Precious to the Lord

Scripture tells us that "Precious to the Lord is the death of one of his saints." Our church family has lost one of our dearest friends with the passing of Cecil Hodge. I have known Cecil for almost all of my life and he has always been a larger than life figure to me. Over the last months as his body has undergone treatments and therapy, I have continued to pray that God would heal him and restore him to good health. God, whose ways are not mine, has chosen to do that by taking him to heaven where he has traded mortality for immortality. Now, as those who are left behind mourn his death - we don't mourn for Cecil because we know he is in a better place, but we do mourn with his family as they grieve the loss of one so dear and precious. Please lift up Cecil's family and pray that God will continue to give strength, grace, and peace to his wife, Gwynne and all his children, grandchildren, and family members. We love you, Cecil!! Enjoy your heavenly celebration!


SHHH, It's a Secret!

Our Secret Pals Ministry is starting back up under the leadership of Lora Branam. If you would like to participate, please call the church office or stop by the church foyer and pick up a questionnaire. Completed forms are due back to the church ASAP.


His Grace is Sufficient

My dad has been preaching on the Holy Spirit for the past several weeks and one thing he has taught is that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Grace. There is so much contained in that little word. Have you ever taken the time to reflect on how much grace God has given you? I have really meditated on that for the past several days and I am overwhelmed with the grace of God. There are many definitions of grace but I guess the one that I love the most is this, "Grace is the unmerited, undeserved favor of God on a life." When I deserved justice, I was given grace. When I deserved punishment, I was given grace. When I deserved death, I was given grace. Grace gives me power and ability to live the Christ-like life. It is by grace that we are saved. What an awesome gift of God! Whatever you may be facing in your life, be assured that there is grace waiting for you. Sometimes God will allow trials and even suffering so that we might learn with Paul that His grace is sufficent. Remember Paul's words, inspired by the Holy Spirit of Grace, in 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9, To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. How comforting to know that His grace is sufficient everyday and in every situation. There is a little chorus that I heard a while back and it has been playing in my mind lately to remind me that no matter what I am going through, I can trust the grace of God. When it seems like your world is falling apart, remember that His grace is enough to see you through. What amazing grace!
Lord, I am broken
My life is in pieces
But your strength is perfect
In all of my weakness.


Surrender Your Plans!

Don't you just love it when you make a plan? Well, maybe your personality is different from mine. I am one of those organized, plan makers. I like to have everything spelled out and all the possible scenarios covered. I can make a good plan, but sometimes God just comes in and changes everything on me. Anyone know what I am talking about? It seems that God is a master of taking our plans and turning them inside out for Him. There is a comedian who says when she wants to hear God laugh she tells Him her plan....boy, I know how that feels. Have you ever felt a little of what Job felt when he wrote, "My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart." (Job 17:11) I've been there. I haven't faced what Job faced, but I know the feeling of seeing all my best laid plans go up in smoke. At a time in my life when I didn't see how I would ever get my life back on track, God stepped in and showed me that my plans were not necessarily His plans. During that time a good friend of mine gave me a Scripture that I have kept close to my heart ever since. It is found in Proverbs 19:21, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." God has shown me that He doesn't thwart my plans just because He can, but rather because He has a purpose that is beyond my comprehension. When we commit our plan to His loving and capable hands, He can use them for His glory and our good. Proverbs 16:3 is another favorite of mine, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." If you are plan maker like me, this verse is a beauty. We could call it - a 100% guaranteed way to successful plan making. Commit your life (all of it) to the Lord, seek His wisdom and direction, and then trust Him to accomplish His plan through you. It's time for a little plan transplant -- exchange your plan for your life for God's plan for your life. You'll be amazed at what He will do in you and through you. After all, He is just looking for surrendered plan makers.


Loved by God by Liz Curtis Higgs

Our Sister to Sister LIFE School class is in the middle of Liz Curtis Higg's series Loved by God. It is an in-depth look at the life of Jacob, Esau, Rachel, and Leah. Liz's unique and humorous approach to Bible study is refreshing and uplifting. She is definitely one of a kind. It's not too late to come be a part of this inspiring study. See you Sunday!


Jesus - what a Savior!

I know, it's been an entire month since I last posted. The month of July was packed with so many things that it all seems a blur to me now. One thing that stands out to me is my trip to Branson, Missouri with Annette Herndon. We went to Branson to be a part of the first ever Branson Gospel Music Convention. I have to admit that I wasn't looking forward to the long hours in the car and the long hours standing behind a convention table, but boy, am I glad I went. I had the awesome privilege of being a part of a devotional time to encourage ladies in ministry and I met some wonderfully talented musicians. I was overwhelmed by the beautiful Spirit that permeated our week. I got to pray with women whom I did not know (and may never see again this side of heaven), and I made some new friends who I look forward to getting to know better. I just love it when God ordains that your path will cross with someone else and God did that so many times during the Branson trip that I began to look for it everyday. I believe that God wants us to do that - anticipate the moment when our lives will intersect with someone else's at just the right time. One night at the convention three guys were singing and their voices blended so beautifully that I just had to stop and listen. Then the lead singer began to tell his story of how God had brought him from the ashes of divorce and drug abuse to the beauty of singing His praise. I began to cry as I recalled once again how God had brought beauty from ashes in my life. Then he began to sing a song and the chorus ended with these words: - That's how much I need a Savior - and what a Savior Jesus is to me. The words just hit me right in the heart. It was a divine moment for me - when God just stopped me in my tracks to love on me and to remind me that HE is my Savior. I don't want to ever forget that on my own I am nothing, but with Jesus I have all I need. Take a moment today to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for being such a wonderful Savior. By the way, the name of that group was Beyond the Ashes. Look them up - they are truly anointed. Be blessed!!