Bulletin for Sunday 03/18/2007

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AMONG FRIENDS

with Robert Prater

In some ways, I suppose I'd probably have reacted the same as Sarah did when the messengers of God told her and Abraham that they would have a son despite their great age - Abraham was ninety-nine years old, his wife Sarah ninety. Overhearing her husband's conversation with the three men, Sarah's reaction is perfectly understandable: "Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?" (Genesis 18:12) It seemed to her a comical thing that a woman of ninety should be with child. Be honest - doesn't it seem so to you too?

But consider the reply of God to Abraham: "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." (Gen. 18:13-14) God saw nothing ridiculous about the notion that what He foretold would happen might be impossible. Nothing God Almighty purposes to do are beyond His power to accomplish.

Sarah quickly denied that she had laughed, but God knew better: "No, but you did laugh!" (Gen. 18:15) I don't believe He was angry with her - quite the contrary, God understood quite well why Sarah reacted as she did. She didn't question God's ability. She questioned her husband's ability to get her pregnant and her own ability to conceive.

This conclusion is supported by the Hebrew writer, who noted, "By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised." (Hebrews 11:11) This passage clearly shows us that Sarah never doubted God's power - "She judged Him faithful who had promised" - but rather her own. And Sarah "received strength" to do what God wanted her to do.

When Jesus' disciples asked Him, "Who then can be saved?" He answered, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:25-26) We have to remember always that though we are limited, our God is not. He can enable us to accomplish what we believe we cannot, if we, like Sarah judge Him faithful to keep His word. Can I save my own soul? No - but God has provided the means, if I trust in Him and act in faith.

Sarah did, as we well know, conceive and bear the son God promised. She named him Isaac -a name that means "laughter" in Hebrew - saying, "God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me." (Genesis 21:6) Sarah laughed with the joy of knowing that God, through her faith, had enabled her to achieve the apparently unachievable.

The apostle Paul affirmed, "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20 NIV) If we will embrace that statement with confident faith in the Lord's power, we too can laugh as Sarah did, and do in Christ's service what we thought we could not.

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


SERMONS FOR SUNDAY

AM The Value of Souls (Matthew 16:26)

PM Finale of Bible Questions - The Lord's Supper


LETTER FROM PERRY COTHAM

Dear Brethren, I am always grateful to receive the church bulletin each time and read it carefully. However, there are very few members there who were there when I came as the fulltime local preacher in October 1934. I baptized Fred Bowers. I also baptized John A. Scott the first Sunday of January, 1937. (John passed away recently; I had a part in his funeral.) Too, I am glad you are having a special day September 30 to celebrate the 100th year of the church in Shawnee. I plan to be there as I have been invited to come. It should be a great day for the church.

While I was there, we bought the lots at 10th & Bell Streets for the new building. I have been back for a meeting and also for a special day within the past several years. I followed Gray Carter there as the local preacher. Horace W. Busby conducted a meeting also during my stay there. Others too.

There are other things I could mention, but I am sure some of the members have this information. We married June 25, 1936. My wife passed away January 7, 1998. I know you will advertise this special day for the church in every way that you can and urge all the ex members to attend if at all possible. Urge the members to get their friends to also come with them. The members will have good food to eat at noon, and all will enjoy the fellowship.

The old church building that I preached in for six years is now on the campus of OBU. But this church has been a good church during all of these years. Some great and wonderful people have made it up over the years. I look forward to a great day and a great visit. Sincerely in Christ,

Perry B. Cotham


THANK YOU

Thank you for all your loving care during my illness. The cards, calls, food, taking me to doctor appointments and sitting with me. Your prayers so appreciated. Love in Christ, Anita [Jacques]

Thank you friends for all the lovely cards and phone calls and visits. They meant a lot to me and cheered me up like nothing else could do.

A special thank you for Bob Stephens and the young people in his and Janet's care. A note from all of you which gave me a big lift of spirits. We are lucky to have Bob & Janet leading these wonderful young people. I was so proud of you and your thoughts expressed on my behalf.

I am slowly getting back to normal and I'll be glad when I can attend services again. Thank you again, with all my love, Joyce [Kelly]


PRAYER CONCERNS

Margaret Hanifan was admitted to St. Anthony Hospital on Monday for tests. She was in room 11615 at publication of the Gospel Guide.

Diane Lawerance was expecting to stay overnight Monday after a procedure at Baptist Medical Center.

Anita Sharp spent some time in ER last week after a fall. She received a badly sprained ankle.

Patti Spencer received a good report from her cardiologist.

Melba Boston remains appreciative of your prayers and visits.

Barney and Jo Sneed would like for you to put their brother-in-law, Kinney Ott, on your prayer list. He had a severe heart attack last week and is in Baptist Medical Center.


CORRECTION

We gave an incorrect phone number for Wayne and Patti Spencer last week. The number should be 275-3530. Be sure to add them to your directory.


Youth News
Bob Stephens

We had four of our teens go to Spring Visit at Oklahoma Christian last weekend. Courtney Baskin, Leslie Gettle, Jason Perry and Austin Beard all attended the event and went to Spring Sing as well. Former youth group members, Lindsey Perry, Matt Stephens, Nathan Kelly and Andy Stephens participated in Spring Sing last weekend. We have a decent number of kids at the university with more planning to attend in the near future. I wonder if they can give us a group rate???

Spring Break, it's a beautiful thing! It's next week. Oh for the days of sleeping late after staying up late. However, don't sleep in too late on Tuesday. We are planning a work/play day for Tuesday, March 20. Our plan is to meet at the building at 9:00 a.m. to work around the youth house and church building for a couple of hours. Then we'll clean ourselves up and head to eat and the zoo,. The cost for the zoo is $7.00 and you'll need some moola for lunch.

We are in the process of having youth group shirts made. Our very own Wade Baskin designed the shirt. It's really cool. The cost for a shirt is a mere $12.00. If you would like to order one, let me know by Sunday the 18th. We want to get them on our backs by LTC.

We are hosting an AWTG on Monday, August 6. It's still in the distance and we have a lot of stuff going on between now and then, but keep that date on your mind cause you know we'll be asking for stuff from you! Also, keep that date and others like camp and VBS in your prayers that we may be able to glorify God in all we do!


COMING YOUTH EVENTS

March 18, Sunday - Dinner and Devo

March 19, Monday - Scrapbook @ 5:30 p.m.

March 20, Tuesday - Work/Play Day

April 6 - 7, LTC Convention in Tulsa

June 10 - 16, Burnt Cabin


LOOKING AHEAD

March 14-17, Photography for new pictorial directory

March 18, Homecoming & Fellowship day, Church of Christ, 3rd & Comanche, Okmulgee with brother Cardell Banks

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


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 113
Worship Service 178
Sunday Evening 140
Wednesday Evening 123
Contribution $4,330.62

SERVING THE CONGREGATION

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Announcements:Bob Stephens
Opening Prayer:Buddy Truesdell
Song Director:Dale Beard
Scripture:Bryce Beal
Sermon:Robert Prater
Closing Prayer:Bill Lawerance

SERVING AT THE LORD'S TABLE

NORTHSOUTH
Terry Lowe Jim Pettyjohn
Tim Norton Geoff Root

AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM

Lynn Harmon Austin Beard

USHERS

Paul Harris Frank Romberg

GREETERS

Foyer:Paul & Paula Harris
Elevator:Frank & Rita Romberg

NURSERY ATTENDANTS

Leslie Gettle Paula Harris

ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR

John Aylor

PROJECTION CONTROL

Ron Taffe

EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE

Opening Prayer:Robby Kinsey
Song Director:Austin Beard
Scripture:Jason Perry
Sermon:Robert Prater
Closing Prayer:Steve Kelly

AT THE LORD'S TABLE

SERVING AT THE LORD'S TABLE

NORTHSOUTH
Terry Banta Burl Vanlandingham

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE

Classes for all ages

Song Leader:Clavin Norwood
Scripture:Austin Beard

VAN DRIVER

James Reeves
If unable to serve during the week, notify Frank Romberg - 273-1297