News & Announcements
Things That Matter in 2013
Now, as we pack our tinsel and holly from our last Christmas, we realize that quite frankly, we’re exhausted.
And the New Year isn’t likely to grant us much rest. As we rush into a new year packed with goals, meetings and expectations, we must find a moment to pause and refocus. It is critical also to take time to be truly introspective and grateful for our blessings, even as we strive to do better.
It is too easy to fill out our schedules with the activities life seems to require of us, --even church-related activities--, only to look from our planners or mobile devices and realize another year has passed. Let’s purposely schedule time alone with God, meditating on His word as we make plans for 2013.
As parents, it’s great to give our children the opportunities to interact with peers and get exercise, but all the dance classes and soccer in the world can’t replace time spent studying the Bible or serving others as a family.
The recent tragedy in Connecticut shows us clearly the importance of time with our children. They need us more than they need things.
We are closer today to Christ’s triumphant return than any point in history. The time here we have could be decades, years, days or minutes. The evil one seeks to steal those minutes away from us, keeping us mired in the mundane so that we lose sight of the eternal.
As we are the persons who will have to look back…and say…I now see that I spent most of my life in doing neither what I aught…but…what “I” liked. So…may that not ever be said of us. May we dedicate “2013” to doing what we aught – proclaiming “the Good News of Jesus”.
We are heavily involved in studying the Word of God in Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi and Ethiopia and we could use your help. We have students waiting for you to become their precious World Bible School teacher.
For World Bible School and the WBS Team
Deacon in Charge: Brady E. Smith
Teacher – 740-472-1525
Co-Helper: Mary F. Henthorn
Teacher – 740-472-0987
A Love-Song-Singing Preacher
The prophet Ezekiel had been designated by God as the watchman for the house of Israel (Ezekiel 33). In a nutshell, the children of God had chosen to do what they wanted instead of what God commanded. When children choose thusly, very bad things happen. Jerusalem was allowed to be overtaken by the bad guys. Ezekiel was instructed by God to remind the survivors that the pain and anguish they were enduring was the direct consequence of doing what God had told them specifically not to do.
The most interesting words of God in this chapter are those directed toward Ezekiel himself. God informs him that the people are talking about him “by the walls." They are inviting each other to the feet of Ezekiel to listen to his sermons. However, God reminds him that his audience will be there in body only. He will not have their hearts. They will enjoy listening to his words, as he must have had an interesting way of delivering them, but their interest will be limited to the sermon itself. When the sermon is over, they will give those words no more attention. They will forget all that he said.
God said to Ezekiel, ”...you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well. They hear your words but do not put them into practice" (Ezekiel 33:32).
Have you ever become lost in a song? The melody was beautiful. The words, at least the ones you could understand, were meaningful. Maybe you even pulled off onto the side of the road so that you could really soak in the moment. Maybe you've experienced a live performance where the song was so powerful you became overwhelmed with emotion. But when it was over, it was over. You loved the singer, you loved the song, but it did not change your life. lf your life depended upon it you could not re-sing the song word for word, because it just didn't soak in that much. You are not going to put the song into practice. Your life post-song is going to be exactly the same as it was pre-song. You won't love your wife more, hug your kids tighter, be nicer to your employees, or run off to a far-away paradise just because Elvis Presley or Alan Jackson sang that you should.
How are you listening to the preaching of the Gospel? Is it just a song on the radio? Are you willing to ”get lost" in it for twenty or thirty minutes, but when it's over it's over? Are you entering the auditorium expecting to be entertained but not transformed? You are encouraged to take advantage of the time, study, research, prayer, and meditation that goes into each presentation of God's message to you. Take the given scriptures home with you. Read them and pray over them. Allow God's word to make you a better spouse, a better friend, a better believer. This isn't about singing love songs. It's not about sounding great. lt’s not a performance. Preaching God's word week in and week out is about encouraging God's people to accept His grace by being as obedient as we possible can be. As we often pray, may you listen as for eternity.
Newtown, CT Tragedy
The post office has set up a box in Newtown, Connecticut so we can easily send letters or cards to let people there know how much we care. We know there is nothing that can be said or done to help the unspeakable pain they must be feeling, but seeing that others care about their pain might be a small encouragement.
The address is:
P.O. Box 3700
Newtown, CT 06470
You can also donate to the Sandy Hook Support Fund.
Let us keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
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.