Snow Day

I woke up at 4:30 AM to find about 5-6 inches of global warming all over the place. I thought I’d post a picture I took from my front door around 5:00 AM.

The view from my front door

Just thought I’d share. Please remember several of our people for prayer: Gary Brakefield and Doc McGuire are in the hospital. Becky Morrow passed away yesterday. Pray for her family.

Alan

Quick Update

This is a quick update from North Myrtle Beach, SC. I am preaching tonight at Dogwood Hills Baptist Church in Loris, SC for the Carolina Baptist Association’s evangelism conference. I would appreciate your prayers as we gather for the meeting this evening. I trust the Lord will honor is Word and speak to the hearts of those in attendance.

I appreciate all the doors the Lord opens for me to go and preach. I am thankful for the ministry He has given me, which allows me to travel here and there preaching the Gospel of grace. It excites me to see the Lord work. I blesses me to see Him honor His Word. It thrills me to see people place their faith in Jesus. It humbles me when the Lord uses me as His vessel to declare His truth. I praise Him for the opportunities I have enjoyed as a preacher of the Gospel; I look forward to what God has in store for me down the road.

Please pray for the service tonight.

Alan

Good Meeting This Week

I am preaching this week at Mathis Chapel Baptist in Catawba, NC. The Pastor is Brother Travis Triplett. The past two nights have been very good. The meeting has been well attended and the presence of the Lord has been very real. I praise Him for the liberty I have enjoyed as I have preached each night. I also appreciate the people of the Lord being responsive to the Word of God and for listening to His Spirit during the invitation. Pray for the rest of the meeting.

Next week, I will be in Sylvania, AL with Pastor Brian Harris and the good folks at Mt. View Baptist Church. Please remember this meeting in your prayers as well.

Alan

Strange Days

Yesterday was a strange day at Calvary. The Lord blessed us with His presence in the AM service. Our choir sang and people got some real help. Then a young man in our church stood up and announced his call to preach the Word. I don’t think anyone was surprised, but it still made for a great morning at church. I am also encouraged that there are some talented, godly young men coming along behind my generation. That excites me! Last night, we had a a missionary with us. Brother Tom Shuford, founder of Psalm 23 Ministries, came by to update us on his work. We had a good service. God is faithful to bless us for His glory.

Anyway, yesterday was a good day, but it was a strange day for me on several levels. I won’t go into the feelings I experienced, because I really don’t trust my feelings. For the most part, our feelings arise out of our fleshly natures, and are an unreliable source of guidance. I do covet your prayers as I sense the Lord is doing something in my life. I want to be sensitive to Him and His will.

Alan

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.

Alan

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!

Alan

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.

Alan

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.

Alan

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!

Alan

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!

Alan