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, Sept. 22. "Apollos - A Powerful Preacher" was taken from 1 Corinthians 2:5; 3:5-9 and Acts 18:24-28. Paul was confronted with a church divided. They had become so carnal that they disputed over who they followed, Paul or Apollos - failing to realize that they ought to follow Christ. To correct this error, Paul let them know it was not man's wisdom they ought to follow but God's

The Lord appointed dedicated men to carry the gospel to the world, men who prayerfully sought his wisdom. Paul knew that the earthy wisdom was both sensual and devilish and men who had it were proud and boasters.

The wisdom of God is action, not words. It is pure, its motives and thinking are pure. It is peaceable and gentle. It is easy to be entreated and without partiality and hypocrisy. Paul admonished the Corinthian church not to look to worldly men for wisdom and learning, but to men of God who display wisdom by Christlike actions who walk a balanced walk with the Lord. We have need to maintain a balanced walk with God, not focusing on only one aspect, but on every area - prayer, faithfulness, worship, Bible study.

Apollos was an eloquent man, persuasive in his preaching. He was mighty in Scripture, able to persuade men by Old Testament prophecy and John's baptism that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah. Yet, Aquila and Priscilla, after hearing him preach, drew him aside and expounded the word of God more perfectly to him, telling him of baptism in Jesus' name for the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost. They did so with godly wisdom. Apollos obeyed their instruction and continued in the faith, being greatly used of God in the early church.

Let us be receptive to godly wisdom, ever drawing closer to the Lord until that day when he calls us home.

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 or 918-401-0368. Also, visit our website at facwellingok.org.

Nancy Walker

Unitarian Universalist

A couple weeks ago, one of our congregants was mowing the church lawn. This person is my "brother from another mother" and one of the most intelligent, talented, giving, compassionate, and inspiring people I have ever known. I am honored to call him my friend. He was mowing our lawn as an act of service and love to our church community. He has mowed that lawn for many years as a gift to us. During this activity, a truck pulled up to the four-way stop next to our church. The young man in the truck stayed at the stop sign, watched my friend intently, and then aimed and violently threw a bottle at him, then drove off. There was even a vehicle behind his truck in line for the stop sign. Also, the church is basically across the street from the police station/court house. Needless to say, my friend will not likely mow the lawn any more. He doesn't feel safe. Ethnically, Tahlequah is a pretty diverse town. We have many people with many different skin tones. My friend happens to have skin that is labelled "not white." The young man that threw the bottle had skin that would be labelled as "white." Neither man knew the other.

I'm angry and appalled and ashamed of him as a human being for his action. I'm flabbergasted that a young person (or anyone, really) in these modern times displays this kind of behavior, especially in a community that I naively believed to be accepting. But also, and mostly, I'm so sad for that "kid." I feel horrifically sorry for him. What kind of life must he have, what influences is he under that tempted him to such a senseless, stupid act? What was he thinking? What was he feeling?

I ask you to take a moment and join me and send that young man love and compassion. It's a little difficult for me right now, but I know he must really need it. He has tarnished his own spirit and he has damaged the content of his own character. Only a person so misguided and unhappy would act in such a way towards someone just a little different than themselves. Sadly, similar and worse things have and do happen all the time just because someone looks, loves, or believes differently than we do. This could mean that we are surrounded by people with tarnished spirits and damaged characters,all because they have allowed themselves to become ugly with fear and hate.

We are supposed to be above all this hate by now. We are supposed to have evolved intellectually and spiritually past this degradation. We are supposed to be global and united as a race. There is only ONE race, friends, and this is a fact. It's called the Human Race. The beloved Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., expressed the hope for his children, and for us all,that we "will not be judged by the color of (our) skin, but by the content of (our) character." We know that we are to have moved beyond that to include not being only skin color, but also how we love and how we worship. This is how it was all truly meant to be, none of us better than the other, all of us "in this together."

Our first principle in Unitarian Universalism is the belief and affirmation in "the inherent worth and dignity of EVERY person." My dear, kind brother will be perhaps be more wary, but he will be fine, because he lives that principle, therefore his character and spirit are healthy and shiny...but the young man that threw that bottle and that bizarre fit of petulance and misguided anger, and everyone that behaves and thinks like him....they are gravely ill in the scope of humanity and not evolved enough intellectually or spiritually. Yet. So we keep praying and polishing the content of our character.

Join us this and every Sunday for 10 a.m. forum discussion, and 11 a.m. for our worship service. This Sunday, after service, our "sandwich team" will meet to assemble our lunch offering for the Tahlequah Area Homeless Coalition.

Find out more about us on Facebook at "Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Tahlequah, 104 N. College Ave."

May you be blessed by being a blessing to others.

Traci Clark

Tahlequah First Baptist

A mother was working on preparing a lesson she needed to finish at her kitchen table. Her children were running and playing as usual. When they ran by the table the papers she had been working on floated to the floor. She had been trying for hours to write something sensible on the pages, but nothing seemed to make sense. And now they were lying in a pile on the floor. At that moment, defeat overtook her. When her papers fell to the floor, she thought maybe she should just give it up for the day and try again another time.

Sinking back into a chair, she wondered what to do next. She watched her children play. They were having a great time laughing, chasing and playing. They were in the moment and they were enjoying each other with no distractions. They didn't even notice the papers that had fallen to the floor, the toy box that was on its side, the play dough that was stuck to the floor or the caps that were off the markers. She sat there feeling stuck in the chaos of things. The laundry fresh out of the dryer was on the bed waiting to be folded, dishes were piled in the sink from breakfast waiting to be washed, and the fallen pages still needed words on them.

How could her children block out everything and have so much joy when she felt like it was total mayhem? She started breathing deeply and acknowledging her need for God along with giving him thanks for his presence in the middle of her chaos. She asked him to give her meaningful words to put on the pages. Right then she could feel her tension easing. God does that when you slow down and listen. When you surrender to him and embrace the stillness. When she did this, he gave her the words to write on the pages. Her children were focused on having fun. She realized that wherever she decided to place her attention would determine what she would experience as well.

She needed to adjust her focus and that's what she did. She trusted God that he had everything under control and when she made God the center of her focus she experienced his peace, hope and joy in the midst of the chaos surrounding her. No matter what is going on in your world or your life, choosing to focus your mind and heart on God will allow you to experience his perfect peace in every situation. We sometimes let discouragement take over our emotions and let bad thoughts creep into our minds and hearts, but God is right with us all the time. He waits for us to choose him and he is always the best option and is so happy when we do. So, when times get chaotic, remember, God is waiting for to us to be still and listen and give us his perfect peace.

Terri Fite

God's Mountain Church

Rev. Carl Clark opened service with prayer. Nicolas Clark sang "The Lion and the Lamb" and "Rhythm's of Grace." Classes adjourned with Sandra Clark teaching the juniors and Beth Clark the teens.

Nicolas Clark taught the adult class on happiness. God doesn't want you happy when it causes you to do sinful things. Many people find happiness while partaking in the pleasures of this world. The pleasure of sin is temporary.

God wants you blessed. The joy of being blessed is not based on the happiness of the things of this world. The more you fall in love with God, the less the things of this world will appeal to you. The wages of sin is death. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Classes returned to the sanctuary. Congregational singing included selections: "Rock of Ages," "Just a Little Talk with Jesus" and "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms."

Prayer requests were taken followed with prayer. The booster band sang "Give Me Oil in My Lamp," "Who Built the Ark?" and "Put on the Whole Armor of God." Hank Horney sang "Who Did Swallow Jonah?"

Afton Kissinger opened worship service with "Jesus Built this Church on Love" and "Reckless Love." Nicolas Clark sang "Majesty."

Pastor Carl Clark delivered the message from Revelation 21:1-3. Many of us have known disappointments in our lifetime. We have sorrow and sickness on this journey. We endure pain and affliction from time to time.

Praise God! This will all pass away and we will inherit the everlasting promise of no more pain, no more sorrow, no more death, no more tears, no more crying, for the former things shall pass away.

John, the beloved penned down these precious promises of God: "and I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them and they shall be His people. And God himself shall wipe away all tears from their eyes!"

We need to take heart and be encouraged in the promises of our Lord and Savior! Service closed with an altar call and prayer for those responding. Service was dismissed with universal prayer. Attendance was 63.

Bible study is Wednesday evening at 6 p.m., and everyone is welcome.

Lula Thompson

Barber Baptist

Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Guest preacher Jeff Brown brought the evening message about "In the beginning God…" The world has an increasingly low view of God. Our view would be higher if we would acknowledge how blessed we truly are.

Some try to use science to disprove the existence of God, instead of letting science speak for itself. Science actually proves that God is.

Genesis 1:1-4: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

Scientist say that things had to be just so for things to appear randomly.

God is a builder. When people build they need a list of materials. God had no list, He spoke and it was. Time was a commodity created for us. We are constrained by time; God is not constrained by anything. On the opening end of the beginning of time, God is, God was and God will always infinitely be.

Adam and Eve made poor choices. We make poor choices. Jesus stands for believers before God. God sees the righteousness of Jesus not our sin.

God was and is still in control. When describing this world words like mayhem, filth, sin prevail. Many want to silence the church about God; and yet God is the only one who can help in this world. Remember, God wins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

We need to be reminded that God created all things; if we were never created it would have still happened. Why did God create us? God created us for himself. We were created in his image to have a relationship with him. God wants you. God loves you. God does not need you.

Believe this; God loves you with such a tremendous unexplainable unending love that he gave us his only Son so we could always be with him forever.

Acts 4:12: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

Pray for the family members, friends, coworkers, neighbors, who may not know about or deny the name of Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation that He offers. Pray for our nation and our leaders. Pray for those who are hurting, overwhelmed, or weary. Pray continually for each other.

Marta Vann

CCF

Welcome to Community Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational, Bible-preaching, teaching Church of God. The church is on State Highway 82 South at Keys. Prayer service tonight is at 6 p.m., and, as always, come as you are. Regular services are as follows: Sunday school, 10 a.m.; worship service, 11 a.m.; and Wednesday and Sunday night services, 6 p.m.

If you need information or would like to contact the church, send your emails to Msjennyhsb@yahoo.com. All letters will be answered.

We want to thank our visitors and Becky Wright for coming out and singing and bringing us the Word of God. You all are welcome anytime.

"By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land" (Exodus 23:30).

While speaking to the Israelites in the wilderness concerning their entering into the Promised Land, the Lord told them that he was going to drive the other nations out of the land little by little. He was not going to drive them all out at one time. It would be by the conquering of one city after another. I ask, could God drive them all out at once? Sure he could, but he was not going to. He was going to do it through a process.

At salvation there is something that takes place in our life right then; we become a new creation but that is only the beginning. From there we go through a process. God could totally deliver us from all the vain imaginations of our heart, from the lusts of the flesh, from our flawed thinking, but he doesn't.

This is something we must do, the destruction of our biggest enemy (our own flesh) and transformation into the likeness of Christ, takes place through a process. A daily process of denying self, of renewing our mind and of presenting ourselves before the Lord as living sacrifices.

How nice it would be if he would just instantaneously change at salvation all the things about us that have to be put to death. But instead we have to do that on a daily basis as we encounter each one. So today, remember that you are in a process and every "enemy" you encounter has to be dealt with then and "driven out." We are in a process; I must decrease and he must increase.

Jenny Dameron

Peggs Community Church

Sunday morning services on Sept. 22 began in prayer led by Brother Gilbert Beaver. The devotional was taken from Matthew 25:14-30, the first song, "I Want To Be a Worker." We had 67 in attendance this morning.

Happy birthday wishes to Hagen Hill and Nolan Smith. Happy wedding anniversary to Alex and Brittania Magee. Get well prayers and wishes are sent up for Bill Manes and Doug Maag.

Brother Rex took his message this morning from 2 Peter 2:1-9, and verses 5-7 of Jude, focusing on immoral lifestyles and perverted beliefs.

Before the flood of Noah's day, then the arrogance of the Tower of Babel, to the immorality of the cities of the plain, Sodom and Gomorrah and the others; and sadly, the behaviors of our own day, there have been those that either ignore, corrupt, or flat disobey God's Word on immorality.

Thousands have been destroyed over their behavior, first because of their sins, and most importantly, because of their refusal to repent and change.

I could list, oh, 20 or more passages in the Bible that declare certain behaviors as sin, as abominations, but I won't. Believers, Christians, know where to find those passages, non-believers, scoffers, and those practicing these behaviors would only bombard the paper with their "outrage." I will say, however, truth isn't always pleasant, and is sometimes painful. I will also continue to "love the sinner and hate the sin" in my fellow man and in myself. For those feeling the sting of truth, seek Jesus and repent of your sins. If you are truly seeking his help, he will forgive, wipe the sin-stain from you, and assist you on a new path of life. If you only get angry with me or the Christian next door so to speak, we've already forgiven you.

And you are included in our prayers so some day you wIll seek Jesus and salvation.

Kay Cordray

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