Bethany Baptist – Norma Stilllings

Tuesday was a busy day for Norma Stillings last week. She made visits to the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center, then had lunch with the Douglas and Ozark Counties retired school personnel, and then hosted the Hospice meeting in her home later that day. Evelyn Harper came for that meeting and they visited for a while. 

Norma Stillings was troubled with an ear infection and went to the doctor’s office. She got a prescription for some antibiotics, and when she took the first tablet she got very sick. So she did not attend church Wednesday evening for the Semi-annual business meeting; she canceled the Nubbin Ridge Club’s January meeting that had been planned for Friday, and did not go to the nursing home Saturday morning. Some of that was due to the uncertain weather with the threat of a winter storm and ice forming on every tree branch and the power lines. 

She was feeling better Sunday morning, and did go to church. It was then that she saw the damage that had been done by the ice. Some large trees were split in two and limbs of all sizes were down in lots of places. Several rather large limbs were down in her yard, but it was not as bad as it could have been. 

The Art Thomas family was our guest at Bethany Baptist Church, Sunday. The Thomas family lives on and Art directs activities at “Freedom Ranch” which is a place where people with addictions can come to recover. That ranch is on a 41 acre ranch setting in Blanchard, Oklahoma, and has “Live-in” and “Weekly Outpatient” programs. Art also has developed H.O.P.E. Addictions Programs and training that can be used in churches where they see the need and have the means for such programs. 

The Thomas family sang some specials for us. Art Thomas taught in the Sunday school hour, preached at the 11:00 o’clock hour and then he and his wife both told their personal stories of why they were so committed to helping people with addictions. 

Romans 12:1-2 says that it is a reasonable thing to offer our bodies a living sacrifice to the Lord. We present our bodies first of all by taking care of them. It is our vehicle for anything that we will do and we should use it to serve the Lord. That basically means that we present our bodies for his use. We know that we should not abuse our bodies, but we should also offer praise and thanksgiving with our lips from our hearts. 

We present our minds as a sacrifice. It is our thoughts, emotions, and feelings that drive our actions and develop life styles.  Renewing our minds by studying the Bible will result in the changing of our thoughts and standards. The Bible clearly points out the things that bring God pleasure and well as those things that God hates.  When we yield all this to the Lord, then he has promised us joy, peace, and love and satisfies our souls. We will have no need for the temporary, counterfeit, and damaging pleasures of this world that result in addictions.