I was recently reminded of this story and I thought I would share it in order to stir our minds concerning how we speak as Ambassadors of Christ. This is a great follow-up to the two sermons that I gave recently concerning our speech toward those of the outside and those of the fellowship.
The Nails in the Fence - Author Unknown
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
Finally, the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.
He said, “You've done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there and a verbal wound is just as bad as a physical one.”
There have been many versions of this story over the years, but the lesson is the same. Words have the power to inflict pain. Although that pain may heal, it changes that individual from that point forward. (James 3:5-18, Proverbs 15:1-2, 2 Timothy 2:23-26). In the words of Paul, “Let’s be determined to let our speech be with Grace, seasoned with Salt, that we might know how to answer one another.” Let our words be one that heals the wound that this world has inflicted and not allow them to be the weapon that inflicts those wounds.
For the Youth - Bible Trivia:
1. What prophet of God commanded the King of Israel to shoot an arrow out of a window?
*Hint: 2 Kings 13:14-17
2. Who came to Peter in the middle of the night and freed him from prison?
*Hint: Acts 12:1-10
3. While Jesus was in Bethany, a woman came to the house in which He was staying and annointed Him with a very costly oil. What type of oil did she use and what was this costly oil carried in?
* Hint: Matthew 26:6-9, Mark 14:3-9
North Canton Announcements:
- Sabbath Service Time (December 3rd): 2:00 PM
- Next Week (December 10th): 2:00 PM
- Sabbath Services for December 24th: In person services have been canceled. We do not have a meeting hall/space available due to the holidays. However, this is the WFW service and a full service will be broadcasted from Home Office WFW event. I encourage all to gather in homes as much as possible.
- Sabbath Services for December 31st: Our normal meeting hall will not be available so the location and service time has been changed. Services will be located at the Holiday Inn - 898 Arlington Ridge E Akron OH 44312 – Service time will 1:00 PM.
- Roy Suggs (Ryan Hall’s Stepfather): After a follow appointment on Friday morning, the oncologist was not sure if what the bone scan revealed is cancer or not. For clarification, Roy was scheduled for a CT scan that will take place on Wednesday December 7th. The CT scan will determine if there is cancer and if so how far it has spread throughout his body. At that point a course of treatment will be determined. Thank you for your continued prayers.
- Linda & Micah Regnier: Linda has a follow appointment on December 12 to discuss her Osteoporosis and treatment options. Micah’s leg is healing, but the hematoma that resulted from the accident, is still causing some pain.
- Sabbath School: Going forward, Sabbath School will take place on the 2nd Sabbath of every month. Please plan to have your children present December 10th for class.
- Thanksgiving Potluck: We are planning a belated Thanksgiving themed meal for December 10th. Turkey will be provided. Please plan on bringing either sides, drinks, and desserts for the meal. There will be a themed based activity so please try to attend. Please contact Debbie Kuhns or Rose Szymkowiak if you have any questions.
- Brethren Helping Brethren: We are all facing some very difficult times and things seem to be getting worse. The young and elderly may be struggling or may struggle moving forward. We would like to reach out to our N Canton Brethren by setting up a table in the back of our fellowship hall for donated non-perishable items. (paper products, cleaning supplies, canned goods etc.) If you would like to participate please bring in your items on January 14th . Depending on items donated and need we will update with the next donation date whether it be monthly or bi-monthly. Please contact Debbie Kuhns with ideas or questions.
- Marriage Seminar Weekend: Why settle for a good marriage when God gives us the tools to have a great marriage. Marriage is under attack and it’s never a waste of time to invest in strengthening this special relationship between a husband and wife. This special weekend will provide the opportunity for our married couples to come together as a family to learn how to protect and develop even more what God has blessed us with. The seminar/activity will take place from Friday evening January 27 to Sunday afternoon January 29th. Location will be the Holiday Inn Boardman, OH. More details, as well as a registration for those who desire to attend and or volunteer will be coming soon. Please don’t let finances hinder your decision.
- COE: The next Council of Elders Meeting will take place December 5th - 8th. Your prayers for God’s guidance are greatly appreciated.
- Ambassador Bible College Magnetic Yearly Calendar: The ABC Calendar is BACK! This calendar/planner features God’s Holy Days and Feasts for the year 2023. The calendar is a 11 by 8½-inch glossy magnetic calendar that features a blank section on the lower portion for additional information such as reminders and lists. This calendar can be written on with any dry erase marker for your convenience. This year’s ABC class has already pre-ordered and printed calendars, so they are ready to be distributed for $7 each. There are multiple ways you can purchase a calendar. There is a link on the eNews with a form that each congregation can print out and have available for members to place their orders. We’d like orders to be forwarded to us by Dec. 6, to allow time for packaging and shipping before the new year. Once the order form is filled out, please mail the form and payment (payable to “ABC Student Fund”) if already collected to: Ambassador Bible College 555 Techne Center Dr Milford, OH 45150 The ABC class will ship to the pastor/congregation contact for member pickup at services. Individual calendars can be ordered and shipped to a home address. Due to extra processing costs, an additional $1 fee will be incurred, increasing the price to $8/calendar. If you have questions about your order, or to order individual calendars, email ABCfundraiser@ucg.org. Calendars will also be sold at an ABC fundraising table during Winter Family Weekend along with other items. Thank you so much for your support of the ABC class of 2023.
- Winter Family Weekend: Don't forget to get registered for WFW 2022!! Everyone planning to attend the WFW (even if just for Sabbath services) is asked to register at wfw.ucg.org, whether participating in sports or attending other activities.
The deadline to register for sports is coming up quickly November 27th! Secure your teams spot now! Opening events will begin on Friday evening, Dec. 23, with activities ending on Tuesday, Dec. 27. The event will once again be held near Cincinnati, Ohio, with a new hotel and conference center venue located just north of the city in West Chester. It will be a great opportunity for all of us to gather together again for Sabbath services, seminars and sports, which will be offered throughout the weekend. We’ve also been blessed to once again be able to use the same facilities we’ve used in prior years for our basketball and volleyball games. There are also some exciting new activities planned throughout the weekend for folks of all ages.
During the Cincinnati Winter Family Weekend, Dec. 23–27, the teen dance will be a 1980s-themed blast from the past! Get ready to dust off your old Ray-Bans and Members Only jackets! Pizza and other snacks will be provided (no Crystal Pepsi, sorry). We will have a prize for the most 80s-tastic outfit. See you there!
- Growing in Faith Weekend: All UCG young adults are invited to join us at the 2023 Growing in the Faith weekend from January 13- 16, 2023 in Stewartville, Minnesota, to discuss how to prepare for a godly marriage. While single, it is the perfect time to learn and grow into the person God wants us to be, even if we haven’t met that perfect person yet. Now is the time to be developing the characteristics that will help us have the successful, happy marriages that God wants us to have when that time comes.
In addition to several seminars given by David Schreiber, Ed Dowd and Brian Shaw, we will have plenty of time for fellowship, sledding, games and dancing. This will be a great chance to spend quality time with fellow brothers and sisters in the faith in a positive, uplifting atmosphere. Please register now at growinginthefaith.com! Special pricing of $170 includes all food, lodging, and activities for the weekend. Don't miss out on this special opportunity!
- Young Adult Winter/Ski Retreat: We are excited to announce a Young Adult winter/ski retreat, President's Day Weekend February 17th-20th, 2023! We are hoping to forge new and deeper relationships with people of like mind. We will be eating and staying together for the whole weekend. We welcome all young adults ages 18–29, single or married.
We will be staying in cabins at Pipestem State Park in Pipestem, West Virginia. Activities will include skiing/snowboarding, sledding, hiking, swimming, bonfire, sports, and lots and lots of hanging out. More information about the activities can be found on the website. We will also have several interactive discussions and Bible studies. The theme of this weekend will be focused on "how can young adults contribute to the future of the Church of God?"
Registration is open, so go ahead and register on the registration tab at ucgyawinterretreat.org, and we will see you there!
If I’ve overlooked anything, Please let me know ASAP.