THINK SOULS

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The inner part of the person—the soul—is such an important element to who we are. God made us as body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Yet the concept of the soul is so broad in God’s word that we could spend a year just studying its various nuances! Even in the book of Acts, the word takes on a variety of meanings. It is a synonym for person (Acts 27:37), while other times it refers to life (Acts 20:10), or mind (Acts 14:2). We also get a glimpse of God’s connection with our souls:

Hope From God. “For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption” (Acts 2:27).

Salvation In God. “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).

Fear of God. “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43).

Condemnation of God. “And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people” (Acts 3:23).

Unity From God. “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common” (Acts 4:32).

Encouragement in God. “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:21-22).

In Jesus our souls have no condemnation (Rom. 8:1)! Instead, we find encouragement (John 16:33), unity (Eph. 2:15), salvation (2 Tim. 2:10), and hope (1 Thess. 1:3). This year, may our souls dwell in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31).

  • Logan Summers, Graeber Road church of Christ, Rosenberg, TX
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WEEKLY NEWS, JANUARY 29, 2023

OUR FELLOWSHIP MEAL

Today, Sunday, January 29th, immediately following our worship, is hosted by: Jeff & Peggy Hale, James & Vicky Williams and Linda Robertson.  All of our visitors are invited to be our very special guests!

THANK YOU

“God bless you all for your prayers and support for us during the illness and loss of my sister, Patti Loffler.  Words are not enough for your love and kindness shown to us. Thank you, thank you.”  In Christian love, Barry and Judy Womack

WITH SYMPATHY

We have learned that Delton McQuire has died due to an apparent heart attack. Delton had been the director at Cherokee Home for Children for a number of years. He has visited our congregation several times to give us reports about the Home and share with us how our support of that facility is so very helpful. He was preaching at a church in the Abilene area. Our prayers, love and sympathy go out to wife Valerie, the family and all those who knew and loved Delton.  

THANK YOU NOTE

We thank Sherry Wills & Ken Love for the gift of a Bosch dishwasher for our Fellowship Hall kitchen!  Also, our gratitude is extended to our “installation crew”, Norman Baugh and Gary Crabtree! Way to go, you all!!!

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

DISCIPLESHIP MULTIPLICATION TRAINING IN CAMBODIA

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Our brother George Funk briefly let us know about the recent CAMBODIAN 4 FIELDS DISCIPLESHIP MULTIPLICATION TRAINING which helps train Christians to make MORE disciples who will in turn train them to make more disciples. Exciting to see this discipleship program spreading around the world and especially in Cambodia where we have long been involved. Keep praying. For the elders, Ken D

DAY ONE – Amen, Thank You Lord and thank you all involved especially Phanat Ouch for hosting us and so many of the other local leaders. Then also not forgetting Chany Vanny for driving us up to Battambang through the night and for accommodating me on my arrival and last but not least my fellow African trainers Charles Odoi and Tebogo Ramatsui. God is Good. Please pray for all.

DAY TWO – Amen, day two of the Cambodian discipleship multiplication training. Wow, amazing participation as we taught, let our participants discover, discuss, practice and pray. There surely is a difference between teaching and training. Thank You Lord and thank you all involved. Please pray and pray and pray for Cambodia and those being trained and equipped.

DAY THREE – Amen, finished off today with sharing tools 7 through 12. Thank You Lord and thank you all involved especially the amazing missionary Phanat Ouch. Please let’s all pray for this mission effort and the country of Cambodia and not forgetting the surrounding Asian countries. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray.

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TRULY GLOBAL OUTLOOK

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The world is getting smaller. We constantly hear about globalism — global economics, global politics, global environmentalism, and a host of other world interests.  It is time that we tell others how to look at the world rather than letting people who are not even Christians and who don’t know the Bible lecture us about how we should see it.

The greatest crisis in the world is sin. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Sin is the universal pandemic. Sin is the most serious crisis on the planet. It is more disastrous in its consequences and more far-reaching in its effects than any other problem among mankind. We learn to live with diseases and recover from disasters, but we can never escape the fact that we live continually in a very sinful world.

The most urgent worldwide need is salvation. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Forgiveness of sins is far more important than curing cancer or reducing poverty. That is why we should teach and preach the gospel in every nation. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). We must teach people to look beyond this life and obey the only plan that will save them from sin.

The worst danger to mankind is hell. Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him Who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). Men may deceive themselves into thinking there is no hell, but God is a just God and sin will not go unpunished. Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels and all who follow him (Matt. 25:41). Every other suffering is temporary. This one is eternal.

True peace on earth is by the cross of Christ. Global peace talks may be ideal, and we certainly prefer peace over bloodshed, but there will always be wars and rumors of wars. Jesus died so that we can have the most important peace of all: “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). Through that peace we have peace with our own conscience and peace with others as far as it is possible.

The most powerful global force is the providential hand of God. The Most High God “removes kings and sets up kings” (Dan. 2:21). He “rules in the kingdoms of men, and gives it to whomever He wills” (Dan. 4:17). The power of empires is nothing to God: “all nations before Him are as nothing” (Isa. 40:15) Nations come and go. They always have. But God remains the same.

The greatest catastrophe in the future is not global warming. It is global and universal incineration. The very elements of the earth will be “dissolved” and “burned up” when even the heavens will be destroyed (2 Pet. 3:10). Until then, God will regulate the temperature of the earth and preserve the seasons (Gen. 8:22). Politicians can talk all they want about climate change, but God controls the thermostat.

There are only two ways to look at this world: through the eyes of God or through the eyes of man. Let us take the wisdom of God and teach it to lost souls who have the world turned upside down.

Kerry Duke West End church of Christ Livingston, TN

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WEEKLY NEWS, JANUARY 22, 2023

FELLOWSHIP MEAL

Our Fellowship Meal will be next Sunday, January 29th after the morning assembly

Hosts and hostesses will be Jeff & Peggy Hale, James & Vicky Williams and Linda Robertson.

UPCOMING LADIES’ DAY EVENT

Ladies Day at the Bertram church of Christ

An invitation is extended to all ladies to attend the Ladies Day at the Bertram Church of Christ on Saturday, January 28th, 9am—12pm. Lunch is provided.

The topic: Choose J ~ O ~ Y

If you are planning to go, please, let Leana Futrell know. The deadline is Wednesday, January 25th, best after our Ladies class (noon),

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

DISCIPLESHIP MULTIPLICATION TRAINING IN CAMBODIA

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What follows is an update and request from Southern Africa Bible College, which we have supported for many years. Please keep the efforts of SABC in your prayers as we consider additional help for them. For the elders, Ken D

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Hope you all are doing well. It would be great to be back in Kingsland when we can work it out. In the meantime, I hope you will consider the following items moving forward.

The work in South Africa is going well. The student body is growing, and churches are experiencing an increase in both numbers and spiritual maturity. Thank you for your partnership in this effort. Here are three important updates regarding the College.

First, we have a special need in 2023. Over the last several years the college has spent $20,000, funds raised in South Africa, to remodel married student and faculty housing. Now it is time to remodel the dorms and main building. These buildings turn 30 years old this year. There are 40 dorm rooms. Each one will cost $1,200 to remodel. These costs are included in the $100,000 but are separated out so people can sponsor a room or any part of a room. (the cost is rounded up to account for inflation and Dollar to Rand exchange rate fluctuations. The cost for this project is $100,000 of which $20,000 has already been donated. Will you consider holding a contribution or additional funds from your budget for this project? I will be happy to come there to answer any questions should it be at all possible.

Second, we have 13 USA Christians traveling to South Africa for a two-week mission trip in March 2024. Please consider attending with us in 2024! You will see the college, worship with area congregations, and equip local Christians for greater service.

Third, SABC is now sending out monthly email newsletters. If you have not received past email newsletters, please let me know and we can add you to that newsletter list.

Thank you, again, for your partnership in this work. It is making a difference for the Kingdom of God. Peace, Kirk Eason, Director of Development – USA, Southern Africa Bible College

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A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE

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The rapidity with which changes have taken place over the past several years leaves us longing for some sort of glimpse into the future. What will the financial markets look like in six months? What will be the political landscape a year from today? And, what about the spiritual and moral climate in our society? What new challenges will we face in the year ahead. The best we can offer are educated guesses based on the past. We simply do not know about tomorrow (Mt. 6:34). But, while we cannot know the future, at least to the extent that our anxiety-driven curiosity requires, we can know the God who holds the future in His hands.

In previous ages, God spoke “to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways…” (Heb. 1:1). Fulfilled prophecy is a major component of the body of evidence that supports the inspiration of the Bible. Detailed descriptions of people and events written hundreds of years before their fulfillment leaves us with the indelible impression that the Lord has, indeed, spoken through His servants, the prophets.

Yet, there have always been those who falsely claim to speak in the name of the Lord. Perhaps, for this reason, Moses hypothetically posed the question: “How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?” (Dt. 18:21). Answering his own question, Moses says, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (vs. 22).

How often are modern-day prognosticators given a free pass by their adherents even when it becomes clearly evident that their predictions have altogether missed the mark? Because they were inspired by the Holy Spirit, God’s prophets were always 100% accurate in their predictions. By contrast, today’s false prophet, in spite of using the same taken-out-of-context passages year after year, cannot get their teaching to line up with actual events with any degree of reliability or specificity. Should they not be held accountable for their false predictions? (1 Jn. 4:1).

Glen Elliott, Greenbrier church of Christ, Greenbrier, AR

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WEEKLY NEWS, JANUARY 15, 2023

THANK YOU NOTES

“Thanks to everyone for the food, phone calls and get well wishes. Everything was greatly appreciated. Hope to be back with you soon.” In Christian love, Linda Lively

“Thank you for all the prayers. Everything went well and I’m so very thankful.”

Tommie Sledge

Spiritual Gifts Class

I want to thank everyone who participated in our Wednesday PM Bible class over the last several months. I pray your awareness of God’s gifts in your life has been heightened and that you will be more willing to use them to God’s glory and to further the work of His church. If I can help you in any way to complete your class material or get you any part you might have missed, just ask, I would still like to hear from you about your gifts. Thanks again, Ken D

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

DISCIPLESHIP MULTIPLICATION TRAINING IN CAMBODIA

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One of the AIM Students on Field Team Alaska that we help support is Emily Serrano. This is parts of her most recent communications with us. Please continue praying for all three of the AIMers that we currently help support. For the elders, Ken D

It’s Emily Serrano, I’m so grateful to have your support through my time here in Alaska as a missionary apprentice! I’m excited to share with you my last newsletters! These last two months have been very eventful and am excited for you all to hear about them. Thank you again for all the support! I would not be here if it weren’t for y’all! I continue to pray for y’all! Sincerely, Emily

Photo by Emily Serrano (in center/black sweater)

Visiting Valdez

At the beginning of the month we made a trip to Valdez. We visited the congregation and had the opportunity to make connections with the members there. Miss Ruth had us over for dinner Saturday night and we had buffalo burgers. It was really encouraging listening to her story. She had worked as a teacher for the school district here in Alaska and had the opportunity to live in different parts of the state. We also had the opportunity of meeting Lon. He works at the telephone company in Valdez. He also helps out every year with an Airshow they do in Valdez. Lon and Ruth are the only ones attending the church. It’s been like that for a while, they meet up every Sunday and watch services from the Valley Church of Christ. Valdez is a small port town. A lot of people move in and out so it’s harder to grow the church. Although it’s only Lon and Ruth attending church, they refuse to stop meeting every Sunday at the Church building.

How I’ve Been

Since being here in Alaska I think this has been the month where I’ve felt most stretched and molded by God. I’m over the honeymoon phase. I’m finding my place and rooting myself. I’ve been learning my purpose and understanding that yes, God is working through me. He is using me to bless those around me, but he is also working in me. This month has been really eye opening on how, although this might be my field time in the AIM program, it doesn’t mean that it’s about me. It’s been challenging being okay with being uncomfortable, learning how to work with my teammates and realizing that my home is in Alaska right now.

I miss Mexico, I miss the culture and my family, but I’m here to glorify God and Alaska is where He put me to do so.

Personal Ministries

As I wrote before, I’ve been starting some personal ministries. I’ve been more intentional with the teen girls at church and been praying for them. I tend to text them once a week and ask them if there is anything specific, I can pray for that week. I’ve been praying about starting a devo night for them. I’m still putting the details together but for now my focus has been on praying for them and the opportunity. I have also been intentional with going to their sports events, it’s been really fun cheering them on! We, as a team, have been visiting the widows from church. Cindy and Linda are two widows that live together. They are so sweet! We’ve gone over and visited with them a couple times now. Last time we went we had breakfast with them, read scriptures together and sang. They are encouraging! I will be helping with Wednesday night Bible class this winter quarter! I’m so excited! I don’t have all the details but I know that it will be fruitful!

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RAINBOWS IN THE GUTTER

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A preacher walking through the slums of a great city noticed two small children standing on the sidewalk starting intently at the gutter. “What did you loose?” he asked them. “Mister, we ain’t lost nuthin,” the little girl answered. “Me and my brother found something.” “What have you found then?” the preacher wanted to know. The little girl smiled and said, “A rainbow! See it?”  Sure enough, oil runoff from a nearby gas station, floating on the surface of the water, was refracting the sun’s light in glorious rainbow colors. The children were right. They found a rainbow in the gutter!

We may find glory in unexpected places. Consider some rainbows we can find if we look . . .

1. The Birth of Christ Was A Rainbow In the Gutter Of Human Hopelessness. Jesus was born into a world which was lost and helpless to do anything about it (Romans 5:6). Seneca, one of the greatest Greek philosophers, summed up the bleak condition of humanity: “None of us has strength to rise; and O, that someone would stretch out a hand (and lift us up)” God stretched out a hand at Bethlehem. Talk about ―glory in unsuspected places‖! What could have been more like a rainbow in the gutter than the circumstances of Christ’s birth???? No room in the inn….born in a stable….a feed box for a bed….But it was there in dirt and dung among poor and despised people that the glory of the Lord was revealed!!!!

2. The Cross Is A Rainbow In The Gutter of Our Sinfulness. Jesus tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9). In Him we have redemption through His blood (Ephesians 1:7). He paid a debt He did not owe, to cancel a debt we could not pay! (John 19:30). A rainbow unites heaven and earth, but its arch is in the sky. The cross is God’s rainbow, spanning heaven and earth and uniting God and man together. By His cross Christ bridged the gap that separated us from God!

3. The Church Is A Rainbow In The Gutter Of This Hostile World. The world is a bleak, inhospitable place to grace. Evil surrounds us….We often seem to be living in some modern Pergamos “where Satan’s throne is” (Revelation 2:13). We find ourselves in a grim, ceaseless struggle “against principalities and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12). But God has given us a fortress, a place of refuge. The church is that place of hope and help and warm fellowship! It is a place where we can find grace to help in time of need. The gates of hell will never prevail against it and all spiritual blessings are in it! (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:3, 20, 22).

I am thankful that we serve a God Who seeds the storm with rainbows. In the long ago, He said, “I set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between me and earth….” (Genesis 9:13).

Now He wants us to open our eyes to see the rainbows — to learn to walk by faith and not by sight! If your life is in the gutter — apart from God, burdened by guilt — there’s a rainbow of hope for you! The grace of God has appeared to all men! (Titus 2:11) You need to surrender to it in obedient faith! (Romans 6:3-4; 17).

Bobby Dockery, Searcy, AK

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WEEKLY NEWS, JANUARY 8, 2023

THANKS TO OUR VOLUNTEERS

Our “thanks” to Jeff & Peggy Hale, Linda Robertson and Vicky & James Williams for going to be hosts & hostesses for our next Fellowship Meal on January 29th, the last Sunday of this month!

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

DISCIPLESHIP MULTIPLICATION TRAINING IN CAMBODIA

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During the last weeks of December our congregation made many special contributions to World Christian Broadcasting Corporation. Through your generous giving we have been able to send additional funds to help this wonderful work in spreading the gospel via shortwave radio. Please continue to keep this effort in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

Dear brothers, it is hard to believe we are coming to the end of 2022. Through you, your gifts and your prayers, God has been mindful of us and blessed us tremendously. Thank you for your gifts.

Again this year, we heard from more listeners than ever and have connected with many on our social media platforms. Our Arabic Facebook page today to this year has had over 850,000 connections with those who live in the Middle East.

Over the last few months, our senior producers have made visits to Egypt, Africa, Cuba, Brazil, Russia, among many presentations we have been blessed to give in America. They have learned much about what is going on in the area of the world that receive our broadcasts. The visits also help us to see the best hours for the different languages to be on the air. Our senior producers are doing a great job. Please pray for each of them.

Please note just how much we appreciate you and are thankful for your gifts and prayers. As we all think about the end of the year, would you prayerfully think about our ministry? We want to close the year strong as we prepare for 2023 and the new avenues of opportunities. May God bless you and your family richly during the holiday season.

Sincerely, Andy Baker, President, and CEO of World Christian Broadcasting Corporation.

Photo from Andy Baker

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ALL THINGS NEW

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Happy New Year!

How many times have you heard that phrase in the last few days? Most likely, the person saying it to you sincerely desires for you to have a great 2023.

Of course, it could also mean that they are just thankful 2022 is gone and a fresh new year has finally arrived.

In light of the changing calendars, two passages come to mind.

The first one is Lamentations 3:22-23, which says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” The other pertinent passage is Revelation 21:5, which reads, ―And He Who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.‘”

Our loving Lord gives us more than arbitrary new calendars. He gives us new life. He gives us new hope. He gives us new existence! Imagine a new life with no death or mourning. Think of an existence with no crying or pain. These are the promises given to those who belong to Jesus.

If we have been washed in His blood your eternal future is one where all the old painful, sinful, and ugly experiences are removed and replaced with that which is beautiful.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

To be baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27) is to be divinely transported into a new existence (Col. 1:13) with a new future (1 John 2:28).

More than a mere new day…more than a new year…our Lord gives us a new life.

  • Bart Warren, South Green Street church of Christ, Glasgow, KY
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WEEKLY NEWS, JANUARY 1, 2023

WITH SYMPATHY

Kenneth Wood, the 89 years old uncle of Judy Womack, passed away on Tuesday, December 20th. Graveside services were scheduled for December 30th at Alvin, Texas.

Our prayers, sympathy and love go out to Judy & Barry, Judy’s mother, Louise Johnson, and to all relatives and friends. May God comfort all!

WE ARE SEARCHING

For people who will host our next Fellowship Meal on January 29th, 2023, the last Sunday of this month. If you are able and willing, please, call the church office (Helga). We need 6 people, couples or singles. Thank you!

BEAUTIFUL FOOTPRINTS

“And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”” Romans 10:15

DISCIPLESHIP MULTIPLICATION TRAINING IN CAMBODIA

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Our brother Mike reports on a very recent event designed to help encourage Nigerian youth in his area. Please keep efforts like these in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

END OF YEAR SOULS HARVEST – BEBI YOUTH CAMP

I led 33 youths from my congregation to participate in the first Northern Cross River state youth camp and to the glory of God, we were blessed with 5 souls who obeyed the gospel and were buried with Christ in Baptism. A total of 150 youths participated in the three-day camp which started on the 22nd and ended today the 24th of December.

The Bebi congregation played host to all the youths and promised that the camp will be an annual event. The theme of the youth camp was STARTING THE GREAT PLANS OF LIFE. I was one of the resource persons and I handled three sessions. The youths were edified and charged to take God seriously in all they do in life especially as they plan toward career, marriage, and eternity.

The camp afforded the young people an opportunity of getting to know each other from various congregations in Northern Cross River and Benue states of Nigeria.

To God be the glory. I shall now take a week’s vacation and rest my brain and body from the work of the year.

Mike Udam

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