May 24, 2015
TODAY’S SERMON: PEW EDITION
Today was my co-worker’s turn to preach. However, before he ever got up to speak, a little three-year-old girl sitting in the pew in front of me “preached” the first sermon of the day.
As the collection plates were being passed around, this little girl was tightly clutching change she was going to sacrifice for the Lord. When the plate reached her, she held her hand out over the plate and opened her fingers to drop her money in the plate. However, due to clutching the money so tightly, or because she had sticky hands, or a combination of both, the change stuck to her open hand. So she had to pluck the coins from her hand into the plate. As her dime and nickel fell into the plate, she handed the plate to the man who was collecting them, looked at him and said, “Thank you!”
“Thank you?” Doesn’t that seem like an odd response after giving away your money? Usually it is the receiver, not the giver who says thank you. Because of that, this little girl sent my mind racing. When was the last time I gave thanks for the opportunity to give? I couldn’t remember. But this little girl had it right. We should possess a spirit willing to give thanks for the opportunity we have to give.
So this morning, I got to hear two sermons preached; one from my co-worker, and the other from the little girl sitting in the pew in front of me. This morning, I was reminded in a way I won’t soon forget, that “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).
(I want to join Keith in commending the Northwest congregation in the matter of giving. I can well remember how the Ninth Street, and then 38th Street, congregation seldom, if ever, met the budget. Over the years we have grown in the area of giving. God smiles down on His children when they give with a happy heart. I believe that describes this congregation. Giving with a happy heart.)
FAMILY NEWS AND NOTES:
Friends & Family: Chris Baker (niece of Loretta Hartman): stage 4 lung cancer; Joyce Clouse; Remember our Shut-In members, those in the Armed Forces, our Brethren in Kenya and the Leadership of the Lord’s church here at Northwest.
Death: We extend our sympathy to Pilar Phillips at the passing of her brother-in-law, Francis Obusek, on Friday, May 15th. The funeral was Monday.
Baptism: Ralph Edman, who has been studying with Keith, decided to obey the gospel and be baptized on Wednesday. His address and telephone number are in the printed bulletin. Please welcome our new brother in Christ.
Thank You: “Thank You” to everyone for your prayers and cookies while I was in the hospital.
Congratulations: Garrett Lee Anderson, son of Jamie & Karen Anderson and the grandson of Virgil & Margaret Anderson, received his Eagle Scout Award last Saturday, May 16, 2015. His project was to build a pergola for a church in the Akron area. He did a great job & we are proud of him!
Birth: Congratulations to Keith and Debbie Hill and their family, at the birth of their granddaughter, MacKenzie (born to Matt & Tiffany Marsh). She weighed 7 lbs. 9oz and was 21 inches long. Bev Hill and Mary Riffle are the great-grandparents.
Golden Agers: Tuesday, May 26th: NO MEETING.
FYI: The office will be closed Tomorrow, May 25th.
Retirement Party: There will be a retirement party for Jan Kull next Sunday, May 31st from 1:00 – 4:00 PM here at the building. Please sign the sheet on the bulletin board if you plan to attend.
VBS: A meeting is planned for Sunday, May 31st at 5:00 PM (here at the building) for ALL involved in VBS this year.
Current Bible Class Offerings
Classes are provided for children of all ages.
TODAY following evening services there will be a Hotdog Roast/Campfire for grades 9-12 and their families, at the home of Stephen & Heather Lindenberger.
June 6th: VBS – 9:00 AM -3:00 PM
Birthday Fellowship: The Birthday Fellowship will be held TODAY following the evening worship. Please bring finger foods, a 2 liter of soda and plan to celebrate with us!
FREE: A hospital bed, a walker and a wheelchair are available to anyone who needs them. You can contact Darrell & Anna Wright at 330-456-1895 if interested.
Friday Night Sing: Please check the schedule on the bulletin board. Anyone needing a ride to those can see Don Hopkins.
Anniversary Celebration: You are invited to join in celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of Glenn & Hope Hawkins on Saturday, June 27th from 5:30-8:30 PM at the Massillon church of Christ. Please sign the sheet on the bulletin board by Wednesday, June 10th if you plan to attend.
Ladies Sewing: The ladies will be sewing each Monday from 10:00 AM – noon.
QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK
We must understand that, though the apostles and others upon whom the apostles laid their hands to impart one or more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, could speak by inspiration, they were not divinely restrained from making personal mistakes.
The men who spoke by inspiration of the Holy Spirit were just ordinary men who had the free will to do as they saw fit. God did not change men’s lives by inspiration. By inspiration God gave information by which men could receive spiritual information that could lead to the saving of their souls. The message was perfect but the messenger was not.
When Jesus sent the seventy to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, He told them that they would be brought before authorities to answer for what they were teaching. “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matt. 10:19-20). Here the perfect God is speaking through imperfect men.
The night before His crucifixion, Jesus told His apostles that they would ALL be made to stumble because of Him that night (Matt. 26:31). Peter could not believe this and told Jesus that he would never be made to stumble or deny the Lord and that he would even die for Him (Matt. 26:35). There is an interesting statement at the end of verse 35, “…and so said all of the disciples.” So not only Peter made this big boast, but the other ten (Judas had left by this time) also said they would never be ashamed of the Lord. Peter went one step beyond the others because he not only stumbled but also denied Christ three times (Matt. 26:69-75). So if Peter could not speak by inspiration, because of his weakness, neither could the rest of the apostles, because they all fled when Jesus was arrested “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled” (Matt. 26:56).
Does it make you feel a little bit better when you read of these things happening to these great men of God, to know that even though they walked with Jesus they were not perfect men? God does not ask us to be perfect, but He asks us to be faithful. Even after Peter had preached some great sermons and had led many to Christ, he still did wrong when he played the hypocrite by eating with Gentiles when none of the Jewish brethren were around but shunning them when the Jews came. The apostle Paul withstood him to his face because of this mistake (Gal. 2:11-13). Peter was a man just like us. He had his good and bad days. But he loved the Lord and served Him faithfully and his speaking by inspiration was not hindered.
PRIVILEGED TO SERVE
** If you are unable to serve in the scheduled capacity, let Art Hopkins know. **
Opening Prayer Elder Elder
May 31, 2015 A.M. P.M.
Opening Prayer Elder Elder
For The Record (05/17/15)