Church news for Thursday, March 17, 2011

Christ Independent Methodist Church
On this beautiful Sabbath Day, our service began with the congregation singing “O Worship the King” followed by “Lead Me to Calvary.”
Dr. Mac Stinson’s sermon was entitled “Temptation” and divided into three separate gardens of life: the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Garden of Holiness. Scripture from his sermon began with Genesis 3:1-7.
These verses begin with the account of the serpent’s deception of Eve followed by man’s shameful fall from grace. The story began thus:
“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman…‘And ye shall not surely die: for God does know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’”
We note here that Adam was not present when the serpent deceived Eve about her right to eat the fruit from a particular tree in the garden. Like a good wife, she shared her apple with her husband.
This is not our only example of a person doing the wrong thing through deception by one they trusted, but it does give Adam some leeway since he wasn’t present when Eve was warned not to eat the fruit from that particular tree. Through one single man sin came into the world, and through one man forgiveness and redemption came also.
Continue to pray for Melissa Moore, Jack McLemore, Everette Bagby, Mae Hunnicutt, Carl Glass, our pastor Dr. Mac Stinson and Judy Atkinson.
We offer thanks for church family members who have returned safely from their travels. We offer prayers for those who will be traveling for the next two weeks.
Pray fervently for people affected by natural disasters and political upheavals around the world. Lend guidance to world leaders and those in authority elsewhere who are responsible for making decisions that affect us all. Give them wisdom to make the right decisions.
We welcome the visitors to our church this week and invite them to return.
We ask traveling grace for all our school children and their family members who are taking advantage of this holiday to visit neighboring states. Give them a joyful holiday and a safe trip home.
Remember that this Sunday began the first Sunday of Lent. The traditional observance of this Christian holiday is the practice of giving up something of importance to yourself.
Have a blessed week.

Mt. Carmel Baptist Church No. 1
We praise God for the wonderful day he gave us and our visitors this Sunday. Bro. Derrell brought a great message, “The Great If,” taken from Colossians 3:1. Take time to read Colossians 3 and pray for God to guide you this week.
Thank you Jesus for the sweet, sweet, sweet Spirit that was felt in our services as we began with a showing of a short film of the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. Our little children collected the offering as the musicians played “Do Lord.”
Special music for the morning was presented by the children’s choir, followed by a duet by Charity Lockhart and Holly Smith.
Sunday night Discipleship Training was a very good lesson on letting your light shine from Matthew 5:13-16. Our purpose is to bear witness and to be the light of the world.
Special music was a very uplifting little tune, “Granny’s Church Rock” by the children’s choir and a very strange unknown guest known as “Granny.” Come again, Granny!
“Ready for Heaven But Needed on Earth” was the title of our message for Sunday night (Philippians 1:23-26). Paul was writing to the Christian Church: “I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ.” Have you had this desire to depart? The Bible teaches, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more needful for you; let your light shine.
The softball team is off to a good start. There will be a car wash on Saturday, March 19 at Advance Auto Parts in Clanton. This is to help raise money for the team’s expenses. Bring your vehicle to be washed.
We are looking forward to our service boy coming home for a few days, Derek Griffin. Thanks for the prayers you have prayed for Derek and all the military persons.
Remember choir practice on Sunday at 4 p.m. The Easter music and young people drama is being practice, so come join with us.
Come and worship with us and receive God’s message and blessing from heaven. Have a blessed week and tell someone about Jesus.

Bethsalem Baptist Church
Our morning service began with ministry opportunities and a welcome to the congregation and visitors.
The fellowship chorus was “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know,” followed by the call to worship, “Come Now is the Time to Worship” and the children’s message on missions by the pastor. The Celebration Choir then sang “Christ Alive, Christ Triumphant” for special music.
The message by Bro. Brad Eubank, “Our Infinite Inheritance,” came from Ephesians 2:1-10. The evening message was entitled, “The Easter Experience” and talked about why the people rejected Jesus. The evening message came from Matthew 27:22-23.
Wednesday night is family supper at 5 p.m., followed by prayer meeting, choir practice for all choirs, and children and youth at 6:30 p.m.
Pray for Kayla Knight ,Charles Bryant, Jeanette Smitherman, Edward Moore, Zoie Roper, Hazel Green, Hazel Gothard, Hunter Moore, Edward Moore, Nat Jones, Jean Hucks, Iella Vance, Faye Legendreis, Kevin Ray, Pete Burnette, Bro. James Moore, Charles Cobb, Jimmie Smith, Durward Gray, Ella Grace Reece, Maci Hucks, Sherrian Mizzwl, Robin Horton, Tina Beard, Tony King, Ruben Kelley, Louise Kelley, Robert Holloway and Marvin Wyatt.
Pray for all families affected by cancer, those who have lost loved ones, residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, all servicemen and service women, and remember Japan.
Happy birthday to Cody Carroll, Harlie Hucks, Jenny Summerlin, Dylan Chavers, Oakley Yeargan, Jeff Mims, Phillip Barber, Allie Stange, Julia Chisom and Gavin Wilson.
Have a blessed week. Tell someone about Jesus. God is so good all the time. He is worthy of our praise.
Come worship with us at Bethsalem.

Walnut Creek United Methodist Church
After the beautiful prelude by Norma Popwell and Joan McGriff, we had our call to worship, “There’s Within My Heart a Melody” by the choir and a time of welcome and greeting along with the hymn, “To God be the Glory.”
In our invocation, Bro. Tony reminded us that we would be studying the Transformation this month, learning how to know Jesus Christ in a stronger and a mightier way.
Lisa Abbott was ordained and appointed minister of music. The prayer of concentration was by Bro. Jim Popwell.
During our time with children, Diane Handley talked about the coming of Easter.
Prayer time: Shirley and Sheila’s dad, William Heaps; Ruby Duke, and Lavada Attaway (she cannot keep liquids down and refuses solids; please continue your prayers).
The reading of scripture came from Matthew 4:1-4 along with the affirmation of faith led by Beth Hughes.
Special music was “Can He, Could He, Would He” by the choir featuring Duane Jones. They did a great job. The hymn of preparation was “How Great Thou Art.” We were especially blessed by a guest, Michelle Ray, and her special music, “It Is Well.”
The message was brought to us by Bro. Tony. We will be changed to love Jesus and learn to know him better.
Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will his — his good, pleasing, perfect will.”
Why are we rushing? Am I living my life for myself, my family or my friends? We should be truly trying to live our lives so that we are closer to our Lord God and Savior.
I pray that we will all be in worship somewhere next week. If you don’t have a regular church, you will be mighty welcome at Walnut Creek. Be our guest at the start of our Lenten service on Wednesday, March 16 at noon as we begin to prepare ourselves for Easter.

Bethany Baptist Church
Several of us rode up to the Mission Development meeting in Haleyville on Saturday. Bro. Allen Barton from Hamilton preached an inspiring message. He reminded us of the scripture in Matthew 9, that the “harvest truly is plenteous but the laborers are few.” He said “It is not winter yet; the harvest is still out there. We have to just work harder to get it” (1 Corinthians 15:58: “Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abound in the work of the Lord…that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Bro. Aubry’s message Sunday morning was taken from Romans 6, which he called, “How Dead Men Should Live.” The writer of Romans gives detailed instructions of how we should live our life in Christ after we have accepted the Lord. When we place our faith in the Lord for salvation, we become new creatures in Christ Jesus and we should no longer have a desire to sin. We are dead to sin. We are the temple of God, and the Holy Spirit lives in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). We all fail to live the godly lives we would like to live but we should die to self and allow God to do His work through us.
Prayer list: Lillian Burkhalter, Jean DeLoach, Ellen Gray, Ernestine Hatch, our military, Larry Miller, Billie Neeley, Jackie Neeley, Pvt. Josh Peppers, Jesse Wallace, Aubry and Shirley Wallace, revival in America, James Bixler and Linda Gray.
Happy birthday this month to Jeanette Jessop (14th), Junior DeLoach (25th) and Melissa Peppers (29th).
See you Sunday!

Jackson Chapel
Bro Dewayne Castleberry taught a good lesson entitled “Jesus Begins His Public Ministry.”  Bro Gary Fant got the morning worship service started off with “I Feel Like Traveling On” and “Heaven’s Jubilee.”
During prayer time people began to go to the altar to pray as Angel Bavar sang “Sweet Sweet Spirit” and the Holy Spirit was truly present.
Bro Dennis’ text came from 1 Peter 4:1-11 with a message entitled “Ability.”  If we as Christians are going to go on the battlefield for Jesus Christ, we’ve got to arm ourselves so we will be able to endure hardships.  Satan knows our weakness, and he wants us to mess up so he can eventually get us back into doing the things of the world. But we need to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ because he is there for us no matter what we go through in our lives.
We should also have respect for God because he gave us the greatest gift he could give us by sending his only Son Jesus Christ.  We should also be responsible Christians because God wants us to witness to this lost and dying world.  We should be dependable Christians because Jesus Christ gave his life for us, so we should love him enough to be at God’s house when the doors are open.  We expect God to be there for us, so why can’t we be at God’s house when it is church time?
The service ended with several coming to pray.
Bro Horace Wyatt got the evening service started off with “I’ll Be Satisfied” and “The Glory Land Way.”  Bro Dennis Smith blessed us with “That’s Just God Doing What He Does.”
Bro Dennis’ text came from 1 Kings 6:7 with a message entitled “Diamond in a Rough.”  We as Christians are a work in progress, and we’ve got to read our Bibles and pray daily because one day we will shine like a diamond when we get to heaven.  We also need to be willing to do God’s work because he is always willing to do for us.  God also knows just how much pressure we can take here on this earth before God takes us out of the fire and takes us to our heavenly home.
Please remember these as you pray this week: Geraldine Smith, Robert Holloway, the Billy Crumpton family, the Angel Harrison family, Marie Johnson, Juanita Wilkins, Glenn Riley, Alice Ferguson, Linda Varden, Kevin Bavar, Karli Chadwick, our lost loved ones, and our servicemen and women.
We are located at 4020 Yellowleaf Road in Clanton.  Our service times are as follows: Sunday School at 10, morning worship at 11, evening worship at 6, and Wednesday night prayer meeting and Bible study at 7.  We also have Kid’s Club on Wednesday nights at 7 for grades 1-6.

Rocky Mount United Methodist Church
Just like the calm after the storm, we have had a week that included almost 5 inches of rain followed by a weekend of beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures.  We did lose an hour of sleep but can regain it in the fall.
First, we praise the Lord for the many blessings he continuously bestows upon us, and we pray for the many needs around the world, particularly concerning the devastation in Japan.
Lent in the Christian tradition is the period of time from Ash Wednesday to Easter.  The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation, through prayer, repentance and self-denial, for the annual commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  According to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry where he endured temptation by Satan.  Thus, Lent is described as being 40 days long.
Lent sometimes gets summarized as what people are giving up.  Have you thought about why you are choosing to give up something?  Give some thought to focusing not on “me” but on others.  While you may have chosen to, say, give up eating lunch, consider taking that a few steps further.  Use that time that you would have been eating that lunch to read and study the word of God and open up your heart to listening to God’s message to you.  Consider taking that lunch money that you saved and donating it to a charity that feeds the hungry.
Lent could be considered a time of transformation.  Since Easter is a time of new life, see if you can bring new life into your Christian walk.  Not just, “What can I give up?” or “What can I do to help me?” but instead, “What can I do to honor God or my neighbor?”
We would like to say a big, “Thank You!” to Kathy Donaldson of Pennsylvania, who shared with us a beautiful anthem, “He’s Alive.” We always appreciate Kathy sharing with us whenever she is in Alabama.

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