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It is always helpful to me to see the continuity that runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Brother David Bernstein's teaching yesterday demonstrated that well. Praise the Lord! 
 
God's purpose of redemption is seen in the Passover commemorating the Lord's promise to the Israelites, "when I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Ex 12:13), leaving the obedient Israelites free from the righteous judgment of God, the terrible 10th plague in which the firstborn of every household (even including both man and beast) was killed. This plague led to Pharaoh's decision to let the Israelites go free, setting the stage for the miracle of deliverance at the Red Sea. 
 
In the New Covenant (Testament), Christ is referred to as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). In 1 Corinthians 5:7, Paul identified Christ as "our passover" who "is sacrificed for us." Clearly, the Passover Seder as it continues even to this day among the Jews, points to the ultimate Passover Lamb of God--our Lord Jesus! When the blood of Jesus is applied to a sinner, the judgment of God passes over us! Praise the Lord!
 
As we approach Palm Sunday and Good Friday and Resurrection Day, let us truly contemplate Christ our passover. 
 
This coming Lord's Day is Palm Sunday, commemorating our Lord's "triumphant entry" into Jerusalem. Lynn Tracy will be supervising the children as they demonstrate the way the people used branches of palm trees to welcome the Lord. This will take place instead of our usual Sword School. See Lynn on Sunday morning if you would like your children to participate.
 
Pastor Scott Miller, formerly the pastor at FBC Cedar City, UT, will be preaching for us. Please welcome Scott and Rebecca and their family. My family and I will be gone, as I've been asked to give a report on the work here to the Calhoun Baptist Association, where I served prior to moving to St. George. This will also give us the opportunity to see my parents and Hope's parents. Please pray for my Dad, as he is not in good health due to a leaking heart valve. We will miss you, but love the opportunity to tell folk who have contributed financially and prayerfully to the work of planting DRBC.
 
On this coming Sunday evening at 6pm, there will be a Connect 180 Youth Ministry meeting at JT Snow Park. After a time of devotion and prayer, the group plans to walk across the street to Fiesta Fun Park for some bowling. Contact Jimmy D'Anella for more info.
 
On Thursday evening, April 2 at 7 pm, we will hold a brief service of Scripture and prayer, and come to the Lord's Table to proclaim His death as we observe the Lord's Supper together. There is a proper reverence that accompanies this observance, but let us not forget the joy that comes from the result of Christ's suffering--our salvation! So, let's focus on the Lord's terrible payment on our behalf, demonstrating appropriate reverence for the weightiness of the atonement, but let us celebrate the joy that is ours because of our Lord's death, burial, and resurrection!
 
On Friday evening, April 3, we have the opportunity to attend the drama, "Victory at the Cross" presented by FSBC St. George at the Dixie Center.There are 2 presentations, one at 5 pm and the other at 7 pm. This is a free event. May the Lord use this effort to make the gospel clear for the salvation of sinners and ultimately for His glory!
 
On Resurrection Sunday, April 5, we will celebrate our Lord's victory over death, hell, and the grave! We will also celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of the formal constitution of Desert Ridge Baptist Church! Soli Deo Gloria! We will have our worship service at the regular time of 10:30 am, and afterwards, we will enjoy fellowship and lunch together. DRBC will provide the meat, and we will fill in the side dishes, desserts, and beverages. There will be a sign-up sheet this coming Lord's Day so we don't all bring the same thing. I look forward to this great day of celebration!
 
Remember that we have the opportunity to represent DRBC at the Relay for Life event on April 24 and 25, both on a relay team, and in the luminaria ceremony. This is an opportunity for our gospel community to have an impact on the wider community in which we live. Relay for Life is an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society. See Julie D'Anella or Hope Waldrop for more info.
 
Soli Deo Gloria!
I write this in an effort to help us think seriously about the importance of preparing our hearts and our homes for the high point of each week, the worship assembly of the saints on the Lord's Day!
 
What a blessing it is each week to gather with you, to experience fellowship around and under the authority of the Word of God. I want to encourage you in Family/Household Worship and in Corporate Worship when we gather together on the Lord's Day.
 
For this coming Sunday, the Sword School questions will be #s 21-22 (click here for the entire catechism):
 
21. In what condition did God make Adam and Eve? He made them holy and happy.
(Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:4-8)
 
22. Did Adam and Eve stay holy and happy? No. They sinned against God.
(Genesis 3:1-7; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Hosea 6:7)
 
One way we can improve our sword school is for us to make sure we are teaching the students that the answers to the questions are summaries of what we find in the Bible, not just the opinion of some pastor or theologian somewhere! So, I suggest that we get in the habit of memorizing one of the verses each week. I won't put anyone on the spot, but will soon ask if any of our students have memorized any of the verses and then let them quote the verse. Let's teach our children the Word of God!
 
Concerning this week's sermon text, it will again be Romans 8:1-17. While last week we looked at the "means" of a Spirit-controlled life in Christ, this week we will look at the "marks" of a Spirit-controlled life in Christ. We will look at what, according to this passage, is the result of God's work to save us--results that are true for every believer right now!
 
Here are some truths about born again believers: You have been given freedom instead of bondage (8:2, 12, 15). You have been granted a position of righteousness rather than condemnation (8:1, 4, 8). You have been given life instead of death (8:6, 10, 13). You now enjoy peace with God instead of warfare or hostility (8:6-8). You are God's children rather than being none of His (8:15-17). Read this passage, chew on it, pray for understanding of it, teach it in your household (to yourself if single, to your wife, children, roommates, whoever is there!), and get ready to hear it and celebrate it this coming Lord's Day! Let's get ready for a supernatural encounter with the Lord of heaven and earth in which we praise Him and we hear from Him through the preaching of His Word! Pray for the service, that God will be pleased with our assembly. Use the group meetings this week as an opportunity to move forward to the high point of the week--the assembly of the saints on the Lord's Day for His glory and our blessing! Soli Deo Gloria!
 
 
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS
I got an email a bit earlier that had good suggestions in it. So, I asked if I could pass it along. . .
 
 
 
"One of the activities that helps me to "till up the soil of my heart" is to read the chapter / section of whatever I'm studying in a number of translations.


It works great as you can:

1.) Read off your phone while waiting in line at the store
2.) Read first thing in the morning and last thing at night - IF you keep your phone near your book like I do :-)
3.) Allows different family members to read the different translations from their phones as you sit together. This is great because some of the different ways that verses get translated provide a springboard to deeper investigation, conversation and if need be - it makes the father have to go hit the books so to speak, to get a clearer answer when he doesn't know why one group translated a certain way vs. another translator or group of translators.

In other words - it helps to see different ways a verse has been and POSSIBLY can be translated.

An example is the way the ending of Hebrews 1:2 is translated by different committees or groups.

It says - "and through whom He made...
(1) the world - NASB
(2) the worlds - KJV
(3) the universe - NIV
(4) the ages - YLT

There are some presuppositions that one has to have - and cautions to have in place when doing this - but I won't elaborate on that in this email.

Anyway, all one has to do is to go to their phone and:

1.) On their phone Internet browser, type in PASSAGE and TRANSLATION abbreviation (as an example - Romans 8:1-17 ESV)
Note - for some reason it doesn't come up with the complete cha
2.) Click on the first occurrence of a result from www.biblegateway.com
3.) You should get the section that is in the translation you wanted.
4.) THEN - after you've read the passage in whatever translation you started with, there's a little box you can click to change the translation to another one - and up it pops - then you read that one - and then pick another one.

I do this repeatedly during the day - and it is GREAT!"

 

Soli Deo Gloria!

On Feb 26-28, I was able to participate in the Soli Deo Gloria Conference at FBC, Provo, UT. It was a great conference! David and Aurora Bernstein and Will Rhoden were also representing DRBC at this meeting. It was great to think seriously about what the Bible says about the greatness of our God, and how worthy He is of our praise and worship, in our attitudes as individuals, in family worship, and in corporate worship in local churches. May our hearts, homes, and our congregation at DRBC pursue God's glory as the highest ambition possible! Thank you, David, Aurora, and Will for your fellowship in attending this event!
 
Here are reminders of things that are coming up:
 
This coming Lord's Day, March 8, we will hear a brief report from George Hjorth with the Gideons International ministry, a group devoted to Bible distribution. It is likely that you have seen a Gideon Bible in a hotel/motel room or hospital. We are planning to receive a love offering for the Gideons at the end of our service this Sunday. 
 
In the coming weeks, we will have some meetings during the hour before our Sunday worship service. On March 15, we will offer the Membership class at 9:15 AM, with plans to go over the DRBC Statement of Faith. If you are interested in becoming a member of DRBC, please plan to attend this session. As always, everyone is welcome, including current members!
 
On March 22, we will have another meeting for parents/youth/children. This meeting will have 3 purposes: (1) To provide instruction for family worship; (2) To discuss plans for a Baby/Child Dedication Sunday (very exciting!). A Baby/Child Dedication involves a commitment on the part of the parents to bring up the child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord AND a commitment on the part of the congregation to make sure that DRBC is a resource for Christian parenting; and (3) To discuss further plans for DRBC ministry/activity to supplement the parents efforts to instruct their children. 
 
On April 5, we will celebrate both Resurrection Sunday and the DRBC 2nd Anniversary! The actual anniversary date is March 31, but we actually constituted as a church on Resurrection Day, 2013, so close enough. Since we started on a Resurrection Sunday, it is awesome when the calendar lines up so that it is appropriate to celebrate our anniversary on the same. Stay tuned for more info on details of our celebration. Praise the Lord! Stay tuned for more info regarding the days leading up to Resurrection Day.
 
On April 12 at 9:15 am, we have scheduled the 2nd session of the Membership class to cover our Constitution/By-laws. Everyone interested in becoming a member should mark this date. Of course, everyone is welcome to attend, even if you are already a member! It helps me to remind myself of how we have agreed to make decisions together.
 
Jimmy and Julie D'Anella are organizing a team from DRBC to walk in the Relay for Life event April 24-25 at DSU's Hansen Stadium. This event raises support for the fight against cancer. Also, we have the opportunity to lead in the luminaria ceremony, giving us an opportunity to choose songs, singers, prayers, and pray-ers that are gospel-focused. Contact Jimmy and Julie for more info.
 
If you aren't in one of our small groups . . . get in one! Contact David and Aurora Bernstein for information regarding the groups, or you can contact the leaders of the other groups directly: Michael Klos and Joe Howson; and Rodger Tracy and Jay Taylor.
 
I have been greatly blessed by participating in the men's group that meets on Tuesdays at 6:30 am at the building. It's true that I've not been particularly "blessed" by the alarm going off so early on Tuesday mornings, but I've always been edified and challenged by being at the meeting! Hope also informs me that the Ladies's group meetings have been very helpful as well. This group meets at 10:30 am on Tuesdays at the building. Plug in and be challenged and blessed! Thank you David and Aurora for your leadership in these respective groups!
 
If you are interested in ministry at the Dixie Area Detention Center, you need to fill out the background check form (available at DRBC) and contact me. We have opportunities on Thursdays and Sundays for this ministry.
 
A word about the material on the tables at the building: Please check with me before placing any materials on the table. There are Acts & Facts, Voice of the Martyrs, and Table Talk magazinces there generally. Please note that not everything in those magazines would line up with our Statement of Faith perfectly, but those resources do provide generally good, gospel-based, Christ-exalting information. Please remember to refer to the DRBC Statement of Faith for questions about our doctrinal positions.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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I am increasingly convinced of the importance of preparing ourselves for worship before we meet together on the Lord's Day. This preparation can make a huge difference in the fruit of the Sunday meeting. Parents, you are teaching your children about the significance of worship and of gathering with fellow believers. And I did mean that as it reads: "you are teaching your children." This is especially true if we have given no thought to preparation for the worship meeting. I must confess that my responsibilities as the primary preacher at our meetings can tempt me to overlook the most crucial flock that I serve: my own home.
 
With that in mind, I want to provide in this email a some thoughts to help you prepare for our next corporate worship meeting. First, a quote from Richard Baxter, 17th century English Puritan churchman, from his work, Christian Directory, in the section titled, "Directions for Profitably Hearing the Word Preached," 1. III. and 3. VI. :
 
"Come not to hear with careless heart, as if you were to hear a matter that little concerned you, but come with a sense of the unspeakable weight, necessity, and consequence of the holy Word which you are to hear; and when you understand how much you are concerned in it, it will greatly help your understanding of every particular truth . . . Make it our work with diligence to apply the Word as you are hearing it . . . Cast not all upon the minister, as those that will go no further than they are carried as by force . . . You have work to do as well as the preacher, and should all the time by as busy as he . . .you must open your mouths, and digest it, and digest it, for another cannot digest it for you . . . therefore be all the while at work, and abhor an idle heart in hearing, as well as an idle minister." *I don't endorse every theological position of Baxter, but this is helpful!
 
 
Let us anticipate instruction from the Lord when we gather to hear His Word proclaimed on the Lord's Day. Parents, let's take the responsibility to anticipate the divine appointment of meeting with the saints to worship the Great I Am. Let us not treat it as another appointment to be kept among many. Let us not lead our children that way, the way that devalues the Way of Salvation. Talk about Sunday on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Especially as the Lord's Day draws near. 
 
Consider Ecclesiastes 5:1-2: "1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few."
We don't have to go to a location such as the temple in Jerusalem to enter God's presence, because by God's grace we are the temple (1 Cor 3:16). However, as we assemble for worship, we do well to heed this warning. Let us draw near to listen!
 
With preparing to listen to the Word of God in mind, I want to give you the sermon text for this coming Lord's Day. Read it. Meditate on it. And prepare yourself for the supernatural event of the people of God hearing the Word of God preached by a man of God by the power of God for the glory of God!
 
This coming Lord's Day (and the next one as well), I plan to preach from Romans 8:1-17 on the topic of the Means of a Spirit-Controlled Life in Christ. Lord-willing, next Sunday I plan to preach from the same text on the Marks of a Spirit-Controlled Life in Christ. This distinction will help us to see the grace of God in our righteous standing before God in Christ, and in our practical growth in sanctification as we glorify God in our lives in the practical pursuit of and growth in holiness.
 
As you prepare for Sunday then, look at Romans 8:1-17 to discover all that God has done for you in the process of saving you. Note that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are involved. Note the particular role of the Holy Spirit in applying the work of the Son and the will of the Father to the believer such that the believer's life is characterized by obedient submission to God. Note that God has condemned sin in the flesh rather than His people in the flesh (praise God!). Note that the purpose of God as expressed in 8:4 connects to Paul's claim that the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel (1:17).
 
Let's prayerfully prepare to meet God in corporate worship this coming Lord's Day!

DRBCers and Friends,

I hope you all enjoyed winter yesterday! I praise the Lord for the beauty of the snow, and, being from Mississippi where you don't get used to driving in it, I praise the Lord for the safety of its absence! Our family enjoyed it, for sure.
 
Thanks to Jimmy D'Anella, Phil and Tami Walker, and John Sullivan for taking DRBC youth up to the Winter Wakening Ski Weekend. Praise the Lord for the safety He provided! No emergency room trips=a good ski trip, at least on one very important level!
 
And thanks to Michael and Marcy Klos for helping us get some tables and chairs that came available due to a private school closing. The Lord is providing resources for the present and the future! Thank you, Kerry Johnson, for helping me put one of the little tables together.
 
Also, thanks to Leslie Ann Anderson and Hope Waldrop, as they met together this past week and worked on organizing the sound system cables. It looks a lot better! Thanks.
 
Thanks to Jay Taylor for work at the building, and thanks to . . . there is no way I can mention everyone who needs to be thanked. Several of you have helped by cleaning the building and various other areas of service. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
 
And most of all . . . Thank you, Lord, for sending such wonderful brothers and sisters to DRBC!
 
I am excited to see the Lord gathering us each week to celebrate Him and the Truth of His Word! What an encouragement to worship the Lord with His people who want to know Him more and to hear from Him through the Bible. May the Lord work in us so that we are "doers of the Word and not hearers only" (James 1:22). I rejoice that I see that happening in our congregation!
 
Tomorrow is a big day. First, we have a great outreach opportunity that Zach Wilson has worked to set up for us. We have the opportunity to distribute some gospel DVDs on/adjacent to the DSU campus called "The Biggest Question." These DVDs contain a clear gospel presentation. We need to distribute them, and also to take some video/photos of our distribution to send into Wretched Radio, the group that has provided the DVDs. If you can help us with this, be at the DRBC building tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb 25) morning at 10:30 am. We will organize to give them out at that time. It shouldn't take more than an hour or two. May the Lord be glorified as we give out these gospel DVDs!
 
Also tomorrow, Feb 25, we will have a church wide potluck fellowship dinner at the DRBC building starting at 6:30 pm. I look forward to gathering with my church family (and enjoying some good food, too)!
 
On February 27, Marcy Klos will host a Ladies Fellowship at her home beginning at 7 pm. Info cards are available on the front table at the building.
 
February 28 is the Hope Pregnancy Care Center Banquet at the Dixie Center. There is info on the table by the door at the building. Contact Cindy Voorhis for more info.
 
Sunday evening, March 1, DRBC will host the Connect 180 Youth Fellowship at 6:30 pm. This is an interchurch activity involving DRBC, First Southern Baptist Church St. George, The Narrows Church, and First Southern Baptist Church of Hurricane. Pray that this event will point young people to the grace and purity of the gospel. If you would like to contribute some snacks for this meeting, bring them on Sunday morning, or you can bring them by on Sunday evening around 6:15 pm.
 
Jimmy and Julie D'Anella are organizing a team from DRBC to walk in the Relay for Life event April 24-25 at DSU's Hansen Stadium. This event raises support for the fight against cancer. Also, we have the opportunity to lead in the luminaria ceremony, giving us an opportunity to choose songs, singers, prayers, and pray-ers that are gospel-focused. Contact Jimmy and Julie for more info.
 
In the coming weeks, we will have some meetings during the hour before our Sunday worship service. On March 15, we will offer the Membership class at 9:15 AM, with plans to go over the DRBC Statement of Faith. If you are interested in becoming a member of DRBC, please plan to attend this session. As always, everyone is welcome, including current members!
 
On March 22, we will have another meeting for parents/youth/children. This meeting will have 3 purposes: (1) To provide instruction for family worship; (2) To discuss plans for a Baby/Child Dedication Sunday (very exciting!). A Baby/Child Dedication involves a commitment on the part of the parents to bring up the child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord AND a commitment on the part of the congregation to make sure that DRBC is a resource for Christian parenting; and (3) To discuss further plans for DRBC ministry/activity to supplement the parents efforts to instruct their children. 
 
On April 5, we will celebrate both Resurrection Sunday and the DRBC 2nd Anniversary! The actual anniversary date is March 31, but we actually constituted as a church on Resurrection Day, 2013, so close enough. Since we started on a Resurrection Sunday, it is awesome when the calendar lines up so that it is appropriate to celebrate our anniversary on the same. Stay tuned for more info on details of our celebration. Praise the Lord!
 
On April 12 at 9:15 am, we have scheduled the 2nd session of the Membership class to cover our Constitution/By-laws. Everyone interested in becoming a member should mark this date. Of course, everyone is welcome to attend, even if you are already a member! It helps me to remind myself of how we have agreed to make decisions together.
 
If you aren't in one of our small groups . . . get in one! Contact David and Aurora Bernstein for information regarding the groups, or you can contact the leaders of the other groups directly: Michael Klos and Joe Howson; and Rodger Tracy and Jay Taylor.
 
I have been greatly blessed by participating in the men's group that meets on Tuesdays at 6:30 am at the building. It's true that I've not been particularly "blessed" by the alarm going off so early on Tuesday mornings, but I've always been edified and challenged by being at the meeting! Hope also informs me that the Ladies's group meetings have been very helpful as well. This group meets at 10:30 am on Tuesdays at the building. Plug in and be challenged and blessed! Thank you David and Aurora for your leadership in these respective groups!
 
If you are interested in ministry at the Dixie Area Detention Center, you need to fill out the background check form (available at DRBC) and contact me. We have opportunities on Thursdays and Sundays for this ministry.
 
Let's remember to pray for one another! Let's serve one another in our worship meetings by keeping our children under supervision, being mindful of sometimes limited seating, and making sure everyone is greeted and welcomed in the name of Christ. I thank my Lord for a church family that loves the Lord, His Word, His Work, and His Church!
 
Soli Deo Gloria! 
 
In Christ,
Michael W. Waldrop