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A message from Pastor Gene Whitehouse of Peachtree Baptist Church:
“I quoted a scripture in my sermon Sunday, ‘Expect Jesus to Come!’ from John’s gospel: ‘By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another’ (John 13:35). We are studying the book of Acts and as the early church was created and began to grow, its signature and distinguishing mark on the world was love. The strange thing, however, is that the word love is not mentioned once in the entire book of Acts, but it was implied and obvious as the text unfolds.
“Today, we are facing many trials, disappointments and fears. We don’t have a clue where or when the next ‘spike’ will occur in the virus. Our lives have been turned upside down. It’s interesting that the enemies of the gospel in the early church said that ‘…these men have turned the world upside down with their teaching’ and that the high priest in Jerusalem stated that ‘…you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching.’ Oh, if only we would take this message from Acts to heart and once again ‘turn the world upside down’ for Christ.
“Max Lucado has written a book of daily devotions entitled, ‘Grace for the Moment.’ The reading for June 14 was ‘The Cure for Disappointment.’
“‘I am the Lord, the God of every person on earth. Nothing is impossible for me’ — Jeremiah 32:27.
“We need to hear that God is still in control. We need to hear that it’s not over until he says so. We need to hear that life’s mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out. They are simply a reason to sit tight.
“Corrie ten Boom used to say, ‘When the train goes through a tunnel and the world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through.’
“The way to deal with disappointments, fears and trials? The cure for disappointments? Go back and read the story of God. Read it again and again. Be reminded that you aren’t the first person to weep. And you aren’t the first person to be helped.
“Read the story and remember, the story is yours!
“I go back once again to my daily prayer scripture, verse 14 from 2 Chronicles 7: ‘If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.’
“Until we as a nation and world adopt this mindset and spiritual guidepost, we will continue to ‘try’ and handle it all by ourselves. Folks, God is the key!”
The sanctuary flower arrangement Sunday was presented to glorify God and in honor of all our front-line heroes helping with the coronavirus all over the world.
Jerry Hobgood’s devotional this week is “Where’s Your Sword?” by Anne Graham Lotz, from “Fixing My Eyes On Jesus.”
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power ... Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” — Ephesians 6:10, 17.
“The Bible says the Word of God ‘is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword’ (Hebrews 4:12). So where’s your sword?
“Is it on your mind? In your heart? On your lips? Is it polished from daily reading and study, sharpened and ready to battle our enemy Satan? Have you applied and obeyed its truths in your life? Or is it rusty from lack of use?
“If Satan can get us to put down the Word of God — through disregard or disobedience, doubt or denial — he has us right where he wants us, in a very vulnerable position. One in which we will be easily defeated.
“Revelation 19:15 says that at the end of human history, Jesus will overcome His enemies once and for all with the sharp sword that comes from His mouth. Pick your sword!”
During this time, we have to realize everyone is suffering from the coronavirus and with unrest in this great United States in one way or another. Some of us more than others. This is the time we all have to pull together to get through these difficult times. We all need to help and serve one another as Christ has served us. Pray for our people and country.
Lawrence Edwards and I led the Bible study “Living With Hope in a Broken World.” This is the second in a six-session lesson, “The Expression of Our Hope.” This week’s theme is “Only hope in Christ changes how we view the world and live in it,” a meditation on 1 Peter 1: 13-25.
“The saying ‘He who dies with the most toys wins’ aptly describes how many people live in today’s culture. Whether it’s a bigger house, a better job or getting our children into a certain school, people chase after the things of the world.
“Fraud, cheating, scandal. Millions of dollars paid to college administrators. Bribery, scandal uncovered. High-profile people prosecuted by the Justice Department.
“At the bottom of it all was misplaced hope — misplaced in all the wrong things.All those things can come crumbling down. ... Hope in such things is never sure; these things can disappear overnight.
“Faith and hope in Christ transforms our perspective. It places Christ at the center of our lives, so that life is no longer about what we gain, but about how we love and serve God and others.
“In these verses, we see the apostle Peter remind believers of the life of hope in Christ; one filled with the promise of a glorious eternity.”
Special music: Jane May preformed a piano solo. Marta Whitehouse and Jerry Hobgood sang a duet, “In Times Like These.”
Verse of the week: Romans: 15:2.
• Catherine Gupton’s daughter, Robin Williams, and Steve Lucovsky were joined in marriage June 6 at Englewood Baptist Church. Robin was given in marriage by her sons Gage and Brodie. The bride and groom’s parents stood as witnesses. The bride carried a bouquet of two dozen red roses. She worn a street-length white dress. The Englewood pastor officiated and the associate pastor played the music.
• Faith Christian Ministry will reopen this week.
• Bob Bunn and I attended our nephew Tony Whitfield’s 50th birthday on Saturday at the Buffalo Farm in Roxboro.
• Ray Eason spent a few days at the coast with friends golfing and eating.
• Janice Sykes has returned from her trip visiting her son, Michael, and his family. She also when to West Virginia to visit with her daughter, Janet. She was away for about three weeks.
• Susan and Lawrence Edwards just returned from a trip to South Carolina to visit their son and his family.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
• Blessings to all those sick and in need. Please keep them all in your prayers.
• Pray for Norman Whitley, Maxine Whitley, Jean Bunn, Linwood May, Ronnie Matthews, James Sheppard, Jake Robertson, Linda Beasley and Rudy Brantley.
• Aubrey Farmer is in WakeMed Hospital recovering from heart bypass surgery.
• Mac Bennett needs prayers.
• Curtis and Ginny Beddingfield’s daughter needs special prayers.
• Please keep all front-line heroes in your prayers.
• Please don’t forget the people in the nursing homes in your area. So many are suffering with COVID-19.
• Pray for the people of this country and the world that we can come together in peace and love to solve our problems.
• Birthday blessings to Chase Gupton (June 19), Doug Hayes and Destiny King (June 23), Abigail Edwards (June 24), Bart Wood (June 25), Faye Vick (June 27), Cecil Wilson (June 28) and Glen Wood (June 29).
If you have news, please call or email me. I can’t print it if I don’t know. I do prefer an email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. My phone number is 252-478-2846. You may leave a message.
Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.