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ONE, THE OTHER, OR BOTH??

SUNDAY SCHOOL AND WORSHIP?? ONE, THE OTHER, OR BOTH?? As most of you already know, our church offers four opportunities to grow in our faith on Sundays. The Sunday School hour begins at 9:25 a.m., and the worship hours are at 8:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. I would first like to make a case for the fact that worship is an opportunity for growing in faith that should not be passed over by those who attend Sunday School. In some churches I have served, some church school teachers NEVER attended worship. I also have often noticed that elementary age, and especially youth have bypassed worship. In our church here, most teachers and many children and youth attend worship, which is an awesome trend. Worship has never been viewed as optional, either biblically or traditionally. Hebrews 10:25 emphatically states that we are not to “forsake the assembling of ourselves together” for the purpose of worshiping our God. I believe forsaking worship harms and actually stunts our growth in faith, and the Christian way of living out our lives. We lose track of our faith, and certainly sacrifice our close ... Read More »

What Does God Think Of Me

The English word “biography is derived from two Greek words: Bye-aws (meaning “life”) and graf-hay (meaning “write”). So your biography would be the written history of your life. However, in the spiritual sense, I believe we all have three biographies. The first one we will simply call our biography. In the literary world a person’s biography is their life history written by someone else! This is what other people write about us. However, our biography is not very realistic because other people are usually very poor judges of us; sometimes they are down-right unkind! Unfortunately, very few of us are really transparent personalities, so others may judge us falsely. We may feel insecure, but they see us as over-bearing. We may feel inferior, yet they see us as arrogant. We may feel shy, and they see us as aloof. On the other hand, people may see our best side. We may be able to put on a pretty good front, so people think we are better than we really are. Perhaps it is this very thing which makes the distinction between reputation and character. Your reputation is what people think ... Read More »

Sentence Sermons

I have appreciated people’s patience in reading through my articles in this section of the Church newsletter over the years. With our busy summer schedules upon us, I thought your patience in reading a newsletter article might not be as great as at other times of the year. Thus, for a change of pace, these sentence sermons can be read at your leisure: * The trouble with the world is that so many people who stand up for their rights fall down miserably on their duties. * If you feel you have NO faults— that makes another one! * God’s ways are behind the scenes, and God moves all the scenes God is behind. * Some people are making such thorough preparation for rainy days that they aren’t enjoying today’s sunshine. * When you’re all wrinkled up with care and worry, it’s time to get your faith lifted. * Dog tired at night? Maybe you’ve growled too much during the day. * Minds are like parachutes— not much good unless they are opened. * Christ is no security against storms, but He is a perfect security IN them. He does ... Read More »

Parents & Children Relationships

At this time I want to share with you some writings concerning our relationships as parents to our children: Please read Proverbs 22: 6 “LOVE IS…SAYING “NO” repeatedly” By Erma Bombeck “You don’t love me!” How many times have your kids laid that one on you? And how many times have you, as a parent, resisted the urge to tell them how much? Someday when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a mother, I’ll tell them. I loved you enough to bug you about where you were going, with whom, and what times you would get home. I loved you enough to insist that you buy a bike with your own money that we could afford and you couldn’t. I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover your handpicked friend was a creep. I loved you enough to make you return the Milky Way with a bite you ate out of it to a drugstore and confess, “I stole this.” I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that would have taken ... Read More »

It’s The Little Things

That well known Christian, Horatius Bonar, once remarked, “It is well to remember that a holy life is made up of a number of small things: little words, not eloquent speeches and sermons; little deeds, not miracles and battles. These, not one great heroic act of martyrdom, make up most Christian lives. So too, the avoidance of little evils, little sins, little follies, and small indiscretions and indulgences of the flesh, will go far to make up at least part of what we call a holy life.” On one occasion Jesus’ disciples were impressed with the bigness of the temple. But Jesus’ eye caught a little thing…a poor woman putting a few copper coins in the temple treasury. On Christ’s scale of value, little things had tremendous worth. Now of course Mr. Bonar, whom we just quoted, was not saying that sermons, miracles, battles, and other great acts are not important in life. We know just the opposite to be true, for some of life’s great experiences tend to over whelm us. But sometimes we forget that life, for the most part, is really made up of LITTLE THINGS. Napoleon ... Read More »

It’s A Habit

Please Read Luke 4: 16-20 Dear Friends, Did you know that attending Church is a habit? Oh, I know we are quick to say, “I just don’t like to think of going to church as a habit: it means more than that to me!” But what’s wrong with a habit? I have the habit of regularly brushing my teeth. I think it’s a great habit to have, and it keeps my teeth from decaying, which is a very practical reason for having such a habit. Jesus Christ is the savior of the world, and the apostle Paul is the Christian’s examplar. It’s interesting to note that each of them had one fixed habit which made them consistent in pleasing God. Luke 4:16, “And he (Jesus) came to Nazareth where he had been brought up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, on the Sabbath day.” Acts 17: 1,2 “— they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews, and Paul went in, as was his custom—.” Did you catch those two identical phrases sandwiched in the midst of those verses? Jesus went back to ... Read More »

ALLELUIA! He Is Risen

Please read Mark 16: 1—8 “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43: 19 The real significance of the resurrection symbols is what they say about death; but more, what they say about life. The early Christians did not believe in the resurrection of Christ because they could not find a dead body. They believed because they did find a living Christ. In the resurrection, God did a new thing and forever made it clear that God is a creating and re-creating God. Easter says there is nothing final in suffering and death. The future is open; there is more to come. Easter says we do not have to be made powerless in the face of them. Christ has conquered the powers of sin and evil, which seek to conquer us. To believe in the creating and re-creating doing of God, is to trust the possibilities of life and to know that what will be is more and better than what has been. It is to know, in the words of Ugo Betti, “That all the rules will be fair ... Read More »

LENT—A TIME FOR RENEWAL

“For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 Like other seasons of the Christian year, Lent is a time when the church must teach the basic truths of the Christian faith, stressing in hymns, worship, preaching and service, the reality that God is with us in Jesus Christ. Lent tells us that the Christian life begins in ashes and ends in joy. Lent calls to memory our Lord’s fasting and temptation in the wilderness. We observe it as a time of self discipline, penitence, prayer, meditation, and service. The experiences of Lent—our preparation in God’s time—are crowned by Easter Day, the day of resurrection, of God’s renewal of us and our society. Lent calls us to examine ourselves in the light of God’s good news made known in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. It is a time for thinking about what God was doing with humankind when God sent Jesus to earth, a time for seeing what God is doing now by sending Jesus to all the highways of our daily life. During Lent we read Ecclesiates with corrected vision. That ... Read More »

Whatever It Takes!

The above has become a phrase that has become most meaningful in the life of our congregation. A very committed and dedicated group of people has decided to show us the way, “To Do Whatever It Takes,” to make Christ real to everyone around them, and to making service to Christ’s church a priority in their lives. One such person is our staff minister, Renee Thomas. Renee recently was offered a full time administrative position in a Christian care facility. That opportunity would include a good salary, benefits and insurance. In a society in which a priority to many is financial security, and moving up some kind of ladder to success, most would feel that she would be insane to turn it down. It would seem to most that it would nail down the future for her, and her family. The fact is that Renee turned it down because she believes God wants her to remain on the ministry staff at this church. The salary is comparatively small with no benefits, no insurance and no assurance that a change in pastoral leadership, in future years, would keep her on the staff. However ... Read More »

Preparing The Right Way

Please read Luke 10: 38—42 A mother planned a birthday party for her three year old son. She spent many hours in preparation, for she wanted everything to be perfect. She was so busy that she scolded him when he spilled his milk. When she punished him for soiling his new shirt a few minutes before the guests arrived, the boy said, “Mamma doesn’t love me.” As we prepare to celebrate the birthday of the Christ-child, there is a danger that we may be so busy with our preparation that we neglect the one being honored. In his words to Martha, Jesus has told us how he would like us to receive him. He said to her, “you are fretting and fussing about so many things, but one thing is necessary.” Mary had chosen the best way to receive Christ—being in his presence and listening to his words. Let us, like Mary, receive Christ in HONOR and LOVE. We receive Christ by accepting him as our Savior and giving Him the honored place in our lives. Blessings and good wishes Rev. Duane E. Andrus Read More »

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