Bethel Baptist Church

"For from Him and to Him and through Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen." Romans 11:36

The Beacon

a study in communion with God

Our annual North American Baptist Missions Conference will take place in several NAB area churches February 24-26. It is a special time every year to hear of the work of the Spirit of God in distant places. The life of John Paton is particularly stirring in fanning the flame of our love for the spread of the gospel. In our church library there are two books giving the account of the life of John Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides Islands in the late 1800's. One book is Paton's autobiography entitled John G. Paton: Missionary to the New Hebrides. A second book contains short biographies of Paton, William Tyndale, and Adoniram Judson entitled Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations, by John Piper.

John G. Paton (1824-1907) was a missionary to the New Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific. The New Hebrides, a chain of some 80 islands, gained independence from Britain and France in 1980 and today is known as Vanuatu, with a population of about 190,000. The life of John Paton is a study in courage.


God created all things in 6 days as affirmed in Genesis. We reject the absurd Religion of Evolution with its billion-million years of dating, and we believe in a young God-planned Creation. We are created in the image of God, animals are not.

When we believe in Jesus, we are saved, forgiven of all sins, and given eternal life. We also give Christ all worries, fears, griefs, and troubles. Trusting in Jesus is very good for our health. Doctors know that stress, worry, hate, and fear, trigger serious medical problems. I still sin, but I hate sin and love righteousness (John 20:30-31). Knowing our need for a lofty and exacting authority for faith and practice, God has given us a perfect, life-directing Bible. Verbal inerrancy means every word is God-breathed. The Bible is without mistakes in the autographs (original manuscripts), and makes no false statements of any kind. No one has ever proven even one error, and no charge against Scripture has ever been upheld (2 Tim. 3:15-17, 2 Pet. 1:21, Mk. 12:24).

Norm and Gwen Bowman
Global Outreach International
Avenida Manuel Girona, 70 Izda 2,1
08860 Castelldefels
Barcelona, Spain
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Prayer Requests:

  • I will be helping to lead a prayer summit for a major evangelistic organization in Europe on Feb 3- 4. Please hold us up in prayer for this.
  • Pray for our four children and their children. They are feeling a lot of stress in their jobs, and also in the challenges of raising children, some of whom have autism or related syndromes.

The engine of marriage

Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. Love is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask and receive from God. On this love the engine of marriage is run; being in love was the explosion that started it. 
-C.S. Lewis 


Seventy years

By the time you’re 70 years old, you will have spent nearly a quarter of a century sleeping. The average person spends about 23 years of his or her life in bed. Here are estimates of how most Americans spend their waking hours during those 70 years: 

• 11 years working 
• 8 years in leisure pursuits 
• 6 years eating 
• 5 years grooming 
• 4 years being educated 
• 3 years talking 
• 2 years reading 
• 6 months worshiping God 


Community - the encouragement of Christian brothers and sisters

William Shakespeare seemed to know the value of friendship. He wrote: "Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel." Solomon wrote: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend" (Prov 27:6) and "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Prov 27:17). It has been said that a man is rich if he has a few good friends in his lifetime. Our friends are crucial to the quality of our lives. With good friends we are helped immeasurably; without them we are profoundly diminished.

Perhaps no other single passage in the New Testament lets us see in the mind and heart of Paul with respect to his friends than Romans 16. This is one of those passages we might have the tendency to pass over without much thought as we read through the New Testament, but that would be a mistake. Though not laden with theological phrases, like most other passages in Romans, these verses give us rare insight into the bond between Christians in the early church.

Romans 16 is a call to deep-rooted community that is often lacking in our superficial culture. Let ask that God would cause us to go deeper in the reality of our community together as we consider what is said in this passage. The foundation for Christian friendship, seen in this passage, is not common personality or common hobbies, but rather a common relationship to Jesus Christ and those things that issue from that relationship, namely work and suffering.