I’m a sinner. I can’t do anything to save myself. I’m weak and very prone to fall, over and over again. I’m attracted to all kind of stuff that’s bad for me. I’m lazy and self-centered. I’m impatient and easily frustrated with other people. I procrastinate. I fall time and time again. I just can’t seem to get it right. I try and try and I’m never able to be good. Most day’s it’s all just too much for me to bear and too heavy a load for me to carry.
“Can I carry that for you?”
I worry about everything. My family, my job, my health, the future. I imagine problems that don’t even exist. Then I worry that some day they might exist. It’s easy to find enough to worry about these days. The economy. Jobs. Terrorism. Crimes in our neighborhoods. The next epidemic of something horrible and unseen. Lots of times I lay awake at night and worry.
“Can I carry that for you?”
The world tells me to try harder, to do better, to work more, The world says all I have to do is get up earlier, stay later and work weekends. There are even some preachers who say that if you love God the “right” way He’ll give you lots of money and new cars and a big house. They call it the “prosperity gospel.” But I never knew Jesus to preach that kind of gospel. The world says I have a god inside of me that I can find if I do yoga and meditate and imagine good things in my future. It’s a lot to remember and a lot of work.
“Can I carry that for you?”
I’m thankful I don’t have to rely on myself, no matter how good my intentions might be. I’m thankful that Christ wants to take away my every burden and worry, every one of my sins and failures. I’m thankful He knows my weaknesses and loves me in spite of them. He knows every one of my sins and still He loves me beyond measure. He knows how frail my spirit can be and so He gave me His Church to be my support and guide. He feeds me with His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist. He forgives my sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He comes to me as the Good Shepherd longing to find me and bring me home to Himself. Jesus loves me in spite of my unloveliness. He cherishes me as His beloved daughter, no matter how often I stumble and fall. All my burdens and worries are lifted in His love for me. No matter what may come my way, He’s there at my side to help me through. The world is full of lies and misinformation. The world is about “self-help.” Our Catholic faith is about “Jesus, help me.” You can’t think or dream or wish or work yourself into a better version of who you are. Only Christ can transform our contrite hearts into what He desires for us --- eternal life with Him in heaven!
“In the world, you will have trouble. But take courage, I have conquered the world.” Matthew 16”32-33
Shannon Smith, Pathway Baptist Church
Woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning and then God opened up the gates of Heaven on us during our morning worship. There are no words to describe the blessings he is giving us at Pathway. We are just so blessed to continue to see God moving in lives at our church. The congregation opened with Amazing Grace, and then went right into worship with a praise song focusing on how good God is! Bro. Mark sang “Thank God For Grace and was assisted by the choir and Debby Broom sang “How Great Thou Art” assisted by the choir. Special Music by Shannon Smith “ Alabaster Box” and Debby Broom sang “He’ll Do It Again”. The altars continued to fill up time after time and there was a spirit lead testimony by Angie Wells what a blessing it was to our hearts and God used it to speak to our lives about how religion can judge you, condemn you, and send you straight to hell. So I in turn ask you to please examine your heart today. Do you have religion or a relationship? The religious crowd pointed and condemned Jesus for His works while here on earth and eventually hung Him on a cross! People in this world have enough judgement in their lives and what God wants us to show them is love and the love of a Savior that can change their life unconditionally! Before you were a Christian you were living in sin and God brought you out of that sin and none of us have the right to sit back and judge others for their sin, God is the only one that has that right! We are to lead by example, what kind of example are you being to the people around you? Bro. Mark spoke briefly on Psalms 16:1, Preserve me oh God for in You do I put my trust. Our trust is not put in religion but in our relationship with Jesus Christ. The invitation was strong with many coming forward. One publicly confessed Christ and three joined our church for baptism.
Sunday evening Bro. Mark preached from 1 Timothy 1:12-15. “Why Am I Here” 1) God has made me able and put me in this ministry. 2.) God has placed me in this ministry. 3.) God has counted me faithful in this ministry. 4.) I matter to God and that’s all that matters in this ministry. The service ended with everyone coming to the altar to pray for our ministry. Donna Parton sang “The Blood Will Never Lose It’s Power” assisted by the choir. Evelyn Nelson sang “Saved To The Uttermost” assisted by the choir. Special was by Shannon Smith “Love Grew Where The Blood Fell”.
Upcoming Events: Jan. 21st- WMU Meeting at 11:00am in the fellowship hall all ladies are invited. Also on Jan. 21st at 7:pm there will be a youth fellowship in the fellowship hall we will play games and sing karaoke.
Happy Birthday Wishes to the following: Jan. 15th – Rachel Watson, Jan. 18th – Spencer Ables, Jan. 18th – Russell Kinsey.
If you were visiting with us today you were our special guest and we pray you received a blessing and will come back. Continue to pray for all the sick and those in the nursing home and pray and love one another! God bless
Charlotte McGuffey, Salem Baptist Church
I hope everyone had a good week and was faithful in attendance at your local church. We were glad to have our visitors with us and hope they will come back soon. Bro. Josh Hollifield is challenging us with his messages each week.
Team Kid parents and others, don’t forget to bring your items for the Team Kid store to Melba Jean Davidson before January 22. If you would rather donate money, she will shop for you. The intended purpose of the store is to encourage the children to actively participate in the Team Kid program. They earn points for attendance, bringing friends and for learning Bible verses. Once a month, they shop in the store and redeem their points for prizes.
Our prayer list: cancer patients - Loma Hullender, Jack Leigh, Bill Davidson, Mary Eslinger, Tania Neal, Kay Rhymer, Dana Cornelison, Holly Stockburger, June Freeman and Valerie O’Brien. David Hollifield, Josh’s dad, is recovering from heart surgery and Bobby Henson, director at Christ’s Chapel had a stent put in his heart last week. Each of these were unexpected, resulting from routine visits to the doctor’s office. It’s good that the problems were found before serious damage was done. Others on the prayer list are Sherry Barbee, Ricky Kittle, Boyd Kittle, Paul Tatum and Carolyn Tatum, Fae Ensley, Elizabeth Elliott, Jack Pennick, Mildred Brown and many others.
Our hearts were saddened to learn of the unexpected home going of Eddie Lou Kittle Wright on January 9. Her husband, John Wright, passed away on the same date 18 years before. Their children are Marcia Black, Carolyn Hullender, Tracy Wright and Jeff Wright. Her home going celebration was held on Friday at Burning Bush Baptist Church. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family.
The flowers in the sanctuary on Sunday were given by the Wright family in memory of their mother and grandmother. They were beautiful and we appreciated them sharing with us.
It was good to have James Trew back with us after vacationing at Pearl River and Biloxi, Mississippi with his daughter, Cindy. They had a good time.
We extend sympathy to the family of Hubert Ashley of Cleveland, who passed away recently after an illness. He was a friend of James Trew.
Congratulations to Eric & Holly Kittle on the arrival of the long awaited twins – a boy and a girl. Gregg and Christina Kittle are proud grandparents. I’m sure they will have pictures to share.
Pete Ware spent several days last week visiting with Matthew, Jodi, Natalie and Nicholas Ware in Greenville, South Carolina. He enjoyed helping Natalie celebrate her 6th birthday. She is Papaw’s special buddy.
Happy birthday to Raley Marie Hooper on January 20, Chubb Blevins on the 24th, Mel McGuffey on the 26th and Martha Hullender on the 28th.
Saturday, January 21 is Winter Fun Day for children ages 3 years and up in the fellowship hall. There will be games and refreshments.
The Rex Bolis family will be singing for us on the fifth Sunday night, January 29. Bro. Rex is pastor of the Filipino church in Catoosa County. You will receive a blessing from their beautiful singing. We have looked forward to having them at Salem for a long time. After the singing, we will celebrate January birthdays in the fellowship hall.
Margie Stringer, North Whitfield Baptist
Sunday was a wonderful day. Our crowd had really picked up also we had several visitor folk in the altar. Several went to Bro. Mike Nixon’s house for dinner. Sure did enjoy the food and fellowship. Bro. Bobby Arnold and Marty Bell took our youth, the boys, camping on Friday night to Dr. Ingram’s farm. He has a large cabin at Mill Creek. They sure had a good time. I love all of our youth. Lot of them sing, that is always a blessing. They pick up several on the bus Sunday night. My old friend Bro. Bill O’Neal preached for us. He sure is a blessing. We had a very great service also had a good crowd and also visitors Bro. Pete Reed and the Gospel Seekers will be with us next Sunday night on the 22nd of January, with our service starting at 6 pm.
If you don’t have a home church we would like for you to come and visit us. Everyone is welcome.
Bro. Allen Dean had surgery last Friday. He needs our prayers. Bro. J.T. Sanders, Bro. Heath Martin and Tim Bryson are visiting our sick. We have several folk who are home bound, several in the rest home. Time sure makes a change in all of our lives.
Dale and Eddy visited us last night. Both of them are not well.
Bro. Gene Lowery and his singers will be at New Bethel on Saturday night the 21st at 7 pm. Bro. Don Self is the pastor. Everyone is welcome to come.
I’d like to say hello to all of the Keith folk. Margie attended school there. I went part of a year. So many fond memories there.
Sister Yolonda Reed will have both knees replaced on the 24th of January. Bro. James Baughman is still having health problems and needs all of our prayers. Bro. Jackie and sister Annie Mae Terry are unable to come anymore. They both have health problems. Sister Norma is in LifeCare for therapy. Dale called and said he got a better report on his health. He is a great deal better. We are thankful for that.
All of you have a good healthy week. Attend church somewhere. Until next time. Bro. Stringer.
Emma Jo Davis, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
If you missed our Revival last week you really missed a blessing.The young man that preached was Jonathan McNeese, he is John Bell’s grandson. I’m sure most of you remember Bro. Bell, he was Pastor of Welcome Hill Baptist Church for several years.The only thing wrong was that it was just three nights and Bro. Jonathan didn’t preach long enough. He was one that said a lot in a very short time. We really appreciated all the churches that came to be with us as well as all the other visitors.
It was good to have Bro David back in the pulpit preaching on Sunday. It is always good to have other preachers at times but no one can take the place of your own Pastor. We do appreciate Bro. David and Jill for all they try to do with the church.
This Tuesday is our Nursing Home Service at Standifer Place. It has been awhile since we were there as our day came just before Christmas and there was something else planned for the patients.
We will all miss Neno Denton as he went when he was able and led them in a song. He was not able to go for some time before he passed away but they always asked about him every time we went without him. He was loved by everyone that knew him and that is a good testimony to leave behind.
We send condolences to the Wright Family in the death of their loved one, Eddie Lou Wright.
Johnny Chapman is to start his treatments this week. Pray for him and Linda that everything will go well. Alma Bryson and Wanda Hill were both sick on Sunday. We missed them.
Others on our prayer list this week are:Loma Hullender, Holly Stockbuger, Ellie Pitts, Lula Petty, Louise Clark, Arthur and Dorothy Longwith, Ralph and Norma Carpenter, Norma Headrick, Elsie Disheroon, Leon and Emma Lou Brown, Edna Allen, Earl and Katherine Plemons, Benny Wilson, Dorothy Cumbee, Cindy Haney, Gail Payne, Our Servicemen and Women, Our Missionaries and Our Nation.
Happy Birthday Wishes go to Rick Ivester, January 24. Christy Dycus, January 26. Rebekah Compton,January 27. Bobbie Headrick, January 28.
Happy Anniversary Wishes go to Leon and Emma Lou Brown, January 26.
Thought for Today: Mercy is an unearned blessing bestowed by God on an unworthy recipient!