THE HEIGHTENER                                  

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


Volume XXXVIII

March 7, 2017

Number 10  

                                                                    

VIEWPOINT

I ran across an article from several years ago that still makes a helpful point.  It's by David Buffaloe and it's called "Suppose We Treated Gasoline Like Sin."

Why does “sin” matter? In fact, why would I care about “sin” in myself or in others? Isn’t “sin,” after all, just a cultural concept? Live and let live should be our motto. Jesus died and rose again to save us. Let’s preach this and move on, ignoring all else. Truth is relative—sin does not exist. 

The preceding paragraph contained statements that are all too commonly spoken and thought in today’s world. People have begun to believe that sin doesn’t matter. In fact, many have begun to believe that there is “no such thing as sin.” As long as it feels good, it is entirely acceptable in our world today. Many churches and professing Christians believe that “sin” is a concept whose time has passed. As a result many local churches spend their time singing, dancing, and generally entertaining one another. The message of the cross has been diminished, and in its place we have “feel good” and “power of positive thinking” speeches. Has this type of church impacted our society? Has America become better through the dumbing down of the gospel message?

If the gas gage on my car is pointing to the letter “E,” I can approach the problem from several directions. I can either:

Fill it up with water — after all, water is cheaper than gasoline. The apparent result is the same. The gauge will point to “F,” and I’ll save a whole bunch of money!

Ignore the problem — after all, isn’t “E” just a state of mind? My life will be bettered when I just “live and let live.” If my car wants to be on “E,” what do I care?

Fill it up with gasoline. Yes, I have to focus on the problem to fix the problem, and yes, it costs much more to resolve the problem this way. Yet this is the only solution that will bless my life in the near future — that is, unless I want to get used to running across America like Forrest Gump!

If I want to get anywhere in my vehicle, I must put gasoline in the tank. This is what the gas tank is designed for—gasoline! If I ignore the problem, dance around the car, think “positively” about it, or do anything else other than put gasoline in the tank, sooner or later that vehicle will stall.

In America today the media will tell us that the concept of “sin” is an archaic notion best suited to the “olden days.” If two people “love” one another they have every right to live together in sexual harmony as long as they love one another. If these two people happen conceive a child, the obvious modern solution is to abort that pregnancy. And when the two people become dissatisfied with each other, go and find another relationship. If disease should occur because of your promiscuity demand that medical science find a solution. After all, “love” is supposed to mean “whatever makes me happy at this moment.”

If what the media promotes was true, America would be a virtual Eden—yet it is not. The more we “love” according to modern morals, the more miserable we become. The solutions offered have not blessed us as a nation.

Our blessing will only come when we turn back to God and His Word. What does God’s Word tell us to do? Turn from sin, and turn to God in Christ. Then and only then will your “tank” be filled up. Then and only then will you be blessed!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Bad to Worse

 

Have you ever have one of those days when, no matter how hard you try, things just seem to go from bad to worse?

The story is told of two cowboys who were working cattle one day. One of them discovered he was in trouble when a wild bull, with his head down and nostrils flaring, came charging toward him. The cowboy saw a deep hole in the ground and quickly jumped in it. As soon as the bull passed over him, he jumped out of the hole.

The bull, madder than ever, came charging back again, and the cowboy jumped back down into the hole. When the bull passed, the cowboy jumped out of the hole again. He did this several times.

Finally, the other cowboy, who was watching it all from a distance yelled out, "Why don't you just stay in the hole?"

The cowboy yelled back, "I would, but there's a bear in the hole!"

Maybe some of you feel like every day is like that! If ever there was someone who must have felt that way, it was the apostle Paul, though. Listen to him describing his life as a Christian:

"From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness..." (2 Cor. 11:24-27)

Sounds a man who ought to be miserable, doesn't it? I mean, how much can one man take? How much worse can it possibly get? It convicts me to read through that list as I think of the minor problems in my life that I allow to create a dark cloud over my life. If I had to deal with the problems on Paul's list on a daily basis, then I'd really have reason to moan and whine, "Why, me Lord? Why does life have to be so hard?"

The funny thing is, though, that wasn't Paul's reaction at all. He didn't list all those problems to garner sympathy. In fact, he finishes out this section by writing:

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake....." (2 Cor. 12:10).

Taking pleasure in distresses? When is the last time you took pleasure in locking your keys in your car? When is the last time you took pleasure in running your cell phone through the washing machine (don't laugh! I actually did that this week)? When is the last time you took pleasure is hearing the news that you're getting laid off, the biopsy came back positive, or there was a terrible auto accident?

The "pleasure" in such things is not the ability to laugh and joke. The "pleasure" is found in the last half of 2 Cor 12:10, "...For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Everything that happens to me in life is a reminder that I am not in control, but I am a child of the One who is. It is a reminder that I don't have the power to fix everything that breaks in life, but I serve the one who does have that power. It is reminder that I sometimes don't know how I'm going to have the strength to cope, but I rest in the arms of the One who has promised to be there with me no matter what. And it is during those moments when life throws its worst at me that I feel closest to God.

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:10)

Whatever trials you are facing this day, may you find your strength in God.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith

 

 

  

 

                         

 

 

Our next delivery to A.I.M. is planned for March 25.  Please continue to bring food items to help their distribution.  

 

 

 

 

Southside Area Youth Devotional 

  NEXT EVENT:  

March 19, 2017

East Point

5:00 p.m.

 

 

  

 

Ladies Bible Study Logo     

Fellowship Room

7:00 p.m.

Coming meeting dates:

March 7, 2017

March 21, 2017   

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Daylight Saving Time

March 12

Spring Ahead! Day Light Saving Time Begins

 

 

 

SYMPATHY

The sympathy of the congregation is extended to Betty Smith and all her family.  Her brother-in-law, Ray Eanes, passed away a few days ago.   The funeral was February 18 in Tennessee.  

 

 

   

 

Dear Friends at Cedar Grove

Thank you very much for beautiful plant you sent to our dad's funeral.  Your thoughtfulness and generosity are very much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Dawn and Ricky Wright

Kellye and Dennie Knight

 

Dear Cedar Grove Family,

Thank you very much for flowers you sent while I have been suffering with my back.  They really brightened by room! Thank you also to the many who send cards and notes -- it is such a help to know someone is thinking about me!

Love,

Jean McBride

To My Cedar Grove Family, 

Thank you very much for all the cards, phone calls, prayers, and the beautiful flowers.  It is such a blessing to be a part of such a loving Christian family!  I love you all.

Love,

Nancy Kirkland

Dear Cedar Grove Family

Thank you very much for the concern you showed when my arm was broken.  We appreciate your prayers, calls and the meals you brought.  We give thanks for you all!

Love,

Janie and Eddie Brown

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

 

 

 

 

 

Gary Greenwald is now in hospice care.

Stan Caudle is home after several days in the hospital.

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

 

Bible Reading Schedule for 2017

Read the Bible Chronologically

Week 9

February 27  Leviticus 24-25; Psalm 81
                     
Hebrews 9

February 28  Leviticus 26-27; Ps. 112;
                     
Hebrews 10

March  1  Numbers 1-2; Ps. 64, Hebrews 11

March  2  Numbers 3-5; Hebrews 12

March  3  Numbers 6-7; Hebrews 13

 

Week 10

March  6  Numbers 8-11; Colossians 1

March  7  Numbers 12-14; Psalm 28;
                 Colossians
2

March  8  Numbers 15-18; Psalm 113;
                 Colossians 3

March  9  Numbers 19-21; Colossians 4

March 10 Numbers 22-25; Luke 1

 

Week 11

March 13  Numbers 26-29; Luke 2

March 14  Numbers 30-33; Psalm 35; Luke 3

March 15  Numbers 34-36; Luke 4

March 16  Deuteronomy 1-3; Psalm 36; 
                  Luke 5

March 17  Deuteronomy 1-3; Luke 6

 

 

Week 12

March 20  Deuteronomy 6-9; Luke 7

March 21  Deuteronomy 10-14; Psalm 5;
                  Luke
8

March 22  Deuteronomy 15-18; Luke 9

March 23  Deuteronomy 19-22; Psalm 6; 
                  Luke 10

March 24  Deuteronomy 23-26; Luke 11

 

 

Week 13 

March 27  Deuteronomy 6-9; Luke 7

March 28  Deuteronomy 10-14; Psalm 5; 
                  Luke
8

March 29  Deuteronomy 15-18; Luke 9

March 30  Deuteronomy 19-22; Psalm 6; 
                 
Luke 10

March 31  Deuteronomy 23-26; Luke 11

Read the Bible in Order

March  1   Deuteronomy 23-25

March  2   Deuteronomy 26-28

March  3   Deuteronomy 29-31

March  4   Deuteronomy 32-34

March  5   Joshua 1-3

March  6   Joshua 4-6

March  7   Joshua. 7-9

March  8   Joshua 10-12

March  9   Joshua 13-15

March 10   Joshua 16-18

March 11   Joshua 19-21

March 12   Joshua 22-24

March 13   Judges 1-3

March 14   Judges 4-6

March 15   Judges 7-9

March 16   Judges 10-12

March 17   Judges 13-15

March 18   Judges 16-18

March 19   Judges 19-21

March 20   Ruth 1-4

March 21   1 Samuel 1-4

March 22   1 Samuel 5-7

March 23   1 Samuel 8-10

March 24   1 Samuel 11-13

March 25   1 Samuel 14-16

March 26   1 Samuel 17-19

March 27   1 Samuel 20-22

March 28   1 Samuel 23-25

March 29   1 Samuel 26-28

March 30   1 Samuel 29-31

March 31  Catch-up Day

 

 

 

 

            

MARCH BIRTHDAYS

 

 March   1

Riley Minichowski

 March   5

Greg Cannon

 March   6

Sharon Hodges

March   9

James Elliott

 March   9

David Grogan

 March  14

Doyle White

 March  20

Amanda Owens

 March  28

Onice Fields

 March  29

Ed Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THOSE TO SERVE - March 12, 2017

Welcome

Doyle White

Song Leader

Doyle White

Opening Prayer

Larry Simmons

Lord's Table

* Jim Warren

 

* Jimmy Pulliam

 

Bill Baker

 

Joe Minichowski

Scripture Reading

David White

 

Matthew 5:21, 22

Closing Prayer

Greg Granberry

   

Welcome - PM

Doyle White

Song Leader

Doyle White

Opening Prayer

Jimmy Pulliam

Scripture Reading

Ed Kelly 

 

James 4:13-17

Closing Prayer

Jim May

Communion Preparation

Hambys

Nursery Attendant

 
 

 

 

 

Cedar Grove Church of Christ

Serving in Our Assemblies

     

Morning

March 5

March 12

  March 19

  March 26

Call to Worship

Jimmy Pulliam

Doyle White

David White

Greg Cannon

Singing

Jimmy Pulliam

Doyle White

David White

Greg Cannon

Opening Prayer

David White

Larry Simmons

Jim May

Jim Warren

Table – Lead

Greg Granberry

Jim Warren

Greg Cannon

Joe Maddox

 

Greg Cannon

Jimmy Pulliam

Phil Hamby

Joe Minichowski

Table – Serve

David Grogan

Bill Baker

Steve Esler

David Grogan

 

Bill Baker

Joe Minichowski

Greg Granberry

Jim May

Scripture

Jim Warren

Chris Greenwald

Larry Simmons

Doyle White

Closing Prayer

Ed Kelly

Greg Granberry

James Elliott

Eddie Brown

           

 

Evening

March 5

March 12

March 19

March 26

Call to Worship

Jimmy Pulliam

Doyle White

David White

Greg Cannon

Singing

Jimmy Pulliam

Doyle White

David White

Greg Cannon

Opening Prayer

Phil Hamby

Jimmy Pulliam

Eddie Brown

Doyle White

Scripture

Doyle White

Ed Kelly

Greg Granberry

Phil Hamby

Closing Prayer

Eddie Brown

Jim May

Ed Kelly

Greg Granberry

           

 

 

               
 

RECORD 3/5/2017

Bible School

48

Worship AM

79

Worship PM

39

Wednesday Bible Study

31

Contribution

$ 2,778.00