Bulletin for 2-19-23

Birthdays and Anniversaries

2-20 Eleuterio Oviedo

2-22 Lucas Camacho

Prayer requests:

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


Timeless teaching

“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).

Link to original article

Bulletin for 7-3-22

Birthdays and Anniversaries:

7-11 Bill Grubbs

Prayer requests:

Sam & Alice Pirozzo have been fighting the covid virus.

Paul Tyler has a bad sort Parkinson’s. Please pray for him. His granddaughter, Michelle, scheduled for surgery

Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, having some breathing problems due to treatments, cancer may have spread.

Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, had a fall again this week.

Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, finished chemo, declared in remission.

Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care

Robert and Sue Waller, health issues.

Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, doing fairly well

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

Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis


Teaching like Jesus

C.S. Lewis in his essay, “The World’s Last Night” explored a question. What if we have experienced our last night? What if the world were to end today?

Lewis claimed that preachers tend to avoid confronting people with mortality and the coming judgment. How does this square with Jesus’ preaching? Did Jesus ever address disturbing thoughts?

Jesus’ teaching ministry covered a great many topics.  On one occasion he violated Pharisaic societal norms and values regarding outcasts and finances as he taught about the ways of God (Luke 15:2; 16:13-14). Later, to illustrate how important it is to embrace God’s counter culture kingdom ways, Jesus told a story.

His story placed in stark contrast a wealthy man and a poor beggar, Lazarus. The rich man’s success was underscored not only by his sumptuous meals, but also by receiving a proper burial. Conversely, the beggar sitting by the wealthy man’s gate longed for scraps of food. Then he died (Luke 16:19-22).

Jesus unveiled a shocking reversal of fortunes as he drew back a curtain to reveal the world of the dead. In hades the beggar was enjoying paradise whereas the rich man was trapped in agonizing torment.

Our human trait of empathizing invites the question, what would it be like for us to become trapped in such suffering hopelessness? We shutter at the thought.

For those willing to listen, Jesus pressed further. Within that fiery furnace situation Jesus sought to refine whether our hearts will give God’s ways the appropriate priority.

First, he recounted how the tormented man’s thoughts turned to his family.  “I beg you, father—send Lazarus to my father’s house (for I have five brothers) to warn them so that they don’t come into this place of torment” (Luke 16:27-28).

Then came the harrowing and sober response. “They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them. … If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead” (Luke 16:29,31). Jesus confronted his listeners with the future and the necessity of responding to God’s word.

On various occasions Jesus focused on what would happen at the end in order to convict his listeners about how they should live in the present. These stories could include how some will be bound and cast out into darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30). At other times he graphically described the separation that will occur at judgment (Matthew 25:31-46).

All of this can cause us to reflect on today’s teaching. Perhaps you have encountered the same thinking I have. Some reject discussing God’s judgment because they regarded this as being manipulative and causing fear. Often the statement “perfect love casts out fear” is then quoted. This is followed by asserting that people should be drawn to a winsome Savior, not motivated by the fear of hell. Yet within scripture as well as within practice people often respond to Jesus to save themselves (Acts 2:40). Having been saved, love for the Lord casts out fear.

I’ve taken a third path that avoids the extremes of always focusing on punishment or just extolling how Christ blesses. It is a path shaped by what I see in scripture.

Jesus’ preaching embraced many themes. Sometimes the Son of God found it necessary to explain the coming judgment. To help people live as they ought today he warned against being unprepared for tomorrow.

If we wish to teach like Jesus, then on occasion we too will announce a coming day in which God will judge the secrets of human hearts (Romans 2:16). Teaching like Jesus will surpass any well-intentioned thematically limiting filter we might contrive.

Barry Newton, link to original article