with Robert Prater
I thought you would be encouraged by receiving a report and update about the responses from our recent mail out of our House to House/Heart to Heart publication. We received by far our greatest response from the community. We have had six people who called or emailed us asking to receive the free Bible Correspondence Course that we advertised and offered on the back page. I had the opportunity to visit with two of these individuals on the phone and they expressed much interest in being able to just simply study the Bible alone through these study courses. And we appreciate so very much Anita Jacques as she continues to work very diligently and faithfully at mailing out and grading all of the requests for Bible correspondence courses here at Central. In addition to these responses, we also had one woman and her young son attend Sunday evening services recently due to receiving the HTH paper in the mail. Friends, please continue to keep all of these things in your prayers.
Of course, these are only those responses that we directly know of and are able to record. Keep in mind, this direct mail approach of evangelism is a cumulative-effect approach. That is, we are gradually building bridges with our community and gradually tearing down prejudices against the Lord's church and God's Word. Often the success comes through the long haul of many months. However, God's Word does not return void (Isa. 55:11), so we can trust that God will do His part if we will do ours. (1 Cor. 3:5-9)
Friend, have you let your participation and general interest in the Lord and this congregation slip a bit? Maybe you have stopped making Bible classes a priority. Maybe you are even finding excuses to miss worship with the saints. Has your prayer life shortened? Has your Bible been read less and less? Be honest with yourself. Maybe it is time you took a little spiritual self-examination. (2 Cor. 13:5) Every little step away from total commitment makes the next one easier. Most Christians usually just don't wake up one day and decide to intentionally "become unfaithful." People generally slowly drift away from Christ and His church over the course of time. (See Heb. 2:1 and also 2 Pt. 1:5-11 for what we can do to avoid falling away) Now that it is a new spring season, why not make a renewed commitment to full involvement and participation in this great congregation as we serve the Lord together in this community.
DEATH BY ACTIVITY
Are you busy? What kind of question is that? Of course you are busy and it gets worse every day.
My heart goes out to young families who are experiencing death by activity. Everyone in the house is worn to a frazzle because of music lessons, art lessons, soccer games, baseball games, basketball games, football games, gymnastics, tennis, golf, cheerleading, pep squads, field trips, band practice, choir practice and summer camps. (If I missed some of the activities on your schedule, I apologize.)
I even feel sorry for your SUV which racks up almost a million miles a year, and burns as much gas as some small nations consume.
I keep wondering when someone is going to rise up and say, "Enough is enough. We are not going to keep doing this!" Time was when families were together. Daughters learned to cook from their mothers, and sons joined their fathers working in the field, or learning a trade. Activities were limited -and special. The family was together, and special priority was given to the church and spirituality. (In the background I begin to hear music - Gone Are the Days).
One of Peter Marshall's prayers begins, "Father, many among us are tired, wearied with the strains that life imposes upon us. The pressures under which we are forced to live. We remember the days that are gone and how harassed we were. We remember under what tension we have lived, and we know that Thou didst not design us to live like thatů.We release to Thee our struggle to cram too many activities and accomplishments into every hour."
Can we make such a release? It's a personal matter. What are you going to do to prevent death by activity? And cultivate spirituality?
Windsong church of Christ, Little Rock, AR.
Since January Kevin Taffe has been attending OU full time to obtain his Aviation degree. He now attends Westside church of Christ in Norman. His new address is 201 S. Creekdale Dr., Apt. 411, Norman, OK 73072.
I want to sincerely express my deep appreciation to all those Central members who gratefully volunteered to give blood to the Oklahoma Blood Institute on Saturday. There were a total of 24 people who came to our building and participated in this blood drive. Because of the good turnout, we have been asked and are indeed hoping to be able to host another blood drive here in the future.
With much thanks and appreciation,
You are cordially invited to join
with friends and family in celebrating the
Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary of
Boyd and Joann Cheney
on Saturday, the seventh of May
Two thousand and five
at two o'clock in the afternoon
Central Church of Christ
Tenth and Bell
Your presence is our treasured gift
Dwyane Dennis spent some time in the ER last Saturday night at Integris Southwest in Oklahoma City. He was able to be in worship service Sunday evening.
Horace Roberts was dismissed from Midwest Regional Hospital on Monday afternoon.
Jearline Bates was dismissed from Unity Health Center last Friday afternoon after spending several days with fluid in her lungs.
Buddy Truesdell was dismissed from St. Anthony Hospital on Friday. He is recovering well following surgery.
Millie Riley has returned to Golden Rule Home after spending several days at Unity Health Center.
Delbert Knight has returned to his home in Stratford under Hospice care. He is the brother of Vonda Merrill and Ann Bivins.
Frank Romberg's brother, Vernon Romberg, is doing well following quadruple bypass surgery last Friday at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital.
Congratulations to our youth group in taking second place at the AWTG Volleyball tournament in Tecumseh Sunday afternoon. Leslie Gettle, Courtney Baskin, Matt Stephens, Sean Parman, Jason Perry, Austin Beard, Nathan Kelly and Andy Stephens not only showed their physical powers on the court, they showed their spiritual strengths as well. In a world of "me first" attitudes it's always such a great thing to see folks get competitive and remain Christ-like at the same time.
In a recent Track meet, Courtney Baskin ran her personal best in her leg of her relay event. Good job Courtney!
Our camp applications have arrived. They will be handed out to the teens Wednesday evening. There will be extra applications on the youth bulletin board for anybody that needs them. You need to fill out your application and send it in as soon as possible to insure your spot for this awesome week in June. If you have any questions about Burnt Cabin feel free to visit with Rob and Maggie Prater, Steve and Mary Kelly or myself and Janet.
Coming Youth Events
April 22-23, Friday & Saturday - Guys Retreat/Girls Sleep Over
May 1, Sunday - AWTG at Wilshire, leave at 4 pm
May 7, 36th Annual Bible Teachers Workshop, Eastside in Duncan
Hope to see you here Sunday!