JUST KEEP WALKING

0528pl-man-sunrise-walkingTherefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6).

While the writers of Scripture use many vivid metaphors to describe the Christian life, by far the most common one in the New Testament is a “walk”.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:25).

“If we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1).

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1, NKJV).

The theme of walking echoes through Ephesians: walk in love” (5:2, ESV), walk as children of light” (5:8), “look carefully then how you walk(5:15). Walking depicts the course of an individual’s whole life: Enoch and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 5:22; 6:9). King Jehu did not (2 Kings 10:31). It is a dominant, inspired metaphor in Scripture, and a picture of what our relationship with God should look like. The Lord has invited you for a walk, with Him, together on the journey of life.

Along the way, God is changing you. Sometime you may grow impatient and want instant victory over all your problems. Sometime you’ll grow weary or discouraged; a lifetime of battling sin seems overwhelming.

But if you are ever going to walk with Christ and be the person God intended you to be, your focus must be on the next step. Just that step and nothing else. When you strain to see the future, or fear you won’t have the energy or strength for tomorrow, the enemy has succeeded in intimidating you, and you’ll have missed the opportunity to live for Christ in this moment.

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6)

As you walk with God today, rather than scanning the horizon for all that’s ahead, just focus your eyes on the next step. Don’t miss the opportunity to live for Him fully today.

Spencer Cromwell, Windsong church of Christ, Little Rock, AR

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WEEKLY NEWS, FEBRUARY 4, 2018

PROPOSED NEW ELDERS

Those who have been suggested by the members to be additional elders will be announced today.  We may also get to know when the installation date will be.

VISITING FOR THE MASTER—2018

Our visitation program has served us and the Lord well since its inception in 2007, and we desire to continue this ministry in 2018. A reorganization meeting is planned for this evening, following the worship service. Those who have signed up will meet at Mr. Gattis’ Pizza. We will have an evaluative discussion of the program and suggestions for the New Year.

Lunch ‘N’ Learn, Partners in Care – ALZHEIMER’S TEXAS

Steve Catoe, Positive Approach to Care and Validation Therapy Trainer, will present quality education on topics such as ever-changing roles, rounding up your posse, and finding direction on your journey. Day and time: Thursday, March 8th, 11:30 am —1:00 pm. at the Llano County Public Library, 102 E. Haynie St. in Llano. The class is free and lunch is provided, but registration is required. Phone: 800-367-2132, email: vcardenas@txalz.org.   More information is on the bulletin board.

PRAYER REQUEST

Tommie Sledge requested that we beseech God in her behalf, to give her wisdom and strength as she faces decisions and changes in her life. God bless you, Tommie, as He guides you to the right destination

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (ESV) What is the power of our Christian influence on others? Let this report from our brother Mike Udam in Nigeria, whom we help support, speak to that. Keep Mike and all Nigerian Brethren in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

Sunday, January 21, 2018

THE POWER OF POSITIVE INFLUENCE

Filled with excitement, I want to break the news today that my Head of department has been baptized into Christ. He is not the first to be baptized through my evangelism effort but he is one great example of interpersonal evangelism fruit.

He was posted from Calabar to my school in early October 2017 and he displaced me as head of department being on level 13 and me on 12. I took him like my friend and brother and opened the doors of the gospel to him.

During the 2017 lectureship, he offered to cover the programme free and all those who spoke at our Annual lectureship saw him actively participating there as if he was a brother. When we resumed this term, his family returned to Ogoja with him and to my shock, he announced that he is now a brother in the Lord. He started to worship at the congregation in Ogoja main town and will follow me to the church at Ukpagada for Bible studies. He was then enrolled in World Bible School correspondence course.

On Friday we had a heated discussion on prayers and this afternoon, I got a call he was immersed and added to the church of the Lord. Those close to me will attest that this event is a great victory for me and the entire school where I teach. The Lord be praised. Our life styles and kindness are very powerful tools in our hands.

Join me to pray for his stability in faith.

Sincerely yours, Mike Udam

The saved must be well taught to stay saved.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Dear Mike, I LOVE reading this e-mail from you! God bless your Christian influence that I know you wear every day, and your ability of teaching of God’s word to anyone who will listen! I thank God for this new brother in Christ! I know you will raise him up well in The Faith, and it looks like this brother, as he matures in The Faith, will be a big help to the Lord’s work in your area of Cross River State, Nigeria!  Thanks for sharing this! In Christian love, Doug Wheeler

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READY FOR SERVICE

prophetisaiahAt the beginning of this New Year, are you ready for service? Let me tell you how one man became prepared. His name was Isaiah. Many Old Testament scholars tell us it happened on New Year’s Day. Whether that is true or not, it was a new beginning for Isaiah.

Isaiah was permitted to see the glory of the Lord, high and lifted up. Above Him stood the seraphim crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of host.” And when He spoke, the thresholds shook and the house was filled with smoke. Is this God? Or is this Jesus? In John 12:41, after quoting Isaiah 6:10, John said that Isaiah “saw Jesus’s glory and spoke about Him.” If this was Jesus, it is well to remember that Jesus “reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3).

After seeing such holiness, Isaiah becomes acutely aware of his own sinfulness. He cries, “Woe is me! For I am ruined! for I am a man of unclean lips!” Then one of the seraphim touched his mouth with a burning coal and said, “See, this has touched your lips, your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:5-7).

No one is ready for service until he is cleansed from sin. David knew this when he cried out for a clean heart and spirit. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You” (Psalm 51:10-13). First cleansing, then service.

Isaiah was now prepared for service. When God called, Isaiah responded. “Here am I! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8). Now as Christians, we have been washed, cleansed and sanctified. We are ready for service.

Remember the admonition of the apostle Peter, to those Christians and to us, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

~~ John Gibson, Little Rock, AR

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WEEKLY NEWS, JANUARY 28, 2018

THANK YOU NOTE

Thanks for the calls, cards, and prayers while I was sick.

Thanks to all the church family. ~~ James Williams

HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Needs Deodorant & Shampoo

Thank you so much for your support of this ministry!

ELDER SELECTION DEADLINE

Today, Sunday, January 28th is the deadline for submitting names for new proposed Elders!  The proposed and willing candidates will be announced next Sunday, February 4th. We will be informed about the installation date later.

VISITING FOR THE MASTER—2018

Our visitation program has served us and the Lord well since its inception in 2007, and we desire to continue this ministry in 2018. A reorganization meeting is planned for Sunday, February 4TH, following the evening worship service. Pizza will be served in the Fellowship Hall prior to an evaluative discussion of the program and suggestions for the new year. If you would like to be involved in this ministry, a sign-up sheet is posted at the rear of the auditorium.

LUNCH ‘N’ LEARN – PARTNERS IN CARE – ALZHEIMER’S TEXAS

Steve Catoe, Positive Approach to Care and Validation Therapy Trainer, will present quality education on topics such as ever-changing roles, rounding up your posse, and finding direction on your journey. Day and time: Thursday, March 8th, 11:30 am —1:00 pm. at the Llano County Public Library, 102 E. Haynie St. in Llano. The class is free and lunch is provided, but registration is required. Phone: 800-367-2132, email: vcardenas@txalz.org.  More information is on the bulletin board.

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

This is the 2nd part of the mission report from the Emperados in the Philippines. This is written by Richard and as Becky said in part 1 last week, this is the unedited version from Richard who speaks better English than writes. The real exciting part is it is written from the field where Richard and his fellow workers are making efforts to help spread our Lord’s kingdom. Keep all in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D.

Philippine Mission Report 2017

Howdy! The last quarter of 2017 was a major challenge. I have faced uncertainties for the first time in twenty years of planting churches. I was about to cancel the two church plantings in Tandag and Mati because of safety reasons. The Philippine government and U.S. embassy advisory warned us against traveling to the south that unfortunately would include Tandag and Mati due to the demise of the two big ISIS leaders. People are scared about possible relations. Originally I had planned to take fifty to sixty volunteers in the HINO bus and drive down south but because we were advised not to do so due to the fact bigger groups would attract possible terrorist attacks there.

I had a hard time struggling whether I should continue or cancel the church planting. I was about to write our sponsoring church and other supporting churches about canceling our original plans but after giving much thought and praying about it, I had decided to push through with the Mati and Tandag But only bring a handful of volunteers and use a “low key” approach which meant no advertisements or gospel meetings at night, We’d have to rely on the old fashion house to house evangelism. So from December third to tenth, we held a week of evangelism in Tandag! Amongst the volunteers I brought with me are six S.O.N.E. students whom had been trained in both Bible and vocational skills. Each one of them are capable of sharing the gospel and had mastered the Back to the Bible Series.

As a result of sharing the gospel, the SONE students baptized two new souls only two days later. Anita and Corazon were the two new souls that were add to our growing family. They are both elderly ladies. Anita offered her house near the highway to be the church meeting place. It was such a blessing! So not only do we have a new church in Tandag but also two new sisters to join the family. More members joined after I left. I left Rolando Entece and MC to do the follow-up work from day to day. Interesting to note that MC is actually the grandson of Rolando Entece and now their working together there in Tandag. I plan on visiting them on the 3rd week of January. Please keep Tandag in your prayers.

Then on December 11th we drove almost seven hours south to Mati. Mati is very unique. It has gorgeous “powdery” white sandy beaches that are breathtaking. It is also a major fishing ground and only cost fifty cents per pound for every fresh tuna from the fishermen. We ate tuna nearly every day!

img_5219Almost one half of the population in Mati are Muslims but we quickly found out their peace loving there. However we still did our best to avoid having Bible studies with them but instead focusing on finding the Christians there. For a week we worked and baptized three souls there but later we met a “remnant” of the old “premillennial” Church of Christ. They have a little chapel and have remained faithful. The leader of their group is a school teacher. I had a heart to heart talk to him and asked him the “fundamental question” about premillennialism and he said it’s merely an opinion. He offered a room in his house for nicar and medardo own two evangelism. The teacher also offered their little chapel to be the new meeting place. Thus the church has officially began in Mati!

There’s still a lot of prospects for Bible study and it seems the people in general are interested in Bible study! After going to Tandag for a follow up, I will also travel to Mati for a couple of days to check up on them as well. Please include the young Mati church in your prayers.

Tomorrow early Wednesday January 10th, I’ll be flying out to Iloilo city then I’ll have to take a thirty minute boat ride to Jordan, the capital of Guimaras. The SONE students will follow from Negros Island on the boat to help determine the receptivity of the people. While I spend my days looking at hotel rooms and function areas, the students will be out in the field evangelizing. The purpose for this survey trip is for Tom Washburn and the Austin Avenue Church of Christ preparation for the church planting in July. A group from Austin Avenue church of Christ in Brownwood, Texas will fly over and work with the MOSES team to plant the church in Jordan. After a couple of days in Jordan, I plan on taking the team to San Jose the capital of Antique, which is about three hours from Jordan to do the same thing we did on the survey trip for Jordan. We will stay a couple of days to evangelize in order to gauge the receptivity of the people there. Afterwards will be the time to decide whether we do Jordan or San Jose. Is it possible to do both like we did with Tandag and Mati? That will require more planning and prayers as well. We love you all, Richard and Becky

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THE TWO GREATEST DANGERS IN THE CHURCH TODAY

dangerIn my opinion, the two greatest dangers in the Lord’s church today are that of ignorance and inactivity. Proper knowledge and actions are absolutely essential for a congregation to please the Lord. Consider that…

if a church does not have any biblical knowledge or any activity, then it is dead (or near-dead, anyway). In Revelation 3, the church at Smyrna thought it was alive, but it was dead, or at the very least, ready to die (v.1-2). James 2:26 reminds us, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” To paraphrase, faith without biblical knowledge or proper application is worthless. God warned His people long ago, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

…if a church does have biblical knowledge but has no activity, then it is diminished. The church that is like this is much less than what it could be or should be. It is wasting the resource of Scriptural knowledge that it has. Why would a church have Jesus as Lord and profess such, but not do what He asks (cf. Luke 6:46)? There are many who profess to know God but deny Him in their works, or lack of them (cf. Titus 1:16). The church that knows to do good and does not do it is wasting its potential (cf. James 4:17).

…if a church does not have biblical knowledge but does have plenty of activity, then it is dangerous. In essence, it has become a human institution and will operate as men desire and dictate – and that will lead down man’s path, not God’s. Paul was concerned about those who had a zeal (and probably plenty of activity due to it), but not according to the knowledge of God’s ways (Romans 10:2). Before he became a Christian, Paul himself had a plenty of religious activity, but it was not according to what was right (cf. Acts 26:9-11; Philippians 3:6). During those times, Paul led a life of destruction and disaster.

So, a church needs to have proper knowledge and proper activity. It is then that it will be truly dynamic (i.e. productive for the Lord). What is your part in this congregation’s proper knowledge of God’s word and proper activity of carrying out His will?

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WEEKLY NEWS, JANUARY 21, 2018

FELLOWSHIP MEAL

Our January Fellowship Meal is Sunday, the 28th.  Hosts and hostesses will be:  Cary & Brenda Miller, Lynn & Kathy Patterson, James & Vicky Williams.

LADIES CORNER

 There will be a Ladies Day in Bertram on Saturday, January 27, from 9 a.m. to noon. All ladies are invited. There will be a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board in the auditorium. Please add your name before January 24th.

 Cherokee Home for Children let us know that they will not have a Ladies Day scheduled in 2018 due to their problems with their gymnasium. Hopefully this will be rectified in time to schedule for 2019.

HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Current needs are deodorant.  Thank you for supporting this ministry.

ELDER SELECTION IS UNDER WAY

The Highland Lakes church of Christ has begun a search for additional elders.

We request that the membership “look out” among themselves for qualified men that you believe would be the leaders we need. There will be a box at the rear of the auditorium for written submissions, or you can just call one of the elders to make a verbal nomination. Nomination deadline will the evening of Sunday, January, 28th.The proposed and willing candidates will be announced on the following Sunday, February 4th.  Please pray that God will guide us to the men we need!

LEADERSHIP:

“The ability to arouse enthusiasm among people is one of the greatest assets to possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”

Admonitions to the Elders

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseer—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away (1 Peter 5:2-4).

Admonitions to the Flock

“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you” (Hebrews 13:17).

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

What follows is the introduction to the latest missions report from the Emperados in the Philippines. Please keep them and this work in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

 

Dear Family & Friends,

Howdy! Attached is a report that Richard wrote Tuesday before he flew from Cebu to Iloilo Iloilo. Jennylyn typed it up and sent it to me to edit, I am in Negros. I am at a restaurant with Wi-Fi about 1 hour from the house. Grant & I have tried many different ways to open this report so I could edit it, but we have been unsuccessful & the restaurant is getting crowded for lunch, so it will be harder to send…so you guys will get to enjoy Richard’s report in his rough stage…he speaks English better then he writes…so have fun! I did get to talk to him last night from San Jose, and he said things were going really well. They were able to meet people who wanted Bible Studies in both Jordan & San Jose. He said the places were beautiful, he had never been there before. He is trying to decide which city will be the place to plant the church this coming July with folks from Austin Avenue, our sponsoring church. The preacher, Tom Washburn, and another member are coming the end of this month to survey these two places with Richard. Please be praying for their safe travels!

Some other exciting news we want to share is that Grant & Richard will be going to China March 7-21 to visit Tse Ming and some of the Christians there. We promised Grant a trip for his high school graduation, and Tse Ming was able to find them a really good deal on tickets from Cebu to Hong Kong. Grant is really excited to go.

Richard & Becky Emperado 2017We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s as a family at our place in Calag Calag. We had several storms & typhoons that brought winds & rains, but no damage to our place. We had the Murrell kids & families come for New Year’s for several days, so had fun cooking, playing games, doing puzzles, & swimming when it wasn’t raining. We missed Rachael & her family…they were all sick with colds & coughs.

Big news this week is that our Forex Box that my sister, Carolyn sent in Oct., arrived Wednesday in Cebu! Yea! Christmas in January! I told the girls not to open it! They would eat all the hot tamale candy! The box is full of goodies, like Rotel, Velveeta, oatmeal pies, candies, and lots of school supplies she got on sale in August for our bible class materials! We have more markers, crayons, scissors, glue sticks, etc. to share when we do our teaching seminars. I also got a new big thing of Sharpie markers, that I am excited about! Thank you Sis for shopping & sending us all the goodies! Richard should be bringing the box to Negros next Tuesday!

Please be praying for the new churches & workers in Tandag & Mati! Love, Becky

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REJOICING ANGELS

Ever wonder what causes the angels in heaven to shout for joy? There are several instances of angels proclaiming joy, and they all seem to have a common thread.

hqdefaultThe first instance of the heavenly host expressing joy is during the creation of the heavens and the earth. Recounting the incident, God tells Job that when it happened, “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:1-7). Most Bible scholars agree that the morning stars and sons of God are in reference to angels, who apparently were created prior to the earth. So in this instance, we see the angels being joyous because of God using His creative powers to make something that had never existed before.

Let’s look at another instance of the angels showing joy. When the proper time came (Gal. 4:4), God sent His Son to be born of the human race. It is at this time in announcing the birth of the Messiah to the shepherds that angels proclaimed it a time of “great joy” (Luke 2:8-14). So here the angels express praise and joy at the coming of the Christ-child, the God-Man, Jesus. As in the creation, they are expressing joy over something that had never before existed.

There is one more instance I can find in the Bible of the angels expressing joy – and this one directly involves us. In Luke 15:10 we are told that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Seeing a sinner come to God and becoming a new creation brings great joy to the angels.

From these three instances, I think we can clearly see that angels get excited over new creations. Think about it: when we have our lives made new through baptism into Christ and we continue to live each day renewed in the Spirit, the angels rejoice over us. What an encouraging thought!

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you who dwell in them!” (Rev. 12:11-12a)

Edd Sterchi,  Campbellsville, KY

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