July Newsletter - Nacogdoches/Livingston
Open Your Door to Jesus, But Not to Strangers
Early in June we had some excitement at our Livingston mission. My 80 year-old sister, Helen (who helps me in my office, assists Benita at the mission and in the CHC, bakes birthday cakes for our residents and provides “taxi service” for residents needing to pick up a prescription or get to and from work, etc.), lives just around the corner from the mission. At 6:00 a.m. she heard someone pounding on her door. Thinking it was Miss Benita (our mission manager), she opened the door (without looking out the peephole or calling through the door, “Who is it?”) Once the door was open, an anxious woman, a stranger, rushed into the room, closing and locking the door behind her, saying someone was after her and she needed to call “911.”
Helen picked up her cell phone and started dialing the number when the woman jerked the phone from her hand and completed the call. She then demanded to know where the back door was. Helen explained that there are only two front doors.
The woman then asked where the bathroom was and Helen told her. It quickly became obvious that she did not need to use the toilet but was looking for a back way out of the house, because when she saw there was no window in the bathroom, she came out hurriedly. She then went down the hallway to the end bedroom where she crawled over the bed, raised a window, broke out the screen, exited the house onto the roof over the garage, jumped down into a trailer we had parked there and ran off into the morning still clutching Helen’s cell phone (which held her driver license).
Helen quickly went around the corner to the mission and called the police. They were able to find the woman, arrest her, and retrieve Helen’s cell phone (and license), which were returned before noon.
This was a somewhat happy ending, but I shudder to think about the negative possibilities. (This woman had a closed switchblade knife in her hand which she offered to give Helen when she took the cell phone.)
Believe you me, my sister got a good(?) talking to about not opening her door to anyone she did not know. She was told, “Look out the peep hole, and call through the door, ‘Who is it?’ If the person responds that they need to call 911, tell them you will call it for them, but DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!”
Can you see a spiritual application to this? When we open our heart’s “door” to someone or something we think is okay, it just may be to the enemy, who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. To prevent sorrow, regret, and lessons learned-the-hard-way, we need to study God’s Word in order to be able to discern the false from the true.
Scripture teaches that there is a false gospel and a false Jesus (Matthew 24:24). There are also counterfeit prophets and teachers (2 Corinthians 10:13) and in order to recognize them, we must be very familiar with the true. I have been told that when a person is being taught to spot counterfeit money, they spend time handling new currency until they are so familiar with the real thing that they can readily spot a phony bill that comes into their hands. Counterfeits are made to look like the real thing and many people are fooled because something looks good or sounds good. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverb 14:12
In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne…”
Who you open the “door” to is a matter of LIFE and death. Be wise.
Good, Good Eating
Last month brought us many delicious meals from guest cooks, and leftovers from restaurants, fund-raisers, banquets, parties, and family-get-togethers. Camp Cho-Yeh in Livingston blessed us several times with fabulous meals (oh, those fresh cinnamon rolls!!) and “The Food Lady” brought prepared food (including some delicious chicken and sausage gumbo).
We are so very thankful for individuals from the various churches in both Nacogdoches and Livingston and from surrounding towns (Chester, Fred, Woodville, Joaquin, and Holly Springs), who faithfully come each month to fellowship with us and serve delicious meals. How we pray for God’s blessings to be theirs in abundance as they perform service for the poor and homeless. I know God is happy with them because they are choosing to be servants (a characteristic of Jesus). I am reminded of the Scripture song we often sing based on Matthew 20:27 and 23:11, “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.”
Thank you to all who assist us in this ministry. We are grateful.
Gospel Music Reminder
Bro. June and the Gentry Family have recorded 10 Gospel Music CDs. You can find a listing of them by going to our web site (www.godtel.org) and clicking on Productions. At that location you will also find a list of Christian books and literature by various authors including Manley Beasley.
About Last month … and You
Did you look up Psalm 84:11 as I suggested in my closing to the June newsletter? Since I did not quote the entire verse last month, I will this time (in case you failed to look it up): “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Now, meditate on the entire verse and then ask yourself, “Do I want good things from God?” If your answer is, “Yes,” then make the choices necessary to walk uprightly (to be obedient to God’s Word in word and deed).
And remember what Jesus said in John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall