Just One

Pastors Blog with Bro Ed Stephenson


“How are you doing?”  I hear this question so often in life and especially now during the coronavirus situation. Do you have a sense that things are under control, or, do you sense  that things are totally out of control? I have heard people make the statement that they are afraid we will never see things normal again.

I often ask myself, “What do they consider normal?” Normal means ‘usual’, ‘regular’, ‘common’, ‘habit’, ‘addicted’. In other words ‘normal’ means we want to live our lives according to that which we have become ‘addicted’. We don’t want our routine interrupted and when it is we become anxious and frustrated. 

Now to be ‘anxious’ is to ‘worry’, to be ‘fretful’, to be ‘nervous’, to be ‘frightened’. To be honest there are so many things that happen, in our lives, that will interrupt our ‘normal’ that we have absolutely no control over. We all know this is true but we will worry, fret and become obsessed over things that are out of our control. 

The greatest preacher to ever preach was Jesus! He preached with authority, and power, because every word He preached was TRUE! In Matthew 6:25 Jesus said, ”Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought (don’t be anxious) for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on (your clothing). Is not life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” 

What Jesus is teaching us is that we spend too much time being anxious over things that our Heavenly Father will provide for us! Verse 25 begins with the word ‘therefore’ which takes us back to what Jesus has been establishing in His sermon and that in light of who our heavenly Father is stop worrying! Jesus proceeds to tell us that if our Father feeds the sparrows, and dresses the flowers of the field, surely He will feed and provided clothing for His children who are most important to Him.

What should be normal for the born again children of the living God is to live by faith and not be fretting over the material and the entertainment of the flesh. The priorities of the world must not be our priorities for the chasing of the normal of the world will lead to worry and frustration.




Statistics seem to reveal some improvement in the battle with the coronavirus and I welcome any news of improvement! Sadly many are still dying and many families are dealing with very difficult circumstances. We must continue to be prayer warriors and let our faith shine in the midst of so much darkness.

The Governor of Arkansas has said that he hopes to lift some of the restrictions by May the 4th and I am praying that he will be able to carry out his plan. ‘Social distancing’ will still be required and, perhaps, the wearing of face mask. How this will affect our gathering for church services I do not know at this time. Many are assuming that the number of people that can gather for such services will increase and I hope this is true.

With this in mind I am presenting a ‘tentative’ plan for the future. We will continue to present our ‘Time of Worship’, each Sunday morning at 11:00, but we are hoping that on Sunday morning, May 10th, we will be allowed to have some attendees during the service. There will be ‘no’ nurseries, or children worship activities, and everyone will have to practice social distancing, along with wearing a mask. Families will sit together and be separated from other families. Anyone with preexisting health issues are discouraged from attending. Every effort to have a safe environment for this time of worship will be our focus.

Again I want to emphasize the word ‘TENTATIVE’ which implies that all these plans are ‘uncertain’, ‘speculative’ and ‘unsettled’. I will be talking with health officials, gov’t leaders, and our insurance provider concerning any liability issues, over the next few weeks. I am simply looking for a plan for the future when we can begin the process of coming back to assemble as a church. According to the Word, we all need to ask God for ‘wisdom’ which is ‘understanding’, ‘insight’ and ‘perception’. I understand someone must lead in these decisions, and the weight of these decisions falls on me, so pray that God will give me intelligent discernment in the weeks to come.



“I MISS YOU!” I am truly looking forward to the Sunday when we can, once again, gather for worship! I am asking you to join me in praying that we will be able to meet by the first part of May. To assemble for worship is essential to our spiritual life and we must make it an object of our prayers. We are reminded of the importance of assembling for worship when we read Heb. 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another to provoke (rouse, whip up, stir) unto love and to good works, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting (encouraging, pressing, urging) one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  I believe the writer is telling us that as we see the coming of the Lord Jesus drawing more, and more, near the need for each other in an assembled place of worship becomes more necessary for us as believers, AMEN!

 There are some troubling signs that remind me of the world at the time of the rapture and the coming of the Antichrist. I was troubled when I saw law officers taking the license numbers of those that had assembled to worship and reporting them for mandated quarantine, and the pastor facing jail time and a $1,000.00 dollar fine. The members thought that the stay at home orders were voluntary. Now most churches are trying to cooperate with this social distancing but those who still sense the need to meet, which is their constitutional right, should not be treated like criminals.

 While assembling to worship is not considered essential, liquor stores staying open is along with abortion clinics. While the world, sadly, has reported almost 130,000 deaths from the virus during the first three months of the year, and America over 26,000 deaths, over 10million abortions have taken place in the world, along with 612,000 alcohol related deaths. It is also alarming that during the first three months of this year 2.8 million have died from starvation and 269,000 from suicide.

 What are we to do? As believers I call your attention to II Chron. 7:14 and you will notice the verse begins with God saying,”If”. God speaks following Solomon’s dedication prayer at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple which at the time was so beautiful it was considered one of the ‘wonders’ of the world. Solomon praised God, and exalted Him, before the congregation of Israel. Solomon also asked for God’s ever present grace, forgiveness and blessings to be upon His people.

 God’s reply started with ‘if’ and ended with, ‘then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.’ Here are the conditions that God calls for from His people for “hearing, forgiveness and healing”. My people must ‘HUMBLE’ themselves, they must ‘PRAY’, they must SEEK ME’, they must ‘REPENT AND TURN’ from their wicked ways. MAY WE ALL UNDERSTAND THIS IS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SPEAKING TO HIS CHILDREN. If we who claim Jesus Christ as Savior, and claim God as our Father, will follow God’s instructions we will be a big help to our nation.



We continue with the ‘social distancing’ at this time and I am sure this is a wise way to deal with our present health challenge. This has always been a way to deal with the outbreak of contagious diseases flu, measles, chickenpox, mumps or someone running a high fever. We all have spent our lives trying to stay away from catching what someone else may have and we have tried to protect our own families. The Coronavirus has presented the world, and America, with a real challenge and we should all try to avoid this dreaded virus and protect our families as best we can.

At the present time our worship services, and Wednesday night ministries, are all canceled until further notice. On our calendars this Sunday is ‘Easter Sunday’ and we all are disappointed that we cannot meet on this special day of celebration of the Resurrection. To be honest ‘Easter Sunday’ is a designated calendar date when in fact every Sunday is a designated day to celebrate THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST! With that in mind I want us all to look forward to the first Sunday we are allowed to meet together and we will, as we do each Sunday, ‘CELEBRATE HIS RESURRECTION’ in a special way! 

While we wait for the day when we can open our doors, and come together as a church family, I encourage you, if possible, to join us for our live stream ‘Time of Worship’ each Sunday morning at 11:00am. If you can notify your local friends to join us and call friends in other states to join us. God has given us a way to continue to spread the “GOOD NEWS” even during a time of isolation. Let me say that you continue to amaze me with your faithfulness to give to the Lord’s church financially. Your faithful giving allows us to support the many ministries we support throughout our country and around the world, “THANK YOU!”

May I challenge all of us to let the ‘light of faith’ shine brightly during these days of darkness for so many. Try to keep things in perspective (viewpoint, evaluation) and don’t become a victim of fear (distress, anxiety, terror). Every day there are 156 million people who die in the world and every second of every day there are 258 babies born. Remember the Lord who saved you by grace, through faith, is in you through the ever abiding presence of the Holy Spirit that Jesus identified as the “Comforter”. Stay firm in faith and may we all remember, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4



The talk of our day continues to be, “What will be the outcome of the Coronavirus?” There are many opinions, even among medical experts, and of course we who are just laymen in the medical field have our own. One thing we must agree on is that the enemy is real! Thousands, upon thousands, have this virus and thousands have died! As thousands more are tested the numbers will certainly increase and we will continue to wonder when will this all pass? The truth is, “It’s all in God’s hands.”
If we would read the Old Testaments we would notice that God called men to deliver His message, to His people, concerning difficult times such as famines, droughts and persecution that would come, even the invasion of other countries that would take them into captivity. The reason always seemed to be that God’s people had forgotten Him. God’s message to His people was that they would repent of their ways and return to Him! I really believe that we, who profess to be His children through the new birth in Jesus Christ, should search our hearts, and examine our lives, to see where God is in our list of priorities. As we dwell together in our homes, and our go, go, life has come to a stop, what is our Heavenly Father’s message to His children?
There was an occasion in the ministry of Elisha when he was in the city of Dothan that the King of Syria sent a mighty host to capture Elisha. During the night the host of Syria surrounded the city of Dothan. Early in the morning Elisha’s servant walked outside, and saw the enemy, and ran back inside and told Elisha that they were surrounded by the enemy. The servant asked the man of God, “What are we going to do?”
Elisha’s answer to his servant is God’s answer to us today, “Fear not for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, Open his eyes, that he may see, And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha….and God smote the army of Syria with blindness.” The army of Syria received their sight and were captured by Israel. But to their surprise Israel fed them and allowed them to return home.
II Kings 6


One of the most remarkable moments in the lives of the Disciples of Christ happened on the Sea of Galilee. They were following the Lord’s directions to go to the other side of the Sea and in their journey a great storm came upon them. In the midst of the storm they saw something that they had never seen before and literally they were overcome with ‘fear’ (anxiety, distress, panic, alarm).

What they saw, in the midst of storm, was what appeared to be a man ‘walking on the water’ and they were trying to determine if this was a ‘spirit’ or a ‘real’ man. The storm itself was enough to cause ‘fear’ but the sight of either a ‘spirit’, or, the possibility this was a man walking on the water, was more than they were prepared to deal with!

It is ‘dark’ (3am-6am) and the storm is ‘great’, “the wind was contrary” (conflicting, disobedient, antagonistic, rebellious). May we all come to believe that, as Disciple of Christ, times can become ‘contrary’ and things may be more than we are prepared to deal with. We must realize that a ‘storm’, no matter how contrary, is no ‘big deal’ for our Lord, He just walks through them to get to His Disciples! When Jesus arrives He reassures His Disciples with these words, “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid.”

Peter wanted to experience ‘walking on water’ and asked Jesus if could join Him on  His walk. Jesus said, “Come” and out of the boat went Peter and he walked on the water in the midst of the storm. Peter walked on the water as long as he kept his focus on Jesus, but when he became more aware of the storm, than Jesus, he began to sink. As the storm was overtaking Peter he cried out to Jesus and Jesus was right there to save him.

May we all keep our focus on Jesus, in the midst of these troubling days, and remember the words of Jesus, “…I am here, don’t be afraid”.

NOTE: stay informed by going to our website ‘springhillbaptistchurch.info’ and we are up and running with ‘on line giving’. On our website just click on ‘giving’.



“Jesus Use Me”

Each day we are seeing new statistical reports concerning the Coronavirus and each day we are facing new decisions. Our normal routines are not normal any longer and we are called on to make adjustments for ourselves and our families.

 I encourage you to pray for those in the medical field who are trying to serve so many and are sacrificing their own health to take care of the sick. I encourage you to pray for our Gov’t leaders who are seeking knowledge, and wisdom, in leading us during these challenging days. Pray for those who are in medical research that God will give them an answer on how to treat this virus.

We are trying to follow the advice of medical experts who tell us we need to keep our distance from each other and not to gather in large groups of people. We have canceled Wednesday night services on March 18th and March 25th. We are also canceling our Sunday services on March 22nd. We will be hosting a time of worship at 11:00 a.m. Sunday for those who have ‘FACEBOOK’ platform. I would appreciate you sharing this information with as many of your friends as possible.   

This virus is especially dangerous for our Senior Saints and for those that have other preexisting medical conditions. If you can take time to check on our Senior Saints, or even run an errand for them, it would be greatly appreciated.

In this brief article I do want to encourage you in the Lord. We must deal with the reality of the moment but that doesn’t mean we have to live in ‘fear’. There are many moments in life when we must decide to live by ‘faith’ or ‘fear’. I want to live by faith because I know my Lord is faithful. I find myself praying each day as the disciples, “Lord increase my faith.”

King David prayed to his Lord at a critical time in his life because, “The joy of the Lord was his strength.” 



“Jesus Use Me”

Where am I in my spiritual development? How far have I advanced in the Lord’s plan for my life in His service? The Apostle Paul touched on these thoughts in his letter to the saints in the church at Philippi. He spoke of his own service to the Lord as an example to all of us.

“Not as though I had already attained (achieved, realize, accomplished), either were already perfect (unspoiled, mature, developed): but I follow after, if that I may apprehend (capture, catch, take into custody) that for which I am apprehended (captured) of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended (captured): but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching (to actively grasp, to extend) forth (forward, onward) unto those things which are before, I press (to be compelled, to pursue) toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”   Phil. 3:12-14

The Lord had designated Paul as His ‘special vessel’ to take the Gospel to the Gentile world and we are part of the harvest of Paul’s faithfulness to his assignment. Paul’s overwhelming passion, and energy, was to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified. This passion to be that ‘special vessel’, for the proclaiming of Christ, took Paul all the way to Rome, as a prisoner, where he would finally be executed.

But notice Paul’s words to Timothy before he died, “for I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished (concluded, completed), my course, I have kept the faith.” II Tim. 4:6-7

May we all remember that we have proclaimed Jesus as our Lord and we should have a passion to know, and carry out, His will for our lives in His service.  Paul also told Timothy that a “good soldier must not get entangled (ensnared, trapped) with the affairs of this life.”

II Tim. 2:3-4




“Jesus Use Me”

Who are these people who attend church and sing, pray, fellowship and study the Bible? Are they a group of spiritual elitist? The word ‘elitist’ means superior, snooty, exclusive and highbrow. The word would have certainly applied to the Pharisees, in the day of Christ, who considered themselves the only ones worthy of heaven and the blessings of God.

The Bible warns us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought too. There is a real need among all of us to be objective about ourselves. The word ‘objective’ means to be unbiased, unprejudiced and fair. If a believer will be fair, unbiased and unprejudiced about themselves they will shout with joy over God’s unmerited love and grace.

The Apostle Paul looked upon himself as the ‘chief of sinners’ and his personal testimony was this, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God. “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain….” I Cor. 15:9-10

In Paul’s first letter to the members of the church at Corinth he reminded them of who they “were” before God’s grace was received, “Know ye not that he unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. NOW PLEASE NOTE And such ‘were’ some of you: bbut ye are washed, but ye are sanctified but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” I Cor. 6:9-11

No, we are NOT ELITIST, but praise God we are sinners SAVED BY GRACE!



“For the love of money IS THE ROOT (core, cause, foundation) of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have ERRED (to blunder, to stumble, to go wrong, to go astray) from the faith, and have PIERCED (to stab, cut, impale and puncture) themselves with many SORROWS. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”  I Tim. 6:10-11

The state of Arkansas has made some decisions lately that have shocked me! This wonderful state has been a part of my life for over 50 years and the great people of this state continue to be the love of my heart. Those that have brought gambling into our state, marijuana disguised as a medical need and now seek the recreational use of marijuana, along with the continued promotion of alcohol, even in counties that have voted to remain ‘dry’, are doing so not because they love this state but because they love money!

We can ignore the Bible and decide to welcome more, and more, of the entertainment of the flesh, and the love of money, as guides to our society but we will pay a high price as a state. To make decisions according to the flesh, and the love of money, is to assure ourselves of future ‘sorrows’.

May I encourage all believers, “to flee these things” and commit ourselves to ‘Godliness’ which will do more to strengthen this great state than the ‘love of money’.