Sunday, August 28, 2016

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

It is a wonderful thing and a strengthening of faith that two souls differing from each other in place, nationality, language, obedience and age should have been thus led into a delightful friendship; so far does the order of spiritual beings transcend the material order.

It makes easier that necessary doctrine that we are most closely joined together alike with the sinner Adam and with the Just One, Jesus, even though as to body, time and place we have lived so differently from both. This unity of the whole human race exists: would that there existed that nobler union of which you write. No day do I let pass without my praying for that longed-for consummation.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 28, 2016

MINUTE FOR MISSION: PUBLIC EDUCATION - In the summer of 2013, Nikkitta Jacobs of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, received news that her son, Jaden, who had just turned three, would not have a spot at the Clara Hearne Head Start Center that fall. Facing a $267,000 budget reduction, the center had to cut 37 children from its incoming class ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

In the News ... "THIS WEEKEND - Local church looks to help beautify school"

KWES Photo
• Sunday, August 28 at 9:30 a.m. at the campus of South Elementary

Eric Onyechefule, Reporter
KWES-TV

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Members of God Bless Midland, an outreach group for the First United Methodist Church, will hold their second "School Refresh." It's one of the many projects done by the group and helps schools who may not have as many resources as others. This year, the group will be lending a hand to South Elementary ...

 • read the rest of this KWES report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

“Aslan—and children from another world,” thought Tirian. “They have always come in when things were at their worst. Oh, if only they could now.”

And he called out “Aslan! Aslan! Aslan! Come and help us now.”

But the darkness and the cold and the quietness went on just the same.

“Let me be killed,” cried the King. “I ask nothing for myself. But come and save all Narnia.”

And still there was no change in the night or the wood, but there began to be a kind of change inside Tirian. Without knowing why, he began to feel a faint hope. And he felt somehow stronger. “Oh Aslan, Aslan,” he whispered. “If you will not come yourself, at least send me the helpers from beyond the world. Or let me call them. Let my voice carry beyond the world.” Then, hardly knowing that he was doing it, he suddenly cried out in a great voice:

“Children! Children! Friends of Narnia! Quick. Come to me. Across the worlds I call you; I, Tirian, King of Narnia, Lord of Cair Paravel, and Emperor of the Lone Islands!”

From The Last Battle
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 27, 2016

CREATIVE APPROACH LEADS RETIRED PASTORS TO SERVE 10-MEMBER CONGREGATION - Two years ago Glacier Presbytery faced a challenge that may not be unique to that presbytery—how to find effective pastoral leadership for a very small, very rural congregation. The congregation of Community Presbyterian Church in Whitlash, Montana, with its 10 members, provides a vital ministry to that area, being the only church in that ranching community. Their remoteness presented an additional difficulty, as they are located more than 20 miles from the nearest paved road. Over the years they had tried many methods of securing pastoral leadership, sharing with nearby churches from other denominations, making weekly calls seeking a pastor to fill the pulpit, and helping a local person become trained as a commissioned ruling elder. When their pulpit once again became vacant, they reached out to the presbytery, wondering if there was a way to have a teaching elder serve them, even though their funds were very limited ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, August 26, 2016

From ServLife International ... "Humbled and Excited"

ServLife International is a movement defined by values of God’s kingdom, not programs built around human efforts and activities. The reign and rule of God should be made apparent to every person on the planet, despite their religion, race or socioeconomic status. We believe that issues of justice are inseparable from the good news that Jesus Christ came to proclaim. ServLife exists to take the gospel of Christ and the hope of a better, more just, world to the lives of people we touch. This happens through individual contributions of time, creativity, resources and dreams.




Humbled and Excited

It’s been almost a year since I went on ServLife’s teacher training trip. I’m excited to think about the people who are preparing to go on this year’s trip as I think about how much I got out of my own trip. I myself am not a teacher nor am I pursuing a degree in education; however, I have finished my sophomore year of studying history and international relations. One doesn’t need to study these things to go on a mission trip, but my schooling gave me a deeper understanding of the challenges facing Nepal, and my experiences on the trip enriched what I study ...

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this post from ServLife ...





Adam Nevins 
From Adam Nevins
Executive Director
ServLife International Inc.


Join Our Mission

ServLife International propels reconciliation and justice by building global community to plant churches, care for children and fight poverty. Compelled by the message, life and love of Jesus Christ, we seek to care for the spiritual, physical, social, and economic areas of life in northern India and Nepal.  Learn more about our latest news, featured stories, and how to get involved at servlife.org

Support a Pastor

Our church planters spread
the love of Christ in some of the most difficult
environments in the world.
Support Them ... 

Sponsor a Child

For only $30 per month you can help give a child food, education, care and, most importantly, hope.
Sponsor Now ... 

Fight Poverty

The HOPE Fund, our micro-finance program, provides start-up funds for a small business, paving a way out of poverty for families in need.
Learn More ...



ServLife International, Inc.
P.O. Box 20596
Indianapolis, IN 46220
USA


From @FWMission ...Friday Story: "Regaining Mobility"

Founded in 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to providing wheelchairs for the impoverished disabled in developing nations. Headquartered in Irvine, California, FWM works around the world in partnership with a vast network of humanitarian, faith-based and government organizations, sending wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of disabled people, providing not only the gift of mobility, but of dignity, independence, and hope.

Friday Story: "Regaining Mobility"

Greetings, and Happy Friday!

As an orphan, Francine never really had anyone to care for her properly. An illness in the 6th grade resulted in her losing strength in both her legs. After a six-month stay in the hospital, Francine moved to a center for people with disabilities. There she received a brace for her left leg, but both her legs were so weak she still couldn’t stand ...

read the rest of this story ...

In the News ... "Angel Tree program to take applications in September

• New clothing or toys for children of needy families

Staff Report
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - The Salvation Army of Odessa will soon be accepting appointments to apply for the Christmas Angel Tree Program.

Those interested must secure an appointment in person starting from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 6 through Sept. 30 on weekdays. No phone calls will be accepted.

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO GENIA GOELZ, who had asked Lewis for a prayer in her struggle to believe: Lewis’s prayer for a daily increase in obedience and faith.

18 March 1952

Don’t bother at all about that question of a person being ‘made a Christian’ by baptism. It is only the usual trouble about words being used in more than one sense. Thus we might say a man ‘became a soldier’ the moment that he joined the army. But his instructors might say six months later ‘I think we have made a soldier of him’. Both usages are quite definable, only one wants to know which is being used in a given sentence. The Bible itself gives us one short prayer which is suitable for all who are struggling with the beliefs and doctrines. It is: ‘Lord I believe, help Thou my unbelief.’6 Would something of this sort be any good?: Almighty God, who art the Father of lights and who has promised by thy dear Son that all who do thy will shall know thy doctrine: [John 7:17] give me grace so to live that by daily obedience I daily increase in faith and in the understanding of thy Holy Word, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 26, 2016

CONGREGATION EMBRACES ORGANIC GARDENING TO COMBAT HUNGER - The rolling, beautiful valleys of Marin County, California, provide the perfect backdrop for Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church.. One look at this majestic landscape and it doesn’t take much to inspire people to protect and nurture it ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Far East News: "Shekinah Home Kids Experiencing Freedom"

Devestating floods, deadly cyclones and repressive governments notwithstanding, our friends in mission based in southeast Asia continue to spread the love of Jesus Christ, not only through their actions, but through the written Word of God. Following is an update we received from Mark and Astrid of the Christian Far East Ministry. We met with them both, learned from them and contributed to their efforts during our Thailand Mission, in 2008. Their work extends beyond the borders of Thailand into other southeast Asian countries, as well.

visit CFEASIA's website
visit CFEASIA on Facebook



CFEASIA Photo
"Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”   2 CORINTHIANS 3:17 (ESV)

Shekinah Home Kids Experiencing Freedom

The beautiful picture above shows some of the Shekinah kids who left the refugee camps. They are in the town of Hpa'an in Myanmar. They are shown here exercising in their amazing surroundings.

The kids are now broken up between two towns. Hpa'an is the town that the kids first reached and where the death threats happened. The local government wanted all of the children to stay there, because they felt they could better protect them while in Hpa'an. But Gideon (who takes care of the children) felt he was supposed to go on to the intended destination of Taungoo. He finally went there and talked to people who had heard lies about him and the children, such as these children are a cult who will destroy the local churches, and he worked out an agreement to move there. But the high school is not good in Taungoo, so the high school students have stayed in Hpa'an where there are good high schools.

This was such a historic event that The Democratic Voice of Burma made a video about it. The link is at the end of this article. You can see Gideon and Zember being interviewed. The video is all in Burmese.

watch the video ...

In the video the story is being told how these people were refugees, but now they are starting a new life in Myanmar. They have been granted Myanmar citizenship and the kids are attending school. They are now under a (our friend’s) Myanmar based charitable foundation making all of this legal. Gideon shares that it was his decision to bring the children back, and that now the foundation has come along side to help the children. The children are very much enjoying their new found freedom and they thank the Lord for this move.

God bless you!

Mark and Astrid



NEW INCORPORATION - Christian Far East Ministry has now been incorporated in America. All gifts may now be given directly to Christian Far East Ministry, PO Box 1411, Glendora, CA 91740. "If it is easier for you to continue to give through Faith Community Church or His Servants Ministry, you can as our relationship with these ministries has not changed. But if you are mailing checks to the Glendora address, you may now make all gifts payable to Christian Far East Ministry. We’d like to thank Faith Community Church and His Servants Ministry for their assistance and support throughout the years and their continued assistance. We’d also like to thank all of you who support us and pray for us as we could not do this ministry without your partnership."

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. . . . He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert. Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honor) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, ‘Son, thou art welcome.’ But I said, ‘Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash.’ He answered, ‘Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me.’ Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”

From The Last Battle
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 25, 2016

FAIR TRADE ARTISAN GROUP CREDITS PRESBYTERIANS WITH HELPING IT REACH MILESTONE - Artisans from Peru, Cambodia, and other countries who have struggled with poverty most of their lives are celebrating a milestone. Partners for Just Trade (PJT), a nonprofit that connects artisans from impoverished areas with North American consumers, is commemorating its 10th anniversary this year ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... TODAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer, TODAY

Hi Friends,

Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas, followed by lunch together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook ! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

It's back to school! Every day I see friends posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram of their children, fresh and ready for their first day of school. My own little girls start in early September. My oldest will be in Kindergarten and my youngest will be in Pre-K3. They are eager and ready, and though it's a bit sad for me to see them another year older, mostly I'm deeply grateful for their good health and development because it means they can take part in milestones like this.

But as kids go back to school, I think about so many ways we can pray for our children...

For children who face bullying or constantly feeling like an outsider, school can be a lonely, terrifying and even dangerous place. For those children, I pray God's presence is like a hedge of protection around them, guarding them before and behind - comforting, nurturing, and empowering them as His sons and daughters. And I pray He raises up other children to be their defenders and their friends.

For children who do not have a home that is a safe refuge... whose parents didn't bother buying school supplies or ensuring there's breakfast each morning; for children who are responsible for getting themselves and their younger siblings out the door and to school on time and don't have any compassionate grown-ups ensuring that their home work is done and that they go to bed at a decent time. For those children, I pray that God's presence is like a mother's warm hug, enveloping them in peace, safety and security.

In each classroom, there are so many back-stories that we may never fully understand: sick parents, parents who abuse drugs or alcohol, families staring down homelessness or hunger, children who come to school having only heard words of anger and abuse since waking. Each child brings so much into the classroom... so many things far heavier than their backpacks. For those children's teachers, I pray God's presence brings wisdom and divine insight. That in addition to teaching the three R's, they would be able to meet the deepest soul-needs of the children in their care. And I pray God raises up volunteers, "classroom grannies," and room parents to help fill in the gaps for all the children.

And as our kids go back to school, I look around the world and can think of so many ways to pray for our children who never get to go to school ...

Reuters Photo
INDIA // To satisfy the world's appetite for sparkly eye-shadow and glittery cars, unregulated and unlicensed mica mines have sprung up and many take advantage of child labor. According to a major report done by Thomson Reuters Foundation, some experts estimate that 70 percent of India's mica production comes from illegal mines and estimate 20,000 children are involved in mica mining in Jharkhand and Bihar, India. Not only is it dangerous and deadly work, but even for children who survive, they do not get basic opportunities like going to school.

NIGERIA // In April of 2014, Boko Haram (an Islamic militant group) kidnapped 219 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, sparking a global firestorm of #BringBackOurGirls media attention and criticism of the Nigerian government for not doing enough to rescue the kidnapped girls. Now, nearly two years later, the first girl has been rescued along with her 4-month-old baby. Amina Ali, 21, said she is now afraid of school and isn't sure she wants to go back. Instead she would like a sewing machine so she can learn to sew clothes. She hopes the other surviving girls are also rescued.

I hope you'll join me this week in praying for all of our children going back to school ... and all the children who will never get that chance.

Praying with you,

Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153



If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Pleasure

[The demon Screwtape writes:] [God, the “Enemy,” is] a hedonist at heart. All those fasts and vigils and stakes and crosses are only a facade. Or only like foam on the sea shore. Out at sea, out in His sea, there is pleasure, and more pleasure. He makes no secret of it; at His right hand are “pleasures for evermore.” Ugh! Don’t think He has the least inkling of that high and austere mystery to which we rise in the Miserific Vision. He’s vulgar, Wormwood. He has a bourgeois mind. He has filled His world full of pleasures. There are things for humans to do all day long without His minding in the least—sleeping, washing, eating, drinking, making love, playing, praying, working. Everything has to be twisted before it’s any use to us. We fight under cruel disadvantages. Nothing is naturally on our side.

From The Screwtape Letters
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 24, 2016

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS YIELD IMPRESSIVE RESULTS FOR EARTH CARE CONGREGATION - Nearly three years ago, Fellowship Presbyterian Church (FPC) in Huntsville, Alabama, launched its witness for environmental conservation by simply changing its lightbulbs. Since then, FPC has greatly expanded its environmental ministries, becoming a PC(USA) Earth Care Congregation and organizing a food distribution community program to complement its environmental commitment. As PC(USA) Associate for Environmental Ministries Rebecca Barnes says, “We recognize that earth care ministries do well to encompass issues of poverty and hunger alleviation, peacemaking, and more. Caring for all in God’s creation includes social justice” ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... TOMORROW

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer, TOMORROW

Hi Friends,

Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas, followed by lunch together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook ! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

It's back to school! Every day I see friends posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram of their children, fresh and ready for their first day of school. My own little girls start in early September. My oldest will be in Kindergarten and my youngest will be in Pre-K3. They are eager and ready, and though it's a bit sad for me to see them another year older, mostly I'm deeply grateful for their good health and development because it means they can take part in milestones like this.

But as kids go back to school, I think about so many ways we can pray for our children...

For children who face bullying or constantly feeling like an outsider, school can be a lonely, terrifying and even dangerous place. For those children, I pray God's presence is like a hedge of protection around them, guarding them before and behind - comforting, nurturing, and empowering them as His sons and daughters. And I pray He raises up other children to be their defenders and their friends.

For children who do not have a home that is a safe refuge... whose parents didn't bother buying school supplies or ensuring there's breakfast each morning; for children who are responsible for getting themselves and their younger siblings out the door and to school on time and don't have any compassionate grown-ups ensuring that their home work is done and that they go to bed at a decent time. For those children, I pray that God's presence is like a mother's warm hug, enveloping them in peace, safety and security.

In each classroom, there are so many back-stories that we may never fully understand: sick parents, parents who abuse drugs or alcohol, families staring down homelessness or hunger, children who come to school having only heard words of anger and abuse since waking. Each child brings so much into the classroom... so many things far heavier than their backpacks. For those children's teachers, I pray God's presence brings wisdom and divine insight. That in addition to teaching the three R's, they would be able to meet the deepest soul-needs of the children in their care. And I pray God raises up volunteers, "classroom grannies," and room parents to help fill in the gaps for all the children.

And as our kids go back to school, I look around the world and can think of so many ways to pray for our children who never get to go to school ...

Reuters Photo
INDIA // To satisfy the world's appetite for sparkly eye-shadow and glittery cars, unregulated and unlicensed mica mines have sprung up and many take advantage of child labor. According to a major report done by Thomson Reuters Foundation, some experts estimate that 70 percent of India's mica production comes from illegal mines and estimate 20,000 children are involved in mica mining in Jharkhand and Bihar, India. Not only is it dangerous and deadly work, but even for children who survive, they do not get basic opportunities like going to school.

NIGERIA // In April of 2014, Boko Haram (an Islamic militant group) kidnapped 219 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, sparking a global firestorm of #BringBackOurGirls media attention and criticism of the Nigerian government for not doing enough to rescue the kidnapped girls. Now, nearly two years later, the first girl has been rescued along with her 4-month-old baby. Amina Ali, 21, said she is now afraid of school and isn't sure she wants to go back. Instead she would like a sewing machine so she can learn to sew clothes. She hopes the other surviving girls are also rescued.

I hope you'll join me this week in praying for all of our children going back to school ... and all the children who will never get that chance.

Praying with you,

Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153



If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

In the News ... "Questions of denominations answered"

OA Photo by Jacob Ford
• Fish pursues a swirl of church-related activities

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Yolanda Fish went about answering her own questions about denominational distinctions as a teenager, and now as president of the Odessa Ministerial Alliance, she said she believes she has those answers.

Attending a Bible Church in Kenosha, Wis., as a 16-year-old, Fish said, “I wanted to know why we had all these denominations when we just had one God and one Bible" ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

For about a hundred years we have so concentrated on one of the virtues—‘kindness’ or mercy—that most of us do not feel anything except kindness to be really good or anything but cruelty to be really bad. Such lopsided ethical developments are not uncommon, and other ages too have had their pet virtues and curious insensibilities. And if one virtue must be cultivated at the expense of all the rest, none has a higher claim than mercy—for every Christian must reject with detestation that covert propaganda for cruelty which tries to drive mercy out of the world by calling it names such as ‘Humanitarianism’ and ‘Sentimentality’. The real trouble is that ‘kindness’ is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that ‘his heart’s in the right place’ and ‘he wouldn’t hurt a fly’, though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 23, 2016

CONGREGATION HOSTS INTERFAITH CONVERSATION - “There is something about being a junior at a Catholic college that makes you more Muslim,” Ali Ahmed recently quipped to a packed fellowship hall at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Ahmed, who at the tine was a senior at Xavier University and president of the university’s Muslim Students Association (MSA), shared his personal faith story with 90 members of Northminster who had assembled to get to know their neighbors better. The Northminster group heard about faith journeys from four Muslim students and a Muslim faculty member from Xavier. The interfaith event was the result of two organizations seeking to respond to God’s call to love one’s neighbor ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, August 22, 2016

From @chinaaid : "Officials seal serially persecuted house church"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.



ChinaAid Photo
Officials seal serially persecuted house church
Distributed by ChinaAid, July, 2016 ...

GUANGZHOU, GUANGDONG, CHINA – Officials in China’s southern Guangdong province shut down and sealed one branch of a house church on June 23, threatening to take action if the church continued meeting.

This incident marks the fourth incursion against the Taihe County branch of Guangfu Church, also known as Taihe Hall, this year ...

more on this story from China Aid



Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... WEDNESDAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Our mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, we seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer, WEDNESDAY

Hi Friends,

Thank you for joining me in prayer for the children of the world. If you can, we'd love to have you pray together with us this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas, followed by lunch together.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook ! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

It's back to school! Every day I see friends posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram of their children, fresh and ready for their first day of school. My own little girls start in early September. My oldest will be in Kindergarten and my youngest will be in Pre-K3. They are eager and ready, and though it's a bit sad for me to see them another year older, mostly I'm deeply grateful for their good health and development because it means they can take part in milestones like this.

But as kids go back to school, I think about so many ways we can pray for our children...

For children who face bullying or constantly feeling like an outsider, school can be a lonely, terrifying and even dangerous place. For those children, I pray God's presence is like a hedge of protection around them, guarding them before and behind - comforting, nurturing, and empowering them as His sons and daughters. And I pray He raises up other children to be their defenders and their friends.

For children who do not have a home that is a safe refuge... whose parents didn't bother buying school supplies or ensuring there's breakfast each morning; for children who are responsible for getting themselves and their younger siblings out the door and to school on time and don't have any compassionate grown-ups ensuring that their home work is done and that they go to bed at a decent time. For those children, I pray that God's presence is like a mother's warm hug, enveloping them in peace, safety and security.

In each classroom, there are so many back-stories that we may never fully understand: sick parents, parents who abuse drugs or alcohol, families staring down homelessness or hunger, children who come to school having only heard words of anger and abuse since waking. Each child brings so much into the classroom... so many things far heavier than their backpacks. For those children's teachers, I pray God's presence brings wisdom and divine insight. That in addition to teaching the three R's, they would be able to meet the deepest soul-needs of the children in their care. And I pray God raises up volunteers, "classroom grannies," and room parents to help fill in the gaps for all the children.

And as our kids go back to school, I look around the world and can think of so many ways to pray for our children who never get to go to school ...

Reuters Photo
INDIA // To satisfy the world's appetite for sparkly eye-shadow and glittery cars, unregulated and unlicensed mica mines have sprung up and many take advantage of child labor. According to a major report done by Thomson Reuters Foundation, some experts estimate that 70 percent of India's mica production comes from illegal mines and estimate 20,000 children are involved in mica mining in Jharkhand and Bihar, India. Not only is it dangerous and deadly work, but even for children who survive, they do not get basic opportunities like going to school.

NIGERIA // In April of 2014, Boko Haram (an Islamic militant group) kidnapped 219 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, sparking a global firestorm of #BringBackOurGirls media attention and criticism of the Nigerian government for not doing enough to rescue the kidnapped girls. Now, nearly two years later, the first girl has been rescued along with her 4-month-old baby. Amina Ali, 21, said she is now afraid of school and isn't sure she wants to go back. Instead she would like a sewing machine so she can learn to sew clothes. She hopes the other surviving girls are also rescued.

I hope you'll join me this week in praying for all of our children going back to school ... and all the children who will never get that chance.

Praying with you,

Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153



If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

In the News ... "Group prays for students’ well-being"

OA Photo by Jacob Ford
• More than 100 churches participate in One Accord

By Silvio Panta, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - A group of about 30 people gathered around Saturday outside the steps of the Ector County Independent School District’s administration building to pray for the well-being of students and teachers as they begin the new school year.

Singing religious songs and reading scripture, the event was meant to show spiritual support and encouragement for schools, Tammy Stallcup, an event coordinator, explained ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

They were all still wondering what to do next, when Lucy said, “Look! There’s a robin, with such a red breast. It’s the first bird I’ve seen here. I say!—I wonder can birds talk in Narnia? It almost looks as if it wanted to say something to us.” Then she turned to the Robin and said, “Please, can you tell us where Tumnus the Faun has been taken to?” As she said this she took a step toward the bird. It at once flew away but only as far as to the next tree. There it perched and looked at them very hard as if it understood all they had been saying. Almost without noticing that they had done so, the four children went a step or two nearer to it. At this the Robin flew away again to the next tree and once more looked at them very hard. . . .

“Do you know,” said Lucy, “I really believe he means us to follow him.”

“I’ve an idea he does,” said Susan. “What do you think, Peter?”

“Well, we might as well try it,” answered Peter. . . . They had been traveling in this way for about half an hour . . . when Edmund said to Peter, “if you’re not still too high and mighty to talk to me, I’ve something to say which you’d better listen to. . . . [H]ave you realized what we’re doing? . . . We’re following a guide we know nothing about. How do we know which side that bird is on? Why shouldn’t it be leading us into a trap?”

“That’s a nasty idea. Still—a robin, you know. They’re good birds in all the stories I’ve ever read. I’m sure a robin wouldn’t be on the wrong side.”

“If it comes to that, which is the right side? How do we know that the Fauns are in the right and the Queen (yes, I know we’ve been told she’s a witch) is in the wrong? We don’t really know anything about either.”

“The Faun saved Lucy.”

“He said he did. But how do we know?”

From The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 22, 2016

BUILDING A CHURCH WITHOUT OWNING A BUILDING - What could your congregation do if it didn’t have to worry about keeping up a building?

That’s the question Eneyas Freitas asked when he started a new worshiping community called Urban Connect in Phoenix. His congregation meets at a new event venue called the Vintage 45 in Phoenix’s warehouse district every Sunday morning ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Photo Op

With the return of faculty on campus tomorrow, and starting a busy week of in-service at Midland College, I will be unable to attend a mid-day luncheon and presentation by Carl Medearis. So, I attended early worship service at 1st Prez-Midland today for a chance to hear Medearis speak, get a copy of his book, visit with him one-on-one, and even get a photo ...

Photo by Steve Schorr
• Carl Medearis works to bring better understanding to Islamic culture

Rich Lopez, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Both “Islam” and “Muslim” are hot-button terms in the country right now and have been since 9/11. And with the shootings in Orlando, Florida, in June and San Bernadino, California, last year that some have tied to radical Islam, the issue can be a toxic one. But Carl Medearis is working to change all that.

The speaker comes to First Presbyterian Church on Monday with his session “Encountering Islam/Shattering Stereotypes” to bring a bit of enlightenment to the culture and how to embrace Muslims with an open mind and Christian heart.

Before his appearance, he spoke from his Colorado home about the session, his following of Jesus and how humor is a big help to his work ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Time

[The demon Screwtape writes:] The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present—either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.

Our business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity. It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time—for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.

From The Screwtape Letters
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 21, 2016

MINUTE FOR MISSION: YOUTH IN THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD - Vikita Sihali was a “young” young adult at the 2013 Presbyterian Youth Triennium. She serves her home presbytery, Amatola, in the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa and her home congregation as a youth leader. She shared the following words with the presbyteries of Northern New England and Boston after the Triennium ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

In the News ... “Carl Medearis works to bring better understanding to Islamic culture"

Courtesy Photo
• August 24 and 25 at 1st Presbyterian-Midland

Rich Lopez, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Both “Islam” and “Muslim” are hot-button terms in the country right now and have been since 9/11. And with the shootings in Orlando, Florida, in June and San Bernadino, California, last year that some have tied to radical Islam, the issue can be a toxic one. But Carl Medearis is working to change all that.

The speaker comes to First Presbyterian Church on Monday with his session “Encountering Islam/Shattering Stereotypes” to bring a bit of enlightenment to the culture and how to embrace Muslims with an open mind and Christian heart.

Before his appearance, he spoke from his Colorado home about the session, his following of Jesus and how humor is a big help to his work ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On the need to cry; on the need to remember God’s past mercies; on the suitability of his Ransom trilogy, especially That Hideous Strength, for children; and on the kinds of snobbery. Lewis asks if he may dedicate The Magician’s Nephew to her friends.

22 February 1954

I am very sorry indeed to hear that anxieties again assail you. (By the way, don’t ‘weep inwardly’ and get a sore throat. If you must weep, weep: a good honest howl! I suspect we—and especially, my sex—don’t cry enough nowadays. Aeneas and Hector and Beowulf and Roland and Lancelot blubbered like school-girls, so why shouldn’t we?) You were wonderfully supported in your worries last time: I shall indeed pray that it may be so again.

Would the Kilmer family like to have the next story but one dedicated to them? Let me know: the site is still vacant.

I didn’t object to the family reading the trilogy on the ground that it would be too difficult—that would do no harm—but because in the last one there is so much evil, in a form not, I think, suitable for their age, and many specifically sexual problems which it would do them no good to think of at present. I daresay the Silent Planet is alright: Perelandra, little less so: T.H.S. most unsuitable.

I don’t think that an appreciation of ancient and noble blood is ‘snobbery’ at all. What is snobbery is a greedy desire to know those who have it, or a mean desire to flatter them, or a conceited desire to boast of their acquaintance. I think it quite legitimate to feel that such things give an added interest to a person who is nice on other grounds, just as a hotel which was nice on other grounds would have an added charm for me if it was also a building with ‘historic interest’.

I write in great haste—I can’t, like you, do it in working hours! But you’re nothing to [Charles] Lamb: as far as I can make out all his letters, which now fill two volumes, were written in the office. Happy days those.

Well I hope I shall have better news in your next. God bless you.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: August 20, 2016

LESOTHO - Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” John Matlosa, and all those who know him, would be among the first to agree.

Born into a poor family in the mountains of Lesotho, a country encircled by South Africa, Matlosa and his siblings were raised by a single mother. In order to feed and clothe the children, their mother contracted with a man in the village for Matlosa and his brother to herd cattle. In this largely rural and agrarian country, it is not an unusual occupation for boys, ages 7-12. The opportunity to attend school full-time was a distant dream ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, August 19, 2016

From ServLife International ... "Speaking and Acting"

ServLife International is a movement defined by values of God’s kingdom, not programs built around human efforts and activities. The reign and rule of God should be made apparent to every person on the planet, despite their religion, race or socioeconomic status. We believe that issues of justice are inseparable from the good news that Jesus Christ came to proclaim. ServLife exists to take the gospel of Christ and the hope of a better, more just, world to the lives of people we touch. This happens through individual contributions of time, creativity, resources and dreams.



Speaking and Acting

Colossians 3:17 is one of my favorite verses, “Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.” Some people speak but don’t act. Some act but don’t speak. Some speak and act but not in the name of Jesus ...

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this post from ServLife ...





Adam Nevins 
From Adam Nevins
Executive Director
ServLife International Inc.


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