Media Message Spring 2023


Vol. VI Published quarterly by BMBC’s Church Media Library Spring 2023


March winds, April showers, and beautiful May flowers, all marks of spring! As winter is blown away, producing downpours and puddles, Earth blossoms with the beauty and bounty of God’s blessings. “Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings; He made their glowing colors. He made their tiny wings,” wrote Cecil Alexander, and his poem was set to music in the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”*

March Winds:

Ecclesiastes 3: 11 teaches that God has “made every thing beautiful in his time,” even the wind! In both the Old Testament (Ezekiel 37: 9, 14) and the New Testament (John 3:8), wind is used as a symbol of the Spirit of God. It is associated with the very breath of life. “O holy Wind of God now blowing, you are the seed that God is sowing. You are the life that starts us growing: Spirit, now live in me” (from the hymn “Spirit Now Live in Me” by Bryan Leech).* The blessing of the wind reminds us of God’s sovereignty. From the gentle breeze to the destructive storm, God’s loving-kindness, power and majesty are
portrayed. (See related poem "A Rushing Mighty Wind" at the end of the newsletter.)

April Showers:
“I will cause the shower to come down…there shall be showers of blessing” (Ezekiel 34: 26, KJV).
Spring rains, with their life- giving properties, remind us of the promises of God’s love (Gen. 12: 1-3). As the sound of rain awakens the earth from its winter sleep, God’s blessings abound. Dogwood blossoms herald the story of Easter. Beautiful azaleas, irises and roses, more of God’s
handiwork, bless all who view them. Gardens are planted, mother birds sit on nests, and children splash in the puddles. God does indeed provide the blessings we need. As He showers them upon us, may we be wise enough to recognize that bounty! “Showers of blessing,” wrote Major Daniel W. Whittle from his hospital bed as a prisoner of war. “Showers of blessing we need. Mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers, we plead.”*

May Flowers:
God’s blessings of beauty are magnified in May’s showcase of blooms. “Consider the lilies how
they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet, I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory
was not arrayed like one of these” (Luke 12: 27, KJV).
May flowers honor mothers on their special day, fallen heroes on Memorial Day, graduates at commencement services, high school prom attendees, or anyone who holds a special place in one’s heart. These beautiful miracles of God’s creation bless the hearts of all who give and receive them. They are, as J.W. Peterson so aptly described in his hymn “It Took a Miracle,”* testimonies of God’s power and wisdom.
 [Note: Interested in planting a biblical garden? Check out the book Flowers of the Bible by Allan A. Swenson (635.9 SWE)]

Heavenly Father, For the blessings of spring, we thank You! As new life begins around us, may we be reminded of the day of our salvation and our new life in You. Amen.
[*To read the inspiring stories behind these hymns and others, check out the following books from the Church Media Library (264.23):
1. Smith, Laura L., How Sweet the Sound
2. Morgan, Robert J., Then Sings My Soul
3. Gariepy, Henry, Songs in the Night

[May 28, 2023 is observed as Pentecost Sunday. This day marks a very special birthday!]
Although celebrated in different ways, Pentecost is important to both Jews and Christians. For Israel, the Feast of Pentecost or Feast of Weeks continues to be observed fifty days after Passover. The word Pentecost means “fifty.” Originally, this feast marked the end of the wheat harvest and gave the Jewish people the opportunity to offer the first fruits of their produce
to the Lord (See Lev. 23: 15-21.).
Jewish Christians gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Old Testament Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them, fifty days after the resurrection of Christ. In Acts 2, Luke vividly
describes the event in which the apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in
other tongues. Many Jews from various nations were attending the Pentecost celebration. When the apostle Peter delivered a dynamic sermon, three thousand people became new Christians. Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8 were fulfilled that day as the apostles received power when the Holy Spirit came on them. For Christians, Pentecost became known as the “birthday of the
[To read more about the Holy Spirit, check out the following from the Church Media Library (231.3)
1. Leavell, Landrum P., The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
2. Miller, Calvin, Loving God Up Close
3. Scofield, C.I., Mighty Wind
4. Radmacher, Dr. Earl D., What to Expect from the Holy Spirit
5. Sproul, R.C.,The Holy Spirit
6. Robinson, James, New Growth: What the Holy Spirit Wants to Do for You
7. Wagner, Peter C., Spreading the Fire
8. Graham, Billy, The Holy Spirit
9. Torrey, R.A., The Presence and Work of the Holy Spirit
10. Alsobrook, David, Divine Energy]

Each spring, Southern Baptist churches are asked to contribute to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for the North American Missions. This offering serves to meet the needs of our missionaries in the United States and Canada. Why, however, is the offering named for Annie
Armstrong? She was never an appointed missionary, like Lottie Moon, and she never desired any notoriety for her work. Annie was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1850, one of five children.
At the age of 19, she became a Christian and devoted the rest of her life to God. She depended on Him to direct her path. Annie taught children in Sunday school and during the worship hour at Eutaw Place Baptist Church (now Seventh Avenue Baptist church, Baltimore). She not only taught Bible stories to the children, but she also taught them about missionaries. “Miss Annie” helped the children do missions in their community and encouraged them in all kinds of creative ways to give offerings to missions. Since Baltimore was a port city, many immigrants
landed there, and Annie had been a witness to their needs. She sought out missionaries who were willing to help teach English to these folks. She would invite all the children in her community to parties at her house, asking them to bring a dime to give toward an offering to the local orphanage. Those offerings raised enough money for food, new clothes, and Christmas toys for the residents there. She invited the women of Baltimore, all races, to sew clothes for missionaries to give to American Indian children on reservations. Annie created “prayer cards” so that members of the congregation could be more specific in their prayers for missionaries and encouraged her church family to save pennies in a “mite box” (See Luke 21: 1-4) for missions’ offerings. Then, in 1888, when word came from Lottie Moon in China that more
missionaries were needed on the field, Annie Armstrong got busy! Lottie was encouraging
Southern Baptist women to collect a special Christmas offering to send missionaries to China.
Annie started writing letters to Baptist churches all over the South asking women to organize for that purpose. As a result, Woman’s Missionary Union was founded and Annie was asked to be its first corresponding secretary, a position she held for eighteen years. During that time, Annie spent many hours writing thousands of letters, by hand, for the cause of missions. It was Annie who suggested that the Christmas offering, which had become an annual event, be named the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
On December 20, 1938, Annie Armstrong died at the age of 88. One Baptist state paper said that she was “one the most faithful, energetic, and self-denying workers” known to the denomination. She wanted everyone to know about Jesus. Years later, the SBC Easter Offering
was named after her. Annie Armstrong thought of herself as plain and ordinary, but she knew
that she served an extraordinary God. (Read more about Annie Armstrong: Miss Annie’s Secret by Jimmye Winter, J266.092; The Lottie and Annie Upside Down Book by Cara Lynn Vogel, J920.)


“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” --Proverbs 3: 5, KJV

“If you believe what you like in the gospels and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospels you believe, but yourself.” --Augustine


I’ve never seen the wind,
But I know that it is there.
I feel it as its breeze
Ripples through my hair.

I delight to watch the golden leaves
Dancing in the fall,
Or to view the kites of spring,
Rise o’er the garden wall.

Upon its wings with mighty strength,
Comes the winter chill;
Yet, it returns with warmth and haze,
The summer days to fill.

As I hear its power in the storm,
I know that it is real.
The damage that it leaves behind
Causes one to kneel.

God’s Spirit, like the mighty wind,
Hides His face from view,
But without a single doubt,
I know that He is true.

I see Him in a baby’s smile,
And in the flower that blooms.
I feel His presence when my life
Has days of fear and gloom.

He dwells within this heart ofmine
To comfort and to guide.
His loving hand protects me
From Satan’s raging tides.

Like a rushing mighty wind
His power changes lives.
For those who would accept Histruth
And ask Him to abide.
By Rita Mangum


Fiction: Roses for Mama by Janette Oke, is the story of a pioneer family’s struggle to stay
together and the incredible power of prayer. (F-OKE)

Nonfiction: Indoor Beauty with Vines by Jack Kramer suggests new and practical ways to grow
house plants (635.9KRA).

Director: Rita Mangum
Accessions: Carolyn Coates
Circulation: Jeanie Holbrook
Audio/Visuals: June Jenkins
Classification: Rita Mangum
Assistants: Deborah Melancon & Mary Ann Cleaton

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