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Pandemic reminds Christians of dependence on God

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The Peachtree Baptist Church congregation, family and friends met to worship our Lord on Sunday. We all prayed for all hurricane victims, all fire victims and all Sept. 11 victims, and we prayed for the people of this country.

Pastor Gene Whitehouse begin by remembering the Sept. 11 attacks and victims.

“Our prayers are with the family and friends of those lost and those who are still suffering. Our prayers are with the people of the United States.”

PASTOR’S MESSAGE

A message from Pastor Gene Whitehouse of Peachtree Baptist Church:

“Whenever we feel overwhelmed by the chaos and difficulty of life, we can turn to God in prayer for peace and serenity. In this time of uncertainty, fear, seclusion and separation from what we term ‘normal,’ our human solution is to ‘handle it ourselves.’ But that is not what our Bible and the Lord tell us. Turning to the Lord should be our first response, not our last resort.”

In Philippians 4:6, the Bible tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

“How we can pray for peace is simple. First, honestly declare your belief and trust in God as your Lord and Savior. Then make your request of peace known to God in whatever personal sense you need.

“When terrible things are happening to us or to people around us, we can wonder: Is God really good? Can God really be trusted? Scripture tells us to suspend judgment as to whether something will prove to be good or bad in the end.

“COVID-19 is a bad thing, but there are good gifts that God can bring even from this. As I think about my own life, and maybe this is true for you, through COVID-19, I have been reminded that I do not control my life. COVID-19 has shown me that I am utterly and completely dependent on the living God. If I think I am in control of things, that is merely a pleasant illusion.

“Jesus Christ, God’s Son, knew that he was utterly, completely and totally dependent on his Father. So, to the extent that you and I realize our dependence on God in these days, we are being conformed a little bit more into the image of his son Jesus.”

The sanctuary flower arrangement Sunday was lovingly arranged and given in honor of the Lord by Linda and Kenneth Edwards.

DEVOTIONAL

Jerry’s devotional this week is “God’s Word Renews Us,” by Anne Graham Lotz, from “Fixing My Eyes On Jesus.”

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” — John 4:23.

“God wants us to worship Him in truth. But what does that mean? Since Jesus said He is the truth, it means there’s no way to God, no way at all, without coming through Jesus. And God’s Word is the truth. There’s no way we can worship God acceptably if we’re not reading our Bibles.

“John 4:24 says, ‘His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.’ God also wants us to worship Him in spirit, which means to worship Him honestly, without hypocrisy, standing open and transparent before Him.

“What needs correcting in your worship? Is your worship attitude more about ‘have to’ than ‘want to’? Is it more about your church’s rituals than your personal relationship with God through Jesus? If you want to truly worship God, you must — it’s not an option — start worshiping Him as He says: In spirit and in truth.”

BIBLE STUDY

Lawrence Edwards and I are leading this month’s Bible study, “After God’s Own Heart: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments.” This is the second lesson in a series of six, “Honor God: Our Relationship With God is Seen in How We Honor Him,” with scripture from Exodus 20:7-11 and Psalm 145:1-7.

“We know all about honor and worship because we do it all the time. Football fans show both honor and worship through their conduct and commitment. A football game involves roughly only 17 minutes of actual action. When you remove huddles, getting back to the line of scrimmage and other aspects of the game, you’re left with 17 minutes of actual plays being run.

“Yet football fans spend up to three hours watching a game that provides only 17 minutes of action. If you go to the game, you need to add drive time, parking, walking to the stadium and then sitting in traffic when the game is over. But have you ever heard a fan complain the game went too long? No, because when we love and honor something, we commit our time to it.

“Translate that willingness and enthusiasm over to our spiritual lives and matters like church attendance, personal Bible study or prayer. Too many of us are satisfied with a quick five-minute devotion and a short prayer. The Ten Commandments call us to honor God, but are we really doing that?

“In these verses, we find the Lord spoke to the Israelites as they traveled through the wilderness to Mount Sinai where God told them of the covenant He was making with them and the commandments they were to follow as His covenant people.”

Special music: Jane May preformed a piano solo. Pastor Whitehouse played a video for The Hoppers’ song “I’ll Take You Home.”

Verse of the week: Nehemiah 9:5b.

Sermon notes: Pastor Whitehouse delivered his message, “The Church That Ministers With Godly Power,” with scripture from Acts- 2: 40-46.

COMMUNITY NEWS

• I attended a drive-thru wedding shower hosted by Georgette Burnette for Skyler Guin and Daniel Young on Saturday. Great idea. All social distancing was observed.

• Susan and Lawrence Edwards are back from their mini-vacation at the beach.

PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS

• To all those sick and in need. Please keep them all in your prayers.

• Norman Whitley, Maxine Whitley, Barbara Privette, Jean Bunn, Linwood May, Ronnie Matthews, Mac Bennett, Rudy and Gail Brantley, Jake Robertson, Mother Rose and Jerry Little.

• Beverly Wilson is recovering from Thursday’s surgery.

• Janie Joyner is undergoing treatment.

• Kathy Farmer’s health is getting better.

• Delcie Wakefield is recovering in a rehab hospital in Virginia. Prayers are needed.

• Bill Nelson of Waynesville was scheduled to undergo a test in Asheville on Monday.

• Dorothy Nelson needs prayer.

• Jean Bunn is recovering at home.

• Irene Page is preparing for knee surgery.

• Frances Hutchins is feeling better.

• Joyce Brinkley is undergoing treatment.

• Rhonda Faulkner is recovering at home.

• Timmy Mills’ aunt, Sandra Walker, is in Nash General Hospital.

• Brenda Shepherd’s sister, Savonia Richardson, is in Wake Med Hospital.

• Pray for the people affected by Hurricane Laura in Texas and Louisiana, including my home of Orange, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana.

• 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 all the children and teachers beginning a new school year. We pray you are safe and well.

• 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 Taylor (Gupton) Finch and Nancy Hill (Sept. 16), Charlotte Edwards (Sept. 18), Billy Bunn and Jean Bunn (Sept. 24), Norman Whitley and Bob Wilson (Sept. 25), Scott May (Sept. 26) and John Privette (Sept. 30).

We need news. If you have news, please call or email me. I can’t print community news if I don’t know what it is. I do prefer an email. My email address is mfpbun@aol.com. My phone number is 252-478-2846. You may leave a message.

Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.

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