Bulletin for Sunday 09/16/2007
with Robert Prater
The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26 NIV)
We can draw several lessons from this passage, but the overriding one is that Christians ought to care for one another. We need to develop and encourage empathy – what the dictionary describes as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”
There’s an old English expression that summarizes this same action: “fellow-feeling.” That’s a great word, one that deserves resurrecting in the vernacular of today’s Christians. We should be a fellow-feeling people, with the capacity to feel joy with others when they have occasion for joy, sorrow in times of sorrow, and compassion in times of need.
Our brothers and sisters in the first century were fellow-feeling people. They maintained an atmosphere of sharing and mutual concern, providing for one another’s needs. (Acts 2:44-46) Luke, our inspired historian, tells us, “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32), and none among them lacked anything, because the others all gave of what they had. (Acts 4:34)
This principle applied not only to their material needs, but to their spiritual needs as well. A Levite from the country of Cyprus named Joseph not only contributed his wealth, selling a piece of property and giving the proceeds to the apostles to distribute, but was also called Barnabas – “son of encouragement” – for his efforts to edify the saints. (Acts 4:36)
It’s no accident that when the apostle described genuine love to the Christians in Corinth, he did so using actions that define empathy: longsuffering, kindness, and unselfishness. (1 Cor. 13:4-7) If we truly love one another, we will exhibit the patience necessary to seek out each other’s needs, and minister to them kindly and sacrificially. (James 1:27)
Part of fostering fellow-feeling among Christians is recognizing that every Christian has value. We are each different from the others, but we all have qualities and talents that are essential to the life of the body. (1 Cor. 12:20-23) In the physical world, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link; a wall is only as sturdy as its weakest brick. Therefore, for the entire church to be sound and whole, we each need to shore one another up, so that even the weakest among us is made strong.
The Bible assures us that our God cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7) That being true, we should care deeply for all those who are His – and show it! “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18 NIV) --Robert--(firstname.lastname@example.org)
A WORD TO THE CHRONOLOGICALLY GIFTED
By Dalton Key
James Thurber once remarked, “I’m sixty-five and I guess that puts me in with the geriatrics, but if there were fifteen months in every year, I’d only be forty-eight.”
I suppose it all depends on how you look at it. What appears as old age to one person may be nothing more than middle age to another. When I was a teenager, those who had reached the age of fifty seemed ancient! Now that I have reached the half century mark myself, fifty seems rather young.
You say you’re too old to be of any service in the Lord’s work? You couldn’t be further from the truth! Noah was nearly five hundred years old when he began building the ark. Abraham and Sarah were hovering near the century mark when their firstborn, Isaac, was born. Moses didn’t even begin his life’s greatest work, that of leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage and toward the land of promise, until he was a full eighty years young.
Yes, you’re right. People did tend to live longer back in the days of early Old Testament history. But the principle of doing great things while living life’s “golden years” is still valid. There can be “fruit in old age.” (Psalms 92:14)
Many of the world’s best artists, inventors, composers, poets, writers, statesmen and yes, even preachers – have done their best work late in life.
Youth does have its advantages; but so does old age. As one experienced sage pointed out, “Youth is faster, but age is more accurate.”
Don’t let the inevitable accumulation of birthdays discourage you. Focus on those things you can perform, those services you can render for the cause of Christ. Strive to develop and maintain a positive, faith-filled, optimistic attitude. Look more to the needs of others than to your own aches and pains and frustrations.
Who knows? Your life’s best work may yet lie ahead!
OUR TRASH, YOUR TREASURE?
If you would like to have one of the student desk chairs (or anything else stored downstairs under the front steps), please get in touch with the church office. We’re cleaning house.
Thank you for the prayers, cards, calls, visits, and food while I was ill. In Christian love,
Ruth Autrey was scheduled to have knee replacement surgery on Wednesday of this week at Unity Health Center.
Charlotte Seikel is beginning to show improvement in ICU at Presbyterian Hospital.
Robby Kinsey’s grandfather, Bob Gear, was expecting to return home early this week following coronary bypass surgery at Baptist Medical Center last week. Glenn Watson continues to recuperate from hip surgery at Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital.
Anita Jacques son-in-law, Steve Lawler, is in ICU in Hong Kong. He is showing much improvement following a stroke and pneumonia.
Carol Mahnke will return to M.D. Anderson this weekend for another treatment. It was good seeing her in church services on Sunday morning as well as Babe Doyle and Don Wills.
September 16, Children’s Bible Hour resumes 5pm
September 16, Search: “Women Preachers? Chauvinistic Attitudes?”
September 23, Search: “The Word of God Is Lost and Found”
September 28, Ladies Night at Little; dinner, 5:30 p.m.; program, 7 p.m.
September 29, 30, Central Centennial Homecoming – Perry Cotham & Stafford North
September 30, Search: “Christ, the Christian’s High Priest”
November 10, Central’s annual Coat Give-Away
CONTINUING PRAYER CONCERNS
Jearline Bates, Chad Beard, Betty Bernard, Christine Best, (Martha Chaffin’s daughter), L.M. Booker, Don Brightwell, Harold Carothers, Alta Carroll, James Childers, Harold & Clydean Decker, Ethel Fast, Lynn Harmon’s sisters, Betty Meister and Mary Cosby, Roe Honaker, Anna Jarvis, Nadine Magee, Carol Mahnke, Harvey Moore, Tim Norton, Sr. (Gene & Dorothy Norton’s son), Ed and Rachel O’Neal, Nicki Peltier, Zack Phillips, Polly Reece, Alice Rice, Millie Riley, Leoh Roberts, Bob Seikel’s wife, Charlotte, Nancy Simmons, Altha Smith, Sarah Smith, Gary Snow, Mary Sorensen, Dorothy Strickland, Alvie Vanlandingham, David Van-landingham, and Emma Wilson. All these members and friends have continuing health concerns or other special circumstances. They appreciate your interest and prayers
Please continue to pray for our family members and friends serving in the armed forces.
We hope to see you here Sunday!
LAST WEEK’S RECORD
Bible School 134
Worship Service 212
Sunday Evening 134
Wednesday Evening 133
SERVING THE CONGREGATION
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Announcements: Burl Vanlandingham
Opening Prayer: Jim Pettyjohn
Song Director: Steve Kelly
Scripture: Austin Beard
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Herman Guin
SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Ron Dunavan Chuck Carter
James Reeves Glendon Combs
AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM
Kenton McGalliard Clavin Norwood
Paul Harris Bob Stephens
Foyer: Paul & Paula Harris
Elevator: Bob & Janet Stephens
Linda Carpenter & Diane Lawerance
ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR
EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE
Opening Prayer: Jim Walling
Song Director: Steve Kelly
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Scott Perry
AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Frank Burton Bob Seikel
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE
Classes for all ages
Song Director: Steve Kelly
If unable to serve this week, notify
Frank Romberg – 273-1297