Bulletin for Sunday 06/15/2008

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AMONG FRIENDS
with Robert Prater

     Have you noticed how popular the “fun size” packets of candy have become?  Many office desks, waiting rooms, and party events put these candy dishes out for people to enjoy.  I remember sharing a good chuckle when I recently heard what someone said about this trend, “You’d think ‘fun size’ would be bigger, wouldn’t you?”

     I wonder if too many Christians are sometimes guilty, of living “fun size” lives.  We stick a label on our discipleship that tells the world that it’s the most wonderful way to live, but we put that life on public view in an unattractively small package.  In so doing, we condemn life in Christ with faint praise.  It’s tough to convince people to become Christians if we who are already Christians seem miserable and deprived.

     Jesus said that His purpose in coming was that His sheep “may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  Being disciples of Christ, we ought to find – and display – a surpassing degree of joy.  Now, how do we show others we are living abundantly in Christ?  Well, how much enthusiasm do we have for the Lord, His word and His work?  The very word “enthusiasm” means “God-filled” which should give us some clue.  Does God fill our lives?  And to what extent?

     The book of Acts presents us with numerous examples of enthusiastic discipleship.  Consider this description of the earliest church in Jerusalem:  “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46-47).

     Notice some of the words and phrases that leap out of that passage: “with one accord,” “gladness,” “praising God,” “having favor.”  Certainly sounds like an abundant life, doesn’t it?  How many of these expressions might people use to characterize us?  Would others look at us as an assembly of disciples and say that we act “with one accord?”  Would they describe us as a “glad” group of people?  Do they see us “praising God” as we go about our daily lives?  Do we live in such a manner that it causes people to look up on us – and more importantly, upon the faith we uphold – in a “favorable” way?  And while we’re at it, notice what the Scriptures tell us were the results of this lifestyle: people were being added daily to the number of the saved.  We could have that kind of impact on our community today if only we lived as abundantly – as “large” – as those first disciples!                                                                  

     Sometimes it’s simply a matter of phrasing things positively instead of negatively.  Suppose you sat down in a restaurant and the waiter approached you and asked, “You don’t want to order anything, do you?”  You’d probably say, “I guess not,” and leave.  Perhaps we by our attitude say to the world, “You wouldn’t want to be a Christian, would you?”  Which makes it all the easier for people to reply, “No, I guess not.”

     Disciples aren’t made with emotions; they are made by the word of God (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; Romans 10:17).  But the word can either be helped or hindered by the demeanor of the messengers who carry it.  If we behave as though being people of the Word is a blessing, others are much more likely to give us the opportunity to share it with them.  If we create the impression that obeying the teachings of Christ means living a “fun size” life, we’re not going to be very successful in bringing people to Him.

     Stand in front of the spiritual mirror and check out the “size label” you show to others.  Does your life say “fun size” but you’ve crammed your Christianity into a microscopic package?  Or do you “live large,” and by your evident joy and enthusiasm let the brilliant light of Christ shine out into the world around you (Matthew 5:14-16)?  The bigger, more abundant and enthusiastic lives we live for Jesus, the more powerful our influence will be in leading others to live for Him also.  Now go “live large”!

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


BAPTISM

     Mike Hensley was baptized into Christ on Tuesday evening by Robert Prater.  He and Jeff Todd work together. And Mike has been visiting  with us with Jeff and Darlene since Friends & Family day.  For the past few weeks Robert, Jeff and Mike have been studying the Bible and learning more about God’s plan of salvation.  His address is 38264 State Hwy 59B, Macomb, OK. 74852.  Phone number is (you’ll need to get it from him-rp).  If you have not met Mike and his daughter Mikaela (5), please introduce yourself to them Do your best to welcome them into God’s family here at Central.  Please also keep Mike in your prayers as he continues to learn more about God and grow in his relationship with Jesus Christ.

     On a personal note, Jeff and Mike are a powerful example of how the gospel is supposed to be spread from one life to another and to another and so on.  I’m glad that Jeff wanted to reach out and share the good news with Mike, and I am confident that he will pass it on to someone else.  Their example is worthy of our imitation.  My prayer is that all of us here at Central will continue to do our part in reaching the lost with the good news of life in Christ.


WELCOME

     (This is a must read that needs to be taken to heart by each one of us. WDD)

     Somewhere in the back of my mind, I recall a man who greeted another with a “medium hello.”  It’s possible that many of us have either given, or received, such a greeting.  Not much warmth in that.  It’s the exact opposite of what the apostle Paul wanted to see in the church when he urged, “Welcome one another, therefore, as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God” (Romans 5:7).

     Earlier in the same chapter Paul had urged that the strong in the church should “bear with the failings of the weak,” and that we should not please ourselves, but rather please our neighbor for his good and therefore edify him.  This was especially important for the Jews who were dealing with Gentile brethren.

     Brethren should not just tolerate one another, but show warmth in welcoming one another.  And the apostle gives a reason for this in the person of Christ.  We are to welcome a brother, “as Christ has welcomed you.”  And that is “for the glory of God.”  How gracious of our Lord to receive us like that.

     Who could ever forget the warm invitation Christ gives?  “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).  There’s no discrimination or lack of friendliness in these words.

     It’s one thing for the preacher to welcome people from the pulpit.  That’s good.  But the real need is for each of us to take personally the exhortation, “Welcome one another.”

     Let us resolve not to give a frigid welcome, or a medium hello.  Welcome one another and mean it!

John Gipson, Windsong, North Little Rock


THANK YOU

     Thank all of you who sat with Donna, called, or if she was asleep, just visited with me. The Dennises for being there for us.  She has improved a very little bit…. Please keep us in your prayers.  We thank all of you, and I hope we can call on you again.  There is no way I can ever thank you enough.  Maybe I will have the opportunity to serve you in some way.       Love, the Wills Family

(Donna’s prognosis remains unchanged. WDD)

     Central Church of Christ:  Thank you so much for the flowers.  The assorted flowers of lilies, carnations, iris, snaps, etc. were beautiful.  Thanks for the food.  It was delicious and helped us on the day of Charlotte’s funeral.  Your kindness, expressions, and prayers have been a source of encouragement to me and my family.  So many of Central’s members really meant a lot to Charlotte.  These pitiful words do not begin to express what is in my heart.               In love, Bob Seikel & Family

     Thank you for the great food and beautiful flowers.                           Love, the Watson Family

     Dear Christian Friends, Thank you for your expressions of sympathy at the death of our beloved mother and grandmother (Emma Lee Wilsie Boyt).  You were a source of comfort to our family.  God bless you.  Keep us in your prayers.

    Love, Patsy Mills, Donald Boyt, & Kevin Mills


We hope to see you here Sunday!


PRAYER CONCERNS

     Juanita Combs, Harvey Moore, Tim Norton, Sr., Frances Taylor, and Donna (Wills) Hale all continue to need and request your prayers.


CONTINUING PRAYER CONCERNS

    Jearline Bates, Nina Baylis, Chad Beard, Hazel Lee Behrnes, Betty Bernard, Don Brightwell, Harold Carothers, Alta Carroll, Juanita Combs, Harold & Clydean Decker, Donna Hale (daughter of Don & Judy Wills) L.B. & Rachel Hall, Roe Honaker, Jenifer Vasques  of the  Nicaragua children home, Nadine Magee, Vesta Mays, Harvey Moore, Tim Norton, Sr., Mike Phillips, (Jennifer Lawerance brother-in-law), Polly Reese, Alice Rice, Millie Riley, Nancy Simmons, Altha Smith, Sarah Smith, Dorothy Strickland,  Frances Taylor, Marlene Wadkins, Emma White and Emma Wilson.  All these members and friends have continuing health concerns or other special circumstances.  They appreciate your interest and prayers.


ADDRESS CHANGES

Mazella Patterson has moved to Wilburton, OK to be closer to her daughter and family.  Her new address is 204 N.W. 6th St., Wilburton 74578-3020.  We wish her the best! 

Tracy & Mary Gettle have a new 911 address.  It is 9407 Brangus Rd, Meeker, OK 74855. 

Jon Merritt has a new telephone number.  It is 275-5609.  Please make these changes in your membership directory.


LOOKING AHEAD

June 15, Search: “The Memorial to Christ”

June 22, Search: “This World is Not My Home”

June 23-25, Gospel Meeting, Maud, 7:00 p.m.

June 29, Search: “Obedience to God & to Caesar”

July 4, Independence Day; church office closed

July 12, Needed supplies for Nicaragua; Small sample sizes of; soap, deodorant, shampoo (no-conditioners) lotions, safety razors, flip-flops, toothbrushes, washcloths, combs, band-aids, small toys for kids.   Still in need of large suitcases.                 

July 14 – 18, Central’s Vacation Bible School

July 20, Children’s Bible Hour resumes at 5 p.m.


"The badge of courage does not require that we walk through
something dangerous. It simply requires that we continue to
share God's love whenever and wherever we are."
Tom White


LAST WEEK’S RECORD

Bible School                                              135

Worship Service                                       195

Sunday Evening                                         99

Wednesday Evening                                116

Contribution                                     4,401.30

 

SERVING THE CONGREGATION

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Announcements:                          Dale Beard

Opening Prayer:                          Bob Seikel

Song Director:                             Paul Harris

Scripture:                        Kenton McGalliard

Sermon:                                     Robert Prater

Closing Prayer:                      Mitch Harmon

SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE

NORTH                                             SOUTH

James Reeves                                   Jim Cross

Clavin Norwood                              Joe Curtis

AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM

John Aylor                                  Brian Nipper

USHERS

Bob Perry                       Burl Vanlandingham

GREETERS

Foyer:                             Bob & Louise Perry

Elevator:      Burl & Barbara Vanlandingham

NURSERY ATTENDANTS

Jennifer Lawrence & Cathy Pettyjohn

ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR

Geoff Root

PROJECTION CONTROL

Bob Stephens

 

EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE

Opening Prayer:                       Jim Walling

Song Director:                            Paul Harris

Sermon:                                    Robert Prater

Closing Prayer:                          Steve Kelly

AT THE LORD’S TABLE

NORTH                                           SOUTH

Scott Perry                                  Gene Norton

 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE

Classes for all ages

Song Director:                    Austin Beard

 

VAN DRIVER

Tracy Gettle

 

If unable to serve this week, notify

Frank Romberg – 273-1297