It has often been observed that history repeats itself. It is part of that dreaded “tyranny of the cycle.” When the great Israeli General Joshua died around 1400 B.C., his passing ushered in nearly four centuries of horror on the people of Israel. It was only the birth of the prophet-statesman Samuel and the beginning of the Jewish monarchy that brought the nightmare to an end. One can only guess what would have happened to the Jews had not God chosen fourteen men and women to lead their nation in their darkest hour. Those fourteen were known as “Judges.” Among them were such famous names as Gideon, Samson, Deborah, Ehud and others. They will all “come alive” to you in my upcoming Wednesday night series, “The Thrill of Victory and The Agony of Defeat” — the incredible book of Judges. This is an exploration into the Jews of the Old Testament that you will never forget. It begins in January.
Nothing is closer to God’s heart than reaching the lost of the world. Each year at this time, we make a faith promise (not a pledge), depending upon God’s supply to enable missionaries in their ministry globally. These funds are also used to build churches, Bible schools, and feeding stations, and to provide missionary family support and purchase other necessities to reach the lost. Over the years, this congregation has given millions of dollars for this divine purpose. If we give the SAME as we did last year, does that not mean we are content with the souls reached and need not reach more? If we give LESS, does that not mean we don’t want to reach as many as we did last year? But if, by faith, we commit MORE to missions than last year, is that not our prayer to God to reach even more human beings for Christ this next year than ever before? Can there be a greater investment? Proverbs 11:30, “…and he that winneth souls is wise.” The ultimate “human right” is to know Jesus!
– Pastor Dan Betzer
I’ve been singing since I was 3. Oh, that’s a long time ago. I love great music – all kinds. Well, rap is tough for me. I’ve always felt that rap is to music what etch-a-sketch is to art. But that’s only my opinion. Tonight – Jan. 4 – starts our annual winter concert season. Every Sunday night – with the exception of Super Bowl night, when we mourn the demise of the beloved Cleveland Browns – we have incredible concerts. Tonight, the Hoppers. Jan. 11 – the Booth Brothers. Jan. 18th – Ralph Carmichael and his big 16-piece band. Feb. 8 – Dino. Feb. 15 – Evie and Pelle Karllson. Feb. 22 – Gordon Mote. March 1 – Annie Moses Band. March 8 – the Collingsworth Family (two concerts – 3 and 7 p.m.) March 15 – Ernie Hasse and Signature Sound. March 22 – the Martins. All the concerts begin at 7 and the doors open at 6. All seats are free – we take offerings. Come join us! Thousands do!
28 years ago this very week, Darlene, the childen and I packed up our home in Springfield, Missouri, and headed south. Right behind us in a U-Haul truck was our son David and his family. Our destination – Fort Myers, Florida, to begin a pastorate at First Assembly of God. Now here it is, almost three decades later, and Darlene and I are still here. I rejoice in that because pastoring this congregation is a privilege beyond compare. I have never met more loving, kind, considerate and faithful Christians than I have found at First Assembly. Now several building programs, $35 million given to world missions, and a whole lot of ecclesiastical water under the dam we’re still going by the grace of God. I thank God for this exquisite privilege which I pray will last longer as He gives me health. I thank Darlene for her faithful support to me… I thank the staff – the best one I could ever pray for – and a fabulous Church Council (board) who are so supportive. Now I start YEAR 29 with these saints of God. I praise the Lord in all things for He is so good!
Pastor Dan Betzer – written New Year’s Eve, 2014