Freely Given - May 2016

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3)

One of the things I have found holding many people hostage today, including some Christians, is fear of the future. I think you could agree that much of the fear in our hearts is encouraged by the information bombardment we receive each and every day. It is amazing how much more we are aware of world events than generations before us. Moreover, through the miracle of social media, we are increasingly privy to sordid intimate details in the lives of others. And yet, God’s promise to us in Isaiah 26:3 is just as valid today as to those who experienced the truth of it in years past. As those through whom God desires to offer His message of salvation and deliverance through Jesus Christ, may we be a people whose hearts remain at peace in the face of trying evidence of the living God who dwells within us.

May His peace fill your heart as you focus your mind on Him.

In His Love,
Bro. Todd

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Freely Given - April 2016

This past month we were reminded that the chief mark of a genuine Christian is the love they demonstrate for their brothers and sisters in Christ. Hebrews 10:24 reminds us that one way of showing that love is to “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.” In a healthy church, members are continually seeking to do this.

God is continuing to build unity within his people at Cook Baptist Church. For that unity to continue to grow, this “stirring up of love and good works” must be a central feature of all we do. As each of us reflects upon his or her role in God’s church, may we each seek to be that type of “stirrer.”

LIFT Groups

On Sunday evening, April 10, we will gather in homes as part of our continuing LIFT group ministry. L.I.F.T. stands for Living in Fellowship Together. These groups provide opportunities for members of our Cook family to get to know each other better. We share a meal together, interact with God’s Word together, and pray together. I encourage all of you to take advantage of this special time together.

If you have not yet participated in our LIFT groups and would like to join us on April 10, please let me know as soon as possible. We will be posting a tentative list of the host homes and participants on Sunday, April 3.

Many of our church family have shared how much this ministry has meant to them. If at all possible, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to get to know others in YOUR church as we serve the Lord together.

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Freely Given - March 2016

During the month of March we have several special events in the life of our church. On Sunday, March 6, we will be ordaining three new deacons in the 6:00 evening service—Ed Lary, Mark Taylor, and Gary Pesnell. An ordination council will be held at 4:30 PM in the youth room. All ordained deacons and ministers are invited to the council.

Sunday, March 13 is the date for our community Easter service. It will be held at Temple Baptist Church at 6:00 PM.

Easter Sunday, March 27 will begin with a Sunrise Service at Railroad Park at 7:00 AM. A church-wide breakfast will be served in the church gymnasium at 8:00 am. There will be no evening activities that day.

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Freely Given - February 2016

Pulpit Supply/Pastor Search Committees

Please be in prayer for our Pulpit Supply and Pastor Search Committees as they seek God’s will. Our Pulpit Supply Committee is tasked with giving leadership to our church’s search for an interim pastor. Members of this committee include Steven Breshears (chairman), Brent Gay, Denise Matthews, Beckie Roach, Lou Ann Scriber, Gary Maxwell (ex-officio), and Fred Pee (ex-officio).

The Pastor Search Committee will be leading the search for a permanent pastor. Members include Mel Corley (Chairman), Janet Brown, Jake Haymon, Billy Meyers, Cindy Morgan, Sandra Pesnell, Tim Whittington, Stan Napper (ex-officio), and Marc Taylor (ex-officio).

Casa Alleluia Testimony

Mike Clark, Director of Casa Alleluia, will be our guest speaker during our Sunday evening service on February 21. Casa Alleluia is a Christian children’s home in Guatemala that cares for and raises approximately 400 children. Several of our church family have ministered at the home in recent years.

Teen Challenge Ministry

On Sunday evening, February 28, a group from the Teen Challenge ministry will be leading our evening service at 6:00PM. They will be sharing through music and testimony, with Gary Bentley, Chief Operations Officer of Louisiana Teen Challenge, bringing the evening message. Teen Challenge is a Christian recovery ministry providing help in overcoming life-dominating drug and alcohol problems.

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Freely Given - December 2015

Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

As we approach this Christmas season, may our focus be not only on the gifts we are giving but to whom we are giving them. First and foremost, our best gifts must go to God Himself. He must have priority in our hearts.

As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we also must never forget that Jesus Himself said the reason He came was “to seek and save the lost.” When we join Jesus in His work of sharing the gospel through our lives and resources, we truly are giving to God.

This is why the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is so important. All the money goes directly to support our international mission efforts across the world. As you consider your gift-giving this year, consider a sacrificial gift to this offering.

Christmas Musical at the Library Events Center

As we continue to share Jesus here with the people of Ruston don’t forget to remember Jason and the Ceaseless Praise choir in your prayers as they join with Calvary Baptist Church and St. David Missionary Baptist Church in presenting their Christmas musical on Friday, December 11 at the Lincoln Parish Library Events Center at 6:00 PM. While the musical will be presented on December 6 at Cook, it is our hope that this alternative venue at the library may be attractive to those who would not normally come to a church building.

Please pray and ask God to show you someone you can invite to come and hear the message of Jesus Christ presented through this musical. This is one more way to give to God this Christmas season.

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