"Sit still, my dear one! Just sit calmly still!
The One who loves thee best,
who plans thy way,
Has not forgotten thy great need today!
And if he waits, `tis sure he waits to prove
To thee, his tender child,
his heart's deep love...."
J. Danson Smith
me Your Story
"Everyone has a
We are putting together a collection of true stories
that Christians tell about their experiences in the world. We would like
for you to share one or more of your stories with us. We hope to publish a
book to inspire others. All stories will be published anonymously, so
we are asking each person to select a Bible name for the contributor of their
We have already begun to collect stories.
you enjoy and grow spiritually from the stories we are offering you today.
God bless you.
Learning and Loyalty
A Story from Sudan
the language of your enemy.
father told me this)
(a Bible penname for this grown-up child)
I was a child in a Christian family in
Southern Sudan, which was an area governed by Islamic Arabs of Northern Sudan. The regime in
Northern Sudan was very strong at that time—when I was a child of six. I have some vivid memories of my early schooling during those days.
Although we grew up speaking the language of our village,
we were forced to learn Arabic and use only this language in our school. Our
parents had learned English, for the English had ruled our land until 1956.
When I complained that I didn’t want to learn Arabic
because it was the language of our oppressors, my father told me, “Learn the
language of your enemy.” As I grew up I found that he meant more than just
learning the Arabic language.
It was the government policy for all children to study
Islam during the school day in the classroom because the country was about 85%
Muslim, and all of the village authorities and members of the government were
Muslim. The school officials, however, allowed those of us who were not Islamic
to study under our pastor, who would come to our school every morning to teach
us Christianity. He would bring a large picture of Jesus, and we would gather
under a tree in the school yard to learn our lessons about Christian beliefs.
There were a small number of us, but it was always interesting. I
often looked out the window during the classroom Islamic training to see the
picture of Jesus which the pastor held aloft for us.
However, although we were permitted to study Christianity
while the Islamic children were studying their religion, we were frequently
punished for not knowing what they had been taught. We were responsible for all
the memory verses from the Koran and religious information that the master was
teaching the children about Islam while we were outside studying Christian
beliefs and learning the Bible. If we did not know the answers, we were given
lashes. Read the rest of the story...
Before Her Time
A Story from our Past
“My times are in
your hand.” Psalm 31:15
From Hepzibah (a Bible penname for the contributor)
The time of giving birth to a child is one of the most dangerous events
faced by the mother and the infant— especially on the prairie over a hundred
It is safest and healthiest time for a child to remain in
the womb for nine months—or a little more. But this tiny infant’s mother was
very weak, and she had been ill for many months. She was faint and everyone
feared for her as she suffered during the last trimester of her first pregnancy.
A doctor was not available in this
little village on the wild prairie, but the relatives who had gathered around
this very weak young mother realized that the baby was not likely to survive
such an early birth, so they prayed fervently for the mother’s life. When they
prayed, “my times are in your hand,” they were asking God to preserve the
life of the mother beyond this birth. They had no confidence in the baby’s
hope for survival and steeled themselves for losing her.
Late at night, after many exhausting hours, the tiny baby
was delivered—a little girl whom no one bothered to name or even look at with
tenderness. She was so very small—more like a doll, really. She was bundled
into an old blanket piece and quickly handed to the 12-year-old cousin who
wanted to help but hadn’t the skills.
What happened to this child? Read more
Click here to read more
Summer mountain snow:
Click here for more inspirational
More articles for the pilgrims who
visit this web site are found on the "Articles
for Inspiration" pages. These include the following topics:
Pilgrim Journal: Special Messages Created for You!
to Fail for God
"What do we make of our failures?
want to suggest today that we are called to be stewards of our failures
and mistakes, more than being consumed with the fact that we made them in
the first place.
The issue is not our
innocence, it’s not even our guilt. The issue with which we must deal,
indeed, with which we do deal,
is not innocence or guilt…but
rather: What we do
with our mistakes and how we manage our failures. What do we make of our
pretty hard not to hear the word “steward” and immediately associate
it with the church stewardship campaign. We “rightly” remind ourselves
that the way we manage our
money in God’s eyes is critical to our growth in faith, and we are to be
stewards of what we have been given. Likewise, we are also reminded about
being stewards of our gifts and stewards of our time.
I think the Bible insists on a much broader usage…I think the Bible
insists that we are stewards of all
of life itself, every part of life, every experience of life, every
dimension of life. That life is “on loan” and we are appointed to be
“caretakers” of this life that we have been given…even more…I
think scripture suggests that HOW we manage this gift of life is the very
critical basis on the issue of how we will be judged or how we are
did you get a little “chill” when I used the word “judged”? It’s
not one we use around here very often! Maybe that’s too bad because
it’s a word that is filled with all kinds of negative images of course.
We think of that Final Day when we are called to stand before the High
Court of the Almighty to answer for all of our sins of every day.
I think Judgment Day is a bit of a “caricature”…I think, instead,
that judgment IS an important concept, but I think it is used more in
scripture as a word that means “discernment.”
in Virginia. Click here
for more delightful images of nature's beauty.
Called to Fail for God, cont'd
judgment of God is more like a series of quizzes or a “course in
wisdom” than it is a “one-shot”, “make it or break it” exam, in
which you either get into graduate school or you don’t. As John Claypool
once wrote, it’s more like the judging that’s done at a flower show
than a “penalty” image that is rendered in a court room. Judgment in
scripture happens consequentially, sequentially, and not so much finally.
repeat: we are called to be
stewards of our failures and mistakes, more than being consumed with the
fact that we made them in the first place.
judgment is, “What do we do with what has happened to us?” That’s
the process of discernment for growth. If the Bible understands
stewardship as involving all of life, then surely we are to be stewards of
our mistakes and failures as well.
more, I want to suggest that those mistakes and failures can be
sacramental for us. That is, rather than something to be hidden or denied
or repressed or “covered up” or lied about…they can become instead
“vehicles of grace”, which is what a sacrament is…a means by which
we encounter the graciousness of God.
Click here to read the rest of this
message on being a steward of our failures: Called
to Fail for God
know that all things
work together for good
for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”
Part 3: God's gift of
“The Chair: You can Trust God”
are Called to Trust God
God deserves and expects trust and praise in acknowledgement of
his character. Throughout the Bible God tells us that we are very special
to him: Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, Romans.
Our memory verse today reminds us that we know that all things work
together for good in God’s world. God is in charge of this world, and
even though really bad things happen in it. We can trust God absolutely.
So we are called to learn to trust God.
God talks to us in many ways to explain that we are God’s
treasure and God wants a special, personal relationship—like a loving
father and his child—with each of us.
Memory Verse (above): Romans 8:28
We are told to trust God and we are given many examples of
God’s goodness. Many writers of scripture —throughout many, many
thousands of years—tell us about God’s loving deeds to preserve his
precious people. We read a list of some of those deeds in Psalm 136 today.
We are told again, and again—in many different ways—that
“God’s steadfast love endures forever.” We are given story after
story about God’s goodness —not only to the beloved chosen
people—whom we have now joined by adoption, but also to other people who
do not yet know God. The Bible story I’m telling you today is the
scariest story I know from the Bible.
EXAMPLE: Bible Story—
The book of Second Kings tells us that there was once a
little family in ancient
who had a little daughter. She was bright, and she trusted God. She was
probably a lovely little girl and quick to do her work.
But a tragic thing happened—the most terrifying thing I can
think of as a parent. An army of pagan people invaded her country and took
her away with them to their own country. But God was with her, and God
used her in his plan to bless a man and others who did not know the loving
God of the universe. The little girl loved and trusted God.
As it happened, she became the servant of the captain of the
whole army. He was a very skilled soldier and leader, but he had
leprosy—a terrible skin disease for which they had no cure. He was in
despair, but the little girl told him about the prophet in her country who
could heal him of his dreadful disease, and the Bible goes on to tell us
of his healing and his turn to serve God.
here to read the complete message.
Covenant International Church is a Christian church in cyberspace serving
an international community of believers who come together in your home to
worship the Holy God~
virtual church has begun meeting together this month. Click on the church
name above to read our Mission Statement and membership information.
We do not look like the church pictured above because we meet where you
are. We encourage you to share your worship experience with others near
you. You may use the sermons and worship information we provide in your
homes and fellowships. If you would like to become a member of this
church, see below or click here.
New sermons will be published on this web site each week. Click here to read the
Sermon of the Week
ocean of connection from the Maine coast
Teaching Christ’s commandments and serving with love in our homes, our
relationships, our communities, our nations, and our world.
Statement of Faith
The three persons of the Trinitarian God are living in a way that is not
governed by time: Almighty Creator God eternal, Jesus Christ—who existed
before humans came into being and walked on earth in the first century,
named for his presence—and the Holy Spirit—who proceeds from these and
interweaves their being. I
cannot imagine life without God’s presence. God is never and cannot be
restricted by gender or other human traits. These three are one and are
witnessed in Holy Scripture, on which we continue to rely for revelation.
Through human time and every day God lives and guides, hears and responds
to all who lift their voices for help. God is almighty, forgiving,
faithful, and works constantly with created beings in justice and love.
God created a way to demonstrate those traits by becoming incarnate and
“tenting” among humans in the form of a man, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus
was—in some way that humans cannot understand—fully human and fully
The Holy Spirit moves among us today, teaching, witnessing, guiding, and
comforting. The Holy Spirit sustains and guides the church, providing
leadership and assurance. We read and proclaim the Word of God, and the
Holy Spirit provides the community with insights.
Click here for
the complete statement of faith for our Christian leaders.
When you have been blessed by this
ministry, make a donation to help further our ministry and bless others.
Become a Member
Join the Christ
Covenant International Ministries and become a member of our cyber church.
Read our membership vows, and make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. Click
here for more information about joining our church.
children of God we are all privileged to participate in mission and ministry
in the name of our Lord. This web site is a public ministry of the Christ
Covenant International Ministries. We have discovered that several thousand
people from all over the world are coming to this website each month for
nurture and ministry.Visit
the Network4Pilgrims Humor page.
might also like to read Bonnie's Ministry adventures. Click
more from her spiritual journal.
Christmas Dawn in
"In returning and rest shall be
In quietness and in trust shall be your strength."
Sudanese Christian Fellowship of Las Vegas meets in a home for Bible Study
Immigrant Christians are
God's gift to America
for spiritual renewal.
All across America, and indeed
throughout Europe and in other places around the world, there are
fellowships of Christians meeting together to celebrate God's grace to
them and to worship their creator.
On our Multicultural page you
will find some pictures and stories of people from various
fellowships. Please share your stories and pictures so that we can let
others know about groups where fellow Christians might come to worship.
Tell your friends about this
web site, too, so that we can nurture one another. We will be providing a
sermon in English each week for your fellowship to use in worship. Use the
sermons and worship plans we provide to enhance your worship experience if
If you need a worship leader, let us know. Let us share information with
one another so that we can grow strong in faith and service to our Lord.
We will also be
providing leadership training materials and other information through this
web site that will
help you and your congregation prepare for Christian ministry. Let us know
what you need.
Our future hope is to create a
foundation to help provide pastors and training for the Christian fellowships we
discover. You can donate financially to this foundation now.
For more information, click
Bridge in Winter
Click here for more images.
Would you like to send a free electronic celebration
card to someone special?
Go to www.dayspring.com