Sunday, May 29, 2005


The Power of Praise at Tinney Chapel: 05-29-05

JENNA NELSON OFFERS PRAISE TO GOD by casting The Word over our community during last year's multi-church Bible Reading Marathon, held in front of the historic railroad depot in downtown Winnsboro. Photo by Angela Wylie.


Pastor: Rev. Duncan Graham

Greeter: Roger Schneider, Gerry Privette & Matthew Stanley.

Sound: Bob Deitering.

Ushers: Gerry Privette & Roger Schneider.


Song leader: Angela Wylie.

Piano: Pat Hollingsworth.


Draw Me Nearer, Come Thou Fount, Psalm 50:23, I Surrender All.

Call to Worship & Opening Prayer

Morning Prayer & Lord’s Prayer:


Offertory Prayer


Gloria Patri

Apostles Creed


The Pastor, Rev. Duncan Graham, began today by referring to Matthew, Chapter 7: “Right at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus ends it by stating some things,” explained the Pastor. “Jesus said that everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”

Here, the Pastor used an analogy of a person who has access to a large library of books, reads all of the books and has the ability actually to remember all of it. “If you did that, you’d have a lot of knowledge, wouldn’t you?” questioned Pastor Graham, rhetorically. “We could say the same thing about encyclopedias, couldn’t we? But, if you remembered all that knowledge, but didn’t put it into practice, it would mean you had knowledge, but not much wisdom. Does that make sense? There’s not much point in knowing a lot of things if you don’t do anything with it. If you keep it all in the head, but don’t apply any of it via hand and feet action.

“That’s what Jesus was talking about,” added the Pastor. “If you hear My words, and do them, you are wise. But, if you hear them and do not do them, you are foolish. If you build a house on the sand, the rainwater may wash it away. In fact, in your handout sheets today, you will see some examples of building houses on rock and on sand. Jesus was saying that if you take His teachings, and put them into action in your life, it makes you a very wise person. But, to hear His teachings and not put them into practice makes you a very foolish person.

“So, what we need to learn is to be very faithful,” said Pastor Graham. “Faithful in the doing of these things, because knowledge, in and of itself, is pretty useless. But, knowledge that is applied becomes wisdom. And that’s what we want to be about in our lives. So, let’s pray:

“Gracious Lord,” said the Pastor. “We pray that these young lives may always be filled with Your Word, not only in knowledge, but in the doing of it, the practice of it. And so we ask, Lord, that You bless these young people all the days of their lives, and lead them in the Ways of Righteousness. To do the things that not only keep their lives upright, but Lord also influence the lives of those about them. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


“Remember how we sang the song from Psalms 50:23 about glorifying the Lord this morning,” began the Pastor, Rev. Duncan Graham. “And the Psalmist said, ‘whoso offereth praise glorifieth Me’ Or, in deference to the words we sang out of the King James Version, looking at it now in the New International Version: ‘He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.’ Now, I like the King James wording better because it’s more of a literal translation from the original Hebrew language.

“In the King James, the Psalmist says, ‘Whoso offerth praise,’ now get that firmly fixed in your minds: ‘Whoso offerth praise.’ To God. Glorifies Me! ‘And to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.’ This is a very important and telling verse. For one thing, it talks about how God gets glory. We talk about glory from a Biblical perspective, and generally think that if we can see God’s glory, or if God will let us glimpse His glory, it will be a very divine thing, and would certainly influence our lives forever thereafter. And there is certainly Truth to that.

“But, what we need to understand and learn is that not only is God’s glory something that can be shown to people,” explained the Pastor. “But, at the same time, His glory is also something that we can give to Him, from us to Him. That’s what Psalm 50 is telling us. That we can give glory to God, and that He desires that we give Him glory. And praise is one of those methods by which we give God glory. We come together so often in the church, and Tinney Chapel is not a real high liturgical church. Some Methodist churches are. But we are not. I’m sure if we took a poll of the congregation, some would perhaps like to see us a little more liturgical. Some would like to see us less liturgical than we are. Some are pretty well satisfied with where we are. That’s human nature. It’s like you prefer some foods over others. Not everybody likes the same things.

“What we have, in terms of liturgy, in our church, varies from time to time, and if you picked up a copy of the long version of our Communion Service, I haven’t looked at it lately, but I know that I have, over the years, often remembered the old version that was in vogue in the 70s and 60s, and we always had that one paragraph that I always loved so much: Therefore, with angels and archangels, and all the company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name, evermore praising Thee and saying holy, holy, holy is the Lord, God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Glory be to Thee, Oh Lord, most high.

“That always blesses me, just to remember it and speak it, and I speak it sometimes when I’m just totally by myself,” emphasized Pastor Graham. “Nobody else around! But I get awed with God in all of His glory, and I want to lift up some word of praise. And I can do that, whether I’m by myself or with somebody. But you know, if we do it in a liturgical manner, in the church, and we just do it by rote: I remember, as a young boy, sitting in a Methodist church, and we’d go through—every First Sunday—that long Communion Service, and as a boy I was sitting there fidgeting, at least within me, I didn’t do it too much openly or I’d get a pinch right under my arm. I’d sit there thinking, man, I wish this would be over with. I’m ready to get outa here. To be honest with you, it was boring.

“Why?” said the Pastor, rhetorically. “Because I didn’t understand what was going on. But, when you really lose yourself in the practice of the glory of God. When I say practice, I mean just doing it: glorifying God. And you understand what it means to Him, how it pleases Him, how it draws you close to Him, then you begin to get caught up in it and enjoy it. I’ve often said: If we would just capture the essence of what the Apostles Creed or the Nicene Creed or the Korean Creed is all about, we would rejoice in the doing of it.

“Or, if folks would just stop to really think of the importance of the communication between them and God, when they recite the Lord’s Prayer, they would be excited,” declared the Pastor. “In churches where they regularly have responsive readings, if they really looked at the meaning of the words they are reading, rather than just try to get through it, they would truly be delighted, because the promises of God and the praises of God and the glories of God are contained in all these.

“What I’m trying to say is that learning to glorify God is going to bless Him, and He, in turn, is going to bless you,” added Pastor Graham. “When you’ve learned to do these things. And, He’s going to bless you. And, He’s going to be blessed in ways that will happen no way else, nowhere else, than this. That’s not real good grammar, but you get my point.

“Now, I want to go another place here to a Scripture: I may take you several places today, so keep your Bibles handy,” said the Pastor. “I want to take you to Isaiah, chapter 6, beginning in verse 1: 'In the year that King Uzziah died…' Now let me just tell you that King Uzziah was a very righteous king, a very Godly king, by and large God was very pleased with Uzziah. But, Uzziah made one big mistake. And that is: He presumed upon himself to take incense in before the Presence of the Lord in the Temple and to offer incense, and he was not a priest. He was the king. He was not a priest. And, so he immediately became sick with leprosy and died. Much like the sons of Aaron, who offered strange fire unto God and were struck down. Uzziah was struck down because he tried to do something he was not called to do.

[Here, the Pastor resumed the reading of Scripture.] To view the New Living Translation of Isaiah 6:1-8, click HERE

“Now, if you want to know what all He is sending Isaiah to, you will have to read the rest of this chapter,” added the Pastor, after finishing the Scripture reading. “What I want you to see is that Isaiah is basically called of God to come before the Temple and he suddenly had it all opened up before him. We don’t know whether he’s seeing a vision of what’s going on in heaven or what’s going on in the Temple’s holy of holies itself. But, it would be quite an event in anyone’s life, whichever way it was. But, Isaiah sees the Lord in either the heavenly Temple or the earthly Temple, and says that His train fills the Temple, and that there are seraphims that are flying about, above him, calling out to one another: holy, holy, holy is the Lord, God Almighty; heaven and earth are full of His glory.

“And they keep doing that,” emphasized Pastor Graham. “Over and over again. Afterwards, Isaiah says the door closed and the threshold starts shifting, and smoke fills the Temple. One thing that we find, Scripturally, over and over again, is when the Presence of God comes forth, smoke begins to cover everything. By and large, we’ve always assumed that the smoke was there so no one would get blinded by God’s glory. But, I think something a little more, or a little different, than that may be taking place. Let me put it this way.

“We are taught in General Science in school that water has three forms,” explained the Pastor. “Water is a liquid. We drink it. We bathe in it. We wash in it. Water, in its liquid form, is essential to our lives. Water also has a solid form when it is frozen. It becomes ice. While living in Iowa, I’ve seen cars drive onto ponds covered with thick ice: water in its solid form. Water also has a gaseous form. That is steam. When you put the teakettle on your stove, and you turn on the fire underneath the water, the resulting steam is the gaseous form of water.

‘Now, I want to draw this parallel,” declared Pastor Graham. ‘This is an analogy. So you have to treat it as such. I want to suggest that praise can kind of come in three ways that we see in this experience of Isaiah. First of all, praise in its liquid form, if you will, comes forth through the words of one’s mouth. Remember how John told us that Jesus said that out of our innermost being would flow rivers of Living Water. When we have those words of praise flowing out of our mouths, we see that Living Water flowing up and giving God glory. The words of our mouths! Are of vital importance in the way we live. In the way we act. In the way we relate to God and to people.

“We can’t escape it,” added the Pastor. “The power of life and death are in the tongue. And they that love it will eat the fruit thereof. That means that whatever you are speaking out of your mouth is what you are going to partake of yourself. So, if that glory, that praise, is flowing out toward God, then you are going to be blest. You are going to be enriched. You are going to be lifted up. You are going to be given Life. What did we sing from the Psalm? ‘And to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.’ Will I show the salvation of God! Hallelujah! Amen, Brother Duncan?

“But, secondly, when we offer praise, it’s like the coals that came off the altar, and they touched the lips of Isaiah and cleansed it,” he explained. “There is a cleansing effect that happens in our lives when we start offering praise, when we start glorifying God. It begins to take away that which is wrong, that which is sinful, that which is iniquity, out of our very being and makes us a pure person, a holy person, a person who is, indeed, dedicated to the glory of God and to the will of God. The more you pray, the less you will be prone to do that which is wrong, that which is evil, that which offers no Life-giving support to the world.

“The more you glorify God, the more holy you become,” said Pastor Graham. “It purifies the one who does it as well as the One Who receives it. So, in its solid form, it becomes like coals of fire. Fire has always been used, Scripturally, to signify the cleansing and the burning away of the dross or the things not belonging within the gold or the metal or the vessel itself. And, so, what we are saying here is that praise, in its solid form, is that which cleanses and purifies us.

“And, then finally, the smoke that filled the Temple is praise in its gaseous form,” he added. “And that is to say the smoke that permeates the place, not only perhaps protects us from things that are too bright for us to see, but it also saturates us with the essence of that from which the smoke comes. Think about that for a moment. I just want to say this to you. At the risk of offending you. Did you ever get around someone who smokes? This is especially true of smokers who have quit smoking. Smokers don’t realize this, but smoke permeates your clothing, the walls of your house, your car, and it stinks! The smoker can’t smell it, but everybody else, who is a non-smoker, can. [Here, the Pastor told the story of a smoker who owned a dress shop, and eventually had to close because the smoke was offensive to potential customers.]

“There can be good smoke and bad smoke,” said Pastor Graham. “Obviously, the smoke of incense that was offered in the Temple on a regular basis was a smoke from incense that God had told them how to make. It smelled sweet. It was a good essence. I suggest that the smoke we find here, that Isaiah talks about, is a smoke that saturates everything it comes in contact with. So, when the glory of God’s smoke descends on a people or a person, it changes who they are! It gives them a good smell. It makes them acceptable to people who are sensitive to it everywhere they go.

“This is what happened to Isaiah as he enters the Temple and sees God Almighty and the seraphims and the smoke and the things that truly have an impact,” said the Pastor. “This is God’s calling of him. Perhaps, in our thinking, this section should come in chapter 1, verse 1, but he waits until this chapter to tell us about his calling to be a prophet of God and to speak the Message of God to the world. This is what happens when you come into the Presence of God, and I believe that, in some sense, although we may not have a vision like he does, but we can come into the Presence of God through our praise.

“The Psalmist himself said, ‘I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart; I will enter His courts with praise.’ With praise, into the Presence of God. It is to give glory to Him through praise. If you want to walk into the Presence of God. If you want to receive the blessing of His smoke falling upon you. The way to do that is to glorify Him in praise. Paul has a lot to say in a lot of places that would relate to this. One of those is over in Philippians, chapter 4, verse 8. To view the New Living Translation of this Scripture, click HERE

“Paul knew very well that if we put good things into our minds, the things that bring about good reports, into our minds, and keep our minds filled with those things, then we will begin to act out those things,” explained Pastor Graham. “If we put garbage into our minds, and negatives into our minds all the time, we begin to act on those things. We begin to speak on those things. But, if we put the glory of God, the purpose of God, constantly in our minds, in our thoughts, this is what is happening with the seraphims who are constantly going about giving God glory. And they bring blessing. This is what we have to learn in church.

“When we come together on Sunday morning, it’s not just to get through the preliminaries and the sermon and the benediction and get out of here,” declared the Pastor. “It’s really not about any of those things at all. The central purpose, the primary purpose, the only real purpose we have in coming here is to glorify God. And we don’t do it by running through things that are there to do or just to get through them. We do it out of a heart that truly wants to offer our worship, our praise, our thanksgiving. When we do that, we begin to approach the very throne of God. And, what a difference it makes in our lives!

“Think about this,” advised the Pastor. “The seraphims are talking to one another, making a practice of saying to one another, not to God, but to one another: holy, holy, holy is the Lord, God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Your glory, oh God most high. What in the world will happen if we start looking at one another all the time and say: holy, holy, holy is the Lord, God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of Your Glory? Well, I’ll tell you what we would do. We would kill some frogs. But, that’s another message! Let’s pray:

“Gracious heavenly Father, I don’t know what others came to do, but I just came to praise Your Name. I glorify You. Holy Father, Lord, God of heaven and earth, holy, holy, holy are your victories. And heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Glory be to You, Oh Lord. Amen.”



WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Living Together.

LADIES BYKOTA CLASS, Peggy Boyd: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

TINNEY CHAPEL MEN, Bill Knoop: Faith for Earth's Final Hour, by Hal Lindsey.

OVERCOMERS, Jenna Nelson: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

YOUTH, Ronny Ellison: Life Lessons from 1 & 2 Peter, by Max Lucado.

CHILDREN, Linda Hallman: Pentecost.

REMNANT, Joe Dan Boyd: Wisdom With Others, Proverbs 10-31.

The Remnant Righteousness handout is below:


Life lessons # 269 from studying “Wisdom With Others” in Proverbs 10-31, a study by Roger Hahn.

1. Throughout the Bible, we find the assumption that success in life begins with success in home relationships.

2. Proverbs suggests that wisdom in the home will teach a way of relating to others outside the home.

3. Wise relationships with others and the wise use of words are foundational for right relationship with God.

4. The person who has no friends and who cannot get along with his neighbors has not learned the basic lessons of Biblical wisdom.

5. Right relationships with others provide a proving ground for right relationship with God.

6. Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family---Proverbs 18:24 Message Translation.

7. A man who has friends must himself be friendly—Proverbs 18:24 King James Translation.

8. A friend loves at all times—Proverbs 17:17. In other words, there’s no place for time-out in friendship.

9. The purpose of life is not to achieve personal fulfillment, but to be in a meaningful covenant relationship with someone else.

10. Friendships that cross-generational lines are especially to be valued.

11. Friendships with neighbors may be more important than relationships with blood relatives. Proverbs 27:10.

12. We are not to return animosity and bitterness when it is directed at us, because this brings us down to that same level.

13. Proverbs promotes positive action toward enemies rather than punitive action. Proverbs 25:21-22 commands helping an enemy in his most difficult hours.

14. Strife lies outside the Will of God.

TODAY’S DATE: 05-29-05





ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT SUNDAY: 06-05-05 “First Sunday Healthy Churches” lesson by Sherri Brewer.




1. Children are a gift of the Lord.

2. The rod & reproof provide wisdom.

3. Those who love their children discipline them.

4. A good wife is a gift from God.

5. Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised lives in the Fear-of-God.

Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


United Methodist Polity, parts 1 & 2: 05-24-05

DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT, REV. PAT BEGHTEL-MAHLE, photo above, discussed United Methodist Church polity, with emphasis on structure and operation of the local church, at Tinney Chapel UMC, Monday, April 25, in the Family Life Center Fellowship Hall. Today, after nearly a month of intensive attention to the requirements of her office, including 10 days of European travel, Rev. Beghtel-Mahle has completed her research on the challenging questions raised during the discussion period which followed her original address at Tinney Chapel. To read the questions, and her responses, scroll down to the section headed Questions and Answers. Photo: Paris-Sulphur Springs UMC District Office.

The United Methodist Way

The meeting began with prayer by Tinney Chapel UMC Pastor Duncan Graham, who then introduced Rev. Pat Beghtel-Mahle, Superintendent of the Paris-Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church (UMC) District. She came to our church this evening at the invitation of Pastor Graham, who had told her he wanted to know more about the structure and operation of the United Methodist Church, and that our congregation would also appreciate input from the District Superintendent (D.S.) on this complex topic.

The D.S. began with comments about all that is involved in being a member of a local United Methodist Church. “You are not just a member of Tinney Chapel UMC,” she emphasized. “You are also a member of the total United Methodist Church, which is a connectional church. As a member of this local church, you are connected to the world, beginning with your connection to the Paris-Sulphur Springs District.

“We have six Districts in the North Texas Conference (NTC),” explained the D.S. “If you were a member of a church in the Texas Conference, further south, you would be in a much larger Conference, geographically.

“The primary way the NTC connects with the local church starts with your local charge conference, which always brings me to your church,” added Rev. Beghtel-Mahle. “The charge conference is very important, and allows you to provide me with a profile of your church.

“The next link in the connectional system is our Annual Conference, to which your church always sends a representative,” said the D.S. “We always have an equal number of laity and clergy at Annual Conference, where the Conference ministry and budget are set, and the voice of the local church is heard.

“The next larger part of the UMC connectional system is the Jurisdiction, and we are in the Southwest Jurisdiction, which includes Texas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kansas and Missouri,” declared Rev. Beghtel-Mahle. “All UM churches in these states are part of the Southwest Jurisdiction. At Jurisdictional Conference, which meets every four years, the primary order of business is the election of UM Bishops.

“Then, to the next conference, which is General Conference, held every four years, and which always results in an updated version of the United Methodist Book of Discipline (BOD),” said the D.S. “The BOD is our guide, rule, law and our understanding of what God has called us to do: the goals we live by.”

At this point, the D.S. reminded us that her order of discussion had so far been to move from the little picture to the Big Picture, and she displayed hard-copy printouts from a website that she recommends to all United Methodists who want to get a visual handle on the denomination’s organizational structure:

“But, tonight we are here to focus mainly on the local church,” added Rev. Beghtel-Mahle. “In every United Methodist church in the North Texas Conference, a Pastor is appointed by the Bishop and the Cabinet, which includes all six District Superintendents. Now, all this is really important, because it’s different from almost any other church. Your Pastor is sent to you, not hired by you. Ours is a send ministry, in which your Pastor is sent to you. It is not a call ministry. United Methodist polity is 100% different from just about any other church.

“The United Methodist Church ordains Pastors to ministry, and the goal is to send, or appoint, a Pastor whose gifts and graces are a good match for each local church congregation,” explained the D.S. “This is the most challenging part of the life of The Church that I have ever been concerned with, and I will concede that the system is not perfect, and we don’t always get it right. But, we do our best, with God’s help. Think about it: Marriage is ordained by God, too, and that doesn’t always work out either.

“Don’t forget that every Pastor, and every District Superintendent, is appointed one year at a time,” reminded Rev. Beghtel-Mahle. “This spring, we have been looking at Pastoral moves, and most of you already know that First UMC Winnsboro is getting a new Pastor this year.

Here, the D.S. emphasized that the remainder of her remarks would deal almost solely with the local church:

“The Pastor is in charge of the life of the congregation,” declared Rev. Beghtel-Mahle. “The Pastor is required by the BOD to help you: Not to say that you will do it this way, but rather to help you discern what to do to meet the needs of the congregation. The Pastor is not to make the decisions for your church, but is to be involved in the decision-making process.

“Your local church charge conference should be taken very seriously,” added the D.S. “I come down here, and you tell me what’s happening in your program of nurturing each other in Spiritual Growth. In turn, I represent you to the larger Church. Also, at your charge conference each fall, your Pastor’s salary is set for the coming year, from January to January, so you know what your budget is, and the Pastor knows how much he has to live on. The charge conference is also the time and place when apportionments are accepted by the local church.

“Your apportionments are used to pay for the ministry and missions we do with other UM churches,” explained Rev. Beghtel-Mahle. “Through apportionments and the connectional system, we can do things that no one church or conference can do by themselves. For instance, eight to twelve years ago, the United Methodist Church decided to start a university in Africa, and we voted to spend enough money to get it going in a direction that would ultimately have Africans teaching in it. Today, you help to pay for that University with your apportionments because the United Methodist Church had the foresight to see that it would make a difference there.

“At the most recent General Conference, we discussed the tragic problem of AIDS that is killing people of all kinds, worldwide, and creating numerous orphans,” added the D.S. “So the United Methodist Church voted to spend millions of dollars to start dealing with AIDS on a worldwide basis, and your apportionments help to pay for that.

“I should also mention that your apportionments help to pay for our UM Bishops,” she added.

“In the local church structure, the BOD gives details on how to run a church,” said Rev. Beghtel-Mahle. “Your church is run by either an administrative council or a church council: You get to choose. Overall, there’s a lot of leeway in running a local church. The BOD mandates only three committees: Lay Leadership (which used to be called the Nominations Committee), Pastor-Parish Relations (or Staff-Parish Relations), and Finance. All other committees are optional, but most churches choose to have a Board of Trustees, a Worship Committee, and committees on Children and Youth.

“The Lay Leader is a key person in the local church,” added the D.S. “You should think of him or her as the head lay person who sees the Big Picture along with the Pastor. Those two, the Pastor and the Lay Leader, look at the Big Picture. I can’t say how important the Lay Leader is to the local church when he or she functions well, and is involved in the Big Picture.

“The Pastor’s duties are defined in the BOD,” emphasized Rev. Beghtel-Mahle. “First, we are talking about an ordained Pastor, a process which takes one-tenth of the Pastor’s life, on average. A UM Pastor is usually an Elder or someone on the way to becoming an Elder in a two-step process of ordination. A Local Pastor serves as an Elder in the community when there is a shortage of UM Elders, as there still is now. The difference is that the Local Pastor does not have quite as much schooling, and does not have to go where he or she is sent, although if he or she does not, then he or she will no longer be a Local Pastor. An Elder will go whenever and wherever sent.

In elaborating on the duties of a United Methodist Pastor, the D.S. also quoted extensively from the 2004 BOD:

“The responsibilities of elders and licensed pastors are derived from the authority given in ordination. Elders have a four-fold ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order and Service within the connection and thus serve in the church and the world. Local pastors share with the elders the responsibilities and duties of a pastor for this four-fold ministry.

1. Word and ecclesial acts:

a) To preach the Word of God, lead in worship, read and teach the Scriptures, and engage the people in study and witness.

(1) To ensure faithful transmission of the Christian faith.

(2) To lead people in discipleship and evangelistic outreach that others might come to know Christ and to follow him.

b) To counsel persons with personal, ethical, or spiritual struggles.

c) To perform the ecclesial acts of marriage and burial.

(1) To perform the marriage ceremony after due counsel with the parties involved and in accordance with the laws of the state and the rules of The United Methodist Church. The decision to perform the ceremony shall be the right and responsibility of the pastor.

(2) To conduct funeral and memorial services and provide care and grief counseling.

d) To visit in the homes of the church and the community, especially among the sick, aged, imprisoned, and others in need.

e) To maintain all confidences inviolate, including confessional confidences except in the cases of suspected child abuse or neglect, or in cases where mandatory reporting is required by civil law.

2. Sacrament:

a) To administer the sacraments of baptism and the Supper of the Lord according to Christ's ordinance.

(1) To prepare the parents and sponsors before baptizing infants or children, and instruct them concerning the significance of baptism and their responsibilities for the Christian training of the baptized child.

(2) To encourage reaffirmation of the baptismal covenant and renewal of baptismal vows at different stages of life.

(3) To encourage people baptized in infancy or early childhood to make their profession of faith, after instruction, so that they might become professing members of the church.

(4) To explain the meaning of the Lord's Supper and to encourage regular participation as a means of grace to grow in faith and holiness.

(5) To select and train deacons and lay members to serve the consecrated communion elements.

b) To encourage the private and congregational use of the other means of grace.

3. Order:

a) To be the administrative officer of the local church and to assure that the organizational concerns of the congregation are adequately provided for.

(1) To give pastoral support, guidance, and training to the lay leadership, equipping them to fulfill the ministry to which they are called.

(2) To give oversight to the educational program of the church and encourage the use of United Methodist literature and media.

(3) To be responsible for organizational faithfulness, goal setting, planning and evaluation.

(4) To search out and counsel men and women for the ministry of deacons, elders, local pastors and other church related ministries.

b) To administer the temporal affairs of the church in their appointment, the annual conference, and the general church.

(1) To administer the provisions of the Discipline.

(2) To give an account of their pastoral ministries to the charge and annual conference according to the prescribed forms.

(3) To provide leadership for the funding ministry of the congregation.

(4) To promote faithful, financial stewardship and to encourage giving as a spiritual discipline.

(5) To lead the congregation in the fulfillment of its mission through full and faithful payment of all apportioned ministerial support, administrative, and benevolent funds.

(6) To care for all church records and local church financial obligations, and certify the accuracy of all financial, membership, and any other reports submitted by the local church to the annual conference for use in apportioning costs back to the church.

c) To participate in denominational and conference programs and training opportunities.

(1) To seek out opportunities for cooperative ministries with other United Methodist pastors and churches.

(2) To be willing to assume supervisory responsibilities within the connection.

d) To lead the congregation in racial and ethnic inclusiveness.

4. Service:

a) To embody the teachings of Jesus in servant ministries and servant leadership.

b) To give diligent pastoral leadership in ordering the life of the congregation for discipleship in the world.

c) To build the body of Christ as a caring and giving community, extending the ministry of Christ to the world.

d) To participate in community, ecumenical and inter-religious concerns and to encourage the people to become so involved and to pray and labor for the unity of the Christian community.”

At this point, Rev. Beghtel-Mahle ended her prepared remarks, and responded to questions from those present, an exchange which is reported below, and includes her subsequent research on some of those detailed questions. This follow-up was posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005.

Questions & Answers

1. PPR (Staff/Parish Relations) Committee:

What is this committee supposed to do?

How does this committee function?

Who does this committee represent?

Who does this committee report to?

When the Pastor’s wife is the church’s Lay Member of Annual Conference, who replaces her on this committee?

Is the Lay Leader a full voting member of this committee?

What is this committee’s responsibility in times of trouble within the church?

In the event the committee notifies the DS of trouble, does the DS notify the whole church?

Is a decision of the DS binding?

“The PPR (Staff/Parish Relations) Committee shall meet at least quarterly, and be composed of not fewer than five nor more than nine members.

"In addition, the Lay Leader and a Lay Member of the Annual Conference shall be full voting members.

"In the event the church’s Lay Member of Annual Conference is the Pastor’s wife, she may be replaced by another Lay Member of Annual Conference if the church has more than one, as Tinney Chapel UMC does.

“No immediate family member of the Pastor may serve on this committee. Only one person from an immediate family residing in the same household may serve on this committee.

“The committee’s function is at least two-fold. It acts as a consultant to the DS about the ministry of the church, and whether the Pastor meets the congregation’s needs. According to the Discipline, vacancies on this committee can be elected at Administrative Council meetings, but I believe a Charge Conference would be ideal for that purpose.

“This committee deliberates in closed session, and in absolute confidence. It is the only church committee that is not fully open to any and all members who may want to attend its meetings. This committee may invite others to its deliberations, one at a time, to share special information, but those invited to do so must leave before the committee votes.

“It’s also the only church committee that does not report to the Administrative Council. It reports to me, the DS, on what it perceives is going on in the church, but at the same time, I will always have my own insight and information on any evaluation. This committee fills out and returns to me a church evaluation and profile form every year, and these documents give me a general idea of how the church is doing. In addition, under the Book of Discipline, this committee brings the Pastor’s salary directly to the Charge Conference, but it should coordinate that with the Finance Committee.

“This committee is the liaison between the Pastor and the church, and committee members should build up, encourage and support the Pastor. It should not be a forum for antagonism, criticism, charges or little turf wars. In fact, if you are asked to serve on this committee, and you can not support the Pastor, then you should not agree to serve on it. Being a Pastor is a tough, hard, lonely life.

“The PPR (Staff/Parish Relations) Committee is responsible for evaluating and hiring church staff, but would be well-advised to ask the Administrative Council to OK its choices. If the committee delegates any of its responsibility for interviewing and evaluating potential employees, the committee itself will still be held responsible for the people who are hired. In a church the size of Tinney Chapel, I suggest that this committee present its choices as recommendations to the Administrative Council.

“When there is trouble or a struggle in the church, this committee is caught in the middle. Members should listen, listen, listen to all who have something to say, including the Pastor. If, in the end, the committee cannot find a solution by tweaking, changing and compromising, then the committee should call the DS to sit with the committee and, hopefully, be of some help.

“No church wants to be in conflict, and no Pastor wants to be in conflict, but both church and Pastor should continue to care for each other even if the Pastor has messed up. Whether or not to notify the congregation of trouble, reported by the committee, is a judgment call by the DS. I always start with the PPR (Staff/Parish Relations) committee because the United Methodist Church functions much like the federal government: a representative democracy.

“However, in the final analysis, the DS speaks for the Bishop. Personally, as a DS, I’m not much of a demander. Rather, I prefer to offer suggestive guidelines. I see the church as a family, in constant dialog with all members, always communicating with each other.

“My goal is for us to work together, process, pray, discern, get everybody on board and try to uphold the Book of Discipline, which is a vow taken by every UMC Pastor. When a Pastor does not follow the Book of Discipline, then I mandate. We are further mandated to live under the most current, or 2004, Book of Discipline.”

2. The Finance Committee.

Is this committee supposed to do anything other than raise money and coordinate its use?

“Yes, the Finance Committee should emphasize that tithing is part of our spiritual journey. A Christian’s conversion is not complete until the pocketbook, along with the head and heart, is converted.”

3. The Committee on Lay Leadership. (Still often called the Nominating Committee.)

What is this committee supposed to do?

“This committee does some of the hardest work in the church by discerning who serves in all the church’s many roles. This calls for brutal honesty about who is suited for a job and why. It calls for discernment, prayer and confidentiality. Under the Book of Discipline, the Pastor is Chair of this committee.”

4. The Administrative Council.

How often should the Council meet?

Is the Pastor a voting member of the Council?

“The Council itself decides how often it meets, but it should meet at least quarterly. Council meetings should be announced at least 10 days in advance by all forms of communication. The Pastor is a voting member.

5. A quorum.

What constitutes a quorum in the United Methodist Church?

“Whoever shows up is a quorum in all UMC organizations. This wise Book of Discipline rule discourages those who might otherwise be tempted to use absence as a threat or weapon. As it is, committees and councils are free to conduct business at any properly called meeting, no matter how few show up. This rule also explains why proxy votes are not allowed.”

6. The Board of Trustees.

What is the job of the Trustees?

Is the Pastor a member of the Board of Trustees?

Do the Trustees need Council approval before making changes to the church plant or property?

“The Trustees are responsible for all the church’s physical plant and property, inside and outside. They are also responsible, in coordination with the Finance Committee, for all endowments to the church. Like all other committees, the Board of Trustees is responsible to the Administrative Council, which must approve its actions. The Pastor is not a member of the Board of Trustees unless elected or invited.”

Can another Trustee be designated to represent the Trustee Chair as a voting member of the Administrative Council?

If so, is that designee obligated to vote the majority position of the Trustees even if the designee voted the minority position within the Board of Trustees?

In the absence of specific voting instructions to the designee, is the designee free to vote his conscience in the Administrative Council?

If an uninstructed designee votes his conscience in the scenario above, is his vote legal?

Is anyone justified in holding the designee up to criticism for voting his conscience?

What are the options of the Trustees under this scenario?

[Editor’s Note: Some personal details that were included in the six questions immediately above have been omitted in this report.]

“As I look at all the questions and concerns in this scenario, I do not think this can be solved by a ruling about the Book of Discipline or Roberts Rules of Order.

“I think this has the potential to be very hurtful. Therefore, the only way this can be handled is to compromise and decide that being together and loving each other, is far more important than what any space in the church is used for.

“Compromise will be the key, and perhaps processing the hurt and pain around this issue.”

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Hearing The Word at Tinney Chapel: 05-22-05

THIS REPLICA OF THE CROSS & EMPTY TOMB in miniature is the design and craftsmanship of Kathy Brown, daughter of Frankie Brewer, who teaches the Wise Ones Sunday School Class at Tinney Chapel UMC where this art work is always on display. It's a constant reminder of just what The Word is all about: Jesus crucified, buried, risen, appeared to many and ascended to Heaven! Today's sermon emphasizes the importance of hearing and responding to The Word.
Photo by Angela Wylie.


Pastor: Rev. Duncan Graham

Greeter: Roger Schneider & Matthew Stanley.

Sound: Bob Deitering.

Ushers: Gerry Privette & Roger Schneider.


Song leader: Angela Wylie.

Piano: Jean Anderson for Pat Hollingsworth.


Holy Holy Holy, Father I Adore You, Showers Of Blessing, In The Garden.

Call to Worship & Opening Prayer

Morning Prayer & Lord’s Prayer:


Offertory Prayer


Gloria Patri

Apostles Creed


The Pastor, Rev. Duncan Graham, began by asking if anyone had ever seed a movie or read a story about people stranded on a deserted island? “Maybe their ship went down,” he explained. “And they put a message in a bottle, saying something like: Help, come rescue me from this deserted island. And they throw the bottle in the ocean, hoping that someone will find it, read the message, and come rescue them?

“I’ve seen some of those, although it’s a pretty far out idea,” added the Pastor. “But I read a true story about a guy whose name was Harold Myers, who went on a cruise, and wanted to test the idea of sending a message in a bottle. He got three bottles, put his name and address in those bottles and the message asked anyone who found it to write him. He also put a dollar in each bottle to pay for the postage of writing to him in case anyone actually found the bottles and the messages.

“He put corks in the bottles, sealed them with wax and threw the bottles in the ocean over the side of his cruise ship,” said Pastor Graham. “His friends all made fun of him, told him he was throwing good money away. But to his shock and amazement, two of the bottles were found, and he heard from those people. He had asked them in his note to tell him where they found the bottles. So, he got his message out!

“The message for us today is that Jesus said to go into all the world and make disciples, baptizing in the Name of Jesus,” explained the Pastor. “Maybe the way we can get the word out is to go down to the Bay or Gulf or the ocean, and throw some bottles in with John 3:16 inside: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Everlasting Life.

“So, maybe that would be one way of getting the word out,” emphasized Pastor Graham. “But, I don’t think it would be all that dependable, in my way of thinking about these things, and maybe I’m a little bit warped and think different from other people. I’ve been accused of that before.

“But, to my way of thinking, we are the bottle,” added the Pastor. “And the message is supposed to be in us. And we just need to let the message out of our mouths. The True Message of Jesus Christ. See ourselves as a bottle with a message in it that has been cast over the ocean of life. Then just take that message forth: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have Life Everlasting.

“We have such a wonderful messaqe,” said Pastor Graham. “It’s amazing to me sometimes how silent we are about that wonderful message. That we don’t talk about it more, publicly. Or to the strangers that we meet. I’ve just spent a few days with some friends last week. This man came to me, and two or three other preachers standing around before church service, in the church at Beaumont where I was on the staff.

“And he said to us: I just want you all to be the first to know that I have felt the call to go into the ministry, full-time,” added the Pastor. “This man was probably in his 40s at the time, and he became a preacher. He told the story several times. He said that, out of those preachers who were standing around that morning, they said: Welcome to the world or poor, broke preachers. He said I was the only one who told him anything encouraging.

“I told him that he would have a life with a lot of disappointments, but also a lot of rewards,” said Pastor Graham. “Not material things, but they are rewards that come from God. And so, he became a preacher. He and his wife witness Jesus Christ wherever they go. They are the bottle that gets the message out. They win souls in places that you would not imagine. They win waiters and waitresses. They win tour guides. They win strangers they meet. All over the place. For just a moment in time they meet these people, witness to them and lead them to Jesus Christ.

“Well, that’s what we are supposed to be all about, concluded the Pastor. “That’s the opportunity we have. So, this morning I pray that you will be that bottle that fills up with the message and keep throwing it out wherever you go. Cause you know what: The bottle will never run dry. You can keep giving out the message. Let’s pray.

“Oh, gracious Lord, we pray today that you will use us to be that message bearer, that bottle, that vessel that just gives the message out everywhere we go, Lord. That we become more bold in our efforts to win the world. For that, Lord, we give You thanks and praise as You work through us in Jesus Christ. Amen.”


“I’m going to preach to you today out of First Peter,” explained the Pastor, Rev. Duncan Graham, who read from Chapter 1, verses 22 through 25. To view the New Living Translation of today’s Scripture Lesson, click HERE “Today I want to preach to you on the Word, about the Word

“There are two agents, if you will, of our Salvation, and they are: First of all, of course, the Holy Spirit, because no one will ever come to Jesus Christ unless the Holy Spirit draws them,” added the Pastor. “And, the second one is The Word. Now, certainly we could throw the element of prayer in there, because, indeed, if you are Born Again, somebody prayed for you. And, as I’ve said before, you may or may not know who they were. But, somebody, I guarantee you, prayed you into that relationship with the Holy Spirit.

“How shall they know, how shall they hear, without The Word?” said Pastor Graham, rhetorically. “How shall they hear unless The Word is preached? And, how shall they preach unless they are sent? So, your Salvation comes, at some point in your life, by hearing The Word, and by responding to that Word. That response, again, is part of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. That means, of course, when that happens, we become Born Again.

“Sometimes, our vernacular will say that we are saved,” explained the Pastor. “To be saved simply means to be Born Again of The Spirit. So, what we find here is that the words Peter writes to us, assuring us once again that, folks, unless Jesus happens to come first, you are going to die. Sooner or later, you are going to die. I’m going to die. Unless Jesus happens to come first.

“And, incidentally, let me say that, after being away for a week: You all really look good,” said Pastor Graham. “Not that you didn’t look good before. But, you look really good, after being away. The moral of that story is that you ought to send me off for another week. No, but I’m serious about this: You really do look good. I think that, sometimes when you get a distance away, you recognize better the people you love than you do when you are around them all the time. And, so, you look good.

“The Word brings us to that rebirth, or that birth of The Spirit that causes us to become new creatures, or at least we should become new creatures,” explained Pastor Graham. “Through that Spirit and that Word that begins to dwell within us. I’ll never forget, and I’ve shared this with you before: The first day we walked into the class of the study of the Gospel of John in the original language. You’ve just been through a season of having studied Greek, grammatically, and you’ve learned a lot about the meaning of some Greek words, and you feel pretty good about yourself. That you’ve reached a certain plateau.

“And you walk in there, and you are thinking, boy, I’m going to eat this up,” added the Pastor. “This is going to be a really wonderful course: The Gospel of John in the original language. Then, almost the first words out of the mouth of the professor: You need to know that you will never understand Scripture without the illumination of the Holy Spirit. It’s a little bit deflating after you feel like you have learned something about the language and you are really going to lap this up.

“But he is saying that you can study it all you want,” emphasized Pastor Graham. “And you can study it in the original language, but you are still never going to get it until the Holy Spirit brings something to your eyes, mind and understanding, that you will never be able to get on your own. And, how right he was! I don’t care what language you read the Bible in. But, first of all, you are never going to get anything unless you read it.

“And, secondly, you are never going to get anything out of your reading until you get it through the Holy Spirit,” said the Pastor. “He’s going to have to be your constant companion that opens your inner eyes, your inner mind, to see and understand the things of God. I don’t care how many years you have studied the Bible or read the Bible. I don’t care how great your intelligence is. I don’t care if you go off the charts on intelligence quotient levels. It doesn’t matter. But as long as you read the Bible for years and years, there’s still going to be mysteries that are unlocked, revealed to you after you read it and re-read it, and begin to meditate and reflect upon it and pray about it, and seek the Lord and have the Holy Spirit begin to reveal to you mystery upon mystery upon mystery.

“This is, in one sense of speaking, a mysterious book,” added Pastor Graham. “And that is to say the Mind of God, who inspired all this, every word is inspired by God. And His Mind is so great, and so far beyond our own, that we will never know all the depth of it this side of Heaven. I truly believe that one day, when we get to Heaven, and we are around the throne praising God, we will have such an illumination that will begin to reveal to us all that God really wanted to say to us through this Word.

“I know of no one, in all the history of this world who has it all, save Jesus Christ, and could reveal to us all that He has for us, individually, and as a group of believers,” declared Pastor Graham. “It becomes important, then, that we spend some time constantly reading and learning about the Word of God. That Word is the most important thing that we have in today’s world. And that Word is the one thing that will really guide us in The Way that we need to go as individuals and groups of believers in these times and in the world we live in.

“And that Word is something that we need to take advantage of in every way we possibly can,” added the Pastor. “Now, let me give you a little bit of a commercial here. In this church, we regularly provide opportunities to hear the Word read and taught. We do it on Wednesday nights. We do it on Sunday mornings in Sunday School. We sometimes have special courses on other nights of the week. Always there is something going on in this church about The Word. I want you to know that we are unique in many ways among many churches of today. A lot of churches do not afford its members these kinds of opportunities.

“And yet we only have a pretty small portion of our people who take advantage of these opportunities to learn The Word,” said Pastor Graham. ‘And, I’m not trying to get on your case when I say that. I’m just trying to encourage you: While you have the opportunity, make the most of it. I realize that in today’s world, there are reasons why people don’t take opportunities to learn all they can about The Word. You may not think the teacher is qualified, or may not like the way it is presented? Well, then you ought to be a teacher yourself! Just get up and teach The Word if you know more than anybody else!

“But, it’s a big mistake for any of us to think that we can’t learn something from anybody who is presenting something good,” declared Pastor Graham. ‘In fact, I believe I can learn something from any person in the world. Now it may be something wrong, that I want to stay away from. But, most people in this world can teach me something good, something that I need to pick up on, something I need to appropriate into my own life, into my own being. It’s there for us!

“A lot of people use the cafeteria plan in reading the Bible,” added the Pastor. “You know what the cafeteria plan is: You go through the line, and you pick and choose what you want. Now, what do you pick when you go through the cafeteria line? Is it not the things that you like? For instance, you will never see me pick, knowingly at least, cooked spinach. My wife will eat enough for both of us. She loves it. I don’t like it, and when I go through the cafeteria line, I will not eat it. And, if my wife cooks it at home, she knows not to put any of it on my plate.

“We do that with the Bible a lot: We go through the Bible kind of leap-frogging, until we get what we like,” he explained. “And we leave what we don’t like alone. In other words, we read with a certain bias. Some may say: Well, I don’t like all that talk about prophecy? End times? That scares me? Well, sometimes I have to take a medicine that I don’t like, but it’s good for me. And, if I’m going to get any better, or be as healthy as possible, I’m going to have to take some things from time to time that I don’t like.

“Same way with the Word,” emphasized Pastor Graham. “The Word is such a thing that I have to take, wherever it is and whatever it says. Because, I’m sure that God knows more than I do. Amen, Brother Duncan, that’s right? God knows more about what I need than I will ever know. And God has put it there all together for my good. And my blessing. And my being a blessing. So that if God says: This is My Way, or this is My Will or this is My Word, then I’d best step back and say: OK, Lord, if that’s Your Word, help me to conform to Your Word, and not try to conform Your Word to me.

“And, He said, in the Word that I read to you today, that I am supposed to love you intensely,” added the Pastor. “Not because you are such a wonderful person, but because I have supposedly been Born Again. How many of you know that I am not always easy to love? How many of you have looked in the mirror lately? And, know that you are not always easy to love? And, there is absolutely no exception to the rule? The only One that was: They didn’t love Him and they crucified Him.

“So, what does that say?” asked Pastor Graham. “Well, it says that if I have been Born Again, and I can’t worry about where you are, I simply am called to love you, right where you are, because The Word is dwelling richly in me. The Word is working mightily in me. There’s a song about that. I’ll sing it to you:

“Oh, The Word is working mightily in me.

The Word is working mightily in me.

No matter what I think about.

What I feel or see.

The Word is working mightily in me.

“See, if The Word begins to work mightily in me, that means that I am being transformed,” he explained. “All I need to do is not twitch it, not decide that out of my biases I am not going to accept that, or this, but that I am going to allow The Word to get beyond my natural in-born prejudices or my acquired prejudices that I have imposed upon myself through my own selfishness, through my own lack of vision, through my own narrow-mindedness, to deter me from becoming all that God has for me to be.

“Even including Isaiah in these words when He said, like the prophet says, people are like grass that dies away,” continued Pastor Graham. “I was amazed to come back home after being away only a week to find how brown and dry everything has looked just in that week. I knew it was dry before I left, but I wasn’t prepared for it to have changed that much. I’ve told you before: I’m a 25-year-old man. I’m just trapped in this body. And, it happens so quickly. So very, very quickly. Because I remember when I was 25, and I thought it will be a long, long, long time before I get to be as old as my folks are. When I was 25, they were 30 years older. So 25 and 30 is what: 55? I’m older than that now.

“And, I wonder: How did it happen so quickly,” added the Pastor. “The prophet was right. Very quickly our youth fades away. Very quickly we have become that older generation in that senior citizen group. Some of you know what I am talking about. And the rest of you soon will. Before you know it! What does all that say? Well, it says that I need to make the most of every moment of my life to accomplish something good. Something positive. Something that blesses. Something that lifts up. Something that builds the lives of others. Something that causes them to be all they can be in God’s eyes.

“I don’t mean by that to run other people’s lives,” cautioned Pastor Graham. “But I mean to encourage them where they can be filled, in every way, with the grace of God flowing in, flowing out. I think God has a plan for every individual who will submit to Him. I think that plan is something very positive, though it may not mean that life is always filled with joyous things. We are all going to suffer some trials and tribulations. That’s part of living life on this earth. But in the midst of all of it, He assures us that He will constantly be there with us.

“And, when we fill ourselves, time and time again, over and over aqain, with His Word and The Spirit, we begin to have experiences that cause us to rise above and beyond the tribulations that we face and encounter,” added the Pastor. “The things that cause us to be overcomers over the things that would try to hold us down and cause us to dwell in miserable conditions and miserable attitudes in a shriveling heart. The answer to all of that again is The Word of God.

“I’m constantly impressed by the Psalmist because the Psalmist has told is in Chapter 119 of the Psalms, and they don’t know for sure who wrote that Psalm, but they think maybe Ezra, the priest, the one who wrote The Book of Ezra as well, was the author of Psalm 119,” he explained. “And you know that it’s a very long Psalm, but he says at one point: Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Thy Word is what illumines The Way for him. Thy Word is what shows me how I need to go. Where I need to step. What I need to do. The Word of the Lord, is the illumination I need in my life.

“For those reasons, I take His Word and I believe it,” emphasized the Pastor. “I believe it from Genesis through Revelation. I believe it all the way through. That it is God’s inspired Word. And I believe that this Word is what tells me: Come to Eternal Life. Because, one of these days, I’m going to be like they entitled the movie. I’m going to be Forever Young. One of these days. I’m going to be living in a glorified body. I don’t know what that body is going to look like.

“As I was reflecting on Jesus Himself, I was reflecting on so many of the pictures we see of Jesus, you know: Nobody knows what Jesus looked like when He walked on this earth. They certainly didn’t have any cameras. They didn’t have any artists that were drawing likenesses, good portraits, of anybody at that time, so we really don’t know what Jesus looked like. We see various artist renditions of what they think Jesus looked like: Where they got that, I don’t know. I have no idea. But it’s all supposition.

“When we see Jesus in Heaven, He’s going to be in that glorified Body, and He probably won’t look anything like He did while He was here on earth,” added the Pastor. “For one thing, the Face is going to be so shiny that you couldn’t look at it in the natural eye right now anyway. And I think His hair is going to be white and not brown. I’m getting a head start. I think it’s going to be so glorious that anything in the natural now is going to be extremely pale in comparison.

“But, He is the Word of God that brought us Life Everlasting,” said Pastor Graham. “And Salvation. And He is the perfection of what He wants us to be. So, like the little WWJD bracelets: If Jesus did it, it’s all right for you to do it. If Jesus didn’t do it, then don’t do it. But, The Word that He left us, The Word that is in the covers of this book, will give you Life, will give you Victory, will give you Power, will give you everything you need, and more, if you believe. If you take it, not on the cafeteria plan, but in the fullness of His Word.

“I’m like the man who said, in reading His Word: God said it, I believe it and that settles it,” concluded the Pastor. “Take The Word and you will be forever blest, living spiritually and a blessing to others. Let’s pray: Oh, gracious, heavenly Father, may Your Word live in us. May we become living epistles that reflect Your Word every day of our lives. Oh, gracious Lord, by Your Holy Spirit, teach us Your Way. In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Lord. Amen.”



WISE ONES, Frankie Brewer: Free To Serve.

LADIES BYKOTA CLASS, Peggy Boyd: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

TINNEY CHAPEL MEN, Bill Knoop: Faith for Earth's Final Hour, by Hal Lindsey.

OVERCOMERS, Jenna Nelson: The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

YOUTH, Ronny Ellison: Life Lessons from 1 & 2 Peter, by Max Lucado.

CHILDREN, Linda Hallman: Pentecost.

REMNANT, Joe Dan Boyd: We take teachers, not courses: Proverbs 9.

The Remnant Righteousness handout is below:


Life lessons # 268 from studying Proverbs 9 and related Scripture:

1. In this Chapter, Lady Wisdom is personified as building a house that is supported by seven pillars or hewn timbers. The number seven may here represent completeness, suggests commentator Vernon McGee. He further analogizes that to a complete education, including graduate studies.

2. Those who suggest that the 12 Apostles were not educated men minimize the educational value of spending 3 years with Jesus, the greatest teacher the world has ever known, adds McGee.

3. This Chapter also compares the ingestion of wisdom to a fine banquet meal at a well-appointed table.

4. Nevertheless, Lady Wisdom is personified as going to town, standing in a prominent place and inviting all to enroll in her school. By extension, McGee suggests that we, too, are to invite people to come in and be reconciled to God.

5. Verse six is variously interpreted: Either we are not to waste time on those who resist The Word or we are to leave behind our own confusion by association with Lady Wisdom.

6. If we are truly wise, we will welcome further instruction from the wise.

TODAY’S DATE: 05-22-05







Afterwards, reflect upon these things:

1. The joy of a wise son.

2. The grief of a foolish son.

3. Lazy versus diligent hands.

4. A chattering fool.

5. The man of integrity.

6. Love covers all wrongs.

7. Concealed hatred.

8. He who holds his tongue.

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