“Hear my prayer, O Lord;

listen to my plea!

Answer me

because you are faithful and righteous.”

Psalm 143:1

(Holy Bible, New Living Translation)

Update on Mrs. Marie Sims from Mary Criswell:

. . . . Marie was having problems with fluid building up in her lungs and had to be placed on a ventilator. This was an unexpected turn. Judy needs special support during this time.

Please continue to pray for Grant Matherne, six year old great grandson of Mrs. Hazel Smith, as he continues his treatments.

Ritchie, husband of my cousin Suzan in Texas, got a better report on his colon cancer than he did previously. Pray for them as Richie continues treatments.

FBC will have no Sunday night worship this month due to Marvelous Mondays which will be held at 7:00 during July.

From Mrs. Ann Chapman:

. . . . my brother, Charles Abernathy, Pearl River, LA passed away
last night. His wife Betty Ruth Breeland grew up in the Roseland &
Spring Creek area. Charles was an Amite High School graduate. He was 79.
His funeral will be Monday. Arrangements are as follows:
First Baptist Church, Pearl River, LA
Wake: 9:00 – 12:00 noon
Funeral: 12:00 noon
Burial: 3:00 pm at Roseland-Arcola Cemetery
Please pray for Betty and their children, Russell and Barbara and our
family. Our Heavenly Circle is getting larger.
God bless each of you.
Ann Chapman

Gary McNabb
(September 2, 1964 – July 2, 2008)

Gary McNabb
Gary “Suede” McNabb, 43, passed away at 8:59PM, on Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge. He was a native of Brandon, MS and a resident of Pine Grove. He was the son of Gene and Sara McNabb of Pine Grove. He was a Member of the Pipeliners Union Local #798. Visitation will be at the McKneely & Vaughn Funeral Home, Amite, on Sunday, July 6, 2008 from 6:00PM until 9:00PM and on Monday, July 7, 2008, at the Shiloh Baptist Church, Pine Grove, from 9:00AM until Religious Services at 11:00AM. Services conducted by Rev. Laverne King. Interment in the Shiloh Baptist Church Cemetery. Survived by: Wife, Vicki Oliphant McNabb-Loranger, Step-Son, Chance Tycer-Loranger, Parents, Gene & Sara McNabb-Pine Grove, Sister, Gail Domingue & husband, Edward-Greensburg,. 4 Brothers, Calvin McNabb-Pine Grove, Bryan McNabb & wife, Beverly-Albany, Waylon McNabb-Pine Grove, and John McNabb & wife, Paula-Montpelier. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, & friends. Preceded in death by: Brother, Alton “Bud” McNabb. An on-line Guestbook is available at Funeral Home is located at I-55N & Hwy 16W next to Coggins-Gentry Ford.

Bobby McDaniel, Sr.
(Died July 3, 2008)

Mr. Bobby McDaniel, Sr. died at 11:35AM, July 3, 2008 at the Flannery Oaks Guest House in Baton Rouge. Arrangements are incomplete but the guest book may be signed at this time.

Mrs. Marie H. Wallace
(March 17, 1929 – July 4, 2008)

Mrs. Marie H. Wallace, 79, passed away at 9:15AM, July 4, 2008 at the Tangi Pines Nursing Home in Amite. She was a native of Tangipahoa Parish and a resident of Independence. Visitation will be at the McKneely & Vaughn Funeral Home, Amite, from 9:00AM, Monday, July 7, 2008 until Religious Services at the Funeral Home Chapel at 2:00PM, conducted by Bro. Felix Howell. Interment in the Howell Cemetery (west of Natalbany). She was the daughter of the late Avery & Bertha Stafford Holden. She is survived by her Daughter, Margie Nell Howell-Independence, 2 Sons: Billy Roy Wallace, Sr.-Amite, Larry Wallace, I-Amite, 18 Grandchildren, 42 Great-Grandchildren, and 3 Great Great-Grandchildren. Mrs. Marie was preceded in death by her Parents Avery & Bertha Stafford Holden, Husband: Clyde Wallace, Son: Marvin Dale Wallace, Sr., Daughter: Peggy Jean Wallace Hose An on-line Guestbook is available at The Funeral Home is located at I-55N & Hwy 16W next to Coggins -Gentry Ford.


The Meaning of the 4th in 3 Words

Baptist Press

By Rick Lance

A silly story is told about a little boy asking his father a question, “Dad, do they have the Fourth of July in England?” “Yes, oh yes, son they do have a fourth of July in England. They just don’t celebrate it.” In a way, that apocryphal teasing exchange between a father and his son summarizes the uniqueness of the Fourth of July for Americans. It is a uniquely American holiday.

The Fourth of July in all other countries is a date on a calendar, just like any other. There is no reason at all for the British or French or Chinese or Russians or Brazilians to celebrate the Fourth of July. But in America there are many reasons. I can think of at least three of them.

The Fourth of July reminds us of our history, or at least it should. It is the day set aside as the punctual moment in history when the United States of America declared its independence from the British crown. It was not the beginning of the story or the actual end of the relationship, but it is a point in time when Americans can celebrate their birth as a nation.

Every Fourth of July in Charlottesville, Va., the largest number of people on a single day take the oath of allegiance as American citizens. This must be a sight to behold, and it would have made the founders proud. They would nod and say, “Now that is America.”

Our history is not a perfect story. There was a Civil War fought between the states over differing perspectives concerning what freedom means. Lincoln would call the nation back to the Declaration of Independence to remind Americans that all people are created equal by God.

In the 20th century, following two world wars, America would examine itself the hard way and come to the conclusion that liberty and justice are for all people. There would be ugly scenes where some radicals would not accept this view as a vision of what the nation should become. Now that sentiment lingers in the minds and hearts of a fading number of citizens who cannot understand the true meaning of freedom.

The Fourth of July has come to mean more than a day to celebrate a historical event. It is more than just about history; it is a focus on liberty. The American narrative, although not a perfect one, is really about liberty and freedom. With all of our outcries of dissent today and with the personalities literally shouting at each other on talk shows, we sometimes forget that we live in a country where this kind of expression can be offered.

One night recently, I was remoting through the channels on my television and parked a few minutes to listen to the debate between two rather animated guests on a talk show and found myself amused by the sparring between them. As the program was coming to a close for this particular segment, the host thanked the guests and they both smiled at each other and shook hands as if they had just played a round of golf together.

This is just one illustration of something people outside our nation sometimes cannot understand. In America, dissent is almost a sport. Most of the time — not all times for sure — it is good-natured and a reflection of the citizens in a high-tech dialogue. The Fourth of July underscores that freedom. It is precious indeed!

For Christians, true freedom is found in Christ Himself. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” That is a higher and holier concept of freedom we should celebrate every day of our lives. But on the Fourth of July, we can pause and thank God for liberty that comes from the laws of the land, no matter how imperfect they may be.

Yes, the Fourth of July is about history, our history. It also about liberty, our liberty, but is also is about responsibility. Reportedly, following the Constitutional Convention, the irascible old Ben Franklin was asked what kind of government had been created. He replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Our history and our liberty carry a heavy sense of responsibility.

Every generation has a price to pay for the liberty we enjoy. Sadly, for some it was the ultimate sacrifice of the giving of one’s life, such as in World War II, in the Pacific or in Europe. For most Americans, the price is exercising responsible citizenship such as voting. I still have trouble understanding why some people never bother to register and vote. It is almost un-American.

History, liberty and responsibility are the three words which come to my mind as we celebrate the Fourth of July. Americans aren’t better than any other people in the world. But for providential reasons, we have been blessed with a history that tells our story, a story of liberty and responsibility. Perhaps Viktor Frankl was right when he said, “Americans need a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast to balance the Statue of Liberty on the east coast.” That was one European who may have understood us better than we understand ourselves.

Rick Lance is executive director and a state missionary with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

Be sure God has a special place in your activities this weekend.

Anna Lee


Suppose a brother or sister

is without clothes and daily food.

If one of you says to him,

“Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,”

but does nothing about his physical needs,

what good is it?

James 2:15-16 (NIV)



Mrs. Marie Sims is doing better. She continues to be watched in ICU at North Oaks. Please be in prayer for her and her family.

Pray for Jimmy Tolar as he prepares for surgery early next week.

Dear Praying Friends,

This prayer letter will be of a different kind. We have had some great adventures lately, but we need your help in prayer. We have gone to look over the ministries and the town of Craiova; we have seen the ministries of others in the area around Craiova, and we even have a line on an interesting place to stay until December when we could move into the Wagstaff’s apartment while they are gone. We have seen all of this, but we have not discerned the Lord’s will concerning our involvement.

I awoke early this morning and went to prayer, and stopped for breakfast before continuing to seek Him, but—–‘it must have been something I ate (perhaps the aged milk on my cereal)” because I have been ill all day. Therefore, we have no answer from the Lord yet. Would you help us? Please go to the Lord on our behalf, and ask Him to reveal His will concerning this question—

“Should we leave Bucuresti and move to Craiova to involve ourselves in that local ministry? We need to be able to give an answer soon.

This is the most practical use of a prayer network that I can think of—when we need to know an answer, we join together to pray for the Lord to reveal His will. Thank you for praying and for serving Him in this way. We need you. All our love to you and your’s, Bob Craig

Update from the McKinney mission trip to Romania:

Thank you for asking! It was the most wonderful yet. Parkway has partnered with a church in Bucharest for three years to plant a church in the village of Odobesti. The small group of believers there are now like close friends so it was wonderful to worship with them, go door to door again, and then do a VBS for the children on Mon. & Tues. We got to see the renovated church building that Parkway funded. On Wed. & Thurs. we worked with another mission church in Bucharest, evangelizing in the surrounding neighborhoods and at a Roma apartment complex where they teach writing & reading (from the Bible) and play Bible games with the children. (I thought of Boyd & Jennie so much because I know they had probably been there.) Friday we went to a new village where the mission church is hoping to plant a church. They had us go door to door to visit with people to get a “feel” for the village…”ripe unto harvest.” It was wonderful to get to see God advancing His Kingdom there. . . Thanks again for your prayers. In His Love, Dianne

Delores Elaine Walker Larin
(October 23, 1932 – July 1, 2008)

Dolores Elaine Walker Larin died July 1st, 2008, at age 75. She is survived by brother and sister-in-law, Dannie E. Walker, Jr. and Iris Walker, brother Wade Walker, nieces Shannon Walker Parker, Darlene Walker Brecher, Joy Walker Garbett, Jan Walker Bennett, Donna Morgan Varnado, Angie Walker Wilson, and a nephew Bryan Morgan. She is also survived by two great-nieces, five great-nephews and a great-great nephew. She was preceded in death by her husband Julius C. Larin, Jr., her parents Dannie E. Walker, Sr. and Myrtie McDaniel Walker, a sister and brother-in-law Nancy Juana Walker Morgan and Devon Morgan. Services will be held at McKneely Funeral Home in Amite with visitation from 9:00 a.m. until time of the funeral at 11 :00 a.m. on July 3, 2008, with Father Peter Hammett and Rev. Ray Varnado officiating. Interment will be in the Walker Cemetery, Wilmer, Louisiana. Pallbearers are Lavell Parker, Ronald Brecher, Christian Garbett, Gary Bennett, Bryan Morgan, and Bart Wilson. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Holy Family Catholic Church, 1318 Bickham Street, Franklinton, LA 70438 or Lakeshore Hospice, 2659 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, LA 70471.

Douglas Milton Baham
(April 21, 1942 – July 2, 2008)

Died at 11:40 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at his residence near Greensburg, LA. He was a native of Independence, LA. Age 66 years. Visitation at Red Bluff Baptist Church, Greensburg, from 9 a.m. on Friday until religious services at 1 p.m. Friday. Services conducted by Rev. Starrett Cleveland. Interment Red Bluff Cemetery, Greensburg, LA. Survived by 4 daughters, Julie O’Brien, Greensburg, Lisa Baham, Walker, Jennifer Baham, New Orleans, Tonya Baham, New Roads, 2 sons, Pee-Wee Baham and his wife, Renee, Greensburg, Mitchell Baham and his wife, Lynn, Albany, 4 step-children, Cindy Williams and her husband, Larry, Denham Springs, Donnelle Cresie, Denham Springs, Polly Gerald, Denham Springs, Eugene Baham, Denham Springs, 5 sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Mabel and Chuck McMaree, Greensburg, Dollie and Albert Frazier, Greensburg, Ella and Walter Welch, Greensburg, Albert and Shirley Rodriguez, Holden, Dewitt and Theresa Effler, Frost, 24 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, and numerous step-grandchildren. Preceded in death by wife, Julia Ann Baham. McKneely Funeral Home, Kentwood, in charge of arrangements.

Bobby McDaniel, Sr.
(Died July 3, 2008)

Mr. Bobby McDaniel, Sr. died at 11:35AM, July 3, 2008 at the Flannery Oaks Guest House in Baton Rouge. Arrangements are incomplete but the guest book may be signed at this time.

Gary McNabb
(Died July 2, 2008)

Mr. Gary McNabb died at 8:59PM, Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge. Arrangements are incomplete but the guest book may be signed at this time.

Deacons for the Week

June 29-July 5

  • Larry Miller
  • Henry McKenkie

July 6-July 12

  • Jimmy Tolar
  • Lloyd Hayden

Nursery Workers for Sunday, July 6

  • Lesley Bridges
  • Brandy Glass
  • Lalia Edwards

New Sunday School Year begins Sunday, Sept. 7th

Marvelous Mondays begin at 7 P.M. each Monday in July

July 7th: Youth -> Student Life Camp

July 21-25 – Children’s Sports Camp at FBC, Kentwood

September 29-Oct. 4 – Senior Adult Trip – Jubilee Conference in Gatlinburg

July 13 – Baby shower for Colbye Erwin

Answering the Call to Minister Hope
Even with soaring gas prices – they came. In fact, they came from all across the United States, more than 250 of them, stepping out of their comfort zones, putting aside their own day to day challenges. But they’ll tell you they came because they felt “called” to do so.

From June 23-26, men and women with a compelling desire to bring hope to people in the midst of crisis gathered at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, N.C. to answer that call.

Some came from service in disaster related areas, seeking training to better provide emotional and spiritual care as a RRT Chaplain. Others came to better understand the pressing needs of hard-hit communities and to be part of the solution, as God would lead.

Extending the Arms of Mercy
Following historic floods that have left large swaths of devastation and despair across the Midwest, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team of crisis-trained chaplains has deployed to Terra Haute, Ind., Baraboo, Wis., and Cedar Falls, Iowa. They have also deployed to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Chaplains began working in Terra Haute early last week, on the heels of a similar deployment to Columbus, Ind. Teams arrived in Iowa and Wisconsin on Saturday. The chaplains currently ministering in the cities are talking and praying with victims of the floods and making contact with local church and civic leaders.

“When the flood waters came, they washed away much more than possessions,” says Jack Munday, director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “It’s our mission to bring a light and a hope to those who have seen nothing but darkness since the rain first began to fall.


(Kids on Mission Pray)

July 4, 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


There they were-25 smiling faces looking up at the teacher. Twenty-five children learning to say “my name is” but it sounded a lot more like “mayonnaise!” These children live at the Children’s Home near Petropavlovsk in the Russian Federation. I know you’re asking it-say what? How in the world to you say Petropavlovsk? Okay. That’s what the children were thinking when their English teachers were asking them to say “my name is.”

Let’s see if we can do it-Pe-tro (like your dog or cat rowing a boat-pet-row) pav (like your pet’s foot with a ‘v’ at the end–pawv) lovsk (like…like…like I can’t think of a thing! But it’s a little like loaves of bread with a ‘k’ on the end-loavesk). Pet-row-pawv-loavesk-Petropavlovsk!


There are a lot of Chinese people living in Canada. I went to and found out that 568,453 people from China live in thirteen Canadian provinces. A province is kind of like a state here in the US.

One of those half a million Chinese is a young girl who told her mother that she wanted to give an offering at church. She’s a Christian. After adding up all her money, she had $2.24. The girl told her mom that she would give one half. How much is that? Half of $2 is $1; half of 24 cents is 12 cents-so she was going to give $1.24. Okay, enough math!

The very next week, the little girl told her mother she wanted to give another offering. Mom asked, “How much will you give this week?”

To her mother’s surprise, the girl responded, “I want to give it all!” Then she told her mom about a memory verse she had learned, “The wildflower doesn’t need to spend money and the birds-God gives them food.” Find Luke 12:22-28 in your Bible to read what Jesus said.

Chinese Christians in Canada are sometimes tempted by money and all the nice stuff they can buy. That’s just like you and me. We can be tempted to want the newest game or clothes. Pray for the Chinese Christians at Truth Baptist Church and Abundant Life Chinese Baptist Church that they will come to God with the faith of a child. Pray that all of us will be willing to “give it all” to God.

Thank God for America and the many freedoms we have. Thank Him for those so willing to fight for freedom today and in our past. May God continue to bless America. May American honor God by living for Him on a daily basis.

Anna Lee


“I thank my God

upon every remembrance of you,

…being confident of this very thing,

that He who has begun a good work in you

will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

~Philippians 1:3-6~


Please continue to pray for Mrs. Marie Sims. She will be in ICU at North Oaks for a few more days.

Pray for the many people in our area who are undergoing cancer treatment.

Pray for the senior adults as they battle the heat. Especially pray for those without air conditioning.

Pray for those who are struggling with inflation and limited incomes.

Pray for the church youth as they make plans to attend student life camp next week.

Pray for Marvelous Mondays in July. Former staff members will lead in worship.

Pray for Jamie Schwartz and his family as he will return to Iraq on the 10th.

LAST FRONTIER. The time of year that marks an increase in the terrible “mosquito diseases” is coming in the next few months. Mosquito repellant will be given away to those who live in the neighborhood that has the most mosquito disease-related deaths per year in all the world. Please pray that children will be protected from disease. Pray that those who become sick this season will turn to the Great Physician for healing and salvation.

MISSIONARY PERSONAL NEEDS. The R family has had to change their stateside assignment dates. Mission housing is usually booked years in advance and can be difficult to find. Pray that the Lord will provide them a place to live from July to December.

MUSLIMS: PRAYING BEYOND THE WALL. After hearing the testimony of a South Asian Muslim-background believer, a Muslim man with whom he was meeting said, “You’re lying!” The believer replied, “I am not. Why would I lie? This is a good thing that God has done. If I were lying, I couldn’t talk to you anymore.” Pray that this Muslim man, and others like him who doubt the power of Jesus to save from sin, will realize that a man’s testimony is his word of honor before Almighty God. Pray that upon hearing how Jesus has changed a former Muslim’s life, the doubters will be convicted of the truth and will turn to follow Him.




“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).
Mike Benson, Editor
IN THEIR BOOK, “WHY ME?”, Pesach Krauss and Morrie Goldfisher tell a story about two men who cut down an aged hardwood…

The woodcutter’s observations about the inner rings within the old tree are compelling:

“…I sometimes tell patients the parable about the two wood choppers who had taken down a tree that was over one hundred years old. Looking at the growth rings to determine the tree’s age, the younger man noticed that there were five very narrow rings. He concluded that there had been a five-year-drought, during which the tree had shown very little growth. However, the other lumberman, a wise, old man with a philosophical bent, had a different viewpoint. He contended that the dry years actually were the most significant in the tree’s history. His reason: Because of the drought, the tree had to force its roots down further to get the water and the minerals it needed. With a strengthened root system, it was able to grow faster and taller when conditions improved”/1


1. All of us inevitably experience “dry years” at some juncture in our lives. “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Like the apostle Paul, we can identify with those occasional periods of trouble and burden; they are an inescapable part of the human condition (cf. Job 14:1; 2 Corinthians 12:7).

2. “Dry years” tend to be intense, but limited in duration. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17; cf. Romans 8:18). In a manner of speaking, a part of what I hear Peter and Paul saying is that while a five-year drought is harsh and difficult to tolerate, it eventually comes to an end. (Mike Benson at:

1/ Pesach Krauss and Morrie Goldfisher, “A Time of Trouble Is a Time To Grow,” WHY ME? — Coping with Grief, Loss, and Change, 71.

“Are they ministers of Christ?-I speak as a fool-I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness- besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:23-28).

Lord, help us to all grow some “roots” so we can withstand the trails in our lives.

Anna Lee


When will you ever learn that

“believing” is useless

without doing what God wants you to?

Faith that does not result in good deeds

is not real faith.

James 2:20 (LB)

Pray for Mrs. Marie Sims as the doctors at North Oaks try to determine her problem and the best treatment.

Please continue to pray for Curt Martin and his family in the loss of his dad.

MISSIONARY PERSONAL NEEDS. Blake and Dawnya Kimbrough, who serve among the Nyika people of Zambia, write: “This month, we will welcome our fourth child into our family! We ask you to pray for a good delivery, a healthy baby boy, and a smooth transition as we adjust to having a new family member. We also ask you to pray for the Bible study groups meeting in Luwalizi and Katete villages, as we will be away from Zambia for over a month to have the baby. Pray that the new believers will continue meeting as a group, evangelizing, and growing in their walk with the Lord.”

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

“Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?'” (John 3:4, NKJV)

Dear Intercessors, this is Eleanor Witcher of the International Prayer Strategy Office, rejoicing with you in new birth.

To be an 81-year-old man in a Wassulu village means that you have passed the life expectancy of a man in the village by approximately 35 years. To be the oldest man in a Wassulu village who accepts Christ as His Lord and Savior at age 81 means that you will open the door for others as well. Praise God for this man’s recent salvation and for the years he has left to share his testimony.

The West Africa Engagement Team shares this wonderful news: “Six years ago, God led us to our ‘village brother’ who has helped us facilitate many volunteer teams. He has heard about Jesus countless times. We were surprised when he recently asked if he could share a thought during our Bible storying time in a village. He said, ‘If you read the Bible every day and follow what it says, I think your way will be easy to go to heaven. It’s not just for reading, but God wants you to live it and teach it to your children. If you read it, you know that God sent Jesus to show the way. If you can’t read it, ask someone to help you; you will understand. You must read it and follow the way; it’s the way to God. Even if you’re busy, take just five minutes and you’ll learn. Teach your children-it’s your responsibility. They are the next generation, and they deserve to hear the Truth.’ Our hearts leaped with joy as we realized what he was really saying! According to his profession of faith to us that day, praise God for our new brother in Christ.

* Please pray for others to accept the new birth Jesus offers.

* Thank God for His redeeming grace.

* Intercede for your family members who do not yet know Him.

1st Marvelous Monday at FBC, Kentwood – June, 2008

  • Keith Rhodes – Speaking
  • Chris Wales – Music
  • Bob Raborn – Piano

Delores Elaine Walker Larin
(October 23, 1932 – July 1, 2008)

Dolores Elaine Walker Larin died July 1st, 2008, at age 75. She is survived by brother and sister-in-law, Dannie E. Walker, Jr. and Iris Walker, brother Wade Walker, nieces Shannon Walker Parker, Darlene Walker Brecher, Joy Walker Garbett, Jan Walker Bennett, Donna Morgan Varnado, Angie Walker Wilson, and a nephew Bryan Morgan. She is also survived by two great-nieces, five great-nephews and a great-great nephew. She was preceded in death by her husband Julius C. Larin, Jr., her parents Dannie E. Walker, Sr. and Myrtie McDaniel Walker, a sister and brother-in-law Nancy Juana Walker Morgan and Devon Morgan. Services will be held at McKneely Funeral Home in Amite with visitation from 9:00 a.m. until time of the funeral at 11 :00 a.m. on July 3, 2008, with Father Peter Hammett and Rev. Ray Varnado officiating. Interment will be in the Walker Cemetery, Wilmer, Louisiana. Pallbearers are Lavell Parker, Ronald Brecher, Christian Garbett, Gary Bennett, Bryan Morgan, and Bart Wilson. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Holy Family Catholic Church, 1318 Bickham Street, Franklinton, LA 70438 or Lakeshore Hospice, 2659 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, LA 70471.

I predict this devotional will bring a smile to your face. Then, it will bring some serious thought as you consider your actions.



Joe and Mike had not seen each other in many years. After meeting, they had a long talk trying to fill in the gap of those years by telling about their lives. Finally, Joe invited Mike to visit him in his new apartment.

“I’ve got a wife and three kids and I’d love to have you visit us.”

“Great. Where do you live?”

“Here’s the address. And there’s plenty of parking behind the apartment. Park and come around to the front door, kick it open with your foot, go to the elevator and press the button with your left elbow, then enter! When you reach the sixth floor, go down the hall until you see my name on the door. Then press the doorbell with your right elbow and I’ll let you in.”

“Good. But tell me… what is all this business of kicking the front door open, then pressing buttons with my right, then my left elbow?”

“Surely, you’re not coming empty-handed!”

As we approach God, surely we do not attempt to come to Him empty-handed. Listen to these instructions given to the Jews in the Law of Moses:

“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.” (Deut. 16:16-17)

God has blessed us richly in so many ways. He wants us — no, He expects us — to bring a gift when we come to Him. We should not appear before the Lord empty-handed. Are your hands full?

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

Happy Wednesday!

Anna Lee


A new command I give you:

Love one another.

As I have loved you,

so you must love one another.

By this all men will know that you are my disciples,

if you love one another.

~John13:34 (NIV)~

Flood Vols Keep Priorities Right
By Geoff Hammond

Baptist Press

EDITOR’S NOTE: As of Monday (June 30), Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers in the Midwest had worked 4,500 volunteer days; prepared more than 240,000 meals, completed 200 mud-out and chainsaw jobs, provided almost 1,300 showers for flood victims and workers, completed 436 laundry loads, and recorded 2,007 chaplaincy contacts, 17 professions of faith and other decisions, 141 Gospel presentations and 763 ministry contacts. (Statistics provided by the national disaster relief operations center at NAMB in Alpharetta, Ga.)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (BP)–“Are you working in Cedar Rapids?” the girl at the McDonald’s drive-through window asked as we purchased our lunch. She had seen the large Southern Baptist disaster relief decal on our vehicle and recognized our yellow shirts.

“My sister’s house was flooded and they are cleaning it out today,” the girl continued.

“Well, do they have anyone to help with the clean-up?” asked Terry Henderson, the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) disaster relief coordinator.

“They have already pulled the floor up,” she replied.

“What about spraying for mold? We will help them do that. Just tell them to go to Immanuel Baptist on ‘F’ avenue and they can sign up for help,” Terry said, encouraging her to tell her sister.

“Thank you, I’ll tell her,” she said. “Oh, I almost forgot to give you your order,” she said as she passed the bag of food through the window.

As I listened to that two-minute conversation from the passenger’s seat, I thought to myself, “Now that sums up the situation here in Iowa during this flooding. Thousands of homes have been damaged, families are pitching in to help, homeowners are busily doing everything they can to recover what is left, but they still need our help.”

Last week, I was able to see first-hand how Southern Baptists are helping in Iowa. The day started in an incident command center in Des Moines with a briefing at 8 a.m. Seasoned disaster relief veterans from six state conventions gathered for prayer and a devotion before they began assessing all incoming information to determine how best to utilize volunteer resources.

“Now here is Southern Baptist cooperation at its very best,” I thought to myself, as I looked around the room. People who had never met before today were serving together. The Cooperative Program is not just the name of the giving plan for missions; it is the way we do missions together.

We made the two-hour journey to Cedar Rapids in a diesel truck. Along the way, the driver told me a generous donor leases trucks to SBC disaster relief for $1 a month along with a half-dozen other trucks. God is raising up generous people over and over again to give sacrificially to our relief efforts.

As we drove through downtown Cedar Rapids, I saw the original Quaker Oats factory nestled along the river banks, as it has been since 1883. The buildings were intact, trees were not uprooted and power lines were still overhead. But floods are different from hurricanes. On the outside, everything looks fine until you look closely and see the brown watermarks two or three feet above the foundations. Then as we turned the corner, there were the familiar piles in the street — appliances, furniture and personal possessions. The terrible smell was so strong that families trying to clean up were wearing masks over their noses. Just a week or so ago what is now considered items of “trash” were neatly arranged belongings inside these homes. Everything was functioning and in place. What a difference a few days makes!

We saw the Red Cross emergency response vehicles driving slowly through the neighborhoods, delivering food prepared by Southern Baptist volunteers. At Immanuel Baptist Church, we met volunteers from Texas as they were cleaning up after preparing 3,700 lunches in just a few hours. Now they were getting ready to prepare supper. I asked how it was going.

“Oh this is great!” the group of ladies replied, “We are enjoying ourselves!” There was no mention of long hours, inconvenience or sleeping on cots in the church. I met a younger couple who told me that they had been in Cedar Rapids for two weeks already and were just glad to have an opportunity to serve the Lord. Not a complaint anywhere. I wanted to shout out loud.

We spent a cheerful few minutes chatting with a couple who was running the shower/laundry unit, washing clothes for volunteers and people in the community. They were not even sure when they would get to go home because they could not leave until their replacements arrived. Now that the water had subsided, SBC mud-out crews were on their way in.

We stopped at a Korean Southern Baptist church in Iowa City — All Nations Baptist Church pastored by Rev. Jong-Lee — that had housed 50 volunteers from Alabama for more than a week. The pastor shared how the volunteers had learned to pray every day with the Korean congregation, and the Koreans had learned about service from the volunteers. “Isn’t that just like my Heavenly Father,” I thought to myself. “As we go on mission and give ourselves, we become the greater beneficiaries.”

As the day drew to a close, I stopped to pray for the gracious Baptist Convention of Iowa leadership who had turned almost all of their offices into an incident command center. I prayed for the volunteers serving and traveling. I gave thanks for the privilege of being a part of God’s family called Southern Baptists. I prayed for some people I heard about who had come to Christ through the disaster relief efforts. I prayed for the dozens of mud-out teams needed over the next few months.

“Oh, I almost forgot to get supper,” I said to myself. Like the girl at the drive-through window, I was thinking about more important things. And then the words of Jesus came to me: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 4:34).

A day in the life of a disaster relief volunteer will help anyone get their priorities right.

(Geoff Hammond is president of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board.)

This article reflects the blessings received by ministering to others. On Mission in Kentwood provides the same kind of blessings.

Anna Lee