Bulletin for Sunday 03/11/2007

Click here for previous bulletins


AMONG FRIENDS
with Robert Prater

Mordecai, the cousin, guardian, and surrogate father of Esther, is one of the Bible's lesser known heroes. Mordecai is a man of courage and tough faith, as well as a shrewd individual who knew how to read a situation and respond to it wisely.

If you recall the story of Esther, it was Mordecai who engineered her entrance into the court of the Persian king Ahasuerus (known to secular history as Xerxes) and her ultimate elevation as Ahasuerus' queen. You will also remember that Mordecai made a mortal enemy in the person of Haman, one of the Persian princes who saw his position as a favorite son threatened by the presence of the Jews among his people - and by Mordecai in particular:

"After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. And all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage." (Esther 3:1-2)

It's the last sentence I'd like to call to your attention. We might wonder why Mordecai did as he did. After all, Haman was in a place of authority - he was a prince, promoted by the king. The king had decreed that Haman should be shown honor. What would have been wrong in Mordecai bowing to this prince? Are we not told in Scripture to give honor to whom honor is due? (Rom. 13:7)

To answer this question, we have to consider the original context. What Haman was demanding of the people here was not merely the justified honor to be paid to a civil authority figure. What he sought, from the perspective of Persian culture, was to be worshiped as deity - in other words, to be honored as a god. This Mordecai refused to do.

Mordecai's action was not unlike that of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, the three friends of Daniel who refused to bow to the image of himself that Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon erected. When the king threatened the three men with the fiery furnace if they did not comply with his order, the trio replied, "……let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." (Daniel 3:16-18)

We live in an age of compromise, of tolerance, of "going along to get along." Most people today, confronted with the dilemma Mordecai faced, would simply say, "What would it matter just this once? I know Haman isn't really a god, but if he wants to think so, and obeying his order will keep me in his good graces, what difference would it make?"

Mordecai refused. He would not compromise his faith even for a man with the authority to take his own life. Mordecai would not give what only belongs to God. How often are we guilty of bowing to the "gods" of this world? When we accept the world's values without challenge, when we submit to worldly principles at the expense of holiness, when we set temporal things higher in our life's priorities than the things of Christ, are we not doing exactly what Mordecai refused to do?

God's people must be courageous. When the world invites us to dine at its table, we must decline. (1 Corinthians 10:21) Let's never be afraid to stand for the truth and, like Mordecai, always refuse to bow to the world. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 Jn. 5:21)

--Robert-- (robprater@sbcglobal.net)



SERMONS FOR SUNDAY

AM Jesus - The Son of Man (John 3:13)

PM Bible Questions - Prayer


PLACING MEMBERSHIP

We were happy to welcome Wayne and Patti Spencer as members this past Sunday evening. They come to us from the Northridge congregation. Their address is 1201 Castle Creek, Shawnee, OK 74804. Their phone number is 375-3530. We look forward to working with both of them in the future. Patti requests special prayers on her behalf as she struggles with various health concerns which may keep her away from worship at times.


DIRECTORY CHANGES

Please change the telephone number for Alta Carroll to 610-6092.

Anna Jarvis is residing in Colonial Estates, #125.


FRIENDS & FAMILY DAY

Please save the date for our Friends & Family Day on Sunday, April 15. This will be a very special day of outreach, worship and fellowship. Bruce McLarty, who is the dean of Bible and Religion at Harding University and the former pulpit minister of the College Church of Christ there in Searcy, Arkansas will be our speaker. He'll be speaking to us on the topic of "Building Relationships." First of all, make your plans to be here on this Sunday. Second of all, start thinking about some of your friends and family members that you would like to invite. You might go ahead and begin making a list of names and addresses of those people. We are currently working and planning to have a big invitation writing project for this event. We'll be making the details of this effort and how it will involve your participation known very soon. Please be in prayer concerning this effort.


PRAYER CONCERNS

We are not aware of any of our members in the hospital at this time.

It was great seeing Ruth Autry, Elva Gill, Lynn Harmon, and Joyce Kelly back in worship after their procedures.

Diane Lawerance will have a procedure at Baptist Medical Center on Monday of next week.

Patti Spencer is seeing a cardiologist in Oklahoma City with heart concerns. She and Wayne would appreciate your prayers.

Jackie Stripling, father of Trilbya Anderson, was discharged from the Oklahoma Heart Hospital on Saturday evening after being there for a week.


CONTINUING PRAYER CONCERNS

Jearline Bates, Chad Beard, Virgil Beasley, Betty Bernard, Melba Boston, Don Brightwell, Harold Carothers, Alta Carroll, James Childers, Harold & Clydean Decker, Clovie Dossey, Ethel Fast, Roe Honaker, Anna Jarvis, Nadine Magee, Carol Mahnke, Mary Martin, Harvey Moore, Ed O'Neal, Zach Phillips, Polly Reece, Alice Rice, Millie Riley, Altha Smith, Sarah Smith, Mary Sorensen, Floy Turner, Alvie Vanlandingham, Emma Wilson, and Carl Worley. All these members and friends have continuing health concerns or other special circumstances. They appreciate your interest and prayers.


LOOKING AHEAD

March 11, Daylight Saving Time begins

March 14-17, Photography for new pictorial directory

April 15, Friends & Family Day with Bruce McLarty from Harding University

April 18 - 22, Gospel meeting, Highland, with Kent Allen preaching, "Desperate Households"

April 22 - 25, Gospel meeting at McLoud with Chuck Carter preaching

May 5, 28th Annual Bible Teachers Workshop, "The Promises of God are True," Eastside, Duncan


Youth News
Bob Stephens

Well, it's crunch time. LTC is only about four weeks away. Parents, if at all possible, make sure your kiddos are at all the practices they need to be at.

We have several of our youth involved in school activities this spring. Austin Beard is in track and field, mightily hurling the shot put; Jason Perry is a Tiger in training on the links; Molly Gettle, Leslie Gettle and Kristin Gober are running fast up and down the field playing soccer; Kenton McGalliard is charging the net playing tennis; and Bryce Dean is back on the baseball field hitting the long ball. (Let me know if I've missed anybody and their activities) Our prayer is that whatever they do, they do it to the glory of God!

Happy Spring!


COMING YOUTH EVENTS

March 9 & 10, Friday & Saturday - Spring Visit

March 10, Saturday - Spring Sing - leave at 12:30

April 6 - 7, LTC in Tulsa

June 10 - 16, Burnt Cabin


CENTENNIAL MOMENTS

Cora Stevens, a long time member at Central, served as treasurer of the City of Shawnee sometime during the 1930's and 1940's


"As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand."
Josh Billings

LAST WEEK'S RECORD

Bible School 123
Worship Service 185
Sunday Evening 119
Wednesday Evening 119
Contribution $5,029.75

SERVING THE CONGREGATION

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Announcements:Dale Beard
Opening Prayer:Chuck Carter
Song Director:Steve Kelly
Scripture:Austin Beard
Sermon:Robert Prater
Closing Prayer:Geoff Root

SERVING AT THE LORD'S TABLE

NORTHSOUTH
Mitch Harmon Bob Stephens
Kenton McGalliard Bob Bivins

AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM

John Aylor Brian Nipper

USHERS

Paul Harris Tracy Gettle

GREETERS

Foyer:Paul & Paula Harris
Elevator:Tracy& Mary Gettle

NURSERY ATTENDANTS

Mary Kelly Janet Stephens

ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR

Howard Vanlandingham

PROJECTION CONTROL

Jim Carpenter

EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE

Opening Prayer:Jim Pettyjohn
Song Director:Steve Kelly
Scripture:Brandon Gober
Sermon:Robert Prater
Closing Prayer:Scott Perry

AT THE LORD'S TABLE

SERVING AT THE LORD'S TABLE

NORTHSOUTH
Austin Beard Jason Perry

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE

Classes for all ages

Song Leader:Burl Vanlandingham
Scripture:Chad Beard

VAN DRIVER

Tracy Gettle
If unable to serve during the week, notify Frank Romberg - 273-1297