WEEKLY NEWS, JULY 5, 2020

THANK YOU NOTE
“Bill & Helga want to express their gratitude to all who so kindly brought delicious food, sent cards, called on the phone and prayed for a good outcome of Bill’s knee surgery. His recovery is going well. We appreciate our church family! With Christian love, Bill & Helga Blackstone

Wedding Anniversaries Are very important!

So, when four of those anniversaries were inadvertently left out on the recent calendars, there must be an apology! Sorry for this mishap!
♥ Cary & Brenda Miller had an anniversary on July 2nd.
♥ Ken & Shirley Parker celebrated on the same day, and also on the same day was
♥ Chuck & Donna Wolfington’s special day.
♥ Ken & Thelma Thuleen were married on July 3rd for 68 years!
Congratulations to all; hope all had an enjoyable and blessed day!

BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

Nigeria Report – Mike Udam

Please keep our hard working brethren in Nigeria in your prayer. This report is from brother Mike Udam. For the elders, Ken D

Dear Elders,
WORK AMIDST COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
I am delighted to share with you the little the Lord used me to do in his vineyard in this second quarter of April/May June 2020.
It is no longer news that the world is currently being ravaged by the novel corona virus Covid-19. I am thankful that he has protected us from the pandemic and kept us safe even as we practice the WHO protocol.
I thank you for your support that has really helped me survive this pandemic as we were literally shut down in the entire country.
I also want to thank you for the special Covid-19 relief package you sent to cushion the effect of the lockdown on brethren around here. We are indeed grateful.
During this period, we were blessed with 5 baptisms amongst which were two pastors of denominational churches.
A new congregation was started for the pastors with some of our brethren around there joining in fellowship. I teach Bible study there every Friday. The baby church has a membership strength of 35 with adults over 25 on Sunday worship service.
We are trusting God that Covid-19 will recede, and we will resume our aggressive evangelism. We were able to construct a baptistery in my congregation to ease the process of baptism especially that we have a functional borehole in the church premises.
For the next quarter, Lord willing, there are two Leadership seminars that I shall be conducting in Benue and Taraba state in North central Nigeria.
Beginning from July 4th, my team Africa Evangelism Mission shall start Virtual Lectureship streaming live across the continent of Africa via Nzuko/Zoom applications. The brethren in Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are our principal target. Topics have been assigned to us all. This is our response to the emergence of Covid-19. We are adjusting to the New normal. Trial sessions are ongoing. Keep us in your prayers.
I am equally starting 20 minutes Bible classes live on my Facebook page Mike Udam from the 1st of July 2020.
One thing I have leant from this pandemic to always put the phrase LORD WILLING in all my plans.
My family is doing well and to the glory of God, I shall be 7 years at Ukpagada on the 5th of July 2020. Keep me and my family in your prayers.
My members are farmers, if you have a small support for them to buy fertilizers and herbicide for their farms, it will be well appreciated. God bless you.

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Humility

God has always told His people to be humble. It has always been necessary that God’s people be humble, otherwise, He would not listen to their cries (2 Chronicles 7:14; 34:27). But when Christ came to the earth, what did He find? He found people boasting and bragging that they were God’s elect. We must be careful not to do that. Rather, we should follow that perfect example given to us, which is Christ.

What was the mindset of Christ? It was that of a servant…”Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on the cross (Philippians 2:5-8). Christ is the perfect example of humility.

When Christ’s disciples argued about who would be the greatest in the kingdom (as though it were an earthly kingdom!), Christ taught them a powerful lesson in just a few words. “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). At another time, He taught them again, saying, “…and whoever wants to be first must be your servant — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:27-28). Christ taught us that, if we desire to be great in the kingdom of God, we must humble ourselves. And since He is the King of the kingdom, it was only right that He take the lowest, most humble position on earth.

Humility is a rarity. But of all the people in the world, we — Christians — should be the most humble. That means that we have to serve others. The great example of service is Christ. Remember when Christ washed the feet of His disciples? Now this was the great King! How often do we hear of kings, presidents, or world leaders humbly serving their people? The same great humility and servant-hood that was shown by Christ should be abundant in our lives as well. – Sean Carratt

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WEEKLY NEWS, JUNE 28, 2020

Helping Hands Pantry Needs
Closed due to Covid-19

Helpful Service
Andrew & Jennifer Cotton are frequent visitors in our worship assembly; both are nurses. Andrew works for one of the Healthcare Providers in this area. Not very busy at this time, he would like very much to help those in the community in a positive way: when people have health concerns, he, as a nurse, can take vital signs, make assessments, evaluate and make recommendations as to what steps need to be taken. He would also be available to run errands, like picking up groceries etc. His services, of course, would be free. Andrew’s phone number is available from the church office.

Beautiful Footnotes

Inspiration from Zambia – Madison Stone

This week we wanted to share some thoughts from Troy & Leana Futrell’s granddaughter Madison whom we help support in the East African nation of Zambia working in a medical team effort. She reminds us of the need to be active in being a light for others in difficult times. Keep Madison and this effort in your thoughts and prayers. For the elders, Ken D

BE A LIGHT
In our first few months into living in Zambia, we got pretty used to the power outages that would occur most nights. We learned how to hang out, eat, play games, and watch a movie all in the dark. We got used to the power being out for several hours a day, but one time, we were without power for 50 hours straight. There were no streetlights, so it would be pitch black when the power would go out. Our lights didn’t work, we could not charge our electronics, and there was no refrigeration. We couldn’t fix all of those “problems” immediately but we could fix the darkness. We didn’t have to sit in the pitch black for long. Once we would light a candle or a gas lamp, it would light up the room. Unfortunately, many people in this world live in a greater darkness that can’t be fixed by candles and gas lamps. It is our job as Christians to share the true Light of the World with the people around us.

People don’t usually enjoy being in the dark. The dark can be scary, It can be hard and exhausting. The dark may also cause fear. But those 50 hours that the power was out gave me something new that I had not realized before. It gave me time. Time to reflect on things that I am thankful for, that I often take for granted. I decided to use that time to make an ongoing list of what I was thankful for: a roof over my head to protect me from the rain, food, gas stoves, transportation, puppies, family, friends to sit in the darkness with, board games, books, and my list continued to grow the longer we didn’t have power. It was not easy. In fact, it was really hard. But, choosing to sit in the darkness and let it consume my thoughts and feelings would have made the situation so much worse. Sometimes it might feel like the world is really dark, but there is always something to be thankful for.

Matthew 5:14-16 says; “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I am thankful that the light offered by Jesus is for everyone. When the darkness seems so prevalent, I think it’s important to remember that we still have things to be thankful for. We can’t always fix someone’s problem or take it away, but we can be there with them through the darkness. We can sit with them and offer a light. We can still rejoice and praise our Lord. We can still pray for people. We can still be a light

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IS RACISM A SIN?

Before answering the question, it is imperative that the terms, racism, and sin be defined. First, the term racism is defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” As important as defining the term, it is also very important to understand what racism is not.

1. It is not a person of one “race” acting justly against a person of another “race.”

2. It is not a person of one “race” disagreeing with a person of another “race.”

3. It is not a person of one “race” correcting the misbehavior of another “race.”

Concerning the term sin: biblically the term “sin” is a transgression of God’s law. Sadly, whether ignorantly or indifferently, some have attempted to justify racism by their misuse of Scripture. However, what Scripture does show, is that racism, in any form, and by any “race,” is sinful because:

1. It goes against the character of God — (Titus 2:11-12; Romans 9:15; Romans 11:22).

2. It goes against the creation by God — (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139:14; Acts 17:22-31).

3. It goes against the cause of Christ — (John 10:10; Luke 19:10; John 3:16; Acts 2:22ff; 1 Tim. 2:4-5; 2 Peter 3:9).

4. It goes against the cross of Christ (Heb. 2:9-10; Rom. 5:8-17).

5. It goes against the commission of Christ (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16).

Not only is racism a sin for the aforementioned reasons, it is a sin because it is often the root of division (1 Cor. 1:10-16 cf. Eph. 2:11-16). Essentially, racism is a sin because it is rooted in hatred.

While racism is a sin, we must understand that equally sinful is unrighteously judging someone of being guilty of racism. Ironically, to promote or practice either one ultimately results in the same consequence (Romans 6:23; Matt. 25:46).

Jamie Beller, Prague church of Christ, Prague, OK

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CHANGING OUR WORLD

A lot has happened over the last two months. A lot has happened over the last two weeks. Certainly, our country is reeling with civil unrest, and calls for justice through the current of our society.

From the time of Cain and Abel, conflict and brokenness have plagued the world. The sins of pride and selfishness are the clothing worn by many who fail to see their own destruction. We see the history of humanity, the cruel leaders of nations long since conquered, and the plight of people held under thumb by those who believe they are somehow better. Deep down, we know this is not the way we “ought” to live.

As Christians, compassion, empathy, humility, love and respect ought to be characteristics on display in our lives. Peter wrote, “… this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” 1 Peter 2:15-17.

As Christians in the midst of times like these, we must remain committed to the call God sends forth to be different, to live different, respond different, speak different, etc.

Changing our world must begin within each individual. We all have a choice to make as to how we will live in today’s world.

Keith Harris, WindSong Notes, North Little Rock, AR

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WEEKLY NEWS, JUNE 21, 2020

Recommended Service Providers List

The new 2020 Recommended Service Providers list is available upon request. Please call Helga at the church office if you would like one. You can leave your name on the answering machine, should nobody be at the office when you call.

Beautiful Footnotes

Philippine Mission Report

Richard Emerado

A new report from our missionaries in the Philippines, the Emperados, is shared here in part to help us understand some of the things they are coping with there during this pandemic. Continue to pray for the Emperados and the church and people of the Philippines. For the elders, Ken D

We would have to find a new purpose in this topsy-turvy world, and it did not take long! The majority of Filipinos live hand to mouth, the money they make working that day, buys their food for the day. People on lockdown, having to stay in their homes, have no way to go to work, have no money to buy foods. The government tried in the beginning to help by giving out some funds, some small amounts of rice, canned goods, & packs of ramen noodles. The average adult male here eats 1 kilo or 2.2 pounds of rice or corn grits a day. Government help did not last very long. Thankfully brethren in the mountains have a little rice or corn grits stored up & grow some vegetables, but they have no access to meat. They need money to buy meat, which they didn’t have. We had pigs we were growing for church plantings, classes, & special events. I was able to talk to the Barangay officials in Dumaguete and get a special minister’s pass to be able to travel to different towns in our province, Negros Oriental, to visit church members, carry pigs to be butchered and distributed free pork meat to our church members, and those in need. New ministry work created…help feeding our hungry church members & others.

In April, we spent a week butchering 9 big pigs in different locations in the mountains where there was great need among church members, and down near our place by the sea in Ayungon. We lost count of all the kilos given away, but nothing was wasted, except the squeal! We helped several 100 families. I was thankful we had extra funds to hire brethren to help butcher & distribute the pork meat, and cover the cost of the pigs, so we can replace them for future needs. It felt so good to be able to go out, visit church members, check up on folks, help feed & encourage people. The brethren, widows, & orphans & others we helped were so happy! We have butchered more pigs in May and helped more brethren as well. Thanks, Richard Emperado

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THINK ABOUT IT

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be earnest and repent”, the Lord is speaking in Rev. 3:19, and, too, in Deut. 5:7 “You shall have no other gods before me” .
Jesus answered the Pharisee lawyer who asked what was the greatest commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, and the second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:37-40.

For thousands of years God has tried to get mankind to be faithful to do His will. God would be merciful and forgiving to us; we would repent and be faithful for a while then turn right back to our old sinful and idolatrous ways of worshiping idols. We, mankind, allowed images carved from wood to take the place of the one true God. Calves molded from gold and silver took the place of God. Chastisements made only a temporary improvement.

God used severe judgments such as allowing the earth to give way under thousands of people, and using pagan nations to take His people into exile.
Human nature hasn’t changed. While our idols today are different from those in past centuries, they are just as dangerous and abhorrent to God.

We replaced (and replace) God with our idols of money, power, possessions, entertainment and other transient things. We have taken God out of the schools and homes. Church attendance has steadily declined for decades. Children are disrespectful to their parents. Drunk drivers are killing people on the highways. Leaders who should set examples for others quarrel like undisciplined children, call each other bad names and say bad about each other. We kill millions of unborn babies. Scammers and con artists are stealing money especially from older people. We may not be getting any more chastisement than we deserve!

We often experience chastisement because God loves us, so a scourge that blankets the world should make us sit up and take notice as to where we will be in 150 years, or so, from today. Jesus said, “He who believes in Me has everlasting life” John 6:57. Think About It!

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WEEKLY NEWS, JUNE 14, 2020

THANK YOU NOTE

“We want to thank these wonderful men…Cary Miller. Kynn Maxwell and Danny Hankins, for their task of building Lynn some parallel therapy bars. You guys are the best!!  And Thanks to Brenda, Jan, and Nancy for their supportive love. God Bless you all.” – Kathy & Lynn Patterson

THANK YOU NOTE

Thanks to everybody for all the good thoughts, prayers, phone calls, cards and other good things after my knee surgery. Everything is very much appreciated.”

In Christian love, Linda Lively

CHANGE OF ADRESS

Our dear brother, Todd Gerald has moved to the Uvalde area so that he can be closer to his daughter.   He has been moved into an Assisted Living facility in Carrizo Springs. He has the same cell phone number.  His new address is available from the church office.

HELPING HANDS PANTRY NEEDS

The Pantry remains closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

ELDERS MEETING

The meeting has been moved Wednesday, June 17th at 9 AM in the Fellowship Room.  Please let the elders know of anything you would like them to discuss or if you would like to meet with them. 

BEWARE OF CENSUS 2020 CON GAMES

The census con artists are like termites! They are already at work. They may contact us by phone or email, or show up at our door. Their goal is to get our private information and persuade us to send money. Hang up the phone, delete the email and shut the door on them

Legitimate census workers do not ask for our social security number, credit card or bank account number. If you suspect fraud, call 800-923-8282 or the police.

BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES

Gospel Chariot Missions in Africa

Home churches in Nigeria

With all the time we have been affected by the Cornona Virus, it has been easy to feel like not much has been going on. It’s thrilling to hear from our brethren with the Gospel Chariot in Africa on all the good God is getting done in small groups. Thank God for all He does and pray for those serving Him. For the elders, Ken D

I’M SO EXCTED ABOUT THE MULTIPLICATION OF SMALL GROUPS

Yesterday, during our midweek training and during our mutual care time of prayer and share, I heard some of the most encouraging stories of new prayer groups and training groups starting up. This is so encouraging to see and that’s our goal for Jesus in Africa and that is to multiply disciples and churches everywhere, but also encourage all over the world. Duncan Ojiambo will be connecting and encouraging a group in the US today and so will John Thikongo and I connect with someone out of the US today. God is up to something and let’s remember that God has prepared people all over the world waiting to be released to make disciples in their place of access or on their relational maps. Please pray for us at Gospel Chariot Missions as we follow God’s lead during this time of lockdown. Thank You Lord and thank you all involved.

George Funk

Home Churches in Nigeria

As we have had to deal with the Coronavirus, so have our brethren in Nigeria. Sylvester Imogoh reports on good things still happening in spite of it. They are only meeting in small worship groups. Continue to pray for them. For the elders, Ken D

MAY 17 – Our House Worship in the different House Churches created from the Ugbogbo Congregation went well yesterday, May 17th . At the end, and as usual we waited at my house for any group that may have someone who was ready for baptism. Only one group came with an old fragile woman. We took her to the river and baptized her. We found out that this old woman is the mother of the physically challenged lady that we had baptized last month. As the church continues to grow in reputation, members continue to bring their relatives to church. The conversion of this woman has made it a total of 19 that has been baptized from our various groups since the church broke into groups in March because of the ongoing pandemic. We are so grateful that God is still granting us this privilege even in these trying times. We are aware that the Food Benevolences is playing a part in this progress. Another thing that happened after worship was that we went to visit a young couple that had their first child. This is the third baby that is born in three different groups since the pandemic started. We are continuing in prayers for God’s intervention and we ask for you to do the same for us. Amen!

Sylvester Imogoh

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WE HOPE TO SEE YOU TOMORROW SUNDAY, JUNE 7TH!

Now meeting weekly for worship on Sunday (10:00 AM).

We are pleased to announce that due to the positive reports from the governor’s office and the revised and relaxed regulations from the public health officials, we will be resuming Sunday morning assembly (at this time there will be no separate Bible classes or Sunday or Wednesday evening services).

If you’re feeling unwell, please do not come! If you are not ready to venture out, please don’t feel compelled to come. We do ask that social distancing standards be respected. Masks are currently required out of our love and care for one another.

For the past twelve weeks, our congregation has met and worshiped in homes under self-isolation and stay-at-home protocols, as required and recommended by federal, state, and local public health orders, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. During this time, we never considered “church to be canceled,” but merely that our building was unavailable to us and some activities were temperarily suspended. Using digital means – such as Facebook, YouTube, emails and texts and more traditional means – such as telephones, cards and letters, we made considerable efforts to keep up good lines of communication, share Christian love, and to encourage our members and neighbors with the words of the Bible and acts of Christian service and charity.

HALLELUJAH! PRAISE THE LORD!

So after several months apart the spiritual family at Highland Lakes is finally able to assemble in person! This is a day many of us were hoping for through all the weeks of separation we just endured. Getting together was something we used to be able to do (without worrying about it), but today should remind us all of the precious privilege we have to assemble as God’s family.

Admittedly, the assembly today will look different from the ones we previously enjoyed. Social distancing will deprive us of the hugs and hearty handshakes we love to give one another. Masks will muffle our singing and keep us from fully seeing the faces of our loved ones in the faith. But let me encourage us all to look beyond these physical realities. Our God is a Spirit….and today our spirits assemble together to worship the Father in spirit and truth!

On behalf of the elders, let me thank each one of you for your faithful support and encouragement of the congregation through these difficult times. We know countless calls have been made by the brethren in order to encourage and strengthen one another. We are overjoyed by the diligent giving so many have engaged in, which has allowed the church to do its work without interruption. We are honored to be servant leaders in a loving spiritual family like this!

“After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God‟” (Revelation 19:1), – Joe

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SOME RESOURCES DURING CORONAVIRUS

CHURCH RESOURCE LINKS

Highland Lakes Church of Christ:

hlcoc.org – the congregation’s website featuring local church news

facebook.com – search for “Highland Lakes Church of Christ”

Church of Christ resources:

apologeticspress.org – archive of great Biblical information

video.wvbs.org – many free online video lessons

gospelgazette.com – archive of many biblical lessons

google.com – search for “Church of Christ streaming” to stream services

sunset.cc – Sunset Church of Christ in Lubbock (many resources)

Medical Information:

Webmd.com

cdc.gov – Centers for Disease Control

cidrap.umn.edu – Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

statnews.com – Boston Globe medical news site

cms.gov – Medicare

dailytrib.com/category/covid-19/ – Highland Lakes virus news

burnetcountytexas.org/page/Covid-19 – Burnet County health

co.llano.tx.us/page/llano.EmergencyManagement – Llano County health

dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/ – Texas health news

NOTE:

If you do not have a computer or internet service you will not be able to use the resources listed above. However, the church library has many excellent books and dvd’s that are available for your use. Please just let us know you want to borrow some material and we can see that you get it.

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