In Acts chapter six the Apostles had to choose Between a very important ministry and the ministry of prayer, they chose prayer along with the ministry of the Word. They realized that even the best ministry should not rob time away from prayer.
We often approach the Divine in prayer and think our prayers will surely change Him. But in reality when we spend time before the Throne Room of Grace our prayers change us.
Every great leap forward on the mission field is due to prayer. God is still active in the lives of his children. Let us not neglect time spent with our Heavenly Father. Approach God in prayer, ask what you will, listen to His leading and obey Him.
May we be a praying people. May our lives display prayer’s indelible mark!
Love, The Downings
There are no countries closed to the Gospel of Christ. On its face that sentiment doesn’t seem to reflect reality. Many countries have outlawed Christian belief and witness. Many missionary organizations will not send missionaries into unsafe situations. Some missionaries are willing to “die before they go” but they have difficulty navigating the modern paths into missionary service.
For those who are called into closed countries what is their best path? Their best path is the original path blazed by Paul the Apostle. They should be called by God, set apart by the Holy Spirit and sent by their local church who knows and loves them.
For all of our modern advancement the best paths are always the paths blazed by the original movement of Christ!
May we follow Christ regardless of the personal consequence. May we not ignore the original path blazed by the Church.
Love, The Downings
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, The Downings
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, The Downings
Charles Wesley Naylor was born in southern Ohio in the year 1874. He grow up in the hills of Ohio and West Virginia where he was raised by his grandparents. At the age of nineteen he “saw the church” and became a part of the Church of God movement. He was injured in 1908 in Florida while moving timbers from under a meeting tent. He suffered a dislocated kidney and other internal injuries. Then a year later he was in a bus accident that left him an invalid for the rest of his life. His injuries did not stop him from contributing to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ. From his bed of infirmity he become a prolific writer. He redeemed his time by writing eight books, many articles, pamphlets and a regular column for the Gospel Trumpet magazine. The hymns and gospel songs he wrote are a masters class in practical doctrine.
The poetic words of his hymn I’ll Follow With Rejoicing show the doctrinal truth that we follow the One with eternity in His hand. We don’t need to know what the future holds because we follow the One who holds the future!
When we look forward into an uncertain future we often see impassable obstacles in our way. But when we follow Christ closely eventually we look back on the impassable and see the clear path He lead us through.
The future lies unseen ahead,
It holds I know not what;
But still I know I need not dread,
For Jesus faileth not.
I’ll follow Him with rejoicing,
With rejoicing, rejoicing;
I know He safely will lead me
To my eternal home.
Doth He not know what I shall meet
Upon life’s rugged way?
Will He not guide my halting feet,
Lest from the path I stray?
No matter how things look to me,
Nor if they threaten sore;
I know my way prepared shall be,
For Christ leads on before.
May we see Christ clearly so that we may follow Him closely.
The Downing Family
Locro de Papa (Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup)
Serves: 8-10 people
This traditional Ecuadorian soup made with potatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, achiote, milk, cheese and cilantro is a Downing family favorite. Seven out of seven Downings recommend this hearty soup.
First. Prepare a flavor base by heating the oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add minced garlic cloves, diced onions, cumin, and achiote powder. Cook until the onions are tender.
Then. Add diced potatoes to the pot and mix until they are coated with the flavor base. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
Then. Add water and bring to boil, cook until the potatoes are very tender. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the pot, don’t mash them completely, the consistency of the soup should be creamy with small tender chunks of potatoes.
Then. Reduce heat down to low, stir in milk and cook for 5 minutes.
Then. Remove from heat, salt to taste and add cheese and cilantro, mix well.
Enjoy. Serve warm with the avocados,queso fresco, feta cheese, chopped cilantro and green onions.
Love, The Downing Family
Followers of Christ are commissioned into His ongoing mission. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, we are called to seek the lost and introduce them to the One who will save them. This divine mission doesn’t end at the edge of our personal relationships. This mission extends past those places in which we are comfortable. The mission even takes us through territory that makes us very uncomfortable. Christ’s mission even includes far away people with different cultures.
You and I know the Truth and have been set free because of it. It would be cruel not to passionately and personally ensure that the salvation message is heard in all spheres of witness.
May we be the generation that embraces the importance of Christ’s ongoing mission. May our hearts ache with the weight of our commission.
With love, The Downings
The church is the active body of Christ in this world! The builder of the Church is God the Father, it is empowered or quickened by the Holy Spirit, and its movement, its mission is given by Christ who is the head!
But When the Church separates itself from the Mission or worse yet divorces itself from the mission it is a sad state of affairs indeed.
History is replete with cycles of the church embracing the mission of Christ and the church divorcing itself from the mission of Christ. In the Epochs of time in which there is a divorce between the church and her mission para-church organizations arise. These organizations try to carry out the mission of Christ but the mission of Christ was never intended to be carried out by any organization, only the church. Para-church organizations succeed from time to time but the real home of the mission of Christ is within the body of Christ.
If it is true that there has been a divorce between the church and her Mission today and that most churches do not even know that the divorce accord occurred it is up to this generation to refocus the body of Christ upon its head, Jesus Christ, and to engage in his mission.
May we be the generation who seeks his face. May we be the generation who passionately embraces his mission.
With much love, The Downings
Today’s cultural insight comes in the form of a story. The legend of Father Almeida tells a story of sin and redemption. Just click play below to be regaled with local Ecuadorian lore.
The Downing Family
Friend we need your support! Click here to learn more!