Memorial Day 2007-2018 – 11 Years

Today we observe the eleventh anniversary of our move to Imperial and the beginning of our ministry with the Westside church. In a peculiar quirk of circumstance, today also marks the end of our ministry here and heralds our impending move to Smyrna, Tennessee.

I readily confess I don’t know what plans God has for any of us (other than that of doing His will in all things). I think it presumptuous on my part to attribute to Him the changing circumstances of our lives. At the same time, I do believe wholly in the working of His providence in our lives.

In looking back on the reasons that brought us here and the opportunities afforded us at the time, I believe I see His providence clearly at work. I would be remiss to say that is not the case now. We know not what lies ahead, but we confidently expect He will provide us opportunity for useful service in His Kingdom.

Our earnest prayer for the Westside church is your continuing spiritual maturity and your ceaseless devotion to live as Christ in this community and before a watching world. We pray God’s richest blessings to be with Ryan, Sarah, and their family as they begin their ministry here with you.

We shall forever remember with great fondness years spent here in this friendly little farming community way out in the middle of nowhere on the windswept prairie of southwest Nebraska – and especially the kindness and love you have always given us. Blessings be upon you all.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3.20-21).

  – Bill & Cheryl

 

The Back Page 5-27-2018

In Our Prayers

Continue to remember Harold Brunswick in the nursing home in Benkelman.

On the Calendar

Thursday, June 7. Women’s Bible study will resume at 10:45 in the home of DeMarys Cooper with a study of 1 Peter. Margene Hayes will lead the discussion. DeMarys has the study guides.

 

A Simple “Yes” or “No” Will Do

“Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is His footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5.34-37).

It’s not uncommon to hear people say, “I swear by all that’s holy” or “I’ll swear on a stack of Bibles.” In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus cuts right to the heart of why people swear oaths. He says they do it to impress others with their sincerity or intensity. The point is to get others to believe what they’re saying is credible by emphasizing it with “By God” or “God knows!” It’s simply a device to manipulate or intimidate, to control the conversation in one’s own favor.

But that’s an inherently wrong approach to take toward another person. The essence of swearing or making oaths is to try to use something – the name of God, for instance – in order to get others to believe you and let you have your own way. That’s wrong.

For those who are, as the beatitudes identify, poor in spirit, meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, and peaceable, – a simple “yes” or “no” will do.

 – grace to you all, and peace … Bill

 

The Back Page 5-13-2018

In Our Prayers

Continue to remember Harold Brunswick in the nursing home in Benkelman.

On the Calendar

Today: Potluck, with men’s business meeting to follow.

Saturday, May 19. Doors of Opportunity, Sojourner’s Teacher’s Workshop, York College.

Saturday, May 19. Bill & Cheryl will have a garage sale — 8 am to 3 pm. Kids’ toys, games, garden equipment, books, and more.

Sunday, May 20. Bridal Shower for Makenna Wallin, 2 pm, at the church building. See bulletin board for list of registries.

Thursday, June 7. Women’s Bible study will resume at 10:45 in the home of DeMarys Cooper with a study of 1 Peter. Margene Hayes will lead the discussion.

 

The Beginning and the End

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. (Revelation 21.5-6)

This passage reminds me of other biblical texts. Isaiah heard God say, “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new…” (Isaiah 43.18-19).

Centuries later Paul wrote, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5.17).

God can take people and re-create them, and will someday create “a new heaven and earth” for the saints whose lives He has renewed.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.”

We have heard this claim before; it was made by the risen Christ back in chapter one, verse eight.

Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and omega the last. The text goes on to amplify that statement. God is the beginning and the end. The word for beginning is archē; it means more than just the first in time but also first in the source of all things.

The word for end is telos, and means not only the end in point of time but also the goal.

The great truth of the statement is this: All life begins in God and ends in God. Paul expressed this same concept, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11.36).

grace to you all, peaceBill

 

The Back Page 4-29-2018

In Our Prayers

Continue to remember Harold Brunswick in the nursing home in Benkelman….and continue to pray for Hesston, that he will grow in the faith.

On the Calendar

Today: 5th Sunday Singing in North Platte, 3311 S. Oak Street, 3:30 Central time, followed by light supper and devotional.

Thursday, May 3. Women’s Bible study at 10:45 at the Sunset Apartments, James study guide, Lesson 8 (James 5).

May 19. Doors of Opportunity, Sojourner’s Teacher’s Workshop, York College. Brochures available on the back table.

 Free Books: Cheryl is culling her library and has placed some Bible books and study guides on the back table. Feel free to take what you want.

 

Grace and peace be multiplied to you
in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord
;

seeing that His divine power has granted to us
everything pertaining to life and godliness,
through the true knowledge of Him who called us
by His own glory and excellence.
For by these He has granted to us
His precious and magnificent promises,
so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Now for this very reason also,
applying all diligence,

in your faith supply moral excellence,
and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
and in your knowledge, self-control,
and in your self-control, perseverance,
and in your perseverance, godliness,
and in your godliness, brotherly kindness,
and in your brotherly kindness, love.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing,
they render you neither useless nor unfruitful
in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted,
having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent
to make certain about His calling and choosing you;
for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

2 Peter 1.2-11

 

The Back Page 4-22-2018

In Our Prayers

Continue to remember Harold Brunswick in the nursing home in Benkelman….Gen Lewis is back home after suffering a series of mini-strokes earlier in the week….Gene Vinson’s sister, D’ann Farris, passed away this week after a long illness.

Hesston Hamm was baptized into Christ yesterday afternoon here at the building. We are praying Hesston will have a lifetime of faithful service in God’s kingdom.

Contribution for Sunday, April 15 – $1,481.50

On the Calendar

 Thursday, April 26. Women’s Bible study at 10:45 at the Sunset Apartments, James study guide, Lesson 7.

April 29: 5th Sunday Singing in North Platte, 3311 S. Oak Street, 3:30 Central time, followed by light supper and devotional. Phone Ned at 308-660-4272 for more information.

May 19. Doors of Opportunity, Sojourner’s Teacher’s Workshop, York College. Brochures available on the back table.

When Trouble Comes

Few of us need to be reminded that our commitment to Christ doesn’t exempt us from the difficulties and hardships we encounter in life. When Jesus spoke about building a life upon a solid rock (Matthew 7.24), He indicated there was another choice: sand. We could build on sand, too, but what terrible consequences when the storms come.

Our spiritual relationship with God is like a child and a father. Problems such as illness, death, discouragement, even natural disasters, are but a few of the storms of life. They are no respecter of persons, attacking Christians and non-Christians alike. It is not uncommon to hear someone who has suffered a loss ask, “Why – why does God allow such things to happen?”

Becoming a Christian does not grant us immunity from the problems of this world. But one thing we are granted that those outside of Christ can never have is the assurance of an ever-present God. Assurance that He knows our troubles and our anxieties and asks us to cast them all on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5.7).

Our Heavenly Father sees and understands our predicaments. He comes to us, enfolding us in His gracious arms to grant us solace and safety (Psalm 46.1-3):

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
 Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Selah.

 – grace to you all and peace, Bill

 

The Back Page 4-15-2018

In Our Prayers

Continue to remember Harold Brunswick in the nursing home in Benkelman….Bill Lewis’s brother Arnold passed away recently in Montana. Memorial services will be at a later date.

Note from Bill: With the hiring of Ryan Brown as the new minister for the Westside church I see no reason to prolong our departure any longer than necessary.

With the men’s approval I have submitted a new resignation date effective Sunday, May 27, 2018. Depending on how soon we can get packed and loaded, I would expect our departure would be no later than Wednesday, May 30 or Thursday, May 31.

On the Calendar

Thursday, April 19. Women’s Bible study at 10:45 at the Sunset Apartments, finish Lesson 6 in the James study guide, begin Lesson 7.

April 29: 5th Sunday Singing in North Platte, 3311 S. Oak Street, 3:30 Central time, followed by light supper and devotional. Phone Ned at 308-660-4272 for more information.

 

Westside Church of Christ Imperial, Nebraska

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