Monday’s Devotional

Kne Email

“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow…” (Philippians 2:10).

Mike Benson, Editor

PLAY AN IMAGINARY game with me for a moment…

Let’s imagine that we live in another time and place, and that we have different friends and acquaintances than we do now.

What would it say about you if you lived in Germany in 1940 and one of your friends was Hermann Goering? What if you lived in Russia in the 1920’s and you counted as one of your friends Joseph Stalin? What if you lived in California in the 1960’s and one of your friends was Charlie Manson?

“Now wait a moment,” you might protest. “Just because we were friends doesn’t mean I was guilty of the evil things they did!” And you’re right. But friendship with those people would still say something about your character, wouldn’t it? Like it or not, our friendships say a lot about us.

 

When there is a war going on, it is hard to remain friends with both sides. In our imaginary world, being friends with Winston Churchill would probably put a strain on your friendship with the ubiquitous Mr. and Mrs. Goering. And vice versa. There must have been Christians in James’ day who felt they could remain on friendly terms with the “world” and retain their relationship with God.

 

Being friends with the world has nothing to do with whether or not you are an environmentalist; it refers to society to the extent it is antagonistic toward God. There is a war going on, and there casualties. The “body bags” are being brought home all the time; and we speak here, not of something so temporary as physical death, but of spiritual loss. These casualties affect eternity. Little children are led astray by our compromises. Weak and young Christians are confused by our insistence on fraternizing with the enemy. Is it possible that even we are being unwittingly affected and weakened?

 

You can’t “aid and abet” the enemy in a time of war and expect your own side to look kindly on it. The problem is that we so easily forget what is at stake, and the enemy is very successful at convincing us that we are not at war. So, who are your friends? (Stan Mitchell)

 

“Adulterers and adulteresses!

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Jas. 4:4

Monday

Thank God the tornado that struck between Arcola and Fluker did not take any lives and the damage was not any greater. Pray for those who had damage as they progress through the clean-up process. Pray no injuries will occur during this clean-up time.

Randy Blades had his lower leg removed as planned. While still hospitalized, he fell and broke an arm. Pray this set-back will not slow his recovery too much.

Rusty Williams is progressing. With continued antibiotics and more rest, he should be able to be up in a couple of weeks. Please pray for Rusty as he continues to heal.

Dr. Landrum Salley called last night. He was checking to be sure Peggy Alford’s brother, Leroy Stringfield, was okay. Dr. Salley had heard there was a tornado in the Alabama town where Leroy lives. Since Peggy was still at choir practice, Dr. Salley and I had a nice visit. I sent emails to both Leroy and Peggy, but have not heard back from them yet. Dr. Salley and his wife are both doing well, but having some of the usual difficulties of aging. During that time Dr. Salley and I talked, he told me the youth from his church in Nashville are going to Greece this summer to minister to the Roma (Gypsies). He and I are interested in a possible connection to Boyd and Jennie’s ministry. What a small world. Thank God for telephones and computers so we can keep in touch.

Pray for Bethel Baptist Church as they are in the early stages of adding a fellowship hall to their church. Pray for the process to run smoothly.

Sunday Evening

Please pray for Michelle Ricks (about 13) who was accidentally shot when a shotgun fell this afternoon. She is in surgery now. Michelle is the daughter of Percy Ricks. Prayers for the family and the medical staff would also be greatly appreciated.

Please continue to pray for Bro. Butch Reviere. He had a difficult day today and will be hospitalized at least another day or two.

Sunday Devotional

AN HOUR OF YOUR TIME

 

 

I have seen the following story in various places, but I do not know the original author:

“Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work.

Giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: “Look, Son, don’t bother me now, I’m tired.”

“But, Daddy, just tell me please! How much do you make an hour?” the boy insisted.

The father, finally giving up, replied: “Ten dollars an hour.”

“Okay, Daddy. Could you loan me five dollars?” the boy asked.

Showing his restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled: “So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right? Go to sleep and don’t bother me anymore!”

It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he said and was feeling guilty. Maybe, he thought, his son wanted to buy something. Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son’s room. “Are you asleep, son?” asked the father.

“No, Daddy. Why?” replied the boy, partially asleep.

“Here’s the money asked for earlier,” the father said.

“Thanks, Daddy!” rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money. “Now I have enough! Now I have ten dollars! Daddy, could you sell me one hour of your time?”

As a father, this story hits me hard. It is so easy to get involved in providing for the family and doing “good things” for others that my family ends up being neglected. We sometimes think that what will make our children happiest is to have more “things”, when what they really want, what they desire more than anything else, is just a bit of our time.

Children’s children are the crown of old men,

and the glory of children is their father.”

(Prov. 17:6)

Heavenly Father, as we stand aware of your constant presence, help us to learn from you to be the kind of fathers we should be to our children. Help us to never grow so “busy” that we fail to have time for those you have entrusted into our special care. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

How many of you thought of Mr. Charley Kuss when you read “children’s children”?

I certainly did!

Have a great Lord’s Day!

Anna Lee

Sunday

“And…they shall abide,

for now He shall be great to the ends of the earth;

and this One shall be peace.”

Micah 5:4b-5

I hope you have looked around the new site and like the changes. I’m open to suggestions . . .


B
e alert to the possibility of the bad weather again this morning. Be safe! Pray for those in our area who suffered damage earlier today.

Update on Rusty Williams:
I got a chance to see Rusty when Matt and I were home a couple of weeks ago. He was still bedridden yet out of the hospital and on medication for the infection. They were hoping it wouldn’t be much longer before he was back in his wheelchair.
. . . .
Chablis Tate

Union University will reopen tomorrow. Pray for students, professors, staff, and leadership there as they continue to make adjustments for the tornado damage that was recently done there. Jennie told me the damage repair would be more expensive than that needed at NOBTS after Katrina. Pray they will receive support to rebuild just as NOBTS.

ONESTORY: WEST AFRICA. Please continue to intercede for the three OneStory Team members who recently arrived in Mali to work among the Songhai people. They have been introduced to village life and have already faced interesting situations, such as a bat flying into one of their mosquito nets. Please pray for them as they adjust to life in West Africa and as they seek to learn a new language. Also ask God to provide a local “person of peace” (Luke 10:6) who will welcome them into their new village, assist in local language learning, and be open to the gospel message. Above all, pray that God will continue to draw the 1.7 million Songhai to Himself.

ASIAN INDIANS OF EAST AFRICA. Recently, in the middle of turmoil following the Kenyan elections, a woman on the South Asian Team sat at a local hang-out spot, visiting with her Hindi teacher and the adult daughter. The teacher and her daughter were anxious and fearful, longing for the days before the elections when peace was ever present. The riots and acts of violence throughout Kenya were constantly on their minds. The daughter repeated over and over, “Oh, I just want things to return to the way it was! Where is all this going?” The team member sat, asking the Father for the right words. She explained to her teacher and the daughter the truth of the One and Only. Both the teacher and daughter commented on the peace that seemed to flow from the team member. Then she went on to explain her fixed joy, her fixed peace beyond all understanding, and her fixed love–all of which came from the Son of the Most High. Please join this team in prayer for this Hindi teacher and her entire family to experience the peace that comes from salvation in the One and Only.

CHINA. More than 70 house church pastors were arrested during a large gathering in a northern China province late last year and were detained for periods ranging from 2-3 days to two weeks. When taken into custody, they were fasting to commemorate Jesus’ suffering. Thank God for sustaining them during their internment. Praise God that they are free again. Pray today for all who suffer for His sake, asking Him to strengthen them and use them for His glory.

PAISA OF COLOMBIA (PIE-sah). The only non-evangelical to attend the Christmas Chronological Bible Narrative worship service at a local Baptist church listened attentively to each of the 12 narratives that linked the Bible from the Creation story through the birth of Jesus. At one point, this young man leaned over to his sister, who had invited him, and whispered, “Wow! I have never heard the Bible shared in such a dynamic way. It really comes to life! I wish that my (traditional) church would learn to share the Bible this way.” This young man lives in a major city and is visiting his two sisters while on vacation. Pray that his sisters will continue to engage him in meaningful discussion about the God of the universe and His purposes for him. Petition the Holy Spirit to convict him of sin, righteousness and judgment. May he ask Jesus to be his Lord and Savior and be included in the great banquet Jesus is preparing for those who answer His call to repentance and a new life in Him.

KARACHI, PAKISTAN (kah-RAH-chee). Elections for Prime Minister as well as many provincial and city representatives are scheduled for February 18. Please pray for governmental leaders and citizens this month as people go to polls to vote. Due to the violence surrounding the recent death of Benazir Bhutto and other turmoil in the country, some polling stations and ballot papers were burned. Pray that this violence will not carry over to election day, so that citizens will feel free to go and cast their votes. Lift up the government and political leaders who are elected into office. Ask God to fill them with wisdom. http://www.go2southasia.org/

AUSTRIANS OF AUSTRIA. K and fellow Vienna Team member C are seeking to meet Austrian women through a new fitness program. They are working hard to be certified in the spring, so please pray for consistency in the requirements for certification. They ask: “Pray also for open doors for a place to meet and women whose hearts are hungry for true friendship and a willingness to listen to the gospel presentations that will accompany each class. Pray that we will trust Jesus and look for His hand in working out all the many details that are needed to be successful in this new endeavor.” pray.vienna@gmail.com

UNIVERSITY STUDENTS OF MADRID, SPAIN. Please intercede for two students, C and I, who are reading the Word, asking that this Book will touch their hearts. Pray that their reading will stimulate conversations about the greatest story ever told. http://www.syncronations.org/

New Look to The Prayer Link

Jason has updated The Prayer Link. It will still be located at http://www.theprayerlink.com. You can still access the archives from the posting of the past, but now there are new features. You can now make comments, follow via RSS, etc. Take some time to check out the changes. Jason and I hope you like the changes that have been made.

Thank-you, Jason, for all your technical skills! The Prayer Link would not exist if it weren’t for you!