Have you ever had the terrible feeling of being falsely accused of something? It's a tough thing to face when people think something of you that is not true. I have had that feeling before, but the worst I personally faced was with my son CJ. When he was in first grade he was accused of improper touching by a little neighbor girl in his class. We got a call from the school and Kerri went down only to find they had already put my first grade son in a room and questioned him in front of his accuser. His teacher was so upset about what the counselor had done before my wife had arrived. So, the counselor did this in the absence of the principal or anyone and was soon fired. But what of the accusations against my son? It sadly turned out that it was an avenue for this little girl to reach out to get help for something that was happening at home and her father was the abuser. I can only imagine what was going through my son’s head with these questions they were asking, not knowing what they were talking about.

 

  What about our Lord Jesus, standing before His false accusers? Knowing what was going to happen and just quietly taking it all upon Himself. In Mark 14:55-61; Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any. For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent. Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, "We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.'" Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent. The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus saying, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?" But He kept silent and did not answer.

 

    I can't imagine standing there and being accused of something and remaining silent and allowing your accusers to put you to death when you have the power to stop it. But my finite mind only knows this world so far. Praise the Lord Jesus for loving us so much that He would come to earth to allow man to do this to Him. A stronger love we will never know than that which comes from heaven. Let us be worthy of such a love.

                                                                                    In Him,    Chuck

 

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A couple weeks ago while at work I had to cut a bearing off of a shaft with a torch. When doing so, I had to be very careful not to cut into the shaft doing more damage. If you take your time and cut slowly you can actually watch the bearing melt away from the shaft and cause no damage. It’s kind of cool to see when it's happening at that perfect moment. It's not a good thing to see if you cut into the shaft, you will have a sad feeling. 

 

  So, for some reason, this made me think of when people used to approach me about Christ. I guess it is the precision and timing that we must sometimes have with our words to reach people. One strong word and they may never listen, but also the time in their life when they are open to hear. I did not grow up in the church but always believed that God existed just from what I had learned as a child. I had people invite me to church functions for many years as a young adult and would go on occasion but never seriously searched out any more about God’s word. A time came in our lives when our children were little we felt a need for more knowledge about God for our children. We wanted them to at least know the Bible stories that we had heard. Meanwhile, it caused us to find our own need for God in our lives and we began our own search. We went to many places but we were in search of the truth in which we could follow in God’s word and that search brought us here. It is sad to see someone that you talked to decide to turn away from God’s words because they don't like what they find and how it may affect them or someone they know. It just breaks your heart but you can't change the truth.

 

  The message that I wish to send in all this, is that the careful choice of the precise word is very important to anyone's search and our helping them find it. But also, the timing of it is important. When we talk to people about Jesus we need to be careful with our words. Plant seeds without being pushy or making people think that we believe Christians are better than them. You may talk to a lot of people that may not be looking at the time of your conversation. We must be careful not to push them away but to be patient and loving and someday God will supply the increase not us. Just be careful with your words and lovingly spread the seeds and people will ask questions when they are ready to seek God out. Just be ready with the answers they seek. It can be rewarding to watch someone grow in faith and follow Christ and serve Him in truth. It will lift your own heart and spirits. If you plant seeds, and hopefully someone else will too, then when they are ready and in God’s time as the song says, “I have decided to follow Jesus” will be their words.                               

                                                                                               

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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'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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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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