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FBC Galt service at Royal Oaks
- first Tuesday of every month, 10:00 AM -
Tuesday, May 5, 2005 Posted 9:30 PM PST (0230 GMT)
Galt, California (DP)
The monthly visit to Royal Oaks was well attended. Eighteen people participated in the service, including Jebby Moates, Pastor Dan Malloy, and Ruth Parkinson who played various musical instruments.
Again it was necessary to bring in extra chairs so that everyone could have a seat.
As is the tradition with these monthly services, the day began with singing lots of familiar songs. This month however, there were more special songs including Pastor Dan singing "Precious Memories," and "Suppertime." Jebby sang "Potluck In Heaven" from his Christian rock opera "Brothers," and "Do You Love Me" (with Billy Neal) from another of Jebby's productions, "Picture of Jesus."
Ruby Holligan led the "memory work," which included The Lord's Prayer, The 23rd Psalm, and John 3:16.
Jim Fugate, our regular Royal Oaks preacher, told those assembled that he loves stories. He said he wanted to tell a story that was partly based on truth, and partly fiction.
The story was about the French Revolution, a real war. It took place in the Bastille Prison, a real place. It involved Marie Antoinette, a real person. A French Noble family might be killed for simply being part of the aristocracy, a true historical fact. But the rest of the story, Jim advised, was fiction. He proceeded to give a wonderful synopsis of Charles Dickens classic novel, "A Tale of Two Cities."
The important detail of the story that a man gave his life for another man, a most noble act. The man who lived could only say, "He took my place." Jim reminded the audience that while this is a very well-written story, it is fiction.
He then told a second story. The setting for this story was a an early morning Bible study at a church where a stranger came to visit for the first time. A man came up to the stranger after the stranger parked his car and said, "I always park there." The stranger went into the Bible study and found an open seat. Immediately, a woman came up to the stranger and said, "I always sit there." After the Bible study the stranger went into the sanctuary for the regular service and sat down in an open pew. No sooner had he sat down than another man came up and said, "That's my place."
The congregation began to worship and soon they prayed for God to be present. The stranger stood and before their very eyes He began to change in appearance. Tears were forming in His eyes, and the blood began to trickle down His forehead. Fully transformed and recognized as none other than Jesus Christ, He said, "I took your place."
Jim talked about being a police officer and appearing in court often and being asked to take an oath before giving his testimony. He said that often the bailiff uttered the words, "Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" so fast that were it not familiar he would not have even known what was said. He reminded us that we should always think carefully before giving an oath because it is a serious matter.
Jim recounted that he celebrated his 75th birthday this week. While he feels very good, he said he knows that "the path grown brighter as heaven draws nearer." He joked with Bill, who came to Royal Oaks just a few months ago, that he looked good for 92! Jim said he might be around for a bit longer. (After the service we learned that Bill will turn 93 on June 25th).
Jim reminded everyone that Billy Graham often says, "I'm just a sinner saved by grace." Jesus, Jim said, always reaches out in love to draw people to Himself. He then told the story of Socrates on his death bed being asked if there was anything else (after this life). "I don't know," was his reply. However, John 14 reminds us that we can know because Jesus promised those who love Him and trust Him that He would never leave them and that He would come again to bring them to Himself. Jim closed by reminding everyone that Dickens' story is fiction, but Jesus' story is truth.
He closed in prayer and then everyone sang, "Hallelujah." As is the custom, many of those from FBC went around the room greeting and talking to the people assembled. It was a great service.
Submitted by Tom Lane, FBC Galt
Tuesday, April 5, 2005 Posted: 4:45 PM EST (2145 GMT)
Today was our first Royal Oaks service without our beloved Veda Rackley, who went on to be with the Lord last month. It was a sweet service, but we missed Veda greatly.
The room was packed with residents and visitors from FBC Galt. We had to bring in extra chairs from outside to accommodate everyone - always a good sign!
We began our service with the singing of a number of our "Royal Oaks Favorites" including, "I've Got a Mansion," "In the Garden," "There's Room at the Cross," and "I Love You Lord." Jebby sang a special number about the Lord leaving the ninety-nine sheep to rescue that one lost lamb.
Jim Fugate, Senior Deacon and our regular monthly Royal Oaks preacher began his message by reminding us that we cannot imagine what heaven is really like. He quoted C.S. Lewis, "You can't tell the beauty of the rose by looking at the root."
He also quoted from Alfred Tennyson's "Crossing the Bar"
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
Jim reminded us that when God calls, it's always a clear call. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it was a clear call.
Jim recounted visiting Veda Rackley in the hospital with Pastor Rob when she was quite ill and very weak. Pastor Rob asked Veda if she would like to do her "memory work." Jim was thinking this might be too much for her, but Veda quickly responded by rehearsing John 3:16, Psalm 23, and the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). As he told this story, we did our "memory work" with him.
Jim also quoted from another poem, "The Angel in the Stones," by Charles Edward Bennett. He likened this poem to when Jesus was returning to Jerusalem and some of the Pharisees demanded that Jesus rebuke His disciples who were praising Him. "I tell you," He (Jesus) replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (Luke 19:40)
Jim then shared from Luke 24:13-32, about the two men who were walking, talking and grieving along the Road to Emmaus. They were hoping against hope, but didn't dare to believe that Jesus had survived that horrible death at the hands of men. These two men did not remember the prophecies of Isaiah and Daniel ...that is until Jesus walked with them, talked with them, ate with them, and opened their eyes.
Jim reminded us that the world has taken note of the passing of Pope John Paul II, with thousands passing by his coffin and millions watching on TV. Not so with Jesus. Only a few women were tending to His burial needs, and when they arrived to do their duty they found the tomb was empty!
Jim ended his message by reminding us all that a good definition of love is "being present with." He quoted John 14:1-3, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am."
He then closed us in prayer and while Jebby and Pastor Dan Malloy sang, we greeted those who were assembled in love. All in all, it was a wonderful service on a beautiful Spring day.
Veda, we're convinced, was pleased as we carried on the ministry of our extended church that reaches all the way to Royal Oaks.
Submitted by Tom Lane, FBC Galt
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