April 18, 2010
TO OUR VISITORS
The family of God here at Dowagiac Church of Christ wishes to extend to you a warm welcome. If you have questions about our worship services and why we do what we do, we will be glad to give you a biblical answer. The uniqueness of the church of Christ is that we are trying to restore to the best of our ability those things that we see the first century church doing. We are also working hard at building the spirit, unity, and love that Jesus taught and prayed for. We have no clergy, but are working together as equal co-workers trying to serve one another and the area in which we live. Come study with us, grow with us, and serve with us as we strive to do God’s will in all things.
REMEMBER CHILDREN'S WORSHIP. Our services today will start with singing, prayer, and communion. After the communion our children will be dismissed to the fellowship area for a lesson at their level while the adults listen to the sermon for today. Parents need to decide whether they want their children to stay with them or go to the children's worship, but we would encourage all younger children who cannot understand the adult lesson to go and have a lesson which will be at their level, Our goal is to have l00% of what we do here understandable by100% of us.
SUPPORT OUR MINISTRIESWe have so many good things going on here that need your help and support, that everyone of us should be involved in a work to promote the Lord here in Dowagiac. Our food bank ministry continues to grow, and we are serving more and more people. We need more people to talk in the community about helping find people in need. Most people who are in need are embarrassed about having to have help, and we need to aggressively pursue those who have real need or we will not know about them.
We need people to train with Karl and Julie Marcussenl to help in the children's worship. This is a vital work and the potential to change lives and build character in children is huge. See the Marcussens if you can help.
Our facility needs continual work. See Dave Pickens if you can help. Physical work is needed on a number of fronts.
WHAT A GREAT TIME TO BE ALIVE
INTRODUCTION--Christianity is a faith of optimism, joy.
Acts 8:39--The Eunuch went on his way rejoicing!!LEARN TO LOOK FOR THE BEAUTY AROUND YOU.
Acts 16:22-25--Peter was singing, other prisoners listening.
The Bible is not naive.
Matthew 24:6--Wars--rumors of warsWe need to work at being happy, content, joyous people.
Matthew 23:15--Fraud is not new.
James 4:1-4--Stupidity in humans is not new.
Rejoice that we have answers today to pain.LEARN TO LOOK FOR PEACE.
Matthew 6:28-29--Learn to look for beauty on earth.
Psalms 19:1--Learn to look for beauty in the heavens.
Psalms 23:1-3--Learn to look for peace.LEARN TO LOOK FOR JOY IN RELATIONSHIPS.
Philippians 4:10-11--Learn to be content.
Genesis 2:24--Look for beauty in marriage.LEARN TO LOOK FOR BEAUTY IN THE CHURCH
Ephesians 5:21-31Psalm 127:3-5--Look for beauty in our families.
1 Timothy 5:14Learn to treasure friendships--Proverbs 18:24.
Be aware that the wrong kind of friends can be a disaster.
Absalom, Jonadab, and Tamar--2 Samuel 13Christian friends are vital.
Acts 2:46--Learn to look for joy in the Church.TRUST IN WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
1 Corinthians 1:10-13--Division destroys joy.
Look at what was destroying Corinth's joy.
2 Timothy 4:7--Look at the joyful promise.
This from a man who said he was "chief of sinners."I John 1:3-7--"Your joy may be full!"
1 Timothy 1:12-15
This from a man who struggled--Romans 7:15-8:1.
In 1991 during the first Gulf War, Ruth Dillow was at her home in Kansas watching news reports about the war's progress. Just a few days into the conflict she received a telegram from the Pentagon informing her, with regret, that her 21-year-old son had been killed in Kuwait when he stepped on a land mine. Mrs Dillon was heart-broken. Unless you have received this sort of devastating news in a time of war, it is impossible to completely fathom Mrs Dillow's pain as she read the telegram. Soon after receiving the news, she began making phone calls to her family and friends and eventually to her son's friends. She next began planning the funeral that would occur once her son's body was shipped back to the United States. She tried to imagine life without him and went through all of the agony that any parent goes through when they have lost a child. Family and friends tried to console her and share her grief, but the pain and emptiness that she was bearing was impossible for anyone else to comprehend.
Three days after receiving the telegram Mrs Dillow's phone rang. An eerily strange voice on the other end said "Hi, mom. l'm a1ive, I'm fine, A terrible paperwork mistake was made and I just learned that you have been informed that I've been killed. I'm alive. Don't worry. I'm fine." Mrs Dillow said "I couldn't believe it at first. But then I recognized his voice and realized that he really was alive. I laughed, I cried, I felt like turning cartwheels, because my son whom I thought was dead, was really alive." Mrs Dillow's grief was instantly turned to joy. And then she had the happy task of calling all of those she had previously contacted to tell them her precious son she thought was dead, was in fact alive. It was all a horrible mistake. Spread the word, he's alive!
While we may not be able to empathize with Mrs Dillow's exact feelings, those closest to Jesus certainly could. They experienced some of those same emotions themselves. The scriptures tell us about their shock and frustration at what had happened. Only Jesus was really dead for three days and then came back to life. And now they had the glorious privilege of spreading the word that Christ had in fact risen from the dead! This truth is at the heart of the gospel and is something we proclaim each Lord's Day. Spread the word! He's Alive!
by Kevin Owen, Lebanon, Tenn.