Proverbs 25:25 "Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land."


ENTRY 93: April 13-14 David and Absalom 2 Samuel 8-16; 1 Chronicles 3; 11; 18-21; 24; Psalms 3

This entry begins with lots of battles and David’s men defeating the enemy. However, even when there are so many victories occurring on the battle field, there is nothing sadder for a God-fearing father than to see his children go off the rails spiritually, or, even worse, to have a totally rebellious son. The tale of Absalom’s rebellion provides an insight into the political intrigue of David’s time and a further insight into the humble heart of an extraordinary king, not to mention a Parenting Lesson for us all – you will reap what you sow! David’s sons sinned as a result of his own transgression.

A Spring Break of Love

Bolivia Preschool

By Joenesha Hardman - During my spring break, I visited La Paz, Bolivia with the goal of volunteering and serving the poor through HOPE worldwide Bolivia, as well as encouraging the La Paz disciples. It was a week that impacted my heart more than I could have imagined.

La Paz is a beautiful city, with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, but the beauty that captivated me is the love I experienced while there.

Gitarama, Rwanda: It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times (Part 2)

     A small house church resides in the poverty sticken village of Gitarama, Rwanda, where most people eat one meal a day (if that much) and where most have never even slept on a mattress.  Attending church is also difficult, as the journey takes four hours round-trip.  However, amidst all these challenges, their love for God is outstanding and in the last year the disciples saw many blessings.

ENTRY 92: April 11-12 David’s Battles – Seen and Unseen 2 Samuel 8, 11-12; 1 Chronicles 3, 11, 18-21, 23 24; Psalm 51

David was forced to battle almost constantly with Israel’s enemies, yet in the midst of defending his kingdom and spreading its borders offensively, David fell victim to his own lust and became both an adulterer and a murderer… This is a long and action-packed entry which focuses on (1) THE PROGRESSION OF SIN WHICH BROUGHT DAVID TO MURDER, (2) THE PEOPLE THAT WE HURT WHEN WE SIN, (3) HOW WE SHOULD TAKE CORRECTION AND (4) THE HEART WE CAN PRAY TO HAVE WHEN WE ARE REPENTING, AND (5) AN IMPORTANT LESSON ABOUT GRACE. It also includes lots of personal sharing about my own sin. 

 

ENTRY 91: April 9-10 Leadership 101 with David 2 Sam 7-10; 2 Sam 21:15f; 1 Chron 17-19, Psalm 60

This very short entry today (covering such topics as THE NEED FOR LEADERS TO SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH THOSE WHO WILL TELL THEM THE TRUTH, TAKING CARE OF OTHERS JUST BECAUSE YOU LOVE THEM, DREAMING FOR GOD, and FRIENDSHIP) will be followed by several super long entries over the next few days (Bathsheba, etc)…I have just had a few days off and stayed away from uploading anything to the internet; sorry for my absence but I am back <smile>. 

Thanks once again to Dr Smith for his awesome insights into chronology – hence the unusual skipping around of passages.

Kigali, Rwanda: It was the Best of Times, it was the Worst of Times (Part 1)

     Not long ago, Rwanda became a center of much human tragedy and suffering.  And while the country continues to strive after the devastation, God has certainly not forgotten the people there. In this account, we share some of the blessings that the International Church of Christ in Rwanda saw over the last few years.

ENTRY 90: April 7-8 "O Worship WITH the King" 2 Sam 6:16f; 2 Sam 7-8; 1 Chronicles 16-17, Psalm 105, 96

David gave the people gifts as part of the celebration and appointed more musicians and singers to complete the festivities, including Asaph, who would write several Psalms. As we read this chapter, we will read a compilation of three of David’s writings, 1 CHRONICLES 16, PSALMS 105 and 96, which fit in perfectly with what is happening at the time, and which give us a great DESCRIPTION OF WORSHIP. We will also examine what caused one of David’s wives to have a bad attitude and what happened as a result, plus how we can OVERCOME BAD ATTITUDES ourselves if we are tempted to have them. THIS MAY BE ESPECIALLY HELPFUL FOR THOSE WHO HAVE STRUGGLED WITH TRUST OR FAITH IN THE PAST FEW YEARS.

South America: South American Conference in Buenos Aires

     Over the last few decades, the International Churches of Christ have planted well over twenty churches throughout ten of the thirteen countries that make up South America.  This October, the South American churches will host their own continental conference: Encuentro Sudamericano. For more information about the conference, check conferenciasudamericana.org.

 

ICOC HotNews Toolbox: Armageddon

     Toolbox is a teaching series aimed to help believers tackle challenging life-situations or doctrines. Each episode hosts an evangelist, elder, or teacher sharing their thoughts about a certain topic they understand well. The videos usually range from 3-8 minutes in length and are currently only available in English. We recommend showing these videos during staff meetings; Toolbox episodes are not designed for congregational services.

 

ICOC HotNews Toolbox: 8 Reasons to Serve the Poor

    In this episode of ICOC HotNews Toolbox, Robert Carrillo, evangelist for the San Diego church and director of the Mission Center of HOPE, shares eight reasons why your ministry should serve the poor and get involved with community service. These things are sometimes neglected in our everyday spiritual walk. This episode reminds us why these things are useful for building up our own walk with Jesus and also for building up the whole church.

ICOC HotNews Toolbox: Helping Our Teens Become Christians

     Toolbox is a teaching series aimed to help believers tackle challenging life-situations or doctrines. Each episode hosts an evangelist, elder, or teacher sharing their thoughts about a certain topic they understand well. The videos usually range from 3-8 minutes in length and are currently only available in English.

 

More from ICOC HotNews:

ENTRY 89: April 5-6 The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat 2 Sam 6:1-15, 2 Sam 5:17-25; 2 Sam 22; 1 Chron 13-14; Psalm 18

LOOK OUT FOR A STUDY OF PSALM 18 and a long discussion of THE STORY OF UZZAH AND THE ARK and its implications for HOLDING TO GOD’S WORD. 

 

1 Chron 13, 2 Samuel 6 

ENTRY 88: April 4 King David!! 2 Samuel 2-5; 1 Chronicles 11-12

This entry discusses DAVID’S EARLY YEARS AS KING and highlights OUR NEED FOR UNITY. [Sorry for the lateness of this entry – I am moving further west and forgot to post this in the morning. Now I am on California time…]

 

ENTRY 87: April 3 A Bittersweet Victory for King David 1 Sam 28:4-7, 3, 8-25; 1 Sam 31:1-10; 1 Chron 10:1-12; 1 Sam 31:11-13; 1 Chron 10:13-14; 2 Sam 4:4; 2 Sam 1

This entry contains the climax of the battle between Saul and David, which was really not a battle, but more like a surreal boxing match, with God protecting David from ever taking a punch and with Saul getting knocked out by the referee!  David’s softhearted, merciful, godly and loyal spirit is such a contrast to everything about Saul. Gene Edwards’ classic book on relationships with leaders, A Tale of Three Kings, is a must-read for all who would study this deeper and especially for all who are convinced that they have a “Saul” or an “Absalom” in their life.

ENTRY 86: April 2 Watch Out for Weariness 1 Sam 27:1-7; 1 Chron 12:1-7, 1 Sam 27:8-1 Sam 28:2; 1 Sam 29:1-11; 1 Chron 12:19-22; 1 Sam 30:1-31

This entry touches on THE SPIRITUAL PERILS OF BEING “WEARY” and the need to RELY ON GOD IN DIFFICULT TIMES.

 

Our rather convoluted reading today deals with David living with the Philistines again in order to escape from Saul. In the chronological Bible, the account goes in the following order  1 Samuel 27:1-7; 1 Chronicles 12:1-7; 1 Samuel 27:8-28:2; 1 Samuel 29:1-11; 1 Chronicles 12:19-22; 1 Samuel 30:1-31. Keep up – it’s worth it!!