Smart Notes...From Bro. Jeff - December 2018

GRACE BASED PARENTING CONFERENCE AT COOK. Hey, parents, and all of you who have influence in the life of a child could you use a little bit of encouragement and help with your parenting? I think we all could, because raising our kids is one of the hardest things we’ll ever do. Well, help is on the way! Bestselling author and speaker, Dr. Tim Kimmel, will be at Cook Baptist Church LIVE AND IN PERSON on January 20, 2019 with the Grace Based Parenting conference.

This is going to be a great event, packed full of fun practical advice and biblical insight as Dr. Kimmel encourages you to parent your kids the same way God parents His kids – with grace! Don’t miss the conference that can change your family forever! Get registered today!

CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE! Babies are some of the great-est gifts from God and they remind us of God’s greatest gift to the world born to a special, chosen set of parents, Mary & Jo-seph. We know that this date, December 25, is probably not the actual day that Jesus was born, but it’s just the day that we as Christians celebrate His birth.

As we celebrate this season, and as we prepare to celebrate on that special day, let me encourage you to make sure that you are celebrating Him and His birth with your family. Take the opportunity to attend church together (note the opportuni-ties in this newsletter). By doing that, you can help to ensure that your heart stays focused on what really matters during this busy time of year. It’s all about the baby!

2019 IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER! As we approach the New Year, it’s funny how the same need always confronts us as believers, namely our need to become more like Jesus. In the early church there was such a close tie to Jesus that in Antioch His followers were called “Christians” for the first time. They were so in love with Him that He was in their lives and on their lips wherever they went in their world.

This kind of identity doesn’t just happen; it’s the result of a steadfast commitment to being His disciples. This year it’s my prayer that we will be a people who will be about building God’s family; where our focus is on the spiritual reality of per-sonal and corporate disciple making in the church.

There’s an old saying that goes “changed lives change lives.” I think this is the reason the early church has such an amazing impact on their world. Having been changed by Jesus, they changed the world one person at a time. Do we really want to see people of Lincoln Parish experience revival? If we do, we must make the commitment to personal spiritual transformation. Eugene Peterson is right when he says that “discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction.” That direction is toward Jesus this and every year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Smarts. We love you with the love of the Lord!

Pastor Jeff

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Smart Notes...From Bro. Jeff - November 2018

There’s an old praise song that goes “We’ve got so much, so much, so much, so much, etc., etc. …..to be thankful for!” And do you know what? The message is still true in each verse:

1) “We’ve got Lord Jesus to be thankful for!” I’ve never know or experienced that more than now. Jesus is doing so many wonderful things in our fellowship. Cook Baptist just had its 98th anniversary and we’re seeing growth in all the different ministries of our church! The music ministry, student ministry, college ministry, children’s ministry and women’s ministry are all a huge blessing each and every week. Awana Club is in its first year and continues to surpass all expectations. We’re sending more of our own people out on mission trips all over the world than ever before! Thank you, Father, for Jesus!

2) “We’ve got our families to be thankful for!” This year marked the 33rd anniversary of the smartest human decision I ever made, next to my Lord: the day Susan Ball from Rayville, LA said, “I do” and became my wife. Thank you, Father, for Susan. And thanks also for this time of the year we call “Thanksgiving” when our family is able to get together. Susan and I have so much to be thankful for in this area: Four awesome children who love Jesus and serve Him. Thank you, Father, for family!

3) “We’ve got each other to be thankful for!” How true this is when it comes to friends and members of this awesome church called Cook Baptist Church. I’m grateful for the staff with whom our Father has allowed me such a privilege to serve alongside. And then there are the hundreds of friends who’ve demonstrated the love of Jesus and love for His church that can only be explained by what Jesus said: “Upon this Rock I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). He is building us, and I can’t wait to see what the completed project is going to look like when Jesus returns. Until that time, let’s stay close to Him and to each other and work until He comes! Thanks you, Father, for the family called Cook Baptist Church!

Happy Thanksgiving! I look forward to seeing you and your loved ones this Sunday at Cook!
I love you with the love of the Lord,
Pastor Jeff

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Smart Notes...From Bro. Jeff - October 2018

Throughout the month of October we will be in a new sermon series called “Great Relationships”. From the time we are born, relationships are constantly shaping who we are and how we engage with the world around us. Beginning with how we see ourselves, we develop a view of God and others that impacts the way we relate as a single, as a married couple, as parents and even as grandparents. In this series called Great Relationships we will look at relationships the way God intended them to be. Because He has gone to extraordinary lengths to relate to us, we have the potential to build great relationships with one another. Embracing God’s love and receiving His grace changes the way we relate to Him, our family, our friends, and ourselves. Don’t miss this five part series at Cook Baptist Church beginning October 7th at 10:15 AM.

I look forward to seeing you and your family this Sunday at Cook! I love you with the love of the Lord!

Pastor Jeff

Mark your calendar:

October 29, 2018 – One Day Trip to Biedenharn Museum and Gardens in Monroe with Pastor Jeff. Leave church @ 8:30 AM; Cost: $6 plus lunch at Cracker Barrel. Call church office to sign up!

December 11 – 14, 2018 – Christmas Retreat in Branson, MO with Pastor Jeff. Deadline for $50 deposit: October 25. Brochure available in church office.

April 1 – 6, 2019 – The Ark Encounter & Creation Museum Retreat with Pastor Jeff. Includes motor coach transportation, 5 nights lodging including 3 consecutive nights in the Cincinnati area, 8 meals: 5 breakfasts and 3 dinners, daily devotions/worship and admission to the ARK ENCOUNTER, CREATION MUSEUM AND NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER. Brochure available in church office.

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Smart Notes...From Bro. Jeff - September 2018

Wow! These are special times here at Cook Baptist Church. God is moving in so many ways in the many ministries of our church. Thank you for your continued faithfulness and support in all areas of ministry. Let’s keep moving forward and finish strong!

As a coach would remind his players of the game, I would like to remind us of the fundamentals of being a genuinely friendly church. Let’s remember the simple principles below:

  • Always seek to speak an encouraging word to our guests.
  • Focus on our strengths and seek to improve our weaknesses.
  • Be thoughtful and Christ-like in every relationship.
  • Treat others as we hope others will treat us.
  • Ask, listen and hear – to determine the felt needs and potential of each newcomer.

Four basic needs of people:

  1. The need to feel welcome
  2. The need to be understood
  3. The need to feel important
  4. The need for comfort.

Matthew 7:12 tells us “in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…”

Stan Toler once said, “Every person in the church must understand his or her unique role in making ministry to guests happen.”

Luke 9:11 says, “But crowds learned about it and followed Him. He welcomed (emphasis mine) them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.”

William Easum said, “Assimilation begins in the parking lot, not when people return for a second visit or join the church.”

1 Peter 4:9-10 says, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

I look forward to seeing you and your family this coming Lord’s day in family Bible study and worship.

I love you with the love of the Lord,
Bro. Jeff

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Smart Thoughts...From Bro. Jeff - August 2018

In today’s life, it seems like every decision we make is a big one. What’s right? What’s wrong? Who do I listen to? It’s not easy to hear the voice of God when the world is speaking so loudly! However, God says we’ll be blessed if we listen to His voice and remain true to what we know is right and wrong according to His word. As Christians, God expects us to discern His voice amidst all the other voices that come our way. Therefore, we have to speak to God often. If we only speak to Him once a week, once a month, or once a year, we won’t be able to recognize His voice. We have to have a personal, everyday relationship with God so that we can recognize His voice amongst all the other voices that are speaking so loudly. Pray to God daily. Seek His face in every situation. He is faithful to His followers, and He wants to be the center of your life and my life!

Awana Club is coming to Cook Baptist Church beginning September 5th! AWANA is a Bible-centered kid’s program for PreK3- through 6th graders. We’ll provide a place for children to make friends; play exciting games; learn God’s Word, learn to apply scriptures in their life by becoming involved in missions, and receive awards as encouragement for their efforts! Our goal is to reach boys and girls with the Gospel of Christ and train them to serve Him! You can REGISTER at: www.cookbc.org.

One of the greatest honors a pastor can place upon another is an invitation to preach in his church. On August 8th at 7PM, I will be preaching the Wednesday night revival service at Fellowship Baptist Church in Dubach with Pastor Connie Smith. Pastor Smith has shared with me his desire to see God’s Spirit move in power during this week of services, so please be praying for your pastor that I will preach the Word of God in a manner that will allow the Holy Spirit to draw people to Jesus.

August 12 – Church-wide Homemade Ice-Cream Fellowship after the evening service. We will have a very surprise guest as our entertainment! I promise you don’t want to miss it!
August 19 – Special prayer for new school year during 10:15 service.
August 22 – Awana Club worker’s meeting, 6:30PM.
August 29 – Awana Club Parent Orientation, 6PM.
September 2 – Fan Day at Cook. Wear your favorite team colors. Since we have people from different parts of the country, I can’t wait to see which teams will stand out in the crowd! This Sunday would be a great time to invite some neighbors, co-workers and friends to join you for worship. If they are a sports fan, this is a perfect opportunity to introduce them to our church.
September 5 – Awana Club Official Kickoff, 6PM.

I love you with the love of the Lord!

Pastor Jeff

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