A Newsletter of Information and Inspiration    

Jimmy Elliott, Pastor




With Jesus in the Garden

By Jan Silvious

An unforgettable moment for me occurred on a hydrofoil between mainland China and Hong Kong, during a trip to visit with believers on the mainland.

The small group I was with was accompanied by a Chinese pastor who joined us at the dock. On the trip over he was very quiet. I knew that he had been imprisoned for fifteen years for preaching the gospel and that he now went in and out of China to preach to his people, for awhile enjoying the freedom of an open door.

On the way back, he asked, "May I share my story with you? In wonder and deep humility, I listened as he quietly related the following:

"When I was arrested and sent to prison, we were assigned to work details. I worked many places, always under the watchful eye of a guard. Eventually I noticed that the guards carefully avoided the ‘night-soil’ pits – the place where the human excrement was kept to be used as fertilizer on the fields. The stench was so horrible and the maggots and worms so plentiful that the guards stayed away from anyone who worked there. So I asked if I could be transferred there. Since the other prisoners didn’t want that job, I was immediately given the assignment.

"I was thrilled! There I could meet with my Lord every morning without interruption. Every day I would start by singing:

I come to the garden alone

While the dew is still on the roses,

And the voice I hear falling on my ear

The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own…’

"That night-soil pit became my garden."

The pastor showed me his hands, which were gnarled and broken from the beatings he had received. It was the meetings in the garden with his Lord that had kept him sane.

Whenever I become dissatisfied with my time with God and begin to make excuses about why it’s not convenient, or why there just isn’t enough quality time, the serene face of that dear man comes back to remind me that no excuse will do. Jesus will make a garden out of any place I choose to meet Him!

Another face and another garden came to mind: Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Here, Jesus sweated great drops of blood in the dread anticipation of His death and burial. But He must have taken comfort in fellowship with the Father, for "an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him" (Luke 22:43).

My friend, you and I will probably never be called upon to spend time in a prison camp or a night-soil pit, nor will we suffer for the sins of the world, but because we are often harried, stressed out, overworked, and strung tight, we do need to slow down and make a garden of wherever we happen to be. Jesus will meet us there!



As we approach Valentine’s day, we recall the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13.

Study each line carefully to see what letter is NOT in the row and write it in the blank provided. If all letters are present, consider that a space between words.

When you’ve completed the puzzle, write this statement about love in the space provided below.





February 2 – Gary Shindledecker

5 – Dorothy Temple

8 – Kyle Pendergraft

11 – Charles Temple and Rhonda Thomason

13 – Joey Johnson

16 – Ruby Burchette

20 – Bickett Arnold

22 – Martha Cammann

March 3 – Beth Pendergraft

6 – Annette Arnold

Congratulations on Your Anniversary!

February 11 – Eunice and Bickett Arnold

Have we missed anyone???


Loving Kindness

A Sunday school teacher asked her class, "What do you think the Bible means when it speaks of loving kindness?"

"Well," answered a young boy, "If I was hungry and someone gave me bread with butter on it, that would be kindness. And then if they put a spoonful of jam on it, that would be loving kindness."


Two Important Questions

Every day of his adult life, Ben Franklin set aside some time to examine two questions. The morning question was, "What good shall I do today?" The evening question was, "What good have I done today?"


Finding Oneself

An elderly gentleman once asked Dr. Norman Vincent Peale to pray for him. Dr. Peale said, "Sure, I’ll pray for you, but why?"

"I’m trying to find myself," the man answered.

"How old are you?" the minister asked.


"In that case," Dr. Peale responded, "we need to pray right now!"

—From the sermon:

"The Power of Discovery"


A very embarrassed woman apologized to her pastor because her husband had gotten up and left the sanctuary during the sermon.

“My husband didn’t leave because he disagreed with your sermon,” she said. “Actually, he’s been walking in his sleep since he was a child.”


THOUGHT: Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

by Paul Boese

She was crazy. Everyone knew it because she had the habit of talking to herself in public, and it was known that she believed she even talked to Jesus – and was spoken back to.

A new preacher came to town and, hearing of the crazy woman, thought that he might be able to make her face reality.

One day, as he saw her walking down the street, he spoke to her and eventually got around to asking, "I hear you talk to Jesus."

"Yes", she replied, "Jesus and I talk for just hours and hours."

"Would you do me a favor?" the minister began. "Could you ask him something for me?"

"Why, of course," the old woman responded.

"Would you ask Jesus what the last sin was that I confessed to him?"

"Certainly," she replied.

The next day, the preacher saw the crazy woman just down the street. He approached her and asked, "Well, did you talk to Jesus last night?"

"Why, I surely did," she squealed.

"What did he say was the last sin that I confessed to him?" the preacher coyly asked.

"Why, he said he didn’t remember," she replied.

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12)


God's grace is the only grace. And all grace is the grace of God.

-Coventry Patmore (1823-1896)



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This site was last updated 01/08/07