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By Ruth Gadberry
Monday seems to be another dancy day. Or wavey day or something like that. The trees are bending and swaying in the wind and leaves are still falling faster and faster. Leaves piling up on the ground. Leaves blowing here and there in the wind. How can so many leaves be on the trees? You wouldn’t want to try to count them would you? The acorns and small branches falling off the trees onto the metal roof of the house and porch let you know the wind is still blowing.
Will the wind really bring in some rain from the latest storm? We aren’t really hurting from lack of rain but rain would be very much appreciated about now. You know, we’d much rather have the rain now than when we get the freezing temperatures at the same time. Rain, freezing rain, sleet and that sort of thing really isn’t what we like to see. Well, maybe the kids do, if it means schools will be closed. But they’ve been out of school so much because of the Covid-19 thing that they might just rather go to school.
Sunday School and worship attendance was down a bit Sunday morning but that’s not too surprising. Some people are in their cabins in the woods and may not come out until they get hungry or until hunting season is over. Or maybe we should say, until they get tired of their own cooking. Or until they get so dirty and stinky they can’t even stand themselves and an opportunity for a shower sounds better than a trophy for their wall.
Preacher Joey was missing from his place in church Sunday morning. His wife, Shelley, seems to have contracted the Covid-19 thing and that means that he, too, is quarantined. At last report, Shelley was doing well. Not necessary feeling well but it could be a lot worse. A few other people in the church have had, and recovered from, the virus. See? It’s hitting everywhere.
No, Preacher Joey didn’t leave the church without leadership. Guess who he left in charge. Give up? It was Brad Tisdale! That man has talents he didn’t even know he had. Thanks, Brad, for sharing with us Sunday morning.
Chris was on hand too, to keep things moving along smoothly. When folks saw him wearing his Africa shirt they realized that it was Africa Day again. What is it Chris? Three? Four times a year? Anyway, when Chris wears his Africa shirt, people know it’s time to help support Moses and the work he is doing in Africa. Now Moses is definitely an amazing man. He goes all over Africa, preaching, making disciples, starting churches, training preachers; the whole thing. Thousands and thousands of people have come to know Almighty God through his leadership. He will soon be going to Nigeria to witness to those folks. Stringtown First Baptist Church has a big part in his ministry. He has even visited Stringtown First Baptist Church a few times. Chris collects money from those who choose to be a part of Moses’ ministry and that makes it possible for him to reach more people.
Among the birthdays celebrated Sunday morning was one really special birthday. Maxine had a birthday! Chris said he wouldn’t ask her how old she was but he was sure it was over 30. Maxine told him she was, well, just ask her if you really want to know.
The shoe boxes are coming in for Operation Christmas Child! Bunches of them were brought in Sunday morning. Wonderful!
Patsy Miller’s ladies Sunday School class will be having a packing party Saturday afternoon at the church fellowship hall. They’ll bring snacks and munchies to enjoy while they pack boxes. Patsy had hoped to attend the packing party but with the Covid-19 thing closing in, she probably won’t make it. Not having a working immune system really messes up things she would like to do.
Several people in numerous churches are quarantined because of the corona virus. Oklahoma is really being hit hard now. Schools are opened, and then closed again. Some churches have closed for a couple of weeks. After that? Maybe longer? Possibly. In some places it kinda depends on the schools. If the schools feel that on-line learning would be better for a while, then likely churches might agree and close their doors for a short period of time. Each school and church is different and does things in a different way.
A lot of people think we should just go ahead and close down non-essential businesses and stay home for awhile until the virus exits our area. But who is to say what is, and what isn’t essential? You just can’t possible close down everything. What about hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, police and highway patrol people? Doctors? If your house should catch on fire, the fire department would definitely be essential to you. What about the military people? You can’t just send them all home can you? Closing EVERYTHING down just won’t work. But going on as usual means we are having more and more cases of Covid-19. Everybody seems to have a different idea for a solution to the problem.
Those who test positive for the virus seems to be increasing faster and faster every day. It’s no longer something that is happening way off somewhere where we don’t plan to go. It’s happening nearer and nearer to us. Our families have been affected and many of them have already come through the virus. Others are fighting the disease. More and more are testing positive. Even people you know and may see on a regular basis.
Will face masks be made mandatory? They are in some places but not everywhere. Will schools and churches require face masks? Surely not in the lunch room; how can you eat while wearing a face mask? Do they really help? That depends on who you talk to. Not everyone agrees on anything.
Well, were you on the cheering team after the Presidential election of last week? Or were you on the tearing team? Whichever way you voted, you have a responsibility to support your President. You will probably agree, he will need all the help he can get. Being President of the United States of America is an awesome job with heaps and bunches of responsibility. Whether you voted for President Donald Trump or President elect Joe Biden, you have, if you are a Christian, a responsibility to pray for him. He is going to need all the help he can get and it will be a lot easier for him if he will allow Almighty God to guide his decisions.
Sunday night was really special for JC and Ruth. Blue River Fellowship, where the Barfield’s worship, has dismissed services for a couple of weeks because of the virus. So, Jan and Kenneth came to visit JC and Ruth Sunday night. Beth and Ray were here too. Only Roy and Kathy were missing. Ruth cooked a pot of beans, made cornbread, and baked cookies. Beth and Jan brought enchiladas, fajitas, apple dumplings and dump cake for a feast. The food was delicious but the visiting and fellowship was even better. They don’t often get to spend that much time together and it was great.
Kenneth has a bright red cast on his foot and leg now, and is still walking on crutches. He isn’t supposed to put ANY weight on his foot but….
This past weekend Jan had ten (10) kids in her flock. That was 9 grandkids and a Barfield nephew’s kid. Cousins, cousins everywhere! What a great time they were having! When Gunner and Westyn woke up Saturday morning, they wanted to go back to Memaw and Pawpaw’s house to be with all the cousins. So, Kenneth went after them. Lets see; they had Jace, Jarret, Jadyn, Rhylar, Davin, Zane, Max, Gunner, Westyn and Easton; he’s the Texas cousin. That’s a bunch of Barfield cousins! They were having a great time together. Nine boys and one girl; Jadyn, better known as ‘Pickle’.
Do you think our nation is facing big time judgment? Are we being judged now? Or could it be that we are being warned that judgment is on the way? Should we be judged? Are we not pleasing Almighty God? Think about it for a minute.
I can remember farther back than many of you; I’m older than you are. I remember when Christians were admired and respected. People didn’t always agree with them but they did give them respect. Churches were places to leave alone when people were doing things that shouldn’t have been done. Churches were left unlocked so people could drop by to pray any time of the day or night. People wouldn’t even think of doing anything to harm or destroy a church. Churches were off-limits. They were respected, even by people who never attended a service. God was there and you didn’t mess with God. Then, vandalism of churches began. Stealing and destroying things in the churches. Even shooting people who were worshipping in the churches. Now Christians are being persecuted where once they were respected.
Where people used to respect the Bible, now they consider it a book of fairy tales, not God’s rules to live by. For example, what God called an abomination, we call an alternate lifestyle. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for that reason. Do you think He’ll say it’s all right for us? Not likely!
God had plenty to say about human sacrifices too. You know, when His people sacrificed, (burned) their children on the altars of false gods. He didn’t like it one bit! Yet, we sacrifice thousands and thousands of unborn babies on the altars of convenience, selfishness, pride, and on and on and on. We call it choice. God calls it murder.
We’ve legalized drugs that are destroying our people, especially our youth. Those who will someday be the leaders of our nation. We are allowing them to be destroyed. This includes their minds as well as their bodies.
We are teaching our people to depend on the government for everything they need. Food, lodging, medical treatment, education; everything they need. We’re leaving God out of our lives. How long will God put up with us? Won’t He judge us, like He did His people in the Old Testament? God hasn’t changed. We are the ones who’ve changed. How long wilt God put up with us before He judges us?
Has God warned us of coming judgment? Fires, floods, droughts, mudslides, storms, tornados, hurricanes, plagues, riots; you get the idea. Are these things God’s judgment? Or could it be that God is using these things to warn us that judgment is coming? God’s judgment is something we definitely DON’T want to see happen. But God has judged others. Do you think there is any way He cannot judge us as well?
Just remember. In all the things that have happened, and are still happening, in our nation, and in the world. God is still in control! He knows what’s going on and, if He isn’t actually sending these warnings, and He easily might be. He is allowing them to happen. He will have the final say about His world. No matter what happens. God is still in control. Maybe we’d best decide just whose side we are on. God’s side? Or….
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.