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As we move into the weekend, let's begin to think about the incredible opportunity we have to gather for the specific purpose of giving praise to God! Our corporate worship meetings are indeed opportunities for service to the Lord as we sing, pray, enjoy fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, read/hear God's Word, and hear the voice of the Head of the Church as His Word is preached and explained! Just because we are blessed with this opportunity on a regular basis doesn't mean that it is not a monumental event with cosmic implications! Every Lord's Day, redeemed people around the world meet for the glory of God. That's powerful. So let's not approach the Lord's Day casually or as if it is routine and mundane. Let's approach the Lord's Day with specific preparation and enthusiasm!
At DRBC, the sermon text is scheduled to be Romans 9:19-29 (but including verse 18 in the reading as a reminder of the immediate context). To prepare, first of all, read the passage! I've been encouraging us to be reading and thinking about Romans 9 in the context of chapters 9 - 11 as a unit, and all of this within the flow of thought that has accumulated in the first 8 chapters.
In Rom 9:19-29, we are confronted with the mystery of God's Sovereignty and Human Responsibility. Most every believer I know and every theologian I've heard or read have agreed that the topic of the salvation of sinners involves some deep things that could be classified as mystery. Paul has made the case for God's right to elect sinners for salvation (i.e. that salvation is by grace) throughout all that precedes our passage in Romans, but particularly in verses 6-18 as he discusses the dilemma of the security of salvation while Israel is mostly in unbelief.
As you read vv 19-29, note the question of verse 19. Note the presupposed truths behind the question: that God indeed finds fault with sinners in unbelief, and that God is sovereign in accomplishing what He wills. Note the answer to the question of verse 19 that is found in v 20: "who are you, O man to answer back to God." God is presented in His relationship to His creatures as a potter with complete authority and ability to mold the clay as He wills. Do you agree that He has that right? 
Read the passages in Isaiah 29:15-16; 64:8-9 and Jeremiah 18:1-6 to see the background for Paul's illustration. Ask yourself the question that runs from Rom 9:22-24. Are you okay with the truth of what is indicated there? Does God indeed have the right to do what He wills with His creatures?
Does He have the right to create a people for Himself? Paul quotes Hosea 2:23, 1:10, and Isaiah 10:22-23 and 1:9 which are passages about God's activity in creating a people for Himself--Israel, or more specifically redeemed, believing Israel with whom He has included believing Gentiles. It is helpful to read these passages including the context of those passages.
All of these illustrations and quotations are provided by the Holy Spirit through the human authorship of Paul. What is your response to God's right to be God?  Do you rejoice in bowing before His sovereignty, or are you concerned for the rights of the creatures? Let us yield to, indeed rejoice in, God's right to rule, and let us be grateful that God is good and is gracious to save sinners who deserve only His wrath!
Soli Deo Gloria!


Praise the Lord for the instruction of His Word! What a challenge for Fathers to see the high responsibility given to them by God for the spiritual care of the family. Fellow Fathers, let us commit ourselves to bringing up our children "in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Eph 6:4).
I can't help but think of the meeting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC Wednesday evening of last week. I don't know the theology of that church, but I am certainly able to identify an evil, murderous act. May the Lord grant mercy and grace and peace to that community. May He redeem and rescue through the gospel. And may He grant strength for DRBC and every true church to continue to engage in the work to which we've been called, knowing that the possibility exists that simply showing up at a Wednesday evening church meeting could cost us our lives. We can continue, precisely because we know that nothing happens outside of the perfect plan and purpose of the One "Who works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Eph 1:11). 
The Color Country Baptist Association Family Camp is schedule for July 7-10 at Camp Lutherwood near the intersection of Highways 89 and 14, east of Cedar City. There are two ways to participate in the event: 1. The "In-tents" experience--bring your own tent; and 2. Recreational Vehicle. This camp features the two ends of the camping spectrum, but that's just the way it is! The fee is only $12 and this covers meals from Tuesday Dinner through Friday breakfast (maybe lunch, but I can't confirm that right now). If you are planning to stay in a tent, just pay your $12 to DRBC and register at the online registration page: CCBA Family Camp Registration. If you want to take an RV, you will need to contact Camp Lutherwood at the number provided at the above link. The hook-up fee for RVs is $25 per night. You must register at the linked page either way. Registration deadline is June 30.
On June 28, DRBC will host the Connect 180 Youth Fellowship meeting at 6:30 pm. If you would like to help us with snacks for the event, please bring some chips, cookies, fruit, or drinks to the church building on Sunday June 28. Pray for Collin Day as he will be speaking that evening, Lord willing. And pray for Tami Walker and the DRBC youth as they will be playing worship music.
DRBC T-shirts are available for $10 each. They are available at the church building.
DRBC Offering Report:
June 21  Receipts   $879.00
Weekly Undesignated Receipts needed for 2015 Budget  $1748.94
Remember to pray for one another. Soli Deo Gloria!
This Sunday is Father's Day, and the role of fathers in God's plan is crucial. In fact, it is so important that I believe it necessary that we take another break from Romans and look at a passage that points to the ministry of fatherhood: 1 Chronicles 28:2-20; 29:16-19. I encourage you to read chapter 28 and 29 for the context of King David's words and actions toward his son, Solomon, which is that he is charging him to follow through and build God's Temple.
As you read this passage from God's Holy Word, consider what David is doing in 1 Chron. 28:9-10; and in 29:19. Fathers, does anything happen in your relationship with your children that looks like this? Most of the folks at DRBC are not biological fathers, but everyone of us needs to promote God's plan for fatherhood, particularly since God's Word tells us that a congregation is like a family! Paul told Timothy to relate to all the people in the church as family members (1 Timothy 5:1-2). That means that all the men of DRBC should have an attitude of acting like fathers in relating to younger folks in the church. Not to be obeyed like a father with a small child, but as one who instructs and prays and is giving an example of following the Lord Jesus. We should honor fathers who are doing the things we see David doing in our passage, both in the congregation generally, and especially fathers in their homes. Do you see any correlation between what King David exemplified in our passage and the qualifications for leadership in the local church (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1)?
May the Lord grant us all an eagerness to be together for His praise and glory, and to hear instruction from His Word!
Soli Deo Gloria!
God is good! Zack, Whitley, and Matthew Wilson are safely home from the hospital. What a blessing to rejoice with Zack, Whitley, Brian, and Suzie in welcoming this little gift from God into our fellowship! We will be planning for a Baby/Child dedication Sunday soon when we pray and agree to each do our part so that DRBC is a congregation in which God is praised, Christ is exalted, the gospel is made clear, and we each receive fellowship, with its mutual accountability and care. More details to come.
Let's remember to pray for one another, as several among us are facing challenges. Our small groups have details for intercessory prayer.  Email the leaders . . . David Bernstein ChosenbyGodinChrist@gmail.com, Rodger Tracy Rodger.Tracy@nwi.net, Michael Klos Michael@Klos.com . 
Next Wednesday, June 24, at 6:30 pm, we will have a churchwide fellowship. I hope that everyone can come. There will be a sign-up sheet at the church on Sunday so we don't all bring the same thing. We will read some Scripture and pray and generally enjoy fellowship.
The Color Country Baptist Association Family Camp is schedule for July 7-10 at Camp Lutherwood near the intersection of Highways 89 and 14, east of Cedar City. There are two ways to participate in the event: 1. The "In-tents" experience--bring your own tent; and 2. Recreational Vehicle. This camp features the two ends of the camping spectrum, but that's just the way it is! The fee is only $12 and this covers meals from Tuesday Dinner through Friday breakfast (maybe lunch, but I can't confirm that right now). If you are planning to stay in a tent, just pay your $12 to DRBC and register at the online registration page: CCBA Family Camp Registration. If you want to take an RV, you will need to contact Camp Lutherwood at the number provided at the above link. The hook-up fee for RVs is $25 per night. You must register at the linked page either way. Registration deadline is June 30.
Collin and Kallie Day are here! They were married in Arkansas on Saturday, and arrived in St. George on Sunday evening. Then, Kallie started to work at Dixie Regional Medical Center on Monday. Now that's a weekend! Collin officially begins on July 1 as the CCBA Pastoral Ministry/Church Planting Intern. Let's make the Days welcome!
On June 28, DRBC will host the Connect 180 Youth Fellowship meeting at 6:30 pm. If you would like to help us with snacks for the event, please bring some chips, cookies, fruit, or drinks to the church building on Sunday June 28. Pray for Collin Day as he will be speaking that evening, Lord willing.
Also, thanks to JP Solstad for attending the SBC Annual Meeting in Columbus, OH this week as a messenger from DRBC. Welcome home, JP!
DRBC Offering Report:
June 14  Receipts   $4146.00
Weekly Undesignated Receipts needed for 2015 Budget  $1748.94
Soli Deo Gloria!


As we approach corporate worship on the Lord's Day, let us have hearts and minds set on the Lord. I saw a quote from the missionary Hudson Taylor that points us in the right direction, both for daily Bible reading and prayer, and as we prepare for corporate worship: "Don't have your concert first, and then tune your instruments; begin the day with the Word of God and Prayer."
Let us, then, begin to tune our instruments for our corporate concert of worship and praise for our God! Let every household be dedicated to give glory to God in all things, especially the worship service of the local church!
Brother Scott Miller is scheduled to preach at DRBC on Sunday morning. Let us pray for him as he prepares to minister the Word to us. And let us prepare to hear the Word of the Lord from Psalm 8, as he has indicated that he feels lead to preach on the glory of Christ from this Messianic Psalm. So, let us read it in our households, meditate on it, and see how this Psalm speaks of man, generally, and of the Son of Man, specifically! Let us glory in the display of God's infinite wisdom and power in telling us about the Messiah 1000 years before the Incarnation! Soli Deo Gloria!
Also, we are not through with Romans! So, let's continue to be thinking about Romans 9 - 11 and the amazing reality that Israel's unbelief (nor anyone else's) threatens the plan of God. On the contrary, man's rebellion is consistent with God's plan of redemption. Be thinking of the last verse in this section of Scripture, the one we have up on the wall at DRBC: 
"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen."
Soli Deo Gloria!
One of the demonstrations of the truth of God's Sovereignty is how He has providentially reminded Hope and me that He is in control, even as we face some very specific challenges. We certainly did not schedule Hope's knee/back trouble to coincide with our study of Romans 9 as we go through that rich Epistle! The reality of God's Sovereignty in salvation and in all things has provided much comfort through this (and every) challenge! Soli Deo Gloria!
On behalf of Hope and our family, I want to express our gratitude to the Lord for the kindnesses He has provided to us through our DRBC family. We praise the Lord for the many ways we have been blessed through our congregation. DRBCers, you are a blessing to us!
What a wonderful blessing to see the growth of DRBC in terms of numbers! With the addition of 9 new members last Sunday, we now have 64 members. We praise the Lord as we welcome Joey and Erica DeAngelo, Paul Kinslow, JP and Sue Solstad, Zach and Jessica Thomas, and Al Westra and Shirley Brown! Welcome!
This coming Lord's Day, I look forward to the teaching of Brother Scott Miller. He has been with us before, and I appreciate his work in the Word. I had originally planned to be away for the SBC annual meeting, but now am planning to be at DRBC. Welcome, Scott and family!
Speaking of the SBC annual meeting, DRBC will have a messenger there: Brother JP Solstad will be traveling to Columbus, OH for the event, Lord willing. Let's pray for him as travels, and let's pray that the Lord will grant wisdom and discernment to the messengers as they assemble to make decisions for the direction of the denomination. May the Lord lead every SBC church (and every true church that belongs to Him) to glorify Him! 
Here is a note from Will Rhoden regarding upcoming music plans . . .
"If you are interested in participating in the music worship leading of DRBC please contact Will. We are looking for people to possibly do a rotation with the current team. To be on the team, a person needs to be a believer in the Gospel, preferably a member of DRBC (although not required to be--any non-member musician would have to be approved by the Elders), in agreement with the DRBC Statement of Faith, musically talented, and flexible. Practices are typically before service at 9:45. You can talk to Will on Sunday or just e-mail him at wrhoden2010@gmail.com."
We are planning a church-wide potluck fellowship on Wednesday evening, June 24. Stay tuned for more details, but we will plan to start at 6:30 pm that evening.
The CCBA Family Camp is scheduled for July 7-10 at Camp Lutherwood. For details, go to http://www.ccbasbc.org/familycamp/index.html . You will need to register online, and pay the $12 per camper fee to DRBC. Please note the registration deadline of June 30, 2015. This is tent camping (your own tent), or RV hook-up (your own RV! with a $25 per night additional fee). If you put your registration fee into the offering at DRBC, you must note on the envelope or your check that it is for the Family Camp fee.
The details for our new childcare safety/ministry plan are nearing completion. We will have a sign-up soon for those interested in serving in this ministry. Our desire is for as many of us as is possible to be in the worship meeting together. However, families with infants and young children often need assistance. If you have small children (age 5 and under) as does our family, we encourage you to be involved in this ministry. Those who serve in this volunteer ministry will be required to be members of DRBC and to have a background check. Other ways you can help would include contributions to crafts/supplies. We plan to have a "craft cabinet" in the back room as we begin to collect supplies such as cotton balls, pipe cleaners, glue, construction paper, etc.
I encourage you to be involved in our small group ministry. This is the place where intimate fellowship around the Word, accountability, and intercessory prayer happens in the context of DRBC. Fellowship in a congregation ranges from one on one all the way to the corporate worship meeting. The small groups are in the middle, and provide dynamics not available at either of these extremes. For more info, email the leaders . . . David BernsteinChosenbyGodinChrist@gmail.com , Rodger Tracy Rodger.Tracy@nwi.net, Michael Klos Michael@Klos.com.

Soli Deo Gloria!

As we move into the weekend, let us joyfully anticipate corporate worship of our great God! Our sermon text will be Romans 9:14-18. We will worship God for His sovereignty as expressed in these verses. Remember that it is helpful to read Romans 9 - 11 to best follow the flow of thought. Note especially the claims made in Romans 9:11 and 16. What does salvation depend on? God and His purpose of election! He is infinitely just and wise and powerful. Every human that God has created is held accountable to obey God. Every human (except the Lord Jesus) has rebelled against God and deserves His Holy Wrath/Justice. God's love expressed in grace and mercy means that He is redeeming a people for Himself, for His glory! 
The following passages are helpful for understanding God's unconditional election of a people for His own glory, as He has mercy on whom He will have mercy and He hardens whom He will harden (concerning Israel's "partial hardening" see Rom 11:11, 25-26) . . . 
Gen 1:1
Deut 7:6-8
Deut 9:4-6
Joshua 11:18-20
Isaiah 45:4
Matt 11:21,27
John 6:37; 8:45-47; 10:26-27; 15:16
Acts 13:48
Eph 1:3-11
1 Thess 1:4-5
2 Thess 2:13-14
2 Tim 1:9
1 John 4:19
Rev 13:8; 17:8
Sword School questions are numbers 48-49.
Concerning our DRBC Business Meeting at 2 pm this Sunday, remember that as we vote on members, we are looking to make sure that the prospective members have a credible profession that "Jesus is Lord," and that they understand the gospel and are trusting in Christ alone for salvation; that they understand who we are as a church and are happy to submit to the mutual accountability within DRBC. Those to be presented at the meeting have been through the DRBC Statement of Faith and the polity of DRBC as expressed in our Constitution/By-Laws. It is excited to see the Lord grow His church! May the Lord grant us unity for His glory.
Soli Deo Gloria!

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I praise the Lord for the Truth of God's Sovereignty! Romans 9 declares God's right to do as He pleases with His creation. And that's good news! The reason that it is so good is that God is so good! When God does what He pleases, that means there is no injustice, no unfairness, no evil, no absence of the best in what God does. What God does is always consistent with God's nature, so God's actions are always perfect! Even as we live in a sin-fallen world as fallen sinners, God's actions toward us always reflect perfect righteousness, whether in form of perfect justice to unbelievers or perfect grace (based on the perfect atonement and the perfect righteousness of Christ) toward believers! Soli Deo Gloria!
Concerning our congregational vote last Lord's Day, I plan to review the entire process, including all of my actions, decisions, and words that led to such a split vote. I feel the weight of the accountability that I have before the Lord for my leadership as Pastor-Teacher at DRBC, and I ask that you pray for me as I examine myself. Please pray that the Lord will guide all of us into unity according to His will. We can trust Him to do that! We are not sovereign, but He is!
This coming Lord's Day, I look forward to our worship together at 10:30 am. At 2 pm we will have a DRBC Business meeting at which we will hear a finance report, affirm messengers to the SBC meeting in Columbus, OH on June 16-17, and vote on member prospects. May the Lord lead us as we conduct His business. Our responsibility is not to act on our preferences, but to follow His leading so that His will is accomplished in His church. May the Lord's will be done!
There is a Connect 180 Youth Fellowship meeting this coming Sunday evening at 6:30 pm at FSBC, Hurricane. All of the youth are invited for Bible study and fellowship.
On June 14, I plan to be away for the SBC meeting. I have asked Scott Miller, formerly of FBC Cedar City, to preach at DRBC that Sunday. This trip will be dependent on how Hope is doing with her knees/back. Please continue to pray for her. And please be in prayer also that the Southern Baptist Convention would, as a fellowship of gospel churches, remain true to the Lord and His Word, and that Brother Scott would be granted wisdom and discernment as he ministers to the DRBC family on that Sunday.
DRBC Offering on May 31, 2015                               $1,954.62  
Need Weekly Undesig. to meet 2015 Budget              $1,748.94
Let us pray for one another. May the Lord grant us boldness to make the gospel clear!
Soli Deo Gloria!
What a great assurance we find in the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God! How encouraging it is for me to know that my salvation is the result of God's willing and working, and not dependent on the quality of my own efforts to will and to work (Phil 2:12-13)!
As we approach the Lord's Day, let us remember the important decision that we will be making together about the possibility of adding to the leadership of DRBC. Let's make sure that we are clean before the Lord through confession and repentance of sin. Let's pursue His glory through killing sin in the flesh, that is, by crowding out the wrong things in our hearts and minds by pursuing the right things (Rom 6:12-14; 7:12-13). This is an appropriate time for prayer and fasting as we seek the will of the Lord.
We plan to continue in Romans 9. I suggest that as we move through Romans 9 - 11, you not only read the verses we are about to consider in the sermon, but all of these three chapters, to get the truth explained here firmly lodged in your heart and mind. The reality of God's Sovereignty and exactly what that means used to be a very difficult doctrine for me. It has helped me to get right into the truth! To see what God is saying through Paul in this passage. To deal with the meaning of the words, submitting my preferences to His Truth! And so, the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God as revealed in Romans 9 - 11 moved out of the shadows of my ignorance all the way to become a banner of strength in my life! What was once a matter of ignorance for me, and then troubled me greatly, has become a sweet source of confidence and encouragement to me! My prayer is that all of us will see the Truth of God's Sovereignty as a source of security, to be celebrated! 
Start with the claim that Paul makes in Romans 9:6, "But it is not as though the Word of God has failed." He is referring to the unbelief of ethnic Israel. He is making an enormous claim here! He is saying that Israel's (or anyone's) unbelief is not a threat to the plan of God! He is saying that their unbelief is a part of God's plan! God is Sovereign!
Focus on Paul's argument as he gives examples from the life of Abraham and Sarah (Gen 21:12; 18:10, 14; 17:21), and Isaac and Rebekah/Jacob and Esau (Gen 25:23). Consider the implications of God's declaration, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" (read Malachi 1:1-5 and consider what God says He will do to Esau's descendants, Edom). Consider what Paul means when he says that this was declared before they were born in order that God's purpose of election might continue (Rom 9:11). And ask yourself if there is any rebellion in your heart toward God's Sovereign right to do as he pleases with His creatures. One book written about the subject is titled, The Potter's Freedom, from Paul's argument in Romans 9:19-24. Does your heart rejoice or rebel at the idea of the Potter's Freedom? May the Lord grant us grace to rejoice in His Rule over every aspect and detail of His creation!
Soli Deo Gloria!

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We have come to a an important moment in the life of DRBC! This coming Lord's Day, we will make a decision together, namely whether to affirm the call of David Bernstein to serve as an Elder at DRBC. Our Constitution calls for DRBC to be led by a plurality of Elders, according to the pattern in Scripture which identifies the service of multiple Elders in single church (see Acts 20:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14).
The DRBC Constitution also places the responsibility for the final decision with the congregation in 4 areas: membership, leadership, the budget/financial indebtedness, and church discipline. This coming Lord's Day, the DRBC congregation will make a decision together regarding the call of David to Eldership at DRBC. I am attaching our Constitution, the list of church distinctives from our study of the Pastoral Epistles in 2011-12, and the letter of recommendation for David from the Pastors of CCBA churches who assisted us with an Ordination Council to examine David.
Let us all pray for the Lord's will to be done, asking the Lord to guide us to unity. I ask all of the Friends of DRBC to please petition our Lord for the same. Praise the Lord! May all of this bring glory and honor to God alone!
On June 7, we have scheduled a DRBC Membership meeting at 2 pm for a finance report, affirming messengers to the SBC meeting June 16-17 in Columbus, OH, and for voting on prospective members! What a blessing to see the Lord granting growth! As DRBC grows, we have an increasing number of gospel witnesses to our community. May the Lord grant boldness that we might make the gospel clear (Eph 6:20; Col 4:4)!
On June 14, I plan to be away for the SBC meeting. I have asked Scott Miller, formerly of FBC Cedar City, to preach at DRBC that Sunday. Please be in prayer, both that the Southern Baptist Convention would, as a fellowship of gospel churches, remain true to the Lord and His Word, and that Brother Scott would be granted wisdom and discernment as he ministers to the DRBC family on that Sunday.
Please continue to pray as we attempt to set up a solid plan for Sunday morning children and youth ministry, as well as adult studies. There are important safety, leadership, curriculum, and logistics issues at play. May the Lord help us to get a good plan in place that will edify His people at DRBC. Remember, concerning children/youth, the church cannot possibly take the place of the home as the primary location for instruction in the Word of God (Deuteronomy 6:7). But DRBC can be a rich resource for instruction and fellowship around the Truth. Rodger and Lynn Tracy, Jay and Amanda Taylor, Hope Waldrop, and David Bernstein have been working on this. May the Lord grant wisdom!
I want to strongly encourage you to be active in one of our small groups. Our small groups are where we have fellowship, accountability, and prayer on a more intimate level than is possible when the entire congregation is assembled. It is my conviction that the Lord is pleased with this kind of close-up fellowship in living the Christian life together. The dynamics at the small groups are different than that of the corporate worship meeting, a Sunday School class, a Bible study, or even fellowship between two believers. I write this after a wonderful, challenging, edifying meeting of the Wednesday evening "Encouragers" small group last night. David Bernstein does a wonderful job leading this group. The fellowship with the other group members, particularly the prayer time, was a great blessing. I've experienced the same thing when I have visited the other groups! Brothers and sisters, I don't want you to miss out on this kind of fellowship! So, please consider getting plugged in to one of our groups: Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm at the DRBC building, every other Tuesday at 6:30 pm at the Rodger Tracy home (meeting next on June 2), and every other Thursday at 6:30 pm at the Michael Klos home (meeting next on May 28--tonight!). Email the leaders . . . David Bernstein ChosenbyGodinChrist@gmail.com , Rodger TracyRodger.Tracy@nwi.net, Michael Klos Michael@Klos.com .
Offering Report:
Undesignated Offering on May 24, 2015           $1379.25  
Need Weekly Undesig. to meet 2015 Budget    $1748.94
May 2015 Undesignated Receipts through May 24      $7938.95
Needed Monthly Undesig. to meet 2015 Budget         $7578.74
Praise the Lord! May the Lord continue to bless us, and lead us into His plans for DRBC in the future!
Let us pray for one another. Some of us in the DRBC family are experiencing difficult challenges. And there are wonderful experiences going on as well. Let us "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep" (Rom 12:15). Let us love one another (John 13:34).
Soli Deo Gloria!

This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend. As our nation remembers those who died in service to our country, let us remember how important it is to make the gospel clear to everyone, since every human is accountable to Him who claims, "I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades" (Revelation 17b-18). It is right that we remember those who died in service of our well-being. It is essential that we worship and obey our King Jesus, who is the Sovereign Lord Who decides who lives and who dies. It is crucial that we remember that the Lord Jesus has conquered death, hell, and the grave! 

As we continue our journey through Romans in the Sunday Morning sermons, let us learn the lessons given to us in Romans 9 - 11. The first 8 verses of chapter 9 give us structure to understand the topic in these three chapters: Paul's Heart (vv 1-3); Israel's Status (4-5, 6b-8); and God's Sovereignty (6a). In preparation for this coming Sunday, reread the post below for preparing for May 17. But especially review the following passages in which the covenants and promises that belong to Israel are found . . . 

Genesis 12:1-3

Deuteronomy 30:5-6

Jeremiah 31:31-40

Jeremiah 32:37-41

Jeremiah 33:4-8

Ezekiel 11:17-20

Ezekiel 36:24-36

There are many, many other passages in which God makes promises to Israel, but in these that are listed, note exactly what He says He will do.

Note the entire list of what Paul says belongs to the Israelites in Rom 9:4-5.

And certainly note the identification of Christ the Messiah as God over all, blessed forever at the end of verse 5! Jesus is Lord!

I look forward to worship with my brothers and sisters at DRBC this coming Lord's Day!

Soli Deo Gloria!



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"It is not as though the Word of God has failed" (Rom 9:6)! Praise the Lord! Everything He has promised to do, He will do! Let us take great comfort in that, no matter how trying our circumstances.
Just some reminders . . . 
May 31 is the day scheduled for the Congregational Vote on regarding David Bernstein as an Elder at DRBC. I encourage all of us to be praying over this as we consider the question of God's Call on David. It is my conviction, after months of prayer, research, and conversations with David, that God is pleased for David to serve us in this particular way. But, I do not consider myself infallible! I would never encourage anyone to violate his/her conscience merely to agree with or support me. So, may we all prayerfully seek the Lord's will. The question we are seeking to answer together is, "What is the Lord's will concerning the matter of David's service as an elder?" May the Lord help us to answer that question accurately!
June 7 is the date for our next business meeting. We will have a finance report, affirm messengers to the SBC meeting in Columbus, OH on June 14-17 (Hope and I are available), and vote on potential new members. I plan to announce the time of that meeting by this coming Lord's Day.
Sword School this week will cover questions 44 and 45. Here is the link . . .  
Please be in prayer for children and youth ministry at DRBC, as well as future Sunday morning Bible study. We do plan to resume the Bible study classes soon. We are working to get the proper childcare policy in place, both for the service time, and for the Bible study time. This includes how DRBC can encourage and supplement Deuteronomy 6:4-7 in our households. Let's ask the Lord to guide us into ministry to all of our households (whether there are 1 or 11 in the home), families, youth, children, senior adults, young adults, middle age adults . . . and everybody else! Remember, our small groups are our primary effort toward this. I encourage everyone to be involved in a small group. But we want to use the hour before our service on Sunday morning well, including Bible study to minister to everyone. May the Lord's will be done.
Offering Report:
May 17 Undesignated Receipts   $2214.39
Weekly Undesignated Receipts needed for 2015 Budget  $1748.94
Total Undesignated Receipts May 2015 (May 3, 10, 17) $6569.70
Monthly Undesignated Receipts needed for 2015 Budget  $7578.74
Soli Deo Gloria!


As we head into the weekend, let us anticipate with joy our Sunday morning worship service! I pray that the Lord will pour out grace into our hearts and minds so that we see His glory and the great privilege it is to meet for His honor, to sing praises to Him, and offer our corporate prayers and worship as His people, and to hear from Him through the preaching of His Word.
So, as we think about this coming Lord's Day, I want to remind us that we examine our hearts in preparation; that we evaluate our thoughts, words, and deeds according to the reality of the grace of the gospel that is to produce holiness in us. What we think, say, and do matters just as much on Friday night (or any other time) as it does on Sunday morning at 10:30 am! Let us demonstrate our love for our Lord Jesus through knowing and obeying His Word (John 14:15, 21, 23)!
As we have been commanded to love the Lord with our minds ( see Luke 10:27 for one example), it is good that we reflect on the objective Truth of the Word of God in order to do this. This coming Lord's Day, I plan to preach from Romans 9:1-8. Romans chapters 9 - 11 are often read as a unit, and rightfully so. So, in preparation, I encourage you to read these chapters before the Lord's Day if you can. Read them regularly as we work through them in our Sunday morning services. 
The following is meant to help you prepare for all of Rom 9 - 11, not just for this coming Sunday! But as we go through this glorious passage over the next few weeks (Lord willing), you can use what follows to help with some background for thinking about the significance of Israel's current unbelief, both during Paul's days and now.
The issue that Paul brings up is Israel's unbelief: the rejection of Jesus the Messiah facilitated through the unbelief of their religious (and civil) leadership. The logic of bringing up this topic is easy to follow: how can any follower of Jesus be certain of future glory if the ancient people of God have managed to remove themselves from salvation available only through faith in Christ? Have the promises of God failed? Can the same thing happen to followers of Jesus?
Paul answers these questions with the assertion of the sovereignty of God. He basically declares that God's promises have not failed (Rom 9:6), that God has not cast off His people (Rom 11:1), that God is and always has been working everything according to His own purpose and plan (Rom 9:14-18; basically all of Rom 9 - 11 affirms this!).
I invite you to consider several passages from the Old Testament in which God makes promises to claims about Israel. My heart is thrilled to see the correspondence of God's prophetic Word to the outworking of history:
Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1-21; 17:1-21; 22:15-19;
Deuteronomy 28; 30:1-10
Jeremiah 31:31-40
Ezekiel 36:16-36
Hosea 3:4-5
Hebrews 8:1-13
Note particularly how Paul cites Hosea 1:10 and 2:23 in Rom 9:25-26 and Isaiah 10:22-23 in Rom 9:28. If you have a reference  or study Bible, you can look up all of the OT citations to which Paul appeals in Rom 9 - 11. I recommend doing this as we study this passage.
It is obvious that Paul is broken-hearted over the unbelief of Israel, and his missionary pattern of going first to the synagogue to preach the gospel there on his arrival in a new place demonstrates his commitment to evangelizing his countrymen according to the flesh. Paul loved his fellow Jews, even in their unbelief. But he took heart that their current state of unbelief was according to God's plan and that eventually, "all Israel will be saved" (Rom 11:26). Surely this is an example for us, in that we should have a desire that our fellow countrymen according to the flesh would be saved, and also that we should see how the salvation of the Jews will be a blessing to the Gentiles (Rom 11:11-15).
One other theme that is repeated and, I believe, is crucial to understanding the relationship of ethnic Israel and the Church is the pattern of "not only, but also." I plan for us to read Isaiah 49:5-6 this coming Lord's Day. This pattern is clear in Is 49:6: not only "the tribes of Jacob" and "the preserved of Israel," but also "the nations" are to be recipients of God's salvation. Praise the Lord! This is reflected in the book of Romans in Paul's stated theme of the letter with the phrase "to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom 1:16). The same phrase is used in explaining punishment for the evil ones and salvation for those who do good (who are born again and justified) -- "the Jew first and also the Greek" (Rom 2:9, 10). This theme is seen in the Lord Jesus sending of the twelve to the house of Israel and not the Gentiles (Matt 10:5-6) and later commissioning the discipling of the nations (Matt 28:19-20). This is reflected in Paul's declaration of one new man in Christ from the Jews and Gentiles as it is the Gentiles who were far off strangers who needed to be brought near (Eph 2:11-22).
Finally, it is needful to note  that Romans 9 - 11 involves doctrine that has been the subject of controversy and contention. Two issues especially have been involved: the sovereignty of God in salvation, and the place of ethnic Israel in God's prophetic plan.
Personally, I experienced a huge crisis in my spiritual life over the first of those issues. For the first 10 years or more of my life after professing faith in Christ, I did not believe in "the doctrines of grace." I believed that God is sovereign, but that it is ultimately up to man whether or not he will agree for God to save him. I see now how inconsistent such a view was! I fought for weeks if not months when I first was confronted with the truth of Romans 9 - 11 concerning God's sovereign grace in salvation. Ultimately, I yielded to Scripture, because I did indeed have more loyalty to the Word of God than to my own preferences (and that, of course, is due to the grace of God--not my decision!). So, as the Lord grants me strength, I hope to make the truth of God's sovereignty clear in my preaching of Romans 9 - 11. Still, I hope to speak the truth in love! And as I was shown patience by the Lord and others, I want to show patience. 
The second issue, the place of ethnic Israel in God's plan, has not previously been much of a source of controversy in my life. Most of the Christians with whom I interacted held the basic view that God was not finished with Israel and that they would one day come to the Messiah, Jesus. I rejoice that we seem to have very little controversy among us over the doctrines of grace. Yet, it is clear to me that we have a spectrum of beliefs among us concerning the place of Israel in God's future plan, at least in terms of how that future is worked out on God's calendar.
The DRBC Statement of Faith does not include a specific description of the doctrine of the end times (eschatology). So, it is not required that everyone agree with me in order to be a member, of course!. However, that doesn't mean that I don't have a position on the topic. I certainly do. I believe in a literal 1,000 year earthly reign of the Lord Jesus Christ on the earth. I believe that ethnic Israel will one day come as a people to faith in Jesus the Messiah as God applies grace through the New Covenant to them. I have no desire to be loyal to a theological "camp" or position, but I have identified lots within Historic Premillennialism and Progressive Dispenationalism that I affirm. 
I believe that God sent me to plant DRBC here in St. George. I feel the weight of responsibility for preaching and teaching in such a formal setting as our church (James 3:1). I can do nothing but preach what I believe is true. I am aware that many preachers and many Christians who have produced much fruit in the kingdom do not share my view. I am aware that I am not infallible. So, I want to have patience with anyone who does not agree with me. At the same time, I ask that you pray for me to preach the Word! And to preach it with conviction. To the glory of God, this is what I have set my heart and my mind to do!
Let us love one another! Let us pray for one another! And let us join with the Apostle John in the last recorded prayer in Scripture: "Come, Lord Jesus!"


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It was a blessing to meet together for worship and to hear the Lord's Word on the topic of motherhood, womanhood, marriage, and family. We must remember that, as the Lord's purchased people, our responsibility is not to find a way to fit with the ever-changing ideas of the fallen culture around us, but simply to hear what God has said in His Word and to demonstrate our love for Him through our obedience, no matter the consequences! And we need to be always ready to help and support one another as this becomes more and more difficult. Our church must truly be a family. Whatever challenges we face, let us face them together. Let us encourage each other to love the Lord in obedience to His Word and in caring for His people.
This coming Lord's Day we have a membership class scheduled for 2 pm. We plan to cover the DRBC Constitution concerning how we make decisions together, and also to review the Statement of Faith to make sure everyone knows what we believe. Everyone who is interested in membership at DRBC is encouraged to attend.
Sword School this coming Lord's Day will be questions 40 - 43. Remember the Scripture references that go with each question/answer. Sword Schoolers are encouraged to memorize at least one of the verses that go along with the questions and answers. You can see the catechism here.
I encourage you to continue to be in prayer for our congregation as we seek the Lord's will together concerning David Bernstein's potential service to our congregation as an Elder. May the Lord guide us to His will for His glory and for the blessing of His people! May the Lord call men according to His purposes to serve His people. Remember that the date for the congregational vote on this matter (by secret ballot, though I am planning to sign my ballot) is Sunday, May 31 during the service.
We also have a business meeting scheduled for June 7 for a budget report, the affirmation of messengers to the SBC meeting in Columbus, OH, and the consideration of those interested in becoming members.
I praise the Lord for the opportunity to serve as Pastor-Teacher at DRBC! Thank you for your fellowship in the gospel! May the Lord give us boldness to make the gospel clear!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Here are key points from 1 Timothy 2:8-15 . . . 
1. Men should lift up holy hands in prayer (v 8). Holiness and unity should characterize our prayer.
2. Male headship at home and in the church; means that ladies are to be submissive (v 9-15)
--Priority of good works over outward appearance for the ladies (v 9-10); see Titus 2:3-5. Major spiritual warfare.
--Position of submission (v 11-14); This is a role, not a value assessment or assignment. Paul cites creation and Eve's role in the Fall to support his argument. See 1 Cor 11:3--if Christ submits to God, certainly it is appropriate that men and women also be submissive (husbands to Christ, wives to husbands).
--Value of womanhood exemplified (but not exhausted) in motherhood (v 15); motherhood is obviously crucial for the continuation of humanity! In 1 Cor 7:8, Paul indicates that it is a good thing for a widow or unmarried person to remain unattached in order to give undivided attention to serving the Lord. However, marriage is instituted by God and according to Gen 2:18 and Gen 2:24 (cited by the Lord Jesus in Matt 19:4-5; Mark 10:6-9), marriage is by definition a union of a male and a female. This cannot be redefined--it is inherent. We must determine that we will yield to God's revealed purposes for gender roles rather than to defy God based on sinful passion or to compromise for perceived safety. 
--Verse 15 connects the general redemption of womanhood through childbirth to the specific redemption that involves faith, love (agape), holiness (sanctification) with self-control. It is crucial that we keep every moral issue connected to sinful man's need for the gospel in order to be saved.
Application Questions
1. When did you last pray?
2. Was your posture and attitude characterized by holiness and unity with other believers?
3. Are you offended by the idea of male headship at home and in the church?
4. Eve was created to be a helper/companion suitable for Adam. What does this imply about heterosexual relationships in comparison with homosexual relationships? Can a homosexual relationship provide what God intended for Adam when He created Eve?
5. Can people get to heaven by being good people who support "traditional marriage," or must they trust Christ for salvation?
6. Was homosexuality an issue in Paul's lifetime? After Christ claimed him on the Damascus Road, how did Paul spend his remaining years? What are the implications for our priorities as a church?
7. Are you willing to suffer persecution because of allegiance to God and His Word? If so, who should get the ultimate credit for that?
Everyone is invited to participate in small groups at DRBC, where discussion over these and other gospel issues occur!
Soli Deo Gloria!

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What a blessing to be encouraged by the Word of God as we go through Paul's Epistle to the Romans together! No condemnation in Christ! No separation from the love of God in Christ! Our path to future glory is a path of suffering in this sin-fallen world, but the suffering here is not worth comparing to the glory to come! Soli Deo Gloria!
I look forward to moving ahead in Romans to see how Paul answers the question, "What about unbelieving Israel?" The answer is utterly encouraging, as Paul demonstrates that God is sovereign over belief and unbelief--an amazing, God-centered, Christ-exalting Truth, that grants wonderul assurance to believers! 
But first, this coming Sunday is Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day! It is a great opportunity to look at what God says about motherhood and the family. Our culture is arrogantly attempting to redefine marriage, an institution created directly by God, and inherently foundational to society. Sinners may try to live as if it possible to redefine something that God has defined, but in reality this is impossible. Let the church of God be unwavering in our commitment to know God's will as revealed in His Word, and to live it out, no matter the cost. This is true for marriage, motherhood, manhood, womanhood, the family, and everything else! Good passages to reflect on as we move into the weekend would include Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25; Exodus 20:12; Proverbs 31:10-31; Matthew 19:1-15; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; and 1 Peter 3:1-7. Lord willing, I plan to preach from 1 Timothy 2:9-15, on the inherent role/value of motherhood within the family.
I was recently reminded in conversation of a general truth regarding preparation for worship, which is stated in 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.
This is wonderful and appropriate instruction as we redeemed creatures assemble to worship our Mighty Creator, Who is Holy, Holy, Holy! Let us assemble with our hearts ready and reverent to celebrate Who our God is, and Who we are before Him because of His grace!
For those interested in becoming members, we are holding another membership class on Sunday, May 17, 2:00 - 3:30. We will cover the DRBC Constitution and review the highlights of the SOF. I have tried to email everyone who needs one an attachment with this document. Let me know if you need a copy of it. It is best if everyone prints and brings a copy of the DRBC Constitution to that meeting.
Also, we plan to have a business meeting on Sunday, June 7, which would include affirmation of new members, budget report, and election of messengers to the SBC meeting on June 16-17 in Columbus, OH. Stay tuned for the time of that meeting.
If you haven't already done so, please make sure Michael Klos has your contact info for our DRBC Directory
Let's be in prayer for our congregation as we continue in the process of adding an elder to help lead DRBC. Pray for David and Aurora Bernstein, particularly David as he has the responsibility of examining his own heart and life in this matter. And pray for me as I have the responsibility of leading our church to affirm him in leadership, if he is indeed called and qualified. Remember, our vote on May 31 is not a general election, determining how many people think they would like David to serve our church in this way. What we are doing is answering the question, "Is this man biblically qualified and demonstrating the call of God on his life to this service?"
Forgive me for not getting this info out earlier this week, but our Sword School questions this week are scheduled to be questions 37-39. I praise the Lord for the worship and instruction going on in homes in our congregation!
I look forward to our worship together on this coming Lord's Day!
Soli Deo Gloria!

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I hope you are rejoicing in the certainty of your sanctification--that your future is that you will be finally conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus, God the Son! The truth found in Romans 8:28-30 provides encouragement that is fundamental for believers! No matter what is happening in this fallen world, we know that God is sovereign! He is in control! He will accomplish all of purpose (Isaiah 49:10)! And that includes that all of His people be conformed to the image of His Son for eternity in future glory!
Yet, we still find ourselves living in this sin-fallen world. It is full of God-haters. It is full of sinners in rebellion against their Creator just like all of us would be if not for the saving grace of God. This is exemplified in our society as our Supreme Court has heard arguments today regarding the constitutional right to marry for same-sex couples. If the Supreme Court decides against the definition of marriage from the beginning of human history, and rules that the US Constitution bestows the right to marry on same-sex couples, then the followers of Christ will find ourselves in a position that we are already familiar with: the law of the land is in direct conflict with the Word of God--the Bible. This is already the case regarding abortion. A redefinition of marriage regarding constitutional rights will make our convictions more distinct from what is becoming a societal norm.
We are gathering tonight at 7pm at the church building to pray over this issue. We need to pray for our leaders, particularly the Justices of the Supreme Court, that God would grant wisdom and mercy so that they don't lead us into institutionalized wickedness with all of the negative consequences--both temporal and eternal--that is entailed. But we also need to praise God for the opportunity to speak Truth against an increasingly distinct cultural backdrop. No matter what happens in this Supreme Court decision, God is still God, we are still His people, and the Great Commandment and the Great Commission are still intact! The history of Christianity is a history of our brothers and sisters obeying the Lord, boldly making the gospel clear among hostile unbelievers. Let us be true to our calling regardless of how we are received in our culture! And I must join the Apostle John's prayer, "Come quickly, Lord!"
I want to say "thank you" once again to Julie and Jimmy D'Anella and all of you who worked at the Relay for Life event this past weekend. It was good exposure for our church, and I got to share a gospel witness with one young man. May the Lord take our labor and use it for His glory!
Let's remember to pray for Collin Day as he prepares for his move to St. George to serve as a pastoral ministry/church planting intern for the churches of the CCBA. He and his fiancee, Kallie Francis, are to be married in June, go on their honeymoon, and then join us here in St. George! May the Lord use this time in their lives for His glory and for their blessing! Also, pray for Kallie as she will be in town next week for an interview for a nursing residency at Dixie Regional. May the Lord grant her favor during this interview, and may His will be done.
This Saturday, May 2 at 2 pm there will be a baby shower at the DRBC building for Whitley and Zack Wilson, as we await Matthew's arrival! May the Lord bless this family and use them for His glory!
Remember that we are trying to get our church directory finished up. See Michael Klos at our Sunday meeting to make sure your info is in the directory, and also to have your picture taken.
Our offering on April 26 was $1220.04, making our undesignated receipts for April $7650.65. We need $7578.74 monthly ($1748.94 weekly) to meet our 2015 budget. Praise the Lord!
Sword School this week will be questions 34-36. Find those questions here. Each of the questions is followed with Scripture references. Let's memorize one of those verses so that we are hiding His Word in our hearts!
Soli Deo Gloria!


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We will hold a special prayer meeting at the DRBC building on Tuesday evening, April 28 at 7 pm. We will seek the Lord together for His leadership of Supreme Court Justices, as they will be issuing a decision soon that will have a great impact on our nation.

On April 28, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments regarding the states' rights to define marriage. The underlying issue, of course, is same-sex "marriage," and one of the questions at hand is whether or not same-sex "marriage" is a constitutional right. It is appropriate for us to gather and pray, since this issue is affecting our society so heavily.
I want to share some convictions that I have as I prepare to lead this prayer meeting:
1. Our prayer must be grounded in our trust in the sovereign and good purposes of God, no matter what government does/says.
2. Our prayer must be gospel-centered. We need the Lord to help us to articulate  A. the perfect standard of God's Law (biblical marriage as the example at hand); B. the inability of fallen man to meet that standard; and C. the gospel (not politics) as the eternal and absolute solution to the problem of sin and rebellion against the Law of God. 
3. Our prayer must reflect our spiritual unity with the majority of our Christian brothers and sisters throughout the history of the Church, who are already very experienced in dealing with hostile governments/cultures.
It would be wonderful (and easier for God's people) if our government continued to define marriage according to the Bible. It is good to ask the Lord for this mercy. And He certainly holds the kings' (and the Supreme Court justices') hearts in His hand to turn it like a river of water wherever He wishes! But in general, I have very low expectations that unbelievers will function according to the standards of the Word of God. So, while we ask that God grant us the mercy of living in a society that defines marriage according to biblical principles, let us prepare ourselves to do what we say we do . . . rely completely and totally on God for our life and health, as well as our justification, sanctification, and glorification! We are His people regardless of our government. We are gospel people! So let's encourage one another to be prepared to be faithful unto death, if it pleases the Lord for it to come to that for any of us.
It is right to be concerned over the rapid decline of morality in our society, but it should not surprise us that sinful man will sin (Romans 1:18-32). And it should not cause us to fret. We are instructed in God's Word, "[6] do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7] And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV).
So, join us as we seek the Lord together. Soli Deo Gloria!


I am looking forward to our worship together as we celebrate the glory of God in praise, in the reading and proclamation of the Word, in giving, in prayer, in fellowship!
As you anticipate the Lord's Day, I encourage you to read Romans 8:28-30. This passage describes the process of sanctification from its beginning in eternity past to its completion in eternity, yet future. Note the connection between the Holy Spirit's intercession for the believer and the promise that all things work together to make the believer more like Jesus! This means that all things, i.e., all the circumstances of life, are used by God in our lives according to the prayer of Spirit praying with us and for us! Note that "good" is defined as being conformed to the image of God's Son--not pleasant experiences in this life. Note that God's plan for believers has been set from eternity past and is so sure that God can refer to our future glorification in past tense! Our God is sovereign!
Also, remember that Sword School this week is #s 32-33. Sword Schoolers should work to memorize a verse that goes along with the questions and answers. Here they are . . . 
32. What does every sin deserve? The anger and judgment of God.
(Deuteronomy 27:26; Romans 1:18; 2:2; Galatians 3:10; Ephesians 5:6).
33. Do we know what God requires of us?
Yes. He has given us his law both in our hearts and in writing.
(Romans 2:14-15)
Soli Deo Gloria!

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I praise the Lord for the Truth of His Word! The Truth contained in Romans 8 is extremely encouraging. It is a great comfort to me that the Holy Spirit prays with me and for me! Thank you, Lord. I plan to preach from Romans 8:28-30 next Sunday, Lord willing, and we will see how the Spirit's intercession relates to all the things that happen in our lives.
Info/Reminders . . . 
We want pics for the DRBC Directory. Michael Klos is in charge of that. See him for your church directory picture.
This past Lord's Day, our offering was $1757. 
Relay for Life is this Friday-Saturday. For info, contact Hope or Julie.
This week's Sword School will cover questions, 32-33.
We have a baby shower scheduled for Whitley Wilson (and Zack, and more importantly, for Matthew)! It's set for Saturday, May 2, at 2 pm. Thank you, Lord, for church growth!
This coming Lord's Day, April 26th, we will have a special meeting at 9:30 am in main meeting room, in which the Waldrop family will model a family worship time. So, every household is welcome to participate, from 1 to however many! We will try to simply do what we do when we have family worship in our home. This will take about 15-20 minutes. After that, we will have a discussion time.
Let's love one another. Let's serve one another. Let's pray for one another. 
Soli Deo Gloria!