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Shawmut News: Church members, guests treated to Valentine banquet

PLANT CITY BAPTIST CHURCH members and guests were treated to a delightful Valentine banquet on Saturday, February 10th in the church fellowship  hall.

A beautiful heart greeted each person as they entered the building. The fellowship hall was beautifully decorated with hearts, flowers and candles. The dining tables were centered with lighted candles and a display of valentines.

Susan Otto welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming and began the evening with prayer. A special thank you was given to Barbara Roberts and her staff for the hard work they had done in getting things set up for the occasion.

Susan said that Valentines day is the most loving day of the year, identified with red hearts, pink roses, balloons, cards, candy and stuffed animals that sing songs of love.  She added that even before Christmas trees and jingle bells are put away, symbols of love and romance are already on the store shelves.

She pointed out that the greatest love was the gift of Jesus Christ given to us by his father, the Lord God Almighty. Our heavenly father gave his son to die on a cruel cross for our sins because he loved us so much. The most amazing love there has even been in the love that God has for us. No one can love us more than our Father God. We don’t deserve it and we can’t earn it. We just have to believe and accept it by faith in Jesus. He just loves us with an unfailing love. She added “May there never be a day that we don’t tell Him how much we love Him.”

Those enjoying this inspiring program and delicious meal were Pedro and Josephine Reese, Buddy and Destiny Scott, Susan Otto, Mary Avanzato, Charles and Dean Chapman, Benita Mezick, Jack and Cathy Wright, Darcee Wright, Peter and Remington Gauntt, David and Teresa Gillenwaters, Mary Ann Shaver, Tony Waters, Braxton Waters, Debbie Taunton, Chandler Johnson, Ricky Snider, Bennie Dorough, Leta Gillenwaters, Kallen Vallia, Tom and Anita Bostick, Barbara Hadaway, Kevin and Toni Taylor, Russell, Tim, Addi and Presley  Dickinson, Vicki Cooper, Frank and Melissa Taunton, Kaelynne Taunton, Richard and Beverly Perryman, Curtis and Libby Guy, Phillip and Janice Grubbs, Avis Rice, W. L. and Peggy Gillenwaters, Brad, Katie and Brady Bannister, Barbara Roberts, Brad and Virginia Reed. Lee and Melissa Borders and Harley, April and Harlyn Crowder.

The Crowns of Glory of Plant City Baptist Church held their February meeting on Wednesday, February 14th in the fellowship hall of the church.

The room was beautifully decorated with valentines and flowers. On each of the tables where the guests enjoyed their food were valentines made by the children of the church. Each table held a prize winning valentine.

Ann Woodham welcomed everyone and called on Bro. Brad Reed for prayer and the devotion. He took his scripture from The Psalms and Romans.

Following the devotion, Ann introduced their guest speaker Becky Guinn. Becky is a very motivating speaker. She is a Godly Christian with a beautiful spirit and a deep love for her Lord. Becky spoke to the group on how to “Tend Your Heart.”

Becky opened her program with prayer, praying that our hearts would belong to God first.  She talked about hearts, Valentine’s day, love in the air and how in college she and her husband, David liked to laugh, sing and share poems. She related how one Valentine’s day he sent her “As the vine grows ‘round the stump; won’t you be my sugar-lump!?” and since they were in a school of higher learning and she wanted to live up to her parents expectations, she wrote back: “As the vine grows in the holler’; you’re the one I will foller’.”  This year they will celebrate their 46th Wedding Anniversary in August.

She related her story of 12 years ago when she was hospitalized, in a life or death situation with Christmas near and they had just given Drs. Permission to amputate her arms and legs, David wanted to do something. She remembers that immediately following the amputations one of her greatest concerns was that she would no longer be able to wear her wedding ring, and David bought a chain on which she wears her rings around her neck and to this day, he wears his wedding band around his neck as well. Becky says this was neither the biggest or most expensive gift she had ever received, but the most special and priceless to her.

Becky said that “When you love someone; you guard that love,, you guard your heart.” The Bible speaks to that in Proverbs 4:23 where it says “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

When Solomon refers to guarding the heart, he really means the inner core of a person, their thoughts, feelings, dreams, desires, will, passions and choices that make that person who he or she is. The Bible tells us in Proverbs that our thoughts often dictate who we become. The mind of man reflects who he really is, not simply his actions or words. That is why God examines the heart of a man, not simply his outward appearance and what he appears to be (1 Samuel 16:7) because your heart is the source of everything you do. King Solomon says it is the “wellspring of life.” It is the source of everything else in your life. Your heart overflows into thoughts, words and actions.

Becky continued saying, we have natural springs, where water flows to the surface of the earth from deep under the ground. It then accumulates in pools or runs off into creeks and streams. She said, we had “Big Springs Park” where I grew up. It was a natural spring that provided 4 million gallons of water a day to our city. The stream from the mouth of the spring was so cold; it gave your feet a headache when you waded in it! If anyone had plugged up the spring, they would have stopped the flow of water. If someone poisoned the water, the flow would become toxic. In either situation, life downstream would have been threatened. Our city drinking water depended on the condition of the “Big Spring.” Likewise, if your heart is unhealthy, it has an impact on everything else. It threatens your family, your friends, your ministry, your career, and indeed, your testimony. It is therefore imperative that you guard it. If we lose heart, we have lost everything!

The Apostle Paul instructs us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things (Philippians 4:8) Dwelling on these things will help to build a guard fence around our hearts.  She asked, have you ever prayed a “Hedge of protection” around someone? Maybe a child? Grandchild? A loved one traveling, someone in the armed forces” We need to pray a hedge of protection around our own hearts to guard them and keep them pure.

Becky added, “One of the biggest revelations I’ve received from God is that my real life is the life that’s in me.” There’s nothing more important than your inner life, your core, what’s in your heart. Life is not your circumstances, the  kind of house you live in, the kind of job you have or how much money you have. You can have the best of these things and still be miserable.

On the other hand, it’s amazing how happy and peaceful you can be in the middle of tragic circumstances, if you keep your heart in the right condition. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Do you want to hear from God? Keep your heart pure. Do you want to know God’s secrets? Keep your heart pure.

Coming together for this very inspiring message from Mrs. Guinn were Sara Gautney, Donald and Janet Poe, Anne Woodham, Yvonne Ivey, Celia Dabbs, Barbara Roberts, Melissa Borders, Destiny Scott, Mary Avanzato, Vicki Cooper, Teresa Burke, Richard and Beverly Perryman, Charles and Dean Chapman, Bennie Dorough, Susan Brown, Charlotte Wheeler, Becky Carens, W. L. and Peggy Gillenwaters and Bro. Brad Reed.

The following are some interesting facts regarding Valentine’s day we thought you might like to know: The most popular theory about Valentine’s Day origin is that Emperor Claudius II didn’t want Roman men to marry during wartime. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret weddings. For this, Valentine was jailed and executed. While in jail he wrote a note to the jailor’s daughter signing it “from your Valentine.”

Many believe the X symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an X. The X was then kissed to show their sincerity.

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”

In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14 the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day.

Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for this holiday in the late 1800s.

Seventy-three percent of people who buy flowers on this day are men, while only 27 percent are women. 15 percent of U. S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day. The red rose was the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman Goddess of love. Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets. 220,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year.