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Rev. Paul Pruitt’s Article
His Plan Will Surely Come
A Woman’s Perspective
Mrs. Donna McCall
Have You Experienced a Change of Mind?
Rev. Paul Ritchie
The Three “I Wills”
Rev. Don Loss
The Slippery Slope
From The Heart Of The Women’s Campus
– Kendra McQuinn
Bethel Lawn Care
The Three “I Wills”
The first “I will” is found in Luke 22:39-44; “And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”3 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Jesus was not in favor of going to the cross. By His submission to the Father unto death He defeated Satan and became King of kings and Lord of lords. It was by His love for the Father and His love for us, who God had made in His image and after His likeness, Gen.1:26 . The submission of Jesus Christ to our heavenly Father is a great example for us to follow. The Bible tells us in Psalm 103:2; “Bless the LORD, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” Isaiah 1:19 says if we are willing and obedient we will eat the good of the land. As Christians we are not always willing and not always obedient which disqualifies us for some of the benefits. Jesus was an example of willingness and obedience. He was under unbelievable stress, taking the sin debt of the whole world upon Himself. He is our righteousness. Never was there a greater gift given to mankind, a payment beyond our ability to pay. Another example is when the angels came to strengthen Him. I know from personal experience the strength that God can give you to accomplish that which He has for you to accomplish.
The second “I will” is in Isaiah 53:10-12; “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.” Praise the Lord, He chose, or willed to accept the offering Jesus made and be satisfied that the work of the cross was truly adequate to pay for our wretched sins. If the heavenly Father had not been satisfied, the work of Jesus on the cross would’ve been in vain; we would be hopelessly lost to spend eternity in the lake of fire. Praise the Lord God Almighty who is and was and is to come. God in His mercy and grace has made a way for us when the Lord Jesus took upon Himself the form of a human. His name shall be called Emmanuel, God with us, who paid the ultimate price and redeemed us from our guilt and shame with His own blood. The Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the earth. For His name shall be called Jesus for He will save His people. How can we not love Him who first loved us and gave Himself for us, that we might now be justified. Praise the Lord, that He did indeed accept the horrible crucifixion of Jesus, the suffering servant, proving His love for you and me. We love Him because He first loved us.
The third “I will” is in John 3:16-21; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” This is a choice of your will to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, however it’s more than that. If God is not dealing with your heart you are unable to make that choice. Now don’t say it’s not God’s will that I be saved because he has declared it is not His will that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9-13 “The Lord … is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
These are three very important decisions that will affect us for all eternity, but we don’t have to wait to see the effects. Two of these decisions have already been made. The third decision has been made by some, but many have yet to deal with it. And for some, time is running out. This decision must be made before we leave this body and enter eternity. After that it is too late. The sooner this third decision is made; it will be better for all concerned – yourself, your family and the whole world will benefit. Each one of us has an influence, positively or negatively, in regard to our little space of time in this world. What are you going to do with Jesus Christ and the finished work of the cross? The sad part is that many have not even heard the name of Jesus Christ and what He did for us. Even the little child in Sunday school that puts $0.25 in the missions offering is having an effect on the world. There are many ways that we can have an effect. You may say that one person cannot make a difference but you’d be surprised how much difference one can make – a few words spoken, a kind act, a smile, an encouraging word, an intercessory prayer, a vote placed in the ballot box for those who would be most likely to lead us in a godly fashion and many other ways that we can make a difference. Do not sell your existence here on earth short. Scripture tells us we are to know Him and make Him known. Psalm 107:1-2; “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy.” Make known those little and big things that God does that we take for granted. A lost person doesn’t recognize all that God does for you, so tell them. Maybe you haven’t even taken time to recognize for yourself the many things that God does for you daily. I prayed before a meal at an unbelieving friend’s home. I asked God to bless that family and their young son got saved which then led to the salvation of the rest of his family.
May the Lord Bless You Always- He is Risen; seated on the Right Hand of the Father! PTL!
Pastor Paul Ritchie
The Slippery Slope
As the world drifts into relativism, it can have a debilitating effect upon the Church unless there is a solid foundation of Judea Christian values. Any variation from this foundation can cause confusion and bondage. Some may start out well, but end up on the slippery slope of sin. Not being on good ground, they will come under the discipline of the Lord. “Their foot shall slip in due time: for the day of calamity is at hand–“. (Deuteronomy 32:35) Many who have made professions of faith have wandered from the truth and are suffering calamity.
The validity of the Christian faith can only be demonstrated clearly by those who are walking in the Light. It is the nature of the believer, being a new creation in Christ Jesus, to reflect the light of Christ dwelling in him or her. (II Corinthians 5:17) We are to be as lampstands for those who are walking in the kingdom of darkness. We must present a virtuous character, having and showing high moral standards. The apostle Peter admonishes that we are to give all diligence to virtue: “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.” II Peter 1:5. Virtue in itself exudes a fragrance of wholesomeness.
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 – 7, Jesus teaches His followers; “You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” When we pursue righteousness we bring glory to God. This is the purpose of the believer. Glorifying God is the first teaching in the Westminster Shorter Catechism; “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” A disciple of Jesus loves his Lord, His ways, and His fellowship. Jesus tells us; “I am the light of the world, he who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life” John 8:12
Furthermore, the body of the believer bears witness to the light of Christ through the eye. There is no expression of darkness in his or her eyes. “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)
How great is that darkness! The emphasis looks to how great are the calamities of those who have left the truth of God. Sin exacerbates darkness. It will darken the eyes, corrupt the mind, set afire fleshly lusts, and destroy any civility towards loved ones. The traditions of marriage, family, and the work ethic will be abandoned. All the wisdom of man can attempt to help one who is in such a state. Many have given their lives to help them. That in itself is God’s common grace poured out on humanity. Without saving grace, humanity cannot deal with the heart of sin efficaciously.
The will has a remarkable potential to make good decisions. People everywhere are making choices for good or evil. Believers and unbelievers alike do these things. Many unbelievers are doing the right thing by keeping things in order. They are law-abiding, responsible citizens of their communities. How much more should we who know Christ be doing likewise? We have Christ dwelling in us. (Galatians 2:20). We have the Word of God to direct our paths. (Psalm 119:105) We have the grace of God teaching us; “teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age.” (Titus 2:12)
The tragedy is some of God’s children have left their first love. They have wandered on the slippery slope of sin; drifting, sliding, falling headlong into the dungeon of sin. Having subdued the light in their soul, they willingly become captive to the darkness. In this place, the devil himself ensnares them, taking them captive to do his will. (II Timothy 2:26) This is a spiritual warfare that the wisdom of the world is not equipped to handle. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.” II Corinthians 10:3-6
Those who claim Christ and have succumbed to the slippery slope of sin have a way out. They must look to the cross; not to the world. They must cry out to God, repent of their evil, and return to the Lord. Look for a body of believers to embrace you and help you find your way back. This is the blessing; “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” (Psalm 119:1)
Where the grace blows,
Pastor Don Loss
Associate Director / Director of Counseling
During the global pandemic known as COVID-19 with shelter in place mandates from our governor, Pastor Loss has been counseling from home. These are some photos to reflect what that looks like.
* 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
Proverbs 3:5-6, “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”. These verses are some of the most quoted in the entire Bible. As the people of God, we cling to these verses in times of duress, and in other circumstances that seem to be insurmountable and which leave us bewildered and scratching our heads. Please understand, these verses are valuable for each of these situations, but there are times when we lose sight of God’s providential preeminence which lies in these precious words. According to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “traditional theism holds that God is the creator of heaven and earth and that all that occurs in the universe takes place under divine providence which is under God‘s sovereign guidance and control. God governs creation as a loving father, working all things for good.“ (Romans 8:28)
On May 18, 2018, I prayed and sought God’s thoughts, and after claiming Proverbs 3:5-6, I made a decision to leave Bethel Colony of Mercy to become the director of Christ Centered Recovery Program, in Morganton, North Carolina. I made this decision with peace and in my heart; I believe God was guiding this decision. This journey had its’ hills and valleys, but through it all God’s eyes were upon every step and He did bless the next one and a half years, and used me at CCRP. Then something happened; my path seemed to be re-directed or straightened, leading back to Bethel Colony of Mercy. As a result, on September 17, 2019, God opened the door for me to return to Bethel Colony of Mercy as a member of the pastoral counselling staff. So remember the next time you are seeking guidance and trusting in the Lord with all your heart, as your path goes in a different direction than you expect; there will be times when God in His Divine Providence will gently re-direct your path to bring glory to Himself, and to work all things for His good and for yours.
Trusting in His Divine Providence,
Pastor Ronnie Turner
Pastor / Counselor
(Please pray for these and all of Bethel’s graduates)
Testimonies from the heart of Bethel Women’s Campus
Testimonies of Bethel Graduates
Before I came to Bethel, I thought that getting clean and staying clean was what I needed to do to change my life. Then, I realized that I needed more, and that what I needed was God. While trying to figure out what rehab to go to, God placed an old friend back in my life who told me about Bethel Colony of Mercy. I was still debating whether or not I was actually going to come to Bethel once I was accepted and promised a bed. The devil was in my head hardcore trying to convince me that I didn’t need it when I clearly heard a voice say; Go! I felt such a peace about it at that point that my mind was made up. Once I got here, I knew in my heart that this was the place I was supposed to be. I was slow at opening up, but once I did, I became so receptive to all I was learning and my heart began to change. Not all at once, but gradually, little by little. I completed Bethel’s basic 65-day program and thought I would be leaving when I graduated, but God shut every door in my face. At that point, I chose to sign up for two more 30-day extensions and again thought I was ready to go home. But, God said no, again. So, I signed up for the 6 months Vocational Student Program. That was a time of learning and growth for me. I had to learn to walk out my faith and stick to my commitments because the devil was on me hard about leaving before my 6 months was over. But, I stuck it out and had a breakthrough when I did. Then, at the last minute, God laid it on my heart to apply for a position as volunteer staff.
Even though some days are extremely hard and I don’t know how I will do it, I am learning to trust God more and more every day. This is the refining fire that is helping mold me into the woman of God that I was created to be. And, even though I don’t know what the future holds, I know that right now this is God’s will for me and I know as long as He is with me I will make it through.
Women’s Campus Lawn Care
more from the heart of the Women’s Campus…
I came to Bethel Colony of Mercy Women’s Campus because I needed help with drug and alcohol addiction. Before coming to Bethel, I ended up in jail because of drugs and almost dying from a drug overdose. I knew I had to get help. I couldn’t live that lifestyle any longer. Worn down emotionally, physically and mentally, I found the love of Jesus Christ while in jail. I began praying every night asking God to find a place for me to go where I could finally get free from the chains of addiction and truly get to know Him because I wanted to be a better person; the person that God intended for me to be.
My mom found out about Bethel and I applied the day after getting out of jail. In less than one month, I was in Bethel and God answered my prayers immediately by showing me His love right away. I was nervous about going to a faith based program, but I was willing to give Bethel a shot. After about a week here, I finally began warming up to the idea of letting God heal me. My whole life had been a struggle with my emotions and how to express them. I had never learned a healthy way to show my feelings and I suppressed them. Since coming to Bethel, I’ve learned how to dig deep inside of me with the help of God’s Holy Spirit. I’m also learning life skills such as self-discipline. When in active addiction, I didn’t care about taking care of myself and having any kind of routine. I needed this structure and Bethel is helping me to ingrain discipline into my everyday life. This is still a learning process and I am still struggling with both areas of my life, but every day I am growing stronger. With experience and spending more time with God and in His Word, I will become a better person, a healed woman.
I am still figuring out what it is like to be a Christian. I’ve spent 35 years of my life never knowing God and relying on myself for everything. This has been a big part of my downfall. I now KNOW that I can do NOTHING without God and His perfect guidance and direction. I am still learning how to love others, how to let others love me, and how to discern God’s voice. That is why I asked to extend my time at Bethel for 30 more days after completing the basic 65-day program. I know that God is still molding me into a warrior for Him and He is working on me daily. I have so much more learning and growing to do and I cannot do it alone. I need God and Bethel to help me.
I want to be a light for others and to be part of something bigger than just helping myself. I know that I can’t do this until I am stronger in my faith and my emotions. Every day at Bethel is an experience of a lifetime. God brought me here to train me for something in my future. He is teaching me who Brooke is and who I am in Christ. I know I have a big heart and I love helping others. Working in the office at the Women’s Campus is one of the greatest privileges I’ve ever had! I’ve always wanted to work with others, especially those who are struggling with addiction. Working in the office as a part of Bethel’s Vocational Student Program has given me opportunity to help other women even more. I am able to be involved with other women who are applying to come to Bethel. Being a VSP at Bethel is a 6 months commitment and I believe God led me to apply for that program because He has more to teach me and wants me to say at Bethel longer.
During the duration of my VSP commitment, I want to work on developing a more intimate love relationship with my Savior. Even though some days are tough, I love being at Bethel. The enemy does not want me here. I feel like I am a part of something so vital here at Bethel. We’re changing lives of others, as well as our own. I appreciate how God is using Bethel to help me spiritually. I am retaining knowledge and wisdom daily. I know that I am in the right place here at Bethel, exactly where God wants me.
Bethel Colony Women’s Campus Office VSP
Men moving on up!!
Our Grace building has finally reopened! Men started moving into it this past month. Now we are working in other dormitory areas on the Men’s Campus, updating and providing a face lift where needed.
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.
Our goals are to help the men with:
- Work Ethic
- Living out their faith in public
- Lawncare skills
- Landscaping Skills
- Horticulture Skills
This helps Bethel by:
- Helping to fulfill our approach with daily work assignments
- Creating more work for the men
- Creating ways to give back to our community
- Creating more community awareness
- Creating an income that helps keep Bethel’s program cost down.
- Creating a full time staff position to oversee this part of the program
Call Jeff Hollar at Bethel
for prices and to schedule an appointment.