Failure Is Not THe End

What happens when God asks you to do something you don't feel comfortable with?


Sometime in the early 1990's, someone had encouraged me to sing a solo at church during the offering.  I was a scrawny, terrified kid who was still finding my adolescent voice.  I squeaked and squawked and then gradually, I was able to sing in a way that almost sounded like music.  I finally agreed to sing and found a tape of the 4Him song "The Basics of Life".  I practiced and practiced and practiced.  My worst fear was that I would go up there and mess up.  Most songs that you buy to sing along to have intro music that gives you the key and tells you when to start.  Somehow, I had picked a song that had neither of those; you had to start singing after 5 seconds.  


After writing detailed instructions to the sound guy, I nervously stepped up on the platform and gave him the signal.  I waited 5 seconds and started singing well enough, but the button wasn't pushed at the right time and it became a train wreck.  I remember crying at home and vowing I would never sing in front of people again.  That perceived failure was the first of hundreds of times I sang publicly.  


What I had to learn is that failure isn't the end, and usually, it's the beginning to better things.  


God wants us all to step out of our comfort zones and try our best.  Sometimes, the tape will mess up.  


Sometimes you will mess up.

 

Failure is not the end.  


Every little stretch of obedience leads to something bigger.    


So when God asks you to do something risky... DO IT!             If you fail, it could lead to something better.  


Don't be afraid, for I am with you.  Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.  Isaiah 41:10


-Pastor Benjamin Poole  10/18/2018




Trusting God

Many of you have children, grandchildren, or even great grandchildren that have begun their 2018-2019 school year. This year, I have 3 children attending Hamilton Heights schools. They get on the bus at approximately 8:15 and arrive home after 4 PM. During that time, they are entrusted into the care of our school corporation. This year, my oldest has begun bringing a water bottle to class. In years previous, he would just ask to get a drink of water if he needed one. I appreciate and understand the reason for the rule change. The safety of the students takes priority. 


Last year at the Noblesville Middle School, a student asked to leave the classroom and came back with a gun.  Praise God that no one was killed as it could have been far worse. When I saw my son carrying his water bottle to school this morning, I thought of how the world has changed since I was in 4th grade.  They still have fire and tornado drills, but now, they also have A.L.I.C.E. drills. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The schools have begun to teach children how to hide, and, if need be, fight back by throwing books and chairs in cases of intruders in the building. I cannot be with my children every moment of the day to keep them safe. I must trust God to protect them. Every day, I entrust my children into God’s care and protection. We cannot know the future, but we do know a heavenly Father that loves our children even more than we do. 


Philippians 4:6   Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.


When you pray throughout your day, please join with me in prayer for our teachers, faculty, and students. 


In Christ’s Love, your brother,

Pastor Ben Poole          9/2/18

Are You Comfortable?

 If you ever go recliner shopping, you sit in the chair and try it out to see if it’s comfortable. Sometimes, comfort can be an enemy. That same chair that you brought home to relax in can be used a little too much.  If we constantly seek comfort and ease, then eventually our muscles can become weaker because they aren’t being properly used.  When we walk, move, and use our muscles, we maintain and can even develop into stronger people.  


God has often pushed me passed what I was comfortable with and into things that I was afraid of.  It’s God’s way of growing and pushing us out of the nest.


Here are two questions that I find slightly uncomfortable in a good way:

1.       Am I seeking my comfort over God’s will? 

2.       Am I seeking my comfort over God’s word and what He has already asked me to do?


If you are feeling overwhelmed and afraid of what God is asking you to do, remember these words found in Deuteronomy 31:6,8:

Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

 

- Pastor Ben Poole           8/5/18

Anxiety

Waking up after barely sleeping with your fists clenched and your body sore and tired like it’s been in a fight. The mind can play a vicious game with our body and soul. The natural responses that God has given us to deal with the threat of danger can become a cycle of restless worry and endless waves of crippling stress. 


Anxiety Disorders effect 18.1 percent of adults in the United States (approximately 40 million adults between the ages of 18 to 54). If you yourself have never had to deal with this issue, chances are, you know someone who has. Anxiety can affect every aspect of our lives. It can control our thoughts and relationships. It can push us into a corner and keep us away from helpful people. Anxiety can occur because of experience or future fears.  “Historians will probably call our era ‘the age of anxiety’.”- Billy Graham.  


While anxiety is at an all-time high, it’s nothing new. The Apostle Paul talked about it in 

Philippians 4:6-7:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 


If you are suffering, seek help!  Talk with a counselor, pray with the deacons, give me a call. 


You may be thinking that you are all alone, but you aren’t! 


God doesn't want you to suffer. 


God has given you this faith community. 


He wants you to experience His peace. 


I’m praying for you!

- Pastor Ben Poole       7/8/18

I Have a Confession

It’s amazing how the brain works. Memories are created and stored while other times, we can forget where we just put our keys. I have a confession to make: I’m not the best at memorizing. When people talk about memorizing scriptures, I feel guilty. I read the Bible almost every day. 


In High School, I was briefly a part of a little-known competition called Bible Quizzing. We would hit the buzzer and answer questions found in one book of the Bible. But here is the catch, we would have to answer with the full verse and reference. That meant a word-for-word memorization of the book of James. I lasted one competition and graciously retired to give my teammates a chance to win. 


Thank God that there is more than one way to learn. When I’m in the Bible every day, the verses roll around in my mind. And at times, they pop out when situations arise. I enjoy seeing the Bible as a whole and having an idea of where things are. Often when thinking about a topic, a verse will pop into my head, but I’m off on the location. Google is amazing at finding it quickly for me. I also find that as the years go on and I read, listen, and sing scripture, it’s starting to become memorized. It’s not always perfectly memorized word for word, but it’s becoming easier to find than my keys. One of the easiest ways for me to memorize is through song. “This Little Light of Mine”, “The Wise Man Built His House”, and even adult songs like “Revelation Song”, or The Doxology contain scripture in bite-sized, easy-to-memorize portions.  I am envious of those who can easily memorize scripture, but I’m thankful for what I have.  It’s important to remember that it’s not about memorization but obedience.


So, to all of you who are great at memorizing scripture, awesome! To those of you that feel embarrassed... don’t let that make you feel down.  Perhaps the more you surround yourself with God’s Word, the more it will stick. 


Quick Tips: Check out these songs on YouTube that have scripture.  Romans 16:19 says, The fruit of the Spirit, Revelation Song, Psalm 23 Shane & Shane. You can also listen to scripture with the Bible App. 


-Pastor Ben Poole         6/4/18

Mothers

What's your favorite dinner that your mom made for you? 


I can remember my mom telling the small army of her children that dinner tonight would be lasagna. YES! To me, hearing that great news was better than opening birthday presents. My mom never worked from a recipe for her lasagna, but it always had a bit of a kick to it and was loaded with spicy sausage and probably five pounds of various cheeses.

 

I believe that God made moms to be a comfort in this world. When I think of all the meals my family has been given in the last few months, I realize that it’s not just about food but about bringing a sense of comfort and peace. It’s not just through food that women share their unique gifting. Moms are also amazing listeners. Moms do an amazing job at allowing their love for their kids be a North Star in their lives.  

 

Proverbs 6:20-21 My son, keep your fathers command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them always on your heart; and fasten them around your neck.  

 

I owe my mother more than I could ever repay her. Not because of her lasagna, but because of the selfless way she lives her life and the lessons she has taught me about being a person of integrity and hospitality. 


God bless all of you women who are moms, and not only biologically, but those of you that care and carry the burdens of others. 


You show us what it means to be like Christ.  

 

A Son in Christ,

Pastor Ben Poole     5/2/18

Spring Means Resurrection

What was thought to be dead will come back to life.  I cannot wait for some real spring weather.  To see the flowers begin to bloom, and the trees push their leaves out of their barren branches.  Something about all the green growth does my soul good. 

 

You know, God has promised us re-birth and spiritual growth no matter what the physical season.  God's will for us is that everyone be born-again.  That we all would be brought out of the darkness of sin and into His Son's glorious light.  I'm grateful for spring, but I'm more excited about the spiritual growth He has for you!

 

Here is a prayer for you:  

"Lord, help me to grow everyday more like your son Jesus.  Wash away my sins and make me new in you.  Make my life a vibrant display of your power and life.  In Jesus name, amen!"

 

May God bless your spring!

Pastor Ben      4/5/18

Spreading Jesus' Grace

After Jesus came back from the dead, He appeared to many of His followers. He walked with them and talked with them, and He even did some interesting things like walking through walls. Jesus’ followers went from thinking they had wasted their time with a man who didn’t live up to His claims to dedicating their entire lives to preaching and teaching the resurrection. The day that Jesus floated up into the clouds to return to heaven, He told His followers, and you and I, what we were to do. 

 

Matthew 28:19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

The reason you are reading this right now is due to the obedience of those early disciples. I believe that our first responsibility is to teach our family to follow Jesus! Moms and Dads, you are disciplining or teaching your kids how they should live their lives by your daily actions and priorities. We are also called to show a better way to our neighbors. 

 

The greatest way to love your neighbor is to make sure that they know the amazing things that Jesus will do for them. Jesus promises that all who believe in Him shall be saved! Please consider all of your neighbors around you and invite them to investigate the claims of Jesus!  


You can also invite them to our Easter Services, 7:30 am and 10 am.

  Easter Breakfast will be at  8:30 am - 9: 30 am.


In Christ, 

Pastor Ben Poole     3/3/18

Merry Christmas!

This season, my prayer for you is that God would grant you His peace and joy! 

 

In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” 

Praise God for the abundant life He has given us! 


In reading the Christmas Story found in Luke Chapters 1-2, three words pop out at me: “Don’t be afraid.” Whenever the angels arrived with news, they said these words. In fact, in the Bible, this phrase is used repeatedly. I think it’s there because God knows His children. 

 

We are often fearful of change, growth, and what lies ahead. I often find myself calming my kids and telling them that it is all right. Don’t be afraid, it will be okay. That’s what God wants us to know. When the future is unclear, God’s Word tells us not to fear but instead, place our faith and hope in the one that has conquered all fear.

 

In this festive season, remember that Jesus is our reason for hope and courage! 

 

Accept others, Believe in Jesus, & Care for each other.

 

Merry Christmas, 

Pastor Ben Poole     12/11/17

When God Speaks

The other day, Emily was telling our boys to clear the table so that we could carve pumpkins. They were so wrapped up in their pumpkins that they didn’t listen… She asked again, no response. Then, she called them by name and asked, “Why aren’t you clearing the table?” Then they responded with a look of confusion. “Oh… I thought you were talking to someone else.” 

 

I know there have been times where people are speaking directly to me and I miss it. Perhaps I misunderstood or misapplied their directions, or maybe I simply misheard. God speaks into our lives through His Word. 


Are we opening the Bible to hear from God?  


Do we apply scripture to change our hearts? 

 

The prophet Isaiah said it this way: “And yet, O LORD, you are our Father.  We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

 

God help us to listen and become what we want us to become!

Amen.  

 

Your Brother in Christ,

Pastor Ben Poole     11/1/17

Invitations

When we ask people how they first came to Arcadia Brethren Church, do you know what they tell us? It’s usually not our sign on 19 or through Facebook. It’s not the Yellow Pages or our website. It’s not because of the pastor. The #1 way people end up a part of ABC is because someone invited them. 


Here are three reasons you should invite someone to ABC:

 

1. They might make a friend. Friendship is one of life’s great treasures, and church is a great place to make friends. How cool would it be if you invited someone to church and they made a lifelong friend? Do you know anyone that needs a friend? Invite them to church!

 

2. They might be encouraged. They say only 20% of an iceberg is visible above the water. The rest is below the surface. I think people’s struggles are like that, too. You never really know what they are going through. They might look happy on the outside, but they are really in need of hope or encouragement. A simple invitation to church might be a spark of hope for someone. 

Do you know anyone that needs encouragement? Invite them to church!

 

3. They might meet Jesus. In the book of Acts, you can read about a guy named Andrew who brought his brother to meet Jesus. Andrew’s brother was Peter, who turned out to be a great Apostle (he’s got massive churches named after Him!). 

By far, the best reason to invite someone to church is they might meet Jesus. 


Eternity can be altered because of a simple invitation.

 

So, what do you say? Who can you invite to Arcadia Brethren Church this week?

 

Grab a few invite cards and share away! 


 

- Pastor Ben Poole     10/5/17

3 Reasons to Read the Bible

(And Where to Start)

I want to talk you into doing something. I’m hoping to convince you to read the Bible every day this week. Seven days in a row. 


Here are three reasons I think you should:

 

 1. There’s interesting stuff in the Bible. Don’t ever let someone tell you the Bible is boring. If someone says that, they aren’t reading it right. Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, Samson and Delilah, wars and conquest, love and marriage, Peter cutting off a soldier’s ear, a dead man coming back to life…I could go on and on. There are some incredible stories in the Bible.


2. The Bible is unlike any other book. This might surprise you, but the Bible isn’t really a book at all. It’s a collection of 66 small books or letters. It was written by 40 different authors across a couple of continents and in three languages. It’s been collected, organized, and preserved for us.


3. The Bible has influenced the world like no other book. The Bible has shaped more than just pastors—it’s influenced Presidents and Kings. I know it’s overwhelming, but did you know if you read the Bible just 15 minutes a day, you can read the whole thing in about a year. If you read God’s Word for just 15 minutes a day, I think you will benefit. There’s even a YouVersion Bible app where you can start different reading plans and listen to the Bible being read to you.  I’m currently listening through the Bible in a year through that app. 

 

“SO, WHERE DO I START?” 


I know this sounds weird, but if you want to start reading the Bible, I don’t recommend starting from the beginning. (I told you the Bible wasn’t like other books…can you imagine starting a novel from the middle?) If I were you, I would start with the New Testament, specifically the Gospel of John. It’s all about the life of Jesus, and it was written by one of his best friends.

 

So, what do you say? Will you give it a try?

 

God will Bless You Through His Word!

Pastor Ben Poole      9/6/17

You Are the Body of Christ

Too often we think of church as a physical location. I’m grateful for our amazing building! It allows us to minister, fellowship, and worship. Jesus said the church would prevail. We are a part of that bigger church. Every believer in Jesus Christ is our brother or sister. We are a specific part of that body of Christ. The amazing thing is that Jesus designed the church to need each other to be successful.

 

The church doesn’t grow deep in obedience or wide in reaching others without each other. We each have gifts that help the whole. When we are doing what God wants us to do, the church reaches, heals, and loves each other in amazing ways. I see the love of Jesus every Sunday with our adult classes, kid’s classes, meet and greet time, nursery, greeters, media, worship team, leadership teams, and everyone who attends. 


You are here on purpose, for a purpose.

 

We love you! 

We need you! 

And when you’re not here, you are missed. 

 


-  Pastor Ben Poole     8/7/17

Life Lessons from the Garden

Sunlight and water are needed.

Having the correct amount of these makes the difference between a life that is vibrant or bone dry. God created us to need time to rejuvenate and refresh. If we plow through life ignoring the need to rest and refresh, we will burn out. If we don’t have time for the sun and water, then we need to prune back. 

 

If we want healthy fruit, we must be willing to prune. 

There are areas of our lives that sap time and energy that could be used in better ways. If we want to be fruitful, we must learn to say no to some good things to cultivate the best.

 

Tomatoes are fickle. 

Even in the correct circumstances with proper sunlight and water, we don’t always know our yield. We pray, plant, weed, and water, but God brings the harvest. It’s our job to cultivate and care, but God is responsible for the results. At times, life may not seem to be what we thought it would be, but that’s okay. In today’s instant gratification culture, it’s important to remember that God is in charge. 

 

He created the sun, rain, and soil of your life. 


Trust Jesus to be the master gardener.


Happy Gardening,

Pastor Ben      7/2/17