Hello everyone. It was a busy day for Red Bank Church this Sunday. It was a joy to spend time with the residents of the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center singing hymns and visiting with many of them.
The Red Bank Church service opened with the singing of hymns, led by Gary Lirley. Brother Randy reminded everyone that we would be presenting a program of music and God’s word for the residents of HOTO that afternoon at 2:00 p.m. He announced that Red Bank will be hosting an appreciation dinner of chili, soups and desserts for all of the volunteer fire fighters and first responders, of the Goodhope Fire Department and their immediate family members on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 5:00 p.m. He then asked for prayer request. There were several request made. Each was lifted in prayer to our Heavenly Father.
Giving a mission offering in celebration of their wedding anniversary was Justin and Veronica Piccinino. Presenting special music was Gracie and Vance Piccinino. It is always a blessing to hear those two sing. They set a wonderful example of being ready and willing to serve the Lord with the talents that He gave them.
Jeane Huff also sang special music.
Matthew 5:10 and Revelations 21 was the focus scriptures for the morning sermon. “Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:10. Brother Randy said that many Christians will never have to undergo persecution for sharing God’s message of love and Salvation, but those that do have been given a wonderful promise. He went on to relate how we feel about our homes here on earth by saying that there is no place anywhere that can compare to our own easy chair, our own bed or even our own pillow. In motels where we often have to stay when away from home, the beds are always hard or too soft and the pillows are too large. We usually wake up with headaches or backaches. We who live in this beautiful Ozark country feel fortunate. But, according to the description that John the Revelator gave in Revelations 21, we haven’t seen real beauty or felt the real comfort of home yet till we see our heavenly home that God prepared especially for His children. In verse 2, John said that he saw the holy city, a New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Brother Randy likened John’s vision of heaven to the beauty of a bride adorned all in white. Verse 4 reveals God’s greatest promise to us when we enter that beautiful city He has prepared for us, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.” And, all this is inherited by those that place their faith in God by accepting His Son, Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as a blood sacrifice to cover their sins, and therefore blotting them totally out in the eyes of God. For further instruction read Romans 10: 9-10.
Gary and I, Jeane Huff, Maxine Lirley and Ralph Laughlin, along with many others, enjoyed a surprise birthday party for Bonita Stafford’s 90th birthday that was held at the First Baptist Church in Ava, Saturday afternoon. I believe she was truly surprised too. Everyone that attended sang “Happy Birthday,” to her as she entered the brightly decorated room. Of course, there was plenty of cake, punch and coffee to enjoy while visiting with Bonita, her family and everyone else. Bonita was mine and Gary’s Sunday school teacher and also our Youth Director at Red Bank Baptist Church when we were in our early teens and maybe a little before that. We remembered how she was very patient with us when we seemed a little unruly. She would quietly call us to attention and continue with the Bible lesson she was teaching. She and her husband, Harry, took big groups of youth skating in Springfield several times. Gary and I were among them and it was always great fun. We remembered what a great skater that Harry was. He could skate backwards as well as forwards and make several other great moves. Harry and Bonita were both fun to be with. We thank God that they were a special part of our lives.
I talked to Debbie Lirley on the phone one day last week. She said they were getting ready to have a wiener roast for their grandchildren. I know they enjoyed that. Gary and I are thankful that we have special memories of playing and enjoying special events with each of our nine grandchildren. They are all grown up now. None of them live close to us so we don’t see them very often. We pray every day for God’s watchful care over our children and each of their family members. He can handle the job!
That’s all the news for now. Take care. Every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before!