Bulletin for Sunday 9/20/2009

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With Robert Prater

Well, despite the rainy weather Saturday, we enjoyed a wonderful turnout for our Family Fun Night.  We counted around 107 in attendance.  Nearly half of these were either visitors from VBS or those who have recently attended our worship services at Central.  This evening was created in order to continue our ongoing relationship with them.  I want to thank each and everyone who made this fellowship outreach event possible.

I also appreciated all the kind words in your response to my new series of Sunday morning sermons, “What’s It All About?”  Don’t forget these sermons are recorded and posted on our church’s website (www.tenthandbell.org).  Why not use these as a resource as you talk with your friends about spiritual matters.

In John 17 the Lord prayed for unity so “the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21 NIV)  The Lord knew that religious division would fuel disbelief and skepticism among those in the world.  A fractured Christianity loses its power to influence the world.

It must always be first remembered that the nature of the unity for which Christ prayed is rooted and grounded in truth.  Before Jesus prayed for unity, He prayed that His disciples should be “sanctified in the truth.” (John 17:17)  Jesus came to bear witness to the truth (John 18:37) and identifies Himself as the truth. (John 14:6)  Unity is not merely union where people or groups come together and still maintain their basic differences in doctrine.  Jesus did not pray for unity in spite of a diversity of doctrine.  We must find unity within the truth, not in spite of it.

Secondly, in order for people to have the kind of unity that pleases God, it is necessary for all of us to appeal to the same standard of religious authority.  God’s word should be our exclusive guide of faith and practice.  We will all “speak the same thing” when we all “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11).  Paul wrote “Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind” (Phil. 3:16).  By following the same rule, we will be of the same mind,.  “Two” cannot “walk together, except they be agreed” (Amos 3:3).  The only way that we will be able to get along with each other is when we agree to walk according to God’s infallible Word. (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Finally, when we think about unity, love is what is at the heart of it.  Jesus said it is when we love one another as He loved us that “…..all men will know that you are my disciples…..” (John 13:34-35 NIV)  In fact, it is a “heavenly chain”, in which God’s love for His Son, His Son’s love for His disciples, and the disciples’ love for each other binds them in a glorious unity which the world about them finds interesting and attractive.

Unity, real, scriptural unity, is to be desired but we must first have it with God before we can attain it with others. (cf John 14:23-24; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Jn. 1:7)  Therefore, we ask you the question: Are you in fellowship with God and His Son?  Is your life in harmony with the Lord’s will?  This MUST be the beginning.

-- Robert -- robprater@sbcglobal.net


We extend our sympathy to Jennifer Michener, Michael, Michaela, and Mark in the loss of Jennifer’s grandmother, Hollie Corum, on Wednesday afternoon of last week..  Funeral services were held Monday at Ava Church of Christ in Missouri.


Earl Finch has returned to VA Medical Center, room 6B119.  His final two surgeries should be in about two weeks from now.

Harvey & Carletta Moore returned to Shawnee on Monday for a few days before having to return to M.D. Anderson in Houston. 

Carl Weeks’ 13 year old grandson, Jeremiah Garner, was scheduled for additional surgery on his leg on Wednesday of this week at Children’s Hospital.  The physicians there will make a diagnosis after this surgery. 

Pamela Blackshire’s grandmother, Rita Fairchild, has been told that she has bone cancer in addition to lung cancer.  There will be no treatment. 

We rejoice with the Nortons.  Tim Sr. has been told that he is now cancer free.  

It was so good to see Erma Dean Farris in services Sunday morning.

Youth News
Bob Stephens

If you eat at the Pizza Hut on Harrison, you may see one of Central’s own kids working there.  That’s right, Keon Lawrence is working at Pizza Hut.  He is a hard worker and is saving up for when he gets his driver’s license.  Watch out!  So if you like to eat pizza every once in a while, be sure to go visit Keon!

It was a blessing to hear Kenton McGalliard speak to us last Wednesday evening.  All summer we have enjoyed listening to different speakers for our devotionals together.  I think Kenton was the youngest one, but that doesn’t mean he was the least of them!  Kenton, you did good!

This Sunday evening we will have a dinner and devo after worship.  We plan to go out for some dinner and come back to the youth house for a devo.  We’ll be done by 8:30, so everyone plan to come.


Not all fathers are created equal.  Some relish the role and delight in their children while others couldn’t care less.  But blessed is the child who has a loving, caring father.

John the baptizer had the right kind of father.  His father, Zechariah, was a priest before God.  Sadly, not all fathers are religious.  Some are concerned only about wealth or pleasure.  God has no place in their lives.  Consequently, no thought is ever given to training their children in the paths of righteousness.  (Timothy, of New Testament fame, was blessed in that from a child he was taught the Holy Scriptures which were able to instruct him for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus).

Zechariah made a wise choice in selecting a companion who would be the right kind of wife and mother.  She, too, was a godly person.  Her name was Elizabeth and she was one of the daughters of Aaron, a descendent of the High Priest.  The right kind of father picks the right kind of  woman to be his wife.

The right kind of father establishes a God-fearing home.  Here is Luke’s inspired testimony about this couple, “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6).  Just look at their devout example.  Their lives were pleasing to God.  They were not pretending.  They were righteous “before God,” and not just making a show before others.

Zechariah was a prayerful father.  One of the heartaches of this family was the fact that they didn’t have any children – and both were advanced in years.  But God can do the impossible.  While Zechariah was serving before God at the altar of incense, an angel appeared with a startling message, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John” (Luke 1:13).

Jesus gives us the ultimate assessment of John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist….”  It pays to have the right kind of father and mother! 

John Gipson
Church of Christ, N. Little Rock, AR


September 20, Search: “Does It Matter What We Believe?”

September 20, New Sunday morning Sermon series, “What’s Jesus All About?”

September 25-26, Central Ladies Retreat in Tulsa at the Embassy Suites.  Cost is $35.

September 27, Search: “The Church Jesus Built”

September 27, “What’s the Bible All About?”

November 21, Warmth From the Heart Coat Giveaway



Bible School                                                143

Worship Service                                                 190

Sunday Evening                                                   130

Wednesday Evening                                            111

Contribution                                                            4,222.38



Sunday, September 20, 2009

Announcements:                          Dale Beard

Opening Prayer:                    Bill Lawerance

Song Director:                   Michael Michener

Scripture:                                    Chad Beard

Sermon:                                     Robert Prater

Closing Prayer:                       Mitch Harmon


NORTH                                            SOUTH

Gene Norton                             Jim Pettyjohn

Geoff Root                                 Chris Nipper


Austin Beard                              Brian Nipper


Steve Kelly                                     Ron Taffe


Foyer:                             Steve & Mary Kelly

Elevator:                        Ron & Debbie Taffe


Mary Kelly & Janet Stephens


John Aylor


Bob Stephens



Opening Prayer:                         Bob Seikel

Song Director:                  Michael Michener

Sermon:                                    Robert Prater

Closing Prayer:                          Carl Weeks


NORTH                                           SOUTH

Jim Carpenter                       Craig McKnight



Classes for all ages

Song Director:                    Craig McKnight

Devo:                                           Bob Seikel



Tracy Gettle

If unable to serve this week, notify

Frank Romberg – 273-1297