Peggs Community Church

Well, 2019 is over. Our morning services this last Sunday of the year began in prayer led by Brother Mike Parish with 60 in attendance.

The devotional was read from 1st John 5:1-13, and the first song was "The Old Rugged Cross."

Happy birthday this week to Patty Cole. Happy wedding anniversary to Bud and Pat Moss, and Brian and Raylene Bielli. Get well wishes go out to Kayley Helton and Loyd Eaton. Our prayers, love, and sympathy are offered to the Milliron family and the Bass family on their recent losses. May God grant you the peace you seek.

We have several plans on the books, so to speak, for early January. The Lady Samaritans will hold their meeting Jan. 7 rather than New Year's Eve, and will be electing their officers and setting out plans for the new year. The food pantry distribution is Wednesday, Jan. 8, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 13, is a basic CPR class at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. is our annual business conference also setting out plans and goals for the year ahead, electing church officers, and Sunday school teachers and officers, as well. And, if nothing changes much, the senior luncheon will be on Thursday, Jan. 16.

Brother Rex took his reading this morning from Ephesians 1:1-7 and 2:14-22, speaking of how we came to be made children of God. At one time in history, we gentile-peoples didn't have any hope of receiving salvation until the full propitiation for sins had been paid by the blood of Christ.

Those who have been born again can count themselves as part of the church of the first-born, a church built on the foundation of the prophets and the apostles, Jesus himself being the chief cornerstone of it all.

The message continued somewhat at the evening service with the reading being Acts 2:1-21, with the coming of the Holy Ghost to the upper room on the day of Pentecost. That day can truly be counted as the birth of the church. On that day, apostles and followers received the Holy Spirit, knowledge of the Scripture, remembrance of Christ's words and the ability to convey his message in languages other than their own. Indeed, several thousand people came to Christ on that day following Peter's first sermon.

Just think about it. Truly a new day for a "new" people, becoming a new creature in Christ. Yes, it was a "brand new day." Have you seen yours yet?

Kay Cordray

God's Mountain Church

Rev. Carl Clark opened service with prayer. Sandra and Carl Clark, accompanied by Lula Thompson, sang "Keep Walking" and "Amazing Grace."

Classes adjourned with Sandra Clark teaching the juniors, and Donald and Holly Devine the teens. Ethan Horney taught the adult class from Luke 15:1-32.

Jesus taught here about leaving the 99 sheep who were safe in the fold and going to find the one lost sheep. He related how there is great rejoicing in heaven over one lost sheep that has been restored to the fold.

The woman lost her coin. When she found it, she called her friends and they rejoiced with her. The prodigal son went astray. When he returned to his father's house, they had a great celebration. There is much rejoicing going on heaven today.

Classes returned to the sanctuary. Prayer requests were taken followed with prayer. Congregational singing included the selections "l'll Fly Away," "He Set Me Free," "Victory in Jesus," "Everybody Will be Happy Over There," and "Blessed Assurance."

The booster band sang "Little Baby in the Manger" and "There Was a Little Baby." Tylee and Hank sang "Jesus Loves Me." Morgan and Trey sang "Confidence." Greg Clinton sang "Why Me, Lord?" And "The Sun's Coming Up in the Morning." Jamie Horney and Lula Thompson sang "l Cannot Find the Way Alone."

Pastor Clark delivered the message from 2 Peter 3:1-18. Jesus is coming back soon. Peter tells us there will be scoffers in the last day. They are saying "Where is the promise of his coming?"

"Be not ignorant of this one thing; that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day."

The Lord is not slack concerning his promises. He is long-suffering; not willing that any should perish. The long suffering of our lord is salvation. Don't put off salvation too long. One day, it will be too late.

Service closed with an altar call. Tim Butler dismissed the congregation in prayer. Attendance was 50.

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

Lula Thompson

Cookson United Methodist

Rev. Pastor Rachel Parrott and the congregation pray and wish you and your family a blessed and healthy happy new year in 2020.

Come as you are to the corner of Highway 82 south and Cookson Bend Road, 21685 W. Cookson Bend Road. Small group classes meet at 8:45 a.m., and Sunday morning worship begins at 10. This Sunday will be Epiphany Sunday. Epiphany is the 12th night after the birth of Jesus. This marks the time that the three kings (Wise Men) visit Baby Jesus. The word "epiphany" comes from Greek and means to show, referring to Jesus being revealed to the world.

Last Sunday, the congregation was blessed to have Pastor Kim Hutson lead the worship service. His message, "The Dirty Christmas," was referenced to Psalm 148 and Hebrews 2:10-18. Pastor Kim began his message by relating a story about Santa Claus having a hard, frustrating time getting things ready for Christmas. The story concluded with a little angel bringing him a huge Christmas tree. This began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Christmas trees make great preaching material, but under every Christmas tree amidst the brightly wrapped packages, the winter villages, the nativity scenes, ect. there ought to be a pail of dirt. The dirt should also be really smelly and nasty. More than anything, that dirt reminds of what God is really up to at Christmas. It is easy to overlook the significance that Jesus was born in a barn and laid in a manger because there was no room for him in the inn. Dirty dirt should always remind and associate you with the presence of God.

Christmas tells us that this is the kind of God we have. The dirt of Christmas helps us understand just how great God is. Hebrews 2:10 reminds us: "It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory should make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Christmas is about pain. A women gave birth that night. It is about God leaving heaven and coming down to be with us in the midst of our dirt. God did this. That is good news. God loves us beyond our comprehension.

Jesus suffered for our salvation. God shared in our humanity. Jesus was like us in every way. He was tempted to help those who are being tempted. In Jesus' birth we meet God in his loving and merciful true holiness. Jesus is the One who leads the way and clears the path for our salvation.

Jesus emerged from the dirt and mess of this world completely sinless. Jesus was tempted from beyond anything we can ever experience. We never know temptation at its fiercest because we give in long before that stage is reached. Jesus has gone through the jungle of suffering, pain, sin and death. Jesus did it out of love. He has opened a way for us to come out the other side, as well. Christmas is dirty and is about pain...our pain, but especially God's pain on our behalf.

When we find ourselves bogged down in the cold, dirty, lonely and our pain of life, just remember to look at the dirty birth in Bethlehem. That child is Emmanuel. God is with us in the middle of the dirt and pain to assure us that there is nothing too dirty to separate us from his love. You may want to set a pail of dirt beneath your Christmas tree to remind yourself why that Christmas tree is so gloriously decorated at all.

Cindy Ballew

First Apostolic

Songs of praise followed prayer as services opened for Sunday morning, Dec. 29. "Don't Bypass the Altar" was taken from Hebrews 11:8-10 and Genesis 12:1-9; 13:10-12. When we come to God, we must adjust our priorities if we are to be successful in living for him. If we do not do so, we are destined to fail God. We are commanded to seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness and we will have all other things added to us. Unless God is first in our lives, we will desperately fail.

Abraham and Lot, traveling together for some time, came to a place where it became necessary for them to separate their flocks and herds, as well as their herdsmen and families. Lot, who had no priorities toward God, looked to the well-watered plains of Jordan where his herds could graze and he could increase his wealth. He did not realize the significance that the city of Sodom, looming in the distance, would have on his life. He failed to build an altar to God before he made his decision.

There was a grave difference in the priorities of Lot and Abraham. Abraham built that altar to God - for he was looking for a city whose Builder and Maker was God. Lot looked to the corrupt city of Sodom.

As we walk with God, we need to look to the altar of the church. It is the best place to get our priorities in order. When we kneel and ask God to give us the right perspective, he will be first in our lives. It made the difference in the lives of Lot and Abraham. While Lot was looking to the world, Abraham was putting an altar together and looking for that city build by God.

When we set our priorities in order - when we have repented, been baptized in Jesus' name for the remission of sins and received the promised Holy Ghost - we can look for that city, the New Jerusalem. We cannot bypass the altar, for it is there that we come to realize that we were not redeemed with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

There was a vast difference in where Abraham and Lot wound up. Lot chose the well-watered plains and ended up in Sodom. He ended up losing his wife who, in disobedience, turned and looked back to Sodom and was turned to a pillar of salt. From there he only went down - from one trouble to another. On the other hand, Abraham, who looked for that city whose Builder and Maker was God, who always built an altar to God before any decision, found heaven as his final destination, where he sits with Isaac and Jacob.

We, who do not bypass the altar, are looking for that New Jerusalem coming down from heaven as a Bride adorned for her husband.

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. Visit our website at facwelllingok.org.

Nancy Walker

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