Wednesday, May 25, 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,

I look forward to our prayer time together this Wednesday at 11:30, 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,

Today I watched my little 5-year-old daughter stand on a stage in our church sanctuary. Long, blonde pig-tails poking out from beneath her graduation cap, she stood with the rest of her pre-Kindergarten class and proudly participated in a recognition ceremony and program. The music teacher started playing the first few familiar chords of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and the children's sweet voices rose in unison:

Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be
In this world, I can be
Anything I want to be
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be

As a mom, I sat there with my eyes glued to my sweet girl. How have 5 years gone so quickly? I remember the moment the doctor announced "It's a girl!" and laid her on my chest for the first time. That feels like yesterday. And I thought for a moment about how everyone tells me that it will feel like tomorrow when I'm watching her walk down the aisle for her high school graduation. Like any mama, I want to slow the years down. But at the same time, I'm so grateful to be at this place and in this moment.

Because as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I cannot think only of my child. I can't help but think about all the other 5-year-olds around the world whose lives look so different.

I think about sweet little girls who are in hospital wards; their blonde pig-tails a distant memory. I think about their little arms poked with IVs pumping scary-sounding chemicals into their tiny little bodies; the chemicals far less scary than the tumors they fight.

I think about a little 5-year-old boy named Muhammad who lives with his mom in a camp for the Rohingya in Burma. His mom sold their ration card to pay off the human traffickers holding her husband, but the traffickers still didn't release her husband and he still died. Now little Muhammed is slowly starving.

I think about 5-year-old Syrian refugees who have only known a lifetime of conflict. I think about the fact that they want to be art teachers and pilots and queens and mamas, just like my little girl. I wonder, has anyone taught them to sing a little song about how they can be anything they want to be? Or does that feel too implausible to the frantic grownups trying to patch together a safe life for their families out of the chaos.


As I think about all of this, I'm reminded of a line from another sweet children's song. He's got the whole world in His hands. Scripture tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our head and He has our names engraved on the palms of His hands. And I can picture Him looking down on this spinning planet of ours - a blur of green and blue and white - and somehow He still sees each and every one of us. He sees every 5-year-old. He sees the one standing on a stage graduating from preschool to the applause of her family and friends, and He sees the one sitting in a cold corner of an orphanage all alone. He sees the little boy jumping on a trampoline and staring at the clouds, and He sees the one stacking bricks in a brick kiln for hour after hour.

He sees and He knows, and He's got the whole world in His hands.

Holy Spirit, help us to pray when we just don't have the words. We trust you and we know that you are good and that you love each of your children. God, It's hard to understand why you allow some to suffer so much, while others have every opportunity imaginable. But in spite of what we see, we trust that you are working to bring restoration and hope to this hurting and broken world. Father, as we are your children, please empower us to love and serve your littlest children. We know they are your treasures, and you are especially fond of each of them. Give us eyes to see what hurts them and the courage not to turn away. Jesus, give us hearts that are broken for what breaks yours. May we carry these children in our hearts, lifting them up to you.

Sincerely,

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

“Stay where you are,” cried Digory, turning round to face her, “or we’ll all vanish. Don’t come an inch nearer.”

“Foolish boy,” said the Witch. “Why do you run from me? I mean you no harm. If you do not stop and listen to me now, you will miss some knowledge that would have made you happy all your life.”

“Well, I don’t want to hear it, thanks,” said Digory. But he did.

“I know what errand you have come on,” continued the Witch. “For it was I who was close beside you in the woods last night and heard all your counsels. You have plucked fruit in the garden yonder. You have it in your pocket now. And you are going to carry it back, untasted, to the Lion; for him to eat, for him to use. You simpleton! Do you know what that fruit is? I will tell you. It is the apple of youth, the apple of life. I know, for I have tasted it; and I feel already such changes in myself that I know I shall never grow old or die. Eat it, Boy, eat it; and you and I will both live forever and be king and queen of this whole world—or of your world, if we decide to go back there.”

“No thanks,” said Digory, “I don’t know that I care much about living on and on after everyone I know is dead. I’d rather live an ordinary time and die and go to Heaven.”

From The Magician's Nephew
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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 25, 2016

GHANA - A letter from mission co-worker Ingrid Reneau Walls:

Even when expected and necessary, change is not easy because inevitably it means loss—and gain(s) too. Unfortunately, the gains are not as readily discerned as the loss because they usually come as we embrace shalom within the loss. Mission reassignment from serving in South Sudan to Akropong, Ghana, has been a languishing change for me because my heart had embraced the unique South Sudanese people and the place of South Sudan. The South Sudanese people are unique because they are the “salt of the earth,” whose needs are dire, even as opportunities for transformation are constant ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reports From Lulwanda ... Program Coordinator's Report for April 2016

Natalie Rolfe serves Lulwanda Children's Home in Uganda as program coordinator: organizing and coordinating the programs of the Home, school, and clinic; overseeing sponsor connection and relationships (on the side of the children); and hosting American visitors that come to the Home.

April, 2016

There were few days in April that passed without rain. And when it rains, it is usually a huge downpour. But it also usually works like clockwork- rain starts about 3:30pm and lasts for about an hour. Then the sun comes out again. This has been helpful for all the new pineapples, yams and other things that are being planted.

The students have reached the middle of their school term and have been focused on mid-term exams. This is also the month that a group of Lulwanda Aunties, Uncles, and younger siblings visited each of the secondary boarding schools that our older children are attending ...

read the rest of Rolfe's April, 2016 report

enjoy a April, 2016 photo album


LCH Photo

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,

I look forward to our prayer time together this Wednesday at 11:30, 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,

Today I watched my little 5-year-old daughter stand on a stage in our church sanctuary. Long, blonde pig-tails poking out from beneath her graduation cap, she stood with the rest of her pre-Kindergarten class and proudly participated in a recognition ceremony and program. The music teacher started playing the first few familiar chords of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and the children's sweet voices rose in unison:

Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be
In this world, I can be
Anything I want to be
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be

As a mom, I sat there with my eyes glued to my sweet girl. How have 5 years gone so quickly? I remember the moment the doctor announced "It's a girl!" and laid her on my chest for the first time. That feels like yesterday. And I thought for a moment about how everyone tells me that it will feel like tomorrow when I'm watching her walk down the aisle for her high school graduation. Like any mama, I want to slow the years down. But at the same time, I'm so grateful to be at this place and in this moment.

Because as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I cannot think only of my child. I can't help but think about all the other 5-year-olds around the world whose lives look so different.

I think about sweet little girls who are in hospital wards; their blonde pig-tails a distant memory. I think about their little arms poked with IVs pumping scary-sounding chemicals into their tiny little bodies; the chemicals far less scary than the tumors they fight.

I think about a little 5-year-old boy named Muhammad who lives with his mom in a camp for the Rohingya in Burma. His mom sold their ration card to pay off the human traffickers holding her husband, but the traffickers still didn't release her husband and he still died. Now little Muhammed is slowly starving.

I think about 5-year-old Syrian refugees who have only known a lifetime of conflict. I think about the fact that they want to be art teachers and pilots and queens and mamas, just like my little girl. I wonder, has anyone taught them to sing a little song about how they can be anything they want to be? Or does that feel too implausible to the frantic grownups trying to patch together a safe life for their families out of the chaos.


As I think about all of this, I'm reminded of a line from another sweet children's song. He's got the whole world in His hands. Scripture tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our head and He has our names engraved on the palms of His hands. And I can picture Him looking down on this spinning planet of ours - a blur of green and blue and white - and somehow He still sees each and every one of us. He sees every 5-year-old. He sees the one standing on a stage graduating from preschool to the applause of her family and friends, and He sees the one sitting in a cold corner of an orphanage all alone. He sees the little boy jumping on a trampoline and staring at the clouds, and He sees the one stacking bricks in a brick kiln for hour after hour.

He sees and He knows, and He's got the whole world in His hands.

Holy Spirit, help us to pray when we just don't have the words. We trust you and we know that you are good and that you love each of your children. God, It's hard to understand why you allow some to suffer so much, while others have every opportunity imaginable. But in spite of what we see, we trust that you are working to bring restoration and hope to this hurting and broken world. Father, as we are your children, please empower us to love and serve your littlest children. We know they are your treasures, and you are especially fond of each of them. Give us eyes to see what hurts them and the courage not to turn away. Jesus, give us hearts that are broken for what breaks yours. May we carry these children in our hearts, lifting them up to you.

Sincerely,

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 ... "Pastor heads to El Paso"

OA Photo by Edyta Blaszczyk
• Meandering journey all makes sense, he says

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


CRANE, TEXAS - The Rev. Dr. Scott Meador’s journey here was a circuitous one after he gave up the ambition of being a lawyer, became a Church of the Nazarene minister and worked as a missionary in Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Romania.

But now as he and his family prepare for a new church in El Paso, Meador says it all makes sense. “Looking back 30 years, if someone had told me I’d be pastoring the First United Methodist Church in Crane, I would’ve said they were crazy,” he said ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO SIR HENRY WILLINK, whose wife had just died: On bereavement and grieving.

3 December 1959

Dear Master,

I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt one, those who keep silence hurt more. They help to increase the sense of general isolation which makes a sort of fringe to the sorrow itself. You know what cogent reason I have to feel with you: but I can feel for you too. I know that what you are facing must be worse than what I must shortly face myself, because your happiness has lasted so much longer and is therefore so much more intertwined with your whole life. As Scott said in like case, ‘What am I to do with that daily portion of my thoughts which has for so many years been hers?’

People talk as if grief were just a feeling—as if it weren’t the continually renewed shock of setting out again and again on familiar roads and being brought up short by the grim frontier post that now blocks them. I, to be sure, believe there is something beyond it: but the moment one tries to use that as a consolation (that is not its function) the belief crumbles. It is quite useless knocking at the door of Heaven for earthly comfort: it’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.

You are probably very exhausted physically. Hug that and all the little indulgences to which it entitles you. I think it is tiny little things which (next to the very greatest things) help most at such a time.

I have myself twice known, after a loss, a strange excited (but utterly un-spooky) sense of the person’s presence all about me. It may be a pure hallucination. But the fact that it always goes off after a few weeks proves nothing either way.

I wish I had known your wife better. But she has a bright place in my memory. . . . She will be very greatly missed—on her own account, quite apart from any sympathy with you—by every fellow of this College.

. . . I shall not be at the funeral. You can understand and forgive my desire, now, to spend every possible moment at home. Forgive me if I have said anything amiss in this letter. I am too much involved myself to practise any skill.

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 24, 2016

HOLSTON PRESBYTERY, TENNESSEE - The Old Sew n Sews, our quilting group at Hopewell Presbyterian Church, had been in existence just long enough to complete our first baby quilt when a question arose: Did we want to take a hiatus for the summer since vacations would make consistent attendance difficult, or was there another option? We realized that there was indeed another option: we found patterns and pictures online for pillowcase dresses—cute little dresses, easy to sew, with no buttonholes or zippers required. There would even be jobs for those who didn’t sew, such as cutting, ironing and measuring ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, May 23, 2016

From @chinaaid : "Authorities charge church with illegal construction, demolish church and cross"

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.



CAA Photo
Authorities charge church with illegal construction, demolish church and cross
Distributed by ChinaAid, April, 2016 ...

WENZHOU, ZHEJIANG, CHINA – Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province demolished a church building on April 13, after reportedly claiming that the church’s cross was positioned too high. A demolition team consisting of several dozen people tore down Island Head Christian Church in the city of Wenzhou, declaring that the building was illegally constructed. Church leaders and other attendees resisted the demolition at first, but relented after officials threatened the protesters ...

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,

I look forward to our prayer time together this Wednesday at 11:30, 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,

Today I watched my little 5-year-old daughter stand on a stage in our church sanctuary. Long, blonde pig-tails poking out from beneath her graduation cap, she stood with the rest of her pre-Kindergarten class and proudly participated in a recognition ceremony and program. The music teacher started playing the first few familiar chords of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and the children's sweet voices rose in unison:

Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be
In this world, I can be
Anything I want to be
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I'll be

As a mom, I sat there with my eyes glued to my sweet girl. How have 5 years gone so quickly? I remember the moment the doctor announced "It's a girl!" and laid her on my chest for the first time. That feels like yesterday. And I thought for a moment about how everyone tells me that it will feel like tomorrow when I'm watching her walk down the aisle for her high school graduation. Like any mama, I want to slow the years down. But at the same time, I'm so grateful to be at this place and in this moment.

Because as a citizen of the Kingdom of God, I cannot think only of my child. I can't help but think about all the other 5-year-olds around the world whose lives look so different.

I think about sweet little girls who are in hospital wards; their blonde pig-tails a distant memory. I think about their little arms poked with IVs pumping scary-sounding chemicals into their tiny little bodies; the chemicals far less scary than the tumors they fight.

I think about a little 5-year-old boy named Muhammad who lives with his mom in a camp for the Rohingya in Burma. His mom sold their ration card to pay off the human traffickers holding her husband, but the traffickers still didn't release her husband and he still died. Now little Muhammed is slowly starving.

I think about 5-year-old Syrian refugees who have only known a lifetime of conflict. I think about the fact that they want to be art teachers and pilots and queens and mamas, just like my little girl. I wonder, has anyone taught them to sing a little song about how they can be anything they want to be? Or does that feel too implausible to the frantic grownups trying to patch together a safe life for their families out of the chaos.


As I think about all of this, I'm reminded of a line from another sweet children's song. He's got the whole world in His hands. Scripture tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our head and He has our names engraved on the palms of His hands. And I can picture Him looking down on this spinning planet of ours - a blur of green and blue and white - and somehow He still sees each and every one of us. He sees every 5-year-old. He sees the one standing on a stage graduating from preschool to the applause of her family and friends, and He sees the one sitting in a cold corner of an orphanage all alone. He sees the little boy jumping on a trampoline and staring at the clouds, and He sees the one stacking bricks in a brick kiln for hour after hour.

He sees and He knows, and He's got the whole world in His hands.

Holy Spirit, help us to pray when we just don't have the words. We trust you and we know that you are good and that you love each of your children. God, It's hard to understand why you allow some to suffer so much, while others have every opportunity imaginable. But in spite of what we see, we trust that you are working to bring restoration and hope to this hurting and broken world. Father, as we are your children, please empower us to love and serve your littlest children. We know they are your treasures, and you are especially fond of each of them. Give us eyes to see what hurts them and the courage not to turn away. Jesus, give us hearts that are broken for what breaks yours. May we carry these children in our hearts, lifting them up to you.

Sincerely,

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 ... "Christ-centered 'Just Say Know' event scheduled in June"

• Make sure kids are well-informed about how to make good choices

By Ruth Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Following a long tradition of providing Christ-centered sexual education to youngsters, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will host “Just Say Know” June 3 and 4 at the church, 601 N. Lee Ave.

Led by Linda and Richard Goddard of CLER Ministries, the program is aimed at seventh and eighth graders, the Rev. Dawn Weaks said. Weaks is the co-lead pastor with her husband Joe ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Holiness

If He does not support us, not one of us is safe from some gross sin. On the other hand, no possible degree of holiness or heroism which has ever been recorded of the greatest saints is beyond what He is determined to produce in every one of us in the end. The job will not be completed in this life: but He means to get us as far as possible before death.

From Mere Christianity
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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 23, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - It’s all about intentional, simple living and service. Learning about locally grown produce like romanesco (similar to cauliflower) and donut peaches. Learning to mesh your lifestyle with your roommates’ as together you grow spiritually. Learning about joy from service to others. Learning to love a new congregation of Presbyterians in a part of the country you don’t know. Learning to trust God as you think and pray about your career and future ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

From "I Am Second" ... Darrell Waltrip



"I could've been dead." Racing at unprecedented speeds to win was the singular focus of Darrell Waltrip. At the peak of his career, he won two consecutive championships. "I was at the top of my game. We were unbeatable." And while he may have been the best on the track, NASCAR fans hated his ego and it bothered him.

Sure of the dangers in racing, Waltrip never believed it would happen to him. It did. And one accident on the track drove him to seeking out a more definitive purpose in life. His story reflects the importance of humility even if you are the best.



Inspiring the Revolution of Second
 

I Am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.

You are here for a reason. We all have needs and could use some help. Talk to us. Call, chat, or email. 24 hours a day.

Go a step further ... talk with the people in your life. Spread the revolution of Second. Share the videos with friends. Gather a group of friends to discuss the films. Start an I am Second group.

Volunteer at concerts. Serve through I am Second community service events. Organize your own I am Second events. Sign up for an I am Second Expedition to help people in other countries. Check out Live Second for other opportunities. Connect with us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

I am Second is designed to help people discover their purpose in life. Have you discovered yours?

To find out more about the people and leadership team behind I Am Second you can check out Who We Are.

Invitation to mission, from Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach

Partnering with local healthcare workers and churches in medically underserved countries, Odessa, Texas-based Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach provides free medical clinics and surgical care as an outreach of Christian love for our fellow man.



To all Mercy Trips Supporters, Team Members and Future Team members,

We are excited to announce that we are offering a summer trip this year to the Fort Portal area in Western Uganda. We are planning to field both a village/clinic team and a surgical team to serve these lovely people again.

The Dates for the trip are Saturday July 23 - Friday August 5.

The cost should be close to $4000.00 but the final amount depends on the airfare cost.

Thus we need to quickly find out how many are able to join us, in order to determine if we will be able to use a group rate for airfare.

As usual please feel free to forward this to anyone you know that might be interested.

You can private message us if you are interested in receiving more info!

We no longer have valid email addresses for some of you that follow us on FB -- If you did not receive an email from us about this trip and would like to in the future -- PM your email address to us.

Please reply by email to info@mercytrips.org if you are interested in joining us as a team member this summer.

Blessings
Mercy Trips Healthcare Outreach
P.O. Box 13795
Odessa, TX 79768

visit Mercy Trips' Facebook page

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

“When the lion said—but I don’t know if it spoke—‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.

“The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know—if you’ve ever picked the scab off a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is fun to see it coming away.”

“I know exactly what you mean,” said Edmund.

“Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off—just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt—and there it was, lying on the grass, only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me—I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on—and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again. You’d think me simply phony if I told you how I felt about my own arms. I know they’ve no muscle and are pretty mouldy compared with Caspian’s, but I was so glad to see them.”

From The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Compiled in A Tear 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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 22, 2016

MINUTE FOR MISSION: INTERCULTURAL CHURCH SUNDAY - Intercultural Church Sunday is a time to celebrate God’s diverse, transformed community. In the beginnings of the multicultural church movement, people of different cultures came together and, with excitement and courage, began creating multicultural community. They sought to understand differences in cultures other than their own. Yet, even though other cultures were present, the dominant culture prevailed, and other cultures accommodated to the major culture ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

I find I must borrow yet another parable from George MacDonald. Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.

The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘gods’ and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.

From Mere Christianity
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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 21, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF EAST TENNESSEE AND MARRYVILLE COLLEGE - Maryville College, one of 63 PC(USA)-related colleges, in partnership with the Equip Mission Team, Youth Committee and John Knox Center of the Presbytery of East Tennessee, has been awarded a grant that will strengthen the youth ministries in the presbytery. The Maryville Adventures in Studying Theology program aims to cultivate young leaders for the church and the world by helping them discover and embrace the traditions of Christian faith, put their faith into practice and explore—through the lenses of Bible study and theology—important questions of our time ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, May 20, 2016

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

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Today's Reading

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On the return of Joy’s cancer.

18 October 1959

Will you redouble your prayers for us? Apparently the wonderful recovery Joy made in 1957 was only a reprieve, not a pardon. The last X Ray check reveals cancerous spots returning in many of her bones. There seems to be some hope of a few years life still and there are still things the doctors can do. But they are all in the nature of ‘rearguard actions’. We are in retreat. The tide has turned. Of course God can do again what He did before. The sky is not now so dark as it was when I married her in hospital. Her courage is wonderful and she gives me more support than I can give her.

The dreadful thing, as you know, is the waking each morning—the moment at which it all flows back on one.

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 20, 2016

SYNOD OF THE TRINITY - Ah, the ever-compelling “new thing”—the focus of a robust grant opportunity in the Synod of the Trinity.

The New Initiative Grant for Presbyteries provides resources for presbytery projects that reach for new and risk-taking ministry dreams that join with God’s “new thing.” Through this partnership, leaders test and refine ministry for the good and learning of all ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

In the News ... "Ministers view nature of Jesus"

OA Photo by Mark Sterkel
• Various aspects of Savior’s personality, expectations discussed

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - Most people know Him as a humble, humane man whose life on earth was devoted to showing the way toward Heaven. Odessa ministers say Jesus is the same now as He was then, but there is much more to be considered than the usual perceptions.

The Revs. Terry Pugh, John McLemore, Frank Chavez, Buddy Monahan and Larry Hood give varying interpretations but agree that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of mankind ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

This time Jill and Eustace walked together. They had been feeling very brave when they were begging to be allowed to come with the others, but now they didn’t feel brave at all.

“Pole,” said Eustace in a whisper. “I may as well tell you I’ve got the wind up.”

“Oh, you’re all right, Scrubb,” said Jill. “You can fight. But I—I’m just shaking, if you want to know the truth.”

“Oh, shaking’s nothing,” said Eustace. “I’m feeling I’m going to be sick. . . .

“Pole,” said Eustace presently.

“What?” said she.

“What’ll happen if we get killed here?”

“Well we’ll be dead, I suppose.”

“But I mean, what will happen in our own world? Shall we wake up and find ourselves back in that train? Or shall we just vanish and never be heard of any more? Or shall we be dead in England?”

“Gosh. I never thought of that.”

“It’ll be rum for Peter and the others if they saw me waving out of the window and then when the train comes in we’re nowhere to be found! Or if they found two—I mean, if we’re dead over there in England.”

“Ugh!” said Jill. “What a horrid idea.”

“It wouldn’t be horrid for us,” said Eustace. “We shouldn’t be there.”

“I almost wish—no I don’t, though,” said Jill.

“What were you going to say?”

“I was going to say I wished we’d never come. But I don’t, I don’t, I don’t. Even if we are killed. I’d rather be killed fighting for Narnia than grow old and stupid at home and perhaps go about in a bath-chair and then die in the end just the same.”

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 19, 2016

LACKAWANNA PRESBYTERY, PENNSYLVANIA - After First United Presbyterian Church of West Pittston, Pennsylvania, lost its building in Susquehanna River flooding of 2011, pastor Jim Thyren spoke often to his congregation about maintaining hope while wandering in the wilderness.

Even when the cleanup volunteers were gone and the congregation found a temporary home at a nearby Catholic church, the memories and mourning sapped the energy of some of the most hopeful members, and valiant attempts at continuing their familiar ministry were sometimes halfhearted ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Heaven

Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.

Everything becomes more and more itself. Here is joy that cannot be shaken. Our light can swallow up your darkness; but your darkness cannot now infect our light. No, no, no. Come to us. We will not go to you. Can you really have thought that love and joy would always be at the mercy of frowns and sighs? Did you not know they were stronger than their opposites?

From The Great Divorce
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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 18, 2016

COLOMBIA - A letter from Sarah Henken, regional liaison for the Andean region, in Bolivia:

New creation. Transformation. God’s amazing possibilities. This is what I keep coming back to when I think about the first delegation visit from the Presbytery of San Fernando in California to Presbiterio Central in Colombia ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

In the News ... "Pastors lament presidential race"

AP Photo by Jose Luis Magana
• Each call for more attention to issues, more civility

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - This year’s presidential primaries have been disheartening to Odessa ministers who say the campaigns have degenerated into extremist accusations and schoolyard taunting.

The Revs. Joe Weaks, Tim O’Neal, Leland Hart, Becky Hand and Terry Tamplen are encouraging their members to seek God’s help in choosing an appropriate leader and to take part in the process ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Lewis, grieving the death of his wife, Joy:

I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get. The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments, the lovemaking, the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace. On any view whatever, to say, ‘H. is dead,’ is to say, ‘All that is gone.’ It is a part of the past. And the past is the past and that is what time means, and time itself is one more name for death, and Heaven itself is a state where ‘the former things have passed away.’

Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand.

Unless, of course, you can literally believe all that stuff about family reunions ‘on the further shore,’ pictured in entirely earthly terms. But that is all unscriptural, all out of bad hymns and lithographs. There’s not a word of it in the Bible. And it rings false. We know it couldn’t be like that. Reality never repeats. The exact same thing is never taken away and given back. How well the spiritualists bait their hook! ‘Things on this side are not so different after all.’ There are cigars in Heaven. For that is what we should all like. The happy past restored.

And that, just that, is what I cry out for, with mad, midnight endearments and entreaties spoken into the empty air.

From A Grief Observed
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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 17, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF EASTERN OREGON - Earlier this year Burns, Oregon, found itself in the national news due to the occupation of nearby Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The community was invaded by the occupiers, federal agents, militia groups and the media. Residents’ sense of community was shaken. The city of Burns, which is 293 miles from Portland, Oregon, and 226 miles from Boise, Idaho, has a population of just under 3,000. In the midst of this chaos Pioneer Presbyterian Church in Burns, along with other church partners and the local Elks Club, continued with their project: free community dinners ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, May 16, 2016

From @chinaaid : "Church demolition attempt triggers public outcry"

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.



CAA Photo
Church demolition attempt triggers public outcry
Distributed by ChinaAid, April, 2016 ...

NINGBO, ZHEJIANG, CHINA – Public outcry broke out against the government-backed persecution of Christians after officials failed to demolish a church in China’s coastal Zhejiang province on Monday. When Christians from Yingmochen Church, a house church in Ningbo, Zhejiang, heard that authorities had ordered the demolition of their church building on April 18, they rushed to the scene to pray and sing Christian songs. An estimated 100 church members showed up and successfully deterred the demolition team from carrying out their plan ...

more on this story from China Aid



In the News ... “The International Rescue Committee opens its doors in Midland"

• A resource to the community at-large

Trent Johnson, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

Courtesy Photo
MIDLAND, TEXAS - On April 25, Midland welcomed another organization to its growing family of nonprofits, as the International Rescue Committee (IRC) opened its Midland office. The IRC provides resources for international refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries.

Eric Uresti was named site manager. As part of a cause that has made headlines in recent months, he spoke with the Midland Reporter Telegram about the fortuitous chance that led to his new position and the vision he has for the area office ...

 • read the rest of this MRT report

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO DOROTHY L. SAYERS: On the deep lessons in love that Lewis was learning.

25 June 1957

I ought to tell you my own news. On examination it turned out that Joy’s previous marriage, made in her pre-Christian days, was no marriage: the man had a wife still living. The Bishop of Oxford said it was not the present policy to approve re-marriage in such cases, but that his view did not bind the conscience of any individual priest. Then dear Father Bide (do you know him?) who had come to lay his hands on Joy—for he has on his record what looks very like one miracle—without being asked and merely on being told the situation at once said he would marry us. So we had a bedside marriage with a nuptial Mass.

When I last wrote to you I would not have wished this; you will gather (and may say ‘guessed as much’) that my feelings had changed. They say a rival often turns a friend into a lover. Thanatos [the Greek god of death], certainly (they say) approaching but at an uncertain speed, is a most efficient rival for this purpose. We soon learn to love what we know we must lose.

I hope you give us your blessing: I know you’ll give us your prayers. She is home now, not because she is better (though in fact she seems amazingly better) but because they can do no more for her at the Wingfield: totally bed-ridden but—you’d be surprised—we have much gaiety and even some happiness. Indeed, the situation is not easy to describe. My heart is breaking and I was never so happy before: at any rate there is more in life than I knew about. My own physical pains lately (which were among the severest I’ve known) had an odd element of relief in them.

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. How often have you wondered, where are the young adults in the PC(USA)? Wonder no longer. The 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is devoted to the theme of young adults in the church. Its stories, many told by young adults, lift up how Presbyterians of all ages are engaging and joining with Presbyterian young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: May 16, 2016

PRESBYTERY OF THE MID-SOUTH - More than a decade had passed, but church members throughout the presbytery remembered the Pentecost Event. “Remember all those people? We filled the gym at Rhodes College!” “Remember that choir? Magnificent!” “I got to catch up with so many old friends!” “It was the best thing our presbytery has ever done!”

That nostalgia shaped a new event that brought our 42 churches together to celebrate Pentecost ...

CLICK HERE to read more.