Follow the Yellow Brick Road


When Dorothy began her journey in the land of Oz, she took the yellow brick road. Along her walk on this road, she met friends and faced trials. It wasn’t easy, but taking the yellow brick road eventually led her to the man behind the curtain, and eventually back home. But what if she’d chosen to follow the red bricks, instead of the yellow ones?

Who knows; perhaps Dorothy’s journey wouldn’t have been full of such trials. Maybe the wicked witch would have lavished her with a bunch of nice things, and make her feel like she fits in. All she’d have to do, is give up her ruby slippers. Doing so would have ruined any chance of Dorothy getting back home, and it would have given the witch a great amount of power. Dorothy wouldn’t have developed relationships with the tin man, or the lion or the scarecrow, that are so vital to the plot of the story. After all, in this story only the yellow brick road leads to a heart, courage, a brain (interpreted as knowledge or common sense), the wizard, and a way home. 

Often, it is tempting to take the easy way out of a situation. Sometimes, it doesn’t even seem as if there is an easy way, because there isn’t! Yet, we’re always searching for one. As stated in James 1:2-4: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

That is the yellow brick road. It’s often full of uncertainty, and trial. Through trials and tribulations though, we grow and learn. And boy, oh boy, does it require patience. Do you find it true, that when things aren’t easy in your life, you often see God’s grace more clearly than when everything seems fine? It’s not because His grace isn’t the same in both good times and bad; it’s because He will use those trials to grow us, and to show His glory to us. If we don’t ever suffer, we don’t grow. If we didn’t experience the bad days, we’d never recognize the good ones. Oppositely, if we don’t see God as we go through trials, it’s often because we find ourselves trying everything we can to fix the situation, before finally turning to Him. It took God’s people 40 years to get out of the wilderness because of that very reason, and the same can happen to us on this yellow brick road!

In Matthew 7:13-14, we are told, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

If we take the easy route, we can quickly become consumed with what is convenient. This breeds impatience and selfishness, and pushing others to the side for our own comfort regardless of the ultimate cost. Eventually we come to a narrow gate, and can’t fit through it. Pride and selfishness and self-worship can bloat one’s spirit to the point that it won’t fit through the gate….because there is no room in the Kingdom for such things. You find there was nothing good behind the curtain at the end of this red brick road, and as you reached its end, you realized you had run out of resources, are alone, and have lost your chance to get back home. It seemed like easy street, but took you to a bad place. 

Today, be thankful for the road God has provided for you, for surely there is a purpose. While there will be uncertainty and trials, we can be certain that God is with us, and that He will provide a way. At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy found the wizard behind the curtain. For us, we find God: but the curtain has been torn. Thank God! Thank Him for the great things He has done, and for the great things that haven’t happened yet. They will happen. You will go through valleys on this yellow brick road, but at the end, you will find that even through all of your hardship, there’s a gate you’ll fit through, leading to a house with many rooms, one prepared for you, by our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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The Rich Blood of Fellowship




But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭

One sentence can have a lot to say! I am of the belief, that no part of the body of Christ should ever feel alone. In this verse, we can conclude that we aren’t, as we have accepted The Lord as our savior and that He is always with us. That is the promise of the free gift of eternal salvation in Christ, of which, there is no greater gift!

If I’m honest though (and if you are too), we can surely admit that sometimes in life, we feel we are lacking in the fellowship required of humans, in order to thrive. Fellowship, as mentioned in the above scripture, is extremely important to followers of Christ. That’s what Jesus did. He fellowshipped. He spent a great deal of time building relationships with people like you and me; people who are broken and imperfect and in need of saving.

The thing about fellowship, is that it gives us someone to lift up and to be uplifted by. It gives us someone to confess to. It gives us someone to share accountability with. It gives us someone to pray with. Fellowship gives us someone to praise God with. And when we do such things, as the verse above mentions, we are cleansed when we fall short, because we have this wonderful kind of relationship with others, that God provides for us.

So, while we are never truly alone due to our relationship with Jesus, we should strive each day to commit to having fellowship with our brothers and sisters, friends, neighbors, coworkers and anyone else The Lord places in our path. Through this, we will see the great glory of Christ working in this world, and so will those whom we interact with.

So today, I challenge you to reach out to someone. Let them know that they are loved and that you’re thankful for them. If you have time, get together with a friend for coffee. Invite someone over to dinner. Call someone up whom you haven’t spoken to in a while. Someone feels alone, and you might be the one to pull them out of the mud. Maybe they need to be reminded that they don’t have to do this on their own!

Have a blessed day.

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AN ANGEL JOURNAL

Written in the Angel Tongue, translated by Connie Tinnin

My name is Myel….I am an angel.  Really, I am!  It was two thousand years ago, (time doesn’t matter here) and I was a chubby cherub, that the most stupendous and amazing wonder happened.  I put this incredible event on a scroll for all souls; both those who are here and those who will be here.  That way they will have the true account of what happened here when the miracle began.  I was playing hide and seek in the clouds with my cherub buddies.  Gabriel usually joined us in the game.  He loved to jump out of a cloud and pretend he’s going to send us to the nursery for disturbing the shape and symmetry of the clouds.  That day, he did not join us.  He seemed distracted and very serious.  I’m sure I’m his favorite Cherub!  He would often take me on some of his journeys to earth, as long as I promised to behave and not make myself known to the humans or the animals when he delivered his messages.  Sometimes he would toss me from one cloud to another while teaching me to fly with my small wings.  They had not grown enough to hold me up, so Gabriel taught me about wind currents, atmosphere and all the ways to glide from place to place.  He once told me if I lost 10 lbs, my little sprout of wings could hold me up.  He always smiled and said it with a musical laugh, so I was not offended.  Gabriel is one of the Archangels; meaning he holds a very high office here.  I love that he is my friend, teacher and guide.  There are other Archangels, of course.  Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel are known as the Band of Brothers.  They are magnificent and mighty.  Michael carries a huge sword with symbols and writings on the blade.  I cannot even lift the sword, it is so heavy.  Michael is a true warrior.  He always accompanies the other brothers when they leave the 7th heaven (that’s where we reside.)  Michael has their backs.  There have not been too many times he’s been delayed by Lucifer and his lackeys.  He should know not to mess with Michael.  Anyway, there was a feeling; something in the air that was disturbing, yet exciting too.  We cherubs heard whisperings and saw many of the Hosts of Heaven standing close together with their wings wrapped around their robes, like a cocoon.  Some had their heads bowed, but some had a fiery visage.  Michael stood erect and at attention as he explained to the Hosts of Heaven the assignment Gabriel was given by God, Blessed Be His Name.  As Gabriel stood before the throne, Michael put on his golden armor.  His sword was drawn, so we knew that something very strange was happening.  Gabriel turned slowly, walked to the edge of the pearly gates and stood there in silent contemplation.  I ran as fast as I could, jumping over flowers, streams and trees of all colors to ask him if I could travel with him again.  He turned when I spoke and said, “Ah, little one.  This journey you cannot take with me.  I have been given the most holy and momentous tidings to deliver.  You see, Father God, Blessed Be His Name, is sending me to earth to an innocent young Jewish maiden named Mary.  She has been chosen to receive the Holy Seed of Life.  God, Blessed Be His Name, will make them pure once again.  I was stunned!  How can this be?  I ran to the throne.  God, Blessed Be His Name, sits there.  He all Light, All Beauty, and all Love.  Surely He would never leave heaven to be born on the stinky, dirty, and sinful earth!  Why, why would He do this?  When I arrived back to the throne room, I saw thousands and thousands of Angels, Hosts, and Creatures of all shapes and sizes bowing down in front of the throne.  There was absolute silence; not a burdensome silence, but a silence of expectation.  A Holy Silence.  I stood quiet and still, confused and a little frightened.  Shouts rang out as Michael marched into the gates with the widest smile.  He is usually quite sober, you know.  Behind him came Gabriel.  He flew to me and tugged on my wings.  He shouted, “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.  Mankind and Heavenkind bonded together once again.   MERRY CHRISTMAS

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HILLTOP COLLEGE CLASSES; SWORD OF THE LORD!

Sword of the Lord is so pleased to announce the beginning of a new school year.  There will be an open house here Sept.10 from 7:00 – 8:30.
If you are curious about the textbooks, want to talk to teachers or obtain knowledge of what the classes are all about; we welcome you.
We have been a part of the community for over 20 years; and are very excited that we are able to offer studies which are meticulous and riveting. We have accreditation pending for degree work and also welcome anyone to take these courses for their own personal study. These courses were part of the ministry of the Southwestern Christian University, founded by Dr. R. O. Corvin. Dr. Bob Fausett, Pastor of Hilltop Church, carries the torch for these excellent Bible courses with integrity and a commitment to bring the Word of God to those who seriously want to begin a deeper study of the Bible, or are wanting a degree for whatever purpose they need. We have excellent references from former students, so if anyone is interested, please call the church at 417-335-5266 or DR. Fausett’s cell phone at 417-331-3535. We promise to give you the names of persons who are not affiliated with the church in anyway, other than attending the courses with us. We want you to have any references, ask any questions, and settle any hesitation regarding the goals and desires we have to only provide the opportunity to increase the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures to those who are seeking, those who have found, and those who are just not sure. We love class discussions, and digging deeper in the Bible. You will too!

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PASTOR APPRECIATION IS FOR THE WHOLE MONTH OF OCTOBER

We will celebrate Pastor Appreciation month on Sunday, Oct. 11.  We will have a money tree up on Sunday, Oct. 4; so anyone who wants may put their gift on the money tree.  There will be a card by the money tree for everyone to sign.

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CONTEND FOR THE FAITH:

Jude 1:3. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

How many Kim Davis’ are there?  She’s the clerk from Kentucky who refuses to issue same sex marriage licenses.  She is currently in jail.  Are we prepared and ready to contend for the faith?  There is a vast difference in contending for the faith and just being a “sounding brass.”  The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ must make some difficult and painful decisions.  We must decide for ourselves; follow the leading of the Lord, and prepare to be tested and tried if we decide to contend for the faith.  Some will stand in unity and solidarity with the brethren who makes a bold stand.  Others will weigh the cost and decide the price is too high, or too difficult.  Each one must seek their own quest and do whatever the Lord asks of them.  We cannot really make that decision for anyone else.  If, after seeking and praying, we feel the call for a bold stance; then we must uphold one another, regardless of job security, family harmony, or cultural pressures.  Many may fall, but many will find the strength to hold on during the storm.  The days of Noah are fast approaching and in fact may already be here.  Make sure the stand you take is for the glory of God, not for the glory of man.  We support the courageous stand Kim Davis has made.   We pray there are many whom God is raising up and filling with power and conviction.  You will not stand alone.

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SWORD OF THE LORD BIBLE COLLEGE

Bible study college level classes.  Accreditation, Certificate or Home Studies available.  Starting Sept. 8 – May 3 every Tuesday evening except school holidays.  We will host an Open House on Aug. 25 at 7:00 pm to ask questions see the studies available and enroll if you would like to attend.  These studies are in depth and will challenge you.  Call the church if interested or if there are any questions.

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Battle Scars

We believe Lord is coming very soon.  He has uttered his word in our spirits “Many wear battle scars held together with adhesions from attacks of the enemy.   He would tell you that they are actually Metals of Honor and should be worn with humility and honor.  He also would tell us that the days grow darker, but the Son will shine in your hearts and you will light the way for the rest.  .   Rest well.

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AMAZING AUGUST HE STILL RULES!

The Church Camps were a tremendous success.  We had 76 in the Sr. Camps and 54 in the Jr. Camps.  Reports of Salvation, filling of the Holy Spirit, and renewed commitment were confirmed.   Thank You all who were a part.  Keep working for the Lord.

All Wed. night classes begin again on Aug. 5th.  Bible Study for Adults will begin again also.  How powerful is His Word.

Brother Donny Henson will minister on the morning of Aug. 9th.  Don’t miss him.  He will guide you right into the Presence of the Lord.

Missionary to Old Mexico, Josh Cornell will be here for the morning service on Aug. 16th.  Our Sunday night service will be at 6:00 on that night.  Josh is such a committed servant of the Lord.  His beautiful family ministers with him.  He would appreciate your prayers.

 

 

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YAY…CAMPS WE GOT ‘EM

Our camps for Sr. ages 13-18 is on  July 5th – 10.  The Jr. Camps for ages 8-12 is on July 12th – 16.  Hope to see you there.

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