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Encounter Church

Our The Monthly Encounter

Where do you Stand?  by Pastor Willie Berry

June 1,2020

     Where is the church on this issue? This is a question many seem to ask nowadays. In a world where people have seemingly lost direction, we see more and more people asking what a denominational or local body has to say about particular issues concerning the world. Many seek the church to speak a balm of healing to their woes and hurts. Many even seek the church to reinforce their worldview or ideology.

     It is seemingly a stark contrast as for many years the world has asked the church to be silent. But in a time of turmoil as always the world seeks to find answers. Maybe a different question should be asked. The most impactful question that may be asked now is not where does the church stand. The most important question is does the church stand on the word of God?

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3 NIV

     Paul instructs his spiritual son Timothy not bow to social pressure and to let the world define the narrative and message that is to be projected for the church. He tells him to keep his head and perform his ministerial duties well. Today is a clarion call for the church to promote the word of God. This would not be the most popular approach, but the necessary approach.

Today we as the church must feel a call to abandon the need to be socially acceptable. We must embrace a view that is loving but biblically correct. The questions we hear now let us know that people are searching for truth. But we must be armed with a biblical perspective to handle the tough questions.

What does the Bible say about race?

What does the Bible say about sexuality?

What does the Bible say about marriage?

What does the Bible say about the family and relationships?

What does the Bible say about social justice?

Where does the Bible stand _________?

May we endeavor to search the scriptures and be armed with the answers to questions the lost are seeking? May we abandon political and social opining and pick up biblical substance. The world is searching. Will we have the answers? Where do you stand?

My Story by Carolyn Revels

jJune 01.2020

     For many years, I was a depressed Christian. I loved the Lord dearly and even knew that I was going to heaven when I died. However, I was unable to discover the joy of His presence on earth. I felt removed from hope and peace. When I was going through my divorce, I learned to rely on the Word of God as a miraculous healing drug and also a wise and faithful counselor. The very words found in the Bible are powerful vitamins of the very best kind!

     “You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11)

Joy is found wherever He is. His voice is heard in the symphony of worship and in the giggle of a baby. He is found comforting widows and brokenhearted parents. He is there in unending days of loneliness and in the piles of tissues by your bed. When I am being overtaken by the deceit of my emotions, what I really need is more of Him. When my joy begins to fade and is replaced by loneliness or depression, I am gently reminded by the Holy Spirit, “Carolyn… if you are lacking joy , guess who moved?”

     Joy is found when I relentlessly choose more of Him and less of me; it is found when I understand the value of intimacy with the Lover of my soul. Joy is a strenuous discipline that only the desperate are brave enough to choose. I must choose His presence in spite of the world that roars around me. The joy of His presence is guaranteed to fill you to overflowing and will give you the miraculous gift of abundant life.

My Advice to you:

Choose a Scripture that has the word “joy” in it and memorize it.

Sing a favorite worship song.

Whisper a prayer for someone other than yourself.

Read your Bible for at least 5 minutes every day.

My Father by Elizabeth Campbell

June 01, 2020

       As Christians we have both an earthly father and our heavenly father. My earthly father is generally reserved, keeping to himself when it comes to most things. Don't get me wrong, he has plenty of opinions but he has also learned through his years the impact that his words can have. Throughout my life he has given me and my siblings tons of useful advice on many topics. One thing that always stuck with me was how he taught us to speak up for ourselves and others.

      I'm certain that sometimes he regretted teaching us to question things and speak up, especially when he made up his mind about not allowing us to do something we wanted, but ultimately this allowed us to have a voice and taught us that our voice is one of the most powerful tools we own. My mother would also tell us "You have to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything."

     Likewise, our heavenly father also speaks upon this lesson. Isaiah 1:17 tells us “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and please the widow’s cause,” When we speak up against the mistreatment of God's children, we are in turn, doing God's work by being the salt and light. Many people don't realize that when they choose silence that is compliancy with things the way they currently are. When we see people being mistreated and we choose to be quiet, that silence tells them we see no value to in their lives. 

     The Bible says in Proverbs 31:8-9 NLT “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Showing love and compassion for others who are experiencing oppression and mistreatments by using our voice to shine light on evil is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:1‭-‬2 NIV says "Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

      We all deserve the same rights & fairness of trial as Americans. After all as Malachi 2:10 tells us "Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?" We are all sinners, but how lucky are we that we are ALL covered in His grace? How beautiful and merciful our Lord and Savior is. We could all stand to be lend some grace and our voice to our fellow humans. When we care for God's children, He sees it as a fragrant offering and there is no greater gift we can give our Heavenly Father this Father's Day then to care and love for one another. 

Carolyn Revels                    June 7

Tela Hunter                          June 7

Norma Bauman                  June  7

Jordan Aliff                          June 10

Dashelle Hunter                 June 11

Benita Ghadiali                   June 12

Lisa Rosinski                       June 12

Nichole Smallwood           June 13

Robert Jovanovski             June 13

Jayles Kataraia                     June 18

Phylis Charles                     June 19

Kathy Barefoot                  June 21

Victor Baez                         June 22

Brandon Smith                 June 25

Christopher Smallwood Jr.

..........................................June 30