Author Archives: R16:16

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Acts of Simple Service

Acts of Simple Service

Do you ever get stuck on how to serve? Do you think, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do? This is often where we can get hung up. Stuck in the I don’t know place.

Acts of Simple Service | #R1616

But we can’t use the I don’t know place as an excuse to not do what the Lord has asked of us.

Serving can be simple acts or acts that require many hands to get the job done.

Simple Service to Bring Honor to a King

There are many people who need help. But, are we overlooking them? Or, do we think, well if they needed help, they’d ask. Too often, people are afraid to ask, or are embarrassed to admit they need help.

Remember that Christ asked us to be living sacrifices, Romans 12:1. Offering help can seem awkward, but that’s the part where we are to step outside of our comfort zone a bit.

Ideas for People to Serve

  • Elderly
  • Widows
  • Someone who is sick with an ongoing, long-term health struggle.
  • A Single Parent
  • A Child-less Couple (They may be lonelier than you can imagine, or an older couple without children, may need help but have no one to offer it.)
  • A Pregnant Mama
  • A Family with a Special Needs Child
  • Moms of Many Kids
  • The Preachers Family (the are OFTEN overlooked)
  • The Elders
  • The Deacons
  • The Teens (It’s so often that teens are expected to serve, it’s rare for them to BE served, and there is much to be learned in the act of accepting service.)
  • A member who Owns their Small Business (Small business owners, often, can’t afford to hire help for small tasks, so sometimes small tasks get left undone.)

Service doesn’t have to look like big. In fact, some of the most loving acts of service are those tiny, small, seemingly, unnoticeable acts that get overlooked. Remember the example of Christ? He washed the disciples feet, John 13:12. He saw the leper, heard the cries of the blind beggar, healed the lame, He chose to be obedient to His Father and extend love to the outcasts, the weak, the infirm.

Without His example, we may do the same. But, we are Christians, Like-Christ. We are to be like Him in all that we do, say and how we love. When we offer service to others, it isn’t to bring glory to ourselves, it brings glory to Christ Jesus our Lord.

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

A simple act of kindness begins in the heart. It begins by having a heart open to seeing where need lies.

Ideas for Simple Acts of Kindness

  1. Each week make it a point to speak to someone at worship who you’ve never, or rarely spoken to before.
    Then, take extra time getting to know that person. See them. Hear them. Love them.
  2. Speak to the check out clerk wherever you may be, look at their name tag and say something like, “Hi Evelyn, are you having a good day today?” You will be quite surprised at how surprised they are, and you can almost always see a change in their demeanor. Why? Because they are often overlooked, belittled, and in a difficult job, even though perhaps the work is easy, it’s difficult to stand, for hours, and no one notice you, while you are serving the needs of the public.
  3. If you are a gardener, take extra veggies to a mom of many, a few extras to a widower, or a single parent.
    Not a gardener? Buy a few extras at the grocery store and do the same.
  4. Take Flowers If you have a flower bed that produces beautiful perennials, Cut off a small bouquet or two and spend an afternoon, driving around and tying a couple on doors around the neighborhood, or at the homes of the congregation’s elders.
  5. Drive someone to a doctor or medical appointment,
  6. Invite the single parent over for an afternoon chat.
  7. Take a meal to the preacher’s family when a member or two have a cold/flu or other illness.
  8. Send cards to a teenager encouraging them through their schooling years.
  9. Send a gift card to someone following the death of a loved one. Containers of food brought over are nice, but the reality is, too much food can be daunting during a time of grief. A gift card allows the person to get a meal at their pace, as they have need.
  10. Take the time to get to know a special needs family, especially, the child. Talk to the mom, learn what the needs are. Learn about her day and how she juggles. Then seek to determine what you can do to ease her burden. It might be prayer, it might be an offer of child-care, it might be an offer of respite care.
  11. Make a Call, Pick up the phone and the church directory and call up someone to ask how they are doing, tell them you are thinking about them, find out if they need anything.
  12. Mow the lawn of a single person, or trim the hedges for a widow, or offer to pull weeds in the flowerbeds of an elderly sister.
  13. When making dinner, double the recipe and make two. Freeze one. When you have 3-5 extras in the freezer, pull them out and take them to a single parent, an elderly couple, widow or mom of many.
  14. At the grocery store, spend an extra 15 minutes rounding up stray carts and take them to the cart coral.
  15. Buy an extra cup of coffee (or tea, or whatever their preference is) and drop by the church’s building and offer it to the preacher during his work day.
  16. Are you crafty? Do you enjoy scrap-booking, or crochet or other craft? Bless the someone whose time is limited with the gift of your creation. Offer to scrapbook for a single mom, or mom of many or special needs mom. Take an afghan to a new mom, or someone in the nursing home, or make a baby sweater and take it to the hospital and leave with the nursery nurses with a card that says “For a new mom.”

These are just a few ideas. Hopefully, they will help you to think outside of your nervousness and realize that God places you where He will for the purposes of working in His kingdom.

— Written by Team Member Renée

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Posted by on March 30, 2016 in Christian, Encouragement, Faithfulness


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Join the Challenge: Learn to be a Martha with a Mary Heart

Are you a woman who struggles with finding a balance between being a godly woman seeking God through study and prayer as well as fulfilling your role of being a homemaker, wife and mother? Just hearing the question may bring to mind the example of our Sister Mary and our Sister Martha and their story of how they chose to spend their time with and for Christ.

Join the Challenge: Learn to be a Martha with the Heart of a Mary | #R1616

We all struggle with that balance. For them, well, they were two women. We, however are one. But the reality remains we want to choose the better part, but, we also have responsibilities. So how do we keep a clean and orderly home, provide meals for our families and still find time to study, pray, and serve the Lord within the church?

Our team member Sharla wondered the same thing. Then she came across this book: “Having a Martha Home the Mary Way, 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul.” by Sarah Mae. You can read more about the book here:Are You Mary or Martha?

Sharla discovered through this book that our goal should be to have an inviting home filled with love. The book is a guide to help you find the way to develop balance by offering you daily challenges, a Mary challenge and a Martha challenge.

So Sharla decided that it would be both fun and encouraging to start an online study group where women could encourage each other through the challenge.

“It’s really going to be a simple study and a simple house cleaning mission. I think the main purpose is to get everyone in the habit of reading their Bible and cleaning their house. It will also help women to not put so much pressure on themselves to think their house has to be perfect.” Sharla Orren

If you would like to join Sharla’s challenge group Join the 62 Day Bible & Cleaning Challenge.

It should be noted that while this book is written from a “christian” perspective, the author is not a member of the church of Christ. Sharla says that to join the group you are not required to purchase the book, but you may if you feel it will be beneficial to your ability to find this balance.


Posted by Team Member – Renée


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Troublesome Times are Here

Troublesome Times are Here

Troublesome Times are Here, Christians Hold Fast | #R1616

Jesus is Coming Soon” is one of those songs that we love to sing. It has such an upbeat tune, with the promise of Jesus’ return. But do we too often sing through it without considering the words behind the upbeat-ness of the song?

Troublesome times are here.” Today, we think. But notice this song was written in 1942. There were certainly troublesome times in 1942. World War 2! Yet, again, in 2016 we find ourselves in troublesome times.

Freedom we all hold dear, now is at stake.” True in 1942, true today. But, our freedom as Christians, lies in Christ. His promise is that His kingdom will stand forever. Our freedom in Him will last forever.

This upbeat song, we love to sing comes with a heavy dose of reality. This song is one of both promise, “Jesus is coming soon.” and one of doom, “Many will meet their doom.

As Christians it’s easy for us to sing, “Troubles will soon be o’er, happy forever more.” because, that’s the promise we are all longing for, all waiting for, all hopeful for. But with that reality, with our hope, will come the doom for so many.

Yes, troublesome times are here, and many a heart is full of fear. But our faith is what will see us through the most troublesome of times. We do not know the hour or the day when Christ will return. God longs for all to come to repentance.

So during these troublesome times, we should be all the more diligent to be lights of His love, speaking His truth without fear.

Jesus is Coming Soon

by R.E. Winsett 1942

Troublesome times are here, filling men’s hearts with fear,
Freedom we all hold dear, now is at stake.
Humbling your heart to God saves from the chastening rod.
Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake!

Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noon,
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound.
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the sky,
Going where no one dies, Heavenward bound!

Troubles will soon be o’er, happy forever more,
When we meet on that shore, free from all care.
Rising up in the sky, telling this world goodbye,
Homeward we then will fly, glory to share.

Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noon,
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound.
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the sky

When Troublesome Times are Upon Us

We cannot allow ourselves to be struck cold by fear.

We must stand firm in our resolve to be followers of Christ. We must acknowledge that our freedom lies not in the laws of man but with the law of Christ. True freedom is the law that cleanses us from our sins and leads us to eternal glory.

Remember that we were not promised ease of life. We were told that if need be, we will be grieved by various trials.

1 Peter 1:36-9 NKJV
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen[a] you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”

As we face troublesome times, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 NKJV.

–Written by Team Member Renée

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Posted by on March 23, 2016 in Encouragement, Faithfulness


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Brotherhood Highlights from Around the Web

The brotherhood has been busy all around the web. It’s always such an encouragement to stumble upon a blog post, Facebook share or be chatting with a fellow member and discover a great read online written by faithful members of the body.

Which is why we want to share with you some items of interest that we’ve discovered.

Brotherhood Highlights from Around the Web | #R1616


New Series for Young Women in the Church

Highlighted New Series | #R1616

This new series Beyond the Foam on Come Fill Your Cup is geared toward young women in the Lord’s church it is written by young women but the goal is to help move beyond the milk of the word and learn how to study themselves into meatier topics.

“…Foam? Steamed milk foams wonderfully, and tastes amazing in coffee, a drink both of us are extremely fond of. However, were we to just live off of foamy milk, we would be undernourished, unhealthy, and seriously craving some Tex-Mex…

Here at “Beyond the Foam”, we are making it our goal to teach women in their teens and twenties the depths of Christ, getting past the milk and the “elementary doctrine” that we are so often given. It is our goal to dig deeper into the text and be a support and inspiration to those who crave more than just milk.”

–Jayla Sparks and Sarah Smith, Co-Editors of Beyond the Foam

Telling the Old Old Stories for Mature Members

Highlighted Podcast | #R1616

Not a Children’s Bible Story Series, at Radically Christian

In this podcast series the good brothers at Radically Christian are digging in to some common children’s Bible lessons to pull out deeper lessons for more mature members. These brothers are asking the question…

“What can mature disciples of Christ learn from this story?”

Seeking to move beyond the children’s corner of study and into mature, meat filling word.

Standing Firm in the Word

As we continue to be surrounded by a culture bent on destroying Christianity. It becomes harder and harder to speak the truth without controversy. Brotherhood News reported a story last week about Facebook censoring a post on the Facebook Community Page Added to the Church of Christ.

Standing Firm in the Word | #R1616

“Jamie Suiter reported today that on Mar. 12  the popular brotherhood Facebook Page, “Added to the church of Christ,” was asked to remove a post on homosexuality.  According to page editor Tony Brewer, they were told it classified as “hate speech” under the Facebook guidelines.”

With over 60,000 pageviews the original post obviously brought attention to the subject.

These brethren are working to administer the Facebook Page: Stephane Maillet, Tony Brewer,  and Paul Mays. We are thankful that they are standing firm in the faith. Please pray for their continued work.


–This post written by team member: Renée.


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Meal Planning March

Encouraging You With Cooking & Meal Planning Ideas

Cooking and meal planning can become overwhelming. 3 meals a day plus snacks, 7 days a week, about 30 days a month, 365 days a year, that’s about 1100 meals a year. Sure we eat out for some of them and other times we may be invited into someones home, but the reality is that we prepare most of those meals ourselves.

Whether your single and cooking for yourself and a few close friends, or your a mom to many the fact remains, that’s a lot of meals to plan for. For some cooking is a joy, meal planning is natural and grocery shopping is met with anticipation. For others it is met with dread and the overall task seems daunting. Whether you are an old hat at cooking, planning and prep or just need a little boost, we want to encourage you in this effort by providing a month of encouraging posts, recipes, tips and ideas to help you along.

seared steak recipe

Balsamic Glazed Steak over Spinach & Mushroom Fettucine Alfredo

Pasta with Sauce

  • 1 T Butter
  • 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 C Spinach Leaves, trimmed
  • 1 Jar Alfredo Sauce
  • 8 – 10 oz.Thin Egg Noodles, or Fettucine


  • 2-3 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Sirloin Steak strip, (or flank steak) salt/pepper, seared to preference, slice thinly.


  • 1-2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 T. Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Balsamic Vinegar

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large skillet drizzle olive oil, heat pan. Add steak and sear apx. 8 minutes on one side, flip and sear apx. 4 minutes on the other, or until desired preference. Remove steak from skillet, let rest. In the mean time, add 1 T. olive oil, sugar and vinegar, heat over medium low heat, reducing mixture, about 10 minutes. 

In a saucepan melt butter with olive oil,  add minced garlic and lightly saute until tender, do not scorch.  Stir in the spinach and tomatoes just until spinach wilts, remove from heat.

Drain pasta. Stir alfredo sauce into pasta, add the spinach and tomatoes. 

Slice steak thinly, lay steak slices over pasta, drizzle with glaze.

Balsamic glazed steak recipe

 Serve with a side of crusty bread and a salad. 

I love to cook. I enjoy preparing a meal for my family or friends. I am not one, however, who loves meal planning. I don’t plan by week or month. I plan by keeping a well stocked kitchen. By having what I need on hand, I am able to choose my meals each day based upon what suits my taste or the amount of time I have to prep. I recently did a blog series “Meal Planning When you Don’t Like to Plan.” I then turned the series into a Free downloadable eBook. It’s filled with tips, ideas and recipes. You can find the eBook on my blog, Great Peace Academy.

~This post was written by team member Renee’ Brown. You can read more of her writings on her homeschooling and family blog Great Peace Academy.


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What Have You Given Up for Marriage & Family?

The Choice to Marry lies in each Individual

We read that the greatest possible love is a friend who would lay down his life for another. Christ Jesus did that for each of us We also read that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, meaning, be willing to give up his life for her. We read that as wives we are to respect our husbands.

When we choose to marry, we stand in front of a roomful (most often) of people and declare that we will love, honor and cherish one another. Do we, however,  truly consider the cost of that decision? Do we weigh what we will be giving up in order to receive the marriage?

The Cost of Marriage

Yes, we do give up some things, anything worth having is worth the cost of having it. Sadly, there are many who see marriage and family as a hindrance, as a common and ordinary thing. They can’t see it as exceptional, because they choose to not see it that way. For them the cost is too high, too extreme, because they choose to hold onto the cost.

Our team mate, Shanna, recently wrote a marvelous article titled: 5 Things I Gave Up to be A Wife and Mother. In it she dispels the ugly attitude that exists in the minds of many and clearly shows that her decision was and continues to be a decision of choice. She explains her loving and willing decision to daily be a wife and mother.

5 Things I Gave Up to be A Wife and Mother

I recently came across an article with a title that immediately captured my attention. It was one of those blog posts that, once published, goes viral immediately. Unfortunately, unlike other current web successes such as open letters to daddies who are kind and understanding to other people’s children on flights, concerned mothers of sons advising teenage girls against immodest pics on social media, and husbands spreading the word that marriage is about more than “me”, this post had a decidedly more acrid tone. It was a scathing diatribe against a woman’s decision to be a wife and mother. The title, “I Look Down on Young Women with Husbands and Kids and I’m Not Sorry”, pretty much sets the hateful tone for this short but sad article. Despite my immediate guttural reaction (and against my better judgement), I continued reading said article. I would liken this decision to passing by a horrible accident that you KNOW will be gruesome but having to look anyway. Believe me; this post was WORSE than a train wreck.

After my mommy senses went into overdrive, steam flooded from every orifice of my body, and I screamed aloud, “Oh no, she didn’t!”


Shanna’s article went viral. We live in a time when many, many look down on marriage as if it’s not important. or that the choice to be a wife and mother is somehow a lesser choice. Yet, many women continue to make that choice esteeming it to be a first thing. Shanna is among them as are all of the women on the R16:16 team.

What about you, are you married? Did you choose to give up anything? Is it a work in progress? Or, are you one of those who mistakenly thinks your marriage and family are entirely about YOU? Maybe you feel that marriage and family are not worth the cost.

Then again, perhaps you have considered marriage and made the choice to not wed, seeking rather to dedicate your life in service to the Lord. There is no command to marry, but as Christians, whether we choose marriage or we choose to be single, we each have the same first priority, that of honoring God above all else.

~Article written by team member, Renee Brown.




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Submission is a Command

Are You Choosing to Obey?

We live in an age where we are bombarded by media telling us that women are equal to men. Many denominations are attempting to follow suit and make it so. Many wives are choosing to take leadership roles in the family, leaving men home to care for children while they go out and earn a living. And, our society backs it up, lauds it as modern roles and wraps it up in a nice bow so it looks like its the right thing.


Submission in Marriage


Let’s examine this reality:

Ephesians 5:22,23

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”

Colossians 3:18

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

Titus 2:3-5

“the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”

These statements are made with command by Paul who was given authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ to teach for the purposes of edification.

1 Corinthians 1:1a

“Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God…”

2 Corinthians 11:5,6

“For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things”

2 Corinthians 13:11

“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.”

While it is true that these words were written nearly 2000 years ago and the society we live in today is vastly different than the ones that Paul was writing to, the truth of God’s word remains the same.

2 Timothy 3:16

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

1 Peter 1:25

“But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

While our society may look different today, that in no way gives us permission to negate the commands which we find in scripture if we are truly believers of the word of God. The reality is, Satan is a liar and deceiver, he roams about seeking whom he may devour. By subjugating and entire society his goals are made easy and the society becomes slaves to sin without even being aware of it.


I am not saying that a woman can’t work outside the home. But I am saying it is not her place to take the leadership role, the authoritative role within the family. Her role is to submit to her husband.


~This article written by team member Renee Brown.


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