Enjoy some simple, yet convicting studies of the Bible by Paul Sparks, just retired local preacher of Indianola, MS……………..

On my birthday, January 26, what better thoughts to come to mind than the study brother Paul has presented with regard to ‘Vision’. Solomon wrote, ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish; happy is he that keepeth the law’ (Proverbs 29:18). Failing to have the vision to see happy times ahead will cause us to cease doing the good and right things of God (2 Peter 1:5-9) which will provide the saved a wonderful entrance in the everlasting kingdom: Add to your faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. “He that lacketh these things is blind and can not see afar off”. Vision helps us to see our responsibilities, too. We have a responsibility to others who we see and with whom we interact. Where our words go and where our thoughts go and where our touches go will hold great responsibility. Will we be helping someone to Heaven? Where there is no vision, the people perish. Aren’t we glad for those who have had vision for our fresh water supply where we live, for the preserved foodstuffs for us to eat wholesome meals and for the guidance we have been given from someone who cared where we end up?? Thank you, Paul, for your vision that involved me! And, thanks be to the Lord for his blessing of memory which has not failed me to remember your good study about Vision. s/ Robert

On Saturday afternoon, August 27, 2005, a building filled with relatives and friends gathered to Celebrate 50 Years of Preaching with Paul. Sitting in a rocking chair did not seem to fit the image of the preacher and it is likely he will never get used to it. His relaxation was interrupted several times with a standing up to give and receive a loving hug. What a celebration! Various area preachers, Bill Bryan, Alex Bayess, Tommy Mahan, Eugene Springer joined with distant friends, Al Franks and Robert Rawson, who benefitted from the mentoring of Paul Sparks in preaching back in 1960! Local church leaders, James Bradshaw, Jimmy Stewart and songleader, Jimmy Jones who led the favorite hymn, the Old Rugged Cross, brought tears and smiles as reflection of brother Sparks was done. Wish you had been there, but our hope is the flavor of the occasion is spiked by these few words. Some meetings and writing lie ahead, Lord willing, for this Soldier of the Cross.

“When preaching the Gospel of Christ, be sure to use plenty of Bible; at least, this much of your sermon will be right!”

How true! God’s Word used properly will teach the individual God’s will. Remember, there are specific details given such as involve the Lord’s Supper foods (unleavened bread and fruit of the vine–Matthew 26:26-29) When the brethren at Corinth violated this discernment, they were challenged to repent (I Corinthians 11:20ff). Also, remember, there are generic expectations as well. How to “Go” and what methods to use in “Teaching” are not limited. We may choose the most efficient methods (Matthew 28:18-20 , 2 Timothy 2:2). Enjoy God’s Word and factually determine God’s will to do.

The mode of baptism is very specific, involving a burial
(Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12).

The place of assembly is very generic, involving a gathering up place (Hebrews 10:25; I Corinthians 11:20-22).


By basing your sermons on NEEDS of people, there will always be interest manifested by the audience. Needs in class discussions will dig deeply into the solutions for problems and joy in those chosen areas of goodwill. Needs in personal studies done with individuals will encourage the Scripture to be the final authority standard and bring converts to the Lord. What a wonderful feeling to know that NEEDS of individuals, countries, churches and families will keep the interest high in every sermon, class teaching and personal study done.