Category Archives: Opinion

Presbyterian Village Raises $28,000 For Community Seniors

Presbyterian Village thankful for volunteers, bidders who raised more than $28,000 for community seniors

By Presbyterian Village Executive Director Ginger Nance

While I drove to work this morning reflecting on the many people who helped to make this event possible, my mind quickly went to a story in the Bible (paraphrased to my own understanding) of the three men who were each given a financial gift/s (a talent) and were told to use it to their best ability. After some time, their master returned and asked them what they had done to multiply the gifts (talents and resources) they were given. The story goes on to explain that the men who had used his money and resources to multiply and help the most number of others were blessed beyond measure.

I feel like, in reflection, that is what our community came together to do. We all had small amounts of different gifts & talents that we had been given and we worked together as a community to multiply those small things and we turned them into something great that will help many in need!

A huge thank you goes to the dozens and dozens of volunteers who donated their time baking, boxing and serving delicious cakes, the many who helped set up and be ready for the auction, those who sold tickets, who were live on the radio to tell their story, who donated water, pop, the vacation and items for the auction, those who sponsored, who shared our posts with friends and hung fliers to help with advertising, who boxed dinners, who ran their legs off during the event to get more than 565 meals where they needed to be in the drive-through and lobby spaces, those who auctioneered and caught bids, who directed the flow of traffic and parking, who purchased tickets and bought items at the auction, and the list goes on and on…. without you the success to help our seniors in need would not be possible!

Each task (talent) of those who helped with the Good Samaritan fundraising event, though they may have individually viewed at the time as small and insignificant, made a great impact to our seniors and your gift will multiply beyond what you can see.

Everything seemed to align perfectly for the event. The rain finally broke a few days prior and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a nice evening to come together.

A record number of meals were served this year, along with ticket sales for the seven-day vacation to beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico.

More than $28,000 was raised and will remain in this community to help “bridge the gap” of a financial need that exists today among some of our seniors who reside at the Presbyterian Village.

Thank you” are not sufficient words to express the deep gratitude felt by the outpouring of love and support we witnessed at this event at the Fort Scott Presbyterian Village. Being a part of this community is a blessing that I could only hope others in our world could experience. What an amazing town we live and work in! Thank you to all of you, who together worked to multiply small portions (talents) into something powerful to help others in need.

 

Have You Lost Something? By Pastor James Collins

Pastor James Collins

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9

I have discovered that one of the main reasons to stay married to is to help each other find stuff. Whenever I lose something, my wife Amanda, always asks me, “Where did you have it last?”

Where are my keys?”

Where did you have them last?”

Where’s my wallet?”

Where did you have it last?”

Where’s my phone?”

Where did you have it last?”

Where’s my nose hair trimmers?”

Where did you have it last?”

A while back, I was cutting up a couple of old dead trees for firewood. I had my chainsaw, bar and chain oil, gas, saw file, and a scrench. What’s a scrench? A scrench is a tool that is a combination of a screwdriver and a wrench. It is used to adjust the tension on your chainsaw blade.

So, I was out cutting firewood. I noticed the chain on the chainsaw needed to be tightened. I looked down and saw the gas, oil, and file. However, I couldn’t find the scrench.

I started to look for the scrench. I looked under the gas can. I got down on my knees and crawled around looking for it in the grass. Then I thought, maybe I left it in the tool shed. I went to the shed and I looked and looked. I tore the shed apart. When I finished looking, it looked like a bomb had gone off in the shed. But I still couldn’t find it. I was getting frustrated.

Earlier, I had gone into the house to get a drink. Did I leave it in the house? I went inside.

I looked in the laundry room. I looked in the living room. I looked in the kitchen. I even went in the bedroom and I tore the covers off the bed just in case the scrench was somehow in the covers.

After I looked for about an hour, I remembered my wife’s words, “Where did you have it last?” I thought, “I am pretty sure that I had it out by the old dead tree.” So, I went out to where I had been working earlier. I looked, and I looked, and I looked. I could not find the scrench. I was mad at this point.

Amanda came outside and said, “Are you still looking for that screwdriver thingee?” I said, “Yes, and it’s called a scrench.” She smiled at me and said, “It’s right there sticking out of your back pocket.”

The point is: If you have lost something, the best place to look is the last place you had it. Do you know where I found that scrench? Right where I left it? Do you know where your joy is? Right where you left it? Do you know where your peace is? Right where you left it? Do you know where your passion is? Right where you left it? Do you know where your fire is for Jesus? Right where you left it?

Jesus is right where you left Him. Come back to Him today.

Pastor James Collins serves at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached at (620) 223-2986 or through the webpage www.thepointis.net.

Iron Sharpens Iron by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)

The United Kingdom’s Eric Liddell was the athlete who refused to run on a Sunday in the 1924 Olympics. Chariots of Fire was the movie made famous by his story. If you watched it, you might remember Liddell’s notable line: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.” Later, when asked from where he drew his strength, he answered, “The secret of my success over the 400 meters is that I run the first 200 meters as hard as I can. Then, for the second 200 meters, with God’s help, I run harder.”

In 2016, On Wings of Eagles was released, depicting the rest of Liddell’s life as a missionary/teacher in China who refused to leave as the Japanese advanced, staying behind to continue his work after sending his pregnant wife to Canada with their two daughters. Liddell was captured and ended up in a Japanese internment camp.

After watching the movie alone one evening, I knew it was one I wanted Dave and my visiting friends—very academic, total history buffs– to see. After viewing it, we discussed the history of that war and the inhumane treatment the Japanese inflicted on their prisoners. I learned more than I wanted to know.

Then one of our friends questioned why more of Jesus was not illustrated. Liddell’s faith and love of the Bible were apparent as he sacrificially protected and offered hope to his fellow prisoners, but omitting the redemptive story of forgiveness and the Cross was painfully absent. She questioned why screenwriters are so afraid of offending their audiences and consequently stop short of crossing the Jesus’ line, that showing the Olympian teaching the young children Bible stories was not enough. Liddell’s faith was so strong, surely he shared Jesus with his fellow prisoners. So, why was that not included? To her, it was a representation of how our world-view is changing which led to an exchange about laws before Congress that are hell-bent on leaving God out of everything.

I said that I was pleased to see any faith characterized, and even if it lacked boldness, it was evident throughout the movie that Liddell was a prayer warrior who relied on God for his strength as he set up church services, schooling, and sporting activities for the children, as well as cared for the sick. Our talk continued as we discussed how Christian movies now are far superior to those produced a few years ago.

That conversation was revisited this past Friday when Dave and I had dinner with Gene and Carol Kent. Carol was here in Jupiter, Florida, speaking at a local church for Mothers’ Day. I shared the interchange we had had the previous week with our other, mutual friends. Carol asked if we had seen Unplanned, a bold, new release based on the memoir of Abby Johnson who left Planned Parenthood to be an advocate against abortion. Carol shared that she recently had attended its premier with Solomon, the writer of the Unplanned’s screenplay, who happened to be at Carol’s house helping her finalize her latest book. At the premier, Carol stood up before the movie began—an atypical, bold move for her, she admitted– and introduced the screenwriter to the audience. At the end of the movie, Carol was thrilled that Solomon got a standing ovation.

I love these kinds of exchanges, where Christian lives intersect with various perspectives and experiences and where sometimes we might have to agree to disagree. Most of the time, I am keenly aware that we are not “iron sharpening iron” but more like “iron sharpening rusty, tin can, but I always leave these conversations knowing that my faith has been strengthened because God has been honored in what we had to say.

Now, if I could just do that all the time…

Timothy’s Momma by Pastor James Collins

 

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”

2 Timothy 1:5

Timothy was born in the 1970s to a girl who was still a child herself. Timothy’s biological mother was a young, pretty, naive, teenage girl. One night, she made a mistake. Timothy was the consequence.

Timothy’s father was the all-American boy. He was handsome and charming; the most popular boy in high-school. Timothy’s father was an honor student and a star athlete. He was going places in life. A wife and a baby didn’t fit into his plans. So, Timothy’s father left him before he was even born, and he was branded a bastard. He had no daddy. On his birth certificate, the block was left blank where his father’s name should have been.

Timothy’s mother was a child herself. She was young and couldn’t raise a child. She made the decision for Timothy to be adopted by his grandmother. On the very day he was born, Timothy was taken from the hospital, and loved, and cared for by his grandmother. Timothy’s grandmother became Timothy’s momma.

Momma loved Timothy so much. She had always wanted a son, but God had seen fit to give her three girls. As the years went by, she thought that she would never have a son, but just like Abraham’s wife, Sarah, who was blessed with a baby boy in her old age — God blessed Timothy’s Momma with a baby boy in her old age.

Momma was so blessed by her boy. She wiped his nose and his backside too. She held him at night when he was sick. She loved Timothy and raised him like he was her own child.

When Timothy was in school, he made Momma a present. He took an empty Campbell’s Soup Can and glued un-cooked macaroni noodles on it. Then he painted it gold and gave it to momma. She took the ugly can, placed it on the kitchen table, and put flowers in it. Whenever anyone would come to the house, she would brag and say, “Look at the beautiful vase that Timothy made for me.” She couldn’t have been prouder if it were made of real gold.

One day, Timothy came home crying from school with a bloody nose. He had been in a fight. A boy he thought was his friend had beat him up. Timothy asked, “Why did Joey hit me? He was supposed to be my friend.” Momma sighed as she cleaned him up. She wiped away his tears. Then she picked him up and sang, “What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.” Timothy never forgot that.

Momma was a fine Christian woman. She did everything she possibly could to see that Timothy was raised in a Christian home. He went to Sunday School and church. He learned the Bible. He learned about faith in Jesus. He learned to pray, “God is Great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food” before every meal. He prayed every night, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” Momma taught Timothy to pray.

Timothy’s earliest memories are of Momma singing to him. She sang, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, The Old Rugged Cross, Nothing but the Blood, Amazing Grace, and all the classic hymns. She also had old record albums of Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Buck Owens, George Jones, and Charley Pride singing Gospel Music. She played those records all the time. They were scratchy and old, but they sounded like Heaven to Timothy.

Momma wanted Timothy to be a preacher when he grew up. She used to talk to him about it. She said, “God has put it on my heart that you will take the Gospel around the world.” She dressed Timothy like a preacher in his little suit and took him to church. As the preacher was in the pulpit, she whispered to Timothy, “Someday, you’ll be a great preacher.”

Momma was very sick. Timothy didn’t know it, but she was slowly dying. One day, Timothy overheard her praying, “God, let me live to raise Timothy. Life will be so hard on him without me to take care of him.”

Unfortunately, she didn’t live. She died on Mother’s Day in 1981. Little Timothy was devastated. His life was turned upside-down. For the next several years, he was shuffled from one foster home to another. He became bitter, heart-broken, and angry with God.

Two thousand years before Timothy was born, the Apostle Paul wrote to another young man named Timothy. Paul told Timothy that his faith was planted by his mother and grandmother. The Bible also speaks about training up a child in the faith and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The seeds of faith that Timothy’s Momma planted grew. After years of struggle, Timothy found his way to the Lord. He gave his life to Jesus Christ and was saved. Later, God called him to the ministry. Just like Momma had dreamed, Timothy became a preacher.

Today, I, James Timothy Collins, am the man I am because of the Grace of God and the love of a Christian Momma.

The point is: A Christian Mother is truly a blessing. As you have been reading this story about my momma, you have been thinking about your own. If she is still living, call her. Wish her a “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Better yet, go see her.

If your momma has passed on, say a prayer thanking God for blessing you with such a wonderful woman to raise you.

I thank God for mine.

Pastor James Collins serves at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached at www.thepointis.net.

The Bottom Line by Pastor Jimmy Tucker

Jimmy Tucker. Submitted photo.

The Bottom Line

by Jimmy Tucker

A Mother with No Name

One of my clearest childhood memories is of my Mother reading Bible stories to me at bedtime. My favorite was the story of Samson because I loved hearing about his great strength and mighty deeds as a warrior for God. My Mother would get all of us in bed, then pull up a chair and read from a big thick children’s Bible storybook. Samson’s story, along with many others, inspired me to be strong in the Lord. I believed these true accounts and they helped me establish my faith in God at a young age. I’m thankful that my Mother’s faith was lived out in front of me and my brothers and sisters.

Betty Bergen Tucker, 1950. Submitted.

I want to focus on Samson’s mother mentioned in the book of Judges, chapter 13. I can’t give you her name because she was only referred to as Manoah’s wife. She was unable to become pregnant, so they had no children. She is one of the eight women mentioned in the Bible who was barren and later became pregnant with a miracle baby.

One day an angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, “Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son. So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines” (Judges 13:3-5 NLT).

This was the best news she’d ever heard, so she ran and told her husband. Since Manoah missed the appearance of the angel, he prayed that the angel would come back and give them more instructions about the son who was to be born to them. God answered Manoah’s prayer. When the angel of the Lord reappeared, Manoah asked him what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work. The angel then repeated the requirements he had given to Manoah’s wife. So we find that Samson’s success began with his mother’s obedience to God’s instructions. If his mother hadn’t taken her assignment seriously, her son would not have been the great deliverer God needed.

At the end of their meeting, when the angel of the Lord ascended in the fire, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground. Manoah said to his wife, “We will certainly die, for we have seen God!“ But his wife said, “If the Lord were going to kill us, He wouldn’t have accepted our burnt offering and grain offering. He wouldn’t have appeared to us and told us this wonderful thing and done these miracles” (Judges 13:22,23 NLT).

Samson’s mother was filled with faith and wisdom, and God chose her as the one to give birth to Samson. There was no doubt in her heart that what the angel of the Lord said would come true. “So the woman bore a son, and she called him Samson. The boy grew, and the Lord blessed him. The Spirit of the Lord began to move upon him…” (Judges 13:24,25 MEV).

The Bottom Line: A mother who brings up a child to be strong in faith is well-known to God, even if she is “nameless” to the world.

Pastor Jimmy Tucker

(620) 223-1483

Diamond Community Church

10:45 a.m. Worship

Martha, Again By Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Last December I wrote about the Biblical account of Mary and Martha, sharing that I am a Martha personality (the woman who was frustrated because her sister sat at Jesus’ feet while she prepared the food). This past week I stepped even closer into understanding her aggravation when our friends Jack and Lael came to visit Dave and me here in Florida. Their family friend, Spencer, portraying “Scar” in the touring Broadway production of Disney’s Lion King, was performing 30 minutes away. He was able to get us discounted tickets.

About a week before their visit, Lael called and asked if Spencer could hang out at our house the day before we saw his performance. It had been years since we all attended the same church in Texas, so when he arrived shortly before lunch, I was surprised to see a mature, good-looking young man instead of a much shorter, scrawnier teen I remembered.

While in the kitchen finishing lunch preparations, I could hear some of the conversation in our living room. Dave, Jack and Lael were asking about Spencer’s Broadway connections and experiences. HELLO! I am the theater person. I am the one who would kill (okay, wound) to soak up information from someone who actually had “made it” in New York. Occasionally Lael would saunter into the kitchen to see if I needed help, but a real martyr suffers in silence, so I told her to go back to her friend, that I was fine.

I wasn’t.

I heard words like “audition,” “theatre schedule,” “Scar’s mask,” “choreography,” all reminding me that I was missing out on information that would energize me and give me insight into the field that I loved. I never would have an opportunity like this again. (Actually, I wasn’t even having it this time.)

When enough was enough, I marched into the living room and announced, “I now have renewed empathy for Martha when Mary got to sit at the feet of Jesus and take in all he had to share. Not that Spencer is Jesus, but I want you all to know this is really, really hard.” Everyone—especially Spencer– cracked up.

Over lunch, Spencer patiently answered my dozens of questions. I wanted details. What did he do in his audition that the other 30 did not? What other roles had he played? Which was the most challenging? How long did it take for the makeup artist to create his character and how many costumes did he have? I hung on his every word.

But the best was to come. Spencer invited us backstage following the matinee performance we attended the following day. I almost hyperventilated. First, we met the man who tended to the puppets between shows. With a Masters degree in puppet design, he demonstrated the hand levers that worked Zazu, the bird puppet. Spencer’s head mask was next. Strapped to his finger was a tiny control with buttons that regulated its large movements. Backstage was insane with its organization of the costumes, scenery, props and animal mechanisms. When Lael invited Spencer to grab something to eat with us before his evening show, he said he would love to. (No doubt to answer my remaining questions, I told myself.)

Lion King’s next stop was Miami, only two hours away. I thought about going again, but this time had been up close and personal. Miami would not be.

I knew the difference. So did Martha. Her house guest wasn’t just anyone. It was Jesus who might not return to their home again, and she was missing out on hearing the Good News from the One who knew it best. I understood her pain. I could relate! My time with Spencer taught me a powerful lesson, one I won’t ever forget.

Next time, I will order pizza.

Did You Hear That Voice? by Pastor James Collins

Pastor James Collins

 

Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?

Isaiah 42:23

I have been trying to learn to use my cell phone, but there are many buttons and apps – I have no idea what most of them do. The other day, I saw my friend, Ida Ford, talking into her cell phone. However, she wasn’t on a call. “What are you doing?” I asked. She said, “I’m using the voice command app. I talk, and the voice command types my text message.”

Ida showed me how the app worked and for the past few days, I have tried to use it. Yet, it doesn’t work right. It doesn’t understand my redneck accent.

Someone texted me and told me about a lady from church who was in the hospital. I replied with my voice command, “I hope she gets better. I pray she does.” Only it said, “I pray she dies.” That was not good…

Once I got the voice command activated, I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. I got frustrated and said, “Baloney!” When I said, “Baloney,” the phone said, “Bologna is a city in Italy. It is also a cooked, smoked sausage.” I screamed, “I didn’t say Bologna. I said, Baloney!”

Later that day, I was at the dentist office with the phone in my pocket. As I was sitting in the waiting room, a voice said, “Say a command.” The lady at the reception desk looked up at me. I heard the voice again, “Say a command.” I realized the voice was coming out of my britches.

Say a command.”

I took the phone out of my pocket, tried to turn it off, but it kept saying, “Say a command.”

Say a command.”

I command you to shut up!” I exclaimed.

I was called back to the exam room. I was sitting in the dental chair while the hygienist was cleaning my teeth. I couldn’t say anything because there was a suction hose, tooth scraper, polisher, waterpik, and seven or eight other dental tools hanging out of my mouth. I couldn’t have said anything if I tried.

Suddenly, I heard a voice say, “Did you say call Brian Poodle?” It said it again. “Did you say call Brian Poodle?”

I know Brian Williams, Brian Foster, and Brian Lane. However, I don’t know Brian Poodle. I know some wiener dogs, and a schnauzer, but I don’t know a poodle.

Frustrated, I finally reached in my pocket and turned off that stinking thing. I was tired of hearing the voice. So, I turned it off.

Often, we do the same thing.

Young people get tired of listening to their parents. So, they turn them off.

In church, people get tired of listening to the preacher. So, they turn him off.

You get tired of listening to the Word of God. So, you turn it off.

The point is: God might just be trying to say a command to you. Will you give an ear to Him? Will you just listen? Don’t cover your ears and close your heart.

Pastor James Collins serves at Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. He can be reached at www.thepointis.net.

A Worker Not Ashamed by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Let’s face it. Sometimes being a bold witness for Christ is kinda hard. No, not kinda. It is. Last month, for example, Dave and I went to a Mexican restaurant. The only available seats were at the bar. Dave sat at the end, and I sat next to him with an empty stool on my other side. When an inebriated man sat beside me, ordered two beers and started slurring questions, I tried to be Christ-like. “Are you a Hillary fan?” he began. “No, but I’m a taco fan,” I answered. Next question: “Are you a Christian?” When I said I was, he yelled excitedly, “Me too!” Trying to high-five me, he almost fell off his barstool. (Dear Lord, all I wanted was a taco.) Whenever Dave and I tried to talk, my bar buddy would interrupt. Rude. But we are called to love rude people too, right?

Last week I wrote that we are called to disciple others. I imagine some of you immediately had heart palpitations at the mere thought of sharing your faith. I get it. I pray for witnessing opportunities, and then Satan reminds me that I’m about to look like a fool. Then I think of the people I personally have prayed for, people who have opted not to give Jesus a chance, and how I ask God to send others into their lives so their words might have an impact. What if others ask the same, and I am that “other” person they have prayed for?

There are hundreds of ways to share Jesus Christ. For starters, we need to pray for opportunities to tell our story: We were lost. We were found. We are saved. Our life has never been the same.

The best way to witness our faith is to live it out (even if it involves drunks at taco stands). Sometimes it’s not about that person at all; it’s how others watch what is going on. In our couples’ Bible study, “Helen” shared that she and her husband went to a boat show the previous weekend. She watched a dirty, homeless lady walk into a coffee shop and stand in line. Helen felt compelled to give her some money (something she admitted she never had done before), approached the woman, handed her the money and followed that with a hug, telling her God loved her. Within the hour as she and her husband were checking in for the show, the ticket-taker stopped her and asked, “Were you the one who just hugged that homeless lady back in the coffee shop? I saw you do that and thought how I never take that risk but need to.”

Someone once said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” Start by being a good listener. Everyone has a need or a hurt. Sometimes we physically can offer help, but one thing we definitely can do is offer to pray for them (and then, of course, pray.) The other day I was outside when a middle-aged woman walked by with two dogs, one on a leash and the other in a stroller. I commented on her dogs (a GREAT way to start a conversation, I have found), and she shared that at 4:00 that afternoon, the strollered dog was being put to sleep. This was their “last walk.” I was touched by her story and told her I would pray for her. At 3:57, I began praying. The next day when I ran into her, she told me how much my offer to pray meant to her. It was a start. Dave and I have a friend who eats out a lot, and at every meal, he tells the waiters/waitresses that he is getting ready to pray a blessing on his food and asks if they have any prayer requests. Most of the time he is told no, but occasionally he is given an opportunity to share Christ. I know shy people who leave gospel tracts on shelves in supermarkets, gas stations coffee shops, trick-or-treat bags, Christmas cards, etc. The opportunities are endless. We are told in Scripture that we have a responsibility to share Jesus: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2Timothy 2:15) We all have a “best.” My approach might not be yours, but one thing is for certain: saying or doing nothing is not an option.

Kansas Court On Wrong Side

Liberal Kansas Supreme Court wrongly sides with those who stand against the State Constitution

By Trevor Jacobs, 4th District Representative
In the Book of Genesis God speaks and He says that He created man in His image. God tells us in the book of Jeremiah 1:5 that “before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”
No matter what cheap lawyers may say, God, is the Creator of all life and no one has the right regardless of popular opinion to destroy innocent life. Period.

I imagine many, if not all people who know me, know where I stand on the issue of terminating and murdering children in the womb.

So, when it comes down to the recent ruling of the Kansas Supreme Court and their callous opinion that they believe the brutal dismemberment and murder of children is protected by the state constitution, this I strongly oppose and condemn. “I believe wholeheartedly one of government’s fundamental duties is to protect innocent life, not destroy it.”

The KSC is misguided in their delusional decision and they are living a lie in total contradiction if they believe that they are upholding the oath that they had sworn to protect the Constitution of the State of Kansas.

Kansas Bill of Rights…
1. All men are possessed of equal and inalienable natural rights, among which
are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Nowhere in this amendment is there any guarantee or right for anyone to brutally disembowel, dismember, rip apart, and murder a helpless child in the womb.
We the People, must humble ourselves before God and plead for His mercy and grace so that truth and righteousness would be enacted in the land and that the Kansas Supreme Court and those who support this ruling would see the error of their wicked ways and would repent of their sins and get their heart right with God before they stand before Him as their Judge.
As we see clearly in this KSC ruling we cannot place our hope, trust, and future in politicians or lawyers, but we must first seek the face of God and turn to Him as a people.
2Chronicles7:14
If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.
May God strengthen you as you stand for what is right.

The Point Is by Pastor James Collins

The Point Is by Pastor James Collins.

Will You Join Me?

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

McKinney, Tx.

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.

Pastor James Collins

 

Security Guards Required by Pastor Jimmy Tucker

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

(620) 223-1483

Diamond Community Church

10:45 a.m. Worship

Afraid of the “What-if” by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

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.

Image result for free photo of a 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.