News & Notes 1/25/09

Traveling: Don, Norma and Heston Hamm are in Kansas City this weekend to celebrate Norma’s dad’s 90th birthday.

Helping One Another: At Bill’s recommendation, the church is helping Trey and Megan Payne of Greenville, Mississippi, defray surgery costs for their infant son, Aubrey, who was born with a cleft palate. Aubrey’s first surgery is scheduled for February 24.

Calendar of Events:
Today in Holyoke – Meal together at the building after morning Bible class, followed by worship at the nursing home at 2:00 p.m.

January 284th Wednesday Singing in Imperial – We’ll meet at 6:30 at the Manor for 30 minutes of singing followed by refreshments at the building and maybe more singing to explore Westside’s new hymnals.

Saturday, January 31Ladies’ Day in Ogallala from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. The theme is “Reflecting Jesus.” RSVP to Marlene Ringer at 284-3446 or Kathi Richter at 289-4159.

News & Notes 1/18/09

In Our Prayers: Londa McCormick, Bill Bryan, and Merle and Connie Griess are among those who have not felt well this week….An e-mail from the Hartmans indicates that Jody is scheduled for diagnostic tests at Mayo Clinic on January 30.

Ecclesiastes Study: This week, both Holyoke and Westside will review chapters 5 and 6 (pg. 28 in workbook).

Sunday, January 25 in Holyoke – Worship at the nursing home at 2:00 p.m.

Ladies’ Study at Westside: During upcoming business meetings, the Westside ladies will meet to discuss passages or verses of personal interest from our Daily Bible Readings. By next month, we will have read Genesis, Exodus, and some of Numbers, so there should be at least one new insight or personal lesson each one can share. Norma will lead the discussion on February 10.

College Scholarship Help: If you shop at Hill’s grocery, save your receipts to give to Diane Schuman. She’s collecting them as part of a scholarship contest.

“Happy Are They That Mourn…”

It has been observed that the Christian faith is characterized by paradoxes. For example, the cross was an ignominious instrument of tortuous death, yet it became God’s glorious instrument of salvation. The second Beatitude is no less a paradox. It calls for God’s covenant people to be happy for the occasion to mourn.

That sounds a lot like something I don’t want to do! Mourning is usually the result of misfortune, calamity, or tragedy. How is it possible for such to produce the opposite – happiness? Continue reading “Happy Are They That Mourn…”

Pharaoh’s Hardened Heart – Exodus 9.12

How are we to determine who was responsible for Pharaoh’s stubborn refusal to let the Hebrew people go free? On the one hand, we are told that it was God who hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 7.3; 9.12; 10.1, 20, 27; 11.10). Other passages report that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8.15, 32; 9.34).

The author of Exodus makes no attempt to harmonize these two viewpoints. What we have here is an illustration of the paradox of human freedom and divine sovereignty. While Pharaoh was a free moral agent pursuing his own course of action and fully responsible for his own behavior, God still maintained ultimate control over the situation. It was God and not Pharaoh who would determine the outcome. Pharaoh was given plenty of rope, but the end of the rope was still held firmly in the hand of God.

Paul understood God’s reason for putting up with Pharaoh’s stubbornness when he wrote:

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I raised you up, to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the whole earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires (Romans 9.14-18).

News & Notes 01/11/09

In Our Prayers:
Gen Lewis has been sick this week with bronchitis and a sinus infection.
Annabel Grace Kimble, Jason and Amanda’s newborn daughter, has been diagnosed with jaundice.
Jody Hartman should be able to see the doctors in Dallas sometime this week.

Today at Westside. Potluck, followed by a Men’s Business Meeting. Also, ladies who wish to participate in Secret Sisters this year will draw names.

Ecclesiastes Study: On Monday evening, Holyoke will review chapters 5 and 6 (pg. 28 in workbook); Westside will begin with 5:13 (pg. 24).

The Daily Bible: The copies we ordered of The Daily Bible are here. If you ordered one, please see Bill to collect your copy. Last week we mentioned duplicating the The Daily Bible reading schedule in a booklet, but it turned out to be too complicated (especially in Numbers and Leviticus where the book groups all the laws together). If you still want to participate in the reading and need help obtaining a book, please let Bill know.

College Scholarship Help: If you shop at Hill’s grocery, save your receipts to give to Diane Schuman. She’s collecting them as part of a scholarship contest.

Bulletin Articles 01/11/09

The Beatitudes

Search! That’s what life is – a great search. We search for all sorts of things – fame, fortune, good health, knowledge, a wife or husband, just to name a few. Always high on the list of “searched for” items is happiness. The sad part is that too many attempt to find happiness in the wrong places.

An interesting section of Scripture in Matthew’s gospel (5.3-11), just nine verses in all, is devoted exclusively to the subject of happiness. You’ll recognize the familiar name given to those verses – “The Beatitudes.” They are so named because each verse begins with the word “blessed” – a word derived from an old English term meaning “happy.”
Continue reading Bulletin Articles 01/11/09

This Week in the Word 01/11/09

This Week in the Word
Reading the Bible together in 2009

Birthrights – Genesis 25.29-34

When Jacob asked Esau to sell him his birthright, he was looking to obtain a position that had both legal and spiritual benefits.

In biblical times, the firstborn son enjoyed a favored position, which was his by right of birth. He was privileged to inherit a double portion of his father’s assets (Deuteronomy 21.17) and could expect to receive a special blessing before the father died. After his father’s death, a firstborn son became the head of the family, carrying on the family name and even acting as the family priest. For whatever reason, Esau failed to realize the importance of his birthright and squandered it for the satisfaction of a moment’s desire.

Bulletin Articles 01/04/09


I love the psychological boost I get from the act of changing the calendar – of writing 9 instead of 8 at the end of 200_. And it’s purely psychological – all in the head! Last Thursday wasn’t a lot different than the Thursday before nor has this week differed radically from the previous 52 – but it is different. It’s the first week of the New Year.

It’s “Starting Over” time… “New Beginnings” time… “Fresh Start” time… “Clean Slate” time. It’s a time for evaluation, contemplation, and expectation – a time for reviewing our work and activities of the past twelve months and a time for planning and preparing for the coming twelve month period. For me, that’s always exciting! Continue reading Bulletin Articles 01/04/09

This Week in the Word 01/04/09

Note: Our Daily Bible Reading program for the year will be The Daily Bible in Chronological Order: 365 Daily Readings arranged and with commentary by F. LaGard Smith and published by Harvest House in Eugene, Oregon. If you do not already own a copy and would like to have one, please let Bill know today. The cost is $15.00.

This Week in the Word
Reading the Bible together in 2009

The Angel of the LORD – Genesis 16.7

The precise identity of the “angel of the LORD” is not specifically given in the Bible. There are both Old and New Testament references to “angels of the Lord,” “an angel of the Lord,” and “the angel of the Lord.” It seems when the definite article “the” is used, it is referring to a unique being, separate from the other angels. The angel of the LORD speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and exercises the responsibilities of God (Genesis 16.7-12; 21.17-18; 22.11-18; Exodus 3.2; Judges 2.1-4; 5.23; 6.11-24; 13.3-22; 2 Samuel 24.16; Zechariah 1.12; 3.1; 12.8). In several of these appearances, those who saw the angel of the LORD feared for their lives because they had “seen the LORD.” Therefore, it is clear that in at least some instances, the angel of the Lord is a theophany, an appearance of God in physical form. Continue reading This Week in the Word 01/04/09

Westside Church of Christ Imperial, Nebraska