Prayer Request

Please remember the family of Noah Kennedy.

If You Have College Students…

The Tennessee Baptist Convention offers various scholarships that you might want to look into.

Here.

The deadline for application is April 30.

Every Church Has Its Weeds

Jesus taught his disciples in parables because these simple illustrations made a lasting impression.  So, for instance, when he told this parable:

‘The kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  While everybody was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off.  When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, then the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s labourers went to him and said, “Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so, where does the darnel come from?”   He said to them, “Some enemy has done this.” And the labourers said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?”  But he said, “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it.  Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it in bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ (Matt. 13:24-30)

His point was a simple one- made powerfully:  every Church, every community of faith, has both weeds and wheat and it’s God’s job to sort them out on the day of Judgement.  Not ours.

Our job is to act like wheat- that is, produce fruit, not like tares (darnel) which produces nothing.  And our task is to examine our own lives to see if we are wheat (and we know it because we produce fruit) or weed (and we know that too because if we are we produce nothing).   Wheat uses the soil and the water (the resources of God) to bring forth fruit while weeds use soil and water (the resources of God) only for self.

Every Church has weeds.  And the punishment for weedyness is hell while the reward for wheatyness is heaven.

Something to Think About

The face of death, and nearness of eternity, did much to convince me what books to read, what studies to prefer and prosecute, what company and conversation to choose. It drove me early into the vineyard of the Lord, and taught me to preach as a dying man to dying men. — RICHARD BAXTER

Join Us Tonight At 7

For our continuing study of the Book of Hosea.

If You’re A Christian You Need to Be In Church. The Time For Excuses is Over

From an essay in the Raleigh News and Observer:

Here are the reasons why, all things being equal, Christians must go to church:

Christianity is a team sport. Permit me a humble analogy. You might see yourself as a terrific baseball pitcher. But if you only throw baseballs in your backyard at a plywood cutout, you won’t progress. You’re not even really playing baseball.

To discover the full extent of your abilities, to understand the true game, you need a catcher, a coach, infielders and outfielders — and even someone standing in the batter’s box ready to swat your best fastball right back at you.

Same with being a Christian. You can’t do it well by yourself.

Communion is among our faith’s central sacraments, a ritual that celebrates Christians as members of a spiritual, God-ordained community. We’re many individuals who, joined together with Jesus and each other, form one great cosmic body. It’s in our spiritual DNA that we rely on one another; no one stands alone.

Attendance is commanded. The writer of Hebrews, for instance, warns us never to forsake assembling together with our brothers and sisters.

It’s not all about you. We’re sent to church to serve others as much as we’re sent there to be served. Believe it or not, you possess gifts and talents your brothers and sisters need. If you’re not present, you’re denying them benefits God intended them to enjoy.

Your fellow parishioners, including your pastor, will make you mad, hurt your feelings and get on your last nerve. This is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Finding ourselves offended and disappointed lets us see just how shallow and petty we are. It sands down our rough edges. We discover that, by gosh, we’re no better than all those other hymn-warbling yahoos!

Also, watching God work miracles through the smelly, imperfect, hypocritical men and women who make up a congregation reveals to us the unfathomable depths of God’s grace and love. It renews our faith. We realize he can use anybody — even us.

Your fellow Christians will reveal aspects of the Lord you’ve never seen. As we get to know our fellow pilgrims, as we hear them tell and retell their sordid stories while they’re bumbling along, we find they’ve experienced God in ways we haven’t. They’ve seen revelations we’ve never imagined. Over time, all these very different visions merge into a greater portrait of him than we’d ever otherwise behold.

Your fellow churchgoers will inspire and comfort you. Sure, some Christians will let you down, because they’re human and that’s what humans do. But you’ll also find disciples who’ll sit beside you in court when your kid’s up on drug charges, and who’ll hold your hand when your spouse is lying in a coffin, and who’ll bring you soup when you’re sick with the flu. When everything’s going wrong, they’ll assure you it’s going to be OK in the end, because they — and God — have your back.

To the extent you honor your church, you honor Christ. “In as much as you’ve done it to the least of these my brothers and sisters,” Jesus said, “you’ve done it unto me.” When you dishonor or ignore his church, you’re dishonoring or ignoring him.

You’ll get plenty of laughs. You’ll sing and pray, sure. You’ll snore. You’ll grow fidgety. But as much as anything, you’ll experience joy — and mirth. Each church is a microcosm of the human comedy. When you’re not cussing about it, the sheer surreal madness of it just leaves you clutching your rib cage, shaking with laughter, tears of gratitude streaming down your cheeks.

Dear Absent Church Member

Read this.

Tonight!

Join us at 7 for our continuing look at the Cities of the Bible.  When that concludes, we will begin a new study of the Book of Hosea!

New BEBA Office Hours

The new Big Emory Baptist Association office hours are…

– Monday – Thursday – 8:00 am to 4:15 pm

Office closed for lunch 12:00 – 12:30 pm

– Friday  8:00 am – Noon.  Office closed the rest of the day.

Reminder: Set Your Clock Ahead Today!

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Prayer Request

Please remember Doris’s family.  Her uncle Joe died this morning.

If We Get This Much Snow

We’ll cancel services.  Otherwise, we’ll see you Sunday!

😉

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Prayer Request

Please remember Alice D.

Congratulations, Emma!

From Morgan County Schools-

Congratulations to the following Wartburg Central FCCLA members for their high placement at the District STAR Events on Friday, March 3.

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Senior Category (Upperclassmen) –  Emma Duncan and Erica Jones – 1st place and Silver medal in Chapter Service Project Display

We’re proud of all of our young people!

‘The Shack’ Reviewed

Several folk around town have asked me about ‘The Shack’ (both the book and the movie).  It has been reviewed, quite excellently.  Here.  The author of the review makes the points which need to be made and since he has there’s no need for me to repeat the points.

Read the review at the link above.

A Film About the Reformation

“Big news! St Paul Lutheran Church will host a movie PREMIERE on March 4. Join us at 6:15pm for reception and open house and the screening to follow at 7pm. This much anticipated film has not yet been released so come here to get the first look!”

There will also be a discussion of the movie afterwards the panel of which will include yours truly and David Graves. All are invited.  It’s a very fine film with very few historical inaccuracies, so it’s worth seeing.

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Reminder

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But if you go ahead and spring forward this Saturday that’s ok too.  You can come to Sunday School!

😉

Prayer Request

Please remember Frank W.

The Difference Between American Christians and Christians in Other Lands

phili1111

When it rains in Indonesia, and flooding happens…

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When it’s sunny in America.

13 Heretical Notions ‘The Shack’ Perpetrates