“Then Amos replied to Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs‟” (Amos 7:14).
Like Amos, I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I do not know what the future holds. I do know the Lord Jesus will reign in heaven whatever happens in this nation. Other things may have attracted our attention, but we cannot forget the Lord’s love and mercy; He is watching over us and will walk with us through every struggle and every circumstance.
Life is uncertain, and we do not know what tomorrow will bring (James 4:14). We do know the love of God will never fail those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, 35- 39). We know the gospel is still true and still has the power to save (Romans 1:16). We know God still answers prayer (Matthew 7:7-8). We know Jesus is coming again someday for His own (John 14:1-3). One day the faithful will rise up to meet the Lord in the air, and we will forever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). God’s people have hope!
When the Lord is walking at our side, we do not need to fear the future. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” ~~ Psalm 23
Ken Thuleen had a very important birthday on Tuesday, January 12th! Unfortunately, his 90th birthday did not appear on last week’s calendar. Apologies for this unfortunate omission! So, best wishes go out to you, Ken, this week, for your coming year! May God’s riches blessings come to you in all areas of your life.
WHEN HATE DOMINATES OUR THINKING
This week, we witnessed first-hand what happens when negative emotions are allowed to dominate our thinking. We watched as folks – most of which had good intentions – stormed our capitol building in Washington, D.C. Property was damaged. Individuals were injured. People lost their lives. And now, their very cause has earned disrespect.
I am not going to get into the politics of the event, but only point out that when negative emotions are allowed to dominate our thinking, similar chaos and rioting is often the result. In other places, like Austin, the same type of protest was made with a difference. It was peaceful and it didn’t bring the same results.
God created us with emotions. They are good and each has its place in our lives (“But the fruit of the Spirit is.. Gal.5:22ff outweighing “The acts of the sinful nature….” Gal. 5:19-21). But the greatest emotion is love, not hate (1 Corinthians 13). The love of God can cause us to hate. But it should not result in the hate of others. Only in the hate of the bad actions of others.
“By this,” says Jesus, “everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Larry Fitzgerald, Woodlawn church of Christ, Abilene, TX
WEDNESDAY PM BIBLE CLASS
First Quarter Wednesday Night Class Schedule
Jan. 20 * Ken Darnell
Jan. 27 * Bible Lands Video: Jerusalem
Feb. 3 * Ken Darnell
Feb. 10 * Troy Futrell
Feb. 17 * Kynn Maxwell
Feb. 24 * Bible Lands Video: Northern Israel
Mar. 3 * Troy Futrell
Mar. 10 * Kynn Maxwell
Mar. 17 * Cary Miller
Mar. 24 * Cary Miller
Mar. 31 * Bible Lands Video: The City of Dan
(*2nd quarter classes will be from the Poetical books material we already have)
CAMBODIAN EVANGELISM REPORT PART 2
We are blessed this year to continue to support the work of Dennis and Sharon Welch in Cambodia. What follows is part of the Welches’ end of the year report. Continue to pray for the Welches and their efforts. For the elders, Ken D
With much joy and excitement we officially announce the engagement of our oldest daughter, Sreykhuech. Ra, Sreykhuech’s long time love and our farm manager, met with us as Ra asked us for our blessing to have Sreykhuech’s hand in marriage. We are grateful for their faith in God and desire for His guidance. Furthermore, we were extremely touched as Sreykhuech has asked Dennis to walk her down the aisle and traditionally “give her away” as she joins her groom in holy matrimony. A few weeks later, Ra’s family came for a visit and we had a traditional Khmer pre-wedding meeting, discussing, what a Christian wedding, that follows as many Khmer traditions as possible, might look like. Then, we enjoyed getting better acquainted over a seafood feast cookout. Please join us in congratulating them and praying for them as they plan the wedding and their future together.
We have exciting new developments on the horizon regarding ministry coaching and the opportunity to train and equip others. Several of the graduates from the Cambodia Bible Institute have requested to be trained in Faith-Focused Solutions coach training and desire to use their gifts as Christian leaders to minister and help others reach their full potential. Join us in prayer as we work towards developing and moving forward with this training opportunity. For more information on the Faith-Focused Solutions training program visit: http://www.faithfocusedsolutions.com
It’s really special to see how a group of people, from a variety of nationalities can make such a meaningful time together. We enjoyed a wonderful celebration with great food, fun games and amazing fellowship as a small group of us joined together to celebrate Thanksgiving. Relationships of love and trust were deepened and treasured memories were created. Join us in offering a prayer of thanksgiving to God for blessing us with treasured relationships.
As 2021 approaches and we look towards a new year we pray for guidance and wisdom as the Holy Spirit leads us and opens doors of opportunity. We have been praying fervently and waiting for clarity regarding future work. Please continue to pray with us for God’s mission in Cambodia to grow and mature.
Lots of love to you all. We are so grateful for you.
I enjoy doing the occasional woodworking project. It keeps my hands busy and allows extra time for thinking on life. To help improve my abilities in woodworking I subscribed to a wood magazine. I was excited to get my first issue and began the process of becoming a master craftsman! As I perused through that first issue, I quickly realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew. There were tools and terms totally strange to me. I have since subscribed to a different magazine more on my level.
Sadly, there are many Christians today who suffer through the same problem in their walk with Christ. The initial desire is to know the Lord to the greatest extent, but find in their daily reading of His Word a world far beyond comprehension. Terms can be hard to understand and a culture far removed from our current lifestyle. The more we turn the pages, the more lost we become, until giving up altogether.
The Hebrews writer addresses this very problem in the early church. The writer chastises Christians for their lack of maturity in Christ. Though they ought to be teachers by now, they are needing others to teach them the elementary principles of the oracles of God. They were needing the milk of the word, not solid food (Heb. 5:12-14). But the Christians were encouraged to leave behind the elementary teachings and press on to maturity (6:1-2).
What the writer is addressing is the problem of apathy in the church then, and today. Have we become comfortable where we are in our lives with Christ? Are we satisfied [status quo] in our relationship with the Lord? Have we ceased striving to know more about the Lord? Have we become comfortable with the same well known stories, instead of delving into the greater “mysteries” of the Word? The Hebrew writer continues his challenge by describing the immature [apathetic] Christian as ground that either brings forth useful vegetation or ground yielding thorns and thistles with its unfortunate end to be burned (Heb. 6:4-8).
Where are you in your walk with the Lord? Yes, there are passages which are difficult to understand, but if we will apply ourselves to knowing God, He will bless us with a greater understanding, leading us to a full life for Him and the promise of eternal life! I hope and pray that you are maturing in the Lord in all ways: church attendance, a greater knowledge of His Word, serving the Lord (as you serve others), and reaching out to the lost. – Paul Mowrer, Monticello church of Christ, Monticello, AR
Willie Monette Collmorgen, of Kennett, MO, the mother of Nancy Hankins, passed from this life to her heavenly reward on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, in Cape Girardeau, MO. She was 97 years old.
Graveside services were held on Saturday, January 9th, 2021, at Forest Park East in Webster, TX, Monette’s two grandsons, David Hankins and Zachary Maxcey, officiated.
Our love, condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to Nancy & Danny and to the children, grand- and great-grandchildren. God bless and comfort all!
WEDNESDAY PM BIBLE CLASS
Joe Winnett will teach “God and the Nations Pt 2” on January 13th
Memorials in Honor of Phil Parmer’ Life:
To: Christian Relief Fund
P.O. Box 19670
Amarillo, Texas 79114-1670
We are blessed this year to continue to support the work of Dennis and Sharon Welch in Cambodia. What follows is part of the Welches’ end of the year report. Continue to pray for the Welches and their efforts. For the elders, Ken D
CAMBODIAN MISSIONS REPORT
We pray this newsletter finds you well and experiencing the love, grace and goodness that our Lord and Savior provides. We are eternally grateful and praise God for how you have remembered us in your prayers, messages, phone calls, and how you have supported the Lord’s work here in Cambodia for so many years. Our hearts have been strongly touched by your partnership, love and encouragements.
Please take a moment and celebrate with us…the house is completed and we have moved into our new home. We have been blessed beyond measure and express many thanks for the amazing teams we had working with us and for us over this past year.
As the team of workers were finishing up we had an opportunity to honor them, and most importantly, witness to them as we shared the “Good News of Jesus Christ”. We have shared everyday life with these workers over the last ten months and we’re thankful for the times we chatted with them and listened as they opened up and shared their thoughts and concerns. Please join us in praying for them as they move on to their next projects. Specifically, we ask for prayers about how God is working at softening each of their hearts and that they will grow to have faith and trust in “Him” and “Him” alone.
Thank you again for remembering us in your prayers. We are actively reaching out, meeting new people, forming new relationships and forging new friendships. We remain in prayer always and are eager to see the many ways God will use us, our gifts and the blessings of our home for His glory. The whole world is in such need and it can start with something as small as a friendly smile, a listening ear and connecting by simply giving someone your time and being a friend. Oh, to be more like Jesus! That’s certainly our goal.
Early Christians met and gathered together in small groups, known as house churches (Romans 16:3-5; 1 Corinthians 16:19). This still continues today all over the world. We have been blessed to meet and work with many house churches since moving to Cambodia. We are thrilled the church body can now meet regularly (at our farm “Villa Monorom”, which means big peaceful, restful house) to praise God in worship and fellowship together. We held our first church fellowship meeting on November 1st as fellow friends and family joined together. We praise God for this beautiful place and look forward to seeing the church grow in our community. Pray with us for an extra measure of wisdom, unity and an out-pouring of God’s love for the lost and hurting families around us.
I AM THE NEW YEAR. I am unused, unspotted, without blemish. I stretch before you three hundred and sixty-five days long. I will present each day in its turn, a new leaf in the book of life for you to place upon it your imprint.
I AM THE NEW YEAR. Each hour of every day, I will give you sixty minutes that have never known the use of man. White and pure I present them. It remains for you to fill them with sixty jeweled seconds of love, hope, endeavor, patience and trust in God.
I AM THE NEW YEAR. I am here – but once past, I can never be recalled. Make me your best!
The Flanarys are disconnecting their house phone by January 16th. They can be reached by their cell phone numbers. Contact the church office for their numbers.
Our brother in Christ, Phil Parmer, who was recently moved to Amarillo, passed away peacefully in his sleep during the night of Wednesday, December 30th. He would have been 102 years in April.
Phil was a veteran of WWII in the Army and Navy, serving in the Philippines, Italy and the North Atlantic. He was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for heroic service in a combat zone. After the war he worked for Colorado Interstate Company in Bivins, Texas for 35 years. He was also engaged in many other worthwhile endeavors.
Graveside services were held on Saturday, January 2nd, at Memorial Park Cemetery in Amarillo with Military Rites. Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors were in charge of the arrangements. Phil’s obituary can be found on their Website.
We express our heartfelt love, prayers and condolences to Lorna, Phil’s son Warren and his wife, Mevanee, and to all the others members of the family.
WEDNESDAY PM CLASS
Bible Study on January 6th – Joe Winnett
PHILIPPINES EVANGELISM EFFORTS
The following is part two of a report from the Emperados in the Philippines which our congregation supports. Please keep this work and these Brethern in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D
Not having to worry about traveling home for furlough, also frees up Richard to push through with his new plans and work efforts on the radio programs & online courses for Impact Counseling, Worship Without Borders, & now the MOSES/ SONE digital bible school. He is very excited about getting an office here in town near the radio station. Part of the office will have a sound proof area for recording programs & courses. The office will also provide him a place to do counseling in person, by phone, or internet in a much more private & comfortable setting. Right now, he does much of his phone counseling or China internet counseling sitting in a plastic chair in the carport area right outside the front door of the townhouse we rent here in Dumaguete. We have no good internet access at our place near the beach in Calag Calag. I believe he has already talked to you about using the $600 a month you all send for the SONE classes for renting the office & paying for radio time for classes. I think the office rent is only a little more then $100 plus his electric bill. We are using an old air conditioner, folding tables, & chairs we already own for the office. He is using some of the SONE funds from you all to have the office renovated, painted, & sound proofed, using one of our carpenters from MOSES team. I know he is very excited about his plans for the office & bible classes. I know he has really struggled the last nine months not being able to travel to visit churches planted & planting the last two churches. These new radio & internet projects have given him a great way to reconnect & encourage MOSES workers & young churches & Christians across the country. He was so limited to what he could do by cell phone calling, which he still does. His phone starts ringing about 5:30am, & goes until 8pm. The kids & I will be very thankful for him to have an office to go to to make calls & do counseling! (grin!) Later on, we will send you some before and after photos of the office when they finish the renovation.
The other $450 you all send every month is still going to help MOSES workers in places where the young churches are struggling, especially during this COVID-19 time, when churches are very limited on how they can meet together. We are going to need to keep some MOSES workers in places longer then we had planned, like in Mati and Tandag, down in Mindanao in the Muslim area.
We hope this little update answers the questions you have about plans for 2021. If you have any more questions, please email us or message Richard on Messenger, and we will try our best to clarify things. Thank you so much for playing such a big role in the MOSES follow up work and the new improved MOSES/SONE digital bible school program. Your funds & prayers are helping us be able to go do many new things & hopefully train & equip more workers, and continue to share the Gospel across the country! We know these times are very hard for every-one, so stressful & uncertain, but thankfully God is still opening new doors & providing new opportunities where we can all keep pressing on sharing the Good News!
We all have them. Those nagging thorns in the flesh. They come in different levels of severity, but they do come. Perhaps they are seen in the process of aging. We don’t like to deal with the changes our bodies and minds go through, but like it or not, it is a part of the aging process (2 Cor. 4:16-18). Perhaps they are seen in the physical struggles everyone may face with surgeries and medical procedures. Right now it seems we are controlled by COVID, keeping us from our “normal” activities. But these thorns in the flesh are not limited to physical struggles and pains. They can be seen day to day while trying to scratch out a living. The job market may be challenging, the economy fluctuating, and of course, our current dilemma of political unrest. All of these begin to affect our emotional well-being. Sometimes these “thorns” may be self-inflicted because of decisions we make that are not always centered on God’s will.
Unfortunately, too often we allow these “thorns in the flesh” to dictate our lives for the Lord. We allow these struggles to draw our attention from the promises God has shared with us as His children. Perhaps we have allowed our own thoughts and desires to take first place in our lives, relegating God and His will to second, third, or fourth place. Or maybe, we have allowed these “thorns” to diminish our trust and faith in God.
The apostle Paul dealt with an unknown “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7-11). He prayed earnestly to God that the “thorn” be removed from him. We handle those “thorns in the flesh” much the same way. We pray they be removed, so as not to plague our lives. But note the answer God gave to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” And no doubt, the Lord is giving us the same response. But unlike Paul, we may continue to gripe and complain and whine about how things are.
What would happen if we would accept Paul’s response to the problems we face in life? “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” Our society deals with “thorns in the flesh” from a very worldly point of view — my way or else! But we have the opportunity each day to shine a light to the Lord, no matter how difficult things may become in our lives. We look beyond the struggles of life and are reminded of the marvelous hope we have of eternal life because of the wonderful grace of God. “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses (thorns in the flesh)…”
Paul Mowrer Monticello church of Christ Monticello, AR
Very generous donations were added last Sunday to the previous amount for EEM. The total now makes a wonderful amount to support the good work of EEM. To know more about the amount of the donations contact the church office or one of the elders. Thanks again to everyone who supports this worthy work. And we are quite sure that this is causing great rejoicing and gratitude at EEM. God bless their efforts!
WEDNESDAY PM BIBLE STUDY
Video on December 30th
On Saturday, December 19th, Phil Parmer’s son, Warren, and granddaughter came and moved Phil to Canyon, Texas, where his wife Lorna is. We do not have his new address yet, but his cell phone is the same at this time. We will put more information in the bulletin when we have it. We wish Phil a happy holiday and great enjoyment with his loved ones.
REPORT FROM PHILIPPINE EVANGELISM
The following is part one of a report from the Emperados in the Philippines including the church planting in Batanes, which our congregation is supporting. Please keep this work and these Brethern in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D
Howdy! We hope this quick update finds all of you doing well there in Texas. Richard has asked me to write an update for you all. He is busy right now dealing with the construction going on at the new office he is renting near the radio station.
As you all know, due to COVID-19, the last two church plantings in San Jose & Batanes had to be postponed. We have been on lockdown on Negros island since the middle of March. There are travel bans between most islands. Even on Negros island, there is still a travel ban between the two provinces (like states). Even just traveling through towns here on our side, Negros Oriental, we have to go through many checkpoints & have temperature taken & be wearing a mask in our vehicle. Very complicated! It is sometimes even hard to travel from Dumaguete, where the kids are studying & our home near the beach. We will be spending Christmas holidays here in Dumaguete this year, just to make things less stressful.
We are not sure when the travel bans will be lifted. We hope sometime early next year. We received by Feb. 2020 all the church plantings funds needed to cover San Jose & Batanes. We have those funds in savings in the bank here ready to go when the time is right & safe for Richard & the MOSES team to travel. We have $6,000 from Boerne church for San Jose, and $12,300 for Batanes, the very remote place that is only reachable by plane. Those funds are from you all, a church in Waxahachie, North Garland in Enid, Ok, & Boerne church. We feel very blessed to have those funds readily available here. We are really hoping & praying we will be able to finish the church plantings next year.
We also want to let you know that we will not be coming home for furlough in 2021. Our sponsoring church, Austin Avenue has decided not to bring any missionaries home on furlough in 2021. Though we are sad about not getting to come home for a visit, we are also so thankful for their wise decision. We were really dreading having to navigate through all the red tape to fly home, then afraid of traveling in Texas & Oklahoma & maybe having to quarantine in someone’s home, or not being able to return to the Philippines. We know God is in control & will provide the best time to come home hopefully in 2022
David Zoller lost a sister-in-law, Faye Robinson, to COVID-19. She was 73 years old. She had been sick for three weeks; two of those were spent in the hospital on Hwy. 71. Our love, prayers and sympathy go out to David, Sherry and everyone in the family.
WEDNESDAY PM BIBLE CLASS
Videos all through December, except December 23rd, two days before Christmas.
THANK YOU NOTE
Dear Church Family,
. . . Again and again.
“Oh, my goodness! Thank you for your very generous send off to start me off on this new journey. Guy and I loved being here and working with you the last 14 years. You’re all so very special and I’ll miss you very much. May God bless you even more. Love, Charlotte”
We are wishing Charlotte all the best this life has to offer, and God’s bountiful blessings on her new journey. We will miss you, too, Charlotte! She moved December 18th to the Metroplex to be closer to family,
Charlotte’s new contact information is available from the church office and bulletin.
A generous contribution was given last Sunday for the support of the Eastern European Mission. Thanks to everyone who supports this worthy work.
WORLD CHRISITIAN BROADCASTING
Please add to your prayers today requests from our fellow workers at World Christian Broadcasting whom we are blessed to support in the spreading of the gospel. For the elders, Ken D
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). We pray today for the newly elected officials in our country. Pray that they would be men and women of honesty, integrity, with a servant heart for all in these important positions of power. We pray today for people who have lost their businesses and their jobs during this year impacted by Covid19. Pray to the God who provides our food, clothing, and shelter. Claim his promise he gave us if we seek him and his kingdom first in our lives. Pray for the impact that the new vaccines will have on the pandemic. Pray for God to heal our land physically and most of all spiritually. Pray today for our Spanish Language team today sending out broadcasts on MWV and also Trans World Radio. Rex (Brenda) Morgan is our Senior Producer and his team members are Jose Castillo, Roberto, Guillermo, Tony and Christians in Ciego de Avila.
Today I also ask you to pray for our Portuguese Language team: Romulo (Isabel), our Senior Producer of Portuguese Language Services and coworkers Karina Brunetti, Ivan Goncalves, Helgir Girodo, and F. H. Gates. More people this time of year are thinking more about Jesus than usual. Pray our broadcasts and websites over the next few weeks will introduce many, many people to Jesus.
We are currently requiring everyone attending the Sunday morning worship assembly and Wednesday evening Bible study to wear a mask in keeping with the Health Departments guidelines. We thank you for your consideration of and care for others. Masks are available if you need one.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)
Scripture of the Week
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” “And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” ~~ 1 Peter 5:8 & 10-11
Something to Smile About
Did you hear about the efficiency expert who did a seminar on time management for a company’s junior executives? He ended one of his lectures with this disclaimer, “Don‟t attempt these timesaving tips at home,” he said.
“Why not?” one of the executives asked.
“I did a study of my wife’s routine of fixing breakfast,” he said sheepishly. “She made a lot of trips between the refrigerator and the stove, the table and the cabinets—often carrying only one item. So I asked my wife, “Honey, why don’t you try carrying several things at once, so you can be more efficient?””
“Did that save time?” the young executive asked.
“Actually, yes,” the lecturer replied. “It used to take her twenty minutes to get breakfast, now I get my own breakfast in seven minutes.”
Think About It
Amen to What is Right
Of all the goofy, depressing, and astounding things that happened recently (take your pick), my jaw literally dropped at the choice of a veteran congressman and denominational minister to finish his congressional prayer with “amen and a-woman” (not to mention the blasphemous content of his prayer!).
Did you know the word “amen” is the favorite word of Jesus in the book of John? It is commonly translated “truly” or “assuredly” and the word literally means, “may it be” or “let it be.” It is ironic that Christ used it most at the beginning of His statements, as one man observed, to punctuate His authority and Christians now use the word today at the ends of prayers to invoke His authority.
There is something special about God’s people “amen-ing” what is right. What Mr. Emanuel (or is it Ewomanuel?) Cleaver prayed is a mockery of God and a signal to us about the gross disparity and ignorance of God and His will. Christians, wake up to our work, especially if he is a representative of Americans! May God be merciful to us (the church) and provide grace to herald what’s right while we’ve still got time (Prov. 14:34). AMEN!
It’s going to be a great week to His glory! – Andy Baker Graeber Road church of Christ Rosenberg, TX