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Letter From God
My precious friend,
I am sending you this letter by way of one of my disciples. I just wanted to let you know how much I love you and care about you and how I greatly desire to become a meaningful part of your life.
This morning when you awoke, I was already there with you in the light of my beautiful sunshine that filled your room. I was hoping that you would say good morning to Me, you didn’t. So, I thought maybe it was just a little too early in the day for you to notice Me.
Again, I tried to get your attention when you stepped out your door. I kissed your face with a soft gentle breeze. I breathed upon you my fragrant sweet breath scented with flowers. Then I sang you a love song through the birds in the trees. You just walked past Me.
Later on in the day, I watched over you as you were talking with some of your friends. Oh! How I wished that you would talk to Me also. I waited and waited, but you just went along your way.
This afternoon I sent you a refreshing shower and glistened to you from each raindrop. I even shouted to you a time or two with thunder trying to get your attention. Then, I painted you a lovely rainbow in the midst of My fluffy clouds. I just knew you would see Me then, but you were unaware of My presence.
This evening to close your day, I sent you a beautiful sunset. After that, I _winked at you a thousand times through My stars, hoping that you would see Me and wink back. You never did.
Tonight, when you went to bed, I spilled some moonlight upon your face to let you know that I was there for you. I was hoping that you would talk to Me a little while before you went to sleep, You never said a word. It hurt Me deeply, however I continued to watch over you all through the night thinking that maybe, just maybe, you would say hello to Me in the morning.
Each and every day, I have revealed Myself to you in many strange and wondrous ways hoping that you would accept Me as your Shepherd, for I am the only One who can supply you with all your needs. My love for you is deeper than the deepest ocean and bigger than the great blue sky. I have so very much to give you and also share with you. Please let me hear from you soon.
Your Loving Friend Forever,
Giving: That's What Makes An Impact
2012 World Bible School Report
Let’s take a look at the prolonged American political system. A quick glance suggests that the presidential campaigns raised over $2 billion dollars. lt is easy to think that sufficient money for the right political answer will solve America’s woes. True, political problems needs political solutions. Truer, still spiritual problems need spiritual solutions.
The race was close ,and the winner became president of the United States Of America. .. Can political success contribute to spiritual defeat?.. Here’s how... suppose, after exhaustive effort and expense , the winning side celebrates : “ America’s is saved!” l.. Really! Does that reinforce yet another deception, that politics is our nation’s savior. A temporal triumph does little to address America’s greatest needs. Which are spiritual . Placing a person in the White House means nothing for placing any person in Christ.
I know there’s power struggles all over the world.. And l truly appreciate America’s non-violent system . But we need biblical perspectives. American founding fathers quoted many scriptures as they corresponded and prepared for the U.S. Constitution, such as Jeremiah 17:9: The heart is deceitful above all things , and desperately wicked : who can know it?: They based separation of powers on that. They argued that all people, leaders Included, are fallen and therefore need checks and balances .. Good political choices can help this process. But to adopt government of the fallen by the fallen for the fallen still leaves them fallen. Neither better education, nor better health policies, nor better economics ever saved a soul.. “Neither is there salvation in any other “ than Jesus Christ .. For there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Does our generosity for Christ’s cause proportionally put theirs to shame?.. Our mission is the real business: saving souls...are you on the...“Front Lines”?
NEW NAMES SENT OUT - 3,397
BAPTISMS THIS YEAR - 210
BAPTISMS FOR 33 YEARS - 4,347
1-MARY HENTHORN - 23 yrs.
2-JEAN ANTILL - 26 yrs.
3- MARIE ROSE - 22 yrs.
4-JERRY ROSE - 22 yrs.
5-DELORIS BURROW - 04 yrs.
6-BRADY SMITH - 32 yrs.
7-COLIN JOHNSON - 15 yrs.
8- MISSY MORRIS - 06 yrs.
9- ETHEL MORRIS - 22 yrs.
:FOR WORLD BIBLE SCHOOL:
BRADY E. SMITH - EDITORIAL
AND THE W.B.S. TEACHERS
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE A TEACHER, CALL MARY HENTHORN at 472-0987 or BRADY SMITH at 472-1525
Think About Such Things
As part of a recent sermon I was attempting to illustrate the futility of relying on worldly entertainment to help ourselves feel better about life. I confessed to a movie theater visit that lasted Eve minutes into the movie before I had to get up and walk out. In conversations that followed you told of similar experiences. It sure is hard to find movies that are well-made, entertaining, and don't produce a guilty conscience. It's even harder to End one of those "Christian-based" films in which the acting isn’t so bad as to make it nearly unwatchable.
Furthermore, we've learned even that G-rated doesn't mean what it once did. In anticipation of a visit by my young niece and nephew I purchased from Wal Mart what I thought was a family-oriented DVD. Something told me to watch it before they arrived, which tumed out to be a wiser decision than buying the thing in the first place. It was animated, geared toward children obviously, but contained way too much bathroom humor and sexual innuendo. I envisioned spending half the time lying to my niece about what certain comments were actually referring to.
Unless you have decided to never take your family to the movies again, and I highly doubt you have decided on that, I have discovered a website that you might find helpful. Pluggedln.com is a site hosted by Focus On The Family. It reviews every film and even most television programs. It also reviews all the latest video games. It literally itemizes every bit of foul language and suggestive material. You can know before you sit down in those theater seats exactly what you‘re in for and make your decisions accordingly. No more “well, I didn't know that was going to be in there or we wouldn't have come".
Again, that's www.pluggedin.com. Check it out before you go, buy, or rent.
Also, and more importantly, check out Philippians 4:8-9.
The New Year. How Shall We Enter?
Two Thousand Thirteen is upon us. How shall we approach it? No two people enter into the New Year with exactly the same emotions. Some enter with fear and reluctance while others enter with optimism and enthusiasm. None of us can look into the future, for God in his great mercy and wisdom has kept the future veiled from our eyes. Thus, we must make our entrance into 2013 in faith. Paul stated, (2 Corinthians 5:7). "For we live by faith, not by sight."
Looking to the future will be governed by the way we look at the present. Looking around us today we must not permit the successes or the failures of the past to defeat victorious living in the here and now. Neither must we allow the fear of the future to rob us of contentment today. The prayer of serenity should express our attitude: "God grant me the serenity. to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference?"
Today is all we have. The past is gone. The future never comes because it is always made up of today’s. Thus, to insure that all of our today’s are worthwhile we must be people of faith. The writer of Proverbs admonished us; "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6). The psalmist wrote: "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalms 118:24).
We Can Become "Trees Of Life".
- By being righteous and winning souls, we become a tree of life (Proverbs 11:30).
- One whose tongue is Godly is a tree of life (Proverbs 15:4).
- One who possesses Godly wisdom has the tree of life (Proverbs 3:18).
Are You Ready For The End Of The World?
Well, if you are reading this, then another apocalyptic prediction has come and gone and been proven to be without merit. Now all you have to worry about is the impending "fiscal cliff" and paying off all those Christmas gifts you charged to your Visa.
I've had the pleasure of surviving several of these world-ending predictions. The world was I supposed to end three days following my thirteenth birthday on March 10, 1982. It was called the "Jupiter Effect" It frightened the living daylights out of me at the time, spoiling the milestone of entering my teenage years. The planets were supposed to all line up on the same side of the sun, provoking a gravitational pull that would wreak havoc here on Earth. Turns out that the only wreaked havoc occurred inside the mind of a teenage boy who laid awake all night begging forgiveness for every sin ever committed by every human being who ever lived.
Nearly twenty years later came Y2K. We had been told that the computers of the world would not be able to handle the two zeros at the end of the year 2000. The world was supposed to be plunged into utter chaos. I was preaching for a small congregation in the Northwest at the time and recall a well-meaning, yet frightening individual phoning the church office one morning. She asked if I had prepared the church for the impending invasion? She went on to inform me that alien beings were currently hiding out in the Olympic Mountains and on Saturday, January 1 would overtake our small town and steal our food supply. I politely thanked her for the warning and invited her to worship with us on Sunday, January 2. She hung up on me. I never heard from her or the aliens again.
On June 6, 2006 we were supposed to experience the full manifestation of the antichrist himself Religious nuts the world over were predicting that 06/06/06 was the date of the devil. He and his army were to show up and start destroying stuff and stealing souls. Working for a major retailer at the time in customer service, I experienced a few individuals who certainly acted like the antichrist, but I doubt any of them to have been the real thing.
Then came 12/21/12. Some South American Indians who have all been dead for 1800 years apparently created a calendar that only went to 12/21/2012. Consequently, on that date volcanoes are to l erupt and meteorites are to bombardlus and all that good stuff. I am predicting here on 12/19/2012 at 2:23 AM that this will all be yet again another false alarm.
What is genuinely sad about all of this is the collection of conversations l’ve had with folks who absolutely refuse to give the Bible any credence. They will not read it. They will not heed it. It's too strange. It's too hard to understand. But those same folks will buy into a calendar created a million lifetimes ago by a society that believed in eating bird manure for breakfast and sacrificing young girls to the sun god. Go figure!
Please read Matthew 24:36. You should know that God the Father, and He alone, is in charge of world-ending events, If you are obeying his instructions, then you are ALWAYS ready for the world to end and have not a thing to worry about.
We welcomed Travis Williams on 12/23. Travis is our own young man from Woodsfield. He now serves as the Family Life minister at the Belpre Church of Christ.
Next Sunday, December 30th, Brother Woody Biggs will be speaking for the Sunday morning service.
The Poinsettias Question
A reader of a church publication has written a letter to the editor inquiring about the legalities of placing Poinsettias around the church building during the holiday season. the questioner is quite obviously opposed to the idea, and is using this format to express his discontent with all of the liberals in the church.
For those of you wondering why some congregations in the brotherhood are dead or dying -- this "poinsettia question" provides your answer.
Too many Christian families are falling apart. Young people, described as having been raised in the church, are jumping out of our churches as if the buildings are on fire. Sexual promiscuity is absolutely rampant and even bragged about amongst the brethren. The devil is at the door! People are broken and no one is trying to mend them. Widows and widowers are lonely and no one is trying to comfort them. An alarming number of church leaders' lives are void of Christ-like attitudes and behaviors. Our neighbors souls are lost! But we don't have mental energy to be concerned about all of this because we are too worried and upset about Poinsettias in the church building! Who has time to battle the devil when we have to be so on guard against the evil florist who's trying to make God's house "too Christmasy"?
Satan must be in his glory when he heads us distraught about Christmas foliage. "Let them argue about such things," he says to his angels. "Let them pick at each other about carpet color, building size, communion tray style, and floral arrangements. Meanwhile, we'll sneak in the back door and pick them off one soul at a time."
Brethren, if these inane, insignificant things are going to be what we fuss about, then we deserve every problem that befalls us. we deserve every broken home, every broken church, every broken eldership, and every broken preacher! A church can only strain on so many gnats and swallow so many camels before it eventually chokes to death. When you get a chance, you should read the story of Jonah (Jonah 4:5-10). You'll learn that Jonah would have been much more at peace had he as much concern for lost souls as he did the plants and worms.
[Revised from article originally penned for the Laings Church of Christ bulletin]
Think About It.
There are two parts to the Gospel:
Believing It and Behaving It.
A Christian is a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, and a hand through which Christ helps.
Tips To Make The Season Brighter
Some good advice that should keep you in the right frame of mind during this holiday season.
• Prepare your soul for the holiday. Spend not so much on gifts that your soul is forgotten.
• Don’t burden the shop girl, the mailman, and the merchant with complaints and demands.
• Give yourself with your gift. This will increase its value a hundredfold. And he who receives it shall treasure it forever.
• Do not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least expensive may signify love, and that is more priceless than silver and gold.
• Do not neglect the needy. Share your blessings with many who will go hungry and cold unless you are generous.
• Do not neglect Christ’s church. To neglect church services for secular celebrations makes a mockery of the holiday.
• Keep a childlike spirit. Not until you have become in spirit as a little one are you ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven
• Give your heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of your wish list.