SUNDAY, 1/31/16

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV)

Today’s Bible reading – Exodus 4 – 6

Helen Ruth Brinkmann recently took a fall and was in a Pensacola, FL hospital.  I will find out today if she remains there.

Yesterday was a full day on the Friendship campus!  I always like to see activity taking place.  Even spotted “Jonny the Baptist” on the campus early in the morning.

The GRACE Ministries team presently in Guatemala is doing well.  They are posting entries daily on the GRACE Ministries website which can be accessed from this site’s home page.  Pastor Bob Harvey is leading that team and Evangelist Michael Mason is serving as team pastor.  Wow, that team needs prayer!

The “I can make great prayer cards” award this week goes to Tina Wilkinson.  She did our laminated prayer cards for the next GRACE Ministries team going to Guatemala and she did an awesome job!  Thank you Tina!  (I still think Raymond is a better husband/father than Tina is a wife/mother but that is beside the point!)

The “I can find it in Walmart” award this week goes to Debbie Hyatt.  I saw her in Walmart Friday morning and asked her about an item of which she had never even heard.  Within thirty seconds she directed me straight to it!  Is that impressive or what!  Thank you Debbie!  (What was the item?  Does it matter?)

Upward basketball went well yesterday.  I just love it when a child who has not scored all season or has scored very little makes a basket.  Morris Bryant, as an official, does a nice job of putting those players in a position to do so.  Nice!

I just love it when an Upward official, like Soy, finally makes a call.  Has not happened yet this season but there is still one week to go!

Are we ready for our Christmas Eve 2016 service or what?  As you can see, the banner is already in place on this website.  Talk about getting the word out early!

Today is supposed to be another great day weather wise.  My prayer is for folks to not forsake the assembling together but rather to be faithful to the house of God.  Will you be faithful?  Normal schedule.  Morning message on The Difference Maker and the evening message on It Is What It Is.

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



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SATURDAY, 1/30/16

Today’s Bible reading:  Exodus 1-3

Can someone help me?  I think I missed the month of January!  Surely it cannot be January 30th already?  Wow!

The visitation with the Albert West family takes place today from noon until the 2:00PM service time.  Everything takes place at Serenity Funeral Home and Gardens.  If you are helping with the food for this family, please take it and leave it in the fellowship hall.  Again, a special “thank you” to each person who is helping with this ministry.

Upward basketball today from 8:00AM until 4:00PM.  The folks overseeing this ministry have done a nice job.

The “I am flexible” award for this week goes to Bro. Benny McGath.  A couple of Upward teams planned a party in the fellowship hall for this morning not knowing that Bro. Benny had plans to meet with the bus workers and others for a time of prayer in that building.  When Bro. Benny learned of the party yesterday he simply said, “we can find somewhere else to meet” and showed such a great attitude in doing so.  I truly appreciate Bro. Benny’s kind spirit in this matter!  Reminds me of our Bible verse for the year!  (I would like to know which “dummy” planned the Upward party in the first place!)

The “I can fix that” award for this week goes to Martin Brinkman.  There was a major grease clog in the CAB kitchen sink.  Martin had some of his boys at practice last night and, upon learning of the problem, simply went in and fixed it.  I appreciate his willingness to handle this problem on the spot.  (Soy says that “he and Martin” fixed the problem – right!  Just because you are setting up the scoreboard when the problem gets fixed does not qualify you for having fixed the problem!)

Super Bowl Fifty takes place next Sunday, 2/7.  Read this morning where tickets in the upper deck at going for $3,000 and those in the lower deck at available for a mere $15,000.  Are you kidding me?  We are talking Larry Whitehurst money!  Wow!

Hope your Saturday is great with Jesus!  Full day for me with Upward game, Upward party, Upward officiating and the West funeral service.  It is all good!



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FRIDAY, 1/29/15

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV)

Today’s Bible reading: Genesis 48-50

Miss Carmen Reyer has been moved to a convalescent facility.  She and Bro. Louis are now in the same facility which is obviously makes it much easier on the family.

Have not heard how Jason Taylor’s procedure went yesterday but prayerfully it went well.

As far as I know, Miss Dollie Trout, Mrs. Johnson (Tommy’s mother), and Miss Alford (Tena’s mother) all remain in the hospital.  Bro. Chris visited them yesterday.  Same is true for Miss Jackie Goff.

If things go as scheduled, Brian Amonett should be moved to a rehab facility today.

It was thought that Richard Glass would have heart surgery yesterday but that has been delayed.  Maybe Monday?

One of Coley Johnson’s maternal uncles, William Elery Sprinkle, passed away Wednesday night.  The visitation with the family will take place on Monday, 2/1, from noon until the 2:00PM service time.  The visitation and service will be held from Serenity Funeral Home in Theodore.

The Friendship family will be ministering to the Albert West, Jr family through a meal tomorrow.  Contact Carol Lucky if you can help.  Thank you in advance to each person who will be helping with this ministry.

Our Upward basketball season is quickly coming to a close.  Tomorrow marks the next to last Saturday of this season.

Reading earlier this morning that anyone needing a passport (new or renewal) in 2017 should seriously consider getting it now.  Why?  It was ten years ago that the law was passed requiring folks to have passports for cruises and such.  All of those passports will expire this year.  They expect a glut of applications which will slow the process.  Going on a GRACE Ministries trip in June or July of this year?  Now is the time to apply for your passport or passport renewal.  Procrastinate if you want to but remember that “I told you!”

Projected high of seventy three degrees on Monday – are you serious?  Not supposed to stay that way for long.  If you know me at all then you know that I enjoy the cooler temperatures.  If only we could get some snow.  Nothing major.  Say four inches?  Not happening!

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


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12/9/1935 – 1/27/2016 Age 80, born in Wayne County, Mississippi and a longtime resident of Grand Bay, AL passed away on Wednesday, January 27, 2016. Albert was a longtime welder and retired from Ingalls Shipbuilding in 2001. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Catherine West. He is survived by his children, Mari (Richard) Odom, Neal (Nancy) West, Deborah (Ken) Barnett and Chris West, 9 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, other relatives and many friends. Funeral service will be held at Serenity Funeral Home on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 2 pm with visitation starting at 1 pm until service time. Interment will be in Serenity Memorial Gardens.

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THURSDAY, 1/28/16

Today’s Bible reading: Genesis 46-47

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV)

Jason Taylor is having another procedure today in hopes of crushing that kidney “oyster shell” that has been giving him such problems. Pray they can get it this time.

Neal West’s father, Mr. Albert West, had surgery last Friday.  I was unaware that he had remained hospitalized until yesterday when I received a call that he had passed from this life.  Obviously, the arrangements are incomplete at this time.  Pray for the West family.

Mary Hall’s father, Mr. Travis McDonald, passed from this life yesterday morning.  Per his request, there will be a private family time only.  Pray for Mary and her family during these days.

Miss Carmen Reyer is in the hospital.  She has been there since Monday.

Miss Dollie Trout remains in the hospital.  They will do more tests today.

Tommy Johnson’s mother also remains hospitalized.  She is battling pneumonia again but was feeling better yesterday.

Tena Hovel’s mother, Mrs. Alford, is still in the hospital.  She was undergoing a test when I visited yesterday but was not going to be discharged.

Miss Rebecca Perkins was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon.

Holly Lybarger had another chemo treatment yesterday.

Richard Glass is set to have heart surgery at some point tomorrow.

Jimmy Tagert’s step-father, Mr. Hickman, will have a heart cath today and they are thinking surgery is going to be required due to a problem with a valve.

Learned yesterday that the former principal of Grand Bay High School, Mr. Albert Stewart, passed away and was buried this past Tuesday.  Mr. Stewart was very, very kind to me and I will never forget that fact.  Actually, he is the one who allowed Lisa to graduate early so we could get married.  Lisa has not cared for him since!  Do you blame her?

Good services yesterday.  Really nice attendance in our morning service.  Ditto for our 7:30PM Bible study.  Our 6:30PM group ended up with a good number when all was said and done.

Our first GRACE Ministries team of 2016 leaves this morning.  Pray for them in their travels.  Pastor Bob Harvey is leading this team and Evangelist Michael Mason is serving as team pastor.

The rumor mill is building!  Heard again last night that soccer is coming to the Friendship family!  Soon!  I am going to fight it just based on principle but it is gaining steam.  Folks, my reputation will be absolutely ruined!

So, this past Tuesday night Rusty Suthoff is eating supper on my dime while complaining about the lateness of that morning’s blog entry!  He is working the midnight shift this week and had checked the blog at 5:30AM.  I did not post until closer to 6:00AM that day.  Really?  My question is, “shouldn’t Rusty be working instead of on being on the internet?”  Dave Sellers, you may want to check on that!  Just saying!

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


Dr. Rex – got you covered.  Thanks!



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WEDNESDAY, 1/27/16

Today’s Bible reading: Genesis 43-45

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV)

Four ladies associated with the Friendship family in one way or the other are in the same hospital.  That is a rarity these days.  Two of those ladies, Dollie Trout and Mrs. Alford (Tena Hovel’s mother) are expected to be discharged today.

Tommy Johnson’s mother has been diagnosed with pneumonia.  She has improved since being admitted to the hospital.

Miss Rebecca Perkins also remains hospitalized.

Miss Jackie Goff remains in another hospital.

Brian Amonett is scheduled to be moved to a rehab facility this Friday.

Regular schedule this morning and evening.  Lisa is planning on soup(s) for the 7:30PM Bible study.  Not sure what kind but it (they) will be good – as always.

Good attendance in our prayer time last night.  The sign in sheet really allows me to focus on my prayer instead of trying to keep up with those coming and going.  “If my people will humble themselves and pray!”

Rick Bradley and I teach the 20-29 age in Sunday School.  That group is doing an “in reach” ministry this Sunday as they are hosting one of the “older “SS classes for breakfast and a joint class.  They are even going to provide soft foods, bran muffins and such for their special guests.  Is that thoughtful or what!

Word has it that soccer is coming to the Friendship family!  Did I just write that?

Our first GRACE Ministries team of 2016 leaves tomorrow.  Pastor Bob Harvey will lead this team as that allows me to only miss one Sunday instead of two.  My plans got changed yesterday as I drove up to Greenville, AL and back.  Lot of time to pray and think as I was alone and left the radio off.

I have had the opportunity to “watch” (using that word very loosely) two college basketball games over the past two nights.  Saw Iowa State beat Kansas (not a big Bill Self fan) and then saw Alabama better UT last night.  Was impressed that Bama was down by fifteen in the second half and yet found a way to win.  Could they make it to the Final Four?  NO!

National signing day cannot get here fast enough for me!  Tired of hearing about it!

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



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The auditorium will be open tonight from 5:00 – 6:00PM for prayer.  Come and go.  Please enter/exit through the West side door.  “If my people will humble themselves and pray!”

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TUESDAY, 1/26/16

Today’s Bible reading: Genesis 41-42

The Friendship family is to be commended for ministry to the Gerald Brannan family yesterday following the service.  You did well!  You also ministered to the Whitehurst family.  So, you fed/helped feed over one hundred folks yesterday.  Thank you!

My day was full with one funeral and one funeral visitation yesterday so I did not get to visit the convalescent home.  That is on my list today.

Miss Rebecca Perkins is in the hospital.

Morris Bryant commented on yesterday’s entry.  Not sure if folks ever read the comments so I have decided to print it here:

“Saw the note on Soy striking you as a ref this past Saturday – I think he plans to do the same to me after Saturday. I did want to share that on Saturday, I caught a glimpse of what Upward is intended to be.

After one of the games, I was sitting near the score table and a family (Mom, Dad, and 3-4 children) walked over. The Dad began to share with Soy their thanks for his prayers for their daughter, who had a pretty serious injury and had been in the hospital. This little girl’s brother plays on Soy and Gena’s team. She was better to the point that she was with them at the game – but very tired. You could tell these folks were genuinely grateful for the prayers and thoughtfulness Soy had shown toward them. It was worth being there and calling those games just to witness that, and be reminded what it’s about.

I wanted to briefly share my thanks to Soy and all those that are working in Upward. The Coaches have a great opportunity to impact not only the players, but their families as well.

So I say to Soy, for this week “you get the White Star”. But you still don’t know anything about basketball.”

I agree with Morris’ last statement.  Soy literally cannot “call a hog!”

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


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MONDAY, 1/25/16

Today’s Bible reading: Genesis 38-40

Tuesday, January 26 Genesis 41-42
Wednesday, January 27 Genesis 43-45
Thursday, January 28 Genesis 46-47
Friday, January 29 Genesis 48-50
Saturday, January 30 Exodus 1-3
Sunday, January 31 Exodus 4-6

The visitation with the Gerald Brannan family takes place this morning, 1/25, beginning at 10:00AM and lasting until the noon service time.  The visitation and service will take place from First Baptist Grand Bay.  Burial will be in the Grand Bay Cemetery.  Pray for the Brannan family.

Thank you to each person helping feed the Brannan family after the service.  Please have all food in the fellowship hall no later than 11:30AM.  (The fellowship hall will be open by 6:00AM)  A special “thank you” to Miss Vinnie Brewer for overseeing this ministry effort as Miss Carol is out of town.  I also appreciate each person who will help set up, serve, and clean up today.

The visitation with the Lisa Wilson family takes place this afternoon, 1/25, beginning at 3:00PM and lasting until the 4:00PM service time.  The visitation and service will take place from the Azalea City Funeral Home in Mobile.  Pray for Lexie and the family.  We are helping feed that family too.  Miss Vinnie has that meal covered too but if you want to find if help is needed, call the church office.  Again, I appreciate each person who is helping with this meal.

Miss Jackie Goff remains hospitalized.  The visitation times are limited to one hour each day.  I will not be able to get there today because of the funeral but should be able to do so tomorrow.  Pray for Miss Jackie.

Good services yesterday.  We give God the glory.  Brice Johnson followed the Lord in believers’ baptism last night.

Time is quickly passing by for Friendship family members to sign up for our December 3 – 10, 2016 GRACE trip.  There are zero openings for the June & August trips being led by the pastor.  The December trip is so different from the others I lead and this year’s is going to be even more so.  Questions?  Give me a holler!

The first church founded by GRACE Ministries in Guatemala has a new pastor, Benjamin Labriel.  Great young man with a wonderful family (wife and four children).  This body of believers meets at the seminary each Sunday.

I need to file a missing persons report – has anyone seen Grant Tillman?  Just curious as I have not seen him in Sunday School or church lately.

The Super Bowl teams are set.  On paper, it would appear that there is no way the Broncos win.  I do not think they will.  Cam Newton is a tremendous talent!  Pastor Terry Rainey is giddy as “his” team is in the Super Bowl.  Since I do not care, I hope the Panthers win for him.  However, Miss June Bailey is a huge Peyton Manning fan and I would be fine if the Broncos won for her.  When does Alabama’s Spring practice begin?

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

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SUNDAY, 1/24/16

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 KJV)

Today’s Bible reading: Genesis 35-37

No new updates on those who have been on our recent prayer lists so we are going with the “no news is good news” theory.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, there are two funeral services tomorrow.  The service for Gerald Brannan will take place from First Baptist Church of Grand Bay at noon.  Preceded by two hours of visitation with the family.

The service for Lexie Whitehurst’s mother, Lisa, will take place at 4:00PM from the Azalea City Funeral Home in Mobile.  Preceded by one hour of visitation with the family.

The Friendship family will be feeding the Brannan family following the service.  I have not been able to talk to Carol Lucky as this point.  However, I do know that we need to feed seventy five family members.  We will be asking folks to sign up to help during the two morning services today.  The food will need to be in our fellowship hall no later than 11:30AM tomorrow.  I have no doubt that the Friendship family will come through as they always have so “thank you” in advance.

Regular schedule this morning and tonight.  Supposed to be a beautiful day today!  I pray that the members of the Friendship family are faithful!

A couple of folks have asked about our flights from Friday.  Long story short – we left the mission house at 5:15AM for a 9:09AM flight.  One hour drive and almost three hours in the airport.  Have done it a million times.  Stopped by Casa Alleluya to pick up Lee Sugiyama who was on the same flight.  I have been traveling to Guatemala since 1998 and have never seen traffic like we saw on Friday morning.  I thought we were in Manila.  We got to the airport at 8:40AM and the ticket counter had closed at 8:09AM.  I had already called Delta on the way and had been told there were no seats on the afternoon flight or the Saturday morning flight.

The kind lady behind the counter dialed reservations and handed me the phone.  Another kind lady on the phone booked Lisa, Lee and me on the afternoon flight.  I was aggravated at myself for being late.  We could not check luggage until 11:00AM for the afternoon flight.  We did and then proceeded through security.  As I stepped out into the concourse after security, I noticed a really long line at the Delta gate counter.  My first thought was, “they have cancelled the flight due to weather issues in Atlanta!”  I walked down and asked one of the passengers why the line?  He said, “they cancelled the flight!”  Then he said, “not this flight but the one from this morning due to mechanical problems!”  Are you serious!  I would later learn that only ten folks from that morning flight got rebooked on the afternoon flight as the rest had to wait until Saturday or later.  So, being late actually was a blessing!  Is Good good or what?

I came home expecting to coach Upward at 8:00AM (which I did) and then call games from 11:00AM until 4:00PM.  Soy is now over the Upward program and he fired me!  Did his best Donald Trump impersonation!  Are you serious?  Soy cannot call a hog and he fired me from officiating?  Wow!  However, it allowed me to spend the day working on mission trip stuff and studying.  Good day for me.

This entry has been way too long.  I apologize.

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


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