Central Church of Christ Blog

1/15/2023 Sermon Notes- “New Life” John 14:6- Patrick Lankford

New Life and New Year Resolutions

Welcome to Central Church of Christ, where we seek to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family.

Top New Year’s Resolutions for 2023

New Year’s resolutions are hard!

How do we keep our goals?

  • Deeply understand why you want to change.
  • Set specific and challenging long-term goals
  • Set small and realistic short-term goals
  • Find like-minded people with the same goal

Why Do We Make Resolutions?

The Problem: An Life of Death, separated from God 

Gen. 1= Seven good things- 

  1. light v.4
  2. the land and sea v.10
  3. first life of plants v.12
  4. the lights of the sky v.17
  5. the creatures of air and water v.21
  6. the land creatures v.25
  7. everything with humanity in God’s image was very good v.31

Gen 2= Garden of Eden: 

  • A land of abundance v.8-9

And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

  • People had purpose v.15

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

  • They had healthy relationships with each other and with God v.18,24-25

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

  • Humanity had one choice to make: trust God and do what was right in His eyes, choosing life, or distrust God and do what seems right in their own eyes, choosing death. (v.16-17)

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Gen 3:1-6

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

The world is no longer “very good.”

  • The man and woman hide themselves from each other and God. They fear both each other and God. Their relationships are broken. v.7,8,16
  • The serpent is cursed to live on the earth, and he is promised a deathblow from the seed of the woman. v.14-15
  • The ground is cursed to withhold its fruits from man, and man must labor for his food until he dies. v.19
  • Death enters the world (v.19 & 21), and man is driven out of the garden, away from God and away from the tree of life.

The Promise: A New Life, with God through Christ

Gen 3:15- I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

“in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Gen. 12:1-3 

Is 7:14-15

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.

Is 42:1

Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

Is 52:13-15; 53:4-6,10-

13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—15 so shall he sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths because of him, for that which has not been told them they see, and that which they have not heard they understand.

53:4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

Jesus always chose to follow God’s wisdom. 

  • “in [His] father’s house” Luke 2:49
  • “fulfill all righteousness” Matt 3:13-15
  • “It is written” Matt 4:4,7,10.

Jesus’ call to a new life:

  • “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
  • Matthew 9:2-7
      • 2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 
  • John 3:14-21
      • 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
  • John 14:6- “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Matthew 16:14-16

And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matt. 26:63-66

63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.”

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

2 Cor. 5:21- “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

1 Pet. 3:18– “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,”

Rev. 1:17-18

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

A New Life Resolution: Today and to Come

Ephesians 4:17-24:

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

The new life today: v.25-32

  • We speak the truth v.25
  • We do not sin in our anger, and we don’t let the problem fester, we resolve the problem promptly v.26
  • We don’t even give the tempter a chance v.27
  • We do honest work, and share with anyone in need v.28
  • We build each other up with grace v.29
  • We don’t grieve the Holy Spirit v.30
  • We are kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving, like God in Christ v.32

Eternal life to come- 

Romans 6:22-23

22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rev. 21:1-7:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6 And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 

Outro: What’s Your Resolution?

To be successful, remember to:

  • Deeply understand why you want to change.
    • Our world is broken because of our sinful choices that lead us to separation from God and each other.
  • Set specific and challenging long-term goals
    • We want to achieve eternal life with God and each other.
  • Set small and realistic short-term goals
    • We can do that today, by choosing to follow God’s wisdom and living the new life He gives us.
  • Find like-minded people with the same goal
    • You are not alone and don’t have to try and do it by yourself. We are all aiming for the same goal, and we are here to encourage each other to get there.

Matt 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

What’s your choice?


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Sermon Notes 1-8-2023 “Be a Faithful Steward” Les Tubb

Be a Faithful Steward- Matthew 25:14-30 
  • What is a Steward?
      • 1 Cor.4:1
      • A steward is a servant entrusted with the management of a master’s possessions or people. The most essential quality of a steward is faithfulness. A faithful steward is trustworthy, dependable, reliable.
  • A Master delegates responsibility. 
      • Their responsibility matches their ability. v.14-15
      • Each steward manages his opportunity. v.16-18
  • The master returns and holds accountable v.19
      • Why are the first and second stewards blessed? v.20-23
      • Why is the third steward cursed? v.24-27
          • The good-for-nothing steward is terminated v.28-30
  • The point of Jesus parable
      1. Use your God-given abilities
          • 1 Peter 4:10
      2. Seize every opportunity
          • Galatians 6:10
          • Colossians 4:3,5
      3. Advance the Lord’s church
          • Matthew 28:18-20
          • Matthew 22:34-40
          • Acts 2:14-47
Faithful Unto Death”
John Wesley- “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.”
Matthew 25:21- “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”


1/8 Bible Classes Announcement

All teen and adult bible classes will be in the auditorium today!


Growth Group Preview “Psalm 119” Winter-Spring 2023

WINTER-SPRING 2023 – “Psalm 119”
Access our Growth Group Curriculum: https://app.rightnowmedia.org/join/ccocsparta
Psalm 119 Trailer: RightNow Media
Participant Question SheetPsalm 119 Group Handouts
Meeting #1: January 8, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:1-16
Meeting #2: January 22, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:17-32
Meeting #3: February 12, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:33-48
Meeting #4: February 26, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:49-64
Meeting #5: March 12, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:65-96
Meeting #6: March 26, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:97-120
Meeting #7: April 9, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:121-136
Meeting #8: April 23, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:137-152
Meeting #9: May 14, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:153-168
Meeting #10: May 28, 2023
Focus Scripture: Psalm 119:169-176
For more information, click here.


2023 Daily Bible Reading Link

You are invited to join our daily Bible reading through the Bible App using the link below or by downloading the pdf.



Sermon Notes: 9/25 – Joy & Hope for Christ

Joy & Hope For Christ – by Topher Wiles

09/25/2022 – Central Church of Christ

  • Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:1-6
  • INTRO: The Tennessee Vols football program is now 4-0 on the season after beating the Florida Gators 38-33 yesterday! Honk if you’re excited for the Vols! 

It all began with Philippians 1:3 and ends with Philippians 4:18 which say,

Php 1:3  I thank my God in all my remembrance of you”

“Php 4:18  I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”

Eph 5:20 always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Col 3:17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1Th 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Read Matthew 25:31-40. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Eph 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no-one can boast.

Php 4:19  And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 

  • Heb 6:10 “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”
  • Luke 6:35“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High…”
  • Pr 19:17 He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.
  • Mt 25:40 “The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Php 4:14  Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 

Php 4:16  Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 

Philippians 4:1 “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.” 



Outdoor Service

Central News: This Sunday 9/25 we will host our annual parking lot drive-in worship service at 10am. With this Sunday as his last sermon as minister of Central Church of Christ, Topher Wiles finishes his 5 year commitment of service. Join us for outdoor worship of Jesus & be a part of honoring God along with the Wiles family in their farewell service. A pot-luck lunch meal open to all will be held in the annex following the AM worship service.


Sermon Notes: 9/18 – Heaven is Enough

• WELCOME: to Central Church of Christ, not a place, but a people called out to show God’s love, tell God’s story, and be God’s family. There is part of a song in the Old Testament – Psalm 119 that points us to a very desperate and needed truth in our faith! – Verses 174-176.
174 I long for your salvation, O LORD,
and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.

“There is no humor in heaven.” And he said he preferred “Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”(Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven) 


Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. – Revelation 21:1


Revelation 4:2-3 “The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were SINGING A NEW SONG before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders…”

 I Corinthians 15:51-53 says “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

The story’s told of a missionary work amongst the Chol Indians in Southern Mexico. The work lasted for years but it ultimately resulted in a thriving church of 12,000 believers. What’s interesting is that when the missionaries came, the Chol Indians didn’t know how to sing. But when they fell in love with Jesus, the believers in the tribe became known as “the singers”.       

One of the missionaries noted:

“They love to sing now, because they have something to sing about.”

(“Psalms of the Heart,” George Sweeting)


Here’s a song in Daniel “… there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was LED INTO HIS PRESENCE. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an EVERLASTING DOMINION that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:13-14


“a NEW heaven and a NEW earth” Revelation 21:1

‘Behold, I am making ALL THINGS NEW…’” Revelation 21:5

“The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald,… etc. etc.”   Rev 21:18-19                                


Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

2 Samuel 12:8 “if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!.”


Revelation 21:3-4 

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”


“No dust, nor rust, no rats, no rot,

No raucous rock, no potent pot.

All tell the truth, state only facts,

No wars, no debts, no income tax.

No growing old with weakened sight,

No dentures slipping when you bite,

No bombs, no guns, no courts, no jails,

Where all succeed and no one fails.

According to this dream of mine

In Heaven no one stands in line.

And there are only smiling faces

And lots and lots of parking places.”

(Humorist Richard Armour)

1 Thessalonians 4:16 “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT…”


“Enough suffering.

Enough starvation.

Enough terror.

 Enough death.

Enough indignity.

Enough lives trapped in hopelessness.

Enough sickness and disease.

Enough time.


(A missionary named Gregory Fisher quoted in a sermon on sermoncentral.com)


I long for your salvation, O Lord,

    and your law is my delight. – Psalm 119:174



CLOSE: Revelation 22:1-2 tells of the Eternal River of Life.


“Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.”


This natural spring in Blackville, South Carolina has the unusual distinction of being legally owned by God. The spring was known for its healing powers by Native Americans, and news of its magical abilities spread when six badly wounded Revolutionary War soldiers made stunning recoveries after drinking and bathing in it.  The land was purchased by Lute Boyston who believed the spring should be free for all and in 1944 he deeded the spring and surrounding acres to “Almighty God, for the use of the sick and afflicted.”


INVITATION Song: Have you Been to Jesus – 904

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing pow’r?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?

Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?


Jim Cantrell Baptism

We praise God that Jim Cantrell was baptized into Christ this morning at the Central church building! We are also grateful that Earlayne expressed a desire to recommit her life to Christ today. We thank God for those who share faith in Christ Jesus!
Make sure to give them a hug when you next see them!


Sermon Notes 9/11 – Rev 20 – Judgment

The Judgment Seat

Daniel 7:13-14 “… there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was LED INTO HIS PRESENCE. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an EVERLASTING DOMINION that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

Colossians 1:13  “(God) has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the KINGDOM of his beloved Son.” 

II Peter 3:9-12  “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

  But THE DAY OF THE LORD will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!”


Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is the one who SHARES IN THE FIRST RESURRECTION! Over such THE SECOND DEATH HAS NO POWER, but they will be PRIESTS OF GOD and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”


Revelation 20:11-12 “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.”


“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened. AND ANOTHER BOOK WAS OPENED, which is the book of life.”

: “And whosoever was NOT FOUND written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15

Revelation 21:27 tells us “But nothing unclean will ever enter (heaven), nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”


In Acts 16 a Philippian Jailer asked Paul and Silas “What must I do to be saved?”

And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” Acts 16:31

But this jailer didn’t know what to believe about Jesus… so for the next hour or so they taught he and his family what they should believe about Jesus. And “he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.” Acts 16:33

Once this jailer and his family knew what to believe they baptized the jailer and his family into Christ that very hour. It would have been a little after midnight.

“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38


The Bible is very clear on how we should respond to God’s free gift of salvation.

  • Believe in the Lord Jesus (Acts 16:31)
  • Repent of our sins (Acts 3:19)
  • Confess Jesus as our Lord and Owner (Romans 10:9-10)
  • Be buried in the waters of baptism for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38)
  • Life for Christ (Mark 13:13)



Sermon Notes 8-28: Revelation 12 Dragons

Crazy Predictions – http://frankdimora.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83534afe169e20134854dac9b970c-pi

  • Whisenant, Edgar C. (1988). 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988.Predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1988.
  • Whisenant, Edgar C. (1989). The final shout: Rapture report 1989.Predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1989.
  • Whisenant, Edgar C. (1993). 23 reasons why a pre-tribulation rapture looks like it will occur on Rosh-Hashanah 1993.Predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1993.
  • Whisenant, Edgar C. (1994). And now the earth’s destruction by fire, nuclear bomb fire.Prediction for 1994.

Jesus said “about that day or hour (of His return) no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36


“I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,

“NOW the salvation

and the power

and the kingdom of our God

and the authority of his Christ HAVE COME,

for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down…”     Revelation 12:10


 “… now is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2

“… you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation…” Ephesians 1:13

Romans 1:16 says: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the POWER of God for the SALVATION of everyone who believes…”

Colossians 1:13 tells us that God “… has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the KINGDOM of the Son he loves”

1 Corinthians 4:20 “… the KINGDOM of God is not a matter of talk but of POWER.”

Ephesians 1:19-22 That power (that God has given us) is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, FAR ABOVE all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God PLACED ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET….”

Revelation 12:1-2

“a great SIGN appeared in heaven: a WOMAN clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.”

She gives “… birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. Revelation 12:5

   Revelation 12:17 “… the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring— those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Galatians 4:22-26 “it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman (Hagar) and one by a free woman (Sarah). But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise.


Revelation 12:9 “that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan”

“… “the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.” Revelation 12:4

Hebrews 2:14 says: “through death (Jesus destroyed) the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil”

Revelation 12:7-9 tells us “there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down— that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

   1 Peter 5:8 says it this way: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”


Revelation 12:11 says “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony”




River Jean Webb born today

We are excited to share that Aaron & Ashley Webb have a wonderful baby girl! River Jean Webb was born at 3lbs 10oz and 16 3/4″ long! River & Ashley are both healthy. Thank you for praying!
We will upload a picture later when we receive one.  Praise God!


Sermon Notes: 8/21 – God’s Army in Revelation

OPEN: Years ago, there was a TV show called Kojak. It starred Telly Savalas as a lollipop-sucking detective who always went around saying, “Who loves ya, Baby?”

Welcome: Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking deeper into the “Last Chapter, or Last Battle” as some like CS Lewis call it in the Bible.   This week we look for Hope in Revelation Ch 8.

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

The Bible tells me so”

  • He “… loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood.” Revelation 1:5
  • He has “… made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father…” Revelation 1:6
  • He has given us robes made “… white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14
  • ”… he’ll guide (us) to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from (our) eyes.” Revelation 7:17
  • We will conquer Satan “… by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of (our) testimony….” Revelation 12:11
  • We have “his name… written on (our) foreheads…” Revelation 14:1
  • And we sing “… a new song before the throne…” Revelation 14:3


I came across this chart dealing with a powerful prophecy from Daniel 9.


The prophecy is called the “70 weeks prophecy”  – I don’t quite buy it.  
… crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”- Rev 7:10


Revelation 7:4b-8 – “I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

12,000 from the tribe of Judah were sealed,

12,000 from the tribe of Reuben,

12,000 from the tribe of Gad,

12,000 from the tribe of Asher,

12,000 from the tribe of Naphtali,

12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh,

12,000 from the tribe of Simeon,

12,000 from the tribe of Levi,

12,000 from the tribe of Issachar,

12,000 from the tribe of Zebulun,

12,000 from the tribe of JOSEPH,

12,000 from the tribe of Benjamin were sealed.”


“… he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart…” Romans 2:28-29

“But now IN Christ Jesus you who ONCE were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”  Ephesians 2:13


Back in 325 A.D. the church held a conference in the city of Nicea. We’re told that there were 318 delegates who attended. Of those 318 delegates, “fewer than 12 had not lost an eye or lost a hand or did not limp on a leg lamed by torture for their Christian faith.” Vance Havner.


C.S. Lewis once said: “As you perhaps know, I haven’t always been a Christian. I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”



Ephesians 2:1-5 tells you and I “… you (and I) were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”


Revelation 19:11-13 “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.”


II Corinthians 10:3-4 “… though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…”

Revelation 8:1-5  “When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

  “Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.”



Sermon Notes 8/7 Last Chapter 3

Worthy is the Lamb

Revelation 5:1-14

It’s time to Re-Think Jesus in a Biblical Way.


WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ, not a building, but a people called out to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. We’re in week 3 of our sermon series inspired by C.S. Lewis’ book, “The Last Battle” in which the great Lion takes care of Creation once and for all.  Last week we asked the question, Why was a Worship setting thrown right there in between letters to 7 churches and the great battle. 

Rev 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. – Rev 5:3-4


There was a song in 2001 by country artist Tim McGraw that reached Billboard Top Hits #1.  When was the last time you heard a song hit the #1 most popular in the world.  The song repeats the chorus of “I don’t know why they say Grown Men don’t Cry.” 




 “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5


“… between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Revelation 5:6

Caricature of Will Smith on screen


John 1:29 John the Baptist “…saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the LAMB of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Isaiah 53:7  “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a LAMB before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.”

  • Rev 7:10 “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
  • Rev 7:17 “… the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd…
  • Rev 12:11 “… (Christians) have conquered (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb…”
  • Rev 19:7 “…the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready”
  • Rev 21:27 tells us that the only ones who will enter heaven will be “… those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”


This Lamb Is All About Who Jesus Is.

He is the Lamb of God who was slain for our sins.

He is God in the flesh.




    “WORTHY are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…

  Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “WORTHY is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

  And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”    Revelation 5:9-13

 e “… they have conquered (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:11


“But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b


“You will conquer (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of (your) testimony, for (you have) loved not (your) lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:11

  I want to close with a story about a young man named Keaton Jones who lives two hours away, just north of Knoxville. (2017)


Keaton was the object of bullies in school, so much so that he quit going to lunch because some kids kept pouring milk on him day after day. When his mom filmed his response to it one day and posted it on Facebook, two NFL Tennessee Titan Linemen (Titans tight end Delanie Walker, tackle Taylor Lewan)  and the Quarterback for the UT Vols (Jarrett Guarantano) contacted him.

Walker, Lewan, & Guarantano all met with Keaton Jones & his family, giving their personal cell phone numbers if he ever needed them.  Wow, could you imagine? 


Sermon Notes 7/31 – The Last Battle – Rev 4

Here’s a quick reminder that we are looking for ideas, leaders, co-leaders, and hosts for growth groups. Please fill out the survey here: https://forms.gle/nCAkzsUJSdazMX5fA

OPEN:  21 years ago, many of you remember what you were doing.  You had plans for the day, you went to school, you went to work, I was in my 4th year at Lipscomb about to go to morning chapel. But for most of us, our plans were shattered in a moment’s time… along with the plans of millions of Americans across the nation.

“But courage, child: we are all between the paws of the true Aslan.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

  • “Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”



After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. 3 And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. 4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings[a] and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.

And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,

    who was and is and is to come!”

9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

    to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

    and by your will they existed and were created.”


ILLUS: For example, how many of you have heard of the mark of the Beast? (“666” described in Rev. chapter 13)  https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2006-10-04-0610040047-story.html

1 John 4:4 “You are of God,… and have overcome… because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”


Jesus taught us: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33


“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”


“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”


ILLUS: In 1637, a German named Martin Reinkardht wrote a powerful hymn that has been sung in churches for over 400 years.  Let me read a couple of the verses for you.


“Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices

Who wondrous things has done, in whom His world rejoices

Who, from our mother’s arms has blest us on our way

With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given

The Son, and Him who reigns with them in highest heaven

The one eternal God whom earth and heav’n adore

For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.”



Note the words of that last verse:

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given…

The one eternal God whom earth and heav’n adore

For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.”


I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33



Sermon Notes: 07/17 Summer Fruit #7 Faith

WELCOME TO CENTRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST. Let’s talk about FAITH in God’s love, God’s Story, and God’s family!  We’re wrapping up the Fruit of the Spirit today. 


  • “… the righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17)
  • Philippians 3:9 “…righteousness … is through faith in Christ….
  • Ephesians 6:16  “… shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
  • Hebrews 11:6 “…without faith it is impossible to please God…”


“…if you have faith and do not doubt… you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.” Matthew 21:21 


  1.  (Hebrews 11:1)

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”



“… by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!…. Hebrews 5:12-13


Ephesians 2:10  “…we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”


Essentially, “2nd Work of Grace” is the teaching that you get the Holy Spirit on two occasions

1st – when you’re saved the Holy Spirit comes into your life

2nd – later in life, you essentially get a booster shot of the Spirit that leads you on to a higher level of maturity.



Now, I say this is a “man-made” doctrine for two reason:

1)         the phrase never shows up in the Bible. That doesn’t necessarily disqualify doctrines, but it should make us at least look at such teachings closely.

2)         there’s absolutely no Scriptures that teach this idea.

Hebrews 11:1 –“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”


II Corinthians 3:18 describes it this way:  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (KJV)

Galatians 5:25  “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”


CLOSE: Let me close with this observation about TOMBSTONE



Tombstone is the story of legendary lawman, Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and the Shakespeare-quoting, dentist-turned-gunslinger sidekick, Doc Holliday, as they cleaned up Tombstone, Arizona, in the 1880’s. Recently, I watched clips.  Just like my first viewing of this movie, I was riveted. I was no longer tired or exhausted, but sat straight up, drinking in each scene of triumph of good over evil.


As the story unfolds, the Earp brothers are retired from law enforcement, have left Dodge City, and are settling down with their wives in Arizona, looking for some peace and quiet. Tagging along with them is the ubiquitous, tubercular Holliday. Little do they know that the town is run by a weak mayor, has a crooked sheriff, and is under a virtual siege of terror from the marauding Clanton and McLaury gangs, along with the bloodthirsty outlaw, Johnny Ringo.


The Earp brothers have no interest in cleaning up another town. But after the local U. S. Marshall is gunned down in the streets in front of terrified women and children, steely-eyed and flinty Virgil Earp is persuaded to become the new Marshall, deputizing a young and idealistic Morgan, and a reluctant and resentful Wyatt.


As I sat there, I wondered why, after all these years, I was still drawn to this movie.


Tombstone is a guy flick. It’s rough and earthy. Tough, rugged men fight bad guys, protect women and children, and bring law and order by spilling their own blood. They shoot and they get shot. They stand tall and they ride hard. Guys watch movies like this and live their lives vicariously through the bold and courageous characters. The stories call out the slumbering warriors in us who, deep inside, yearn to be bold heroes to our wives and children, and soldiers of faith to our Commander, Jesus the Christ.


Until we go to be with the Lord, we are living in Tombstone today. It is often a lawless town. The Clantons and McLaurys are here. Johnny Ringo lays in wait outside our doors. The innoccent desperately need us to people filled with the Spirit. The bride of Christ needs us to guide in FAITH. God is calling us to be Gideons, the Elijahs, the Shadrachs, Meshacks, & Abednegos.   Our Marshall, Jesus Chrisdt is in town. He has called you to live by His Spirit, to wear the badge of faith. So Saddle your horses.


Put on His Badge in Confession, Repentance, and Baptism.  Be immersed in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, & Self Control.  Walk in the Holy Spirit of Christ today



Sermon Notes: 07/10 Summer Fruit 06 – Good for Nothing

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23a

NAME: Agatha – It is the Greek word for Good!


Jerome speaks over her in the 200’s as being a woman of virtue and faith. She resisted the advances of a Roman prefect sent to govern Sicily, and was tortured for her devout faith in Jesus. It’s said that a Vision of Peter comforted and healed her wounds, and when she was put on a stake to be burned an earthquake occurred and the crowds immediately took her down. 

Galatians 6:9  “… not become weary in DOING GOOD, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

“Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but WHAT IS GOOD. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 11

“God will give to each person according to what he has done…  for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger… but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good…” Romans 2:6, 8 & 10


  “… a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

  Jesus replied “Why do you ask me about what is good?. There is only One who is good…” Matthew 19:16-17a

Romans 3:10  “There is no one righteous, not even one”

“Romans 3:23 says ‘… all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’”


INSTAGRAM FILTERS: ysmorphia-how-beauty-filters-are-changing-the-way-we-see-ourselves/?sh=75fbd6bb4eff

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4 

Luke 6:43-45

  “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers.

  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”


“let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

Tim. 3:16, 17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

In 1980, the State of Kentucky had a law that every classroom in its in public schools had to post the 10 Commandments.

  The Supreme Court ruled against the state of Kentucky ordering it to take down all copies of the Ten Commandments from the walls of its schools saying: “Having the commandments on the wall may induce a student to read, meditate upon, and actually obey what is therein written.”



I recently read on a college website that 59% of high school students admitting to cheating on a test in the last year.  https://shsnews.org/24160/opinion/cheating-in-the-classroom-increases-in-the-digital-age/

Wonder Why?


Eph. 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Acts 11:24 “Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith – and many people were added to the Lord through him”

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 

A little girl who, on the way home from church, turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, the Preacher’s sermon this morning confused me.”

  The mother said, “Oh! Why is that?”

  The girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. Is that true?”

  “Yes, that’s true,” the mother replied.

  “He also said that God lives within us. Is that true too?”

  Again the mother replied, “Yes.”

  “Well,” said the girl. “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”








Sermon Notes: 7/03 – Summer Fruit #5 – Killing with Kindness


We were invited to visit a curiosity in the neighborhood.  This is a monster in human form.  He is 27 years of age; his face, from the upper part of his forehead to the end of his chin, measures 20 inches, and round the upper part of his head is 21 inches; his eyes and nose are remarkably large and prominent, chin long and pointed.  His features are course, irregular, and disgusting and his voice is rough and sonorous.  His body is only 27 inches in length, his limbs are small and much deformed, and he has the use of one hand only.  He has never been able to stand or sit up, as he cannot support the enormous weight of his head; but he lies constantly in a large cradle, with his head supported on pillows.

General Washington, while quartered at the Dey family mansion for several months in the year 1780, was told of the unfortunate little boy.  Thereupon, he visited the child and was, indeed, alarmed but equally saddened by the grotesque sight before his eyes.  Upon subsequent visits, Washington gained the friendship of the boy and spent much time in conversation with the lad.  He also encouraged his many staff officers and generals to visit the boy.  His purpose was clear.  George Washington wanted to bring cheer and comfort to the life of a small boy who, like himself, knew the pain of isolation, of loneliness and of despair.

CHURCHES KINDNESS _- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qftpoMfe08

            Pastor James McDonald 2018 – Youtube. 1:00-2:31 mark

            “I wanted to see how we were doing when it is hardest to love.”


Romans 3:12 tells us “All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good (literally “kindness” – the same word found in Galatians 5:22), not even one.”

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 


Did you realize that Jesus wasn’t the first to say something like this???

* 500 years before Jesus, Confucius said “Do not unto others what you would not wish done to yourself.”

* The Buddhists 6th Cent BC also said Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

* In the Old Testament Apocrypha in the book Tobit 4:15: “Do not do to anyone what you yourself hate.”

* Rabbi Hillel (20 B.C.): “What is hateful to you, do not do to anyone else. This is the whole law; all the rest is only commentary”



“DO to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 


ILLUS: Book – The Claims of Christ by Barry Davis (2001) – tells this story. 


Boy came home one day to find his mother sitting at the table with an old tramp. Apparently she had gone shopping, met the tramp along the way, and invited him home for a warm meal.

   During the conversation the tramp said, “I wish there were more people like you in the world.”

  Whereupon his mother replied, “Oh, there are. But you must look for them.”

  The old man simply shook his head, saying.  “But, lady, I didn’t need to look for you… you looked for me.” 


World Kindness Day is November 13th this year.  On Inspirekindness.com it says, “The purpose of this day, celebrated on November 13 of each year, is to help everyone understand that compassion for others is what binds us all together.”  https://inspirekindness.com/world-kindness-day#:~:text=World%20Kindness%20Day%20is%20a,what%20binds%20us%20all%20together.


Luke 6:27-36

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because HE IS KIND to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”


            Pastor James McDonald 2018 – Youtube. 1:00-2:31 mark

            “I wanted to see how we were doing when it is hardest to love.”


Ephesians 4:32  “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”


“A PRIEST happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a LEVITE, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.”  Luke 10:31-32

“the fruit of the SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness…” (Galatians 5:22)



1800’s British Missionary James Hudson Taylor said “If your father and mother, your sister and brother, if the very cat and dog in the house, are not happier for your being Christian, it is a question whether you really are”


In the Greek

The word Christ is “ChrIstos”

And the word for Kindness is “ChrEstos”



During the American Revolution, he served in the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He also negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War (1775-83)

“He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.” – Ben Franklin



Sermon Notes: 6/26 Summer Fruit 4 – Puzzling Patience

“Everything I needed to know about life, I learned from a jigsaw puzzle.”

  1. Establish the border first. Boundaries give a sense of security and order.
  2. When things aren’t going so well, take a break. Everything will look different when you return.
  3. Working together with friends and family makes any task quicker and more fun.
  4. The creator of the puzzle gave you the picture as a guidebook
  5. Don’t force a fit. If something is meant to be, it will come together naturally.
  6. Patience pays off. Every puzzle goes together bit by bit, piece by piece.
  7. Anything worth doing takes time and effort. A great puzzle can’t be rushed.

WELCOME TO CENTRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST: We PATIENTLY desire to Share God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. For the summer months we’re going to jump into a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit of God and how He lives in our lives!  First week we longed for a Deeper Love in the Spirit. Then we journeyed toward Joy.  Last week we got Spiritual about Peace. Now, let’s take a look at the SPIRIT’s POWER OF PAITENCE– Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.

Galatians 5:15  “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”


“sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.” ”I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

The Greek word here “Makrothumi” means “Slow to anger” (COMPOSITE – makro LONG/FAR, thumos= ANGER/WRATH)

Or, as the KJV puts it “Longgggg – suffering”


ILLUS: Funny Prayer of a Woman – Prayer for Patience

I pray for –

Wisdom – to understand my man;

Love – to forgive him;

Patience – for his moods;

Because, Lord if I pray for Strength, I’ll beat him to death.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

“…be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:2-6)


God’s objective is to take people from many different walks of life – people who have struggled with many different kinds of sins – THEN save them and join them together… like they were pieces of a puzzle. His goal is to take these people of various shapes and sizes and colors and fit them together to form a glorious picture of unity that can impress even the most jaded skeptic or critic.


Ephesians 4:15-16 tells us that our goal should be to speak… “the truth in love, (so) we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together (kind of like pieces of a puzzle) by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

“… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22 & 25

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:12-14)

“…the riches of his kindness, tolerance and PATIENCE, (that) leads you toward repentance…” Romans 2:4 

“Bear(ing) with each other and forgiv(ing) whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive AS THE LORD FORGAVE YOU.” (Colossians 3:14)


“…first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5

“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” (Matthew 18:15)




John 15:8 says, This is to my Father’s Glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.



Sermon Notes: 6/19 Summer Fruit #3 – Power of Peace


Not sure what to get dad for Father’s Day this year? According to a new survey, you’re better off reaching for the phone, than buying a “World’s Best Dad” mug.

The new poll of 2,000 dads revealed that more than three in four dads (76 percent) prefer an experience over a physical gift for Father’s Day.

And the top gift you can give your dad this year? A simple phone call.

And, surprisingly, the survey found that 57 percent of dads actually said it’s their favorite day of the year.


Phone call from my kid(s) 47%

A big juicy steak 41%

Peace and quiet 38%

Taking in a ball game with the family 38%

An ice cold beer or two 35%

A cheaper, practical gift (socks, tie, etc.) 35%

Glass of wine 34%

Watch whatever I want on TV 34%

Glass of whiskey 29%

A physical, expensive gift (apple watch, etc.) 29%



WELCOME TO CENTRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST: We desire to Share God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. For the summer months we’re going to jump into a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit of God and how He lives in our lives!  First week we longed for a Deeper Love in the Spirit. Last week we journeyed toward Joy.  This morning, let get Spiritual about Peace. – Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you….” John 14:27 

“The Prince of Peace, and of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end…” Isaiah 9:6-7 


“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” James 4:1-2a

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…” John 14:27 

“… the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 

Philippians 4:2.  Paul is saying “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 “…You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

SOUTHERN LIVING, Things we put sugar in.

  • Sandwiches when were were kids: sugar and butter.
  • I put it in cornbread—even though my Memaw said, ‘Cornbread with sugar is cake.’
  • Just a light sprinkle on asparagus before grilling.
  • Just a touch on veggies.
  • Just a little in turnip greens to take the bitter out. Vera Wyatt’s special secret.
  • A tiny bit in the baby lima beans.
  • I know they aren’t for everyone, but with a little sugar, rutabagas are so, so good! Yumm!
  • Collards! Pinch of sugar, cup of wine, and vinegar are all must-haves in collards.
  • My grandparents put sugar on tomatoes.
  • My grandma put sugar in her potato saladand coleslaw. Her slaw is known by the family as “Grandma Slaw.” She had a unique way of hand-cutting the cabbage with a paring knife that made it taste so good.

·    Tea, Tea, Tea

  • Do we even need to talk about this one? No. No, we do not. On the sweet tea issue, we are a united people.

Philippians 4:5-7 says “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

“… must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” James 1:6-8


ILLUS: As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,

  I brought my broken dreams to God because He was my friend.

But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,

  I hung around and tried to help with ways that were my own.

At last I snatched them back and cried, “How could you be so slow?”

  “My child,” he said, “What could I do? You never did let go.” – Loretta P Burns



Philippians 4:8&9   “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable— if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me— put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”



Passing of Denny Gilliam

We are saddened to share the passing of Denny Gilliam this morning. Please pray for peace and comfort for Joan, Jennifer, Chaz, & Chelsey. Visitation will be at 1pm on Wednesday at Hunter’s and the funeral service will follow at 3pm. Our Central family will be providing a meal for the family of the Gilliams in the Central annex for Wednesday after the services. Please bring food by 2pm Wednesday to the annex. Please contact Janice with any questions. May God bless the Gilliam family in their loss.

Mr. William Dennis Gilliam, better known as Denny, age 73 of Sparta, passed away at 7:09am Monday, June 13, 2022 at his residence.

Denny was born August 12, 1948 in Sparta, Tennessee to the late William Clark “Bill” & Anna Geneva Lowery Gilliam. He was a former machinist. Denny served in the United States Army. He was an avid bird watcher and history buff with an emphasis on war history. Denny loved to listen to music and had a vast catalog of songs he liked to listen to. He would often use music lyrics in everyday conversation and he enjoyed passing that love of music on to his children. In addition to his parents, he is also preceded in death by an infant sister, Darlene Gilliam.

Survivors include his wife of 38 years Joan Gilliam

Daughter: Jennifer Gilliam Rodriguez & husband Andrew

Son: Chaz Lee Gilliam

Daughter: Chelsey Lea Curry & husband Dan

Grandson: Beau Curry

A host of close cousins and friends

In honor of Denny’s wishes, he will be cremated and a memorial service will be conducted 3:00pm Wednesday, June 15, 2022 from the Chapel of Hunter Funeral Home. Military honors will be presented by the Veterans’ Honor Guard. The family will receive friends after 1:00pm Wednesday at Hunter Funeral Home. Christopher Wiles will officiate.


Sermon Notes: 06/12 – Summer Fruit #2- Joy

Frank Lloyd Wright built a house for industrialist Hibbard Johnson. https://bible.org/illustration/move-your-chair

In the Jewish Encyclopedia Kaufmann Kohler stated that no language has as many words for joy and rejoicing as does Hebrew. In the Old Testament there are 27 different words that are used primarily… for some aspect of joy or joyful participation in religious worship. Wünsche (“Die Freude in den Schriften des Alten Bundes,” 1896) states that no language possesses as many words for joy as does the Hebrew; which fact indicates the cheerful disposition of the Jewish people and the optimism predominant in Judaism (see Optimism).

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

“Be joyful always” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

Romans 12:12 says we should “Be joyful in hope…”

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 

“The trouble with many men is that they have got just enough religion to make them miserable. If there is not joy in religion, you have got a leak in your religion.” – Billy Sunday – https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/billy_sunday_183037

 “… In this world you will have trouble…” John 16:33 


“… if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 

James 1:2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13

“… the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.. Acts 16:22-24 

Acts 16:25 tells us “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”

Galatians 5:22 “The fruit of the SPIRIT is… joy…” “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

Ephesians 6:18 – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 Jude 1:20 – But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

 Romans 8:26-27 – Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.   (Read More…)

 1 Corinthians 14:15 – What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.


Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. – Hebrews 12:1-3


But Fanny Crosby had been blind since she had been a baby. When she was 8 years old she wrote this poem:

 “O what a happy soul am I! Although I cannot see,

I am resolved that in this world contented I will be;

How many blessings I enjoy that other people don’t!

To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot and I won’t.”




Fishing at the Blevins

We’re fishing at the Blevins at 8am!  
Here’s a quick list of directions from Tommy & Pat. 

Directions to Tommy & Pat Blevins home-

Head on Highway 70 toward Smithville, approximately 10 miles. You will pass the flashing lights at Old Kentucky Rd., and a little later pass the Hwy. 70 Market. About a quarter mile past the market, you will turn left on Indian Mound Rd. Stay on that road for 3.5 miles until you come to the South Pin Hook Rd. Intersection. The first driveway on Pin Hook Rd. is 115 Pin Road Road. You will see a Roger   Mason campaign sign. Turn into the driveway then turn right beside the mailbox and follow the tree line to the pond.

Warning, there is an East Pin Hook Road just one mile off HWY 70 on Indian Mound, but do not turn on it. Keep on going until you come to the other Pin Hook Rd.

If you get lost, call me at 931-261-8418
Tommy & Pat’s house is 14 miles west of the church building. 


Prayers for Kelvin Daniel

Church family, we know many of you have been praying for a 2 year old toddler in Cuba, Kelvin. Thank you. Kelvin is the son of Jorge and Dayami, our hosts on the farm in Matanzas. Kelvin had to be admitted to ICU and put in a medically induced coma for possible dehydration complications. We praise God that little Kelvin woke up from his coma this morning asking for food, which is great progress! Please pray for the family and pray that our mission team can be a great blessing to Kelvin & his family when they arrive on the 18th.


Sermon Notes: 06/05 – Summer Fruit 01 – LOVE

WELCOME TO CENTRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST: We desire to Share God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. For the summer months we’re going to jump into a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit of God and how He lives in our lives!  Galatians 5 is a place to talk about the Spirit!

Fruit of the Spirit Song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdNZ1_HDPWI


WIKIPEDIA – Definitions

The word “love” can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts. Many other languages use multiple words to express some of the different concepts that in English are denoted as “love”; one example is the plurality of Greek concepts for “love” (agapeerosphiliastorge) .[13] Cultural differences in conceptualizing love thus doubly impede the establishment of a universal definition.


“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well” (James 2:8)

“This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” (1 John 3:11)

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22) 

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:9-12)


John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that he (what?) He GAVE his only begotten Son…”

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence” – 1 John 3:16-19


“Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.”


Galatians 5:22 “But the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”


Dear friends, let us love one another, FOR LOVE COMES FROM GOD. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)

  Colossians 3:1-10 tells us what is really “natural” for men and women. It goes thru a whole litany of sinful behaviors like anger, rage, malice and slander, and filthy language… and then it says “You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.”


Romans 5:4b – God’s LOVE has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

“… It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: John 16:7-8



Sermon Notes: 05/29 – Everything New #5 – New Heavens & Earth

WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ, a people who are called out of this world to share God’s love, tell God’s story, and be God’s family. In May we began talking about everything New (2 Cor 5:17) that God is doing in our lives by talking about our NEW NAMES as a NEW CREATION in Christ. NEW SONG that God has put in our hearts, a song of Christ. NEW PROMISES that came with the Son of God! In RESPONSE to Christ’s New Promises, We connected with His NEW COMMANDEMENTS last week. Now, we talk about one final new concept.
*GOD KNOWS WE’RE COMING, so He’s making a New Heaven and New Earth. He told us about them to tide us over while we’re here.
SEA SHANTY: Soon may the Wellerman Come – Sugar & Tea & Rum –
“Soon May the Wellerman Come”, also known as “Wellerman” or “The Wellerman”, is a sea ballad from New Zealand[2][3] from c. 1860–70.[1] The song refers to the “wellermen”, pointing to supply ships[citation needed] owned by the Weller brothers, who were amongst the earliest European settlers of Otago. 
In early 2021, a cover by Scottish singer Nathan Evans became a viral hit on the social media site TikTok,
… There once was a ship that put to sea
The name of the ship was the Billy of Tea
The winds blew up, her bow dipped down
Oh blow, my bully boys, blow (huh)
… Soon may the Wellerman come
To bring us sugar and tea and rum
One day, when the tonguing is done
We’ll take our leave and go
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” Revelation 21:3-5
“And all these (Old Testament heroes), though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.” Hebrews 11:39-40
Ephesians 4:8-10  “When (Jesus) ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended” — what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)” NKJV

Isaiah 65:17-18 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness.” 

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us “God put eternity in the hearts of men.”

Job declared “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27
“This world is not my HOME, I’m just passing through, my treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door. And I don’t feel at HOME in this world anymore.”
Kyle Idleman says he keeps a list of other things he knows won’t be in heaven. He says in heaven “there’ll be no more cancer. No more divorce. No more rejection or loneliness. No more depression. No more wheelchairs or pacemakers. No more radiation or chemotherapy. No more crosses along the side of the road. No more child abuse. No more rape. No more funeral homes or orphanages or nursing homes. No more treatment centers. No more Pink slips or foreclosures. No more quarantines or face masks and no more social distancing.” And his list went on and on and on. (https://www.facebook.com/watch/?extid=CL-UNK-UNK-UNK-IOS_GK0T-GK1C&v=440295124116318)
“Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3
Someone noted: “We’re not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying. We’re in the land of the dying trying to get to the land of the living.” (Larry Moody)
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” Revelation 21:3

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.


Passing of Betty Marcom

Church family, please keep Cheryl Marcom in your prayers. Her mother passed away yesterday. Cheryl was a wonderful example of “Honoring your mother” as a dedicated caregiver for a long time for her mom, Betty Marcom. Please pray for Cheryl’s peace & comfort in a challenging time.
Pasted from obituary on OaklawnMemorial.com
On May 23, 2022, Betty Cooper Marcom, age 92 of Sparta, TN, left her earthly home to be with her heavenly father. Betty was born on June 30, 1929 in Sparta, TN to Samuel Ruben Cooper and Mary Burns Cooper.
Betty was an avid Equestrian who raised many Colts, as well as competed in horseshows with her Tennessee Walking Horses until the age of 80. She also enjoyed traveling with friends.
Betty worked at Federal Land Bank, Farm Bureau, CIT and Fleetguard-Cummins until retirement.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Marcom, sisters, Jessie Mae Cooper, Grace Cooper Milligan and Hattie Jo Randolph.
Survivors include:
Daughter- Cheryl Marcom of Sparta, TN
Son- Lyndon Marcom (Bonnie) of Sparta, TN
Niece- Janet Murden (Mike) of Titusville, FL
Great-Nieces- Cindy Green (Larry) of Manchester, TN and Sabra Willhite of Sparta, TN
Great-Nephews- Nathan Randolph (Julie) of Lebanon, TN and Drew Randolph (Jessica) of Cookeville, TN
Betty requested that there be no funeral services.
Online condolences may be made to the family at oaklawnmemorial.com


Sermon Notes: 5/22 – Everything New 4 – New Commandment

John 13:34-35


INTRO:   A woman once told of her experience as a Church secretary. When she answered the phone she’d say, “Jesus loves you, Sharon speaking.  How may I help you?” But one day she got distracted because she was talking to others in the office. When the phone rang she answered: “Sharon loves you, Jesus speaking. How may I help you?” There was a pause on the line… and then the caller said, “Somehow I thought your voice would sound different.” (Sharon Landers, Reader’s Digest12/98 p.180)

WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ, a people who are called out of this world to share God’s love, tell God’s story, and be God’s family.  In May  we began talking about everything New (2 Cor 5:17) that God is doing in our lives by talking about our NEW NAMES as a NEW CREATION in Christ. NEW SONG that God has put in our hearts, a song of Christ. Today, NEW PROMISES that came with the Son of God!  In RESPONSE to Christ’s New Promises, We desperately need to connect with His NEW COMMANDEMENT 

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.

ILLUS: Dennis Waitley (1996) reported that although there are approximately 450,000 words in the English language, about 80% of our conversations use only about 400 words. The most common words in the English language are: “I,” “Me,” “My,” and “Mine.” (Dennis Waitley, “Empires of the Mind”)



Philippians 2:3 “…in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
“husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it” Ephesians 5:28-29

Galatians 5:22. It says “But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace…” etc.

LOVE LIFTED ME (Chorus) “Love lifted me, love lifted me, when nothing else could help, love lifted me. Love lifted me, love lifted me, when nothing else could help, love lifted me. – A friend of mine named Jeff, a preacher from Indiana wrote this new verse.

(New Verse) A new commandment now I sing, loving as Jesus loves. Loving others is my plea, showing His love above. His great love has lifted me, my love should do the same. Lifting others up to Him, should be my aim.” (Friend – Jeff Strite – Preacher in Indiana at Logansport Church of Christ.

Ephesians 2:1, 3-5 “you were dead in the trespasses and sins… and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved.”

1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

Romans 12:10 says “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Matthew 25:35,38,40 it says “to the extent you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”

 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” I Corinthians 13:4-8



Top Golf Signup Sheet

We’re taking a fellowship trip to Top Golf in Nashville on Sunday, May 29th, after our Potluck Congregational Meal. The cost is $20. We have 18 spots available. Please sign your name up if you plan to attend. Contact Topher for any questions.

Top Golf Signup Sheet


Sermon Notes: 5-15 EN2 – Promises Promises

“As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him.” II Corinthians 1:18-20

Numbers 23:19 says “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?  

Hebrews 10:23 tells us “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

  • WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ, a people who are called out of this world to share God’s love, tell God’s story, and be God’s family. Two weeks ago we began talking about everything New that God is doing in our lives by talking about our NEW NAMES as a NEW CREATION in Christ. Last week we talked about the NEW SONG that God has put in our hearts, a song of Christ. Today, we continue talking about the NEW PROMISES that came with the Son of God!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:31-33


Hebrews 13:5 declares “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

“I have read Plato and Cicero – sayings that are very wise and beautiful; but I never read in either of them: ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’” Augustine of Hippo

The Bible is a book of promises: According to one source “The New Testament has 750 promises, but due to the fact that many of the promises are repeated in different books, there are only 250 separate promised benefits.” (https://www.hopefaithprayer.com/scriptures/new-testament-promises/)

  • Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I WANT TO BE THERE FOR YOU!

“Man can count on no one but himself; he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.” (Jean-Paul Sartre)



Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God even stuck U in the name of His Son.


And each time U pray, you’ll see it’s true

You can’t spell out JesUs and not include U.


You’re a pretty big part of His wonderful name,

For U, He was born; that’s why He came.


And His great love for U is the reason He died.

It even takes U to spell crUcified.


Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand

He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?


The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,

and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.


When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension,

He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.


“Go into the world and tell them it’s true

That I love them all – Just like I love U.”


So many great people are spelled with a U,

Don’t they have a right to know JesUs too!


It all depends now on what U will do,

He’d like them to know,

But it all starts with U


(Poem by Laketa)


“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. (Lamentations 3:21-26)

            2 Corinthian 1:20 “For all the promises of God find their Yes in (Jesus). That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.”


ILLUS: BAHAI FAITH – https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/bahai/beliefs/god.shtml


Ephesians 1:13-14 “In (Jesus) you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

Acts 2:38-39 “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

LYRICS: Some promises in this world you may think you Deserve, but you still don’t receive them, like the 1978 Hit Promises, Promises – by the Naked Eyes

Never had a doubt in the beginning
Never a doubt
Trusted you true in the beginning
I loved you right through

Arm in arm we laughed like kids
At all the silly things we did

You made me promises, promises
Knowing I’d believe
Promises, promises
You knew you’d never keep

Second time around, I’m still believing
The words that you said
You said you’d always be here
“In love forever” still repeats in my head

You can’t finish what you start
If this is love it breaks my heart

You made me promises, promises
You knew you’d never keep
Promises, promises
Why do I believe?


“For God so loved the world that He gave us His only begotten Son.” – John 3:16



Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

from New Song Writers at Central Church of Christ

Yellow is for tulips,

Blue for Morning Glory.

Mothers are a Beautiful,

Part of God’s Story.


Magnolias are white.

Tulips are yellow.

My girls are a delight.

I’m such a lucky fellow.


Roses are red.

Roses are pink.

Roses are white.

And moms are just as varied.


Moms are pretty

And also have beauty.

They’re also so great

And so understanding.


Hydrangeas of teal for the mother that is real.

An iris of white comes ever year

To resemble the beauty of my mother each and every year.

Dogwood blooms forever they will be

Just as the love my mother has for me.


Roses are red.

Tulips are Yellow.

My mom is as bright,

As a Sunflower.


Pansies are yellow,

Tulips are too,

Our kids love you,

And I do too.


Cardinals are red,

So is geranium.

You are an amazing mom,

Always in my cranium.


Indigo is purple,

Like flower of a thistle.

When I think of you,

I give a whistle.


Daisy’s are white.

Daisy’s are yellow.

I will Per”winkle” at you

So Forget Me Not.


Violets are purple.

Daisies are White.

Mom’s pancakes are,

Very fluffy and light.


Gladioli are green.

Pansies are yella.

Let’s get this straight;

“Mom” is never a fella.


Spiderman may be popular,

Much like chewing gum.

But there is non other,

Like the awesome Spider Mum!


Mom is the best.

She put up with my mess.

She was there for me,

And her love always set me free.


The most selfless people you’ll meet;

Their compassion will never fleet.

Mother’s hearts made of gold;

You can only hope they will never grow old.


Your Rose is White,

My heart is Blue,

My Dearest Mother,

I So Miss You!


Mom is sharp like a thistle,

Sweet as a lily,

And according to my behavior,

Always deals fairly.


Peonies grow highly,

Irises grow tall.

I don’t think of you lowly,

Let’s have a ball.


Iris are purple,

Begonias are yellow,

April is my blessing,

and I’m her fellow.


Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

I’m so blessed,

because I’m married to you.


Sunflowers are yellow,

Bluebells are blue.

The sun is bright,

just like you.


My love for thee doth flow,

Like the color on the all the flowers you sow.

The red roses grow to brighten the day,

That you make brighter with your way.


Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

Tracy DOES NOT look like,

Cindy Lou Whoo.


Daisies can be yellow,

Or they may be white.

You’re the best mom,

We love you with all our might!
  • Isaiah 66:13: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”
  • Isaiah 49:15: “Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne?”
  • Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
  • Proverbs 31:26: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
  • Proverbs 31:28–29: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.'”
  • Proverbs 31:31: “Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”


Sermon Notes: Everything New 2 – New Song

Scripture Reading: Psalm 40:1-5
Ephesians 5:19 tells us we should “speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.”
Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
“(God) put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3) 
WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ. Share His Love. Tell His Story. Be His Family. Everything New #2 – Last Week was the promise of a New Name. Now, let’s talk about God’s promise of a NEW SONG!
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new Creation has come. The old is gone, the new is here.”
• Psalm 33:3-4 “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.”
• In Psalm 96:1 David wrote: “Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.”
• Psalm 98:1 declared “Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things!”
ILLUS: Years ago there was a song writer named Philip Bliss. After singing, “Oh, How I Love Jesus,” he said: “Those words are true. Yet I feel guilty for having sung so much about my poor love for Christ and so little about his endless love for me.” So he wrote a NEW SONG with these words: “I am so glad that our Father in heaven, tells of his love in the book he has given; wonderful things in the Bible I see. This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me. (Chorus) I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me. I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves EVEN me.”
In Psalms 40:3 David wrote: “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”
 Acts 16:25 we read “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and SINGING hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”
Luke 1:39-55
That’s exactly what happened with a mother’s song that we have written in the Bible.
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat
46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”


Mothers Day Mission

Mother’s Day Mission for Central Church of Christ

  • Your Mission: This Sunday morning, write a new short rhyme song for a special woman in your life
  • Use this sample pattern: “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Sugar is Sweet, So are You.”
  • Text or email it to Topher by the end of the sermon.
  • Here are some sample flowers and colors you can use in your 4 line rhyming song.

  • White Flowers
    • Petunia
    • Calla Lily
    • Tulip
    • Daisy
    • Hibiscus
    • Daffodil
    • Magnolia
    • Peony
  • Yellow Flowers
    • Marigold
    • Tulips
    • Daisy
    • Daffodil
    • Hibiscus
    • Zinnia
    • Begonia
    • Sunflower
    • Chrysanthemum
    • Pansy
    • Iris
  • Red Flowers
    • Roses
    • Chrysanthemum
    • Marigold
    • Zinnia
    • Poppy
    • Lily
    • Tulip
    • Dahlia
    • Geranium
    • Azalea
    • Hyacinth
  • Purple Flowers
    • Lavender
    • Clematis
    • Iris
    • Catmint
    • Salvia
    • Lily
    • Anemone
    • Wild Indigo
    • Orchid
    • Thistle
  • Blue Flowers
    • Iris
    • Hydrangea
    • Delphinium
    • Periwinkle
    • Forget-Me-Nots
    • Bellflower
    • Morning Glory
    • Himalayan Poppy
    • Bluebells
  • Green Flowers
    • Hellebores
    • Chrysanthemum
    • Zinnia
    • Gladiolus
    • Dianthus
    • Spider Mum
    • Scabiosa
  • Black Flowers
    • Rose
    • Dahlia
    • Pansy
    • Tulip
    • Hollyhock
    • Petunia
    • Dianthus


Pancakes & Pajamas

Central Reminder: Tomorrow morning at 9am is our 5th year of Pancakes & Pajamas devotional at Central Church of Christ. Toddlers, Preschool, & elementary kids are welcome to wear their favorite cozy PJ’s, & enjoy breakfast, crafts, and a time devoted to God.


Terrific Trios 3 – Walking Down the Road of Hope



WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ, a people called out to show God’s love, tell God’s story, and be God’s family. We’re in our 3rd week of Terrific Trios, where we take a look a three instances where two others were with Jesus in a meaningful way, before, during, and after the death, burial, and resurrection. We’ve taken an in depth look at hope through Jesus’ meeting with Moses & Elijah in the transfiguration.  We’ve been blessed with compassionate forgiveness as we looked at the two thieves on the cross on either side of Jesus.  Now we dive into deep disappointment with some disciples. 

“Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people… our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” Luke 24:19-21

“some (of the) women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that (Jesus) was alive.” Luke 24:22-23

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who HOPE in his steadfast love” (Psalm 33:18).
 “For you, O Lord, are my HOPE, my trust…” (Psalm 71:5).


“And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:25-27

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have HOPE.” Romans 15:4

Hebrews 4:12 – “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to the dividing the soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Matthew 6:31-34 What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

“Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)

I Corinthians 15:13-14 & 20  “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain… But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

“… they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him.” Luke 24:28-31a


CLOSING ILLUSTRATION: Nothing is free in this world.  That’s true.  Everything is paid for by someone.

No one had told him in the last 5 hours… Moreover, a guy in line behind me actually got mad at me. Although another lady was really sweet. … I insisted I pay the difference because he had already taken such a beating this morning.

What I find most frustrating about this is that this man, who came to a country to start a life, where they don’t speak his native language, with the guts to own a small business would get screwed over by people for half of day… There’s no telling how much money he lost today. He was on the verge of tears.

I get it, times are tough and gas is expensive, but NOTHING in this world is free. Someone is ultimately always footing the bill. How many people this morning thought, it’s my lucky day, while this man was getting taken to the cleaners.

It’s not just in this instance, though. Everything gets paid for by someone.


Nothing is FREE!

But we have a Redeemer who paid for our hope!

 My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;
for thee all the follies of sin I resign;
my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;
if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.


Central Easter Egg Hunt Photos

Thank you Pinkie Hill for hosting another wonderful Egg Hunt! Ashley Wiles, your organizational skills were perfect. Thank you for your time! Bob and Ty, we appreciate your grilling skills. Andrew, Emily, & Janet, we appreciate your hiding eggs and battling snakes! David Smith, you know what you did, THANK YOU for sweating for us! It was a great day honoring our Christ and enjoying creation with friends and family today!  Click this link to see all 95 photos in our Google album!


Meet Azaria Jean Lankford

From Mary Lankford’s Facebook Post: 
Patrick Lankford and I are ready to introduce the newest addition to our family. Meet Azaria Jean Lankford. 5 pounds and 18 inches. Thank-you to God for his endless blessings and the prayers from everyone. We are excited for this new adventure as a family.


Easter Egg Hunt

Tomorrow is our Easter Egg Hunt honoring Christ and enjoying the season together! We start at 10:30 a.m. in the annex. If the weather is good, we’ll be at Pinky’s house for the hunt! If the weather is poor, we will still hunt throughout the main church building. There will be separate hunting areas for younger children and older children. All children fifth grade and under are welcome to hunt! We’ll even have a couple of prize eggs for some added fun. Make sure to leave your email with Topher so we can send you high quality pictures with the Easter Bunny! We are going to grill hamburgers and hotdogs after the hunt for families. Send any questions to Topher or Ashley!


Prayers for Kids

Central Prayer Requests:
1) Mary Lankford is at the hospital induced in labor. We’re excited for this little girl to be born sometime soon! Pray for God’s glory to be revealed in this beautiful miracle!
2) Makenzie Stockton has been taken to Vandy for a gallstone and pancreatitis issue. Pray for her comfort and recovery.
3) Katelyn Young was taken to Vandy last night for an infection behind her tonsils. She had a procedure and is recovering at home. Pray for a quick recovery as well. Thank you for praying for our church family!


Big Day Tomorrow!

Central News: Tomorrow is a big day! The churchwide celebration meal for David & Lauren’s Wedding Shower is after AM Services. Men & Women are invited. Also, Teens for Christ at the Sparta Drive-In hosted by Central & Willow happens at 4:30pm. Don’t forget, Growth Groups meet tomorrow evening too! Be blessed!


Sermon Notes: 04/03 TI6 – One Another

Jesus said “If anyone would come after me, he must DENY HIMSELF and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

ILLUS: “The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills.  And in the lonely night of earth’s winter, eventually we begin to drift apart and wander out on our own and freeze to death in our loneliness.” – German philosopher (Schopenhauer) 

Galatians 5:15 Paul warned them “if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” And in 5:26 Paul writes: “Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you also be tempted.” Galatians 6:1

“As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10

The point is: You and share an identity with others, especially the Household of faith.  That identity is to be a servant TO OTHERS.  WE vs. ME.


 “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”   Matthew 20:25-28

I John 3:16-19 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

“…you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 16:15 KJV

Acts 9:36 says “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.”

“All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.”   Acts 9:39

Acts 9:40-42 “…he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning towards the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.

  He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.”

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:2


“Purple Heart” – Yesterday I was standing face to face one of the most special awards in the United States military services.  Roger’s father, Dale Mason, was awarded not one, but two Purple Hearts, along with two bronze stars, which were on display at his funeral yesterday. 

What qualifies for a Purple Heart? The Purple Heart Medal is well-known for being presented to service members who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military. However, the medal also has a history and unofficial tradition of being presented to those who have shown exceptional courage in battle, as well as fidelity to their fellow service members.

Before he was a member of Congress or president of the United States, John F. Kennedy was a Naval reservist – and a Purple Heart recipient. As World War II broke out, a young Kennedy was inspired to fight for his country and enlisted in the Navy Reserves. He was soon deployed to the Pacific theatre, where he commanded a patrol torpedo boat.

Before he was president of the United States, John F. Kennedy served in the Navy in World War II, where his brave actions led to injury and he was awarded the Purple Heart. | Photo credit John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Photograph by Frank Turgeon Jr.

In August 1943, Lt. Kennedy and his crew were ordered into combat near the Solomon Islands and, one night, their boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer and cut in half. As the pieces of the boat began to sink, several men were killed, and others were flung overboard into a sea of burning oil. Kennedy dove in after them, rescuing three men. For 12 hours, Kennedy and the remaining surviving crew members clung to the ruined hull of their boat in the water, hoping to be rescued. During these perilous hours, Kennedy famously asked his men to vote on what they would rather do – fight on or surrender to the Japanese.

“There’s nothing in the book about a situation like this,” Kennedy reportedly said. “A lot of you men have families and some of you have children. What do you want to do? I have nothing to lose.”

The crew voted to press on and started to swim to shore. Kennedy refused to let his back injury from the collision stop him from towing a badly burned crew member to safety. He placed the man in a life jacket and then swam with the life jacket strap clenched between his teeth, dragging his crew member behind him for three miles. They eventually reached a nearby island, bringing the man – and leading the rest of his crew – safely to shore, where they were later rescued.

Kennedy was awarded the Purple Heart, as well as the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, for his incredibly brave actions, with no thought to his personal safety.

1. Blessed be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like that to that above.


Happy Haven Banquet

Central News: The Happy Haven Children’s Home annual banquet is tonight at the Leslie Town Center in Cookeville at 6:30pm. Anyone wanting to ride the Central van may meet at 5:45pm at the church building. Be blessed!


Sermon Notes: 3/27 True Identity 5 – Freedom Fighter

OPEN: Harry Truman



Galatians 5:1 says “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 says to us “you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”

UKRAINIAN OPINION:  Opinion: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a war between tyranny and freedom. War rages in Ukraine, but it’s not merely a war of Russian forces against Ukrainians. It’s a war of two competing visions — fundamentally different concepts of what makes a nation great. One is a vision of national greatness defined by a free and peaceful society in which individual citizens can build their lives. The other is a vision of national greatness based on power and the ability to instill fear.

  • Jesus said “…If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave[b] to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. – John 8:33-36


  • 2 Corinthians 3:17 says “… Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
  • “Live as free men…” (1 Peter 2:16)

Robert Schuller.  “There are some things in the Bible I cannot swallow – but you get saved not by the Book but by the blood. Keep your message positive. Understand God is a God of grace and glory so forget the matter of justice… Repentance is not a healthy response… Jesus never called a person a sinner. Rather He reserved His righteous rebuke for those who used their authority to generate guilt and caused people to lose their ability to taste and enjoy their right to dignity.”

  • “Go and sin no more.” (John 5:14, 8:11)
  • “REPENT for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mt 4:17)
  • “REPENT and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38)
  • Acts 3:19 “REPENT then, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

1943 Dietrich Bonhoeffer  “It was the teaching of cheap grace. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance; baptism without church discipline; communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”  – Cheap Grace is described in “The Cost of Discipleship”

        Galatians 5:13  “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do NOT use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”

Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these…I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 5:19 says “the works of the flesh are evident.”
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,      faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Acts 2:38 tells us when we “repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sin” you receive “the gift of the Holy Spirit.” “Grace is NOT a license to sin; grace is the power of God to overcome sin.” (Can’t find the origin of this quote.)


Grace is the free opportunity to fight for God, for people, with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control. – Anonymous


SHOW PRES ZELINSKY – From 0:44 Secs to 1:13 secs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G03oY8LtxoU



Buckets of Love

Your bucket contributions of love to Ukranian refugees have been delivered and will be on their way to Poland at the end of the week along with many other churches’ buckets. Healing Hands loved the bucket decorations and encouragement! I love your hearts. Thank you for caring and sharing the love of Christ with others.
Click here to view an online album of our fun filling and decorating buckets!


Sermon Notes: 3/13 True Identity #3

OPEN: Dana Carvey: Master of Disguise: 2002
Matthew 22:11 tells us
“when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.” The King was amazed and asked the man “‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” (Matthew 22:12-13) 

WELCOME: To our Third week in the Galatians Identity Series:

  • Identity is Your Choice – Galatians 1
  • Choose to Stand in the Gap like King Leonidas – Don’t budge to false teaching for even an instant. – Galatians 2

Galatians 3:27 tells us “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

Colossians 2:12 says: we’ve “been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him THROUGH FAITH in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”


“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6)

“if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin.” (Galatians 3:21-22)
“Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Then he says “Certainly not!” Galatians 3:21
“The law was our guardian until Christ came” (Galatians 3:24)
Psalm 14:1 declared “There is no one who does good.” And Romans 3:23 echoed that by saying “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Charles Spurgeon once noted: “Morality will keep you out of jail, but only the blood of Jesus will keep you out of hell.”
“Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” (Acts 22:16)
Acts 2:38 Peter told the crowds: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

“For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” – Galatians 3:10-13



Spring Forward

Church family, don’t forget to spring forward tonight for Daylight Saving Time! Bible Classes are at 9am, Worship at 10am, and PM Worship at 6pm throughout the spring and summer.


Baby Shower

Patrick and Mary have a gift registry on Amazon for baby Lankford. We will be having a baby shower for them on March 19th in the Annex at 10am.  Click the link to head to the registry. 


Sermon Notes: 03/06 True Identity #2

About 500 years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a famous battle took place in mountain pass called Thermopylae in Greece. The Persians invaded Greece with approximately 150,000 soldiers, and King Leonidas of Sparta led a small force of soldiers to oppose them. The Spartan strategy was to force the Persians to funnel huge army thru a small pass and hold them off until the other Greek cities could get their own army ready. It’s said that the Persians sent a messenger to King Leonidas saying how futile their fight was: “Our archers are so numerous that the flight of their arrows darkens the sun.” But the Spartan King was not intimidated: “So much the better. For we shall fight in the shade.” – You have to admire the courage to stand in that gap.  
Welcome to Central Church of Christ: A people called out to show God’s love, tell God’s story, and be God’s people. We’re in week #2 of our message series on identity. Last week in Galatians 1, God enlightened us through Paul’s words that our identity is ours to choose, not one for someone else to choose for us.
God calls for us (His people) “stand in the way.” In Ezekiel 22:30 God declared: “I sought for a man among them who would make a wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land….” 
25:26 God warns us not to be like the opposite “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”
“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.” Acts 20:28-31
Psalms 106:23 “(God) said he would destroy (Israel)—had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.” 
“Let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”
But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?…
And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.” Exodus 32:10-11 & 14
Ephesians 6:12 puts it this way “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
“to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment…” Galatians 2:5
When (Peter) came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, (Peter) was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.” Galatians 2:11-13

2 Peter 3:15, Peter referred to Paul as “our beloved brother Paul.”

Romans 3:23 tells us “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

OUR IDENTITY: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
CLOSE: There’s a prayer offered every Sunday at West Point during chapel that should be a rallying cry for us: “Make us choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be contented with half truth when whole truth can be won. Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when right and truth are in jeopardy.” http://www.usma.edu/Chaplain


Prayer for Sasha and Kiev Church

This screenshot is what the North Atlanta Church of Christ received from Sasha Prokopchuk in the church of Christ in Kiev four days ago. Keep praying for Sasha, Victoria, and the church their in Kiev.
Here is a prayer request list that was sent to us from a connection of Tommy Crosslin’s in Archana, Ukraine. Use at your discretion.
1) Pray we can hold Kyiv
2) Pray we can see and be a part of God’s army to share the love and compassion of Christ. 
3) Pray about Mariupol invasion and taking it back. 
4) Pray our properties would be protected in all locations. 
5) Pray for protection for travel as we mobilize to help others.
6) Pray for travel and logistics provision as Ruslan spends days gathering supplies. 
7) Pray for wisdom to know when and if Arch & the girls need to leave and the decision they face to separate as a family.