The Parable of the Sower, by April Coonfare
Jesus used parables to teach great truth. Through parables He used an earthly story to edify a spiritual application to His disciples and those around to hear.
The other day I was going thru some of the parables Jesus taught, all of them being excellent stories with brilliant spiritual applications, but the Parable of the Sower really struck me into thinking and questioning “What type of soil am I?”
In Matthew 13:1-9 it tells the parable:
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gath- ered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore.
3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4
As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because
the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they with-
ered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked
the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or
thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
The passage to the parable where Jesus explains the meaning is found in Matthew 13:18-23
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what
was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky
ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because
of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the
word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
In modern English the meaning of this parable comes down to this:
The seed is Gods Word that is planted in us.
The wayside soil is those who hear the word, but fail to understand it.
The stony soil is those who hear the word, receive it joyfully, but when temptation comes they flail away from the word, because they were not “rooted” in the word.
The thorny ground is those who hear and begin to bear fruit, but allow the cares and pleasures of life to distract them and they begin to forget about the concern for God’s word.
The good soil is those who hear the word, understand it and obey it.
We need to evaluate ourselves to see where we are in our walk with God and ask
ourselves “What type of soil am I?”
PENTECOSTALS OF BILLINGS
SUNDAY- 10 AM PRAYER - 5:30 PM - 6 PM
WEDNESDAY- 7 PM
SATURDAY PRAYER- 7 PM
MARCH 30-APRIL 1
2335 Lewis Ave
A TESTIMONY FROM A SAINT, by Ok Hui Woeppel
This is the testimony of how God changed my life; that is “How I came to be a Christian.” In my first years in Billings, Mon- tana I went to a small Korean church near South Park. They were having a revival. During the service I went to the alter and prayed. While I was praying it felt like someone had hit me on the back. My body started to shake. The shaking lasted for two weeks. I couldn’t sit down.
My mom was raised as a Buddhist. She also had participated in and practiced witchcraft. She had an evil spirit inside her. She had a very hard life. I thought about her a lot. I prayed for her all the time. I asked God to change her life. I wanted her to ac- cept Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
I prayed night and day for my mother. Every morning I rode my bicycle to the little Korean church to pray for my mother. I did this for six days a week. On Sundays, my husband, Leonard, would take me to church to pray for a few minutes.
I remember I prayed every morning at 9:00 am. I also prayed at 10:30 pm every day. Even when I was sick or my body hurt I always went there to pray. Even when I had company at my home it would not deter me from my prayer time. When I was sick I would cover my upper body with a blanket and pray at home.
I knew how important it was for my mom to go to heaven. I felt that if my mom was going to hell, I wouldn’t be going to heaven. I had a heavy burden for my family in South Korea.
Each day I prayed on my knees four to five hours a day. Even when I visited my friend’s home I continued to pray. I fasted three days. No food; just drinking water at meal times. No juice, no coffee, nothing except water.
When I prayed the Lord spoke to me. I asked what was the right thing to do. He said “Go and I will be with you to the end.” Eventually I was able to return to Korea for a visit. I was able to reach my family for Jesus. My mom and dad accepted Jesus as their savior.
It was only when God raised my mom from her death bed during my visit that she and my father converted to Christianity. Because she lived in a rural part of South Korea, she always grew a large garden to feed her family. As part of her taking care of her garden she visited the garden twice a day to check on how things were growing. Each time she went, she prayed to God that things would grow so she could feed her family and have something to barter with so she could trade or sell for other ne- cessities. God answered her prayers and the garden always grew well. In time of drought when other farmer’s gardens would die off her garden prospered and produced prodigiously. God answered her prayers and she never failed to thank him for all the good things that grew in her garden. My mother’s prayers to God were always answered.
One day my daughter was very sick. She had a high fever. She was 8 or 9 at the time. I had gone to church for services. I had left Florence at home and when I returned I discovered my daughter was very hot. It felt like she was burning up. I immediate- ly began to pray for my daughter and God spoke to me and said she was healed. The very next morning her fever had dissipat- ed. She felt well and went to school. God healed her.
One summer my oldest grandson came for a visit. It was Wednesday and we were preparing to go to church. He followed me wherever I went. I asked him if he was okay. He said his head hurt very badly. I prayed for hi. Immediately the pain went away and he was able to go to church. He said the pain was gone. God had healed him.
I am thankful that my parents came to the Lord. Everyday they start their day with prayer at 4:00 am. My parents think church is special. One time my mom injured her foot with a bad fracture. They had to put a cast on it. The doctor said she might need surgery to help her heal faster. When the doctor checked on her at recovery he discovered she had healed very quickly and wouldn’t need the surgery. The doctor said “Wow, he had never seen healing so fast.” Even with her foot injured my father would put her in a little wagon and take her to church for 4:00 am prayer. Despite illness or injury they are determined not to miss daily prayer and every Sunday service as well.
Eventually they moved nearer other family members in Seoul. My father is 87 and my mom is 80. They walk an hour to church on Sunday and an hour back home. They very rarely miss church. They love God very, very much.
My father has said if there was no other way he would crawl to church. My mom and dad have been baptized in Jesus name and received the Holy Spirit.
I try to pray at least an hour a day. Sometimes when I was the dishes I play Christian music tapes and sing along with them. Sometimes I feel God’s presence so strongly I will stop working and praise and dance before the Lord.
Judges 6:37-38 (Gideon’s Story)
“Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou will save Israel by mine hand, as thou has said. And it was so; for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed out the entire fleece, a bowl full of water.”
Gideon prayed and the Lord answered. The Lord still answers our prayers today.
Thank you Lord for giving me wisdom to write this testimony. Than you Jesus for answering my prayers. In Jesus name, Amen.
March 30-April 1st- District Conference- Bozeman
April 15th -16th- Section 5 Ladies Conference- Butte
April 29th-30th- Section 4 Ladies Conference- Billings
July 7th-9th- VARIETY- Rawlins, WY
August 1st-4th- Family Camp- Hungry Horse
We are the young army of God and we are to Christ!
Come join the fellowship and fun nights on Friday nights at 7 pm and our Youth Service every Sunday morning at 10 am
Ages 12 + is welcome to come.
If you have questions please contact Alan or April Coonfare @ 855-6256
Fund Raisers For Youth
March 13th- Serving Sister Sermon’s Famous Gumbo and Potato Salad $6 per adult- $4 per child
Served after evening service
March 27th- Korean Feast by Ok Hui $8 per adult- $6 per child
Served after morning service
Proceeds go half to building fund and half to youth fund
Thank you to those that donate to help our youth. You are helping them to gain direction on having a walk with God through this world of temptation.
CHURCH PRAYER REQUESTS
Medicine Crow Family
Larissa Timme & Deanna Timme
|Sunday School Coin|
|Youth Serving||7 pm Church Service-||District Conference||District Conference||District Conference|
|Korean Feast||changed from||Bozeman||Bozeman||Bozeman|
|After morning||Wednesday||Brother Carnahan||Brother Bernard||Brother Bernard|
Banana Sour Cream Bread
·1/4 cup white sugar
·1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·3/4 cup butter
·3 cups white sugar
·6 very ripe bananas, mashed
·1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
·2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
·1/2 teaspoon salt
·3 teaspoons baking soda
·4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease four 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
In a large bowl, cream butter and 3 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans.
Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
A TEENAGER'S VIEW OF HEAVEN
17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The subject was what Heaven was like. "I wowed 'em," he later told his father, Bruce. "It's a killer. It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote.." It also was the last. Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was elec- trocuted.
Brian's Essay: The Room...
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order.
But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I have liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.
And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was.
This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content.
Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed." The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed at ." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've yelled at my brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Mut- tered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.
Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked "TV Shows I have watched", I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content.
I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it.. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, al- most unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.
And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt. They started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key. But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own.
He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.
Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. "No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished." I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." "The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you"
When I first read this it brought tears to my eyes, to think that our God would be so forgiving and so loving is so unfathomable, that even with a lifetime of thinking I could never understand. Sit and think for a moment about what is on your file cards, and wonder if it could ever be reason enough for God to sign His name over ours.
The Lesson of the Pine Trees
by Fran Lane
Birthday: February 7th 1997 Grade:8th Grade!!
Favorite Color:Lime Green! :) Favorite Food:Fettuccine Alfredo
Favorite Quote:"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful one hun- dred percent!" ~Dr. Seuss~
Favorite Song: "Outcast" ~Kerrie Roberts~ Favorite Book: "Number the Stars" By: Louis Lowry
Favorite Animal: Dolphin Favorite book of the Bible: Job :)
Favorite Bible verse:Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make them- selves beautiful.~1 Peter 3:2-5~
What has God done for you? God has filled me with the Holy Ghost and blessed me with a great family who loves Him. He has healed me when I have been sick or in pain. He is an awe- some God and there is NO ONE like him!! :)
Since Easter is but 8 weeks away (April 24th), I thought this would be appropriate. It will perhaps start you looking for what has always been there but often not seen.
The Bible tells us in Romans 8:19-22 that cre- ation, the earth, nature, whatever you wish to call it is in tune to its creator, and awaits His re- turn:
“19For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His chil-
dren really are. 20Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager
hope, 21the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious
freedom from death and decay. 22For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up until the present time. ”
As a for instance, did you know that the pine trees know when it’s Easter? The pine trees start their new growth in the weeks before Easter. If you look at the tops of the pine trees two weeks before, you will see yellow shoots. As the days get closer to Easter, the tallest shoots will branch off and form a cross. By the time Easter Sunday comes around you will see that most of the pine trees will have small yellow crosses on all of the tallest shoots. There is a lesson behind every wonder of nature. Why wouldn’t there be, our God, who is full of wonder created them!
So, start watching the pine trees in the weeks to come and watch nature in its own way celebrate
Easter morning, the time when our God manifest- ed in the flesh of the man called Jesus won victo- ry for us and set us free! Praise God!
5- Matthew Walsh
7- Edward Sermon
If you would like a private Bible study simply give us a call.
In your bible we will show you where the Lord commands us, that we are to be born again.
Daylight Savings begins on March 13.
Remember to set your clock FORWARD one hour.
“Love is the strongest force the world possesses, and yet it is the humblest imaginable.”
“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”
“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcast- ing station, through which God speaks to us every hour if we will only tune in.”
—George Washington Carver