Every so often, the calendar seems to "fall just right." This past weekend was one of those times where we had the opportunity to ring out the old year in the same way that we rung in the new: worshipping in God's house. Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church hosted her New Years Meeting with two services on New Years' Eve and two more services on New Years' Day. Our Lord's presence was manifestly and powerfully felt throughout the weekend, and for all the many rich blessings, we give Him the thanks and glory.
The church was privileged to have Elder Ronnie Loudermilk from Gainesville, GA with us for most of the weekend to do the majority of the preaching. It was his first trip to Cool Springs, but by the end of the weekend, he felt like an "old friend" to the congregation. After this weekend, I have personally gained many things that I freely admit that I plan to "steal" from Brother Ronnie. Some of his expressions and anecdotes were original to me (though he claimed that many of them came from his father), and the one I plan to use the most is, "When you feel so good that you could swing over hell on a rotten grapevine singing 'Amazing Grace.'" An outline of the preaching services is below:
Saturday Morning (December 31st):
Elder Ronnie Loudermilk – Jeremiah 31:26. What are the five unchangeable things in the context that make for sweet sleep? When considering the eternal promises and blessings that God has declared, no matter what we face or what this year brings, we can not only get through it but have sweet sleep while in the midst of it.
Saturday Night (December 31st):
Elder Ronnie Loudermilk – Deuteronomy 11. What are the seven characteristics of the Promised Land? By comparing the land of Canaan to the Lord's church, we see that the pillar and ground of the truth is the best land and most spiritually nourishing place in all the world. Wherever we are this year, the church needs to be a big part of it and have a large place in it.
Sunday Morning (January 1st):
Elder Philip Conley (Pastor) – Luke 4 and the sovereignty of God in Christ's first sermon. When dealing with His universe, God interacts, charges, and blesses people and lands as He pleases not based on the pleasures of others. Whatever the year may bring, He is still in charge of His own universe and will do His own good pleasure, and man's wickedness will not prevent any of His promises from coming to pass.
Sunday Night (January 1st):
Elder Ronnie Loudermilk – Ruth 1:16-17. What is our devotion to God? Considering all that He has done for us, our devotion to Him should far surpass our devotion to anything else, and by extension, our devotion to His people should be done as if doing it to Him personally. Regardless of what happens this year, devotion to the Lord is never "out of style" for proper conduct by God's people.
By the weekend's end, we were all charged up for the new year, and from what I have gathered from many, this past year was tough in a lot of different ways. If the year goes for us the saints at Cool Springs the way it began, it will be a wonderful year. By meeting's end, I think all of us were happy enough to swing over hell on a rotten grapevine singing "Amazing Grace." Regardless of what happened in 2011 or what will happen in 2012, may we thank God for His past mercies and blessings, thank Him and pray to Him for our present watchcare, and pray for His future providence always knowing that He has not nor will ever change in character or precept.
If anyone would like to listen to the sermons from the weekend, they have been posted at our website at: http://coolspringspbc.org/