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Greetings from Red Bank.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable Memorial, holiday weekend.   It’s good that we take out time to remember the service and sacrifice of the dedicated men and women that fought, and still do stand ready to fight in defense our beloved country.

Hymns, led by Gary Lirley, opened the Red Bank Church service.  He also gave a cheery greeting to members and guest.  Those giving a mission offering in celebration of their birthday were Jerry Maggard Jr. and his mother Neva Maggard via her husband, Jerry Maggard Sr.  The evening service was called off because of special family gatherings, Memorial celebrations and cemetery decorating activities.   After the congregation was led in hymns, special music was presented by one of our guest, Miss. Ryan Lirley, who played a special piano rendition of Beethoven’s classical, “Moonlight Sonata,” mixed with, “It is Well with My Soul.”   It blessed our hearts to hear such beautiful music played that gave honor to our Lord.

In the absence of our pastor, who called and said that he and his wife were ill with the flu, the morning message was brought by Gary Lirley.   As a memorial to those who served the Lord faithfully in our Church, and have now gone to be with their Lord, Gary chose his text Scriptures from II Thessalonians 2: 15 and Exodus 20: 12.   Using his own family ancestry as an example, Gary explained how quickly a family can turn from serving the Lord to leaving Him completely out of their lives.   By not teaching our children the Word of God and showing them, with his Word, the right way to live their lives, this can happen within one generation.  The main secret to accomplishing this is to set the example by living our own lives according to God’s Word.  In Exodus 20, we find that one of the Ten Commandments is, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” When children do not honor their parents by obeying them, they show dishonor to God.  If this is not corrected by parents who love their children enough to give them swift redirection, it could eventually result in their grandchildren being, seriously, misdirected with the lack of learning God’s Word and ways, along with further acts of disobedience toward their parents.  As Gary said, 
“Parents sometimes have to rely on the Scripture in Proverbs 22:6 which reads, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’  I am so thankful that my parents raised me to know the Lord as my personal Savior and understand how important it is to obey Him.  However, it took me several years up into my young adulthood to turn my life around to becoming an obedient child of God.   Only then did I find any lasting happiness and peace in my life.  I finally became the husband and father that God wanted me to be.  I finally understood what it took to be a faithful follower and servant of His.  I finally understood what it takes to be a real man.  The founding of the Red Bank Church came through the faithful service of many who have gone before us.  As they, we need to do as Paul said in II Thessalonians 2:15, ‘Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by  word, or our epistle.’”

Visiting in the home of Jerry and Neva Maggard for a holiday meal together was Jerry, Tattie and Zorie Maggard and Mike Bodine.

Gary and I were thrilled to have our son, Les, his wife, Jeanine, and his three children, Ryker, Ryan and Hannah visiting in our home for the weekend.  Also staying one night and visiting with us was Mike Smitley.  Mike was our neighbor for quite a few years.  He now lives in Oklahoma.  We all had a great time reminiscing about old times.

Our children, Les and Jeanine, and our grandchildren spent most of Saturday helping with chores around the place that we needed help with.   Later in the afternoon, Jeanine and the girls, Ryan and Hannah, helped me make up several bouquets to place on family members graves from flowers that I had bought earlier.  They were really talented at that job and we had a lot of fun doing it.

Visiting with us Saturday evening was James and Debbie Lirley and Maddie and, also, Mike Smitley.

Sunday afternoon, Gary and I and our children traveled to Ava to make a surprise visit with Maxine Lirley.  After Ryan played the piano for her great grandmother, we all went out to stand in the Healthcare Center’s new gazebo to watch Hannah perform some back flips, hand stands and other gymnastics moves in the yard nearby.   Hannah recently won first place, in her age group, in the Oklahoma State Gymnastics Meet.  We got to see a video of her performance.  She even had to do a back flip on the High Beam.   It’s hard enough for us to bend over forward, let alone backwards and still be on our feet when we come back up.  Also visiting with Maxine Sunday afternoon was Jeane Huff.

That’s all the news for now folks.  Take care and stay dry.

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