Posts

Bulletin for 12-4-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries

None this week

Prayer requests:

Rachel Prater, Dena’s cousin, Rodney’s, recovering at home. Prayers please.

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, in a program in Houston. Keep praying, please!

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.

Bill Grubbs, skin cancer.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

Preston Downey, friend of Steve’s, recovering at home

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Article:

The Incomparable Christ

My wife, my children, my parents and extended family, my Christian brothers and sisters, my work, and my health are a few of the many things for which I am thankful. You likely have a similar list.

But nothing compares to Christ and nothing should compare to Christ in your heart.

Contemplate the gift that he gave.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

This Word which became flesh, existed with God and existed as God in the beginning (John 1:1). He carried with him all the characteristics of Deity. He is eternal (existing prior to and outside of time – John 1:1), he is all-powerful (all things were made through him – John 1:3), he is holy (in him was life, and the life was the light of men – John1:4), he is truth (grace and truth came through him – John1:17).

God is Spirit not flesh and blood (John 4:24), yet this eternal, all-powerful, wholly other spirit being, chose to come to earth to become like us for us.

He was not forced by a superior being to come, he “gave himself for our sins” (Galatians 1:4). He was “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). If Jesus is God, then it was according to his plan and his foreknowledge as much as it was the Father or the Holy Spirit.

He was not the Son in eternity past, but became the Son of God in his incarnation (see Luke 1:36).

He never ceased being God. He received worship on a number of occasions (see Matthew 14:33; 21:9) without rebuke. Thomas’ powerful statement — “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28) — did not receive a condemnation, but rather agreement. Prior to his death on the cross, and after his resurrection, Jesus is God. Yet he subjected himself to the Father in all things.

“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34).

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 5:30).

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38).

He “emptied himself” by coming to earth as a man and “humbled himself” by dying for mankind (Philippians 2:6-8).

After his humility and shame upon the cross, his weary body was laid in a tomb separated from his spirit (Luke 23:46James 2:26). On that glorious Sunday morning, his spirit returned and reanimated his body. His resurrection is used as a guarantee of ours (1 Corinthians 15:12-20). He went to heaven in this body — though certainly glorified.

We know that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, the perishable cannot inherit the imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:50). Our perishable body will put on the imperishable, our mortality swapped for immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53). We will be changed, and it is then that “death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).

Now here is something to rejoice in, be thankful for, and be awed by every day for the rest of your life.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (John 3:2).

When that great day arrives, and Jesus comes for his own, our spirits will reunite with our bodies, and will be changed to become like him. We will be (in some way) like him and with him for all eternity.

Thank God for our incomparable Christ!

Lee Parish, link to original article

Bulletin for 11-20-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries

11-21 Carolyn Anthony

11-24 Karl Jones

Prayer requests:

Rachel Prater, Dena’s cousin, Rodney’s, recovering at home. Prayers please.

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, in a program in Houston. Keep praying, please!

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.

Bill Grubbs, skin cancer.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

Preston Downey, friend of Steve’s, recovering at home

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Article:

Scoffing scoffers

“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires” (2 Peter 3:1-3 ESV).

Jesus is coming again.

For two millennia deniers have been denying, doubters have been doubting, mockers have been mocking, and scoffers have been scoffing. Yet Jesus is coming again.

Some who question this are honest seekers. Others scoff with a façade of philosophy, but the real motivation is sin. As the Holy Spirit says, they are “following their own sinful desires.”

Jesus’ return implies responsibility for life here. Many do not want to be answerable for their actions. So instead of reasoning about Jesus’ return they respond emotionally, “Where is the promise of his coming?”

They look around and see that life has been continuing, and jump to the conclusion that he will not come again.

God has been patient with mankind. This should not be confused with failure to follow through with his promises. He does not wish “that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). But there will come a day when all these things will be dissolved.

We know the what — Jesus is coming. We do not know the when.

That we do not know when he is coming is a feature not a bug. This knowledge — of the what but not the when — should cause us to consider “what sort of people” we ought to be. We should reject the life of sin and selfishness and pursue lives of holiness and godliness (2 Peter 3:11).

Each day we wait for Jesus is a day we can use to bring glory to God, grow in his image, and bless others. We can even respond to the scoffers in a Christ-like manner. Yet let us not get bogged down, for there is much to do.

My friends, the scoffers will scoff, but Jesus is coming again.

“Take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:17-18).

Lee Parish, link to original article

Bulletin for 11-13-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries

11-13 Michelle Best

11-15 Ruben Turcios

Prayer requests:

Rachel Prater, Dena’s cousin, Rodney’s, wife. Bicycle accident. Brain trauma, back injury. Prayers please.

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, is home now, doing outpatient therapy here in Dallas. Keep praying, please!

Bobbie Taylor, Surgery went well, recovering at Sheree and Clay’s house.

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

Preston Downey, friend of Steve’s, congestive heart failure and pulmonary embolism

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Article:

It was not too late

by Lee Parish link to original article

He was dying. Everyone knew it. As he realized his days were ending only one thing was on his mind. One question permeated his thoughts: What do I need to do to be right with God?

After a heartfelt examination of the New Testament, he submitted to baptism for the remission of his sins. A few days later his body gave out and his spirit departed this realm, carried by the angels to Abraham’s side.

Though the majority of his life had been lived for other things, he came to the truth before it was too late.

These thoughts drew my mind to Manasseh. What a life he lived. Outside of king David, no other kings are as praised as Hezekiah and Josiah. None did so much good as Manasseh’s father and his grandson.

Yet Manasseh is a man who lived as wickedly as any king in Israel or Judah. He “did what was evil in the sight of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 33:2). He undid the good of his father, even building altars in the temple (2 Chronicles 33:5).

This wickedness culminated in him burning his sons as an “offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom” (2 Chronicles 33:6). He shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another” (2 Kings 21:16). His leadership was so toxic — so sinful — that the people followed him in doing “more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel” (2 Chronicles 33:9).

God’s punishment was declared upon Jerusalem, “I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down” (2 Kings 21:13).

As part of this punishment, Manasseh was captured with hooks and taken bound to Babylon. It was here that Manasseh, in distress, entreated the favor of the LORD. He humbled himself greatly and prayed to the Almighty (2 Chronicles 33:11-13).

God brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and it was there that Manasseh used the remainder of his life to undo what he had done.

Manasseh “took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built on the mountain on the house of the LORD and in Jerusalem, and he threw them out of the city” (2 Chronicles 33:15).

There were things that Manasseh could not undo. His evil influence on the people was hard to shake. God’s punishment was still going to be carried out. His son Amon was very wicked.

But it was not too late for Manasseh to repent and to find reconciliation to the God he once mocked. God forgives completely if one humbly repents.

No matter how wicked one may be, no matter how long they rebel against God, while there is breath there is hope.

Two brief thoughts in conclusion:

  • Praise God that he does not hold onto grudges like men! He does not wish “that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Manasseh would have received a “too little too late” answer from many people, but not from Jehovah.
  • Perhaps you have a Manasseh in your life. Don’t give up on them. Pray for them, speak a good word for Jesus to them. God can forgive if their hearts will turn in humble obedience toward him.

Bulletin for 11-6-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries

11-8 Luke Weeks

11-9 Dan Anthony

Prayer requests:

Rachel Prater, Dena’s cousin, Rodney’s, wife. Bicycle accident. Brain trauma, back injury. Prayers please.

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, is home now, doing outpatient therapy here in Dallas. Keep praying, please!

Bobbie Taylor, Surgery went well, recovering at Sheree and Clay’s house.

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Remember Luis in his mission/church planting in Poland.

Article:

Trusting in God to provide

The Israelites, as the people of God, were to observe days of rest that were called ‘Sabbaths’. They worked for six days and then there was a day of rest. The rest was not just for the Israelites but also applied to those who worked for them and even to their animals. But Sabbaths didn’t stop there.

“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.’” (Leviticus 25:2-5 NIV)

We know it is good farming practice to allow fields to lie ‘fallow’ for a year without planting crops. This allows the land to recover nutrients as well as store organic material,  retain moisture and even disrupts the life cycles of pests (because what they normally feed on will not be present). Although science can teach us this today, God put this in his law to his people. It was good for the land, but it also taught the people to trust in God.

But if no crops were planted for a year, how would the people survive? Although they weren’t to touch any of their cultivated crops that came up during that year, anything the land produced without the help of people could be eaten. They had to trust God that there would be sufficient food for all the people as well as their livestock and the wild animals. This showed the people that God was the ultimate provider; even though people could assist through planting and cultivating crops all they had came ultimately from God. But that wasn’t all.

“Count seven sabbath years – seven times seven years – so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years…The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.” (Leviticus 25:8-12)

If you have calculated this correctly, with the Sabbath Year coming every seven years, year 49 would then be a Sabbath Year. Year 50 was to be a Jubilee year, during which many things happened, but as far as the land was concerned it was another Sabbath Year. Two years, back to back, with no planting. How could the people survive? They needed to trust in God! They had to trust that God would supply enough produce from the land to not only feed them one year but for two years.

You might well ask if the people were able to do this. It would seem that initially they did obey God. But the number of years they spent in captivity in Babylon was directly connected to the number of years they had not observed the Sabbath years.

“The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfilment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah.” (2 Chronicles 36:21)

The people spent seventy years in Babylonian captivity. God chose this number to allow the land to enjoy the Sabbath rests it had missed, and there had been seventy of them. This means that there had been 490 years since they had observed a Sabbath Year.

What can we learn from this? One application is that time does not erase sin. Just because the people forgot, God didn’t.

We need to apply this in our lives and turn from our sins before we forget that we have sinned, realising that God doesn’t forget our sins until we have turned away from them and asked for forgiveness.

Jon Galloway, link to original article

Bulletin for 10-30-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries

None this week

Prayer requests:

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, is home now, doing outpatient therapy here in Dallas. Keep praying, please!

Bobbie Taylor, has gall bladder problems. Surgery scheduled for Nov 3.

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

Dianthia Grubbs, is being treated for her stomach problems.

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Remember Luis in his mission/church planting in Poland.

Article:

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

When I was growing up I loved it when the chorus from Freed-Hardeman came through our area. I thrilled to hear the songs they sang, especially the spirituals, and was impressed with “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” with its seven-fold ‘Amen’ at the end. Later I attended Freed-Hardeman and sang with the Chorale. Although we didn’t use this song as our closing song, we still learned it and I enjoyed singing it. It was around this time that I discovered that what we were singing was actually a text from the Law of Moses.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron and his sons, “This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: ‘The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.’ ” So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.’” (Numbers 6:22-27 NIV)

This was a blessing that God gave the high priest to give to the Israelites. Notice the reason was to “put my name on the Israelites” — and this blessing really is all about God. It was the Lord who would bless them, keep them, be gracious to them, and give them peace. Through this blessing they were to learn that they belonged to God and that all blessings came from him.

It would be easy for them — and it is easy for us — to forget that all blessings are from God. After all, they were the ones who would go out, get the ground ready for planting, plant the seed, tend the crops as they grew, harvest the crops, and then store them for later use. We can be the same way: we are the ones who study and plan, go to work, do our jobs, and (in our mind) earn our wage. Yet even though we have a part to play, God is still the one who causes all of this to happen.

You may have seen the film, Shenandoah. In that film the father, played by James Stewart, was leading his family in prayer at the dinner table. This is what he said: “Lord, we cleared this land. We plowed it, sowed it, and harvest it. We cook the harvest. It wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t be eating it if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you Lord just the same for the food we’re about to eat, amen.” Although humorous, it does well represent how people view what they enjoy in life.

This father somehow thought himself self-sufficient, not realising that all that he had, including his ability to work the land, came from God— and not to mention that the seed he planted was not something that he could make grow. Only God could do this.

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he included the request: “Give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:1-4). When we pray this we aren’t to expect food to instantly appear on our tables. We realise that God blesses us through the abilities he has given us to be able to work and earn a living. But we need to acknowledge that it is God who gives us what we have and enjoy. He is the one who blesses us.

Do we have what we need to live? Then we need to thank God for it! Do we live a good life? Then thank God! Do we enjoy relationships with family and friends? Thank God for this as well, as we realise he is gracious to us. Do we have peace in our lives? Again we need to thank God for this.

All that we have is God’s blessing to us. May we always be thankful to him!

Jon Galloway, link to original article

Bulletin for 10-23-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries

None this week

Prayer requests:

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, is home now, doing outpatient therapy here in Dallas. Keep praying, please!

Bobbie Taylor, has gall bladder problems. Surgery scheduled for Nov 3.

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

Dianthia Grubbs, is being treated for her stomach problems.

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Remember Luis in his mission/church planting in Poland.

Article:

Thank you for not eating my tomatoes

If Bermuda grass is the horticultural bane of our existence as Southern gardeners, the rabbits are the counterpart in the animal world. Many of us have heaved a sigh of relief after watching a familiy of bunnies playing in the vegetable garden and then finding out that they did NOT eat that ripe tomato or squash that would have been ready to pick tomorrow. 

Many are the times when we have had to replant a row of vegetables after the first row had been mown down by these voracious fuzzy monsters. We have come to expect it.

A prominent political pundit recently made a detour from his usual insightful political commentary to offer women some marital advice. Suffice to say it was not well received by either men nor women. 

“It wouldn’t hurt for a wife to tell her husband, ‘I know it’s your nature to want a variety of women. Thank you for your fidelity.” 

There is so much wrong in this thinking. First, a caveat. We should always be thankful for one another as husbands and wives, or any relationship for that matter.  (Romans 1:8, 1 Corinthians 1:4Colossians 1:3,  2 Thessalonians 1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:3.)

This gentleman went above and beyond thanks and respect, though. Beyond….in a bad way. First, he assumes that all husbands constantly desire to stray from their marriage vows, but in reality this is the exception. The inspired words penned in the Bible paint a different picture.

“I have made a covenant with mine eyes: why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1, KJV).

“But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding; he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32).

Secondly, one has to wonder what kind of an idea that puts in the mind of a man who is prone to infidelity. If he gets a blue ribbon for keeping his promise made at his wedding, does he get the red, second-place ribbon if he only cheats a few times? 

“Marriage is honorable in all, and the marriage bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (Hebrews 13:4).

Third, this is demeaning to women. Do we also have to thank our men for not beating us, or murdering us? They could, you know. We are the weaker vessel. This demeanor of bowing and scraping and expressing thanks for avoiding a sin described as “against his own body” is lowering women to the level of property, a concept not found in the Bible. This sin is so egregious that God outlines it as the only condition for remarriage after divorce (Matthew 19:9). 

Fourth, this idea is demeaning to men. We are not simply highly evolved apes, and should not behave as such. Man (“anthropos” or mankind) was created in the image of God. Marriage was instituted in the first week of creation. God expects better!

Having looked at all this, we can still agree that appreciation goes a long way. We must never become so complacent in good marriages that we don’t once in a while…maybe even often… tell one another how much we appreciate the godly, decent, and upright nature and actions of our spouses.

This of course includes marital faithfulness, but does not single it out. I have often turned to my husband after seeing a troubled marriage and said, “I’m so glad God gave us each other.”

If you cannot in honesty manage a blanket compliment like that, be specific. “Thank you for not eating my tomatoes.” 

Christina (Tina) Berglund link to original article

Bulletin for 10-9-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries

None this week

Prayer requests:

Sympathy: Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, has passed to her reward. Graveside service is Tuesday, Oct 11 at 1 pm at Aurora Cemetery.

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, is home now, doing outpatient therapy here in Dallas. Keep praying, please!

Bobbie Taylor, has gall bladder problems. Surgery to be scheduled.

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Please pray for him, his family and friends.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

Dianthia Grubbs, has been having some testing done for her stomach problems.

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Article:

Spiritual food

“For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

Rebellion led the Israelites to wilderness wanderings. While in the wilderness, this vast crowd had physical needs. They needed the basics: food and water. God provided for them.

The “spiritual food” was manna (Exodus 16:4). It came from heaven, and thus was spiritually provided rather than naturally given. Likewise the “spiritual drink” was water provided by God from rock. It was not naturally given. Both the manna and the water provided physical nourishment for the needs of God’s wandering people.

During Jesus’ ministry, large crowds followed him. On one occasion, Jesus was in a desolate place, by the sea of Galilee, with a crowd numbering over 5,000 (John 6:10). They were hungry and in need of physical nourishment. Jesus provided “spiritual food” for them.  Taking five loaves and two fish, Jesus provided enough food for the people to eat their fill with more left over than what they begin with.

The next day, Jesus left the crowd and was on the other side of the sea. The people got in boats and found him. Jesus said that they were seeking him, “not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (John 6:26). He then commanded them, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal” (John 6:27).

The crowd then quoted Nehemiah 9:15 (and others like Psalm 78:24-25), apparently intending that Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat. Perhaps also implying that the one time Jesus gave them food was not sufficient. If Jesus claimed to be from God and desired for them to listen, then he should sustain them like God did for a generation.

Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:32, 33).

This bread from heaven which gives life to the world intrigued the crowd. “Sir, give us this bread always,” they implored.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’” (John 6:35).

The “spiritual food” that God provided to the Israelites was natural food spiritually given. It sustained them physically. But it did not have the desired spiritual effect, as Paul says, “Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness” (1 Corinthians 10:5).

Now the antitype of that “spiritual food” is come to the world. Jesus is “the bread of life” which will spiritually nourish all those who partake of him. He is the “spiritual drink” which will quench the spiritual thirst of all who drink of him.

Those who come to Jesus can live eternally (John 6:48-51).

“Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (John 6:58).

Jesus understood that while feeding the physical body is important, feeding the spiritual man takes precedence.

“Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought him something to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work’” (John 4:31-34).

Are you spiritually well-fed?

Lee Parish, link to original article

Bulletin for 10-2-22

Birthdays and Anniversarie

None this week

Prayer requests:

Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, her cancer seems to have returned in liver, aggressive chemo planned.

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, in extended care now. Keep praying, please!

Bobbie Taylor, has gall bladder problems. Surgery to be scheduled.

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Please pray for him, his family and friends.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

Dianthia Grubbs, has been having some stomach problems

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Leslie Girvin, had a fall and sprained both wrists, 6-8 weeks recovery.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Sympathy: Please remember the family of Darlene Hollingsworth in your prayers. Her son, Jonathan, is on David’s Special Olympics team. She passed away and services will be held this week.

Article:

A message to your church

If Jesus wrote a message to your church, what would it say?

In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, our Lord gave seven messages to seven churches. These churches, located in the province of Asia, were the initial recipients of the whole letter John penned (Revelation 1:4, 11).

John received a startling vision of the Lord. The authority of the Holy One to send these messages is established by the description John gave (Revelation 1:12-16), and the declaration Jesus made (Revelation 1:17-20)..

Jesus knew these churches. To each of them, he began with, “I know.” He is the one who “holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands” (Revelation 2:1). Jesus knows who his people are, both collectively and individually, and he sees their labor for him.

Each message was individualized. Each drew upon the unique nature of the particular community among whom the saints dwelt.

Ephesus was hard-working, persevering, intolerant of evil, discerning, and enduring. From the outside they would seem to be ideal. But their motivation was lacking. They had left their first love and needed to repent.

Smyrna was suffering and poor in the eyes of their community. They were slandered by self-described Jews. But in the eyes of the Lord they were rich, praise-worthy, and victorious. Jesus encouraged faithfulness at the cost of death. He conquered death, and promised the same to them.

Pergamum shared a ZIP code with Satan. The seat of emperor worship was located there. The pressure to deny Jesus would have never relented. Even though they saw one of their own killed, they held firm to Jesus’ name and did not deny his words. Yet they were tolerant of those who proposed compromise. Food was scarce, peer-pressure was harsh. Some among them were willing to go along with the demands to worship the emperor. For the sake of these compromisers the congregation needed to repent. Jesus would provide the nourishment and the freedom that truly mattered.

Thyatira was working, loving, faithful, and growing. But some were tolerant of sexual immorality and idolatry. Some needed to repent, while others needed to hold fast. Jezebel was once a queen, but Jesus is the true king, and he grants his authority to those who conquer.

Sardis had a name of usefulness, but to Jesus they were dead. Most were not serving Jesus, but there were still a few “names.” Remember, Jesus knows who his people are. He knows their names. If you are his, he knows your name. While many garments had been soiled, some were walking with white garments. They were worthy.

Philadelphia was small and held in contempt by many, but Jesus was proud of their faithfulness. Those who were vexing them would one day bow before them. He tells them to hold on, keep your crown, and receive the name of God, the name of the church, and the name of the Lord.

Laodicea was not useful. They were not hot like the springs in Hierapolis, nor were they cold like the refreshing water in Colossae. These Christians took the temperature of their city instead of changing it. They thought they had everything they needed, but they were lacking everything of importance.

Jesus knew all these Christians. He loved each of them. The promise he made to Laodicea is one of the sweetest promises we can imagine: Open the door and have fellowship, conquer this life and reign for eternity.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:21).

Jesus implores everyone to hear what he says to the churches (Revelation 3:22).

If Jesus directed a message to your congregation, what would it say? If he wrote one directly to your heart, what would the message be?

Lee Parish, link to original article

Bulletin for 9-18-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries:

None this week

Prayer requests:

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, great improvement, but still a ways to go. Keep praying, please!

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Please pray for him, his family and friends.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, heart valve replacement needed

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Leslie Girvin, had a fall and sprained both wrists, 6-8 weeks recovery.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Back to school

Article:

God’s promises to the lonely, burdened, and guilty

Someone has said there are 8,810 promises in the Bible. These include promises God made to man, man made to God and man made to man. God’s promises are consistently uplifting because we can be assured he will do whatever he has said he will do. God spoke a promise to Abraham and made an oath to confirm it, “that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:18).

God’s truth to the lonely demonstrates the reassuring fact that they will never be truly alone if they are faithful to God.

“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).

Moses delivered powerful words to the children of Israel as Joshua took over the leadership.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Their wilderness experience proves that to be true, despite their rebellion and unfaithfulness (Nehemiah 9:16-21). David realized God was there no matter where he went (Psalm 139:7-12).

The burdened can seize upon God’s promised relief. Peter told scattered Christians, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). He heard the Savior’s invitation.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Christians have a promised rest from labor when they die. It is powerful to note that God has also promised their works will continue, the reward for which will follow them (Revelation 14:13).

Few things in life are more debilitating than guilt. Paul understood that as well as any. He passed on a great promise.

“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).

Paul expressed it in vivid terms.

“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25a).

Peter explained how salvation comes to the crowd gathered around the forty year old lame man who had been healed. “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,” which is another way of saying what he told the conscience pricked crowd on Pentecost (Acts 3:19; 2:37-38). Christians still slip from time to time, but can know their sins will be cleansed if they walk in the light with the Master (1 John 1:7). Jesus will stand by the side of those relying on him (1 John 2:1-2).

There is no need to despair. God is there to help the lonely, burdened and guilty. All we have to do is submit to our loving Father in obedience to his will.

Gary Hampton, link to original article

Bulletin for 9-11-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries:

None this week

Prayer requests:

Chloe Birdwell, relative of the Weeks’s, bad car wreck, transferred to Children’s Hospital in Temple. Prayers still needed!

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Please pray for him, his family and friends.

Tonita, Paul’s friend, mild heart attack

J R Medellin, Tiffany’s (Chance) husband, still doing well. Vanessea is doing well after her surgery.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.

Leslie Girvin, had a fall and sprained both wrists, 6-8 weeks recovery.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, not doing well.

Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis

Back to school

Sympathy: Bobbie & Regena’s aunt, Lara Gray passed away this week. Also, Mary Ann Gafford passed away from a massive stroke. her services are posted in the Rylie Facebook group. Please keep both of these families in your prayers.

Article:

Promising freedom

One of the great promises in the New Testament is that of freedom.

Christ has set us free from bondage to the Law given on Mt. Sinai (Galatians 5:1), free from sin (Romans 6:7), and free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). These freedoms in Christ are precious indeed.

While we are free, we are still slaves. If we are in Christ then we are slaves of obedience (Romans 6:16), righteousness (Romans 6:18), God (Romans 6:22), and Christ himself (Galatians 1:10). We are under the “royal law” (James 2:8), and serve King Jesus.

This means that our actions, attitudes, and doctrine must be aligned with his desires. Our pride and selfishness must be abandoned as we carry our cross and follow him.

But there are those who promise unfettered freedom. Service to God seems like such a chore. Why must you give up who you are or what you love for the will of someone else?

Peter spoke of this attitude in clear terms:

“But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!  Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire” (2 Peter 2:12-22 ESV).

That was a long quote, so if you skipped over it please go back and read it.

Notice that these false teachers promised freedom yet they were “slaves of corruption” (2 Peter 2:19). Because they were slaves of corruption, Peter could likened them to irrational animals, blots and blemishes, and accursed children.

This type of freedom enslaves people to peer pressure, doubt, misery, pride, envy, and self-loathing. We are the worst kind of master. When we serve self we become miserable.

True joy is more than a veneer of pleasure, and it requires more than a modicum of effort. But the end results are satisfying in every way.

Praise God that he can rescue us from ourselves!

Remember, you will always serve something. Choose your master carefully.

Lee Parish, link to original article