THURSDAY, 12/31/15

Today’s Bible reading – Malachi 3:1-4:6 Revelation 22:1-21 Psalm 150:1-6 Proverbs 31:25-31

Ellie Ann Westbrook, daughter of Dylan & Elizabeth Westbrook, made her grand appearance into this world yesterday afternoon, 12/30, shortly after 4:00PM. She checked in weighing an even eight pounds and is twenty one inches long.  Dylan said everything went smoothly and everyone is doing well.  Praise the Lord.  Congratulations to Dylan & Elizabeth!

This entry is being written somewhere near Nashville, TN as we have begun our journey back to Grand Bay.  It has been a full, but blessed two days.  I have enjoyed the time spent with my parents, Eddie & Sue, and my wife.  Good stuff!  God is good!

Ross & Kathy Genzink and Tom & Shari Compagner drove down to Kalamazoo to have supper with us last night.  That was nice of them and it really good to see them.

Today is the day!  OU vs Clemson and MSU vs Alabama.  I have so many friends who are Spartan fans.  Really good people.  So, what are my picks?  I am going with OU and Bama to win.  Could be wrong!  Imagine that!

I pray that you will have a great Thursday with Jesus.

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WEDNESDAY, 12/30/15

Today’s Bible reading – Malachi 1:1-2:17 Revelation 21:1-27 Psalm 149:1-9 Proverbs 31:10-24

Elizabeth Westbrook was admitted to the hospital last night.  They began the process of inducing her early this morning.  She & Dylan are excitedly awaiting the arrival of their daughter.  Pray that everything goes well.

It was not possible for Cynthia Cumbie’s celebration of life service to take place before Sunday, 1/3/16.  Here is the obit as it is presently printed online:  “Cynthia Gaye Cumbie, age 46, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2015. Funeral service will be held at Serenity Funeral Home on Sunday, January 3, 2016 at 2 pm with visitation starting at 12 noon until service time.”  Keep praying for Caroline and the family.

No services/Bible studies/classes today or tonight at Friendship.

The Lord is good!  I love to watch it snow and yesterday afternoon it snowed for a couple of hours as we visited with family.  Thank you Lord for the small things!

My cousin, Tony Gettig, put together a family gathering of twenty something of us last night.  I appreciate him doing that as we enjoyed a good time of fellowship with family.  Today will see the visits continue before we turn the bus toward home.

I pray that you will have a great Wednesday with Jesus.

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TUESDAY, 12/29/15

Today’s Bible reading – Zechariah 14:1-21 Revelation 20:1-15 Psalm 148:1-14 Proverbs 31:8-9

Cynthia Cumbie passed from this life around 3:45PM yesterday. She had been placed on a ventilator and the doctor had asked Caroline to make a decision about removing the vent from her.  The Lord graciously intervened and Caroline did not have to make that decision. I am grateful.  Pray for Caroline, the girls, the brothers and all of the family.  Plans call for the visitation and service to take place this Friday, 1/1/16.

Rebecca Bates Taylor gave birth to a healthy girl yesterday morning.  I believe that I am correct in saying that she checked in weighing nine pounds and six ounces.  I will get the rest of the information today.  Congratulations to Jay & Rebecca, Sonny & Jeanette and the entire family.

The funeral service for Claire Belle’s grandfather takes place this morning at 10:00AM from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pascagoula, MS.  Pray for the family during this most difficult time.

Elizabeth Westbrook will be admitted to the hospital tonight and then induced tomorrow as she will give birth to her first child.  She and Dylan are excited and rightfully so.

Yesterday morning we were in Birmingham, Alabama.  Left there earlier than planned as the weather forecast was not favorable.  We gathered with a good number of the Turrentine family members last night in Danville for a time of fellowship.

Today’s entry is being written from the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Battle Creek, Michigan, as we drove through the night in order to get here.  We will eventually end up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and will have a family gathering tonight.  There is a really good layer of snow on the ground here – glory!  The temp is not cold as it is a balmy forty degrees.  Beats the seventies and eighties at the house though.

I pray that you will have a great Tuesday with Jesus.

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MONDAY, 12/28/15

Today’s Bible reading – Zechariah 12:1-13:9 Revelation 19:1-21 Psalm 147:1-20 Proverbs 31:1-7

Tuesday, 12/29 – Zechariah 14:1-21 Revelation 20:1-15 Psalm 148:1-14 Proverbs 31:8-9

Wednesday, 12/30 – Malachi 1:1-2:17 Revelation 21:1-27 Psalm 149:1-9 Proverbs 31:10-24

Thursday, 12/31 – Malachi 3:1-4:6 Revelation 22:1-21 Psalm 150:1-6 Proverbs 31:25-31

Praise the Lord!  We were blessed with a really, really good service yesterday morning!  The Spirit was great, the freedom to preach was readily available and the attendance was very strong as the house was full.  I appreciate each person who prayed, each person who attended, each person who had any part i.e. nursery workers, et cetera in making that service a success.  Of course, we give God the glory as He is worthy!

Members of the Friendship family need to be reminded that we will not have any services/Bible studies/classes this Wednesday, 12/30.

This Sunday, 1/3/16, we will have Sunday School beginning at 9:15AM followed by our worship service at 10:30AM.  We will then gather at 5:00PM (note the earlier hour) for our evening service.  After that, we go back to our regular weekly schedule.

Cynthia Cumbie remains in the hospital.  I did not speak to Caroline yesterday so I do not have an update.  Keep praying.

The visitation with Claire Turner’s grandfather’s family takes place tonight from 6:00 – 8:00PM at the Holder Wells Funeral Home in Moss Point.  The service is tomorrow at 10:00AM from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pascagoula.

Edna Glover had an Aunt to pass away and that service it is tomorrow also.  Not sure of the details on that one but do ask that you pray for the family.

Sonny & Jeanette Bates’ daughter, Rebecca, will give birth to her second child via c-section today.  Pray that everything goes well.

As far as I know, Elizabeth Westbrook is still scheduled to be induced on Wednesday.  Dylan the dad!

Lisa, Dana, Gina and I are on vacation this week.  We are in Birmingham this morning in order to visit some friends and will be leaving fairly early heading to Danville, Alabama.  We will have our Turrentine family Christmas tonight.  Then, my brother, Eddie, his wife, Sue, my parents, Lisa and I will drive through the night to Kalamazoo, Michigan.  We plan to spend a couple of days there and have a family gathering scheduled for tomorrow night.  Pray for safety in travel for us, please.

Miss Edna will be out of the office today and tomorrow.  However, between Bro. Jerry, Bro. Kerry and Bro. Chris there should be a staff member in the office from 8:00AM until noon and then from 1:00PM until 4:30PM both days.  Obviously, those men are available in the event of an emergency as well.  Our deacons are readily available too.

Remember, if you want to make an end of the year financial donation and receive 2015 tax credit, you can take that by the church office and/or mail it in.  Just make sure the postmark is by 12/31/15.

Want to hear some “good” news?  We are sharing this hotel with the Auburn football team!  We have seen a lot of big guys!  Willard Garnett is so jealous as he wishes he could be here!

Want to hear even better news?  (This is the earth shattering type of news!)  Our blog readership is now up to double digits!  That means that in just under nine years (first entry on 2/14/07) we have reached ten readers.  Folks, that is pretty impressive stuff!  Now I just have to hope that none of our ten readers gets mad and leaves us.  I am told that if I would open a twitter account that I would begin with double digit followers – mind boggling!

For those of you in South Mobile County, stay dry today!

I pray that you will have a great Monday with Jesus.



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SUNDAY, 12/27/15

Today’s Bible reading – Zechariah 10:1-11:17 Revelation 18:1-24 Psalm 146:1-10 Proverbs 30:33

Visited Cynthia Cumbie in the hospital yesterday.  She was awake, alert and very calm.  Remains in ICU and is wearing an oxygen mask.  Did not speak to any of the medical folks to get an update.

Miss Jackie Goff was taken to the hospital yesterday afternoon and then sent home with antibiotics.

Claire “Belle” Turner’s maternal grandfather’s service takes place this Tuesday, 12/29, at 10:00AM from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  The visitation is from Holder Wells Funeral Home on Monday night, 12/28, from 6:00 – 8:00PM.  Pray for the Martin family.

Sonny & Jeanette Bates will welcome their third grandchild into the world tomorrow as their daughter, Rebecca, is scheduled to give birth via c-section.  Pray that all goes well.

Dylan & Elizabeth Westbrook were set to become parents tomorrow too but, due to a glitch in some information, that has been postponed until Wednesday, 12/30.  If all goes as planned, they will induce Elizabeth on Wednesday morning.  Pray that all goes well.

One service today and that begins at 10:30AM.  I hope many members of the Friendship family will be present!

Remember, the church office is open tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:00AM until 5:00PM daily.  Hopefully, the phone/internet issues will be resolved quickly in the morning.  The office will be closed on Thursday, 12/31.  If you want to make an end of the year financial contribution for tax purposes, you can take it by the church office Monday – Wednesday or simply have it postmarked by 12/31/15.

Lisa and the girls were all gone yesterday morning which gave me a very quiet house for some personal time of study and reflection.  Very unusual on a Saturday but it was all good.

Watched bits and pieces of some football games yesterday afternoon/last night.  Pulled for USM so Courtney C will have to pull for Alabama this Thursday!  I think she is going to wear a replica Derrick Henry jersey – cool!  Calvin will be so proud!

Sent Bro. Chris an iMessage yesterday detailing the passing of, and arrangements for, Claire Belle’s grandfather.  That is good.  Only problem is that I sent the message to Claire Belle!  She would later tell me that I am the “dumbest” pastor she personally knows.  (Nanette Fontenot says “Amen!”)  I really cannot argue with her!  Did hurt my feelings!  (Again, I sometimes forget exactly how things go down so there may be some untruths in this paragraph!  Do you know Claire Belle?)

Craig & Jennifer Moss and their children stopped by for a visit last night which was very nice and thoughtful of them.  We do not see them often and it is always good when we do.  I am very jealous of them as they are going snow skiing in Colorado later this week!

I pray that you will have a great Sunday with Jesus.  Go to church!



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Claire’s maternal grandfather, Joe Martin, passed from this life today, 12/26.  The visitation will take place on Monday, 12/28, from 6:00 – 8:00PM from Holder Wells Funeral Home in Moss Point, MS.  The service will take place at 10:00AM on Tuesday, 12/29, from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church 3704 Quinn Drive Pascagoula, MS (Quinn Drive is off of Martin Street just South of Ingalls Avenue).

Pray for Claire and her family during this time.

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SATURDAY, 12/26/15

Today’s Bible reading – Zechariah 9:1-17 Revelation 17:1-18 Psalm 145:1-21 Proverbs 30:32

Cynthia Cumbie remains hospitalized.

One service for the Friendship family tomorrow and that begins at 10:30AM.  No early service, no SS, no bus ministry, no DT and no evening service.  Since this will be our only service for the day it is obviously an important one so please attend.

Christmas Day was a blessing for the Clark/Denbleyker/Hutto/Taylor/Turrentine families (the Aldridge family was out of town and could not join us).  We enjoyed a mid-afternoon meal together and then exchanged gifts.  Family time is always great time!  (It is even greater when I see Charles’ tail lights going down the driveway!)

Christmas Day was truly an off day for me.  I walked through the cemetery for maybe forty five minutes or so and also walked through the mansion being built just in front of us (our property value is about to sky rocket).  Titus and I made a brief visit.  I then watched the Cavs v Warriors game.  I do not watch much NBA but based on that one game I will say that Lebron is no Jordan.  He is only thirty one years old but he seems to have lost more than a step.  He can still ball but not like MJ could at that point in his life.  Curry, although he had an off day yesterday, is still the best shooter in the league.

Maybe after James retires he will come join the TNBA.  We have something for him!  TJ Vice will shut him down!

May hit Walmart today to try and find some good deals on things for Guatemala.  Worked last year.

Ok, so I close with another confession!  Chuck Hodges busted me on Thursday night so the truth will eventually come out!  It is not the fact that I shopped this past Wednesday night that is so bad (although that is really bad), it is what I purchased while shopping.  I bought an LSWho shirt for a neighbor!  Awful!  Just plain awful!  How could I stoop so low?  Wow!

I pray that you will have a great Saturday with Jesus.

P.S. – Go USM!  To the top!  (How is that Courtney?)

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FRIDAY, 12/25/15

Today’s Bible reading –  Zechariah 8:1-23 Revelation 16:1-21 Psalm 144:1-15 Proverbs 30:29-31

Merry Christmas!

Praise the Lord!  Hallelujah!  Our Christmas Eve service was awesome!  Absolutely awesome!  The house was filled to capacity!  The musical specials were outstanding.  Missionary Jonny Gaston did a great job of sharing the Gospel.  The members of the Friendship family were faithful to attend the service and we had a good number of guests join us.  God showed up!  The rains stayed away.  I came home just thrilled and giving God the glory!  God is so good!

Thank you to each person who took part in the service including our deacons as they served the Lord’s Supper.  Thank you to each person who attended.  Thank you Jesus.

Honestly, I am already praying, thinking and planning for next year’s service.  This is a great time for folks to now decide this is going to be a family tradition.

Cynthia Cumbie was taken by ambulance to the hospital early last night.  She is back in ICU and is listed as serious.

Caroline Ford sounds horrible.  Being the doctor that I am, she needs to be in the hospital too.

One service this Sunday, 12/27.  It begins at 10:30AM.  My prayer is for a full house in that service too.  Lord willing, I will be in the pulpit.  We will observe the ordinance of baptism as a part of that service.

There are three huge poinsettia plants setting on the baptismal ledge.  Here is the deal – they will be given to the first person(s) who ask for them.  (That means that one third of our blog readership could get a poinsettia)  Bill Goff planted one years ago and now has a really nice poinsettia bush outside his house.  First come, first served.  They can be taken as soon as the service is over this Sunday, 12/27.

Things happen that necessitate change.  We have some sickness in our family which means that we did not get to have our family time last night.  Lord willing, it will all happen today.  Translated – Charles got to keep that five dollars he normally gives me for Christmas for at least one more day.  Lisa and I are celebrating our thirty sixth Christmas together which means that after Christmas 2015 Charles will have given me one hundred and eighty dollars as Christmas gifts.  Is that nice or what!

I guess the only negative from last night’s service was Nanette waiting for me after the service.  Wanted us to have our Christmas picture taken together.  I politely declined and she was pretty upset with me.  Said it was the only reason she came to the service – wow!

I pray that you will have a great Christmas Day with Jesus.  Celebrate Him!


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THURSDAY, 12/24/15

Today’s Bible reading – Zechariah 6:1-7:14 Revelation 15:1-8 Psalm 143:1-12 Proverbs 30:24-28

Christmas Eve – what a great day!  I am eagerly anticipating the service which begins at 5:00PM.  Yes, there is still a greater than not chance of rain but that does not deter my enthusiasm.  I am in hopes of a really strong attendance.  The musical program is going to be wonderful!  The spoken Word is going to be wonderful as well.  I really do not think you want to miss this one!

Again, I am asking folks to leave the carport area and he parking spaces North of it open so it can be used as a drop off/pick up point, if needed.  Also, please leave all handicap parking spaces open/available for those with tags/placards.

We have had one lady graciously volunteer to keep the nursery for tonight’s service for children ages two and under (no exceptions).  If anyone else wants to volunteer just in case needed, please let me know.

The church office is closed today.  However, my plans are to work and that will involve some cleaning and visiting.  The church phone system and internet service are down due to technical reasons.  They will be down until at least Monday, 12/28.  Sorry for any inconvenience.  If you need to contact me today, please call my wife, Lisa, at 259 8072.  She will track me down.  Do I have a cell phone?  Yes.  I just hardly ever have it turned on – saving battery!  (Ok, when my cell is on, Nanette Fontenot blows it up!  Now you know!)

I have an embarrassing confession to make!  Folks are going to think less of me!  Our readership will probably go from nine to like five!  I am so ashamed!  Ok, here it goes – last night I went Christmas shopping!  I was actually in a store for probably at least five minutes – felt awful!  (Daphne & Kayla were supposed to cover me yesterday and they failed miserably!  They were too worried about “free pie Wednesday” at O’Charley’s!)  I came out of that store last night and just stood in the rain trying to cleanse myself!  Came home and took a long shower.  My reputation is shot!  Folks will think I am Evangelist Ken Freeman or Pastor Shirlon Davis!  Woe is me!

I am too distraught to continue this entry.  I pray that you will have a great Thursday with Jesus.  Hope to see you this afternoon at 5:00PM as we consider “who is Jesus to you?”


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WEDNESDAY, 12/23/15

Today’s Bible reading – Zechariah 4:1-5:11 Revelation 14:1-20 Psalm 142:1-7 Proverbs 30:21-23

We are still in the midst of a “no one from the Friendship family is in the hospital” run and we are grateful.  Yes, we do have folks battling cancer and other sicknesses but none so bad as to be hospitalized at the moment.

As it stands right now, the projected weather forecast for South Mobile County has improved for Christmas Eve.  One local outlet is calling for sixty percent chance of rain while one national outlet is now calling for fifty percent (down from one hundred).  Regardless, our Christmas Eve service will begin at 5:00 and end at 6:00PM.  I am encouraging each member of the Friendship family to attend this special service and to bring others with you.  There will be an observance of the Lord’s Supper, great special music and a great message from the Word.  What a great family tradition!  O come let us adore Him!

Remember, there are no services/Bible studies/activities this morning or tonight.  I do hope that families can enjoy each other with some quality family time.  This Sunday, 12/27, we will only have one worship service and that begins at 10:30AM.  (No SS or bus service)  We will observe the ordinance of baptism as a part of that service.

We have had a pretty good number of folks sign up for the evangelism training that will be taught on Thursday nights beginning January 7, 2016.  Here is my suggestion to those folks – bring your twelve dollars to either the Christmas Eve service or this Sunday’s service in order to secure your spot in the class.  The class size will be limited to twenty five to thirty folks.  Seven others have already paid.  Just a thought.  BTW, Jonny will be in the Christmas Eve service.  Not sure about Sunday morning’s.

Santa Claus came to see me yesterday – for real!  Everyone in the office was gone for lunch and he called to see if I was in the office (I thought he knew that kind of thing but whatever)  In about five minutes he was there and brought me a huge fruit basket (half of a bushel) and two boxes of moon pies – no joke!  He took me outside to see Mrs. Claus as she was sitting in the truck (there was no sleigh).  He wished me a Merry Christmas and off they went!  Wow!  (Honestly, I think I have seen that guy before!)

I pray that you will have a great Wednesday with Jesus.

P.S. – Decker, the term “Dream Center” and the term “feeding center” are the same.  Hope that answers your question.




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