Central Church of Christ Blog

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. 


Sermon Notes: 02/27 – True Identity #1

True Identity #1: Your Choice

Galatians 1:1-12

WELCOME: Welcome to Central Church of Christ, not a place, not building, not a creed, or religious system, but a people called out by God in the Upper Cumberland to Show God’s Love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family.  Today we start our new sermon series called, TRUE IDENTITY as found in the book of Galatians.

GALATIANS Background:

Where are we?

Upon arriving back in Antioch from his first missionary journey after eighteen months on the road, Paul received a report that the churches he had started in Galatia had fallen into hard times—specifically, they had fallen into error. A group of Judaizers—those who sought to make living under the Mosaic Law a requirement of the Christian faith—had gained an influence in the Galatian churches. Paul wrote the book a few months before his attendance at the Jerusalem Council in AD 49, a meeting where the apostles would take up this very topic (Acts 15:1–30).

Why is Galatians so important?

In advance of the Jerusalem Council, Paul’s letter speaks wisdom and clarity into the first real controversy that plagued the church in its early years—the relationship between Christian Jews and Christian Gentiles. Paul’s aggressive tone shows just how important it was to him that the people embrace unity in Christ, no matter their racial distinctions. For him, this was no minor issue, as he went so far as to call the Galatians deserters of Christ, people turning from the truth toward a gospel contrary to the one they had received from Paul (Galatians 1:6–9).

What’s the big idea?

When the Galatians fell away so quickly from the gospel of grace Paul had preached to them, they also made clear their disloyalty to Paul’s authority as an apostle. Therefore, Paul began the letter to the Galatians by spending two chapters defending that very issue. Only in chapter 3 did he begin to get to the heart of their error; namely, that these Galatians sought to be justified by the Mosaic Law. In contrast, Paul presented his argument that justification comes to people by faith in Jesus Christ, not by their works under the Law.

In Galatians 1:10 he writes: “am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

  John said it this way: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other….” Matthew 6:24

Galatians 3:27-28 Paul told them “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.       (i.e. you don’t need to do anything else) There is neither Jew nor Greek (i.e. you don’t have to become a Jew 1st) there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

“even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8-9

Roughly half of Americans believe they will go to heaven if they are “generally good” or “do enough good things” (2020) https://www.christianheadlines.com/contributors/michael-foust/wakeup-call-for-the-church-half-of-americans-say-good-deeds-get-you-to-heaven-poll-shows.html

Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of NY https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/michael-bloomberg-i-have-earned-my-place-in-heaven/437457/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=share&fbclid=IwAR0HxuonfPAuO2vHR9RSK2Rkg34u1fLmmJtIOLmESoFVkP4mMAHYzW2cETw said it this way: “I am telling you, if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven.”

Romans 3:10 Paul writes: “as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one’”

“I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I RECEIVED IT BY REVELATION from Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:12

“our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do THE OTHER SCRIPTURES.” II Peter 3:15-16


Jesus described it in what we’ll talk about in our growth group meetings tonight.  “Why do you call me ‘Lord’ when you don’t do what I say?”  – Luke 6:46


CLOSE: I want introduce you to a person who has chosen their identity in Christ.

Preaching Minister – Sasha Prokopchuk

The minister says he gets a bit embarrassed when people in this eastern Ukrainian city recognize him as “that preacher on TV” who walks around town in a turtleneck, talking about the problems that vex Ukrainians and offering free Bible lessons.
Standing in the TV ministry’s “response center” — a converted apartment in a crumbling, Soviet-era building — Prokopchuk takes a letter from the top of a stack and reads it. A viewer wants to receive a magazine produced by the ministry and is interested in what the Bible says about love and marriage. Similar requests come, via letters and e-mail, from across the country — and from other former Soviet nations, including Russia.
For Prokopchuk, who has preached on the airwaves of Ukraine for more than a decade, those requests make the notoriety worthwhile.
“I don’t feel like I’m a TV guy — never,” he says. “God created this.”
Prokopchuk grew up in the Soviet Union as an atheist. He and his wife, Victoria, were newlyweds when his government called him to serve in the Red Army. He later worked in a Soviet hospital but earned little money. He tried coal mining and truck driving to support his family. When the Soviet Union collapsed, they lost what little money they had.
Frustrated and depressed, Prokopchuck read to take his mind off his problems. One night, unable to find a newspaper, he picked up a “black book with a cross” that his wife had bought from a beggar woman in a train station. He flipped through the pages and found a passage in which the author lamented that all of his life’s pursuits — from drinking wine to amassing riches — had proved meaningless. “I realized, ‘This book is about me,’” he said.  
He kept reading the Bible, and found encouragement in Jesus’ teachings about prayer and repentance. His relationship with his family improved — including his mother-in-law, who was housing them at the time.
After two years of studying on his own, Prokopchuk and his wife met Denny Kruse, a U.S. missionary in Donetsk. Kruse baptized Prokopchuk on May 2, 1995, and encouraged him to preach.
Prokopchuk served as minister and elder for the Petrovsky Church of Christ in Donetsk, which grew to nearly 400 members, he said. In 2004 he helped plant the Transfiguration Church of Christ, where he now ministers, in the city’s downtown.
He launched the TV program in hopes of reaching more lost souls. The episodes are filled with the life lessons he learned from studying the Bible. In 2001, Kruse helped secure funds to broadcast the show nationally.
“People like the episodes about human emotions,” Prokopchuk said. “We go through conflicts and worry … the Kingdom of God, peaceful life.” A key focus is making God’s word understandable, he added.


3 Events Tomorrow!

Don’t forget that Men’s Breakfast is at Robert’s Diner at 8am, Women’s Breakfast is in the annex at 8am, and Youth Workday starts tomorrow morning.  Text Patrick for details. 


Sermon Notes: 02/20 – Patrick Lankford

John 4:24

Significance of Mount Gerizim- https://www.gotquestions.org/mount-Gerizim.html

Definition of worship: To ascribe worth/qualities to something or someone.

From the Greek-

proskyneo: to throw a kiss toward, to bow beforeMatt.28:9

Latreia: sacred service


Rom. 12:1

To worship God is to serve God to the glory of His name, in both word and deed.

Col. 3:13


Worship is a response to who God is and what He has done for us.

In Spirit-

To worship in Spirit is to worship with an attitude that reflects our dependence on God and thanksgiving for the salvation He has given us.

In Truth-

Worship must be done according to God’s will. 

John 4:20-22

What does this all mean?

  • Worship is service done to the glory of God.
  • Worship is a response to who God is and what God has done.
  • Worship must reflect the character of God and His will.
  • Worship must edify the church.


Sermon Notes 2/13: How Do I Love Her?

Scripture Reading: John 21:15-17

“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.”                                                      (I Corinthians 13:4-8)


God gives us an example of what true love is like.

Ephesians 5:25-27 says “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”




Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV / 639 helpful votes

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

 Revelation 19:7-9 ESV / 580 helpful votes

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

 2 Corinthians 11:2 ESV / 416 helpful votes

For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

 Revelation 21:2 ESV / 412 helpful votes

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

 John 3:29 ESV / 322 helpful votes

The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.

 Revelation 21:9 ESV / 304 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”


FOCUS SCRIPTURE OF LOVE: Look again at John 21:15-17

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,

‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’

Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’

Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me?’

 He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’

Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’

The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’

 Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.’”


 “Now the overseer (an Elder) must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?” 1 Timothy 3:2-5 


Steven Curtis Chapman asked this question in his song, “How Do I Love Her?”


Well, you know it’s not the first time
And it will not be the last
When you find me here, on my knees
Praying for the storm to pass
But what I am really needing
Is much more than just relief
I am crying out for wisdom
Only You can give to me
Cause it’s such a mystery
I’m a clueless man, when it comes
To knowing how to love a woman

How do I love her
How do I let her know
She means more than anything to me
How do I love her
How do I love her
Love her

Out of all of the gifts You’ve given
Besides the very gift of life
There is none as precious to me
As the treasure of my wife
And still, all the love in my heart
Is like a raindrop to the sea
When compared to Your love for her
And that’s why I’m asking please
Will you teach me what she needs

How do I love her
How do I let her know
She means more than anything to me
How do I love her
How do I love her
Love her




“And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” – Ephesians 2:22

Ephesians 4:29 says that we Christians should “…not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” – Matthew 18:15



Helen Keller, who completely lost her sight and hearing at 19 months from a severe infection, tells how she learned the meaning of love from Ann Sullivan, her teacher, who was half blind herself.

Helen told about their 1st meeting 3 months before she was 7 years old.

“The morning after my teacher came she led me into her room and gave me a doll… When I had played with it a little while, Miss Sullivan slowly spelled into my hand the word,  D-O-L-L. I was excited when I finally spelled the word myself. And I ran downstairs to show my mother.”

  Several days later, Helen told of how Miss Sullivan pumped cold water on her hand and spelled out water on her hand and spelled out W-A-T-E-R.

  After learning to spell hundreds of words, one day Miss Sullivan spelled out he word, L-O-V-E in Helen’s hand. Perplexed, Helen spelled back, “W-H-A-T I-S L-O-V-E?”

That’s our objective as members of Christ’s bride… to trace into the hands of the people around us the love our Savior Jesus.



Braydyn Taylor is out of surgery successfully!

Braydyn is out of surgery as of 7:40pm on Friday night.  Here’s the latest update from her mom, April. 
“Ok, I figured I would write this here so everyone would be updated and no misinformation. Braydyn is out of surgery after a eight hour surgery back into the ICU unit. Her father and I met with her Dr who describe it has a very detailed , difficult surgery as to where the tumor was located. He felt that it was a successful surgery. We told him the amount of prayers that he was receiving today. He stated “ that he could feel those prayers when he was working on her during the procedure. Shout our Lord and Savior’s name.
Next he has told us that they will do an MRI in the morning to make sure they got all of it. We will be also waiting for the pathology back. So I need my prayers warriors to make those two specific prayers. 1. The mri in the morning shows that all of it was removed 2, the ALL pathology comes back clear.
The Dr. said that she was through a very intensive brain surgery and will need time, patience, and healing. The unit is calling her a little Rock Star. She has opened her eyes and moved all her arms and legs, she told then who she was, where she was at ,and what she it was, what year it was.( I still mess that up)
Please keep the Prayers coming!!! #prayforbraydyn #11 💜💜


Give Blood

Help neighbors through a tough time by giving blood through our local provider. These blood drives help serve many of our friends who are undergoing surgeries, battling cancer, or have had a traumatic accident. Sign up to be someone’s MVP for this Sunday’s drive at Central Church of Christ from 12-4pm. Do it for someone you love. We have 12 spots left! http://bloodassurance.org/CCOC


Blood Drive: Give from the Heart

Give a gift from the heart for Valentines’ Day this year. Donate Blood in the parking lot of Central Church of Christ with Blood Assurance, a local organization that serves local hospitals. Message Topher for any questions.


Sermon Notes: 02/06/22 – Matters of the Heart1

Scripture Reading: Philippians 1:6-11

Blood Drive – Feb 13th, 12-4pm – bloodassurance.org/CCOC

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.”

“If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two:  I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.” Philippians 1:22-24

Link in Google Books:  In Jesus’ Strong Hands: Victors Instead of Victims

ILLUS: There’s a legend about a wealthy merchant who traveled thru-out the Mediterranean world looking for an opportunity to meet the Apostle Paul. After a time, he encountered a disciple of Paul’s named Timothy, and Timothy arranged a visit. But at the time (according to the legend) Paul was a prisoner in Rome, living in a jail cell.

  Stepping inside the cell, the merchant was surprised to find a frail old man. But as he talked with him (and they talked for hours) he found Paul to be a man of deep peace and power.

Finally the merchant left Paul… and outside the prison, he asked Timothy “What is the secret of this man’s power? I have never seen anything like it before.”

  “Oh, didn’t you know?” replied Timothy. “PAUL is in love.”

  The merchant looked bewildered. “In Love?”

  “Oh yes,” Timothy answered, “Paul is in love with Jesus Christ.”

  The merchant scoffed. “Is that all?”

  Timothy smiled and then replied, “Yes sir. That’s all… but that is everything.”

Link in Google Books:  In Jesus’ Strong Hands: Victors Instead of Victims

Philippians 1:12-13 “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ”

“All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.” Philippians 4:22 


ILLUS: DARRYL BURTON: In 1984, a drug dealer was shot to death at a gas station in St. Louis, Missouri. The man who shot him was a light-skinned African American male, 5’5” in height. Police looked for suspects and even though Darryl Burton was dark skinned and 5’10” in height, he was summoned to a police line up. Two men came forward identifying Darryl as the murder. Both were awaiting trial, but were given a lighter sentence if they testified that Burton was guilty. Darryl Burton was assigned a public defender who spent only one hour with him before his trial and the jury convicted him in less than an hour. Darryl found himself being sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was assigned to the Missouri State Penitentiary, one of the most violent prisons in the U.S.  

Darryl remembers, “When I heard the jurors say guilty, I felt shock and disbelief. I just didn’t think, in America, an innocent man could be sent to prison, especially capital murder” explained Burton. He clearly remembers a huge banner that hung at the entrance of the penitentiary that said “Welcome to the Missouri State Pen. Leave all your hopes, family, and dreams behind.” “When I saw that banner, it deeply affected me and I lost all hope. I hated the place, the system, and anyone that had anything to do with it. It was hell on earth – filled with violence, evil, and hate.”

Darryl remained in prison twenty-four years from 1984-2009 and spent many of those days in the prison law library, dedicated to proving his innocence. He wrote over 600 letters to members of the government, nonprofit organizations, even Oprah Winfrey to plead his case. However, it was not until he allowed Christ into his life that he began to experience a change. Darryl discovered that anger and hate can be another prison, and that Jesus said we must love our enemies, pray for them, and forgive them. “Until I read that truth in Luke 23:34, I didn’t think that was possible,“ he said. Ten years prior to Darryl’s exoneration, he felt emotionally and spiritually freed. “God had to work something out of me (bitterness and hatred), in order to work something into me (love and grace), in order to do His work through me.”

After learning of a confession from a witness who admitted in 1985, “You have the wrong man, he’s too dark,” Darryl worked with Centurion Ministries to have his wrongful conviction overturned. Darryl often recalls a letter that he wrote to Jesus while imprisoned. It said “Jesus, if you’re real and help me get out of this place, not only will I serve you, but I’ll tell the world about you.”

Darryl now shares his nightmare story of adversity to help others and bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ. Since 2008, he has spoken about forgiveness, redemption, and hope at churches, conferences and lectures around the globe. Seven years after his exoneration, he never takes one day for granted. He didn’t just live for Christ when things were going well.  https://www.darrylburton.org/about

Philippians 1:29  “For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.”

“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 

John 15:19 Jesus said: “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”


Church Curmudgeon: https://twitter.com/ChrchCurmudgeon?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor
“Usually when the writing is on the wall, it portends the death of a culture. But hey, fine, throw out the hymnals and use a projector.“ – CM

Philippians 1:9-11 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ— to the glory and praise of God.”


CLOSE: KILL EM WITH KINDNESS  About 6 year ago, famous singer/actress Selena Gomez was going through some major challenges and catching a lot of tabloid criticism.  I love that she was in the midst of all that that she released a song that epitomizes Paul’s words on how to treat the world. Here’s the acapella version of “Kill Em with Kindness.”  Sung by acapella artist, Julia Westin.


The world can be a nasty place

You know it, I know it, yeah

See, we don’t have to fall from grace

Put down the weapons you fight with

And kill ’em with kindness

Kill ’em with kindness

Kill ’em, kill ’em, kill ’em with kindness

Kill ’em with kindness

Kill ’em with kindness

Go ahead, go ahead now

We’re running out of time chasing our lives

Everyday a small piece of you dies

There’s aways somebody you’re willing to fight, to be right

Your lies are bullets, your mouth’s a gun

No war and anger was ever won

Put out the fire before igniting

Next time you’re fighting

Please, kill ’em with kindness

Kill ’em with kindness

Kill ’em, kill ’em, kill ’em with kindness



Class Notes – Biblical Ecclesiology – God’s Gifts

As mentioned in Bible class tonight, I am uploading my slide deck from Powerpoint for all those who like to take lots of notes. Let me know if you have any questions.


Sermon Notes: 01/30 – New Beginnings #5

New Beginnings: Creating Longing

Revelation 21:1-22:6 & Psalm 119:169-176

Tik Tok artist named Tyler Shaw, posted on Youtube on January 13, 2022. It’s music starts just the same but continues with these lyrics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeaLd3VfWU0

(Lyrics Chorus):

a b c d e f g h i love you still

and you know i always will till the end of time

i won’t change my mind

love you i’ll be there

i will never disappear

said forever i swear so i will be there

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.   We shifted from a wonderful Christmas season to thinking about the new year of 2022, we wanted to focus on New Beginnings and Psalm 119 is the perfect place to orient us.  As listed on BibleStudy.org, the number 8 is widely recognized as the number of “New Beginnings” and with all 176 poetic verses in Psalm 119 organized into groups of 8, I very well say that Psalm 119 is a great place to begin again in the new year.  After looking at many stanzas that have taken us all over the Bible, Today we look at the last segment of Psalm 119 that points us to a very desperate and needed truth in our faith! 

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.


Mark Twain was a noted humorist and atheist in his day didn’t think much of heaven.

“There is no humor in heaven.” (Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven)

And he said he preferred “Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.”

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  “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.”

John said he saw “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                                


In Psalm 37:4 God promises:

“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.”


Someone took this promise and composed a poem that goes like this:

“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…”



I long for your salvation, O Lord,

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




Alma Frasier Funeral Arrangements

Funeral services will be conducted 1:00pm Thursday, January 27, 2022 from the Chapel of Hunter Funeral Home with burial in Highland Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 11:00am until 1:00pm Thursday at Hunter Funeral Home.
Mrs. Alma Sapp Frasier, age 88 of Sparta, a native of Pike County, Kentucky, passed away at 12:12pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at St. Thomas Highlands Hospital.
Mrs. Frasier was born October 2, 1933 in McVeigh, Kentucky to the late Steve and Mattie Broom Sapp. She was a former Spartan Industries and Doyle Shirt Factory worker until she became a caretaker for her mother and then two sisters. She was a longtime member of Central Church of Christ. With her Kentucky roots, she was an avid University of Kentucky basketball fan. If she was not watching UK basketball, she was talking politics and watching political talk shows on television. In addition to her parents, she is also preceded in death by her husband of 64 years James E. Frasier, who died July 13, 2012; sisters Martha, Margaret, Delores; brother Jack Sapp.
Surviving family members include her son Bruce Frasier of Sparta
Daughter: Rhonda Swindell and husband Richard of Wilson County
Grandchildren: Brad Frasier and wife Jennifer of Murfreesboro, TN, Kristen Frasier and family of Phoenix, AZ, Laurie Ann Neely and husband Dustin of Franklin, TN
Several great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews also survive.


Sermon Notes: 01/23 NB4 – A teachable heart

    • Scripture Focus: Psalm 119:132-135  Luke 6:37-42

“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Luke 6:40

A Teacher’s pet is “a student in a class who is liked best by the teacher and therefore treated better than the other students.” (Cambridge Dictionary – https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/teacher-s-pet)


    • 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.   I appreciate Bob being so willing to share a message of faith last week from modern science and astronomy. As we shift  from a wonderful Christmas season to thinking about the new year of 2022, we want to focus on New Beginnings and Psalm 119 is the perfect place to begin!  As listed on BibleStudy.org, the number 8 is widely recognized as the number of “New Beginnings” and with all 176 poetic verses in Psalm 119 organized into groups of 8, I very well say that Psalm 119 is a great place to begin again in the new year.  Today we look at the commands nearer to the end of Psalm 119.  To New Beginnings – A Teachable Heart –



129 Your testimonies are wonderful;

    therefore my soul keeps them.

130 The unfolding of your words gives light;

    it imparts understanding to the simple.

131 I open my mouth and pant,

    because I long for your commandments.

132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,

    as is your way with those who love your name.

133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise,

    and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

134 Redeem me from man’s oppression,

    that I may keep your precepts.

135 Make your face shine upon your servant,

    and teach me your statutes.

136 My eyes shed streams of tears,

    because people do not keep your law.

2 Chronicles 16:9  “the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him….”

Luke 6:37-42 – “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned…” Luke 6:37

John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Ephesians 4:17-19  “you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 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. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”

“…forgive, and you will be forgiven” Luke 6:37

“Pray like this: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory forever. Amen’” Matthew 6:9-13

Did you notice how Jesus expected us to ask the Father to “forgive us our debts?” That right – in the same was “we forgive our debtors.” But just in case you missed the connection, Jesus completes His teaching on how to pray with these words: “IF you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, BUT IF you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Luke 6:38 “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

“… love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Luke 6:35

“give (to your enemy) it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

    • “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:41-45

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2



129 Your testimonies are wonderful;

    therefore my soul keeps them.

130 The unfolding of your words gives light;

    it imparts understanding to the simple.

131 I open my mouth and pant,

    because I long for your commandments.

132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,

    as is your way with those who love your name.

133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise,

    and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

134 Redeem me from man’s oppression,

    that I may keep your precepts.

135 Make your face shine upon your servant,

    and teach me your statutes.

136 My eyes shed streams of tears,

    because people do not keep your law.






Central Reminder: This morning at 9am will be a special ministry presentation to all teen and adult Bible Classes in the annex. Ministry representatives with share their plans for the new year. 

Sign Up


Women’s Service Postponed, Men’s Breakfast at 8am

Central Reminder: The women’s service project is postponed for this Saturday at 8am. The men’s fellowship breakfast at Achilles Grill in Sparta is at 8am. We hope you have a blessed day!


Services on Normal Schedule

Central News: All services are on normal schedule this morning. LifeCare Worship @8am, Bible Classes @9am, and Worship Service @10am. We hope you are blessed as you praise and honor our Creator today!


Weekend Changes

Good afternoon church family. The elders and worship ministry team leaders have been in conversation concerning plans for Sunday morning and Sunday evening services in light of the rise in Covid-19 cases and a snowy weather forecast.
  • The scheduled ministry presentations & signups will be postponed one week to 9AM on Sunday, January 23rd in the auditorium.
  • For this Sunday, Jan 16, 8AM LifeCare, 9AM Bible Classes, 10AM Worship, and 5PM Singing Service are all scheduled as normal.
    Due to the inclement weather forecast, we will let the congregation know at 7AM Sunday regarding any changes in services via phone tree, email, app, and social media.
  • We are prepared for virtual Zoom worship if travel conditions become hazardous. The Zoom meeting code will be 673-063-1503 with a passcode of 8362874. We will also continue to livestream on Youtube, Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Facebook, & the church website http://www.christiscentral.org . We will notify the congregation at 7AM on Sunday regarding any changes in services.
  • If you would like communion packets, we will have them available at four locations for pickup this weekend. They will be available in the front seat of the unlocked small church van at the building for those living toward the east; at Jimmy & Pat Wallace’s house for the southern side of town, at Ty & Janet’s for the northern side of town, at Les & Becky Tubb’s house for the west side of town.
We look forward to worshiping with you and hope you have a blessed weekend!


Growth Groups Begin Anew

Central Reminder: Growth Groups Begin anew tonight in the series “Questions Jesus Asked”. The church group, Ty Webb’s, & Russ Hale’s & Les Tubb’s meet @5pm. John Smith & Patrick Lankford’s meet at 5:30pm. Bob Young’s meets at 6pm. Have a blessed night diving deeper into Jesus!


Happy 2022 – Online & Paper Bible Reading

Have you signed up for a Bible Reading plan yet for 2022? One of the best ways to start your new year right is with daily reading. Central has selected a yearlong Bible reading plan that is available in a single page (double-sided) print format and an online format through the YouVersion Bible App. This yearlong plan moves quicker through the Old Testament and slows down for the New Testament. It also has built-in catchup days in November and December in case you get behind! Our online Bible reading lets you view a background video devotional from “The Bible Project” and also features a comment section so you can chat with other church members about the day’s reading. Whether you like chatting with others in the online app, listening to your reading aloud in YouVersion, or just the feel of checking a box on your paper, this Bible reading plan of God’s Holy Word will be a blessing to you! Just click our link for an option to sign up online or download a paper copy. Happy 2022! https://www.christiscentral.org/links/


New Year’s Game Night

Central Reminder: New Year’s Game Night is at 8pm tonight in the annex. Ring in the new year by bringing a snack and your favorite game. Celebrate the blessings of 2021 and look forward to God’s adventures in 2022! May you be blessed to see God’s providence in your new year!


Stockton Family FFA in the Newspaper

Some families hand recipes down from generation to generation. Some families pass jewelry and heirlooms from grandparents to parents to children. Some families instill a love for a certain college athletic team in their children. Some families make memories visiting their favorite vacation spot year after year.

The Stocktons, however, have been passing a love for farming, making memories in the fields and the barns on their land, and instilling a love for the Future Farmers of America across three generations.

Mike Stockton, his son Paul, and Mike’s grandchildren, Mackenzie and Will, are all members of the White County Chapter of FFA, with the youngest, Will, getting his blue jacket and continuing the family tradition, this fall.

Both Paul and his father Mike have earned Greenhand Degrees, Chapter Degrees, and the coveted Tennessee FFA State Degree during their time in the organization, and, while Mike has become limited in his involvement in the local chapter recently because of his age, he still loves to teach his grandchildren and pass along all the family knowledge of agriculture. Paul, on the other hand, is still heavily involved in FFA, volunteering his time to help with any of the local chapter events and coaching the livestock judging team in judging cattle.

“Agriculture has been a big part of all our lives since we were young,” Paul explained about the family tradition. “Being involved in FFA gave us the opportunity to make connections with others who live the same way of life we do, learn and expand our knowledge within our desired fields, and also allows us to teach others and advocate for the importance of agriculture.”

While helping the local FFA chapter is a passion for the Stockton family, teaching begins at home, and both father and grandfather wanted to teach the next generation the importance of hard work and responsibility. Mackenzie and Will  grew up riding the family tractor and feeding cows with their dad, while also spending time in the garden, planting vegetables with their grandfather.

“We wanted them to know that they would get back whatever they put into their work,” Paul said about having his children working in the fields at early ages and added that the agricultural work is year-round. “Training show calves, showing our cattle, and starting a garden usually starts out our year in the winter and spring. Summer is a lot of work as we start the major shows of the circuit, maintain our garden and prepare for harvest, and cut hay to prepare for the coming winter. Fall and winter at the end of the year consists of our final harvest in the garden and feeding our calves hay through winter.”

And, as if that wasn’t enough to keep all three generations of White County FFA members busy, Paul and Mackenzie are busy throughout the entire year selling the calves they raise and working with Mackenzie’s horse.

While the work is hard and the hours are long, you won’t find the Stocktons, even the youngest generation, complaining.

“My favorite part of farming is reaping the rewards of all my hard work. Buying and raising animals with potential and seeing them improve over time as I work with them,” Mackenzie, who is a senior at White County High School, said while her brother, Will, a freshman this year, said that studying ways to improve the crop yield and quality of plants in both his flower and vegetable gardens are his favorite parts of working on the farm.

Working on the farm, whether in the fields or the barns, is a family tradition, but so is participating in the White County chapter of the Future Farmers of America, where each of the Stocktons said they have learned more about themselves and connect with like-minded individuals who will aid them in their futures.

“Getting to learn more about agriculture and applying what I’ve learned on my own farm is something I took away from all of my years involved in FFA,” Mike said, while his son, Paul, said making new friends who share your interests and values and being able to stand with them, and them with you, through the highs and lows of both farming and life itself is something he will always cherish.

“FFA has allowed me to find my place in school as well as helped me to find what my interests are,” Will, the last of the Stocktons to have been able to put on the Blue Jacket, said explaining the importance of the organization to him, while his sister said meeting new people from across the state and sharing a collective knowledge of agriculture with them is what makes being an FFA member important to her.

While each of the Stocktons got their start in FFA in the halls of White County High School, and while Mike and Paul have continued their involvement through their adult lives and have shared a love for agriculture and instilled the importance of working the land in Mackenzie and Will, the future for the youngest two is still theirs to make what they want out of it, but there is no doubt that FFA will play a part in helping them determine what that future looks like.

“I hope that my experience in farming and FFA has given me the knowledge I need to one day become a successful large animal veterinarian and to help me better run my own farm in the future,” Mackenzie, who will graduate in a few short months, said.

Then, she will start the next leg of her agriculture education as she builds on the foundation that her father, grandfather, and FFA have given her.

And Will, while he has a few more years as a student member of the White County FFA chapter, is looking toward the future as well, saying he hopes the skills he has learned on the farm and the knowledge he will gain over his next four years in FFA will help him decide what his future will include.

“Having my family involved in agriculture has made them into more responsible and well-rounded individuals,” Amanda, Paul’s wife and the mother of the youngest generation of Stockton FFA members, said. “It also makes me happy to see them engaging in things that they are passionate about that will have an impact on their communities.”

Four members. Three generations. Countless hours. Unmeasurable amounts of work. But for the Stockton family, FFA and agriculture is their heritage.
Posted from the Expositor here: https://spartalive.com/stories/ffa-lives-across-three-generations,41991?fbclid=IwAR1aolysysccBns0L0dWOOxScDEoBaazXlRcmgotEqFFARm1AdPsvYhcRQ4


New Wed PM Class: Biblical Ecclesiology

Our Wed PM Adult Biblical Ecclesiology class votes are in from last week. Our “Build A Class” effort from last week was a success taking us through April 2022! Thank you to the 33 people who shared their topic preferences from Everett Ferguson’s book, “THE CHURCH of CHRIST: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today”. Tonight we begin our study in “History & Eschatology: Covenant.”
Click here to buy the book in paper format or on Kindle.
Click here for the .PDF Printable.


Sermon Notes: 12/26: New Beginnings – Lighting the Way

WELCOME: to Central Church of Christ. As we shift from a wonderful Christmas season to thinking about the new year of 2022, we want to focus on New Beginnings and Psalm 119 is the perfect place to begin!

  • This chapter is not only unique in its length but also in its symmetry, for it is laid out to coincide with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • The Psalm is a mosaic arranged around the central theme of God’s Word being a perfect acrostic structure. Each of the 22 stanzas contain precisely 8 verses and each of the 8 verses correspond with the letter of the Hebrew alphabet (each letter being represented 8 times? for instance, the first 8 verses all begin with the Hebrew letter aleph; the next begin with the letter bet and so on.)
  • Interesting that there are 8 verses in each stanza, for the number eight is the number of NEW BEGINNINGS in the Bible? Noah was the 8th person in the Ark (Genesis 7: 7; 2 Peter 2: 5) and the one who began the human race anew. The Hebrew male child is to be circumcised on the 8th day of his new life. On the 8th day (the first day after the Sabbath), Jesus Christ came bursting forth from the grave. This Psalm is to be one of NEW BEGINNINGS. This is why this 7-part series is entitled New Beginnings in the Word.

II Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

James 1:22 “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  (And Luke 6:46)

Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”


Psalm 119 Excerpts

1 Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,

    who walk according to the law of the Lord.

9 How can a young man keep his way pure?

    By living according to your word.

10 I seek you with all my heart;

    do not let me stray from your commands.

11 I have hidden your word in my heart

    that I might not sin against you.


Matthew 15:18-20 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’”

Hebrews 11:24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

Psalm 119:11 “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

2 Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.

James 1:16-17 “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Ephesians 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” 

14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 




ILL.- The Anvil of God’s Word

Last eve I passed beside a blacksmith’s door

And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;

When looking in, I saw upon the floor,

Old hammers worn with beating years of time.


“How many anvils have you had,” said I,

“To wear and batter these hammers so?”

“Just one,” said he; then with a twinkling eye,

“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”


And so, I thought, the anvil of God’s Word,

For ages, skeptics blows have beat upon;

Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,

The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone.


~ John Clifford

John Clifford has poetically explained what the good Lord taught 2600 years ago:

‘Is not my word like fire,’ declares the Lord, ‘and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?’ (Jeremiah 23:29)


New Bible Reading Plan for 2022

Click here to sign up and follow in the YouVersion Bible App. https://bible.com/p/47919547/e1d3fa1cae141d65e3f89c3737cff000
The hardest part about reading the Bible through in a year is habitually reading the Bible. Yup, you read that right. It’s not the time (it only takes 10-12 mins a day), and it’s not about the text (that’s about 1500 words or 3 pages), the hard part is the habit of reading. We choose Bible plans to read every year, but we’re not concerned with how much or how little you read per day, but that you spend time every day in God’s Word!
This year, we invite you to join us online or on paper as we read through the Bible in a year (it’s been 2 years since we’ve done it), using the Bible Project’s plan called “One Story That Leads To Jesus.” These readings also have high quality devotional videos for you to enjoy to enhance your reading if you use the YouVersion Bible App.
Click here to sign up and follow in the YouVersion Bible App. https://bible.com/p/47919547/e1d3fa1cae141d65e3f89c3737cff000

Click here to sign up and follow in the YouVersion Bible App. https://bible.com/p/47919547/e1d3fa1cae141d65e3f89c3737cff000
Printed Copies will also be made available at church services.


Spoofed Email Scam

Good morning church family,
Three of our members have reported receiving SPOOFED emails from me asking for $1000 in gift cards. This is a SCAM from an imposter email address.
The good news is that none of our church email accounts have been HACKED, meaning no unauthorized individual has gained access into our emails. SPOOFing is when someone creates a fake email address, fake Facebook account, or face phone number posing to be someone one of us.
So, if you receive an email from the spoofed account “christopher.spartacoc@gmail.com”, I would like you to do two things.
1) Report the email as “Phishing” to your email service provider. 
2) Email me or text me letting me know you received one.
I’m trying to figure out just how many of our church email addresses they have and where they got them from.


Sermon Notes: 12/19 – Christmas Prep #4 – “Grateful Hope”

Christmas Prep4: A Grateful Hope

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:33-38

INTRO: A Hopeful Invitation


WELCOME: to Central: Week 4 of Christmas Prep

            Week 1: Repentence – God prepared the Christmas story with John the Baptist first.

            Week 2: Deep and Abiding Faith – God prepared for Christmas with Mary making at least 8 references to God Almighty –  instead of references to a cute baby.

            Week 3: Humility – Do you have a humble heart that makes room for Jesus?

            Week 4: Grateful Hope!

Luke 2:25-26  “there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for (anticipating) the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit, that he would not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

Luke 2:38  “she began to give thanks to God and to speak of (Jesus) to all who were waiting for (anticipating) the redemption of Jerusalem.”

YES IMPORTANT! BUT THEY WERE! They were important to God! And do you know HOW I know they were important to God? God told us their names… and He told us what they said. Their lives mattered because God said they mattered.

God says that Simeon was “righteous and devout” (Luke 2:25). 

            https://www.shinesty.com/products/western-ugly-christmas-suit – 

            Devoted – https://www.thescore.com/news/1973115

 Anna was an 84 year old widow who “did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.” (Luke 2:37) Anna was always at the Temple, and she COMMITTED herself to fasting… and to praying night and day.

Newsboys – “Committed” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WubT3UCjdzo – 2016

This is my story, this is my song

I have a hope that’s stronger then the dust I’m standing on

This is my anchor, my cornerstone

This is the anthem I’ll be singing, till the Kingdom comes

I am committed, I’m not ashamed

I pledge my allegiance to Jesus, My King

I am committed, got nothing to hide

I’m not giving up, not selling out, I’m in this for life

I am committed, to Christ


ILLUS: CHRISTMAS WISH LIST! 10 year old girl.


“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
“The people walking in darkness have seen a GREAT LIGHT (Jesus) on those living in the land of the shadow of death a LIGHT has dawned.”  (Isaiah 9:2)

  When Anna saw Jesus “she began to give thanks to God and to speak of (Jesus) to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:38

 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32
I think the Poem recorded by Angie Mosteller expresses the Jesus of Christmas well.   

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the earth,

Every creature was stirring, awaiting a birth.

The time for Messiah was certainly near,

The prophets foretold it; the Bible was clear.


From the book of beginnings, the very first sin,

God’s word made it clear how His grace entered in.

Born of a virgin, He’d come as a man.

The Creator among us, the time was at hand.


The stars were arranged to show marvelous things,

Setting Wise Men to journey and find the true King.

Shepherds in Bethlehem gazed on the sky,

Longing to see him, their Lord the Most High.


How could they know that the very next night

An angel of God would speak words of delight?

How the Savior was born, it was news of great joy.

In a cloth and a manger they’d find the dear boy.


And a heavenly host would soon join to sing

Of the glory of God and of wonderful things.

He entered creation, set position aside

To show us how deeply his love did abide.


Sin sent us away from our almighty Lord.

He became one of us that we might be restored.

He’s the Prince of our Peace; He’s the one who makes whole.

He is Wisdom Incarnate, a Shepherd of Souls.


He’s the Author of Life; He’s the Ruler of All.

He can offer salvation, on His name we call.

The shepherds and Wise Men would bow to adore

Holy God among men, our greatest reward.


All glory and honor is due to this King.

Let all join in worship; let every tongue sing.

Jesus is Lord, all creation proclaims.

He’s the first and last, He is always the same.


History turned on the first Christmas day,

When God became man in a humble display.

As we think of the manger in which He was laid,

Let our hearts welcome Him to the world He made!



Singing Service Tomorrow Night!

Central Reminder: Our 3rd Sunday singing is tomorrow night @ 5pm! We’re going to have fun singing holiday themed hymns & more. We’ll also follow service with hot chocolate & marshmallows served in the lobby for fellowship! If you have any song numbers to request, please text them to Topher by noon tomorrow. Praise Him!


Cookie Decorating & Devo

Kids and their families are invited to the annual Cookie Decorating & Devo Party tomorrow, 12/18 at 10am in the fellowship hall! Contact Ashley Wiles if you have any questions.


Bloom Ladies Painting Party

Bloom Ladies’ Paint Night is tonight at 6pm in the annex! All ladies are welcome to come eat and visit with us; if you are painting, be sure to bring $15.


Ellis O’Neal Obituary & Funeral Services

Pasted from Thurman Funeral Home: https://www.thurmanfuneral.com/obituary/Ellis-ONeal
September 21, 1941 ~ December 10, 2021 (age 80)
Wiley Ellis O’Neal Jr, age 80, passed away peacefully on Friday, December 10, 2021, at his home in Sparta, TN surrounded by his loving family.

He was born to the late Wiley Ellis O’Neal Sr. and Vione Acord O’Neal on September 21st, 1941, in Edwight, WV.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Wiley and Vione O’Neal and siblings, Colleen, Ivan, Ruth, and John.

He is survived by his Loving wife of 58 years, Jo O’Neal and four children,

daughter, Tammy Sells (husband Ricky) of Madison, AL.,

son, Mike O’Neal (wife Vanessa) of Sparta, TN,

son, Greg O’Neal (wife Michele) of Sparta, TN,

and son, Jonathan O’Neal (wife Jen) of Crossville, TN.

He is also survived by nine grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, and brothers Larry and Paul O’Neal.



Funeral services will be Sunday, December 12th , 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at Thurman Funeral Home. Interment will be at Eastland Cemetery. Officiating will be done by the family and Brother Jack Chadwell.

Visitation will be Sunday, December 12th, 2021, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Thurman Funeral Home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ellis O’Neal, please visit our floral store.


Sermon Notes: 12/12 – Christmas Prep #3 – Decorating the Cross

Luke 2:1-7

 “I don’t have room for you in the hotel, but I’d love to have you come in for milk and cookies.”

WELCOME To Central Church of Christ.  Week 3.  Put more time into decorating your souls for the coming of the Christ than decorating your house for the coming of Christmas.

            Week 1: Repentence – God prepared the Christmas story with John the Baptist first.

            Week 2: Deep and Abiding Faith – God prepared for Christmas with Mary making at least 8 references to God Almighty –  instead of references to a cute baby.

Luke 2:1-5 tells us “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.”
They were “betrothed.” (Luke 2:5) 

 Oprah Dealing with Family Disfunction– Rooted in Biblical Principals – https://www.oprah.com/omagazine/dealing-with-a-dysfunctional-family-during-the-holidays/all

  • Give Up Hope – Of Changing People
  • Set Secure Boundaries – BEFORE you meet
  • Lose Control – Stop trying to control others
  • Become a Participant Observer
  • Debrief afterwards

“I am so glad He was not born in some rich palace bed. I am so glad to know it was a lowly place, instead. A place where soft-eyed cows and sheep were sheltered and were fed. For to the country born of earth a stable will ever be a wholesome place, where night comes down with its tranquility, a place of heart’s ease and content for all who choose to see. And so I like to think of Him first opening His eyes in that good elemental place beneath the friendly skies. That the men of fields could find Him there, as well as the great and wise.”   (Grace Noel Crowell)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Paul wrote “do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. AND SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”   I Corinthians 6:9-11


Max Lucado once noted that the manger was a statement that “there is no place Jesus will not go. If he is willing to be born in a barnyard, then expect him to be at work anywhere— bars, bedrooms, boardrooms, and brothels. No place is too common. No person is too hardened. No distance is too far. There is no person he cannot reach. There is no limit to his love.” (http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/12/01/max-lucado-should-just-skip-christmas-this-year.html)

John 1:11 tells us “He came to his own, and his own did not receive him.”

John 15:18 Jesus told His disciples “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” I Peter 4:12-14


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DraQIZB3k94 – Straight No Chaser – 2018

“Sweet Little Jesus Boy, they made you be born in a manger. Sweet little Holy Child, didn’t know who You was. Didn’t know You’d come to save us, Lord – to take our sins away. Our eyes was blind, we couldn’t see. We didn’t know who you was.” (Our Daily Bread 12/24/01)


CLOSE:  – Decorate Your Soul with Humility

  1. Kneel at the cross,
    Christ will meet you there,
    Come while He waits for you;
    List to His voice,
    Leave with Him your care
    And begin life anew.
  • Refrain:
    Kneel at the cross,
    Leave every care;
    Kneel at the cross,
    Jesus will meet you there.
  1. Kneel at the cross,
    There is room for all
    Who would His glory share;
    Bliss there awaits,

    Harm can ne’er befall
    Those who are anchored there



Ellis O’Neal

Prayer Request: We know you’ve been praying for Ellis O’Neal, Mike’s dad, and many of you went to sing Christmas carols to him last week. Ellis is finally at peace as he went home to be with his heavenly father this morning. Please keep Mike, Vanessa, and the family in your prayers as this will be a tougher Christmas season for them. We will update with arrangements when they are known.


Christmas Angel Tree SignUps

Thank you
for your interest in providing a great Christmas experience for underprivileged students in our White County Public Schools program.  Every year our church family adopts underprivileged children identified in the school system.  This year Central Church of Christ has adopted multiple students from different families. Below you will find some ages ans sizes for the children we are providing for.  Pray daily for them, write a note to them, and bless them with gifts as if they were your own children!  You can sign up to purchase one gift or purchase many gifts  All gifts must be returned unwrapped to the church office by Wednesday Services at 6:30pm on Dec 15th.  We will also deliver Christmas meals to the families with the gifts.  For questions, please contact Ashley Aaron or Topher Wiles.  Click the link to sign up!
“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
Show God’s Love. Tell God’s Story. Be God’s Family


Sermon Notes: 12/5 – Christmas Prep 2 – Room for God

Funny: Jon Crist (3.5mins)– Modern Mary & Joseph: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAcxlZdR27U

WELCOME: to Central Church of Christ, not a place, a building, or a religion, but a people called out by God to Show His Love, Tell His Story, and Be His Family. Today’s sermon series is the second message inspired by our Christmas preparations, where we ask the questions, “Do we prepare for the coming of the Christ more than the coming of Christmas?  How did God prepare the world for the coming of Christmas!”

“In the beginning was the Word (that’s Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

1 Peter 1:20 says “(Jesus) was foreknown before the foundation of the world

Galatians 4:4 tells us that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son”

  • Isaiah 7:14 that declared: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
  • Micah 5:2 – But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
    from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old,
        from ancient days.
  • Psalm 72:8-11 – May he have dominion from sea to sea,
    and from the River to the ends of the earth!
    May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust!
    10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute;
    may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!
    11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary…. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?’ And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God.’” Luke 1:26-27 & 31-35

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Isaiah 7:14 “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

“The best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person.”
(J. Robert Oppenheimer, theoretical physicist, and father of the atomic bomb for WWII)
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
“there was… no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.” Isaiah 59:16-17

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” Luke 1:17

Look at all the references to God in this passage Luke 1:26-37 : 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin? 35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 


“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

1 Peter 2:9 says “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.”

 “For 2000 years parents and grandparents have passed on the story of Jesus. It has changed millions of lives and the whole world.” Gene Dulin, a preacher and Christian missionary who lived just north of our family in Plainfield, Indiana.


Wiles out of town Backpacking

Hello church family, we wanted to let you know that the Wiles will be out of town on their annual family backpacking trip until Saturday, December 4th.  The boys will be hiking 27 miles on the Appalachian Trail from the Low Gap Trailhead (Hwy 321) south to the Watuga Dam trailhead (Hwy 421). We hope to see you soon! 

To look at more info, you can see our .pdf itinerary here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x2E-InH93rHReLtjDBghpQ0pGNdSnzBH/view?usp=sharing

Low Gap Trailhead (Hwy421) to Laurel Branch Trailhead (Hwy321) = 27.1 miles



AT Mileage from Start

Mileage Between


Day Mileage

High Temp

Low Tepm

Elevation (ft)



US-421 – Low Gap, TN



Wed AM






Double Springs Shelter



Wed PM






0.9 mile after DS Shelter







0.8 after hwy 91

Iron Mountain Shelter



Thur PM






1.4 before shelter & 0.2 after

Vandeventer Shelter



Fri PM






1.7 miles south

US-321 – Hampton, TN



Sat Exit









Watersource info here:



From Home to Boots Off Hostel & Campground


233 miles

3 hrs 37 mins


From Boots Off Hostel to Low Gap Trailhead


30.5 miles

44 mins


Other Info:


TN-91 to Lowgap Trailhead






Sermon Notes: 11/18 – Christmas Prep – First Child

Scripture Reading: Luke 3:1-4 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

OP— — One family’s bright display of Christmas cheer at their Connecticut home has courted controversy this holiday season, after dozens of neighbors complained in a petition that the traffic the twinkling exhibition attracts creates “public safety and nuisance concerns.”

Mary Halliwell of Fairfield told ABC News that over the past 18 years, it has become a family tradition to transform their home into what they dub the “Wonderland on Roseville” each year, going all-out with lights and festive decorations.
This year, Halliwell said they employed over 350,000 Christmas lights to illuminate their home and yard, saying that some days the display attracts thousands of visitors. Halliwell said that they also use the Wonderland on Roseville to raise funds for Shriners Hospital for Children. The crowds this year caused neighbors to submit a petition that garnered 45 signatures to local authorities, calling on the town’s leaders and police to do something about the “significant public safety and nuisance concerns caused by the excessive volume of traffic the event creates in our neighborhood.”


WELCOME: To Central Church of Christ, a people gathered to show God’s love, Tell God’s Story, and Be God’s Family. Today we begin a new sermon series that will take us through the next four Sundays.  We’re calling it, Christmas Preparation. The scripture journey we take over the next few weeks will help  you prepare not for Christmas, but for the coming of the Christ. 

 “it seemed good to me … to write an orderly account for you.” Luke 1:3.

 In the book of Malachi God declared “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will PREPARE THE WAY before me.” Malachi 3:1

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘PREPARE THE WAY of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’” Isaiah 40:3-5


So what was John’s MISSION before the Christ?
Luke 1:17 “to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
 “(would) be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to GIVE KNOWLEDGE OF SALVATION to his people in the FORGIVENESS OF THEIR SINS, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:76-79

John 1:29 “…John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’”

Ralph Waldo Emerson once noted that QUOTE “People only see what they are prepared to see.” People only see what they’re looking for. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/50328-people-only-see-what-they-are-prepared-to-see#:~:text=Quote%20by%20Ralph%20Waldo%20Emerson,they%20are%20prepared%20to%20see.%E2%80%9D


ILLUS: Christian artist Matthew West made a controversial satirical song this year featuring his wife and daughters in the video. He was poking fun at himself for being an overprotective dad.  Needless to say, “Modest is hottest” made people mad.  In the process, non-Christians said all kinds of vile and evil things about Jesus, the Bible and Christians in general. And many of their comments were just obvious lies… but they didn’t care because THAT was what they were PREPARED to see. They weren’t PREPARED to look for or see Jesus in any of this. They were offended that this song would confront their way of life.  Right or wrong, the vile commentors weren’t prepared to see Jesus in the words.


“John the Baptist (preached) ‘REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is near.’” (Matthew 3:1-2)

Matthew 3:1-3 & 5-8 tells us “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “REPENT, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”   “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”… “YOU BROOD OF VIPERS! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”

“UNLESS YOU REPENT, you will all likewise PERISH.” Luke 13:3

“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom YOU crucified.” Acts 2:36
“YOU killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead…” Acts 3:15

“you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon US.” Acts 5:28

“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


 “Life is short, death is sure. Sin’s the cause, Christ is the cure.”

“… on the 8th day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, ‘No; HE SHALL BE CALLED JOHN.’ And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John.’ And they all wondered.” Luke 1:59-63
“Because the angel said to him ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.’” Luke 1:13

John’s NAME was God’s idea!!! But why would God bother? Why bother to choose that name? Because the name John means “God Is Gracious.”


English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰωάννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning “Yahweh is gracious”, from the roots יוֹ (yo) referring to the Hebrew God and חָנַן (chanan) meaning “to be gracious”.

Paul wrote: “For by GRACE you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is THE GIFT OF GOD” Ephesians 2:8



Thanks Service

Central News: We want to remind you that tonight
@ 6:30pm is our “Thanks” service in lieu of our Wed midweek service. Come prepared to give thanks to God in multiple ways for things!

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


Sermon Notes: 11/21 Detours – Legacy

Hebrews 11:22

Nadin Khoury

“By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.” Hebrews 11:22

  • Exodus 13:19 tells us that when Israel left Egypt “Moses took the bones of Joseph with him….”
  • Joshua 24:32 we’re told that “As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt – they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.”
  • “Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.” Acts 7:14-16

“I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore (promised) to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. Genesis 50:24-26

ILLUS Jewish Graves: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visitation_stones#:~:text=The%20act%20of%20placing%20visitation,placed%20by%20the%20left%20hand.

“Since WE have these promises… let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19

“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. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.” I Peter 4:12-14

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm 23

. Isaiah 26:3 we’re promised that “(God) will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, 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.”

“So 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

Romans 8:28 carries a step further “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Ephesians 2:10  “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works that He has prepared in advance for us to do” 

John 3:16 says… “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Joseph said “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore (promised) to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” So Joseph died, being 110 years old. They embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. Genesis 50:24-26

 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20

“What Shall We Do!!!!        And Peter replies: “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.” Acts 2:37-39



Sermon Notes: 11/14 Detours #4

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:9-15

OPEN (Thomas Edison):  On the night of December 9, 1914, Edison Industries was virtually destroyed by fire. Edison lost two million dollars that night and much of his life’s work went up in flames. He was insured for only $238,000, because the buildings had been made of concrete, at that time thought to be fireproof.

  (Edison’s son) Charles was 24; Thomas was 67. The young man ran about frantically, trying to find his father. Finally he came upon him, standing near the fire, his face ruddy in the glow, his white hair blown by the December winds.

  “My heart ached for him,” Charles Edison said. “he was 67 – no longer a young man – and everything was going up in flames.”

  He spotted me. ’Charles,’ he shouted, ’where’s your mother?’

  1 don’t know, Dad,’ I said.

  ’Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this again as long as she lives.’”

  The next morning, walking about the charred embers of all his hopes and dreams, Edison said,

“There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew

  Three weeks after the fire, his firm delivered the first phonograph.



WELCOME: DETOURS –  Welcome to week four of Detours with Joseph: If you’re new with us, joseph is a big deal in the bible first book genesis (he get’s more scripture time than any Genesis hero) and we’re looking at his life because joseph he took a lot of detours in life.  Some of you are on a detour right now; it could be financial or relational or just in your spiritual journey. The problem with detours is sometimes you just feel stuck and joseph’s life gives us a model of how to come out the other side of the detour better than when we went in. So if you’re new to us welcome to Central,  i hope you have a great Biblical experience. If you’re new watching online, We hope you have a spiritual experience connecting with God’s Word and we  hope to see you soon here at the building for worship together.  We’re going to be in genesis chapter 45. Now last three weeks we were in genesis chapter 37, 39, & 41 and I shared from Joseph’s life a few big truths,

REVIEW: New Definition of Detour: A change in our plans God uses to develop our character and competency, so we can arrive at a better destination.
  1. Detours can be caused by a) our bad choices, b) other people’s sin, c) God’s divine hand
  2. God uses detours for our development
  3. God often uses detours to take us to somewhere better.
  4. That Meekness & Humility are window tint that help us see detours for what God intends them to be.
  5. Open to Genesis 45, but before we get there, let’s get back to Edison’s concept that is better than the light bulb.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23

Poem by: Louisa Fletcher

“I wish there were some wonderful place

Called the Land of Beginning Again

Where all our mistakes, and all our heartaches

And all our selfish griefs

Could be cast like a shabby old coat at the door

And never be put on again”

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?’” Genesis 50:15

Genesis 45:5-8 “… do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

  “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”

“When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?’” Genesis 50:15

Attorney Illustration: There’s the true story of an attorney, who after studying on several scriptures, decided to cancel the debts of all his clients that had owed him money for more than six months.

 He drafted a letter explaining his decision and its biblical basis and sent 17 debt-canceling letters by certified mail.

  SIXTEEN of the 17 letters were returned, unsigned and undelivered.

  Why? Because the clients refused to sign for them and open the envelopes. They were afraid that the attorney was suing them for their debts. So – in their fear – they ended up running away from his forgiveness.              (Rick McCarley, https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon-illustrations/7400/forgive-us-our-debts-by-rick-mccarley, Preacher at Crosspoint Church in Osawatomie, south of Kansis city. )

Time Magazine Survey Data on Forgiveness: 

………………………………………………. % forgive………….. % not forgive

Told lies about them ……………………… 73 ……………………….24

Stole money from them   ………………….67………………………..31

Slapped or punched them…………………64………………………..32

Held them up with a gun…………………..42………………………..54

Murdered someone in community……..33…………………………59

Raped them……………………………………22………………………..73

Raped a family member……………………19………………………..77

 (Time 4/5/99 p. 58 Yankelovich Partners Inc. Survey)


“Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” Proverbs 10:12

“For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever would believe in Him might not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“… love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Romans 8:28 “…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

“… do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.  “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.” – Genesis 45:5-8

Genesis 50:20 – As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20

CLOSE: There’s a book, “An Invitation to Healing” by Lynda Elliott and in that book Lynda writes this:

“I had a choice to make. If I choose to behold Jesus, to focus on Him, I could be transformed into His image (to become like our teacher). Likewise, if I continued to behold the image of my neighbor, I could be transformed into her image.”