Praise & Prayer Prompter
Pray at all times and on every occasion in the
power of the Holy
A Personal Perspective
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1).
During February, we think about love. First Corinthians 13:1-8 is rooted in the Savior’s “new commandment” in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
There are two primary Greek words for “love.” One is used more generally to describe what we may call fond affection. It is the love of those who have a cordial relationship with one another, one finding the other congenial and appealing. The other term is more consistently used with reference to divine love, the love of God. It suggests a love which is inherent, spontaneous, springing from the nature of the lover, not the object of the love. God loves because He is love; love is His nature. So, He loves His adversaries as well as His “friends.” It is this latter word that is used in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” —a world alienated and at enmity with Him, and for which He was, in consequence, willing to undergo the indescribable agonies of the cross to provide redemption and opportunity for sinners to be restored to fellowship with Him.
It is this same word which is employed in urging believers to love one another. We are not here instructed to cultivate a “feel good” love, but love that springs from our new nature; the love of God. The Savior said, “as I have loved you.” He loved us before we were saved, when we were still His enemies. He loves us after we are saved while we are still failures.
This same term is set before us in 1 Corinthians 13:1. Throughout the chapter it is enlarged upon in magnificent detail. In John 13 this love is identified as the “badge of discipleship.” Here it is set before us as the real measure of acceptable service to God. The real test of one’s spiritual walk and work is how much the love of Christ is evident in what he is and what he does.
The Savior, speaking of expressing divine love said, “You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Steve & Martha Spacek, Director (Schwenksville, PA)
We praise the Lord that my son, Michael, came from Georgia to help with the annual IRS 990ez form that Help Ministries provides every year. This is a blessing because Steve was having difficulty trying to complete the form. The next form for 2017 needs to be an IRS 990 which is more difficult. Since Michael went back to Georgia, a praise item is that Steve was able to find a local person who works for H&R Block and is able to do the IRS 990! Pray that Steve will be able to get all the paperwork ready in a timely manner.
Praise the Lord that Steve and Martha were able to complete an article for the IFCA International News Connection just before the due date.
Steve spoke with the possible Associate Director to clarify some matters. Unfortunately, he decided not to be a candidate primarily due to a situation regarding his home church. Please pray that the Lord will find another person to fill this position.
Concerning the purchase of the property, there have been some setbacks. The settlement date changed from January 30 to whenever the new closing date will be. Unfortunately, there were some problems with the septic drainage field, which failed, and will cost at least $30,000. However, it appears the buyer is willing to pay up to $10,000 to help with the cost. Pray for all the government paperwork that needs completed and the timing for the sale of the property.
We praise the Lord that Steve was able to purchase a new color wireless printer. It just needs to be set up and tested.
Concerning the church in Halifax, PA, the Advisory Committee finished the revision of the Constitution and Bylaws. It appears the congregation will vote and finalize everything by sometime in April. Pray that there will be no issues in the meantime.
Dale & Carole Byrom, Mission Aviation (Greenwood, IN)
“Great is The Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness.” and “For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even unto death." (Psalm 48:1 & 14)
2017 seems to be off to a great start, for which we are very thankful. We are grateful that our winter in Indiana has not been extreme-- at least on the cold side-- even though we broke the all-time record for the warmest January on record for Indiana. We aren’t complaining. We are aware though that February can be another record setter with a lot of snow and very cold temperatures. Snow is beautiful, and we are thankful that Indiana has a very good snow removal system, so we are not usually hampered from getting out and about. We are thankful for warm clothes. Dale’s fire department uniforms are especially “toasty warm” for which we are very grateful.
Our ministry at church continues and is such a blessing as we serve in those jobs in which we are needed. Dale continues to prepare his sermons though his time is still limited for study due to his fire department hours. However, both are cherished opportunities to share God’s Word and the Gospel, which are much needed in America today. Dale enjoys his teen class and the boys in it are growing in Christ.
Both Dale and Carole are thankful to have a continuing prayer ministry at church and are pleased that a new couple is showing interest in participating with them in this important ministry.
Though other ministries around church may seem mundane, they are so important and keep the church running smoothly. We are pleased to have added some new babies to our nursery with which Carole is quite involved. Dale serves as assistant head usher, along with many other jobs that are needed.
Dale has had several opportunities to share the Gospel and his testimony with men on the fire department lately, which is one of the important parts of his ministry there. He has become a valuable asset to all the stations in the position he holds. He counts it as a privilege.
He does stay in touch with folks at the airport, though the weather is not good for flying much these winter days.
We look forward to serving the Lord Jesus Christ as we move forward in 2017, with His wisdom and guidance.
Our Scripture verse for this year, as always, is John 14:6 which are Jesus’ very words in which He says, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father except by me." May 2017 be filled with the lives of many who will heed this Truth and choose to put their faith and trust in Christ alone for life everlasting. May God bless America through the wisdom of correct, Godly decisions made through this year, both by our leaders and by those of us who love and serve our Lord. May we be found faithful!
Some specific prayer requests are listed below:
1. Pray for all those in American Government, both National and Local, to be led by God as they make decisions that will take our nation back to one that the world respects.
2. Pray for continued open doors of witness and the salvation of souls during 2017.
3. Pray for Dale’s health and safety as he continues his ministry among those in the Greenwood Fire Department. Pray for Carole’s sciatic nerve trouble to clear up.
4. Pray for our continued service at church to always be a blessing to those around us.
5. Pray for Myla’s salvation and continued spiritual growth of all our grandchildren.
We continued to be so blessed by all those who remain in touch with us over these many years. May the Lord continue to bless each of you through His love this Valentine’s Day month. Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and support in many ways!
Carol Calle, Ministry Associate (Terre Hill, PA)
The New Year comes with new opportunities and new challenges to bring before the One who promises to meet us in our needs. Thank you for being there to assist me in presenting these requests before our Lord. As the seasons change; therefore, please pray with me as I adjust and seek the Lord’s leading.
February 22 will complete the unit on the prophets at High Point Baptist Academy. This will mean I will be open to begin teaching again at Sunny Crest Residential Home during the spring and summer months.
March 23 will complete the season of ministry for Kid’s Praise Club of Terre Hill.
Clearing the schedule for eight weeks of ministry at Golden Living Nursing Home in Exeter, PA.
May 17 will complete the year for Little Homeschooler’s Play N Learn in Geigertown, PA. This will clear the way for summer day camp and VBS at Wood Crest Retreat in Ephrata.
This is the path I usually take and the doors are open; however, I am facing carpel tunnel surgery on both hands, and I am not seeing where there is time for the work to be done and the healing process to take place. Of course, they will be done one at a time so one could be done the end of March. but the healing process will be at least six weeks, resulting in very slow lesson preparation which mean pulling and replacing materials for each lesson. The real challenge will be working with flannel-graph during that time.
The Lord knows all about it, so I am sure He also has a plan, and I take comfort in his Word. Psalm 5:1-3 tells us “Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my mediation, give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God. For to you I will pray. My voice you will hear in the morning.”
Donald & Cynthia Clark, Ministry
From February 17 to 19, will be the first (annual, we hope) Clark Family Winter Retreat. We will be traveling up to a cabin near Entriken, PA, that we are renting from a Christian brother. We are planning to spend special time discussing the Call of God on our individual lives. Pray for His fruit from this time.
Andrea and Justin have been informed that the hearing date to complete the adoption of Emma and Isabelle is scheduled for April 10, 2017. Pray that God will continue to supply for each step as another answer to our prayers.
Our search committee meeting on Wednesday, January 10, was truly an answer to your prayers and a blessing in the ongoing process of finding a new director for FIM. Interviews have been scheduled and our search committee seeks to find a clear and certain direction from the Lord at this time. Be part of the praying team to see His direction revealed to us all!
On January 9, Jon had surgery to repair some torn muscles. He went back to work on Monday, January 30. Pray that his body would continue to be blessed by God’s healing hand.
God has been blessing the ministry of New Hope Bible Church with several new families and individuals. It has been exciting to see the growth of these individuals and some of their excitement as they grow in fellowshipping with us. Pray for some who are seeking to overcome great challenges in family relationships and those who have been hurt by the pain of church family wars.
As I write these words we are taking part in the Annual Pastor’s Conference at America’s Keswick in New Jersey. Pray for lasting fruit in our lives as the Holy Spirit leads us to walk closer to Him after these days are over.
Bruce & Tammie Kumher, Ministry
The First Baptist Church in Kane, PA, had its annual meeting in January. We praise God that the meeting was well attended, there was good discussion, and the tone was much improved over prior years. We have also had a few new folks in church, several of them unchurched, and several of them as a result of our involvement with the Feed the Team ministry during the high school football season.
We praise God for the opportunity for Bruce to give the blessing at Westminster College's annual football banquet in January. Our son, Loren, is a senior this year. It was the last banquet for him as a player. We are thankful that a blessing is he is still part of the event and to be able to glorify God this way.
We thank the Lord that there are several winter rentals at Little Mahoning Bible Camp, for Sam P. who is the newest board member, and other volunteers who have been working with Bruce to keep the camp ready for ministry.
We are thankful for the Women of the Word Facebook Scripture reading which is a challenge to the group. The women have been reading Ezra & Esther as well as the Psalms. Each day Tammie posts the passage for the day, then the women participate by having an opportunity to read and comment. Tammie has received positive feedback regarding this ministry.
Bruce continues to minister with the local state police and high school baseball preseason which has begun. He has opportunity to work with players and assistant coaches. We are thankful for time to impact these young men for Christ.
Continue to pray for First Baptist Church, Kane. They have made great strides the past couple of years and have gone through some difficult times. Pray for their leadership and for growth, both spiritually and numerically.
Continue to pray for Little Mahoning Bible Camp (LMBC) in Smicksburg, PA. Pray for faithful volunteers to help maintain the camp, for renewed relationships with a local church, and the exit of two board members three years ago which caused some hard feelings and misunderstandings, and for continued ministry this year.
Pray for our camp ministry coming up this summer at LMBC. It's time to begin recruiting staff and campers.
Continue to pray for us - as we continue to evaluate our ministry and effectiveness. We have been encouraged by the fruit we have seen recently. We do need to set aside time this year for intentional study and rest the tricky part is fitting it in!
-Pray for Rob as he really
desires to make a job and location change
Thanks so much! We appreciate your prayers, friendship and kind words.
Clifford & Karen Norton, Ministry
This has certainly been an interesting month. Clifford caught a virus that has apparently been going around the area. It focuses in the intestines and the stomach and can be very painful. The other problem is that it lingers and does not want to go away. Clifford has been dealing with it for well over two weeks. Because he was also dealing with back pain that required his chiropractor's attention, he spent a lot of time sitting or lying down to alleviate the pain.
The church, Grace Community, where Clifford's boss is the primary teacher, continues its changes. We are noticing more and more that they are incorporating music videos in their meetings. It's disappointing. However, they have asked Clifford to lead a study of A. W. Tozer's book Knowledge of the Holy. That will be the next study to begin in a few weeks.
Clifford's woodworking has stopped in the month of January. He hopes to soon be in his shop preparing for this year's craft fairs. He has completed his inventory for doing the taxes. He also hopes to expand his sales opportunities through co-ops and other outlets. Pray for open doors and opportunities there.
Clifford continues to work a few hours at the bottle redemption center. However, because the state of Maine has recently voted to increase the minimum wage, the bottle redemption center may be closing its doors within the next couple years.
Clifford continues to teach music each week at the local grammar school. Pray that he may be able to really connect with his students. They are quite resistant. Pray for ideas that will get their attention and engage their minds. Clifford's piano student is also struggling with balancing her life. She's really trying to do too many things. Clifford is trying to build a relationship with both his student and her family.
Karen and Karyssa are working at Helen's Restaurant. Caleb is preparing to enroll in the HiSET program and the plumbing program. Pray for his studies as he balances his time with studies and work. We are in the financially slow time of the year. Pray that our finances will be sufficient for these few months.
Ron & Duanne Risse, Ministry Associate (Waldo, WI)
Emmaus Bible Church
Emmaus ministries are progressing well. The weekly Bible studies are going well with a few interruptions due to bad weather. We have one new Foundational study. This past year Brian has been teaching Jeff through “Creation to Christ”. Early in January, I began working with Brian and Jeff to teach Joe these same lessons and to disciple Joe in his relationship and walk with the Lord. It is great seeing these men study and grow together.
In our morning service I am teaching through Christ’s life and ministry leading up to His Crucifixion. It has been a challenging series for me and the congregation.
The past four Sundays we have had several “occasional visitors” coming each Sunday. They are mature Christians and would be a great asset to our Church. Pray they will stay.
The last Sunday of each month we have a fellowship meal with a time of sharing following. It is a special time of blessing as the Body of Christ ministers to each other. Attendance has been growing, for which we praise the Lord.
Indonesia Project Fund
As you may know, we have an Indonesia Project Fund to assist ministry teams from local churches in the Semandang and Kualan people groups to do evangelism and church planting. The past couple months more contributions are coming in and we have been able to assist teams from many churches working with groups in about twenty-three villages, leading evangelistic Bible studies (the Creation to Christ series), grounding new believers, and discipling men and women to teach and shepherd the new believers! There are more and more people and villages asking to be taught. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will raise up more laborers from among the Semandang and Kualan local churches.
The Church with whom we minister in a suburb of Jakarta put me in contact with a Chinese Indonesian working in Seattle, Washington, and asked if I would assist him. For the past five weeks I have been studying God’s Word with him in Indonesian via Skype. He is so excited and grateful for my help. It is a joy to hear him respond as the Holy Spirit teaches his heart. Please pray for Po Kiun. I have put him in touch with a church in the Seattle area, and they are trying to work with him but struggle with the language barrier.
Po Kiun has no source of income in Indonesia and wants to apply for a USA work permit so he can continue working here and bring his family here at some future date. Please pray about this situation.
Possible Trip To Indonesia On Hold
Some “obstacles” are facing us regarding visiting and ministering in Indonesia. Please pray that God will remove these obstacles and we will know God’s mind and timing for our next visit.
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