THE HEIGHTENER                                  

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


Volume XXXVII

January 3, 2017

Number 1   

                                                                    

VIEWPOINT

Here's an article from Leadership Magazine that will give you some good ideas for reflection at the beginning of 2017:

It’s that time of year again. 

We’re going to lose weight, exercise more, get out of debt, stick to a budget, stop smoking, save for the future and spend more time with family.

We make resolutions because we want to bring change to bear on our circumstances. We want to improve ourselves and our quality of life. And the top resolutions, for most people, tend to revolve around the same three poles: money, health and family.

But what would a set of New Year’s resolutions look like for you and your church, your role as a leader, or simply as someone who wants to live a life of strategic Kingdom investment?

And specifically, what if they came from the Bible?

Though many more could be added, here are fifteen to consider:

1.                           Pray more. So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord . . . ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’” says the Lord Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).

2.                           Invest in your spiritual gift(s). Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress (I Timothy 4:14-15).

3.                           Get more intentional about evangelism. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some (I Corinthians 9:22).

4.                           Care for yourself spiritually. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Philippians 3:12).

5.                           Make the tough decisions you know are best. And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:22-24).

6.                           Confront debilitating patterns of sin. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).

7.                           Do the hard work needed to build community. If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over (Matthew 18:15).

8.                           Keep in touch with contemporary culture. From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders. . . . All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take (I Chronicles 12:32, NLT).

9.                           Quit comparing yourself to other Christians, other leaders, and other churches. Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?” Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You – follow me.” That is how the rumor got out among the brothers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that is not what Jesus said. He simply said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you?” (John 21:20-23, Message).

10.                      Read more. Timothy, please come as soon as you can . . . When you come, be sure to . . . bring my books (II Timothy 4:9, 13, NLT).

11.                      Prioritize your family. A leader must be well-thought-of, committed to his wife . . . attentive to his own children and having their respect. For if someone is unable to handle his own affairs, how can he take care of God’s church? (I Timothy 3:2-5, Message).

12.                      Refuse to use ministry to satisfy your personal ambition. Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not (Jeremiah 45:5).

13.                      Love people, not just crowds.   I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love (I Corinthians 13:1-3, Message).

14.                      Be more open to change. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19).Stay focused on the vision. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).                    

15.                     Stay focused on the vision. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).    (James Emery White)

 

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I look forward to seeing you Sunday (if we don't have too much snow!) 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 

  NEXT EVENT:  

January 29, 2017

Cedar Grove Church of Christ

5:00 p.m.

 

 

  

SYMPATHY

The sympathy of the congregation is extended Pat Tatum and her family in the passing of her brother-in-law, Mr. Jimmy Brown. 

 

Ladies Bible Study Logo     

Fellowship Room

7:00 p.m.

Coming meeting dates:

January 3, 2017

January 17, 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

 

NOTES from YOUTH EXPOSURE:

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

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Wellborn is suffering from a fractured vertebra.  He will have a repair procedure next week.

Stan Caudle is showing improvement and remains at Health South.  

Hilda Morrow has not been well for several weeks.  

Janice Smith, Jeremy Pulliam’s mother-in-law, is recovering from surgery for cancer.  She will be having further treatment soon. 

Continue to remember Susan Carson, Stan Caudle, Jean McBride, Linda Moore, Lanier Richards, 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  BIRTHDAYS

 

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 8, 2017

Welcome

Jimmy Pulliam

Song Leader

Jimmy Pulliam

Opening Prayer

David White

Lord's Table

* Greg Cannon

 

* Greg Granberry

 

David Grogan

 

Bill Baker

Scripture Reading

Jim Warren

 

Genesis 18:1, 2

Closing Prayer

Ed Kelly

   

Welcome - PM

Jimmy Pulliam

Song Leader

Jimmy Pulliam

Opening Prayer

Phil Hamby

Scripture Reading

Doyle White

 

Psalm 13:1-3

Closing Prayer

Eddie Brown

Communion Preparation

Joyce Shelton

Nursery Attendant

 
 

 

 

Cedar Grove Church of Christ

Serving in Our Assemblies

   

 Morning             January 1      January 8     January 15     January 22

Call to Worship

       

Singing

       

Opening Prayer

       

Table – Lead

       

 

       

Table – Serve

       

 

       

Scripture

       

Closing Prayer

       

 

Evening                January 1      January 8     January 15     January 22  

Call to Worship

       

Singing

       

Opening Prayer

       

Scripture

       

Closing Prayer

       

               
 

RECORD 1/1/2017

Bible School

40

Worship AM

60

Worship PM

No Assembly

Wednesday Bible Study

37

Contribution

N/A