Saturday Afternoon

Mrs. Avis Sullivan is doing well today. She was up and walking early this morning. Please continue to remember “Miss” Avis in your prayers.

Major Bernard “Ben” Richard Williams, Jr.,

USAF, Ret.

Bernard Richard Williams, Jr., age 84, died peaceably on Friday, July 18, 2008 at his home in Osyka, Mississippi, from pancreatic cancer. Born to Bernard Richard Williams, Sr. and Ruby Dean Ott Williams and reared in Osyka, Ben graduated from Osyka High School in 1940 at the age of 16. After attending Copiah-Lincoln Junior College for one year, he enrolled at Louisiana State University, the “The Old War Skule” that he dearly loved for the remainder of his life.

After the US entered World War II, Ben promptly volunteered and was inducted as a flying cadet into the U.S. Army Air Corps, the forerunner of the USAF, in 1942. He learned to fly an airplane before he learned to drive an automobile. He was called to active duty in 1943 and served as a fighter pilot with combat missions in Pisa, Italy. While ferrying a plane to Italy via South America, he narrowly escaped death from a mid-air collision landing for which he was recognized for his skill in crash landing the aircraft and the survival of his crew. While home on leave in August, 1945, with his next mission scheduled for the invasion of Japan, the A bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Ben returned to LSU and graduated in 1951 with a BS degree in agriculture and as a distinguished military graduate. He also received a regular commission as a 2nd Lt. in the USAF in 1951 and became a test pilot for aircrafts sent to Korea during the Conflict. Ben returned again to his beloved LSU as an ROTC instructor from 1958-62, also earning his MS degree in Horticulture. During the Cold War, he was on alert in Labrador and Cape Cod, an assignment he would characterize as the most stressful. Ben volunteered to serve in a top secret unit called Stray Goose during the Vietnam Conflict, with his first combat mission being flown on Christmas Eve night, 1966. After serving 3 combat tours in Vietnam, he retired in 1969 as a Major. In his military career he logged12,000 flying hours and survived 500 combat missions.

Ben worked for the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission in public relations with Paul Ott from 1969-73, writing many environmental and wildlife television spots and publications. In 1974 he returned one more time to LSU as a PhD student and on the staff of the LSU Horticulture Department where he specialized in poinsettia research. Desiring to give his children the opportunity to be raised in his beloved Osyka, he moved his family there in 1980 and continued his research at the LSU Experiment Station in Robert, LA. After his final retirement in 1985, he planted and produced peaches and blueberries on his farm in Osyka.

He served 25 years as a trustee on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center, the longest serving trustee, and was very proud to be part of the growth of the facility. Following in the footsteps of his father, he was a member of the Masonic Rising Glory Lodge #315. He had been a member of Osyka Baptist Church since he was 9 years old.

Preceding him in death are his parents and brother, Dr. Kenneth Ott Williams. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Linda Shanks Williams; son, Bernard Richard Williams, III and his wife, Rachel, and their daughters, Sydney Ellen and Caroline; daughter, Lou Ellen Williams; daughter, Kay W. Knight and her husband, Scott, and her daughter, Adrienne LaFrance; sister-in-law, Dr. Nancy Burrow Williams.

A service of celebration of his life will be held on Monday, July 21, 2008 at Osyka Baptist Church with visitation from 2-6 PM and services at 6 PM and burial in the Osyka Cemetery. Arrangements are provided by Hartman-Sharkey Funeral Home. Services will be conducted by Dr. Milton Kliesch, pastor of Osyka Baptist.

Memorials may be sent to the Osyka Veterans Park, Inc., P.O. Box 402, Osyka, MS 39657 or to the Computer Fund, Osyka Baptist Church, P.O. Box 152, Osyka, MS 39657.

Special thanks go to the compassionate professionals at Community Hospice and to Ben’s sister-in-law, Patsy S. Rice, who so gently cared for him during the last weeks of his life. When word of Ben’s illness spread, friends from the East to West Coast of our great nation came to reminisce and pay homage to their fellow soldier, classmate, teacher, and mentor. His cousins, in-laws, nieces, and other relatives, too numerous to name, provided comfort and attended to his needs. The family wishes to thank everyone for the support and love shown to us. May God bless each of you.




“But you are a chosen generation,

a royal priesthood,

a holy nation,

His own special people,

that you may proclaim the praises of Him

who called you out of darkness

into His marvelous light.”

~1 Peter 2:9~

Friday, July 18, 2008


“And in every work that he began

in the service of the house of God…

he did it with all his heart,

and prospered.”

~2 Chronicles 31:21, KJV~

Dear Intercessors, this is Eleanor Witcher of the International Prayer Strategy Office, asking you to pray for volunteer teams serving in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

During the month of July, several volunteer teams will minister through events, such as prayerwalking, Scripture distribution, sports evangelism, and English ministries. Already, a team from Alabama served in Kharkov, Ukraine, sharing Jesus through Backyard Bible Clubs and helping with construction projects at the church.

A group from Arkansas is now in Irbeet, Sverdlovskaya oblast on a construction project, serving through July 25. The Prague Mega-City Team of the Czech Republic is sponsoring a City Day Camp (July 19-26) as well as English Camp Benecko 2008 in the mountains north of Prague.

Volunteers from Mississippi will minister through medical teams in Kharkov, Ukraine, this coming week. Pray that the Ukrainian believers working alongside the volunteer team will build strong relationships with nonbelievers.

The small Baptist church in Puspokladany, Hungary will hold a sports camp. Please pray that the Lord will use this camp to strengthen ongoing friendships from past projects. Pray, also, that it will be an encouragement to the eight-member church as they serve as salt and light in this town of 17,000.

Another project with volunteers from North Carolina runs July 19-31. Team Bratislava in Slovakia will reach out to young and old alike with activities, including English courses, sports and games, and community work projects.

From July 22-31, youth from across Kamchatka, Russian Federation, will come together for a Wilderness Camp at the base of two volcanoes outside of Petropavlovsk. Activities will include daily opportunities for Bible study and worship, as well as exploring nature, rock climbing, and hiking to the top of a volcano. Pray especially for the youth who will attend; they will be from various backgrounds, ranging from “church kids” to children from the local orphanage.

* Please pray for these volunteers serving in Central and Eastern Europe as they serve Jesus with their whole hearts.

(Of course, every team serving in Central and Eastern Europe is not listed. One such team is a group of 75 International World Changers from Brady Haynes church in Birmingham. Pray for them as they minister to the Roma (Gypsies). Brady is a former youth minister of FBC, Kentwood. He will be working with Team Romany which includes the Hatchel family.)

Major Bernard “Ben” R. Williams, Jr., USAF Retired, of Osyka, died peacefully at his home on Friday, July 18, 2008, from pancreatic cancer. Visitation will be held on Monday, July 21, at Osyka Baptist Church from 2-6 PM and services will follow at 6 PM. Burial will be at Osyka Cemetery.

(Ben was the husband of Linda Williams who has worked in the Pupil Appraisal section of the Tangipahoa Parish School System for many years. Please be in prayer for Linda and her family.)

Baptist Press

July 18, 2008

CHINA–Olympic torch ventures to China’s last frontier.

CHINA–China pastor, wife forced from home, living on streets.

MISSOURI–McCain raises public profile of pro-life views.

KENTUCKY–Builder helps churches enlarge their passion.

WASHINGTON–LIFE DIGEST: Mother eliminates children to gain cancer-free baby.

TENNESSEE–Church to vote on Sutton retirement.

LOUISIANA–FIRST-PERSON (Kelly Boggs): The election & the Supreme Court.

CALIFORNIA–FIRST-PERSON (David Jeremiah): Assurance of salvation.



Children touring a retirement home were asked by a resident if they had any questions. “Yes,” one girl said. “How old are you?”

“I’m 98,” she replied proudly.

Clearly impressed, the child’s eyes grew wide with wonder. “Did you start at one?”

In the last couple of TFTD messages, I’ve talked about our fears of growing older. I suggested that one reason we’re afraid of growing older is that many of us live in a culture that glorifies youth. Another reason we’re afraid of growing old is because of our concept of old age. We have a tendency to think of old people in a nursing home who are poor, isolated, sick, unhappy, and senile. It’s no wonder we find the prospect of growing old unattractive! But it’s an unfair evaluation. Yes, there are some old people who find it necessary to live in nursing homes. And some do become senile, although it’s a very small percentage (about 8 percent). But I really believe that most elderly people are about as happy as they were when they were younger people. If you find a cantankerous old man, chances are he was a cantankerous young man, too!

One perspective on age was offered by an elderly man who said, “Now it takes me longer to rest than it does to get tired. Often I have to sight against something to see if I’m moving….All my younger years I bemoaned the fact I was so short. Now every morning when I waken and everything hurts, I can be grateful. If I was tall, there would be so much more to hurt.”

But then as we heard it said so often, “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative!” So, what about it? Is growing old a good thing or a bad thing? Is it something to dread or something to look forward to? Well, that all depends.

At the end of the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon begins to draw some conclusions from his observations about what’s really important in this life. He says, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’.” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

Solomon says, “Follow God while you are young.” And that’s important. It’s important that those of you who are young to make a conscious decision to commit yourselves to God, to surrender yourselves to his will, to faithfully obey God’s instructions beginning right now while you’re still young.

But there’s a part of us when we’re young that wants to say, “What’s the rush? Why not wait until you’ve sown a few wild oats? Why not wait thirty or forty years until you’ve had a lot of fun doing things your own way and then turn to God? That way you get the best of both worlds.”

Solomon doesn’t waste time answering that kind of reasoning. He says to remember God “before the difficult days come”. When we’re young, it’s easy to think we’ll be young forever. Our bodies play tricks on us, trying to convince us that we’ll always feel just as good as we do when we’re young. But, of all the pains that we have to deal with as we get older, the ones that hurt the most are the regrets of things we’ve done. I’ve never known anyone who is old who said, “I should have disobeyed God more when I was young. I missed out on a lot!” I’ve known many older people, though, who have said, “If I had listened to God when I was young, it would have saved me a lot of heartache.”

“The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31)

(to be continued)

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Alan Smith certainly passed on some words of widsom today. I hope you will apply them to your life and share them with others.

Anna Lee


God knew what he was doing

from the very beginning.

He decided from the outset to shape the lives

of those who love him

along the same lines as the life of his Son. . . .

We see the original and intended shape

of our lives there in him.

Romans 8:29 (MSG)

You were asked to pray for Brett Erickson, the young man from LaPlace who was in the military base in Afghanistan where nine Americans were killed Sunday. Brett was able to email his mother to say he was okay. Thank you for praying for this family. Pray for our military as they serve around the world to provide for our freedom.

Eleanor Morris is better. Please continue to pray for her.

Danny Esch has improved. Pray for continued improvement as he goes through rehabilitation.

Pray for Mrs. Avis Sullivan as she has surgery today at North Oaks.

The wake for Mrs. Inez Lea will continue today at Line Creek Baptist Church from 8 a.m. until religious services at 2 p.m. on Friday. Please continue to pray for the family.


Kids on Mission Pray
July 18, 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


Bo is a sweet girl of 12. She lives with her loving, encouraging father and gentle grandmother. Bo has a good home environment. Our family was overjoyed when we learned that she came to know Jesus. We had been visiting in the United States and found out about her salvation when we got back to Thailand. Praise the Lord! Our job now is to disciple Bo and three other new believers who are also children. Every Sunday, we take them to a Northern Thai church. We enjoy giving a ride to other curious kids too. We teach them how Christians should act and think. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will teach them all things and will remind them of everything Jesus has said to them (John 14:26). Pray that God will give us wisdom as we train these four to be a witness to their friends and family.

Pray for Bo that she will not let anyone look down on her because she is young, but may she set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12) ADRIAN, teen (Pacific Rim)

Please pray for my grandmother to get better.
HB, age 12 (East Asia)

Please pray for our family as we minister to people in Mozambique. WILL (Central, Eastern and Southern Africa)

I would like people to pray for the people in Niger to become Christians. BRADY, age 10 (West Africa)

Prayer request: We need friends in our neighborhood. EMMA, age 8, and HATTIE, age 10 (Pacific Rim)

Pray for my friends, Hank and Nicolas. ETHAN, age 9 (Central, Eastern and Southern Africa)

Nursery Workers during Worship – July 20

  • Susan Rimes
  • Wanda Miller


  • Children’s Sports Camp
  • July 21-25
  • 8:30 – 12 Noon
  • FBC, Kentwood
  • Children who completed grades K-6
  • $10.00
  • Sign-up

Beth Moore Living Proof Live 2008

  • FBC, Kentwood
  • August 1 – 6:30-9:00 & Aug. 2 -8:30 – Noon
  • $25.00

Marvelous Monday – July 21

  • J.P. Miles – preaching
  • Dennis Walker – music
  • Bob Raborn – piano


“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).
Mike Benson, Editor
ONE OF THE great concerns for many churches is how to keep our young people after they have left home to begin their own lives…

Statistics indicate that we are losing a large percentage of young people during their college years when they are on their own and free to make their own choices. Even among those who remain faithful during those years, it is not uncommon for some of these to marry (often outside of the faith) and either leave the Lord’s church or drop out of religion altogether.

I am often asked what we can do to keep our young people. My answer to that question is simple…reach them and teach them! Reach them by showing an interest in them as valued individuals. Once having reached them, teach them that God has a plan for their lives. Many people in our world are wandering without definite spiritual direction. Young people need to know that God has something in mind for them now and in their future.

It’s a shame that so many young people grow up without specific spiritual instruction. Yet, the opportunities for spiritual preparation are unlimited! We provide Bible classes on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, Vacation Bible School, gospel meetings, summer youth programs as well as youth rallies, and weekly preaching. If necessary, we could provide more opportunities. The problem is not the lack of opportunity, but the lack of parental influence and direction. We make sure our young people have the best secular opportunities, but fail to encourage them to participate in spiritual activities that are designed to promote their eternal welfare.

When we lose our youth, we lose the future! No church can exist longer than its youngest generation. Want to do some great mission work? Start with the youth group and help prepare them for the future.

Reach them…teach them…and we will keep them! (Gary Knuckles)

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:6-9; Prov. 22:6).

Have a blessed day!

Anna Lee


He has shaped each person in turn;

now he watches everything we do.

Psalm 33:15 (MSG)

Mrs. Faye Price will have additional tests next Tuesday at North Oaks. Pray for her as she tries to “take it easy” for a few days.

Mrs. Avis Sullivan did not come home as expected. Instead her surgery has been moved up to this Friday. Pray for “Miss” Avis, her family, and the medical staff at North Oaks.

Mr. Bobby Raborn’s double knee surgery went well at Baton Rouge General. Pray for him as he goes through therapy.

Colbye Erwin’s paternal grandmother passed away. Her funeral was yesterday.

Inez Carroll Lea
A resident of Line Creek, she died at 10:53 a.m. Wednesday, July 16, 2008, at her home. She was 96 and a native of Pine Grove. She was an officer and member of Eastern Star. Visitation at Line Creek Baptist Church, Line Creek, on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visitation resumes at the church on Friday from 8 a.m. until religious service at 2 p.m., conducted by the Rev. Ken Irvin and the Rev. Leon Dunn. Interment in Line Creek Cemetery. Survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Sandra and Vernon Branch, Pine; three sons and two daughters-in-law, Nelson Lea, Kentwood, Chris and Sheila Lea, Duck Hill, Miss., and Kernan and Debbie Lea, Kentwood; two brothers, Pat and Darby Carroll; two sisters, Ruth Robinson and Carolyn Reinninger; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by her husband, Guy Lea; parents, Leon and Arsula Carroll; son, Lloyd Lane Lea; and granddaughter, Erin Lea. Arrangements by McKneely Funeral Home, Kentwood. For an online guestbook, visit
Published in The Advocate on 7/17/2008

Baptist Press

July 16, 2008

CHINA–China relief effort adds focus on ‘Hope Centers.’

NEW YORK–Josh Hamilton: From heroin to home run hero.

MASSACHUSETTS–Mass. Senate OKs ‘gay marriage’ for nonresidents.

TENNESSEE–Baptists’ gifts to Union surpass $3M.

WASHINGTON–‘Gay marriage’ could be costly for religious liberty, panelists say.

GEORGIA–NAMB’s Meacham to work with Baptist associations.

TENNESSEE–FIRST-PERSON (Tim Ellsworth): Josh Hamilton not the true hero.

GEORGIA–FIRST-PERSON (Howard Dayton): Don’t let a vacation bust your budget.


An elderly man went to the doctor for a visit. “Doc,” he says,” I am so stricken. I have chest pains, headaches, back pains, nausea, arthritis, constipation, stomach cramps, earaches, burning in the eyes, congested lungs…”

“Sir,” says the doctor, “you complain you have so many things. What don’t you have?”

The man answers, “Teeth.”

I began talking about the subject of growing older in the last TFTD, and I mentioned that we dread getting old. As I said, I think there are several reasons for that. One is that (at least in the United States) we live in a youth-oriented society. We live in a society that glorifies and even worships youth. The things we hear and read seem to say that in order to be happy, you have to have good looks, good health and a good job, things we associate more with youth. So we don’t want to get old.

Old age should be looked upon with honor and respect. The Bible teaches us to respect and look up to those who are older. God commanded the Israelites in Leviticus 19:32, “You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man.” In I Peter 5:5, Peter says to Christians, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders.” Now he’s not talking about the office of elder here. He’s talking about members who are older. Old age is something that should be respected and in most cultures of the world it is, but unfortunately not always here in America.

Here, youth is glorified, so age is something that you cover up and deny, not something seen as good or enjoyable. One of the new concepts that our industrial world has brought us is “planned obsolescence” — it’s the idea that what isn’t new isn’t desirable. And, so it follows, according to this reasoning, that when people wear out, they should be pushed aside and ignored.

The talents and skills of the elderly, acquired over a lifetime, are often ignored. Older people often feel they’ve spent their whole life working to become good at something, only to find that nobody wants their skill. And so they struggle with feelings of uselessness, loneliness and depression.

I think we need to do a better job (both in the church and in our personal lives) of making use of this vast resource of wisdom and experience. I encourage you to sit down with the oldest person you know and simply ask the question, “What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in life?” Be prepared to take notes. 😉

(to be continued)

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Don’t forget the share group meeting tonight at the cabin. We meet at 6:30 and everyone is invited to join us. (I know many of you live too far away to attend, but if you are ever in the area on the third Thursday, schedule some time to be with us.)

Anna Lee


“But you, when you pray,

go into your room,

and when you have shut your door

pray to your Father who is in the secret place;

and you Father who sees in secret

will reward you openly.”

~Matt. 6:6~

Mrs. Faye Price was able to return home yesterday. Pray for her as she addresses her health issues at home.

Joan Hagan will have outpatient tests today in Hammond. Please be in prayer for her during the tests.

MISSIONARY PERSONAL NEEDS. Transition is a normal part of life for a missionary kid (MK), but that doesn’t mean that it is easy by any means. When it is time to leave for college, a young person can experience a variety of emotions but traveling overseas to begin this exciting adventure can add many more dynamics. Pray for MKs as they begin college this fall. Pray for the right roommates, wisdom for decisions in what courses and activities to pursue. Pray for good relationships to form that will inspire, encourage and bless them. Pray for their families as they release their sons and daughters, that God will grow all of them through this time of transition.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

“For this reason God also highly exalted Him

and gave Him the name that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow–

of those who are in heaven and on earth

and under the earth–

and every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”

~Philippians 2:9-11, HCSB~

Dear Intercessors, this is Eleanor Witcher of the International Prayer Strategy Office, inviting you to pray for women in predominantly Muslim cultures.

“No one seems to understand why we desire to help Palestinians, including the Palestinian people themselves!” a worker comments. A young Palestinian woman recently asked a worker why she was willing to teach her English. She explained that God had placed a love in her heart for the Palestinian people. Finding this hard to believe, the woman tried to persuade the worker otherwise, saying, “You really can’t love me!” The worker finally convinced her that her love is genuine. “I’ll have to ask God why He would do this,” the young Palestinian woman answered. Pray that this woman will come to understand that true love comes from the one true God alone.

M is a seeker in Dubai and God has been working in her life and bringing her to a deeper understanding of the truth. But in recent weeks, her growth has been combated by the evil one. She has become very busy with her new job and time-consuming visitors from her home country. She has even stopped responding to any contact from believers. It is unclear what is going on. Please ask that her faith will be proven genuine and that she will continue to turn to God’s Word for wisdom.

* Please pray for Christian workers to consistently demonstrate the love of Jesus through their outreach projects.

* Intercede for seekers and young Christians living in Muslim cultures that they will stay intentional in their study of God’s Word.

* Ask God to call out new believers who will confess the name of Jesus as Lord in these restrictive countries.

Associational WMU Meeting

  • Thursday
  • Spring Creek Baptist Church
  • 10:00 A.M.
  • Covered dish luncheon

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


PSYCHOLOGISTS TELL US that one of the deepest urges in human nature is the craving to be appreciated…

Thus, we contribute immeasurably to the happiness and success of others when we express appreciation for their work and worth.

We are also advised that the giving of sincere praise brings out outstanding benefits to the one who gives it. Thus, we contribute immeasurably to our own happiness and success when we express appreciation for others.

Observation teaches that the most successful people have mastered the art of giving praise.

Giving honest praise is like “saying grace” at the table…very difficult to start, if it hasn’t been our pattern. Here are some guidelines to get one started.

1. Look for little things for which you can express appreciation. We tend to wait for colossal achievements before uttering one word of commendation or encouragement. Rare and refreshing is the person who goes on a “treasure hunt” searching for little things to praise.

2. Look for things close at hand for which you can express appreciation. The human tendency is to see glamour in things at a distance and defects in things close at hand. It doesn’t take much sense to find fault with things and people close by. Conversely, it requires sensitive perception to detect the genuine worth of nearby treasures.

3. Voice your appreciation. It isn’t that we don’t appreciation others…it’s just that, for some unknown reason, we are hesitant to voice that feeling. It is necessary to say nice things to have them do good…not merely think them. By not acting quickly to praise one for his work the impulse often fades away.

It may well be that one of the greatest duties you can perform this day will be speaking a word of appreciation. (John Gipson)

“Now we exhort you, brethren,

warn those who are unruly,

comfort the fainthearted,

uphold the weak,

be patient with all.”

~1 Thess. 5:14~

As you read The Prayer Link each day, please look back over the names that were recently listed. Many of these people need our continued prayers at this time. Also, please realize there are always people with needs that I am unaware of or those who would rather not be listed publicly. You can pray for these needs even if you are not aware of them.

As always, your prayers mean so much to so many. Thank you for praying each day.

Anna Lee