What Is The Dr Of The Church?

“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep…. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:7,9
“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” Rev. 3:8
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Eph. 2:18
In these scriptures we see clearly that Christ is the door of the church, and salvation the mode of induction, and that it is a door that stands open continually, and no man can shut.
Christ is not the door of any sect, therefore no sect is the church of God. The experience of salvation does not constitute a person a member of any sect on earth; therefore they are not the church of God. All sects have doors—a manner of admitting members—that are open and shut by men, hence are unlike the church of God, which no man can open and shut. They are there- fore not His church.

-D.S. Warner

With Love,9A5BC3BC-7686-46D4-856A-4B7C6AB368BF The Downings

Chifles

Chifles (Fried green banana/plantain chips)

Chifles are also known as mariquitas, chicharitas, platanutres, platanitos or plataninas, are thin fried green plantain banana chips.  This is a common snack in Ecuador. Seven out of seven Downings recommend this treat.

 

 

Ingredients

  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Green bananas or green plantains
  • Salt
  • Optional: Hot pepper, garlic cloves or cilantro for additional flavor variations

Instructions

First.  Peel the green bananas or green plantains.

Then.  Slice the bananas or plantains.  Slice them as thin rounds or thin diagonal ovals.

Then.  Heat the oil, either in a deep sauté pan or fryer, to between 375 F – 400 F, there should be enough oil to fully cover the bananas or plantains.

Then.  Add the bananas or plantains to the hot oil; be careful not to overcrowd to keep them from sticking together.

Then.  Fry until the chips get a golden color.

Then.  Remove the chips from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Then.  Sprinkle with salt.

Enjoy.  Serve either warm or cold.

With love, C47AEA7E-E7FD-42F2-9652-93969FBCCB5AThe Downings

Episode 31: Blessings

God did not shower such great blessing on this nation for the Christians to live in extravagance, in self-indulgence, and in spiritual weakness.

-K.P. Yohannan, Revolution in World Missions

 

God Blesses his people in various ways. He blesses each believer with spiritual gifts which empowers every member of the Body of Christ to serve in an important and unique way. He blesses each further with talents and experiences that help build the comunity of believers. He blesses some with poverty and a strong dependence upon him which is chronicled by the many daily miracles experienced by the poor. To those who are blessed with poverty “give us this day our daily bread” is not simply a wonderful prayer, it is a necessary dependence. God blesses others with wealth. He blesses them with wealth not so that they may live in opulence while others starve but so that they can be a conduit of his blessing to others. It is not bad to be blessed with wealth. But any blessing not shared tends to hinder the work of God and harm the one who is blessed. 

Every blessing of God can be miss used. For those of us who have been blessed with so much it should be unthinkable to live in extravagance, Self indulgence and worse yet spiritual weakness.

May we be the people who use the blessings that God has bestowed on us for His glory. May we pour out our blessings as a drink offering to our Lord and Savior.

With much love, 9A5BC3BC-7686-46D4-856A-4B7C6AB368BFThe Downings

Throwback To A Bad Day In Georgia?

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Four years ago today we had a blessing disguised as a bad day. Along the highway in Georgia we had a blowout. As we limped into a service station we had a second blowout. When we checked the other tires we found radials showing. We had traveled so much seeking support for our mission that we wore out our tires! Our bad day was actually a blessing as we ended up with new tires to continue on our mission path! 

With love,

The Downings

Ministry Story: Traditions & Eternal Value

Sometimes we are guilty of throwing away tradition in favor of all things new. Other times we elevate our traditions way beyond their value. It can easily seem like some traditions become idols.

Can we hold our traditions and still offer something of eternal value? Absolutely, today’s ministry story is about a church that is doing just that. Click play to be introduced to the Mount of Olives congregation. A Church of God located in the foothills of the Cayambe volcano.

With love, C47AEA7E-E7FD-42F2-9652-93969FBCCB5AThe Downings

Together Tuesday: Sending Well Part Six

A friendly welcome, a listening ear, a tear shed in unison, one way you can support your missionary is by offering them re-entry support. Click play to find out how!

 

With love, 6EF7E090-4274-4931-9223-67A638494696The Downings

We invite you to hear the whole series, just click here!

Cultural Insight: The Virgen Of El Quinche

Why does Ecuador need missionaries? This legend of La Raina Del El Quinche will give you some insight into the matter!

 

 

With love, E485775C-AFF2-40F9-B51B-573DD3A6D020The Downings

Who Is The Head Of The Church?

Wh is the head of the Church and why does it matter? Today’s podcast explores these questions.

God “hath put all things under his feet, and gave him [Christ] to be the head over all things to the church.” Eph. 1:22

“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint sup- plieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 4:15-16

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own hus- bands in every thing.” 5:23-24

“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Col. 1:18

“Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nour- ishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” 2:18-198

The head of an institution is its lawmaker.

“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.” Isa. 33:22

“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.” Jas. 4:12

All organisms that make their own laws, creeds, disciplines, and systems of co-operation, do not hold the Head—Christ. Their law-making synods and general conferences ignore the divine Lawgiver, usurp the place of Christ, and sit in the stead of God, and are not Christ’s church, which is subject to Him.

Again, there is one head; hence, there can be but one body.

-D.S. Warner

With love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEThe Downings

Tree Tomato Ají Sauce

Tree tomato aji hot sauce / Ají de tomate de árbol

 

Yield: ~1 1/2 cups of tree tomato aji

Tamarillo or tree tomato aji hot sauce is a very tasty hot sauce made from tree tomatoes or tamarillos, hot peppers, onion, cilantro and lime juice.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 tree tomatoes, fresh or frozen if you can not find tree tomatoes you can use Tamarillo
  • 2 ajies or hot peppers (serranos or red chilies are good options, habaneros if you are brave)
  • 2 tbs finely chopped white onion
  • 1 tbs finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbs lime or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup water
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

First: If using fresh tree tomatoes peel them, boil them for about 5 minutes to make it easier to peel them.

If using frozen tree tomatoes, defrost them over night in the fridge, then cut them in half and scoop out all the insides.

Then: Blend the tree tomatoes with the hot peppers (seeded and deveined if you want it mild, you can always save a few seeds and add them in if it’s too mild).

Then: Transfer the blended mix of tree tomatoes and hot peppers to a small sauce pan, add the water (you can add more if you want a more liquid sauce) and cook on medium heat for about 5-8 minutes. You can also omit the cooking part, the sauce will be fresher, but will need to be consumed faster.

Then: Add the onion, lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste.

Enjoy! Serve warm or cold.

Notes

Replace water with oil (avocado, light olive oil, or a mild flavored oil) for a creamier Cuencano style aji (do not cook it after blending).

With love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEThe Downings

Episode 30: Those Who Need Him Most

When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord has made known to us.” So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger. When they saw him, they related what they had been told about this child, and all who heard it were astonished at what the shepherds said.
~Shepherds, Luke 2:15-18

 

Scum of the earth! The people who worked as shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem during the time of the first Christmas were considered to be the lowest of the low. They had a reputation for being dishonest and crude. They were the sort of people who should be avoided. Yet, when the Holy God of all creation announced the birth of His Son it was to these reprobates that He sent His Angels.

The ears who heard the first Gospel message belonged to the people who most needed a Savior. This is the loving nature of God! He is quick to seek out those who need Him most. He brings the improbable into His family.

Our hope for you today is that you will see others through the eyes of God. No one is too far away from God to be saved.

With love, 1CD38D2B-A6B2-4EFB-AFD7-7812C81D5BCEThe Downings

Did this devotion sound familiar? Okay, you caught us! This is a repost of one of our Christmas Devotions. If you would like to hear more Christmas Devotions click here.