Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Stuff the Bus" school supply drive continues this week at at FPC-Midland


The annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive is going on now through August 6 at First Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Texas Avenue, Midland, Texas.

Be a part of this year's drive benefiting Casa de Amigos. Help FPC-Midland "Stuff the Bus" by filling a backpack and dropping off in the Library. Below is a list of school supplies needed. Or you can get a copy of the list to take to the store with you HERE.

Boxes of Kleenex                          Crayons
Bottle of Hand Sanitizer                Colored Pencils
Composition Notebooks                Pencil-Top Erasers
Glue (Bottles and/or Sticks)          Scissors
3" x 5" Index Cards                       No. 2 Pencils
Folders with Pockets and Brads   Binders (1", 1.5", 2")
Pink Erasers                                 Watercolors
Highlighters                                  Plastic Pencil Boxes
Wide-Ruled Spiral Notebooks      Pens (Black, Blue and Red)
Wide-Ruled Notebook Paper       Pencil Bags
Dividers                                        Markers
Plastic Rulers

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

“I am hungry,” said Digory.

“Well, tuck in,” said Fledge, taking a big mouthful of grass.

Then he raised his head, still chewing and with bits of grass sticking out on each side of his mouth like whiskers, and said, “Come on, you two. Don’t be shy. There’s plenty for us all.”

“But we can’t eat grass,” said Digory.

“H’m, h’m,” said Fledge, speaking with his mouth full. “Well—h’m— don’t know quite what you’ll do then. Very good grass too.”

Polly and Digory stared at one another in dismay.

“Well, I do think someone might have arranged about our meals,” said Digory.

“I’m sure Aslan would have, if you’d asked him,” said Fledge.

“Wouldn’t he know without being asked?” said Polly.

“I’ve no doubt he would,” said the Horse (still with his mouth full). “But I’ve a sort of idea he likes to be asked.”

From The Magician's Nephew
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: July 22, 2017

HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY - The recovery from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy has been slow for some in New Jersey, especially the underprivileged. MisiĆ³n Nueva Vida has worked since 2015 to help those in the Metropolitan Mobile Home Park (Metropark) in Moonachie, where floodwaters continue to damage the homes of mostly Hispanic-Latino immigrant families, and a lack of money is rampant. Three trailers have been repaired and raised, and a fourth will soon be completed ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, July 21, 2017

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO DR. F. MORGAN ROBERTS: On Lewis’s own rules about prayer.

31 July 1954

I am certainly unfit to advise anyone else on the devotional life. My own rules are (1) To make sure that, wherever else they may be placed, the main prayers should not be put ‘last thing at night’. (2) To avoid introspection in prayer—I mean not to watch one’s own mind to see if it is in the right frame, but al- ways to turn the attention outwards to God. (3) Never, never to try to generate an emotion by will power. (4) To pray without words when I am able, but to fall back on words when tired or otherwise below par. With renewed thanks. Perhaps you will sometimes pray for me?

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: July 21, 2017

WORSHIPING COMMUNITY AT XAVIVER UNIVERSITY - When the Rev. Abby King-Kaiser was hired at Xavier University as associate director of the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice, she was only the second Protestant on staff in the office ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

In the News ... "52 Faces" Q&A with H.A. Tuck

MRT Photo by James Durbin
• 52 Faces: H.A. Tuck, First Christian Church Disciples Food Pantry, High Sky Wing

MIDLAND, TEXAS - Presented by Chevron, "52 Faces of the Community" is a feature of the Midland Reporter-Telegram that is recognizing the unsung heroes and volunteers of Midland, Texas. The latest installment in this series offers a question-and-answer session with H.A. Tuck, retired Public Relations Director for the Midland Chamber of Commerce and, later, Midland College ...

read the rest of this MRT report ...

visit the "52 Faces" index page

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

Screwtape offers more advice on using daily annoyances to entrap a Patient:

It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very ‘spiritual’, that he is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rheumatism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards as her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother—the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time, you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment’s notice from impassioned prayer for a wife’s or son’s ‘soul’ to beating or insulting the real wife or son without a qualm

From The Screwtape Letters
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: July 20, 2017

PROJECT HOMELESS - Just as robins are commonly recognized as harbingers of spring, “Pastor Robyn” is widely acknowledged in Fort Worth, Texas, as a harbinger of new beginnings — especially for the city’s homeless men and women ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WAW Wednesday ... "Beyond Expectations"

"The Word at Work is a ministry that mobilizes churches and individuals to answer God's call to minister to those in need," writes Rev. Tim Tam, Director of the Amarillo, Texas-based ministry. "Through our relationships, God reveals needs and opportunities for service. As we come along side the poor, new friendships develop and doors for ministry open. As we serve, God provides the resources to supply for the needs he reveals."


WAW Wednesday: "Beyond Expectations"

Dear Friends,

With the full heat of summer on in Belize, a breeze can be the most welcome thing ever. Our team from Pennsylvania (made up of folks from Paoli Presbyterian and Ardmore Presbyterian Church) is working hard and grateful for any breeze that God provides! This morning I received this report from Amy, one of the team members:

"Teams from both churches have gone on various vision trips; worked pouring concrete floors in Valley of Peace; and, worked on and completed raised garden beds at Marla's House of Hope. The reports the teams share each night are invigorating."

Amy continues, "From the perspective of one person from PPC, the experience has been very much out of my element, but up-lifting. While I expected some hard work, I did not expect the grueling lifting, shoveling, digging, and MORE shoveling. I also didn't expect the delicious food prepared in outdoor kitchens over open fires.

I didn't expect the appreciation from a family that just had their lives changed because we replaced a dirt floor with a concrete one.

I didn't expect a teenager (whose life has been pretty rough) to come up to me on a picnic bench, sit down, and serenade me with praise songs that moved something in me so powerful that I had tears in my eyes.

As I enjoyed a breeze and exclaimed how good it felt, I didn't expect a seventeen-year-old mother to share with me that her mother used to say, 'A breeze is God whispering to us.' I didn't expect to share love and be loved back so openly and freely.

So, while I have experienced some hardships so far this week, the gifts I have received have been much more powerful. God is definitely present through each action. I haven't always been so aware of His presence. Maybe it took a fifteen-year-old girl singing to me in the light breeze, 'Holy Spirit, you are welcome here . . .'"

WAW Photos
Speaking of expectations ...

We didn't expect to see 3 of our friends together in New York City last week; but, lo and behold, Sheelagh, Dave & Matt (who met on one of our Christmas trips in Belize - hailing from Pennsylvania and Florida by way of New Mexico) reconnected and shared this photo. Another beautiful way that God reveals himself in our work is through friendships in the U.S. that began in Belize!



We've set the dates for our 2017 Christmas Project - December 9-16 - is God calling you to join us?

We can see the word at work in all of our partners in Belize and our teams. It's a humbling thing, and we pray it all brings God glory! Please continue to pray for these groups and those preparing to make the trip soon.

Thanks, friends,
Mollie Swafford
#wearethewordatwork

P.S. Just as I was about to hit the send button for this missive, I received a message from our Mt. Calvary Baptist team. On Friday, the VBS they are sponsoring in partnership with Luz del Evangelio in Orange Walk was WAY beyond their expectations with 439 children in attendance...just imagine! This week, they are conducting medical clinics and this morning they saw 69 patients in San Jose! Isn't God good?




EDITOR'S NOTE: Speaking from my own first-hand experience - working side-by-side with Tim, Kenny and our brothers and sisters in Belize - won't you give thoughtful, prayerful consideration to supporting the efforts of Tim, the Word At Work staff and their partners? Please please fill out this Commitment Card and return it to their office!

Also, remember that you can follow The Word At Work on their Facebook page!


Burgers & Blessings continues TONIGHT at Grace Presbyterian

Laura Up In the Clouds
Burgers and Blessings continues this Wednesday - TONIGHT - starting at 6:00 p.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2801 N. Garfield Street in Midland, Texas.

The members of Church on the Journey will be joining us this year.

Burgers and Blessings is a time to get together for for fellowship, mid-week. The church provides burgers, hot dogs, fixin's and drinks. We set up 'teams' to take turns preparing. If you would like to be on a team, please contact Suzi Thompson, Judy Brown or Cheryl Truzkowski at the church - phone number (432)-684-6542.

The men's study group will be taking turns cooking the meat, so we will all be bringing side dishes and dessert ... if you have a new recipe you would like to try, we are willing guinea pigs!

There's a place at the table for YOU!

Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... TODAY

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... TODAY

Hi Friends,

If you're in town and free, please join us to pray together on Wednesday - TODAY - at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

This will be the last prayer email I send for the a few weeks. I'm going on vacation with my family and will return in early August. The prayer group will still meet while I'm gone, but I won't be sending out emails.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

We're in the midst of summer, and my kids are enjoying it immensely. Swimming pools, camping trips, time with grandparents, staying up late eating root beer floats with their daddy. It's been a great summer to be a kid at my house. That being said, when I consider the world around me -- not just the other side of the world, but sometimes just down my street -- I think about how for many children, summer isn't anything special. For kids in my own neighborhood, community, and country, summer can be a time of too-much-time-alone. Of course kids don't need to be entertained all the time, but for some kids summer is filled with isolation, loneliness, and hunger.

And this past week as my girls watched in wide-eyed-wonder as fireworks filled the sky, I thought about kids in war-torn countries for whom rockets streaking through the night mean terror and not delight. There are so many ways a child can loose her innocence, and I find it difficult to live in the tension of gratefully protecting my own children and aching for the children who don't ever get the chance to just be an innocent little kid.

I know that God never grows comfortable with this tension. He didn't create some children to suffer and some children to thrive. He didn't design destruction. So when we see it -- whether it's in the neglect of a child in our community or in the violence directed towards a child on the other side of the world -- may we speak out against it, rise up to stop it, and lift our hearts in prayer.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

I've been thinking a lot about hearts this week. And I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for three little hearts and the hearts of those who love them.

Connor
Connor Hutcheson Langdon was born July 13 at 3:44pm, weighing 8lbs and measuring 21.25 inches. Mary and Travis Langdon, members of FPC, welcomed baby Connor, along with big sisters Sally and Kate. Connor was born with Ebstein's Anomaly of the Tricuspid Valve (learn more here ...), and he's currently hospitalized at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston as his medical team evaluates whether or not he needs heart surgery immediately. Travis shared the following update yesterday:

"Connor had a great first day and then some setbacks on day 2 so he was intubated (breathing tube down his trachea) and put on a respirator. We were worried about that at first, but he seems to be responding very well and getting some good rest at the CVICU. The incredible staff at TCH reminds us that Ebstein's treatment is a marathon, and that if Connor remains stable he may stay in his current status for days or weeks. His small army of care providers reassure us that he is strong and responsive but they need time to dial in what will work for him." Follow his family's journey here ...
Please join me in praying for Connor's heart to beat strong, for his medical team as they determine the best course of care, and for Mary, Travis, Sally, Kate, and the rest of their family, as they learn how to navigate this new season.

Photo by meredithtouring
Adriel
"This tiny baby girl doesn't have a mom and a dad to claim her, but she has the community of a small foster home in China behind her. It's a miracle she's made it this far -- she arrived at the Beijing foster home from her home orphanage incredibly sick and desperately needing a heart surgery. Under most circumstances, surgeons wouldn't operate on a little one with so many infections, but in her case, not operating meant she would certainly die. So they decided to try. The manager of the foster home shared the following report post-surgery:

"They worked all afternoon and into the China night -- and our Adriel Brave was the strongest little fighter I've ever known. She made it through surgery -- a victory that was far from guaranteed. She came out on life support -- chest swollen open -- but she is alive. She is fighting. She is Brave.

They removed a clot -- over half her heart's size -- and attempted to repair the tiniest valve. Tightened up an artery to protect her lungs, in greatest hope and faith that future surgeries will be part of her story.

She is one desperately sick baby girl -- and I don't say that often. The next days and weeks will be a fight for life -- for hope -- and we will stand with her. Bacterial and fungal pneumonia, fungal meningitis, and a raging infection through her valves, blood, and the lining of her heart. Words that could bring down full grown adults -- and our tiny 12 pound Adriel Brave warriors on.

She's in isolation because of infection in that Chinese ICU, but her doctor has absolutely lost his heart -- sending updates and promising to do his best to fight her through.

I couldn't be more grateful for her Chinese surgical team. When most would have said "No hope" -- they said "We'll try". They stood for hours upon hours into the night, working on the tiniest brave heart -- and they didn't rest.. didn't stop... didn't give up on her once.

She has the longest road ahead and we are so grateful for your prayers -- and we are trusting she is held in His hands until we have her back in our arms. No matter the cost -- no matter the fight... Adriel's hope is worth the risk. We will never stop being grateful for the miracle of each day." Follow Adriel's journey and see other stories of children helped by Morningstar Foundation here ...

Please join me in praying for Adriel's body to fight hard and heal -- both from the heart surgery and all the infections. Pray for Meredith and the rest of the nannies at Morningstar as they love and serve Adriel and other children with critical cardiac needs.

Courtesy Photo
Everett
Everett turns 4 in just a few days, and he was adopted from China earlier this year. He came home with a broken heart, and just underwent surgery a couple of weeks ago at one of the best pediatric cardiac facilities in the nation in an attempt to correct the consequences of being born with heterotaxy, a rare congenital heart condition which results in the heart being opposite of its normal placement. Seventeen days after surgery, Everett had a major cardiac arrest and though his medical team was able to bring him back, he suffered significant brain damage and his family have been told he no longer has brain activity. Yesterday, his family gathered around his hospital bed to celebrate his 4th birthday. Follow his family's story here ...

Please join me in praying for a miracle for little Everett, and for his family as they walk through days and weeks to come.

Praying with you,
Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153



If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On the Lord's Prayer

If you are interested enough to have read thus far you are probably interested enough to make a shot at saying your prayers: and, whatever else you say, you will probably say the Lord’s Prayer.

Its very first words are Our Father. Do you now see what those words mean? They mean quite frankly, that you are putting yourself in the place of a son of God. To put it bluntly, you are dressing up as Christ. If you like, you are pretending. Because, of course, the moment you realise what the words mean, you realise that you are not a son of God. You are not being like The Son of God, whose will and interests are at one with those of the Father: you are a bundle of self-centred fears, hopes, greeds, jealousies, and self-conceit, all doomed to death. So that, in a way, this dressing up as Christ is a piece of outrageous cheek. But the odd thing is that He has ordered us to do it.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: July 19, 2017

PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY - The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) recently held its first outdoor fundraiser, welcoming more than 200 friends, visitors and volunteers to its newly renovated courtyard in Philadelphia’s Society Hill neighborhood ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... Tomorrow

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... Tomorrow

Hi Friends,

If you're in town and free, please join us to pray together on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

This will be the last prayer email I send for the a few weeks. I'm going on vacation with my family and will return in early August. The prayer group will still meet while I'm gone, but I won't be sending out emails.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

We're in the midst of summer, and my kids are enjoying it immensely. Swimming pools, camping trips, time with grandparents, staying up late eating root beer floats with their daddy. It's been a great summer to be a kid at my house. That being said, when I consider the world around me -- not just the other side of the world, but sometimes just down my street -- I think about how for many children, summer isn't anything special. For kids in my own neighborhood, community, and country, summer can be a time of too-much-time-alone. Of course kids don't need to be entertained all the time, but for some kids summer is filled with isolation, loneliness, and hunger.

And this past week as my girls watched in wide-eyed-wonder as fireworks filled the sky, I thought about kids in war-torn countries for whom rockets streaking through the night mean terror and not delight. There are so many ways a child can loose her innocence, and I find it difficult to live in the tension of gratefully protecting my own children and aching for the children who don't ever get the chance to just be an innocent little kid.

I know that God never grows comfortable with this tension. He didn't create some children to suffer and some children to thrive. He didn't design destruction. So when we see it -- whether it's in the neglect of a child in our community or in the violence directed towards a child on the other side of the world -- may we speak out against it, rise up to stop it, and lift our hearts in prayer.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

I've been thinking a lot about hearts this week. And I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for three little hearts and the hearts of those who love them.

Connor
Connor Hutcheson Langdon was born July 13 at 3:44pm, weighing 8lbs and measuring 21.25 inches. Mary and Travis Langdon, members of FPC, welcomed baby Connor, along with big sisters Sally and Kate. Connor was born with Ebstein's Anomaly of the Tricuspid Valve (learn more here ...), and he's currently hospitalized at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston as his medical team evaluates whether or not he needs heart surgery immediately. Travis shared the following update yesterday:

"Connor had a great first day and then some setbacks on day 2 so he was intubated (breathing tube down his trachea) and put on a respirator. We were worried about that at first, but he seems to be responding very well and getting some good rest at the CVICU. The incredible staff at TCH reminds us that Ebstein's treatment is a marathon, and that if Connor remains stable he may stay in his current status for days or weeks. His small army of care providers reassure us that he is strong and responsive but they need time to dial in what will work for him." Follow his family's journey here ...
Please join me in praying for Connor's heart to beat strong, for his medical team as they determine the best course of care, and for Mary, Travis, Sally, Kate, and the rest of their family, as they learn how to navigate this new season.

Photo by meredithtouring
Adriel
"This tiny baby girl doesn't have a mom and a dad to claim her, but she has the community of a small foster home in China behind her. It's a miracle she's made it this far -- she arrived at the Beijing foster home from her home orphanage incredibly sick and desperately needing a heart surgery. Under most circumstances, surgeons wouldn't operate on a little one with so many infections, but in her case, not operating meant she would certainly die. So they decided to try. The manager of the foster home shared the following report post-surgery:

"They worked all afternoon and into the China night -- and our Adriel Brave was the strongest little fighter I've ever known. She made it through surgery -- a victory that was far from guaranteed. She came out on life support -- chest swollen open -- but she is alive. She is fighting. She is Brave.

They removed a clot -- over half her heart's size -- and attempted to repair the tiniest valve. Tightened up an artery to protect her lungs, in greatest hope and faith that future surgeries will be part of her story.

She is one desperately sick baby girl -- and I don't say that often. The next days and weeks will be a fight for life -- for hope -- and we will stand with her. Bacterial and fungal pneumonia, fungal meningitis, and a raging infection through her valves, blood, and the lining of her heart. Words that could bring down full grown adults -- and our tiny 12 pound Adriel Brave warriors on.

She's in isolation because of infection in that Chinese ICU, but her doctor has absolutely lost his heart -- sending updates and promising to do his best to fight her through.

I couldn't be more grateful for her Chinese surgical team. When most would have said "No hope" -- they said "We'll try". They stood for hours upon hours into the night, working on the tiniest brave heart -- and they didn't rest.. didn't stop... didn't give up on her once.

She has the longest road ahead and we are so grateful for your prayers -- and we are trusting she is held in His hands until we have her back in our arms. No matter the cost -- no matter the fight... Adriel's hope is worth the risk. We will never stop being grateful for the miracle of each day." Follow Adriel's journey and see other stories of children helped by Morningstar Foundation here ...

Please join me in praying for Adriel's body to fight hard and heal -- both from the heart surgery and all the infections. Pray for Meredith and the rest of the nannies at Morningstar as they love and serve Adriel and other children with critical cardiac needs.

Courtesy Photo
Everett
Everett turns 4 in just a few days, and he was adopted from China earlier this year. He came home with a broken heart, and just underwent surgery a couple of weeks ago at one of the best pediatric cardiac facilities in the nation in an attempt to correct the consequences of being born with heterotaxy, a rare congenital heart condition which results in the heart being opposite of its normal placement. Seventeen days after surgery, Everett had a major cardiac arrest and though his medical team was able to bring him back, he suffered significant brain damage and his family have been told he no longer has brain activity. Yesterday, his family gathered around his hospital bed to celebrate his 4th birthday. Follow his family's story here ...

Please join me in praying for a miracle for little Everett, and for his family as they walk through days and weeks to come.

Praying with you,
Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153



If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

In the News ... "CDBG awards to address blight, provide aid"

Courtesy Photo
• City doles out $1.4 million in federal funds

By Corey Paul, Reporter
Odessa American

ODESSA, TEXAS - The City of Odessa of distributed more than $1.4 million in federal assistance funding to programs aimed at addressing blight and contributing aid resources for a range of Odessans, from the elderly to the homeless.

Compared to last year, the city had more Community Development Block Grant and Home Investment Partnership Program funds to distribute this year. And every outside agency that requested money from the Odessa City Council was funded in full ...

read the rest of this OA report ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

With a jingling of mail the others climbed up behind [Lucy]. Aslan glided on before them and they walked after him.

“Lucy,” said Susan in a very small voice.

“Yes?” said Lucy. “I see him now. I’m sorry.”

“That’s all right.”

“But I’ve been far worse than you know. I really believed it was him—he, I mean—yesterday. When he warned us not to go down to the fir wood. And I really believed it was him tonight, when you woke us up. I mean, deep down inside. Or I could have, if I’d let myself. But I just wanted to get out of the woods and—and—oh, I don’t know. And what ever am I to say to him?”

“Perhaps you won’t need to say much,” suggested Lucy.

From Prince Caspian
Compiled in A Year with Aslan

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: July 18, 2017

HANDS AND FEET INITITIVE - When J. Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), began touting his Hands and Feet initiative at last winter’s Montreat College Conference and initiative manager Andrew Yeager-Buckley talked up its service/learning opportunities, the UKirk campus ministry at Michigan State University (MSU) immediately signed on ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, July 17, 2017

From @chinaaid : "China blames Christian victims, Korean missionaries for ISIS killing"

The China Aid Association is a non-profit Christian organization - based in Midland, Texas - with a mission to uncover and reveal the truth about religious persecution in China, focusing especially on the unofficial church. They do this, they explain in their website, by exposing the abuses, encouraging the abused and equipping the saints to advance the kingdom of God throughout China.

ChinaAid Photo
China blames Christian victims, Korean missionaries for ISIS killing
Distributed by ChinaAid, June, 2017 ...

BEIJNG, CHINA – ISIS’s murder of two Chinese missionaries sparked public outrage as China’s government failed to adequately investigate their deaths, instead terming their mission work “illegal,” blaming the Koreans with whom they were affiliated, and seizing those who attempted to spread the news ...

more on this story from China Aid



Burgers & Blessings continues this week at Grace Presbyterian

Laura Up In the Clouds
Burgers and Blessings continues this Wednesday, July 19th, starting at 6:00 p.m. at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2801 N. Garfield Street in Midland, Texas.

The members of Church on the Journey will be joining us this year.

Burgers and Blessings is a time to get together for fellowship, mid-week. The church provides burgers, hot dogs, fixin's and drinks. We set up 'teams' to take turns preparing. If you would like to be on a team, please contact Suzi Thompson, Judy Brown or Cheryl Truzkowski at the church - phone number (432)-684-6542.

The men's study group will be taking turns cooking the meat, so we will all be bringing side dishes and dessert ... if you have a new recipe you would like to try, we are willing guinea pigs!

There's a place at the table for YOU!

Invitation to Prayer from Faces of Children ... Wednesday

Faces of Children is an ecumenical prayer ministry under the auspices of First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. Their mission is to initiate ministries of prayer for children in churches, communities, and neighborhoods. In doing so, they seek to provide an opportunity for people of God to join together, learn about children and their needs throughout the world, and celebrate Christ's love (especially as it relates to children).

Invitation to Prayer ... Wednesday

Hi Friends,

If you're in town and free, please join us to pray together on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., in the gym conference room at First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas. The church is not currently offering lunch service. If you'd like to have lunch together, please bring a sack lunch and we can eat together.

This will be the last prayer email I send for the a few weeks. I'm going on vacation with my family and will return in early August. The prayer group will still meet while I'm gone, but I won't be sending out emails.

Also, Faces of Children is now on Facebook! I invite you to like our page so that you can see regular stories, prayer needs, and updates from partner ministries.

All the best,

Carrie



Dear Intercessors,

We're in the midst of summer, and my kids are enjoying it immensely. Swimming pools, camping trips, time with grandparents, staying up late eating root beer floats with their daddy. It's been a great summer to be a kid at my house. That being said, when I consider the world around me -- not just the other side of the world, but sometimes just down my street -- I think about how for many children, summer isn't anything special. For kids in my own neighborhood, community, and country, summer can be a time of too-much-time-alone. Of course kids don't need to be entertained all the time, but for some kids summer is filled with isolation, loneliness, and hunger.

And this past week as my girls watched in wide-eyed-wonder as fireworks filled the sky, I thought about kids in war-torn countries for whom rockets streaking through the night mean terror and not delight. There are so many ways a child can loose her innocence, and I find it difficult to live in the tension of gratefully protecting my own children and aching for the children who don't ever get the chance to just be an innocent little kid.

I know that God never grows comfortable with this tension. He didn't create some children to suffer and some children to thrive. He didn't design destruction. So when we see it -- whether it's in the neglect of a child in our community or in the violence directed towards a child on the other side of the world -- may we speak out against it, rise up to stop it, and lift our hearts in prayer.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

I've been thinking a lot about hearts this week. And I'd like to invite you to join me in praying for three little hearts and the hearts of those who love them.

Connor
Connor Hutcheson Langdon was born July 13 at 3:44pm, weighing 8lbs and measuring 21.25 inches. Mary and Travis Langdon, members of FPC, welcomed baby Connor, along with big sisters Sally and Kate. Connor was born with Ebstein's Anomaly of the Tricuspid Valve (learn more here ...), and he's currently hospitalized at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston as his medical team evaluates whether or not he needs heart surgery immediately. Travis shared the following update yesterday:

"Connor had a great first day and then some setbacks on day 2 so he was intubated (breathing tube down his trachea) and put on a respirator. We were worried about that at first, but he seems to be responding very well and getting some good rest at the CVICU. The incredible staff at TCH reminds us that Ebstein's treatment is a marathon, and that if Connor remains stable he may stay in his current status for days or weeks. His small army of care providers reassure us that he is strong and responsive but they need time to dial in what will work for him." Follow his family's journey here ...
Please join me in praying for Connor's heart to beat strong, for his medical team as they determine the best course of care, and for Mary, Travis, Sally, Kate, and the rest of their family, as they learn how to navigate this new season.

Photo by meredithtouring
Adriel
"This tiny baby girl doesn't have a mom and a dad to claim her, but she has the community of a small foster home in China behind her. It's a miracle she's made it this far -- she arrived at the Beijing foster home from her home orphanage incredibly sick and desperately needing a heart surgery. Under most circumstances, surgeons wouldn't operate on a little one with so many infections, but in her case, not operating meant she would certainly die. So they decided to try. The manager of the foster home shared the following report post-surgery:

"They worked all afternoon and into the China night -- and our Adriel Brave was the strongest little fighter I've ever known. She made it through surgery -- a victory that was far from guaranteed. She came out on life support -- chest swollen open -- but she is alive. She is fighting. She is Brave.

They removed a clot -- over half her heart's size -- and attempted to repair the tiniest valve. Tightened up an artery to protect her lungs, in greatest hope and faith that future surgeries will be part of her story.

She is one desperately sick baby girl -- and I don't say that often. The next days and weeks will be a fight for life -- for hope -- and we will stand with her. Bacterial and fungal pneumonia, fungal meningitis, and a raging infection through her valves, blood, and the lining of her heart. Words that could bring down full grown adults -- and our tiny 12 pound Adriel Brave warriors on.

She's in isolation because of infection in that Chinese ICU, but her doctor has absolutely lost his heart -- sending updates and promising to do his best to fight her through.

I couldn't be more grateful for her Chinese surgical team. When most would have said "No hope" -- they said "We'll try". They stood for hours upon hours into the night, working on the tiniest brave heart -- and they didn't rest.. didn't stop... didn't give up on her once.

She has the longest road ahead and we are so grateful for your prayers -- and we are trusting she is held in His hands until we have her back in our arms. No matter the cost -- no matter the fight... Adriel's hope is worth the risk. We will never stop being grateful for the miracle of each day." Follow Adriel's journey and see other stories of children helped by Morningstar Foundation here ...

Please join me in praying for Adriel's body to fight hard and heal -- both from the heart surgery and all the infections. Pray for Meredith and the rest of the nannies at Morningstar as they love and serve Adriel and other children with critical cardiac needs.

Courtesy Photo
Everett
Everett turns 4 in just a few days, and he was adopted from China earlier this year. He came home with a broken heart, and just underwent surgery a couple of weeks ago at one of the best pediatric cardiac facilities in the nation in an attempt to correct the consequences of being born with heterotaxy, a rare congenital heart condition which results in the heart being opposite of its normal placement. Seventeen days after surgery, Everett had a major cardiac arrest and though his medical team was able to bring him back, he suffered significant brain damage and his family have been told he no longer has brain activity. Yesterday, his family gathered around his hospital bed to celebrate his 4th birthday. Follow his family's story here ...

Please join me in praying for a miracle for little Everett, and for his family as they walk through days and weeks to come.

Praying with you,
Carrie

Carrie J. McKean
Faces of Children Director
First Presbyterian Church of Midland, Texas
(432) 684-7821 x153



If you have prayer requests about children, those who care for them, those who have authority over them, or those who harm them (the really hard prayers to say sometimes), please send them to info@facesofchildren.net

In the News ... "Counseling center celebrating local families"

Courtesy Photo
• Event proceeds support services, programs and assistance funds

Staff Report
Odessa American


MIDLAND/ODESSA, TEXAS - The Samaritan Counseling Center of West Texas has scheduled the 23rd Annual Family of the Year Celebration Luncheon 2017 to honor an Odessa and Midland family during the event scheduled at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 17 at the Green Tree Country Club in Midland ...

read the rest of this OA report ...



The Samaritan program began in Elkhart, Indiana in 1972 when a physician, two parish pastors, and a seminary professor observed that by working together, ministers, therapists, and physicians were very effective in helping people with stress-related problems. This team approach became the foundation of the Samaritan program. Samaritan counselors believe that there is a close relationship of mind, body, spirit, and community, and that optimal health care involves consideration of all four.

Learn more about the program ...

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

We begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected; I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.

Today in the Mission Yearbook: July 17, 2017

2017 INTERNATIONAL PEACEMAKERS - Anyone who has dealt with conflict that has lasted for years knows how difficult it can be to re-establish a bond with the other side, even if that conflict ended long ago. That is a challenge faced by the Rev. Doug Baker, one of the 2017 International Peacemakers visiting the U.S. this fall ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Equal Exchange Blog ... "The Ups and Downs of Cashew Farming"

Equal Exchange's mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world.


The Ups and Downs of Cashew Farming

We thought we’d give one example of small-scale farmers who are experiencing the effects of a changing climate. Our cashew partner in El Salvador, APRAINORES, is a small group that has been consistently smacked by climate change and other difficulties - like the first general manager of the co-op who left them hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that they are continuing to pay of ...

CLICK HERE to read the rest of this post

Equal Exchange Photo

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On the resurrection of the body and of all creation; and on the goodness of the bodies we now have.

26 November 1962

My stuff about animals came long ago in The Problem of Pain. I ventured the supposal—it could be nothing more—that as we are raised in Christ, so at least some animals are raised in us. Who knows, indeed, but that a great deal even of the inanimate creation is raised in the redeemed souls who have, during this life, taken its beauty into themselves? That may be the way in which the ‘new heaven and the new earth’30 are formed. Of course we can only guess and wonder.

But these particular guesses arise in me, I trust, from taking seriously the resurrection of the body: a doctrine which now-a- days is very soft pedalled by nearly all the faithful—to our great impoverishment. Not that you and I have now much reason to rejoice in having bodies! Like old automobiles, aren’t they? where all sorts of apparently different things keep going wrong, but what they add up to is the plain fact that the machine is wearing out. Well, it was not meant to last forever. Still, I have a kindly feeling for the old rattle-trap. Through it God showed me that whole side of His beauty which is embodied in colour, sound, smell and size. No doubt it has often led me astray: but not half so often, I suspect, as my soul has led it astray. For the spiritual evils which we share with the devils (pride, spite) are far worse than what we share with the beasts: and sensuality really arises more from the imagination than from the appetites: which, if left merely to their own animal strength, and not elaborated by our imagination, would be fairly easily managed. But this is turning into a sermon!

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
Compiled in Yours, Jack

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: July 16, 2017

PRESBYTERIAN PEACEMAKING PROGRAM TRAVEL/STUDY SEMINAR - More than 80 percent of its flora and fauna cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. But despite the richness of its biodiversity, Madagascar is one of the poorest nations in the world, with 92 percent of its population living on less than $2 a day ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Stuff the Bus" school supply drive continues this week at at FPC-Midland


The annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive is going on now through August 6 at First Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Texas Avenue, Midland, Texas.

Be a part of this year's drive benefiting Casa de Amigos. Help FPC-Midland "Stuff the Bus" by filling a backpack and dropping off in the Library. Below is a list of school supplies needed. Or you can get a copy of the list to take to the store with you HERE.

Boxes of Kleenex                          Crayons
Bottle of Hand Sanitizer                Colored Pencils
Composition Notebooks                Pencil-Top Erasers
Glue (Bottles and/or Sticks)          Scissors
3" x 5" Index Cards                       No. 2 Pencils
Folders with Pockets and Brads   Binders (1", 1.5", 2")
Pink Erasers                                 Watercolors
Highlighters                                  Plastic Pencil Boxes
Wide-Ruled Spiral Notebooks      Pens (Black, Blue and Red)
Wide-Ruled Notebook Paper       Pencil Bags
Dividers                                        Markers
Plastic Rulers

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Saints

God is not merely mending, not simply restoring a status quo. Redeemed humanity is to be something more glorious than unfallen humanity would have been, more glorious than any unfallen race now is (if at this moment the night sky conceals any such). The greater the sin, the greater the mercy: the deeper the death, the brighter the re-birth. And this super-added glory will, with true vicariousness, exalt all creatures, and those who have never fallen will thus bless Adam’s fall.

From Miracles
Compiled in Words to Live By

Today in the PC-USA Mission Yearbook


The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study is a daily devotional with 365 inspiring mission stories that come from next door and all across the globe. It inspires thousands of Presbyterians daily as they uphold the mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in intercessory prayer.


Today in the Mission Yearbook: July 15, 2017

MATILDA CARTLEDGE BEQUEST - While sorting through the papers of her late cousin Matilda Cartledge, Rebecca McClure found a couple of sentences in her relative’s handwriting that she says reflect Cartledge’s values ...

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, July 14, 2017

C.S. Lewis Daily - Today's Reading

Presented by Bible Gateway
Today's Reading

On Masculine and Feminine

For a good wife contains so many persons in herself. What was H. not to me? She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. Perhaps more. If we had never fallen in love we should have none the less been always together, and created a scandal. That’s what I meant when I once praised her for her “masculine virtues.” But she soon put a stop to that by asking how I’d like to be praised for my feminine ones. It was a good riposte, dear. Yet there was something of the Amazon, something of Penthesileia and Camilla. And you, as well as I, were glad it should be there. You were glad I should recognize it.

Solomon calls his bride Sister. Could a woman be a complete wife unless, for a moment, in one particular mood, a man felt almost inclined to call her Brother? . . .

There is, hidden or flaunted, a sword between the sexes till an entire marriage reconciles them. It is arrogance in us to call frankness, fairness, and chivalry “masculine” when we see them in a woman; it is arrogance in them to describe a man’s sensitiveness or tact or tenderness as “feminine.” But also what poor, warped fragments of humanity most mere men and mere women must be to make the implications of that arrogance plausible. Marriage heals this. Jointly the two become fully human. “In the image of God created He them.” Thus, by a paradox, this carnival of sexuality leads us out beyond our sexes.

From A Grief Observed
Compiled in Words to Live By