I Found My Cousins at Church

We drove out to Choctaw this morning to the church of Christ. I had been looking for my cousins. I had talked to them both on the phone, but I hadn’t actually seen them, but this morning, we knew they went to Choctaw church of Christ, so we decided to go out to Choctaw in the morning.

I took this picture as I was walking to my car after church. They were taking pictures of the people involved in the disaster relief ministry.

We were slightly late for Bible class. My daughter was waiting for a phone call from her new boss because he was supposed to call before we left because they needed to get on the computer at the same time, but he never called, so we left without her talking to him. When we went into Bible class, it had barely begun. The preacher was teaching the class out of Ezra, about the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem after the Jews had been carried off to Babylon. It made me remember a vacation Bible school where I taught in Texas when the whole vacation Bible school was about Nehemiah going to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. Someone wrote a really catchy song we were all singing. It went something like this: “He held a cup, he held a cup for a might king. He held a cup, he held a cup for a mighty king. Nehemiah was his name, and he had a big dream!” The King of Babylon gave Nehemiah the money and sent him back to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and the temple. When they had the feast of tents to celebrate building the wall, they all gathered in the square, stayed in temples, and Ezra read to them from the law of God as part of the celebration. This morning’s Bible class was about the two kings who were responsible for making sure the wall was rebuilt and the people who caused trouble about it being rebuilt. In many ways, it was a Bible history lesson.

This is my cousin, Dena. When I was in high school, she lived next door, and she was just a little bitty girl. She is the one who used to ride her horse around the barrels. She used to have long black hair when she was a teenager, and she looked like a very pretty Indian girl, but as she said, we all grow up. She is a grandmother now.

After Bible class, I found Dena, Preston, and Hal. Dena and Hal are my cousins, and Preston is Dena’s husband. I got to meet Jeff, Hal’s son. My daughter and I sat with Dena, and Hal and Jeff sat in front of us. The auditorium was completely packed!! There was hardly room for everyone. They sang some songs that I knew and some new songs. I took a picture of the new song that I thought I would share with you guys on my blog, so look for it on one of the song blogs. I got to greet my friend from high school. She said her sister wasn’t there, and her brother didn’t come to church anymore, so I told her that she and I would go one day and visit her brother together, and she liked the idea.

This is the scripture they began with.

After the singing, the preacher, Marty, preached about going and teaching people about Christ. He began in 2 Corinthians 11, the scripture above, and took it on to reading what is called “The Great Commission” from all four gospels. In the last chapter of Matthew, Jesus sends his disciples out to teach people, baptize them in the name of the father, the son, and the holy spirit, then teach them again. In Mark 16, the last chapter of Mark, it basically says the same thing. After that, he took us to Luke, and it wasn’t the last chapter there, but he was urging people to teach others. At the end, he went to the last chapter of John where Jesus kept asking Peter, “Do you love me?” three times, and when Peter said he did, Jesus would say, “Feed my sheep.” Jesus was wanting him to love him enough to stay faithful and to teach others. After that, he took us on to Acts chapter 2 where Peter was preaching, and toward the end of the chapter, Peter says that Christianity was not only for the people he was talking to, but for everyone, for their kids, their kids’ kids, for all generations, and also for the people who were far away. Most of the people who read my blog would be under the category of the people who are far away. Most of us don’t live in Jerusalem, but the good news about Christ is for all of us.

Hal and I are the same age. We lived next door to one another in junior high and high school. We played with all the kids up and down the street in one big group, and we hung out with the same group in high school.

After church, I got to talk to Dena, Preston, Hal, and Jeff some more. Dena couldn’t stay because she had to go change her blouse because she was part of a disaster relief team, and they were having their pictures taken. Hal and Jeff invited us to go out to eat with them and a group of friends, but Dena and Preston couldn’t go because Preston is a new deacon, and he had a meeting with the elders in the afternoon he needed to prepare for, but Dena and Preston promised they would eat with us another time.

I took a picture of the back of one of their t-shirts.

Afterward, I asked Hal about the disaster relief team. He said they were newly formed, but that they had already been doing good things. I think he is actually part of the group too, but he didn’t have a t-shirt. He said a couple of weeks ago, the week we first came here, a lot of trees were uprooted, electric lines were down, etc., and this group went out and cleaned up a lot of the messes that were caused by the storm, God’s people at work.

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