Church News

Peace

Bruce Rampy shared the following article from Paul Mowrer, Monticello Church of Christ, Monticello, AR 06/03/20

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).

“Peace” is the rendering of the Hebrew shalom, which continues to be used as both a Jewish greeting and a farewell address. Jesus used it as a farewell address as He prepared His apostles for His departure. But it is more than a typical farewell. This “peace” was His parting gift to the apostles, a peace that the world could not possibly understand (Phil. 4:7). We teach our children a song with the verse, “…peace that passes understanding, down in my heart.”

Jesus, the prophesied Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), displayed His peace to His apostles in the midst of a storm (Mark 4:35-41), and “in peace” gave Himself up to His opponents to be crucified. Peace was not merely a spoken word by our Lord, but rather a life demonstrated to His followers. A life of peace promised to those who truly believe on Him.

The peace of Jesus is far deeper and more lasting than anything this world can offer. The peace of Jesus is independent of worldly circumstances. Even the COVID-19 threat cannot disturb the peace Jesus offers, unless we allow it. The peace of Jesus can exist amid distress and danger. The peace Jesus offers is a peace and tranquility that can extinguish a fearful disposition and turmoil of the heart. We live in a troubled world of heartache, affliction, death, the ups and downs of the economy, and a world that offers no guarantee for tomorrow. But the peace Jesus promised His apostles and to us is a peace that conquers all of these fears and concerns. A peace that looks beyond today and tomorrow, to a day eternal in the presence of our Heavenly Father. And because of the peace of Jesus, I no longer have to be troubled by the things of this world. I no longer have to fear tomorrow. This is the peace that reminds us of the assurance we have that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:35-39).

We sing the song from time to time, “It Is Well with My Soul.” It is one of my favorites, perhaps because it shares the same sentiment of Jesus from years gone by, “Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well with my soul.’” Do you have this peace in your life?

We are sending a Balikbayan box to the Philippines!

Hello everyone- we want to send our annual Balikbayan box to the Catamora family in the Philippines a bit earlier this year. For one reason or another, the shippers just haven’t gotten the package to them before Christmas in years past. This year our deadline to bring items will be August 15th. Check your email or call the church office for drop-off information. This is a wonderful way to share some love with our faithful brothers and sisters and help them in their work. Here is the list of requested items. Be a blessing- receive a blessing!

  • 1. Vitamin C for kids/multivitamins
  • 2. Complete multivitamins for adults
  • 3. Vegetables Oil
  • 4. Nutella Ferrero
  • 5. Ginger Tea
  • 6. Bath Soap
  • 7. Body Lotion
  • 8. Cheese Dip
  • 9. Strawberry Jam
  • 10.Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
  • 11.Chocolates
  • 12.Communion
  • 13.Danish Style (Premium Butter Cookies)
  • 14.5×8 INDEX Cards
  • 15.Bond Paper
  • 16.Black Coffee
  • 17.Toys (any kind of toys but not too big)
  • 18.PanCake Mix

Outlasting the Corona Virus

what have some of us been up to, as we try to get through the Spring and Summer Quarantine? Today I pulled into the church parking lot and found these 4 dear sisters in “soccer mom” chairs in the shade of our parking lot, meeting for lunch.

Marian, Stephanie, Geno and Lorraine enjoying lunch together.

And then we have Crystal and Kelly getting ready to go serenade some folks as a ministry of the “Smoogleville Singers.”

Of course Neil has been busy in the workshop prototyping and producing handcrafted Adirondack chairs. Also testing them out…

So what have you all been doing so far this Summer to beat the heat and enjoy the wonderful, gracious gift of life that God has blessed us with? Send a photo and a short story!

Our Building Will Open for Worship Services, June 21 10:30

Meeting at the Building for Worship Services

We’ve missed being together for several months now. We want to spend time with our church family in worship and fellowship, but we have tried to assess the risks and benefits of doing so. 

First, there is still a risk. We are going to continue listening to the health professionals, both in our congregation and nationally. We will continue to take seriously the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, as well as federal and state recommendations.

Some are medically vulnerable and should not return to the building for worship services. Not right now. All of us, even those who believe they are in the greatest of health, could unintentionally pass COVID-19 to those who are at-risk. The evidence is clear that health precautions such as keeping social distance and wearing masks lessens the danger of contagion and saves lives. We must continue to act with care and compassion, both toward our fellow members and to the larger community.

Second, we believe we are in a position to offer modified worship services. We have carefully watched the COVID-19 trends in our area these past few weeks. While new cases have been reported in Virginia, the situation has gradually been getting better. But we are not out of the woods yet. The situation can change, and we will have to be ready to adjust.

At the present time it appears that the public health situation in our city is at a place where we can justify a modified worship service—with precautions and for those who are lower risk. We will begin those worship services on June 21st.

Screening Questions

If you want to worship at the building, please assess yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to the building and  ask yourself:

“YES” or “NO” -have I had any of the following:

  • A fever (100.4°F or higher) or a sense of having a fever?
  • A cough that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
  • Shortness of breath that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
  • Chills that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
  • Sore throat that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
  • New muscle aches (myalgia) that cannot be attributed to another health condition or specific activity (such as physical exercise)?  
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that cannot be attributed to another health condition?

    If you answer yes to any of the previous questions, please stay at home and contact your doctor.

    We are encouraging anyone who falls under any of the at-risk categories—or has someone living at home who does—to consider continuing to worship at home. The at-risk population includes those who are 65 or older, particularly those with chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, chronic heart disease, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and undergoing dialysis, liver disease, or a weakened immune system.

    We will continue to have online worship services for the foreseeable future. Please contact us and let us know you would like to attend online. Mostly we are anxious to see one another and greet one another—safely—and in the Lord. Be well, Warrenton family. Keep the faith. Pray strong.

    The Elders  

Archery anyone?

So what do you do when you have to practice social distancing, and it’s better to be outside than inside, and you are preparing for the great Zombie apocalypse? Why, you do archery, of course! Special thanks to Alan Little for providing the pictures of our most recent target practice.

Christina and Kelly at close to full draw.
The range is hot!

Receiving the Kingdom like a little child

(Here is another post from Kelly Marcum)

“Jesus loves me this I know
For the bible tells me so
Little ones to him belong
They are weak, but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me for the bible tells me so.”
The most basic principle for all believers is that Jesus loves you. As children we learn that Jesus will always care for us, the little ones. We learn that Jesus has a special place in his heart for those little ones. But it wasn’t until I was much older I understood why they seemed to be so special to him.
You can find the story about the little Children and Jesus in Luke 10:15-17, Matthew 10:13-15 and Mark 10:13-16. In Luke 10:15-17, it states, “People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Children are the most innocent of creatures on this earth. Jesus knew this. The children bring hope for a better tomorrow. Children are moldable, and their actions are normally learned behavior. Many times, it is not at fault of their own because they do become a product of their environment. 
As the song states, the children are weak, but Jesus is strong and not matter what else may happen in this world, He loves me because the bible tells me so.
There is a time when a child moves into an adult. As an adult, we start making our own choices and more forward with how we were raised or change the path that is before us. Those raised in the church may fall away to try and find themselves, others may turn to the church to help give them hope. No matter how you become a believer in Jesus Christ, we are told in 1 Peter 2:1-3 to “rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander. Like newborn infants, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvations, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
When you follow God’s will, you get baptized and we all become infants or children once again. We move through the world searching and looking for understanding and explanations. We even stumble and fall short of the Glory of God. But since we are infants or children once again and strive to stay close to our Father in Heaven, he loves us so. We belong to him and no matter how weak we may become, he is strong and will help us pull through. Why, because that is his teaching and the bible tells me so. Luke 10:17 tells us we need to receive the kingdom of God like a child because we are not perfect, do not know everything and are constantly growing. 

Sunday Service – Now Available

Sorry we couldn’t meet up today, but I hope you will be inspired by Bob’s message and the songs we were going to hear in this week’s service video. It’s all here for your spiritual enhancement, so please click below and have a blessed home-service and a wonderful week.

Philippians 1:18-20

Prayer-

Dear God, deliver me from secondary priorities. Help me to see clearly as I read your Word. May my heart be open to learn. May I then have the courage to act consistent with what I’ve learned. Amen.

Scripture-

          Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

Some thoughts-

          Paul puts an unusual spin on things here, if we catch it. He says that he knows that “through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” We assume that deliverance always means release from prison, complete healing, whatever good thing we want in this life. Don’t we pray that way most of the time? And at first it sounds like that is what Paul is saying- “Through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit…” equals my deliverance. But then he continues, to talk about not being ashamed, and Christ being exalted in his body.

          For Paul, deliverance is glorifying God, “whether by life OR by death.” Deliverance is having sufficient courage. We want healing. We want liberation from incarceration. Paul wants to have courage to exalt Jesus.

Today, what kind of deliverance do YOU want? Deliverance from alcohol, drugs, some other habit or addiction? Deliverance from a bad marriage, bad job, bad life choice? No consequence for bad behavior?

How might those issues resolve themselves if our deliverance looked like making sure we exalted Christ with our bodies, whether by life or by death? What if, indeed.

Prayer-

Today, Heavenly Father, may my life glorify and exalt you and your son Jesus. May other things find their appropriate place once I make you most important, love you most of all, and serve you with my whole heart.

On Bravery

(This post was written by our dear sister Ginger Hernandez.)

This past New Years I was thinking about what kind of resolution I wanted to make. I was holding my month-and-a-half-old baby and I just wanted to be better for Grace. There are so many things I wanted to be, but what they boiled down to were to be brave. I may make this into a series of articles on the topic of bravery, but for this one, the focus will be on Matthew 10. I encourage reading through the chapter.

At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus sends out the 12 disciples and gives them power over evil spirits and to heal every disease (v.1). He tells them that they are to go “saying, ‘the kingdom of God is at hand.’ “ and that they are going to heal people who are sick and also cast out demons (vv. 6-8). They were going to be doing all these great things in the name of God and it all sounds good, but then Jesus follows it up with some scary stuff:

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake to bear witness to the Gentiles” (vv. 16-18).

Then in verse 21, Jesus continues by saying families will turn on each other because of the ministry that he is sending his disciples and that the twelve “…will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (v. 22). Being Jesus’ disciple has heavy consequences.

I often find myself wanting to do brave things, like help homeless people, talk to my neighbors about Jesus, make artwork to glorify God, tell people about how my relationship with God has changed my life. But I’m afraid of not being taken seriously, of doing it wrong and coming off as stupid or of people avoiding me because of it or people becoming outright angry at me. This cowardliness brings me shame. Is it possible that I want the glory of doing a good thing more than I want to glorify God?

This fear gets in the way of me living out God’s purpose, not just for me but for other people around me as well. If people are not shown the glory of God, afterall, how can they ever know it? But Jesus continues in v. 22 : “But the one who endures to the end will be saved,” and then in vv. 28-33:

“…Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both the soul and the body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And one does not fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven, but he who denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

Fear of the rejection and consequences from people by living for Jesus are only temporary. We must trust that God loves us as his children and keeps his promises. It is distrust in that, it is submitting to the fear, instead of to the Father, that separates us from God and puts us in reach of Satan.

I set out this year to become a braver person. I want to be a better Christian because it’s not just my soul anymore. As I type these words, I see that it always has been more than just my soul; it’s everyone around me as well. I have made small strides in becoming more outspoken about my faith. I have started sharing things on social media. I wrote this article. My dad is preparing for a podcast on YouTube, and asked me to help him with the script and to make the logo. I was asked to work with the older kids to make a special painting for Easter. That got put on hold, but there are going to be other Easters and I won’t let Satan win this time. I’m learning to be brave and to want God to be seen in the world more than I want the world to see me and more than my fear of being exposed. I still have so much to do, so please pray with me that I can do it.