Sunday, October 24, 2004


Actions Speak Louder Than Words: 10-24-04

VALUES OF THE HEART was the topic of today's message at Tinney Chapel UMC's morning worship service. Delivered in our sanctuary (photo) by Senior Pastor Rev. Duncan Graham, today's sermon emphasized the contrast not only between words and deeds, but also between worldly values and spiritual values. Photo by David Stanton. Posted by Hello



Donna Futral, a Certified Lay Speaker, brought the message today at Cumby UMC: “Stepping Out On Faith,” based primarily on Hebrews 11. Donna is a popular preacher at Cumby, having been asked to fill the pulpit there numerous times. She will be continuing her education later this week at Cooper UMC, where Donna has registered for an Advanced Course, “Lay Speakers Are Servant Leaders.” Her textbook is titled, Faithful Leadership. Tinney Chapel has four Certified Lay Speakers: Roger Schneider, Angela Wylie, Joe Dan Boyd and Donna Futral.



In the absence of Pat Hollingsworth, Emmaline Hallman provided piano accompaniment for today’s congregational singing at the quintessential country church. Thanx, Emmaline, we appreciate you!


Greeters: George Jordan & L. R. Kemp.
Soundman: Bob Deitering.
Ushers: George Jordan & L. R. Kemp.


Pianist: Emmaline Hallman substituting for Pat Hollingsworth.
Songleader for hymns: Pastor Duncan Graham & John Futral.
Songs: Victory In Jesus, In The Garden, Living For Jesus, I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go.

Morning Prayer & Lord’s Prayer: Pastor Duncan Graham
Call To Worship
Offertory Prayer
Gloria Patri
Apostles Creed


Senior Pastor Rev. Duncan Graham showed the children a picture of a church made entirely of legos. Even the people in the pews were made of legos. The pastor and the children admired the workmanship, but the pastor explained: “You can build the greatest cathedral in the world, but it’s meaningless without Jesus in the picture. What’s inside is more important than what’s on the outside.” In his closing prayer, Pastor Graham asked that Tinney Chapel be a church on the go and not just a plastic front: “Grant, Lord, that we may be of real service, and touch all these young lives today.”



Today’s church bulletin listed Senior Pastor Duncan Graham’s sermon topic as “Are You Appearing Well?” He tweaked the Scripture reference slightly to become 1 Samuel 16:4-13:

16:4 So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, "Do you come peaceably?"

16:5 And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.

16:6 So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, "Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him."

16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

16:8 So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one."

16:9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one."

16:10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen these."

16:11 And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all the young men here?" Then he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here."

16:12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!"

16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

---New King James Translation

Pastor Graham began his sermon with some recollections about his younger days when the culture put considerable emphasis on outward appearance in public: good grooming, clothes starched and ironed, etc. “Women of the era devoted a lot of time and effort in living up to the cultural imperative that outward appearance of the family reflected back directly on the women who did the washing and ironing,” he explained.

The pastor told a story about a real person named Sam Henry, who went to town a lot—more than was necessary—and always made sure he was well-groomed and well-dressed. He was going to town “to see and to be seen.” This attitude was governed by the standards of humans, not the standards of God.

In today’s Scripture, the contrast is sharply drawn between the superficial things which impress humans versus the values of the heart which may not be apparent to those people, most of us, who are able to see only outside appearances. And, while the pastor conceded that first impressions, usually based largely on outward appearances and formed rather quickly, are often difficult to dispel. Only those who spend a lot of time with us truly get to know us and understand our inner values: Those which are important to God.

“All this allows people to put on a false front to hide from the world what’s in the heart,” added Pastor Graham. “A tender-hearted man may strive to appear tough instead, for instance. But if our hearts and minds are full of Jesus Christ, we will be so transparent that people will see what’s really inside. Thus, the things we do and say become very important in creating the proper impression to the world. The bottom line is that it’s best to allow the world to see—from the outside—what the inward content actually is. In the case of David, in today’s Scripture, he spent time with the sheep, and he spent time in conversation, prayer, praise and communion with God. All this allowed David to write psalms, learn to play accompaniment, and develop a pure inner attitude toward God which also matched his outward attitude or appearance.”

The pastor’s point was that, even today, David is regarded as one of Israel’s best kings and best men of God in the history of the nation. Thus, Pastor Graham suggested that our goal should be similar: So that we are seen, both outwardly and inwardly, as part of the family of God, reflecting Jesus Christ in such a way that others see us and wonder what is responsible for our demeanor, attitude, inner content. “I want to live in such a way that people notice something different,” emphasized Pastor Graham. “Thomas Jefferson said it’s not our words, but the way we live—our actions and our deeds day by day--that truly speaks to what we really are.”

In his closing prayer, the pastor called upon the Heavenly Father to do such a spiritually moving work in our lives that we are exposed to the world without fear of revelations of darkness. Rather, that our lights will shine so that we are a blessing to the world, and bring others to His Name. “Amen.”



Readings for twenty-first Sunday After Pentecost: Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14.




WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Looking For Hope Creation.


LADIES BYKOTA, Peggy Boyd: Reaching For Real Life.


Tinney Chapel Men, Bill Knoop: The Case For Christ, a study by Lee Strobel.


OVERCOMERS: Jenna Nelson: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. (This is a multiple-week study.)


YOUTH: Stephen Graham: Journey Through The Bible (Quiz) Continued.


CHILDREN: Linda Hallman: In The Beginning (plants & trees of the Creation).


PAIRS & SPARES, Joe Dan Boyd: Review of our 2-plus years of studying Paul in Scripture: Today's summary topic is “Perspective On Paul”

Congratulations to all Pairs & Spares Sunday School scholars who hung in there for our lo-o-o-n-g study of the Apostle Paul, beginning June 16, 2002, with Paul's appearance (as Saul) in the New Testament Book of Acts, moving into all of his Epistles and finally concluding TODAY with a “Perspective On Paul” discussion.

Today's Pairs & Spares handout is below:


Both Stephen & Saul (Paul) made their robes white in the Blood of the Lamb.---John Wesley.

Paul may have witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus just as he witnessed the stoning of Stephen..

Paul may have been directly involved in the flogging & death of Jesus.

Paul’s conversion/call may have taken place only a couple of years after Jesus’s crucifixion.

Paul saw the light, but was at first blinded by it.

Saul/Paul of Tarsus, a learned man, studied in Jerusalem under Gamaliel, a respected rabbi who had the ear of the Sanhedrin.

Tarsus was made a free city by Mark Anthony and granted Roman citizenship to its inhabitants. This is, most likely, how Paul claimed to be Roman (Acts 22:27-28).

Paul & Barnabas redirect their mission primarily to the Gentiles at this point (Acts 13), quoting Isaiah 49:6.

Some scholars say that Paul did not view himself as founder of a new religion.

Christianity’s elevation of The Cross may be directly related to the fixation on it in Paul’s writings.

Paul is portrayed, in the apocryphal Paul & Thecla, as “bald, bowlegged, strongly built, small in stature, with large eyes & meeting eyebrows & longish nose; full of grace; sometimes looking like a man, sometimes having the face of an angel.”

Paul elevates suffering as one of the keys to the door of the Kingdom of God.

Paul clearly considers himself the equal of the traditional apostles.

Paul took his visions seriously, and was careful to search them for signs of divine revelation.

Paul was anxious to witness to the jailer who had just laid 39 lashes on his own bare back.

Paul’s friends were very protective of him.

Paul was the ultimate cosmopolitan Christian.

Paul believed that unrepentant sinners are cut off from the Church.

Paul believed it was impossible to overdo encouragement.

Paul took pains to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Paul raised Eutychus from the dead.

Paul is often regarded as the greatest preacher of the ages.

Paul preserves a quote from Jesus that is found nowhere else.

Paul appears to regard himself as a completed Jew who sometimes participates in Jewish festivals and ceremonies.

Paul never forgot that he had been a sinner, and that he had been forgiven.

Jesus appeared to Paul at least 4 times.

Paul may have spent much of his Caesarea prison time assisting Luke with his Gospel and Acts.

Paul’s Letter to Rome arrived long before he did.

Paul was under house arrest in Rome, where he was chained, but the Gospel was not. Paul continued to preach in Rome, where he was eventually martyred.


SUBJECT: Discuss “The 7 Universal Laws”


Scripture: Study Genesis 1:29-30, Genesis 2:24, & Genesis 8:13 through Genesis 9:19.

(If you have access to The Apocrypha, also study Jubilees 7:20).

IN ADDITION TO SCRIPTURE, please access the following website:

If you do NOT have Internet access, but are familiar with computer use, consider one of the computers available free at the public library. This website (above) has several sub-links and contains quite a bit of information that will be helpful in our discussion.

If time permits, feel free to browse the Internet for other sources, but this single website, with its sub-links is very adequate for the purposes of our class discussion.

It will be quickly obvious that next week's class will be a follow-up discussion about not only Jewish Christians of the early church which we have been studying for the past two-plus years, but also generally about The Path of The Righteous Gentile, which is also the title of a book that deals with the topics in this website and our lesson for this week.

If you are able to locate a copy of this book in a public library, it would be just as helpful as the Internet website information. Actually, I believe the website may contain most, if not all, the information in the book itself.

Best wishes, and I look forward to our discussion on Sunday, Oct. 31.


Thursday, October 21, 2004


David Clark's New Ground Concert

DAVID CLARK RETURNS TO TINNEY CHAPEL UMC at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 3, in our new Family Life Center auditorium. The Georgia-based singer/songwriter/syndicated columnist concludes a 90-day performance tour of the Northeast and Deep South before performing at Tinney Chapel, David's first stop in a series of Southwest concerts. Posted by Hello

Choose to be blessed Wednesday, Nov. 3

It is our great pleasure to invite you not to miss the opportunity of a lifetime, Wednesday, November 3, at 6:00 p.m. in the auditorium of Tinney Chapel's new Family Life Center!

Like all of you, I have attended so-called big-time events featuring big-time names, and who has heard of this David Clark?

I have heard of him. I have read his self-syndicated newspaper column. I have listened to his songs, stories & exquisite finger-style guitar on CD. I have heard Paul Harvey quote him on his popular radio program. I have read rave reviews of David’s shows all over the Deep South and elsewhere. You can learn a lot about David Clark at his website

David’s songs and stories speak eloquently to us of life in all its sublime layers. When our spirits are temporarily broken, David always finds Christian threads to help us mend the torn fabric of our lives.

I have known David Clark for about seven years, although until his visit here in March, we had never met in person. Our relationship was forged and nurtured by telephone, letters, e-mail and the sure knowledge that we are kindred spirits, even brothers.

A gift for storytelling and a love of words coalesce to form the compelling style that speaks wondrously from each tale told by my friend David Clark.

To David Clark, words wave like flags in a breeze, and the gentle winds of the right words in the right places at once surprise and soothe the soul.

David Clark writes & tells us about phrases and phases of life in and around small Southern towns: dog days, picking up turtles, crop roots reaching down to China and the revelatory roots of his own psyche.

As an observer of both human and divine nature, David Clark’s keen eye for description and ear for expression speak eloquently of life’s transience and transcendence to assembly line workers in the city and tractor-driving tillers of the soil alike.

David Clark’s distinctive prose speaks to us all in the evocative, epic language of crying skies and living water that articulates the ethos of our innermost expectations.

David Clark and I hope to see you at Tinney Chapel UMC, Wednesday, November 3, at 6:00 p.m. There’s no admission fee. A love offering will be taken to help with his expenses on this, his second tour in the Lone Star State.

Let’s make him feel special, because he really is!

After David's appearance here in March, the next installment of his weekly newspaper column examined Tinney Chapel, Winnsboro and his unique relationship with Joe Dan Boyd, the author of this post. That column reveals a lot about David Clark, and is reprinted below:

Visiting New Ground

copyright 2004 David Clark/Cochran, Ga.

I spent the past 24 hours with my good friend Joe Dan Boyd in Winnsboro, Texas. I've known Joe Dan for about seven years from phone conversations, but we'd never met face to face. Joe Dan is the reason I write a weekly column, because one day a few years ago he told me I should. He's been a writer and editor for over 40 years.

Joe Dan is one of those angels one stumbles into when one is trying to find one's way.

The time I spent with Joe Dan and his wife Peggy was about as normal as one can get. For one thing, Miss Peggy had a home-cooked meal on the table shortly after I arrived yesterday afternoon. I've only been travelling about a long week now, but it doesn't take much time on the road to appreciate homemade meatloaf and sweet potato pie.

Following a luxurious homestyle meal and shower, there was six hours worth of talking with Joe Dan about everything under the sun. Then, I slept like a log until I woke.

This morning, Joe Dan and I explored the beautiful little town of Winnsboro. We bought gas at an old filling station where the owner washed Joe Dan's windshield. We journeyed into an old-time hardware store. We spent time watching strong men build a section of new sidewalk. Joe Dan and I talked about craftsmanship as we watched these men perform the graceful art of concrete finishing.

Joe Dan mentioned that more and more, he's grateful for normal days. He said he knew that one day he might be willing to "trade his kingdom" for one more normal day.

We walked in the rolling Texas woods behind his house. He told how his ancestors long ago cleared the trees from the field where we walked. Joe Dan said they always called this field "the new ground," and 100 years later, he and his brother still call it that.

We talked about how new ground took hard work to create. We talked about finding new ground every day.

We squatted beside a little branch running through the woods. I felt like a kid as we watched that water. Joe Dan talked about the bridge he'd wanted to build across that branch, and how he hadn't yet gotten around to building it.

We walked back to the house through the new ground. We talked all over again about how good it was to spend just a normal day.

It wasn't normal to see Joe Dan and Miss Peggy, to eat Miss Peggy's excellent cooking, or to walk a Texas field and sit beside a Texas stream.

It wasn't normal to be able to thank Joe Dan in person for his friendship and inspiration.

But for just a little while, the not-normal was just as normal as could be. It is one normal day I will always remember.

And a hundred years from now, I'll still be calling my visit with Joe Dan the new ground.


Sunday, October 17, 2004


TODAY: Lay Speaker Angela Wylie 10-17-04

TINNEY CHAPEL UMC HAS FOUR CERTIFIED LAY SPEAKERS: Left to right, Roger Schneider, Joe Dan Boyd, Angela Wylie, Donna Futral. Today's Laity Sunday sermon was delivered by Angela Wylie. Photo by David Stanton. Posted by Hello







Greeters: Frankie Brewer & Mary Marrs.
Soundman: Bob Deitering.
Ushers: Mary Marrs & Frankie Brewer.


Pianist: Pat Hollingsworth.
Songleader for hymns: Certified Lay Speaker Angela Wylie.

Songs: Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus, What A Friend We Have In Jesus, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, God Is So Good, Bless His Holy Name, Thy Loving Kindness, Praise The Name Of Jesus, We worship & Adore Thee, Sanctuary, Draw Me Nearer (a Fanny Crosby hymn).

SPECIAL MUSIC BY TINNEY CHAPEL CHOIR (directed by Pat Hollingsworth):
In The Presence Of Jehovah/Like A River Glorious.

Morning Prayer & Lord’s Prayer: Certified Lay Speaker Angela Wylie


Call To Worship
Offertory Prayer
Gloria Patri
Apostles Creed


Certified Lay Speaker Angela Wylie’s sermon for the children today was a reading from a Max Lucado book, God Thinks You Are Wonderful. Among the points emphasized: If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. He brings you a sunrise every day. If you talk to God, He will listen! God could choose to live anywhere, but He chose to live in your heart. God knows your name: It’s written on His hand. He whispers your name on His lips.

Your heart is not large enough for the blessings God wants to give you. He put orange in the sunlight just for you. He cast the sky in blue for you. God made the squirrel’s tail furry for you. God wants you to know that you are neither an accident nor an incident. He wants you to know that you are a gift to the world. In her closing prayer, Lay Speaker Angela Wylie thanked God for the children of Tinney Chapel and for loving all of us.



Certified Lay Speaker Angela Wylie’s sermon today involved her search for God’s presence, voice and will in the everyday events of her life. “Actually, the songs we sang today pretty much expressed the thoughts I want to emphasize today,” said Angela, who is currently undergoing training for participation in an upcoming Walk To Emmaus. “One of the other ladies, named Brenda, on my team recently told a wonderful story, and I have received her permission to repeat at least part of it here today.”

The story Angela repeated was a moving narration about a young Vietnamese boy named Neguen who was a Christian, but had been imprisoned for some time in a small cell. During his imprisonment, the jailers attempted to break his Christian faith and force him to deny the Name of Jesus. They used isolation, mind games and whatever they could to break Neguen’s spirit, and seemed on the verge of doing so. On the brink of recanting his beliefs, Neguen was assigned latrine duty, the most distasteful job his jailers could think of.

At the critical moment when Neguen was about to deny Christ, he discovered a small piece of paper in the disgusting liquids and solids of the latrine. Apparently, it was a page from a Bible that had been used as toilet paper, and Neguen’s spirit was fortified by the verse in Paul’s Letter to the Romans: Nothing can separate us from the love of God. He was in tears after reading that comforting line, but his spirit was soon lifted and he knew that he would not deny Christ. Over time, his morale increased to the point that he was collecting enough of the "toilet paper" to build a Bible.

Angela said that, in her own life, that story reminded her of times when things looked bad and her own spirits were very low. ”Something has always reminded me that God has not gone away,” she recalled. “He is always there for me, and for you, when we need Him and call on Him. No matter what! As a child, I recall losing a turtle in my grandmother’s house, and being very worried about what the turtle might do to soil her house if I didn’t locate it. So I promised God I would release the turtle if He would help me find it. When I found it, I was tempted, but kept my promise and released the turtle.

“On another occasion, I was older, in high school, and had not been driving very long,” said Angela. “On my way to a friend’s house, I was absolutely lost, and asked God for help. When I turned down a road, it was as if God told me to do it, and it was the right road. Much later, as a young mother, my son Kevin was a challenge as a very active youngster, and I was actually worried about his safety and if I would be able to handle him, so again I asked God for help. I trusted God and told Him I was putting this challenge of my active son in His hands. As a result, I became a better mother by allowing God to be in control.

“Still later, when my marriage was failing, I had to leave and carve out a new life,” Angela said. “It was scary; I felt my life was hopeless and helpless. Clinical depression was a real possibility, I thought. Again, I prayed to God for help, and soon received a job offer at the Winnsboro school system. Over time, with the help of God and my mother, I got a college education and that job which came from out of nowhere evolved into my present position.

“There have been so many other times in my life when God was there for me just when I needed Him,” Angela emphasized. “I think of those times as getting a soft tap on my shoulder from God to remind me that He is there. Early on in my Christian walk, I was NOT very big on prayer, but that has changed over time: I have become a praying person. I used to have trouble with the idea of asking God for things: Me bother God? But, with the help of Brother Duncan and my husband David, I overcame that attitude.

“One thing I’ve learned is that the brain is a lot like the body in that each becomes what we put in it,” added Angela. “So I expose myself to praise music in my car, uplifting spiritual literature and personal conversations with God to tap into His wonderful love. I’ve even got an electronic scrapbook of positive input.

“I’ve learned to be grateful for everything in my life: the successes and the failures,” Angela said. “We are to be thankful for all of our lives, everything that makes it up. All of that brought us to where we are today. If we see no reason to thank God, we may be sure that the problem is not with God. It’s with us. God instructs us: Tells us how to trust Him. So we need to acknowledge Him in all things. Look to Him to direct our paths. That’s how our trust in Him grows.

“So I have grown, and am still growing as a Christian,” concluded Angela. “My faith grows stronger, as does the peace I feel within myself. I still worry, question and second-guess God now and then. But I am becoming a more useful Christian, useful to God, as my patience grows: The calm assurance that no matter what I face, I am not alone. Not ever!

"At a concert recently, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, and here at Tinney Chapel as well during a cantata. Joy welled up within me at the very thought of a Living God who cares about me. How much I want to share that love with others. The love of the Lord of lords and the King of kings. Like the Vietnamese boy in Brenda’s story, we need to be patient, to persevere. I am even to the point where I find myself loving people I never intended to love, and that’s exactly what God wants us all to do.



Readings for twentieth Sunday After Pentecost: Jeremiah 31:27-34; Psalm 119:97-104 or Psalm 19; 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5; Luke 18:1-8.



Donations for the flood and hurricane victims may be made to The United Methodist Committee on Relief, (UMCOR). This committee is supported by church apportionments, so all the money that is donated goes to help victims.
For information on UMCOR, go to:




WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Renewing Covenants.

LADIES BYKOTA, Peggy Boyd: Fishers of Men.

TINNEY CHAPEL MEN, Bill Knoop: The Case For Christ, a study by Lee Strobel.


OVERCOMERS: Jenna Nelson: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. (This is a multiple-week study.)

YOUTH: Stephen Graham: Journey Through The Bible (Quiz) Continued.

CHILDREN: Linda Hallman: In The Beginning (plants & trees of the Creation).

PAIRS & SPARES, Joe Dan Boyd: Review of Paul’s Letter To The Hebrews: Without Faith No One Can Glorify God.

The Pairs & Spares handout is below:

MOMENTS OF TRUTH (Life lessons 239)

Take home lessons from a review of Paul’s Letter To The Hebrews [Ancient Aramaic wording used below (in which the name of Jesus is spelled Eashoa) is translated by Victor Alexander]

1. God spoke to our ancestors in every way, shape and form through the prophets of old, and in these last days, He spoke to us through His Son,...

2. To Whom was consecrated the inheritance to everything, and by Whom He created the universes,...

3. ... by the power of His Manifestation,And it was with that Essence of His Trinity ... that He cleansed our sins, He Who sits from the right of the Supreme throne in the Highest.

4. "You consecrated the earth's foundations ... from the beginning of creation, And the heavens You made with your hands.

5. He is, then, very little like the angels, for we have seen that He is Eashoa because of the Passion of His death, and the glory and honor that was consecrated on His head is, therefore, imposed by God in tasting death on behalf of every human being.

6. It was because of that He was sanctified, that He may resemble His brothers and sisters in every way, so that He may be master of the king priests, those who are of God's faith, and that He may obliterate the sins of the nation.

7. For in that He Sorrowed and was tempted, He was able to help those who fell under temptation.

8. For the Manifestation of God is alive and Supreme over all, and sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the point of differentiating between the soul and the Spirit, joints, brain and bone, and He judges the intentions of the heart and conscience.

9. Let us, therefore, approach His throne of Grace with open eyes and receive mercy and find grace to aid us in the season of tribulation.

10. "You are that eternal King Priest of the universe, in the likeness of the Righteous King."

11. He Who is our anchor, sinking into our soul so it will not be shaken,...

12. This Righteous King was the King of Peace, the King Priest of the Most High God, and He gave the land to Abraham as he turned away from the war of the kings, and He blessed him,...

13. And Abraham chose for Him tithes from everything that was with him. Neither His Father, nor His Mother were written of in the tribal annals; and neither the beginning of His days, nor the end of His Life [were written of,] except of as those in the likeness of the Son of God, thus his Kingly Priesthood is established forever.

14. And even more so it is known, in that it is said that in the likeness of the Righteous King there would rise another King Priest, All this magnifies the Covenant through which we gained Eashoa.

15. For it was such a King Priest that blessed us -- pure and without a trace of evil, without deceit and incapable of sin, and ascendant above the heavens.

16. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. He entered with his own blood, one season, into the holy of holies, and He achieved Salvation for the universe. Because of that He is the Reconciler of the New Covenant,...

17. He entered heaven itself so as to be seen in the visage of God, for our sake. He retired the First [Covenant] so as to inaugurate the Second. He, however, offered one sacrifice on behalf of sins, and He sat from the right of God forever.

18. Let us, therefore, accept the offering with a sincere heart and through the testament of faith, as our hearts are sprinkled [with His blood] and our consciences are cleansed of evil and our bodies are washed by the cleansing Waters.

19. You know that you have a treasure in heaven that grows bigger and will not vanish. For the love of that Hope is what you have had, to do the will of God and inherit the Kingdom. Faith, then, allows what is anticipated by the Hope [of the Kingdom,] The faith that fulfills our soul. For it is through faith that we learn how to win eternal lives by the Manifestation of God,...

20. Without faith, then, no human being can glorify God. For a person is responsible for what is offered to God… Through faith when Abraham was called on, he listened and went out to the country that was destined for him to receive as inheritance, and he set off not knowing where he was going.

21. We have all these witnesses around us, like clouds circling us above, that we are relieved of our burdens, also of those sins that we are guilty of in every season, as we preach the hope [of the Kingdom] and run the course of the struggle that has been vouchsafed us,...

22. We gaze upon Eashoa who was the beginning and the fulfillment of faith, who instead of the joy that He possessed, He proffered the Crucifix, conquered its humiliation and sat at the right of the throne of God.

23. Do not lose your mercy toward strangers. For this is how a human being is deemed worthy to receive angels while awake. Remember those who are imprisoned, as if you were imprisoned with them.

24. Eashoa the Messiah is the fulfillment of yesterday, today and forever.

NEXT WEEK: Perspective on Paul after 2-plus years of study, by members of this Sunday School Class, about the Apostle's life, ministry and martyrdom.



Rev. Dr. Wes Magruder is a new Methodist Missionary to Cameroon. To view Rev. Magruder’s regular ongoing posts from Cameroon, go to:



For the “mother lode” link to Methodism go to:


Sunday, October 10, 2004


From Russia With Love: 10-10-04

FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE. In this photo from Russia, Pastor Elena Kotelkina (far right) of Way of Salvation UMC in Mytischi, Russia, and a musician/parishioner (now deceased) named Sergei (far left), host two visitors, Charlie Epperson (second from left) and Bo West during an official vist from the Paris/Sulphur Springs (PSS) District UMC Russia Initiative (details below), now chaired by Tinney Chapel Senior Pastor Duncan Graham. Epperson attended a recent meeting, Saturday, Oct. 9, of the PSS Russia Initiative Committee held at Tinney Chapel's new Christian Education Center.
Photo dated 5-10-03 provided by Charlie Epperson. Posted by Hello




The PSS District Russia Initiative, chaired by Tinney Chapel Senior Pastor Duncan Graham, met here at Tinney Chapel on Saturday evening, Oct. 9, 2004, in the new Christian Education Center. Pastor Graham has issued at least two news items in recent months, urging PSS District churches to assign priority to paying off the remaining building debt on Pastor Elena's church. It is believed that this is the only such initiative undertaken by a UMC District entity. Charlie Epperson's report on the trip represented in the photo above follows.


"On the first weekend in October, 2003, Bo West and I had the privilege and honor of representing the Paris-Sulphur Springs District at the Third Anniversary Celebration of Way of Salvation UMC in Mytischi, Russia. We had been informed before going that the dedication of the new facility would be held at the same time, but, for as yet unexplained reasons, the dedication was not held at this time.

"There were more than 50 people on hand Saturday for the worship service
and anniversary celebration. Pastor Elena delivered a sermon on Jonah, and
I had the opportunity to practice my Russian skills by passing on your
greetings and congratulations. A meal was served to all attending after the
service, and an impromptu sing-fest began in the sanctuary during and after
the meal. It was a joyful time for all, and included some dancing by (among
others) Pastor Elena (I have pictures).

"On Sunday, we were taken to an art gallery in Moscow with paintings by
a contemporary artist named Shilov. He is well known for his portraits,
which look more like photographs than paintings. That evening, we were
treated to a performance of the Moscow Circus, which turned out to be a
musical extravaganza with some circus acts thrown in. Quite a departure
from what we were expecting, but still enjoyable.

"We had the opportunity to spend some time with Pastor Valerij Khe of
Mytishchi UMC on Monday, whose church is supported by First UMC, Paris (Texas). Pastor Valerij is also the District Superintendent of the North Moscow
District, and is well aware of the support being given to Way of Salvation
UMW by our District. We bring back his greetings to all of you.

"As I reported to you last year, God is still alive and well and working
in Mytishchi through a small group known as Way of Salvation UMC. Their
faith continues to grow in leaps and bounds, and they remain very optimistic
that they will increase in membership. At this time, however, none of the
churches in Russia is experiencing any growth in members. There are still
some bureaucratic roadblocks in Mytishchi, as the city administration still
has not approved the outside entrance the church wants to construct. They
are still confident permission will be given, but are unsure when that will
happen. But, we have heard no complaints about anything.

"Every time we ask Pastor Elena what she needs, the answer is always the
same: “We need your love and your prayers.” Those are two things we have in
abundance, and it takes little effort to pass on either. So, please
continue to support Way of Salvation UMC with your love and prayers. That
way, their prayers will be answered again and again."
---Charlie Epperson


"The walkway between our two buildings at Tinney Chapel was poured Tuesday, Oct. 5," says Buzz Welch. Those at church today, Oct. 10, used the new walkway to move from worship in the sanctuary to Sunday School classes in the new Christian Education Center. Congratulations and thanks to Bill Knoop and his helpers for a great job of installing the playground equipment and fence on the north side of the sanctuary!


Jenna Nelson’s Overcomers Sunday School Class began a new study today using Rick Warren’s phenomenal best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life. If you’d like to participate in this study, contact Jenna for details.



WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Relearning Communities.


LADIES BYKOTA, Peggy Boyd: Hoping For Help.


TINNEY CHAPEL MEN, Bill Knoop: The Case For Christ, a study by Lee Strobel.


OVERCOMERS: Jenna Nelson: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. (This is a multiple-week study.)


YOUTH: Stephen Graham: Journey Through The Bible (Quiz) Continued.


CHILDREN: Linda Hallman: In The Beginning (water, land & sea).


PAIRS & SPARES, Joe Dan Boyd: Review of Paul’s Letter To The Romans: Nothing Can Separate Us From The Love Of God!

Pairs & Spares Class Handout is below:

MOMENTS OF TRUTH (Life lessons 238)

Take home lessons from a review of Paul’s Letter To The Romans (The Message Translation):

1. God is kind, but he's not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

2. There's nobody living right, not even one.

3. God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in His rightness.

4. God's promise arrives as pure gift. That's the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it: those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father - that's reading the story backwards. He is our faith father.

5. When we are lowered into the water (of baptism), it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water (of baptism), it is like the resurrection of Jesus.

6. The law code had a perfectly legitimate function. Without its clear guidelines for right and wrong, moral behavior would be mostly guesswork.

7. And now what the law code asked for, but we couldn't deliver, is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us:

8. Trusting God to shape right living in us.

9. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.

10. Nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable, absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love.

11. "Everyone who calls, 'Help, God!' gets help."

12. The only reason you're on the tree of Life is because your graft "took" when you believed, and because you're connected to that belief-nurturing root. So don't get cocky and strut your branch. Be humbly mindful of the root that keeps you lithe and green.

13. In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.

14. Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering.

15. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of Christ’s body: Christ's body of chosen people. Let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other.

16. Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Respect your leaders.

17. If the way we live isn't consistent with what we believe, then it's wrong.




Pastor Duncan Graham’s sermon for the children today was on letting our lights shine, and he used as an example the song, “This Little Light Of Mine,” which the children and the entire congregation sang in unison for three full verses! “What does that song say to you?” The Pastor’s question was directed to the children. “Let it shine,” was the answer! “Yes,” agreed the Pastor. “That’s what we are all about as followers of Jesus: Letting our light shine in the world.

At this point, the Pastor gave each child a miniature lighthouse to remind them of this Christian obligation and great joy: “Let this remind each of you to be a lighthouse, and that the Lord is the Light of the World, shining through each of you. You are the only light that some will ever see. And, remember that, as with all else, practice makes perfect, so practice letting your light shine!”

In his closing prayer, the Pastor asked God to be with each of the children as they let their lights shine, never allowing them to go out, and that they not forget that they are always loved by God.



Senior Pastor Rev. Duncan Graham’s sermon title today was “The Challenge To Love,” and was based on Matthew 5:38-48:

5:38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'

But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

---New King James Version of The Bible

“Love is an important topic to Jesus,” the Pastor began. “He gave us some direct commands about love, a topic which is at the center of both Christianity and Judaism: Love thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength and also love thy neighbor. But, in Matthew, Jesus carries us a giant step further:
'But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,'

“I believe Tinney Chapel can go to greater days in the spread of the Kingdom, but some things have to happen beyond self, beyond church-going and move us toward spiritual maturity” said Pastor Graham. “This gets into the love for others.”

Here, the Pastor read a short poem, “Outwitted,” by Edwin Markham to illustrate the point:


He drew a circle that shut me out--
Heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!

[To read this and other poems by Edwin Markham, go to:
m_r/markham/poems.htm ]

“That kind of love reaches beyond the rejection of others,” emphasized the Pastor. “The objective in this poem is that I encompass you in love. That’s Jesus! If we give love only to those who love us, then we are no better than sinners. I suppose even thieves, robbers and murderers love their families. But Jesus says we are to love even those people we don’t get along with.

“One thing I notice about some Christians, especially those in non-denominational churches, is that people come to church as long as there’s a thrill of some kind,” added Pastor Graham. “But when that thrill is gone, many of the people go elsewhere in search of the latest thrill. They may get crossways with someone in the church, and leave because of that. In other words, very little loyalty to the non-denominational church or people. It’s sometimes stressful for the pastors of those churches.

“But for the most part, members of the Methodist churches are loyal to their churches,” declared the pastor. “Elaine and I have experienced love at Methodist churches. I will concede that some of those in the non-denominational churches are into the Word even more, but despite that, the love and loyalty there does not appear as strong as in Methodist churches. I can not speak for other mainline denominations, however, as my experience is only with non-denominational and Methodist churches. There appears to be steadfastness in Methodist churches, where they share their sorrows and joys with each other in great loving relationships.

“If there is anything we all need to pick up on, it’s loving one another,” added Pastor Graham. “We love family, even when our family doesn’t do right. What happens when you do something wrong in the church: Do we still love one another? Do we demand our own way? Or, do we do things together? We need to love each other with that same kind of attitude: You are not perfect, and neither am I.

“It’s in John 13, I believe, that Jesus gives us a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you!” said Pastor Graham. “Jesus said that our love for each other would prove to the world that we are His disciples! He could have said a lot of things: Your witness would prove it. Your regular attendance at synagogue would prove it.

“As a child, did any of you ever 'sass' your parents?” The question was entirely rhetorical, as was the next one: Have any of your children ever 'sassed' you? But, love continued after those universal breaches of our expectations, didn’t it? Ever had your feelings hurt at church? Sure, again, we’ve all been there. But, we are not to turn our backs and leave on such accounts. Rather, we are to finish what we start. We are not to be quitters. We are to see things through! We have to adjust to live by the commandments of Jesus, who actually proclaimed a new order in His Kingdom: Love for our enemies!

“Today, I examined my hands, feet and sides to find no scars or wounds,” said the Pastor. “Yet, Jesus endured all that on the cross and still forgave those responsible, in love, while we sometimes get upset by a slight or a casual word that we find offensive. Is this the way of Christ? Is this obedience to His command to love? I believe with all my heart that Jesus has a better way than my flesh will ever have. I need to conform to His way. He is the potter and I am the clay, which means He has the right to shape and re-shape the clay until I see things in the same way He does. It’s actually a relief to stop demanding my way and let Him have His way. If I am alone, He fills me up. If I am aggravated, He brings me joy. There are so many times we can say: It really doesn’t matter: Because it doesn’t!”

In his closing prayer, the Pastor declared that we want to be in the Way of Jesus, and not in the way of the flesh or the mind or reason: “When I reflect with an open heart upon Your changes, I pray that You never stop changing the hearts of Your faithful, so that we may become more mature in our spiritual walk with You. Amen.”


Sunday, October 03, 2004


A quintessential country church welcome: 10-3-04

LOVE AT TINNEY CHAPEL. Senior Pastor Rev. Duncan Graham began a series of sermons today on the topic of love at the quintessential country church! Today's primary scripture is I Corinthians 13, and the Pastor's sermon may be viewed by scrolling past the Chapel News and Class News sections below.
Photo by David Stanton. Posted by Hello



On Tuesday evening, 16 Truth Seekers at Tinney Chapel UMC will begin the “Claude W. Gifford Revelation Today Discussion Group,” a series of 22 evenings (and lots of homework reading) devoted to The Apostle John’s Apocalypse.

Each Tuesday evening of revealing discussion will begin at precisely 6:30 p.m. and end at exactly 8:00 p.m., in mid-sentence if necessary, so that participants can plan their busy schedules around the event.

There will be no breaks and no hosted refreshments. This unique discussion event features three informal divisions at the end of week # 7 and week # 15, at which time new members may join the group by providing sufficient advance notice for printing additional copies of the text.

The 1,000-page text will be printed in segments for each of the three informal class divisions: Chapters 1-7, chapters 8-15 and chapters 16-22. A fee will be charged for each segment of the text to offset printing expense. For more information, contact facilitators Joe Dan Boyd or David Stanton.

GOALS OF THE REVELATION DISCUSSION GROUP INCLUDE: Read about 50 pages of text each week, reduce the mystery of Revelation’s language, understand Revelation through other Bible references, gain perspective on time & place that produced Revelation, discover new meanings to basic principles of Christianity, to relate Revelation to our lives today and tomorrow and to experience Revelation via our own Christian love & fellowship.




WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Leaving A Legacy.


LADIES BYKOTA, Peggy Boyd: Forgiveness, A New Leap.


TINNEY CHAPEL MEN, Bill Knoop: The Case For Christ, a study by Lee Strobel.



YOUTH: Stephen Graham: Journey Through The Bible (Quiz) Continued.


CHILDREN: Linda Hallman: In The Beginning.


PAIRS & SPARES, Joe Dan Boyd: 2 Timothy 4: I’m All Upon The Altar.

Pairs & Spares Class Handout is below:

MOMENTS OF TRUTH (Life lessons # 237)

Take home lessons from studying 2 Timothy 4 and related Scripture:

1. Paul is prepared to die the death of a Christian martyr shortly after completing this letter, and he uses the analogy of having lived his life as an offering on God’s altar. Our challenge is to respect his unique example of a focused life, lived in service to his Master.

2. Paul’s message is that, since God looks over our shoulder, we are to preach the Word without ceasing, even when it appears that few want to hear it and that fewer still are receptive to it.

3. We are warned of those who will turn their backs on Truth to have their ears tickled with the latest new fad. Our challenge is to accept the hard times along with the good and keep the Word alive.

4. We are encouraged to regard our Walk with Christ as the only fight worth winning, the only course worth running and the only faith to be kept. Our challenge is to remember that!

5. Paul affirms the justice of Christ’s judgment and His eagerness to award the crown of righteousness that is laid away for those eager for His next appearance. Our challenge is focus on the imperishable nature of that crown, which is repayment for the works of each believer.

6. Paul reminds us that, when all others forsake us, the Lord stands with us and strengthens us to do His Will.

TODAY’S DATE: 10-03-04

Pairs & Spares

Sunday School Class

Tinney Chapel UMC

Winnsboro, Texas



Afterwards, reflect upon these things:

1. Sin.

2. Salvation.

3. Sanctification.

4. Sovereignty.

5. Service.




Greeters: Bob Deitering & L.R. Kemp.
Soundman: Steven Graham.
Ushers: L. R. Kemp & Bob Deitering.


Pianist: Pat Hollingsworth.
Songleader for hymns: Senior Pastor Rev. Duncan Graham.

Songs: Glory To His Name, Higher Ground, Because He Lives (dedicated to Jacob Dillon Hodges), Just As I Am.

Praise song leader: Micah Brown (with guitar).

Songs (approximate titles): Lord I Lift Your Name On High, I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever, Altogether Wonderful: Here I Am To Worship, Shout To The Lord, More Of You In My Life.

Morning Prayer & Lord’s Prayer: Pastor Duncan Graham
Call To Worship
Offertory Prayer
Gloria Patri
Apostles Creed



Pastor Duncan Graham’s sermon today was about FAITH, and he began by mentioning the parable Jesus told about mustard seed in Luke 17. There, the Pastor said, the Apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith. But Jesus told them if they had faith only of the magnitude of a tiny mustard seed, then their prayers would be sufficiently empowered to move a mulberry tree.

The Pastor then referred to a man of modern times who decided to put that parable to the test, and prayed that a tree would be moved. When the tree was not moved, the faithless man said: “I knew it wouldn’t work,” proving the point of the man’s lack of faith. “Of course, even if we have much faith, we are not to take pride in it,” cautioned Pastor Graham. “If we did that, we would be tempted to perform miracles just to impress other people. Meanwhile, we should remember that if we have a little faith, God will do great things through us.”

In his closing prayer, the Pastor called upon the Lord to do great things through us all according to our faith.



Senior Pastor Rev. Duncan Graham began by announcing that he would be preaching on the topic of love for the next few weeks.

“We need to express love: The giving of love to one another,” declared the Pastor. “Notice I did not say receiving love. Rather, I said giving love. Look in any Bible Concordance, and you will likely find that hardly a book in the Bible fails to mention love.

“Of course, this stems from the fact that God loves us,” added Pastor Graham. “He loved the world. Love of this type is not dependant on someone loving you. Love keeps on loving even when it is not returned. That’s the purest form of love.

“In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about how God will use us and our gifts,” the Pastor explained. “When we realize that God is doing something through us, Paul kind of bursts out and says something like: Wait a minute, I’ll show you a better way.”

Here, the Pastor mentioned his primary Scripture for today: 1 Corinthians 13:

1 "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."

---King James Version of the Bible

“Love is the greatest thing in the world,” declared Pastor Graham. “Without love, God would not have saved us, and He would have destroyed the world long ago. He loves unconditionally. Notice in today’s Scripture how Paul describes love. Then he compares that description of love with his own actual attitude as a child, which was pretty much the opposite. He’s telling us not to be childish about love, but rather to seek perfection by imitating Christ. Paul gives us a plan for coming to a place we have never been before: Learning to love.

“And love is a choice,” stressed the Pastor. “It’s not a warm, fuzzy feeling that you respond to. Yet, we live in a time when the more prevalent attitude is that I will love you as long as you are worthy. Such an attitude is contrary to Scripture. It’s contrary to what God wants. A child, of course, is a totally selfish creature that is totally dependent on parental care for survival. Children do not share, and are prone to temper tantrums to get their way. In time, they learn they must yield, compromise and sometimes allow others to have their way.

“One important message of love is to take no offense at wrongs done,” added Pastor Graham. “Have you never done anyone a wrong? Have you never been wronged? In each instance, we all have been there. Perhaps not intentionally. When walking in love, we are not free to write people off because of perceived wrongs done to us. That’s not the character God wants.

“How many of you are always satisfied with the way things are going in the church?” asked the Pastor. “None of us are. People don’t always appreciate our wonderful, glorious words of wisdom. Paul’s better way is always to walk in love.”

Pastor Graham told a humorous story about marriage, in which a wife is asked if she had ever in their long married relationship considered divorce? Her answer is an interesting version of no: “Murder, yes; divorce, no!” It is a story intended to dramatize the difficulty and the sometimes-humorous reality of always walking in love.

The Pastor also told a story about an auction of paintings, most of which were known to collectors as great masterpieces of art. This was a story with an O’Henry twist. The auction’s surprise message is delivered by the eventual dramatic reading of the will of the owner of this wonderful art collection. The auction begins on what seems a normal note. The first painting auctioned is not one of the well-known masterpieces. Rather, it’s what appears to be a mediocre painting by an unknown artist. But the painting is of the owner’s beloved son, and no one bids on it except a servant in the owner’s household who had loved and served the beloved son. None of the art collectors considered that painting worthy of a bid. When the servant’s modest bid is announced as the winner, a surprise clause in the owner’s will declares that whoever buys the painting of the beloved son is to be given all the priceless masterpieces! In other words: For whoever “buys” or accepts The Beloved Son, the auction is over!

In his closing prayer, Pastor Graham asked the Lord to teach us to love The Beloved Son and His children, whom we have seen, and even to love our enemies as The Son did. And when the auction is over, the Pastor prayed that we may be found to have accepted The Beloved Son.



Readings for eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost: Lamentations 1:1-6; Psalm 137; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10.

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