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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Adrian Rogers tells the story of a man who bragged of the time that he had cut off the tall of a man-eating lion using only his pocket knife. The someone asked, "Why didn't you cut off his head with the pocket knife?" The man replied, "Somebody had already done that.'"

It's easy to be brave in our daydreams and when there is no immediate threat of danger, but it is an entirely different matter to show courage when it counts. I enjoy Paul Harvey who tells the story of Ray Blankenship. Ray gazed out his window one morning and saw a small girl being swept along in a flooded drainage ditch. Ray knew that the ditch disappeared not far from his house underneath a road and that after that it emptied into the main culvert. He was the girl's only chance.

Ray rushed out the door and raced along the ditch, trying to get ahead of the drowning child. Not being able to reach her from the bank he hurled himself into the deep, churning waters. Blankenship surfaced and was able to grab the child's arm. They tumbled end over end. Within about three feet of the yawning culvert, Ray's free hand felt something possibly a rock - protruding from the bank. He clung desperately, but the tremendous force of the water tried to tear him and the child away. "If I can just hang on until help arrives," he thought. But, he did better than that. By the time fire department rescuers arrived, Ray had pulled the girl to safety. Both were treated for shock. Then, on April 12, 1989 Ray Blankenship was awarded the Coast Guard's Silver Lifesaving Medal, a fitting award since Ray was a greater risk than most people knew. For, you see, Ray Blankenship couldn't swim.

And people are drowning in sin all around us. Jesus ask who has the courage to jump in and help? You may be the only chance to save someone's soul! Read Matthew 28:18-20.

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward
Smithville church of Christ