“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;

it shall not return to Me void,

but it shall accomplish what I please,

and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent.”

~Isaiah 55:11~

I hope you are participating with On Mission in Kentwood. If you are not, please be in prayer for those who will be working this morning and those we will minister to.

AIDS. An article appeared in the Pietermaritzburg paper in South Africa, telling of yet another baby dumped in the bushes of a township. Many babies are born to very young girls and they do not want to keep them, so many are killed or dumped somewhere where, it is hoped, someone will find them. Tabitha Ministries has a “Moses box” in one area and does school presentations, telling girls to leave their babies in the box and the ministry will care for them. Currently the ministry has 30 orphans, most of whom are HIV-positive. Pray that as volunteers raise these children, God will provide for their needs. Pray for them to continue to receive anti-retroviral drugs so they may remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

FOCUS ON SOUTH ASIA: ENDS OF THE EARTH.Pray for the Baraigi people, numbering approximately 2 million in West Bengal, India, alone. They are also found in many other areas of India. In West Bengal they are known as Baishnab or Bostom and speak the Bengali language. Today they are usually found running small businesses, performing service-type jobs, or singing religious songs (seeking for alms). They follow the Hindu religion and have regional- as well as community-specific folksongs, folklore and folktales. The vast majority of them have never heard of Jesus.

MUSLIMS: PRAYING BEYOND THE WALL. The Republic of Dagestan in southern Russia is the home of the 650,000 Avar people. This area was world famous for its Muslim training centers until the Russians occupied the area in the mid-1800’s. Today Islam is enjoying a resurgence due to poor living conditions, rising minority nationalism, and corruption. In spite of this, many Avar are open to spiritual discussions with Christians, especially in the context of a trusted friendship. Pray for the Avar to have an opportunity to know believers, to hear their testimonies, and to hear/read the Word of God. Ask God to open their hearts to His truth.

Pray for the Hatchels as their already busy schedule becomes busier in about a week. They will have summer missionaries, new missionary family arriving for the first time, International World Changers, and Romanian/Roma missionaries arriving te same week. Your prayers for each group would be greatly appreciated.


Note: The following piece came to me “author unknown.” It is not humorous, but is designed to cause us to reflect. I hope you appreciate the change of pace.

When you are forgotten, or neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don’t sting and hurt with the insult or the oversight, but your heart is happy, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ, that is dying to self.

When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinions ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart, or even defend yourself, but take in all in patient, loving silence, that is dying to self.

When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any impunctuality, or any annoyance; when you stand face-to-face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility — and endure it as Jesus endured, that is dying to self.

When you are content with any food, any offering, any climate, any society, any raiment, any interruption by the will of God, that is dying to self.

When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation, or to record your own good works, or itch after commendations, when you can truly love to be unknown, that is dying to self.

When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and in desperate circumstances, that is dying to self.

When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart, that is dying to self.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Anna Lee




“Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The everlasting God, the LORD,

the Creator of the ends of the earth,

neither faints nor is weary.

His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the weak,

and to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,

and the young men shall utterly fall,

but those who wait on the LORD

shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings like eagles,

they shall run and not be weary,

they shall walk and not faint.”

~Isa. 40:28-31~

Please don’t forget to bring toiletries for Kelly Schneeweiss’ mission trip to Honduras. Money will be acceptable too if you forgot to get toiletries. You may give your donations to a member of the Schneeweiss family or to me. Thank-you for supporting this young lady as she goes on a medical mission trip. Please pray for live-changing decision to be made as medical needs are addressed.

Katie Weiburg and her dad, Bro. Gary Weiburg formerly of Roseland Baptist Church, will be going on a mission trip to Central America this week. Please pray for their ministry as lives as touched.

Bro. Chip Sloan, another former pastor at Roseland Baptist Church, will be taking a mission trip to work with the Roma (Gypsies) in Romania during July. Included in those going on the trip will be Bro. Chip’s wife, Martha, and their older daughter, Jennifer and her husband. Again, pray for lives of those going to be touched and for lives of those to whom they minister to be forever changed.

Pray for the mission team from Parkway Baptist Church in McKinney, Texas as they minister to the Roma in Romania this week.

Pray for a search committee from Georgia as they are in Texas this weekend to consider a candidate for worship leader. Our daughter-in-law, Becki, is a member of this team that flew from Georgia yesterday and will fly back home later today.

Don’t forget to pray for Gary Schiro, husband of Peggy Hendry Schiro of Chesbrough. Gary will have a heart valve replacement in the morning at North Oaks.

Pray for the students who attended summer LEAP remediation and who will be testing this week.

The Hatchels and others have safely returned from their Annual General Meeting (AGM). Thank God for the opportunities provided by volunteers from the States who so freely gave of themselves to minister to the needs of our missionaries and MK’s. Jennie always tells me of he Lottie Moon Christmas Offering given at the meeting. I’ll report that later.

Today is Adopt an Annuitant Sunday in Southern Baptist Churches. Donations will be accepted to assist retired ministers and their wives or widows who are having financial needs.

There’s a number of people undergoing tests and treatment for cancer. Please continue to remember each of them daily even when I do not list each one individually.



Jason Tate “Bully” Schwartz
(October 1, 1911 – June 18, 2008)

Died at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at St. Helena Parish Nursing Home in Greensburg. He was a native of Kentwood and a resident of Greensburg. Age 96 years. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Kentwood and Kentwood Masonic Lodge. He is survived by his son, James Charles Schwartz, Sr. and wife, Ruby, Kentwood; daughter, Lois “Chee Chee” Dunn and husband, Bubba, Greensburg; grandchildren, Sherry Dunn Schivers and husband, Robert, Greensburg, Brenda Dunn Miller and husband, Randy, Roseland, Maj. James Charles Schwartz, Jr. and wife, Maryanna, Ft. Hood, TX, Michael Collins Schwartz and wife, Sarah, Hammond, Christopher L. Dunn and wife, Kelly, Metairie, Timothy Tate Schwartz and wife, Sharon, Hammond, Paul Scott Schwartz, Kentwood, Carl Blades, Jr. Corpus Christi, TX, Susan Henry, Dallas, TX, Alan Blades, Palmdale, CA, Daniel Blades, Los Angeles, CA, Carolyn Blades, San Bernardino, CA, Gerry Needham Davis, Baker, and Janice Needham Westbrook, Zachary; numerous great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. He was greeted in heaven by his first wife, Myrtle Birch Schwartz and second wife, Inez Greener Schwartz; parents, Charles P. and Lois Tate Schwartz; 2 brothers, Rukins Schwartz and C. P. Schwartz, Jr.; 2 sisters, Eupora Hutchinson and Ora Lee Nelson; great-granddaughter, Breanne Miller. Visitation will be at McKneely Funeral Home, Kentwood, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday and from 8 a.m. until religious services at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Interment will follow in the Woodland Cemetery, Kentwood.

Betty Lambert
(October 23, 1922 – June 19, 2008)

Died at 5:24 p.m. on Thursday, June 19, 2008 at Belle Maison Nursing Home in Hammond. She was a native and resident of Amite. Age 85 years. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Amite, from 10 a.m. until religious services at 11 a.m. Monday. Interment Mulberry Street Cemetery, Amite. She is survived by her 5 nieces, Clinton Sue Driscoll and husband, John, Covington, Becky Jelpi and husband, Keith, Metairie, Kitty Beaumier and husband, Ken, Alabama, Kathy Vaughn, Ponchatoula and Lydia Benson, New Orleans; 6 great-nieces and great-nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Delma Lambert; 3 brothers, Clinton, Maxwell and Donald Earl Gill; a sister, Mary Evelyn Gill Glosson; parents, Hinson Gill and Geneiva Gill Ricks.

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…”

(Philippians 2:10).
Mike Benson, Editor

THE MOST DRAMATIC moment in human history makes for odd drama…

The hero is center-stage yet silent. His script is only seven lines long, some whispered, some groaned through gritted teeth. He gestures simply and seldom. He is still, pinned as it were to a prop from which neither the audience nor the other actors can easily unfasten their eyes. The stage is stark, the scenery sparse, the props peculiar — hammer, spikes, spear, dice. The action is minimal at best, at worst awkward. The lighting is at first too bright, then too night.

Other actors take the stage. Soldiers hammer and gamble, making light of the weighty moment. Bystanders assuage their boredom with blasphemy. Priests parrot their vain victory, ignorant of the irony: “If you come down, we will believe.” Followers weep and wonder, only a few and from afar. The rest, obvious in their absence, rest off-stage. Ultimately our eyes are drawn back to the main character, still still, and we listen to the seven lines and the sudden silence.

This old drama makes for odd drama. And we find ourselves left wondering less about the hero than ourselves. Where will we stand on the stage, with the deriders or the disciples? Will we stand fearfully but faithfully with the women or will we slip off to the wings unable to see or be seen? And what will we say when the next line is ours?

And if we should decide not to try out for this play, not to take part in this odd, old drama, it’s too late. By coming to this table we have already accepted a role, we have already joined the cast, we have already taken the stage. This meal is which we are invited reminds us that we are privileged to play a part, a part in the most dramatic moment in human history, in the great drama of redemption. (J. Lee Magness)

“And when they had mocked Him,

they took the purple off Him,

put His own clothes on Him,

and led Him out to crucify Him.”

Mark 15:20


That’s a reminder we need to hear.

Have a great Lord’s Day!

Anna Lee


“Continue earnestly in prayer,

being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”

~Colossians 4:2~



Thank-you for praying for the Hatchels as they attended AGM and traveled to and from the meeting. They are safely back at home.

LAST FRONTIER. On a recent trip to the countryside, it was quite an adventure for a group of young female teachers to see where their university students really live. Here’s what these workers among this Last Frontier people group had to say: “The place we went was basic, to say the least. There was no electricity, no bathrooms, no showers, and no running water. We even slept outside under a mosquito net. Amid such tremendous poverty, it was incredible to see how much the villagers would spend and sacrifice to make offerings to the spirits. But the poverty wasn’t what was so disheartening about that place; it was the darkness. It seems like the city where we work has a way of disguising the lostness of our people, but in the countryside, it was much more evident.” Pray that those who live in such darkness and fear will hear about the Light of the world. Pray that every village in this country will have a gospel witness.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My word “shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please.”

~Isaiah 55:11a, NKJV~

Dear Intercessors, this is Eleanor Witcher of the International Prayer Strategy Office, thanking the Lord with you for His Word.

Workers in Berlin are rejoicing over a man who received a Bible in the mail. Included was an invitation to a Bible study in an immigrant neighborhood of Berlin. He was thrilled that there was a group that met and spoke his mother tongue. Please pray that this man who is seeking will continue to come and learn about Jesus Christ.

J signed up for a Bible raffle during an outreach event in Buenos Aires in late 2007. Over the months, he has developed a friendship with missionary Jason Frealy, and recently he prayed a prayer of forgiveness. This business owner is a man of influence, with many friends, employees and family members. Please pray for J’s new faith, and pray for his influence to bring others to the same saving faith.

In Senegal, a volunteer team gave a Bible to a young girl. The next day, she came back and told them she did not know how to use the Bible because she never had one before. The volunteers showed her how to study God’s Word. They now ask you to intercede for this young girl as the Holy Spirit guides her. Pray that she will trust Jesus as Savior.

There are those in Algeria who have done everything in their power to limit the spread of the gospel. However, there are also many brothers and sisters who are continuing to work despite the resistance. Workers write: “When asked how we could help them continue the work, they replied that they needed more Bibles. … Ask God to find a way for these Bibles to reach the ones who truly need to read the truth of God.”

* Please pray for seekers to accept Jesus.

* Intercede for those boldly distributing Bibles, no matter the risk.

* Thank the Lord that His word will not return void.

Deacon Hospital Ministry – June 22-28

  • Jimmy Williams
  • James Rimes

Nursery Volunteers – June 22

  • Nancy Stokes
  • Scott & Kristi Womack

Senior Adult Trip to Gatlinburg, TN

  • “Julilee Conference”
  • September 29-October 4
  • Call the church office – 985-229-8111

Beth Moore Living Proof Live Simulcast 2008

  • August 1-2,, 2008 @ FBC, Kentwood
  • Tickets: $25.00 @ FBC, Kentwood


Customer: “I got this problem. You people sent me this install
disk, and now my A: drive won’t work.”

Tech Support: “Your A: drive won’t work?”

Customer: “That’s what I said. You sent me a bad disk, it got stuck
in my drive, now it won’t work at all.”

Tech Support: “Did it not install properly? What kind of error
messages did you get?”

Customer: “I didn’t get any error message. The disk got stuck in
the drive and wouldn’t come out. So I got these pliers and tried
to get it out. That didn’t work either.”

Tech Support: “You did what, sir?”

Customer: “I got these pliers, and tried to get the disk out, but it
wouldn’t budge. I just ended up cracking the plastic stuff a

Tech Support: “I don’t understand sir, did you push the eject

Customer: “No, so then I got a stick of butter and melted it and
used a turkey baster and put the butter in the drive, around the
disk, and that got it loose. I can’t believe you would send me a
disk that was broken and defective.”

Tech Support: “Let me get this clear. You put melted butter in
your A: drive and used pliers to pull the disk out?”

At this point, he put the call on the speaker phone and motioned at the other techs to listen in.

Tech Support: “Just so I am absolutely clear on this, can you repeat
what you just said?”

Customer: “I said I put butter in my A: drive to get your disk out,
then I had to use pliers to pull it out.”

Tech Support: “Did you push that little button that was sticking
out when the disk was in the drive, you know, the thing called the
disk eject button?”

– Silence –

Tech Support: “Sir?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Tech Support: “Sir, did you push the eject button?”

Customer: “No, but you people are going to fix my computer, or I am
going to sue you for breaking my computer.”

Tech Support: “Let me get this straight. You are going to sue our
company because you put the disk in the A: drive, didn’t follow
the instructions we sent you, didn’t actually seek professional
advice, didn’t consult your user’s manual on how to use your
computer properly, instead proceeding to pour butter into the
drive and physically rip the disk out?”

Customer: “Ummmm.”

Tech Support: “Do you really think you stand a chance, since we do
record every call and have it on tape?”

Customer: (now rather humbled) “But you’re supposed to help!”

Tech Support: “I am sorry sir, but there is nothing we can do for
you. Have a nice day.”

Sounds like the mess we sometimes make of our lives. We don’t consult God’s “instruction manual” (the Bible), we don’t call for assistance (pray), we just try to “fix” the problems in our lives by ourselves and in the process do some pretty stupid things.

But there’s one big difference. When we finally reach the point where we realize we’ve made a mess and we humble ourselves in the presence of God, He doesn’t say, “There’s nothing I can do for you.” Rather, He stands ready to help.

“….Be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:5b-7)

Made a mess of something lately? The “tech support” line is open and ready to take your call.

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

I’m so thankful that heavenly tech support line is aways working! What about you?

Anna Lee

Thursday Evening

Mary Alice Fox just reminded me that her pastor in Gastonia, NC will be traveling to Slovachia to speak at the AGM (Annual General Meeting) for our missionaries in that area). The Hatchels will be leaving in the morning. Rev. Jeff Long and his daughter left today. I think Bro. Jeff is the main speaker. Pray for them and all the others who will be working with the missionaries and MK’s next week. Thank God for the volunteers who go to all the regional AGM meetings to minister as medical staff, counselors, VBS workers, etc. Pray for safe traveling for all involved. The Hatchels will travel tomorrow.

Nancy Pledger sent an email saying two young men, Logan McConathy and Dakota Byrd, from FBC in Natchitoches will be volunteering in Romania. Isn’t it wonderful how God makes so many connections in our lives? I think it is a reassurance that many Christians are willing to go and do what they have learned at church and through Bible study. When Christians make themselves available to pray, give, and go they must be prepared for the assignment the Lord gives them. Thank God these two young me were willing to do more than just pray and give.

Thank God for the many youth and adults who gave love, time, and talents to make VBS possible this week. VBS doesn’t just happen! The VBS director this year was Judy Fowler. Please express your appreciation to her and all the others who made VBS possible. Pray for each family touched by VBS. Pray for the VBS efforts in other churches in the coming weeks.

Nanette McDonald McFerrin
(July 7, 1933 – June 11, 2008)

Died at 1:45 a.m. on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at her residence in Greensburg, LA. She was a native of Greensburg, LA. Age 74 years. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Amite, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday and from 8 a.m. until religious services at 10 a.m. Monday. Services conducted by Rev. Rodney Taylor. Interment Greensburg Cemetery, Greensburg.


“Lord, I have called daily upon You;

I have stretched out my hands to You.”

~Psalm 88:9b~

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

“[I pray] that the eyes of your heart

may be enlightened so you may know

what is the hope of His calling,”

~Ephesians 1:18a, HCSB~

Dear Intercessors, this is Eleanor Witcher of the International Prayer Strategy Office, asking you to pray for our field personnel that they will stay focused on their high calling.

Recently, I had the glorious and exhausting experience of cooking a three-course international meal from scratch. As I prepared, God reminded me of life on the field. On the one hand, I did have to be extra creative to find the right ingredients or substitutes that would not spoil the overall effect. On the field, the unusual foods were right there in the market. However, that other hand kept smacking me in the face.

Here, I drove from store to store locating chickpeas that can be eaten like nuts and the variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that made the table pop with color. On the field, I walked to the market, went to several different vendors, and slowly carried the heavy bags home. The fresh foods were cleaned in bleach water. Here, I bought meat wrapped in cling wrap and felt confident the meat was fresh. On the field, I looked for the hoof of a cow or a sheep to identify the slab sitting out under the hot sun. The meat was hacked off with an axe, and I lugged it home to clean out the bone shards and trim the fat. Here, it got pretty hot in the kitchen as I prepared soup, baked bread, seared the meat; but all I had to do was lower the thermostat to make things comfortable. On the field during the one hundred degree days, there was no air conditioning and frequently no electricity to run a fan.

God reminded me of the challenges, but He also kept placing the faces of national friends on my heart. They struggled daily with financial and physical strain but were only beginning to understand their spiritual weakness. These friends had heard the name of Jesus; but before field personnel came to their city, they had not heard the Truth.

* Please pray for the lost that their hearts would be open to hearing God’s Word.

* Ask God to bring a cooling breeze into the lives of those living in harsh summer conditions.

* Intercede for missionaries that their focus will remain on Jesus rather than circumstance.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (prahg). Members of the Prague Mega-City Team will join others from the Central Europe Field (CEF) this month for their annual general meeting. This will be a time of worship and fellowship together and opportunities to become better equipped for future ministries. As these IMB representatives meet, pray that their hearts will be ready to hear a word from the Lord, that they will be encouraged, and that they will have wisdom as they make strategic plans for starting churches. Pray for the volunteers from the United States as they prepare to minister. Pray also for the volunteers who will care for the children of the representatives. Pray for safety for IMB representatives and volunteers as they travel to and from this meeting. Pray that they will return to their areas of ministry refreshed and renewed, and ready to face the tasks God has given them.

Please be in prayer for the US volunteers flying to Hungary to minister to our children and us at our annual meeting. We just received the prayer request below for one volunteer’s son. Please pray for the Zinke family and the son as he recovers from a motorcycle accident. Thank you!


Regina Zinke who was coming to work with the 7-9 year olds (Miles Haltchel’s class) is not able to come as her son was in a serious motorcycle accident yesterday. He has been unable to move his legs and that is all we know at this time. Please be praying for his complete recovery.

KENYA. “A miracle unlike anything I have ever known” is the way that one woman displaced by the recent post-election chaos in Kenya describes her return home last month. This woman, who has been attending a church in Nairobi during her time of being displaced, shared this testimony one week with the church that has offered her a temporary home: Trusting God that it was safe, she travelled last month to check on her Rift Valley farm for the first time since fleeing for her life in January. As she approached her house, a member of the ethnic group that had caused her to flee ran to meet her. Asking for her forgiveness, he said he had taken her donkeys, mattresses and chickens. With a repentant heart, he asked to return all her things at once. Accepting his apology, the woman shared that she had only come to see if she could return, which she now knew she could do! The man agreed to continue caring for her things until she returned home permanently. In this beautiful part of Kenya, where one can see for miles on a clear day or night, pray that this Christian woman will truly “shine like stars in the universe” as she holds “out the word of life” (Philippians 2:16) when she returns home to live among those who caused her to flee.

Big 10 from teamromany June 2008

1. Please pray for Lisa Kail and her team from Gibson County, Tennessee who will be leading a camp from Romany youth in Romania June 29-July 5. Pray that the teens who will attend will be encouraged and challenged to grow in their faith. The campers will be sharing their faith in communities near the camp. Please pray that those who hear the gospel will respond in faith.

2. Please pray for our team as we make final preparations for FARM 2008. Pray that the summer missionaries will be blessed and will be a blessing to others in the areas where they will serve.

3. International World Changers volunteer teams will serve with teamromany in both Romania and Czech Republic this summer. We will have nearly 300 students serving alongside us. Pray for us and for the leaders in the US as we make final preparations for these events.

4. Please pray for the Banks family as they move to Braila and begin serving with teamromany. Thank God with us that He provided a nice apartment for them. Pray for the Hills as they help the Banks in this time of transition.

5. The enemy is working hard to destroy, discourage and divide some of our national partners. Please pray that God would reconcile, rebuild, and restore.

6. Please pray for Katie Steele, a student summer missionary from Missouri who will serve in the Czech Republic. Pray that she will develop meaningful relationships with Romany girls that will allow her to share her faith.

7. Pray for the Silby family as they continue orientation in Virginia in preparation for joining us in the Czech Republic. Pray for them as they say good-bye to extended family and friends in the US.

8. Pray that we will be able to find a suitable apartment for the Silby family. Rental property in Brno is scarce.

9. Please be in prayer for American students who will attend Lifeway’s Centrifuge camps this summer. Their missions’ emphasis will be on the Roma. Pray that those who attend will learn more about the Roma, be encouraged to pray more for the Roma, and will give generously to the missions offering.

10. Please pray for Daniel as he returns to Romania. Thank God for the opportunities he has had to share about God’s work among the Roma while in the US. Pray for Daniel’s strength and energy as he will be hosting 3 volunteer teams in the first three weeks he is back on the field.


‘Give It Away,’Gaither tells Baptists
By Erin Roach

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–Bill Gaither of gospel music’s Gaither Vocal Band told Southern Baptists the answer to the nation’s economic pressures is not a political solution but a spiritual solution based on God’s people learning to “give it away.”

“I think it starts with us, and I think when the church of Jesus Christ gets organized, we’ve got the resources to do it, and we can do it when we put our heads together,” Gaither told messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Indianapolis June 10.

As part of the Executive Committee’s morning report, the Gaither Vocal Band emphasized stewardship by singing their hit song “Give It Away,” and then Gaither spoke briefly about the importance of giving.

He said he and his wife Gloria still live in the same house about 50 miles north of Indianapolis where they lived as schoolteachers during the first decade of their 45-year marriage.

“We’ve tried to model for our three kids and now they’re trying to model the same thing for their kids the joy of giving, and I’m convinced that when we find the joy of giving we will find the joy of living. It’s built into the universe,” Gaither said.

“My granddad told me this years ago and my dad told me the same thing, ‘Bill, you’ve got to make up your mind. There are two kinds of folks in the world, takers and givers,'” he added.

The lyrics to the song Give It Away include: “If you want less lonely and a lot more fun and deep satisfaction when the day is done, throw your heart wide open and give it away. If you want more happy than your heart can hold, if you want to stand taller, if the truth were told, take whatever you have and give it away.”

In remarks to Baptist Press backstage, Gaither, a member of the Church of God, said he has “felt right at home” with Southern Baptists since the beginning of his singing career and didn’t mind emphasizing stewardship during his time at this year’s convention.

“You don’t follow Jesus very long until you get into the area of giving. It’s all about giving. In fact, He says, ‘Come follow Me and die,'” Gaither said. “By the time we’re done, we’ve given it all away. We’ve spent everything we’ve got. We’ve spent every bit of energy we’ve got, we’ve spent every bit of resources we’ve got, we’ve spent every bit of health we’ve got.

“It’s over, and we go home to be with Him,” Gaither said. “That’s the basis of it. That sounds rather tough, but in the long run it’s the only way to joy and real happiness and total fulfillment.”

Gaither said he is grieved by what he called the tragic pursuit of happiness at all costs that is so evident in today’s culture. Jesus, he noted, said anyone who wants to save his life must lose it.

“That is total giving,” Gaither said. “I think somehow we’ve got to start teaching our young kids at a very, very early age the importance of giving. We’re not going to live until we learn how to give.”

A model for giving was set by his father and grandfather as he was growing up, Gaither told BP.

“I never saw two people who lived for others like they lived for others,” he said.

Gaither remembers witnessing his grandfather signing his name to the church mortgage note, taking responsibility to keep the doors of the church open, he said.

“But it didn’t stop at the church. It went home with little deeds of kindness in the community,” Gaither said. “When my dad passed away at 91, the community people said, ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do now without George here removing our snow during winter.'”

Onstage, Gaither told Southern Baptists he often advises young musicians to examine their lifestyles and make sure they don’t buy cars or houses they can’t afford.

“Save something to give away. A tenth is just the beginning, and after that there’s so much joy in learning how to give,” he said.

At Gaither Vocal Band concerts, Gaither said they’ve been giving away $1,000 each night to five different people, and they ask those people to take the money back to their communities and give it away.

“Giving is the Christian theology lived out at its fullest,” Gaither told BP.

The SBC Executive Committee’s stewardship division has emphasized in recent years “It’s a New Day,” a financial freedom initiative intended to help church members get out of debt and learn to manage their finances according to the counsel of God’s Word.

Erin Roach is a staff writer for Baptist Press. For more information, visit

If you are interested in reading about the SBC annual meeting, click on “Baptist Press” at the right.

Pray for day 3 of VBS. All seems to be going well. I’m having fun in the missions classes.

Anna Lee


“O You who hear prayer,

to You all flesh will come.”

~Psalm 65:2~

CHINA. As massive relief efforts continue following the 7.9 earthquake in Sichuan province, conditions look dire for the 100,000 people who are still missing and the 19,000 who are known to be trapped under buildings. Although China has mobilized a massive relief effort, many roads are impassible, making the efforts extremely difficult. At present, 13,000 are reported to have died, but the figure is expected to rise considerably. Pray for all who are buried alive, asking our merciful God to lead rescuers to their aid. Pray for those who are involved in relief efforts, asking the God of wisdom and strength to supply their needs. Pray for all who have lost loved ones, asking that God will send messengers to share His saving love with them. Pray that as this tragedy continues to unfold in Chengdu and surrounding cities and mountain communities, many millions of Chinese people will reflect on the meaning of life and search for Truth.

AIDS. As the thin, gaunt man lay on the mat on the floor, he could barely speak. The room he lay in was small and stifling hot. His right arm was drawn up toward his chest. A caregiver had cleaned him up and was now doing exercises to prevent his arm from staying in that position. No family members were around, and he apparently had no one left. This is the scene in many rural villages in South Africa. People are dying in the village of Sweetwaters at an alarming rate from AIDS. Pray for the Spirit of God to move evangelical churches to care for and witness to those infected and dying from AIDS. Pray that the people will turn to Jesus and no longer follow their traditional ways. Only Jesus can change a culture.

MISSIONARY PERSONAL NEEDS. Missionaries Jim and Lori Spikes will be taking their youngest daughter to the United States in a few months for college. Please pray for her during this transition time.

Braden Alford, our almost six year old grandson in Georgia, fell from the monkey bars a year ago and broke his upper right arm. He seems to have good use of the arm, but it is noticably crooked. He had a follow up visit with his doctor Tuesday. The doctor is sending Braden to a specialist in Chattanooga, Please pray for his family as they await this appointment.

Several people you know or may know of are in various stages of battling cancer. Please take time to pray for each one.

  • Mr. Henry Harris
  • Chuck Pittma
  • Randy Fairburn
  • Sammy Broyles
  • Linda Longoria (Wife for Rev. Lyndon Longoria)
  • Lisa Davis (Sister of Susan Rimes)
  • Grant Matherne (Great grandson of Mrs. Hazel Smith)
  • Aubrey Perry (Brother of Karen Miller)

Andrew Marius Smith III
Born in Perth Amboy, N.J., on Sept. 29, 1941, to parents Andrew Marius Smith Jr. and Audrey Bird Smith, he died in McComb, Miss., on Thursday, May 8, 2008. He graduated from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970 in Korea. He was a publisher, author and illustrator of “Louisiana Proud,” a historical pictorial of the real Louisiana as it began and lives today through 375 original pen-and-ink illustrations. He also published, authored and illustrated three cookbooks and several children’s books. Survived by his wife, Cinda Parmelee; three sons, Jay Allen, of Los Angeles, Robby Allen, of Prairieville, and Marky Vetter, of Walker; and three grandchildren. Memorial service at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, at his home, 77112 N. River Road, Kentwood, LA 70444.

Deacon Hospital Ministry this Week

  • Smiley Conerly
  • Roy Turner

Nursery Volunteers for May 18

  • Justin and Wendy Fowler
  • Eleanor Morris
  • Gretchen Simpson
  • Lily Edwards

On Mission in Kentwood

  • One project at 3 P.M. today (Contact the church office if you can help)
  • May 24th at 8 A.M. (Several projects)

Annie Armstrong Easter Offering

  • Goal: $13,000.00
  • Received: $12,235.30

VBS Music CDs

  • Available in the church office
  • $2.50

Nursing Home Visitation

  • Tuesday, May 20th
  • 10:00 A.M.

Share Group Meeting

  • Tonight at 6:30
  • Alford’s Cabin

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).
Mike Benson, Editor
YESTERDAY, SEVERAL GOOD friends and I were sitting in the office of a neurosurgeon…

We listened to him as he explained why he left a thriving practice in a large metropolis to come a much smaller hospital in our area of the country. He said it was all because of a letter he received.

You see, he had been so busy with his job, he told us that he literally had not seen his little girl in three weeks. Then one night when he came home from work, there was a letter by his bed from his 11 year-old daughter. It was a letter in which this little girl told her daddy that she missed him and wanted more of his time. She acknowledged to her daddy that he had an important job, but she said, “Daddy, doing the ‘right’ thing is sometimes the ‘hard’ thing to do.” It was at this point that this successful neurosurgeon decided he wanted to be a father first. So he left his practice and moved his family to South-Central Kentucky.

I couldn’t help but be touched by this doctor’s story. Before me was a man who knew that there are things in life that are more important than fame, ego, work, and money. It doesn’t take a “brain surgeon” be able to identify proper values and priorities in life. Sometimes, little 11 year-old girls who miss their daddy can discern those things. The question I have for you is have you discerned these same truths? Give it some thought. (Steve Higginbotham)

“Redeeming the time,

because the days are evil.”

~Eph. 5:16~

I pray each of you will have a good day. Please let me know if you have something I can pray about or something I can share on The Prayer Link so others can pray too.

Anna Lee


“And when you pray,

don’t be like those people who don’t know God.

They continue saying things that mean nothing,

thinking that God will hear them

because of their many words.”

~Matthew 6:7 (NCV)~

Update on Frann Clark

I will probably be going in the hospital in DeRidder for two days & one night to receive treatments for the myasthenia gravias. Please pray for me & for Riley while I am away.

Melinda’s update on M

Below is M’s letter regarding her beginning treatment. Thank you for
praying for her!

I just got home from seeing Dr. Gillette who is a Radiation Oncologist at
Methodist Hospital. Tomorrow I go to have a special CT scan to have an
implant placed for radiation which will begin on Thursday. I will have
then have 25 daily radiation treatments. He is also going to do one to
two internal radiation treatments that I will have to go into the
hospital for but I do not know at this time when he is going to do those.
He went on to say that this tumor is so extremely rare that he has only
seen one on the cervix in his career. These types (neuroendocrine)
usually show up elsewhere in the body. So he is going to read up on the
most effective internal radiation treatment before he makes a decision on
which to use. Chemo starts next Monday(May 19). I will check into the
hospital every Monday afternoon for an overnight treatment and come home
sometime on Tuesday. I will be doing this for the next 5-6 weeks.

This is going to be a very aggressive treatment plan but that was what I
wanted. I am a little anxious, a little nervous, but I am ready to get
this done so that I can claim victory! Dr. Gillette did say that even
though this tumor was aggressive that it is CURABLE!!! So that is the
word of the day…the word of hope to cling to!!!

Please pray for me as I begin this journey…with so much love and prayer
I do not feel alone…you are all in this with me!

My God is able!

Melinda’s Update on Kenny P.

We received this morning this info on Kenny. Thank you for praying for him and his wife, Teri as he prepares to have surgery and as the Lord heals him.


Late development Monday night-

1. They did not move him to Shepherd last night; stayed at NE GA in ICU; surgery scheduled Tuesday afternoon. Doctor said it was a serious spinal cord injury.

Talked to Teri (Monday morning):

1. He felt his right foot cold during the night. (Praise #1)

2. His pain level got up to 4, and this is only because he was sleeping and couldn’t push his button (Praise #2 he could sleep)

3. He was getting MRI this morning to provide more info for the surgery this afternoon.

4. No time yet for the surgery.

Braden, our grandson in Rome, GA, will be seeing a doctor today to check on his arm that was broken a year ago. Braden seems to have good use of the arm, but it is not straight.

Share Group

There’s been a change in the devotional leader for Thursday night. Bro. Bucky will not be leading because he is preparing to preach for the Sunday services.

Dottie Rambo Killed in Bus Accident
By Staff of Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Gospel music legend Dottie Rambo died early Sunday, May 11, when her tour bus veered from a Missouri highway and struck an embankment.

Seven others aboard the bus suffered severe or moderate injuries in the accident on Interstate 44 near Mount Vernon in southwest Missouri and were hospitalized in Springfield, the Associated Press reported.

Rambo’s entourage was en route to a Mother’s Day performance at a Dallas-Fort Worth-area church. The AP noted that officials were uncertain whether the crash was related to storms in the area.

Rambo, 74, published an estimated 2,500 songs, with entries in nearly every hymnbook. Included in the 1991 Baptist Hymnal, for example, are “We Shall Behold Him” and “Behold the Lamb.” The two songs and a third, “Holy Spirit, Thou Art Welcome,” are included in the 2008 hymnal to be released this summer by LifeWay Christian Resources.

Rambo, of Nashville, Tenn., won a Grammy for a 1968 solo album, “It’s the Soul of Me,” and Dove awards in 1999 for her song, “I Go to The Rock,” sung by Whitney Houston in the motion picture “The Preacher’s Wife,” and in 1982 for “We Shall Behold Him.”

She was a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Among the artists who have recorded her songs: Elvis Presley, George Beverly Shea, dcTalk, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Bill Gaither and Steve Greene.

Rambo was a native of Morganfield, Ky., who began writing songs at age 8 and as a teen was signed to a songwriting contact by Gov. Jimmie Davis of Louisiana.

Funeral arrangements had not been published at press time.

Compiled by Baptist Press editor Art Toalston.

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

FOR 3 MONTHS I had a ringside seat – or should I say a bird’s-eye view – of God’s amazing handiwork…

Ninety feet above the floor of Norfolk Botanical Garden, workers installed a webcam focused on the nest of a family of bald eagles, and online viewers were allowed to watch.

When the eggs hatched, Mama and Papa Eagle were attentive to their offspring, taking turns hunting for food and guarding the nest. But one day when the eaglets still looked like fuzzballs with beaks, both parents disappeared. I worried that harm had come to them.

My concern was unfounded. The webcam operator enlarged the camera angle, and there was Mama Eagle perched on a nearby branch.

As I pondered this “reframed” picture, I thought of times when I have feared that God had abandoned me. The view in the forest heights of Virginia reminded me that my vision is limited. I see only a small part of the entire scene.

Moses used eagle imagery to describe God. As eagles carry their young, God carries His people (Deut. 32:11-12). Despite how it may seem, the Lord “is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). This is true even when we feel abandoned. (Julie Ackerman Link)

“As an eagle stirs up its nest,

hovers over its young,

spreading out its wings, . . .

so the Lord alone led [Jacob].

~Deut. 32:11-12~

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. Today is a long, very full day. I’m going to work hard to make the best of it. I hope you do too!

Anna Lee