Every time I go swimming in the ocean, someone inevitably warns me: watch out for sharks! I always do, but I’ve never seen one, I’ve never heard the “boom-boom-boom-boom” music that plays in the background when sharks come near! And it’s a good thing, because once you hear the music, it’s probably too late. I’ve been warned to watch out for sharks, but no one has ever said to me, “Watch out for the jelly fish!” The fact is, jelly fish are far more dangerous and each year kill more people than sharks do. I take a walk each day in the park, but no one has ever said to me, “Watch out for the bees.” Yet, bees kill more people each year than sharks and jelly fish combined.

We tend to spend our lives worrying about the sharks because sharks are big and scary. We tend to ignore real threats because, by themselves, they’re not all that intimidating. Don’t let the little things in life fool you. You ignore them at your own peril. Every good marriage… every good employee…every good business…succeeds because they’ve learned to pay attention to the little things.

Jesus told a story about a servant who was given some money to manage, and because he managed it well, he was rewarded by his master. The master said, “You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities” (Matthew 25:21).

Our greatest wins and losses in life result from our ability to master the seemingly minor details of life. Reading a few verses of scripture and spending some time in prayer each day may not seem significant to some, but it’s long-term effect is revolutionary. Making the effort to bite your tongue may not seem that important, but in the long run it could save a relationship.

Don’t give the sharks more attention than they deserve — especially at the cost of ignoring the jelly fish. It’s the little things that hold us back and the little things that move us forward.

Compare: “…the little foxes ruin the vineyards…” (Song of Solomon 2:15)

Harrisburg church of Christ, Harrisburg, IL

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There will be a workday on Saturday, November 7th. Work areas will be: on the outside of the building and the inside of the Food Pantry.

Myron & Janet Fietz’s granddaughter, Kathryn McQuillan, under Military, graduated from Marine Boot Camp, Friday, October 9th, in Paris N.C. Her deployment started last Sunday in Camp Geiger, N.C. Our congratulations to this strong young lady and the proud grandparents!

Oct 21 – Ken Darnell
Oct 28 – Cary Miller
Nov 4 – Troy Futrell
Nov 11 – Kynn Maxwell
Nov 18 – Joe Winnett
Nov 25 – Dismissed for Thanksgiving holiday

Come and assemble with your brethren on Wednesday night for a spiritual uplift! Speakers will bring devotional messages followed by congregational singing.



We have heard from Becky and Richard Emperado recently and Becky wanted to update us on some things happening in the Philippines mission work. Keep them all in your thoughts and prayers. For the elders, Ken D

Hope your week is going well! We are doing well. Richard Emperado is back in town to do his Impact Counseling radio program Saturday 8-9am on Dysr-fm Dumaguete (Fridays 7-8pm). He will be talking about the root causes of aggression & violence and how to deal with them in healthy ways. People can call in or message questions during the counseling hour on Saturdays. If you like listening to his Sunday evening program, Worship Without Borders at 8-9pm (Sunday 7-8 am), you are in for a special treat! He will have a guest speaker this week! Grant Emperado will be preaching Sunday night. The title for his sermon is “Wait & Hope”. Enjoy.

The Emperado family is doing well. We are still living with basic lockdown. Have a little more freedom, but still no travel between islands, or even the other side of Negros Island still. Many restaurants & businesses still closed. Grocery shelves are still missing many items. Kids’ college classes have started back. Richard is happy doing his radio programs on the weekends. His Impact Counseling program is discussing “Dealing with Fear & Anxiety”. His topic for Sunday Worship without Borders program will be “Handling Life Creatively” & the Bible Study topic will be “Challenge for Independent Bible Study”. He can be watched live on Dysr-fm Dumaguete radio station or Richard’s Facebook page. We ask that you please pray for these two radio programs to be an encouragement to many who are struggling right now & a way to reach out & help the churches we planted across the Philippines.

If you enjoy listening to Richard Emperado counseling on the radio at Dysr-fm Dumaguete on Saturday mornings, you might also enjoy listening to his new program called “Worship Without Borders” starting today on Sunday nights from 8-9pm Philippines time, 7-8am Sunday morning Texas/Oklahoma time. He will be preaching & teaching reaching out to the different churches planted across the Philippines, since he is still unable to travel due to Covid-19. All seaports & airports are still closed to domestic travel.

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Our nation is once again in the midst of controversy regarding the appointing of a Supreme Court justice. Those on the left and those on the right will wrangle and grapple through the process, each having their own opinions on what makes a good judge. But does the Bible have any guidance for us on the matter?

In Exodus 18:13-23, the appointing of judges was suggested by Moses’ father-in-law as a way to take the burden off of the prophet. The hopeful outcome of this system was that “all this people will also go to their place in peace” (Ex. 18:23). Jethro’s advice to Moses was to choose men with certain qualities. They were to be:

Able. This meant they were to be competent and able to perform their duties; men who would do their work with all their strength (Ecc. 9:10; Col. 3:17). A good judge would use his skills to the maximum!

Reverent. Reverence is seen in God’s people throughout the Bible. Examples such as the Hebrew midwives (Exodus 1:17-21) who valued life because they feared God, and men like Job who withstood hardship because he feared the Lord (Job 1:1). Good judges will be people who have wisdom (Psalm 111:10) and know the meaning of life (Ecc. 12:13) because they understand that God is supreme.

True. To be a lover of truth means to recognize there is right and wrong, and judge accordingly (John 7:24). Good judges will be lovers of God’s word (John 17:17; Psalm 119:160), not inventors of ways to let evil off the hook (Romans 1:32), and not hypocrites who don’t practice what they prescribe for others (Rom. 2:1-3).

Honest. Bribery has always been an issue among judges, apparently Israel’s sins included judges taking bribes (Micah 7:3). The judges Moses appointed were to be “haters of covetousness,” which meant they would value justice over materialism, thus rejecting bribes.

These values from the Old Testament account are descriptive of general principles for righteous judges in our own time. Since a Supreme Court justice would certainly be a part of the civil legal system that Romans 13:1-7 covers, we understand that biblical morals would be a great benefit to being “God’s minister to you for good” (Rom. 13:4). Let us pray for our nation during this time, that judges with these qualities may be found!

Matt Clifton

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Proposed Schedule

October 14th — Joe Winnett

October 21st – Ken Darnell

Come and assemble with your brethren on Wednesday night for a spiritual uplift! Speakers will bring devotional messages followed by congregational singing



Last week our Cambodian missionary Dennis Welch shared some powerful thoughts about the role of prayer in mission work. Read this second part of it, consider you prayers and keep praying. For the elders, Ken D

Praying with the Son beside us

How could we dare to speak to this awesome Almighty on our own if we have any understanding what we are doing? It is because we never do this alone, even when we are in a room by ourselves. As we bow, someone else is beside us. God the Son, our older brother, who calls us his friends who knows his business, bows beside us. His knees touch the same floor as ours. His head drops alongside ours in reverence before the Father to whom he submits and gives all glory with us. He did not enter our humanity and bear our scars only for a few decades but retains His humanity to be God with us forever. Because He has brought us to his Father, we pray as children of God also. Ushered in by the original only begotten, we are the also begotten. We are not the only one who speaks. He is interceding with us, for us, and at times, instead of us, when all we can do is sigh or cry. We speak to Him and connect with Him as his children.

Praying from the Spirit within us

We don’t know what to say as we pray. We are like children who want their father’s attention so badly we stammer irrelevancies. What do you say to the Almighty, even with the Son beside you? It ultimately doesn’t matter what the words are, because it is God’s Spirit in us who helps us. As we sit in stillness, there is no rush to speak. Perhaps we have something urgent to say. That is fine. He will hear it. Perhaps we come because it is time, but we have no words. That is fine. He enjoys just sitting with us. Perhaps we say the wrong thing. Perhaps what we ask comes from ignorance or even a bad heart. That is ok, God the Spirit interprets it from a deeper place in a purifying way. When we have said all we have to say, the real praying can begin. He is in us, waiting on us to be still enough that He can draw our hearts and minds to Him and His concerns. Now He can draw our minds to those we need to serve. Now He can show us a picture of what He is calling us to do. When we’ve said what we came to say, He wants us to stay awhile and let Him bring before our holy imaginations what He has in mind. We speak to Him and connect with Him as purified holy vessels who contain His Spirit. Prayer is, or should be, about listening before, during, and after we speak.

The God in us prompts us about what to say to the God before us, as the God beside us puts it in the right words and adds His endorsement signed in His blood. Now add to this holy trinity of prayer, your missionaries or your mission. You lay them all before the Father, with the Son, from the Spirit. Recall their faces, their families, co-workers, and the people they serve. You don’t really know how to pray for them. That is okay. It is more important to bring them before the Father than to instruct the Father about what He should do for or with them.

There is more going on here than we know. Prayer is a mystery and only as a mystery can it be the powerful ground of our lives and guide of our service. It is not that important that we understand it. It is important that we do it. This is mission work.

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Building godly character is hard work. “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7). Every effort is right. That’s what it takes to make these qualities a part of our lives. People don’t change easily . . . leading to modern day proverbs like ―a tiger doesn’t change its stripes. Breaking bad habits and creating new godly ones is something that requires a daily focus and fervent prayers for a long time. It probably takes the help of another Christian – and accepting that help takes a lot of humility. All that work, all that brokenness, is not something everyone is willing to go though. There are many who would much rather focus on the flaws of someone else.

There is more than one way to build up confidence in who you are. You can work, and grow, and daily become someone who better reflects the light of Jesus Christ. OR you can focus on the shortcomings of the people around you. ―Well, I know I need to change what I choose to watch but at least I’m not like the guy who just got arrested for beating his wife. I definitely don’t do that. ―Yes, I know I don’t know my Bible well enough but at least I’m doing better than that church over there that doesn’t even know what baptism is for! Yes, that’s certainly one way to feel better about yourself. Unfortunately, as someone put it: ―Cutting that guy’s legs off doesn’t make me one inch taller. Looking down on others doesn’t make you a better person. And you’re not qualified to do it. We cannot even semi-accurately judge where others are unless we have first judged ourselves: “How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?‟ (Matthew 7:4).

I want to suggest to you that it is better to take the harder road. Take a moment today and examine your own life. What are some areas that you can improve? What in the 2 Peter 1 list do you need to add to your character? What are you currently doing that God would like you to change? Are your prayer and reading habits what they should be? Do the hard work of asking yourselves these kind of questions and seek to improve the answers. Then you can have the confidence of knowing that you are doing what you can to be the person God wants you to be. That’s a much more satisfying way of being happy about who you are. – Doug Wells, Bulletin Digest

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Proposed Schedule for Wednesday Evening Bible Classes

October 7th — Kynn Maxwell

October 14th — Joe Winnett

Come and assemble with your brethren on Wednesday night for a spiritual uplift! Speakers will bring devotional messages followed by congregational singing.



Weekly we encourage prayer for different mission works. Recently our Cambodian missionary Dennis Welch shared some powerful thoughts about the role of prayer in mission work. Read this week’s part of it, consider your prayers and keep praying. For the elders, Ken D

Prayer is mysterious. No way around it. No matter how much we read about it in scripture, read books or hear presentations about it, or practice the various forms developed through the ages by prayer sages, none of us really understands it. Not really. It doesn’t work like a Coke machine. Sometimes if feels like a slot machine, but we know that is not right either. It is a personal interaction with the Creator of the universe who is constantly monitoring over 7 billion humans on just this one planet, and who knows how many spiritual beings or other creatures on other planets in this vast universe flung over countless light years. We cannot understand it or master it.

This is not like talking to other people. It is communicating in the spiritual realm from spirit to Spirit, but it is something we can’t do without using our bodies. It is talking, but it transcends words or even groans. It involves listening but not hearing. It involves vision but not seeing. When we’ve done it, we aren’t sure what has happened, if anything. And when something we’ve asked for takes place, we can never know for sure what role our request played, if any.

For those of us who are of a rationalist orientation, that is frustrating. Perhaps that is why churches from heavily rational traditions would rather preach than pray. I think we need to acknowledge that prayer can be frustrating. It can be boring. But so can anything else if done regularly, including riding roller coasters. Still, it is also powerful and faith-developing, especially when we see what we prayed for happen in dramatic fashion.

For those of us who work in the world of missions and ministry (a distinction with little meaningful difference), we need to understand that prayer is not something we do in preparation to our work. Prayer is our work. Prayer is not something we do to support mission work. Prayer is mission work. Prayer is not just a prelude to setting strategy. Prayer is our strategy or should be. Prayer immerses us in God and joins our spirit to his Spirit as we join his work in the world. Once we grasp this, living out mission without immersion in prayer will become obviously ludicrous.

Toward this end, I think it is helpful to think about three ways God is with us in prayer. We might call this the prayer trinity as we commune with the Trinity. This concept is not original to me, but it has been so long ago that I first heard and began to approach prayer this way that I’ve long ago lost the source. That person was likely not the original source either.

Praying to the Father before us: As we enter prayer we need to picture the one before us. When we kneel or bow in prayer it is because we are addressing the Almighty who would terrify us beyond speech if we had not come to know Him as Father in Jesus. We come onto holy ground, with or without shoes, and make ourselves vulnerable to a consuming fire as we bring our needs, hopes, sins, fear, requests, and bodies to the one who made us. God the Father is before us. He is the source of our life and power. We come asking. There is no shame in this. Most of the Lord’s prayer is composed of requests. But it is more than a shopping list. It is seeking his blessing, his assurance, his empowerment, and his wisdom. We come needy to the one who has everything. We come foolish and uncertain to the one with all wisdom. We bow before the Father who is good but not safe. God is before us. We speak to him and connect with him as unworthy servants.

(Continued next week)

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“Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life” (Proverbs 4:13).

I won’t forget that day on the mountain. It was our first time for snow skiing, so lessons were suggested. Not me, I had been on water skis many times. I could do this. We got skis and boots, and we were ready for the mountain. Everything started off fine. I moved around a little bit then got on the lift. Alright, we were going up the mountain. This is great…that is until I saw the people ahead getting off their seats. Reality began to sink in. I had never done that before. Did somebody say to lean? Which way? My instinct kicked in and I leaned back, only to plop right on my backside. Yes, it hurt. I thought, “I am a quick learner and that won’t happen again.” But it did. Every time I tried to get off, I fell. I could hear the lift assistants mocking me, “here he comes again.”

By day’s end, my backside was sore. I talked to my friend and told him that I had leaned just like he had said. He asked me to show him and I did. “There is your problem,” he exclaimed. “You are supposed to lean forward.” Those lessons began to look a little better.

Too many people try to approach life in the same way that I began snow skiing. They do not want to take the lessons but complain when they get hurt. God’s holy Word is instruction for life (Proverbs 4:22).

One buys a new car and sets down with the Owner’s manual to familiarize himself with the car. He does the same with devices and tutorials. But they do not have time to read the Word of God. Can other books offer this: “the years of you life shall be many” (Proverbs 4:10)? We all have too many bumps and bruises because we were not willing to get the lessons.

Jesse Tubbs, Madison, AL

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Wednesday Evening Bible Classes Schedule

September 30th — Troy Futrell

October 7th — Kynn Maxwell

October 14th — Joe Winnett

Come and assemble with your brethren on Wednesday night for a spiritual uplift! Speakers will bring devotional messages followed by congregational singing.


Evangelism and Edify

We always need to be mindful of our need as God’s people to help evangelize the lost and to edify them and our fellow Christians. Always be aware of our support of the Holy Spirit and pray for our dedication to evangelism and edification.  For the elders, Ken D

Do We Evangelize and Edify?

“But Peter and John answered them, „Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard‟” (Acts 4:19-20).

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on those gathered all together in one place and then was promised to all believers who would repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

Emboldened by God’s presence dwelling within them, they chose to go forth as Jesus had commanded and make disciples of all nations. The Holy Spirit did not take them over and make them do anything. That’s not how God works. It’s not recorded that any of them snapped out of a hypnotic-like state to discover that they had been preaching the gospel.

Just days before Pentecost, when the resurrected Christ ascended into heaven, His bewildered followers must have been terrified to receive the orders to evangelize and edify, but what a change after the Spirit-filled church was established!

Since God’s Spirit that emboldened them is also given to us, why do we act as if we do not have it? Since we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, do we evangelize and edify?

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“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4).

We live in a fearful age: Covid-19, quarantines, economic uncertainty, riots, and Chinese communist belligerence. Many are incapacitated with uncertainty and fear.

But Paul declares: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind!” (2 Timothy 1:7). The word for “fear” here basically means “cowardice.” The Amplified Bible has “craven, cringing, fawning fear.” Paul tells us why we should fear no evil:

Because God Has Given Us Power! The power of God is an awesome thing: It created the world; slew 185,000 warriors of Assyria in a single night; raised Christ from the dead; and one day, it will dissolve this world in fervent heat! What is there to fear linked to power like that?

Because God Has Given Us Love! We are secure in God’s love forever. “For He Himself has said, „l will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”„ (Hebrews 13:5). ”But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

Because God Has Given Us Sound Thinking! One translation has “a calm and well-balanced mind“ God teaches us to put things in proper perspective…to see clearly and think rationally…to rise above ignorance and superstition (John 8:32). “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea…God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:2,1).

Bobby Dockery Fayetteville, AR

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Dear Church Family,

Thank you so very much for your caring, prayers and cards to comfort me in the loss of my beloved Guy. He loved the Lord and all of you so much.

Love, Charlotte and family


All members are encouraged to stay a short while after our Sunday, September 20th worship assembly for the Annual Corporate Meeting. Thank you!


Kay Parker’s grandson, Noel Parker, at age 29, passed away on Saturday, September 12th, after struggling with muscular dystrophy for many years. Kay tells us that God had blessed him with great intelligence and a warm and kind disposition. He will be greatly missed by many, esp. his parents who had been great caretakers. They had also visited our worship assembly.

Our condolences, love and prayers go out to Kay, Noel’s parents, family and to all who knew and loved him.


September 23rd — Cary Miller

September 30th — Troy Futrell

October 7th — Kynn Maxwell

October 14th — Joe Winnett

Come and assemble with your brethren on Wednesday night for a spiritual uplift! Speakers will bring devotional messages followed by congregational singing.

Still required:  Wearing masks and social distancing!


Adventures in Missions Prayer Requests

One of the privileges we always have is to take our prayers on behalf of others to the Father. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (ESV): “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power”. Below are some prayer requests from our AIMer, Kaylee Hankins, on behalf of those she is very concerned about. Kaylee and her team will be headed to Witchita Falls very soon to begin working with the church there. Please include her, her team and her requests in your daily prayers. For the elders, Ken D

Hey y’all!

This isn’t a typical newsletter, just prayer requests. There’s a family that’s serving as missionaries in their hometown, Seattle, WA. A family member of that team was shot in the back. The bullet hit her spine, her airways, and lodged next to her heart. They’ve had procedures done to keep her stable. She has a breathing tube and a feeding tube. The last update I had a couple days ago was that they couldn’t remove the bullet in fear of putting her at more risk. She’s a cousin to one of my classmates who’s an AIMer in Arlington. He said she’s just 16 years old. They are a strong family, but I know with the help of prayer peace will fall upon them.

Another prayer request…I’m sure you all have heard about the West Coast fires that have been destroying so many homes, businesses, and lands. I’ve had so many friends to be affected by this. My teammate, Logan Peugh, is from Medford, Oregon. It was confirmed yesterday that her and her family lost their home due to the fire. She’s been evacuated from a few more different cities. This is devastating to a family, losing everything just over night. Also, her father has Crohn’s disease. About a month ago, it flared up really bad and he had to undergo two surgeries. He is starting to keep food down now, but not much. She said when she was a toddler, they almost lost him. So it’s pretty serious for her family and very scary. Her dad’s name is Glen. I’m going to have a GoFundMe page setup tomorrow for her and her family. Just something that can help buy them new clothes and food. Logan is still preparing to come to Wichita Falls, but she has nothing to pack with her. They didn’t have time to grab anything, and I know whatever we raise, it’ll benefit them so much.

I ask for prayers for Team Brazil for peace. My best friend is supposed to be going to that field. However due to the virus, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Everything keeps changing for everyone. She has a meeting Friday with the director of AIM and her team to make the final decision whether or not to wait until Brazil is ready or to send them to a stateside field.

And finally for my field. We are all arriving the weekend of the 18th-19th of this month. The apartment we applied for wasn’t ready for us last week. We are eager to move in together and get started. Prayers for safe travels and enough support raised for each of us. And just special prayers for Logan. She’s handling so much at the moment.

Thank you so much for all your prayers!

Still Following,

Kaylee H.

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