October 29, 2017

Greetings again from Bethel in Tucson!

I see on the weather map that it is getting quite cool up north right now.  When I hear talk about snow already, it makes my 90 degree temperatures not so bad.  But we are seeing  a cooling trend this week too.  It will be in the upper & mid 80’s all week long. I love this time of year here.

Yesterday was a blessed day here at Bethel.  The morning service was alive.  Pastor Seth mentioned in the AM that it was Reformation Sunday even though we are Baptists & not strictly Protestants.  Our attendance was average, but we had two new returning families which was a heart-warming blessing to all of the church family.

The choir did another outstanding job singing this time, “My Hope is Jesus.”  And they were hitting on all eight cylinders blessing the whole congregation.  Then the piano offertory solo of “We Have an Anchor” by Mrs. Emily Blewett was enjoyable.  The words on the screen enhanced it for us too.  As she played, my wife whispered in my ear, “And just think.  That baby is hearing all of that music too.”  (Emily is very expectant with a baby.)  

The congregation then read responsively with me from I Peter 4:7-14 in preparation for the message entitled, 
The Way to Live in the End Time.”  I love to hear God’s people reading God’s Word out loud.  It was another privilege to hear just that yesterday.  I then preached from that passage on what God says about how we should live “in the end time.”

After the AM service, we dismissed for the Fellowship Hall where a share-a-dish dinner was ready.  The food was excellent & the fellowship even better!  Just as I was about ready to start the Quarterly Church Family Meeting, Deacon Bud cobb got up & started talking to everyone.  I was a bit surprised, but I waited to see what this was all about.  He complimented the pastors of the church & then presented Pastor Seth & Autumn with a card & gift from the congregation in recognition of Pastor Appreciation Month.  Then he called Diane & me up to present to me, cases-and-cases of Snapple Diet Peach Tea for the same PAM.  I was totally surprised & taken back.  I can usually smell something like this even when I cannot SEE anything, but this time I was totally surprised.  Everyone got quite a kick out of the cart that was loaded & the eight guys who followed it with more Snapple.  It was quite the entourage.  I smiled in delight at such a nice thought for both Seth & me.

Then we had the Quarterly Church Family Meeting.  It went quite well with only one small hitch.  I think everyone was well satisfied & afterwards even the hitch got reconciled!  So PTL for such a good day in the Lord at Bethel yesterday.  Because of the extended AM service in to the mid-afternoon, we did not have church last night. How good it was however to worship & fellowship with God’s people again.  PTL!