THE HEIGHTENER                                  

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you."  -James 4:10


September 11, 2007

Number 37




Jesus’ experience at the house of a prominent Pharisee leads him to tell us the parable of the wedding feast (Luke 14:7-14).  Jesus is warning us that if you immediately claim a place of honor at such a gathering, you had better be prepared to experience some embarrassment when a more honored guest is ushered to your seat, and you are forced to take one of the undesirable spaces at the back of the hall.  Then Jesus concludes by saying that if you want to be truly hospitable when you give a luncheon or dinner, you ought not to invite your same old friends all the time but rather people who could never repay you, like the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.

Jesus is making the case here that there are no throwaways when it comes to human beings.  Everybody is worthy of your attention and greeting.  There is no one who doesn’t deserve your hospitality and mine.  (Hebrews 13:1, 2 says “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”)

Obviously, this isn’t just a story about good social manners at a wedding.  Its deeper purpose is to remind you and me in the family of God about our calling to be genuinely hospitable to one another.  In the background there is also the encouraging message about God’s hospitality to all of us (sinners that we are!), a hospitality which God showed us in the ministry of God’s own son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is a difference between hospitality and entertaining. Entertaining says, “Come to my house; admire my possessions; see  the  beautiful  way  the table is 

laid.  Enjoy the scrumptious food that has taken me all week to prepare. See how perfectly neat and tidy and clean my house is.  Come and listen to my views and thoughts.”

Entertaining is hard, stressful work.  We put up a facade saying that we manage our lives perfectly and that our children are perfectly disciplined and obedient.

Hospitality is totally different.  We do not seek to portray a “perfect” image; people can love us in our weakness, relax with us, and enjoy our company.

An even deeper meaning of the word “hospitality” emerges when we realize that this word comes from the same source as two similar sounding words, “hospice” and “hospital.” The word “hospice” means “shelter” and the word “hospital” means “a place of healing.”  In this light, we can examine some of our own words and actions toward other people.  Do my words and actions provide a shelter for other persons when they are around me? Or, do my words and deeds promote a sense of healing for other people when they are around me?  How hospitable am I, really?

“The church is not like a country club; it’s more like a hospital.”  That’s what Jesus was saying here when he gave us the direction, “Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind . . .”  You and I are not in the church to impress one another or to win power struggles; we are here to minister to one another in our weaknesses.  We are here to be hospitable.

I look forward to seeing you this weekend for our entire gospel  series.                                                                                                 RA



Getting Ready for Our Meeting

A variety of ingredients must be blended to have a successful gospel meeting.  Most       importantly, each person has to be ready for the meeting, or success will be minimized.  

Much of our preparation involves developing the right attitude. 

      ·         We are worshiping God.  Normally, we don’t get to assemble six times in one week to worship God and learn from His word.  During our gospel meeting, we’ll concentrate our time and energy in worship, which is a little taste of heaven.

·         Worshiping God is important.  Try to keep everything in perspective. Assembling with the saints to worship God and learn His word is more important than trivial activities. Ask yourself, “What would I be doing if I wasn’t at the gospel meeting? Which is more important?”

·         It’s a great way to encourage our brethren.  During the meeting, we’ll encourage our spiritual family members. We have a special chance to help people get to heaven during the week.

·         We’ll enjoy spending time with people we love –  Christians! It’s pleasant to be a Christian (Ps. 133:1).

·         After the gospel meeting is over, we’ll be glad we went.  It will be worth the effort.  We feel stronger after the meeting is over, and we’ll be stimulated spiritually.





We would like to thank all those who took home the flannel graph sheets to cut out.  If you have not returned the cutouts to us, please do so at your earliest convenience so we can start using them in our classes. 



Thanks to Everett Hayes for making the easel to be used in presenting the flannel graph lessons.  



Call all singles!  Tired of the daily grind?  Come unwind with us for a weekend full of fellowship and fun.  Come expecting to make new friends and grow together in Christ.  There is an exciting schedule of events planned just with you in mind including excellent speakers, singing, games, and food.

The cost per person for Friday through Sunday, October 5-7 is $45 if you pre-pay ($50 on arrival).  Prices include all meals.  More information is posted on the bulletin board.  



The condition of Heather Moore is deteriorating.  The cancer is spreading and even caused her to have stroke last week.  They are trying to use a treatment that will make her more comfortable.  The family continues to appreciate our concern and asks for our prayers. 


Paul Smith has not been feeling well lately and will be going to the doctor this week. 

Ron Dockery will have heart bypass surgery this Thursday.

Continue to remember Evelyn Bohannon, Susan Carson, Nell Peters, J. W. Raines, Richard & Joyce Smith, Geneva White and Heather Moore.



THOSE TO SERVE - September 16, 2007


Ross Anderson

Song Leader

Doyle White

Opening Prayer

Jimmy Pulliam

Lord's Table

*Romeo Brinkley


*Todd Wisenbaker


Chris Greenwald


Bill Moore

Scripture Reading

Jim O'Brien


     Matthew 7:12-14

Closing Prayer

Ed Kelly

Welcome -PM

Ross Anderson

Song Leader

Doyle White  

Opening Prayer

Jim Warrem

Scripture Reading

Dick Massey


1 Chronicles 16:23, 24

Closing Prayer

Jim May

Communion Preparation

Sally Ray

Nursery Attendant


Paul Anderson




RECORD 9/9/07

Bible School


Worship AM


Worship PM


Wednesday Bible Study



$ 3,380.28