Bulletin for Sunday 06/05/2011

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AMONG FRIENDS
Robert Prater

Maybe you saw in the news recently about how the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) became the latest in a string of Protestant denominations to vote to accept homosexuals into its clergy.  They join Episcopals, Lutherans, and the United Church of Christ.  Methodists, Disciples of Christ, and other mainline denominations are receiving both external and internal pressure to follow suit.

From the beginning, God made it clear about sexual relations and intimate companionship.  He made a woman for the man (Gen. 2:18-23).  He did not make another man for Adam.  He also said the man is to leave father and mother and be joined to his wife, not his husband (Gen. 2:24).

Jesus addressed this issue when he brought the standards of marriage and sexuality back to the creation (Matt. 19:4, 5). At creation, Jesus claimed that God made “male and female,  And that because of this creation of human beings “a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife.”  By limiting the marriage relationship to men and women, Jesus did speak against homosexual practice (and much of our common divorce and remarriage practices as well).

Jesus also uses in Matthew 19:9 the Greek word “porneia” which condemns “unlawful sexual relationships.”  God intends sex to be between a man and woman who are married to each other.  Any sex outside of marriage is sinful and wrong.  Period.  This would include homosexuality.  In fact, It was commonly understood that “porneia” in first century Jewish circles represented a sort of short-hand reference to all of the sexual behaviors forbidden in Leviticus 18, including once again, homosexual behavior (Leviticus 18:22).

The apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit deals with sexual immorality when he writes: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-10; see also Romans 1:18-32; 1 Tim. 1:10; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7)  Now it is not that homosexuality is the only sin condemned, but it is a sin and must be forsaken.

So clearly in the realm of human sexuality-heterosexual immorality and homosexual activity – both are impulses and activities which must be brought under control. (cf. Gal. 5:16-25) Once again, all sexual expression outside heterosexual monogamous marriage falls under the wrath of God.  The Hebrew writer says: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (Heb. 13:4)

The good news is that Paul says some who engaged in sinful sexual lifestyles were changed and forgiven.  “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)  Adulterers, fornicators, and homosexuals can be forgiven of their sins, just like any idolaters, thieves and drunkards can.  A person who has lived these kinds of lives, but has repented and stopped living in them, can be saved. (cf. Col. 3:5-7)

Let me offer some specific words regarding homosexuality.  We cannot settle for truth without love nor love without truth.  Homosexuality is a sin and like any other sin, it needs to be dealt with in the only way possible.  It needs to be laid at the cross and repented of.  As Christians, we should pray for the salvation of the homosexual the same way  they would any other person in sin.  We should treat homosexuals with the same dignity as they would anyone else because, they are made in the image of God.

We need to also keep in mind that many homosexuals have some serious hurts based on events in their past.  These hurts have come as a result of events that happened to them that they did not bring upon themselves.  They need healing as much as any cancer patient, as much as any of the lame or blind people that Jesus took the time to heal.  How can we have any attitude toward them but compassion?  This is why god says to speak with wisdom, grace and love.  (Col. 4:5-6)

Friends, we reject the sin, but we love the sinner.  We teach and preach the word of God, the Bible, without compromising it.  We teach and preach the Word of God whether it is popular or not, whether it is politically correct or not, even when it doesn’t conform to the latest moral trends.  And when we teach and preach the word of God, we always do so in love.  We don’t belittle and call people names.  We aren’t arrogant and self-righteous.  We always remember that we are all sinners saved by the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  (cf. 1 Tim. 1:15)

                      --Robert – (robprater@sbcglobal.net)   (www.preacherprater.blogspot.com)


BAPTISM

This past Wednesday evening, May 25, one of our precious young people, Eric Park was baptized into Christ by his grandfather.  We all are so proud of Eric’s decision as are his mom Lysa and his grandparents, Carol and Dennis Brodersen and his great-grandmother Anita Hinson.


PRAYER CONCERNS

Carl Wills was admitted to Integris Baptist Hospital Tuesday and will probably be there 2-3 days.  He is in room 838. 

Dorothy Norton is home after spending several days in Unity Health Center. 

Leona Smith is home and doing well following outpatient surgery Tuesday at Unity Health Center.   

John Johnston is in Oklahoma Physicians’ Hospital, room 106, for therapy following knee replacement surgery. 

Tim Norton is home after spending some time in Oklahoma Heart Hospital with a blood clot.


CONTINUING PRAYER CONCERNS

Ruth Autrey, Chad Beard, Fred Bowers, Harold Carothers, Blake Carter (great grandson of Sue Merritt), Juanita Combs, Harold Decker, Teresa Gardner, (daughter-in-law of Janice Gardner), B. J. Goza, (daughter of Mazella Patterson). Herman Guin, Norma Holt, (sister-in-law to Carl Holt),  Louise Honaker, Mariella Jacobs, John Johnston, Nadine Magee, Vesta Mays, Carletta Moore, Thearlene Morris, Gene & Dorothy Norton, Scott Olivo (friend of Royce & Kathy Peerson), Rachel O’Neal, Polly Reese, Alice Rice, Sue Riedel, Carl Robbins (Dena Nipper’s dad), Frank Romberg, Curtis Rowe, Betty Rye, Larry & Sarah Smith, Dorothy Strickland, Marlene Wadkins, Emma White, Iva Williams (Mother of Cathy Rose) and Jewel Wills. All these members and friends have continuing health concerns or other special circumstances.  They appreciate your interest and prayers.


THANK YOU

Central: I want to thank you for all of those who offered up their concerns and prayers on my behalf last year.  It was a trying year, but the Lord has helped me through it.  It is always good to know there are those who are concerned.  It is good to be remembered, especially by the Lord.  We have been gone from Shawnee for a number of years, but still have some good memories of being there.  I hope the best for all of the congregation there.  I know there isn’t a congregation that is free of health problems.  I pray that the Lord will bless you all as well as He has me.  In Christian love,    Curtis & Charlotte Rowe

Dear Sonshine Sisters, I didn’t think your luncheons could get any better but this one did.  I’m just sorry I didn’t get this note in the mail before your last meeting, but maybe someone will read it and pass the word along.  The male quartet was priceless too.                 Love Anita (Hinson)

Central Church of Christ, We here at the Bethel Church of Christ congregation are humbled by your generous contribution.  Please continue to keep us in your prayers. In Christian love,  Bethel Church of Christ

Dear Brethren, “Thank you” is such a small thing to say to those who have done so much to help so many.  We truly appreciate your helping us to help others with your contribution to our work with the tornado victims in our area.  I can only wish that you could see many of the reactions of joy and tears that I have, as we have given assistance.  Currently we are still helping with food, cleaning supplies, etc. but most of the work we are doing right now involves helping with beds, furniture, appliances, and other things to help people transition to more stable housing.  We will try to get out a financial summary later on, but I want to assure you that the funds you have sent are really making a difference.  Thanks again for your help.  May God bless you in your work for the Lord.                                                

                                 Sincerely, David Courington, Sylvan Springs Church of Christ, Mulga, Alabama


Youth News
Matt Stephens

Camp Applications are here!

Check the youth board and foyer!  Our session is June 12-18, the theme this year is Man vs. World – The Prodigal Son. 


COMING YOUTH EVENTS

June 5, Sunday, Devo after p.m. service at Jon Merritt’s house.  Girls bring chips & boys bring soda

June 6, Monday, AWTG at South Walker Church of Christ in OKC.  Leaving at 5 p.m. Should be back by 8:30


LOOKING AHEAD

June 12-18, Central’s session at Burnt Cabin Camp

July 11 – 15, Central’s VBS, 6:30-8:30 P.M.


GOD OF THE HUMDRUM

If God is not in your typewriter as well as your hymnbook, there is something wrong with your religion.

If God does not enter your kitchen, there is something wrong with your kitchen.

If you can’t take God into your recreation, there is something wrong with your play.

If God for you does not smile, there is something wrong with your idea of God.

We all believe in the God of the heroic.  What we need most these days is the God of the humdrum – the commonplace, the everyday.

                                                         - Peter Marshall

 

Hope to see you here Sunday!


LAST WEEKS RECORD

Bible School                                                 128

Worship Service                                          186

Sunday Evening                                         124

Wednesday Evening                                 102

Contribution                                       14,252.00

 

SERVING THE CONGREGATION

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Announcements:                          Steve Kelly

Opening Prayer:                           Dale Beard

Song Director:                       Dwyane Dennis

Scripture:                               Brandon Gober

Sermon:                                     Robert Prater

Closing Prayer:                            Scott Perry

SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE

NORTH                                            SOUTH

Michael Michener                 George Mastick

Clavin Norwood                           Geoff Root

AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM

Bob Bivins                                 Brian Nipper

USHERS

Robert Perry                                Tracy Gettle

GREETERS

Foyer:                             Robert & Ann Perry

Elevator:                       Tracy & Mary Gettle

NURSERY ATTENDANTS

Janet Stephens

ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR

Jim Pettyjohn

PROJECTION CONTROL

Ron Taffe

 

EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE

Opening Prayer:                         Bob Perry

Song Director:                   Dwyane Dennis

Sermon:                                  Robert Prater

Closing Prayer:                 Tim McGalliard

AT THE LORD’S TABLE

NORTH                                          SOUTH

Matt Stephens                     Craig McKnight

 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE

Classes for all ages

Song Director:                  Michael Michener

Devotional:                               Austin Beard

 

VAN DRIVER

Tracy Gettle

If unable to serve this week, notify

Frank Romberg – 273-1297