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Southern Missionary Baptist  Church
Southern Missionary Baptist  Church
A Spirit Led And Bible Based Church
  • 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

  • Our Church

    Southern Missionary Baptist Church
    921 Bissell St., P.O. Box 38 Map
    Madison, IL 62060
    Phone: 618-877-1305, Fax:618-688-4351, Pastor's Home Ph. 618-235-8299

    · Southern Missionary Baptist Church
    · Statement of Beliefs
    · Church History

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    Sunday School: 9:00 a.m.

    Sunday Worship : 10:45 a.m.

    Children's Church Is Open During Sunday Worship

    Prayer Meeting:  Tuesday 7:00 p.m.

    Bible Study: Tuesday 7:00 p.m.

    CHURCH IS NOW OPEN!

    PLEASE FOLLOW ALL GUIDELINES

    BIBLE STUDY WILL CONTINUE ON FACEBOOK

    SIMPLY GO TO "SHERRELL LAVELL BYRD JR."

    SUNDAY WORSHIP IS AT 10:30 A.M. CST

    BIBLE STUDY EACH TUESDAY AT 7:00 PM CST

    DEVOTIONAL FRIDAY AT 7:00 PM CST

     

    SOUTHERN MEMBERS, YOU MAY SEND YOUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS BY:

    MAILING THEM TO SOUTHERN M.B. CHURCH, 921 BISSELL ST., P.O. BOX 38, MADISON, IL 62060

    OR MAIL THEM TO DEACON TERRYL CURRY, SR. OR SIS MARY TRICE

    OR USE OUR CASHAPP: $9446church

     

     

    We would like to welcome you to the Southern Missionary Baptist Church of Madison, Illinois.  We are a church with a warm heart and where no one is considered a stranger.  We believe in following the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who exemplified love for all.  We believe in being led by the Holy Spirit in all that we do, praising God and giving Him the glory for His grace and mercy.  Here, at Southern, you will be greeted with open arms and you are invited to praise God with us.  Our Sunday and Bible Study is designed for all ages, with excellent teachers who exited about teaching and ready to answer your questions.  We have a mandate to win souls to Christ.  So if you're looking for a Spirit Led and Bible Based Church, come visit us.

     

    Pastor Sherrell and First Lady Mauristine Byrd

     

     

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    A LETTER FROM THE PASTOR

    Dear Members of Southern,

    "We're Open!"

    Praise God!  As of April 25, we are back in our Church building.  We had a very good turn out and I want to thank everyone for your cooperation with our Staff Members who checked each of you in.  Thank you for following the CDC and IDPH Guidelines.  We had no issues.  Thanks to our Ushers for taking you to your seats and for you following their directions.  We have worked hard to make the building as safe and sanitized as possible, including a total church cleaning by a Professional Janitorial Contractor and had it sanitized upon completion.  Hands-free sanitizing stations are scattered thoughout the building as well as wipes and plenty of masks available in case you forgot yours.

    PLEASE, IF YOU ARE SICK, IT IS BEST TO STAY HOME.

    IF YOU HAVE A FEVER, STAY HOME.

    IF YOU'VE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO TESTED POSITIVE FROM COVID-19, STAY HOME AND QUARANTINE.

    IF ANYONE REFUSES TO WEAR A MASK AND IGNORE THE GUIDELINES, THEY WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE. 

    LET'S LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER.

     

    You cannot enter any side doors, although they do have emergency bars on the inside to exit in the event of an emergency.  Enter with your mask on. COVER YOUR NOSE AS WELL AS YOUR MOUTH. You must use hand sanitizer as you enter the front doors, have your temperatures checked, answer some simple questions and the Usher will seat you.  You will find that things have changed for now, but will improve over time.  Service is about an hour long.  As you enter the Sanctuary, you may place your offering in the Offering Box before you walk in to your right.  There will not be the usual Alter Call. Prayer will be offered, but you will stand in place. Lord's Supper will be placed in your hands by our Deacons.  After Benediction, Ushers will direct you to exit, starting at the rear.  There can be no congregating in the building.  Please remember not to hug and shake hands.  I know you miss each other, but we must do our best to follow guidelines.  Please do not leave any articles behind, especially tissue.

    Sunday School will remain closed at this time.  All seating down stairs will be re-configured for social distancing.

    Bible study will continue on Facebook.

    Sunday Worship will also continue on Facebook.  This will be beneficial to those members who are "Home Bound".

    Church van will not be used at this time.

    Again, thank yo for your patience and cooperation. Things will get better!  Now is the time to Renew, Refresh and Revive!

    Pastor Sherrell L. Byrd, Jr.

    April 28, 2021

     

    For those who wish to send their Offerings and Tithes, You may mail them to Deacon Terryl Curry, Sr. or Sis. Mary Trice.  Or you may mail them to the church address: Southern Baptist Church, 921 Bissell St. P.O. Box 38, Madison, IL 62020.  Or use our CashApp: $9446Church.

    Yours In Christ,

    Pastor Sherrell L. Byrd, Jr.

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    EVERY DAY, IS A DAY OF THANKSGIVING

    GOD'S BEEN SO GOOD TO ME

    EVERY DAY, HE'S BLESSING ME!

    EVERY DAY IS A DAY OF THANKGIVING

    TAKE SOME TIME TO GLORIFY THE LORD...TODAY!

     

     

     

     

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    Topic: Church and Christian Fellowship

     

    A Bible based teaching on what church and Christian fellowship is, and why we have to be involved if we want to obey the teachings of the New Testament.

    Introduction

    We have seen in previous studies how God has worked to bring us back into relationship with Himself through the work of Jesus on the cross. We have seen the ongoing necessity of repentance and faith if we are going to actually have that relationship with God and escape the judgment that is coming on all rebels. Now we must see that God’s first priority for us in our new lifestyle of trust and obedience is that we have loving fellowship with other believers of the kind that Jesus had with the apostles.

    We need to be with people who will exhort us daily lest we be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13). We must understand that we have been called out of the world into a community of believers. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34,35)

    The purpose of this lesson is to begin to examine what God expects of us as far as our commitment to love and be with other real Christians. In the process we will begin to understand what God means by “church” and what our relationship to the church must be as part of the new family of God.

    WHAT IS FELLOWSHIP?

    The word fellowship in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word “koinonia”.

    This word means an association, community, communion, joint participation or intercourse. It means sharing with other people. To be involved in Christian fellowship with others means to share your life with others. We share our lives with others and also with Christ who promises to be with us when even two or three are gathered together in His name (Matthew 18:20). Fellowship with Christ and other believers involves feeding on the Word together. Sometimes it means eating meals together. (Acts 2:46). In fellowship we share our time, our gifts and talents, both spiritual and natural.

    We also share of our money as God leads, and according to the needs (2 Corinthians 9). This does not mean that Christians should expect other Christians to support their families. Read 1 Timothy 5:8. Christians are commanded to work diligently and honestly so that they have something to share with those in need (Ephesians 4:28). Christian fellowship exists not only to meet the needs of Christians – emotionally, socially, mentally, spiritually and where necessary, financially. It also exists to demonstrate to the world the meaning of Christian love and to call people out of the world into that fellowship with Christ and His body. In fellowship with Christ and with one another, we are coming not only to receive but also to give. This is where our dedication to Christ’s Lordship will be made practical, and hence, proved real.

    THE NEED FOR FELLOWSHIP

    People are created by God for relationship. When God said, “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18), Adam already had a wonderful fellowship with the Heavenly Father. But God does not want us to live like monks, doing nothing but talking with Him. God wants us to have wonderful relationships with people, especially His people. His plans for us can only be fulfilled as we learn to relate correctly both with our brothers and sisters in Christ and also with those who, because of ignorance or rebellion, are still outside the family of God.

    To be lonely and isolated is not God’s will. “God sets the solitary in families.” (Psalm 68:6). The natural family is God’s idea. (Colossians 3:18- 21). However, many families don’t express the love God intended. God’s plan is to put us immediately into a wonderful family – His family – the moment we turn from our sin to Christ. Here are some major motives for entering seriously into committed relationships with real Christians (those who are trusting Christ and turning from sin).

     

    1. The people you choose to asscoiate with affect your destiny. “He that walketh with wise [men] shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed [broken].” (Proverbs 13:20)

    “Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits (morals).” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Your destiny is determined by your character, and your character is affected by those you choose to keep company with. By spending quality time with people who love and obey God and follow His Word, you will become wise yourself and make right decisions. By refusing this, you choose to be with rebels and rebellion will enter you. This rebellion separates from God and destroys spiritual life.

    It is important to be involved in a church where the leadership seeks holiness. Even if some have the form of godliness or right doctrine, they are not good leaders if they have no hunger for righteousness in heart and life.

    2. God has planned for you to receive love and encouragement from His family on earth. Real Christians walk in love. “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35). “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8).

    God’s family is a family of love. But you must be open to receive that love. “You also be open” (2 Corinthians 6:13). We all need encouragement and care at times. God will often provide this through His people. He told us to do it for others too.

     

    3. God wants you to learn to give love and encouragement to your brothers and sisters in Christ. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7). “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

    Other Christians will need your help. Even by being faithful to the church you will encourage the rest of the church and also the leadership. God wants you to help and encourage those around you in the church according to your ability and call.

     

    4. You can learn wisdom from more mature Christians by being with them. “He who walks with wise men will be wise” (Proverbs13:20). By having fellowship with more mature Christians you will grow in love, faith, wisdom and holiness.

     

    5. You can be built up in faith by hearing the preaching of anointed ministers of Christ. Faith comes by hearing. (Romans 10:17). The preaching of the Word should build up your faith and confidence in the promises of God.

     

    6. If remain in a church where the people don’t listen to the Word of God and obey it, their example and their teaching will lead you to hell. Paul instructed Timothy as follows: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit

     

    their own likings” (2 Timothy 4:2,3). Note also that Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21). “Let them [the Pharisees] alone: they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leadeth the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14)

     

    7. God wants you to serve Him effectively. You can’t do it without co-operating with other Christians. God has made us the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:27). And just as a hand disconnected from the body cannot fulfil the purpose of the head, neither can you if you are not in right relationship with Christ’s body – the people of God. Common sense tells us that without co-operation great things touching many people cannot be achieved.

     

    8. When you repent and receive Christ by faith as Lord you are summoned into the body of Christ. You have a part to play in Christ’s body. Your gifts and talents complement those of others. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-28.

     

    9. You cannot fulfill the commands of Christ and of the apostles without entering into fellowship. How can you love one another, enourage one another, admonish or counsel one another, serve one another if you are never with “one another”. These commandments were given to churches. Read Romans 12:10; Romans 15:14; Ephesians 4:32; 1 Thessalonians 5:11 as examples of some of these important commands and ask the Holy Spirit to show you what it means for you.

     

    10. God commands you to come to attend church gatherings regularly. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24,25). See also Hebrews 3:13. We must exhort one another daily.

     

     BARRIERS TO COMMITTED FELLOWSHIP

    1. Spiritual pride, independence, rejection and rebellion spirits.

    Spiritual pride says like this: “There are no churches worth going to. None of them are up to standard.”

    Independence says, “I just follow the Holy Spirit. I won’t listen to man.” A person with a strong spirit of independence will not submit to God’s leadership in the church. Therefore he will not build up the church as God wants.

    People affected by rejection spirits have been deeply hurt in the past. They tend to act and say things that make them offensive. They try to reject the love of others. Then they withdraw from fellowship because they feel hurt and unwanted.

     

    Rebellion is the enemy of God and is the spirit which considers itself more right, more smart and more just than God or His representatives. A rebel wants to do his own thing – not God’s.

     

    2. Fear of getting involved in a false sect. In some countries the traditional formalistic dead churches have put the idea into the common people that any other religious organisation is likely be part of an evil sect which does strange thing at night, possibly brainwashing and sexually abusing people. In fact, any religious organization or structure which claims that it is the only true way to God is itself a false sect. It doesn’t matter how many millions of followers it may have. No church has a monopoly on Jesus Christ (John 14.6) Meditate on the lesson of Mark 9:38,39. If anyone had a right to say they were the only ones who should minister in Jesus’ name, it was the twelve apostles. But Jesus did not give them that right to forbid others to minister.

     

    3. Persecution from family, friends or authorities. Persecution may come from any or all of these sources. If you won’t obey Christ for fear of persecution, you cannot be a real disciple of His. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). Read carefully Luke 14:26-33. God promises you persecution and affliction in following him (Acts 14:22) but he also promises to eventually deliver you out of all such things (Psalm 34:17,19).

     

    4. Love of the world. Paul the apostle said towards the end of his ministry, “For Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” (2 Timothy 4:10). The apostle John said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15,16). If you love the world, your love for Jesus will grow cold and you will not enjoy the fellowship of red-hot Christians in love with Jesus their Saviour and Lord.

     

    THE CHURCH – WHAT IS IT?

    What it is not.

    1. The church is not a physical building.

    2. The church is not a denomination. It is not and organisation.

     

    There is no Biblical support for any of these ideas.

    What it is.

    The Bible talks about the Universal Church – all those who love and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. It also speaks of the church in the city, or of the church in house. Here are some other Biblical revelations of what the church is.

     

    1. The church is an assembly of people called out from the world to serve Christ. The Greek word for church, “ekklesia” means an assembly called out. The church of Christ is such a called out assembly whose purpose is to worship and obey Christ.

     

    2. The church is the body of Christ. Ephesians 1:22,23 tells us this – “the church, which is His body.” 1 Corinthians 12 describes the body of Christ. The church is the body of Christ on earth, through which Christ must be expressed and ministered to the world.

     

    3. The church is the family of God. God is our Father. Jesus is our brother. Other true believers are our brothers and sisters in Christ. (Ephesians 3:14; Hebrews 2:11; Acts 15:32 and many others). A family is a place of acceptance, care, training, mutual help, love. So must the church be.

     

    4. The church is the temple of God. Ephesians 2:20,21. This reminds us that we are set apart to God and must be holy for the Lord. Our bodies also our temples of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) and therefore must be kept clean so we can worship God acceptably (Romans 12:1,2).

     

    5. The church is the army of God. God is a warrior, and we are called to fight. Ephesians 6:10-20 shows us that as part of the army of God we must put our armour on. 2 Corinthians 10:4 tells us we have weapons to use in our warfare. As an army there exists spiritual ranking, authority and chain-of-command. We must know our place in the army and know to obey both the Holy Spirit and those in leadership over us in our battle against Satan and his forces of darkness.

     

    6. The church is the bride of Christ. (Ephesians 5:32; John 3:29; Rev. 21:9) The church is being prepared for the Lord for a great wedding in heaven. Christ loves us so much and we respond to His love as the church.

     

    7. The church is the house of God. 1 Timothy 3:15 and Hebrews 3:6 tells us that we are God’s house. God lives in us! God organises us. God puts his treasures in us!

     

    HOUSE CHURCHES

    The early church met in the houses of people. (Acts 8:3; Romans 16:5 “Greet the church that is in their house.” Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2) Special church buildings were not constructed until the 4th century and were part of the process of introducing a formal, powerless Christianity where specially trained priests with unbiblical traditions minister to ignorant church attenders who no longer seek to read and obey the Word of God for themselves. Of course God can use special buildings for larger gatherings of Christians to celebrate the Lord together in and to hear anointed ministers preach and teach the Word of God, but this must never replace the true life of a church which is at the level of house churches. The apostles preached in the synogogues and in the temple when it was possible, but they also taught “from house to house” (Acts 20:20). Christianity is not a spectator sport. Every true Christian is a disciple (Acts 11:26) and must live as a disciple, making disciples wherever he or she can, in the context of loving team relationships.

    Our houses should be holy and not contain objects that offend God. The new testament commandments for relationship cannot be fulfilled only in large assemblies. “House churches” or “home fellowships” or “cell groups” are smaller gatherings of 3 to 20 people that gather together regularly to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. House churches or cell groups must be accountable to the vision of leadership in the wider body of Christ. Home fellowship groups are one vehicle in which the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19) can be fulfilled. Listed below are some of the Biblical purposes of a home fellowship group.

    1. To praise, worship and obey Christ. (READ Acts 2:42).

    2. To learn God’s Word and how to apply it. (Acts 2:42)

    3. To pray together, and celebrate the Lord’s supper together. (Acts 2:42,46)

     

    4. To foster fellowship and develop communities of hope, healing, and life. (Acts 2:44,45; Heb 13:16)

    5. To bring people to a living faith in Christ. (Acts 2:47)

    6. To minister to each other. (1 Corinthians 14:26)

    7. To prepare each other for mission in the world. (Matthew 28:19)

    “And daily in the temple and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” (Acts 5:42).

    THE ASSEMBLY

    House churches must be organised to gather together regularly for a united show of strength into assemblies on a regular basis, preferably weekly. These assemblies should gather together to pray for the city, town or village in which they exist (1 Timothy 2:1-2), to read the Word of God, to praise and worship God in unity, and to hear the ministry of the Word from anointed and proven ministers of the gospel.

    These meetings are Biblical (Acts 5:42). They have the following purposes.

    1. To foster unity between Christians (1 Corinthians 1:10).

    2. To change the spiritual atmosphere over a locality (Ephesians 3:10; Matthew 18:18-20).

    3. To enable anointed preachers and teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12) to reach more believers at once with their messages from the Lord.

    4. To provide a venue for different creative expressions of praise, worship and communication which are not practical at a house group level (Psalm 149:1).

    5. To provide a larger and more credible witness to the community (Acts 6:7).

    6. To enable the organisation of projects and ministries which require a more broadly based co- operation between Christians gifted and called to minister together in a certain domain.

    (2 Corinthians 8:10-15 talks of an organised relief project for the saints in Jerusalem)

     

     SUBMISSION AND CHURCH AUTHORITY

    The Word of God speaks clearly on this point.

    “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17).

    Every Christian is called to recognize and obey godly leadership. “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the Word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7).

    Our submission is first of all to God and to His Word. This involves a life of prayer and obedience to the Holy Spirit. In the midst of this, however, we must learn to balance our conviction of what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us personally to do with the principle of submission to church leadership and the vision they have received of which we form a part.

    In order for the church to achieve anything at any level, there must exist firstly leadership with a vision, and secondly, people who are willing to co-operate with that leadership and that vision. If not, there will be chaos, disunity and ineffective ministry. After the Holy Spirit has placed you in a church, you are responsible to listen to the appointed church leadership and co-operate with them. You may not always like the way they are, the way they do things or the decisions they make. But as a soldier of Jesus Christ you must learn to submit to the authority God has put in the church. Like repentance and faith, this involves a choice on your part. You should pray for your leaders – not that they will do what you think (that is witchcraft praying), but rather that they will do what God wants. You have to trust that God will often speak to you his instructions for ministry not directly but through the means of the instruction of the pastor or delegated minister.

     

    Who are church leadership?

    Normally every church has a leader with a vision from God. “Without a vision, the people cast off restraint.” (Proverbs 29:18). Mostly this leader is called “the senior pastor” or simply “the pastor”. You should submit to the pastor and to those who he has appointed over various areas of the church in as much as they affect you, such as your house group leader. In a more developed church organized along Biblical lines, there may be also be present elders and deacons (who are responsible for various activities or ministries under the leadership of the senior minister or pastor). It can be argued that the Biblical title for a house group leader is “deacon” which simply means “servant”. In Christ’s Kingdom, leadership must be servants. They are stewards entrusted to bring the revelation of Christ to his people, and to care for them. But they are servants we should obey – not out of force but out of love and respect.

    Not every “pastor” is primarily a pastor or shepherd. Some may be apostles (those with supernatural power to plant and establish many churches), others prophets (do not believe everyone who claims to be a prophet), others evangelist/pastors or others teachers. But if God has called that man to lead the local church you are part of you must be willing to submit to that leader and co-operate with his vision.

     

    Benefits of Submission,

    Problems with Rebelling Submission to leadership puts you in a place where you are protected before God. You will be covered by the leadership of the local church you submit to.

    Submission brings you into closer fellowship with leadership. In this way you will receive spiritual blessings through them – anointing and godly skill and wisdom.

    By faithfully submitting to a godly leader you will be a candidate for promotion in the church.

    If you rebel against leadership and make life unpleasant for them it will not go well with you (Hebrews 13:17). You may suffer financial loss. In some cases, God may take away his protective hand and you may die! Be careful not to grumble and complain against God’s leadership as the Israelites grumbled against Moses and came under the judgments of God.

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    SUNDAY, JUNE 20, 2021:" HEALED BY FAITH "

     

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    •  Sunday, June 20, 2021

      Lesson:  Matthew 9:18-26; 18While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. 23And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

      Time of Action: 28 A.D.; 

      Place of Action: Galilee

      Golden Text: “But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour” (Matthew 9:22).

       

      I. INTRODUCTION. Jesus had the power to heal every sickness He encountered.  He could have healed every person in the land of Israel with just a word if He had chosen to do so.  However, we find that in each healing miracle, Jesus dealt with individuals and their faith.  In this way, the sick and the feeble who received Jesus’ healing also sensed His intense compassion.

       

      II. THE LESSON BACKGROUND. This week’s lesson takes place early in Jesus’ Galilean ministry (see Matthew 4:18). As He traveled throughout Galilee, He taught in the synagogues, preached the gospel of the kingdom, and healed all kinds of sickness, disease and demon possession.  As a result His fame reached into all of Syria (see Matthew 4: 21-25).  At some point during His ministry in Galilee, Jesus gave His sermon on the mount (see Matthew chapters 5-7).  After He finished His sermon, He cleansed a leper of leprosy (see Matthew 8:1-4).  Then He went into Capernaum and healed a centurion’s servant (see Matthew 8:5-13), and also Peter’s mother-in-law (see Matthew 8:14-17).  Then, Jesus and His disciples decided to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.  During the trip, a great storm arose while Jesus was asleep.  Fearing that they would perish, the disciples woke Jesus who proceeded to calm the storm to the amazement of His disciples (see Matthew 8:23-27).  When they reached the other side of the Sea of Galilee, they came to the country of the Gergesenes where Jesus cast out demons from two men, sending the demons into a herd of swine.  This caused the people of that city to ask Jesus to leave their coasts (see Matthew 8:28-34).  Following this, Jesus and His disciples took a ship back across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum (see Matthew 9:1).  When they reached Capernaum a paralyzed man was brought to Jesus.  But instead of healing him Jesus forgave him of his sins (see Matthew 9:2).  But standing by were scribes who accused Jesus of blasphemy because He forgave the man of his sins, something that the scribes believed only God could do (see Mark 2:5-7; Matthew 9:3).  So, to show that He had power  to also heal, Jesus commanded the paralyzed man to take up his bed and go home and he did to the amazement of the people gathered around (see Matthew 9:6-8).  This would be the start of the scribes and Pharisees’ opposition to Jesus.  As Jesus departed from healing the paralyzed man, He called Matthew (also known as Levi in Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27), to follow Him who invited Jesus to dinner (see Matthew 9:9-10: Mark 2:14-15; Luke 5:27-29).  It appears that the scribes and Pharisees were watching Jesus and they noticed that many other tax collectors and other sinners were also invited to Matthew’s home for dinner (see Matthew 9:11).  The Pharisees then asked Jesus’ disciples why He was eating with tax collectors and sinners.  Of course, Jesus heard what they were saying and He replied to the Pharisees saying “they that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (see Matthew 9:12-13).  Apparently after the dinner, disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked why John’s disciples and the Pharisees fasted often but Jesus’ disciples didn’t fast?  Jesus replied to them by giving the parable about the cloth and bottles (see Matthew 9:16-17).  Our lesson begins with verse 18.

       

      III. THE FAITH OF A SYNAGOGUE RULER (Matthew 9:18-19)

       A. The ruler’s request (Matthew 9:18). Our first verse says “While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.” The words “While he spake these things unto them” refer back to the parable Jesus gave to some of John the Baptist’s disciples in verses 16 and 17.  While He was speaking to them, “behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead.” Of course, the word “behold” is used to get someone’s attention.  In this case, attention was to be given to “a certain ruler.” There are parallel accounts of this incident given in the Gospels of Mark and Luke, but with more details (see Mark 5:21-24, 35-43; Luke 8:41-42, 49-56).  In Mark’s account we learn that this man was named Jairus and that he was a “ruler” of the synagogue.  He was not a priest, but he was an influential leader in the synagogue in Capernaum.  In that position, he was probably responsible for the daily operation of the synagogue.  When Jairus came to Jesus, he “worshipped him.” This means that he knelt down before Jesus.  Although the word “worshipped” can apply to God (see Matthew 4:10), here it is an act of great respect for someone of honor and power, like a king.  There is no evidence that Jairus knew that Jesus was really divine, but undoubtedly he saw Jesus as a man with great authority.  While humbly kneeling, Jairus said to Jesus “My daughter is even now dead.”  In Luke’s account of this incident, we are told that this was Jairus’ only “daughter” and the she was twelve years old (see Luke 8:42).  Then Jairus said to Jesus, “but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.”  For many, if not all the people present who heard Jairus’ request, what he was asking Jesus to do was impossible.  His daughter was “dead,” but yet he pleaded with Jesus to “come and lay His hand on her” so that she would “live” again. According to the accounts in both Mark and Luke, when Jairus came to Jesus, his daughter was alive, but very sick.  She died during the time Jairus came seeking Jesus (see Mark 5:35; Luke 8:42).  We are not told what made Jairus believe that Jesus could raise someone from the dead.  Certainly, as one who served in the synagogue, he had to hear about the miracles Jesus had performed and maybe he even saw Him do them.  But up to this point in His ministry, Jesus had not raised anyone from the dead.  So Jairus’ request was truly a statement of faith!  

      Note: Consider Jairus’ actions in coming to Jesus in light of recent events in Capernaum.  Jesus was a source of controversy.  He had already been accused of blasphemy (see Matthew 9:3) and criticized for hanging out with sinners (see Matthew 9:10-11).  It seems safe to assume that Jairus was aware of these things.  So we must see his coming to Jesus in public as a remarkable act of faith and courage in the face of mounting opposition—an act that would be richly rewarded as we shall see later in the text.

       B. Jesus’ response (Matthew 9:19). This verse says And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.” After being informed that Jairus’ daughter was dead, Jesus did as he asked, and arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.” We can’t help noticing how willing Jesus was to comply with Jairus’ request and accompany him to his home.  But what a message this must have sent to the unbelieving crowd—Jesus was willing to challenge even death!

       

      IV. THE FAITH OF AN OUTCAST WOMAN (Matthew 9:20-22)

       A. The woman’s reasoning (Matthew 9:20-21).

       1. (vs. 20). This verse says “And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment.” As Jesus went with Jairus, the word “behold” indicates that attention was called toward something else.  In this case, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him.” The trip to Jairus’ house was interrupted by a very sick “woman” who had come hoping to see Jesus.  We are told that she had been “diseased” or sick “with an issue of blood.” In other words, this “woman” had suffered persistent and continuous bleeding or hemorrhaging for “twelve years.” This was a serious medical condition, but it had other implications as well.  According to the Law of Moses, a woman was ceremoniously unclean whenever she had an “issue of blood” or constant bleeding (see Leviticus 15:25-27).  This meant that she could not participate in the public worship and that she had to endure many social limitations and consequences.  She was literally an outcast.  

      Note: We can understand why she didn’t hesitate to come to Jesus when we consider many of the things she may have had to deal with because of her illness.  She was not only ostracized from public life, but also in her private life.  If her condition began at puberty, it probably had kept her from marriage, and almost surely would have led to divorce if her ailment began after she was married (which would have been within a few years after puberty), since intercourse was prohibited under such circumstances (see Leviticus 18:19).  Being single is difficult for many people in today’s Western society, but to be an unmarriageable woman in first-century Jewish Palestine must have often been terrifying.  The shame and stigma of being childless (see Luke 1:24-25), the pain of loneliness, and the dilemma of being unable to earn an income since there would be no husband nor children for long-term support, certainly would have made this woman’s condition seem almost unbearable.  Throughout her long painful suffering, the “woman” had tried all kinds of medical treatments.  She had spent all her financial resources seeking a cure through physicians, but instead of getting better, she only got worse (see Mark 5:25-26).  So she was determined to get help from Jesus.  Mark’s account reveals that “much people followed him, and thronged him” (see Mark 5:24), so the woman was really causing anyone she may have made contact with to be considered unclean also.  That’s why she came up “behind” Jesus. She wanted to avoid being noticed by other people who would likely want to keep her away from Jesus.  But she was so desperate for help from Him that she “touched the hem of his garment.”  The words “the hem of his garment” most likely refer to the “fringes” or tassels that were to be attached to the borders of the garments of the Israelites according to the Law (see Numbers 15:38).  The woman’s desperation was seen in the fact that she had to know from the Law that contact with any person, even touching their clothes (including Jesus’ clothes) would make them unclean as well (see Leviticus 15:19-20).  But Jesus was different; He was God! 

      Note: Desperation has driven many of us to demonstrate a faith that refuses to give up.  This woman was undoubtedly more desperate than most of us have ever been, and she pressed her way to Jesus with the determination of faith, regardless of the consequences.

       2. (vs. 21). This verse says “For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” Here we are told what was going through this woman’s mind.  She had decided and reasoned saying to “herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” She truly believed that she would “be whole” or healed of her bleeding problem.  Just imagine the great faith that she had in Jesus as she reached out to “touch” the fringes or the hem of “His garment.”

       B. The woman’s recovery (Matthew 9:22). This verse says “But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.” When the woman touched Jesus cloak, He stopped and “turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort.” Jesus knew exactly what “the woman” was doing so He turned around and looked at her, but instead of rebuking her, Jesus spoke to her with the encouraging words, “Daughter, be of good comfort.” The word “daughter” was a term of endearment and kindness.  In essence, Jesus was responding to her like a loving father would.  Jesus’ words “be of good comfort” can mean “all is well.” Undoubtedly, Jesus said this because according to Mark’s account, after the woman touched Him “the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him.”  Jesus knew that “the woman” needed to know that all was well and she had done nothing wrong to cause her to fear.  Then Jesus confirmed her healing which had already taken place (see Luke 8:45-47) when He said “thy faith hath made thee whole.” Jesus acknowledged that her act of touching Him was an act of faith.  Since He didn’t rebuke her for it, He was assuring everyone that the healing came by God’s power and not some magic trick (see Luke 8:46).  The last part of this verse says “And the woman was made whole from that hour.” This means that “the woman’s” cure was instantaneous and permanent.  Now, her physical illness, her ceremonial impurity, and her social isolation were gone for good.

       

      V. FAITH REWARDED (Matthew 9:23-26)

       A. Response to the crowd (Matthew 9:23-24).

       1. (vs. 23). This verse says “And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise…” Throughout Jesus’ dealings with the woman, Jairus was waiting for Jesus to come to his daughter.  Although the interruption may have initially aggravated this desperate father, it was also a vivid reminder of Jesus’ miraculous power.  Having resolved the woman’s bleeding issue, Jesus and His companions continued on their way to Jairus’ home where He had to meet another need.  By the time Jesus arrived with Jairus, people had already gathered to mourn the dead, for we are told that “when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise.” The presence of professional mourners, “the minstrels” or musicians, probably flute players, and wailing women was common at Jewish funerals.  The fact that the people present were “making a noise” means that they were mourning expressing their sorrow with loud weeping and wailing (see Mark 5:38; Luke 8:52).  Because corpses were not embalmed and decomposed quickly, the body was typically buried on the same day that the person died.  The presence of “the minstrels” at Jairus’ house indicated that the girl had died no more than a few hours before and that her body was about to be placed in a grave.

       2. (vs. 24). This verse says “He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.” At this point, Jesus ordered the mourners out of the house when “He said unto them, Give place” and He followed those words with a startling statement: “for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth.” In response to Jesus’ statement, the mourners “laughed him to scorn.” This means that the mourners “laughed” and made fun of Jesus because to them the girl was really dead (see Luke 8:53).  But we must admit that while healing is one thing, raising the dead is quite another matter.  Those people had been around death often enough to know what it looked like.  The girl was “dead,” but Jesus described her as sleeping because her condition was temporary and reversible through His power.  What the mourners didn’t take into account was the miraculous power of Jesus.  By raising the girl from the dead, Jesus would make her death as temporary as a nap; so He spoke of her death as “sleep.”

       B. Recovery from death (Matthew 9:25-26).

       1. (vs. 25). This verse says “But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.” The skeptical crowd was not eager to leave the house, but Jesus insisted that they be put out before He went in to see the young girl.  We are told that “when the people were put forth, he went in.” Although Matthew didn’t mention it in his gospel, Jesus took Peter, James, John and the girl’s parents with Him (see Mark 5:37; Luke 8:51).  Jesus’ healing ministry was also an opportunity for Him to teach some of His disciples.  In a quiet demonstration of His divine power, Jesus “took her by the hand, and the maid arose.” This miracle, like the similar raisings of the young man in Nain (see Luke 7:11-17) and Lazarus (see John chapter 11) was evidence that Jesus had power over death.  Jesus performed this miracle easily and effectually, but not by prayer like Elijah did (I Kings 17:18-21) or Elisha (II Kings 4:32-35), but by a touch.  Both Elijah and Elisha raised the dead as servants; Jesus did it as a Son, the Son of God.

       2. (vs. 26). Our final verse says “And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.” Although this miracle was performed privately, when the mourners saw the young girl walking around, they undoubtedly spread the news of what had happened.  As a result of this miracle, we are told that “the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.” The word “hereof” refers to Jairus’ home where Jesus raised his daughter from the dead.

       

      VI. Conclusion. In today’s language, we would say that Jairus, because of his position as the synagogue ruler, had access to Jesus. This week’s lesson shows that he was able to get to the front of the crowd and immediately get Jesus’ attention.  Not everyone had such access to the LORD, as shown by the experience of an unknown woman in the crowd.  Compared to Jairus, the woman’s problem was small.  Maybe she felt unimportant.  She was seeking only a touch and not an audience with Jesus.  But this anonymous woman was important to Jesus just like everyone who comes to Him in faith.

       

       

     

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  • 3 BENEFITS OF TAKING NOTES AT CHURCH

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    One thing you will constantly hear me say as I preach/teach during our times together is, “if you’re taking notes…” - usually just before I emphasize a point or something important to think on. I do this to help those who already take notes and have enjoyed the benefits of doing so for many years. It encourages me to see people in our pews, with Bibles open, paper out, and pen in hand ready to digest what’s being spoken on from the Bible. Personally, I’ve gotten to a point where I cannot listen to a sermon without taking notes and through the years have found taking notes to be an enormous help for any serious student of the Bible and for those desiring to grow in the faith. With that said, let me give you three benefits of taking notes whenever you are hearing the Bible being taught: 

     

    1. TAKING NOTES HELPS YOU STAY ENGAGED 

    It’s no secret that many people have a difficult time staying focused while listening to Bible preaching/teaching. And as one who has sat under some of the most gifted Christian speakers of our time – I can say that in most cases it has little to do with the speaker and more to do with the listener’s ability to remain engaged. We suffer from short attention spans. Research is beginning to show that because our culture is so used to multi-tasking and having their minds go in 100 different directions, it’s difficult for people to slow down, think deeply, and intellectually engage something for long periods of time. Studies[1]show the surprising reality that people who take notes not only stay engaged with a speaker, but helps them to digest what’s being heard better. Even in an age dominated by laptop computers and personal tablets that help us organize notes and things to do – students are able to think through subject matters best by taking hand written notes. If you’re like me and love to be organized, you can’t help but to listen carefully as you anxiously await the ‘next point’ or note-worthy quote while listening to a sermon or lecture. Taking notes will undoubtedly help you to remain focused on what’s being said in any teaching environment

     

    2. TAKING NOTES PRESERVES A GOOD RESOURCE FOR THE FUTURE 

    How many times have you heard something in a sermon or class that you remembered something similar being said, yet in a different way? If you’re like me, this happens all too often and I’ve found myself wishing I’d written something down to consult back to for further study or just to be reminded. By taking notes we not only store up a resource that we can go back to time and again, but create a kind of tracking of our own spiritual progress and learning as a follower of Jesus.

    True Christians desire to grow in their knowledge of the Lord and to love God with all of their mind (Prov.9:10, Matt.22:37). It may also be good to take notes to pass down to children and grandchildren that show an example of faithfulness to God’s church and His Word as one who committed themselves to deep study of the Bible and marked a life that never got tired of learning about the Lord. 

     

    3. TAKING NOTES HELPS YOU TO KNOW THE WORD OF GOD 

    I can honestly say that one of the main reasons I wish all of the congregation would take notes is to ensure that what I am saying is biblically faithful and correct. I welcome feedback, questions, and follow up comments about whatever subject matter is being discussed during any given sermon or Bible lesson. I strive to study well so that I might rightly divide the Word for you (2 Timothy 2:15). Bible interpretation and exposition is extremely important to me and I want it to be so for you as well. In Acts 17 Paul is ministering to a group of Jews who were interested in hearing more about Jesus and was eagerly listening to Paul and ensuring that what he was saying lined up with the sacred scriptures 

    The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.Therefore, many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men. – Acts 17:10-12 NASB

     

    The moral of this text? Be a Berean! Check the Bible to ensure what’s being taught is correct. Be a discerning Christian who wants to know the truth and cherish it for all of its benefits to your soul. 

    With these things considered, I encourage you to take notes. If you have never done so, what better time to start than now? Give it a try to see if it helps you in any way. I will soon be starting a ten-week sermon series entitled ‘We Believe’ which will outline some of the core Biblical convictions of our church family. This is a wonderful time to get serious about studying the Word with our faith family and benefitting from taking notes as you hear the Word. 

  • How to Keep Your Faith Strong in Tough Times

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    “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

     

    Life can be bittersweet sometimes.

    There are some days when it seems like every wish or dream is coming true. And then there are some days when the clouds begin to fill in and block the light. It’s on these darker days when your faith is needed most.

    Focusing on your faith every day is essential to keeping it resilient and ready to go. Here are eight ways to keep your faith strong so it can help you through the tough times.

     

    1. Keep doing the things that make you strong.
    If you find peace in reading, listening to music or working out, keep doing these things. Stay true to the activities that give you strength because these are probably the things that nourish your soul and feed your faith.

     

    2. Allow yourself to grieve for what you have lost.
    Losing your faith happens. It doesn’t mean you are broken – it just means your faith is not strong at the moment. Acknowledge this and permit yourself to feel the sadness loss may bring. To change your condition, you must first acknowledge your reality. Name it, call out for it, or weep for it. Your cries will be heard.

     

    3. Be patient with the uncertainty.
    When you are struggling with your faith, stay in the moment as long as you need. Your loss of faith may last for a few days or even a few weeks, but you will not be abandoned. Use this time to build your faith around the certainty there is a purpose created just for you.

     

    4. Watch how you rebound and fill in the gaps.
    Above all, be true to yourself. When you feel your faith returning make certain it is your faith and not a need to begin feeling something, anything, even it is something that is not aligned with your core beliefs and values.

     

    5. Faith is resistible; learn not to resist, but to receive more.
    Your faith is never taken from you – you may just resist it from time-to-time. Your faith is a gift of grace and you get to choose if you want to receive it, or not. You may even want to resist faith because you don’t trust how long it will stay with you. But when you learn to surrender, and allow yourself to open up, then faith will only multiple and manifest itself in your life more, not less.

     

    6. Get involved.
    Practicing faith takes action. Faith requires you to think, feel and believe. When you stand on the sidelines and expect your faith to arrive without any deliberate intent on your part, then you run the risk of missing the chance to jump into life. Get involved with the people and causes that touch your heart the most. Spend more time with your children, volunteer in your community, or get behind a group or organization you believe is able to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

     

    7. Focus on the positive.
    If you find yourself coming back from a difficult situation where your faith has been tested, begin to look for the small, but positive things happening around you. Every good thought or encouraging experience is not an accident – these are signs to remind you of your purpose and the hope for what is waiting for you.

     

    8. Have deep water faith in the shallow end.
    When I was in high school I worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. When my students entered the pool they looked a little apprehensive, but they went ahead and took the first step anyway because they knew their feet would touch in the shallow end. As I moved them further away from the shallow end and into deeper waters, their confidence, and faith, began to fade.

     

    You can be a lot like a new swimmer, too. Your faith can be strong when you know what to expect. To do more in life, to take the chance your heart is asking you to take, you need to have the faith to jump in without knowing the depth of the water. What you’ll find is your feet will touch and the water will not be over your head.

     

    Image Source: Google images

    Alex Blackwell is a father, husband and writer.

    About Alex Blackwell

     

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    REPORT CARDS SHOWCASE

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    7 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Engage with God’s Word

    The world tells our kids to love a lot of things. Fast food. Popularity. Celebrities. Their phones. What the world will never teach your child to love is God’s Word. That’s up to you.

     

    The world tells our kids to love a lot of things. Fast food. Popularity. Celebrities. Their phones. What the world will never teach your child to love is God’s Word.

    That’s up to you.

    There’s not a lot in our culture today that’s going to support your efforts, so you’re going to need to be intentional about it. And even if your child attends a Christian school, or is active with you at church, don’t assume these institutions are successfully infusing your son or daughter with a respect and love for God’s Word.

    Once again, the best person for that mission is…you.

    Below you’ll find some ideas to help you encourage your child to engage with God’s Word.

     

    1. Fall in love with God’s Word yourself.

    One of the most important ways you can show your child the relevance of the Bible today is to show your child that the Bible matters, personally, to you. Read your Bible. Listen for God’s voice in the words. Apply what He’s telling you in your own life. You will be impacted. Your child will be impacted, too.

     

    2. Provide your child with his or her own Bible, in a kid-friendly version.

    There are lots to choose from. The NIV Kid’s Quiz Bible, for example, features maps, trivia, and more than 1000 fun quiz questions to get children searching God’s Word for themselves. Check out the Kid’s Quiz Bible and other kid-friendly Bibles.

     

    3. Handwrite the Bible.

    Did you know this is “a thing”? Let your child pick out a journal, some colorful pens, and a book of the Bible to get started. Oh, and don’t forget to pick out a journal for yourself at the same time. Make this a family event, and plan it in a way you know will be enjoyable for your child. You can write at home, in a park, in a coffee shop. Keep each event short enough so that kids will want to repeat the experience. People who handwrite the Bible say it helps them understand the passage better, feel closer to God, and memorize Scripture easier.

     

    4. Make it relevant.

    Teach your kids to ask the question, “What does the Bible say about…” As a family, practice turning to Scripture for guidance on relevant issues including: bullying, popularity, rejection, racism, gossip, loyalty, kindness, true love, popular movies, depression, sex, evolution, suicide, topics in the news, and more.

     

    5. Apply something that you’ve read in the Bible.

    Take an action or make a decision based on something you’ve recently read in God’s Word, either in your personal studies, or something you’ve read as family. Make sure your children understand the reasons behind your action or decision. The best way to help your children understand that reading God’s Word isn’t an intellectual exercise—but how we learn to recognize God’s voice and live according to His principles—is to let them watch Scripture influence your own behavior and choices.

     

    6. Play charades with proverbs.

    Here are some examples of verses from the book of Proverbs that would translate well into a fun game of charades:

    “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23)
    “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17)
    “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30)
    “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” (Proverbs 6:6)

     

    7. Get the Bible on your family calendar.

    Establish recurring times in your child’s schedule for interacting with God’s Word. What might this look like? A daily devotional, a weekly Bible story and popcorn, or a quarterly “date” with Mom or Dad to do a spiritual checkup and talk about anything your child wants to bring up.

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    WATCH GOD BLESS YOU WHEN YOU OBEY HIS WILL!

    THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE CHURCH.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    We are thankful and grateful for all of our Healthcare Workers, both here around the world.  We pray that our God will cover them with His amazing grace.

    And we are extremely proud of the Professional Nurses within our own Congregation:

    Sis/Nurse. Gracie Brown-Shanks.

    Sis/Nurse Michelle Jackson; Retired

    Sis/Nurse Mary Trice; Retired

     

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

    AND TO ALL WHO SERVE, IN ALL CAPACITIES, THANK YOU.

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    WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, WE SHALL RETURN.

    UNTIL THEN, PLEASE KEEP YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTER IN YOUR PRAYERS, EACH AND EVERY DAY.

     

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  • BIRTHDAYS-ANNIVERSARIES-2021

     

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    JUNE BIRTHDAYS

     

     OLLIE WALKER, JR .................................................. JUNE 7

     GRACIE SHANKS ..................................................... JUNE 8

     PAMELA COOK ......................................................... JUNE 8

     MARTIN GRIGGS..................................................... JUNE 13

     ALLEASE RICH ...................................................... JUNE 13

    ALICE WARD........................................................... JUNE 13

    GEORGE BUCKELS............................................... JUNE 14

    MILDRED CLAGGETT............................................ JUNE 14

    WILLIAMS HAWKINS............................................. JUNE 14

    EDWARD PETTY.................................................... JUNE 15

    MARK JUNG.......................................................... JUNE 18

    GLORIA PETTY..................................................... JUNE 21

    XAVIER CHAVIS................................................... JUNE 24

    WILLIE WILLIAMS................................................ JUNE 24

     

     

     

     

    WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES

     
     

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    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     

     

    SOUTHERN 2021 ACTIVITY CALENDAR 

    Jan.  Installation Service

    Feb.  Pastor's  Appreciation. 

    Apr.  Easter

    ​Jun.  Vacation Bible School

    Jun.  Family and Friends' Day

    Aug.  Men and Women's Day

    Sept.  Church Picnic

    ​Oct.  Church Anniversary

    Nov.  Youth Day

    Nov.  Thanksgiving Service
     
    Dec.  Church Meeting
     

    Dec. Christmas Program  

     

    CHURCH ANNOUNCMENTS,  INVITATIONS  AND UPCOMING EVENTS

     

     

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    Report Card Grades:

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Shut-In and Special Prayer List/

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    Pray for those who are on our prayer list. SICK/SHUT

     

     

    Claudia Ball

    Etta Banks

    Benson Bradley

    ​Daphne Buckels

    Deacon George Buckels

    Lester Buckels

    Rhonda Fletcher

    Madeline Foster

    Maggie Garrett

    Clinton Hardin

    Brenda Isom

    Ricky Johnson
     
    Joyce King
     
    Ed Petty
     
    Deloyd Prothro
     
    Mary Pryor
     
    Allease Rich
     
    Yvonne Rhodes
     
    Alice Ward
     
    Arietta Walker
     
    Ollie Walker
     
    Eleanor Wiggins
     
    Ann Wilson
     
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    Obituary Notice. Please notify the Pastor to report any deaths!

     

     

     

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    INSPIRATIONAL POEMS BY MARK

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    " IT IS MUSIC TO HIS EARS "

    A song in your heart

    Is what God wants to hear,

    No matter how you sound

    It is music to His ears.

     

    You may be off key

    But that is alright,

    When you sing to the Lord

    Everything is just right.

     

    Give Him all the glory

    Sing praises to Him,

    The joy that He will see

    Is that you are singing to Him.

     

    And when our Lord is happy

    The light will shine on you,

    Always sing to the Lord

    Is one of many things to do.

     

    Believe in the words you sing

    And sing with all your heart,

    Emotions will stir within

    When you truly sing from your heart.

     

    Stretch your arms to Him

    And look toward Heaven on high,

    Tears of joy will fall

    The Lord will hear your cries.

     

    So have a song in your heart

    And thank the Lord today,

    Any song you sing to Him

    Will always make its way.

     

    So do what you have to do

    To the one you love so dear,

    As you sing to the Lord, our Savior

    It is music to His ears.

    © 2021  Mark Jung

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    SILLY BIBLE RIDDLES

    Below you find the riddles in the blue boxes and under each one will have the answers. Some of these riddles are silly, some are more serious, and some are who am I bible riddles (Bible character riddles). But no matter what they are great for kids, youth, and adults!  Answers are below.

    1. What kind of lights did Noah use on the ark?

     

    2 . Who was the only person in the bible without a father?

     

    3. You might see this in the sky
    By a waterfall its lower
    Some say that it was first seen
    After a flood by Noah

     

    4. What animal could Noah not trust?

     

    5. How does Moses make his coffee?

     

    6. I am the greatest financier in the Bible. I floated my stock while everyone was in liquidation. Who am I?

     

    7. He led Israelites out of Egypt
    And went up Mount Sinai alone
    He came back down with ten commandments
    Written on two tablets of stone

    Who is this man?

     

    8. What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?

    9.

    I had many locks that don’t need a key
    I was far too many for you to count me
    I was never to be shortened, for a vow had been said
    I was a symbol of strength that flowed from the head
    But in a moment of weakness, my secret was out
    I lay all in pieces when she gave the shout
    I’m in the Bible – what am I?

     

    10. From my shoulders and upward, I was higher than any of the people? Who am I?

     

    11. Why couldn’t Noah catch many fish?

     

    12. Why couldn’t Jonah trust the ocean?

     

    13. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden? 

     

    14. I look like the letter t and am a symbol of Christianity. What is it?

     

    15. Who has a face but it’s not a human or an animal?

     

    16. I kept him steady and others away
    I kept them safe and showed the way
    Once thrown down upon the ground
    I came alive with a hissing sound
    I hit the rock as he was told
    And that was when the water flowed
    What am I?

     

    17. Why did the unemployed man get excited while looking through his Bible?

     

    18. Where is the first tennis match mentioned in the Bible?

     

    19. How long did Cain hate his brother?

     

    20. I can be carried but not touched
    I have two on the outside and ten on the inside
    Everyone wants to catch a sight of me
    But I’m kept out of sight
    I was lost and found; then found but now I am lost
    I’m in the Bible – what am I?

     

    21. Why did Eve want to leave the Garden of Eden and move to New York?

     

    22. There was a man who went one day
    On top a Joppa house to pray,
    And while he waited for his meat
    He dreamed he saw a great big sheet
    Let down from heaven, and inside
    Fowls and creeping things did ride,
    The one who prayed was told to eat,
    For God had cleansed this “common” meat.
    Who was he?

     

    23. I was the king who was encouraged by the queen when I was greatly troubled by writing on the wall. Who am I?

     

     

     

    ANSWERS;  Flood lights. 2. Joshua, because he was the son of nun. 3. A rainbow. 4. The cheetah. 5. Hebrews it. 6. The Noah. 7.  Moses. 8. It’s Christmas, Eve!  9. Samson’s long hair. 

    10. Saul. 11.  He only had two worms. 12. Because he knew there was something fishy about it. 13. Your mother ate us out of house and home.  14. The Cross.  15.God 

    16. Moses’ Staff. 17. He thought he saw a job. 18. When Joseph served in Pharaoh’s court. 19. As long as he was Abel.  20. The Ark of the Covenant. 21. She fell for the Big Apple.

    22.  Peter. 23. Belshazzar. 

     

     

     

     

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    Domestic Violence and Abuse

    Are you or someone you care about in an abusive relationship? Here’s how to recognize the signs of domestic abuse—physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, or financial—and get help.

    Man's clenched fist viewed from behind, woman cowering in front of him

     

    What is domestic violence and abuse?

    When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in a marriage or intimate relationship to dominate and control the other. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” An abuser uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb.

    Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone; it does not discriminate. Abuse happens within heterosexual relationships and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more often victimized, men also experience abuse—especially verbal and emotional. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether from a man, woman, teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.

    [Read: Help for Men who are Being Abused]

    Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal assault to violence. And while physical injury may pose the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your relationship is abusive.

    Signs of an abusive relationship

    There are many signs of an abusive relationship, and a fear of your partner is the most telling. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around them—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive.

    Other signs include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and having feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

    To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.

    Are you in an abusive relationship?
    Your inner thoughts and feelings

    Do you:

    • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
    • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
    • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
    • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
    • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
    • feel emotionally numb or helpless?
    Your partner’s belittling behavior

    Does your partner:

    • humiliate or yell at you?
    • criticize you and put you down?
    • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
    • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
    • blame you for their own abusive behavior?
    • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
    Your partner’s violent behavior or threats

    Does your partner:

    • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
    • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
    • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
    • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
    • force you to have sex?
    • destroy your belongings?
    Your partner’s controlling behavior

    Does your partner:

    • act excessively jealous and possessive?
    • control where you go or what you do?
    • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
    • limit your access to money, the Internet, phone, or car?
    • constantly check up on you?

    Physical and sexual abuse

    Physical abuse occurs when physical force is used against you in a way that injures or endangers you. Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of a family. The police have the power and authority to protect you from a physical attack.

    Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and domestic violence. Furthermore, people whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.

    [Read: Recovering from Rape and Sexual Trauma]

    It is still domestic abuse if…

    The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television, or heard other people talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical abuse; severe injuries can result from being pushed, for example.

    The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your partner has injured you once, it is likely that they’ll continue to assault you.

    The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move about freely and see others, or to make decisions. It is not a victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a partner in exchange for ending the assault!

    Physical violence has not occurred. Many people are emotionally and verbally assaulted. This can be just as frightening and is often more confusing to try to understand.

    Emotional abuse: It’s a bigger problem than you think

    Not all abusive relationships involve physical violence. Just because you’re not battered and bruised doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. Many men and women suffer from emotional abuse, which is no less destructive. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often minimized or overlooked—even by the person experiencing it.

    The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence—leaving you feeling that there’s no way out of the relationship, or that without your abusive partner, you have nothing.

    Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior are also forms of emotional abuse.

    Abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do as they want.

    The scars of emotional abuse are very real and they run deep. You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with physical wounds. But emotional abuse can be just as damaging—sometimes even more so.

    [Read: Emotional and Psychological Trauma]

    Economic or financial abuse: A subtle form of emotional abuse

    Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and they will frequently use money to do so. Economic or financial abuse includes:

    • Rigidly controlling your finances.
    • Withholding money or credit cards.
    • Making you account for every penny you spend.
    • Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).
    • Restricting you to an allowance.
    • Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
    • Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly).
    • Stealing from you or taking your money.

    Abusive behavior is a choice

    Despite what many people believe, domestic violence and abuse does not take place because an abuser loses control over their behavior. In fact, abusive behavior and violence is a deliberate choice to gain control. Perpetrators use a variety of tactics to manipulate you and exert their power, including:

    Dominance. Abusive individuals need to feel in charge of the relationship. They may make decisions for you and the family, tell you what to do, and expect you to obey without question. Your abuser may treat you like a servant, child, or even as their possession.

    Humiliation. An abuser will do everything they can to lower your self-esteem or make you feel defective in some way. After all, if you believe you’re worthless and that no one else will want you, you’re less likely to leave. Insults, name-calling, shaming, and public put-downs are all weapons of abuse designed to erode your self-worth and make you feel powerless.

    Isolation. In order to increase your dependence on them, an abusive partner will cut you off from the outside world. They may keep you from seeing family or friends, or even prevent you from going to work or school. You may have to ask permission to do anything, go anywhere, or see anyone.

    Threats. Abusers commonly use threats to keep their partners from leaving or scare them into dropping charges. Your abuser may threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, other family members, or even pets. They may also threaten to commit suicide, file false charges against you, or report you to child services.

    Intimidation. Your abuser may use a variety of intimidation tactics designed to scare you into submission. Such tactics include making threatening looks or gestures, smashing things in front of you, destroying property, hurting your pets, or putting weapons on display. The message behind these actions is that violent consequences will follow if you don’t obey.

    Denial and blame. Abusers are adept at making excuses for the inexcusable. They may blame their abusive and violent behavior on a bad childhood, a bad day, or even on you and the kids, the victims of their abuse. They may minimize the abuse or deny that it occurred. Often, they will shift the responsibility on to you: somehow, their violent and abusive behavior is your fault.

    Abusers are able to control their behavior—they do it all the time

    Abusers pick and choose whom to abuse. They don’t insult, threaten, or assault everyone in their life who gives them grief. Usually, they save their abuse for the people closest to them, the ones they claim to love.

    Abusers carefully choose when and where to abuse. They control themselves until no one else is around to witness their behavior. They may act like everything is fine in public, but then lash out instantly as soon as you’re alone with them.

    Abusers are able to stop their abusive behavior when it benefits them. Most abusers are not out of control. In fact, they’re able to immediately stop their abusive behavior when it’s to their advantage to do so (for example, when the police show up or their boss calls).

    Violent abusers usually direct their blows where they won’t show. Rather than acting out in a mindless rage, many physically violent abusers carefully aim their kicks and punches where the bruises and marks won’t show.

    The cycle of violence in domestic abuse

    Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern or cycle of violence:

    Cycle of violence

    Abuse – Your abusive partner lashes out with aggressive, belittling, or violent behavior. This treatment is a power play designed to show you “who is boss.”

    Guilt – Your partner feels guilt after abusing you, but not because of their actions. They’re more worried about the possibility of being caught and facing consequences for their abusive behavior.

    Excuses – Your abuser rationalizes what they have done. The person may come up with a string of excuses or blame you for provoking them—anything to avoid taking responsibility.

    “Normal” behavior – Your partner does everything in their power to regain control and ensure that you’ll stay in the relationship. A perpetrator may act as if nothing has happened, or they might “turn on the charm.” This peaceful honeymoon phase may give you hope that the abuser has really changed this time.

    Fantasy and planning – Your abuser begins to fantasize about repeating the abuse. They spend a lot of time thinking about what you’ve done wrong and how they’ll make you pay for it. Then they form a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.

    Set-up – Your abuser sets you up and puts their plan in motion, creating a situation where they can justify abusing you.

    Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. They may cause you to believe that you are the only person who can help them, that they will change their behavior, and that they truly love you. However, the dangers of staying are very real.

    The full cycle of domestic violence: An example

    A man abuses his partner. After he hits her, he experiences self-directed guilt. He says, “I’m sorry for hurting you.”  What he does not say is, “Because I might get caught.”

    He then rationalizes his behavior by accusing his partner of having an affair. He tells her, “If you weren’t such a worthless whore, I wouldn’t have to hit you.”

    He then acts contrite, reassuring her that it will not happen again.

    But later he fantasizes and reflects on past abuse and decides to hurt her again.

    He plans on sending her to the grocery store, purposely choosing a busy time. She is then held up in traffic and returns a few minutes later than expected. In his mind, he justifies assaulting her by blaming her for having an affair with the store clerk. He has just set her up.

    Recognizing the warning signs of abuse

    It’s impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors, but there are some telltale signs of emotional abuse and domestic violence. If you witness these warning signs of abuse in a friend, family member, or co-worker, take them very seriously.

    People who are being abused may:

    • Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner
    • Go along with everything their partner says and does
    • Check in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
    • Receive frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
    • Talk about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness

    Warning signs of physical abuse

    People who are being physically abused may:

    • Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents.”
    • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation.
    • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (for example, wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors).

    Warning signs of isolation

    People who are being isolated by their abuser may:

    • Be restricted from seeing family and friends.
    • Rarely go out in public without their partner.
    • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car.

    Psychological warning signs of abuse

    People who are being abused may:

    • Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident.
    • Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn).
    • Be depressed, anxious, or suicidal.

    Speak up if you suspect domestic violence or abuse

    If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, speak up! If you’re hesitating—telling yourself that it’s none of your business, you might be wrong, or that the person might not want to talk about it—keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save their life.

    Talk to the person in private and let them know that you’re concerned. Point out the signs you’ve noticed that worry you. Tell the person that you’re there for them, whenever they feel ready to talk. Reassure them that you’ll keep whatever is said between the two of you, and let them know that you’ll help in any way you can.

    [Read: How to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship]

    Remember, abusers are very good at controlling and manipulating their victims. People who have been emotionally or physically abused are often depressed, drained, scared, ashamed, and confused. They need help getting out of the situation, yet their partner has often isolated them from their family and friends.

    By picking up on the warning signs and offering support, you can help someone escape an abusive situation and begin healing.

    Do’s and Don’ts
    Do: Don’t:
    Ask if something is wrong Wait for the person to come to you
    Express your concern Blame or judge them
    Listen and validate Pressure them to act
    Offer to help Give advice
    Support their decisions Place conditions on your support

    Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A. and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.

    Will you help keep HelpGuide free for all?

    One in four people will struggle with mental health at some point in their lives. And with the coronavirus pandemic and troubled economy, many are in crisis right now. More than ever, people need a trustworthy place to turn to for guidance and hope. That is our mission at HelpGuide. Our free online resources ensure that everyone can get the help they need when they need it—no matter what health insurance they have, where they live, or what they can afford. But as a nonprofit that doesn’t run ads or accept corporate sponsorships, we need your help. If you have already contributed, thank you. If you haven’t, please consider helping us reach those who need it: Donate today from as little as $3.

    Last updated: January 2021

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