“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4).
We live in a fearful age: Covid-19, quarantines, economic uncertainty, riots, and Chinese communist belligerence. Many are incapacitated with uncertainty and fear.
But Paul declares: “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind!” (2 Timothy 1:7). The word for “fear” here basically means “cowardice.” The Amplified Bible has “craven, cringing, fawning fear.” Paul tells us why we should fear no evil:
Because God Has Given Us Power! The power of God is an awesome thing: It created the world; slew 185,000 warriors of Assyria in a single night; raised Christ from the dead; and one day, it will dissolve this world in fervent heat! What is there to fear linked to power like that?
Because God Has Given Us Love! We are secure in God’s love forever. “For He Himself has said, „l will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”„ (Hebrews 13:5). ”But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).
Because God Has Given Us Sound Thinking! One translation has “a calm and well-balanced mind“ God teaches us to put things in proper perspective…to see clearly and think rationally…to rise above ignorance and superstition (John 8:32). “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea…God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:2,1).
Thank you so very much for your caring, prayers and cards to comfort me in the loss of my beloved Guy. He loved the Lord and all of you so much.
Love, Charlotte and family
All members are encouraged to stay a short while after our Sunday, September 20th worship assembly for the Annual Corporate Meeting. Thank you!
Kay Parker’s grandson, Noel Parker, at age 29, passed away on Saturday, September 12th, after struggling with muscular dystrophy for many years. Kay tells us that God had blessed him with great intelligence and a warm and kind disposition. He will be greatly missed by many, esp. his parents who had been great caretakers. They had also visited our worship assembly.
Our condolences, love and prayers go out to Kay, Noel’s parents, family and to all who knew and loved him.
WEDNESDAY EVENING BIBLE CLASS SCHEDULE
September 23rd — Cary Miller
September 30th — Troy Futrell
October 7th — Kynn Maxwell
October 14th — Joe Winnett
Come and assemble with your brethren on Wednesday night for a spiritual uplift! Speakers will bring devotional messages followed by congregational singing.
Still required: Wearing masks and social distancing!
Adventures in Missions Prayer Requests
One of the privileges we always have is to take our prayers on behalf of others to the Father. 2 Thessalonians 1:11 (ESV): “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power”. Below are some prayer requests from our AIMer, Kaylee Hankins, on behalf of those she is very concerned about. Kaylee and her team will be headed to Witchita Falls very soon to begin working with the church there. Please include her, her team and her requests in your daily prayers. For the elders, Ken D
This isn’t a typical newsletter, just prayer requests. There’s a family that’s serving as missionaries in their hometown, Seattle, WA. A family member of that team was shot in the back. The bullet hit her spine, her airways, and lodged next to her heart. They’ve had procedures done to keep her stable. She has a breathing tube and a feeding tube. The last update I had a couple days ago was that they couldn’t remove the bullet in fear of putting her at more risk. She’s a cousin to one of my classmates who’s an AIMer in Arlington. He said she’s just 16 years old. They are a strong family, but I know with the help of prayer peace will fall upon them.
Another prayer request…I’m sure you all have heard about the West Coast fires that have been destroying so many homes, businesses, and lands. I’ve had so many friends to be affected by this. My teammate, Logan Peugh, is from Medford, Oregon. It was confirmed yesterday that her and her family lost their home due to the fire. She’s been evacuated from a few more different cities. This is devastating to a family, losing everything just over night. Also, her father has Crohn’s disease. About a month ago, it flared up really bad and he had to undergo two surgeries. He is starting to keep food down now, but not much. She said when she was a toddler, they almost lost him. So it’s pretty serious for her family and very scary. Her dad’s name is Glen. I’m going to have a GoFundMe page setup tomorrow for her and her family. Just something that can help buy them new clothes and food. Logan is still preparing to come to Wichita Falls, but she has nothing to pack with her. They didn’t have time to grab anything, and I know whatever we raise, it’ll benefit them so much.
I ask for prayers for Team Brazil for peace. My best friend is supposed to be going to that field. However due to the virus, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Everything keeps changing for everyone. She has a meeting Friday with the director of AIM and her team to make the final decision whether or not to wait until Brazil is ready or to send them to a stateside field.
And finally for my field. We are all arriving the weekend of the 18th-19th of this month. The apartment we applied for wasn’t ready for us last week. We are eager to move in together and get started. Prayers for safe travels and enough support raised for each of us. And just special prayers for Logan. She’s handling so much at the moment.
Nations reap what they sow just as individuals do. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psa. 9:17). This happens partly because rebellion against God is by nature self-destructive and partly because God providentially intervenes to chastise evil societies. In terms of the latter, one of the most common forms of divine punishment is war. The Lord unleashed the Assyrians on Israel, the Babylonians on Judah, and then the Medes on Babylon. But the chastening rod in God’s hand is not always a foreign army. Sometimes it is division and fighting within.
We call it “civil war.” For thousands of years nation after nation has experienced it. The book of Isaiah reveals that God has a hand in some of these conflicts. The prophet pictured a complete breakdown of law and order in Judah in chapter three. The result was anarchy. “The people shall be oppressed, everyone by another and every one by his neighbor; the child will be insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable” (Isa. 3:5). In this lawless state of chaos every man was a law to himself and respect for others vanished.
The same thing happened in other countries in Isaiah, and the Lord in His justice was involved. Consider Egypt, a nation whose time had come to reap what they had sown. God said, “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst” (Isa. 19:2-3). This powerful empire fell because they were so busy fighting with each other that they could not protect themselves from their enemies without.
In light of this pattern in history and in the Bible, why should we be surprised at riots and bloodshed in some of our major cities? We are a nation that has slaughtered over sixty million babies. The highest court in the land has made the perversion of same-sex marriage legal and now tyrannical governors and mayors have deemed attending church services a crime. Our land is full of greed, drunkenness, pornography and dishonesty. The infighting we are witnessing may be a just sentence from God.
The Cold War conditioned us to fear external threats to our peace and safety as a people. Perhaps it is time to recall that ancient Rome collapsed because it was rotten on the inside.
Kerry Duke, West End church of Christ Livingston, TN
Bill Christian let us know last Sunday that he wanted to place membership with us at our Highland Lakes congregation. Bill is Wanda Christians’ dad. We welcome you, Bill, to our fellowship, work and worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Please add to your directory his information which is available from the church office.
WEDNESDAY EVENING BIBLE CLASS
Resuming Wednesday Evening Bible Classes on September 16th
A series of teachers will take turns delivering devotional messages of their choice during the first 30 minutes of class time, followed by 15 minutes of congregational singing
Our proposed schedule:
September 16th — Ken Darnell
September 23rd — Cary Miller
September 30th — Troy Futrell
October 7th — Kynn Maxwell
October 14th — Joe Winnett
We are still required: Wearing masks and social distancing! If you feel comfortable assembling with your brethren, please mark September 16th on your calendar!
GOSPEL CHARIOT UPDATE
Some exciting news as George Funk shares from the Gospel Chariot ministry, which we have long supported. Continue to pray for these efforts as they help spread the gospel. For the elders, Ken D
Hope this finds you doing well. This is just a short update on the vision going forward and it is all very exciting as we spread the wonderful name of Jesus throughout the world. For us to do this we have to have new vision and our plan and goal is as follows:
As you know we are an African work with 15 Gospel Chariots going into 26 countries that baptizes more than 3,000 souls a year and helps plant around 30 churches a year. Our strength has to be our method of taking Africans to reach Africa. That said, I have worked my way out of a job to a certain degree and am now working on taking Gospel Chariot Missions global and more specifically into Asian Pacific countries, and that is if it is the Lord’s Will. Please pray for this.
GOING DISCIPLESHIP MULTIPLICATION
This is something that is long overdue. We have always been very evangelistic. That is why we have so many chariots, but we have always lacked the knowledge on how to equip leaders who equip other leaders and especially them equipping ordinary members on how to share the gospel in a simple, biblical and reproducible way and I am glad to say that God has blessed me with some years of searching and praying and being trained and today this training is spreading like wildfire throughout Africa and now India and the Philippines. Once we were STUCK, but now God has released us and what is most amazing, a lot of our training has been done during the Covid lockdown. Talk about God’s hand. We, as a ministry, can’t wait to get those chariots back on the road, because there will be double trouble for the evil one as we will not only have chariots traveling, but also intensive discipleship training taking place wherever the chariots travel, but not only that, many of us are now multiplication trainers that work online, training disciples and helping start new churches from our homes wherever we might be. This is sooooo exciting. Please pray for this.
GOING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
This is exactly what I have just said. It is where we are doubling up our efforts by not only having gospel meetings and planting new churches, but now we are training trainers on how to go from Addition to Multiplication through discipleship multiplication and much of this is online, meaning we can equip and work with leaders before we even get there with the gospel chariots. Digital transformation is where we will now integrate digital technology into all areas of our outreach resulting in fundamental changes to how we operate and this will allow us to equip and release leaders who train and equip others and even those in areas we cannot take a gospel chariot into due to the countries being Muslim and some unstable countries.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
I was reading this passage the other day, and a word struck me that I had rarely paid attention to before. Did you notice in the text that we are called into God’s marvelous light? Why didn’t it just say light? Couldn’t the point have been made just as profoundly without using the word marvelous? No, it couldn’t have! Marvelous is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as “causing wonder or astonishment.” God’s light does indeed bring astonishment, and we should continually marvel at that fact. Notice, for example:
This light is marvelous because it emanates from God Himself. And no wonder, for God Himself is light (1 John 1:5). He created light for the heavens and the earth (Gen. 1:3). His Word is light (Psa. 119:105) and gives light (Psa. 119:130). He eternally lights up heaven with His glory (Rev. 22:5).
This light is marvelous because it saves all who enter it. Those obeying the lighted gospel call (2 Tim. 1:9- 10) when it shines in their hearts (2 Cor. 4:6), become children of light (1 Thess. 5:5), and partake of the inheritance that exists in the light (Col. 1:12).
This light is marvelous because of the wonderful things that take place when one walks in the light. By walking in the light and staying faithful in its path, the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us (1 John 1:7). Also, we are assured of life, blessings, and much spiritual fruit lighting our lives (Eph. 5:8-14).
Everyone outside of this light is in darkness. They sit in darkness (Psa. 107:10). They walk in darkness (Psa. 82:5). They will spend an eternity in darkness (Matt. 25:30). Why would anyone choose to spend his life here in spiritual darkness and his life after physical death in eternal darkness, in punishment, separated from God? God gave us Jesus as the true Light (John 1:9). Those who follow Him receive the benefits of His marvelous light (John 28:1). Are you in the light? Are you walking in the light?
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:12).
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
Edd Sterchi, Broadway church of Christ, Campbellsville, KY
Our heartfelt prayers, sympathy and love go out to Charlotte Hastings, as, last week, her husband, Guy, passed from this life into the arms of Jesus.
We will miss Guy who was always willing to serve His Lord, and he did so in the Food Pantry and World Bible School. He was always ready to go to church, to him it was a place of comfort and rest.
A memorial service will take place sometime in the future.
Margaret Hunter, Sheri Zoller’s mother-in-law, passed away at her home in Dillion, Texas. She was close to 90 years old. Funeral arrangements will be known at a later date.
Our love, sympathy and prayers go out to Sheri and to all in the extended family.
NIGERIA PRAYER REQUEST
We must remember to always be keeping our fellow Christians in our prayers for their faithfulness and protection in often difficult situations around the world. Our brother Sylvester Imogoh reports on the dangerous concerns they have in Nigeria as Christians. Please always pray for them and others around the world for God’s care for his people. For the Elders, Ken D.
Please share this with our brethren and let them know that we continue to ask for prayers for Nigeria, for our safety and security. The situation as described in the news is far worse in reality. All these have been a part of the insecurities that I have been reporting. Especially our county is the gateway to the Middle Belt (of west Africa). We are less than an hour and a half to the city of Lokoja which is called the Confluence City because it is located at the meeting point of the two great Rivers Niger and Benue that divides Nigeria into two thus: The predominantly Muslim North and the predominantly Christian South. But right now Muslim militia and terrorists have circulated virtually everywhere in the North and South. Life for most people is unsafe. Ordinary trips to the market, farms and other places of economic activities are now dangerous. And this is worsening the state of poverty and suffering. We are living every day at a time and looking forward to the day that God in His Providence would intervene. Otherwise, no one knows when they would strike!!!! ~~ Sylvester Imogoh
Forgotten Truths to Help You Get Through Hard Times
(Life-truths, Coming from God’s Life-laws)
The wisest, most loving, and well-rounded people you have ever met are likely those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved, and have found their way out of the depths of their own despair. These people have experienced many ups and downs, and have gained an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, understanding and a deep loving wisdom. People like this aren’t born; they develop slowly over the course of time.
When you stop expecting things to be a certain way, you can appreciate them for what they are. Ultimately you will realize that life’s greatest gifts are rarely wrapped the way you expected.
Experience is what you get when your plans don’t go as planned, and experience is the most valuable commodity you own – it builds your strength.
You have the power to turn your wounds and worries into wisdom; you just have to do something about them. You have to accept what has happened and use what you’ve learned to step forward. Everything you’ve experienced has given you the upper hand for dealing with everything you have yet to experience. Realize this and set yourself free.
Sigmund Freud once said, ―Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.‖
There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
Life is better when you’re smiling. Being positive in a negative situation is not naive; it’s a sign of leadership and strength. You’re doing it right when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead.
Great things take time.
Instant results are rarely the best results. With patience, you can greatly expand your potential. If your desires were always fulfilled immediately, you would have nothing to look forward to. You would miss out on the joys of anticipation and progress.
Remember, patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in. It’s the willingness to stay focused, confidently taking one small step at a time, knowing that the way you move a mountain is by moving one stone at a time. Every stone you move, no matter how small, is progress.
Bottom line: You deserve more than mere instant gratification. Value that arrives in an instant is often gone in an instant. Value that takes time and commitment to create often outlives its creator – YOU. ~~ Marc Chernoff
In all the ways that we are able to help with the spreading of God’s word around the world, it’s important to remember our motivation. In this very short article we are reminded of God’s motivation. Think, pray and act on that as God’s people. For the elders, Ken D
Near the end of the book of Hosea, the prophet delivers a message from God that relates to the time of the Messiah’s kingdom. That means it is a message for members of the church of the Lord.
That’s you and me.
Here’s the message: “I will heal their apostasy. I will love them freely” (14:4). Did you catch that last part? I will love them ―freely, a word that means ―without restraint. A God infinite in power imparting love without restraint?
That boggles my mind. How about yours?
Eddie Parrish Brown Trail church of Christ Bedford, TX
That’s the phrase the family doctor used as he spoke recently with a busy and successful young man in his 40’s who had suffered a heart attack and was going home for recovery. “Take your meds and get a lot of rest, but the real secret in regaining your health and strength is exercise, and lots of it.”
Those were his words and, as we all get a bit older, we hear them often. That wonderful body created by God’s marvelous plan involves intricate engineering driven by details carefully designed by the Master, as Genesis 1:16 says, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” The Psalmist declared it to be “fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14. Because it is the house of God’s Holy Spirit, we are compelled and commanded to take good care of that body.
But there is another need for exercise, and that is in a spiritual realm. It is more important, because it affects our preparations for eternity. 1 Timothy 4:6ff tells us how to stay spiritually fit and “brought up in the truth of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.” It begins and ends in spiritual exercise, which Paul calls “godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” We can’t just talk about our faith; we’ve got to deliberately develop a plan for spiritual exercise. God calls us to:
Walk in the light. Our Lord is the light of this world, and we must learn to stay out of the dark and “walk in the light as He is in the light.” When we do so, we share a wonderful fellowship in and with Christ and find that forgiveness and peace in Him. See 1 John 1:7. In a busy world filled with “potholes” as well as blessings, we must hear Paul in Ephesians 5:15 “Be very careful, then, how you live.” Yes, we are called to “live by faith and not by sight” in 2 Corinthians 5:7, but that simple command assumes that our eyes are wide open and fixed on the source of faith, His holy Word!
Lift Up Your Eyes and See the opportunities and joy of Christian living. Psalm 123:1, “I lift up my eyes to You, to You Whose throne is in heaven.” To those disciples who were absorbed with earthly needs and endeavors, Jesus tells them in John 4:35, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”
Arm Yourselves and Be Ready for the challenges and battles that lie ahead, for you and I know that they are coming. Peter explains in 1 Peter 4:1,2, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude.” It means putting on the “whole armor of God”, Ephesians 6:13. Only then are we prepared and ready.
Subject My Body Daily with the exercise that comes from personal discipline and purpose, 1 Corinthians 9:27. This is what we have to do with our spiritual bodies. Discipline and bring it into subjection to God’s laws. We do it by “desiring the sincere milk of the Word” 1 Peter 2:2 and then the “solid food/meat” in Hebrews 5:14 that is for the mature who, by constant use have trained themselves to distinguished good from evil. Weakness comes from a diet void of God’s Word, our spiritual nutrition. Finally, running is necessary for good spiritual health. The Hebrew writer calls us to “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith”, 12:1b-2a. And as the way gets long and our years many, Isaiah 40:31 promises, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
If we are going to maintain good healthy souls, we must be certain to get the right amount of spiritual exercise. Only then can we be ready to work and serve Him Who died for us. It is the only way to stay faithful and strong in times of storms and challenges, to be healthier and happier as long as our days last.
Each week we can see God at work thru his people’s activity around the world. We continue to get good and joyful reports from our Nigerian brethren in the various ways they are involved in to spread the Gospel. Below is a brief update from our brother Mike Udam. We are so thankful to help support various aspects of this work. Keep God’s church around the world in your thoughts and prayers. For the elders, Ken D
Beloved brethren, The church meeting at Ukpagada, where I preached this Sunday held a thanksgiving service for retired Staff Sargent, Chidi Chibunna who fought gallantly in the North East of Nigeria and came back alive and is now an active soldier of the Lord’s army. His sermon showing the power and grace of God upon his life, motivated one soul to be baptized being the first soul to be baptized in our newly constructed baptistery. It was indeed a thing of joy and my desire to share the joy with you.
Keep us in your prayers and plans. I shall be leading brethren to Wula, a small town very close to Cameroun for church planting. Pray for huge harvest. God bless you all. Meanwhile kindly share with me this good report about my online video ministry. Africa is gradually hearing from my small corner….
“Hello minister. I am Tataw Stephen writing from Cameroon. I am a member of the Lord’s church in the Molyko congregation. I follow your village preacher TV fervently and I commend the great job you are doing. May God’s blessings be with you and your family. I just followed Technical Reminder and it was great. Keep it up sir. Good night.”
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
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everything in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise the Father in heaven.” ~~ Matthew 5:14-16
Something to Smile About
An elderly lady walked into a pet store, found a parrot and asked the owner if she could buy it. The owner said, ―Heck no! That parrot has a bad mouth! Trust me, you do not want that parrot!
She said, ―I can teach it good manners, and she bought it.
When she got home the parrot said a bad word, so she put it in the freezer for 10 seconds.
She took it out and said, ―Did you learn your lesson?
It said another bad word so she put it back in for 30 seconds. She took it out and asked if it learned its lesson yet.
The parrot said ―Brrrrr…yes I learned my lesson, but, what did the chicken do?
Think About It
A Sweet Lesson in Self-Sacrifice
Years ago, a 10-year old boy approached the counter of a soda shop and climbed on to a stool. “What does an ice cream sundae cost?” he asked the waitress. “Five cents” she answered.
The youngster reached deep in his pockets and pulled out an assortment of change, counting it carefully as the waitress grew impatient. She had “bigger” customers to wait on.
“Well, how much would just plain ice cream be?” the boy asked. The waitress responded with noticeable irritation in her voice, “Thirty-five cents.”
Again, the boy slowly counted his money. “May I have some plain ice cream in a dish then, please?” He gave the waitress the exact amount, and she brought him the ice cream.
Later, the waitress returned to clear the boy’s dish and when she picked it up, she felt a lump rising in her throat. There on the counter the boy had left two nickels and five pennies. She realized that he had had enough money for the sundae, but sacrificed it so that he could leave a tip. (Compare: Phil. 2:4)