PRIORITIES

Priorities-Not-Aligned-e1440177161183The World View

We live in a world where the physical receives priority in regard to about every aspect of our lives. Let me be specific: most people eat three meals a day or twenty-one a week. Some add snacks and coffee breaks to augment their intake of food and drink. Many people take a bath or shower each day. The amount of time taken to shave, comb hair, brush teeth and prepare for our daily appearance in public vary from person to person. Physical exercises of all kinds are increasingly a part of our culture. On and on I could go concerning the time, money and energy expended on the PHYSICAL MAN.

The above mentioned things are not wrong in and of themselves. Each person must make the decisions in these areas to what he or she will do. But what is not done as MEANS rather than an end is vain. We must all acknowledge that what is physical ends in death (Hebrews 9:27).

The Christian View

The Christian has a different point of view. His INNER man is of utmost importance. All else exists for the development and growth of the spiritual man to live with God forever. Paul is correct when he wrote to the Corinthian Christians: “We do not loose heart, though our outer man is wasting away, the inner man is being renewed every day…for things which are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Do you have three spiritual meals a day? Do you engage in Bible study, prayer, fellowship and service to others throughout the day? Do you pray briefly while waiting for a red light to change? Do you read a scripture in the office while waiting to meet an appointment? Do you sing while riding a bike or walking on a road? Do you look in the spiritual mirror (James 1:25) to learn and then to do something for the inner man? Do you let the Holy Spirit clothe you in compassion, patience, lowliness, kindness, meekness (Colossians 3:12) so that as an ambassador for Christ in public, people will see Him? (2 Corinthians 5:20).

An Education Tragedy

If each Christian would open his or her written transcript at high school graduation, college graduation or even post graduate achievement, it would reveal academic competence in material things but few would indicate significance in spiritual training. The inner man has been impoverished. Also, most adults after attending church after decades have a very limited knowledge of the Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, or Christian Evidences. While being able to tell who are the movie stars, the best professional athletes, the current music artists, etc. few can explain clearly redemption, justification, sanctification, glorification and other vital Christian teachings. Biblical illiteracy is rampant. What a tragedy!

A Solution

Each individual must stand before God some day and give an account of his or her stewardship (1 Corinthians 5:10). Therefore, start now to revamp priorities:

  1. Set aside each day time to study God’s priceless word with purpose and enthusiasm. Stop starving the INNER man with one hour attendance at church each week. Place yourself at a spiritual table where words of the Spirit can feed, equip, strengthen, and enable you to serve your fellow man and become more like your precious Savior.
  2. Take time to pray for your family members by name; for their physical and spiritual well being. Inform them that this is your daily practice. Each one is always unique as an integral member of the body of Christ.
  3. Fill your continual petitions to God with thankfulness for His unending love. His marvelous salvation set forth in His Son Jesus Christ, and His eternal promises.
  4. When someone asks, “How are you today?” respond with, “By His grace, I am His child and enjoy the blessings of being a new creation in Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Or you might say, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
  5. Render joyful service as each opportunity arises; send a letter or card to someone in need or a note of appreciation, or make a phone call or send and e-mail note of encouragement or challenge. “Do something today, you can rejoice about tomorrow” my father used to say. Paul’s teaching in Colossians 3:1-4 is superb. “If you have been raised together with Christ, keep seeking the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind upon the things above, not on the things of the earth for you died and your life stands hidden together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is your life, is revealed then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
  6. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the physical things of the world will be added by the Lord as you may need them. You will rejoice again and again NOW and ETERNALLY! AMEN!

By Dr. Stephen D. Eckstein, Jr., former director and instructor, for 35 years, at the Bible Chair, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales, New Mexico

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WEEKLY NEWS, MAY 20, 2018

WORLD BIBLE SCHOOL

world-bible-school

Last week, 780 lessons were mailed to students in Nigeria that we are teaching. Thank you, Henry K, for taking the two big bags to the Post Office!

 

REMEMBER OUR SPANISH WORK!

Salvador San Tillan is ready every Sunday morning to teach a Bible class in Spanish. This is a worthy endeavor. Do you have friends who would benefit from this Spanish Bible study? Let them know about it by giving them a warm, personal invitation. Those who already come, make them feel welcome and at home in our fellowship.

IMPORTANCE NOTICE

Under the direction of our elders the deacons are working to implement an organized safety program for Christ’s church. A designated member to serve as a Safety Monitor will be watching the church surveillance cameras, responding to the intercom by the front door, and designated to call 911 if needed during all church worship services. Volunteers to serve as a Safety Monitor would be assigned to work on a rotational basis. A signup sheet will be on the rear table of the church for members who want to volunteer to serve.

NEXT SUNDAY, MAY 27TH

 . . . we will have a special guest speaker, Kirk Eason from SABC (Southern Africa Bible College). We will hear him give a special report in the combined adult class and he will also preach. We are looking forward to having him with us again.

 This is also the Sunday for our monthly fellowship meal. Hosts & hostesses: Cary & Brenda Miller, Lynn & Kathy Patterson, Pat DeVore and Vicky Parr.

HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Needs – Tooth paste, Bath soap

Thank you for your support of this ministry

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

We are thankful to work with the Emperados in the Philippines to spread the gospel and thank God for Richard and his family’s dedication to this work. In this article they share what the family is doing. Please keep them in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

Dear Family & Friends,

Howdy! I know it has been awhile since you have heard from us…summer months are just a blur around here…trying to catch Richard at home long enough to sit down and write is really hard. Ever since he & Grant returned from China the end of March, he has been on the go.

Richard & Becky Emperado 2017We packed up the girls’ house in Cebu in April and moved the three kids to a townhouse in Dumaguete, Negros to get ready to start college in June. Moving them wasn’t easy…due to the road construction going on the highway in front of their street, we could only get the Hino (our long jeepney) down their street past midnight, load in the dark, and be out by five a.m. We had to make two trips like that, driving 7-9 hours one way due to road construction, only to go a little over 100 miles.

We are happy to share that starting June 11, we will have three freshman college students attending Silliman University. Jennylyn plans to study Elementary Education, Jennylou plans to study psychology, and Grant wants to study history. We have had struggles trying to get them enrolled, due to some paperwork issues since the girls were adopted & their birth certificates were not registered by a local government twenty years ago, like they were supposed to be. We had to go back to the adoption courts, get their papers reissued, have their birth certificates reissued, then sent to Manila to be registered. Richard and the girls have been working on all of that for over six months. We are still waiting for the birth certificates to get here. We also faced challenges because they were homeschooled and all three kids have dual citizenship, but Richard was able to use his charm to get it done. I love this man! He has the patience, kindness, and the ability to talk to whoever he needs to into helping him. The kids are really excited to start this new chapter of their lives. Silliman University is a small private Christian school, started by American missionaries back in 1901. I think they have around 10,000 students. Dumaguete is the capital of Negros Oriental, and it is built around the university. Their house is near the ocean and about a 15 minute walk to the school. They don’t have jeepneys in the city here, everywhere they go, they will have to ride motorcycle trikes. At least now, we will all be on the same island. Our house in Calag Calag is only about 2 hours away. We hope to have an internet connection at their place soon, so that will make it easier to keep in touch.

Much love, Richard & Becky

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GROWING OLD, GRACEFULLY

A Message for A Happy Mother’s Day!

GrowingOldGracefully_PAAge is relative, isn’t it? In our own way, we still search for the fountain of youth. We resist the aging process by camouflaging the spots and wrinkles. Still, aging continues its relentless march. God places a premium on age. God intends for us to be useful and active in our golden years:

  • God asked Noah to build an ark when he was 400 years old.
  • Moses was 80 when he lead Israel out of Egypt.
  • Proverbs says: “Gray hair is a crown of splendor” (Prov. 16:31a)
  • We hear Job declare: “Wisdom comes with age and with length of days comes understanding” (Job 12:12).

David writes: “Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till l declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:17-18). Paul addresses the aging process: “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16) Though your body is decaying, he says, the mind is renewed daily. We are working toward an eternal glory. For we know when this earthly body is aged out, God has a body for us not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

Truth is, wherever we are in the aging process is okay, because that is exactly where God wants us to be. And for us to waste our time, energy, money, and talent attempting to change that state, that season of life, is not God-pleasing. Being dissatisfied with our age only frustrates us, and frustrates His purpose in our life. God had a purpose for us when we were young and He has a purpose for us now that we are older. It’s ridiculous to attempt to go back and relive an old purpose.

How Do We Grow Old Gracefully?

Understand change. If we want everything to stay the same, life is going to be continually miserable. The senior citizen’s world is full of change. Now change is not always bad. But when you pack too much change into a short space, it can be devastating. Our purpose has changed. The ambitions of climbing career ladders, and plans for raising and educating the children are over. There are health changes, financial changes, changes in our energy level. There are some things we can no longer do, and shouldn’t try to do. We must not allow these to overwhelm us.

We need to lose ourselves in something bigger than we are. One of the problems in retirement is that attention is turned to self. The focus is no longer on: the children, career, church, but directed inward. This creates serious problems at any age. John Gardner, one time Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, said, “People can achieve meaning, only if they have a commitment to something larger than their own little egos; be it family, fellowmen, careers or religion.” l think Jesus gives us the answer: Serve Others!! There’s hospital and hospice visits to be made, nursing home patients that need encouragement. Think about volunteering at one of these institutions. There are numerous ministries at church that can use our expertise.

Don’t kill today with yesterday’s guilt. Some of us spend our time grieving over our mistakes we’ve made until we kill the joy of today. We spoil the golden years with resentment from the past. Sure, all of us have made mistakes, serious ones, but there is no reason to allow these to rob us of today’s joy. “Forgetting what is past I press on to the goal, the high calling of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:14).

Will to die “young”. Douglas McArthur had this essay on his wall: “Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind.” Grandma Moses was still painting when she was 101. Oliver Wendall Homes was still serving as a Supreme Court Justice at 90. Conrad Adenauer was Chancellor of West Germany at 87. Noah Webster was 70 when he published his dictionary. Golda Meir became Prime Minister of Israel when she was 71. Paul Southern of Abilene Christian was still teaching college in his nineties. Tillit S. Teddlie was still writing church music and preaching when he died at 101. Mother Teresa died serving others at age 87.

God has providentially brought each of us to this point, and this place in our life for a specific purpose. The question is, will we allow Him to use us for that purpose? Indeed! The best is yet to come!

  • Randall Caselman Bella Vista Church of Christ, Bentonville, AR
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WEEKLY NEWS MAY 13, 2018

WITH SYMPATHY

Clyde Brownlow, Pat DeVore’s brother, passed away suddenly Monday, May 7th, in Amherst, TX. His funeral took place on Thursday, May 10th, at 10 AM at the first United Methodist church in Amherst.  Prayers, love and sympathy are going out to Pat and everybody in the family and to those who knew and loved Clyde.

HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Needs – Plastic bags

Thank you for your support of this ministry!

IMPORTANT NOTICE

Under the direction of our elders the deacons are working to implement an organized safety program for Christ’s church. A designated member to serve as a Safety Monitor will be watching the church surveillance cameras, responding to the intercom by the front door, and designated to call 911 if needed during all church worship services. Volunteers to serve as a Safety Monitor would be assigned to work on a rotational basis. A signup sheet will be on the rear table of the church for members who want to volunteer to serve.

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

Titus 3:8 “The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.”

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The opportunity to be part of Cherokee Day 2018 last Saturday was a perfect chance to see the value of the work of the Cherokee Home for Children including great fellowship, food and the new girls’ dorm.   Continue to keep the kids and staff of the Cherokee Home in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

 

Our congregation has been blessed to support this good work for many years and this 31961872_10155530520191989_6884586061545078784_nyear marked Cherokee’s 60th year of helping kids in their mission:

  • To provide a Christian home environment for children dependent upon others for care
  • To promote their growth physically, emotionally, and educationally
  • To develop the child in the teaching of God’s word
  • To guide the young person toward a devoted life of good citizenship in the world, and ultimately in the Kingdom of God

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GRAVE OPENING POWER

 

1297591150471_ORIGINAL

Standing in the midst of the National Cemetery in Little Rock, I gazed at the massive field of white crosses. There were many — and now another was to be added. At one time these bodies lived and breathed, but no longer. Each one kept an appointment. “It is destined for man to die once” (Hebrews 9:27).

To the natural eye it seems so final. We mourn, but that is all we can do. We are powerless before the grave, the house appointed for all living.

“Never the grave gives back what it has won,” says Schiller’s line from Funeral Fantasy. But this is not true at all!

Once there was a man who cried out. “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped in strips of linen, and a cloth around his face” (John 11:43-44).

The man who called forth the dead died Himself on a Roman cross. But when He died, “the tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people” (Matthew 27:52-53). Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He said it, and He proved it.

Graves are not as permanent as they seem, “…for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out — those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” (John 5:28-29).

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There is One who has grave opening power!

 

 

 

 

Many have examined the evidence and have declared, “I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” Do you? ~~ John Gibson, Little Rock, AR

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WEEKLY NEWS, MAY 6, 2018

IT’S ALMOST THAT TIME AGAIN…. .

Summertime is approaching and with it comes Bible Camp in early June! For several years now our congregation has been involved in sponsoring the children of the congregation so they can attend the “Heart of Texas Bible Camp” in Brady, TX. We would like to continue this ministry in 2018.  In the past some members have chosen to sponsor a child and relieve the church of the cost. If you would like to help in this worthy cause, please talk to one of the elders. – Joe

The cost per child is $125.00 which the church will pay for our kids who want to attend.  The sessions are:

Session I (June 3rd-8th) — Ages: 4th — 7th grade

Session 2 (June 10th-15th) — Ages: 8th —12th grade

HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Needs – Plastic bags

Thank you for your support of this ministry.

DINNER TOGETHER

The group will eat together on Thursday, May 10th, at the Hoover Valley Café @ 5:30 PM.  Everyone is invited for a time of good food and fellowship.  The sign-up sheet is on the table in the back of the auditorium.

IN SYMPATHY

Henry Kattner’s nephew, John William Stradley, passed unexpectedly from this life on Monday, April 30th. He lived in Slidel, Louisiana. A military funeral took place in Slidel, TX, on Friday, May 4th at a military cemetery.

Our love, sympathy and prayers are going out to Henry and everyone in the family.

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

Psalm 60:12 (ESV) “With God we shall do valiantly

What wonderful work can be done with God’s help. In the following report the Emperados share some of the plans for the work in the Philippines. We pray God will help bless that work to His Glory. Please keep the Emperados and the work in the Philippines in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

As we turn to make plans for the next three years and five years….we hope to see the School of National Evangelism & the Seyer Training Center we have going at our place in Negros…continue to grow and help young Christians with the ability to earn a vocational skill & biblical training to be self-supporting evangelist. We would like to recruit more short term teachers from the U.S. who can come for a week or two, and teach a Bible class or share a vocational skill. We would like to see and have between 10-15 students each year enroll, so our budget, dormitory, and facilities can be used fully.

20476117_10211094062121598_7226058561490913960_nWe hope in the next two years to finish planting churches in capital cities by the end of 2020. We still need to find sponsor for the last three capital cities. We of course, will have ongoing nurturing & follow up work in young churches planted, on a monthly basis. I know now, that Mati & Tandag churches planted last December 2017, which are located in a more Muslim area down in southern Mindanao, will take more work to establish and a different approach due to ongoing conflicts in nearby areas. Thankfully we have some great partners down there, who are stepping up and helping with monthly follow up work right now. We will continue to visit struggling churches and help put MOSES workers in place when funds are available. We hope to be able to continue helping the two orphan families we have been working with for the past ten years. We don’t have plans to add any new orphans to our care right now, our hands are full, and the budget is stretched tight, but if God showed us another great need….this was a work that was not on our radar until God brought them to us in a MOSES class in the mountains. We are thankful for all those who have helped us help these kids.

In Him, Richard & Becky Emperado

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A FEW GREY HAIRS

“…his hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice” (Hosea 7:9).

“I see some gray hair!” We all hear these Words eventually. The hoary head is one of creation’s Way of reminding us that our lives are like a flower. They bloom and fade quickly.

Elderly-782x343Hosea did not bring up the subject of our hair turning gray just to teach us that it is a sign of aging. As he does so often in this book, he uses a simple fact of nature to illustrate a spiritual truth. Gray hair is a sign of aging, and with aging comes a loss of strength. The first part of Hosea 7:9 says, “Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not notice.”

Age comes upon us before We know it. We lose strength before We realize it. Like a man who is beginning to age, the Israelites had lost their spiritual vigor. The prophet said “foreigners” had consumed their strength. The strangers were ungodly heathens. How did these people drain the spiritual strength of the Israelites? The preceding verse tells us: “Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat cake not turned over.” They had accepted their ways and even worshiped their gods. They went along to get along. In the end, they were like a half-baked cake.

Like a man who doesn’t realize his hair is beginning to turn gray, these Israelites lost the strength of their convictions before they knew it. They did not see how weak they had become. They were oblivious to their true condition, so Hosea holds up a mirror to show them.

The prophet Hosea may as well have been talking about Christians today. Many children of God have mixed with the world. They have closed their eyes and compromised. They have given in on one point and backed down on another until there is little spirituality left. They have learned to think, talk, and live like the world. The people around them use bad language, dress indecently, and have sex outside of marriage, so they go along with these things to have friends. They have been taught to be tolerant and respectful of all religions, so they refuse to disagree with false doctrines because they tell themselves that arguing with people is not Christ-like. Little by little, they give in until their convictions are so diluted that others cannot tell the difference between them and the world.

But like a man who is unaware that his hair is becoming gray these Christians don’t realize how weak they have become. They may even smile and tell themselves they are as strong as they ever were. The pleasures of this world and the deceitfulness of riches have sapped their strength and they don’t even know it.

“Do not love the world or anything in this world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17). – Kerry Duke —Livingston, TN

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