with Robert Prater
God's people at Thessalonica were facing all sorts of trials, suffering and persecution. (2 Thess. 1:4) Tough times were ahead. There were going to be times of doubt, times of struggle with their faith, times of loss. However, in spite of all this, the apostle Paul was able to boast concerning their faith and love for one another when he said, "....your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other." (2 Thess. 1:3) And it was this special love and care for one another combined with their faith in God that sustained and gave them the strength to face life's troubles.
There is a story told about a little girl who was frightened by a storm as she lay in her bedroom alone. She called out to her father asking him to come in and comfort her. He told her to pray about it. A few minutes later she called out again. He told her not to worry because God was with her. She replied: "I know God is with me, but I need someone with skin on him!" We too are like that. Although our ready access to God in prayer comforts us, sometimes we need the assurance and encouragement of a listening ear, an understanding touch and a sympathetic nod. That is not a sign of weakness. I believe that God designed us that way and that He provided a fellowship within the church so that we can be a source of encouragement and strength to each other. (See Romans 12:10-16) The world does not have much to offer in this area. All it has to say is only temporal, and the soul needs more than that.
As Christians we oftentimes go through tough times in our lives - trials, temptations, sickness, hurt, and persecution. And when we go through these difficult days, please remember that there is always strength and encouragement found from those of like precious faith. They have the same kind of faith, and the same love for the church and the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, true fellowship is one Christian life touching another Christian life, so that it makes a difference in both lives. May we here at Central always be there when a brother or sister needs someone with skin on! - - Robert - -
200 POUNDS OF TRASH
Fred Craddock tells the story of a missionary family in China who was forced to leave the country sometime after the communists took over. One day a band of soldiers knocked on the door and told this missionary, his wife, and children that they had two hours to pack up before these troops would escort them to the train station. They would be permitted to take with them only two hundred pounds of stuff.
Thus began two hours of family wrangling and bickering. What should they take? What about this vase? It's a family heirloom, so we've got to take the vase. Well, maybe so, but this typewriter is brand new and we're not about to leave that behind. What about some books? Got to take a few of them along. On and on it went, putting stuff on the bathroom scale and taking it off until finally they had a pile of possessions that totaled two hundred pounds on the dot.
At the appointed hour, the soldiers returned. "Are you ready?" they asked. "Yes." "Did you weigh your stuff?" "Yes, we did." "Two hundred pounds?" "Yes, two hundred pounds on the dot." "Did you weigh the kids?" "Um…no." "Weigh the kids!" And in an instant the vase, the typewriter, and the books all became trash. Trash! None of it meant anything compared to the surpassing value of the children.
There is no doubt, given the above situation, that any Christian parent would drop everything to save their children. However, in reality, the choice to pick between your child and earthly matters is not so easy. Satan does not offer such clear, cut and dry choices as the one above. Satan works in deceptive ways. Satan uses "everyday life" to pull us away from our children. He uses work, media, school, and recreation to steal our time away from our children.
Be careful about gathering hundreds of pounds of trash in your life while disregarding what's really important. "Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord" Eph. 6:40.
--Steven D. Minor--
Jearline Bates has a new telephone number. It is 598-3187.
Jim & Cathy Pettyjohn have a change in their e-mail address. It is firstname.lastname@example.org
To my Central Family, I wish to thank you for your prayers that God answered, lovely cards, phone calls, and visits. All were necessary for getting well. Thank you in Christ's name.
When the Gospel Guide was prepared, Emma Wilson was very seriously ill at Colonial Estates, room 51. She is under Hospice care and is the mother of Sarah Smith.
Floy Turner, Sarah Smith, and Glenn Watson have all been released from the hospital.
We are not aware of anyone from Central in the hospital at this time.
CONTINUING PRAYER CONCERNS
OF CENTRAL MEMBERS & FRIENDS
Jearline Bates, Chad Beard, Betty Bernard, Betti Boswell, Harold Carothers, James Childers, Ray Davis (Paul Harris' dad) Harold & Clydean Decker, Mary Gaines, Geneva Green, Dwight Harber, Roe Honaker, Anna Jarvis, Earnest Johnson (Yuavonda Sperry's uncle), Betty Martin, Mary Martin, Don Allen McNutt, Aubrey Mercer, Harvey Moore, Eddie Morris (Louise Dixson's brother and Jim Pettyjohn's cousin) Monroe Pettyjohn, Polly Reece, Alice Rice, Millie Riley, Horace & Leoh Roberts, Lillie Smith, Sarah Smith, Mary Sorensen, Chub & Dorothy Strickland, Charles Thomas, Floy Turner, Alvie Vanlandingham, Doris Whittern, Emma Wilson, Carl Worley, Viola Yates, and Verna Nell Young. All these members and friends have continuing health concerns or other special circumstances. They appreciate your interest and prayers.
March 20, New song class, 7 p.m.
April 3, Daylight Saving Time begins
April 6, Ladies Class meets at 10:30 a.m.; luncheon follows
April 13 - 17, Gospel Meeting, Tecumseh, Chris Stinnett, Seminole
April 16, Oklahoma Heart Association Blood Drive
April 17 - 20, Gospel Meeting, McLoud
September 18 - 21, Gospel Meeting, Central, Ted Kell, Brownwood, Texas
This past weekend several of the teens had the opportunity to visit the Oklahoma Christian Campus for their Youth Forum and Spring Sing. We had two seniors (Matt and Andy Stephens) and one junior (Nathan Kelly) that went to Spring Visit this year.
Several other teens were busy this past weekend in track and field. Ryan and Sean Parman, Courtney Baskin and Austin Beard all participated in a meet. Austin did well in the shot put. Out of 70 shot throwers, Austin placed in the top 50 percent. Pretty good for a freshman, huh? Good job guys and girl!
We are ordering T-shirts for the youth again this year before LTC. The cost for the shirts is $10.00 for SM - XL; $11.40 for XXL and $13.00 for XXXL. I will have a sign up sheet for the shirts this weekend. Get your order in quickly as LTC is coming up fast! T-shirt money won't have to be in till the following week. Make checks payable to Central.
There are several LTC things going on this weekend. Be sure you know where you need to be and when you need to be there!
Remember, if your interested in helping with the water or pop for LTC, you can leave it in the kitchen or see Rita.
COMING YOUTH EVENTS
March 11-Friday, LTC Art & Bulletin Boards 7pm
March 12-Saturday, LTC Puppets at noon
March 13-Sunday, LTC Scrapbook at 2 p.m., LTC Chorus at 4 p.m. Dinner & Devo after p.m worship
Hope to see you here Sunday!