Warm greetings from the Sonoran Desert!
So how in the world are you? I trust that you are healthy & encouraged in the Lord. That is our hope for you after a good Lord’s Day. In any case, I bring you love & greetings from all the saints here at Bethel. And please be sure that we thank God for you because you are just you.
Yesterday was a fair day here. We did not see earth-shattering spiritual victories; the attendance was just so-so; & we only had one visitor for the day. But that is not the whole story. There were also some wonderful blessings from the Lord yesterday that I want to share with you too. Firstly that blessed choir sang again. Their rich harmonic sound filled the auditorium. Although it was a song they have done previously, it was a fresh blessing to all who heard it. Miss Anna Carpenter accompanied them on the piano which also enhanced the experience for the entire crowd. PTL for such a blessing as this!
Then Anna played my favorite Gospel song for the offertory, “Wonderful Grace of Jesus.” I could hardly contain myself. It was delightfully done & thoroughly enjoyed by all. We then read from I Thess. 5:16-25. Hearing the congregation read the Scripture out loud together is an awesome experience in itself. I then preached from 5:24 on “God NEVER Fails!” It was an encouragement/reminder message to God’s people. It was certainly nothing new or exculpatory, but it was a motivation to those who are in the dregs of trials that their God will see them through it all!
The evening service was opened in prayer by Pastor Seth. He also led the vibrant congregational singing. One thing about the church family at Bethel, they sing out! J & I love them for it. The choir of 9 ladies & 5 men had a good choric sound & the words on the screen were a blessing to all in attendance. But the blessing of the night was the extraordinary offertory by Mrs. Autumn Clark on the trumpet as she was accompanied on the piano by her husband. It was fabulous to hear the two instruments complimenting each other so richly. Our hearts were blessed by the music & our minds were stirred by the words on the screen. Is it any wonder they got a solid 10 on the amen-o-meter?
There was only one testimony but it was a touching one. One of the church ladies told how that the last year has been such a change for her since her husband divorced her. That resulted in an unexpected move, a job change, & a deeper walk with God than ever before. She praised God for His faithfulness through it all & thanked the church family that loved her & supported her faithfully. Like I said, it was a touching one! I then preached from I Peter 3:1-6 on “A Woman’s Way to Win Her Man.” It was instruction from the Word on how believing women should go about the task of seeing God save their husband. BTW, it can be heard online at www.bethelaz.org.
So there you have it from the desert. It may be dry & arid in our weather here, but the showers of God’s blessings fall upon us regularly in the church services. My heart was enriched by the sweet fellowship with God’s people & was blessed by the many good facets of the worship times together. I cannot speak for others, but for me it was good to be in the house of the Lord again. And for that I have been praising Him ever since.