Cookson United Methodist

Rev. Rachel Parrott and the congregation invite everyone to come worship with them this Sunday. Worship times are 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Fellowship time follows the 8:30 a.m. service then small groups meet. The church is located on the corner of Highway 82 south and Cookson Bend Road. The GPS address is 21685 W. Cookson Bend Road.

Last Sunday, guests visited and were welcomed. Cookson UMC is a relaxed, come as you are church from wherever you are. Pastor Rachel's scripture readings were Psalm 16 and Hebrews 10:11-25.

Pastor Rachel's message began with an introduction to the upcoming Advent Season beginning the new Christian year. The Sunday after Thanksgiving will be the first Sunday of Advent. This is the first Sunday, beginning a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Christmas season.

Hebrews 10:11-25 gives a broad view of the work of Jesus and its significance. The purpose of sacrificial offerings is not to meet God's needs, but to meet human need for a clean conscience, according to the author of Hebrews. The work has been done once and for all. The ultimate sacrifice has been made by Christ himself. The work is done. It is unnecessary to be paralyzed by guilt, feel unworthy, or unlovable. Christ has ripped the curtain of the temple and you are welcomed into God's presence; weak, vulnerable, broken and guilty as everyone is.

Sins separate you from God, when behaviors are contrary to God's will. It is important to take responsibility for any and all consequences of any sinful actions. It is crucially important and modeled by Christ to forgive yourself as God has forgiven you.

A great blessing requires a response. Christ's sacrifice is life changing and so live a changed life, live in a new way. Read Hebrews 10: 19-25.

Forgive yourself and move forward with confidence and holy boldness. Enter God's presence with praise and thanksgiving. Experience God's presence fully, honestly, and authentically. Believe and exercise your faith boldly following the example of Christ. He will be faithful to his promises.

Work with, and encourage others in the family of faith to love and good deeds. Be an active participant in the saving work of God in the world, not just a spectator or simply recipients of God's grace. God through Jesus entered into the full range of human sufferings. His sufferings shaped him into a perfect offering. He wants you to help him. May you grow in Christ-like giving, serving and loving.

Cindy Ballew

Peggs Community Church

Services for the morning of Nov. 14 began in prayer led by Brother Mike Parish, with 56 in attendance. The devotional was read from Malachi 4:1-6, and the first song, "This World is Not My Home.”

Happy birthday to Megan Fisher. Get-well wishes and prayers go out for Brittania Magee and Larry Switzenberg.

Senior lunch is Thursday, Nov. 18 and turkey, dressing and all the fixins are on the menu. The drawing for the $500 gift card will be just before closing up for the day, around noon or just after. Mike and Deborah’s "pounding" is this next Sunday, Nov. 21. The Batchelor family will be presenting the gospel in song on the evening of Nov. 28, beginning at 6 p.m.

Everybody is invited to attend. We're still gathering gifts for the Angel Tree and the veterans, gifts need to be in by Dec. 5. The youth will be participating in caroling, a Christmas program, and the Locust Grove and Tahlequah parades.

Brother Rex based his message this morning on two verses from the book of Mark 14:51-52, saying "God can use you anyway, even if you've messed up badly in the past.” These two verses are only found in Mark, and have historically been attributed to the Apostle Mark as the "young man.”

We find in the book of Acts that Mark, referred also as John Mark, went on a missionary journey with his uncle Barnabas and Paul, didn't finish the journey and went home, causing a sort of rift between the two missionaries. He later joined his uncle on several preaching trips, becoming a powerful warrior for the lord in his own right; and as most of the other apostles and disciples suffered martyrdom at the end of his journey for the lord.

The point here is this: Your past, no matter how odd, strange, or bad, can serve you as a powerful witness for the goodness of God and his grace. Nothing can make an impression like a complete turn around and change in one's life and lifestyle. People wonder if miracles still happen. Yes, they do...every time a sinner is saved and born again, becoming a new person in the sight of God. Repeating an often mentioned phrase, the Christian life is not an easy one, and is becoming increasingly difficult to live given the lack of belief and confusion in today's world, but it is absolutely worth it.

You gain salvation, hope, peace, grace, a solid foundation, and your eternity forever with the Lord. I, myself, can testify that these statements are true. My own past is dark, but it’s also buried save for when I need it recalled to show complete change is more than possible. I have a lot of friends that can say the same thing.

Kay Cordray

Carter Baptist Church

Happy birthday, God bless Ron Vann, Avery Kimble, and Ryker Roedenbeck.

May God continue blessing Allen and Jan Nickels as they celebrate another year of marriage.

Pastor Mat Lawrence brought a message from Isaiah chapter 54:1-17. He described the vast dry expanse and bareness of the Sahara desert comparing it to the spiritual state of many of God’s children at times. Yet God provides a fresh spiritual garden where we can be renewed and live tranquilly. This chapter trumpets in the message of renewal.

Isaiah 53 described the death of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world.

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all how shall he not with him also freely give us all things” (Romans 8:32).

God can exchange our desert existence for a revitalized glorious life. How?

God makes his people joyful! Remember what he did for Sarah who was childless up into her 90s, and how he delivered Israel from bondage.

God gives us growth, enlarging the extent of his witnesses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific islands, North and South America. We are all a part of this with our prayers and our giving. When growth takes place our heart is renewed, God removes shame and fear. The shame of sin no longer haunts us; it is the past; we are forgiven as we repent. God still takes care of our lives.

The truth of God renews us, reminding us of his covenants of mercy and Noah.

“For this is as the waters of Noah unto me, for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee” (Isaiah 54:9).

God’s covenant of peace is ours.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

The Lord gives us beauty (Isaiah 54;11-12).

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).

Our righteous father does so much for us. Destructive forces are not forever, there will be a time of blessing, hope, and help, a time to go forward. Are you going forward?

The church gladly welcomed Glennis Anderson and Carol Brown joined this body of believers this week.

Marta Vann

Church of Jesus Christ of LDS

As his children, all mankind are viewed with a perfect and personal love from our Heavenly Father. God's love is made manifest in many ways, one of which being a canon of scripture brimming with eternal truths. Through study of the scriptures, it is possible to learn about the loving expectations that God has and the plans established to assist all in reaching his expectations. To reach this end, the commandments have been given out of love as guideposts to an abundant and eternal life. Additionally, an exemplar was provided as part of God's plan, to demonstrate the path that ought to be followed.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

Jesus both is the way and shows the way. It would therefore be wise to consider the way he went. Jesus ministered to others one by one and performed charitable acts out of love that cannot be numbered.

Jesus humbly submitted his will and was completely obedient to all that God commanded because of love. These characteristics of humility, obedience, and love are among those that when cultivated may lead their possessor to reach God's high expectations.

Ultimately, it is the ability to follow Jesus with the full purpose of heart that leads to life eternal. The attribute of obedience is particularly important in this regard.

"And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?" (2 Nephi 31:10).

Elder Justice Van Tassell

First Apostolic

The glorious presence of the Lord was felt in our midst as services opened with prayer and songs of worship for Sunday morning, Nov. 14.

"Gethsemane," was taken from Mark 14:32 and Matthew 26:36-50. It was not a struggle for the Lord to accept death on the cross of Calvary. Rather, with joy he fulfilled the scripture that accomplished the plan of God. He laid down his life willingly – man could not take the life of God manifest in flesh. He prayed in Gethsemane as an example for us, that no matter how great a trial or problem that we face, the Lord will be with us through it all.

The apostles could not understand that it was the will of God for Jesus – God manifest in flesh – to die on Calvary. His obedience to the death of the cross brought salvation to all mankind, to whosoever will obey it.

Jesus said, "To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world." If we submit our lives to the Lord, we also accept his will in the things that happen to us – both the good and the bad. It is easy to submit to his will when everything is going the way that we want it to go. Peter told the Lord that he would die for him. Yet, in the end, Peter denied that he even knew the Lord.

We are to walk by faith and not by sight. The Lord has chosen to save us by faith. He knows that in times of trial, his saints will pray more and learn to trust him more, despite what is happening in their lives.

In the mockery of a trial, false witnesses were brought in against Jesus. Yet the Lord opened not his mouth against his accusers. His doctrine, the spirit of truth, never agrees with the spirit of error. When given a choice, the people chose the most noted of criminals, Barabbas, to go free, rather than freeing Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life!

After his church was established and the plan of salvation was preached on the day of Pentecost – repentance, baptism in Jesus' name for the remission of sins and receiving the gift of the holy ghost – 3,000 souls were added to the church. Later, there were those who went out from the church. The word of God says that "they went out from us because they were not one of us." They never received the spirit of truth. There is something different about the truth, for truth speaks for itself and it will set a person free. Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, will never leave us nor forsake us when we walk in the way of truth.

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

Tahlequah First Baptist

Rev. Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne recalled how for years Thanksgiving was celebrated at her father and mother’s house. She remembered the meal set on the table. It was always abundant and very delicious. There was always turkey and dressing, ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and decadent desserts. It made her mouth water just thinking about it.

She tells of how they all enjoyed Thanksgiving Day and how they loved the food, fun and games. But the highlight and really important thing about the day was the family, friends and fellowship that they shared around the dining room table. She recalls how her dad would always sit at the head of the table and preside as each person would share what he or she was most thankful for.

Her family still celebrates this same way today, even though they have quite a large family and have to use a conference hall now. But the best part of the day is still each person’s story of thanks.
 Think of how one day, in God our father’s house, the table will be set and the meal will be ready. God will be at the head of the table with his children gathered and seated around him. He will listen intently as we share our love, adoration and praise for him and our love for each other. What a wonderful day that will be, being together with our Father in his house. Doesn’t get any better than that!

Sunday Services are: Sunday school, 9:30 a.m., worship, 10:45 a.m., Wednesday night Bible studies: 6 p.m.
Hanging of the Green Service: Sunday, Dec. 5,10:45 a.m., Christmas Program: Sunday, Dec. 12, 10:45 a.m.

Terri Fite

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