Praising the Lord for a glorious Christmas

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Praise the Lord, on this Sunday afternoon as I am starting the column, the sun is out, although this morning started out as a misty one. But wasn’t Christmas Day and the day afterward simply gorgeous?! Just like summer days and it even got rather hot; most unusual and a tad bit worrisome also. As you have heard me explain many, many times, rain combined with the normal farm ingredients around here made MUD, MUD, MUD! It has been very tough for the dairymen who have to get up cows for milking, get up the “fresh cows and calves, feed the cows and heifers, etc, etc…. they have had to use a tractor and 4-wheel drive vehicles to get all of this done lately.

It was getting might near impassable in the pastures, if that rain had kept on. It is very hard on the cows, too, bless their hearts. They have to trudge something fierce to get in the barn! Bruce came in one night, completely tuckered out, and said, “It is days like this that really give you a reality check and make you ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this??!” He said God throws days like this at you now and then just to make sure! He has been giving these menfolks a final exam these last few days, to say the least! The farmers in South GA can’t even get in their fields to harvest their crops.

All of them need our prayers! Several in our midst are in need of healing prayers: John Biddy as he is a patient in Athens Regional Hospital. Gerald and Andrea Cathey’s granddaughter, Braylin Cathey, is at Children’s Healthcare Hospital in Atlanta with that bad respiratory virus, RSV. Braylin is the daughter of Bart and Samantha Cathey. Samantha and Braylin were in the hospital on Christmas Day, even, with the family having to be separated at Christmas, which is very hard. The little girl is beginning to show signs of improvement, praise the Lord! Lillian McElhenney of Eatonton who grew up here suffered a heart attack a day or two before Christmas at her home in Eatonton, but thankfully, she was able to be released to go home on Christmas Day. Continue to remember these in your prayers.

Farmview Market on 441 is coming along. They have the parking lot and entrance-ways paved and it looks like they are working furiously on completion. I am sure all of this rain has wreaked havoc with their plans as well as everyone else’s. They are going to have a Farm Market Conference on January 21st from 3:30 – 8:30 pm in order for the community to become more educated on growing and producing fruits and vegetables to sell at the market. You do need to pre-register with the local Morgan Co. Farm Bureau at 706-342-0414 as soon as possible and there is also a $20.00 registration fee which includes dinner. They will have different speakers throughout the afternoon and evening. McCayla Cook has been accepted into the Honors Program at Georgia College and State Univ. (GCSU) and did receive the Dean’s Merit Scholarship, so we are all very happy for her. She is a very smart, talented, and pretty girl. I just can’t believe she is old enough to go to college! Little Mylee Kate Massey, the daughter of Matt and Melanie Massey, was dedicated to the Lord in a sweet ceremony at Madison Baptist Church on this past Sunday morning. Proud grandparents are Dale Massey and Beverly Reynolds here in the Bethany community. Greta and Joey Sartain from Pennsylvania arrived on this last Friday to visit with parents, Larry and Maxine Bruce, and other relatives.

That was a good Christmas present for her folks!The children and grandchildren of the late Martha Sue and J.M. Harper held their annual Harper Christmas dinner on this past Saturday in Hartwell at the farmhouse home of Tom and Patricia Chafin. There were 22 present this year. Those attending were Joan Harper, Jill and Wyatt Penn, Bobby, Beth, Susan and Sarah Bishop of Madison, John, Jane, and Jessica White of White Plains, Lee and Lara Chafin with children, Leann and Trey of Carnesville, James Chafin of Athens, Louise and Kendall Marett along with Jason, Deann, and Harper Sims, all of Hartwell. They had a beautiful day of visiting with one another and holding the youngest Harper, little Wyatt. They also enjoyed seeing all of the camellias in bloom some of which are over 50 years old and are at least 20 feet tall! Tom and Patricia still live in Virginia Beach, VA., but have plans of moving to Hartwell at some point. The children and grandchildren of the late Ottis and Nan Harper also had their annual Christmas gathering last Wednesday night at the home of Mark, Carrie, and Raegan Wilkins. It was an awful, rainy night, but most of us made it.

We used it as a time to get caught up with one another; Nan Bowden will soon start work in the surgery department of a hospital in Jacksonville, FL, Chad and Holly have just had a new little girl, Edy, to join their family, Ryan Morgan has received his Masters Degree from College, Matt Hensley no longer has to report to his monthly Marine Guard weekend meetings, but has been moved to the inactive part of the guard and has now been promoted to Sergeant at his work with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Sally Hensley has become the head accountant at the Source of Light Ministries.

All of our children and grandchildren along with Blanche and Jake Wilson came home where we all enjoyed Christmas breakfast and opening presents. We are very blessed! Bob and Brenda Rice enjoyed a Christmas get-away up to Asheville, NC and the Grove Park Inn Christmas week where they saw the Biltmore Inn in it’s glorious Christmas attire. Frank Maddox opened up his home in Decatur for the Maddox family Christmas on this past Saturday. All of the Maddoxes from down here as well as Kay Cox and her children from Toccoa all enjoyed the day. April Bone also opened up her house during the Christmas season for the Bone family Christmas one night and the Crew family Christmas on Christmas Day. Her yard and house has been beautiful at night all lit up with her decorations.Sally and Tony Stephens hosted the Wade family Christmas at their house on Christmas Day. Josh Stephens from Atlanta enjoyed some time at home during the holidays. Christmas night, Sally and Tony enjoyed another Christmas get-together with Jason and Jenny Needham and boys in Rutledge. Chic and Laurie Lewis hosted her mother and brothers and sister at their home in Buckhead Manor on Christmas afternoon for their Christmas.

Joyce Thomas enjoyed having her children with her for the holidays. Chet Thomas with his family from Flagler Beach, Fl. and her daughter, Lynda Bacon with her husband and children from Lawrenceville all enjoyed their time together. Mary and Frank Eaton had their families Christmas time on Saturday at the home of Franklin, Stacy, and their girls in Flowery Branch. Martha, Sandy, Matthew, and Mary Martha Maddox from Cleveland, TN and Curtis and Joyce with their family all came down. It was a lively bunch! The Maddoxes spent Saturday night with Frank and Marya and then traveled on to Cordele on Sunday for Christmas with Sandy’s family. Scott, Jennifer, and Jake Harris from Fort Worth, TX., Mark Harris of North Carolina, and Michelle Cathey of Roswell along with Jim Cathey of Buckhead all gathered at their parents, Tommy and Raynor Cathey’s for Christmas. Jake will stay on this week with his grandparents and then fly home to Texas on Saturday. Connie and Marty Wilson also had a full house during the Christmas holidays with their children coming and going. On Christmas night, Jake and Blanche Wilson joined Mark, Laurie, Peyton, and Ella Grace along with Laurie’s mother, Jocelyn Wires of Murfreesboro, TN and Zach Wilson for Christmas night dinner at Marty and Connie’s.

On Saturday, the Stewart Thigpens arrived. Sally and John Hensley had their children and grandchildren on Christmas Eve for a Christmas lunch.Sally and Dan Porter traveled down to Perry to be with their daughter and her family, the Richard Carvers on Christmas Day. Olena Eaton and Lee and Gail Eaton had company going and coming on Christmas day having a good time of visiting and eating good food. Dale and Howard Thompson had Dawn, Tony, Miriah, Cole, and Chris Epps along with Chris’ friend, Aiden of Athens, Derrick, Amanda, and Hope Mealor, Brian Thompson and his friend, Sabrina along with Chase Thompson on Christmas Day.

Sarah Nell and Steve Craig spent Saturday in Acworth for their family Christmas with the Kenny family. Stacy, Layna, and Myriah Loudermelk also joined them. The Bethany Baptist Church family enjoyed a time of sweet fellowship after the evening service on this past Sunday night. I wish all of you a very Happy, Blessed, and Healthful New Year! May God’s light and blessing shine upon every one of you!

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