Monthly Archives: March 2010

Enough Paper to Reach St. Louis from Kansas City

The Herald and Banner Press also publishes a full line of Sunday school material. The 162′ by 46′ press building puts out about 200 miles of literature each quarter, and that material travels as far away as Australia — well over 10,600 miles away!

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Stranger on the Road to Emmaus

By Mark Avery — General Manager and Editor at Herald and Banner Press and Bookstore in Overland Park, Kansas.

It was Easter! The first one! Only the two men walking toward Emmaus did not know that Jesus had risen. Discouraged and near hopeless, they trudged along, wondering what had gone wrong. What should their next step be?  

The only stranger 
That’s when He joined them. Cleopas and his unnamed friend didn’t recognize Him. And no wonder. Apparently He was the only stranger in Jerusalem and had somehow missed the significance of the events of the previous week. As their conversation continued, this stranger butted in. The two friends couldn’t believe how little this man knew about events that has so dramatically affect their lives. 

Catching this stranger up on current events, they expressed their now dashed hopes that this crucified man would have been the long-awaited Messiah. They even talked about reports of an empty grave, visions of angels, speculation about a resurrection. Makes you wonder why they didn’t investigate.  

The thorough explanation 

That’s when the stranger interrupted again. Surely they must have been impressed with the stranger’s knowledge of the Old Testament as He started in the Books of Moses and continued through the Scriptures giving a thorough explanation of Himself and the events recently experienced.  

Finally, arriving at Emmaus, a seven-mile walk from Jerusalem, they prepared to end their journey. The stranger appeared to continue His trip until they urged Him to stop for the night. Then as they prepared to eat, the stranger took charge. Recognizing His actions, their eyes were opened.  

The open eyes 

This was no stranger. He was Jesus! He had walked with them. Talked to them. Now they understood. Their load had lightened. Their hearts were glad. They saw Jesus! Alive! Ministering! And just as suddenly He was gone.  

The fourteen miles 

Immediately they started back to Jerusalem. Despite the seven-mile hike they had just taken. Despite the lateness of the time. The seven miles back to Jerusalem were not as challenging as the seven miles to Emmaus. Their hearts were light. Their spirits excited. Their friends at Jerusalem had to be told.  

Earlier reports were accurate. Jesus was alive. Death and the grave had failed. Life reigned.  

Jesus lives!

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“You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks”

That cliché is often used as an excuse for not learning something new. Actually, it might be true. We probably cannot convince many people to begin serving Christ later in life. Wait, can we convince anyone?

According to the Great Commission we are to go, teach, and baptize. Jesus sure made it sound like our job is to let people know God does love them enough to save and change them, but He is still the one who does the changing.

The April issue of The Church Herald and Holiness Banner is on the press! Don’t forget to join us to celebrate how God works through people. The Banner will feature several testimonies from new Christians, and here on the blog we will have more exciting posts to share. (Coming Monday: Road to Emmaus by Mark Avery)

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A Day In The Work Of . . . A Bookstore Clerk

Some jobs require patience, others, quick thinking. Some must have creativity while others seem to demand a stifling of it. Some mean you must deal with people constantly, while others will have you talking to yourself in the silence.

The work of a bookstore clerk will probably fall into all of these categories in the space of one day.

8:00 a.m. – Arrive at Herald and Banner Bookstore, clock in, hang up coat, straighten store.
8:30 a.m. – Turn on computers, open blinds, start music, turn on bookshelf lights.
8:45 a.m. – Prayer time.
9:00 a.m. – Turn on main lights, open doors, wait for customers while restocking shelves, straightening counter, and thinking of more to do.
10:17 a.m. – Other clerk takes bathroom break, phone immediately rings and three customers walk in. Find two books, explain new study Bible, point customer toward novelty section, take order for three music CDs that “must be in by Sunday.” Customers leave satisfied. Other clerk returns.
11:00 a.m. – Shipment arrives. Check in new books and music, and remember all about them for customers.
11:05 a.m. – Customer enters with resigned, “I’d bet you don’t have . . .”
11:09 a.m. – Find book. Customer leaves pleased. Return to checking in new inventory.
12:00 a.m. – Lunch time!
12:59 a.m. – Walk in just in time to hear about customer’s new grandbaby. Sell photo book and congratulations card.
2:15 p.m. – Long-time customer enters, relates urgent prayer request. Some prayers will not wait for the morning gathering.
3:00 p.m. – Shipment arrives from different carrier. More to check in.
4:15 p.m. – Complete shipment check-in.
4:56 p.m. – Welcome college-age part-timer. Find out how school is going.
5:00 p.m. – Clock out, pick up coat, say goodnight!

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How Could They Do That?

By Leta Witt — Pastor’ wife, serving on Herald and Banner Press Board of Publications

Recently reading the Easter story in the book of Matthew, I was struck with the actions of several of its main characters. These were people who knew Jesus, some more closely than others. They saw the miracles, heard His teachings and yet responded differently.

Jesus’ disciples traveled with Him, marveled at his ability to command the wind and sea, and distributed the loaves and fish to the multitudes. They learned what the parables really meant. These men were His friends, but they ran for their lives when the temple guards came to arrest Him. How could they do that?

The priests and religious leaders witnessed first hand Jesus’ power over deformities, evil spirits, and even death. Did not they not realize that this man was, at the very least, sent from the God whom they professed to serve? What an opportunity they missed! They could have learned so much from Jesus. However, their self-importance, their fear of losing their authority over the people and of losing what political rights they had with Rome blinded their eyes. They called for the crucifixion of the very Son of God? How could they do that?

And the ones who guarded the tomb — of all people, they were the ones who knew the truth of the resurrection. They felt the earthquake, saw the angel, and witnessed the huge stone being rolled away. Those things did not normally happen during their duties. This had to be from God. Their response? They reported to the priests and obeyed the command to tell people that the disciples came and stole the body. Why did they not have the intestinal fortitude to tell the truth? Were they afraid they would lose their jobs? Whatever the reason, they spread their lies. How could they do that?

Thankfully, not everyone abandoned Jesus in the time of his humiliation. Many women and some disciples remained near the foot of the cross. Two men, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus, carried his body to the tomb. They were willing to be associated with the crucified Man. After His resurrection, Jesus’ disciples and many others were so convinced of the divinity of Jesus that they spread the word throughout the known world and were even willing to die rather than to deny Him. How could they do that?

How about us today? It is becoming more and more politically incorrect to be a Christian. Will we dilute the gospel so that it is acceptable to today’s society? If not, what will we do in face of persecution? Will we deny Him, or will we gladly stand, voice our commitment to God and tell others how Jesus can change their lives? With God’s power, someday others may look at us and ask, “How can they do that?”

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God Sees Things Differently

Everything looks different from a distance. Walking down an alleyway in a big city is an easy way to get lost, but flying 35,000 feet above the same city lets the whole place be seen at once.

Our view of life here on earth is so limited. Not only can we not see all that is happening now, we have no idea what possibilities there are. God sees His creation completely. He knows our history, every happening of every moment, and even our future.

This means He sees how we are ministering and how we can reach out even further. God sees. God works. God blesses. (Coming Monday: “How Could They Do That?” by Leta Witt)

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Did You Know . . .

The Herald and Banner Press has missionaries? According to the dictionary, a missionary is a person who 1.) is sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism; 2.) is strongly in favor of a set of principles and attempts to persuade others; or 3.) is sent on a mission.

The workers at Herald and Banner Press and Bookstore fit into all three categories. We have been commissioned by the Churches of God (Holiness) to spread the Gospel message through the literature we print and the materials we sell. We firmly believe in the principles of God’s Word and are doing our best persuade others on that point as well. We are on a mission to introduce the world to the Man for whom we have named The Way, Truth, and Life, and we are doing so by publishing literature which is used in thirty-three islands and nations around the world.

We are missionaries.

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