-- People I have known for long time have left us. The most recent being Rev. Bertha Perkins founding pastor of New Fellowship Baptist Church in Nashua NH. Bertha was one of the most sacrificial, dedicated pastors I have ever known. I remember when Pastor Bertha lived in an apartment on West Hollis Str. in Nashua. Her apartment was in a storefront on a block of three units. She lived in the middle unit between the church’s thrift store and food distribution center. Her door exited onto the side walk. Everyone knew where Pastor Perkins lived. One day I was in Nashua and unexpectedly realized I had some free time, so I went and knocked on Bertha’s door. I was met by her handing me a paper bag and saying, “If you are going being sick, you can’t do it on my doorstep.” When she saw it was me, we went in, sat down, laughed together, and then I heard the rest of the story. Like Rafael Bonilla, Arthur Hilson, Henry Fleming, and Everett Palmer, these friends and co-laborers are people I will miss, and yet will someday see them in a place where nothing bad ever happens.
--I welcome resuming worshiping with churches on Sunday morning. It is simply good to see people face to face, shake hands, embrace, sing and pray together. Most people I meet have gravely missed being together in a physical space of worship. We may still face challenges with COVID-19 variants and zoom will now always be with us, but the clasping of a hand or hearing the song filled voice beside you, cannot be replicated via streaming. Having said that, please remember ABCVNH’s annual meeting at the Fireside Inn in West Lebanon, NH on October 15th and 16th. The last time when over 200 us gathered, we ended singing in a full voice, encouraged for the future by our speakers, workshops, conversations, and worship. Please, let’s prayerfully gather again, expecting the Holy Spirit to work in the smallest of details.
-- I am still perplexed why so many Christians are anxious and angry. Thinking about this, reading different thoughts and opinions, I wonder if the spiritual forces in high places, seek to obscure the Gospel with any and all ideologies and messages that demands a loyalty that belongs only to Christ? Furthermore I wonder when the Gospel is obscured in our fallen nature, we Christians make choices about what evils we will be comfortable with? Jesus cast the demons out of the man and into the pigs, but the people ask Jesus to leave, because maybe they are more comfortable with evil than with the pursuit of holiness.
--My favorite Psalm of the summer has been Psalm 85.
--Questions about the “church’s future” present themselves often, and I do my best to answer. But I do believe the answers are as timeless as Christ Himself. While we sort out a new way of “doing church” and pursuing the mission, the Gospel is timeless. Christ never leaves us alone, and the Holy Spirit still convicts, comforts, and directs. All that is good comes from God. But we can also ignore or not comprehend this grace and common grace. Humility before God and others leads to righteousness. “Seek first the kingdom of God. . . . “
In Jesus name, Dale
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