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State Baptist leader extols need for happiness in life

As soup steamed and cornbread cooled, the sanctuary of PleasantHill Baptist Church overflowed Thursday as people sat elbow toelbow to hear Dr. Jim Futral, executive director- treasurer of theMississippi Baptist Association emphasize the importance of doingGod’s will and being happy in everyday life.

The annual gathering, hosted by Pleasant Hill’s Eager Elders,boasted a large crowd of senior adults from local churches andvarious Lincoln County communities.

After referencing the Lord’s Prayer found in Luke 11, Futralpresented the crowd with the question of “how is the will of Goddone in heaven?” The line, “Thy will be done on earth as it is inheaven,” was the highlighted excerpt and the focus of the sermonlesson.

Futral pointed out the importance of prayer and how we cancomplete God’s will as we would in heaven by first doing socheerfully on earth.

“If you don’t want to teach, don’t teach … if you don’t wantto give, don’t give,” Futral said.

He pointed out to the diverse congregation that the Lord “lovesa cheerful giver,” and how refreshing it is to see people carry asweet spirit as they do the things they enjoy in life. Futralplayed on the importance of being happy.

“If you don’t want to be happy, you don’t want to go to heaven,”he said, using as an example people who aren’t happy unless theyare angry. “You’ll be like you are now up there.”

Futral went on to describe the eagerness of children who areready to do what is asked of them in order to be pleasing. He saidChristians need to approach God’s will on earth in this enthusedchildlike manner.

“Lord speak to me. I’ll do what needs to be done,” Futral saidabout the mindset Christians should have.

Many try to debate or explain why they can’t or won’t do whatthe Lord calls them to do presenting excuses, he said. Yet,believers want God to respond to their wants immediately.

Futral’s second point regarding pursuing God’s will while onearth was pointing how well it would work if believers could do soin a united manner, like one heartbeat instead of flowing all indifferent chaotic directions.

“My what could we do if we had our hearts come together and beatas one,” Futral said.

Thursday’s event also featured bluegrass gospel music by DogwoodCross and concluded with a fellowship supper with many varieties ofsoup, sweet tea, cakes and cornbread.