The Caring Church

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| “THE CARING CHURCH”  - 1 Cor. 16:13-24 &       The Attitudes of the Caring Church                                            vss. 13-18¯  Prepared for Battle  ¯  Preoccupied with Blessing    &       The Activities of the Caring Church                                            vss. 19-24¯  Promoting the Faith  ¯  Protecting the Flock-     2 John 9-11 / James 5:7-9 ----

  When times are tough and things just aren’t going your way, there’s nothing like a hug. Someone putting an arm around you and telling you, “Hey, everything’s going to be all right. You’re okay.”And there’s nobody better at that than your mom. Just ask Nick Anderson. The Orlando Magic guard missed four free throws in the waning seconds of his team’s NBA finals game against Houston and the team went on to lose a game it otherwise might have won. Later Houston guard Clyde Drexler blew past Anderson for a lay-up late in overtime. Nick Anderson had a very bad game.Understandably, when he got home Anderson was down in the dumps. “My mom put her arm around me,” Anderson later said, “and told me, ‘You’ve got nothing to put your head down about. You’ve pulled your team through many other times.’”           Today in the Word, December 14, 1995 Recently National Geographic ran an article about the Alaskan bull moose. The males of the species battle for dominance during the fall breeding season, literally going head-to-head with antlers crunching together as they collide. Often the antlers, their only weapon are broken. That ensures defeat. The heftiest moose, with the largest and strongest antlers, triumphs. Therefore, the battle fought in the fall is really won during the summer, when the moose eat continually. The one that consumes the best diet for growing antlers and gaining weight will be the heavyweight in the fight. Those that eat inadequately sport weaker antlers and less bulk. There is a lesson here for us. Spiritual battles await. Satan will choose a season to attack. Will we be victorious, or will we fall? Much depends on what we do now—before the wars begin. The bull-moose principle: Enduring faith, strength, and wisdom for trials are best developed before they’re needed.                          - Craig Brian Larson  Principles of Spiritual Victory1. Know your enemy 2. Keep yourself in the love of God3. Be strong in Christ4. Be filled with the Spirit5. Be active in Christian witness and service6. Be quick to put right your wrong relationships7. Put on the whole armor of God8. Be constant in prayer8. Give daily praise for God’s faithfulness                -  David Watson, Called & Committed: World Changing Discipleship   Love reaches for the hurt and takes bold steps without self-interest. It can accomplish unbelievable things merely because it is so void of self-interest.Some time ago, a teenager, Arthur Hinkley, lifted a 3,000-pound tractor with bare hands. He wasn’t a weight lifter, but his friend, Lloyd Bachelder, 18, was pinned under a tractor on a farm near Rome, Maine. Hearing Lloyd scream, Arthur somehow lifted the tractor enough for Lloyd to wriggle out.  Love was the real motivation.-     Calvin Miller, “Rethinking Suburban Evangelism,” |   | Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 14 Do everything in love. 15 You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, 16 to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it. 17 I was glad when Stephanas, Fortunatus and Achaicus arrived, because they have supplied what was lacking from you. 18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition. 19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 21 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. 22 If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!   23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.  ----

  Pooh Bear is walking along the river bank. Eeyore, his stuffed donkey friend, suddenly appears floating downstream … on his back of all things, obviously troubled about the possibility of drowning.Pooh calmly asks if Eeyore had fallen in. Trying to appear in complete control, the anguished donkey answers, “Silly of me, wasn’t it.” Pooh overlooks his friend’s pleading eyes and remarks that Eeyore really should have been more careful.In greater need than ever, Eeyore politely thanks him for the advice (even though he needs action more than he needs advice). Almost with a yawn, Pooh Bear notices, “I think you are sinking.” With that as his only hint of hope, drowning Eeyore asks Pooh if he would mind rescuing him. So, Pooh pulls him from the river. Eeyore apologizes for being such a bother, and Pooh, still unconcerned, yet ever so courteous, responds, “Don’t be silly … you should have said something sooner.                                                                —Charles R. Swindoll, Compassion    the phone rang in a high society Boston home. One the other end of the line was a son who had just returned from Viet Nam and was calling from California. His folks were the cocktail-circuit, party kind—drinking, wife-swapping, gambling, all the other things that go with it. The boy said to his mother, “I just called to tell you that I wanted to bring a buddy home with me.” His mother said, “Sure, bring him along for a few days.” “But, mother, there is something you need to know about this boy. One leg is gone, one arm’s gone, one eye’s gone, and his face is quite disfigured. Is it all right if I bring him home?His mother said, “Bring him home for a few days.” The son said, “You didn’t understand me, mother. I want to bring him home to live with us.” The mother began to make all kinds of excuses about embarrassment and what people would think … and the phone clicked.A few hours later the police called from California to Boston. The mother picked up the phone again. The police sergeant at the other end said, “We just found a boy with one arm, one leg, one eye and a mangled face, who has just killed himself with a shot in the head. The identification papers on the body say he is your son.                                                                     —Dale E. Galloway, Rebuild Your Life At the Winter FeederHis feather flame doused dull by icy cold,the cardinal hunched into the rough, green feederbut ate no seed.Through binoculars I saw festered and useless his beak, broken at the root.Then two: one blazing, one gray,rode the swirling weather into my visionand lighted at his side.Unhurried, as if possessing the patience of God,they cracked sunflowers and fed himbeak to wounded beak, choice meats.Each morning and afternoon the winter long,that odd triumvirate, that trinity of need,returned and ate their sacrament of broken seed.                                    —John Leax, The Sacrament of the Broken Seed  |

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