Tag Archives: January

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January 2016

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New Resolutions

Credit for inspiration for this article goes to Pastor James Emery White of Mecklenburg Community Church and his articles at ChurchandCulture.org. 

Eat fewer sweets. Quit smoking. Exercise. Lose Weight. Build muscle. Walk. Run. Make a budget and stick to it. Learn how to play an instrument. Be home more often. Work less. Play more.

Do you have any resolutions you are going to make this year? It is that time of year. As we reflect on the past year, and look forward to a brand new year, we tend to make our resolutions of what we will do more, or less, in that coming year.

Around what types of topics do you resolutions revolve? Money, health, work, stress? Do you want to make any resolutions that are good for your spirit – good for your life of faith?  Should we make any resolutions together as a church – for the good of our mission, our ministry, and ultimately the kingdom of our Christ, whom we serve?

We probably could. We probably should. Consider the following resolutions that can be drawn out of God’s Word itself:

Pray more. So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’” says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6, NIV)

Care for myself spiritually. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Philippians 3:12, NIV)

Confront debilitating patterns of sin. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)

Invest in your spiritual gifts. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (I Timothy 4:14-15, NIV)

So, those are for you. How about for our church?  Consider these:

Get more intentional about evangelism. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. (I Corinthians 9:22, NIV)

Make the tough decisions you know are best. And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. (Acts 20:22-24, NIV)

Stay focused on the mission and vision. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47, NIV)

Resolutions are intended to better ourselves and accomplish more. Wouldn’t it be great if we could better our church and accomplish more for Christ and his kingdom?  Wouldn’t it be great if we could devote ourselves more and more to his Word, his mission to share the good news of Jesus with more and more people?  Wouldn’t it be great if we had even more participation, involvement, and comradery among all the members of our congregation?

We’ve resolved that we are going to try. Our annual Fruits of Faith day – the day on which we focus on our mission as a congregation and how we will carry that out together – will focus on resolutions we can make as a church.  It will focus on those resolutions so that we can better grow in God’s Word and share the love of our Beautiful Savior in line with our mission and our vision. We will gather together for an extended time on January 31st to make those resolutions together, and move forward as we carry out our work for Christ’s kingdom.

Please pray that God will strengthen and encourage all of us to carry out these resolutions to the best of our abilities, so that through us God will build his greater church and reach more and more people with the good news of Jesus and the peace he brings.

Beautiful Savior’s newsletter articles in 2016 will focus on our mission and ministry as a congregation. It is Pastor Boushek’s prayer these articles will encourage you in your participation in Beautiful Savior’s mission and ministry, so that all of us together can give glory to God as we serve him and our community.

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January 2015

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In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Likely those are familiar words to you.  If you are new to Beautiful Savior they will become very familiar to you.  At Beautiful Savior we worship in a liturgical style.  This is simply a special name for the structure and the order that our worship services usually follow.  The particular liturgical style our congregation follows is known as The Western Rite.  Still, that in itself is a broad category and there are many different versions of The Western Rite you might find.  There is much history behind the use of this style. Many churches and groups of Christians throughout history have used this style, order, and structure to worship God.

Since we follow this structure and order, nearly every worship service at Beautiful Savior will begin in some fashion by calling on the name of the Triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The simplest form was written above.  Sometimes we will reflect on the work of each particular person of that three-in-one God like this:

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

This utterance to mark the start of our worship is not only for that purpose.  It is not just the signal to quiet down and pay attention.  It isn’t only the starting line as we race to the finish through 60 minutes of worship. It is a reminder of why we have gathered in this place.  It is a reminder of how we can do so without fear.  It is a reminder of whom we have come to worship.  It is a reminder of whose blessing we desire to receive while we worship.

These simple phrases to begin worship connect our worship with millennia of believers, worshipers, and forgiven sinners just like us. Adam and Eve stood in the presence of this Three-in-one God, both when they held perfect harmony with him immediately after creation and also when they desperately needed his forgiveness and the promise of a Savior.  It was this three-in-one God who made his presence known at the baptism of Christ when that Savior began his ministry on earth publicly before 1st century Israel and the world. So today it is this Three-in-one God who graces our worship with his presence and his blessing through his living and enduring Word.

As you worship let those words remind you that you have gathered before your almighty, perfect, holy, just, and compassionate God.  Let them remind you that it is by his grace displayed in Jesus Christ that you have been forgiven and have the privilege to worship him and study his Word.  Let them remind you that he has sent his Holy Spirit into your heart to encourage you, uplift you, strengthen you, and comfort you.  Listen for the echoes of those beginning words throughout our worship – when your forgiveness is announced, when a baptism occurs, when you confess your faith, when you sing praise, when you are dismissed with God’s blessings.

Then, don’t let the reminders fade away.  Let them permeate your life.  Allow your Three-in-one God to be present with you every second of every day.  As we begin a New Year, may you begin it…

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Beautiful Savior’s Newsletter articles in 2015 will reflect on different aspects and segments of our liturgical worship.  It is Pastor Boushek’s prayer that these articles will add depth of understanding and joy to your own worship.

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January 2014

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A Prosperous Year!

Happy New Year!

Were you among the many who stayed up till the clock struck twelve? Did you welcome 2014 with a toast, fireworks, or maybe even a kiss with a loved one? Were you among the many others whose eyes wouldn’t allow them to see or hear the clock strike twelve?

Whether you burned the midnight oil or not, had an official celebration or not, everyone enjoys the thought of the new year. It is an appropriate time to look back at the previous year and evaluate, remember, and cherish. It’s an appropriate time to look forward, plan, and build your excitement for the possibilities the new year offers. At the turn into the new year, many look forward to a year they hope will be more prosperous and enjoyable than the previous, even if the previous year was also prosperous and enjoyable. That’s a wish we make for ourselves, and also for each other.

God also desires to wish you a prosperous new year and he even shares a secret as to how to get there:

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)

Did you notice God’s guidance for ensuring a prosperous and blessed New Year? It involves keeping yourself away from some things and placing yourself very near others. God warns you not to walk with the wicked, not to stand among sinners, and not to sit with mockers. God knows the company you keep has an impact on your thoughts, your emotions, your actions, and your whole life. God doesn’t merely warn you that bad company corrupts your character; God wants you to know that it is harmful for you. Bad company can keep you from him. Bad company can destroy you.

It’s hard for us not to listen to the counsel of the wicked, or stand with sinners, or sit with mockers. We each fall into those categories daily as our sinful nature gets the best of us again. Thanks be to God for his forgiveness. Thanks be to God he sent Jesus to pull us form the path of the wicked and save us from our sin.

You can daily be refreshed by that forgiveness in this new year as you keep yourself close to God’s Word. God’s word is a stream of refreshing water. Sink your roots deep into the soil of God’s Word and nourish yourself with that Word. God has promises for you – promises that as you plant yourself in his Word, you will grow, you will bear much fruit, and you will prosper.

If you are looking for a prosperous new year, look no further than the Word of your gracious God.

Beautiful Savior’s newsletter articles in 2014 will focus on portions from short Psalms. These Psalms can be easily committed to memory and serve as wonderful prayers and tools for daily meditation on God’s Word.

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Jesus Is…Savior

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It’s a simple word, but it’s not so simple to say, is it? It’s an admission of vulnerability. And nobody wants to be considered vulnerable. To cry out “Help!” is to admit that you can’t get yourself out of whatever predicament you are in. You need someone to come and save you. You have to swallow your pride, display some humility and admit that you can’t do it. You need help.

There was a writer who lived nearly 3000 years ago. His name was Asaph. Asaph needed help. So did everyone around him. Foreign nations had invaded his homeland. They trashed the reputation of Asaph’s God and threatened Asaph’s life, and the lives of his countrymen. So Asaph and his fellow countrymen went to their God – the only God.

They knew they hadn’t done anything to earn God’s help. In fact, part of the reason they needed help was because of their disobedience against God and his will. But they still turned to God because of his reputation: he is the God of salvation. They knew God is in the business of helping. In fact, not only does he give help freely but he specializes in it. Only God could help them out of their difficulties in life. Only God could save them from their greatest difficulty—their sin. They were not disappointed. God did save them from their enemies, but more importantly, he forgave their sin. That’s his reputation. He is the Savior.

God has the same reputation today. He is your Savior. Not too long ago we celebrated Christmas, the day when God sent us his Son, Jesus. We needed God’s help desperately. We were separated from God. We had sinned. We couldn’t help ourselves to get rid of our guilt. God helped us. God sent us a Savior. He forgives all our sin. God is in the business of helping. That’s his reputation.

God is your Savior. You can call on him for help and deliverance. He promises his forgiveness and love. He will help you out of trouble. Call on your Savior for strength to carry your burdens. Look to your Lord Jesus for help. He – and only he – can help you. He – and only he – is your Savior.



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