Cherokee Baptist Association - Centre, Alabama
Cherokee Baptist Association
Friday, February 21, 2020

From The Director's Heart

            Wendell Dutton - Association Missionary

                              Partnership Principle:  
              "We work best when we work together
                and we do best what we do together."


   February/March 2020
   2020 is here and it has been a very busy start. While it is the beginning of a new year, it also marks the arrival of a new decade. As I look ahead to how many days or years the Lord may give us, I can’t help but wonder what changes, challenges, obstacles, and opportunities we may be confronted with. It also causes me to look back and deeply reflect on the past decade. 

   In the past ten years, we have seen and experienced swift and major changes to practically every area of life. As a nation, we are painfully divided into partisan politics with little or no concern for governing rightly. We are a nation that seems to have lost its way. Our culture is broken and bankrupt as we have given way to the days of the prophet Jeremiah when the people were calling, “That which was good, evil; and that which is evil, good.” Just think, the courts have redefined marriage; Christian values are being cast aside, mocked, and even assaulted; while families are under constant attack. Spiritually, our churches have experienced dramatic decline that still continues. It would appear that we are: “At ease in Zion,” contented, complacent, complicit, and apathetic to the need of the day. The great need of our day is to have strong, healthy, and vibrant churches. This can only be accomplished through repentance and    returning to our “First Love’ which will in turn lead us to personal and congregational revival. 

   In spite of the conditions of our country and our culture, I hold on to great hope for the church. Why? Because God has a history of doing a great work among His people in some of the darkest of times. We must remember, the church is His instrument of working in our world. Most   importantly, Jesus has not given up on His church, so neither should we. For that simple reason, we must give Him our best, our most, and our all for the rest of our days.                                       
                                      Bro. Wendell
                                      I Peter 3:15


   One of my favorite things about Christmas is the music of the season. These wonderful songs give us different aspects of the birth of Jesus. However, many of these songs also tell of His life mission, His death, resurrection and even His coming again. They are filled with tremendous theology. Sometimes I ask myself why do we confine using them only for a few weeks before Christmas? My personal preference would be to use them occasionally year round.
   My love and appreciation for Christmas music was probably handed down to me from my mother. Her favorite Christmas song was “Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” which we would always sing together at our family Christmas gatherings. This song was so special to her that we used it as a part of her funeral service in November of 2017. As we look at a portion of the lyrics of this great song, I believer we can see why it was treasured by my mother as well as countless numbers of other people.

“Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem shining afar through shadows dim, giving a light to those who long have gone, and guiding the Wise Men on their way,    unto the place where Jesus lay, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on.
Oh Beautiful Star the hope of rest for the redeemed, the good and blessed, yonder in glory when the crown is won. Jesus is now that star divine, brighter and brighter He will shine. Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, shine on.” 

   The great Bible truth we see here is that the Star which guided the Wise Men was revealed in human flesh as the Light of the World (John 8:12). In II Peter 1:19, we see further      confirmation of this truth, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your heart.”
   This Christmas season may our hope be renewed in this “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem,” and this precious Day Star arise in the hearts of those who are lost and walking in darkness. From our family to your family, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!                                     
                                                               Bro. Wendell
                                                               Luke 2:10-11