February 2020 Witness

There was once a young man who sold books door to door.   He was crippled and walked with great difficulty. At one house where he stopped, the woman rudely turned him down. When he started to walk away, she saw his physical condition and called him back. “I didn’t know that you were crippled. I will buy one of your books.”


But the young man wasn’t selling sympathy, he was selling books and he let her know it. “But,” she said, “doesn’t being lame color your life?” The young man replied, “Yes, it does, but thank God that I am the one who chooses the colors.” We choose the colors of our lives, too.


It is a truism in life that we make our choices, then our choices make us. That is especially applicable when it comes to the series, I am presently preaching called THE BEATITUDES: HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE. In the eight Beatitudes found in Matthew 5:1-12, Jesus shares the attitudes that are necessary for a truly happy life.


The word that Jesus used for “blessed” in the Beatitudes refers to happiness in its fullest sense. It is the Greek word makarios and the true meaning of the word can be seen in the way that the Greeks used it. They called the Island of Cyprus he makaria which means “The Happly Isle.” They did so because they believed that Cyprus was so beautiful, so rich in resources, and so fertile that it contained within itself everything necessary for perfect happiness.


And so the Beatitudes teach us that we have to find happiness within ourselves – within our own hearts and minds. But Jesus doesn’t leave us clueless when it comes to finding happiness. He shares with us eight spiritual attitudes that, if we appropriate them for our lives, will help us discover that happiness does not depend on our outward circumstances but on our inward character.   


January has been a good month with 374 in Bible Study. January also marked a change in our Sunday morning schedule.  We went from two Sunday Schools back to one, and from three worship services back to two. Our nine o’clock service, called our “Classic Service,” has really benefitted from this change. The fullness of the church house, along with the strong spirit of the service, has been inspiring to us all. Our “Contemporary Service,” now at 11:20, also continues to do well. And everyone tells me they enjoy us being back in one Sunday School!


February has some great events waiting for you: 

  • Our 24th ANNUAL BARNESVILLE GAME & FISH BANQUET is scheduled for Tuesday night, February 11th. Seminars will take place from 6:00 to 6:55, with the banquet beginning at 7:00 P.M. Our banquet speaker is legendary professional bass fisherman, Hank Parker. You want to bring your unchurched friends to hear Hank! Tickets are again $10 per person or a table of ten for $80. 
  • The UPWARD CELEBRATION is scheduled for Sunday night, February 23rd at 6:30 in our gym. Magician Joe Turner will be our featured speaker as we celebrate the players, cheerleaders, coaches and all who have helped us have another great Upward season!
  • THE CANOPY, a worship event for all women, will take place on Tuesday night, February 25th with doors opening at 6:30.  Thanks to Honey Teal and her helpers, this has become an inspiring, “must go” event for women in our community.


February is going to be a great month!   Come EXPECTANTLY! 

I Love You, Garth


January 2020 Witness

Why not make the new year of 2020 a year of devotion? Start or end each and every day talking to God and listening to God speak to you. We talk to God through prayer. We listen to God by reading His Word, the Bible.  

Find a place for your devotional time – a place that will be available to you each time you come to God. Make it a quiet place where distractions will be minimal. Satan will seek to distract you, especially from praying, so you’ll have to learn to focus on your conversation with God. Developing a passionate prayer life demands two things: concentration and consistency!

Find a readable translation of the Bible that is faithful to the original text.   There are more options for that today than ever before. I use a hard bound One Year Bible in the New International Version that I have marked through years of reading. I like it because each day I get a couple of chapters of the Old Testament, a chapter of the New Testament, a passage from the Psalms and a Proverb or two. There are many other choices out there, both in hard copy or online or in the form of apps.

The important thing is to take the time to be with God! The story is told that on one New Year’s Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gasoline. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas.

We have vast spiritual resources through our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a shame when we “run out of spiritual gas” because we don’t spend time with God. Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

December has been a good month with 350 in Bible Study.  Dr. Robert Pepper, former missionary to West Africa, did a great job sharing at our Lottie Moon Emphasis on December 1st.      Our Christmas program, “The Wonders of His Love” performed by our multi-faceted Music Ministry and The Cross Ties Band, was one of the best we have ever had! Many hands were busy setting up for The Christmas Canopy in our gym, which was a very special event for the women of our community.

We also voted on our 2020 Church Budget as well as voted to implement a new Sunday Morning Schedule on January 5th, 2020. The new schedule will be:


9:00-9:55 Classic Worship combining the Traditional & Blended services

10:10-11:05 Sunday School for Everyone!

11:20-12:15 Contemporary Worship Service


Our 24th ANNUAL BARNESVILLE GAME & FISH BANQUET is scheduled for Tuesday night, February 11th. Seminars will take place from 6:00 to 6:55, with the banquet beginning at 7:00pm. Our banquet speaker is legendary professional bass fisherman, Hank Parker. I’ve had the opportunity to hear him before, and this is the ONE BANQUET you’ll want to bring your unchurched friends to! Tickets are again $10 per person or a table of ten for $80. Tickets go on sale Sunday, December 29th.


January is going to be a great month! Come EXPECTANTLY! 

I Love You, Garth   



December 2019 Witness

In 1988, Anissa Ayala was sixteen years-old and diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. The doctors said that if she did not receive a bone marrow transplant after chemotherapy and radiation treatment she would die.  Neither her parents nor her brother was a match, and they could not find a donor elsewhere. Her parents, both in their forties, conceived another child and hoped that its bone marrow would be compatible with Anissa’s.


To their great delight it was determined that this new baby was a compatible donor, and when Marissa Ayala was fourteen months-old they took some of her marrow and gave it her older sister, Anissa. Anissa made a full recovery from the Leukemia and both sisters lead healthy lives today. In a very real sense, Marissa saved her sister’s life. She says, “Without me being a perfect match for my sister, she would not be here.”   


Jesus was born into this world for the express purpose of saving us. His very name, Yeshua in Hebrew, means “The Lord is Salvation.”  That is why the angel that appeared to Joseph told him, “…you shall call His name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”  (Matthew 1:21) He is the one and only Savior that can save all those who put their trust in Him.     Christmas marks the day we celebrate His birth, and without Him there would be no salvation for us! 


November has been a good month with 374 coming to Sunday small groups!  Thanks to our new Children’s Minister, Jennifer Zeager, for a great Trunk or TreatUpward Basketball & Cheerleading has been conducting evaluations during November, will be practicing through December with games starting in January.  Thanks to Chuck & Kim Bankston for their passion for this ministry.   Operation Christmas Child collected shoe boxes during the last week of November. Thanks again to Nancy Cloudt for her leadership in this wonderful international ministry.  We had a great Community Thanksgiving Service on Wednesday, November 27th, at the First United Methodist Church, with a very festive Downtown Illumination Service.   

     December has some very special emphases:


  • Our first Sunday in December, the 1st, will be a busy day. We will launch our LOTTIE MOON CHRISTMAS OFFERING FOR INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS with a goal of $25,000 this year. Robert Pepper, former missionary to West Africa, will be sharing with us in our morning services. Then, the HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS PARTY will take place at noon with children caroling at Heritage Inn following.
  • Also, on the 1st we will vote on our 2020 PROPOSED CHURCH BUDGET in all three morning services. In addition, that evening at we will have a CHILI SUPPER in our C.F.L.C. as we discuss our NEW SUNDAY SERVICE SCHEDULE recommended by our Service Schedule Team and our Deacons. Supper begins at 6:30 with childcare provided for children up to 5 years old. We will then vote on this new Sunday service schedule in a Called Church Conference at all three morning services the next Sunday, December 8th.
  • The CHRISTMAS CANOPY will be Tuesday evening, December 17th, beginning at 6:30 in our gym. Our ladies have been looking forward to having a special Canopy at Christmas!
  • Our Christmas program, THE WONDERS OF HIS LOVE, will take place on Saturday and Sunday evenings, December 7th and 8th, at 7:00 P.M. This year, Greg has arranged for The Cross Ties Band to join our choirs and musicians for a wonderful celebration!
  • This is the year for us to do our FAMILY LORD’S SUPPER on Christmas Eve, December 24th, from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. Suzanne and I look forward to sharing that special time with you!


     From all of our Church Staff, may you and yours have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!  

                                                                                                                I Love You, Garth
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