Of little faith

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September 17, 2018

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Chuck Orwiler notes that in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus “tells a group of people, who want to be his followers, that they are a people of little faith. This was not an insult.”

I stopped and read that sentence a second time: “This was not an insult.”

I feel exposed when Jesus reveals the truth about who I am, but it’s not a personal attack. And I’ve been thinking about all the ways this plays out in my experience as a Friend, especially when someone stands and speaks a word of truth that challenges my way of thinking or my behavior. I feel called out.

I don’t like that feeling.

How do you react? Are you defensive? Or eager to hear what comes next?

Chuck suggests that in the presence of Jesus – our fears disarmed – we might humbly ask, “Please help me know what to do.”

And Jesus responds that if we have “but a mustard seed of faith,” it is enough. These people had come to see and hear Jesus. It was proof of their faith, as they had sought “first God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness.” We also may already have faith enough to credit “God for covering the wildflowers beautifully,” and it only takes one small step more to trust that God cares at least as much for us.


Chuck offers this prayer: “O Lord, I do want to grow in my faith. May I please have the grace to take you seriously.” 

Thank you,
Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $32,855 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com

Seeds of Hope
Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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Fruit of the Vine

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September 10, 2018

Almost every week I send out this newsletter, and most weeks I share a reflection on the morning’s Fruit of the Vine devotional thought. Today I’ve pulled excerpts from the last fifty-eight years of Fruit of the Vine writings. On this day –

– in 1966: When you identify with another person’s need then it isn’t difficult to give of yourself to help meet that need.... Love reaches out toward other people. – Norval R. Hadley

– in 1967: Perhaps eyesight is the most cherished and carefully guarded physical blessing we enjoy. The threatened loss of it alerts us to immediate search for a specialist.... Should we not be as definitely concerned if our spiritual vision becomes clouded? – Versa R. Harvey

– in 1974: When we are confronted with truths that threaten us ... we often seek refuge within ourselves, walling our minds and spirits like fortresses so that we will not be forced to do battle with the truth ... [or] to surrender to it. – Dean R. Sigler

– in 1981: One of her ideas was that God spoke to humans, men and women, and they had the right to be listened to. My teacher truly taught me that by investing my life in that of another, I would find my own life. – Essie V. Platt

– in 1996: Crocuses are not your usual cut flowers, but I thought they would give a little touch of spring I wanted to capture. Somehow beauty, even the simple beauty of a crocus, can evoke a sense of praise and worship – Dorothy E. Barratt

– in 2010: Living in community is difficult and hard work. The actions I choose and my desire to work for the common good affect those around me.... A growing, loving, giving faith community is a witness to a living, loving relationship with God. – Pam Ferguson

I’m noticing that these daily Fruit of the Vine readings are giving me a stronger sense of the lived faith of Friends from across the country and around the world.

 



Your continuing support is making it possible for Barclay Press to serve Friends everywhere. 

Thank you,
Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $32,345 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com

Seeds of Hope
Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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Malone University: A Commemorative History, 1892–2017

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September 3, 2018

It’s been more than two years since Jacalynn J. Stuckey sent me the first two files for what would eventually become Malone University: A Commemorative History, 1892–2017. The book charts the journey of a Friends school in Ohio from its beginnings in a small rented house, through moves to two campus locations in Cleveland and finally, to its current home in Canton, Ohio. It traces Malone’s history from the six adventurous souls who first enrolled on a brisk March day in 1892 to the two thousand who presently attend Malone University.

We sent it to print last week and in order to get copies to the school in time for homecoming weekend at the end of this month. What follows are some excerpts from the text of Jacalynn’s book:

 



Although both parents served as spiritual role models for Walter, he was especially influenced by his mother. Mary Ann was deeply devout, a recorded Friends minister, and superintendent of a Scripture school at her local Quaker meeting. Walter, who was lightheartedly called “preacher boy” by some of his family members, later recounted in his autobiography, “I hungered to be a preacher like my mother was.”

The opening day for the new school, initially dubbed “Christian Workers Training School for Bible Study and Practical Methods of Work,” was scheduled for March 17, 1892. The date was especially fitting given J. Walter Malone’s Irish heritage. Inexperienced as school administrators and concerned about the small size of the rented home, the Malones prayed, “Oh Lord, please don’t let but six come.” The number of students who registered on that first day? Exactly six.

Students held services at city missions, evangelized in local pubs, conducted cottage prayer meetings, and engaged in house-to-house visitations. They preached on street corners and ministered in rescue missions, the city infirmary, nursing homes, and settlement houses. When the supporting denomination, Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends, founded the Gospel City Mission on Cleveland’s Erie Street in 1902, Friends Bible Institute students were among its first volunteers, and Emma Malone served as the mission’s treasurer.

Long before U.S. News & World Report began to publish its annual college rankings, the editorial staff at The Sunday School Times printed its own list of the nation’s most reputable Bible institutes in 1924. Under the heading “Biblical Institutes That Are Sound,” The Sunday School Times implored parents and prospective students to attend one of forty-two recommended schools, including Cleveland Bible Institute, to safeguard their “spiritual health.”

 



Your continuing support is making it possible for Barclay Press to serve Friends everywhere. 

Thank you,
Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $32,015 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com

Seeds of Hope
Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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