Odds & Ends: October 2018
For several years I have read the Bible through twice in 12 months. It is a great and powerful tree, each word of which is a mighty branch. Each of these branches have I well shaken, so desirous was I to know what each one bore and what it would give me. And the shaking of them has never disappointed me.
Minister to your ministers
In honor of Pastor Appreciation Month, use these alphabetical reminders of how to treat your pastors:
Accept them as people.
Build them up. Say “thank you.”
Communicate with them.
Defend them when someone tries to run them down.
Entertain them. They like to have fun, too!
Family. Allow them to have a family life.
Genuine. Be honest with them. Be yourself around them.
Honor them. Don’t put them on a pedestal, but respect them.
Income. Pay them enough so money isn’t a concern.
Judge not! Avoid being critical.
Kind. Treat pastors as you want to be treated.
Love. See 1 Corinthians 13.
Maintain. Their families have the same needs as other families.
Nurture. Help them grow in grace.
Offer to help. The list of things you can do is endless.
Pray for them. Lift up their names to God daily.
Quelch not. Encourage instead!
Rejoice in and with them.
Surprise them — in little and big ways.
Trust them. Believe in them.
Understand them. Put yourself in their place.
Vacation. They need time away.
Welcome them into your home. Don’t wait for an invitation.
eXpend yourself, not them.
Yoke. Help them bear their burdens with grace and dignity.
Zap all gossip!
Faithful Christian, seek the truth, hear the truth, learn the truth, love the truth, speak the truth, adhere to the truth, defend the truth to death; for truth will make you free from sin, the devil, the death of the soul and finally from eternal death. —John Hus (1369-1415)
Pastor Cosand: September 2018
"I WILL NOT OFFER TO THE LORD THAT WHICH COSTS ME NOTHING"
a call to systematic Bible reading
Each September the people of our fellowship are encouraged to begin, again, reading through the Bible in one year. Bible reading schedules are available in our foyer. We start in Genesis every September and end in Revelation every August. To read with any regularity takes no small amount of discipline, but the benefits to soul and life far outweigh the sacrifice. The Christian life, if it is anything, is a life of discipline. The call of the gospel of Jesus Christ has radical, far-reaching implications. We know the verses that tell us that Christ demands our all, but we often do not take them to heart. “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Lk 9:23,24). “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Lk 14:26,27). “And if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into the fiery hell” (Mt 18:8,9).
We sing "Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee." We know that Jesus requires of us commitment, but all too often the idea is just a word and we don’t stop to think about the day-to-day implications of our allegiance to Christ and the totality of what He calls us to do, in our living, if we want to follow Him.
Missions Update: September 2018
Shan Reed – North American Baptist Conference
Ibukino 3, Chome 14-9-903
Izumi Shi, Osaka Fu 594-0041 Japan
Greetings from Japan! As we are experiencing record-breaking heat this summer in Japan, we are excited about how the Holy Spirit is setting hearts on fire as people experience Him for the first time, as believers are inspired to know Him better, and as His children desire to share His love with others.
On July 17, Komyo Christian Church hosted a ladies seminar. We were stretched as we talked about renewing our minds and encouraged as we were reminded of the Holy Spirit’s power to renew and empower us.
Following the seminar, we plunged into final preparations for the arrival of the Gateway Team. On July 27, we welcomed an excited and travel-weary team to hot, humid Osaka. The team spent two nights with host families connected with our church. They experienced Japanese home cooking and fellowship. Not all of the family members involved in the homestay are Christians so this gave the team an opportunity to shine the light of Jesus in tangible ways.
Odds & Ends: September 2018
A morning prayer
At the start of a day, who can tell what a day may bring forth? Cause me therefore, gracious God, to live every day as if it were to be my last, for I know not but that it may be such. Cause me to live now as I shall wish I had done when I come to die. O grant that I may not die with any guilt on my conscience, or any known sin unrepented of, but that I may be found in Christ, who is my only Savior and Redeemer.
—Thomas à Kempis
In earthen vessels
The dear Lord’s best interpreters
Are humble human souls;
The gospel of a life like His
Is more than books or scrolls.
From scheme and creed the light goes out,
The saintly fact survives;
The blessed Master none can doubt,
Revealed in holy lives.
— John Greenleaf Whittier, from “The Friend’s Burial”