world that leaves out the message of the cross cannot produce rest for the soul. Consider the work, The Death of the Salesman, by Arthur Miller. The salesman was chasing the “American Dream”. He sought the praise of men. He dreamed of being a successful salesman with all its glory. Reality set in when he could not pay the bills. He ended it all by driving off in his vehicle and committing suicide when the answer for rest for his soul failed. With all the frustration, pressure, and feeling like a failure, he did not have a place to enter into rest, not having God. Augustine of Hippo has said it well, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in thee.”
Many souls are suffering in addiction, anxiety, depression, rejection, broken families, abandon-ment, etc. You do not have to enter the plight of The Death of a Salesman. There is a way to have rest in the psyche of your soul. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) He calls to Himself all who are grasping for rest. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will give rest to your soul. “But if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10) Come, just as you are, and your soul will find rest. If you need help, ask someone who knows Jesus as their personal Savior. They will lead you to Jesus who will give your soul rest.
Where the grace blows,
Pastor Don Loss
Associate Director / Director of Counseling
* If you would like to read previous Counseling Corners we are now archiving by topic/title for your future reference. Click on the link: Counseling Corner Archives
Bethel Women’s Campus 2 Year Anniversary
My name is Bethany Williams, and I am 30 years old. I did not go to church as a child and did not know God as my heavenly Father. At the very young age of 13, I began to hang around older men, drink, and do drugs. I acquired a lot of attention this way, so I went all-in with this lifestyle and didn’t look back. Before I knew it, it had been over ten years, and I had dived deeper into drugs and sex than I ever could have fathomed. By trying to find security in others, I found myself in countless abusive relationships that left me physically, mentally, and emotionally beaten down. I would use my body to get what I wanted, not caring if I hurt others or myself in the process. Everyone I cared about cut me out of their life. By this time, I hated who I was more than I ever could explain, which had me spiraling into an all-consuming depression that led me to attempt to end my life many times. I realized I did not want to live the life I had been living anymore. By the grace of God, I ended up at a Celebrate Recovery meeting where the people made me feel welcomed and loved. As I sat listening to the message, it hit me, Jesus Christ was who I had been searching for all my life, but I never knew it. At this time, I committed my life to Christ, was baptized, and truly felt I had changed. Although I still was not clean from drugs. I was taking Suboxone. For years I ran from God’s truth, going back and forth from Suboxone to my drug of choice, which left me confused, discouraged, and eventually back in another treatment program. I met my wonderful husband, Chris, around this time. We were very close friends. He was the only person I could talk to about how I believed God was the right way to live. To my amazement, he believed the same. After several bad decisions later, I had overdosed twice and was right back on the same path. Chris told me about this place called Bethel Colony of Mercy and said that we should go. I persistently prayed about it and knew God was telling us to go. For the first time, I followed through with what God told me to do and not the world. I put it in God’s hands, and I gave him what little trust and faith I had. He gave and continues to give me courage and strength. Beyond my belief, the Lord has begun restoring relationships in our family, created a strong foundation in our marriage, and opened my heart to a deeply loving relationship that I feel worthy of. I have re-dedicated my life to Jesus Christ and I have learned the enemy will always be hard at work attempting to destroy everything God has planned for my life. Chris and my paths have not been of continual success but multiple failures. However, our failures are always followed by growth, as long as we are steadfast in relying on the Lord.
I am a child of God, and Proverbs 3:5&6 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will not make your paths straight.”
Bethany Williams, 2020 graduate
I started using drugs around the age of 12 even though I grew up going to church. By the age of 15, I was addicted. Drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex were all a part of my everyday life until I got saved at 17. Shortly after, the Lord called me to preach and evangelize. Since public speaking is my biggest fear, I ran from the Lord for the majority of the next 17 years. Deeply in bondage, my life revolved around drugs, alcohol, and the lifestyle that goes with that. After 5 attempts at rehab, I realized I couldn’t do this on my own. Then I met my beautiful wife, Bethany. She gave me a new motivation to do better and live right. But that was still not enough. She and I both slipped back into bondage. But God…made a way for us both to come to Bethel Colony of Mercy. Bethany has been at the Women’s Campus while I have been at the Men’s Campus. We have received marriage counseling under Pastor Starnes at the Men’s Campus. God has been working and moving in our lives. He has brought us out of addiction and showed us how to be obedient to Him. We were ready to go home after the basic 65-day program but He had other plans and the more we listened the closer he drew us to Himself. The more we trust Him the more He reveals Himself and His plan to us. The Lord brought Bethany and me to Bethel to prepare us and grow us for mission ministry which lines up with the Lord’s earlier calling on my life to evangelize. Since the beginning of our journey at Bethel, endurance Scriptures have stood out to us. Through these Scriptures and His guidance, He has taught us to be patient, to be still, and to wait on Him. His will for our life is far greater than anything we could ever do on our own. Bethany and I are so excited for what the Lord has planned for us. He will get all the glory, honor, and praise! “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
Chris Williams, 2020 graduate
My name is Dawne Ray. I grew up going to church. I enjoyed church, and I loved God. I accepted God as my Savior; however, when my parents separated and got divorced, I quit going to church. I did not understand what was happening. I felt alone, with no one to talk to, and at age 12, I tried to take my life.
Trying to fit in somewhere, I eventually got with the wrong people and started experimenting with drugs. When I found out I was pregnant at age 20, I was happy. Maybe this was what I needed. I had two children out of wedlock. That relationship did not work. When I met and married the father of my third child, I threw myself into being the best mom I could be. My whole world was my children. After twelve years of marriage, I separated from my husband. The kids started to pull away from me as all children do.
I found myself lost again. I threw myself into my work. I would work from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. some days. Then, I started hanging out with some bad influences at work. Drinking on the weekends, led to a couple of drinks during the week. I had back surgery in 2012 and became addicted to pain pills; when I could not get those anymore, I turned to the streets. I ended up doing OxyContin, which led to heroin. I quit heroin the day my nephew had to pull the plug on my brother, Danny. He died from a heroin overdose. He loved God and asked my mom to get him the Bible for dummies, which she still has. Kris, my nephew, asked me to stop using that day, and I did. However, I did not stop drinking. My drinking got the best of me. I did not drink every day, but I could not stop until it was gone when I did. By this time, I was isolating myself from everyone. I have no relationship with my oldest son for reasons that are mine alone.
I waited to get into Bethel for almost a year. Yes, I had quit many times, but it never lasted. My mother used to ask me all the time to go to church with her. I finally did the Sunday before I came here. I now know that waiting to get into Bethel was the perfect choice for me. A relationship with God was what I had been missing. Nothing could fill that empty spot that was inside of me, always crying out to be fed. I know that I need the word of God every day. I am coming closer to God every day that goes by, and I thank Bethel and everyone there for helping show me the way.
2nd Corinthians 5:17; “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation, old things have passed away: behold, all things are new.”
My name is Hope Frame; I am 36 years old. I was an alcoholic and addict since age 17. I have been through a lot in my life that stems from rejection and abuse issues throughout my childhood into my adult years. I am not proud to say I have had my four children taken from me by social services because of my drug use. I felt lost; I was homeless, hopeless, and helpless. At least I thought I was. I honestly believed I would have to spend my whole life constantly fighting my struggles with addiction. I finally realized after 13 rehabs and thinking I knew everything there was to know about addiction (thankfully I was shown another way), the only way is through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In January 2019, when I first came to Bethel, I gave my life to the Lord. I completed the program and I knew I was not ready to face the world, so I visited my children for a week and was supposed to return when COVID hit. The devil was waiting right there for me also. I managed to stay sober for a couple of months, but then everything fell, and it fell fast. By the grace of God, I made it back to Bethel in October with God’s open and loving arms waiting for me. Bethel is helping me start digging deep into my emotions and fears, and my past. I need to get to the roots of my problems so I can be forgiven and also forgive. I also have to let go of my past and press forward. I realize I cannot step into my future with Jesus Christ if I cannot let go and forgive my history with the devil. Today I have a newfound family guiding me, loving me, and teaching me at Bethel Colony of Mercy. I have become God’s new creation, and I am finally living the abundant life that is meant for me, and the best part is I am just getting started!
My name is Jessica Bowen, better known as Jess B at Bethel Women’s Campus. I am 33 years old. In July of 2020, high, out of my mind, and in the deepest darkest place I have ever been, finally, I knew I needed help. I have always heard of that saying “hitting rock bottom” and at that moment, I truly understood what it meant, and it was exactly where I was, scared, hurt, lost, and alone. Although I was in and out of church throughout my childhood, I never truly had a relationship with Christ. Because of sexual, mental, and emotional abuse, I spent most of my time feeling unwanted and unloved. This continued into my adult life and led to unhealthy relationships; even my marriage was full of toxic behavior and drugs. Because of my and my husband’s addiction, our two daughters were taken from us, and our drug use got out of control. From there, I entered a program in 2018, and I was clean for a little over a year. During that time, my dad got sick and passed away, which lead to a relapse. I was so deep into my addiction; I did not think things could get any worse. On June 18th, 2020, around 11:00 a.m., I got a phone call from my brother saying my husband Sammy had been killed in a motorcycle wreck on the same road that we lived. I cannot explain the hurt I felt or the heartbreak I was experiencing, and my immediate response was to turn to drugs, yet again. It was not long after Sammy’s death I finally realized that I did not want my daughters also to lose their mother. I was tired of choosing drugs over the most important part of my life. On September 16th, 2020, I came to Bethel Colony, a broken person bound by the devil. In my first counseling session with Mrs. Donna, I gave my life to the Lord and finally realized I am no longer a slave to my past and I am a child of God. I am growing in my faith as my love for Jesus Christ blooms. I am still amazed at how God brought me to faith in Him, and I am excited to tell people about it.
Jeremiah 29:11; “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
This May we are celebrating 2 years of ministry at the Women’s Campus! We are so thankful for your support, prayers, giving, and sharing with others.
We are praying that the Lord will provide the means to pay off the property this year. The pay-off with some designated funds for the property is $241,666.95. We mail out over 10,000 copies of this newsletter every 2 months. I would like to challenge everyone that gets this newsletter to give $24.00 in addition to their normal gift. That would amount to $240,000 and we would be able to pay off the property!! Make sure to mark your extra donation for Land Payment so we know where to use it. Thank you for helping us reach men and women for the Lord Jesus Christ!
Bethel Lawn Care!!!
Bethel’s Lawn Care Service is part of our ongoing program and coincides with our mission statement – teaching the deliverance message of Jesus Christ. Part of our approach is daily work assignments. Work assignments are designed to teach men responsibility and stewardship. As we help more folks in our community the Lawn Care service not only helps men with responsibility and stewardship but instills a Christian work ethic, provides a skill they can use to get a job and teaches them to give back to their community and to Bethel.
To schedule your Lawn Care Service, and to check prices,
contact Jeff Hollar, Bethel Lawn Care Manager,