Across Iowa 9/5/17

Dear IARBC family,
Life takes some interesting and unexpected turns, at least from our perspective. We make plans, as we should, but the Lord directs our steps (Pr. 16:9). We make our plans, but are careful to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.” It would be arrogant and sinful to do otherwise (James 4:15-17).
God is in control, He knows, and He provides. So, we trust Him and find Him faithful as we have always have. We walk by faith and not by sight. This honors Him and pleases Him.
The last week in June we headed out to northern Maryland to Sandy Cove Christian Retreat Center along the northern tip of Chesapeake Bay. This trip to this year’s GARBC Annual Meeting would include Council of 18 meetings, encouraging our Iowa teens at Talents for Christ, enjoying the fellowship and preaching, and perhaps a seafood meal along the way. Everything was going according to plan until about 3:00 am Wednesday morning, the first full day of the conference. Many of you likely know some of the story. Sandy woke up with a pain in her abdomen, and I was awakened shortly after that. We decided that she needed medical care and headed out to the nearest hospital ER that we could find. The people at the desk were very helpful in confirming our choice of a hospital. To make a long story shorter, it was determined after two days of tests and analysis that she needed an appendectomy. The surgery Friday afternoon went smoothly and she was released about supper time. Of course, all of this was not on our radar, nor could it have been. But God knew and He provided;
* The mother of one of our Iowa TFC teens is a doctor. She came to see us in the ER during the “what is going on here” phase and became a good advocate for us as and a great encouragement being that we were far from home.
* One of the doctors we were referred to had us come back in for a different test. He was very kind; he was concerned about the vomiting and was very helpful in getting a definitive diagnosis.
* A very kind nurse took pity on our plight of being so far from home and personally escorted us to our next testing location. She gave us her phone number, offered to help us find a place to stay for the weekend if we needed one, and came back the next day to see us on her own time.
* As we waited in the ER again on Thursday evening, planning for surgery the next day, I called the airlines to move our flight from Friday evening to Monday evening. Sandy needed the weekend to recover and gain some strength for the trip home. They waived the rebooking fee (medical waiver) and booked us on the same flight three days later. This was the July 4 holiday weekend.
* Pastor David and Debbie Strope stopped by Friday afternoon before Sandy’s surgery to encourage us and pray with us. I believe they left the conference a little early to be sure they could connect with us. It was sure good to see these dear friends. They assured us that people at the conference, and others in various places, were praying for us. You all know what an encouragement that is when you are facing some kind of difficulty.
* The surgical team was great and the procedure went well. We heard that, among the staff, we were the “couple from Canada”. I guess Iowa sounds a lot like Ottawa. Some thought we were from Ohio, and one mentioned that he thought we were from Idaho. We laughed with them, but actually it was a blessing that they understood we were a long way from home and wanted to assure us of their concern for us.
* After being released from the hospital Friday evening, we drove back to Sandy Cove. The conference had ended around noon that day, and we still had all of our things in our room (we had both stayed at the hospital Thursday night). We had contacted Sandy Cove earlier and asked if we could stay the weekend for a Monday departure. They said that they had a group coming in for the weekend and we would not be able to stay Saturday and Sunday night, but we could stay Friday night. That was a huge blessing. They even told us that as we had missed the bulk of the conference, and had not used the bulk of our meal package, that they would credit our missed meals towards one night’s stay. The credit “happened” to be just the right amount to cover our Friday night stay. Needless to say, God used them to be a great help to us.
* We still needed a place to stay for the weekend. So, Thursday evening, sitting in the hospital ER, after calling the airlines, I got on my computer and looked for a motel. I was concerned that with the holiday weekend it may be difficult, but after a short search I booked a room at the motel nearest to the conference. When we arrived there Saturday afternoon, the lady at the desk took pity on us and moved us to a room on the first floor so Sandy would not have to climb any stairs.
* After a refreshing weekend for Sandy to gain some strength to travel home, we drove to Baltimore Monday morning. We had recently been learning to build “margin” into our schedules so we planned the day accordingly. The drive on I-95, as well as the airport, were not as congested as we had thought they might be. God also gave us the back row in the airplane with a little more leg room, close proximity to the restroom, and a little space to ourselves. We, again, were amazed at God’s provision in these simple but meaningful blessings.
* Without knowing that our trip to Maryland would include an appendectomy, we had decided to fly out of Minneapolis on a non-stop flight to Baltimore. The tickets were significantly cheaper than flying out of Des Moines, and we had planned to attend a family reunion in the Twin Cities the day after the conference. Also, a non-stop flight is always appealing, so we were truly grateful to the Lord for directing our steps to arrange this direct flight. Following surgery, this was a tremendous blessing. We arrived safely at MSP airport ahead of schedule, and of course needed to drive home to Iowa. Sandy felt good so we drove home Monday evening. God kept us alert and we arrived home safely.
We can say with Ezra, the good hand of our God was upon us. You all have seen His hand during unexpected and trying times. We praise Him for this and felt the need to share His goodness to us with you.
It took longer than we thought, but Sandy is back to 100% and we are back in the saddle of ministry among our IARBC church family. To God be the glory for his help and his healing.
This is one bookend since we last wrote.
The other bookend is that Sandy is now serving the Lord as the Interim Dean of Women at Faith Baptist Bible College for this school year. She has finished her third week of serving in this capacity, and is enjoying investing in the lives of these young ladies. As this is a full-time position, she will not be working at the FBBC Bookstore until the school year is over. There is much for her to learn. But there are many capable people helping her with the transition, and she loves what God has set before her to do. God prepares you for what He calls you to do. We are grateful for this ministry opportunity for her. She has so much to offer these students and it is a good fit for her.
We also believe that her new position is a great way to complement our ministry among our IARBC churches. What a great way for us to connect with Faith students, faculty, administration, and staff! What a great way to further this partnership in ministry with Faith! We are already enjoying these things.
Much has happened between the bookends, and I plan to fill in some of the gaps in future articles of Across Iowa.
But for now, please…
* Thank the Lord with us for His direction and provision while we were in Maryland.
* Pray for Sandy as she begins her new ministry as Interim Dean of Women.
* Thank the Lord for a great IARBC Men’s Retreat.
* Pray for God’s hand of blessing on our IARBC Women’s RENEW Conference at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp on September 8-9. Faith  Taylor, wife of Dean Taylor (Pastoral Training Professor at FBBC), is the speaker.
Thanks for praying for Sandy during and after her surgery. Thanks for the many notes and words of encouragement along the way. This is part of what makes our fellowship of churches so precious. Friends in life and ministry praying for one another, and working together for the cause of the Gospel.
We love you and thank God for you.
Tim & Sandy
“Because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5)

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Across Iowa 7/17/17

Hello all! This is Brenna, borrowing Tim’s digital pen to let you know that Sandy is recovering well despite a slight setback after returning to Iowa following an appendectomy that became necessary while attending the GARBC national conference. Tim and Sandy are currently away on a vacation to Door County, Wisconsin. Please pray that they are able to relax, recover and be spiritually refreshed during this time!

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Across Iowa 6/22/2017

Dear IARBC family,
Last evening we had the joy of watching some of our grandkiddos for a bit. Their mom and dad had some things that needed to be done and we were glad to help 🙂 We ate pizza (cheese pizza is still very popular with children), played some games outside and then came inside as the sun went down. We were watching an older Disney movie (Swiss Family Robinson) when Sandy received a text from their dad. He asked us to have the kids look outside as it had started to rain, and they had been praying that God would send rain. He wanted them to know that God had heard and answered their prayers. It was a good lesson in the wonders (lightning and thunder) and the works of God.
In my opinion, we as fundamental Baptists have always worked hard at teaching our children the Word of God. It is also my opinion, based on many years in ministry and observation, that we have not worked as hard at teaching our children (and perhaps new believers) the works of God and His wonders.
The heading in my Bible for Psalm 78 is “Tell the Coming Generation”. Every parent should know, embrace, and, by the grace of God, put into practice the truths in this passage of Scripture…
WE must hear and know God’s Word…see and remember His wonders and His works!
We must open our mouths…not hide them……tell them…teach them to our children…the coming generation!
The “them” is God’s Word…God’s works…and God’s wonders.
All this so that they will “set their hope in God and not forget”…and not be a “stubborn and rebellious generation.”
His wonders and His works are the amazing things that God has done and is currently doing in the heavens, on earth, and in our daily lives. It is implied that if we do not show and tell our children what God is doing they will not see His wonders and His works. We must teach them the wonders and the works of God whenever we teach them the Word of God. In family devotions, in Sunday School, at VBS, at camp, and throughout the course of the day (see Deut. 6:4-9) to help them to see the hand of God in everyday life. We must help them to apply the truths of Scripture. We must show them that God is powerful…that He is actively working all the time…and that He is amazing (Psalm 78:4)!
Here are a few suggestions:
1) Make an effort to remember what God has done, and to see what He is doing in your life.
2) Teach, tell, and show your children these amazing things…God’s Word, wonders & works as you “sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise” (Deut. 6:7).
3) Trust that God will use all of this to do a work in the lives of your children…that they will put their trust in Him and not forget Him.
This weekend Sandy & I head out to Maryland for the GARBC Annual Conference. I have Council of 18 meetings on Monday, Talents for Christ is on Tuesday, and Sandy will be doing a workshop on Wednesday. She is excited about sharing what God has laid on her heart and would sure appreciate your prayers for her. Please also pray for safety for people traveling to the conference, and for a refreshing time of fellowship with people and around the Word.
Next week is also Family Camp #1 at IRBC. I mention this to remind you to pray for the summer ministries of the camp and that God’s hand of blessing would be evident in changed lives. I also mention this to say that Brenna Capon, our IARBC Administrative Assistant, will be at FC 1 with her family. If you have a pressing need either she or I can help, but I wanted you to know that we will be away from our offices for the week in case it takes a bit to respond. Thanks!
A few weeks ago I had a great time at a golf outing hosted by Nevada Baptist Church (Pastor Dennis & Barb Reynolds). There were about 30-40 men there, including some who were unbelievers. I was invited to share a devotional and join them for a round of golf. I hadn’t played since the Faith Golf Classic last September, and it showed! But it was a great time of golfing with friends, old and new. NBC did a great job of hosting the event, complete with some pretty impressive prizes. It was also a great time to connect with unsaved men with the Gospel of Christ and to challenge all of us who know the Lord to be faithful in giving out the Gospel.
Slater Baptist Church (Interim pastor Miles & Mary Grismore) is in transition between pastors. We like to touch base with these churches when we can and a recent Sunday was a good chance to do this. We popped in for Sunday morning services and had a great time with them. We caught the end of a series of SS lessons that focused on where the church was and where it should be going. It was a very transparent evaluation and I was impressed at the openness with which they talked about these things as a church family. Pastor Grismore preached and led in the Lord’s Table for the morning worship service. Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice lunch with the Grismores. I so appreciate them and believe that they, and others who serve our churches as pulpit supply and interim pastors, are doing a great work in our churches. I thank God for them.
This was our fourth year to travel with the winners for our Talents for Christ Tour. The last few years we had 5, 7, and 12 winners respectively on Tour. This year we were down to two, and could not fill all the evenings with host churches, so it was decided to do a Sunday-only TFC Tour instead of the typical Sunday-Wednesday Tour. We were few in number, but the two young TFC preachers, Wes Prindle and David Love (both from Altoona Regular Baptist Church) did a great job of preaching God’s Word. We were at Faith Baptist Church in Carroll (Pastor Jay & Megan Chapman) for the morning and at Grace Baptist Church in Harlan (Pastor Chad & Amanda Hol) in the evening. It was a short tour and a long day, but we were blessed with great host churches and the ministries of these two young men. They, and others from Iowa, will be competing at the National TFC Competition on Tuesday of next week. Please pray for them!
Summer is a time when many of our churches engage in different types of ministries. There are weeks of VBS, missions trips, wilderness trips, and, for some, weekend retreats such as the one hosted by Walnut Park Baptist Church in Muscatine (Pastor Dave & Lori Wood). I was invited to speak for this Friday through Sunday morning retreat and truly enjoyed the time with this church family. Youth Pastor David Love did a fantastic job of organizing the retreat, including some interesting activities such as archery tag. Sandy and I enjoyed watching from the safety and comfort of a golf cart. When asked if we wanted to play softball, we declined and said “amen” when another fellow said that playing would be “an accident waiting to happen.” Pastor Dave & Lori Wood are relatively new to our fellowship and to Iowa. He is a seasoned pastor and I love the way he always connects and applies whatever is being sung, or taught, to our everyday lives. I also love the way they are reaching out to people. God is blessing!
Keep praying for God to work in hearts and to open doors for the gospel.
Keep working at building relationships with people for the purpose of sharing Christ with them.
In other words…
Keep DEPENDING on the Lord, and
Keep DOING the work of the Lord!
Your friends and partners in ministry,
Tim & Sandy
“Because of your partnership in the gospel” (Phil. 1:5)

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