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Announcements Plus Devotional Aids

Red Cross Blood Drive is Monday, July 22nd, 2:30-7 PM

Let's Learn a Bible Verse!

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
--Hosea 10:12 NIV

 

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Contents

Announcements

Welcome Rev. Simon Chigumira!

Bring a plate of your favorite dish or dessert to share on Sunday, July 14th for our Welcome to Ebenezer fellowship lunch for Simon and his wife, Eunice and daughter, Sarah.

Simon will begin a sermon series this Sunday called: "Church as It Was Meant to Be." It is time to get back to the basics and begin getting serious again about church, worship, and witnessing for Jesus. We hope to see you there.

Red Cross Blood Drive - July 22

Give blood to help save lives and enjoy a delicious spaghetti meal or snacks for free at Ebenezer on Monday, July 22nd, 2:30-7:00 p.m. Please sign-up online at www.redcrossblood.org now or call our office to make an appointment. (Search online using zip code 28630.)

Donors will receive a movie ticket for "Twisters" and be entered into a raffle for a 2025 Ram 1500 Big Horn!

We thank you for your support of this vital service.

Fond Farewell and Thank You to Pastor Ed Stephenson

We offer our thanks for Pastor Ed filling in during our transition from the UMC to the Global Methodist Church. He did a fine job, standing up for and preaching the Word of God with conviction and passion. We pray that he and his wife, Kay, will remain in service to God and that God will continue to bless them where ever they be serving the Lord. Thank you again, Ed and Kay. May the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and give thee peace.

New Pastor Coming in July

Our new pastor will arrive in July. His name is Simon Chigumira, and is originally from Zimbabwe in Africa. He is a U. S. citizen and has lived here for over 20 years.

Simon started as a teacher in Zimbabwe, then was called to the ministry. He received his seminary training at Emory University, and is finishing up his dissertation for his Doctorate of Ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has served in four churches in Louisiania and is married to Eunice, who is also a minister.

We ask you to be in fervent prayer for Simon and our church as we continue to remain true to God's Word, and spread the gospel message and the love of Jesus in our community and around the world.

 

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Quote to Ponder

Mainline churches are basically "why bother?" churches. When your church has no distinct theology, is blatantly unbiblical in its teaching and is more focused on promoting the latest social justice cause being pushed by the corporate media instead of traditional Christian values, people say, why bother going to church when none of it matters anyway? –JohnnyBoy1982

 

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For Meditation

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. But to be punished, however severely, because we have deserved it, because we 'ought to have known better', is to be treated as a human person made in God's image.

--C. S. Lewis, "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment" in "God in the Dock."

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Mini-Bible Lesson #84: Triumph, Tragedy, Redemption

References: 2 Samuel 11:1-27; 12:1-25; The NIV Application Commentary: 1 and 2 Samuel by Bill T. Arnold.

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (11:1-4a NIV)

King David sends his commander, Joab, and the Israelites solders to fight, but he remains in Jerusalem. Lazing about, he spies a beautiful woman bathing on a lower house’s roof. Even after being informed that she is married, he sends for her to come to him. Whether or not Bathsheba, the woman, is a willing participant, this is coercion because David is the King. How could she refuse him? The immediate consequence of this sin is that Bathsheba becomes pregnant with David’s child.

What to do now? Can this sin be hidden? David makes a valiant effort to do so. He recalls Bathsheba’s husband, a soldier in the army of Israel, to Jerusalem to make a report to him about how the war is preceding; then invites him to go to his home and to his wife before returning to the battle.

Yet, Uriah the Hittite (of gentile ancestry?) sleeps outside the palace with other servants instead. When David is informed of this, he tries to get Uriah drunk, but that doesn’t work either. The contrast between Uriah, a man of honor who refuses to be comfortable while his fellow soldiers are at the battle and living in tents, and David, the King, who had refused to go to the battle at all, and then took another man’s wife is stark. But this sin of David’s has not come to complete fruition, yet.

Unable to make it seem that the child Bathsheba carries is Uriah’s, David arranges for Uriah to be purposely put in grave danger and killed on the battlefield. So, David has gone from laziness and self-indulgence instead of carrying out his duties as King to adultery, then to murder within a few days. From triumph to tragedy, and what comes next? Punishment.

One sin often leads to more and greater sins. All sin has negative consequences though they might not be noticeable at first. The hardening of David’s heart because of his sin is shocking in his flippant response to the report of Uriah’s death (11:22-26), not to mention that other soldiers were killed in the same action. King David must face his own hypocrisy as his newborn son from his adulteress relationship dies despite much fasting and prayer. Yet Nathan the prophet tells him that much worse is to come for King David—all because he had "displeased the LORD" (11:27).

Yet, in 12:13-14, after David confessed, "I have sinned against the LORD," Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die." Here we see that the LORD finds these sins reprehensible because they sully His name and reputation, along with causing harm to the others involved in David’s sin. Have you sullied your Lord and Savior’s name recently? Or has your heart been hardened by continual sin?

Notice that, even though Nathan tells David that his sin has been "taken away," David and Bathsheba’s first son died anyway. God will let the natural consequences of our sin happen, including deserved punishment here and now. God will strengthen us and return us to fellowship with him; yet bad things will happen to us and those around us when we or other people sin. This is why the world groans for release from the decay brought about by sin (disobedience to God) inherit in this world since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (see Romans 8:20-22).

But God, in his infinite, merciful LOVE has prepared a way for our Redemption, as he did for King David, who remained to God a "man after mine own heart (Acts 13:22)."

When you sin, turn to Jesus to be cleansed and given redemption. Just don’t count on the consequences of your sin to be washed away in this life. The fear of negative consequences may help keep you from sinning, but loving your Savior for what he has sacrificed to provide you with eternal life gives greater incentive to be righteous and makes for a more joyous and peaceful life. Praise God for his infinite mercy and love.

 

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Special Resources

The picture below is our new Resource Room with books, dvds, videos, and a TV screen (not shown in photo). Individuals are encouraged to take resources home for Bible study or reading; and classes can use the room to show videos related to their studies. We would appreciate donations of books or dvds, especially for young children for this collection.

 

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Ongoing Collections - Updated - 10/09/2023

CCC & TI Food Pantry Collection - Yearly in April

Throughout the month of April, we will be collecting single serve, microwaveable or ready-to-eat items for students at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. Suggested items: single serve Ramen Noodles, macaroni and cheese, crackers with cheese or peanut butter, cookies, single serve canned meats, etc.

Oakhill Backpack Ministry

We are beginning to collect single serve, easy to microwave or use food items to send home with needy children, such as, fruit cups, mac and cheese, snacks, noodles, etc. The children will receive a backpack of these items to take home on the weekends, and use for themselves and their families. Put the items in the old fellowship hall. We thank you for helping.

Local Schools Supply Closet

We continue to collect items for our local teachers.This ministry provides items for teachers and their students that they cannot obtain through the regular budget.

They include the following: Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towels, facial tissues, sharpies, dry board markers highlighters, black/blue/red ink pens, colored pencils, glue sticks, composition books and notebook paper (wide and college ruled), crayons, scissors (children's type), index cards, construction paper, pencil sharpeners, sheet protectors, file folders, large and small legal pads, white out, paper clips, staples, pencil pouches, markers, rulers, ring binders, card stock white/assorted, 3 ring note books, large and small pencil top erasers, and post it notes.

South Caldwell Christian Ministries

We are collecting non-perishable food and clean used clothing in good condition that will be taken to South Caldwell Christian Ministries. You may leave the items at the church on Sundays or during normal office hours (8:30 to 1:00 p.m., Monday-Friday).

We thank you for helping us to minister to the needs of our community.

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Contact Information: 828-396-2214 or emcdudleyshoals@yahoo.com;
4948 Burns Rd., Granite Falls NC 28630