Bulletin for Sunday 10/19/2008
with Robert Prater
In Luke 13:20-21, Jesus told this parable: “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
Leaven, for the non-cooks among us, is the substance used to make bread dough rise. Commonly we use dry yeast today. In biblical times, people used an actively fermenting dough, much like our sourdough starter. The Lord uses the figure of leaven to make a positive point: that the kingdom of God can have a pervasive influence if that influence is provided opportunity. The leavening agent had no effect on the meal used to make the dough until the leaven was “hidden” within the meal. Think of trying to make bread dough by dropping an unopened packet of yeast into the mixing bowl!
As citizens of the heavenly kingdom, we can have a powerful effect on those around us. But we can’t have that effect in isolation. We have to be “hidden” among the people of the world. We have to associate with and exercise our influence on others.
What we have to understand about leaven – or to apply this metaphor, the power of influence – is that it works in two directions. Even as Christians have a duty to leaven the world by means of our influence, we also have a duty not to become leavened – unduly influenced – by the world. It’s the same thing Jesus said concerning salt: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13). In order to be “salt of the earth,” we must maintain our unique character. If we take on the character of our environment, we cease to be “salty.”
Paul reminds us that it doesn’t require a great deal of influence to have a marked effect. “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (1 Corinthians 5:6). We might think that a small amount of worldly influence won’t do us any harm. Think again! It takes very little to sway our minds in one direction or another. We must be very careful about the leaven that surrounds us – recognize it for what it is, and resist its temptations.
We must understand that leavening is an either/or proposition. Either we will leaven others, or we will be leavened. Either we will exert a positive influence on the world, or the world will have a negative influence on us. Both cannot be true simultaneously – we can’t be a good influence while we are being wrongly influenced. If we want to be leaven, we can’t allow ourselves to be leavened. By the same token, if we are absorbing the leaven of the unrighteous world, we aren’t of much use as a righteous leavening agent.
Look at your life. Are you leavening the world, or are you just getting leavened? You control the stream of influence, whether it flows outwardly from you or inwardly to you. Friends, who knows what ripple effect our godly living and faithful service might achieve on those around us.
We offer our loving sympathy to Ann Perry in the loss of her brother, Ray Wills, who passed away in Augusta, Kansas on Saturday. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon in Kansas.
We extend our very best wishes to Carl Weeks and Yuavonda (LaViness) Sperry who were united in marriage in our building on Saturday evening of last week. THERE WILL BE A PARTY IN THEIR HONOR ON Sunday evening, November 2. More details will be announced this coming Sunday.
It was good seeing Roe and Louise Honaker, Mariella Jacobs and Lillie Smith back in services Sunday.
Continue to pray for Juanita Combs, Harvey Moore, Tim Norton, and Frances Taylor.
**BE KEEPING IN MIND**
November 15, Central’s annual coat giveaway
There will be a Halloween party with fun games and candy for all the children and their families on Friday, October 31 at the home of Kari Canard located at 6400 Acme Road. The church van will leave from the building at 6:30 p.m. for all those who would like to ride out there. Children are encouraged to wear their “costumes” for the occasion. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the foyer for food and desserts to bring. Donations of candy are needed and can be brought to the kitchen in the fellowship room. For more info please see Kari Canard or Maggie Prater.
PICTURES OF NEW MEMBERS
We are wanting to get pictures of all new Central members since our last pictorial directory was taken in March of 2007. Michael Michener is currently working on taking these pictures after services in the fellowship room. If you’re a new family and he hasn’t contacted you yet to schedule your family’s picture, you can call him at 520-3013 to do so. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
COMING YOUTH EVENTS
Oct. 26 – Sunday – Inflatable Party with area teens
Oct. 31 –Friday – Halloween party with kids at the Canards
Nov. 1 – Saturday – Frightfest at Frontier City
October 19, Larry Sullivan to speak PM service
October 19, Search: “Rejoice and Be Glad”
October 25, Ladies Day at Henryetta, 9 a.m. to Noon; continental breakfast & lunch; child care provided; Tulsa United Ladies will sing.
October 26, Search: “The Dynamic of the Christian Faith”
October 27-29, Tipton truck coming. Needed supplies: cereal, soups, white Karo syrup, Ranch-style beans, chicken broth, beef bouillon, shampoo, hair conditioner, trash bags, paper towels, Scrubbing Bubbles.
WHATEVER IS TRUE
Note that “whatever is true” stands at the very top of Paul’s great list of things we should steadily think about. It is ahead of everything else. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).
The temptation of today is to repeat the cynical question Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” We tend to seek the pleasant, whether true or not. It is so convenient for me to have “my truth,” and you have “your truth.” “It doesn’t really make any difference what you believe just as long as you are sincere,” we are told.
For the sake of harmony and political correctness we are eager to stamp all religions as “true” regardless of how they conflict with each other. We tend to major on a commonly accepted idea of so called “spirituality.” This is a vague, abstract state often removed a hundred miles from the truth.
In the Bible truth is not presented simply as an abstraction, but boldly in the form of Christ. The Christ said, “I am the truth…” (John 14:6). As Avon Malone observed, “Other men spoke of truth, but he was truth speaking.” Christ said, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). In our devotion to the pleasant, the lovely, the gracious, we must never forget Christ and his teachings. He does not mince words when he says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Dogmatic? Well, yes. But when is truth not? It always stands against falsehood.
If we rely on God’s truth in Christ, we should never hide from any other truth in the world. “Whatever is true,….think….”
Windsong Church of Christ, North Little Rock
Trust the past to God's mercy,
the present to God's love
and the future to God's providence.
LAST WEEK’S RECORD
Bible School 122
Worship Service 201
Sunday Evening 128
Wednesday Evening 165
SERVING THE CONGREGATION
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Announcements: Bob Seikel
Opening Prayer: Ron Taffe
Song Director: Steve Kelly
Scripture: Bryce Beal
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Joe Curtis
SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Michael Michener Dennis Brodersen
Keith Lawrence Brandon Gober
AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM
Lynn Harmon Tim Norton
Steve Kelly Bob Bivins
Foyer: Steve & Mary Kelly
Elevator: Bob & Ann Bivins
Jennifer Lawrence & Carol Brodersen
ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR
EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE
Opening Prayer: Robby Kinsey
Song Director: Steve Kelly
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Scott Perry
AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Austin Beard Gene Norton
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE
Classes for all ages
Song Director: Paul Harris
If unable to serve this week, notify
Frank Romberg – 273-1297