Thursday, January 13, 2011, Christ Community Assembly of God Church, Nashville, Tennessee~
Good morning! I trust this finds you all blessed in the Lord ...
I have had my quiet time, my "moment with God", if you will. Now I can write and share what's on my heart.
Got here at three. Been in prayer until just a few minutes ago, praying for the needs among our church family, praying for the lost, praying for the victims of the shooting from the other day in Arizona, and the victims of the massive flooding in Australia. Such sadness in our world today; it's like God is reminding people to wake up.
The days are growing short. The Lord is getting ready to come back, and we'd best be ready for when He DOES. People who are not saved are going to find out too late that they should have accepted Jesus into their hearts while they had the chance ... I fear for them, I fear for their loved ones; I fear for their very souls ...
The holidays passed without incident. Rather glad they are overwith and done; it was a crazy-busy time at our church! We had the Cantata (twice), we had the children's Christmas program ("Christmas Hang-Ups"), we fed our city's Veterans and poor/homeless population, and we concluded our "Do Something!" campaign. Now is a quiet time for our church, where we can all breathe a little easier and reflect on the past year.
We can also look forward to the future: we have started a 21-day fast where we are looking for a closer, more intimate, deeper relationship with God. All of our church family is participating, even myself and the staff. We want to know what God has in store for our church family and how we can grow even closer to Him. It is going to be interesting what God is going to reveal ...
There is some sadness among our church family: Joe Bowersock's father, Moe, passed away from liver cancer; he'd been fighting it for over six months, and on Saturday, he finally died in his sleep. It was a blessing in disguise. His funeral will be on Thursday of next week. He was in his later 80's, so he had a long, full life.
And Ronee' Reaux: she moved to Louisiana; she will be attending college at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. She has been a member of our church for the past 11 years, since she was seven, and she has grown into a beautiful, capable, bubbly young woman with a lot of personality and pluck. She has been one of our church's bright spots; although her family still attends here, it won't be the same without her. I wish her all the best in her academic journey, and with the rest of her life.
Her brother, Johnathon, is also attending college, but he goes to school here in Nashville. We still see him every Sunday, helping out with the deaf ministry; he does a great job with the deaf/hard of hearing members of our church. Even having a fatal neuromuscular disorder that has left him in a wheelchair and breathing with a mechanical ventilator hasn't stopped him or his zeal for life. Johnathon Sandusky is an absolutely amazing young man with quite a miraculous testimony. Johnathon has outlived doctors' predictions by 13 years: doctors didn't think he'd live beyond the age of five. He's now eighteen. A miracle!!
Bernice Webster, one of our "elderly contigent", is not doing well either: she nearly died two months ago: she had hip surgery last year, but then she fell and re-broke it. They had to go in there and re-replace it; she then developed a massive bacterial infection, and she just got out of the hospital last week. She is incredibly weak and faces a very long recovery. She may never get out of the nursing home. (She had been out of the home, but then she fell and got sick, and now it's back to square one.)
Rebekkah Rachel Cohen's best friend, Susan Callaway, is not doing well at all: she has been in a vegetative state ever since suffering a devastating stroke last summer, and there are no guarantees as to whether she will ever "come back" or not. Poor Rebekkah has had a very hard time dealing with this.
DuWanna Grace lost her leg due to raging diabetes that was hard to control; she's now learning how to walk on a pair of crutches clamped to her forearms. She may eventually get a prosthetic leg, but for now, she will use crutches. She faces a long period of rehabilitative therapy.
Hannah Etzweiler's mother has been in and out of the hospital due to not taking her medications because of bi-polar depression. She just absolutely refuses to listen to her doctors (or to her daughter). Poor Hannah has been under a lot of stress because of this. It's really been hard on her!
As for Abbigayle Winslow, she has been having problems with post traumatic stress disorder (flash-backs) and bouts of pneumonia that have put her in and out of the hospital. She is now out (again), but her resistance to any flu or cold bug is very poor, and whenever she gets out in the cold weather, she gets sick (and often back in the hospital). Her family is past the point of exhaustion from running back and forth from the hospital to their home (and trying to live their lives).
I will have to do some heavy duty praying for God to touch these people with His healing grace; after all, He IS the Great Physician: he CAN heal people, even today in this day and age!
And then you have Grant Clark's family: all unsaved, two older brothers strung out on drugs, whereabouts unknown, mother and father always fighting, sister may be into prostitution. Poor Grant, who is thirteen, is failing all of his classes at school, and he wants to commit suicide because life has become too hard for him. It's really a bad situation!
Looks like I will have my work cut out for me as I pray for these people!
Well, I am going to try to take a nap in the sanctuary before the staff comes; hopefully I will wake up by eight thirty. Don't want them catching me sleeping on the job! LOL That would NOT be good! LOL I will write in here again soon; until later, may the Good Lord bless you as much as He's been blessing me! Take care!
~In HIs Service,
Bruce Bilkey, Senior Pastor.