I remember the night. It was chilly, especially for Florida, and Dad had a fire burning in the hearth. Even as a seven year old, I realized that this spelled certain doom for the jolly man who later that night would squeeze down the chimney. I mustered the courage to ask Dad, 'Is there really a Santa?' I was devastated. Doubts soon began to flood my mind as to the existence of 'the Stork,' the Easter Bunny, even of God himself. In later years I learned that Santa Claus (alias Father Christmas, Saint Martin, der Weihnachtsmann, Père Noël) was merely a corruption of Saint Nicholas, a Roman Catholic bishop of the 4th century. His attributes (red suit, reindeer, residence at the North Pole) derive from a blend of pagan legends with traditions about the saints. Good heavens!
Here is the INB for this week!
The International News Bulletin is a service to help connect disciples and churches around the world. Each week we present a new template dated for the coming Sunday. You can now provide your group an international news with your local news included.
Just download this template which has news from around the world and links to more stories on DisciplesToday.org. For the other side of your bulletin, you can download the attached template for local news and stories in your ministry, house church, etc. This makes for an easy "Page 2" for your local congregation's bulletin! If you already have a bulletin, you can simply print the INB as a two-sided insert to your current publication.
Being away from home may be especially difficult during the holidays, but disciples on a One Year Challenge are bringing the Christmas spirit to new friends.
At one of the OYC sites this week, disciples began a month-long series of outreach activities for themselves and their friends to prepare for Christmas. The first activity was for making Christmas ornaments and decorations together. Next week, they will teach their friends how to make traditional holiday food and drinks. The final week's activity will teach Christmas songs.
This series of events culminates in a Christmas Eve celebration. With people around the world focused on Jesus' birth at this time of the year, what better opportunity could there be to share with those who have not heard the Gospel?
You will not want to miss our next Steps of the Apostles cruise/tour October 30 – November 11, 2018! We will visit Rome, Naples, Crete, Mykonos, three days in Israel and Athens with disciples from all over the world onboard the beautiful Celebrity Constellation.
Caryn and I served for 20 years in the full-time ministry, starting in 1989 as interns in the Boston Church of Christ campus ministry. Appointed in 1994 by Randy and Kay McKean, we were sent out with a small team to plant the church in Bucharest, Romania. There we witnessed miracles—over 500 attended the first service, 200 came back the following night to study the Bible, and dozens were baptized in that first year! We lived Jehoshaphat’s prayer (“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you”, 2 Chronicles 20:12b). In those early years, ministry life was hard, chaotic, wonderful, and full. We felt God using us in great ways. The call to serve, the sacrifice, the work—it all made sense.
Simon J. Phillips, a disciple in the Edinburgh International Church of Christ released his first album this year entitled Making the Broken Pieces Whole. The album culminates his 30 year journey as a Christian and gave him an opportunity to use his musical talents while collaborating with other artists.
Over the weekend of November 4, 2017, in Moscow, during the national holiday weekend for Unification of Russia Day and the 100th anniversary of the Communist Bolshevik Revolution, 36 very inspiring, aspiring ministers from seven cities across Eurasia gathered to study an overview of the New Testament at the second session of the new Eurasian Churches' Mission School for young ministry interns.
It's been a mad start to the school year. I finally feel like I'm coming up for air, even though I still have a sprained ankle, have an MRI scheduled, and will likely need injections to reduce inflammation (and also crutches?). In addition, I have pretty severe tendonitis and carpal tunnel, despite hundreds spent on ergonomic solutions and trial after trial to find the right position (I feel so old).
We had a couple false starts to our construction, and although we should have stairs put in pretty soon by one company (though I have to say they have pushed us off for a third week in a row, which is not an encouraging start), we will likely have to head into a lawsuit with the other company who never finished the job after taking the second 40% advance. It has been two years of delays and wind whistling through the holes in the walls and roof during winter.
I have believed in God since a young girl. When I was teaching third grade a coworker invited me to study the Bible. I wanted to know God and had never read the Bible before so the thought appealed to me (Imagine, saying you believe in God and yet never reading his word). My true walk with God began, the moment I opened the pages of the Bible.