Wednesday’s Devotional

Decision Magazine Weekly E-mail Devotional

February 26, 2008

A Word From Billy Graham

The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). Man is like sheep. We wander around blind; we get lost. We’re lost from God. We’ve strayed from God. …

Jesus tells a story of a lost sheep. This farmer had 99 sheep that were safe, but one had wandered away. He was lost. So this shepherd decided that he was going to go after the one lost sheep. After much searching, he found the sheep. And he called all of his friends together, and they rejoiced because he had found the sheep (Luke 15:4-6). Are you that one lost sheep? Jesus Christ would have died on the cross if no one had been lost but you. God loves you and He’s searching for you.

The shepherd lives with his sheep. He gives them food and protection and security. Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Whatever happens, however sick you may get—you may lose a child, you may lose a father or a mother—Jesus is with you. You’re the sheep; He’s the shepherd. He loves you, and He gave His life for you. When He died on the cross, God took all of our sins and laid them on Him.

Devotional Prayer:


Lord, we thank You for sending Jesus to find us when we had wandered far from You. Help us to stay close to you as we seek out those who are still lost and need to hear of the salvation that you offer them through Christ. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


“Moreover,as for me,

far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord

in ceasing to pray for you;

but I will teach you the good and the right way.”

~1 Samuel 12:23~


MISSIONARY PERSONAL NEEDS. A Baptist representative covets your intercession for his wife, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer and a stroke. She has taken a turn for the worse, and the cancer has spread into her bones and stomach. She is currently hospitalized and is facing a new chemotherapy treatment. He asks: “Please pray for healing in God’s will and perfect timing. She is getting tired and discouraged, because she has been through so much. Please pray that she will find comfort in the Lord’s arms and peace that He is with her continually as she goes through this ordeal.”

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (prahg). “Thank you for praying for the Scripture distribution projects that took place in the Prague mega-city region during the months of December and January,” writes the Prague Mega-City Team. “One of our first attempts to deliver the requested items in December almost ended in failure, as an IMB representative struggled with his limited Czech language and was not able to convince the woman what we were doing. Finally she asked if we spoke English. End of problem. We returned later that evening when her husband was home to deliver the material. He accepted it and was overcome by emotion and almost cried. As we searched for addresses and streets that truly have no consistency, tried to read numbers on buildings in the dark, and searched for faded names on mailboxes, we realized that it is all worth it and we serve a great and mighty God. Pray for our team as we continue with follow up on those who have responded. Pray that those who receive the Word will understand it and come to know Christ as Savior. Pray that they will also have a desire to meet together and study the Word.”

PAKISTAN. Christians in many places suffer great persecution whether or not there are anti-conversion laws. Last year, the Pakistani parliament considered a blasphemy bill that would have called for all converts to Christianity to be killed. Some anti-Christian radicals do not need a law to convince them that those who turn their backs on Islam should be punished. Pray for Christians in Pakistan who face dangers, prejudice and persecution in one form or another every day. Specifically pray for NM and IM, bold evangelists who love the Lord and yearn for their countrymen to know Him too. Ask God to defeat any attempts to make persecution legal, and ask Him to change the hearts of those who do not wait for the law to be established. Pray for their salvation.

GERMAN-BRAZILIANS OF BRAZIL. For some time, you have been interceding for the city of Dois Irmaos. In December, a study began in a home in this city. C, an evangelist on the German Team, is thrilled that God has answered his prayers to begin a study in this city. He has joined other team members as well as volunteers in walking and driving through this area, asking God to lead them to a “man of peace” (Luke 10:6). Pray that this home and those attending the study will continue in the faith that they have so eagerly embraced. C requests prayer for discernment as to the next city where God would have team members go. In March, a volunteer youth team will join them to carry out community projects, distribute Bibles, and prayerwalk. Ask the Father to grant them safety and to open doors in order that disciples will be made and churches planted in homes in a region where persecution is common for evangelicals.

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (BOO-kuh-rest). Pray for Vocea Evangheliei Christian radio station as God uses it in His ministry. Through Christian songs and talk shows, God is reaching into the homes of Bucharest. Pray for those searching for the Truth to turn their radios to 94.2 FM. (It is also available on the Internet.)

NAIROBI, KENYA (ny-ROH-bee). Pray that feeding efforts of Southern Baptists in Nairobi will communicate Christ’s love to those who have suffered through the loss of loved ones and property, the displacement of places to live, and the persecution of tribal warfare. Pray that those touched by the local churches will see God’s hands and be drawn to Him in times of turmoil, seeking peace and eternity.

ZAMBIA. Spiritual light is beginning to shine in the darkness of the fishing villages surrounding Lake Bangwelulu of Zambia. One-and-a-half years ago, the first attempt to bring the light of the gospel to this area was met with opposition from the Bemba people. Over time and through much prayer, their hearts have begun to open to the truths in God’s Word. There are now two churches on either side of the town in villages around the lake. Praise God for this victory! Without dependence on the missionary, these two churches met together for a night of prayer and fasting and have begun to make plans to start a “preaching point” (new work) in the main part of town that lies between them. Pray for this second-generation church plant to become a reality in the next few months as these new believers work together to continue dispelling the darkness among the Bemba people of Luwingu, Zambia.

CHINA. Human trafficking continues to challenge Chinese authorities as young men and women are forced into labor and prostitution, primarily along China’s southern border. Pray for God to protect those who are vulnerable to such abuse and to thwart the schemes of those who seek to enslave them. Pray that all who suffer such degradation can someday know the loving Savior whose blood was shed for them.

JAPAN. Your workers serving in the JGPNetwork thank you for praying during 2007. Because you were faithful to intercede for the outreach efforts of laborers working in the fields, homeless men, elderly women, college students, working young people and children are among those who heard the gospel message in 2007 and look forward to 2008, knowing that they are children of the Father and can experience His power, His love and His grace. Praise the Lord for His answers to the Luke 10:2b prayer for more laborers. Pray for these new Christians to grow and be faithful witnesses for Christ in order that many more will be able to experience Christmas next year as God’s children!

NORTH SUMATRA MALAY OF INDONESIA (MAY-lay). Give thanks to God for a new believer who has joined a group of other believers in ministry! This young woman named H has had much experience in community development related to education and health needs. She also has a passion for sharing stories of Truth with women. Pray that she will be a mentor to the existing believers in this group.

MISSIONARY PERSONAL NEEDS. A couple serving in Thailand write: “Our children open many doors for us in our work. Ask the Lord to continue to show them how He can use them to spread His Word. Pray that they will be open to doing whatever the Lord leads them to do. Pray for their relationships with the nationals, asking that their communication will always be clear and that they will use every opportunity to share the message of Christ.”

MUSLIMS: PRAYING BEYOND THE WALL. Honor is a defining value in Muslim culture. New believers are ostracized, threatened, persecuted and sometimes even killed to erase the shame the family feels because of their perception that the believer has rejected the religion and authority of the family to follow Jesus Christ. Pray for new believers to be given wisdom, courage, love and grace as they share their decision and bear witness with their family to their new faith. Ask God to prepare the hearts of their families to hear and respond to the truth. Pray for the gospel to spread through entire families.

Wednesday – Baptist Press

February 25, 2008

TENNESSEE–LifeBoxes show soldiers that churches care.

TENNESSEE–Soldier: LifeBox made a difference.

TEXAS–ELECTION 08: Huckabee’s hopes in Texas no joke.

TENNESSEE–Drought-stricken farmers get Baptist hay lift.

VIRGINIA–Discipleship fuels new mestizo churches.

TENNESSEE–FIRST-PERSON (Thom S. Rainer): When ‘Kindle’ comes to church.

February 26, 2008

GEORGIA–Church takes action after refinery explosion.

GEORGIA–One disaster, many responders.

GEORGIA–Memorial service honors sugar refinery victims.

MASSACHUSETTS–Mother speaks for life after daughter’s death during abortion.

WASHINGTON–Abortion doctor gives up license.

INDIANA–NFL reversal shows value of taking a stand, pastors say.

KENTUCKY–Mohler: Pew study should challenge evangelicals.

LOUISIANA–FIRST-PERSON (Keith Manuel): Praying for the unbeliever.

Tuesday’s Devotional


“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).

Mike Benson, Editor



OFTEN WE HEAR that “prayer changes things…”

I have only one question. It deals not with what prayer changes, but whom.
Perhaps we are under the illusion that it is the role of prayer to change God’s mind. The astounding thing is that there are indeed times when frail flesh can change the intention of eternal Deity! Moses averted God’s anger against Israel ( Exodus 32:11-14); Hezekiah bought extra time ( Isaiah 38:1-8). These incidents remind us that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” ( James 5:16). Talk about friends in high places, the child of God can go to the most powerful figure in existence, and be heard!

But the marvel of prayer lies not in our ability to change God, but in his ability to change us. When we pray, we admit that we need his help; we express humility and dependence with regard to the course of our lives; we throw ourselves on his mercy; we seek his wisdom, his strength, his love.

When we pray, the universe is reoriented. Our universe!

Prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind; it’s about changing ours! “God,” someone has said, “never alters the robe of righteousness to fit a man; he changes the man to fit the robe.” God seeks to mold us, change us, make us something wonderfully better. And the process begins when our posture changes from standing to kneeling.

“O house of Israel,

can I not do to you as this potter does?”

declares the Lord.

“Like clay in the hand of the potter,

so are you in my hand,

O house of Israel”.

~ Jeremiah 18:6~

Prayer won’t change things until we allow it to change us. (Stan Mitchell)

Prayer changes things – us!

Anna Lee


“Be patient with each other,

making allowance for each other’s faults

because of your love.”

~Ephesians 4:2b NLT~

Please pray for my 22-yr-old grandson Dusty who had to go to ER yesterday (Monday) because of bleeding. The scans showed polyps in his colon. He will call a doctor today and I will let you know the date of the appointment.


I received an e-mail from Frann a short while ago and she was asking for prayers as the pain is in her side now and she states it is almost unbearable.
Please remember her in your prayers.

Mary Ann Cutrer

Tuesday – Obituary

Juanita Canton Ridgedell Blount

(December 21, 1914 – February 25, 2008)

Died at 10:10 a.m. on Monday, February 25, 2008 at the home of her daughter, Belle Davidson, in Roseland. She was 93 born December 21, 1914, daughter of Lyle and Lillie Grantham Canton. She was reared in Canton, MS and a former resident of Montpelier. She was retired from Lallie Kemp Hospital where she was a Labor and Delivery Nursing Assistant. She was a member of Magnolia Baptist Church in Montpelier. Survivors include her daughter, Clara Belle Ridgedell Davidson, Roseland, who cared for her for the past two years until her death; son, Joseph P. Ridgedell, Pensacola, FL; 8 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lyle and Lillie Canton; daughter, Lydia Madge Davis Law Musgrave; 4 sisters; 1 brother; first husband, Percy Ridgedell; second husband, Henry Blount. Special thanks to Vital Hospice Staff, Kimberly Hart, Susan Johnson, Brother Leon Dunn, Tom Grosz, Dr. Anthony Zerangue, Tom Terrall with Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s Office and also to family members who gave unconditional love and care through her illness-Dustin and Mindy Fitch, Danielle Gill, Rhonda Chandler, Brandy Smith and Donna Davidson. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be mad to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center of Hammond or the charity of your choice in her memory. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Amite, from 10 a.m. until religious services at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Services conducted by Rev. Leon Dunn. Interment Union Baptist Church Cemetery, Loranger. Pallbearers will be Dustin Fitch, Ralph Chandler, Larry Johnson, Nicky Hayden, Joey Davis and Kevin Washington.

Monday’s Devotional


“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).

Mike Benson, Editor




THE IDEA IS shocking…

It is a thought many people have never even entertained. What is it that is so astounding? It is the fact that God hates. Most often we think of God as love (1 John 4:8). Love eliminates hate, right? Wrong. As a matter of fact, appropriate hate is a result of love. For instance, Psalm 119 is a very lengthy expression of love and appreciation for God’s word. It is as a result of that love for God’s instruction that the Psalm expresses hatred for “every false way” (Psm. 119:104, 128).


God is love. He loves us as His creation and above all else desires close fellowship with us. That fellowship is destroyed by sin. Sin taints and tarnishes His people and makes association with a holy God impossible. That is why God hates sin. It destroys those whom God loves. How tragic when people become enamored with the very things that ruin their relationship with God, the very things God hates. So, in Proverbs, seven objects of God’s hatred are listed:

  1. haughty eyes
  2. a lying tongue
  3. hands that shed innocent blood
  4. a heart that devises wicked plans
  5. feet that run rapidly to evil
  6. a false witness who utters lies
  7. one who spreads strife among brothers.


Yes, God hates these things. And, if we love God, we’ll hate them too. It is no virtue to love everything. If we love what God hates we are estranged from Him (1 John 2:15). That’s the very problem Jesus died to fix.

So, what do you hate? (David Deffenbaugh; Bill McFarland)

“These six things the LORD hates,

Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

a proud look,

a lying tongue,

hands that shed innocent blood,

a heart that devises wicked plans,

feet that are swift in running to evil,

a false witness who speaks lies,

and one who sows discord among brethren.”

Prov. 6:16-19


Don’t let these things get in the way of the service He has called you to do.

Anna Lee

Monday – Travel Schedule

Hatchel Family

  • New Orleans -> Chicago (2:42 P.M. -> 5:09 P.M. Friday)
  • Chicago -> Frankfurt (6:53 P.M. -> 10:15 A.M. Saturday)
  • Frankfurt -> Prague (11:50 A.M. -> 12:55 P.M. Saturday)

All times are local to the city they will be in, not our central time.

Pray for them as they:

  • Complete packing and other final tasks here
  • Travel across seven time zones
  • Go through customs in the States and in Europe
  • Travel through four airports
  • Try to make all connections on time
  • Have seating that does not always keep the family together
  • Try to keep up with the maximum amount of luggage
  • Meet colleagues who will bring their vehicle and help with luggage
  • Make a two-hour drive to Brno
  • Adjust to the change of time zones
  • Continue their ministry in the Czech Republic