Since Sunday morning, I have been in a meeting at Harmar Hill Church of Christ in Marietta. I have truly enjoyed the time with them; the brethren have been warm and very inviting. The invitation was extended to me by J. D. Conley when he conducted a meeting with us last October (invited by James Rankhorn). I am not sure if you would be interested in what I did, but I included my daily notes: SUNDAY: Left the house this morning just after 6, arrived just after 8. The Bible class started at 9; I taught from 1 Thessalonians 5:11-22 (The Perfect Church); the morning lesson was “The Model of Evangelism” (2 Cor. 5.9-11), it preached very well (better than I thought I would). Both were received well by the brethren; covered dish lunch, I checked into Microtel. A little after 3:30, I went to K-Mart, drove around town took pictures, then sat in the parking lot of church building with coffee relaxing. The evening sermon preached well; I went longer than I normally do, but I was otherwise pleased. Out attendance for the morning was 51, about 30 in the evening. No discouragement on my part, however. MONDAY: Got up at 5:40. Bible reading: Proverbs 1-2, Ecclesiastes 1-7, Acts 1-4, Colossians, exercised with 4-laps around K-Mart, purchased shirt, sweatshirt, returned to room, look at evening outline (“Can your faith be measured”), read a portion of Durant’s book, took notes on what he said, showered, looked over evening lesson until time to meet for lunch; was picked up by Bob Sprout; lunch at Wendy’s, then he drove me through the area, meandering in the SE hills, went to the Wingent Run church building, a building where some few saints used to attend, but no longer. Bob looks after the building and grounds. Returned to motel sometime after 1:30 (I believe). I took some pictures and enjoyed the time with him. He and his wife Patsy will pick me up for dinner at 5; we had dinner at a local Italian restaurant, then went to the building. The lesson preached moderately well, but I was not as pleased with it as I was with my delivery on Sunday. The crowd was good, somewhere above 60, I think. TUESDAY: Woke up at 5:30. Bible reading: Proverbs 2-3, Ecclesiastes 1-8, Acts 5-7, Romans 1-8, worked on material related to Ecclesiastes, WVSOP, now looking over material for tonight’s sermon (“Does the Church Need a Revival?”). Had dinner with J.D., Denise and Shalyn Conley; also present were Terry and Lillie Varner. It was a very good occasion; have a better feel for Terry than I once did. The lesson preached moderately okay; I had too many “uh’s” in there. Attendance 36. Returned to motel, lights out at 9:40. WEDNESDAY: Woke up at 4:40. Bible reading: Proverbs 3-4, Ecclesiastes 1-8, Acts 8-10, Romans 9, worked on WVSOP manuscript. Snowing outside, maybe an inch or two. Went to a local museum, had lunch at McDonald’s (yum), back at motel to read Bible and go over evening lesson. Received text from J.D. about a meeting he is scheduled to have Thursday; two want to be baptized, and he asked me to be present. Had dinner with Gary, Debbie and Tim Wells, and Debbie’s parents Dean and Mary Shepherd at Bob Evans; a very good time together. The evening lesson was “How to make a better Christian;” was received very well; I felt very good about my delivery. Attendance 32. Was given three questions by Charlie Whalen; I will answer in written form, given to him on Thursday. THURSDAY: Awoke at 4:00. Bible reading: Proverbs 4-5, Ecclesiastes 1-8, Acts 11-13, treadmill (each morning I do this), Romans 9-11, worked on WVSOP manuscript (9:30 am). Went to the Marietta Rotary meeting with Kin Brewer, then to his office, then to the church building to baptize into the Lord Mike and Evelyn Parks; JD had been studying with them but was unable to immerse them due to his health (I believe they came out of the Baptist Church). Had dinner with Paul and Linda Wells. The sermon preached very well, I think. Attendance 32. The brethren seemed to be pleased to have me there, and I know I was very much pleased to be there! Arrived home about 10:15.
What lessons did I take from my time in Marietta? 1) make the best use of time when away from home; if there is down time, use it well, 2) enjoy the company of others who are trying to make your stay pleasant, 3) give your best when you are asked to do so, even if you feel your best won’t measure up, 4) enjoy the area in which you are temporarily residing; there is something to see, 5) when I work for a congregation that week, my time is theirs, not only mine, 6) brethren are not wanting to be hammered, but instructed in the Lord’s way and encouraged by your presence, 7) sister congregations need and want our support for their work; saints should give it. A great week brought to a close, now we soon start our meeting with Charles Pugh. RT