Prayer Concerns
• Pat Terrell – Laurens Mem, COVID 19, beginning to feel better.
• Keith Blore – COVID 19, no fever/breathing issues so far.
• Teresa Asman – Greenville Mem, COVID 19, dealing with breathing issues.
• Debbie Campbell – Greenville Mem, complications from accident early summer.
• Earl Martin – continuing to deal with an infection.
• Polly Lineberger – Unit II at Martha Franks, recovering from a fall.
• Ray Patterson – Unit II at Martha Franks, recovering from a hospital stay.
• Don Franks – home recovering after recent surgery.
• Bobbi Wilson – Greenville Mem, COVID 19, responding well to medicine.
• Joy Tumblin – recovering from outpatient surgery yesterday.
• Ricky Poole – at home recovering from light stroke, consulting with his doctors.
• Mike & Susan Little – Mike taking chemotherapy, Susan has speech/memory issues.
• Phyllis Metz – NHC, rehab after broken hip.
• Francis Feighner – now home, advanced stages of cancer.
• Jim Davis – now home after stay at NHC with congestive heart failure.
• Jim & Elaine Sumeral – homebound, ongoing health issues.
• Carolyn Madden – cognitive/physical issues.
• Jane Ivey – recent surgery, hopeful to begin to feel better.
• Bill Ramey – continuing to take treatments.
• Joan Owings – NHC, continues to receive care/treatment.

Worship Options: We will continue to post a worship service every Sunday on our website and via the FBC Laurens App. You may also listen to our service on WLBG at 11:00 each Sunday morning.

Senior Adult Sunday School on the Radio: Join us at 3pm each Tuesday afternoon on WLBG. The 30 minute lessons will be offered by a FBC Sunday School teacher.

FBC Diverge Youth Parking Lot Worship, FBC Parking Lot, Wednesday, July 29, 7pm.

FBC Diverge Youth, Ultimate Frisbee, Thursday, July 30 at 7pm.

August FBC Golf Outings, Tuesday, August 11 & 25, 5:30pm, Lakeside CC.

Rocky Railway, Virtual VBS, August 3-5.

Reflecting Together

Read: Psalm 23:5b

It is safe to say that life is full of annoyances. Many times, these aggravations raise their ugly heads in the middle of our best laid plans, dreams, and desires. We encounter them in the highly anticipated and much-needed vacation that had to be cut short because of an issue at home. They show up in the flat tire that is discovered as we prepare to leave for an important meeting. They occur when, after spending countless hours working on a project at the office, our boss asks for a re-do and he expects it by the end of the day.

Sadly, even the smallest of irritants in our lives can cause you and I as a child of God to exhibit the most disgraceful sort of frustrated tirade.

As you may recall from the verse that we discussed last week, the shepherd will prepare the mesas (table) for his sheep before leading them there to graze. The mesas were the high plateaus. With their lush green pastures, these areas presented the best grazing areas for the flock. But at the same time, the mesas also presented a particular annoyance for the flock- nasal flies.

Nasal flies presented an on-going aggravation and a serious physical threat to the sheep. These little flies buzzed around the sheep’s head, attempting to deposit their eggs on the damp mucous membranes of the sheep’s nose. If the flies were successful, the eggs would hatch in a few days to form small, slender, worm-like larvae. They would then work their way up the nasal passages into the sheep’s head attempting to deposit their eggs on the damp mucous membranes of the sheep’s nose. If they were successful, the eggs would hatch in a few days to form slender, worm-like larvae. As you can imagine, the irritation they caused was accompanied by severe inflammation.

Seeking relief from this agonizing annoyance, sheep would beat their head against rocks or trees to rid themselves of the nuisance. They would also run and stomp, which had a devastating effect on the remainder of the flock. The sheep would hide in any bush or woodland that offered shelter. On some occasions they may even refuse to graze in the open at all.

At the very first sign of these flies among the flock, the shepherd would apply a special oil to the head and nose of each sheep. The oil served as an antidote or repellant to the annoying flies. Once applied to the head and nose, the pesky flies were gone providing an immediate change in the behavior of the sheep. No more frenzy, irritability or restlessness, instead, the sheep would begin to feed quietly again and soon lie down in peaceful contentment.

To maintain this peace and contentment among the flock, the shepherd would apply the oil to the sheep’s head and nose, not just once, but, every day.

In scripture, the term oil represents the Holy Spirit and the word used for cup in this verse means “satisfaction and contentment.” To forestall the annoyances and aggravations that occur in our lives, there must be a continuous and renewed application of God’s gracious Spirit to counteract and repel the irritations of this life. One application is never enough. The process has to be repeated.

When people, circumstances or events that are beyond our control bug us, it is possible to be content and serene when these external forces are counteracted by the presence of God’s Spirit. It is from this Spirit that our cup will overflow with joy, contentment, love, patience, gentleness and peace.

Consider this:
• Describe a situation that causes great frustration and aggravation in your life? How do you usually respond in these situations?

• Read Luke 11:11-13. What does this passage teach us about the Holy Spirit as it relates to our focal verse today?

• Read Galatians 5:16-26. What are the acts of the sinful nature listed in the passage, and how do these relate to any disgraceful response we may use when we are in annoying situations?
• How can a person keep in step with the Spirit?

• How does our response to irritating or annoying situations reflect or reveal our testimony?

Prayer: Father, thank you for your amazing love for me which is a love that isn’t based on what I say or do, but a love that is based on the simple fact that I am your child. Forgive me for the times when I have not responded to the annoyances in my life in a way that would bring you glory. Through your Spirit, create in me a new heart. Pour the fresh oil of your hope over my head so that I might more fully experience the peace and contentment that only you can provide. Amen.