Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
May 8 – May 14 
Scripture Passage: “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”   Proverbs 25:25     
Dear Friends, 
     I have never been one who drinks lots of water. Patty goes around with a thermos of water all the time, but I reserve my water drinking to after strenuous exercise or hot, dirty work. I do not have to have a bottle of water. A glass with ice and good tap water is just fine. While in India we could not drink their water, brush our teeth with their water, or eat food that had been washed with their water. The only water we could consume had to come from a container that had been properly filled with pure, uncontaminated H2O. If you saw the surroundings you would know why. When we would leave to go to the orphanage or visit in the fishing village, we had to carry a bottle of water in our hands or back pocket. You never know how important water is or how much you miss it until you do not have any. When I get very hot working on the farm, I still prefer a cool drink of water more than a soft drink. The farm has four natural springs that supply the cattle with water. At one time it was also what supplied the families who lived there with water. Because of everyone’s fear of bacteria, almost everyone in the valley has gone to “city water.” A few still rely upon wells, but even they must be tested from time to time. I remember drinking from the spigot at my papaw’s house and how good and cold the well water tasted. When we went to visit at my Mamaw Leonard’s church, we drank from a tall well pump outside. I remember getting to pump the handle while someone else drank and then they pumped while I drank. That may seem strange, but I look back upon those times with fond memories.  
    In a meeting I was in the other day, someone said, “Anyone who says they do not like to be complimented or bragged on is lying.” His point was that everyone needs to be encouraged sometime. We all need to be appreciated and valued. I would much rather hear good news than bad. I would rather talk about someone coming to know the Lord and getting saved than discuss the latest arrest and police blotter gossip. I find that reading the newspaper, watching the evening news, and listening to the radio is a real kill joy. How do you get away from all the doom and gloom of our sinful and perverted society? Is there anything worth smiling over? I want to share three things that have brought a lot of joy to this weary soul in recent days.  
     First, I am going to be a grandpa, “paw” again. My son Patrick and his wife Mandy are expecting their first child. To see their excitement and watch the joy that is evident on their face is refreshing. God is still creating and giving life. They have been working hard, but now they are building more than a house and a career, they are building a home.   I cannot wait to see the newest addition and all the joy that it will bring. Secondly, someone did an extremely kind thing for me the other day. I have played guitar since I was 10 years old. I started with a Stella, daddy eventually bought me a Yamaha, (even hand made me a guitar) and I bought a Sigma the year Patty and I married. I have played and sang in nursing homes and jails for the past thirty-three years and used those guitars in many revivals and worship services.   I always wanted a Martin Guitar, but could never afford one.   A member of our church gave me a vintage 1962 Martin D-18 guitar as a gift last week. It had belonged to a family member who had passed away and they felt I would appreciate and take care of it. These kind of gifts can only be attributed to secrets only God knows and the unselfish and giving heart of someone who loves you.   Finally, last Sunday night I preached from Hosea Chapter 9 and thought I did a pretty decent job. There was no movement during the invitation and I did something I rarely do. I asked the congregation to bow their heads and close their eyes while I asked them some very personal questions about their relationship with God. I closed the service by praying intently and fervently for those hearts that might have been secretly touched. After almost everyone had left, a young lady came back into the church and prayed to receive Christ. The tears in her eyes and the smile on her face was enough to make this preacher jump for joy. He is still in the saving business and that alone is enough to celebrate. 
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny