This Reality

One of my favorite phrases, oft repeated, is “God is still God. Jesus is still Lord. And the Holy Spirit is still at work.” It reminds me, regardless of how despairing or turbulent life is, that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are intimately involved in the world making God’s will just as real on earth as it already is in heaven. This reality fills me with joy. It brings me hope. And it brings the deepest meaning imaginable to my life regardless of what’s going on. My prayer is that it will for you as well.

Obituary – Rev. Charles Olson Walthall

Rev. Charles Olson Walthall

Rev. Charles Olson Walthall age 96, of Stamps, AR. passed away May 20, 2021, one day shy of his 97th birthday. He was born May 21, 1924 in Minden, LA to Benjamin Edward and Elizabeth Walthall. He was a member of the United States Army Air Corps. He served in WWII as navigator on a B-17 and flew 34 missions over Germany which earned him a spot in “Lucky Bastards” Club. He also served as minister for the United Methodist Church for many years and earned the title of Pastor Emeritus. Rev. Walthall was a member of the American Legion and enjoyed hunting, fishing, hunting arrowheads and especially enjoyed singing. He was the leader of the Nursing Home Singers, but his greatest passion was spreading the love of God.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 75 years, Lurline Walthall, two brothers, Bernice Walthall and Kenneth Walthall, one sister Betty Jo Stevens and two grandchildren Richard Lee Harris II and Lucretia Harris.

He is survived by one son, Steve Walthall and wife Stephanie of Austin, TX. One daughter, Charlotte Harris and husband Richard of Lewisville, AR. One grandson, Robby Harris and wife Nicki of Lewisville, AR. Five great-grandchildren, Brittany, Colby, Molly, Gavin and Braxton and 5 great-great-grandchildren.

The family is very grateful for the staff at Dudneywood and Encompass health for their help, love, care and friendship also a special thanks to caregiver and special friend Sheila Beasley.

Funeral services will be held 2 P.M. Monday, May 24, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church in Stamps, AR. and interment following at Oak Grove Cemetery in Stamps, AR. with Rev. Phil Worley officiating and Steve Walthall and Gary Rivers speaking under the direction of A.O. Smith Funeral Home.

Visitation will be held from 12 P.M. until 1:30 P.M. Monday, May 24, 2021 at the United Methodist Church in Stamps, AR.

Humbly Bold

I’ve done a lot I regret. To put it into the language of the Christian faith, I have sinned against God and others too many times to count by thought, word and deed. As I face this truth, it can be tempting to withdraw and have the attitude that because I have done bad, I must do nothing but listen, observe and learn. While this is indeed appropriate for certain seasons, it can never be a way of living. Perhaps more importantly, it can never be an excuse for withdrawing from actively living out my discipleship by thought, word and deed. So what do I do when I know that whatever I do won’t always be what I long to do? Keep trying to humbly live a bold Jesus-led life every single day!

“GodStrong”

I had the privilege and joy yesterday of worshipping with Caraway United Methodist Church. What made the day memorable was we gathered outside because the church had been extensively damaged by two young arsonists the week before. While the flames of destruction may have been at work early last Monday morning, the tongues of fire of the Holy Spirit were present yesterday on Pentecost as the congregation and friends gathered to give praise to God, make disciples and be strengthened in resolve by the Holy Spirit. I am grateful for the leadership of the congregation and its pastor, Brother Jason Suftin, for powerfully reminding me in a way I needed to be reminded that being ‘GodStrong’ always triumphs over life’s deepest tragedies. 

A Sunday Prayer

 

Lord of All,

I pray for Your world that is so broken – from people turning away from You to injustice that perpetuates from generation to generation. Unleash Your Holy Spirit so that people realize the folly of their ways and turn to You in a humble spirit that brings transformation of lives, communities and the world.

I pray for Your church that is fundamentally divided in ways that are a scandal to the Gospel. Pierce the hearts of Christians who treat each other as enemies so that they may truly become brothers and sisters with each other because of their relationship with Jesus. 

I pray for Jesus-followers who are overwhelmed with life as they seek to be faithful in all they do every single day. Fill them with the spiritual gifts You know they need to live the unique lives You have created them to experience, and give them Your joy that grows in the most difficult of times. 

Yes, Lord, I pray. Help me to pray more deeply, more powerfully and more from my heart. And may my prayers continue on my best days, my worst days and all the days in-between. 

I pray this in the name of Jesus who is my Savior, Redeemer, Lord, Brother, Friend and Hope.

Amen.