Volume 32 Number 47

Given the Chance…

As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went to another village (Luke 9:51-56).

“You want us to call down fire on them!” James and John were having a bad day. After all, they just wanted some rest, perhaps a meal, a spot by the fire and they would be on their way in the morning. What they got was walking papers. James and John are ticked but it is Jesus who does the rebuking, not to the village, but to James and John. Looking at the message of Christ we can see that the brothers’ response does seem a little extreme (even though they are called the sons of thunder in Mark 3:17). However, in their defense, I think they could feel the climate change as Jesus is heading to Jerusalem for the culmination of his ministry. Something big was about to happen.

As I thought more on this account, I realized something—why did Jesus send messengers ahead? Don’t you think he knew what the result would be? Why didn’t Jesus just say, “There is nothing for us here, let’s keep walking.” It’s not like the disciples would have minded, Jews and Samaritan villages rarely mixed. So what was the message?

Maybe the lesson is that it was not whether or not the Samaritans would welcome them, it was that they were given the chance. I think of the contrast between this village and the village of the woman at the well (John 4). Both had the opportunity to shelter the Savior, only one was blessed by his presence. Today we are given the same chance, only now the shelter is in our hearts and our priorities determine whether or not Christ will be given walking papers or refuge. Likewise, we should share Christ’s message. Remember it is not up to you to convert the world, only that they be given the chance.

Wade McKnight, Southern Oaks Church of Christ, Chickasha, OK

News & Notes

GRANDVIEW MEN:  This morning during the Bible class hour in the fireside room off the new fellowship hall, we will be having a lesson dealing with Giving Prayers In Public. Any and all of the men are encouraged to attend. – Art

CONTACT INFORMATION:  Bob and Marla Housby’s cell phone:  515-988-4220.  Email: bobandmarla@theitalianmemorandum.org

FUN AND FELLOWSHIP!  Annual Cookie Exchange and Second Annual Sausage Palooza!

The cookie exchange will be held at Ada Johnson’s house (directions will be available).  She lives three blocks straight north of Mitch and Jo’s house.  The Sausage Palooza will be held in Mitch Mort’s garage at 411 East 3rd Avenue, Indianola, IA.

DATE:  2:00pm on Saturday December 12!

If you are participating in the cookie exchange bring five dozen cookies and we will tour the cookie table and have five dozen to take home.  What more could you ask to entertain for the holidays?!

Candle exchange:  Let Jo know if you are interested in the candle exchange and we will plan accordingly.

Sausage Palooza:  Bring whatever you would like as long as it has sausage!  Please bring your own drinks and a lawn chair.  Table service and silverware will be provided.

Military Collection:  We will be collecting gift cards from the following stores: Walmart, Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Target for Carla Chambers  (a friend of the Morts).  She sends at least six boxes a month (over $200 in shipping) to two different soldiers and the members of their platoons serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Carla suffers from Muscular Dystrophy and from the goodness of her heart makes sure every month the soldiers are provided with the items they need, want and request.  See Jo Mort if you have questions.

Prayer Requests

Michael Watson requested prayers concerning the decisions and choices he has been making. Michael also asked for prayers for his father who has had rotator cuff surgery.  His fiance, Stephanie Pounders is suffering from insomnia.  Please pray that this passes quickly and that stress is reduced in her life.

Tim Bailey has mono. Please pray for a speedy recovery.

Mike Johnson’s manager Pat is suffering from a Staph infection in his arm.

Dan Nitz, Marnie Walker’s father for chest pains.

Cassie, Melissa & Micah’s grandmother was moved to the beginning Alzheimer’s Unit in York, Nebraska.

Brian Hiskey’s grandmother was hospitalized with heart palpitations; his friend Laylee was in danger of having the state take away her child, now she is pregnant again and the state may take both children; and pray for his co-worker Mike as he has been temporarily laid off from work and he usually handles these situations poorly.  Also, Brian’s friend, Jeff Ward has esophageal cancer and liver cancer.

Mary Steele’s daughter, Tiffini, will be having a hysterectomy December 4.

Dot, Beth and Jeannie’s step-mother has wide spread cancer in the abdomen but  will be on medication..

Clint Mongan is now recovering at home.

Elaine’s daughter Jennifer that has parvo virus.

Pray for our nation and all the challenges facing it.

Mike Mazak’s father is in failing health and his desire to bring him to Christ.

Shane Siegle’s sister, Cherrie Hubbard has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Those looking for employment:  David and Frank Colton, Floyd West (Susie Easter’s brother), Kyle and Deborah Wallis, also remember our state workers!

Marnie Walker and the girls in Des Moines with the house for sale while Philip is in Alabama.

Martha Winkelman’s (a friend of Phyllis Mort) cancer has spread throughout her body.

The family of Jason Hubbard needs our prayers for their 12 year old daughter Abbey and the family with difficulties.

Ronnie Harrison’s sister Sharon has been having cancer treatments.

Nick Lacina who has leukemia and worships at the Center Street Church of Christ in Marshalltown.

Expectant mothers:  Sarah Mongan, Dawn White, Dora Crocker, Anne Ogle

Missions:  Richardsons; Emilee Flaherty – medical missions in Zambia; Bob and Marla Housby—Italy

Calendar of Events

  • Dec 6 – Dora Crocker and Tim Bailey wedding, Sunday, at 3:00 pm
  • Dec 12 – Cookie Exchange and Sausage Palooza
  • Jan 22 – All Church Birthday Party!
  • Feb 20 – Jess Mort and Jerod Flaherty wedding

End of this issue.