Volume 17, Issue 6 St. Augustine Evangelical Bible Church, Cor. Agostini & Bellesmythe Sts. Curepe
On The Job Training For These Difficult Times
The Book of Job begins with a picture of a man with whom God is pleased. God points him out to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him. He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (Job 1:8) Following this introduction, Satan unleashes a violent attack upon Job to show God that Job does not really love Him but only loves His blessing and benefits.
In quick time Job loses all of his possessions, his children and his health. His wife suggest to him that he should curse God and die to bring an end to his suffering (and hers?). But Job clings to his hope in God and declares, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in Him!” (Job 13:15). Job did not sin in the way he responded to all of his difficulties and despair but, like all of us, he was human and far from perfect. There were still aspects of God that he did not fully appreciate. The reason for his adversity, the sudden change in his situation, weighed on his mind. The apparent hopelessness and helplessness of his new condition led him to demand an audience with God to defend himself against what he perceived as God’s angry judgment directed at him, “Surely, O God, you have worn me out…” (Job 16:7f)
Job’s story ministers on a number of levels but here are a few ways in which it spoke to me.
1. How confident are we about God’s love for us? We learn that Job was not fully confident. He said, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25 Consider his regular morning sacrifices in Job 1:5, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.”
1 John 4:18 tells us that, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” If we fully love/trust God we will not be afraid but will patiently wait on Him – for His intervention/deliverance in this life or the next. Isaiah 40:31 tells us that, “Those who hope in (wait on) the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Despair and complaints often arise from a lack of confidence in God’s love and care. But God heard Job and was concerned enough to answer him, forgive him and restore his wealth, family and social status.
2. In this life we are surrounded by so much noise and misinformation seeking to distract/divert us away from the truth. Like Job amid the many sincere and profound pronouncements from his friends we wonder what is real, what is true, what is reliable. Job’s encounter with God totally changed his perspective – after hearing from God he had no further questions or complaints. In fact, he saw the ignorance and arrogance of his earlier words and covering his mouth, he had nothing further to say.
God’s closing rebuke to Eliphaz is noteworthy, “I am angry with you and your two friends because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” Job 42:7-9 They had to bring seven bulls and seven rams so that Job could make sacrifices on their behalf and pray for God to forgive them.
Not everything you hear is of the same value! Be careful to give priority to what God says (as revealed in His Word). In the end, that is what truly matters.
3. It is often the ‘bumps’ along the road of life that cause us to wake-up and grow-up (even though we do not like them). Job went through a horrible experience but in the end he had a better understanding of God and himself and life. It is worth noting that Satan does not feature again in the story after Chapters 1 and 2. It is Job’s trust/faith in God and his response to God’s Word to him that sustains him and transforms his situation. When we look to Jesus and trust in Him we can resist the taunts and temptations of Satan and overcome the challenges of life. Let us seek, hear and obey the Word of Lord when difficulties arise. Do not turn away from God at such times but towards Him!
Author: Elder Joe Caterson (CBSI Teaching Leader)
Praying for Revival at Stanford!
Hello Stanford IVGrad Alum!
Last night, IVGrad held its first ‘hybrid, in person, socially distant’ large group meeting of this academic pandemic year! Some fully vaccinated students gathered on a Wilbur field outdoors and Prescott and I called in remotely! And I woke up still buzzing with eager anticipation and awe at the imaginative prayer walks around various Stanford spots yesterday where both online and in-person groups prayed for Revival at Stanford! I logged off with them chatting with a group of four grad students who’d wandered by!
What are you praying for? As IVGrad staff associates, we (Prescott, MS ’19 and Denise, MS ’86 Engr ‘90) are so grateful and ask for your continued prayers and giving. You continue to be a key part of the gospel going forth on and from the Stanford campus! This month, we would like to share Katie's story with you.
Q: What the Lord has been teaching you this year in the pandemic and while serving on the Steering Committee?
A: I've really seen God at work through the two small groups I've been participating in this past year. My favorite part of the GIGC small group has been getting to know all the first years, and it's been so encouraging to see how strong a community we've formed despite the fact that they've all had to start grad school during a pandemic. My favorite part of the DCM small group is all of the really thought-provoking discussions we've had about how much religious views can differ both amongst Christians and between Christians and those of other faiths. Since I'd never been to church or been part of any kind of Christian fellowship prior to Stanford, pretty much all of the things I've been doing with small groups, Steering, etc. these past few years have pushed me outside my comfort zone, but they've done so in a way that I feel like I'm growing in a positive direction (and it also helps that this is a really nice group of people to grow with haha). Steering in particular is something I never would have imagined doing before, but it's been cool to see that there are ways I can contribute to the community through it, even though I don't really consider myself the "leader" type at all.
Praise God with us for:
how he is using Stanford IVGrad fellowship in Katie's life.
the Exploring Leadership sessions with many students actively considering how to be involved next year.
excellent participation in small groups despite pandemic social distancing and Zoom fatigue.
ongoing and active Faculty fellowship meetings!
a full-time staff (particularly as one is actively discerning whether to step into the role)
the new leadership teams
the Pacific Area Summer Connections sessions
planning for a hybrid fall
grad students' participation in upcoming Bay Area Passion Talks
small groups and the students who are being transformed by Jesus in these groups.
As we reach the end of our fiscal year (June 30), if you haven't had a chance to give yet, would you pray about being part of our sending team or would you consider increasing your financial partnership with IVgrad Stanford? You can invest in the transformation of students like Katie, students like you once were.
We would love to hear from and pray for you (much easier now with Zoom)! Please feel free to reach out and send any prayer requests you may have. Denise can be reached at 650-709-6623 or firstname.lastname@example.org, while Prescott can be contacted at 717-598-2793 or email@example.com.
Prescott and Denise
During the COVID-19 Pandemic
We will continue to facilitate deposits at the church office and online. Deposits can be made at the church office Monday–Friday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Those wishing to transfer funds online please note that we cannot verify the receipt of funds until our bank statement is received. Our account information is as follows:
NAME: ST AUGUSTINE EVANGELICAL BIBLE CHURCH (Use Capitals without punctuation marks and enter as many characters as the field allows)
NUMBER: 100081011847061 (15 digits are required by RBC. If your app does not accept 15 digits, omit some of the leading digits i.e. 1000)
ACCOUNT TYPE: Chequing
Please notify us of the Date / Sum / Purpose or Distribution of your transfer and let us know of any needed adjustments to the above instructions.
Each local bank has its own online transfer app/system and we have been advised of problems affecting transfers from other (Non-RBC) banks.
Prayer & Praises
Let's pray without ceasing for:
A reduction in the spread of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago.
All those who have lost loved ones during this time
Pastor Kelvin Mapp's full recovery
Those who are still recovering from COVID-19
God's guidance over the vaccination process
Those who have lost income due to the SOE measures
Let's give thanks for:
God's continued provision for our membership in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic
Reports of God's healing by our membership.
The success of our "Say So" online fellowship event
The success of our Mid-Year Business Meeting
The services rendered by our Sister Christal Benjamin during her time as Church Secretary
Speaking & Worship Schedule
Communion Service-the Promised Land
The Tabernacle and The Temple
Pastor Francis Warner
Elder Joe Caterson
Captivity in Babylon
Elder Joe Caterson
Communion Service-The Return of the Exiles
Junior Sunday School
Adult Sunday School
Friday SAYBOB Young People's
Wednesday Prayer Meeting