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This past Sunday, the Peachtree Baptist Church congregation family and friends took time to remember one of our cherished members who has gone on to rest in our Heavenly Father’s arms. We will miss James “Bobby” Sykes.
The sanctuary flower arrangement was presented to glorify God by Janice Sykes in loving memory of her husband, James “Bobby” Sykes, who was called home to the Lord on May 27.
Jerry Hobgood welcomed the Sunday school gathering and led the song, “Because He Lives.”
Jerry then read, “Chip, Chip,” by Anne Graham Lotz, from “Fixing My Eyes On Jesus.”
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” — John 15:8
“While cutting is drastic and encourages new growth, clipping is used to control and shape the growth of the plant. It encourages fruitfulness by concentrating the energy of the vine into fruitful areas of the branch. A wise gardener clips even a fruitful branch. Jesus describes the process in John 15:2: ‘Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.’
“I know that ‘clip, clip’ very well! When I pray for patience and God puts me with a very demanding person — clip! When I pray for strength and I’m scheduled for surgery — clip! When I pray for faith and my son is diagnosed with cancer — clip! Are you resisting the Gardener’s clip? Read again the verse at the top of this devotion and remember: your purpose, and mine, is to bring glory to God!”
Lawrence Edwards led the Median Sunday school class Bible study, “Rahab: Courageous Faith, the Power of God that Leads Us to Fear Him Also Leads Us to Trust Him,” from Joshua 2:1-14. This lesson is the first in a series of six, “Living By Faith: Women Who Trusted God.”
Lawrence began by reading from “The Bible Meets Life.”
“Obeying God and denying self. Living by faith is a matter of trust: trust in God and what He has told us. We cannot separate faith and trust from obedience. A growing disciple is one who is continually learning to trust God and to express that trust through obedience. Everyone wants to live free of fear. We look for safe cities and neighborhoods. All parents desire for their children to enjoy growing up without being afraid. But is fear ever a good thing? Culture might say no, but the Bible says yes. Fear of God — a healthy awareness and respect for the majesty and power of God — leads us to act wisely and to trust Him who is also gracious and loving.
“Courage comes in many sizes. We readily think of the soldiers who volunteer to go into harm’s way. But courage can also be far less obvious — even hidden. The Bible tells us of spies and one woman who courageously aided these spies. Rahab was a prostitute and an unlikely hero, but her courage was fueled by the same faith you and I can apply when facing opposition.
“In Joshua 2:1-14, we see a different type of fear: a fear of God that fueled the courage of the spies and their accomplice, a prostitute named Rahab. Knowing who God is can be the first step toward recognizing how He acts in our lives. We begin to trust God more as we experience His work in our lives.
“Rahab had a pretty good idea of who God is and what He is capable of. She knew the Israelites were God’s people and that God empowered the Israelites. She sensed Jericho would fall. Rahab knew who God was and she was ready to follow Him. God had already been working on her and she wasn’t following God out of fear, but with courageous faith.”
If you are interested in joining a very active Sunday school class, come out and join us and stay for church.
Bible verse of the month: Ephesians 4:15.
Special music: Jane May played a piano solo. The Peachtree Adult Choir, led by Pastor Gene Whitehouse, performed “Love Medley.”
“Misconceptions of Faith,” from Genesis chapters 17-18, by Pastor Whitehouse.
Pastor Gene begin by saying,” We will finish the sermon started May 5, when God established a covenant with Abram.”
“God told Abram, ‘I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly. As for Me, behold My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations and Sarah will be the mother of nations.’
“Abram and Sarah had little faith and didn’t believe this would happen because of their age. Since the covenant was established, 24 years had passed and God’s promise for Sarah to have a child still had not happened. They may have thought it should have happened already. We see Abram’s absence of faith, again. God reaffirmed His promise again and said He would return again in a year to see their son. We frequently have the same attitude. We think, ‘If God is really going to use my life, it really should have happened by now.’
“Perhaps we have seen from Abraham and Sarah that God could use anyone who is shaky in or lacking in faith. Some misconceptions of faith:
• Maybe we have thought ‘If we had more faith...’
• Faith is established by emotions.
• Faith is exercised by self-confidence.
Everyone, faith is not a feeling.
• Faith is not an amount
• Faith is not a sense of self-confidence.
• Faith is assurance in who the person of God really is.
Even though prayer may seemingly go unanswered, He is sovereign; He can be trusted; He is worthy of our commitment.
• Wednesday, June 5 — Baptist Women’s evening book study, 7 p.m.; Bible study, 7 p.m.
• Monday, June 10 — Stoney Creek men’s dinner, 7 p.m.
• Tuesday, June 11 — Church Council meeting, 7 p.m.
• Sunday, June 16 — Father’s Day worship service, 11 a.m.
• Thursday, June 20 — Men’s Ministry dinner, 6:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, July 3 — Church-wide Fourth of July cookout, 5:30 p.m.
• Peachtree volunteers put flags on the Peachtree veterans’ graves in our cemetery. The flag ceremony is done annually, on Memorial Day, to honor our veterans who gave the ultimate price, their lives, for ours and our freedom. We have 44 veterans buried in our cemetery. These veterans have served in most of the wars since Peachtree was established. Thanks for your service.
• Joan and Ray Eason had a very eventful weekend. The attended an aunt’s 90th birthday. They also attended another birthday and two family reunions. Wow.
• Chloe and Zach Scott are in Tacoma, Washington, to vacation with their dad. They will spend the week there before they return home.
• Jeannie Bennett spent nine hours in the Nash hospital ER in severe pain. She is suffering from an attack of gallstones. She will be seeing a surgeon to schedule surgery next week.
• My and Bobby Bunn’s granddaughter, Mary Hazel Mink, returned home to Boone for the day to watch her little brother, Giorgie, compete in his last baseball game. Mary Hazel is staying with Bobby and me for the summer so she can work in Raleigh. She is from Boone and attends N.C. State University. Mary Hazel will be entering her junior year in the fall.
IN LOVING MEMORY
The entire Peachtree Baptist Church family expresses heartfelt, deep sympathy to the family and friends of:
• James Bobby Sykes — Bobby Sykes lived, really lived, for 84 years here on earth and will now live in heaven for eternity. Bobby was an active member of Peachtree Baptist Church and a former RA leader. We will all miss Bobby’s zest for life and humble, down-to-earth humor and love.
• Wilma Wester, former Peachtree community resident, died May 26 after a long illness. She is now in our Father’s loving arms. She leaves family and friends in the community.
• Jill Lynn Sutton, 61, died June 1. Jill was a former teacher, principal and mentor with the Rocky Mount school system. She leaves behind family and friends in our community.
• Connie Boulden Moss, 72, died June 1. He leaves family and friends in our community.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
• Prayer list: Barbara Griffin, Lynn Griffin, Jean Bunn, Billy Bunn, Norman Whitley, Ronnie Matthews, Janice and Bobby Sykes, Jake Robertson, Mary Alice Davis, unspoken requests, Dallas Matthews, Krissy Anderson, Diane Denton, Trish Bunn, Art Munoz, Art Vick, Renee Jones, Jean Womble, Wallace Reams, Gene Braswell, David Winstead, Helen Toney, Taylor Pope, Ray Jackson, Steve Bass, Betty Browder, Gail Manning, Ralph Sykes, Chad Russell, Russell Ranger and Jack Harris.
We serve the powerful God. Prayers work.
• Birthday blessings to Jamie May (June 6) and Chase Gupton (June 19).
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“Just as soldiers must take a courageous stand for what they believe in, we often are called upon to exhibit courageous faith in the Lord. With God’s help, we can be victorious.”
Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.