Cookson United Methodist

The parking lot drive-in worship is still at 8:30 a.m. each Sunday morning at 21685 W. Cookson Bend Road. This is the perfect time to come as you are. Enjoy the fall breeze, worship music, Scriptures and Rev. Rachel Parrott's inspiring message. Small groups are meeting at 9:15 a.m., wearing masks and social distancing. The inside worship is at 10 a.m. with social distancing in the pews, wearing masks, and sanitizer is available.

The Scripture readings for both services were Psalm 103:1-5, 8-13, Romans 14:1-12, and Matthew 18:21-35. Pastor Rachel's message is broadcast each week on the Cookson UMC Facebook page. Inside worship songs are projected on the screen because hymnals are not used during this pandemic.

The Scripture in Matthew asks us "How often should I forgive?" As a family of God, forgiveness is an on-going activity. It is widely known that unforgiveness deeply affects your own emotional and physical health. Sometimes people want to invert the golden rule: "Do unto others as they have done unto you." Don't put conditions on forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean that the hurt has been repaid or acknowledged. It means to release, to let go of the other. This is hard work yet, not denying the hurt. Forgiveness is a possibility only when you can acknowledge the negative impact of the other person's actions or attitudes in your life. Forgiveness is not an excuse for unjust behavior and to forgive is not necessarily to forget.

Forgiveness is not just an individual matter. Society has much sin to name, repent and forgive. Some events and situations should not be forgotten. To forgive is to make a conscious choice. It represents a choice to leave behind your resentment and desire for retribution. Take time this week to consider the work of forgiveness you need to release, to release the bitterness and anger inside of you.

Don't minimize your pain; acknowledge it and move toward forgiveness. You are hurting yourself by holding onto resentment. The real question is "How do I forgive?" in and through the grace of God by which we are forgiven.

Cindy Ballew

First Apostolic

Prayer was followed by songs of praise and worship of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as services opened for Sunday morning, Sept. 13. “Spiritually Near-sighted” was taken from Genesis 12:1-4, Hebrews 11:8-10 and 2 Peter 1:4-9. We can become spiritually nearsighted without faith, seeing only the problems or trials and not the purpose of them in our lives. The apostles asked for the Lord to increase their faith, for it takes faith to see beyond the problems.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. All that we hope for is based on the substance of faith We must see that substance beyond our problems. The devil tries to magnify them, but by faith, we see over them to the flag of victory on the other side. The Lord will deliver the things he promised us – by faith.

The Lord told Abram to get out from where he was, leave kindred and home, and go to a land he would show him. He sojourned in the land of promise – he only passed through, never settling down roots, dwelling only in tents. He could see, through faith, that city whose Maker and Builder was God, a city with 12 foundations, with no need of a light, for the Lamb is the Light. Faith caused him to have boldness to act on God’s promise.

Faith also caused a ruddy shepherd boy to face a nine foot, six inch giant, armed with a sling and five smooth stones – and the name of the Lord. The stone hit Goliath where it needed to, knocking him to the ground – through faith on David’s part. Faith is the substance that causes us to see not the situation, but the greatness of our God. Daniel in the den of lions and the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace all had faith to see the victory beyond the threat of death.

Peter said if we lack these things – faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, meekness, brotherly kindness – we are spiritually blind. When we lose faith, we see only the problems because of our spiritual blindness. Without faith, we see only the hole into the tunnel, but with faith, we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Let us pray for the Lord to increase our faith, to see that He is greater problem than any problem that we have. We are children of the King of glory. When the enemy comes in like a flood, He will raise up a standard against him. We are like Abraham, only passing through this world to a city whose Maker and Builder is God. We must never lose sight of our goal.

Feel welcome to visit any time: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The church is two miles south of Speedy’s on Welling Road. For information, call 918-457-9498. Also, visit our website at facwellingok.org and listen to the services on livestream.

Nancy Walker

Peggs Community Church

Morning services for Sept. 13 opened in prayer led by Brother Loyd Eaton, with 48 in attendance. The devotional was read from Hebrews 10:1-27 and the first song was "Jesus Loves Even Me."

Happy birthday to Hagen Hill this week. Get well prayers and wishes go to Shirley Hendrickson, Bailey Spurtel, David Fisher, Michelle Fisher, and all those named on the prayer chain. Our prayers and sympathy are extended to the Pickle family on their recent loss.

The senior luncheon is Thursday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to noon with curbside service. the meal will be beans, fried potatoes, cornbread, and desserts.

Brother Rex based his message this morning on Scriptures found in Jeremiah 8:18-22 and Isaiah 53:5. We've all heard and-or read of the "balm of Gilead" and probably wondered just exactly what it was. Well, after doing quite a bit of research, Brother Rex found it is a tree, similar to a balsam and found only in the arid area of Gilead. Like the balsam, the sap of the balm has soothing, healing powers and has been used by the native peoples of the lands where it is found for centuries, if not longer. Like the balsam tree, the balm of Gilead can only be retrieved by cutting deeply into the trunk or limbs of the tree in order for the sap to surface and try to heal the wound to the tree.

Much like the rock that gave water to the Israelites, the tower of fire and smoke that directed their wanderings, the balm of Gilead was God-sent to his people. It is possible that it was the tree thrown into the bad waters when no other water was available. We all should recognize that all this was sent and directed by God and were precursors to the blood that Jesus would later shed for us.

The Scripture mentioned from Isaiah tells us that "by his stripes we are healed" some 700 years before Jesus was even born on earth. Every miracle, every healing, and sometimes, every punishment the Israelites endured was from God. And like the Hebrew children, since we have been adopted into the family of the living God, the miracles, the healing, and the punishments are ours as well. Unlike the Hebrews, we have an advocate that sits at the right hand of God speaking for us and allowing his blood to cover our sins, that we might reach heaven and be forever with the Lord. The Hebrews' day has been foretold and will occur in God's own time, but they, too, will come to know Jesus as Lord and King. Let the balm of Gilead heal your soul, ease your pain, and settle your mind. Life in the service of Christ really is the best way, here on earth, and eventually at "home" with God.

Kay Cordray

CCF

Community Christian Fellowship is on State Highway 82 South at Keys

Regular services are: Sunday school, 10 a.m.; worship service, 11 a.m.; Sunday and Wednesday praise and worship, 6 p.m. As always, come as you are.

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).

With evil present in the world everywhere around us, we have to be on guard and not let it overcome us. How do we know when it has?

When it causes us to lose our joy, it has overcome us. Also, the evil that we see around us causes us to want to throw up our hands in defeat and give up, and it causes us to want to quit running the race that is set before us.

When we stop yielding the fruit of the Spirit, we have let it overcome us and we have fear but no faith because of the evil acts and words of others, then it has over come us.

When it takes your eyes off of God and his kingdom, it has overcome you.

When we let it discourage us, steal our peace or depress us, that’s when it has overcome us.

The verse above is a command and it tells us not to be overcome by evil.

In other words, we are not to let evil defeat us. Is that possible? Can we have any power over evil when it comes against us? It would not be a command if it were not possible. The same verse that gives us the command also gives us the solution to "Overcome evil with good," and we overcome it by doing what is good.

How do we overcome evil with good? By doing those things that are good, such as keeping your mind renewed in God's Word and by keeping your heart and mind fixed upon the Lord. You can do it by remembering that we don't wrestle against flesh and blood. So, go after the real enemy, spiritual wickedness, with the weapons you have been given, and if the evil is coming through a person that you have dealings with, show some act of kindness to them. Pray, pray for the person, for yourself, for the situation. When you speak to that person, speak the truth in love, not in argument, not in frustration, but with fearlessness. Guard your heart by not listening to evil reports when evil comes through a temptation and tries to get you to yield. Pull out your sword of the Spirit, call a fellow Christian for prayer support, pray and seek the Holy Spirit.

Romans 12:19: "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay,' saith the Lord."

And when you are personally faced with evil, it will not overcome you if you will follow God's Word and implement his strategies and solutions for overcoming it.

Jenny Dameron

Tahlequah First Baptist

It is hard to make big decisions in our lives. We can feel overwhelmed when decisions require our time, finances and energy. When pressure builds to find the answers to these decisions, we can even feel desperate. We then tend to make poor decisions or don’t carry through with our plans at all for fear of making wrong choices. You ask yourself, “What does God want me to do?” or “Should I do this thing or that thing?” If we are Christians, we have peace in making our plans for today and for our future, and if our decisions don’t go against God’s Word, truth and principles, we can move forward with confidence. God has given us unique and creative minds. We can dream and make our plans and do the things he has allowed and gifted us with.

When we keep our minds open to the Lord and what his plans are for our life, we can then determine what plans to make for our future. We can have confidence in our plans because he guides our steps. He has given us the ability to choose between right and wrong, and has given us a heart to know what is good. Our souls long for fellowship with him. He won’t let us stray very far from him. God is always there for us.

There are circumstances that will distract us and slow us down. We will sometimes have to change our plans and re-evaluate the direction we are going in. When this happens, God is trying to redirect us. He only wants the very best for us, so if our plans get destroyed, thank God because he has your best interest at heart and maybe our perfect plans aren’t God’s perfect plan for our life. His perfect plan is always much better. He always has amazing things in store for us. He loves us and protects us and will always direct our footsteps toward good and his perfect will.

Sunday services are: Sunday school, 9:30 a.m.; and worship, 10:45 a.m. Wednesday night discipleship classes are 6-7 p.m.

Terri Fite

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