“And they continued steadfastly
in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship,
in the breaking of bread, and in prayers…
and the Lord added to the church daily
those who were being saved.”
Joan Hagan is hoping to be able to come home today.
Kenneth Birch has had gall bladder surgery and is already home. Pray for him as he recovers.
Mr. Henry Harris continues to be in ICU at North Oaks. Your prayers will be greatly appreciated.
Mike Nason is in Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge. Please remember to pray for him.
This email from my cousin’s wife was sent out yesterday. My aunt and uncle sent it onto me. Please continue to pray for M as she waits to hear about the body scan, as she takes college finals this week, and as she is a mother and wife.
Thank you for praying!
I have had several e-mails over the last couple of days so if you are wondering what is happening with me I am unfortunately in a holding pattern. I had my full body scan last Friday which I thought went great. I was in and out very quickly. I have my appointment with the oncologist this coming Monday the 5th to get the results and he will tell me what is next. Please pray that the cancer is contained and has not spread. The worst part right now is just knowing that it is there and no one is doing anything to stop it yet!!!
I am in the middle of finals week at school and cramming like crazy! Please pray I can stay focused on my school work and not think about the cancer….I can not even begin to tell you how hard that is!
Thank you all so much…I love you all and I am strong and positive because I have Jesus and all of you!!!
Bobby Lee Kirby
Bobby Kirby died Tuesday, April 29, 2008, at Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington. He was 78, a native of Osyka, Miss., and a resident of Greensburg. He worked as a machinist at Exxon for 10 years and worked at Gulfsouth in Ponchatoula for 17 years. Visitation at Amite Church of Christ, Amite, on Friday, May 2, from 9 a.m. until service at noon, conducted by Brother John Fulda. Interment in Greensburg Cemetery, Greensburg. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Myrtle Willis Kirby, of Greensburg; daughter, Carolyn Beth Kirby Blouin and husband Selwyn, of Gurley; daughter-in-law, Kathy Kirby; and four grandchildren, Katie Kirby, Zane Kirby, Lex Blouin and Beau and wife Andrea Merritt Blouin. He was preceded in death by his parents, John V. and Mamie Frazier Kirby; two brothers, Johnny Edward and Zelion Quinn; infant daughter, Madeline Gail Kirby; and son, Timothy Randall Kirby. Pallbearers will be Selwyn Blouin, Beau Blouin, Lex Blouin, Zane Kirby, Dennis Kirby and Bob Harvin. Honorary pallbearers are Carlton Drew, Roger Navarra and Emerson Newman. Bobby Kirby served in World War II as an airplane and engine mechanic in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Amite Church of Christ and on the board of directors of the Amite Church of Christ Daycare. Memorial donations may be made to The Crossroads Youth Ranch, 62300 Russell Town Road, Roseland, LA 70456 or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Share sympathies, condolences, memories at http:// http://www.charletfuneralhome .com.
‘Saw Man’ Shares Jesus After Disasters
By Mickey Noah
VANDUSER, Mo. (BP)–As the guys on the Arkansas disaster chainsaw team — tired after a long day of working a recent Missouri storm — ate their dinner at a local Southern Baptist church, the big, burly man who came in was impossible to miss. Imagine John the Baptist with a Stihl chainsaw.
Dressed in blue denim, with a full, graying beard and huge hands, Tom Stanton dropped by their table and asked if they needed any chainsaws sharpened.
“The Saw Man,” as Stanton is called, didn’t have to ask twice. Any operator of a chainsaw knows that a dull chainsaw is useless, and sharpening chainsaws is a prickly job best left to experts. And The Saw Man is just that.
Stanton’s unique chainsaw-sharpening ministry is valuable to Southern Baptist disaster relief chainsaw teams who respond to ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters.
Stanton, 53, calls Deer River, Minn. — about 100 miles south of the Canadian border — home. Until last October, he pastored a small church there.
Now, his “day job” is running a shear/scissor sharpening business.
Stanton’s disaster relief ministry began 2001 when a major tornado hit Siren, Wis. The following day — after a sleepless night — he felt “called” to go to Wisconsin.
“I had no clue what I was going to do,” said Stanton, who first learned to sharpen chainsaws as an 18-year-old logger in Montana. “My first paycheck was a chainsaw.
“In Wisconsin, I found guys who didn’t know how to file chainsaws. So I volunteered and started sharpening. People came out of the woodwork. I sharpened chains with a file for three days until a preacher got me a 12-volt rotary tool. Then I sharpened for another 10 days.”
That was the beginning of Stanton’s chainsaw-sharpening ministry. He doesn’t know for sure but figures he’s sharpened thousands of chainsaws in the wake of disasters, including Hurricane Katrina. He doesn’t charge a penny.
Financially, how does Stanton cover his expenses? What about $3-plus-a-gallon gasoline for the Ford pickup truck he must drive to disasters? What about tools? Lodging? Food?
“God provides,” Stanton said. “The people are really generous with me.” He said God gave him his sharpening business back home, which provides most of his day-to-day financial needs.
“Through the years, God has provided for me miraculously with a small camper/trailer, a generator and even with my truck, given to me by a Christian friend from my hometown. Last year, someone gave me a GPS so I won’t get lost!”
These days, Stanton is too professional to use files or even his original rotary tool to sharpen saws. Now he uses a Dremel tool.
“Dremel Company now provides me with all my tools. In fact, I was invited to their plant in Racine, Wis., to teach their people how to use their tool.” With the Dremel device, Stanton does not have to remove the chain from the chainsaw to sharpen it, which saves significant time and effort.
During the first two weeks after Hurricane Katrina, someone estimated that Stanton sharpened 2,000 chainsaws in Louisiana and Mississippi. He worked as many as 20 hours a day.
“Since I can leave the chain right on the saw, I can pull up to a bunch of guys and easily sharpen 10 saws an hour,” Stanton said. “When I have someone to hand me the saws, I can do 16 an hour. Hand-filing takes up to 20 minutes apiece. This helps the disaster relief teams get back to work faster.”
Why would a man who’s had both hips replaced — and who last year suffered a heart attack requiring 10 stents — chase natural disasters around the country to sharpen chainsaws for strangers?
“It’s really hard for me to stand back and see somebody else hurting,” Stanton said. “I’ve been crippled up through the years. Since 1997, I haven’t been able to do much physically for people except for chainsaw sharpening. It’s a tremendous need.”
Stanton even has a Bible verse, Ecclesiastes 10: 9-10, that reflects his ministry: “… the one who cuts wood may be endangered by doing it. If the axe is dull, and one does not sharpen its edge, then one must exert more strength….”
“God has allowed me to see many people make professions of faith in Jesus Christ. I go to disasters, sharpen chainsaws and tell people how to avoid the world’s greatest disaster,” which Stanton says is rejecting Christ.
At a disaster site, Stanton witnesses to the public during the day as he sharpens their chainsaws. He gives out tracts and New Testaments from a five-gallon pail he calls the “Bucket of Hope.” At night, he sharpens chainsaws for disaster relief workers, including those from Southern Baptist teams — counseling, challenging and encouraging Christian men in their walks with God.
Stanton would like to see his chainsaw sharpening ministry go full-time.
“I’d love to go to fires, ice storms, snowstorms — do it full-time if the Lord opened up the door for it.”
He’s also eager to train others on the fine points of chainsaw sharpening. In fact, he’s taught two classes for the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
“I’d love to teach chainsaw sharpening as an evangelistic ministry to every association — just to equip people to get out there. I’m just praying that God will raise up more people to do what I do.”
Fritz Wilson, Florida Baptists’ director of disaster relief and recovery, has known Stanton for several years, working several hurricanes and other disasters with him. He calls Stanton a “super” Christian with a unique ministry.
“He comes in and sharpens our saws, and then goes out in the community and offers to sharpen anyone’s saw,” Wilson said. “Tom has a unique ministry and uses sharpening to parallel the Christian life and walk. He tells people that we can’t be good tools for Christ unless we stay sharp.”
In 2007 alone, the North American Mission Board tallied thousands of tree-removal jobs performed by disaster relief volunteers throughout the United States. While state Southern Baptist conventions provide the manpower and most equipment, NAMB coordinates multi-state disaster responses and partners with national relief groups like the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to ensure vital services reach the most critical-need areas quickly.
“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).
Mike Benson, Editor
AT THE END of her first quarter at the university, Lenora came home and announced: “I am not going to church anymore…!”
Her parents were shocked. “Lenora, what happened?” wailed Mom. “You have all those awards for perfect attendance! And you’ve always seemed glad to worship God.”
“I no longer believe in God; he is a myth,” she replied bluntly. “Dr. Phillips has taught me the truth.”
“How did Dr. Phillips teach you that God is a myth?” asked her dad.
“It really wasn’t hard. He pointed out that apples do not grow in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.”
“Well?” Lenora’s father was inquisitive.
“Dad.” Lenora was impatient. “That being true, the first story in the Bible, the creation story, is a myth. The Garden of Eden was in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley, so Eve could not have eaten an apple as the Bible says. And if that story is a myth, what not all the others?”
“Hold on a minute, Lenora. Let’s answer three questions. First, do we know the location of the Garden of Eden? No. Second, do we know the nature of the climate in the Garden? No. And third, what kind of fruit was forbidden? The Bible does not say. The myth here is the apple. Did Dr. Phillips read the Scriptures?”
Lenora shrugged her shoulders and walked away. To Lenora, her dad was a good, old-fashioned man. Dr. Phillips was her authority. Facts no longer mattered to her. She had decided that all truth is relative, and what she had come to believe was right for her. Nothing else mattered. (Robert L. Waggoner)
KneEmail: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:13).
Today is the National Day of Prayer. In Kentwood, the event will be celebrated at the City Hall monument at from 12:30 – 1:00 this afternoon. You are invited to attend and bring others with you. You can find more information at http://www.ndptf.org/home/home.html
If you are unable to attend a prayer rally, you can have prayer wherever you are. The main point is to pray for our great nation!