Worship Services




July 11, 2010


Most of you probably heard the news that Wednesday afternoon, Carl Tarrant was killed when a car crossed the center line and hit Carl and his riding partner who were on separate motorcycles. Carl's little dog that was riding on the back of the cycle as usual, survived. Carl's viewing will be Friday from 5:00 to 8:00 atYazel and Clark Chapel (formerly McGloughlin & Clark), 405 Center St., in Dowagiac. The funeral will be at 11:00 on Saturday with Bill Gibson officiating. The Church is providing food for those who attend the funeral after the services. Help is needed, and Patty Gibson is handling the details. Please see Patty to see how you can help.


For a small body of God's people, we sure do seem to have more than our share of tragedy and trouble. The tragic accident that took Carl Tarrant from us this past week has struck us at a time when we have a large number of brothers and sisters struggling with personal illness and long term health issues.

There are two responses we can make to all of this persecution that Satan has brought upon us. The first is what Job's wife told Job to do when his life fell apart--"Curse God and die" (Job 2:9).

There are those who will feel that if there was a God, He would not allow tragedy to happen to us. This view does not offer any help, it just makes God a scapegoat for our feelings of helplessness and in the same position as all other humans who have no hope and no plan for the future.

The second approach is to recognize how precious and fragile life is, and how quickly it can be snatched away from us. If we recognize that, we will understand how important it is that we share the gospel of Christ with every person we can, and urge them to obey God and not put their eternal salvation at risk. My last conversation with "Big Carl" as we affectionately knew him, was about death and how we can be taken away from Earth in a heartbeat with no warning or opportunity to change anything. Neither of us visualized how in just a few days that might apply to either or both of us.

Keep Carl's family in your prayers. The shock of this sudden and senseless loss will be huge.

 Luke 18:9-14

We do not always see things as Bible times people would:
Tax collectors were the scum of the earth.
Pharisees were the religious leaders--top dogs.
Listeners would assume Pharisee would be the hero.
We are incensed by the pride of the Pharisee:
His position as a Pharisee.
His posture--"He stood up."
His petition was boastful.
His perception was self-exhalting.
We are impressed by the humility of the tax collector:
His position as a tax collector.
His posture--He would not even look up.
His petition was modest.
His perception of himself--"the worst sinner in town."
Humility results in a right relationship with God--verse 14.
Humility rationalizes role-reversals by God--1 Peter 5:6.
Be willing to admit your mistakes.
1 Peter 5:5-6
Appraise your own strengths and weaknesses--Romans 12:3.
Appreciate other people's contributions.
Hebrews 10:24
Humble those who outwardly are contemptuous and arrogant
See verse 9.
Help us understand that no one has the right to feel superior to others because of their position, power, purse, pedigree, or privilege.
How do you radiate humility to those around you?
Is it hard to admit mistakes?
Do you know your strengths?
How about your weaknesses?
Do you look for the contributions of others?
Does your lack of humility block you from obeying God?


This afternoon at 5:00 we will have an area wide singing here at the building, followed by a time of fellowship. With the tragic loss of Carl Tarrant this past week, and the large number of members who are ill or have had accidents, some might feel we should have cancelled this singing, but I would suggest that all of these things make it that much more urgent that we continue to have this event.

In John 17:20-26 Jesus prayed for the unity of Christians. Verse 21 quotes Jesus as saying "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee that they may be one in us ... that they may be one even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one ... ." How do we do that? Christianity has not demonstrated unity to the world, and in fact in many cases people who claim to be Christians are better known for their bickering than for their unity.

One of the main ways that we can promote and advance the unity that Jesus prayed for is to have organized singing and prayer as we plan to do this afternoon. How can a group of people sing "Jesus Loves Me this I know, for the Bible tells me so" and have thoughts of division, jealousy, and issues on their mind? How can we sing "How Great Thou Art" and be thinking about how someone else conducts their worship and whether it is wrong or right? When we sing, we lift our voices together in praise and supplication to our God, and all issues and things of the past that may have divided us should fade in importance and hopefully disappear.

Ephesians 5:19 tells us "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." To make melody in your heart there should be confidence and a joy that what we are doing is something God calls us to do, and that we do it in a way that conforms to God's wishes. In Co1ossians 3:16 we are told to make our singing do something else. "Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." This congregation should look forward in a special way to the sound of support and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ from the area as we sing praises to God and are taught how to mold and shape our minds in the face of trouble and loss. Be sure to be here this afternoon and join in with the Church in the Michiana area as we are one in song.