Down At the River!
Good morning! It was a little chilly early this morning, but my hope is spring and summer are on the way. I hope you are staying safe and well during this season we are living. There are a great deal of uncertainties and I’m sure we are all waiting for that time when they tell us we can resume some of our normal activities. I know we who come to the church on Sunday do miss each and every one of you and will be very glad when we can meet again. No matter what the situation remember to keep smiling. It is a great time to let others know that your faith is not in doctors and specialist and scientist, but your faith is in Jesus.
The word zoom has taken on a completely different meaning in a great many lives in our country. The word zoom used to stand for how fast a car or other vehicle was going by. As a child we would take our toy cars and trucks and say “zoom” when we wanted to say they were going fast. If something went “zoom” it went by really fast. Today the word “zoom” is different. Today I get notifications that there will be a “zoom” webinar to teach us how to use “zoom.” Or I get an invitation to join a “zoom” conference.
Last Sunday night was my first experience using the computer application “Zoom.” Both of my sons and their families logged onto “zoom” on their computers and Peggy and I did as well at home and we had a family visit. Up at the top of the screen was the participants; Caleb, Joshua, and us. You saw a small screen of each of the families smiling and talking to one another. When Caleb, Sally Ann, Reid or James made any noise or began talking Caleb’s screen would enlarge on our computer screen. The same happened with Joshua, Laura, Foster or Corbin spoke from their home. We spent about one hour on the “Zoom” conference just catching up and talking and being able to see and interact with the grandchildren for a few minutes. It was unique, but very different. It was fun watching Reid get excited about seeing his cousins and seeing James show out by laughing and shaking his head and his beautiful curls jumping around. We continued to carry on the conversation as Joshua and Laura fixed tacos for supper and Caleb and Sally Ann told us about their Easter supper of ham & mac & cheese. We spoke to the grandchildren and they told us and showed us what the Easter Bunny brought. It was nice to connect, but it was also bittersweet because we didn’t get to hug and be close to the children and grandchildren.
When it finally ended, Reid got upset because he wanted to go play with Foster and Corbin. It is hard for children to understand these restraints. Reid prayed that night that the germies would hurry up and leave. Corbin asked her Dad when they could go to Papa and Pearls house again. Joshua told them as soon as they were allowed they could go. Foster chimed in, “Corbin it doesn’t matter even if it is a school day. When we get to go we are going!” I’m glad they miss us, but they don’t miss us half as much as we miss them. Our family vacation is coming up the middle of June, we are hoping and praying we get to go and spend that week with them.
The “zoom” meeting with our family has got me to Just Thinking! Do you know how empty the sanctuary is on Sunday? I sit behind the camera, Richard is in the balcony, Patricia is either at the piano or organ. You get to see Chance, Peggy and Josh. That’s all that is here. Six of us gathered and spread out listening and encouraging Josh as he preaches to you live on Facebook live. I agree with Reid, I pray these germies will hurry up and go away. We miss all of you! We miss your smiling faces. We miss your singing and participation. We miss worshipping with you and experiencing God together. I can only imagine that when we do get back together that we are going to have one of the longest “meet and greets” we have had in a long time. We will hug and laugh and shake one another’s hand till I finally have to call you back to your seats. Maybe we will have an extended worship service, surly that day no one will be in a hurry to go home.
I’ll admit I took being with my family for granted. Anytime Peggy and I wanted we could drive up to Canton and tell the children we were stopping by. We could spend as little or as much time as we wanted to hang out and just do life with the children and grandchildren. Now all of a sudden, I’m restricted.
Have you taken worship for granted. Have you thought “They will always be there on Sunday, it will not be a big deal if I don’t go today.” Now all of a sudden we are not meeting. We have had cooperate worship taken from us for a while. It is different, it is strange, it is quiet, it is empty, it is not the same. I love the fact that we can live stream into your homes and we can all experience worship together, but it is not the same as being there.
I have watched a great many Ice Hockey games on television. The view of the game play is better at home. You have all the modern conveniences of home and not having to stand in line. You don’t have to worry about an unruly fan sitting next to you or close to you. But it is just not the same as being there. There is nothing like being in the arena when the home team scores. There is nothing like being in the arena during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The electricity, the atmosphere, the people all cheering for the same team.
My hope and prayer is that when we are told that we can come back to church safely is that you will not let any excuse keep you from being here. My prayer is that you will come not just ready to see every one and hug everyone, but that you will come with the gladness of heart to worship and praise Jesus. Can’t wait to celebrate and be together. We are praying for each of you and doing our best to stay connected. We want to thank you for your generous gifts to the church with tithes and offerings during these times. So far we are not missing a beat and it is all because of you, but it is not the same. I guess the writer of Hebrews knew what he was talking about when he said, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.” The time is coming when we will be together again. It will not be a “zoom” meeting, we will take our time, join together and worship our Lord and Savior who will get us through all of this and we will truly have something to praise Him for. Can’t wait for that day. I pray these days of quarantine would “zoom” by.
Dear Lord, we are all frustrated and ready to see all of this come to an end. We are ready to get out of our homes and come to yours where we can worship and praise you. Give us patience to wait for you and be ready when that time come. Help us to spur others on to love and good deeds while we can and encourage one another as the day approaches. We continue to worship you as we are separated, but we will be excited for the day when we can all join together in one accord and sing the praises of the one who reigns on high. All glory and honor to you! Our Savior and our Lord! In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Let’s read the Bible together:
Thursday - Judges 3-4; Acts 18; Proverbs 16
Friday – Judges 5-6; Acts 19; Proverbs 17
Saturday – Judges 7-8; Acts 20; Proverbs 18
Sunday – Judges 9-10; Acts 21; Proverbs 19
Monday – Judges 11-12; Acts 22; Proverbs 20
Tuesday – Judges 13-14; Acts 23; Proverbs 21
Wednesday – Judges 15-16; Acts 24; Proverbs 22
This week at the river:
We are continuing to keep things running here at the river. Drop by to say hello or drop off your tithes and offerings. We are still collecting for Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions. So don’t forget a little extra for that important offering. If you need us we are available to you. Josh and I are here at the church Monday through Thursday 9 am to 4 pm and sometimes other hours. Email us with prayer request or special needs at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We will respond as quickly as possible. We love you all and are praying for you!
We will be live on Sunday at 10:30 am on Facebook live. Join us and tell your friends. This is a great time to share your Lord and your church with unchurched people. We see new names every Sunday as people log on to follow Josh’s messages. Don’t stop telling the story.
Feed My Sheep continues on as we face these uncertain times. A special thanks to the group that is making sandwiches and the men who are delivering. There is still a great need as we carry sandwiches to day laborers and homeless people. So thanks to everyone who gives and serves.
We will meet at 9 am at the church Monday morning for the same group who has been making sandwiches and the bags.
The delivery men this week:
Tuesday – Dreugh Batson and Josh Slatten
Thursday – Gerald Coffin and Ray Micke
We will be live on Facebook live on Wednesday at 3 pm. Join us if you are free. If not you can watch later on the Reedy River Baptist Church Page or check out the website at reedyriverbc.org. We will post the message either Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.
Also, check out the website for information and past Bible studies, Just Thinkings, or previous sermons. They are posted there for you to watch and read anytime. Coming soon on the website we hope to post a daily devotion and also pertinent information for you when things happen that you need to be informed about.
Birthdays for the week of April 16 – April 22nd:
Wendy Mercer – Sunday
Jeanine Snay – Tuesday
Gerald Coffin – Wednesday
Anniversaries for the week of April 16th – April 22nd:
Morris & Shirley Greene – Sunday
Tommy & Brenda Chandler – Wednesday
Praise & Prayer:
Praising God for all of His many blessings. Praising God that we have food, shelter and friends to help us through tough times. Praising God for a church that doesn’t need a building to be a church.
Please pray for the following:
Chris Bass – health issues
Roger Bennett – surgery 4/27
John DiNatale – home taking rehab, struggling with breathing problems
Mae Edwards - health
Connie Joyner – had successful kidney surgery, home and recovering in Salisbury, NC,
Mary Micke – back surgery 4/22
Betty Owens – taking chemo every Friday, at home
Joe Patterson – began IV antibiotics for several weeks.
Margaret Patterson – health
Candy Poindexter – now taking chemo pills, doing well so far – home
Betty Banks – health – sister-in-law of Preston and Ann Golightly
Kathy Evans – health – cousin of Preston and Ann Golightly
Roger Chandler – struggling with cancer – Tommy Chandler’s nephew
Steven Cox – kidney stone surgery 4/21 – Martha Cox Foster’s son
Bennie Durham – was tested positive for COVID-19 – Bennie is a chaplain with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and a good friend
Landon Hartman – good numbers this past week – 8 year old with cancer
Kenny Keown – esophageal cancer – Bill Kewon’s brother in Texas
Rose Raines – hospice called in – Larry Simmons sister in Morganton, NC
Lilly Philips – in hospital with multiple health problems – Birdie Harmon and Frankie Hightower’s sister-in-law
Georgia Vance – hospice called in – Nena Vance’s Mom
Jerry Whaley – liver cancer – friend of Tommy Chandler
John Wooten – prostate cancer, taking radiation – Tammy Davidson’s uncle
Bob Watson Family – cousin of Brenda Pace
Lin & LeeAnna Bradley & boys – Lin is finished at Fort Jackson. He and the family are going to travel to Fort Bragg and then be shipped out overseas.
All Missions and Ministries
All of our healthcare workers, school teachers and children, police, firefighters and paramedics. These folks are on the front line and need our prayers for protection. Their families also need praying for during these times.
Dear Jesus, we are so grateful for your provisions. We ask that you continue to keep us safe and drive this virus away so that we may gather again to worship you. We pray for all of these with illnesses and upcoming surgeries. We ask that you will give grace and mercy. We pray for our healthcare workers, school teachers, students, police, firefighters, and paramedics who are involved everyday with the risk at hand. Give them all courage to face the uncertain times and help this pandemic come to a swift ending. We ask you to show us areas where we can make a difference as we wait to be reunited with family and friends. Show us the way and give us patience to wait on you. We ask it all in your holy and precious name, Amen.
Have a great rest of the week. We hope to see you sooner rather than later. God Bless you all!!
Love God! Love People!!
David M. Simmons