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As we gathered to worship Sunday morning at Mill Creek Baptist Church, we were greeted by Doug Cory, who opened our service with prayer. Ruth Briggs and Lou Durbin were celebrating birthdays. Special prayers were requested for many, including Stephen, Barbara and Floyd Fine, Wayne Johnson, Tim, June Sherman, Frances, Dell and the Dean Lietch family.

Linda Abercrombie read a devotional by Max Ludaco, "Today, I Will Make a Difference." We can control our thoughts to be happy and hopeful. Refuse to be victimized by circumstances, anxiety or self-pity. Make optimism your companion and do not let past failures haunt you. Admit your errors, correct them and press on. No failure is fatal. We can own the world and be poor with love. Five undiluted minutes with family and friends can make a difference.

Congregational hymns were led by Becky Johnson and Karen Gardner. We enjoyed special guitar music from Levi Hamilton and Karen, who sang, "How Great Thou Art." Rick Lett and Tyrel Lett served as ushers and collected the offering.

Our pastor, Brother Mark Hall, brought us God's message from the book of Jonah, "Going Down for the Last Time." It was a continuation of the sermon series on the relevance of God's word. Brother Mark talked about having a hard week and having God as our refuge." Church is our earthly refuge. It is like running bases and finally hitting home base."

Brother Mark talked about the story of Jonah. "We are just like Jonah. He didn't want to go to Nineveh because they didn't like him and he didn't like them. We think about how ridiculous other prejudice looks and then how justified our own is. Today, Nineveh is whatever pulls you out of your comfort zone. It is a place that God calls you where you don't want to go. It is like God telling you to minister to people who have done something to you. Jonah was a preacher who ran to get away from God. When real Christians run from God, they will go down. Jonah went down several times and the last place he went down to was a hell of his own making. That is the last place you want to end up. Jonah finally began to pray after he hit rock bottom in the fish's belly. Hell is being out of the presence of God. After hitting bottom, Jonah prayed, repented and made promises. God delivered and Jonah got delivered out of his hell."

Brother Mark told us that, in the story of Jonah, he fled, he prayed, he preached and then he pouted as he didn't feel like the folks God told him to preach to deserved to be forgiven, but God pitied Nineveh. "Why does the book of Jonah end in a question? Because the question is for us. We are to forgive others even if we think they are unworthy of forgiveness. God will deal with them, but he will also deal with us for not forgiving them. Every time God sends you to Nineveh, the devil has a boat to Tarshish where we will go down spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. All of those things can happen if you flee from the presence of God. God brought Jonah from the pit. Don't let stubbornness and unforgiveness put you in the pit like Jonah. God has a Nineveh for us. How are you getting along with your ministry? What is the Nineveh that God has for you?"

Our hymn of invitation was "Jesus Paid It All," and Jerry Abercrombie gave the benediction.

Saturday, July 14, Mill Creek Baptist Church will host "Gone Fishin'" Vacation Bible School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be Bible stories, games, lunch, crafts, music and prizes. All children ages four and up are invited to attend the fun-filled day. "Gone Fishin'" is the theme and each child will receive a fishing pole and a T-shirt, along with crafts and prizes to take home.

We invite you to worship with us on Sunday mornings at Mill Creek Baptist Church. Sunday school begins at 10 a.m. and worship service at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome.

Mill Creek Baptist Church is located three and one-half miles east of Noel, just off Highway 90. If you need a ride, the church van will pick you up at the Arvest Bank lot on Main Street at 8:15 a.m. and return to the drop-off point at 2:15 p.m.

For information, call 417-475-7633 and leave a message.

Religion on 07/12/2018

Print Headline: Going Down for the Last Time

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