First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Suprise Winter Storm

Rahway was hit this weekend by a nasty winter storm. It knocked tree limbs down all over town. This is a picture from this morning, a street several blocks from my house. A tree limb took down the power line. Many people have been without electricity since Saturday.

What a strange year it has been. Blizzards in January, a Hurricane in August, an Earthquake in September and how this. Are the End Times upon us? Or, is it just our turn to get hammered by God's creation. I wish you all peace on All Hallow's Eve. Pastor Bill.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How Great Thou Art in the Original Language - Swedish

O Store Gud, was originally a Swedish folk song. Here is a version by a Swedish singer who sounds like he just got off a plane from Nashville. I especially love his shirt and the design on his guitar. He sings well and its interesting to hear the song in the original language. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Adventure Joel Osteen Doesn’t Tell You About


I used to get really mad when I was lost while driving. My poor wife has had to suffer through several of my ‘which way do I go’ meltdowns. I really hate the feelings of fear and confusion that wash over me when I don’t know where I am and which direction I should be going in. But I have found a way to defeat these feelings. I try to replace them by filling up my head with the idea that I am on an adventure. Instead of cursing myself and the world, I try and think about how I’ve never been to this place before and the houses are really interesting and maybe we’ll stumble onto a new and wonderful place that we may want to return to again and again. Strangely enough this strategy has worked. I am much calmer when we are wandering around. We are not lost, we are experiencing an adventure. The thing is, by their very nature, adventures can be very stressful.

The story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-50 is one huge adventure. It is such a compelling story it was made into a Broadway show and Movie. I call the Joseph story an adventure because it has all of the classic elements of one. It has heroes and villains. It features the suffering and possible death of the innocent. It has God coming to the rescue of our troubled hero just in the nick of time. The guilty are brought to justice and then forgiven. It all ends in a wonderfully happy ending. Who could ask for more?

The story of Joseph and his fabulous coat does point out to us some sobering aspects of the adventurous life. Joseph is left to die in a well. Joseph is left to rot in prison. Joseph suffers in anguish over his family reunion. It’s not all a bed of roses for the man is it? Most adventure stories in the Bible are the same way. Ruth’s faithfulness causes her to face poverty, Jeremiah’s preaching causes him to be thrown into a cistern, and Daniel’s stubbornness gets him a date with some pretty big kitty cats. The apostle Paul was thrown into prison so many times he could have written a cookbook on Jailhouse Cuisine. And don’t assume that adventures end happily. Jeremiah was forced into exile in Egypt; Stephen the evangelist was stoned to death and the last we see of Paul, he is under house arrest awaiting a death sentence. No happy endings in any of these stories.

The problem I see is that many people demand and/or expect that the adventure of faith never have any downside and always has a happy ending. Joel Osteen has a new book out; “Every Day a Friday, How to be Happier 7 Days a Week”. What a bunch of baloney. There is nothing in the Bible that promises the faithful 24-hour-7-day-a-week happiness in this lifetime. Instead, the Bible promises those of us who are willing to take the leap of faith that God will be with us as we struggle through a life of adventurous ups and downs.

Consider the words of Jesus;

The upside: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

The downside: Be on your guard against men; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. Matthew 10:21-22

More upside: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. John 14:1

More downside: If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18

Get the picture?

Like Joseph we are on an adventure of faith. Also like Joseph, it is not going to be easy. The only promise of happiness and victory is when we leave this world and enter the next. In the meantime the faith that God gives us will help us to face the ups and downs of this life. That same faith gives us the surety that no matter what we face, God is with us in the struggle.

So the next time you feel like you are lost, just embrace the adventure.

God bless you,

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pray for Earthquake Victims in Turkey


A teacher and a university student were rescued from ruined buildings on Wednesday, almost three days after a devastating earthquake struck eastern Turkey, but searchers said hopes of finding anyone else alive were diminishing.

Excavators began clearing debris from some of the collapsed buildings in Ercis after searchers removed bodies and determined there were no other survivors, as health officials warned of increase in cases of diarrhea, especially among children.

"At the moment, we don't have any other sign of life," said rescuer Riza Birkan. "We are concentrating on recovering bodies."

Read More…

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

God's Glory Revealed in Northern Lights Over Wisconsin

John Wunderlin is an amatuer astronomer from Wisconsin. Last night he captured the Northern Lights shining over his home. I think it is a testimony to God's Glory. The Wow moment starts at the 1:00 minute mark. Enjoy.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." Psalm 19:1

Monday, October 24, 2011

22 Year Old American Creates Ugandan Mission

Amazima Ministries was founded by 19 year-old Katie Davis in 2008. The organization, based out of Brentwood, TN, feeds, educates, and encourages orphaned and vulnerable children and the poor in the country of Uganda. In the Lugandan language, Amazima (uh-mahz-i-muh) means "truth." Amazima desires to reveal the truth of God's unconditional love through Jesus Christ to the Ugandan people.

Currently, Amazima sends 400 orphaned and vulnerable children to a Christian school through an education sponsorship program. These children receive three meals a day, school supplies, medical care, and spiritual discipleship. 

Amazima feeds lunch to over 1,600 displaced children in the slum community of Masese every Monday through Friday. 

Now the mother of 13 daughters, Katie offers, "People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular. I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Be Afraid of Everything


A casual look at today’s newspapers causes me to think that I should be hiding under my bed terrified the world is about to end. Right now there seems to be a million things to be afraid of. Let’s take a look at some of them.

· Fear of economic collapse. I think I have heard this claim since the Ford administration, way back when I was thirteen. Even though the economy is bad and I’d like to see it improve, the great economic collapse still hasn’t arrived.

· Fear of terrorism. The bad guys got us pretty bad on 9/11, but we’ve taken the fight to them. Our armed forces and police men and women have done a wonderful job of protecting us. I’ll continue to put my faith and trust in them.

· Fear of Big Government. From what I can see, the government has built the roads I drive on, the bridges I cross, the schools I have attended and the hospitals I have checked into. I really have no complaints about government continuing to create the infrastructure that I benefit from.

· Fear of illegal immigration. I’ve been told that illegal’s are a danger to me but I really haven’t seen it. On the other hand, to Native Americans the Plymouth colonists were illegal immigrants. Since things didn’t work out too well for the natives, maybe I should be sharpening my spear.

There have also been many things I’ve been told to be afraid of in the past that have simply disappeared from the news. What happened to the War on Drugs? Did we win? Remember Voter Fraud? Did anyone ever go to jail for that? And one of my personal favorites, the imminent threat of vaccines. I don’t know about you, but if a doctor wants to stick a needle in my arm for my benefit, I’ll say yes every time.

Even Jesus tells us the world will end in a fiery apocalypse. In chapters 23 and 24 of Matthew, Jesus tells his followers to prepare for the end times. The signs will be present for all to see and the great Day of Judgment will come at last. But in the midst of these catastrophic descriptions Jesus tells his followers not to be fearful. “But he who stands firm to the end will be saved”, Matthew 24:13.

And don’t forget about that masterpiece of fearless preaching, the Sixth Chapter of Matthew. In it Jesus tells us not to worry about anything, because God will provide.

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:31-33.

So put away your weapons my friends and come out from under your beds. Our God given faith will see us through today’s troubles and tomorrow’s.

God bless you,

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pray for Families Struggling with Elder Care


Merrill is getting on in years and is struggling to remain independent. Because of declining health she is having more and more problems. Her family is also struggling to decide what is best for her and for them. This is a story that is happening more and more as our population lives longer.

Please pray for Merrill and ask God to keep her in good health. Please pray for her family as they struggle to take care of their Mom.

To learn more about Family Elder Care…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Iran Supreme Court Looks at Death Sentence


The Apostasy case of Pastor Youcef has been sent to the supreme court of Iran to make the decision, and that not only is this extremely unusual, but no one knows when the decision to either save or lose his life will be made. Todd also said that he's convinced that if it wasn't for the international pressure being put on Iran to release Pastor Youcef, that it is very likely that he would have been put to death.

Read More…

Please keep praying for Pastor Youcef.

Friday, October 14, 2011

How Great Thou Art by Billy and Willie

A great version of this wonderful song by Billy Pollard. He plays it on the piano (slightly out of tune) like he is in a saloon in the wild wild west. I think its absolutely wonderful.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I’m for God and for People


The Occupy Wall Street protest seems to be heating up. More people are showing up in NYC protesting the greed of the wealthy and powerful. More protests are popping up around the country. I’ve been thinking about making a trip into the city to see for myself what these people are all about. I hear they have free food. Maybe that will make it worth the cost of the train fare.

At the same time, Tea Party people are meeting around the country calling for smaller government and fewer taxes. I’m not going to attend one of their meetings. I’m tired of hearing about how tax cuts will solve everything. Jesus said render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. I say pay your taxes and shut up.

Jesus avoided talking about politics, and so I try to keep away from the subject as well. However, Jesus didn’t ignore what was going on around him, and neither do I. So this week I ask the question, how would Jesus deal with the current state of affairs in our country? Would Jesus offer us any solutions to our current economic crisis?

A good passage for answering this question is Luke 12:32-34:

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

When Jesus refers to a “treasure in heaven” he is talking about honoring God. He is telling us to put our faith and trust in God and offer to Him our grateful thanks. When Jesus says; “sell your possessions and give to the poor” he is telling us to love and care for our brothers and sisters of this world. Jesus was very consistent with his message. Love God and Love People. That would be on the sign he would hold up if he were at the Wall Street protest.

I believe Jesus would respond to the current crisis by telling us to honor God and love people. He would say that if we approach our problems with these two ideas in the forefront, we would find our solutions. God wants us to be happy and prosperous, but not at the expense of the people around us. God wants us to feel good about ourselves, but not at the expense of ignoring the praise and thanksgiving that goes to God. God wants the world to be a wonderful place, but only if we Love God and Love People will we reach that goal.

And so when I wander into the Big Apple, I’m sure I will meet and lot of interesting people with a lot of interesting ideas. I’m sure I will be bombarded with lots of messages from all over the political spectrum. But God will be reminding me what this life is really all about. Keeping the faith and caring for the people.

God bless you,

Pastor Bill

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Keep Praying for Eric LeGrand

A year after he was paralyzed in a Rutgers football game, Eric LeGrand is able to rotate his shoulders and stand for 40 minutes with the help of a machine. He also has feeling in many parts of his body, and can flex muscles. Soon he will be on tredmill teaching his legs how to walk again.

Read more about this remarkable young man...

Keep praying for Eric!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Attracts Christians

Christians join the ranks of protesters as the Occupy Wall Street movement builds momentum. The message of Jesus has always resonated with the poor and downtrodden. So it is not surprising that Christians are praying and praising God at gatherings that are protesting greed and financial abuse. Is this movement a flash in the pan? Or, does it have legs?

Read more about these Christian protesters. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Violence Erupts Against Egypt's Christians

Egyptian Christians are protesting the burning of two churches. The protests have turned violent, as mobs attack the protestors. The government has been slow to respond to this new wave of violence against Christians in Egypt. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in this troubled land.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Parental Love

The greatest people are those who love others. And this is exemplified in the relationship between parents and children. Normal parents and children love each other without question. A healthy relationship involves acceptance, toleration, concern, caring and mutual support. These and other qualities are given out in the family automatically. Even people who have difficulties with their spouses continue to love their children. Many people today who are not married have children through adoption or the other alternatives for the expressed purpose of having someone to love unconditionally. Therefore, the parent child relationship is the ideal example of the love that should be shone to all people by all people.

Most of us consider there to be an instant bond with a family member. In other words, my third cousin twice removed is family, which makes him different from other people. I find this strange. A cousin we haven’t seen in years comes back into our lives and instantly becomes ‘family’. We should immediately conclude that there is a bond between us? The old saying, blood is thicker than water comes to mind. What also comes to mind are some questions. How do we know we are going to get along with this person? How do we know that we are going to care for this family member? Just because a person is ‘family’, does that mean I am going to love him/her? According to the norms of society the answer to these questions should be yes. But, from what I have seen from the people around me the answer to all of these questions is, not necessarily.

I have cousins that I haven’t seen since I was a child. I found out at the age of thirty that my mom was adopted. So are these so-called cousins on my mom’s side my family? They were called ‘family’ when I was young. But since finding out about the adoption, the relationship is fuzzy. They are not ‘blood’ relatives. If I call someone family does that make them family? If I don’t, does that make them strangers? I hope that you can see, deciding who is family and who isn’t can be a very complicated thing. By why should it be?

Let’s see if I can confuse you even further. I have an almost cousin in my family. That’s right, she is my almost cousin. She is related to my half-brother on his mother’s side. I have a different mother than he does, and so Terry is my brother’s cousin but not mine. Terry and I grew up together and somewhere along the way we decided that we are almost cousins. Can anyone tell us we’re not related? If we say we’re family, then we are.

Consider this question. Why do we put up with more aggravation from our blood relatives than from anyone else? Have you noticed this? I have seen terrible behavior between family members. But they would never take that kind of stuff from a stranger. I have a friend who is used by her sister all of the time. The only time she has contact is when the sister needs something. A ride someplace, help at home, borrow some money. Then she’s gone and she doesn’t hear from her sister until the next time that she needs something. This lady would not put up with this from a stranger. She would not accept this behavior from a neighbor. She puts up with it because it’s family.

So why don’t we give people other than our family the same slack? Why don’t we put up with garbage from strangers? Think about it. We have a connection to our family, and so we tend to forgive a little more and be a little more understanding. Or we bury the anger and frustration we feel because its family. But with a total stranger there is no connection. There is no history. There is no relationship. And it’s that time tested relationship that allows us to be forgiving, patient and trusting.

Why does their need to be a relationship in order for people to love and forgive each other? Think of how powerful it would be if we thought about the relationship we all share through our humanity. Think of how wonderful it would be if we considered ourselves related because of our universal Father in heaven.

John 13:34
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

I believe that someday the earth will be populated by a majority of people who extend parental love towards everyone. I feel it is the next logical in the development of humanity. People around the world are increasingly aware of the suffering of people around them. There is a desire to alleviate the pain of people in places that are foreign to us. The desire to “do unto others” is growing all around us. Why not take the next step and love everyone as if they were family? Is there really a great difference between a neighbor and a cousin? Is there so much of a gap between a person with different colored skin and a person with the same? Why do we treat the people we call family with greater love and respect then a stranger? Especially when some of our family we see less often than people we see at the checkout line in the grocery store. I think that someday the majority of people will see the wisdom of considering all of humanity to be related – not just biologically- but related in a familiar way. That will be a great day for our world. That will be the day when everyone is considered family.

There is one word of warning I must give to you. Trying to treat everyone as family is opening the door to rejection. Not everyone is going to respond to our overtures of friendship and love in a positive way. I am a minister and I try to reach out to everyone in my church. But many people who have a connection to the church have not responded to me in a positive way. Some people have left the church; others just don’t bother with us anymore. Trying to open the door of friendship and love to another person means occasionally having the door slammed in your face. That’s just the way it is.

I have a lot of faith in people, maybe too much. It’s going to take a lot of time for things to sort themselves out and change for the better. I hope to see some progress in my lifetime, but maybe not. I still think that given enough time, people will create a new and better world. A world in which everyone will extend love to the whole human family.


Pastor Bill

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pray for the World Economy

As the world economy slides into the toilet (with the exception of China), the people of the world are hitting the streets in protest. Here is a small sampling of the unrest springing up all over the world, including right here in the good old USA.

Pray for the economies of the world, because it’s time to start worrying where this is all heading.


Greece in free fall.


Protests heating up in Spain

wall street

Occupy Wall Street Protest Spreads Nationwide

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pastor in Iran Faces Execution


Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani faces the death penalty in Iran for reasons that are still unclear. He has been accused of converting to Christianity from Islam, a charge that is not a crime in Iran. He is accused of converting others and he is accused of rape and crimes against the state. Three times he was brought before a judge and asked to renounce his faith in Jesus and he refused. His fate remains uncertain.

Read more…

Monday, October 3, 2011

Lone Libyan Jew Opens Synagogue


The Synagogue was closed and abandoned 44 years ago. The Jews of Libya fled. Now one man wants to rebuild the Synagogue in Tripoli and restore worship in Hebrew there. Read his story and the challenges he faces here…