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A message from Pastor Gene Whitehouse of Peachtree Baptist Church:
“On Sunday, we dedicated our very first worship service we have held as ‘the church in worship’ since March 15 to those who gave their all for their country. Everyone was reverently excited by seeing friends and church family face to face and being in the Lord’s house on the Sabbath. Our congregation gathered in our sanctuary, ‘l-o-v-i-n-g-l-y d-i-s-t-a-n-c-e-d’ and abiding by safety, separation and care in all aspects of service. It was truly a wonderful day and a sacred privilege to return to worship.
“Memorial Day was instituted to remember those who had given, as Lincoln beautifully said, ‘the last full measure of devotion’ to defend their nation. It was a day to remember what the honored dead had died to defend. A century and a half has passed since Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, effectively ending a national nightmare that filled more than 625,000 American graves with dead soldiers. Since then, other international nightmares have ravaged the world and put more than 650,000 additional Americans into war graves in Europe, North Africa, the Pacific Rim, Asia and the Middle East.
“The importance of Memorial Day is more for our future than it is for our past. It is crucial that we remember the nightmares and why they happened. We forget them at our own peril. The future of the United States depends in large amount on how well we collectively remember and cherish what liberty really is and the terror of tyranny.
“Christians, of all people, understand the crucial importance of remembering. Christians are ‘memorial people’ because the whole of our faith depends upon remembering. Those who persevere into the glorious future are those who remember the gracious past.
“So as we commemorate Memorial Day as Americans, let us do it with profound gratitude for the extraordinary common grace given to us when men and women laid their lives down for the sake of America’s survival. And let us remember the past evils that we may not repeat them in the future.
“And as Christians, let us make every day, as long as it is called today, a memorial day (Hebrews 3:13.). Let us ‘take care lest we forget the Lord’ (Deuteronomy 6:12).”
The sanctuary flower arrangement Sunday was presented to glorify God by Melba and Jerry Hobgood in memory of all military veterans who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
My devotional this week was “Victory Over Sin,” by Billy Graham, from “Hope For Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith.”
“In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.” — Romans 8:37.
“We sing ‘Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,’ but so often when Satan mounts an attack against us, we behave as if we were prisoners of war, or worse, conscientious objectors! But as Christians, we don’t have to live defeated lives. God wants us to live victorious lives — lives that are constantly conquering sin.
“There is only one way to have victory over sin. That is to walk so closely with Christ that sin no longer dominates your life. It becomes the exception rather than the rule.
“Why does a close walk with Christ make a difference? Simply this: the closer we are to Christ, the farther we are from Satan. The Bible says, ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you’ (James 4:7-8). Is the devil farther away from you today than he was a week ago? If not, why?”
Hope for today: “Because of Christ we are conquerors, and victory is ours. The blood of Jesus enables us to draw near to God and enjoy His protection, and we no longer have to fear the enemy.”
Lawrence Edwards and I, teachers of the Median Sunday school class, ask that you continue your Bible study in “Dealing With Messy Relationships.” This is the fifth installment in a six-session lesson, “Yield. Humbly place the needs of others before your own,” a commentary on Philippians 2:1-5, 13-15.
“I am saddened when I see reports of people pushing, shoving and even punching to be the first in line at a store sale and then there are people who don’t want to be first at anything.
“These examples share one thing, whether it’s to be the first in line or the last: selfishness. It’s about what I want ... or what I want to avoid. A desire for something is not necessarily wrong, but when I push to get it at others’ expense, I have placed myself first and damaged my relationships.
“Humility is a character trait some people equate with weakness; they wrongly associate humility with being a doormat, being passive, so pliable as to be unable or unwilling to take a stand for something. They are convinced to be humble only allows a strong dictatorial or domineering person to take advantage of them and treat them as objects.
“In these verses, we see Paul paints a far different — and better — picture of humility. Paul pointed to Jesus as the model of what it means to live with a submissive attitude. Hence, we may learn from Him how to yield our personal desires to address the needs of others.”
During this time, we have to realize everyone is suffering from the coronavirus in one way or another. Some more than others. This is the time we all have to pull together to get through. We all need to help and serve one another as Christ has served us.
Special music: Jane May preformed a piano solo. Jerry Hobgood sang “One Pair of Hands.”
Verse of the month: Romans 15:2.
• Melba and Jerry Hobgood spent the day with Melba’s sister and family.
• Lynn and David Griffin put American flags on all the military veterans’ graves at the Peachtree Baptist Church Cemetery for Memorial Day. They also hung an American flag banner in the church. Thanks, Lynn and David.
• Pastor Gene continues to make DVDs of his sermons for the members.
• 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.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
• To all those sick and in need. Please keep them all in your prayers.
• Norman Whitley, Maxine Whitley, Jean Bunn. Beth Baines, Linwood May, Aubrey Farmer, Ronnie Matthews and Rudy Brantley.
• James Sheppard will have surgery Wednesday.
• Amy Gupton’s father, Joe Weaver, is in the hospital.
• Curtis and Ginny Beddingfield’s daughter needs special prayers.
• Linda Beasley, Melba Hobgood’s sister-in-law, had a heart attack and is in Duke University Hospital awaiting surgery.
• Ann Browder’s sister and my dad are both in nursing homes. They have just learned these nursing homes now have coronavirus cases. We are asking for special prayers for our loved ones.
• Please keep all frontline 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.
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 email@example.com. My phone number is 252-478-2846. You may leave a message.
Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.