Staff Corner – Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
 
Diligent Messenger
    
In the early 1800s, the people of Great Britain lived in fear of an invasion by the French.  It was no secret that Napoleon was working with Spain to have the naval power necessary to overcome Lord Nelson and the seemingly unstoppable British fleet.
            The Battle of Trafalgar engaged on October 21, 1805, in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Spain.  Despite being outnumbered, Lord Nelson scored a decisive victory over the French.  He lost no ships while destroying 22 ships of the enemy.  Nelson himself died of a gunshot wound before the battle was ended.  However, with this victory, the French fleet was so decimated that Britain was assured Napoleon was powerless to invade.
            An unlikely junior officer was dispatched to take the message of victory back to England. John Richards Lapenotière was captain of the HMS Pickle, a schooner assigned to pulling British sailors out of the water during the battle.  He was given a dispatch to hand-deliver to the First Secretary of the Board Admiralty that contained only 13 words, “Sir, we have gained a great victory.  But we have lost Lord Nelson.”
            Lapenotière made the 1400 mile journey in under two weeks.  When he arrived at the English Channel, the winds were against him, so he made landfall at Falmouth.  He then traveled overland 271 miles on horseback without stopping in under 37 hours.  To make such good time, he had to change horses 21 times!
            As he expected (along with the other junior officer who expressed jealousy at his being selected for the task), he was greatly rewarded for delivering the good news of victory.  He was promoted to Commander, was given a cash bonus, and received a personal gift from the King of England.
            Notice what the Bible says about sharing the gospel in Romans 10:15, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  The gospel is the good news of a victory even more significant than the victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.  The gospel tells the world that Jesus has won the victory over sin and death.  All who believe in Jesus participate in that victory.
            Like the Admiral that dispatched Lapenotière with good news, we have been dispatched with good news too.  In Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  The victory is already won.  The job for the messenger is to make sure that everyone hears the good news.
            Why is it difficult for those of us who have trusted Jesus to share this good news?  One reason is we are worried that people will not believe.  What if we fail, and they reject the good news of Jesus?  However, we need to be reminded that the messenger's job is simply to provide the message.  It isn’t the job of the messenger to make someone believe it.  Faith is a matter of the person’s heart and the work of the Holy Spirit.
            One other reason it is difficult to share the message of Christ’s victory is we don’t want to experience rejection.  When people reject the message of Christ, it feels like they are rejecting us, too.  Nobody likes experiencing that.  It is helpful to remember what God said to the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 8:7 when Israel asked for a king, “for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.”
            We need to also keep in mind that, like Lapenotière, there are great rewards for the messengers of good news in the Kingdom of God.  In the parable of the talents, Jesus reminds us what is in store for His faithful servants in Matthew 25:23, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
            We have been given the great privilege and honor of being the heralds of Christ to a world that desperately needs good news.  May God give us boldness to tell others of the victory and power of Jesus to forgive sin and give eternal life.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together!  This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Romans 10:14-21.
 
Praying with you,
 
Greg

KTVL News Story Regarding:
Tiny Home Ministry and FBC Volunteers

After losing her home to a wildfire in 2008, a California resident along with volunteers are now helping Almeda survivors by building them tiny homes. Alyssa Nolan, the founder and director of the Tiny Pine Foundation and a group of volunteers have begun constructing the first two tiny homes which will be donated to two Southern Oregon families who lost their homes on September 8.
“What we do is we are taking a small amount of money and we are creating some alternative housing solutions, and then we are blessing people with the homes for free,” Nolan said. “It's setting them up to be a champion in their recovery and move to the next level.” Nolan explained after she lost her home in the Butte Lightning Complex Fire, and then watching the devastation from the 2018 Camp Fire she set out a goal of building 10 homes. “Where I live in California when wildfires happened, I really wanted to help, I gave food, I gave clothes, but it seemed so insignificant, the Lord pressed me to build a tiny home,” Nolan said. Now 7 months after the Almeda fire destroyed thousands of homes, Nolan said the nonprofit has already raised enough money to build six tiny homes. The entire process of building the homes is done by volunteers. She said tools are donated and the funds raised by the organization are used for the materials. “There are so many people that FEMA doesn’t even have numbers on, whether it be for various reasons, and there are so many people who are still struggling, living in a hotel room or less than adequate living conditions,” she said. “I don’t think we are solving the housing crisis, but we are making a big difference for the people we do house.”
Nolan noted the only requirement to qualify for a home, is that the person needs to have lost their home to a fire and must have a location to put their tiny home once it is constructed. She said there are currently 132 Almeda fire survivors on the waiting list for homes. Nolan said once a survivor is on the list, they are assessed based on their needs. She said those with children, disabilities, or in dangerous living conditions get placed higher on the list. Nolan shared the nonprofit needs volunteers and donated tools for the homes that are being built for Almeda families.”
Thank you message from Alyssa for all the help from Medford FBC:
 “We have had an awesome start to building the first two tiny homes up here at the new build site in Oregon for the Almeda Fire survivors!!!
We were blessed by Terry Ward with the use of this beautiful build site as well as overnight accommodations!!!
First Baptist Church of Medford came out in full swing today with volunteers, dump trailers, $12,000 donation and a willingness to bless our neighbors through faith in action!!!
 Talk about an amazing start!!!
We still could use some tools for the Oregon build site.... saws, drills, etc ... good working condition used ones would be a blessing!
Cases of water for the volunteers and Home Depot gift cards!!”
To know more about Tiny Pine Foundation go to https://www.tinypinefoundation.com/what-we-do.
To know more about volunteering contact Pastor Jeff Breilter at 541-779-8855 or jbreitler@fbcmedford.org

Here is what a finished Tiny Home will look like.

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CALENDAR            
MAY 2
9:30 AM WORSHIP SERVICE
11 AM WORSHIP SERVICE
 
MAY 5
MEN OF THE WORD BREAKFAST
AWANA, STUDENTS,
FBC WEDNESDAYS NIGHTS
MAY 6
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
MAY 8
WOMEN'S PRAYER GATHERING
MAY 9 - MOTHER'S DAY
9:30 AM WORSHIP SERVICE
11 AM WORSHIP SERVICE
MAY 11
YOUNG ADULTS HOME GROUP
MAY 12
MEN OF THE WORD BREAKFAST
AWANA AWARDS NIGHT, STUDENTS MINISTRY
MAY 16
9:30 AM WORSHIP SERVICE
11 AM WORSHIP SERVICE

ALL-CHURCH LUNCH

If you have questions on any
of our activities,
you can view our calendar online at:  https://www.fbcmedford.org/calendar.html or call the church office at 541-779-8855.
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