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31 thoughts on “How to comment

  1. I love the blog and am happy you are including things you have done at church. I hope you will include the story you told at the Senior Christmas luncheon, as I was unable to attend that day.

    I am printing them all out and keeping a notebook for the benefit of all my friends who are home bound and who love you. I carry the CD’s of the stories from Judges to them as well.

    I cannot visualize the church in fifty years. I know it must change, as we cannot continue to support bigger and bigger structures, but neither can I imagine house churches as fulfilling. Nor can I imagine people being disciplined enough to keep a huge church actively involved in full time mission work.

    I hope we never get to the point where we consider music as “show”. I realize there are many churches where that is the case, but our church always speaks to me spiritually through the music as well as the spoken word.

    Keep us pushing the envelope! I love it!

  2. Hi. I attended both Christmas Eve services, singing in the choir, enjoying the slight differences in the services. They went quite smoothly. What a lovely preface for the next day, the actual celebration day of Jesus.

    This is a time when peace and love are prayed for and expected. Monument Avenue has a mystique all its own, and the splendiferous Christmas decorations really draw you to the wide, luxurious avenue.

    A feeling of peace comes over you when you see how magnificent architecture combines with manicured lawns and all the extra care that is obvious.

    I hope that peace and love break out all over the world, beginning on Monument Ave., Richmond, Va.

  3. Hi. These latest messages are amazing. On Jan 19th, I watched hours of Martin Luther King’s life, travels, marches, his murder, the gov’s laissez-faire attitude of his sudden . violent death, and got the picture once more of hopelessness, despair, darkness at the murder of Dr. King long ago.

    Them Bobby Kennedy was shot after that, and those folks who were born into the life of living in the shadow of someone else lost all hope.

    But now, as of yesterday, there is a new chapter in this country. I wonder if Abraham Lincoln referred to it, I know ML King did, and the genuine thanksgiving and pride is expressed by many people as derisiveness melts into decisions of unity, hatred dissolves into hope,, separation fuses into sense of fellowship.

    Changing the subject, on the HISTORY channel, the 10 plagues sent by God were discussed in a 2-hour special a few days ago. They did an amazing job and connected the 10 with historical earthquakes, tsunamis, firestorms as far away as Santorini, Greece and Egypt. They left the viewer with possibility that God used nature to do His will. I think it is a certainty that God did just that. It was amazing in that it draws the viewer in with graphs, dates, etc. It puts the entire episode at 1500 BC

    What do you think?

    SIncerely, Trisha

    Did you see it?

    It is a good thing.

  4. Hi Jim…I haven’t been feeling well the past few months and have not been able to get there as much as I would like. It totally enjoy reading your blog. Your father must be a wonderful person and what a great example for all us to follow.

    You are such a blessing to our church.

    Karen

  5. hi. It is interesting that you relate how your father left Alabama. He was courageous and a wonderful father to protect all of you and relocate in a hurry.

    Thank you for sharing it with us.
    —Trisha Grizzard

  6. Hi, Jim. I viewed the service by webcast from sunny Southern California today — thanks! It was much like a breath of fresh air in an unusual atmosphere. I will see you in two weeks.
    Maureen

  7. I think The Shack does a wonderful job of explaining The Trinity in very easy and loving terms. I also think that as we age, The Trinity starts taking shape and becoming easier to grasp…kind of like as your relationship matures with God, you start to see and need all “three” and know where they fit in your life. Maturity and relationship = The Trinity to me.

  8. Pastor I feel like I know you, by the way your people talked you up. Please thank the Church for sending to such a wonderful team; they did a wonderful job of bringing heaven to earth.

    If you read this before Sunday please give them a big thank you in front the Church for me and Frederiksted Baptist.

    Thank you
    John Gilbert, Pastor

  9. Hi Jim,
    My wife and I totally agree with you assessment about the source of the radical political divisions in our country. We will not even talk with some of our relatives about politics anymore.
    Of course, part of the problem is that there is no room for discussion. You are either right, on my side, or you are one of “them”. An editorial in the Norfolk paper today noted how the appeal to patriotism was being used to silence dissent.
    So, suddenly the President is Adolph Hitler, or a mass murderer. It is very scary how the people who are smart enough to bring some sense to a situation are now being shouted down. You would not believe some of the crazy emails I have received from former students at ODU. Very revolutionary in character and they think that this is being like the colonial freedom fighters!
    Rob Sandford
    PS: Don Baker from Chattanooga (Red Bank High School) was a good high school friend and connected us on Facebook.

  10. Hello Jim Somerville; I’m very appreciative of the changes in the worship services since you’re been there.
    They really do hit home with me. However, I’ve noticed that you don’t always publicly thank the choir for their wonderful music. Even though some of these members are gifted, they have to put a lot of effort into getting to rehearsals regularly.

  11. I’m grateful for the choir every week, Peggy, and sometimes I say so publicly. If I thanked everyone who makes our worship services so special, there would be no time left to preach!

  12. Jim, I just love your stories! You have such a wonderful way on connecting “real life” situations to our relationship with God. Thank you for this gift!

  13. Pastor Jim somerville I can’t say I’m a frequent church goer as a matter of fact I cant remember the last time I went but happened to stumble upon some of the things wbc has been doing. I was definetely dumfounded not being able to believe that we have such desrespectful people completely oblivious to the world around them. But decided to research into the past of Pastor Fred phelps to try and find some sort of closure. After digging around for a bit I came to one conclusion. Pastor Fred phelps isn’t the type of person to do these things out of some sense of spite from abuse as a child as a matter of fact I’m willing to bet he was the so-called golden child. No pastor Fred phelps is a very confused individual who because of his education apparently has a way with words. He is federally banned from practicing any form of law even tho at one point he was the most sought after civil rights attourney but practices and preaches a form of baptism where women are silent unless spoken to. He’s a man of the old ways and the only way I can think would be able to silence wbc would be to relenquish any form of power he has especially the church seeing as how the majority of his followers are his kin but something like that is no east feat and wish goodluck to anyone who has to tolerate wbc’s dillusional sense of justice and hope karma will someday reach them

  14. Dear Jim

    Nestled in the “foothills” of The Great Smoky Mountains in Northeast Tennessee, I am still rejoicing that God has allowed our paths to cross. What a joy to speak with you yesterday. That you would take so much time to “share your heart” with me is something I shall never forget. As co-laborers in ministry, may the example of Christ seen in your life and ministry be the very same that is “fleshed out” in the daily lives of all who have chosen to follow Him. Wherever God may lead in service to Him and to others, my sincere prayer is that others may see Jesus in our lives and ministries and that His love will be evident in all we say and do.

    Blessings,
    Thomas A (Tom) Stanton
    Morristown, TN

  15. HELLO JIM, I WANT YOU TO KNOW HOW MUCH I ENJOY YOUR SERVICES. EVEN THOUGH I AM A MEMBER OF FIRST BAPTIST, I DO NOT COME TO CHURCH REGULARLY ON SUNDAY MORNINGS BECAUSE OF PAIN ISSUES. I WATCH THE SERVICE EVERY SUNDAY ON CHANNEL 8. FOR ABOUT A YEAR NOW, I HAVE BEEN IN PAIN THAT CONSUMES ME FOR 16 HOURS A DAY. THE ONLY TIME THAT I AM FREE OF PAIN IS WHEN I’M SLEEPING. COMING TO CHURCH AND WALKING THE DISTANCE FROM THE PARKING LOT INTO CHURCH IS DIFFICULT SINCE I HAVE TO STOP AND REST AFTER ABOUT 25 FEET. ALSO GETTING UP TO SING SONGS AND JUST STANDING MAKES ME HURT. I ALWAYS GET SO MUCH FROM YOUR SERMONS AND SO ENJOY YOUR TALKING ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD THAT I MAKE SURE I LISTEN TO YOUR SERMONS. i WILL BE HAVING SURGERY ON 2/25 FOR A HERNIA THAT HAS RECENTLY DEVELOPED. THIS WILL BE MY 14TH SURGERY. i ASK THAT YOU PRAY FOR A SUCCESSFUL SURGERY AND THAT I WILL BE ABLE TO GET PAST THE PAIN. I AM SEEING ANEW DOCTOR TOMORROW 2/14 THAT I HOPE MAY BE HELP TO HELP W/ THE PAIN ISSUE. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN VERY ENERGETIC AND THE
    PAIN HAS REALLY AFFECTED MY ABILITY TO ENJOY THE THINGS THAT I LIKE TO DO. PLEASE KEEP ME IN YOUR THOUGHTS AS I SEE MY NEW DOCTOR THAT HE MAY BE ABLE TO HELP ME GET RID OF THE CONSTANT DISCOMFORT THAT I’M IN. MY FAITH HAS TAKEN ME THROUGH SOME VERY TOUGH TIMES AND IT WILL HELP ME IN THE FUTURE, BUT I ASK THAT YOU INCLUDE ME IN YOUR PRAYERS. YOURS IN CHRIST, MYRA CLEMENTS

  16. Your desire to be A NEIGHBORHOOD CHURCH is working, I do believe.
    Just as I turned around to leave yesterday, I glimpsed a man wearing a T-shirt with a profound statement thereon!; “SATAN SUCKS”. Not exactly what you would expect in the sanctuary, but there it was; bold, direct, and somewhat shocking. I am certain you shook this man’s hand on the way out, but your replying comments must have been “classic” as well? This has got to be a “first” for you. It surely was for me.

  17. Thank you for that great sermon yesterday. I read Jim Wright’s article on Saturday and was happy that you expounded on it.

  18. There are alot of good people that made mistakes and just need some Spiritual Guidence and Emotional Sopport from the Outside… It’s been since 2000-2003 for me… I Bible Thumped and had Three Spiritual Experiences while I was there! Had’nt had it since.. I witnissed the Light in my room twice and the third time had heard a loud male thunder of a voice that said; ” I am the Redeemer”!!

  19. Sure hope you did not think I meant to discredit the KOH2RVA every member mission effort you are leading and calling us into. It is truly a GOD thing for our church and I pray for you as our leader and its continued success. My emphasis is on the 200 churches just in Va without a pastor and 80% cannot even affor one much less other staff. My hope and pray is that our effort at FBC will plant a seed in a few who want to follow the lead of the two 50 some year old Dominion Power employees who retired early and are now by-vocational pastors or the 72 year old widow who is now a director of seniors in a church because we helped harvest a seed that was alread there. All Leland graduates.
    I can’t say enough about your KOH2RVA work. For me, I have taken to filling pulpits and Wed night bible studies (as I use to do quite often before Susan died)) in churches who need a supply or substitute or just someone new. I love it. I am also moving into a cond developemt of hundreds of condos in a very middle, middle class neighborohood where no one will know me and I can hopefully start “something” for Christ. I already know my close neeighbors are not (at lease seem to be) churched.
    Always know I support you and every effort you lead and please don’t think I was talking about you not calling us out.

    Bless your heart.
    Eddie

  20. Not at all, Eddie. You’re calling all of us to think about how we engage God’s mission and what we can do to help. Every way can be a good way.

  21. Thank you for your KOH2RVA, Day 184 blog on the Interfaith Friendship Dinner. Today was the last day in a four-week series on the Islam faith presented by our chaplain here at Covenant Woods (Steve Scott). I am sorry I had not read the blog earlier as it would have been a wonderful way to end the course. Many of us felt sad at the end of the session regarding the turmoil we face today but your thoughts helped me realize the importance of education and learning how to accept all people of all faiths. I will take the liberty of sharing your blog with Steve Scott tomorrow. I know he will enjoy reading your comments. Oh….and Happy Birthday a little late! .Hope you had a great one…..you deserve it! Jean

  22. Eleanor Turner
    I love the blog. I recoognized myself in several accounts. I just sit at home and think about whether to return to FB. WEll, I am returning, My issues with rejection i many parts of my life are being rationed “out” in my mind and I know that nothing harbored against one of HIM can flourish. Thanks, Lord. There is alot of hurt but I know this is to be expected. I am so sorry I caused upset to some friends. Ralph Starling is my hero. .

    I am READY to return and I WILL. July 22, 2013. Senior Adult Single.

  23. Hello Jim…..Pat Hunley….Clothier Presbyterian ….here. So sorry to hear about your Dad. He was a terrific minister with a great sense of humor! Hope everyone is doing OK and dealing with his loss by looking to God for comfort. My Day is now 93….Mom died in a fall at their home at Smith Mt. Lake, Va 9 years ago. We miss her each and everyday! The church is hanging on….we have 12 members left and about 20 to 30 who attend and help support the church. Please give our love and prayers to the entire family.

  24. god bless u dr peter james flammingand Shirley,our familes went thru a lot together..one thing I always remember dr flammin referring to peas in carrots growing up in the 1940 and from his mother u had peas and carrots and annie Johnson Flynn
    thank u for so many wonderful years sir.ken mason

  25. Hi Jim…I am enjoying your soap opera sermons. Can’t wait to see what happens to the new king and the old one. I guess I could read up on it. See you in Flamming Hall…Hugs to you and Christy….

  26. I’ve re-discovered your blog site. I love the way you think and write courageously!!! Your post-Niagra visit comments were absolutely brilliant!! We have a granddaughter attending VCU in the fall; she’s looking forward to making your church her church; I’m envious! I’m eager for you to meet this awesome young lady. Jim Reinhard

  27. Appealing to individuals who are concerned with the World and not with keeping God’s commandments is far from brilliant. I am sad for your congregation that you are now catering to the worldly instead of holding up your and their eyes to the Lord. The salvation of others by far is where your thoughts and prayers should be. Getting seduced into popularity here may jeopardize your ability to help bring others into salvation for eternity. I would not attend your church now because I am looking for strong leadership that will help us keep our eye on the Lord and not on whether the politics of the world or gay marriage or any other worldly issues is more important or should be supported. I think your time would be better served with your energy and love into sermons and blogs on Salvation which is really what is important and having a real honest relationship with God. Not blogging to be noticed or trying to be cool in this world. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and pray God will open your eyes his way and may the Holy Spirit wake you up inside and help you to see how you are turning down the wrong direction. Of course, you have the right here in this World to ignore these suggestions, and if you continue this course you like all of us will be judged by God anyway, not by men. Every life does matter, and so does every soul. Even yours sir.

  28. Pastor Jim, your comments are warm and caring. But (oh dear hear it comes right ?) I am a Christian and also a Pastor’s wife and this is what worries me. It should not matter what others think of us if, when, we stand on what we believe is God’s word. Yes, I believe with all my heart we should love the gay men and women. But there is also tough love. And, there is also what Jesus taught about who shall enter the kingdom of Heaven.
    I have a gay relative.I love my gay relative. She is Honest, clean, upfront with what she thinks and feels.
    I don’t want to put her name to protect her, but I am concerned for her soul, and for others that are gay. Because, I believe the Bible teaches, that they cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. We all have decisions to make about what we must “give up” or be “converted from” when we accept Christ into our lives. I had to be willing to lay my husband , my family, my own sins on the altar before I knew in my own heart, I was ready to meet my Jesus. Now, I don’t expect everyone to have my experience, I was truly a full blown sinner. Some folks are raised in the church and have never had a “feeling experience”. No problem with that . If God has no problem I sure don’t.
    I believe the Bible teaches. John 3:16. I know because I sat on the side of my bed crying telling God I wanted to die but was afraid if I took my own life I would go to hell because of my sins. (Long story)
    I just worry, I worry because to me sex with the opposite sex is a very disturbing thought. And from Sodom and Gomorrah to that verse in the new testament, Jubilee Bible 2000
    Know ye not that the unjust shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor effeminate nor homosexuals 10 nor thieves nor covetous nor drunkards nor revilers nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you, but now ye are washed, but now ye are sanctified, but now ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God.

    I don’t want to judge on my own that they will not make heaven, I am going by what I FEEL THE BIBLE IS TEACHING ME. Yes, I was once a sinner saved by Grace. Saved from it, not in it. Do I ever sin, yes I have. I ask for forgiveness and do my best to do as Jesus said, go and sin no more. (At least that one SIN) (chuckling). I think I UNDERSTAND what you are trying to say, we sould love love love. Because of the commandment of love:

    …5 “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

    I READ THE WORDS: , “to those who love me”. God doesn’t send us to hell, we go there because of our own choices. Yes or no? Help me out here.

    …37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38″This is the great and foremost commandment. 39″The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’…
    I want to love, but not be in love with the opposite sex.
    Love the person, I admire the strength in my female relative who is gay. She shows courage and love in her heart. Most of all, I see an honest and tender heart.
    And I must leave her in God’s hands and not judge that she is “evil”. Yet, I think when I “worry” because of what I believe- is a sin, that she could not enter heaven PRACTICING this ,
    I only care about her soul. Not that I am better in any way.
    I hope I haven’t lost you. You seem like a really loving Pastor. God Bless You.
    Jacki

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