I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. ~Psalm 122:1
Today was a wonderful day in the church house! Due to the holiday, there were many visitors for the morning service. None "came forward" to trust Jesus Christ as his Saviour, but we know that God's word won't return unto him void (Isaiah 55:11). We never know what little seed is planted when the gospel is given . Lord willing, there will be other faithful Christians who will water that seed at a later date by giving them the gospel or talking to them about the things of the Lord. Then Lord willing, God will give the increase and they will be saved (I Corinthians 3:6).
Another reason why our day at church was exceptionally good is this: the Runyan Family (missionaries to Guyana) were visiting. They are currently home on furlough, and a recent graduate of the DeLand School of the Bible (the school at our church) is taking care of their work while they are away. They have put over 400 Bible verses to music, and our church has thoroughly enjoyed their CDs... the teenagers have memorized quite a few of their songs and are going to sing them when we go on different trips.
Bro. Runyan preached the evening service tonight about trials that we face in our lives. As a missionary who has been on the field for nine years, I'm sure he knows a thing or two about trials. If that isn't enough, while he was helping build a house in Guyana, he fell and broke his back. They said that if he ever walked again, it would be at least a year... he was walking by the three month mark. He still has many health problems (which, I believe, is why he and his wife are back in the States), but the Lord has given him the grace to persevere. I am thankful, I suppose, that I have had very few trials in my life! There have been things that seemed like valleys when I was going through them, but now that I look back, they weren't nearly as monumental as they felt at the time. I have a feeling that David and I will go through various trials as we live our life together, serving the Lord; but I know that it's nothing that our wonderful, heavenly Father can't help us get through with his help and comfort.
Speaking of trials: A man at our church (he has had leukemia for several years) is really not doing well. He goes to the doctor tomorrow morning to discuss any remaining treatment options. I believe he is willing to go home to be with his Saviour, but his wife, understandably, is hoping that he has a little more time left on earth. It really is a sad story... they got married later in life (She was in her mid 30's, he his late 40's, I think), and at the time, you still had to get a blood test to get a marriage license in Florida. When he went to get the test, his white blood cell count was way off, and that's how they initially knew something was wrong. How terrible to start off your marriage that way! I can't even imagine! The Lord has given them seven (I think) good years as husband and wife, though, and he has not been this sick for long - the Lord has been merciful. Please pray that he and the doctors would have wisdom tomorrow, and that his wife would be comforted, regardless of the decisions that are made.
I hope that your day in the church house was wonderful, as ours... as I have mentioned, it is such a wonderful blessing to have a great church to attend. A church whose standards haven't been abandoned in an attempt to attract the world. A church where those who stand in the pulpit believe the Bible and teach what it says, regardless of what others might say. A church whose "attendees" love to sing praise to the Lord, fellowship together, and proclaim the gospel to a lost and dying world!
"When you look at the clock during the service, remember Lot's wife." ~Dean Runyan
"You are the only person I have ever known who sings harmony by accident." ~Jared (our brother-in-law) in reference to David's singing many years ago... David just remembered it today in church... and, by the way, he can carry a tune just fine...
NOTE: The pictured church is not ours... it is simply a cute church we passed while driving one day.