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Holy Land Trip 01.2020

Part 1

From January 7-16th, 2020, the Lord has blessed us with a trip to the Holy Land. It was the most wonderful and awesome place we had been because of the presence of our Holy God.  There is so much to share. We have more than a thousand photos between two cameras! Since the Bible is so much part of our spiritual lives, it was amazing and fascinating to see actual places and sites that we have been reading about for many years.  We were with a tour group of 50 people from different parts of the USA. We praise and thank the Lord Jesus for blessing with this wonderful trip. And here to share some of the highlights.

Day 1-

We started in the city of Jerusalem.

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“Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! – Psalm 122:1-2

The Upper Room in Mount Zion-  located outside the southwest corner of the Old City wall. It is believed to be the room where Jesus and His disciples had the Last Supper. (Matthew 26:26-30; John 13)

 

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Our group at the Upper Room (inside a chapel)

South of the Old City wall, on the eastern slope of a hill that overlooks the area of Old City of Jerusalem, is the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu. The church was built in 1931, and is the traditional site of the Palace of Caiaphas, who was the high priest during the arrest of Jesus.  It was the place where Peter denied Jesus three times before a rooster crowed. (Matthew 26:57-75)

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The Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu
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St. Peter’s Church (Gallicantu)

Our group then drove a few miles, south of the city, to Bethlehem.

The Shepherd’s field –

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. … (Luke 2:8-20).

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A young shepherd boy allowed Vicki to carry his little lamb.

Then our group went to the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem . A cathedral was built around the 3rd century on the site believed to be where Jesus was born.

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The Church of Nativity

 

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The rock, inside a cave, the stable where tradition says where Jesus was born.

“And she brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, (feed trough), because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:1-7

More to share later.

 

 

 

 

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Little Christmas Tree (A post Christmas reflection)

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“Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year” as the song goes. However, it is also the busiest time of the year. But I would say, Christmas is still my favorite time of the year. After all it is the season and time to celebrate and remember that our Lord Jesus came to earth as a Baby. He left His heavenly kingdom to come to earth as a helpless baby so He could live with us and become like one of us. Just imagine – the love of God came down from heaven to earth to save us. Matthew 1:21 says, “she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

As already mentioned, sometimes Christmas can be the busiest time of the year. It’s only today, New Year’s Eve, that I took time to sit and write this reflection. Better late than never! 😊  Like some of you, we keep our ornaments up for a week or so after Christmas Day. In my native country of the Philippines, we continue to celebrate Christmas until Epiphany/Three Kings’ Day (usually the first Sunday in January). As we prepare to undecorate and pack up the ornaments, I would like to take time to reflect on the real meaning of this Christmas season. In a day or two, our Christmas decorations will be folded up and packed away.

Actually, this year, we decided to have a real/live tree as opposed to the small/artificial pre-lit Christmas tree that we have used for several years. Our real/live Christmas tree is a small fir tree, only about 4 feet tall. However, each of the ornaments hanging on the branches of our fir tree represents some fun memories and precious people. It is almost like going down “memory lane.”

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This ornament (photo above) is more than 50 years old! David made this little ornament when he was in kindergarten. His mom kept it all those years. It is a small bell, made from an egg carton.

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Others are little bamboo ornaments from David’s time in Saipan.

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Then, there is a little glass ball with the inscription “Saipan” on it. This is where David spent 18 years serving as a missionary engineer for FEBC Shortwave station.

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Another is a flat bell with the inscription “The Creels – 1978” from David’s parents, a gift from church members when they were serving in the United Methodist church.

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Then, there is an “Alaska” souvenir from David’s sister and her husband from their trip to Alaska in 2017.

 

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Next, there is an “I believe” star ornament from our Church Sunday school Christmas party from a couple of years ago, along with other ornaments from the previous 5 years of Christmas parties.

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Others are ornaments given by friends and neighbors through the years.

 

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One of my favorites is a “Bethlehem” olive wood nativity scene. We acquired this ornament at the annual “Homestead Hollow” event in Springville, Alabama a few months ago.

For me, this ornament represents the simplicity and true meaning of Christmas – Mary and Joseph with Baby Jesus on the night when the God came down from heaven to earth. From eternity, He stepped into humanity.

As we all fold and pack up our Christmas trees and other ornaments, may the true meaning and spirit of Christmas remain in our hearts. Let’s remember in this Christmas season, throughout the coming year of 2020, and always that Jesus is still the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) since “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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To the ends of the earth, (Travel Blog – Oct 12 – 27, 2019)

Reading: Acts 1: 1-8
Key verse: v.8

Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NKJV)

As Jesus fulfilled this word to His disciples,  it is still the same today with His followers:

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” It is the plan and desire of God that all followers of Jesus be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit so we can be witnesses for Him – with our family, friends, neighbors, and people of other places, countries, and to the ends of the earth.  God loves people of every nation, every country, language and ethnicity. God wants every person to know Him, His Word, His love and salvation through Jesus Christ.

In October 7-28, 2019, David and I had the privilege to travel to southeast Asia to visit and help our FEBC ministry fields. Photos from our travels to Thailand are in this post

Here are the highlights as we traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

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The growing and developing city of Phnom Penh

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FEBC’s Voice of Love FM 99.5

 

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David and the engineering team visited the Transmitter site of Voice of Love radio.
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Workers at the transmitter site.
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FEBC Staff chapel
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A ferry ride to cross the Mekong River
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Life on the Mekong River
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A visit to a silk factory
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The new Outside Broadcast (OB) equipment finally arrived after many days of waiting. Praise the Lord!
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Engineering team testing and working on the new OB equipment
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David & Mike testing the new OB equipment in the studio.
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Setting up the OB equipment to broadcast a live Christian concert via FM and Facebook live
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A thousand young people came to praise and worship Jesus in the concert.
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The Bible story from creation to Jesus’s birth was presented in the local language in their cultural context by the Bible Society.
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The cast of the Bible Story during the concert.  According to Franklin Graham, the country’s community of believers is growing, but approximately 98% of the 16 million people still need to hear the Gospel.

 

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A tuk tuk (taxi) ride to the FEBC office every morning.

We thank and praise the Lord for those who prayed with us during this trip. Thank you also for those who faithfully support us so we could serve the Lord and reach more souls for Jesus.

 

 

 

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From the streets of Bangkok… (Travel Blog Oct 8-12,2019)

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Breakfast to go
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Vicki with a hotel staff, praying she will also know the One True God who loves her, Jesus Christ.
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Welcome to FEBC Thailand Office!
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FEBC Staff
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FEBC broadcasts the Gospel to 17 ethnic people in South East Asia
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David working with a broadcast mixer
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David working with FEBC tech staff.

 

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God loves you!

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God loves you!

John 3:16-17 (NKJV)For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

Romans 10:9 (NIV)If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the [remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 Acts 16:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.

Prayer to receive Jesus in your heart:

Dear God, thank You for your love for me and for sending Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus for dying on the cross for my sin. I believe that God raised you up from the dead. Please forgive my sins.  I open my heart, may you come in and be the Lord of my life. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

If you pray the prayer above, you are now a child of God and forgiven because of Jesus Christ! What to do next?

  1. Read the Bible every day.
  2. Look for a good Bible believing Christian church.
  3. Pray to Jesus always.

 

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Study guide -Letter to the Philippians.

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The past few weeks, David started a Bible study on the Epistle of Philippians (New Testament) in our church on Wednesday evenings.

Here is the note for the introduction for the lesson: (Please see attachments for the study guides for each chapter in PDF).

Philippians

  1. Author: The Apostle Paul
  2. Setting: Written from a prison in Rome, around 60-62 A.D.
  3. Occasion: Paul was in prison in Rome… about ten years after he had founded the Church in Philippi, and about 3-4 years after he had last visited there. Apparently (4: 10), he had begun to wonder if they had forgotten him. Then Epaphroditus arrived from far away Philippi with an offering of money. Paul was deeply touched. Epaphroditus had nearly lost his life in the journey. Paul sent him to Philippi with this beautiful letter to express his thanks for their gift.
  4. Key Text: Philippians 3:10 “My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”
  5. Key Term: “Joy.” Forms of the word “joy” and the verb “rejoice” occur 16 times in this short letter. Philippians is the biblical book that most extensively defines and describes joy.
  6. One-Sentence Summary: Knowing Jesus Christ is much more joyful and important than anything else because God has exalted Jesus, the crucified Servant, with the name above every name.
  7. History:
    1. Named for Philip Il of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great).
    2. In Paul’s day, it was a Roman colony located at the southeast corner of Europe in “Macedonia” in Biblical days; now in the northeastern part of modern-day Greece.
    3. It was a strategic city on the Great Northern Highway between the East and the West, noted for its gold mines.
    4. This was Paul’s first European Church, founded around 51 A.D. in the early part of Paul’s second missionary journey. Lydia and the Jailer were among the first converts. Luke, the beloved Physician, was its pastor the first 6 years. It may have been Luke’s home, where he practiced medicine. Luke must have had a hand in the development of the unspotted character of the Church. As far as we know, the Philippian Church was one of the purest of New Testament Churches. For more on the background of the founding of the Church at Philippi, see Acts 16:6-40.
  8. Read Acts 16:6-40 and look at its location on the map.
  9. Look at the ancient Philippi archaeological book.

Sources:

  1. The Jeremiah Study Bible” by Dr. David Jeremiah
  2. “Halley’s Bible Handbook” by H.H. Halley
  3. “Ultimate Bible Guide: A Complete Walk-Through of All 66 Books of the Bible” from Holman Reference

Attached study guides for Philippians 1, 2, 3 & 4

Philippians Lesson 1

Philippians Lesson 2

Philippians Lesson 3

Philippians Lesson 4

 

 

 

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Jesus does not judge you!

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Photo by Piotr Wilk-Unsplash

Reading: John 3:17-21

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” V.17 (NKJV)

// Romans 8:1, Luke 9:56, John 5:24; John 6:47

The people of Israel for many generations and for thousands of years were powerless to live godly lives in their own strength. God gave them the law through Moses so they could live a blessed life. But time and time again, the people of Israel failed to obey the commandments and the Word of God. God knew that His people were finite beings. Only an almighty and powerful God could save His people. So, Jesus was sent to the world, not to give His people the punishment they deserved, but to offer them mercy and forgiveness.

God the Father sent Jesus Christ to the world not to judge or condemn us, but to save us. God loves the world. God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ – not to punish us for our sins, but to save us and to redeem us from the bondage of sin. Jesus was willing to obey His heavenly Father because He and the Father loved us, the people of the world. They knew there is no way for us to save ourselves from sin.

Reflection:

When Jesus came to save the people of Israel from sin and eternal condemnation, He did it not only for them, but for every one of us in this world. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (v.17). The world includes all the people of the world – every person in every nation. That includes you and me. Jesus came not to judge us, but to save us, because God loves us.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I praise You and thank You for Your love. I thank You that You don’t judge me for my sin, but You have saved me. And because of Your tender mercy, I receive Your eternal life.

MVC/DC 09.13.2019, AL.

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Jesus has overcome!

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Title : Jesus has overcome!

Reading: John 16:25-33 // Romans 8:37

v.33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Jesus was encouraging His disciples on the night of their last meal together before His death on the cross. Jesus loved them and wanted to prepare them for what was ahead when He no longer would be physically with them.

Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his [e]own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” v.32

Jesus knew that even though His disciples loved Him and were committed to follow Him, yet there would be times of weakness when they might turn away. However, the love of Jesus still held them. Jesus foreknew His disciples would abandon Him in a moment of weakness, but Jesus still loved them and did not condemn them. He spoke words of encouragement to them.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you [f]will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” V.33

Jesus already knew that times of hardship, persecution, and tribulations were coming. But He told them, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”.  It is a comfort to know that Jesus has already won the battle. As Jesus encouraged His disciples then, He gives the same encouragement to His followers now. As we see distress, persecution, trials and difficulties in this world because of the enemy and the evil one, it is a comfort to know the words of Jesus, that He has already overcome. Jesus has already won the battle. His plan of salvation and victory for the souls of men was already accomplished and finished at the cross.

Through His death on the cross, we His followers receive the gift of eternal life. In His resurrection, we have overcome the evil one. As the Apostle Paul wrote,

 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

The love of Christ has prevailed and won the battle against the evil one.

Reflection:

Jesus already knew that His followers would suffer trials, challenges, and tribulation. However, as His follower, it is a comfort and encouragement to know that Jesus has already overcome the world. His death and resurrection have already won the battle. Whatever difficulties we face now, Jesus has already overcome!

Prayer:

Thank You Lord Jesus for your Word. Whatever challenges I go through, and whatever distress I see in the world, You have already overcome!

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The Power of Jesus’s words! ( Your Son lives!)

Reading: John 4:46-54

Key verse: v.53 Jesus said to him,” Your son lives!”

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Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

 

Jesus was back in Cana of Galilee. It was the same place where Jesus turned water into wine during a wedding feast (John 2:1). A certain royal official in Capernaum had heard about Jesus. The son of the official was very ill. When the man heard that Jesus could heal sick people, he came to Cana to ask Jesus for his son’s healing. He wanted to invite Jesus to come to his house and heal his son. “Sir, come down before my child dies”.

Jesus replied to the official, “Go your way, your son lives!” (v. 49) So, the man believed what Jesus told him and went his way. On his way back home, his servant met him and told him that his son was already healed.  (v.52). The official found out that his son was healed at the very hour Jesus told him. So, the man knew that it was the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives”, and he himself believed, and his whole household.

Jesus spoke and told the royal official of Capernaum, “Go your way, your son lives”. The man believed what Jesus said and declared. The man had the faith to trust Jesus and His words. The man had heard of Jesus – His teachings, miracles and kind deeds. In his hour of need, he wanted to know for himself who Jesus truly was. So, he took the initiative and steps of faith to come to Jesus. The royal official laid aside his royalty pride, as he was desperate to see his son healed and live. So, he made his way to come to Jesus, and boldly asked Jesus to come to his place to heal his son. However, Jesus did not waste time to travel to the man’s house, instead Jesus spoke and declared healing to the man’s son. Jesus could have gone with the man to his house, but it would have taken several hours to travel from Galilee to Capernaum.  Jesus knew the boy was very ill, at the point of death. And the child was healed at the very hour Jesus said so. Because Jesus had the power to heal, and His words are powerful too! What He said came to pass. As the words in Psalm 33:9 say, “For He spoke, and it was done”. Jesus and His words are powerful. As the royal official believed what Jesus told him, Jesus fulfilled His words.

Reflection:

Jesus and His spoken words have power to accomplish what He said He will do. As I trust and believe Him and His words, He will do what He said He would do.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You and praise You, for Your words are true! Please help me trust You and Your words. I believe what You said You will do. Lord You are faithful and powerful to do what You say You will do. Amen!

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Travel Blog- Asia part2

Travel Blog- Asia part 2.

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.”  John 10:14-16

It’s been a week since we got back from our recent trip to Asia. Why we do what we do? Our travels are not just leisure travel. It is travel with a cause. As we serve with FEBC, our mission is to bring “Christ to the World by Media”.  Our desire is for many to hear the Good News of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, and for many to know that there is a God in heaven who loves people of all races and nationalities. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd…I lay down my lie for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice…” It is the desire of the Lord Jesus to bring many into His kingdom and to know the love of God. So, our ministry is to serve and provide technical support to our fields so that they can broadcast the Gospel in their heart language. It’s our prayer that many more will come to know the love of God in Jesus. We thank and praise the Lord for His grace and for those who pray and support us. Here are highlights from our recent trip to Asia. 

David in Jakarta, with FEBC Indonesia (June 21- July 1st, 2019)

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Vicki in FEBC Thailand (June 15-July 1st, 2019)

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Together back in Singapore -July 2nd, 2019

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Because of Jesus, God loves you and everyone in the world!

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Reading:John 3:1-21

Key verse: v.16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The apostle John wrote the story of Jesus meeting Nicodemus. Jesus told Nicodemus about being born-again in the Spirit. Nicodemus wanted to understand more.

Nicodemus asked Jesus, “How can these things be?” (v.9).

Jesus replied, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know how these things?  Jesus further explained these concepts to Nicodemus in verses 10-14.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a leader of the Jews, and a teacher of the Law. He knew well the Scriptures. He was supposed to know all the words of God written by the men of God in the Old Testament. However, he still missed the point. He knew the Messiah was coming. He heard the teachings of Jesus and saw the miracles He had done. But Nicodemus still wanted to be sure who Jesus was. So, Nicodemus came to Jesus by himself to get to know Jesus for himself.  Even though Jesus had experienced rejection from many of the Pharisees, He still answered Nicodemus’ questions. Jesus knew the heart of Nicodemus – that he was seeking sincerely. So, Jesus patiently revealed to Nicodemus the heart of God.  Jesus explained to Nicodemus the love of God for everyone – all the people of world.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

Jesus clearly showed the truth and the way to Nicodemus – the truth that God loves everyone – all the people of the world, Jews, Gentiles, etc.

The way to God is to believe in His Son Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus from heaven to this world, not to judge or punish us, but to save us.

Jesus made the way for us to come to God and be part of His Kingdom plain and simple: Believe in Him; believe that God sent Him to save the world.

Reflection:  God loves the world.  God loves everyone in the world so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to give us all eternal life.  For God so loved everyone – that that includes you and me.

Prayer:  Thank You Father for your love for me.  Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to give me eternal life, that I may live with you forever, for all eternity.  Please help me share your love with everyone you lead me to today.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

 

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Rebirth in Jesus!

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Photo by Irina Murza on Unsplash

Title: Rebirth in Jesus

Reading: The Gospel of John 3:1-15

Key verse: John 3:3

 “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly I say to you unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’”.

John, the writer of this Gospel, wrote about Nicodemus who came to Jesus one evening. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who was seeking for the truth. He wanted to know Jesus and the truth of His teachings personally. He wanted to hear and understand for himself as he heard Jesus speak and teach the crowd.  Even though Jesus was rejected by some of the Pharisees, Jesus did not turn down Nicodemus. Jesus knew the heart of Nicodemus, that he was sincerely seeking the Kingdom of God (v.2).

Thus, Jesus revealed to Nicodemus an important spiritual truth. Jesus showed Nicodemus the way to God.

Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit…You must be born again!”   (v.5-7)

Nicodemus wanted to understand more, “How can these things be?

So, Jesus further explained;

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (v.13-15)

Jesus gave a clear explanation to Nicodemus of the truth and showed him the way to God, which was to believe in Him, the Son of God. Jesus made Himself known to those who were sincerely seeking and searching for the truth and the kingdom of God.

Jesus was telling Nicodemus about life in the flesh and life in the spirit. Life in the flesh is merely living in the physical realm – with body, mind, and soul. However, there is more to life than just the physical life, there is life in the Spirit, which is only found in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, we people are all born on earth with physical life – the body, mind, and soul (emotions). However, because of the sin nature, we are born on earth with no spiritual life. We are dead in the spirit, which means separated from God.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

But through Jesus Christ we can be born again. Being born-again is to receive a new life in Christ. As Jesus told Nicodemus, “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (v.15)

Reflection:

To be born-again is to have a new life in Christ. Believing Jesus is to receive a new life – a life in the Spirit of God, and eternal life in Christ.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving me a new life in the Spirit and for bringing me into Your Kingdom.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

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Jesus honors His mother!

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Photo by Xavier Mouton Photographie on Unsplash

Title: Jesus obeys God’s words by honoring His mother!

Reading: John 2:1-12 ; Deuteronomy 5:16

Key verse:   “His mother said to the servants, whatever He says to you, do it”.  John 2:5 NKJV

Jesus, His mother, and His disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana of Galilee. In Jewish tradition, a wedding feast could last up to three days. In a typical wedding, the host usually served a lot of food and wine.  The host may not have expected more people to come, but as more guests came in-and-out, they ran out of wine. (John 1:1-2) Mary, like any other mother, cared about such things. She saw the need for more wine to be served to the guests. She was concerned and brought her concern to Jesus.

“They ran out of wine” (v3).  Mary knew Jesus could do something to help. When Jesus was growing up, perhaps Mary had seen Jesus do little miracles in their family. Mary knew her Son well, who He was, and what power He had.  So, Mary, with confidence, presented the need to Jesus. However, at that time Jesus had no intention of showing off His divine power to the public.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” v4

Again, Mary believed in her Son.  She told the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it”. (v5)

Jesus looked around and saw what was available. He saw the six, empty, stone waterpots. So, Jesus instructed the servants to “Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.” (v7) After the waterpots were filled with water, Jesus told the servants to draw them out and take it to the master of the wedding feast. (v8) And the master of the ceremony, not knowing where the wine came from, was very pleased that the host kept the best wine until the last day.  And he said, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” (v.10)

Thus, the wedding celebration was completed with more than enough wine. And Mary was relieved that her concern was taken care of by Jesus.  Jesus may not have had the intention to do a miracle at the wedding feast, but because Mary, His earthly mother, had presented the concern to Him, Jesus honored her request.

Jesus loved His earthly mother, and He also knew the word of God which says, “Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 5:16 & Exodus 20:12).

When Jesus was here on earth, He was fully human and fully divine, too.  He had the creative power that God had when He created the heavens and the earth, (Genesis 1).  Like God, who created the world and everything in it from nothing, Jesus also had the power to create through the power of His spoken word.  And without drawing attention to Himself, Jesus took care of His mother’s concern by turning the plain water into wine. Even when Jesus’ miraculous power was not seen by the public, He cared for those whom He loved.  Jesus used His creative power to honor God’s Word and His mother. 

Reflection:

Jesus honored the Word of God by honoring His mother. Jesus showed His love for His earthly mother as He took care of her concern.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for Your example of obeying the Word of God by honoring your mother. Help children to honor their mothers and fathers, too.

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

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Jesus’ final words!

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Title: Jesus’ final words!

Reading: Matthew 28: 1-20 (NKJV)

“Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)

Jesus died on the cross even though He did not deserve it. (Matthew 27:50). However, on the third day, God raised Him up. (Matthew 28:6). Many of His disciples saw Him and spoke with Him. Just before Jesus went back to heaven, He met with His eleven disciples in Galilee, on the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. (Matthew 28:16) Jesus came and spoke with them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples”. (Matthew 28:18-19)

Jesus obeyed the will of the Lord God for the plan of salvation for all men of all the nations, for it is the will of God for all – every man and woman to be saved.

Mark 16:15 said, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”.

It is the heart of God that none shall perish.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God loves everyone and cares for each and every person in the world.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (John 3:16)

The Lord God commissioned and sent His Son Jesus to preach repentance and salvation to the people of Israel. Jesus obeyed and did the will of the Father. Therefore, God exalted Him and gave Him power and authority. (Matthew 28:18).

Jesus then empowered His disciples and followers to go and make disciples as He had done for them.  In the book of Acts, the stories are written where the disciples fulfilled and obeyed the final words of Jesus to go, make disciples, baptize and teach (Acts 2:14-47).  The disciples and followers of Jesus continued the work of preaching the Gospel to others, even it cost their lives (Acts 4 & 7). The disciples of Jesus fulfilled the final words of Jesus to make disciples in their lifetime. And the Gospel spread from Jerusalem, to Judea and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8).

For two thousand years, men and women, followers of Jesus continue to go, preach and make disciples in almost every country and to every people group in the world. From the country of Israel, to Europe, to America, to Africa and Asia, the Gospel and the Kingdom of God have spread. And Jesus promised to everyone who obeys, “And lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. (Matthew 28:20)

Reflection:

The final words of Jesus to His followers before He went back to heaven was:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”

This is still the words of Jesus to everyone who follows Him and who truly desires to follow Him. It is the heart of Jesus and the Lord God for everyone to receive salvation – for the Jews, and for every people of every nation, and tribe and tongue.  As a follower of Jesus, we are called to obey His Words.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, please help me and every one of Your followers to obey Your final words and commission to go and make disciples of all the nations in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

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Jesus You Gave Your All

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Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Jesus You Gave Your All  (Song Poem)

Jesus You gave Your all,

Jesus You gave Your all,

Jesus You gave all of Yourself

To a sinner like me, You gave your all.

Words are not enough to say, thank You my Lord.

How could You love a sinner like me

You gave your whole self to us all.

With Your nail-pierced hands,

And Your body was bruised, wounded and all

All because of Your love for us all.

Jesus Your deep love nothing and no one could ever compare,

For the love You have shown

Jesus You gave Your all (3x)

Body, soul and all;

The greatest love of all.

  • A song-poem by Vicki Creel

 

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“My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”

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Photo by Ben den Engelsen on Unsplash

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” v.46

Readings: Matthew 27:27-47; Isaiah 53:1-12 (NKJV Bible Gateway)

Jesus was scourged and beaten severely by the Roman soldiers. They mocked Him and ridiculed Him.  The soldiers demanded that He walk from the Governor’s headquarters to Golgota carrying a big piece of a wooden cross.  His beaten body, bruised and scourged, could barely walk, much less carrying a heavy piece of wood.  The soldiers saw a man passing by, Simon of Cyrene, and compelled him to help Jesus carry the big piece of wood. (Matthew 27:27-32). Then they crucified Him along with the other criminals. (Matthew 27:35-38)

The people of Israel, the religious leaders, and the Roman soldiers all saw Jesus hanging on the cross and mocked Him.  They spoke unkind and insulting words. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save…” (Matthew 27:39-44).

Jesus did not say a word against them. He did not call out for His angels to consume them. He did not use His power to call for lightning from heaven to strike those who insulted Him. But instead He took it all upon Himself – the shame, the humiliation, the insults, the mocking, and the beatings. Jesus chose love, instead of defending Himself. The pain was too much for His earthly body. And Jesus cried out to His Father:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” v.46

That was the cry of pain and agony. Did God forsake His only Son? Lord Jesus, why did you say these things?

The prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament said,

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord [n]has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)

For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. (Isaiah 53:8)

Reflection:

Jesus carried our sins. All the sins of men were imputed to Him. He took all the punishment for our sins, so we do not have to its eternal consequences. All the sin of the world was laid upon Him. The ultimate penalty of sin is death – or separation from God. For that moment, God had to turn away from His Son because Jesus became a bearer of sin. God and sin cannot be together. God our Father in heaven is holy and pure. Jesus took all the sin and the punishment of sin, so I do not have to carry and suffer the penalty of sin, which is death, eternal death. Jesus paid it all.

 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for choosing to give Yourself for us, and for dying on the cross for my sins.  Thank You that You took my sin, and the punishment of sin, so I could be reconciled with our Heavenly Father and live with You for eternity.

Your Reflection:

 

Your Prayer:

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Choose Jesus, Choose life!(Jesus or Barabbas?)

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Photo by Joel Mott on Unsplash

Choose Jesus, choose life! (Jesus or Barabbas?)

Reading: Matthew 27: 1-26; Luke 23:1-25

  Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  – Matthew 27:17

Jesus was ordered to be arrested by the chief priests. The chief priests incited some people to bring false accusations against Jesus. (Matthew 27:1-2) Then Jesus was brought to Pilate. And the governor asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, ‘It is as you say’. Matthew 27:11

After examining Jesus and talking with Him, Pilate did not find any fault against Jesus.

“And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;  no, neither did Herod, for sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.” (Luke 23:13-15)

At the time of Jesus’ arrest, it was also the feast of the governor.

 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”  For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy, (Matthew 27:15-17).

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. (Matthew 27:.20)

Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”

But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”  (Matthew 27:23)

When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.

And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”—  who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder. (Luke 23:18-19)

Pilate felt he was powerless over the cry of the people of Israel, so he gave in to their demand. “Let Him be crucified!”. It was not Pilate’s wish or plan to execute Jesus, but Pilate did not want an uprising over the life of one person. Sad to say, it was the religious leaders of Israel who instigated the penalty for Jesus because of jealousy and envy.  (Matthew 27:18)

Sad to say when Pilate asked the people whom to release, the people chose Barabbas, a rebel and a murderer.

Reflection:

The people of Israel chose Barabbas over Jesus. They chose a murderer over a sinless man, similar to the people of today’s generation. Sad to say even today, it seems some people choose a life of rebellion against God. Thus, they choose death instead of life. Some people end up dead-physically and spiritually. They choose rebellion, a life away from God, therefore they make a choice of death over a life with Jesus. Jesus died so that we could have eternal life. If we choose Jesus, we choose life.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, it is our sin that crucified You on the cross. Lord forgive us, help us choose You, help us choose life and not death.

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

 

 

 

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Because of Jesus, I am a child of God!

 

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. John 1:12 (NKJV)

Reading: John 1:1-12

(Galatians 3.26; Ephesians 3:6, Romans 8:16)

Title: Because of Jesus, I am a child of God.

The apostle John wrote his testimony about knowing Jesus who was there from the beginning with God. (John 1:1-2). John also testified that all life on earth was made through Jesus. (John 1.3). Jesus was life and the light of men (v.5). John further testified that another man, also named John, was a witness to the deity of Jesus.

“He was not that light but was sent to bear witness of that light”, (John 1:6).

The apostle John was referring to John the Baptist.

The apostle John further explained, Jesus was sent by God into the world, but the world did not receive Him. (v.11)

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1.12

What a great truth and blessing to be called ‘children of God’, because by nature, we, the people of the world are all born with sin.  (Psalm 51:5).

Ephesians 2:3 says we are by nature children of wrath.  And because of Jesus we are now called children of God.

The apostle Paul wrote, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”. (Galatians 3:26)

 He also wrote in Romans 8:16-17

 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God… heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ”.

Reflection:

Through the Lord Jesus Christ we are adopted into the family of God and become part of His Kingdom.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, because of You, I am now a child of God, and a fellow heir with You. I am forever grateful to You!

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

John 1.12 PDF copy

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In Asia_Spring 2019

David & Vicki Creel in Thailand and Indonesia, February 15-28, 2019.

 Indonesia

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David fixing a mixer in Jakarta.

 

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The user interface of the transmitter that David worked on

 

 

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David attended a local church in Jakarta

 

Thailand
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Praying for the many people in Thailand to be set free from the idolatry of Buddhism.  

 

 

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Riverside in Bangkok, Thailand

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Vicki helping with FEBC  Thailand admin staff .

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FEBC staff working with the Bible correspondence course

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FEBC Thailand Daily Staff Devotion & Prayer

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 David & Vicki enjoyed a lunch treat of Northern Thai flavor from the FEBC Thailand Director.

Creel Spring 2019 Prayer Letter-PDF

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Jesus, the Eternal God

 

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Jesus, the Eternal God

Reading: John 1:1-11

v.1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (NKJV)

//Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

John 8:58 Most assuredly I say to you, before Abraham was I AM

Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 

John 17: 5 -And now, O Father, glorify Me together [b]with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Revelation 1:8- “I am the Alpha and the Omega, [d]the Beginning and the End,” says the [e]Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 19:3 – He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 

 The apostle John wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that Jesus was there in the beginning with God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2NKJV).  John testified that Jesus was there all along with God even from before time began.  John saw and was with Jesus for three years during his lifetime. John saw Jesus in the flesh. John ate and talked with Jesus. They walked and traveled together on foot and in the boat. They prayed together and sang praises to God together. John heard directly from Jesus when He spoke and taught the kingdom of God. They laughed and cried together. John knew Jesus grew up in Nazareth. And John knew Jesus grew up in Galilee with His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary. John knew even the brothers and sisters of Jesus. John saw Jesus got tired and hungry from a long day.

John saw Jesus wept when His friend Lazarus died. John saw Jesus became emotional and had expressed His frustration when He saw the temple of God was not revered by the people. John saw Jesus in the human flesh during his lifetime. However, after Jesus died on the cross and rose again, John was filled by the Holy Spirit, along with the other disciples.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God revealed to John that Jesus was there from the beginning with God. (John 17:5, Genesis 1.1; Revelation 1:8, Revelation 19.3).

Reflection: Jesus is the eternal God. He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8) Jesus is the Great I AM (John 8:58, Exodus 3.14).  He is always with God the Creator.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I praise and worship You, my Eternal Creator. You are from the beginning to everlasting, You are there, the Existing One. From eternity to eternity, Lord Jesus You are there, who was and who is and is to come. Blessed be Your Holy name Lord Jesus, for You are God and Lord with the Father.

Your Reflection:

Your Prayer:

John1.1 study in PDF

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Jesus triumphed over temptation!

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Day 11

Title: Jesus triumphed over temptation!

Reading:    Matthew 4: 5-7

v. 7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again,‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

Jesus was in the wilderness praying and fasting.  His earthly body was tired and hungry.  The devil took the opportunity to tempt Him. (Matthew 4:1-2) The devil tempted Jesus to use His power to prove Himself as the Son of God. The devil knew Jesus had the power to turn the stones into bread since He needed food for His body’s nourishment, (v.4). The devil also tempted Jesus to test God’s ability to protect Him. The devil knew Jesus could call on His angels if He was in danger or needed protection (v.5-7).

Jesus once again answered the devil with the Word of God.

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” (v.7)

Jesus first of all knew who He was. He was the Son of God. The devil knew that too. But the devil wanted to try and tempt Jesus to use His power as the Son of God. When Jesus was still on the earth, though He was fully God, He was fully human too. He chose to limit Himself to live like other men. Like any other person, He needed food and water to nourish His body. Jesus needed shelter and protection from the elements. Jesus, though He was fully man, was also secure in His identity and His relationship with the Father.

Jesus knew He could use His power to turn the stones into bread.  Jesus knew He had the power to ask God to send His angels if He needed help, protection or  safety. However, Jesus did not take advantage of the power He had. Jesus knew who He was, the Son of God.  Jesus knew His Father God loved Him very much and would always be there to help Him when He called upon Him. However, He also knew the written Word of God as He quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 in the Old Testament:

16 “You shall not [d]tempt the Lord your God as you tempted Him in Massah. 

Yes, Jesus knew He was the Son of God and God loved Him. Jesus knew God would help Him anytime He asked and called upon Him. However, Jesus knew also that He did not need to put Himself in a dangerous situation like jumping off the pinnacle of the temple and expecting the angels to rescue Him as the devil had tempted Him to do. (v.5-6)

Reflection:

Jesus knew He was the Son of God. As a follower of Jesus, I am also a child of God. God and Jesus love me and are taking care of me. I know I can always call upon the Lord Jesus when I need help. However, I should not put myself into a dangerous situation, expecting God to help me.  The Lord God gives us wisdom and the Holy Spirit gives us power not to put ourselves into situations where we can be tempted or be vulnerable to sin and temptation.  The Lord God gave us His written Word to resist the devil.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, please help me to be strong in the spirit and to have Your wisdom to resist the temptations of the evil one.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

Devotion in PDF

Bible reading from Bible Gateway

 

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Jesus and the Word

Reading: Matthew 4:1-7 (NKJV)

v.4 – But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

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Jesus submitted Himself to be baptized by John the Baptist to fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:15). Then Jesus felt led to fast and pray for 40 days in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-2). His human flesh was tired and hungry.

“Now the tempter came to Him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread’”(v3).

Jesus replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’”.

Jesus was hungry. He had not eaten for 40 days. He was tired and very hungry in the middle of the wilderness. There was no food at all nearby. The devil tempted Him to make stones into bread. The devil knew Jesus had the capability and the power to do whatever He needed. Jesus knew His power, too, and what He could do. Perhaps, He could ask God to send food from heaven. The devil wanted Jesus to use His power to prove Himself. The devil said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…”

But Jesus knew who He was. He did not need to prove Himself. He was secure in who He was. He knew He was the Son of God. Jesus knew His power and what He could do, but He did not use that power just to prove who HE was.

Jesus was tempted by the devil at His weakest point. However, even when His body was weak, His spirit was strong.

Jesus used the power of the written Word of God to resist the devil. Thus, He declared:

 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God’”.

Jesus knew the written Word of God and how to use the power of the Word of God to resist the devil and his lures.  

Reflection:

The Word of God is as important as human food. The Word of God is food for the soul and nourishment for the spirit. Like Jesus, it is important for us to know the written Word of God to resist the devil, his lures and temptations.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your written Word. Please help me to know Your Word and to learn Your Word. Help me be strong in Your Word to resist the devil and his schemes. In Jesus name, Amen!

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayers:

 

Day 10_ Matthew 4.4 PDF study

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Only Jesus

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Only Jesus

Only Jesus can save

Only Jesus can do the impossible

Only Jesus can do what no human can do

Because only Jesus can save

Only Jesus can love the way He does

Only Jesus is the Savior

Only Jesus is the King of Kings

Only Jesus is Lord of lords

Only Jesus  is the Almighty God

Only Jesus is the God of love

Only Jesus is the God who came from above,

Only Jesus is the One who gave His life for us

Only Jesus can save our soul

Only Jesus can satisfy a hungry soul

Only Jesus can fill me up

Only Jesus is the bread of life.

Only Jesus can bring lasting peace

Only Jesus can give true happiness

Only Jesus can give eternal life and bliss,

Only Jesus!

– Vicki Creel

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Jesus showed respect and honor to John the Baptist!

 Jesus is humble. Day 9_Mat3.21 in PDF

Reading: Matthew 3:1- 17 (NKJV)

v.15 “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”

The life of baby Jesus who was born in the manger was protected as His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary, obeyed the leading of God through the angel. (Matthew 2:13-23) From Bethlehem to Egypt and then back to Israel, Joseph and Mary brought up the baby Jesus. And Jesus grew up in Nazareth in the region of Galilee.  V.23 “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He was called a Nazarene”.

As Jesus grew up as a young man, his cousin John also grew up as a man of God.

Matthew 3:1 “In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”.

John lived a pure life, fully dedicated to the Lord as his parents were instructed by God. “Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.”

John may have looked different in physical appearance compared to the people of his generation and culture, yet many respected his message. Many people from Jerusalem, Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him. (v.5)

Jesus, too, was aware of the ministry of John and respected him for his message.  “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.” V.13

John was surprised to see Jesus coming to him. John’s message was primarily to call sinners to repent and return to God. So, John tried to prevent Jesus and said,

“I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

But Jesus answered, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness”.  Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (v.15-17)

Jesus showed humility and respect for John by allowing John to baptize Him. Even though Jesus was fully God, and did not need to repent of sins because He was sinless, He still submitted Himself to the baptism of John to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus was still fully human when He was on earth. Thus, He wanted to set an example for those who make a commitment to turn away from sin and follow God fully.

Jesus also honored the ministry of John by allowing Himself to be baptized by John, showing submission and humility. Thus, the Heavenly Father affirmed His love and pleasure for His Son Jesus.

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!”

Reflection:

Jesus my Lord showed humility and submission by allowing John to baptize Him. As His follower, I too would like to be humble and submit to the servants of God.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for your humility and respect for the ministry of John. Help me also to be humble and show respect to the ministry of Your servants.

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

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Obedience of Joseph & Mary protected the life of Baby Jesus.

Day 8

Reading: Matthew 2:19-23 (NKJV)

v.21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel

Jesus was born in in a manger in Bethlehem. The wise men from the East was guided by the Lord to see the Baby Jesus. As the wise men carefully listened to the leading of the Lord God, they left the country through another road. God knew the wicked plans of King Herod.

v.16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth, and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem, and all its districts, from two years old and under…

However, the Lord guided Joseph and Mary already before the horrible killings of children happened.  An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in his dream again.

v.13 “Arise, take young child and His mother, flee to Egypt…”

And Joseph carefully obeyed the leading of the Lord through the words of the angel in his dream. Joseph did not doubt, and he did not dilly dally. Joseph realized that his obedience was a matter of life and death for his family.

v.14 when he arose, he took the young child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt.

Joseph, Mary and their child Jesus stayed in Egypt until the Lord guided them again through an angel. The angel spoke to Joseph that Herod was dead, and he instructed Joseph to take his wife and child back to Israel.

v.21 Then he arose and took the young Child and His mother, and came to the land of Israel.

The Lord guided Joseph and Mary throughout, since Mary’s delivery of the baby, until the baby grew up. Since Mary’s obedience to God’s call and will, God protected her, kept and guided her, including her husband and baby. Joseph also was obedient to the leading of the Lord, thus the family was protected.

Reflection:

We could trust a faithful and True God, as we obey Him. He will guide and protect us.

Prayer: Dear Lord help me and my family be sensitive to Your leading and guidance. Holy Spirit please help us to carefully obey Your leading in our lives .

Your Thoughts:

______________________________________________________________ .

Your Prayer:

_________________________________________________________________ .

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More photos from Mongolia trip.

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The city of Ulaanbaatar- the capital city of Mongolia, with 1.5M people.
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FEBC Mongolia operates Wind FM 104.5 in Ulaanbaatar.
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Baggnur city- one of the 10 stations that FEBC operates in the country.
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David working with the local technician in one of the transmitter’s site.
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Breakfast after a staff devotion in which David shared words of encouragement.
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A Ger in the city. A ger is the traditional dwelling tent of nomads and herders in Mongolia.
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The road trip to Baggnur with lots of herds of animals.
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Giant statue and museum in memory of Mongolia’s greatest leader Genghis Khan.

 

 

 

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Day 7 – Jesus and the wise men!

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Day 7

Reading Matthew 2: 7-18

v.12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

In Matthew chapter 2, continues with the account of the events during the birth of Baby Jesus.

 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the [b]wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” V.7-8

At that time Israel was occupied by Rome and as mentioned in the previous passage, King Herod was the appointed governor or ruler in Israel by the Roman government. Herod had heard about the prophecy of the coming Messiah or Deliverer of Israel. And Herod was insecure and afraid to lose his power and authority.  When he heard about the wise men who came from the East, he made plans to meet with them. Herod wanted to know more details about the coming of the Messiah.  He made plans to stop the coming of a new power. He felt threatened so he told the wise men,

“When you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also”.

The wise men told Herod about the words of prophecies about the coming of the Messiah, the One who was to Rule Israel as their King forever. Herod did not want that. So, he misled or deceived the wise men and told them, that he want to worship Him too.

The wise men continued their journey following the star they had seen in the East. They rejoiced when they found Baby Jesus, His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. They worshiped the baby Jesus as they brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. V.9-12 They rejoiced gladly that their eyes had seen the fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by the old prophets.

v.12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

The Lord God guided the three wise men, because they were truly seeking the Messiah. For many years, the wise men from the East have heard of the coming of Messiah, the Deliverer of the Earth. They had studied the ancient Scriptures and the words of God through the prophets, like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others. The wise men believed in their hearts for the fulfillment of those Words spoken and written by the men and prophets of God. The wise men carefully watched for the signs in the heaven, such as the moon and the stars.  I guess God knew their hearts, so the Lord guided them throughout their journey and waiting.

Only God can know the hearts of men. King Herod spoke nice words to the wise men about finding Jesus. King Herod told the wise men he wanted to worship Jesus too. And it seemed the wise men took Herod’s words. The wise men did not know the evil plan of Herod. But God knew, so God guided the wise men and spoke to them in their dreams.

Reflection: As we trust our Lord Jesus, God will guide us as we seek Him with all our hearts.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for Your Words and the assurance that You are always guiding me  and taking care of me as I seek You in my life with all my heart.

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayer:

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Day7 – Matthew 2:7-18 Study guide in PDF.

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A road trip, east of UB.

Our second week in UB was another eventful week (November 5-21, 2018).

Road trip to visit stations in two cities, east of UB.

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We enjoyed the landscape, countryside, hills and herds on the road. There are about 3 million people in Mongolia and 60 million plus animals!

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An added bonus to see the Genghis Khan museum on the way. (G.Khan was the great emperor of Mongolia in the 12th century).

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Visiting a station.

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Another station.

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David and Tomroo fixing a transmitter.

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Day 6 – Matthew 2:1-6

Day 6

Reading: Matthew 2: 1 – 6

v.6 “But you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd my people Israel”.

Matthew Chapter 2 shares the account of the birth of Jesus in the town of Bethlehem during the days of Herod the king. At that time there were wise men from the East who came to Jerusalem. Those wise men were known in Bible history as men who had heard of the coming of the Messiah in Israel. They may have studied the Scriptures and the wise sayings of the prophets in the Old Testament. They knew the signs to look for and seemed to be aware of the times and the seasons regarding the Messiah that was to come. So, they traveled from afar to Jerusalem to look for the Baby who was born to be the “King of the Jews”.

v.2 “Where is HE who was been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him”.

When King Herod and the people of Israel saw the coming of the wise men who were looking for the Baby Jesus, they were troubled. King Herod called all the chief priests and inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. Since the priests and the scribes knew well their history and the Scriptures, they told king Herod, “in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet;

v.6 “But you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah; Are not the least among the rulers of Judah, For out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”

The quote in Matthew 2:6 was written by Micah the prophet. In Micah 5:2 it says:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet, out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting”.

Reflection:

God chose Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, the true King of Kings. I have not been in Israel nor Bethlehem, but according to the book of Micah, it was a small place compared to the other places in Judah and Israel. God chose the small village of Bethlehem to be the birthplace of the King of Kings to express the humility, humbleness, and meekness of Jesus. God did not choose the mighty and great, but the least, so He could show His power.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, we praise You for your humbleness and meekness when You came here to earth. You chose the small things and the humble because You love humble hearts. Help me to always be humble before You and before others too.

 

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayers:

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They shall call His name Emmanuel..

IMG_4710.JPGDay 5

Matthew 1:23

“Behold the virgin shall be with child, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us.”

Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

We are still in the story of the biological parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. An angel of God spoke to Joseph in his dream about the child that Mary his fiancée was carrying in her womb. The angel told Joseph the Mary will bring forth a son, and His name will be Jesus, v.21. And it was written that the birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of the words of God through the prophets in the Old Testament, Isaiah 7:14.

“Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us’.

Since Christ came to earth 2000 years ago, God’s presence through the Holy Spirit has been with men. When Jesus came to earth, God literally came down to earth because of His love, His compassion, and His mercy.  He chose to come and live among men, when Jesus returned to heaven physically, He sent His Holy Spirit, thus He still lives among us. Through the Holy Spirit we have the seal of salvation, a personal connection to the Father and with the Son. We have the power to overcome because God is with us.

Reflection: The Lord Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth so that God could dwell with His people. For me, as a follower of Jesus, it is an encouragement and comfort to me to know that God is always with me because Christ lives in my heart.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for sending your Son to us so that You could be with us always and forever, Amen!

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayer:

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Day 4

Day 4

Matthew 1:22

“ So,all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet”.

Reading: Matthew 1:18-24

The coming of Christ was foretold by some of the prophets in the Old Testament many years before. One of the prophets that spoke of the coming of Messiah was the Prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”.

Joseph and Mary were the chosen biological parents of Jesus. At that time, before they got officially married, Mary had the baby Jesus already in her womb. Mary having a baby was not from a union with a man, but a divine intervention from heaven. Mary that time was considered a virgin, and yet she conceived a Son. God put a seed in her womb.  That became the fulfillment of the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah, 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

God did not forget what He promised to His people Israel. Even though it took many, many years, about 700 years, yet God in Hi sovereignty and power fulfilled His plan of salvation, Jesus Christ was born.  The Lord fulfilled His promise when Christ came to the world as a baby to save the people from sins.

Reflection: God keeps His promises. What He says, He will do. It is an encouragement to me that God keeps His words. God’s words say, someday Jesus will come back again, not as a baby but as the King and I will be with Him forever in eternity.

Prayer: Lord God, thank You that You are faithful and true. I praise You that I could trust You for the fulfillment of Your Word.

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayer:

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His name is Jesus

Day 3

Day 3- to download the study guide

Matthew 1:21 “His name is Jesus; for He will save His people from their sins.”

Reading: Matthew 1:18-21

The story continues with Joseph and Mary. When Joseph found out that Mary was already carrying a baby in her womb, he was disappointed. So Joseph made plans to break up the engagement from Mary. However, God intervened and sent His angel to speak to Joseph in his dream. The angel told Joseph that the baby Mary had in her womb is of the Holy Spirit. The angel further said, that

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name [h]Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” V. 21

The name of Jesus literally means “Savior”.  The angel was clear to Mary and Joseph when he said, Jesus will save His people from their sins, and not from the Roman rule and oppression, but from SIN.  The people of Israel at that time of history was ruled by the Roman government. And according to history, many of  the people suffered and were oppressed by the tyranny of the Roman rule. So many of the Jews or people of Israel were expecting and waiting for their Messiah, their Deliverer. They were expecting somebody that maybe similar to Moses or King David in the Old Testament who delivered the people of Israel from slavery and oppression. King David had fought many battles against the enemies of Israel- neighboring countries who tried to oppress them.  So, many of the people of Israel on Jesus time on earth were waiting for their Messiah, someone to deliver them from the oppression of the Roman rule.

However, from the start and the plan of God was to send Jesus to save His people from their sins- from the bondage of sins. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. John 1:29 says, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “

Reflection: Only Jesus can save Israel and the people of the world from sin.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you that You came to save us from our sins! I thank you for Your forgiveness and mercy. I praise You that you are the lamb that was slain and the only atonement for our sins.

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayers:

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The King is born!

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(Photo: a replica of an animal stable as the birth place of Baby Jesus-from Biblical History Center, La Grange, GA)

Matthew Chapter 1

Day 1- to download the study guide

Day 1

Reading: Matthew 1:1-17

v.17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. (This is the main verse that spoke to me in the passage)

Matthew, the writer of the Gospel of Matthew, began his account of the life of Christ by listing all the ancestors of Jesus beginning with Abraham.  In the Old Testament, the covenant of God, or the promise to the nation of Israel, started with the life of Abraham.

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you. And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2-3)

Matthew also mentioned that Jesus is the Son of David.  (Matthew 1:1)

In Psalm 89:28-29, the Lord God made His covenant and His sure mercies to David:

My mercy I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall stand firm with him.29 His seed also I will make to endure forever, And his throne as the days of heaven.

In between Abraham and David were different men who carried on the legacy and the fulfillment of God’s Words and promise from Abraham to Isaac, to Jacob, and to the children of Jacob.  And from the children of Jacob, the family grew into the nation of Israel.  From the children of Abraham came David who became the greatest king of Israel.  From King David came his sons and their descendants who also became kings in Israel.  Some were good and some were not.  Some followed the ways of God and some did not – until the kingdom was taken from them and the people of Israel were carried away to Babylon.  After the Babylonian captivity, when the children of Israel returned to their land, new descendants of David ruled Israel including Jeconiah, Shealtiel, and Zerubbabel until Joseph the father of Jesus was born.

“So, all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:17)

Reflection:

Reading the story of the ancestors of Jesus, from Abraham to David and their descendants, reminded me that a lot of them messed up and made horrible mistakes.  Yet the promise of God to Abraham and to David remained true.  Jesus Christ came from the line of Abraham and David.  It is encouraging to me to know that God is faithful and sovereign over the lives of His people, and in my life too.

Prayer :

Lord, I thank you that You are in control, and that You set the times and the seasons.  I praise You Lord, that You are merciful and faithful.  You control the timeline, and you have history in Your hands.  What hope and encouragement we have in You!  You’ve got my future too – and the future of the world!  You are Sovereign Lord, and our lives are in Your hands.  You see and control the big picture.  I praise You Jesus!

Your Thoughts:

Your Prayer:

Day 2

Day 2- download the study guide

Matthew 1:20 “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”.

Reading:  Matthew 1:18-20

In this chapter in Matthew, he mentioned that one of the children of Abraham and David’s children’s children was Joseph. V. 16 says, “And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ”.

At that point of history, Joseph was a young man and was engaged to a young lady named Mary. However, before they got officially married, Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant.

v.19 “Then Joseph, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly”.  However, the Lord God intervened in the situation. The Lord sent His angel to speak to Joseph in his dream.

v.20 “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

I guess when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he was upset and heartbroken.  Perhaps they had a heart to heart talk. Maybe Mary tried to explain to Joseph that the baby in her womb is from God. And that could have been very difficult for Joseph to believe her. Joseph may have felt betrayed. In their culture that time, if somebody was found in adultery, the person could be punished by the law. So, Joseph, though feeling hurt and betrayed, still had compassion on Mary. So, he made plans to put off the engagement quietly. He did not want to embarrass Mary in the public or be punished by their law. And Joseph ‘s mind was made up, he could not believe Mary’s explanation. Thank the Lord that He is sovereign and had a plan. So, God sent His angel to speak to Joseph in his dream.  Thus, Joseph then believed what Mary told him already. “…for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”. V.21

Reflection:

God is s sovereign over the life of His people and His plan of salvation. Mary obeyed God when Joseph almost missed it. Joseph could have had missed God’s big plan for Jesus ‘s life, and the salvation of the world.  Thank the Lord that He sent His angel to speak to Joseph.  When the angel of God spoke to Mary about His plan for Jesus, Mary willingly obeyed.  So, God took care of Mary as she obeyed His leading.  Thank the Lord, that Joseph listened and obeyed too in the end.

Prayer:

Lord help me do Your will. Help us your children to heed and listen to Your voice.  Please help us follow and obey Your leading, empower us to do Your will like Joseph and Mary , to follow Your ways. In Jesus’ name.

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayer:

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Day 3

download the study guide

Matthew 1:21 “His name is Jesus; for He will save His people from their sins.”

Reading: Matthew 1:18-21

The story continues with Joseph and Mary. When Joseph found out that Mary was already carrying a baby in her womb, he was disappointed. So Joseph made plans to break up the engagement from Mary. However, God intervened and sent His angel to speak to Joseph in his dream. The angel told Joseph that the baby Mary had in her womb is of the Holy Spirit. The angel further said, that

“And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name [h]Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” V. 21

The name of Jesus literally means “Savior”.  The angel was clear to Mary and Joseph when he said, Jesus will save His people from their sins, and not from the Roman rule and oppression, but from SIN.  The people of Israel at that time of history was ruled by the Roman government. And according to history, many of  the people suffered and were oppressed by the tyranny of the Roman rule. So many of the Jews or people of Israel were expecting and waiting for their Messiah, their Deliverer. They were expecting somebody that maybe similar to Moses or King David in the Old Testament who delivered the people of Israel from slavery and oppression. King David had fought many battles against the enemies of Israel- neighboring countries who tried to oppress them.  So, many of the people of Israel on Jesus time on earth were waiting for their Messiah, someone to deliver them from the oppression of the Roman rule.

However, from the start and the plan of God was to send Jesus to save His people from their sins- from the bondage of sins. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. John 1:29 says, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “

Reflection: Only Jesus can save Israel and the people of the world from sin.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you that You came to save us from our sins! I thank you for Your forgiveness and mercy. I praise You that you are the lamb that was slain and the only atonement for our sins.

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayers:

______________________________________________________________________________ .

Day 4

to download study guide-PDF

Matthew 1:22

“ So, all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet”.

Reading: Matthew 1:18-24

The coming of Christ was foretold by some of the prophets in the Old Testament many years before. One of the prophets that spoke of the coming of Messiah was the Prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:14 says, “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”.

Joseph and Mary were the chosen biological parents of Jesus. At that time, before they got officially married, Mary had the baby Jesus already in her womb. Mary having a baby was not from a union with a man, but a divine intervention from heaven. Mary that time was considered a virgin, and yet she conceived a Son. God put a seed in her womb.  That became the fulfillment of the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah, 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)

God did not forget what He promised to His people Israel. Even though it took many, many years , about 700 years, yet God in Hi sovereignty and power fulfilled His plan of salvation,  Jesus Christ was born.  The Lord fulfilled His promise when Christ came to the world as a baby to save the people from sins.

Reflection: God keeps His promises. What He says, He will do. It is an encouragement to me that God keeps His words. God’s words say, someday Jesus will come back again, not as a baby but as the King and I will be with Him forever in eternity.

Prayer: Lord God, thank You that You are faithful and true. I praise You that I could trust You for the fulfillment of Your Word.

Your Thoughts:

_____________________________________________________________________________ .

Your Prayer:

____________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________ .

Day 5

Day 5-download the study guide

Matthew 1:23

“Behold the virgin shall be with child, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, God with us.”

Reading: Matthew 1:18-25

We are still in the story of the biological parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. An angel of God spoke to Joseph in his dream about the child that Mary his fiancée was carrying in her womb. The angel told Joseph the Mary will bring forth a son, and His name will be Jesus, v.21. And it was written that the birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of the words of God through the prophets in the Old Testament, Isaiah 7:14.

“Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, ‘God with us’.

Since Christ came to earth 2000 years ago, God’s presence through the Holy Spirit has been with men. When Jesus came to earth, God literally came down to earth because of His love, His compassion, and His mercy.  He chose to come and live among men, when Jesus returned to heaven physically, He sent His Holy Spirit, thus He still lives among us. Through the Holy Spirit we have the seal of salvation, a personal connection to the Father and with the Son. We have the power to overcome because God is with us.

Reflection: The Lord Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth so that God could dwell with His people. For me, as a follower of Jesus, it is an encouragement and comfort to me to know that God is always with me because Christ lives in my heart.

Prayer: Thank you Lord for sending your Son to us so that You could be with us always and forever, Amen!

Your Thoughts:

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Your Prayer:

________________________________________________________________ .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mid-Summer 2018

David & Vicki Creel

Mid-Summer 2018 Prayer Letter Update

To give to the ministry of the Creels:

To Pray for FEBC, scroll down to Pray Now

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…”   Philippians 1:2-6 NKJV

This greeting and prayer of the Apostle Paul echoes our hearts’ desire for you.  We are truly grateful for your partnership in the Great Commission, in taking “Christ to the World by Radio and Media.”

We would like to share with you some prayer concerns.  Thanks for joining us in prayer as the Holy Spirit leads you:

  1. Please pray for the people in Indonesia. As you may have seen in the international news, a few days ago, the islands of Lombok & Bali were hit by a strong earthquake. According to the news, about 300 people have died, 1400 were injured, and about 270,000 people are displaced or are in evacuation areas. Please see the latest news from BBC:  https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45124972

We thank the Lord that our staff at FEBC’s station, Heartline Bali, are safe.  Please pray for them and the First Response Radio (FRR) team as they assess the situation.

  1. Please pray for David and the local technician in Mongolia, Tomroo, to have wisdom to solve problems with the transmitters at two stations in Mongolia. We thank the Lord that a third transmitter failure was recently resolved.
  2. Please pray for our shortwave staff in the Philippines to find a repair facility to fix the station’s audio analyzer.  Also, please pray that the staff will soon be able to repair the power modules in one of the shortwave transmitters.
  3. Please pray for our FEBC Thailand staff members as they go through a transition period with new leadership.
  4. Please pray for us and our IST colleagues as we make Fall travel plans.  May the Lord guide us, and may His will be done as we plan our travel schedules.
  5. Please pray that our staff in Jakarta will be able to repair the station’s antenna soon.

Again, thank you for praying with us. We appreciate your partnership and faithful support of our ministry with FEBC.

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Three Chords!

29572864_10155561896358657_6184239175297045074_n.jpgReading:  Matthew 25:14-30 (NKJV)

Matthew 25:14-30

Title:  Three Chords!

“He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’”  Matthew 25:22 (NKJV)

I remember the time when I first started learning to play guitar. My good friend Aida told me, “If you learn three cords, you can play some simple songs.” Her words encouraged me.  However, after a few practice sessions with just three cords, my fingers were already sore.  Thankfully, my friend kept encouraging me, with the chords A, D & G, soon I was able to play a couple of simple praise songs to the Lord.

I was so excited that I bought a nice guitar!  I practiced and learned more songs even though, in the past, I thought I did not have any musical ability.  Later, as life and work became busy, I had no time to play and practice. So, I gave my guitar to a friend. After a couple of years, another friend gave me a guitar – which I also gave away. Then another guitar came.  I began to realize that maybe the Lord wanted me to be serious about playing the guitar. So, I returned to playing guitar and learned more chords.  As I learned more chords and more praise & worship songs, I found that my relationship with the Lord was strengthened and deepened.  I may not play or sing well, but I feel the presence of the Lord whenever I play guitar and worship Him.

Now, with the help of David my husband, I play the guitar, he sings and together we worship and praise the Lord.  As I look at my folder of songs, I am amazed and grateful to the Lord to see that it now contains many songs.  I started with just three chords and a few songs. Now, with the Lord’s help, I can play more than seven chords and have more than fifty song sheets in my folder! With this experience of playing three chords at the start, and then the Lord helped me learn more chords as I keep on practicing, reminded me of this verse in Matthew 25:24, “Lord you delivered me two talents, looked I gained two more talents besides them”.

Reflection:

When we give even one talent to the Lord, He multiplies it.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, thank you for the gifts and talents You give us.  Help us to worship and honor You as we use them each day.  Amen.

 

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David’s story

David’s Story Full Version!

The Creels' Catch

DAVID CREEL’S TESTIMONY (Full Version)

David Creel News Article 26APR71

(Newspaper article in Birmingham News, April 26, 1971, see page 2 below).

Greetings! My name is David Creel.  I was born in Birmingham, Alabama.  I am the son of the late Rev. George Creel and Jackie Creel who served several United Methodist churches in North Alabama.

As you can imagine, being the son of a United Methodist pastor, I grew up in church. I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t in church.  Every time the church doors were open, I was there.  I really didn’t have a choice.  I might not have appreciated it at the time, but I am so grateful now for my parents’ insistence on church attendance.  I am also eternally grateful for the godly example that my mom and dad provided for me and my sisters as we grew up.

As a child, I usually slept during church. Frankly…

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David & Vicki Creel

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David & Vicki Creel – serving with FEBC’s International Service Team.

FEBC (Far East Brodcasting Company) exists to bring Good News of Jesus Christ to those who have little or no opportunity to hear about God’s love for them. Every day FEBC airs the Gospel to 49 countries, in 124 languages, using 149 stations, with 842 hours of programming per day, 365 days a year.  Over 2 million responses are received each year.

David has been a missionary with FEBC since 1990 serving in Saipan for 18 years and more recently in the United States. David serves the radio ministry as a broadcast engineer. Vicki has been a missionary since 1997 serving in East Asia, Bolivia and with another missionary training organization in Alabama.

David & Vicki were married in April 2014 and are now serving together with FEBC. In their new role, they provide engineering support for FEBC’s radio stations in Asia.

To support the ministry of the Creels click here

Or checks can be sent to:

FEBC, Box 1, La Mirada, CA 90637-0001

 

DAVID CREEL’S TESTIMONY (Full Version)

David Creel News Article 26APR71

(Newspaper article in Birmingham News, April 26, 1971, see page 2 below).

Greetings! My name is David Creel.  I was born in Birmingham, Alabama.  I am the son of the late Rev. George Creel and Jackie Creel who served several United Methodist churches in North Alabama.

As you can imagine, being the son of a United Methodist pastor, I grew up in church. I don’t ever remember a time when I wasn’t in church.  Every time the church doors were open, I was there.  I really didn’t have a choice.  I might not have appreciated it at the time, but I am so grateful now for my parents’ insistence on church attendance.  I am also eternally grateful for the godly example that my mom and dad provided for me and my sisters as we grew up.

As a child, I usually slept during church. Frankly, if I’ve been out late the night before, I still have some trouble with that, but I don’t think I’m alone in that confession!  My mom can tell you about a time as a child when I had fallen asleep on the pew during an evening service, everyone went home, the lights were turned off, and I wasn’t discovered to be missing until a short time later!  I, on the other hand, was clueless – still asleep on the pew!

Around the age of 10, I began noticing that my friends were sitting up and paying attention, so I decided that I needed to do the same. It was around that time that I realized that my parents’ relationship with God did not guarantee that I was right with Him.  I needed my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the one who gave His life on Calvary so that I might spend eternity in heaven with Him.

I distinctly remember hearing the gospel clearly presented by my dad one Sunday morning: how Jesus died for my sins, and how I needed to ask him for forgiveness, and invite Him into my heart. But, I did not go forward during the invitation.  However, I promised myself that I would go forward the next Sunday.  So, during the invitation on November 24, 1968, I made my way to the altar at Walker Memorial United Methodist Church in Birmingham and was saved.

Here is a quote from my dad’s journal on that day: “David saved! Thank God…this morning, my son David made his way to the altar alone to be saved.  Jesus faithfully saved him as he wept his confession to God.  Hallelujah…I couldn’t speak further.  Granville (our choir director) dismissed.  Thank you, Jesus forever!”

Although I was saved at that time, I really didn’t do the things one needs to do to grow as a Christian. Sure, I still went to church, but I didn’t really spend much time in Bible study and prayer.  Just as in the physical realm, one must eat in order to grow, so it is in the spiritual realm.  In I Peter 2:2, we are told, “like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation…”  It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized the importance of this fact and did what it took to grow as a Christian.

But, even at this early age, I believe that God was preparing me for missionary service.

  1. I learned electronics by observing dad’s repair of antique radios. Many a spare moment was spent with my dad in the basement working on his latest project.
  2. I went with dad to WDJC-FM in Birmingham where he had a couple of radio programs. Through these visits, I became friends with Chief Engineer Jimmy Long and developed a keen interest in radio.
  3. On one of the trips to WDJC, we stopped at the Baptist Bookstore where I picked up a copy of the book “Skywaves” which told the story of how a mission organization called Far East Broadcasting Company was using shortwave radio to broadcast the Good News of Jesus Christ to far-away lands. This book further “sparked my interest” in radio as a possible career.
  4. Around this time, I built my own small AM radio station using a low power transmitter obtained from a gentleman at the local electronics store. I also developed an interest in amateur radio and received a license at the age of 13.

During my high school years, I drifted away from my commitment to Christ. Although I never did anything terrible – just the usual teenage stuff – I was still rebelling against God.  The best way to describe those years was a “roller coaster” experience.  I wanted to live for Christ, especially after a particularly good youth retreat, but never had the power to “follow through” with a consistent walk with the Lord.  I tried to be a “fence walker” with one foot in the church and the other in the things of the world.  I wanted to “talk the talk” of being a Christian but didn’t have the power to “walk the walk.”

Just before my senior year in high school, God used several events to “get my attention” including a couple of car wrecks and a move from Sheffield to Gadsden. The move to Gadsden, just as I was about to begin my senior year, was particularly hard to accept.  But even this was a part of God’s wonderful plan for my life.

During my senior year, I really got tired of my “roller coaster” Christian experience, but I didn’t know how to change myself or the situation. I began to earnestly pray and seek God for the answer.  A devotional book that I had been reading mentioned how the Holy Spirit can help us live the Christian life.  Shortly thereafter, our church had a “Lay Witness Mission.”  This was a weekend event where ordinary lay people (not preachers) came and shared what God had done in their lives.  During this event, I heard several people share how Christ must not only be our Savior, but He must also be Lord of every aspect of our lives.  I also heard a lot about Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

On Sunday, October 12, 1975, I rededicated my life to Christ, allowing Him to be Lord of my life, and asked God to fill me with the Holy Spirit and to help me live a consistent Christian life.  This He did!  He gave me a new desire to read and study His Word and to pray during a daily quiet time.  He also provided some wonderful Christian friends to help me in my spiritual journey.  I learned much about the Bible from my dad and benefited greatly from the example and encouragement provided by both mom and dad.

Has my life been perfect or without sin since that time? As a missionary, do I “have it all together?”  Of course not. Just like everyone else, I am a sinner saved by grace and sometimes have struggles.  But, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have been able to live a much more consistent Christian life since allowing Christ to be Lord of my life.  The verse that I feel best describes the way to live a Christian life is Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Just after my high school graduation, I was invited to go on a short-term mission trip to Haiti. This experience really helped me to see “first hand” the needs of people in impoverished lands.

I began to sense that perhaps God was calling me to be a missionary – but not in the traditional sense. I was fascinated by the idea of using high power shortwave radio to tell the people of the world about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I felt that God was calling me to be a technical missionary.

With that in mind, I enrolled in the pre-engineering program at Gadsden State Junior College. I later transferred to Auburn University where I majored in Electrical Engineering.  God also provided a cooperative education job with Alabama Power Company in Gadsden to help cover the costs of my college education.

During this time, I made my second short-term missions trip – this time to shortwave radio station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador. This trip further strengthened my conviction that I was to be a missionary engineer.

Upon graduation from college, the door to missionary service did not immediately open, so I accepted a job as an engineer with Alabama Power Company in Oneonta, Alabama. I worked there for 7 years, from 1983-1990.

During those years, I continued to pray about missionary service and believed that one day the Lord would open the proper door which would allow me to serve as a technical missionary.

Around 1986, I became re-acquainted with the Far East Broadcasting Company through a group called “Intercristo.” This is a Christian organization which matches one’s interests and education with potential mission agencies – a bit like a Christian referral agency.

In 1988, I visited one of Far East Broadcasting Company’s shortwave sites in a place called “Saipan,” a small island in the western pacific. I greatly enjoyed this experience and began to pray about the possibility of returning as a full-time missionary.

In 1989, I applied for career missionary status with FEBC and began the process of raising my financial support, which took about a year to complete.

At first, the leadership of FEBC wanted me to serve a one- year term at their San Francisco station and then move on to the Philippines. This was a major test of my faith and commitment since I really wanted to return to Saipan.  I made no mention of this to the FEBC leadership but made it a matter for prayer.  I distinctly remember praying something like this: “Lord, if you want me to go to San Francisco and the Philippines, I will go.  But, Lord, you know that my heart’s desire is to return to Saipan.  May your will be done.”  About a week after praying that prayer, I got the word from the FEBC leadership that their plans had changed and that I was heading for Saipan!  The words of Psalm 37:4 were certainly true: “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

I began my first term of service on Saipan in October of 1990 where I served for the next 18 years. During those years, I greatly enjoyed my role as an engineer for KSAI (our local AM radio station) and KFBS (our international shortwave radio station).  Working for the shortwave station was particularly gratifying since millions of people in Russia, China, Mongolia, Vietnam, and Indonesia were coming to know Christ through the radio ministry.

In 2008, I came back to Alabama in order to take care of my aging parents, Rev. & Mrs. George Creel.  During those years, I was on assignment to partner ministry Galcom International.  In that role I designed and built Christian radio stations in various places around the world including Zambia, Albania, Malta, Pohnpei, Paraguay, Belize, and Indonesia.

In 2010, I met Vicki at Brasher Springs Camp Meeting near Gadsden. Later, at the suggestion of a mutual friend, we began corresponding.  We met again in 2013 while Vicki was serving then as a volunteer with SIFAT (Servants in Faith and Technology) in Lineville, Alabama.  We were married in April 2014.

In 2012, my dad passed away and my mom in 2014.  After the death of my parents, Vicki and I were asked to serve on FEBC’s International Service Team. Currently we both are serving with FEBC’s International Service Team (FEBC IST) providing technical support to our radio stations in Asia.

In my testimony, I have shared a lot about my experiences as a missionary. But remember, we are all called to be missionaries.  We are all called to share Christ in appropriate ways with those around us who do not know Him.  Each time I leave my home church’s parking lot, I see a sign which reads: “You are now entering the mission field.”  Let that be a challenge to us all.  This can involve developing a relationship with someone over a period of time and then sharing Christ at an appropriate moment.  This can be done while sharing in another’s grief.  Or, this can be as simple as leaving a gospel tract along with your tip at your favorite restaurant.  The point is to find appropriate ways in keeping with your personality, gifts, and talents to share Christ with others.

In closing, I would like to thank you for allowing me to share a bit about my “faith journey”. I would also like to end with a challenge to each of you.  If you have never made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, won’t you do it today?  Or perhaps your spiritual walk has been similar to the “roller coaster” experience that I described earlier.  If so, Jesus wants to be Lord of every part of your life.  If you will surrender your life entirely to Him, the Holy Spirit will help you to live a life that will honor God.

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Some photos and stories from our recent trip to Asia .

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The Creels' Catch

Trip to Asia- March 28- April 23, 2018

Stop in Singapore.
We praise the Lord for a good stop and rest in Singapore after a long flight from Alabama, to Houston, San Francisco & Singapore.  We were blessed to stay in an airport hotel near a fishing village.

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In Cambodia.

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Easter Celebration with an international church in Phnom Penh!

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Praying for our new director for FEB Cambodia during Staff Chapel Service.

Engineering Team (Guy, Mike & David) conducting

Amateur Radio License Exams with six personnel at National Polytechnic Institute.

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A total of three passed including our FEBC Cambodia technician, Pagnan.

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International Council – fellowship, prayer and ministry planning.

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FEBC- International Service Team (IST) ministry planning and retreat in Hong Kong.

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FEBC Philippines Shortwave Station in Iba.

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Meeting with the shortwave staff.

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Welcome to our new site!

Welcome friends to our new website blog!  We hope you will join us in this new journey. Here is a simple way to navigate this website; on the right corner of our front page you’ll find the words,    “Devotion” and “Ministry Updates”.  And you could click the months to see the entries for the month. It is our desire to share with our friends, families and ministry partners our regular updates. We also hope to encourage you all in our devotions and reflections. You could also contact us or send you prayer items when you click the top menu called  “Contact the Creels”.  We would love to hear from you! May our Lord Jesus continue to bless you all!

David & Vicki Creel

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God loves you!

God loves you!

John 3:16-17 (NKJV)For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us

Romans 10:9 (NIV)If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the [remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

 Acts 16:31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.

Prayer to receive Jesus in your heart:

Dear God, thank You for your love for me and for sending Jesus. Thank you, Lord Jesus for dying on the cross for my sin. I believe that God raised you up from the dead. Please forgive my sins.  I open my heart, may you come in and be the Lord of my life. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

If you pray the prayer above, you are now a child of God and forgiven because of Jesus Christ! What to do next?

  1. Read the Bible every day.
  2. Look for a good Bible believing Christian church.
  3. Pray to Jesus always.

 Bible gateway.com