Church news for the week of June 2, 2016

Published 4:54 pm Friday, July 1, 2016

Samaria Baptist Church

It’s a beautiful day to worship in America. Thanking God for our Veterans who have served our military through war time and peace. Let us give honor to them today, as we praise The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has blessed America forever. May our country turn to Him once again.

Our prayer list today includes the Billy Mims family, Diane Bullard, Maria & Kent Willis and baby to come, our pastor and family on their much needed vacation and we had a special prayer for Ms. Peggy Traywick.

Special music today was our offertory guitar special by Jerry Greer, and of course our very special “God bless the USA” by Darrell Willis.

Our visiting speaker today was Brother Clay Collins and his family. Brother Clay brought a wonderful message about forgiveness. In Hebrews we find that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Forgiveness is a free gift, provided by our Lord Jesus to save us from a devils hell and to enable us to find the pathway to Heaven one day. All of us have a past that we may not be proud of. God wipes away all our sin, therefore how can we do less than that? We must forgive when we are asked to do so, and if we truly forgive then we must not continue to harbor and “hold on” to the wrong. 1st John says ‘If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us.’

Sometimes, we must admit that we handle situations all wrong. In this case, we must seek the forgiveness of the person that we have offended. The fact is that satan loves to remind us of our faults and failings. He provides a handy ‘guilt trap’ for us to fall into. We don’t claim victory in Jesus if we are in a cloud of doubt regarding our own spiritual status.

We do not have the right to continue blaming, and being resentful of those who have repented and asked us to forgive the wrongdoing committed against us. God removes it so should our pride keep us from true forgiveness. Those who say, “I can forgive, but I will never forget” have missed the lesson of God’s Word.

If we do not forgive our neighbors their trespasses, then God says He will not forgive us, according to Matthew 6. Matthew 18 tells us to forgive not 7 times, but 70×7. Matthew 5 v. 43-45 tells us to Love our neighbor and to Love and pray for our enemy as God does.

We know that our Father brings blessings to the just and the unjust. Make sure the face you put on to go out into the community reflects the salvation in your soul. Lost people are watching and listening to determine if our faith is real or not. Stay close to Jesus Christ, for He is always close to those who seek Him. God bless you.

Our Vacation Bible School is set for late July. We will be updating as time gets nearer. Join us for Joy in Jesus at Samaria every Sunday.

Mars Hill Baptist Church

Today at Mars Hill the worship hour started with patriotic music honoring our Veterans. If you are a Veteran we thank you for your service and your dedication to duty.

Our pastor, Bro. William Short, used 2 Timothy 2:1, 7 as the basis of the sermon for the day. Here we find that we all are soldiers: Soldiers of the Cross. The worst battle we will have is with Satan, he is bigger than you and a liar and deceiver. Satan is the most faithful church goer and we need to be trained to be a good soldier. If you are a Christian, God can make you into a soldier for Him.

Somebody has to be in charge and Jesus is in charge of our spiritual life.

If you haven’t given your all to Jesus, Satan may have a hold on you and can destroy your life and Christian influence. The preacher is not the one in charge, Jesus is the one. When He fights your battles they are already won.

In verse 3 we find that we will endure hardness. Your life is now based on Jesus and you will have hardships. Have the intention to win. Thank God we are able to be soldiers for Him, fight the battle, God is bigger than the devil. Do not go AWOL in God’s army.

“Any church that allows you to act the same way in church as you act in the streets, is not a church, it’s a club. A real church is the place that separates you from the world so you can be new in Christ. Find a real church to attend Sunday, not a place that helps the old you stay alive.” Author Unknown.

June 5 we will have baptismal service during the morning worship hour. Be in prayer for these new believers.

July 10, 14 will be our Vacation Bible School. Visit us at Mars Hill, we have a place for you.

Bethany Baptist Church

Bethany Baptist Church met at 10:00a.m. and opened services with a song “Send The Light.” We then were given a devotional “The Deceit of Riches,” Matthew 13:22, 23. Before planting seeds, the soil needs to be prepared. Those who hear the gospel get a little, but because the soil, their hearts, haven’t been prepared, they get a little, but it doesn’t take hold. Money or riches is not the problem, but the “love of money” is the problem. Is our focus on building riches in this world, and how much can we achieve of worldly goods? Too much focus is on wealth (money.) Money is here for a short time, but the riches we build up for eternity (Godly riches) are forever. Focus on the gospel message of Jesus Christ, and have our heart on the future kingdom to come, Heaven and Jesus, not on things here. We were dismissed with a prayer to our S.S. classes. We dismissed to S.S. with a prayer, after which we sang, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Am I A Soldier of The Cross,” And “My Country Tis Of Thee.” Glenn Vines made the announcements, VBS, June 15, 2016 8:30a.m.-3:00 p.m. for grades k-6. Lunch will be served, The National ABA meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, June 20-23, 2016. Prayer requests were taken, and the a.m. offering was taken.

Following this, Bro. Glenn Vines brought the A.M. message, “Staying Holy and Staying Focused.” Today it is easy to get distracted from following God by the things and temptations in this world. There is no excuse for sinning willfully. We must be in this world in order to witness to the lost and spread the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The first part of the message is “Staying Holy.” Leviticus 18:1-5, tells us that being Holy is to be set apart from the world. Be different, we should not blend in with the lost world. People should see a difference in us as saved people. Just as God told the Israelites in Leviticus to leave the pagan worship behind and not to follow the pagan gods of the new land, we today should live a life that would be pleasing to God. Psalm 119:9- How can we remain pure in the world? Read and study God’s Word. Never get so busy with daily life to study, not just read the Bible. Psalm 139:23, 24. David is asking God to look into his heart and show him if there is anything he needs to do. We cannot judge our own life and compare it to other people. It takes courage to ask God to judge us then we need to take action and correct our lives where we are wrong. Romans 12:1, We should be a living sacrifice for God. Maybe we need to leave off some things we do that take time away from God. Maybe we should not partake of things that would be harmful to our body. Where is our heart, do we do everything with the corrective motive. Our heart should be on God and the eternal kingdom, not on things of this world. We should not be a Sunday Christian only. Romans 16:17, We have to be a part of this world, but do not have “friends” of the world. Like the nation of Israel, we sometimes want to follow God, but we do not purge ourselves of the worldly, sinful friends and lifestyle, lest we fall back into our sin and sinful lifestyle. Luke 8:16, be a light for Jesus so the world through us may see Jesus. Do not live like the world or people will not know you are a Christian. I Peter 2:9, We have a royal priesthood which means we have direct access to God. We do not need anyone to be a mediator between us and God except Jesus. Take advantage of our privilege to talk to God through prayer. Wait for God to give us the answer, yes, no, or wait. I Peter 1:14-16 we can go to the scriptures and look at the life of Christ who was tempted like as we are, but did not fall into temptation. We, through Christ can avoid falling into the snares of the devil. Jesus was our example. The second point of today’s message is staying focused on things that are spiritual. Philippians 2:5, Christ is our example. He was humble and there to serve those around Him. He interacted with those around Him so they would know that He cared. Those who followed Jesus were there for themselves, not for Christ. I Peter 2:14-16, do not be argumentative. Natural man is always trying to cause disputes. Do not argue God’s Word, discussion is good, but not arguing. Take God’s Word with you at all time, not taking your Bible everywhere you go, but take what you have learned and be ready always to give an answer. Psalm 103:1 Bless God, praise God when we remember what He has done for us. We may say “look what I have done, but He deserves for us to live for Him. Worship God with all that is within us. In every aspect of our lives, we should include God. Amos 5:14, seek God and not evil. What is our intent? Are we looking to the things of the world, or God for happiness? The world is always looking for something to make them happy, but we need to seek God and can truly have happiness. Colossians 3:2, Matthew 6:33 and II Timothy 2:15 Set your mind on things above, not on things of this world. Where is our heart, on God or on this world? Study the Bible so we can rightly divide the scripture. Seek God, follow His Word, and we can stay holy, focused and not fall into temptation. There are many more scriptures on this subject if you would only take the time to look them up. We closed with a prayer and song “Let Others See Jesus In You.” Prayer list includes, our church, pastor (Bro. Aubry Wallace) and Shirley, Grace, Bro. Hubert, Chris, Evelyn K, Justin, Sherry, Jean and James, Jeanette, JC, Frankie, Barbara T. Williams, Paulette Williams and her mother Peggy Williams, Quinton and Doris, Missionaries here and around the world, Bro. Paul Armstrong and his family as they labor in Calera, Jane, Colyn, Sherry, Charlotte, Olivia W, Ricky and Windy McCullar, Rachel M, and many more including the unsaved. We had lunch at the church and passed out flyers for VBS with no p.m. services.

Calvary Independent Baptist Church

Calvary Independent Baptist Church wants to thank everyone who attended services last week. Sunday morning services included a message from Joshua 4:1-9 and other passages about the memorials in our lives. We are so thankful for the many men and women who have given all while serving in our armed forces. Through their faithfulness we still have the freedoms and opportunities that we enjoy so much here in America. Some of those freedoms are to worship and serve our living God. From the looks of church attendance most times, it is an opportunity that way too many are missing out on. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and get saved then get some where you can grow in his word and in service for God. Sunday night services included a message from John 15:1-13 and other passages about the greatest love that man can have is to lay down his life for his friends. We know many men and women of our armed forces have done that very thing. That is indeed an amazing love and act of bravery above and beyond what anyone could possibly ask for. And yet somehow God has an even greater love for us in sending Christ to die for us while we were yet his enemies. But even while living in this amazing time called the dispensation of the grace of God we all know it too has its last days.

We hope that you are saved and in service for the Lord Jesus Christ in a mighty way. If you are looking for a church to visit with this Sunday we would love to see you at Calvary. We are located South Clanton just past Dollar General, right off 31 on Fulmer Drive. Our regular weekly services include Sunday School 9:00 am, Children’s Church and Adult Worship Services Sunday Morning at 10:00 am, Sunday Night Services 5:30 pm, Wednesday Night Services 6:30 pm, and a bible study on every other Tuesday Night at 7:00 pm. For other services and events check us out on Facebook ,Twitter, visit our website at , or call Pastor Oscar Mims at 205-755-9399.

Mt. Carmel No. 1 Baptist Church

If you were able to attend church last Sunday, we need to remember this is just one of the many blessings that we as Americans can enjoy. As we celebrate the holiday called Memorial Day let us not forget to thank all the men and women that have served and are now serving our country in Armed Forces and other entities, such as policemen and firefighters, to give us the freedoms we have. Whether we agree with war or not, these individuals deserve our gratitude and respect. Some gave all they had; some gave their life. Without the sacrifices these individuals have been willing to make and are making today, we would not have these wonderful freedoms. As our service began the congregation took a moment to thank and recognize those in attendance that had served our country.

After this the ones in and connected to our church family that graduated this year from kindergarten or high school were recognized. These included Axel Marler, Seth Wilson, Austin Robinson, and Cole Watley. Each of them was presented with a Bible. We wish them the best in this new phase of life and want them to know that life will be so much better if they keep God first in all they do.

Our special music was presented by Kaitlyn Burnett and Josie Jones. Kaitlyn played and sang “Keep On” followed by Josie and Kaitlyn signing to “I Am Not Alone”. The congregation songs and the special music served to remind us that it is because of the Cross of Calvary that we can face the storms of life and with Christ in our life we are never alone.

Bro. Travis Burnett returned to John 1: 5-11 to continue God’s message to us on the mission of John the Baptist. This week the message focused on John presenting the aspect of Jesus as Light and how The Light expels darkness. It is a fact that darkness is forced out when light comes in. The darkness of sin and shame is expelled from a person’s life when Christ comes in as Savior and Lord of that life. It makes that life clean. The Light can turn wickedness into worship. We see a great example of this by looking at what happened in Saul’s life that is recorded in Acts 9:1-9. When you are in darkness the wickedness you are doing in your life may seem to be good. We have a choice to make in life. We have to choose to allow The Light to come into our life or to stay in darkness. As we live and face the battles of daily living, we need this Light. When we feel like giving up we need to remember He has already won the war for us. The Devil will do all in his power to cause us to feel defeated, but just know that one day even the Devil himself will have to bow and proclaim Christ as The Light. Why not make the choice in your life today to accept The Light and come out of your darkness?

After our morning services everyone was invited to stay for a time of food and fellowship in honor of Memorial Day. We enjoyed a great meal of hamburgers, hotdogs, and all the fixings that go with them. Thanks to everyone that had a part in preparing this wonderful meal.

We did not have evening services in order for the members of the congregation to spend time with their family and friends.

At the time of this writing, Mrs. Minnie Childress is in the hospital at Alabaster. Please say a special prayer for her and her family. Also, Myron West is still in need of a special healing touch from God as he is struggling with Malaria and other problems in a hospital in Africa. Please lift Myron and his family up to God as you pray. Others in and connected to our church family that are on our prayer list are George Campbell, Leona Liveoak, Libby Warren, Elijah Warren, Mary Dean Higgins, Elladene Mims, Gladys Franklin, Robert Childress, Ruthie Jean Giles, Mary Maudlin, Mary Ellen Campbell, and Christy Lowery.

A special thanks goes out to Kayla Carroll for taking time to visit with the ladies at their prayer breakfast they had on May 21st. She spoke on how important it is to listen to what God has to say to us wherever we are in life. She used the life of Hagar as an example. It was a great blessing for all those that attended.

Our Vacation Bible School is scheduled to start on Sunday, June 26th at 6:00 p.m. A kickoff party will be held on Saturday, June 24th at 2:00. There will be classes for children from 3 years old through those that finished the 6th grade. Start now making your plans to attend.

Cedar Grove

Firs let us remember what Memorial Day is for to remember the fallen soldiers that has fought and died for us, and our country so we can still say we live in a free nation under God.

Announcements: Upcoming events: June 11, 2016 will be Radio Revival details to follow. The Kelly’s Group will be singing Sunday night 06/12/2016.

Prayer concerns: our church family, our pastors, our nation, the upcoming presidential election, those in hospitals and nursing homes, spoken and unspoken request.

Pastor Jeff Carroll’s Text Joshua 4: 1-9 “Memorial”.

Without Faith It is impossible to please God. The Israelites were coming up on the river of Jordan with it’s over flowing banks. “That the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam the city that is beside Zaretan, so the waters that went down into the Sea of Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed and were cut off ; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord; stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.” God had one man from each of the twelve tribes of Judah to remove stones from the bottom of the Jordan River to be laid out as a memorial for the children of Israel forever.

Unthankfulness comes with a short memory. Our Nation is in the state it is in because it has become unthankful. We need to be on our knees thanking God for his blessings of our military, that give us the Freedom we are accustomed to in this country. Children were born to the Israelites that had no clue about the plagues God had placed on Egypt so they could be set free. Our children of today need to be reminded of where they come from, such as the Great Depression. God wants to remind each of us where we come from, our roots. We should want to know where we came from, not too proud, too special, thinking we are better than others.

Our Nation and its leaders need to remember where they came from, from God. We were a God fearing nation, with God guiding our leaders in the way of the Lord, when they listened to the clergy’s direction from God. Our Nation needs to get back to serving God. Our Nation needs to understand that anything morally wrong can never be Legally Right. The churches were what God put here to give guidance, to serve God and be blessed. If you have a conscience, you cannot lie, nor do evil in the sight of God created us in his image to be like Christ, a leadership example for others. Somebody is looking to you for leadership. We have the responsibility to God to educate ourselves, to be able to share the word of God. We need to be spiritually fit to win others to Christ.

We need to be reminded that we need to be sharing the Gospel with others. God is all powerful, we are like Rahab the harlot in the who helped two men whom Joshua sent to check out the land of Jericho, by hiding them, and helping them escape authorities, because she knew and believed in that God was God in heaven and on earth. In return, all she asked was for them to return the kindness, and spare her and her family on the day of they were to take over Jericho. When the men started to leave they told Rahab to place the red cord she used to lower them to safety on her window as a reminder to them that her and her household were protected. The red rope represented the blood of Christ Jesus.” The same blood, that saves a sinner, reminds us that we are protected from the judgment of God. We in America wake up with a false sense of security, because there is no where you hide in this world to escape the judgment. Our confidence and faith should be in God our only Hope of survival to everlasting life.

Mt. Springs

Sunday morning, Mt. Springs began their services with the Pledge of Allegiance. Bro. Ronnie Moates brought a devotion from Psalm 118:7-8. We can really only put our trust in Jesus!

After Sunday school, Connie Gray gave a special tribute to all soldiers who gave their all for our freedom. Also, a special tribute of taps was played by Robert Richards, who will be a 12th grader at Chilton County High School next year.

Bro. O’Neal Cleckler brought the message and he titled it, “The Importance of Memorial.” He preached from Joshua 4:1-9. For those who came after the crossing of Jordan, God told Joshua how to set up memorials so that this event wouldn’t be forgotten. They went across the river of Jordan DRY. There was no mud! God took them to a land that He promised. It flowed with milk and honey. God told them the land was theirs.

We shouldn’t forget what God has done for us or what He has given us. When the water and the people obeyed God, everything worked out as He had planned. It took the people obeying God for His plan to work out. Each person has to take up a stone. These stones were stacked as a reminder and memorial of what God had done for His people.

When we partake of the Lords supper, it is a reminder (memorial) of what God has done for us.

The first thing on our list each morning should be to read and study God’s word. God’s Word is a memorial.

What kind of memorial will your life leave for those you leave behind? We need to lay down a memorial for those coming after us.