Greetings from The Springs! By the way, did you see the article in the paper last week that featured our First Lady, Toni Terrell? In honor of Black History Month, this year the Morgan County Citizen is featuring several local African-American that were first to be hired in a particular area in the county.
I was so proud to open the paper and see my sister showcased as the first African-American employee at the Bank of Madison. In addition, the article stated that she was also the first, salaried African-American employee at Wellington Leisure Products. I must say that the writer put together a fascinating and eye-opening write-up of such a distinguished individual. By the way, did I tell you that she was my sister! I think that I did! A beautiful article for a beautiful woman of God! (I know that Pastor Terrell is proud of her, too!)
I have even more good news to share with you. Stanley Donavin Nelson was Student of the Month at Morgan County Middle School. This great student is a member of The Springs and he regularly attends our weekly Bible study meetings also. He is the son of Alexandria Johnson, grandson of Gwen Johnson and great-grandson of Mother Lois Johnson, all of USBC. Keep up the good work! During last Wednesday Night’s Bible Study, Pastor Terrell took a detour from the Book of Revelation and instead held a question and answer session. Interestingly, the first question came from one of our youth who wanted to know about the “Helmet of Salvation.”
The Bible says that above all things, take the helmet of salvation. The devil and demonic forces are confused when we sing praises to the Lord. When we praise God, this confirms our faith in salvation. Our “down payment” that Jesus will come back for us is the Holy Spirit.
Another question asked was what is meant by unleavened bread. This is bread without yeast, which makes it rise. In the Bible, yeast represents sin; therefore, the broken bread that we take during the Holy Communion represents Jesus’ sinless body. There were several other questions, but the last one that I will share with you is why does God allow murders. We must remember that God gave us freewill. In this, man chose sin. Pastor Terrell stated that when sin entered the world, it changed God’s plan. A loving and kind God will allow a sinful person to commit a sin. When you have a deeper understanding, you will realize that Heaven rejoices more over that one sinner that repents than the 99 saved. This topic led us to Romans 8:26-28, which talks about the Holy Spirit. We have to trust that when we do not understand and when we do not know how to pray, the Holy Spirit knows what we need. We just have to trust God.
This passage says we don’t know how to pray as we should. Jesus is the one that searches our hearts. He knows the mind of the Spirit and He makes intercession for us. For better explanation, Pastor Terrell said that with Jesus standing in the middle, He takes the mind of the Holy Spirit in one hand and the will of God in the other hand. It is Jesus, the mind of the Holy Spirit and the will of God that “Work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
The USBC Nursing Home Ministry met on Saturday, February 20 at Madison Health and Rehab. Those in attendance for the morning service were Deacon Patrick Meadows, Linton Goss, Amber Goss, Mother Rebecca Hubbard and Sandra Lockhart. Deacon Meadows opened the program and Mother Hubbard led a song. Bro. Goss followed with a prayer and his wife, Amber, read Psalm 136. Deacon Meadows gave the message and it was titled, “The Days of Our Lives.” His text came from Ecclesiastes 12: 1-8; James 4:14; Job 7:6-8 and Psalm 39:5. Next were more songs of praise and words of encouragement shared by Sister Lockhart and Sister Goss. Deacon Meadows gave the benediction.
As always, we thank this dedicated group for their devotion to making sure that this ministry goes out and shares the joy of Christ. On Sunday, February 21, USBS observed our Annual Black History Program, which was organized by Mother Doris Shepherd and Elaine Atkinson. Each year, Mother Shepherd has a “Show and Tell” portion in the program and this time she had two unique items to present. One was a water board designed with a carved out portion to fit at the back of the neck with the ends running along past the back of the shoulders. Slave women carried a pail on each end to transport water. That wood had to be quite uncomfortable by the looks of it, yet back in the times of slavery, black women were forced to carry it.
The other item was a heavy chain approximately six feet in length with a shackle on one end and a heavy metal ball in the opposite end, hence the term, “Ball and Chain.” This was another torture device used to keep the men from running away. Seeing such a barbaric tool, not only gave you insight on the person that it was place upon, but also on the mind of someone brazen enough to use it on one of God’s creations. Mother Shepherd said we are hearing the phrase, “Black Lives Matter,” however all lives matter. Young people today are killing each other simply because of ignorance. They need to put the guns down and get down on their knees. It is love that keeps us together. Deacon Patrick Meadows was up at bat again to give words of encouragement for the program. He stated that life is fast. The youth should not waste it doing nothing. They need to learn how to trust God. After giving a brief testimony of how he realized God in his life, he urged the youth to be concerned with what God thinks and not others. He told them to grow up and learn how to love themselves and the Lord. Pastor Robert Terrell gave a mini-sermon that flowed right along with the occasion. He began by saying that history is made for us to reflect and recollect. It is also made to teach a lesson. Sometimes you can learn more by what someone else went through than by going through it yourself. He gave us some words of wisdom that Deacon Oliver at Calvary Baptist Church gave to him many years ago. This deacon told him that a young horse can run the road. However, the old horse knows the road. Sometimes it is better for the young horse to ask the old horse what is up the road instead of running on up the road to see. History teaches us more sometimes than what we need to learn. We need to look at the things that someone else has gone through and let them tell you. We can use what God did in their lives to help us. This was the basis of today’s program. The scripture that he chose came from Proverbs 6:6-7 and he stressed for us to get busy. In this passage, Solomon said, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.”
With the message geared toward the young men, Pastor Terrell stated that we live in a society that wants to participate in “recreation” instead of focusing on education. The way we came through in the past is that we were educated on some things. Time is out for our men to brag on the number of girls they have. The mistake that the men will make will last 20 years. They are not putting you in jail for 20 years, but they are putting you on child support for this length of time, so you are still in bondage. You still have to pay. We need men focused on being educated and not focused on their recreation! We have to tell these young folk, women and men, to get busy doing something such as the ant. You never see the ant when he is not busy and preparing for the future. Two of them can pull something three times their size. If one cannot pull it, the other will not just sit there and watch it struggle. It will join in and help. Often we are not so. We will sit and watch someone toil on his own, offering no assistance.
We will even gloat as he labors. We can learn from the ant. Pastor Terrell stated that he is looking for someone that will help somebody else that looks just like them. If they are struggling by themselves, and they are on the outside of that situation, if you help them, then the both of you will be doing better. Now there is another aspect of what the ant does. He will always protect the queen and the larvae. The text states that the ant has, “No guide, overseer, or ruler.” No one has to tell him to do what is right. You cannot get to the queen or her babies without a fight. All of the ants will give up their lives to keep them safe. To the young men: “The mother of your child is the queen. Regardless of how the two of you see it right now, when you committed to her, and she had the child, you are still committed to her for the rearing of that child. Don’t let nobody tell you that you don’t have to take care of your child. ‘Consider the ant, thy sluggard.’ Get busy doing what God calls you to do and God will take care of you!” Glory Be To God!