CORONAVIRUS: A PERSPECTIVE

Good Morning:

As I sat doing my Bible study this morning I started to think of the myriad of emotions our nation is experiencing right now. These are strange times we are living. These are frightening times we are living. For so many who are alienated from family and friends these are lonely times we are living.

Coronavirus has changed the perspective of life for so many people and replaced confidence with doubt, health with sickness and good fortune with the downfall of both public and private economies.

The question becomes; “How do we cope with an enemy that we cannot see or in many cases fully comprehend?” To answer this question for myself, and hopefully for you as well, I started to look to the Word of God. The first thing I seek is contentment: contentment with God, contentment with family and contentment with and for those who are hurting to help them through these perilous times. I realize that on the surface this idea may sound as “pie in the sky” philosophy designed to beguile you with smoke and mirrors and sleight of hand. Not so. I truly believe that God, even in the toughest of times, wants us to be content.

Let’s take a moment to look at Job. In a matter of hours this man had lost everything he had worked for. His family (except for his wife) was destroyed and Job was reduced to a bed-ridden carcass full of boils and sores. The life of this godly man has been held up high in the sacred pages of Scripture to show us that trials can pound our lives like a heavy-weight boxer, but the Lord can pick us up from off the mat when we’ve been knocked down physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and give us victory. He (God) is our source of strength and stamina.

The book of Job reveals the animosity that Satan has for God and those who are godly. It also shows us the limitations that God places upon Satan. It also reveals the assistance, strength, and care that we get from the Lord. God used Job to show us that nothing just “happens” in our lives. God has a path for us to follow that sometimes may be extremely difficult, but leads to great blessings. Paul talked about this. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

We do not always understand the ways of God. (“8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8). However, we can trust and walk daily with Him in all of the adversity we face. King Solomon had an interesting thought on this subject: ” 14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” Eccl. 7:14

Which brings me to contentment once again: God gives us all our lot in life. He brings us good at times, at other times he stings us with adversity. But here’s the point: We shouldn’t let ourselves get out of joint when trouble comes, or when we find it hard to make sense out of things. Just trust the Lord. He always does what’s good and right, and He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5).

Even the great apostle Paul agreed with the concept of contentment: “11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11.

My prayer for you is this; stay apart from contact with other people as much as humanly possible, keep your faith strong and viable by prayer, bible study and talking on the phone with other Christians and above all, stay close to God and He will always be there with you.

Sybil has come up with a very unique way of wiling away the hours. She asks me to run as fast as I can through the living room while she sits on the couch eating Bon-Bon’s and throws darts at me to see if she can hit a moving target. (Has anyone got a spare box of Band-Aids?). I am forced to come up with another way to help her cope!

Keep smiling, keep praying and keep the faith. Love you all and hope to see you in church very soon.

Bro. Delton

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Coronavirus Church Activity Update

Greeting All:

I am writing to you all from the secure bunker I have affectionately named the “Corona Cave.” Sybil and I have “hunkered down” except for doctor appointments. Speaking of doctor appointments, I have not intended to be aloof or secretive but for the past week I have been on a health roller coaster. I know some have speculated that I might be infected with coronavirus. Let me assure you that is not the case for Sybil or I. It seems, according to my doctor, that my gall bladder has become unhappy with our living arrangement. I am going to see a specialist on Tuesday and prayerfully my gall bladder and I can reconcile our differences and if not arrange for a divorce!

Many thanks to Bro. Dick and Sister Carolyn Metheny for the food they delivered to us today. What a blessing these two are to our church and our family. Bro. Dick brought up a very good point…what are people to do with their tithes? Here is my temporary solution. On Friday night, March 27th, 2020, from 5 pm to 7 pm, Sybil and I will be at the church. The lobby doors will be unlocked and we will be sitting in the hallway. The offering plates will be just inside the door. At 7 pm Sis. Laurel will be there to secure the funds in the safe. If this arrangement does not work for you or the thought of going out makes you uncomfortable, please call me and I will arrange to have your tithes picked up (no human contact required!).

Now, the bad news. We now have thirteen cases of coronavirus in Clay County. Our County is in a state of emergency and Governor Ron De Santis has declared Florida a Federal Disaster State. If you have listened to the news you probably have become aware that New York City is the epicenter of the virus on the East Coast of the United States. Many of those folks are flocking to Florida and North Carolina to escape the rapid spread of this dreaded disease. However, many of these people are already infected and are adding to our number of infected cases. Let’s pray that this nightmare will soon be over.

I sure miss all of your smiling faces and our fellowship at church. As I look into the immediate future it is about as clear as muddy water. The one SURE thing I can tell you is that God is still on the throne and there is nothing that escapes His omniscience. Please stay in touch and believe me, as soon as I feel we can congregate together once again, we will resume services. In the meantime, stay the course, keep the faith and pray for each other and our nation daily. Sybil and I love you all!

Bro. Delton

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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Greetings to All:
Let me begin by apologizing for not getting back to you more quickly than I did. The truth of the matter is I have been suffering from a severe case of food poisoning that has literally taken the wind out of my sails. My dear wife, who happens to pull double duty by serving as my guardian angel, has nursed me back to health.

When I last posted to information about this virus we had one fatality and three confirmed cases of CORONAVIRUS in Clay County. As of tonight, Sunday March 22, 2020, we have 6 confirmed cases of the virus. I stress confirmed because we really don’t know how many people may be infected and not know it. The point I would like to get across to all of our members and visitors alike who read these posts is this: I want you to continue to be as diligent with this disease as you would be if you were trying to put mascara on a rattlesnake. (Please don’t try that!). Practice sanitation guidelines, wash your hands often and keep a close eye on your health

We have seen this dreaded disease spread exponentially in our nation and in our state. I was musing this morning about where we could be if we all had taken the advice of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and implemented their plans more aggressively. Maybe we wouldn’t have the number of cases that we do.

I am asking all of you to pray for our healthcare professionals as they stage themselves as the first line of defense in prevention, treatment and education about this horrible disease that has invaded the sanctity of our cities and towns but more importantly…our homes. I thank God for everyone of these brave men and women who are willing to selflessly care for others and in many cases may be putting themselves in harm’s way.

Our church was eerily silent today. There was no notes from the piano reverberating off the wall, there was no laughter, there was no warm fellowship, no praise and no preaching. Please understand I am just as frustrated as many of you (and probably more so) but this trial shall pass. Remember what Charles Spurgeon said about trials: “God has one Son without sin, but he never had a son without trial.”

Keep praying. Keep thanking God that we live in a great country that has the best healthcare professionals in the world. I love you all and I pray for you everyday.

God Bless!

Bro. Delton

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Upcoming Church Schedule

Greetings in the name of our Lord:

As you are all aware we have been invaded in our society by an enemy that is invisible and silent. The enemy I speak of is the Coronavirus (COVID 19). It has swept into virtually every country in the world and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight.

Until recently we felt as though we were relatively safe from this disease. However, during the last few days, the virus has crept closer to home and is now threatening to menace the well-being of our church. The statistical data is staggering about the rapid spread of this dreaded virus.

With this thought in mind I have made a painful decision. After our regular Wednesday night service on March 18th, 2020 we will suspend our regular services for Sunday, March 22, 2020 and Wednesday, March 25th, 2020. At that point I will reassess the issue and if at all possible, without endangering our congregation, we will resume normal services. I will keep you posted on our website.

I apologize for the disruption this will cause in many of your lives but after prayer and careful consideration I feel that if we are to err then let us err on the side of prudence and an abundance of caution. I realize that there will probably be some who will disagree with this action but I feel it my duty as your pastor to protect this congregation.

In the meantime please protect yourselves and let’s resolve ourselves to not only pray for each other but for all those in the world who are being affected by this life threatening disease. Thank you for your understanding and I pray that God will bless you and keep you safe.

Sincerely,

W. Delton Kilpatrick

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Wednesday, 09/04/2019 Service Cancelled

Greetings To All:

In view of the current weather conditions and the vast unknown of what we will be facing later with wind, rain and road conditions we will cancel tonight’s (09/04/19) mid-week service. We will resume our normal hours on Sunday, September 8th, 2019.

I realize everyone may not agree that the weather is severe enough to cancel church but if we are to err let us err on the side of caution. So, stay home and enjoy this time with family and/or friends and I will see your bright, shining faces Sunday morning! Stay safe and don’t venture out unless you absolutely have to.

God Bless!

Bro. Delton

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Services for Tuesday, Sept. 3rd, 2019

Greetings to All;

I hope that you all are surviving “Hurricane Fatigue” while we wait for Dorian to make a move one way or another.

It appears that our area will not suffer any significant danger from Dorian and most of the wind and rain we will get will be on Wednesday, September 4th, 2019. After careful consideration of the latest information from the National Hurricane Center, I have decided to go ahead with our scheduled class tonight at 7 p.m. I will wait until later to make a determination about Wednesday night after some time has passed and hopefully given us a clearer picture of what conditions will be like tomorrow.

Tonight will be the sixth lesson of our overview of the Bible and we will cover the four books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea and Joel.

If you do not feel comfortable venturing out I completely understand but I do hope to see you all tonight!

God bless and stay safe.

Bro. Delton

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HOMECOMING – 2019

Greetings To All:

South Middleburg Baptist Church, 4565 Alligator Boulevard, Middleburg, Florida, 32068 will be celebrating our annual homecoming on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019. We will observe our regular morning service times of 9:30 am for Sunday School and 10:45 am Worship. We will have an especially added blessing of Brother Calvin Childers, SMBC founding pastor, bring our homecoming message. Please begin praying for Brother Calvin as he has been battling health issues.

I would like to invite all of our members, former members and as many visitors who can come to join us in fellowship in the Word of God and then stay afterwards for a luncheon in our Fellowship Hall.

We will not have an evening service on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 so please note that on your calendars.

Hope to see you here and partake of great fellowship, faith and food!

Bro. Delton

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Funeral for Bro. Henry Church

For anyone who would like to ride the church van up to the National Cemetery the graveside service for Bro. Henry Church, please be at the church by 9:30a.m. The service is at 11:00a.m. and the cemetery is located at 4083 Lannie Road, Jacksonville, Florida. If you take your personal vehicle please be sure and line up in lane two (2).
Don’t forget to keep Sis. Cheryl in your prayers during this trying time.
God bless you all!
Bro. Delton

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Sis. Betty Stephens

Greetings:

For those of you who are not aware, it is with great sadness that I must report to you that Sister Betty Stephens was called home to be with her Savior on Thursday,June 21st, 2018. The sadness is not for her but for the family and myself. She is going to be missed by so many of us and personally, I have not only had to say goodbye to my sister in the Lord I have had to say goodbye to a wonderful friend.

Our deepest condolences to Sis. Carolyn and the family and I am going to ask everyone in our congregation to please pray that the peace of God will settle on every family member.

Sis. Betty’s funeral will be held Thursday, June 28th, 2018 in the chapel of Jax Memory Gardens, 111 Blanding Boulevard, Orange Park, Florida 32073. Viewing will be from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. and the funeral will begin at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at Jax Memory Gardens.

After the service the family will be coming to the South Middleburg Baptist Church where we will serve them a luncheon and give them time to fellowship and reminisce. We will be contacting many of you and asking once again that you help with food during this time. You always come through and are such an inspiration to grieving families because you are not only serving them nourishment for their bodies, you are serving them the nourishment of love for their hearts. THANK YOU!!!

God bless every one of you.

Bro. Delton

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Sis. Sandy Funeral Times

Greetings to All:

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the times have been set for Sister Sandy Kersey. The times and locations are as follows:

Viewing:

Viewing will be from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 at Broadus Raines Funeral Home , 501 Spring Street, Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043. (Family viewing will be from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m.).

Service:

The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 at South Middleburg Baptist Church, 4565 Alligator Boulevard, Middleburg, Florida 32068.

Interment:

Graveside service will be immediately after the funeral service at Black Creek Baptist Church, 3904 State Road 16 West, Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043

I want to remind our church family that we will be providing a luncheon for the family of Sis. Sandy after interment. Please keep this family in your prayers. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.

God Bless!

Bro. Delton

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