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Mike Mazzalongo | January 4, 1998
They say that you can make statistics mean whatever you want them to. This may be true but there are some numbers that do not lie, that tell not only a story but what the story is all about.Take the number 393 for example. This is the number of dollars “over” budget that this congregation has managed to give this year. Not a fancy or impressive number all by itself. But, when you stop to consider ...
Mike Mazzalongo | December 10, 1996
Last year at Christmas, we distributed not only 200 bags of food; we provided 200 Christmas dinners for people in our community. Our "Brown Bag Christmas" project is here once again and we have the opportunity to set 200 tables with a lovely meal so that others might enjoy some of the blessings that we will share with our own families.For those not familiar with this work let me remind you of a fe...
Mike Mazzalongo | December 2, 1996
No one has the knock-out punch argument for the question, "Which church is the true church?" This is why there are so many "true" churches. All Christian groups claim that they are the true church and the others are mistaken somehow.Of course, in the larger picture, all religions have this "true church" perspective (witness the Muslim suicide bombers of our day) so our claim in the churches of Chr...
Mike Mazzalongo | August 8, 1996
There was a time in the church when the brethren would conduct “prayer meetings" where the object was to pray earnestly for one another and focus the church's attention on praising God.This is certainly a Biblical idea (Acts 1:14; 13:2) as we see the early disciples often giving themselves over to intense prayer ( and fasting I might add). We have many who have asked prayers for those who are ill ...
Mike Mazzalongo | February 11, 1996
In Haiti life expectancy is 56 years. The reasons for such a short life are well documented: Only 15% of Haitians have access to uncontaminated water.60% of all Haitian children are malnourished and the #1 cause of death of children under 3 is measles.The doctor/patient ratio is 1 doctor for 15,000 people (U.S. is 1 for 350).Their life is short, difficult and to add to the misery, it ends in darkn...
Mike Mazzalongo | January 14, 1996
In the first century a common custom among Christians was to share a meal and then take communion at the conclusion of it; much like Jesus did on the night He instituted the Lord’s Supper. Luke may be referring to this practice in Acts 20 and Paul certainly rebukes the excesses taking place during such meals in Corinth. Jude also mentions the “Love Feast” in Jude 12 when he warns the brethren conc...
Mike Mazzalongo | October 22, 1995
Who knew? Only three weeks to secretly prepare a surprise gift for our own Louis and Ann and an amount greater than any other we've ever collected before -- and we did it! Praise God!As I mentioned to those who were there on Sunday evening, this proves two very important points: Louis and Ann Are Dearly Loved. The entire $6,000 came from individual offerings. Not a single dime was taken from the c...
Mike Mazzalongo | September 25, 1995
I find myself referring again to the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1, where he says, "there is an appointed time for everything." This past Sunday, Louis Thompson formally announced his retirement.As you all know, he will continue as an elder and be available for visitation and other duties in this role. Like most things in life, the end of one thing usually marks the beginnings of another, a...
Mike Mazzalongo | September 17, 1995
This Sunday, Louis Thompson will officially announce his retirement from full-time ministry. This decision has been prompted by medical problems that he will explain to the congregation.Louis and Ann have been serving the Choctaw congregation since August of 1977 (18 years). Brother Louis worked as pulpit minister during periods of tremendous growth. A bulletin for 1984 showed that over 350 were m...
Mike Mazzalongo | July 1, 1995
The announcer on the radio said that the BRAC commission had voted to keep Tinker Air force Base open, and close other locations instead.For several years families have been on the brink of bad news as the politics of military realignment have been played out on peoples' frayed nerves. But, at last, an answer is at hand.Our community has been spared a major economic and social blow. As we draw bac...
Mike Mazzalongo | May 28, 1995
This Sunday morning our elders will be presenting a group of men who will serve this congregation as deacons. This will culminate a long process that began with a series of lessons on elders, deacons and preachers, followed by a selection of qualified men by the congregation who were then individually interviewed by the elders.The final group chosen were put before the congregation for review and ...
Mike Mazzalongo | October 14, 1994
This is the theme for our all-church retreat to be held on Friday, November 18th and Saturday, November 19th. We have begun an ambitious series of programs this year with many people participating in teaching, service, visitation, and various other ministries. Add to this the many pressures at home and work that we face and all of it spells --- T – I – R – E – D !I believe that as the Thanksgiving...