By Norma Lampert
Sunday’s services opened with “Oh, How I Love Jesus” being sung with Shirley Sell at the piano and Jeremy leading.
The adult lesson was “God’s Work,” taken from Jeremiah 36:1-32. Jerry taught the lesson, and prayers were by Pat Henderson and Becky Letterman. A birthday was recognized for Kesley Massie. Brother Bill welcomed everyone and updated the prayer list for the Richard Dinwiddie family, Dorothy Farr, Wayne and Barbara Young, Jackie Stewart, Ray Lawrence, Ova Lea Letterman, Jennifer and Weston Callaway, the Jr. Mackey family, Laura Colvard, Joe Westerman, Judy Young, Myrtle Terry, Mike Letterman, Kourtney Everett and all the others on previous list, Jerry prayed for those needs.
This was the fourth anniversary of Brother Jack passing, so in honor of him and Freda we sang “Where The Roses Never Fade”; it was their favorite song to sing.
A thank-you note was read from the Niangua Food Pantry. Announcements were that Wednesday at 7 p.m. will be Ladies Auxiliary and Bible Study, and a business meeting will be held on Feb. 19.
Specials were by Wade with Jeremy, Lesley and Herald Lee. The message was from Genesis 22 and Hebrews. “Do Not Pass Me By” was the song of invitation, and several went to the altar for prayer provided by Pat.
In the evening we had our annual Valentine Party catered. It started off with Jerry, Jeremy, Steve, Herald, Clint and Richard reading poems with their special touch, and they were awesome. Rex and Sharon Vestal were honored with being the longest married at 63 years. Tammy Marlin took pictures of everyone, and dinner was terrific with Linda Henson catering for the 15th straight year with Black Oak.
God bless. Show your love through our savior, Jesus Christ.
Brentwood Church of Christ
By Matt Hodge
By Self-condemnation is deflating. Have you ever had someone compliment you or praise you, but then you walk away and say, “Yeah, but they don’t know me.” And then when others don’t compliment or praise us, we ask, “Why don’t people notice me?” Have you ever had someone tell you, “I would compliment you, but I don’t want you to get the big head”?
We measure ourselves by others but are unaware that others measure themselves by us. “Oh, I wish I were as pretty as she is.” But she does not think she is pretty? “Oh, I wish I were as confident as he is.” But we do not know the struggles he has with a lack of self-confidence? “Oh, I wish I were as smart as he is.” But we do not know how much time he puts into study, and that he still thinks he is inadequate? “Oh, I wish my family were like theirs.” But we do not know the struggles they face in their marriage, with their kids or financially? We make superficial judgments based on what we see. Doing that, we will always be less than the other person.
But here is the good news. I am not measured by you, nor you by me. I am measured by God. God defines me, not others. I do not even define myself. Listen to how God looks at his children: “The Lord God is in your midst, the mighty one will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you with his love. He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17). That simply means God jumps up and down with joy over us. Well, if God is jumping up and down over me, then why am I running myself down? To God, we are all precious, and he wants everyone to leave sin to come to him so we can have eternal life (2 Peter 3:9). God bless!
By Carol Dudley
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
In the last few months we have seen so much disrespect in our country and it is so sad. I don’t remember if it was in fourth or fifth grade (because I am that old), but I remember being told that you should respect those who have been placed in authority. We did not always have to agree but we have to respect them. As 1 Peter 2:13-15 says, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.” God agrees with one of my grade school teachers, so that’s good.
Anyway, how are our children to learn about respect when both sides can not show respect to the other? Refusing to introduce someone correctly, refusing to shake a hand, ripping up speeches, etc., only goes to show our children that it is OK to act in a childish manner no matter what age they are. Always remember that as Christians we are called to be Christlike, and I know that even when faced with those who were sinners, which is all of us, Christ didn’t choose disrespect; he chose love.
Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. Praise God that he did. We need to teach our children, who learn by example, that hateful tendencies, while easy, are not how we are suppose to behave. Let us all practice some of that fruit of the spirit and see if that doesn’t make things better. And let’s pray for God to be in full authority and for all of us, whether the president, Congress or beyond to submit to his will. Have a good week, everyone, and as I get off my soapbox I will say, as always, God bless.
By Lacey Cantrell
Crossroads Evangelical Methodist Church invites you to come worship with us! John 15:7 says, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
To abide in Christ is to be in union with Christ. It is to dwell in him completely, without any part of our being kept outside him. We are entirely submissive to Christ and subject to his command over our lives. We do not choose to do anything without him. In fact, we can’t succeed at doing anything without him. Christ lives in us and we live in him. As we abide in him and his teaching, we make our requests and receive God’s provision.
Upcoming events: Join us this Wednesday for meatloaf dinner at 5:30 p.m. Bring a friend! Bible study will follow at 6:30 p.m. Feb 14 is our kids’ Valentine’s Day party from 6 to 8:30 p.m. (ages up through sixth grade). A new session of Grief Share will be Wednesday 6:30 p.m.
Elkland Independent Methodist Church
By Joyce Inman
I am so sorry to have missed sending in this report for a few weeks. However, I had been under the weather, as have several in the Inman clan. Hopefully, this week, everything will be back to normal!
Last week, we were blessed by the music of Potters Wheel. They are always a favorite of our congregation.
This week, Butch Alcorn assisted the acolytes, who were Sherry Zwally’s granddaughter and Brinlee Letterman. Ruthie Davis opened the service in prayer.
Pastor Nicholas Inman led our song service with Jean Grisham on the piano, Earney Smith on bass, Tommy Smith and Tom Robinson on guitar. Special music was provided by Sandy Walton and Betty Jo Cantrell.
A special thank you to Earney Smith for representing our congregation at Webco Manor last week.
Libby Morgan gave a brief report about the women's conference that she and Sarah Inman attended in Fair Grove on Friday and Saturday. She gave us powerful words of reminder that we should share what God has done in our lives.
In the absence of Bob Woodward, Ed Bucy taught the adult Sunday school class. Deborah Bucy was our morning greeter at the front door. Tara O. had children’s church.
Our congregation is so pleased to announce that Zuzu's House (a special ministry of our church) has closed on a new location. This location is outside of the city limits and will offer more space to help more vulnerable teens in our community. We are so excited about this new development in this ministry.
“Happy Birthday” was sung to Jean Grisham and Brinlee Letterman.
Matthew Bridges received the offering, and our morning ushers were Butch Alcorn, Jason Taylor, Tim Slavens and Kevin Hill.
Pastor Inman preached from Psalms 51 about getting closer to the Lord, giving him our problems, confessing our sins and then sharing what he has done for us with others! Jean played the altar hymn as many gathered there in prayer.
Let us continue to pray for the Quintin Bridges family, the Williams family, Orion Peterson’s grandmother (who suffered a stroke), Kenny Smith, Bob Woodward’s mom, Anna Kane, Darlene Smith’s granddaughter, Clarence Larimore, Harvey Fuller, Ron Firestone (who begins chemo later this month), Casey Dean’s mom, Freda Crates, Tammie Maples, Reagan Inman, the Junior Mackey family, Missy Crank’s friend (Chandra) and several other friends and neighbors. We were glad to have Eulala Hutson and Nina Shelby back in service.
We also congratulated Jean Grisham on her new great grandbaby and Steve and Patty Swartout on their new grandson. Butch Alcorn dismissed the service in prayer and we all departed to serve.
After church, the Nanny’s Place board met in the church library. They are working on an after-school program for the church. Those present were Rose Robertello, Joyce Inman, Tom Robinson and Pastor Inman.
By Sue Epperson
Feb. 9 was the fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Isaiah 58:5-7 — The people have returned to their homeland after exile. They are encouraged to live their faith and treat each other with kindness.
Psalm 112 — The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
1 Corinthians 2: 1-5 — Paul presents the mystery of Christ crucified, which displays the stark contrast between divine and human wisdom.
Matthew 5: 13-16 — Having shared the Beatitudes, Jesus calls his disciples to be like salt for the earth and like light for the world. “You can be a light in your everyday world. And as you’re trying your best to shine, God will be shining through you. That means the people who see you will also see their Heavenly Father” (“The Word Among Us,” Feb. 9, 2020).
By Autumn Summers
Events: Wednesday evening at 7 p.m., Bible study and Missions groups will meet. Sunday services include Sunday school at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
There will be a Valentine’s Party at 7 p.m. Feb. 14. Please R.S.V.P. if you would like to attend or help.
By Brenda Brinkley
Sunday morning worship began after Ruston Long rang the bell. Following announcements and prayer requests, Gary led in prayer.
Quarters were added to the blessings jar. I led the song service, accompanied by Janice at the piano and our faithful choir. Ushers for the offering were Bob Fryman and Alan Garton.
As special music, Denny Jones played the guitar and sang, “In the Valley He Restoreth My Soul.”
Pastor Scott Chastain delivered the morning message using Luke 5:1-11 as the text.
Last week God welcomed one of our church members home. Linda Buttram passed away. She was a special lady, a dear friend, and a faithful member of our Monday Night Ladies Bible Study group. She will be missed.
This Friday is Valentine’s Day. Take a moment to let a friend know they are special. It is not just a day for sweethearts.
Have a good week and pray for one another.
By Doris McFarland
“The Old Rugged Cross” was sung to begin the services Sunday. Those mentioned on the prayer list included Edwina Ragsdale, Doris McFarland, Jerry Milligan, Sr., Larry and Mary Harman, Orb Underwood, Debbie Bechtel, Ron Firestone, Marty Osborn, Margie Davis and John Lawless. Josephine Rost had the call to worship, “The Next Thing,” taken from John 14:15-21. Cards of thanks were read from Louise Napier and family and Gary and Doris McFarland.
For worship service, special music was by Josh Becker, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Josephine Rost had a reading, “The Greatest of These is Love.” Karen Blazer also had a special, and Larry Perkins had a song he played on his guitar. Gary McFarland had the communion message from Mark 4:35-41, “What Manner of Man Is This?” Pastor Davenport’s message was “A World Gone Wrong.”
The evening message was “Long Life.” The message centered on storing God’s commands in your heart so that you will live many years.
A church Valentine’s get-together is in the making for Sunday evening, Feb. 16. Also, the women’s “chit-chat and chocolate” group will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Contact Christy Davenport for more information on both of these events.
By Pastor Edwin Lehmann
Christians are salt and light people (Matthew 5:13-16). They have an effect upon the world around them. But two dangers may confront them.
Danger number one is the temptation to keep faith a private matter — don’t live it; don’t talk about it. It’s tempting not to say anything about faith when others react with disapproval or hostility. If one doesn’t say anything, no one will get upset, right?
Danger number two is to go so public with things that people “oooh” and “aaah” over you. That’s self-promoting. The Pharisees loved to pray on the street corners where people could see them and say, “My, what good people they are!” But the purpose of the Christian life is not to win awards and people’s applause. It’s to shine for our heavenly Father’s glory.
How does one avoid these dangers? By focusing always and only on Christ crucified. He’s the true light; we’re the reflection. Much like the stars and moon reflect the light of the sun, so we shine with Christ’s light. His light shines to us, in us, and then through us to show others the way to him. He shines so brightly that we simply can’t hide it in the privacy of our hearts. And as he shines through us, the world will see something far better than self-promotion and publicity stunts. They will see the redeeming love of a savior who has completed everything that needs to be done for our eternal salvation before God.
Pleasant Hill United Methodist
By Jeanie Replogle
We opened our Sunday services with “We Believe.” The responsive reading was Psalm 112. The morning scripture was from Isaiah 58:1-9a and Matthew 5:13-20; the morning message was “Let Your Light Shine.” Bentley Replogle and Brooke Hyder took up the morning offering. Bible study groups will meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. Our dinner will be potluck. Please bring a favorite dish or dessert to share.
Please be in prayer for Margie Davis, Tom Byrd, Fred Replogle, Pat Smikle, the family of Larry Curran, the family of Mary Pendergrass, Marty Osborne, Genny Huelan, Jan Smikle, Clella Estep, Bill Brinkley, Walter Peck, Tim Auten, Darin Wray, Keith Marlin, Brian Grabher, Anna Crane, Kelly Lumley, Mary Willis, Burless Dye, Dr. Charles Mahaffey, Faith Gossett, Edwina Ragsdale, Patti Garretson, Layne Dunn, Sarah Mahaffey, Rita Zaer, Don Goeden, Linda Lloyd, Sondra Grey, Glory James, Jeff Ward, the leaders of our nation and the men and women of the military.
Rogersville First Baptist
By Betty Lou Tutor
As Valentine’s Day approaches, Pastor Winston appropriately spoke about marriage. Beginning in Genesis 2:18-20, the Bible explains that after God made man, it became obvious that Adam needed a helper. With great thought, God decided to take one of Adam’s ribs and make a woman. Now, Adam didn’t explain to God what shape, size or looks to make her. He told God whatever your will is shall be.
As a child men have their fathers and mothers to watch over them. After they grow, the time comes for them to take on a wife and move on. This doesn’t mean the man owns the woman or that he should demand her every move. The man should not be embarrassed to address her as his wife in public. She should be his best friend and confidant, working together as a team with Jesus Christ in the center of the relationship while constantly building a Christian marriage and sharing each other needs.
We are the dust of the earth and the breath of God. Don’t allow Satan to take away any precious moments. Stop allowing him to distract us with phony movies and games, filling our coffee table with nonsense mail and get-rich-fast schemes instead of our Bibles. Spend your valuable time reading the powerful words of almighty God, helping others in times of need and teaching the most precious of all things, salvation.
Attend church, and stay focused on Jesus. You’ll find it’s a better life, not only for yourself but who you involve in it. God bless.
St. Mark’s UMC Niangua
By Tammy Wills
Let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise your father who is in heaven.
Judy led the Sunday school lesson reading from Matthew 6: 1-8, about doing what’s right when no one is watching and praying in secret. “Don’t toot your own horn,” is the message.
We missed those who were sick this week, Tami, Candi, Miss Bill and Ginny. We offered prayers for Jerry Dinwiddie’s family in the loss of his brother Richard.
Pastor Michael’s sermon was from Ezra 7:10 about learning to study the word of God. Remember the four Rs: Read, Reflect, “Rememorize” and Research the word of God.
Fellowship dinner will be Sunday. Remember those on our prayer list, the lost and the lonely. God bless.
St. Paul Lutheran
By Joanne Roberts
Today’s theme was taken from the Gospel reading Matthew 5:13-20. Pastor also used passages from Isaiah. There are lights of different shapes, sizes and colors. In our Gospel reading, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” Looking around the sanctuary, Pastor Knapp said that each one of us is a light and no two are alike.
But, isn’t Jesus the “light of the world”? How, then, can we be the light of the world? We let our light shine by helping others — giving food, shelter and clothing to those in need. It is because of Jesus that we can help others. It is because of Jesus that we can love others. We can pray to God asking for the Holy Spirit to show us how to let our light shine.
There were those who did not believe Jesus was the long-awaited savior, the light of the world. When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, the devil rejoiced, for he believed that he had destroyed Jesus and beaten God; however, he was wrong! God raised Jesus from the dead, for his death had paid the price for all our sins. Praise God, and may our lights always shine brightly as we serve God by loving and serving others!
May God bless and guide you through the week.
By Brother Bob Holden
In regards to all that is happening in the world today, some may be asking, “Where is God in all of this?” Let me assure you God is with us! The following are a few selected scriptures concerning the events happening in our world today and the signs of the times.
“Then the Lord said to Moses. How long will these people reject me? And how long will they not believe me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?” — Numbers 14:11.
“Arise, O Lord; Save me O my God! For you have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; you have broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon your people. Selah” — Psalm 3:7-8.
“Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord of hosts: Return to me, and I will return to you. Turn now from your evil ways and your evil deeds. But they did not hear nor heed me, says the Lord” — Zechariah 1:2-4.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables” — 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
In conclusion, the time is now. Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, especially verse 8: “A time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of peace." Haven’t we had enough hate and war? Isn’t it time for love and peace? Pray for it, brothers and sisters. Be blessed with God’s love and peace, this week and always.