One Size Doesn’t Fit All -A Mother’s Day Special
Fifteen Ministry Ideas to get your Brain Moving
2 Faith and Family
on the cover 12 The Promise
15 Beautiful Feet
15 Ministry Ideas to get your Brain Moving
One Size Doesn’t Fit All -A Mother’s Day Special
columns Mother’s Day DIY Marriage Matters Wisdom from Paul Joyful Noise The Isaacs coming to Shreveport
in every issue 21 Event Calendar 22 Quips & Quotes 22 Ad Directory
Iron and Iron Surrendering Strength
10 Sandy’s Story
-a reader’s reponse
11 Faith under Fire Power Up
19 Special Feature MOONBOT
22 Wise Words
What is the good news? May 2012
Mother’s Day D.I.Y. Love
Start by picking a font you like on the computer and print the word LOVE
onto a piece of paper. Then using the printed LOVE as a reference draw each letter on a piece of poster paper. Take the poster, go outside, and play around taking different photos holding the poster board with your choice of letter.
Flower of Love What you will need: Several different colored sheets of foam (you’ll deﬁnitely want green for the stem & leaves) Puffy paint or a thin Sharpie (something that will write on the foam...regular markers will only run) Hot glue gun Glue Pencil Favorite photo of your kiddos (you could also use one of them with grandma, or whoever the recipient of the ﬂower is going to be). Scissors Little hands for tracing Paint stirrer (you can get these for free at any paint store or Home Depot or Lowes)
Choose a color of foam(2 sheets) for the center of your ﬂower, cut a BIG circle out of each sheet. Take one of those circles and cut a small circle in the middle, this is going to “frame” your photo Using the hot glue gun...glue your photo to the back circle, place the “frame” circle on top. Glue the circles together with your photo in the middle (you should be able to see the photo through the small circle you cut out). Have your child/children pick out colors of foam for their hands- there will be 8 “petals” (hands) total. Help your child trace his/her hand on each piece of foam. Cut out each little hand. Have each child come up with reasons why they love that person (one reason for each hand). Write the reasons on the hands, one for each. Have your child/children glue each “petal” to the center of the ﬂower. Be sure they don’t cover up the photo! Use the green foam to create a stem and leaves for your ﬂower. Glue them on. On the stem, write “We love (ﬁll in name) because...” You can write other things on the leaves, such as “Mother’s Day 2012”, “By: (ﬁll in your child/children’s names), etc. To make the ﬂower stand up straight....use the hot glue gun and glue the paint stirrer to the back. Now your child, can hold the ﬂower by the stem and
Photo Planted Pot
These are very easy to do. Print a photo 3x5 or wallet size (depending on the size of the pot) in black and white on regular paper. Then paint the entire pot (inside and out) white so that any empty space wouldn’t be as obvious. After several coats are dry, modge-podge the pictures onto the pot. Once everything is glued down well Spray the whole thing down with some clear acrylic spray to remove any stickiness.
Flower Daisies Give your mom a little something special that may stay around longer than roses. Pick up some candy melts, sucker sticks, ribbon, baggies and daisy molds at Michaels. You can download the leaf at: www.4shared.com/document/MSky_oeN/LDSP_-_Leaf_Tags_for_Mom.html
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Gifts $10 & Under gifts any mom will love
99 Reg. $19.
One coupon per customer. Valid at the Shreveport LifeWay Store only. Coupon must be presented and relinquished at time of purchase. Cannot be combined with any other discounts, including coupons, Savings Cards, Bonus Bucks, and LifeWay Rewards. Available on in-stock items only. Cannot be applied to the following: myMedia BurnBar CDs, gift cards, prior purchases, church supplies and programs, NAMB, WMU, LifeWay-branded products, Willow Tree® products, Living Proof Ministries, BibleWorks software, Specialty Imprints, Bargain Buys, textbooks, robes, homeschool products, and pre-sell offers. Valid 5/5 – 5/26/12
one regularly % OFF priced ıtem
Shreveport LifeWay Christian Store Located in the University Place Shopping Center near Super Target, between Dress Barn and T.J. Maxx. 318-797-7685
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Do you ever wake up in the morning wondering why you are really here? We all have those days where life seems so mundane and repitious and we struggle to ﬁnd meaning and purpose. Some of you reading this may wish the opposite, that life would slow down long enough for you to just be able to think. Whichever place you are, let us share some powerful words from Paul that we can all relate to. In Ephesians 4:1-4 (The Message) it says “I want you to get out there and walkbetter yet, run- on the road called God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and disciplinenot in ﬁts and starts, but steadily pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” Paul is speaking very strongly to Christians and we need to take notice of what he says for our lives today! Before we talk about his last three points, let’s look at how he sets us up to do those things. He tells us to run, not walk! That says he wants us to be enthusiastic and have a strong passion for what He has called us to do. He wants us to be disciplined and not go strong for awhile and then slack off. Stay the course! Above all, do these things with
humility. Come to grips with the fact that life is not about you...it’s about Him!! Steadily pour yourself out for each other in acts of love! Steadily means consistently. Do you love others consistently? Always looking for ways to show love to others. That is what Paul is telling us to do. If we’re honest, we spend most of our time trying to do things that please ourselves. This road that God has placed us on was designed to think of others before ourselves. So today, start by showing love and kindness (with humility) to everyone you encounter starting in your home. Don’t only do it for one day, but discipline your life to do it each day. Be alert at noticing differences. God never made two people alike. We are all uniquely designed by God to be what He created us to be. Therefore we need to be accepting of the fact that our families, friends, and people in general, do not all think the same way we do or act like we do. God called us to love people unconditionally. God is the Changer...not us. How we love people right where they are, many times softens their hearts to hear from God! Be quick at mending fences! Many of us run from confrontation or from taking responsibility for our actions. We have an enormous amount
Matters of broken fences in this world because people will not do the work of mending fences. We have a friend who owns land with cattle. He has quite a bit of fence.. We asked him what he does when a place in his fence is broken? He said he quickly repairs it or he could lose everything he has invested in!!! Oh wow!!! Do you realize when you choose not to heal relationships...you could loose much. Sometimes the repair work is not reciprocated, but God wants us simply to do all we can and know it’s in God’s hands. Remember, it’s about humility!!! Today....take Paul’s advice and wisdom!! Don’t walk, let’s run to do what God has called us to do!! You Matter and Marriage Matters Now!! Steve and Debbie Wilson
Visit our website for conference schedules, booking options or contact info. for counseling:
w w w. m a r r i a g e m a t t e r s n o w . c o m
The Isaacs, a multi-award winning family group who
began singing 30 years ago, are based out of LaFollette, TN (30 min north of Knoxville). The vocalists are Lily Isaacs, Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman. Playing their own acoustic instruments and joined by other band members, The Isaacs have a unique style that blends tight, family harmony with contemporary acoustic instrumentation that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their musical influences immerge from all genres of music including bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk, and country, contemporary acoustic and southern gospel. They perform frequently at the Grand Ole Opry, are active members on the Gaither Homecoming Videos and Concert Series and travel throughout the year performing internationally. Concert venues include civic centers, auditoriums, arenas, fair grounds, parks, churches and other locations. They have performed the National Anthem for many sporting events, including a Cincinnati Bengalâ€™s football game, several Nashville Predators Hockey games, an Astros/ Braves pre-season baseball game as well as various political gatherings. They also received a standing ovation for their patriotic performance at Carnegie Hall. The Isaacs will be performing at Central Assembly in Haughton May 6 at 6:00.
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Sometimes, it seems easier to just abandon our strength because living from it as we should can require us to do scary or hard things. Sometimes it’s easier to be weak. It seems counterintuitive since, by deﬁnition, strength enables you to do hard things. There’s the rub–when you are living from your strength you will do hard things. The best example of this I can think of is from the quintessential man-movie, Braveheart. In the ﬁlm, Robert the Bruce, seeking the Scottish crown, knows that his duty is to free his people from oppression but his scheming father convinces him to bow to the English rulers. Bruce admires William Wallace and his courage. He wants freedom for his people but his father plants the seed of fear in his mind and so he chooses to side with his country’s oppressors because it is safer. He chooses to abandon his strength because of the risk involved in living from it. On the positive side, there is William Wallace. He chooses to live from his strength and resist English oppression. He pays the ultimate price for that decision–his life. His story makes the solid point that living from one’s strength can be dangerous. The man who chooses to abandon his strength is not necessarily deceived in expecting more safety or security in the moment. But the price one pays in loss of freedom, weakening of character and loss of morale and self-respect is not worth it. On a personal note, I’ve found in my life that the thing most likely to scare me into abandoning my strength is embarrassment. Embarrassing I know. While the Braveheart example is inspiring the truth is that most of life’s decisions between strength and weakness are more commonplace and petty. I’ve been in many social situations where I should have stood up for someone, combatted a lie, offered help, etc. and I didn’t because something told me that the social risk wasn’t worth it. I don’t let these moments of weakness deﬁne who I am. I draw strength from remembering the times I’ve been strong and from looking to the example of stronger men. Thank God for grace. Thank God that Jesus is the perfect example (literally) of a man who always lived (and lives) from his strength. His strength was in his Father and our strength is in him.
- Anthony Ashley
In retrospect, when I reﬂect on all these events, a picture forms in my mind. mind I see Satan malevolently grinning into a bonﬁre at the edge of a lake. He is nonchalantly reeling in the “ﬁsh.” He is conﬁdent knowing that the bait he had dangled in front of her many years previously, she had swallowed, “hook, line, and sinker.” Yes, she has been reeled out of the water...closer, closer. Satan is poised to grab her and put her in his skillet, but suddenly, she is gone. Rescued by the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Satan’s plans were foiled, much to his shock and surprise—she is safe. When I reminisce upon the chapters of my life, I can barely recall a time when mystery, the supernatural, and a hint of danger did not intersect, compelling me down an ever darkening road...but I’m getting ahead of myself. While I was yet in elementary school, astrology held me in a ﬁrm grip. The personality portraits of each sign fascinated me. During that period, I also played with ouija boards on numerous occasions. As time progressed, I read more and more books on what I now realize was called the occult. Eventually my bookcase was ﬁlled to overﬂowing with material on automatic writing, séances, astro projection, reincarnation, and mediums. Any movie portraying these topics drew me like a magnet. Back in my day, it was “The Exorcist” and “Rosemary’s Baby.” It was reported that some members of these audiences fainted during certain scenes, but not me. I found all of this very seductive, causing me to want more. After my marriage, I planned my children’s births according to the signs I wanted them to be born under. Please note that I was not into witchcraft or Satanism. I did not believe Satan existed. The Bible held no meaning for me, nor did Jesus. Ironically, becoming convinced in the possibility of making contact with a deceased loved one is what brought me out of agnosticism into deism. Yes, this proves there is a God and heaven is the destiny for each one of us!
Eventually, as these occultic ties wrapped me as securely as in a spider’s web, my mind and morals plummeted, resulting in a divorce. Though never relinquishing my interest in the super natural, I added hedonism to it. But after a year or two, even so called freedom and fun lost their allure and I was left with what seemed like an empty bag. A bag that at one time contained the ideas of situational ethics: it is not wrong if you do not think it is wrong, do your thing, etc. I had bought wholeheartedly into these lies and at the “end of the day,” I was bankrupt in every conceivable way. I did not know where to turn. Christianity was not even an option—it never once crossed my mind. However, one night, after retiring for the evening, there was breathing in the room. Deep, heavy breathing surrounded me. Though plunged into terror, it did not occur to me to pray. Instead, I repetitiously recited the lines from an atheistic poem I had memorized in high school of which the last two lines state, “I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.” The next morning when I attempted to leave my place, I could not get out my back door. Although I could turn the doorknob, the chain lock was twisted repeatedly and placed into its holder and I could not get it untangled. I ran in horror out the front door, experiencing a terror I never felt possible. After work, I could not get into my house. Then the phone company pulled into my drive. I had made an appointment with him prior to these events happening. He had a hacksaw and cut through the chain. Having become disillusioned with the world, crippled with unspeakable fear, I ran for a Bible. I could not put it down. As though unseen scales were removed from my eyes, I saw my life through God’s eyes and it was shameful and deplorable. Falling on my knees, I repented of my sins, putting my trust in Christ and the Bible. He wiped my slate clean as though with a giant eraser. I was forgiven! I was right with God! For a while, the sky was literally bluer and the grass greener. My lifestyle made a 180°
turn and I removed all of my occultic books form my home, putting them in the trash. There were a few other incidents of demonic activity after my salvation, but I was no longer afraid as I called upon Jesus for His help and protection. If there is anyone who is reading this article and is pursuing any of these occultic practices I have mentioned, I urge you to put it out of your life. Something that seems innocent, like astrology, opens the door for Satan. God deplore it in His Word. He says what He means and He means what He says. “Manasseh also sacriﬁced his own son in the ﬁre. He practiced sorcery and divination, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the Lord’s sight, arousing his anger.” 2 Kings 21:6 “Lord, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you. O Lord our God, others have ruled us, but you alone are the one we worship. Those we served before are dead and gone. Their departed spirits will never return! You attacked them and destroyed them, and they are forgotten.” Isaiah 26:12-14 “One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, and that have come to tell you how to be saved.” This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her. Her masters’ hopes of wealth were now shattered, so they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities at the marketplace.” Acts 16:16-19
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Power Up! It’s been a busy and interesting three weeks for me and utility connections. Around 5:30 p.m. this afternoon, April 15, just before I sat down to write, the water suddenly stopped flowing at Raintree. Definitely ironic with that name! Fortunately, I had just finished my shower. Shortly thereafter, as I exited my apartment to check with the neighbors, I could hear a jackhammer drilling around the corner. Only 20 minutes after it happened, crews were already at work repairing a broken water main. When I shut the door again, you could hear a pin drop. It’s amazing how quiet my building is without showers going, faucets running, washers washing and toilets flushing. Something similar happened in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday, March 21. The main power line into LSU Shreveport took a hit
was dark. We had to shut the university down for a week while mammoth cables and other parts were ordered, received and installed. At one point we thought the closure might last as much as 10 days; bends in the conduits forced workmen to splice cables, thus lengthening the restoration process. All of this water off/power off business made me think about our connection to the Holy Spirit. From there, my busy brain remembered Peter and his erratic, rollercoaster relationship with the Lord – a less than stellar history, to be sure. He went from walking on the water with Jesus to sinking like a rock (Matt. 14:22-33). Confessing by revelation that Jesus was “The Christ, the Son of the living God,” (Matt.16:13-17) to being called a stumbling block to the kingdom (Matt. 16:2125). He pledged eternal fealty and drew his sword in defense of Christ (Matt. 26:31-35, 47-52; John 18:1-11). Yet, that same night he denied
in the passing thunderstorms, with major damage resulting. We limped along the rest of that day and most of the next two by accessing auxiliary power and running power through a secondary line. By Friday, having heard that “sizzling sounds” were coming from the underground cables, I felt impressed to print out my task list, and forward files and email distribution lists to the home computer. God is good. Around 11:30 p.m., March 23, what little power we had left gave up the ghost. In a moment’s time, electricity simply ceased, and all
Him three times, complete with expletives (Matt. 26:57-75). Up down, up down, up down. Peter was one of the first to reach the empty tomb. Later, he saw the resurrected Christ. But then he faltered, probably still sick at heart over his nocturnal betrayals and wishy-washy behavior. So Jesus gave Peter a jump start of love on the shores of Galilee, meeting him where he was – fishing, of course – and walking him through his triptych denial with a triple dose of forgiveness,
until Peter’s heart was as warm as the fire the Lord kindled (John 21:1-19). Finally, 50 days after Jesus was resurrected, Peter, the Giant cables waiting to get connected common fisherman, healed and whole, became Petra Shazam! The Power Preacher whose message caused thousands to come to Christ in one day (Acts 2:1-41). Old Peter got powered up by an infilling of the Holy Spirit! And he stayed powered up, helping to lead the infant Church and penning two bedrock epistles along the way, until his crucifixion in AD 64 during the Roman Emperor Nero’s persecution rampage. It took two hours to get the water flowing to my apartment. It took a week to restore power to LSUS. Yet with our God, there’s no interruption of service, no downtime, no repairs to the line. Instead, there’s an unlimited supply of living water for you to share with everyone you meet (John 7:37-39). And there’s no waiting when you need divine wisdom and the right words (John 14:25-26; Luke 12:8-12). I wonder what would happen if every Christian got plugged in to the Power Source. Where will you be this May 27? Isn’t it time for your Pentecost?
Dianne B. Howell Shreveport, LA
rom faith to ﬁnances, from ﬁtness to ﬁshing, the topics covered on Shreveport’s newest talk-radio station will have something for everyone. And that’s a promise. In fact, that’s the name of the station – The Promise, found at 90.7 FM. It is a sister station to Miracle 89.1 FM, a Christian music station. They are both nonproﬁt stations, owned and operated by the Family Life Educational Foundation. “These are local, regional and award-winning national shows that will be unique to this market” said Dan Perkins, operations manager. “Radio will survive as long as it is live and local. And that is what we are providing. We have invested in award-winning hosts and programs to create The Promise. The listener will feel informed, entertained and uplifted.” In addition to the topics mentioned above, subjects of discussion will also include government, parenting, sports, marriage, nutrition, gardening and more. News updates will be broadcast hourly.
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“There will be hunting and ﬁshing on Saturday mornings and a show for kids called ‘The Coconut Hut.’ On Sunday nights there is a show about Second Amendment rights – gun owner’s rights,” Perkins said. “It was a challenge to program 89.1 six years ago. We did it and it’s been successful. Now we are taking on a new challenge of talk radio. We were motivated to create something out of the box, that everyone would listen to. Live talk is the key. For an average of 10 hours a day, we will have live call-in shows.” The Promise will feature local programs as well as those by nationally known ﬁgures. For instance, the station will have Jay Sekulow (Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice) every day from the U.S. Supreme Court. Jay Sekulow Live! is a daily radio program that engages millions of people listening via 850 radio stations. The National Law Journal twice included him in its list of the “100 Most Inﬂuential Lawyers” in the United States.
Bill Bennett, author of The Book of Virtues and a former cabinet member for U.S. presidents, will start the day at The Promise with “Morning in America.” It is a fast-paced morning show on top issues of the day with open phone lines so that listeners can go one-on-one with headlinemaking guests. Bennett served as President Reagan’s chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981-1985) and Secretary of Education (19851988), and President Bush’s “drug czar” (1989-1990). “It’s morning in America. It doesn’t mean it’s always sunny in the morning, but it’s always busy. It’s a busy country and a great country full of good news and bad news,” Bennett says. “But there’s always news and there’s a l w a y s something interesting happening. There are no closed questions here. We’re open - the lines are open - and we’re ready to talk.” Other national personalities who will be heard on The Promise include Chuck Colson, David Barton, Bill Gaither, James Dobson, Kay Arthur, Tony Perkins, Ed Young and many others. “We are giving a voice to many people and many viewpoints. We are open to alternative Christian views, from conservative to liberal,” Perkins said. “We want to hear from our listeners. If there is a show they want to hear, we want them to tell us. We will acquire other shows if there is a market for them.”
The lineup of local hosts includes Richard Exley, pastor of Gateway Church in Shreveport; David Melville, pastor of Fellowship United Methodist Church in Bossier City; Tom Tompkins, director of Winlight Ministries; Donesa Walker, director of the Learning Rx Shreveport Brain Training Center; Dr. Marius McFarland, Shreveport physician and pastor; and Dr. Mike Anderson, pastor of Haynes Avenue Baptist Church. Adding a talk radio station has required an extensive amount of work for the team at the station. “This has been something that has been lacking in our community. It’s been a process to get it going here, but it will be worthwhile,” said Tommy Moore, chief engineer and president of the board. Trafﬁc director Mike Duncan has been part of the team for two years. “This is going to be great and we are very excited about it,” he said. “We will touch lives and it will beneﬁt the community.” For those who still want to enjoy the uplifting music of Miracle 89.1, that music will still be there as it always has been,
under the guidance of program director Joe Miot, who has been with the station since it started six years ago. He has been in the radio business for more than 50 years and counts his work with Miracle as one of the highlights. “I am very fortunate to be here. I enjoy getting up in the morning and coming to work. The only stress I have here is the stress I put on myself. It’s very rewarding. We hear from so many people who love this station and love this music,” he said. “We help people think of the positive things they have. Most everything we play is of a positive mode. We want people who listen to us to walk away with a smile.” Perkins started his radio career in Shreveport in 1977 as a disc jockey and over time worked his way up to general manager. He has been with Miracle 89.1 since it started in 2006 and often serves as emcee and announcer at Christian concerts in the area. “I am most motivated by the fact we are there live even in the late hours, to hear your hurt and offer prayers. In the darkest hours of the night, when people are at their loneliest and lowest, listeners can reach out to others for help. That is very humbling,” he said.
“We are giving people tools for stronger families and a stronger America. We are building a new audience and we hope to gain many new listeners. Some of these personalities have strong opinions and I like that give and take.” Weekend programming will include live forums and panel discussions on Saturdays; church services and call-in shows on Sundays. For those who may be interested, time slots are still available. The Promise programs cover a wide range of topics, but are connected by a common purpose. That purpose, Perkins said, is summed up in this mission statement: “Our programming is designed to provide the tools to build strong families, thereby building strong churches, which strengthen communities, and help to build strong cities, states and ultimately a stronger America.”
- David Westerﬁeld
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15 Ministry Ideas to get your Brain Going! Have you been a Christian for at least three years? Yes? Then it’s time to branch out, start bearing some fruit. The other day, I heard this guy say, “Yo, in my Bible, the trees that bore no fruit and bad fruit were both cut down.” That really hit me. There’s no lukewarm. There’s hot or cold, fruit or no fruit.
(Photo: The Wolf) So how can you and I begin to own up to God’s calling? ‘Cause it’s deﬁnitely not about listening to Sunday sermons forever. There’s more. For instance, here are some ideas from my life and from some of my friends: • Volunteering within your church: Can you be a greeter? How about a children’s ministry helper or teacher? Seriously, churches have no problem giving you stuff to do (assuming you’re faithful to actually do it). • Starting a new ministry within your church: Like a group that gets together before services and prays. Or a cleaning ministry or a moving ministry. Look for needs and then ﬁnd ways to meet those needs, instead of passing them on as suggestions for other leaders. • Logging what you’re learning and sharing it: Start a blog or put together an email list or collect physical addresses for regular mail. And then share what you’re learning in your devotions each week. • Door to door evangelism: Get groups of two together, spread out around a neighborhood, and start knocking on doors. Sometimes the best that comes of it
is your connection with the people who go with you. That’s not a bad thing. • Opening your home: Let everyone know you’re willing to host people at your place for an evening or even for a night. Post it on CouchSurﬁng.org too. • Giving away your trade secrets: If you’re a musician, could you play some weddings for free? What if you’re a photographer? Or maybe you could teach a one-off class on business management or home birthing or home schooling, share some of the skills you’ve acquired over the past 20 years. • Setting up a missions trip: And it doesn’t have to be to Kenya. You can set up a missions project to a city two cities away from where you live... or even stay in the same city. • Supporting missionaries ﬁnancially: Our money can go a long way in other countries. Let it. • Moving to bless others: This might mean moving to another country to help missionaries, or it might mean moving to another city to be a missionary there. Most people don’t even factor this in as an option, but it seems pretty biblical to me. The early disciples were all over the place. • Offering to share your testimony: Ask your church or other churches or youth camps or conferences and so on. If you start locally through people you know, it’s not that difﬁcult to ﬁnd a place. • Keeping believers accountable: Set a weekly time to get together. Exchange phone numbers. You can even connect on Skype. Make a list of things you want to stay accountable for and run through them as often as you can. Give each other permission to let things get uncomfortable. <<This will take time. • Mentoring someone: Like your kids, ﬁrst off. Secondly, ask your friends and relatives to see if anyone wants to follow you around. Or you could set it up more like an accountability meeting except with more advice and living examples thrown in. • Writing a book: It doesn’t have to be
as overwhelming as it seems. Consider an ebook (read: PDF) or a small pamphlet you can staple together yourself. Some of my favorite books are only about 150 pages. You can even self-publish a longer work if you can’t get it published the traditional way. • Leading a Bible study: You can do this in your home, in someone else’s home, at a park, at a university, in a prison, in a box, or with a fox. “Wherever two or three are gathered...” • Starting a church: I guess I have a less traditional view on starting a church (or maybe it’s more traditional if you take it all the way back to Acts). I’m like get some people together for a Bible study. When that gets too big for a house, look into renting a building or community center. Pray like crazy. Read and meditate on the Bible daily. Pray some more. Worry about “formal education” later, or maybe at the same time. You have tons of options, and these are only a few. I’m just trying to give you some ideas, get your sap ﬂowing. How can you stretch yourself? How can you go beyond what you’re comfortable with right now? Often, doing the things we don’t want to do is exactly what we’re supposed to do.
Marshall Jones Jr.
blogs about serving others at www.bondchristian.com
Motherhood One Size Does NOT Fit All
Faith & Family cheers for mothers this month. Meet a few of our favorite ladies whose diverse journeys as mothers inspire us and honor the God who gave them the privilege of being someone’s mom!
hen I was a little girl I could hardly wait to be a mom. I made a determination with every aspect of my mother’s actions that I would be a better mom than she was to my brother, sister and me. I was always going to let my children express themselves and never end a conversation that began with “why not” by saying “because I said so.” I was not going to be such a strict disciplinarian. My children would be able to stay out later than I was and I would just be all around a better mother. At a very early age without any knowledge of what being a mother was all about I decided I determined what it would look like and I set myself up for failure. When my children were placed in my arms I believed my life was perfect and they would be too. That theory began unraveling my ﬁrst sleepless night with a colicky baby girl. I could not make life perfect but I tried over and over and over again. As they grew perfection was my goal and I ran toward it with every intention of
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inishing graduate school. Husband getting ordained and starting at a new church. Moving to a new city. Celebrating ﬁrst wedding anniversary. Giving birth to ﬁrst child. All of these can be exciting milestones and changes in one’s life; but when they all happened to me within four months of each other, I was overwhelmed. I married a little “late” in life, at 33, but had always wanted to be a wife and a mother. I was ready to “settle down”. Before marrying I had travelled the world and lived abroad as a missionary for 2 years. I had climbed a volcano, some Mayan ruins and Mount Sinai. Little did I know that I had a big mountain to climb emotionally and spiritually soon after my ﬁrst child was born. All of these life changes at once became almost too much for me to handle. I was lonely and depressed. My son was an extremely fussy baby. Then the negative thoughts came. I felt like a failure as a mother and as a wife. If my husband forgot to do something that I had asked, I would start to think that he didn’t love me, care about me and our baby or even want me around. (Anyone who knows my husband knows those things could never be true.) That led me to be angry and withdrawn from him when what I really needed was to be closer to him and to see him as a partner and a teammate, rather than an enemy. After a few months of this negative thinking, I realized that these thoughts were from the Devil and I was letting him win
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winning the prize. But the clothes they wanted to wear were not clean every day, the lunches I sent were not what they wanted to eat and when I told them to clean their rooms they did not do it just because I asked. The number of “why not” conversations I had that ended in “because I said so” are too many to count. I did not measure up to my own expectations and oftentimes condemned myself because of how high I set the bar. After much struggle with how to correct this parental problem of mine, I was reading one day and came across an article that included a conversation between Billy Graham and one of his daughter’s about how she could be a better parent. Billy Graham, being the wise father he was, asked her if God, being the perfect parent without sin could not make his children, you and me, be perfect, how could we as full of imperfections as we were expect our children to be perfect. What changed at that moment for me was that I was not called to be a perfect mother. I was called to show my children Jesus and in that allow them to grow within His guidelines and help them ﬁnd their way to the best of my ability while always depending on His word as my navigation tool. The word Mom or Mother can incite many an emotion just by the tone in which it is spoken. The deﬁnition of Mom is “Informal Mother” and one of the deﬁnitions for Mother is “the source or origin of anything”. In that, Mothers’ Day is every day and until I conquer being perfect, which will be never, I must lay down the expectations I have set for my children and grandchildren. My heart’s desire is to enjoy every moment to the fullest just being blessed with the privilege of the journey.
without even putting up a ﬁght. How weak I had been! Once I decided to ﬁght the Devil with God’s help, I was able to see how much my husband did care for us and how much he did help me. People from our church were very generous with their time and energy helping with the baby, and we started to feel like they were our family. Slowly I felt more and more supported and came out from under all that negativity. Had I gone through post-partum depression? Possibly. Had it been a great spiritual mountain to climb? Deﬁnitely. This summer we celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, our three year-old is thriving and we are expecting our second child in July. I am more conﬁdent as a wife and mother now than I was four years ago, but I’m not going to let my guard down. This time I will remember that I have both God and my husband, and many others, on my side.
ur ﬁrst daughter was born the day after Christmas 2000. When I held her the ﬁrst time, I just wept touching this little person God had given us to enjoy and raise her to love Him. Ellie was your perfect baby...slept through the night by 6 weeks, would reach for her bed when she was tired, and just a great, easy going personality. My husband and I looked at each other when she was about 8 months old and said, “We’ve got this parenting thing down! We can do this!”
With 5 daughters now and as Ellie has grown, we don’t say that much anymore! There are days when I look at Howard, shake my head, and think I cannot do this parenting thing at all! Many nights I will lay my head on the pillow, and in those few moments before I fall fast asleep, I will think, “I really had no reason to be called a mom today! I was horrible!” But in those quiet moments, God reminds me as He often does of truths I must meditate on constantly. He tells me, “Melissa, I’m the only Perfect Parent. I do not demand your perfection, but your growth in this thing called motherhood. Run to Me when you fall, and your daughters will see where their hope lies, not in themselves, but on Me!” I recognize again at these times that because of what Christ did on the cross, His grace covers my bad mom days and His grace will cause me to continue to grow to be a more faithful mom pointing our girls to our Savior. Since 11 years have past, I have seen how big my weaknesses are, and I no longer strive to be the perfect mom. But God is working in me to be a faithful mama who remembers and rests in the joy of the Lord being my strength (Nehemiah 9:6) and longs to seek Him continually (1 Chronicles 16:11) all for His glory and the Darling Davis Daughters’ good!
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hen it comes to families, one size deﬁnitely does not ﬁt all. In fact, each family is completely unique in the way that it is made up functionally and numerically. Early in my motherhood years, I was of a certain opinion as to how families should be, look and function. During those early years my husband and I were blessed with three biological children, yet there was a longing deep within me to grow our family through adoption. So the journey began, and over a period of eight years we added three adopted daughters to our family. Originally, I thought I was adopting children to help them, but I now realize God was also using these children to help me learn of His love and creativity even more. With quite a few years under my motherhood belt and six children later, I have now learned to appreciate the beauty in all kinds of families! I have learned that it matters not if a mom is a working mom or a stay at home mom, her gift is the same; and it matters not if she is mom to a few or to quite a few, her gift is the same. The gift I speak of is herself, all of herself! It is in fact the best gift we have as moms, our unique selves. As moms we uniquely teach,
Tammy Jones nurture, discipline and love our children. Recently I witnessed two amazing, unique moms during their deepest valleys of life. One mom, Kayla, lost her precious ﬁfteen year old son in a car accident. The other mom, Christy, lost her battle with cancer. In personality and functionality, these two moms could not be more different, yet the beauty in which both of these women faced their reality has left me, and all around them, in awe of the grace of God, and the tenacity of a mom’s heart. They both gave all of themselves! Kayla raised her son Hayden to be ready for the day of departure, heavenly minded at all times. She knows she will see him again, what a mom! Christy faced death with the courage and grace that only comes from the Father, as she aggressively taught her kids how to live and die with purpose. Her ﬁve children know they will see her again, what a mom! This mom’s day will ﬁnd me celebrating these two moms and a host of others that are as diverse as they can be. The beauty of life and family is that indeed “one size does not ﬁt all”! Differences in family size and function are a gift of a creative God. This is a gift worth appreciating!!
Happy Mother’s Day! May 2012
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special feature Mr. Ed Hearron, Headmaster of Word of God Academy, took the Straight A Students to lunch for the 3rd Nine Weeks. Tuesday, April 10 - Straight A Students in 1st Grade: Charles Blalock Alyssa Norton De’Andrick Cottingham Sterling Rimmer Kristin Gomez Kooper Savage Preslee Gordon Catherine Grace Smith Olivia Johnson Paige Sullivan Zach Johnson Kylin Willis Amelia Martin Wednesday, April 11 – Straight A Students in 2nd – 3rd Grades 2nd Grade
Walker Holland James McMenis Kannon Savage Hunter Sadler
Trace Gordon Elliott McGauly John Westbrook
Christian Jenkins Dalton Monroe Tyler Rimmer
A Total of 24 Straight A Students for the Third Nine Weeks of School
Staff from Moonbot Studios visited Word of God Academy on March 22nd in conjunction with the school’s Book Fair. Technical Director, John Schurman, and Technical Artist, Gordon Pinkerton, showed the Oscar Award winning movie short “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” to the entire school, explained the movie making process, and answered many questions. Schurman and Pinkerton inspired the students to value books and to nourish their love of reading, one of the principle philosophies of the movie and the Academy. “Fantastic” also gave the students an idea of what the residents of New Orleans went through after Hurricane Katrina and how many people lost their “stories” as a result. The students and staff wore Moonbot masks and in return, Schurman and Pinkerton both autographed over 120 masks for the students to have as mementos of the occasion. A commemorative “Fantastic” movie poster autographed by William Joyce, co-founder of Moonbot, and Brandon Oldenberg, co-founder of Moonbot and co-producer of “Fantastic” was also donated to the Academy’s upcoming silent auction.
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May calendar May 5 Once Upon a Time Women’s Conference Trinity Worship Center in Springhill. 2:00-5:00. Trinity Worship Center of Springhill presents the Once Upon A Time Women’s Conference. “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep...” Romans 13:11. Our special guest speaker is Wanda Cook of Bearer of Hope Ministries and musical guests The Glory Gals! Skits, games, door prizes, and refreshments will be provided.
May 5-6 Les Tour De Jardins 2012 The annual Northwest Louisiana Master Gardeners (Tour of Gardens) Les Tour des Jardins. Saturday May 5th from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and Sunday May 6th from 1:00 P.M. to 5 P.M. On tour are six fabulous, privately owned gardens that feature creativity and great landscaping ideas that are “doable”. This is your opportunity to see ﬁve private gardens that you might not see otherwise. The gardens are located in Bossier City, Benton and Shreveport. The sixth garden included on this year’s tour is a professionally landscaped garden. Tickets are $10.00 prior to the tour and $12.00 if you buy your ticket at any of the individual gardens. Tickets are also available at any Citizens National Bank location, from any Master Gardener, or at the Randle T. Moore Center on the corner of Fairﬁeld and East Kings Highway, Tickets feature a map showing the location of all six gardens.
coming to Central Assembly in Haughton. Visit www.mudbugmadness.com for a 6:00 listing of events.
May 8-28 Extraordinary Faith Family Services - ACT Prep Course Company: Extraordinary Faith Family Services, Inc. Phone: 1-877-784-7971 Web: www.extraordinaryfaithfamilyservices.com Course Description: Complete ACT Prep with convenient class options and 8(2 hr.)Comprehensive class sessions Dates: May 8-28,2012 June 8-28,2012
June 9 Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” will present a live broadcast on Saturday, June 9, at 4:45 p.m., in historic Shreveport Municipal Auditorium. Tickets are going fast so call now to reserve your seats.
Tickets are on sale NOW! Tickets prices available from $25.00 through May 12 $65.00. A very limited number of student tickets available. Book Signing Event- $15.00 Cupcake Gallery Tickets available through all Ticketmaster The Cupcake Gallery at locations including the kiosks at many 7436 Youree Drive will Walmart Locations: www.ticketmaster.com be hosting Betty Wells for a Book Signing Event on Unique Holidays in May May 12th from 1100a.m-1:00p.m. Betty May 6: May 12: is a Children’s Christian Author of her book No Diet Day Fatigue syndrome Day titled How the Goldﬁsh Became Gold.
May 14: Son Fest Christian Music Festival Lake Deerwood Estates, Harleton, Texas Dance like a Chicken Day On May 19th Son Fest VI will come alive in Lake Deerwood Estates, just north of Harleton, Texas. Son Fest will feature such Christian artists as Judahseed, Mario De GET LISTED! La Torres, Bright City Lights, Slaves Wage, To submit calendar listings, send and more. There will be dance and drama information to sbfaithandfamily@gmail. by Teen Challenge. Admission is FREE! com. Include the name of the event, date Bring the whole family for a day of fun and time, venue address, short description, and activities for the young and young appropriate age range, fee, phone at heart all while hearing from some number and website address. Submissions awesome Christian artists & speakers. are listed on a space-available basis. Weʼd love to include Make plans now to attend Son Fest, May high-resolutions photos, as well. Deadline 19th in Lake Deerwood Estates (Just follow for the April Calendar is April15. the signs)! For more information, visit sonfestonline.com or call 903-407-0974.
Quips and Quotes You may be treated like the maid, You may be treated like the gardner You may be treated like the daycare, You may be treated like the chauffer, You may be treated like many things. But ONE thing is for sure, You will always be . For a fathers work may be from sun up till sundown, but a mothers work is never done And all that I have, am, and hope to be, I owe to you,
So this is for all the times I forgot to say
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:10-12
Things Mom Would NEVER Say “How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back?” “Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too”
“Just leave all the lights on ... it makes the house look more cheery.”
“Let me smell that shirt -- Yeah, it’s good for another week.” “Go ahead and keep that stray dog, honey. I’ll be glad to feed and walk him every day.” “The curfew is just a general ”Well, if Rahul’s time to shoot for. It’s not like I’m mamma says it’s running a prison around here.” OK, that’s good “I don’t have a tissue with enough for me.” me ... just use your sleeve” “Don’t bother wearing a jacket -- the wind-chill is bound to improve”
Abraham Lincoln: All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.
“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.” -Phyllis Diller
OUR ADVERTISERS Ashley Ridge Imaging Abbot Barksdale Baptist Church Barksdale Federal Credit Union brookwoodbaptist.com/kids Carl Cochran Cosse and Silmon Orthodontics Cypress Baptist Curch Hands in Hands Care LifeWay Miracle 89.1 Mississippi Children’s Museum OCA Bossier Mission Ratcliff Animal Hospital Rock Solid Camps Sci-Port Tango The 13th Demon Time it Lube Word of God Academy
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Hear, my son, your fatherʼs instruction, and forsake not your motherʼs teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. Proverbs 1:8-9
“My mother’s menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it.” ~ Buddy Hackett
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who bears good news!” (Isaiah 52:7).
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What is the good news? That God has come to us; that the Kingdom of God is among us. The Creator of the Universe has deigned to live in our hearts, even though we are sinful and unclean, in order to re-create us into His own image. The bearer of good news is not simply someone who repeats that “Jesus is Lord” or that the Christian faith is true or right. The bear good news means to carry the Goodness of God in our lives, in the ways we speak and live and act towards one another. It is indeed beautiful to meet someone like that. Let us pray to be bearers of good news today; and if we cannot accomplish that today, because of sadness or our own failure, let us pray to meet a bearer of good news during this day, to be reminded of the love that God has for us and for all the world.
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