I BESEECH YOU AS STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against your soul” (1 Pet. 2:11).

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I’m often amazed at just how many people there are, both within and without the church, who live as though this life is all there is and will ever be. Their affections center round the things of this world instead of on things above (cf. Col. 3:1-2). Worldly minded individuals will go to great lengths in their quest to establish some sense of permanency here on Earth. And yet, no matter what lengths they go to, no matter how hard they try, life here on Earth is temporary. Everything in this life will one day be destroyed (cf. 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Pet. 3:9ff). The only thing that has any permanency to it is man’s soul and the place where that soul goes when the threshold of death is crossed (Ecc. 12:7; John 14:1-3; Heb. 9:27). Indeed, there is life beyond the grave, and that realm of life is eternal (Luke 16:19ff)!

We must never forget that we’re mere strangers and pilgrims in this life, and that we’re just passing through. Thus, it is imperative that we live our lives in view of that which is permanent — eternity! May we be a people who walk by faith and not by sight (cf. 2 Cor. 5:7-11; Heb. 9:27ff). At journey’s end, nothing else will have mattered!

Terry R. Townsend Curry Church of Christ, Jasper, AL

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WEEKLY NEWS. FEBRUARY 17, 2019

IMPORTANT NOTICE

It is important that we leave the Library doors open when the room is not in use. Closed doors keep all the heat in that room, when the hallway also needs to be warm. Likewise, it makes that hallway visible on our safety monitors, which is a very good thing.  Thank you for your cooperation!.

VISITATION MINISTRY

Visitation Team #1 will meet on Wednesday evening, February 20th, at 6:30 pm in the Library. New members for 2019 are welcome. See Cary Miller should you have questions.

HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Pantry Needs  – Plastic bags, deodorant

Thank you!

2nd ANNUAL YOUTH DAY AT THE

RIVERSIDE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN KERRVILLE

Our young people and families are invited to the Riverside church of Christ’s second annual youth day on Saturday March 2nd. This year’s theme is designed to give answers for “Standing Unashamed of the Gospel of Christ”. This will be a time for discussion, information and worshiping together. Youths from 6th grade through High School are invited. If you wish to attend, transportation will be provided and lunch will be served. For more information contact Bill Blackstone or the church office by Monday, February 25th.

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

REPORT OF THE GREAT WORKSHOP AT MBAISE (NIGERIA) BETWEEN 6TH AND 9TH FEBRUARY 2019.
The Great Workshop is an annual gathering of preachers, church leaders and World Bible School Follow-up workers in one location to build capacity through extensive lectures and fellowship.
It is sponsored by several congregations in USA and Canada and supported by local congregations around the host area.
This year’s workshop was held in Nigerian Christian Health Center, Owutu, Mbaise, Imo State and recorded an unprecedented attendance of 694 participants from different WBS Teams across the country and 4 international participants. Three preachers from the Cameroon and an American – Chad Wagner, President African Christian Schools Foundation, also participated in the workshop.

P1020050The theme of this year’s workshop was REPOSITIONING THE PULPIT.
Wednesday 6th of February was dedicated for evangelism – door to door knocking and an outdoor preaching using the Gospel Chariot. A Tele-evangelist Osita Onuora spoke during the outdoor evangelism and one soul responded to the gospel call.
Thursday 7th and Friday 8th were for lectures, Open forum and prayers. The lectures under the theme Repositioning the Pulpit included:
THEMATIC ANALYSIS – MIKE UDAM
THE PERSONALITY OF A GREAT FISHERMAN – GODWIN FRANK
THE PREACHER AND HIS FAMILY AS EVANGELISM STARTPOINT – ANTHONY OLURIA
PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT TO IMPROVE THE PULPIT – GIDEON NWAEZE
MAKING THE CHURCH TO BE EVANGELICAL – AYOBAMI OGUNJIMI
DEVELOPING COMMUNITY BASED EVANGELISM STRATEGY – ETIM NYONG
PLANNING WHAT TO FEED THE CHURCH – CHAD WAGNER
SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT- HISTORY OF WBS IN NIGERIA – MONDAY AKPAKPAN

P1020091At the end of the series of lectures, we took time to pray for the church, our work as ministers of the new covenant, our families and all the congregation supporting the work.
Bro Makinde Olufemi of Bear Valley Bible School Ibadan shared 2000 copies of Voice of Truth International to all the participants.
Bro Sylvester Imogoh of Nigerian Christian Press and minister of the church of Christ in Igarra Edo state shared over 600 packs of tracks and the workshop book to all the participants.
A copy of a book THINK DEEP written by Mike Udam, the workshop Director, and sponsored by Highland Lakes church of Christ, was shared also to all the participants present. Each participant returned home with one Bible each in addition to the books and tracts listed above.
During the workshop, Chad Wagner took time during the break periods to meet with several teams across the country and entertained their questions about the future of the work in Nigeria.
The high point of the seminar was the visit by the traditional ruler’s council in Owutu to the workshop hall. They welcome the participants and we shared 10 packs containing a bible, some books and salvation materials to them.
We were glad to have sown a seed in their heart and for us, that was a big plus.
Our prayer is that God will open their eyes and very soon we will hear that the gospel preached through this medium will have positive result. Another Great Leadership Workshop is scheduled to be held in Abuja in 2020 early next year.
May God bless you all who supported this program. Pictures attached will tell the story better.
Sincerely yours, Mike Udam

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LET GO BUT HOLD ON

loving-serviceThere is this new movie, Frozen, which is a big hit with my kids, and a lot of others as well. One of the main story lines is about this princess born with great power, but she lives in fear of discovery. Her parents keep her hidden away in solitude. There comes a day when her power is revealed and she runs away to break free. When she is alone on a mountain top she sings a song of freedom from fear and freedom from having to be perfect. Ultimately it is a song of embracing the power within you.
As I was listening to my daughter sing this song the other day something occurred to me. When we are in the world, we are surrounded by fear and solitude. There is no real help outside of what we can do on our own. And at the end, we are alone in our journey.
After we receive Christ, we have a great power. We have great freedom; from trying to be perfect because of grace and freedom from fear because of our salvation. We can confidently say, Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery!”
But our empowered ice queen then makes a crucial error. She thinks that she can live apart from people in her mountaintop castle. She thinks that she is in no need of anyone else. It is only in the end that she recognizes her error, but is also presented with the solution. Simply put, it is love. True love is the balance that saves her. She has freedom but without love, she is still lost and alone.
Paul describes this in 1 Corinthians. In Chapter 9:19-23 he says, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more…I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.” He continues on to chapter 13 where he speaks of the greatest gift: LOVE.
When we have been set free by God’s love in Christ, our response is to live in freedom, but with a view of love towards those around us. We are called to a life of loving service to one another.
– Bill Williams, Jackson Church of Christ, Jackson, MO

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WEEKLY NEWS,FEBRUARY 10, 2019

LADIES DAY EVENT
5th Annual Ladies Day @ Cherokee Home for Children
Saturday, February 16, 2019, 10 a.m. — 3 p.m.
Diamonds Are Forever – Presented by Christina Batten
~ A Christian marriage and family therapist with a life of hard times who watched God
create her into the diamond she is today ~
The Home needs to know the number of attendees by February 11th. Please let Brenda know, before that date, if you want to go.

HELP NEEDED
 Visiting those in need.
 Maintaining our lawn and shrubs.
 See Cary Miller.

WITH SYMPATHY
Former member Connie Wellborn passed unexpectedly away on Tuesday, February 5th.
Our condolences, love and prayers go out to her aunt Ramona Stacy, son Dakota and all the other members of Connie’s family and all those who knew her in this life.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
The Highland Lakes church of Christ financial information is always available for the congregation members upon request. Please ask the elders and they will make sure to get a copy to you or answer your questions.

THANK YOU NOTE
Thank you for all your prayers on Ken’s behalf to our GOD. Thanks to all who called and checked on Ken, and especially to Helga and Bill for their pick “me” up calls. I really appreciated and needed them. Thank you, Mary and Henry, for your house visits. LORD willing, we will be back in our pew very soon.
Love all of our Church family, Ken & Thelma

VISITATION MINISTRY
Visitation Team #1 will meet on Wednesday evening, February 20th, at 6:30 pm in the Library. New members for 2019 are welcome. See Cary Miller should you have questions.

HELPING HANDS PANTRY
Needs – Plastic bags, shampoo, bath soap, toothpaste, deodorant
Thank you!

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

Gospel Chariot Missions – Fourth Quarter Update 2018
Hi Everyone,
Hope this finds you doing well. This is the West African update. We are currently working in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Togo and Benin and we are very excited to inform you all that we are in the process of purchasing and building a new Big Gospel Chariot for Liberia that will then go into Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Senegal, Gambia and Guinea Bassau, making it 10 West African countries that we will eventually be going into and some very Muslim and unreached countries. Brethren, this is amazing and only God can make these kind of things happen. We still need some matching funds but the back is broken and we could be ordering the new truck soon. PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS.
NIGERIA – Brother Biodun Owolabi who helps to oversee this Chariot has reported the following. The Nigeria Gospel Chariot outreach in Imo State began its first phase in Ezinihite Local Government Area on September 17, 2018. Our host, Brother Paul Onwukwe took us to Ihite and Obizi where the Gospel was preached. We also preached at Amuzu and Ndigbo in Abo Mbaise Local Government Area. After working night and day for six days, seven souls were added into the Church. However, the Gospel Chariot visited three secondary schools. The students were instructed on moral living and about 2000 students were enrolled into the World Bible School Correspondence program.
Biodun Owolabi also reported from Nigeria saying: The Gospel Chariot arrived Delta State on October 8, 2018 for a 14 days evangelism. We preached at Event Center Jakpa Road, Ugbuwangue Village Square Warri, Enerhe community and other places. We were hosted by Jakpa Road Church of Christ, PTI Road Church of Christ, Church of Christ, Enerhe all in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area and Okuokoko Church of Christ, Okuikpere in Okpe Local Government Area Delta State. After two weeks of public evangelism, four souls were incorporated into the Body of Christ.
44475003_2060185580666667_6586000356033953792_nThey also reported the following: The Nigeria Gospel Chariot arrived Edo State on November 5, 2018. We visited several Local Government Areas in the State, namely: Akoko-Ado, Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo, Owan West, Etsako West, Esan South East, Esan North East, etc. The Gospel was preached at Auchi, Igarra, Sabongida, Ubiaja, Ologbo, Uromi and others. At the end of three weeks evangelism, five souls were added into the church.
To God be the Glory.
In Him. Love, Brother George Funk
Keep this vital Gospel work in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

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WHAT MAKES A DREAM WORK?

“Teamwork makes the dream work!” We all have heard this saying at least once in our lives and we most likely think immediately about sports much of the time…but do we ever paste this motto onto our spiritual convictions as members of the Church?

Read Nehemiah 3:1-32 at some point this week with your family and notice how the theme of teamwork takes a major pedestal in the life of God’s people here!

3279452915562_6743883689554Reference: verse 23 “Beyond them, Benjamin and Hasshub made repairs in front of their house; and next to them, Azariah, son of Maaselah, the son of Ananiah, made repairs beside his house.”

Name after name of people who contributed to the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Side by side men from many different families toiled to contribute to this mighty restructure. I don’t recognize any of their names and if you asked me tomorrow, I would not be able to remember a single one of them. However, altogether they worked towards one grand vision and their contribution had a huge impact on the future standing of the Jews.

We cannot try to accomplish things on our own. Working as a team brings so much more strength to the things we aim to achieve. While the men that first gathered, and are listed in this third chapter, may not have been BFFs (best friends forever), their willingness to work side by side, on their own little part, made a huge impact towards the whole picture. While sometimes it seems easier to just do it all ourselves, working as a team can get so much more accomplished in areas that truly matter!

Maybe our prayer as a church family this week should be, “Lord, we often become so independent and want to fly solo within your body. Help us today to desire to embrace our brothers and sisters into this journey as we go about your will and be willing to receive other people’s contributions and bless others by doing so. Amen”

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

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WEEKLY NEWS, FEBRUARY 3, 2019

JANITORIAL HELP IS NEEDED!

Due to Vicky’s injury we need volunteers to help clean the church building for the next 5 weeks. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the back of the auditorium.

EATING OUT TOGETHER

We will be eating out again on Thursday, February 7th, at El Bracero in Kingsland. Time to meet will be 5:30 PM. The sign-up sheet is on the table in the back of the auditorium.

HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Needs – Plastic bags, shampoo

Thank you!

HELP WANTED

 Visiting those in need.

 Maintaining our lawn and shrubs.

 See Cary Miller.

DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE

Fifty-five Alive Defensive Driving Course To Be Offered

AARP’s driving course will be offered to any who wish to refresh their knowledge of current driving rules and skills on the road. This course is designed to help older drivers prepare for ever-changing laws and ways of coping with today’s road changes. The four-hour course will be presented in our fellowship room on Thursday, February 7th. Time: 9 a.m. till 1 p.m. Completion of the course will give you a 10 percent discount on your liability auto insurance for a period of three years. The cost for AARP members is $15.00 or $20 for none-AARP members. We will also offer the course to those in the community who wish to take it. Call the church office to sign up.

LADIES DAY OPPORTUNITY

5th Annual Ladies Day at Cherokee Home for Children

Saturday, February 16, 2019   10 a.m. — 3 p.m.

Diamonds Are Forever Presented by Christina Batten

~ A Christian marriage and family therapist with a life of hard times who watched God create her into the diamond she is today ~   The Home needs to know the number of attendees by February 11th. So please let Brenda Miller know, before that date, if you want to go.

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

Our fellow workers in the Philippines, the Emperados, will be in the States this spring for a furlough and we pray we will get to spend some time with them in a few months. Till then what follows is part one of their recent 2018 report. Please keep them in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

image1Dear family and friends, Howdy! We hope this newsletter finds you all having a great week. Emperado’s are doing well. Richard was traveling most of December, in fact he made it home late on the 23rd, right before Christmas. January has been a rough month as we dealt with sickness, but we are all doing better. Kids are busy with college, gearing up for midterm exams next week. Richard is traveling again. Wish I had an app for my phone that could keep track of him sometimes!

Samboan Church Planting This is the second church planting we have had in 2018. It took place in the week of December 10-16. The MOSES team joined up to help another missionary, Ryan Campbell, who is from Texas, to plant a church in Samboan, Cebu. Samboan is the last town in southern Cebu, where we always take the ferry to cross to Negros. We have traveled through this town 100’s of times crossing back and forth from Cebu to Negros, and vice versa. This town is one of the gateways to the south. Everyday there are many boats crossing to Negros and Siquijor Province, as well as Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines where President Duterte is from. It has never crossed my mind to plant a church in Samboan, because it is not a capital city. However, early this year, Ryan Campbell and Roel, his Filipino partner wanted to have a meeting with me. They had heard about the church planting work we were doing, and wanted us to partner with them, and help plant a church there. Ryan has a dream and a plan to plant five churches in five years in southern Cebu, starting with Samboan. To me, this is a dream come true. I have always been praying that others will catch on and desire to plant churches in other cities and towns that the MOSES team cannot cover, since we are primarily focused on capital cities. The church planting in Samboan went well, in sunshine and in rain. We had two baptisms during the week. One of them was the owner of the beach resort where we had stayed and held our meetings. The Cebu workers will continue to do follow up visits with contacts and help nurture the young church in Samboan. Please be praying for this young church, and all who are working to help it grow.

Love, Becky, Richard, Jennylyn, Jennylou, and Grant

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MASCULINITY: TOXIC OR BENEFICIAL?

There is a tendency in our current society to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In an effort to fight against immoral acts such as sexual harassment, physical abuse, and bullying perpetrated by a small minority of bad apples, mainstream media and social justice warriors have decided to coin the phrase “toxic masculinity” and toss anyone who exhibits manly qualities into that bucket.

It is not surprising that a society that seeks to justify and promote homosexuality, cross dressing, and gender ambiguity would also look to vilify the innate characteristics of organic males. After all, if women act more like men, and men act more like women, it would become increasingly difficult for people to tell them they are not normal.
Aggression, competitiveness, and dominance are traits men have exhibited since the creation, and they will not be stamped out by a social media campaign. To categorize these traits as “toxic” ignores the value they have to society, the home, and our nation. Defense from enemies, excellence in business, and innovation are all improved by these traits.

Scripture1

The Bible certainly teaches against abuse of any sort (Matthew 7:12, for starters). But it also teaches that men have the leadership role in God’s order of creation. This is to be born out especially in the home (Ephesians 5:22-24) and in the church (1 Timothy 2:12-13). The natural traits of men are necessary to fulfill God’s desire for order in the home and church.

As is usually the case, sinful deeds are done by those who abuse God’s order of things. Men who abuse women and children are taking God’s natural order and twisting it, just as those who practice homosexuality and other abominations do.   Let us not jump on the “toxic masculinity” bandwagon, but instead promote Biblical masculinity, the practice of which will bring edification and order to the world around us.— by Matt Clifton

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