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Rev. Paul Pruitt’s Article
A Woman’s Perspective
Mrs. Donna McCall
Is Your Faith Living Or Dead?
Rev. Paul Ritchie
God Is In Control
Rev. Don Loss
To Everything There Is A Season
– Pastor Ronnie Turner
From The Heart Of The Women’s Campus
– Kendra McQuinn
Snapshots of Golf Tourn., Homecoming,
and Bible Conference
Bethel Lawn Care
Is Your Faith Living Or Dead?
James 2:17-22 “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?”
Living faith is the kind of faith that says if I can just touch the hem of His garment then I can be made whole. I have been to the well of living water and I will go and share what I have experienced. There are sick people all around, people bound in prisons, I will go visit them. I will lay hands on the sick and watch as they recover. The broken hearted are waiting on someone to show them how to be healed. I will go Lord, send me. Widows have been left in homes with no one to call them or check on them. I will call. Those who are without food and shelter need to eat and to be warm. Let me sacrifice one meal and a blanket to give them. Many are in need of love. Help me love the unlovely, the forgotten, the helpless and the hopeless.
Just as in the days of Isaiah, God is saying who shall I send? Who will go? Living faith is the kind that says like Isaiah, “Here am I, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8) Like Abraham not knowing where he was going or how he was going to get there. Like Noah who was building a boat when he did not even know what rain was. Like Moses who said I cannot speak very well but I will. Like Rahab who knew it may mean her death to hide the spies but knew it was the right thing to do. Like Ruth who left her own country and her own people to go with someone who did not even see the hope of a future. Like Mary who thought it was impossible for her to have this child who would save the world especially since it was not the normal way to get pregnant.
Dead faith thinks of my four and no more. Dead faith says I am ok and that is all that matters. Dead faith looks in the mirror and sees the outside condition and not the inside condition, the heart. Dead faith leaves the lost for others to deal with. Dead faith goes about doing what feels good, comfortable. Dead faith puts dark glasses on so as not to see the plight of others. Dead faith says it is not my problem. I could go on but…..you get the point, right?
I challenge each of you today to have living faith. Just as Jesus got up, get up. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in every believer. (Rom. 8:11) All who have accepted Jesus as Savior have His Spirit living in them. The power that raised Him will raise your faith. Get up out of the grave. Shake the grave clothes off. You know, those things that bind you like fear of failure, doubt, unbelief. Shake off the dead things and operate in a living faith. A faith that can move mountains. A faith that says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13) A faith that is so vibrant others will see and turn to Jesus. A faith that is so bold that truth is spoken that has the power to set people free.
So, I ask again. Is your faith living or dead? Begin with asking God to forgive you for the sin of complacency, knowing what to do and not doing it. Then accept that He is faithful and just and has forgiven you. (1 John 1:9) Get up and get going. There is a lot to do!!!
Where mercy flows,
Gods In Control
Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice, in fact this is the way that God wants us to live: rejoicing in Him always, regardless of what’s going on around us because He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you, therefore you may boldly say the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man may do to me.” I was just sharing with the men this morning a little bit of my experience when I was being robbed at gunpoint. So I guess I will share it with you and how God was there with so much power. It was a beautiful experience. I’m glad it happened to me to have had the experience of God’s faithfulness to take care of us in our time of need.
It was a Wednesday evening. I had been to church and had two large castings in my pickup truck that had been surface ground. Cast-iron, when it has been ground, will turn brown in a moment. It doesn’t take much moisture in the evening air to turn it brown. I did not want this to happen so after church I took them to Belmont which is where I had a space in a machine shop with another man. Most of my work was coming out of Queen City Foundry. I would do any drilling and tapping and/or mailing that needed to be done on these castings and if there was any other machining to be done he and I would do that. I backed up to the dock to unload these two castings. I went into the shop to get a hand-truck and when I got back there was a tall thin man standing beside my truck. I hollered at him in a loud commanding voice; “What are you doing here?” He replied; “Are you going to Gastonia?” I said, “No, I’m going the opposite way.” About that time, he pulled out a little silver-plated revolver and his partner stood up on the far side of the truck, a little short guy. It reminded me of Mutt and Jeff from the funny papers except I didn’t think it was funny. So then, he demanded that I give him my wallet.
I’ve not been in the habit of carrying much money with me as long as I have gasoline in the truck to get home. In fact, I did not even have a single dollar bill in my wallet just some change, probably about $0.50 worth. I was standing there looking that gun over. I could see the bullets in the cylinder and fear came over me and I said, “Lord, if this is my time I’m ready.” It brings tears to my eyes when I tell you about this. Folks, it was like a giant translucent cylinder that you could see through dropped over me and I felt as safe as if I was sitting in Jesus’ lap. God showed up in a big way that day. He was right there all the time. All fear left me and I was trying to think of how to witness to these people. It probably was a pretty feeble witness but nevertheless that’s what was on my mind. As I write this the tears are coming, I can hardly see what I’m trying to do. The man with the gun said, “Lay down on the ground face down.” I could hear him going through my wallet and I’m trying to think what to say, so I said, “What you need is not money.” However, the only thing that he heard was money. He said, “You have some more money on you?” I said “No, I don’t.” He then said, “Get up!” I did and he put a scarf around my face and held it at the back of my head and we went up the steps onto the dock and into the building. Right inside the building was a men’s room. He kind of pushed me in and said; “Lay down and don’t come out for five minutes or I’ll blow your head off”. So I calmly lay down. There was some light coming under the door and I looked at my watch. It was 8:55 so at 9:00 I tippy-toed over to the door which had been left open about 4 inches. I didn’t hear anybody outside so I gingerly walked out; didn’t see anybody. There was some woods and then a golf course coming in from the other road at the back of the shop and they must’ve come through the golf course and then through that little stretch of woods to the shop. I didn’t hear any vehicles just silence so I locked the door and called the police.
The parking lot was fairly large and there was a grocery store on the other side of it that closed at 9. These fellows were probably planning on robbing him when he came out with the money. However, I came along just a little before that and most probably interrupted their plans so they decide to rob me. That was a poor choice. Not only did I not have much money, I had the Lord on my side, hallelujah! The Lord and I are more than a match for anybody. At least the Lord is!
Remember I said they look like Mutt and Jeff from the funny papers. About a week later two fellows with the same description robbed a taxi driver in Gastonia and pistol-whipped him and put him in the hospital with concussions because he did not have enough money on him to suit them. But remember the closest thing they come to touching me was to put a scarf around my head and march me up the steps. Before they put me in the men’s room I was trying to think what to say about Jesus and you know how it is when you go talk to somebody you try to turn and face them. The big guy with the gun said; “Don’t you look at me.” Well, praise the Lord! I heard more fear in his voice than there was in my voice. By this time I was feeling very comfortable. God gave me a sense that He was the one in control and I was just trying, rather awkwardly, to talk to them about Jesus. Praise God Almighty Who was and is and is to come. He showed up when I needed him and God took control. Hallelujah.
Pastor Paul Ritchie
To Everything There Is A Season
We all experience seasons. Any particular time of the year can bring up memories and emotions. How wonderful are some of these memories. The events permeate in our minds and can bring about nostalgia. On the other hand, they can bring up negative feelings, depression and regret.
In Ecclesiastes 3, we read, “To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven. — A time to embrace, a time to refrain from embracing. — A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” There is a reservoir of wisdom in these words. To everything there is a season. The up-coming seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas can be very volatile. If one has the spirit of love and reconciliation for one another. There will be a wonderful time of gathering together. For the season is a time of embracing one another. It is a time of speaking to one another in love. Reconciliation is a time of forgiving one another. Holding on to resentment, bitterness, and anger is the atmosphere of hate which defiles everything in its presence.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.” Hebrews 12:14-15 If you are not willing to forgive those whom you have grievances with then maybe it is a time to refrain from embracing one another and to keep silent until you have worked through your issues and can speak in gentleness and softness. “A soft word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, and evil speaking be put away with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:29-32
Consider these emotions in a French rural family in the novel, The Woman of the Pharisees, by Francois Mauriac. Louis Pian, a teenager, attended a boarding school in Bordeaux. His stepmother, Bridgett, had an influential position in the community. A self-righteous woman whose austere religious principles led her to interfere in the lives of others. She had to apologize for her outbursts of anger as she “had lost control of herself and had been very harsh to” another character in the story. Afterward, she said, “I realize in all my humility I have a fiery nature. He who would tame the Old Adam must never sleep.” Her stepson, Louis, had a school friend of whom he became jealous due to his affections towards Louis’ sister. Louis said; “I felt anger, a desire to hurt him. I became a prey to all the nastiest instincts that flourish.” A priest in the novel has a profound word of counsel for us all. “All of us can hate those we love. The Lord told us to love our enemies; it is often easier to hate those we love.”
If any of you have an angry, unforgiving spirit towards another, the first thing needed for reconciliation is to make sure you are on the good ground of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The good ground is the message of the cross. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. But we must believe in Him to have eternal life.
“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and [that] He was buried, and [that] He rose again according to the scriptures.” I Corinthians 15:3-4 We need to repent of our sins. “Repent, then, turn to God, so that he will forgive your sins.” Acts 3:19 Then confess and believe in Him. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Now, this coming Thanksgiving and Christmas, is the season to embrace, forgive, and to speak love to those towards whom you have un-forgiveness, resentment, and bitterness. Go to God and ask Him to help you. Then reconcile with those with whom you have been at odds. This is God’s purpose for you in this season. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
God has extended His grace towards you. Now, you extend grace towards others.
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
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
Bethel’s Annual Golf Tournament
We are very grateful to the following Hole Sponsors for our 2020 Golf Tournament! This year’s tournament was held at the beautiful Brushy Mountain Golf Club in Taylorsville, NC. The Lord provided a beautiful day with lots of fun and fellowship!
Brown’s Auto Body Repair & Wrecker Service
1599 Brush Mountain Road, Lenoir NC
Wayne Hollar, DDS, PA
614 Hospital Avenue, Lenoir NC
Morgan’s Auto Repair
109 S. Sandhills Blvd. Aberdeen NC
902 Wilkesboro Blvd. Lenoir, NC
P O Box 1215 Dallas NC
4127 Hartland Road Lenoir NC
Steve White Motors
3470 HWY 70 E Hickory NC
Homes 4 You
425 Main Street Hudson NC
P O Box 11126 Hickory NC
515 Wilkesboro Blvd Lenoir NC
Coffey & Sons, Inc
7760 Woodland Hills Rd Hickory NC
Bull Moose Barber
3350 Danial St Conover NC
Antioch Baptist Church
Snapshots of Bethel’s Golf Tournament, Homecoming and Bible Conference
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.