Tag: Jesus

Christmas Devotions: Joseph And The Angel

Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to send her away privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
~The Apostle Matthew 1:18-25

Life doesn’t always turn out the way you think it will. Sometimes our expectations are crushed by Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Joseph And The Angel”

Christmas Devotions: Immanuel

 

For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this virgin is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel.
~The Prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 7:14

Throughout history people have longed to see the promise of God fulfilled. God had promised that through the “seed of woman” He would rescue His creation.

Sometimes it is hard to imagine how something out of the ordinary will happen. Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Immanuel”

Christmas Devotions: The Family of David

 

“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!”
~Jesus, Revelation 22:16

God had made a promise to King David, it was a continuation of the promise He had made to Adam and Abram. One day in a time of His choosing God would bless the world through the family of David. Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: The Family of David”

Christmas Devotions: Foreshadowing

 

After Moses the LORD’s servant died, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get ready! Cross the Jordan River! Lead these people into the land which I am ready to hand over to them.
~God, Joshua 1:1-4

The name Joshua is the Hebrew form of the name Jesus. These two men not only share the same name, but a Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Foreshadowing”

Christmas Devotions: Before Time

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.”
~The Apostle John, John 1:1-5

The family of God was lost and broken but God had a Continue reading “Christmas Devotions: Before Time”

Episode 10: Wound Transformed

I am ready to burn out for God. I am ready to endure any hardship, if by any means I might save some. The longing of my heart is to make known my glorious Redeemer to those who have never heard.
-William Burns

There is a longing in the Christian’s heart that simply can not be fulfilled on this side of Heaven. It is born not of appetites, philosophies or theologies but of brokenness. The terrible sin-induced rift between God and Man has wounded us beyond comprehension. When we come to the Healer and begin our new lives as followers of Christ our wound begins to heal but a portion of it is transformed. Now instead of the sting of our own separation we become aware of the plight of those who have not yet found salvation. The ache of our hearts transforms from a selfish pain to a motivated desire to see as many as will respond to the love and grace of Jesus Christ. The longing of our hearts are to make known our glorious Redeemer to those who do not yet know.

 

May we never feel relieved of our holy longing to reach those who are lost and dying in their sin with the redemption and healing that can only be found in Christ Jesus!

 

Programing note!

We are happy to post Christmas Devotions this year! Starting on November 25th and every day until Christmas we will post a podcast devotoin. These daily podcasts  can be found on iTunes or your favorite podcast service. In addition to our podcasts a written version of each devotion plus bonus material will be posted here each day. Let’s prepare our hearts for Christmas together this year!

Blessings, 98A2B3E1-F362-49C6-A0F3-68ED1665662ETimothy, Angelita, Tim, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, and Adelena

Would you consider joining our support network? We need your help! Donations large and small, one time and continuing are very much needed and appreciated! Click here to  go to our giving portal. 

From Preble County to Quito’s Red Light District.

During our recent Caring Partners International medical mission trip we had an unexpected connection with one of our visitors. Donna Cox and Timothy graduated from the same rural high school. They had both been educated at Preble Shawnee where the largest social club was the Future Farmers of America followed by 4H. Rural values and rural focus were the norms. It was in that rural crucible that God prepared both of them to help address big city problems. Timothy now lives in the greater Quito, Ecuador metropolis where he helps prepare pastors and church leaders to serve in that significant city and beyond. Donna, a licensed professional counselor with a private counseling practice in Dayton, Ohio spends much of her time in adult entertainment clubs ministering to the entertainers who work there. Far away from 4H presentations at the Preble County fair and the farm smells of the Preble Counthy Pork Festival both Donna and Timothy find themselves drawn to different big cities.

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Yes, pig racing is fun!

As we ate lunch one day during the CPI trip Donna approached us with an idea. She said: “I have an odd request. Can we tour Quito’s red light district today?” The request was a bit odd. But we soon found out that in addition to her own ministry interest in such places, a Sister from the Comite del Pueblo church has a passion for the same kind of ministry!

It was a pure joy to hear Donna and her Ecuadorian counterpart discuss the particular kind of ministry passion that they share. What an encouragement for our Sister to meet someone involved in the very ministry that God had laid on her heart!

 

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We have a quick question for you in light of the common churchcentric view of ministry that is so prevalent today. Where are you going? Where is your church going? Biblically we really are called to go to all people everywhere not simply to invite some into our churches. Are you going? Your witness is very important in the place you live, in the places you feel comfortable, in the uncomfortable places and even to the ends of the Earth! Where are you going? To whom are you going?

Our encouragement for you today is to follow the incarnational ministry pattern of Jesus. Don’t play it safe, He didn’t. He surrounded himself with some of the most religious people but he also intentionally called people to himself in whom no one would expect the Holy One of God to have interest. Even among His closest followers, His Disciples He welcomed people who were natural enemies, a tax collector and a zealot alike. One thing that every follower of Christ has in common is our Savior the one thing that all people everywhere have in common is a need for our Savior.

If you are a follower of Christ you are privileged to have a godly treasure inside you. You also have a responsibility to give that treasure of God’s grace to those around you who have not yet experienced the love of God as you have. So, no matter if you find yourself in the animal barns of the Preble county fairgrounds in Eaton, Ohio, the dressing room of an adult entertainment club or anywhere in between, go unto all the world and share the Good news of Jesus Christ our Savior with everyone you meet!

To learn more about Donna’s ministry, One Heart, click here.

Blessings,0BF17C06-4474-4B44-B23A-0A44A60E0E23The Downings

 

 

Episode 3: Sending Capacity

The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity. -Mike Stachura
Along our mission path we have encountered an attitude in many churches that can best be described as low self-esteem. Many churches have given up hope that they can be world changers. They tend to look at attendance or financial numbers as their only indicators of spiritual health and they tend to forget what Jesus did with a handful of followers. We ought to remember that the people to whom Jesus give the Great Commission stood empty handed on that hill outside of Galilee. They were the only religious people without a temple to meet in or a treasury to draw from. They had not hymn book to sing from nor did they have an ecclesiastical manual to tell them what to do or how to do it. They had no New Testament to read or written doctrine to study. They were simply a movement of people who had experienced the resurrection of Christ and who were motivated by their love for God and their love for their neighbors. As they lived that love out they became the people who turned the world upside down! It is amazing what can happen when we cease to measure our reach by seating capacity and more to the point how many of our seats are occupied but instead focus on our sending capacity.
May we live and die for greater things than seating capacity. May we live in the knowledge that we are world changers because we follow Jesus. May we die in the knowledge that we have done everything we can to send some so that many will know the saving grace of our Lord!

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Timothy, Angelita, Tim 2, Esperanza, Ezequiel, Elias, Adelena Downing

To read more about our ministry please click here!

Episode one: The Missionary Gift

Not every believer has the missionary gift, but every Christian is called to some kind of involvement in missions. We are called to advance the gospel in some way and to participate in the fulfilling of God’s purposes in our generation.
-David Shibley
In Acts chapter one Jesus tells his original disciples that at the advent of the Holy Spirit, they will be witnesses of his resurrection in four spheres of their lives. They were to bare witness in Jerusalem, the place they lived, Judiea, the place they felt most comfortable, Samaria, where they would be uncomfortable and forced to deal the their own prejudices, and to the ends of the Earth, a place that would require increasing effort to reach. These same spheres of witness exist for us- the current generation of Christ’s disciples. We are responsible to ensure that the message of Christ’s resurrection is proclaimed in all four spheres. Jesus did not come to make bad people good or sick people well, although he does do that, ultimately Jesus makes dead people live!
May the message of the resurrection be our witness and may we never neglect the spheres of witness that we have been granted.

 

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The Downings

(to find out more about us please click here).

 

John 1:5 / Juan 1:5

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And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it. -John 1:5

We love Easter! Of course as followers of Christ we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on a daily basis but there is just something extra special about the gathering together of God’s people in celebration on Resurrection Sunday.

The Darkness of Good Friday is overcome by the light of the Resurrection. The ominous proclamation on the cross, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken me?” Evaporates with the affirmation “He is Risen!”

The message of Easter is lived out every day in the lives of believers everywhere. Jesus died to give us Life and He rose so that we can now live in hope!

Just like the darkness and pain of the cross are washed away in the Light of the Resurrection, the darkness and pain that your sin heaps upon you can be washed away by the power of Christ’s death and Resurrection. That is the Good News of Easter!

Begin following Jesus and walk in His ways today and you will see the darkness of your life fade away. Follow Christ in this life and even death itself will not be a dark event. There is Hope! There is a Savior!

Happy Easter! B9C37CB1-2339-4486-81BB-3C6C34ED5C61The Downing Family

 

Juan 1:5

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Y la luz brilla en la oscuridad, pero la oscuridad no la domina. -Juan 1: 5

¡Amamos la Pascua! Por supuesto, como seguidores de Cristo, celebramos la resurrección de Jesús a diario, pero hay algo más especial en la reunión del pueblo de Dios en la celebración del Domingo de Resurrección.

La Oscuridad del Viernes Santo es vencida por la luz de la Resurrección. La ominosa proclamación en la cruz, “¡Dios mío! ¡Dios mío! ¿Por qué me has abandonado?” Evapora con la afirmación” ¡Él ha resucitado!”

El mensaje de Pascua se vive todos los días en la vida de los creyentes en todas partes. ¡Jesús murió para darnos vida y resucitó para que ahora podamos vivir con esperanza!

Así como la oscuridad y el dolor de la cruz son lavados en la Luz de la Resurrección, la oscuridad y el dolor que su pecado acumula sobre ustedes puede ser lavado por el poder de la muerte y la Resurrección de Cristo. ¡Esa es la Buena Noticia de Pascua!

Comienza a seguir a Jesús y camina en Sus caminos hoy y verás cómo la oscuridad de tu vida se desvanece. Sigue a Cristo en esta vida e incluso la muerte misma no será un evento oscuro. ¡Hay esperanza! ¡Hay un Salvador!

¡Felices Pascuas!B9C37CB1-2339-4486-81BB-3C6C34ED5C61La familia Downing