Greetings. Well, we made it through the Christmas and New Year festivities and here we are on Friday of this week, about to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Our church usually has a Valentine Banquet, but with all the bad weather, we didn’t find time to plan one. However, we did gather together Sunday evening for our monthly fellowship time after the Praise Night service to enjoy a banquet of food together. We had a great turn out so it had to double as our Valentine Banquet.
Our family has its own sweetheart that we enjoy expressing our love to, especially on Valentine’s Day. Gary’s mother, Maxine Lirley, was born ninety-one years ago on February 14th. On her ninetieth birthday, it was her family’s great honor to give her a big surprise birthday party at the Red Bank Church. She had no idea when she entered the door of the church that she was to become Queen for a Day. Along with a robe, a crown, a royal septer, and a bouquet of roses, she was also presented with a three tiered heart shaped cake topped with a lit, “90” candle to blow out. Many relatives, friends and loving neighbors were there to express their love and appreciation for the part she played in their lives. During the year between birthdays, Maxine has experienced several physical challenges through which she has shown great faith in God’s ability to heal. One thing that did not change has been her loving desire to befriend and help others. We wish her another “Happy Birthday,” along with many more years to live and share with others the life that God so graciously gives her.
Several more were able to make it out to church this week. These country roads are treacherous when the weather is icy and snowy. The Red Bank Church service was opened with hymns led by Gary Lirley. He also gave the morning greeting in absence of Jerry Huff, who has been diagnosed with a herniated spinal disk. Jerry has been experiencing great pain for several weeks. He is waiting for his doctor’s decision for the best treatment and he hopes it’s not for surgery. His church is praying for him and I know he would appreciate your prayers too. Jake Hampton led the music for the worship hour. He did a wonderful job of leading the music a cappella in absence of our pianist, Jean Huff, but I know he missed her presence, as we did also.
Brother Lauren continued his series of sermons from the book of James. James 2:1-15 explains how God feels about being prejudice between the rich and the poor. James warns against paying the rich man more attention and giving him the best seat in the assembly, but to the poor man say, “You stand there, “or” sit here at my footstoll.” James 2:2-3. In verse 8 we read, “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well.” Verse 13 goes on further to say, “For judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement. Brother Lauren told the story about a dear lady who always made sure that he and his family could attend church. He said they were very poor and could not have gone to church except for her kind efforts. He and his whole family was saved because she counted them worthy of her help. Little did she realize that God’s word would be carried much farther through one of this family’s children. In God’s eyes, it is far better to be rich in faith than only to be rich with gold.
I received a call from Sue Sisco asking our church to pray for Debbie Snider, who has been afflicted with cancer. Debbie is the daughter of Kenny Wiles. Prayer changes things. Please remember her in you prayers. When one is seriously ill, flowers are nice, but prayers offered in their stead will be far more helpful and appreciated. God is definitely in the healing business.
That’s all for now. Take care. Stay warm and have a Happy Valentine’s Day.