Imagination is a powerful force in all of our lives. The first step towards success is the ability to imagine that success. Professional athletes will use their imagination to see themselves doing the things that will help them win the game later. The same is true for stepping into God’s mission. This Sunday I am going to preach about finding ways to live out the message of I Corinthians 13. I plan to present some specific ways we can show love to our community. I hope you will use your imagination to find ways to improve everything I suggest. When we try to do things that will help our community and bring glory to God, we are often ignorant of the best ways to do that. Imagination is what helps us improve our ability to serve and bring even more glory to God. The point is to not be critical in a way that shuts down action. Instead, be critical in a way that takes the actions we have and improves them. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close
Sermon: “Living I Corinthians 13”
A couple that we know in Canada died last week from the virus. They died within a few days of each other. It was very sad. Yesterday, I watched the funeral online with my Mom. Several people spoke and mentioned their love for each other, love for horses, and devotion to God. I didn’t hear anyone mention COVID 19. The virus may have stolen their parents/grandparents, but it would not continue to be the focus of this family. I am reminded of Hebrews 12. Right after the chapter about all the people of faith, we are told this:
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
This is good advice for our day. There are things that grab so much of our attention but our real focus must be on Jesus. This doesn’t mean that we ignore reality – it means we allow Jesus to shape our reality.
Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close
Preaching today is Brent Starkey.
Rob Griffin will teach the adult class this morning.
I am very excited to announce that we are in the early stages of bringing AWANA to our children. AWANA is a program based on scripture memory that is highly relational between adults and children. A lot of the specifics are still somewhat tentative but let me share what we are thinking right now. Our plan is for it to run on Sunday afternoons from 4:00 – 5:30. We will be having it from ages 3 – 12. This will be in place of our Wednesday night classes for kids. On Sunday mornings we will have our traditional bible classes. Tausha Grim, Kathy Childress, and I have formed a leadership team to put it together and run it. Each night will have a time of activity or games, a large group time for a Bible lesson and singing, a snack, and small group time where one adult groups with two or three kids. We have set October 3 as our start date. The best part of the program is the small group time. That is where the kids get with their adult and talk about the lesson and recite their memory work. We will need lots of help with that part. Please consider volunteering for this exciting new adventure. We will keep you informed as we approach October. We are praying that this will be a real aid in our work to raise up our children to be disciples of Christ.
Sermon: “Life of Faith”
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Praise The Lord
Praise the Lord for this glorious day,
It is beautiful in every way.
Praise Him for the skies above,
For all His reflections of purest love.
Praise the Lord for the rivers and seas,
For the buzzing of the bees,
As they make delicious honey,
More precious than a pot of money!
Praise the Lord for the animals and birds,
For cheery faces and life giving words.
Praise the Lord for family and friends,
For the spirit’s life that never ends.
Praise the Lord for you and me,
For the ability to hear and see.
Praise Him for our precious health,
More important than material wealth.
Praise Him for all creation,
For helping us to go beyond limitation.
Ro reach out to the unknown world,
Hold us as the future is gently unfurled.
Praise the Lord for His unending love,
For all the support from Heaven above.
And as we go out on our way,
Let’s praise the Lord for each new day!
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June 13, 2021
How nice it is to have elders that can fill in for me when I am away. Glenn and Jim taught my class and Brent and Rob preached. I have listened to both sermons and they both did a great job. I was especially pleased that Rob could tackle a tough subject like he did and do it with grace and balance. That is not easy. My thanks to each of our elders.
My trip to Texas was very worthwhile. At my meetings with Mission Alive, I was able to be with a group of people that are both challenging and encouraging. The preacher at the University Church of Christ at Pepperdine was there and I enjoyed talking with him and asking him all sorts of questions. Fellowship is a beautiful thing.
I was also able to visit with family that I hadn’t seen for a few years. We had many heavy discussions and were able to renew our love for each other. Family is a beautiful thing.
Now, it is good to be home. Laura picked me up in Richmond on Monday and we have had a normal week, which is just what we wanted. I pray each one of you is doing well and enjoying the blessings of God.
Allen L. Close
Sermon: “The Inner Person”
I Timothy 6:6-10
For those that have been fully vaccinated against COVID, the wearing of masks or face coverings is now optional.
If you have not had the COVID vaccination, we respectfully ask that you continue to wear a mask or face covering.
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From the van ride down to the late night devos, camp has always had a special place in my heart for the bonds and memories it fosters. Young and old, a retreat away does the soul good. New and old songs make up the worship. Outdoor games, times in the pool, crafts, and canteen fill up the afternoons. Talks and classes add to the spiritual atmosphere.
Title: Never Give Up
By: Alfred Toole
God calls us to love Him with an undying love. We must go the distance. Christianity isn’t an almost sort of thing. You either make to heaven or you don’t. Almost to heaven is to fail. Press on beloved, our God will see you through the tough times. He loves you and hasn’t forsaken you. In fact, our God calls us to be strong and courageous because He is with us. See Deuteronomy 31.6
. He loves us that much. I am sure that those watching the Colts last weekend thought 38-10 in the third spelled sure defeat. Many fans forsook their tv sets as the team endured an awful onslaught on the field. But Andrew Luck refused to quit. He refused to lose. He pumped his team up and told them to keep fighting. They snatched victory from defeat. As a believer, may it be said of you that you love God with an undying love. May your love for God never die.