IN TIMES LIKE THESE... CHURCH NEW YORK CITY HERITAGE BAPTIST BY HIS GRACE, FOR HIS GLORY! Vo l u m e 3 Issue 4 Oc t - Dec 2008

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1 HERITAGE BAPTIST CHURCH NEW YORK CITY BY HIS GRACE, FOR HIS GLORY! H t h e l o r d ' s v o i c e c r i e t h u n t o t h e c i t y ERIT e a r t b e a t Vo l u m e 3 Issue 4 Oc t - Dec 2008 GE IN TIMES LIKE THESE...

2 2 Editor-in-Chief: Pastor Matthew Recker Managing Editor: Antoinette Nwandu Contributors: Geoff Arman, Send all answers to prayer, questions, pictures, testimonies, essays or other submissions to Antoinette: or call H: E: A: R: T: B: E: A: T: His Glory (1 Corinthians 10:13) Evangelism (Luke 19:10; Matthew 28:19, 20) Atmosphere of Love (Philippians 1:9; Ephesians 4:11-16) Reinforce Biblical Faith (Jude 20-25) Thanksgiving, Prayer & Praise (Psalm 34:3; Acts 2:47) Bible-based Structure (1 Timothy 3:1-15) Encouraging Preaching (2 Timothy 4:2,3) Agree to Grow Biblically (Colossians 2:19; Ephesians 4:11-16) Team Ministry (2 Timothy 2:2; Ephesians 4:16) ATLANTIC CITY TRACT MINISTRY: a testimony from Geoff Artman I'm writing to tell you all about the excursion we had to Atlantic City last July 19th. There were seven of us in total, and after a bit of a late start, we arrived in Atlantic City at 3:30 in the afternoon. We stayed until 8:30pm, giving out more than two bags worth of tracts in addition to English and Spanish Bibles. I was able to lead a covert coin-planting operation at Bally s Casino where we planted about 45 Ten Commandment Coins in the slots. Some of the men were able to present open-air gospel messages, including the following proofs for God's existence: Creation offers an external witness for God (Genesis 1:1-2:2; Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-24), Conscience offers an internal witness for God (Genesis 3:1-13; Psalm 51; Romans 2:12-16), and Character offers a written witness for God in the person of Jesus Christ (Genesis 18:20-33; Isaiah 53; John 10:11-18 and 3:16-18). I also gave supporting quotes from noted men of science: Albert Einstein (astrophysicist), Michael Behe (molecular biologist), Sir Fred Hoyle (Professor of Astronomy, Cambridge University), H.S. Lipson (Professor of Physics, University of Manchester), Charles Darwin {Author of Origin of Species), and Sir Arthur Keith (anthropologist who wrote the forward to the 100th edition of Origin of Species). It was a great time, and we were blessed to have gone. Hundreds of people heard the Gospel as they passed by and several stayed to hear for a while, PRAISE GOD!! For those of you who are afraid to stand up in public and speak (or even to pass out a gospel tract), I have to tell you that there is a nervousness to be felt BEFORE you start...but, after you get going (and after much prayer), let me tell you, there is NO BETTER HIGH, than standing up for God and witnessing for Him publicly! I encourage you to try it. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. We're in America! And so far, we still have freedom of speech! Let's use it while we can. To GOD be the Glory!!!

3 3 Dear Heritage... a ministry letter from the Philippines Hello! Thank you for your continuous prayer for my family and for our church here in the Philippines. To tell you honestly, that not everyone who took me on for support when I was in America, supported me. But Praise be to God, because his grace is sufficient for our daily needs. Here are the pictures of our church activities: Baptism, Vacation Bible School, Church Anniversary and Bible studies! Please pray for our church! Thank you and God bless! Your Brother in the Lord, Bro. Isagani Antonio Jr.

4 4 IN TIMES LIKE THESE... Anxiety about the global financial crisis and upcoming election hangs like a thick cloud over our nation and city. Everywhere you turn, everyone is worried about the days to come. We expect unbelievers to worry because we know that they do not know the blessed hope that is Christ, but if we Christians are honest with ourselves, we must admit that, even though we know we shouldn t be, we are worried too. With things as bad as they are, which leader is best for our nation? How will the crisis affect me personally? And what will I do once it does? With all this chatter about stocks and commodities, money and markets, it would be wise for us to examine the small but important difference between value and worth. I confess that I know very little about economics and I'm pretty sick of politics, but if we are willing to be taught, then the Holy Spirit, who is our "guide...into all truth," will use every situation or circumstance to reveal more of God to us, drawing us closer to Him as we learn (John 16:13). Though we often use both words interchangeably, when we talk about value, we're talking about what a certain thing is like relative to something else, but when we talk about worth, we're describing the nature or character of a thing in and of itself. Take an antique gold watch, for instance. We can argue about its relative value (if it was your grandfather's watch it's a lot more valuable to you than it is to the guy at the pawn shop), but no one can deny that by nature the gold watch is a precious or worthy thing. Another way of thinking about it is that value is something you give to a thing, while worth describes what the thing naturally is. In the most literal sense, a dollar bill is just a piece of paper, so it has no fundamental worth. The paper that ends up in a dollar could just as easily become a gum wrapper or a pack of tissue. The dollar doesn't become precious until we assign a value to it, until we relate it to something else that is already worthy. In the early days of our country, Alexander Hamilton (who was the Treasury Secretary during George Washington's presidency) did exactly that. He established the first national bank, the U.S. Mint, whose main responsibility was to determine and guarantee the value of newly printed paper currency. That value was equal to the amount of silver in a one dollar coin because silver, like gold, is a worthy substance. So, in the strictest sense, a paper bill is not a dollar, but represents a dollar's worth of silver. Or...used to represent. As governments grew, and especially after World War I, there was more paper money in circulation than there was precious metal in storage. So, one by one governments stopped backing their money with precious metals altogether. (After World War II, the US led a return of sorts to precious-metal based money by establishing the gold standard, but once our debt to foreign governments grew during the Vietnam war, President Nixon effectively ended our government's promise or ability to exchange precious metals for dollars in 1975.) While our government still backs our currency with a host of increasingly abstract financial assets, from a layman's point of view, the value of a dollar bill no longer rests on the worth of something tangible that the government possesses, but on something much harder to pin down: the perceived worth of the government itself. When everyone is confident that government is strong and able to keep its promises and pay its debts, the value of the dollar increases. But when that confidence falters, as we have seen recently, the value of the dollar (and of the other world currencies that link their value to the dollar), plummets. The dictionary defines confidence as full trust; a belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing. In other words, the value of the dollar bill in your pocket, (or the dollar you wish you had in your pocket), is based on how much we here in America, and increasingly the world, trust the United States government. Everybody likes a strong dollar, so our government promises us the moon: no child will be left behind, no elderly person will go uncared for, no war will be lost, no homeowner will be forsaken, no citizen will be unhappy. And as a nation, we wave flags and wear pins and divide ourselves along lines red and blue, and we hope against hoping that this time around things will be different. No one knows when or where the current crisis will end or what our world's socioeconomic and geopolitical landscape will look like once it does. The things that we value most as Americans stability, prosperity, comfort, wealth may very well be taken from us. And even if this crisis is avoided and the dollar regains its value, there are trials in this world illness, death, depression, necessity that constantly threaten the things that are most precious to us. In times like these, anxious times, depressing times, uncertain times, what are we as Christians supposed to do? IN TIMES LIKE THESE...WE NEED A SAVIOR Who am I? It s one of the most important questions we ll ever ask ourselves because our ability to succeed in this life has a lot to do with the answer we give. Relationships give our lives value because who we are is often determined in large part by the people to whom we are connected. Some of those relationships are positive and help our sense of personal value soar; others are painful, even destructive, and erode our sense of value. When my boss publicly recognizes my hard work, I am the Confident Employee and no task seems too hard; but when he yells at me for a mistake I did not mean to make, I am the Resentful Employee, who doesn t even like the job anyway. On any given day, I am the Joyful Lover, the Tired Sister, the Guilty Daughter. I m the one who is Always Angry, Constantly Afraid, Usually Suspicious. Every day, I am so many different things, but as a Christian I must remember first and foremost that in and of myself I am Nothing. Again, the difference between value and worth is useful here. As sinners, we are unrighteous and unworthy; we literally have no worth. Isaiah writes, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" (64:6). We only become valuable when The One Who Is Worthy gives some of His worth to us because of the relationship we have with Him through His Son. If I have trusted Jesus Christ and his blood has covered my sin, then I am first and foremost a Child of God. I am valuable in the sight of God, not because of anything I am, but because of everything that He is. God, through Jesus Christ, invites everyone into this relationship because in His love for us, He wants to give each of us everlasting value. And when we accept Him, He becomes our gold standard and His worthiness never decreases. So that when I am afraid, I am valuable. When I am weak, I am valuable. When I am in distress, I am valuable. If I am his child, then I am valuable

5 5 Maintaining Christ-Centered Values in Uncertain Times even after I sin, so valuable that God Himself does not replace me with something else, but lovingly pursues me, chastens me and accepts me back into fellowship with Himself. I cannot be of value to anyone else, until I accept the value that God places on my life, until I see, taste, feel, understand, meditate upon, and know beyond knowing, His immeasurable worth. IN TIMES LIKE THESE...WE NEED AN ANCHOR Have you ever noticed that no matter how sweet it is to hear God s truth, it s just as easy to forget? Our world is getting noisier and more distracting everyday, and if we are not anchored in the truth of who God is, we will attempt to get our sense of personal value from this world instead of from God. Christ's parable about the man who builds his house on a rock is a good one to revisit during uncertain times. In Matthew 7:24-29, Jesus ends his Sermon on the Mount with an illustration of two houses being built, two lives being lived. Acting in his own best interests, the wise man builds his life, brick by brick, on Christ's gospel-centered teaching, while the foolish man builds his life on temporal foundations health, education, family ties, an investment portfolio that were never secure in the first place. I've often heard this illustration given as a picture of the Christian life versus that of an unbeliever, and we can definitely make that application. But we should also remember the context in which Christ preached this awesome message: "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them " (Matthew 5:1,2). Christ did not preach this message as an illustration for those who did not believe in him, but as a warning for those who did. If you are a Christian, the rains will descend, the floods will come, and the winds will blow. I can think of no better reason than this to build your house, your life, your value system, on the Chief Cornerstone, which is Christ. When the children of Israel were in the desert, God wanted to teach them a valuable lesson about being dependent on Him, so he gave them manna from heaven, daily bread, which is a picture of Christ, the Bread of Life. But same old daily bread was not what the Israelites valued; they wanted leeks, onions, comfort, and abundance, they wanted pleasure now, and were eager to exchange the True God for a god that shared their values. And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us... And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play (Exodus 32:1,6). After who am I?, the question that Christians must constantly ask is, what do I value? Are my values the same as God s or do I forget His Word and replace Him with a god who will let me do what I want and give me what I want when I want it? If, as Paul writes in the sixth chapter of First Corinthians, we have been bought with a price, then we ought to glorify God in [our] bodies, and in [our] spirits, which are God s (v.6). Since God makes us valuable by sharing his glory, love and truth with us, it would be reasonable for us to value what he values and love what he loves. IN TIMES LIKE THESE...WE NEED THE BIBLE But how will we know what God values, unless He tells us? And how can He tell us unless we read and study His word? God s Word contains more than we could ever know about who God is and what He values. As we study and grow, our knowledge of Him grows; when God reveals a new aspect of Himself to us, He corrects and adds to what we already know. When we read about Bible characters like Saul, we learn what God values straight from the source. God told Saul to smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not (1 Samuel 15:3). Saul only partially obeyed God, but decided to spare the life of Agag, the Amekite king, along with the best livestock. Then even though Saul was ultimately responsible as king, he blames the people for taking the livestock, saying that they were going to offer them as a sacrifice to God. And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22). The God who values priestly sacrifices enough to give the children of Israel detailed instructions on how to carry them out values the simple and unyielding obedience of the heart even more. Christ, the Anointed One, who is Immanuel, God with Us, came to add to the knowledge of Yahweh that the Jews already had; then He sent His Indwelling Holy Spirit, who is our Comforter and Teacher, to add to that knowledge still. But if you are someone who gets your sense of personal value from following the rules better than anyone you know, and Some Lowly, Meek-Looking Man authoritatively tells you that the real way to follow The Rule is simply to love His Father and to love all those people who break the rules all the time, well, you might be tempted to pick up a rock and throw it at him, at least in the secret place in your heart. But praise God, He is Patient. He is Faithful. He is Merciful. He is Kind. God allows trials in our lives and blessings, sorrow and joy, stability and change, all in an attempt to add to our knowledge of Him. As we learn more about who God is, we grow closer to Him and become like Him. We learn to value what we values. If you watch and follow the world, by the way, you'll learn the exact opposite lesson because the world likes to lavishly and publicly throw money at a problem regardless of their heart motives or life examples, and regardless of the sin that often causes the problem in the first place. We must guard our hearts against this kind of worldliness, especially in times of financial strain, when the devil makes us feel guilty for not doing the big, showy thing. For not giving the biggest tithe, for not praying the longest prayer or singing the loudest song. We must ask ourselves again and again: what does God value? The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heard, O God, thou wilt not despise (Psalm 51:17). When we attempt to take hold of the grace of God on a daily basis, when as Paul prays in Ephesians 1:18, "the eyes of our understanding [become] enlightened then we will know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints." The devil is constantly working to rob us of the joy of communion with Christ and fellowship with one another, but even in uncertain times especially in uncertain times we have a Savior who "gave Himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God and our Father" (Galatians 1:4). (COVER: wired.com, abcnews.com, washingtonpost.com, planebuzz.com, wallstreetfighter.com, nytimes. com, redoklahoma.org; peoriapundit.com; gemzies.com. ARTICLE: "Stocks Lower After Day of Wild Swings" by Graham Bowley. 10/11/08 nytimes.com; New York Times, Times Topic: Gold Standard; Business Weekly, "Would a Gold Standard Save the Dollar, 21 November, 2007; Wikipedia articles: "Alexander Hamilton," "fiat currency," "money." LYRICS: Ruth Caye Jones.)

6 6 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. PSALM 51:16,17 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. JEREMIAH 31:3 28:28 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 CHRONICLES 7:14 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. JOHN 14:2 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exhalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 PETER 5:6-7 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. DEUTERONOMY 4:30, 31 IN TIMES LIKE THESE, WE NEED THE BIBLE cut out these Bible verses and put them in places where you will see them often, like on the refrigerator or near your computer. commit to meditating on them daily, allowing GOD to renew your mind. ask GOD to help you memorize these verses and work their truth into your prayers for our lives, our church, our city, and our nation. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. JAMES 1:2,3 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, to bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. JOB 33:27-30 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. HEBREWS 13: 5, 6 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. ACTS 20:24

7 HOMELESS MINISTRY REPORT 7 I feel moved to share with you some golden moments from September s Homeless Outreach. We had the usual crew of Helen, Josephine and Coretta, along with Brother David, Bro Vinny and Sister Rita. By God's Grace, we were able to spend some quality time with several people whose stories I would briefly like to share with you. Emma was a kindly Caribbean lady and a believer in Christ. Though she talked of visiting her daughter in Florida, she was living on the street without any money. After we prayed with her for a while, she made it known that she did not have a Bible since her old one had gotten wet and then been lost. So we got her another one, and told her that if she could come visit with us at Heritage, perhaps we could take a collection for her travel expenses back home. God grant that she gets home whether she comes to see us or not...amen Lord Jesus, amen. Rita had three requests: for a good job, a decent place to live, and for Salvation. After we prayed with her and reasoned with her according to the Scriptures, we asked whether she would like to accept the Lord Jesus as her Savior, and after some consideration and questioning, she consented! She got the message! Praise God, from whom all blessings flow! Amen and Amen. We also invited her to come to Heritage. Cause her to come, O Lord... for "Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever and Ever Amen." A man named Pete told us that he came to New York from Florida after having suffered loss in one or more of the storms which apparently left him homeless. He told us that he is actively seeking employment and that he would like a place to stay. So, we contacted Brother Bill Muller, and he was able to provide Pete with some useful information regarding a room at Hotel Vigilant. Pete was already a Christian, who had some incomplete notions concerning Salvation, which we, by use of pertinent scriptures, "hammered out" the holes in his knowledge (Jeremiah 23:29), by showing him the "Way of the Lord more perfectly" (Acts 18:26). Amen Lord, O Thank You! Thank You! You're so kind to use us as your instruments of Glory, thank you. A man beyond reasonable conversation, Jesse was angry, mistrustful, and somewhat incoherent in his ranting about his church background. When I first offered him the bag of food, he hesitated, asking if I wanted to poison him. (He claimed that he had been poisoned already). With a show of valor, I offered to be the Royal "Turkey-Taster" and after the second bite I told him that if he still didn't want to eat it, I would be happy to finish the job. He took it. I tell you about Jesse, not because I was able to get anywhere with him verbally, but because I was able to give him the food and a kind farewell with an offer of prayer to follow. (Though he was still going on and on all the time, my Hope is in the "POWER OF GOD ALMIGHTY" to turn EVERY SITUATION to his favor (Romans 8:28). Amen. Rachel: O what a sweet old lady! So nice and such a beautiful smile! Because she had attended services in a Catholic Church, her notions of Christ were not accurate, though her sentiment about our Lord's Crucifixion was one of sympathy. "He was such a nice man, they shouldn't have treated him that way." But when we gave her an explanation of the Biblical Account, she gave such attention to our presentation of God's Plan of Salvation, that I can only believe that God Himself Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. MATTHEW 25:37-40 was in the midst of this encounter! She heard "The Word of Faith" and BELIEVED! (John 4:42). O Jesus! You truly are the "Wonderful Counselor" (Isaiah 9:6). Bring her home Lord, bring her home, Amen. By his own admission, Willie had spent 10 years in Attica Prison. He was very nervous, high strung, and somewhat inebriated, but able to carry on a conversation. I started off by asking him about his religious background, and he told me that he had been baptized twice, once as a young child and then again as an adult. He did have some knowledge of Jesus' purpose on the Cross for us, but, he was not able to express why Jesus had to die. Also, he believed that a person could confess the Name of Jesus as a sinner, and receive Salvation, but NOT CHANGE THE SINFUL HABITS! By God's Grace, we changed that view in a hurry. And when we were done, his expression changed into one of attentive concern and conviction! The arrow hit the mark! Hallelujah Adonai Elohim! God is Great!!!! Amen. Shirley was the last person we spoke with. She was very polite also, and gave a wonderfully attentive audience to the things of God and Christ; however, just as soon as the subject of God's Law came into the picture, I.E. The "Good Person Test"; she immediately began to "buck" under the weight of her conscience. offering up the usual responses, "O I did that a long time ago. I was only a child; etc." But, I have to say, that even here, she listened to the whole story and even was willing to join in prayer. She did have a Christian background, where she told me of a bad "split" in her family concerning doctrinal matters. When I attempted to pursue the matter further, she resisted. She didn't want to talk about it, only expressing the following sentiment, "I will never go back to church again. I believe in God, but I do not want to go to church anymore." Continue to pray for souls like these. by Geoff Artman

8 8 Heritage Family Spotlight: RONY & JOCELYN NATIVIDAD t o Where are you from? We are both originally from the Philippines. When did you come to New York City? Rony came to New York in 1985 and Jocelyn came in We first heard about Heritage Baptist Church on the radio. When were you saved? Rony was saved three years ago, and was recently baptized by Pastor Matthew. Jocelyn was saved during a Sunday School class when she was seven years old. Do you have a favorite verse or book in the Bible? Right now, Rony s favorite chapter of the Bible is Psalm 23. Jocelyn takes strength from Proverbs 3:5-6 and Romans 8:28. Do you have a burden for ministry in a specific area? Rony has a burden for witnessing to the lost in the city through tract distribution. Jocelyn also has a burden for soul winning and sharing the Good News of the gospel others. What are your hobbies? Both of us love to go camping and fishing. We like to travel and see beautiful scenery because we re nature lovers. We also love to play the guitar and sing. And to play word games like Scrabble! Heritage Baptist Church P.O. Box New York, NY hbcnyc.org. SUNDAY SERVICES BIBLE STUDY 10AM WORSHIP SERVICE 11AM The School for the Physical City 55 East 25th Street b/w Park and Madison Aves Heritage of Faith Radio Program Sunday 8:30pm WMCA 570 AM GROW OUTREACH Thursday 7PM Heritage Church Office 519 8th Ave at W. 36th St Ste 807 Heritage Baptist Deaf Church Pastor Emmanuel Sterlin Call for more info: PRAYER FELLOWSHIP WEDNESDAY 7:30PM The Village Community School 272 W. 10th Street b/w Greenwich and Washington King's Kids for Ages K-6!

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