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A Work of Churches of Christ

The Applause of Men or God?

I came across this story recently and I thought I would pass it on to you.

There was once a great pianist who was giving a concert in a large concert hall. When he finished the concert, everyone in the place stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Well almost everyone. There was one old man in the front row who didn't stand, but everyone else was on their feet cheering wildly.

When the pianist walked off the stage, he was crying. His manager asked him what was wrong and the pianist said, "Didn't you see the man in the first row who wasn't standing and wasn't applauding ?"

The manager said, "Sure, I saw him. But that was the only person who was not standing and cheering. Why worry about one old man?"

Then the pianist said, "But you don't understand. That man was the composer of the music that I played tonight. He is the only one who counts. He is the only one who knows what the piece is supposed to sound like."

Paul tells us in Colossians 3:23-24, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ." Christians cannot forget who they serve and why. Too often, people refer to themselves as Christians based solely on their actions. Congregations will say that they are part of the Lord's body based on their "open" heart.

Brothers and sisters, we cannot abandon our first love. Christ knows our hearts and the deepest parts of our souls. He cannot be fooled. A congregation may feed the hungry, teach the illiterate, clothe the needy, greet others with a smile and handshake, and numerous other worthwhile activities; however, our country's government performs many of these tasks. Would you consider the U.S. congress a church that belongs to Christ? Of course not! Individuals and congregations might receive the applause and admiration of the masses, but that does not make the Lord's body.

God's intention was never huge masses of people, but masses of true believers. There are people, including Satan, that would like our congregations to concentrate on quantity instead of quality. What is easier: to hug someone and tell them that you love them or to embrace someone with the knowledge of God and show that you love them by opening God's Word together and diligently searching the Truth? Congregations that belong to the Lord cannot compromise God's Word in order to bring in the masses and build bigger buildings. Any congregation that places its focus on numbers on their rolls verses names in the Book of Life is inward in their thinking and they are in jeopardy. Inward thinking is killing congregations in our country and around the world. You have to wonder about our churches, when people confuse them with government agencies instead of the body of Christ. It is amazing what happens in congregations when we let the Bible speak for itself. It is my prayer that the body of Christ will continue to stand up for the Truth and know that God will add the increase.

–Vendall. W. Dollarhide

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Malawi, Central Africa

One Sunday a Muslim Chief came to a meeting of the church where some of the staff members were worshipping with representatives of several congregations in the area.

At the end of the worship period the chief asked to speak. He arose and took my hand. He joked that as a Muslim he was afraid to enter a Christian assembly, but noted that he had found a spirit of love in the congregation, both in the sermon he had heard and in the spirit of unity he observed among the several churches represented. He had missed a nearby rally, where the president was speaking, to be with us. He said that it was worth it and that he would be back to visit with the church on a regular Sunday.

The preacher then rose and welcomed the chief, telling him that he would be welcome to return any time. Later, the chief and his assistant joined a group of us for a meal. We left gratified that this Muslim chief, who lives in a city that in recent times has been a flash point of hatred between Muslims and Christians, could still appreciate the presence of love that he encountered at a Christian gathering. Pray for more bridges to be opened to our Muslim neighbors that they may come to know Jesus Christ through us.

Lagos, Nigeria

I am using this time of my writing to thank you all for the great work you are doing in Nigeria and other parts of the world. God will bless you in Christ. The materials you sent to us have been helping us to carry out our local evangelism. We send some to other congregations and we need more material for students who come to study in our office.


Greetings to you in the good name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am happy to inform you that I have received two M-bags. In them, I got a bunch of books and 19 songbooks. Thank you for these resources. I am thankful to God for our work together--to enhance the borders of God's kingdom.. May God bless you for your good work. I send a special hello to my dear friend and brother—John Kemplin!

(Brother lmogoh converted from Hinduism. After continuing his study in God's word, he began a preacher training school in India called the John Kemplin Bible Institute. This school was named after Mission Printing's Dr. John. Dr. John is one of our volunteer


printers and, until last year, he was the President of the Board of Directors at Mission Printing.)

Ghana, West Africa

We are writing to express our sincere gratitude to you for the assistance rendered to us through your distribution of books. We are also happy to have your email address, which will make it possible for us to reach you faster. We are a congregation of 200 members and working with 6 congregations in the nearby villages. We therefore need more tracts, books and Bibles to support us in our work. We currently have a deaf Ministry of about 30 members and we would appreciate it if you could help us with materials for this growing ministry.


I received the religious materials that you sent for our mission work here in the Philippines. Your partnership in spreading the gospel through the printed page is very important to our work in this country. We have a shortage of religious materials for distribution to our prospects and friends. I have a religious radio program that I anchor every Sunday morning. My listeners will be the first one to benefit from these materials. May your mission work increase and may you also be able to bring not only hundreds but also thousands of souls back to the fold of God. I will be looking forward for more partnership in the Lord's vineyard. God bless your ministry.

The Bahamas

The materials produced by Mission Printing have made a vital contribution to the spread of the gospel in the 700 Islands of the Bahamas during the past 23 years. We have used radio to reach the distant Islands and have furnished personal evangelism studies along with free Bibles and New Testaments through the schools and in the settlements. Twelve to fifteen people will read every piece of literature we hand out. More than 2200 people have obeyed the gospel. We are thankful daily for the volunteers who work tirelessly to carry the Message to the far reaches of the earth.

Ghana, West Africa

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to you for the wonderful work you are doing for the Lord. We have received the boxes of books mailed to us. These books, we believe, will help us prepare out outlines for teaching and reaching, as well as for private readers. We thank the Lord for

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making it possible for us to be part of His great service in His honor. We hope that you shall be rewarded for whatever you have lost, so that you can continue the good work that you are doing for the Lord.

Ekite State, Nigeria

My sincere greeting to you in Jesus name. I am very grateful for the sack of books you sent to me. May God's manifold blessings and grace abound to you. The books have been distributed prayerfully. We are planning to plant another church of Christ in this state. As soon as the church is started, we will give you a report as we will need more books, such as Bibles and commentaries, to set up a library.

Ghana, West Africa

I will at this time use this opportunity to express my profound gratitude and appreciation to you all for the good work that you have done in the years past. May the great and loving God bless you. We have been using most of your study material for ourselves, but give some to other churches to read, thereby making you great partners in the Lord's work that we are doing in Ghana. We are therefore thanking you for what you have done and hope you will continue to do more for us.

Zimbabwe, Central Africa

Thank you very much for the materials you mailed to me in response to the request I made in my letter. I have been able to study most of the materials. It is quite educative and has been a source of blessing to my spiritual growth. I have also shared it with some of my Christian friends. It has made an impact. I pray that the almighty God in His infinite mercy will reward you and all members of Mission Printing richly and abundantly. Thanks and God bless you.

Ghana, West Africa

Greetings from the brethren here in Ghana. I really appreciate and thank God in all remembrance of you. I am grateful for the opportunity to work for His kingdom in fellowship with people like you. I am so glad and much excited and I thank God for creating such an opportunity for me to have fellowship with you.

Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Greetings to you in Jesus name. I write to inform you that I received the materials that you sent. I have


shared it among other churches around me. It has gone a long way to enhance progress and success in converting souls to Christ.

Ghana, West Africa

I am much appreciative of the gesture. I pray that the Lord will keep sustaining you all in Him so that you can contribute your quota to uplift the Lord's work in the whole wide world. l promise that we over here in Ghana will do our best to put the materials you have given us into proper use. We also need your prayers so that in these difficult times we may not falter through poverty. Many of our brethren go way- ward many a time, simply because of poverty. We need your prayers to stand as Paul stood in all his trials. May God bless you.

Nagaland, India

A thousands thanks to you. We have received many books which you have sent. We have distributed them to our friends, churches and Bible college. We live in a small village, and lately many of our friends have started joining with us. By the grace of God we have a new youth leader who has a great interest in our youth.

Abia State, Nigeria

Gladly we greet you all in Jesus name, regarding the books you sent to me for distributions to the hungry souls. This is to let you know that I received 2 bags of books. All the members of the church of Christ, and other nearby Christians, highly appreciate what you did for the progress of God's work. I have start- ed distributing these books in which I know that many souls will be converted to God through the distribution exercise.

Madrid, Spain

I want to thank you for your materials that have enabled the reaching of the gospel immensely here. I wish to request for greater quantities to meet up with our challenges.

Zambia, Central Africa

This is to inform you that I received all that you mailed me in response to my request. I was overwhelmed with joy for your prompt action. May the Almighty God provide all that you need to facilitate the spread of the gospel of Christ. We are going to make proper use of them both in evangelism and edification to the glory of God.

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In Memory

Jack Aldriedge

Irene Aldriedge

Buck & Ima Nell Spelce

Roy Allison

Grady & Ruth Paul

Rodney Baccus

Grady & Ruth Paul

Ruby Bowman

Hans & Mary Wasner

Willa Lone Bragg

Hans & Mary Wasner

Linda Brents

Curtis and Wilma Bradshaw

Madge Cheairs

Ed Allcorn

Susan Cochran

Hans & Mary Wasner

Virginia Dade

Grace Odom

Guy & Wyvonne Robinson

Frank & Sylvia Harston

Reona Evans

Curtis and Wilma Bradshaw

Jim Holt

Hans & Mary Wasner

Dorothy Jones

Dortha Dawdy

Jessie Hiltibida

Buck & Ima Nell Spelce

Juanita Palmore

Handley Church of Christ


Robert Parkey, Jr.

John & Oleta Jennings

Gilbert Reed

Harold & Theda Walling

Hans & Mary Wasner

Guy & Wyvonne Robinson

Kay Reed

Joyce Campbell

Jessie Lee Caskey

Nelda Sheldon

Dortha Dawdy

David & Karen Hobby

Al & Brenda McCalip

Dorothy Hall

Stewart & Dorothy Whittington

Charles & Dorothy Jones

Jess & Ann Lewellyn

Ernest & Norma Coker

Irene Aldriedge

Monty Reynolds

Robert & Mozelle Brooks

Bobbie Clark

Mary Scott

Handley Church of Christ

Grace Sillaway

Curtis and Wilma Bradshaw

Coley Snow

Curtis and Wilma Bradshaw

Keith Thompson

Hubert & Walterrene Hartin

Woodrow Wiggins

John & Juanita Teague

Curtis and Wilma Bradshaw

Ralph Workman, Sr.

Hazel Fallis


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