SMART Advice: Check The Timing Belt On Your Car

If you own a motor vehicle please consider this question, “Does its engine have a timing belt, or a timing chain?” If your response is, “I don’t know,” that is quite normal. However, I hope you did not include, “…and quite honestly I don’t care.” If it did, please stop for five minutes to read this article as your bank account could benefit from the information that follows.

What Is Engine Timing?

Two types of timing occur in an engine. First, consider spark timing, wherein an electrical impulse is sent to a spark plug so as to ignite the fuel/air mixture at just the right time. Secondly, there is valve timing which involves opening and closing valves in each cylinder to control the flow of air, fuel and exhaust gases. When the valves do not open or close at just the right time problems can occur: engine power and fuel economy are decreased; an engine could be severely damaged if a piston collides with a valve which is sticking into the cylinder. The process of valve timing is controlled either by a timing belt or a timing chain.


A timing belt is not the same as a serpentine belt; they are significantly different so don’t confuse the two.

The serpentine belt drives accessories like a water pump, alternator or power steering pump; it is externally visible and easily replaceable. A broken serpentine belt will cause the accessories to stop turning without harming the engine.

A timing belt is totally different; it is internal, hidden behind a protective cover.

The Differences Between Belt And Chain

A brief comparison can help one understand the differences between a timing belt and timing chain.

Timing Belt

  • Made of rubber—same material as a fan belt; not very durable
  • Manufacturer intends it to be replaced around every 70,000 miles

Timing Chain

  • Steel links held together with steel pins, like a bicycle chain on steroids; very durable
  • Designed to last the life of the engine, usually 250,000 miles or more

As a timing belt does its job the rubber will slowly deteriorate. At around 100,000 miles it will have weakened allowing for the possibility that it could slip or even break; this will allow a valve to remain stuck open. A moving piston which collides with an open valve can easily inflict $1000—or more—damage to the engine. In some cases it can render the engine irreparable.

What To Do

First, identify which engine is in your vehicle: gas or diesel? Now, what size is your engine? Raising the hood and looking at the engine might give you the answer. Often it is displayed using a couple of large numbers like 2.4L, 3.6L, 4.2L, etc.

Secondly, find out if your particular engine has a timing chain or timing belt by checking a service manual or through an internet search. If yours has a timing belt and you don’t know when/or if it was replaced you really should make plans to replace it in the foreseeable future. Choosing to wait until it breaks could end up being a very costly decision on your part.

One final thought, timing belts are not expensive; $50 on average. However, to properly replace one requires meticulous attention to detail. If the internal engine timing is not properly aligned when replacing the parts the engine could suffer serious damage the first time it gets started. The task really ought not to be trusted to a mechanic who has marginal skills.

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Praying for Muslims During Ramadan

Ramadan is an Islamic practice that mainly involves fasting. However, it is also a time that many Muslims are more vigilant in prayer and in studying the Quran. While Christians do not participate in this practice, it is a good time for us to be reminded to pray for the spiritual needs of the Muslim world.

Ramadan begins at dawn tomorrow, May 26, 2017, and continues until sunset on June 25. Muslims will be focused more on their spiritual life during this month. What a wonderful time to reach out to the Muslims you know and share with them the freedom we find in Christ.

As you pray for Muslims, pray that missionaries who work with them on a daily basis will be especially effective through Ramadan.

Here are seven ways you can pray for your Muslim friends.

To Know the One True God

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3

We know who God is through His Word. There are some Muslims who are curious about the teachings of the Bible. During this time of heightened spiritual focus, pray that they will be more willing to listen to the teachings of the Bible or even begin to read the Word of God.

To Know Satisfaction in Christ

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6:35

Our Muslim friends are enduring a physical fast for the next 30 days. Their bodies will be hungering and thirsting for physical food. Pray that God will show them their need of spiritual nourishment and satisfaction that we can have through Jesus Christ.

That Christians Will Tell

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:19, 20

Pray that God would help you and other Christians to speak up with the Gospel. We are told to go with the Gospel. Just because we don’t go to a foreign land as a full-time missionary does not negate our responsibility. In a local sense we are going somewhere every day. Pray that we will share Christ as we go about our day.

To See God as Provider

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Many Muslims are more generous with others in need during Ramadan. Pray that they will understand their poverty and inability to pay for their salvation through good works towards God and their fellow man. Christ offered Himself to provide everything we need to stand justified before God.

To Accept the Invitation of Christ

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. Revelation 16:9

Ramadan fasting is not a total fast for the entire month. The fast is a daily fast lasting from sunrise to sunset. Each evening they gather with friends and family to partake in a meal. We are invited to a special meal in Heaven called the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Pray that our Muslim friends will heed the invitation to this glorious meal.

That Christians Would Love

And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34

We are called to love the world around us as Christ did. Pray that God would give you a love for others, especially our Muslim friends. And pray specifically that your church would have a greater love for Muslims in your area.

That Missionaries Will Be Effective

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2

Pray also for missionaries who are involved directly in reaching out to Muslims around them. Pray that the Word of God will be effective in its purpose, that God’s Word would be glorified through the lives of the missionaries, and that God would protect them from the evil deeds of those who do not believe in the God of the Bible.

Will You Pray?

Will you pray for Muslims during this time? It is a time when they are spiritually sensitive to their religion. It could mean that they become more adamant about what they believe. But, with your prayer and demonstrations of love during Ramadan, God can do a great work in the Muslim world.

I pray that He does.

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Dispensationalism and Missions

Often in many of our schools the study of missions and the study of theology are considered parallel disciplines. This usually works out to missions becoming one of many programs in the local church rather than it being the heart and soul of the church. Our faith should be more than a creed and a list of commandments. It should center on the person of Christ and His eternal purpose. The eternal purpose of God is the redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:8-11). This eternal purpose is clearly manifested in the dispensations of Scripture. We see God through Christ pursuing mankind in every age (dispensation). The culmination of these dispensations is found in Ephesians 1:10, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”

From the very beginning of Scriptures the Spirit of God displays the heart of God in the sweet fellowship that must have taken place between Adam and Eve and God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8, The Age of Innocence). In the protoevangelium (Genesis 3:15) The Age of Conscience begins. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Here is the first mention of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve must have enjoyed such sweet fellowship walking with God in the cool of the day; yet, in one vile stroke, Satan, sin and self-will had severed that sweet relationship. Praise God, the LORD immediately stepped in with the promise of a Redeemer. Satan would be defeated. Sin would be paid in full. And self-will would be clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

In The Age of Government the Self-Existing God institutes something new. He establishes a covenant with a diseased and dying mankind (the law of first mention applies here). Genesis 6:18, “But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” Here we learn of the sacredness of blood and life (Genesis 9:4-6), and it is here that Shem, Ham, and Japheth are told to multiply. Nations (people groups) come into existence (Genesis 10:5). God has made the first move in His eternal purpose (a people for Himself through Christ). Subsequently, the concept of a blood-sealed covenant has become a part of every people and every culture.

Even though The Age of Promise rests in the foundational covenant of God with Israel (the Abrahamic Covenant), the heart of God for a peculiar people from all nations is again revealed. One of the blessings that Abraham received was that all nations or people groups would be blessed in his seed. Genesis 22:18a, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed…” The seed of the woman found in the protoevangelium is now promised through Abraham. God is proactive and ever on the move toward His eternal purpose, redeeming mankind.

The Age of Law begins with God establishing a conditional covenant with Israel (Exodus 24:7-8). We know that Israel did not keep this covenant (the Mosaic Covenant) and as a result were exiled from the Promised Land. God allowed them to return to the land, but eventually they became known as the Diaspora after their final rejection of Christ in the book of Acts. Their abnegation of the Mosaic Covenant does not negate the unconditional promises made to Israel through Abraham, but it vividly illustrates the inadequacy of man and the all-sufficiency of Christ. Galatians 3:24 is clear, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Mankind is cursed by the law; yet we have life through Christ. Hebrews 9:15, “And for this cause he [Christ] is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Again, God’s eternal purpose is clearly seen in the law, to bring mankind unto Christ.

In this Church Age, The Age of Grace, God has incorporated the church into His eternal purposesinto missions! Since the day of Pentecost, the baton has been passed to believers in Christ. God does not desire us to do; He simply asks us to surrender to Christ so that He may use us to procure a people for Himself. Like Paul, the dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto every believer in Christ (1 Corinthians 9:17, Ephesians 1:10, 3:2-6, Colossians 1:25).

The result shall be a holy and peculiar people worshiping and serving God in The Age of the Kingdom (foreshadowed and promised in the Davidic Covenant). Revelation 5:9-10, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” John saw a peculiar and holy people called out of every tribe, tongue, and people group. He saw the eternal purpose of God, the glorious work of missions, fulfilled!

Oswald J. Smith said it succinctly, “The mission of the church is missions.”

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Bethel Baptist Deaf Church: Dodoma, Tanzania

Missionary Frank Laurent has been ministering faithfully in his home country of Tanzania since the summer of 2011. Bro. Frank is Deaf and has a burden to continue growing the church that he started a few years ago in the capital city of Dodoma. The church is growing and they are now constructing a church building. They started the project in October of 2014 and are building as they get the funds to do so.

Here is a letter from Bro. Frank explaining the building and the current needs for their construction.

Dear Friend,
We praise the Lord for His continued blessings upon our ministry among the Deaf of Tanzania. We have undertaken the project of building a new church building where the Deaf will come to worship the Lord. The project has been in progress since October 2014. This is taking too long because of financial difficulty in funding the project. However, we are grateful to God that we have received some donations that enabled us to build the walls and put up timbers for the roof installation. The project is expected to be fully completed by July 2017, but this will depend on the funding.

Our current challenge is that we’re raising funds to purchase the needed materials, and these materials are: iron roofing sheets, plumbing fixtures, electrical materials, tiles for flooring, cement, doors and windows. In order to finish everything we would need $12,000 more.

The building consists of the worship auditorium with a capacity of 250 seats, 4 rooms for offices, 1 classroom, 2 self-contained rooms for visitors (prophet’s chamber), meeting room, kitchen, lounge, and bathroom.

You can support Bro. Frank’s building project through PayPal or bysending funds through BIO. I would be glad to help answer any questions you might have. Click the photos to enjoy a larger version of them.

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SMART Conference: Essentials of SMART Computing

SMART Conference

The SMART ministry of BIO will conduct a SMART training session at Faith Baptist Church in Jefferson City, Tennessee. This will be in conjunction with the church’s annual missions conference.

The classes will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon on Thursday and Friday, February 23 and 24. SMART classes are free and available to other missionaries of like faith who would like to attend. If you are interested in the classes, please contact SMART via email or call the BIO office to let us know that you would like to participate. BIO can be reached at 865-262-0900.

Essentials of SMART Computing

What to Do With a New Computer

When you get a new computer you may need to transfer information from an old machine to the new one. In this module we will talk about what kinds of information is easily transferable and what is not. Then we will discuss various ways to make the transition to a new machine. You will also learn about various programs that you can use on your new machine.

Backup Solutions and Cloud Storage

Learn about the principle of 3-2-1 backup: 3 copies of everything, 2 different formats, at least 1 off-site. It is easy to make a backup of your system; it is not always easy to make it automated and up to date. We will talk about various backup strategies and online storage options. If you bring a portable hard drive with you to class we can actually walk through making a quick and easy backup while we are at class together.

Password Managers

Did you know that your bank password is not the most important password you own? In this session we will talk about what makes a good password and why you should never reuse a password. Then we will look at a couple of tools that make using good passwords a breeze without causing your head to explode.

Basic Network Troubleshooting

Your Internet connection has died. How can you tell if it is your computer, Wi-Fi, router, modem or actual service provider? Many times unplugging everything and restarting will fix the problem, but it would be nice to know which piece is malfunctioning so that it can be fixed and save you further frustration.

Software: How to Use Your Office Programs

Whether you use Microsoft Office, Google Docs or Apple Computer’s iWork office suite, there are some time saving tips that will help you get much more done when you learn about them. Though we won’t go into building pivot tables in a spreadsheet, you will learn how to do basic calculations in Excel (or similar program) and how to format long documents in your word processor to make them easier to edit later.

Prayer Letters

Did you know it is possible to have your email address blocked so that you can’t send or receive messages? Don’t risk losing control of the address that is printed on all your prayer cards and prayer letters. Use a free mailing list service to let you see who actually opens your prayer letter and to keep you from getting banned by your email host.

Please contact us if you plan to attend so that we can be better prepared. Lunch will be provided both days after the classes.

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