Shepherds’ Notes

As you know, our theme this year is EQUIP. Justin’s lessons are mostly focusing on equipping the saints. To be equipped is to be provided with whatever is required for use or for any undertaking in terms of knowledge and equipment.

We need equipment for almost anything we do in life. To repair an engine, we need a certain set of tools. When we embark on a journey or voyage, we usually take all the equipment we will need while we are away.

Our Wednesday evening adult class will revolve around equipping each of us to be better husbands, fathers, wives, mothers, teachers, mentors, and even evangelists. By doing so, we hope to equip each of us to be better Christians. 

The book Hebrews speaks to this matter of equipment relative to the doing of God’s will. “Now the God of peace…. equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ” (Hebrews 13:20-21).

The more thoroughly we are equipped the more we will bear the fruit to the glory of God. (Col. 1:9-10).

The elders hope to see you at this special class.


From Paul’s Pen

            Sometimes congregations invite guest speakers for a special series of lessons such as a “Summer Series.” Often, these lessons center around a given theme or scripture passages. One theme that has always fascinated me is based on this question: If you had one last sermon to preach, what would you speak on? The elders offered me such an opportunity this month, but I declined. Yet now I’m faced with a similar dilemma as I write this last bulletin article. What do I write in this farewell piece?

            Several ideas have flashed through my mind such as Paul’s valedictory address in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 or the tearful scene in Acts 20:37-38 as Paul said goodbye to the Ephesian elders at Miletus. Although not knowing what the future holds for any of us, we plan to interact with you and your families for many years to come. While we may be absent in body, our hearts will certainly be close to yours. But, back to the task at hand, what I want to say to everyone is best recorded by the Holy Spirit Himself.

            “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another” (Genesis 31:49b).

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:3-6).

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:1-4).

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13).

“The Lord bless you and keep you;

  The Lord make His face shine upon you,

  And be gracious to you;

  The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

  And give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26). 


A Personal Invitation

by Justin Morton

We have so much to be grateful for here at Walter Hill. God has been good to us in many different ways. He has blessed us with quite a bit of growth, and each week we have a host of visitors in attendance. While some of these visitors may have a church home or a religious background, others who are visiting may not have a church home or do not have a relationship with Jesus. Here at Walter Hill, we want to live out the great commission and carry the Gospel to as many people as possible (Matthew 28:18-20). And while it’s great we have visitors coming through our doors, let’s not forget about the power of a personal invitation.

We have several events coming up in the next couple of months that provide great opportunities to invite our family, friends and neighbors. Consider a few of these events and make plans to attend and invite others to join you.

Vacation Bible School June 2-5: I know many people believe Vacation Bible School is a kids’ program. And while the focus that week is on our children, adults can benefit from VBS as well. We have 4 guest speakers lined up to be with us for our evening adult class. So whether you have kids or not, VBS is a great opportunity to invite someone to visit Walter Hill with you. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing kids get excited about God and His Word?

Equip Class Starting Wednesday, June 12: We are going to do something a little different this next quarter. On Wednesday nights this summer, all of our adult classes will be meeting in the auditorium for a joint class. This class series is based on our congregational theme for the year. Several men of our congregation will be discussing practical ways we can be equipped to serve in our homes, church and community. A schedule of the class topics for each week will be available soon.

Gospel Meeting July 26-28: Our annual Gospel Meeting this year will feature guest speaker, Allen Webster. Brother Webster was a preacher for the Jacksonville Church of Christ in Jacksonville, AL for many years. Currently he teaches at the Memphis School of Preaching in Memphis, TN. Many of you may recognize his name because he is the editor and featured contributor of the publication, House to House Heart to Heart. Brother Webster will be doing a series of lessons on the theme “Reigniting the Fire”. Please make plans to join us for this series.

I know the summer is filled with vacations, family events and perhaps longer hours at work. However, if at all possible, make plans to be here for these summer events. And go ahead and personally invite someone to join you. Who knows, it just might lead to someone choosing to follow Jesus (John 1:35-51).


Shepherds’ Notes

Happy Mother’s Day!  How blessed and thankful we are to have so many wonderful Moms here at Walter Hill.  The Elders would like to reiterate how much we are thankful for our young families and for all these babies! Often Moms and Dads are embarrassed about the noise and disruption of the little ones; but, let me assure you that those are the beautiful sounds of future Christians and servants in the Lord’s kingdom at Walter Hill, and sounds of evidence that Moms and Dads are committed to raising their children in the church!

Mothers are very special.  They have a unique relationship with their children and make countless sacrifices and often their wants and needs are put aside for their family.  The Bible is full of examples of great mothers!    One such example is Jochebed.  Your first response might be “Who?” because her name is only mentioned twice in scripture, but her bravery and sacrifice will be the start of a whole new dispensation in the course of time.

We are introduced to Jochebed in Exodus 2:1 at a time when the Egyptian Pharaoh had issued a decree that all Hebrew newborn males are to be cast into the Nile River.  This decree was issued in part because of the bravery of two other women, Shiphrah and Puah, who were midwives that defied the Pharaoh’s commandment to kill all the newborn Hebrew sons because they feared God.  So, when Jochebed had a son she hid him for three months.  That alone took an enormous amount of bravery!  Then she made a basket and hid him in the reeds along the riverbank. Most of us are familiar with the story of how Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and, at the suggestion of Moses’ sister, hired Jochebed to nurse Moses until he was old enough to be given to Pharaoh’s daughter as her son.    

What an amazing story of a mother’s love and faith in God that ultimately let to God’s people being freed from Egyptian slavery and a testament between God and His people that would last until the coming of the Christian age.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, let us be thankful to God for His plan for the family and especially the role that He established for the Mother in the home.     


From Paul’s Pen

            As announced by the elders last Sunday morning, I am stepping down from the Associate Minister’s position effective May 31st. It is time to retire! I have spent almost twenty years in school (not counting my military education), over twenty-two years in military service, and not quite thirty years in full-time ministry. I state all this – not because it earns me anything – but just to say, “I’m tired!” Gail and I are ready to reduce our obligations and travel more. We love Walter Hill and are so thankful for your love and kindness over these many years!

            I’m not ready to give my valedictory address as the apostle Paul did (2 Timothy 4:6-8) because I hope to be around a little longer. However, I do want to share some thoughts from scripture that have been lessons learned over time for me. ( I’m not saying I’ve perfected these in my own life – I’m still working on them!) But I wish I’d realized their importance when I was younger.

  1. Learn to be content – Philippians 4:11
  2. Be careful when deciding which road to take in life – Proverbs 16:25; Matthew 7:13-14
  3. Lean on God – Proverbs 3:5-6; Jeremiah 10:23
  4. Be thankful for your church family – Philippians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3
  5. Believe in and expect the best in others – Mark 12:31; Luke 6:27; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (Agapé love in the Bible refers to a “pure, willful, sacrificial love that intentionally desires another’s highest good.”[1])
  6. Try to be humble – Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:3; James 4:10
  7. Be forgiving – Matthew 6:14-15; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:12-13
  8. Be eager to learn and keep growing in the faith – Matthew 5:6; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 1:5-8, 3:18
  9. Put God and His kingdom first – Matthew 6:33, 12:37-38
  10.  Believe in the power of prayer – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; Philippians 4:6-7; Hebrews 4:16
  11.  Put on Christ in baptism – Mark 16:15-16; Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 3:26-28; 1 Peter 3:21
  12.  Look forward to heaven – Hebrews 12:1-2; Colossians 3:2; Revelation 21:4

Purer in heart, O God, help me to be;

May I devote my life wholly to Thee;

Watch Thou my wayward feet, Guide me with counsel sweet;

Purer in heart, help me to be.



Satan’s Plan to Derail Our Lives

by Justin Morton

The Bible teaches us that Satan walks around as a roaring lion, always on the prowl (I Pet. 5:8). He wants nothing more than to devour Christians and their relationships with God. The stronger and more faithful a Christian is, the more furiously Satan tries to attack us. We must be alert and always on guard so that we do not fall prey to Satan’s schemes to derail our lives.

Satan, the father of lies (Jn. 8:44), uses many tactics to fracture our relationship to God, but let me give you two simple means he often employs. First, Satan makes Christians think sin is not a big deal. He uses our family, friends, media and advertisements to get us to buy into the lie. We must always be mindful of the seriousness of sin. Lot’s wife (Gen. 19), Achan (Jos. 6 & 7) and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) all learned firsthand how serious sin is. Friends, sin is so serious it was the reason Jesus was nailed to a cross and crucified. We should always remember: the wages of sin brings about death (Rom. 6:23).

The second way Satan derails our Christian lives is by causing us to believe we have all the time in the world. Many of us envision living a long life of 70-80 years and then passing on peacefully. Satan uses this to his advantage. He wants us to believe we have all the time in the world to enjoy the things of this life. Then when we get closer to the end of our time on earth, we can get our relationship with God in order. Unfortunately, too many have bought into this lie. We are not promised tomorrow. James tells us our lives are but a vapor or a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (Jam. 4:13-15). We must guard against thinking we have plenty of time to make things right with God. The truth is, we do not know how much or how little time we have, thus, the importance of making sure our relationship with God is in a right condition this very minute.

Whether we realize it or not, Satan is prowling around looking to destroy our relationship with God. He wants to devour that relationship, and he will if we give him the opportunity. Let’s constantly be on guard and avoid the lies Satan tries to get us to believe so we can continue to walk in the light with our God!


Shepherds’ Notes

             In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, chapter 13 is often called the “Love Chapter” of the Bible.  Some of your Bibles may have a heading for this chapter as “The Greatest Gift.”  Paul basically tells the church at Corinth, everything that is done without love is nothing.  This chapter certainly applies to us in so many ways.  It gives us several characteristics of what love is and what love is not.  We should follow these characteristics in our everyday life.  Regardless of all we do to help others, if it isn’t done in the love of God, it is done in vain. 

This chapter tells us love is patient or long-suffering.  Patience is listed as a virtue in the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 6:22.  It isn’t always easy to be patient, is it?  In teaching God’s word to others, we are to do so in kindness and with patience as we see from 2 Timothy 4:2.  Sometimes we want to see results immediately or we want our wishes to be fulfilled immediately instead of in God’s time. 

Love is kind.  Ephesians 4:32 says “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”  Are we always kind to others, or are we sometimes rude?  Many times, we are unkind or rude to those we love most and those that love us most.  We should think about our actions and the impression they leave with others.  What impression are we making for the Lord’s church?

Love isn’t boastful or self-seeking.  We should put others’ needs before our own.  Sometimes we are selfish and want to be recognized for the good things we are doing when we should be putting ourselves aside and giving God the glory.

Love isn’t puffed up.  One writer says it this way, “love doesn’t have a swelled head”.  Sometimes it is easy to think more of ourselves than we should when we should be using our God given talents for His glory only.   Verse 8 says love never fails.  While other things listed will fail, love is never ending.  Verse 13 is probably one of the more well-known verses in the Bible.  “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  If we are faithful to God, one day faith will be sight, hope will be fulfilled, and we will be surrounded with God’s love for all eternity.  Consider this verse from 1 John 4:16. “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”


No Longer on the Hot Seat

by Justin Morton

Just a couple of weeks ago, coach Kevin Keatts was “on the hot seat”. His basketball team had struggled down the stretch to finish out the regular season and was on the verge of being sent home during the first round of the ACC basketball tournament. With his team trailing at halftime, the season seemed to be coming to a close. And then something happened, something that no one, and I mean no one, saw coming. Coach Keatts’s team came back to win not only that game but the next 4 games of the tournament, making them the ACC Tournament Champions. By winning the ACC tournament, his team automatically qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

Keatts’s team, who was 20 minutes away from losing in the first round of the ACC Tournament, is now one of only four teams remaining. The North Carolina State Wolfpack have won 9 consecutive games and are only 2 wins away from being crowned college basketball national champions. Just a couple of weeks ago, it looked like NC State was going home in mid-March and Keatts might be looking for a new job. But not anymore. Their actions have led to a contract extension and raise for their coach. Within just a couple of weeks, his status has completely changed because of what his players accomplished on the court.

For those of us who are Christians, we can relate. You see, because of our sins we were separated from God and on the verge of being eliminated. But then something happened, something no one saw coming. Jesus shed His blood and died on a cross so that you and I could be saved (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:6-8). And all we have to do to access that spilled blood is to be buried with Him in baptism (Rom. 6:3-4). Once we are buried with Him and come up out of the water, our status is changed (Eph. 2:1-10). We are no longer on the hot seat, we are forgiven. We’ve been given a fresh start to live our lives after the pattern of His Son. And it’s all because of Jesus.

When I read about how Kevin Keatts’s status changed so quickly all because of someone else’s actions, I couldn’t help but think about Jesus and our status before God. Thanks to what Jesus did on the cross, all those who are covered by His blood through the watery grave of baptism have been given a new life with God. Praise be to the Lord that you and I are no longer on the hot seat!


From Chris’s Computer

Jesus is unbeatable. Nearly everyone who has ever lived throughout history has suffered defeat at the hands of death. But not Jesus. Jesus walked amongst His creation, in the form of a servant (Phil 2:6-7; Col 1:16), and while He died on the cross, death was not the end. Jesus rose from the dead. He defeated the common enemy of humanity. We can do very little to escape the grave. Unless our Savior returns, our death is certain. None of us can escape that fate. Yet, Jesus rose from the dead victorious. In His victory over death, He proclaims that nothing will defeat Him.

This common enemy was introduced in the great fall of humanity in Genesis 3. When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, sin was introduced into the world.  Sin deserves punishment, more specifically sin deserves death according to Romans 6:23. This is why we can’t work our way into heaven, there is no work we can do to undo our sin. Thankfully, God had a plan to give us the gift of eternal life in His Son (Romans 6:23). Before Jesus was even born, an angel told His father Joseph that He would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). His mission as the Immanuel, was to be our Savior, to save us from the sting of death, the punishment for our sins.

The importance of the resurrection cannot be understated. Certainly, Jesus paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross, but His resurrection, gave us the hope of new life. So much so that Paul explains that if Christ is not resurrected then our faith is useless, and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). We should most certainly praise God for the resurrection because of what it means for us. Jesus’ victory over death has become our victory (1 Corinthians 15:57). In Romans 6:3-4 the apostle Paul explains we are united with Christ in His death when we are baptized and are raised up out of the water with new life. Which is only possible because of our great Victor and Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ gave His life for our sins paying the price only He could pay and bringing the victory only He could bring through the resurrection of the dead!

“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 ESV)


From Paul’s Pen

            Many of us have had Hebrews 10:25 drilled into us from an early age and can quote from memory “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” And, hopefully, we want to assemble with the saints whenever we can. (Before I continue, yes, I understand that some folks cannot drive at night, have to work, are sick, are caregivers, etc.) Outside of this plain command cited above, there is an example in Scripture that makes me want to never miss a meeting of the Lord’s body.

            On the day of our Lord’s resurrection as recorded in John’s gospel, His disciples assembled that Sunday evening (John 20:19). But one of the twelve missed the assembly (John 20:24). The apostle Thomas wasn’t there for reasons not given. And the next verse reveals why this disciple is forever known as “Doubting Thomas.” However, let’s not miss the lesson for us – and the lesson Thomas came to realize the following week: Jesus, the risen Savior, was at the assembly Thomas missed! Don’t we believe our risen Savior is at our assemblies although not in bodily form (Matthew 18:20; 28:20)?

            When we miss an assembly of the disciples, we often miss something very exciting. That was certainly true if you missed our afternoon service last Sunday or our Wednesday evening service. Last Sunday, our young men led us in worship, and I can’t say enough about what a great job each one did. I want to commend them by name although space does not allow me to describe their participation. However, you can watch the afternoon worship service on YouTube if you were unable to be here. The following young men led us in worship: Josh Miller; Elijah Philips; Dylan Knox; Tyler Lancaster; Will Cooper; Eli Mitchell; Carson McNabb; Martin Nance; Danek Smith; Brayden Graves; Grant DeMario; and Henry Nance. Your willingness to serve is an encouragement to everyone!

            And, if you missed the assembly on Wednesday evening, you missed the beautiful “new birth” of Isaac DeMario. His father Greg took his confession and then immersed him into Christ. It is so encouraging to see our young people take seriously the gospel message and decide to follow Jesus. May we never do anything to cause one of these young people to stumble (Mark 9:42)!

            P.S. I don’t want to slight our young ladies as I am told Emma, Kayla, and Halaina all did a great job for our recent Ladies’ Day!