Hope

April 12, 2016

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Scripture

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

~Hebrews 13:14, NLT

Quote

“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”  

~Viktor Frankl

Everyone needs something to look forward to, we call this hope. Regret looks backward but hope always focuses on the future. This is why Jeremiah put the two together when he wrote to the exiles…For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. On the other hand, Solomon said, “The wicked have no future, therefore they have no hope.

Difficult circumstance are hard to cope with, especially when you feel that you have no control but when we have no control over our circumstance, we by grace can allow the circumstances change us.

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  • God is good. My guardian angel got a full workout yesterday. We left for Troy at 6:00 am and got in from Bessemer at 5:15, driving the last 2 hours or so in heavy traffic and rain. After yesterday, I needed a blessing and I got one at Oakridge Baptist church last night. I had to be thankful for the traveling mercies and the great service at Oakridge but we can’t really be happy when we have a child that is very unhappy. Hope is wore out physically: June and I both are concerned about her physical health as well as the emotional. We do appreciate all the prayers and that is what we need the most. HOPE CAN HAVE MAIL: Hope Garner, THE FOUNDRY, 1800 4th Ave. North, Bessemer, Alabama, 35020. You can visit with her on Thursday night and Sundays. June has the details if you decide to go down.
  • Franklin Graham Prayer Rally this Thursday.

Practice What You Preach

March 31, 2016

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Scripture

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
~Jeremiah 32:9, NLT

Quote

The preacher who only preaches what he can practice is not worth our listening.

~Manley Beasley

In theory, preachers should preach the pure and perfect word of God. We who are grossly imperfect lift up a perfect standard. I don’t measure up to what I preach and neither do you. Manley Beasley was one of my favorite preachers of last century. I have heard him read a text, make an opening remark which was usually his sermon in a sentence: Then, with a grin, he would pause and say, “I’ve already said more than you can live up to.”

Whereas it is impossible for the herald to live up to the perfect standard of the king, he had best take his job seriously and be ready to demonstrate the message he preaches. Jeremiah preached faith and hope. Israel was being invaded by the Babylonians. The invaders had crossed the northern borders and were capturing cities in the upper regions. Jeremiah had been telling the people not to give up hope in Israel’s long range future; yes, there would be a captivity but Israel would return and have a future and a hope.

Jeremiah’s cousin  Hanamel decided to put him to the test so he visited the prophet who was in prison and offered him the family farm for a price. If Jeremiah had said, “Are you kidding me? Do I look stupid? The Babylonian army is camping on this piece of property as we speak and you want to sell it to me? Then Hanamel would say, “You are just like all the false prophets, you don’t mean what you say.” Jeremiah, knowing he would never set foot on the land, bought the land as a gesture of faith.

The moral of the story is that preachers need to be careful about what we say: God may give us a chance to practice what we preach. I talked once about how easy it was to forgive and the LORD allowed something to happen in my life that taught me how hard it can be to forgive.

I went back and reread my last five blogs. I wrote them for the sake of others without realizing they would be for me. As my wise mother was fond of saying to me, “You are getting a taste of your own medicine. How do you like it.” Right now, I’m getting a heavy doze of humility which may not be appreciated but definitely needed.

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Coming to DBC in 2016…Kenny Evans {Mother’s Day} and Dr. Junior Hill in August 21…

  • SENOR ADULT DAY this Sunday with SWAMP JOHN’S for lunch. I need some dessert makers.
  • Today is the last day of March and the end of the first quarter. One forth of 2016 is gone like a freight train. Just 38 days till Mother’s Day, 60 days to Memorial Day and 269 days till Christmas. I would tell you how many days until VBS but I don’t know. We may possible change the date. Mandy will meet with workers this Sunday.
  • Franklin Graham prayer rally April 14

 

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SCRIPTURE

I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die.

~Jeremiah 10:23-24, NLT

QUOTE

“Happy are they who mourn the inadequacy of self, for they shall be comforted with the sufficiency of Christ.”

~Billy Graham

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Experience reveals that we are inadequate. History proves that we are inadequate. The word of God declares that we are inadequate to save ourselves. If we had been adequate, Christ would not have come to live a perfect life in our behalf or die an atoning death in our behalf.

Before we can be strong in Christ we must realize that we are weak in the flesh. Before we can receive power from on high, we must confess our powerlessness. We must lament our sins before we can rejoice in the sinlessness of Jesus.

Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. He felt absolutely overwhelmed by the sin of his fellow countrymen: he knew their refusal to repent was going to bring judgment and there was nothing he could do to prevent it. He witnessed the death of a nation. The book of Lamentation is a journal chronicling his grief. It is one of the most gripping books in the bible.

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  • Franklin Graham’s FESTIVAL OF HOPE coming to Birmingham, Alabama August 14-16 but our only shot is Friday August 14th and it is a long shot. Guest include Kirk Franklin, Newsboys, Lacey, Flame, Kari Jobe, Michael W. Smith, Tasha Cobbs, Amena Brown, and DJ Opdiggy. Friday night begins at 7:00 in the Bartow Arena. No admission. Doors open 90 minutes before event.
  • We have a lot of sick folks to remember: Carman did get to come home yesterday. Robert Pope should come home today. Bufford Burgess is in ICU at DGH. Reagan Bowling [Billy Ray and Jeans granddaughter] is in HH with kidney infection. Johnny Burnett’s sister is also in HH. Kane is not having a good week. Billy said they gave him a strong doze of chemo and he is having a hard time bouncing back. He thinks they will have to stay through most of next week. I have not talked to Gary Garner but I understand he is not having a good week. Mavis Fitzgerald is also sick: they think it may be the shingles.  Keri is not any better but she’s decided to just to keep going. Take a moment to pray for these folks. There are some serious needs on this list and a couple of them are spiritual in nature.
  • God is good: He answers prayer when we don’t even have the faith to articulate them. I have a very reliable source that tells me we will have our second van by Fall and it comes as a donation. You can’t beat that! We are trying to get a fixed price on the parking lot: hopefully we will have it in a couple of weeks and we are going ahead and getting some plans drawn up for a new play ground. We will try to put two or three options in foyer and let you pick the one you like best. There is a chance, LORD willing that we will get all three projects done in 2015.
  • Gregg Stinson found Big Mama her mini-SUV and she is tickled pink. It is a Nissan Rogue and it is practically new. The Nav system interacts: you just tell it where you want to go and bingo, you have your guidance. Big Mama and I want to thank Gregg for his patience and kindness.
  • A lot of folks are headed to the lake and old Gregg Holladay is still lounging around on the beach: they can’t get him to come home. A big gang is headed to Six Flags over Hotlanta in the morning. Man, I hate to miss that trip and I sure envy old Gregg who does a pretty good job making the coffee. Where ever you are headed or if you are to tired or broke to travel, we hope you have a great weekend.

Keri and Kane

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SCRIPTURE

Something horrible and disgusting is happening in the land: Prophets prophesy lies, Priests rule under the prophet’s directions, and My people love this, but what will they do in the end? ~Jeremiah 5:30-31, GWT

QUOTE

The millstone of God’s judgment grids slow but exceeding fine.

~R. G. Lee

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Jeremiah witnessed the death of a nation. To get a sense of the horror he felt, read the book of Lamentations. The Israelites of his day refused to repent; Jeremiah said, they are more stubborn than rocks, they refuse to turn back. [Jeremiah 5:3]. God said to Jeremiah, My people are fools. They don’t know Me! They are stupid people. They don’t understand. They are experts in doing wrong, and they don’t know how to do good.” [Jeremiah 4:22]. God didn’t destroy Judah, they destroyed themselves. They made a series of bad choices which resulted in their destruction. We live in a culture where “victims” outnumber “victors”. Turn on the nightly news and you will see what I mean, everything is about “our rights” but little is said about our “responsibilities”. Blacks feeling victimized by whites, women feeling victimized by men, the poor feeling victimized by the rich, the perverts feel victimized by our Judeo-Christian culture, etc. We have become a nation of complainers; each man blaming another for his misfortune. We sound like a bunch of cry babies. GROW up America! Get a grip. We reap what we sow. It is our sins and our bad choices that are the root of the problem. We are not having back luck, we are reaping what we have sown. I’m sorry folks, but I don’t want to hear drunks and drug users talk about bad luck. It’s not bad luck that got them into trouble, it is bad choices. Admit it! Man up, stop whining like a brat.
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  • Wonderful praise service last night! Praise the LORD.

  • Carmen Livingston might get to come home tomorrow and Cecil Linderman is probably going to be moved to a Nursing Home but I don’t know which.

  • Some folks got a shower yesterday, we got our dust settled. I am thankful for the prospect of rain. We had a lot of clouds yesterday and that helps. Just think, this is Spring; Summer doesn’t start till Sunday.

  • Speaking of Sunday, we have a couple of videos we are going to show in honor of the fathers. Joe David will be preaching. No pm service Sunday and no Deacon’s meeting.

  • No Senior Adult Fellowship for June or July.

  • Today’s blog was a copy and paste job from October 23, 2009. I do the flash backs on Wednesday.

Keri and Kane

Respect God’s Word

May 2, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

Each time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king {Jehoiakim} took a knife and cut off that section of the scroll. He then threw it into the fire, section by section, until the whole scroll was burned up. Neither the king nor his attendants showed any signs of fear or repentance at what they heard.

~Jeremiah 36:23-24, NLT

QUOTE

If the study of God’s word does not change the way you think and live; either you are perfect or you are not studying correctly.

~John W. Hoover

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jeremiahprophets11Repentance may be old fashioned but as long as there is sin, there will be a need for repentance. Jehoiakim, king of Judah, had no respect for the word of God. Jeremiah was divinely inspired, God spoke through Jeremiah and Baruch delivered the message to those at the temple. Jeremiah had written his message on a scroll. The scribes were moved by the words on the scroll. They told Baruch to inform Jeremiah that they were going to show these words to the king and they should go into hiding. The king was in his palace sitting in front of a fire place. The scribe Jehudi began to read and each time he finished a section, Jehoiakim took a scribe knife and cut off the part that had been read and threw it in the fire. Do you rip a page out of your bible when you come across a passage that is convicting? Long story short, Jehoiakim burned the entire scroll.

God told Jeremiah to write a second scroll which he did and this time, it was a personal message for the rebellious king. It started out like this: King Jehoiakim, this is what the LORD says…[1] You will have no heirs to sit on the throne of Judah. [2] When you die, there will not be a funeral. They will no so much as bury your body: it will be exposed to the elements. [3] Your rebellion will bring suffering and sorrow on your family. [4] Your rebellion will cause the nation of Judah to suffer.

How does God’s word affect you? When was the last time His word lead you to repentance? Until we stop sinning, we do not need to stop repenting. While I was serving a church my senior year in college, the chairman of the deacon said to me one Sunday as he departed, “Preacher, I was convicted today. I am going to have to make some changes.”  That kind of talk is music to a preachers ears.

TODAY WE PRAY FOR STUDENTS

The Rocketts

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  • Mrs. Irene Pope was promoted yesterday evening around 3:00. I’m fairly confident the COLS and visitation will be Monday. This is Robert’s Mom and many of you know Jane Knight who taught 4th grade at Danville for almost 40 years. Robert has four sisters: Dana, June, Jane, Judy. All but Judy were school teachers: I think.
  • I am blessed: got to study all morning yesterday and work outside all evening. I am really thankful to be up and about and I love the weather.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS this morning at 9:30 a.m. {Big Mama, don’t let me forget}
  • Tomorrow schedule is normal except no deacon’s meeting. LORD willing I will be preaching on the RESURRECTION in the am service and the GREAT COMMISSION is the evening. Joe David will preach on Mother’s Day at my request.

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QUOTE

Guilt, Horrible Guilt!

April 29, 2015

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SCRIPTURE

I turned away from God, but then I was sorry. I kicked myself for my stupidity! I was thoroughly ashamed of all I did in my younger days.’

~Jeremiah 31:19, NLT

QUOTE

The greatest shame is have none.

~Pascal

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I was in Jeremiah 31 yesterday when I came across this verse. The first thing that popped into my mind was, “This could be my life verse.” I can’t number the times I’ve wanted to kick myself for my stupidity. Actually, Jeremiah is speaking prophetically for the future Israel who comes to realize that Jesus was the Messiah and that they missed the truth because they were living in rebellion against God. You see one day and I think soon, Israel is going to acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah and then they are going to express shame and regret for not seeing the truth sooner.

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Bennard

Sin produces guilt and guilt produces shame and condemnation. You and I are helpless; we are powerless to do anything about sin, guilt, shame or condemnation. Thankfully, Jesus on the cross, during the three hours of horrible darkness, took upon Himself our sin, guilt, shame and condemnation. God made HIM who knew no sin to become sin for us all. [2 Cor. 5:1] Jesus deliberately remained powerless so they we would have the privilege of being freed from sin, guilt, shame and condemnation. We are no longer helpless because He was. The morons who mocked Him thought that His remaining on the cross in a helpless state was proof that He was not the Son of God. He refused to save Himself in order to save us.

On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame. How I have come to love that old cross where the dearest and the very best for a world of lost sinners was slain. Try to convince me that George Bennard was not inspired when he wrote this hymn.

TODAY WE PRAY FOR THE WORLD

Allison the Missionary. The only team member that is not ready to go home.

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  • Regular schedule tonight: Supper at 5:30, AWANA at 6:15 and GATHERING at 6:30.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS this Saturday morning 9:30 at Cracker Barrel in Hartselle.
  • Chloe Bug surgery went well, PTL.
  • Good thing I worked on blog when I got home from work because I was at West Park until 9:00 PM which is too late for Seniors and it was also too cold. Big Mama and Josie Tate went home after 2nd inning.

Keri and Kane

God Of Mercy

November 15, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

“I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.

~Malachi 3:6, NLT

QUOTE

God is more willing to pardon than to punish. Mercy does more multiply in Him than sin in us. Mercy is His nature.

~Thomas Watson

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God is infinite in all His attributes and let us all give thanks that He is merciful. Psalms 100:5 reads…”For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endures to all generations.” Jeremiah said in his Lamentations…”The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” We need mercy like fish need water, we would be destroyed in a heartbeat if God’s mercies were to cease for a moment.

Jacobs sons were liars, outlaws, hooligans, thugs, murderers, rapist; there were as vile as the Canaanite natives. Joseph stood head and shoulders above them. He distinguished himself from them in his behavior. He became their savior and lord but he had made a decision to forgive prior to revealing himself to his brothers. This bunch deserved to be impaled on a pole. They had wronged Joseph and lied to their father. Joseph was merciful. Otherwise the sons of Jacob would have been consumed. Give thanks for God’s mercies which are new everyday. We could not survive a part from His mercy.

I am thinking about the song Tyler sings…“…God of mercy, sweet love of mine; I have surrendered to Your design.
May this offering stretch across the skies, and these Halleluiahs be multiplied!…”

God of Mercy

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  • Today we pray for Students.
  • We are going to change the Deacons meeting to 8:55 in The Sanctuary…Deacons and Wives Prayer Huddle.
  • Honor the Champs Sunday morning in am worship followed by a luncheon for players and parents in the Parlor.
  • November 23 is CELEBRATION SUNDAY and Operation Christmas Child deadline.

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The Pits Family

July 8, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

So the king told Ebed-melech, “Take thirty of my men with you, and pull Jeremiah out of the cistern before he dies.”

~Jeremiah 38:10, NLT

QUOTE

My heart was distressed ’neath Jehovah’s dread frown,
And low in the pit where my sins dragged me down;
I cried to the Lord from the deep miry clay,
And He sat my feet on the Rock to stay.

~Henry Zeller

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In C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia, there is the story of the Silver Chair which features several above ground creatures like Puddleglum who was a Marsh-Wiggle and then there is an underground group known as the Gnomes. Donnell Brown has found a group in the bible that I had not noticed per say: the “Pits People” or as I like to call them, the Pits Family and we find them in the book of Jeremiah. Donnell mentioned three clans but I want to mention a fourth. Actually, there would be five if we counted the Earl Pitts family but they are a different sort all together. You will notice that not all the Pits are bad: some are very decent.

  1. The folks who wish you were in a pit…the cynics and critics
  2. The folks who will actually put you in a pit…Shephatiah {Jehovah has judged},Gedaliah {Jehovah is great}, Juhical {Jehovah is able} and Pashhur [Freedom}. These men were officials in Zedekiah’s court.
  3. The folks in the pit…Jeremiah
  4. The folks  who will pull you out of the pit…Ebed-Melech

We all have critics but most never do more than criticize. They lack the courage to commit to anything that involves risk. They are not known for making the first hit, but they will pile on.  When some one brings them the petition to get rid of you, they will not sign it. They are like an old porch dog, all they do is bark but they keep on barking until they get every dog in the neighborhood barking but they don’t bit, they just bark. The second clan of the Pits family will put you in the pit; they have a real mean streak like Judah, Simeon and Levi who put their own brother in a pit with him pleading for mercy. They are willing to do more than sign a petition; they are ready to carry out the execution. Then there are the folks in the pit like Jeremiah. He didn’t put himself there and he couldn’t get himself out. The pit is a place of darkness and despair. It is lonely in the bottom of a pit and there is no way out unless someone from above shows mercy and lifts you out. Praise God there is a fourth clan in the Pits family, those who will pull you out of the pit like Ebed-melech, a black eunuch who literally saved Jeremiah’s life. I’ve been pulled from the pit more than once. Thank God for loyal friends who are willing to stick their necks out to save yours. You don’t have many loyal friends so appreciate the ones you have. Jesus didn’t have any, not until after the resurrection.

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  • BLOCK PARTY OFFERING was almost $1400. Some folks must have gotten confused. This Sunday is the big one. It will tell us to go forward or go in another direction. One way are the other, we are going somewhere. If we don’t do a block party, we have $5,000 to spend on another connecting event.
  • Josie had a bike wreck andhas a concussion we think: Joe David and Lori have taken her to H/H/ER. We have the wild man here at the casa del grande. {9:00 PM July 7}

    Josie Tate Bailey

    Josie Tate Bailey

  • Tonight is a paint night at the FORTE. Come on guys, you are letting the women and youth do all the work. I am not talking about my carpenter crew: they did their part. I’m talking about you folks that have not shown up to date. If we could get 25 painters, we could knock it out.
  • http://ozziesaffa.blogspot.com/2014/06/i-bet-she-regrets-asking-her-question.html You have to check out this video. Great speech on the danger of Islam. If the address does not work as a link, copy and paste in your search window.

 

 

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Perseverance

May 3, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

Water wears away stone.

~Job 14:19, NIV

QUOTE

By perseverance the snail made it to the ark.

~Charles Spurgeon

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One of my favorite N.T. words is translated by AV as patience but NASB translates this compound Greek word as endurance. James uses Job as an example of both patience and endurance in chapter five of his epistle. In verse ten James uses the word makrothymia [AV, patience] which means slow to get heated or hot. This word relates to a self-control issue. In verse 11, the word hypomonē [AV, patience, NASB, endurance] is used. This word means the ability to stay under in terms of bearing a burden. It is this ability to stay under, stay focused and stay at it that separates the strong from the weak. Most of us are tempted to cast off our burden and flee as a bird to the mountains but the secret to success is to stay at it, keep pounding the rock. Recreation, hobbies and pleasant task are easy but to accomplish the difficult, the long-term and sometimes uninspiring is a horse of a different color. The LORD reminded Jeremiah, Is not my word like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? [Jeremiah 23:29] The hammer will break the rock eventually if we keep pounding. Water will erode a stone but it takes time. Persistence pays: Thomas Edison failed 999 times to create a light bulb but he did not quit and the discovery came on the next experiment. He was successful because he refused to quit.

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  • Kenny had another rough day, keep praying.
  • GOLDEN GIRLS this morning at 9:00, Cracker Barrel in Hartselle.
  • Men’s Breakfast Sunday Morning at 8:00 in Parlor.
  • DHS girls won their area tournament last night. DBC has 7-8 girls on the team. They played especially well in the championship game.

The Heart

January 9, 2014

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SCRIPTURE

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

~Luke 22:31-32, NASB

QUOTE

The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

~Jeremiah

COMMENTARY

Peter was confident, so confident that argued with Jesus; “Lord, I’m ready to go to prison with you and to die with you.” Jesus said, “I can guarantee this truth: Before a rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” Peter retorted, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You.” All the disciples echoed Peter’s sentiment. Peter was convinced beyond a doubt that he knew his own heart and that Jesus underestimated him. You and I know the truth:  JESUS IS NEVER WRONG.  Jesus knew more about Peter than Peter did himself.

The human heart will play cruel tricks on us; do not trust it. What Peter did once I have done a dozen times or more. I was sure that I knew my heart, my intent, my motive only to have God reveal to me later that my motives were selfish and vain.  Every time it happens and I go back to the LORD for my apology, I say something like this– “LORD You knew all along didn’t you?” In His gently way, He whispers ‘Yes’. Now I see young people, younger than myself, and they are so convinced that they are glorifying God in what they do but it is clear to me that it is not God who is being  glorified. I know the truth and  of course God knows but they don’t know. Why don’t I just tell them? It will not work for me to tell them; it is impossible to know the heart a part from the Holy Spirit revealing it to us.  As in all things, we are at God’s mercy.

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  • David Orr‘s surgery went well and Jamie got good news PTL!
  • Eddie leaves for China today and I think Sue is going to wait a couple of weeks.
  • Big Mama and I will be leaving Saturday for Grand Bay…Pray for the REVIVAL at FRIENDSHIP Baptist where Teddy is pastor. It is a great church. The boy has done a terrific job. He loves his people and they are believers in pray and so are we.
  • Pray for Joe David, he will be preaching twice Sunday. Gregg is making the coffee [which he does all the time] and getting the Donuts and Biscuits. No deacons meeting Sunday.
  • Good attendance last night. It’s tough to get going after all that time off but I think we are back in the routine.
  • Check the mail box Sunday, we need to get all the Christmas Cards out. Mandy needs the room to put your Contribution Statements in on Sunday January 19.
  • I’m loving this heat wave! Makes me want to lay out, not! I am thankful however.
  • Tough day for kids: we had two grandsons who cried all the way to school. They didn’t want to go.
Tell me this is not happening!

Tell me this is not happening!