Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sam Scott visits

Today, Sam Scott from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, visited The Sycamores Chapel and Outreach Ministries, a branch of CRM International, Inc. (Caring Resourses International).

We shared a meal with Bro. Scott.
L-R: Chaplain Don Baker, Chaplain Dennis Maloney,  Bro. Sam Scott and Chaplain Jack Gregory.

Sally Maloney, Karen Gregory and Don Baker provided a delicious meal of beef stew, salad, cornbread and homemade grape and blackberry jelly. 

It was a wonderful couple of hours of fellowship, prayer and sharing with Bro. Scott.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Community garden model...

Just a short drive from the chapel is the new town, Carlton Landing.  They have a community garden in the middle of town and the raised beds are an excellent model for the beds needed here for our community garden.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Can We Be Sure We Are Going to Heaven?

1 John 5:11
Can We Be Sure We Are Going To Heaven? by Billy Graham, from The Heaven Answer Book
"When I die, I want to go to Heaven, but how do I know if I will end up in Heaven?”

The question of Heaven, and what it takes to get there is on the mind of many believers. “Can I know…? How can I be sure…? But what if I…?” It makes us wonder... Can we be sure we are going to Heaven? God wants us to know we are going to Heaven. He wants us to live like we are going to Heaven. In fact, God has given us the Holy Spirit as our down payment of things to come.  Let’s listen to what the Apostle Paul said about this down payment.
For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. — 2 Corinthians 5:4-6 (NIV)
Billy Graham writes about Heaven in The Heaven Answer BookYou're invited to read his responses to these two questions, and get Dr. Graham's answers to 10 other questions about Heaven in our free download on our blog!
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How good do we have to be to get into Heaven?
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. — 1 John 5:11–12 (NKJV)
The answer may shock you— but the truth is that we will never be good enough to go to Heaven on our own. Why is this? The reason is because God is absolutely pure and holy, and no evil can ever enter His home. Just one sin will keep us away from His presence—and no one can claim to be sinless. We are born in sin (Romans 5:12); we are sinners by nature.
The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” — Romans 3:23 (NIV)
God doesn't take our good deeds and bad deeds and weigh them against each other; if He did, He’d be letting us into Heaven with our sins. God’s standard is nothing less than perfection. We may think we’re good enough— but if so, we are filled with pride, which is a sin.
The Bible says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” — 1 John 1:8 (NIV) But Jesus preached repentance to receive eternal life in Heaven (Mark 1:15), and it is through His shed blood that our sins are forgiven, covered by His good- ness, and this is why those who believe in Him will be received into Heaven.
Suppose you had a barrel of water and it had been filtered and distilled until no impurities remained. If someone asked you to drink it, you wouldn't hesitate. But suppose someone put a drop of raw sewage in it. Would you drink it? Of course not. The same is true with sin. This is why God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to earth to redeem us by His love and His sacrifice. Jesus was without sin because He was God in human flesh— but on the cross all our sins were transferred to Him, and He took the judgment we deserve. Don’t trust in yourself and your good works, but turn to Jesus and trust Him alone for your salvation. It is the life-changing decision that will settle once and for all your place in Heaven. Don’t miss what the Lord has in store for those who love Him and are willing to let Him be the Master of their lives.
How did Jesus’ death make it possible for us to go to Heaven?
By His death Jesus paid the penalty for our sins. This alone gives us everlasting life with Him in Heaven. We are so used to sin that we easily forget just how serious it is in the eyes of God. Every sin we commit is an act of rebellion—a deliberate renunciation of God’s rightful authority over us. But sin is serious for another reason: it ravages our souls, bringing heartache and brokenness into our lives. Most of all, it cuts us off from fellowship with God.
Because of God’s great love for us, however, He provided the way for us to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins—and, ultimately, to spend eternity with Him. We could never cleanse ourselves; sin’s stain is too deep. But God made our forgiveness possible by sending Jesus Christ into the world as the final and complete sacrifice for our sins. On the cross, Jesus took the divine judgment that you and I deserve. He died in our place.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. — 1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)
Do you want freedom from sin’s penalty? Believe that Christ died for you. He suffered for you. He won the battle over sin for you. He rose from the grave and was victorious over death so that you can live forever. But you must respond by receiving Him into your heart by faith and by committing your life to Him without reserve. He is waiting for you to confess your sins, to surrender yourself to Him, and to make Him Lord and Master of your life. He is preparing a place in Heaven for all those who will come to Him in faith and complete submission. Don’t delay. Make sure of your salvation by turning your life over to Him now.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday morning devotion time

Dr. Dan Griffin teaching this morning before the CRM International board meeting started.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday services

 CRM International chaplains, ministry partners and board members gathered this morning for a blessed time of worship.

Chaplain Dennis Maloney, beginning the service.

Vocalist, Jane Carroll, sang two beautiful specials.

Ministry partner, Angela Neese, blessed us with a couple of songs. 

Bob and Angela Neese, drove over from northeast Missouri to be with us.

 A wonderful candid shot of Dr. Dan and Laura Griffin as was introducing him. 

It is always a treat to hear Dr. Dan teach and preach. Notice the stained glass Cross and Crown piece; Dr. Dan made that and donated it to The Sycamores Chapel. It will soon be mounted in a shadow box with a light behind.  We are so grateful to have Dr. Dan as our chaplains' pastor. He is so valuable to us, both spiritually and artistically.

Following the message, we observed the Lord's Supper together.

Chaplains Dennis Malone, Jack Gregory, Don Baker and Richard McCool assisted with the serving of the Communion elements. 

We gathered back in the chapel for a time of prayer after lunch.
Chaplain Baker enjoying watching the fellowship of friends.

Judy Long, Les and Verla Unruh, Director of Missions to Liberia.

Dr. Dan Griffin leading the prayer service and the dedication of the ministry here at The Sycamores Chapel.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Time for Fellowship...

A very important part of any ministry is that of fellowship and encouragement.  Tonight we encouraged and were encouraged in the work here, as we enjoyed a meal together.

Chaplain Dennis carves the delicious ham.

The author of this blog was thrilled to learn that her path had crossed with Debbie and Joe Gilbert at least twenty years ago when our daughters played summer league basketball together!  And yesterday, we were reconnected by our mutual friends, Jack and Karen, who work with Debbie and Joe at Adventure Land in Iowa each summer.  Debbie and Joe Gilbert are retired educators from Mesquite, Texas and spend their winters in southern Arizona. 

Here, Chaplain Dennis is explaining to Joe and Debbie, in condensed form, about the ministry we are doing here and around the world. 

Ministry partners, Lucian and Mary Lou Schmidt, were able to join us on their way to the Rio Grande Valley.  It was wonderful to see them again.

Richard McCool, of Life Waters Ministry (God's Helping Hands and Hope Clinic, Eufaula, OK), Don Baker, Lucian Schmidt and Chaplain Jack Gregory. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday morning at the chapel

We were joined by Jack and Karen's friends, Joe and Debbie Gilbert.

Don brought the message to our intimate group this morning and was just as happy to do so as if there was a room full.