Greetings from Red Bank. It’s cold and cloudy today, but sunshiny tomorrow. This is our current weather forecast. It sounds much like a forecast of our lives. At least we always have something to look forward to.
Opening the Red Bank Church service by leading the congregation in a hymn was Gary Lirley. Jerry Huff provided a warm welcome and introduced the Sunday school lesson with the title, “Connected Through Prayer”, (Ephesians 6:18-22). We need to pray for each other, ourselves, our family, our spiritual leaders and their families and the leaders of our country. We are all very much connected.
Leading the hymns for the worship service was Jake Hampton. Brother Lauren gave the announcements. The Ladies, mission group will be meeting this Sunday evening at 5:30. They will be engaged in wrapping shoe boxes in Christmas wrapping paper so they can be packed with many useful items and made ready for shipping to children in need. The monthly praise service will begin at 7:00 p.m., after the ladies meeting. A food fellowship will follow that service. It was announced that a list of food items will be made for everyone to sign, indicating which item they are willing to provide for the Fall Festival which will be held on Oct. 26. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. We are planning an outside wiener and marshmallow roast with the makings for Smores along with other foods and drinks. There will also be planned games for the children. You are welcome to come and enjoy these festivities with us.
John 12: 20-26 was the focus scripture for the morning sermon. Brother Lauren began by asking this question, “What is required of the believer in Christ”? The main marks of a real follower of Christ are faith and obedience. They are always observable by those who are watching. In verse 24, Jesus likened the believer to a grain of wheat by saying that unless the grain of wheat that falls into the ground dies all alone, it cannot produce more grain. In other words, a true follower of Christ will die to him or herself every day, meaning that they will freely bury their love for the world to receive a reward that is joyous and everlasting. Our loss of what the world offers will never compass what we will gain from a life with Christ. We cannot keep this life no matter what we do to hang onto it. No matter what we do, we are still going to die someday. It is scriptural to take care of one’s body, but that should not be one’s main focus of life. What a tradeoff; to give up what will eventually turn to dust anyway for a life of light, joy and peace with Christ along with His promise of a home with him in glory. Jesus said in verse 25-26, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me; and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor”.
Gary and I visited with Maxine Lirley Monday afternoon. She was still eating her lunch when we arrived. It looked like they were enjoying fried chicken with a good choice of vegetables. Maxine has been trying to get used to playing her guitar again. She says that it has been hard to get her fingers to toughen up enough to play very long at a time. She has always been a good guitar player. She could play about any song she desired. The chemo treatments left her skin very thin and sensitive. But, she is determined to overcome that problem. I think her motto must be, “Never Give up Trying”. She is an inspiration to us all.
I visited with a school mate and friend, Lula Denney, yesterday afternoon. We graduated together in the class of 1959. It was good to hear that she had been feeling pretty well lately. She is like the rest of us retired folks and finding it more and more difficult to buy the things we need because of the higher prices. We just have to give things up what we are used to eating and using or find a less expensive substitute. Sometimes that is possible and sometimes it isn’t.
That’s all the news for now. Take care. Let go and let God be the leader of your life. He will be with you every step of the way. Actually, He will show you the way. In fact, He said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.