Beautiful Hands... are hands that work for the Lord! THE SHINING LIGHT

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1 The Volume 19 Issue 1 Jan-Feb 2017 Shining Light Inside Peer Pressure Page 4-5 Treasure Hunting Page 6 Beautiful Hands... Remember Page 8

2 Beautiful Hands... are hands that work for the Lord! Samson killed the lion. Little Samuel was helping in the tabernacle. We see David taking a sling and some stones and killing giant Goliath. We read of Ruth who gathered barley so she and Naomi could live. We can read of how Solomon built a great house for the Lord. We see how Elijah rebuilt the altar, prayed for fire and fire came down! The little Israelite girl showed Naaman where to find healing from his leprosy. Daniel prayed three times a day, and did not stop praying to God when he was told to. We see when the three Hebrew children went before the king, they refused to fall down and worship the idol. Nehemiah had a burden to rebuild Jerusalem, and he gave up all his comforts. The people who built the wall worked with one hand and held the weapon with the other they were ready to withstand the enemy! Esther was willing to do whatever she could to stop the destruction of her people. The people of Ninevah fasted and prayed for the salvation of their souls. THE SHINING LIGHT Subsidiary of The Gospel Trumpet Editor: Sis. Christine Thilmony Please direct correspondence to: The Shining Light P.O. Box 1139 Greenville, OH The Shining Light is operated under the authority of the general ministerial body of the Church of God. Dear children, I want to ask you a very simple question today: are your hands beautiful? Do you think this is a very strange question? Not really. People all over the world are very concerned about having beautiful hands. Actually, we are very concerned about it, too! Yes! But when it comes down to the definition of beautiful hands, we will find that the world greatly differs from what we understand. The world thinks that someone who has nice, smooth skin without signs of age, painted nails maybe even with stickers, has beautiful hands. Never mind if those same hands don t know how to work, cook, or help someone out. Never mind if they slapped somebody in the face, grabbed somebody s toy, or stole something. That is the world s view. I want to tell you something about my great grandma. She became very old, almost ninety years old. When as a child I looked at her old, wrinkled hands holding her Bible, I could not say that she had beautiful hands physically, but to me they were beautiful. Why? Those hands always reminded me how my mom had been telling me that great grandma had worked hard all her life. She did not have an easy life at all, and that is why I respected her. Now we, as saints, don t share the same definition as the world does. The Bible has lots of examples of really beautiful hands. I won t be able to show you all of them, but I will show some. In the beginning in Genesis 4, we find Abel, who with his hands, offered a sacrifice that was well-pleasing unto the Lord. We find Abraham guarding his sacrifice by chasing the birds away, and we see him rescuing Lot. We have Joseph who cared for his father s house after they had come to Egypt. Noah built an ark for the salvation of his house. Moses led Israel out of Egypt. How many times did he have to pray and intervene for the sake of the people? We see Aaron and Hur holding up Moses hands so Joshua and the Israelites could win the battle. Joshua fought Canaan s giants. We read how In the New Testament, we have the woman who anointed and kissed the Savior s feet. We have another woman touching Jesus hem and being healed immediately. We see the little boy giving his five loaves and two fish and five thousand people were fed! Tabitha was full of good works and almsdeeds. We hear the father pleading for his devil-possessed son. Four men opened the roof of the house Jesus was in so they could bring their lame friend before Jesus feet. Barnabas sold some land and brought the money to the apostles feet. Stephen prayed for his enemies while being stoned. The Apostle Peter stretched out his hand to the lame man at the beautiful gate and lifted him up to his feet. The saints in Berea searched the Scriptures daily. The Apostles worked hard to spread the gospel wherever they went. They wrote letters full of encouragement and instruction for the saints. They travelled long distances and endured many hardships. Now, children, how could all those saints do what they did? Just by talking? No, by working with their hands! And I believe every one of you can find something to do for the Lord, even if you are very small. I will give you a few examples. You can pass out tracts or take some invitations and invite people to service. You can write encouraging notes to the saints far and near or to the children in Baja. You can pray for the saints that are sick in body, for the ministry, for the missionaries, or for hungry souls to meet the saints. Pray the fire down for service! Feed all the saints with your testimony. Stand against the devil. You can help your dad or mom in many different things, exercising yourself for missionary work. You can also clean up after yourself, pick up the garbage, make your bed, and help your siblings as unto the Lord. In reality, these things will be done for the Lord! Then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Matt. 25: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matt. 25:40. Beautiful hands are hands that work for the Lord! Lord bless you all! Sis. Agnes Anselm The Shining Light*** Page 2 The Shining Light*** Page 3

3 A Lesson on Peer Pressure Sis. Kiechelle Maddox Oh, Nebuchadnezzar Hananiah sat down on his mat and put his head in his hands, sighing. That s not what Daniel meant by telling you the interpretation of the dream! No use whining about it, Mishael said in a quiet voice, his arms folded across his chest and looking out the window. It s going to be finished today. Mishael was looking out the window at the statue coming up across the yard. It was made of gold and very, very tall. The sun glinted off of it as the workers did their finishing touches. The king was going to be very proud of this one. Azariah, the youngest of the three friends, said nothing. He only sat in the corner and ran his fingers through his dark hair, something he had been doing since he was a child that clearly signified he was nervous. But didn t you hear what he said? They are going to play all sorts of music and everyone will have to bow down to thatthat monstrosity! Well, we re not going to bow down, are we? Of course not, but, and he just sighed. I know what you re thinking, Azariah said, leaning his head against the wall, the hair in front sticking straight up from his messing with it. Nobody else is going to stand with us. So what? Do they ever stand with us? Mishael stretched his arms out, distressed. Of course they ll kneel to the image! But that doesn t mean we re going to! I just wish Daniel were here, too, Hananiah finished his thought by leaning his head back against the wall and staring at the ceiling. There was a general announcement that everyone was supposed to meet at the courtyard directly. Gathering themselves together, the threesome left their room. Hananiah was hoping some would stand besides just him, Mishael, and Azariah, but the more he looked over the crowd in the courtyard, the more doubtful he became. They stood in their places and waited for someone to speak. Attention! Attention! The big-mouthed herald waved his hands. He had no need of any amplification of his voice it was all in the lungs. He fit his job description perfectly. To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up! And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There was a little bit of a murmur among the crowds. Hananiah looked around again. Every face was set towards the image and some knees looked ready to bow at any moment to evade the wrath of the king and the punishment of death. Mishael, face set like a flint and with his jaw set, had a very determined look on his face his lips pursed so tightly together that they were a thin, straight line. His dark eyes were a little squinty in the sun, but he was looking at that golden statue. Azariah was fiddling with his hair a little bit but doing his best to keep his composure. Yes, he was nervous, but it was because he knew what he had to do. Azariah wouldn t waver. Then, all at once, as if there had been some sort of cue somewhere, the music started. The people went down almost as one, though the older ones took a little longer. Down went Jehu, one of Hananiah s school mates that used to sit by him in class and Kitarah, his old neighbor. There was Hasaan, taller than most of the others but weak in spirit, apparently, for he was kneeling. They all went down, hundreds of them. But as soon as they went down, Mishael straightened his back and lifted his nose in the air, planting his fists on his sides. Azariah stood still and looked around, his hands at his side and immobile. Hananiah smiled at them without meaning to, and Mishael winked. When the Chaldeans saw this, some of them went rushing to tell the king. Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live forever, one said, bowing down before given permission to speak. The others did the same, getting down low and showing obeisance. Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that hears the music shall bow and worship the image and if he doesn t, he ll be cast into the furnace. Yes I did. Well, Sir, he said, exasperated, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego won t bow! You told them about the furnace? Yes, O king. And you know they understood what you said? Yes, O king. Get them, and bring them to me this instant! It didn t take too long to get them to the king; however, there was a bit of a skirmish when they grabbed Mishael because at first he thought they were trying to make him bow down. But after he got the message, he went willing enough. Nebuchadnezzar studied all three men, going from face to face. Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you re not bowing down to my image after I expressly said to do this? Hananiah started to open his mouth when the king interrupted him. I will give you one more chance! Get out there, and they re going to start up that music again, and either you bow, or you ll be thrown into the furnace. And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Nebuchadnezzar was still pretty calm, the last sentence said more to himself than to the men. O Nebuchadnezzar, it was Hananiah who spoke. We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not! Mishael put his finger in the air to end the little exchange on the right note, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up! Azariah just nodded. The king stood up, his fist clenched so tightly that his nails were making deep impressions into his palms. It was as if a curtain had been pulled from his face from calm, cool, and collected to red with rage. Nebuchadnezzar was glaring at Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, but he was addressing the men who had brought them. Heat. Up. That. Furnace. Seven. Times! The words seethed through his teeth in rage, choppy and full of emotion. And get my mightiest soldiers to bind these men up and throw them in immediately! The strongest soldiers were selected, and the three were bound with strong rope and carried to the furnace. It was hot, hot, HOT! It was so hot, in fact, that the soldiers who threw them in died on the spot. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah fell through the open space and flames, and hit the bottom hard. They laid there for a moment, dazed. The ropes burned off directly, and their eyes were closed, anticipating death or pain. But nothing happened. Azariah was the first to open his eyes and look around. Well, would you believe it? He exclaimed, looking around with wide eyes. Look at that! We re not burning up! Say what? Hananiah rolled over, his head moving back and forth swiftly. He shook his head in disbelief. Mishael jumped up, and all of their heads swiveled in the direction he was gawking in. King Nebuchadnezzar bolted up from his seat and put his hand to his brow, trying to get a better look at the furnace before turning to his counselors. Did not we throw three men into the fire? True, O king. Then why am I seeing four men loose and unbound? And His claim was outrageous but he couldn t deny what he was seeing. One one of them looks like well H-he looks like the Son of God! The king went a little bit closer, minding the dead soldiers a little way off. Shadrach? Meshach? Abednego! Servants of the most high God! Come on out! Well, what could they do but obey? After a thorough examination, the princes, governors, captains, and king s counselors could find nothing on the three that had been burnt. They didn t even smell like smoke. Hananiah s clothes were only a little rumpled because the ropes had been tied about him so tightly, and Mishael s hat was still its original color and not blackened by the fire. Azariah was moving his hand through hair that was not singed. Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent His angel and delivered His servants that trusted in Him and have changed the king s word and yielded their bodies that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God! Then, Nebuchadnezzar shook his head and gave a little smile that was half astonishment and half a smirk. Therefore I make a decree that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces and their houses shall be made a dunghill because there is no other God that can deliver like this! All the other men nodded in agreement. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were promoted in the province of Babylon because of their faithfulness to the one true God no matter what the others around them did. The Shining Light*** Page 4 The Shining Light*** Page 5

4 Treasure Hunting Sis. Eva Martens Praise the Lord, children! Today I would like to take your minds back several centuries to the sweltering jungles of Brazil. Imagine a group of dark-skinned men sweating and toiling hour after hour in the hot tropical sun. These poor men for all their hard labour do not get paid a thing. They are slaves brought from far off Africa to work for the Portuguese in the river bed of the Rio de Janeiro. Day after long day they pick, dig, and wash the soil in the hopes of finding diamonds or gold for their masters. Only one hope keeps them working away. A new law has been passed that he who finds a diamond of considerable size will gain his freedom! This makes them work with all the more diligence! Every day the slaves hope that today will be the day that they might be the one that will find such a prize! I am sure that this new law leaves little or no room for sloth in those that have wisdom. Every stone will be turned, pebbles will be brushed aside, and the slaves will be constantly scanning with very keen and eager eyes in the hopes that they will be the one to find the precious treasure that will grant them their freedom. How carefully they examine the terrain! Being careless and lazy seems very foolish because of what could be lost in their idleness. Guess what! The next day while everyone is sweating away, suddenly someone shouts in triumph and makes a mad dash for the captain over the slaves! He has found a precious diamond that will secure his longed-for freedom! How everyone else wishes that The Shining Light*** Page 6 they were the one that had found the precious jewel! Everyone else works with a greater zeal in a determination to be the next one to claim his freedom! Well, children, such a law really did come into existence for the slaves working in the Rio de Janeiro river bed some centuries ago. We heartily sympathize with these poor men in their quest for their freedom and hope that many found what they were rightfully longing for. While most of us will never go out to hunt for diamonds and gold, we are seeking for treasure of far greater and lasting worth than anything this old world has to offer. We are seeking everlasting life and eternal riches in Christ Jesus. Certainly, the enemy would like for us to not take it so seriously, to get used to an unsaved or slothful spiritual condition. Either way, we must not get weary or give up! Any man should be ashamed of himself if he seeks less enthusiastically for eternal riches than he is seeking after perishing wealth! Of course, we may not be slaves to cruel earthly masters, but if we do not have Christ dwelling in our hearts, we are slaves to the cruelest of all masters Satan himself. He will make his poor slaves toil and work, promising great earthly treasure, only to deliver one disappointment after the next and ultimately destroying their souls! He is out to kill, to steal, and to destroy not just adults but children as well! Freedom from this cruel master is freely offered to all who will seek Christ with all their heart and soul. But we must pursue the salvation of our souls as earnestly as these poor slaves were seeking for their freedom! But do you know what? The enemy does not stop tempting us to be slothful when we are saved. He would like for us to get bored, and to become neglectful of our Christian duties. Perhaps bored of the Bible, bored about our devotions, bored of obeying he would love for it to all become a dull routine for us. He would like for us to merely glance over our Bibles and mumble some words of prayer so we can say we did our devotions. Dear reader, there is a much better way! We can think of our times with the Lord as a treasure hunt to seek for golden nuggets of truth and encouragement to be shared with God s children! Really, we have the happy privilege to be excited and eager to see what the Lord will open up and reveal to us in His word and in our daily walk with God. In Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge much greater treasure than what this world has to offer! He has all the spiritual riches of peace, joy, encouragement, and strength a soul could long for! He has a cup that is full and running over for every soul! It is all there for those who will dig, search, and scan with a love and zeal to find His most blessed presence! May the Lord bless each one of us as we seek more of His divine nearness. Can God? I had to go to town to do some necessary shopping. It s about a thirty minute drive to town, and I was by myself with the children. We had just gotten to the store when my five-year-old son s tummy started to hurt badly. He was all pale and bent over the trash can like he was going to vomit. I wasn t sure what to do. I had to do the shopping, and we had to be back home by a certain time. He was too young to be left in the van. There was no one with me that could stay with him while I took care of the shopping. I gathered the children, and we prayed for the Lord to please help my son s tummy to stop hurting and for him to feel better. We had prayer and almost immediately our son started to feel better. About fivc or ten minutes later he sat up and looked at me. His color was back and his eyes were bright again. He said, Mom, Jesus healed me. Wasn t that a miracle? I told him it was a miracle. We had prayer thanking God for helping my son. God can and wants to help His children. He may not always answer like we think He should, but He will answer. Shared by Sis. Sarah Strizu Do you have a time when God answered a specific prayer for you? Why not send it to the Shining Light? The Shining Light*** Page 7

5 Remember Your Creator Praise the Lord! There is a Scripture in Ecclesiastes 12:1 that says, Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. In other words, this means that while you are in your youth that you should remember your Creator while you are not as exposed to the world. Your parents might be a little more exposed just because of the fact that they are older. The Scripture is also talking about remembering your Creator now before your years are more unpleasant, and you don t have as much time to do what you would like to do. What are some ways that you can remember your Creator while you are young? Well, what if when you grow older you are on your death bed and cannot read your Bible; you are in so much pain that you cannot even open your eyes? I m sure that if that were your case you would long for passages of Scripture to come back to your mind and comfort you in your sickness. Or let us say that one day some Jehovah s Witnesses show up at your door and start challenging your knowledge of Scriptures just to see if they can shake your foundation? What are you going to do then? Again, let me remind you that if you are not diligent in your Bible reading, then you will be carried away by every wind of doctrine like the Scripture talks about in Ephesians 4:14. If you are taking advantage of the time and energy that you have in your youth, you will be ready for the devil when he comes to you to discourage you from this narrow way. Oh, let us take advantage of our youth! Sis. Payton Benion (Age 12) & Sis. Judith Thilmony (Age 11)