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Sermon 12/15/02
Blessed Hands - Joshua 3:13


Blessed Hands

"And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap" (Joshua 3:13)

In today's Scripture, we find people that had a choice.  God's immediate purpose was revealed to them but they had to ACT before His will would be done.  The command was simple - the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant, merely had to set their feet into the waters of the Jordan River, and the river would part for the nation Israel.  FIRST step into the Jordan River, and THEN, God would stop the water from overflowing them.

But would the water stop for them?  They would have looked foolish if nothing happened, and people all around us draw back from God's will, because they might "look bad" to others.  All too often, we wait, when we should really take that step.  The priests did go, in response to the command of God, and the waters did stop for them.  Is God calling you?  Its time to answer His call.

"Streams In The Desert" is a wonderful devotional that has been loved for many years, which was written by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.  She and her husband were missionaries to China, but he became ill and they were forced to return.  She nursed him for a long time, but Mr. Cowman died and she was alone; too old for the mission field.  She must have wondered, "What was all that about?" Her husband was gone and she was no longer a missionary, but she kept a journal, all those years.  She eventually died alone, but her collected writings have blessed generations since that time.

Mrs. Cowman wrote on Joshua 3:13: "If they (the priests and the people of Israel) had come down to the edge of the river and then had stopped and waited for the stream to divide before they stepped out into it, they would have waited in vain.  They must take a step into the water before the river would be cut off.  We must learn to take God at His Word and go straight on in duty, although we see no way in which we can go forward.  The reason we are so often balked by difficulties is that WE EXPECT TO SEE THEM REMOVED BEFORE WE TRY TO PASS THROUGH THEM."

At Friday Study Ministries, we have a "river" ahead of us, called "Blessed Hands," and we believe there is a "call" from God to go through.  We are moving ahead to see the "waters" open for those served by this ministry.

We are especially concerned for those who can't (or won't, for whatever reason) attend a "traditional" church.  For instance, quadriplegics have tremendous difficulties that others don't understand at all.  We reach out through the Internet as a church for those who can't attend one. Yes, we want to reach everyone - We want the WORLD for Jesus Christ, including those who truly CAN'T attend.

We have seen how the internet works for the paralyzed and others, through voice programs, "mouth wands" and other devices.  Those who physically have less, can accomplish much through electronics.  I spent five years in a wheelchair and remember how it felt - If we can, we are to help those who can't.

To the "quad", "para", hearing-impaired, agoraphobic, the "busy" person; to the one in a country where Christianity is illegal --- We welcome you and invite you to be a part of Friday Study Ministries. 

This church includes: Weekly Bible studies, sermons, a communion service for shut-ins, a section for women ("Especially For Women"), a Bulletin Board, and more.  "Especially For Children" is currently a commentary on the Book of John, written for those who are young and those who are young in the Lord.

A central part of this ministry is prayer.  Visit, enter the Weekly Bulletin; click "Pray For These People" and pray for those in need.  Send your requests through "On-Line Prayer Requests" and we will pray for your needs.

The name "Blessed Hands" was coined by Jonathan Merchant, a quadriplegic.  Jonathan was the first "quad" we saw use a "mouth wand" to access the internet and he has been a part of us since the beginning.  One of Jonathan's roommates was Dennis Stinson, who is on the Board of Friday Study Ministries and he will be baptized today.

Needs in relation to "Blessed Hands" include the following:

        Computer Equipment (computers, monitors, etc. for those who need them)

        Specialized Equipment (mouth wands, voice programs)

        Technical Support for installation and other needs

        Staff; pastoral and administrative

        Donations - monthly pledges and gifts to the ministry

        Information - tell others about "Blessed Hands" and Friday Study Ministries

Friday Study Ministries, Inc. is a non-profit corporation, a church, approved by the U.S. IRS (Fed. Tax I.D. 33-0938537) and the Franchise Tax Board of the State of California.  Checks are payable to "Friday Study Ministries" - mention you want to be a part of the "Blessed Hands" program.  Pray for this ministry and for those in need.  Join us with technical and other assistance as you can.  You're needed and you matter.

When God calls, He will part the "rivers" that seem to block our way.  He did that for Israel, because of His love.  He reaches out to every one of us for the same reason - He simply LOVES you and me.  Pray for "Blessed Hands" and be a part of this ministry.

Thank you and God bless you.

    Ron Beckham, Pastor
    Friday Study Ministries

Tel: (562) 688-5559
    PO Box 92131
    Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
    "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)



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