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A message from Pastor Gene Whitehouse of Peachtree Baptist Church:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” — Joshua 1:9.
“As Joshua stood and looked over at the Promised Land, trying to come up with the words and wisdom to guide not only the people, but also to prepare himself for the hostility and doubt he would be encountering, he received the above message from God.
“So often we hear the words, ‘Don’t be afraid’ or ‘Be strong and fearless,’ but sometimes, maybe more than we’d like to admit, those expressions of strength are quite elusive. As a leader, it is important we understand the risks and importance of our role. Each one of us is a leader if we have made the decision to follow Christ. The stakes can be high for those we lead and for ourselves.
“You ask, ‘How do we prepare for this endeavor?’ Our strong and able God led Joshua and us into an arsenal stronger than our enemies and sturdy enough to prepare us for the battles we will face. This strength comes from learning to read His Word well — really well.
“Joshua’s predecessor, Moses, told the Israelites to ‘observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God for our good always and for our survival...’ (Deuteronomy 6:24). In verse 7, he emphasizes that ‘You shall teach them…’ It is so important that we prepare our children in the same way. When we really read and study our Bible, we need to: (1) read with our mind, (2) read with our heart, (3) read with our hands, (4) read with our mouth; and above all else, read with our God!
“As we face uncertainty, fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness and all the other obstacles we encounter, know that this God is always with you. The prophet Isaiah wrote to us, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you’ (Isaiah 43:1-2).”
The sanctuary flower arrangement Sunday was presented to glorify God by Julie and Ricky Brantley in memory of Ricky’s father, James “Bud” Brantley.
Jerry Hobgood’s devotional is “God’s Love,” by Anne Graham Lotz, from “Fixing My Eyes On Jesus.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another” — John 13:35.
“Did you know you’re God’s special loved one? Do you know why? When you’re saturated in Jesus and God looks at you, He sees His own Son and envelops you in His love for Jesus’ sake.
“As you and I develop and grow in this love relationship with God, abiding with Him through meaningful prayer and Bible reading, getting to know Him on a deeper level as we live out what we say we believe, He fills us with Himself. We know this because the Bible tells us, ‘God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him’ (1 John 4:16).
“As you and I are filled with God, we will be filled with His love — not only for Him, but for others. The key to loving others is to develop your relationship with God. Ask Him to fill your life until you overflow with His love — even for those you don’t like!”
Hope for today: “Teach me to love as You love, Lord. Give me the boldness to bring Your light into dark places and the compassion to carry Your beauty to broken people. May my life be evidence of Your irresistible love.”
During this time, we have to realize everyone is suffering from the coronavirus and with unrest in these great United States in one way or another. 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 third in a six-session Lesson, “The Testimony of Our Hope.” This week’s lesson is “Our hope in Christ points others to Him,” a meditation on 1 Peter 2:4-15.
“‘If God loved me, He would not have treated me this way.’
“Charlotte Elliott often said this because poor health had rendered her disabled. When Dr. Cesar Malan, a Swiss minister, visited her family home in 1492, he spoke with Charlotte about her condition. The minister’s genuine concern for her, coupled with his own confident faith, let to a breakthrough. He told her the very cure for her misery was the very faith she despised. He said, ‘Give yourself to God just as you are now, with your fightings and fears, hates and loves, pride and shame.’
“Charlotte turned to God and experienced new life in Christ that day. As she grew in her walk with the Lord, she studied His word and began to write hymns. The most famous of which details that pivotal day in her life: ‘Just as I am without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.’
“In these verses, we see the apostle Peter knew followers of Christ were citizens of two kingdoms: the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of heaven.”
Jane May preformed a piano solo. The special music today was “You Raise Me Up,” by BYU Vocal Point, a men’s a capella group.
Verse of the week: Romans: 15:2.
• Welcome Steele Thomas McGrady, born to Kiley and Andrew on June 14. Congratulations, Grandma and Poppy, Susan and Lawrence Edwards.
• Don’t forget, just because we are not able to do our celebrations or normal habits now because of the virus, we do not have to cancel these events. Just postpone them. Have a bigger and better event later. Look forward to that.
• Due to the coronavirus outbreak, please check with all area churches and community groups to see if events are proceeding as scheduled.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
• To all those sick and in need. Please keep them all in your prayers.
• Norman Whitley, Maxine Whitley, Jean Bunn, Linwood May, Ronnie Matthews, James Sheppard, Jake Robertson, Linda Beasley and Rudy Brantley.
• James Sheppard will have a test done at the hospital.
• Aubrey Farmer is home recovering from heart bypass surgery.
• Mac Bennett needs prayers.
• Curtis and Ginny Beddingfield’s daughter needs special prayers.
• Lynn Griffin’s mother is having a test.
• Ronny Russell, Julie Brantley’s father, needs 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 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.