EPIC: VBS 2017

EPIC: VBS 2017

VBS 2017: Epic Bible Stories Join us from Sunday August 6 thru Wednesday August 9 at 6:30-8:30 each night for an exciting time of learning about some of epic block buster stories in the bible. There are classes, activities, crafts, and snacks for Age 3-Grade 6. There will be a great class & discussion for the adults too! On Wednesday night, we will condensed class rotation and a brief slide...

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THE AROMA OF CHRIST

By Mark Mason A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came...

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RULES FOR HAPPY LIVING

Count your Blessings, not your troubles   Other people don’t need your troubles–they have enough of their own. –Mal. 3:10 Live One Day At A Time–You can control and conquer any sin if you will learn to live one day at a time. –James 4:13-15. Learn To Say, “I Love You. “–Break the “alabaster box” of kindness to as many people as possible each day....

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GROUND BREAKING 9.20.15

We are really glad that you are here with us today, because today is a really exciting day in the life of our church! For years we have been planning and working toward building a new building to help us continue to grow in sharing the Good News of the Kingdom of God in the Ohio Valley. And the day is finally here for us to break ground on that new building! It has been a long journey, with a lot...

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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO YOU

There’s a sweet old story translated for me, But writ in the long, long ago- The Gospel according to Mark, Luke, and John- Of Christ and His mission below. You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day, By deed that you do, by words that you say. Men read what you write, whether faithless or true, Say, what is the gospel according to you? Men read and admire the gospel of Christ, With its love...

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THE PARABLE OF THE FOUR BOYFRIENDS

Once upon a time there was a girl who had four boyfriends. She loved the fourth boyfriend the most and adorned him with rich robes and treated him to the finest of delicacies. She gave him nothing but the best.        She also loved the third boyfriend very much and was always showing him off to neighboring kingdoms. However, she feared that one day he would leave her for another. She also...

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THE ROAD OF LIFE

At first, I saw God as my observer — my Judge …keeping track of the things I did wrong so as to know whether I merited Heaven or Hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know Him. But later on when I met Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride; but it was a tandem bike. And I noticed...

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A MODERN-DAY PARABLE

         A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might… So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sunup to sundown, his...

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A REACHABLE MOMENT

Each of us comes to faith in our own way and in our own time. Some, presented with the facts of the gospel, see the truth and receive salvation. Others wrestle with the truth or fail to see the application for their lives. We cannot control the process as a person comes to faith or rejects the gospel, for evangelism is not manipulation. We must, however, be faithful in presenting the truth of the...

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HE BROUGHT 2,700 TO CHURCH

Some time ago an article appeared in the Ft. Worth Star Telegram telling about a man who brought 2,700 people to church. The man’s name is Kenneth Ritchell. His business — selling cars in the Dallas area. Brought 2,700 to church! Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?   But it actually happened.      Mr. Ritchell took it upon himself to get more people to attend church services. He...

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Do Children Bother You When You Preach?

On occasion, I am asked the questions, “Can you really see what is going on ‘in the pews,’” and “Do babies and little children bother you when you are preaching?” The answers to these questions are “yes” and “no.” “Yes,” I can see what is going on, and “No,” the kids do not really bother me. I remember what Tom Holland told us young preacher students when we were in...

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IT ISN’T “JUST A JOB”

 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men…                                                                         -Galatians 6:10 When I first came to New York, I worked as a desk clerk at the Hotel Winslow. The once-elegant hotel was in a steep decline. The carpets were threadbare, the stained-glass...

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DO I NEED AN EXTRA HELPING OF TALENT?

GREAT people are just ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination.                           -Anonymous It was the last round of the Master’s golf tournament. I stood pressed in the crowd around the 15th green. Suddenly five thousand heads turned in the same direction. Television cameras rolled. Jack Nicklaus was striding down the fairway....

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My Feelings Were Hurt!

   …LOVE does not insist on its own way… – 1 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV)   That afternoon when I stopped to pick up my friend Celia, I was excited and glad for she had agreed to attend our home Bible study with me. I knew she needed this, and I believed it might help her a lot. But the doorbell rang in an empty house. Finally I saw the note tacked to the door: “Had a chance...

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May’s Scripture!

And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” (Mark 8:29 ESV) And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For...

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THE HAPPY DISCIPLE

“’Come, follow me,’ Jesus said … “     —Mark 1.17 (NIV)           Happy are they who have reached the end of the road we seek to tread, who are astonished to discover the by no means self-evident truth that grace is costly just because it is the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Happy are the simple followers of Jesus Christ who have been overcome by his grace, and are...

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YOUR NICHE

            Linus, one of Charles Shultz’s “Peanuts” tribe, often reminds me of the Rodney Dangerfield of the cartoon characters. No matter how hard he tries, how sincere, or how diligent he may be, he usually winds up looking at you as if to say, “I’ll tell ya, I don’t get no respect!” In a series of cartoons some years ago the little guy was...

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Keep No Record Of Wrongs

Dear Lord and Father of mankind, Forgive our foolish ways. –John G. Whittier, Hymn             John and I were married only a short time before I discovered he had a habit of rolling up his sleeves when he went to work. He also wore two pairs of socks inside his construction boots. The trouble was that he tossed them into the clothes hamper that way. And I resented having to...

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APRIL’S SCRIPTURE MEMORIZATION

Why do we read of a God who parted seas, made time stand still, and offered His Son to this world through a virgin, yet grow worried and anxious at so much of life? Is it because we are far removed from those “might acts” of God? Or are we too distracted to observe God’s activity in the world today? I am more and more convinced that the Devil’s most effective tool is...

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LIVING WITH SCARS

“OH, GOD. IT HURTS!” I hardly whispered as I prayed those words. Pain had just leveled another attack, and my soul was laid bare, helpless, bleeding. “Why?” I wondered. “Why should the nice guys, like Paul or Job or me, hurt?” But the answer was never heard. As I groaned, I hoped the Spirit could convey my grief to the Father, for my thoughts were too...

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WHAT TO DO WHEN THE WALLS CAVE IN

Ever had the feeling your world was about to come to an end? Maybe you lost your job, failed a class at school, or your husband divorced you. What do you do at times like these? Let me make four suggestions: Don’t Panic. Everything is not lost. It may seem that way, but the last chapter has not been written. Many hasty decisions are made at times like this and regretted later. Solomon said,...

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March’s Scripture!

This passage has always been mesmerizing and mind numbing to me. I try my best to imagine what Jesus would do in life circumstances and do it. I try to ask God to act through prayer. I think, “What does God have in mind for me to do in helping to sow and water His Kingdom?” But the truth is, when it comes to God’s might, plans, and creativity, if I can think or imagine or ask...

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Services for 3.1.15 Moved to 4pm

Services for 3.1.15 Moved to 4pm

Worship gatherings for Sunday, March 1st have been moved to 4pm. The ministry meeting will be rescheduled, but the baby shower will go on as planned at...

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Bible Classes Canceled for Sunday, March 1st

Bible classes for Sunday, March 1st are canceled. Right now, we will plan to meet for worship at 10am. Be on the watch for any other updates.

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TO BE REALLY FREE

“It is a fact beyond question that there are two kinds of Christian experience, one of which is an experience of bondage, and the other an experience of freedom.” This sentence from Hannah Smith’s book The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life summarizes the dilemma of so many. There is no greater need in the church today, and there is no greater blessing than freedom....

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Wednesday Evening Classes & Devo Canceled 2-18-15

Wednesday Evening Classes & Devo Canceled 2-18-15

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Services for 2-15-15 Canceled

Services for 2-15-15 Canceled

All services for February 15th have been canceled. Stay warm and stay safe!

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Bible Classes Canceled Sunday 2-15-15

Due to the weather, we are canceling Bible Class for Sunday, February 15th. We are still planning to meet for worship at 10am.

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Living Life in the Word (2015)

We talk about reading and studying Scripture a lot —and many of us are seasoned veterans. It’s been a solid habit for years, and we reap the benefits. Others of us, struggle to find that rhythm in Scripture meditation. Part of the problem is that we just don’t know what to do. An open Bible and 15 minutes of quiet time can be intimidated. So below, I’m republishing a process that may...

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OUR NEED FOR REVIVAL

Revival implies we have lost something we need to restore. People who were once hot in the Lord’s service are now only luke-warm; Some have fallen through the cracks and disappeared back into the world. What do we need to revive? Revival of Faith in the Power of God       God is not only the power behind the universe, He is the power behind the church. The writer of Hebrews says that God...

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January’s Scripture!

Nothing like starting the new year off late…my apologies!  Remember as we start the new year it is a time of focus which we all hope to carry throughout 2015. The pressing question is what will you choose to focus your attention on?  Let me encourage you to focus on God’s word – not in a ritualistic way, so bogged down in memorizing regiment that you lose focus on intent and...

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Count Your Many Blessings

How difficult it is for most of us to realize how very wonderfully blessed we are! How easy it is to grumble and complain and to think that those around us are far better off than we are! As a young man growing up on a small rented farm during the depression years, it was impossible for me to realize how blessed I was. I can’t remember ever going to bed hungry. My mother could always prepare a...

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December’s Scripture!

Time to move on, believe it or not! First, let me say, you’re doing great!!! Whether or not you’ve been able to totally memorize each passage, just think of the time you HAVE put in to securing scripture into your heart and mind! That’s AWESOME!   That’s the goal! We have a disconnect in our culture with the word “anoint.” Its essence is to pour on, smear all...

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Celebration Dinner 2014

Celebration Dinner 2014

On Sunday evening, November 23rd, we’ll be having a dinner to celebrate all that God has done for us this year. The church will be providing the meat, so bring some of your favorite holiday dishes! Because we’ve been so richly blessed, we want to be a blessing to others as we seek to love our neighbors. With that in mind, we are beginning to collect items to give to Tabitha’s Storehouse (a...

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Trunk or Treat

Trunk or Treat

        Check out the gallery on Facebook! ...

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November’s Scripture!

 Remember we will be challenged through our education ministry to commit published scriptures to memory each month. October has flown by, time to move our focus to a new scripture. If you didn’t get Philippians 2:1-4 totally committed to memory, it’s ok! Celebrate the time you spent drawing closer to God! Let’s work to hide the two greatest commands in our heart. I encourage...

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IT HAPPENS DURING WAR

Real war is a horrible thing. Maybe we’ve seen too many movies in which John Wayne, Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis growled, fought, and ended the day with a beautiful babe in arms on a peaceful beach. People who have fought in real wars know that isn’t reality. War is mud and blood, fighting and dying, suffering and pain. Maybe this unrealistic view of war has not only let us be shocked...

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JUST SUPPOSE

Just suppose that when you were growing up you were hated by your brothers, sold into slavery, lied about and cast into prison. And suppose you had to languish in that cell for months on end. Would you still have faith in God? Joseph did!         Just suppose that you were called by God to preach a very unpopular message– God’s wrath. Suppose the people got up in arms and vented...

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New Challenge for ALL!

Beginning this month, October, each month we will be challenged through our education ministry to commit published scriptures to memory. Often passages will relate to lessons Brad plans to preach or other things taking place in our church. It is good to read scripture but committing it to memory makes it accessible when we need it in life. Each passage will grow in value to us as we hide it in...

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THE ANATOMY OF A CONVERSION

By Robert G. Taylor It was a wonderful day in Joan’s life (not her real name). She stepped into the aisle, walked its length, and confessed her faith in her Lord and was baptized for the remission of her sins. We see openly and publicly the face of conversion. But what if you could take a scalpel to conversion and expose the sinews and tissues that make up the event? It might surprise you what...

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“The Sense of a Goose”

(Author Unknown — from A 2nd Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul — compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen) . . . when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in a “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a...

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“If I Were the Devil . . .”

If I were the Prince of Darkness, I’d want to engulf the whole world in darkness. And I’d have a third of its real estate and have 4/5 of its population, but I couldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States of America. I’d subvert the churches first. I’d begin with a campaign of whispers. With the...

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What If

WHAT IF? The proper arranging of priorities is required of Christians.  God has always demanded first place in the lives of His people. (Ex. 20:3-6; Mt. 6:33; 22:37)  The home is the best place for proper priorities to be indelibly written on the hearts of children.  Consider the following situations.  If these occur in our homes, what type of impressions are being made upon our...

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VBS 2014: IN THE HISTORY BOOKS

It is always amazing to me (though I really should not be surprised!) at the way in which God works through the combined efforts of God’s people. Vacation Bible School 2014: The Story of David is now in the history books, and it has been a great year. We have prayed together, we have worked together, we have struggled together, we have laughed together, we have learned together, and we have...

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VBS 2014: THE STORY OF DAVID

After weeks of prayer, preparation, and planning, our Vacation Bible School is finally upon us! The basement has been transformed into the world of ancient Israel thanks to the hard work of a team lead by Jeff Bigler. Exotic food, reminiscent of that ancient world is ready for the tasting in bakery (lead by Kathy Green and Rhonda Rodak, helped by a host of others). Donna Turley and Juliana...

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The Beauty of Math

Note from Brad: Sue Wirsing recently gave me the following article. (It couldn’t come from me, since it involves math!) It is a good reminded of the foundational nature of God’s love for us! I hope you’ll be encouraged by it.  What equals 100%? What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?       We have all been in...

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August Assignment 2014

August assignment 2014 rob

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1000 Marbles

A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the basement shack with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning, turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it. I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning...

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A MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE

By Nelson Kidder (via Linda Carpenter and the Pickerington Church of Christ, adapted)       A very happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers and grandmothers among us! The history of Mother’s Day as a national holiday is attributed to Anna Jarvis. In 1908, Ms.   Jarvis held a memorial for her mother, Ann Jarvis, in Grafton, WV. Jarvis’s mom passed in 1905, and she began working to see...

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I WONDER . . .

I wonder about a lot of things. I wonder why people who punish a child for lying will tell the same child, “Just say I’m not home.” I wonder why people who can get to work by 7:00 or 8:00 can’t get to church services by 9:00 or even 10:00. I wonder why people are ecstatic if a ball game goes into overtime, but upset if the worship services do the same. I wonder why, when the preacher...

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What Is Going On Here?

I often wonder what it would be like to be one of the original followers of Jesus. Can you imagine what it would be like to see and hear, first hand, all that Jesus said and did? Imagine for a moment the last week of Jesus’ life. Would it be hard to make sense of what Jesus was doing those last few days? Of course, you wouldn’t know it was his last few days. To you, it would seem to be just...

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SURE, I’ll DO THAT!

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried” – G. K. Chesterton      In Mark 10, a man with an incredibly important question approaches Jesus. It’s a familiar story — maybe you know it. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Or to paraphrase “How do I really live?” Jesus responds with a good rabbinic answer:...

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GREAT WITHOUT GLORY

The memorial was in New York City near the Seamen’s Church Institute, within a stone’s throw of the waters of the port; and on it was chiseled this: IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE MERCHANT MARINE WHO, IN THE WORLD WAR OF 1914 – 1918 WITHOUT FERVOR OF BATTLE OR PRIVILEGE OF FAME WENT DOWN TO THE SEA AND ENDURED ALL THINGS. THEY MADE VICTORY POSSIBLE AND WERE GREAT WITHOUT...

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HOW ALIVE ARE YOU?

The Joy of Jesus in John’s Gospel We are excited to welcome Brad Poe this week! For the next four days, we have the special privilege of hearing Brad bring the Scriptures to us. Brad has a unique gift of helping us meditate on and dwell in the Scriptures. As we journey toward joy through John’s Gospel, we will be blessed, challenged, and encouraged. We hope you’ll make time to be with us...

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GETTING INTO WORSHIP

The last few weeks on Sunday mornings, we’ve been talking about some of the real practical elements of our faith and some practices we can use to deepen our spiritual lives. We’ve talked about how to read Scripture, how to pray, and last week we talked some about worship. We didn’t get to all of the practical suggestions we had, so I’d like to share them with you here. Take these for what...

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WWJD

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”                    —Jesus in Matthew 11 (ESV) Remember those woven WWJD bracelets from the 90s? They were quite a fad for a while. Maybe...

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MORE SPONGE AND LESS ROCK

You will never go where God is not. Envision the next few hours of your life. Where will you find yourself? In a school? God indwells the classroom. On the highways? His presence lingers among the traffic. In the hospital operating room, the executive boardroom, the in-laws’ living room, the funeral home? God will be there. “He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). Each...

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I.O.U.S. PRAYER

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water —Psalm 63 (NKJV) The people of God are called to be people of prayer. Colossians urges us to be “devoted to prayer,” (Col. 4.2 NRSV). We are told to pray without ceasing. With all that prayer, it’s no wonder that people ask “What should I pray...

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OUT OF SYNC

I have a watch that I love. It’s nothing special at all. It’s not an heirloom or anything like that. It doesn’t have any special sentimental value. It is just a watch from Walmart.  A trusty Timex. I really like it. There’s only one problem with this watch…it isn’t always trusty. For some reason I’ve yet to figure out, it will sometimes get just a little bit out of sync. It will...

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Finding Joy

“Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield. Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” —Psalm 33 (NRSV) Hope and joy. Joy and hope. The two seem almost at odds with one another. Hope, as we know it in the rich biblical tradition, is a deep longing with eager expectation that what we are...

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UNTIL HE COMES!

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:16). “When we remember Jesus we do not remember someone who is dead and gone, someone who lived and who died and left a memory.  We are not remembering someone whose place was in the past and who lives only in the pages of a history book.  We are remembering someone...

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SECURITY

Jesus scandalized the respectable people of His time by eating with “publicans and sinners” and treating them like friends.  He even went so far as to call Matthew, a publican, to be one of His disciples.  That was like adding insult to injury.  Publicans were notoriously dishonest.  Zacchaeus, who also was a publican, admitted quite frankly that he had feathered his nest by extortion,...

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WITHOUT GRUMBLING OR QUESTIONING

When I think of my favorite verses, I have a very personal reason for selecting Philippians 2:14-15 which says, “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Several years after my mother passed away, I commented to my...

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I Shall Not Leave You Orphans

By Shirley Sherrill We were on a narrow Minnesota highway where we saw dust rising to one side of the road.  As we neared the spot we saw a large truck on its side, seams split to expose its heavy load of hanging beef.  Stopping, we heard a voice crying,  “Help!  Help me!  Help!”  And then we saw the bloody man pinned beneath the cab of the truck. In a moment of near panic I ran toward...

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ALL OF A SUDDEN…

  By Carisse Mickey Berryhill “Jesus therefore said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead…’ “ John 11:14 “I wish there was someone to tell us just what was best to do.  It’s too bad to have one’s life plans all upset all of a sudden. It leaves one all in a daze as to what to do.” My Grandmother wrote these words in 1945 when the doctor told her that hardening of the arteries must...

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LIGHT & LIFE

I love night-lights. Think what you want about my maturity or my manliness, but I am not afraid to admit that I love night-lights. In fact, it goes beyond love…I need night-lights! Now here’s the thing, I’m not afraid of the dark or anything like that. (Well, ok, maybe a little bit—and I confess to getting a little spooked when I’m at the church building late at night by myself!)...

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Intended Evil Becomes Ultimate Good

  Intended evil becomes ultimate good. As I reread that promise, it sounds formulaic, catchy, as if destined for a bumper sticker. I don’t mean for it to. There is nothing trite about your wheelchair, empty pantry, or aching heart. These are uphill, into-the-wind challenges you are facing. They are not easy. But neither are they random. God is not sometimes sovereign. He is not...

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TAKE, EAT

A friend told me about the closing days of his college work.  He had established close friendships with several fellow students.  Each was prepared to go his separate way in a matter of days.  In the years of this acquaintance they had changed from young men to mature adults.  Their shared experiences had molded them into a special unit of friendship.  There were the struggles of exams,...

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WE ARE TOGETHER… WE ARE ONE

The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said,  “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying,  “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup,...

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You’ll Get Through This

by Max Lucado Joseph Son of Jacob Graduated with honors from the University of Hard Knocks Director of Global Effort to Save Humanity Succeeded How? How did he flourish in the midst of tragedy? We don’t have to speculate. Some twenty years later the roles were reversed, Joseph as the strong one and his brothers the weak ones. They came to him in dread. They feared he would settle the score...

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Our Passover Meal

By Gary D. Collier THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL about the Lord’s Supper.  At least to an outsider this might seem to be the case.  It is a simple meal.  It does not set one in awe by elaborate rituals.  It contains no magical solutions to life’s problems, no mystical means to riches. But a closer look reveals its depths and its tremendous importance both as a memorial of our suffering Lord on...

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I Have A Dream for My Children

I HAVE A DREAM FOR MY CHILDREN–a dream I trust God to make truth.  Even now I see evidence of His handiwork in them. I have witnessed my children’s tenderness toward the elderly, their gentleness with babies, and their compassion for those of all ages who are have little to support them. I have seen them insist on truth when a lie would be more expedient and beneficial.  I have seen...

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Who’s In Charge Here?

Ever have trouble determining God’s will for your future?  You’re not alone.  “Do I move to Mobile or Minnesota?”  “Do I retire or keep working?”  “An engineer at IBM or a clerk at Sears?”  “Do I marry or stay single?”  “What college should my son attend?”  “Is it time for children?”  “Should I live near the church building or commute?” How in the world do...

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The Water Bearers

By Billie Silvey I am not a psychologist.  I have read a few psychology books, but it was mostly from living inside myself that I came to realize that I have needs.  Our culture exalts self-sufficiency.  Those with obvious needs are considered to be of inferior moral fiber.  Living inside myself, aware of my needs, I felt inferior and isolated from all seemingly self-sufficient people around...

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PETER, A FISHER OF MEN

One of the more interesting and frustrating biblical characters is one of the best known and one of the closest companions to our Lord.  It could be said that his life was characterized by inconsistent and impulsive behavior and reaction to circumstances.  He was one who reacted to situations rather than acting on what he knew. This is the man who, as he was helping his brother and co-workers...

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We Begin With A Touch

Our story, as God’s own people begins, then begins — again with a touch.  In the beginning, when God created heaven and earth He spoke everything into existence.  He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  He said, “let the expanse be filled with stars and planets” and they were.  So also were the land, sea and sky populated with life.  Everything, that is, except...

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EXCUSES OF A CROSS-BUILDER

The Cross looms large in human thought and history.  It stands as a magnificent monument to love.  But it is also a grim reminder of the cost of sin.  The cross brings out both the best and worst in men.  It has inspired men to climb the highest roads of sacrifice and nobility, but its existence also reveals the abysmal depths to which men can sink.  There would have been no Calvary if there...

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Faith in the Face of Danger

This former Muslim WEI (World English Institute) student and his wife baptized each other in secret in their bathtub two years ago.  Since then, John Mark (not his real name) has been personally responsible for some 40 Muslims signing up with WEI. In January John Mark was threatened with prison if he did not pay a $50,000 bribe for “spreading Christianity.”  He buried his flash drive with...

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Embracing Simplicity

EMBRACING SIMPLICITY Jesus has been known to teach some pretty difficult & counter-cultural things. Things like “love your enemies” come to mind, and we’re tackling some of those teachings in our Wednesday night adult class this summer. Few of Jesus’ teachings are as hard for us, in our consumptive society, as Jesus’ teaching about disciples’ relationship to material possessions....

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THE FREEDOM OF BEING FREE

BE my Law and I shall be, Firmly bound, forever free. Samuel Longfellow, Hymn My mother was forever telling me to straighten my shoulders (or my bed); put out the light (or the cat): stop chewing gum (or my fingernails): tone down the record player (or my voice).  I guess we all know the routine if we were blessed enough to have mothers! I used to think it would be nice to be free.  My...

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A Small Eternity

A thousand ages in Thy sight are like an evening gone. —Isaac Watts, Hymn When I was in my 20s, I’d look forward all year to the fall, when late September storms would kick up heavy seas along Long Island’s South Shore.  Most of the summer people would have left, and a few friends and I would have the whole ocean to ourselves to surf. I’ll never forget one late September Saturday...

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WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR CHILD TO BE?

President Theodore Roosevelt had four sons.  He was very proud when the first three sons announced their intention to join the military.  But when his fourth son also decided to join the army, the old Rough Rider balked.  “Not all my boys,” he said to his wife.  But she replied, “Ted, if you raise them as eagles you can’t expect them to fly like sparrows.” Every parent should have a...

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What Can I Do to Help the Church Grow?

A George Barna survey studied people who visited a local congregation.  He found that: 78 percent loved being greeted by individuals who sat around them at the end of the service. 72 percent did not want to stand and be recognized during service. 70 percent liked receiving information about the church. 65 percent did not want the preacher coming to their house. You and I know that there is more...

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Death & Depression

by Jerry Alderson First of all, let me make a disclaimer.  I do not consider myself “professionally qualified” to speak on either topic.  But that is true of most of what I say and write about.  My “qualification” comes only from trying to point to the Scriptures.  The thoughts that follow come from two experiences I had in the past two weeks. A fellow preacher whom I...

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MAKING CHANGE

When the girl behind the register rang me up the total came to $16.13.  I thought I had a dime and three pennies, but I had four pennies.  I didn’t want any more pennies, so I gave her $22.03.  She looked confused.  I expected that.  Kids today (now that I’m 50 I find I start lots of sentences with those two words) don’t seem to know how to make change.  Back in my day (I start quite...

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A Parable For Mothers

by Temple Bailey The Young Mother set her foot on the path of life.  “Is the way long?” she asked. And her Guide said, “Yes, and the way is hard.  And you will be old before you reach the end of it.  But the end will be better than the beginning.” But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years.  So she played with her children,...

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Quite An Accident

 by Terry Hightower The atheist says:  There is no God.  All wonders around us are accidental.  No mighty hand made the thousand-billion stars.  They made themselves.  The earth spins itself to keep the oceans from falling off.  Infants teach themselves to cry when they are hungry or hurt.  Faith is the crutch for the ignorant, the opium of the masses. Has he examined the evidence? ...

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BEING LIFTED OUT OF OUR RUTS

  …I HAVE set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.                           Deuteronomy 30:19 My life seemed to be going somewhere.  My sons and I were having some financial struggles as well.  Then a job offer came that seemed above and beyond my capabilities, but with good income...

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WHAT CHOICE DO YOU MAKE?

     Frederick Langbridge (1849-1923), in describing the different ways people react to the same set of circumstances, wrote in “A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts,” “Two men look out through the same bars; One sees the mud, the one the stars.”      The following poem which has been in circulation for years describes the same challenge and the different reactions to...

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We Remember Our Lord

By Larry Harris The little barn was defined by fine vertical stripes of dim yellow light that leaked out between its sideboards.  An oil lamp glowed within.  But the animals had never known a nightlight.  Something indeed was afoot.  Beyond the usual sounds of shifting hooves and an occasional oxen snort, a muffled male voice spoke in hushed, comforting tones. Then a woman’s cries pierced...

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The Difference Christ Made

Bret Hart is the author of a winsome short story entitled,  “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” which tells of the birth of a baby boy in a rough mining town of the 1880’s.  The mother died in childbirth, and, as there were no other women in the camp, the care of the child fell to the rough miners.  A startling change came over the once dissipated town: drinking, gambling, and swearing were...

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No Newness Here

No Newness Yet “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” — 2 Corinthians 5.17 [NRSV]   “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the...

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To One In Sorrow

Editor’s Note… Recently one of our members shared the following two pieces with me from her personal files.  The first one reflects the indescribable pain one feels when they have experienced the death of someone very close to them.   The poem “To One In Sorrow” was sent to her and  her husband by one of our former members who had experienced the death of their...

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DON’T JUST SIT THERE!

Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise. —  Prov. 6:6  What a mess!  We had had to move into our new home several weeks early, and extensive remodeling was still underway.  Our walls looked like they had had major surgery, and plaster dust covered floors, furniture and boxes. “I can’t take anymore,” I wailed as I flopped into a chair.  A small cloud of dust...

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IT SPREADS SO EASILY,

WHERE no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases. (Proverbs 26:20) Down on hands and knees, my husband Plaford and I were gouging at the patches of plantain that were marring our lawn.  Thrust up from the center of each plantain were spikes beaded with seeds that, if we weren’t careful, could scatter and produce weeds by the thousands. To pass the...

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USING OUR DIFFICULTIES

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him…”    (2 Timothy 2:12) A professor was talking to a class of college students who were planning to specialize in the teaching of remedial reading, helping youngsters with learning disabilities to improve that all-essential skill. “How many of you were good readers in high school, ‘A’ or ‘B’ students in English literature?”  Most...

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After Every Wedding Comes The Marriage!

I’ve heard of “shotgun weddings”  before, but this is going too far… The beautiful bride and the glowing groom had recited their vows, pledged their devotion, and affirmed their faithfulness to each other.  The intimate ceremony had proceeded in the presence of about 30 friends and relatives in a picture-perfect setting on a quaint front porch in Tampa, Florida.  The wedding went...

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The Policeman’s Story

Editor’s Note… The following incident was reported in Ron Clayton’s December, 2012, report regarding the mission work in India.  Some time back, we told you the story of Rajendra Gowda, a Gospel preacher who was persecuted by Hindu extremists for preaching about Jesus in Devangere, Kamataka state.  The famous Hindu Durgambika Temple, dedicated to the “goddess” Durga Devi,...

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Challenges and Achievement

                                                                           by Robb Hadley         A few summers back, it was a bit of a shock to see our young son distraught over a ball game.  In the middle of a so-far winless season, Ben’s team, the Scorpions, had lost their eighth game in a row.      Ben was...

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Accepting Freshness

  TODAY is not yesterday: we ourselves change; how can our works and thoughts, if they are always to be the fittest, continue always the same?  Change, indeed, is painful; yet ever needful. ~CARLYLE ________________________ The two blue spruce trees were growing eight feet away from our screened porch when we bought our summer cottage 20 years ago.  But they grew until their bottom...

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