El Dorado News

Saturday
December 16, 2017
El Dorado News Times

Honoring years of service

Retirement: El Dorado News-Times General Manager Ronnie Bell presents retirees Rita Jones, far left, Janice McIntyre, center right, and Paula Burson, far right, with commemorative blankets for their years of service during a retirement celebration at the South Arkansas Arts Center. In total, the three provided 90 years of service to the El Dorado News-Times newspaper.

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From the Pulpit, 12-16-17

Sparks from the Gospel Anvil 2 Timothy 4:21 The Apostle Paul tells this young Timothy, “Do thy diligence to come before winter.” When looking at the complete letter of 2 Timothy we see that this apostle knew that the “time of his departure was at hand” and that he had “kept the faith.” Winter time was setting in for him and he knew it. From growing up and sitting at the feet of Gamliel, who was a leading authority in the Sanhedrin in the early first century. He was recognized as a Pharisee doctor of Jewish law. To being a Hebrew of the Hebrews, as touching the law a Pharisee. The Apostle Paul was very well educated and even a greater orator. But something happened in the summer of his life, he met the Lord Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. At that point everything changed! Everything that Paul fought against he began to defend and by the Fall or Autumn of his life, Paul had been beaten, locked up, threatened, persecuted for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is when we come to the second letter to Timothy. Did you know that every person goes through their own times and seasons that God has appointed to them as they journey in this thing called life. It is in the Springtime in which we see new life, the sky is clear, the earth is full of bloom and blossom. Then creeps in the Summer season of a person’s life. This is when they begin to reach adulthood and begin to see responsibilities increase as they begin to grow up. Then we reach the autumn in our own lives, and we begin to need a cane, or a hearing aid and we see our own children grown and begin to see grandchildren. But after that what, Winter comes breathing down our neck and death begins to knock on our door as we hear the ticking of the clock as time begins to end for us here on this earth. Come before Winter, what a call to all of us on this day – to not delay with salvation, it is found in the book of Hebrews that tell us, “While it is said, today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts as in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:15). “For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). The Apostle Paul knew time was short and that such a trip would be impossible if Timothy did not “come before Winter,” when navigation on the high seas was virtually impossible due to adverse weather. And if Timothy delayed his trip until Spring, it would be too late. In all probability, Paul would already be with the Lord. So “Winter” marked a time when Timothy’s opportunity to visit Paul would be lost forever. This should remind us that “to everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” For Timothy to fail to act promptly would be disastrous for both Paul and himself. Not only would Timothy miss the blessing of being a blessing, the needs of the aged Apostle would go unfulfilled. There were the needs of personal items. Paul speaks of the cloak to insulate him, so he would stay warmer during the winter months and would protect him from exposure and sickness. Dr. Clarence McCartney reminds us that, “Paul’s cloak bore the marks of his missionary travels, it had been wet with the brine of the Mediterranean, white with the snows of Galatia, yellow with the dust of the Egnation Way and last but not least, crimson with the blood of his own wounds for the sake of Christ.” There was also the books to instruct him, these were probably papyrus rolls that made up a small traveling library which the apostle usually took with him. With these books he could pass his time in prison more profitably. The parchments to inspire him – the great “Greek Scholar.” A.T. Robertson states that, “The parchments which were dressed skins were first made at Pergamum and so termed parchments. These in particular would likely be copies of the Old Testament Books, parchments being more expensive than papyrus. Citing Luke 1:1-4, Robertson goes on to say that the parchments may have even contained some of the Words of Christ. Lastly, there was the need for personal interaction. No doubt it was not what he asked for that meant the most to him, but the one who would bring these personal items – Timothy his own son in the faith. We must not forget the strong spiritual and emotional ties that bound Paul and Timothy together! If Timothy had a spiritual father, it was Paul! In many ways Paul had poured his life into this young preacher (reference 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2). Demas had forsaken Paul, Crescens had gone to Galatia, Titus had gone to Dalmatia and Paul had sent Tychius to Ephesus and only Luke was with him. It was Timothy that he longed to see! No wonder Paul said, “come before Winter.” Proverbs 25:13, reminds us that “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for He refreshes the soul of His masters.” Whose soul are you refreshing today? Take time to come before Winter in your family or friends life. (Lieutenant Charles Smith is commanding officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado). • • • Ancient Words — God in Control: O Immanuel! Isaiah 7:14 reads, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Psalm 2:6-7 reads, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill…You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” Christmas Day is the most celebrated day of the year and has been officially set by the U.S. Congress since 1870. The “today” in Psalm 2 is the specific, planned and divine appointed day for Jesus to be born of woman and we call that day Christmas. This day exists because 2,016 years ago, world events, both great and small, planned by God, came to a convergence and a culmination in a small animal feed trough, a crib, known as a manger. God controlled the skies for this event and sent the Star of Jacob as a navigational guide to lead a royal caravan from the east for a two-year period over thousands of miles to arrive just after the birth of Immanuel and present Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. God controlled the descendants from nations of the earth for Shem, Ham and Japheth to be represented by this entourage of Tarshish, Sheba, and Seba royalty. God controlled the ascension of the Roman Empire to include Caesar Augustus and even Governor Quirinius of Syria to the point of ordering a census of registration in one’s family town—requiring Joseph and Mary to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. God controlled the angels and heavenly hosts in the dark, early morning of Christmas, to sing a spectacular display of song and light to shepherds in fields nearby: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” God controlled the courtship of the young Joseph and Mary. These two may have been the only two on earth who could pursue matrimony while being both descended from King David – Joseph was from the line of Solomon and Mary was from the line of Nathan, both sons of David. And lest we forget, David came to be because of the courtship of Ruth and Boaz. From this marriage, God controlled the exact town, known for shepherds, Bethlehem Ephrathah, meaning House of Bread, to be the very place of birth for the Living Bread, the Lamb of God and the Lion of Judah. God controlled the gifts to be brought, not to Mary or Joseph, but to the infant in the crib. These gifts, given by God through kings, were specifically selected to identify royalty of purpose, sweetness of performance, sacrifice of praise for the Savior of the world. They were gifts from the Father to his only begotten Son, not to the parents. The timing of that first Christmas day was established by the eternal one. Gabriel gave Daniel understanding of 69 sevens to know when the Anointed One would come and this knowledge would be passed down for generations to come. God controlled time, nations, kings, gifts, stars, a courtship and even the barren womb of a virgin girl to produce that glorious occasion we call Christmas. Jesus came forth; born of woman yet conceived by the Father through His Spirit. This is the only day (Christmas Day) on earth that his royal, divine existence will be recognized. From this day forward Jesus will be one to bear sorrows. No other time in the next 33 years will he be recognized as King and Lord with the splendor and majesty of this day. There will be days of miracles and recognition by some, but largely he will endure scorn, threats and mockery as King and Lord and eventually will suffer death on a cross as “King of the Jews!” The Psalm of David, 148, perhaps extols the celebration of Christmas Day in prophecy like no other scripture and doing so, gives us the reason to celebrate Christmas praise today: Praise the Lord (Immanuel) in the heavens … Praise him all his angels and heavenly hosts … Praise him all you shining stars…Let them praise the name (Jesus) of the Lord (Immanuel)! Praise the Lord (Immanuel) from the earth … Praise him lightning, hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding … Praise him mountains, hills, fruit trees and cedars … Praise him animals, cattle, small creatures and flying birds … Praise him kings of the earth and all nations, princes and rulers on earth … Praise him young men, maidens, old men and children. Let them all praise the name (Jesus) of the Lord (Immanuel) for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. Christmas Day is a day of celebration, a day of joy and praise, for salvation has come down! All of creation attended the first birth day of the Son of God and set the pattern for us today! Merry Christmas!! O Immanuel!! (Scott Johnson is pastor at East Faulkner Church of Christ and author of the BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to brgbible@gmail.com).

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Next 48, 12-16-17

TODAY: Saturday, Dec. 16 Third Annual Pictures with Santa will be held at 10 a.m. at Camp Fire, 915 N. Arkansas St., El Dorado. Price is $10. Holiday Pops will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium. The South Arkansas Symphony and combined area choirs will be performing Christmas classics along with singalong carols. TOMORROW: Sunday, Dec. 17 Home Free: A Country Christmas will start at 7 p.m. at the Griffin Music Hall in the Murphy Arts District. Visit eldomad.com for ticket information.

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Local Digest, 12-16-17

Smackover-Norphlet School Board to hear audit report SMACKOVER — The Smackover-Norphlet School Board will hear an audit report by Mike Cobb and discuss the bleachers at the softball field at its meeting scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the central office boardroom. District administrators will also present the employee, student and teacher of the month. Junction City School Board to consider gym demo bids JUNCTION CITY — The Junction City School Board will consider bids for the demolition of the old gymnasium at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the special programs meeting room. The board will consider a resolution of local support for the district’s 2018 six-year master plan and 2019-2021 partnership applications. District Superintendent Robby Lowe will update the board on the high school elective building project.

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CLARA A. HARDY

Services for Clara Ann Hardy will be at 2:30 p.m. today at New Hope C.M.E. Church in Junction City, with the Rev. Jimmy George, eulogist and the Rev. Jimmy George, funerl orator. Interment will be at Community Cemetery in Junction City, under the direction of Sims Mortuary. Sign the guestbook online at www.simsmortuary.com.

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JERRY A. EVERS

Funeral for Jerry A. Evers will be at 10 a.m. today at Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, 278 O’Rear Road, El Dorado, with Elder C.C. Morris officiating. Burial will follow at Bethel Cemetery under the direction of Young’s Funeral Directors. An online guest registry will be available at www.youngsfuneralhome.com.

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TONY C. WILLIAMS

Funeral for Tony C. Williams will be held at 11 a.m. today at New Bethel Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Lott Burgy Cemetery under the direction of Andrews Funeral Home. Public viewing will be at 8 until 9:30 a.m. today at Andrews Chapel.

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Razorbacks ready to take on Trojans

By Nate Allen Special to the News-Times FAYETTEVILLE - Man to man doesn’t accurately describe the defense that many teams play against the Troy Trojans, the opponent for the Arkansas Razorbacks’ lone home game away from their campus in Fayetteville.

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Bucks fall to Lumberjacks

By Tony Burns Sports Editor SMACKOVER - Warren turned back a fourth-quarter challenge from Smackover Friday and pulled away to a 59-47 victory. The Lumberjacks improved to 8-2 on the season while the Buckaroos fell to 2-5.

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In the churches, 12-16-17

New Life Deliverance and Worship Center: “Christmas on the South End” and appreciation honoring Sharon E. Modica along with cantata and concert will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the church, Highway 167 South, Junction City Highway, El Dorado. Musicians and singers from Union County; Claiborne, Lincoln and Union Parish will be performing. Special guests in concert will be New Olive Branch Baptist of El Dorado. All are invited to attend. New Jerusalem Christian Ministry: Pastor Darrick Erby of Great Commission C.O.G.I.C will be the guest speaker at 3 p.m. Sunday at the church. Anniversary theme is “Justified and Glorified.” Curry Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church: The annual Christmas parade will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday. Theme is “Let his word unwrap the magic of Christmas.” Parade will begin on the campus of Strong High School and follow up to Highway 82. Triumph Church of God in Christ: Pastor’s Appreciation Celebration will be held at 6 p.m. today and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the church. The special guest on Saturday will be Elder Mary Hart. Guest speaker on Sunday will be Faith in the Word Mass Choir and the Gospel Echoes. Elder Martha Briggs will serve as emcee. The public is invited to attend. Antioch Baptist Church: Annual Choir Day Celebration will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at the church. Guests will be Bishop George Calloway, Jr. and St. James Baptist Church Bouldware Temple Church of God in Christ: A Christmas program will be held at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 24 at the church, 1611 Detroit St., El Dorado. There will be singing and a Christmas skit, “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” sharing of Christmas gifts, and the Christmas message by Pastor Kelly Owens and M.C. 1st Lady Missionary, Mangie Owens. Refreshments will be served. Everyone is invited to attend.

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SouthArk Fall Commencement

Graduation Day: Top Right: Arkansas State Representative Sonia Barker, R-Smackover, delivers the keynote address during the South Arkansas Community College fall commencement ceremony at the El Dorado Conference Center. Bottom Right: SouthArk student Meagan Post poses for photos with mother Lori Dees and grandmother Dianne Haynie before graduating. Right: SouthArk students face the audience before graduating.

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Game & Fish accepting donated Christmas trees for fish habitats

LITTLE ROCK – Once the wrapping paper has been thrown away and the last drop of egg nog has been consumed, few people have a use for that evergreen tree that graced their home during the holiday season. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a new job for those leftover trees – as fish habitat.

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NEXT 48, 12-15-17

TODAY: Friday, Dec. 15 Smackover High School will host its Christmas assembly at 10 a.m. in the Hobgood Auditorium. The Holiday Light Extravaganza is open for guests from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. each Friday and Saturday night through Dec. 23 at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources’ Oil Field Park. Admission is $10 per car and $2 extra per additional person over age 7. A retirement reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. today at the South Arkansas Arts Center for three employees - City Editor Janice McIntyre, Business Manager Paula Burson and Graphic Designer Rita Jones - who are retiring from the News-Times. TOMORROW: Saturday, Dec. 16 Third Annual Pictures with Santa will be held at 10 a.m. at Camp Fire, 915 N. Arkansas St., El Dorado. Price is $10. Christmas Pops will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Murphy Arts District. The South Arkansas Symphony and combined area choirs will be performing Christmas classics along with singalong carols. Visit eldomad.com for tickets information.

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