Feb
28
2018
1

WEDNESDAY, 2/28/18

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Good morning from Grand Bay, Alabama – “home sweet home!”  I enjoyed being away for about thirty hours or so as it was a good time of reflection for me.  Again, thank you to those who allowed it to happen.

Regular schedule this morning and evening.  Life goes on and we must live it to the fullest and to the glory of God.

Miss Willie Roberts’ daughter, Maxine, remains hospitalized.  I hope to get a report on her today.

Prayers for police office Justin Billa’s family.

I do not intend to ride a good horse to death but do want to say at least one more word regarding the passing of Caroline Ford.  The support I received, verbally and written, from folks from the time of Caroline’s passing until her celebration of life service as nothing short of amazing to me.  I cannot begin to personally communicate with each one to say “thank you” but I hope each person knows that I am very, very grateful.  Most of it came from within the Friendship family which is to be expected but I also heard from folks outside the Friendship family.  Some of the nicest, sweetest words that I have ever received were received during those days.  God is good!

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

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
27
2018
1

TUESDAY, 2/27/18

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

Prayer works and God answers prayers!  That pretty much summarizes my feelings this morning after the events of yesterday.  Anyone who knows me understands that it was a challenge for me to preach Caroline’s celebration of life service.  Please know that I considered it an honor but I just did not think I could get through it emotionally.

As per our normal routine, the family went to the fellowship hall for a time of prayer while the funeral directors closed the casket. I struggled to get through that prayer with a quivering, cracking voice and while literally holding back the tears.  The family obviously knew I was struggling.  I thought to myself, “there is no way I can do this without becoming just an emotional wreck!”  So, walking up the sidewalk going back into the auditorium I sensed God telling me that many folks were praying for me and the service and that He was going to honor their prayers.  He did!  As Pastor Jack Bailey says, “God showed up and He showed out!”  He gave me an absolute peace that allowed me to share without my emotions getting involved even though my love and respect for Caroline was as real as ever.  I know what my emotional state was and all I can say is that God did a miracle in my life for those forty minutes or so.  As a matter of fact, Lisa rode with me to the cemetery and I got very emotional just thinking about Caroline and what we had just gone through.  We spoke to Deidra on the phone as we were going to the cemetery and I struggled to get the words out to speak with her.  So, thank you to each person who prayed for me!  I am very, very grateful!  To God be the glory!  It is all about Him!

The decision was made pretty much last minute to have the service broadcast live on Facebook.  The reasoning was that there were many friends of Caroline in Guatemala, Michigan, Canada, Arkansas, et cetera who could not attend the service but definitely wanted to view the service to help bring some closure.  The family was good with the decision and Caroline would have given her stamp of approval because she always thought of others.  My next time to be on FB will be my first time.  I had/have no idea how it works but here is what I do know at this point – over three hundred folks viewed the actual service (at least some portion of it).  As of 9:00PM last night there had been over thirteen hundred views and eleven folks had shared it.  What a testimony to the number of lives impacted by the life Caroline Ford lived.  I have had a number of folks contact me to say “thank you” for making the service available as it helped us.

Thank you to Raymond & Rhea Wilkinson, Bro. Jerry Hovel and James Mareno for making the FB live broadcast possible.  Thank you to Tina Wilkinson for, once again, doing an excellent job as church hostess.  Thank you to the women and men who served the meal to the family following the service.  Thank you to each person who cooked and brought food to minister to the family.  Thank you to Jeanette Bates, Randall Broome and Brad Hutto for doing an outstanding job with the music before, during and after the service.  Thank you to Raymond Wilkinson for taking care of the sound.  Thank you to James Mareno for handling the video.  Thank you to our staff/deacons for a job well done of ministering to the family.

I thank the Personnel Committee for unanimously giving me their blessing for me to leave town yesterday afternoon and return home tonight.  I just felt I needed some time away for my emotional well being.  So, I am sending this from a hotel room where I have been reflecting on the life Caroline lived and for the impact she had, and will have, on my life.

The church office is open today from 8:00AM until 5:00PM.  Bro. Jerry and the deacons stand ready to help in the event of an emergency.

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

 

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
26
2018
1

MONDAY, 2/26/18

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

First, let me say that I have been praying for Mark Timberlake and his family ever since last Thursday when Mark’s brother passed from this life.  Mark & Brenda drove to Kentucky to be with him just before he passed and then stayed for his celebration of life service.  Pray for the Timberlake family.

Miss Willie Roberts’ daughter, Maxine, had surgery on Saturday morning.  I do not have a report from that procedure.  Keep praying for Maxine.

Miss Ann Stults is schedule for surgery next Tuesday, 3/6.  Pray for her as she prepares for this operation.

Well, today is one of those days that, as a pastor, you really do not want to see take place.  The Caroline Ford family, the Friendship family and friends will gather at 11:00AM to celebrate the life of Caroline.  (I am still waiting on someone to awaken me from this dream)  We preach our own services by the way we live and Caroline did a nice job in the seventy four years and almost ten months she lived on this earth.  We will simply gather today to say “amen” to a life well lived.

Out of respect for Caroline, the church office will be closed today.  I am about to open the fellowship hall for folks needing to bring food to help with feeding the family.  Thank you to Tina Wilkinson for coordinating this ministry.  Thank you to each person who will bring food.  Thank you to James Mareno and Raymond Wilkinson for their help with the video and audio yesterday and today.  Thank you to the staff and deacons for their multiple times of help yesterday.

I left the visitation around 5:40PM yesterday and then made my way to another local church for their evening service.  It was good just to be under the preaching of the Word and then to observe the ordinance of baptism as well.

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

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
24
2018
0

OBITUARY FOR CAROLINE FORD

Caroline Lee Ford, age 74, a native and lifelong resident of Irvington, Alabama was called to her eternal home on Thursday, February 22, 2018. She was Preceded in death by her parents, Orville Cummings and Herbert Marie (Pike) Vandiver, her husband, Kenneth B. Ford, three children, Michael Edwin Cumbie, Bradley Ray Cumbie, and Cynthia Gaye Cumbie. three sisters, and one brother. She is survived by three children, Bryan Elliot Cumbie, Craig Allen Cumbie, and Scott Jeffrey Cumbie, 12 grandchildren,5 great-grandchildren, one brother and one sister, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many many friends. Wake service will be held in the auditorium of Friendship Baptist Church on Sunday February 25, 2018 starting at 2-3pm for family and 3-6pm for friends. Funeral services will be held on Monday, February 26, 2018 at Friendship Baptist Church as well. There will be a one hour visitation starting at 10 am prior to service starting at 11 am in the auditorium. Interment to follow at Mobile Memorial Gardens. Memorial donations, in memory of Caroline Ford may be made to Grace Ministries.

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
23
2018
0

FRIDAY, 2/23/18

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

I was literally in a “fog” when I wrote yesterday’s blog entry.  I apologize.  My day began like that but it did not end that way.  I will explain later in this entry.  Thank you to Reb Nevin and Donald Butler for their comments on yesterday’s entry.

Mark & Brenda Timberlake received word on Wednesday that one of Timber’s brothers was not doing well.  They left early yesterday morning driving to Kentucky.  Mark’s brother passed from this life thirty minutes after their arrival.  So, pray for the Timberlake family as they walk through this valley.  Obviously, Mark & Brenda will stay in Kentucky until after the service has taken place.

There will be a celebration of life service for Barbara Hamilton’s brother, Doug Knippers, this morning at 11:00AM.  It will be preceded by an hour of visitation with the family.  The visitation and service will take place at the Heritage Funeral Home on Highway 63 in Escatawpa, MS.  Barbara was the only daughter among four brothers.  She was also the oldest and now all four of her brothers have preceded her in passing from this life.  Pray for Barbara and family.

Miss Willie Roberts’ daughter, Maxine, remains hospitalized and in ICU.  They have not been able to do surgery on her broken leg yet.  Keep praying for her.

Rob Nevin’s mother, Miss Barbara, has been placed under hospice care.  She is a resident in a convalescent facility.  I had the opportunity to visit with her yesterday afternoon and she seems to be in pretty tough shape.  Pray for Miss Barbara.

I posted the arrangements for Caroline Ford yesterday afternoon.  The obit has not been published online yet.  I hope to have more details about feeding her family in tomorrow’s blog.  Deidra posted a nice blog about Caroline on their site (www.shininglightabroad.com) yesterday.  Deidra was devastated when she learned of Caroline’s passing.

We will have a regular Sunday morning schedule this Sunday, 2/25, but then nothing as far as meetings, classes, choir rehearsal or service on Sunday afternoon/evening.  Our focus will be on remembering Caroline and ministering to her family during those hours.  Staff and deacons – please take note of the e-mail sent to you yesterday and expect another one today or tomorrow.

Mission of Hope service tonight at 7:00PM.  Music will be great.  Preaching not so much.  Everyone invited.

Carl Brinkman made an AAU basketball team so congratulations are in order.  I am not sure all that involves but his mother has assured me that he will not be missing church services because of it.  Congratulations Carl!

I was admittedly “down” yesterday morning.  Did a few things but just could not get motivated to do much else.  Sweet Katie Tillman sent me a podcast entitled “Don’t forget in the dark what God taught you in the light!”  It helped.  Thank you Katie. Then I leaned on the Holy Spirit and thought about what Caroline would tell me to do.  So, I just got busy doing ministry and decided to celebrate Caroline’s life.

Of course, Lisa also played a major role in that getting busy thing.  After work yesterday, she blasted me for the way our yard looks and basically demanded that I get busy eating weeds, mowing, or something.  So, I spent about an hour or so eating weeds.  Then she told me to get a shower and get to Walmart to buy groceries.  So, being the submissive husband that I am, I did.

She has told me that after the service for Miss Barbara’s brother today that I will come home and plant the garden.  I said, “it is February” and she replied, “I know!”  She said, “Uncle Bobby planted today and you will not let John Milton get ahead of you this year!”  Folks, you just do not know!

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

 

 

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
22
2018
0

ARRANGEMENTS FOR CAROLINE FORD

Caroline Ford’s family will receive friends from 3:00 – 6:00PM on Sunday, February 25, in the auditorium of Friendship Baptist Church.  The family will have a private viewing prior to the 3:00PM hour and I ask that we respect their privacy by not coming before 3:00PM.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding.

There will be another hour of visitation on Monday, February 26, from 10:00 – 11:00AM.  The celebration of life service will begin at 11:00AM and will also take place in the church auditorium.

We will need to minister to Caroline’s family by feeding them following the service.  Make plans to help and the details will come later.  We will need a good amount of food.

Also, please note that there will be no Discipleship Training, no adult choir practice, no meetings and no evening service on our campus Sunday afternoon/evening.  Our sole focus will be on ministering to Caroline’s family and remembering the life she lived.

I will post the obituary once it has been posted by the funeral home.

It seems to me that everything has been done up to this point regarding the service would be to Caroline’s liking.  I am thankful.

Keep praying for Caroline’s family.

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
22
2018
2

THURSDAY, 2/22/18

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

The phone call that I did not want to receive came at 1:54AM.  It was Betty Creech calling to tell me that the end was very near for Caroline Ford.  As it turned out, Caroline actually took her last breath on this earth at 1:54AM as she exchanged this mortal life for eternal life.  Folks, I am struggling.  Words are not sufficient to describe what Caroline meant to me.

I followed the ambulance out of her driveway and then I cried all the way home.  I can hardly type this entry as the tears are flowing.  However, God is faithful.  I asked God to be merciful and to not allow Caroline to suffer.  She was in pain when Lisa and I visited yesterday afternoon and that bothered me.  So, God in His abundant mercy took Caroline home this morning to a place where there is no more suffering.  She will experience no more sorrow.  I can rest in those facts.

Obviously, the arrangements are incomplete.  I literally have no idea what those arrangements will look like.  I will post them once they are finalized.  Pray for Caroline’s family.

Blessings!

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
21
2018
0

WEDNESDAY, 2/21/18

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

The special called prayer meeting was a blessed time.  We had somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty folks present which was a blessing to me.  The folks divided up into groups of three or four and just prayed for Caroline, Larry and several other names which were added at the beginning of the prayer time.  We then prayed corporately with the staff and deacons present leading us that time of prayer.  Sweet hour of prayer!

I received messages from Arkansas, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Canada, North Alabama, Guatemala, Baldwin County (probably leaving some out unintentionally) of folks joining us in the prayer effort last night.  I appreciate those folks too!

The doctor told Larry yesterday that nothing can be determined until they do a MRI and that is not scheduled until March 30th.  So, he told Larry to just wait until that test is run and then they will go from there. We are praying for the tumor to be gone!

Caroline was thought to be coming home yesterday but that did not happen.  She is now scheduled to come home this morning.  Keep praying for Caroline and her family.

Sonny Bates got encouraging news from the doctor in New Orleans yesterday.  Praise the Lord!

Regular schedule this morning and tonight.

The Danville High girls play in Hanceville this morning at 9:00AM.  They will have their hands full with Deshler.  The Faith Academy girls play in Dothan this afternoon at 4:00PM.  They will also have their hands full with Charles Henderson.  The FA boys play at 5:45PM today against Eufaula.  I still believe the boys can win it all if they can stay out of foul trouble.  All winners today advance to the Final Four in Birmingham next week.

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

 

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
20
2018
0

CHILDCARE TO BE PROVIDED TONIGHT FOR CHILDREN FIVE YEARS OF AGE AND UNDER

Just received word that all children, five years of age and under, will be kept in the Preschool Building tonight during our special prayer time.  Jonathan & Jamie Jordan have graciously offered their time and talents to watch this group.  So, if that helps you attend the prayer meeting then come join us beginning at 6:30PM.  Thank you!  Blessings!

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |
Feb
20
2018
1

TUESDAY, 2/20/18

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

I have called for a special time of prayer in the church auditorium beginning at 6:30PM tonight.  Lindsey Vice has graciously agreed to be in the nursery if anyone needs to bring their baby there during this time.  We are going to pray corporately and then allow folks to have a personal prayer time too.  The focus of this prayer time will be on Caroline Ford and Larry Whitehurst.  Others will be prayed for as well.

What if no one shows up?  Does not concern me at all.  First, I know folks are going to attend.  Second, I will be there so I will have been obedient in what He told me to do.  Third, I already know that Louise Mason in Arkansas, Mark Mast in Canada and Deidra Taylor in Guatemala are going to be joining this prayer time in spirit.

What if I cannot attend?  Absolutely no problem.  Just pray right where you are.

I had a bit of a restless night as far as my sleeping was concerned.  I have known Caroline Ford for about thirty years and she has been a dear friend, a great encourager, and a faithful supporter.  I do not take that lightly.  Caroline has gone through so much and yet she has always gone through it all with faith and dignity.  Losing three of her adult children in less than two years has really taken a toll on her in every sense of the word.  However, she remains one of the strongest persons I have ever known.

Larry Whitehurst is also a very dear brother in Christ, a great friend and a strong supporter.  I have taught him how to deer hunt and he now loves it.  I am praying that they can find an answer for his problems.  Larry is a prime example of the amazing grace of God!

I am thinking Kristi and the baby will be discharged from the hospital today.  Pray for them.

The Faith Academy girls and boys teams both won their regional games yesterday in Dothan.  They play in the South regional finals tomorrow for a spot in the Final Four in 5A next week.  I will not be able to attend tomorrow’s games because it is a Wednesday which happens to be one of my two work days during the week.  The girls will have a most difficult time winning as the opposing team has a player who stands six feet four inches tall.  I still think the boys could very well win it all.

I appreciate Marcus H going with me as he did the lion’s share of the driving which allowed me to spend some time “praying!”  Marcus is a fine young man!

I was blessed with the opportunity of taking Bobby Gene to the airport earlier this morning.  He is going to visit his son and family in North Carolina.  Bob is a good guy!

Regular schedule tomorrow morning and evening.

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

Written by Teddie in: Uncategorized |

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