Nacogdoches/Livingston – July 2016

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time

The Patience of Job

       I do not know if it is because we just concluded a study of the book of Job that I am being tested, but this past month has had many more than the usual number of trials and “hic-cups” in my life. The car in which I ran errands for GODTEL was totaled, so I have been driving a large pick-up truck with stick shift (lots of exercise) (at least other drivers can see, and hear, me coming). The computer we use to record our accounting crashed and the accounting program on one of our other computers developed some kind of error and will not accept updates. Hopefully, I will be able to resolve that problem soon. I am, oh, so very thankful I had the same program on a computer I quit using last year (when Windows XP was no longer being supported). We also had a backup on a flash drive. It pays to save backup copies and to have the accounting program on more than one computer.

I am reminded of a story about the devil and Jesus having a timed contest using computers. They were rapidly entering data and performing calculations when, right at the last minute, God “pulled the plug” and the computers went down. When the power came back on, the devil had lost all his data but the data entered by Jesus was intact. Satan cried, “Foul! Foul!” and demanded to know why there was a difference.

The answer is simple, “Jesus saves.” I am so glad Jesus offers salvation to “whosoever will” and I am eternally grateful that, as undeserving as I am, He has given me His eternal life, redeeming me from an eternity of suffering in hell. His presence within me supplies me with peace, joy, love, power, guidance, and protection. He leads me to victory as long as I choose to die to my selfish desires and, instead, choose to make myself do what God has instructed in the Bible.

We would appreciate it if you would keep GODTEL’s staff and residents at all three of our missions in your prayers.

Ladies’ Bible Study

 

In our Livingston Friday Ladies’ Bible Study, we are studying Creation vs. Evolution. We have just completed answering the question, “Is evolution a religion?” Actually, it is, and it takes great faith to trust in it. Unfortunately, it is blind faith and the adherents will wind up in a very deep fiery ditch called hell where they will suffer bitter regrets throughout eternity, while those whose faith is in the truth, who trust Jesus and what is written in the Holy Scriptures (doers of the Word) will forever enjoy the pleasures of Heaven.

Looking Ahead to the

Feast of Trumpets

 

The fall feasts will be here before we know it. This year The Feast of Trumpets will begin on October 3rd. Those of you who have been reading our newsletters for awhile, will remember that I have chosen to believe that Jesus will be fulfilling the celebration of that feast with His return. Maybe not this year, but as bad as things are in this world, it looks to me like He will be coming again — very soon.

Creation vs. Evolution

This month, we continue the series in our newsletter inserts on the scientific evidences of special creation, or intelligent design. We hope you find them informative and helpful.

Too many people are choosing to believe the hype evolutionists are espousing and are content to believe a lie because it is comforting. When Jesus does return, the comfort of the unbeliever will end abruptly and the discomfort of obedient Christians will turn into eternal pleasure. Our son, Josiah, read the following and quoted it to me, “Life on planet Earth is the only Heaven unrepentant sinners will ever know, and it is the only hell genuine Christians will ever know.” Interesting thought.

Many Thanks

 

At GODTEL, we really like to eat. (No surprise there.) Our residents do not always like what is prepared for them, but they must admit, since the meals are served at no cost to them, the price is right. We are extremely thankful to the individuals, churches, and businesses who “put on their aprons,” roll up their sleeves, and use their time and talents to prepare and serve meals at each of GODTEL’s three shelters. It is a blessing to our staff and residents — and our cooks certainly appreciate this practical expression of God’s love in action.

In Livingston we were blessed recently with several pans of freshly baked cinnamon rolls from Camp Cho-Yeh the Presbyterian Church camp just up the road from our mission. Another day, we got a call from one of the members of Barnum Baptist Church (they bring a group and feed us regularly). She told the cook, Miss Benita, that, knowing how hot the kitchen is, she was going to bring pizza and watermelon for supper that night. There were smiles all around. I pray that God will abundantly bless each one of you who displays your love for Jesus by giving, in whatever manner, to help minister to the poor.

One hot afternoon while a large donation was being sorted in front of the Livingston mission, a woman came to donate some clothes and was given a doggie bed from our free-shed. Her child was delighted that her doggie would have a bed. They left, but soon came back with cold drinks for our workers to show their appreciation and concern. We were truly blessed.

Busy Office

To our regular duties of counseling, answering phones, writing to prisoners, paying bills, keeping up with the accounting, making needed copies, and printing Sunday bulletins, add the following: working with the accountant who is conducting our annual audit, completing application to the United Way for funding for next year and completing their mid-year report for 2016, dealing with the insurance company about the wrecked car, preparation of the Q-2 sales tax, newsletters with inserts, and receipts and you will know why we work from early to late.

Sale of Nacogdoches Building

Last, but not least, we rejoice to report that a contract of sale has been signed, selling all of GODTEL’s downtown property at our original asking price! Thanks to God! Now begins a 30-day feasibility study and if all goes well, we will sign the closing paperwork on August 21st. Please pray with us that this sale goes through so we can start building the women’s dorm.

Nancy Gentry

Nacogdoches/Livingston – June 2016

Beware of a “Blind Spot

If Only … and What If …

       God is in control and He does all things well. We human beings do not always like what He lovingly allows into our lives, but His children have the assurance that all things work together for good to those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) (And John 14:15 lets us know that our love for Him is expressed by our obedience to Him.)

       On May 3rd, my sister, Helen, was involved in a minor accident. Prior to changing lanes, she looked over her shoulder and into her rearview mirror, but failed to see the car in the lane she was changing to. Ten days later, a big pickup truck pulled out in front of me from a side street and, as hard as I tried, I could not avoid a collision. My grandson, Justus, and I suffered only minor injuries, but the car may not be repairable.

Later, I found myself asking, “What if (or, if only) I had left a little earlier or later?” “What if (or, if only) that pickup truck had left a little earlier or later?” “What if that other pickup truck, which blocked the view of the other driver who therefore could not see that I was coming in the far lane, had not been there, for whatever reason?”

There were so many possibilities which could have worked to prevent that collision, it boggled my mind. Okay, so I acknowledge God allowed this to happen for ultimate good and I am seeking to joyfully bow to His will and, hopefully, learn any lesson He may be trying to teach me.

Eight days after I had my accident, my daughter, Greta, and her husband Chet were involved in a collision. A drunk driver (without insurance, license, or registration) ran a red light, bounced off of them (well, somewhat), and took off down the road. (A good Samaritan witness followed him and when he stopped, notified the police where he could be found.)

In the first wreck, the vehicle my sister collided with was in her blind spot. In the other two accidents, a third vehicle was blocking the line of sight of the drivers in the affected cars, which definitely contributed to the unpleasant consequences. When you cannot see something that is there, you just may suffer devastating results as the object moves out of the “blind spot” into your view.

As I have thought about these unpleasant happenings, I realize that far too many people in this world cannot “see” God. He is in their “blind spot.” There are many reasons the view of God is blocked: complacency, pride, self-confidence, misplaced trust in false teachings, laziness, people who claim to be Christians but do not live by every word out of the mouth of God—they do not “practice what they preach,” etc.

Having a blind spot while driving can have a greater or lesser “impact” should there be an unseen vehicle there. Having a blind spot where God is concerned is definitely of greater consequence because He is there and mankind is on a “collision course” with Him. In a manner of speaking, God is that final, great “Adjuster” in “the sky” Who determines where to send us, every one of us, whether we “saw” Him coming or not. Some, those who ignored or rejected the gift of salvation (divine insurance), will be confined in an eternal “wrecking yard” (a.k.a. hell) full of pain, bitter regrets, and if-onlys. Those who have sought to know the truth about God, who have chosen to believe what God has inspired to be written in the Bible, and asked God to take control of their lives will be welcomed to an indescribably wonderful place of freedom, joy, peace, and great relief, prepared for those who choose to trust and obey God.

I pray that each person who reads this article will be drawn to the truth and make certain they are not keeping God in a blind spot. The consequences will be eternally devastating.

Farewell Jim and Vicki Ryan

For the past 18 or 19 years (I hate that I’ve lost count), we have known and loved Jim and Vicki Ryan. For most of that time Jim has faithfully taught our Livingston Friday-night Bible study and for quite a long time he drove to Nacogdoches weekly to teach a Bible study there. Vicki came many Saturdays to give haircuts to our residents and encouraged them in the Lord. (In their “off-time” from GODTEL Jim worked at Thomas Supply in Livingston and Vicki worked in the Onalaska School System.)

Now, God has let them know their work in East Texas is done and has provided them both with jobs (that they did not look for) in the Gulf Coast region of Texas. As sad as we are to see them go, we rejoice in the knowledge that they are willing to follow the Lord wherever He leads.

 

GODTEL Sermons on YouTube

Though Bro. June is not a “TV Preacher,” he can be seen on YouTube—if you have a computer connected to the internet. You can also see and hear him “live” at one of our missions each week. Call for days and times. We would love to have you come and worship the Lord with us.

Remember, we have Gospel music CDs by the June Gentry Family, studies about the scientific evidences of Creation, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth. See our web site for a listing. (godtel.org)

Nancy Gentry

 

 

 

Lufkin June 2016

Amazing grace-how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see.”

     Not all the Texas rains brought flooding and devastation. The roads across the state-east to west and west to east-were framed with colorful wild flowers, flowering cactus and trees showing off their full leaf coverage.

So You’ll Know:

May 2016

1st-29 people

31st-25 people

Total helped-61 people

Praise the Lord!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-6

Still working-7

Praise the Lord!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works,

lest any man should boast.”   Ephesians 2: 8 & 9

     The exciting news on the “job front” is that many of our working folks were able to move out. And others will soon be able to move out to their own place by the end of this month.

     The month of May was not only merry it was full of delicious meals. Our guest cooks prepared and brought in and served pulled pork sandwiches, Mexican casserole, chicken salad sandwiches with fruit salad and pasta salad, stew and chicken spaghetti.

     “I don’t want any crying!” she said. As sad as it is a funeral can be a good experience. Martin’s uncle Gerald died shortly after his return to east Texas. Kathy, Gerald’s wife, called and asked Martin to be in charge of the service. Gerald died on Monday and we left Wednesday morning to head to Denver City, Texas.

     We arrived after a long 10 hour drive. We stayed at the home of dear friends. After “checking in” Martin and I headed to see Kathy for a short visit and to let her know we were in town. The next few days were about Kathy and the funeral arrangements. The funeral home was very helpful, especially with a “rookie” at the helm. The time and order of the service were set.

     Family came in. The farthest drove two days from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Baker family gatherings are known to be full of laughter as stories of childhood mischief are shared and braggin’ stories about children and grandchildren are told. This gathering was no different.

     Because of his decision for Christ years ago we have peace and joy knowing that Gerald is in the loving arms of his Saviour. Martin spent the days before the service writing and re-writing. Then he practiced and practiced his message. He asked a few of the family for a funny story or two to share with all. Scriptures of God’s love and salvation were shared as well as Gerald’s story. Songs that had special meaning to Gerald and his family were shared.

     After the service we got into the cars and headed out to the cemetery where Gerald was laid to rest with a military flag and taps ceremony. Gerald served his country in the U.S. Navy for 22 years. And, even after retirement, he served the veterans of Yoakum County with pleasure and pride.

     With honor and humility Martin accepted Kathy’s request to close this chapter of Gerald’s life this side of heaven. It was a hard thing for Martin to do and I was blessed to be by his side during this trip to west Texas.

     Well, we did it! We had very few tears from crying and lots of laughter as we remembered Gerald and his antics. Please pray for Kathy, Julie (daughter), Erica, Nathan and Ethan (grandchildren).

     The drive home was such a blessing. Just passed Synder we turned off the highway and drove to Lake JB Thomas where Martin and his family would meet his grandparents. Then they would fish and play to pass away the lazy days of summer. The normal beautiful brown colors of west Texas was now a beautiful array of colors. We stopped several times to take pictures of the amazing wild flowers on display next to the highway on our drive home. The “we” included the South Dakota cousins following us back to east Texas. Seems that my hints of moving to Texas have sprouted. Tom and Trish are praying about moving back to Texas.

     Thank you, Jim and DeAnn, for your gracious hospitality. You were a calm in our stormy sea. It was great to attend the Nazarene church and visit (way too short) our long time friend and sister in the Lord, Helen. Then we were invited to eat Sunday dinner at the home of James and Bea, Jim’s parents. DeAnn cooked a delicious lasagna. Salad, bread and dessert completed the menu.

     On the home front- we appreciate Joseph coming to Lufkin to help the crew while we were gone. We praise the Lord that the place was still standing when we arrived home.

     We are eating cucumbers, yellow and zucchini squash, green beans from the garden. But the tomatoes, zipper peas, and poblano peppers are close behind.

     The chickens are still growing and staying on high ground. They have plenty of above water perches. Now we wait for the egg races to begin.

     Names-birds who flocked together were Raven, Martin and Parrott. There was Joy from Missouri in the Autumn as we held the Stone cut Diamond. What a Price we paid when the Ford fell into the Brooks filled with Vines. The Settlers found the Shepherd in the Snow. The Hunt was victorious when the King was found. Silly business, I know.

     And so I end with the name above all names-JESUS. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.

     Thank you for your support this past month. Your prayers, cards and encouraging words mean more than you know. We pray you have a wonderful and safe summer. If you get bored come by and check out the garden and chickens.

     Stay cool. Stay in the Word.

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

 

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

Psalms 116:15

 

Lufkin May 2016

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”  

Colossians 3:16

So You’ll Know:

April 2016

1st-19 people

30th-29 people

Total helped-50 people

Praise the Lord!

     April showers. April flowers. April headaches. April allergies. April taxes. April blessings!

EMPLOYMENT REPORT:

New jobs-8

Still working-10

Praise the Lord!

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,

giving thanks to God the Father through him.”   Colossians 3:17

No foolin’. The first day of April our helper Chris moved out. He came to the decision that it was time for him to move on. He loaded his truck and moved out. Pray for Chris.

     Christi took her last pill of an “every day for twelve weeks” regimen to rid her of Hepatitis C. It was a rough ride for all of us. The treatment is compared to taking chemo. Christi would wake up with a different body reaction everyday. She journaled. She cried in pain. Some days she threatened to stop taking the pills. We prayed. We survived. And God gets the victory. So we celebrate and praise the Lord for “good riddance” of her Hepatitis C. No foolin’.

     CORRECTION: Last month I told you about resident Mike…first correction-his name is James. Second correction-he is only missing one foot. My mistakes don’t change the point I was making- which is that there is something that everybody can do. Physical limitations may slow you down but they don’t STOP you from living and working. James has moved out now. He was a blessing and a big help to GODTEL. Thank you, James, for your help and willing attitude.

     Goulash, frito pies, chicken spaghetti, pork loin sandwiches, chili dogs and seasoned baked chicken were the meals prepared and served by our guest cooks this past month. Wonderfully delicious memories…

     For three sessions during our 7:00 pm Bible study Jerry came and presented basic money management. Love in the Name of Christ has put this most important and valuable information together. Through scripture we are told to be wise and responsible with our money. Writing checks, filling out deposit slips, reconciling bank statements, borrowing money, paying bills, saving money-all these were presented to the residents with scriptures to back them up. What’s in your wallet?

     The key hole gardens continue to do well. The rain this year has come at just the right times. We are ready to see the reds, greens and yellows of our labor.

     The chicks are growing and growing. Baby fuzz has transformed into fluttering feathers. When the gate is opened for feeding and watering they run and hide. When they think they are alone the games begin. It is a test to see who is the leader of the pack. Dirt whirlwinds can be seen as the chickens stir up the dirt floor of the pen. Hay keeps them warm and is a great place to hide. Summertime is the projected dateline for home grown eggs to make their appearance. A taste treat for sure!

     Martin made a trip to west Texas to visit his uncle Gerald. Gerald is only two weeks older than Martin so you can guess that they were more like brothers than uncle and nephew. No matter where they were Martin and Gerald were side by side in boyhood pranks, wrestling fights and yard work for parents and grandparents.

     While Martin was gone Joseph came to help. Joseph was on our staff for six years until he moved out in 2014 to help his folks. He got here and it was like he had never left. Alas, when Martin returned to Lufkin Joseph returned to San Augustine. Thank you, Joseph. We appreciate your help.

     This story happens more often than we want. Tommy and his family, wife and two sons, checked in early April. The boys are in school. Tommy receives a check and his wife was looking for work. A few days into their stay the parents were tested and found positive for drugs. Because of the boys, mercy was extended to the parents. Tommy and his wife were told not to leave the property. Sadly, that didn’t last long. Tommy’s wife decided she could not follow the new restriction. She moved out. We strongly suspected that Tommy was still using drugs but for the sake of the boys we allowed them to stay until Tommy received his check at the first of this month. Please pray for this family. They need a Saviour. They need Jesus.

     Thank you, Parkview Baptist Church, for the umbrellas. It wasn’t raining when you brought them, but it wasn’t long until they had to be opened up and used. Not to mention-we had to keep those tasty rice krispie treats dry.

     We look forward to May with spring days, green grass, colorful flowers, big shade trees, graduations, Memorial Day and more.

     There is nothing backward in our thanks to you for your support this past month. We look forward to another month of housing and feeding the homeless while sharing the gospel message twice a day to those who come through our doors.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

Ephesians 6:10-13

Because of Him we serve,

Martin and Mary Baker

 

 

 

 

Nacogdoches/Livingston – May 2016

 

Acquisition, Change, Marriage, “Showdown”

       At the Livingston Mission, we have been waiting for almost a year to purchase the house next door to the office for use as our women’s dormitory. The purchase price has been in savings during the delay, which was due to a problem with the seller getting a clear title, but, at long last, all the necessary paperwork has been gathered and signed and notarized and the purchase is complete. Renovation of the house will soon be underway.

       As is often the case with me, I find a parallel between physical and spiritual things. In this case, I see that Jesus provided the purchase price for our salvation long ago but the transaction cannot be completed in our lives until He gets a “clear title” to us. We must unconditionally surrender our will to His before He will take possession of us, move in, and begin renovation. (I have been under His “reconstruction” for over 40 years, and He is still working on me.)

More Livingston Happenings

Our third-Tuesday Bible Study teacher, Tommy McManus, graduated to Heaven at the end of March this year and we miss him. Our residents enjoyed his knowledgeable presentations and his story telling as he illustrated what the Scripture-of the-day meant and how it applied to our lives. We would appreciate your prayers for his family.

We are very thankful for all the individuals who volunteer at each of our missions. Some teach a Bible study or share a testimony. Some help clean, wash clothes, etc. Some prepare and/or serve a meal regularly or periodically. Some collect canned goods, staple food items, and personal hygiene supplies. Others pray for our staff and residents, donate clothing, furniture, cars, and scrap metal for us to recycle. Our core crews work from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (and beyond) and we are most grateful for all the help we receive.

When the groups that prepare and serve meals come to our missions, it lets our residents know that someone cares about them and it encourages our staff to have someone help bear the load of the day-to-day routine jobs.

The individuals pictured above are part of a group that comes to our Livingston mission monthly from Barnum Baptist Church in Chester, TX. These folks not only bring food that is dee-licious, but they bring smiling faces and an infectious joy as they share with us God’s love and their culinary talents.

Thank you to Barnum, and to all our precious co-workers, paid and volunteer, for your love and labor. We know God smiles as you minister to and with us.

Nacogdoches “Changing of the Guard”

When long-time Mission Director, Royce Oliver, took leave of the Nacogdoches mission last summer, Morris Randall, one of our residents who was expressing his desire to be the kind of Christian that brought honor to God, and wanting to learn and grow spiritually, volunteered to step up and try to help fill the void left by Royce. We accepted his offer and he worked in the office until the second week of April when he moved out of GODTEL. He is very active in his home church, Lonestar Baptist, which regularly serves meals at our Nacogdoches mission. We are thankful for all the hours Morris worked and we will miss his disarming smile. Our prayers for God’s guidance and protection go with him.

Succeeding Morris as our new mission directors are Richard and Kimberly Silva, who were married this past April. Richard is Bro. June’s youngest brother so that makes Kimberly our sister-in-law. They are having to learn a lot and the position they are in demands long hours, so we ask that you lift them up in prayer.

KTRE Pineywoods Showdown

For the past six years, KTRE-TV has sponsored the Nacogdoches County and the Angelina County All-Star high school basketball teams in a competition to benefit a charity of their choice—winners’ choice receiving a cash donation. In 2014 and again this year, GODTEL was chosen as the Nacogdoches girls’ team beneficiary. In 2014 “our” team won and GODTEL received a check in the amount of $922.44. Although the girls did not win the basketball game this year, GODTEL had the benefit of having the team come one Saturday morning in April to prepare a fancy breakfast for our residents. We greatly appreciate these young ladies. Thank You.

Gospel Music, Christian Literature

Remember, we have Gospel music CDs by the June Gentry Family, studies about the scientific evidences of Creation, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth. See our web site for a listing. (godtel.org)

Though Bro. June is not a “TV Preacher”, he can be seen on YouTube if you have a computer connected to the internet. You can also see and hear him “live” at one of our missions each week. Call for days and times.

Nancy Gentry