Yesterday was one of the many reasons why I love Sundays. Personally, I have loved Steven Wilson’s class this quarter. You leave wanting more and he leaves us with more to explore throughout the week. This morning I am thinking about some of the things he said. Inspirational. On top of that, our singing continues to be a highlight of our worship. I know I talk about it a lot, but we had another visitor, from Rochester, Michigan, tell me how good our singing was. He even said, because he travels a lot, that he visits other churches and always leaves thinking how much he misses the singing at his home congregation, because it is so good. But yesterday he felt at home. That afternoon I found this comment about our singing on social media.
Every week we hear something, if not from visitors, our own people. We have always had good singing, but we have raised it to a new level. David Brooker has been a big part of that over the years, leading, teaching and placing an emphasis on singing. Bill Raikes and Ladell Young added another dimension to our singing. A group of singers, who work on our weekly songs, help with parts during worship. But it is the participation of the congregation that really gives the power. Not only are you learning new songs, but you really know how to take down, what I like to call, the “two pager.” Yesterday we had two, two pagers, “A New Song” and “Go Into the Fields.” Keep listening to those YouTube links to the newer songs, come to every Circle-Up Singing, and take in some of David Brooker’s singing classes on Sunday afternoons. We are reaping the benefits of these things with our singing. Ok, I’ll stop now.
We continue to have visitors join us each week. Pray for them. Talk to them. Invite them to lunch. Invite them back. Then, go out this week and invite others to join us. The sermon series is a way of getting people to come with you; the church is what will keep them coming back; and it is Jesus Christ that will make them want to stay. Speaking of visitors, some of you may have seen the new “visitor parking” sign. If you ever wondered, it takes three ministers to put up a sign. One to hold the ladder, another to climb up and fasten it, and a third to take a picture.
Continuing with our thoughts on Sunday worship, we got a good start on our Better series. One thing I learned is our teenagers really like Oreos. Seriously, I’m enjoying the study of these “better” verses. This weeks topic, “Better One Handful” (Eccl. 4:6).
Mike McGee, on behalf of the elders, said a special prayer for the people in Paris. Such an awful tragedy. He also challenged us with the words of Jesus, to love our enemies. These are people who have no understanding of the Good News of Christ. The nations will continue to fight and try and protect their people, and we, as the holy nation of God, must continue to pray and fight in this spiritual warfare for the souls of men. Don’t let hatred overcome you, allow the love of God to fill you. Yes, Islam is a false religion, denying the Son of God, but neither are they all terrorists. Westboro Baptist Church doesn’t represent Baptists or Christianity. Rather than fighting against a false religion, fight for Christianity. You will read a lot of bad news on social media but we have Good News. Let it flood your news feed. Love, not hate, conquers. Also, continue to remember these other countries dealing with atrocities of radical Islam – Kenya, Lebanon, Russia, Africa, and others. Pray for them.
REMINDER: If you were unable to pick up your pledge card, or somehow you did not see one for your family, please let us know so we can get those to you. You still have until the end of December to turn them in, but PLEASE take time to pray and reflect before writing any figures. If you have questions about them, please see the elders or Gene Lewis. Some of you may still be on the fence as to what you should check for the SAVE THE BEARD/shave the beard campaign. Here is another picture that might help you.
REJOICE WITH THOSE WHO REJOICE. Austin Dean is signing to play baseball with Harding University! This will happen tonight at halftime of the Master’s basketball game. We celebrate with Austin. It is a great honor and accomplishment. We also celebrate with Tim and Sue on getting a financial break for college!
Now for the wrap up. Spend a day with God. Schedule private time with Him. Take moments of silence. Read His Word. Pray throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be long prayers, it can be quick, 140 characters or less, prayers for things you see, experience, or feelings you are having. A day with the Lord is better than a 1,000 anywhere else.