Central Church of Christ Blog

Passing of Denny Gilliam

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

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

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

Survivors include his wife of 38 years Joan Gilliam

Daughter: Jennifer Gilliam Rodriguez & husband Andrew

Son: Chaz Lee Gilliam

Daughter: Chelsey Lea Curry & husband Dan

Grandson: Beau Curry

A host of close cousins and friends

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


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

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

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

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

“Be joyful always” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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




Fishing at the Blevins

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

Directions to Tommy & Pat Blevins home-

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

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

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


Prayers for Kelvin Daniel

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


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

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

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


WIKIPEDIA – Definitions

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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


“Love is patient, love is kind.

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

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

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

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

Love never fails.”


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


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

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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


Passing of Betty Marcom

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


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

John 13:34-35


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Top Golf Signup Sheet

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

Top Golf Signup Sheet


Sermon Notes: 5-15 EN2 – Promises Promises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God even stuck U in the name of His Son.


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

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


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

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


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

It even takes U to spell crUcified.


Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand

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


The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,

and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.


When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension,

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


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

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


So many great people are spelled with a U,

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


It all depends now on what U will do,

He’d like them to know,

But it all starts with U


(Poem by Laketa)


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

from New Song Writers at Central Church of Christ

Yellow is for tulips,

Blue for Morning Glory.

Mothers are a Beautiful,

Part of God’s Story.


Magnolias are white.

Tulips are yellow.

My girls are a delight.

I’m such a lucky fellow.


Roses are red.

Roses are pink.

Roses are white.

And moms are just as varied.


Moms are pretty

And also have beauty.

They’re also so great

And so understanding.


Hydrangeas of teal for the mother that is real.

An iris of white comes ever year

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

Dogwood blooms forever they will be

Just as the love my mother has for me.


Roses are red.

Tulips are Yellow.

My mom is as bright,

As a Sunflower.


Pansies are yellow,

Tulips are too,

Our kids love you,

And I do too.


Cardinals are red,

So is geranium.

You are an amazing mom,

Always in my cranium.


Indigo is purple,

Like flower of a thistle.

When I think of you,

I give a whistle.


Daisy’s are white.

Daisy’s are yellow.

I will Per”winkle” at you

So Forget Me Not.


Violets are purple.

Daisies are White.

Mom’s pancakes are,

Very fluffy and light.


Gladioli are green.

Pansies are yella.

Let’s get this straight;

“Mom” is never a fella.


Spiderman may be popular,

Much like chewing gum.

But there is non other,

Like the awesome Spider Mum!


Mom is the best.

She put up with my mess.

She was there for me,

And her love always set me free.


The most selfless people you’ll meet;

Their compassion will never fleet.

Mother’s hearts made of gold;

You can only hope they will never grow old.


Your Rose is White,

My heart is Blue,

My Dearest Mother,

I So Miss You!


Mom is sharp like a thistle,

Sweet as a lily,

And according to my behavior,

Always deals fairly.


Peonies grow highly,

Irises grow tall.

I don’t think of you lowly,

Let’s have a ball.


Iris are purple,

Begonias are yellow,

April is my blessing,

and I’m her fellow.


Roses are red.

Violets are blue.

I’m so blessed,

because I’m married to you.


Sunflowers are yellow,

Bluebells are blue.

The sun is bright,

just like you.


My love for thee doth flow,

Like the color on the all the flowers you sow.

The red roses grow to brighten the day,

That you make brighter with your way.


Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

Tracy DOES NOT look like,

Cindy Lou Whoo.


Daisies can be yellow,

Or they may be white.

You’re the best mom,

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


Sermon Notes: Everything New 2 – New Song

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


Mothers Day Mission

Mother’s Day Mission for Central Church of Christ

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

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


Pancakes & Pajamas

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


Terrific Trios 3 – Walking Down the Road of Hope



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Nothing is FREE!

But we have a Redeemer who paid for our hope!

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


Central Easter Egg Hunt Photos

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


Meet Azaria Jean Lankford

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


Easter Egg Hunt

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


Prayers for Kids

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


Big Day Tomorrow!

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


Sermon Notes: 04/03 TI6 – One Another

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Blessed be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like that to that above.


Happy Haven Banquet

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


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

OPEN: Harry Truman



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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



Buckets of Love

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


Sermon Notes: 3/13 True Identity #3

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



Spring Forward

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


Baby Shower

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


Sermon Notes: 03/06 True Identity #2

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

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

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

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


Prayer for Sasha and Kiev Church

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


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.