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Rev. Dr. Larry Hilliard

Rev. Dr. Larry Hilliard

(A message from your DS)

Psalm 56:8-13

In these verses from the Psalmist we are reminded that God not only knows every tear we shed, but that when we turn to God with thanks and praise, our enemies will turn away. We are reminded that as people of God, we have been delivered from death. These verses are echoed in the NT, especially in Romans 8 where we read “if God is for us; then who can be against us”! Sometimes when I read the words of the Psalmist, it seems so easy to the author; “just give thanks and everything will be alright. If you just turn to God, then who cares what people do to you”.

I confess, it’s not that easy to me. I have nicks and marks on my soul from harsh words and actions that have been done to me in the past, sometimes, the not so distant past. I catch myself either putting on a fake front (big smile) or living as if what has been said/done is who I am. I can even remind myself of all that God has done but the pain and self-doubt come back, over and over.

You know when you are at the doctor and are asked to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10. One nurse told me there’s really no such thing as a 10. A 10 would be pain unimaginable. While there may not be a 10 in the physical world, there is in the spiritual realm. A 10, is the pain of being totally separated from God. Can you even imagine what that is like? Being on your own, broken spiritually, reeling in sin and not knowing that there is a God who loves you, not in spite of you but because of God? We can’t even imagine what it would be to live outside the grace of Jesus. Sure, we know what it is like to live as if we don’t know Jesus, but we know there is grace that is working in our lives, even if we aren’t looking for it. May we be reminded the words of the old hymn.

Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that will pardon and cleanse within; Grace, grace, God’s grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Whatever people may do to us, we walk in grace. When the pain wells, we can give thanks that our God has journeyed to the cross so that we don’t have to walk in unimaginable pain. Even in the midst, we know that God loves us, Jesus died for us and we can give thanks.

Dear God, I lift up all who wake this day with their soul in pain. May they know that the grace offered at the cross doesn’t just extend to us at our physical death but that it is being extended even now in the midst of our hurt. Remind us that Jesus knows the pain of this world and he overcame it for us. May we live in that grace and may we know that your pardon and cleansing is all we need. Thank you Lord. Amen.

Blessings, Larry


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Spotlight in Service

Students from the choir at the Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science made a visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast on November 7 as part of their Sights & Sounds Tour.  The students stayed at Seashore United Methodist Assembly in Biloxi and were treated to a spaghetti dinner by members at Leggett Memorial UMC, Beauvoir UMC, St. Paul UMC (Biloxi) and the Seashore
District Office staff.  The choir performed several numbers before dinner for the guests .  The school is located on the Mississippi University for
Women's campus in Columbus, Mississippi.