By Fran Bunn
A message from Pastor Gene Whitehouse of Peachtree Baptist Church:
“On March 23, I used 2 Chronicles 7, verse 14: ‘If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.’
“Once again, after a week of increasing COVID-19 cases and deaths and the terrible occurrence of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, I think the key phrase in this verse, ‘humble themselves, pray and seek my face’ is so important not only for us individually, but for the whole world. The entire world is reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and was just beginning to show some signs of new life, when we are confronted by a horrible display of destruction in our U.S. cities.
“Our lives are controlled by two forces — the God of all ages and Satan. It is up to us to choose which of these forces we will allow to have precedence in our lives. This precedence was best demonstrated by one of our early biblical patriarchs, Joshua, when he wrote: ‘Now if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the river or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord’ (Joshua 24:15).
“The shift in the entire world, in large part, has been ‘we will serve Satan.’ He has been taking every advantage to overtake God’s will in our world. The news has been almost constant coverage of the unrest and anger of people across the U.S. It has overshadowed the alarming and skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases over the weekend here in North Carolina — nearly 2,000 new positive test cases.
“God is in control, not the president, legislatures, governors or police chiefs. There is much we need to pray about. There is an overwhelming need for humbleness on all sides for us to weather this storm we are in. It’s time to get your knees dirty, clasp your hands in fervent prayer and turn the control back over to the one we are trying to take it from.”
The sanctuary flower arrangement Sunday was presented to glorify God by Melba and Jerry Hobgood in honor of Melba’s great-niece, Kyli Strickland, a 2020 high school graduate. Congratulations, Kyli, on being accepting to N.C. State.
My devotional for this week is “Jesus Will Answer,” by Billy Graham, from “Hope For Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith.”
“He will give His angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways.” — Psalm 91:11.
“Once, a poor Chinese woman went up to the foothills to cut grass. Her baby was tied to her back, and a little child walked beside her. Just as she reached the top of a hill, she heard a roar. Frightened, she turned and saw a mother tigress springing at her, followed by her two cubs.
“The illiterate woman had never attended school or church, but a missionary once told her about Jesus, ‘who is able to help you when you are in trouble.’ As the tiger’s claws tore into her arm, the woman cried out, ‘O Jesus, help me!’ The tiger, instead of attacking again, suddenly turned and ran away.
“What ‘beasts’ are attacking you? Chances are you will never be attacked by a wild tiger, but you will be attacked by doubts, fears, worry, loneliness or despair.
“Cry out to Jesus and He will answer you just as surely as He heard and answered the Chinese woman’s desperate cry.”
Hope for today: “What enemies have we faced and what pains have we endured because we failed to cry out to Jesus in our times of need? The next time you’re tempted to tough it out, choose to cry out instead.”
Lawrence Edwards and I, teachers of the Median Sunday school class, ask that you continue your Bible study in “Dealing With Messy Relationships.” This is the sixth in a six-session lesson titled: “Accept: Don’t let differences of opinion damage your relationships.”
“What a wonderful, perfect world it would be if everyone would agree with me in all things. But the reality is we don’t always see eye-to-eye. The question is for each of us is: What do we do when we disagree? A lot of us spend an enormous amount of time persuading — trying to get the ‘blind’ person to subscribe to our point of view. But what if that approach doesn’t work? What happens when you talk until you’re blue in the face and the other person still stands his or her ground? Is the relationship over?
“Some people feel like they can have little or nothing to do with a person who believes differently. At the other end of the spectrum are those who say we must not only accept any differences, but we must endorse those differences, as if it is OK to have that particular opposing view no matter what it is. We need to recapture what it means to accept another person.
“In these verses, we see Paul taught us to remain humble when we have differences in opinion. Clearly, some hills are worth dying on and at times we need to stand our ground, but Paul helped us to see where to draw those lines. Paul’s instructions guide us to maintain strong relationships in spite of any differences of opinion.”
During this time, we have to realize everyone is suffering from the coronavirus and with unrest in this great United States in one way or another. Some of us more than others. This is the time we all have to pull together to get through these difficult times. We all need to help and serve one another as Christ has served us. Pray for our people and country.
Special music: Jane May preformed a piano solo. Pastor Whitehouse played a video of the Peachtree Adult Choir performing “It’s Shoutin’ Time in Heaven.”
Verse of the month: Romans 15:2.
• Melba Hobgood spent Saturday and Sunday afternoon playing golf with friends.
• Pastor Gene continues to make DVDs of his sermons for the members.
• Don’t forget, just because we are not able to observe our celebrations or normal habits now because of the virus, we do not have to cancel these events. Just postpone them. Have a bigger and better event later. Look forward to that.
IN LOVING MEMORY
The entire Peachtree Baptist Church family expresses heartfelt, deep sympathy to the family and friends of Joe Weaver, father of Amy Gupton, who went home to meet our Lord in May.
PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS
• To all those sick and in need. Please keep them all in your prayers.
• Norman Whitley, Maxine Whitley, Jean Bunn. Beth Baines, Linwood May, Ronnie Matthews and Rudy Brantley.
• James Sheppard had more tests and surgery rescheduled.
• Aubrey Farmer is in WakeMed Hospital.
• Curtis and Ginny Beddingfield’s daughter needs special prayers.
• Linda Beasley, Melba Hobgood’s sister-in-law, had a heart attack and is in Duke University Hospital recovering from surgery.
• Ann Browder’s sister and my dad are both in nursing homes that have active COVID-19 cases. Ann and I ask for special prayers for our loved ones.
• Please keep all front-line heroes in your prayers.
Please don’t forget the people in the nursing homes in your area. So many are suffering with COVID-19.
• Pray for the people of this country and the world that we can come together in peace and love to solve our problems.
• Birthday blessings to Jaime May (June 6), Chase Gupton (June 19), Doug Hayes and Destiny King (June 23), Abigail Edwards (June 24), Bart Wood (June 25), Faye Vick (June 27), Cecil Wilson (June 28) and Glen Wood (June 29).
If you have news, please call or email me. I can’t print it if I don’t know. I do prefer an email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. My phone number is 252-478-2846. You may leave a message.
Fran Bunn is a member of Peachtree Baptist Church.