Tag: Downings

Together Tuesday: Pray For Jonah!

Friends in today’s Together Tuesday podcast we plead with you to pray for our friend’s son. Please click play below to learn all about Jonah’s situation.

 

Our friend Jonathan writes:

Beth and I are requesting your prayers for Jonah. Today we went to the pediatrician for a checkup and the doctor noticed a heart murmur that had not been heard before. He sent us straight to University of Kentucky to consult with a pediatric cardiologist. Several hours and three tests later we learned that Jonah has a large hole between his left and right ventricles. It’s called VSD. The hole is large enough that surgery is required to repair it and soon.

We are in a holding pattern waiting for all the doctors involved to sit down and discuss his case on Monday. A heart cath is likely coming in the next week with open heart surgery not long after that. We’ve put all travel and speaking plans on hold for the next few weeks as we wait to see what happens next.

Please keep Jonah and our family in your prayers. God has blessed us with an incredible medical team, and we expect God to continue working in this.

….

Brief update on Jonah: The doctors have decided not to do a heart cath. The surgical teams from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and UK will all meet on Wednesday to decide who will do Jonah’s open heart surgery as well as where. They will call us Wednesday evening or Thursday and will likely have a surgical date at that point. We were told to tentatively plan for the surgery to be in 2-4 weeks.

Thank you all for your prayers. We have felt overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers and support from individuals and churches. We are thankful for each and every one of you! We know what the doctors are planning, but we are confidant that the Great Physician has great plans for Jonah.

Thanks for praying! Remember together we can make a difference.

Love, E485775C-AFF2-40F9-B51B-573DD3A6D020The Downings

Who Organizes The Church?

Our fallen human nature dictates that we try to organize to best suit our own preferences. But leadership in the church, organization of the church is never to reflect the fallen nature of our world.  No, it is to reflect the unity and love found in our triune God.

Today’s post explores the question: “Who organizes the Church?” Make sure to click the play button below to hear our thoughts over the matter.

The word organize is not in the scriptures. It is defined in the dictionary as follows: “To furnish with organs; to arrange in parts; to form in due order.” God’s church is furnished with organs, arranged in parts, in due order; hence, is an organic structure. But who is the orga- nizer of the same? Who furnishes it with organs?
Answer: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” 1 Cor. 12:8-11
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily proph- ets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” v.27-28
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Cor. 3:5-6
“He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teach- ers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Eph. 4:10-13
These are sufficient to prove that God furnishes His church with all its organs, namely with all necessary gifts of the Spirit, and officers. The foregoing scriptures cover the first two defi- nitions of the word organize. But who forms the parts in due order? “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him…. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” 1 Cor. 12:18,24-25
Other scriptures also show the harmonizing of the body of Christ, by the hand of God and through the Spirit. But those given above are sufficient. One thing, however, we mention, and that is, the laying on of hands by the elders in ordaining elders, etc. (Heb. 6:2; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22). That this pertains to the organization of the church, we freely allow. But it is never called “organizing the church.” God ordains by way of qualifying and choosing, and His ministers ordain in the sense of recognizing the divine call, and dedicating thereunto. This order is clearly seen in Acts 13:1-4.
Succession of authority down through a course of ecclesiastical lords is all a superstitious delusion; a dragon power. Those whom God saves, baptizes with power, and commissions by the Holy Spirit have the only ecclesiastical authority instituted of God; this comes direct from heaven, and not through any imaginary line of predecessors.
Voting for officers only belongs to Babylon formality, where God is not present to work “all in all,” 1 Cor. 12:6 by the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He wills.
The church, then, is organized by the Lord, who sets all the members in the body as it pleases Him, and distributes the gifts and callings by His own wisdom to all the members of the body. Men may organize a human compact, but never the divine body of Christ, which is the church. Thus said the Lord: “And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I ap- pointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.” Isa. 44:7
This is to the point. God Himself “appointed the ancient people” to their several places in the body, and who will now presume to take upon himself the prerogative of the Almighty? “Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visita- tion they shall perish. The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.” Jer. 51:17-19
The sect-founders are confounded because their structures “have no breath”—no life. They call them churches, but it “is falsehood,” the work of error. But God, “the former of all things,” has a true church, the primitive church that Jesus bought with His own blood, and built before the rise of the first sect of the apostasy.

He that builds a house organizes the same. But if other men were to come and saw the same house into four parts, and wedge each apart from the others, such work would be disor- ganizing the building, and destroying the same. Just so if God, by the pure Word and Spirit, should fully save, say four hundred souls in one city, He would organize and temper all together in one body. But should four preachers, representing as many sects, each form his schismatic organism there of equal members, each would have the impudence to report to his conference that he had organized a church there of one hundred members. Yet the facts would be that they, like the parties cleaving the house asunder, would really disorganize and disintegrate the church.
Thus, we see that the organizing sects, the work of men, is the disorganizing of the church, which is built of God. There- fore, since the church is organized by the Lord, it follows that so-called churches, organized by men, lack the authentic seal of God. They are not His church, but unscriptural schisms.

-D.S. Warner

Love, C47AEA7E-E7FD-42F2-9652-93969FBCCB5AThe Downings

 

 

Plátanos asados con queso (baked ripe plantains with cheese)

This recipe produces: 6 baked ripe plantains
This is an easy recipe for a taste of Ecuador. Baked ripe plantains stuffed with cheese are a common treat that all seven Downings suggest you try this dish at least once.

Click play to listen to this recipe!

 

Ingredients
6 slices of mozzarella
1-2 pats of melted butter
6 ripe plantains, whole

 
Instructions
First. Pre-heat oven to 400 F
Then. Peel the plantains, place them on a baking sheet and rub them with butter.
Then. Bake the plantains for 30 minutes, turn and bake for another 20 minutes. Both sides should be golden brown.
Then. Remove the plantains from the oven, make a cut (from end to end) and stuff them with the cheese slices. In a few minutes the cheese will melt
Enjoy. Serve warm.

 

Love, C47AEA7E-E7FD-42F2-9652-93969FBCCB5AThe Downings

Episode 34: Back To The Original Path

There are no closed doors to the gospel – provided that, once you get inside, you don’t care if you ever come out.

-Brother Andrew

 

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, B8BE1E92-F232-4D80-A144-845F8A9C78BDThe Downings

Ministry Story: Gratitude And An Invitation

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 We recently had the privilege of working in the cool breeze of the glacier on top of Mt. Cayambe! Click play on the audio file below to hear more about it. 
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 This photo perfectly sums up what we all felt as we moved dirt all week!
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The wisdom of experience.
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The cement mixer is a great investment!

With much love, 88A987E6-8BA1-42E8-A3F8-D4354A639D6FThe Downings

 

Together Tuesday: A Prayer Request

Friends sometimes we who follow Christ consider prayer as a last option but in reality it’s the best option! Will you pray for two pressing needs among our pastors this week? Click play on the podcast below for details.

 

Remember, together we can make a difference!

Love, 9A5BC3BC-7686-46D4-856A-4B7C6AB368BFThe Downings

 

Start With Your Neighbor

Hello friends, this week we are revisiting some of our more popular posts from the past. Make sure you tune in next week for fresh new content. In the meantime enjoy these tried and true podcasts.

 

Love, 3CE1F13A-A92A-4FEF-8B0C-F66055BED84BThe Downings

Baby Dedication

Hello friends, this week we are revisiting some of our more popular posts from the past. Make sure you tune in next week for fresh new content. In the meantime enjoy these tried and true podcasts.

 

Love,3CE1F13A-A92A-4FEF-8B0C-F66055BED84B The Downings