yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall exalt you." -James
January 10, 2017
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
The name for fear of Friday the 13th is a word derived from two Greek
(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
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
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
look forward to seeing you Sunday with a Bible, a smile, and a
positive word! RA
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
You may be a conscious skeptic and a rejecter of the
You may be a nominal Christian whose commitment is shallow.
You may be a believer with divided loyalties with some upside
down aspects of your priorities
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
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.
our thoughts from ourselves for a moment and direct them where
they should stay throughout the year:
have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from
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
hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
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
delivery was a good success -- thank you for your generous
to Steve, Janine and Regan Esler for making the trip to A.I.M.
Southside Area Youth
Grove Church of Christ
you so much for the beautiful fruit basket!
I really enjoyed it and I appreciate your thinking of me.
Cedar Grove Family
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!
Ross & Paula
from YOUTH EXPOSURE:
Cedar Grove Family,
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.
love you all and are truly thankful to be a part of the Cedar Grove church
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 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!
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.
much love, Regan
Smith has suffered a major stroke. He is now at the Westbury Rehab
Kirkland was hospitalized earlier this week.
Caudle is has returned home.
Morrow has not been well for several weeks.
Continue to remember Susan Carson, Stan
McBride, Linda Moore, Lanier Richards, Janice Smith, Richard Smith, Keith Tatum and Jimmy
Bible Reading Schedule for