Monthly Archives: February 2012


“Teach a youth about the way he should go;

even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

~Proverbs 22:6, HCSB~

Continue to pray for Jimmy Schwartz and Mrs. Katherine Sanders who are at North Oaks.  Thank God for all the qualified medical people at church yesterday who stepped up to help when needed.  What a blessing to have had them there to begin helping immediately.

Mrs. Barbara Erwin is having some problems walking.  Pray she only overdid it last week and that she doesn’t have a bigger problem with her artificial hip.

The Beth Moore study of James is in week two.  Last night four additional people joined us.  I’m already looking forward to the Thursday night group.

Thought for the Day: Storms of life

The following quote comes from Kim Sherer:

“One night while my young son, Ryan, was sleeping, a storm began brewing outside. After a loud clap of thunder, I heard him wake up so I headed toward his room to comfort him. He asked me to stay with him until he fell asleep. As I lay there I realized he hadn’t asked me to make the storm go away, but to stay with him. How many times, I wondered, have I asked God to take away the storms of life, when instead I need to ask him to stay with me and help me weather them more peacefully?”

What a beautiful thought!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Father, we do indeed pray for your comforting presence in the storms of our lives. As much as we might desire for the storms to go away, it is much important to us that you remain with us and see us through the storms. Thank you for your assurance that you will do that for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
White House Church of Christ
White House, Tennessee

Have a wonderful Monday.  Remember, He is with you during the storms of life!

Anna Lee

Evening Updates & Additions

Jimmy Schwartz is dehydrated and will stay overnight.  Additional testing will be done tomorrow.  He’s in room 4020 at North Oaks.

Mrs. Katherine Sanders is in room 3115B at North Oaks.  Her hip is fractured.

Mrs. Shirley B. Frazier and her brother, Kenneth Birch, both are continuing to have back problems.

Please be in prayer for all four of these people.  As you pray for them pray for their families and caregivers.

Sunday Early Afternoon

Jimmy Schwartz became ill during church this morning.  One of his sons says Jimmy is having some tests run, but it seems he will be okay.

Mrs. Kathrine Sanders fell after church and has been taken to North Oaks.  I’ll post more about her condition later.

Chase Sharkey was injured on his job last week and very seriously injured a couple of fingers.  Please pray for them to heal well.

Sunday Morning Addition

From Becky Graham Purvis

My heart breaks for the Wimberly family. Samuel went to his Heavenly home last night. Please remember them in your prayers. Also remember Jeremy (Purvis) and Sarah as they minister to a group of shocked and devastated students. Specifically, pray for Jeremy, for strength and words to comfort, as he speaks to a prayer gathering of students on the football field at 9:30 – Samuel played football for the PBS Eagles. Life is precious folks!

Samuel was the seventeen year old son of the pastor of Parkway Baptist Church. Pray for his parents,  Colin and Gina, his siblings, and the Parkway church and school family.


“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

~John 8:31b-32 NKJV~

Lindsey Sanders is doing much better, but more tests are doing done to evaluate her heart problem.  Keep praying.

Mike Moore of West Monroe, will be leaving Monday for Menphis where his cancer behind his eye is evaluated now that surgery has been done.  Please pray for Mike, his family, his friends, and those treating him.

Baptist Press

Please continue to pray for the many grieving families.  Our area has experienced a number of deaths in the last month or so.  Grieving is not over when the memorial service is completed.  Friends and church families mean so much at such times.

Beth Moore sessions for week two.

Sunday at 4:30

Thursday at 6:00

Come early and enjoy visiting with members of your small group.  If you missed the first session, you are welcome to join us now.  I will schedule a time to show session one again.

Thought for the Day: Missed opportunities

The story is told of a young man who wished to marry the farmer’s beautiful daughter. He went to the farmer to ask his permission. The farmer looked him over and responded, “Son, go stand out in that field and I’m going to release three bulls, one at a time. If you can catch the tail of any one of the three bulls, you can marry my daughter.”

The young man stood in the pasture awaiting the first bull. The barn door opened and out ran the biggest, meanest-looking bull he had ever seen. He decided that one of the next bulls had to be a better choice than this one, so he ran over to the side and let the bull pass through the pasture out the back gate.

The barn door opened again. Unbelievable. He had never seen anything so big and fierce in his life. It stood – pawing the ground, grunting, slinging slobber – as it eyed him. Whatever the next bull was like, it had to be a better choice than this one. He ran to the fence and let the bull pass through the pasture, out the back gate.

The door opened a third time. A smile came across his face. This was the weakest, scrawniest little bull he had ever seen. This one was his bull. As the bull came running by, he positioned himself just right and jumped at just the exact moment. He grabbed… but the bull had no tail!

Life is full of opportunities. Some will be easy to take advantage of, some will be difficult. But once we let them pass (often in hopes of something better), those opportunities may never again be available.

The same thing is also true of opportunities to serve Christ. God often opens doors — opportunities to speak up for Him, opportunities to minister to someone who is hurting or in need, opportunities to make an influence on the world around us. If we allow them to pass by (perhaps because we are waiting for something easier to come along), we may miss out on them altogether.

“Continue praying, keeping alert, and always thanking God. Also pray for us that God will give us an opportunity to tell people his message.” (Col. 4:2-3a, NCV)

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:10).

May you take advantage of the doors God opens for you this day!

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
White House Church of Christ
White House, Tennessee

Reach out and catch the opportunities you have before you this week.

Anna Lee

Saturday Midday

Glenn Ray Phillips
(September 13, 1958 – February 24, 2012)

A resident of Kentwood, passed away on Friday, February 24, 2012 at Lallie Kemp Medical Center in Independence. He was born September 13, 1958 in Independence and he was 53 years of age. He is survived by his two daughters, Amber Phillips and Ashley Billings; one son, Joseph Phillips; fiancé, Paulette Simmons, all of Kentwood; step-daughter, Mindy Simmons, Tickfaw; two sisters, Louise Causey, Amite and Liz Phillips, Holden; two brothers, Joe W. Phillips and James Phillips, both of Amite; 10 grandchildren, Nicholas Castella, Montana Billings, Colton Phillips, Zola Billings, Mason Billings, Zayne Phillips, Aliesa Warwick, Brookley Simmons, Sydni Brown and Dustin Carter; great-grandchild, Brogan Welch. He was preceded in death by his parents, J. L. and Bertha Lee Phillips; sister, Irma Bennett; two step-children, Deana Warwick and Clifton Simmons; granddaughter, Kallie Brown. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Kentwood, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday and from 9 a.m. until religious services at 11 a.m. on Monday, February 27, 2012. Services conducted by Rev. James Phillips. Interment will be in New Zion Cemetery, Kentwood. One online guestbook, visit


“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.

Do what it says. 

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says

is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and,

after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 

But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,

and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard,

but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

~James 1:22-25 NIV~

Jadon’s Story keeps getting better and better.  Thank-you, Jesus, for all you have done in this young life, in this family, and in the community of people who have prayed for Jadon.

Missionary Blog Digest: Expect the unexpected

Samaritan’s Purse: Overcoming stigma with love

Operation Christmas Child: Stories

I trust you will take time to read some on each of the four sites I listed here today.

To God be the Glory!

Anna Lee

Friday – Dr. Derry Magee


            Derry is working very hard in rehab even though it is a struggle.  Physical therapists have been amazed at Derry’s determination and strong will to recover.  The therapists have been applying electrical stimulation on his left side.  The Speech therapist has been using Vital Stem Therapy on his throat which increases his ability to chew and swallow.  He successfully swallowed ten sips of water on Friday without aspirating. Occupational therapists are working on training him to do personal daily tasks.     His cognitive ability and memory are incredible.  Sequencing is one area that stroke patients find difficult, but Derry could tell the speech therapist every step in driving his truck beginning with getting the keys off the key ring and remembering to raise the garage door.   One interesting observation that I had was when the OT was teaching Derry how to wash his hands,   Derry washed and dried his right hand.  The OT asked him if he had another hand.  He picked up his left hand with his right hand and carefully washed and dried it.  He has never forgotten to include the left hand.  When the body’s left side is affected by a stroke, the patient does not see his left side.  This also affects his ability to read at this time.  As the left side recovers, he will become conscious that there is something to his left.  This is why we ask visitors to always go to his left side to help force him to look to the left.

On Saturday afternoon, after Derry had been transferred to his wheelchair, his left arm began to shake for a second.  I wondered if he were having some kind of attack.  I also became excited that his left side might be “waking up.”  One thought by a family member was that it might be a seizure since he was administered seizure medicine when at St. Joseph Hospital earlier.  At some point Saturday, I observed Derry lying in bed holding his left hand with his right and massaging the left hand and arm with eyes closed.  The speech therapist had shared with Derry and me some results of a research that used the MRI on three occasions to show how the brain was able to become activated when the patient imagined doing a task.  In the first MRI, the patient was asked to do nothing during the hour.    During the second MRI, the patient was instructed to continuously do a task during the hour (saying a word or moving a finger, etc).    During the third task, the patient was asked to only think about doing the task   that he performed in the second MRI.    At the end of the third MRI, they found that the brain responded the same way as it did when the patient performed  the task during the second MRI.  As Derry was massaging the hand with his eyes closed, I am sure he was praying.  He tells everyone that God is healing his left side.  His words were, “It is a miracle.”

After lunch on Sunday, Derry was lying in bed when all of a sudden his left foot and ankle began to move. He called for me and stated, “Dora, look at my left foot!”  It was moving back and forth.  I ran over to him in the bed.  We embraced , CRIED, and thanked Jesus for this healing.  We immediately began to call our family members to tell them the good news.  Derry was so emotionally moved that he could not to talk.  I talked to our family members crying tears of joy.  Later Derry called them and was able to talk to them.

As word spread throughout the Isle at Watercrest on Sunday afternoon among the nurses, aides, assistants, and the Director of Nursing, they all came one at a time to see what had happened.  They were very moved with tears also.  Many believed from the beginning that Derry would be healed because of his strong faith in God.  One aide stated, “I knew that he would be healed because he asked that each morning at 7:00 a.m. we turn on his TV to Channel 14 so that he could hear Chris Osborne’s sermons “Verse by Verse.”   He plays one of his favorite CD piano hymns during the day and in the evening while he is sleeping.  Derry was very excited when Troy and his family came Saturday afternoon to visit, Troy downloaded his sermons that are on line now.  We were also very blessed to have our niece Jennifer, Conner, Kathryn, and friends Gerald and Sandra come for a visit.  Every day, he has had faithful visitors who have come to pray with him, encourage him, read books to him, and help him with his I-Pad.  Dr. Steve Wikse, a former colleague from the LAMS Department at the TAMU School of Veterinary Medicine, continues to remain committed to come on a regular basis to read and discuss veterinary articles and other interesting topics with Derry.  Steve is ministering to Derry through these readings and discussions that they both find stimulating.  Other veterinarians have come to visit and share common experiences in the practice of veterinary practice.  Steve’s   wife Bonnie is a dear friend of ours and comes for a visit when her schedule allows.

On Tuesday, February 7, Derry appreciated having the entire McDonald’s Coffee Club (14 plus visitors) come to visit him at the Isle at Watercrest .   The Isle prepared an array of goodies which they served to the men in the Club Room.  We were all very pleased that Dr. Gene King (age 94) was able to attend.  Tom Gibbs brought him to the coffee.  Dr. King and Dee Dee have a very special relationship.

Grandson Bill Johnson’s Mia (our four-year old great granddaughter) made Dee a beautiful piece of artwork which he has mounted in his room.  Troy’s children’s artwork is hanging on the wall along with the other artwork mounted.  Patrick’s family came by for a visit on Saturday and brought him the biggest Valentine card we have ever seen.  Other friends brought Valentine cards and candy as they came for a visit.  Several SS friends came by during the weekend bringing book CD’s for him to listen to.  He and I listened to three CD’s from Tom Brokaw’s book.  Another set of CD’s that we will listen to are from one of Rick Warren’s book.   I brought Derry a large vase of red roses.  I placed a new bouquet of flowers in the vase after the roses wilted.

We were blessed to have long time friends, Dick and Libby Day from Shreveport, La., come for a visit.  They joined us for lunch in the private dining room at the Isle.  During and after lunch,  they helped set-up his I-Pad.   That evening while at our house, Dick did some clean-up work on our home computer.    They knew about the I-Pad through an e-mail and just knew how to help.  Also, a week later, Mike Beggs and his wife came by for a visit.  Mike gave Derry some pointers on the use of the I-Pad while I had a delightful visit with his wife.  They were the ones who helped us at Reed Arena when Derry had his stroke.  We will always be grateful to them for knowing what to do.

We were so blessed to have our only child, Juanita Johnson (Nita) from Miami, FL, come to spend some time with us from February 15-19.  She was to arrive at Easterwood Airport on Wednesday evening at 10:45.  I managed to drive to the airport in one of the most dangerous fog situations that I have ever experienced when going to pick up her at that time.  We waited several minutes for the plane to land, but we received the message that the plane had circled over CS for about 30 minutes trying to land.  Because of the dense fog, the pilot could not see the lights on the runway to safely land.   They returned to the Houston airport and were made to believe that there might be another late night flight to CS, but that did not happen.  Nita tried to get a hotel room but without success.  At 2:15 A.M., she decided that she would make a bed on the seats in the baggage area and get a few hours sleep before the first flight out on Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m.  She was able to arrive in CS at 11:45 a.m. and was in her dad’s room by 12:30 p.m.   Even though she went through that ordeal, she only missed 3-4 hours of time being with her dad.

Nita was truly amazed at her dad’s progress.  Someone asked her what she thought about his progress.  She stated, “I am pleased 100%.”  She spent the four days literally taking care of him as much as she could.  She attended his therapy classes and assisted him in transitions in the room from the wheelchair to other places.   She also had him doing some of his therapy exercises when he was not in therapy.  She even had him doing some facial exercises while we were waiting for our lunches to be served. She wheeled her dad down to the first floor for lunch for three days in the beautiful spacious dining room with lots of windows. She was very pleased as she flew back to Miami on Sunday.  She did not have any glitches in her flight home.

On Thursday, February 16, approximately 20 members of the Louis Bonds Men’s SS class came for  a  time of eating and visiting with Derry.  The Isle at Watercrest staff prepared a table with all kinds of goodies, coffee, and punch in the large dining room on the first floor.  Derry has a great love and respect for these men that he has known for over 20 years and was very honored that they came.  Three of the wives who accompanied their husbands have been close friends of mine for these 20 years.  Nita enjoyed seeing these friends whom she has met from time to time when she came for visits.

On Friday, February 17, Nita pushed Derry in the First Heart Walk at IAW.  She pushed him around the perimeter of the Watercrest campus.  I followed behind with Cindy the activities director who was walking Dr. Turner’s dog, Zora.  It was a fun time for everyone.  Many residents from the other Watercrest buildings participated in the Heart Walk.  On Saturday afternoon, Nita took her daddy for another stroll on the sidewalks around the beautiful areas on the Watercrest campus.  He really enjoyed the outings being pushed by his daughter.  He loved being with her every minute that she was around.  After she left, he looked at me and stated, “She is tough!”  I told him that she did that because she loves him and wants him to fully recover.

We are so blessed to be in a facility with such an effective administrator, David Armand, who expects and sees that his staff  provides the very best care for the Isle’s residents.    Derry’s speech therapist, Jane Colbert, has done an incredible job in rehabilitating his chewing and swallowing through the use of the Vital Stem Therapy.  She also taught us so much about how the stroke affects victims and the importance of therapies for them.  She continually cited research studies on strokes.  She reported that Derry is doing well with a regular diet and can independently tell you what strategies are used for swallowing safely.  Because water travels so fast when swallowed, it is usually the last beverage that a stroke victim can swallow successfully.  He continues to take his pills with thickened liquids, but drinks water in small sips throughout the day.  As he is successfully swallowing water, they have reduced the amount of water that they put in the feeding tube.  Because his appetite is back to normal, and he can eat regular food, Dr. Turner stopped the midnight feeding in the feeding tube.  Today, February 22 his weight was 222 lbs. and a gain for the week of 6 ozs.   They do not want him to gain back the 30+ pounds that he has lost since his stroke.  Derry will continue the Shaker exercises which will be a part of his home program (facial massage, the Elvis snarl, and smile on left side).  His cognition is excellent as he read ads and answered correctly 14/15 questions from this exercise.   He can do problem-solving activities with no cues.  Peripheral vision is affected on the left side which is why we have visitors go to his left side to force him to use that side for vision.  Scanning will be a very important skill for him when he begins to walk independently.

Bridget, his occupational therapist, is so pleased with his progress.  He can perform all grooming procedures independently.  As of this day, he can make a transfer by standing and pivoting with moderate assist (50% self and 50% assist).  He can lift his left leg up on the therapy bed from floor with 50% assist from OT.  He has more left finger extinctions and more wrist movement.  He did five to 20 reps with each muscle in arm.

Alicia, the physical therapist who is assisted by Sylwva, put him on the Nu-Step for the first time on Monday.  He averaged making 73 repetitions per minute during ten minutes on the machine.  At the end of 10 minutes, he asked for water.  He then asked if he could do five more repetitions because the exercise felt good to his left thigh.  He felt that this activity was strengthening his legs.  He can now stand with minimal assistance.

We were told on Wednesday by the therapists that their goal for him is to walk out on his own from the Isle at Watercrest.  He told them that he is no hurry to leave IAW because he likes the facility, the administration, staff, and therapists.

Many of you have been concerned about my well-being.  I am doing beautifully.  I go up to IAW around 10:00 a.m. and return home around 5:30 p.m.   I am in the process of preparing our income tax  return and use my time maintaining the home and keeping up with our mail and business transactions.    I attended the B/CS Christian Women’s luncheon at Pebble Creek Country Club on Tuesday and enjoyed being with Christian ladies from my church and community.  I will go to the Isle early today to have lunch with Derry in the large dining room on the first floor.  The weather is to be warm with the sun shining which will allow us to take a “short” stroll outside.

Again, we want to thank you for your PRAYERS, thoughts, cards, calls, e-mails, and other support.  He can read his e-mails on his I-Pad in his room.


In Christ,



February 23, 2012


“Guard my words as your most precious possession.

Write them down and also keep them deep within your heart.”

~Proverbs 7:2 TLB~

God blessed the many women who attended the first session of the Beth Moore study, “James: Mercy Triumphs”.  We have already learned so much.  If you are interested in joining us, please let me know as soon as possible.  Come study and learn with us.

I understand there was a good group of men and boys to eat tenderloin and watch the movie “Courageous” last night.  Stay tuned, you will more from this group.

Sharon Martin said her dad, Earlo LaBauve, has had a set-back, but is already doing better.  If he continues to do well, he should be able to be home soon.

Thought for the Day: Searching for God

No doubt, you have received a sweepstakes notice at some time from American Family Publishers. You know how it works. You look over their magazine bargains — and the chance to buy a few for your office or waiting room. In return, they give you the opportunity to win large amounts of money.

In 1997, their mailing list included the Bushnell Assembly of God in Bushnell, Florida. The computer somehow twisted the name of the church and a sweepstakes notice addressed to “God of Bushnell” was sent to the church address.

The letter read, “Dear God, We’re searching for you. You’ve been positively identified as our $11,000,000 mystery millionaire!”

The letter went on to say, “What an incredible fortune there would be for God! Imagine the looks you’d get from neighbors. But don’t just sit there, God, come forward now and claim your prize!”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they truly were searching for God? If they sensed what Pascal called a “God-shaped void” in their lives and realized their need to come to know God and to understand what God could do for them? If they understood that the “prize” God offers is so much greater than the prize they were offering?

The good news is that God is not hiding and that those who truly are searching for him can find him.

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.'” (Acts 17:26-28a, NIV)

It is humorous that someone would be searching for God in order to give him 11 million dollars. He owns the “cattle on a thousand hills” (Psa. 50:10) and needs nothing. But he has blessings beyond measure for those who would seek him out. May you be counted among those who “reach out for him and find him.”

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
White House Church of Christ
White House, Tennessee

Have a great day, rain or no rain.

Anna Lee