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Anna Street Church of Christ
Newsletter
Vol. 57, No. 12
Sunday, March 20, 2022
NEWS
              
 
                 March 26th is the Boy's Ranch Tour!
Begins at 10:00 a.m. and ends with lunch. Deadline to sign up on sheet on the bulletin board is March 20th. You can also call us at 806-352-8769 and we'll sign you up. Car pooling is suggested. A van/bus will be provided once we get there.
  • Guss Hrncir passed away Wednesday morning. Vinita is home but she is very ill with Covid and pneumonia. We pray for healing, comfort and peace. 
  • Julia Browder's brother, Lowell Richburg, passed away March 10th.  His funeral was held in Mt. Pleasant on the 15th. We pray for  Julia and for the family. 
  • The funeral for Jesse Bazan, son-in-law of Frances Oglesby, was held the 17th at University Church of Christ in Canyon.  We offer up prayer for Frances and the family.
  • The funeral for Carolyn Butler's sister-in-law, Emma Butler, was held in Tulia March 15th. Let's keep Carolyn and the family in our prayers. 
  • Wardell Reust says sister Ann is doing better. We are always  thankful for good news.
                              Anna Street Cookout!
                    Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAYS IN 
MARCH
 
 
Come join us at 6:45 for song practice. Then at 7:25, Lee Kendle is teaching us about "Allegiance and Works." This engrossing lesson will continue on March 23rd. 

 

LAST WEEK'S LESSON

Steve McLean's lesson about the Parable of the Talents will make you think. How is your commitment to Jesus?
   
Sunday's lesson is here.

Slow, but Sure
 
     “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small,” is an often-quoted line. I wasn’t surprised to see the name of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow linked to it, but it took me aback to learn that these words are not his. Instead, they are his translation of a 17th-century poem “Retribution” by German author Friedrich von Logau.
     Logau was right. The wheels of justice often turn at a snail’s pace, but they do keep turning. Let me share a couple of true stories that demonstrate this.
     Over forty years ago, in February 1981, Lee Litz discovered a dead baby boy wrapped in a blanket in a cornfield ditch. Decades later Sioux Falls police used modern DNA forensics to identify the mother.
     When she was arrested, she told them that she had concealed her pregnancy and was alone in her apartment when the baby was born. According to Associated Press, this baby-killing mother confessed that she drove into the country and left the newborn in the ditch to die.
     In 2003, two decades ago, a garbage collector in a township southwest of Chicago, was shocked when the bodies of twin babies tumbled out of an alley garbage bin she was emptying. The sheriff told Fox News that an autopsy showed that the infants were born alive and then asphyxiated. This cold case suddenly came alive again years later when authorities identified the twins’ mother as a 41-year-old Holland, Michigan, woman named Antoinette Briley. They arrested her for murder.
     I can’t imagine what kind of memories haunted these mothers during all those years before their crimes came to light. How many days do you think they got through without remembering what they did to their babies? Mothers of stillborn infants have told me repeatedly that they never forget their lost little one. How could a baby-killing mother ever forget what she did to her child?              In a horribly misguided ruling, SCOTUS legalized abortion—a ruling that so far has cost fifty million babies their lives. While that sadly liberal court could change the law, they lacked the power to help those mothers forget what they did to their babies. Only God knows how many mothers across our land spend countless hours wondering what could have happened if they had resisted the pressure to end their baby’s life. Their regrets seldom go away. Who do you know that more desperately needs the grace Jesus purchased for us with his blood?
Gene Shelburne
Not a Basket
 
     When I hear the word Wicca I immediately think of a basket—wicker basket. Though they sound the same, I am quite aware of the difference. One is used for holding things, and another is a religion of the occult. The Wiccan religion claims to have roots in Druidism and even beyond. Nowadays we see occult imagery everywhere: the Harry Potter universe, Marvel, most horror films, and just about every Disney film. In 2001, one of the best movie trilogies, which found its roots in a 1937 fantasy novel, broke records. The Lord of the Rings reawakened the child in most grown adults.  After being exposed to Star War's A new Hope, I remember being in my backyard pretending to be Luke Skywalker using the force .
     Can you imagine my shock as a high school teacher when I realized one of my seniors claimed to be Wiccan? In 2001, ATLAS published the "American Religious Identification Survey”. At that time only 130,000 Americans claimed to be Wiccan. Right after “The Sorcerer’s Stone” hit theaters, that number jumped to over 175,000 and has accelerated beyond its traditional population growth. Six years later that number had grown to 350,000 Wiccans in the U.S. In 2014, Pew picked up the baton—1.5 million individuals claim the Wiccan religion as their own. That is 0.4% of the U.S. population. The statistics point to the rise of the Harry Potter genre in American cinema as being the catalyst.
     A catalyst in chemistry refers to a substance which increases the rate of change. Harry Potter was not the cause, but it increased the cultural temperature and therefore increased the rate of change in an already changing culture.
     Who failed? Parents.
     The occult may appear attractive to our younger Christians, but it is up to parents to help their children distinguish between realistic spirituality and fanciful ideas. Christianity and Wicca have dangerously opposite views.
  1. Wiccans worship creation (Romans 1:25). Christians are taught to care for the environment (Gen. 2:15; Deut. 20:19-20; Ps. 115:16) and appreciate it (Ps. 19), but our worship belongs to God alone (Ps. 148). For Christians nature is the fingerprint of God, not God himself.
  2. The Wiccan Rede states, “If it harms none, do as ye will.” They admit harming others is bad, but in this statement is hidden a great disagreement with our faith. There is no absolute truth. “Do as ye will.” As Christians the Bible teaches us there is absolute truth about morals and salvation. Jesus is the “way the truth and the life…” (John 14:6). It is God’s Will that we pray be done, and not our own (Matt. 6:10).
  3. Wiccans claim to use magick. The “k” is added to differentiate between conjuring and the entertainment industry’s use of it. God tells us in His Word to stay away from practicing these things even if they are not malevolent, because God detests them (Deut. 18:10-12).
     We must ensure that our children who are exposed to this content understand reality—fact and fiction. One of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien has sorcery in his book series, The Lord of the Rings, but its story is wholesome and teaches Christian ideas. Concepts like fellowship, sacrifice, and honor flow of the pages into the reader’s heart and mind. Tolkien would say his book is fiction. I would even say books like Tolkien’s and C.S. Lewis’ have had a positive impact on the kingdom. If parents do a good job of teaching their children, then modern stories, like Harry Potter’s, can have a similar affect.
     Too many parents, in ignorance, approach the Bible as a fantasy book, which diminishes its authority. It is not fantasy. While it doesn’t promise the power to shoot lightning from your hands or make a car float in the air, it does something ever more magnificent. It teaches a true story about God’s desire to reconcile his creation through Jesus, and how all who follow him will live eternally with him. This is fact.
     Make an effort to talk to your kids about the media they absorb and put it in proper context. Make sure they understand the Truth. If we aren’t careful, we may extinguish our children’s faith with senseless cultural phenomena, like Wicca, which, in all honesty, has less use than a wicker basket.
 
Nathan Keller
Copyright © 2022 Anna Street Church of Christ, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
2310 Anna Street 
Amarillo, TX    79106


Services

Sunday
Bible Studies @ 9:45 a.m.
Worship @ 10:30 a.m.
Youth Group @ 6:00 p.m.


Wednesday
Song Practice         6:45 – 7:25 
Break                     7:25 – 7:35
Teaching Time       7:35 – 8:15 



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