*Volume 68 *No. 7 *Published by Christian Triumph Co. *Permit # 695 * September 2004
Contents: A True Bible Story Child's Play Christian Triumph Co. 2003 Annual Report Editor's Notepad With the Master's Hand Letters from Here and Abroad Poetâ€™s Corner
1 3 4 6 6 7 8
A True Bible Story By Kathryn Ratledge
Among my list of things to do before taking off for our family gathering for 4th of July was having my nails replaced. I figured it was either have them fixed now or run the risk of them being so old and dry that they'd pop off and end up in the homemade ice cream. So I saw a window of opportunity to go to my favorite nail spa between running from doctor appointments to making sure I had everything before preparing multiple batches of brownies I'd held off baking to make sure they were fresh. As I got myself good and settled in for at least 45 minutes of sitting still and chilling out, just before the lady started to apply a few new tips, I realized I didn't bring anything with me to read. I darted over to where they usually had a few magazines. After a quick assessment of the selection at hand, nothing grabbed my fancy, however, a book caught my eye. I realized it was an NIV Study Bible. I thought, "Oh goodie! Here's a good chance to find a verse I'm trying to find to lift someone's weary spirits." Once I opened the book, I realized it had to have belonged to an individual because of the many, many notes and markings throughout it, along with strips of paper with notes on them and a special book mark. I asked the lady helping me if the woman whose name and phone number written in the front of the cover had been called to let her know where she left her Bible. She said no, and that they thought whoever had left it behind would either remember where she had it last and either come back for it
or would call. It hadn't even occurred to anyone to notice that it was a Bible, or that it had a name and number in it indicating its owner. I called the phone number from my cell phone and got an answering machine. I left a message telling the owner where her Bible had been found and left her my name and cell phone number. The nail tech asked me if that was an expensive Bible since I was so interested in getting it back to its owner. I told her it wasn't a matter of how much the Bible cost. It was obvious that it was valuable to its owner simply by how much she had written in the pages and how much personal time and meaning went into its contents. After flipping thru a few pages of the Bible, I came across an envelope from Brushy Creek Baptist Church on Old Spartanburg Road. The more I thought about it, I didn't was sure no one there quite understood that it would probably mean a lot to the owner of the Bible to get it back. I had a brain storm! Once my nails were dry enough to leave, I called the church and asked if the Bible's owner was a member (thinking that if they were a member as opposed to a visitor, they would be going back to that church). Sure enough, she was a member. I asked what time they were closing the office at the church and the secretary said at 4:30 (which was in 15 minutes). I told the young lady that answered the phone that I could be there by 4:30, but it would be close and please wait for me to get there if possible. I made it with 2 minutes to spare, but had to phone into the office once I got there because the church was so big and had so many entrances I was afraid I would miss the secretary by going to the wrong door. She said she'd meet me at the end of a VERY long sidewalk. I gave the Bible to her and left feeling like I had at least gotten the Bible to a location where I felt sure its owner could easily have it back by Sunday. I headed home to tackle some other loose ends. After a few hours passed, it had already slipped my mind about the Bible. My cell phone rang around 9 p.m. A lady asked if I was Kathryn Ratledge/Rutledge who had called someone about
a Bible she'd found. I told her that it was I and gave her the brief version of what had transpired. I finished by telling her that I'd taken her Bible to the church since I didn't think I'd have a chance to get it to her before Sunday. The woman told me she was the owner of the Bible and that her husband had asked her if she had listened to the messages. She went on to tell me that he said, "Honey, I think you're going to want to listen to the messages. There's one message about your Bible." She proceeded to tell me that she'd recently had a string of bad things occur and listed off a few small appliances and items along with a lap-top computer stolen out of her car. She told me that two weeks ago she and an associate Pastor had searched everywhere possible at church where she might have left her Bible, hoping it hadn't been stolen. She went on to tell me that after the previous Sunday services, as she and her husband left and were heading to their car, tears began to roll down her face. She told her husband she didn't care if she ever recovered any of the other items stolen from her car, she just wished she could find her Bible. She told me that the previous Monday, when she arrived at work, she even asked her co-workers to please say a prayer that she'd be able to find her Bible. At that point, I yelled aloud, "YES"! I knew it would find its way back home. She'd had it for the past 6 years and had made so many notes and written many important happenings in its margins that this Bible meant much more to her. She had really missed it. Tell me that wasn't "meant to be." What if I'd just grabbed the first magazine I'd seen on the top of the stack? She said "and to think people don't believe angels really live among us." I told her I was just tickled that she was getting it back. It was thrilling to see God's hand at work even in a small thing such as that. It gave me chills.
one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question: "Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is God's plan reflected in my son?" The audience was stilled by the query. The father continued. "I believe," the father answered, "that when God brings a child like Shay into the world, an opportunity to realize the Divine Plan presents itself. And it comes in the way people treat that child." Then, he told the following story: Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they will let me play?" Shay's father knew that most boys would not want him on their team. But the father understood that if his son were allowed to play it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging. Shay's father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We are losing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning." In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. At the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the outfield. Although no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field, grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base. Shay was scheduled to be the next at-bat. Would the team actually let Shay bat at this critical moment and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the
Child's Play At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled children, the father of 2
bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone started yelling, "Shay, run to first. Run to first." Never in his life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled "Run to second, run to second!" By the time Shay was rounding first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman for a tag. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher's intentions had been, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman's head. Shay ran toward second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases toward home. As Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third!" As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay! Run home!" Shay ran home, stepped on home plate, and was cheered as the hero, for hitting a "grand slam" and winning the game for his team. "That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of the Divine Plan into this world. Anonymous - Internet
Editorâ€™s Notepad First of all, we'd love to say CONGRATULATIONS to Steve and Diana Beletic on the birth of their new son, Julien. Diana and baby are doing well. We also want to thank Donna Schillinger and Nancy Hunter, as well as others, who are filling in for Diana during her maternity leave. Next, we are looking forward to this business year. Desiring for new accountability, we have included in this Faith Messenger a report (featured in the center spread of the paper) that resulted from our August business meeting. Additionally, we'd like to let you know about our updated IBCC program. Under the direction of Christian Triumph's Vice President Israel Hernandez and with the assistance of several local Bible Institute teachers, we have recently revised the Spanish Bible correspondence course, the Instituto Biblico de Corpus Christi (IBCC). We contacted all the names we had on file of people in Latin America who had begun the former course of study but for one reason or another had not completed it and informed them of the revised course. The response was overwhelming. In the first month, we signed up 20 students and now, several months later, have over 100 students working on the first of three components that will give them basic knowledge in the history of the early church, how to prepare and deliver messages and more in-depth knowledge of the Old and New Testaments. So we continue, as always, to prepare workers for the harvest of souls, as dear Sister Evelyn Anderson often says. Finally, we want to praise and thank our supporters and readers who make not only this paper possible, but also our entire ministry possible. As the years have passed, we have had decreased donations and those few faithful servants of God who still give have kept us alive these past years. May God bless you immeasurably.
Matthew 22:40 "And a second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Juli A. Ginn (formerly Juli Bolander), Editor 3
With the Master's Hand A mother wanted to encourage her young son's progress at the piano. So she took her son to an Ignace Paderewski concert. They were fortunate to find two seats near the front where the boy stared in wonder at the majestic grand piano on the stage. The mother became greatly engaged in conversation with a friend and failed to notice that her son had made his way to the stage. Soon the lad was picking out the notes to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Before the mother could retrieve her son, the famous concert pianist appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. "Don't quit, keep playing," he whispered to the boy. Leaning over Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Then with his right arm, he reached around the other side to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice mesmerized the crowd. If we placed ourselves in the hands of Jesus, He will take what we have to offer and turn it into a masterpiece. What is needed is our willingness to do what the Master asks of us. When God called Moses to go to Egypt and deliver the Israelite people out of slavery, Moses had all kinds of excuses and God had to show him what could be done if he would obey. Moses said, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The Lord did not appear to you?'" Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" Moses replied, "Oh, it's just a shepherd's staff!" The Lord said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake. When, as commanded, he picked it up again, it turned back into a staff (Exodus 4:1-5). God was teaching Moses, and us, that when we put ourselves in a position where He can use us, wonderful and great things can happen. Sometimes we may think we don't have much to offer, that what we have is so insignificant, but God is saying, "It's not what you have, it's what I have that makes the difference." There is a song that says, "Little is much when God is in it?" So team up with the Lord; that's a winning combination! As Romans 8:31 says, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" Reprinted with permission from Milan Coleman
THANK YOU NOTE I was so impressed and overwhelmed with the wonderful letters from each of you who help with Christian Triumph ministries. The encouragement and assurances of your prayers for this ministry is precisely what keeps this work of God continuing. Our hearts are thankful to you as we remain determined to be accountable and efficient in our service to God who watches over us all. Nancy Hunter, shareholder Dear Friend, We are sending an offering to be used in the foreign mission. We wish there was some way we could reach the Muslim people for God; they are so wide spread and causing so much heartache. I am teaching a bible class here in Pearsall, Texas and need your prayers. I noticed the name Una Collins we use to have some Collinses here and I wonder could there be some connection? I remain your friend in Christ. Beverly Cary
THANK YOU for the FAITH MESSENGER that I have been received for many years. May God bless you for your kindness to so many that you are touching in the name of our Lord. Mrs. Otis Albert
I was reading one of the letters in your paper from Ado E Kiti, Nigeria, from Evangelist Mr. Stephen Oluio. It touched my heart. Thanks, Ressie Fulton
I enjoy your Faith Messenger. Thanks for standing for the whole truth. Mrs. Mildred Garrard. I enjoy the Faith Messenger and the MENSAJERO DE ESPERANZA. If you have 4
additional copies of the last MENSAJERO DE ESPERANZA, please send me 20 copies for distribution to our Hispanic families. Thank you. God bless you and the ministry of Christian Triumph Company. Doris Barberena
AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE America, my country, great land that I love, Is a gift sent from God in heaven above. Her beauty is more than seashores and mountains; More than wide-open spaces, rivers and fountains; For, although these treasures are great to behold, America is much more precious than riches untold. The freedom we enjoy here is what makes it so grand. We’re free to grow and expand in this wonderful land. Diversity is one thing that makes America so great. From many lands and tongues we’ve come to create A nation that’s different from all others before. We’re a melting pot of peoples and ethnicities galore. Yes, we have our differences, it’s easy to see; But that’s all right so long as all men are free; Free from oppressors, dictators, or kings, And all of the problems such governments bring. We’re free to worship here without any restraint. Of that freedom, I hope you have no complaint. But whether you’re infidel, pagan, or saint, This country is yours, the same as it’s mine. And to keep it that way, with me will be fine. Let’s keep America free, so all men can see The way God in heaven intends it to be. Byrum C. Lee 2003
I wish to apply for the Bible dictionary, study bible, and Christian religious material from your institution. I am a student at Assemblies of God mid-Ghana Bible College in Kumasi. Therefore, I need some books to support my studies and I am appealing to you to send me some books to help me prepare messages, etc. I hope you will consider my request. Thank you. Anthony K. Tuffour
Dear Friends in Christ, I am receiving my Faith Messenger regularly now. I sure did miss it for several months. Nancy Hunter is my sweet cousin and she had it sent to me when she went to work [at Christian Triumph Company] after she graduated from high school in the 1960s. I have enjoyed it so much and sent donations when I could. I read every word in each one. I have been a member of the Church of God since I was 22 and I have prayed for many years that Christian Triumph Company's ministry will still be in operation when Jesus comes, because that was L.Y. Janes' (the founder) wish and prayer. The missionary work that you do is invaluable. I appreciate each and every one of you who do the work. God bless you. I am sending a check for $ hoping it will help some. I am 83 and in poor health. Please pray for me. Thank you. In Christian love, Kathryn Piper
Byrum C. Lee is a retired minister from the Church of God. He was a personal friend to L. Y. and Una Janes and is of the “same generation” as their three daughters, to whom he was also a friend. He has read the FM for many years.
Editor's Note: Kathryn Piper broke her hip in a fall several months ago and is still recovering. Please join us in prayer for her.
If you have questions, comments, or need prayer or would like to donate to the Christian Triumph ministry, please send your mail to Christian Triumph, P.O. Box 5187, Corpus Christi, TX, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 5