How to Read the Bible for Yourself: Part 3

This message is part 4 in Pastor Neal’s series on “How to Read the Bible for Yourself,” from Sunday, February 23, 2014.

Canonicity

Central Question:  Are the 66 books in the Bible really the books we are supposed to have?  This is central to trusting the Bible.

“canon” – from the Greek word for “rule” or “measuring rod.”  The canon refers to the set of books that we view as authoritative.

The Christian canon refers to those writings recognized by the children of God.  We don’t make the books inspired.  We simply recognizing something that already is inspired.

 

Principles of Canonization

  1. authority – Is it authoritative?  Does it claim to be from God?
  2. prophetic authorship – Was it written by a prophet or an apostle, or was it endorsed by a prophet or apostle?
  3. authenticity – Is it authentic?  Does it agree with the rest of Scripture?  Does it fit with the other books?
  4. dynamic nature – Hebrews 4:12 – It cuts deep, convicts, transforms.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 – It equips, teaches, changes our lives, our purposes, our directiosn.
  5. acceptance – Do the people of God recognize them, accept them as authoritative?

 

The Old Testament Canon

  • fixed between 400 BC and 100 AD - Both the Talmud and Josephus say that after Malachi, the prophetic word ceased.
  • Jesus and Luke 11:49-51 – Jesus accepted the Old Testament books.  We know this because he bookends two characters, Able and Zechariah.  In the Hebrew Bible, which Jesus would have used, the books are in a different order than in our Bibles.  So he would have been speaking of the same books that are Genesis through Malachi in our Bibles.
  • The Catholic church accepts the Apocrypha.  ”Apocrypha” means only understood by the initiated.  These books were never widely accepted as authoritative.  They were not endorsed by Jesus.  And they were not found in the original Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament.  It’s not wrong to read the Apocryphal books, but they don’t carry any of the authority that the other 39 books of the Old Testament do.

The New Testament Canon

  • written between 48 and 95 AD.  48 AD was just 18 years after Jesus died and rose again.  The last book, Revelation, was written in 95 AD.
  • By 100 AD, the Gospels, Acts and Paul’s letters were viewed as inspired–very early in the church.
  • Lists of the books appeared around 200 AD.
  • 367 AD – Athanasius
  • 397 AD – the Council of Carthage – The 27 books of the New Testament were recognized as authoritative and inspired.  The gospels tell the story of Jesus.  Acts gives us the history of the church.  The letters tell us how to live out our faith, and Revelation tells about the end.
  • The New Testament books give us everything we need to know.

The Gnostic Gospels

  • reflect the teachings of a later movement called Gnosticism and include the books:  Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Gospel of Judas
  • These books were written years after Jesus and the apostles lived–200-400 AD, almost 200 years after the gospels.
  • They were never accepted by the vast majority of Christians.

For more information about the New Testament canon read an authority on the New Testament — N. T. Wright in his book, Jesus and the Gospel of Judas.

 

Trust what’s in God’s Word.  It was written before other texts.  It is more authoritative than any other text.

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How to Read the Bible for Yourself: Part 3

This is part 3 in Pastor Neal’s sermon series, “How to Read the Bible for Yourself,” from February 16, 2014.

 

A Brief History of the English Bible — Translations

Why talk about translations?

  • There are so many choices, how can you know what to trust, what to get?
  • Because of the doubt cast on the Bible by pop culture, a good English translation is essential.

Which translation is the best one?  The best Bible translation is the one you will read!

What is the goal of translation?  to take the meaning of the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic) and reproduce them as closely as possible into English

Textual Criticism is the science of determining the wording of a text, and there are 3 basic rules among many:

  1. Older manuscripts are more reliable.  (They are closer to the time the events occurred)
  2. Shorter readings are more reliable.  (It’s more likely that the scribes added to rather than took away from the text.)
  3. Harder readings are more reliable.  (It’s more likely that scribes tried to make hard readings easier for readers to understand.)

Translation Philosophies:

  1. Literal – word for word or formal.  These are hardest to read because they are close to the original language.  They are best for in-depth study.  Examples:  NASB, NKJV
  2. Dynamic – thought for thought or functional.  These are more understandable.  Examples:  ESV, NIV, NLT, NCV
  3. Paraphrase – interpretive.  These are usually translated by one person instead of an entire team like the literal and dynamic translations.  A paraphrase is not a translation.  It is one person’s intepretation.  Therefore, it is great for devotional reading, but not for serious Bible study.  Examples:  The Message, The Living Bible

The Bible we have is extremely accurate–99.5% accurate.  In fact, it’s the most accurate book from the ancient world.  The works of Caesar are the next most accurate with an accuracy rate of 90%.

The King James Version is based on 2-3 later manuscripts.  Since then, discoveries of more manuscripts have surfaced older manuscripts from closer to the times the books were written.  Because newer Bibles are based on these older manuscripts, they are actually more reliable.

Neal said, “I actually advise you to have 3 Bibles–one that’s literal, one that’s dynamic, and one that’s a paraphrase.”  He said since each has it’s own use, all three are essential for a Christian library.

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How to Read the Bible for Yourself: Part 2

Sorry for the delay in getting these sermon notes posted.  This is part 2 of Pastor Neal’s latest series, “How to Read the Bible for Yourself,” from February 9, 2014.

 

PREUNDERSTANDING:  What do we bring to the text?

As we read the Bible, we must let go of prejudices, opinions and preconceived ideas.  What we’ve learned, experienced–our preconceived ideas affect our understanding of the Bible.  Some of that helps us and some of it taints the way we view Scripture.

Guiding Question:  Am I letting the Bible speak for itself, or am I trying to make it mean what I want it?

Bible Reading Goal:  Let the Bible speak for itself.

 

A.  Religious Background - We are influenced by our religious background–by preachers, teachers, our church upbringing, books.  An example would be growing up in a Christian culture that says Christians shouldn’t drink alcohol.  The Bible is very clear that drunkenness is a sin (Eph. 5).  And underage drinking is wrong because we must honor the law of the land.  However, from various Scriptures (Eph. 5, 1 Tim. 5:23, Rom. 14:21, etc.) we can pull a general principle:  No Christian should get drunk.  It is permissible to drink alcohol as long as one doesn’t get drunk and doesn’t cause others to stumble.

B.  Pop Culture - We are influenced by the culture around us–by books, music, TV, the news.  One example is a teen who thought Jonah was on a raft in the belly of the whale.  Where did he get that notion?  From the movie Pinnochio.  Another example is angel worship, which is a popular belief in American culture.  However, no where in the Bible is that supported.  In fact, angels are created beings.  A final example from American culture is our sense of independence and pride.  Matthew 5:39 says to turn the other cheek, but in our culture, that is a difficult thing to accept.  We can’t let our Americanism seep into the Bible.  After all, Jesus was not a white American, but a middle easterner.

C.  Family -   We are all influenced by our family of upbringing.  For example, someone who grows up with an abusive father may have difficulty accepting God as a loving heavenly Father.  Or, perhaps you were from a loving family.  That influences your view of the Bible as well.

D.  Political Views We are influenced by political views.  Two examples are bumper stickers that said, “God doesn’t kill babies.  Vote Republican” and “God doesn’t like war.  Vote Democrat.”  We must remember that God is above and beyond culture.  God is for the Kingdom of God.  Try to vote along biblical guidelines and remember there is no perfectly biblical political party.

 

Presuppositions We Should Make – Based on our relationship with Jesus, there are things we should believe about Jesus before we read the Bible.

A.  The Bible’s Authority Comes from Jesus.  Matt. 18:18 – because it tells about Jesus, it points to who He is.

B.  The Bible is the Word of God, spoken through human authors.

C.  The Bible is trustworthy and true.

D.  The Bible is understood by the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  1 Corinthians 2:11-12 says that all Christians have the Holy Spirit.  The Bible was meant to be understood.  We must ask the Spirit for guidance and understanding.  We can also discuss the Bible and learn from other Spirit-filled believers.

E.  The Bible is understood using human methods.  But under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The Bible was written in language with grammatical rules, context, genre, and historical background.

 

Conclusion:  We must let the Bible be the Bible.  Let it offend us, challenge us, give us peace.  If we follow the Bible and take the time to do the hard work of understanding it, we will receive guidance, we will gain understanding, we will become more like Jesus.

Read.  Study.  Apply.

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Church Directory Updates

We want to make sure we have your contact information up to date. If you have updates or changes to the church directory, please stop by the office and complete a purple change form. We update information in the directory software weekly, so any changes will be visible in the electronic version you can access via smartphones and other mobile devices. We probably won’t release another printed directory for a few months, but please don’t let that keep you from letting us update your information in our records.  If you need to access the directory from your smartphone or mobile device, stop by the office for directions.

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New Sunday A.M. Series: How to Read the Bible For Yourself

bible candle

Neal began a new series today titled, “How to Read the Bible for Yourself.”  In the coming weeks, he plans to cover topics such as:

  • How can we know the Bible is true?
  • How do we know that the books in the Bible are the ones we’re meant to have?
  • How did we get the Bible we have today?
  • Which translation should we read?
  • Do we read Genesis the same way we read Revelation?
  • What is the interpretive journey and what does it mean for us and how we read the Bible?

We hope you’ll join us over the next few weeks as we take a closer look at how to read the Bible.  And now for notes from today’s message!

First, Neal asked, “Why is it important to learn to read the Bible for yourself?”  The answer?

  • To avoid unbiblical thinking,
  • To avoid misintepretation,
  • And to know that what someone teaches you is biblical, not just what they’ve been taught by someone else.

After that, he talked about the purpose of reading Scripture saying, “it’s not to know more, but to know God and become like Jesus.”

Next, he asked, “What kind of book is this?” pointing out that how we answer that question reveals how we read it.  For example, if you believe it is all about rules and laws, you will read it differently than if you believe it’s about knowing God and experiencing His grace.  Neal pointed out that the Bible is:

  1. a God book, a divine book - Reading from 2 Timothy 3:16-17, he showed us that the Bible is God-breathed or breathed out by God.  So, it is a divine book.  He also defined two words people often use in conjunction with the Bible:
    infallible – “Infallible” simply means that the Bible doesn’t lead us astray.  It gives us what we need to know–maybe not all we want to know–but all we need to know in order to live like Jesus.
    inerrant – The Bible is without error.  It is the book God wants us to have, and it’s what we need to be more like Jesus.
  2. a human book – Taking us to 2 Peter 1:21, Neal showed us that men, carried along by the Holy Spirit, wrote the Word of God.  God used the personalities of the authors to communicate to us.

Finally, Neal explained the “interpretive journey,” or the process of applying God’s Word, using Leviticus 19:19 as an example.

Step 1:  Determine what a text meant to the original audience.  Neal said he didn’t want to shock us, but “the Bible wasn’t originally written to us,” and went on to say, “The Bible will never mean what it never meant.”  He took us, then, to Leviticus 19:19 where we read about the prohibition of wearing clothing made from two different cloths.  ”Does that mean we can’t wear polyester or cotton blends?” he asked.

Step 2:  Determine the difference between the original audience and us.  Leviticus 19:19 was originally written to the Israelites who were under the covenant of the law, who lived before Jesus, and who lived in a culture that thought it was idol worship to mix two types of cloth in garments.  We live under the covenant of grace after Jesus.

Step 3:  Write out a general principle that can be determined from the text.  For Leviticus 19:19, the general principle would be, “Don’t be like people who don’t live for God.  Be different.  Have different priorities and mindsets.”

Step 4:  How can that general principle be applied today?  As followers of Jesus, we must live a different lifestyle, use different language, have different priorities than those who don’t live for God.  We ought to look different than the culture.

Following the message, Neal asked us to recommit ourselves to reading God’s Word and to pray that as we seek God in His Word, we will listen for God’s voice, following these simple, but necessary steps to applying God’s Word.

We hope you’ll be able to join us on Sunday, February 9 for the next message in the series.  At that time we hope to have a printed insert in the bulletin for notes so you’ll have them to look over during the week.

 

 

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We Gather Together Food Drive

fooddriveWe realize that, due to the weather, many of you may not have had the chance to stop by Brookshire’s today and shop for the PMA’s (Pottsboro Ministerial Alliance) We Gather Together Food Drive benefiting the Resale Barn and Visions of Sugarplums.

You can shop during the week and drop donations by the church or by the Resale Barn and Visions of Sugarplums.  Below is a copy of the shopping list in case you need it.

Resale Barn:

  • Canned Beef Stew, Chicken & Dumplings, or Chili
  • Canned Chicken Noodle, Vegetable, or Tomato Soup
  • Canned Green Beans, Corn, Peas
  • Canned Tuna
  • Canned Chicken
  • Canned Fruit Cocktail or Peaches
  • Pork & Beans, Ranch Style Beans
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Dried Pinto Beans
  • Vienna Sausage
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Spam
  • Spaghetti Noodles and Sauce
  • Rice
  • Cereal
  • Apple Juice
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Bar Soap

Visions of Sugarplums:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Chicken Noodle, Vegetable, or Tomato Soup
  • 15 oz. Cans of Peaches, Pears, or Fruit Cocktail
  • Cheerios
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • 64 oz. Bottles of Apple and Grape Juice
  • Canned chili
  • Single-serving packets of Easy Mac macaroni and cheese
  • Single-serving Fruit Cups
  • Single-serving Applesauce
  • Single-serving Peanut Butter
  • Single-serving Tuna
  • Vienna Sausage
  • Single-serving Vegetables
  • Single-servings of Instant Breakfast
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Date Night Challenge and Youth Camp Fundraiser

date-night-challenge-250x187Dating is important for growing marriages. Give your date night a facelift and discover how celebrating your differences will bring you closer together.

Featuring:
Dr. Gary and Erin Smalley, authors/speakers
Dennis Swanberg, comedian
Ted Cunningham, pastor/author

Friday, February 21, 2014, starting with dinner at 6:30 p.m.
at Hagerman Baptist Church

Couples of all ages are invited.

Hosted by the Youth Ministry of HBC

Childcare will be provided for a requested donation of $10 per child, with a $25 maximum per family.
Additional donations will be accepted. All donations go directly toward the cost of youth camp.*  Sign up at the table in the hallway. Registration is not necessary, but it does help us know how much food to prepare, and it helps us plan for childcare!

* On the “note” line on your check, be sure to write “donation for youth camp.”

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Keeping Updated

It takes lots of work and a significant time commitment to keep the website updated.  Thank you for your patience as we try to get it all figured out and get in a routine.

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Gather School Supplies for Family Festival

school supplies border

 

It’s almost time for the Annual Billy Vier Family Festival.  Each year the Pottsboro Ministerial Alliance organizes this school supply drive and block party to distribute school supplies to needy families and celebrate the beginning of the school year.

 

This year’s Billy Vier Family Festival is set for Friday, August 23 from 6 to 9 pm at Friendship Park in Pottsboro.

On Wednesday, August 21, we’ll host the school supplies packing party.

Please collect and bring the following items in preparation for this exciting and meaningful ministry to our community:

  • pens – blue, black and red
  • pencils
  • notebook paper – wide rule
  • Kleenex
  • highlighters
  • Sharpies
  • Expo dry erase markers
  • hand sanitizer
  • crayons – 24 count
  • markers – broad and fine tip
  • colored pencils (map colors)
  • glue sticks
  • rulers
  • scissors – blunt and sharp tip
  • folders with brads and pockets – any color
  • spiral notebooks – one subject
  • composition books (not spirals)
  • big pink erasers
  • Elmer’s glue
  • personal pencil sharpeners
  • cloth or nylon pencil bag
  • plastic school box for supplies
  • water color paints
  • stretchy book covers

 

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Hygiene Bag Delivery

Today we got to deliver the hygiene bags and other items we collected at church. Thank you so much for your gifts. It was truly a privilege to get to help Margie at Loaves and Fishes, a ministry to refugees. So many of the refugees make barely enough to cover their rent and food. They don’t always have money for things like diapers, wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and the things we collected. Margie shares the love of God with the refugees as they come and “shop” for these items they can’t afford to buy for themselves. Just to see the gratefulness on their faces as they took the hygiene bags, visited a bit and then headed home. Margie’s ministry truly shares the love of Christ with these precious ones. We’ll have more stories to tell about visiting this ministry and our other ministry opportunities later when we can speak in person.

Suffice it to say that as we wrapped up our time with a worship service tonight, that it was a privilege and a joy to hear how God anointed divine appointments this week. It is obvious He is at work in the lives of many here. Pray that He will continue to stir their hearts, to draw them to Himself. Pray for many opportunities for the long-term personnel here to share stories of Jesus and His sacrificial love. Pray that the seeds we helped to plant will be watered throughout the summer and that God will bring the growth so that these precious ones will be among those worshiping at the throne of God – from among every tribe, nation, language and people (Rev. 7:9).

Thank you again for your generosity in sending us on this trip. We look forward to sharing God stories with you soon!

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A Mission Only the Church Can Stop

During our teaching time today, we listened to a message by David Platt, “A Mission Only the Church Can Stop.” While it’s long, it’s powerful and reminds us that God is both active in His mission and resisted in His mission. He gave examples from Acts 20 showing that the church actually tried to stop Paul from carrying out His God-given mission. Platt also gave examples from church history — of men who God called but who were encouraged by the church to give up that mission — Jim Elliott, David Livingstone, Adoniram Judson, C. T. Studd, and John Patton. Platt then said:

In our culture today, we are implicitly working to stop the mission of Christ. To say, “I am not called to foreign missions” is radically unbiblical. It is our command. When you came to Christ, you were given a new command, not a calling, to make disciples of all nations. Why are you willing to enjoy the privileges of Christianity, but not the obligations? We relegate missions to a program, and that is unbiblical and optional. We do each have a calling, but they are all ways that we carry out the one command –to make the glory of Jesus Christ known in all nations by making disciples.

You can watch the video here: A Mission Only the Church Can Stop

Today we helped with kids club and taught in-home English classes. Tonight we helped with a men’s conversation club, teaching English, and with a job skills club, helping refugees prepare resumes, apply for jobs and practice interview skills. It proved to be a busy but a fun day of ministry.

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The Kingdom of God

This morning we met with some spiritual warfare as we began a teaching session on the Kingdom of God. We had just begun when a situation arose with a managerial person from the apartment complex. As one of the local group’s team members stepped out to meet with them, the rest of us immediately began praying. This area is steeped in spiritual darkness, and we are pushing back that darkness with the light and fragrance of Christ. Any time that happens, you can expect to meet resistance from the spiritual forces of evil. So we prayed. After time in prayer, we continued learning about the Kingdom of God and how the Kingdom of God has come in our hearts when we believe and yet it is still to come when Christ returns. John the Baptist and Paul taught about the Kingdom of Heaven, and much of Jesus’ ministry and teaching centered around the Kingdom of God. The more we share stories of the Kingdom, the more God’s Kingdom comes on earth. We were challenged to think of Bible stories we can share as we meet practical needs.

In the afternoon, we continued our work with the kids club, telling Bible stories, leading games and activities, and loving on kids. Others of us visited homes of some of the men and women in the community and taught in-home English classes. What a treat to be welcomed in so readily! What opportunities await to share Jesus and stories about Him as these precious ones learn more and more English.

- Pray with us that the god of this age will no longer blind unbelievers, but that their eyes will be opened to the glory of the gospel of Jesus and that His light will shine forth in this community.
- Pray for divine appointments.
- Pray we will be led by the Holy Spirit, that we will be His mouthpiece, sharing stories of the Kingdom as He leads us.

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More Adventures

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The Unfinished Task
This morning we learned about the state of the world in regards to unreached people groups and unengaged people groups. Here’s the main take-away. There are almost 2 billion people in the world who haven’t even heard the name Jesus. If an evangelist were to see 1,000 people saved weekly, it would take 160,000 years to see the whole world come to know Jesus personally. But if each of us who is a follower of Jesus would disciple one person each year, and each year the discipled would disciple one more, it would mushroom so that the whole world would be reached in just 15-20 years. Can you imagine a world where everyone has the opportunity to hear about Jesus? The challenge put before us today was this: What are you doing about it? Are you discipling one person who will then disciple another person next year? Are you making disciple-makers? We can finish the task.

In the afternoon, some of us worked with a kids club, playing games and telling Bible stories. Others joined interns here to knock on doors to promote an ESL conversation club and a job skills training. It was hot and sticky and we didn’t find as many people home as we thought. But one group met up with a man who took them around to several apartments where he knew people who needed to work on their English or job skills. The other group connected with a few families. Still another group had to call for help to teach an in-home ESL lesson. The results? More than 20 ladies and a few children from literally all over the world came to tonight’s 3-hour conversation club. About 10-15 showed up for help with resumes, interviewing skills and job applications. It was a busy 3 hours full of laughter and smiles as well as language struggles. But it was fun and the love of Christ clearly shone on our faces. We made friends and built relationships that the long-termers here can build on.

Tomorrow we’ll be practicing some Bible stories to tell in the community Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll be helping with the kids club again, and we’ll be delivering the hygiene bags to another local refugee ministry.

Continue to pray for good health as well as safety and protection, both physical and spiritual. Pray for us to continue to make relationships that the long-termers can build on, for divine appointments, and for opportunities to share about Jesus.

* We would like to include pictures, but because of the sensitive nature of the work, it would not be polite or appropriate to do so.

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Today’s Adventures

We started the morning by learning about and praying for an unreached people group. Then we read and meditated on Acts 17:22-28 and its implications for us as followers of Jesus.

Today we visited a couple of religious centers, learning about the unique cultural heritage and the faith and beliefs of the worshipers. The people were so hospitable. One group served us tea and snacks following the tour. We had some great conversations with people who don’t know Jesus the way we do.

This evening we enjoyed a wonderful time of worship and learned about the biblical basis for sharing Jesus, and about God’s heart for the nations.

This week we’ll be involved in promoting some summer activities including a job skills class, in-home English classes, and an English conversation club. We’ll also get to help with some of the initial meetings as well as a kids club.

Continue to pray for ongoing protection, health, and safety for the team as we deal with the heat and humidity. Also pray for divine appointments and that we are the fragrance of Christ to those we meet. So many have a negative view of Christianity because of what they’ve seen on TV. We hope to show them that to be American is not necessarily to be a Christian, and we want to show them what true Jesus followers look like.

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Safe Arrival

The team arrived safely at our ministry location in Houston. This evening we took part in orientation, and tomorrow we’ll be taking a tour of the area, visiting places of worship and cultural centers. Throughout the week we’ll be involved in a lot of activities helping refugees settle in their new life and get used to a new culture–like job skills training and English conversation clubs.

Continue praying for safety, protection, and good health for our team members. Pray especially that we will be culturally sensitive to others as we get to know them and interact with them. Pray that we will simply live out what we say we believe as followers of Jesus Christ–exercising love, compassion, mercy, and grace.

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Pray for Our Short-Term Mission Team

Our short-term mission team goes to Houston June 8-14. Please keep us in your prayers as we go to work with refugees and immigrants. Here are some specific ways you can pray for our team as we go:

Good Health – Pray that our entire team remains in good health, and that we don’t experience illness or injuries of any kind.

Physical and Spiritual Protection - Pray not only for physical protection from harm as we travel to and from Houston and around the city, but pray for spiritual protection as well. Evidently the spiritual warfare has been crazy lately. As we take the Light of Jesus into a darkened area, the spiritual forces of darkness will not be pleased. Ask God to put a hedge of protection around each team member, keeping us safe from harm and guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Salt and Light – Pray that we will be salt and light, bringing the Light of Christ into a darkened area. Pray that we will be the very fragrance of Christ, drawing others to the beauty of Jesus.

Divine Appointments – Ask God to give us hearts sensitive to His Spirit’s leading that we may find those divine appointments He has planned for us. Pray for softened hearts in those whom we meet, that God will draw them to Himself. Pray that we will have many opportunities to sow seeds of the gospel, that the god of this age will no longer blind the minds of those who do not believe, but that they will see the light of the glory of Christ.

Our Own Faith – Pray that our own hearts will be open to hearing and receiving what God wants to teach us this week, that our own faith will be strengthened as we see Him at work.

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Gathering Items for Refugee Welcome Bags

You’ve probably heard by now that we’re gathering personal hygiene items over the next few weeks so we can put together welcome bags for newly arrived refugees. We’ll send these with our mission team when they go to Houston, June 8-14.

Refugees are being forced to leave their countries to escape war, natural disaster, persecution for political or religious beliefs, or persecution because of ethnicity. They arrive here in America to begin new lives, often arriving with just the clothes on their backs. They have only a few months to learn English to fluency, find jobs and settle in to American culture.

These welcome bags help meet practical needs while building long-term relationships with refugees. Personnel help them learn English, develop job skills, and adapt to American culture.

So here’s the plan. Each week we’ll collect different items. On May 29, the children will host a packing party so we can sort and pack the items into bags. Then when we commission our mission team on June 2, we’ll pray over the recipients of the bags and ask God to draw them to Himself.

Here’s the schedule of items to bring each week.
April 28 – combs and brushes
May 5 – individual bars of soap and wash cloths
May 12 – dental floss and fingernail kits
May 19 – antibacterial hand gel and hand lotion
May 26 – deodorant/antiperspirant and gallon-sized zipper bags

If you’d like to contribute more, additional items we can send with the team include:
hand towels
bath towels
flip flops of all sizes
toilet paper
facial tissue
baby wipes
other personal hygiene items

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Date Set for Next Church Business Meeting

The date for our next church business meeting has been set for Sunday, April 28, 2013 following the morning worship service.

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Bridal Shower for Rachel James

Clip art wedding 1

What:  a bridal shower for Rachel James

When:  Sunday, May 19 following morning worship

Where:  the fellowship hal

Bridal Registry:  Kohl’s, Target

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Bridal Shower for Valarie Hardenburg

Clip art wedding 1What:  a bridal shower for Valarie Hardenburg

When:  May 4, 10 a.m.

Where:  the Clement’s huse

Bridal Registry:  Target, Dillard’s, and Bed, Bath and Beyond

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