Thursday, October 31, 2019

FBR Report ... "The Nations Podcast: Episode 004 with Dave Eubank"

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma (Myanmar) and the Middle East. Groups send teams to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency assistance and human rights documentation. Together with other groups, the teams work to serve people in need.



"The Nations Podcast: Episode 004 with Dave Eubank"

n this episode, host Joel Parker sits down with Dave Eubank, former U.S. Army Special Forces officer and the founder and leader of Free Burma Rangers. For the past four years, Dave and his family have provided humanitarian aid to those whose homes and lives were destroyed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Eubanks and Free Burma Rangers joined the Iraqi army to fight the battle of Mosul from beginning to end, where Dave lost close friends and was wounded four times himself. “We fought for our lives. When it was over, I should have been dead.”

Listen to Dave share about fighting and forgiving ISIS, reconciling violence with following Jesus, and the beauty of Iraq ...



CLICK HERE to learn how YOU can get involved in FBR and its mission ...

“LOVE EACH OTHER.
UNITE AND WORK FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND PEACE.
FORGIVE AND DON’T HATE EACH OTHER.
PRAY WITH FAITH, ACT WITH COURAGE, NEVER SURRENDER.”

In the News ... "Being Thankful ... we want to hear from YOU"


• We look forward to sharing in the holiday season with each of you

By Amanda Duforat, Editor
Big Spring Herald


BIG SPRING, TEXAS - The holiday season is upon us. It seems the year has just flown by. We want to take a moment, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and share those things in our community we are thankful for ...

Read the rest of this BSH report, and share what YOU are thankful for this holiday season, ...

Student group to host All Saints Day Mass


• TOMORROW at Midland College; All are welcome

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Please join the Catholic Student Association of Midland (CSAM) for an All Saints Day Mass at 12:15 on Friday, November 1, in the Dollye Neal Chapel of the Midland College main campus. This holy day of obligation will be celebrated by Fr. Freddy Perez from St. Stephen’s church. All are welcome!

Questions can be directed to the Midland College CSAM Advisor Cindy Canon, cindyc@midland.edu, (432) 685-7052, or or Anita Montez at amontez@sanangelodiocese.org.


Hope to see you there!

In the News ... "Minda Street church celebrates 40 years with street sign honoring its founder"

ARN Photo by Greg Jaklewicz
"The sign on the corner is a sign my dad left this place better than he found it.”

By Loretta Fulton, Reporter
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - If further proof were needed that the names “Minda Street Church of Christ” and “Tony Roach” are synonymous, that proof came Oct. 18.

That’s the day the honorary street signs were installed just below the official name, Minda Street, along a stretch of the street that runs in front of Minda Street Church of Christ ...

Read the rest of this ARN report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Some time ago Matthew Arnold prophesied that poetry would come to replace religion; and the personal heretics have made this true in a sense which he probably did not foresee. Poetry has, naturally enough, not yet attempted the salvation of souls or the enlightenment of the understanding; but the cult of poetry is taking on some secondary religious characteristics – notably the worship of saints and the traffic in relics. Every teacher of English has had pupils to whom the study of literature principally meant a series of acts of devotion to various dead men who wrote poetry. We have biographies of Keats and even (I believe) of D.H. Lawrence which are almost exercises in hagiography. We have even had such tangled trinities as “Christ, Shakespeare, and Keats” proposed to us. If we have also our “debunking” biographies, that is but the reverse side of the same medal: blasphemy is the child of religion.

From The Personal Heresy

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.

Photo by Rich Copley
Today in the Mission Yearbook: October 31, 2019

PRAYER - All his life, the Rev. David Maxwell has found prayer baffling.

Maxwell, who leads Presbyterian Publishing Corporation’s curriculum imprint, Geneva Press, said during a recent weekly chapel service at the Presbyterian Center that he often finds prayer “awkward, irrational and confusing — and I know I’m not alone in my discomfort.”

For example: Just ask for a volunteer to open a church meeting with prayer. Eyes immediately turn away, papers shuffle and blood pressure begins to rise, Maxwell said. “Oh, what a relief when someone volunteers!” he said with a smile ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

FBR Report: "Treating the Wounded in Syria’s Complex Conflict"

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma (Myanmar) and the Middle East. Groups send teams to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency assistance and human rights documentation. Together with other groups, the teams work to serve people in need.



"Treating the Wounded in Syria’s Complex Conflict"

FBR Photo
Tel Tamir, Syria
October 29, 2019

Dear friends,

Recently, the Syrian Army came up to reinforce the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the oncoming Turkish-led Free Syrian Army (FSA) onslaught that has swept down from the Turkish Syria border to eight kilometers north of Tel Tamir. They are also now eight kilometers to the west of Tel Tamir and closing in on the city.

This zone is one of ethnic cleansing with 300,000 people displaced. Many have been killed and wounded. Homes are destroyed. ...

Read/watch the rest of this FBR report ...


... This is a brutal situation. We are praying that somehow, the Turkish/FSA advance stops. In the meantime, we are grateful for new friends here, for being able to help the wounded soldiers and the Kurds, and for all of you who continue to pray.

Thank you for praying for us and God bless you

Dave Eubank and the Free Burma Rangers

“LOVE EACH OTHER.
UNITE AND WORK FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND PEACE.
FORGIVE AND DON’T HATE EACH OTHER.
PRAY WITH FAITH, ACT WITH COURAGE, NEVER SURRENDER.”

CLICK HERE to learn how YOU can get involved in FBR and its mission ...

In the News ... “Crisis Center holds vigil to honor victims of domestic abuse"

KWES Photo
• One in four Americans experience domestic violence

By Kirsten Geddes, Multimedia Journalist
KWES-TV

ODESSA, TEXAS - Domestic Violence Awareness Month is coming to a close as October winds up, but local organizations are still working to raise awareness of this major issue.

The Crisis Center of West Texas and Odessa College held a vigil on October 29 to honor victims of domestic violence ...

 • Read/watch the rest of this KWES report ...

In the News ... "Evangelism called for"

OA Photo
• Convention speaker says declining church membership must be met with commitment

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


ODESSA, TEXAS - The new president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth said Tuesday that membership in Texas churches is decreasing even as population booms in the Lone Star State and he challenged 679 messengers, or delegates, to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention to become more evangelical ...

Read the rest of this OA report ...

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. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they 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

Dear Intercessors,

We will meet locally every Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:30 in the prayer closet at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Please join us in lifting up the needs of vulnerable children in our community and around the world!

Sincerely,

Carrie McKean



October Faces of Children Digest

In a couple weeks, my family is moving.

We aren't going far - just to another house in town... a bit more room for our growing family. Make no mistake -- this was mostly a decision pushed forward by me. I've wanted a spare bedroom for guests; room to gather more than one family around our table... Just a bit more space so we aren't always so on top of each other. But now that we're in the middle of cleaning out closets and packing up boxes, I find myself asking lots of questions. Is it necessary? Is it worth it? Am I ungrateful for what I have? How will we get all the boxes packed and stuff moved while the rest of our lives must carry on? The questions keep me up at night and wake me with a knot of anxiety in my stomach.

My children won't have to change schools or really experience any other significant upheaval, other than the location of the bedroom, but I find myself growing more overwhelmed by the anxiety we've introduced into all of our lives as I contemplate all that needs to happen in the next couple of weeks. I worry about their adjustment and happiness... about my husband's and my own... heck, I've even worried about the dog!

And in the midst of my planning and fretting and box packing, I see this picture of a Syrian Kurdish mother fleeing her home -- fleeing the Turkish airstrikes -- with only her children in her arms. No time to pack boxes. No time to prepare the children for the upcoming move. No expectations that what's ahead might end up being good after all.

Getty Images
It puts my own move in perspective. At my core, I don't believe I'm really that different from this mother. She's really not that different from me. We both want to hear our babies laugh more often than cry. We both want them to grow up healthy and strong. If moving for relatively good and happy reasons is stressful and overwhelming to me, surely moving for her under these circumstances must feel like running up Mt. Everest. I'm carrying her picture close to my heart this month, and anytime I feel stressed by the impending change in my own life circumstances that's coming up, I want to turn that anxiety into energy for prayer. And I'd like to invite you to join me.

For the remainder of October, will you join me in praying for families who are fleeing?

Week Three: Pray for the Helpers

One of our ministry partners shared this video recently. Its a sobering look at the reality they are facing right now and communicates better than any words the need for prayer at this time.


Syria Crisis from Partners Relief & Development

Blessings,

Carrie

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

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

“Son of Adam,” said Aslan, “you have sown well. And you, Narnians, let it be your first care to guard this Tree, for it is your Shield. The Witch of whom I told you has fled far away into the North of the world; she will live on there, growing stronger in dark Magic. But while that tree flourishes she will never come down into Narnia. She dare not come within a hundred miles of the Tree, for its smell, which is joy and life and health to you, is death and horror and despair to her.”

. . . Aslan suddenly swung round his head . . . and fixed his large eyes on the children. “What is it, children?” he said, for he caught them in the very act of whispering and nudging one another.

“Oh—Aslan, sir,” said Digory, turning red, “I forgot to tell you. The Witch has already eaten one of those apples, one of the same kind that Tree grew from.” He hadn’t really said all he was thinking, but Polly at once said it for him. (Digory was always much more afraid than she of looking a fool.)

“So we thought, Aslan,” she said, “that there must be some mistake, and she can’t really mind the smell of those apples.”

“Why do you think that, Daughter of Eve?” asked the Lion.

“Well, she ate one.”

“Child,” he replied, “that is why all the rest are now a horror to her. That is what happens to those who pluck and eat fruits at the wrong time and in the wrong way. The fruit is good, but they loathe it ever after.”

“Oh, I see,” said Polly. “And I suppose because she took it in the wrong way it won’t work for her. I mean it won’t make her always young and all that?”

“Alas,” said Aslan, shaking his head. “It will. Things always work ac- cording to their nature. She has won her heart’s desire; she has unwearying strength and endless days like a goddess. But length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she begins to know it. All get what they want; they do not always like it.”

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.

Photo by Rich Copley
Today in the Mission Yearbook: October 30, 2019

"TRIGGER: THE RIPPLE EFFECT ON GUN VIOLENCE" VIDEO - “Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence,” produced by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s Story Productions, is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

“This is new ground for the church,” director David Barnhart said ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

FBR Report: "Turkish Armored Vehicles and Heavy Fighting Seen as Soda Village Fell"

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma (Myanmar) and the Middle East. Groups send teams to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency assistance and human rights documentation. Together with other groups, the teams work to serve people in need.



"Turkish Armored Vehicles and Heavy Fighting Seen as Soda Village Fell"

Click HERE to see footage from Soda Village.
Soda Village, Syria
October 29, 2019

Dear friends,

As we shared in an earlier report, Oct. 26 was the heaviest day of fighting that we have seen this mission. Turkish armored vehicles and dismounted Free Syrian Army fighters engaged Syrian Democratic Forces and local Ayseysh forces in the vicinity of Soda Village on the Tel Tamir-Serre Khani road ...

Read/watch the rest of this FBR report ...


... Thank you for your prayers and support not just for us but for the people under attack here in northeastern Syria.

May God bless you,

Dave Eubank and the Free Burma Rangers

“LOVE EACH OTHER.
UNITE AND WORK FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND PEACE.
FORGIVE AND DON’T HATE EACH OTHER.
PRAY WITH FAITH, ACT WITH COURAGE, NEVER SURRENDER.”

CLICK HERE to learn how YOU can get involved in FBR and its mission ...

In the News ... “Field’s Edge receives $750,000 grant for homeless village"

MRT Photo by Tim Fischer
• Planning to break ground on the village in June

Staff Report
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Midland nonprofit The Field's Edge has received a $750,000 grant from the Mabee Foundation, the funds will go toward the first phase of construction for its tiny home village for the homeless, according to a press release.

The Mabee Foundation provides grants to religious, charitable and higher-learning organizations for building projects. They have offices in Midland and Tulsa, Oklahoma ...

 • Read the rest of this MRT report ...

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. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they 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

Dear Intercessors,

We will meet locally every Wednesday at 11:30 in the prayer closet at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Please join us in lifting up the needs of vulnerable children in our community and around the world!

Sincerely,

Carrie McKean



October Faces of Children Digest

In a couple weeks, my family is moving.

We aren't going far - just to another house in town... a bit more room for our growing family. Make no mistake -- this was mostly a decision pushed forward by me. I've wanted a spare bedroom for guests; room to gather more than one family around our table... Just a bit more space so we aren't always so on top of each other. But now that we're in the middle of cleaning out closets and packing up boxes, I find myself asking lots of questions. Is it necessary? Is it worth it? Am I ungrateful for what I have? How will we get all the boxes packed and stuff moved while the rest of our lives must carry on? The questions keep me up at night and wake me with a knot of anxiety in my stomach.

My children won't have to change schools or really experience any other significant upheaval, other than the location of the bedroom, but I find myself growing more overwhelmed by the anxiety we've introduced into all of our lives as I contemplate all that needs to happen in the next couple of weeks. I worry about their adjustment and happiness... about my husband's and my own... heck, I've even worried about the dog!

And in the midst of my planning and fretting and box packing, I see this picture of a Syrian Kurdish mother fleeing her home -- fleeing the Turkish airstrikes -- with only her children in her arms. No time to pack boxes. No time to prepare the children for the upcoming move. No expectations that what's ahead might end up being good after all.

Getty Images
It puts my own move in perspective. At my core, I don't believe I'm really that different from this mother. She's really not that different from me. We both want to hear our babies laugh more often than cry. We both want them to grow up healthy and strong. If moving for relatively good and happy reasons is stressful and overwhelming to me, surely moving for her under these circumstances must feel like running up Mt. Everest. I'm carrying her picture close to my heart this month, and anytime I feel stressed by the impending change in my own life circumstances that's coming up, I want to turn that anxiety into energy for prayer. And I'd like to invite you to join me.

For the remainder of October, will you join me in praying for families who are fleeing?

Week Three: Pray for the Helpers

One of our ministry partners shared this video recently. Its a sobering look at the reality they are facing right now and communicates better than any words the need for prayer at this time.


Syria Crisis from Partners Relief & Development

Blessings,

Carrie

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

In the News ... "Ministry combined with missions"

Courtesy Photo
DiscipleTrips sends young missionaries around the nation and abroad

By Bob Campbell, Reporter
Odessa American


SEMINOLE, TEXAS - Ray Young is a busy man who, when not preaching at Westside Church of Christ, travels nationally and internationally with a missionary group for teenagers and adults ...

Read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On the Fall

The doctrine of the Fall (both of man and of some “gods,” “eldils” or “angels”) is the only satisfactory explanation. Evil begins, in a universe where all was good, from free will, which was permitted because it makes possible the greatest good of all. The corruption of the first sinner consists not in choosing some evil thing (there are no evil things for him to choose) but in preferring a lesser good (himself) before a greater (God). The Fall is, in fact, Pride. The possibility of this wrong preference is inherent in the v. fact of having, or being, a self at all. But though freedom is real it is not infinite. Every choice reduces a little one’s freedom to choose the next time. There therefore comes a time when the creature is fully built, irrevocably attached either to God or to itself. This irrevocableness is what we call Heaven or Hell. Every conscious agent is finally committed in the long run: i.e., it rises above freedom into willed, but henceforth unalterable, union with God, or else sinks below freedom into the black fire of self-imprisonment. That is why the universe (as even the physicists now admit) has a real history, a fifth act with a finale in which the good characters “live happily ever after” and the bad ones are cast out. At least that is how I see it.

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.

Photo by Tammy Warren
Today in the Mission Yearbook: October 29, 2019

LIBRARY PROJECT IN ETHIOPIA - Ed Pollock, the son of longtime Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker Ted Pollock, is a man on a mission.

Since 2017, Pollock and members of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Mount Airy, Maryland, have worked tirelessly to collect enough books and Bibles to build a theological reference library for seminary students in Gambella, Ethiopia ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, October 28, 2019

From @chinaaid : "Bob Fu highlights Chinese persecution at Irish conference"

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
Bob Fu highlights Chinese persecution at Irish conference
Distributed by ChinaAid, September 2019 ...

DUBLIN, IRELAND – ChinaAid President and Founder Bob Fu spoke at a religious conference hosted by Church in Chains in Dublin, Ireland, this past weekend, highlighting persecution in China ...

More on this story from China Aid ...


In the News ... "Pioneer Drive pastor apologizes for statement concerning ex-Abilene child sex crime arrest"

Contributed Photo
"I ask for your forgiveness"

By Greg Jaklewicz, Reporter
Abilene Reporter-News

ABILENE, TEXAS - The Rev. Stan Allcorn, pastor of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in south Abilene, issued an apology Thursday on the church's website for his comments on the arrest of former church employee Jeff Berry in Nashville ...

Read the rest of this ARN report ...

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. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they 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

Dear Intercessors,

We will meet locally every Wednesday at 11:30 in the prayer closet at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Please join us in lifting up the needs of vulnerable children in our community and around the world!

Sincerely,

Carrie McKean



October Faces of Children Digest

In a couple weeks, my family is moving.

We aren't going far - just to another house in town... a bit more room for our growing family. Make no mistake -- this was mostly a decision pushed forward by me. I've wanted a spare bedroom for guests; room to gather more than one family around our table... Just a bit more space so we aren't always so on top of each other. But now that we're in the middle of cleaning out closets and packing up boxes, I find myself asking lots of questions. Is it necessary? Is it worth it? Am I ungrateful for what I have? How will we get all the boxes packed and stuff moved while the rest of our lives must carry on? The questions keep me up at night and wake me with a knot of anxiety in my stomach.

My children won't have to change schools or really experience any other significant upheaval, other than the location of the bedroom, but I find myself growing more overwhelmed by the anxiety we've introduced into all of our lives as I contemplate all that needs to happen in the next couple of weeks. I worry about their adjustment and happiness... about my husband's and my own... heck, I've even worried about the dog!

And in the midst of my planning and fretting and box packing, I see this picture of a Syrian Kurdish mother fleeing her home -- fleeing the Turkish airstrikes -- with only her children in her arms. No time to pack boxes. No time to prepare the children for the upcoming move. No expectations that what's ahead might end up being good after all.

Getty Images
It puts my own move in perspective. At my core, I don't believe I'm really that different from this mother. She's really not that different from me. We both want to hear our babies laugh more often than cry. We both want them to grow up healthy and strong. If moving for relatively good and happy reasons is stressful and overwhelming to me, surely moving for her under these circumstances must feel like running up Mt. Everest. I'm carrying her picture close to my heart this month, and anytime I feel stressed by the impending change in my own life circumstances that's coming up, I want to turn that anxiety into energy for prayer. And I'd like to invite you to join me.

For the remainder of October, will you join me in praying for families who are fleeing?

Week Three: Pray for the Helpers

One of our ministry partners shared this video recently. Its a sobering look at the reality they are facing right now and communicates better than any words the need for prayer at this time.


Syria Crisis from Partners Relief & Development

Blessings,

Carrie

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

In the News ... "'Day of the Dead' celebrations set"

FSP Photo by Aurora Sain
“This is how we remember the souls of our loved ones”

By Aurora Sain, Reporter
Fort Stockton Pioneer

FORT STOCKTON, TEXAS - With Fort Stockton's rich Mexican culture, many people around town are gearing up to celebrate Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead next week.

The United States typically celebrates over several days, this year from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

The event recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience and during the celebrations the dead are a part of the community, believed to be awakened from sleep to share in the celebrations with their loved ones ...

Read the rest of this FSP report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Though Christian charity sounds a very cold thing to people whose heads are full of sentimentality, and though it is quite distinct from affection, yet it leads to affection. The difference between a Christian and a worldly man is not that the worldly man has only affections or ‘likings’ and the Christian has only ‘charity’. The worldly man treats certain people kindly because he ‘likes’ them: the Christian, trying to treat every one kindly, finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on—including people he could not even have imagined him- self liking at the beginning.

This same spiritual law works terribly in the opposite direction. The Germans, perhaps, at first ill-treated the Jews because they hated them: afterwards they hated them much more because they had ill-treated them. The more cruel you are, the more you will hate; and the more you hate, the more cruel you will become — and so on in a vicious circle for ever.

Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.

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.

Photo Courtesy of Beth-El Farmworker Ministry
Today in the Mission Yearbook: October 28, 2019

BETH-EL FARMWORKER MINISTRY - In a variety of ways, Beth-El Farmworker Ministry near Tampa, Florida, feeds the minds, bodies and spirits of farmworkers and their neighbors in need.

During this summer’s Presbyterian Youth Triennium, the Rev. Johan Daza, coordinator for cross cultural ministries with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, used a workshop to explain a program that’s near and dear to his heart (he’s a member of Beth-El’s board of directors).

Beth-El Farmworker Ministry is a cooperative undertaking of Peace River Presbytery and the Presbytery of Tampa Bay, both from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as well as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Advent Conspiracy Blog: "Advent Conspiracy 101"

“I love the idea of Advent Conspiracy but I don’t know where to start.”

“I found your website and I want my church to do Advent Conspiracy.”

This is my first year doing Advent Conspiracy…I’m a little overwhelmed.”

These are some of the comments we’ve heard over the years and we’re here to help. First of all, if you’re feeling like God is calling you, your family, or your church to participate in Advent Conspiracy – to God be all praise! Making that first decision to say no to the old way of doing things and to say yes to a fuller, richer, Christmas, is something to celebrate. Way to go.

This isn’t a formula or strict set of rules. Advent Conspiracy is about reorienting our hearts back to Christ. It’s about letting go of traditions that actually take our focus away from God during Christmas. Things like overstuffed schedules, credit card debt, stress and dread have replaced the hope and peace the angels speak of ...

Read the rest of this post ...



Advent Conspiracy was founded on the radical idea that we can celebrate Christmas humbly, beautifully, and generously. Advent is the story of a wondrous moment when God entered our world to make things right. It is the greatest story ever told and it changes everything — including the way we celebrate Christmas.

Be part of a different story this Christmas, one that celebrates our King and brings hope to a watching world ...

• Worship Fully
• Spend Less
• Give More
• Love All

... and join the groundswell of Christ-followers who are choosing to make Christmas what it should be—a joyous celebration of Jesus’ birth that enriches our hearts and the world around us.

FBR Report: "Turkish Drones Strike and Kill As We Feed Displaced People in Northeastern Syria"

The Free Burma Rangers (FBR) is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement. They bring help, hope and love to people in the war zones of Burma (Myanmar) and the Middle East. Groups send teams to be trained, supplied and sent into the areas under attack to provide emergency assistance and human rights documentation. Together with other groups, the teams work to serve people in need.



"Turkish Drones Strike and Kill As We Feed Displaced People in Northeastern Syria"

FBR Photo
Syria
October 27, 2019

Dear friends,

Despite there being word of a ceasefire in effect, the Free Syrian Army, supported by Turkey, continues to attack the Syrian Democratic Forces and civilians in the area. Thursday, the Turks conducted multiple airstrikes with drones all around us. I could see one 100 meters in front of me, another 200 meters behind me, and many more that were attacking SDF positions. These drones have also been targeting and taking out ambulances so now ambulances are not moving anywhere near the front. We continue to move at night with prayer to find those who are wounded ...

Read/watch the rest of this FBR report ...


... Thank you for continuing to pray with us for the people here.

May God bless you,

Dave Eubank and the Free Burma Rangers

“LOVE EACH OTHER.
UNITE AND WORK FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND PEACE.
FORGIVE AND DON’T HATE EACH OTHER.
PRAY WITH FAITH, ACT WITH COURAGE, NEVER SURRENDER.”

CLICK HERE to learn how YOU can get involved in FBR and its mission ...

From @mmm_water ... 2019 Well Season: Daily Devotional

September 14 - October 28 is Marion Medical Mission Well Season for 2019. The season will include daily devotionals - one for each day the U.S. volunteers are overseas, sharing the love of Jesus by providing safe, clean, sustainable sources of drinking water to the extreme poor in sub-Saharan Africa. Marion Medical Mission is one of our mission partners at Grace Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas, and we STRONGLY encourage you to read these devotions to learn more about - and pray for! - their mission.

October 27, 2019

YOUR LIGHT SHALL RISE!
Tom Logan
Co-founder, Marion Medical Mission

“If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58: 10-11

At times, Marion Medical Mission volunteers question why they are in Africa. While installing pumps there were forgotten tools and down-hole parts, lost keys, flat tires, broken pipe racks, truck and motorcycle breakdowns. There were long days, short nights, dirt, grime, sweat, cement dust, dirty clothes, cheap rest houses, cockroaches, and various other critters. Sometimes there was no breakfast and no lunch. There were sore backs, bad roads, potholes, stumps, night driving, blinding headlights, and long hard hikes to well sites we were told were “just there.” And then there is the frustration and anger over dysentery, cholera and easily preventable deaths caused by unsafe drinking water.

Yet, many wells have been built, providing 100,000s with a sustainable source of safe drinking water. What an incredible battle. What a wonderful mission.

Awesome! Working hand-in-hand in a horizontal relationship with God’s people; hard working people, dedicated people. The Coordinators, the Field Officers, the Installation Supervisors, the Zone Committees, the village communities.

Giving, sharing, singing, dancing, celebrating, speeches, smiles, laughter, friendships (new and old), happy people, thankful people, fellowship, purpose, meaning, direction, making a difference and making life count; at one with whom we were created to be. Love, joy, giving, receiving (chickens, bananas, groundnuts, rice) sunsets, sunrises, a hot shower, a clean bed, a cold Coke, and a cup of clean water.

Astounding! Miraculous! So, tell the story. We were created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance to be our way of life.

Application Question: How will you tell the story?

Prayer: Give us fresh dreams…of your upside down kingdom where the last are first and the first are last … Where the poor are blessed and the peacemakers are the children of God. Where we … study war no more …(Shane Claiborne)




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In the News ... "Christian pop-rockers Unspoken delivers hope in new music"

Courtesy Photo
• Benefit concert TONIGHT for victims and families of August 31 Odessa/Midland shootings

By Rich Lopez, Reporter
Midland Reporter-Telegram

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Earlier this year, Unspoken released its third album “Reason.” With the single by the same name, the band immediately had a No. 1 hit. -- for five weeks in a row. Getting to this record was a trying one, however ...

... The band brings those messages and music to Midland on Sunday, but the show isn’t a typical stop on their current tour ...

 • Read the rest of this MRT report ...

IF YOU GO:
Unspoken, Stars Go Dim, and Caitie Hurst
6 p.m. Sunday - TONIGHT
First Baptist Church, 2104 W. Louisiana Ave., Midland, Texas
Free but donations welcome

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

The Naturalists have been engaged in thinking about Nature. They have not attended to the fact that they were thinking. The moment one attends to this it is obvious that one’s own thinking cannot be merely a natural event, and that therefore something other than Nature exists. The Supernatural is not remote and abstruse: it is a matter of daily and hourly experience, as intimate as breathing.

From Miracles
Compiled in A Mind Awake

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.

Photo Courtesy of Presbyterian Historical Society
Today in the Mission Yearbook: October 27, 2019

REFORMATION SUNDAY - Two hundred years ago, William Dunlop, a professor of church history at the University of Edinburgh, published two volumes of confessions that had enjoyed “public authority” in Scotland since the Reformation. While the Westminster Standards (1647–48) filled the first volume, more than 10 earlier confessional documents — including the Geneva Catechism (1542), the Scots Confession (1560) and the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) — filled the second. By placing Westminster in the broader tradition of Reformed (“Calvinist”) theology, Dunlop honored a distinctly Reformed custom: He compiled a book of confessions ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Equal Exchange Podcast ... "Podcast Episode 9: Wine for Everyone!"

Equal Exchange's mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.


Equal Exchange Photo
Podcast Episode 9: Wine for Everyone!"

Grab a glass and listen in to our podcast guest Molly Madden of RedHen Collective, who joined Danielle on The Stories Behind Our Food to talk about our OTHER favorite beverage (after fair trade coffee and tea, of course) ...

CLICK HERE to listen to the rest of this post