By Norma Lampert
What a wonderful day to worship and praise the Lord. Sunday school began with congregational singing, “It Won’t Be Very Long.” The adult lesson was titled “God’s Flock,” taken from Ezekiel 34:1-31. Prayers were by Elwyn Oscarkamp and John Henderson. As the worship hour began and the report was read, “Happy Birthday” was sung to Trevor Dresser as he gave his offering. Everyone was welcome by Brother Bill, who then read and revised the prayer list for all the many needs. They were for the Louise McNabb family, Bobby and Brenda Atkison, Vivian Joiner, Shirley Sell, Mary Ruth Brooks, Steve Atkison, Cynthia Cardwell, the Bobbi Fritz family, Joyce Delcour, Jannie Whemayer, Jeannie Dinwiddie, Pat Henderson, Tina Massie, Barbara Hargus, Carlene Farr and all the many others on past requests. Jerry led in prayer for all. Announcements were Wednesday Ladies Auxiliary, Bible study and Youth at 7 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 16, Movie Night at 6 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 18, leave Orscheln’s at 1:10 p.m. for the Ozarks Association Meeting in Lebanon at 2 p.m. at First Freewill Baptist Church. In observance of pastor appreciation day, Brother Bill and Lesley were honored with cards and a monetary gift. Several expressed gratitude and appreciation for all they do for the church and anyone in need. Thank you both, again and again. Specials were “God On The Mountain” by Jeremy, “Look For Me At Jesus Feet” by Jerry, “Why Are You Hungry” by Martha and a very good reading by Herald Lee, “Thanking God and the Farmers for Our Food.” Brother Bill prayed and followed with a fantastic message titled, “Earnestly Desiring,” from 2 Corinthians 5:1-9, Hebrews 11:13, 1 Peter 2:9-12 and Psalm 55:6. The song of invitation was “Drifting Too Far From The Shore.” Prayer by Herald Lee closed the service. Have a great week and get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. May God bless.
By Matt Hodge
It is great to be back this week! For many years, there has been a debate over whether God saves us from our sins by faith or by works. Some recognize that the New Testament clearly states that we are not saved by earning salvation with works that we do (Ephesians 2:9). Others see that good works and behaving like a Christian are necessary to being a Christian (Ephesians 2:10, 4:1-6, 4:17-32, Matthew 19:17). James 2:14-17 completes this picture: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
Works and obedience to God are part of true faith. You cannot have one without the other. Obedience and faith are necessary.
To understand Ephesians 2 clearly, we need to see that the works mentioned in verse 9 as being unnecessary are the works of the Israelite Law (2:11-16). If we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments (John 14:15). We cannot go to heaven while disobeying God (Romans 2:5-9).
In fact, the gospel message must be obeyed for a person to be saved! (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). If you refuse to teach or practice obedience to the gospel of Christ, it is because you do not have faith (James 2:14-17) and a person cannot be saved without faith. I pray that this is helpful and that we will be able to recognize that God knows those who are saved, not us, and that each one of us is only responsible for our own response to the gospel. God bless your journey to him!
By Lacey Cantrell
Crossroads wants you to come worship with us! Proverbs 16:20 states, “He who heeds the word wisely will find good and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.” Where man’s understanding ends, God’s wisdom begins. Where man’s power ends, God’s power takes over. God is the one in control—not only of all things in this natural world, the political world and the course of history and human events. He is in control of all things in the spiritual realm, as well! God is the one who has all authority, power and wisdom to set the rules, establish the process that results in forgiveness and the granting of eternal life and give spiritual gifts to mankind.
Join us October 23, 6 p.m., at the church for our annual fall cookout! Bring the children for games and fun! Bible Study every Sunday and Wednesday night at 6 p.m.!
Elkland Independent Methodist
By Joyce Inman
It always is a great start to the week when we are able to gather and praise the Lord together. This is our report that wasn’t printed last week.
Pastor Nicholas Inman gave the morning welcome by reading a poem, “I Refused to be Discouraged.” Orion Peterson opened in prayer and Butch Alcorn gave the announcements. Reagan Inman assisted the acolytes, who were Lily Quinn and her friend, Journi. Libby Morgan taught the Sunday School class online through the prayer chain. Rose Robertello was the people greeter at the front door. This week, there were 87 present for worship.
A special thank you to Larry and Evelyn Hampton for hosting the church at the corn maze again this year. We had a great time of fellowship together as a church family! Also, he reminded us all that we continue to collect best choice labels in the fellowship hall. The monies collected from them each year go to our youth activities.
There were no birthdays. However, we sang “Happy Anniversary” to Kevin and Darlene Smith.
Tara O. announced that Sandy Walton is improving and thanked everyone who has brought food, send cards and called.
Pastor Inman led the morning song service with Jean Grisham at the piano, Tom Robinson on the guitar and Sunny Fuller playing the flute on the last hymn, “He Set me Free.” Special music was provided by Tom Robinson. This week, Regetta Long, Tom, Linda Dickinson and Pastor Inman sang.
Our morning ushers were Leo O., Orion Peterson, Butch Alcorn and Tim Slavens. Matthew Bridges prayed over the offering and received it.
We are all so pleased to hear that Hannah Slavens is getting married! We have watched her grow up and we are so happy for her and her fiancée.
This week, it was great to have Barbara Ross and June Criger back in church. We have missed them both. It was also great to see Don and Leona Rost. We were all so glad to receive the report that Carol Larimore is finally home from the hospital and improving. She certainly remains in our thoughts and prayers.
Pastor Inman preached from James 5 about patience. We ALL really needed to hear that sermon! We need to use more patience in our daily lives. Jean played the altar call hymn.
We continue to pray for Sandy Walton, Carol Larimore, Barbara Ross, Tex Harmel, Corey Robinson (whose operation was a success), Dianne Witte, Deborah Bucy, George Williams, Jana Carter, Sara Doiron, our President, those with the virus, Don Hartwell, Tammie Maples, Nina Shelby, Ella Lewis, Carol Trubl (daughter of Pauline Allen), Joe Taylor, Joel Caffey, Sunny Fuller’s uncle, those in the nursing home and so many other friends and neighbors. Leo O. closed the service in prayer and we all departed to serve. This week, Kevin Hill closed in prayer.
Holy Trinity Church
By Sue Epperson
Oct. 11 was the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Philippians 4; 12-14,19-20.
Paul’s “I can do” statement is this: I can deal with everything. I can get the better of everything. I have the strength for everything. In context, he’s saying he can handle life, whether he has more than he needs or doesn’t have what he needs to stay alive. He has gained access to a relationship. Jesus is with him and in Jesus, he can find whatever he needs to deal with whatever God lets come his way (from the Cape Girardeau Diocesan Mirror, Sept. 18, page 8).
Matthew 22:10 — The Wedding Feast. They were not bound by whatever they had done or failed to do earlier. The same is true for you. Your worthiness is not based on whether you have done everything right. You become worthy as you accept his invitation. Every step you take that brings you closer to the heavenly banquet hall makes you more worthy. It weaves another thread of the garment of holiness that all the saints in heaven wear (from The Word Among Us, Oct. 2020, page 32). Let us pray for one another.
By Autumn Summers
Sunday morning scripture was out of 1 Kings chapters 11 and 18. The Youth Sunday School Class sang, “Mansion Over The Hilltop.” Wednesday evening will be our Bible Study, Youth and Missions Groups at 7 p.m. Friday evening will be a Family Game Night at 7 p.m. On Oct. 24, we will visit the Hampton Corn Maze at 4:30 p.m., then a bonfire following at the church. Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes are due Nov. 15.
By Brenda Brinkley
Sunday morning worship began after Bob Fryman rang the bell. Announcements included Operation Christmas Child. We have boxes ready to be packed. Following prayer requests, Gary Brinkley led in prayer.
I led the song service, accompanied by Denny Jones on the guitar. Ushers for the offering were Bob Fryman and Derrick Young. Bob led in prayer. As special music, Derrick sang, “Just a Little Talk With Jesus.”
Guest speaker John Shuler talked to us about the lost art of communication. Face to face communication is lacking. Handwritten letters are rare. He used Jeremiah 1:1-10 as his beginning text. God is still talking to us. He has work for us. When we listen and obey, God blesses.
After morning worship, we had our regular business meeting. Birthday wishes go out this week to Jan Jones on Oct. 14. Happy birthday to my brother-in-law, Ronnie Brinkley, on Oct. 15. I also want to wish our daughter, Patricia Throne, and my dad, Larry Vestal, very happy birthdays on Oct. 18. Vicki Fryman is recovering nicely after surgery. We look forward to her being back at church.
We are enjoying beautiful autumn weather while it lasts. Life is short. Are you enjoying the life and blessings God has given while you are able?
Have a good week and pray for one another. We all need it.
Mt. Sinai Church
By Doris McFarland
“When We All Get to Heaven” was sung to begin morning services. Angela Milligan led in prayer. Phillip Ragsdale opened the Sunday school and asked for prayer requests. Remember Lyle Underwood, Lola Belle Underwood, John Lawless, Marie Hale, several members of Jerry and Angela Milligan’s family, Angie Jones, Nella Jones and the Gayer family. Phillip led the adults in “Love your enemies” taken from Luke 6.
For the worship hour, the Davenports sang “Determination,” with Gary on his guitar. His message was on Samuel and the birth of John the Baptist — how the Lord appeared and gave messages on both accounts.
For the evening service, the pastor’s message was “Made alive with Christ.” The message was in four stages: Being lost, salvation, getting saved and being saved. Jerry Hargus sang “I Want to Stroll Over Heaven with You” and “O What a Savior” for the special music.
A large group enjoyed a hayride, bonfire and chili supper Saturday evening. More chili was enjoyed after services Sunday evening. Thanks to all those who organized and helped cook. Bible study will be this Wednesday evening, 6:30 p.m. continuing in Proverbs. Thought for the week: Speak gently. Consider the impact of your words.
Pleasant Hill United Methodist
By Jeanie Replogle
We opened our services with singing, “Amazing Grace.” The scripture was Philippians 4:1-9 and Matthew 22:1-14 and Brother Wally’s message was, “Are You Dressed for the Wedding?” The responsive reading was Psalm 23. David Smikle led the worship service. Happy Birthday to Connie Byrd. We have been having beautiful weather. The Bible study groups will meet this Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. In keeping with the recommendations of county health officials, we will not be sharing a meal.
Please be in prayer for: Mark Byrd, Debbie Cantrell, Doug Speer, Steven Shelton, the family of Jean Zobel, Sam and Kay Stoll, Shirley Yarger, Morgan Green, Linda Lloyd, Faith Gossett, Ramona Palmer, David Compton, Becki Matney, Janice Smikle, Pat Smikle, Margie Davis, Dustin Redman, Shannon Collins, Sam Westpfahl, John Marlin, Madge Kennemer, Brian Grabher, Don Goeden, the leaders of our nation and the men and women of the military, the states with the fires, the firefighters, the folks affected by the fires and the folks that are suffering from this pandemic.
Rogersville First Baptist
By Betty Lou Tutor
It’s heartbreaking for those who aren’t able to make it to church services. They long to hear the songs of praise and worship to our heavenly father. The musicians playing their music and Pastor Winston presenting sermons of the holy word of God. So I write this article to reach out, touching your hearts with the love God has for you — a precious baby boy was delivered that soon would deliver you. As the passing years of this young lad’s life, the truth begins to show that he has extraordinary talents of knowing the Bible. There’s not much talk about him from the age of twelve to adulthood. His name is Jesus and people didn’t understand how this man could perform miracles. Some were angry and some amazed. How could this be from just a man? Jesus took no credit for healing or feeding the people. When he spoke saying come follow me, his disciples joined together in unity. Jesus taught them to love one another, even if they disagreed on a situation. His disciples followed him, only taking what was necessary for the day. Could we do this today? Jesus is with each of us, lifting our burdens and making us rejoice, knowing we can turn to him. It saddens us about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. However, we need to focus on the reason. We are to share the gospel, so no one is left behind to burn in hell. The time of salvation is now. God bless.
St. Paul Lutheran
By Joanne Roberts
On this nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, we are pleased to welcome Angela and Clifford Vest into membership through adult confirmation. Our opening hymn was “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.” The Twenty-Third Psalm was a responsive reading and our Old Testament reading was Isaiah 25:6-9. God will end death forever for those who live by faith. Epistle was Philippians 4:4-13. We are to be gentle to those outside the church, not just to believers. God’s peace comes from knowing God is in control. Our thoughts and our actions are results of what we put into our minds. We must not only read and hear God’s word. We must put it into daily practice. Holy gospel was Matthew 22:1-14, the basis for today’s sermon. It was customary to issue two invitations to wedding guests — one an invitation to attend; the second announcing the feast was ready. God issued those invitations, but was rejected, so he went out and invited all, both good and bad. It was customary for guests to receive garments to wear. Refusal was an insult. Wedding garments picture righteousness needed to enter God’s kingdom. This is the total acceptance in God’s eyes that Christ gives every believer, but we must choose to “put it on.” Those who do not are cast into outer darkness. We closed with “Beautiful Savior.” Are you ready to accept the invitation and prepared to put on the wedding garments?
By Brother Bob Holden
“Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’” Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” (Matthew 18:21; 27).
Prior to this question and answer, Jesus instructed his disciples concerning a brother who sins against another brother in the church and how that should be handled. Matthew 18:15-20. In all matters of the church, deep, heartfelt, fervent prayer should be given to God to seek his council, guidance and direction.
Peter is asking Jesus about forgiving a repeat offender. Why seven? In Scripture, seven designates completeness. Jesus clarifies his stance by saying, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Jesus’ point to Peter is to forgive and stop counting. Forgiveness comes from a Godly heart and is required from a child of God.
In closing, the completeness of Jesus’ answer is simply as many times as you need to forgive your brother. In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus said, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive you.”
So, how important is forgiveness? It’s a matter of life and death! Even from the cross Jesus, with his dying words, said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Let forgiveness be your guide this week. Blessings to all.