The Reporter   
 Volume 52 # 50  --  December 16, 2012

Archives - Past Issues

Things That I Heard At A Funeral


   A funeral service is a formal or sometimes informal service in honor of one who has died. In general terms, a funeral is a gathering of family and friends after the death of a loved one that allows them the opportunity to mourn, support each other and to remember the life of the deceased. Our faith and our culture dictates some elements of a funeral service. A few days ago Janice and I attended the funeral of brother Clyde Ray, a long time friend and fellow gospel preacher. The funeral was conducted in the Brady Cemetery at Hope Hull. I have great respect for brother Ray because of his preaching and his love for Christ and the church. He was a good man. Please pray for his wife and children and their families. There were some things that I heard at this funeral that touched my heart. There were words of appreciation for this good man and other things also.


  At this funeral I heard the singing of wonderful songs of faith. Congregational singing was led by David Lewis, one of brother Ray’s sons-in-law. The New Testament explains that we are to teach and admonish “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16) In the church gatherings the only kind of music we are to offer to God is “singing.” “I will declare thy name unto my brethren,  in the midst  of the  church  will I sing praise unto thee.” (Hebrews 2:12) Why do we sing without the use of instruments in our worship? The simplest answer is this: It is a matter of authority. There is no Bible authority for the use of a mechanical instrument in Christian worship. The devout child of God, who wishes to respect the Lord’s authority, will worship in song, even in daily living. “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.” (James 5:13) In worship and in daily life Christians must be guided by the New Testament. Worship is corrupted when things not found in the New Testament, like instrumental music is added. Cain’s sin was that he did not worship as God directed. (Genesis 4) Let us be careful that unauthorized worship does not become our sin also. The only instrument we can use in our singing and be acceptable in the sight of God is our “heart.” (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16)


  At this funeral I heard children in the distance, at a house not too far away, laughing and playing. This made me remember that life is filled with both sadness and joy, tragedy and happiness. While some mourn and grieve others laugh and play, with no disrespect at all. As a wonderful old Christian hymn suggests life is that mixture of blessings and difficulties.  “When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done. Are you ever burdened with a load of care? Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear? Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly, And you will be singing as the days go by. When you look at others with their lands and gold, Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold; Count your many blessings money cannot buy Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high. So, amid the conflict, whether great or small, Do not be discouraged, God is over all; Count your many blessings, angels will attend, Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.” At times we may feel sorrow. Job prayed for relief from his troubles. In that prayer he said, “Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow.” (Job 17:7) At times the world crashes in on us and life seems unbearable. “I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long.” (Psalms 38:6) Life also has times of great joy, peace and laughter. There are those moments when God fills our mouth with laughing, and our lips with rejoicing. (Job 8:21) There is “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)


  At this funeral I heard a baby cry. In Ecclesiastes 3:2 Solomon wrote of the times that begin and end Human life. He said that there is, “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” The time to be born and the time to die are not our decisions. The time to be born and the time to die are beyond our control. Under most circumstances we rejoice at the time of birth and mourn at the time of death. However, for the Christian death is better than birth because this is the final step that allows us to be with God forever, “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1) The joy and blessings of our childhood are great; the blessings of an eternity with God at end of a Christian life are far greater. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” (Philippians 1:21-23)


  At this funeral I heard Scripture read and quoted. The word of God is a powerful message. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) The word of God provides comfort for troubled hearts and direction for our souls. The word of God is able to keep me on God’s path: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". (2 Timothy 3:16) God’s word can do a powerful work within in, even in moments of sorrow. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13) The word of God provides us with great assurance. “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13) God’s word can comfort our heart and change our life.


  What a blessing it is for those who die in the Lord. If you are a faithful Christian, thank you for serving God. Thank you for being faithful and for being ready to die. We know a crown of life awaits God’s faithful children at that last great day. On that day you will hear the Redeemer say, "Well done; good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." God bless! Keep the faith! If you are not saved you should become a Christian today. To be saved from sin hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (Mark 16:16), repent of sins (Luke 13:5), confess Jesus as Lord (Matthew 10:32), and be baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3-4) After baptism, live in Christ and have Christ in you. (Galatians 4:19) Let us never forget that finding joy in serving God is the antidote to all the despair that surrounds us on a daily basis. My most favorite memory of brother Clyde Ray was in a conversation one day when he said to me, “I don’t know what any body else is going to do, but I am going to do my best to go to heaven!” Let us do that same thing!

- - - - Charles Box

News & Notes

1. Prayer List: In Need of Prayer: Lorene Beverly, LeRoy Boutwell, Willie Frank Burnett, Brenda Burkett, Camren Coleman, Anna Bell Conway, Bonnie Croley, Debbie Cunningham, Mike Dalton, Crowell Davis, Ethan Flowers Diamond, Marietta Faulkenberry, Michelle Flowers, Gail Gipson, Devin Hawkins, Doris Hayes, Patrick Hicks, Patricia Kennemore, Peggy Lassiter, Alice Little, Arthur Little, Annie McKee, Jewel McNaughton, Betty McQueen, Charlotte Miller, Ethan Miller, Jeff Miller, Jane Owen, Candice Parker, William Pierce, Tina Pouncey, Dan Raybon, Lydia Ann Raybon, Candie Reaves, Peggy Rice, Billy Rodgers (grandfather of Hunter & Hannah Owens), Rosie Rudolph, Nathan Simmons, Margaret Skipper, Sarah Stidham, Virginia Stiers, Bobby & Mary Lou Terrell, Cindy Thomas, Arlene Thomas, John Tindoll, Jenny Trawick, Bobbie Walker, Leroy Waller, Jim Watts, Carlton Whittle, and Cody Yelverton. Crowne Health Care: Helen Autrey, Dorothy Buck, Jewel Cauthen, Gladys Childs, Arlene Coletrane, Betty Findley, Kathy Johnson, Sarah Knight, Elizabeth Perdue, Nelda Sanders, Annie Ruth Tetter, Alice Thompson and Gladys Warren. Georgiana Nursing Home: Earl Lowery.


2. Special Prayer Request: Please remember Earl and Lou Acreman as they go through a very difficult time in their lives. Surround them with your prayers and your love daily!


3. Building in Annai: Please pray that everything can come together for the completion of the building in Annai, Guyana, South America. These brethren need this place for worship. Thanks to everyone who is helping to make this a reality.


4. Crowne Health Care: (a) The Christmas Party for the residents at Crown Health Care will be this Thursday, December 20th. We ask that anyone that can come help and be a part of this wonderful work. (b) There will not be a class at Crowne Health Care December 29th. A special “Thank You,” to those who continue to help with this good work.

5. All Age Devotional: There will be a devotional for all age children on December 16th after evening service. The children are asked to bring a wrapped ornament. Bring finger foods.


6. Basics Training: Mitch Bozeman is in basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Please keep him in your prayers.


7. Birthdays: Celebrating birthdays this week: December 21st Missy Alford and Johnny Cole and December 22nd Margaret Phillips and Eli Powell.


8. Sign-Up Sheets 2013: The sign-up sheets for 2013 are on the bulletin board. Please volunteer to help. Many of you do so many good things. Thank You!


9. Food Committee List: There are sheets on the bulletin board for the Food Committee. Please sign-up even if you have been on a committee before.


10.  Please Pray For Our Elders: Please pray for Mike Bagents and Bobby Terrell. Being an elder in the church of our Lord is a very serious matter. We need these brethren and they need us.


11. Jerry Barr Mission Fund: Please contribute to the “Jerry Barr Mission Fund.” This fund was set up by Joan and other members of Jerry’s family. This money will be used to help with mission trips, build building and support other mission needs. Make checks to Walnut Street Church of Christ – “Jerry Barr Mission Fund.” Jerry’s love for mission work lives on.


12. Carl Sessions Camp Fund: Please contribute to the “Carl Sessions Camp Fund.” This makes it possible for all Walnut Street Children to attend Bible Camp. Make checks to Walnut Street Church of Christ and mark them “Carl Sessions Camp Fund.” A very special “Thank You” is given to everyone who has given to this great work. Lives are being changed!


13. Be a Daily Bible Reader: It take about seventy-two hours to read the Bible completely through at an average reading speed. Fill your heart with the word of God daily.

Baloney for BCC


How can eating a baloney sandwich help Backwoods Christian Camp? It can if you decide to participate in a special fundraiser being held during the week of January 6-12, 2013.  Here’s what you do: 1) Choose any meal that week that you normally would eat out, 2) replace it with a baloney sandwich, and 3) go to and donate to Backwoods what you would have spent at the restaurant. You can donate online by clicking any of the “donate” buttons on the website.




1.     Make this a family event and let everyone in on the blessing of giving.

2.     Have a congregational Baloney fellowship on January, 6th and encourage one another to support Backwoods.

3.     Don’t like baloney? Substitute some other low budget mealJ.

4.     If you absolutely can’t donate during the week of January 6-12, 2013, do it another time. The online donation capabilities will stay on the website.

5.     Don’t want to give up a restaurant meal, but still want to give? Great!

Baloney for BCC is an opportunity for all of us to make a small sacrifice to help insure that camp is able to keep on blessing lives. Many of you and your congregations already support the camp financially, and without your support, Backwoods could not continue to exist. Your help is greatly appreciated! God bless.


- - - - Darrell Powell

Let the joy of serving the Lord be your strength this day and every day.


Service Time:


Morning:                       Evening:

  Bible Study 9:30            Worship 6:00

  Worship 10:30           


Bible Study 7:00 pm


Here To Serve:

Elders:                        Deacons:

  Mike Bagents                Tony Bozeman

  Bobby Terrell                Bruce Cauthen

Minister:                          Jason Holladay

  Charles Box                  Dennis Lowery

Youth Minister:               Stuart Taylor

  Darrell Powell               Jim Till   


Walnut Street Church of Christ

P.O. Box 551

Greenville, AL 36037-0551