May 26, 2014. Today is Memorial Sunday and God has blessed us with a beautiful one. Everyone please take time to remember our fallen soldiers both past and present, as well as, their family members they left behind. Remember your loved ones that have gone on and try not to make Memorial Day just a day for recreational activities. Their bodies may be dead and buried, but they’ve stepped into eternity and yet live on. I have so many precious memories I have had to say, “see you later to.” I refuse to say goodbye because I’m going to see them again real soon. I don’t think many people are seeing how close we are to Jesus coming again. Whether it be by the grave or His return, my faith holds that we will meet again on Heaven’s bright shore.
Our Sunday school opened with the reading of Psalms 67. Brother Lee Hampton gave the morning prayer. We begin today in James the first chapter. My introductory information tells this is not the apostle James but rather is Jesus’ half brother. The apostle James has already been martyred and it also mentions he didn’t believe at first that his brother was the Messiah (James 7:2-5). At some point, possibly not until the Risen Lord appeared to Him. James became convinced that yes his half brother was indeed Christ. He became a leader in the early church and was revered for his justice temperance and devotion. He himself was martyred in A.D. 62. The first chapter James writes an epistle not to any one person or church but rather a general letter on how to live our Christian life. He encourages us to “count it joy when we fall into different temptations” and this tries our faith and increases our patience. He further writes that “every good gift is from God” and when we endure temptation, a crown of life is waiting for us. James further instructs to be “swift to hear and slow to speak.” To summarize “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.” Don’t let the temptation to sin over take you.
We had good special and congregational singing. Two of my four sisters were here June Durden and her husband John and Debbie Bilyeu. My little brother, Kerry Lafferty, his daughter, Jackie, and Kerry’s girlfriend Lisa Jiroux, were here. We turned back time and sang songs we sang earlier in life. After our family sang with Ronnie and Sue Thomas. What a blessing! We were surprised with other visitors – the Lettermen Sisters, Dorothy Goff, Evelyn Witchey and Florene Flores. We are so glad they could make it and hope they can come back soon.
Brother Cub (Joe) took the sermon from St. John 2:13-25. This is the lesson of Jesus driving out merchants and turning over the money tables. We are not to make the house of God any thing besides a house of worship and prayer. Don’t you know that would have stung like wild fire. He also tells He will raise the temple in three days after it’s destruction. Now the mortal man saw this statement as ridiculous because it took forty-six years to build it. Jesus was speaking of His body. After He had risen, the disciples remembered that Jesus had told them this. This all occurred during the Jew’s passover and many believed in Him when they saw the miracles. Jesus didn’t stay long here because he knew their hearts just as He does yet today. You can’t hide your sins and live the worldly way and live for Jesus as you should. You can’t fool God so make it right with God. You can’t lose.
Today is a special service at Stillings Cemetery so services are cancelled tonight, but Ronnie and Sue’s daughter, Kami Souder, made and decorated a cake for dad and Clara so we will be going back to church for a surprise birthday party. Dad’s birthday was May 21, 2014 and Clara’s is May 27 (Joe and Clara Lafferty). Dad turned 84 and Clara will be 81. I welcome everyone to give them a hard time. I’m glad my Aunt Ethel Mae and Tom Johnson got to celebrate with us. We appreciate Kami for such a beautiful cake and so appropriate with the guitar. I just can’t get over how you make the picture with edible icing. That is so neat! I also appreciate Ronnie and Sue for their thoughtfulness in organizing the surprise event. God bless you and even though I love to torment you, Ronnie, I love you and Sue just as if you were my siblings. Ronnie, ain’t you glad you got a little sister like me. Ha, ha, ha.
God bless you all this week and again, remember our fallen soldiers, as well as, our own loved ones.