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
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
A LETTER FROM THE PASTOR
July 21, 2021
Dear Members of Southern,
I want to thank all of you for your continued support to the church. You have continued to follow all guidelines in order to keep your Church Family safe and that takes great sacrifice. I know that it has been hard to reframe from hugging and shaking hands, but that will all return one day. "Let patience have her perfect works." I also want to thank Sis. Tammy Kemp and Deacon Nicholas Wright for their work in our Media Ministry and the songs that they have played over the speakers during service. I'm looking to have some kind of "Live Music" in the near future, using a small assembly of singers. As you are aware, Sunday School have not restarted yet. We will focus on our Sunday Worship at this time. Due to the new Corona Virus Delta Variant, please remember to wear your mask properly, covering your nose to your chin. Keep hands sanitized and allow th ushers to seat you.
Bible Study will continue on Facebook for the remainder of the year.
Our Sunday School lesson will continue to be available on our website.
I'm still making hospital visits and will be with our Families during their loved ones surgeries, whenever possible.
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 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.
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.
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!
[Double-Click to Edit Text]
Topic: Taming the Terrible Tongue
Scripture: James 3:1-12
This lesson applies to all of us. Do we really realize the power of our tongues? Do we really have any idea of its impact? And what about our testimony, Southern? Do we show forth God’s glory with the words which proceed our of our mouths? Let’s read our “Lesson Scripture” and delve into God’s Word.
3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Story: On a windswept hill in an English country churchyard stands a drab, gray slate tombstone. The faint etchings read:
Beneath this stone, a lump of clay, lies Arabella Young,
Who, on the twenty-fourth of May, began to hold her tongue.
Let’s hope that we learn what that woman never did, to tame the tongue! As a wise sage observed, “As you go through life you are going to have many opportunities to keep your mouth shut. Take advantage of all of them” (quoted by James Dent, Reader’s Digest [12/82]).
As we move into chapter 3, James has gone from preaching to meddling! He has just made it clear that genuine faith works. If God has changed your heart through the new birth, the saving faith that He granted to you will inevitably show itself in a life of good deeds. But now he moves from the generality of good deeds to the specifics of the words that you speak. Genuine faith yields to Christ’s lordship over your tongue. With David (Ps. 141:3), all true believers will pray, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” While the monster may never be totally tamed, if you know Christ as Savior, you are engaged in the ongoing battle to tame the terrible tongue.
In building his case that all have sinned, the apostle Paul zeroes in on the sins of the tongue (Rom. 3:13-14):
“Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips”; “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness….”
It would be nice if conversion resulted in a total makeover of the mouth, but it is not so! Although we become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), we also carry around with us the old nature or the flesh, which wars against the Spirit (Gal. 5:17). The tongue is one of the major battlegrounds in the war. To become godly people, we must wage war daily on this front.
James is a savvy pastor who knows that we won’t gear up for the battle and face our own sins of the tongue unless we recognize the magnitude of the problem. We all tend to justify ourselves by pointing to others who are notoriously bad. In comparison with how they talk, I’m doing okay. But James comes in with vivid illustrations to open our eyes to just how serious our problem is. It’s interesting that he never gives any advice on how to control the tongue. He just leaves you reeling from his portrait of how huge this problem is. He’s saying,
To tame the terrible tongue, we must recognize the tremendous magnitude of the battle that we face.
It’s difficult to outline this section, but we can organize it under four truths that we must recognize to tame our terrible tongues:
1. To tame the tongue, we must recognize that we will be held accountable for what we say (3:1-2).
Apparently the churches to which James was writing had too many men who were self-appointed teachers. In the Jewish synagogues, rabbis were highly respected and the office was often one that parents coveted for their sons. It was proper to respect the rabbis because of the sacred Scriptures that they expounded, but it was wrong to give men the honor that God alone deserves. Jesus confronted the Jewish leaders on this account (Matt. 23:6-11):
“They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant.”
There’s a certain inherent prestige in becoming a teacher. Presumably, you know more than those that you teach, which means that in some way they should look up to you. Because of this, there is the built-in danger that some will take upon themselves the office of Bible teacher for the wrong reasons, or that those who took the position for the right reason later will fall into pride. If a man goes into teaching the Bible because of a secret desire for status or recognition, he is doing it for self and not for the Lord.
Because of the Matthew 23 passage, for many years I was uncomfortable with people addressing me as “Pastor.” Why not call me by my name, like everyone else? While I’ve grown accustomed enough to the title now that I don’t ask everyone to call me by my name, I hope that if they call me Pastor, they are respecting the office. But I’m also quite comfortable with being called Steve! I’m only a member of Christ’s body whom He called to shepherd His flock and teach His Word. Christ is the Leader!
James’ point is that a man should not take on the role of teacher unless God has called him to it, because teachers will incur a stricter judgment. We who teach God’s Word will be more accountable, because our words affect more people. Any time that we teach, we should keep in mind the serious fact that we will stand before the Lord to give an account!
Verse 2 further explains verse 1 (“For”). James includes himself when he says, “For we all stumble in many ways.” We’re all prone to sin! One popular author and Bible teacher emphasizes that we should not view ourselves as sinners, but as saints who occasionally sin. Well, by God’s grace I’m a saint, but I’m a saint who stumbles in many ways, not just occasionally!
James then zeroes in on the tongue, saying, “If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.”
Perfect does not mean sinlessly perfect, but rather, mature. We can never achieve sinless perfection in this life, but we can grow to spiritual maturity. One important gauge of that is our speech.
One way to tame the tongue is to recognize that we all will be held accountable for our speech. Jesus said (Matt. 12:36-37), “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Jesus was not teaching justification by works. But, like James, He was teaching that our works reveal whether our faith is genuine faith. Our words either validate that we are true believers or reveal that we do not know God. If we sin with our speech, we need to ask God’s forgiveness and also the forgiveness of the one we sinned against. Genuine believers have this sense of being accountable for their speech.
2. To tame the tongue, we must recognize its power for good or for evil (3:3-5a).
James uses two analogies here to make the point that the tongue is small, but mighty: the bit and the rudder. A bit is a relatively small instrument, but when you put it into a horse’s mouth, you can control the entire horse. The same thing is true of a ship’s rudder. It is relatively small compared to the size of the ship, but with his hand on the wheel or tiller, the pilot can steer a mammoth ship, even in a strong wind.
James’ point of comparison is not so much the matter of control (the tongue does not really control the body), but of the inordinate influence of such a small part (3:5a): “So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.” James is saying, “Don’t underestimate the power of the tongue, because if you do, you won’t be able to tame it.” There may be a comparison in the sense of influencing direction. If you control your tongue, it can direct your whole life into what is acceptable in God’s sight. If you don’t control your tongue, it will get you into great trouble!
Both the bit and the rudder must overcome contrary forces to direct the horse and the ship. A horse is a powerful animal that can do much useful work, but only if it can be directed. A ship is a useful means of transporting cargo or people, but if the rudder is broken, it will be at the mercy of the wind and waves, and could result in a shipwreck causing the loss of life and cargo. To work properly and accomplish good things, both bit and rudder must be under the control of a strong hand that knows how to use them properly. In the same way, the tongue must overcome the contrary force of the flesh and be under God’s wise control if it is to accomplish anything good.
James would vigorously disagree with the familiar children’s taunt, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” James is steeped in the Old Testament, and it (especially the Book of Proverbs) has much to say about the power of the tongue, either for good or for evil. Proverbs 12:18 states, “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Imagine that all of us here today were carrying into church an unsheathed, razor-sharp, two-edged sword. It would be a miracle if we got through the morning without anyone getting cut! The fact is, we all have a razor-sharp, two-edged sword—in our mouths! We should use them with the greatest care to bring healing, not injury.
Proverbs has many other references to the tongue. For example (16:24), “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” If we all would read Proverbs frequently and pay attention to its wisdom, we would be a source of sweetness and healing in our homes and our church!
So James wants us to recognize that we will be held accountable for how we use our tongues, especially those of us who teach God’s Word. He wants us to recognize the inordinate power of the tongue, either for good or for evil, so that we use it carefully.
3. To tame the tongue, we must recognize that it is a humanly untamable source of terrible evil (3:5b-8).
James uses two more word pictures for comparison and contrast: a forest fire and tamed animals. Living here in Flagstaff in the midst of the largest ponderosa pine forest in the world, we are very much aware of the potential danger and damage of forest fires. All it takes is one tossed cigarette or one campfire that is not totally extinguished and thousands of acres of beautiful forest can be destroyed. Under control, fire is useful; out of control, it is frightening and devastating!
In November of 1980, after a very dry autumn, on an extremely windy day an arsonist lit a fire in the tinder-dry brush just above San Bernardino, California. The high winds quickly fanned the flames up the mountain toward the town of Crestline, where we then lived. While firefighters were trying to contain that blaze, the same arsonist drove to the east and then back to the west, lighting separate fires in each location. Many of us who lived on the mountain had only a few hours’ notice to evacuate our homes for several days, so that we would not be trapped if the flames came up that far. Several homes in San Bernardino were destroyed, killing at least four people. Forest fires are devastating!
In verse 6, James states directly, “And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.”Scholars debate as to how to translate and punctuate that verse, but however it is done, the point is clear: the tongue is a deadly, powerful source of evil that taints every part of our being. If we do not use our tongues with great caution, we are like spiritual arsonists, lighting careless fires that cause widespread destruction.
James says that the one who is careless with his tongue is the first to be defiled. An unchecked tongue is “the very world of iniquity,” that “defiles the entire body.” This goes back to James 1:26-27, where he said that true religion requires bridling the tongue and keeping oneself unstained by the world. “The sense is simply that since speech is the hardest faculty to control it is there that one first observes ‘the world’ in a person’s heart” (Peter Davids, New International Greek Testament Commentary on James [Eerdmans], p.142). Like a spark that lights a bigger fire, it not only defiles us, but also it “sets on fire the course of our life.” If you have a careless tongue it damages your entire life!
Then James goes one step further and identifies the ultimate source of the problem, “and is set on fire by hell.” Hell translates the Greek gehenna, which is a transliteration of two Hebrew words meaning, “Valley of Hinnom.” This valley, just outside the walls of Jerusalem, was where the Jewish worshipers of Molech burned their children as sacrifices to appease this pagan idol (Jer. 32:35). It later became a place to burn trash. The only other New Testament use is by Jesus (11 times) to refer to the place of eternal torment. James means that an evil tongue is set on fire by Satan himself.
Most Christians would shrink back from sins like homosexuality, molesting children, or murder as being satanically depraved. Yet we tolerate gossip, slander, deceit, half-truths, sarcastic put-downs, and other sins of the tongue as if they were no big deal. James says that all such sins have their origin in the pit of hell. They defile the one committing them. They destroy others. As a believer in Christ, you must confront these sins in yourself and you must be bold enough to confront them in others.
James goes on to use an analogy from the animal world. If you’ve been to Sea World, you’ve seen trained whales, dolphins, and seals. At the circus, you’ve seen trained elephants, lions, and tigers. But James says that there is one beast that cannot be tamed: the human tongue! He adds, “it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Being restless means there is never a time when it sleeps. You must always be on guard against it. Being full of deadly poison, you should handle it as cautiously as you would a vial of anthrax.
James does not say that the tongue is untamable. He says that no one can tame it. It is humanly untamable. Only God can tame it. James does not state that because he wants us to get a clear view of the horrible monster that we must do battle with. When the Holy Spirit controls your heart on a daily basis, over time the fruit of the Spirit will appear. These include love, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control, which all relate to the control of the tongue. To tame this terrible tongue, you must daily walk in the Spirit, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Ultimately, an evil tongue is the tool of an evil heart. That is James’ final point:
4. To tame the tongue, we must recognize that its inconsistencies are rooted in its source (3:9-12).
James points out a gross inconsistency that he no doubt had observed. Christians say, “Praise the Lord” in one breath, and in the next breath they say evil things about another person, made in the likeness of God. They sit in church singing hymns to God and no sooner get out the door than they whisper, “Did you see so-and-so? She makes me sick! She’s such a hypocrite. Why do you know what she did?” Etc., etc. James gets very direct (3:10b): “My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”
Then he points out that what often happens among Christians is contrary to all of nature. The same spring does not send out fresh water one minute and bitter water the next. He asks rhetorically (3:12), “Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water produce fresh.”
His point is the same as that of Jesus (Matt. 12:34), “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” Jesus also said (Matt. 15:18), “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” The mouth is simply the opening that vents whatever is in the heart. If there’s raw sewage in the heart, there will be raw sewage gushing from the mouth! That’s why Proverbs 4:23 exhorts us, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Have you ever thought about how terribly embarrassing life would be if there were a direct open line between your thoughts and your mouth, so that you blurted out loud whatever you were thinking? Instead of your polite, “I’m pleased to meet you,” out comes, “I couldn’t care less about meeting you!” After listening to someone drone on about something, instead of, “Yes, that’s very interesting,” you blurt out, “How can I get away from this bore?”
I’m not suggesting that we should abandon politeness and become brutally blunt. I’m only pointing out that even if you control your tongue, you often have a heart problem. If you want to tame the terrible tongue, the place to start is with your heart. Work daily at taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Walk daily under the control of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:18).
Renew your mind by memorizing Scripture (Rom. 12:1-2; Ps. 119:11).
Memorize James 1:19-20: “This you know, my beloved brethren. But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”
Memorize Ephesians 4:29: “Let no unwholesome [lit., rotten] word proceed from you mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin has lectured around the country on the powerful and often negative impact of words. He has asked audiences if they can go for twenty-four hours without saying any unkind words about, or to, anybody. He says, “Invariably, a minority of listeners raise their hands signifying ‘yes,’ some laugh, and quite a large number call out, ‘no!’”
He responds, “Those who can’t answer ‘yes’ must recognize that you have a serious problem. If you cannot go for twenty-four hours without drinking liquor, you are addicted to alcohol. If you cannot go for twenty-four hours without smoking, you are addicted to nicotine. Similarly, if you cannot go for twenty-four hours without saying unkind words about others, then you have lost control over your tongue” (Imprimus [1/96], p. 1). He goes on to say, “There is no area of life in which so many of us systematically violate the Golden Rule.”
He encourages his audiences to monitor their conversations for two days. “Note on a piece of paper every time you say something negative about someone who is not present. Also record when others do so, as well as your reactions when that happens. Do you try to silence the speaker, or do you ask for more details?” He adds, “To ensure the test’s accuracy, make no effort to change the content of your conversations throughout the two-day period, and do not try to be kinder than usual in assessing another’s character and actions.” He states, “Most of us who take this test are unpleasantly surprised” (p. 2).
Why doesn’t James give us a list of helpful tips on how to control our tongue? Maybe it’s because most of us, like the alcoholic, are in denial about the magnitude of the problem. The first step to dealing with the problem is to acknowledge, “I have a serious problem! I have a tool of Satan in my own mouth!”
Lehman Strauss (James Your Brother [Loizeaux Brothers], p. 120) considers James 3 “to be a key to the solution of most of the ills in church life today.” I would agree and add that it is a key to most of the problems in our homes today. It’s forest fire season. Things are tinder dry in your home and in this church. You have a fire set among your members! Ask God often to tame your terrible tongue!
How can a man know if God is calling him to preach?
How can we know whether it is right to speak out to confront sin or to remain silent, since we can sin either way?
What should you say when someone shares a juicy bit of gossip with you “so that you can pray about it”?
Is it always a sin to criticize? When and how may it be proper?
Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2005, All Rights Reserved.
How many people in your church regularly study the Bible on their own? Beyond devotional or five-minutes-a-day readings, how many dig deep into God’s word?
Regular attenders of a good church hear lots of Bible teaching through the sermon and Sunday school classes. They might see Bible study up close in a small group. But far too many Christians opt for easier practices in their own devotions.
Personal relationships are a powerful part of a church community. Underneath programs and structures, most of a church’s ideals and habits are communicated through friendships. This includes personal Bible study.
Two things must be in place before you can encourage someone at your church to study the Bible.
First, you need a real friendship. The closer your relationship, the more powerful your voice in their life. Good friends trust that your suggestions have their best interests in mind.
You also need shared values. Your encouragement to study the Bible will only be effective if your friend shares this goal. (Here’s an article explaining why we study the Bible.)
On one level, both of these requirements take care and effort on your part. But true Christian friendship and a love for God’s word also require spiritual intervention. Our first order of business, therefore, is prayer.
Study the Bible Together
If your friend is a new Christian or is unfamiliar with the Bible, they’ll need guidance as they begin. Give them resources that explain an easy-to-follow Bible study process. At this blog we advocate the Observation-Interpretation-Application (OIA) method, and the best place to start reading is here. (Peter’s book would also make a great gift for a beginner.)
Once your friend knows the main components of Bible study, help him dive in. If you attend or lead a small group, take him along. If that would be uncomfortable, offer to study the Bible one-on-one. Suggest some preparatory work, and talk through the passage together when you meet. (Our OIA worksheets might be helpful at the start.)
While some of us have new Christians to train, all of us can think of more veteran Christians who could use Bible study stimulation. (We can all use help in this area!) These folks know how to study the Bible but no longer do so regularly.
Some friends might benefit from a weekly get-together to study through a short book or passage. But, since you’re aiming to strengthen individual Bible study, most encouragement you’ll give will take place in informal conversations, not scheduled meetings.
As a matter of habit, talk about Bible study with your friend. This might seem unusual at first, but it doesn’t have to be awkward. Simply ask what they’re studying and learning, and be willing to share yourself. Thank God for what he teaches you, and speak honestly when you’ve neglected the Bible.
If your friend admits a distance from the Bible and your prayers and questions don’t help, you’ll need to take a more direct approach. In love, emphasize the importance of God’s word. Ask direct questions about his habits and patterns of behavior, but don’t stop with his actions—point toward his heart.
Despite the protests, we won’t change into diligent students of the Scriptures if we just get up earlier, turn off the TV, or try harder. Our behavior follows our hearts (Matt 15:18-20), so if we genuinely want to worship and interact with God, nothing will stand in our way. Your friend needs to recognize and repent of the desires that overshadow and quench his love for God. Help your friend identify and kill these idols.
Don’t forget the gospel in these conversations! Over and over, remind yourself and your friend that your success or failure with regular Bible study does not determine God’s love for you. For Christians, God’s love is secure, full, and free because of Jesus.
We All Need Others
We all need reminders and support to study the Bible. Even regenerate hearts follow the gaze and desires of the old man at times. We need others to tell us the truth, pray for us, and point us in the right direction.
Take a minute to think about your friends, and pray for them. Pray for strong relationships, ample opportunities, and rich conversations. Pray that God would use you to point them to his word.
WATCH GOD BLESS YOU WHEN YOU OBEY HIS WILL!
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE CHURCH.
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.
WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT, WE SHALL RETURN.
UNTIL THEN, PLEASE KEEP YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTER IN YOUR PRAYERS, EACH AND EVERY DAY.
MELVIN BELL ............................................................ JULY 1
REV. JAMES BUCKELS ............................................ JULY 1
BOBBY FOSTER ........................................................JULY 5
DAVID GRIGGS........................................................ JULY 18
SYNOLIA WRIGHT .................................................. JULY 18
WANDA BELL......................................................... JULY 27
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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
Support their decisions
Place conditions on your support
Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A. and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.
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