From Our President: March 2017

Danny Whetstone

John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I understand that we, as a missions family, are scattered all over the world. At any given time we have families that are enjoying great victories, while at the same moment there are others that are in a great valley. Because we are believers we love each other. We rejoice with those that rejoice, and we weep with those that weep. Personally, it grieves me that I cannot be with each one of you in the victories and in the valleys.

Perhaps today, if we have not done so already, we could take a moment to place in our permanent schedule a time to remember each other in prayer. Take time to praise the Lord for victories that have been enjoyed around the world and also to pray for those that are in the battle of their lives. As I write this letter Brother Jackie Elwart is sitting by the bedside of his wife. Unless the Lord intervenes today she will be in heaven before you receive this letter. Ruth Ann Arthurs will receive a pacemaker today as well. I just received word that Pastor Don Mallory, a former World Wide missionary, is in the hospital with life-threatening issues.

On the other hand, we were in a very small church last Sunday that committed themselves to give $120,000 for faith promise in 2017. We are hearing stories with some regularity of people trusting in Christ. Young families are surrendering to serve the Lord with whatever life the Lord blesses them with.

Maybe emotions should be set aside, but I am completely helpless to do that. We are affected by both good news, and by—what seems to us—to be bad news. There are two things we can surely do: we can love and we can pray. Both must be done on purpose. If it is not a conscientious effort we will get so involved in our own little world that nothing else will matter.

I want you to be assured today that if you are rejoicing we want to rejoice with you, and if you are weeping we want to weep with you as well. Our Lord will never leave you. Our Lord will never forsake you. You can lean on him with all the weight of your life with full assurance of His ability to hold you. God is with you, and many Christian brothers and sisters are with you as well.

In His Service,
Danny A. Whetstone

If this article has been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. Whetstone here to let him know.

Prayer & Dates: March 2017

March Prayer/Praises and Special Dates

Click the link above to download a PDF of prayer requests and praises as well as the birthdays and anniversaries for March. Note: You will need to login to SecureCloud in order to view this document. Once you have logged in, click on Files, Shared, then Headquarter Happenings, then scroll to the month you would like to view. This step protects people with WWNTBM in restricted access fields.

From the Memo Board: March 2017

Dates to Know

April 1 – February financial reports will be due

April 14 – The Office will be closed in observation of the Resurrection of our Lord

June 19-22 – Family Fellowship Week in Ocala, FL

Tax Notes

As you prepare to submit your financial documents to your tax preparer, here are some things you may want to remember to give them:

• List of dates you were in the US vs. out of the country
• Details of any housing expenses
• Information on any retirement plans
• Information on any investments
• Information about any foreign bank accounts on which you are a signatory
• Details of any family births or deaths (Names, dates, and SSNs)
• Details of estimated taxes submitted
• Information about your health coverage and medical expenses
• W-2s, 1099’s, and other tax forms received
• Information about tuition and fees paid for a child in college (including name and SSN of the child) and a copy of Form 1098T if received.
• Details of charitable contributions

Encouragement Opportunity

For several months, we have been hosting a weekly virtual meeting for those on deputation. This is a 30 minute call that is a time of fellowship, encouragement, and prayer. (Click here to listen to past recordings.) We would like to expand this opportunity to all of our missionaries, as a means of building community within our missions family. Our thoughts are to offer two different meetings per month, to allow for participation regardless of time zone. Our goal is for this to be a time of connection, encouragement, strengthening, and prayer as we seek to build each other up in the work to which God has called us. Please click here to provide your feedback on what times would work best for you to be able to participate.

Women of World Wide

You asked – we answered! We have been approached several times about finding a means by which ladies in our missions family can connect with each other to share ideas, struggles, encouragement, and fellowship. We have launched a special Facebook group called Women of World Wide. This will be a closed group, open only to ladies within our missions family. To join, email Laura Cmaylo and request to join the group. Once your request is approved, join in the conversation! Feel free to share prayer requests, recipes, recommendations, and ask questions of the other missionary wives in the group. We hope this will be a help and encouragement to our ladies!

New Babies!

Congratulations to Tim and Kristin Stalcup on the birth of Timothy Richard, Jr., who was born on February 5th. He weighed 8 pounds and was 20 inches long. The Stalcups also have a two-year-old daughter, Anna Faith. They are on deputation to minister to the Muslims in New York City.





Congratulations as well to John and Sarah on the birth of their second child, Eliana Noelle, on February 21st. She was 19.2 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces. She joins her older brother, John Gabriel, who is 19 months. Everyone is doing well! Keep them in prayer as they continue to serve overseas.

Featured Article: Overcoming Your Devotional Obstacles Part Two

For the next few months, Bro. John O’Malley will be sharing with us from his book, Overcoming Your Devotional Obstacles. We know that everyone can use some encouragement to stay in the Word of God on a daily basis, and we hope these articles will be a blessing to you in your walk with the Lord.

The Obstacle of History–I seem to miss the meaning of the passage I read. I think it is because I do not understand the background or history of the Bible.

God did not hand us His Word and say, “Here, you figure it out.” God gave us better than a Google/Wikipedia mash-up for the Bible. God gave us a Guide, Teacher, Counselor, and Adviser to go along with His Word. He dwells within the heart of the child of God. You may say, “I know the Holy Spirit lives within me, but I want to ask questions and get answers, immediately.”

Having a Quiet Time with God should not leave you feeling dumb when you cannot get the sense of the passage because you do not know the history or background. The Bible is not intended to make you feel inadequate because you do not have a post-graduate degree in ancient culture, language, and history. It is possible to know the history or background of the Bible.

Consider this, the One who exhaled the Scriptures into those who held a pen for God also sent you the Holy Spirit to teach you. That means you can ask the Resident Guide who lives within you. Each time you read the Bible, you are stepping into a family event. You need someone to whisper in your ear about what has happened before this event and what is going on now in light of past events. If the One, who inspired the Word of God, lives within you, you will always have a Counselor.

Agreeing to the truth that the Holy Spirit lives within you, how do you get the answers from Him? For me, it begins with prayer. Let me tell you what I say. “God, I know there are things here I am not getting. I need your Holy Spirit to teach me this. Please guide me.”

Sometimes, my answer has come shortly after that as I continued to read the verses before it and after it. I have also had my answers come months later when I read the verse again. Other times, I will read a similar thought in another passage and realize that is what the passage I got stuck on meant.

Your premise, when you begin any study of a passage, should be that the Bible is God’s Word and is the answer to every human need; it is inerrant and infallible. Remember, the passage is about real people in a real place with real needs. You know as a fact that there is something in this passage God included for you to know. (The Bible is very personal that way.) God did not put random words in the passage to confuse me. He put it there to help me. I believe God has enabled believers in every generation to explain the sense of a text. (See Nehemiah 8:8).

What should you do to overcome the feeling that you do not understand the background and history of a passage?

1. Pray: “God, I know there are things here I am not understanding. I need your Holy Spirit to teach me this. Please guide me.”
2. Pick a resource: It can be online, digital eBook, or bound.
3. Ask your pastor or Sunday School teacher: “Is there something in the background of this passage that would help me understand this section?”
You can know the background and history of a passage. I refuse to let an obstacle get in the way of me understanding what God wants me to know.

Tip #1: Remember the culture.
Culture is the system of beliefs, values, and ideas of a people in a certain time period. When you read the Bible, there was a definite culture. It is not a Western culture; it is an Eastern culture. The values of Western culture see things from a right and wrong perspective. Eastern culture will often times see things through a prism of what brings shame and what restores honor. When you read the Old Testament, you have to understand that your way of thinking cannot be projected onto their way of thinking. Furthermore, the culture of Heaven and the mind of God far outstrips any of our understanding. God and His Word are transcultural. You will be able to understand what is happening when you enter the cultural mindset of the people about whom you are reading.

Tip #2: Remember the context.
Learn to read the Bible by paragraph not just the numbered verses. This is critical in understanding the verses you are reading. You will become frustrated quickly if you isolate a verse from its context and try to bend it to what you want it to say or not say. If you ignore the context, you will miss the meaning and teaching. Reading the Bible by paragraph helps correct this. Get a good Bible that marks the paragraphs clearly or is printed in paragraphs. I always encourage people to read it grammatically or like they would read a book. If the numbers are getting in the way, get a Bible that does not have them, so that when you read Paul’s letters, they read like real letters!

Tip #3: Remember the conflicts.

The sin nature of man is in conflict with the righteousness of God. You will find man’s will takes him beyond the will and righteousness of God. Many of the accounts in Scripture describe when man’s will dominates and God brings man to a place of correction and contrition. Contrition is a Bible word that gives the sense of being crushed or humbled. God values when our hearts and spirits are contrite. When you read a passage and the culture is so different and the context is not easily grasped, remember that man’s will and desire is selfish. God will correct those who are wrong. He will forgive and restore those who confess their sin. Remember, before you boast that you might be better than another, you are a sinner saved by grace like those in the passage you are studying. Stay close to Him. Keep your heart and spirit contrite.

Tip #4: Remember your Companion.
Just before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples that He would leave them, but He would not leave them comfortless. He would send them a Comforter (John 14:16). One of the Comforter’s tasks is to bring all things to our remembrance. He dwells within us and guides us to truth. When I am stuck on a verse or passage of Scripture, I pray. I ask the Holy Spirit to guide me and help me to see or recall what I am not seeing. There have been times I have been stuck on a passage of Scripture for more than a year. Then one day I am reading in another section, and the Holy Spirit brings to mind what I was stuck on and shows me the connection. It is a wonderful thing to have the Holy Spirit turn the lights on in your mind.

My goal is to give you a tool to overcome the Obstacle of History, the feeling like you miss the meaning because you do not understand the background or history of the Bible. When you get stuck, review these four tips.

If these thoughts have been an encouragement to you, you can email Bro. O’Malley here to let him know. If you’d like to purchase the entire Overcoming Your Devotional Obstacles book in PDF, Kindle, or iBooks format, click here.