July Month 2010

 FRIDAY, JULY 23RD, 2010


"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end." - Jeremiah 29:11

Congratulations to all the current and former members of Bethlehem Baptist Church as we celebrate our 139th anniversary. It has been quite a journey from the humble gathering in the home of Sister Garrett to this present moment in time. While many great things have happened in our history, God has even greater things in store for this people in this season. We have come this for by faith, but I assure you, “We’re Not there Yet”!
God has plans for Bethlehem’s future, not a review of her past, but new thoughts for each season in our future. He has preordained us for this season, to accomplish great things in our church, our community and the world. Yes, Bethlehem has been a great beacon in the community and has stood strong over the last 139 years, but we’re not there yet!

The expectations of God are greater than anything we can imagine or think, therefore the best is yet to come. We are setting our sites on going to the next level in ministry by surrendering ourselves completely to the Lord. Our mind, body and soul all belong to God and we must commit ourselves to do Kingdom work here on earth.

I know I can be a better Pastor, leader, servant, counselor, teacher, prayer warrior, whatever God ask of me I am ready to meet His expectations not mine. Are you where you want to be in the Lord, or will this be a year of commitment as we strive to reach higher, grow stronger and do more in the service of our Lord? The greatest celebration and honor we can give to those who came before us is to commit ourselves to pick up the torch and carry it further. If you are asking the question, I think you know the answer. “We’re not There Yet”!

However with the power and purpose of our God with us, We will get there by FAITH!!

Pastor SP Courtney

FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2010


If the Son therefore shall make you free ye shall be free indeed.- John 8:36

The celeb ration of freedom on July 4th is commonplace in the United States among many Americans and most Christians join in the celebration with gladness. However, it is my humble opinion that every born again believer has a divine reason to celebrate independence every waking moment of their life. True independence is not only freedom from something but it is freedom to something. When the Revolutionary War ended America was not just free from England but it was free to worship and live a life in pursuit of happiness. All believers who have been set free by the power of the resurrection or not only free from the power of sin but they are free to have life more abundantly.

Jesus in chapter 8 of John’s gospel is confronted by Jewish leaders concerning a woman caught in the act of adultery. His response to them, was to remind them that they were all sinners, but for the Grace of God. His final remarks to the woman were "neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more". His statement gave the woman independence from her sin, and a command to never return to the sin again.

If we are going to celebrate true independence, we must trust and believe in Jesus words found in verse 36. If you believe He is God’s son, and that he has delivered you from sin, then your deliverance, your independence is infinite. Sin has not been taken out of the world, but those who have been set free by the Son of God, are no longer controlled nor condemned by the penalty of sin. Paul wrote, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Christ Jesus our Lord". No matter the sins that shamed you, no matter the sin that shackled you, because of the blood of Jesus, you are now free. Free to love and live, to stand and sow, to pray and praise. Celebrate your true independence by worshipping the Lord and him only.

Make sure your Independence is not 24hrs but rather the rest of your life should be spent celebrating your true independence! Do you celebrate true independence?

Pastor SP Courtney