Outreach Center Network News Letter
In this issue:
Always Learning - A Devotion
Spotlight on a Center
Each article will begin with ###. You may move to the next article by searching for this.
### ALWAYS LEARNING
Here it is again September. The summer is over. The kids, and some adults are back in school. Even if you yourself are not in school, we are aware of those who are, and this alone, impacts our lives.
Do you remember the feeling of going back to school? It is a feeling of back to learning again. For some of you it brings good memories to mind. For others of you it brings bad memories. No matter what you think or feel, it always comes.
Learning was and is a part of growing. Learning either came easy or hard, but it came. September reminds us that we are creatures who are always learning. If one is not learning they are not growing. If one is not growing they have started to die. This does not mean that you must be in school or always reading a book. Learning can come to us just by living.
This idea of learning, growing and the failure of learning producing death is a part of our Christian life as well. Spiritually, without God, we knew only how to do evil. It is through teaching, and our learning, that we do good things by the help of God. When we learn about God, His love, and how we should and can love others because of Christ, our faith grows.
You and I learn about God and grow in faith, through the Word of God. It can be through our reading it, through a Bible study, through sermons in Church or devotions at outreach centers. All these things help us to learn and grow so that our faith will not die.
The Apostle Paul said in Romans 15:4 “for whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction that we might have hope.” Paul is talking about the Bible. I encourage you this September to read and learn more about God.
### Spotlight on a Center
The outreach center in Houston opened May 2009. It meets at Memorial Lutheran Church. In 2011 we received a call from the Pastor who asked for 12 copies of Luther’s Catechism in Braille, three copies of the LSB hymnal in Braille, and copies of “Portals of Prayer” to show and share. Obviously the center gathered an unusual large number of Braille readers. They feel welcome, safe, and loved at the center. They want to learn more about Jesus.
As we all have heard on the news Houston was impacted by hurricane Harvey. I received the following note from one of the sighted volunteers at the center just this morning.
So good to hear from you and to have your prayers. Most of the friends that come to the blind bible study live in assisted living apartments up off the ground. We have not had any calls from them. My mother said one gentleman, John, was at our regular Tuesday morning bible class today and doing well.
They will all get together the third Saturday this month and we will hear how they fared. I feel like there is every opportunity to get help.
This has been a wonderful experience in Houston of humans serving and sacrificing for one another just as God intended.
The group is consistently around 40 including 4-5 servers for lunch. I will pass along your message to those who are there every month.
God's many blessings,
If you know of anyone in the Houston area, please let me know and I will forward the info to the center.
### Kids humor
The Sunday school teacher was describing how Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt, when little Jason interrupted, “My
Mommy looked back once while she was driving,” he announced triumphantly, “and she turned into a telephone pole!”
A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan. She asked the class, “If you saw a person lying on the Roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?”
A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, “I think I'd throw up.”
DID NOAH FISH?
A Sunday school teacher asked, “Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark?”
“No,” replied Johnny. “How could he, with just two worms.”
A Sunday school teacher said to her children, “We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a Higher Power. Can anybody tell me what it is?”
One child blurted out, “Aces!”
MOSES AND THE RED SEA
Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school. “Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then he radioed headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved.”
“Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?” his mother asked
“Well, no, Mom. But, if I told it the way the teacher did, you’d never believe it!”
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
A Sunday school teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Rick was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, “The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know.”
The preacher's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head for a moment before starting his sermon. One day, she asked him why.
“Well, Honey,” he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages. “I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon.”
“How come He doesn't answer it?” she asked.
A pastor said to a precocious six-year-old boy, “So your mother says your prayers for you each night? That's very commendable. What does she say?”
The little boy replied, “Thank God he's in bed!”
UNTIMELY ANSWERED PRAYER
During the minister's prayer one Sunday, there was a loud whistle from one of the back pews. Tommy's mother was horrified. She pinched him into silence and, after church, asked, “Tommy, whatever made you do such a thing?”
Tommy answered, soberly, “I asked God to teach me to whistle, and He did!”
TIME TO PRAY
A pastor asked a little boy if he said his prayers every night. “Yes, sir,” the boy replied.
“And, do you always say them in the morning, too?” the pastor asked.
“No sir,” the boy replied. “I ain't scared in the daytime.”
ALL MEN / ALL GIRLS
When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member, every friend, and every animal (current and past). For several weeks, at the end of the nightly prayer, Kelli would say, “And all girls.”
This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her, “Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?”
Her response, “Because everybody always finish their prayers by saying 'All Men'!'”
SAY A PRAYER
Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother's house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.
“Johnny! Please wait until we say our prayer.” said his mother.
“I don't need to,” the boy replied.
“Of course, you do,” his mother insisted. “We always say a prayer before eating at our house.”
“That's at our house,” Johnny explained. “But this is Grandma’s house and she knows how to cook!”
### 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 send them to me or post them on the blind ministry email list.