When you speak of Friendship Ohio you are getting a lot of Scioto County history in a bundle. First of all you had the very early natives who lived in this area enjoying the benefits of living at two major river intersections of the Scioto and Ohio River. Recently I viewed a map showing the early Scioto River which ran a course closer to the area of Earl Thomas Conley Park bringing it next door to this little town of Friendship. You had countless numbers of important names in history migrating down the Ohio River passing this community. The Shawnee (their name meaning people from the South) Indians migrating from the South began their first Ohio habitation in this area before being evicted North at the continuing influx of early white settlers. They noticed others had lived here and gone on before their arrival.
On a Sunday morning we stood at the front entrance of a church located on Camp Street, Friendship. Could this have been named in reference to the Native Americans who camped and lived in this very area. In my readings I have found that many communities have been developed on ground previously selected by Native Americans. In my pictorial blog I pictured a three quarter grooved Native American axe found in this general area.
This day our visit was the Church of Christ in Friendship where a deacon John Berry opened the service on this day coming forward to mention Matthew 25 and then went into prayer. Part of his prayer included, “Our most precious Heavenly Father in heaven we pray ardently to worship you as you commanded us. Bless us as we sing on this day, giving us melody and grace. Life is like a vapor. We know father that your son has told us to seek righteousness. All the treasures we heap up is nothing to what you have done for us and we pray you will go with us and give us strength in our faith. In the blessed name of Jesus Christ.” Amen! The church does not use musical instruments but the congregation sings beautifully unaccompanied.
First was the song, “Be with me, Lord! “Sometimes I feel that I could fight an army with just me and you and there is no one could harm me, O but sometimes I can feel a little shy. Its then I need to know that you are there, that is why I’m singing. Be with me Lord when I am down. Be with me Lord when I’m lonely. Be with me Lord when I’m tired. I need you only”. There were other lovely hymns throughout the service.
Delivering the message on this day was Marvin Gearhart quoting the scripture, “Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also”. He defined his scripture reading saying that if you have earthly treasures then your mind will be on that. What do we need besides food and shelter. We should strive to find our treasure in heaven because that is where we find God. People spend time trying to bring God to earth when we should be striving to get ourselves to God!
Marvin said that he is retired and lives on a hill in Kentucky. I have time to enjoy all that is around me. That is my gift. His wife Megan, is a teacher and doesn’t have the kind of time he has to see the things he is blessed to see on a daily basis. Though this writer takes the liberty to say that I am sure she is blessed on a daily basis working to make the lives of her students better. Though her view is obviously different in a working day.
He next spoke of 2nd Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up”. As he spoke of the Lord coming back as a thief in the night he also discussed his strong love of Christ and what he has done for him in his life. If I get a bad thought in my mind the Lord helps me take care of that right now. He said that, “Jesus Christ will come back to raise the dead and institute the judgement”. Also he exclaimed that the mind is a box and we should continuously take inventory as to what is in that box. He pointed out in John 5:28. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice. Judgement is coming.
He then presented Jeremiah 25:4 and 5. Quoting verse 5 of the King James Version Bible: “They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever. Next he had said that we must present a life where we try to understand and follow scripture. The Pastor’s interpretation was that damnation is where Satan and his followers will be cast into the lake of fire.
In speaking of the greatness of God he said that there is no greater return than serving Christ. There is no better investment. Someone should not be complacent with Christ. If you are married 48 years, treat your spouse like you did when you were first married. My own mother said don’t let her get away and I did not. Well, don’t let Christ get away either. Christ is coming back and we should be prepared. We buy insurance for a loss but there is no insurance for your soul. The bible is very clear on how we become children of God and how we stay a child of God. That is your insurance.
He also spoke of God’s judgement on Nebuchadnezzar (which I found in Daniel Chapter 4). The great Babylonian King suffered from the sin of pride and he lost his kingdom as a result. Nebuchadnezzar was later given the opportunity to repent and upon doing so he was given back his kingdom by God’s grace. Today’s Pastor mentioned that God doesn’t want us to be perfect, but to try and be perfect. There is just one Gospel, from Genesis to Revelation and the good news is he is coming back. God sent his son so we could learn the mind of God! Speaking on he eventually discussed that the plan of salvation is laid out and that we should all be baptized into Christ. Then there was communion, a final prayer by Mike Book and a closing by Floyd Book.
For a pictorial view of this visit check out medium.com and search Randy Rucker. Chris and Stephanie Neff joined us in our experience of worshiping with the fine folks of the Friendship Church of Christ. If you are looking for a church family why don’t you look them up.
As believers, let us share the good new of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world. Each one, reach one! See ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.