“O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

“For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there. If I make my bed in the grave, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me’, even the night shall be light about me. Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from you, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.

“For Your formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.

“My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret (conceived), and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them.”

Psalm 139: 1-16

This was the text passage used by our speaker at Family Worship this past Sunday morning. The speaker is a young man, Conway born and raised, who has spent the past several years serving the Lord as a missionary in a foreign land. Eddie’s topic, from the text was “Remember the OMNIS”.

By that, he was referring to the need for us to know and remember our God in all of His attributes, summed up in the passage by three words: omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. These three long words mean that God knows everything, God is everywhere, and God is all powerful.

Especially in this day and age when our world seems to be crumbling morally, culturally, politically, religiously and spiritually, it is totally comforting to the child of God to know that God is in total control, always has been, always will be.

God knows everything. Nothing ever happens on earth that causes God to say, “Wow, I didn’t know that would happen!” He knows every human intimately because He created us. He knows our abilities, our thoughts, our attitudes, our motives…He knows our hearts. While this can be scary, it is also very comforting and freeing to those who know God as Savior and Lord.

God is everywhere at all times, in His entirety. This is not pantheism; but this is God’s ability to exist wherever. Before Genesis 1:1 (before the beginning), there was only God. In creation, God inhabits the entire universe. He is with you. As His child, saved by the blood of Christ, He indwells you as His Spirit and He goes wherever you go to guide, protect, and yes, sometimes chasten you. So whether you’re at home, at school, at work, in an airplane, a submarine, on vacation, at church, at the hospital or the funeral home, God is there!

God is all-powerful. The only miracles are miracles that God does. In fact, we teach our children in Good News Club that the definition of miracle is “something only God can do”. God created; God one day caused the sun and moon to stand still. God multiplied bread and fish. God stilled the storm. God healed the sick and raised the dead. God died on a cross and rose again the third day. There is nothing that God cannot do (except that He cannot act in contrast to His character: He cannot sin, He cannot lie or break a promise, He cannot not love us!)

As we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith in His finished work, we have the great assurance that our God, our Savior, our Father, our Friend, knows everything, goes everywhere and can do anything. What a great assurance for us.

Eddie stated in his message that nothing takes God by surprise. That’s a surety. Christian songwriter/singer Mark Harris wrote these words:

“It may be a phone call that comes without warning and suddenly my heart is breaking. It may be a headline I wake to one morning and suddenly my world is shaken.

“But every now and then when life falls apart, there’s a truth I trust that calms my heart…nothing takes You by surprise! Here beneath these troubled skies, there’s a comfort just to realize, nothing takes You by surprise!

“Sometimes the hard times seem senseless and random, like life’s just a series of chances. But come what may, You’ve never left us abandoned. You’re God over all circumstances and nothing on earth can stop Your plans.

“You’re in control! We’re in Your hands! Though bitter winds blow this truth is sweet…things out of our hands are still under your feet! And nothing takes You by surprise! Whatever crisis may arise, Jesus, You’re Lord of our lives! Nothing takes You by surprise!”

Amen! Never forget the OMNIS!

Honoring the Flag

This Sunday is Flag Day, a day set aside to commemorate the adoption of the flag by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. On Aug. 3, 1949, President Woodrow Wilson designated June 14 of each year as Flag Day.

All too often today our flag is desecrated and disrespected. The flag speaks about what is right with America and there is much more right than wrong. The flag speaks of the hopes and dreams of our founding fathers and mothers. And the flag speaks of every man and woman who has ever worn a military uniform and sworn to defend what the flag stands for, at home and abroad (and many gave their lives for that flag).

The flag is not responsible for the sins of the people. It is a representation of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the hearts of true patriots. On Sunday I will honor the flag by letting her wave and I will proudly salute and stand when she passes by. A tribute to the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory…

“Hats off! Along the street there comes a blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums, a dash of color beneath the sky. Hats off! The flag is passing by!

“Blue and crimson and white it shines, over the steel-tipped ordered lines. Hats off! The colors before us fly, but more than the flag is passing by.

“Sea-fights and land-fights, grim and great, fought to make and save the State; weary marches and sinking ships; cheers of victory on dying lips…

“Days of plenty and years of peace; march of a strong land’s swift increase; equal justice, right and law; stately honor and reverend awe.

“Sign of a nation, great and strong to ward her people from foreign wrong. Pride and glory and honor – all live in the colors to stand or fall.

“Hats off! Along the street there comes a blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums. And loyal hearts are beating high. Hats off! The flag is passing by!”

(Henry Holcomb Bennett)

Cancellations, Postponements and Reopening

As South Carolina and especially Horry County begin to “reopen”, we will see churches and organizations trying to get back to some degree of normalcy in services and ministries. As your church or house of worship, faith-based organization etc. starts to function “person-to-person” again, let Church Talk know and we’ll share that with the community.

But let’s continue to monitor cancellations and postponements so we’ll all be “on the same page” and “in the right place at the right time”!

Helping the Helpers

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.

I was always taught, growing up, that all God ever promised His children was “enough”, and if we have more than enough, it’s probably so we can help others. It’s time for all of us to assess our “enough” and to open our pantries, checkbooks, and our hearts to help meet the needs of others.

There are a lot of groups that are trying to do that: the Salvation Army, Help4Kids, the Red Cross, CAP, 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 others needs of our people. 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 hand and feet of God to the needy.

Trip/Conference Canceled

The July “Trip of a Lifetime” to the Oberammergau Passion Play, directed by Wayne and Joy Brown has been canceled due to the current worldwide situation. The Passion Play in Germany has been put “on hold” until 2022. Lord willing, the Browns will plan a trip for that time. If you have questions please call them at (843) 796-0397 or e-mail to Wayne@WayneandJoyBrown.com.

Also, the always-much-anticipated Coastal Evangelism Conference, held annually in August at Langston Baptist Church, has been canceled for this year.

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ The Catholic Church of St. James, 1071 Academy Drive, 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.

■ 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

■ 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! Contact the director, Jenn Loeswick, at stphilipppreschoolmb@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.

■ The New Beginnings drive-thru food distribution will be held June 20 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 sponsor Drive-Thru Food Distributions at the Myrtle Beach Bowl, 101 Philip Gray Drive. Future dates include July 10, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4.

■ Horry Friends Monthly Meetings, formerly known at Five Rivers Friends, has offered unprogrammed, silent Quaker worship in this area for more than three decades. Now meeting virtually, Horry Friends welcome new attenders and visiting Friends. Contact clerk Grace Gifford at (843) 365-6654.

■ St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 542 Cypress Ave. in Murrells Inlet, have 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 e-mail Joanne.bennett55@ gmail.com.

■ Temple Emanu-EL by the Sea, 65th Ave. 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).

Sunday School, 9:30 a.m.-noon,

On Wednesdays: Advanced Hebrew 12:45 p.m.-1:45 p.m., Adult Education, 2 p.m.-3 p.m.; Conversion, 3 p.m.-4 p.m.; Hebrew School, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.

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.

Steffi Nathan Scholarship Fund for Jewish Students (awarded each semester): applications in Temple Office.

Youth 12-16, the Jewish Historical Society of SC has a contest just for you: create an essay or media piece on the topic: My South Carolina Jewish History. Phone (843) 953-4930 or go to the website jhssc.org/contest.

■ Don’t miss the 12th Annual Ground Zero Dragon Boat Festival has been rescheduled for Sept. 19. Sign up your team today.

■ 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 tepleshalommyrtlebeach.net.

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