Bulletin for Sunday 12/07/2008
with Robert Prater
From the depths of a Roman prison while awaiting execution as a prisoner of Nero’s in Rome, Paul wrote to Timothy, his beloved friend and brother in Christ: “Do your best to come before winter.” (2 Timothy 4:21). Paul knew that in the winter, the Mediterranean Sea trade all but ceased. Ships would anchor in a safe harbor so as to avoid the violent storms that plagued the Mediterranean during the winter months. If Timothy was going to make the voyage from Ephesus to Rome, it would have to be before the ships stopped sailing.
Now if Timothy waits until winter, he will have to wait until spring; and Paul himself knew that his death sentence was imminent, “the time of my departure is at hand” (2 Timothy 4:6). Paul knows that he is living his last winter. Timothy needed to drop everything and get to Rome as fast as possible. We like to think that Timothy did not wait a single day after that letter from Paul reached him and indeed he was able to fulfill Paul’s request.
Before winter or never! There are some things which will never be done unless they are done “before winter.” Winter’s arrival at the end of each year is a sober reminder of fading opportunities. Winter should bring home to us all the sense of the preciousness of life’s opportunities, but also its brevity.
You can’t wait forever to respond to things that are important. Yet how many times have we had good intentions but somehow we never got around to doing it. We truly meant well, we meant for things to be different. All too often we end up with the “ifs and buts” of life. Some things need to be said now, done now. The opportunity is today, not tomorrow. We must not wait or delay or put things off.
What is it that God is calling you to do? What good deed? What act of forgiveness? What step of faith? What prayer should you pray? What sin should you confess? What bad habit must be broken? What service could you render for the Lord and His church? What class could you teach? What call must you make? What email must you write? What relationship must you repair? Who in your life needs to know Jesus and you’ve been putting off telling them? Whatever it is, do it “before winter.”
(I recently ran across this very beautiful poem that captures some of my thoughts from above-rp)
COME BEFORE WINTER
“Come before winter,” are words old and wise
Let us set sail now for the harbor
Of the things we truly prize!
For life’s voyage is brief, uncertain,
Soon winter’s snows may fall.
How sad to see ships meant for sailing
Which have not sailed far at all.
Ships meant to explore life’s oceans,
To know waters deep and wide.
Yet still we lie at anchor
Resisting the outgoing tide.
Life’s saddest sight is not the scene
Of souls storm tossed at sea.
For without the storm, the struggle and faith,
How else comes the victory?
No, life’s saddest sight is of souls
Who have never yet set sail.
Those who refuse to live much or dare,
These are the ones who fail!
Still move the seasons swiftly,
The Spring, the Summer, the Fall.
“O come” says the spirit, “come before winter,
Miss not the joy God intends for us all”!
--James Clark Brown
We extend our sympathy to the family of Betty Bernard who passed away last Friday, November 28. Services were held Tuesday afternoon at Walker Funeral Service Chapel.
HOLIDAY HOME TOUR & ORNAMENT EXCHANGE
You are invited to a Holiday Home Tour on Saturday, December 6, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Mary Kelly’s home for coffee and rolls, then to Louise Perry’s at 11:30 til 1:30 for lunch of soup and sandwiches. The tour will end with dessert and ornament exchange at Debbie Taffe’s at 2 p.m.
Pam Blackshire & her children have moved to 130 E. 45th St., Apt. 180, Shawnee 74804. Her phone number is 885-8430.
Verna Burton had surgery at Integris Jim Thorpe Hospital on Wednesday morning and was hoping to return home on Thursday.
Kacy & Robby Kinsey was hoping to bring home their newborn son, Harrison Robert, the end of the week.
Kacy Kinsey’s dad, Eddie Parker, had an ablation procedure to correct heart rhythm problems on Wednesday at Oklahoma Heart Hospital.
Harvey Moore will be testing a new medication at M.D. Anderson to see if he will be able to take it. The tumors have grown and your prayers are requested.
Please continue to remember others taking cancer treatments: Juanita Combs, Tim Norton, and Lorine Watson.
Hazel Lee Behrnes is also struggling with cancer, and Frances Taylor has serious health issues. They all appreciate your prayers.
CONTINUING PRAYER CONCERNS
Jearline Bates, Nina Baylis, Chad Beard, Hazel Lee Behrnes, Don Brightwell, Harold Carothers, Alta Carroll, Irene Coffman, Juanita Combs, Harold & Clydean Decker, L.B. & Rachel Hall, Cherrell Hamilton, Roe & Louise Honaker, Joyce Kelly, Melrose Kotts, Nadine Magee, Vesta Mays, Harvey Moore, Tim Norton, Sr., Polly Reese, Alice Rice, Millie Riley, Nancy Simmons, 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.
Sunday the teens will be helping with the Christmas Party for the younger folks. We’ll eat with them and help them with crafts. After the party, we will be loading onto the van (at 4:00 PM) and traveling to Blanchard for the December AWTG. I want to encourage all the teens to come enjoy the time with the little ones. Enjoy their company. Be a great example of what a Christian teen should be. Then we can go to Blanchard and be encouraged ourselves with singing praises to God and hearing His word preached! Bring a little cash for treats on the way home.
HAVE YOU FILLED OUT YOUR APPLICATION FOR LTC?
December 6, Holiday Home Tour & Ornament Exchange
December 6, Birthday celebration for Lillie Smith, First National Bank, 130 E. MacArthur, 2 – 4 p.m.
December 7, Search: “Can a Christian Fall From Grace?”
December 7, Children’s Christmas party after AM worship in fellowship room
December 13, Robert Prater & Bob Perry’s Sunday & Wednesday Young Adult/Family classes party at 5:30, home of Michael & Jennifer Michener. Bring finger foods & pop and also a $5.00 dirty Santa gift.
December 14, Search: “What Did Jesus Mean?”
December 14, Report from Hope Harbor by Bill Hamrick, PM
December 19, Dwyane Dennis’s Sunday morning class Christmas party, December 19 @ 6:30 at the Dennis home. Bring snacks & dirty Santa gift.
December 21, Search: “What About Christmas?”
December 24-January 1, Holidays; church office closed
LAST WEEK’S RECORD
Bible School 174
Worship Service 226
Sunday Evening 89
Wednesday Evening 112
SERVING THE CONGREGATION
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Announcements: Bob Seikel
Opening Prayer: Bill Lawerance
Song Director: Dale Beard
Scripture: Keon Lawrence
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Dennis Brodersen
SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Clavin Norwood Tracy Gettle
Jim Carpenter Mitch Harmon
AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM
John Aylor Josh Lyons
Bob Perry Jim Cross
Foyer: Gene & Dorothy Norton
Elevator: Jim & Vivian Cross
Cheryl Miller & Molly Gettle
ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR
EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE
Opening Prayer: Dwyane Dennis
Song Director: Austin Beard
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: James Reeves
AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Ron Taffe Burl Vanlandingham
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE
Classes for all ages
Song Director: Paul Harris
If unable to serve this week, notify
Frank Romberg – 273-1297