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Van Buren Instructor – April 18, 2004

       “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.” Prov. 4:13
  The Van Buren                         Instructor                                          A Publication of the Van Buren church of Christ Meeting at 711 Access Road in Van Buren, AR. 72956; Service times Sun: 9:30 and 10:20 AM; 6:00 PM; Wed. 7:00 PM Study    471-5801……                                                   Visitors Welcome ….Members Expected!

    Volume 6                                                       April 18, 2004                                  Number 16

                                                                                                                                               Bitterness: A Bullet of Brutality!

 Acts 8:23: “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

    Ephesians 4:31: “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

  Each of us is likely to be treated in a way that we perceive to be unfair along life’s pilgrimage, perhaps a number of times. How we react to such action determines to a great extent the amount of happiness, pleasure and satisfaction we experience in this journey as well as how we nurture others.

  Bitterness can easily “spring up” in the heart of the person who en counters unfair and or harsh treatment.  Bitterness will affect us greatly and practically every other person who crosses our path.  The Bible points to bitterness as something to be weeded out of our lives  at the earliest stages and not allowed to develop, because the consequences are so great. Read carefully the inspired writer’s words:

  Hebrews 12:15: “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;”

  Its development is from the very small “root” to the destructive poisonous plant fully developed ‑‑ causing much trouble and defiling many.

  1. In many of our streets today, bullets are piercing the hearts and life support systems of many, much before their time.  We read of people having bullets enter houses and even taking their lives while they lie in bed or play in their yards, even while being held in the arms of their grandmother on their steps.  A great deal is being said and resources spent on trying to restrict the purchase of guns, which I have no objection to, but feel that it is foolish to think that such restrictions will make a dent in the crime committed by guns.  It’s what is  being fed into the minds of children  and a failure to help them learn how  to deal successfully with unpleasant  experience, that’s producing the bullets of brutality.

  2. Bitterness is not only a critical destructive mind set for the person who has it, but it is a bullet that pierces the lives of all  who touch that person.  His/her behavior affects many others.

                How to avoid bitterness:

  1. See the destructive forces and consequences of it.  Look first of all in the Bible and read of its danger and consequences of a spiritual nature.

  2. Look around you and see others who have developed this in their minds and see how miserable they are and how they affect others.

  3. Determine to look at the positive aspects of adversity ‑‑ Job,  Peter, Paul and others.  Yes, one will suffer some at the hands of the wicked. At times well meaning people will say things and do things that cut us to the heart.  But remember that we are not the first to so suffer ‑‑ see Abel, Jeremiah, Christ and His apostles and early disciples. The righteous always wins the battle, however, in the long run. Read 2 Cor. 4:17; Rom.8:16‑18. Ponder their message seriously.

  Remember what James says: “But if you have bitter envy and self‑seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above,..” (Jas. 3:14‑15).  ‑‑William C. Sexton


    Those to Serve Today Announcements: Les Davis

Song Leader: Sean Cavander

Prayer: Don Douglas

Lords Supper Talk: Ottie Talkington

Scripture Reading: Keith Hernandez

Lesson: Burl Young

Closing Prayer: Ellis Westbrooks

                 Lord’s Supper Table

Bread:  James Stein Fruit of the Vine: Jeff Bryant

Assisting:Derek Goodin and Ellis Westbrooks


    Welcome to all visitors with us today. We are so happy you came to worship the God of heaven. Please fill out a visitor’s card and place it in the collection plate. Please come back any anytime. If we can be of help, in studying the Bible, please let us know. We’ll gladly study any Bible subject with you, and try to do it at your convenience and place of your choosing.

Bible Reading for Today:

Sunday morning: See Burl Young   

Those who are sick, Prayer List:

  Brother Hugh Jeffery discovered last week he has COPD, and must take daily treatments. Keep him in you prayers, please

Jeff Bryant’s father, is still in  Saint Edwards, Room 5414, taking Therapy. I’m told the last two days had shown improvement. Let us keep him and the family in our prayers.

Barry Jones, It was so good to have brother Barry Jones home and able to attend services last Sunday. Let us keep him in our prayers, that the healing will be complete, and his life will be greatly improved.

     Geneva Sexton, had to miss her 6th chemo. treatment Friday due to a low blood count. She had been feeling very weak and could hardly stay awake. She said the first part of the week, she slept about 19 hours a day. Therefore, she still needs your prayers. Lois and I greatly appreciate your concern and prayer in her behalf.­

VERY GOOD NEWS:  we have a new sister in the Lord Jesus Christ. Haley Herandez was baptized last Sunday night. We know that angels in heaven rejoiced (Lk. 15:7, 10). We all rejoice with her, also! We know her mother and father are thrilled by her good action! 


Yours  truly says THANS for your prayers. The meeting in Saint Joseph MO, April 11-16 went well. Lois and I enjoyed being able to worship with people we had not seen for awhile, as well as meet some new people. We preached the truth, and it seemed to be received well. We had a safe trip home.                    

Our Meeting with Pat Farish, April 25-30

     Next Sunday is the starting date for the spring series of lesson . Let us make this a week of prayerful efforts to contact out neighbors, friends, relatives to attend. The following topics will be explored, examined in light of the Bible.

   Sunday morning, The Solution, Psalm 119:11

   Sunday evening, “What Doth Hinder?”

  Monday, “Words, Whereby Thou Shalt Be


  Tuesday, Joseph, In The House Of Potiph­ar

  Wednesday, The Thief On The Cross ‑‑

                        And You

  Thursday, “Then Cometh The Devil”

   Friday, Why Do You Wait?

Those out-of-town:

     Randy Cavender plans to be preaching in Tahlequah, OK today, both services.  Remember him in your prayers, also.

            I’ll be preaching at Waveland this morning and at Bethel at 4:30, and try to be here at 6:00 PM. Lois plans to be with me.

            Talkingtons, Ottie and Sue, are to be out of town today, I’m told.

            Les and Stephanie Davis and the children are to be visiting out of town today I understand.

      There was a work day at the building yesterday. I understand that 5 men and two women showed and did some work. I trust that we all are grateful for their efforts.

      Wednesday night study:  Let us all remember the Wednesday study at 7:”30 PM. Classes for all. __________________________________

The Van Buren Church of Christ

711 Access Road

Van Buren, AR 72956