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THEY PRAYED FOR BOLDNESS I think sometimes that I don’t understand anything about prayer. I pray quite a bit, mind you. It’s just that I don’t understand a lot about it. I sometimes pray for good things, and they are denied. At other times, I pray for myself or others to be spared bad things that still happen. How does prayer work? How do I know what to pray for? How about you? Do you ever wonder about such things? Maybe at least part of our problem is in praying for wrong things. If that is the case, then I certainly begin to see how praying could be confusing. When we are wrongheaded in what we ask, we can hardly blame God for failing to answer. Let me try to make sense of what I am struggling to say. Peter and John were called before the religious authorities of Jerusalem in the earliest days of Christianity. They were ordered to stop preaching about Jesus in the city. They were, in fact, threatened that bad things would come down
on them if they didn’t stop. Duly warned, they were released. When the two men got back with their friends, they reported everything that had happened. Then they prayed. “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29). My fear is that I would have prayed for something different! For the officials to back off? Sure. For divine protection from them? Absolutely. For a “new call” for my ministry? Perhaps. But they prayed neither for protection nor a new assignment. They prayed for boldness to say what Jesus had told them to say. Maybe you and I shouldn’t pray for more money and things; let’s pray instead for the ability to appreciate what we have, manage it wisely, and use it generously. Maybe we should pray less to have our life-annoyances taken away; instead, pray for patience and to realize that God’s grace is sufficient,
no matter what. Maybe we even should pray less about good health and success; we might pray rather to be content, dignified, and courageous in coping with our lot in life. It’s certainly within God’s will to pray for daily bread and deliverance from trials. The Lord’s Prayer models as much for us. Even Jesus prayed for things in Gethsemane that he qualified with “not my will but yours be done.” Sometimes God’s will is better served by one of his people bearing a cross with courage than by having her problem vanish. That’s why we seek to surrender to his will over our own. That’s why we accept the mystery inherent in his will. At the end of the day, I should probably worry less about understanding the nature of prayer and simply pray. By Rubel Shelly and passed along by www.christianvoices.org.
The Church Bulletin Board • Ralph Davis, a well-known Pastor and Evangelist will be the guest speaker at Bethel Baptist Church. Bethel Baptist Church is a new Baptist church and is located at 1295 Littleneck Road. The special service will start at 11am on December 6. Eddie Deas is the Pastor at Bethel Baptist and invites all the public to come and hear this exciting man of God! • First Baptist church of Blitchton will be having a fifth Sunday night sing on November 29th starting at 5:00 P.M, featuring The Dixieland Quartet. Please come and enjoy some good Gospel music! A love offering will be collected . For more information call Mike at 6576985. • Away in a Manger… The Council of Catholic Women of St. Frances Cabrini Church, 11500 Middleground Road, will exhibit a collection of Nativity sets from around the world in the Parish Hall for the community to enjoy on Saturday, December 5 from 4-7pm and Sunday, December 6 from 9:30am-1pm and 3-5pm. St. Frances Cabrini Youth Ministry will present a live drive-thru Nativity scene on Saturday night from 6:30-9pm. There will be a parish celebration of Lessons & Carols at 4pm in the Church. The CCW is asking for a $3 donation to help raise money for the School Scholarship Fund. Everyone in the community is invited to come and enjoy the exhibit, drive-thru and music. • Live Nativity Drive thru of the Christmas Story at North Salem Baptist Church, 955 Hwy 30, in Port Wentworth, December 19th and 20th, 7pm-9pm . • VEGGIETALES PARTY, PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT ON DEC. 5th Coastal Community Christian Church will kick off the Christmas season with a VeggieTales Pajama Party and Parents’ Night Out on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 6-11 p.m. at the church. There is no charge for the event, but donations will be accepted. Proceeds will go to fund church camp scholarships next summer. At the party, children up to fifth grade can wear their PJ’s and enjoy a premiere showing of Saint
Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, the latest VeggieTales movie from Big Idea. There will also be dinner, snacks, games and crafts. The party is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To register your child or find out more information call 756-3455 during regular business hours. “We’re happy to provide parents with a night out – to go Christmas shopping or just relax,” said Ben Carnathan, youth minister at Coastal Community Christian Church. “We have lots of volunteers to help make this party a great time for kids of all ages. Best of all, kids will be reminded that Christmas is all about Jesus, the greatest gift of all.” A nursery will be provided for children aged 2 and younger. Saint Nicholas tells the story of how the Veggie friends discover the power of a simple gift. Laura Carrot’s Christmas stocking might be empty this year because her dad is in danger of losing his job. While Larry thinks a letter to the North Pole should fix the problem, Bob knows what will really help, and he tells the story of a little boy named Nicholas who made a discovery in Bethlehem that changed Christmas forever. But what did Nick learn and how can it possibly help Laura and her family? Find out as the Veggies discover the true joy of giving to others-at Christmas time and throughout the year! Coastal Community Christian Church is located at 10770 Ford Ave. (Highway 144), about one mile east of Highway 17. For more information, call the church at 7563455. • St. Boniface Church, Springfield, will celebrate Thanksgiving with a Family Mass at ten o’clock. The public is invited. • BREAKFAST WITH SANTA Join Santa Claus for breakfast at 8:30am on Saturday, December 5th at the Rincon United Methodist Church Family Life Center, 810 Fort Howard Rd. This 4th annual celebration emphasizes the true meaning of Christmas while getting everyone into a festive mood. Enjoy pancakes, bacon, sausage, juice, milk and muffins, and then the kids will have a chance to sit on Santa’s lap. Be sure to bring your
camera! Tickets are $6 (10 and up), $3 (ages 3-9), free for tots under 3. Tickets should be purchased in advance by December 3rd from church members or the church office (call 826-5796). Eight tickets will reserve a table. • Rincon First Christian Presents: LOVE IS BORN, A Drive-Thru Nativity experience with CD narration from the comfort of your own car. DECEMBER 5 & 6, Saturday & Sunday 6 - 8 PM. Enter from Chimney Road then Elm Road to begin the drive-thru at the field of Rincon First Christian Church, 5835 Highway 21 South, Rincon, 826-2224. www.rinconfirstchristian.com. • 5th Anniversary Black Tie Gala for Presiding Elder Neal and Reverend Debbie Grant Neal In recognition and appreciation of Presiding Elder R. Nathaniel Neal’s fifth anniversary as Presiding Elder of the Savannah District, the Savannah District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church invites you to a “Black Tie Gala” for Elder Neal and Reverend Debbie Grant Neal on Saturday, December 5th, at 6pm – 9pm at the Bethlehem Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 1008 May Street, Savannah, GA. The tickets are $35 per person, $60 per couple and $300 per table. Please contact Rev. Donna Baker at 843-338-6841 or email to revdonnabaker@aolcom for information and tickets. To God be the Glory for the great things He has done. • Local church for sale. Fellowship hall is separate from church. Could be used as daycare/learning center with plenty office space. Plenty of parking space. Church is located in very nice neighborhood. Recreation center is within a block from the church. If interested, please call 912-541-5508 and leave contact information. • The International Worship Center will be meeting at the Marlow Learning Center until their new facility is complete. For more information, please contact us at 748-7308 or check us out at www. iwclive.com. We declare “Ridiculous Favor” over your life. Service Times: Sundays 9am and 11am, and Wednesdays at 7pm.
Spirit Newspapers • November 26 - December 2, 2009 • Page A17
MY ANSWER By Billy Graham Q: I’ve always tried to run my business honestly, but I have to admit I’m a very competitive person and I’ve always been fairly aggressive in my business dealings. Is this wrong in God’s eyes? Can you follow Jesus and still get ahead in the business world? -- H.T.
A: Yes, you can follow Jesus and still be successful in business. The Bible gives us several examples of people like this, and over the years I’ve met thousands of successful business people who were also committed followers of Jesus Christ. Let me ask you a question: Do you see your business as something you have built -- or something God has entrusted to you? To put it another way, do you realize that God has given you both your abilities and your opportunities in business? Your answer will make all the difference, both in your attitude about your business and the way you run it. The Bible says, “O Lord our God, as for all this abundance ... it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. (1 Chronicles 29:16). Begin by committing your life to Jesus Christ -- and then commit your business to Him. Then ask Him to help you avoid the traps many business people fall into -- greed, for example, and dishonesty. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: Do they think they’ve been treated fairly -- or are they disappointed or wonder if they’ve been cheated? Let the Bible mold your behavior; Proverbs, for example, says much about integrity in business. Then be generous with what God has given you. You have the ability to change lives through your giving; are you taking that responsibility seriously? The Bible says, “Your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11).
(Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, P.O. Box 1270, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: www.billygraham.org.)
Prayer of the Week... I will offer up my life in inspiration and truth, Pouring out the oil of love as my worship to you. In surrender I must give my every part. Lord, receive the sacrifice of a broken heart. You deserve my every breath, for you’ve paid the great cost, Giving up your life to death, even death on a cross. You took all my shame away, there defeated my sin, Opened up the gates of Heaven and have beckoned me in. Jesus, what can I give, what can I bring To so faithful a friend, to so loving a King? Saviour, what can be said, what can be sung As a praise of your name for the things you have done? Oh, my words could not tell, not even in part Of the debt of love that is owed by this thankful heart.
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Spirit Newspapers, Section A, Nov. 26, 2009