The Connection-September 2010
The Connection-September 2010
The Connection-September 2010
The Connection-September 2010

The Connection-September 2010

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A Newsletter for the Friends and Family of Northfield Baptist Church

Text of The Connection-September 2010

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    September 2010 Volume 5 Issue 8

    Missions Updates 3 NBCS Update 3

    Family Updates 3 Upcoming Events 4

    Allow me to make some observations about people who have grown

    up in church and were saved as children. First of all, I am one of

    them; I grew up with some of them; I went to Bible college with some

    of them; I minister to some of them, and I have fathered some of

    them. While the event of salvation is as miraculous for those who were

    saved early in life as it is for those saved later, the challenges of the

    Christian life can be very different. One of these challenges is what I

    will call the Crisis Point. Although not every believer will face this

    challenge, every believer will probably have close friends or family

    who have faced it (or will).

    The Crisis Point is what I am calling the stage of the believers life

    (often in young adulthood) when he takes a hard look at the

    authenticity of his own faith and beliefs. This believer has little memory

    of life before he trusted Christ for salvation, and prior to salvation had

    likely made no independent life-altering decisions. He has always

    believed what he has always believed and, as far as he is

    concerned, that is what his family has always believed and what

    most everybody else believes, too. But then in the Crisis Point, he

    realizes that he never really chose his own faith, beliefs, or church.

    Enter doubts and anxiety. At this point he looks for some wow

    moments in his life and there are few to be found. He has done a lot

    of good thingschurch things, Christian thingsbut he is plagued by

    questions like, Why do I believe all this? and, What if this isnt really

    (Continued on page 2)

    The Crisis Point by Eric Puff

    Fall FestivalFall FestivalFall FestivalFall Festival Saturday, October 16Saturday, October 16Saturday, October 16Saturday, October 16

    4:004:004:004:00----6:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.6:00 p.m.

    Were reaching and connecting with

    our community through hayrides, face

    painting, carnival games, fall foods,

    and a cakewalk.

    You can help on the festival day, or by

    baking or supplying candy.

    Sign up at the table in the foyer.

  • 2 the connection

    At the Crisis Point, the

    believer must decide how

    he is going to live when

    he can make life-choices

    for himself. More

    importantly, he must

    decide why he will live

    that way.

    The Crisis Point

    true? and, Does everyone pretend to be

    spiritual, or is it just me? Of course, these

    questions can be contemplated throughout our

    whole lives, but they hit especially hard during the

    Crisis Point, when the believer first realizes that he

    should have a vibrant and exciting spiritual life

    but, instead, it feels a little shallow and boring. This

    feeling is often projected onto others, supposing

    that everyone in the church, sitting in the pews

    from week to week, also has what he considers a

    shallow spiritual life. He begins to believe that he,

    and everyone around him, is missing something.

    At the Crisis Point, the believer must decide how

    he is going to live when he can make life-choices

    for himself. What will he do about personal

    devotions, church, dating, marriage, serving, and

    giving? More importantly, why will he do what he

    does? The Crisis Point is a turbulent time when the

    world gets bigger (and tests his faith), nothing

    seems certain, and everything

    is questioned, including his

    own identity and Gods.

    Generally, there are four

    responses to the Crisis Point.

    These responses need not be

    permanent, but they will set

    the pace for the believers

    spiritual life for a time. First, the

    individual can turn away from

    God. Having decided that

    there is nothing genuine in his

    Christianity, he will stop putting

    effort into acts he doesnt

    believe in. A second response

    would be just the opposite. He

    will work through the Crisis

    Point to a deeper relationship

    with Goda life characterized

    by love for God and others, service and spiritual

    disciplines. This is our goal. These first two

    responses are pretty clear and easy to observe.

    The next two are a little more sinister.

    A third response is to accept shallow Christianity

    as a way of life. The Crisis Point convinced him

    that his faith was shallow, but he decided that it

    was an acceptable way to live: going to church,

    being a decent person, neither being too bad

    nor too good. He will blend into the crowd of

    pew-sitters and get lost in a routine that keeps

    him out of trouble, knowing how to speak and

    act in the ways that are expected, but without

    any fire for the Divine. Perhaps this was your

    response, or that of a friend. The person who has

    settled for shallow is in a perilous position. On the

    one hand, he can produce little, if any, spiritual

    results for God. How can a branch that is barely

    attached to the vine produce fruit? The fact that

    it is a branch, and that it is attached to the vine is

    not enough (Jn. 15:1-6). While the branch may be

    attractive enough, our Heavenly Vinedresser will

    not accept or approve of a fruitless branch. He

    will take hold of it and bend it, twist it and prune

    it, until, if it still produces nothing, He will remove it

    altogether. (You work out the implications, but I

    do believe in eternal security.) On the other

    hand, a tree with shallow roots, or a house with a

    sandy foundation, is easily brought down. When

    the storms of life come, and they will, that tree or

    house may outwardly appear identical to the

    others, but its what is deep down below the

    surface that determines whether it will stand. The

    unsuspecting Christian will be

    left nursing a broken life,

    wondering what went wrong.

    The believer who has settled

    for shallow needs the fire of

    Christian zeal to shed light

    upon his listless existence. Will

    that light come from you,

    from us, from our church? Or

    will the personnel of another

    pleasant Sunday come and

    go, condemning nothing

    and convicting no one?

    The fourth response to the

    Crisis Point is neither to work

    through it, nor to turn back

    from it, but to stay in itto

    live in it! This is an especially

    dark choice because it

    provides an artificial depth. It

    seems exciting, because everything is questioned

    and debated, but it never settles anything or

    moves forward in terms of convictions or beliefs. A

    life that is all questions and no convictions,

    however exciting, is under-developed and

    spiritually juvenile. Opting to make a lifestyle out

    of the Crisis Point is not really deepening a

    relationship with God, but elevating uncertainty.

    The church today must be especially wary of this

    condition. There is much in popular Christianity

    that encourages this choice and then preys upon

    it with books, videos and conferencesand it

    should be condemned as those who are always

    learning and never able to come to the

    (Continued from page 1)

    Our goal is to work

    through the Crisis Point

    to a deeper and deepening

    relationship with God

    a life characterized by

    love for God and others,

    service and spiritual

    disciplines.

  • 3

    Dennis and Traci Jacob Ireland

    The Jacobs are looking to do an extended furlough of six

    months beginning in August of 2011. Please pray that God

    would prepare the church to be able to do the ministry without

    assistance during this time of absence. The way the church is

    being prepared is by doing a series on the local church. The

    prayer is that this series will help this group of saints to sense their

    identity in Christ. A church is not a building, nor is it the

    preaching or the singing, but it is Gods ordained dwelling place

    amongst His people. Following this series, he will begin teaching

    Baptist distinctives and will be going over the churchs doctrinal

    statement to help reconfirm them in our most holy faith. The

    church has been challenged to begin seriously praying for a

    pastor to be provided by God for them. Pray that God would

    give wisdom as they look to fulfill their purpose there.

    Bert and Jean Kinsey Retired West Virginia

    Jean teaches the young people (grades 4-6) weekly and Junior

    Church several times a year in their church. She is also busy with

    the Ladies Missionary meetings and helped with VBS this past

    month. Bert is currently teaching 2 Peter in the Adult Class at First

    Baptist Church in Dresden, OH, and fills in on Sundays and

    Wednesdays when needed. He recently taught the four Gospels

    both semesters at Marietta Bible College in Marietta, OH. They

    have been in ministry now for 57 years. Continue to pray for

    them as they serve and for Jean as she works to settle her

    fathers estate and all that comes with that.

    Mis s ions Update

    F a m i l y U p d a t e s

    Co