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Scripture

Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.

~Isaiah 57:1, NLT

Quote

For reasons we don’t understand, bad things happen to good people, and perhaps even more inexplicable is that good things happen to bad people.

~John Hamby

Pat Summit, the legendary coach of the Tennessee Volunteer women basketball team died yesterday morning early at the age of 64. She had suffered from Alzheimer’s for the last six years. This means that her quality of life dropped drastically at age 58 and that my friend is young. I’ve had a lot of friends to die young. The number is so large, I would be afraid to list them. Perhaps all of them were better men than myself; some of them for sure and it left me wondering: Lord, why would you take them and leave me. Why did you take them and leave drug pushers, wife beaters, dead beats, crooks and child molesters? It doesn’t make sense to us, does it?

Josiah was the best king  in Israel’s history: yes, he was a much better man than David. Josiah was a puritan with bulldog tenacity. He set out to destroy the pagan altars in Israel and his crusade lead him into the North where he was not recognized as a king. He hated Baal with a passion and he loved Yahweh. He got killed in battle at the age of 39 but the Lord allowed this to protect Josiah from seeing the evil that was to come. God has a way of turning our deepest grief into our greatest joy. My oldest brother died as an infant. My mother almost gave way to despair and she did have a root of bitterness. God gave her three more sons and all three broke her heart more than once. She told me once, “The only son that I’m sure will be in heaven is the one I gave up.” God took her grief and turned it into a comfort. He is an amazing God.

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  • You never know what a day will bring. I met Sammy and Kathy at the 4-way in Danville this morning. Little did I know what was happening. Sammy has suffered a major stroke and is fighting for his life. Doctors say the next 24 hours is critical. Pray for Sammy Crow and family.
  • BUMPER STICKER OF THE DAY: “Heaven, don’t miss it for the world!
  • GATHERING tonight at 6:30
  • SUNDAY SCHEDULE: Deacon’s and wives meeting in the sanctuary at 9:05, LCBS at 9:15 and worship at 10:15. No pm worship.
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In The Grip Of Grief

December 13, 2012

Christmas strip fire place

SCRIPTURE: I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! [Psalm 116:1-2, NLT]

QUOTE: It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.  ~Author Unknown

COMMENTARY: The word for ‘bend’ [inclined in KJV] is the Hebrew word nahtah which means to ‘bend, or turn aside.’ It is an incredible thought: that God stops, then stoops to hear our prayer. The Infinite Eternal One turns aside to listen to me! Wow! Psalm 116 is laced with praise for God’s incredible love toward His servants. As I meditated on this thought yesterday, the LORD laid something on my heart that I want to share. Verse 12 reads, “What can I offer the LORD for all He has done for me?” I could not escape this question. I thought about a family I visited last Saturday. They had only one child and she was promoted a year or so ago due to cancer. Since that time, the mother has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently under treatment, both chemo and radiation. This mother was accustomed to talking to her daughter everyday. When her daughter was confined to the sick-bed, she and the father were there every day. Then I thought of one of our widow women, a precious and sweet lady. She saw her husband promoted on Christmas Eve in 2010 and her daughter on Christmas Day 2011. Most of us cannot fathom that kind of grief. C.S. Lewis who did understand, said that the worse thing about grief is it’s every dayness; once grief gets you in its grip, it does not let go. How can these grieving families have a Merry Christmas? I don’t know that they can but one thing is for sure, you and I could help them have a merrier one than they will have if we ignore their pain. We are surrounded by hurting people. If you need names, I can give you some. This Christmas, lets focus on helping the hurting.

EXTRA: I am reading the Psalms in the ERV [Easy To Read Version] and I am loving it. I recommend that you read a Psalm per day but I warn you, it can be addictive. David and Michelle [and baby] should come home today. Anthony will probably be tomorrow. The Deacons will be making a recommendation to the church January 6. They will recommend that we participate in Billy Graham’s MY HOPE AMERICA, and that we make EVANGELISM our theme for 2013. We are looking for a Small Group study that fits this theme. There are two things we want to incorporate in small groups in 2013, one night of visitation, one night of ministry and one night of joint worship or fellowship. Right now, we don’t know if we are looking at a 6 week semester or 8. We may do 6 nights of study, one night of ministry or Evangelism and one night for joint worship or fellowship. We have ordered SHARING JESUS WITHOUT FEAR. It is one of two that we are previewing.

Seth Watch: 21 days until we depart, 22 days till we see him, 23 to graduation.

SCRIPTUREThe Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. [Psalms 34:18-19, NKJV]

QUOTE: Give God the respect that is due Him. Turn to Him during difficult times rather than relying on the world. ~Max Lucado

COMMENTARY: A part of being a pastor is sharing the sorrow and shock that members of the flock experience. We learn the hard way not to assume anything. We learn not to judge things or people by the way they appear. Samuel Porter Jones (October 16, 1847 – October 15, 1906) was one of the most celebrated revivalist at the close of the 19th century. Famous for his wry wit and masterful story-telling, he is credited as a principal influence on Will Rogers. He also lead Thomas Green Ryman to faith in Christ. On May 10, 1885, Ryman came to heckle Jones as he preached. He got convicted and was saved. He built the Ryman Auditorium for Jones to preach in when he was in Nashville. Anyway, this same Sam Jones was traveling from one revival to another by train. He was exhausted from preaching and travel and went to his sleeping car to get some rest. He couldn’t rest for a man pacing up and down the hall of the sleeping car with a crying baby. He got out of bed and said, “Man, I need some rest. Would you please take the baby to his mother.” “I would love to do just that,” said the man “but his mother is in the box car behind us in a coffin. I have not had any sleep in two days because this baby will not stop crying.” “Give me the baby,” said Jones “and you get some rest.” Just remember, you may be nearer to a broken hearted person than you realize.

EXTRA: Two very good services I thought and attendance much better. We had 19 in our LCBS class. VBS begins today. We also praise Jesus for the rain. God is good. I loved the band doing Jesus Is My Lord yesterday morning. I enjoyed the entire day.

Consolation

December 28, 2011

SCRIPTURE: Thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he is our Father and the source of all mercy and comfort. For he gives us comfort in our trials so that we in turn may be able to give the same sort of strong sympathy to others in theirs. [II Corinthians 1:3, J.B. Phillips]

QUOTE: Grief is a universal and integral part of our experience of love. ~C.S. Lewis

THOUGHT: Grief is like a squadron of bombers circling over head; it is an endless barrage. You don’t just grieve but you keep on thinking about the fact that you grieve.

COMMENTARY: C.S. Lewis lost his mother to cancer before his tenth birthday. He had one brother and a distant father who seldom talked to him. After his mother’s death, his father sent him off to a boarding school; a boys school ran by a homosexual and an atheist who was later committed to a psychiatric hospital. C.S. {Jack} hated the school and begged his father to make a change which he did eventually. Although his mother was a Christian and her father an Anglican Priest, C.S. abandon the faith and openly called himself an atheist. In his scholarly pursuit to prove that God did not exist, he became soundly convinced that God did indeed exist and that Jesus was His only begotten Son. He became a firm believer in the bible and one of the world’s greatest Christian apologist. At the age of 58 he married Joy Davidman who was 41. She had bone cancer when they married. Matter of fact, she was in a hospital bed when they did the ceremony.  Joy lived for four brief years after the wedding. C.S. Lewis lived for only three more years before dying of kidney failure just one week before his 65th birthday. The greatest man to live on this earth was a man of sorrows. Perhaps this explains the greatness of C.S. Lewis, he too was a man of sorrows.

EXTRA: June and I, actually our entire family, think the world of Joyce Chaney. We think that her character has come from her suffering. Most of you know that Joyce lost two children in one day due to an accident. Milton passed away on Christmas Eve 2010 and now Mary on Christmas Day 2011. We all know that Joyce is grieving but she does it so graciously. Church I am calling you to prayer. I want us to lift Joyce and her family up today. Why don’t you pray for Joyce right now!

Glories and Grief

November 6, 2011

SCRIPTURE: He heals the brokenhearted, and He binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars; and He gives all of them their names. [Psalm 147:3-4, NRSV]

QUOTE: This is the glory of the gospel–Heaven’s glory [Jesus] came to touch earths griefs. —J. Stuart Holden

THOUGHT: The same God that created the stars and calls them by name heals broken hearts.

COMMENTARY: The stars reveal God’s glory, majesty and infinite power. Under the stars, all men look infinitely small; the stars overwhelm us with God’s transcendent and incredible power. God’s awesome creation can make us feel pretty small but so can our heartaches. Perhaps that is why David puts the two together here is Psalm 147. I think that David’s point is that the same infinite power that created the stars is available to heal our broken hearts. Jesus certainly incarnated this thought by coming from Heaven’s glory to heal our broken hearts. Think about it, Jesus didn’t just send someone, He Himself came to the world we live it.  Our majestic God is also merciful, praise His holy name. Few will depart this life without being crushed, wounded or broken. It can be a rebellious child, a love one addicted to drugs, a divorce, betrayal of a friend, failure to resist a temptation, the loss of your spouse  or the grief of missing a departed loved one. Under the stars, we are all small. There are no rich or mighty, just people with problems and heartaches.

EXTRA: This is the big day…REVIVAL begins this morning…Pray, Pray, Pray!

Senior Adults

I think I made this picture in April 2009

TOP TEN–MORE LOVE QUOTES

[Some are pretty good, some are not, last ten on the list]
  1. Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties. – Jules Renard
  2. I was nauseous and tingly all over. I was either in love or I had smallpox. Woody Allen
  3. Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense. – Mark Overby
  4. You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. – Dr. Seuss
  5. Love is loving what your lover loves. – Anonymous
  6. If love is the answer, could you please rephrase the question. – Lily Tomlin 
  7. Love is a grave mental disease.- Plato
  8. Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity. – Albert Einstein
  9. Life is the flower for which love is the honey. – Victor Hugo
  10. When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love. – Robert Fulghum.

Woman, Why Are You Crying?

October 1, 2011

SCRIPTURE: Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb.  She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot.  The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” [John 20:1-13, CEB]

QUOTE: Don’t jump to conclusions; you may land on a lie. –Unknown Source

THOUGHT: We humans are bad about making assumptions based on our perception. We need to see things from God’s point of view.

COMMENTARY: Mary’s answer to the Angels was…“They have taken away my LORD and I don’t know where they have put Him.” Mary gave a good answer, she was weeping because she was disturbed emotionally, she was stumbling in the dark, she was perplexed, confused and disappointed. She expected to at least see Jesus body. It would have given her some peace just to see the body but the empty tomb threw her for a loop. [1] She was crying because she was totally bewildered. She did not know what was going on. She did not understand what was going on or why. [2] She was crying because she was hurting. Mary loved Jesus more than life and living without Him seemed impossible. Mary was in deep, deep grief. [3] Mary was crying, she was visibly upset because she was convinced that things were out of control. How could someone like Jesus be crucified. Had Jesus been a vile criminal, she would have understood but He was the best, most decent, most honorable man she had ever known. Now we have a distinct advantage over Mary: we are looking back at her experience and we know the outcome. God was in absolute control. Jesus died according to the divine plan. His body was missing because He was alive and thus things were not at all like they seemed to Mary. Had it been you or I, we would have responded the same way Mary did: things did appear to be out of control. It did look like everything was going wrong. What has you weeping today? What is going on in your life that you don’t understand? It will all work out for your good and God’s glory. You will see.

EXTRA: We got the you-know-what beat out of us last night. West Morgan beat us 56-12. It was not a pretty sight. It is going to be hard for October to top September weather wise. Thank YOU Jesus for a great September. Congratulations to Gerald, Beverly, Sandra and Jimmy on the birth of their grandson Jimmy Gerald Segars. I think there are 15 movie tickets left: Mandy is the person to see if you want a ticket. Don’t forget to pray for our REVIVAL November 6-9. Sorry I was a bit late posting today. We had another spike the other day, it was “Little Foxes”.