Thursday’s Devotional





There’s a man trying to cross the street. As he steps off the curb, a car comes screaming around the corner and heads straight for him. The man walks faster, trying to hurry across the street, but the car changes lanes and is still coming at him.

So the guy turns around to go back, but the car changes lanes again and is still coming at him.

By now, the car is so close and the man so scared that he just freezes and stops in the middle of the road.

The car gets real close, then swerves at the last possible moment and screeches to a halt right next him.

The driver rolls down the window. The driver is a squirrel. The squirrel says to the man says, “See, it’s not as easy as it looks, is it?”

There have been times when I’ve discovered that experiencing something is more difficult than it looks. For example, when I was younger, I was full of ideas on how parents ought to be raising their children. However, after having three of my own, I’ve discovered that “it’s not as easy as it looks.”

Maybe there was a time when you thought someone ought to be handling a divorce or a death in the family better than they do. But after experiencing it for yourself, you found out that “it’s not as easy as it looks.”

ometimes there’s no way to know what it feels like to go through something without actually experiencing it yourself. That’s why the incarnation is so important. There’s no way we can say to God, “Living here on this earth — it’s not as easy as it looks!” God knows. He’s taken on flesh and blood and walked this earth. He’s experienced temptation, frustration, persecution, disappointment and a host of human emotions. He knows how tough it is. He understands. And that’s why He is in a position to be of help to us.

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:15-16)

t’s true. Living life on this earth is “not as easy as it looks.” But may you find comfort today in knowing that God understands that more that you can begin to imagine.

ave a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina


Bro. Joe Baugh said his father-in-law, Mr. Robert Spencer (92), is doing much better and is almost back healthwise to where he was a few months ago. Please continue to remember to pray for Mr. Spencer and for “Miss” Barbara as she cares for her dad.

Please pray for John Merle. He is an 8 year old boy who is at St.Jude Hospital undergoing test for internal bleeding.

Debbra Smith

Pray for Michael Bankston. His family’s home (the old Bankston’s store east of Arcola) burned yesterday. Everything was lost.

Please continue to pray for Mrs. Jeanette Rhodus. She is at North Oaks and waiting for a pathology report. When she is released, she’ll come to Kentwood Rehabilitation. Please pray for her progress.

Scarlet Williams Broussard in in Hood Memorial with an infection. Please be in prayer for her.

Pray for Ralph Owens, Jr. He is undergoing treatment for cancer. Ralph lives east of Arcola.

Karen Miller’s brother, Aubrey Perry, will begin nine weeks of chemo next week. Pray for him and his family as he goes through this process.

Mrs. Barbara Erwin’s sister in Bogalusa had a heart attack. Please pray for her and those caring for her.

Thursday – Update on Baby Aaron

Hello everyone-

I am sorry it has been so long since I posted an update on Aaron. The past couple of days have been very hectic, as we were released from the hospital around 6 p.m. yesterday. We were surprised to be released, but are glad to be away from the hospital environment.

This morning all of us moved (in two trips via tiny Ford Focus) back to the Camden RMH and we are settled back in over here now. We will remain here in the local area as we wait on our next visit and echo at CHOP.

The surgical conference on Tuesday did not yield a firm plan for Aaron’s surgery. The doctors are still concerned about Aaron’s mitral valve. While it appears to be functioning properly, its construction seems abnormal. They are concerned that he has an ‘arcade’ mitral valve. If so, they will not be able to do the two-sided repair surgery originally discussed. This would be the most preferable option b/c it would be one surgery that would allow Aaron use of both sides of his heart. If his mitral valve will not sustain his heart, they will have to close off one ventricle of his heart through a set of two surgeries called Norwood procedures. The first surgery is done preferably b/t 3-6 months of age, with the second surgery being done b/t 2-3 years of age. This is the less desirable of the two options at this point.

Right now, the plan is to remain here until our follow-up echo on 3/12. If all looks good, they will release us home to MS. They want Aaron to have a heart catheterization b/t 4-6 weeks of age, either here or in MS, so they can get a better idea of his heart’s function (the function of the mitral valve, particularly) at that point. We feel like they will formulate a more firm plan for surgery after the heart cath.

We are a little discouraged b/c of the uncertainty of everything. Thankfully, Aaron seems to be doing well and is adjusting to life away from the CCU. As his mom, it’s hard to look at this precious, perfect-looking child and know that his heart is broken inside. It is also hard to watch him eat and breathe and to see that he is laboring harder than he should sometimes. I wish I could take it all on for him, but I know I cannot. Please pray that God will give us strength to wait on His timing and His perfect plan for Aaron. We love you each and every one.

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Wednesday – Obituaries

James Monroe Rutland
(May 8, 1937 – February 26, 2008)

James Monroe Rutland went to be with the Lord on February 26, 2008. He was born May 8, 1937 in Amite. James was retired from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development since 1994. Mr. Rutland was also a U. S. Navy Veteran. His church home was Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Pine Grove where he resided. Survivors include his wife of over 50 years, Annabel Watkins Rutland; six sons, Ronald James and wife, Marcia, Randall Wayne and fiance, Angela, Ray Jerome and wife, Teresa, Ralph Edward and wife, Marcie, Roger Karl and wife, Barbara, Robert Ward and wife, Margaret; one sister, Geraldine Rutland Colston and husband, Bill; and sister-in-law, Marlene Rutland. Mr. Rutland is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, 2 nieces, several great nieces and nephews, 1 aunt, as well as a host of relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by parents, Monroe and Amy Rutland; two brothers, Melvin and Horace “Chuck” Rutland; grandson, Reece Rutland; nephew, Keith Rutland; niece, Dianne Lipari. Officiating at the funeral services will be Rev. Toney Cooksey and Rev. Bill Colston. Pallbearers will be Mr. Rutland’s sons, Ronnie, Randy, Ray, Ralph, Roger and Robert. Services will be conducted by McKneely Funeral Home in Amite with visitation Thursday, Feb. 28th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Funeral will be Friday, Feb. 29th at 10:00 a.m. with interment at Natalbany Cemetery in Independence.

James H. Golmon
(October 25, 1941 – February 25, 2008)

Died on Monday, February 25, 2008 at North Oaks Medical Center in Hammond. He was a native of New Orleans and a resident of Roseland. Age 66 years. Visitation at McKneely Funeral Home, Amite, from 9 a.m. on Friday until religious services at 12 Noon Friday. Services conducted by Rev. David Cutrer. Interment Arcola-Roseland Cemetery, Roseland. He is survived by his wife, Verlie Golmon, Roseland; son, Bruce “Sonny” Golmon, Roseland; 4 grandchildren, Chelsea, Caitlyn, Cassidy, and Craig Golmon. He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Corrine Corkern Golmon.

Myrtle L. Ficklin Fiorello
(March 9, 1903 – February 26, 2008)

Mrs. Mrytle L. Ficklin Fiorello died at 5:58PM, Tuesday, February 26, 2008 at the Lakeview Regional Medical Center, Covington. She was 77, a native of Montpelier and a resident of Greensburg. Visitation at the McKneely & Vaughn Funeral Home, Amite, from 6:00PM until 9:00PM Thursday, February 28, 2008 and after 8:00AM until Religious Services at 2:00PM, Friday, February 29, 2008 in the Funeral Home Chapel conducted by Bro. Joe Day. Interment Greensburg Cemetery. Survived by a daughter, Wanda Ficklin, 4 sons, Freddie, Michael “George”, Ronald “Gun”, Randy “Duke” Ficklin all of Greensburg, 4 brothers, Edward Cutrer, Amite, Dewitt Cutrer, Bunkie, Joe Cutrer, Greensburg, Ray Cutrer, Chicago, IL., and a sister, Mary Rogers, Fort Worth, TX. Preceded in death by her first husband, D. L. “Bang” Ficklin, second husband, Frank Fiorello, a son, Jimmy Lewis Ficklin, a sister, Annie Mae Albritton, and 2 brothers, Hollis Cutrer and Walter Cutrer. McKneely & Vaughn Funeral Home is located at I-55 & Hwy 16W next to Coggins-Gentry Ford. An on-line Guestbook is avaiable at

Wednesday’s Devotional

Decision Magazine Weekly E-mail Devotional

February 26, 2008

A Word From Billy Graham

The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). Man is like sheep. We wander around blind; we get lost. We’re lost from God. We’ve strayed from God. …

Jesus tells a story of a lost sheep. This farmer had 99 sheep that were safe, but one had wandered away. He was lost. So this shepherd decided that he was going to go after the one lost sheep. After much searching, he found the sheep. And he called all of his friends together, and they rejoiced because he had found the sheep (Luke 15:4-6). Are you that one lost sheep? Jesus Christ would have died on the cross if no one had been lost but you. God loves you and He’s searching for you.

The shepherd lives with his sheep. He gives them food and protection and security. Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Whatever happens, however sick you may get—you may lose a child, you may lose a father or a mother—Jesus is with you. You’re the sheep; He’s the shepherd. He loves you, and He gave His life for you. When He died on the cross, God took all of our sins and laid them on Him.

Devotional Prayer:


Lord, we thank You for sending Jesus to find us when we had wandered far from You. Help us to stay close to you as we seek out those who are still lost and need to hear of the salvation that you offer them through Christ. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.