Bro. Stringer reported good services all day Sunday. Nine were baptized Sunday night. Bro. J.T. Sanders baptized his two kids, Glen Cantrell baptized his son, Cody. Lee Marten baptized his brother and sister-in-law. Jody Leslie got to baptize his daughter. Bro. Stringer baptized the others.
Lori Welch had surgery on Monday morning.
I didn’t feel like going all day. I love to hear the reports of the good meetings. Bro. Stringer will be revival at Welcome Hill Baptist on Friday night at 7:30, Saturday night at 7:30 and Sunday night at 6 p.m., their regular time for their Sunday night service. Bro. Ed Parson, the pastor, invites everyone to come out and be with them. Also, Todd Poteet is the choir director. He is excited about working with his Pa in revival. Nolan Poteet spent Sunday evening with cousin, Alec Stringer. I’m sure they had a good time.
Eddie and Mac went to North Whitfield Sunday morning.
Pray for our sick. Glenda Hasty is doing some better, Edith Middleton needs your prayers, she has missed church a few Sundays. Bro. Lee Williams got negative reports for his tests last week. The Lord is still doing miracles.
We had a lot of visitors Sunday night for the baptizing. Buddy Hicks got to lead the choir and they said it was like old times. Singing is just his life. He really needs your prayers, He can’t hardly walk or get around. He is a blessing.
Bro. James Wilson has been at Memorial Hospital since last Tuesday. Allen Robinson has been in Dalton hospital, really pray for both of them.
Bro. Stringer has really felt bad for about a month. Pray that he will get renewed strength to carry on.
Mrs. Daisy called Sunday night and she’s not been feeling well and she says she misses church. April Warthon has had the flu and cold over a week. She had coughed herself to death.
Remember Marie Hale, Pearlie Schmitt, Bob and Helen Helton, they are both real sick.
Thank you Steve and Connie Norman for work and interest they have in the fellowship hall. I understand they made some changes in the kitchen this week and did some painting.
I know it’s a little early but we are gonna have our Christmas drama again this year. A lot of people have already asked about it.
Emma Jo Davis, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
We had a very good day for our picnic on Saturday. The weather was good, our crowd was off from what it has been but everyone seemed to enjoy the fellowship and the good Bar-B-Q.
Thanks to everyone that took a part. The only thing missing out of all the banana puddings, cakes and other desserts not anything chocolate. We are going to have to do better than this the next time.
Last Wednesday night the church went to Calvary Baptist Church in Tunnel Hill. There was a large number in the service. Bro. David Flood preached and there were special songs by Karen Holcomb, Julie McCurdy and Dianne Hullender and Julie McCurdy it was all a blessing. On Thursday night the choir from Nellie Head Baptist Church was there and if you have never heard them you have really missed a blessing. Bro. John Mitchell preached to an overflow crowd.
We send condolences to the family of Lucille Williams. Also to the family of Reubon Brock in their death last week.
Dianne Hullender had her second treatment of chemo last Tuesday and she just has one more. So continue to pray for her that she will get a clean bill of health after that. Dianne has had a great attitude and testimony throughout all of these treatments.
We were very glad to see our visitors in the service on Sunday. Hope to see them again soon. Glad to have Collis and Joy Holcome back from their vacation.
Tim Bryson preached for our nursing home service last week since Bro. David wasn't able to go. We are thankful that he is willing to fill in when we need someone.
Happy Birthday wishes go to May Davis, September 26. Hanna Flood and Michelle Redwine, September 27. Lyndsay Ivester, September 29. Wayne Armor, October 1. Doris Wilson, October 3.
Those on our prayer list this week are: Kenneth Peters back in the hospital with pneumonia after his by-pass surgery. Lula Petty, Ellie Pitts, Louise Clark, Thurman and Norma Headrick, Elsie Disheroon, Emma Lou Brown, Edna Allen, Jimmy Blassingame, Bernice Orr, Johnny Chapman, Benny Wilson, Junior and Ida Land, Kim Owens, Vanessa, Doris Pitts, Jan Elliott, our military, our missionaries and really pray about this coming election.
Judy Bowman , On The Journey
There's a red-tailed hawk that lives in my neighborhood. I don't know if it's a male or a female, but I've imagined her to be a lady. I've even named her. Bella. She's big and fierce-looking and every time I see her, which is at least a couple of times a week, I smile. She's usually perched on a fence post or power line, her intense eyes scanning the ground for her next quick bite. She's been around here for several years now and I like to think of her as "my" hawk. I look for her every day and it's reassuring to see her there. I admire her for being out there, in all kinds of weather, just doing what she was created for. When I see her, I think of the complexity and beauty of God's creation. And that all of us have a place in His garden.
So many of us struggle to find our place in the world. Families suffer through divorce and estrangement. Relationships get broken and sometimes are never healed. Siblings drift apart from one another. Parents struggle when their children are victims of illness or drug use. Church families can fracture and grow cold when gossip and distrust take root and are allowed to grow. Being human means living in a broken world. Lots of folks try to make their own sense of things and find their own way through their problems. We see them chasing wealth and possessions, trying to fill the void in their hearts with acquiring things. Maybe they do okay, on some level. But that never worked for me. Giving my life to Christ allowed me to find my own place and to have peace in knowing that He is in control of everything. But unlike Bella the hawk, sometimes I don't cooperate with God as fully and flawlessly as she does. Bella can't sin. Her hawk's will is perfectly conformed to her life and the part she plays in God's creation. Whether she's soaring over the hayfield looking for mice or plucking at her feathers as she rests on the fence post, everything she does perfectly lives out her role in the world. Bella can't be anything less than the perfect Bella. Whereas, I can stumble and sin and mess things up, again and again.
Thankfully, God knows my wounded heart very well. He knows how weak and sinful I am. And He loves me. He gave me free will so that I can make choices on my own. This is one of the things that makes me (and all of us) different from the hawks and other animals. Free will allows us to freely love and freely serve Him, but it also allows us to make wrong decisions and wrong choices--choices that go against the will of God, and therefore go against what is good for us. These selfish choices are sinful. God will forgive us our sins and welcome us back to Him in the Sacrament of Confession. He saved us; He is saving us; He will save us. Thanks be to God!
Whenever I see Bella, I thank God for His love and grace. He created a beautiful world, full of extraordinary and gifted creatures. When Bella soars high against the clear blue of a September day, she proclaims the goodness of the Lord. She has a particular and special role to play in creation and she does it perfectly. She reminds me that I too was created for God's purpose and pleasure and the only way I can truly live out that purpose is to let Christ have His way in my heart. I have to remember and embrace the beautiful words of St. John the Baptist: "He must increase; but I must decrease"(John 3:30). Allowing Christ to increase means putting Him first in all things---in every relationship, in every decision, in every moment of every day. It means picking up the cross that God made just for me and following Him with joy, wherever He takes me. It means embracing whatever pains or sufferings in my life as Jesus embraced Calvary and offering my pain up to Him, for His purpose. The more I decrease the more Christ lives in me and through me. I become a child of my Father and in His joy, He lifts me up. Like Bella, I rise above everything that binds and shackles me and drags me down. He gives me a perspective I could never have on my own -- an eternal perspective. Like Bella, I can rise up and see things in a new light, in the light of Christ. I have the freedom that only Christ can give. Bella reminds me that God's blessings are never-ending and He has great things in store for me, and for you.
"If I take the wings of the morning
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me."
If you enjoyed this reflection, visit my website www.tiberjudy.wordpress.com and follow me on Twitter @tiberjudy.
Charlotte McGuffey, Salem Baptist Church
My apologies to those who missed the column last week. I was on a much needed vacation.
Chubb and Linda Blevins have returned after vacationing out west. I'm sure they will have some great photographs to share with us.
Congratulations to Soucci Taylor, Breelie Taylor and Keelee Taylor who all won medals in their recent ice skating competition. They have accumulated quite a collection of medals. The Eslinger and Taylor families are very proud of them and their church family is proud of them also.
Jack and Barbara Ensley and Mel and Charlotte McGuffey vacationed last week in Panama City Beach, Florida. We also visited Lois and Wanda Cornelison in Milton, Florida. Lois was honored with a party to celebrate her birthday while we were there attended by family and several friends. It was a fun time.
Those celebrating birthdays are Shadow Cornelison on September 26, Stan McDowell on September 28, Lois Cornelison on September 29, McIver Ensley and Arielle Parson on the 30th and Lori Clowdus on October 2. Steve and Reba Dotson will celebrate their anniversary on October 3
Avve Taylor was honored with a birthday party on Sunday afternoon attended by her parents and sisters, grandmother Mary Eslinger, grandparents Marshall and Betty Taylor and her aunts, Penny and Libby Eslinger and uncles, Dale and Steve Eslinger. Miss Avve is a bundle of energy and cute as can be. Thank you to the Eslingers for sending me the tomatoes. I will enjoy them this week.
Thank you to Gunner Beeler for helping his granny, Patsy, take care of our cat while we were away. Gunner, Tiger loves you and is glad you came to play with her and keep her entertained. Gunner is a good kid and is glad to be back in school at Tiger Creek Elementary. I know he will make good grades again this year.
We were shocked and saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Michael Boring, son of Eddie and Shirley Boring last week. He is the grandson of Earl Presley and the late Florene Presley. Michael was a good Christian young man who has been involved in church work all his work life after attending Bryan College and Southern Seminary. He leaves behind his wife, Sherry, and three children, three sisters, several aunts and uncles, cousins, and nieces and nephews. Services were held in Gadsden, Alabama and Cleveland, Tennessee. Pray for all of his family.
Pray for Mike Teague, our interim pastor, as he wil be having spine surgery this week. He had this several years ago and the hardware did not hold up so it has to be redone. Technology has improved and we know he will have a good outcome this time.
The gospel group, Willow Creek, will be with us next Sunday for our 5th Sunday singing. Come be with us. We will have finger foods in the fellowship hall afterward.
Choir members, Tommy Johnson requests your presence at choir practice on Sunday afternoons at 6:00 as we are working on our Christmas musical. We need everyone who plans to sing to be at practice to learn these new songs. Let's show our support for Tommy by being in our places each week.
Closing thought: Cheer up, Moses was once a basket case too!