“The righteous cry out,

and the Lord hears,

and delivers them out of all their troubles.”

Psalm 34:17



Have you ever had one of those days when everything seemed to go wrong around you and nothing was your fault? That happened to me yesterday. I know a couple other people who also had unusually hard days. The best thing I can say about that is we are not promised to have perfection in our little world. We just have someone who goes with us through those difficult days! He’s always there and loves us through whatever is happening. That’s an assurance I cling to on days such as yesterday.

BIBLE SCHOOLS OF TANZANIA. Pray for the sense of calling of each student and teacher at the Bible Schools to remain clear and strong so that the difficulties they will encounter will not discourage them. Life in a developing country has a full range of challenges at best; but as in all Christian endeavors, when a person makes a commitment to serve in God’s kingdom work, spiritual battles begin. Pray for these called servants to have perseverance and to be at peace with God. Pray for the wellbeing of their families, for their health, for needs to be met, and for relationships to be strong and positive.

HAUSA OF WEST AFRICA (HOW-suh). As the missionary finished sharing a parable with a group of men, one of the men said, “You should start a church in Hausa.” Ask the Lord to give wisdom and direction to this missionary couple as they seek His will concerning where, when, and with whom to start a church among this people group that has traditionally been resistant to the gospel. Please intercede for Hausa seekers who are longing to hear the truth.

BULGARIA. In Eastern Europe, most churches follow the Orthodox calendar for holidays. This means that Easter for Bulgarians is April 27 this year. Please pray for the many people who will go to the churches to carry out rituals without any real understanding of what they are doing or why they are supposed to do it. Pray for the true meaning of this celebration to become clear to them and for the Spirit to soften their hearts and draw them to the cross in repentance. Pray for all believers in Bulgaria to be bold and caring in sharing the truth of the resurrection with all those around them.;

There are a number of people who are very sick. Many have been listed in the last few days. Please reread those names and pray for each one individually. Also, add other names that may not have been listed.


Kids on Mission Pray

April 25, 2008

“Let the little children come to Me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” Luke 18:16b

IS IT SWIMMING OR DRIVING? It’s rainy season in Southern Sudan, and it’s really hard to drive down many of the roads. A large SUV is going down the road towards a big puddle of water-it’s as big as a pond! In Sudan, the SUVs have snorkels. That’s usually a tube that helps someone breathe underwater. Have you heard of them? When people go to Hawaii to see the pretty fish and coral, they swim using a snorkel. Can you imagine how funny it would be to have a snorkel on the front of your car? It would help you and your family get fresh air to breathe.

Back to the SUV in Sudan….the SUV gets to the pond in the middle of the dirt road and starts into the water. The muddy water comes up over the hood and covers the windshield. The seatbelts lock to keep passengers in their seats, and the once-white machine bumps and jerks through the water. It’s like an obstacle course with all the potholes. The windshield wipers work frantically while the SUV goes down, down, down into the water. It’s as if the driver is blind. You just can’t see and the snorkel keeps fresh air coming in. Finally, the SUV comes out on the other side and the wipers clear enough of the mud away from the windshield for the driver to see! THAT’s travel in Southern Sudan during the rainy season. Imagine the excitement when people learned that the road is going to be paved!

Please pray for a special family that has been working in this area. They were in the US for awhile and are back. They used to be the only family there, but now there are new workers and they are getting ready for volunteer teams. The family has a lot of work to do to find places for the workers to live; and then they will teach the newcomers how to find good food, how to make friends in this culture, and how to find the best roads. Please pray that they will trust God completely.


Pray for my friend NY, he is going through a really hard time now. MARY, age 16 (West Africa)

Pray that Christians be free to tell others about Jesus and that more people will come to Christ. ROBBIE, age 10 (East Asia)

Please pray for me to be a good boy. And pray for my tribal friends to be safe. ZACH, age 5 (Pacific Rim)

I need help speaking the language. Pray for me. PRESTON, age 8 (Central and Eastern Europe)

Thank you for my teachers and all my friends and boys too! HP, age 9 (East Asia)

Please pray for my friend who is confused about the way to heaven. He thinks all religions lead to heaven. Please pray he will learn about Jesus. JOEL, age 13 (South Asia)

My prayer requests are that I will not do bad things, and will be closer to God. JK, age 12 (East Asia)

What you would write if your personal prayer request was next?

Nursery Volunteers for Sunday

  • Scott and Kristi Womack
  • Tammy Borrelli
  • Nancy Stokes

Baptist Press

April 24, 2008

WASHINGTON–Abstinence hearing a one-sided ‘circus.’

TENNESSEE–TobyMac, Casting Crowns win multiple Doves.

TEXAS–Brandon Heath: missions-minded musician.

TENNESSEE–Dakota’s Jim Hamilton to be 2nd VP nominee.

TENNESSEE–Christian students counter Day of Silence.

MISSOURI–MBC factions hopeful about ‘peace committee.’

NORTH CAROLINA–Crisis protocol will speed disaster response.

FLORIDA–Evolution academic freedom bill passes in Fla.

LOUISIANA–FIRST-PERSON (Craig Franklin): Will the Jena revival continue?

VIRGINIA–WORLDVIEW (Erich Bridges): Truth with a capital ‘T.’

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

IT’S AMAZING HOW the things people say do not always match up with reality…

Consider the person who begins a statement with the words, “I may be wrong, but…”

Usually he really means, “There’s no way that I could be wrong!”

Consider the person who says, “I hate to say I told you so.”

Of course he’s enjoying it immensely!

And what about the one who says, “I’m sorry if I have done anything to upset you.”

What he really means is, “You’re so hypersensitive. This shouldn’t have upset you!”

There are two things which young people find hard to do in sports; winning and losing. It’s hard to lose gracefully, and it’s hard to win graciously. It is also hard in a family – whether it be a church family or a physical one – to win and lose. It’s just so hard to hide that gleam of triumph when you were right after all, the satisfied smirk when your dire prediction of “disaster” came true.

As if you’re glad to see God’s people hurt. That is sad!

Carl Mitchell used to repeat a line that makes a lot of sense: “If you’re wrong, admit it,” he would declare, “and if you’re right, shut up!”

Paul said it this way: “Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5); and elsewhere, he said, “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Being “right” does not justify acting unkindly towards others. You can differ with another without attempting to destroy him. The question I always ask myself when speaking to another is this: Have I equipped him, enabled him, to serve God and God’s people better?

To quote the apostle again, “Everything should be done for edification” (I Corinthians 14:26).

Why should this be? Simply put, because we always view others as being more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:1-4).

Don’t we? (Stan Mitchell)

“Let your gentleness be evident to all” (Philippians 4:5).

That’s one most of us will have to work on!

Anna Lee

Thursday Update

Bro. Joey sent this update.

There seems to have been some confusion regarding the nature of Henry Harris’ surgery. James Miller just called to say that the surgery went well, but that it was a surgery to remove a blood clot & relieve pressure on the brain. Apparently Bro. Henry had a blood clot that went to the brain last night. He did fall but the fall was apparently related to losing control when the blood clot hit the area of the brain. Bro. James said that he did not break anything in the fall. Surgery is complete and he is in CCU


If it is possible, as far as it depends on you,

live at peace with everyone.

~Romans 12:18 (NIV)~


Thank you for praying for my mother, Dot Smith, last week. She is much better now.



You can pray for several people are in North Oaks:

  • Mr. Henry Harris
  • Gary Travis of Roseland
  • Mr. Buddy Holmes (friend of Bro. Joe Baugh)
  • Karen Baugh (sister-in-law of Bro. Joe)
  • Mrs. Jeanette Rhodus
  • Jimmy Tolar
  • Randy Fairburn

Pray for Lisa Davis, sister of Susan Rimes, as she undergoes treatment for cancer again.

Continue to pray for Joan Hagan. She’s resting in bed and trying to get over her falls so she can have surgery Wednesday.

You are invited to a special prayer meeting for Joan Hagan today at 4 P.M. at te Secret Closet Clothes Store (by the railroad tracks on highway 38). A love offering will be taken to help purchase a piece of equipment Joan needs.

I talked with Rebecca Blades‘ aunt. She said it was a miracle Rebecca is alive. Rebecca continues to improve. Keep her in your prayers.

Prayer has been requested for Bobby Warren of Arcola. He was injured in a motorcycle accident.

Deacons for the week

  • Jimmy Tolar
  • Lloyd Hayden

Annie Armstrong Easter Offering

  • Received – $10,636.85
  • Goal – $13,000.00
  • We’re 82% there!

There will be a youth spaghetti fundraiser Sunday, May 4th. Call Bro. Bucky to see how you can help.

Two youth need sponsors for camp this summer. Contact Bro. Bucky for more information.

Vacation Bible School

  • Outrigger Island
  • June 9-13
  • 8:30-11:30
  • Volunteers needed

On Mission in Kentwood

  • Saturday, April 26
  • Starts with donuts at 8 A.M.
  • Bring brooms, rakes, gloves, etc.
  • Call the church to sign up or to give a name of someone who needs assistance




We sometimes refer to someone’s actions as “playing God.” By that, we usually mean that they are standing in judgment over another person in a way that only God can, or that they are making a decision regarding who will live or who will die. Most of the time, we use that term in a negative way. I heard a story recently, though, told by Mee Spousler that sheds a whole new light on the term “playing God.”

Mee tells how she was trying to put her three-year-old son to bed for a nap. When she was unsuccessful, she put him in her bed and laid down with him to encourage him to rest. She fell asleep, but he didn’t. When she woke up, she saw him sitting on a chair at the end of the bed, and asked, “Luke, what are you doing?”

“I’m playing God,” he replied.

“Playing God?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said. “I’m watching over you while you sleep.”

What a beautiful thought, because that is what God does. David wrote: “I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill. I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.” (Psalm 3:4-5)

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all, like that 3-year-old boy, learn to “play God” in ways that would impact this world for good?

We need to “play God” by looking at the hearts of people rather than the clothes they are wearing.

We need to “play God” by forgiving those who have offended us.

We need to “play God” by refusing to allow race or the color of a person’s skin to create barriers.

We need to “play God” by being patient, kind, and loving to the the people we deal with throughout the day

We need to “play God” by showing compassion to those who are suffering or in need.

We need to “play God” by keeping our promises and living lives of honesty and integrity.

We need to “play God” by living in such a way that we reflect the nature of our Heavenly Father.

I hope and pray that people around you will see you “playing God” this day.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina



We need to “play God” by showing compassion to those who are suffering or in need.

You can do this by participating in On Mission in Kentwood Saturday. I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Anna Lee


[The boy’s father said,]

“. . . If you can do anything, do it.

Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus said, “If?

There are no ‘ifs’ among believers.

Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth

than the father cried,

“Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”

~Mark 9:22-24, MSG~



Rebecca Blades (28), daughter of Forrest and Denise Blades, has been released from the hospital. She’s at her Alabama home so she can be near the hospital. Thank God for sparing her life. Thank Him for her improvement so far. Pray for her as she begins the long recovery ahead.



Pray for the senior adults who are homebound. Some are lonely. Some fall. Some make decisions about nursing homes. Some struggle to pay their bills. Etc. Pray God will use you to minister to their needs.



On Mission in Kentwood

We will meet at 8:00 A.M. Saturday morning to minister to needs in our community. This is your opportunity to get involved. God will bless your efforts.



The following is one of my favorite devotionals.


The story is told of a water bearer in India who had two large pots. They hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck, but one of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

In his compassion, the water bearer said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

It is an amazing thing (but true) that God is able to accomplish some wonderful things through our efforts, in spite of our imperfections. Paul said of his role as a preacher of the gospel:

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Cor. 4:7).

Though we may often feel inadequate and useless, if we will continue about the task that God has given us, we will produce fruit and influence lives in ways we may not even be aware of.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Cor. 15:58).

May your life “abound” this day in the work of the Lord! Though you may feel like a “cracked pot”, your efforts are not in vain.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

God can use you and me too!

Anna Lee





“Oh, give thanks to the Lord!

Call upon His name;

make known His deeds among the peoples!”

~Psalm 105:1~


Joan Hagan says she will be sore, be did not break anything in the fall yesterday. Please continue to remember her in your prayers.



Jesse Dean is progressing. Therapy is very tiring for him, but he is slowing getting stronger. Please keep Jesse and Majel in your prayers.



IMB ANNUAL STAFF RETREAT. Thank you for praying for the staff of the International Mission Board, SBC, on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 22 and 23. Our offices are closed for our Annual Staff Retreat, and we are excited to spend these days hearing from the Lord. Dr. David Platt from The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama, is challenging us under the theme “Desperate,” and the Scripture, ‘Now show me Your glory…’ (Exodus 33:18).” Jeremy Welborn of Grove Avenue Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia, is leading our music. Jerry Rankin will encourage us in a session we are calling, “Celebrating Who We Are.” Please ask the Lord to refresh the staff and build new bonds of friendship. Thank you for partnering with us in prayer.

I received the note below this morning in regards to my cousin’s wife M.
Thank you for praying for her.

Thank you all so much for all the love and prayers and for passing me on to your prayer partners. I saw a wonderful doctor down at Harris Methodist Hospital here in Dallas with Texas Oncology. He came here in ’99 from MD Anderson in Houston and has been practicing Gynecological Oncology for more than 25 years. That being said, I feel very comfortable and confident in his expertise. He was not happy with the pathology report, according to him it was “sketchy” and did not identify the tumor
type with accuracy. So he is sending my biopsies to the group of
pathologists that he trusts and says have never let him down. He wants the cancer to be identified with 100% accuracy…so do I!!! I go to have a full body scan on Friday to make sure there are no other tumors growing anywhere else in my body and to make sure that the cancer has not spread.

On exam today…praise the Lord…he did not find any indication that the tumor had spread into the bladder or the colon!!! He said that surgery is not an option, tumors of this size are too big for surgery and that it is too hard to surgically remove all of the cancer cells. Also, the uterus is a great focal point for the radiation so we want to keep it there. So…we go for the scan on Friday, the new group of pathologists are reading the biopsies, we have our next appointment with the doctor on May
4th where we will review the results and hear the doctors “game plan” which will most likely begin with radiation.

On another note, as many of you knew we do not have health insurance. The clinic that I am going to works especially for the uninsured. We will be responsible for 30% of the cost which who knows how much this could run. Please be in prayer that God will work all of this out for us.

Thank you all again for the prayers…but don’t stop now, please!!!
Love you all,

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


You are a passenger aboard flight 2033 from Seoul, South Korea to the resort island of Cheju. You and 151 fellow-vacationers are looking forward to a much-needed rest.

The jetliner is only moments from touchdown. You glance out the thick, two-ply window. The plane is scarcely 30 feet off the ground, but it’s obviously moving far too fast. The runway is soaked from a local tropical storm and wind shear is making the landing all-the-more precarious. When the aircraft does reach the earth, it is more than 1,700 meters beyond the landing threshold. A harrowing, split second later the plane crashes through a guard post and then slams into the airport safety barricade. You are terror-stricken.

The two cockpit occupants escape out the nearest window. With the assistance of the six-member cabin crew, you and your seat-mates escape only moments before the plane is engulfed in flames.

A Transportation Ministry investigation reveals the incredible news. The flight was on final approach when a conflict arose between the Captain and co-pilot. That’s right, a conflict. The real reason for the crash wasn’t because of inclement weather, but because of a clash of wills.

Co-pilot, Chung Chan-kyu, asked Captain Barry Woods numerous times whether he wanted to “go around.” (Chan-kyu was convinced that there was not sufficient distance for the Airbus to land safely without crossing the end of Runway 6). When Woods said, “No,” Chan-kyu grabbed the throttles to take control. The two argued and scuffled as the plane hurtled toward the ground. Transcripts from the flight report that the Captain shouted, “No!” “No!” and “What are you doing?! Don’t… Wait, man… You’re gonna kill us!”

As I read the story, I found myself wondering aloud, “Who was in charge of the plane…?!” Only one of the pilots had the right to land the craft, but neither would relinquish his power.

“Who’s going to be first?” “Who’s going to land the plane?” That sounds a lot like the apostles to me. They fussed over the same fundamental issue. When Jesus announced that He would “be betrayed into the hands of men” (Luke 9:44), the twelve began a verbal “tussle” over who would take charge when he was gone. The text says, “Then an argument arose among them as to who should be greatest” (Luke 9:46, Phillips). (The King James version translates the word argument as “reasoning;” the term in the Greek is dialogismos and refers to a heated debate). As improbable as it may sound, the very men whom Jesus taught and trained often wrangled (Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 9:34; Luke 22:24) for position and status over what they believed would be (Acts 1:6) the future kingdom.

I’ve come to the conclusion that “Who’s going to be first?” is THE underlying issue; it is THE core problem — in most arguments. Folks want power; they want to be first. In a manner of speaking, they want to “grab the throttles” and control the plane themselves. People are strange, aren’t they? They want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the center of attention. Chan-kyu and Woods did. The apostles did. We do. Think about it, and you will probably agree. Nobody wants to be second in command; nobody wants to play second fiddle. And that is why disagreements arise.

When church members have a “falling-out,” it is usually over power issues and who’s going to be in control. When married partners quarrel, it is often over who is going to be in charge of the checkbook and how money is to be spent. When siblings argue, it is typically over who’s going to be first. “Why is his piece of cake bigger than mine?!” “Why does he get to stay out past midnight, but I have to be in before 11:00?” When nations war and fight, it is typically over which country is going to dominate and rule. When presidential candidates vie for political office, it is always over “who’s going to fly the plane.” Both Democrats and Republicans want to “grab the throttles” and take the lead in our country.

When arguments do occur, I find it helpful to take a step backwards and ask, “What’s happening here?” “Why are people fussing?” You see, once we can determine the actual cause (i.e., pride) of the discord, we then can begin to work on a solution, just as Jesus did. He used a little child to illustrate the real way to “first place” and greatness. The Bible says, “Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, ‘Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great'” (Luke 9:46-48 NKJV).

What was Jesus’ point? Simply that if you want to be “high,” you must first — like a child — be “low” (i.e., humble, 1 Peter 5:6). You must manifest a serving nature (John 13:1ff) and lack the personal, selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3,4; Galatians 5:26; Romans 12:10) that is so prevalent among adults. You must imbibe the spirit of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11) and “receive” (i.e., assist) others.

Have you been in argument lately? Are you ready to “grab the throttles?” (Don’t feel too bad, the apostles could relate). Look at a small child…and remember. (Mike Benson)
KneEmail: “And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many'” (Matt. 20:24-28).

I’ve witnessed many a power struggle. I’m sure you have too. Let’s pray we will be submissive to God as the authority.

Anna Lee