Proffit’s Grove Meeting Ended Well

The Lord answered prayer and moved in power last evening. A precious soul was saved and many hearts were helped through the preaching of the Word of God. I praise the Lord for being so faithful to honor His Word and the preaching of the Gospel of grace. Proffit’s Grove is one of those rare churches that I have the privilege of going into from time to time. They are rare in these sense that they are old-fashioned, excited about Jesus, willing to honor the voice of the Spirit, and ready to mind the Lord as He moves among them in the services. Pray for them as they seek to tell their community about the grace of our saving Lord.

I have the week of next week. I hope to spend at least some of that time courting my wife. On weeks like this one, I do not have a lot of time to spend with her and I miss that time together. I thank God for my helpmeet!



Good Meeting At Proffit’s Grove

The Lord has truly us this week at Proffit’s Grove Baptist Church. The services have been well attended and the Lord has met with us each evening. I praise Him for all that He has done and I look forward to the service tonight. Pray that the meeting will end on a high note, and that someone will be saved by the grace of God. I appreciate your prayers as we preach here and there.


It’s Tuesday, and I Am…Tired!

Our family gathered with a couple of hundred friends for the graveside services for Johanna Raye Carswell. The service went well, Christ was exalted and our hearts were encouraged. God has been so gracious to us during these difficult days and I praise Him for His grace. He has sustained us and ministered to us in numerous ways. We praise Him for His wonderful grace, presence and power. Please continue to pray for Nikki and Chad. They are the ones I am concerned about. They have handled themselves in an exemplary manner and I am so very proud of them. I know the days ahead will not be easy, but their love for Jesus and for one another is strong. They will be fine!

Last night, I drove to Boone, NC to begin a meeting at Proffit’s Grove Baptist Church. The Pastor is Brother Delmar James. By the time the service began, I was fried. I was physically, mentally and emotionally drained. But, As He is wont to do, the Lord showed up! He helped this preacher to preach in His power last night. It seemed that I was on the outside watching myself preach. I praise the Lord for His faithfulness. Thank to Him, the meeting got off to a good start. Some people seemed to get some help, and I am looking forward to getting back tonight to see what the Lord will do in that hour. Pray for the meeting and come if you can!


Funeral At 2:00 PM Today

We will have a graveside service this afternoon at 2:00 PM at Blue Ridge Memorial Park Cemetery here in Lenoir. Please remember the family as we gather with our friends to lay the body of our granddaughter to rest. I want to thank everyone who has called or sent and E-mail over the past few days. I have been amazed at who I have heard from and mystified by who I have not heard from. Thank you for your prayers.

Please remember Pastor Scott Moneyham, Pastor Dennis Carswell (Johanna’s other grandfather), and myself as we conduct the service this afternoon.

If you would, please pray for revival services at Proffit’s Grove Baptist Church in Boone, NC. I am scheduled to begin there tonight.


Johanna Plus One

Yesterday, we both met and said goodbye to our granddaughter Johanna Raye Carswell. In her birth we saw the Lord answer several specific prayers; in her death we have experienced His all-sufficient, amazing grace.

Our family has known about Johanna’s condition since April. During that time, we have sought to educate ourselves about Trisomy 18. So, when the time came for her to be born, we were under no illusions that she would be here long. We knew that she would have several profound, and ultimately fatal, physical issues. We knew that her life could be a few minutes or a few months. We knew that Trisomy 18 is a fatal condition in 100% of cases.

While we knew all those things, any many more besides, we still sought the Lord and His will in the matter. We asked Him to allow her to be born alive so her mom and dad could spend some time with the daughter God had blessed them with. We asked God that He so work in her little body that her physical deformities would be minimal. We asked God that she be spared from suffering and pain after she was born. God answered every one of these prayers for us, and we praise Him for that!

Nikki and Chad were blessed with 63 special minutes with Johanna. We were told that Johanna would have clubbed hands, she did not! She had beautiful, long fingers. While she definitely exhibited some clear signs of being a Trisomy 18 baby, she was absolutely beautiful to us. When the time came for her to leave us behind, she passed from earth to Heaven quietly and peacefully. God has been so gracious to us!

While we are saddened that we could not keep Johanna with us; we are rejoicing in our heavenly hope. We know where she is. We know she is well today. We know that we will meet her in glory someday. We will miss the many little, and big, things that mark the life of a baby girl who lives to adulthood, but we rejoice that Johanna has been spared the pain and heartache of this life.

We will have a memorial service on Monday October 26, 2009 at 2:00 PM at the Blue Ridge Memorial Park Cemetery here in Lenoir. Pray that we will use that service as another opportunity to celebrate the sovereign God of Heaven and earth. He has been so good to us and we want to praise Him for His grace and His goodness.

Please keep our family in your prayers. We are all doing well as we rest in the arms of His boundless grace.


Johanna Raye Carswell

Johanna was born at 8:09 AM this morning. She weighed 3 pounds, 13 ounces, she was 16 inches long. She has a headful of curly black hair. Outwardly, she was perfect. Internally, her condition prevented her from staying with us here. She left earth for Heaven at 9:12 AM.

Her Mom and Dad are grieved by her passing, but they rejoice in God’s gift of her to them. They got to spend some time holding her, loving her and were with her when she left for glory. They are doing well and are thankful for your prayers over these past long months. Please continue to pray for them as they say goodbye to Johanna. I am posting a couple of photos of Johanna Raye Carswell.

Thanks again, and God bless!


Johanna Raye CarswellJohanna's Feet

Johanna Will Be Here Tomorrow

We have to meet Nikki and Chad at the hospital at 6:30 Am. Johanna will arrive shortly thereafter. We have no idea what she will face when she is born. All we know is that she is coming tomorrow; all 4 pounds of her. Please remember our family tomorrow. I would ask you to pray especially for my daughter Nikki, my son in law Chad and my granddaughter Johanna. Please pray that God’s will might be done in everything that transpires in our lives tomorrow.

As soo as I know more, I will post it here. I hope to be able to post the first pictures of Johanna Raye Carswell. As soon as I have a free moment, I will update everyone concerning the situation.

Thanks and God bless!


Meeting At Grace Baptist Church And Other Stuff

I am preaching at Grace Baptist Church in Bethlehem, NC this week. The Pastor is Brother Marcus Benfield. We have been having a good week thus far. The people are receptive and friendly. The services have been free and I have had good liberty to preach. The folks have been very responsive in the invitation. Please pray for this meeting. We have two more evenings this week and I am looking, and longing, for the Lord to do some great things for us.

Our family is just about 8 days away from the birth of Johanna Carswell. In case you may not remember, Johanna is the daughter of my daughter Nikki and her husband Chad. Johanna was diagnosed with Full Trisomy 18, or Full Edwards Syndrome in April. As I mentioned, on this blog in April, Full Trisomy 18 is a terrible genetic disorder with a 100% mortality rate. This simply means that we may not have Johanna for very long in this world. So, pray for her Mom and her Dad. They are hurting and and they are looking to the Lord for grace to help in this time of need. They are finding that He is a very present help in trouble. Praise Him for that! Anyway, Johanna will be born on Friday October 23rd early in the morning. Our family would appreciate your prayers on that day and for the days following.

As we have walked this road as a family, several passages of Scripture have given me hope and comfort. The one that I have leaned on the hardest is Psalm 115:3, which says, “But our God is in the heavens: He hath cone whatsoever He hath pleased.” At the end of the day, whatever happens with Johanna, was the Lord’s will for her life and for our family, and that is good enough for me. I will discover, as I heard someone say a while back, “Whatever God does is just what I wanted.” Thanks and God bless!


Good Meeting Last Night

The Lord helped us at Friendship Baptist Church here in Perry, FL last night. I preached from Hebrews 4:14-16 about Jesus Our Great Hugh Priest. The Lord honored His Word and I praise Him for that. Please continue to pray for the meeting as we meet again tonight and tomorrow.

As I studied the text I preached last night, I meditated on the phrase “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities”, Heb. 4:15. The text is telling us that He sympathizes with us in our trials and our temptations. The phrase “touched with the feeling” literally means to “sympathize”. He knows how we feel. It dawned on me, as I studied the text, that whole God knows everything because He is omniscient, there are many things that God only knows by observation. In other words, He does not know how it feels to lie, to let someone down, or to have to burry a spouse or a parent. Think about that. God, Who knows all things, knows many of them by observation. But, when God became flesh and walked in this earth, John 1:1, 14; Phil 2:5-8, He experienced many of the things He had only observed before. He knows what it is to have no money. He knows what pain feels like, He knows what it is to be abandoned and betrayed. He knows what it feels like to die. He knows these things, not only by observation, but by experience. That means that He can sympathize with us when we face similar trials. He is able to give us grace. He is able to help us through our times of brokenness, pain and suffering. When I think of what He suffered for me; when I think about Him condescending to become a man; when I think about Him going through all the things He endured, just to redeem His people from their sins, I want to praise Him, thank Him and worship Him. He is a wonderful, loving Lord! Think about that and let me know what you think!


It’s Hot, Rainy And Humid In Florida

When I left home Sunday evening, it was a pleasant 60 degrees. When I arrived in Florida yesterday at 3:00 PM, it was a balmy 85. I like the cool temps better in North Carolina.

I am here to preach and not complain about the weather. We had a good service last night at Friendship Baptist Church here in Perry, FL. The crowd was down because they had a death in the church and many of the people were at the funeral home. We had a good service nonetheless. If you have a moment, please remember to pray for the meeting and for the Pastor, Brother Ed Taylor.

I would also appreciate prayers for several folks in our church. We have three ladies battling breast cancer, a man with several forms of cancer, a little girl with H1N1, and lots of folks with many other ailments. I don’t think I have ever seen a time when so many people are sick. I look forward to the day when we get to leave this world and all its pain and problems behind. I look forward to the day when all God’s children will be home in His presence in Heaven. I praise the Lord that we have a better place to go!