I'll let you figure out what to call them because they are an insect and you can find the answer easy enough with a little reading. The point is, there is an importance in a name. If I want to get my license, social security card or birth certificate records I have to give my proper legal name. 

Without a proper name and identification, you can't get your own information. There are also many clubs and organizations you must be a member of to get in. Your name must be on the list and you will normally have to pay for that. We all have records from the day we were born with a proper legal name, as long as our parents named us. 

 

  So, what does the Bible say about the importance of a name? Matthew 1:20-21("Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."), John 1:29(The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!") and Acts 4:12(And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.) 

 

  This name “Jesus” sounds very important to me. If you believe in Him you may have life in His name, John 20:31. You are forgiven in His name and being buried in the likeness of His death through baptism, putting on His blood which saves us. Through no other name can we be saved. Not by Peter, not by Paul, not by David, or Abraham or even a Pope. But the name of Jesus Christ our Lord alone can reconcile man to God. You do have to choose to join our Father God’s family, which are alive in Christ and through His name. Come, be a member, the price was paid for you.

 

                                                                                                In Him,    Chuck

 

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Two brothers, Merga Eseta and his brother Lemma are graduates of the Nekempt Preacher Training School.  Lemma has been walking 4 hours once a week to a place called Aluma Negero to preach where members of his family live. He has a number of people in a Bible study and is confident a Church will be established there very soon. Another graduate, Hinka, has started preaching in a new place called Gemta Anewma, a 4 hour walk in the other direction and has planted a new congregation there.  Moti, a PTS graduate, is from Nejo also. He has gone to the Muchocho Giorges area and just baptized 3 people and planted the Church in that area. These churches continue to grow and mature in Christ.

This is how it works!  When 10 or 15 men graduate from the preacher training school some of them go back to their home congregations. Others go to new places, plant and start new congregations. Every new congregation needs at least one preacher but over time will send two or three. The extra trained preachers strengthen the Church that sent them and go out on foot teaching and planting new congregations. These new congregations need a trained local and so the process repeats itself. The Lord set up this pattern of spreading the gospel.  Paul told Timothy to teach faithful men, who will teach faithful men, who will teach faithful men----(2 Timothy 2:2).  The Lord’s pattern of teaching still works!

The Church in Ethiopia requests our prayers and gives thanks for supporting them through the years.

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I have a scar on my finger today that reminds me of something I did more than 40 years ago. I was 5 or 6 years old at the time. I was in the backyard of my grandfather's yard watching his dog, Bo chew on a pork chop bone. For some reason I decided to take the bone away from him. Bo expressed to me that he'd rather I not do that by growling first and then biting me when I failed to take the first hint. I ran into the house crying and bleeding looking for someone to care for my wound. My grandfather met me first. "What happened?" he asked. I told him. He then replied, "Don't do that!" I haven't.

Some of the situations people get themselves into may seem to them harmless at first. They may do things like hang out with the wrong crowd and go to the wrong places. They may rationalize this by saying, "As long as I didn't do anything wrong I don't see the problem." They may see themselves as the exception to the rule, "Play with fire and you'll get burned" or "Lie down with dogs and you'll get up with fleas." And gradually the sinful environment they've immersed themselves into begins to chip away at their resolve. Before long drunkenness is not that big of a deal, profanity is just words, and having sex with someone you're not married to is just for fun. At first they ignore the "growling" of the conscience and do what they do because that's what they want to do. Then sin all of a sudden bites and it leaves a scar. It leaves scars that remain even if you've repented and been forgiven. It leaves scars of unplanned pregnancies, abortions and changing the plans you had for your life. It leaves scars of drunken brawls, drunken drivers and death. It not only scars those who made the foolish decisions but also those who were simply unfortunate enough to meet them on the highway. Hear the Word of the Lord, I Corinthians 15:33... "Do not be fooled: bad friends will ruin good habits." (NCV)\

Psalm 119:63... "I am a friend to everyone who fears you. I am a friend to anyone who follows your orders." (NCV)

We can try later in life to cover the scars of the choices we've made. But wouldn't it be better to not get bit in the first place?

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Mark 7

This has been a great year for watermelons. Picking out a good watermelon is difficult because no matter how good it looks on the outside, it’s hard to tell what it’s really like on the inside. We can tap it, thump it and squeeze it, only to take it home and discover that the inside is not sweet or is mushy.

On one occasion when Jesus’ disciples did not wash their hands before eating, the Pharisees became extremely irritated because it violated one of their man‑made traditions (Mark 7:1‑8). Jesus immediately challenged them by saying:

“All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9).

He went so far as to call them “hypocrites” (Mark 7:6) and explained that what comes from the inside of an individual is what “defiles” him, not the other way around (Mark 7:14‑23).

If we’re not careful, we can become so absorbed with looking good on the outside, that we forget what really counts. In fact, when we get to the place where we think “we’ve arrived,” we sometime become proud of ourselves and harshly and wrongfully judge others. Harboring bitterness, clinging to critical attitudes, and thinking too highly of ourselves are the kind of defiling things that make us guilty of Jesus’ charge of being a “hypocrite.”

The point is this: It’s the things on the inside of our heart — our thoughts and attitudes that really matter to the Lord. 2 Corinthians 10:5; John 4:23‑24.

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Sometimes, we may act in a way that might make our brother or sister stumble. When Paul writes his letter to the Corinthians, he answers a question that sometimes might be hard to understand. He deals with our conscience and the people we are around. Why is one’s freedom limited by another’s conscience? The answer is love. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says this about love “Love does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered.” Love does not act with rudeness, Love is courteous and has manners. Love is not offensive to others, tactfulness and politeness are always part of a Christian’s behavior. Love does not insist upon it’s rights, Love is        unselfish, Love is happy in the happiness of others. Love seeks the best interests of others.

 

Why am I writing these things about love? The answer is, because we are family. We get things done when we are united as a family. We have no time to look for bad because we are the family of God. It is an amazing thing that happens when a family is united, great things can be done.

 

I am reminded of this when I look at baseball teams that have won the World Series. In 1979 a team won the series with not the best of talent, although they were very good. Every time at the ball game a song was sung by the band Sister Sledge, which was titled, “We are Family.” We can do great things like the Pittsburgh Pirates. We can win souls with God’s help, what a great series that would be. Great things happen when we love each other and we act like family.

 

 

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