First Baptist

Worry is the opposite of faith. Thanksgiving is our highest expression of faith. God has so richly blessed us in so many ways. Sometimes though, we may find ourselves measuring our blessings by human standards of wealth, health and happiness. You may think you don’t have as much to thank God for as some others. If you recall the story of the apostle Paul, he was in a filthy Philippian jail waiting on a possible death sentence when he wrote, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

Even in Paul’s dire situation, he was still praying and had faith that whatever God’s plan was, he was going to be thankful for it.

People who are unthankful are not happy people. They are bitter, negative, selfish, fearful and have self-pity. It is hard to believe that some people are not thankful for anything. God blesses us with so much every single day! He daily sends out his blessings and mercies, if we will only be in tune to noticing them. It is because of these mercies and God’s compassion that we are not consumed. He gives generously new blessings every morning as we rise to meet a new day.

We should thank God every day for the blessings he gives us. The simple blessings of enough food, good, clean water, clothes to wear and shoes for our feet, our homes and shelter from the cold winter and the hot summer. We should also thank him for our spiritual blessings. We should always take everything to God in prayer. We should refuse to worry, but to rely on God’s unending power and grace to carry us through every day. We should be grateful for the Lord’s presence in our lives and reflect every day on his blessings in our lives. Do everything with thanksgiving.

Join us for Sunday Services: Sunday school, 9:30 a.m., worship, 10:45 p.m., Wednesday night Bible studies, 6 p.m.

Terri Fite

Cookson United Methodist

Rev. Rachel Parrott and the congregation invite you and your family to come to the corner of Highway 82 South and Cookson Bend Road to worship with them. The physical address is 21685 W. Cookson Bend Road. Sunday morning worship services are 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Fellowship and small groups meet at 9:30 a.m.

Last Sunday, the scriptures were Psalm 146 and Mark 12: 38-44.

Pastor Rachel began her message by capturing the idea of generosity. She referred to the hymn "Take My Life and Let it Be." Mark 12 refers to the importance of the widow's mite. There comes a time in your life when you must check yourself in what you are willing to fight for, or give to or put yourself on the line for. The gospel of Mark calls for people to see with Jesus' eyes. Mark wants you to consider what a life that matters really means.

In this timeline, widows without children were completely dependent on the generosity of society. This widow gave all that she had, maybe because of the gratitude for what she had received that caused her to give so faithfully. This week contemplate on this scripture Mark 12: 38-44, let Jesus' way of seeing transform your own. God looks at the heart and its readiness to give generously.

Do you measure your worth by external success? Ask God to help you look at yourself and your neighbors as God looks at everyone. Don't allow your circumstances to aim too low. Learn to give your all towards the service of others.

Cindy Ballew

Church of Jesus Christ of LDS

Agency is the sacred ability and blessing God gives his children to freely choose and act for themselves. Important to God's plan of salvation for all is the divine gift of agency. Without agency, God's children could not progress. Agency is an unconditional gift to God's Children and is intended to enable greater learning opportunities. Righteously exercising agency will enrich the quality of one's life with blessings receivable in no other way.

"And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given" (2 Nephi 2:26).

This scripture highlights that even Adam and Eve were given agency within the garden of Eden. With their ability to freely choose, they partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This decision opened the gate for the rest of Heavenly Father's children to come to earth and receive free agency also. Jesus Christ, the world’s Savior and Redeemer, later paid the price for all mankind's sins, forever enabling God's children to make their own decisions. Using agency to follow God will draw us closer to him while using agency to disobey him will push us away.

Life on earth is a blessing because of the precious gift of agency. Blessings are always promised by God to his faithful children. Even when wrong decisions are made the Lord promises, "Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me" (Mosiah 26:30).

Elder Chandler Murphy

Carter Baptist

Happy birthday and God bless Robert Davis, Cassie Shores, and Vayda Brittan.

May God continue to bless Nick and Anna Fields as they celebrate another year of marriage.

Pastor Mat Lawrence brought a Veteran’s Day message after honoring past and present veterans.

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the thing that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:1-4).

Apostle Paul fought many battles for the Lord. He preached approximately 30 years, nearing the end of his life he wanted to pass on encouragement and advice to Timothy who was young in his faith.

He told him, be strong in the grace given by Jesus Christ. God’s grace is there for us through everything. He told him to be committed, not just faithful, he is to pass on what he knows to others who will then pass on to others what he has seen and heard in him one day. Things we treasure that God, an elder, or a teacher, or preacher have given us we are to pass on to others.

He told Timothy to endure. We, as soldiers, may be called on to serve in unexpected ways. We are to stay focused, not letting anything distract us.

“I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

“Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

“Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example” Philippians 3:14-17.

There are those who are not strong, or stay focused and committed. One or the saddest verses in 2 Timothy 4:10. Paul says not to let the things of the world entangle you. Our purpose is to please the commander who has chosen us to be his. Let God lead.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love my appearing” 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Marta Vann

First Apostolic

The sweet Presence of the Lord was felt in our midst as services opened with prayer and songs of praise for Sunday morning, Nov. 7. "Purity of Religion,” was taken from James 1:27, Galatians 1:6-9, Jude 3-5, Acts 2:38, and Revelation 3:7-11. Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, was writing to a group of people who at one time knew the Lord, but had turned from him. Paul had become their enemy because he told them the truth about salvation, telling them that there is not another gospel than what he had preached to them. Anything that people want to believe is a religion to them, but purity of religion would include purity in living and in ourselves.

Paul had been blasphemous, persecuting the church and putting Christians to death, but he was blameless in his religion before he was converted. Jeremiah pointed to the priesthood and the prophets, accusing them of grief and only healing the hurt of the people slightly. They were not offered an experience in God, but only a ritual, saying peace, peace, when there was no peace for their souls.

For people to have their hurting souls healed and peace within, they must experience salvation. It cannot be separated from the name of Jesus. Salvation comes in obedience to Peter's preaching on the day of Pentecost – repentance, baptism in Jesus' name and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost – the plan the Lord gave the world by his death, burial and resurrection. Calvary paid the price for whosoever will obey his word.

Peter stood on the day of Pentecost, following the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in the upper room, and told the people that what they had received was spoken by the prophet Joel. The Lord had poured out his spirit. After we receive the experience of Pentecost, or the Holy Ghost, we must continually check ourselves, our experience, our spirit, our beliefs to see if we are in harmony with the scriptures, lest we be led the wrong way.

Purity of religion is religion beyond normal, separate, showing in our attitudes, conversations, and actions. We must not heed the enemy's deceptive ideas and mix with the world. We are admonished to come out from among them and be a separate people, serving the Lord with our whole heart.

Feel welcome to visit any time – Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. We are located two miles south of Speedy's on Welling Road. For information, call 918-457-9498.

Nancy Walker

Peggs Community Church

Sunday morning services on Nov. 7 began in prayer led by Brother Loyd Eaton with 52 in attendance. The devotional was read from Acts 9:1-18 and the first song was "Are You Washed In The Blood,"

Happy birthday to Hayden Dean, happy anniversary to Mike and Deborah Parish, and our prayers for Patsy Ingram to get well, get through and over the excruciating back pain she suffers.

Food pantry is this Wednesday, Nov. 10. Senior lunch is Nov. 18. There are lists in the foyer for Christmas gifts for veterans in the hospitals and homes, as well as the residents of the "old Davis" nursing home. Those purchasing gifts for these folks need to get the gifts in probably by Dec. 12 so they can get to the proper destinations on time.

Our youth will be caroling early in December, and play practice is just about to get under way. They are also entering a float in the Locust Grove Christmas parade, which is Dec. 7. We shouldn't forget Veterans Day Thursday, Nov. 11, nor Thanksgiving Nov. 25.

Brother Mike took the pulpit this morning and based his message on scriptures read from Isaiah 61:1-3; Proverbs 1:1-7, 1:20-24, 2:1-3, 3:2, and 4:1-9.

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified" (Isaiah 61:1-3).

Preachers, pastors...people that are called to lead a congregation should be, actually, must be, anointed by the Holy Spirit of God in order to not only be sure and secure in what they preach and teach, but to be able to reach the hearts of those listening. Our small congregation is blessed in that we have two such men.

When they speak the words of God, you know they're speaking truth, powerful and unvarnished. The passages referred to from Proverbs are instructions given by King Solomon to his son as the pathway to living a good and productive life, always walking in the paths laid down by God, and to pass on these instructions to others that one comes in contact with in life. No one has ever said that living a life for God would be easy, it isn't.

Even God's only son was persecuted from the time he started teaching and preaching, and ended up being crucified because of a lie. Had Jesus been truly believed and recognized as who he was – and is – there would have been no need for his sacrifice; but...people being people, some worse than others, and then there are the "crowd followers" demanding Christ be put on the cross. They had no idea at the time that this whole occurrence was God's plan of redemption. All God asks is obedience, all he wants is our praise and worship. We need God, he is vital to our existence and eternity. Hear his words, obey to the best of your ability, and when you fail, ask forgiveness always, giving Christ the glory for your salvation.

Kay Cordray

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