“VOICE” - Congregational Bible Church Shafter

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Vol. 21 No. 4 Congregational Bible Church of Shafter April 2015
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------“Rescue the Perishing”
“Deliver those who are being taken away to death, and those who
are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back” (Proverbs 21:11).
Titanic was a blockbuster movie about a tragic night in history- the
“unsinkable ship” sank. In the early twentieth century, the Titanic
was the crowning achievement of human technology. And on its
maiden voyage, there may never have been one vessel that carried
more of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful at one time. Yet
the wealth and power were rendered powerless when an iceberg in
the Atlantic Ocean created six small gashes in Titanic’s massive hull
and sent her to the bottom in two hours. For the seven hundred
survivors—more than 1,500 passengers and crew died—the images
of that horrific April night in the North Atlantic are unforgettable.
The brightly lit ocean liner sinking lower and lower, sliding beneath
the water, and then being erased from the ocean’s icy surface.
Yet of all the images of that night, none are more unsettling than
what happened after the Titanic had sunk below the surface. The
survivor accounts of that night tell us that there were only twenty
lifeboats aboard—about half of what was required to fully evacuate
the ship. Most of them were only partially full. As the Titanic was
sinking, many passengers were able to put on a lifejacket, but they
could not find an available lifeboat. They jumped or fell into the
ocean, left floating in the frigid waters, crying into the night for
help. There was room in the lifeboats for hundreds of them! That is
why their fate is shocking. Though those in the water continued to
cry out for someone to rescue them, the people in the lifeboats just
kept rowing away. They thought rescue was too risky. So out of
those twenty lifeboats, only one finally turned back, in time to save
only six passengers.
Three days later when the funeral ships arrived from Nova Scotia,
they were greeted by a ghostly sight: 328 life jacketed men, women,
and children, floating in the water, frozen to death. And why did
they die? Not because the Titanic sank, but because the people who
were already saved would not go back for them.
The Titanic story can paint a spiritual picture. Jesus Christ died on
the cross and was resurrected so that He could rescue men and
women from spiritual death! By God’s grace we are in Jesus’
lifeboat, saved and headed for heaven. And He has put us in life
boats to rescue others for Him. But all around us—where we work,
where we live, where we shop or go to school there are people who
will die spiritually unless someone rescues them. Some of them are
people you know, people you love, people within your reach. In a
sense, God has placed us close to these spiritually lost and dying
people so we might man the lifeboats that give them hope of being
Tragically, to0 many Christians are content to just enjoy their own
safe place in Jesus’ lifeboat. We fellowship with our lifeboat
comrades, sing our lifeboat songs, and even work on ways to make
our lifeboats bigger and more comfortable. Meanwhile, people we
see day after day are drowning spiritually, with no understanding
that God’s one and only Son died so they don’t have to. And they
remain unrescued, because those of us who are already rescued
keep rowing away from them. Will we turn our lifeboats around?
Will we take the risks to give them a chance to live?
An old Fanny Crosby hymn is “Rescue the Perishing.” The first two
stanzas are as follows: “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep o’er the erring
one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. Tho
they are slighting Him, still He is waiting, waiting the penitent child
to receive; Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently, He
will forgive if they only believe.” I hope and pray that we will be
serious about telling others about Jesus Christ-about rescuing those
who are spiritually perishing. - Mike
We want to encourage you to remember our country, our church
families, our church missionaries and our church’s military men in
your daily prayers. Here are a few things you can pray for:
Our Country: Our country’s advisors, our state, military forces,
firefighters, federal and local police officers, border patrol, guidance
counselors, and leaders of local churches.
Church Family: Our church families; strength, wisdom, guidance,
patience and love for one another, our Pastors as they lead us, and
their commitment to supporting the work of Christ, our Youth
Department, The Children’s Center, and those who do not know
Christ (Salvation).
Our Church Missionaries:
Johnny Gravino- GMI
Gooldy’s- CRU
Teen Challenge
Christine Anderson- YLM
Fernando & Silvia Rocha- Mexico
Our Service Men
Brian Henley- Navy
Skyler Rockey- Army
Robbie Lynk- Army
Michael Siemens- Navy
Henry Lantang- IGM
Camps- Dual Reach
Cosbys- WRG
Amber Grainger- All Nations
Gary & Bubbles Henley’s son
Tudor family friend
Hope Denny’s dad
John & Monica Siemens’ son
There will be a Good Friday Service on April 3rd at 7:00 pm at the
First Southern Baptist Church, 250 Kern St., in Shafter.
There will be a Sunrise Service, presented by Teen Challenge, on
Sunday April 5th. It will take place at Mannel Park at 6:30 am.
On Sunday, April 12th, there will be a mission trip meeting
after church.
You can receive church updates via test messaging. Enter this
number: 81010, then text this message: @cbcnews. Then you will be
added to the text message information system.
Ladies Fellowship is planning a Spring Family Potluck directly after
church on April 12; you can sign up on the bulletin board in the
hallway. This is a great time to gather together for food and
Saturday the 4th, there is an egg hunt and movie scheduled for the
children. The movie will begin at 6:30 pm. At dusk there will be a
brief intermission to hunt eggs, and then watch the rest of the
movie while eating the goodies from the eggs.
Transformed News
As a pastor working with young people primarily, nothing warms my heart more than
seeing and hearing a young person stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ in a public setting. I got to
see this first hand at the Distinguished Young Women’s event at the high school on March 20th.
There were only eleven girls participating, but the majority of them are active participants
in local church youth groups. There was a moment where each girl had to answer a question
into the microphone for all to hear. The question was, “What is the one thing you are most sure
of?” It was amazing to hear at least 4 of the girls speak of the knowledge of God, or at least
referencing some truth about God was the one thing they were sure of. Even one girl proclaimed
the gospel by telling the audience she was most sure of the fact that “God sent His only Son to
die on the cross for our sins.” This is a big step of faith for two reasons.
The first reason is how it reflects spiritual maturity. In a platform such as Distinguished
Young Women, the temptation is to flaunt yourself. Your makeup has to be perfect, your
routine: flawless, your smile: continuous, and your public speaking answer: concise and clear.
You are basically trying to present yourself in the best possible light. So, to use the occasion of
a public speaking answer to deflect attention away from yourself, and towards God, is
spiritually mature. It reflects a heart that is pointed toward glorifying God, a desire to exalt God,
and a willingness to deny self. What if the judges don’t appreciate ‘god’ answers, or what if
they don’t believe in God? The girls would be taking a big risk…and they did for the glory of
God. As John the Baptist said, “He must increase, and I must decrease” (John 3:30).
The second reason speaking about God is a big step of faith is because of the possible
repercussions from their classmates. I understand in our small community there are a lot of
Christian students at Shafter High, but do not be fooled, there are many who are just as
antagonistic toward God and the gospel as anywhere else. I wonder if these girls considered the
backlash they might face at school on Monday after DYW. Would their classmates laugh at
them for talking about ‘god?’ Or maybe those classmates would snicker and laugh behind their
back embarrassing them from afar? I think these girls didn’t really mind those possibilities. This
shows maturity in the area of fearing God and not fearing man. Fearing man is caring more
about what people think than what God thinks, but fearing God is caring more about what God
thinks than what people think. These girls showed the fear of God.
I think we could all learn something from these girls. Are we spiritually mature enough
when we are praised or tempted to exalt ourselves, to deflect all honor to God knowing that He
has blessed us with every good thing we have? Or, are we spiritually mature enough to not fear
the thoughts and words of our peers because we care more about what God thinks of us than
what they think?
Some might say the DYW event was not the time or place to talk about God. In return I
ask, when is it going to be the right time or place? We keep telling ourselves that and pretty
soon we have never spoken about God to others. We are forever looking for the ‘right time.’ If
you are looking for the right time, now is the right time. If God has given us the voice to speak,
the words to say, and the listener to hear, then now is the time to speak of the things of God.
Congregational Bible Church of Shafter
430 E. Tulare Ave.
Shafter, CA 93263
Gary Henley
David Aguirre Jr.
Katina Esposito
Janet Ables
Julia Wilson
Lois Parks
Kris Briney
Abbie Lynch
Mert Wiedmann
April Birthdays
16 Brian Henley
17 Blake Henley
18 Penelope Scialabba
20 Mark Scialabba
23 Dorothy Tudor
Jean Ohanneson
27 Kyle Goehring
28 Jennifer Hill
28 Dorothy Neuman
30 Heather Goehring
Mia Lynne Gonzalez