August 24, 2003


Volume 13 - Number 35     

Life Saving Station

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a little life-saving station. The building was primitive, and there was just one boat, but the members of the life-saving station were committed and kept a constant watch over the sea. When a ship went down, they unselfishly went out day or night to save the lost. Because so many lives were saved by that station, it became famous.

Consequently, many people wanted to be associated with the station to give their time, talent, and money to support its important work. New boats were bought, new crews were recruited, a formal training session was offered. As the membership in the life-saving station grew, some of the members became unhappy that the building was so primitive and that the equipment was so outdated. They wanted a better place to welcome the survivors pulled from the sea. So they replaced the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the enlarged and newly decorated building.

Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members. They met regularly and when they did, it was apparent how they loved one another. They greeted each other, hugged each other, and shared with one another the events that had been going on in their lives. But fewer members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions; so they hired lifeboat crews to do this for them.

About this time, a large ship was wrecked off of the coast, and the hired crews brought into the life-saving station boatloads of cold, wet, dirty, sick, and half-drowned people. Some of them had black skin, and some had yellow skin. Some could speak English well, and some could hardly speak it at all. Some were first-class cabin passengers of the ship, and some were the deck hands.

The beautiful meeting place became a place of chaos. The plush carpets got dirty. Some of the exquisite furniture got scratched. So the property committee immediately had a shower built outside the house where the victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.

At the next meeting there was rift in the membership. Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s life-saving activities, for they were unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal fellowship of the members. Other members insisted that life-saving was their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a life-saving station. But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all those various kinds of people who would be shipwrecked, they could begin their own life-saving station down the coast. And do you know what? That is what they did.

As the years passed, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old. It evolved into a place to meet regularly for fellowship, for committee meetings, and for special training sessions about their mission, but few went out to the drowning people. The drowning people were no longer welcomed in that new life-saving station. So another life-saving station was founded further down the coast. History continued to repeat itself. And if you visit that seacoast today, you will find a number of adequate meeting places with ample parking and plush carpeting. Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown.

Thomas Wedel, “ECUMENICAL REVIEW,” October, 1953, paraphrased in Heaven Bound Living, Knofel Stanton, Standard, 1989, pp. 99-101


What Americans Believe

The report indicates a great deal of ambivalence among Americans with regard to their beliefs. For instance, while 62 percent of the respondents said they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, 65 percent said the term “born again” does not apply to them; fewer than 50 percent strongly agreed that the Bible is the written word of God and is totally accurate in all it teaches.

The Barna Report: What Americans Believe, 1991, quoted in 9-16-91 Christianity Today

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Evangelism vs. Fire

Elton Trueblood, the Quaker scholar, once compared evangelism to fire. Evangelism occurs, he said, when Christians are so ignited by their contact with Christ that they in turn set other fires. It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction.

Christian Theology In Plain Language, p. 162

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Church Friendships

A survey done by sociologists Glock and Stark found that among evangelicals, over half of their close friends are likely to belong to the same congregation, whereas among liberal churchgoers, such as Presbyterians and Congregationalists, few or none of their close friends are likely to be members of their local church.

The Emerging Order, Rifkin and Howard, p. 115

AM SERMON:
"Evangelize!"
Matthew 28:18-20
PM SERMON:
"Getting Ahead of God"
Exodus 2:11-15

Mark Your Calendars:

  • August 31: 5th Sunday Contribution for Building Program
  • August 31: Song Service

“For God so loved the world, not just a few,
The wise and great, the noble and the true,
Of those of favored class or rank or hue.
God loved the world. Do you?”

 

SERVICE OOPPORTUNITIES

 

Remember in Prayer

Announcements:

 Wayne Vowell

 


Walt Thompson
Wayne Vowell
Florence Treece
Glen Riggenbach
Frank Small
Iva Turner
Art Stapleton
Bill Sherman
Boyd Previtt
Keith Callicoat

Ushers:

 

 Delbert Leavens

 

Morning Services

 

Bible Reading:

 Delbert Leavens  

Songs:

 Jim Treece  

Sermon:

 Ted Wheeler

 

Closing Prayer:

 Clarence Riggenbach

 
     

Evening Services

 

Opening Prayer:

 Carl Rigney

 

Songs:

 Larry Jenson

 

Sermon:

 Ted Wheeler  

Closing Prayer:

 Delbert Leavens

 
Our Record - Last Week

Communion

Attendance:
62
Wayne Vowell
Dick Navarre - Kerry Keathley
Sean Keathley
Contribution:
$ 2664.00
Budget:
$ 2695.00
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