In May 28 IssueBy Linda Stephens, Columnist
Favorite Things… old friends. This week I enjoyed lunch with my Mom, my brother and three friends that have been friends for many years. Old friends. We had an wonderful time sharing past events and catching up on current ones in our lives. One friend was Alan, who David and I visited on our trip England. He’s been visiting in Kentucky this week. The other two friends are a couple whose children I baby sat when I was in high school! Now that’s going way back in time! I thought about friendships as I drove home. My advice to anyone but especially young folks… Choose your friends carefully as friendships are rarely neutral. They either influence you for the good or for the bad. Good, old friends are one of my favorite things.
Hear My Words Now… Audio Bibles reach the remotest spots on earth. In Touch’s June magazine has one of the most awesome articles I’ve read. Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) is a ministry that utilizes advances in communication to help achieve the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, which says” This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations”. For the first time in history, this goal is technologically in reach! The Greek word for “nations” is ethnos, which actually means “of the same language and people group” rather than shared geographical boundaries. Bible translation and distribution ministries have determined there are 6,809 ethnos in the world. The Scripture says that the end will come when every language group has the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. A question is asked-“why hearing?” Well, fifty percent of the world’s population is illiterate, meaning they can’t read. So these people won’t be reached for the gospel by some traditional means like Bible distribution. They will need to receive the gospel in a form they can understand. And that’s where hearing the Bible comes in.
Books and literacy are a fairly recent thing in world history. Since the Guttenberg press happened, some 500 plus years ago. Until then everything was passed down through oral traditions. (Remember the TV series “Roots” when Alex Hailey heard an old African village man recite his family’s history way back to his ancestor that was captured and sold as a slave in America?)
In the Bible, there are over 1800 references to hearing God’s word, but only about 88 references to reading. And of those, two thirds are about reading the Bible aloud.
Now the ministry is focusing on using cell phones to reach people around the world and for good reason. The following sentence just blew me away: “Of the 6.7 billion people on the planet, 25 percent can be reached via internet while more than 70 percent can be reached via cell phone.” And that’s just the beginning. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has a goal of getting a cell phone to every person in the world! ITU sees this as a banking tool and believes it will help lift the economic infrastructure of poor countries.
FCBH summarizes the progress toward completing Christ’s Great Commission like this: “When we finish 2,000 recordings by the year 2016, that will account for 97 percent of world speakers. And by 2025, all 6,809 languages will have a translation in progress! This can happen in our life time. How exciting is that!” Folks 2025 is not that far away! This is truly an exciting time! For more information visit their web site at www.faithcomesbyhearing.com
The Dangers of Inflation. Inflation is no surprise to most of us. We’re seeing prices rise in many areas. Food is one. Besides higher prices on food items the size of packaging is shrinking. So even if the price stays the same, we’re getting less for our money. Randy Swanson, host of the TV program Money IQ seen on TLN.com, calls this “secret inflation.”
When an 8 ounce item is reduced by one ounce and price stays the same, the reduction results in 12% inflation! Randy says “Over the past 2 years, America has already experienced a 10-15 percent unannounced inflation rate.”
Most civilized countries anticipate an annual increase over time of two-three percent inflation. There are many factors that can influence the inflation rate. The most dramatic and dangerous one is the printing of large amounts of money by a country with no asset value to back up the money. Does that sound familiar? It should. That’s what our government is doing today.
Why is inflation so bad? Because it reduces our buying power with the money we bring home each month, as well as money we have in savings and all of our retirement planning.
We could be headed toward a time of high inflation, but Randy says, “Do not fear-God’s promises in His word are still true.” I’ll share the rest of his article next week. In the mean time look up 1 Chronicles 12:32. And if you haven’t already done so, make a plan to get out of debt as soon as possible.
Another great financial resource is Crown Financial Ministries at crown.org/media. They are now available 24/7 with the latest biblical wisdom for managing your financial life. If you don’t have internet access, give them a call at 800/722-1976 and ask about their programs.
In closing, I’m deeply saddened by the news of David Davenport’s death. David has been a friend of ours for many years. He was our real estate agent when my David and I bought our little yellow house. When the Times Journal purchased the Russell Register, David personally called me and asked me to continue writing my column. My sympathy to his family, friends, and loved ones. He will be greatly missed.
Till next week.