Outreach Center Network News Letter
In this issue:
Sharing The Good News - A Devotion
This MonthÕs Focus
A Thanksgiving Poem
A Brief History of Thanksgiving
Each article will begin with ###. You may move to the next article by searching for this.
### Sharing The Good News
This devotion opens with an Old Testament story. Following then are some simple comments and suggestions.
Elisha said, " Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria. " The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, " Look, even if the Lord should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen? "" You will see it with your own eyes, " answered Elisha, " but you will not eat any of it! "
Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, " Why stay here until we die? If we say,'We'll go into the city the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let's go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die. " At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, " Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us! " So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them
Then they said to each other, " We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let's go at once and report this to the royal palace. " So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, " We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there not a sound of anyone only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were. "
The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace. The king got up in the night and said to his officers, " I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking,'They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.'" One of his officers answered, " Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened. "
So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, " Go and find out what has happened. " They followed them as far as the Jordan, and they found the whole road strewn with the clothing and equipment the Arameans had thrown away in their headlong flight. So the messengers returned and reported to the king. Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a seah of flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley sold for a shekel, as the Lord had said.
Good news good deeds
Then they said to each other, " We're not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.
The people were afraid, hid in the city,
Those who were discarded by society were given the discovery
At first, they were selfish.
Then they were getting even, playing fair, being just.
Then the good news lead them to be merciful
We have been given great news too,
We like lepers in this story, still have the sickness, but we can help the dieing,
Will we be selfish, fair, just?
No we will be merciful
The good news is there is spiritual food available, free for the taking. The spiritual food are those words and promises of Jesus. These help us to live above circumstances. Circumstances should not and need not control who we are.
Work at outreach center is telling them the good news. You are not keeping it to yourself. Thank you for this good deed. Involve as many blind people as possible in the centerÕs activities. Then they too are telling and sharing the good news.
### This MonthÕs Focus
AN OUTREACH CENTER HAS FOUR PHASES
Reach the isolated blind people to demonstrate God's love to them. They have had too many promises broken.
Train blind people to be a leader elsewhere.
Separateness melts away and integration occurs. Blind people realize that sighted people can be trusted. Sighted people learn about blind people.
The center grows in numbers so that some might be spun off and start a new center in a different part of the community.
TYPES OF INFORMAL NURTURE
Drop in devotion
Phone dial_in devotion
### A Thanksgiving Poem
T is for the trust the pilgrims had so many years ago
H is for the harvest the settlers learnt to grow
A is for America, the land in which we live
N is for nature and beauty which she gives
K is for kindness, gentle words, thoughtful deeds
S is for smiles, the sunshine everyone needs
G is for gratitude - our blessings big and small
I is for ideas, letting wisdom grow tall
V is for voices, singing, laughing, always caring
I is for Indians, who taught them about sharing
N is for neighbors, across the street, over the sea
G is for giving of myself to make a better me
### A Brief History of Thanksgiving
The first Thanksgiving as we know it was celebrated in 1621. At this autumn harvest feast, as it was called, were the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. Though the content of the menu are a disputed topic, many believe it included lobster, seal, and swans, among other things--certainly not a menu that you would associate with today's Thanksgiving. This is because in that day, there were no ovens to cook in. The settlers and the Indians had to hunt and fish for their food.
Thanksgiving took a long time to become an official holiday. In 1623, the pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration. This celebration marked the end of a long drought which affected the harvest and caused Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Other settlements would also occasionally call for a religious fast either on an annual or occasional basis. As a result, during the American revolutionary period, the Continental Congress chose one or more days a year to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Fast forward to 1817, when New York, along with several other states, declared a definite day to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, every state celebrated it on a different day, while at the same time, the southern states were largely unfamiliar with the tradition.
In 1827, Sarah Hale, the writer of "Mary Had A Little Lamb," started a campaign to declare Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she sent letters to presidents, governors, and senators trying to realize this dream.
Finally, in 1863, Abraham Lincoln heeded her request by making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth Thursday in November. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the third Thursday in November in order to help increase retail sales during the depression. In 1941, he signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving is known for being a big meal, with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and pie, as well as cranberry sauce. In addition, there are parades held in many cities, most notably the Macy's parade in New York. In addition, the president also pardons one or two turkeys, sending them to retirement farms.
Thanksgiving is a great holiday to just sit down with family and friends and enjoy a great meal. Perhaps discussing its history at some point during the day will give you one more thing to be thankful for, since so many worked hard to establish it as a time to celebrate and come together.
### Final Thoughts
In upcoming issues we can and will look at many of the same topics as well as others. If you have questions, thoughts or suggestions, please post them on the blind ministry email list.
Rev. Dave Andrus
Not Alone Internet Ministry (NAIM)