FCM Atlanta Chapter Minutes for April 12, 2018
The April 12, 2018 meeting for the Atlanta Chapter of the FCM was held at the home of John and Julia Jefferson. Those in attendance were: John and Julia Jefferson; John Abbott; Mike Ellis; Leland Davis; Mark Childers; Melissa and Eugene McBrayer; Randy Burt; and Rick Jeffers. We were delighted to have Melissa with us!! Our dear friend, Tricky Ricky Henson called Randy from OK (he is ministering to the Indian) during our meeting! So good to hear from you, Ricky!
Our next meeting will be Thursday, May 10, 2018 at the home of John and Julia Jefferson. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. with dinner. Feel free to come earlier!!
It was so wonderful to have several of our members who have not been able to make it to meetings, return to our family. We hope all of us will be able to attend next month
The following is a summary of our meeting.
Keep the “SON” Shining…
After opening with prayer, John reminded us that the FCM International Conference will be held in Indianapolis, IN beginning Sunday evening, July 7, 2018 through Friday evening, July 12. Check out the FCM website for more information.
We introduced ourselves, updating the events in our lives. Mike is now pastoring a church along with his other duties as chaplain and magician! Eugene is also pastoring a church and keeping very busy with his business. John Abbott is working hard at perhaps becoming a full time Gospel magician! Judy Neyland was not able to attend because Jim needs her help. We missed you, Judy. You and Jim are in our prayers.
I think Eugene said this: Gospel Magic is reaching the heart with the eyes as well as the ears. What a great way to express our unique method of sharing God’s Word!!
Mark noted that our club has been in existence for 7 years. We have truly become a family of God’s children—sharing ways to share our love of Christ. Thanks, Mark. It is a joy to have such wonderful friends.
Next, a visit from Dr. Frank—Rick Jeffers. Rick brought out his unique cake pan with his “patented” mixer on top. (perhaps you should patent it!) He stated that he would make a Christian in the pan. What elements would make a Christian? As he named them, he put pieces of paper in the cake pan: Bible, prayer, church, blood of Jesus, etc. He had someone mix them up and of course, there is our very own Christian? Well, we can’t make a Christian because only God can do that—Rick opened the pan and a beautiful bouquet of spring flowers appeared. The flowers were from Duane Laflin’s store. Dr. Frank has been known to produce all manner of wonderful items from his cake pan, including a 3 tier “cake”!!! Thanks for the idea and the great message—and the special Dr. Frank accent!
Randy proceeded to amaze us with several shoestrings that insisted on changing color. His message was that all of us have sinned and must ask for forgiveness so that we may be pure in the sight of God. A great pocket trick, which, with a lot of practice, wows the viewer! Randy wows us every time!
Randy then used a piece of paper and a pair of scissors to tell the story of 2 young men who grew up together as best friends. One was a Christian and the other one did not believe. One day, both were struck dead by lightning. As they approached St. Peter, the non-Christian noticed that St. Peter was taking up tickets and he did not have one. He asked his friend to share his ticket with him. The young man tore off a part of his ticket and said, “The part I have left is everything I need”. As they approached St. Peter, the non-Christian young man jumped in front of his friend and presented his part of the ticket. St. Peter looked at it and then proceeded to place the pieces on the table to spell the word HELL. He then looked at the young man and said that this was not a ticket to heaven. St. Peter opened the ticket of the young Christian and it was in the form of a cross. Everything you need is because of the cross. This is the ticket to heaven. Thanks, Randy. What a perfect way to truly show that Jesus is the only way.
Eugene was next, with his long nail and a small bottle of brown liquid. He poured a small amount of brown liquid in the hand of John Abbott. He then explained that the only way we are able to wash away our sins is because Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for us. When we truly believe and ask for forgiveness, our sins disappear in the sight of God. At this point, Eugene touched the brown liquid with the nail and the “sins” disappeared! Thank you for a great visual and much needed message, Eugene. The chemical can be obtained from Doc. Waddell’s store online.
We want to thank Melissa, Mark’s wife, for reminding Mark of our meeting! Seems Mark is having a little trouble with his glasses—or is it the windshield? Anyway, we are glad Mark sailed in and shared one of his many pocket tricks with us. He reminded us of the parable of the talents and that God will give more to those who use their talents for Him. Mark proceeded to change $1.00 bills to 5s and 10s with ease and dexterity. A great way to entertain with a much needed message. Mark reminded us that we can make the trick and he has a few DVDs for sale to help. He also said he has seen a magician use $20, $50 and $100 dollar bills to make the effect even more exciting!!
Mark then shared his message that God knows each one of us down to the number of hairs on our head—some of us cause Him to count longer than others! Mark asked someone to choose a card as he riffled the deck. John Abbott chose the 7 of spades which Mark did not see. John then put it back in the deck. Mark dropped the deck and voila! a card appeared face up—not the right one! Mark then flipped over John’s card, the 7 of spades!!! Again, a great, quick trick that illustrates a powerful message—God knows who and where we are at all times and He loves us always.
Mark reminded us of a trick that fooled Penn and Teller, called “The Gift”. It is for sale online for about $20 from China—a bargain. He said that it is worth buying and using and encouraged us to buy it. He will bring his next month and we can figure out a Gospel message to go with it.
Next was a great illustration called Jump Ropes by Jim Jayes—and presented by our very own Leland! He related the story in the Bible about Jacob and Esau and the deception that occurred. He also told of Laban’s deception with Jacob and his future wife, Rachel. As he told the story, he caused a red rope in a red bag to turn white and a white rope in a white bag to turn red (deception). Eventually the ropes became red and white striped! His message was that we need to rely on God so as not to be deceived. We need to be prepared by our prayers and our Bible study so that the devil will not be able to deceive us. We know your Sunday School children look forward to your great Gospel illustrations each week. We wish you the best in your upcoming mission trip in Arizona!
Mike shared with us his Easter message taken in part from the FCM Voice, March/April, 2017. Mike used his creativity in making the effect and using his resources so as to make a very professionally-made illustration! He started by showing us the letters E A S T E R . What is Easter?—bunnies, candy, eggs? Or something else. He proceeded to rearrange the letters and take away letters to make the following words: ERASE, EASE, SEA, AS and S. Jesus ERASED our sins at the cross, it was not EASY for him, but for us, we just have to ask for forgiveness. Jesus cast our sins into the depths of the SEA; and if we trust Him, it is just AS if we had never sinned. Of course S stands for our Savior. Easter is a very special time, for Christ gave us the opportunity for eternal life with Him. Thank you, Mike. What a perfect message.
John Abbott then asked us to play a game! He asked to borrow Randy’s beautiful iphone and then asked Randy to make a choice, bag A or bag B and to remember that his choice was very important. Randy chose bag A. John dumped the contents—a “brick” right on top of Randy’s phone! He then opened bag B and out fell a real brick! Truly, Randy needed to make the right choice! God will help us to make good decisions through our prayers and our studies of His Word. Thanks, John. A great message and a fun way to present it!
To wind up the evening, John and Julia presented their Gospel version of Diminishing Milk Glasses. John filled a tall glass with milk as Julia asked if we felt like we all have talents. She then reminded us that God has given all of us distinct talents and gifts that set us apart from each other. As Julia presented the message, John poured the milk into successively smaller glasses and each time the glass held all of the milk! The message was that the Holy Spirit, which has given us the talents, is the same in all of us. The same amount of milk, which represents the Holy Spirit, fills each one perfectly! Each of us is asked to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace for as Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” A great message with a great effect! Our Life After Fifties really enjoyed the trick and the message!
John J. then thanked each one of us for coming and sharing and fellowshipping with us each month. He is very appreciative of the great friendships we have all developed over the years. It is a joy to be together.
Mark closed in prayer, followed by lots of sharing and laughter! Thanks for a wonderful evening, friends. We are all so blessed to be able to gather together in the name of Jesus.
Looking forward to next month—May 10.
Grace be to you,