Kudzu, Combines And Bats
There are always things that make living in this world difficult. It may be that you are dealing with sickness, or your loved one is sick. Kudzu might be trying to take over the church parking lot. The combine might be broken down right when you need it the most. There might be bats in the attic causing lots of damage and misery. All you have to do is watch television, read a newspaper, or go to the grocery store and you know that our economy is not getting better. Many in our church family have dealt with and are dealing with struggles. Utilities are higher than ever. Things have really changed in our world. What a blessing it is to be a Christian in a world that is filled with difficulties. (Acts 11:26) God’s people should deal with difficulties much differently than the world does because we have something they do not have. (John 14:27) Jesus Christ has given us a peace that passes all understanding. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) Christians are those who have set their hearts to obey God regardless of the circumstances in life. Our attitude must be that expressed by the people in the days of Joshua. They said, “The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” (Joshua 24:24) We must deal with difficult things with character and be a good example in the Kingdom of God.
Kudzu, combines and bats are minor things when compared to the much more serious things of this life. Horrible things happen in life. Accidents take the life of our loved ones. Our children are afflicted with terrible diseases, tornadoes and hurricanes come with much devastation, marriages dissolve in divorce, children are raped and murdered and people lose all their life’s savings because of corporation, fraud and greed. The list of adversities that hit people every day could go on and on. No one is immune from the storms that come in earthly life. Earthly problems provide motivation for us to want to go to heaven where, “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) Both the Old Testament and the New Testament remind us of the faithfulness of God to help His people in uncertain times. In Habakkuk 3:17-19 we read, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength..." Most of the important and life-changing lessons we learn are learned during difficult times. In the New Testament we read, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) Paul wrote these words from a Roman prison cell. He did not allow the circumstances he was in to bring defeat into his life. He had something to cling to and someone to look to in his troubles.
Kudzu, combines, bats and much more serious troubles are and will be a part of our earthly life. It is not a matter of “If” troubles will come, but “When” will troubles come and how will we deal with them when they do. Troubles are a natural part of the human experience. We should use the troubles of this life as a time to draw closer to God. If we use our troubles to get closer to God there might come some great good from them that we cannot even see or imagine at the moment. Troubles allow God to do amazing works in our life. People often grow more spiritually in those times of trouble than any other time in their life. Our troubles might be the tool that can be used to bring others to Christ. Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The Lord wants to help you deal with your troubles! The psalmist said, “My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2) When trouble comes the right thing to do is to cry out to the Lord for help. The Bible says, “The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18) The Christian should and must pray to God during times of trouble. Each new problem calls for renewed trust in our God. We have assurance that He is able to help. The Lord is there for us. He has offered us help. So therefore, “I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.” (Psalm 18:3)
Prepare for Kudzu, combines, bats and the much more serious troubles in earthly life. What is the correct Christian response when things go wrong? Our hurts and disappointments can extend into all areas of our lives. We must deal with problems from a Christian perspective. Christians should always be aware that people are watching us as we deal with the problems of life. It is imperative that we live a true Christian life with the integrity of our Christian faith in every circumstance of life. Those who are properly able to handle troubles are those who put God first. (Matthew 6:33) We must know God in order to really trust Him and consequently turn things over to Him and not worry in times of troubles. (Philippians 4:6-7) Do your best to live with and walk with our heavenly Father. (Ephesians 5:2) As we learn to trust God more we are not so affected by disappointment. Please do not wait until you are in the midst of some struggle to begin seeking God. Put Him first now! Live a lifestyle that shows your love for God. Trust God enough that you are willing to always be led by His word. “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.” (Psalms 119:148) Being watchful and meditating on God’s word helps prepare you for troubles. How much do you know about God and how strong are your priorities focused on eternity? We must have to have a genuine trust in God or else we will be adversely affected by bad things that happen in our life. God will not fail us! “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) There is neither hope nor real help without God! There is no denying the fact that disappointments hurt. When problems, disappoints and hurts come there are some things that I can do. If I am a Christian I can find hope and encouragement from the scriptures; I can find love and fellowship and sport from my brethren; and I can find hope in the resurrection and eternal life to come.
Troubles will come and God can help you to respond wisely when they do. Spiritual growth, strength and great good can come out of the worst of troubles. Never allow your troubles to move you away from God. He has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) Prepare for the troubles of life by becoming a Christian and by standing strong in the Lord. To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17); believe in Jesus (John 8:24); repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, (Romans 10:9-10)’ and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19)
- - - - Charles Box
News & Notes
1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: Shirley Autrey, Jordyn Bagents, Shelby Jean Black, LeRoy Boutwell, Mary Ann Bozeman, Willie Frank Burnett, Brenda Burkett, Camron Coleman, Arlene Coletrane, Bonnie Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Marie Curlee, Marietta Faulkenberry, Katlin Fuller, Patrick & Wanda Hicks, Felice Kendrick, Patricia Kennemore, Keller Kimbro (great grandson of Reese & Lydia Ann Raybon), Peggy Lassiter, Alice Little, Carolena Long, Larry Lucas, Annie McKee, Jewel McNaughton, Charlotte Miller, Jeff Miller, Ray Moore, Jeff Mustin, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, Emma Peterson, Payton Pierce, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Shane Prater, Jack Queener, Amber Raines, Dan Raybon, Lydia Ann Raybon, Peggy Rice, Brenda Richburg, Billy Rodger, Timothy Rowell, Rosie Rudolph, Katie Sanders, L.D. Sessions, Chuck Shepherd, Nathan Simmons, Margaret Skipper, Preston Steven, Debbie Stone, Bobby & Sylvia Taylor, Mary Lou Terrell, Arlene Thomas, Frank Thomas, Alice Thompson, Corrine Till, Jenny Trawick, Dannie Waller, Gladys Warren, Jim Watts, John Watts, and Jim Wood. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Betty Findley, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Nelda Sanders, and Annie Ruth Tetter.
2. Baptized: Baker Bozeman was baptized into Christ Sunday. Baker is the son of Tony and Libby Bozeman.
3. Responded: Felice Kendrick responded to the Lord’s invitation Wednesday night. Please keep Felice in your personal, private prayers.
4. Sympathy Expressed: Our love and sympathy is expressed to (a) Joan Barr and Dennis Phillips and their families in the death of their aunt Madge, and (b) Betty Hobbie and her family in the death of her sister, Mary Nell Cates.
5. It’s A Boy: Congratulations to David and Amy Box in the birth of their son, Ethan Douglas. He was born September 20th weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz. and is 21˝ in. long. Proud grandparents are Charles & Janice Box and Douglas & Elaine Church. Proud great-grandmothers are Alma Box & Marie Curlee.
6. Anniversary: Celebrating an anniversary this week is: September 25th Wheeler and Tracy Chance.
7. Birthdays: Celebrating a birthday this week: September 24th Alli Pierce and Deborah Stallings, September 25th Patsy Nall, September 26th Pat O’Connor, September 28th Dusty Bagents and September 29th Rebecca Burnett.
8. Amridge University Spiritual Enrichment Forum: The Spiritual Enrichment Forum will be held downtown Montgomery at the Embassy Suites Hotel on October 1st – 3rd. On Tuesday night, October 2nd the Annual Appreciation Dinner will be held honoring Bobby and Mary Lou Terrell along with George and Nina Herring. Please attend if possible. See Bobby Terrell for more information. *There are forms on the table to register for the Appreciation Dinner.
9. Thank You Notes: (a) Dear Church Family, There truly are no words to adequately express our gratitude to all of you for the countless ways that you have shown God’s love to our family this past week. Thank you for the food, calls, visits, and especially prayers. You were all so kind to and concerned for Josh, and now your outpouring of love for the whole family means so much to us. We are reminded of Matthew 5:16 – Thank you for letting your light shine. We have faith that good can come from this. Please continue to pray for us. In Christian Love, Jason & Ashley Holladay and family, and (b) Dear Church Family, The words “thank you” just cannot convey our gratitude for the love and support you’ve shown during the illness and loss of our step-father. The calls, cards, food and prayers meant so much, and were greatly appreciated. May God bless each of you. In Christian Love, Jeff & Cindy Thomas and family
10. Gospel Meeting: Walnut Street Church of Christ will be conducting a gospel meeting on October 21st-24th with the speaker being Eric Lyons. Eric is the youth minister at the Wetumpka Church of Christ and he is employed with Apologetics Press. He has authored many books and publications and is a well know speaker and defender of God’s word. Mark your calendars and start inviting others to attend this gospel meeting.
God First, Others Second, Self Last
Have you ever thought of what you might do if you were faced with the need to risk your life for someone else? A while back, Wesley Autrey, a 50 year old construction worker, saw another man collapse on the subway platform…and then down onto the tracks. There was no time to pull the man from the tracks, so Mr. Autrey leapt down and lay on the man, pressing him down in a space roughly a foot deep. The train could not stop, and after five cars had rolled over them, Mr. Autrey yelled, “We’re O.K. down here…” Afterward, Mr. Autrey said, “I don’t feel like I did something spectacular; I just saw someone who needed help. I did what I felt was right.”
The Bible teaches us to feel this way. Paul wrote, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4 ESV) We can be heroes without doing something as daring as Mr. Autrey did.
We can be heroes by putting the physical needs of others before our own. This idea is shown in Matthew 25 where Jesus said that our willingness to serve others will, in part, determine our eternal destination. We can be heroes by putting the emotional needs of others before our own. When Paul the apostle was trying to begin serving God, other Christians would not receive him for fear of his former persecution of the church. But Barnabas took him before the brethren and stood up for him. You never know what great benefits will come from helping to encourage others. Lord willing, my next article will continue these thoughts.
- - - - Darrell Powell
More News & Notes
Meals For Justin and Ashley Pierce: There is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board for ones to help with food for Justin and Ashley.
Diaper and Wipe Box: There is a box in the foyer to put diapers and wipes in for Gryffin Randolph.
Dishes: If you prepared food for any of the funerals the dishes are in the multipurpose room please pick them up.
Wedding Reception Honoring Kayla and Dustin Houston: Everyone is invited to a wedding reception honoring Kayla and Dustin Houston on Sunday, September 30th from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. in the fellowship room. We encourage all to attend.
Secret Pals for 2012-2013: It is time to reveal and draw Secret Pals again. The forms for 2012-2013 Secret Pal are on the table in the foyer. Fill it out and return it to Nell Daughtry by October 3rd. The ladies will meet at the home of Nell Daughtry on October 7th at 2:00 p.m. to reveal Secret Pal from 2011-2012 and draw for 2012-2013.
Pray For Our Elders: Elders in the church have great responsibility. Pray for Mike Bagents and Bobby Terrell daily.
Pray For Our Nation and Her Leaders: God said, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34) PRAY “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (1 Timothy 2:20)
Area Wide Youth Meeting: The Walnut Street Church of Christ will host the Area Wide Youth Meeting on Sunday evening, October 14th. Darrell Powell will present the lesson that evening. The fellowship meal for the youth will begin at 5:00 pm. The Boston Butts will be done again this time if you wish to help please give your donation to Darrell. Please bring desserts.
Area Events: (a) September 29th – Ladies Day – Luverne Church of Christ – Speaker Janice Claunch – Time 10:00 am – RSVP by September 21st, (b) October 1st – 3rd – Spiritual Enrichment Forum – Hosted by Amridge University at the Embassy Suites downtown Montgomery, (c) October 5th – Area-Wide Congregational Singing – Georgia Road Church of Christ – Time 7:00 pm, (d) October 7th – 10th – Homecoming & Gospel Meeting – Luverne Church of Christ – Speaker Lee Jamieson, (e) October 14th – Area Wide Youth Meeting – Walnut Street Church of Christ – Speaker Darrell Powell – Time 6:00 pm, (f) October 14th – 17th - Gospel Meeting – Lineville Church of Christ – Speaker James Watkins – Time 7:00 pm, (g) October 14th – 17th – Gospel Meeting – Evergreen Church of Christ – Speaker Ron Williams – Time 7:oo pm weeknights, (h) October 19th – 21st - Backwoods Christian Camp Finally Fall Fling, and (i) Walnut Street Church of Christ will be conducting a gospel meeting on October 21st-24th with the speaker being Eric Lyons. Eric is the youth minister at the Wetumpka Church of Christ and he is employed with Apologetics Press. He has authored many books and publications and is a well know speaker and defender of God’s word. Mark your calendars and start inviting others to attend this gospel meeting.
Don’t just own a Bible; read it!
Walnut Street Church of Christ
P.O. Box 551
Greenville, Alabama 36037-0551