Week of Nov. 23
By Charlene M. Jett
On Monday, we reached out and no one reached back! Where was everyone? No FAYCO, no Long Term Care, no Vandalia Rehab.
The best-laid plans and music slipped thru your hands! Our dozen or so volunteers certainly enjoyed it. Sorry you missed it! See you next week, I hope! We still need bus drivers!
David and Patricia Pence (also known as “SoftFire” with five border collies) came from Hillsboro to entertain us and pray with us.
Their program on Monday was entitled “All is Well” (more about the details of this story later). As our entertainers, SoftFire started with a medley they created called “Praise the Lord,” from whom all blessings flow. This came with pretty slides of a nativity scene, with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They played it with their trumpet and French horn.
Next, we sang “ Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”, and “ This is My Father’s World” while they played their, French horn, tenor saxophone, flugel horn, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, trumpet and clarinet. They know exactly what horn and note to hit each time!
We sang “It is so Sweet to Trust in Jesus” and “It is Well with My Soul,” one of my favorites! Next was “More Precious than Silver.”
Now, get this, they showed beautiful slides to match each song they played and most of the time the words were on the slide screen. For “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” David played the clarinet and Patricia played the trumpet. What a great combo!
Pastor Tom Farris of First Church of God on Thrill Hill reminded all of us to be thankful throughout our life for God’s restoration and transformation.
He spoke from Mathew about a king whose daughter was dying. He pled with Jesus to help her, since all other avenues had failed.
Jesus explained she was sleeping and not dead. Jesus held her hand, she raised up and walked!
This report went out to the world and people began to recognize His grace and salvation.
Pastor Farris recounted very tough times in his life when he was on the wrong track and lost to God.
But, as he looks back, it was the forgiveness of Jesus and the transformation in his heart that put him on the right track.
This also happened to the king and his daughter. Not only was she saved by the healing touch of Jesus, the Holy Spirit reached in to the king’s heart and turned it toward Him.
So two main things changed: 1) the instillation of faith in the hearts of the king and daughter through Jesus’s presence; and 2) the physical healing of the daughter thru the touch of Jesus.
So, as Pastor Tom said “Amp it up,” be more like Jesus everyday! Be stronger, kinder, a better giver, a better person – for Him. He will reveal things and give you grace!
As a farewell song to Pastor Farris (who ismoving to Charleston), SoftFire played “ Ties that Bind.” Pastor Farris prayed with us!
Now SoftFire created a collection of fearsome special slides from “ Pilgrims Progress.” It was about how God knows no limits, has no boundaries, has no unknown measurements to His power. This was riveting in its portrayal of the conflict between good and evil. An infinity of riches are under Jesus’s control and we must believe in Him.
David told us a picture story entitled, “All is well,” by Frank Perretti. This was a beautiful reading! Suffice it to say the pictures of a poor mother and daughter, about to lose all hope and faith in Jesus, was turned around by finding a simple Christmas ornament made of clay with “All is well “ on one side and “For unto us a child is born” on the other.
This brought back so many good memories that they believed again in Jesus: His story, His way and His time! A very moving and powerful sentiment – thank you, David!
The pinochle table had big trouble! I cannot say who was to blame, but Richard/ Mary trounced Rosamund/Susan 3-zip! Something’s gotta change and fast! Icall this unfair and just not nice! I will be launching a protest, or change the scorekeeping to the low score wins!
Week of Nov. 30
By Charlene M. Jett
Have you ever had apprehension that was turned to joy? That is what happened at Evergreen Outreach on Monday. We were only a few from Vandalia Rehab, but we celebrated mightily, because it was Gene Cannon’s 78th birthday. We also welcomed our entertainers, Judy and Bob Varga, and Randy Schukar, who brought their good friends, Lester and Betty Lamont from Ramsey.
Our welcome songs and Outreach songs were played by Randy Schukar on the piano as everyone sang. He nailed them!
The Rev. Louis Frick led us in devotions. His message was aligned with the Christmas season and remembering old friends and family; we are now in the Advent season. He emphasized how remembering our past can help us enter the future, just as the Old Testament led us to the New Testament.
Pastor Frick discussed ways of improving our memory, like relearning the Preamble to the Constitution, the Apostle’s Creed and the 10 Commandments. He said that many times, these have kept him from sinning and on God’s good side, and his advice to us was to do the same, in case we find ourselves in a situation from which we need to be rescued.
Rev. Frick reminded us that in the Old Testament, God’s gift of love was for all eternity, and Jesus was sent to show and demonstrate the power of that love. Jesus can melt all bitterness and hurt, and help heal broken hearts and minds. Our God’s Bible was written by man but inspired by the Holy Trinity. Through our country’s most difficult times (wars and depressions), beautiful gifts (like parks, lodges and campgrounds) were created to improve the country and develop the land. He reminded us of the history and very, very hard sacrifices made by our predecessors so that we can enjoy God’s guiding light, and our churches. He will never, never, never, never stop loving you, even if you sinned (big or little). He prayed for us.
Judy opened the singing with a great song entitled, “Come and See What’s Happening in the Barn.” In this song, the lyrics describe shepherds, Joseph, mother Mary and baby Jesus under a sky opening up to reveal an angel, all under a guiding star. The birth of the long awaited Messiah, sent to deliver us from our sins.
After this most-reverent song, we broke into the “Chicken Dance,” a staple of fun at EO. There were at least a dozen chicken dancers and a few roosters all having a great time! Several of the regular fun songs, like “Elvira” and “Lollipop,” led to aura of complete frivolity and joy.
I was doubled over with laughter at “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” when Judy’s sweater lit up from dangles of lights on the reindeer. The near hysterics were doubled when Judy sang about Leroy, the “Redneck Reindeer.” Leroy was from the country and Rudolph was sick, but Santa hired Leroy in spite of his overalls and tractor hat! As they drove out of sight, Leroy bellowed Merry Christmas Y’all! He was recognized from then on as a “down-home party animal!” More wonderful and joyous songs came from Judy and Randy, and several dances, some leaving rubber marks on the floor! I lost count, because I was having too much fun! But there was something about never trusting a guy that dresses in red and plays with elves!
The pinochle table was mysteriously quiet, but Richard/Susan tied with Mary/ Ruth Ann (disguised as Rosamund)! They played four games in reserved quietness while the chaos on the dance floor reached a peak!
The success of Evergreen Outreach is a blessing from God for our entire community to enjoy! Please come next week – we miss EVERYONE – and you are guaranteed a good time!