“Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and song; as the burdens press, and the cares distress, and the way grows weary and long?

“Does Jesus care when my way is dark with a nameless dread and fear? As the daylight fades into deep night shades, does He care enough to be near?

“Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed to resist some temptation strong; when for my deep grief I find no relief though my tears flow all the night long.

“Does Jesus care when I’ve said ‘good-bye’ to the dearest on earth to me, and my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks – is it aught to Him? Does He see?”

As we look around the world today at all the problems, disasters, troubles, heartaches and deaths, I know many people must have in their minds thoughts similar to this song.

As a home is destroyed by a storm, does Jesus care? As a family’s possessions are burned up in a fire, does Jesus care? As loved ones are taken in death due to COVID-19 or other illnesses/diseases, does Jesus care?

We see children starving to death across the world, does Jesus care? Jobs are lost and families don’t know where their rent or next meal is coming from, does Jesus care? With all that screams at us from news stories and reports, it’s easy to wonder: does anyone care? Does Jesus care?

When we are in the middle of trials and tribulations, it’s hard to know if anyone really cares? It’s easy to mouth words and even Scriptures to those in dire troubles, but too often, those fall on deaf ears. But the bottom line is this eternal truth: Yes, Jesus knows and Jesus cares!

How do we know? Just look up and look around. In creation, we see the love and care of God.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the earth shows His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1) In creation, God put together a glorious, beautiful universe. Look up at the stars on a clear night. Observe the flowers, the birds, a butterfly. Look at all the colors and shapes and sounds God put into our world. Yes, He could have made everything a drab black and white. But because He cares for us, He gave us a beautiful world to live in.

And He created Adam and Eve uniquely, too. He gave them an eternal soul and spirit to dwell with Him forever. He made the human body a remarkably durable and reparable instrument with eyes, ears, brain and organs that work together. We are “awesomely and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)

And God put Adam and Eve into a perfect world to love and obey Him, to love each other, to take care of creation and to bring forth “Godly offspring”. The fact of our choice to sin and bring the “curse” to our natural world and human bodies does not negate God’s care in creation.

God has shown His care throughout all of human history. He gave us commands and precepts to obey, and they are all for our good. When we obey, He blesses; when we disobey, chastening comes into play. And when God had to bring severe punishment on sin, He cared enough to preserve a remnant to keep this world going.

God cared enough to come into this world, taking on a human body and becoming like us. He cared enough to be born in a stable, face a normal childhood and experience all the things that you and I experience: pain, disappointment, rejection, mockery, betrayal, depression, and ultimately death.

While He was here on earth, He showed He cared in big and small ways. His first miracle was to provide refreshments at a wedding to keep the “happy couple” from embarrassment. He went out of His way and shattered cultural taboos to win a Samaritan woman to faith in the Messiah, and then preached to her town.

He cared enough about an untouchable leper, not just to heal him but to touch his leprous body (without a mask or social distancing?!). He cared enough about the hungry to feed a multitude. He cared enough about a little girl to go out of His way to her house to raise her from the dead, when He could have just spoken the word.

And He cared enough about sinful mankind, that includes you and me, to allow Himself to be nailed to a cross, to bear the beating and mockery of those He was dying for, and to allow Himself to bear and pay the full price for all our sins on the Cross…taking our eternal hell so that He might offer to us the free gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins.

Yes, Jesus cares about us. He cares about the big things in our lives; He cares about the little things in our lives. He knows when we hurt; He sees when we cry; He feels our pain and our grief, and He cares. And when we come to Him in faith and accept Him as our own personal Savior, we have the assurance that He walks through those times with us. He might not stop the problem, but He’ll give us the strength to carry on.

So when we get the urge to ask, “Does Jesus really care?” and most of us will ask that at times in our lives, we can know with full assurance that He does.

“O yes, He cares; I know He cares! His heart is touched with my grief. When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares!” (Does Jesus Care? Frank E. Graeff, 19th century)

2020 Prayer March

On Sept. 26, the Rev. Franklin Graham and others will be at the Washington Mall in Washington, D.C., for a Prayer March.

These are his words: “Let’s pray that God will turn this nation back to Him. This is the most critical time for America that we have seen in our lifetime and I know the power of prayer. I want to invite you to bring your family and gather with other Christians, churches and pastors, fill a busload and join thousands to pray.”

Go to PrayerMarch2020.com.

Coastline Women’s Center Needs You!

Each evening on the 11 o’clock news we hear the statistics on new positive COVID tests and the number of deaths for that day. We’ve been hearing the death toll from the recent storms and fires and while we understand that one death is too many, we feel relief when numbers go down.

But there is one statistic that continues steadily, each day, no matter what else is going on, and that is the tragic death toll from innocent infant boys and girls being killed in America’s abortion mills.

Thankfully, there are still many trying desperately to save these unborn human children and, in our area, one of the dedicated groups is Coastline Women’s Center.

Counseling mothers who are in crisis, conducting pregnancy tests and ultrasound scans, giving needed diapers and other items to new mothers, and sharing the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Coastline is seeing babies saved from abortion, parents saved from the trauma of having aborted their child, and seeing men and women turn to Christ as Savior and Lord.

But currently, with the pandemic and the circumstances of our “world and local” situation, Coastline, a nonprofit organization, has not been able to conduct its usual fundraisers and funds are limited and dwindling.

We can help! Each gift you give is not only a donation, but also an investment in life and eternity. We cannot, we must not, let Coastline get to the place where they have to cut services or even close their doors.

How can you give? Mail your gift to Coastline Women’s Center, P.O. Box 3325, Myrtle Beach SC 29578. You can Text to donate: text the word COASTLINE in your message box to 91999. You can also give by going to the Coastline website coastlinewomenscenter.org.

Continue to Pray for our Schools!

As Labor Day passes, more and more of our students will be “back in school”, in one way or another. This year promises to be as “interesting” as the end of the past year proved to be.

Let us all pray for our students at every level, their parents, school administrators, faculties and school staffs. Education is important to our young people and we can all see if there are ways we can be a helpful and positive part of this school year’s “adventure”.

What Can I Do To Help?

The ongoing COVID-19 “pandemic”; the upcoming “flu season”. Financial upheaval caused by the current situation. Storm devastation. Wildfire destruction. The list of difficulties and problems seems never ending.

Thankfully, there are many groups and individuals looking for ways to help. Samaritan’s Purse, the Red Cross, many denominational disaster teams, Help4Kids, the Shepherd’s Table, Coastline Women’s Center, Bethesda for Single Mothers, CAP and many more need our help. Can we spare some time, financial or material help? We can all do something.

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying…when did we see You hungry, thirsty, a stranger or naked, or sick or in prison?’

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40)

International Day of Prayer

Sunday Nov. 1 has been designated at the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. On that day, churches, families and individuals will focus on intercession for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are constantly in danger of imprisonment, torture or death.

Videos, prayer cards and other resources are available from The Voice of the Martyrs, info@vomusa.org. Plan now to have your church be a part of this important day.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Kingston Presbyterian Church, 800 Third Ave., in Conway will hold boat-in and drive-in worship this Sunday and next Sunday. Worshippers are invited to park in the parking lot between the educational building and train trestle or pull up in their boats and tune into the service on an FM station. Bulletins will be handed out in the parking lot. The service will begin at 9:30 a.m. each week.

■ The Catholic Church of St. James, 1071 Academy Drive, announces a new Mass Schedule beginning this month as follows: Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Sundays at 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. (and 12 p.m. Spanish); Monday-Friday at 9 a.m. and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. – Spanish.

The church also collects nonperishable food items for Catholic Charities and CAP Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the church. Please help as you are able. Call (843) 347-5168 or go online to www.stjamesconway.org.

■ Langston Baptist Church, 763 S.C. 905, invites everyone to its Fun and Safe Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat on Oct. 31 from 3 p.m.-7 p.m.

This is a free event, rain or shine so come and bring your friends. Enjoy chili, hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, games, music, inflatables, dunking booth and more. There’s something for every member of the family. Phone (843) 365-5141 or email to LBC@langstonbaptist.com.

■ Tilly Swamp Survivors of Suicide, a new faith-based support group for those having lost someone to suicide, meets the first and third Mondays of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the church: 4619 S.C. 90. Phone (803) 566-0702.

■ St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 3449 S.C. 65 will be distributing food on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. until all food has been distributed.

■ Loris First United Methodist Church, 3507 Broad St., has a Blessing Box in the church and it is available each Friday from 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. This box contains nonperishable food items and individuals in need are encouraged to come to the church at those times. Also, if you would like to donate items, please place them in the box.

■ Dogwood Hill Baptist Church, 1040 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, has a food pantry on the third Saturday of each month from 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

■ Salem Baptist Church, 4008 Salem Road in Aynor, opens its Food Bank on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”

Myrtle Beach/The Coast

■ Together in Christ is sponsoring an Outdoor Revival through Friday of this week in the Myrtle Waves Waterpark Parking Lot, 3000 Mr. Joe White Ave. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the revival starts at 7 p.m. Sit in your car or bring a chair and sit beside your car. There will be different speakers and music each evening. Call the Rev. Elizabeth

Bowens at (843) 685-3212.

■ The New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Phone (843) 215-4500.

■ Knitting Hearts Community Spiritual Freedom Conference will be held Saturday from 9:30 a.m.- noon at Ignite Church of Myrtle Beach, 4808 North Kings Hwy. Guest speaker will be Randy Stewart. Go to www.knittingheartsministry.wordpress.com.

■ Community Bible Study (CBS) has started its fall study at Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church on Sixth Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach. The group meets each Wednesday at 9:15 a.m.

This fall’s study is The Gospel of John and there are classes for men, women, couples and children (birth through high school). CBS is a nondenominational, in-depth Bible study designed for all levels of Bible knowledge and all are welcome. Contact coordinator Jeri Friz at (843) 249-6957 or email to wdgm250@gmail.com.

■ Help 4 Kids and Backpack Buddies continue to provide food for 400 to 500 families per week and need your help. Suggested food donations include: peanut butter, jelly, pasta and sauce, rice, beans, cereal, macaroni & cheese, canisters of Kool-Aid, canned meats, snacks and chips.

You may also donate grocery gift cards used for produce, meats, dairy and bread and monetary donations are always appreciated.

And let’s not forget the need for back-to-school supplies, pencils, pens, notebooks and all the rest! Also, there is a need for new clothing, sizes 4 and up (especially teens); shoes and sneakers (any size), socks and underwear. And send gift cards that Help4Kids can use to purchase necessary goods.

The office is located at 2523 Forestbrook Road, Myrtle Beach SC 29588 (gifts may be mailed to that address also). Go online to www.help4kidssc.org.

■ Together in Christ has a Wednesday ZOOM Prayer Meeting from noon-12:30 p.m. each week. Prayer changes everything and you are invited to pray with the mid-week group. Email hgprayer @sccoast.net.

■ St. Philip Lutheran Preschool is currently registering students for the 2020-21 school year for the 2, 3 and 4-year-old classes. Come join the fun!

The Virtual Schoolhouse is available for any students in Kindergarten-fifth grade enrolled in virtual learning (hybrid and/or full-time) with Horry County Schools. Staff will provide guidance; document connection issues; and coordinate times for breaks, snacks and lunch.

Health and safety protocols will be followed to include: morning temperature checks, social distancing, and required cleaning. Classes will be Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Contact the director, Jenn Loeswick, at stphilippreschoolmb@gmail.com or look us up on Facebook: St. Philip Preschool-Myrtle Beach. The preschool is located at 6200 N. Kings Highway. Call (843) 449-4322 and they’ll get back to you.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea announces the following services that will take place at the Dunes Club, 9000 North Ocean Blvd.: Erev Rosh Hashanah, Erev Shabbat, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Rosh Hashanah First Day, Shabbat, Saturday, 10 a.m., Evening Service 7:30 p.m.; Rosh Hashanah Second Day, Sunday, 10 a.m., Shofar Service, Tashlich Ceremony (after services on the beach); Kol Nidre, Sept. 27, 6:30 p.m.; Yom Kippur Day, Sept. 28, 10 a.m. (with Yizkor); Mincha & Neilah, start 5:30 p.m., Private Devotion/Open Ark 5:30 p.m.-6 p.m.; Break the Fast and Shofar, 7:41 p.m.

(Please note: due to COVID-19 constraints, no children under age 12). Phone (843) 449-5552.

■ Low Country Food Bank and Faith Outreach Ministries will sponsor another Drive-Thru Food Distribution at 4223 Socastee Blvd. on Nov. 6 at 2:30 p.m. Phone (843) 215-4500.

■ The fall Women of Passion Conference, Dare to Dream God-Sized Dreams (Ephesians 3:20) will be held Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at The Grace Place, 404 George Bishop Parkway in Myrtle Beach. Tickets go on sale this week. Contact Stacey Gurley by phone at (864) 477-9683 or email to stacey@lovecoversus.com.

■ Infusion Ministries International Presents Blue Fire Conference with guest speaker David Hogan Oct. 10-11 at the Landmark Resort, 1501 South Ocean Blvd. Email to GotInfused@gmail.com or go to the website infusionintl.org.

■ St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 3301 33rd Ave. North will hold its annual Greek Festival Oct. 15-18, opening at 11 a.m. on Thursday-Saturday and noon on Sunday. You won’t want to miss it.

■ The Colombiettes of St. Andrews Church, 37th Ave. North are in need of crafters and vendors for their November 7th Christmas Bazaar which will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Community Life Center. Contact Patricia Martelli at (908) 938-1433 or email patriciamartelli57@gmail.com.

■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave., Murrells Inlet has a Life Chain every first Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on U.S. 17 Business near the church driveway. You are invited to participate in this event. (Bring a chair if not able to stand for the hour.) Contact Joanne Bennett at (614) 313-8425 or email Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.

■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. You are encouraged to come out and browse and buy and, in so doing, you’ll be supporting this community outreach. Phone (843) 236-1121.

■ Temple Shalom, 4023 Belle Terre Blvd. invites you to Shabbat services each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Phone (843) 903-6634 or go online to templeshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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