Bulletin for 2-19-23
Birthdays and Anniversaries
2-20 Eleuterio Oviedo
2-22 Lucas Camacho
Stacey Esner has a severely sprained ankle
Chaney Reames is undergoing extensive dental work.
Danny Bannister, nephew of Tommy’s, recovering from double pneumonia with complications
Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Got stem cell treatments. Pray for their success.
Bill Grubbs recovering from surgery.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, continues to have trouble.
Teresa Weeks, Steve’s sister, having age related issues. She has Down’s Syndrome.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, good report
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis
“You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. For all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of the grass; the grass withers and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was proclaimed to you” (1 Peter 1:23-25 NET)
Last week my boys were talking about missing their Pappaw. I said that I had picked up a book he wrote just that morning, and was thinking how it was nice that I could still sit at his feet. Yesterday was his birthday, and my thoughts again returned to that scene at the table.
These thoughts brought my mind to a book by Rod and Brenda Rutherford, Of Whom The World Was Not Worthy. This work briefly recounts the efforts of several missionaries over the last 150 years. The lives of men and women like J.M. McCaleb, George Benson, Sarah Andrews, and Otis Gatewood are highlighted. All those honored in the pages of this work have since passed from this life except the subjects of the final chapter, Edwin and Lina Crookshank.
When I was in school at the East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions, it was Rod Rutherford who taught our missions class. On one occasion he invited Ed Crookshank to speak to the students. After a presentation of the work in Malawi, this good brother passionately appealed for more workers to enter the field. The Crookshank’s time was drawing to a close and they hoped to leave their work in the hands of those who shared their passion for — and philosophy of — simple gospel teaching.
Contemplating this brought into stark relief the contrast between what we teach and those who teach. We are bound by time. We have a time of “light” where we can work, but eventually that light grows dim and our time is concluded. It is good to remember those who labored for the Lord. And, as the Rutherford’s say in their introduction, hopefully to once again light “the flame of evangelic fires among the current generation.”
The word taught endures throughout the ages, ever ancient, yet ever new. But the one teaching is like grass which withers in the hot summer heat. Ever is the need for renewal. Each generation must take up the work, understanding that we are but tools to be worn out in the Master’s cause.
Yet there is a way for the work of the past to endure in the present. The wisdom of the Ancient of Days to preserve his mind in the form of written words speaks to us today. These timeless words — collectively known as “the faith” (Jude 3) — produce faith in those who hear or read (Romans 10:17).
Of Abel, the Hebrews writer says, “through his faith he was commended as righteous, because God commended him for his offerings. And through his faith he still speaks, though he is dead” (Hebrews 11:4).
All the faithful work of ages past still speaks to us today. Every time I pick up a book by Wayne Jackson, Thomas Warren, or Guy N. Woods, that man still speaks. Every article faithfully examining scripture, every recording of gospel preaching, and every heart impacted by a faithful mother or Bible class teacher still speaks.
I am thankful for so many who have helped me in my journey to overcome self and embrace the cross. My prayer is that their work will live on in the lives of my children.
While God’s workers come and go, the work endures. But only if it is built upon, and faithful toward, the timeless truths taught in the sacred writings.
Your work, dear Christian, is not in vain.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV).