“To strengthen their hands in the work
of the house of God”
“To strengthen their hands in the work
of the house of God”
Dear members, friends and neighbors of Central Baptist Church,
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I am John Larrabee, the new interim pastor of Central Baptist Church of Rockville.
After 20 years of service at Central Baptist, Dr. Frederick Carroll retired, and the church board graciously asked me to serve in the interim while the pulpit committee is in the process of seeking a permanent pastor for this great ministry.
My wife Joyce and I were married and entered the ministry together in June of 1968. Since then, we have been involved in various aspects of church ministry, education and missionary work. Most of our time has been spent in the United States, but for 20 years we ministered on the Amazon River in Brazil.
Our passion is in preaching and teaching the Word of God, evangelism, discipleship, prayer, biblical counseling and music. While the Lord has us here in Maryland we hope to be an encouragement and blessing to the people of the church and the community at large. Please come see us during the services at church, during office hours (9:00-1:00 Tuesday through Friday), or at another time by appointment.
We want to help you know the Word of God and how to apply it to your life. Please call or come by if we may be of service to you or your family.
In Christ, John Larrabee, interim pastor
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
Here is a little bit of history for you: On July 4, 1863, during the War Between the States, Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was defeated after a charge of 15,000 Confederate soldiers failed to break the Union lines held under George Meade at Gettysburg, The three-day battle, culminated by Pickett’s Charge, resulted in the Confederacy losing one-third of their troops, and the Union seeing 23,049 casualties out of their total 88,289 fighting men.
As we celebrate Independence Day in July, we need to remember that freedom comes with a cost—the high cost of human lives. Even more importantly, the cost of spiritual freedom from sin for us, cost the Lord Jesus Christ His life on the cross of Calvary to suffer and die for our sins (see Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 1 John 3:5; and Galatians 5:1).
This month also is a milestone in my life as I reach the mature age of 75 years. Thinking of that, I want to share with you some Bible verses that have blessed and encouraged my soul. Psalm 71:9, Cast me not off in the time of old age, forsake me not when my strength faileth. The psalmist pleads, one commentator says, “that God may not find him a burden.” How could our wonderful Lord ever consider us a burden when He died for us (John 3:16) and “ever liveth to make intercession” for each of His born again children (Hebrews 7:25). [You that are younger than I, will one day be old. Be encouraged by these verses.] We can be quite sure that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) and that He will never abandon a person just because he is old. Our society does, but not the Lord. God has a great liking for old people, for which I am truly thankful.
Next consider Psalm 37:25, The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. John Phillips states: “David had never seen the righteous abandoned by God and any temporary shifts of fortune had all been part of the wise discipline of God to make of him a true man of God.” I add to those comments the testimony of a life that has always been sustained by the grace and mercy of my wonderful Savior. Dear reader let this verse bring strength to your soul as you travel through this life.
Now consider Psalm 71:18, Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not: until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. Each year, I choose a verse to consider and practice for that year. This verse was my verse for 2009. For this unnamed old writer of the psalm (and the writer of this letter) the passionate appeal was that as an old man he might be able to minister to younger folks. When we get old, the natural thing is to cut back and take life easy. Not the writer of the psalm (look at verse 16 and ponder). The writer was old and greyheaded, but he doesn’t feel his work is done. And mine is not done, nor yours, until the Lord removes us from this earth and takes us to our heavenly home.
Brethren, there is much work for the Lord that is yet to be accomplished. Whether you are old or middle age or young, the Lord wants to use ALL of us to tell of His marvelous grace in offering salvation to the world in which we are living.
Ask the Lord to use you for His glory. Consider the truth found in Galatians 6:9, And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
As my Lord gives me strength and a sound mind, I will endeavor to continue to serve Him. May that be your desire also.
Dr. Frederick W. Carroll
Countless people over the centuries have dreamed of immortality. Many have invested their entire lives trying to leave a legacy they hoped would span the eons of time. The truth is we will all live forever. But only those who have entrusted their lives to God and experienced His forgiveness have the hope of eternal life with Christ Jesus (John 1:12; 3:16-18). His followers can look beyond the pain, suffering and hardship of earthly life because these things will all pass away with their physical bodies (I Cor. 15:35-58). Those who do not know God do not have this assurance, because when they pass from this life their troubles will linger forever (Luke 16:19-31).
But when Jesus’ followers are taken from this life, they are transformed by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, so that they can enjoy eternity and immortality with Jesus.
A pastor in a Methodist church asked during the children’s sermon, “What happened to Jesus on Good Friday?” A little girl raised her hand and replied, “He died on the cross.” The pastor asked, “then what happened?” A little boy raised his hand and replied, “God recycled Him.”
Resurrection is really here…and now…because Christ has risen, indeed! One of the many joys of Easter is to find hope in our everyday living, even in the midst of our worries, woes, wars and weaknesses.
When we forgive others, feed the hungry, speak out about injustices, comfort the hurting, we are living the Resurrection, indeed!
When we share the joy-filled Word of hope to a friend in need, we are living the Resurrection, indeed!
When we take good care of our bodies, so that we are better able to serve others, we are living the Resurrection, indeed!
Daniel Akin, Dean of Theology at a Baptist seminary said, “When Easter is reduced to nothing more than a bunny, Easter eggs, and chocolate, we have reached a tragic day; because that is not what Easter was about to begin with and it is not what it should be about today.”
As we celebrate Easter and loudly proclaim, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed,” remember the many resurrections in our everyday living. Live it! Celebrate it! Indeed!
Wishing you a joyful and Resurrection-centered Easter season,
Pastor Frederick W. Carroll
John 11:25 “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”