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Newsletter For August 2002

The Pastor's Pen 

In March of 1980, a small group of us gathered together for the first Sabbath Worship Service of the Christian Church of God in a small leased storefront space on West 7th Street here in Amarillo. We had worked feverishly transforming a dismal vacant storefront into a cozy sanctuary and ignored the nay Sayers who predicted, as false prophets are wont to do, that this congregation would never live to see it's first anniversary. Well, we have celebrated 22 anniversaries to date. I heard of an old timer rocking away on his front porch when a stranger asking if he had spent all his life in that town approached him. The old timer's response was, "Not yet!" 

We worked and worshipped together with a vision, a dream of building a House of Worship to honor God, not content to "get by" with renting space wherever there was a vacancy. Within six years that vision and commitment led to the purchase of a plot of land on the hill overlooking Quail Creek and the Medi-Park area. We didn't have the funds to buy this choice chunk of real estate, but after touring a couple of other sites that we could afford, the dedicated nucleus of this Church, spoke up and then "put their money where their mouths were" by pledging the funds to needed to purchase this particular plot. What a wonderful day that was, seeing the commitment and faithfulness of this small band of Christians that wanted the very best location possible for our House of Worship.

 Then we all put our heads together designing this House of the Lord. We issued and sold bonds to fund the construction and then gathered together one beautiful autumn Sabbath to "break ground". How exciting it was to see everyone in our congregation, from toddler to the hoary head, grab a shovel and commence the fulfillment of our dream. Upon completion of the structure, we all pitched in and bought a piece of furniture. All you have to do is look around the sanctuary, offices, nursery, audio-video control room, classrooms and Fellowship Hall to see the names on each piece of furniture and equipment. It was truly a labor of love.

 In the month of the 7th anniversary of this congregation, March 26, 1987, this House of Worship was dedicated to the glory and honor of God our Father, and Jesus Christ our Lord. What an exciting day that was. 

And what an exciting day August 24th will be. As we make our final payment on this Church building, we'll be celebrating with a special Worship Service and festivities as we praise God for blessing this congregation so. I want to commend all of you who have remained faithful, committed and loyal to your calling. It has not always been easy and Satan has certainly hurled his fiery darts at us, chaffing at our faithfulness to God.

 2 Pet 1:10-11 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (KJV) 

I thank God for bringing us together and for the Work He does through us. The Gospel is preached, the sinner is baptized, the truth of scripture is taught and shared, we fellowship in the Lord and grow in grace and knowledge. I know how Paul felt about his brethren in Philippi. 

Phil 1:3-6 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (KJV) 

May God continue to bless and use each and every one of you, for the Church is more than brick and mortar, the Church is you, the faithful body of believers that God has called! God bless this Church. 

Jeff Booth

A few years back, more than I care to disclose, I had a client who had a most interesting business card.  It showed a buzzard sitting in a tree with the caption, “patience, xxxx – I’m going to kill something”.  Although the card was designed to be attention grabbing, it also indicates a trend of society, lack of patience. 

Galatians 5 tells us that patience is a fruit (by product) of the Spirit.  While I agree things need to be done on time, (I write this after several pleading by Veronica, and my first thought for a subject was procrastination, since I was so guilty) we as a people live in the age of instant gratification. 

Ask yourself this; how often do you get paid?  Once a week, twice a month, once a month, most people are paid (receive gratification) very soon after they do what ever it is that earned the gratification.   

We have instant coffee, microwave foods, pre-packaged instant lots of things – all of which can cause us to lack patience. 

Look at the really worthwhile things like family and character; both take time!  Both take a great deal of patience. 

It’s easy to say, “be patient” but quite another thing to truly exercise patience on a daily basis. 

Now most of you know I’m not the most patient person in the world, especially any of you who have spent significant time with me, so please be patient as I attempt to give advise on how to become more patient! 

Step one: plan ahead, plans develop structure, structure and systematic actions develop patience.  Predetermination of what needs to be done when helps to avoid last minute impatience. 

Step two: know what is important, what is critical, and what only sounds important.  Simply put, don’t allow items, which may be very loud to distract you from items that are in fact very important.  We become impatient when we have failed to do what is important because we were distracted by what demanded our attention.  This is part of the planning in step one, but has to do more with setting proper priory to activity. 

Step three: Trust others, we will have great difficulty in developing patience spiritually if we fail to trust God.  We will have great difficulty in developing patience in dealing with one another if we fail to trust one another. 

The apostle Paul exhorts us; “but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God in much endurance, in afflictions…in distresses…in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love”. 

Which brings us to the final step in becoming more patient; be more filled with love!  This is the real key to patience, love is putting the interests and well being of others in front of our own interest; impatience is putting yourself first! 

So, when you see the bird of the air, remember God provides for them, the buzzard doesn’t need to be impatient and neither do we.

-Joe  Kirkpatrick

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