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A beautiful day, after so much rain, met the Peachtree Baptist Church congregation last Sunday.
The sanctuary flower arrangement Sunday was presented to glorify of God by Joan and Ray Eason in loving memory of Joan’s mother, Elizabeth Rockley, on her birthday.
I welcomed the Sunday school gathering and led the song, “Holy, Holy, Holy,” accompanied by Pastor Whitehouse on the piano.
I read, “Do Not Dwell In the Past” from the devotional book, “Jesus Always, Embracing Joy In His Presence,” by Sarah Young.
“See I am doing a new thing! As you begin a fresh new year, rejoice that I am continually working newness into your life. Don’t let recent disappointments and failures define you or dampen your expectations. This is a time to make a fresh start! I am a God of unlimited creativity; expect Me to do surprising things in this year that stretches out before you.
“Today is a precious gift. So seek My Face. Search for signs of My loving Presences as you journey along the path of Life. Look for the little pleasures I have strewn alongside your pathway, and thank Me for each one.”
I led the Sunday school Bible study, “The Wise Men’s Worship: Jesus is Lord and He Deserves Our Worship.”
“Even Jesus received some gifts as a child that we might consider unusual. But the men who brought them to Jesus thought otherwise, for their gifts were both symbolic and expressive of their great worship of the King of kings.
“They had followed the Star to find the Promised One. They came from long distances bearing gifts to worship Him. It was one thing to bow and pay homage to a king, but this was a King they desired to worship.
“While there are many extravagant and even unusual ways to worship the Lord, they’re certainly not the only ways. Simple, faithful, and consistent worship can lead us all to be wise men and women.”
Pastor Whitehouse led the congregation in the Bible verse of the month: “So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” Psalm 90:12.
Special music was provided by Jane May on the piano.
Special music: The Peachtree Baptist Church Adult Choir presented, “Be Thou My Vision.”
Sermon title: “You Can’t Add Jesus On To Your Life.”
Taken from Scriptures: Mark 2:18-3:6
The Pharisees were professional hairsplitters. They had too many rules to follow!
Jesus was a revolutionary. Jesus offered the people independence. Jesus believed in the Law, but not all the rules the Pharisees were adding to the Law.
If Mosaic law said to fast one day, the Pharisees would add numerous rules to it. Jesus could see because of all the rules, it put the people in bondage.
With Jesus changing the rules to go back to the original Law, the Pharisees wanted to be rid of Jesus. They joined forces with their enemy, the Herodians. How sad that they missed the point that Jesus Christ had made.
The Pharisees taught us that regulations can be protective, but never productive. In fact, God had given this nation the Sabbath law to protect them. There are regulations we should follow to protect us.
Understand, however, so that you do not fall into the same Pharisaical trap, that the regulation, though protecting, can never produce spirituality.
We learn that Christianity is a replacement, not an addition. It replaces fear with freedom and fasting with feasting.
Christianity is a replacement, not something to be added to. It is life itself. Christianity never lives in the past; it lives in the future.
If you worship the past, you forfeit the future.
Jesus Christ offered these people freedom, forgiveness and fulfillment — and they rejected Him. He is offering the same thing to you today. Trust and accept Him.
IN LOVING MEMORY
The entire Peachtree Baptist Church Family expresses heartfelt, deep sympathy to the family and friends of:
• Laura Bland “Mama Bland” Williams Green, who was 90 years old and lived in Spring Hope. She passed away Sunday, Dec. 30.
• Marjorie Anne Hagwood Taylor, who was 80 years old and a former Nash County resident. She passed away Dec.13 in Greenville, South Carolina.
January is proving to be a very busy month at Peachtree.
December and January are the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.
The WMU-sponsored Bible study will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. A meeting was also scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, with those unable to attend the day meeting invited to attend the evening meeting. Books are available. See Beverly Wilson.
• Saturday, Jan. 12 — Church-wide fellowship and chili cook-off dinner. Bring your chili to enter.
• Sunday, Jan. 13 — Church conference – fellowship and worship in the Duke Cafe following worship
• Tuesday, Jan. 15 — Homecoming Committee meeting at 7 p.m.
• Thursday, Jan. 17 — Men’s Ministry meeting at 6:30 p.m.. This group is growing and is becoming a vital ministry of Peachtree. All men are welcome.
• Tuesday, Jan. 29 — Deacons’ meeting at 7 p.m.
Please fill out your sanctuary flower list for 2019 and return to the pastor.
Peachtree members met at the church for a New Year’s Eve get-together.
Joan and Ray Eason and Bob Bunn and I spent some time in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, during the Christmas holidays.
Bob and I spent the Christmas holiday in Boone with our daughter, Kristi, and grandchildren.
Barbara Privette had visitors. Visiting her was her friend Mary Dyer of Rocky Mount. They are co-workers at Stonewall Manor. Mary and her brother Jim Dryer of Philadelphia came for lunch on Wednesday.
Arriving on Saturday and spending the night was her niece, Beth Baldwin of Durham. They had a good opportunity to catch up on family news.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
Those friends and family members who are sick or taking treatments who need our prayers: Jean Bunn, Billy Bunn, Norman Whitley, Ronnie Matthews, Dianne Tucker, Bobby Sykes, Mary Alice Davis, Lanny Clifton, unspoken requests, Gene Braswell, Diane Denton, Trish Bunn, Jake Robertson, Art Munoz, Amy Rowe, Brenda Joyner, Art Vick and Jack Harris.
Birthday blessings to David May (Jan. 6), Julie Brantley (Jan. 11), Beth Baines (Jan. 13), Melvin Edwards (Jan. 18), Milton Vick (Jan. 26), Marta Whitehouse (Jan. 27) and Robby Bunn (Jan. 30).
If you have news, please call or email me. I do prefer an email. My phone number is 252-478-2846. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Let’s do all we can to follow the Wise Men’s example and learn to authentically worship Him.”
Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.