THE MYSTERIES OF CREATION

This is an article that our preacher Joe recently found on line. It is certainly worthwhile to share!

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Our Existence is One Giant, Inexplicable Head Scratch.

The universe shouldn’t technically exist, according to top scientists who have spent their careers trying to figure out how the beginning of everything didn’t immediately destroy itself. The current model for the birth of the universe predicts that equal parts of matter and antimatter were produced by the “Big Bang”.

But, since matter and antimatter are identical except for their opposite electrical charges, they annihilate each other — a reaction that fuels the starship Enterprise on “Star Trek.” When the two collide, they combust in a violent eruption, meaning none of anything should be here today.

Researchers at the European Organization for Nuclear Research have been looking for any type of variation between matter and antimatter that would have allowed matter to dominate and explain how you’re reading this right now. In the past, the research team has tried to find differences in the particles’ mass, electric charge, even properties that haven’t been defined yet, but everything comes up identical. Their latest study made the most precise measurements ever — 350 times more precise than previous numbers — of matter and antimatter’s magnetism. But those came up identical, too. The findings were recently published in Nature.

“All of our observations find a complete symmetry between matter and antimatter, which is why the universe should not actually exist,” Christian Smorra, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “An asymmetry must exist here somewhere but we simply do not understand where the difference is. What is the source of the symmetry break?” Researchers are now looking at the gravity of antimatter to see whether it could fall “up”— hopefully providing the explanation we need to understand how we can explain anything at all. BUT:

“The secret things belong to God . . . “ (Deuteronomy 29:29), things, accepted by faith, will be revealed some day after this world has been dissolved by the Creator. So, we as Christians, look into God’s word for comforting answers: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God…through Him all things were made… [Jesus]John 1:1-2. “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together [Jesus]” Colossians 1:17.

“He performs wonders that cannot be counted…” Job 5:9 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” Job 11:7. No! But we accept by faith the mighty works of our awesome, almighty and powerful God. Mysteries of creation are veiled to men. “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands” (Psalms 19:1); we will thank and glorify Him.

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WEEKLY NEWS, DECEMBER 16, 2017

NEXT SUNDAY

Next Sunday, December 24th, is Christmas Eve. We will have Bible classes, followed by our morning worship service only. After that we will be dismissed for the day so families can spend additional time together.

WITH SYMPATHY

Kathy Patterson’s mom, Patricia Reynolds, at age 88, passed away on Thursday, November 30th. She had lived in Monahans, Texas, where on Tuesday, December 5th a graveside service was held for her.

Our prayers, love and sympathy go out to Kathy, Lynn and to all in the family.

THANK YOU NOTES

♥ Teri and I would like to thank the congregation for all the prayers, cards, calls and food that we have been blessed with during her surgery and recovery. Your love and helpfulness has been deeply appreciated.

We also are thankful for the lovely “money tree” that was presented at the fellowship meal. It has been properly “picked” and the fruit will be put to work! It is a joy to be part of such a loving Christian fellowship.   The Winnetts

♥ Also, a heartfelt “thank-you” to all the congregation for my lovely money tree! The “fruit” is highly appreciated and will be put to good use. My love to all!   Helga Blackstone

♥ I, too, appreciate so much the kind gift of the money tree! Thanks too all who were so generous! What you gave will be well used.   Love, Vicky Williams

human-footprints_318-46627BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

What follows is part two of the latest report from the Emperados in the Philippines. We are thankful to be fellow workers with them. Keep Richard, his family and all of the work there in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

We also dropped by Borongan, Eastern Samar, to visit the church that the MOSES team help plant about 15 years ago. The evangelist there, is Edwin Inso, the eldest of all the three evangelists. Edwin has a school of preaching and he told me that the Borongan church has multiplied into 5 churches. The kingdom formula is really true, that if you plant the “mustard seed”, it will grow. This has happened in several of the churches we have planted like in Masbate, Tagum, and Ilagan.

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From Borongan, we drove back to Leyte, and then over to Naval, where we did much of the rebuilding after the big typhoon in 2013 hit. The Nelson Farm is located there, near the Naval church. We have just harvested the rice, and more than one half of the new irrigation system is done. We are so thankful for the North Garland church that helped supply the funds needed to put in an irrigation system so we can grow & plant rice & corn year round, even in the “dry season” of March-May when we have very little rains. The rice & corn is used to help widows, our orphans & students, and other members in need.

Our final lap of the trip was visiting the Baybay church, which we planted 12 years ago with the help of North Garland & Sugar Grove. They had just recently celebrated there anniversary a few weeks ago. They have elders and a promising campus ministry at Visayas State University. Michael was able to teach classes there on the book of Acts again that Saturday and Grant preached Sunday about “The Narrow Way”. Grant always has a history lesson to go along with his Bible lesson, folks enjoy listening to him preach.

We made it back to Cebu on Nov. 27, to celebrate the girls’ birthday with them. We met up Tse Ming again and worked on plans for the church planting. We had to make a day trip on Wednesday to Moalboal, were I taught class on pastoral epistles at the Leyte Christian College extension campus. Tse Ming & Michael had some fun snorkeling and having lunch at the little resort nearby while I had class. Grant was home sick with a fever.

Love,  Richard, Becky, Lyn, Lou, and Grant

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THE POWER IN GOD’S WORD

How often have you been sitting in a worship assembly and listening to the sermon when suddenly a point that is being made from the Bible makes you wonder, “How did he know?” Something was said that really hit home. You are struggling with a temptation, a difficulty, or a Bible question and it was addressed as though the preacher was talking to you! But the preacher had no way of knowing about it. That has happened to this writer both as a listener and as a preacher, time and time again. That is a demonstration of the power of God’s word!

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The Bible, when preached, taught or read, has the ability to address the deep thoughts, struggles and guilt in an individual’s heart “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The Bible, when preached, taught or read, will help us in our every day lives with very practical matters. God’s word is not some antiquated book. What to do about some conflict with another? How to overcome some temptation in the workplace? Is there a way to put my priorities in order when life is chaotic and out of control? “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

The Bible, when preached, taught or read, has the ability to make us better people, a blessed people, a heaven bound people. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). How God’s Word affects us, however, is really up to us as hearers and doers.

So don’t think too highly of the preacher if he said something that really helped, or blame the preacher if he said something that seemed too direct, for the power is in God’s Word. If what was said was applicable he was talking to you, but if it was not, he was talking to someone else. ~~ Brent Smith, Trenton, TN

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WEEKLY NEWS, DECEMBER 10, 2017

HOLIDAY FELLOWSHIP MEAL

Sunday, December 10th at noon, after our morning worship assembly, we will have our Holiday/Fellowship Meal, in the Fellowship Room.  This is a very special meal when all bring their favorite food and stay for good fun and fellowship. Visitors are invited as our special guests; there is always plenty of food! As always, afterwards, we are dismissed for the day with no PM service so you may spend the remainder of the day with family.

 HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Needs:  Tooth Paste & Soap

Thank you!

footprints-hiBEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

What follows is part one of the latest report from the Emperados in the Philippines. We are thankful to be fellow workers with them. Keep Richard, his family, and all of the work there in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

Dear family and Friends,

Merry Christmas! We hope this quick update finds everyone happy & well. Emperado bunch is doing well. Richard & Grant have been traveling the last couple weeks with our American visitor from the North Garland Church of Christ in Enid, Oklahoma, Michael Manly. They made it back to Cebu on Nov. 27, in time to celebrate the girls’ 23rd birthday. Michael got here the end of Oct. and left Dec. 1. Richard then left Dec. 2 for Mindanao to start the church planting work in Tandag. Before he left, he wrote a report about our time with our American visitor this past month.

6 Weeks with Michael Manly…

Howdy! I want to tell you about the adventures and works for the Lord I have had these past six weeks with our visitor, Michael Manly. After Mike arrived the end of Oct, after being delayed a day while traveling, and resting overnight in Cebu, we headed off to our place in Negros. Mike had been preparing for months to teach a weeklong class on the book of Acts for…..Our S.O.N.E./Seyer students. He did an excellent job teaching & challenging our students to study the Bible more in-depth. He spent his first Saturday there going house to house with the students in Tambo, up in the mountains. The next Saturday, we had MOSES classes back in Tambo, where Mike & Tse Ming helped with teaching and evangelism. Mike also taught our students how to grow a small garden in a barrel, and he worked with students in the afternoon in their welding & automotive classes. He also helped the students harvest the nets set out in the ocean to catch fish to eat. He was willing to help in any way we needed.

image8When we finished up in Negros, we headed back to Cebu, rested for a day, then Mike, Grant, and I began our journey to Catarman, Samar. It was a long journey, we spent six hours on an overnight boat from Cebu to Leyte, then we drove 8 hours across Leyte to Samar. The Catarman Church was celebrating its first year anniversary. Mike taught classes for a day on Acts. After the class, four souls obeyed the Lord and were baptized. Then on the following day Sunday, Grant had the opportunity to preach. His lesson was on standing firm in 1 Corinthians 15.

After church, we traveled south to Calbayog City, to visit the church we helped plant almost 20 years ago, when we first got started. We visited the evangelist there, Brother Titing Inso and we were so glad to hear about his work. Titing is a very devoted worker and has baptized many people. He is the older brother of the evangelist in Catarman, that I wrote about in my last newsletter. The one year old church in Catarman has grown into three. In fact, this week Inso has baptized two more people and is having a study with three new families, who are desiring to obey the Lord.

Love, Richard, Becky, Lyn, Lou, and Grant

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PRAYER

To pray or not to pray was not a question King David struggled with. David wrote in Psalm 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.”

prayer-for-beginners-g13leaizPersistence was one of David’s goals when it came to prayer – is it one of ours? Do we even have a goal? When is the last time you prayed three times in one day? Was it last week when you attended all the services on Sunday? Was it on your way to see the doctor? Was it on your way to a job interview? Was it a day filled with turmoil, or a day of rest? Was it just “another” day? Which day was the last day that you talked with God at least three times, and why did you do it?

According to James 5:16, “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much.” Would you say that fervent covers three times a day? Could it be more? Could it be less? Does it matter?

Numbers aside, I would suppose that whether you are talking about “showers of blessings” or just “plain rain,” James is pointing out the truth about prayer – it works when it’s used passionately!

Now, does that mean just because we ask for something fervently (whether it’s for us or for someone else) that the Father will agree with it? Not necessarily; there might be a reason that we don’t see as to why our prayer is not answered with a yes…at least for the moment.

Don’t forget that Jesus taught His people to make their way through life by praying passionately and persistently, even when the answer seems like a definite no (Luke 11:1-13).

Praying three times a day can keep a lot of things away from us or it can bring a lot to us. So keep in touch with God, and don’t be surprised when His blessings touch you. – Eugene Adkins, Keltonbutg church of Christ, Smithville, TN

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WEEKLY NEWS, DECEMBER 3, 2017

Dinosaurs UNLEASHED!

These books for teachers and others who are interested in them, are here. Each book costs $9.00. Please talk to Joe if you would like to have one.

VISITING FOR THE MASTER

(VISITATION PROGRAM) Team #2 (leaders: Cary & Brenda Miller) will meet on Wednesday, December 6th at 6:30 pm in the library for their assignments.

OPEN HOUSE

You are invited for Food and Fellowship on December 4, 5:30-7:30 PM, for a Come and Go Holiday Open House at the Miller’s Home, 1922 Bluebonnet Lane.

HOLIDAY FELLOWSHIP MEAL

Next Sunday, December 10th, this is the date for our Holiday/Fellowship Meal. Instead of exchanging gifts, we decided a number of years ago that we would collect stuffed animals and/or dolls to be given to Seton-Care-A-Van. Those toys are to bring comfort to children in the hospital. Only bring toys that have embroidered eyes and make sure they are in the Fellowship Room before Sunday the 10th.  Make your plans to stay for this special meal, which takes place after our morning worship assembly! After that we are dismissed for the day.

HELPING HANDS PANTRY

Needs – Tooth Paste and Bath Soap

Thank you for your continued support of this ministry!

MANY THANKS…

…to all who so generously contributed to these two good causes:

Up to November 13, $925.00 was collected for World Christian Broadcasting.  November (19th & 26th) $7,640.00 was collected for Eastern European Missions.  God’s blessings are with those gifts and the generous givers.

footprints-hiBEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

We are blessed to be able to support the Solar Player work of Sunset International Bible Institute and, as deliveries continue, reports convey the excitement, thanksgiving, and praise that resulted from each delivery trip. This report concentrates on just one of those trips: the journey to El Salvador and Costa Rica made by Luis Melendez, recently returned to the United States from serving as a missionary in Costa Rica and Brandi Kendall, SIBI’s Dean of International Studies for Asia. The 3,000 solar players for Phase III are continuing to be delivered. Upcoming deliveries are scheduled for Ecuador, Cuba and Bolivia. Please continue to keep this work in your prayers help them finish and look forward to the next Phase of the Solar Event. For the elders, Ken D

Covering El Salvador from East to West, by Luis Melendez

We traveled with 240 solar players to El Salvador, from the 20th to the 25th of September. Thanks to God, we had no problem at customs. We then distributed solar players at four events. First, on Friday we gathered with about 60 preachers from the central part of the country. We met in a church building at La Miramonte, San Salvador. Second, we went to the eastern part of the country to San Miguel. On Saturday we met with over 100 church members and preachers from the surrounding cities and towns. Later that day we distributed solar players to 12 Bible students in Santa Tecla, San Salvador. Finally, on Sunday we gathered together with over 60 Christians on the western part of the country in Ahuachapán.  This trip was intense and very successful. We were able to bless about 70 of the 100 El Salvadorian Iglesias de Cristo congregations with solar players. Praise God!

Returning to Costa Rica – I went to Costa Rica on the 28th for a five-day trip. I brought 80 solar players. I arrived at 8:30 p.m. at the Juan Santamaria International Airport. As I was heading out with my luggage to pass through customs, knowing that customs officers can be a little difficult, I prayed to God for a good outcome. Two customs officers asked me to open my luggage, and right away they wanted to know its value. I told them it was a donation to Christians in Costa Rica from the Sunset International Bible Institute. I showed them the letter to prove it, but they were not convinced. They then asked me for the church where I was going to take the solar players. They wanted to know its name and location, so I told them. It turned out that they were from Palmares (the city where I had planted the congregation) and were familiar with the church and its location, so they let me go, tax-exempt. Certainly this was God’s providence in action!

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Thanks to God, I was able to give away all 80 solar players to the Christians in Costa Rica. About 15 congregations and a Bible institute were blessed with these gifts. Among those who received a solar player were preachers, Bible students, church leaders, active members, the old and the young, men and women. Those who received a solar player were very excited and thankful. It was rewarding to see their faces full of gratitude and enthusiasm! They promised to use it for the purpose intended and to bring glory to God. All of them sent greetings and thanks to SIBI. Praise God! I personally enjoyed serving in this noble cause. -Luis Melendez

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THE ANATOMY OF PROVERBS

Proverbs_16x9_580Recently, as I was reading in the book of Proverbs, I noticed several references to parts of the body. Here are just a few:

Hair. “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31).

Head. “Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence” (Proverbs 10:6).

Ears. “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths” (Proverbs 5:21).

Nose. “For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife” (Proverbs 30:33).

Mouth. “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence” (Proverbs 10:11).

Neck. “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3).

Chest. “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27).

Arms. “She (the excellent wife), dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong” (Proverbs 31:17).

Of course this isn’t an exhaustive list of references. Hopefully we take note of the wisdom of these great writings.

(Troy Albers, Rosenberg, TX)

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