Yesterday, we were blessed again with a group from Christ Fellowship that gave of their Saturday to come out to Dunklin and work hard on Prayer Island to spruce it up for the upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration. We have new flowers in baskets and planted in the ground to add to the beauty of the garden. Another gabezo with table and chairs is now added to the southeast patio area and will be utilized by many a man for his journaling time, or families for time of healing and fellowship. Bernard is doing a wonderful job in keeping up with the garden and we are blessed to have him oversee the garden on a daily basis. Looking forward to the Homecoming!
If you missed it, you really missed it. What a glorious day was Easter this year. It was a cool and clear morning that put to rest a beautiful full moon from the night before and greeted the rising sun in all its blazing glory. The birds and the cows joined in with our voices of praise as we sang Amazing Grace. More than 160 people rose up early to join together on Prayer Island and celebrate with communion our risen savior Jesus Christ. It was an anointed message by pastor Terrell that reminded us of the price that was paid for our sins and the love of a God that made the way for a restored relationship with him. If you missed it, check out the recorded service and I hope you can make it next year, if the Lord doesn't come first.
What another great time and blessing to be with all that came out from Christ Fellowship on Saturday. I prayed that God would meet us there and make this experience one that went beyond any just feel good about helping, to one where he as the master gardener would also cultivate the fields of our hearts, removing that which hinders us, creating within us a fertile place that brings forth more fruit in our lives. We were gifted with a beautiful day and after all the planting was done, at the end of the day, God sent the rain to water them all in. What an amazing and loving God we serve, on Prayer Island and every where we go!
Wow how time flies! This coming Saturday, the CF Singles group will return again for a workday on Prayer Island as we prepare the garden to celebrate and worship our risen savior on Easter Sunday. My friend Dick Smith generously donated more plants to be placed in areas that need something and I can't wait until Saturday to get my hands in the dirt and again fellowship with such a beautiful and dedicated group who come out to serve the Lord in this place.
Yesterday we were blessed again to have many from Christ Fellowship Singles group join us for a workday on Prayer Island. What a great time we had working together and the the gardens are looking wonderful, graced by the love of those who gave up their free time on a Saturday to come pull weeds, salvage tree limbs from the lake, plant new plants, rake leaves and spread mulch. It is always such a blessing to have this group come and minister in God's garden and prepare it for Dunklin's Homecoming celebrations.
Over the last few weeks we have had hundreds of fish die from what we suspect is a combination of low water table, high temperatures, low oxygen levels and overcrowding. We are working on a plan to put in a large amount of marginal water plants to help stabilize the oxygen and nutrient balance in the lake but this will take some months. In the meantime, it is disheartening to see such loss of life from the lake.
Well for two years in a row, God blessed us with a magnificent morning sunrise and for the over 100 that attended the service, it was an uplifting experience that was worth the early rise.
Pastor Terrel welcomed us in the name of and in the presence of the risen Lord Jesus Christ, Miss Mary sang of his Amazing Grace and Brother Ray Zander lifted up a prayer and a poem for the occasion. Dad (Mickey Evans) closed the service with a reading from the scripture and a prayer, reminding us that we likewise must die to the old self but in doing so we are made alive again by his grace and power as new creatures, restored in relationship with our Heavenly Father.
This year, we celebrated communion together and what a wonderful remembrance of both the sacrificial life of our Lord as well as acknowledgment of his resurrected life now living in us as we partake of Him. Through his death, we now live.
What a great day we had with special friends and the singles group from Christ Fellowship. After a prayer of thanksgiving for the beautiful day God sent our way, all went to work pulling weeds, raking leaves, putting in the new plants, spreading mulch, adjusting the night lighting and more.
It was a full day of hard work but great fellowship and we so appreciate those that gave of their Saturday to come out and help.
As we all prepare for Easter, it is a good time to spend time in the garden of our heart as well. The old things that are dead and unfruitful need to be pulled out and replanted with things that will bring about a harvest that is pleasing to the Lord. The weeds that have crept into our spiritual life need to be plucked out so that the good things have more room and nutrients to grow and blossom. May the Holy Spirit cultivate holiness in you as you walk with him each and every day.
Join us for the 2nd Easter Sunrise service April 24th.
Last week we saw record cold temperatures and though all precautions were taken to try to protect the garden, we sustained significant damage. I was heartbroken when I saw the previously lush garden, now spotted with brown and death. For myself, it was at a particularly hard time anyway and I was anything but feeling joy this Christmas season. But, Sunday morning God told me to get up and go out to the island, bring my journal and spend time in prayer. While on the way I called my friend Dick Smith to ask for prayer to help me through this difficult time. To tell the truth, all I could focus on was the loss of life. For me personally, this is the 2nd year since my son Christopher died and I was at a low point on the emotional scale anyway. But as I sat out there with my journal, I sensed God had a divine appointment with me and he began to touch my broken heart. Some time later, I heard a familiar voice and looked up to find Dick walking down the path, Bible in hand, and carrying the love of Jesus in his heart. I can't explain in words how sometimes, someone, will be the hands of Jesus for you to hold you and lift you up when you most need it. There are so many that have been a part of my life in this way. John Jeanerett, Dave Ambrose and Dick Smith have been extra special brothers to me these last few years and I am so grateful for them. They really encourage me and help me along this journey I am on.
Now the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say. As Dick and I walked around the island, he pointed out to me the still green growth hidden at the base of some of the plants that looked dead. He even revealed to me that which I had totally missed, flowers blooming on the Passion Vine. Multiple flowers as well! How appropriate a message to me, God's gift, from a Passion Vine,one of many to be grateful for this Christmas.
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