July 4, 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.
LOTS TO CELEBRATE
Life is full of bumps and curves. We were disturbed to hear that Lana Fox had an injury that broke several bones in her foot requiring surgery. Cynthia Clayton was quite ill while John was gone, requiring Patty Gibson to stay with her two nights and Julie Marcussen to take her to the doctor on Tuesday. She has since rallied and is doing very well. The Claytons want to thank everyone for their prayers, and especially the Marcussens, Gibsons, and Connie Adamo for their help while John was gone. Bill Gibson has a diagnosis on his foot finally, and this Wednesday he is scheduled for surgery. Dave Pickens got a good report that he does NOT have prostate cancer, and while Dave does have some other health issues, not having that one is a blessing. Life is full of bumps and curves, and we need to be sure we bear one another's burdens, keep each other in our prayers, and look for ways to serve one another
Speaking of celebration--after services today we will have our monthly potluck. We urge everyone to stay whether you brought something or not. It is always a fun time with more than we can eat available. Tonight after services and our ongoing study in Galatians, we will go to Gibsons for a hamburger cookout followed by fireworks at "dark-o-clock" as Bill puts it. We meet around the lake, enjoy the fireworks, and have a chance to be together. The Church here is strong and getting stronger. Good things are happening! Be a part of it, join us!
Today we celebrate the birth of America.WE ARE FREE FROM THE BONDAGE OF LIVING IN THE WORLD.
We remember those who have given so much.Today is Sunday--another celebration of freedom.
We reflect on our freedom--so rare on this earth.
Religious freedom is rare in today's world.
We have freedom in Christ--Galatians.
Galatians 5:1--Religion is usually a "yoke of bondage."BEING A CHRISTIAN REMOVES MUCH OF THE PAIN OF DEATH.
The Old Law was that.Romans 8:1-2
Galatians 1:6--Paul says going back is bondage.
Most religion is unprofitable (Galatians 5:2).
Galatians 5:13--Freedom can be misused.
We are free from the bondage of the past.
2 Corinthians 5:17--All things become new.
Colossians 3:9-10--We put on a "new man."
1 Corinthians 6:9-11--We are justified--like a document.
Philippians 1:21-24YOU CELEBRATE YOUR FREEDOM DAY BECAUSE YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN.
2 Timothy 4:6-7
Leon Forbes has a special "4th" this year.
You can't celebrate your freedom in faith unless you are a citizen.
Acts 2:37--the question
Acts 3:38 the answer
There are benefits in becoming a citizen of God's kingdom.
Help--"The Gift of the Holy Ghost"
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL
These words, which you may remember from an old Crosby, Stills and Nash song, represent an important sentiment. It is the task of dads and moms to train and instruct their children in the way of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:4-9). We work hard at the Dowagiac Church to provide useful resources and meaningful classes for the young people that come for Bible study. The fact is however, that nothing can take the place of spiritual leadership of dads and moms in the home.
Some recent research bears this out. Christian Smith, the principal investigator of the National Study of Youth and Religion found that among other things, parents play a very important role in the faith development of their own kids. Of course those familiar with the Bible at this point are saying, "Duh!" Smith in writing about this influence notes, "One of the most powerful factors was the religious lives of their parents--how often they attended services and how important religious faith was in their own lives.
The study pointed out that many parents hover over their child at school, or athletic fields, and even when it comes down to social media involvement like Facebook and Twitter. When these same parents, according to the study, deal with their child's faith, they take a more hands off position. The study notes the positive benefit of a strong commitment to God. Dr Smith says "Not only does research show religious teens have in general more positive outcomes in areas from mental health to compassion for others, but there are larger implications for the nation of raising a generation lacking a moral framework for addressing issues of right and wrong.
The implications for the Church are obvious. We need dads and moms who not only make sure their kids are at Church, but who also talk about the things of God when they sit at home, when they are driving down the road; when they lie down and when they get up. Parents, your example is powerful; those conversations with your kids about faith really do make a difference. (Original idea by Kevin Owen, Lebanon, Tenn. )
A lot of work has gone on here at Dowagiac to staff the children's worship, improve the classrooms, and develop relevant class materials. We all need to be a part of training up children in the way they should go.