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District Church of God holding annual Christmas banquet today

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool. A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. Behold, they say unto me, ‘Where is the word of the Lord?’ Let it come now” (Jeremiah 17:7-15).

Thought for the week: “Keep Me Strong.”

Lord, help me to accept the changes that you bring, and if my heart should break, help me endure the sting. Let me learn and grow from each and every test; help me keep my faith and leave to you the rest. Help me to sing praises whatever comes my way, knowing “this shall pass,” and there’ll be a brighter day. Help me to hold on to what you have done before, when you pierced the darkness and opened up the door, letting in the sunshine of your blessed love, filling me with peace that comes only from above. You’ve not failed me yet, Lord; I know you never will, and when my faith is weak, I know you love me still. So hold me hand – keep me strong whatever comes my way. When my tears begin to fall, let me stop and pray. And may your precious name be glorified through me. May I reflect your love so others are drawn to thee.

Announcements

The District Church of God will hold their annual Christmas banquet hosted by the Prattville Church of God today at 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Prattville. All churches are invited.

Worship services at Holly Grove Baptist Church in Jemison began with prayer, scripture and songs led by the praise team. Songs included “Don’t Let Go,” “God Is My Everything” and “Oh, What He Has Done For Me.” The scripture was read by Willie and Perry Nunn with prayer by Pastor Dukes and Steven Nunn.

The morning message was given by Pastor Dukes. His theme was “No More Excuses.” Let there be no more excuses for not doing what God told you to do. What’s your reason? It will not allow God’s joy to flow in your life. Serving God is not hard; you are accountable to God for what you do for him, so don’t let him say to you “Depart from me. I never knew you.”

Excuses don’t get things done. They can keep you out of heaven, and worldly cares can keep you out. Some people are more interested in a piece of ground on Earth than they are in heaven (Matthew 6:31-32).

Accept no excuses. The economy is bad, but keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t lose what’s important to you, and that is God. Business excuses – buying five yokes of oxen – you’ve got to work, but when you do so, find time for God. Those who say business comes first are only making excuses (Psalm 39:6).

Only what you do for Christ will last. Don’t put anything before God, even family cares. For example, “I have married and I can’t come.” Some people won’t do right because of the folks they are with (Luke 14:26). Sometimes family will go opposite to your walk with God. Do what God tells you to do.

Quit making excuses against God, for he knows who is real and phony. Don’t refuse to carry your cross. If you don’t, you can’t be his disciple; deny yourself and follow him.

Benediction and remarks were given by Pastor Dukes.

Our sympathy goes out to the families of Mrs. Amanda Johnson and Mr. Joseph Postell in their time of bereavement. Mrs. Johnson will be funeralized today at noon at Union Baptist Church in Clanton. Mrs. Postell’s funeral will be tomorrow at 1 p.m. at United AME Church in Verbena. Agee Brothers Funeral Home is in charge of both arrangements.

On our sick list this week we ask you to remember in your prayers: Sam and Vivian Hicks, Luther Lee, Tammie Mitchell, Lee Anna Worthey, Linda Clay, Helen Stewart, Jewell Brown, Tamba Banks, Queen Worthey and Ethel Smith. 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 Saturday.