August 5, 2018

Talk about hot!  Whoa.  It was 108 here this weekend & it continues.  Whew.

This was the third weekend in a row that we had a funeral for one of our church people.  The other two were for senior citizens, but this past weekend was for a teenager.  Those are particularly hard on a family to lose their precious child, but it is also difficult on a church family who also aches & grieves.  I am so thankful for the good turnout of our church family on Saturday to support the non-church family in the loss of their precious daughter.  But the truth of the matter is that as a church family, we are tired.  This brutal heat & these losses of personal friends & beloved church family have taken an emotional toll.  We MUST keep our eyes fastened on the Lord & rest upon Him.  He is our Omniscient & Almighty God even in the midst of such loss.

The AM service yesterday although not well attended, had some very good attributes.  The choir was accompanied on the piano by Mrs. Emily Blewett.  Their song, “Before the Throne of God Above” was opened by the ladies in unison.  Then they broke into female parts which was amazing.  Then the men joined in & it was a “WOW moment.”  The words & message of the song were powerful.  And then the choir hit third gear, & tears welled up in my eyes at the beauty & majesty of the song!  My heart was blessed.

The offertory was a piano-trumpet duet by Pastor Seth & Autumn Clark.  We rejoice with them at their good news that they are expecting a baby in 27 weeks!  This in answer to the faithful prayers of this church family made this song all the more delightful.  “Be Thou my Vision” was clear, strong, & brilliantly done.   Seth preached yesterday morning & it was a dynamic message on God’s judgment of His people from Jeremiah 21:1-6.  His easy, kind way made it palatable, but we got the message loud & clear: “There are consequences for sin to God’s people.”

The evening service had special string accompaniment to the choir number which made it extra-special!  The full choir harmony was a great spiritual & musical treat for us all!  The offertory was a delightful guitar & vocal solo by Pastor Seth of “Still, my Soul, Be Still.”  His baritone solo with the powerful memorized words were captivating.  The full execution of the music, the message, & the majesty to the praise of God’s Name were memorable!  The testimony time was quite brief last night.  I then preached from II Corinthians 7:10 on “Godly Sorrow.”  Afterwards we had a farewell fellowship time in the Fellowship Hall for Jon & Shelley Calhoun who the Army is transferring to Missouri (& we are not happy about it on little bit.)  L  We have grown to love them so much & especially their two precious little angels, Makayla & Michelle.  It was a sweet but sad time for us all.

So there you have it from Bethel from this past weekend.  Our interns have finished for the summer.  Our public school kids have all started back to school.  And our monsoons have not come yet, but they are very welcome this year!  May God bless & help you in your place & your particular need this week.  We bid you our love & prayers to that end for sure.