Freely Given - February 2017

"For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.” Hebrews 10:36

This past month we received news from our Pastor Search Committee that the process of finding a new Senior Pastor at Cook will take longer than had been expected. And yet, the committee shared that they are not discouraged as they are continuing to see God’s hand at work through the process.

Yes, waiting on God’s timing in our pastor search process will apparently require more patience…more endurance than we originally had thought. And yet, we continue to seek the Lord and know by past experience that He is always faithful. He even tells us that endurance is necessary for us to receive what He has promised. Please continue to pray for our Pastor Search Committee and thank the Lord for them.

Pastor Search Committee
Mel Corley, chairman
Janet Brown
Jake Haymon
Billy Meyers
Cindy Morgan
Stan Napper
Sandra Pesnell
Marc Taylor
Tim Whittington

Todd Free

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Freely Given - January 2017

As we begin the new year and our thoughts turn to what this year may hold, it is vitally important that we re-submit our hearts to our Lord Jesus and to His plan for our lives. As Lord of our lives it is He alone who has the right to set the agenda for our year. While only God knows what the future holds, we can gain insight into His desires for our future by examining His Word. In the Scripture, we discover that the ultimate will of God for our lives is to conform us to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). Therefore, we know that the character we see displayed in the life of Jesus is the character that God is seeking to develop in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

First and foremost, we see in Matthew 20:26-28 that the heart of Jesus is that of a servant. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Though we know from Scripture that God has great plans for our lives within His kingdom work, we must be careful to not let the world’s standard for greatness cloud our understanding of God’s will. In Luke 14 we are told that Jesus was eating at the home of a prominent religious leader when He noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table. He then proceeded to reprimand them for doing so. He finished with the following statement: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (v.11)

While the world’s philosophy may be to focus on seeking honor for ourselves at all costs, God’s design is that we do the exact opposite, that is, we seek to serve and not to be served. We seek to meet other’s needs and not continually look to others to meet our needs. We must understand that even though our lives here on earth may seem insignificant in the world’s eyes, if we are seeking to please our Lord Jesus, He will transform them into significant lives in His eyes. We must remember that what God is doing through our lives will not always be evident here on earth. In fact, it is likely that most of what God has accomplished through our lives will not be revealed until after we pass on into eternity. Think about the life of the widow in Mark 12:41-44 who gave all she had to live on to the temple offering. Although her life was overwhelmingly insignificant in the world’s eyes, Jesus used it to teach a profound truth to His disciples for centuries.

Before we plunge headlong into the year 2017, why don’t we take some time to re-commit our lives to God’s plan. To acknowledge that He is Lord and He has the right to place us wherever He so chooses. May the Lord Jesus be glorified in our lives this year!

Todd Free

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Freely Given - December 2016

December is usually a busy month for most of us and this year is no exception at Cook Baptist Church. We will be blessed with special opportunities to experience the Christmas story through musicals and carol singing. We will share the love of Jesus through gift-giving and ministering to the needs of others. We will fellowship with each other and celebrate this time of year with our families. Sometimes all the extra activity can wear us out emotionally and physically.

Let me challenge you this year to ask God to reveal Himself to you in midst of these activities and to remind you of the real meaning of Christmas. As we approach the busyness of the Christmas season, please do not let activity overshadow your ability to reflect on the miracle of God’s coming to earth as a little baby.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus. May this be a special Christmas season in the life of your people here at Cook Baptist Church.

Todd Free

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Freely Given - November 2016

Community Service

Our community Thanksgiving service will be held on Sunday evening, November 13, at First Baptist Church, Ruston. We will be transferring our evening service to First Baptist that night. The service will begin at 6:00PM.

Thanksgiving Meal

Our church-wide Thanksgiving meal will be held in the gymnasium on Sunday evening, November 20. The meal will begin at 5:00PM.

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Freely Given - October 2016

LIFT Groups

Our next LIFT Groups are scheduled for Sunday evening, October 2, at 6:00 PM. If you did not get a chance to sign up during the September sign-up period but would like to participate, please let Bro. Todd know as soon as possible.

CLI Classes

Jesus Among Other Gods -- 4-week study by Ravi Zacharias comparing the absolute truth of the teachings of Christ to the message proclaimed by Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.

Time/Location:  Sundays at 4:30 PM in the College Cave
Cost:  $8 for optional book

Entrusted -- a new 6-week Beth Moore ladies’ study on the book of 2 Timothy.

Time/Location:  Thursdays at 9:30 AM in Room 111
Sundays at 4:30 PM in Room 111
Cost:  $10 for the workbook

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