First Quarter Newsletter
What We Do at Not Alone Blind Internet Ministry:
· Provide a weekly devotional podcast message called “You’re Not Alone”
· Provide a Bible study podcast called “Room 4216”
· Serve the 52 Outreach Centers with a newsletter and leadership support
· Provide pastoral care and counseling that comes about from hearing the podcasts
· Raise financial support and awareness for Not Alone Blind Internet Ministry
Devotional Thought: Love of a Friend
The month of February is often known as the month of love. February 14, Valentine's Day, many people will give gifts, candy or flowers, along with speaking of their love to their wife, husband or special friend.
Do you remember several years ago when James Taylor had the hit song "You've got a friend"? In his song he sang: "Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you’ve got to do is call, and I'll be there. You've got a friend."
There was another song sung by Sonny and Cher Bono in the mid 1960's. The song was called "I've Got You Babe." The song stressed that no matter what else might happen, I've got you babe. I can always depend on you to be there.
James Taylor divorced his wife Carli Simon just a few years after singing his song to her. The Bonos, ten years after they sang their song, were divorced.
The strongest, best, most faithful things of this world do fall apart in time. Cars, buildings and clothes wear out. Our bodies fail to function. Eye sight dims. Marriages end. And yet, as sure as cars rust, buildings fall down and clothes wear out, God's love for us is sure, everlasting and strong. We can trust that God will always be there; that He will never leave us. Why?
There are two reasons. The first is found in man. If one is honest they must admit that people can be good, but also bad or evil. This is called sin. It is sin which brings divorce, broken friendships, and enemies.
The second reason is found in God himself. When he says something is, it is. That is how our world came into being. He has said many times that he loves us and forgives us our sins. Not just cause; but BECAUSE of Jesus and what he did. Our sin made us enemies of God. Instead of us taking the wrath of God, Jesus, God’s son, took it for us by dying on the cross. God now says we are His friends because Jesus made it so.
So you see, the God who speaks has said so. God has never been found to be a liar. Therefore “all we have to do is call” and he’ll be there. And we can say or sing, I’ve got you God.
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11
Letters from Our Listeners
It was such a pleasure meeting you earlier in the week at the retreat. I just now am starting to listen to your Podcast and WOW!!!! Thank you so much for sharing, your kindness and above all leading by example. When time allows, I would like to chat with you about a few matters that you might help me with spiritually.
Your friend in Christ,
We received the following note just after starting the book of Genesis in the “Room 4216” podcast.
Hi Pastor Dave and Cecilia,
No pun intended, but a very good beginning. Pastor Dave, your portrayal of God reminded me of a happy child at play, or an artist finding new subjects to paint or sculpt.
“The Planets” by Holtz, is one of my favorite classical pieces, and has inspired many tales in my mind. I thought it was perfect--for both the story of creation and the wonder of that event.
The first “Youre Not Alone” podcast in January was designed to help people start the New Year. The email notice read:
A new year can bring many responses: Hope for new beginnings. Relief the old is over. Frustration the same will continue. Fear of what changes will come. Over all this however there is one more possibility. Listen and find out.
Marie, shortly after receiving the podcast wrote:
Dear Pastor Dave,
Thanks for this devotional. I'll share it with my friends during our devotional time tonight.
God bless, your friend, Marie
Janet wrote after hearing the same January podcast:
I really enjoyed this podcast. I always feel afraid and uneasy at the start of a new year. It’s just scary not knowing what might happen but I do take comfort knowing that Jesus is with me and that he'll never leave me and he loves me no matter what! I have a prayer request. Will you please pray for me and my mom? My mom is just a very unhappy person. It's hard for me especially when I'm trying to be positive! Thank you and I am so glad we are friends! God bless.
Your friend, Janet.
Growth In The Ministry
We are able to monitor how many times the two podcasts are downloaded. These numbers are encouraging and continue to go up. Please also remember the actual number of people the ministry touches is more than the times a podcast are downloaded.
Last year “Youre Not Alone” hit an all time high in the week of 3/30 with a total of 574.
The low week was 12/28 with a total of 44.
The 52 week average is a little over 200.
Last year “Room 4216” hit an all time high in the week of 3/30 with a total of 267.
The low week was 5/25 with a total of 14. The 52 week average is 60.
Please consider partnering with “Not Alone” Blind Internet Ministry to provide hope and restore comfort to those who are blind. If you would like to support this ministry, please donate via PayPal at the website link below or send a check to this address:
St. Paul's Lutheran Church