Bulletin for Sunday 02/05/2012
With Robert Prater
Some claim that their faith-relationship with God is “better felt than told.” This phrase is used to mean a variety of things. One potential connotation is that there is a component to a life-walk with God that cannot be adequately explained until one has personally experienced it. Certainly there is an “experiential knowledge” to our faith. The Scripture says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8). The Hebrew writer affirms that we must “taste the heavenly gift” and “the goodness of the word of God.” (Hebrews 6:4-5)
Evangelistically, we encourage people to “come and see what God has done” (Psalm 66:5; John 1:39). Peter specifically says that we must always be ready to give an “answer” (Greek-apologia, a defense or explanation) for the hope that lies within us. In context, Peter is discussing giving an answer to those who basically ask, “How can you have such confidence and hope in the midst of persecution?” We must be ready to give a personal explanation to anyone who asks about what God has done in our lives. Telling our personal story of how we came to faith and the difference Christ has made in our lives is an example of evangelism modeled for us in Scripture (John 9:25).
Paul often gave his “personal testimony” as a means of explaining his faith evangelistically (Acts 22:1-21; 24:10-21; 26:1-23). On these three occasions Paul gave his “defense” (apologia) by giving his personal faith story. Many who are seeking truth in our postmodern context today are more convinced by personal experiences than by logical reasoning. Subjective experience is not a full-proof approach to evangelism, but it is one that was used by Paul and is often very effective in our current environment.
Skeptics of the Christian worldview, however, will not be persuaded by “warm and fuzzy” stories of Jesus’ impact upon your life. After all, personal experiences vary from person to person and don’t really prove the truthfulness of anything. Jesus said that we can “know the truth” by being diligent students of God’s revealed truth. (John 8:31-32) God expects us to direct our analytical abilities toward the evidence of truth He has provided reason correctly from that evidence, and arrive at God’s absolute, unalterable truth (Romans 1:20-21; Psalm 119:89).
Paul often used logical reasoning in an attempt to “persuade” people to believe the truth of God (Acts 9:22; 17:2-3; 18:4; 24:25). While “personal testimony” can be effectively used in personal evangelism, Christians must also be prepared to give a well-reasoned explanation of the truth-claims of Christianity. Objective truth must be “proved” from the evidence God has given from nature (Psalm 19:1-3) and from his word (John 8:31-32; Acts 17:2-3).
Truth has come under attack in our postmodern culture. By definition, “truth” is an established fact that shows the reality of something. Truth is objective meaning that it is not dependent upon individual experience, but instead is an absolute standard to which all people are accountable. God’s word claims to be this objective, absolute truth (John 17:17). If we don’t pursue truth and use our logical abilities to arrive at God’s truth, we are “without excuse” and will find ourselves the recipients of God’s wrath (Romans 1:18-23).
We must love God and seek him with both our hearts and our minds (Mark 12:30). Let’s tell others of what God has done in our lives personally. But may we also be prepared to logically defend the truthfulness of God.
In light of all this, please join us on Sunday mornings as we continue to look at our sermon series I Am Not Ashamed, which is exploring some of the fundamentals of our Christian faith.
Sermons for Sunday
AM I Am Not Ashamed of Salvation in Christ
PM The Preeminent Christ
We extend our loving sympathy to Maggie Prater in the recent loss of her uncle, Bill Rampey of Broken Arrow. Funeral services were conducted in Broken Arrow last Saturday.
5th SUNDAY CONTRIBUTION
Last Sunday, January 29th being the fifth Sunday of the month, the entire contribution was deposited into a special building fund as directed by the elders. The balance in the account was $58,834.12 and with the contribution Sunday of $5,314.76 the total now is $64,158.88.
Everyone in the congregation is invited to a Valentine dinner on Friday evening, February 10, 6:30 at LaDonna’s Grill in Meeker. The entrée choices will be steak, chicken fried steak and grilled chicken. There is a sign-up sheet in the foyer (with prices listed for each entrée). Please check which you think you would like just so we can give the restaurant an idea on what to expect. This event had to be canceled last year due inclement weather. Hopefully it will be nice this year!
There will be an LTC training session Sunday afternoon, February 5. Those participating in: Chorus, Drama, Puppets, Bible Reading, or Song Leading should meet at the building at the assigned times.
ANNUAL LEADERSHIP DINNER
This year, Central is hosting the Annual Shawnee Leadership Dinner which will take place in the dining room at Gordon Cooper Technology Center on Friday evening, February 17 at 6:30 p.m. The catered meal will be $10.00 per person. Mark Taylor from Memorial Road Church of Christ will be the guest speaker. All elders, deacons, ministers, and their wives are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP if you are planning to attend either by calling or emailing the church office or let Ann know.
Hope to see you here Sunday!
Jim & Cathy Pettyjohn’s grandson Branson Martin, was admitted to Baptist Integris Hospital on Saturday after accidentally shooting himself in the foot.
Dorothy Norton was dismissed from Unity Health Center on Thursday of last week and is progressing.
Trey Canard was dismissed from the hospital in Los Angeles after having back surgery. He will be staying with his brother, Aaron, until the doctors release him to air travel back home.
Marcia Dennis was dismissed from Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Hospital this past Tuesday.
Royce Peerson spent several days at Unity Health Center this past week and he was in services Sunday.
Al Smith was also in services Sunday following surgery last week.
Mitch Harmon will be having tests done on February 8 for health issues
We had a fun weekend. We were able to get a van full, which hasn’t happened in a while. It seemed like everyone enjoyed the laser tag. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy shooting a light at both friends and strangers. There were some great shooters in our group too. A few of us made it in the top 5, and I might or might not have been one of those. I was so glad that the 5th graders were able to join us. They were fun to have around. I know it will be a lot of fun to have them around next year.
February 12, Sunday, AWTG – Cherokee Hills, OKC, leave at 4 PM
February 5, Search: “Born In Sin?”
February 10, Valentine dinner at LaDonna’s Grill in Meeker, 6:30 p.m.
February 12, Search: “Faith Alone?”
February 18, Search: “Free Will”
February 17, Central hosts Shawnee Area-Wide Leadership Dinner, Gordon Cooper Technology Center at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $10 per person. Mark Taylor from Memorial Road Church of Christ will be the guest speaker.
LAST WEEKS RECORD
Bible School 144
Worship Service 203
Sunday Evening 122
Wednesday Evening 107
SERVING THE CONGREGATION
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Announcements: Steve Kelly
Opening Prayer: Jim Pettyjohn
Song Director: Darrin Harris
Scripture: Brandon Gober
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Dale Beard
SERVING AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Frank Burton Ron Taffe
Geoff Root Kyle Perry
AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM
Clavin Norwood Cary Leonard
Paul Harris Michael Michener
Foyer: Paul & Paula Harris
Elevator: Michael & Jennifer Michener
ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR
EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE
Opening Prayer: Carl Weeks
Song Director: Craig McKnight
Sermon: Robert Prater
Closing Prayer: Burl Vanlandingham
AT THE LORD’S TABLE
Richard Albright George Mastick
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE
Classes for all ages
Song Director: Michael Michener
If unable to serve this week, notify
Frank Romberg – 273-1297