May 4, 2020
Daily Devotional Podcast

You may join me for a part of my own daily devotionals by sharing in the podcast below.  It runs about 17 or so minutes.

Note that you can listen to any of our worship videos or the "Through the Bible" audio presentations on our church's website:  

Daily Update

We are introducing three new features this week to help keep our congregation alive and connected.

First, on Thursday afternoon, you are invited (if you are healthy) to bring a lawn chair to the parsonage and sit, ten feet apart, and share in some fellowship.  If you show up without a lawn chair, I can provide you an alcohol drenched one (alcohol dries fast!)  If we have more than the legal limit at one time, I will send some of you to other sections around the house.  Bring your masks in case...  Come and go anytime between 1 and 5 p.m.  We will stay legal...and safe...and it will be a chance to see and enjoy one another.  The parsonage address is 3 Western Avenue Heights, the west end of Western Avenue. I'll give you more information in future daily updates.

Our second new feature starting this week will be rolled out on Wednesday night when we will have our first video hymn-sing.  I'll send you the link for it in the Wednesday update.  The hymns are sung by our small group of singers who have been recording music for our Sunday morning videos:  Jordan Thomas, Mark Richardson, Jie Wu, and myself.  Val Gibson is playing the piano for all the singing.  The prelude and postlude for the hymn-sing is recorded by Jiafeng Yan.  I hope everyone will enjoy the opportunity to sing familiar songs and experience an uplifting of spirits and faith

The third new feature we are launching this week is an online daily phone interview with people from our church.  It is a great chance to hear some familiar voices and catch up on what is happening in each other's lives.  I will feature a new interview each weekday.  Most interviews will include leaders of our congregation, but I will also be featuring conversations with staff, past pastors (and spouses), and future pastors (and spouses.)  Let me know if you would like to join me on a call or if there is someone you would like to hear from.

Today's interview is with Mona Buckley (on left).  

It runs about 10 minutes and you can listen to it by

Here is the preaching schedule for Sunday worship services for the next two months.  

May 10:  Pastor Jie Wu (weekly video worship)
J. Michael Smith, Book of 1 Peter (audio only)
May 17:  Pastor Steve Smith (weekly video worship)
J. Michael Smith, Book of 1 John (audio only)
May 24:  J. Michael Smith (weekly video worship)
J. Michael Smith, Book of Revelation (audio)
May 31:  J. Michael Smith (weekly video worship)
J. Michael Smith, Philemon (audio only)
June 7:  J. Michael Smith (weekly video worship)
June 14:  Jordan Thomas
June 21:  Jordan Thomas
June 28:  Jordan Thomas
July 5:  Pastor Todd Krost

We are awaiting word from our bishop about when we can re-open our Sunday morning live worship services. It will not be before June 14.  When we do re-open, we will also make sure that we are in compliance with state laws and county health regulations.  The bishop and his cabinet are working now on guidelines for re-opening and I will pass them on as soon as they let us know.


Let me start off by saying that you are going to be REALLY busy tomorrow.  It is Hoagie Day, so if you make yours big enough, you should have enough to eat for both lunch and dinner.  The Hoagie was a creation of Italian immigrants, sometime in the 1950s, in Philadelphia.  It is essentially a large sandwich composed of a fresh roll, deli meat, cheese, and vegetables.  My favorite variation of the hoagie is the Philly Cheesesteak, made with thinly sliced steak, provolone cheese, and grilled peppers and onions.

With the menu settled for tomorrow, you can arrange to have your nails done, as it is Nail Day.  If you are the kind of guy, however, who isn't into painting your toe nails, maybe you could observe the day by going to your workbench and dipping a few regular nails to a left over can of paint.  Or not.

Tomorrow is the day to appreciate both teachers and midwives.  I guess they both have this in common:  they help us get through difficult passages in life.

Tomorrow is also Asthma Awareness Day.  This respiratory problem affects both children and adults and is the cause of about 4000 deaths a year in our country.  In our spare time we might learn a little more about it and keep people in our prayers who struggle with it.

And tomorrow is Cartoonists Day.  I am especially appreciative of all the cartoons that give us humor through this COVID-19 experience.  Political cartoons are also a favorite of mine...usually helping us stay sane through humor...whatever is happening among the higher ups.
Birthday Celebrations

5/12                Bobby & Madonna Lockett
5/21                Kenneth & Deanne Corrie
5/28                Don & Jane Perry
5/29                Walter & Angelica Beltran
5/8                  Cheryl Armstrong
5/9                  Nadine Boyer
5/9                  Connie Lotts
5/10                Betty Colclasure
5/11                Guy Loucks
5/12                Annette Bryant
5/15                Shirley Burton
5/16                Kaylee Beals
5/22                Matthew Ashby
5/25                Susan McDevitt
5/29                Richard Butler
5/31                Don Perry