The Mystery of Prayer

June 30, 2016

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Scripture

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
~Matthew 7:7-8, NLT

Quote

The law of prayer is to ask.
~George W. Truett

Although Satan uses distractions, he does not want us to understand that we are being distracted. If we understand that he is behind the distraction, he loses his advantage.

Satan loathes and fears believers who pray. Any sincere pray offered by believers bothers Satan. He does not want us praying. Anemic prayers, good prayers, short prayers, long prayers, any prayer is bad as far as the devil is concerned. He does not mind us talking about prayer, reading books on prayer so long as we don’t pray. His approach is to discourage us from prayer by raising an endless questions that we cannot answer.

How does prayer work? Why would an infinite God who dwells in eternity listen to the prayer of a finite human in time? If God is sovereign, how can our prayer affect His will? How can He listen to thousands of us praying at the same time? How in the world can the human prayer of today affect the weather of tomorrow? We have answers to none of the above questions. Prayer is a mystery. It is something that we are to do in spite of the fact that we do not understand how it works. One does not have to understand the dynamics of electricity to flip a light switch.

Do we know how to pray? Do we understand prayer? No, but I will pray every day. Don’t let Satan keep your from prayer. He will do everything he can to keep you out or your prayer closet. Many times, the devil has said to me, “You can’t pray, you don’t even know how.” My response is–“You may be right but I am going to pray anyway.”

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  • We had two deaths in Danville yesterday: Sammy Crow departed this life at 3:15 pm at HH. Then we found out last night that Billy Laney’s son, James McAbee [45] was killed in an accident on 157. He was driving a tractor on 157 and got run over by an 18 wheeler. Sammy Crow [73] had a stroke Tuesday morning and never recovered. Sammy is survived by his wife Kathy, two sons, Bryan and Brett, two sisters and his mom who depended on Sammy for a lot of things. This is a shocking blow to the Danville community and the Crow family.
  • I had two places to be this morning and they were 200 miles a part but the LORD heard despairing cry and sent a helper to Columbia, Tennessee to pick up Seth who has been to summer camp.
  • I’ve been behind all week: can’t get caught up. Shohn will be carrying Clara to B’town to the doctor and I will be in an out, mostly out. Call my cell if you need me.

BLOCK PARTY AUGUST 13

1095

Parking Crew

 

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Remember My Chains

April 2, 2016

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SCRIPTURE

 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

~Colossians 4:18, NIV

QUOTE

I am not a product of my circumstances; I am a product of my decisions.

~Stephen Covey

The unusual thing about Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae is that Paul had never visited this church, he knows this congregation through Epaphras, one of Paul devoted followers. Epaphras was a native of Colossae and the founder of the Church. Paul writes from Rome where he is under house arrest and is chained to a Roman guard. Not the best of circumstances, wouldn’t you agree?

The letter Paul writes is very upbeat and perhaps the most Christ exalting piece of literature in existence. The letter is laced with thanksgiving, praise, instruction and encouragement. In the very last verse, Paul pleads for prayer,“Remember my chains.” The great apostle who prayed for others coveted prayer for himself. His chains are symbolic of his circumstances which were not ideal. Paul was restricted in his movement. He was not free to move about and continue his Missionary work.

I have read the letter to the Colossians many times but yesterday, I heard Paul’s heart for the first time, “Don’t forget to pray for me.” Remember my chains is subtle code for PRAY FOR ME! Most of us have less than ideal circumstances but we must not allow our circumstances to dictate our attitude. We are to act on our circumstances or else they will act on us.

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  • Great weather: Thank You Jesus!
  • GOLDEN GIRLS this morning at 9:00
  • Deacon’s Meeting Sunday @ 8:15
  • Senior Adult Day Sunday [Tomorrow]. Swamp John’s for lunch. Special offering for St. Jude’s. If you want to help with desserts, text Amy Garnett. If you would like to help serve, text Amy.
  • Gigi’s Baptism Sunday, April 3. I think that is tomorrow.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally April 14.

 

Affliction And Prayer

December 3, 2015

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Scripture

So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”

~2 Corinthians 12:7-9, NLT

Quote

“Prayer may not remove the affliction but it most certainly can transform the afflicted.”

~Warren W. Wiesrbe

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God answers all our prayers but not in the way we expect. Sometimes it is years later before we realize He answered, we just missed the answer. Paul prayed for a new set of circumstances but God refused to change his circumstance: He choose rather to change Paul.

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  • Kane had to spend the night at HH. His blood sugar was low and they will probably give him some blood today.
  • Speaking of blood, Anthony Shaneyfelt had to have blood yesterday but he is all right.
  • Buford has had some ups and downs but hopefully he will get to come home today. Pray that we will be able to do the Baptism Sunday.
  • Mrs. Roylean Lewis is pretty low. I haven’t been able to visit the last two days but Joe David saw her and Buford yesterday.
  • I got a steroid shot yesterday and I am already feeling a little better. Praise the LORD, I can get comfortable when I am sitting but I can’t walk far without getting the back and left leg upset. The steroids worked last time, let’s pray that they work again. I am going to limit my activities the next few days in hopes that I can fulfill my greater duties. Lord willing, I will be preaching Sunday and Joe David on the 13th.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS and SENIOR ADULT CHRISTMAS PARTY is Saturday morning, 9:30 at the Cracker Barrel in Hartselle.

Gary, Keri and Kane

The Perfect Father

November 15, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

~Matthew 7:11, NASB

QUOTE

Our Heavenly Father always sends His children the things they ask for, or something better.

~Richard Cecil

my-thoughts-red

As an earthy father and grandfather, I respond to my children and grand children’s request with all the wisdom and resources available. My wisdom may be in question but not my generosity. When I read Matthew 7:11 yesterday morning, I had a WOW moment. Here is the point; I am evil and yet I love to give to my children and love giving to my grand’s even more. If you are hoping that the word evil is a bad translation, forget it: it’s either evil or wicked. It means a malignant and active form of evil. We have all been infected with an evil virus, it is in our blood stream.  In contrast, God is not evil, He is perfectly and infinitely good. He is not limited in resources or wisdom. Jesus challenged us to ask and keep on asking. Our heavenly Father will respond if we ask. He loves to give so keep on asking.

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  • Full Schedule today–Deacons meeting at 7:45, Donuts and Biscuits at 8:30, LCBS at 9:15, CELEBRATE JESUS at 10:15 closing with a baptism. Sunday evening is AWANA and Visitation.
  • Tomorrow is the last opportunity to give money to Renee Bass if you want to sponsor a child for OCC. I think it is 25$. Next Sunday is the day to bring them to the altar.
  • I want to thank the YOUTH for showing up big time for the yard project. Mrs. Edith treated them to Cracker Barrel. I thank David and Noah for helping me finish.

Gary, Keri and Kane

Jesus Stopped!

November 5, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him.

~Luke 18:40, NLT

QUOTE

By persistence, the snail reached the Ark.

~Charles Spurgeon

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Luke 18 opens with…One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. Chapter 18 ends with Jesus leaving Jericho in route to Jerusalem where He would die for the sins of the world. Can you imagine what it would be like to know you were going to be crucified in less than two weeks. In spite of this heavy burden, Jesus takes the time to help a blind beggar by the name of Bartimaeus who was yelling to the top of his lungs, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Those around him told him to shut up but he yelled louder. Jesus heard him and stopped. On His way to accomplish His mission in life, Jesus stopped and listened to the man’s desperate prayer.

How difficult is it to get someone, anyone to stop and listen. What an awesome heart warming thought: Jesus the Creator-Redeemer stops and listens.

Everyone around Bartimaeus discouraged him, “stop crying out–Jesus is too busy to hear a beggar like you. He has a mission on His mind and He does not have the time to help a poor beggar like you.” Bartimaeus didn’t pay any attention to the nay-sayers, he just kept hollowing, Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. What a comfort to know, Jesus is not too busy, not too preoccupied with running a universe, that He doesn’t stop and listen. What a privilege to carry, everything to HIM in prayer.

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  • God is good, what can I say: so much to thank Him for…[1] The YOUTH really respond to Wade, their section was packed and they were singing during the praise time. [2] Six precious professions of faith. [3] Mattie is being baptized this Sunday. Rebecca is down for the 15th and  Buford is scheduled for the 29th.  [4] The praise and worship has been phenomenal: I’ve never seen anything like it. It was the van kids and the praise that go me fired up Monday night; up until that point, I was dead on the inside. I thank God for restoring my soul. [5] I think Wade’s offering was good, I think I misunderstood Willard. June told me that I was a thousand dollars off but I’m afraid to say until I make it official. I think it was better than last year. Thank You Church.
  • TURKEY’s are a done deal. We have all 10 Turkey’s for our Luke 14 banquet. Hannah will do the dressing for one table and we will let some one make it for the second table if we have a volunteer. We will help you on the ingredients. Let me know ASAP.
  • Debbie Gilliland has a lot on her plate: we need to lift her up. She is basically responsible for her brother–she doesn’t get much help and he depends on her. KT’s mom got to come home but her dad is still at DGH. Jim was with him yesterday. I think his breathing was better but he is very weak. Michael’s father-in-law’s surgery was a big success: they got better news than expected.

Gary, Keri and Kane

A Definition of Insanity

October 20, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

~Mark 5:17-18, AV

QUOTE

In Gethsemane the holiest of all petitioners prayed three times that a certain cup might pass from Him. It did not.

~C.S. Lewis

my-thoughts-red

I had not noticed until my bible study yesterday that there are three prayers in Mark 5:1-20. The first prayer is by the demons in verse 10, Then the evil spirits begged Jesus again and again not to send them to some distant place. The word ‘begged’ in NLT is besought in the AV. In the Greek it is parakaleō, to summons and is translated 10 times as pray or prayed in the AV.  So it is a prayer word. You will notice above the AV uses the word pray and prayed in verses 17 and 18. In each case it is the exact same word parakaleō. So what we have here is three prayers:

  1. The Demon’s prayer–Don’t send us to some distant place.
  2. The Gerasenes prayer–Go away and leave us alone.
  3. The Miracle Man’s prayer–Can I go with you?

What’s even more amazing is that Jesus heard and answered all three prayers. This is going to upset some part time theologians. Jesus said, “Yes” to the demons and the Gerasenes but “No” to the healed demoniac. Can you explain this? I sure am glad you can’t: I would hate to worship a God that would fit in your little box of brains.

I understand a little about the first prayer: the demon recognized Jesus, they knew He was the Son of God and they acknowledged His authority because they had no choice. The second prayer makes no sense at all: why would anyone pray such a foolish prayer–“Go away and leave us alone.” Jesus got in the boat and left and I don’t know that He ever came back. I do know that the Romans wiped the Gerasenes out when they invaded in the 1st century. I can’t see myself asking Jesus to go away and leave me alone. You talk about insanity, asking Jesus to go away and leave you alone is insane.

We all understand the third prayer: Jesus commissioned this New Creation: sane, clothed, and full of the Spirit to go back home and be a Missionary to his people. He obeyed and told everyone he saw about Jesus. I would be willing to bet my life that he lead some of the Gerasenes to faith in Christ. When Jesus says “No,” there is always a reason.

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  • OK, the fellowship is on: Sunday night at 5:30–bring your favorite soup, chili or stew and we eat in the FORTE. Hayrides will begin around 6:15. Lance and I are doing the Puggles and Shohn and her workers will do the other children.
  • FRONT PEW SHOWER for MILESTONE MINISTRIES this Sunday Morning. The are in dire need of toilet tissue. Its 30 females living in one building, do I need to say more. Toilet paper, paper towels, hygiene items, anything you want to bring but especially toilet paper.
  • I meant to talk to you Sunday but I forgot. The Blackwood’s are basically be forced to retire and they do not have a car. A church is Birmingham is going to give them a place to live but we are going to give them a car LORD willing. We have just the man to help us and I’ve emailed Allison to see what kind of vehicle they want. Gregg will find it and finance it and all we have to do is make the payments and we can do that with one mission offering a month. If you have wanted to do more for an IMB agent, here is our opportunity. I am excited.
  • Bill Wilbourn’s surgery went well but he is not out of the woods by any stretch.
  • KANE BREAK: PTL, if nothing changes, coming home Friday. Colon is a little better. Kane starts chemo tonight. Thursday another sonogram and if all is not worse he will get Aro-c which is a treatment that takes all day. If all that happens we will be rolling into Danville as soon as we are packed. {Raise them up folks, let’s get them home for a break}

Gary, Keri and Kane

The Mystery Of Prayer

September 13, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

“Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

~John 11:21-22, NLT

QUOTE

God answers all true prayer, either in kind or in kindness.

~Adoniram Judson

my thoughts red

I love John 11: in verse 3 we have the sisters prayer request–So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” Then in verse 4 we have Jesus response “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” Jesus delayed his coming for two days and when He gets to Bethany, Lazarus is physically dead and in a tomb. Then we have the sister’s response to Jesus not coming immediately or in time to heal Lazarus.

  1. They blame…“Lord, if only YOU had been here, my brother would not have died.” {Both said the same thing}
  2. They are disappointed.
  3. They are bewildered: they do not understand why Jesus was not there when they needed Him most.
  4. They are filled with grief.
  5. Mary may have been depressed: she did not leave the house to met Jesus.

Lesson from the story:

  1. Jesus answered their prayer but just not as they had imagined. God’s plans are much better than our expectations. Actually, His plans are better than our dreams.
  2. The sisters wanted a ‘healing’ but Jesus gave them a ‘resurrection.’ A resurrection trumps a healing.
  3. We all experience the same negative emotions when Christ does not respond to our prayer in the way that we had imagined–disappointment, grief, doubt, fear and despair.
  4. It all boils down to FAITH in CHRIST. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died but even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus told her, Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” “Yes, Lord, I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the One who has come into the world from God.”
  5. Mary’s devotion was off the charts but it was Martha {the OCD pot banger} who had the greatest faith. Never underestimate the Martha’s.

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  • Gary is making slow progress: he is extremely weak.
  • Kane Hogan: {from Michelle at 8:30 pm last night…9/12/15} The steroid is really playing with Kane’s blood suger. We are going on a week in the hospital. The insulin keeps getting increased but the blood suger still climbs in the evening. We will be in the hospital until they get the right combination. They tell us it is all medical. They have done this. Now we wait for the chemo to hit his system they say it is ruff stuff. He feels fine and we are thankful for that. He takes 3 to 6 shots of insulin a day right now.
  • Today’s schedule: Coffee, Biscuits and donuts at 9:00, LCBS at 9:15, Worship at 10:15 and 6:15. AWANA and VISITATION at 5:30.
  • LORD willing, we will be in REVIVAL at Belleview today through Wednesday night.
  • What about this weather. I went for a walk around 6:00 last night and came in at dark and my hands were cold.
  • I got home at 1:30 am Friday night and that is why there was no EXTRA.
  • I think you are going to love the PARKING LOT. One caution: do not park on the areas where you see the wheat straw; we have back filled those areas and reseeded them. Your not going to need a shade tree to park under today.

Gary, Keri and Kane

Prayer

September 1, 2015

SCRIPTURE

 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

~Matthew 6:7-8, NLT

QUOTE

God speaks to the silence of the heart: listening is the beginning of prayer.

~Mother Teresa

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Our heaven Father is omniscience, He knows everything including our needs. When we pray, there is no need to inform God, not about facts or circumstances. You should tell him how you feel and don’t be shy about asking; these things are a part of intimacy but the first object of prayer is God–Love Him, praise Him, be open to Him for He is the heart of prayer. Think about it, a part from our heavenly Father and our faithful High Priest, there would be no prayer.

Drop down into the chair of quietness,

Let all your striving cease;

Take from your soul the strain and stress,

And confess the beauty of His peace.

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  • Gary Garner came home from DGH yesterday.
  • Well August was a beautiful month weather wise: Thank YOU Jesus for the wonderful weather.
  • The pavers started bright and early and got the back side paved. I don’t know what their agenda is for today but they don’t waste time. I think we are getting a great face lift that will enhance our witness. The church facility should be the nicest place in town and will be when we put the Lord’s work and house before our own.
  • I got a lot of advice about my phone and appreciate it all. Willard’s was my favorite: he said, “The phone is not the issue, it’s your intelligence. It’s not going to make any difference what kind of phone you get; you will not have the intelligence to operate it.” Willard is right. I came home Sunday and told June to hold off, I wanted to think about it some more. I had told her earlier to order the I-Phone. When I told her to wait, it ticked her off and she went and ordered the Samsung and she called me “Wishy-Washy.” I don’t mind her calling me a slob but “Wishy-Washy” hurts.

Gary, Keri and Kane

Talking To Your Father

December 8, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

~Matthew 6:6, NLT

QUOTE

Prayerlessness is a sin.

~Corrie Ten Boom

my thoughts red

Just as a teacher needs a class room, an intercessor needs a prayer room. Jesus assumed we would pray…”When you pray,”…He says, not, “If you pray.” You need a time and a place, a room with a door: shut yourself in and the world out. Spend some time talking to your Heavenly Father: He wants to talk to you. There is something wrong when a child does not talk to their father.

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  • Glory to God: we had to bring in chairs in LCBS yesterday, hallelujah, I was so excited. You have to come early to get the back row but yesterday, all rows were filled…THANK YOU JESUS.
  • Didn’t the choir do great and they looked good. I told Mr. Hardy last night that he did great and he told me that it was not him, that Jesus always got between him and the mic. I said, “Why doesn’t he get between me and my mic?” He did not have an answer, only a Hardy laugh. {No pun intended}
  • Mandy put the notices in our LCBS notebooks for Adult Classes to sponsor children. I forgot to talk to my class but my faithful class secretary is all over it. When you sponsor a child as a class, you assume responsibility, take the assignment sheet from Mandy and do the shopping. There is no excuse for an adult class not to sponsor a child. Charles’ class sponsors four. Tis the Season to be generous!
  • GREAT DAY yesterday. I had enough liberty to preach an hour in both service…Thank You Jesus! We went over the 300 mark yesterday for the first time in a while…can I get a PRAISE JESUS! Even thing was good except the MISSION OFFERING. I want every God blessed man to put a $20 in the Mission Offering next week. We need to get the Children’s building finished so we can get the Medical Building started. We have to build a facility for Doc Holladay to pull teeth.
  • TODAY WE PRAY FOR MINISTERS AND MISSIONARIES.

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Law Of Prayer

June 10, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

~Matthew 7:7, NLT

QUOTE

The law of prayer is to ask.

~George W. Truitt

my thoughts red

Matthew 7:7 is an imperative, not a suggestion: it is like a command. I fully concur with Dr. Truitt, the law of prayer is to ask. I do a lot of asking when I pray but I do not feel like a powerful intercessor. I think of what James said in chapter 4 of his epistle….Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.” Then I get to wondering if my asking is selfish. I have noticed my tendency to do more asking than praising or thanking. Oswald Chambers sheds some light on my dilemma, “You will never receive if we ask with a certain result in mind, because you are asking out of our lust, not out of our poverty. A pauper does not ask out of any reason other than the completely hopeless and painful condition of his poverty.”

Begging is a fine art these days. It is not what it was a hundred years ago or even fifty. Beggars today are very specific but I do understand what Chambers is saying, a true beggar ask for anything you are willing to give. He does not declare terms but begs your mercy. I am not saying that it is wrong to be specific but when in doubt we can ask God to give us what He wants us to have. He may very well be answering more of my prayers than I realize because He is not doing what I expect. The Jews prayed for a Messiah and God answered their prayer. He sent a Messiah and they didn’t recognize Him because He was not what they expected.

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  • 238 Sunday night…I knew we had a crowd and consumed 350 burgers but I didn’t know it was that many. Think how many we would have had if some of our regular folks had not stayed at home.
  • We have reached our Guatemala goals so we start on BLOCK PARTY this Sunday. We are not early on this, we have only 8 Sundays to raise $8,000. I believe that where God guides He provides: may His will be done. “LORD, give us what you want us to have.”
  • The GATHERING this Wednesday night at 6:30. Tyler Beck will be leading our Praise and Worship on Wednesday nights this Summer. David will continue to lead on Sundays.
  • I fear that with the passing of VBS that this Summer will fly by with School beginning way too early at August 6th.
  • Posted some new top tens yesterday if you want to check them out.
  • Anna Shaneyfelt will be seeing a doctor in Huntsville tomorrow.