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God, Childhood, and His Plan

I can’t remember when church wasn’t a consistent and constant part of my life, and it is a real challenge to come up with many memories that don’t, in some form or another, include gospel music. Growing up on a cotton farm meant a lot of hard work.We didn’t hire help because my family did it all.You can imagine how excited I was as a kid to plan for the weekends when I knew gospel singing would be a huge part of Saturday and Sunday.Twice a year, those convention songbooks came in from the Stamps-Baxter Music Company.I remember Daddy and Mama talking about how great it was that a few of the men paid for those books and carried them to every Friday night singing, Saturday night singing, Sunday afternoon singing, Sunday night singing – and I’ll not overlook all-day Sunday singings.Daddy, Mama, and others in the community offered to pay for books but Mr. Willie, Mr. Claron, Mr. Tommy, and others who paid for them wouldn’t take a dime.It was just what they did…they made sure others could …
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Truly Friends Forever

I have a great group of supporters (supporting Ann Downing Ministries in myriads of ways).I don’t think I’ve always appreciated what real “support” in this case means.But, perhaps I’m getting there! One very important part of that great group of close friends and loved ones is my friend, Dolly Simms.I’ve known her since she was in Jr. High when I was with the Speer Family.That acquaintance lasted on through the Downing years.Her family made sure they attended most every appearance the Downings made within a reasonable (and sometimes, not so reasonable) proximity of where they’ve always lived…in Lexington, KY. When Paul was in the hospital for two months in Lexington before passing away, Dolly became my best friend.She stayed at the hospital every night for those 56 nights as we slept on the floor of that waiting room outside the critical care unit. After Paul’s death, Dolly was a regular at my house and a regular on the road with me whenever she could. She became like family to me.I …

Kingdom Crossfire

It seems I’ve spent half my life caught in the crossfire between the principalities and powers of the air thinking I was fighting battles with flesh and blood. I gave my heart to Jesus at the tender age of nine. Na├»ve to what it meant for my earthly future, on the spiritual level a child can understand, I knew it was the right choice… the only choice for me.
I’ve had some amazing experiences in my life; God is responsible for these. Just this week, I’ve found He is at it again… bringing parts of my childhood and adolescent years around to meet up with my adult self and allowing me the great privilege of tracing His Hand from hell to high places… urging me toward completing the healing process in wounds almost three decades old.
As school starts back, may I remind you… parents and grandparents, classroom teachers and Sunday school teachers… coaches: The children in your care who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ are gigantic neon flashing targets for spiritual warfare. They…