Markland News

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Hey friends, here it is the first of March; winter isn’t over yet but it is loosening its hold on us. The column is going to be a little short this month for a couple of reasons.

The first is that I don’t want to take you away from your igloo construction or ark building (depending on what the weather is doing at the moment), by a long time reading the column.

The second reason is that I am in Florida (you do not want me to tell you what the weather is down here) visiting with my dear friend Diana Wells. If you remember I was down at her place a couple or three years ago in Orlando; now she lives in Brooksville.

In just a few years, she lost her son and her husband and has had a rough row to hoe with her health. I have started calling her the ‘bionic woman’; she has had her hip replaced, both knees, a shoulder, and just to top it off, went through spinal surgery and if riddled with arthritis (and we thought we had it bad – just goes to show you doesn’t it.)

Dee is facing another bout of spinal surgery and wanted me to come down and give her a hand; her next surgery is March 5th and I would appreciate it if you could keep her on your prayer list.

We are attending a lovely ‘little’ (little by their standards – they have 75 for Sunday school) called “The First Baptist Church of Lacoochee” (pronounced La-coo-chee). I hope this rolls off your tongue easier than it does on mine. They are very friendly and a good spirit-led church; we feel right at home there.

The kids are at the house taking care of the cats and making sure the roof stays in place and I am enjoying the sunshine. Haven’t been to the beach yet; it is about 30 miles from here. We thought we would go over after Dee recovers a bit from her surgery. We plan to go over to St. Petersburg to see my sister Jo and her brother Bob before I come home.

The little lady next door (backyard neighbor) is going through a rough patch with chemo and would appreciate your prayers. Sara and her husband Roy, are good people and dedicated Christians; they are the folks that invited Dee and I to go to church with them. Sara is just a little ‘mite’ of a thing (wouldn’t weigh a hundred pounds soaking wet) and so sick from the treatments but still has such a love for life; she just bubbles over with it, in fact that is what I call her, Bubbles.

While you are on your knees, please remember Joy and Eldric Hazeldean as you talk to the Lord. Eldric is in the hospital and not doing very well; don’t forget to mention the rest of the Hazeldean family. You all know that when one loved one is down, the whole family feels the stress.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Then in II Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.”

As a new Christian, I found these words reassuring but wondered why God would care what happened to me when I had broken every command He caused to be written. I didn’t doubt the truth of His words but still wondered why he would love me. I decided to read and study His Bible to see if I could understand why He would love me when I knew how rotten and unworthy of that love I was.

In Psalm 139 (13 thru 16) and in Jeremiah 1:4, the Bible tells us that God knew us before we were born, actually ‘knit’ us together in our mother’s womb. He wanted all of His creations to be saved and be with Him in eternity….but left the decision up to us, freewill.

All through the Gospels, we are told of God’s amazing forgiveness and mercy, far beyond human understanding. In John 3:16, he gives us the path to salvation to the point of giving up His own beloved son, that we (unworthy as we are), can be united with Him in eternity.

Do I understand it now? No, but I believe it and know that it is true. The Bible tells us to live by faith not by what we can see or understand; we don’t have to understand to be saved, only sincerely repent, believe, and accept Jesus as our savior….and we will be saved. Check out John 3:16.

Try reading His words yourself and see what conclusion you come to: I still have a lot of studying to do.

Until next time, may the grace and peace of Christ be yours from God our Father and may He keep each of you safe and carefully sheltered under the shadow of His wings.