RELIGION COLUMN: Friends are God’s giftsBy Staff Reports Published 5:11pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012
By Emily Agee
“Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed and cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, by what authority doest thou these things? And who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things? The baptism of John, whence was it? From heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying if we shall say, from heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, we cannot tell. And he said, We unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things” (Matthew 21:18–27).
Thought for the week: A friend is a gift of God
Among the great and glorious gifts our heavenly Father sends is the gift of understanding that we find in loving friends, for in this world of trouble that is filled with anxious care everybody needs a friend in whom they’re free to share the little secret heartaches that lay heavy on their mind, not just a mere acquaintance but someone who’s “just our kind.” For, somehow, in the generous heart of loving, faithful friends, the good God in his charity and wisdom always sends a sense of understanding and the power of perception, and mixes these fine qualities with kindness and affection, so when we need some sympathy or a friendly hand to touch, or an ear that listens tenderly and speaks words that mean so much, we seek our true and trusted friend in the knowledge that we’ll find a heart that’s sympathetic and an understanding mind. And often just without a word there seems to be a union of thoughts and kindred feelings for God gives true friends communion.
The Rev. and Mrs. Kenneth Dukes will celebrate his ninth anniversary as pastor of Holly Grove Baptist Church in Jemison on Sunday, Oct. 28. Services begin at 9 a.m., and afternoon services are at 2 p.m. All ministers and their congregations are invited.
Worship service at Holly Grove Baptist Church in Jemison began with praise by the male chorus with songs, scripture and prayer. The scripture was read by Perry Nunn with prayer by Carl Singleterry and Pastor Dukes. Songs sung: “What God Has Done,” “Take the Lord with You” and “It’s All God.” The morning message was given by Pastor Dukes. His theme: “Are you wasting time waiting on something you already have?” Are you looking for the perfect church? The church was created by God to do a perfect work, but imperfect men established it. There is no perfect church (people are there), but the church has stood the test of time. Perfection in God’s eyes is the one that endures. There are no perfect people. Do you refuse to witness to people who struggle because he does not do like you want him or her to do? Do you invite the unsaved to church? Where do you find the perfect church? Do you care if people are saved or unsaved? Get out of the judging business and don’t judge people by what they used to do or what others say about them. Learn to build up others; don’t tear them down. Don’t run from God; you can run, but you can’t hide. Go where God wants you to get in a hurry. The perfect church is a path to righteous benediction and a path to eternity. Fellowship by Pastor Dukes, deacons and congregation.
Our sympathy goes out to the family of Mr. Jerry Nix in their time of bereavement.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Maplesville. Agee Brothers Funeral Home directing.
On our sick list this week, we ask you to continue to pray for: Lee Anna Worthey, Roberta Lee, Sam and Vivian Hicks, Harold Frazier, Evelyn Austin, Valerie Morris and Rena Dickerson. May God heal, strengthen and keep them in his care is our prayer.
—Emily Agee is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. Her column appears each Thursday.