Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Is It Spring Already?
I pray that you have had a great day. It has been a beautiful day indeed. I started my day very early today. Mrs. Cecilia Hartley had shoulder surgery at Ouachita Surgical Center in West Monroe at about 7:30 AM. She did really well the Dr. said. She will be in there tonight and should be home tomorrow. Continue to pray for her.
While we were there Carol Till came in for a little surgery on her index finger that she hurt last Friday, I believe it was. Chuck said that it went well. Carol, we'll be praying for you too!
While we're talking about the sick, Mr. George Patrick is in Delhi as of today with congestive heartfailure. He'll be there a couple of days he said. Please pray for George and Mrs. Lillian.
Also found Albert Green, Mr. Melvin's brother was in there also with a sinus infection. We'll pray for Albert also.
On my way to teach JBS at Epps tonight
We've been enjoying our time together at Epps Baptist Church this week studying the book of Nehemiah together. What a wonderful study it has been at each of the churches at which I have had the pleasure and opportunity to teach God's Word. I look forward to preaching through the book soon at Dunn.
My Back is still doing well.
Thank the Lord for that! I've even had the opportunity to work in the yard some. Looking forward to more of that. Spring is indeed on the way! I just can't wait, can you?
Speaking of Spring
Baseball season is almost here. I read this morning about Roger Clemens throwing 66 pitches to the Houston minor league team, of which his son is a member. I can't remember his name right now, but his son hit a homer off of one of his dad's best fast balls. How about that dad! Roger got him back on the next pitch though. The 43 years old "Rocket' isn't all washed up yet. I hope he plays this season and does well.
Got to go. Have a great evening everyone! God bless you abundantly!
Friday, February 24, 2006
Doc Gives Clean Bill of Health
Yesterday I went for a checkup for my back. It's been six weeks since my back surgery. God has really blessed me during this time of recovery! I haven't had a pain pill for about three weeks. I'm getting around real well. The doctor told me yesterday that I could do whatever I wanted to, using common sense of course. One thing he told me that kind of bothered me. He told me I was getting older and couldn't do things the way I used to do them. I had to be careful the way I lifted and so forth. He didn't have to tell me THAT. I know I'm getting older. He is this guy, who looks like a kid, tells me that I'm getting older. Can you imagine that?
Back to the Farm
So, what did Anita and I do yesterday afternoon? We went back out to the farm and worked in the yard! Man, was it good to be able to do some yardwork again. I've missed it this winter. My waistline tells me, and everyone else, that. There is still so much to do. One thing that I wanted to get accomplished this winter was to clear off a couple of fence rows. Guess what. They are still there and still need clearing off. No one came it did it for me, so I still have the opportunity to do it. And I will get it done, sooner or later. By the way, I'm a little stiff this morning. Anita told me that I tried to do it all at once. I tried to behave, and I will. I don't need another surgery.
Hospital and other news
I visited with Mr. Clayton Cooped Sr. yesterday. He is in St. Francis with heart irregularities. He was doing pretty well, other than that. Mrs. Ceclia Hartley had a heart test yesterday also, in preparations for a shoulder surgery that she is having next Tuesday. She said that test came out okay and she is good to go for the surgery. Also talked with Tracey Huffman. She is scheduled for neck surgery next Friday. Please be in prayer for these. There are still lots of folks out there with the flu and related illnesses. Pray for them also.
I understand the Thomas twins are doing good. Margie and John are proud grands again and are doing their part to help. Hang in there Thomas family; God is blessing!
Looking forward to the Lord's Day
This Sunday morning I will be preaching "A Vision of Christ." What a glorious sight the Apostle John had while "in the Spirit" one Lord's Day. It is my prayer that we will experience that same wonderful vision of Christ as we gather to worship on this Lord's Day. I pray also that whoever comes will be "in the Spirit."
Sunday evening I will be at Epps Baptist Church teaching our January Bible Study, The Book of Nehemiah: Serving God with Determined Faith. I am thrilled that Dr. John Traylor would ask me to come and do this for them. Pray for me as I teach and ask our brothers and sisters there at Epps not only hear the Word of God, but maybe even experience revival as we study the Word together.
A Couple of Books That I Am Reading
Thought you might like to know what I am reading lately. Apart from all the books that I read associated with my sermon preparations, I am also reading "Fools Gold" by John MacArthur. The subtitle for this book gives the theme: Discerning Truth in an Age of Error. Dr. MacArthur quotes a woman he once talked with who said, "God doesn't care what you believe, as long as you are sincere." I've heard that statement many times, in one form or another, haven't you. Or something like this, "All religions are the same and lead to the same place." In the introduction of this book Dr. MacArthur says, "To those who accept the Bible as God's Word, the folly of that thinking should be immediately evident." Unfortunately, it is not evident to many who call themselves Christians. There must be a basis for truth. For the Christian that truth is the Word of God. We must be discerning in what we read, hear, see or preceive in any way in our daily lives.
Another book that I've begun reading is called "Renovation of The Heart," by Dallas Willard. The subject of his book is what he calls "Spiritual Formation." I haven't gotten very far into this book yet. I must admit that even before I began reading the book, I read a negative review of another one of Mr. Willard's books that, apparently was about the same subject. So, as I read this book, I'll read with caution what he has to say. But, shouldn't we do that with everybook we read, save the Word of God itself? I'll let you know how it comes out.
May God bless each of us with a great day! Until we come together, maranatha! Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Weather is the News today.... and yesterday
Preachers dread cold wet weather because it brings havoc to church attendance. But, for Dunn BC yesterday, it wasn't as bad as it could have been, or has been before. Despite the cold, wet weather, we have 95 brave souls in attendance for Sunday School and a few more came in for morning worship. Bless all of you! As for Discipleship Training last evening, THAT is a differenct story! But, we survived and those who were in attendance were blessing with the worship, sermon and fellowship. I look forward to seeing many of you this Wednesday evening for our mid-week prayer meeting.
Speaking of Sermons
Yesterday I preached a sermon on Wrestling with God. I believe with all my heart I was "led of God" to preach that sermon. I believe that there was someone who has been struggling with God in some area of their life. Even though there was no immediate response in our service, I believe that God is going to continue to deal with that person or persons..... and I pray He does.
We continued our study in The Book of The Revelation last night. It was interesting, I think, as we studied the Isle of Patmos. I found some pictures on the web this past week of the island, in it's modern day dress of course. But, one could still get a sense of what John experienced on the same island just a little less than 2000 years ago. The bigger challenge is to communicate what John DID experience while he was there, just as he was challenged to communicate to his readers what he himself experienced. He did his best, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to record what he saw. We will continue to do our best to understand that communication, under the illumination of the Holy Spirit. God help us to understand your Word, in order that we might love you more and be more obedient servants and effective witnesses, even as John was effective.
One More JBS
I have another opportunity to teach the Book of Nehemiah this coming weekend. Our friend and brother in Christ and my mentor, Dr. John Traylor, has asked me to come and teach our JBS to Epps Baptist Church beginnning this Sunday evening. I am extremely humbled to be asked to do this. It is going to be like the student teaching the teacher. Please pray for me this week as I prepare for the awesmore responsibility and priviledge.
Baseball Season is on it's way
It won't be long now... isn't everyone just waiting with baited breath for those infamous words, "Play Ball!"? I am!
Everyone have a great day and stay warm!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Welcome to the World of Computers
You know, for those of us who have come to depend upon a computer in our daily life, to be without it sure makes life difficult, doesn't it. It isn't as if we can't do without them, for we did before. And to compound the problem, even with the computer running, we have become so dependent of the accessiblity of the internet that when it isn't working, we're in a quandry. We feel "cut off" from the rest of the world, do we not? But that's true only in one sense, for we still have a world around us. One thing that computers and the internet have done is to make our world both smaller and larger. It isn't uncommon to be able to communicate ("You've got mai!") with others around the world daily. What is the price of that convenience? Sometimes it is to neglect those closest to us and the things that are right around us in order to live in our larger world. Such is life in this larger and smaller world today. Whatever happened to the "simple life?" I don't know, I guess it went the way of the horse an buggy. We don't want to go back to those days either, do we.
January Bible Study
Since Sunday I've been teaching our JBS for this year at First Baptist Tallulah. We've been having a great time there in this wonderful book of the Bible. What a priviledge it is to be able to teach and share God's Word anywhere. The crowd there has been good and the people seem to be really enjoying the study. It really bewilders me that anyone would want to listen to be teach or say anything. But, I thank God for the opportunity. I also thank God for our congregation at Dunn Baptist Church for allowing me to use the gifts that God has using me to teach the Book of Nehemiah at FBC Tallulah this week. And thanks to Bro. Jay Morgan for filling in for me this past Sunday. I know our folks really appreciate you.
Our Study in Revelation
Don't forget that we will be continuing our study in the Book of Revelation this Sunday evening both in Discipleship Training and during our evening worship. Stay read up in your studay books and your bible and prayed up to receive a blessing from God as we study together.
Everyone have a great and blessed day in the Lord. I'll be back tomorrow also, the Lord willing.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Making the Same Commitments.....Again
One of the tools I'm using for my daily devotions is "The Vision of His Glory" by Mrs. Ann Graham Lotz. Our Discipleship Training group is using this book and video series on Sunday evenings. One thing I like about this book is that it causes the reader, if they faithfully perform the study work, to actually STUDY the Word of God, in this case The Book of Revelation. One section of the study calls for the reader to pinpoint what God is saying to them through the Word, then it asks "what are you going to do about it?" Tough question because it demands a response. God's Word always demands a response. I said these very words:
"I, once again, commit to live unto God, rather than myself. I will be faithful in prayer, in the study of God's Word, faithfully in teaching and preaching and faithful in sharing God's love with others."
Have you said those words or something like them before? More than once? Twice? How many times? In the last 28+ years I've said them hundreds, perhaps thosands of times. I wonder if God ever tires of hearing them? I think not, for I know it is God's desire that we be like Him.
Life is a War
Why must we say those same words over and over? Because we fight a battle of flesh and spirit. It's a daily struggle, isn't it? I know it is with me. I know that we have the victory, the ultimate victory. The war has already been won, by Christ on the cross and His glorious resurrection. But there are still battles to be fought every day.
Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose
I wished that I could say that I win every battle. I KNOW the WAR is won, but in those little every day confrontations with the wiles of our adversary, Satan. I win some, I lose some. When I do win, I know its because I'm "walking in the Spirit" and being very careful how I walk. But when I lose, I know it's because I am living according to the flesh and not being careful how I walk. When I win, I praise God for the victory; when I lose......how I wished I could say I immediately run to God to ask and receive forgiveness. Sometimes that takes a while. But I thank God for this....I do eventually do that and say "those words" over again. And I mean them every time. Thank God that I can say "those words" and become just a little more like Him each time.
Life Back to Normal
Micah went back to school today. Hooray! Not that we didn't want him at home with us, but he needs the education and we need to get back to "normal," whatever that is.
No More Telegrams
I read today in an article in the New York Times that on January 25, the last telegram ever was sent by Western Union itself. The end of an era has come. Funny, I was watching an old western recently, as I often do, and a holdup was being staged. One of the preparations was, yep, you guessed it, to cut the telegraph lines. As the line was being cut, I thought about the fact that at that time in history the only man made objects to litter the landscape were telegraph poles and lines. Now, they are no longer of use. Of course, it wasn't too long after the good ole "cowboy and Indian days," that telegraph went wireless and those poles were no longer needed. Now, those telegrams are no longer needed. We have email and cell phones. Now the land is littered with cell phone towers... nothing has changed. Anyway, kind of sad to think, no one will ever hear those infamous words again....."Western Union," or "TELEGRAM!"
I read this little line the other day by the late great apologist G.K. Chesterton:
"There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less."
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I'm continuing to study the Book of Nehemiah, our January Bible Study this year. Nehemiah was indeed an amazing man. He had strong leadership traits, but most of all he was amazing because he sought to please God in all that he did. One of the most outstanding areas of his life in which this is evident is his prayer life. One of the books that I have been reading lately is Charles Swindoll's book on Nehemiah entitled "Hand Me Another Brick." It stands to reason that Dr. Swindoll would name his book that because the Book of Nehemiah is primarily about the rebuilding of the walls and gates of Jerusalem following the exile of Judah. Anyway, Nehemiah did one thing before he did anything esle in his life.... he prayed about what he was going to do. He asked God about it, sought His direction and wisdom, before he made one move. I believe that is what made Nehemiah an amazing man... he was a man of prayer, as well as a man of God.
In his book, Dr. Swindoll wrote about prayer and particularly reasons people give for not praying. The number one reason most people don't spend more time in prayer is this, "I don't have time." What should we do when we don't have time to pray? Make time! Get up earlier. That has been my desire for a long time, but I haven't been very successful at it. I have always been a night owl, though the older I get, the shorter those night hours are. Anyway, Dr. Swindoll quoted the great missionary Hudson Taylor, who founded the great China Inland Mission. Taylor said that the sun never rose for forty years in China but that God didn't find him on his knees in prayer for that great land. Would to God it was so for me. I'm going to try harder. You try too, okay?
Mrs. Louise Tibbs went home from Delhi yesterday. Mrs. Carolyn Emsminger, that's Cheryl and Marilyn's sister, is still in Delhi. Mrs. Ceclia's daughter Diane went home from Baptist in Jackson; Our son Micah stayed home ill again today, but hope he can return to school tomorrow. The Thomas twins are still in St. Francis. Alxis is doing well and the last I heard was that Adrianna was doing a little better, but they are still watching her. I also visited with Mrs. Patty Sue Black in the Delhi hospital. There are also many others with the winter crud. Let's pray for all of these.
Delhi Livestock Show
We didn't attend the livestock show this past weekend, mainly because of the inclement weather and the fact that Micah was already ill. It seems like February always brings dreary gray rainy days and the Livestock show. It seems that way to me. It sure reminds me of the livestock show of 1976. You may not remember that year in particular. I do; but there was an event that, for me, was attached to it. At that time my dad and mom, Juanez McPherson Duchesne, lived in a big old house that used to be right next to the old Hall Hotel right on Hwy 80. Neither of the houses are there now. Anyway, I remember going to the Livestock show with Anita and our oldest, and at that time only son Matthew, who was almost 2 years old. My youngest brother Charles was with us, if memory serves me correctly and maybe our cousin Joe "Willie" Tatum. Dad was with us also. We all walked over to the fairgrounds together. But mom wasn't with us. She wasn't feeling well and hadn't been for several weeks. Not too many days later, after she had been diagnosed with pneumonia, we found out that she actually had cancer. So, for me even after 30 years, the Livestock show will always have a little bit of sadness attached to it. I'll never forget THAT Livestock show anyway.
Lion's Club Meeting
Each Tuesday the Delhi Lion's Club meets at the Delhi hospital. I became a member shortly after I moved here two years ago. It's a good civic organization that not only tries to promote the wellfare of the town, in this case Delhi, but also helps people with various illness. One very important "ministry" that it carries out is the Louisiana Lion's Club Eye Foundation. We try to help people with various eye diseases and glasses and so forth. The Delhi Lion's club has helped several people recently with their eye problems. They also recycle old eye glasses, so if you have any lying around, find a Lion and have yours recycled.
I read this today that got me to thinking...... "Some people get lost in thought because it is unfamiliar territory." I know exactly what they mean. God bless each of you.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Just Another Monday?
This morning Anita has taken Micah to the doctor. He has a sore throat and a bad cough. He has had the cough for several days, but just developed the sore throat yesterday afternoon. He actually wanted to go to the doctor this morning, so you know he really feels bad. I have been battling the same symtoms for a couple of days, but my medicine seems to be holding down. Please pray for all of us. There is just too much to do to be sick.
Pray for the Thomas Twins
I am sure that you heard that Brenda and Timothy Thomas had their twin girls last Thursday. Their names are Adrianna Danielle and Alexis Grace. Brenda (and Timothy) is doing fine and the girls are in the Neo-Natal unit at St. Francis. Adrianna has developed a little problem with her stomach. Please be in prayer for her especially and all the Thomas family during this time in the girls young lives.
Also be in prayer for Mrs. Celia Hartley's daughter Diane who is in Baptist in Jackson. Looks like a heart-cath for Diane. Also Mrs. Louise Tibbs is still in Delhi, but may get out today or tomorrow. One more to add to our prayer list is Cheryl and Marilyn's sister Carolyn who they had to bring to the emergency room at Delhi yesterday. May God be with each of these.
The Week Ahead
I will be teaching January Bible study beginning this coming Sunday at FBC Tallulah. It doesn't matter that I've been studying it for months and have already taught it once, I never feel prepared. There will be lots of reading this week. By the way, if you are interested, a few good books that I have used in preparation for teaching the JBS on the Book of Nehemiah are "Hand Me Another Brick" by Charles Swindoll, "Nehemiah: An Expositional Commentary" by James Montgomery Boice, "Nehemiah" from the Word Biblical Commentary Series, " and "Ezra, Nehemiah & Esther" from the New American Commentary Series. Remember, I will also be preaching through the Book of Nehemiah at Dunn BC very soon.
The Steelers Win
If you watched any of the Super Bowl or any television last night or this morning, you know that the Pittsburg Steelers defeated Seattle last night. I probably watched more football, after we got home from church last night, than I have watched all season. I always try to derive a spiritual lesson even from sporting events. One thing I thought about was this; Pittsburg won the Super Bowl dispite the fact that they had a 7 and 5 season. What do you do when things are going as well as they could for you, keep on keeping on.... don't give up. You never know. You may just win the Super Bowl.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Enter the World of Blog
Enter the World of BlogMy First Post
I will be improving and adding to this page as we go, including pictures of family and other events. Who knows, I may even add YOUR picture. You never can tell. So, keep posted.
Anita and I attended Eran and Misty's Wedding Today
January Bible Study
Brenda and Timothy Thomas Have Twins!
Supper Bowl Sunday
May the Lord bless you all abundantly