Hello everyone. I hope you are able to stay cool on this day of extreme heat. Our pastor said that the air conditioning went out at his home last weekend. It took a couple of days to get it fixed. They managed to get by, but it wasn’t easy. Now that we are used to having air conditioning in our homes, I think it would be rough to live like we used to with nothing but an electric fan or maybe even just a hand fan. I remember working in our kitchen and cooking on a wood stove when it was 100 degrees outside. Sometimes we had to step outside to cool off. Well, it was almost that bad. Let’s just say that I have a deep appreciation for air-conditioning in our home and in our vehicle.
The Red Bank Church service began with a hymn led by Gary Lirley. A warm welcome to members and guest was given by Jerry Huff. Brother Lauren made announcements concerning our up-coming V.B.S. which will begin on August 3rd and continue through August 7th. The V.B.S. hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. For more information call 683-5991. Come and bring a friend.
The congregation was led, by Gary Lirley, in singing hymns to begin the Worship service. Brother Lauren gave a mission offering in honor of his youngest son, Christopher’s, birthday. Jeane Huff gave a mission offering in honor of her son, Danny Hampton’s, birthday. Special music was provided by Jeane Huff. We were missing some of our members being in attendance this week. Eloise and Miranda Hallmark were attending a family reunion. Pat and Margi Gates were taking a short vacation to Pike’s Peak in Colorado. Margi has been training to be a participant in the race that was held there this last weekend.
Brother Lauren began the morning sermon by asking if we feel that our service to God is drudgery or a joy. Do we feel that our Salvation depends on how good we are or how much service we offer? Is it possible that we might lose our Salvation if we fail to live a perfect life? Brother Lauren’s answer to these questions is that there is nothing we can do to earn our Salvation. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and allow Him to be our guide though life, then our motivation to serve Him is because God loved us so much that He sent His own Son to pay the penalty for our sins Corinthians 1: 22 reveals to us that God has sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. In other words, He not only made it possible for us to have Salvation, but he left the Holy Spirit in our hearts as earnest on His promise. We are His purchased possession, and have been sealed until he comes to take us home to be with Him. Praise God!! Paul, of all people, realized fully the grace and power of God. God had forgiven him of the many sins he had committed. He freely gave Paul the gift of Salvation and, powerfully, sealed his Salvation. Brother Lauren said, “How sad to live our lives worrying that we may be lost again because we slipped and fell and displeased God. But, we are still His because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Yes, we will reap what we sow in this life. We may do many things that we will wish we hadn’t. If we hurt our bodies, we will pay the price when we get old. If we break the law, we will pay, somehow, for that while on this earth. But, we are still His because we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit owns us. He placed His seal upon us. We are not perfect, but God loves us anyway. He loves us unconditionally. We are marked — branded if you will. We need to make our first love for Christ stronger and stronger through prayer, study and service.” As the song says, “The Joy of the Lord is our Strength.”
Gary and I visited with Maxine Lirley today. I took her some more tomatoes from my garden, and a few other things she enjoys eating. We had a wonderful visit with her. In fact, we stayed for lunch! We don’t usually get to do that.
Visiting in our home Monday evening was Gary’s brother, James Lirley; his nephew, Michael Lirley, and his two sons, Jacob and Nathan. We enjoyed their visit very much. We need to do that more often.
I visited with my brother, John Webster, on the phone a few days ago. I called to wish him a happy birthday. I’ll not tell how old he is, but I will say that he is my little brother who is about five years younger than me. I am almost 74. He’s a little ornery, but so am I, now and then. I love ya bud.
Pam Shell called me the other day and said, “What are you having for supper?” I said, “I’m preparing some taco meat to eat as a taco or a taco salad.” She said, “Good, I’ll be right over.” And, so she did. I was thrilled because she usually never accepts my invitation to eat a meal with us. We had a good time eating and visiting together.
That’s all the news for now. Take care. Find joy in the Lord by serving Him faithfully every day and in every way.