Central News for May 19, 2014

Central News for May 19, 2014

Our Messages
Obedience is a difficult topic.  Most people seem to be in favor of obedience, except when it comes to their obedience.  Here are all three messages in the series Obedience:

But I Don’t Feel Like It…

But It’s Too Difficult…

But It Costs Too Much…

What’s Happening At Central Church
The Advisory Board will meet on Monday, May 19th at 6:30 PM

The Encourager’s, Homebuilders, and Teen Sunday school classes are having a special joint session for the next two Sundays.  On Sunday, May 25th, Joel McGill will teach a session on Introduction to Inductive Bible Study.  On June 1st, Edwin Bowden will finish a two-session lesson on Biblical Authority for Today.

Vacation Bible School is rapidly approaching!  Volunteers are needed in all areas; if you can help please let Jill Resendiz know.

Missionary News
Bulgaria: Praise God for Malachi Luke Provow’s safe entry into the world on Mother’s Day, May 11th.  A full 16 days past his due date, 22-inch Malachi weighed in at nine pounds and 14 ounces.  Pray for Josh, Lydia, and Malachi’s sisters (Zoe, Phoebe, and Naomi) as they adjust to this new family member.

Panama: Pray for Rolando and Keila Delgado as they continue the process to move to the United States.  Since Panama refused to renew their visas almost a year ago, they are considered illegal aliens.  They have a ministry awaiting their immigration to the States, but paperwork has moved slowly.  Ask God to work through all the bureaucratic red tape in His time and way.  Pray for patience and peace for the Delgados.

Spain: The Alpedrete congregation participated in their annual family service this past Sunday, May 18th.  Families presented a story from the book of Acts and shared an application.  Ask God to use this service to imbed biblical truths in a memorable way.  Pray unsaved family members and friends will attend and understand God’s love, sacrifice, and forgiveness.

E-TEAM: Pray for Emily Petty, E-TEAMer to Cuba.  Emily was involved in a car accident on Monday, May 12th, and broke her back in two places.  She underwent surgery on May 15th.  Pray for Emily’s recovery.  The doctor has said she may be able to participate in E-TEAM in June.

Brazil: Praise God for the members of First FWB Church in Campinas, Brazil, who celebrated Mother’s Day by giving time, food, and fellowship to at-risk children from a nearby slum.  Ask God to use this, and other ministries, to draw these children to Him and away from the drug and alcohol use and crime rampant in their neighborhood.  Pray for God to use this to spark a revival in the neighborhood.

France: Praise God for the salvation of Alex during a weekend retreat organized by Lydie Teague’s brother.  Pray for another young man who is seeking to understand the gospel.  Ask God to continue to work in the hearts and lives of all who attended the retreat as well as those who attended JPense on April 25.  Pray for a mighty movement of God in France.

Brazil: Pray for Rogério and Anice who have spent about three years as Brazilian missionaries to Uruguay.  They are returning to Brazil later this month.  Anice has partial detachment of both retinas and needs immediate treatment.  Ask God to provide employment for Rogério, appropriate medical care and healing for Anice, for the needs of their children, and ease of transition as they return to Brazilian culture.

Japan: Continue to pray for the 87-year-old man who talked with Doug Bishop before Easter and planned to attend church.  His sons are staunch Buddhists and against him attending church.  The Bishops ask for prayer that all three of the men will agree to a Bible study in their home.  Ask God to continue to woo this elderly man and for his sons’ hearts to soften.

Côte d’Ivoire: Praise God for the celebration of Pastor George’s ordination in Bouaké on May 11th.  He and his family have served faithfully in Bouaké for more than four years, planting a church.  Pastor George was ordained at the Ivorian national convention in August 2013.  Since most of his congregation could not be present, a celebration was held in his local church last week.  Ask God to continue to bless this ministry and family.

Bible Challenges
Bible Reading Challenge: Hebrews 11:1-40

Bible Memorization Challenge: Hebrews 12:12–13 (ESV)…12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.

Pastor’s Note
ObedienceObedience has been the topic for the past month in my messages.  It has certainly been challenging to me.  I wish I could say I have been perfect in my obedience to the Lord, but the reality is that I have failed Him on several occasions.  It would be easy to conclude that since perfect obedience isn’t really a possibility, we shouldn’t even try.  That is, however, a self-defeating way of thinking.  I believe we can, if we try, be obedient more often than not.  I believe that the obedience, as the picture included with this post says, is our gift to God.  Shouldn’t we desire to give God a good gift every day?

Our obedience becomes the visible evidence of our faith; our belief in every promise that God has made to us.  When we stand for our faith in the face of ridicule or persecution, we are stating that our faith, our belief in God’s promises, is enough to sustain us through those difficult circumstances.  When we choose to praise the Lord and live in joy rather than defeat, even when our world is collapsing around us, we are declaring that God’s promises overrule our circumstances.

It has been estimated that there are some 8,000 promises in the Bible…I choose to believe that God has made sufficient promises to cover every human condition and circumstance.  I want to live my life in faith, believing all of God’s promises to me.  Regardless of my feelings, my circumstances, or the cost to me.  What promises has God made to you?  Are you living your life in faith; believing that God’s promises outweigh your feelings, outweigh your circumstances, and even outweigh the possible cost of obeying God?  I hope so.

Obedience is still in fashion in our relationship to God!

I hope to see you in church, soon!

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