THE HEIGHTENER                                  

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


Volume XXXVIII

November 7, 2017

Number 44  

                                                                    

VIEWPOINT

Jody Vickery attended school at GACS and was once the minister of the Riverdale congregation.  Earlier this week, he wrote a column pertaining to the tragedy last Sunday.

"What’s the opposite of fear? Courage? It is an excellent candidate, but it’s not the answer. Mark Twain said 'Courage is resistance to fear . . . not absence of fear.' Ask any hero, 'Were you afraid when you charged into that burning building . . . . when you ran toward the sound of the gunfire . . . when you stood up to that bully?' They will tell you, without exception, 'Yeah. I was scared to death.' But they did the heroic anyway. Courage is what we do in spite of our fear.

"So if it isn’t courage, what is fear’s opposite?

"In John 20, the fear-filled disciples had bolted themselves behind locked doors. They had witnessed every shocking second of Jesus’ arrest, trial, torture and crucifixion. Post-traumatic stress was still centuries away from being a named condition, but they were surely experiencing it. A footfall in the hall outside the locked door caused their hearts to race. The innocuous shout of a passerby on the street jolted them to attention.

"Jesus had calmed a sea storm and walked on water. He had healed the sick and fed thousands with little more than the contents of a lunch box. He had restored sight to blind eyes, returned music to deaf ears and raised the dead back to life. If he could not avoid the gruesome death of a cross, they stood no chance at all.

"Then Jesus appeared. He materialized before their very eyes. And the first thing he said was, 'Peace be with you,' (vs. 19). It’s also the second thing he said (vs. 21). And the third (vs. 26).  Peace. The opposite of fear is peace. But it’s not just the absence of conflict. The word Jesus spoke to his frightened disciples was as broad-shouldered a word as you’ll find anywhere in the Bible. Peace means health, safety, well-being, prosperity, wholeness, harmony and tranquility.

"In the weeks, months and years that followed, these men would no longer hide behind locked doors. They would fearlessly testify before rulers, refuse to be silent when threatened with death, defy orders to stop preaching, and speak truth to power. Their courage astonished even their enemies, (Acts 4:13). But their courage was born of peace – that deeply rooted sense that death is a defeated enemy, a toothless threat, an impotent adversary.

"Last Sunday morning, believers at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church gathered, as they always did, to worship. Before the service was over, nearly half the church would be dead. The next day, a news reporter in our town left a voice mail asking me how this horrific event was going to affect our church in Huntsville. We were not able to connect before the evening news broadcast, but if we had, this is what I would have told her:

"This Sunday morning, the doors of stately cathedrals in the nation’s largest cities will swing open to welcome the faithful. Fluorescent lights will shine through the storefronts of start-up churches. The parking lots of warehouse-sized mega churches will teem with activity. Deacons will sweep the leaves off the front steps of sturdy old red-brick churches on small town main streets. And this Sunday, the people at Sutherland Springs will meet, as they always do, albeit in a different building. But they will meet.

"We are heirs to people like Stephen, Polycarp of Smyrna, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Nate Saint, Jim Elliott and many other Christians who faced death with the peace of Christ. This coming Sunday, our church buildings will be open and Jesus will be among us. He will say to us, 'Peace be with you.' So we are not afraid."

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In spite of the world's discouragement, I look forward to seeing you Sunday with a Bible, a smile and a positive word!  RA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attacker Wants to Display ISIS Flag

The man charged in the terror attack in Manhattan wants to display an ISIS flag in his hospital room. He picked Halloween for his target date in the belief that more people would be on the street.

These are some of the details emerging as the investigation into this horrific tragedy continues. How should we respond to the deadliest terrorist attack in New York City since 9/11? Let’s understand why terrorists are rejoicing today, then examine a secular response and a Christian point of view.

Why jihadists are rejoicing

According to Newsweek, ISIS-linked social media accounts “lit up” after the attack in Manhattan. “Trick-or-tweet New York City,” wrote one ISIS supporter, adding a happy face image. “Allahu Akbar,” wrote another.

Why would anyone rejoice in the deaths of eight innocent people?

ISIS encourages its followers to kill an “infidel” in any way possible: “Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”

So far, ISIS supporters have perpetrated 143 attacks in 29 countries, killing 2,043 people. Tuesday’s attack is just the latest in a long line of atrocities. We can expect such attacks to continue: as ISIS loses its geographical caliphate in the Middle East, it seeks to demonstrate its credibility and relevance by encouraging terrorism around the world.

These jihadists are motivated by two beliefs.

First, they claim that the West has been attacking the Muslim world since the Crusades and especially by supporting Israel. Since the Qur’an requires Muslims to defend Islam (Sura 2:190), they believe that they are defending their faith when they attack us.

Second, they claim that there are no innocent civilians in the West. Since our countries are democracies in which we elect our leaders and support our military, jihadist groups see our citizens as complicit in a perceived attack on Islam. They view us as we would view Germans who supported Hitler during the Holocaust. In their minds, killing us is a defense of Islam mandated by the Qur’an.

The vast majority of Muslims reject these assertions. However, for ISIS and similar groups, these claims motivate their continued attacks against the West.

A secular response

A secular worldview allows its proponents four responses to the Manhattan attack.

First, secularists view jihadism solely as a military enemy, since they have little or no context for its spiritual agendas and claims. As a result, they hope that destroying ISIS’s caliphate and defeating its soldiers will win the “war on terror.”

Second, they believe that attacks such as the Manhattan tragedy cannot always be anticipated or prevented, so they trust in the law of averages, hoping that what happened there will not happen where they live.

Third, they believe that they can do little for the victims of the attack except to grieve for them. If this were a natural disaster such as Hurricane Harvey, they could offer financial assistance. As it is, there is little they can do except to feel sorry for those who were attacked and those who love them.

Fourth, they can learn little from the attack that relates to them spiritually. They believe that life ends at death, so there is nothing they need to do to prepare for it. Or they believe that everyone who is “good” goes to heaven, so they need to do nothing except live good lives while they can.

A Christian response

The Christian worldview offers four dramatically different responses to the Manhattan attack.

First, we know that jihadism is primarily a spiritual movement. We believe that the ultimate answer is for radicalized Muslims to turn to Christ as their Lord. We rejoice in the spiritual awakening sweeping the Islamic world—as Muslims see visions and dreams of Jesus, more have come to Christ in the last fifteen years than in the previous fifteen centuries.

And so, we pray daily for Muslims around the world to have supernatural encounters with Jesus and come to faith in him. Remembering Saul of Tarsus, we know that God can change any heart and redeem any soul. We are fighting this battle on our knees.

Second, we know that terrorism cannot always be anticipated or prevented, so we seek God’s protection and direction. We do not believe that our prayers are always answered as we wish, but we do believe that our Father knows us and will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Third, we know that the victims of this tragedy need our intercession. We are praying for ministers to comfort and encourage them. We are praying for nonbelievers to turn to Jesus in faith. We are praying for God to redeem this tragedy for his glory and our good. We believe that our intercession enables us to serve those who suffer today.

Fourth, we believe that we must be ready for eternity, today. The Manhattan attack illustrates God’s warning: “You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). We know that we are one day closer to eternity than ever before.

Which worldview do you choose today—the secular or the Christian? If you choose the latter, you will say with C. S. Lewis, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

By Dr. Jim Denison

 

  

 

                         

 

Image result for atlanta inner city ministry

Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. (Isaiah 58:10)

 

 

 

Southside Area Youth Devotional 

  NEXT EVENT:  

November 19 2017

Fairview

6:00 p.m.

  

 

M.A.G.I. Project

The mission of this project is to Make A Godly Impact on children in Honduras, Dominican Republic, Romania, and Mexico.  

Congratulations! 33 boxes were delivered from Cedar Grove! 

 

friend day image

November 5, 2017

Our Friend Day was quite successful with attendance of 109!

 

 

 

 

AREA EVENTS COMING UP

Area wide Ladies' Brunch on November 11.  It will be hosted this time by the West Metro congregation beginning at 9:30 a.m.   

5th Annual Atlanta Area-Wide ThanksSinging will be on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.  It's hosted by the Fayetteville Church of Christ (870 Redwine Road Fayetteville, GA 30215).  (NO 5 P.M. assembly at Cedar Grove that day.)

 

 

 

Dear Cedar Grove 

Bailie’s sister, Isabella, wants to say thank you to the brothers and sisters that sent her SmileGrams.  They really brought a smile to her face.  She’s also thankful for all the prayers.

Love,

Bailie and Isabella Odom

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Jeanette Bullington is recovering at home.

Janie Brown is home now after several days in the hospital.    

Continue to remember Susan Carson, Stan Caudle, Jean McBride, Hilda Morrow, Lanier Richards, and Jimmy Wellborn.

 

Bible Reading Schedule for 2017

Read the Bible Chronologically

Week 44

October 30 – Ezek. 16-18; John 6

October 31 – Ezek. 19-21; Ps. 84; John 7

November 1 – Ezek. 22-24; Ps. 134; John 8

November 2 – Ezek. 25-27; Ps. 85; John 9

November 3 – Ezek. 28-30; John 10

 

Week 45

November 6 – Ezek. 31-33; John 11

November 7 – Ezek. 34-36; Ps. 86; John 12

November 8 – Ezek. 37-39; Ps. 87; John 13

November 11 – Ezek. 40-42; John 14

November 10 – Ez. 43-45; Ps. 135; John 15

 

Week 46

November 13 – Ezek. 46-48; John 16

November 14 – Daniel 1-3; Ps. 88; John 17

November 15 – Daniel 4-6; John 18

November 16 – Daniel 7-9; Ps. 91; John 19

November 17 – Daniel 10-12; John 20

Week 47

November 20 – Ezra 1-2; John 21

November 21 – Ezra 3-4; Ps. 92; 1 John 1

November 22 – Haggai; Zechariah 1; Ps. 138;

1 John 2

November 23 – Zech. 2-5; Ps. 93 1 John 3

November 24 – Zechariah 6-8; 1 John 4

 

Week 48

November 27 – Zechariah 9-11; 1 John 5

November 28 – Zech. 12-14; Ps. 93: 2 John

November 29 – Ezra 5-6; Ps. 95 3 John

November 30 – Esther 1-3; Ps. 139 Rev. 1

December 1 – Esther 4-6; Revelation 2  

 

 

Read the Bible in Order

November 1  Luke 13-15

November 2  Luke 16-18

November 3  Luke 19-21

November 4  Luke 22-24

November 5  John 1-3

November 6  John 4-6

November 7  John 7-9

November 8  John 10-12

November 9  John 13-15

November 10  John 16-18

November 11  John 19-21

November 12  Acts 1-4

November 13  Acts 5-7

November 14  Acts 8-10

November 15  Acts 11-13

November 16  Acts 14-16

November 17  Acts 17-19

November 18  Acts 20-22

November 19  Acts 23-25

November 20  Acts 26-28

November 21  Romans 1-4

November 22  Romans 5-8

November 23  Romans 9-12

November 24  Romans 13-16

November 25  1 Corinthians 1-46

November 26  1 Corinthians 5-8

November 27  1 Corinthians 9-12

November 28  1 Corinthians 13-16

November 29  Catch-up day

November 30  Catch-up day

 

 

 

            

NOVEMBER BIRTHDAYS

 

November   1

Randi Kelly

November   4

Regan Esler

November   5

Barbara Massey

November   5

Miriam Granberry

November   9

Susan Carson

November  12

Joe Minichowski

November  13

Lyla Grace Coggin

November  19

Sheila Mixon

November  21

Jeri Maddox

November  23

Jason Greenwald

November  29

Ivy Minichowski

 

 

 

 

 

 

THOSE TO SERVE - November 12, 2017

Welcome

Doyle White

Song Leader

Doyle White

Opening Prayer

Larry Simmons

Lord's Table

* Jim Warren

 

* Phil Hamby

 

Steve Esler

 

Bill Baker

Scripture Reading

David White

 

Matthew 7:9-12

Closing Prayer

Greg Granberry

   

Welcome - PM

Doyle White

Song Leader

Doyle White

Opening Prayer

Jimmy Pulliam

Scripture Reading

David White

 

Psalm 91:1-4

Closing Prayer

Jim May

Communion Preparation

 

Nursery Attendant

 
 

 

 

 

Cedar Grove Church of Christ

Serving in Our Assemblies

 

    Morning

      November 5

     November 12

       November 19

      November 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

Jimmy Pulliam

Joe Maddox

 

Greg Cannon

Phil Hamby

Greg Cannon

Larry Simmons

Table – Serve

David Grogan

Bill Baker

Steve Esler

David Grogan

 

Bill Baker

Steve Esler

Greg Granberry

Jim May

Scripture

Jim Warren

Chris Greenwald

Larry Simmons

Doyle White

Closing Prayer

Ed Kelly

Greg Granberry

James Elliott

David White

Morning

   November 5

     November 12

    November 19

November 26

Call to Worship

No Assembly

Doyle White

David White  

Greg Cannon

Singing

Doyle White  

David White  

Greg Cannon

Opening Prayer

Jimmy Pulliam

Eddie Brown

Doyle White

Scripture

Ed Kelly

Greg Granberry

Phil Hamby

Closing Prayer

Jim May

Ed Kelly

Eddie Brown

           

   

         
 

RECORD 11/5/2017

Bible School

58

Worship AM

109

Worship PM

No Assembly

Wednesday Bible Study

34

Contribution

N/A