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Rev. Paul Pruitt’s Article
A Woman’s Perspective
Mrs. Donna McCall
Why do we do what we do?
Rev. Paul Ritchie
Six Elementary Principles of Christ cont’d….
Rev. Don Loss
Kept By the Power of God
Testimony of a Bethel Graduate
Update on Bethel’s Women’s Ministry
I have some exciting news to share! It is news you have been waiting to hear! But, this news does not compare to the “Good News”! Matter of fact, if it wasn’t for the “Good News” the other exciting news wouldn’t be possible, nor would there be hope in the work we are doing.
The greatest news is; “He (the Father) who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all…” (Romans 8:32 NKJ)! God in his un-matchless love for us did not withhold salvation from us but sent His Only Begotten Son. He is long-suffering with a desire that none should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not withhold himself; “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42). Jesus, even though He had not sinned nor knew sin but knew the consequences of sin, became sin for us. 2 Cor. 5:21 (NKJV) “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Praise the Lord that, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)
Not only that He died, but He is victorious over sin, death and the grave. 1 Cor. 15:57; “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Our Lord is faithful and, as you read in the last newsletter, He has been showing His victorious power to set men free at Bethel for 70 years! GLORY!
In its 70th year of ministry, Bethel Colony has swiftly responded to what our President has called a “scourge of drug addiction” with a bold decision to launch a faith-based women’s program, modeled the same way as the men’s program. This decision has been based on prayer and thorough research of available properties and a thorough reinforcement of every standard for good stewardship.
The fastest growing area of prescription drug, street drugs and opioid abusers is “women” – Homemakers, business owners, teachers, students and every manner of age and station in life have been devastated. Added to this are the many families torn apart by the reverberating impact of addiction’s evil way.
The exciting news is – Bethel’s Board of Directors approved the purchase of a former campground, not far from Bethel’s men’s program in Lenoir, NC, but isolated enough to provide a safe haven for healing. The faith-driven decision was a $700,000 one with ongoing program expenses as the women come and are touched by the healing power of Jesus.
This property already has 9 buildings on it! It has a home for our Women’s Campus Director, 5 cabins, a retreat building, large dining area with additional room for offices, and a gym! These buildings will need some cleaning up but no major construction.
It’s rare a day goes by that our phone doesn’t ring with someone desperate for help for a wife, daughter, granddaughter or friend who is shackled by the chains of addiction.
We are inviting churches, businesses and individuals—like you—to pray for our work and invest in its 24/7 impact.
Every dollar will be stretched to maximum degree and nothing will be wasted. It’s our belief that God will stir the hearts of people who He has already prepared for this good work.
Already some have come alongside and have given towards the purchase of this property. They have given a total of $337,500. What a miracle from the ALMIGHTY! As you can easily do the math, we still need $362,500. We believe that God has called us “FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS”, and we believe He is raising up His body to come along and help us help these women!
Is that you? If it is, then join with many others who are praying and giving whatever they can!
Starting right now, we need approximately $10,000 each month above our current needs to ramp up the women’s program, fix-up the facility, purchase needed equipment and furnishings, pay staff, cover insurance, utilities and all the expenditures required to be fully Christ-dependent.
I’m believing God that by Homecoming of this year (Bethel’s 70th Anniversary) we will see the entire $700,000 received from gifts small and large as people are led by God and able through divine provision.
Please pray and stand with us. We know that each day in cities around our great nation ambulances are called to another overdose victim. We also know from our seven decades of service that together we can be “hope makers” in partnership on a daily basis .
Will you consider making a gift in honor of our Lord’s 70 years of faithfulness to Bethel Colony of Mercy?
Consider sending $70 or $700 above your normal gift. Some may be able to do $7,000 or $70,000. There may be one that God is leading to pay the whole property off with a $700,000 gift!
Stand with us now as we move forward boldly with the Bethel Women’s Program and unite with us today. We cannot wait, and we believe God will stir the hearts of people motivated to join our efforts.
For the suffering, in Jesus name,
Pastor Paul & Stacy Pruitt
A Woman’s Perspective
Why do we do what we do?
Let’s peer into the Garden of Gethsemane. Here is Jesus the night before the worst hours of His life. He takes the disciples with Him to pray. Peter, James, and John were called to come closer as Jesus slipped away with the Father. All three men fell asleep but Jesus specifically talks to Peter. It would have been better for Peter to stay awake and pray. Peter was going to be sifted. The prayer time may have made a big difference in how Peter dealt with the sifting. Maybe he would never have denied Jesus. Maybe he would have remained stronger after his failure. Maybe he would not have gone back to where he came from. His denial of Christ was a stumbling block to him and the others around him. This is where the question arises; why do we do what we do? For Peter, to sleep seemed to benefit him more than staying awake. He was looking at the momentary need not the long-range need. This decision to sleep for Peter was crucial because he was vulnerable at this point in his life. At a time when he needed to be alert, he was not. The vision of today and not tomorrow was on his mind.
There are times in our life we make decisions which do not work out the best for us. Maybe like Peter we are only thinking about today. What we want for the moment. It seems good and pleasing. We tend to go for the quick gratifications in life. We know there are consequences to our actions yet that will be tomorrow’s problem. What we face today looks greater than what we face tomorrow. The “sleep” will make me feel better today. The Bible even says: “There is pleasure in sin for a season” Heb. 11:25. So, why not? Let me do what I want to do because I want to do it.
Now examine the consequences for Peter. He denied he even knew Jesus. He did not just say no I do not know Him. He cursed. He did not act like he knew Jesus. He did and said things that were inconsistent with the Christ-like life. After the denial, he slipped back in to his former life. He was a fisherman when Jesus found him and that is what he went back to. Here he was sitting in the boat naked, fishing when he heard Jesus calling from the shoreline. His bad habits and ways all in full force. He must have felt bad about being naked because he immediately put a coat on. The guilt and shame of going back was evident. Also notice Peter did not go back to his former ways alone. He took some of the disciples with him. He was not turning back alone. What he did affected the others around him.
Now this is the picture we see so often today. We start off strong and follow Christ even when the darkest hours are before us. But somewhere along the way, things happen that make us question who we believe and what we believe. We see Jesus but do not want to be associated with Him. Like Peter, we may have been sleeping instead of praying. The sifting has come and we are not ready. The temptation before us overtakes us. We awake to find ourselves in a place we never dreamed we would be again. Along comes Jesus on the shoreline calling our name. We have come to the place where we have to go ashore or keep on rowing and rowing although we know it does not work.
The decision is ours. We have to come to a place where we realize what is best for us. This is a choice our parents, spouse, or children cannot make for us. We have to choose to be free for ourselves. Jesus offers the way for our freedom. He says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 It is up to us to accept this offer. This is the best offer we will ever get. Our sins that are like scarlet shall become white as snow. The cleansing power of the blood of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross are priceless. The greatest restoration process around.
So as we ask the question why do we do what we do? Let us remember help is there for us. We do not have to remain where we are. Like Peter we can row ashore and be close to Jesus once again. The Book of Acts tells us the great sermons Peter preached. The people who believed were numerous. Peter’s mess up was not his end. God restored. God still restores today. At Bethel Colony, we have seen the “Peters” restored. We are in the process of helping the “Marys”, the “Women at the Well” be restored. We want to see each one be all they can be through the power of the Cross of Christ. Would you like to help us help them? The Women’s Campus is on the horizon. We are looking for those one-time gifts and monthly commitments to make it happen. All donations for this great mission are greatly appreciated.
Where Mercy Flows,
Six Elementary Principles of Christ
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” Hebrews 6:1-2.
In the last newsletter, we looked at the 1st principle – repentance from dead works. We will now look at the 2nd principle which is ”faith toward God”.
Hebrews 11:6; “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
It is impossible to please God without faith. What is faith? What it is not – It is not faith in faith. We could ask God to give us more faith. Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain in your life. See Mark 4:30-32. So, the size of your faith isn’t the issue, it’s the purity of your faith. I must have substance without doubt and unbelief. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:6&7
Hebrews 3:12 states; “Beware, brethren. Lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.” The seed of faith must first be pure, not mixed with doubt and unbelief. Mark 7:13; “…making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.” The traditions of men (opinions, psychologies, accepted habits and values of the fallen man) makes the word of God have no effect.
Faith toward God is pleasing to God. (Hebrews 11:6) God only meets you at the point of your faith. He is a covenant God and obligates himself to this covenant with man. Anything we receive from God outside of this is only because of His love and grace.
Numbers 23:19 tells us that God isn’t like a human man, that He should lie. His covenant is a legal document, and he won’t break it. However, there are often certain conditions that we must meet in order for us to qualify for His promises.
Faith requires an action. Heb 11:1 states; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It is an expectation based on faith in action according to His promise. Even as the only time that you have rain is when it is falling from the sky. Even so, “faithing” is hope in action. This action may be your words, or some other form of action. Until you put your faith in action, nothing will happen.
God’s promises are a legal statement and when we act on these promises with expectation, God can bring into the physical, what comes from the invisible. However, Satan can also steal what belongs to us if he can find a legal loophole in the law, such as doubt and unbelief, which he may use as an accuser. We may need to send our angel (Hebrews 1:14) to intervene on our behalf, so that we can receive what we’re expecting from God.
There are many facets on the subject of faith; however, Hebrews 11:6 is the subject of faith in a nutshell. God is displeased when we doubt Him or flat out do not believe Him. We must believe that He is AND believe that He rewards those that diligently seek (action word) Him. Those that seek Him will find that He is also seeking us. John 4:23-24; “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” As we seek Him, worship Him and exalt Him we will experience a personal sense of His presence.
Proverbs 3:5 – 10; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first-fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.”
When He is directing your path that is a very personal experience. May your experience be a personal one and the blessing that follows bring you closer than ever to Him. May your walk with Him be from faith to faith and glory to glory. May all of your days be either good or better days and when we see Him face to face that will be the very best day of your life! May God bless you and yours.
Pastor Paul Ritchie
Kept By the Power of God
“To…the elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” I Peter 1:2-5
Those of us who are in Christ have this precious promise; we are “kept by the power of God” through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. We are called the “elect of God.” God has “begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” We have been given an “inheritance and all that it contains will be revealed upon our glorification in heaven”. We are being kept through faith in the power and faithfulness of God.
In this position, we are kept by God through temptations, struggles, sin, failures, torments from within, torments from without, from the wiles of the devil, hardships, emotional and physical pain, despair, unknowns, tribulations, the snares of the world, etc. Just think about all that a saint might experience. All of us in Christ have a testimony to tell! You may have lost hope, yet it was not the final word. God intervened and kept you from losing all hope. You may have lost a marriage, but it hasn’t stopped you from living. You were held by God’s power in the palm of his hand. Some have been the victims of other’s doing them harm, but God is caring for us. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands…” Isaiah 49:16. You may have fallen into bondage through idolatry of pleasures. Some have entered into the door of darkness to some addiction, but you haven’t given up. Your addiction may have accelerated into other dysfunctional dispositions and you are pressing on, weak though you may be. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Even in our weakness, we are being KEPT by the POWER of God.
Many of the failures above have been the result of our own doing. Some have desired to escape reality. Others have ventured outside the will of God into bondage to relieve emotional or physical pain. But God is still with you.
Some have been faithful in their walk with God, but they are not exempt from pain, loss, tribulations, and dark spiritual assaults from the evil one. However, they press on inculcating the grace and joy that the Lord has dispensed on them. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” I Peter 1:6-7.
And, there are those who are consumed with fear of the unknown. This particular emotion is a deadly assault upon the soul. Having rooted in the soul, fear spreads imaginations, speculations, and anxiety in the soul. Having been deceived and not knowing that the adversary of our souls is the origin of this deadly torrential fear, it is only by the mercy and grace of being KEPT by the POWER of GOD that one is rescued. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a SOUND MIND.” II Timothy 1:7. It is the devil himself who is the enemy of our souls who can take one into a fear that is unnatural, torrential, and demonic. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 10:10. One in this condition needs the wisdom of godly men and women who can counsel and wield the sword of the Spirit to give help to one held captive in this spiritual darkness. The saints are one of the means God uses, working His power through them. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For our weapons of warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…” II Corinthians 10:3-4. We have ministered to many in torrential torment that God, through his mercy and grace, has delivered. This has been accomplished by the use of warfare prayer. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:17-18. An excellent means of understanding how to use warfare prayer is found in Mark Bubeck’s book, The Adversary. I suggest you read it. It will be a great help to you.
Maybe you are troubled and full of questions. Remember, God has not abandoned you. He cares for you. “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Pursue Jesus. He will give you rest. “Come to me, all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” We have much to be thankful for; for in our inadequacies, tribulations, failures, darkness, and victories we are BEING KEPT by the POWER of GOD. We have an AWESOME GOD!
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 link: Counseling Corner Archives
If it wasn’t for Bethel Colony of Mercy,
I know I wouldn’t be alive today.
I was the typical abused kid who ended up being raised by my grandparents. My “Grannie”, who was totally blind, was my whole world. She made sure I was in church every time the doors were open. However, when I was 17, Grannie died and I was devastated. I felt so alone. I had been abused by most of my family and Grannie was the only one, I thought, who loved me. After she passed away, I ran wild. For thirteen years I was drinking, doing drugs, fighting and getting arrested almost weekly. And, I was becoming more and more addicted to drugs and alcohol. I was trying to run away from the hurt and abuse. Then, on January 26, 1989 at the age of 30, I couldn’t run anymore. I woke up in the ER and it is only by the grace of God that I did wake up. Given one more opportunity, a final opportunity, to get clean and sober, I accepted the offer and came to Bethel Colony of Mercy.
Upon my arrival at Bethel Colony of Mercy, Pastor Ritchie asked me how long it had been since I’d been in a church. When I told him thirteen years, he grabbed me by the hand and led me to The Chapel. Once inside he said; “this is where the magic happens, if you open your heart and let it.” I fell on my knees at the altar and determined in my heart at that very moment that I would “let the magic happen” – the magic of Jesus – and I haven’t looked back. The Lord, through Bethel Colony of Mercy, brought me through my dual addiction and I am now trying to pay it forward and be a light for others.
Since leaving Bethel Colony of Mercy, I’ve been involved with my church. In 2006 the Lord opened the door for me to get involved with the Rockingham County Detention Ministry. I’m blessed to be able to continue that work and share the Gospel of Jesus. In 2014 I was asked to get involved with Project Safe of Rockingham County, a program to help end gun violence and drug abuse. Then, in 2016, the Lord opened yet another door, this time with Jericho House in Greensboro, NC. I am currently the Executive Director at Jericho House, an 8 bed halfway house dedicated to helping men get back into society after drug and alcohol addictions and after leaving prison.
Bethel Colony of Mercy is a true blessing from God and I love and will be eternally grateful for those men that have answered God’s call to serve at Bethel Colony of Mercy in Lenoir, NC.
Update on Bethel’s Women’s Ministry
It is exciting to see the progress made since our last update. We will finalize the purchase of property located at 1230 Camp Carolwood Rd, Lenoir, NC in mid-April. We are projecting to open sometime this summer. God’s faithfulness has been evident as we proceed with this extension of our ministry.
Once the property is ours, we will be looking for help with renovations to the buildings currently on the property. This will require help from many men and women. Though you do not have to be, those skilled in remodel or construction would be welcome. We will be painting, sanding, etc. There is plenty of cleaning needed both inside and out. We will appreciate anyone who is willing to work!
We are also getting together the essentials for the ministry. The list includes golf carts, outdoor lawn maintenance equipment such as mowers and weed eaters, etc. Office supplies, kitchen utensils, small appliances, silverware, blankets, pillows, etc. are all needed. We have a list available and would love to share it if you would like to help us meet these needs.
It is very exciting to see this all coming together. The prayers over the past two years. The dream from a year ago. The announcement in October. The plans taking form in January & February. Counting down the days in March and April. Completion is almost in sight. We would love for you to be a part of what God is doing!
Praise the Lord with us and please keep praying!
If God is leading you to support Bethel’s Women’s Campus, please make sure you mark your donation for the women’s ministry.
We hope you catch the excitement we are experiencing as we prepare to expand our borders and open our doors to women from all over the U. S. who are struggling with addiction issues.
Please pray with us for these women as God sends them to us for deliverance and healing!