Did you ever notice how your different body parts have entirely different characteristics and personalities of their own? My head, for example, is usually rather conservative and law-abiding, but my feet are not only klutzes, but they are downright rebellious.

I became aware of their differences when the highway department put up speed signs on old State Highway 99. As a motorist I can drive 50 mph from the outskirts of Ada until I come to Byng. From that time forward I must hold my speed to 45 or 35 mph.

My head recognizes that this is a good, safe speed limit. People shouldn’t be speeding near the school or the three churches along the highway. I’ll probably get better gas mileage, and the wear and tear on my car is probably minimized at the lower speeds.

Knowing these things, I was surprised when as soon as I was on the highway and halfway warmed up, my right foot got a little heavier on the accelerator, and before I knew it I was doing 60.

Then, my law-abiding head took over, and with a scolding word for my rebellious foot, directed my hand to turn on the cruise control. Next to automatic transmissions and power brakes, cruise control has to be one of the best of modern auto accessories. I set it at 45 and know my car is going to behave itself all through the four miles of that speed limit.

Of course, the only thing wrong with keeping to the letter of the law is that I accumulate quite an entourage of cars and trucks behind me, all of their drivers fuming about the little ol’ lady who is poking along.

If there are no trucks entering or leaving the asphalt plant, I pull over into their lane and allow some of the impatient drivers to get past me. This will be their only opportunity until we reach the four-lane. I sympathize with those drivers who are still stuck behind me, though my prissy smug head mutters, “You’re abiding by the law, and you’re helping them stick to it, too.” To which my rebellious foot retorts, “If it weren’t for that dratted cruise control, it would be interesting to see how fast this little Camry would be going!”

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We are well into Christmas at New Bethel Church. Already we’ve had our Week of Prayer for Lottie Moon Missions, and last Wednesday night, Lottie herself paid us a visit. Her friends and family know her as Sue Martin, a diminutive little lady who with her husband, Don, lives at the Baptist Village. The couple served many years as missionaries until their retirement 15 years ago. Since that time, Sue has become an expert on interpreting the personality and life of the famous missionary to China.

Dressed in the clothing of a century ago, Ms. Martin as Lottie Moon was interviewed by Jodi Jackson. She told us many new facts about the life and accomplishments of an independent missionary who not only paid her own way to China but chose to spend her entire life in the Far East establishing schools and planting churches. Before departing, she served us some of her tea cakes with which she won the hearts of the Chinese children.

On Sunday the choir presented the cantata “Holy Child.” David Jackson was narrator. Soloists included David Painter, Mary Dixon, Linda Cooper, and Debra Nolen. Members of an ensemble were Sandra and Bill Dixon, Jodi Jackson Aren Howell and Jim Parks,

Deacons and the youth advisory committee stayed for a luncheon interview with an applicant for youth minister, Lane Self, Mannfred. He is currently a student at Tulsa University. We’ll be hearing a report from the committee in the near future. Jerald and Tricia Harris volunteered to serve temporarily in this capacity at least 10 years ago. At that time, their own children, Amber and Eric were “youth” at New Bethel. Now Amber is married and is the mother of two children, Max and Sadie, and they are living in Iowa. Eric has finished college and is in his first year of teaching and serving as assistant boys’ basketball coach at Sulphur.

Because they wanted to be able to visit their grandchildren and to watch their son’s teams play, Jerald and Tricia said firmly again a few months ago, “We really think we ought to find someone to serve as youth minister.” We advertised in the Baptist Messenger, and this is the first applicant we’ve had.

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Despite messy, sometimes icy, weather the choir presented the cantata a second time Sunday afternoon when they went to the Baptist Village at 3 p.m. It was good to see several old friends again. It was especially good to see Inez Stegall who used to visit New Bethel with the late Dr. J.R. Roberts.

It was also good to see my neighbors the Dennis Tates. He was formerly pastor of the Homer Baptist Church until health problems intervened. He is doing well now and for the past two years they have served as chaplain at the Baptist Village. He is still a walker at the track, but they walk afternoons nowadays. He tells me that he is planning a mission trip to Guatemala in January.

From now until Christmas is a very busy time at New Bethel. Mens’ prayer breakfast is Saturday at 7 a.m. The children’s Christmas program is at 5:30, and the church family Christmas dinner is at 6:30 p.m. next Sunday.

The annual Lottie Moon Mission Offering Coin Counting party is at Bill and Sandra Dixon’s home Wednesday, Dec. 19.

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Sara Dixon was home for a short visit this week, and it was good to see her at church. We will celebrate her 16th birthday with cake and ice cream after prayer meeting Wednesday. She looked well and was happy to be here. She will return to Ramuda Ranch in Arizona for a final de-briefing and will be back home on Dec. 21

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Monday morning — I have just received word of the tragic deaths of Rick and Sandy Woodward in a multi-car pile-up at Okemah last night. We don’t know details yet, but we are all well aware of what a blow this is to New Bethel Church, to Byng community and to this section of the state. Rick’s Body Shop was well known and respected for the quality of his work and for Rick’s dedication to keeping prices reasonable. Sandy worked in the department of Continuing Education at East Central University. Our heartfelt sympathy goes to their families, particularly their daughters, Caara and Emily.

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