“We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks!
For Your wondrous works declare
that Your name is near.”
Joan Hagan continues to get reports that will allow her surgery to proceed. Pray for her as she again in waiting for a surgery date.
Cleon Wilburn Blades
A native of Kentwood and a longtime resident of Tunica, he died Thursday, March 6, 2008, at age 76. He was a retired correctional officer at Angola, where he served for nearly 35 years. Visitation at Charlet Funeral Home Inc. in Zachary on Saturday, March 8, from 9 a.m. until service at 11 a.m., conducted by the Rev. Michael Wells Sr. Burial in Rogillio Family Cemetery. Survived by a daughter, Linda Bordelon and her husband, Darren, of Angola; two sons, Wilburn Jesse Blades and his wife Patricia, of Tunica, and Charles Blades and his wife, Cortney, of Smithdale, Miss.; three brothers, Henry Blades, Clovis Blades and Royal Blades; and three grandchildren, Darren Bordelon Jr., Todd Bordelon and Catherine Blades. He was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Mattie Blades; four brothers, James, Joe, Doc and Luther Blades; and his ex-wife, Pearl Anderson Blades. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Share sympathies, condolences and memories online at http://www.charletfuneralhome.com.
OUR TIME CHANGES THIS WEEKEND. PLEASE SET YOUR CLOCKS FORWARD 1 HOUR******NOT BACK AS STATED IN THE NEWS ON THE PRAYER LINK. WE SPRING FORWARD IN THE SPRING AND FALL BACK IN THE FALL.
Mary Ann Cutrer
(Thanks, Mary Ann.)
INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS PRAYERLINE
INTERNATIONAL MISSION BOARD
Friday, March 7, 2008
“So Philip began at this place in the Scriptures
and explained the good news about Jesus.,”
~Acts 8:35, CEV~
Dear Intercessors, this is Eleanor Witcher of the International Prayer Strategy Office, encouraging you to pray for women as they hear God’s Word.
A chance encounter turned out to be a relationship for which to praise God. A woman in South Asia met two Christian women on a South Asian street and asked why they lived in her country. They told her that they were storytellers. “We are followers of Jesus, so our favorite stories to tell are about Him!” On her first visit to their home, after exchanging usual greetings, this woman was in the chair for less than two minutes before she said, “OK, tell me a story about Jesus.” Since then, the women have had ample opportunities to share not only how Christ changed their lives, but also many stories from the Word.
A few Tibetan women in a refugee carpet factory have shown an interest in hearing audio stories from the Bible. On occasion, international Christian workers have played Tibetan praise songs and Bible stories on a CD player for them while they make rugs. The songs and stories resound throughout the factory, and the women listen intently as they sit, weaving the heavy rugs.
Three groups of North African women are meeting weekly to study the Bible. Pray for the women to continue to grow in their faith and for their daughters and friends to join them as they share their faith with others.
A volunteer from Canada has traveled to Turkey to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to Persians. Pray that many women will come to the classes and will be drawn to God through her sharing and testimony.
* Please pray for women to respond positively to the Good News that they are hearing whether directly from the Bible, through stories and music, or from personal testimonies.
* Intercede for believers that they will share faithfully.
* Ask God to open your eyes to unusual places where you can share His Word.
MISSIONARY PERSONAL NEEDS
This month, two new workers joined the ministry team on a small island nation. They are studying at the local university and have already immersed themselves in the local culture, experiencing many of the wondrous oddities that living in a different country can offer. Please pray for these young people as they strive to be a light for the Lord in the midst of much spiritual darkness. Pray for their safety as they travel by public transport, for understanding of the local dialects, for comprehension of their school studies, for personal strength and growth in the Lord, for adjustment to the new climate, time zone and diet, and for unity with other believers. Praise the Lord for young people willing to step way outside their “comfort zones” to serve Him wherever He calls!
Don’t forget the community outreach at 10:00 this morning and the missions lunch tomorrow.
Resort Missionary Brad Lartigue
Holds Big Job in Big Sky
By Mickey Noah
BIG SKY, Mont. – Because his mission field is based in Big Sky, Mont., where Lone Mountain stretches 11,000 feet high, Brad Lartigue reports to work every day sky-high – geographically and spiritually.
For 20 years, Lartigue has served as a North American Mission Board missionary — the last 17 as a resort missionary in Big Sky during the ski season in winter and at Yellowstone National Park in summer. Big Sky is nestled near three interconnected mountains, high in Montana’s Gallatin National Forest.
Lartigue is one of more than 5,000 missionaries in the United States, Canada and their territories supported by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering® for North American Missions. He is one of eight NAMB missionaries featured as part of the annual Week of Prayer, March 2-9, 2008. This year’s theme is “Live with Urgency: Seize Your Divine Moment.” The 2008 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering’s goal is $61 million, 100 percent of which is used for missionaries like Brad.
“My place of work is basically the outdoors,” he says. “Our sanctuary is in the mountains that rise above us, among the trees and the animals that God has created. That’s where worship happens for us.
“I believe that my area of special ministries in resort and leisure settings is a good place to present the Gospel to people,” he said. “After all, our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the example and foundation for ministering to people outside the walls of the church.
“Jesus spoke to the multitudes from the bow of a boat, from the mountainsides, in the gardens, in the marketplaces. He met people where they were, in times of work and play. It’s a wonderful thing to have the opportunity of using God’s creation as a ministry tool to point people past that creation and toward the Creator.”
Supported and commissioned by NAMB and the Montana Southern Baptist Convention, Lartigue leads worship services and campfire devotionals, marries couples, dedicates babies and even conducts funeral services on the powdery snow of Big Sky. He witnesses to tourists who wouldn’t be caught dead inside the walls of a brick-and-mortar church.
During the peak ski season — between Thanksgiving and Easter — some 5,000-6,000 people a day come to Big Sky to challenge the world-class ski slopes, which get blanketed by 400 inches of new snow each year.
“Every Sunday when I ride the chairlift going up the mountain to do my worship service, I meet people who have no intention of going to a worship service. They’re coming to find a place for recreation and to relax — not for a place of worship or for a minister. But when I ride the chairlift, I never ride without speaking to someone about why they are here and what we are doing here.
“I think it means a lot to people to see a minister snowboarding, skiing, or cross-country skiing, who takes the effort to hone these skills to meet people where they are,” he said.
Citing the Apostle Paul’s admonition to “be all things to all people so that we might reach some,” Lartigue recently invited a couple of young men on college break to his worship service.
“They saw me on my snowboard and said, ‘Oh, you’re the shred chaplain.’ Shredding is ski slang for snowboarding. I think God gives us passions in our lives that drive us to do the things we do. God has given me the passion to snowboard, cross-country ski and go backpacking in the wilderness.
“And each of us can reach one because of the various passions He gives us,” Lartigue said. “People come here to relax, rest and be rejuvenated. And what better place to do ministry than a place where people can be inspired, because God and his creation are inspiring.”
It’s a long way from the sultry summers of Lake Charles, La, where Brad was born and raised, to the crystal-blue skies and frosty air of Big Sky, Mont.
He grew up in a Christian home in Lake Charles, a bayou town in the heart of southwest Louisiana’s Cajun country, where his father serves as pastor of a Southern Baptist church and with a devoted preacher’s wife for a mom. With a French surname and rich family bloodlines of black, Cherokee Indian and Italian lineage, Brad is proud of his heritage. One of five children, he accepted Christ at age 14.
Always interested in adventure and public service, Lartigue was active in the Baptist Student Union at McNeese State University in Lake Charles. While at McNeese, he cut his missions “teeth” while serving as a summer missionary on Hawaii’s Big Island and as a US/C2 resort missionary at Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico.
After graduating from McNeese State, he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, where he earned a master’s degree in religious education and church recreation. In 1990, he accepted a career missionary position at Big Sky and Yellowstone National Park from NAMB and the Montana Southern Baptist Convention. He’s been there ever since.
“When people think of Big Sky or Yellowstone National Park, they think of the beauty and what a pristine place it is,” said Lartigue. “But people don’t realize that behind the scenes, there are hurting people – people very much disillusioned about who God is. I come across alcoholics, those into drugs, the promiscuous, those whose lives need to change.”
As with any Southern Baptist pastor, Sunday is a long and busy work day for Lartigue.
“I am part of three worship services on Sundays,” he said. “I begin the day with an outdoor worship service at 9:30 a.m. at the Moonlight Basin Ski Resort. Then I drive back down to the Big Sky Christian Fellowship worship at 11 a.m., and back up to Mountain Village to conduct the skier/snowboarder worship service in the snow at 1:30 p.m.,” Brad said.
After a few hours of skiing or snowboarding, he closes out the day by directing a youth ministry for junior high students on Sunday nights. He also is active in Yellowstone Innovator/park employee worship in campgrounds, hotel worship services and home Bible studies.
During summer, he shifts the focus of his ministry to Yellowstone – about 50 miles away — where he supervises college and seminary volunteers called “Innovators,” full-time summer missionaries appointed by NAMB and sponsored by the First Baptist Church of West Yellowstone, who work full-time alongside park employees in a secular environment. They intentionally share their faith in Christ through lifestyle evangelism, Bible studies, hiking, backpacking and “one-to-one” witnessing.
In October, Brad is a swimming instructor and coach for the local elementary school in Big Sky, and a lifeguard instructor in Bozeman, about 45 miles north of Big Sky. With Thanksgiving comes the return of ski season.
Year-round, Lartigue works as a firefighter and chaplain for the Big Sky Volunteer Fire Department. He also is a certified emergency medical technician (EMT), a CPR instructor and a volunteer for the Big Sky Ski Patrol. Regardless of the hat he wears, he ministers to all, all the time.
Dean Hall of Helena, Mont., is a fellow EMT on the Big Sky Ski Patrol team.
“I’ve known him (Lartigue) for five or six years now,” Hall said. “He’s a minister, a youth minister, a resort minister. He’s a very well trained EMT. He’s well-respected and a wonderful, kind, gentle man. The kids love him. He’s a great asset to the community here and to the Big Sky Ski Patrol, both as a chaplain and as a trained EMT.
“I think all resorts need somebody like him,” continued Hall. “This is sort of a la-la land in many respects. There’s lots of alcohol, lots of drugs. Brad is an anchoring force and some of these young people need that.”
What does the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering mean for Brad?
“This offering does things in so many different ways, and offers so many different opportunities that we will never, ever see the results until we’re in heaven. I feel privileged to be able to minister in a place where I can focus on ministry and not worry about how I’m going to sustain myself.
“I love what I do because it is making an eternal difference in people’s lives and I look forward to seeing these people in our heavenly home for all of eternity.”
The Fern and the Bamboo…..
(This was shared by Mr. K.K.Kennedy. I do not know who wrote it.)
One day I decided to quit…. I quit my job, my relationship, my Spirituality.. I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have One last talk with God.
“God”, I said. “Can you give me one good re ason not to quit?”
His answer surprised me…
“Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?”
“Yes”, I replied.
“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, Nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo”.
He said. “In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.
In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.
He said. “Then in th e fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant.
But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had Spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave It what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a Challenge it could not handle.”
He said to me. “Did you know, my child, that all this time you have Been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on The bamboo. I will never quit on you. Don’t compare yourself to others.”
He said. “The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern, yet, they Both make the forest beautiful.”
“Your time will come, ” God said to me. ” You will rise high!”
“How high should I rise?” I asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” H e asked in return.
“As high as it can?” I questioned.
“Yes.” He said, “Give me glory by rising as high as you can.”
I left the forest and brought back this story. I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you…..
Never regret a day in your life. Good days give you Happiness. Bad days give you Experiences. Both are essential to life. Keep going… Happiness keeps you Sweet, Trials keep you Strong, Sorrows keep you Human, Failures keep you Humble, Success keeps You Glowing, But Only God keeps You Going!
Have a great day! The Son is shining!!
God is so big He can cover the whole world with his Love, and so small He can curl up inside your heart.
AS YE WOULD THAT MEN SHOULD DO TO YOU,
DO YE ALSO TO THEM LIKEWISE.
Remember, He provides what we need when we need it!