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A Great Weekend with Hardingville Bible Church

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go up to Hardingville, New Jersey to preach the morning and evening services at Hardingville Bible Church in Monroeville. It was great to be back up at Hardingville and to spend some time with good friends and share some fellowship together.

Going back up to Hardingville is a lot like going "home" for me. The over four years that we lived in the parsonage on Whig Lane Road rank as the longest that I have ever lived anywhere consecutively in my life. (We will have equaled that amount of time in this house in August of next year.)

I thank the Lord for the opportunity to open up His Word and preach at Hardingville this weekend, for the receptive congregation, for liberty as I preached, and for fellowship that we were able to have with the Frasers (who hosted us over night) and with the Shaws and Stimpsons (who had us over for food) and with all the other folks we were able to spend some time with. It was a great and encouraging time.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

A Couple of Football items

Friday, December 26, 2008

This is the time of the year when even mediocre teams like Notre Dame can play in and win college football bowl games and when the National Football League season gets serious. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, my team is in need of a good game this weekend over the arch-rival Dallas Cowboys and then some help from some other teams.

I recently read two articles about football that present things in a different way.

The first story is a story about a Christian school in Texas that played a team of young people who were in Maximum Security. The head coach of the Christian school had an idea to do something different with the game which made a huge impact on the young men from the correctional facility. Rick Reilly writes about it here in a column that reads "There are some games where cheering for the other side feels better than winning."

The other story is not as poignant as the first, but was interesting from a football standpoint. A high school coach in Arkansas decided after his team surrendered a punt return for a touchdown in the second game of the season that he was through with punting - for the whole season. Coach Kevin Kelley of Pulaski Academy in Arkansas decided that the math was on his side and decided to forego punting. While I do not know if this would work for everyone, it seemed to have worked for Coach Kelley and his Pulaski team as they won the Arkansas 5A state high school football title earlier this month. This article can be found here.

Just thought these were interesting stories and thought I would pass them on.


Just other people's thoughts.

Frank

Merry Christmas from the Sansone family

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Sansone family,

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:11)

With all of the great things of which Christmas reminds us, the greatest would have to be the reminder that God sent His Son to be our Savior. I recently read a quote that helped to capture the importance of this truth.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist;
If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

The year 2008 has been a busy year for the Sansone family. We have all grown a little older and have started some new adventures and we are thankful to God for His working in us and through us and for our family and friends who support us, pray for us, and love us.

One of the new adventures we are experiencing this year is the homeschooling of the Josiah and Christina. Having the three kids at home all the time is a blessing and a challenge. Josiah and Chrissy like homeschooling, but also miss being around their friends at school. We are using the Hard Drive/DVDs from BJU Press for the homeschooling, so the teaching load is not bad, just trying to keep everyone on schedule - especially with Missy still working part-time at PRMC.

We were able to enjoy some special times this year. In August, Christina was baptized by her daddy at a special baptism service that we held in a church that we borrowed for the service. We also enjoyed an extended visit by Grandma Cheek for a few weeks in August. It was great to have Frank's mom here for his birthday this year and it worked out to have her visit extended a little bit so that she could still be here for Christina's baptism. We also enjoyed some visits to Assateague Island to see the wild horses roaming the island and to Ocean City to spend some time on the boardwalk. Missy and the children made a couple of extended visits to Ohio, including Rebekah staying for almost a month with Mom Mom and Grandpa Lewis and Great-Grandma Marken. (While Mommy, Josiah and Chrissy were with her for part of the time, Daddy missed her greatly.)

Part of the reason Rebekah was in Ohio for so long was that the rest of the family was able to go to The Wilds Christian Camp in North Carolina for a week. It had been a few years since we have had the opportunity to go down there. This year, we had enough teens and juniors to justify a trip as a church and traveled down for a great week.

We also were able to enjoy a great week at Tri-State Bible Camp for the Annual Conference of the FFBC. We always love the week of Annual Conference. The opportunity to see some friends and fellow-laborers in ministry is one that we look forward to each year.

As we celebrated the birth of our Savior, we rejoice in God's goodness to us for another year and look forward to what God is going to do in and through us in the next year. We pray that this year and this season has been a time of blessing and reflection upon the King of Kings. May God grant you a prosperous new year, as well.

In Christ,


Frank and Missy Sansone
Josiah, Christina, and Rebekah

2008 Church Christmas Letter 2

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
Matthew 2:10

Dear Church Family,

When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced. Christmas is a time of great rejoicing. It is a time when we rejoice in time spent with family and friends. It is a time when we rejoice with the songs of the season and the things that remind us of yesteryear. Most importantly, Christmas should be a time when we rejoice in the birth of the Savior.

This year has been an exciting and difficult year here at Fellowship Baptist Church. We have had the excitement of the salvation of Lila, followed a week later by the sadness of the stroke to Nancy. We have had the excitement of being given one van only to discover we couldn't get it through Maryland's inspection. We have had the excitement of the Lord's provision of another wheelchair accessible van and the excitement of a good turn-out for our summer Vacation Bible School. We have had the difficulties of many of our church family facing times of physical, financial, and even spiritual trials.

In November, I preached a message in which I referenced a quote from Winston Churchill regarding "insurmountable opportunities." The phrase was meant to convey the idea that the task ahead was a task of difficulty, but was also a task that could reap great benefit and great fruit. As I look ahead to the coming year, I believe that we, as a church, are facing some "insurmountable opportunities" from a human perspective, but I rejoice that even as the Christmas story reminds us, "with God nothing shall be impossible." (Luke 1:37)

In the coming days, we, as a church, need to be more diligent than ever in our attempt to reach out for Christ and to stand for Him in the midst of a lost and dying world. May I ask you to seriously pray about your involvement here at Fellowship Baptist Church during the days ahead? I am excited about some of the things that we have planned for the days ahead, but I recognize that for many of them to have the impact that they can and should have, we, as a church family, need to show ourselves faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:2 tells us that "it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful." The requirement isn't exceptional abilities or great wealth - it is faithfulness. As we look forward to another year of ministry, may we be faithful in our attendance, faithful in our witnessing, faithful in our Christian walk, living for and depending on Christ in every area of our life.

May God give you a blessed Christmas season and may the New Year be a year in which we all grow closer to Christ and see Him work in us and through us in an even greater way.

In Christ,



Pastor Frank Sansone and family

2008 Church Christmas Letter 1

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
Matthew 2:10

When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced. Christmas is a time of great rejoicing. It is a time when we rejoice in time spent with family and friends. It is a time when we rejoice with the songs of the season and the things that remind us of yesteryear. Most importantly, Christmas should be a time when we rejoice in the birth of the Savior.

God is a giving God and has given unto us His Son, Jesus Christ, to born in a lowly manger, to live a sinless and spotless life, to die on the cross for our sins, and to rise again in power and glory.

As the Christmas season is upon us, may our minds not only be filled with visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads, but may our minds and hearts be filled with a love for the One who gave everything for us. The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The Bible relates to us the wonderful truth that Jesus Christ came to save us from our sin and that he lived a perfect, sinless life and died a cruel death on the cross of Calvary to be our Substitute and our Savior.

December is a special time for at Fellowship Baptist Church, and we would like to invite you to join us for our Special Christmas Sunday Service this coming Sunday, December 21. As part of our service that morning, the children will be performing a program called "There's A Song in the Air." We will also have a great time of singing, special music, a special Christmas-themed message and a Fellowship Lunch with plenty of great food and good fellowship after the service.

Whether you are a regular attender or whether you have not been out for awhile, wouldn't this Christmas Sunday be a great Sunday to come back out and join us at Fellowship Baptist Church?

May God give you a Blessed Christmas in which the Gift of Christmas remains foremost in your mind.


In Christ,



Pastor Frank Sansone

A Couple of Christmas Related Items

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I have a few things that I have wanted to post, but Christmas tends to be a busy time. Some of this may be helpful, and some of this may be something to keep in mind for next year.

BOOK GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Jason over at www.theosource.com, I was alerted to a book giveaway at a site called "Bible Geek Gone Wild." I had never visited the site before, but I am always a sucker for free books. I have to say that I think the layout of the site is very cool. I would love to be as creative and capable as Shaun over at Bible Geek Gone Wild is at his website.

Anyway, he is doing a 12 Days of Christmas give-a-way. Unlike a lot of other contests, you don't have to sign up for some mailing list or necessarily post a link if you don't wish to. (I won a book a few days ago and am just now even mentioning it.)

There are still a few more days left if you want to stop by and visit him at www.biblegeekgonewild.com

WISHLISTS

I realize that many of you have already figured this out, but I am, after all, a little slow.

One of the comments that I often get from friends and family members is that they have no idea what to get me. Especially those that know that I love books (which is about everybody that knows me), wish they knew if there were any particular books I want - and they are afraid of buying me a book because they either 1) do not know if I already have it or 2) do not know if it is a book I would actually want.

Thankfully, there are a number of sites available now to help with this problem. I have to admit that I have not been using them as I should and I am not posting them until now, so they probably won't do my family and friends any help for this year, but I will try to do better in the future.

Anyway, one of the one's that I like is a site called "Things I Want." Things I Want is set up so that you can place a link on your toolbar and if you happen to be surfing anywhere on the web and see something that you would like, you can click the link on your browser toolbar that says "Add to Things I Want" and voila, it is added to your list. You can also add comments, prices, how badly you want it, etc. when you add a product. My short list of Things I Want is located at http://www.thethingsiwant.com/fcsansone/list/wishlist/ (okay, the Kindle is kind of "Pie in the Sky", but at least you can get the idea.)

Amazon.com allows a similar feature, although I just started it in preparation for this post. My wish list as Amazon is located at https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/4M1PKAKMU3ND

Anyway, just a couple of practical things that may help somebody.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

Hey, that's me on TV

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Today I had an interesting experience. I was actually on TV on our local station, WBOC, in a segment called "Heart and Soul" regarding the issue of the death penalty or capital punishment.

In a recently released report by by a panel commissioned to study capital punishment in the state of Maryland, the commission voted 13-9 to recommend the abolition of capital punishment in the state of Maryland (more details here).

This morning I received a call from a reporter from WBOC who asked me some questions regarding this commissions study and arranged to interview me on camera. I have never done anything like this, so I was (understandably, to me) nervous.

A little while later, Kim Holmes and a camera man named Rob were meeting me at the church.

The interview was very short and they only used about one sentence, but the whole article was short, and while they did not include any of the Scripture passages that I quoted in answering the questions, they at least did not misrepresent me in their editing. (Something I was concerned about.)

The reporter and camera operator were both nice and professional. I understand the need to edit (after all, I served on the editorial staff of my high school newspaper so many years ago), but I wish there could have been a way to keep in some of the verses I discussed. (Genesis 9:6 and Romans 13:3-4)

I was hoping to find a link to it online at the WBOC site, but I can't find it. We did try to record it, so if I can figure out how to get it up here, I will do so. (Be warned, it's not much.)

The actual article that aired had a quote from a Catholic priest that was for getting rid of the death penalty and a quote from me saying that we should not get rid of the death penalty.

I don't know how these guys like Dr. Bob Jones, III, Dr. Mohler and others go on all these shows for longer segments.

Anyway, just my thoughts.

Frank

A Note About Goodsearch and Goodshop

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Note About GoodSearch and GoodShop

GoodSearch is an organization that provide an opportunity to support the churches and charities in a pain-free and cost-free method. At the end of 2007, after researching Goodsearch, I completed the steps necessary for Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury to be able to receive funds from the Goodsearch program. We recently received our check from Goodsearch for 2008 in the amount of $76.56 and I thought this would be a good opportunity to explain the program and to encourage you to use Goodsearch and Goodshop if you use the internet - or have friends and family that use the internet.

How does Goodsearch work?

Goodsearch provides a donation to the church whenever you use Goodsearch to search the internet - instead of using Google or some other search engine. The search results are powered by Yahoo!, so the search results are good results. Anyone who uses the internet already uses some method to search the internet, with Goodsearch, we are simply asking that choice of search engine to be Goodsearch and that the designated charity be Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury.

It is a blessing to be able to receive this money and for a small church like Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury, even a relatively small amount of money like this can help offset the cost of Sunday School curriculum or Vacation Bible School materials or Jr. Church materials or tracts or bulletins. The more people who use Goodsearch for us, the more we are able to raise. The amount of money raised last year was from a relatively few people searching.

In addition to being able to receive donations by simply using GoodSearch as you search the internet, over the last year or so, Goodsearch has added a program called GoodShop. GoodShop uses the same concept, except that instead of making a donation for searching, it makes a donation when you buy something online by going through GoodShop to get to the store's online presence. The stores represented by GoodShop are places many of us go shopping anyway, such as Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Staples, Petsmart, etc. The difference is that you would be making your purchases online instead of at the store. Depending on the store, you may even be able to make your purchase online and pick it up at the store in person (or have it shipped to you - or to a loved one in another part of the country for Christmas). The amount of donation from Goodshop purchases are a percentage of the overall purchase, so that purchasing that Wii from Wal-Mart could result in a donation of $4.50 (1.5% of $300).

How do I use Goodsearch?

Goodsearch has made the process pretty easy. You can either go directly to the site (www.goodsearch.com) and enter "Fellowship Baptist Church of Salisbury" in the box that asks "Who do you Goodsearch for?". This should only have to be entered once. You could also just simply CLICK HERE and it will already be pre-populated with the information for Fellowship Baptist Church. In addition to this, they also have a Goodsearch toolbar that you use that adds a Goodsearch search box to your Internet browser, allowing you to search for anything you want from anywhere on the internet (using this feature, you don't have to leave the page you are looking at in order to search for something else).

You can Goodsearch at your home computer or from any other computer you use. Even if you don't use the internet very much, perhaps a friend or relative may be willing to "Goodsearch" for us (my sister and mom in Illinois use Goodsearch for our church). If you need help with setting this up, please see me.

While we are not going to raise a large amount of money through this method, it can definitely be a help. If we had just 20 people using Goodsearch an average of five times a day for searching, we would raise $365 during the course of a year.

So, thanks to Goodsearch for the recent donation and thank you to all of you who already use Goodsearch for Fellowship Baptist Church. If you don't, would you consider helping us out in this way? Click here to get started.

Just my thoughts,

Frank

"God offers love to all, including humanists"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

"God offers love to all, including humanists" is the title of an op-ed in a secular newspaper today.

I almost turned this into another "Who Said This?", but I wanted to go ahead and link to the source in this post instead of waiting for responses.

I noticed an op-ed piece published in today's edition of a secular newspaper by a well-known Christian leader. In this editorial, he is apparently responding to something somewhat scornfully wrote against Christians - and against his institution in particular. (I will have to track down the original article later, since I have to leave as soon as I post this.)

Here are a couple of quotes.

Let the humanists grope like blind men for the meaning of human existence. It is their right to judge all things based upon mere human reason if they choose, but the Creator God waits at the end of their way. They can't avoid their Judge forever. If they could only see how small and insignificant mankind is in comparison with the great and eternal God of Heaven, they would bow their hearts in reverence before him rather than lift their arm in defiance against him
later

But the cross of Jesus Christ shows the greatness of God more than all his creation does. His love reaches to humanists, rapists, baby killers, homosexuals -- all who choose to embrace sin and thereby go astray. "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him" (1 John 4:9).

The great Creator God made himself known to us in the person of his Son, Who said, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9).


Conclusion:

Any sinner who recognizes the folly of his sinful choices and the futility of succeeding by defying God and then humbles himself at the foot of the cross can be the recipient of the Savior's loving pardon. No sin is too great, and no sinner is too hopeless to be beyond the reach of the great love of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Any guesses? (Scroll down for answer and source)











Dr. Bob Jones, III in the December 6, 2008 version of The Greenville News.

The article is here.