‘Just one of them things.’ A phrase for good and bad, and death

BELMONT, Miss. (BNC) by Adam Cozort — I have the honor of speaking at the funeral of a kind-hearted and generous sister in Christ who passed on to her reward Sunday night, at age 87. Nothing came easy for Sister Norma Taylor.

She worked hard through many situations that would have brought down other people. She raised six children and two of her grandsons after they lost their parents. She was humble and generous, sometimes to a fault, but her love for her family and her fellow Christians was never questioned.

In the time that I knew her, Sister Norma had a phrase that she used regularly that truly embodied her approach to life. Continue reading “‘Just one of them things.’ A phrase for good and bad, and death”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘I watched your hands today:’ Minister sits with mother in hospital

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (BNC) by Jerry Elder — The hospital brought your food in and set it before you. I knew you were not very hungry, but you wanted to get a little down just for the nourishment.

You opened the plastic bag and took out the fork and began to move the food on your plate and as you did this it hit me.

Your hands, yes, I know — they are bruised and battered from the pricks and sticks in the hospital, but it is more than that. Let me tell you what I saw in your hands. Continue reading “‘I watched your hands today:’ Minister sits with mother in hospital”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Cecil May health update

Cecil May

by Glenda Williams, BNC correspondent

Montgomery, Ala (BNc) — Cecil May, well-known and loved by many, recently broke his hip after falling in his apartment in Montgomery. After surgery and a period of recovery, he was moved to a rehab facility in the area. He has progressed nicely and expected to be going home Wednesday when Doctors said he would “walk out of there.”

Brother May sent the following update on his condition today, and is asking for prayers on his behalf.

“There has been a setback of sorts. When I was walking with my walker, I could move both feet well and seemed to be making great progress. As of Friday morning, however, my right leg–the one operated on–has quit cooperating. My brain tells my right leg to step and nothing happens. They have made x-rays, found no problem. They have scheduled an ultra-sound to check for a blood clot. Still waiting for that.”

“Don’t know where this leaves us. I will keep you posted. I appreciate your prayers. Feel free to share as appropriate.”

Community church drummer finds salvation: Watch ‘Why Jon Left’

DALTON, Ga. (BNC) — Jon Pursley tells his story of how he discovered the truth about salvation. It all started with a question by his son. Continue reading “Community church drummer finds salvation: Watch ‘Why Jon Left’”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Preaching school starts in the Philippines

SAMAR, Philippines (BNC) by James D. Suiter — The Samar School of Preaching started the first week’s session Jan. 2016 with eleven students. This has been a dream of Edwin Inso, a native of Samar, and supporters for several years, to have such a tool to reach the lost souls on the island for Christ. Continue reading “Preaching school starts in the Philippines”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

The smoking rostrum

MASSILLON, Oh. (BNC) by Rick Kelley — Everyone has heard a fiery sermon. Some old preachers were known as fire-and-brimstone preachers. I had a book some years ago called Sermons that Sizzle. It even had flames on the cover. But I never imagined a sermon with actual fire. Well, sort of.

I was preaching the second lesson in my series, “The Greatness of the Bible.” The first one had gone well, was received well, and I had mountains more material than allotted time. So I decided to let it be a running series until I was exhausted, or my material was exhausted. I hoped the people who told me they wanted more weren’t being sarcastic.   Continue reading “The smoking rostrum”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘You’re not supposed to die at 17 months’

LINDSAY, Okla. (BNC) by Gantt Carter — On Saturday, Nov. 14, I attended the funeral service of Elizabeth “Ellie” Guinn Ince. She was born on June 3, 2014, and died Nov. 9, 2015. Her family lives in Lindsay and worships with the local congregation there.

You’re not supposed to die at 17 months. The joy of life should (especially) not be stolen from one so young and so innocent. I hate death, and I so long for its complete and final conquest one day. The apostle Paul writes, Continue reading “‘You’re not supposed to die at 17 months’”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘Little man, spiritual giant:’ Wendell Agee baptized 125 in 5 years — in his 80s

KARNS, Tenn. (BNC) by Steve Higginbotham — My good friend, co-worker, and brother in Christ, Wendell Agee, departed from this life Oct. 26 to be with his Lord.

I met Wendell and his wife June when we moved to Knoxville a little over five years ago. During these past five years, Wendell and I have been on mission trips together, worked in the jail ministry together, and been fellow-encouragers. Continue reading “‘Little man, spiritual giant:’ Wendell Agee baptized 125 in 5 years — in his 80s”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘Not puffed up by praise, nor pulled down by criticism:’ Interview with Allen Hahn

ROSENBERG, Tex. (BNC) by Eddie Parrish — One way in which God has blessed me in my work with the Graeber Road congregation is through Allen Hahn. Before moving here I only knew of Allen, but what I had heard was good. Since moving here in Aug., 2014, I have come to know, love, and appreciate him greatly. His 38 years of full-time preaching and teaching at Graeber Road created an atmosphere among the membership of deep love for the Lord, appreciation for solid and sound Biblical teaching, and a spirit of unity and brotherhood that fosters a lot of good work. Continue reading “‘Not puffed up by praise, nor pulled down by criticism:’ Interview with Allen Hahn”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘Older generation of preachers don’t deserve modern contempt.’ Son analyzes dad’s sermons

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. (BNC) — After Father’s Day this year, gospel preacher Paul Holland began preaching some of his father’s sermons in his honor.

Paul pulled out a random number of his dad’s sermons and analyzed them. He made these observations. Continue reading “‘Older generation of preachers don’t deserve modern contempt.’ Son analyzes dad’s sermons”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Children’s home grieving after murder of director

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (BNC) The SonLight Children’s home in Haiti is still recovering from the murder of Roberta Edwards, 55, missionary and director of the orphanage.

Edwards was shot and killed in her car Oct. 10, and one of three children who were with her was kidnapped. The child has not been recovered. Police are still investigating.

The Estes church, Henderson, Tenn., who has oversight of the work in Port-au-Prince, has sent a team which includes a mental health professional to help the children deal with the tragedy.

Edwards is survived by her parents, Bob and Laura Edwards, PO Box 1568, Burgaw, NC, 28425. Her memorial service will be held in Henderson, Tenn. Details will be posted on the Estes congregation’s website.

Photo credit: Estes church

Barbara has been involved in missions for over 25 years, both in the field and in publishing.

Oregon college shooting spurs immigrant to be baptized

(BNC) by an anonymous saint — Sometimes the cruelty and mistreatment that people receive in life make them doubt the love and care of our God. They wonder why he does not deliver them from their trials, and sometimes they get so distraught that they attempt self-destruction. Even when they have studied the Word, they miss the fact that it is Satan who has brought anguish and distress to the world. Continue reading “Oregon college shooting spurs immigrant to be baptized”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Young Christian tackles shoplifter, holds in head-lock until police arrive

LITTLETON, Colo. (BNC) — Dale Pollard was in the right place at the right time. When an alleged shoplifter went running out of a store, Dale ran after the man, tackled him to the ground and held him until police arrived. (Dale is in the photo above at right.) Continue reading “Young Christian tackles shoplifter, holds in head-lock until police arrive”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

‘The epitome of kindness:’ William Alex Craig passes at 91

MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (BNC) by John Henson — Everyone wishes for the kind of friend who is a spiritual brother. My life has been blessed — it was my great pleasure to have found a spiritual brother in William Alexander Craig. Continue reading “‘The epitome of kindness:’ William Alex Craig passes at 91”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Editor escapes harm after car damaged in lightning incident

SÃO JOSÉ DOS CAMPOS, Brazil (BNC) by J. Randal Matheny — The windshield cracked in a thousand pieces, but prevented the meter-and-a-half-long roof tile from puncturing the glass and entering the car. It bounced and landed on top of the car, apparently, where it came to rest, and left a large dent from the impact. Continue reading “Editor escapes harm after car damaged in lightning incident”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Doubts focus on God’s faithfulness or love, writer says in series

SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. (BNC) — For the last three months, on Fridays, gospel preacher Paul Holland has devoted his “Daily Droplets” email devotionals to the subject of doubts about God.

Paul, who works with the Swartz Creek congregation, wrote Aug. 21 that the struggle with such doubts “frequently boils down to doubts about His faithfulness and/or doubts about His love.”

Life’s unpleasant experiences also tend to raise questions.

Paul Holland
Paul Holland

“Sometimes bad things happen to us or we suspect bad things will happen to us and we doubt the love of God,” Paul stated.

Though his devotional is not lengthy, Paul directs the reader to Peter, Paul, and John, besides 1-2 Kings, for doubt-resolving truths.

Paul points not only to Bible examples of God’s faithfulness and love, but also to man as a creature in God’s image and the Lord’s supper as testimonies to his desire to save.

[That image] may be polluted by our selfishness and our sinfulness but Christ will remove that. Christ wants to take away that which separates us from the love of God.

Although Paul was on his way to “Polishing the Pulpit,” he took out time to respond to BNC’s questions.

BNC: What prompted this series? What need did you see in the church that you thought needed to be addressed?

Paul: These devotionals are from my Wednesday class this past quarter. One source that has been particularly helpful is Alistair McGrath’s book, Doubt: Growing through the Uncertainties of Faith. From my preaching experience, many Christians struggle with doubts, and our modern culture is exacerbating that tendency.

BNC: Do you have a link where all these articles can be accessed, besides the general devotional link?

Paul: I do not yet have a single source with all the Daily Droplets. But, when we get our website revamped, I hope to have them all available.

BNC: Are there any differences in the doubt expressed by writers and figures in Scripture and the doubt that people today struggle with?

Paul: In large measure, I do not see any substantial difference in the doubts expressed by the biblical people and those we feel today. The cultural contexts are different, but since humans are the same, our doubts are the same struggles they experience.

BNC: Is there an easy or simple answer to doubt?

Paul: The simplest answer to doubts is to reinforce our faith with studies of the Scriptures and their presentation on the nature of God and Christ and being strengthened by fellowship and advice from other Christians. If faith comes by hearing the word of God, it is also sustained by hearing the word of God.

BNC: How or why does doubt appear among Christians? What triggers it?

Paul: Christians doubt today for the same reason biblical people doubted — we are human. We are limited by our ability to control our lives and limited by our ability to know all the ramifications of the decisions we need to make. That’s the fundamental reason why we must trust the God who controls all and knows all.

BNC: Are there plans to put your writings on doubt into print or other permanent form?

Paul: I do not have plans to put the lessons into permanent form at the present.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Death threat leads Michael Shank to cancel events

METROPOLIS, Ill. (BNC) — Michael J. Shank, author of the popular book Muscle and a Shovel, wrote Aug. 19 on his Facebook page that police recommended he cancel his speaking engagements while they investigate a credible death threat.

The text of his notice is published in full below.


You may or may not know that I received a death threat on Monday afternoon, August 17th. It was a credible threat which is now under police investigation. The police agencies we’re working with, along with my attorney, has recommended that I cancel all pending speaking engagements, due to the engagements being posted on our website and which are public information.

Brethren, I have no concern for myself, for I am ready to meet our Lord, as Paul said that for him to live is Christ and to die is gain! However, I also cannot allow pride, ego, or personal motives to put the lives of others in danger.

While I am saddened, we believe it to be wise to cancel our upcoming speaking events, which are:

  • 9/6: Judsonia, Arkansas
  • 9/20: Mars Hill, Arkansas
  • 10/4: Faith Villiage, Witchita Falls, TX
  • 10/18: Oppelo, Arkansas
  • 10/25: Southside, Grand Rapids, MI
  • 11/15: Sunrise, Parkersburg, WV
  • 11/29: Men’s Retreat, Buford, GA
  • 12/13: Wilberton, Wilburton, OK
  • 1/17/16: Sebring Parkway, Sebring, FL

You and I understand that the Adversary may have won this small battle, the Lord will not allow him to win the war.

Muscle and a Shovel continues to produce converts by the Hand and Grace of God! Over 32,000 conversions to Jesus Christ to date. When Shovels Break has helped over 2,000 souls be restored to the faith and the blood-bought church — glory to God!

Our sincere prayer is that you will continue to use and promote these two humble works so that the work might continue and that we might be sustained.

The entire Shank family prays for your love and understanding during this strange and trying time, and may the Lord continue to bless you and your works for Him there!

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

Phil Sanders remembers Mac Lyon, 1921–2015

EDMOND, Okla. (BNC) by Phil Sanders — We are saddened to announce the loss of our dear friend and brother in the Lord, Mack Lyon, who passed from this life to be with the Lord at 11:15 pm on August 5. Continue reading “Phil Sanders remembers Mac Lyon, 1921–2015”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us