Anyone remember those all-day singings and dinner on the ground from the good old days? Where plain folk gathered together to fellowship, sing praises to God, encourage one another, and enjoy a home cooked meal in the great outdoors, while laughing and chatting?
Tables were spread with well-worn tablecloths and mix-matched dishes were overflowing with flavorful casseroles, fried chicken, side dishes galore, and desserts.
Sunshine permeated through the trees as a gentle breeze made the branches dance with its flow…
Yes, good times.
And that’s exactly how it happened at Old-Fashioned Day at the Redland Community Church, the first service our ministry hosted.
Pastor Mitchell Battles and his son, Ferguson, from Shell’s Temple, came and encouraged the congregation with song and music. Pastor Battles plays the guitar and Brother Ferguson shares his talent on the drums. They were a real blessing!
Vow to the Lord
Pastor Mitchell Battles singing I Made a Vow to the Lord
Send Me, I’ll Go
Pastor Mitchell Battles and his son, Brother Ferguson singing Send Me, I’ll Go.
Sister Linder and Sister Belinda, from New Life Worship Center (representing Pastor Bubba and Sister Rhonda Sanders) came and testified and sang beautifully for us. They blessed us a ton too!
Brother Terry Allen blessed us with his talents on the harmonica and drums.
I wish I had captured the scene of the big tables set up outside with tablecloths, the homecooked meal and desserts, the gentle breeze, blessed laughter and fellowship – oh, what memories were created!
After all the singing and good food, Pastor James Fickle preached us an old-fashioned message. It was such a treat!
We look forward to more old-fashioned days in the future…
We haven’t posted in a while – but it isn’t because we aren’t working for the Lord. We have been singing, preaching, encouraging, and so much more. Each weekend, we sing at local nursing and assisted living homes and sometimes the hospital. It is a joy and honor to minister to and pray for our elders, who are often forgotten.
Our teachers, preachers, Vets, and more are sitting in these places day after day, hour after hour – sometimes never having the privilege of a visitor. Their faces light up when we begin singing old songs they know and many of them sing right along with us!
Our time has also been devoted to restoring and growing a church the Lord dropped right in to our lap: Redland Community Church.
Born in 1873, this precious old-fashioned church building was put together one log at a time by both the Baptist and Methodist, who joined forces to create a genuine community meeting place.
The current Board Members met and agreed to allow Highways & Byways Ministries to hold weekly services and take part in the maintenance and restoration of this precious old landmark church building.
Pictured below is my husband, Brother Stanley and me walking in to this mission head-on, with joy in our hearts.
This church traces its history to 1873, when a small group of worshippers gathered together at Chinquapin Springs (one mile east) to build a community church. A small one-room log structure was completed on August 16, 1873, and was used by both Methodist and Baptist congregations.
Land at this site was donated for church and school purposes by pioneer settler Hugh Blair. The log church at Chinquapin Springs was relocated here and used as a Union church and school. The Baptist and Methodist congregations continued to share the facility. Blair donated an adjoining acre of land in 1887 and a new frame sanctuary was built.
The Baptist congregation ceased using the Union church in 1906 when they moved to the Oak Flat community and built a new church (now known as Smyrna Missionary Baptist Church). After 1906 the Union church was known as Redlands Church and was occupied solely by the Methodist congregation.
The Methodist congregation disbanded in 1964 and the Redlands Church was purchased at auction by a group of former members. The building is maintained by a Board of Trustees and is used for special services such as memorials, funerals, and weddings.
The McKamey’s sing a song called “Broken Things” that we have loved and sang for years. It really hit home when we first heard them sing that song back in the 80’s.
I think we’ve all been there – feeling broken and useless, hopeless and done in. But, my friends, God is waiting right there to step in, pick up those broken pieces your life has become, and put you back together again. Yes, amen!
God’s Spirit is Still Alive
God is in the restoration business, people. He still saves, delivers, and heals! He still makes broken things whole again. Your life is NOT hopeless. Your future is bright and full of God’s salvation and blessings.
It is so sad to look around and see that God’s churches have become “museums” – places where the “holy” and “upright” go to sit on the pew, sing a few songs, listen to a message that is prepared on the Internet and printed off of the computer for the minister, and that is it.
What about the broken souls? What about the hurting? What about the neighbor whose home is wrecked and splitting up? What about the person who is on the verge of suicide because there’s nowhere left to turn and they have no hope?
It is time that God’s people wake up, rise up, and begin working together for HIS kingdom – and not their own.
Can I get an amen?!
Aren’t you tired of sitting in ho-hum church services that have become like funeral parlors? Don’t you want to see altars filled with repentance and healing, tongue talking and restoration, renewing and hope?
This is all possible – but first, we must get up and do something to change what the church has become. The church is in a rut. Can you see that?
Jesus Christ died so that we might have life and have it more abundantly – not so that we could go sit on a pew, snuffing out His light.
So many hurting people are being forgotten. Take a moment to think about all of those in nursing homes, jails, prisons, orphanages, mental hospitals and more. Just because someone is in one of these places – places that so many choose to block out of our minds – doesn’t mean we have to go on about our business, pretending they aren’t there.
Ever heard that old phrase “out of sight, out of mind”?
This Can All Change!
I challenge you to rise up, wake up, open your heart, and dig deep in to your soul. Pray as you never have before. Fast like God’s word advises. Go visit that family member or friend in the nursing home or jail. Or take part in the nursing home or jail ministry.
Get up off that pew. Shine your light. Share Jesus. Find that zeal you used to have when you first got saved and you wanted everyone in the whole world to experience the peace and joy of salvation.
Go out into the world, sharing the gospel message of hope. Help those hurting, broken lives find the wholeness that you know God is capable of providing.
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26 KJV)
Thanksgiving Day is often perceived as a day to race to the stores and run over each other to get a good sale – not giving an ounce of respect or concern for your fellow man – but people have forgotten the true meaning of the holiday: togetherness and kindness, thoughtfulness and gratitude.
Highways & Byways Ministries spent two days preparing plenty of food and desserts so we would have far more than our own family needed. This morning, we pulled the meal together and made plates of Thanksgiving dinner and all the fixings, along with containers of individual desserts, and delivered them to anyone in our area who were at home alone – whether due to physical illness, finances, or simply because noone was coming to be with them.
In the photo is (from left to right), Nathan Tune (aka Minister James Fickle), and a preacher Joe Carter (aka Papa Joe) who we have come to love and appreciate, as well as myself – Sister Debbie. Papa Joe gave his permission to take the photo and post it to the web. He was so thankful today that we provided him a home cooked Thanksgiving meal.
Another gentleman, not pictured, had tears in his eyes as we delivered his meal. “Thank you for thinking of me!” He said.
The feeling of joy that overcomes our soul as these people are blessed by our little bit of effort, is simply overwhelming. It is such a wonderful feeling to give! Is there anyone in your neighborhood who spends holidays alone? If so, consider making extra food and delivering some of your home cooked goodness to them.
And it is not just about one or two days of the year. Consider making this a daily or weekly habit to check on your neighbors and share what you have with them….
Most people have gone through times of trouble. I am sure that you have many stories as we all do, but in the midst of the storm Gods grace shows up.
Our Eagle bus had been broke down for sometime. Praying and waiting for answers a knock came on our door in the country home where we live. The door was opened to a dear Minister Friend of ours Bro.Wayne, he began to say he wanted our Eagle bus and needed us to go see our new bus. New I say… Yes new to us. A 1989 Prevost, working for God many years never did we think God would have these blessings stored up for us.
5 years this bus had been in storage through a repo situation in another state. Little did we know while we were walking some of the darkest places in our ministry and life, that God was so far ahead of us. Thankful will never be a big enough word to express what we feel. Blessed is not enough of a word either.
You will see the Eagle bus photo,we had been to a local Church… Old fashion day. Anyone that knows this Family Ministry can say we have fought many up hill battles…Having come through them all tattered and torn, but over joyed at the blessings of God and miracles.
2010 was no different more of the same.
Somehow 2011 came a little break for us. I was telling you about the new bus you will see my husband Stanley and I. Our joy and passion we have working for God knows no boundaries, we love sharing the gospel and singing and encouraging our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
2012 has hit us hard, more sickness, my husband’s heart attack and 3 surgeries in a weeks time. Bro. Stanley’s first heart attack was in 1999, then surgery and back out on the Semi. In one months time tragedy struck again a fully loaded semi with a box trailer ran his red light talking on a cell phone and forever changed our lives.
Multiple surgeries more heart attacks , therapy to rebuild my husbands body. Confined for years of hospital bed, wheel chairs, walkers then canes. God’s grace was always with us.
Many times during those years we would promise God if he would just restore our family we would be faithful to visit home bound people , sick ,hurting and forgotten. Being reminded all along that God has the whole world in his hands.
Think about it… Would you ever drop one of your little ones ,I say not…God will never let any of us slip through his hands.
I know with all my heart this Family Ministry has only just begun. A
t first my husband ask not to be put on the web, being a Marine and also a Truck Driver you can understand the (man thing) but being a Minister he sees the other side of the situation.
Without a TEST there is no testimony we definitely want to glorify GOD and give HIM all the praise.
We are home from the Hospital after a week in Cardiac ICU, many problems still, but thank God, once again PRAYER and FAITH in GOD also fantastic Drs. and Nurses coming to the aide of Bro. Stan and not failing to give their best.
THE TUNE FAMILY is still walking on for
Thanks all of you that knew and were praying we will forever be grateful.
2012 is going to be a great year our plans this year included many more Nursing Homes, and Veterans Hospitals, this is only a short pause for rest and restoration.
We will be up and out in no time.
Again THANK YOU ALL GOD BLESS !!! THE TUNE FAMILY
Our Grandson Nathan has worked so hard on putting together this video and pics. for us.
We have a wondeful family, great children that we are sending out into the fields for the Lord.
May God shine bright on everyone in this new year we are entering.
We are looking so forward to see what God has in store for our family as well as yours.
A small Sabbath service 2pm. That is in the middle of the making.
Just a small church not too far away from home. Went to sing and make a joyful noise unto the Lord last Saturday afternoon. Hope you enjoy.
Adversity is the diamond dust that Heaven polishes its jewels with. - (Author unknown)
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. -- Psalm 41:1 (KJV)
"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up." - John Andrew Holmes, Jr.
Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American G.I. One died for your soul; the other for your freedom. Let's remember our Savior and let's remember our Veterans and take better care of them and their families when they return home lame, wounded, and scarred mentally and physically. Keep our military in your prayers!
The light of God surrounds me; the love of God enfolds me; the power of God protects me; the presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is.
Taking it to the street...
Highways and Byways Ministries is a nondenominational, evangelical, missionary-minded family ministry. For 20 years, we've spread the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and song, touching one heart and one life at a time.