The Barnabas Encouragement Connection

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Welcome to The Connection. Come in and find encouragement for the soul.

"Why are we called The Barnabas Connection? In the book of Acts 4:36‭-‬37 the name Barnabas was given to a man named Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus who was a companion of Paul on his missionary journeys. The apostles nicknamed him Barnabas, meaning “son of consolation,” or “son of exhortation/encouragement.” This ministry's goal is to be a source of encouragement to our communities by connecting them with resources that uplift and empower them on their journeys."

From the Pastors Heart...

As we look back over the year 2020 none of us could have imagined the dynamics and dilemmas we faced.  Racial unrest, physical assault, political abuse, pandemic threat, and constitutional bewilderment.  The things we thought were stable and predictable were shown to be illusions and even delusions.  In Bible study, this past Wednesday Dr. Randolph Smith said “In spite of all that comes at us, we must stay focused and endure to the end” as our study emphasizes.  A favorite passage for me during this time of year to re-focus and stretch in perseverance is found in Philippians 3:7-16 as Paul reminds the Philippians to reach ahead...

Dr. Gary C. Patterson

12 Not that I have already grasped it all or have already become perfect, but I press on if I may also take hold of that for which I was even taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not regard myself as having taken hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore, all who are mature, let’s have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that to you as well; 16 however, let’s keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
But whatever things were gain to me, these things I have counted as loss because of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them mere rubbish, so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 if somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 

It is clear that growth is a process and focus requires we start with admitting in humility that we are not yet what God wants us to be and we are not yet where He wants us to go.  The trials and tribulations we face are the very instruments in God's hand that he is using to perfect us according to His sovereign will and purpose.  
As we push into 2021 we would do well to let go of the losses, disappointments, fears, traumas, and mistakes of 2020 and push forth with a renewed focus in 2021 to gather new wine to put in new wineskins.  Our country, church, communities, and physical/spiritual health are at a place to re-set with a fresh opportunity to design new futures with opportunities.  Let’s enter this new 2021 world together to impact it for Christ while becoming all of what He wants us to be.

October Study Challenge

A Prayer Journal

Writing down our prayers can be a powerful way to engage with God by sharing our praises and requests with Him. As we continue forward in our individual faith journeys, it can be valuable to look back and read through the thoughts and prayers that brought us to where we are.

5 Steps to Organizing a Prayer Journal:

1. Set a Pattern
Decide how and when you will use your prayer journal. Fixed time or place? The key element is purposefulness.

2. Record Praise and Intercession
Keep two running lists: thank you notes to God and requests to bring before Him. While the requests come easier, balance is the focus.
Leave space for answers and write them in. This can inspire gratitude for some items and perseverance for others.
Track petitions and praises for those for whom you pray regularly. You will see more clearly how God is using your prayers in their lives and avoid the dangers of spiritual narcissism.

3. Include Personal Worship
Reserve a special page for permanent prayer items. “Lord, give me the perfect love of 1 Corinthians 13” can’t be fully answered in this lifetime, but it is the sort of prayer God uses to transform you and draw you closer to Himself. Likewise, “Father, thank You for Your great mercy and salvation” is a praise that will never end, and fulfills the high purpose of giving glory to God.

4. Store Treasures
Collect prayer “gems.” If a sermon expands your understanding of prayer, note the helpful points. If a quotation says it as you’ve never thought of it before, copy it down.

5. Incorporate “Stones of Remembrance”
Look back to look forward. Prepare your heart for prayer by reviewing the previous day’s or week’s journal entries. Or devote a special time to talk to God about your recent prayer life—reminding you of what needs prayer and His greatness in hearing you.
Mark signposts. Several times a year, set aside one or more journal pages for reflections on the impact of prayer in your Christian experience. How has God used prayer in your life? How has prayer deepened your walk with God?


Community Resources

The following resources and additional resources are listed in the Bexar County Behavioral and Mental Health Resource Directory: View our Community Resource Directory (PDF)

The Connection Welcome

Welcome to the Connection.  Please come in and enjoy the offerings and seek the face of God in the thoughts, prayers and reflections contained.  Our hope is that you will find something that will encourage you and further your spiritual growth and development. We invite you to contribute to the community by adding prayers, articles, Scripture and resources.  This is a community of believers joined together to share with one another.  We aim to be Spirit led and ask you to let Him use you as He leads.  

Each week one of the Ministers at the Berean Bible Fellowship Church prepares a brief devotion to share with the Barnabas Connection Community. The devotions are less than 10 minutes in length and designed to provide a spiritual lift to your month and give you something to reflect on all month.

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