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To Recognize, Or Not
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the other brothers and sisters with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them.
That was an excerpt from a letter Paul wrote to the church in Rome (Romans 16:3-15). Normally, this is a passage of scripture which is easily dismissed as insignificant and boring -- just a bunch of "hellos" to a bunch of folks whose names we can't pronounce, It is, however, not insignificant. Take a moment, if you will, to read it.
Do you see that Paul was not at all shy about recognizing those who stood out in the church? Do you see that he didn't worry about offending those who remained unmentioned?
Now someone may suggest that he did in fact mention everyone in the church at Rome, but I found it very hard to believe that the total number of Christians in Rome was 27!
The fact remains that individual members stood out. With their hard work, their dedication, their kindness, they came to his mind before others, and he wanted to acknowledge them. Obviously, there was nothing wrong with this.
Some in the church today say that individuals and individual families should not pointed out and recognized above others. This, they say, leads to hard feelings and awkward situations. "You may leave out someone who has done just as much," they say. Apparently, Paul didn't get that memo.
While a few thin-skinned folks may get offended experience has proven that public acknowledgement of hard-working, dedicated servants of the Lord not only encourage them personally, but also motivates others to want to do likewise.
It's clear that Paul had a special connection to those he mentioned by name, either through physical blood, the spiritual blood of Christ, or some other deep emotional attachment. They had all affected his life and his ministry for good, and he wanted them and all those who read his letter to know that.
What Happens With Your Time?
In our lifetimes, we will spend:
6.5 years eating
6.5 years driving
4 years being sick
20 years and l month working
10 years and 5 months in recreation activities
2 years and 4 months getting dressed
3 years bathing
12.5 years watching television
1 year and 2 months listening to music
2 years sitting in a classroom
A recent Barna survey did the math on how much time professed Christians will, in their lifetimes, spend reading the Bible and attending church services:
130 days reading the bible
120 days sitting thru a public worship service
If these statistics are true, an embarrassingly small amount of time seems to be devoted to the one who gave us the time in the first place.
Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12
So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Ephesians 5:15-16
May the Light of Jesus Shine
The Monroe County Fair is over, school has begun. We want to congratulate all our youth in their 4-H projects. As football, cheerleading, and classroom studies begin, may we all as parents and students thank God for the many opportunities we have to grow in faith and mature spiritually. How we conduct ourselves on the field or off the field is important to God. May the light of Jesus shine thru parents and students as we all approach another year of school.
The Day Paul Got In Peter's Face
Paul informed the Galatians of his confrontation with Peter — “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong." (Galatians 2:11)
He goes on to express his frustration with Peter’s hypocrisy and the bad example he set for Barnabas. He actually reports that Peter was ”not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel."
This (Galatians 2:11-21) is an astonishing passage of scripture. We get a front row look into two of the most powerful personalities in all the Bible.
Paul’s got guts, there’s no doubt about it. His confidence is over the top. He's been given the message of truth by the Lord himself and he is intimidated by no one. It phases him not that he came to the Lord later than did Peter, nor that Peter had literally walked with Jesus, touched him, witnessed his miracles in person.
On the contrary, Peter needs to get some guts. He obviously hadn’t overcome his propensity for allowing others to intimidate him. He was afraid of the servant who tried to connect him to Jesus, so he lied. And now, he's afraid of James and the other members of the church, so he lies about his feelings for the Gentiles.
He knows God has accepted them. God came to him and told him as much directly. (Read Acts 10) He even baptized one of them himself and spent time in his house. He defended his actions to the church. He even once told the Pharisees that he would obey God before he would bow to their wishes. But that old demon he probably wrestled with his whole life came back to haunt him, and Paul wasn't going to stand for it.
There's obviously so much that could be gleaned from this tense encounter between these two great servants, but with what space we have, consider the following:
* * The straw that seems to have crippled the camel in Paul's eyes was not just that Peter refused the Gentiles, but that his actions negatively affected other, less mature members of the church. It’s one thing to be a hypocrite —— to know what God expects and refuse to carry it out. But when our hypocrisy causes fellow Christians to stumble, it seems we have drifted much closer toward God’s anger and disappointment.
** Paul did NOT oppose Peter to Joe’s face. He did NOT oppose Peter to Mary’s face. He opposed him to HIS face. Maybe you recognize that a leader in the church is wrong. Maybe you have clear evidence from scripture and from his life that he is in the wrong. Where you blew was in going to someone else first. Had Paul not confronted Peter, he as the accuser would have been as guilty of sin as the one he accused.
** Paul took advantage of a time when everyone was in the room together - Peter, those who had influenced him, and those whom he had influenced. This surely helped avoid one of those - ”he said, she said” situations. When all was said and done, everyone understood the complaint, where the complainant got his credence, and how the crime could be corrected!
There is indeed much to learn from God’s word about how to live God’s life and how to confront those who won't live it.
~Charles Schultheisz, Woodsfield, Ohio
The Keys To A Peaceful Life
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Wouldn't our lives be so much easier, and so much less complicated if we just did what God tells us to do?
LEAD A QUIET LIFE.
Tranquil. Peaceful. Free from discussion. Silent. These are the English words connected to the Greek word used here by Paul. Do they describe the current day to day operations in your home, with your family? Getting my blood pressure up because of the way the neighbor parks his car is not a quiet life. Running the kids to so i many sporting and school activities that you can't remember who to pick up and where to pick them up is not a quiet life. Working so much that you don't have time to worship God and study his word is not a quiet life. Not having fifteen minutes to go on a walk with your wife may be a sign you don't live a very quiet life. Needing a drawn out discussion and explanation for every little word or look you get from others is not indicative of a quiet life. Some things are not worth talking about. It happened. Get over it, move on, and take the time to enjoy the simple, peaceful moments in life.
MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.
The Greek text literally is "attend to the affairs of your own."
So it‘s not just that how your neighbor disciplines his children is none of your business, but more importantly, you need to be attending better to what your own children are doing! It‘s not only that how you manage your money is none of my concern, I need to focus more on how I am managing my own money. That's the sad thing about folks who refuse to mind their own business -- their own business is usually a colossal mess!
WORK WITH YOUR HANDS.
This one will actually help you with the first two. Those who work earn the respect of others. Thus, the mind can be "quieted,” not having to be paranoid about what others are saying. And, working will help you appreciate and enjoy the quieter moments of life. Furthermore, those who work don't have time to mind everyone else's business. Remember, God obviously wants us to make our own way in life, but you must find the good and reasonable middle -- work that eliminates time to be a good spouse, a good parent, and a good servant of the Lord and student of the Word is too much work.
— Charles Schultheisz, Woodsfield, Ohio
Our thanks to the volunteers who helped with the July birthday celebration. The Bible Hour children alway appreciate the cup cakes and drinks.
The Magi Project
The Magi project is provided for us in the month of August. Fill a shoe box full of gifts and send them to a country to children at Christmas time. This act of God’s love is truly a blessing. Many poor children receive your love thru a box and Gods love is shared around the globe. The teens will be working on this project but if anyone wishes to join in contact the office at 472- 5321.
2014 Teen Lock-In
The Teens will be enjoying an all night Lock-In on August 11 at 7:00 P.M. Please sign you or your friend up in the foyer. Sign up sheet will come down August 6th. If you need a ride home place a star by your name and we will have someone to drive you home. Bring an extra set of clothes, a positive attitude, flashlight and Bible. The Woodsfield Church of Christ is hosting this event in order for the teens to be spiritually fed. We are Blessed with a group of good teens who love the Lord and are willing to serve God on a daily basis. We want to thank Tiffany Jones and Whitney Zimmer for organizing this Lock·In and pray that the Word of God reaches the hearts of everyone.
Care Center Visit
16 Teens had the privilege of visiting the Woodsfield Nursing and Rehab. Center on Wednesday, July 30th. The youth brought a touch of Jesus to the residents and I believe the teens went home with a touch of love from God and the patients at the center. Gods love can be shown thru all of us. We just need to open up hearts and let him in.
In his book, 1001 Dumbest Things Ever Said, author Steven D. Price includes some of the more not-so-bright predictions that have been made regarding computers and technology. In 1943 Thomas Watson, then chairman of the board at IBM announced, " I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Six years later, in 1949, a Popular Mechanics article stated that "in the future computers may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corp, said in 1972 that he believed "there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." In 1982 someone suggested that IBM purchase Microsoft, to which an unidentified executive said, "One hundred million dollars is way too much to pay for Microsoft." By the way, the Seattle-based computer giant is now worth an estimated 230 billion dollars.
And these folks aren't the only ones to have shown a great deal of ignorance when speaking of the future. During the mid 1990's I visited a friend who had recently opened a cellular phone store. As we conversed, he revealed to me that his true desire was to begin a sporting goods business, to which I replied, "I would think there would be more of a future in that than in this cellular phone thing." Yea, that "cellular phone thing" just ended up being a temporary fad, didn't it?
Predicting the future of technology, the future of the nation, the future of our community, the future of our own lives, usually just shows us to be more fools than prophets. This world is just too fickle. Life is just too fragile. Who do we think we are to suggest that we know how things will be, and how life will go?
Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "lf it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that? As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:13-17
How many times have we heard someone say, "When I retire, I'm going to get involved in the church. I‘m going spend quality time with my family." To us, these are innocent proclamations. We truly believe that we don't have the time now to do what we know we should do. However, James seems to be calling these assumptions about our future something other than "innocent." He reminds me that it is in fact a sin to assume that I will have tomorrow, and that it is sin to postpone the good I should be doing today assuming I will have tomorrow to do it.
How foolish it is to plan your whole life around the future. Two years ago I had no plans to be where I am now. Years ago you didn't know you'd now be a widow. You never believed you'd be a widower. You didn't plan on your employer going out of business. You didn't predict that you would be a grieving parent or grandparent.
This is not to suggest that we shouldn't plan, that we shouldn't consider the possibilities of the future. This simply to say that whatever good we can do, and should do, let's do it today!