Good to see everyone back in church again after spending most of 2021 in lock-down, where we were restricted to a maximum of ten people. Now it increases to 15% of building capacity that, in our case, allows about 100 to meet. May our desire be to get back to some degree of normality as soon as possible. This will require the cooperation of all of our people. We know we can count on you.
It is with genuine sorrow that we learned of Kim Wagner’s death this week. She was 63. For fifteen years, she suffered from brain tumours, and many of us have been praying for her and hoping for a miracle, but it was not to be. Kim was a lovely person and will be sorely missed.
The funeral will be at Faith FPC, Greenville, SC. on Saturday, June 19. It will be carried on sermonaudio at 11.00 am. To her husband, the Rev. John Wagner, and their seven children and eleven grandchildren, we extend our heartfelt sympathy and assure them of our prayers.
THE THREE ‘Rs’ OF PSALM 87
The emphasis on basic education is sometimes referred to as “The Three Rs” – Reading, Writing and Arithmetic, although some lessons in spelling might be in order for those that use it. It is interesting to note that God practices these three basic tenets in Psalm 87:6.
The Arithmetic. “The Lord shall count.” We live in a mathematical universe. God counts Stars [Psalm 147:4]; Clouds [Job 38:37]; Nations [Isaiah 40:17]; Sparrows and Hairs [Matthew 10:29,30]. He also counts our steps and His people [Revelation 7:9].
The Writing. “When He writeth up the people.” God has written His law for our sanctification, His Word for our instruction. He has written His love in the drops of blood of Christ, for our salvation and the book of God for our elevation. His people are in the Lamb’s Book of Life and are lifted up on the breastplate and shoulders of our great High Priest, Jesus Christ.
The Reading. God writes that “this man was born there.” The context is of Zion and, by extension, the Christian Church. Outsiders are “counted in” when they are saved by His grace. What a blessing to hear of a soul coming to the Lord in our church. What a calling to preach His Word! What a blessing to see sinners come to Christ, “born there,” through the preaching of God’s Word in our churches!
IN THE MINORITY
When Noah was building the ark he was in the minority – but he won.
When Joseph was sold into Egypt he was in the minority – but he won.
When Gideon and his three hundred men, with their broken pitchers and lamps, put the Midianites to flight they were in the minority – but they won.
When David, ridiculed by his brothers, went out to meet Goliath he was in the minority – but he won.
When Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door of the cathedral he was in the minority – but he won.
When Jesus was crucified by the Roman soldiers He was in the minority – but He won.
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” [Romans 8:31]
FOOTPRINTS IN THE SAND
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow You, You’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I needed You most You would leave me.”
The Lord replied, “My son, My precious child. I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you only saw one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” [Author unknown].