New Vision News
February 24, 2018
Hello, and welcome to New Vision Ministries' newsletter! My husband Timothy and I believe that even though we are all disabled by sin, Jesus Christ enables us to do anything according to His will. Thank you for reading our quarterly letter, and thank you so much for supporting us as we continue to reach out to others.
We continue to add new devotions to our blog on www.mynvm.com every Saturday. We hope you'll be entertained and inspired by our website and our devotions.
Our nursing-home and care-center business, New Vision Entertainment, continues to go well. On several days each month, Timothy and I visit nursing homes in the Maricopa County, AZ area. I play piano, while Tim serves as my emcee. Tim will occasionally deliver a short Bible message, so that we can minister to the residents. Based on the reactions of residents and staff alike, we're doing a pretty good job!
If you know about any nursing homes in Maricopa County which could use some great musical entertainment, please let us know about them. If not, we'd really appreciate your prayers for the continued success of New Vision Entertainment. Thank you!
Would you like to join one of Tim's Bible studies? Each weekly study is conducted by telephone on a conference line. A new study takes place on Mondays at 5:30 PM Arizona Time. Our audience currently contains a few people from New York, and we go over what the Bible has to teach us about living the Christian life. Each study session lasts about 1 hour. We are currently in 1 Corinthians, Chapter 3.
Instead of a Bible study, would you rather participate in a prayer meeting? A couple months ago, Tim and I started just such a meeting, which is conducted on Tuesdays at the same time (5:30 Arizona time), using the same conference line. Tim will start off each meeting with a short scripture, and then we'll tell God what we're thankful for and bring our needs to Him in prayer. We hope you'll join us and add your own contributions to these meetings.
If you'd like to join either the Bible study or prayer meeting, please call our conference line number (712-775-7031, meeting ID 607518748). We hope to see you there!
Would you like to become a prayer partner with us? If you'd like to help us pray for others, or you would like to involve your church or another Christian organization in New Vision Ministries, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Call to Prayer
Each quarter, we'll be featuring different people or things in this section, and we encourage you to pray for them.
This month, we have a few prayer requests for you. First, we have decided to discontinue the church services we had been putting on in a nearby assisted-living facility since last May, due to very sporadic attendance by the residents. Instead, we have decided to visit residents in their rooms, and minister to them directly. Please pray that we will be able to honor God and bring His gospel to both this assisted-living facility, and the drug rehab center located in the same building.
Second, we'd really appreciate your prayers for our upcoming podcast, and for the continuing development of our website. We are getting some volunteer help in regards to adding our logo to the site and making it more accessible for both Timothy and myself, as well as other blind people. Please pray that this volunteer help will go smoothly.
We are planning to attend a health-care chaplains' conference in California this April. The guest speaker will be Joni Eareckson Tada, a disabled woman who ministers to people in wheelchairs. Please pray that we will get the chance to interview her. We're hoping to feature her inspiring story and perhaps some words of wisdom from her in a future newsletter article.
Finally, please pray that our website will keep growing, and that people will keep coming back to read more devotions and listen to our podcast episodes.
The Online Chaplain
Along with our assisted-living and hospital outreaches, we started something new last quarter that I would like to ask you to pray about. It is called the Online Chaplain, and it is designed to reach out to those who might never darken the door of a church. People who have spiritual questions and those who are involved in crisis situations may benefit as well. The Online Chaplain is also meant to support the body of Christ in general.
If you have recently gone through the pain of a great loss, or you just need to talk with someone, I hope that you will feel free to let me know. People who contact me can give as much or as little information as they like. Everything that we discuss will remain confidential.
You can contact me by calling 507.369.6861, or by sending an email to email@example.com. Thank you!
Finally, here's an article by Timothy Burdick about how we can turn to God instead of relying on the world for guidance.
THE WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places."
--Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
Remember when the first disciples of Jesus asked Him to teach them how to pray? Because of this request, the Lord's Prayer has become standard reading in many of our churches.
Unfortunately, many of us who claim to be Jesus' disciples today tend to make prayer a last resort. I say this with a very heavy heart, because I have often fallen into that trap myself. Since we don’t fully understand prayer, we think we can get along perfectly well without it. I don't understand why we tend to think this way, because prayer and God's Word were the backbone of our Lord's ministry.
If we dilligently search the scriptures, we can see how God made prayer an integral part of His lifestyle. Jesus would often pray all night, or get up at the crack of dawn in order to spend time alone with God. Then we see Him at the cross, where He sweated great drops of blood during His final prayer.
In the early church, we can see what a huge role prayer played. The first Christians sought guidance in the face of opposition, and they asked God for His divine wisdom many times.
For many of us in the present day, complacency has replaced this sense of urgency, and fervent prayer has gone by the wayside. We have lost a lot of ground in our faith, and we must make up for all this lost time. This requires an honest look at where we have been, and where we are going. So let’s think about it together, and see how prayer can help us do this.
In many ways our world is very different from that of the first century, but it is also rather similar in one respect. The Romans worshipped a pantheon of different gods. Today we pay homage to the gods of convenience, pleasure, and speed. So are we really that different from them? While our style and living conditions have changed, we all have the same need to communicate with the one true God as our first-century brothers and sisters once had.
For the most part, we may not be driven by persecution in the western world, as was the case with early Christians. But many of us could be spiritually compared to a man who doesn’t exercise. Our Christianity has become very weak, and we fail to turn to the throne of grace and seek the guidance and direction which our Christian family sought.
Little by little, our twenty-first century culture has lulled us to sleep. Instead of turning to God for guidance, some of us turn to technological assistants like Google, Siri or Alexa. Others may try to escape their situations entirely by turning to shopping, video games, or more extreme forms of pleasure like sex or drugs. As a culture, we're going downhill at a faster and faster pace, and we now need God's help more than ever before.
In order to fight the tendency towards pleasure and technology, we must do what Paul once told us. He prayed that we would not be transformed by the world. Instead, he hoped that we would allow God to conform us by renewing our minds.
The Bible tells us to do certain things in order to accomplish this. Let’s look at three of them, and use the word CRY as a tool to help us remember them.
First, the letter C stands for a Commitment to spending time in God's Word and in prayer. Many Christians do what I call spiritual snacking, and then they wonder why they are weak and ineffective. Just as we need to feed our bodies, we need spiritual food to shape us into the men or women that God wants us to be. Spend some quiet time alone with God where you can fellowship together, and let Him speak to you through His word.
The R in the word CRY stands for Repent. Unfortunately, many people have trouble with this concept. "Repent" is a beautiful word, and it simply means turning away from sin and self, and towards a loving God who always wants your best. Today, we might say repentance is getting on the same page or wavelength as God. We need to understand this and humble ourselves before a mighty God. We also need to stop taking our signals from the world, and tune into God’s best.
Thirdly, a time of prayer and meditation upon God’s word will lead us into a Yielded state. We will not be perfect, but by taking these three simple stepps, we will move on to new levels of spiritual maturity.
To put it in Paul's words, our minds will be renewed, and as we cry out to God more and more, we will go from glory to glory.
And on that note, our latest newsletter comes to a close. Once again, don't forget to check out our devotions at www.mynvm.com whenever you need some spiritual encouragement.
We would love to hear from you. This is your ministry, and we want you to share with us how we can improve. If you have any questions, please call 507-369-6861, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (my email) or email@example.com (Timothy's email).
Thank you for reading this!
Stephanie and Timothy Burdick