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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN

PARENTS, THE TIME IS NOW

* FIRST CALL: We are going to start attending church services just as soon as the baby is old enough to bring.

* ONE YEAR LATER: Yes. we promised to come to church, but we think the baby is  too young to bring yet.  She cries, squirms, and disturbs others, and we don’t get any good from the services.

* THREE YEARS LATER: Preacher, I know you think we're awful about our church attendance, but Jane just does not like Bible School.  I don't understand why, hut she is different from other children her age. We feel that to compel a child to go to church might turn her against religion in later years. We'll keep trying. Thanks for dropping by.

* ELEVEN YEARS LATER: The reason I telephoned for you to come by is that I want you or the elders to see if you can help us with Jane. She is running with the wrong crowd. Perhaps if the church could provide some entertainment for the young people, she might get interested in religion. She really needs help.

* THIRTEEN YEARS LATER: Yes, Jane is married. They ran away from home, Oh,  yes, they are both too young, and he is not a Christian, We hope it will work out. Ile promised not to stand in her way of going to church services.

* ANOTHER TEN YEARS: Well, Jane finally married a man who can give her the better things in life.  The "third time's a charm." She just could not get along with the other two. We had high hopes for a while that this husband would become a Christian.  However,  the preacher preached a sermon on marriage  and divorce, and that made both he and Jane very angry.  They both declared they will never go to church again as long as they live!

Some parents think their child is too young" to take to church and therefore  wait, thinking that a time will come when the child will suddenly like to go to Bible study and will he glad to sit quietly  through the worship hour. When the child does not, they think that something is wrong  with the teaching or that "My child really is different. He/she is just above the others in intellect, and they just do not want to take the child against  its will! (What child had not rather be having  free run of all its toys  and have mother and father jumping to its every demand than being taught the fundamentals of behavior and truth of his God?)

Why is it when the child, who has not been properly taught by its parents, gets  into trouble, that it is always assumed that "the church just should be providing some worldly entertainment to capture the child" for the parents'?  Then when the child, who was not "taken to church against its will," gets its life so completely destroyed in unscriptural marriage and divorce situations (Mt. 19:9), that the preacher who preaches God's truth on the subject is accused of being the one who caused them to quit the church. -the truth being that they never started with the church.

The Bible still instructs us to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he  will not depart from  it" (Prov.  22:6). ye fathers provoke not your  children to wrath, but bring them lip in the nurture and admonition of the Lord '' (Eph. 6:4).

Friend, it is time that we be about our Father's business, following His inspired Word in our lives and implanting the same in the hearts and minds of our children. When we do, we will have less trouble with our children, ourselves, and we will find less fault in the Lord's church. --Donald Rhodes

* In a church: Would all members and visitors please note that the bowl at the rear of the church that says "For the sick" is for monetary contributions only. Thank you. ------Forbes  Magazine

* I cannot hold my tongue, nor my pen. As long as I live, I must write. -George Bernard Shaw, at 91