November 12, 2017

Hello from North Carolina!

That’s right.  I am writing you the update today from Lattimore, NC at Ambassador Baptist College where I preached in chapel this morning.  They are treating me like a king too.    The students are a blessing & their love for the Lord is obvious in almost everything that I see here.  Today is their Day of Prayer.  I just had a prolonged season of prayer in their chapel & students were kneeling & praying all over the place!  So you know where I am & what’s going on with me, but let me tell you about this past Sunday at Bethel.

It was our annual Veteran’s Day Service in morning.  The congregational singing was centered around the theme in songs like “Soldiers of Christ Arise” etc.  So the theme was carried out well.  I recognized the veterans by asking them to stand.  The church family applauded them spontaneously for which I was delighted!  (We are not a “happy/clappy” church but there are some things that are just appropriate!)    And then in the service, Sergeant First Class Jon Calhoun from Fort Huachuca in his dress uniform spoke to the vets, about them, & why veteran’s day is celebrated.  It was encouraging.  Jon choked up a couple of times which made it touching, real, & unforgettable.

The choir opened the service yesterday morning with the joyful song, “Come Let Us Join.”  It was a zippy song that elicited big smiles from the choir & from the audience alike.  The heart-stirring music was hard to avoid & the piercing words were captivating to the heart!  The violin solo offertory by Mrs. Elizabeth Gallagher accompanied by Pastor Seth on the piano was outstanding!  In my notes I put “WOW!”  She is a great violinist & with the piano it was out of this world. Um-um good.

I then preached from II Timothy 2:1-7 on “Faithful People.”  That passage speaks about them as “Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”  You can easily see the tie-in to the theme of the service.  But I was not hitting on all cylinders in the AM.  My wife had been up most of the night in pain, & I was off my game.  I did not want to be, but it was just one of those days.

The evening service was different.  I was revived & refreshed & the evening message “Hold On” was much more animated & anointed.  The testimony time really set the stage for the evening service.  There were numerous testimonies spontaneously given that were heart-touching & some heart-rending.  The certainly set the direction for the preaching message.  And the theme of that sermon fit perfectly with the direction of the testimonies.  (I love it when God orchestrates things like that!)

The choir presented another musical treat to our ears & hearts.  Miss Anna Carpenter accompanied them on the piano wonderfully.  Then Mr. Lance Owen’s trumpet offertory solo “Trusting Jesus” had that strong brass sound that filled the room.  He is such a faithful man & a good trumpeter too.  I appreciate Lance’s consistent servanthood as our Children’s Church Director so very much. 

So there you have it for last Sunday.  It was a gracious day in the Lord with all the accoutrements.  In spite of the opposition of the enemy, God won the victory!  He did it again & for that I am so thankful.  As the old song goes, “Jesus Never Fails!”  Hey, maybe that would be a good song for you for today.