Friday, November 29, 2019

Let the Festivities Begin!

Friday, November 29, 2019 

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season can “officially” begin. Here at North Side Baptist Church we have many special programs and activities planned for this season.  For your convenience we have listed those events below:

Holiday Events at North Side Baptist Church for 2019




·        CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE - DECEMBER 24 @ 4:00 PM and 5:30PM

You will not want to miss any of these special events during the Christmas season.  Mark your calendars today!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Give Thanks

The staff and families of North Side Baptist Church wish you and your family a very Blessed Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Discontentment in Paradise

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Submitted by Lara Cook

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17

Adam and Eve were in literal paradise. The Garden of Eden was lush and green and covered with beautiful plants and it contained everything they would ever need.  God had given them this amazing place to live – paradise on earth.  Everything in the garden was for them – except for one tree. God told them not to eat the fruit from one tree, but every other thing in the garden was theirs. 

Why talk about this story at Thanksgiving?  Because our human nature is to want more and to be ungrateful for what we have been given.  Adam and Eve were siting in paradise but where did they focus?  On the ONE thing they could not have.  Their lives couldn’t get any better, but Satan was able to get them to look away from the abundance of God’s gifts and look and the deprivation of one thing.  Satan will always try his best to get us to focus on what we don’t have, even if we have paradise in the palm of our hands, and he doesn’t have to try very hard.  We make it really easy for him.

The real fall in the Garden was discontentment with what God had given. They had a choice as we do, to choose contentment that only comes from God or to choose to find it in what is forbidden by God.  What Adam and Eve didn’t grasp was that God had forbidden that fruit for a reason and it was to protect them.  And God knew that to not choose Him would be to lose the goodness of the gift He had given them.  We become so blinded by our discontentment that we don’t see our blessings.  We become so deceived by Satan that we chase that contentment in what God forbids, and we end up more discontented than ever.  We lose our paradise.  All God has given is good and all that is against His word is not good.  He gave us the freedom to choose, just like He did Adam and Eve.  This Thanksgiving focus on the blessings around you and don’t be lured into focusing on what is not.    

Scripture to Claim:
Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:20

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Impossible Things

But Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.  Matthew 19:26

This week of Thanksgiving is the time we all look a little harder at what we have to be thankful for. But ialso is the time when we feel a little deeper the things we dont havenot material things, but things of the heart that are missing.  Sometimes it is a loved one that has passed away, so Thanksgiving and the holidays are feeling a little different, a little like visiting a strange place.  Maybe it is family conflict and you are not looking forward to spending the holidayseparated from family or worrying about time together turning into a quarrel.  Maybe you have been struggling finically and not having electricity to heat your home is what you are facing - and forget about having a Christmas for your kids. 

It is hard to think about giving thanks when our hearts hurt so badly.  Our vision and perspective are seen through the lens of our struggles, so nothing seems festive or exciting about this time of year. In fact, all the seasonal cheer can make us feel even worse. Your prayer may sound something like  Dear God, please let ________ and ________ have grace and forgiveness for each other and at least get along for Thanksgiving; and help my mom to be pain free this Thanksgiving.  Also, please help me to have enough money to pay all my bills and maybe buy a small gift for my daughter. And my marriageGod I dont even know how to pray. I know you are a big God, but I have so many problems, and they all seem so impossible...

If this sounds like your prayer this Thanksgiving season, you can be thankful because God is faithful and with Him all things are possible.  Our lives shatter all around us and it feels like there is no hope, but God can take a million broken pieces and make it into something even more beautiful than it was before. And though it is hard to wrap our minds around, we already have everything that could ever bring us all the joy.  See, the absence of family troubles, the absence of pain and sickness, the full bank account, or the perfect marriage are not what will bring us joy and make us thankful.  The real and true secreof joy and thanksgiving is to know what we have in Jesus Christ and to give thanks continuously. God doesnt just give us joy, He gives us Himself and lets us learn that He is true joy.  For that we can be truly thankful, every day of our lives. 

It is easy to just sit and feel the pain, worry, or grief because it weaves its way through our beings. It rings loud like a gong in our heads and it steals our joy and thanksgiving. Satan wants us to focus on everything we dont have and not on God.  Give God your broken heart and your impossibles.  Hand them over and be thankful for His infinite wisdom and perfect ability to handle everything we throw at Him. He is capable and never overwhelmed by our issues. He may not take away every pain and fix every problem immediately, but in all these things we can find the fullness of joy if we are looking at Him. His presence brings us the fullness of joy we crave. During this holiday season, focus on what you already have, a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants the best for us.

Monday, November 25, 2019

In Every Season and In Every Circumstance

Monday, November 25, 2019  Some Material taken from In Due Season by Van Houser
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10 ESV

Every day is a good day to start something new and good for you.  Brother Van’s sermon yesterday was about time, seasons, and reaping what we sow. If we want good things in our lives, we have to put forth the effort, and then it still takes time to see the fruits of our efforts. Nothing happens instantly. Time is really a part of every single aspect of life.  There is not a part of life that is not affected by time. Take raising kids for example - although there are days that literally drag by, it really does happen so fast. It feels like forever when they are 100% dependent on us, but the next thing you know they are graduating from High School. Time and waiting on God’s timing for our lives is something we have to learn to accept - and rest in - or it will steal the joy from our lives. Part of the waiting and trusting in His timing is recognizing that there are seasons in our lives and circumstances in our lives, and we cannot control either one.  We can embrace them and trust in His perfect plan. 

Seasons of Life
God created the earth and our lives to operate in seasons. A season in our life is a time frame that has been allotted for something to happen...which affects the future.  There is a lot of change in life, but nothing in our lives happens by accident.  Every single thing, good and bad, is appointed by God and we should give thanks for every season, even the hard ones. We experience all these things in life because God, in His complete sovereignty has ordained all of them for our lives...the bad, the difficult and the painful as well as the pleasant, the comfortable and the delightful. It all comes from the hand of God, even when none of it makes sense to us.

Circumstances of Life
Letting our experiences dictate our happiness and peace is not God's plan. We have no control over many of the circumstances in our lives.  But we do have control over our reactions and what we do with ourselves in the midst of difficult circumstances.  Circumstances without purpose can wear us out. Just going through the motions in life can will cause us to be apathetic, bored, and empty. If our heart is not involved, we will have no initiative or ownership in anything we do.  God's design and desire is to control our lives to produce the purpose and fulfillment He has planned for our lives. Being responsible to God with time in life can bring us the peace, joy, and fulfillment we have been trying to produce on our own. When we discover God's purpose then we can also discover His power and peace.  We all should ask ourselves “How much of my daily life is under God's control?"

Four things we can remember in the seasons of life:

  • Choose Faith Over Frustration - Trust God and His wisdom that He will use every season of our lives to accomplish His purpose for our lives.
  • Choose Gratitude over Grumbling - Complaining doesn’t change anything, so instead look for God in the circumstances and see what gift of the season you can find.
  • Choose Good over Gain - All the things in the world will not satisfy your aching soul the way doing something kind for someone else will. 
  • Choose to Reverence God rather than Fear Life - Living in fear of what can happen in life will steal your life.  We don’t have the perspective that God does.  We can only see a short distance, but we make ourselves miserable imagining things that will never happen. 

Our AWESOME God is present in all the seasons and circumstances of life working
out His eternal plan!  We stand in “reverent awe” before Him.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

In Due Season Sermon Notes

In Due Season
Galatians 6:7-10 – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

Sooner or later what we sow, we reap, but the thing that is so deceptive is that we reap in a different season.

Timing is everything!

The Foundation for this Law - Genesis 8:22

A season in our life is a time frame that has been allotted for something to happen.

The harvest never comes immediately after planting; for while the earth abides, there is seedtime and harvest, winter and summer, etc.

The "in due season" Principle - at the appropriate, appointed time - men will reap that which they have sown, whether good or bad.


     I.    Life is Full of Change, But Not of Chance  Ecc. 3: 1

One who tries to live all of the positives without learning how to deal with the negatives will fail in life.

·         The variety of life provides experience.

Wisdom is the ability to properly apply knowledge.

·         The spectrum of life provides opportunity.

Life isn’t really random after all. The word translated “season” in verse one is properly translated “appointed time”.

    II.    Life Can Be Glimpsed But Not Grasped  Ecc: 3:9-10

·   Circumstance without purpose produces weariness.

·   Circumstance without purpose produces boredom.

·   Circumstance without purpose produces emptiness.

  III.    Life Can Find Purpose and Value in Due Season  Ecc. 3:3-11-13

Every moment God controls is an eternal act.  


·   Choose Faith Over Frustration  Ecc. 3:11,14

·   Choose Gratitude Over Grumbling  Ecc. 3:12a-13

·   Choose Good Over Gain Ecc. 3:12b

Nothing happens outside of God’s control and character. Proverbs 19:23

“The Best Preparation for Tomorrow is the
Right Use of Today"

Friday, November 22, 2019


Friday, November 22, 2019 by Lara Cook

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Selective thanksgiving is something we all have done possibly without realizing it.  We are thankful for what we see as beneficial to our life and health, and we are thankful for what we like and the prayers that are answered the way we think they should be answered. True thankfulness is not merely acknowledging what we see as good, but accepting what He has given as good, and that means even giving thanks for some hard things. 

In Luke 22:19 Jesus shows us the way to give thanks.  He is about to be crucified and He knows it – not the circumstances most would feel thankful for, yet He was thankful for the grace and glory that was to result form the cross.    And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.  The Greek word for “thanks” in this verse is eucharisteo.  Ann Voskamp explains this word beautifully:

The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.” Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. Chara. Joy.

When we give God thanks for the gifts He gives, He gives another gift back to us – joy. When we can be grateful and joyful in every circumstance, we see things differently.  Our perspective changes. Thanksgiving is not just a day, it is a way of life. That means that we don’t have to wait for things to change or get better or search endlessly for some elusive fairy tale called joy.  It is here and now, in every circumstance, when we can give thanksgiving to God.   

A heart of gratitude will be a content heart.  Pain, gratitude, and contentment can actually co-exist even though it may not be our favorite trio of feelings.  Being thankful in all things certainly doesn’t mean we are thankful for the circumstances we are in. It means that – in spite of the circumstances we are thankful because we know and understand who God is.  Ann Voskamp also said Thanksgiving is the one thing God asks to be done in everything and always…He knows what precedes the miracle.  In every circumstance God is at work for some purpose.  It may simply be for us to learn to be thankful in everything.  Or it may be that this circumstance you are in right now is a tiny piece of the miracle He has ahead in your life.  Until we can be thankful in each circumstance – or piece of the miracle - we cannot see the next piece. Every little piece makes the whole and its all important.

Help your children to understand this life-giving principle.  All we have, we have because of Him and we need to model gratitude to God for everything, and in every circumstance.  We are our children’s first perception of God.  We need to show our kids an attitude of gratitude in good times and bad.

This next week as we celebrate Thanksgiving, remember these three words, grace, thanksgiving, and joy.  Eucharisteo. Jesus is the only way we are able to give thanksgiving at all times and in all circumstances. Thanksgiving to Him will bring us the joy we so desperately need. 

Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Building Up Our Community of Faith

Thursday, November 21, 2019
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25

In the verses 24 and 25 of the passage above, we are persuaded to encourage other Christians. “And let us consider how to stimulate (spur) one another to love and good deeds.”  Verse 24 begins, “let us consider one another…”.It means “to observe attentively, or understand, fix one’s eyes or mind upon.” In short, we are to focus on encouraging one another.  It is not to be accidental but intentional.  I like how The Message goes: “Let’s see how inventive we can be…” Let us think of creative ways of encouraging others.

The emphasis is upon getting to know one another in our community of faith.  There results a creative interchange that leads to both love and good works.  When a person is known for all he or she is, with all the wrinkles and foibles, and yet is loved, trust is engendered and creative risking becomes a possibility.  We can say, “So what if I fail at a good attempt? I will be loved. I am confident of that. He or she knows me and still loves me; I can attempt my idea.” This then makes possible one of the goals of the Christian life—good works (Ephesians 2:10; James 2:14–18).  Such good works do not always come naturally or automatically.  Our exhorter encourages his readers to both love and good works.

Verse 24 continues, “let us consider how we may spur one another on…” To spur means “to stir up, provoke, stimulate or incite someone to do something.”  In other words, to create a thirst.  A thirst for what?  “toward love and good deeds.”  That’s how we measure encouragement.  It is not a fuzzy feeling.  If someone became a more loving person or a better person, then we really encouraged him or her.

Church can be a great place to get caught up on the latest football games, golf scores, family news, health concerns, or just to visit with friends. A cup of coffee together, a warm handshake, a friendly pat on the back are all part of the social interaction we need as human beings.  All of this is good, but New Testament fellowship goes much deeper than merely socializing when we get together at church.  It takes place when we consider how we can lift up, build up, and brighten up our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Christian fellowship takes place when we offer encouragement to our friends, pray for them, and confess our sins and weaknesses to one another.  These are the elements that make fellowship genuine.  What about our church?  Are we merely socializing?  Or are we practicing true Christian fellowship?  Christian fellowship builds us up and binds us together.

We’ve all heard SOMEONE COMPLAIN that the people in a certain church aren't friendly, or that they seem to be lacking in love.  Although such criticisms may be true, the one doing the complaining is often a part of the problem.  To feel the love and friendliness in church, we may need to pour a little of our own love in first.  It was God's love toward us that prompted our love in return.  This principle also works in our relationship with other Christians. Try it!

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  Colossians 3:15

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

He Who Promised is Faithful

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25
When a person is discouraged, sin can deceive and harden his heart to the point that it becomes sinful and unbelieving, leading the person to turn his back on God. Someone wrote, “People live by encouragement. Without it they die. Slowly... Sadly... Bitterly.”

He Who Promised is Faithful
Hebrews 10:23 says. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;”  We must never loosen our grip on what we believe. The Confession of Jesus Christ is the confession that any and all need to make if they would have eternal hope. Do you lack hope and expectancy? If so, you need to make a personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ.

Profess publically that you believe Jesus is God’s unique Son; that He died on the Cross for your sin; that He received the punishment we deserved and purchased our pardon from sin and hell by His shed blood; that He rose again conquering sin, death and the grave, and that He ascended back into Heaven and that He is coming again for His own.

Cynical voices try to erode our faith. Materialistic voices get us too busy for God. The events of life seem to conspire to shake our faith. But we who confess Christ are to persevere in and by giving a constant confession.

Perseverance in confessing Christ is the evidence that we have received the promise of God.  It is believing what you are confessing.  It is putting your money where your mouth is so to speak.  If our hope is based on the unfailing promise of God, we should confess it confidently and boldly. Then we should believe it, cling to it and our actions should show it.  Has God ever failed us?  Is God not faithful to His people and to His promises for all who draw near in faith?

“Let us hold fast the confession.” The Greek verb translated “hold fast” has the sense of holding firm, securing or tightening down our confession of hope. This we must do without wavering. The base meaning of this Greek word means “to lean, to slope, or to be off-balance”. We must not go off-balance or become unleveled as does a faulty foundation.

There is reason to hold firm even though the circumstances of life appear to be harming us. Even if things have become difficult and at the moment we feel there is little reason for keeping on, the One who made the promise “is faithful” and will not let us down. He does not count time in the short segments by which we count it; therefore, we should not let momentary discouragement cause us to turn away.

Hang on; God is on His way with resources for endurance even though things might become even more difficult.  God uses the very process of enduring, to discipline and strengthen us to grow His rich fruit in our lives. The tragedies of today will become the triumphs of tomorrow. God is faithful, and He is faithful to His promises.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren…Romans 8:28-29

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