Happy, Safe and Peaceful Holidays

To all and Best wishes for a Healthy and Blessed 2023!

From the Highland Lakes church of Christ Elders, staff and spouses

Ken & Gail Darnell

Troy & Leana Futrell

Cary & Brenda Miller

Joe & Teri Winnett

John & Tina Brewer

Sherry Wills & Ken Love

Helga & Bill Blackstone

Esmeralda Medina

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Today is the last day to help with our special collection for World Christian Broadcast, which will be sent off on Tuesday, December 27th. Our generosity will help to reach many lost souls in this world! Thank you!


“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


Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com


We received information from our brother Sylvester this last weekend. (December 18-19) in which he relates some news of his upcoming retirement from as the pulpit minister in Igarra, Nigeria, so he can devote his full time to the print ministry and also work more with local benevolence. This last Sunday was also a time to distribute food to local widows. Please continue to keep this all in your prayers. For the elders, Ken D

We concluded the production of the tracts with donated funds today. And that is the last work we have funds to do for this year. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for us at church. Because we are going to distribute food for widows and others after church.

The next Sunday, Dec 25, is going to be another big one as well. That is the Sunday for my retirement/Thanksgiving. We are working towards these planned events. Another thing is tomorrow is Birthday for our boy- Daniel Kamil Otono.

Sunday December 18 – Worship was beautiful! We put finishing touches to the plans for Thanksgiving coming up next Sunday. One young man was baptized after worship.

Photo from Sylvester Imogoh

Later in the afternoon we all took off for Auchi. Kamil needed to be with his birth mom and 3 sisters (the eldest sister died two years after their father died. They had arranged for us to eat in a restaurant (rice and chicken).

Food Relief/Distribution

Yesterday also we gave out sacks of food to widows and others in different categories of need. We had an attendance of 306 of which about 50 were widows. A few came from other congregations and neighbors. The widows received the lion share. Each widow received 3 sacks – One sack of rice, One sack of beans, and one sack containing items such as tomato paste, ground nut oil, salts, soup seasonings, etc., all the ingredients that combine to make soup or stew (except for meat). Everyone else received only sacks of rice. There was pure joy and smiles on the faces of everyone.

We send our wholehearted thanks and appreciations to the Donors for the funds to make this happen.

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How does one keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? When people willingly join themselves together, they do so with good intentions. Each one comes from a place that is not shared by the others in that group. We all have our experiences, perspectives, and we launch into the future with that. Sometimes, we forget that not everyone thinks like I do. When we forget this, we attribute to others “they understand” my intentions (my motives) when, in fact, they may not. A great failing of humanity is this: attributing to another my way of thinking. In answering the question, the only right answer is under the banner of the Lord’s leadership. We have political perspectives that align, but they do not always align perfectly. We have philosophies of life that align, but they do not always align perfectly. When we address another who is totally different from me, then what? Can we still be unified? Yes, but only under the banner of the Lord’s authority. The Lord molds us into a thinking people that aligns with Him, and not our heritage or perspective. In this approach to keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace we gain the Lord, and the Lord gains all those who love and obey Him. With love, devotion, and conviction, we live as Paul exhorted us to live, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me…” (cf. Gal. 2:20). With this new approach to life, we operate from the source of love, as revealed in that which God did for us; we seek to show this love to others, regardless of their point of reference and circumstances (cf. Matthew 7:12; 22:34- 40). We are kind, gentle, teach the truth, forbearing to those we believe have done us wrong, allow not yesterday to get in front of today. In short, we live as Christ. How much effort are you putting in to keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace?

  • Ron Thomas, Sunrush church of Christ, Chillicothe, OH
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There is still time until next Sunday, December 25th, to help with our special collection for World Christian Broadcast, which will be sent off on Tuesday, December 27th. Our generosity will help to reach many lost souls in this world! Thank you!

Henry Kattner has a new phone number.
Check with the church office for information.
Please change this information in your directory.

We are informed that 280 pieces of World Bible School material were shipped to Nigerian students.


“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


Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

Several years ago, we joined supporting Sunset International Bible Institute in their major multi-continent effort to distribute hand-held solar-powered audio players to reach the world with the Gospel. What follows is a brief report of the results of using the Solar Players to spread the Gospel in Nigeria and Brazil. Pray for others to learn the Gospel. For the elders, Ken D.

New Nigerian Church Planted With 33 Conversions from a Solar Player.

Brother Sunday Nelson Akpan is a graduate of CAO. Essen Bible College, a Sunset Partner School. When he graduated about 18 months ago, he received a Sunset solar player. He moved to the area where a new congregation was needed and began inviting people to his home to listen to the teaching on the solar player. The first lesson on the Solar Player is how to become a New Testament Christian. The next lessons are from World Bible School. People began to respond to the gospel message and request baptism. So far, he has baptized 33 people and now has a growing congregation meeting in his home. They continue to use the Sunset curriculum on the Solar Player to teach the new Christians how to make disciples and how to obey everything Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19). He is asking for more Solar Players to be used by these new Christians in other homes, towns and villages where the Gospel is still needed.

Brazilian Evangelist Requests More Portuguese Solar Players.

Idalisio Pereira Santos from Salvador, Brazil was given a Solar Player earlier this year by the Solar Mission team that distributed hundreds of solar players in the Amazon region of Brazil. He began using his solar player effectively in his mission work in the interior of the state of Baja, Brazil. He reports that there are many people who cannot read or write in rural villages where he is working. Additionally, many of them live in isolated areas where there is no electricity. He has reported how Solar Players help in his mission.

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“What are you getting for Christmas?” “What do you want for Christmas?” How many times have you heard these questions lately? Christmas shopping is in full swing. For the next two weeks many gifts will be given and received. Which do you enjoy the most – giving or receiving? Unfortunately, for many people, the truthful answer to that question conflicts with the answer they know they should give. Honestly, receiving gifts, especially the one(s) we’ve always wanted, brings a lot of pleasure and happiness. But there’s no honor in receiving gifts (however, there can be dishonor in the way we act when we don’t get the gifts we’d hoped for). Several years ago, Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president, said, “No person has ever been honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” Can you think of an award or honor given to someone that received the greatest or most gifts? There may be, but nothing comes to my mind. On the other hand, there are numerous honors and rewards for those who excel at giving to an individual. Oscars and Emmys are given to the person who contributed the most to the music and entertainment industry. Athletics have their Most Valuable Player awards. Universities, governments, and even zoos have buildings named after major contributors. This probably doesn’t surprise you at all.

No doubt you have heard many times the statement of Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The best-known verse in the Bible honors God for what He gave, not for what He received (John 3:16). What does surprise many people is that when God honors giving, it has nothing to do with the amount of the gift. Generation after generation honors the poor widow who, even though it wasn’t much, gave all she had (Luke 21:2). The Macedonians are also esteemed for their giving, even though poverty stricken themselves (2 Cor. 8:1-5).

In contrast, very little is said about those receiving the gifts. What do you know about the poor saints in Jerusalem other than they were famine stricken and very poor? About the only thing we know about how to receive gifts is to do so with gratitude and in a way that glorifies God. Perhaps we need to work a little harder at becoming a generous giver and spend less time hoping and dreaming about all the things we might receive. That’s hard to do, especially at this time of the year, but by doing so, we will become a little bit more like the God we love and serve. Givers truly are more blessed than receivers.

  • Joe Chesser, Fruitland Church of Christ, Jackson, MO
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Erica Mae Quick, the granddaughter of former members, Georgia & Charlie Jones, and only child of daughter Patricia Quick, passed away on November 27th. Our sympathy, prayers and love go out to the family. We pray that God will be their comfort in this time of grief.


Teri and I would like to thank the congregation for the wonderful card filled with holiday cheer that was presented to us at the Holiday Fellowship meal. It is a joy to serve in this thoughtful, spiritual family!

Joe & Teri Winnett

Our Holiday Fellowship meal is always a special time of the year. We enjoy each other in a very special way, the food is delicious, and the congregation shows in a special way its love and appreciation for others. The contents of the “special envelope” was very much appreciated by us, Helga & Bill Blackstone!

We thank you!

Thank you, Leana Futrell, for the delicious cookies for everyone that we found last Sunday on the table in the back of the auditorium!  Also, thanks to all who served and made our fellowship enjoyable: the cooks, hosts & hostesses, Santa and his elves and all who had prepared in the background and all who participated. It made for a successful time together!

“We are deeply grateful for all the love and support that was shown during our time of loss. We are thankful for the prayers that we have received. We take comfort in knowing that Dad is with our Lord.”

The Family of Billy Hazlewood


From Sunday, December 11th (today) through Sunday, December 25th, we will be

taking up a special collection for World Christian Broadcast to be sent off on Tuesday, December 27th. Our generosity will help to reach many lost souls in this world! Thank you!


Henry Kattner has a new phone number and it can be obtained by calling the church office.

Please change this information in your directory.


“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


Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com


Last Sunday we were blessed to be updated on the work of World Christian Broadcasting by Andy Baker. He left us a list of prayer requests they asking if we would each pray over this list of things that can be accomplished in 2023 as the Lord blesses this work. Would you pray and share this with others and ask for their prayers also in support? For the elders, Ken D

We want to begin programming in the Korean language into North Korea. Sang Yang, who lives in South Korea, and his team are putting together programs right now to begin Korean broadcasts in early 2023. Using the Internet or mobile devices to learn about Jesus can be extremely dangerous to many Korean people, but shortwave broadcasts cannot be monitored by the government. We have had our first-year expenses raised and now need to raise supports for year two.

Our Portuguese broadcasts enters year five. We want to raise this year’s support up front. – We need to make some routine maintenance repairs to the 40-year-old antennas in Alaska and our antennas in Madagascar.

We have a very small staff writing and recording 49 fresh hours of programming every week. We need to add “stringers” for each of our language services to write programs and do additional study and research to help our seven language senior producers. Funds are needed to offset the doubling of our diesel fuel prices in Madagascar.  – Our electric costs in Alaska are $750 per day and are diesel fuel costs in Madagascar is now $1000 per day.  Our goal is to raise $2 million over the last two months of 2022. Would you prayerfully think about helping us?

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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 al 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 which 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 kingdom 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 — Bulletin Digest

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 We welcome Andy Baker as our guest speaker. He will give a report about the work of “World Christian Broadcasting” during Bible class and he will also preach. We are

looking forward to what he will share with us.

 Immediately after our worship, we will meet in the Fellowship Room to enjoy our Holiday Fellowship Meal. Are you a visitor? You are cordially invited to share this meal with us as special guest.


Patti Loffler, the sister of Judy Womack, passed away peacefully on Sunday noon, November 27th, after a lengthy illness. A memorial service will take place at a later date in Alvin, TX.  Our sympathy, prayers and love go out to Judy, Barry, her mother and all in the family. May God be a comfort to all.


“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


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Our brother Richard Emperado continues to travel in the Philippines to many of the congregations that he has worked with prior to the pandemic. Richard, like us, does well to encourage our fellow Christians. Below are two brief notes from Becky Emperado. Continue to pray for the encouragement of all our Brethren to be encouraged. For the elders, Ken D

Please pray for Richard & Danny today. They are traveling today to Jordan, Guimaras to visit & worship with the young church there tomorrow. This is Richard’s first trip back there since before Covid. He is hoping they have no troubles. Covid restrictions are different on the Negros Occidental side of the island, where they have to cross from Bacolod to Guimaras.

Photo by Richard Emperado

Howdy! Just got to talk to Richard Emperado. They made it ok to Jordan, Guimaras this afternoon. They had no trouble crossing, they were not even asked to show their vaccine cards. He sent a few pictures for the folks at Austin Avenue, who helped plant this church back in summer of 2018. This is Richard’s first trip back in three years due to Covid. He said he was amazed by how many new buildings there are. He is staying at the old Stargazer Inn, where the group stayed, and the owner has added so much. He was able to meet with Jonah Nierves, the evangelist we have working there, when he arrived. He will preach tomorrow morning at the small church.

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At home, we recently took on the task of cleaning out our attic! Yes, I can hear you groaning as you think about how much fun we had. Well, it wasn’t all bad. In fact, when we take time to declutter any segment of our lives, we actually feel somewhat liberated because we have created more space and discarded things that haven’t been needed for a long time. As my wise wife reminds me from time to time when embarking on a challenging project, “The dread is worse than the do!” She is correct once again! On this side of it, I’m thankful we did some work in the attic.

In doing so, I reconnected with some old pictures and reopened some chapters in my life. I now have a “new collection of old pictures” I had forgotten about. I am reminded of my youthful grandparents, my healthy and loving father who’s strength and smile were visible as he hugged me tight, what it was like to have little kids in the house, and I revisited the harshness of life by looking into the eyes of those who would later face grief, loss, and tragedy in their life. I am a little older and more mature compared to the last time I looked at these pictures. It is not news to you, but life is short, challenging, and can be flat out difficult.

We need Christ in our life and we need each other! When I walk through memory lane, relationships are highlighted, and I see how much we need our friends, family, and neighbors. Now that I am older, I realize that our names on letter heads, buildings, the desire to amass great wealth, and time spent stockpiling “stuff” is simply vain. Time spent on the relationships we have and how we treat, talk, and interact with each other should be paramount.

In his commentary on “Considering One Another,” Aubrey Johnson directs us to these verses:

“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).

“…bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” (Colossians 3:13).

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

God has much to say about our relationship with His Son and those we come in contact with. Looking through old pictures directed me to be more considerate of everyone I meet. May we act now to strengthen relationships, fix our faults, and seek contentment in Christ as we consider one another.

Allen Jones, South Green Street church of Christ, Glasgow, KY

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Today, SUNDAY, November 27th is the last opportunity for us to join with others in contributing to the work of the EASTERN EUROPEAN MISSIONS.   Thank you for your generosity!


 Our Holiday Fellowship Meal takes place on Sunday, December 4th, after our worship assembly.

 Again, we will collect stuffed animals and dolls (with no loose parts, please!) to be sent to the Care-A-Van to help and comfort young children who areexperiencing difficult times in a hospital setting.Bring them to the fellowship room. Deadline for this collection is November 30th!

 Every year we send cookies to Cherokee Home for Children for their Holiday Party. Store bought cookies are preferred by the children. The ladies class will pack the cookies up on November 30th! Bring them to the fellowship room.

 The special contribution to recognize our employees/staff is given during the December fellowship were the congregation’s staff will be recognized with a Holiday Gift on  December 6th. Contributions can be given to Norma Bryan or Cary Miller. Thank you!


“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


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In recent contact with Gospel Chariot Missions, whom we have supported for many years, we are learning about developments that will affect spreading the gospel in Latin America. Keep this work in your prayers as we learn about and seek ways to help. For the elders, Ken D


The Spanish world in Latin America, and even in America, are getting better equipped and are excited about the discipleship training program. That said, why don’t we all join in this revival and see if we can build more chariots for the Americas, that will ultimately benefit our children and those coming after us. All this can be done without us at Gospel Chariot Missions taking away from Africa and the rest of the world. Please pray for the new Latin American Gospel Chariot that has now been sign written and just needs the bottom wrap-around to be built and the inside to be completed. We are on track and should have it completed in a couple months. We do have the funds to complete the building of the chariot, but still need $80,000.00 for the 2023 travel budget. Exciting times ahead.

Thank You, Lord, and thank you all involved.

In Him, Brother George Funk and the

Gospel Chariot Missions / Gospel Share Missions

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