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Precious friend – Time to say goodbye….For now.

On November 20, 1982, I met a couple that would inspire and bless me for many years to come, but I had no idea just how much they would come to mean to me at that time. That was the day of my wedding at Nedville.

November 21, 1982, the next day, was the first ‘official’ day for Bro. Thomas Brown to be the pastor of Nedville Missionary Baptist Church. I don’t remember what he preached about that day, but I remember thinking about how powerful his words were and how he really seemed to know what he was talking about. He made me want to hear more.

You see, I didn’t grow up in church, didn’t know much about God or Jesus, heaven or hell. I was baptized at 16 at the urging of a friend during a revival at her church, but I couldn’t have answered any questions for anyone about how to be saved, or even what it meant, other than that I was going to get to go to heaven because I was saved. I remember because I didn’t know any better, that I really hoped I hadn’t done anything too bad that would keep me from getting through those pearly gates!

Many services I sat and listened to Bro. Brown preach and teach about God, Jesus, heaven, and hell, and what being a Christian was all about. I learned so much from listening to him over the years, and I can only hope that he knows now, just how much of a blessing he has been to my family.

Bro. Brown baptized each of my children. I remember when Crystal was baptized, she was so scared he was going to let her fall under the water and not help her up! She thought he was just going to drop her or something! But he didn’t, of course, and when he raised her from that water the smile on her face could have been seen for miles! I know it was a huge smile because I could see it through my tears.  And when Justin was baptized, he was such a big boy and Bro. Brown was such a small man, there were several, including myself, that were concerned that he might not be able to lift Justin back up and would indeed drop him! But he didn’t. It just amazes me how God gives strength to those in need, when they need it.

I can practically hear Bro. Brown right now telling all of us that he really wishes we wouldn’t make such a fuss over him, “I’m just an old preacher”. “Awe now, y’all don’t have to do that.” “Don’t go to all that trouble”, “Don’t be shedding those tears over me. If you have Jesus as your savior, we will see each other again soon.” I can plainly hear him saying all of those things.

I don’t think he, or Ms. Jean, realize just how much they mean to so many, or how many lives they have touched in a positive way, how many lives they have had a hand in turning around. I do believe though, that just because he is no longer with us here on this earth physically, does not mean that Bro. Brown is finished blessing our hearts, or asking the Lord to help us. He had two things he always said during a prayer that will forever stand out in my mind and I will always hear these words when someone is praying out loud. “Lord help” and “Lord bless”. Right now it is my prayer that the “Lord help” the Brown family and all of us who are mourning our loss, and that the “Lord bless” each and every one of the lives that Brother Brown has touched. I pray for peace and comfort for Ms. Jean, Vicki, Liz, and Paul, and all of his family and friends. I pray that we all rejoice in the fact that he is never, ever going to hurt again, never, ever going to have any pain, never again will he have to have any needles stuck into him, or tests of any sort. But he will always, each and every day, be singing and praising our Lord, and so should we. Bro. Brown, we love you and we miss you so very much, but we are so grateful to have the assurance of where you are right now. We are indeed blessed in knowing that you are right there with Jesus right now. Rest well my friend. You have worked hard and earned a good rest.

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Here it is!!

Well, here is my story in the local paper, as well the regional paper! I can’t express how excited I am about having my name under the title of  a story that I wrote! It is just the most incredible feeling and I am still just as giddy and happy about it as a teenager who just got asked to prom by her “dream date”!

I’m already working on another story an praying that it will get accepted to run in the paper as well. Hopefully, these stories will lead to my getting paid to write! That is my ultimate goal!! Wish me luck and all prayers are greatly appreciated! Thank you all as well, for the kind compliments. They mean so very much to me!

Judy

My Story

Writing has been something that I have always loved! I have dreamed of being a “star” reporter since I was very small. Now, I just dream of being able to write and have it published. I don’t care if I never get to be a “star” so long as  get to do what  love, which is write and have others enjoy reading my piece! I do hope though, that I will eventually earn a paid writing position, either with our local newspaper, regional paper, or even a magazine. Being able to write on a regular basis, and get paid for it would just be amazing and such a blessing!

I have been asking God for a while now, what it is that He wants me to do for His kingdom. I know there is something special that He has in mind for me, but figuring it out has been difficult. We all have special gifts that God has given us to use for His glory and honor. Many people have more than one gift! Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what the gift is and how God wants us to use it.

Well a couple of weeks ago, I really was not thinking anything about writing, or becoming a journalist, but one night as I lay in bed, trying to go to sleep, I realized the reason I was unable to sleep was because God was trying to speak to me. So, I crawled out of the bed and headed to the living room where I just started praying and asking God what it was that He wanted me to know. After a short period of time, I heard a very small, quiet voice telling me “tell the story” and “write”.  I wasn’t sure if I had heard that correctly or not, so I asked God if He was telling me to write and if so, what story was he referring to. I heard again, “write” and “you have to tell the story”. So, I decided that I better figure out what He wanted me to write about and what story He was referring to!

When I signed on to my computer and checked my facebook page, there was post by a very excited grandmother about her grandson winning the state bullriding title, and he lives right here in my hometown. I felt like God was leading me to write this story. So, I made contact with the grandmother and asked if she thought the young man might be interested in giving me an interview. I explained to her that I was brand new to this and that I would basically be practicing with him, and that I had no idea if it would even get published, but she agreed to chck with him. The next morning I received a phone call from the young man’s mother, and an interview was set up! At that moment, I knew this was the direction that God was leading me!

So, now I am searching for other stories, especially positive stories, that somehow relate to my home town. We have some very bad things going on in our town right now and I just feel like God is telling me to bring attention to the good and positive things of this community, and that by doing as He tells me, it could help in the healing and peacemaking process our community needs so badly.

This brings me to a very special request of all of you. I ask you to pray for our community as we go through some very difficult times and we begin the peace making process, may it be successful and the people of this community be closer than ever before, no matter what their differences may be. I also ask that you pray for me; that I am able to find the stories that need to be written, and then write them and get them published. Prayers that through my work/words, someone may decide that Jasper, TX is not such a bad place after all, and with a little work, it can once again be known as “The Jewel of the Forest“. We need forgiveness, peace, harmony, understanding, and tolerance so badly in this community. Please join me in prayer for my home of Jasper, Texas, as our leaders.