FBC Ladies Challenged to “Press Toward the Mark” during Annual Brunch
“Our Christian life can’t be static,” speaker Beth Lynch advised, encouraging a group of nearly 90 ladies to press on toward their heavenly prize during Friendship Baptist Church’s brunch on February 12. Using Philippians 3:13-14 as her text, Beth said believers should live a life of growth “forgetting what lies behind and straining toward what lies ahead.”
Serving alongside her husband Mac at Catawba Springs Christian Church in Apex, Beth has enjoyed a decades-long career in music through writing, composing, recording, playing the piano, and serving in churches and various ministries.
During the brunch, Laurie Beachell, Beth’s sister, also shared a song and words of hope. She led attendees in singing Press Toward the Mark, composed by the Lynches:
Press toward the mark. Strain toward the goal.
Press onward and forward both body and soul
for the Heavenly prize, for the look in His eyes,
and for the crown that will not fade away.
Laurie then offered portions of her personal testimony. As a baby, Laurie shared a room with her sister Beth, who is 18 years her senior. In the night, Beth would comfort her by singing hymns, and Laurie said she believes her love for God and music were planted even then. She watched her older siblings serve God and press toward an eternal goal, though they were in very different seasons of life. She encouraged those at the brunch to find an older woman in the church from whom to draw spiritual wisdom – and to keep asking until you do.
Next, Beth shared that her personal theme of the year is “Finish Well” to spur her on for Christ even in life’s later years. She offered a contrasting picture of those living in the past, the present, and the future.
“Those who are unsaved are controlled by the past, but Christians look toward the future,” Beth said, adding that for those who are in Christ, we can truly forget what’s behind﹘including our sins (Hebrews 10:17). “God doesn’t hold past sins against us; they don’t affect our standing as His children,” continued Beth. “We can break the paralyzing power of the past by living for the future.”
For those who look behind, it can cause us to stumble and affect others in their race as well. Our past failures and even our successes can trip us up, she cautioned. But in Christ, we can confess and forsake our failures or our pride and move forward. “I press means to ‘follow after,’ and we can run our race as God enables us,” Beth said, noting that He enables us each differently for our own race.
And in the present, we often allow our trials to make us feel stuck. We get discouraged and forget to look to the future with hope. She reminded attendees to abide in the Vine (John 15:5) through His Word and trust God for growth. “We need to know what God is like so we know how to live like Christ,” she added.
Our growth isn’t dependent on us to be successful, and God creates the longing and the ability in us to do His will, Beth offered. As Philippians 2:13 tells us, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
In addition to the hope-filled speakers and music, attendees enjoyed delicious, delicate brunch items including scones and fruit, an ice breaker game, door prizes, and gifts for all. Church members decorated the Bouquet of Tables for the event in their own personal styles, ranging from farmhouse chic, whimsical ladybugs, delicate China sets, Wizard of Oz decor, cookie bouquets, and more. Numerous guests were in attendance as well.
Friendship Baptist Church members expressed their appreciation for the event and the opportunity to learn and fellowship together.
“The brunch brought together women from all stages of life to fellowship, laugh, and worship,” said Taylor Anderson. “The theme of pressing on perfectly resonated with a group that spanned so many generations. I’m so grateful I was able to take part in such a display of Christian love with so many of my sisters in Christ.”
“It was so special to bring my girls to the brunch!” said Christine Milton, who attended with two of her elementary-aged daughters. “I love that they got to be with and learn from ladies that are older than them.”
Phyllis Monroe, a member of Friendship for many decades, said she was impressed by the sheer love on display through the event: “It showed how much people care for me and others to put in so much work for this extraordinary experience, so my friends (of my age) and I can enjoy this. It was beautiful.”
In closing, Beth shared a final exhortation, “Eternity is the real world, where we’ll be forever.” She offered this quote from church reformer Martin Luther: “There are two days in my calendar: This day and that Day.”
“We will stand before the Lord for ourselves,” Beth concluded. “Satan can’t take away our salvation, but he can distract us. But we can run our race today and press on for ‘the Heavenly prize and the look in His eyes.’”
by Erica Baldwin
Thank you, Michelle Hamann, for the beautiful photos!