THE HEIGHTENER                                  

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


January 10, 2017

Number 2  



Do you know anyone who suffers from paraskevidekatriaphobia?

That’s the technical term for “fear of Friday the 13th.”  But don't expect me to pronounce it out loud in a sermon!  2017 has two months with a Friday on the 13th – this week and again in October. 

The name for fear of Friday the 13th is a word derived from two Greek words:  Paraskeví (Friday) and dekatreís (thirteen), attached to phobia (fear). Some people are so paralyzed by paraskevidekatriaphobia that they avoid normal activities, and some refuse to travel on that day.

Alfred Hitchcock was born on Friday the 13th.  Franklin D. Roosevelt was influenced by the superstition – he wouldn’t go anywhere if Friday was on the 13th and he disliked starting a trip on any Friday.  The stock market crashed on October 13, 1989. 

Friday the 13th  is thought to be a day of unlucky events, although the origins of such ideas are unclear. Consequently, several theories have been proposed about the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition.

One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day. Combining two unlucky elements into one day would make it all the more fearsome, and so it has become. In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve signs of the zodiac, twelve hours of the clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles of Jesus, twelve gods of Olympus, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners since Jesus was arrested and crucified after the Passover meal He shared with His twelve disciples (Matthew 26–27). The fact that He was crucified on a Friday also adds credence to this theory.

Other theories regarding the origin of Friday the 13th include a Norse myth involving Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility, whose name means “Friday.” When Christianity came to her country, Frigga was denounced as a witch and banished to the mountains where, it was believed, she convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil on Fridays to plot revenge and ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches' Sabbath.”

Another theory about the origin of the superstition traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar, a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in A.D. 1119, whose mission was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. Because the Knights Templar had amassed wealth and power, French King Philip IV secretly ordered the arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307. The connection between the superstition and the Knights Templar was popularized in the 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code.

Fear of Friday the 13th is based on superstition, and as such it has no place in the mind or heart of Christians. No day or date is to be feared by those who belong to God through Jesus Christ. Everything that happens is under the control of our sovereign God who rules every event in the universe and never allows superstitions or the schemes of men to thwart His divine will and plan (Isaiah 46:11). Furthermore, attending to superstitions and old wives’ tales and planning our lives around them can provide an opening for Satan who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).


I look forward to seeing you Sunday with a Bible, a smile, and a positive word!  RA







Greetings to all our Family and Friends around the world,

Normally, with the New Year's letter we put drawings and pictures representing the holiday season. This year, my thoughts are more extensive as we think about God's story and our own story. Events such as the incarnation, the death, the resurrection, the ascension, and the return of Christ become more our story as we learn daily to be more identified with God's Son.

As we think about you who read this letter, many possibilities come to mind. Most of you are true biblical Christians but some are not. We try to think of you as specific individuals, some strong and others with various obvious and hidden weaknesses and sins (pride, lust, worry, greed, prejudice, resentment, bitterness, depression, fear, guilt, etc). Some, or perhaps many of you, face loneliness, persecution, weariness, grief, sickness, failure, indecision, confusion, doubts, physical handicap, old age, disillusionment, and even boredom. We then have to think, how does this letter affect YOU, a specific person among our large range of friends and family?

We think of you as one of four categories represented in the four soils of the parable in Mark 4: 

1)    You may be a conscious skeptic and a rejecter of the Christian faith.

2)    You may be a nominal Christian whose commitment is shallow.

3)    You may be a believer with divided loyalties with some upside down aspects of your priorities

4)    You are among those mature, committed Christians who seek to glorify God in all they decide and do.

Where you are now is simply a chapter in your life, as we consider today a chapter in our lives. This coming year will move on to new chapters where God is writing your continual history, or we may be in the last chapter! Who knows?

So what do we say in this letter as a new year is considered? This may be the last letter you will ever receive from us before our gathering in heaven. If we knew this to be a fact, what would we write to you?

We would want to write that we love you. Our desire is that the highest good in view of eternity comes into your lives. We would thank you for the memories! The good and sometimes, not so good, times together which have marked our lives. So many of you have been directly involved in our mission to the French world, and all of you have been indirectly involved through your prayers and communications. We would want to tell you how much we have been encouraged as most of you have kept our arms upheld so that the battle can continue.

We would want to tell you to live well your transitions: births, marriages, divorces, deaths, new jobs, and, of course, the transition of one year to another. We are marked by the moment because it sets up our thinking about the past .and the future. We would want you to: "Only at the point where we have come (the end of2016), let us move ahead together." (Phil 3.15-16)

We would want you to live today as if it were the last day of your life, and, in fact it would then be the best day of your life! You may be getting the impression that we are calling it quits or coming to the end of something. It is just the opposite! We are both still in good health and are confronted with so many open doors. We are excited about what is ahead of us in 2017, but will seek in prayer to follow God's will.

Let's turn our thoughts from ourselves for a moment and direct them where they should stay throughout the year:


You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Psalm 139: 1-6


Let us turn our hearts towards home to enjoy our spiritual, physical families and a host of friends for at least the beginning of 2017

  Doyle and Barbara Kee









Our delivery was a good success -- thank you for your generous giving!

Thanks to Steve, Janine and Regan Esler for making the trip to A.I.M.





Southside Area Youth Devotional 


January 29, 2017

Cedar Grove Church of Christ

5:00 p.m.





Ladies Bible Study Logo     

Fellowship Room

7:00 p.m.

Coming meeting dates:

January 17, 2017

February 7, 2017   







Dear Ladies Class, 

Thank you so much for the beautiful fruit basket!  I really enjoyed it and I appreciate your thinking of me.  

Love, Jean McBride

Dear Cedar Grove Family

The past year has flown quickly – thank you for making it a positive year for the Cedar Grove church and for the Kingdom.  Thank you for your continual encouragement and partnership.  Thank you especially for the gift that was presented to us recently.  We love and appreciate our church family!

Love, Ross & Paula



Dear Cedar Grove Family,

Words cannot express our appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity you gave us to attend the Exposure Youth Conference.  It was such an uplifting and spiritual time that we really needed and it would not have been possible without Cedar Grove's gracious help.  

We love you all and are truly thankful to be a part of the Cedar Grove church family.

Susan May


Thank you got helping us attend Exposure!  I had so much fun, made new friends and learned about Jesus!  The classes and sermons touched my heart and some brought me to tears!  The singing was amazing and I would totally go back next year!  Thank you so much.  I love you! 

Love, Cassidy


Thank you for the opportunity to recharge my spiritual batteries at Exposure.  It was a wonderful event and I truly appreciated it.  I hope we can attend with more youth next year!  

  Much love,  Janine Esler  


Thank you for letting us go to EYC.  I had a lot of fun, the singing was awesome, and the lessons were even better.  But best of all I grew as a Christian and I hope we can go again next year.   

With much love, Regan





Richard Smith has suffered a major stroke.  He is now at the Westbury Rehab in Jackson.  

Nancy Kirkland was hospitalized earlier this week.  

Stan Caudle is has returned home.  

Hilda Morrow has not been well for several weeks.  

Continue to remember Susan Carson, Stan Caudle, Jean McBride, Linda Moore, Lanier Richards, Janice Smith, Richard Smith, Keith Tatum and Jimmy Wellborn.


Bible Reading Schedule for 2017

Read the Bible Chronologically

Week 1

January 2 Genesis 1-2; Psalm 19; Mark 1

January 3 Genesis 3-5; Mark 2

January 4 Genesis 6-8; Psalm 104; Mark 3

January 5 Genesis 9-11; Mark 4

January 6 Genesis 12-15; Ps.148; Mark 5


Week 2

January   9 Genesis 16-18; Mark 6

January 10 Genesis 19-20; Psalm 1; Mark 7

January 11 Genesis 21-23; Ps. 107; Mark 8

January 12 Genesis 24-25; Psalm 4; Mark 9

January 13 Genesis 26-27; Mark 10


Week 3

January 16 Genesis 28-29; Mark 11

January 17 Genesis 30-31; Ps.11; Mark 12

January 18 Genesis 32-34; Ps.145; Mark 13

January 19 Genesis 35-37; Ps. 12; Mark 14;

January 20 Genesis 38-40; Mark 15



Week 4

January 23 Genesis 41-42; Mark 16

January 24 Genesis 43-44; Ps.24; Galatians 1

January 25 Genesis 45-46; Psalm 108;
                   Galatians 2

January 26 Genesis 47-48; Psalm 25;
                    Galatians 3

January 27 Genesis 49-50; Galatians 4



Week 5

January 30 Exodus 1-3; Galatians 5

January 31 Exodus 4-6; Galatians 6

February 1 Exodus 7-9; Ps. 105; Ephesians 1

February 2 Exodus 10-12; Ephesians 2

February 3 Exodus 13-15; Psalm 114;
                   Ephesians 3

Read the Bible in Order

January  1 Genesis 1-4

January  2 Genesis 5-8

January  3 Genesis 9-11

January  4 Genesis 12-14

January  5 Genesis 15-17

January  6 Genesis 18-20

January  7 Genesis 21-23

January  8 Genesis 24-26

January  9 Genesis 27-29

January 10 Genesis 30-32

January 11 Genesis 33-35

January 12 Genesis 36-38

January 13 Genesis 39-41

January 14 Genesis 42-44

January 15 Genesis 45-47

January 16 Genesis 48-50

January 17 Exodus 1-4

January 18 Exodus 5-7

January 19 Exodus 8-10

January 20 Exodus 11-13

January 21 Exodus 14-16

January 22 Exodus 17-19

January 23 Exodus 20-22

January 24 Exodus 23-25

January 25 Exodus 26-28

January 26 Exodus 29-31

January 27 Exodus 32-34

January 28 Exodus 35-37

January 29 Exodus 38-40

January 30 Catch-up day

January 31 Catch-up day








January    2

Alex Greenwald

January  14

Cole Denton

January  15

Richard Smith

January 16

Stan Caudle

January 16

Ross Anderson

January 17

Craig Hodges

January  18

Danice Perry

January  19

Tammy Ward

January  24

 Harrison Hamby







THOSE TO SERVE - January 15, 2017


David White

Song Leader

David White

Opening Prayer

Larry Simmons

Lord's Table

* Greg Cannon


* Jim Warren


Joe Minichowski


Bill Baker

Scripture Reading

Chris Greenwald


Colossians 3:15-17

Closing Prayer

Greg Granberry


Welcome - PM

David White

Song Leader

David White

Opening Prayer

Jimmy Pulliam

Scripture Reading

Ed Kelly


Romans 12:1, 2

Closing Prayer

Jim May

Communion Preparation

Joyce Shelton

Nursery Attendant

Steve and Janine Esler




Cedar Grove Church of Christ

Serving in Our Assemblies


 Morning             January 1      January 8     January 15     January 22

Call to Worship




Opening Prayer


Table – Lead




Table – Serve






Closing Prayer



Evening                January 1      January 8     January 15     January 22  

Call to Worship




Opening Prayer




Closing Prayer



RECORD 1/1/2017

Bible School


Worship AM


Worship PM

No Assembly

Wednesday Bible Study