My Sunday in Pictures

Sunday August 21, 2022

4:45AM: Awoke today a bit sore from moving 3 tons of pellets yesterday! LOL. But it actually feels like a “good” sore. The type of sore you get from exercising, using your muscles, but not injuring yourself in the process. I texted our pastor yesterday evening to make sure he had arrived home safely from picking up his dear wife, Annie, from her week serving at Deerwander Bible Camp, a high school camp, run by churches in our denomination. The best way to see pics from the week is from the Deerwander Facebook Page.

Began the day as usual by reading my Bible, using the M’Cheyene daily Bible reading plan. You can find a PDF of that plan to download HERE. My Bible is the New King James Version, which I like. But ever since my birthday in May I’ve been using the J.B. Phillips translation for my New Testament readings. He will sometimes use British expressions which I have to look up to understand, but otherwise the language is sometimes stunning, and Phillips was a recognize scholar and quite faithful as far as I’ve been told. This morning brought me to Romans 11, and I love his translation of Romans 11:33:

“I stand amazed at the fathomless wealth of God’s wisdom and God’s knowledge. How could man ever understand His reasons for action, or explain His methods of working?”

J.B. Phillips, Romans 11:33

How foolish we can be, trying to fully understand or comprehend all that God has done in this world! We should also spend more time just commending the wisdom of God, and less time complaining about the crookedness of the world. The Lord is working, even in the “bad stuff”, to bring about His perfect plan. In Romans 11, it had to do with the Jews & Gentiles. But today He is still wisely and perfectly carrying out His will in and through all the things we tend to complain about: Politics, economics, illness, bad bosses, relationship failures, and so on. Not that we shouldn’t be aware of these things. Paul was. Nevertheless, he says “I stand amazed at the fathomless wealth of God’s wisdom…”

During my prayer time this morning I particularly asked the Lord for His help as I plan to drive down to our Fall River OPC Church, Grace OPC, to worship with this very small gathering of remaining saints who continue to meet for worship, though their numbers have greatly declined. Back in 2015 this church experienced the tragedy of having their Pastor unexpectedly taken from them by a stroke that ended his life within days. Since the church did not have any elders, an overseeing session was appointed. That responsibility was turned over to Immanuel Chapel last year, where I serve on the session, but we have struggled to make contact with these brethren in any consistent sort of way. Today I will be driving down to check in on them.

About 7:00AM I fired up the propane grill to prepare some meat for today and for the week. Normally would have done this yesterday, but by last night I had run out of steam. Bonnie had marinated some chicken and I bought the ground beef to make hamburger patties. Having a propane grill is really a convenient, quick and clean way to cook a bunch of meat. I mixed a variety of spices into the hamburger. Hope they turn out okay!

At 9:30AM I hit the road for Fall River. Bonnie contemplated coming with me, but we really were not sure to expect, and ultimately decided at the last minute that I would go alone. A girlfriend of one of our daughters called Bonnie a little while before I left asking if she could sit with her at Immanuel today…and that sort of clinched the deal. Bonnie was needed at Immanuel. I’ll head to Fall River.

It was a beautiful and easy ride down 146 South to 95 to 195 right into Fall River. I pulled up to the church building a little after 10:30am, and their worship service started at 11:00AM. As I saw a few folks heading into the building, I exited my truck and went in too. I met a few of the families, mostly older couples, and chatted for a while with their pulpit supply, Pastor Raymond Coffey. Pastor Coffey has been filling the pulpit for them for nearly 7 years since their pastor, Paul Anderson, passed from this life into glory. Pastor Coffey himself had a pretty significant health issue in the spring, but has recovered from that thankfully.

Today Pastor Coffey preached his final sermon in a series on the life of Joseph to these brothers and sisters in Christ. He brought the message to a close with this simple but difficult exhortation from the end of Joseph’s life: “God wants you and me to learn forgiveness.” After worship I spent a little more time talking with the folks at Grace OPC before getting back in the Tundra and heading home.

Sunday afternoon I took a nap! Woke up and had a couple leftover pieces of pizza, and then headed back to church at Immanuel Chapel in Upton, MA.

6:00PM: This evening our order of worship was a bit different than usual. We expanded our time of singing for this one service from the usual 4 hymns to 14! Our pastor preached a shorter sermon, more of a devotional address on Psalm 9, allowing us time to sing a variety of favorites from the Psalter, the Trinity Hymnal, and our song book. We have never done this before. But singing is undoubtedly one of the means by which the Lord has especially ordained His name to be praised. Christians sing. Believers sing. It is not just a privilege, but also a duty. And those who love Jesus will inevitably love to sing about all God has done for our souls. It was a blessed night.

We stayed at church until 8:30PM talking with our friends. We have such a wonderful fellowship of believers at Immanuel Chapel, for which I’m so thankful to the Lord. I talked to one dear brother about their vacation plans this coming week as they head up to Maine and visit various favorite spots with another couple. I talked with my fellow elder and others about my trip to Fall River this morning. I talked to an elder from a PCA church who often visits us at night about his back pain, his daughter’s medical concerns, and the benefits of sometimes having multiple pastors who compliment one another within a church. We covered a lot of ground!

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