The zeal with which people will pursue the toy that their kid wants most for Christmas is astounding. Every year seems to have a new fad—a new massively hard-to-purchase toy. A few years ago it was “Shopkins” (tiny collectable rubber toys). When stores sold out parents flocked to eBay and spent thousands of dollars to get them. Normal retail price? Four dollars! Anyone who went to a store on Black Friday may very well have experienced the same kind of passion. And for what? I suspect in most cases those little Shopkins dolls got eaten by the dog or ended up in the trash.
What is interesting to me is trying to figure out where this fiery passion really comes from. My guess is that something in people’s lives feels empty and the goal becomes to fill that void with stuff. People are thirsty and hungry without really knowing what they are hungry for. Nothing satisfies for long, even if it was four digits on eBay. I would encourage people to take to heart these words from Isaiah: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live” (Isaiah 55:1-3).
You might not be able to afford this year’s latest fad. But guess what? You don’t need it. What you really need you can get by the grace of God. Can you imagine the line if Walmart started handing out free Nintendo game systems? It would be crazy! God is giving out something much better than that. Why spend all your efforts on bread that isn’t really bread? Why spend your money on a drink that won’t quench your thirst? Come to God and He will give you what is good. He will give you the richest of fare, food that will make your soul thrive. And God won’t charge you a dime.
Doug Wells Camden Avenue church of Christ, Parkersburg, WV
WEDNESDAY PM BIBLE CLASS Videos all through December, except December 23rd, the Wednesday before Christmas
ITEMS FROM THE CLOTHES CLOSET . . . There are some miscellaneous items from the Clothing Room available in the Fellowship Room. There are vases, knick-knacks, etc. available to anyone who can use them. Please, help yourself. What is not picked up will be donated to some other organization very soon.
WORLD BIBLE SCHOOL MAIL Henry Kattner lets us know that 855 pieces of WBS mail for Nigeria were processed and shipped to Sylvester Imogoh last week.
EEM SPECIAL COLLECTION Today, December 13th, we will be taking up our yearly special contribution for the Eastern European Mission. Please indicate on your check that this is for EEM. Cash should be given to one of the elders. Thank you for your kind generosity!
WORK ON PARKING LOT FINISHED Monday morning, the parking lot showed off the new black of the resurfacing and the white striping glowing brightly in the sun. We all appreciate this “re-do”!
Change is stressful. Our country is torn apart and the world seems turned upside down. The Bible is balm for our hearts in these troubled times. One book in particular shows us how to think as we adjust. It is the book of Ecclesiastes. Here are some verses that will give us peace of mind.
No matter what happens, it has happened before. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9).
Situations come and go. Whether good or bad, our days go through cycles. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace” (Ecc. 3:1-8).
Since we will have good days and bad days, we should enjoy the good days and ponder the bad times. “When times are good, be happy, but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore man cannot discover anything about his future” (Ecc. 7:14).
Our lives are in the hands of God. “So I reflected on all this and concluded that the righteous and the wise and what they do are in God’s hands, but no man knows whether love or hate awaits him.” (Ecc. 9:1).
Things can change quickly and drastically. “There is an evil I have seen under the sun, the sort of error that arises from a ruler: fools are put in many high positions, while the rich occupy the low ones. I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves” (Ecc. 10:5-7).
In a world of change, our main goal should stay the same. “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecc. 12:13-14).
GOING AWAY GIFT Our dear sister Charlotte Hastings will be leaving our midst on Friday, December 18th, making a move to the Arlington area. As is our custom, we like to send off our friends with a heartfelt gift, such as a $$ Tree. Please give your money to Paula Welch, before the above mentioned date, so she will be able to construct our Gift of Love in time. Thanks to all who are participating!
MIDWEEK PM BIBLE STUDY Wednesday Bible Classes Videos all through December, except December 23rd, two days before Christmas.
PARKING LOT WORK Parking Lot repair and resurfacing began on Monday of last week. It will be completed in sections, so pay close attention to barriers and cones. Weather permitting, the resurfacing should complete this week.
WHAT’S HAPPENING Parking lot repair in progress Today, December 6th . . . . . . Kirk Eason from South Africa Bible College will give us a report about this work during worship December 13th . . .a special collection will be taken up for Eastern European Mission, EEM
GOSPEL CHARIOTS MISSIONS NOTE
As we recently considered our budget items in the mission work week the congregation partners in, we wanted to continue working with the Gospel Chariot Missions in their work in Africa and other places. We are thankful for their good work. Here is a recent note from George Funk concerning the work. Continue praying for this great effort. For the elder, Ken D.
Hi everyone, Just a short note to say HAPPY THANKSGIVING and thank you, thank you for working with us. Please continue, as we need you more than ever as we not only reach out with gospel chariots, but multiply disciples and churches everywhere through our 4 fields discipleship training. It is simple, biblical and reproducible and helping so many equip many others. 2020 has been the worst year for any and we sympathize and understand. Although all our 15 gospel chariots have been parked, we have had the best year of our missionary lives, because of the way we had to learn how to use technology to train and reach out and in the process start small multiplying home churches. We will not baptize 3,000 souls this year, but have equipped over 1,000 leaders on how to multiply disciples and churches everywhere. It is spreading like wildfire and we believe that the vision we have of getting to 30.000 souls a year, is just around the corner as we go from addition to multiplication by mobilizing our brethren throughout the world. We give God the glory and you the appreciation. I personally want to say Happy Thanksgiving and let you know that at 65 years old, I am the most excited and thankful missionary you will ever know. God is up to something very, very big and I want to thank you all on this Thanksgiving for making this happen. Please thank God on our behalf as we thank God for you. PLEASE CONTINUE SUPPORTING US AND IF ANYONE CAN HELP WITH A YEAR-END ONE-TIME, WE WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE IT, AS WE TAKE THIS MINISTRY INTO OTHER CONTINENTS; THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. In Him Love, George Funk
My daddy was a man of many talents. He thawed frozen water pipes under the house during the winter, repaired bicycles, house fans, was a great cook and even overhauled a car engine in our drive-way. When I was old enough, my job was to always hold the flashlight, carry the toolbox, or just talk to him while he was working on something. I wished I would have spent more time listening and being patient while he talked. One of the last projects we did together was putting up a little clothesline in our backyard a few months before he passed away. In typical fashion, he constructed everything correctly from pouring the cement in the right spot, to making sure the measurements were accurate. The lines were just the right height for him and momma.
Way before I knew any Scripture or understood the love of Jesus Christ, I realized the importance of “considering” others by my dad’s example. Paul teaches the importance “furthering the conversation” with others so we can share Jesus with the world. We know this can be challenging as we live in a divisive world. We know the world needs the love of Jesus and we have an opportunity to show the need to submit our lives to the One who first loved us. These opportunities begin with seeking to help others and looking for ways to “be there” for others.
Philippians 2:1-4 says, “Therefore if there is consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any relationship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
My dad has been gone for 30 years, that old clothesline is still standing, and I am thankful I submitted my life to Christ. Someone loved me and told me about Jesus. May we consider others so they will seek Christ! – Allen Jones South Green Street church of Christ Glasgow, KY
December 1st. . . . Elders Meeting, Budget review
December 6th . . . . Kirk Eason from South Africa Bible College will be speaking during worship
December 13th . . . a special collection will be taken up for Eastern European Mission (EEM)
Our dear sister Charlotte Hastings will be leaving our midst in mid to late December, making a move to the Arlington area. As is our custom, we like to send off our friends with a heartfelt gift, such as a $$ Tree. Please give your money to Paula Welch, who will construct our Gift of Love.
WEDNESDAY PM BIBLE CLASSES
Videos all through December except December 23rd, two days before Christmas
PARKING LOT WORK
As noted by a number of our members, the condition of our building’s parking lot has deteriorated in recent months. The condition is scheduled to be corrected and improved over the next couple of weeks by AllStar Paving, who will be cleaning, patching, filling cracks, applying sealant and restriping. They will take our times of services into consideration as they perform their work. If you come to the building during this time frame, please give consideration to the barriers and cautionary tapes and signs.
COVID-19 TESTING QUARANTINE
If you have been tested for Covid-19 it is recommended that you remain in quarantine until you get results.
If you are positive, you will need to remain in isolation for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. if you have no symptoms, the ten days are measured from the time of the test. You will need to be symptom free and fever free (without the aid of Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.) at least 24 hours before coming out of isolation.
Covid-19 patients are infectious for 48 hours BEFORE their onset of symptoms. All significant contacts of Covid-19 positive individuals, from the 48 hour period before symptoms began, should also quarantine. These individuals will need to quarantine for 14 days from their last contact with you. Testing on their part will not shorten their length of their quarantine.
A negative test at day 7 of quarantine, for instance, does NOT mean you can release early, as the virus may not exhibit symptoms or cause a positive test for 14 days. Therefore it is not necessary to get tested from a standpoint of quarantine, as it will not allow you to be released early. We do not recommend testing of some individuals in quarantine to assess the spread of the virus from an organization standpoint. (For instance, to assess the spread of Covid-19 in schools, nursing homes, jails, and assisted living facilities, as well as certain businesses).
Finally, a word on testing before returning to work. Some individuals remain positive for pieces of the virus for several months after they recover. These individuals are no longer infectious, they simply remain positive on the test. Repeat testing, therefore, is not recommended, as it can lengthen the isolation period unnecessarily. – Jack Franklin, MD, Hill Country Direct Care, Local Health Authority, Llano, TX
SOUTH AFRICA BIBLE COLLEGE
Next Sunday, we will be blessed to have Kirk Eason, the US representative of the South Africa Bible College, who will be here to report on this work which we help support. In that work, we support Nhlanhla Pascal Dlomo in his studies at SABC. Here is Pascal’s latest report. Keep him and all of SABC in your thoughts and prayers. For the elders, Ken D
I would like to pass my greetings in the name of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I write this letter having heard of how things are going there in USA and I shall keep on praying for things to get better, for we are in this together. I would not lie even on our side, here in the country things are not good as well and we are now seeing the increase in new infection rate and that is really alarming.
Brethren writing to you is never an issue or burdensome and I do it out of my free will; for it is nothing compared to the support you give to this institution. It is to my knowledge that the good work taking place here at the Collage is greatly supported by your generous giving which I personally really appreciate. Thus I have not ceased to ask our faithful Lord to keep on blessing you. I believe that we can all agree that this year has been hard on many of us if not all of us and the presence of this virus has disturbed many things. I for one have experienced some disturbance in a number of ways which includes my studies to the point that I even had thought of dropping them to pick them up again next year if possible. It was not easy studying at home for that alone comes with its own distractions, but what made my experience of studying at home unpleasant was the sometime unreliable network connection which at times would not be able to sustain the way we went about to achieve the online learning. Thus I wish and pray that things will not be bad here in the country that we will have to study online again.
With that being said, I am thankful to God for carrying me and the rest of the students through those hard time. We are now back on the campus and a good job has been done as far as the protective measures against this virus are concerned. Now one must try to focus on the final exams to be written in a few weeks time. Then for the upcoming holydays at home I am planning to go around sharing the gospel. I can hope that I will not pick up this disease (Covid-19). It is evidential that this virus kills but still I will go and preach being moved by the fact that sin kills too.
Brethren I know things are tough but be strong and courageous. Hang in there for this too shall pass. In God we trust and do not get weary in doing good to all for your good works for the Lord are not in vain and keeping in mind that we are created in Christ for good works. May God bless you in the name of Jesus.
ls it “Turkey Day” or “Thanksgiving?” This question came to me a few days ago as I read an ad in the newspaper regarding the upcoming holiday. But I wonder if the renaming of Thanksgiving is not filled with cultural overtones.
Church attendance has been in decline for many years and the culture in which we live has seen a shift away from Christ. It is no wonder, then, that “Christ” would be removed from a day of honor in our society. “Merry Christmas” has been renamed to “Happy Holidays.”
“Turkey Day” may indicate a further drift away from God. Traditionally Thanksgiving has been observed as a day in which the nation stops to thank God for all the blessings we Americans enjoy. Have we gotten so far from God that we fail to honor Him with thanksgiving?
Now let it be understood that the fourth Thursday in November is not a “holy day,” nor is it a day commanded in the Bible. It is a holiday set up by our leaders of the past to thank God for His blessings on the people of our great country. But modern day leaders have led us away from God as a national policy. Sadly we are fast becoming like the heathen nations described in Romans 1:28 who “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” and even though they knew God does exist they “did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful” (21).
The parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:16-21) is about a man who took all the credit for all of his wealth and was unthankful to God who made it all possible. “Turkey Day” smells of the same rotten spirit.
May we make every day a day of thanksgiving to the God of all creation and to Jesus Christ our Lord, for every blessing we enjoy comes from the Father and the Son. – Alton Norman Owingsville church of Christ Owingsville, KY
WEDNESDAY PM CLASSES Wednesday, November 25 All Classes dismissed – Day before Thanksgiving
THANK YOU NOTE Dear Church Family, We thank you so very much for your prayers, cards, calls and good thoughts during the time of James knee surgery and recuperation. He is doing very well and the doctor is pleased with the outcome of the surgery. We appreciate you all! In Christian love, James & Vicky Williams
NIGERIA EVANGELISM UPDATE
BEAUTIFUL FOOTNOTES Please pray for our fellow workers in Nigeria as they share the gospel of Christ. For the elders, Ken D
Sunday November 15 – Our worship today at Ugbogbo has been another spiritually uplifting one. In place of Sunday School, brother Daniel Amaize taught the rudiments of singing. But many of the unlearned did not benefit. So we plan next time to divide the church into groups. The church hall can no longer hold our Sunday morning attendance.
Especially in this period of dry season with unbearable heat, some people spill over to the front porch and the sides of the building. We are desperately looking for means to expand the building between now and this time next year. We are planning it in such a way that we can continue to use the hall while the walls for the expansion are going up. We are praying for God to send help.
After worship, we went to the river to baptize 5 ladies. The number of women in the church continue to grow above the men. Also after worship some groups went to visit several people who are sick and could not come to church. So many people have been sick at this time.
We are praying for God’s mercy and healing. And we are praying for America as well in this period of post election challenges. Amen! Sylvester Imogoh
First and Second Chronicles offers us several great reminders about what a wonderful blessing worship should be to our lives. Especially right now when our routines have been disrupted, we need to make sure we are participating with heart, soul, mind, and strength.
When the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem, David declared a day of thanksgiving (1 Chron. 16:7) and began expressing his gratitude to God for all the different ways that the Lord had blessed His people (1 Chron. 16:18-38). And then Scripture says that David went home to bless his household/family (1 Chron. 16:43).
The time spent together in praise of God should be transforming. Our joy and praise and lifting up of God’s holy name should translate into renewed spirits that seek to be blessings to others! Our worship of the Lord together should lead to us being more like the Lord at home!
David gave thanks to God and praised Him along with all the people, then he took those things home to his family. May we all do the same! Whether we gather at the building or utilize technology, let us turn the blessings of worship into blessings for our homes.
Bart Warren South Green Street church of Christ Glasgow, KY
“My sister, Phillis Prouty, lost her long battle with cancer at 5 PM on Wednesday evening. Thank you all for your prayers. The family, as well as Bill and I, appreciate them very much.” – Mary K. Flanary
We are expressing our love and sympathy, combined with our prayers, to Mary K. & Bill, and all the other members of the family of Phillis. May God bless everyone in this time of grief.
PANTRY & CLOTHING ROOM UPDATE
As many of you know, we had a very successful pantry and clothing room ministry prior to the Covid-19 epidemic. People were being helped and our members truly enjoyed the fellowship of working together to serve others. But about 8 months ago our world abruptly changed and we had to embrace new realities like masks and social distancing. We simply could not continue our pantry effort in the same way and still keep clients and workers safe.
Ever since the shutdown of the pantry work, many of us have been grieving over what we lost. It is only natural that we seek some way to restore the good work that has been lost, and for that reason many have been discussing what can be done. The elders believe many questions can be answered by sharing an information update with the brethren about the pantry’s future.
First, we must sadly announce that the Zollers have resigned from directing the pantry work. We are all deeply indebted to David and Sheri for the long hours they devoted to making the pantry work, but they have decided that it is time for them to step aside and have some family time again. New leadership for the pantry has been challenging to find, since it is nearly a full-time job. Someone must constantly inventory food supplies, determine what food is needed & what can be ordered, arrange for food pickups, file necessary paperwork, keep records, check records, check & record temperatures on the refrigeration units every other day…and all of this must be done 52 weeks a year without fail.
Secondly, many of our reliable workers are still isolating because of the pandemic and without people to sack groceries, check in clients and deliver the food all while socially distanced & masked, we simply cannot proceed.
Until these problems can be solved, it is our intention to operate as an “emergency” pantry. People seeking food will not be turned away, but they will be helped one at a time as the need arises. Please pray for God’s help and wisdom as we move forward. Our hope is that we can restore some version of our pantry work in the future as these problems are resolved.
CAMBODIA REPORT FROM
The following is from the Welches in Cambodia. Please continue to pray for them and the opportunities to spread the Gospel there. For the elders, Ken D
Dearest family, In the everyday busyness of day-to-day life activities (and for us, all that goes along with developing a property and building a house in a foreign land) we remain eternally grateful for the great and mighty promises of our Lord. Furthermore, we are grateful for your encouragements, love and prayers. As we prepare for what’s ahead and moving into our new home we are super excited to see what’s next, how God will use us for future ministry opportunities and outreach. Over the years you have heard us sing praises to the Lord for blessing us with our three beautiful Cambodian daughters. This is one of the blessings we could have never anticipated. The Lord has used them in so many ways and we continue to enjoy watching them grow in their spiritual walk with Jesus. Oh how we love family!!!
The Cambodian culture has taught us so much about community and we are thankful for the blessings, opportunities and relationships we continue to make. Speaking of family, our three girls have been sharing and ministering to their brother, Vichei and sister, Sreymom (2 additional biological siblings who are married with children) on how God has been working in their lives—simply stated, just telling their story and His story. Oh how the love of Jesus has given our girls hope and peace! We have been praying for these family members and faithfully waiting for additional ways to minister to them with the love of 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