RSS

Category Archives: Faithfulness

Brotherhood Highlights Around the Web

This Week’s Brotherhood Highlights

Brotherhood Highlights from the Web

Highlighted Study

PERFECTED, BY ERYNN SPROUSE
Available at Kaio Publications

Highlighted Devotional Study | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #R1616

 

Highlighted Recipe

ROASTED ARTICHOKES & SPINACH, AVOCADO & STRAWBERRY SALAD
by Stacy at A Delightful Home

Highlighted Recipe | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #R1616

Highlighted Event

POLISHING THE PULPIT
Dates: August 19-25, 2016
Location: Sevierville Convention Center, Sevierville, TN
Registration Now Open

Highlighted Event: Polishing the Pulpit | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #R1616

 

Advertisements
 

15 Things You Can Do to Serve a Special Needs Family

15 Things You Can do to Serve a Special Needs Family | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #R1616

Imagine, if you will, the joy that comes when a mom and dad find out that they are expecting a new child. Whether through pregnancy and birth or through the joy of adoption, the joy of such a blessing is overwhelming. Beyond measure, a true thrill to the heart.

Now imagine, if you will, that soon after learning of the impending child, they also learn that there may be a problem, whether physical, mental or developmental. How do you imagine, that feels? Could it be a mixture of both joy and pain? Is it perhaps sorrow and elation that joins together leaving confusion in the soul? Do you perceive that their could be worry, wonder and amazement?

Also imagine what the day of delivery might be like.

Parenting is joyous, but also challenging even for children born with no special need. Now consider the difficulties which may lie ahead for a parent with a special needs child. It will look different for each family. There most likely will be financial struggles, emotional struggles, and feelings of isolation. The realities of what the family is facing can put a strain on the marriage, a strain that far too often leads to separation or divorce.

The feelings can be overwhelming and the work that follows surely is so. From doctors appointments, special need therapies such as speech, occupational, fine and gross motor development, to vision care. Perhaps something as simple as feeding the child takes on a whole new meaning when parents are learning how to tube feed or faces a lifetime of diaper changes.

The idea that no one understands is certainly understandable. The idea that none helps, is, well, it’s sad beyond measure, especially for those who are members of the Lord’s body.

We are called to love one another, John 13:34-35.  We are called to do unto others, Luke 6:31. We are called to show compassion, kindness, and longsuffering, Colossians 3:12. We are to bear one another’s burdens thus, fulfilling the law of Christ, Galatians 6:2.

If there are those among us who are feeling isolated, cast off, and without help or care, then we are failing to uphold the body of Christ, we are failing to fulfill the law of Christ.

“…Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me.” Matthew 25:45 ASV

We must look past our own comfort and see to the needs and hearts of others. No special need parent in the Lord’s church should ever feel as if they have no help, no one to care, or that they aren’t needed, or a part of the Lord’s body.

But, often, too often, this is the case. Why? Most likely it is because we don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to help or what is needed. But, that is simply an excuse because we must step outside of our own comforts and ask, show love, compassion and a listening ear, both to the parents and the child.

15 Ways to Help a Special Needs Family

  1. Offer a listening ear. It may take some time before you will find they are willing to open up. It might seem as if they don’t want your listening ear. But, it’s just because of the hurt involved. Ask, how things are going, offer to pray for, or about a specific situation. Build up a friendship over time that instills in their heart that you are offering because YOU CARE, not out of duty.
  2. Ask your sister over for coffee, or a dessert or anything that let’s her have a moment away. She may say no, but keep offering, keep asking.
  3. Call her up and say, “I’m bringing over dinner for your family tonight.” Don’t take no for an answer. Simply say, I know that you are busy and life can be extremely hectic for you. Please, let me help.
  4. Offer childcare. With all of the appointments a special needs family must undertake, sometimes it’s difficult to find childcare of the other children in the family, yet it’s hard to take them all along to appointments. Be ready, willing and able to provide for this need. Offer the option, repeat often until she trusts that you mean it.
  5. Make appropriate accommodations for the special needs child in Bible Classes. First, you need to ask the parent what IS appropriate, and you need to understand that it might not be the easiest solution. THEY know their child best and a congregation that is insistent on doing it their way is not going to go far in making the family feel welcome within the body.
  6. Organize disability Sensitivity Training within the congregation. This can go a long way in helping a family see that they are welcome, and that you want them to be surrounded by compassionate members.
  7. Offer Encouraging Words. With isolation comes the feeling of being under a microscope. A special needs mom can feel as if they are always being watched to see how they handle difficult situations. But you can be an encouragement to her. Tell her she’s doing a great job, or that you admire her ability to multitask. Let the law of kindness always be on your lips, Proverbs 3:26.
  8. Offer to do laundry. Just taking home 1 or 2 loads a week can dramatically ease the burden for these overly burdened homemakers.
  9. Invite her and the kids over for a playdate. You would be incredibly surprised to discover how few times this happens, don’t overlook this family when planning events for the children in the congregation.
  10. Invite her to Gatherings. Don’t overlook this mom when you gather with other friends. Even if she isn’t able to be there, she needs to know she is welcome, that you WANT her to join you. Be understanding if she can’t make it, and be welcoming when she makes arrangements to make it.
  11. Offer to Learn How to Take Care of Her Child. It might be scary to offer to learn how tube feed a child. But imagine what it was like for her the first time, and she had no choice. She also may NEVER have a chance to spend time alone with her husband because no one is willing to help her in this matter. Learning this task, or others like it, can then allow you to provide her with respite care, date nights, her own doctors appointments, or perhaps just the ability to sit down during a fellowship meal and eat.
  12. Surprise her! Make arrangements with her husband, or her mom, then take her out for a dinner, or pedicure, or a shopping trip to buy her a little something special, a scarf of earrings. Let it be your treat.
  13. Offer to Take the Kids for a Weekend. She needs sleep, a shower, and time alone with her husband. See #11.
  14. Simply Ask How She Is. You’d be so surprised to find that she is rarely, if ever, asked about her own needs.
  15. Last, but not least, Be Her Friend. Truly, be a friend to her. She probably doesn’t have a single one. They probably abandoned her shortly after her child came into her family. Don’t do this out of duty, but out of a heart that truly loves your sister in the Lord. Jesus Christ was compassionate, Matthew 14:14, we too should have a heart of compassion for those who are in need.

“And one of the multitude answered him, Teacher, I brought unto thee my son, who hath a dumb spirit; and wheresoever it taketh him, it dasheth him down: and he foameth, and grindeth his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast it out; and they were not able. he answereth them and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I bear with you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him grievously; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long time is it since this hath come unto him? And he said, From a child And oft-times it hath cast him both into the fire and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst! All things are possible to him that believeth. Straightway the father of the child cried out, and said, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. And when Jesus saw that a multitude came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I command thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And having cried out, and torn him much, he came out: and the boy became as one dead; insomuch that the more part said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and raised him up; and he arose.”  Mark 9:17-27 ASV.

While we can’t offer physical healing to our brothers and sisters in Christ for their child. We can offer them compassion, love, and kindness which can heal broken hearts, thus fulfilling the law of Christ.

Resources for Families with Special Needs

This post written by Team Member: Renée

 

Tags: ,

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 | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #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

 
1 Comment

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

 

Tags: , ,

Brotherhood Highlights from Around the Web 2

 

We’re bringing you topics of interest from the Brotherhood around the web. Whether you are searching for preacher’s notes, sermon outlines, women’s devotionals or ideas for Bible classes, we want to bring you highlights from around the web as a weekly encouragement to both you and our members.

Brotherhood Highlights from Around the Web 3.28.16 | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #R1616

This Week’s Brotherhood Highlights

Highlighted Bible Class Lessons

Bible Fun for Kids Lessons on Jesus

Highlighted Bible Class Lessons: Bible Fun for Kids Lessons on Jesus | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #R1616

Debbie Jackson is known for her Bible Class lessons that are easy to utilize with all the free printables you need to complete a Sunday or Wednesday lesson. But when she pulls together a complete series of lessons that are based on teaching sound faith straight from the word of God, you can usually cover an entire quarters worth of lessons. This highlight is to let you know about Debbie’s latest series, Jesus, she has spanned a little over 2 months in this series, so far. But you can also search her categories for even more.

Highlighted Blog Post

Snapshots of Faith

Highlighted Blog Post: Snapshots of Faith by Donna Faughn | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #R1616

Sister Donna Faughn recently shared this very encouraging post that guides us to look around our congregations at those who influence us to be faithful. Like the Pillars of Faith we see recounted in Hebrews 11 we too can look around at our brothers and sisters and be reminded to be faithful to the Lord. They can be, if we have open eyes and hearts, living testaments of the faith that we have in Christ Jesus.

We encourage you, dear sisters, to read Donna’s words and be motivated to see faith in action all around you.

Highlighted Preacher’s Sermon Outlines

Preaching Help Sermon Outlines – Steve Higginbotham

Highlighted Preacher's Sermons: PreachingHelp.org by Steve Higginbotham | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #R1616

 

Being the daughters, and wives of preachers, and one team member a preacher himself. We all are aware of the time, effort, research and study that goes into developing sermons, week after week. Which is why this week we want to feature a Preacher who shares his sermon outlines online for others to utilize. Brother Steve Higginbotham shares his weekly sermon outlines at PreachingHelp.org. They are categorized by year, and then each are listed and attached to a downloadable and printable pdf.

This post organized by Team Member – Renée.

 

Tags: , , ,

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 | R16Sixteen.wordpress.com #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

 

Tags: , , , ,

Troublesome Times are Here

Troublesome Times are Here

Troublesome Times are Here, Christians Hold Fast | R16sixteen.wordpress.com #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!

Chorus
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.

Chorus
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

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 23, 2016 in Encouragement, Faithfulness

 

Tags: ,

A Little Can Help A Lot

Help Spread the Gospel

Have you ever thought that you wanted to give to world missions, but, felt as if you simply couldn’t afford much. Then you just decided that it made no sense to just send $5 or $10. So you just added a little extra to the plate on Sunday, then you wonder if you could do more.

What if you could do more? What if you could join with other Christians by contributing a little, and the others contribute a little and together you are helping an established work of the brotherhood spread the gospel across the globe. By being willing to give what we have and working with others we can all share in the work of the Lord.

$75 for 7 Billion Souls

It’s that idea that prompted the team of Truth for the World to begin their new  $75 for 7 Billion Souls Campaign.

“Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury;” Mark 12:43

Truth for the World’s Global Efforts

Last year we shared with you the wonderful works that Truth for the World endeavors to manage and maintain around the globe. They truly are seeking to go in to all the world. But they can’t do it alone. They need the help of brothers and sisters in the Lords’ church to help provide for the financial needs of the work they are doing.

Currently, Truth For The World is running an annual deficit and needs to increase the amount of annual income it receives in order to continue the current projects underway and grow the new projects and outreach that have been planned. Kendal Rasnake, shared with me that their estimated budget for 2015 will be about $177,000, but that their projected annual income will be about $35,000 below that.

That means that they will be short of their annual goal and whenever a budget comes up short, most likely, something will be cut. As a result they have made the decision to kick off a fund building campaign in which they are seeking to raise about $75,000 more for their annual income. The goal isn’t to add money to coffers but rather to add funds that will help in spreading the gospel to reach 7 BILLION souls for Christ.

unnamed

Does $75,000 sound like a sum of money that is entirely not within your personal reach? It’s not for most people. But think of it this way. If 1000 members of the Lord’s church would commit to send $75 a year (or $6.25 a month) then the $75,000 is entirely within reach! $75 is within the reach of many Christian families living in the U.S. It might mean sacrificing 2-3 meals eaten out at a nice restaurant per year, or just 2 cups of coffee per month, but when you consider the number of souls that will have the opportunity to hear the gospel preached, the sacrifice seems to be very minimal doesn’t it?

So maybe you are wondering how your $75 can actually spread the gospel. Kendal shared with me how they plan to break down the desired goal of an additional $75,000 per year.

The extra $75,000 per year in annual income will allow Truth for the World to:

  1. Keep the current staff and services. – $35,000
  2. Add one more full-time staff member to share the workload and grow new projects such as more online Bible courses- $30,000
  3. Add global shortwave radio broadcasting to over 1 billion people – $10,000

Truth For The World doesn’t just send out a missionary or two once a year, they are spreading the gospel each and every week of the year. Through the shortwave radio signals they have established on 6 continents, Bible Correspondence Courses sent  globally, as well as TV programming and Bible Lessons via a mobile app, the good news message is being proclaimed regularly all year long.

Christ’s commission is for every disciple to follow. Yet, each individual may not have the opportunity, finances or ability to go out further than their own neighborhood. But, God never intended for each of us to bear the work load alone. Rather we are to work together as a collective body for the furtherance of the gospel message. Choosing to donate to Truth for the World means that you become a fellow laborer in the work the global evangelism effort that they are endeavoring to maintain. Their efforts can be used around the globe, even in, your own neighborhood. So while global evangelism seems like it is, out there, somewhere else, it really starts at your own home and can spread to the farthest reaches of the globe.

$75 for 7 Billion Souls

How can you help Truth for the World?

Article written by team member: Renee Brown

 

Tags: ,

 
%d bloggers like this: