If you want to stifle conversation at a lively party, bring up the subject of death. Few people like to talk about it even though it is a daily part of life. That’s why the funeral home and newspaper obituaries are new daily, because people die every day, people in our world, people in our state, people in our community, people in our family.
Each day I check the online obituaries of a couple of funeral homes in my hometown of Hinton, W.Va., and I also look over the online version of the Register Herald newspaper from Beckley. I’m not often surprised to read about the passing of “older” people, but this week I read the death notice of a young man I taught in sixth grade years ago; those and others of people my age and younger often make me stop and review my own mortality.
I remember reading the notice of a woman who died at age 104. It stated that she “died unexpectedly”! I said to myself, “No she didn’t. Maybe that particular day wasn’t expected, but at that age, any day of passing should be expected.” That’s how prevalent death is in our society.
As a very young boy, I remember still the passing of one of my grandmothers and still see her in the open coffin in my grandfather’s living room, a room that was then closed off and unused. As a young and inexperienced Christian, I was called on to conduct my first funeral, for a 2-year-old girl who died of a dreaded disease.
Since that time I’ve buried most of my family, many of my friends and acquaintances. I’ve conducted funerals for those who were very old to those who died at birth. And each time I remember that the Scriptures tell us that “it is appointed unto men once to die…” (Hebrews 9:27) and “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4). Every one of us knows that the last item on our bucket list is “Kick It”.
But there are two faces of death. For the child of God, those who know Christ as Savior and Lord, having been redeemed by grace through faith in His finished work alone, death is a “promotion” to a better place.
We are absent from this body and this world of evil and trials and present with the Savior, forever free from pain, disease and death. For the Christian, death isn’t even a good word for that experience and while we mourn the breaking of earthly bonds, we would never want to bring our saved family and friends back from glory to this earth.
But for the unsaved person, that one who has willingly rejected the finished work of Christ, death is a horrible end. That person’s eternal being has only judgment and hell to look forward to. And at death, the eternal destination is sealed; there is no second chance after death.
And none of us is guaranteed tomorrow, or even the next moment. Before you finish reading today’s “Church Talk”, many people around the world will die; one of them could be you.
There is a great story told about the certainty of death and the uncertainty of its timing. I will “update” this story for our time and place. An employer in Horry County had a faithful employee, and they had a good relationship. One day the employer asked the employee to run to the store to purchase some things the business needed. Off he went.
A short time later the employee rushed in, empty handed, breathless and pale. When the boss asked what happened the man told him that while shopping at the store, he ran into Death in the aisle. Death looked at him for a long time and seemed surprised. It scared the man and he took off.
He feared Death was after him so he asked the boss to let him leave town. The boss agreed and the man got in his car and headed down to Charleston. The boss then went to the store to get the needed items and there he, too, saw Death. Bravely he asked Death, “Why were you looking at my employee so strangely today?”
Death replied, “I was surprised to see him here. You see, I have an appointment with him in Charleston just this afternoon.”
This allegory says to each of us: we will all die; we don’t know when; we must be prepared today.
“The Savior is waiting to enter your heart; why don’t you let Him come in? There’s nothing in this world to keep you apart; what is your answer to Him? Time after time He has waited before, and now He is waiting again to see if you’re willing to open the door, O how He wants to come in.” (Ralph Carmichael)
Pro-Life News and Events
The Grand Strand Citizens for Life Annual Conference will be held Sept. 28 at Risen Christ Lutheran Church, 10595 North Kings Hwy. (Next to Barefoot Landing).
The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. with registration and free continental breakfast. Speakers will begin at 9 a.m. and will include folks from Bethany Christian Services, Birthright of Georgetown, Catholic Charities and Coastline Women’s Center.
Keynote speakers are Kathy Schmuggie and Michael Acquilano from Family Life Ministry; they will speak on current legislation and defending life.
At this conference, GSCL will be collecting baby diapers for the three charitable organizations that will be attending. You are encouraged to attend to learn more about the ministry of GSCL and the Pro-Life movement in South Carolina.
A free lunch will be provided at noon. Questions? Call Terry Borkes, president GSCL at (843) 650-8828 or Joe Lesko at (843) 602-8984.
■ National Life Chain Sunday across the U.S. and Canada will be Oct. 6. Grand Strand area life chains are scheduled as follows:
■ Myrtle Beach at Kings Hwy. (20th Ave. N to 38th Ave. N). Signs will be available at 1:30 p.m. at St. Andrew Church. Contact John at (843) 626-8684.
■ Conway at Coastal Mall Shopping Center, U.S. 501 (near Belks), 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Contact Lori at (843) 503-3607.
■ North Myrtle Beach, on U.S. 17 just off Eighth Ave. N in front of Our Lady Star of the Sea Church; hours 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Contact Andy at (843) 734-0137.
■ Garden City, U.S. 17 near St. Michael’s Church; also 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Contact Joanne at (614) 313-8425.
For information regarding the Georgetown Life Chain at Hardee’s at 5 Points, call Dan Owens at (843) 240-7810.
A Life Chain is a peaceful and prayerful demonstration for the lives of our unborn children. Sign messages include “Abortion Kills Children”, “Adoption: The Loving Option”, “Jesus Forgives and Heals” and so on.
National Collection Week for Samaritan Purse’s Operation Christmas Child “shoeboxes” is Nov. 18-25. But OCC will have a “Countdown to Collection Week” event on Sept. 28 at 9 a.m. in Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road in Conway. You are invited to attend. Email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ground Zero News
Ground Zero of Myrtle Beach has the following three events upcoming. Saturday from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. you can participate in the National Day of Youth Ministry Training. This is a program for all members of the church youth ministry team. Eight different sessions will be held.
Then on Oct. 13, don’t miss iWorship with Sean McDowell. And on Nov. 16 hear the Newsboys in concert. Go to www.mygroundzero.com.
Help4Kids Needs You!
How often do you go to bed hungry (not because you’re dieting, but because you have nothing to eat)? How often do your children go to school hungry? We know that this is a condition for millions of children worldwide. But it’s also a problem here in Horry County.
Help4Kids provides food for the needy and hungry boys and girls of our area. And they need you! Not only do they need us to provide food items and to support their fundraisers, but they need volunteers to help out in a variety of ways. If you’d like to be part of the “hunger solution”, stop at their office at 2523 Forestbrook Road or e-mail to email@example.com.
Decision America: Tar Heel State Tour
Let’s all be much in prayer for Franklin Graham as he continues the Decision America Crusades in October in North Carolina. The schedule is Fayetteville, Oct. 1; Greenville, Oct. 2; Wilmington, Oct. 5; Raleigh, Oct. 6; Greensboro, Oct. 9; Hickory, Oct. 10; Charlotte, Oct. 12 and Asheville, Oct. 13. Go to DecisionAmerica.com.
Bring Your Bible To School
“Bring Your Bible To School” day is scheduled for Oct. 3. Sponsored by Focus on the Family, and ongoing in schools in all 50 states, this day is a special time for students to share their faith and show their trust in the Word of God. So, Christian young people, take your Bible to school, put it on top of your books and proclaim the Bible and the God who wrote it!
CEF Softball Tournament Rescheduled
Child Evangelism Fellowship of the Greater Pee Dee will host its first Slow-Pitch Softball Tournament to benefit Good News Clubs.
The tournament has been rescheduled and now will be held on Oct. 19 at 8 Oaks Park in Georgetown. This is a co-ed tournament, teams of 10-15 players, age 15 and over. Cost is $15 per player.
Coastline welcomes Abby Johnson
Coastline Women’s Center is hosting “An Evening With Abby Johnson”.
Abby is the author of the book “Unplanned” which brought about the movie of the same name. She is the brave young woman, former head of a Planned Parenthood “clinic”, who witnessed firsthand the horror of abortion and has shone the light on the lies of the abortion industry.
This special time will be held Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. in Christ United Church, Myrtle Beach. You won’t want to miss it. Tickets are now available and I believe this event will sell out quickly (I already have mine). Call Coastline Women’s Center at (843) 877-9653, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or go online to coastlinewomenscenter.org.
Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry
■ Langston Baptist Church, 763 S.C. 905, will host Eric Hovind, one of America’s foremost authorities and apologists on creation. He’ll be speaking Sunday at both 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Eric, president and CEO of Creation Today, travels and speaks extensively, has authored many books on the subject of Biblical creation, and has the desire to impact individuals to know and defend their faith in our Creator God.
Hovind shows through Scripture and scientific evidence the truth of Genesis and the fact that “In the beginning, God created…”
These sessions will be interesting, truthful and documented and there will be many resources for you and your whole family. Don’t miss it! Contact the church at (843) 365-5141, visit www.langstonbaptist.com or go to www.creationtoday.org.
■ Brown Swamp UMC, 4725 U.S. 501 West, will host a free evening of music in the church parking lot on Sept. 27 at 5:30 p.m. Bring a lawn chair, your cooler with snacks and/or dinner (no adult beverages, please) and enjoy the evening.
■ Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2610 Mt. Zion Road in Loris, invites you to Homecoming Sunday at 10 a.m. Come hear the Rev. Michael Lee and the Wright Family. Phone (843) 365-5381.
■ The “Willing Hearts” from Pleasant Union Baptist Church will sing at Gurley Baptist Church in Loris Sunday at 6 p.m. A free-will offering will be received. All are welcome.
■ Waccamaw Women’s Mission Union (WMU) has rescheduled the Children’s Walk-a-Thon for Janie (the Janie Chapman Offering for State Missions). This event for boys and girls in grades 1-6 (and their leaders) will be held at Hickory Grove Baptist Church, 2710 S.C. 905, on Sept. 28. Register at 9:30 a.m. with the program at 10 a.m. and lunch at 11 a.m.
Please register by email to email@example.com or phone (843) 399-6790 or (843) 855-5080.
■ The AWANA Clubs at Bethany Bible Chapel, 1668 Four Mile Road, are in full swing for the 2019-20 school year. There are clubs for boys and girls and young people from age 3 through grade 12. AWANA is held each Monday beginning at 6:30 p.m. Phone (843) 369-7729, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the website at www.bbcofconway.org.
■ Good Hope Baptist Church, 6101 Privetts Road (between Conway and Loris), will celebrate “Homecoming 2019” Oct. 6 at 10:30 a.m.
The church choir and others will lift you to “higher ground” singing about the Lord Jesus Christ. The Rev. Laneir Singleton will bring the message. A delicious meal will be served at noon. Everyone is invited! Phone (843) 365-6242.
■ Cherry Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 504 Church St., invites everyone to a Community Health Fair Oct. 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The theme of the event is “Health is Wealth: Fitness for your Mind, Body and Spirit”. Vendors are needed for the event. Phone (843) 248-4900.
■ 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.-1noon. The mission: “We serve Christ when we serve people.”
Myrtle Beach/The Coast
■ Faith Outreach Ministries of the Grand Strand sponsors the New Beginnings Food Distribution on the third Saturday of each month at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 17 Bypass in Surfside Beach. The event goes from 10 a.m.-noon, when there will be free groceries, free lunch, social services information and a children’s craft table.
Fall dates for New Beginnings are Sept. 21, Oct. 19 and Nov. 16. Phone (843) 215-4500
■ St. Philip Lutheran Preschool, located at 6200 N. Kings Hwy., will have an Open House Sept. 26 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. The school currently has openings in 2’s, 3’s and 4-year-old classes. Come meet the teachers, view the curriculum and invest in your child’s future. A hot dog supper with ice cream for dessert will be served, and there will be a bounce house for the kids to play in.
If you have questions, or to register your child, call preschool director Janice Myers at (843) 449-4322 or visit the Preschool page on the church website at stphiliplutheranchurchmb.com.
■ Mt. Leon Baptist Church invites men to the Men’s Retreat at FFA Camp Friday and Saturday. The camp is located at 1069 FFA Camp Road in North Myrtle Beach. Cost is $25 for overnight or $10 Saturday only. Phone (843) 399-3793 or (843) 602-4542.
■ 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).
Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting school supplies to help both the Community Kitchen and Helping Hand. Place in the basket by the front door of the Rosen Center. All Mitzvoth greatly appreciated. Questions? Contact Karen Osborne at (843) 446-1060.
Order High Holiday Challahs and Honeycakes at (336) 402-1014.
High Holidays Schedule:
Selichot: Saturday, 8 p.m.-10 p.m.
Erev Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.
Rosh Hashanah, Sept. 30, 9 a.m.
Tashlich Ceremony 1 p.m.; Evening Service 7:30 p.m.
Rosh Hashanah Second Day, Oct. 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Kol Nidre, Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.; Private Devotion 4:30 p.m.; Mincha & Neilah 5:30 p.m.; Break-the-Fast, 7:26 p.m.
CAMP JUDAEA: Israel, Judaism, Nature, Community, Individual growth. For boys and girls age 7-15. Register for next summer by calling1-404-634-7883.
■ Women of Passion presents Kaleidoscope: A Beautiful Life Oct. 5 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Hampton Inn & Suites Oceanfront, 1801 S. Ocean Blvd. Registration is $25 and includes lunch. Call (843) 946-6400, (864) 477-9683. or email email@example.com.
Speakers include Jenny McMakin, Mandy Roberts, Diane Craig, Linda Suleski, Donna Cannoles, Bernadette Washington and Stacey Gurley.
■ Myrtle Beach Christian Church, 1226 Burcale Road, opens its Thrift Store each week, Thursday-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.