This is where you will find out what's going on at our church. The Monthly News, Weekly Sermons, Calendar of Events and Special Notices. For more information about location, staffing and services, visit OUR WEBSITE. Also, go to that website to view the older sermons - they are available there as links and there are about 200 to choose from!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Mom, do you believe in God?

I was in the hospital waiting room waiting to be admitted when a family walked in and sat next to me. The little boy, who was about 7, was anything but quiet or subtle. This kid had a serious drop the mic moment with his mom.

Boy: Mom do you believe in God?
Mom: What? Well, I don’t know. I don’t really think about it.
Boy: You didn’t answer my question. Not “thinking about it” doesn’t answer the question…
Mom: Uh, well I guess yeah. We’re Christians…

Case and point. So many “Christians” but so little life transformation.
Jesus never invited us to be in a part of a religion, but simply invited us to follow Him. AND because of what He did for us, we now have the same Spirit, Power and Authority that raised Him from the grave! So, who cares if we think these things about Jesus and then about ourselves. If we don’t live as though they’re true all week long, it doesn’t matter.

If we believe it, are we living it out?  Grace, Power, Patience, Kindness, Service, Joy, Kindness, Generosity, Forgiveness, true Humility...all of these things come from walking with Jesus and His Spirit IN US all day long! Remember, today, you cannot make these things happen, nor conjure them up. Let’s just practice today being aware of where we look like Jesus and where we don’t. Don’t try to fix it, just be on the lookout.

If we believe it, are we living it out?

From Tim Timmon's 10,000 minutes blog

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

From the Pastor...

In Suffering Preserve Your Love for Him

If a man love me, he will keep my words -  John 14:23

The Church on earth must exist and fight in weakness, poverty, and affliction, fear, death, shame, and blame. Calamity will force you to step out of yourself and not to rely on the counsel, help, and strength of men, but you must have Christ in your heart, so that you hold His Name, Word, and Kingdom higher, dearer, and more precious than all things on earth. To him who does not do this but loves his own honor and power, the world's praise, lust, joy and friendship more, this word is preached in vain; as Christ, soon after, Himself says: 'He that loveth not me keepeth not my sayings'.  

But it does not say to love with words alone. There must be living works and the evidence of love, as the words 'keep my sayings' mean. That is, a love which fights and overcomes. For it is the nature of true love to do all things for the sake of the beloved, and there is nothing too hard for her to suffer and to bear, that she would not do with joy.

If His unspeakable goodness were to go right to our hearts, nothing would be too vexing or too hard for us to suffer or to bear for His sake, that we only abide in His love. This means, that, not only hearing the Word with joy, but holding on to it firmly and winning the victory.

- Martin Luther

Thursday, August 4, 2016

From the Pastor...

Travailing in Birth for Souls

What contradictions meet
In ministers employ!
It is a bitter sweet,
A sorrow full of joy;
No other post affords a place,
For equal honor or disgrace!

Who can describe the pain
Which faithful preachers feel,
Constrained to speak in vain,
To hearts as hard as steel?
Or who can tell the pleasures felt,
When stubborn hearts begin to melt.

The Savior's dying love,
The soul's amazing worth,
Their utmost efforts move,
And draw their bowels forth;
They pray, and strive, their rest departs,
Till Christ be formed in sinners' hearts.

If some small hope appear,
They still are not content;
But, with a jealous fear,
They watch for the event.
Too oft they find their hopes deceived,
Then how their inmost souls are grieved!

But when their pains succeed,
And from the tender blade,
The ripening ears proceed,
Their toils are overpaid.
No harvest-joy can equal theirs,
To find the fruit of all their cares.

On what has now been sown,
Thy blessing, Lord, bestow;
The power is Thine alone,
To make it spring and grow.
Do Thou the gracious harvest raise,
And Thou alone shalt have the praise.

- John Newton

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Our Missionaries...

Bill & Anne are on our weekly prayer list as one of the Missionary teams we support here at First Baptist Church. They, like all Missionaries in dangerous regions, always need our prayers and support. Please remember them often...

Sending out a quick note … we only have 2 days to pack to return to Africa and begin a new term. It has been a busy but a wonderful month. The Call Retreat and World Mission Conference were in early July. Then we headed to Puerto Rico with many of our family members to enjoy time together and celebrate the marriage of our son, Joel, to a wonderful woman whose family lives in PR.  
(photo of Joel and Taisha, July 17, 2016)
Due to continuing crises in South Sudan, Bill returned straight from Puerto Rico to Nairobi, Kenya to meet with members of his team who had evacuated from South Sudan as fighting resumed in the capital city.   He was in Kenya for two days and returned for a shared weekend of deputation in southern Maine and coastal NH.
Now we are back in our home in Maine and packing to leave July 28.
Before flying back to begin a new term, we wanted to let you know how much your friendship, your support, your prayers mean to us.
We will not have access to mail as neither place where we’ll be working (South Sudan and Eastern Congo) have mail service. But we’ll be in touch when we can! 
Love, Bill & Anne Clemmer

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Historical Reality Or Hysterical Revisionism

Inbred Unbelief
Only those discordantly educated and decidedly brainwashed by leftist, quasi-Marxist revisionism, in hotbeds of academia’s ideological inbreeding, fail to acknowledge that the spiritual and moral foundations of our nation, as well as the development of modern Western society and its institutions, are rooted and grounded in theological and philosophical ideas which are clearly Christian.
Many other self-described “liberated minds,” which in honest moments are forced by the facts to concede our spiritual roots, seem convinced that these roots are dead and being properly replaced.  Either way these are the increasingly accepted mindsets of the leadership of most modern Western institutions. 
With regard to the founding of our nation, anyone reading an unbiased account of the 18th century must see that the Great Awakening, the Spiritual revival that swept the American colonies, provided the “…change in religious sentiments” without which the historic events that began in 1776 would very likely have ended as the events in France in 1789.
In the words of historian Paul Johnson:

“…There was a spiritual event in the first half of the 18th century in America, and it proved to be of vast significance, both in religion and politics. It was indeed one of the key events in American history.” “The Great Awakening was thus the proto-revolutionary event, the formative moment in American history, preceding the political drive for independence and making it possible.” “The Revolution could not have taken place without this religious background. The essential difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution is that the American Revolution, in its origins, was a religious event, whereas the French Revolution was an anti-religious event.”

John Adams, looking back years later, wrote:

“The revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the mind and hearts of the people: and change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.”

Some eyewitnesses record that three of every four colonists were touched by the Divine Presence and power during the Great Awakening; and that with no modern means of communication.  
During a 1788 July 4th celebration, Benjamin Rush, physician, patriot, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, said:

“I am as perfectly satisfied that the union of the states…is as much the work of divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament were the results of divine power.”

Indeed, every July 4th we celebrate one of the continuing positive effects of that 18th Century outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit.

From "Third Millennium Antivirus" by John Cerrato, Jr.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

from Tim Timmon's 10000 minutes

Is Prayer Hard To Do?

What Is Prayer?
I have people tell me all the time how intimidating prayer is for them. Public prayer or even just intimate conversations with God throw people off to the point that they don’t feel like a good follower or less than. “Everyone else delivers these beautifully elaborate prayers, but i can’t do that” they say.
Mary Oliver is one of my all time favorite poets and I think she nailed it! Thank you Mary for being awesome...I feel like I know you from your work.
Be encouraged:
“Praying” By Mary Oliver
It doesn’t have to be the blue iris,
it could be weeds in a vacant lot,
or a few small stones;
Just pay attention,
Patch a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate,
this isn’t a contest
but the doorway
into thanks,
and a silence in which another voice may speak.”

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

From the Pastor...

The Single Source
When Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” it included the fact that, even as “born-again” believers, we cannot change our own spiritual condition. (Ref. John 15:1-10) 
We are often advised that repentance and faith, and the ability to love, is a matter of “choice.” Indeed, for spiritual growth and development, there are decisions that we can and must make, but there are some that we cannot make.
We cannot decide to produce God’s love, joy and peace, His patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-discipline, in ourselves, let alone in anyone else.
We can only decide to go to the Source; or neglect the Source: Jesus Himself, through His Holy Spirit. He Himself, as the vine to the branches, is the true Source of spiritual fruit, by His life in us, as we abide united with Him, spirit to Spirit. (Ref. John 15:1-10)
While in ourselves we cannot produce fruit; we can decide and determine to stay connected. Nothing really new; we become like Him by spending time with Him.

“…Beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord (we) are changed into the same image from one degree of glory to the next; even as by the Spirit of the Lord (Jesus).” II Corinthians 3:18
(Parentheses added)

We can make a conscious decision to obey the Savior’s command.

“…Enter the closet and shut the door and pray to your Father, who is in secret; and your Father, who is in secret, will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6
We can decide to pick up the New Testament and read, and prayerfully meditate on the Word of God. We can determine to spend more time in prayer.

In order to break the power of the virulent falsity of the world-system; with its chilling, killing, effect on the eternal-sense and sensitivity of our spirits, we need a word “that proceeds from the mouth of God,” directly to our hearts.  Little wonder pastors and people seem to suffer the weaknesses of spiritual starvation when they not only attempt to “…live by bread alone,” but feed on the husks of the world’s swine pen. (Ref. Matthew 4:4)
As nourishing wholesome physical food is ingested and digested and becomes the very life of the human body, so God’s Word must be ingested and digested as life for the believer’s spirit.
Karl Barth wisely warned against allowing the Bible: 

“…to be replaced by books about the Bible.”

A good place to begin is for twenty-first century followers of Christ to develop a consequential vision. What does God’s word say will be the consequences if we do not wholly obey the commands of Christ: Jesus cautioned us about failing to “count the cost.” (Ref. Luke 14:26-28)
Do we dare honestly face the Bible’s clear warnings regarding the long-term inevitable results of pampering our flesh, compromising with the world-system, and dabbling in sin, with its resultant dullness of vision, and spiritual apathy?

Learning to see life and the world from God’s eternal perspective is vital as a motivation to obedience and continued commitment. This perspective only comes when we obey His command to “Let the word of Christ dwell in (us) richly.” (Ref. Colossians 3:16)

from "Third Millennium Antivirus" by John Cerrato, Jr.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

From the Pastor...

Lost: The Worth Of A Soul
Some evangelicals are fond of disparaging times of revival on the basis of a negative reaction in parts of the Church and/or the inevitable eventual loss of some of the positive social effects. This criticism reveals two misconceptions.
A clear understanding of those genuine periodic visitations of God in history reveals that they are granted: First, to restore the spiritual life of the Church and thus deliver it from self-destruction. By all records, the state of the Church in the world preceding the great revivals clearly and consistently indicates a near terminal spiritual condition. These intervening times of spiritual declension were often accompanied by the infection by potentially fatal ideological viruses, ranging from mild skepticism to outright apostasy.  These were not merely negative reactions to times of spiritual blessing but the continuing assault of the powers of darkness.
Second, God’s primary purpose is not to prolong history by preserving man-made institutions. God’s supreme and eternal purpose is still clearly and simply expressed in the ultimate reason He sent His Son into this world.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

Only the conscious or unconscious replacement of the New Testament emphasis on eternity, and the loss of awareness of the unspeakable tragedy of individuals being eternally banished from heaven, can explain why anyone would downplay the continuous need for a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit’s power upon the people of God.
This casual and widespread acceptance, by Americanized believers, of the replacement and loss of Christ’s clear emphasis on eternity may well expose a deep resistance to facing and renouncing their carnality and “friendship with the world”; the cost of becoming an effective intercessor. (Ref. James 4:4)
The heart-longing for revival is not a matter of wishing for some “good old days” but a God bestowed desire for the reemergence of the felt Presence and power bestowed at that original Christian Pentecost, the return of the Church to prayerful obedience and holiness, and the incalculable gift of eternal life for precious souls.  
During times of genuine “spiritual awakenings” or real heaven-sent “revivals,” with all the excesses and divisiveness, the sanctifying, saving, grace of Christ was seen triumphing in hearts and lives as at no other periods in the history of the Church. Believers who don’t appreciate this, either are ignorant of the documented records or simply have no desire to experience them.