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  December 2019  
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Theology Of Work
  • A legalistic workplace—in which bosses try to control every motion, every word, every thought that employees have—i… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
    December 10, 2019, 5:30 AM
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    December 9, 2019, 12:07 PM
  • Paul says that serving others, even to the point of suffering, is the way to be effective in God’s economy, just as… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
    December 6, 2019, 9:23 AM

From Your Director of Missions – Neil O’Donnell

We lost a good friend and a great servant of God last month. Valorie Brown is now in her heavenly home. There is no way to effectively express the loss, but I would like to share a few thoughts of our time serving together here at LBA.

Valorie would be impressed that I’ve written this and turned it in early because every month for 9 years she had to remind me over and over that it was time for me to write my article for the association’s newsletter. She would always be done with everything else and be waiting for my article as the last thing to add before printing, folding and mailing. That means that for about 108 months she had to ask me to get my article done. Well Valorie, I got this one in early.

When I first came to the LBA I wasn’t sure she was gonna keep me on in my position. I’m afraid I didn’t make a very good first impression. She would later admit during her retirement speech that she didn’t believe I was the right person for the job when I first got here. She also said though that after a while she came to the conclusion that I might make it after all.

We Baptist pride ourselves in our service to others during a crisis. We come in and clean up the mess when storms of all kinds blow through. That was one of the badges Valorie wore with pride. She would tell everyone, “Neil is the hurricane and I am Disaster Relief.” It’s a funny saying, but there is a lot of truth to it.

Truly faithful and Godly women, or men for that matter, are hard to come by. I have known 3 ladies that have lived up to that standard in my life. My wife, my mother and Valorie. Her devotion to God, her husband, her family and finally her mission as a servant of Le Flore Baptist association are above reproach and without question. She didn’t always feel like it, but nevertheless, she always treated everyone with love and respect.

Valorie was the face of the association. Everybody knew Valorie. When I would go to visit a church I would say, “I’m from the LBA, you know, where Valorie works.” And then a face would light up and they would know exactly who I was talking about. I’ve had to mention the ‘Valorie’ name many times to break the ice.

I know every one of Valories children, every sister, every grandchild, plus the nieces and nephews. I haven’t met them all, but I know them well. We laughed and cried about good times and bad, we prayed when prayer was in order. All in all, it’s been a hoot working with her for the last 9 years. Let me end with this.

You can tell the type of person she was from the results she left behind. Those last few hours in her room as she was transitioning to her new life were a testimony to the type of wife, mother and sister she has been. God was preeminent throughout her life and God was preeminent in the room those last hours. They were full of music, tears, prayer, laughter, love. Families who know and trust God just know how to handle these things. Valorie Brown’s earthly life lives on through those she loved, taught and touched.

God engineers circumstances so that people cross into, and out of, our lives. God put us in ministry together at Le Flore Baptist Association and Valorie completed her mission with honor and integrity. Thank you Lord for positioning my life on the same mission field with Valorie. I have been blessed.

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 ESV

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Leflore Baptist Association
106 Flanagan St.
Suite A
Poteau, Oklahoma 74953
Phone 918-647-8271
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    8 am - 5 pm

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