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A Constant on Our Calendars

Summer is in full swing, and the roads are full of families traveling to their favorite destinations. The months of planning for that long-anticipated vacation have finally arrived. There is no doubt about it, summer is a wonderful time for families. We are able to make many memories and share countless moments that will last a lifetime.  

As our summer months fill up with travel, I would like to remind all of us of one thing that should always be a constant on our calendars. No matter how busy we get or where we are traveling, let’s be sure to make the Lord and His church our top priority. The Hebrew writer said, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).

Sadly, too many people allow the Lord and His church to be placed on the back burner during this time of year. They become so focused on their activities and vacations that they choose to skip meeting together on the Lord’s Day to worship with the saints. Let’s show our children what’s most important to us. Friends, it doesn’t matter the season, Jesus and His church should always be our top priority (Matt. 6:33).

The summer is a wonderful time of year. So many good things take place, memories we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. However, as we travel during this busy season, may we never forget our love, loyalty and commitment to Jesus. Gathering with believers in other cities can be a great blessing and encouragement. Let’s not vacation from the Lord and His church.

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From Paul’s Pen

            Fifty years ago, if you’d said to me, “Let’s do lunch,” I’d have asked you what you meant. Today I would respond, “Let me know when.” We have attached a new meaning to the action verb “do” and we understand it. Interestingly, the Bible tells us many things to do – actions to take – and many act as if the meaning has changed although it hasn’t. Bible commands under the New Testament are as valid today as when they were set forth in the first century. For example, the actions of believing and being baptized are still conditions for salvation (Mark 16:16).

            We know we are saved by God’s grace through faith – and “not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). But don’t omit the next verse: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Titus 3:1-8 affirm that those who have been saved by God’s grace should be careful to maintain good works.) We must be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22)!

            What are these good works that we were created anew to do? Jesus gave a good list in the judgment scene recorded in Matthew 25:31-46 – providing for the needs of our fellowman. He adds another good work to the list in the next chapter with the woman anointing His head with oil (Matthew 26:6-13). We might conclude that giving glory to the Son of God or worship is a good work – and it is something we’re commanded to do!

            “Good works” surely encompasses anything our Lord commands or expects us to do as His redeemed. And it surely includes our treatment of one another (James 2:14-17). May we always do unto others as we would have them do unto us (Matthew 7:12). But, more importantly, may we do like the wise man and do what Jesus taught (Matthew 7:24-27)!

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Gospel Meeting

Make plans to attend our Gospel Meeting which will be held July 22-24. Our guest speaker will be Brad Harrub.

Friday @ 7 p.m. – “Intelligent Design or Ape-like Creature”

Saturday @ 7 p.m. – “The Value of Life”

Sunday @ 9 a.m. – “In the Image of God”

Bible Class @ 10:20 a.m. – “End of Life Decisions”

*Potluck lunch after Bible classes.*

Sunday @ 12:30 p.m. – “Attack on the Family”

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Ladies’ Monthly Devo

Ladies’ monthly devo on Tuesday, July 5, at 10:00 a.m. on the church pavilion. If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Watson or Kristy Bolin.

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From Justin

A Walter Hill Welcome

As our family has been transitioning to Murfreesboro over the last few weeks, Paul’s commendation to the churches at Galatia has been on my mind. He said, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:9-10).

The members of Walter Hill have not grown weary of doing good. Many of you have taken opportunities to live this verse out, going above and beyond in demonstrating the principles Paul outlines. Despite the difficulties that come with any move, you have made our family feel so welcome and at home. To those who have opened up their home to us and those who have taken us out for a meal, thank you. To those who have sent cards of welcome, messages of encouragement and offers to help with our boys or our housing, thank you. To the individual or family who anonymously paid for our lunch a couple weeks ago, thank you. To each of you who have repeated your names for us (please keep doing that!) and reminded us of what you do or how you are related, thank you.

I want you to know how grateful the Morton family is for our Walter Hill Welcome! You all have helped to make this transition as smooth as it can be. We look forward to working with all of you for the glory of God.

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Ladies Retreat

Ladies Retreat is August 26-28. Please see sign-up sheets posted on WINGS’ board in EDW.

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Shepherds’ Notes

Seven suggestions to help welcome Justin as our new minister:

  1. Pray for Justin, Miranda, and the boys. I suggest making a commitment to pray daily for Justin throughout the duration of his ministry. Once the “honeymoon period” is over and the daily grind of ministry begins, praying will strengthen Justin and his family and will fortify your bond with them.
  2. Send them a welcome note or email. Just offer a brief note, introducing yourself and/or family, and offering a heartfelt welcome.
  3. Mention your name on your first several encounters with them. Give them the opportunity to learn your name and, over time, to learn a part of your life story.
  4.  Embrace the uniqueness of Justin. Justin has a distinct personality, a unique set of spiritual gifts and a diverse set of experiences. When the Spirit leads a church to a new minister, the Spirit seldom leads a church to a person just like the previous minister. To compare Justin to any other is to disrespect the Spirit’s role in guiding us to Justin in the first place.
  5. Be attentive to caring for Justin’s family during the transition and afterward. While we are excited about welcoming Justin, keep in mind that he and his family are going to be dealing with grief of departure even as they are trying to embrace the excitement of a new beginning.
  6.  Speak positively about Justin publicly and privately. One of the ways we bring out the best in our ministers is to speak well of them.
  7. Involve Justin, Miranda, and the boys. Do not be afraid to treat Justin and his family like any other member; involve them, have them for dinner. Remember Justin and his family have struggles and needs just like you.
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Fall Camping Trip

The Fall camping trip will be at the Fairview Campground at Tim’s Ford State Park on September 9 & 10. If you are interested in attending, please make your reservations. See Randy Cary if you have any questions.

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From Chris’s Computer

Walter Hill is such a blessed congregation. We are confident the Lord will continue to bless Walter Hill as we remain faithful to Him. The future is bright! This is an especially exciting Sunday as Justin begins preaching full time. This is a day we have been anticipating for some time and have prayed about as we searched for and selected Justin to be our new minister. In many ways this is a day of new beginnings.

Much like the turn of the new year, new beginnings generate a lot of momentum and excitement. We need to recognize this and make sure we make the most of this opportunity. Sometimes we need a reset or refocus on who we need to be as the Lord’s people. Times of transition and new beginnings can provide us with opportunities to refocus. While Justin, Miranda, and the boys are coming to work, we must not forget they are here to work with us and alongside us.

Maybe this new beginning needs to be a time where we look at our service in the Lord’s church. Perhaps we ask ourselves, “How can I improve as a worker for Lord?” It’s often easy to neglect responsibilities we are uncomfortable with, maybe it’s time we expand our horizons and step out of our comfort zones.

Maybe it’s time to volunteer to teach a class, even if it’s just one class, or maybe it’s time to write a card of encouragement to someone. Maybe it’s time to begin inviting others to church or having Bible studies with the lost.

Let’s all challenge ourselves as we enter this new beginning to grow as workers in the Lord’s Kingdom.

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From Paul’s Pen

            After repeatedly doing something for twenty-five years, it’s hard to stop! That’s how I feel as I write this article. I’ll still write one once a month, but Justin will bear most of the responsibility. I have mixed emotions as I step away from full-time work. However, I know it is time to let a younger, more energetic man step up to the plate.

            It’s hard to believe I’ve been here this long and yet it seems as if I started yesterday. You have welcomed Gail and me into your lives and made us a part of the Walter Hill family. We love and appreciate you more than words can ever express. There have been few rough spots along the way. In fact, there have been so few that I can’t even remember them.

            I am thankful for the opportunity to continue serving in a part-time position. That’s where I have had so many mixed emotions. I never read about gospel preachers retiring in the New Testament. I think like old soldiers, we don’t die – we simply fade away! I hope to do just that at Walter Hill – very slowly! In the meantime, I’ll walk with each of you down life’s pathway as we strive for heaven.

            I’m not ready to cite the apostle Paul’s valedictory address from 2 Timothy 4:6-8. However, we would all do well to heed the Lord’s guidance of Joshua 1:6-9 in a 21st century setting: “Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”