1. Nursery Road Update
  2. Outreach Committee
  3. Women’s Ministry Update
  4. From The Pastor
  5. Perspectives Class

Nursery Road Elementary Update

Spring Dates to Support Heart Act To Follow

FBC continues to support Heart Act to Follow Assemblies, a Nursery Road Elementary School program that recognizes kindness and character. In the December assembly, Dr. Christina Melton, newly announced Principal of the Year, thanked FBC for our continued provision of food for the receptions. “We have partners and we have friends. FBC is a friend to Nursery Road….And if you are a person of prayer you can understand what it means to have our friends praying for us.” We continue to build a reciprocal relationship with the children and the leadership.

Food items for the remaining receptions should be allergen free (no nuts) and brought to Nursery Road Elementary School on the following 2012 dates:
Monday, Jan. 30th;
Monday, Feb. 27th;
Wednesday, Mar. 28th;
Friday, May 4th.

Bringing food, cheering for these kids, meeting their parents, and helping NRES in other tangible ways is one more way we can offer the love and light of Christ in our community. If you are interested in finding out more about this outreach, contact Chip Atkinson (

Outreach Committee Update

Want to invite someone to get to know Jesus better?

Lael Arrington and Lauren Watson want to follow up the Christmas Brunch with a discussion of Beautiful Outlaw: Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus by John Eldredge. In the comfort of Lauren’s home, you can welcome friends who may not have a church home or who might prefer an alternative to a traditional Bible Study.

Each week will begin with a ten-minute video featuring John reading chapter highlights. Additional images and video footage make the text come alive. Women don’t have to read the book to get into the discussion, but reading will help them enjoy the group far more.
We’re still working out the details of time and dates and welcome your feedback. Please let Lauren or Lael know if you are interested in coming and bringing a friend at:; or

From the website

Reading the Gospels without knowing the personality of Jesus is like watching television with the sound turned off. The result is a dry, two dimensional person doing strange, undecipherable things.

In Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge removes the religious varnish to help readers discover stunning new insights into the humanity of Jesus. He was accused of breaking the law, keeping bad company, heavy drinking. Of being the devil himself. He was so compelling and dangerous they had to kill him. But others loved him passionately. He had a sense of humor. His generosity was scandalous. His anger made enemies tremble. He’d say the most outrageous things. He was definitely not the Jesus of the stained glass.

In the author’s winsome, narrative approach, he breaks Jesus out of the typical stereotypes and welcomes readers into the rich emotional life of Christ. All of the remarkable qualities of Jesus burst like fireworks with color and brilliance because of his humanity.

John goes on to show readers how they can experience this Jesus in their lives every day. This book will quicken readers’ worship, and deepen their intimacy with Jesus.

Women’s Ministry Update

Beach Retreat

Ladies, it’s not too late to make your reservations for our 2012 beach retreat, A Fresh Brewed Prayer Life. The dates are January 27 – 29, 2012 at Long Bay Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. The cost of the 3-bedroom condos is $80.00 per person. The speaker for this year’s retreat is speaker/author Cheri Fuller. Cheri is an engaging speaker who shares practical wisdom through storytelling, leaving audiences inspired and challenged to face life’s struggles with hope and purpose. Please stop by the registration table in the church foyer this Sunday to sign up and view/borrow several of Cheri’s books OR sign up online here:

Ladies Retreat Online Sign-Up Form

Happy Birthdays

Here are the birthdays coming up in January:

Bobbie Humphries (2)
Brenda Jones (13)
Cindy Harvell (17)
Alison Gutshall (21)

We wish each of you a very happy day of celebration. We are thankful for you!

Spring Bible Study

The spring bible study, Mercy Triumphs: A Study of the Book of James, by Beth Moore, will begin on Thursday, February 9, 2012. The daytime study will be from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and the evening bible study will be from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Sign-up sheets and workbooks will be available beginning this Sunday, 1/8/2012. The cost of the workbooks is $14.95. Please make your checks payable to FBC and write “bible study” in the memo line. For more information, please contact Bobbie Humphries at (803) 781-4829 or Leslie Cirrincione at (803) 767-5220.

Aiming for Christ-likeness in 2012

by Jack Arrington

That’s the mission of our church. Right?

To partner with God in transforming people into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Shouldn’t that also be our personal mission? That in some way or another each one of us grows to be more and more like Jesus during the coming year? Of all New Year’s resolutions and personal mission statements, I couldn’t think of another that would be more important, more meaningful, or more eternal.

If you are open to suggestions on good books to assist you on that journey, I have a suggestion. It comes from an unlikely direction. It comes from my reading for the Marriage by Design series we did most of this past fall. The by-line of Gary Thomas’s Sacred Marriage is this: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

Holiness: not a common word. Maybe even a scary proposition. But I can think of one word that sums up the concept of holiness, and that word is Jesus. To be holy is to be like Jesus. To be Jesus is to be holy.

To be holy like Jesus is our mission. As a church. As individuals.

So let me give you a few quotes from Sacred Marriage, along with a few personal comments. I believe every person—married or not—would profit greatly from reading this book. And I hope these words encourage you to get and to read this book. (SM = Sacred Marriage; JA = me)

Here’s the opening salvo:

To spiritually benefit from marriage, we have to be honest. We have to look at our disappointments, own up to our ugly attitudes, and confront our selfishness. We also have to rid ourselves of the notion that the difficulties of marriage can be overcome if we simply pray harder or learn a few simple principles. Most of us have discovered that these “simple steps” work only on a superficial level. Why is this? Because there’s a deeper question that needs to be addressed beyond how we can “improve” our marriage: What if God didn’t design marriage to be “easier”? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?

Why would we expect marriage to be any different than the rest of life? There will be some really good times and there will be some really hard times. There are no spiritual life keys that make everything smooth and pleasant if we would only follow them. All of life and marriage is filtered through the loving purposes of God who intends us “to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” (JA)

If the purpose of marriage was simply to enjoy an infatuation and make me “happy,” then I’d have to get a “new” marriage every two or three years. But if I really wanted to see God transform me from the inside out, I’d need to concentrate on changing myself rather than on changing my spouse. (SM)

According to pollster George Barna, self-described “born-again” Christians have a higher rate of divorce than nonbelievers (twenty-seven percent to twenty-three percent)…Those who adopt the label “fundamentalist Christian” have the highest divorce rate of all (thirty percent)…What most divorces mean is that at least one party, and possibly both, have ceased to put the gospel first in their lives. (SM)

For me, this is where the book pushes way beyond the boundaries of marriage into every corner of our own lives. What does it mean to put the gospel first in our lives? (JA)

While our society has become expert in self-care, we seemingly have lost the art of caring for others. Sacrifice has taken on such negative connotations that people fear being a “codependent” more than they fear being perceived as selfish. (SM)

John Owen, one of the greatest Puritan scholars ever: “The person who understands the evil in his own heart is the only person who is useful, fruitful, and solid in his beliefs and obedience. Others only delude themselves and thus upset families, churches, and all other relationships. In their self-pride and judgment of others, they show great inconsistency.” (SM)

What marriage has done for me is hold up a mirror to my sin. It forces me to face myself honestly and consider my character flaws, selfishness, and anti-Christian attitudes, encouraging me to be sanctified and cleansed and to grow in godliness. (SM)

Lasting relationships require God’s grace whether in the home or in the church. We will see the other’s sin. Will we forgive? We will see our own sin. Will we repent? Repentance and forgiveness are required of any meaningful relationship. (JA)

Ask yourself this question: Would I rather live a life of ease and comfort and remain immature in Christ, or am I willing to be seasoned with suffering if by doing so I am conformed to the image of Christ?

If we live without an eternal perspective, earthly trials become larger than life. Without the hope of heaven or the sense of the importance of a growing character and refinement, there is nothing to prepare for, nothing to look forward to; it is like practicing and practicing, but never getting to actually play a game. Life gets boring, tedious, and tiresome. If we are seeking glory, honor, and immortality before God, daily and quiet persistence, faithfulness, and obedience is the road to get there. (SM)

That’s why you and I need to read books like this. In our flesh we long for ease and comfort. But reborn spirits yearn for Christ.

Make that your mission in 2012.

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement

If you are interested in learning more about missions and God’s heart for all people, an excellent opportunity is coming to Columbia starting in January. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a unique class designed to broaden your view of missions. The class focuses on 4 different areas of missions: Biblical Foundation, Historical Progress, Cultural Distinctives and Strategic Involvement.

There is a cost for the class, but you can attend the first session on January 16th for free and with no commitment.

Monday Evenings, Jan. 16th – May 7th, 2012, From 6:30pm to 9:15pm.

Crossover International
7520 Monticello Rd.
Columbia, SC 29203

Bill Brooks:
ph: (800) 223-2762 (business)
cell: (803) 312-3494