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Cookson United MethodistThe weeks are passing by as Christians continue their Lenten journey to Easter. The United Methodist Women have an Easter egg tree in the foyer. Donations are being collected for a mission project to go toward clothing, toys and more for children in need in the United States. The ladies will match your donation and World Vision will donate 10 times the offering mailed to them. Donations may be mailed to P.O. Box 15, Cookson, OK 74427 with a memo line saying “Easter special offering.”Watch for more details in regard to Maundy Thursday and a Good Friday service at 6 p.m. during Holy week. There will also be special services on Easter morning. Masks and social distancing are required.
This next Sunday will be Palm Sunday. Inside services will be at 8: 30 a.m. and 10, with a parking lot drive-in service at 11: 30.Small groups are meeting with Sunday school at 9: 15 a.m., other groups are meeting during the week.Last Sunday, Rev. Rachel Parrott’s Scripture readings were Hebrews 5:5-10, John 12: 20-33, Jeremiah 31: 31-34 and a responsive reading, Psalm 51:1-17.In the Jeremiah Scripture, he wants to build up the people of God. God is in control. You should no longer be half-hearted followers, but fully committed members of the loving force of God. Jeremiah is talking about the law as relationship – the law of love, loving and acting in loving ways towards all, family, neighbor and stranger. This is a new covenant: “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah was speaking of the hope that God offers to people.Having the love of God firmly engraved in your heart is the essence of freedom. If people get tangled up in fights for power, control and recognition, the law of love is easily forgotten in the heat of the struggle. If the law of love is written in your heart, the Holy Spirit works through you. You must lose yourself to find yourself; to be the one who leads, you must learn how to serve. Have a true desire that everyone you encounter knows something of the love that motivates your every action and decision and every thought and prayer. The root of acting out of love is your knowledge of God. Of course, as humans, we still get it wrong from time to time. The season of Lent allows you to reorient yourself. Confess and invite the Holy Spirit to get back and work on your heart. Lent began on Ash Wednesday.Your first task is to know God. “Follow me,” Jesus offers the invitation to you. To know Jesus, to have faith in God, is something you do your whole life, with your hands and feet as much as your head and heart. Believe with your daily life. This is a call to action, a call to move, to call out injustice, to tear down divisions and to lift up the oppressed. You are still being taught by the Holy Spirit and shaped by the hand of God into the disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. You are still called to live out the law of love in all your thoughts, desires and actions in the community of all.Cindy BallewTahlequah First BaptistThis coming Sunday is Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter and is a celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Some churches today still decorate with palms and distribute palm branches in memory of the greeting Jesus received from the pilgrims as he rode into Jerusalem.It was a springtime Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem. The streets were crowded with pilgrims who had come for the annual Passover celebration. Jesus had been traveling and preaching through the towns and villages of Palestine. He told about the kingdom of God and he healed people wherever he went. It was now time for Jesus to claim his title as Messiah – God’s promised Savior to the Jewish people. Jesus knew his mission was almost finished and, as he and his disciples traveled into Jerusalem, he told them that he was soon going to be put to death but after three days would rise again.When they were near Jerusalem, he told two of the disciples to go into a nearby village and bring a donkey that was waiting there. They brought the donkey to Jesus and he rode into the city. The crowds laid their coats on the ground in front of him as he passed by and waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!” Only a king would be greeted this way and the people wanted Jesus to be their king, but they didn’t understand what kind of a king Jesus would be. They expected their king to be a great military and political leader that would set them free from the Romans. But God’s kingdom is not of this earthly world. It is a spiritual world that enters people’s hearts who put their faith and trust in God.Jesus came to us in a simple way, lived his life in a simple way, entered Jerusalem in a simple way, told simple parables that left crowds in awe, and was put to death on a cross that was meant for criminals. His fame was not from great military conquests or political moves and gain. His fame was for helping people, healing people, loving people and telling them of God’s love for them and pointing them to their eternal, spiritual home. He came for all people for all eternity. He is here for us today, just like he was there for those living long ago. This Palm Sunday, open up your hearts to the One who loves us more than anyone ever can and will and celebrate the new life he brings.On Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, Sunday school will at 9: 30 a.m., and worship at 10: 45 a.m. The Good Friday service will be April 2 at 7 p.m.Terri FiteCarter BaptistHappy birthday, God bless Rodney Kimble and June Shores. May God continue to bless James and Gloria Wilson, and Jeremy and Cathy Liles, as they celebrate another year of marriage.Pastor Mat Lawrence entitled the message “Free to praise and perform.” We have freedom to do more than we do.1 Corinthians 3: 17: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”The hill of glory, in the Andes, commemorates a battle for freedom. On another hill, called Calvary, Jesus won the eternal battle. He carried the weight of our sin to the cross and won the victory over sin and death for us all.We have abounding liberty and freedom in our hearts because of Jesus. We are free to praise hm and perform for him by living with the awe and wonder of the Lord daily. First, let us praise him.Revelation 5: 13: “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, ‘Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.’”Jesus, God and man.2 Corinthians 3: 18: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”Fully trusting, be transformed to his image.Psalm 34:3, 8: ”O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed be the man that trusteth in him”Psalm 147:5: “Great is our Lord, and of great power; his understanding is infinite.”God knows everything.Isaiah 40: 28 “Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?” there is no searching of His understanding.”Romans 11: 33-36: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments and his way past finding out? For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
Let’s perform for him, do his bidding. We are free to perform for him when we fully trust him. Read Luke 9: 23. We are free to follow the Lord whatever the cross. Let’s start now.Marta VannFirst ApostolicThe glorious presence of the Lord was felt in our midst as services opened with prayer and songs of worship for Sunday morning, March 21.”Weapons of Our Warfare” was taken from 2 Corinthians 10:1-5. The seven infallible weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds of the enemy. God wants us to walk in victory as the church moves forward into an escalating conflict between light and darkness. Moral purity, biblical marital relationships, and even a normal family life are being attacked by satanic devices. In the midst of this is a divine call to the church to be, first of all, holy and, secondly, separated from the world and its influences.The church must learn to pray effectively and become obedient to those who watch for their souls. The days of trouble ahead require courage, sacrifice, and endurance. We are at war with the forces of evil. We must stand up and realize that the whole armor of God is at our disposal. We must use the weapons that we have been given to realize a defeat of Satan and his strongholds.We have been given the blood of the crucified Lamb. The devil dares not cross that blood. It not only washes away our sins by baptism in Jesus’ name, it revives us, and protects us; it purchased us. The word of our testimony is a weapon by which we are made overcomers. To glorify the name of Jesus by our testimony is to cause Satan to shrink back. The name of Jesus is a weapon that causes demons to flee; a name by which the sick are healed, and a name that gives power to tread serpents – even that beguiling serpent, Satan. It is the name above all names.The written word, our fourth weapon, is the Word of God. Jesus, when he was tempted in the wilderness, used the Word against Satan and he left him. By “it is written…”, Satan is defeated. We cannot rely on feelings, but on God’s written Word.Prayer and praise are weapons in our arsenal against the enemy. Worship causes the devil to retreat in utter defeat. Like Paul and Silas in jail, we are set free by prayer and praise, regardless of our circumstances. The weapon of the Holy Ghost is more than speaking in tongues – it is the Creator within us; it is power. It is the Comforter, the Counselor, our strength.Finally, we are armed with the ministry of angels. They are ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation, By fervent prayers, we bombard the realm of Satan, the prince of the power of the air, and reach the throne of God, attaining great victory.Feel welcome to visit any time: Wednesday at 7: 30 p.m., and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The church is two miles south of Speedy’s on Welling Road. For information, call 918-457-9498. Also, visit our website at facwellingok.org and listen to the services on livestream/conference call.Nancy WalkerPeggs Community ChurchMorning services on March 21 began in prayer led by Brother Doug Maag. The devotional was Psalms 62 and the first song was “Nothing But The Blood.” There were a total of 56 present for worship service.No birthdays or anniversaries were reported, but there was a request for sympathy for the McCullah family on their recent loss.There will be a work day this coming Saturday, March 27, beginning at 8 a.m. There’s lots to be done, so lots of help would be appreciated. Bonus – If you come and work, you’ll get lunch.This coming Sunday, March 28, is Palm Sunday, as well as the last Sunday in the month, therefore, evening services will be our monthly singing. Easter sunrise service will begin at 7: 30 a.m. April 4, with breakfast following; then normal Sunday school and worship services. There will be no evening service April 4.Brother Rex took his message this morning from Genesis 13: 14-18, and called it “dragging Lot around.” If you’re familiar with the history of Abram and Lot, you know they were very wealthy men according to the wealth-measurement of that time. They were both raised in Ur, and for most of their lives participated in the worship of idols and other gods. But…God called to Abram one day, instructing him to gather all his flocks, servants, goods, and people and leave Ur, and go into a land he’d never been, walk that land up and back, one side to the other because one day, that land would be given to the “seed” of Abram until the end of time. Abram listened, gathered all his belongings and his nephew Lot and his family, and began the journey to the land promised by God. We also know of the time that their flocks and herds grew so numerous, that the herdsmen began to fight over the rights to grass and water. In order to keep the peace, Abram offered Lot the first choice of which way to go; Lot choosing the land rich in graze and easy living. Abram went the other way into the desert lands, tougher living, but Abram was blessed far richer than Lot, who, in the end, lost everything he had. Lot stayed in Sodom with his wife and daughters; and we all know how that ended. Abram was renamed Abraham, given a son when Abraham had turned 100 and his wife 90, lived to see that son grown, married, and with sons of his own. Abraham was also the wealthiest man of his time, and for quite some time after because he let Lot go his own way.We are instructed in Isaiah 52: 11 and 2 Corinthians 6: 16-17 to separate ourselves from the comforts of a worldly life and rely on God and his blessings. Our obedience, like that of Abram’s is necessary for that blessing to be bestowed. We can’t keep hanging on to “things” we think necessary, when we know they’re temporary at best and can cause us to lose our way to heaven for the worry of how to keep it. Abraham was saved because of his faith – as was Moses, Joshua, Rahab, and a great list of God’s people.The point being, we can only save ourselves, but it is our duty to our Savior to lead others to the cross so they, too, can begin their journey with God. Remember, we’re made of dust, and will return to it someday. We’re temporary, just like everything else. Only our souls are forever and will dwell in the place that we “earn” by our obedience or disobedience to the Father. Me, I want to live in heaven for the rest of my eternity. I’m gonna keep trying to “leave Lot behind.”Kay CordrayLatter-day SaintsWe are the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we live here in Tahlequah. You may know us by our black name tags and white shirts and ties, and when we are not teaching lessons, we are often riding around on our bicycles.Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are called to serve for either one and a half or two years, where we leave behind our families, schooling, friends, work, and girlfriends to serve the Lord.Many of the people we meet ask us, “How much do you get paid to be out here?” We tell them, “nothing.” We save money to pay our way to serve the Lord.The next time that you see us, go ahead and stop us to ask us where we are from and what we like to do. Even though we come from different parts of the world, we may have more in common with you than you may realize.The reason why we serve is because we love to. The act of service brings us closer to our heavenly Father.Matthew taught, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25: 45).We are a community that believes in service. Our local ward (congregation) is led by a bishop (pastor) who is not paid for his ministry. In fact, all of the local positions in Tahlequah are fulfilled by ordinary community members with a willingness to serve.Of course, you don’t have to be a missionary to serve others. Over the last year, many throughout Cherokee County have faced their own trials that are related to the pandemic. Sadness and loneliness are all too common in today’s world.We can serve others even by picking up a phone and making a call or sending a text to tell someone how much we appreciate them. The Lord has taught that as we bear one another’s burdens we are fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Through small and simple acts of service, we can be a light to our community here in Cherokee County.Elder Daniel Jensen
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