Its that time again, it seems like it was just yesterday we were facing the year 2016 wondering what it would bring, how we would fair, and who would see it to the end. Many have faced it with courage, and fearlessness while others have crumpled underneath it's hardships. There have been many tragedy's which have claimed the lives of people around the world. Likewise there have been many triumph's that have lifted the spirits of people and encouraged nations around the world. In America we have survived yet another election and there will be pro's and con's that we will face as the results for sure. Whether or not you are happy with the results of the election is not relative, because we will all have a new president come January 2017 and this is our Country and what happens from here we will all see together. I am convinced that the person who sits in the President's seat is not the one who will hold our futures, nor will the congress or any other elected official. It is my belief that the Lord Jesus Christ holds our future, and He clearly told us in His word that we would have tribulations in this earth if we chose to follow Him, but not to fear, because He has overcome the World (John 16:33). He also told us through King Solomon, the remedy for a Nation to be restored and healed in His sight, which is found in 2 Chronicles 7:14 which reads “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn (repent) from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (NKJV) Therefore I believe this Country can be Great again, but not in the eyes of men, or other nations, but in the eyes of God. If we will but take the remedy and follow it to the letter, there are great days ahead for America however they will only come through a return of God's people to Him!
Now having said all of that, its time to look ahead to the coming New Year. At our house, which we affectionately call "The White House", 2016 has been quite difficult. My Sweetie (Katherine, my wife of 35 years) has had 4 hip surgeries on the same hip, and a serious neck surgery all in this year, so needless to say we are certainly looking for a New Year to begin. With a New Year many people make resolutions for the coming year. Things they intend to do or determined not to do, most of which never make it through the first week, let alone the entire year. At the "White House" we don't make "New Year's resolutions for that reason. Many years ago we decided that we would take the time to examine our past year, the events that happened, both good and not so good, and see how we handled them, and make a commitment to work harder at those areas of disappointments and discouragement and be more faithful and committed to not allow our lives to be controlled by those situations. We also decided the coming of a new year was also a great time to examine our relationship with the Lord and upon discovering our successes give the glory to the Lord and uncovering our failures commit the the Lord to devote ourselves more in the New Year to His Kingdom work and purpose for our lives. Truth is none of us know what this 2017 will bring to our homes and hearts, yet we all have the opportunity to make a difference in this world if we as Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, commit in 2017 to trust the Lord more with those things we feel we can handle as they appear, then when difficult times and decisions arise, our relationship with the Lord will carry us through these most difficult times.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, everyone who has visited our site, read our news, listened to a sermon or read this blog, because without you and the many others like you we would not be able to share Friendship abroad. It is our prayer that you and your family have the very best New Year in 2017. That you will take this time to reflect upon 2016, your highs and lows, and make a commitment to strengthen your weaknesses in 2017, strive to better your success and devote more time to your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you do not have a Church home and live in the area of our church come by and visit with us. If you have never trusted Jesus as your Savior, I pray that in 2017 before its too late you will take time and invite Jesus into your heart and home as Lord and Savior. If you do not live in this area, you can visit our site anytime you like, listen to sermons and hear the Gospel and the way to receive Jesus into your heart. You can also contact me through this site, by email, or phone or letter whichever is your preference. We have a prayer page you can post your prayer requests there anytime.
May the Lord bless you richly in the New Year is my prayer,
Dr. Roger White, Senior Pastor
Well it have been an while since may last addition to the Blog page. While I must admit I am quite new at this part of this technological world, I have a difficult finding the time to write my thoughts down. Therefore I am trying to broadening my horizons and to do that blogging is a part of it. Please understand that many things during the days, weeks, months distract us from doing what we intend. Case in point, many people do what we affectionately call "Spring Cleaning". I remember as a child hearing my mother and grandmothers say they were getting their spring cleaning done, and while I didn't understand all that it meant, I understood that it was deeply involved. With Spring having now come and leaving it is time we as the church turn our focus upon Vacation Bible School (VBS). VBS is still the best evangelist tool we as the church has. Children throughout the halls of history have attended in some fashion VBS as I did growing up. I hear people all of the time share of their memories of their experience in VBS and almost without fail it is those memories that provokes them to be involved in VBS in their church. The theme or the craft or the music, or maybe it was the snacks they received that impacted them so greatly. I get excited as VBS time approaches because it is a time we can interact with these children who come from all walks of life and learn their names and share the love of the Lord with them. Maybe you have had a experience similar to what I have mentioned that sticks out in the chronicles of your mind. One that has many times brought a smile to your face, or a pleasant reminder of how much the Lord loves you and through that VBS you came closer to the Lord. Maybe you were saved at VBS and forever your life has been effected by someone's desire to share Jesus. As I reflect on years past, I can see many children who invited Jesus into their heart now all grown up with their children headed to this year's edition of VBS.
Our theme this year is and as with any VBS program we are excited to see those faces light up with the music and message about Jesus and to see how Jesus will ignite in them the desire to know Him and to follow Him throughout their lives. The workers have been praying and preparing for their part of this year and we as a church have been praying for the Lord to stir in the hearts of these children. Our VBS is June 5-9 and the time is 6-8:30 PM each night. We would like to invite you and your family to join us this year and let's dive in together "Finding Truth below the Surface" , Its going to be a GREAT time.
As I began this blog, it was about Spring Cleaning, I want to encourage you to take a close look at your personal walk with the Lord and determine if the need is there for some "Spring Cleaning" in your heart. The Psalmist wrote these words which have been quoted many times throughout history " Search me O God and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts" Ps. 139:23. I would encourage you today to do just that. Ask the Lord to search your heart and thoughts and make a clean heart in you.
Have a great summer and until next time, may the Lord bless you richly is my prayer.
Well here we are in the Middle of January and most people have by now made and broken their "New Years Resolution". While most have the best of intentions many had no intention at all to keep and maintain their commitment. This world is a fallen world and so are the people in it. We are living in a time where commitment is thrown out, now it is simply a mentality of self preservation and self satisfaction. Regardless of the point of commitment, home, school, work, marriage, and yes even to the Lord and His House, there seems to be an attitude of only if it makes me happy mentality. When I was a young boy, most everyone I knew went to church, and most everyone I knew was aware of their responsibility to choose their own destination, Heaven or Hell. Today it is as if most folks go to church only when they have nothing else to do or nowhere to go for that day. Many people I come in contact with truly know very little about the Lord and His plans for their lives. In fact we are holding fewer Meetings at the House of God and Many more at the City Halls across America. It is my belief if we would do as the Lord instructed King Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14, to repent and turn back to God and seek His face, then HE, yes God in Heaven will hear our prayers of repentance and heal our land. It is also my conviction that we have allowed the world to affect the church and change how the Lord designed and instituted the Church back in the book of Acts. I believe the Lord Jesus saw the routine of religion infecting the hearts of the people, as He found in the temple money changers and the rut of religious tradition converting the House of God from that of a place of prayer to a place of commerce (Matthew 21:12-13) and He turned over their tables and ran them out of the Temple. Today we have allowed the influence of the world to trickle into the church and change the way she was designed to be. As Christians it is vital we realize that our commitment to the Lord and His house is evident to the outside world the non believers. They can see if we are truly committed to the Lord or not. The Truth is we should show our commitment to God and as a church that committment will show in our homes jobs and schools, and as a result affect or change the world we are in.
The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that any person who have been saved by Jesus, washed in the blood of Jesus, forgiven by the Grace of God is a NEW creation. That in itself implies that through our commitment to the Lord, we should therefore be different from the world, in fact the Apostle Paul concludes this in 2 Corinthians 6:17- that we are to be a separate people, we are to come out from among them, and dare to be different.
I want to encourage you this year to be just that, DIFFERENT from the world, from the normal, from the usual and ordinary. We are to make an impact in our world not let the world impact us. Those 12 men who were there on the day of Pentecost were credited for turning the world upside down for Jesus.
Let's be known in history for the doing the same thing in our world in 2016.
Happy New Year;
Well its the first of December and the world is in a spin trying to get everything finished and every detail completed for the Holidays. The business world is putting the finishing touches on their year in hopes of having that stellar year. The schools are preparing for the close of the first semester and their long for time away from the schedule of school. All the while every family is either looking forward to or dreading the next few days with their greatest passion. Maybe you grew up with elaborate and glorious decorations in your home, or maybe your memories of this time of year is filled with the smell of your favorite Christmas meals and the joy of having families gathered together celebrating and enjoying each others fellowship and company. Or maybe you do not share these ideas of Christmas, or maybe your memories are not so elaborate and you are not so as excited about this time of year as I am and maybe you are not looking as forward as I am about all of the entire Christmas event.
Myself, I am really excited because first of all this is the time of year we celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that the Lord was born to the Virgin Mary and the sole reason He came was to offer an atoning sacrifice once and for all times for fallen man. In this world we live there are many religions. I am satisfied one would have little difficulty finding a religion for any whim one might have. However there are those recognized established religions throughout the world that people profess to be a part of. Me, I choose Jesus personally and here is why. All of the religious systems which are in fact recognized as such and there are over 300 at the current time, all of those systems teaches sinful man must be in search of Holy God. Mankind as we know us indeed are fallen, and all of these systems agree to this fact. All of these systems teach that this man who is imperfect and sinful by nature, must do his diligence to live a certain way to gain God's attention to gain favor in His sight. That we must do something so spectacular and monumental that the gods's will see our actions and shine favor upon us. All of those systems EXCEPT Christianity. Christianity teaches us that yes mankind is fallen, sinful, unrighteous, :Paul said it this way, "all men are under the penalty of sin" (Roman 3:9) and Christianity teaches us that Holy God came looking for us. I am so glad that even though I might live a good life, there is NO way I could ever live good enough to deserve salvation. Neither could I live in such a evil way that God's love and Grace and Mercy could not find me and rescue me. That is the amazing thing about Christianity, Jesus Loves me and came looking for me. for He told Zaccheaus that He came to seek and save those who were lost (Luke 19:10). That was me. lost in my sins, and Jesus came to provide a way that me, a sinful and unholy man could live eternally with Him Holy God. You can too! That is AMAZING Grace indeed.
It is my prayer that you will have a wonderful Christmas, and I want to invite you to come join us at Friendship for worship as we gather to worship Jesus this Christmas.
Thank you and God Bless;
Dr. Roger White
It's time once again to celebrate Thanksgiving, yet many in the world do not realize what Thanksgiving is really about. As we approach Thursday, November 26th, my mind wanders back 34 years ago as I was then preparing for the next adventure in my life. Katherine and I was about to walk down the isle not just for our Wedding, but for life. Who would have thought that these 34 years would have delivered to us the wildest ride of our lives. She had just turned 19, and I was a ripe old age of 20. I thought I knew everything, and that Katherine would simply follow along in my footsteps. Well it is needless for me to tell you that these last 34 years have been anything but interesting because that would be the least descriptive word I could possibly use. We have had many wonderful events during these years. Our Wedding was to simply put it just beautiful. When I saw Katherine come through those double doors at Beulah Baptist Church I was mesmerized. I knew this was going to be a blast. God then threw a kink into our plans for the rest of our Lives and as Paul Harvey use to say, this is the rest of the story. On March 15th 1983, I woke my wife of only 16 months with the news she dreaded the most. God was calling me to preach and I couldn't go any further. Her response was "I'll take you to the emergency room, for I know you've lost your mind". Well I know the following moments, hours, days, and years haven't been all she signed up for but is has been "interesting".
This my friends is the rest of my story. As we have walked down the isle of this life, we have had the joy of parenthood, which brings it own definition of ups and downs. Katherine had a miscarriage with our first child, which taught us that even though our hearts were broken, God was then and still is on the Throne of Heaven ready and willing to comfort us and sustain us through our trial. Heather was given to us in April of 1985, and I thought I have achieved the greatest accomplishment any man could reach. I was right, because by the time I heard her first say daddy, I was absolutely hooked. Shortly after Heather's birth was one of those downward turns life often throw at us. Katherine's Grandmother Elcie Hester went home to be with the Lord. Life had made the attempt to dim our joy of parenthood and we began to understand this course of life a little better. Then came Benjamin in April of 1988, and I had heard from men of the generation before me that we had to have a son???? I had been a daddy (or at least to the best of my ability from the moment of her birth) to Heather for three years and I had difficulty understanding that philosophy. Yet two weeks before Benjamin was born, our lives took another downward turn, when my maternal grandfather passed away from a massive heart attack, and once again life had taken a shot at our joy. However the moment Benjamin was born that pain and sorrow diminished tremendously for not only had I been blessed with Katherine, and Heather, now there was Benjamin, and he was just as wonderful and truly a gift from the Lord. It boils down to this, God intrusted to Katherine and I with two new lives, and we found ourselves beaming with the path God has laid out for us. Children and Grandchildren are a wonderful gift of God which should never be taken for granted. You can see where this is going right? Life will toss you in any and every direction possible, up, down, and side to side. It will beat you and drag you to the end of your road then propel you to the highest high you can have. That is exactly what Katherine and I have experienced, the highest highs and the extremely low of the lows and yet through every jubilation and trial, the Lord has been there with us carrying us every step of the way. The Bible teaches us to "enter into His gates with Thanksgiving" Psalm 100:4; and while we tend to believe this we really don't understand how to be turly thankful. As Katherine and I approach our 34th anniversary, (Friday Novermber 27th) this year it falls on the exact day as it was when we married, and as we look back on our lives we can now see the Hand of God as He has literally guided our every step to this very day. He has provided for us when we didn't even realize He even knew our situation. It is when you are thrown down and trampled by Satan that we come to a clearer understanding of God, as did Job. Our lives are but of a few days and full of trouble and were it not for the Love of God and His merciful hand, we could nor would not be able to survive in this world. However the Word of God teaches us that God will never leave us nor forsake us. We find that in both the Old and New Testaments, to which I concur; If it were not for God, we would not know the meaning of thanksgiving! We would not with mental clarity fully grasp how to offer our thanks and we would not endure from year to year with all of the trials and tribulations. However let me say this To God be the Glory!
Perhaps I can conclude this in this manner, as I sit here in this hospital room and gander at my "Sweetie" there in the bed recovering from this last attempt of this life to keep us downtrodden, I must admit I'm not any better at handling these events now than I was 34 years ago, however I do have a better understanding of our Lord and his purpose for our lives.
Having said all of this to say, Let's take the time this week and everyday from here on and simply to the Lord, say "Thank You" to God in Heaven for saving our souls and for caring enough about us to see that regardless of the events of the day, whether it be a high or low, we are provided for in a Eternal way , Philippians chapter 4 tells us that Our God shall supply our need according to His riches in glory, and I can attest to this truth, He will Honor His Word! As the Apostle Paul stated in his letter to the Church at Rome, " For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39). Now that my friend is something to be truly Thankful for.
If you are reading this and do not know this turth about Thanksgiving nor have this assurance in Jesus Christ personally, please contact me, I would love to pray with you and introduce you to Jesus and through His word show you how to be truly thankful this year. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and put Attn: Pastor in the subject line and let me know how I can help you. Until next time, God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!