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Rev. Paul Pruitt’s Article
Remember the LORD!
A Woman’s Perspective
Mrs. Donna McCall
Are we pliable?
Rev. Paul Ritchie
Six Elementary Principles of Christ cont’d…
Rev. Don Loss
The Multitude of Anxieties
TESTIMONY of a BETHEL GRADUATE
A couple pictures work on electrical
issues at the Women’s Campus
Bethel’s 2018-2019 Budget
(Men’s and Women’s Campus)
Women’s Campus Update
“…Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Neh. 4:14
When you are following Jesus and pushing forward in Kingdom work, many have the misconception that “the road is supposed to be easy”. With that misconception comes this idea; “If others are going through a storm then they must be doing something wrong”. Sometimes that is the case and sometimes it is an assault of the enemy. We have all had those days that we didn’t know how things were going to work out and the Lord made it simple and I am so thankful for them! We should remember that in the Christian walk an active believer tends to be entering a battle, be in a battle or be coming out of one.
I have found when you’re expanding the tent (Is 54) and rebuilding the walls (Neh 4) the enemy does not want the Lord’s Kingdom to advance. Why? Because the enemy knows that expanding and securing means more lives saved, changed, strengthened and sent out for the Glory of God. At Bethel there is an everyday spiritual warfare for a man’s life. The battle of getting out of the enemy’s grip, renewing the mind, learning what real life is and not taking any part of the twisted life into the new. Learning to trust Jesus in every aspect. I could go on with the different fights we see and how we help men navigate through their new-found walk in Jesus. There is intense spiritual warfare that goes on here and can I encourage you that in the middle of a chaotic world where death is lurking around to claim these precious lives that ……JESUS IS VICTORIOUS …. JESUS HAS ALREADY OVERCOME AND HE CALLS US TO BE OVERCOMERS!
As you are growing to advance the Kingdom, there is another warfare that is going on. We must remember that Jesus told us in Matt. 11:12; “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” You can see a clear picture of this battle in Ezra and Nehemiah. As the Lord raised up these two leaders to rebuild the Temple and the Walls of Jerusalem they were met with constant opposition. The pattern that the enemy used was that he would: lie to befriend, send discouragement, cause difficulty in building, and hire counselors to frustrate. And, as they would get closer to accomplishing the work, the enemy would be more aggressive.
No matter what kind of attack the enemy would bring, God led His people into victory! Through the years, we have built dormitories, staff housing, a gym, a cafeteria and worship center. And, now a whole new campus for women. We have seen the trials that the enemy would try to bring in all these expansions of the tent. He tries his best to discourage, bring difficulty in building, and frustrate. Just as the Lord did for His people in Nehemiah’s day He still does for us. He uncovers the enemy’s plan and spoils them. He brings strength to the laborers. Our responsibility is to keep our focus on the mission. “And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” We would love to be open at the women’s campus already and we have had set-backs that took more time than we thought, but no matter what set-back comes, we keep pressing forward because of the cause of Christ and the precious men and women that God wants to set free.
Keep Praying and partnering with us in the fight for the lives of men and women! Jesus is our Victory! And, not too much longer we are all going to see the joy of a new campus opening for His glory!
Remember the LORD,
Pastor Paul & Stacy Pruitt
A Woman’s Perspective
Are we pliable?
Pliable is being easily bent, flexible, easily influenced. How easily do we bend or flex? What do we allow to influence us?
In the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego we see three men who would not bend. They were not going to bow down and worship any god but Jehovah God. Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” They were willing to suffer and even die in order to remain faithful to the One in whom they trusted. Everyone else could do what they wanted to do. These three would not allow any threats to change their stance.
Peter, on the other hand, is a different story. Jesus warned him. It happened anyway. Here he is watching to see what they are about to do with his Savior. He is running around with the people who are ridiculing Jesus. “Crucify Him, crucify Him” they are screaming. Peter is hanging with the wrong crowd. Unlike the Jewish trio in Daniel 3, Peter was all alone with the wrong people. He did exactly what he did not want to do. He denied Jesus. He went further than just denying Him. Matthew 26:73-74 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.” Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” He talked like all those around. He became flexible to his surroundings.
Upon examination of these two different scenarios we find some answers as to what can influence us and how that influence affects us. The three Hebrew men mentioned in Daniel were hanging out with the right person. In Daniel 1 we find them as close companions with Daniel. Daniel was strong in his faith and determined he was going to do what was right. He would not take part in the food offered to idols even though it was good to look at and good to the taste. The determination of Daniel became the determination that sparked the faithfulness in the three Hebrews. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego Their environment nor the king’s edict could change what and whom they believed in. They were bent, flexed, and influenced in the right way by the right person.
Now look at Peter. He hung out with Jesus during the three years Jesus was here. Peter was the first to declare boldly Jesus was the promised Christ. Jesus took him to the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter saw into the future and the past as he walked with Emmanuel. The wonderful things he saw! Let us not forget his great faith as he stepped from the boat to walk with Jesus on water. Peter was soaring with faith until… His dreams of the Deliverer becoming the earthly king, the ruled becoming the rulers were crushed. He is watching as Jesus is beaten and looks defeated. He mingles in the crowd. The ones who once said Hosanna and now are saying Crucify. He finds himself being put to the test. Will he own up to knowing Him or will he deny and join in with the crowd? Cursing and swearing, he denied.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” Is it any wonder this advice was given? Where we hang out and who we hang out with matters. Trying to live among those who do not have faith nor try to excel in life will impact us. If you do not believe me, try hanging out with negative people and not become negative. If you stay long enough you will find yourself seeing the bad above the good as well. We live in the world and we are supposed to. We are to be a light in dark places. The key is not allowing the darkness to take away the light from us. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were able to walk this out. The world did not impact them. They impacted the world.
Mark 4:18-19 “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” This parable which Jesus told explains how we can be overtaken like Peter. We hear the Word, we see the miracles, we experience the love but… We go out among those who want the glory and the good but will not endure when the gory of the cross hits. The world’s way overrides the Word’s way. Peter was among the thorns and the ways of the world overtook him. He would have been better off running to find all the others he had hung out with when Jesus was performing His mighty works. Together they could have encouraged and helped one another. Instead his desire to see and experience led him to the wrong crowd.
God wants us to remain pliable but He does not want us to be pliable to just anyone or anything. He wants us to keep a soft tender heart He can speak to. He wants us to be sensitive to Him and His direction. So I guess the question should be who or what are you allowing to bend, flex, or influence you? Like the three Hebrew men, God wants us to hang out with those who will encourage us to live the holy life He has called us to live. 1 Peter 1:15 “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct”. Notice this verse was written by Peter. The same one who was swayed by those around him and denied Jesus. After the resurrection, Peter found his way back to the other disciples and those of faith. His faith was strengthened and he became a powerful man of God. He preached the gospel with power and thousands have been affected since.
You may have started out right like Peter and gotten off track. Maybe you have had a hard time finding a Daniel to help build your faith. Either way, God has made a way for us to remain in faith and stay on the right path. He has given us the precious Holy Spirit to help us. If we listen to His leadership we will find those of faith. The three most important things to remember are: 1) Read the Word of God to gain leadership and advice. 2) Pray and ask God’s guidance. 3) Seek godly advice and wisdom from those of great faith when you are tempted to stray.
God will never leave us nor forsake us. May we hold fast to Him and be pliable to His ways so we may experience the abundant life Jesus died for us to have.
Where Mercy Flows,
Six Elementary Principles of Christ cont’d…
“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
The resurrection of the dead is the fifth of six basic principles. Before we venture any further into this subject, we need to change our understanding of eternity and our entering into this new and different realm.
We will leave behind the concept of time (days, nights and time). There will be no more time as we now know it. Time was created with the sun and rotation of ourselves and the planetary system. Death is the birth canal to eternity, our transition from the physical to heaven, a spiritual dimension. Time and space as we know it is no longer relevant. There will be no night and day as on earth. We have now entered the realm of eternity. Revelation 21:22-27; “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Also, we will be without the effects of age, race or sex. Age, because time no longer has a grip on us. Race, because we will have escaped the areas of the earth that determined our race. Sex, because there will be no marriage nor the purpose of procreation to fill the earth. (Genesis 1:22&28)
There are varying opinions about if we will be in the presence of the Lord at death. II Corinthians 5:1-8; “For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 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.” There are those who differ with that Scripture and have Scripture that could cause us to wonder about that statement. In Luke 23, the thief on the cross said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” Jesus said to him; “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Where is Paradise? To be absent from the body is to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is good enough for me. II Peter 3:8; “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Rev. 2:7 says; “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
The tree of life was in the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden is now the Paradise of God and is now in Heaven. We know about where it was, but there is no trace of it ever having been there. We know that the tree of life was in the Garden, but is now in Heaven. We are in the realm of eternity having been resurrected where the tree of life is now located.
Remember this one thing: John 3:3; “Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Be ready when He comes or if you go to Him before He comes back. Be ready to meet Jesus face to face! Please do not put it off! Get ready starting NOW! The Lord bless you and keep you,
Pastor Paul Ritchie
The Multitude of Anxieties
The multitude of anxieties is commonplace among many. Just think of our own lives, how we may have experienced the spirit of anxiety, just one of endless afflictions. The width, depth, and height of these afflictions can, at times, confound even the best of counselors and pastors. Add to this the instability, passivity, and brokenness of the soul that is alienated from the life of God and you have a mammoth crisis. Those who are unbelievers will have a difficult way back to good health. The absence of any spiritual resources will be a detriment to them regaining their health. On the other hand, those who profess the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior can exhibit the same dilemma as the unbeliever because of their failure to stay faithful to the truth of God. These are those who have left the way of righteousness by choice and have become captive to the spirit of this world. Giant Despair comes, overwhelming the unknowing soul, putting his eyes out, and releasing them to wander among the tombs of his estate.
They have failed the teaching of Paul in his letter to the Ephesian Christians. “This I say therefore, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, becoming alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” (Eph. 4:17-19) It is a sad thing that the wayward Christian ends up with the multitude of anxieties because of his/her neglect of their walk with Christ. They have exchanged the presence, fellowship, and joy of the Lord for the friendship of the world. “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy with God.” James 4:4. They have forgotten their calling. “As therefore you have received Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7.
The unbeliever, lacking the spiritual resources of the believer, is on his own to deal with the multitude of anxieties. He can receive counsel from the wisdom of the world, which is a good thing in itself. But, the counsel of this world cannot change the heart of stone. Only God can change the heart of stone into flesh. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes. And you keep my judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27.
King David in Psalm 94 writes of the oppression from within his own soul and from the wickedness of neighboring nations. “How long will the wicked triumph?” Violence has festered within the nation. “The proud utter speech and speak insolent things. All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves —-and afflict Your heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.” David is overwhelmed with anxiety. “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” David leans on the Lord in his crisis, “If the Lord had not been my helper, I would soon rest in the silence of death.” David leans on the word of God in his crisis. “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law.” This alone is his comfort in the multitude of anxieties.
In the work, More Than Notion, by J.H. Alexander, a compilation of spiritual experiences of a family and their friends in the 1800’s, a respected teacher of God’s word wrote to a Mrs. Oakley to help her with her anxieties. He pointed her to Jesus. “Search daily for this Friend (Christ Jesus), as you would for hidden treasures, and you will surely find him from time to time. His presence will compensate for all your bodily pain, family troubles and world anxieties; and while it lasts you will be able to see all things in right aspect, and that He can do you no wrong. It has pleased God to put a worm to every gourd that you have planted, so that all things in this life whither, and it is mercy to you that they afford no shade nor repose for your flesh.” Take heed to wise counsel!
A last word from the Counselor of all counselors. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 He is your comfort and peace in the multitude of anxieties!
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
TESTIMONY of a BETHEL GRADUATE
Early in April of 2014, I was about ready to walk into a job. While sitting in the parking lot full of fear and anxiety, knowing that my life was falling apart, (seemed like my whole life was always in some sort of chaos or despair.) I consumed drugs and alcohol to calm my fears and worries. I was always trying to fill that void that can never be filled except through the sacrifice on the cross, the shed blood of our Lord and Savior. Prior to the experience in the parking lot where God’s hand was at work in my life, (God is always in all our circumstances and in our lives working for good and His Glory – Rom. 8:28), I had met with a biblical counselor who suggested a place called Bethel Colony of Mercy. She told me the Lord is at work there and they minister to men like me. Our conversation stuck with me and at that point in that parking lot, the Holy Spirit moved me to seek out Bethel Colony for help. It was a long way from home, but I had the support of my church, my family, my wife and close friends. They all trusted in God that He would do a mighty work in my life. (and He did) My marriage was failing to say the least. We were not living together as she had asked me to leave and changed the locks. I was living at the church and a local mission. When I arrived at Bethel the first teaching I received was from Pastor Loss. He was teaching on Luke 8 where demons are cast out of a man. The story of Legion is repeated in Mark’s Gospel and Matthew as well. That Scripture is about a tortured man. It reminded me of me: a tortured man with a spiritual malady. The town’s people of Gadarenes tried to help him, but they could not. (man’s attempts all fail) Jesus ministered to Him and by His power, this man was made well. As verse 35 states the town’s people went out to see what happened. They found the man sitting at the feet of Jesus. Peace had come to him and “he was clothed and in his right mind” (restored and redeemed). The Word of God, the Power of Jesus’ words, His authority and His forgiveness wash us clean and restore us to right living (righteousness). Christ has accomplished this in my life as well.
My time was well spent at Bethel. I savored the Word of God. It comforted me and gave me peace. Jesus restored me little by little. My hope is in Him and Him alone. When I arrived back home in N.J. my wife, my family and my church saw a new creation in Christ as 2 Cor. 5:17 tells us; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.
By the grace of God my wife and I began to reconcile. Day by day our Lord poured His love and mercy into our lives. Our faith, hope, and our prayer life began to grow and bear fruit. I was welcomed back into our church body with such love and encouragement. Immediately the church staff trusted that God had done a miraculous work in me. God provided a way for me to begin an addiction recovery group within the church which is still alive and well. Every Tuesday evening I lead a group of men and woman who desire to repent and trust in our lord and Savior. I also have the privilege to counsel men within our church. I am in the process of becoming a certified Biblical counselor through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). When we pray and trust in God, He opens doors for us, so He may be glorified. I also am pursuing an associate degree in Addiction Studies at a local community col
lege. God is so good. One thing is for sure – God has redeemed me, set me free from the chains of addiction, and set my feet on solid ground. Thank God for the men and woman of Bethel Colony who pour their lives into the lives of others. They are sharing the hope and life-changing message of the Gospel. The staff, along with the men who are presently there now and the men who are on the wait
ing list, are continually in our prayers.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.” Gal. 2:20
A couple of pictures
showing work on the
electrical issues at the
Please continue to
pray for all issues to
be resolved so we can
God’s grace and
deliverance to women soon!
From November 1, 2017
to October 31, 2018
serviced 415 men
served 88,155 meals
held 156 worship services
held 364 teaching sessions
and, provided one-on-one counseling
for each man in the program.
Cost to Bethel:
$23.11 per day per man x’s days here
$1860.49 per day operating expenses
$13059.18 per week
$56589.77 per month
$679077.20 per year
(These numbers do not include
other construction and remodel)
Annual Budget below:
Update on Bethel Women’s Ministry
We have had a lot of wet weather! Whew! We are still working though. Just a few delays. The Director’s home, Deborah’s Dwelling, is seeing its final renovations. Once the Director is on site we will be closer to an opening date. Hallelujah, it is in sight!!!!
A few electrical things have been done. The power was not sufficient for all the cabins so we had to upgrade that. Most of the work on the cabins had to be put on hold until that was resolved. Thank God it is fixed and working. Thank God also for providing the electricians needed to do all the work.
Cabin #3, Rahab’s Redemption, is almost ready. The beds are in, cabinets in place, common area ready, and decorations selected. A local Baptist church will be adding all the love and care to make it a home for our wonderful resident volunteer/student and our first 5 female students! It will look great when the final decorative touches are added. Cabin #4, Esther’s Empowerment, is coming along as well. A little more work before the furnishings can go in but we are almost there. Utility Building is coming along as well.
Praise God for all the workers and the work that has been done! We are thankful to Him and all the volunteers He has sent. Each of you that have helped are a great blessing to us. This is not just an extension of Bethel but an extension of your love as well.
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.
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,
And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.
They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way;
They found no city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses.
And He led them forth by the right way,
That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.
Psalm 107: 1-9
Thank you for praying with us and for supporting the wonderful work God has been doing at Bethel Colony Men’s Campus for 70 years.
Please pray with us as we begin accepting applications from women who need to be delivered out of their distresses. Only He can satisfy their longing souls and fill their souls with goodness.