The Boykin family has enjoyed a truly wonderful week!  We've had all 7 of our boys at home ... doesn't happen too often considering Addison and Tam live in Sydney, Australia.  We've welcomed another amazing daughter-in-law into our family ... Alyson joins Brinkley and Tam in the Boykin family.  We've continued to celebrate our first grandchild ... due in November.  We've been surrounded by friends who have loved, served, cared for, supported, and encouraged us during this time of rejoicing.  I know this level of joy can't be sustained for very long but I'm grateful to God for this small taste of heaven that we've been experiencing!

As I experience such joy I also realize there are many families who aren't in such good situations. My sister, Edlyne, was unable to attend Yates' wedding this past weekend because she was standing in as "mother of the groom" for one of her boys best friends from Nepal.  If you've followed the news you know Nepal is in turmoil following severe earthquakes that have devastated the country.  This groom's mom continues to live on the streets because her home was wrecked; and because the government is essentially shut down she was unable to obtain credentials to leave the country to attend her own son's wedding here in America.  Not every family has it so good!

This Sunday as we begin a new sermon series in 1 Samuel ("The True King") we begin by looking at a family that is not having the best of times ... at least not all the family members.  It's the family of Elkanah and his two wives Hannah and Peninnah.  It's a rather dysfunctional family - the polygamy may be a clue!  Elkanah seems pretty religious but oblivious to what's going on in his family.  Hannah is deeply troubled over her infertility.  And Peninnah does nothing but provoke Hannah by apparently rubbing it in her face that she has many children.  

And it's in this family context and situation that God introduces us to the account of His bringing a true King to His people.  We will see Samuel come and anoint Israel's first and second kings, Saul and David. Saul turns out not to be the right king and David does.  But we'll see the true king is ultimately Jesus Christ.  I trust our study of 1 Samuel will constantly point us to Christ and allow us to more readily submit to Him as our King and Lord.  As you prepare for this Sunday's worship please read 1 Samuel 1:1-20 and ask the Lord to give you eyes of faith to see our own barren situation, to see what must be our response, and to see what God can do in our brokenness and despair.