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A beautiful St. Patrick's Day Sunday met the Peachtree Baptist Church congregation and friends.
The sanctuary flower arrangement Sunday was presented to glorify God by Annie Belle Edwards in loving memory of her husband, Harold Edwards.
I welcomed the Sunday school gathering and led the song, "Amazing Grace! How Sweet The Sound," accompanied by Pastor Whitehouse on the piano.
I then read, "Patrick's Troubles," taken from, "Ever Faithful," by David Jeremiah. "Today is the day that the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, is honored. A native of Britain, he was captured in the late fourth century AD by Irish pirates at age 16 and enslaved for six years in Ireland. During this time he committed himself to Christianity. He escaped and returned to his family in England, where, a few years later, he had a vision of the Irish calling him to return and minister to them.
"Rather than resenting his years as a slave to the Irish, Patrick used his time as a shepherd to contemplate what it meant to know Christ, what it meant to know God's forgiveness. He left Britain as an unconverted teenager but returned as a believer in Christ. Without those six years of suffering, who knows how different Patrick's life might have been? And who knows how many Irish might never have heard the Gospel through Patrick's ministry in Ireland in the fifth century?
"Times of trouble in life, be they brief or extended, require a change in perspective. Instead of asking, 'Why is this happening to me?' we must ask, 'What is God doing in my life? What does He want me to learn in this situation?'"
Lawrence Edwards led the Sunday school Bible study, "The Problem With Wisdom: Wisdom Is Grounded In Trust In God," from Ecclesiastes 2:12-17, 7:23-29.
Military conflicts. Civil wars. Corrupt governments. Violence. Drug addiction. The news is constantly reminding us our world is falling apart. But what can we do?
"Education is the answer." We hear this frequently. Unfortunately, that is not the case; it's certainly not the biblical perspective. The Bible reminds us that our sin and rebellion are the root of the world's problems. Education has its benefits to be sure, but it can only do so much. What we need is the wisdom that comes from God.
In the above verses, we see no one is wiser than Solomon. So, in his quest to find meaning in life, it's not surprising that Solomon would turn "to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly." Solomon would find wisdom is right thinking and leads to right living. Wisdom and righteous living are wound together tightly.
Even with all its advantages, human wisdom cannot answer life's ultimate questions. Human wisdom cannot explain the intelligent design of the universe, order as opposed to chaos, the complex design of the human body or concepts such as love or joy. The wisdom of the world cannot explain good things or bad. We continue today to foolishly pursue our own schemes.
But that's not the end of the story! God came to earth to bring us back to Himself. The wisdom we need comes from pursuing God through faith in Jesus, and that wisdom leads to righteous living.
Bible verse of the month: Job 23:10-11.
Special music, "He Touched Me," provided by Jane May on the piano. Special music, "He Hideth My Soul," was provided by the Peachtree Adult Choir led by Pastor Gene Whitehouse.
Sermon:"God Patiently Waits For Us To Return" from Genesis 12: 12-13:4, by Pastor Whitehouse.
"The Story Of Abraham.," "Abram And Sarai In Egypt," "Abram and Lot."
"Abram went approaching the border of Egypt, acting out of fear, asked Sarai to tell a half-truth by saying she was his sister. She was his half-sister but she was also his wife. Abram's intent was to deceive the Egyptians. He feared if they knew the truth, they would kill him and get Sarai. She would be a desirable addition to the pharaoh's harem because of her wealth, beauty and political alliance. As Sarai's brother, Abram would be given a place of honor, but as her husband, his life would be in danger.
"Sure enough, when Abram arrived in Egypt, everyone noticed Sarai's beauty and the pharaoh took her to the palace. The pharaoh gave Abram many gifts because of her.
"When he lied, Abram's problems multiplied. The Lord sent terrible plagues upon Pharaoh and his household because of Sarai. The pharaoh ordered them to leave.
"Abram left Egypt and returned to Bethel and Ali, with Sarai and Lot. This is the same place where Abram had built the altar, and there he worshiped the Lord again."
So Abram lost faith in God's protection, even after all God had promised him and told half-truths. Yhis only shows how lying compounds the effects of sin.
A great time Peachtree members and friends had Friday night, March 15, celebrating St. Patrick's Day early. A dinner of corned beef, boiled cabbage, cabbage casserole, vegetables medley of potatoes, onions, carrots and celery in gravy, sauerkraut, cornbread and many green deserts and others were served. Pastor Whitehouse played Irish music. Fellowship was fantastic. Thanks to the Peachtree Lady Hostesses, Susan and Fran, for the dinner. About 36 people attended.
Peachtree members and friends shared a lunch of leftovers after the Sunday worship service.
Lynn and David Griffin celebrated their granddaughter Natalie's baptism on Sunday.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
Those friends and family members who are sick or taking treatments who need our prayers:
We serve the powerful God. Prayers work.
Birthday blessings to Robert Sykes (March 24), Stacy Bennett (March 25) and Brittany (Wood) Ships (March 29).
If you have news, please call or email me. I do prefer an email. My phone number is 252-478-2846. My email address is email@example.com.
"Let's pursue God and the wisdom He offers."
Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.