Monthly Archives: November 2011


“We love because he first loved us.”

~1 John 4:19 NIV~

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” Philippians 2:10
Mike Benson, Editor

TWO MEN WERE walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull… 

Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence.  The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn’t make it.  Terrified, the one shouted to the other, “Put up a prayer, John. We’re in for it!”  John answered, “I can’t. I’ve never made a public prayer in my life.”  “But you must!” implored his companion.  “The bull is catching up to us.”  “All right,” panted John, “I’ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: ’O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful…’” 

If there is one sin that most prevalent today, it is the sin of ingratitude.  God does so much for us.  Our indebtedness to him is enormous and yet we rarely or at least infrequently offer thanks for what he has done.  In fact, many Christians fail offer thanks over their meals much less offer thanks over all that God does in their lives.  We are much like the little boy who was given an orange by a man. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?”  The little boy thought and handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.” 

For a child of God thankfulness is not confined to a day or a season, it is an attitude that we should have everyday and every hour.  Michael Belcher 

11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on hisface at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”  Luke 17:11-19


I’m guilty of not expressing my thanks to God enough.  What about you?

Anna Lee

Friday Adddition

From Sue Minor Tucker

Please remember my Mom Ruby Stokes in prayer she has been and is very sick and has been in the hospital for 16 days today—she is making baby steps in getting better (and we will take anything in the way of better that we can get) but she still has a long road ahead of her. Thank you in advance for your prayers.


“Always be full of joy in the Lord.

I say it again—rejoice!”

~Philippians 4:4 NLT~

Please pray for Joanie Scarle’s brother, Bud.  He will have surgery for two aneurysums Debember 1st.  Your prayers will be appreciated.

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” Philippians 2:10
Mike Benson, Editor

JOB TORE HIS robe and shaved his head… 

These were expressions of deep sorry in his ancient culture.  Reeling under the impact of these great losses, Job was too crushed in heart to put up any false front of cheerful courage.  He wept openly with boundless grief. 

Emotionally, he was allowing the natural grief process to occur.  Some people think that to be spiritual, they cannot cry or let anyone else see their crushed heart.  Some believe it is unspiritual to let their broken spirit to show. 

Not so.  It is unhealthy not to allow the grief process to occur.  If all that emotion remains pent up on the inside, we become like a teakettle on a stove — ready to explode!  It is emotionally healthy and therapeutic for our souls to cry.  Didn’t Jesus weep over the death of Lazarus? 

One author writes to this very point:  “I am disappointed that someone, somewhere, many years ago, introduced the ridiculous idea that if you know the Lord, you don’t grieve.  That even if you lose something or someone significant, you shouldn’t weep.  With my whole heart, I disagree!  Granted, we don’t grieve “as those who have no hope.”  But, no tears?  No grief?  I find that unthinkable.  Since when does becoming a Christian make a person less than human. . . .or more than human?”  Steven J. Lawson, “The Invisible War,” When All Hell Breaks Loose, 41 

 “Jesus wept.”  John 11:35

I hope you have had and still have some family around during this holiday season.

Anna Lee


Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;

Make known His deeds among the peoples.  

1 Chronicles 16:8 –


You know the story of that very first Thanksgiving Day in the English colonies, right? You know, the one where Captain John Woodlief and those 38 colonists who had just had arrived in the Virginia colonies from Berkeley, England and set aside a day of giving thanks to God at the Berekley Hundred (later renamed Berkley Plantation) on December 4, 1619 where Woodlief proclaimed–

“Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Oh, you haven’t heard that story? That because those Johnny-come-lately Pilgrims from Massachusetts arrived at Plymouth Rock with a publicist, so that now everyone just “knows’ that the first Thanksgiving was in Massachusetts with the Pilgrims after the whole colony almost froze to death following that first bitter winter in 1622. But the very FIRST Thanksgiving Day was in Virginia. OK, so actually the first Thanksgiving in the New World was one led by Spanish explorer Juan de Onate held one near El Paso, Texas in 1598, but that one doesn’t count because it was in Texas! They probably had chili and burritos and guacamole or something (actually, that sounds pretty good).

At any rate, the idea of a Thanksgiving Day was not held as a “perpetual” celebration in either Massachusetts or Virginia.  Thanksgiving Day was never more than a local and sporadic event until until Abraham Lincoln made it an annual national holiday observance in 1863. Which means that “first” thanksgiving in Massachusetts took place after a bitter winter almost destroyed a whole colony and the first national Thanksgiving Day was observed DURING the tragedy of the Civil War that almost destroyed our nation. We still observe Thanksgiving Day, but it has little to do with struggle and more to do with eating ourselves silly and then complaining about how stuffed we feel!

But that’s not the real problem with Thanksgiving. The real problem is that we set aside this one day to reflect on and give thanks for our blessings (in which we overindulge) and then ONE DAY later…  we rush out for  “Black Friday,” the biggest shopping day of the year.  We forget all about Thanksgiving Day in our rush to run out and get more stuff. The idea of Thanksgiving was born from struggle and the awareness of God’s goodness despite our difficulty and hardship. Now we seem to believe that we deserve all the good things we have, and we can’t even have of day of reflection on Thanksgiving without turning it into an excuse to shop until we drop getting more, more, more. Will Rogers drew this contrast between Thanksgiving Day then and now:

“In the days of our founders, people were willing to give thanks for mighty little, for mighty little was all that they expected. But now neither government nor nature can give enough but what we think is too little. In the fall of the year, if the founders could gather in a few pumpkins, some potatoes, and some corn for the winter, they were in a thanking mood. But if we can’t gather in a new car, a new radio…and some government relief, why we feel that the world is against us.”

It’s ironic that the more and more we have for which to be thankful, the harder and harder it is seems to get to be truly thankful. As the late Andy Rooney would say, “Why is that?”

–Charles Tucker, Jr.

Have a great day! ( and a great Thanksgiving!)

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Count your blessings all day long today!

Blesses, very blessed!

Anna Lee

Dale Menton Bridges(October 2, 1923 – November 21, 2011)

A resident of Kentwood, he died at 5:31 p.m. on Monday, November 21, 2011 at St. Helena Parish Hospital in Greensburg. He was born October 2, 1923 in Tangipahoa, LA and was 88 years of age. He is survived by his 3 daughters, Connie Varden and her husband, Laney, Plaquemine, Mona Stewart and her husband, Paul, Greensburg and Teri Hanks and her husband, Daryl, Greensburg; 4 sons, Marshall Dale Bridges, Kentwood, Reggie Bridges and his wife, Tammy, Crystal Springs, MS and Brad Bridges and his wife, Janet, Kentwood and David Bridges, Kentwood; 15 grandchildren, Steve Varden, Ron Varden, Keith Bridges, Bruce Bridges, Scott Stewart, Lacy Stewart, Benjamin Bridges, Haley Conleay, Ashley, Angel, Amber, Adrian, and Adam Bridges, Angie Barrios, Levi Bridges; 13 great-grandchildren, Addie, Brady, and Olivia Varden, Kylie Bridges, Matthew Bridges, Isabella Bridges, Bethany, Blaine, and Brett Bridges, Avery Keller, Addy Bridges, Wyatt and Jocelyn Conleay, and a sister, Loray B. Pike, Tangipahoa. Preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Mildred Goss Bridges; daughter, Marilyn Barrios; son, J. D. Bridges; 2 sisters, Mennee B. Cutrer and Clytie B. Chandler, 6 brothers, Odessa, R.D., Dalton, Barney, Kennoth, and Russell Bridges. Visitation at Tangipahoa Baptist Church, Tangipahoa, from 9 a.m. until a celebration of his life at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 23, 2011. Services conducted by Rev. Greg Stewart. Interment Tangipahoa Cemetery, Tangipahoa. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Tangipahoa Baptist Church, 40 Hwy 440, Kentwood, LA 70444. McKneely Funeral Home, Kentwood, in charge of arrangements. For an online guestbook, visit

James William Varnado
(March 20, 1936 – November 21, 2011)

James William Varnado was born March 20, 1936 and passed away on Monday, November 21, 2011 at Hood Memorial Hospital, Amite, surrounded by his loving family. He was 75, a native of Franklinton and a resident of Osyka, MS

He is survived by his wife, Ellavee Allen Varnado, Chatawa, MS; 3 children, Jay Varnado and wife Becky Robinson , Kentwood, LA, Jan Varnado Graves and husband Derrick, Osyka, MS & Joe Varnado and wife Tammy Reeves, Pride, LA; 2 brothers, Jadell Varnado, Franklinton & Rodney Varnado and wife Cindy, Amite; sister, Christine Morgan and husband Bennie, Franklinton; 8 grandchildren, Emily Varnado, J.W. Varnado, Barbie Stamps an husband Landon, Mike Graves, Davey Graves, Beckie Graves, Rodney Varnado & Britt Varnado and wife Katie; 3 great grandchildren, Peyton Varnado, Jolie Varnado and soon to be Miles Stamps; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

Preceded in death by parents, David and Juanita Bullock Varnado & brother, Freddie Joe Varnado.

Graveside Memorial Services will be held on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. in the Osyka Cemetery, Osyka, MS with Rev. Milton Kliesch officiating.

Family request you join them for a Celebration of Life Video and meal at the Osyka Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, Osyka, MS immediately following the Graveside Service.

An on-line Guestbook is available at

McKneely & Vaughn Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

McKneely & Vaughn Funeral Home, Amite, is located at I-55N (Exit 46) and Hwy 16 W next to Hood Automotive and behind Mr. Tom’s Car Wash, Bond Eye Clinic and Holiday Inn Express.


“For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You

in a time when You may be found.”

~Psalm 32:6a~

During this Thanksgiving season, be sure to count some of the many blessings in your life this year.  I have a long list.  Do you?

Pray for those who are traveling during this holiday.  Be extra careful because everyone else surely is not.  Take your time and arrive safely!

Jadon’s Story

Tripp Roth

Say some special prayer for these two young boys and their families.

Thought for the Day: A shower of blessings

The following letters supposedly were taken from an actual incident between a London hotel and one of its guests. In truth, this was composed by comedian Shelly Berman. It is rather long, but it is very funny and if you haven’t seen it before, you’ll love it.

Dear Maid,

Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way.

Thank you,
S. Berman

Dear Room 635,

I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.

Kathy, Relief Maid

Dear Maid – I hope you are my regular maid,

Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won’t need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn’t remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can of further assistance.

Your regular maid,

Dear Mr. Berman,

The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you.

Elaine Carmen

Dear Miss Carmen,

It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45 AM and don’t get back before 5:30 or 6PM. That’s the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bath-room shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap. Why are you doing this to me?

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM. Thank you,

Elaine Carmen,

Dear Mr. Kensedder,

My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room. The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

Martin L. Kensedder
Assistant Manager

Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Who….left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap. I don’t want 54 little bars of Camay. I want my one… of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I have 54 bars of soap in here? All I want is my bath-size Dial. Please give me back my bath-size Dial.

S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,

You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them. The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily. I don’t know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays. I don’t know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.

Elaine Carmen

Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory.
As of today I possess:

– On the shelf under medicine cabinet – 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
– On the Kleenex dispenser – 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3.
– On the bedroom dresser – 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet.
– 1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
– Inside the medicine cabinet – 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
– In the shower soap dish – 6 Camay, very moist.
– On the northeast corner of tub – 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.
– On the northwest corner of tub – 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.

Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries. One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-sized Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstandings.

S. Berman

It dawned on me that God is like those maids! Every day he sends us blessing after blessing. Whether we ask for them or not, whether we deserve them or not (“he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good”), whether we acknowledge them or not, we are absolutely flooded with blessings from a good and gracious God.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things.” (Psalm 103:1-5a).

To the God who keeps on giving and giving be all praise and honor and glory!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Boone Church of Christ
Boone, NC

Have a wonderful day counting and counting your blessings!

Anna Lee