Middelsboro – again – and again!
This has been a busy week but I wanted to tell you the “rest of the story”…
As only God could do, I was in Middlesboro, Ky. this past Sunday for worship! It was not planned or even contemplated.
I am privileged to be part of a 4-generational family friendship. Our grandmothers were friends, our mothers were friends, we are friends and our daughters are friends. It has spanned continents and years. What a joy! My mother’s friend has been suffering from Alzheimer’s and her daughters, my friends, have been taking care of her – with the support of the other siblings.
It is a precious family and the grandmother, whom I call “Aunt Millie”, is one of the most cheerful, unselfish people I have known. No stranger to deep heartache, she has always been cheerful and giving. For several years she lived nearby and I counted it a privilege to care for her in small ways. And always enjoyed when her daughters would visit her – they were like sisters to me. They remember me in my crib – that’s how long the relationship – and how precious.
I was at Carson Newman University for a Friday – Saturday event for their Women of Vision of which I am the honorary chairperson. They seek to nurture truth, enhance beauty and enrich goodness on the campus and beyond. I am honored to be a part of such a great university. It is a joy to interact with their students and faculty and staff – lead by Dr. and Mrs. Randall O’Brien who have become sweet friends.
Anyway, my friend read my post about “snakes” and emailed me to say that she was visiting her sister in Middlesboro – only 1 and 1/2 hour from Carson Newman. So I decided not to let this opportunity pass me by. On Sunday morning I got up early, got the car packed up and drove to Middlesboro. We had a sweet reunion – I just don’t see these dear ladies nearly enough! The husband of the older sister is a pastor in Middleboro. I arrived in time to attend church at Grace Fellowship Church. Don Aven, my friend’s husband and the pastor of that church preached on the covenant God made with us and we enter into by baptism. He had us flipping back and forth through the scriptures as he gave a rich Bible study on the subject.
I couldn’t help but think of Pastor Coots who died from a snakebite in that same town two weeks before. Pastor Coots had only one reference on which he based his theology. My friend, Don, had many from both the Old and New Testaments. It is far better, safer, to let the scriptures corroborate themselves as we develop a theology.
And I will be back in Middlesboro the 26th of April to speak at Binghamton Baptist Church. We’ll see what God has in mind. Stay tuned!