We are covered in the order of God. To come out from under Him is to open ourselves to destruction and death. The Body is His provision. Contentment from Him makes us sure and settled in His presence. (Proverbs 7:6–23)
Speaker: Thomas Schaller, Andrew Silva
7:00 PM on 11/1/2023
P. Schaller –
Before service tonight, we were in the prayer room and the children evangelism group was praying. I thought
of an umbrella. An umbrella. And I look at the room here tonight, and I think of a lot of little
umbrellas. It’s coming from this book by Mark DeMoss that he tells a story about a missionary
who talked about staying under the umbrella. I’ll read that to you in a minute, but before I do
I’m just thankful for how the Lord has helped us in life. He’s used many people in high levels or
low. It’s not a matter of high or low, but it’s Ephesians 4. Would you turn there with me. This is just
to set the theme for our night.
Ephesians 4, which is kind of short and sweet. Our Wednesday night is kind of just this message,
offering, singing, fellowship. So, we have this verse. Praise the Lord! I’m happy tonight. I really
am. I am. I am. I’m trying to convince you! It’s tough! Okay. No, I am. P. Roger Robbins returned
from Europe, and he and Lizzie are an umbrella. They’re an umbrella for people in Europe.
Teachers like Dawn over her. Jon Saboe over here. P. Barry Quirk. Wow! What a team.
And then the teenagers. P. Love and Peter Westera and Kim Andrulonis and Paul and Meagan
Ackerman. It’s amazing how much work happens here on this campus. The nursery. In the
mother’s room. Every family is like an umbrella. We’ll look at that.
Look at chapter 4 – you want to turn to your neighbor and just say you look like an umbrella to
me right now! You look like one. You’re growing into a huge umbrella! Beach umbrella. Okay.
Chapter 4:16, this verse is kind of solid for us because we know it and think a lot about it. vs. 16.
You know, in our affiliation of churches, it’s not a bureaucratic denomination, but it’s a spiritual
affiliation. We are fitted together, and the Lord puts us together in love. In love. That’s the work
of the Spirit. And I can see people living in that love and also serving God and serving each other
with that love. It’s really important to us. It says there that we are speaking the truth in love in
vs. 15. Speaking the truth in love.
You know what I love about the Body is when we had to make some hard decisions and just say
the truth is so important to us, and we cannot compromise in our doctrine. We cannot
compromise is our way of life and what we think and what we feel because we stand before
God. So, this truth is so important in our hearts, and what the world says that’s the way it is in
the world. But you are my disciples if you continue in my Word. Having a great diet in the Word
and to embrace it and to have it penetrate into our spirit and into our heart. And then when we
speak it in love.
So, there is the two words, truth, and love. And may grow up into him in all things which is the
Head, even Christ. So, a family is challenged because there are so many lies in the world and
way of life that contradicts our way of life. Like not having sex before marriage. We don’t
believe in that. We believe that sex is for marriage, and our children know this because we go to the church, and we have it in our hearts. We enjoy that truth. We enjoy it that it’s important
in our life.
So, a family is an umbrella for the children that grow up in it. Not just those things but
tenderness, kindness, love, faith, forgiveness, peace in the home. We are an umbrella. So, for
others. So, when I heard them praying in the other room for the school opportunities and the
parents and the children, it touches my heart to think that we touch children that are not in our
church. They are out in the public square so to speak.
They are in the vicinities of those schools, and they come to learn. And then Harold and Cheryl just returned from Azerbaijan. And you can imagine the ministry that they had there. How precious that must have been. I asked them to
do the rap tonight over in the café, so if you want to hear more. Allen Cole, Jen’s husband is in
Poland for two more weeks. I love to think that the Lord puts his hand on us, and he helps us
and we learn how to live. We actually become a covering for others or an umbrella.
So, here’s the story. Okay. “Years ago in Hong Kong, a missionary named John had a genius for
getting things done. In a densely populated and difficult city, that sort of thing draws attention.
Particularly among American businesses, salivating over the lucrative eastern market.
One day the marketing executive of a squirt gun manufacturer took John to lunch, and he
offered him a salary of $200,000 a year with a nice office, a car, and a driver if he will come and
work for me. John declined the offer cause he said the exec pressed. How much are you making
now? He said, $8,000 but that’s not the point. I’m serving God, during what I’m supposed to do
and I’ve never been happier.
That night at 11:00, John’s phone rang. It’s all over Hong Kong you rejected the offer. I’d like to
know why. The caller refused to take tomorrow for an answer, and 40 minutes later in his
pajamas, John was across the coffee table from him. Everyone at the American chamber knows,
the man said, I had to hear it for myself. Years later recounting the episode, John tried to
explain why the squirt gun bid and offers like it could never hook him. I call it staying under the
umbrella. Step out from under it, and you get wet. No amount of money or anything else was
going to pull me from my purpose. John is past 80 now. Last year, he buried his wife. Behind
him stretches a lifetime of serving people in Europe, Asia, and Africa and dozens of other places
at which most Americans would mispronounce. Camps, orphanages, churches, and lives forever
Okay. It’s a good story. Something to think about. I don’t know what that means to you. I don’t
know how you would understand that. Is it wrong to make money? No. Is it wrong to have
another job? No. Could you have a better job? Yes. Could you work for a company? Yes, you
can. I don’t think that’s the point. The point is that that man had it in his heart to do what he
was doing, and he couldn’t afford to do two things. He had to do one or the other. He didn’t
have the time or the energy or the interest to do the two things. Making the money and doing the business and being a missionary. And he chose that one. And he called it in that case staying
under the umbrella.
I think that when we belong to a local church where the Holy Spirit is helping us – I’m not saying
that there is huge, miraculous things happening every day. No. But somebody cares about me.
Somebody is speaking to my heart. Somebody is helping me in my faith. When I’m hurt, I have a
family. I have somebody to pick me up and help me. I need it. Spiritually. Not sentimentally or
humanly, strictly speaking but the Lord has given gifts to the Body and these children in
Baltimore city have an umbrella. Our people that go there with the Gospel. And our families
and our teenagers and our school and each other and our friends.
They help us. And I just want to make that point. I want you to learn to say the phrase and think about it. It’s very short but I think you got the idea. Find out where you should be. You are fitly framed together. Fitly
framed together. Like fitted how those carpenters make the joints and they fit together, and we
are fitted together in the Body of Christ with each other in the Lord, and we do need it. Amen.
Okay. All right. You want to talk about it to your neighbor for a minute, and just turn to your
neighbor and say, what did he say? Explain to me. Tell me. And what do you think about that?
So, how many remember P. Carl Silva? Yes. P. Carl. Wow! So, he and Susie did such a
great work in India for many decades. A great work. And then his son. I remember Andrew
growing up as a little guy. And his dad and mom really wanted him to come here to Bible
school, but they didn’t pressure him. They just prayed for him. And were a covering. Umbrella.
Beautiful umbrella like that was a covering for him as he grew up with his mom and dad. It was
so precious to see. And then, P. Carl went to be with the Lord. Wow! How many want to go?
Yeah. It's real for us going to heaven. It’s real for us. But Andrew is here in Bible school. A great
blessing to the family. A great blessing to us. I’m just so thankful for him being here, and how
much he receives and appreciates being here. It’s so beautiful. Love you.
Andrew Silva –
Isn’t it awesome to come here and open our Bibles and just ask God to give us
something? Yeah. Okay. Would you open with me to Eccelsiastes 5. It’s just a small thought. Vs. 19. This
goes with what P. Schaller was talking about the umbrella. And when he says stay under the
umbrella, I think find a place where you are content. But then, that umbrella looks really nice
over there, and I want to go over there. But staying under the umbrella and finding
contentment. That’s this verse.
Vs. 19-20. What a beautiful verse, huh? And then I want to draw a parallel between this and
discontentment, okay. So, you can put your finger there. I’ll put this little stylus here. We can go
to Job 20:20-22. So, here’s a picture of a person who has no contentment in his belly. He has –
little possession that he has, he builds up walls around them, and he keeps them to himself.
There’s no room for any addition. No room for any detraction. It’s just to himself. And after he
eats from it, there’s nothing left. It’s all gone. It’s like the money.
In Proverbs, the verse that says about money that it grows wings and flies away, right? “Therefore his prosperity will not endure, and in the fullness of his sufficiency, he will always be in distress.” Can you imagine
that? Think of people in the world how discontent, right? They store up and store up and store
up, but they never are content. Security and significance. The things that we long for as human
beings cannot be found by material things. It cannot be satisfied. We have eternity in our
And then this verse in Ecclesiastes 5, right? “To every one who God has given wealth and possessions
and power to enjoy them.” Let’s stop there. That’s grace, right? To everyone to whom God has
given wealth and possessions and we have the power to enjoy them, right? Vs. 19. Accept his
lot. Accept his lot. And secondly, to rejoice in his toil. And this is a gift from God.
This makes me think that contentment is more an attitude of the heart. It’s just like a shift in
our perspective. We stop looking around us. We stop looking down at our feet and we look up
and we see all the blessings God has for us. We see that we are so blessed. Paul in Philippians 4, what
does he say? He says I’ve learned in whatever situation I am in to be content, right? Right. I
know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. He’s writing this from his prison cell.
Damp, closed, chained. Chained feet, right? This is what he says. I know how to be brought low
and I know how to abound. In every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty
and hunger, abundance and need.
And this is what he said. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Have you ever
read that verse? Have you read it in context. It’s with contentment. He knows how to be
content because he can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Have you ever been in
a place where it’s just like, come on, God. Come on. Right? That is a gift from God. Lord, we can
accept it and find joy in it. This is what Ecclesiastes says. You will not so much remember the
days of this life, because God will keep you occupied with joy in your heart, you know.
I think of this song, “It Is Well With My Soul.” How many of you know the story behind that?
Yeah. This person had five kids. One of them died of pneumonia. So, he sends his wife and four
kids on a little vacation. He was going to join them. And on the way, their ship crashes into
another ship and gets shipwrecked, and four of the kids die. And only the wife survives. She
reaches this place. She sends him a telegram. She says saved alone. What should I do? Imagine
receiving a telegram. And then he goes on the first ship he can find, and as his boat is crossing
that same place where his four daughters died, the captain calls him and says this is the place.
And that’s when he writes this song.
Do you know what the song is? When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roar, whatever my lot thou has taught me to say, it is well with my soul. He accepts it. He rejoices in it. And then God does the rest. God
keeps him occupied with the joy in his heart.
That’s how we live this life really. We can search. We can seek for contentment in many places.
But what about when God gives you something. You’re on the mission field somewhere, and you’re discouraged. What do I do? Can I find contentment there, right? Accept it. rejoice in it.
And God will keep you occupied with the joy in your heart.
Last verse in closing. Psalm 16:5, I think of when the Israelites were given the land. Every tribe got
a portion of land. But it said about the Levites. The Levites will have no portion in the land, for
the Lord is their inheritance. I think of verses like sojourners in this land. We have no
inheritance really. We really don’t have much to our names. We have what we have.
Then, look at this verse. Psalm 16:5-6, that’s what we have, right? This is the secret to
contentment is that we have the abiding presence of the Lord in us. That’s it. That’s it. We can
overcome. We can say whatever my lot, Lord, you have taught me to say it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul. I lack nothing. I know what it is to abound. I know what it is to be
brought low. But the Lord is my portion. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. And we
have a beautiful inheritance. Amen.
P. Schaller –
Okay. Would you take a few minutes and have a word of love, a word of
encouragement to your neighbor and just build them up. Know their name. Love them.
Encourage them. Somebody you know that you don’t know. Would you do that now for a few
minutes. Thank you, Andrew. What a good word. That was beautiful. And the song. Wow. We
can listen to that all night, huh? P. Barry, do you want to walk down here for a minute? Coach
Lynch. Do you want to come down here? Do we have the microphone? And Don, do you want
to do this? Do you want to say something?
P. Barry –
So many just a thought about being under the umbrella. I had the privilege today I
was on a conference call with one of our branch ministries with some ladies who are really
praying and thinking about starting a school. They asked a lot of questions. As I answered the
questions, I kept realizing how much we have in our covering here and that really we don’t have
an independent vision, but we are an extension of the vision of the church. Our clientele, many
of our parents are from the church and they are like minded.
As I’m speaking to them, I’m realizing how much life there is and joy there is to operate in that
way in the umbrella. Then we get to do a shoulder to shoulder with people who we’ve grown
up in the ministry with in many cases. Pat and I, I was telling him the other day when we were
at a soccer game breaking up world war III between some parents. And the funny thing is, we
were literally the ones that were calming the situation down. Later, I texted him and said did
you ever imagine playing wiffle ball and in our departments that we would be those guys? But
that’s what God does in the umbrella, and we’re just really thankful for that.
I get to work with people who are like minded and have this ministry in their hearts and it’s
such an edifying privilege. And really all our team members. When P. Schaller says P. Barry and
the school, I’m like one little piece of it. There’s so many awesome people like these guys.
Coach Lynch –
I was thinking with the umbrella and just the opportunity to work with the young
kids and work with this young principal over here. It’s just awesome that the covering, and the
covering of the Body. What it does it gives you confidence, and our confidence is in Christ. It’s
amazing to see what God can do when everything is in the right place. We finish one season
and we’re into the next. We start basketball, and it’s like building that foundation. And if
everything is right in the foundation, everything’s okay. Everything’s okay. So, great word from
Andrew. Hey, gym teacher, preacher, and one heck of a coach. The middle school soccer
championship coach over there. Just a little shoutout to coach Andrew. But it’s just a blessing to
work in this ministry and just that confidence that we can have is amazing. What we’re doing is
we are seeing young people also have that same kind of integrity and confidence in the right
place. It’s amazing and it’s an honor to be part of this team.
Yeah, I was thinking about the covering of the faithfulness of God. He is so faithful to his
Word and the world has so many voices coming, especially at our young people. But the Word
stands so strong against it because it doesn’t fail and it’s just amazing to be in a place where we
can build each other up in truth every day. This is a precious place to just abide.
P. Schaller –
Thank you. Thank you. Wow. We’re thankful for that so much. Wow. Great. So,
let’s just thank God tonight. And just say this prayer. (Prayer). Do you remember the story the
prodigal son and he went away, and then what came to his mind? He said my father employs
people. I could go work for him. He didn’t think of it as a covering or an umbrella, but it was
when he returned and the house was, they turned it up.
They had merriment and feasting. And then I read to the high school this morning Proverbs 7. I want you to turn there. This will be five minutes maybe. Just a short word. Proverbs 7 about the young man. There was a man in the
window looking out on the street and he saw something. Chapter 7:6, so he is like an observer
up in the window looking out and he sees a young man in the street, and he sees a woman. Vs.
6-15. Meet you. I came out to meet you. Vs. 15-22. So, there is a young man with no – like he
doesn’t have the ability there. He has but he doesn’t. He’s not cultivated resistance. He doesn’t
understand what is happening. He hasn’t been warned or doesn’t know what this is about. It’s
so clear. Here’s a little picture here.
We have time, and he has a short block of time. He doesn’t understand where it’s going. This is
the problem with all of us. Like staying under the umbrella, one of the elements of it is the
maturing of my heart and my mind. The cultivation of thought, of words, of warnings, of
wisdom, of guidance. The cultivation of resistance. To say no. Or to run away from it or not be
alone on the street. Any number of things could be said about it. or to recognize flags. Red flags
go up. Where is my father who could instruct me? Where is my mother? Where is my sister?
Where are my friends? Where do I get what I need in order to realize that this thing is a party. It
lasts a couple hours and it’s over. How do I handle it.
This is a very big deal because it’s tragic. Let’s finish up here. Vs. 21-23. Maybe Terry
Shismanian. Is that you back there, Terry? Oh, over there. Okay. The party for Shawnie Ryan. Do
you mind if I say that. Shawnie? It’s a great story. Wasn’t it his 30 year birthday party? Thirtieth
birthday party around his family. The church people. He’s had challenges in his life with alcohol
and various things that happened. It happens. His marriage was very much jeopardized. But in
his birthday party, what did he say? It’s better that mom would say it. I mean Kathy. This age
thing. I confused you. What did he say? We love you. We love you. It was at her house.
Kathy Ryan –
Terry would probably say it better. What he said is if it hadn’t been for the Body,
his friends, people that stood by him. It was eight years. He hadn’t been sober for eight years.
He almost lost his life in Tennessee when he was there because he said it. I came out from
under a covering. God was very faithful. A lot of prayers. Like Pete Westera, P. Love, P. Scibelli,
P. Schaller, Charlie Weyer, P. James, P. Ramir. People just continually. P. Eugene. Coming
alongside of him and coming alongside of him. And he said it was the Body of Christ that didn’t
give up on him. He made the decisions he made, and they were the wrong ones. And he had no
covering, but God answered prayer. It was an amazing time. He’s been sober for one year. His
family is reconciled. They’re doing great.
P. Schaller –
yeah. He said it. If it wasn’t for my family, right? My family, the church. Friends.
Wow. Beautiful. Scotty Dubay. Tech Ops. Beautiful. What a good story. Thank you, Jesus, for
that story. Wow. That’s amazing. So, that’s all. (Prayer). We’ll close. I got one more thing. In the
singing, I remember it meant a lot to me and my wife when we were living in Hungary, and she
and I decided that I would continue living in Hungary and she would come back here and raise
the family. And what an unusual arrangement that was, but she was okay with that.
She encouraged me. We said we don’t know how it will work. Maybe God is in it. Let’s try it.
Then, Dr. Stevens, I talked to him about it. He was my covering. He said, yeah. Do you have
peace about it? I said, yeah. I think so. Let’s see how it goes. And then, we did that for 12 years.
And I just remember there were people that totally disagreed with it that were people that said
things about it. Gave their opinion and so on and how wrong it was. But my wife and I didn’t
feel like that, and P. Stevens didn’t either. I kind of appreciated the fact that even though one
way you could say it’s not a good thing, but on the other hand I needed somebody to kind of
say is this okay? And he did that with the Body here and the church.
So, there are things in your life that maybe sometimes we should obey our wives. That’s a good
point! We should obey our wives. They might have God’s mind. What do you think guys?
Maybe. There’s a slim possibility! No, they might be. And on the other hand, the wife submitted
to the husband and then also we have the pastor and pastors and counselors, and we have
each other. I like it that I’m not alone.
That I’m just not unilaterally making decisions, but I would like the Holy Spirit to lead me. I want the Word of God to speak to my heart, and I’d like to have spiritual people around me. And maybe we’ll make it to the end with joy and say how did God do that? Look at in our case like all of our family members and all of us we all live
within five miles of each other, and we never planned it. We couldn’t have done that. You know
how it is. I just say that’s the Lord. The Lord did that. And maybe your situation is different. All
of our situations are different, but the point is that God is for you. God is for you. He is. We
sang it. Isn’t that good? (Prayer).
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