Time is getting short for filling up Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes

Have you gotten started on your shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child yet?

Before we know it, September will be over - and they have to be ready by the middle of November, so Samaritan's Purse folks can get them sorted and headed in the right directions for Christmas.

I hadn't started yet, and was reminded by a friend who brought me several boxes of crayons "for your shoeboxes." Oops! Time for me to get busy.

I love doing these, and it's fun to see just how much I can stuff into an individual box. I do that not only for the fun of it, but so that if the folks at Samaritan's Purse find a box that has been sparsely packed, they can take some things out of my boxes and fill out some of the others.

The boxes go all over, in needy places here in our country, and in many, many others. They let children know that someone cares about them. Often they are the only Christmas gifts these children will receive.

Boxes are identified with tags showing gender and age groups 2andndash;5, 6andndash;10 and 11andndash;14.

School supplies, grooming supplies, clothing items like socks, hats and T-shirts, and hard candy are good choices. Bar soap should be placed in plastic bags, as should candy, to protect flavor. No lotions, shampoo, liquid soap, or anything that would spill, and no medicines or vitamins are acceptable.

Small toys and solar calculators are good - but avoid things that require replacement batteries, and no warlike toys - guns, knives, etc.

If you want to see how these are received, go to the Samaritan's Purse website and click on Operation Christmas Child.

andbull; Music is coming up thisweek.

You may have seen the movie, "Dead Man Walking." A variation might be, "Dead Man Singing."

Come to New Life Community Church this evening at 5 p.m., and you will hear "Heaven's Connection," composed of the Virgil Taylor family: Virgil, his wife and son Jonathan. They have been writing and performing music for several years, both here, and around the country.

Their style is country gospel, easy and inspiring to hear. Virgil will keep you laughing between songs - and when you hear Jon's story - well, he's the "dead man singing," and beautifully, I might add.

Jon was in a horrible car crash when he was 17 - pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. But the emergency crew refused to give up on him, and God brought him back.

The doctors said he would not survive, and that if he did, he would lead a vegetative existence.

Have you ever heard a "vegetable" sing? Come tonight and see and hear for yourself! I am amazed every time I see Jon. As I nurse, I see continuing improvement over the years that to me has to be the hand of God.

andbull; First Baptist Church will host country gospel singer Phil Dickey on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Phil and wife Joy have ministered here on numerous previous occasions, always with an inspiring program. The concert is free, but a love offering will be taken.

Why not plan to attend both of these programs? You won't be disappointed.

To reach Martha Williams, call 460-3000, or e-mail E-mails are especially appreciated.