July 29, 2018

Greetings to one & all!

I hope this note finds you well & encouraged in the Lord today.  This is the day the Lord has made & we WILL rejoice & be glad in it!    We are still having our brutal heat wave, but some rain is promised in the next week or so.  Of course we thought that this weekend, but did not see a drop of water where I was.    We need rain desperately.  Let the monsoons begin. 

Yesterday our attendances were better than recent weeks for which I PTL.    It was a different day for us in many ways, but I think it was a good day.  The variety of things was a spice of life for us indeed.  Yesterday in the morning service our two summer interns preached.  That does not usually happen here, but because we had a memorial service in the evening, we changed the interns’ finale at the AM service.  Josh Witkoski preached on “A Passion for People’ from Matthew 9:35-38 & Christian Garcia preached from Colossians 2:6 on “Growing Up in Christ.”  Both were very good messages from the Word & delivered with energy, enthusiasm, & enlightenment.  We were blessed by youthful excitement too. 

The choir sang, “Sing to the Lord Alleluia” which is a repeat from the past, but it was equally enjoyable for the congregation as previously!  The nine men & seven ladies had a good blend in comforting harmony.  This was a song of praise as the word “alleluia” radiated throughout it.  I enjoyed that so much!  Fundamental Baptist have almost given up that Bible word to the charismatics in fear that we would be associated with them.  But it is a good & sacred word for God’s people to sing & to use fluently.   So I rejoiced greatly & am still humming the tune to myself today.

The offertory was a violin-piano duet by Christian Garcia & Miss Anna Carpenter of “The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.”  What a thrill to hear these two millennials playing warm-hearted music to God’s glory & seeing the congregation respond with stirred hearts & souls!  We also enjoyed a quartet number by Lance Owen, Josh Witkoski, Christian Garcia, & Jon Calhoun.  They sang “While the Ages Roll” to the utter delight of the whole congregation.  So it was a warm-hearted wonderful time in the Lord with God’s people!

The evening service was different in that it was a memorial service for Mrs. Melvena King who went to be with the Lord last week.  She passed away in her sleep in her home.  She had been ill & failing for some time, but is safe with the Lord at last.  Four of her children were here with three of the grandchildren to honor her.  I preached from Genesis 35 on “The Glad Reunion” of Joseph & his father, Jacob.  I was pleased with the presence of the Lord in the service although I was disappointed that more of the church family did not come to support the family. 

Sunday evening services are almost extinct in most churches.  It is considered passé, old-fashioned, & intrusive to most families Sunday evening plans.  Yet I cannot escape from the whole concept that Sunday is “the Lord’s Day.”  It is not play day or my family time.  It is a day to honor the Lord & set aside for Him.  At least that is the way that I see it.  I think Sunday evening service is the best of the week, but it is deserted by far too many of God’s people.  Just saying ….  

So that is the report from here in Tucson.  This is the second weekend in a row for a funeral & we have one scheduled for this coming weekend on Saturday at 11 AM for Rachel Anthis-Roberts.  We are not used to such loss in such succession.  It is hard on a church family in many different ways, but I am so thankful for the sensitivity of many for others in their time of loss & grief.  That is what a church family is for: to love one another especially in times of need!