CHN is a network of volunteers from churches throughout the United States of America and throughout the nations. Our mission and passion is to carry on the Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus Christ.

August 2006

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Amen. (Matthew 28:20)

Dear Friend,

Greetings! Trusting that all is well with you and your loved ones. We are fine, and enjoying the warm summer days. It is wonderful to be able to walk around greeting neighbors and catching up on how they are doing. So much is going on in the world today, that everyone seems to have a story to tell of how they or their or loved ones have survived through challenging times.

Just for today, let us take off our shoes, and sit with our feet up, and relax. Let the warm summer breezes comfort and surround you as we take a little faith journey. Can you think back to the day that you received the Lord, and committed your life to Him? Think upon that wonderful day, and recall the excitement you felt at that time. Remember how joyous you were? The whole world seemed brighter, colors seemed to dance around like a rainbow bringing your focus to the beauty of everything around you. You walked around with a perpetual smile, you greeted everyone warmly and anticipated opportunities to share your newfound faith. I remember sitting on my porch, writing a letter to a dear friend, Ethel, who was in the last stages of cancer, and I described to her the scene that was in front of me. It was the dazzling beauty of different colored flowers, all seemingly dancing with their faces to the sun; it was the cool gentle breeze coming from the branches of the  maple tree in front of my home; it was the slow, lazy, billowy clouds passing by the beautiful blue sky. Everything seemed almost like a dream, just too beautiful to behold. As I wrote about these things, I recalled her life, how she lived her life. She was a gentle, grayed haired lady, who radiated the very essence of Who Christ is. Her warm manner, and way of speaking taught me, as a young woman, so very much about what it is like to be Christlike. She taught me how both the now and the future all comes together with our belief in God. She spoke of how God, who raised His Son from the dead, promised that because He lives, we too shall live. She used to say that our life here is temporary, but praise God our future is secure! This is because we can trust that God in His grand design for our lives has arranged for a joyous life forever with Him in Heaven. Praise God!

How many times do we become fearful, or frustrated over things? How many times does this happen in a day? Smile.... I can think of several times already today! In our daily life, we come across such challenges, that there are days when we wonder what is this life all about? We hear about earthquakes, hurricanes, war, so many things! Perhaps we are in the middle of one of those events right now! If so, what is our reaction? How are we facing this challenge? Is it with faith, and confidence that God is going to see us through? Or is it with despair, and discouragement? Even something so simple in life can cause us to become frustrated! Get this now.... this may be a simple thing for you, but for me, it was a major thing! AOL decided that we should have Verizon DSL/AOL instead of the usual AOL Broadband which we had. So, they disconnected the DSL modem that we had, and when I called tech support, I was told that we had to change! Simple enough, you say? Okay. I called Verizon, told them that I had to change, but gave our  primary phone number instead of our fax number. That caused a chain of events that made me want to pull my hair out! I had to call back, tell them the line I wanted the DSL on, and according to them it was settled. Okay. I receive a modem in the mail for the first number. Called back again, and told them that they did not have to send another modem, just change the phone line. I received another modem. Called back again, and was told to return the first one, and everything would be okay. When the date came for me to install the DSL, the CD would not work. I called, and they said I had the wrong date for the installation. I waited a full week, thinking to myself I cannot do this, I am totally tech challenged, and it will never happen. However, I tried again, and again, and the CD did not work. Now remember, when you call these companies, you have to press 1,then 2, then speak to a machine before you get a person. However, I called again, but this time, a very nice person on the phone guided me through the whole process. He was very patient, and knowledgeable. Suddenly the DSL was working! So, now we have high speed to get all those prayer requests out on the Internet!

This is a very small incident, but one I shared with you because no matter how small an incident might be, it is important to us. And how we handle these challenges are what makes us or breaks us. We can choose to give up, as I almost did with the DSL, or we can press in and stay with it until victory. Jesus tells us that He is with us always, even to the end of the world. Knowing this should be what keeps us going in spite of difficulties, no matter how small or how large they are. My friend Ethel knew she was dying, yet, she held a grace about her that was remarkable. She did not lose her cool, she carried herself with dignity until the end. Her quiet confidence in her Savior kept her strong, and as a result, she is an inspiration to me, and to all who knew her. She never complained about anything; her soft voice was always filled with strength and hope in the future. In her future... She knew what the future held for her, and she did not waver. She continued to fight the good fight of faith, and encourage us all. She was a mentor to me, in my very early days as a Born Again Christian, and I will always be grateful to God for the opportunity to know her, and learn from her.

What will people say about us after we are gone? Does our life, and how we handle it, speak of God’s Faithfulness and Greatness? Is there someone who will grow more and more in the depth of God because of how we live? It is not so much what we say, it is how we live. Let’s begin living as if someone’s life depends on it, and show by our actions what it means to follow Christ.

In His Service,

Pastor Barbara