Thursday Afternoon



“Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion!

Declare His deeds among the people.”

~Psalm 9:11~

Aaron Hill

We learned from Aaron’s nurse this morning that the surgical team has scheduled Aaron’s surgery for tomorrow. We don’t know details yet, but we pray that Aaron will be ready and that his surgeon will be well prepared. We know our Great Physician will be ready any time, so we are trying not to be scared that it will take place so soon. I am definitely praying that today the Prince of Peace will help us with our worry and the Great Healer will do a work in Aaron.

Scott, Mom and Levi are currently on a flight to MS (Levi can say “Mississippi” now), so please pray for their safety. Scott was planning to attend Marshall’s funeral this afternoon, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to make it now, as he will be taking a flight back here for Aaron’s surgery tomorrow. Please pray that the trips will not tire him out and that he will make it safely back here.

John Howard “Johnnie” Strong

(March 2, 1922 – April 2, 2008)

John Howard “Johnnie” Strong died at 10:51 p.m. on April 2, 2008 in Hammond. He was 86 years old, a native of Roseland and served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. “Johnnie” returned to the Amite area and was a well-known mechanic, working at Frohn Brother’s and Brumfield Ford throughout his lifetime. He is survived by two daughters, Linda S. McNabb of Hammond, and Laura S. Albritton of Amite, one brother, Eugene Strong of Hillsdale, and one sister, Carrie Desplas, of Metairie, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marjory Baker Strong, his father, James Nelson Strong, his mother, Carrie Jackson Strong, his sisters, Laura S. Durnin and Margaret S. Marquette. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a hospice program of choice. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Amite, from 9 a.m. until religious services at 11 a.m. on Monday April 7, 2008. Services conducted by Rev. Clay Gillespie. Interment Amite Memorial Gardens, Amite

Elizabeth Ann Ballard
(December 21, 1958 – April 2, 2008)

Died at 6:55 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at her residence near Kentwood. She was a native of Independence, LA. Age 49 years. Visitation at Chesbrough Baptist Church from 10 a.m. until religious services at 12:00 Noon Saturday. Services conducted by Rev. Ed Norris. Interment Ballard Family Cemetery, Chesbrough. She is survived by her husband, Richard Edwin Ballard; 2 sons, Richard Joshua Ballard and Justin Wallace Ballard; 1 sister, Rebecca Varnado; 1 brother, Leroy Varnado; 1 granddaughter, Brianna Elizabeth Ballard, all of Kentwood. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Monday – Update on Aaron Hill

Good Monday morning to everyone from PA. It has been a low-key 24 hours here at CHOP for Aaron. Even though we desire fast improvement, we will settle for slow steady improvement, too. Aaron has had a pretty good 24 hours. They have not yet taken him off the ventilator, but we anticipate he will be ready today. Yesterday, he was having some trouble breathing and the doctors (actually, a very smart nurse) noticed his chest tube drainage was suspiciously low. They checked the tubes and found clots on both sides that were preventing fluid from draining out of the space around his lungs. After his pleural space was drained, he felt SO much better and his heart rate and breathing became much more comfortable.

The plan as we understand it is to let Aaron rest and see how his heart and lungs do for the next couple of days–to get his body back to where it was before the assault of the heart cath. Then they will evaluate the need for another surgery to close the two holes that were left in his heart after his surgery. Please continue to pray that God will close the holes and alleviate the need for another surgery for our precious child.

Love to all.

Friday’s Devotional





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

Mike Benson, Editor

RUBY THOMPSON OF St. Louis Missouri got the flier in the mail one morning…

It was with all the other junk mail. She remembers receiving one personal letter that day — a note from her mother — and a pile of garish-colored, mostly meaningless junk mail, messages from salesmen and businesses and politicians all seeking her patronage.

There was one card that caught her attention; it was for a CPR class to be held at a nearby primary school. Now there, she thought, is something I really should learn. She filed the junk mail under “13” and put the CPR advertisement on the mantelpiece above the fireplace. She would phone the number on the card — tomorrow.

Of course she didn’t. A week passed by, then another. Once in a while, when she was on the road, perhaps, or in a quiet moment by herself, she remembered the card, and thought to herself, “I really should learn CPR. One day I’ll need it.”

She did. One afternoon she was picking up her child from school when a car hit her ten-year-old son. She remembers his blond hair and how still the little body lay on the pavement. She ran to the quickly-gathering crowd of school children, moaning to herself, “Why? Why? Why?” and in a flash of remorse, she knew that this was why she had wanted to take the class.

As she pushed the by-standers aside, and fell to her knees before her son, she saw a schoolgirl administering the “breath of life” to her son.

Jeff was all right. He suffered some bruises, but the little girl, who had taken a course at school, had saved his life.

That day, Ruby enrolled in the CPR class!

We always need God. We need him, as that great song says, “every hour.” The problem is, we don’t always realize it. There may be many reasons for this, but the most common one is pride. We can manage life ourselves. We have the answers, at least we think we do, until a moment of crisis arrives, and our helplessness is absolute. There is nothing more humbling than to realize that we cannot help either ourselves or our families. But it is in those times that we are reminded of the power of God.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).

It’s not so much that God demands humility as a prerequisite for his accepting us. It’s simply that unless we are humble enough to turn our desperate pleas towards him, we won’t listen to his guidance anyway.

Don’t put this article down until you have decided to act on it. This is not the “J” word! It’s important. Have you listened to his words lately? You need to. Don’t file it away. Don’t leave it on the mantle shelf of your mind. (Stan Mitchell)


“Draw near to God, and he will come near to you” (James 4:8).




May you draw nearer to God today.
Anna Lee


“I know the plans I have concerning you,

declares the Lord…

For we are His workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared beforehand,

that we should walk in them”

(Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10).

Donna Robinson of Gonzales, my daughter-in-law’s mother, will have a liver biopsy next week. Please pray for her and for the doctors as they try to determine her problem.

Justin and Dana Hendry have a new baby girl, Ferrin Grace, who was born in Hammond Thursday. The baby required surgery in Baton Rouge yesterday. Please pray for this baby and other members of the family.

Faith Hill and Unborn Baby Aaron

Happy Friday, everyone. It is bright and sunny here in NJ today. The sun shone brightly yesterday too, so for the first time we got to see what our surroundings look like when it’s not raining, snowing or sleeting!

My doctor’s visit yesterday went well. I managed to get in and out of there under 3 hours (a record, I’m sure…). All kidding aside, I’m glad they are thorough. After lengthy stress testing, doppler and fluid testing, Aaron passed with an A+. I only lost 4 lbs after my stomach bug and so far show no signs of going into labor on my own. Although I am ready to meet Aaron and am getting tired of waiting, I know it’s best that he stay inside me for a while longer-or until the 25th. I’d like his dad to be here when he’s born, too. 😉

A continued thanks to those of you who are sending notes, emails, text and posting messages of encouragement to us. More importantly, thank you all for praying for Aaron. We can never thank you enough and know that God is working to bring glory to Himself through our experience.

Frann Clark

Had a good visit at the IPMC. The injection is helping my back but the leg problem is caused by pressure from a spinal fracture. He showed me the MRI and the fracture. Then he got the little dangling spine & showed me which one was causing the leg pain.

He is going to refer me to a doctor who can put cement into the verb. & relieve the pressure. His nurse will make the arrangements & call Connie. Surely hope that will help.

thanks for praying & keep it up



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

Mike Benson, Editor

THE MORNING SPORTS talk show was all abuzz with talk about Roger Clemens…

“The Rocket” had just appeared before a Congressional committee to defend himself against accusations of using steroids to extend his baseball career. The talk show hosts alluded often to Clemens’s finger-pointing at others, especially those who were once close to him.

There was a curious phrase that came up numerous times on that show: Clemens, as well as others, “threw [someone] under the bus”. Someone not acquainted with American idioms might react in horror: “He threw someone under a bus?! Why isn’t he being tried for murder?” We’re dealing with imagery, of course. Two people are envisioned standing on the curb of a busy city street. As a speeding bus approaches, one pushes the other into the path of the bus. There’s also the implication that the one who pushed was supposedly a friend. That’s what makes the act so reprehensible.

Job experienced the feeling of being thrown under the bus. Following his awful trials, he had to further endure the judgment and abandonment of those who were once close to him. He expressed this frustration in Job 19:14,15 “My relatives have failed, and my close friends have forgotten me. Those who dwell in my house, and my maidservants, count me as a stranger; I am an alien in their sight” (NKJV). Where were his loved ones when he needed them most? Job found no one to stand by him; it was as if salt had been rubbed into his wounds.

But has anyone felt betrayal to the extent Jesus did? When soldiers came to arrest him, they were led by one of Jesus’s closest followers. The words of our Lord as Judas approached must have pierced the hypocrite deeply: “Friend, why have you come?” (Matthew 26:50). Jesus knew, of course, why Judas had come: He was fulfilling prophecy: “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9). Judas threw the Son of God under the bus!

Jesus is no longer physically present on earth, but his followers can still betray him. One writer tried to warn against that: “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29). Trampling Jesus under our feet is the ancient equivalent to throwing someone under a bus. Can a person do anything worse?

Our hearts are filled with scorn toward those who would betray their friends. Do we really think God feels differently about those who betray His Son? (Tim Hall)

“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29).

Be aware of the bad weather coming our way!

Anna Lee

Friday Addition

Tiffany Nicole Thomas

Tiffany Nicole Thomas, 17 years old of Loranger, died Monday, February 11, 2008 in North Oaks Medical Center.

She was born on Monday, May 28, 1990 in Covington, daughter of Dane and Penny Meyers Thomas.

Miss Thomas was a member of the First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula. She was a senior at Loranger High School and was also employed at Cold Stone Creamery and Jamaican Me Tan.

Surviving are her parents, Dane and Penny Meyers Thomas; 4 sisters, Brittany Thomas, Jessica Thomas, Kaitlin Thomas, Bailey Combs; paternal grandparents, Barbara and Howard Wright; paternal grandmother, Judy Thomas; maternal grandmother, Barbara Kiff; maternal grandfather, J. W. Meyers Jr.; maternal great-grandmothers, Gertrude Meyers and Doris Creel.

She is preceded in death by her paternal grandfather, Lewis Thomas; paternal great-grandparents, Eddie Woods, Anna Benner, Tracy and Ruby Thomas; maternal great-grandfathers, Bobby Creel and Wilson Meyers .

Friends will be received Friday, February 15, 2008, from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm and on Saturday, February 16, 2008 from 8:00 am until the service begins at 10:00 am at the First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula.

Interment will follow in the Joiner Cemetery in Loranger. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Tiffany Thomas Memorial Fund at Capital One Bank.


“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD,
my strength and my Redeemer,”
Psalm 19:14, NKJV

Kathy Shields, who will be going on the mission trip with Wheels for the World wrote, “I also collect used wheelchairs, walkers, and crutches on an ongoing basis for this organization.”

Prayer requests
“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
Japanese Neighborhood Watch…

Mrs. H is a senior neighborhood watch volunteer in Japan. She looks out for the safety of children walking to school every day. Lots of times, she says ‘hi’ to one of the missionary kids in Sendai. This young girl decided to give Mrs. H a “JESUS” film in Japanese for the new year.

In Japan you say, “Thank you for looking out for us this past year; please continue to show us your favor in this new year as well.” Please pray that Mrs. H will watch the whole “JESUS” film. God cares for Mrs. H just like she cares for the young missionary girl when she walks to school. Please pray that she will trust in Jesus for salvation.


Please pray for my brother. PHILIP, age 10 (South Asia)

We have people that we are witnessing to and they are open to learning about Jesus; but some of them just have a horrible time accepting Christ. I hope people will pray for them so they will want to come to Christ. NATHAN, age 13 (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)

Pray for those who steal to stop. Pray for everybody in my country to be healthy and nobody to be poor. CAMERON, age 9 (Central, Eastern and Southern Africa)

My family is starting new churches called house churches. People meet in a house and have worship every week, just like you do at a big church in the United States. But when we get too big for the house, we don’t build a building. We start another house church. Please pray that the idea of house churches will grow. EMILY, age 13 (Central and Eastern Europe)

KOMpray: Kids on Mission Pray is a work in progress. We offer prayer requests about children-children around the world who are just learning about Jesus and Missionary Kids (MKs) who share His love along with their parents. The goal is to encourage children of all ages to pray and trust God to answer!

We welcome your input at

Lenno Powell
Lenno Powell, beloved and cherished husband of Patsy Kelley Powell, of Thibodaux, slipped the furling bonds of Earth to travel home to live eternally with his Heavenly Father on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. Visiting at Thibodaux Funeral Home, Thibodaux, on Friday, Feb. 15, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visiting resumes at the funeral home Saturday from 9 a.m. until religious service at 10 a.m. Interment in St. John Episcopal Cemetery, Thibodaux. Lenno was the adored father of Steven Kelley Powell, of Thibodaux, and John Len Powell, of Gonzales; and proud grandfather of Trevor, Tanner and Taylor Powell, all of Thibodaux. Lenno was the center of the family universe. He loved his daughters-in-law, Denise and Bernadette, as though they were his own daughters. He cherished his brother-in-law, Bill Kelley, and his wife, Sue, and his sister-in-law, Audrey Powell, as family along with sister-in-law, Janet and husband Robert DesJardins, of Chapel Hill, N.C. In the community, he joyfully celebrated his brotherhood with a galaxy of treasured friends. Lenno was the dear uncle of Nancy Gill, Chris Powell, Robert Powell and Kari Kirby, all of Jackson, Ala., Brian Kelley, of San Diego, Andrea Andraschko, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Bill Des Jardins, of Burlington, Vt. In all ways, with joy and gratitude, Lenno patterned his life to that of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lenno was a native of Malcolm, Ala., where he was ordained to the gospel ministry at age 18 after graduating from Citronelle High School. He was the second son of John Snowden and Maude Jones Powell, who along with his brother, Robert Carey Powell, preceded him in death. Lenno proudly regarded his education and never missed a single day of attendance from first grade through earning a B.A. degree from Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss., and claiming a T.Ed. degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He was a good scholar and a popular campus leader, voted most outstanding freshman. His classmates also voted Lenno a campus favorite all four of his college years. He was named to the National Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. He served as president of the Baptist Student Union while at college and his classmates voted him most handsome man on campus. Mississippi Baptists twice commissioned Lenno as a student summer missionary, where he served in New Mexico and Nevada with the Pima and Papago Indians. He also served a second summer in Hawaii. Lenno preached in countless churches throughout Mississippi during his college days and served Holmes Junior College as its Baptist Student Union director before entering the seminary. Lenno met Patsy at Mississippi College and they enjoyed a four-year courtship, crowned with a long and happy marriage. In June 2006, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their family. Their golden day was highlighted by an exchange of poems from earlier anniversaries and Lenno’s gift to Patsy of a golden coin, which Lenno had forgotten, had been foretold to Patsy in anniversary poetry 50 years earlier. Lenno loved being a Christian father to his sons, Steven and John, and fondly guided them through the rites of passage to adulthood. Lenno baptized his sons into the family of God, and officiated in the Christian marriages of Steven to his lovely wife, Denise, and son John to his beautiful wife, Bernadette. Among his most prized accomplishments, Lenno counted the opportunity of teaching his sons to be gentlemen, to be honest, to accept responsibility and to be industrious. Lenno sponsored and helped coach his sons’ summer baseball teams, taught them how to water ski, how to fly kites, how to ride a bike and the skill of motocross. John and Steven, along with precious grandsons Trevor, Tanner and Taylor, finessed the art of hunting and fishing at Lenno’s side. Touring the St. Johns River in Florida, Lenno, with son John and best friends Bud Cotton and George Sherwood made angling history when all four caught championship-size bass, fulfilling their boyhood dreams. And although Lenno was Alabama born, his family taught him to be a Louisiana man. Sons John and Steven, after graduating as engineers from LSU and becoming LSU Fighting Tiger fans, celebrated their father’s own rite of passage into the Purple and Gold. Mr. Powell graduated from the seminary with honors and served as president of the student body. His letter to the future Class of 2059 is enclosed in the cornerstone of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary Chapel along with letters written by Dr. Leo Edlemann, president of the seminary, in 1959. During his ministry, Lenno was pastor of Ellison Ridge Baptist Church, Louisville, Miss., Ruth Baptist Church, Brookhaven, Spring Creek Baptist Church, Kentwood, and First Baptist Church, Thibodaux. Mr. Powell founded many churches, including University Baptist Church in Thibodaux. Lenno was a popular pulpiteer, preaching revivals and Louisiana Baptist Convention special meeting sermons. After his retirement from the ministry, Mr. Powell carved a successful career in the real estate industry. As a real estate broker, Lenno served the state of Louisiana as chairman of the Louisiana Real Estate Commission during the administration of Gov. David Treen. At one time, Mr. Powell developed five important subdivisions in north Lafourche Parish. Mr. Powell was a past president of the Bayou Board of Realtors. During the past 18 years, Mr. Powell concentrated his expert land talents as a real estate appraiser and consultant. Always civic minded, Mr. Powell loved the community of Thibodaux. He was a member and officer of Thibodaux Kiwanis Club, and held membership in Rotary International, serving as program director for many years. Lenno was a member and past president of Nicholls State University Century Club. Mr. Powell, along with his good friend Pearce Didier, was an early founder and officer of Thibodaux Chapter of Ducks Unlimited and held a long membership in the Coastal Conservation Association. Lenno served faithfully on the board of directors of the Bayou Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. His business office was frequently visited by countless numbers of friends and associates who sought Lenno’s advice. Nature lovers, Lenno and wife Patsy were especially fond of Louisiana live oak trees. Look carefully and you will see their oak groves all along Bayou Lafourche. In lieu of flowers, Lenno can be remembered by gifts to the children’s education resource Wisdom Rocks! P.O. Box 1409, Thibodaux, LA 70302. Wisdom Rocks! is a nonprofit organization that promotes the preservation of coastal wetlands.

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

JOSEPH IS AN example of adversity evangelism…

He was sold into slavery by his brothers (Gen. 37:25-36). However, Jehovah was with Joseph (Gen. 39:2, 3, 21, 23) in adversity and Joseph used opportunities to tell people about his God.

Joseph told Mrs. Potiphar about God. When she tried to seduce him, Joseph told her he could not “do this great wickedness and sin against God” (Gen. 39:9).

Joseph told the butler and baker about God. When told about their dreams, which they could not understand, Joseph asked: “Do not interpretations belong to God” (Gen. 40:8)?

Joseph told Pharaoh about God. When called into Pharaoh’s presence to interpret a dream, Joseph answered, “It is not in me: God will give Pharaoh an answer…what God is about to do he hath declared unto Pharaoh…what God is about to do he hath showed unto Pharaoh…the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass” (Gen. 41:16, 25, 28, 32). Pharaoh was so impressed that he said: “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou: thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou” (Gen. 41:38-40).

Joseph told Asenath about God. When she bore his sons, Joseph used names that told about his God. With Manasseh, Joseph said, “God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house” (Gen. 41:51). With Ephraim, Joseph said, “God hath made me fruitful in the land of affliction” (Gen. 41:52).

Joseph told his brothers about God. In his dealings with his brethren, Joseph referred to God (Gen. 42:18; 43:29; 45:5-9).

Joseph could have done a lot of things in adversity, but he chose to evangelize. We will have to get to heaven to know how successful Joseph was in his efforts. It is, however, interesting that it was Joseph’s steward who told Joseph’s brothers that “your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks” (Gen. 43:23). (James E. Rogers)

“And He said to them,
‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.'” Mark 16:15

Have a wonderful day!
Anna Lee