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Thank you, Father…

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof, Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” (Psalm 46:1-11).

Thought for the week: “Thank You, Father…”

“Thank You, Father, for Your goodness, for the faithfulness you’ve shown through life’s ever-changing seasons; oh, how quick the years have flown — swifter than a weaver’s shuttle… Now just memories remain. Carefree days of youth and vigor never will return again. Looking back I see your footprints etched into the sands of time. Your sweet presence brought such solace to a restless heart like mine. You have given life a purpose, hope and strength for each new day. You have given songs at midnight to a heart too worn to pray. Thank You, Father, for Your loving, guiding presence ever near. There has never been another friend more faithful, nor more dear.”

Worship service at Holly Grove Baptist Church in Jemison began with music by the praise team with songs, scripture and prayer. The scripture was read by Perry Nunn with prayer by Pastor Dukes and Willie Nunn. Songs sung: “Come and Go To That Land,” “I Love To Call On The Name of Jesus” and “Just Look What God Has Done.” The morning message was given by Pastor Kenneth Dukes. His theme: “Learn To Put God’s Word First In Our Life.” For everything we go through, there is an answer in the Bible for it (Mark 7:1-9). How do you handle criticism? Positively or negatively? A positive response will help you to be better. Do you follow tradition or God’s word? Do you find fault in others who don’t do things just like you?

To handle criticism, consider the one criticizing. Consider faultfinders. See the sureness in criticizing trying to make the Lord look bad — they question Jesus. How you handle criticism determines your success. We all get criticism at home, work, school or church. The source of criticism at church is a leading cause of problems — if it’s the truth, take it and deal with it.

There is scrutiny in criticism. They criticized Christ. They looked him up to do so. It keeps people from coming to church. Do things God’s way to reap blessings. The devil wants to pull you out so he can break you. Pray for the faultfinder and criticizer. Arm yourself with God’s word. The word cuts going and coming. If you want somebody to leave you alone, quote scripture to them. Don’t go against God’s word and follow man’s tradition; stand and be who you are in Christ.

The benediction was led by Pastor Dukes.

On our sick list this week we ask you to remember in your prayers: Linda Clay, Pinkie Nix, Lee Anna Worthey, Joseph McCall, Stanley Frazier, Robert Robinson, Sam and Vivan Hicks, Margie Hardnett, Mary Ann Harris, Queen Worthey and Earl Davis. May God heal, strengthen and keep them in His care is our prayer.

–Emily Agee’s column appears each Thursday.