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Sunday morning, we called an audible.

Our church is in grief and sorrow over the death of the five-year-old son of a much-loved couple this weekend.

What 9/11 was for our country, the death of this little boy was to our church.

The questions came fast and furious, and are predicable. Why them? Why now? Why him?

All day Saturday, I wondered if I should change the message. If so – what was the needed word to our congregation? What about music? Should we stick to our plan, or revise everything?

Late Saturday night, I lost all interest in what I had planned to teach, and John 11 caught fire in my imagination. Jason changed the music – all acoustic worship music focusing on the greatness and goodness of God.

God met with us this morning. Tears flowed. Voices were raised in unusual fullness. The front of the room was filled with people who came, knelt, cried out in prayer, held each other – all spontaneously. Focused attention seemed to be given to the Word.

I’ve very grateful for the immediate leading of the Holy Spirit!



  1. Dear Pastor Sam,
    I can not tell you how much I enjoyed the service yesterday. My home church used to have services like what we experienced…I’ve really missed it. That is one thing that draws me to Hope Church…you feel the spirit when you walk in. IT IS WONDERFUL TO FEEL GOD MOVE ONCE AGAIN, and I can’t wait for the sermon to post on the website. Is there anyway to post the music service as well? We will be praying for you today as you minister to the Jasper family.

  2. Wow. What joy to read about the Holy Spirit’s healing of grieving hearts.

  3. Man that is terrible news. I cant imagine the grief they must be feeling and what it takes for you to minister to a family in that much pain. I dont know them but we will pray for their family tonight….I can only imagine the grief. I could cry just thinking about it.

  4. Pondering the past week in my journal this morning, i wrote:

    Friday was an emotional day for the family of Hope Church, Tupelo. Friday, Neel & Courtney Dean were able to take little Nora home from the hospital after several days of much prayer and concern from a praying church family for a very little one with spiking fever. . . God’s healing and grace . . . Selah.

    Friday evening, a terrible accident, and JJ and Melanie Jasper’s little boy, Cooper, returned to the Father . . . God’s grace and healing . . . Selah.

    Sunday, Pastor Sam preach and pastor Jason ministered by song to a grieving church family . . . God’s grace and healing . . . Selah.

    “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

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