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2 Testimonies that Mattered to Me This Week

Two testimonies of faith I read this week impacted me so much that I decided to share them with all of you.

Remember last week when I told you about the faith in time of tragedy expressed by Hailey Clark, mother of 4-year-old Beau Clark who was killed by a neighbor's dog? Well, Beau's father Kevin wrote heartfelt, eloquent words when he got home from his son's funeral last Friday. You need to know that BOTH of Beau's parents are trusting God and relying on His strength in these days. Here are Kevin's words:


From the bottom of our hearts, we want to say thank you for all of the support and prayers we have received since Monday night! Lots of people just say they don’t know what to say, but truth be told nothing needed to be said. The community coming together showed us that you care. I am truly amazed at the outpour of love that has been shown to us and we can honestly say that we have felt your prayers. We can’t thank you enough!

Today was such a special day. Hard, but special. We were honestly in shock as we walked into the sanctuary of Danville Baptist Church and saw the numbers of friends and family that came to be there for us. We have been members of that church for approximately 12 years and I have never seen it so full. Our boy was truly loved and his joy and happiness has touched so many.

I could ramble all night and even for days about how thankful we are, but what it all boils down to is God was there and still is. God is so so good to us. It would be easy to turn away from God with all the questions we have, but Hailey and I know this happened for a reason. What it is, we don’t know, but knowing God is in control, we will remain faithful! Our God is so awesome! It only took opening your eyes today to see God working! I can’t believe we serve a God that willingly gave his son to die for us all. His blood washed our sins away! Jesus was buried but the grave couldn’t hold him down! He is so powerful! Jesus lives today! That’s not the best news. The best news is that God gave us all free will. He gives us all a choice. If we choose to believe in him and believe that he died for our sins, then we get to spend eternity in heaven with him. I rejoice in the fact that we are both saved by God’s grace and we get to see our little boy again one day. In that I find peace and joy!

There are so many that we would love to thank, but I just couldn’t possibly cover everyone on here. That being said we would like to say thank you to Danville Baptist Church, Morgan County Sheriff's Office, Oak Ridge VFD, Neel VFD, Punkin Center VFD, Danville VFD, Alabama State Troopers, Decatur Morgan ER team, Jeffrey Chunn, Pecks Funeral Home and many more that I’m sure I have left out. Thank you so much! So many of you have a calling and would never want to be repaid and even if I could, don’t know how I would. You do have our prayers and support! We have prayed for all of the first responders all week because of the impact they have made in our lives.

Thank you all for everything! God bless you all!



The next testimony is actually a newsletter message our son Matt shared with his congregation in Franklin, TN this past week. The connection of these two testimonies is the effect of a father's faith on his children. Certainly a lot to ponder. Steve and I no longer have young children in our home on a regular basis, but we still have a chance to impact the grandchildren when they are with us. They're watching. I KNOW they're watching.




West Franklin Family,

 

A moment in the worship service last Sunday took me back. Back to when I was elementary age. First Baptist Church in Hartselle, Alabama. My sisters and I sat with my dad. Usually a pew about three-fourths of the way back from the front of the sanctuary. Mom was always behind the piano. My mom, sisters, and I have at least some musical ability. My dad? Zero. He has trouble playing the radio. He couldn’t, as they say, "carry a tune in a bucket." It’s bad. Really bad. But a moment last Sunday took me back to hearing him sing hymns of worship to God on Sunday mornings. “Holy, Holy, Holy.” “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” “Up from the Grave He Arose.” “Amazing Grace.” His singing was awful. The worst. But he sang. He sang praises to God. I watched. I listened. I sang along. I learned great truths about God. Truths that I carry with me today.

 

I didn’t know it at the time, but my dad was my children’s minister. Sure. We had a designated “children’s minister.” If I recall, her name was Regina. And, yes, I had remarkable Sunday School teachers who beautifully taught me biblical stories. But nothing – NOTHING – had a greater impact on my spiritual upbringing than my father’s relationship with his Father. My dad was my primary children’s minister.

 

Last Sunday I got to watch a 9-year-old boy watch and sing and smile and stare as his dad sang praises to the Lord. He looked up and watched his dad. He heard his dad worship his God. He joined his dad in proclaiming truths about God – aloud, in song, with the people of God. The look in that young boy’s eyes as he watched his dad were spellbinding. I didn’t want to look away. I was grateful. I was nostalgic. My heart cried, “YES!” It was children’s ministry at its finest. I can’t promise the impact of that moment for that boy will be the same as it was for me when I was his age. But I can promise you that what I saw happening IS God’s primary design for ministry to children.

 

Do we have a phenomenal Next Gen minister? YES. Do we have remarkable children’s Sunday School teachers? The best in the land. But West Franklin – there is not, and never has been, a substitute better than mom and dad passing on the ways of God to their children. If you want the best children’s ministry experience for your children, let me plead with you to allow them into your own relationship with God.

 

You may not be able to sing your way out of a paper bag. That’s fine. They don’t care. They just want to know if you really know and love Jesus.

 

How Sweet the Sound,

 

Pastor Matt

 

Dr. Matt Pearson

Campus and Teaching Pastor

The Church at West Franklin


Do some pondering of your own this weekend, and don't forget to set your clock forward Saturday night. You don't want to miss Sunday School!!


  • Ephesians 6:4: "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."

  • Proverbs 22:6: "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."

  • 2 Samuel 7:14-15: "I will be a father to him, and he'll be a son to me. When he does wrong, I'll discipline him in the usual ways, the pitfalls and obstacles of this mortal life. But I'll never remove my gracious love from him."


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