News & Announcements
Real World This Way
As we continue this morning (5/24/15) our tradition of recognizing and honoring our graduating seniors, I am reminded that this is as fine a youth group as I have had the privilege of ministering to, and with. The commitment and sacrifices of your parents are obvious. They work hard to bring you up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I suspect it must frustrate you at times when you hear us adults ranting about what life will be like "when you have to grow up and enter the real world." The world you have been living in I'm sure feels very real! You have faced temptations and trials and your share of rough days. Good parenting and a genuine commitment to the Lord have made some of you mature beyond your years. But allow me to remind you...the world will get even more real. The devil is real, and if you don't already know this, it IS his world.
I want you to know that prayers are being lifted up to the Father on our behalf. May God help you find a career that brings you real joy. May He lead you to a spouse who shares your interest in spiritual matters. May He grant you the strength and courage and fortitude to be leaders and servants in his kingdom. May the world see the beauty of Jesus in you.
I beg of you to remember and keep in your heart that the word of God contains the answers to all of life's questions. If you love it, cherish it, and live it, the devil will be kept at bay. It will you keep you pure (read Psalm 119:9). And remember that wherever you go, whatever you do, God will be with you. Lean on him, trust in him, give to him your cares and burdens. He wants them. He will save you.
I command you -- be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. " Joshua 1:9
So...you may not see it now. But you will. You will understand what we meant by "the real world." And you will have made it a better world.
~Charles Schultheisz, Woodsfield, OH
Proud To Be Adopted
Every once in a great while a well·meaning person will ask my wife and I why we did not pursue adoption more aggressively. The answer is at the same time simple and complex, deeply personal, yet matter-of-fact. Part of the answer is that, quite frankly, we were scared to death to adopt. We knew adoption was a good thing. We had read of countless positive, uplifting, encouraging adoption stories. But of the dozens and dozens of families we encountered in person, the negative experiences far outnumbered the positive. Three mothers have told us directly, "It's the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life." One mother said, "If I could figure out a way to give him back, I would." Adopted children have told us of their obsession with finding their "real" mom and dad to the point of alienating the parents who actually raised them and provided so much. for them. With all the intimidating stories involving parents who had no business adopting and children who never could come to terms with it — we just couldn't go through with it.
But thankfully God could! You see, actually, I myself am adopted. If you are a baptized believer you are too. Take a look at Ephesians 1:5, Romans 8:15, and Galatians 4:4-7. Fact is, the message of salvation was intended for the descendants of Abraham, God's original children. But they rejected his message, so he offered it to us Gentiles. We are not natural children. We are adopted. Paul says we are "branches from a wild olive tree, having been grafted into the cultivated tree" (Romans 11:17).
Aren't you glad God wasn't afraid to be an adoptive father? A parent reminded us once, "Well, if you do choose to pursue this, remember, the child you get will come with a whole lot of issues." Thank you Lord, for accepting me with all my issues. You knew I would be at times a troublesome son. You knew I could be ungrateful, unfaithful, and at times downright hateful toward you. But you still chose to take me out of that spiritual orphanage which is the world. You love me and provide for me.
And this can only happen because of the greatest adoptee in the history of adoption. Jesus Christ himself was an adopted child. He did not belong to Joseph. He belonged to no earthly man. But Joseph excepted him as his own, he loved him and provided for him. And in turn, Jesus loved and respected his earthly father (Luke 2:51-52). He was in fact the ultimate perfect child. Never a disrespectful word or thought - sinless. And through that sinlessness, that perfection, and that terribly unfair death on the cross, his father in Heaven was able to accept me into the family.
Won‘t you become a Christian today? Allow God to adopt you. Allow him to be the father you so desperately need.
JOY Bus Route
We will be running two Joy buses in the Woodsfield area. If you know of any prospects that would want to ride to worship services Sunday morning, contact the office at 740-472-5321. We appreciate the workers who serve in this Ministry and pray that the Ministry will grow in souls being baptized and saved. Our challenge to the church family is to watch the streets of Woodsfield and look for potential riders. Please call in their names, address and phone # if you can and we will make a visit to see if God's Bible School on wheels can bring them under the sound of the God's Word. Your love to win souls can make a difference with just one phone call. Let’s do what we can to fulfill the great commission and go into the world and preach the gospel.
From the Preacher's Pen
Nicholas Smith, aged 21, died in the early morning hours of last Saturday, March 7, 2015. You didn't know Nicholas. For that matter, I didn't know him either. I just moments ago learned of his passing through an email sent by the coordinator of the Harding University Alumni Association.
He was a Youth and Family Ministry major and had chosen to spend his spring break in Syracuse, New York on a mission trip. There were three cars in the caravan traveling from Searcy, Arkansas to Syracuse all filled with Harding students going to work with the Wetzel Road church of Christ. A multi·car accident occurred near Louisville, Kentucky on Interstate 71 , during which the car Nicholas was driving became crushed between two semi tractor-trailers. The others in his car survived but are recovering in local hospitals.
Everyday we hear or read about the passing of strangers. Most of time time we might give it a "Hmm,"then we move on with our day. This news however caused me to pause and reflect.
First of all, It reminded me of how much I should be appreciating life. You see, as a Harding Student years ago, I traveled that same route taken by Nicholas more times than I can remember. My childhood friend, Rich Mason and I were often hitting that section of Interstate 71 about the same time of the morning as Mr. Smith's caravan. By one o'clock in the morning we too were tired and had our share of close calls. Was it luck or divine intervention that preserved us? Only the Lord knows. Either way, I realize that life is a gift, and should be appreciated every day!
Furthermore, I take pause in thinking about the purpose of young Mr. Smith‘s travels last Saturday - a bible mission trip to New York. You just don‘t hear of too many college students going NORTH to the cold and snow for their Spring Break. And you never hear of one using Spring Break as an evangelistic opportunity. This is what makes establishments of Christian education unique - the quality of people to whom they appeal. I've heard all the complaints about Harding, Ohio Valley University, Lipscomb, and the like —- too expensive, too aloof, too far away, not secularly influential enough. But I am recalling so many names and faces of young people with whom I had the privilege of walking the campus — young folks similar to Nicholas Smith, who loved the Lord and were committed to serving him and telling the world about him. Say what you will, Christian colleges are unique and wonderful places that have changed many a life for the better.
And then I took a moment trying to wrap my mind around this. Here‘s a young man with his whole life ahead of him. He chose Christian education. He chose ministry as a career. He chose to serve God at a time when most his age choose to serve Satan, and yet God allowed him to be killed on his way to serve! I was having a hard time digesting how and why this could happen. Maybe the Devil knew about all the good that was about to be done in New York and was working hard to stop it. Maybe someone made a sudden, and foolish decision with which God chose not to interfere. Maybe God was just ready for Nicholas to be home. Maybe God used this tragedy to draw some of his children together.
As I read the report, I learned that Bruce McClarty, president of Harding, along with several administrators, flew to Louisville to be at those hospitals and to be with Nicholas' family. Folks from multiple congregations have converged on the area to lend support and pray with the families. Dr. McClarty reported that he overheard several folks say," The body of Christ is here today." Maybe God wanted someone in Louisville, Kentucky to see the Body of Christ come together.
I didn't know you, Nicholas Smith, but I thank you for your devotion to our wonderful Father, for what you were trying to do, and I look forward to meeting you someday, for the first time, on the other side.
~Charles Schultheisz - March 15, 2015
Partnership with Jean Grenier
Partnership with Jean Grenier
Beginning January 2012, the congregation entered into a relationship with brother Jean Grenier of St. Ambroise, Quebec. Jean was converted from Catholicism many years ago and now works with those with catholic backgrounds. We look forward to many years of prayerfully and financially supporting his efforts there in Canada. Please visit Jean’s website for further details at http://egliseduchristausaguenay-lac-st-jean.ca
Have A Question For the Youth Group?
Contact the Youth Leaders at email@example.com.
Mrs. Bell's Scar
Some childhood memories do not survive the years. Others are kept alive by clear, constant, visual reminders. That summer afternoon in 1979 survives in my mind because of a large sixteen-inch scar below my left knee. I had jumped from the back porch to begin a run g through the yard. The rock I fell on cut nearly to the bone. Through tears I called for my mother, who upon realizing the seriousness of the injury, took off to find Dad. Though instructed to stay put, I hobbled after her, hysterical from the pain.
A wide grass pathway connected our farmhouse to that of our neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. George Bell. I made it nearly halfway before being met by Mrs. Bell, then collapsed into the grass, clutching the open wound. She knelt down beside me and asked if I had ever seen her scar. She then lifted her dress just enough to reveal a neatly stitched mark that ran vertically on one of her ankles. I can still hear her saying, ”It'll be alright. When they're done with you, yours will look like this too."
I'd like to report to you that all the tears and pain immediately and completely vanished, but that wasn't exactly the case. However, I do remember even after 36 years, the calm that enveloped me as I lay on the green summer grass in those bloody, torn jeans. Somehow, someway, that vision of what my knee could soon look like calmed and comforted me.
All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us... For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. 2 Corinthians 1:3-6
We've all got them -- scars. Some are physical, others are emotional and spiritual. Some cover wounds from childhood, some hide fresher injuries. Some scars are fresh, while the wounds they conceal are old, deep, and had long festered. Whatever your case, you most likely know someone who has been "injured" in a similar fashion. Maybe you should show your scars. Maybe you should show them what a healed life looks like. If God healed you, He can heal others. Use the comfort God gave you to comfort another one of his children. Sometimes the path to healing begins by being able to see, through others, what we CAN be.
Charles Schultheisz -- Woodsfield, OH
From The Preacher's Pen
My sincerest condolences go to Bob Kenney and the entire family of Warren Kenney, who went onto his reward this past Thursday morning. Warren was a fine Gospel preacher, having served the Lord's church in that capacity for nearly all of his adult life.
I first heard him preach in the little metropolis of Graysville, Ohio. A member of the congregation that I was working with at the time invited me to attend with him one night of a Graysville church of Christ Gospel Meeting. I remember him saying, "You'll like this guy." He was right. Warren was, simply put, just a very likable guy.
A few months later, Warren stopped by my office and offered to chauffeur me around the countryside and talk a little preacher shop. He reminisced about his childhood as we drove thru the creek and up past his old home place. We toured some of his favorite teenage haunts, before he asked, "You ever been down on dogskin?" I didn't know if he was talking about someplace you go, or something you drink. Come to find out, dogskin is a road -- only in Monroe County! We ended up down in some holler where sunshine has to be pumped in. We visited one of his long lost relatives and then headed back to civilization.
It was only half a day — but a memorable half. His advice was encouraging, his stories were intriguing, his humor and wit were intoxicating, and the love he had for his family and his Lord was oh so obvious. Many years later, as we sat on Bob and Lois' porch, cancer having already taken a toll on his faculties, that wit was still there. Also there was an inspiring acceptance of what was happening to him and an amazing confidence in where he was going. If Warren was afraid to die, he hid it well.
I can only think of one passage: Philippians 1:20-23
Charles Schultheisz - January 11, 2015
A Program For Reading The Bible In One Year
A Program For Reading The Bible In One Year