Will You Join Me?
“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
There are some faces that will never leave you. Two such, for me, I saw here today.
We arrived very early this morning at McKinney Medical Center. We drove down last night to be with my wife’s parents. My father-in-law, Jack Mills, had to have surgery this morning. After we all prayed, I stayed out in the main waiting room with our kids. Jack went to surgery while my wife, Amanda, her sister, and mother went back to the main surgical waiting room.
The kids had their heads in an electronic device. I had mine in a paperback book. I was about to start chapter two, when a young Hispanic woman with a baby on her hip walked through the sliding glass entry doors. She checked in with the receptionist and sat down across from me.
I didn’t mean to stare, but the woman looked tired. She was a young mother, but she appeared older – almost middle aged. Lines were etched into her face. Eyes that once may have sparkled were dull and sad. She had the kind of eyes that had shed too many tears – as if she had cried so much and had no tears left.
Her baby was gorgeous. She looked to be about ten to twelve-months-old. The baby locked eyes with mine. I made a silly face and she smiled. Her mother noticed my interaction with her child. “Hola,” she said. “Su nombre es Mariana.” I continued to play peek-a-boo with Mariana and said, “Yo not hablo very much bueno Español.” The woman’s face that seemed to have a perpetual frown, smiled at my bad attempt at Spanish. She said, “Her name is Mariana.”
“A beautiful little girl with a beautiful name,” I remarked. “What’s she doing here?”
“She is having her tonsils taken out,” the young mother replied.
“She is awful little to be having that done.”
“Yes, señor. You are right. She has cancer…lymphoma. It has spread to her tonsils.”
I was stunned. I didn’t know what to say, but the nurse came and called them back before I could utter, “I’m sorry.” She picked up Mariana, her diaper bag, and purse and started to walk away. I called to her, “Ma’am.” She turned around and I said, “I will be praying for you and your precious Mariana.” Where there was sadness, a faint smile appeared. She nodded as if to say, “Thank you.” Then she turned and disappeared carrying little Mariana into the bowels of the hospital.
My father-in-law’s surgery went well, and we left the hospital. Our lives go on…and, yet…I can’t stop thinking about a young mother, whose name I don’t know, and her daughter, Mariana. I keep asking God, “Why?” Why would a sweet, innocent baby get cancer? It doesn’t make any sense. I suppose I know why, theologically speaking. We live in a sin-sick, cursed world. However, knowing we live in a fallen world doesn’t ease the ache in my stomach and the anguish in my heart.
Asking God why, is getting me nowhere. So, I have decided to ask God, “Where are You in this?” After all, God is everywhere. So, He must be in this situation. Maybe God put me in a hospital waiting room in McKinney, Texas for me to pray for Mariana and her mother. Maybe God arranged our meeting to give inspiration for the writing of this column. Maybe God wanted me to send a message out to His faithful prayer warriors. Maybe God wants you to pray. Maybe God wants to be glorified through the healing of a sick little girl. Maybe…Just maybe…
The point is: God wants us to pray. Prayer is an act of obedience. God says to pray, and we must act. Does God need us to help Him out? No, but we pray because God has established prayer as part of His plan to accomplish His will in this world. So, I’m going to pray for a miracle healing for Mariana and peace that passes all understanding for her momma.
Will you join me?
Pastor James Collins serves at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached at (620) 223-2986, or through the website www.fortscottfsbc.com.
The Bottom Line
by Jimmy Tucker
Security guards required
I’ve had guard duty assigned to me many times…by my wife. Occasionally, she would need me to watch our children when they were small. Apparently, I did a pretty good job of guarding them because nothing serious ever happened on my watch. As Christian parents, we have 24-hour duty to guard our families against Satan’s attacks. This responsibility begins by guarding our own hearts and trusting God for protection, blessing, and favor for our loved ones.
In 1 Chronicles Chapter 9, the Israelites were just returning to Jerusalem from their exile to Babylon because of their unbelieving and disobedient lives. The first to return were the priests, Levites, and the temple support staff. All of the priests were heads of their families and were skilled and seasoned servants in the work of worshiping God. The Levites were the musicians and security guards for the House of God.
The security guards were responsible for round-the-clock-surveillance of God‘s Temple, and they opened the gates each morning. The musicians had permanent living quarters in The Temple because they were on 24-hour duty. The Temple of God was a big deal, and not to be taken lightly. We can take this as an example of how we are to guard our hearts and lives.
When the Holy Spirit was given on Pentecost, all believers became the Temple of God. Our body and soul are the Temple of God now. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20 NLT).
The Old Testament security guards respected and protected God’s Temple 24-7. So how are you doing guarding your heart and trusting God for protection, blessing, and favor? If you were the Holy Spirit, would you feel at home in your body? Your body, your health, your family, and all that you have been given are not your own to do with as you please. Your entire being has been paid for by the Son of God’s sacrifice on Calvary.
Each believer has the grave responsibility of guarding his heart. No one else can do this for you. The Bible tells us to guard our heart, lips, mind, etc. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life“ (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). If you’re not doing a good job of guarding your heart and trusting in God, you can expect God to discipline you as He did the Nation of Israel. You’ll have to decide to obey God, be responsible, and make the necessary changes to ensure proper surveillance of your body, soul, and spirit (God’s Temple). “Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit, you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth” (Malachi 2:15 NLT).
How do you guard your heart? Proverbs 4:20-22 NLT tells us to “…pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to My words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” You have the privilege and responsibility to open the gate of your heart to the Holy Spirit and His Word every day. “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Mark 14:38 NLT).
The Bottom Line: Don’t go to sleep on guard duty, because it’s your responsibility and no one else can do it for you.
Pastor Jimmy Tucker
Diamond Community Church
10:45 a.m. Worship
Fort Scott Community College has done away with extra fees for online classes! You can now take courses online for the same price as taking it in the classroom.
By taking classes online, it allows you more flexibility with your time and less money out of pocket.
You can earn an Associates Degree in Science, Arts, or General Studies right from the comfort of your home.
Scholarships are available for online students as well. You can check that out by clicking HERE.
To see a full list of classes offered online, click HERE.
If you have any questions or are ready to join the Greyhound pack, contact Advising at 620.223.2700 ext. 3630 or come on by!
Cost of Classes
|High School/Concurrent (outside of Bourbon County)||$50.00||$55.00||$105.00|
|Border States (MO, OK, NE, CO, AR)||$62.00||$55.00||$117.00|
Prairie Prescribed Fire Planned at Fort Scott National Historic Site
Fort Scott Kan. – Park managers at Fort Scott National Historic Site, in coordination with Fire Managers with the US Fish and Wildlife Service from Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge, plan to burn the five-acre restored prairie just after 4 pm. Sunday, April 28, 2019. The ignition will depend upon weather conditions and the burn may be postponed or canceled if conditions are unfavorable.
“We were very excited to be able to implement this project as an in-season prescribed fire (Rx) with the assistance of our interagency neighbors. Our ability to treat the tallgrass prairie at a time of year when fires naturally occur enhances the resilience of the ecosystem and protection of visitors, the infrastructure of Fort Scott National Historic Site, and the city of Fort Scott,” said Betty Boyko, Superintendent, Fort Scott National Historic Site.
Like all prescribed fires, the plans for the tallgrass prairie Rx contain a set of parameters which define (among other things) the expected weather and fuel conditions under which the fire can be initiated. Prior to implementing the burn, fire managers will evaluate current conditions and will only ignite the fire if all of the prescribed conditions are within those parameters.
During typical prescribed fire activity, daytime smoke disperses to the northeast, up and over the highway. Coordination with the City of Fort Scott, Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas State Highway Patrol, and Kansas Department of Transportation is already underway for this prescribed fire. Smoke impacts or traffic delays on Highway 69 should not occur during the burn.
The word “Christian” appears only three times in the Bible. The word “Disciple,” however, is used nearly 300 times. For good reason. Professing to be a “Christian” seems relatively safe since 83% of Americans refer to themselves by this name. But calling ourselves a “Disciple” takes it one step further; it indicates we have some ownership in our pact to make Jesus not just our Savior, but our Lord. He is not merely our Get-Out-Of-Hell-Free card.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “disciple” as “one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another.”
Simply put, we share the gospel. Sadly, for most Christians, the very thought of being a witness for Christ turns them into utter scaredy-cats, which leads me to the picture of the crane.
Last week I was on the treadmill in our community center, looking out the front window, when I noticed two very large birds hanging out on the sidewalk. Whenever a car pulled up and the drivers attempted to open their doors, the braver bird would run over to the cars, terrifying those individuals. If the driver moved into the next parking spot, car-jacking Big Bird followed. No one exited his/her vehicle. People walking to get their mail made hurried U-turns when the cranes began strutting their direction. Soon the word spread, and dozens of people showed up with their cameras, taking pictures from a distance.
I cracked up. It was just a bird, for goodness sakes, not a python. Poor thing probably just wanted a bite of bread but instead ended up panicking the neighborhood. When I left the workout room and walked outside, the birds didn’t phase me. What were they going to do, peck me to death? To those photographers, I must have looked terribly bold. Or terribly stupid.
No one gave the birds a chance. They had it in their minds that the outcome would not be a good one, so they chickened out, not unlike Christians who refuse to disciple. Afraid of the “what-if’s” of sharing their faith, they are held hostage to uncertainty. Now, they’re not concerned about discussing the K.C. Chiefs or a new restaurant or a bargain article of clothing they bought, but Jesus? Of that they are petrified.
In Acts 3, the disciples Peter and John were confronted by a crippled beggar. Peter responded, “Silver or Gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you – in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Immediately the beggar was leaping and praising God, astounding the crowd which set the stage for Peter to share Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Not what the religious rulers wanted to hear, so they commanded Peter and John not to speak of Jesus again. Then comes my favorite part in vs. 19-20: “But Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’”
Get that? They cannot help but witness. They have seen the resurrected Messiah and know there is nothing more important for the crowds to understand. As the old saying goes, “What grips the heart wags the tongue.” Or, in Jesus’ words, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mt. 12:34) Jesus makes it clear where the starting point is: in our heart. We need to fall in love with Jesus more than we love our favorite sports team or a morning cup of coffee or ourselves. There should be a difference in our lives because of him. And that’s what we need to share.
Next week we will look at several suggestions as to how we can become bolder disciples for Christ.
April 16, 2019 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners, the County Counselor and the County Clerk present.
Tammy Helm with the Fort Scott Tribune and Nancy Van Etten were also present.
Jim Harris presented 1 application for 2 permits for Pioneer LLC to install pipes under the road to water cattle from a pond across the road; one location is at 40th south of Cavalry (2” water line) the second is at 50th south of Eagle (3” water line). Jeff made a motion to approve the permit, Nick seconded and all approved.
Jim Harris presented the Paser Asphalt Road Manual to the Commissioners; he said this could be used to rate the condition of the roads.
Jim Harris said he had found two used tractors for sale; a 2011 New Holland with 1754 hours with no warranty for $39,900 and a 2017 John Deere for $53,950 this is a demo model with 30 hours and a 1 ½ year warranty. Jim Harris suggested that Road & Bridge, Landfill and the Sales Tax fund could pay for the tractor. After discussion; Jeff made a motion to approve purchasing the 2017 John Deere for $53,950, Nick seconded and all approved.
Jesse Walker met with the Commissioners; he asked that the County maintain a portion of 95th & Unique. He said he had found a 1977 survey that shows this is a County road. Lynne said he discussed this road with Lora Holdridge, she said this road is still on the map; Jim said that Shane Walker said this road did not appear on the maps. Jim Harris said if it is a County road then he felt the County should build a road all the way through to 85th. Lynne said he would continue to research this road.
Jim Harris reported that the Noxious Weed department will be moved from Uniontown to the Road & Bridge barn in Fort Scott at the end of this week. Jim said it will be open for chemical sales on Monday mornings, Wednesday afternoons & Friday mornings as well as by appointment. The Commissioners discussed the soon to be vacant Noxious Weed building in Uniontown; Lynne made a motion to give Jim Harris the authority to list the building for sale, there was not a 2nd on the motion. Jeff suggested that the County find out the value of the property and to explore alternative uses for the building.
Jim Harris said they will be patching on 215th, will be covering the Landfill, finishing up a Timberhill culvert, moving the excavator to install a culvert, doing ditching northwest of Fort Scott, using the excavator on Soldier, will be drilling next week at the Blake Quarry to prepare for a blast and said they have 20 driveway culverts to replace on Condensory Road before overlaying the road.
Jeff questioned who maintained the roads around Rock Creek; Jim Harris said this was the City of Fort Scott’s property.
Lynne made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks and Jim Harris). No action was taken.
Nick made a motion to have free dump days at the Landfill on May 17th & May 18th for Bourbon County residents including tires, no commercial businesses, Jeff seconded and all approved the motion.
The Commissioners held a 2019 budget amendment hearing for the Ambulance fund; the budget amendment allows for a total of $1,020,000 of expenditures, $316,020 had already been budgeted, this amendment allows for an additional $703,980 of expenditures. Lynne made a motion to approve the 2019 budget amendment for the ambulance fund, Nick seconded and all approved and signed the budget amendment. The Commissioners are responsible for the ambulance budget.
Nancy Van Etten questioned housing conditions and regulations in the County; the Commissioners said the only codes the County has are septic tank regulations and that there are no codes in the County.
Jeff made a motion to move the April 23rd Commission meeting to April 22nd, Nick seconded and all approved.
Dale Arnold met with the Commissioners; he discussed trees that were trimmed near the Sale Barn, he said the tree trunks are still there and said you can’t see around the corner when the trees have leaves on them. Jeff reported this to Jim Harris.
Jeff made a motion to go into a 20 minute executive session for Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.
Jeff made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.
At 11:44, Lynne made a motion to adjourn, Jeff seconded and all approved.
THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF BOURBON COUNTY, KANSAS
(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman
(ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner
(ss) Nick Ruhl, Commissioner
Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk
04/22/2019, Approved Date