WE’VE MOVED!!

 WE’VE MOVED!

You can now find Come Fill Your Cup at our new address…

http://comefillyourcup.com

C’mon over and join the fun!

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Scripture and Song — CFYC Espresso!

The latest CFYC Espresso! podcast is up…

CFYC Espresso! is an audio caffeine shot for your spirit! Get your thoughts brewing, and your heart pumping for God with your hosts Erynn Sprouse and Kristy Huntsman

This week on the podcast… “Scripture and Song”

  • Are the songs we’re singing songs that we SHOULD be singing?
  • Some songs to consider…
    Jesus is Coming Soon
    Just a Little Talk With Jesus
    Break Thou the Bread of Life
    Be Ye Glad
  • What does “night with ebon pinion” mean? 

Load the podcast on your MP3 player for a boost on the go. Stream it from your computer for an at-home lift. Listen at work for a much-needed pick-me-up.

Subscribe on iTunes (search for CFYC Espresso!)
Subscribe with Google, Yahoo!, AOL, etc. 
RSS Feed
Other options available on our TalkShoe site

Click here to listen now!

Pertinent Links:

Sing With the Understanding– article by Mike Riley on singing with understanding. Has quite a few examples of songs and the lyrics’ meanings.

“Be Ye Glad” lyrics– lyrics for Kristy’s top pick song

Announcements:

GIVEAWAY! We’re ready to relaunch our NEW site!! http://www.ComeFillYourCup.com will be LIVE on Monday! To celebrate, we’ll be giving away two of Cindy Colley’s books! Watch for details to come on Monday.

Missionary of the Month! Joy Jensen is our new missionary of the month. She and her husband, George, work in Iriga, Tanzania. Click the Missionary of the Month tab and check out her story. Watch the prayer requests; there’s a new one each week.

Join us! We had a GREAT group in the chat room for this episode! Our next live recording will be November 18 at 9:00AM Central Time. Join us in the chat room for the latest “Somebody Help Me Please?!”

Next week is Sermonette week!

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Joy Jensen

When I was 9 or 10 years old I wrote a paragraph for a school assignment, in which I described what I thought my life would be like in 20 years.  I wrote that I wanted to marry a missionary and have 3 or 4 children. Fast forward a few years, when I married my best friend, George Jensen. During our wedding ceremony this passage was read “…whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge…” (Ruth 1:16).  I knew I would follow him, but where, I knew not. A few months later, George decided to attend the East Tennessee School of Preaching and Missions. While there, we were blessed to be influenced by several veteran missionaries.  After graduation, we spent the next 19 years focusing on stateside mission efforts, including California and Iowa.

Our family has participated in various mission efforts over the years.  As our children were growing up, George frequently brought one of them with him in order to give them exposure to mission work abroad.  In 2005, we had the great privilege of traveling together as a family to India, where we worked for one month.  We began contemplating the idea of doing foreign mission work full-time.  In May of 2006, our whole family spent a month working in Malawi, Africa. After this trip and after much prayerful consideration, we made the commitment to move to Tanzania.

Our family arrived in Tanzania April 17, 2007. We lived in Moshi for two years and then in April 2009, we relocated to the Arusha area, where George served as Dean of Academics at the Andrew Connally School of Preaching.  In January 2011 our family, along with Carey and Bonnie Samford and their children moved to Iringa, located in central Tanzania.

The work in Iringa has been very rewarding.  We initially worked on becoming acquainted with the local Christians and encouraged them to invite their friends and neighbors to study the Bible. It has been exciting to watch the local Christians become more confident in telling others about Christ.  It is safe to say that all of the members have a very rudimentary level of Bible knowledge. Several months ago George began a Bible drill time before our Sunday worship. It has been directed toward the children, but the whole congregation has been learning the books of the Bible and other basic Bible facts. Some of the adults have been just as eager as the children to recite what they have memorized so far!

Another effort in which we are involved is weekly Saturday Bible classes, held in two different locations.  These serve a dual purpose: to offer an opportunity for church members to increase their Bible knowledge and also as a mode of evangelistic outreach. George teaches the morning class and Carey teaches the afternoon class.  At the conclusion of each series, those who have had perfect attendance receive a free booklet, which contains all of the class notes in Swahili. They have taught Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, and are currently teaching God’s Plan for Mankind.

Before this most recent class began, an announcement was placed on the radio and many fliers were distributed.  A man traveled from his village about 25 km away, with some degree of difficulty, to try and attend the afternoon c lass.  A third class is now being taught in this man’s village by Carey each Monday.  Consideration is being given to beginning a fourth class near Iringa’s town center, if a suitable location can be obtained.

Our family has begun to worship once a month with the small congregation in Ilula, which is an hour away. They also desire to have a weekly Bible class, such as we are doing here in Iringa.  They are awaiting a decision by the local council for permission to use a public building as a meeting place.  We expect to begin in the next few weeks.

Every Wednesday afternoon George and Carey teach a “2 Timothy 2:2” class, in which they teach and encourage Christian men to be more effective students in the Word and more effective leaders in the church.

When we moved to Tanzania, our children were ages 14, 16, 18 and 19. Most missionaries move back home when their children reach these ages!  Concern was expressed for their future.  What about their schooling? We already homeschooled our children, so that was a nonissue. Online college has also been a great blessing!  How would they find a mate?  We believed that God was more than capable to work that out.  Our children are old enough to be involved in the work on an adult level, which has proven to be a great example to local Christians. Our children have had opportunities to grow in their own faith in a way that will impact them for the rest of their lives.

I’ve come a long way since I was 10. Here I sit in Iringa, Tanzania, East Africa, married to a man who has given his life to sharing the gospel, and blessed with four precious children who are really no longer children (make that five – I have a wonderful son-in-law as an added blessing).  Sometimes I feel so inadequate for the role I play, but with God’s help, I do the best I can; after all, apparently He thought I was up to the task.

Joy Jensen

If you’d like to read more about our work, visit::

http://jensenmissions.com/

www.mytb.org/George-and-Joy

It only costs $0.98 to send a letter all the way to Tanzania!  Be sure to send Joy some encouraging mail!!!

Joy Jensen
P.O. Box 594
Iringa, Tanzania
East Africa

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Strength Through the Wait

The last several weeks we have been looking at how to handle the times we are in God’s waiting room (click for “Waiting Through Perpetual Prayer” and “Waiting Through Study“). We have looked at Scriptures that will help us, how prayer can help us, and how in-depth Bible study can help us in those times when we are waiting for something major in our lives. While these are all excellent answers, they’re things we already know: we all know encouraging Scriptures, we all know that we need to pray, and we all know that we need to study our Bibles. Sometimes in the “real world,” when we are actually IN God’s waiting room, these very practical suggestions just don’t feel like enough. Sometimes the things we are waiting on are so critical to our lives that just praying and studying aren’t quite enough to keep our faith, our spirits, and our patience intact while we wait.

So what else can we do? Today’s article is simply some very practical, applicable tips to get us through our times of waiting, and grow our faith in the process!

  1. Form Your Team!
    I think one of the most important things we should do as Christians is form our team. I am blessed with an INCREDIBLE “team” in my life that I depend on for comfort, advice, encouragement, and their example.
    What do I mean by, a “team?” I mean a group of solid, Scripture-based Christian women that you can go to in your times of need. Of course, while obviously not a woman, my husband is the most vital member of my team (insert BIG push to marry a Christian for those of you who are not married yet) but other than him, my team is comprised of about 10 women of all different ages and backgrounds.
    While I won’t embarrass them by naming them specifically, these women know who they are. They are the ones I go to when I feel lost and don’t know where to turn, or when I am REALLY struggling with something spiritual and need some guidance to get me through, when I need a shoulder to cry on, or when I am in God’s waiting room for a reason I just don’t understand. These are the women God has put into my life that bring me through these situations stronger, and better on the other side. I believe this is why we have Scriptures such as Galatians 6:2 which tells us to bear one another’s burdens and Titus 2:3-4 that tells women to be an example to and teach each other.
    If you don’t know how to go about forming your team, elders,’ deacons,’ and preachers’ wives can be a great place to start!  These men are living an exemplary life, and that fact should be indicative of the type of woman they are married to. Also, look around to the older women in your congregation. See who shows the Godly characteristics you want in your life and start visiting with them. Invite them to your house, take them out to eat, go visit them at their house. Believe me, they will be honored! If nothing else, the women affiliated with CFYC would love to be on your team; that’s what we’re here for!
  2. Make a List
    A lot of the time when we find ourselves waiting on the Lord, it can be very easy to get tunnel vision. So often when we are waiting, it’s something MAJOR that we’re waiting on– something that will have a tremendous impact on our lives. That makes it really easy to overlook other, less pressing things that God is doing in our lives. If you don’t already, I challenge you to spend the next 6 months making a list EVERY DAY of the things you are praying for. You will be amazed at what all God is doing in your life! This list won’t change the fact that you’re waiting, but it definitely can give your faith the extra boost it needs to get you through.
  3. Seek to Serve
    Once again, when we are waiting on the Lord, it can really take a toll on us! It is easy to become super-focused on the particular issue we are dealing with, & when that issue is a major one it is also easy, in turn, to become down, discouraged and depressed. The best cure I know of for depression is service! When you are truly reaching out to help another soul who is in need, it is impossible to wallow in doubt, fear, and pity!
    This can be anything from making cookies for the local nursing home, to starting a card ministry, preparing meals for the elderly in your congregation, hospital visitations, mowing lawns for the elderly, cleaning someone’s house, or simply being on the team of someone else who is struggling, and stepping outside of your problem long enough to help them with theirs.
  4. Make a Joyful Noise!
    James 5:13 tells us to sing when we are joyful. I would also say sing to BECOME joyful! Laura Warnes had an excellent article on this the other day. It is impossible to be consumed with doubt and fear while singing, “Great are you Lord, worthy of praise!” Or, in this instance especially, “Count your many blessings name them one by one.”
    Singing is also an incredibly therapeutic way of dealing with the intense emotions that generally accompany waiting on the Lord. If you need a good cry sing, “Lamb of God” and REALLY focus on the words. Or if you need a good reminder of the journey we face as humans striving for the goal, try “All of Self, and None of Thee.”

Sisters, we may be Christians, but until Jesus calls us home, we all have to live in a world where Satan walks about like a roaring lion, seeking those whom he may devour, (I Peter 5:8). While we are waiting on the Lord is the perfect time for him to attack us! We need to recognize our vulnerable condition, and be ready! We need to be proactive to protect our faith in our time of weakness!

When we are waiting on the Lord, when we are going through those times of struggles, let us lean on our sisters for the wisdom, support, and encouragement! Let us make a physical list to remind us of all the ways God is blessing us every day! Let us seek to serve those around us! Let us make a joyful noise and sing our praise to our God and Father who will see us through it all!

I know it is hard right now. I am personally waiting on the Lord in my own life right now. But we can do it! We can persevere. God is there for us, and He loves us, and He WILL take care of us through everything we might face! Let us embrace our time of waiting as an opportunity to grow our faith and strengthen those around us, and let us come out stronger on the other side!

Other articles in this series:
Waiting Through Perpetual Prayer
Waiting Through Study

by Lacy Crowell
Lacy and her husband Jonathan are both graduates of the Bear Valley Bible Institute. They currently live in Coweta, Oklahoma, where Jonathan serves as an area evangelist, working with and strengthening area congregations. Lacy enjoys writing and speaking for ladies’ days. She spends her days at home caring for her husband and her three daughters and 1-year-old son.

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Filed under Encouragement, God's Waiting Room, Series

Digging up Talents

I really, really like to cook. I think anyone who comes into our home, walks into our kitchen and sees our large Viking range would know that I like to cook. I like to cook for my family, for members of the Lord’s church, for just about anyone. When I learn that someone is ill, my first thought is, “Time to cook!”  It is, for me, my gift to them so they know we care and want to make sure they have the nourishment they need. Now, for those who do not know my background, they might think that I grew up with Betty Crocker as my mom (I know my mother is chuckling about now). But, that was not my experience. Although my mother was a good cook, there were other, more pressing concerns for her (like keeping a roof over our heads while my father was ill). When I was a young girl. I learned a few cooking tips, but it would be stretching it to say that cooking was my “natural talent,” or something that just came easily for me.  In fact, I once had to cook a meal for a Home Economics class assignment when I was a pre-teen and my mother and father, bless their hearts, ate it. I couldn’t. So, you get the picture….I was not a naturally talented cook.

For many of us, when we think about our “talents,” we consider what we are “good” at, and have always been “good” at. That is, we think about what is easy for us, what we do well already, and what comes naturally. I can’t argue with that reasoning, and admit that those are our “natural” talents. But I ask us to consider that perhaps a biblical talent is a bit more… well, complicated and quite a lot more sacrificial than “natural talent.” Let’s consider the Lord’s view of what a “talent” is. A quick turn to Matthew 25 or Luke 19 gives the all-familiar story that most of us have heard: the parable of the talent (or money) and the servants. We have probably heard countless sermons about why we should use our “talent” that Lord has given to us, or we will be in danger of losing our souls (Matthew 25: 29-30).  The Lord commands us to use our talent; it is serious stuff. However, I believe there is more to this parable, something deeper and much more difficult than just using what we do best or what comes easily, our obvious “natural talent.”

First, consider that in the parable each man was given something according to his ability/talent, or what he did naturally/easily and well already (Matthew 25:14). The master assessed their abilities, and gave each of them what he believed they could use well. Second, the key, I believe that we often overlook is that two men gained more talent, or money. They knew that sitting on what they had was not an option, even the one who did just that knew he was in trouble. Yes, they knew the stakes were high. They even acknowledge that their master was tough and expected them to produce more talent (Matthew 20:24; Luke 19:21). They knew their master’s work ethic and expectations. They knew they would have to work hard to grow more “talent.” I have no doubt that they were tired and they were uncomfortable in gaining more talent. I’m sure they had to do things they weren’t used to, or really even wanted to do to gain more talents. However, knowing the expectations of their master, they did it anyway.

Have we considered the greatest “talented” individuals of all, the Lord’s chosen few? Do we realize that the Lord called the apostles to become His mouthpiece after He left this earth, and not a one of them had a known natural “talent” as a public speaker?  Have we considered that not one of them was asked to use their “natural” talents catching fish, collecting taxes, etc. as their talent in their work for the Lord? Not one of them was chosen by the Lord for what they were doing easily, “naturally,” or comfortably as a profession. In fact, they didn’t even know they had “talent” for the Lord, according to John 21 when they decided to go back to fishing. Now, I understand they had the Holy Spirit, or divine intervention when they spoke.  Still, it must have been very hard to walk through all of those towns and speak to all of the people in synagogues, in marketplaces, and among so many who hated them. To stand before government officials as a humble fisherman (Matthew 4:18), a tax collector (Matthew 10:3), or a tent maker (Acts 18; 2-3) and speak when they didn’t even know they had the “natural talent” must have been difficult. But, as they develop in their walk with our Lord, their talents grew and became new talents. We see the “sons of thunder” cultivate an “unnatural talent” for understanding and kindness. We see Peter, who naturally struggled with forgiveness bring our Lord’s message to the lost people, the Gentiles. Yes, it must have been hard. Was it their natural talent? Well, perhaps…but not one they knew they had, until they tried and followed the Lord’s will above their own.

I often think of the parable mentioned above, or the Lord’s apostles when someone who claims to be a strong and faithful member of the Lord’s body neglects, or even refuses, or just won’t even try to help in the work of the Lord because it isn’t comfortable for them. Maybe they say something like: “I just don’t have the talent to say hello, or greet people when they come in the church building,” or “It is just easy for [fill in name] to teach or help with a Bible classes. I can’t; it is just not my talent.” I think of these excuses and then consider that no man was “born” an elder, a preacher, a song leader. No woman was born a Bible class teacher, eloquent with words for comfort, or… yep, even a cook. I believe that each person has to work hard, even sometimes make herself uncomfortable, uneasy, even perhaps emotionally vulnerable to grow what we think, or see as a “natural talent.” I bet those “natural talents” didn’t just appear. I am sure it wasn’t easy, comfortable, or even what they wanted to do to cultivate the talents they appear to have today.

I don’t believe I have much “natural talent.” Everything seems to be hard for me, and a lot of what I do, I honestly don’t always enjoy. I am convinced that we often excuse ourselves from doing what is right and good by saying we don’t have a “natural talent” because it makes us uncomfortable, uneasy, is perhaps very difficult for us, or we just plain don’t like it. No, I don’t think I am very talented, but I do take my Lord seriously. I also know that He knows me better than I know myself. You see, I was not born with a pot and spoon in each hand. It took me years of hard work, and many burned “offerings” to dig up my meager talent for cooking and to cultivate it, to nourish it. You see, I wanted to be a good cook. It was important to me. Yes, it took a lot of burned dishes and a few near gastrointestinal disasters before I, or others would label me a “good” cook. So, what does that mean? One talent down, many more to go. I guess it is time to get out that shovel and ask ourselves: What does the Lord need? Time to start digging!

By Tracy Frederick
Tracy is the wife of Greg who serves the Arkansas City church of Christ as an elder. She and Greg have one daughter who is married to a full-time pulpit minister in the Lord’s church, serving the New Madrid, MO community. She manages the page “Sister to Sister” and the Sister to Sister Facebook page.  She teaches Bible class, interprets worship services for the deaf members, assists with Ladies’ Days and speaks at Ladies’ Days. Tracy holds a Ph.D. in communication and is a full-time Professor of Communication at a nearby college.

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Blessings of Keeping

Keeping scrapbooks and photos and memories,
Keeping late hours as seamstress and maid,
Keeping up with appointments, schoolwork and chores,
Keeping guard when someone is afraid.

Keeping food in the pantry and gas in the car,
Keeping warranties, coupons, receipts,
Keeping bouquets of dandelions, locks of blonde hair,
Keeping score when the children compete.

Keeping tabs on where everyone’s going,
Being sure that my cell phone is near.
Keeping sleeping bags stashed in my closet
For those friends who always end up here.

But mostly just keeping on keeping on,
For life’s about sowing and reaping,
When one day my home finds a place at his throne
I’ll praise him for blessings of keeping.

By Cindy Colley
Cindy is a Christian homemaker, wife, mom and author. The home she “makes” is in Huntsville, AL where she lives with her husband (Glenn Colley), also an author, as well as minister and elder for the West Huntsville church of Christ. Her children, Caleb and Hannah, both collegiate, have published books as well. Cindy has authored five books for Christian women and co-authored several more. She keeps a blog, Bless Your Heart, which discusses many pertinent faith and culture issues.

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Crash Course in Bible Marking

A couple of years ago, I started going to Bear Valley’s Higher Ground Encampment (a Bible camp for teen girls). It’s an awesome experience all around, but by far my favorite part is Kathy Pollard’s Bible Marking class, where we learn about chain reference Bible studies. It’s pretty easy, and I’m going to teach you how to do it! (In case you couldn’t tell, this article is going to be very informal– there’s just no way to make this sound pretty. It will, however, be very hands on, which I think is a good tradeoff.)

First, I have to tell you about the pens. They are called Micron Pigma pens and you can get them at most art supply stores (if you have Guiry’s, that’s where I get mine). Unlike other pens and highlighters, they won’t bleed through the thin Bible paper! They come in a plethora of lovely colors and a few different widths– I personally prefer the “01” width because it’s not so fat that you can’t write small, but it’s not so skinny that you can barely read it. You’ll want a lot of colors for various and sundry marking purposes.

I’m going to jump right into the study– today we’re going to do the plan of salvation. This study comes in particularly handy when you’re actually having a Bible study with someone trying to convert them (especially if that person is already religious/denominational). Again, thanks to Kathy Pollard– I’m pretty much giving you word for word her Bible marking class. I just pass along information. (Also, I’m using the New American Standard when I tell you what to underline.)

Alright. If you have blank pages in the front/back of your Bible, turn there and write “Plan of Salvation” in the color of your choice. In parentheses next to it write “PS” and then write “Isaiah 62:2.”

Now go to Isaiah 62:2. (I’m not going to write out the verses… because this is going to be a long article as is.) Circle the verse and write (PS) next to it, so you’ll know which study it’s part of (sometimes they overlap).  Underline “called by a new name.” In your margin, with your lovely Bible marking pen, write “That name is Christian.” Now, at the end of that verse draw an arrow and write “Acts 11:26.” That’s where we’re going next.

Ok. Flip to Acts 11:26, circle, write (PS). Underline “Christians” because that’s the new name Isaiah was talking about. Draw your arrow at the end to Ephesians 1:3.

(click on picture for a closer look)

Circle Ephesians 1:3 and write (PS). This is the last time I’ll tell you to do that because I know you’re all old pros now. Underline “every spiritual blessing” and “in Christ.” Your arrow this time goes to verse 7 of the same chapter.

At this point we’re going to start listing the spiritual blessings that are found in Christ. It might even be useful, if you’re in a study, to start making a two-column list on paper: “In Christ” and “Outside of Christ.”

In verse 7, underline “In Him,” “redemption,” and “forgiveness.”  In your margin, write, “These are the spiritual blessings.” Draw your arrow to Ephesians 2:6.

In 2:6, underline “raised up with Him.” Draw your arrow to 2:10.

In 2:10, underline “created in Christ Jesus for good works” and circle the “for.” In the margin, write “for = purpose.” Draw your arrow to 2:12-13.

This is where we also start highlighting what happens if you’re NOT in Christ. In verse 12, underline “separate from Christ” and “no hope and without God.” Of course, there’s still an upside, so in 13 underline “brought near.” Alright, we’re finally leaving Ephesians. Draw your arrow to 2 Timothy 2:1.

In 2 Timothy, underline “grace” and “in Christ Jesus.” (By the way, just because I underline doesn’t mean you have to. You can box it or circle it or whatever you want.) Draw your arrow to 2 Corinthians 5:17.

In 2 Corinthians, underline “in Christ” and both occurrences of “new.” Draw your arrow to Romans 3:24.

In Romans, underline “justify,” “gift,” “through the redemption,” and “in Christ Jesus.” I have kind of a lot written in my margin for this one, so feel free to condense somehow if you don’t have as much space as me. I wrote “gift = freely” and “justified = just as if I never sinned.” Draw your arrow to 8:1 of the same book.

In 8:1, underline “no condemnation” and (you guessed it!) “in Christ Jesus.” Draw your arrow to 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

In Thessalonians, underline “the dead in Christ will rise first” (I even have a double underline under “in Christ”).

At this point in the study, you’ve completely established that you want to be in Christ! We’ve underlined twelve spiritual blessings that those in Christ receive, and we haven’t even begun to look at all the passages that talk about it. When you add in the negative implications that come with being outside of Christ, the conclusion is obvious: in Christ is the place to be.

In the second half of the study, we’ll be asking how to receive those spiritual blessings– how to get into Christ. Tune in next week to get the second half!

By Melissa Hite
Melissa (age 17) attends Bear Valley church of Christ with her parents, Michael and Lynn, and her little brother, Matthew. Her goals include continually growing closer to God and eventually becoming a writer and a mom. On her blog, Christ Crossed My Heart, you can find other poignant, well-written posts.

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Filed under Salvation Basics, Scripture study, Series, Study technique