Sunday, January 23, 2005


Seed of the Promise and of the Faith

CHURCH ART BY TINNEY CHAPEL KIDS: Madison, Kenny and J.T.Crow. All photos on this post are by Angela Wylie.


Today, Senior Pastor Duncan Graham asked if any of the children were familiar with the saying: Spare the rod and spoil the child. The answer: No. Not a single one of the kids had ever heard it. “Well, my family believed in it,” quipped the Pastor, who told the children that the saying is actually based on Scripture:

Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly. --–New King James Version

“I wish I could have been a better son,” said the Pastor. “Oh, it isn’t that I was incorrigible, but I didn’t obey promptly. If my mother told me to take out the trash, I would procrastinate and grumble until I forgot about it. That attitude got me in trouble. I remember once when I misbehaved in church, my mother hauled me outside, broke a limb off a hedge and taught me the nature of not sparing the rod. And, you know what: She never had to do that again.”

The Pastor speculated about why that Scriptural saying is not as well-known as it once was, and perhaps not as often observed: “Nowadays, people worry about child abuse, and that’s a legitimate worry, but some say the bottom side is made for correction.” The Pastor mentioned another Scriptural reference that’s applicable:

Ephesians 6: 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise: 3 "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth." ---New King James Version

“My take on this Scripture is that we should honor our parents, and always do what will bring a good report to them about our behavior,” added Pastor Graham. “My grandmother used to send us off with the reminder to not forget WHOSE we are. That was her way of encouraging us to do what is right to protect our reputation. And, never forget that God desires us to honor our mothers and our fathers.”

In his closing prayer, the Pastor asked of the Lord that our young people grow up not to be rebellious and not to go astray, but rather that they grow up blessed with sound reasoning and raised in righteousness: “May they conduct their lives in ways that will cause the world to say they must come from very good families. All of this we ask in the Name of Jesus our Savior. Amen.”


Greeters: L. R. Kemp & George Jordan.

Soundman: Bob Deitering.

Ushers: George Jordan & L.R. Kemp.


Pianist: Pat Hollingsworth.

Songleader for hymns: Angela Wylie.

Songs: Glory To His Name; Holy Holy Holy; How Great Thou Art; Pass It On.

Morning Prayer & Lord’s Prayer: Pastor Duncan Graham


Call To Worship

Offertory Prayer


Gloria Patri

Apostles Creed


Senior Pastor Duncan Graham’s sermon today was untitled, but he examined faith from the perspective of Abraham’s call in the Old Testament Book of Genesis, as clarified by the New Testament Books of Hebrews and Romans, beginning with this reading:

Romans 4: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin."

9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. 13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations"*) in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

Romans 5: 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have* peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ---New King James Version

“The good news, dearly beloved, is that we have yet a place to attain to,” declared Pastor Graham. “Faith is a wonderful Word that brings closeness to God, and there we can rejoice in sharing the Word of God, in and through us, to a world in great need. Abraham, as a child, was moved by his father, from Ur to Haran, and God spoke to the adult Abraham as described in Genesis 11 and 12, telling him that He would make of him a great nation, meaning that God would give him an heir, and through Abraham all nations would be blessed.

“When Abraham received that offer from God, he was already 75 years old,” added the Pastor. “By our standards, Abraham was past retirement age and long since eligible for Social Security. He could have easily told God that he was too old to pull up stakes and move again, which is what God told him to do. If any of us received such a call from God today, our first reaction would likely be: Who is that speaking to me, really?

“And, you might think that Abraham would doubt that God would give him an heir at age 75,” emphasized Pastor Graham. “But, Abraham’s faith never wavered. He trusted God, and believed what God told him. If God spoke it, that settled it for Abraham. So, Abraham takes his wife, Sara, his nephew Lot and his considerable belongings, loads up and heads out. By faith, Abraham believed the Promise of God.

“And, Abraham believed for the next...25 years without ever beginning to see the fulfillment of that Promise,” said Pastor Graham. “By this time, he was a 100 year old man and Sara was a 95 year old woman, so the prospect of an heir must have seemed even more remote than ever. No wonder Sara laughed when God said that she would deliver a son to her husband Abraham. Sara did not have the faith that Abraham had.

“But, of course, we know that it all came to pass: Sara, in her old age, did have a son, Isaac, the Seed of the Promise, and of the Faith that got us into the Kingdom...because Abraham believed. Think of it: For 25 long, hard years, without a clue that it would ever come to pass, and only the Word of God to hang onto! If only we could stand on the Word of God like Abraham, and believe as he did: Nothing would be impossible for us!

“The Word teaches us there is only one way to get all that God has,” said the Pastor. “It is only though such a faith relationship with God. You may have all the knowledge in the world, but it will not get what you need from God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God! How often have we looked at the circumstances and said: It can’t be done! Abraham, on the other hand, looked at the circumstances, and saw opportunity.

“What we must learn is to believe that God is more important than all the circumstances in the world,” declared Pastor Graham. “Jesus tells us that our mountains can be moved if we have faith. He tells us we can eat the best of the vine. He tells us we can have what we ask for in prayer. He tells us that we can do the works that He did. But, make no mistake; all this requires our devoted relationship with God. We must give up our self-indulgence and get to know Him intimately.

“If we do that, we will see our own faith grow as we get closer to God,” added the Pastor. “Faith is the greatest attribute of a church with regard to its character. Faith links us with God. Where faith is present there is fact, and then there is joy. You can have what you desire if you believe according to the Will of the Father. We can be a church that is most assuredly full of the glory of God, serving Him in a variety of ways. But He waits on us to make a Abraham. Then, we may enjoy fulfillment of the Promise.”

In his closing prayer, the Pastor said: “Oh, Heavenly Father, we need to be all we can be through You, gloriously serving the Kingdom for the benefit of others who have needs, and need Your Salvation here in this place with Your power, Your greatness, Your glory, Your grace. In Jesus Name, our Savior and our Lord, Amen.”



Readings for the third Sunday after the Epiphany:

Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23.




WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Giving Your All.

LADIES BYKOTA, Peggy Boyd: Heaven’s Rewards.

Tinney Chapel Men, Bill Knoop: The Case For Christ, a study by Lee Strobel. (A multiple-week study.)

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

YOUTH: Stephen Graham: Fellowship.

CHILDREN: Linda Hallman: The Baptism of Jesus.

THE REMNANT CLASS: Joe Dan Boyd: Spiritual Inaugural Addresses.



Life Lessons # 252 from Psalm 33:12 & related Scripture.

1. Sing joyfully to the Lord.

2. God bless America.

3. The word of the Lord is right & true.

4. This land is your land.

5. The Lord loves righteousness & justice.

6. There’s a star-spangled banner waving somewhere.

7. The plans of the Lord stand firm forever.

8. God blessed America for you & me.

9. Sing to Him a new song.

10. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.

The Remnant

Sunday School Class

Tinney Chapel UMC

Winnsboro, Texas


READ: Matthew 5:1-12, “The Beatitudes,” (blessed means happy), which describe the inner condition of a follower of Christ and promise him/her blessings in the future.

Afterwards, reflect upon these things:

1. Slices of Kingdom Life.

2. When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down.

3. His disciples came to Him, and he began to teach them, saying:...

4. Poor in spirit, mourners, meek, seekers, merciful, pure, peacemakers, persecuted, victims, rewards.

5. Salt & light.

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Thursday, January 20, 2005


Tinney Chapel UMC Charge Profile 2005

District Superintendent, Rev. Pat Beghtel-Mahle, presents a service jacket to David Stanton, who served more than two years as Tinney Chapel Building Committee Chairman and is now Lay Leader. Assisting with the presentation: Joe Dan Boyd, right, outgoing Tinney Chapel Council Chair and Senior Pastor Duncan Graham, partially visible at left. Photo by Dr. Joan LaBarr, Director of North Texas Conference Communications and Editor of North Texas Conference Reporter Newspaper.

CHARGE: Tinney Chapel UMC
(To be completed by S/PPR Committee)
DISTRICT: Paris-Sulphur Springs


The Book of Discipline, (432.1) “The District Superintendent shall develop with the Pastor and the Committee on Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations of all churches profiles that reflect the needs, characteristics, and opportunities for mission of the charge consistent with the Church’s statement of purpose (421.1). These profiles shall be reviewed annually and updated when appropriate to include:

A. The general situation in which a congregation finds itself in a particular setting: size, financial condition, quality of lay leadership, and history.

Tinney Chapel UMC, an open door church, is a strong, vibrant, and integral part of the community striving to honor God in all we do. We are located just south of Winnsboro, Texas, and are proud of our 100 + year rural heritage. We seek to celebrate that proud tradition, not simply as a museum of past faiths, but as a people dedicated to our church’s call to worship and serve a living God.


Tinney Chapel currently has 126 members on the roll, representing a 15% membership growth over the last two years, with an average worship service attendance of 79 per week. Sunday School attendance is enjoying a likewise steady growth as an average of 60% of those attending worship remain for Sunday school afterward. We have seen an explosion in Sunday School class formation for adults, doubling from 3 to 6 classes, and we continue to offer age-appropriate classes/activities for the children / young people of the church. January 9, 2005 we consecrated our new 8,000 square foot Family Life Center to the glory of God.

This year’s physical changes have been the largest for us in over 100 years. The new facility houses much-needed additional Sunday school space, a significantly larger kitchen, a conference room, and an expanded fellowship hall, all providing improved handicap accessibility to church functions. Thanks to the dedicated volunteer efforts of numerous church members, the facility was built for a remarkable $35 per square foot. Remodeling was also done in the north Sunday school wing, enlarging children’s classrooms and providing access to the new facilities.

Financial Condition:

Per information presented at charge conference, Tinney Chapel is currently in sound financial condition, able to meet financial obligations, including local needs, apportionments, and missionary efforts. Our Family Life Center was completed for $286,000. We received $160,000 in building fund pledges during our Capital Funds Campaign. Now halfway through this three-year commitment, we expect to have a note of approximately $50,000 remaining at the end of the three years. The income of the Church continues to be a culmination of tithes, gifts, and fundraising efforts on the part of a very active Women’s Group as well as a growing Men’s Group. Additional Sunday school based fundraising efforts are anticipated as classes work toward funds for “finishing out” their classrooms as needed.

New Council Chair at Tinney Chapel UMC is Marcella Salter, a long-time member, and one of the leaders of the successful Building On The Promises Capital Funds Campaign, which led to the completion of the new Family Life & Christian Education Center. Photo by David Stanton.

Lay Leadership:

Tinney Chapel enjoys a history of strong lay leadership, and that blessing is being multiplied. Newer members are actively dedicating their gifts and skills to the church’s mission –to make disciples of Jesus Christ. In addition, “long-time” members of the church continue to dedicate their time and talents in positions of church leadership. Empowered lay leaders, the guidance of Pastor Duncan Graham (who models that leadership for us by serving as chair of the Paris-Sulphur Springs District Russia Initiative), the shared vision initiated by the Visions & Values training several years ago, and annual church wide planning days culminate in an active and growing congregation.

Notably, four members serve as Certified Lay Speakers and Joe Dan Boyd ably serves as chair of the Conference Communications Commission. Our laity is also actively involved in leadership roles in Walk to Emmaus and the Residents Encounter Christ prison ministry. Attendance by 17 Tinney Chapel representatives at the recent leadership training conference in Sulphur Springs affirms that quality lay leadership and involvement are poised to continue. While we were overwhelmed by Tinney Chapel receiving, for the second time in three years, the North Texas Conference Marvin T. Judy Award for excellence in town and country ministry, our eyes are on the future and what we can do for God’s people in the days ahead.

History: Arvinell Newton McClaren’s book, “Going to the Chapel” which won the Kate Warnick award for Best Church Story at Annual Conference, recaps early church history and informs readers interested in our first one hundred years.

The Congregation of Tinney Chapel UMC on Consecration Sunday, Jan. 9, 2005. In foreground are, left, Tinney Chapel Associate Pastor Gene Miller, and Rev. Joan LaBarr, a member of Bishop Rhymes H. Moncure Jr.'s North Texas Conference Extended Cabinet. Photo by Joe Dan Boyd, using Dr. Joan LaBarr's digital camera.

B. The convictional stance of the congregation (or general situation in which a congregation finds itself in regard to): theology; prejudices, if any; spiritual life.


Tinney Chapel’s church is a Bible-based church, rooted in the Word. We continue to call upon the Holy Spirit to help us grow – both as a church body as well as in individual faith and discipleship. We are a congregation that continues to live the motto currently in use by the United Methodist Church – “Open Hearts, Open Doors, and Open Minds” – both outside our church doors as well as within.

Prejudices, if any:

Current church membership is almost wholly Anglo (Caucasian). However, racial prejudices among the individual members, if they exist, have not made themselves known, as visitors of varying races have been welcomed warmly, both in the pulpit, as well as in the congregation. The same assessment must be made in terms of gender bias. Individuals within the congregation may struggle with this issue, however, the congregation as a whole has welcomed and supported female pastors in the past and continues to appoint / support female leadership in the laity. We understand that no congregation is without prejudice. However, we are not aware of the manifestation of any such prejudices within Tinney Chapel.

Spiritual Life:

The people of Tinney Chapel believe God’s promise that He will send His Spirit to guide us. We also understand the obligation to practice obedience to God, beginning with the mandate to celebrate the Gospel with those outside the church walls as well as within. We believe that the following are indicative of the spiritual growth of God’s people at Tinney Chapel:

* Steady growth in attendance at worship services
* An explosion in Sunday school classes
* Strong lay leadership
* Sunday night worship services
* Participation in Wednesday night meal, worship, choir practices for children and adults, and special programs for children and youth
* Bible Study classes, including Christian Believer, Disciple I and Revelation
* Participation by members in the Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis, and Residents Encounter Christ

C. The ministry of the congregation among its people for the sake of the community (or to what extent is the congregation reaching out into the community in areas such as): service programs, basis for adding new members, and reasons for losing members, forms of witness.

Again, Tinney Chapel strives to carry out the mission of God’s Church by working to make disciples of Jesus Christ. And we strive to share God’s gifts to this congregation through the following services that are performed by the congregation for the sake of the community:

Service Programs:

* Regularly scheduled birthday celebrations at the local nursing homes.
* Prayer and needs support of the Holy Highway (a local home for adolescent girls)
* Support for both the Blessing Box and the Community Ministries (local emergency food and clothing centers in the community), including gifts of winter blankets, summer fans, and on-going food donations
* Support of the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center through annual drives.
* Various other programs of giving and service practiced by the church’s Women’s Group, including the Golden Cross and Methodist Home in Waco

Basis for Adding New Members:

* Lay visitation and follow-up with church visitors
* Expansion of the music ministry by hiring professional musicians for the Contemporary Worship Service
* Special Sunday Night concerts by visiting musicians
* Cantatas and special music events by the Church Choir.
* Ongoing encouragement and instruction in inviting persons to church.
* Pastoral visits by both by Duncan Graham (Pastor) and Gene Miller (Associate Pastor)
*Annual fish fries held by the Men’s Group that serve as money raisers as well as church outreach.
* Special events for the Women’s Group that encourage participation of women including those who are not Tinney Chapel Members.
* Exceptional communications to visitors as well as members that includes occasional news items and weekly paid advertisements in the local newspaper, a weekly e-letter, a monthly mailed newsletter, and a new Weblog (blog) service which is updated several times each week, and may be viewed on the Internet at

Reasons for Losing Members:

Generally, most of the membership lost by the congregation of Tinney Chapel is through death. This was true during this past year as well, as we lost very dear members of the church through death. Despite this loss, Tinney Chapel continues to grow in membership. And we continue to draw from the original rural Tinney Chapel Community heritage as we seek to become a church active in our service and outreach on behalf of the community of God.

Way Of Salvation UMC Pastor Elena Kotelkina sings with the choir of her church in Mytishchi, Russia, a mission church of the Paris-Sulphur Springs District UMC and also of many of the individual churches within the District, including Tinney Chapel. Pastor Elena visited Tinney Chapel UMC, and spoke here, in 2002. Chairman of the District Russia Initiative is Tinney Chapel UMC Senior Pastor Duncan Graham. Photo by Charlie Epperson, Westview UMC in Greenville, and a founding member of the Paris-Sulphur Springs District Russia Initiative.

Mission to community and world: Tinney Chapel serves the local community through the services previously outlined. Other efforts include:

* Regular and substantial contributions to support the Way of Salvation UMC in Mytishchi, Russia.
* Regular and substantial contributions to Henry & Josie Zaragosa, missionaries in Mexico.
* Relief funds to the target project at each year’s North Texas Conference meeting.
* Communion Sunday altar gifts that serve as a discretionary fund that the Pastor can use to assist persons in the community, as he deems appropriate
* Special offerings taken in both worship services and Sunday school classes for persons in crisis
* Money for college texts to graduating high school seniors from our youth group
* Contributions by members to the Visionaries and New Visionaries program
* Pennies for Meals on Wheels
* Donation for construction of chapel at Texas Department of Corrections Johnston Unit
* Establishment of Mother’s Day Out program for 3-5 year olds
*Offering our facilities for Cypress Basin Hospice to conduct training classes for volunteers
* Participation in community-wide One Drop Easter Pageant
* Participation in community three-day Bible Reading Marathon over Winnsboro
* Rural Life Sunday, a family-friendly daylong celebration of rural life
* Contributions to Project Hope serving the last, lost, least, and marginalized

Forms of Witness:

Tinney Chapel believes that sharing the Good News, the ministries outlined above, and the manner in which each of us conduct our own lives are all forms of witness.

Senior Pastor Duncan Graham prays before ushers take up the offering at Tinney Chapel UMC's Service of Consecration for the new building. Photo by Joe Dan Boyd, using Dr. Joan LaBarr's digital camera.
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D. The qualities and functions of pastoral ministry needed to fulfill the mission and goals of the congregation.

Tinney Chapel desires to make disciples of Christ. We know that having this common vision is a good start, but that spiritual worship, growth and discipleship are attributes necessary for the pursuit of this “mark.” The primary pastoral qualities needed to fulfill the mission and goals of the congregation of Tinney Chapel during the coming year are maturity (in faith and leadership skills) as well as a dedication to keeping the focus of the church “on the mark” through teaching and preaching the Word of God.

Pastor Duncan Graham has demonstrated these attributes during the past year. And we respectfully submit that these attributes (as well as continuity) will be crucial in the successful transition of God’s church at Tinney Chapel UMC.


John Futral, Chairman
David Stanton
David Wylie
Dick Beavers
Jenna Nelson
Joe Dan Boyd

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Memories Of A Day We'll Never Forget

MEMORIES OF LAST WEEK, "the week that was" perhaps the most memorable in Tinney Chapel history, lingered in today's thoughts, conversation and even crept into the Pastor's Message, "Chosen To Be A Covenant People." North Texas Conference (NTC) Communications photo of Bishop Rhymes Moncure, Jr., District Superintendent Pat Beghtel-Mahle and NTC Communications Director, Rev. Joan LaBarr, with us at last week's Consecration Service, above, by Joe Dan Boyd, using Dr. LaBarr's digital camera. Posted by Hello

SUNDAY WORSHIP TODAY: January 16, 2005


Greeters: Roger Schneider.

Soundman: Bob Deitering.

Ushers: Clay Spears and Roger Schneider.


Pianist: Pat Hollingsworth.

Songleader for hymns: John Futral.

Songs: Standing On The Promises; 'Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus; My Savior’s Love; Take Time To Be Holy.


Morning Prayer & Lord’s Prayer: Pastor Duncan Graham


Call To Worship

Offertory Prayer


Gloria Patri

Apostles Creed



Senior Pastor Duncan Graham began by saying: “We’ll play a game today. You know how some things just go together. I mention something, and you say the first thing that comes to mind. Hammer? Nail. Salt? Pepper. Peanut Butter? Jelly. Brother? Sister. Well, in Scripture, there’s an association that we need to be reminded of often. What if I say the word FAITH? Hope? Well, that’s good, but I was thinking of the association in the New Testament Book of James: Faith? Works.

“James, the brother of Jesus, said they go together: Where we find faith, we find it reflected in works or deeds. In other words, James says that works are a result of faith. If we have faith, we automatically show it by works. James went so far as to say that faith without works is dead, meaning that faith doesn’t do much good if it is not shown. If we have faith, we should let it shine.”

In his closing prayer, Pastor Graham said, “Oh, gracious Lord, bless Matthew Stanley in every way, make his life a shining light in the works that he does in the Name of Jesus Christ. And may that also be a watchword for all of us. Let our works be on display as a result of our faith. We ask it in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”


“Well, we had a great Sunday last Sunday at the Consecration for our new building,” said Senior Pastor Duncan Graham. “And the Bishop delivered a great sermon. And I want to say thanks to Sadie, Sherri, Zonnie, Elaine Knoop and all of you for your help with arrangements for that day. A great many of you did things to make it all happen. I hope we all remember that day for a long time to come. It was a truly good day Sunday. The Bishop said, ‘Hey, Church, do you know who you are?’ But, today, we might also say: Hey, Christian, do you know who you are? Do we all know Who should be the essence or core of our lives and being?”

The Pastor’s sermon today was titled, “Chosen To Be A Covenant People,” and was based on 1 Peter 2:4-10:

2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

2:6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."

2:7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,"

2:8 and "A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense." They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

2:10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

---New King James Translation

“We are a Covenant people,” emphasized Pastor Graham. “We are part of a Covenant with an Eternal God, an Everlasting, All-Powerful, All-Knowing God, and are in Covenant with Him. As a Covenant people, certain expectations are required of us, and also of Him as God. He would keep His part of the Covenant, of course, and He expects us to keep our part of the Covenant as well.

“We have been called into a special relationship with Him,” added the Pastor. “A Covenant is a Bond between individuals and God. It means we are bound to one another, and to God in this Covenant. We agree to do certain things. God agrees to do certain things. It’s up to us to keep up our end of the bargain. God expects a lot, but He gives even more. What a loving God!

“Some of you will remember a childhood game called, Follow The Leader,” continued the Pastor. “If you failed to do what the leader did, you were out of the game. But the game was not fun unless everyone tried to follow the leader. Some couldn’t or wouldn’t follow the leader and ducked out of the childhood game, you recall. Church is a lot like that. Our Leader is Jesus Christ, and we are expected to do what He does, to live like He lives. In fact, that’s a big part of the reason He came to earth: To set a lifestyle for our actions, our service and our worship. Our job is to follow Him as our Leader. In truth, we all fall short in that respect, since there is no perfect church.

“Some leave the church because they don’t think some others are following the rules,” explained Pastor Graham. “The trouble with that reasoning is that we are interpreting the rules. Some leave the church because someone else in the church is viewed as not following the leader. But that’s not a good excuse because the real Leader is Jesus Christ, and He expects us to act like Covenant people. And when we all do that, we can accomplish wonderful things. The great thing about a good game of Follow The Leader is when someone, like a big kid, helps another, like a little kid, who is having difficulty in following the leader. Thus, they become heroes!

It’s all about lending a hand, helping others, picking up those who have fallen down and might be about to give up,” declared the Pastor. “What a joy it is in church when we find people who—rather than write other people off—help pick them up and strengthen them. What a difference that makes when someone helps another who can’t quite make it on his own. It’s a matter of caring for one another, and we are all called to do that in following Christ, doing the glorious work He has for us to do.

“When we say: Hey, Church, do you know who you are? We need only look at today’s Scripture to see that we are a royal priesthood. In the King James Translation, we are called a peculiar people, and that is not a term of offense. Rather it’s a blessing when understood through Jesus Christ. To be called a Covenant people we are to carry out His Will. Our opportunities are great: To seek, touch, reach, serve, bless and minister to a very many, all around us, day by day. As in that childhood game, we have to see ourselves as the Big Kids helping the Little Kids so they don’t lose heart and give up. To touch lives in every way that matters, to make them feel important, to make them feel that they belong, that they are a part of us, because they are!

“Every person is a part of us, and we are a part of them,” added Pastor Graham. “If we can render any kind of service and bless their lives, it’s a good thing. This past weekend, I was taking the AARP Driver Education course here at our church, and we discussed aggressive drivers. I confess to having done that, and it’s a reminder that I need to practice daily on an attitude that when I see someone not driving right. I should slow down and see it as God calling me to pray for that person doing the aggressive driving: Get him into the game. Bless every need he has. Save his soul if he is unsaved. Some may be in crisis. I should pray that God will touch their lives in all those ways. When I do that, my own driving improves.

“Jesus said that whatever we ask for in His Name, we can have,” added the Pastor. “We need to remember that Jesus is the Leader we are to follow.”

“In his closing prayer, Pastor Graham said, “Oh, gracious Heavenly Father, make us all desire to become more like You in our lives, in our church, in our walk. There are so many needs that people face in this community who don’t know all they need to know to enjoy the greatest blessing possible: Eternal Life. We are Your Hands, Your Mouth. Help us to walk, act and speak in ways that bring You glory. All this we ask in the Name of our Savior. Amen.”



Readings for Second Sunday After The Epiphany: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42.




WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Preparing For The Job.

LADIES BYKOTA, Peggy Boyd: (1) Pride. (2) Responding To The Needy.

Tinney Chapel Men, Bill Knoop: The Case For Christ, a study by Lee Strobel. (A multiple-week study.)

The Remnant Class, Joe Dan Boyd, Noah's Legacy (concluded). (In lieu of a printed handout today, go to:

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

YOUTH: Stephen Graham: Bible Insights.

CHILDREN: Linda Hallman: Bible Stories.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


The Bishop's Sermon at Tinney Chapel

NORTH TEXAS CONFERENCE BISHOP Rhymes Moncure, Jr., delivered a powerful sermon at the Service of Consecration for Tinney Chapel's new Family Life and Christian Education Center on January 9, 2005. His Scripture was Matthew 5:13-16 and his sermon was entitled: Hey, Church, Do You Know Who You Are? North Texas Conference Communications photo by Joe Dan Boyd using Dr. Joan LaBarr's digital camera. Posted by Hello

Hey, Church, Do You Know Who You Are?

Today’s sermon began with a humorous story about a pastor who had always started his sermons over many years with the phrase, “The Lord be with you,” to which his congregation always responded: “And also with you.” But, one day, this pastor began by noting, “There seems to be something wrong with the microphone today,” to which his congregation responded: “And also with you!”

“It’s a joy to be here. I’m just so honored to be here; it really is a joy,” declared North Texas Conference Bishop Rhymes Moncure, Jr., who delivered the sermon at Tinney Chapel’s Service of Consecration for the church’s new Family Life & Christian Education Center on January 9, 2005. “When Pastor Graham mentioned that this would be the first time a Bishop had ever been to Tinney Chapel, I thought: Boy, I hope they think it’s worth it!”

Here, Bishop Moncure told the story of a recent event in the Gainesville, Texas, area, in which a little girl asked him if he was really the Bishop, and he said he was. The little girl continued: “Are you really the Bishop?” Again, he said he was, to which the child asked: “Of the world?” Bishop Moncure said, “No, but I am the Bishop of the Dallas area,” which prompted the little girl to look him up and down before saying: “Awww.”

“In the North Texas Conference, there are 320 congregations in six districts,” explained the Bishop. And, when you count every man, woman, boy and girl in our Conference, Tinney Chapel, you have today the congratulations and well wishes of each of our 200,000-plus United Methodists in the Name of Him who gave us Life.

“And, this is such a beautiful facility, and I can’t wait until we get to the part of the service where we consecrate and dedicate it to the continued use of God,” added Bishop Moncure. “Again, I am honored to be here today with you, and to give thanks for all that God has done with this congregation in bringing forth all that you are.

“I want to share with you some words,” he continued. “When I was a Bishop in the Nebraska area, we had a Cokesbury display every year at Annual Conference. At some point each year, a representative came forward and presented the Annual Conference with a check, representing a portion of book sales, which generally goes toward paying the pensions for the clergy. But they also give the Bishop a book, and my second year there they presented me a copy of Eugene Peterson’s translation of the New Testament. I started thumbing though it and reading it, and quite frankly, I have not been able to put it down since.

“Peterson has translated both the Old and New Testaments, and his translation of the ancient texts presents the Bible in a very fresh, contemporary way,” explained the Bishop. “And I really enjoy reading it. I grew up on the King James Version, that old Victorian language, and of course there have been many translations since. They are always coming out with something different. But this translation, The Message, I thoroughly enjoy reading, and I want to read our text from it: Matthew 5:13-16:

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You've lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

"Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.

If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand.

Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand - shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

---The Message Translation

“For the people of God, this is the Word of God,” declared the Bishop, to which the people responded: “Thanks be for the Word of God.”

“When I finally got the date on the calendar, after several conversations back and forth, I started reading the information you sent me about Tinney Chapel, to research the church as much as I could. As I started reading, I thought: Now, in a few weeks you will be out there in the Paris-Sulphur Springs District, and you will be in one of the churches that you’ve been informed they’ve never had a Bishop before. And you are the new kid on the block. What are you going to say to that church?

“What are you going to say to a congregation that you are going to go to, and help them dedicate a facility that has shown a sense of growth, and probably the most ambitious sense of growth that church has shown in the last 100 years. What do you say? What do you say to a congregation that you just know that, through the years that they have been here, and in the expansion they will put forth together, it has probably been like a roller coaster: Times they’ve been up, and times they’ve been down.

“Probably been times around here when some of you have wondered: Why are we doing this? And how important is this? And why should we do it anyway? I can almost imagine that there must have been moments when you questioned the leadership of the church, questioned yourselves, and maybe some of you even questioned God: God, are you sure we can do this? Are you sure we ought to do it? Are you sure it’s going to make any difference? What do you say in that church?

“What do you say to a congregation that rolls up its sleeves, and through their blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice, continue to be at ministry to an entire community? What are you going to say, Mister New Bishop? As you sit there with your blank computer screen and you hear that Sunday coming to you quicker than you think you are going to be prepared: What are you going to say? To a church that provides blankets in the winter and fans in the summer for the least, the lost and the marginalized of their community: What are you going to say to them?

“What do you say to a church that, as I look at the apportionment payouts: It’s already 100%. You were almost one of the first churches to do that! What do you say? What do you say to a congregation that really models something, and that you wish the other 319 churches could be there with you that day.

“I have come this morning to raise in the hearing of this congregation what I have hoped and prayed is appropriate. My wife, Jewell, and I like to watch the old classic movies on TV. Those are the ones that make sense to me. I was looking at one not too long ago that came out years ago: Spartacus, starring Kirk Douglas. That’s when I became a Kirk Douglas fan. Those of you who are under 40: Kirk is Mike Douglas’s dad!

“That movie, Spartacus, turned him into a full-fledged movie star. He said, in his autobiography, written years afterwards: Before that movie came out, he was just a struggling B actor. But, after that movie, he was recognized everywhere he went. He said he started eating regularly from the royalties of that movie. Bought his first new car: a Buick, and he said that, in those days, you always picked up hitchhikers. You just sort of did it automatically.

“He was driving down one of the boulevards of California when he saw a young man standing by the side of the road, hitchhiking. He said he just swerved by the side of the road, opened the passenger door and picked up the hitchhiker. Soon they were tooling down the road without so much as saying a word to each other. Out of the corner of his eye, Kirk Douglas noticed the young man staring at him, then turning away. Again, the young man stared at Kirk Douglas a few minutes and then again turned away. Finally, after a triple take, he started pointing at Kirk Douglas, yelling at the top of his voice: ‘Hey man, do you know who you are?’

“I hope today the appropriate question is: Hey, Tinney Chapel, do you know who you are? Do you know who you are? You see, we are the ones that God loves. Hey, church, do you know who you are? We are the ones Christ has pinned all of his hopes on, expecting that somehow you and I will inform the world that God loves them just as much! Do you know who you are? Do you really know who you are?

“In today’s Scripture, the one we read a few moments ago, Jesus gathers His Disciples around Him, and whenever you read in the New Testament the word Disciples, you know that’s us in our embryonic stages: It’s talking about the early church. He gathers those Disciples around Him, and says things like: ‘Hey, if you want to follow Me, you’ve got to take up your Cross. You’ve got to pull up whatever is staking you out in life and follow Me.’

“Another time, He said, hey, if you’re going to be my Disciples and follow Me, I’m going to make you fishers of people. You are going to go out and gather all kinds of people. And he looks them in the eye and he says, if you follow Me, you are the Salt of the Earth and you are the Light of the World. Wow! Can you imagine what they must have felt like? As they stood there, as they were listening to the most important person they’ve ever been around in their lives, and he calls them Salt and Light. Now, they’ve been called a lot of things in their lives, but never Salt and Light.

“I can imagine they started murmuring to themselves, and to one another: What’s He talking about? Does He know who we are? I mean, look at us! We’re just fishers. Yet, he said we are the Light of the World. We’re the Salt of the Earth. Imagine that! He says we are the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World!

“Hey, Tinney, do you really know who you are? Do you know just who you are? When I served the United Methodist Church in Columbia, Missouri, prior to my election and assignment to Nebraska, and my assignment here in July, I used to look forward to all the worship services, but the one that I really kind of got goosebumps over, were those annual Christmas Eve services. I really enjoy that time of the year. And, every Christmas Eve, we would have four or five Christmas Eve services, and I’d preach them all, because you had a different congregation at each worship service. And, there was always that one dramatic moment that, although I knew it was coming, it always sort of knocked the wind out of me.

“There was that one dramatic moment in that huge neo-Gothic sanctuary, and there would be a Vesper service, the sun had gone down, and we’d be behind these heavy, stained glass windows and there would be that dramatic moment when we would extinguish all the lights in the sanctuary. And, there we would sit, for just a few moments, in absolute darkness, total darkness. No lights, whatsoever. I knew this sanctuary like the back of my hand. I knew how many steps it took to get to the altar. How many seats there were in the choir loft. I had been in that sanctuary a thousand times.

“But, all of a sudden, the lights went out! How disoriented you can become in total darkness. There’s something overpowering about darkness. All of a sudden my internal compass started playing havoc with me. You lose your directions when you are in total darkness. I can remember suddenly feeling bemused and lost. Where am I? Well, it’s absolute darkness. Until the acolyte lights that
one candle that we called the Christ Candle.

“And, all of a sudden, that room starts getting transformed. Again. And we started lighting other candles from that one candle. It occurred to me how the room started feeling safer and warmer, with just one candle lighting other candles. Now, there were no neon signs. No high voltage lights. No flashing neon lights. Just one candle lighting another candle.

“Hey, church, do you know who you are? We are the ones that Christ has empowered. And equipped. And enabled to be the Light in a darkened world. We are to be the Light of Hope in a world of despair. And the Light of Peace in a world of chaos. And to be the Light of Reconciliation in a world that seems to get more divided all the time. Or maybe we are to be the Light of Love in a world that hasn’t really tried Love yet. Or to be the Light of Grace in a world that’s forgotten God. Or to be the Light of Christ in a world that’s groping in a darkened room, trying to find something that makes sense, that they can hang onto.

“Hey, church, do you know who you are? We are the ones that Christ has called, and you are to be the Light of the World. The Salt of the Earth. Do you ever feel sometimes, I know I do, that all of our institutions in our society, like the schools and the hospitals and the campuses and don’t leave out the churches. God knows: Don’t leave out the churches. Do you ever get the feeling that all of our institutions seem to be getting colder and more insensitive and downright uncaring? You ever get the feeling the world is going the other way in a hand basket?

“Do you ever get the feeling, as I do sometimes, when I read something in the paper, or hear something on the news, and wonder what’s happening to the world? And, I’ll get off to myself sometimes and say, God, what are you going to do about that?

“It’s almost like God speaks back to me, in my spirit, and says, Rhymes, what are you going to do about it? Because, after all, I’ve made you Light and Salt.

“Do you ever get the feeling that all of our institutions are competing, and you wish something would change the world?

“Hey, church, do you know whose job it is to change that? We are the spiritual leaders. We are the ones to make a difference. We are the ones that Christ said: ‘You are the Salt of the Earth. The Light of the World!’

“There must have been times when you wondered: Why in the world are we doing this? After all, we could do better things with that money. Why are we doing this? Maybe, and I wasn’t around when you had those discussions, maybe you thought we are doing this because we are to be the Salt of the Earth and the Light of the World. In a darkened place, Christ said, Tinney Chapel, I need you. I need you. To be the Light of the World. And the Salt of the Earth.

“When Robert Louis Stevenson was a boy, and sickly most of the time, and couldn’t go outside to play with the other kids, he would look out his window and watch the lamplighter come along in those days, lighting the lamps on the street. Robert Louis Stevenson used his imagination, looked out at the lamplighter, and one night he called to his mama: Come here, mama, come quick, there’s a man outside who’s poking holes in the darkness!

“Jesus said: Go out and poke some holes in the darkness. Go out and be Light. Be Salt. We’re all God’s got! It might mean, Tinney, that you simply make a difference right here, right were you are, with what God has given you and say, we don’t have a choice but to be Light and Salt. God said it: You are the Light of the World. You are the Salt of the Earth. It might mean that right here with the ministry that God has given this congregation: The lives that God has given the members of this community: That this church become the Leader church that God knows you are.

“In a marvelous little book, called The Whisper Test, Mary Ann Bird writes a powerful witness of not only her life, but other things. She does share her childhood experiences. She said that when she was a little girl: I was born different. I grew up knowing I was different, and I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it abundantly clear to me just how different I was: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and garbled speech, and I had to wear those awful hand-me-down dresses that many of my classmates would give to my mother. They got to wear them when they were new, but not me.

“She said sometimes the dresses never fit quite right. And she said there were always those around to remind her that the dress she was wearing on a given day had once been theirs—when it was new. She said that she would pray in the mornings for snow or blizzards so she would not have to go to school. Because she hated school. They would be waiting for me, she said, walking to school, and they would say: Here she comes. That funny girl with the funny lip. And some girl would say: That dress she’s wearing was my sister’s dress when it as new. Mary Ann Bird said she was convinced that no one outside her family could love her. Not me. How humiliating it was.

“When schoolmates asked what happened to her lip, she would tell them she’d fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow, it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different. She said there was a teacher in the second grade that all the kids adored: We thought Mrs. Leonard hung the moon. She was short, round, happy; she was a sparkling lady.

“And, Mary Ann Bird said every year they had a hearing test: That’s where the title of the book comes from, The Whisper Test. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and I knew how it worked. She gave it in alphabetical order: Last name first. We stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something, and we would have to repeat it back. Things like ‘The sky is blue’ or ‘is it raining today?’ or ‘are you wearing new shoes?’ Mary Ann Bird said that, since her last name started with a B, she always took the whisper test early, and hoped that worked to help the other kids forget about her, so she could walk home without too much jeering.

“But she said something happened that day. Mrs. Leonard started with the As like she always did, but then she skipped the Bs. And she went to the Cs and the Ds and the Es. And I kept thinking: Mrs. Leonard, why are you doing this to me? She went through the whole alphabet, and finally the last name she called was Bird. I knew I’d have to walk the whole length of that classroom, and I could hear them saying: Look at her lip. Wait till you hear her talk. Look at her teeth. And that dress she’s wearing: Someone here wore it when it was new.

“Mary Ann Bird said: I waited there for those words that God must have put into her mouth, those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, I wish you were my little girl. Wow! She thought I was a special little girl. Mary Ann Bird said when she went back into the classroom: My lip didn’t straighten out, my teeth were no different, and my dress didn’t hang any different. But, my head was up, and my shoulders were broad, because I knew that somebody thought I was special.

“Hey, church, He knows who you are. Do you know what our words can do? Do you know what the ministry of this church has done, is doing and will continue to do? Do you know who you are, when this church is literally transforming lives with your words or your deeds or your ministry or your mission? Wow. I wish you knew how important you are.

“Can you imagine what some people are thinking because there is a church called Tinney Chapel? Can you imagine in the winter when someone gets cold and needs a blanket, or in the summer when someone needs to turn on a fan? Or someone in Mexico or Russia is grateful there’s a church called Tinney Chapel, or the world, since you are a global church because of your apportionments?

“Can you imagine what people might be thinking about Tinney Chapel, a church that’s expanding because you believe you can do this? Because you realize it’s not about us. It’s not about us. It’s about what God is nudging us to do. Because God said: Hey, Church, because you, you... hey, church,...hey, church...hey church... hey...



Consecration Day at Tinney Chapel UMC: 01-09-05

HEADING THE SERVICE LINE for today's covered dish luncheon, at Tinney Chapel UMC's Service of consecration for a new Family Life & Christian Education Center, were North Texas Conference Bishop Rhymes Moncure, Jr., and his wife Jewell. All photos on this post are by Angela Wylie.

To read Joe Dan Boyd's essay on Bishop Moncure, click HERE

TODAY'S CONSECRATION SERVICE featured Bishop Rhymes Moncure, Jr., left, District Superintendent Pat Beghtel-Mahle, center, and Tinney Chapel Senior Pastor Duncan Graham.

OTHERS ON TODAY'S PROGRAM included Tinney Chapel Associate Pastor Gene Miller, right, and Dr. Joan LaBarr, North Texas Conference Communications Director & Editor of the North Texas Methodist Reporter. Pastor Miller brought the welcome, and Rev. LaBarr delivered the invocation.

READING SCRIPTURE TODAY, prior to Bishop Moncure's sermon, was Rev. Pat Beghtel-Mahle, Superintendent of the Conference's Paris-Sulphur Springs District.

BISHOP MONCURE'S POWERFUL SERMON, Hey, Church, Do You Know Who You Are? inspired and challenged 112 spellbound attendees on this historic day, the first time this 105-year-old church ever hosted a Bishop.

A CALL TO THE CHILDREN was issued by Bishop Moncure. He asked the children to join him as he interacted with Tinney Chapel's Building Committee at the conclusion of today's Service of Consecration for the church's new Family Life & Christian Education Center.

MEMBERS OF THIS BUILDING COMMITTEE gave freely of their considerable talents, and devoted much of the past two-plus years of their lives to a constant series of meetings, deliberations, negotiations and prayerful considerations in realizing the dream that came true today. Not the least of their accomplishments was an astute decision to serve as the building's General Contractor, which resulted in the construction of an 8,000-sq. ft. facility at a cost of about $35 per square foot.

Committee members are, front row: left to right, Dick Beavers, George Jordan, John Futral, Max Newton, Bob Deitering, Wanda Hardin and Stacey Stanley. On stage, in rear of photo, are David Stanton, Chairman, and North Texas Conference Bishop Rhymes Moncure, Jr.

Building Committee Chairman David Stanton also paid tribute to outstanding leadership of the late Jim Asbill, who played a major role in the early stages of this Building Committee's activities. The multi-talented, supremely loyal and completely dedicated Jim Asbill was also Chair of Tinney Chapel UMC Trustees. Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Christmas Reflections and Projections For 2005

TINNEY CHAPEL KIDS PERFORMED AS SANTA AND MRS. CLAUS during our church's Christmas variety show. Here, Parker Smith, left, appeared as Mrs. Claus, and Kenny Mattox played to rave reviews in the role of Santa Claus. In today's children's sermon, Tinney Chapel Senior Pastor Duncan Graham reflected with the kids on the true meaning of Christmas. In today's adult sermon, the Pastor offered suggestions on making the most of a clean slate provided by the challenge of a New Year. Photo by Jami Smith. Posted by Hello

CHAPEL NEWS: January 2, 2005.

NEW WAY TO KEEP RECORDS OF SUNDAY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE INTRODUCED today. Each Sunday School Class has been issued an attendance notebook which is intended to help Tinney Chapel UMC make accurate reports of attendance to the District and Conference offices. Each Sunday School Class Teacher is requested to ensure that all attendees sign in each week and post the daily total on that page as well. It may seem an inconvenience, but it will be worth it. The notebook remains in your classroom, where it will be checked weekly by Tinney Chapel officers. Thanks in advance to all!




Registration & fellowship: 8:30 a.m.—9:00 a.m.
Opening Worship Service: 9:00 a.m.—9:45 a.m.
Connectional Reports: 9:45 a.m.—11:00 a.m.
Morning Workshops: 11:00 a.m.—12:30 p.m.

Lunch ($5.00 each) catered by Chicken Express, Cokesbury Store & Connectional Displays.


Readings for Epiphany Sunday: Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12.



Greeters: Bobbie Hollingsworth & Frankie Brewer.

Soundman: Bob Deitering.

Ushers: Frankie Brewer & Bobbie Hollingsworth.


Pianist: Pat Hollingsworth.

Songleader for hymns: John Futral.

Songs: I Will Sing The Wondrous Story; At The Cross; The Old Rugged Cross; Near The Cross (a Fanny Crosby Hymn).

Morning Prayer & Lord’s Prayer: Pastor Duncan Graham

Call To Worship
Offertory Prayer
Gloria Patri
Apostles Creed


Senior Pastor Rev. Duncan Graham’s sermon to the children today was a question-and-answer exercise about the Christmas Season.

“What did you get for Christmas?” he asked. Then: “What did you get that you really like?” The answers, slow in coming, were varied: A robe, a video game. “Did anyone get coal and switches?” asked the Pastor, playfully. Then the Pastor turned serious: “Thirty to fifty years from now, you will reflect and remember the years when you got certain things for Christmas.

“But, you know there’s one gift we have already received that just keeps on giving: Like the Energizer Bunny,” said the Pastor. “Of course, that’s Jesus Christ and the Salvation we have because He lives in our hearts. Salvation continues forever, with no end. Always remember that it’s the most important thing in your life.

“Christmas pageants will also loom large in your life,” said Pastor Graham. “You will look back and remember the pageants you participated in to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.”

In his closing prayer, the Pastor asked the Lord to help us all image Christ and make Him evident to others in our own lives. He acknowledged Jesus as the greatest gift in each of our lives and prayed that we bless the Name of the Lord all the days of our lives.


Pastor Graham’s adult sermon today might very well have been titled, “The Amazing Maze.” In it, he discussed the twists, turns, bends, crooks and blind alleys we encounter as we search for the Righteous Path in our walk through life as committed Christians. The first question we normally ask ourselves, explained the Pastor, is just what are our goals?

“Before finding Jesus Christ, we might think of creature comforts as a primary goal,” he explained. “Or, we might think of a certain degree of happiness with as few backtracks or sorrows as possible.” Unspoken in the Pastor’s analogy might be the notion that, absent a strong Christian faith, backtracks might quickly lead to backslides!

“Somewhere along the way, however, we find Jesus, accept Him as Lord and Savior, and we then begin to understand that our way of life is not necessarily the way to go,” said the Pastor. “Rather, we should be seeking His Way. Once we know Jesus, we realize that Jesus is all we need to know to make our journey a success. Still, we usually must endure lots of trial and error before we ever get it right. I doubt that anyone, other than Jesus, ever got it completely right from start to finish. Instead, we have to back up, regroup, re-track and start over in a different direction from time to time.

“We soon learn that God’s grace allows us to keep doing all that, and He gives us the strength to do it,” added Pastor Graham. “I realize that you may not often hear a voice telling you that you are on the right way during your walk. But, thank God for the times when that does happen, for we are often walking in what seems like a maze. I’m going to read now from Ephesians 2:1-10:

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

---New King James Version

“The point here,” said Pastor Graham, “is that God has a plan for all of our lives. He knew us before we were born into this world, and His plan for us was already in place. But, even with the existence of a plan, it isn’t certain that it will work unless we agree to it. We can try to avoid buying into His plan for us. We can neglect the plan. I expect we have all tried to walk away from the plan, in favor of our own plan! That’s when we get lost in a maze. That’s when we encounter dead ends or brick walls. Instead of walking against God’s plan for us, we need to buy into it and walk in agreement with it.

“God has protected us,” emphasized the Pastor. “He promises us the riches of His grace, but we have no idea what Heaven will be like. Personally, I think He also has a plan for each of us in Heaven, and that each of us will be doing different things according to different schedules. In other words, we will not likely all be sitting around on clouds playing harps in Heaven. But the Apostle Paul gives us cause to look ahead and rejoice! Paul tells us that God has already caused us to be seated in heavenly realms with Jesus Christ, in this life.

“And what does the Lord require of us,” the Pastor asked, rhetorically, quoting from Micah 6:8 where we learn the answer: To love mercy, act justly and walk humbly with our God if we are to reach God’s way of life. To realize God’s purpose for our lives, we must walk by faith in Jesus Christ. That is a way that has fewer dead ends, fewer bumps and bruises. He gives us this way. You will not always know what the Lord wants. If you are close to the Lord, spiritually, you may know what He wants! But there will always be times you have to walk by faith, and not really know.

“One goal we need to pursue is that of peace,” added the Pastor. “If we don’t have peace in our lives, we need to find it. God’s plan for our lives may call for us to reach one or more particular people, to do things for them. If we follow all these clues, we have a chance to find fulfillment, joy, peace and all the fruits of the Spirit. As we walk, we should constantly be discerning the Will of God as best we can through the creativity He creates within each of us. We most often do this by using the love and faith we have in ways to enrich the lives of others!

“I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions,” confessed Pastor Graham, who indicated that he never saw much evidence that those who do make such Resolutions actually are successful in keeping them. “Still, each New Year does offer us an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. The old slate is gone, and while we can not change yesterday, we have some power over today and tomorrow. When we walk in His way, we may find ourselves walking out of our comfort zones, and that can be good for us. It may cause us to stretch ourselves in finding new ways to give love and support, and to minister to others: family, friends, strangers.

“We should look for ways and means to serve others while walking in faith in God and Jesus Christ,” added the Pastor. “I believe the greatest way to serve God, other than worship, is to serve others. It can be our chief expression of service to God, our offering to God. Part of God’s plan is to save us, all of us, if we are willing.”

In his closing prayer, Pastor Graham said, “Oh, gracious, heavenly Father, we pray that you will indeed reveal to us Your Will, by Your Word, prayer or meditation. By Your Spirit, draw us close, that we may be more obedient. Amen.”



WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Spreading The Good News.

LADIES BYKOTA, Peggy Boyd: The Kingdom Of God.

Tinney Chapel Men, Bill Knoop: The Case For Christ, a study by Lee Strobel. (A multiple-week study.)

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

YOUTH: Ronny Ellison for Stephen Graham: Life.

CHILDREN: Linda Hallman: New Challenges.

The Remnant Class, Joe Dan Boyd: NOAH’S LEGACY: Genesis 10:1-6.

The Remnant Class handout is below:


Take home lessons from studying Genesis 10:

1. Commentator Vernon McGee calls this a chapter of genealogies, of families, which are the origin of the nations of the world, and apologizes (sort of) for giving it short shrift when measured by space.

2. “It is far more important than the space I’m giving it,” confesses McGee, especially if one is interested in ethnology and anthropology and the story of mankind on the earth.

3. He tells us, McGee does, of a master’s degree by one H. S. Miller, who charted the origin of the nations, using Genesis 10 as a basis for the threefold division of the human family, revealed to us by the three sons of Noah: Ham, Shem and Japheth.

4. In his short commentary, McGee also says it is clear that neither the sons of Japheth nor the sons of Ham ever made up what some call the “lost” 10 Tribes of Israel.

5. In his brief commentary, McGee also refers back to the curse on Canaan (from the previous chapter and our lesson last week), but says he is not prepared to speculate on why the curse was on Canaan and not on any of the other sons of Ham.

TODAY’S DATE: 01-02-05

The Remnant
Sunday School Class
Tinney Chapel UMC
Winnsboro, Texas



Afterwards, reflect upon these things:

1. The sons of Japheth.
2. The sons of Ham.
3. The sons of Shem.



(updated by Nominating Committee 12-16-04, approved by Administrative Council 12-20-04, distributed in church today, January 2, 2005)

Chair of Adm. Council: Marcella Salter; (Ex Officio member of Finance Committee)

Assistant Chair of Adm. Council, L. R. Kemp

Lay Leader: David Stanton; (Ex Officio: Nominations, Finance, PPR)

Assistant Lay Leader, Donna Futral

Treasurer: Elaine Knoop; (Ex Officio: Finance)

Financial Secretary: Peggy Boyd; (Ex Officio: Finance)

Recording Secretary: Carolyn Beavers

Membership Secretary: Josephine Garrett; Assistant, Angela Wylie

Chair – Children’s Ministries: Sadie Jordan; Assistant, Heidi Crow

Chair – Youth Ministries: Donna Futral; Assistant Chair, L. R. Kemp

Chair – Education: ____vacant_____________

Chair – Evangelism: Bob Deitering

Chair – Family Ministries : Jenna Nelson, Gabrielle Mattox

Chair – Golden Ministries: Mary Marrs

Chair--Missions: John Futral

Chair – Sunshine: Frankie Brewer

Chair – Telephone Committee: Linda Stevens

Lennie Norlock

Mary Marrs/Imogene Myers

Lou Wilkerson

Chair – Stewardship: Charles & Sherri Brewer

Communications Coordinator: Joe Dan Boyd

Print Newsletter Editor: Zonnie Griffin

Bulletin & Calendar Editor: Elaine Knoop.

Lay Members, Annual Conference: Elaine Graham; Joe Dan Boyd, Rule 5, Agency Chair.

Worship Committee:

Angela Wylie (chair), Helen Miller, Elaine Knoop, Roger Schneider, Elaine Graham. Communion Stewards: Josephine Garrett & Wanda Hardin. Pianist & Choir: Pat Hollingsworth.

Finance Committee:

Zonnie Griffin (chair), Linda Burdett, Don Norlock, Treasurer,
Financial Secretary, Chair – Stewardship, Trustees Representative, Chair of Ad Council, Pastor, Lay Leader (David Stanton).

Pastor-Parish Relations Committee:

Lay Member – Annual Conference (NV)

2005 Mollie Stanton 2005 David Wylie

2006 Dick Beavers 2006 ____vacant_______

2007 John Futral (chair) 2007 Jenna Nelson


Pastor (NV) Trustees to elect chair & finance rep.

2005 Mickey Tinney 2005 Bob Deitering 2005 Randy Stanley

2006 Marcella Salter 2006 Cheryl Ann Newton

2007 Bill Knoop 2007 Dick Beavers

Nominations Committee:

Pastor (chair), Lay Leader

2005 Angela Wylie 2005 Carolyn Beavers

2006 David Stanton 2006 Joe Dan Boyd

2007* Charles Brewer 2007* Ronny Ellison

* nominated (and approved) from the floor at charge conference

NV = Non Voting Member

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