Monday, December 31, 2007

Rev. Kenneth Smith: A vessel Restored.
Our God is a God of restoration. He restored Jonah from his attacked spirit and the belly of a fish and used him to preach to the people of Nineveh and changed their lives. He restored Jesus after He had been beaten, nailed to a cross, and buried in a borrowed tomb to be the light of the world. God also has the ability to restore our broken spirits and bodies and to use us for His service.
Rev. Kenneth Smith is an example of this. Rev. Smith was called into the ministry on February 7, 1999 and served as a local preacher at Shady Grove CME Church in Fairfield, AL for five years. In 2004, Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III, appointed him pastor of Saint James CME Church in Jasper, AL. As with many new pastors who receive their first appointment, he sought after and received much guidance and advice from other experienced co-laborers in the gospel. However, in the midst of his first year as pastor, Rev. Smith found himself facing a devastating life changing event that prior lessons had not addressed.
Thinking that he might have contracted bronchitis or pneumonia, he made a visit to his doctor. A CT scan was performed and it revealed evidence of abnormal growths within the body of this pastor. To confirm what these growths were, the doctor requested exploratory surgery. It was April 20, 2005 when Rev. Smith received a confirmed diagnosis of a cancer known as Hodgkin’s disease. He recounts his emotions the day of the diagnosis. “I was trying to eat right, trying to live right and I was preaching the Word of God. Feeling angry and confused, I began to question God; Why me?” But then before that day concluded, God placed in my mind the story of Job and I thought to myself; Why not me?” From that
moment forward I tried not to worry about me. I was really more concerned for my family. Amazingly, even when my children cried, I found myself being able to console them.”
Chemotherapy treatments began immediately. Rev. Smith was told that treatments would last from May 2005 to February 2006 (nine months) with the likelihood of radiation treatment beginning immediately following the chemotherapy. Throughout this ordeal Rev. Smith held on to his faith and attributes his healing to God’s miracle working power. He recalls, “I actually felt my healing occur during the 2005 Annual Conference Lay Banquet when Dr. Vanessee Burns, Rev. Laura Blair and Elder Lilly Rainey came to my table and prayed for me. I was weakened by the chemotherapy treatment from the day before but somehow after the prayer, I felt amazingly different.”
Remembering how God restored Job, Pastor Smith continually praised God and though weakened by the chemotherapy treatments, made himself available to preach whenever possible. By the grace of God, in August 2005 (three months after his treatments has started), during a followup examination, the oncologist and medical staff could no longer detect any cancer in his body. God had shown Himself to this pastor and to those who provided him with medical treatment. His primary physician still refers to Rev. Smith as his miracle patient.
In total remission, Rev. Smith continues to feed the Word of God to the flock at St. James CME Church today. He describes his purpose as a calling “to make the gospel of Jesus Christ known to the lost.” His love for the Lord and his love for God’s people is also evident in other areas of his life. Because he has a desire to help others improve themselves physically as well as spiritually, you can find him on Tuesday mornings at 5:30 AM instructing a spin class at the Downtown Birmingham YMCA. Since his healing, Rev. Smith has become a certified spin instructor. Spinning is an aerobic exercise that takes place on a bike that is specially designed for indoor cycling. As you pedal, motivating music plays and the instructor talks you through a visualization of an outdoor cycling workout. Kenny, as the spinners affectionately call him, believes our bodies arc temples of the Lord.
He says, “If you want God to come in, you should clean up your body as you would clean up your house for special guests.” He attributes his ability to instruct the spinning class as just another example of God using a "restored vessel" to help some of His children. This "restored vessel" makes riding a stationary bike fun by playing energizing music during the class.
He feeds off the unbeatable group energy to motivate the class to gain the most from their workout at each and every class. Some of the class participants offered their comments on Kenny, the spin instructor and they were all positive. He is described as being energetic, challenging, encouraging, sweet and enthusiastic.
One participant stated “his exuberant spirit shines both in and out of the spin class. Another member said, “it's easy to get out of bed before dawn to participate in his 5:30 AM class because he is such a good motivator. Being a person who has experienced both war (Iraqi Freedom) and cancer, he receives confirmation of his restoration in Hosea 6:1-2 where it says, “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has I injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the I third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.” Rev. Smith prays that others will find encouragement from his testimony. He feels that everyone should know that “If you are going through a storm, do not give up on God and do not give up on life. If a mountain such as cancer comes your way or if the enemy throws something else in your way, remember to turn it over to God and He will fix it for you. God’s desire is to only make us better: to take us from good to great. The prophet Haggai stated that "'the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” Pastor Kenneth Smith — a father, a servant of God, a military veteran, a survivor of cancer, and a spinning instructor — provides hope from the pulpit and positive influence at the gym.
Submitted by Thelma Davis, a member of Thirgood Memorial CME Church, Birmingham, AL, and the YMCA.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Arrangements for Mr. Johnnie Pegues.

Mr. Johnnie Pegues, husband of Princess Pegues, Vice President of the Women's
Missionary Council, passed away on Wednesday, December 26, 2007. The funeral
service will be held on Monday, December 31, 2007, 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary CME
Temple, 1107 West Madison Avenue (physical address), Bastrop, LA 71220.

The family hour will be held on Sunday, December 30, 2007, St. Mary CME Temple,
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Condolences may be sent to: Mrs. Princess Pegues, 2309 Bonnie Avenue, Bastrop,
LA 71220. Phone: 318-281-3044.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to SOS (Save Our
Sons) Scholarship Fund in memory of Johnnie. Donations may be sent to 2309
Bonnie Avenue, Bastrop, LA 71220

In Charge of Funeral Arrangements:
Montgomery Funeral Home
714 Martin L. King South
Bastrop, LA 71220
Phone: 318-281-7425

Hotel Accommodations:
Best Western North Inn & Suites
2130 E. Madison Avenue, Bastrop, LA 71220
Phone: 318-556-2800

Submitted by Dr. Elnora P. Hamb
President, Women’s Missionary Council
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We regret to hear of the sad new of the Passing of the husband of Missionary Council Vice President Mrs. Princess Pegues. More information will be forthcoming. Blessings and comfort to the Pegues family.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Birth of Jesus is Foretold. “In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”- Luke 1:26-28

Saturday, December 01, 2007

It's Advent! Let us Celebrate His Coming!
“[The Word Became Flesh] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”- John 1:1-2, 14