Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Poem read at my Dad's Funeral

I read this poem at my Dad's Funeral on Wednesday, June 22, 2011. I wanted to share this poem with you because it touch me and I thought it would touch you.

He is Gone
You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he lived,

You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,

You can cry and close your mind be empty and
turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins 1959

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Managua, Nicaragua Mission Trip

July 23-29, 2011, Fifteen Youth and Adults from First Baptist Church of LaBelle will be going to Managua, Nicaragua to work with children of the streets and a retirement center. Approximately 15,000 children between ages of 7 and 14 living on the streets, who have been forced to forgo their childhood and prematurely enter the adult reality of hardship and suffering. Besides feeding the children we will do VBS with the children and work in the retirement center.

Here is a list of the following people who are going on our trip this summer. Aaron & Michelle Deerey, Frank Deerey, Jr. Roel Herrera, Emily Hull, Preston Long, Jr., Preston Long, III, Paul Martin, Jennifer Ruble, Savannah Smith, Lori Spangler, Debra Tolar, Corie Tolar, Tonie Tolar, Gregory Zimmerly.

The cost of the trip this year is $1,500 a person. Each person is responsible for raising their own support. Please be in prayer for this group. Some members of our group are still trying to raise their support for this trip. If you would like to help someone out with their support, please let Pastor Preston or Pastor Frank know.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Deacon Nomination

On Sunday July 10, 2011 the members of First Baptist Church LaBelle will have the opportunity to nominate two men to serve as Deacons. In our Morning Worship Service on July 10, 2011 ballots will be passed out to members to nominate two men.

This year we have three men who will rotate off as Deacons effective September 1, 2011, Bobby Holland, Frank Dana and Lonnie Howard.

The qualifications to be a Deacon according to our Constitution:
The Deacon shall be a male member of the church with an account of Godliness and fitness for the office. His moral qualifications require that he be a man serious in purpose, careful in speech, sound in doctrine, the husband of one wife, and a good steward of time and talent, must abstain from the use and sale of intoxicating beverages. Deacon's wives should so conduct themselves as expressed in 1 Timothy 3:11-12. A new Christian is ineligible for Deaconship for one year. A previously ordained Deacon in good standing must be a member of First Baptist Church of LaBelle for a period of three (3) months before becoming a eligible for Deaconship.

Please begin praying for the men you feel God would want you to nominate.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Lottie Moon" - Are You Kidding Me?

I realize it is not Christmas time but each year we ask our members to give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering but you never hear what we have done through out the Southern Baptist convention. Here is an article that was recently published by our International Mission Board.

RICHMOND, Va. —“Will Southern Baptists be found simply marching around our denominational parade grounds, flexing our muscles and polishing our medals, while across this globe souls are being ravaged and hell gapes wide and eager?” asked IMB President Tom Elliff.

“God forbid!”

Elliff challenged Southern Baptists to greater missions involvement following the results of the 2010 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Doubts about the strength of America’s economic recovery and rumors of a double-dip recession didn’t stop Southern Baptists from giving $145,662,925 in 2010 to tell the world about Jesus Christ. Every penny of the offering is used to support the nearly 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries serving around the world through IMB, providing housing, salaries, medical care and children’s education. The cost averages $46,700 annually per individual missionary.

In 2009, that support enabled missionaries and their national partners to baptize more than 360,000 people and start more than 29,000 churches.

Elliff and Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) Executive Director/Treasurer Wanda Lee both expressed deep gratitude for Southern Baptists’ investment in international missions and faithfulness to fulfill the Great Commission.

“In the midst of continuing economic challenges … this offering total gives evidence that Southern Baptists remained focused on missions,” Lee said. “We are grateful for every church and every WMU leader that kept missions before their congregation with a challenge to give sacrificially so all the world may know of our Savior’s great love.”

The 2010 offering is $3 million less than the $148.9 million Southern Baptists gave in 2009, a 2.2 percent decrease, and $8.3 million less than IMB needs to meet its 2011 operating budget. Offering receipts also fell well below the national goal of $175 million. Elliff said the “deficit is a matter of concern, but the issue is ultimately spiritual, not fiscal.

“Every offering is a picture of our heart. And it illustrates whether we have faith in God — that’s what stewardship is all about,” Elliff said. “When we give generously not only do we accomplish more on the field, but more is accomplished in our own heart because we’re expressing our trust in Christ.

“God is calling Southern Baptists to a spiritual awakening — an awakening of our faith — without which it is impossible to please Him.”

Now, more than ever before, Elliff said, it is critical to press forward with taking the Gospel to those who haven’t heard.

“Never has the cry of the lost been more desperate and the opportunity for sharing the Gospel been greater,” he said. “The fact that there remain 3,800 people groups that are not engaged with the Gospel coupled with the fact that, barring an awakening of our faith, 1.7 billion people will die without hearing the name of Jesus, should be totally unacceptable to those of us who call ourselves by Christ’s name.

“We will not evangelize the world by simply falling out of bed tomorrow morning and going about our business as usual. We must awaken to the trumpet call of faith.”

Regardless of the budget deficit, Elliff said IMB will not retreat during what may prove to be the most effective season of the organization’s 166-year history.

“Through our cooperative efforts God has enabled Southern Baptists to develop two of the most dynamic and effective mission organizations anywhere in the world, six of the finest training institutions in the evangelical world, along with our other wonderful entities that speak to the great need of mankind,” he said. “Add to these the amazing, supernatural strength of our local churches and we have a great cloud of witnesses capable of awesome exploits in the struggle for the souls of men.

“Your IMB intends to move forward, driven by a sense of urgency and with faith — faith in God and faith in Southern Baptists. My prayer is that in the days ahead we will see a level of sacrifice, generosity and concern that we have never seen before within the Southern Baptist Convention.

“One can only wonder what could be accomplished if we as Southern Baptists rose up to the level of faith that God wants us to experience.”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


This past Sunday, I attended Westside Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, Louisiana with Ms. Nell, my Dad's wife. I always enjoy attending other churches but I don't get that opportunity very often. Dr. Jerry Pounds is Pastor of this wonderful loving church. The Mission Statement for this church is Loving God, Loving Others, Reaching the World For Jesus Christ." I thought to myself that this simple statement sums up what churches need to do. I pray for our church that we would Love God with all of our heart and love of others as well. In this world today, people need to know that they are loved. The church needs to be a loving place and will accept people where they are and love them as God loves us.

I pray that we would be reminded that the churches job is to Reach the World for Jesus Christ. Here lately people have been thinking about the second coming of Christ. Christ is coming again and we need to be prepare for his coming. I believe time is short and we still need to be out reaching this world for Christ. Let's go out and Love God, Love Others and Reach Out.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Prayers for my Dad

Wednesday around 12:30pm I got a call from my brother that my Dad stop breathing and they were having difficulty getting a tube down him. I talked to Cathy and decided for me to fly down to New Orleans. I went home and pack real quick and drove back to the church and Preston took me to the airport. I arrived in New Orleans around 7:50pm and my two cousins pick me up and took me to my Dad in Hammond.

When I went in the room he look peaceful, like he was sleeping. Just seeing him gave me a peace about everything. The Doctor came in at 10:00pm and told us that he was stable and resting. Jim and I stay until 12:30am that morning before going to get some rest.

On Thursday, Dad was stable most of the day. A few times his blood pressure fell below 90 but overall good. He seem that he was in no pain. They try to remove the sedation but he begin chewing his tube and shaking so they decided to keep it on for awhile longer. He had a good night.

Friday, he is still resting. Still on ventilator and sedated. His blood pressure is holding it's own. They are still giving antibiotic for infection. They still don't know where the infection is coming from.

My visit has allow Ms. Nell and Jim to get a little rest. I'm glad I could help out in that way. I thank everyone for their prayers for my Dad and Ms. Nell. I thank you for allowing me to come at any time to be with my Dad. I am thankful for the Deacons in our church and how Preston and Frank Dana are there to fill in.

Pastor Frank