“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)

The prayer of David from Psalm 51: “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

“For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only have I sinned and done this evil in your sight.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”

The actions of King Josiah of Judah when the Book of the Law was “rediscovered” and read to him.

(II Kings 22:13) “Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law that he tore his clothes and commanded the priest, ‘Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to that is written concerning us.”

The repentance of the king and people of Nineveh when Jonah brought God’s message, “Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

(From Jonah 3) “So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.

“Then word came to the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles saying,

“’Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish?’

“Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He has said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.”

Marcus Dods was a well-known 19th century minister, Bible scholar and college administrator in the United Kingdom. This prayer of his has been preserved:

“O Lord, Thou has said that, if we confess our sins, Thou art faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Help us, therefore, now to confess sincerely and utterly as those who expect pardon, and not punishment.

“We acknowledge that we have lived as if we had no God, believing little, expecting little, loving little, obeying little. Especially we have not believed that our natures would be changed; have believed often that as we have been born, so we must remain; have become resigned to our sins, instead of hopefully striving against them; and have not counted that there was much concern with Thee whether we continued in sin, or accepted Thy salvation.

“Thy will has been known to us and we have seen every reason for doing it, and been offered sufficient help for its performance, and yet we have sinned. Thou has never ceased to deal tenderly with us, hast shown us evidently the great evil and folly of forsaking Thee, and yet we have sinned.

“Our own desires have led us. The most passing impulse, the merest habit has been powerful enough to overcome our inclinations to serve Thee. We have suffered other persons and things to usurp the place due to Thee alone; and have let them regulate our conduct, sometimes against Thy will, often at least in competition with Thy will.

“We have sinned before others, and led them into sin, from which we cannot now reclaim them. We have missed opportunities of reclaiming those we might have helped. We have sinned with others, and confirmed them in sin.

“We would not dare to come to Thee unless we knew that Thou has prepared a way for us, and bidden us come. If Thou wilt, Thou canst make us clean. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Thy name. Deliver us, and purge away our sins for Thy name’s sake.

“We thank Thee that the invitations of the gospel do not suppose us to be any better than we actually are, but invite us with all our infirmities, sins, inconsistencies, propensities to evil. Establish between our souls and Christ a fuller confidence. May we know more of His power to save from sin. May we experience that His salvation is a complete provision for every want applicable to all circumstances. Amen.”

The prayer of confession and repentance from the true Church and God’s children of America…He’s still waiting! When will it come?

“Lord, hear our cry! Come heal our land! Breathe life into these dry and thirsty souls.

“Lord, hear our prayer! Forgive our sins and as we call on Your name, would You make this a place for Your glory to dwell?

“Open the blind eyes. Unlock the deaf ears. Come to Your people as we draw near. Hear us from heaven and touch our generation; we are Your people crying out in desperation. Lord, hear our cry!” (“Hear Us From Heaven” written by Francis White and Jade Anderson)

2020 Prayer March

On Sept. 26, the Rev. Franklin Graham and others will be on the Washington Mall in Washington, D.C., for a Prayer March. This is 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 just a donation, but 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.

The World Is Still Turning!

As we continue on in our “new normal”, more and more churches are opening, often with different schedules and other modifications. And as summer “comes to an end” and fall approaches, you are planning new and different activities and services.

People need the fellowship and community of their local faith family. Let your congregation and the community as a whole know what’s going on in your church, temple, house of worship or other faith-based organization. And let Church Talk help.

You can send your announcements to us by email at bethanyb@sccoast.net and we’ll be glad to share the news.

Christ has called us to be the light of the world at a time when the world needs His light. Let’s accept the calling and share His love!

Continue to Pray for our Schools!

Having spent most of my life as an educator, my heart has really gone out to our students, parents and school faculties and staff during this pandemic. The sudden exit from person-to-person teaching/learning (that every credible educator will tell you is the very best format) has left so many of our students with a three to four-month gap in their education.

While teachers, children and parents have done their best, we come to the beginning of another school year with things still “in limbo”. No one can know exactly what the future holds. No one knows what steps to take to maximize education. We only know that again, some will do well, but most will “suffer” in their educational lives.

But there is one thing we can all do: we can pray, pray, pray and pray some more. Every day, as you begin your day at the throne of grace, lift up our students and their parents. Pray for school administrators, teachers and service personnel. Pray for protection from the virus and accompanying problems that seem to go along with it.

And then seek ways to help; maybe you can assist a child with a few computer skills to be more adept at online learning. Maybe you can actively tutor students evenings and weekends. Maybe you can help overworked and overstressed parents so they can have more time with their children. Or just call your local school principal and ask what you can do.

Education is a vital part of our young folk’s lives, whether elementary school, middle school, high school or higher education. We cannot sit back and do nothing as more students can be “left behind”. Let’s all do what we can do! And don’t forget, we can all pray!

What Can I Do To Help!

As we continue through this worldwide “emergency”, needs seem to be multiplying. There are many economic problems from those out of work; there are medical needs for the ones coming down with COVID plus the other “normal” diseases and physical problems; there are emotional needs of loneliness and depression; and there are nutrition needs as many in our area (and around the world) are hungry.

There are a lot of groups that are trying to do that: the Salvation Army, Help4Kids, the Red Cross, CAP, the Shepherds Table, many local churches and so on. The Waccamaw Community Foundation collects “gifts” and distributes them to a number of charities. And we need to remember groups like Coastline Women’s Center and Bethesda Home for Single Mothers who go beyond the physical to assist the spiritual and other needs of our people. And many of our students need “back to school” materials as well.

In addition, we see devastation from recent hurricanes, tornadoes and other windstorms across the country. Wild fires are burning homes and businesses. Samaritan’s Purse is always “on the spot” and there are denominational “disaster” teams deployed to help. They need us too!

If you look, you can find someone to help. Let’s all open our eyes and hearts to friends, neighbors and strangers and be the hands and feet of God to the needy.

Community Bible Study Registration Opens

Community Bible Study (CBS) announces the opening of registration for this year’s study The Gospel of John. CBS offers classes for men, women, couples and children (birth-high school) and meets at the host church Ocean Drive Presbyterian on Sixth Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach. The group will begin Sept. 9 and will continue meeting every Wednesday after that at 9:15 a.m.

The New Testament book of John is an eyewitness account of the life of Jesus Christ. The apostle John was transformed by the years of close friendship he spent with Jesus, and he wanted everyone to experience that same joy. John 20:31 says he wrote the book under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”

CBS is a nondenominational, in-depth Bible study designed for all levels of Bible knowledge, and we welcome all faiths and beliefs. You may now register with our coordinator, Jeri Friz, at (843) 249-6957 or email to wlgm250@gmail.com.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ The First Friday Evening of Prayer is back this Friday at 7 p.m. at Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road in Conway. All are invited to come out for a time of prayer for our world, our nation, our state, our cities and towns, our churches, our schools, our homes and each other. “The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous accomplishes much.” (James 5:16)

Phone (843) 369-7729.

■ 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.

■ 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 distribute 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

■ Help 4 Kids and Backpack Buddies continue to provide food for 400-500 families per week, and they 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; 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.

■ Ground Zero is working hard to get back up and running with its various youth-oriented ministries and services. They need our help. If you are interested in assisting GZ, then go to their website or give them a call and see how you can be used there. Email to info@mygroundzero.com or phone (843) 945-9440.

■ The New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held again on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Phone (843) 215-4500.

■ Low Country Food Bank and Faith Outreach Ministries will have another sponsor 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 on 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.

■ The Colombiettes of St. Andrews Church, 37th Ave. North are in need of crafters and vendors for their November 7th Christmas Bazaar that 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. Philip Lutheran Preschool is currently registering students for its 2020-21 school year for the 2, 3, and 4-year-old classes. Come join the fun! 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 we’ll get back to you.

■ 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.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65thAve. North and N. Kings Highway, invites you to Friday night service at 7:30 p.m. (Kosher Oneg), Shabbat Service at 10 a.m. (Kosher Kiddush).

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting items for New Directions of Horry County that provides shelter and meals for those in need. Please bring paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, diapers), bath towels, laundry soap, toothpaste and brushes, and cleaning supplies.

We are continuing to collect new packages of children’s underwear and socks. Bring your donations to the Rosen Center and place in the basket provided by the front door. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated! Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.

■ 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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I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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