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Down At the River 5.14.20

Good morning. I am happy that beginning today it is supposed to get a little warmer. I look forward to the warm weather. I know some of you hate to see the cool weather escape us and are not looking forward to the heat. Well at least we are all happy once in a while with the weather. I’m glad my eternal happiness doesn’t depend on something like the weather that changes all the time. I am glad that Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. Keep that Jesus smile going.

Growing up as a boy I remember that once a week every week we went to the grocery store. We had one day when we would all load up, my Mom, my brother, my sister and I and we would head to the grocery store. The name of the grocery store was The Colonial Store. We went every week and Mom would buy all our groceries for a week. One item I remember we would always get right before we checked out was a TV Guide. We purchased this little weekly magazine every week. It would highlight the shows for the week and what time they would be playing and which of the three channels they would be on.

There were several things I loved about the TV guide. At the back there was a TV crossword puzzle. We would work it as a family sometime and at others someone would do the best they could on their own. In the TV guide there was some interesting articles that I remember seeing as a boy. The first one that is very vivid was when a writer came out in the late 60’s and said that one day we would be paying for TV. There was a cartoon of a large console TV with a meter sitting on top that looked sort of like a parking meter. There was a slot to drop your money in so the TV would play. We laughed at that back then. We even said that we would never pay for TV.

There was another article I remember that came out some years later that talked about movies at home. You would be able to purchase movies and watch them on your TV verses going to the movie theater. Again we said that will never happen and laughed about it.

Wow! How things have changed and those two articles became the norm not the unusual. We, or at least most of us, are paying for TV. You can receive some shows by just using an antenna, but most homes either subscribe to a cable service or pay for a streaming service through the internet. And within a year of a movie being released in the theaters you can purchase the movie to watch it over the cable service or streaming service. It is all right there at your convenience. And now you don’t even have to be home to watch a television show. You can now watch them on your smart phone, tablet or computer. What will we see next.

All of these changes with TV have got me to Just Thinking! Now because of a pandemic you can watch church on TV. I have talked to many of you who can cast the live stream of the worship service right to your television screen. You can get up now on Sunday morning and not even have to get out of your pajamas. Just fire up the computer or smart phone, cast the image to the television screen (if you have that option) and be a part of the worship service right at home. Some churches have been doing this for years. Most of us have just had to learn on the fly since we have been asked not to gather during this pandemic. Now we are coming back together, but some are choosing to wait a while and that is okay. So we will continue to stream and provide worship at home.

As we continue to live stream, I have a concern. Are we going to use live streaming as an excuse to stay away from church? It is now so easy to just say we don’t feel well and pick up the broadcast and sit comfortably at home. We can now say we been to church without going to church. It concerns me that we will begin to just watch at home. Now do not misunderstand me. I am glad we can offer this to those who are unable to come. I am glad we can allow them to be a part of the service without being here, but may we never get to where we use this medium as an excuse to stay away. We need each other. We need the fellowship and the community. The church gathered is important to the continuation of the Kingdom of God.

If we worship online and give online are we going to find a way to say we served online. What’s next? I am not against technology although sometimes I would like to blow it up when it is not working properly. I am glad we have the technology to stay connected during this pandemic. I just never want us to exchange online for the real thing.

When I went to see Georgia Football for four years and then Clemson Football for four years I would hear people tell me how much better it was to sit home and watch it on television. They would tell me that there were no crowds to fight getting into the stadium and out. They would tell me that they didn’t have to pay for their refreshments. They would tell me they didn’t have to stand in line to use the bathroom. I understand all of that, but I would tell them, but I was there. There is nothing like the atmosphere of a college football game in the stadium and you can reproduce that at home.

It is the same with worship. I understand all of the perks of watching church online. Yet it is not like being here. When we come together we have the opportunity to allow God’s Spirit to work in and through us. I never want to replace being together with being apart. I look forward to seeing all of you soon.

Dear Lord, thank you for the technology that allows us to stay connected while we are following the rules to make us safer. Thank you for giving us the ability to reach out to our church family and speak your words to them at their homes. Now Lord, as we gather back together, a little at the time, keep us safe. Give us the feeling of home and security. Help us to experience you Holy Spirit and feel the power of your love. May our worship to you be a sweet smelling savor to you and may we all, whether in the sanctuary or at home, find your peace. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Let’s read the Bible together:

Thursday – 2 Samuel 5-6; 1 Corinthians 2; Proverbs 14

Friday – 2 Samuel 7-8; 1 Corinthians 3; Proverbs 15

Saturday – 2 Samuel 9-10; 1 Corinthians 4; Proverbs 16

Sunday – 2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Corinthians 5; Proverbs 17

Monday – 2 Samuel 13-14; 1 Corinthians 6; Proverbs 18

Tuesday – 2 Samuel 15-16; 1 Corinthians 7; Proverbs 19

Wednesday – 2 Samuel 17-18; 1 Corinthians 8; Proverbs 20

This week at the river:

Sunday morning we will worship together again for all of you who feel safe and comfortable coming. Remember if you come to practice social distancing. Come in and find a seat and try to stay at least 6 feet away from another family. Families of course can sit together, but we must spread out over the whole sanctuary. We are expecting a little over 60 people so please spread out. You are welcome to wear a mask, but it is not mandatory. If you would like a mask and do not have one we will have some available. Also we will have hand sanitizer available in both vestibules along with sanitation wipes. The sanctuary has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized so please come and feel safe. We will not be passing the plates for offerings, but will have designated places for you to place your tithes and offerings. Also, we will not have a bulletin to pass out. We are trying to refrain from as many touches as possible. Feel free to wave and speak to one another from a distance and plan on worshiping our God together. We are very excited to be able to gather in the name of Jesus. Let’s make it a reverent and worshipful atmosphere.

Josh’s message will come from Matthew 7:24-29.

We want to encourage you to continue growing in your faith during this time when we are not having all of our services. Continue to read your Bible. Keep up with the daily devotions on the website and study the weekly Bible studies that are coming through email. All of this is also on the website. We also put updates on the website periodically. Make it a habit to check it once a day to read the devotional and check the updates. You can also watch a sermon or weekday devotion. The website is Tell us what you think and what you would like to see on the website. We value your feedback.

Birthdays for the week of May 14th – May 20th:

Marvin Hooper – today

Mary Backer – Monday

Brenda Pace – Tuesday

Anniversaries for the week of May 14th – May 20th:

Rob & Jessica Miller – Sunday

Praise & Prayer:

Praising God for allowing us to come back and begin worshipping together again. Praising God for renewed health in some who have been sick. Praising God for all His many blessings.

Please pray for the following:

Chris Bass – health issues

John DiNatale – Pray for continued recovery. Doing much better.

Mae Edwards – Mae was transported to Prisma Health on Wednesday. She is in ICU not doing well. Please pray for her and the family.

Rudy Jones – health issues

Bill Keown – got the results from MRI, has bulging disc – waiting to see doctor

Mary Micke – Progressing at home.

Joe Patterson – on oral antibiotics at home

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

Carlie Freeman – in hospital with problems – Bruce & Jean Freeman’s granddaughter

Landon Hartman – 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

Judy Price – Stage 4 lung cancer – Friend of Linda Ray

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

Zion’s Family and Friends – death of a 10 year old boy

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 healthcare workers, civil servants, teachers, students, and everyone dealing with this virus in a different way.

Dear Jesus, we pray you will be with us as we worship you on Sunday. Please keep us safe as we gather to praise and worship you. We are grateful for all you do for us and thank you for allowing us to stay connected even when we are apart. We ask you to bless and come along side of all these who are struggling with health issues today. We ask you to give them strength and courage to face whatever is ahead. Comfort those who have lost love ones and give them peace. Hold up the caregivers and give them strength and courage to face whatever comes. Touch the needy and bless the least of these. Give us abilities to make a difference in lives today. In your Holy name we pray, Amen.

Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday and the rest as soon as we can. Our blessings and love sent to you all!!

Love God! Love People!!

David M. Simmons


Job 13:15

Psalm 100:3

Proverbs 3:5-7

John 10:10

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