Psalm 43:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Cross found on all donkeys' backs?

Some donkeys (often called Christian donkeys) have a narrow strip of dark hair that runs down their backs and each of their shoulders. These markings are in the shape of a cross. Like the color traits of other animals (such as zebras), we don’t know exactly why these donkeys have this cross. But, it does show the wonderful variety among God’s creatures.

There is legend that the crosses on these donkeys appeared after Jesus rode one into Jerusalem (read Matthew 21:1-11). There is no evidence that this is true. The dark stripe in the form of a cross was a trait in these donkeys long before Jesus lived. However, the fact that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem is very important. It fulfilled a prophecy that was spoken 500 years before Jesus lived, and showed He was the Messiah (read Matthew 21:5 and Zechariah 9:9).

Dear Prayer Partners

Please remember the following needs and requests in prayer:

1} President Obama and his advisors

2} the men & women serving in our armed forces and their families

3} Bobby- a missionary in Haiti who was flown back to the states with a broken back

4} Holly- recently gave birth to a son

5} Hailey- has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is unable to work due to it

6} Margo- recovering from a stroke

7} Dan- has Leukemia & an inoperable brain tumor, the tumors in his stomach and lung have been removed successfully

8} Christine- recently gave birth by an emergency C-section and her new son is in critical condition

9} Living Waters A/G looking for a youth pastor with a vision to reach the youth

10} Dennis- having problems breathing

11} The Holm Family- death of a loved one from cancer

12} The DeRien Family- death of a loved one

13} The Fraley family- death of a loved one

14} Eugene- is battling cancer

15} Schimmica- husband is having an affair

16} Kevin- has some serious dental problems and is recovering from emergency oral surgery

17} Faith- is hospitalized after a heart attack and partial amputation of right foot, has a serious infection in heart, lungs and kidneys and is back on dialysis

18} Chantella- is expecting her 1st baby in the spring

19} Julianne- having difficulty with her pregnancy

20} Marc- family problems

21} Tom- problems with weight control

22} Achan- has HIV, an infection in her lungs and gall bladder is shutting down

23} Rick- has bulging disc in his back

24} Noah- a toddler having complications from heart surgery, has a very high fever

25} Frank- fighting depression

26} Gloria- hospitalized after passing out at work

27} Chaplain Sam- recovering from eye surgery

28} Chaplain Jay- preparing for a missionary trip to Uganda next year

29} For all the unspoken and personal requests that people have

30} For us at Highway Mission Outreach that we will continue have the doors opened to share the gospel and the needed finances to carry out the ministry of the mission and as we plant The Cross-Roads Chapel

31} For Michael Frankland, Gill Ainsworth, Mark Ainsworth, Tracy Ainsworth, Tony Wood, Eileen Walsh, and Elaine - break down strongholds in their lives

"Hold Us Together" - Matt Maher

Opening Our Hearts to God

Psa. 19:14 - May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable before You, O Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer.

Acts 13:22-23 - And when He had deposed him, He raised up David for them as king, to whom also He testified and said, I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to My heart, who will do all My will. (23) From this man's seed, God, according to promise, brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus.

~~~~~ Words of Ministry ~~~~~

Both of the above passages are related to David. Psalm 19:14
is a prayer of David, while Acts 13:22-23 is a description of
David. In David's prayer, there are the “words of my mouth”
and the “meditation of my heart,” or the thoughts of the
heart. He prayed that he would not only be kept in his words
outwardly, but also be acceptable to God in his thoughts
inwardly. The words of the mouth are an expression of the
thoughts of the heart. The heart is the root problem.

Whether or not one outwardly says the right words is not the basic problem. Whether or not one has an outward attitude in his speaking that is right is also not the basic problem. The
thoughts of the heart are the basic problem. The thoughts of
the heart constitute the root problem and cannot be overlooked. David did not merely pray, “God, may the words of my mouth be acceptable before You.” He added to the prayer, “May the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You.”

David's prayer was for the thoughts of his heart to be
acceptable before God. This is why Paul could later testify
that David was a man according to the Lord's heart. A person
who is according to God's heart allows God to touch his heart. If you will not allow God to touch your heart, it will be hard for you to be one who is according to His heart.

Many Christians ask, “Why is it wrong for me to do this? Why
is it wrong for me to say this? Why is it wrong for me to
express myself this way?” Brothers and sisters, whether or
not you are doing the right thing, saying the right thing, or
expressing yourself the right way is not the real problem.

Rather, is your heart right when you are doing such a thing,
saying such a word, or expressing yourself in such a way?
What is the condition of your heart? What is the condition of
the root? Even if you are right in every outward thing, it is
still possible for your heart to be wrong. God is touching the condition of your heart and asking about it. He allows many winds and waves to beat upon His children for this very reason.

He uses these things to touch your heart and to expose the condition of your heart.

Why was God harsher in O.T.? - by John Piper

Thy Redeemer

By C.H. Spurgeon

"For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called" (Isaiah 54:5).

JESUS, the Redeemer, is altogether ours and ours for ever. All the offices of Christ are held on our behalf. He is king for us, priest for us, and prophet for us. Whenever we read a new title of the Redeemer, let us appropriate Him as ours under that name as much as under any other. The shepherd's staff, the father's rod, the captain's sword, the priest's mitre, the prince's sceptre, the prophet's mantle, all are ours.

Jesus hath no dignity which He will not employ for our exaltation, and no prerogative which He will not exercise for our defence. His fulness of Godhead is our unfailing, inexhaustible treasure-house. His manhood also, which he took upon him for us, is ours in all its perfection. To us our gracious Lord communicates the spotless virtue of a stainless character; to us he gives the meritorious efficacy of a devoted life; on us he bestows the reward procured by obedient submission and incessant service. He makes the unsullied garment of his life our covering beauty; the glittering virtues of his character our ornaments and jewels; and the superhuman meekness of his death our boast and glory. He bequeaths us his manger, from which to learn how God came down to man; and his Cross to teach us how man may go up to God. All His thoughts, emotions, actions, utterances, miracles, and intercessions, were for us.

He trod the road of sorrow on our behalf, and hath made over to us as his heavenly legacy the full results of all the labours of his life. He is now as much ours as heretofore; and he blushes not to acknowledge himself "our Lord Jesus Christ," though he is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Christ everywhere and every way is our Christ, for ever and ever most richly to enjoy. O my soul, by the power of the Holy Spirit, call him this morning, "thy Redeemer."

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FREE Book: “Desiring God” by John Piper

Prison Ministry:

On Monday evenings, I have the unique priveledge of visiting the Greenville Detention Center. Scripture, bible lessons, tracts, bibles, Daily Breads, bible studies, testimonies, and prayers are shared. Please keep these men in your continued prayers as we continue studying Paul's letter to the Romans: Jonathan, Lenita, David Anderson, Luke Elmore, Eric Hall, Leslie Mashburn, Keith Rollins, Billy, Jared Rhines, Quinton Brown, Jeremiah Hendrix, Chris Osbourne, Jermain Cheech, Quincy Massey, and Leo Clarence.

Thank you for your support and continued prayers for these new believers and this ministry!

In His vineyard,

We Shall Worship the Lord!

By John Piper

Do you delight more and more in the majesty and glory of God? Does your heart incline to worship God more consistently and intelligently and earnestly and intensely today than it did five years ago?

Is your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ abounding more and more so that you use your gifts more and more effectively to strengthen their faith and stir them up to love and good works?

And do you feel a greater burden for the lost? Are your prayers for unbelieving relatives and friends more consistent and earnest? Are your efforts to give a reason for the hope that is in you more bold, less ashamed? Are you becoming a world Christian with a zeal for the final mission thrust of the church to reach the hidden peoples?

If you can answer yes, we are making progress as a church. If not, we are failing in those areas. But at least we have goal and a definite Biblical theology behind it.

But it is not new. Listen to the way another pastor and teacher describes the meaning of membership in the church:

Membership, therefore, involves a personal obligation to promote the objects of the body as expressed in the covenant.

These objects are three:

1. The social, united worship of God...
2. The perpetuation and diffusion of the gospel...
3. The sanctification of its own members...

The church, thus comprehensive in its scope, looks upward to God, outward upon the needs of a lost world, and inward to the processes of sanctification in the souls of its own members; the neglect of any one of these grand objects of its organization imperils its whole design.

This is our philosophy of ministry. The quote is from Hezekiah Harvey, who was born in England in 1821 (The Church, 1879, reprint 1982, pp.35-36.). There is nothing modern or trendy about the priorities of our church. They have been around for two thousand years. They are tried and true, and it shouldn't bother us at all that they are not new.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Barfield: Back From Haiti

I am safely back home with my family after a whirlwind trip to Haiti.

I spent three days in Haiti with Food for the Hungry learning about the immense need there and how I can better help FH meet that need. The goal was to see the work of FH with my own eyes so I could communicate with my audience and inspire them to partner with FH and me.

I prayerfully prepared for this trip asking God to give me the wisdom to see how I could help these people. I return from my trip asking God to give me the courage and fortitude to act on what I have seen and now know I must do.

First we cannot begin to quantify the devastation in Haiti. It is overwhelming. What were communities of homes, stores, banks, and offices are now rubble. Imagine your neighborhood leveled. Imagine your grocery store, school, work place, church, and your home all gone. Is there a park near you? Across from my house is a common area where the families in my neighborhood walk their dogs or jog around. The children will play catch or fly a kite. I’m looking out my window as I type this imagining if my me, my wife and our fifteen month old little boy, along with all of the families in my neighborhood, had to put up make shift tents of bed sheets and plastic and live in that common area while our homes lay in ruin around us. This is what I saw in Haiti. I saw an entire city of families sleeping on the ground with little to no protection from the intense heat or the rainy season that starts this week. Jesus said we were to love our neighbors as ourselves. I am to love those families in those tents in Haiti as if they were mine, to love those children as if they were my children. As a dad and husband it is bringing tears to my eyes now as I imagine my wife Megan and my son Montgomery living like that.

With all due respect I fear Americans can not grasp what has happened there. God forbid if a disaster like this actually happened in Nashville, and I lost everything, I could take my family to another state and start over. I have family in other states that could take us in during the few months it would take for the front-end loaders, backhoes, wrecking balls and dump trucks to haul off the remains so we could rebuild. In Haiti they have nowhere to go. They are on an island.

Haiti is about the size of Maryland. Next door is the Dominican Republic, which is not much larger, and a different culture and language altogether. It is unlike any disaster we in the States have every experienced. In Haiti I watched as men with sledgehammers hacked away at buildings half brought down by the quake, endangering their lives and those that walk the streets around them. In Haiti I saw men moving mountains of rubble from the collapse of a four-story school building with shovels and wheelbarrows. This will take years. How long will they have to sleep on the ground? Where will they work? What will the children do? No homes, no offices, no stores, no schools. How can we as spoiled Americans who can find something to complain about in every luxury we have begin to grasp what has happened in Haiti. How can we as Christians who spend more money on our church buildings than we do on helping the poor love the Haitians as we love ourselves?

I spent one of my afternoons in Bellevue La Montagne, Haiti. FH has recognized this mountain community as a place that will not receive the needed attention because of their distance from the city. They are doing what they can to help the least of these. I stood in a tent with about thirty children as we took turns singing songs to one another. Outside of that tent their parents were trying to rebuild their lives. Their church was four walls of sheet metal leaning against a frame of sticks with a plastic tarp for a roof. Their homes were walls of bed sheets and plastic held up by twigs. They were finishing up a stick frame wrapped in plastic around a hole in the ground to replace their bathroom that was destroyed in the quake.

We were asked if we wanted to visit their water source and help bring some water back. We walked for about thirty minutes down a rocky narrow path to a place where about twenty people were trying to fill their buckets from a pipe sticking out of the mountain five feet from the ground. I watched for twenty minutes or so as the water, the amount that would come out of your outdoor water spigot, slowly filled their buckets. They pushed and shoved vying for position to obtain their share of the water produced by this “spigot” that was shared by a community of 600 families.

I had passed a little boy on the way down to the water source. He was five years old at the most. I noticed him down at the water source again just sitting off to the side picking up rocks. The realization that he could not compete with the adults pushing and shoving for water broke my heart. He sat there for an hour waiting for a chance to complete his chore. I took his jug to the spigot and filled it for him as well as my bucket. I handed him his water and started my walk back to the children’s school tent.

The long walk down the rocky path to the water source was now a longer walk up the mountain in nearly 100-degree weather carrying a four to five gallon bucket of water. As the sweat poured and my legs and arms ached, I starting to cry for that little boy who has to do this everyday. I have five sinks in my house. There, six hundred families share one spigot of contaminated water.

When we got back to the school I sat in the shade next to my bucket of water and tried to catch my breath while processing my experience. After about fifteen minutes the little boy I had helped made his way by me carrying his jug of water. I pointed him out to an FH worker and was told he had another hour to walk before reaching his home. That five-year-old little boy spent four hours that day doing work that would exhaust any adult I know, to fetch less water than we use when we flush our toilets.

FH is committed to change the future of this little boy and thousands of others like him. I am committed as well. I plan to increase my efforts to find sponsors for children in these areas. In the last two months I have been able to find sponsors for 350 children in Haiti and other parts of the world. Those 350 children are my sons and daughters. Love your neighbor as yourself. I have thousands more who need help. Love your neighbor as yourself. If it was Montgomery who needed help and had no voice to ask for it himself I pray someone would speak up on his behalf. Love your neighbor as yourself. I can’t physically hand a jug of water to every child who needs it, but I have a voice and an audience, and I will speak up for those who can’t speak to you themselves and say, “Love them as much as you love yourself”.

There are families who have lost everything and are sleeping on the ground tonight. There is a little boy who is unable to go to school today and learn a way to change his future. He is five-years-old and labors all day in the sun for a little water. If this was your family and your son would you fight for them? Love your neighbor as yourself.

Warren Barfield