Church news for Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010

Published 2:50 pm Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lime Springs United Methodist Church
Sunday School was cancelled for this past week.
Bro. Shannon brought the morning message, “The Humanity of Christ,” from John 1:6-18.
Bro. Shannon related the story of a little girl who was watching a play on the life of Jesus with her parents. Those around her soon became more involved in watching her reactions to the play than the play itself. As the story of the birth of Jesus Christ was presented, the little girl became excited and filled with joy. As the play focused upon the arrest and Crucifixion, she became very upset. However, her joy soon returned as the Resurrection story was presented.
The reaction of the little girl is why it was important for Christ to come into the world as a baby. By being born in the flesh, Jesus was able to experience everything you and I experience in life, including both joy and sorrow. Because Christ experienced humanity, he was able to nail everything you and I could possibly experience to the cross. For this reason, we should celebrate the birth of Christ with the same joy and passion as the little girl — the same joy we experience on Easter.
We closed the service by receiving Holy Communion.
Evening services were cancelled.
We invite everyone to join us for worship at Lime Springs. Our service times are as follows: Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.; Sunday morning worship at 11; evening Bible study at 5; and Wednesday night prayer meeting at 6:30.
For more information, you may call 755-6356 or 217-5183.

Christ Independent Methodist Church
On this day after Christmas, we arrived at church Sunday morning and entered our sanctuary through a curtain of the largest snowflakes I think I ever saw. Entering our warm building with fresh greenery, red berries and candles glowing in each window was like a warm welcome. Red poinsettias around the altar were in stark contrast to the snowscape we left outside. While we ate lunch, the sun melted the snow so quickly it bordered on the unbelievable — almost as if by magic.
Dr. Mac Stinson took his text from Matthew 2:13-23. Appropriately, he used the title, “Where Do We Go From Here?” for his sermon. He spoke at length about the role of Joseph in the story surrounding the nativity event in Bethlehem.
How Joseph’s faith and love for his little family always kept them just ahead of evil men who would have caused them harm. When awakened by an angel and told to take his family to another location, Joseph never hesitated. He took Mary and their infant son and immediately started their journey to a safer location. It was imperative they leave Bethlehem before angry King Herod discovered their departure.
When the angry king learned they had escaped his trap, he had all male babies 2 years old and younger murdered in Bethlehem and the surrounding area.
After the death of Herod, Joseph decided to take his family from Egypt where they had fled and return to Israel. Again an angel warned Joseph not to take his family to Bethlehem because Herod’s son now ruled and there could be danger. Joseph obeyed the angel and took his little family to Nazareth in Galilee, thus fulfilling the prophecy that our Savior would be a Nazarene. For most of his adult life, the ministry of Jesus took place in Galilee.
The crowds rushing to Bethlehem to pay their taxes would probably equate Christmas shoppers today. Imagine the crowds around any mall, the traffic on the roads leading to them, and finding a place to spend the night and get food.
Besides all above problems, Joseph had a young, very pregnant wife. When the angel said go, Joseph’s only apparent concern was for the two people he loved unconditionally. He didn’t want to study the weather, get a road map, etc. He left when the angel said “go” and never considered possible consequences nor turning back.
Men may fail to give Joseph his proper importance, but God saw his true worth and chose Joseph to be the earthly father of God’s only Son. What greater recommendation could he need? God knows what is in our hearts before we do, and he knows our character as well. He saw no fault in Joseph.
Continue to pray for Dr. Stinson, his son, Dr. Harold Spann, Opal Miller, Wilma Ellison, Mary Ann and Horace Carden, Kelly Parker, Jeanette Frost, our military, their families, our church, our country and each other.
Beginning Jan. 2 we will be studying Acts on Sunday nights verse by verse with a video drama presentation.
We invite you to join us for worship. Sunday School is at 9:45 a.m., morning worship at 11, and evening worship at 5.
Continue to pray for those traveling during the week and those dealing with heath problems.
Have a blessed week and New Year.

Bethsalem Baptist Church
Our morning service began with ministry opportunities and a welcome to everyone.
Frankie Smith and Laura Green sang “Telling the Story of Jesus,” and Carol Smith and Greg Green sang “Breath of Heaven.”
Our Christmas message by Bro. Cleve Mallory, “The Truth About Wise Men,” was taken from Matthew 2:1-12.
Pray for Hazel Green, Denny Carroll, Nate Jones, Hunter Moore, Jim Beck, Gloria Bradberry, Brent Jackson, Dale Gandy, Zach Clemons, Cathy Patton, James Smith, Ricky Kendrick, James Harris, Pete Burnette Christy Harmon, Shorty Short, Mary Ann McGee, Bro. James Moore and Carol Hayes.
Pray for all families who have lost loved ones, families affected by cancer, our shut-ins, and the people who are in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Happy birthday this week to Anthony Miller, DeLea LeBlanc, Shane Lovett, Jennifer Gray, Derrick Burnett, Kathryn Blow, Diane Moore, James Earl Bates, Alton Ellison, Lana Deavers, Sandra Mims, Tommy Corn and Monica Eiland.
The church office will be closed Dec. 30 and 31 for New Year’s. Morning worship only will be held Jan. 2 at 10:45 a.m.
Have a blessed week and a happy New Year, and tell someone about Jesus. God is good all the time.
Come worship with us at Bethsalem.

Mt. Springs
It was “Over the river and through the woods to Mt. Springs we go” this snowy Sunday morning.  The numbers were off due to the weather, but the Lord was in the midst for those of us snowbirds who ventured out.
Happy birthdays this week go out to Emily Parrish and Jerry Thomas.  Special music by Ricky and Sherri Williams prepared us for the worship hour.
Brother Don brought the message from Matthew 2.  He entitled it “The Days After Christmas” or “The Christmas Blues.”
After telling of the excitement of Mary and Joseph at the birth of Jesus, he read the story of the wise men’s visit to Baby Jesus.  He recapped how they were warned not to go back and tell Herod where they found Jesus, and how Joseph had a dream telling him to flee and take Mary and the Baby to Egypt to get away from Herod.  Explaining from the scriptures that Joseph packed and left immediately leaving everything in order to obey God, there were two reasons for the trip. Fleeing to Egypt would spare them from Herod and it would fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah.  Brother Don related their feelings during this time after Jesus’ birth to our feelings after the excitement of Christmas is over and we may face a case of the blues.
We can learn three lessons from these low times in the life of Mary and Joseph.  We can learn that the safest place to be is where God leads you; obedience will draw us to Christ. We are not exempt from trouble, but God has a plan and has prepared our way through the troubled times.  God is in charge; even if we go berserk, He is still in control.  Our circumstances this Christmas may have been less than our idea of perfect.  Difficult times come for everyone, but we can rest in the fact that God is in control of everything and will not forsake us, no matter how low we get.  If we will trust, follow, and obey Him through the journey, he will take care of us.  He will give us grace, mercy and provisions. In the end, we will be exactly what he wants us to be.
In spite of the weather, we still had our last Sunday night of the month singing.  We had a sweet testimony service before being blessed by the song service.  Come out and visit us soon.  We have our New Year’s Eve singing coming up and we’d love to have you there. Come visit us at 315 County Road 43, Clanton, Sunday mornings at 9:45 for Sunday School, 11 for worship, 5:30 Sunday night and 7 Wednesday night.  We’d love for you to be a part of our worship service.

Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church
We started out Sunday with a snowy day, and with quite a few of our members on the roads visiting and celebrating the holidays. We pray for their safe journey and for all those out due to illness. We hope to see you all back soon.
Brother Glenn Walker talked about the things that should be on our Christmas list: spiritual growth, close families, and health for the temple of God (our bodies). We had a number of visitors from Verbena. We were so happy to have them worship with us. A lot of you turned out for our candlelight family Communion service held on Christmas Eve. We hope you all received a blessing from this service. We hope you all have a happy New Year and a prosperous 2011.
We would like to thank all of you who called, visited and sent goodies to us during Brother Glenn Walker’s illness. We thank God for each of you and we feel honored to have you all as a church family.
If you need information on any of our programs or services, please contact Teresa Walker at (334) 349-5725.

Samaria Baptist Church
Our last Sunday of 2010 was a snowy one. Our church crowd was a little bit slim due to the inclement weather.  We celebrated the birthday of Linda Silas and the anniversaries of Charles and Patty Brooks, and Linda and Gaines Silas.
Our pastor’s text came from Joel 3:9-17.  As God spoke to Moses, He said the end of all flesh has come before me.  God can destroy this nation as it exists with our sin, depravity, ungratefulness, and unfaithfulness.  God called Moses the greatest prophet who ever lived.  Jesus was the lineage of Ruth who exhibited truth and faithfulness to Naomi, as her family.  Joy of sin only lasts for a season. A life lived for the devil is a wasted life.  Men and women who make bad decisions, and live in prison; a horrible place.
Those who sin against the laws of God and laws of the land end up there.  Lives of sin and pleasure often come to a terrible end for those who choose this route and forsake God.  God created us to have a purpose.  Some choose alcohol, gambling and sins of the flesh, and fall into destruction.  Leaving the faith, some people simply don’t care about others.  They love money, more than people or God Almighty.  Real men of God help the poor, and people make decisions every day to live for God or the world.
Godliness with contentment is great gain.  Fear results from sin, and living in fear of judgment of sins committed against God and man.  God has invested Himself in us, and we must give honor and glory to Him if we are faithful to Him.  Rejecting Christ can result in darkness and wantonness.  God doesn’t want this for us. We have a choice to serve and follow Him and to receive His blessings, rather than reap the harvest of sin and death.
Our prayer requests today are James Smitherman; Ray and Phylis Hardee; Walter and Drusilla Hudgins; our military, our law enforcement; and our families. May God bless you and yours with a wonderfully happy New Year.  Please visit us at Samaria and receive a blessing of worship with us.