Proverbs 25:25 "Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land."
For the last 20 years, HOPEww's HOPE Youth Corps (HYC) program has provided countless young disciples worldwide an opportunity to serve people in foreign lands. These 10-day service projects not only help the communities involved, but they also transform the lives of those serving. In this episode, we follow one volunteer, Alyssa Fazio, as she shares her experience at the most recent HYC in Chennai, India.
ENTRY 98: April 22 For Anyone Who Has Ever Felt Betrayed or Felt the Need for Vindication – “Psalms of the Troubled Soul” Part III Psalm 35, 41, 43, 46, 55
This is the third entry so far using Dr F LaGard Smith’s method of arranging the Psalms: King David wrote some Psalms for particular events; those Psalms have been inserted previously into the historical narrative found in the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. Most of the other Psalms are set in topical order. (For those readers just joining us, Dr F LaGard Smith is the editor of the Narrated Bible which we are following for the purpose of chronology.
ENTRY 97: April 21 How to Pray When You Feel You Need Rescuing from Enemies or the Protection of a Shepherd – “Psalms of the Troubled Soul Part II” Psalm 13, 17, 23, 26, 28, 31
Today’s topical Psalm reading will help us pray when we feel under siege from enemies (visible or invisible!) and NEED RESCUING OR PROTECTION. Sit somewhere quiet, where no one can see or hear you, and read this Psalms aloud, with emotion…awesome!
ENTRY 96: April 20 Intro to The Psalms, plus the first installment of “Psalms of the Troubled Soul” Psalm 5, 6, 7, 10, 11
This entry introduces us to Dr F LaGard Smith’s method of arranging the Psalms: we have already enjoyed (or at least I have!) the way Dr Smith inserted the Psalms that King David wrote for particular events into the historical narrative found in the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles; now we get a chance to discover the rest of the Psalms of David in topical order. (For those readers just joining us, Dr F LaGard Smith is the editor of the Narrated Bible which we are following for the purpose of chronology.) TODAY’S TOPICAL READING WILL HELP US LEARN HOW TO PRAY WHEN WE FEEL THE NEED FOR DELIVERANCE, REFUGE, & SECURITY.
ENTRY 95: April 17-19 The Worst of Times and the Best of Times 2 Samuel 21 & 24; 1 Chronicles 21-29; Psalm 30
The first half of this entry deals with two major calamities which struck Israel during David’s reign – the first being a famine, and the second being the death-causing-pestilence brought on by David’s decision (somehow incited by Satan) to number his army. Insights here are LIFE IS DIFFICULT! and BEWARE THE DESIRE TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT ONE’S NUMERICAL STRENGTH. The rest of the entry focuses on David’s last public acts and words as king, and highlights THE HEART OF A LEADER, ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PRAYERS IN THE BIBLE, and GENEROSITY.
This entry highlights GODLY LEADERSHIP and THE TRAGEDY OF DISUNITY & LACK OF GODLINESS.
2 SAMUEL 16:15 – 2 SAMUEL 20
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (Read part 2 here).
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.
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.
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.