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

live at peace with everyone.

~Romans 12:18 (NIV)~


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



You can pray for several people are in North Oaks:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deacons for the week

  • Jimmy Tolar
  • Lloyd Hayden

Annie Armstrong Easter Offering

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

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

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

Vacation Bible School

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

On Mission in Kentwood

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




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

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

“I’m playing God,” he replied.

“Playing God?” she asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina



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

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

Anna Lee


[The boy’s father said,]

“. . . If you can do anything, do it.

Have a heart and help us!”

Jesus said, “If?

There are no ‘ifs’ among believers.

Anything can happen.”

No sooner were the words out of his mouth

than the father cried,

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

~Mark 9:22-24, MSG~



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



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



On Mission in Kentwood

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



The following is one of my favorite devotionals.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

God can use you and me too!

Anna Lee





“Oh, give thanks to the Lord!

Call upon His name;

make known His deeds among the peoples!”

~Psalm 105:1~


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



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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anna Lee

Monday Afternoon

From Wendy Fowler:

Would you please add the family of Renee Nicholson to the prayer link. Renee was the mother of one of my first grade students. She passed away last night at her home. She was fairly young, so this was a shock to everyone. Elizabeth, my student, is a sweet little girl. Please be in prayer for her as she travels through this difficult time in her life.

Renee Lillie Nicholson

(May 27, 1965 – April 21, 2008)

Died at 6:00 a.m. on Monday, April 21, 2008 at her residence in Kentwood. She was a native of Tacoma, WA. Age 42 years. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Kentwood, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Tuesday and from 8 a.m. until religious services at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Interment Wales Cemetery, Greensburg. She is survived by her husband, Douglas R. Nicholson; son, Donovan Douglas Nicholson; daughter, Elizabeth Annette Nicholson; mother, Annette Hutchinson and husband, James, all of Kentwood; 2 sisters, Beth Slaven, Newberry, SC and Freida Davis, Kentwood; brother, Willie Lillie, Jr., Kentwood; grandfather, Herbert Grace, Kentwood. She was preceded in death by her father, Willie Lillie, Sr.; grandparents, Percy and Maggie Lillie, Fannie Miller Grace and Mallie McClendon Grace.


Leland J. Durbin, Sr.

(September 11, 1922 – April 21, 2008)

Died at 4:00 a.m. on Monday, April 21, 2008 at Hood Memorial Hospital in Amite. He was a native and a resident of Amite and a U. S. Army Veteran. Age 85 years. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Amite, from 8:30 a.m. until religious services at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday. Services conducted by Rev. David Luce. Interment Montpelier Cemetery, Montpelier. He is survived by his wife, Sadie Holden Durbin, Amite; 2 daughters, Gloria Mobley and husband, Andy, West Monroe and Susan Durbin, West Monroe; son, Leland J. Durbin, Jr. and wife, Jennifer, Amite; step-daughter, Carol Strider and husband, Michael, West Monroe; step-son, David Smith and wife, Jo Ann, Amite; 2 sisters, Myrle Durbin, Hammond and Vera King, Montpelier; brother, Carol Durbin, Hammond; 17 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents, Boney and Louise Starns Durbin; twin sister, Lela Mae Durbin; brother, Melvin Durbin.


“O sing to the LORD a new song,

for He has done wonderful things….

He has revealed His righteousness

in the sight of the nations.”

~Psalm 98:1a-2, NASB~

Please pray for the senior adults, several of whom are homebound. They have falls, many appointments, long, lonesome days, etc. Pray God will lead you to “adopt” one or more so you can help minister to their needs.


Monday, April 21, 2008

“Now show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18, NIV).

Dear Intercessors, this is Eleanor Witcher of the International Prayer Strategy Office, asking you to pray for the staff of the International Mission Board (IMB) as we meet for our Annual Staff Retreat.

Our offices will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, April 22 and 23, as we join together for fellowship and learning. Dr. David Platt from The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham, Alabama, is challenging us under the theme “Desperate.” Jeremy Welborn of Grove Avenue Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia, is leading our music. Jerry Rankin will encourage us in a session called, “Celebrating Who We Are.” Please ask the Lord to refresh the staff and build new bonds of friendship.

The IMB has a large staff, supporting missionaries around the world. There are financial specialists, computer technologists, travel and freight agents, administrative assistants, mobilization consultants, mission personnel staff and trainers, and electronic- and print- media experts. We all work together towards the goal of reaching the lost for Christ but seldom have opportunity to sit in the same room. We thank God for these special days each year. Meetings, email and deadlines will be set aside as we spend time rekindling old friendships and making new ones. There will be laughter, singing, and perhaps a few tears.

* Please pray with us that our hearts will be challenged and refreshed for the ministry the Lord has laid out for the IMB.

* Ask God to lead us to be desperate for His presence, submitting any willful way to His glory. Pray for David Platt and Jeremy Welborn as they lead us in worship.

* Thank you for partnering with us in prayer and in the Lord’s missions mandate.



I heard a story about a husband who came home drunk late one night and snuck up the stairs quietly to avoid waking his wife. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife.

When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. “You were drunk last night, weren’t you!”

“No, honey.”

“Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?”

Despite our many failed attempts, we continue to try to hide our sins from others around us. King Saul was commanded by God to kill all of the Amalekites and their animals (I Sam. 15:3). But Saul spared the Amalekite king and the best of the herds and flocks. There was no question he had disobeyed God. But notice the first thing he said to Samuel upon his return — “I have performed the commandment of the LORD.” (I Sam. 15:13).

Saul knew good and well he hadn’t done everything that God told him to do. So why did he tell Samuel he had kept the word of the Lord? Because one of our first reactions to sin is to pretend that everything’s OK. If we ignore the fact that we have sinned, maybe no one will notice.

And we’ve all done this before, haven’t we? Remember when you were a kid and your parents were out of the house and maybe you got to rough-housing with your brothers and sisters and in the process the lamp in the living room got knocked over and a piece broke off? You stuck it back together hoping no one would ever notice and then you went back to your room to get away from the scene of the crime.

But Mom comes home and it doesn’t her long at all to notice. She comes back to your room and says, “Did you break my lamp?” And you say, as innocently as you possibly can, “What lamp?” Because the hardest thing in the world is to admit that we have done something wrong.

The one thing that God desires most when it comes to our sins is the one thing we have the most trouble with — honesty and openness.

“He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9).

May you be honest enough to be able to share with God what He already knows. Only then can the healing begin.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Have a good week!

Anna Lee

Sunday Afternoon

Joan Hagan fell this morning when she was getting in the tub. She was unable to get up until mid-afternoon. The fall re injured her foot where she recently had the broken toe. Saturday, Joan told me she was having another problem. Please be in prayer for Joan. Her surgery is scheduled for ten days from now.

Curt Martin is up and getting around. He has been able to return to work, but has another appointment to check on what is going on in his leg. Please be in prayer for Curt’s leg problem.

Ann Trappey requests prayer for Rebecca Blades, daughter of Forrest and Denise Blades. Rebecca (28), the manager of a Wal-Mart distribution center in Alabama, was injured in a freak accident at work when a piece of sheet metal fell 30 feet and hit her. She has had surgery for injuries to her left cheek and is in ICU in Birmingham. Please be in prayer for Rebecca, her family, and those caring for her.