February 16, 2020 Bulletin

Together

I had lunch this week with the new preacher at Rugby Ave. Church in Charlottesville. It turns out we know each other from the time Laura and I went back to Abilene for a year of school. It’s a small world. Next Sunday we are having an evening of singing and Tim tells me that they are planning to bring a group. I was very pleased to hear this. God loves it when his children get along just like you and I love it when our children get along. I love to sit and watch my children have a serious discussion about something or to sit and watch them make each other laugh uncontrollably. It has always amazed me how our two fairly quiet daughters can get together and suddenly be so noisy. I guess quiet plus quiet equals raucous.

This Sunday night I am going to try something new. We are going to do a spiritual exercise called listening to God through scripture. I plan to use Luke 10:1-12 for this exercise. We will all listen to this passage as it is read and then we will spend time reflecting on what we heard before we take turns sharing what we heard. I am working on ways that even our youngest kids can be involved. I want even our young kids to listen to what God is saying through scripture and then relate to that. I think it will work. Bring your kids and see.

Have a great weekend!

Allen L. Close

This weeks sermon: “Abimelek”

Judges 9

February 9, 2020 Bulletin

God’s Delight

Our God delights in many things
Which we as men may give.
He’s pleased with us who worship Him
In all the ways we live.

The faith that puts our hope in Him,
The prayers of the upright,
Our honest weights and blameless ways
Are pleasing in His sight.

Our love proved in obedience,
Our lips that sing His praise.
Our words and thoughts in purity,
The reverence of our ways.

A heart that’s broken and contrite,
The truthful words we speak,
The sacrifice we make in love,
The time with Him we seek.

Oh how we long to honor Him
And strive with all our might,
To fill our lives with qualities
Which bring our God delight.

-D.J Lee

This Week’s sermon: “Gideon”
Judges 6-8

February 2, 2020

Joyful Repentance
The Christian life is in many ways a life of repentance. On the day of Pentecost, Peter told the crowd to repent and be baptized. Repentance begins before our baptism but it does not stop there. As we walk through life we are confronted with parts of ourselves that are radically different than Jesus. We also begin to see sins that just won’t seem to go away. God’s request for us to repent is very much connected to his grace. God isn’t so much demanding repentance as he is offering a way out of a lifestyle that is killing us. John Chryssavgis writes about this in his book Soul Mending. He writes, “We have become so accustomed to thinking of repentance as an unpleasant, though necessary and obligatory rejection of the sin we ‘enjoy,’ that we have tended to lose sight of repentance as a fundamentally joyous, restorative return to life in its fullness.” I don’t think we normally think of repentance and joy in the same sentence.
The next time you are called to repent maybe you can have a new viewpoint and see it as a doorway to freedom. God is calling you back to life and away from that which is robbing you of life.
Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close


This Week’s sermon: “Deborah to the Rescue”
Judges 4&5

January 26, 2020 bulletin

Agape Groups
I would like to extend our time of meeting at the building on Sunday nights through the month of February. On February 2 we will not meet at the building and I would encourage people to get together that night to watch the Super Bowl or not watch it and just get together for fun. One of the reasons I want to do another month at the building is so that we can have a night of singing where we invite other Churches from the area. The nights of February 9, 16, and 23 we will meet at 5:00 instead of 6:00.
It is my intention for agape groups to begin meeting on March 1. I will be looking for both hosts and leaders for our groups. I really enjoy our groups. I find them to be a great way to get to know people and I always find them encouraging and helpful. If you haven’t been involved I would encourage you to give them a try. I will begin posting your different options in the coming weeks.
I want to say thank you to Alfred for preaching for me while I was in Guatemala and to Tim Feazell for teaching my class. It is really nice to have such capable people to fill in for me when I am gone.
Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close


This Week’s sermon: “The Cycle of Unfaithfulness”
Judges 3

January 19, 2020 Bulletin

Guatemala

As I write this I am preparing to fly to Guatemala in the morning with Jerry Hatter. We leave at 5:45 – too early. Several people have asked me questions about the trip and it seems like my answer to everything is “I don’t know.” I am pretty sure that my job will be to be a chaplain for the patients. I think I can handle that. I just wish I spoke Spanish so that I didn’t need a translator. I am hoping that my love for them will come through regardless the language. I will be dealing with people just as big as me in the eyes of God and certainly just as important. I look forward to trying my best to communicate with each one and listen to their stories. I have had surgery and know that the moments before can be very anxious times. I hope to help relieve that.

This will be a new experience for me. I have been to Guyana a lot but not to Central America. Ashley has been to Honduras and Brianna spent three weeks in Nicaragua so if they can handle it then so can I. I look forward to bringing home some good coffee. Prayers for Jerry and I and the entire team will be most appreciated.

Have a great week.

Allen L. Close

Today’s sermon by Alfred Toole:

“Raise a Hallelujah in the Presence of my Enemies”

January 5, 2020 Bulletin

In the event the Elders cancel church services due to weather please check your email first. In time it should be posted on Radio 550am, WHSV TV 3 in Harrisonburg, and NBC29 TV in Charlottesville

SUNDAY NIGHT FUN   


This Sunday night we will be meeting to do my favorite Sunday night activity – An intergenerational activity.  I am moving the time up to 5:00 because I need to drive to South Carolina afterwards.  The activity is going to involve three things of which you can choose one.  The first choice is to learn a song with Elizabeth Barron.  The song is No Longer Slaves.  You can look it up “No Longer Slaves Zoe group” to familiarize yourself with the version that we will learn.  The second choice will be to do art with Laura.  I don’t know exactly what you will be doing but I know she will help the group produce a work of art that will make us proud.  The final choice will be wrestling with Chris Hewitt.  In this class you will be acting out Genesis 32:22-32.  If you plan to do the art or wrestling you should probably come dressed appropriately.  It is my intention for this to be suitable for all ages.  Certainly some things will be more suited to one or the other but we will do the best we can.  See you Sunday at 5:00.

     I am beginning a new series on the book of Judges this Sunday.  I am calling it the Gospel According to Judges.  You might consider watching a video at thebibleproject.com on the book of Judges.  It is a very helpful overview of the book that will set you up for the series.

Have a great day.

Allen L. Close




C a l e n d a r    of    E v e n t s

Good Timers Breakfast – Jan. 10

Accordius Birthday Party – Jan 28

Friend Day – Mar. 29

Carolina Bible Camp

CBC logoPrecious Memories 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.

Does Your Faith Amaze Jesus?

Man hanging from a branch. Article by Michael Jones Waynesboro church of Christ

Title: Do you amaze Jesus?

By: Michael Jones

A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued: “Is anyone up there?” “I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?” “Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer.” “That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch.” A moment of pause, then: “Is anyone else up there?” (Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, p. 3.)   Has your faith ever been tested? Did you pass? There is something about faith. Some celebrate it while others ridicule it, but no matter what people think or say about it, there is something powerful about faith. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV) To many in the world, faith in God is seen as childish, but to those who have a faith in God and His Son, faith is absolutely beautiful. If you have a strong faith in God, then you have a treasure. Friend, there is something about faith. How is your faith? Hebrews 11:6 says: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (NIV)   There are those in this world who may think I’m a fool for having faith, but without it, I cannot possibly please God. Faith is vital. How is your faith? Is it growing? These are important questions to consider, because when life has you hanging by a branch, doubts can begin to creep in. It is in these times that our faith can be shaken, and if we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves taking our eyes off of Jesus and calling out, “Is anyone else up there?”   If you read the first four books of the New Testament, you will quickly find that Jesus was thrilled when he encountered a person of faith. You will also notice that he rewarded faith (see Matthew 9:20-22, 27-30; Matthew 15:21-28). However, when Jesus encountered a lack of faith, it frustrated him greatly (see Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 16:9-14). I believe we see these reactions from Jesus because he knew the potential of faith in the life of a believer. He knew the doors that could be opened through faith, but he also knew that a lack of faith would slam those doors shut.

With that in mind, I have a question for you: “Do you amaze Jesus?”

Look at what we find in Matthew 8:5-10: “When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” (NIV)   Jesus was amazed at this man’s faith, and you too can amaze Jesus? However, there is a flip side to that coin. In Mark 6:1-6, we find Jesus entering his hometown and teaching in the synagogue. The people were amazed at his teaching, but there was a problem; they had known him since childhood, and so they found it easy to doubt him. As you continue to read this passage in Mark, you will find that their lack of faith limited the miracles Jesus was able to do among them. Verse 6 reads: “He was amazed at their lack of faith.”

I ask again; “Do you amaze Jesus?” Is Jesus amazed when he sees your faith in him, or is it your lack of faith that amazes him?

Sometimes life will have you hanging by a branch. We’ve all been there. When these times come, fix your eyes on Jesus and trust him with all of your heart, because there is something powerful about faith. Please don’t let the challenges of life convince you to look for other sources of hope and comfort, because friend, you will quickly find that there is no other source worth trusting in. May we all have a faith that amazes Jesus!

Undying Love

Colts comeback.  Alfred at Waynesboro church of Christ wants you to never give up.

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.

Followers of the Christ