Wednesday, December 5, 2012

KHATS 13 - Don't Scorn

My next challenge to you mothers in to never scorn or criticize anyone your child should respect...This may include, but is not limited to their sorry, good-for-nothing daddy, your pastor, police, or anyone in authority.  You may think the marked out words; but never speak them.  They will find out the truth about the deadbeats in their lives all too soon.  Let  Pray that God will do a work in their hearts and lives so that when the truth comes to the light they will accept it gracefully and desire better for themselves and their future family. 

I guess my mom's way of obeying this principle was to never speak of my dad.  I have encountered him only two or three times in my life.  (He has since passed away.)  I know very little about him; but the little I do know is not very favorable.  When I met my husband one of the things I looked for in him when I met him was if he would be a good father or not.  My husband is very good with kids.  I love that about him. 

In the case of this challenge the old saying works..."If you can't say anything nice; don't say anything at all."  In my experience when you criticize someone a person loves and respects, it makes that person loose respect for you - their opinion of the other party is rarely changed. 

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Until next time,

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So You Want To Win...

When I say Win a bus kid, I don't mean to lead them to the Lord as far as salvation is concerned; I am talking about keeping them in church through their teenage years and even through adulthood.  The things I plan to share are things that I believe won me.  They don't specifically apply to Black children; but I will address that for those of you who are in predominately White churches; but reach out to the Black community.

Tip #1
Remember that not every kid that that comes on the bus will serve God.  Do your best to share with them about salvation; but realize that most of those kids we pick up today but we don't even know where to find them tomorrow.

Tip #2
Look for a child that seems really hungry for the Word of God and start praying specifically for them.  It really sends chills down my spine when I think that I might be the only person praying for that child and their family.  Note:  It is important to realize that praying for their family is vital as well.  Several members of my family have been saved since I have been in church; to be honest it really all began with my Grandma.  She was the first to attend Windsor Hills and commit her life to Christ.  She gave our address to her bus captain, who gave it to the bus director, who gave it to the Jackson's, who visited us and invited my whole family to church.

Tip #3
Once you have selected a faithful child and have begun to faithfully pray for them; make sure they attend at least two out of three services a week.  This is VERY important.  I don't know any serious Christian who ever did anything for God that only attended church once a week.  I would add that I think it is important that the child ride to church in a car, rather than a bus, for at least one of the services.  This gives the child (and their family) the opportunity to see faces other than those who work on the bus.  In my situation, my mom became good friends with several people in our church.  She knew that their was a whole host of folks who cared about me and my family other than just the bus workers.  She often cooked for them on the holidays to show her appreciation for them transporting me and my siblings to church and caring for us.

To be continued....

Until next time,

Confession #3 - Afraid

This confession may be a little bizarre; but I don't like dealing with children at the altar.  So many people, myself included, have the testimony that they prayed when they were a child; but doubted and had to pray again later to be sure they were saved.  Well, like it or not; I am the first altar worker my husband calls on when a child or young lady raises their hand for salvation. 

The Sunday evening before last we had a little visitor in church.  We have been praying for some time for a single mom that lives in Newport to come to our church and let the Lord do a work in her life.  She is a close friend of one of our faithful members and has visited before; and she is very friendly when we see her around town. Well, it was her little five year old daughter who came with a friend to our service last week.  I don't remember what my husband preached about; but at the end of the service he invited those who wanted to pray to be saved, as he always does.  I was sitting directly behind her and saw her raise her hand; but my husband didn't see her.  Well, she must have been really serious because after he prayed the closing prayer she walked right up to him and told him she wanted to be saved!  I dropped everything and took her to my Sunday school classroom and VERY CAREFULLY and with fear and trembling shared with her verses and explained the best I could about God's gift of salvation.  I asked her if she was a sinner- if she had ever done anything that was bad; and with a look of severe concentration on her face she confessed, "Yes."  I told her that she could ask Jesus to forgive her for any bad thing she has done and will ever do and he would forgive her and take her to Heaven when she died.  She understood that people who didn't pray for Jesus to save them went to Hell.  She very sincerely prayed to become a Christian. 

She left that room with a HUGE smile on her face and went and told her friend that she got saved!  What a blessing.  Now if we could just get her mom and dad (and step mom) to understand that they need Jesus too!

Matthew 18:3
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Until next time,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Confession 2 - Faking it!

I was recently talking to a lady and she made the comment that she just couldn't "fake" liking someone or something when she really didn't.  I thought to myself... "You better never become a pastor's wife. I sure have.  Sometimes in the ministry 'faking it' is a must."  Right after I said it (to myself) a still small voice said to me, "O really, think about that."  So I have been thinking about it for about a month now.  Do you know what the Lord said to me....'Faking it' is only necessary when I am in the flesh.  If I am "walking in the Spirit" I don't have to 'fake' anything...I can react or respond in every situation with boldness. 

Let me explain a little bit further what I am talking about.  Sometimes we encounter people who are just plain selfish, or moochers, or  dumb"simple", etc.  Sometimes you just want to "give it to them RAW"; but instead you smile and be sweet and help them, or promise to pray with them about a certain situation. I am not saying that I should always respond how I would like.  Sometimes it is right to keep quiet.  But it is important to BE REAL.  So often when we have been at this thing for a while we know what is expected of us so we do that; but that which we do is not what we wanted to do or what we had or felt in our heart and mind. 

Romans 7:14 - 25

 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Real live example

Recently we met with a couple who has been having a difficult time financially.  We explained to them about tithing (for the third time), talked with them about offerings and explained in detail about the importance of establishing and sticking to a budget.  They nodded their heads and when the conversation was over they handed us some money (Evidently they didn't get that a partial tithe is not a tithe; but at least they are making an effort) and seemed encouraged.  The next day they called and asked for a ride to the store and after that a ride to Burger King - where they spent almost 1/18th of their total month's income on one meal.  I wanted to refuse to taxi them and then give them a piece of my mind; but after some prayer, I decided instead to let them make their own decisions without my input. I had to go to the store anyway, and even though that fast food sure smelled good, I had chili cooking at home! These are professing Believers. I was reminded that some folks learn best from the school of hard knocks and the Holy Spirit is able and willing to help us when and if we allow Him. If they won't allow God to help them, what makes me think that anything I say will change them. Initially I slapped a fake smile on my face and demonstrated a fake willing spirit.  Then I whispered a little prayer of thanks for the work and grace of God manifested in my life and asked for Him to do a work in their lives as well.

There was a time when I was a new Christian that all I could to was take.  I simply had nothing to offer; but to grow in the Lord I needed a Bible.  Someone bought one for me.  I needed a ride to church.  I was bussed to and from church sometimes five times a week and all I could offer was a shallow thank you-if I said that.  I went to a Christian school for five years; my family may have paid 5% of the bill.  I did do some work scholarship; but I am sure it didn't cover what was lacking.  Some faithful college students paid my school bill for a while; but they couldn't support me forever.  Mooch. Guilty! Selfish. Guilty! Undeserving. Guilty!  I could go on. 

I hope this little post will encourage you to BE REAL.  Let the Lord work through you in the lives of others.  The world doesn't need any more phonies.

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Until Next Time,

Coming soon..."So you want to win a bus kid?"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

September, October Prayer Letter

October 22, 2012
Dear Pastor and Praying Friends,

Praise the Lord that the three digit temperatures of our Arkansas Summer have ended and Autumn has brought with it some beautiful, cool weather. We also praise God for His goodness to us and our church and this season of blessing. Since our last letter we have seen many souls saved and baptized.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and , lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” - Matthew 28: 19,20

Two of the people who were baptized I met one Saturday while on visitation. The girlfriend and her sixteen year old “step-daughter” called us for a ride to church about a month later. We continued to visit them on Saturdays and eventually the man joined his family in church.

I often preach about God’s desire for our homes. By that I mean God desires for there to be a saved and surrendered husband and wife first and then children to follow. You can’t unscramble eggs, but you can make them better. After attending several services and hearing this type of preaching; this couple approached me about getting married. During the process of marital counseling I asked them their salvation testimonies and found out they had a Church of Christ background. The lady thought she had lost her salvation and the husband couldn’t give me a clear and sure testimony of having been previously saved either. To make a long story shorter, they both received the Lord that day and were scripturally baptized the next. Two weeks later we had a beautiful wedding at our church.

Another one of the people who were baptized is a young lady in her twenties. (Her brother and niece were saved and baptized here in July.) She came for a visit and raised her hand for salvation during the invitation. My wife took her out and talked with her. She prayed to be saved that Sunday! The next day she called us about her twelve year old son. He had asked why she left at the end of the service and what the papers we gave her about baptism meant. I told her to read the papers to him and that we would talk with him later to make sure he understood about salvation and baptism. The next Sunday we showed him from scripture how he could know he was saved and he prayed and received the Lord as well. Afterward he said he wanted to be baptized because now he was saved just like his Mama. So, that day we had two baptisms instead of one. This young lady’s zeal and trust in the Lord has been a real blessing to all of our church family.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundatly.” - John 10:10

These families represent the burden of our ministry here. There are so many people in Newport shacking up – some in their forties and fifties who just never thought it important to be married. There are even more religious people here who are on their way to Hell. Thank you for your prayers and financial support which enables us to show them God’s desire for their souls as well as their lives.

Prayer Requests

· We are asking God to double our number by next Fall. This would give us about fifty souls on Sunday mornings.

· Wisdom and provision as our family moves from the church into the parsonage.

· That God would bless us with good health. Recently our whole family was down with some type of sickness. On top of the sickness I had an allergic reaction to something and it turned my eyes fiery red. After I preached Sunday morning one of our members (who is a nurse) came to me and said, “You look awful!”.

In His Service,

Pastor Raymond Beckles

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Flower Girl

I was so excited when a lady in our church asked Aaliyah to be her flower girl!  She was excited too! Once we picked out her dress, basket, and flowers she was REALLY excited!!!  She kept asking me if she could practise.  I let her twice; but got tired of picking the flowers back up so that was the end of practising.  Finally the day came and she did a great job.  So proud of my little flower girl.  On a side note...I praise God for this young couple who got saved, baptised, and then married after about six weeks of marriage counseling with me and my hubby/pastor. 

P.S.  I think her favorite part of the wedding was when Daddy said to the groom, "You may kiss the bride."  Aaliyah has been rehearsing this with her babies ever since Friday night. 

Until next time,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Confessions (1)


I have been a pastor’s wife (officially) for three years.  I know…it’s hard to believe that so much time really has past.  I intended to write a “things I have learned my first year….”  Post; but that didn’t happen.  Plus you probably would not have wanted to read what I had to say anyway.   Let’s just say it was a very short “honeymoon”.  When you are about to embark on this journey (becoming a pastor’s wife), you enter it with a little bit of nieveness and some rose colored glasses on.  I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble; but if you plan to be a pastor's wife here are a few things to remember...  Promises made will be broken.  Expectations will be disappointed (even the ity bity ones).  Hopes will be deferred leading to a “sick” heart. And last but not least, there will be surprises- some good some bad.  This new series will be a lot of fun, I hope.  I will do my best to make them positive and uplifting while being real; but not whiney (if that isn’t a word, it should be.) All names (if even given) will be fake; and some scenarios will be encoded as to not offend the offendor(s).  Enough said…let’s move on to confession number one.


Taxi!  This confession is neither the most important, nor one with the greatest eternal value. it is simply first because I received a phone call about half an hour ago (at the moment it is 7:17 a.m….Yes,  as in in the morning!)  Normally, I get up between 8:00 – 8:30 (I have become a bit of a night owl, so am no longer an early riser);but after getting off the phone I couldn’t go back to sleep.  So here I am venting…sharing with you all.

Newport has no public transportation. No buses, not taxis, no nothing; but it has about six government housing additions.  Living in these government houses are a lot of people with a lot of needs…one of them is transportation.  For some odd reason we meet up with quite a lot of them on a pretty regular basis.  Some of them never frequent our church on Sunday; but they know we have a vehicle that runs pretty well.  The call this morning was for a ride to the health department; but there have been others.  One that sticks out in my mind was the time when one young man and his girlfriend – two perfectly able; but non-working people  -  called us on Thursday evening at about 9:00 (that is just about the time my Honey returns home from dropping the kids off after Bible Club)  to see if  we would take them to pick up a pizza they had ordered.  I will confess that I didn’t handle that one very well.   Our first year here we (I use that term very loosely) always said yes; but with time and after a lot of prayer for wisdom we have learned that sometimes it is ok to say, "No, not this time. ".

Some may not ever understand; but each phone call you receive represents a soul.  Each ride you provide is an opportunity to witness, after all you have a captive audience.  They called you.  They are in your vehicle.  They have to listen to whatever you have to say.  Some, after the first “sermon”, never call again.  Some do, but eventually find some other person to tote them around; and some come to church, get saved, and begin to grow.  The Lord blesses and  provides them with a car of their own…then they never come back!  Really, it has happened!

What is the lesson in all of this?  As a dear friend once said to me (in my first year) Tinyla, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.  I often feel like hiding away and becoming too busy with the kids, my house, or the garden; but instead I have to smile and be friendly and inconvenience myself for people who seem to be taking advantage of me. I have learned that whatever I do, do for the Lord and not for people.  With that heart attitude you will never feel taken advantage of.  We serve a good God! The Lord makes a promise that if we give it will be given unto us.  There is a very popular verse quoted in philippians about God supplying all our needs. This is a promise given to a giving people, not to people who never give.  That makes me excited!  Sometimes it may be your money…more money will come. Sometimes it may be your resources (diapers, food, etc)…more of those will come as well.  I struggle the most with giving my time.  Time is something that can never be refunded. I always have a list of things that I want done everyday.  When the phone rings, I may as well just cross one or all of them off and prepare to write them again tomorrow.  But, when I am walking with the Lord and my plans are changed, I easily remember the Lord’s promises and I know that He is setting my priorities, and with a little bit of wisdom I can please God, help others – deserving or not, and get everything that NEEDS to be done accomplished. 
Philippians 4
Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.  I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.  And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.  But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Matthew 25:34 - 45
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

I hope this helps someone.

Until next time,


KHATS 12- Learn to Cook


I am in the process of making a little cook book for a singe mom in our church.  (31 days - breakfast,lunch, and dinner for one month) this, for me, is a huge task. Sometimes I can be a bit of a perfectionist, especially when I am putting something with my name on it in print for someone else to examine and use.

My mother could not cook when she first started her family, but she is a GREAT cook now. My brother’s dad taught her. My grandmother grew up in an orphanage, and unless they had cooking classes, she probably learned later in life as well. I knew how to cook a few things when I first got married…like Top Ramen noodles and microwave popcorn! Oh, and a turkey for Christmas. Long story short - when my husband and I were dating I visited him for Christmas. Just before I arrived he informed me that he wanted me to cook the turkey and his sisters to make the side dishes.  I made an emergency call to my roommate and she gave me strict instructions. I followed them and it was the best Christmas turkey I have ever eaten!  (He bought a ring about two weeks later.).

Husband or no husband learn to cook. You and your kids need to eat more than instant meals and take-out. I will also add learn to cook healthy meals. They don’t need to be elaborate or gourmet; just simple and good will do.   If you can read and follow directions, you can cook! 

Proverbs 15:17

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, August 30, 2012

KHATS (11) Wash Your Hands!

Tis the be sick!  When all the kids go back to school and are crammed into the same room there is one thing they are sure to share...germs!  My girls don't go to school; but they do go to Sunday School.  Every year about this time they get sick.  Two things I have tried to implement to keep the germs down are...

1.  Wash everyones hands as often as is possible and practical.  Every time we return home from going out I am trying to instill that habit into the girls to head straight to the bathroom and everyone wash hands.

2.  Put echinasea in their yogurt.  We eat more yogurt this time of year.  I read somewhere that we often harbor illness in our colons.  If you have a clean colon chances are you will be healthier. Yogurt helps keep you regular.  I have some echinacea capsules (immune system boosters!!!) and I open them up and pour the contents into their yogurt.  They are none the wiser, but hopefully they won't get sick as much.

3.  A lot of people are into hand sanitizers; but I have read and heard so many negative things about them that I just stick to good old soap and water.    Washing your hands often is probably the best way to keep sickness out of your home.

Until Next Time,

KHATS (10) - Make Life Fun!

We went to a carnival in our town and Aaliyah got her face painted.
It was so funny to watch her hold her face perfectly still until she
forgot that it was painted.
In our family my mom was known for making life fun!  Two fun things I remember to this day are ...

1. She always brought home the newest candy on the store shelves. If there was something new and unusual looking; or bright, colorful and sweet she would buy it and bring it home for us to eat.  We always looked forward to her coming home on Fridays because we knew she would be bearing gifts!

2. She made every holiday special.  My favorite holiday as a child was not Christmas; but the Fourth of July.  Mainly because I knew we would be cooking on the grill (I LOVE BBQ!!!), popping fireworks, and going downtown to see the city's fireworks display.  Mom would give us each an allowance and we could go to the fireworks stand and pick out whatever fireworks we wanted. All the cousins would come over and we would go to the country and pop away. At the end of the evening we would all vote on who picked the best.  That was FUN!

I try to make the holidays extra special as well; but I also try and make everyday activities a little more fun/beautiful. I have a couple of ideas I would like to share with you.

1.  Add flowers (edible ones! ie. roses, dandilions, and nastriums), bubbles, and/or fragrance to their bath water.  Just yesterday I added rose petals to the girls bath water.  They loved it!  (I always freeze the flowers my husband gets for me on special occasions and add them to my bath water when I get the urge. Yesterday I decided to treat the girls.)

2.  I bought some bright and colorful plates from Target or somewhere and at lunch I let Aaliyah pick which plate she wants to use.  (Nine times out of ten she picks the purple one!) Simple idea; but she thinks it is great that she gets to eat from her purple plate...and sometimes she will eat something she doesn't really like simply because it is on her purple plate!

Make Life Fun!!!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

KHATS 9 / One Joy filled Mama!

Every Thursday night at our church the children quote Bible Verses.  I had previously decided I would start teaching Aaliyah Bible Verses at home when I started her "preschool" just after she turned three (we begin next week).  Sometimes the verses we learn on Thursday are rather lengthy and I didn't expect her to be able to remember them; but last week she surprised us all.  When Pastor asked if anyone wanted to quote the verse she raised her hand.  As usual Dad acknowledged her...we all expected to hear gibborish; but she said in a loud and proud voice, "Third John 1:4. (pause) Third John 1:4.  I have no greater joy (pause)  than to hear (pause) that my children (pause) walk in truth."

She got it and she earned a piece of candy!  I was so proud!  Maybe I am underestimating her abilities again.  I'll have to remember that in the future.  Lesson learned - Your little ones are listening to EVERYTHING that goes on around them and are learning.  Be sure to put Truth in their paths.

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

KHATS 8 - Guard Your Relationships!

Recently we returned from a trip to visit our family in California and Oklahoma.  While in California we were privileged to visit a friend of mine from college and her family.  We had a blast!; but one picture I took startled me for just a second....

 My heart leaped out of my chest when I saw Aaliyah "holding hands" with a boy!  He was guiding Aaliyah and his sister Selah back to us; but it still took me by surprise...I think mainly because I realized in that instant that it is only a matter of time before both my girls will be grown and establishing families of their own.  For Aaliyah it could be as soon as 16 years.  That may sound like a long time to you; but it doesn't to me. 

Here is my little bit of advice for you today....Guard your relationships.  Who you bring around your children will have a part in who they (your children) become.  Some people you have to be around, others you chose.  Choose wisely!

1 Corinthians 15:33
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Until Next time,

Friday, August 10, 2012

Please Pray for Newport...

Deaf man named Kenneth that has been attending our servies.
We just returned home from a wonderful vacation to some good news and some bad.  The good news...our people were faithful even though we were not there!  It is good to know that there are people in  Lighthouse Baptist Church that are in it for Jesus and not for us. Even the deaf man that has been attending our services for the past two months came and sat in the services with no interpreter.   Our fish are still alive...and mysteriously we have four new {baby} fish; and our garden survived {for the most part...we lost our pumpkin plants to vine beetles}.  The bad news....four young people died here in Newport.  Three of them were babies.  One baby died of SIDS, two died in hot vehicles (one accidentally...I'll explain later and one accidentally on purpose - the parents left the child in the car to punish himwhile they went shopping in Wal-mart.).  The accidental death happened when a man went to work, locked up his vehicle and came home at the end of his eight hour work day at the hospital only to find out that his eighteen month old was in the back seat of his car asleep in the carseat.   The other person that died was a friend of one of our members and an aunt to another.  The young lady (age 27) was Saved and Baptised {at a different church} on Sunday and never woke up on Monday.  That is the Grace of God!  She had seven children (one of whom was lying on her breast when she died of an apparent heart attack in her sleep).  More bad news...a preacher in a neighboring town got up in his pulpit on Sunday, said, "I quit!" and left.  One of the families that recently joined our church came from his church.  How sad.   Please pray that the Lord will use all of these events to bring people to Him.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Birthdays!/KHATS 7

I feel like I am behind a time curve.  A couple of weeks ago I had jury duty, then  {among other things}I had a major project to complete for the church.  Now I am preparing for a major trip to California in celebration of my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary.  The trip is still a ways away; but it never hurts to be over-prepared!  So...all that being said...what has been going on with us? Aaliyah and Cassidy had a birthday party to celebrate Aaliyah turning 3 and Cassidy turning 1.  I can't believe how the time has flown.  It was a lot of work preparing for the party; but it was also a lot of fun.  Part of the work was staying within my budget.  My goal was to spend no more than $25.00.  I felt guilty about spending $50 until I remembered that I was planning a party for two people!  25+25=50!  (That salved my conscience anyway.)  Click on the link to view pics from the party.

Birthday party pictures

KHAT Challenge:

Don't spend money and a lot of effort on things your kids won't remember anyway.  We could have gone to Chuckie Cheeses, or I could have rented a bounce house; but I chose not to.  One thing I had to remind myself of over and over again is that the party wasn't about was about making the day special for our girls.  The goal was not to impress all in attendance with my creative juices and mothering skills; (but again) it was about making it special for our girls.
Until next time,

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Just say no! bad advice. Say yes!... to good fact ask lots of question from those who you see are doing things right. I recently gave a discipline/training demonstration to a single mother in our church. I praise the Lord that she was open to a little advice and I look forward to seeing the fruit of that in her life and the lives of her children. Two things I shared with her are:

  • Remember the Bible says to "train up" a child, not discipline up, reason with then to bring them up, or build their self-esteem up. Training is different from each of these other things. While I am a fan of disciplined children and children who have a healthy opinion of themselves, training is so important. Show them what you expect of them...then expect it. Don't settle for less than their best behavior.

  • Exercise self-control. It is very important that you be in control (of yourself) at all times. Don't yell at your children. It goes without saying that you should never curse at your children.  Never discipline them when you are angry (post-pone until you are in control of yourself). It helps when you have spent time with the Lord, after all self control is a fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-26
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."
Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Psalm 1
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Be overprotective!!!   I am not saying protect your children from life...I am saying protect your children from unnecessary harm.  One young lady told me that she allowed her young children to stay at a friends house for almost a week because she needed a break from them.  Red flags went up in my mind and I got a very uncomfortable feeling in my chest!  I ask her if she would trust this same friend with her gold rings or money and she said, "NO!".  Then why on earth would you trust them with your children! You don't know your friends as well as you think you do.  You especially don't know who is coming in and out of their homes.  There are too many evil people in the world that will take any opportunity to harm your child.  We don't allow our children to spend the night at anyones house ( with one exception).  We don't allow teenagers, especially boys, to babysit our children.  My "me" time is nap time.  If you work during the day; make your children go to bed early so that the evenings will be your "me" time.  Children of single parents become easy targets for child preditors.  Let me repeat that...Children of single parents become easy targets for child preditors.  Be on guard.  Better to be called overprotective and your children be safe and nurtured, than to have wounded children and regrets. 

Two quotes that I love are:

  1. "Do not sacrifice your childrens' safety on the alter of social politenesses." - Mike Pearl
  2. "Separate what you feel from what is best for the child and do the latter."  - Kermitta Overland
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.   Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.- Provervs 31:27,18

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.  - Luke 17:2
Some interesting reading on this subject
here (...More than 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way...),
here (...80% of all child molestation cases involve someone the child knows...), and
here (...The FBI receives more than 2,000 missing child reports every day. That means 2,000 yesterday, 2,000 today and 2,000 tomorrow...)

Until Next time,

Monday, June 25, 2012

May-June Prayer letter

Dear Pastor and praying friends,

“And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.” Ezekial 34:26

Normally this time of year people start disappearing, the church’s giving dies down, and we seem to have to work hard to keep everyone’s morale up; but these past two months have definitely been a season of blessing for us. Two adults have been saved, three families have started attending regularly, and three children were saved during one of our Thursday evening Bible studies. The Thursday that those children and one gentleman were saved we had a college singing group with us and they were a tremendous blessing. We don’t know that this is our “due season”, but we do praise the Lord for His blessings thus far.

Another blessing we have noticed is that the people here in Newport have changed drastically in their demeanor toward us. Previously they were cordial, but kept their distance. Recently people in the community have asked us whether or not we lived in Newport and how long we have been here. One lady in the care home expressed how sad she was to hear that we were leaving. The talk around town is that a lot of new churches start here; but they don’t stay long; and the pastors of these new churches never live here in Newport. It is blessings to have the people of Newport realize that we are here to stay and that we are here for them. Please keep our ministry in your thoughts and prayers as we endeavor to be a church where people will be introduced to Christ and taught Biblical truth that will break the cycles of sin in their lives. What a blessing it would be if the three visiting families would become active members and if two other families that we have been in close contact with would come to church. We know that the Lord can do a mighty work in their lives; but the Devil knows that as well and he is working overtime to keep them away.

On a personal note…

Our family is doing great! Just this week we celebrated Fathers’ Day, Cassidy’s first birthday (June 17) and Aaliyah’s birthday (June 18). God is so good! Thank you for your prayers and financial support.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9


Pastor Raymond Beckles

Lighthouse Baptist Church

Newport, Arkansas

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Learn to love to read!  Not just read; but research and study.  Unfortunately you can't believe everything you are told; but you can research just about everything you are told.  My general rule of thumb is that whatever someone tells me (doctor, dentist, child psychologist or therapist, teacher, etc.) I want it confirmed by at least two or three sources.  One important topic I would encourage you to research is your family's health.  I have recently began learning about home remedies and growing herbs and the benefit of eating healthy. I must tell you that I am enjoying myself!  A few of the things I am reading now are:

I highly recommend this book!!!  I am now on chapter nine and I have learned SO much.

subscribe to this magazine here.

Subscribe to this magazine here.

As always is the case, I cannot say that I support every single thing any of these books/magazines support; but they have been a great blessing and encouragement to our family.

  Until next time,

Sunflowers galore!

We really enjoy gardening!  I don't believe a day passes that we don't go out and just sit and admire what the Lord has allow us to grow.  This year we have already been enjoying some lettuce, radishes, zucchini, sweet corn, and a few herbs (chives and parsley) from our garden.  One thing - actually two - that we have been looking forward to is our sunflowers and zinnias blooming.  Here are a few pics.

This plant is about 7' tall.

This on is about 6' tall.

Zinnia in full boom.  I plant these to attract bees and butterflies.

Potted Gerbera Daisy

Me pulling weeds

This flower was cut off its plant by a cutworm, so I put it in a tea cup with some water and placed it on our dining room table.
My gardening tip would be to know your friends from your foes!  One of our foes this year is vine borers.  We have already lost one zucchini plant to these creatures.  Another is the cut worm.  I was prepared for them with our tomato and pepper plants; but not with our sunflowers.  We are still on the look out for the little culprit who has been cutting some of our sunflowers off our sunflower plants.  Helpful websites are here, here, and here.

Until next time,


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