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  • J. Randal Matheny 10:05 pm on 2014-09-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Missions,   

    Long roads in a small car 

    After a great visit with the overseeing congregation (as usual), we made another trip today from central Arkansas to Nashville, back to our son’s house.

    Somewhere along the way the rental agency goofed or the travel agency in Brazil failed, and we wound up with an extra-small car. None of our suitcases will fit in the trunk. It runs well enough, but it’s a bit cramped. So I’m still unfolding my body after the several hours in the sardine can.

    Good thing we’re not making any of the longer trips out to Texas or up to Illinois.

    We can still be grateful that we’re not in the horse-and-buggy days.

    • Eugene Adkins 6:32 am on 2014-09-09 Permalink | Reply

      And think about all the gas you saved! 😉

      • Randal 9:43 am on 2014-09-09 Permalink | Reply

        I expected great mileage, but the car’s measurement was at best 32.3. Disappointing for that size.

  • J. Randal Matheny 10:16 am on 2014-09-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Missions   

    Hearing, salivating, glorifying, and spending 

    hear-gospelGlancing, skimming, surfing. That’s what we do today, mainly. And that lack of focus makes us superficial. We surf spiritually as well. We skim Scripture with quick takes and verse-sized bites. We turn to the visual as often as possible, to the detriment of the audible.

    But the Bible emphasizes — and in the plan of salvation we rightly highlight — the need to hear. “Hear, O Israel,” was the instruction from the Lord. Paul reminded the Romans, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” Rm 10.17 ESV. If we see anything, we ought to see the words of Christ in the pages of Scripture. (More …)

    • Jack 12:40 pm on 2014-09-03 Permalink | Reply

      First thought:
      Romans 12:1-2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the compassions of GOD, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to GOD, [which is] your intelligent service. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [your] mind, that ye may prove what [is] the good and acceptable and perfect will of GOD.

      Second thought:
      Romans 10:13-14 For every one whosoever, who shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without one who preaches?

      To this end besides or local evangelism, we support an effective gospel in Zimbabwe as we send qualified regularly for support and training. as well as facilitating gospel preaching and training in Southern Peru and Northern Chile.

  • J. Randal Matheny 8:06 am on 2014-08-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Missions   

    The most good 

    It’s the wrong question for congregations to ask in missions: “Where can we spend our money where it will do the most good?” Man cannot answer that question. The most good may not be produced immediately. Man cannot see how God will use human effort to produce eternal good.

    “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good” Ecc 11.6 ESV.

    • Jack 1:03 pm on 2014-09-01 Permalink | Reply

      Ron McClung, started 35 thriving congregations in Central America in 10 years using the Navigator’s Discipling material (correcting the theological errors with permission). Another evangelist (remain unnamed) spent 5 years without a single conversion at 5 times the cost of Bro. McClung’s 10 year service.

      An 18 year study of religion in Canada a fews years back, (Fragmented Gods) revealed that the only converts were among the immigrants, mostly Asian, forming ethic congregations in the native languages.
      Not to mention that in “progressive” Egypt, a converted Moslem is hung and the church where they were baptized is burned.

      A need does not necessarily constitute a call. Stewardship demand responsibility.

      Mark 6:11 And whatsoever place shall not receive you nor hear you, departing thence, shake off the dust which is under your feet for a testimony to them.

    • Beth Johnson 2:58 pm on 2014-09-07 Permalink | Reply

      Most who ask those questions about where to put their money would think in terms of baptisms.
      1) Who knows if the new members were disciples when they were immersed?
      2) Who knows which kind of soil those new converts might be?
      3) Who can know if they will stand the test of the fire? (1 Cor. 3:12-15)

  • J. Randal Matheny 12:28 pm on 2014-08-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , early adopters, , Missions,   

    Don't be the first, or you might lose something important 

    An old saying warns us not to be the first to adopt a new technology or style, nor be the last to abandon it. There seems to be wisdom here, and a recent experience confirmed it. I cannot save new posts in WordPress’s new dashboard. I just lost most of an article there, after composing it in that software.

    Perhaps my aged operating system and browser are not up to date on the technology behind the new system. Is it my fault or WordPress’s that they’ve adopted requirements that some of the millions who use their service do not possess? (More …)

  • TFRStaff 5:04 pm on 2014-04-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Missions,   

    Green fruit 

    If someone asked you to name a color of a fruit, you would probably say orange or maybe red. However, in writing to the church at Philippi, Paul talks about fruit that is normally green.

    Can you guess what it is? Here is the clue: “Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account” (Philippians 4:17). That is right; the “green fruit” is money. There are a number of passages in the Bible that talk about what we should do with our money. The most important thing that our money can do is support the preaching of the gospel. (More …)

  • TFRStaff 4:53 am on 2014-02-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Missions,   

    HCU missions seminar Feb 13 

    The 2nd Missions Seminar will be held at HCU this Thursday night from 6-8:30 PM in Room 12 (or the auditorium). Loy Mitchell and Jeremy Barrier will be the speakers for the event. We hope that you can come!

    Wayne and Janet

    3000 County Road 10

    Florence, AL 35633


    256-768-1007 fax

  • TFRStaff 11:48 am on 2014-01-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Missions,   

    Where would you go? 

    pacific-northwestby Bob and Jan Towell

    The meaning of “disciple” is not just “follower” or “learner”; it also means someone who wants to be like the teacher.

    Where would you go to call disciples? Would you go to the centers of learning and culture? Would you go to places with the largest population?

    Five of the twelve Jesus chose were from Bethsaida, which means “fishing village.” It was not a city of arenas, theaters, and gymnasia, but Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Phillip grew up there and that is where they were when Jesus called them to “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” (More …)

  • TFRStaff 5:08 pm on 2014-01-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: mission seminar, Missions, missions training   

    February missions seminar at HCU 

    We would like to invite you to the second seminar on missions at HCU on February 13 from 6:30-8:30PM. Loy Mitchell and Jeremy Barrier will be our speakers. Please plan to attend, if possible. Please see attached flyer. —Wayne and Janet Barrier

    missions seminar feb 2014.pdf

  • TFRStaff 5:59 pm on 2013-12-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Missions, missions education,   

    Missions Seminar at HCU Feb 13 

    With Loy Mitchell and Jeremy Barrier. Ought to be a great moment.

  • TFRStaff 8:18 am on 2013-11-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Missions,   



    1 COR. 14:26


    An E-Letter from Ted & Barbara Knight to our Romanian Family

    Dear Brothers, Sisters, and Friends,

    Today in America we are observing what our forefathers designated as a ‘Day of Thanksgiving.’ It is one of our favorite days of the year. School is dismissed, many people are not required to work, and families gather for a time of great food, fellowship, and pleasant memories. I am sorry that in the last few years more emphasis is placed upon shopping, which requires that all the stores are open, and other activities and it seems to me that the focus on ‘Thanksgiving’ is somewhat diminished. But, that is a choice that everyone makes for themselves.

    Very early this morning My Lady and I lay in our bed and we began counting our blessings. It seems that the list would be endless and it really is, when you began to put those blessings into words to yourself and someone else, it really makes them come alive. We want you to know something; “Very close to the top of those blessings that we thank God for is our family of Christians and friends in Romania.” In 2014 we will begin our 20th year of work and association with the people of Romania. You will never know what an impact you have made on our lives. There are some people who go into another country and they come home and forget who they met and some of what they did. That is not true of us. We remember the first baptism of Horia and the second one was Ramona Manescu, followed by many others. We remember bible studies and many of you translating for us, the bus rides between Pitesti and Craiova, and the wonderful times of fellowship when our work was done at days end. We could write many pages from the memories that we have of all of you and the love that we have for you. So, on this Day of Thankgiving, please be assured that you are a vital part of our prayer of thanks to God and we pray that many more years of memories will be made.

    We pray that God will bless you and keep you lovingly in His arms.

    With Much Love,

    Ted & Barbara

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:00 am on 2013-11-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: book burning, Carl Ketcherside, , Missions   

    Corollaries: I tore up and threw away the book 

    The Snuggery (top floor) circa 2004

    The Snuggery (top floor) circa 2004

    Slightly am I in the downsizing mode. My efforts pale before the herculean task of ridding The Snuggery of stacks of papers and unneeded and unhelpful books. So, seeing one of the latter lying on a shelf, I tore up and threw away Ketcherside’s book, The Death of the Custodian. Was quite a satisfying experience. I would never give that book away, since it sells out the truth of the gospel.

    The eradicative moment reminded me of the Ephesians burning their magic books, a passage I used Monday morning in an evangelistic study to talk about confession and repentance. Some books deserve to be destroyed.

    Not sure how I came to be in possession of a copy of Ketcherside’s book. Somebody probably gave it to me hoping to convert me to that toothless version of Christianity. I noted that I had made marks in the book; at least, I assume they were mine, and that I had read it some time in the distant past.

    As I opened pages to grab and tear, I saw I had underlined the phrase “love letters from God.” People have used this phrase to try to get away from the Bible as a pattern for life and service in Christ. Made me wonder if Ketcherside was the originator of the phrase.

    Speaking of the author, I remember my grandfather Matheny talked about him speaking and debating in Greene County, Arkansas, when, I believe, Ketcherside was on the other extreme, binding rules upon others that God has not bound. My grandfather’s tone of voice was never positive when mentioning him. (More …)

    • Weylan Deaver 9:16 am on 2013-11-20 Permalink | Reply

      C. S. Lewis was a prolific reader. In fact, he would actually enjoy being sick in bed, because it afforded opportunity to read. After making his way through one unimpressive book, he wrote at its end, “Never again.” Next time Randal says, “I put that book down,” we’ll wonder whether he meant laid it aside, or put it down like a rabid dog. Seriously, though, some books do need to be put out of the misery they cause.

      • James Randal 1:36 pm on 2013-11-20 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve made a few notations like that. Disappointing. Unsatisfying.

        First time I was compared to a rabid dog. Or maybe it was to Lewis … 😉

  • TFRStaff 9:43 pm on 2013-09-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Missions   

    Mission meeting at HCU 

    Missions Seminar 2013 flyer-page-001

    The World Evangelism School of Missions will be conducting a seminar at Heritage Christian University on Thursday night, September 26th from 6 to 8:30 PM. Gordon Hogan and Wayne Barrier will be making presentations. You are invited to attend. Please invite others to come. See attached.

    Also, the date for the 2014 Maywood Missionary Retreat is May 8-10. (The date has been changed back to the original week because of a conflict at the camp.)

    We hope to see you in September!


    Wayne and Janet Barrier

    Missions Seminar 2013 flyer.pdf

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:54 am on 2013-09-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Missions,   

    Dates available to speak 

    As many of you know, Vicki and I have lost support again, and after a new count we lack around $1000 per month.

    We have a number of days available to speak to your congregation, eldership, or missions committee about the GoSpeak ministry. We are also available to teach or preach. Please check out the calendar for our time through Oct. 16, when we return to Brazil.


    Also, please share this email with others whom you think might be interested in the GoSpeak ministry.

    I’ve overcome my reluctance to mention this here on TFR since this site and others like Forthright.net and BrotherhoodNews.com depend on the funds from the GoSpeak ministry to continue.

    This past weekend, I spoke at the Preacher’s Files Lectureship in Middleton, Tenn. Though it awaits some editing, see the video of my session: “You Can Be Sure of the Power of the Gospel:”




  • TFRStaff 10:59 am on 2013-09-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Missions   

    Missions seminar at HCU 

    The World Evangelism School of Missions will be conducting a seminar at Heritage Christian University on Thursday night, September 26th from 6 to 8:30 PM. Gordon Hogan and Wayne Barrier will be making presentations. You are invited to attend. Please invite others to come. See attached.

    Also, the date for the 2014 Maywood Missionary Retreat is May 8-10. (The date has been changed back to the original week because of a conflict at the camp.)

    We hope to see you in September!

    Wayne and Janet Barrier


    256-768-1007 fax

    WESM Seminar 2013.ppt

  • J. Randal Matheny 11:38 am on 2013-08-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Missions,   


    Because of travel in the US, I missed my Forthright editorial this past Monday. When I had a small window open late in the day to write something—if I’d had a head for it—I decided instead to shoot hoops with my sons, whom I’ve not seen in months. Sometimes, work has to take a back seat.

    • Carl Sims has produced a new personal evangelistic study, “Sowing the Seed.” Might be something you’d be interested in, with three lessons in a true-false format, and a “Supplemental Studies” sheet. If you don’t have resources to do an evangelistic study with someone, this would be a good option to have. Carl also teaches seminars that would be a good thing to check out. UPDATE: The site appears not to be active yet. Write to Carl at carlssims@gmail.com.

    • I appreciate that Hugh Fulford doesn’t shy away today in his News and Views from the truth of relationship with Christ. Even though the truth is often abused, he brings it to the fore in proper perspective.

    • From Saturday to Monday, The Missus and I made our first of many trips in these not-so-United States, down to Madison AL to talk with the missions committee and touch base with the brethren there. This follows on the heels of Bennie P. and Siegfried B.’s trip down to visit us in Brazil, from the same congregation, just the week before we came up. We appreciate their good efforts.

    • I’ve lost count of the different airlines we’ve flown over the years, both American and foreign. (Won’t even attempt an estimate of the number of flights we’ve made.) But last week I think we flew a new one with U.S. Airways, coming through Charlotte NC. Their promotional price was the big attraction. Was another uneventful flight.

    • Riddle me this: A psalmist, speaking of Zion (Jerusalem), said with apparent approval of the Holy Spirit, “your servants take delight in her stones” Psa 102.14 NET. So why did Jesus upbraid his disciples for pointing out the temple construction and tell them no stone would be left on top of another, Mt 24.1-2?

    • God is he “who satisfies your life with good things” Psa 103.5. I underline phrases like this in my Bible. Maybe you don’t need such reminders, but I do. Zophar wasn’t much of a friend to suffering Job, but he got it right about the wicked when he said, “For he knows no satisfaction in his appetite; he does not let anything he desires escape”, Job 20.20. Dissatisfaction is a wicked attitude, be it Israel eating manna in the desert or saints murmuring about supposed lack of this or that in the most wealthy age ever. Do we fight against the sins of our age? Or just reflect them more subtly?

    • Speaking of my Forthright editorials, week-before-last I wrote about a Brazilian evangelist who began a new work in a state capital untouched by the gospel, but lost 80% of his support. Guess who emails and sends money? Missionaries on two different continents. Can a heart be broken and touched at the same time?

    • People have asked me what I think about “Duck Dynasty.” As if my opinion mattered.  But here is my reply in three words: Remember Pat Boone.

    • Read Matthew 6 and then watch some TV. What is the programming about? Clothes. Food. Houses. Cars. Money. What shall we wear? What shall we eat? Where shall we live? How shall we get there? How shall we guarantee our security? Television is the epitome of paganism. “That’s what those people who don’t know God are always thinking about” Mt 6.32 ERV.

    • Man and unconverted religious people live and judge by appearances. Even Jesus was judged by appearances, Jn 7.23-24. Those groups or churches which live by appearances have dress codes. Jesus and Peter condemned overdressing. When was the last time you heard a sermon about overdressing? The opposite of modesty is extravagance. This is not an argument for slovenliness, but simplicity.

    But living by appearances goes beyond clothing. It has not only dress codes, but behavior codes that have little or nothing to do with Scripture. Such codes encompass use of time, manner of speech, types of sin to condemn or not, religious (in contrast to biblical) patterns to be upheld, human traditions, respect of persons. Conversions in such systems make children of hell, Mt 23.15, rather than children of heaven.

    Father, may our faith be genuine, our practice be biblical, our motives be pure, our commitment be true. May we be satisfied with your presence, and you with our service.

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    • Don Ruhl 3:04 pm on 2013-08-20 Permalink | Reply

      Did Jesus necessarily “upbraid” His disciples for pointing out the temple? I have never understood Him as rebuking or correcting them, but simply stating that the thing they admired, would one day come down.

      • James Randal 3:08 pm on 2013-08-20 Permalink | Reply

        Interesting question, Don. As the center of Jewish worship and the pride of the nation, the temple was their source of confidence, Jer 7.4. I hear that in the disciples’ voice. Am I reading into what they say/do here?

        • Don Ruhl 3:22 pm on 2013-08-20 Permalink | Reply

          I do not hear that in the disciples’ voice. It was a beautiful and magnificent building, and it was their place of worship, and I think they just wanted to point it out to Him, even as I would the beauty of Oregon, if He was here, although He certainly knows of it all!

    • Eugene Adkins 6:54 am on 2013-08-21 Permalink | Reply

      I thought you didn’t like riddles? 🙂

      Regardless of the disciple’s tone, Jesus used a very serious one when He gave them a reality check; one which no doubt changed the expression on their face. And I do believe though it was a correction of some sorts, especially when we take Matthew 23:37-38 into account. We may be wrong in calling it an “upbraid” but it definitely seems as if it’s a correction.

      Jesus had told several parables and very plain lessons in the ears of the disciples (and others) that basically said bad things were coming for those who rejected Him – including the entire city (Matthew 21:33-46, 23:29-39).

      The disciples were indeed proud of the city and of the Temple and how it had been beautifully built up, but Jesus was not proud of the way He had been treated or of the way that He was going to be treated. It seems as if they (as a nation once again) had gotten to the point to where they were more impressed with their walls than with their “High Tower” (Psalm 18:2).

      “Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, “These things which you see—the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”” (Luke 21:5-6)

      I might be wrong, but Luke’s extra information seems to build a case for it.

      • James Randal 7:31 am on 2013-08-21 Permalink | Reply

        Riddles are not my favorite, for sure.

        I don’t want to get hung up over terms like “upbraid,” but I can’t think of a stronger way to dash cold water on Jewish pride in the magnificent temple than to say what he did.

        Good to pull in Luke’s account and check all three of the Synoptics.

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