A newborn baby. Is there anything in the world more beautiful and more innocent? In a tiny baby, we can see ourselves when we were new to the world. In their little grasping fingers that reach out to touch and explore to their wide, seeking eyes that drink in the light and colors of the world around them---babies find everything worthy of their attention. The world to them is a place of beauty, adventure and goodness. We see in them the beauty, adventure and goodness of a soul created in love by God and made in His likeness. We see the innocent purity of a freshly-minted soul, unstained by sinful thoughts or actions. Before the age of reason, about seven years of age or so, only original sin mars the beauty of the soul in any way. This inherited sin of Adam and Eve is washed clean at baptism. After we receive this Sacrament, our newborn soul truly reflects our Maker's love and divine goodness. We are His sinless child.
The Lord made us to be like Him. He created you and me "in His image" (Genesis 1:27). It is in our souls that we mirror God, not in the flesh and bones of our mortal bodies, good as they are. Our spirit or soul is what makes us human and is a reflection of the living God. Catholics believe that we are created by God at the moment of our conception, fully whole and fully human. We aren't just tissue that becomes a human at the time of birth. No. From that first moment of life, we are a human being. God's greatest gift to each of us is the precious gift of our own lives, which He planned from the beginning of time.
In our journey through life, our choices affect the state of our souls. When we sin against our neighbor, that sin wounds our relationship with God. Sin also sounds our souls. This wound can be large and deep, or small and shallow, but there are consequences to every sin. When we confess our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation that wound is healed. But a scar remains. That scar is any attachment to the sin that remains within us. Over a lifetime, the marks of our sinful choices leave a map on our eternal souls. What will your map reveal at the end of your life? Just as God gave you the gift of life and an eternal soul, the gift of your soul is what you'll give back to Him upon your death. Jesus shares with us the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) which illustrates what we are to do with the gifts He gives to us. He calls us to be Christ to one another, to care for one another, to love one another and to offer ourselves to help Him build the Kingdom of God. In short, we're called to live like Jesus so that when we meet the Master, we can hear Him say to us: "Well done my good and faithful servant....Come share your Master's joy"(Matthew 25:21).
We're entrusted at birth with an eternal soul. At the end of our lives, we'll present this soul back to the Lord. Our offering to Him will be the summation of all the choices we've made in our lives and all the mercy and forgiveness we've begged of Him. Jesus established a Church to shepherd and guide us through our earthly lives (Matthew 16:18). He didn't want us to try and figure things out on our own. Through His Church we can receive the grace of His Sacraments and the mercy of His forgiveness. He will make an accounting of our lives, like the Master evaluated the servants in the parable. In our case, the riches God gave to us our are very souls. Like the newborn, we were once pure and innocent of sin or scar. Have we loved as He loved? Have we shown mercy to those around us? Have we forgiven others, not once or twice, but seventy times seven? Have we given of our gifts and treasure without counting the cost? Life is our journey to become more like Jesus so that at the end of our time on earth we can be with Him forever. What will your gift to God be like?
"Go forth, O Christian soul, out of this world in the name of God the Father Almighty Who created you; in the name of Jesus Christ Who suffered for you; in the name of the Holy Spirit Who sanctified you."---From "Commending the Soul to God," the traditional Catholic prayer for the dying
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Shannon Smith, Pathway Baptist Church
Wow what a week of revival! Really the last ten weeks we have been in revival. God has decided to show his favor on us in a mighty way. We have had countless souls saved for the glory of God. This past week we had many more saved and they will be baptized this coming Sunday morning. Well where do I start God has been doing amazing things including our son Josh Smith accepting the call to preach God’s word. He will preach his first sermon this Sunday night April 22, at 6:00pm. We would like to invite you all to join us then for this special service and support him with your love and prayers.
Our service began today with an altar of prayer, followed by congregational singing with “Revive Us Again” and “I’ll Fly Away”. The choir sang “My God is Sufficient”, Amber Majors sang “No Not One” and was assisted by the choir then the choir sang “I Remember The Day”. The special music was by Shannon, titled “Settled at The Cross”.
Bro. Mark continued his series on Seeking His Face! His points were 1. Revival begins with prayer 2. Revival continues with people 3. Revival last with power. All taken from our theme verse for this revival 2 Chronicles 7:14- If My people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land! Many responded in the invitation as the power of God fell one more time.
I want to thank everyone personally for the benefit lunch our church gave for my mom and dad. We are blessed to be in a church with so much love for one another. May God bless each of you for being vessels in His hand. Please pray for our church as we continue to seek His face in revival!
We have many birthdays this week happy birthday to all of you. May God bless you. If you don’t have a church home we hope you would pray about Pathway Baptist Church becoming your family.
Upcoming events WMU meeting Sat April 21st at 11:00am in the fellowship hall they will be discussing the upcoming trip, and all ladies are welcome to attend.
I apologize for no article last week we were so busy in revival and things we didn’t get to it. My prayer for us today is that we all find opportunities to tell somebody about the best thing that has ever happened to us and that is Jesus Christ! God bless!
Charlotte McGuffey, Salem Baptist Church
It was good to have Rev. Jack Price with us on Sunday in both services. He has been a great friend to our church in addition to filling the pulpit when needed. He has served as pastor at several area churches including Oakwood at Chickamauga. He and his wife, Mary, are members at Silverdale Baptist.
Belated anniversary wishes to Charles and Linda Forester who celebrated 28 years of marriage on April 14. They were married April 14, 1984 at Boynton Baptist Church with Rev. Jimmy Hutto officiating. It was a beautiful wedding.
Paul Bramlett spent some time in the hospital last week but is home now.
Jack Leigh and Charlie Bates are both still in the hospital and need our prayers. Jack now has a touch of pneumonia and is being treated for that. Charlie has been moved to the ICU unit at Erlanger for heart related issues following his knee surgery.
Others on our prayer list are Tania Neal, Mary Eslinger, Holly Stockburger, Sherry Barbee, Brenda Callahan, Doris Lake, Mel McGuffey, Pat Bates, Janice Watkins, David Blevins, Buck Blevins, Fae Ensley and Jeanette Fleming.
Praise reports: Jerry Watkins’ pathology report came back clear – no cancer. Jerry appreciates all those who were praying for him. God answered our prayers.
Our 5th Sunday sing will be Sunday night, April 29. De Anna Withrow will be singing for us. Everyone is invited to attend. The April birthdays will be celebrated in the fellowship hall after the evening service.
Closing thought ---What could be more encouraging than remembering that we’re loved by the almighty One who created us – and died for us!
Margie Stringer, North Whitfield Baptist
Sunday was a wonderful Lord’s day. Bro. Stringer preached in both services and we had good services all day.
It was so good to have Pete Reed in both services as he leads the choir when he’s there and he just sings and teaches with so much enthusiasm he will bless you to death.
The men reported a good service on Saturday night. Bro. J.T. Sanders taught about an hour out of Nehemiah and then the others preached.
Happy Birthday wishes to Rhonda Kilian, we forgot it last week.
Pray for Francis Nichols Kraus, who is now bedfast with her cancer. Her family is staying with her.
Pray for Geraldine and Perry Putnam, they are having a lot of health problems. We will be having a singing Saturday the 21st with the Looper Trio. They are such a blessing. Coleman is not in real good health either.
The Right Path will be singing at Welcome Hill on Saturday night, April 21st is you’re in the area go out and be with them.
Our sympathy goes out to the family of Mrs., Edith Wright Wallen who passed away last week. I’m so sorry we didn’t get by the funeral home. Our son Dale was rushed to the hospital Wednesday night and was there until Saturday evening. So we had our hands full going there and being there late at night too.
Eddie is back down sick again and they’ve never really told him his results from his last biopsy.
I assume all the youngsters enjoy the prom Saturday and will be waiting for school to be out.
Continue praying for Linda Brinkley, she had a light stroke about a month ago and will finally see a neurologist on Tuesday. It’s awful what you have to go through with insurance. I’m afraid she is already scarred for life if she doesn’t get help soon and some therapy.
Pray for me, my walking has been terrible the last week and Bro. Stringer had to use a wheelchair for me at the hospital last week.
Pray for those who are sinsick on drugs and alcohol, who really need a touch from the Lord.
Our revival will begin on the 23rd with Bro. Frankie Hunt doing the preaching. He will bless your soul preaching and singing.
Continue praying for Norma and Thurman Headrick, Tim, Roger and Helen Keys, Mary Langston, Francis Kraus, Edna Allen, Daisy Quarles. We have so much to pray about.
Emma Jo Davis, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
What a wonderful service we had on Sunday! The song service is always good but Sunday every song was just special. Harry Hullender has really done a good job with the choir. I don't know what we would do without him. The special songs, by Karen Holcomb, "The Lighthouse" by Dewayne Hill and Julie McCurdy then Bro. David asks Julie to sing " He Is All I Need", which was Bro. Neno Denton's favorite song. Julie had a hard time singing it, but did a fine job as usual. These were all just extra special, thank the Lord for each one of our singers they are a very important part of the service.
Bro. David's message was "Our Lord Jesus Christ, He is all I need”. When you think about it He is all we need. He redeemed us when we were in Satan's slave market now He keeps us and supplies our need. How could we ever thank Him enough for all He does for us?
We were so happy to have Benny and Doris Wilson in the service. Benny has cancer and is in treatments now. Remember to pray for them when you pray. We appreciate all our visitors just hope they enjoyed the service and felt welcome. Hope they will all be back with us soon.
Sunday evening Dewayne Hill preached from Ephesians 2 on "He Paid it All”. Which was short but a blessing just to know He did pay it all. All we do believe and trust Him. He paid for our sin on the cross.
Also Sunday evening we were glad to have Bro. Gene and Bessie Hooker with The Rock of Ages Ministries with us. He gave a brief talk of his work with this ministry. Enjoyed having them in our service.
We are so proud of Heather Flood who will be graduating from high school with high honors on May 25th. She has a part time job after school, works with the children at church, does all this and still graduating with honors. We will be having a banquet for her May 6th after the evening service. Love you Heather!
Vacation Bible School will be here before you know it, July 16-20. Sign up to help with this I'm sure there are plenty of jobs for everyone.
Tuesday was our Nursing Home Service at Standifer Place. This is always a blessing.
Also on Tuesday morning Dianne Hullender will start her chemo treatments. Please pray that these will go well. Benny Wilson was teasing her Sunday about getting a hair cut like his. We just want her to be well and free of cancer. Ann Touchstone's son-in-law, James Smith is to have surgery on Wednesday. They really need your prayers. Ann is not doing well either so pray for her. Alma Bryson's niece, Stephanie had a heart attack last week. Remember these when you pray.
Others on our prayers list are: Lula Petty, Ellie Pitts, Louise Clark, Faye Robinson, Arthur and Dorothy Longwith, he may be home from rehab. I'm not for sure that he came home but think he did. Thurman and Norma Headrick, Elsie Disheroon, Leon and Emma Lou Brown, he fell again and broke some ribs. Edna Allen, Jimmy and Joyce Blassingame, Bernice Orr, Kim Owens, there will be a benefit singing for them April 27 at the Depot. Polly Wells, Holly Stockburger, our Military and our Missionaries.
Happy Birthday Wishes to Nancy Davis, April 22. Bethany Headrick, April 24.
Thought for today- Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.