By Pat Rhodes
Monday was a picture-perfect spring day in Vandalia. The daffodils were in bloom and the robins were busy gathering materials for their nests. I just can’t wait to get out in my flower gardens to clear away the remains of last year and uncover the new growth.
As we walked across the parking lot at First United Methodist Church, we could hear music coming from Wesley Hall. Sandy Dothager was at the piano, playing all the old favorites, including “Victory in Jesus,” “Thank You for the Miracle,” “Every Day with Jesus,” “Mexican Hat Dance,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “Boil the Cabbage.” Kenny Brown sat in front of the piano and accompanied Sandy on his horn. Thanks to both for their willingness to share their talents with us.
As the tables began to fill with guests, the kitchen crew scurried to make sure each one had refreshments. Monday’s guest list included folks from Fayette County Hospital Long Term Care, FAYCO, Vandalia Rehab and Sweetbriar. We had a special treat on Monday, cake from Betty Schaub’s 80th birthday celebration.
Beverly Hood stepped up to the microphone and asked for volunteers to hold up the song word cards for the “Welcome” and “Evergreen Outreach” songs. After the singing, Beverly recognized the birthday people of the week, who are Beulah Brown, Nick Olive, Tina Klinghammer, Shawn Wasser, Katrina Hudson, Beverly Hood, Melissa Jokisch and Ronnie Hunter. Everyone joined in to sing "Happy Birthday" to the celebrants. I learned a very interesting fact from a friend today; Beulah Brown has been a faithful volunteer at Evergreen Outreach for 27 years. Now that is commitment!
Carl Rhodes, minister at Northside Christian Church gave the devotion from Titus 3:8 (ESV): “The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.”
In this verse, ministers are instructed by the apostle Paul to ensure that believers “devote themselves to good works.” The Greek word translated “devote” implies believers are to “take the lead” in showing “good works.” A devoted Christian is not a “one hour on Sunday only” Christian; one who is a “devoted” Christian is one who does the will of God every step of his daily walk.
This verse does not contradict Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV): “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
“Created in Christ Jesus for good works.” What “good works” are we saved by grace to do? Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19-20) to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Fellow Christians, you have “work” to do – now “go” tell your neighbor and everyone you meet that Jesus loves them!
Judy Varga and Randy Schukar came to Evergreen to share their gift of song with us. Judy also brought along her two granddaughters, Gwyneth and Madilyn Upchurch, who are visiting this week from Kirkwood, Mo. Judy began the program with “Splendor of His Cross.” Randy took the microphone and sang “Ring of Fire,” followed by “Elvira.” Gwyneth was up next to sing “Redneck Woman” and “9 to 5.”
Judy told us that the last time Gwyneth sang at Evergreen was when she was 4 years old, and now she is 12. The younger granddaughter, Madilyn, made her debut, singing “Do Lord.” What a talented family! As the guests were leaving, Elenor McNutt and Judy sang “Help Me Make it Through the Night,” followed by Beverly and Judy singing “Rocky Top.”
There were two tables of pinochle players on Monday. At the first table, Rosamund Hobler and Peggy Lippold won two, while Richard Kruenegel and John Hunsley had just one win. At the second table, Shirley Locke and Joyce Mueller teamed up to win one, while Ruth Ann Scott and Jeanne Schlicht did the same.
Based on the smiling faces of the guests as they left the hall on Monday, I would say that a good time was had by all.
Evergreen Outreach meets every Monday at 1 p.m. in Wesley Hall. Everyone is welcome, and we invite you to join us.
By Pat Rhodes