Featured Article: Overcoming Your Devotional Obstacles Part Eight

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 Application–I do not know how to apply Scripture to my life.

Last month, we began looking at Bible study methods to aid you in overcoming the Obstacle of Application. To review the EXAMINE method, click here. This month, we will look at two more methods to help overcome this obstacle: the PRAY method and the Your Best Devotions Ever method.

Like the EXAMINE Bible study method, the PRAY Bible study method is an acrostic. This Bible study method is simple to complete. It places focus on a short passage. This method engages both the mind and heart to find the application of a passage as you examine what is there. I developed this method to help me. I hope it helps you.

Choose one short passage or a specific verse in which you want to discover its application. I find it difficult to do very many verses. I like to find the paragraph beginning and ending and narrow it down to the verse which I would like to discover its application.

P – Pray. I know it seems obvious to say, but pray!

  • Ask the Author of the greatest Book of all time to help you discover what He has for you.
  • Ask Him for wisdom to understand what is preserved for you in His Word.
  • Ask Him for knowledge to learn what He placed in His Word for you.
  • Ask Him for His power to discern what He inspired men to write.
  • Ask Him for His lesson for you from this passage.

R – Read the passage or verse.

  • Read silently five times.
Read deliberately and pause at every punctuation mark.
  • Read the passage or verse aloud at least once.
  • Read it to hear it. If you prefer, use an audio Bible to listen to that verse being read.

A – Ask yourself these questions:

  • Who: Who is doing the speaking? Or to whom is the verse addressed?
  • What: What precept, principle, promise, or practice is being expressed?
  • When: When is the action in this verse to be taken? Is there a condition or context mentioned?
  • Where: Are there places mentioned? Make note of what else happened in the same place in Scripture.
  • Why: Why did the subject of the passage or verse need to hear the message delivered? Why do you need to know what is here?
  • How: If this was the only thing you ever read in the Bible, how would you change your life because of its message?

Y – Yield yourself to Him.

  • Are you submitted to obey His Word? All of it? Every word of it?
  • Are you sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction in this passage?
  • How does this passage call you to draw closer to Him because you read it?

Lastly, you may find the Your Best Devotions Ever Bible Study Method helpful.

Your Best Devotions Ever Bible study method uses five prompts to help you have the Best Devotions Ever. While the title is ambitious, once you do it a few times, you will see how helpful it is. I began using this method when I was a very young. My father gave me the essence of it. I have modified it over the last forty years. I gave the method a name, but at its core, it is unchanged.

You can use index cards or an index card app. You also could add notes to your digital Bible app or your digital journal app. I encourage you to review the index card at least four times in twenty-four hours. Save your cards as you will enjoy them for years to come.

5 Steps to Your Best Devotions Ever
Passage Read:

  • Write a simple, deep, or catchy title for this passage.
  • What is the best phrase or verse that supports your choice for a title?
  • What verse challenges you the most?
  • Write out a one-sentence prayer that requests God’s help for the above challenge.
  • What can you do today that will show you have applied this passage to your life?

While I can show you steps to take and methods to follow, you will need to develop your own set of skills. Do not put too much pressure on yourself. Take your time. If it takes you two days to fill out one of the methods, it is fine. Get a win for yourself by completing one method. Try doing one method for a week. Then try one of the other two methods in this section, which are designed to assist with Bible application, for a week. You will gravitate to one more than another.

My goal is to give you the tools to overcome the Obstacle of Application. When you get stuck, review the three Bible study methods to assist with applying Scripture.

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.

Prayer & Dates: January 2018

January 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 January. 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 Our President: January 2018

Danny Whetstone

Here we go, working through another year. I hope we all will set things before us to accomplish over the next twelve months. Do you have a plan for reading and studying your Bible this year? Have you targeted some books to read in the weeks to come? Do you need to refresh your prayer list to assist in your daily prayer before the Lord? I’m sure that other things will come to mind that the Lord has put on your heart. We will hit no higher than we aim. Let’s aim to do our best for Christ in all that we do.

Imagine what might happen this year. People who maybe we would never give a second thought to might very well accept the Gospel. There certainly will be people that will trust Christ. There will be baptismal services this year. Among the mission family, there will be new churches established that will take the gospel to the generations beyond us. The possibilities are beyond our ability to think. Think big! Then dream bigger!

Plans are being made for two events that will take place this year. The third Monday in June will be the Family Fellowship Meeting. If you will be in the States that week please put it on your calendar and plan to be with us there. We are also planning to have a conference in Germany beginning August 20. If you are in Europe or the Middle East please make plans to be with us for a few days of wonderful fellowship. We are also hoping that there will be a number of couples coming from the States for those days.

Darleen and I have a very aggressive schedule for 2018. That means that we will again be with many of the churches that support your ministry. Pray with us that we will be used of the Lord in these many services. We desire results that would be to His glory. I pray that the Lord will bless your labor of love.

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.

From the Memo Board: January 2018

Dates to Know

January 9 – Missionaries will receive their statements of December Support Received.

January 11 – All missionaries will receive their final December support on this day, regardless of the day they normally receive support.

January 15 – December Financial Reports will be due, along with any remaining receipts or financial paperwork for 2017.

January 31 – W-2 Forms and other tax documentation for the 2017 year will be available.

June 18-21 – Family Fellowship Week with Faith Baptist Church in Shelby, NC. Begin arranging your summer schedule to be with us!

August 20-24 – European Encouragement Conference in Nittendorf, Germany.

SecureCloud Packets

At the end of each month, we scan any mail that has come to the Office and place it in your SecureCloud folder. This would include check stubs for all bills paid by the Office, as well as any cards or correspondence from donors. Please be sure to check SecureCloud periodically, especially once you receive the notice that December packets have been uploaded, as many missionaries have received Christmas cards and letters which are available to you there.

January Income Totals

During a typical month, we close the books on the 25th, and any checks received after that date are posted to the following month. Due to receipting requirements, we cannot do this in the month of December. As a result, please be aware that your December support total may be higher than normal, while your January support total may be lower than normal. Please be sure to plan ahead for this!

Housing Allowances for 2018

Housing allowances previously in place have automatically rolled over to the new year. Missionaries who are ordained are eligible to have a housing allowance in place, which can provide certain tax benefits. If you did not have a housing allowance in 2017 and would like to have one for 2018, or if you have questions regarding this, please contact our office.

New Excel Template

A new Excel template for the year 2018 will be available during the second week of February. This will give us time to review the need for any possible updates. January financial reports will be due on March 1. Should you wish to complete your report before the new template is available, you are welcome to submit it on the 2017 template.

New Mileage Rate

Beginning January 1st, the IRS mileage rate has increased to $0.545 per mile for business/ministry miles. This change will be reflected in the new Excel template for 2018.

New Tax Laws

On December 22, President Trump signed legislation that enacts some major changes to tax law. We are working with our CPA to determine what changes may affect our missionaries and will keep our missions family updated with our findings. We would recommend that as you begin working with your tax preparer to file your 2017 taxes, you also consult with them on how these changes may impact you personally.

Uplift for Servants

Devotional excerpts from our Uplift calls are available to the general public at upliftforservants.com. Uplift For Servants will help other Christians benefit from the encouragement provided to us each week. Please feel free to share this resource with your friends and family!