Saturday, February 27, 2010

February Newsletter: Voices in the Capitol

The rotunda and main floor of the West Virginia capitol building is a fascinating place during the regular legislative session. Crowds gather around the well of the rotunda discussing various issues before the legislature. Throughout the session special days are set aside to focus on diverse aspects of life in West Virginia with assorted agencies, interest groups, and organizations setting up displays. Music groups often perform on the ground floor below with the sound rising up through the well. Legislators, lobbyists, staffers, and visitors all congregate to make this grand hallway a loud, boisterous, busy place.

The clamor reminds me of all the voices loudly vying for our legislators’ and elected officials’ attention. Lobbyists and interest groups seek to get bills introduced. Many endeavor to influence leaders’ votes on pending legislation. Competing voices argue various sides of a myriad of issues. A multitude of groups and organizations pursue funding for projects and programs. Voices seem to come from all directions. Though it seems impossible to compete with all the voices jockeying for attention in the statehouse, what a joy it is to proclaim the gospel and share the Word of God in the capitol community!

God has given us outstanding opportunities for ministry during the 2010 regular legislative session. Our Bible study series from Psalm 119, Treasuring God’s Word, has challenged our leaders to make it a priority to read, study, and apply God’s Word to their lives. As always, we seek to share the gospel in each of our studies that are distributed in person and by email throughout the statehouse every week. I have included one of these studies, The Word on Trials and Affliction, which I pray might be an encouragement to you.

One of our goals is to equip you to join us in the cause of reaching and ministering to government leaders. I have included our 2010 Leaders Prayer Guide to help you pray more consistently and effectively for our leaders. You can also use our online tools to help. Visit our Prayer Column Blog for an online version of our prayer guide. There you can subscribe to receive an email with leaders to pray for each day. You can also visit the Capitol Columns Blog for regular updates and articles related to reaching political leaders with the gospel.

Next week, March 2-7, I will be attending the Shepherd’s Conference in California with all of our state directors and staff from around the country. We will be spending time together as a ministry team for fellowship, training, and encouragement in our ministry to leaders in our respective states. This is always an inspiring time as we seek to continue faithfully in our work

Prayer Requests:

Pray that the Spirit of God will cut through the all the clamor and make the
gospel and Word of God clearly heard in the capitol community.

Pray for the final weeks of the legislative session which ends on March 13 and for our
final Bible studies from Psalm 119. Pray for our ongoing outreach to our leaders
throughout the year

Pray for several legislators who have severe health problems. Pray that I might have further opportunities to minister to them during these difficult times.

Pray for safety and for a blessed time at Shepherd’s Conference.

Pray for the ongoing financial needs of our ministry. Following the regular session we will need to spend some concentrated time raising additional support. Pray for us as seek those who might partner with us in sharing the gospel with leaders around the state.

Thank you so much for your interest and involvement in our ministry.

Tim Pauley
State Director, Capitol Commission West Virginia

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Capitol Bible Study: "Illumination: The Key to Understanding Scripture"

One pastor did a survey asking the reasons why people do not read the Bible. He shares the top three: Number three: "It is old and boring". Number two: "I forget to read it". The number one answer: "I don’t understand it". We have been studying Psalm 119, the longest and perhaps the most unique chapter in the Bible. All 176 verses give us the picture of one who loves to read, study, and apply God’s Word to every area of their life. Certainly there are many who fail to read the Bible for the reasons given above. Some outright reject God’s Word, believing it to merely be a collection of the writings of men. Most simply neglect or ignore the Word as they go about their daily lives. Why is this so? Why do some treasure God’s Word while others reject or neglect it? I believe we find the answer to this query in our verse for today’s study:

"Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law". Psalm 119:18

Download the complete study here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Capitol Bible Study: "The Word on Trials & Affliction"

From this week's Bible study at the West Virginia State Capitol:

"We must point out that for the unbeliever trials and affliction are but a sign of God’s punishment, judgment and wrath upon their life. The child of God, however, is never “punished” for sin. That punishment was taken by Jesus Christ when he suffered and died upon the cross. We no longer stand before God as our judge but rather as our Heavenly Father who lovingly corrects and disciplines us in order to make us more like Christ. As believers, God corrects us in love, not punishes us in anger."

Download the complete study here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Capitol Bible Study: "Better than Gold: The True Value of God's Word"

From this week's Bible study in the West Virginia State Capitol:

"This appraisal of God’s Word as more valuable than earthly riches has three powerful implications for us. If we have earthly wealth, it should draw our hearts from it to better things. If we desire earthly wealth, it should encourage us to find contentment in godliness and those things that really matter. And, if we lose earthly wealth, we know when we have Christ we still have that which is better and really matters."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Capitol Bible Study: "Shining the Light of God's Word in the Capitol"

This week's Capitol Bible study:

The world in which we live is a dangerous and treacherous place. Without a guide to give us clear and sure direction, we are bound to fall into any number of life’s pitfalls that confront us. It is this guidance and direction of which Psalm 119:105 speaks:

Your Word is lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

How can make sure we use God’s Word as a lamp and a light for our lives? How do we “shine the light of God’s Word” on our lives and in the capitol?

Download the complete study.