New Here
Come, join our church family! Sunday School starts at 9:00 a.m. Fellowship time is from 9:45 a.m. to 10:05 a.m. Worship service starts at 10:15 a.m.
Search this Site
SearchSearch
The secret to contentment is a relationship with Jesus (Philippians 4:10-13)

    Ponderings of the Preacher...

    Home - Blogs - Ponderings of the Preacher...
    TueTuesdaySepSeptember5th2017 September 5, 2017
    byPastor David McConnell Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    Ponderings of the Preacher . . .

         Slogans, mottos, and jingles can be very useful.  One of the benefits is making something memorable.  I can still remember some of the jingles from the 1960’s  that were used in the advertising industry to sell products.  Another benefit is the power to unite people for a cause.  In the 1830’s, a motto that united people behind a cause was “Remember the Alamo.”  One other benefit is the potential to generate enthusiasm.  Throughout our history there have been slogans that have been used to build enthusiasm for political candidates.  One of the most famous was in the Presidential campaign of 1840.  The slogan that was used to generate support for William Henry Harrison was “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.”

         Our church is a part of the Restoration Movement, an effort to restore the present day church to the way it was in the New Testament.  The Restoration Movement had its beginnings in the early 1800’s.  There were several different slogans that became a part of this movement that helped make the purposes of the movement stick in the minds of the people, rally them to a common purpose, and create enthusiasm.

         There are three such slogans that I want to share with you in this column.  Perhaps you are already familiar with them, but on the other hand maybe you have never heard them before.  If you are not familiar with them, then you should be.

         “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, love.”  All agree that there must be unity in the clear areas of biblical teaching.  But in matters of opinion a wide variety of differences can be tolerated – as long as these opinions do not contradict biblical teaching, are not made a test of fellowship or church membership, or are not made essential to the church’s teaching.

         “No creed but Christ, no book but the Bible, no law but love.”  The unity of the church is to be found only in the basics of New Testament teaching.  All other sources of teaching ultimately become divisive.  That is why when a person wants to become a member of our church, we do not ask them whether they agree with a lengthy statement of beliefs but only whether they believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God.

         “Not the only Christians, but Christians only.”  We do not believe that the only Christians are found in our church but we do refuse to wear any other name than Christian.  All followers of Jesus want to be known as Christians, but names other than this divinely given name can be divisive.

         I am proud to be a part of a congregation that stands on the ancient book, the Bible, and bears the ancient name, Christian, and follows the ancient command, love God and one another.

         I hope to see each of you this coming Lord’s Day morning!

                                                                                    C U N   Church,

                                                                                    David

    WedWednesdayAugAugust16th2017 August 15, 2017
    byPastor David McConnell Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    Ponderings of the Preacher . . .

         Yesterday, Delaine Donaldson in his presentation of history at the time of the establishment of First Christian Church in 1867 up to the end of the 19th century mentioned President James A. Garfield.  He was a member of the Christian Church/Church of Christ and was asked many questions about the group of believers with whom he worshiped.  In response to those questions he wrote the following:

    1. We call ourselves Christians or Disciples of Christ.

    2. We believe in God the Father.

    3. We believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and our Savior.  We regard the divinity of Christ as the fundamental truth of the Christian system.

    4. We believe in the Holy Spirit, both as to His agency in conversion as indwelling in the heart of the Christian.

    5. We accept both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures as the inspired Word of God.

    6. We believe in the future punishment of the wicked and the future reward of the righteous.

    7. We believe that the Deity is a prayer hearing and a prayer answering God.

    8. We observe the institution of the Lord’s Supper on the Lord’s day.  To this table we neither invite nor debar; we say it is the Lord’s Supper for all of the Lord’s children.

    9. We plead for the union of God’s people on the Bible and the Bible alone.

    10. The Christ is our only creed.

    11. We maintain that all the ordinances should be observed as they were in the days of the apostles.

         I hope to see each of you this coming Lord’s Day morning.  Let’s all do our best to be here next Sunday!

                                                     C U N   Church,

                                                     David

     

    ThuThursdayAugAugust10th2017 August 1, 2017
    byPastor David McConnell Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    Ponderings of the Preacher . . .

         Throughout this year, we have been commemorating 150 years of our congregation’s life and service in the Effingham community.  For all of us as human beings, 150 years is a long, long time.  There are many in our congregation who can comprehend the length of half that time but none of us can grasp and understand from personal experience the time span of 150 years.  However, the God we love and serve surely can!  The length of time our congregation has been in existence is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the history of mankind and even less when compared to eternity. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends:  With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8).

         We celebrate the events of the past.  We plan for the future.  But we must take advantage of the time we have in the present.   “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” (Colossians 4:5 King James Version)  The New International Version translates that verse as “make the most of every opportunity.”  I want to encourage you to make the most of every opportunity to celebrate this anniversary of our congregation’s existence.

         We hope that you can be present with us on the weekend of September 9-10.

    On that Saturday evening at 6:00 we will get together for a time of fellowship and worship.  We are planning on homemade ice cream.  Carroll Lewis, interim minister two different times at First Christian Church, will be present with us to share some memories as well as devotional thoughts.  Pee Wee Denton will be leading us in an old-fashioned sing-a-long.  The time capsule enclosed in the cornerstone will be opened. 

         On September 10, we will continue the celebration. Following the morning worship service, the church family will share lunch in the fellowship hall. 

         Please take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate the life and ministry of First Christian Church.

                                                                                C U N   Church,

                                                                                David

     

    MonMondayJulJuly3rd2017 July 4, 2017
    byPastor David McConnell Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    Ponderings of the Preacher . . .

         Tomorrow, we will celebrate our country’s 241st birthday.  During those 241 years, there have been many times of strife and disagreement.  Our present time seems to be characterized by division and sectarianism.  Are there any lessons from the past that we can learn from that might be able to help us through our own troubled times?  Let me share one such incident from our past that can serve as an example to us today.

         On Thursday, June 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin delivered a powerful speech to the Constitutional Convention, which was embroiled in a bitter debate over how each state was to be represented in the new government.  The hostile feelings, created by the smaller states being pitted against the larger states was so bitter that some delegates actually left the Convention.  Franklin said the following: “I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that built it.’  I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: …I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.” 

         We know that as a result of those prayers the Great Compromise was struck and as a result our government has two legislative bodies in its Congress.  It would be good if we employed this same method – prayer – to end the gridlock that plagues us at both the national and state levels.

         Enjoy your Fourth of July and be sure to pray for our country, its citizens, and its leaders.  Please God, bless America again!

                                                                                                    C U N   Church,

                                                                                                    David

    MonMondayJulJuly3rd2017 July 2, 2017
    byPastor David McConnell Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    THE BOOKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

    Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:15

    The New Testament is God’s agreement or covenant with all people made possible by Jesus Christ.  The books commonly called the New Testament give details about that agreement.

    I. THE GOSPELS TELL ABOUT THE ____________________

        OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

     

     

    II. THE BOOK OF ACTS TELL ABOUT THE

         ______________________ OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

     

     

    III. THE EPISTLES SHARE THE ________________________    

          OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

     

     

    IV. THE REVELATION FORETELLS THE

          ______________________ OF THE NEW  TESTAMENT

     

     

    As Christians, we should all be familiar with the books of the New Testament because in them we come to know our Lord

    Do you know Jesus as the host in your life?  Have you opened the door of your heart and let Him in?

    Audio Sermon_Sun_7-02-17.mp3
    Ponderings of the Preacher...Tuesday, June 11, 2013by Weekly Ponderings of Pastor David McConnell
    Senior Pastor David McConnell; Youth Pastor Martin Reyes; 217.342.6797
    Powered by iMinistries, a Church Website Content Management System.