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When Ray and I lived in Mississippi, Ray was a campus minister. He preached sermons only rarely. One Sunday he had the opportunity to preach at our local church. The next Sunday a preacher in another town needed someone to fill in for him, so Ray ended up preaching two Sundays in a row. He used the same sermon.

After the sermon in the second place, a college girl came to Ray and said, “God must have really wanted me to hear that lesson because I heard it last week in Oxford.”

That has long been one of our favorite preacher stories.

I think God is really wanting me to hear from a certain teaching from Acts because He has given me the opportunity twice in the last few weeks. The first time I heard this lesson lately was from our daughter when she was teaching children in Wednesday Bible class. The second time was on Sunday, when we visited the church we were a part of when we were first married.

In Acts 3, God had healed a lame beggar through the ministry of the apostles Peter and John. After the man was healed, the people were amazed at what had happened. Peter preached to them about Jesus.

At the beginning of Acts 4, the Jewish priests, the Sadducees, and the captain of the temple guard grabbed Peter and John and put them in jail. Jewish leaders questioned Peter and John at a Council meeting the next day. Peter told them:

. . . let it be known to all of you
and to all the people of Israel,
that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—
by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
Acts 4:10

It was in this conversation that Peter said:

And there is salvation in no one else;
for there is no other name under heaven
that has been given among men
by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

After Peter and John left the Council, the Jewish leaders began to ask one another what they should do. They decided to warn Peter and John not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

Peter and John answered with these words:
“Whether it is right in the sight of God
to give heed to you rather than to God,
you be the judge;
for we cannot stop speaking
about what we have seen and heard.”
Acts 4:19-20

In Acts 5, the high priest and his associates put the apostles in jail. An angel of the Lord opened the gates and let them out. To the amazement of the Council, their officers went to the prison and couldn’t find the apostles. When the Council learned that the apostles were preaching in the temple, they brought them back and reprimanded them for not obeying their order not to teach about Jesus. Peter responded:

We must obey God rather than men.
Acts 5:29

Mary Evelyn pointed out to the children that trouble didn’t keep the apostles from preaching about Jesus. The speaker on Sunday pointed out that the world tells us not to speak the name of Jesus, He reminded us that the Jewish leaders had done the same thing to Peter and John, and he encouraged us to find ways to say His name.

I am grateful that homeschooling makes it easier for your children to hear Jesus’ name. I pray that you will take full advantage of that precious opportunity. I also pray that each of us will take full advantage of the precious opportunity to speak His name — no matter who is telling us not to do so.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him,
and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow,
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11

75th Anniversary of D-Day

One Soldier’s Story: A Tennessean in World War II

The 75th anniversary of D-Day is this week! For those of you who live near Columbia, Gainesboro, or Cookeville, Tennessee, we hope you can join us at one of the One Soldier’s Story presentations listed below. Admission is free to all performances. And for those of you who live too far away, here’s that link again to view in online.

Link to One Soldier’s Story: A Tennesseean in World War II Online

Wesley Notgrass and John Notgrass
Wesley Notgrass and John Notgrass

Wednesday, June 5
6:00 p.m.
American Legion Post 19
812 Nashville Highway
Columbia, Tennessee (Wes’ hometown!)


Thursday, June 6 — 75th Anniversary Performance
10:00 a.m.
Gainesboro Church of Christ
313 S. Murray Street
Gainesboro, Tennessee


Thursday, June 6 — 75th Anniversary Performance
7:00 p.m.
Peachtree Learning Center
402 North Walnut Avenue
Cookeville, Tennessee



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