Way back in the 1940s, songwriter Ruth Caye Jones penned these words:

“In times like these you need a Savior. In times like these you need an anchor. Be very sure, be very sure your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

“In times like these you need the Bible. In times like these, O be not idle; be very sure, be very sure your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

“This Rock is Jesus! Yes, He’s the One. This Rock is Jesus, the only One. Be very sure; be very sure your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!”

In times like these, entering the year 2020, we can echo loudly those words; because in times like today we certainly need a Savior and a Solid Rock!

2019 ended with a “bang”: renewed tensions in the Middle East; a church shooting in Texas; Hanukkah stabbings in a Rabbi’s home in New York; violence and hate throughout the world, child-like wrangling in the halls of Congress; domestic violence; church splits; crime throughout large cities and small towns; the continued slaughter of our unborn in abortion clinics -- in times like these!

Paul called them perilous times in II Timothy 3 and described the self-centeredness that leads to all evil, because whether it be covetousness, hate or murder, the root of sin is me, what I think, what I want, what I feel is right for me! And if I am my own anchor, I am sinking in deep waters!

I am not a prophet. I don’t know what 2020 holds. But from my perspective, it doesn’t look good! We’ve all heard the phrase, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”

This can seem trite, but it is not. It is true. God is already in 2020. He knows what will happen this week, in July, October and so on. He sees all of time and history in one gigantic mural, as we see only one split second at a time.

So, it would seem to me that my best hope for 2020 is to anchor onto the Rock that knows and sees, the Rock whose will and plan is being done and will be done. The Sovereign God of the Universe, Creator and Sustainer of life. He is the only hope in a world seemingly hopeless. And He is a God of holiness and justice, of love and mercy. He is the God who sent His only begotten Son into the world to become like one of us (remember Christmas?). He is the God who willed that same Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for my sins and yours. He is the God who rose from the dead and offers the free gift of eternal life to any and all who will in faith come to Him for forgiveness of sins.

He is the God of 2019; He is the God of 2020. He is the God who wants to be our Rock. Yes, Ruth Caye Jones wrote the two verses written above, but she didn’t stop there. Verse 3 is the verse of hope and victory for a New Year:

“In times like these I have a Savior. In times like these I have an anchor. I’m very sure, I’m very sure my anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

“This Rock is Jesus! Yes, He’s the One. This Rock is Jesus, the only One! I’m very sure; I’m very sure my anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock.”

I’m sure. I hope you are, too. If not, He’s waiting for you today!

Proudly Pro-Life Weekend

As we continue to fight the good fight for the lives of our most helpless citizens, our unborn children, we salute and support the organizations that lead us, groups like South Carolina Citizens for Life and Grand Strand Citizens for Life.

SCCL will again sponsor a Proudly Pro-Life Weekend, Friday and Saturday, in Columbia.

On the 10th, attend the Proudly Pro-Life Dinner Theater featuring a one-act pro-life play entitled Viable. This will be held at Seawells, 1125 Rosewood Drive. Tickets are $45. Doors open and silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., buffet is served at 5:45 p.m. and the program begins at 6:45 p.m.

On Saturday join the Stand Up For Life March and Rally. GSCL will provide buses to this rally. Pickup times and locations are: St. Michael’s Church parking lot (542 Cyprus Drive, Garden City), 6:15 a.m.; St. Andrews Community Life Center (37th Ave. North near Kings Highway), 6:45 a.m. and Belks Mall in Conway, 7:15 a.m.

Cost for the bus is $10 and reservations are required (but do not let the cost deter you from attending). Call Andrew Woitko at (843) 734-0137 or (302) 981-1528. Make checks payable to GSCL and mail to 154 Woodlyn Ave., Little River, SC 29566. Your seat is reserved when your payment is received. Go online to www.maketherightchoice.org.

And on Jan. 15th, there will be a press conference on the Heartbeat Bill.

Meanwhile, may we all pray that the holocaust of abortion will end soon!

National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Jan. 19, 2020, is designated as National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, remembering that awful day when the U.S. Supreme Court passed the Roe v. Wade decision that led to the deaths of millions of unborn children.

Encourage your pastor, priest or other church leader to emphasize the importance, value and sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death, especially on that Sunday through the sermon, a special program or in some other way!

36th Interdenominational Prayer Vigil

Grand Strand Citizens for Life is pleased to announce the 36th Interdenominational Prayer Vigil for the Sanctity of Life. This will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 24 in Faith Presbyterian Church, 805 79th Ave. North in Myrtle Beach. The event is held each year close to the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. The result of that decision is 65 million unborn babies denied their right to life.

Pray leaders for the evening include host pastor, the Rev. John Irwin (Faith Presbyterian), Pastor Larry Deeds (Bethany Bible Chapel), the Rev. Jonathan Feld (Powerhouse Church), Minister Stephen Guy (Church of Christ), the Rev. Father David Nerbun, (director of family life, Catholic Diocese of Charleston), the Most Rev. Creighton Jones (Archbishop, Orthodox Anglican Church), the Rev. Arthur Scott (retired pastor of Faith Presbyterian and one of the founders of GSCL).

Prayers will cover a wide range of subjects from the unborn to the elderly/handicapped and for those doctors and government officials who are involved in making decisions regarding life. Prayer is Powerful! Come add yours to this special Pro-Life evening. All are welcome!

There is no charge and light refreshments will be available following the vigil. Phone John Kost at (843) 626-8684.

A Night to Shine

The third annual Night to Shine, a prom for people 14-years-old and up with special needs or disabilities, will be held Feb. 7 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. at the Rock Church, 1701 Church St., Conway. This is an unforgettable experience, centered on the love of God. And there are ways you can help!

Night to Shine was started by the Tim Tebow Foundation that helps local churches and others provide this wonderful evening. It is a global event held in more than 650 locations.

Local organizer Adrian Robertson says they are expecting about 250 participants for the event which requires many area volunteers, discounts and “gifts” from local businesses and the prayers of local houses of worship.

To learn more about the event or to register as a guest, or to volunteer, visit www.rockc3.com/shine/#nts-learn-more. You may also contact Adrian at the Horry Independent.

Coats for the Needy

Gracelife Fellowship and Ministries has a new home and is working diligently to clothe the needy for the colder temperatures. The community coat drive is being held through January at the new location at 568 George Bishop Parkway in Myrtle Beach (X Gym Sports Mall).

Drop off new or gently-used coats (for men, women or children), hats, gloves and scarves etc. on Thursday, Friday or Saturday of each week from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. You are invited to worship services on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. and Wednesday Bible studies at 6:30 p.m. Go online to www.gracelifemb.com.

Ground Zero “Out All Night”

Out All Night is back to Ground Zero on Jan. 24-25. This group event has fellowship and fun. Register your group at MyGroundZero.com/events/OutAllNight and be sure to read all rules and instructions.

The event opens at 8:30 p.m. with registration (bring medical/permission forms and payment); 9 p.m. DJ PDogg, pro skateboarder Tim Byrne, illusionist Sean Emory (Top Nosh, Stage Left and GZ Coffee will be open); 11:30 p.m. instructions and charter bus assignments: midnight, first location; 2 a.m., second location; 4 a.m., third location; 6 a.m., return to Ground Zero.

Space is limited; reserve now!

Conway, Loris, Aynor and Western Horry

■ Tilly Swamp Baptist Church, 4619 S.C. 90, is starting a support group for those who have lost someone to suicide. Tilly Swamp Survivors of Suicide will meet at the church on the first and third Mondays of each month.

The first meeting was held Jan. 6 and the second is set for Jan. 20 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Phone (803) 566-0702 or e-mail tillyswampsos@gmail.com.

■ Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2105 U.S. 501 E, across from HGTC, will serve free dinners Friday at 5 p.m. and again Jan. 24. The community is invited to enjoy these home-cooked meals. Bring a friend or someone who is elderly, alone or in need. Phone (843) 347-4914.

■ 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

■ 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 and Hebrew School, 9:30 a.m.-noon. (No Sunday school Jan. 19)

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. (Wednesday classes resume Jan. 8)

Current Second Nature Project: we are collecting items for New Directions of Horry County (which 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.

Dinner Club: Bonefish Grill in Surfside, Jan. 26, 5 p.m. RSVP to Kat Kahn at (843) 685-3432.

Save the Date! Mystery Gift/Silent Auction – Feb. 16, 4:30 p.m. $5 plus $20 wrapped gift for auction. RSVP by Feb. 5.

Interfaith Memorial Service of Remembrance for “The Four Chaplains”, Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. in Goldfinch Beach Chapel, 11528 U.S. 17 Bypass in Murrells Inlet. Participants will be Rabbi Avi Perets (Temple Emanu-EL); the Rev. Will Malambri (Belin Memorial United Methodist Church); Father Ed Fitzgerald (St. Michael Catholic Church); and the Rev. Julian Riddle (Surfside Presbyterian Church).

■ The New Beginnings food distribution that includes free groceries, lunch, social services information and a children’s craft table will be held Jan. 18 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Church of the Resurrection, 8901 U.S. 16 Bypass in Surfside Beach. Phone (843) 215-4500. (Future dates include: Feb. 15, March 21, April 18.)

■ Knitting Hearts invites you to Socastee Church of God, 4475 Mill Pond Road, on Jan. 18 at 9:30 a.m. for a special time with international Bible teacher Dr. Peter Wyns and his wife Joy. Don’t miss it.

■ Belin United Methodist Church, 4182 US 17 Business in Murrells Inlet, will have a mixed media and calligraphy art workshop Jan. 21 from 10 a.m.- noon. This is for all ages! Cost is $20 per person.

Learn to express yourself more creatively for Valentine’s Day, birthdays -- any special event. Make three mixed media and calligraphy art cards for yourself or to give to others. You choose your themes. All materials and a variety of embellishments are included in the class free. You’ll also get mailing envelopes and clear cellophane sleeves.

Contact Natasha Lawrence at (843) 429-3318 or to lawrence.natasha@gmail.com. Advance register at www.calligraphyandart.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.


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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