PO Box 3425
May/June Issue 2006 - Volume 25 Number 3
He's Number 1
“He's Number 1”
Who or what is really number one in our
lives? There are many possible answers to this question. We are pulled in so
many different directions. I know that through His Word God asks to have
this position in each of our lives. I believe in our most honest moments we
all realize the need to let Him occupy this most important place. I also
think that many of us have deceived ourselves into believing that we have
really allowed God to be number one.
I say that we have deceived ourselves
because we say that God, Christ, the Church, and all things Spiritual are
first. Sadly, our actions do not prove our words to be true! We have
convinced ourselves that God can be number one in our lives without making a
true commitment to Him and His Church.
I have spent quite a bit of time at the
little league baseball fields this spring. Believe me, I have seen true
commitment. I have seen people faithful in attendance, willing to give up
other commitments, open their wallets, endure inclement weather, and rub
shoulders with others they really feel are hypocrites!
How is this possible? It is possible
because these people are enjoying what they are doing. They want to be
there, to be involved. They feel whatever they are asked is not too much!!
This is true commitment in word and in action.
Only when we are willing to make this
kind of unrestricted commitment to Christ and His Church will our actions
prove our words of commitment to be true.
May God Bless All Of Us To Prove By Our
Actions That He Is Number One!!!
have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which
the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me
only but also to all who have loved His appearing."
do these eight cities have in common: Providence,
Rhode Island; Sarasota, Florida; Roanoke, Virginia; Sheboygan,
Wisconsin; Boulder, Colorado;
Las Cruces, New Mexico; Medford,
Oregon; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico?
According to Money magazine these eight cities are prime spots for
people to retire. There are
countless magazines and Internet websites addressing how to plan for your
retirement and where to retire. Here's
a small excerpt of what Money had to say about Boulder:
Boulder, as in much of Colorado, life is all about the great outdoors. With
hundreds of miles of hiking trails and bike paths, extensive rock-climbing
opportunities (for the sturdy of limb), skiing, snowshoeing and many other
outdoor activities, there's never a lack of ways to decide what to do with
the more than 240 sunny days a year. Of
course, there's plenty to do indoors as well, which is a good thing during
the snowy winters. Boulder is known for its strong support of the arts, with
a symphony and ballet company of its own. It's home to eclectic shops and
restaurants. It also hosts the Boulder Bach Festival and the annual
Conference on World Affairs, held at the University of Colorado at Boulder,
which brings in international speakers on topics ranging from the arts and
domestic politics to the environment and global business. The city has an
extensive Senior Services department, which hosts dozens of classes,
lectures, workshops and trips to Denver, only 27 miles away. "
article goes on to state that this kind of retirement does come with a
fairly hefty price tag. The
median price for condos, which are very popular with retirees, is up to
$205,000 -- and median house prices top $400,000.
I would venture to say that this kind of retirement is only available
to certain retirees. What are
you planning for your retirement? Some
people buy an RV and put one of those bumper stickers on it: "We are
spending our kids' retirement." Others
are just trying to figure out how they will pay their bills on a retirement
income-if they have any retirement other than Social Security.
I suggest to you that we have in the passage quoted above the Apostle Paul's
retirement speech. Paul was not
looking forward to a condo in the mountains.
He was, in fact, anticipating something far better-"a home
eternal in the heavens not made with hands."
As long as Paul was on the earth, he was busy in the kingdom.
Isn't that the best way we can spend our time on earth whether we are
still employed or retired?
you are looking forward to retirement from the 8 to 5 grind of the
work-a-day world. Make the best
use of those retirement years. Fight
even harder the good fight of faith. Don't
spend all your retirement money on yourself.
Invest it in the kingdom of God.
Don't use all of your leisure hours to run up and down ski slopes or
scurry over the golf course. Plan
some time to do extra things for the church.
It is an investment that will pay eternal dividends.
“Making the Delivery”
According to a recent article (“Purchases Could Imperil Consumers,” AARP Bulletin, May 2003): “Patients in the United States are facing a crisis. Lack of access to affordable medications is driving patients outside the U.S. regulatory system to unidentified, unregulated and dangerous drug outlets.” Translated that means that drugs are cheaper in Canada and other places where the price is not driven higher by all the regulatory red tape. A cartoon accompanying the article pictured a stalwart Canadian Mounty approaching two elderly ladies. These ladies are obviously U. S., senior citizens. One of the ladies remarks to her friend, “Yes, prescriptions are cheaper in Canada. But mainly I like the way they make deliveries.” The way things are delivered can make a great difference.
This leads us to consider how funds donated to the Arch L. Ferguson Foundation are delivered to our customers/clients. I often receive letters or emails from people in the nation of India that I do not know. Most of the time these are requests for help or assistance. I have known of individuals who simply send money when such requests are received. They never check on the credentials of those asking for help. They don’t bother to see if the needs reported are real or fabricated. Perhaps individuals who operate this way feel that they are giving to the Lord no matter whether the one who has solicited the funds are honest or crooks. They believe they have done their Christian duty whether the recipients do their duty or not.
One underlying principle of the Foundation is not to do the work of the local church. Our aim is to assist the local church in doing its work. We prefer to operate through the leadership of local congregations when we distribute grants for benevolent or other purposes. One of the things we like to know is what the local church is doing to assist in relieving the situation. We then try to match what the local church is doing or assist them in doing what may be a little beyond their ability. We rely on the local leaders of congregations to assess the genuine needs and administer the help. This is one way to insure that the funds you donate to the Foundation are used for their intended purposes. We trust that our deliveries are both timely and effective.
Thanks to your prayers and donations, our delivery system is assisting many congregations around the world to minister to those who are hurting and in need.
Foundation Forum - June 2003
not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy
and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in
heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break
in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
In the past few days I have received two emails promising me a lot of money. The first one states:
AM MR PHILIP CHUBA , THE ACCOUNTANT GENERAL OF AFRICAN CONTINENTAL BANK PLC.
I REQUEST YOUR CO-OPERATION IN THE TRANSFER OF MONEY AMOUNTING TO U.S.D. 18
Chuba promises me 25 percent of the money if I will only furnish him more
information on myself: “YOU WILL FURNISH ME WITH MORE ON YOUR PEASONAL
INFORMATION SUCH AS: 1.FULL NAME. 2.CONTACT ADDRESS. 3.TELLEPHONE AND FAX
NUMBER. 4.OCCUPATION. ALL THESE INFORMATION WILL HELP ME OUT SO I CAN TRUST
AND KNOW WHO I AM DOING BUSINESS WITH.”
second one is similar to the first: “I am Benson Briggs a citizen of Cote
d´ivoire and the senior Son of late Mr. and Mrs. David Briggs. My late
parents was killed by the rebels in my home town Bouake the second Economic
Capital of Cote d´ivoire during the recent political Crisis of 19th
september 2002. My parents was a wealthy Cocoa Merchant before they met
their suden death.”
Briggs promises me 10 percent of 9.5 million dollars if I will only give him
this: “Please get back to us through the above email address with your
bank account detail informations to enable us send you the deposit documents
of the money for you to contact the bank before the transfer of the money
into your account.”
There is an old saying that states,
“There are no free lunches.” The idea is that if it looks too good to be
true then it most likely is. I
have no doubt that both of these men are con-artists.
They prey on the greed of men and women.
They are seeking someone who is so anxious to make a fast buck that
he will be gullible enough to disclose this kind of personal information
The Apostle Paul told the Ephesian
Elders that Jesus taught, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”
(Acts 20:35). In this same
context Paul notes that he labored with his own hands in honest work to
provide for his necessities and those who were with him.
The Bible is full of admonition for us to be honest, to work hard and
to help those who are in need.
The Arch L. Ferguson Foundation is not
promising to give you 10 percent of anything.
We are not in the “scam” business.
We do promise that we will do our best to be good stewards of the
gifts that you entrust to us. We
will try to make the best investments that we can make and then use the
earnings to help those who are in need throughout the world.
We welcome your inquiries as well as your donations.
Who Walks Uprightly”
who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who
may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works
righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart…”
to a recent story I read in our local paper, a woman named Wanda Johnson was
on her way to a local pawn shop in Savannah, GA., to pawn her television set
for $60. Her electric bill was
overdue. She is the mother of
five children. As she drove
across town she ended up behind an armored car.
Something fell out of the vehicle and Mrs. Johnson stopped to
retrieve it. Much to her
surprise, she discovered that she held in her hands $120,000.
reported her initial feelings as: “I’m like, well, this must be the
answer; I’m going to keep it.” Such
feelings may not be all that uncommon, especially if you have been praying
for an answer to a financial crisis. On returning to her car, Mrs. Johnson
had another thought: “Then I’m like, no, don’t do that.
It’s not yours. It’s
Johnson contacted her preacher and asked him what she should do.
They decided to contact the police and tell them what had happened.
Immediately the police came along with another armored vehicle to
retrieve the money.
what about the television and the electric bill?
The story never said what happened regarding her financial crisis.
It was an editorial piece and the focus was on temptation.
We would like to know the rest of the story, but the outcome of Mrs.
Johnson’s dilemma remains unknown. We
do know something about her character though.
The old adage states that honesty is the best policy. We hope Mrs.
Johnson found an answer to her financial needs.
We know for sure that her actions regarding the lost money place her
among those who walk uprightly.
article didn’t say what kind of neighbor Mrs. Johnson is, but her actions
in this story probably give us a good indication.
I rather suspect that she is one who looks out for her neighbors and
is always willing to share when they have a need.
She doesn’t seem to be one who expects someone else to dig her out
of a jam; she was disposing of a television to pay her own bills. We can
hope that one of her neighbors learned about her crisis and came to her
rescue. Most honest folks will only call on a neighbor as a last resort, but
even honest folks need a helping hand from time to time.
Is Your Fat Index?”
your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of
the land of Egypt, and you will eat the fat of the land.” Genesis 45:18
Pharaoh learned from Joseph about his brothers and his father, Pharaoh
encouraged Joseph to bring all of them and their households to Egypt where
he would give them the “fat” of the land.
The New King James Version gives the equivalent translation for
“fat” as “the choicest produce.”
In this context, the word conveys the idea of richness or best.
has some quite different connotations in some of our modern contexts.
There has been some unrest in the state of Arkansas in the past year
due to schools issuing the Body Fat Index of students. Educators have
decided that little “Johnny” isn’t exercising as he should, and there
is hope that this might encourage parents to invite the kids to turn off the
television and video games and head outside for some healthy activity.
Parents who did not want their children’s Body Fat Index to show up
on the report card had to notify the schools to that effect.
a recent AARP Bulletin article entitled, “Taking Aim At
America’s Waistline” (November 2004), Katherine Greider explores the
possibility that Medicare may open the door to covering weight-loss
treatments for senior Americans. Fat
is on the run in some quarters around the country. However, while holding
out some hope that Medicare is going to get on the “fat” bandwagon,
Greider cautions, “Medicare beneficiaries should not expect coverage for
weight-loss programs anytime soon. Before
they can give the thumbs-up to any obesity treatment, Medicare officials
first need to see solid evidence that it makes people healthier in the long
run.” I wonder how much
further the “Fat Off” programs will run Medicare into the red??
Israel offered their sacrifices to God, the fat belonged to the Lord:
“…and the priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an
offering made by fire for a sweet aroma; all the fat is the Lord’s”
(Leviticus 3:16). Perhaps the
Lord asked for the fat of the animals because He knew the worshippers
didn’t need to be eating it. Maybe
this was the first weight-loss program ever instituted. On the other hand,
as noted above “fat” often conveyed the idea of richness or the best.
After all, who wants a herd of skinny cattle running around in his
pasture? We don’t want to see the ribs of our cattle.
We want to see them well filled out---fat!
brings us to the question of this article, what is your fat index?
We aren’t talking about body fat or weight-loss.
We are talking about being rich toward God. When we offer our
sacrifices to God today, do we remember “the fat is the Lord’s?”
Once a man asked Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance
with him. Jesus answered him
with the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21). Jesus concluded by
saying, “So is he who lays up treasures for himself, and is not rich
toward God.” Our Fat Index may show up on our report one day. May it
indicate that we are rich toward God.