Honduras 2019

This year, we were blessed to bring 18 team members to Honduras to work alongside Mike and Kris Bridges in Corquin. We had the special opportunity to be the first brigade to stay in Corquin and spend our evenings with the church members worshipping, fellowshipping, and even playing some good old fashioned fútbol. We took advantage of the many opportunities to be immersed in the culture and truly experience where Mike and Kris live and work for the Kingdom.

Our medical brigade was able to see 927 patients over the course of three days. Local church planters, along with Mike and Kris, will spend the subsequent months following up with the people of the community we were able to help. This will open doors to Bible studies and a future church plant, Lord willing.

The following excerpt is from my journal four years ago during my first trip to Honduras:

“We woke up again at 4:45am for breakfast at 5am. It's funny how certain things can become your new normal. I suppose this is how it works with your faith walk, as well. One can get accustomed to going to church every Sunday, just as another person can think it's normal to never go to church and simply be a good person. I think the human way of sticking to patterns is exactly that - human. I believe it's a fleshly desire to stick to routines and patterns.”

When I think of Jesus, I think of His actions always leading to what is needed and not what is comfortable and routine. I myself am challenged as I return to the States to break out of the routine I’m living and view my surroundings as opportunities to reach souls. Join me and the rest of the team as we strive toward taking advantage of every opportunity to view our culture and neighbors differently, rather than waiting to be on a foreign field.

As always, please continue to pray that the Lord will equip and strengthen the Bridges as they reach souls in western Honduras. 

 

In Him,

Krysten Devereaux

Freedom In Christ

Following Jesus, what does it really mean? Jesus sets the example for all of us, his followers, to emulate. True discipleship equals total surrender, love, and faithfulness in God. The following are a few of the many examples Jesus lived and displayed so that we can learn about discipleship.

Sacrifice: His life was of sacrifice, to glorify the Father through the redemptive plan of God (John 17:4). A plan created in the beginning with unconditional love for you and I. Jesus endured the cross as the cup of wrath was poured out on him. Jesus took upon himself the sin of humanity becoming a sacrifice to establish our righteousness in the sight of God. Jesus completed everything for us. As we follow Jesus we are expected to repent and believe in him. However, there is much more we have to do as his follower.

Commitment: We commit ourselves to him and in so doing, we sacrificially give ourselves over for our Father to be glorified. As we analyzed the widow, who gave all she had this past Sunday, we too must be encouraged giving our all. Holding back does not say, I trust you. Holding back does not say, you are Lord over my life. Holding back simply does not say, Lord, I love you. Holding back says, I believe I am able to control my life and I have the ability to make myself right in your sight. Do we really want to attempt to control our life? Has Jesus not already accomplished enough?

Jesus purchased freedom for us! Jesus’ sacrifice was to free us from slavery and that is the good news. WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE. The payment required for sin, could not be satisfied by man or any work by mankind. Due to the love of the Father, we now have freedom in Christ. In our freedom, we as disciples must follow Jesus, by spreading the gospel while loving the Father and our neighbor. Our freedom does not free us from suffering or attacks from the enemy, but our freedom reassures us Jesus is with us every step of the way. While going through the remaining of your week, take time to reflect on your freedom in Christ. Also, pray God allows you to share your freedom with someone at your occupation, in your family, or even the stranger on the streets.

Prayer – God today, I am free. Free to experience your love as our Father, free to love our neighbors, and free to spread the gospel to the lost. Thank you! God you loved me so much, you restored me unto you. You are simply amazing. Father, place someone in my path that I can share your word with or at least share my life changing encounter with you. Help me to give you my all and show me what I must do. I commit myself to glorify you and your kingdom. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

Warmly in Christ and for the Kingdom of God

Marlo D. Brayboy

Senior Pastor

Lexington Church of Christ

Purposeful Parenting

Last week’s Weekly Uplift focused on strengthening our marriages and this week we’ll take a closer look at purposeful parenting.

Psalm 127:3 “Children are a gift from the Lord; offspring are a reward from Him.” We can know with certainty that God wants us to be successful parents and wise stewards of the precious children He has entrusted to us.

As parents, many days can seem like a struggle to keep our precious gifts alive, especially in the early years. Thankfully, the Bible gives us clear instructions on how to raise our children in the Lord. When we were kids, we all loved the game of Follow the Leader. The objective is to follow the leader closely and correctly to win. The same is true in our lives and our parenting. The leader is our perfect Lord and Savior, Jesus, and the more closely we follow Him the better our chances of “winning” at this crazy journey of parenting. We cannot be perfect by any stretch of the imagination and neither can our children (as darling as they may be) but we can serve, disciple, pray, lead, and love them like Jesus to the best of our ability. The root of the word discipline is disciple which means to teach. Our discipline should be teaching them to live like Jesus. We cannot do this effectively without first “filling up”.

 

Fill Up & Pour Out

“Filling up” during personal time with God is essential. Psalm 46:10 tells us what to do. “Be still and know that I am God.” In the gospel of John, Jesus makes it clear why. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 This is an oversimplification, but maybe some days feel like we’ve accomplished nothing because we didn’t connect to the Vine before we began our to-do list. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. Our daily “fill up” through time spent with God will become the filter through which we interact with our spouse, our children, and others.

“Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34) Charles Stanley puts it this way, “The more you fill your heart with His words and guidance, the more those words will flow from you to others.” You cannot pour out of an empty vessel.

Parenting is not a task we can take lightly, nor is it an impossible weight that we’re meant to carry alone. He will give us rest for our weary, exhausted souls when we come to Him. (Matt. 11:28-30) The more regularly we fill up with our daily portion from God, the better we can love and serve our families in a way that points them to Christ.

Blessings,

Lauren Brannan

There is a Calling on Your Marriage

Over the next two weeks we will be focusing the Weekly Uplift on our families.  God communicates time and time again throughout the entire New Testament the importance of the family.  God describes in great detail the nature of the relationship between husband, wife, and children (Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, 1 Peter 3). We encourage you to take time this week and next week reading over these passages with your family and praying about them.  

There is a Calling on Your Marriage

There is a calling on your marriage put there by God. The calling is to submit to each other in love, which illustrates the relationship between Christ and the Church.  If there is a calling, then how we answer it is essential. If we want to love well, then we must communicate well. All great partnerships are formed around how well they communicated.


One day a husband was leaving the bathroom after showering and his wife walked in behind him and stepped on the wet rug. “Eww that’s disgusting. Can you please wipe off your feet before you get out of the shower?” Not understanding, the husband did so but forgot a few weeks later. The wife was sure to mention again, “Babe, can you please wipe your feet before getting out of the shower?” Finally, he said, “I don’t know why this bothers you. The rug is used to dry my feet.” After a small giggle the wife responds, “Oh! I always thought they were used to keep my feet warm in the mornings!”

How can we communicate better?

Listening with Life

The key to communicating is putting down the need to be heard.  I have the tendency to begin formulating the perfect response to my wife while she is still talking.  This prevents me from listening and fully engaging her point.

How about we try another approach?


When your spouse comes home from work and wants to talk about their day, let’s be ready.  First and foremost, ask questions that engage them to speak more. For example, you can ask how they felt in the situations they are explaining. Second, when they are done explaining their day ask if they want you to just listen or to respond.

 

Make Time to Talk

The most important aspect to communication is regularly scheduled time to do it. This concept isn’t foreign in our Spiritual lives either because a crucial aspect of a thriving relationship with God is daily prayer.  The more you talk, the closer you are, and the deeper relationship you experience.

 

Check Your Progress
Finally, we have to do a communication check-up with each other periodically. This means that both husband and wife have to be open and honest when they feel that they aren’t communicating well.  I find these conversations are best done with a counselor in the room. This is because we often don’t have the right words to communicate how we feel because we are out of practice. The counselor will ensure you are effectively communicating with each other, instead of arguing in “circles”.

 

Answer the Call
We owe it to the calling put on each of our marriages to do the very best we can. The very best we can do includes implementing great communication within our marriages. So, let’s listen with life to each other. We can regularly schedule times to communicate, and let’s encourage communication through common intimate action and evaluation.

 

Blessings,

Brian Devereaux

The Love Languages

The Love Languages

Dr. Gary Chapman wrote the book The 5 Love Languages, which sold 11 million copies and was the #1 best seller of the New Your Times 8 consecutive times. The focus of the book was how people express and receive love in different ways called love languages. The 5 love languages are: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

It is clear the truths used in Dr. Chapman’s book are also biblical truths:

  1. Quality Time: Luke 22:14 When the hour hand come, Jesus reclined at the table with his apostles. 15 He said to them, I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before my suffering. Jesus desired to spend time with his apostles and desires to spend time with you. Let us spend quality time with our Father.

  2. Words of Affirmation: Luke 22:28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a Kingdom just as my Father conferred one on me. 30 So you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

  3. Gifts: Luke 22:19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. Jesus paid the price we each deserve bearing all the sins of humanity. With his work on the cross, Jesus now offers us an undeserved gift to those who repent and believe in him, which is salvation.

  4.  Acts of Service: Luke 22:27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I among you as one who serves. Jesus the greatest among men did not come to be served, but to serve and gave his life for mankind in order to reestablish humanity into righteousness.

  5.  Physical Touch: John 13:4 so Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. Jesus had to touch the feet of the disciples in order to wash them. The washing was required by Jesus for the disciples to have a part in him. Without the washing they would not have a part of Jesus.

Pray Jesus touches your heart and the hearts of your family and friends, because with his touch our lives change.

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so, we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” (1 John 4:15-17)

Written by Larry Baker

Is Your Mind Set?

Our mindset plays a vital role in our life situations. Paul talks about our mindset in Romans 8:5-8. Paul is concerned about our mindset so much that he uses the phrase five times in four verses. In today’s society, challenges are waiting around every corner of life. I know what you’re thinking… how am I supposed to prepare for the snares of life? The answer is: by having the mindset of Christ. First, let’s review what is not considered as the mindset of Christ.  Romans 8:5a says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires.” Paul is referring to our egocentric human nature; not the fleshly covering of our skeletal system. The nature that was adopted during the fall of mankind in Genesis, our sinful nature, is what he is pointing out. This nature wars against the mindset of Christ. “But those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires” (Romans 8:5b).

Galatians 5:16 tells us the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit desires what is contrary to the flesh. There is a constant battle in all of us, but there is everlasting life with God only when we have the desires of the Spirit. Having a mindset focused on the flesh, will lead to disaster and eventually death. Death is inevitable, but those who are in the realm of the Spirit or having the mindset of Christ have eternal life. So now are you thinking… How do I achieve the mind set of Christ? By having the Spirit, the Spirit of Christ dwell in you. The mindset of Christ will help us live a life worthy of the gospel (Phil 1:27). In order to gain this mindset, one must repent and believe in Jesus. “But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10).  

If you do not have Christ in you, let us begin the conversation with one of our Elders or Staff today. If you are in the family of Christ, I encourage you to pursue the desires of Spirit and continue exercising the mindset of Christ. May everything we do be glorifying to our Father! 

Warmly in Christ and for the Kingdom of God.

Marlo D. Brayboy

Senior Pastor

Lexington Church of Christ 

Bitter or Better?

True Christ-like characteristics are observed while you are in the midst of trials, but those characteristics are also demonstrated after the trial has ended. There are times when unexplainable life circumstances come your way, and we are uncertain of the reasons and we seek God for answers. Our steadfast faith proceeds us in our trial and our continual hope in Jesus leads us out of the trials of life. 1 Peter 1:7 NLT “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So, when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” When the trial has come to an end, we have the option of coming out bitter or better.

Gold is most valuable when it is purified by fire reaching 24 karat. The fire burns away all the impurities and what remains is the most valuable part of the gold. The gold is placed in fire, which exceeds 1000 degrees as it purifies the gold. God desires to purify us for our benefit and for his use. Do not fear the purification, just as Jesus was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3, he is with you in our fire as well. 

James 1:2 tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” As we go through our week, let us remember trials are not meant to destroy us, but to strengthen us. Like the gold, we too must be treated with heat in order to become more valuable to our Father in heaven. So, will you allow trials to make you better for the glory of God or bitter?

Warmly in Christ and for the Kingdom of God,

Marlo Brayboy

Senior Pastor

Lexington Church of Christ

Don't Rely on Recognition

We all  have people in our life to guide and shape us. If not a mother or father, it might have been a coach, teacher, or minister. There will be so many people’s lives we sincerely impact, while receiving little to no recognition. Paul highlights two such ladies in his second letter to his disciple Timothy. Paul sees extraordinary faith in Timothy because of his mother and grandmother’s teachings. Eunice and Lois are only mentioned in the entire Bible once, but their impact is immeasurably great. They pass their faith on to Timothy, who was one of the most significant church leaders of the first century. In a time when women were not typically mentioned by name, this statement carried heavy weight, if only in a few words.

Today, recognition for the mundane tasks and the exceptional achievements are everywhere, no matter your gender or age. If we aren’t publicly recognized for our good deeds, we tend to become discouraged or embittered. Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or a public servant, there are plenty of good works you do but don’t receive recognition.

So, don’t be discouraged if there isn’t as much earthly recognition or praise in the role God has called you to as you thought. He has a greater purpose for your life than you can imagine. Paul writes of that specific promise to the church in Ephesus and we need that specific reminder today. Even if you can’t see it, don’t stop believing that the purpose is there. Eunice and Lois didn’t know what Timothy would become, and you have no idea whose life you touch by your words, faith, or example. Keep walking in the faith Christ has called you to and trust that God will bless your obedience and perseverance.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

Blessings

Brian Devereaux

Women of Worth

Households around the nation celebrated their mothers on Sunday. Mother’s Day has become the great day to highlight an invaluable person in all of our lives. Even to those without traditional mothers, most envision a woman in their life who stepped up to fill the role. Proverbs says that your mother’s teaching is not to be disregarded.

I want to highlight some exemplary characteristics of mothers. The Bible repeatedly depicts women of power and strength and most of them were mothers! I encourage you to open your Bible and read about them. Sarah is the mother of all Israel [Genesis 12-23]. Moses’ mother, Jochebed, had the strength to give up her son, instead of holding on and letting him die at the hands of the Egyptians [Exodus 2]. Deborah had the power and strength to lead Israel in the time of the Judges [Judges 4&5], and the list continues to this day.

The Bible depicts women of bold faith and many of the examples are mothers too. Ruth is the woman who boldly asked Boaz for marriage due to Naomi’s council. The widow of Zarephath had the faith to feed Elijah when she had no more food but had herself and a child to feed [1 Kings 17]. Mary had the faith to believe the angel when he said she was the one to carry the Messiah [Luke 1].

This world continues to need women to know their worth to the Father. God goes out of his way with story after story to highlight how much he loves his daughters. We thank all the mothers and pray for your tireless efforts.  We ask you to continue to be strong and believe boldly.

Blessings

Brian Devereaux

Propriety to Providence

We live in a culture that is constantly trying to take God out of everything. It can be as simple as taking the word “God” out of the pledge of allegiance in schools to vehemently opposing the Ten Commandments at the courthouse. It is peculiar that God in His infinite wisdom would provide a book in The Bible without the utterance of His name at all. We find this to be the case in the Book of Esther. In the face of a fallen world that was quickly worsening. We open the story of Esther and Mordecai. Doesn’t this sound familiar?

Esther continues to weave an intricate story. It reminds me of a movie I was watching the other day that began “this is the story of how 12 strangers’ lives intersected.” This story is rich in evidence for the ever existing providence of God. It displays how faithfulness can produce circumstance that leads to deliverance. It is the same providence the letter of Ephesians opens with, as Paul repeats, we were predestined to be God’s treasured possession.

So, in the immortal words of Christ may we “Take heart!” for He has “Overcome the world.” The world makes relentless efforts to blot His name out. God makes it continually known all throughout His word. His glory will be made known by His name, if not, then by His mighty deeds. For the story of Esther concludes, what man meant for death, persecution, and genocide God used for deliverance, glory, and providence.

Blessings,

Brian Devereaux