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September 25, 2017, 4:14 PM

The Good News in October, 2017 ~ A Message from the Pastor

Ecclesiastes 3 3

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
What time is it now?  Tell me, please, Lord, what time is it now?  Nations attempt to bully other nations.  One political party degrades the other political party.  Black Lives Matter.  Blue Lives Matter.  All Lives Matter.  Hurricanes.  Earthquakes.   Then, in the direst of circumstances, we see scene after scene of one human reaching out to help, or rescue, another human.  At that point, no one is concerned with another’s nationality, age, gender, race, or religion; the only concern is safety for that other person EVEN if the rescuer must risk his/her own safety to help the other.  The selfishness of labels is quickly forgotten. 

Hear Jesus say, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  John 15:13.  

What times is it? 1 Thess 5:16-22 says it is time to:

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise the words of prophets, 21 but test everything; hold fast to what is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. 

So maybe, instead of asking “What time is it?” should we be asking, “What is it time for us to do?”  Who around us is hoping to be rescued?

August 26, 2017, 2:08 PM

The Good News in September, 2017 ~ A Message from the Pastor

Have you enjoyed the new time for worship in the summer? You know, in some ways, it has helped to remind me just how important worship is to me, and to us. We have all had to be more intentional to be there at a different time, which changed our Sunday morning routines. But if you read the Bible enough, God will change people’s routines on occasions. The change in the order of worship also caused me to think about how we “do” worship. I had to think hard about what was removed, and what was changed, regarding my theology. I am sure each of you did the same thing in your own way. I must admit, I was anxious about the changes. Would God still recognize me if I worshipped different? And then, would God still recognize me in different clothes – no coat and no tie? It sure felt funny, and at times, scary. It took me a long time to get ready for the first communion Sunday. I have always served communion in a black suit and white shirt. Could I be acceptable without being in those clothes? We changed our time, our order, and our attire. That caused thought, introspection, challenged us theologically, and at times, even caused anxiety.          But as I look back, God was still God, and He was there in worship EVERY time. The great I AM remained the great I AM. What a wonderful realization for each one of us! God loves us no matter what time we show up for worship, even if we are not “dressed up” like we “normally” dress, and with minor changes in the order we worship Him. Hallelujah! Did those slight changes cause you to think more about God? Be honest with yourself. What else could you change in your life that causes you to think more about God? I would be interested in hearing how it changed you.

June 20, 2017, 2:46 PM

The Good News in July ~ A Message from the Pastor

Happy Anniversary!! Four magnificent years together within God’s good grace. Our relationship is like we have been together for much longer, and that is said with an extremely positive emotion. Thank you for your more than generous gifts recognizing our time together. As I have said before, your love for me is shown in a myriad of ways, and remember, myriad, in the Bible, means a number higher than can be counted.
I also want to thank you for the flowers of the one year anniversary of Brian’s death. They were unexpected, but massively appreciated. You remembered! Remembering comes out of love. Have I told you I love you, too, lately?
Linda and I were in Williamsburg recently, and by chance, we were seated at a table with complete strangers. We had never met before we sat at the table, but as began talking, we felt like old friends. We found out they were visiting the area celebrating their wedding anniversary.
As conversations flow, we moved from topic to topic, and yes, we talked about religion (we also talked about politics if you really want to know). When they found out I was a pastor, the tough questions really came out. I found out they were unchurched. They are unchurched because the church hurt her.
Her church turned their back on her, and her daughters, when she and her first husband divorced. I told her how sorry I was to hear that. I told them how important they were/are to God. I encouraged them to find a body of believers that loved them, and to get back into regular fellowship. I told them to find a body of believers who show God’s love by remembering anniversaries of arrivals and remembering anniversaries of losses. I told them I knew a church with people who love and remember . . . often . . . and greatly.
Thank you! I love you!
The Good News
Southampton Baptist Church
July, 2017

May 28, 2017, 9:39 AM

The Good News in June, 2017 ~ A Message from the Pastor

There is a story that Charles Cockroft used in a sermon of his which was titled, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” The story talks about a guy who applied for a job as an usher at a theater in the mall. As a part of the interview process, the manager asked him, "What would you do in case a fire breaks out?"
The young guy answered, "Don’t worry about me. I can get out fine."
That’s exactly how many in today’s world respond to a lost and dying world around them. If you asked them "What would you do if Jesus came back tomorrow?" they would probably respond, "Oh, don’t worry about me. I’d be fine."
But what is all too easy to forget is that you’re an usher! It isn’t enough just to get out yourself. You are responsible for helping others know the way.
The time between right now and the start of eternal life is available for us to show other people God’s abounding love. Is that a prayer you have ever said to God? “Lord, please provide me the opportunity to show other people how much love you have to offer!”
If that is not a prayer you have prayed, what would have to happen in your life to be able to pray that prayer? If you can articulate the answer to the previous question, then what will you have to change in your life to make that answer happen?
All our lives are daily filled with “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” which we rightfully claim as our unalienable Rights. But as we approach Memorial Day, let us also remember, we are free in this country because others paid high prices for the freedom we enjoy here.
Now, move beyond our country. Who are you keeping from eternal life because you are unwilling to pay the price to fully answer, and then execute the answers to the two questions I asked above? You are responsible for helping others know the way.

Rev. Tom Ficklin

May 3, 2017, 1:27 PM

The Good News in May, 2017 ~ A Message from the Pastor

     We are working through Martha Grace Reese’s book, UNBINDING THE GOSPEL, on Sunday mornings in our study time. This is one of the better studies we have done. In fact, it is so good, some folks are considering going through the book again after we finish. If you missed it the first time, check in with us, and maybe someone who has done the course will lead another group and you can participate.
     We are working through prayer in our Wednesday afternoon group. This also has been a time of fruitful conversations as we have explored prayer from different perspectives. If you would like to pray, but this time is inconvenient, then please let us know and maybe there are others who would like to meet at a different time or even a different place.
     Please also know that any of these things we do are open to anyone you would like to invite. The Kingdom is always looking for more participants. Come one, come all! Invite all your friends. Invite folks that may not yet be your friends.
     There is one concept that has risen in both studies that won’t leave my head. We know where we are right now. We know where we want to be. What we have realized is there is often a space between those two, sometimes a very large space. It has been wonderful to explore the opportunities that exist for all of us in that space in between where we are and where we are going.
     How many book studies can we do before we get there? How many prayers can we have before we get there? How many people can we interact with before we get there? How many relationships can we make before we leave for there?
Come one, come all! Invite all your friends. Invite folks that may not yet be your friends. God’s Kingdom has plenty of room. God is depending on us to be the workers for The Kingdom. What is the old axiom? Pray like it depends on God. Work like it depends on you. The harvest is plentiful…

Presence Regular Adoration Yielding Expectation Repeat
(Prayer Gatherings - Every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. - Requests, Prayers, Discussion)

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