The Failure of Feelings

[453 words] We all have feelings. We respond to what we perceive around us and within us. Typical feeling statements might include: I feel hungry, I feel sleepy, I feel thirsty, I’m tired, I’m hot, etc. All of these statements describe needs or deficiencies that can be “felt.” You have never asked anyone, “Am I…

Reasons for Enduring Trials

[185 words] When trials hit, we can do one of two things concerning our faithfulness to God: give up, or continue on. Paul knew what it was like. In fact many times in trials, he felt like he was between a rock and a hard place (2 Cor. 4:8), yet he continued remaining faithful to…

What the Church Offers

[337 words] Too many folks look upon church attendance as being secondary to anything else on their schedule. They are not opposed to religion. They may even look upon it as a vital part of life. But they have no conscience against neglecting it. Perhaps the attitude is: “I’ll go to church if nothing comes…

Selfless Christianity

[414 words] True Christianity is selfless. The term selfless means “having no concern for self; unselfish.” The Scriptures teach that selfishness will prevent one from being a follower of Christ. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Practicing self-denial…

Lord Make Me Good – Period

[176 words] Many people who want a relationship with God often add qualifiers to the mix. They want the Lord to make them good, but with a stipulation added. Here are a couple of examples: “Lord, make me good, but not yet.” These people want to live in sin as long as possible. They want…

My Friend and His Text Messages

[505 words] I don’t know what we would do without friends. God created us with a need for them. Each day of God’s creation has the phrase, “God saw that it was good,” in connection with it. However, after God created man, He said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” He created…

The Fountain of Life

[474 words] If you go to the city of St. Augustine, Florida, you can go to an attraction claiming to be the Fountain of Youth. According to legend, Ponce de Leon landed near this site in the year 1535 and claimed a nearby spring to be a source of perpetual youthfulness based on the physiques…

Mr. Lincoln’s Tears

[157 words] The story is told that near the end of his presidency, a woman came to the While House to present Abe Lincoln with a basketful of baked goodies—cakes, pies and breads. “Is there something you want, Madam?” the president asked. “No sir,” she replied, “I only wanted to tell you thank you for…

On Remembering Faithful Soldiers

[443 words] Bradford Freeman was just 18 years old when he dropped out of Mississippi State and enlisted in the U.S. Army to become a paratrooper. He was assigned to be a mortarman in Company E, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. The company name rings a bell from the work of author Stephen…

What Will Your Checkbook Tell About You?

[232 words] Some time ago I read about a man who had written many biographies. He noted that it was easy to find out what a man said and what he had done, but when it came to finding out what kind of man he really was, the biographer was up a stump. Then he…

Beating Worry

[187 words] Time has a way of improving the conditions of daily lives. What posed as hardship for my grandparents are today’s luxuries. Surrounded with gadgets and gizmos to make life easy, why can’t they invent something, anything that will remove worry from our lives? Volumes have been written to abate the damage worry causes.…

I Have Made Peace with God

[431 words] There is nothing more important in life than having peace with God. There can be no assurance of salvation or hope of heaven without having peace with God. Therefore, we should all desire to have peace with our Maker. But how can we have such peace? The basic answer to the question is…

Flying Above the Storms

[216 words] Did you know that an eagle knows when the storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm.…

To Show Your Work Or Not?

[452 words] When you were a kid were you told that you had to show your work on the math problems you were given to do in class? I will admit I always hatted doing that. Showing others our work is one of the things I think Christians struggle with. There are verses in the…

‘They Just Don’t Come Anymore!’

[342 words] I recently was in conversation with a gentlemen who has been a Christian for approximately sixty or more years, he remarked to me that back in “his day,” he would have twelve to fifteen teens in his class. He followed that comment with, “They just don’t come anymore!” Not be an alarmist, but…

More, Please

[300 words] Ralph Kramden, the lovable oaf portrayed on television by Jackie Gleason in the 1950s, found it easy to put his foot in his mouth. When asked why he didn’t treat Alice, his wife, in the same romantic way he did before they were married, he replied, “Why keep running after you catch the bus?” His…

If It Smells Like a Skunk…

[230 words] Last week when entering the church building we were met with an all-too-familiar odor. Unfortunately, some of us know firsthand just how bad a skunk can really smell. Whether you’ve encountered a skunk one-on-one or not, when you smell the distinctive odor produced by these little varmints, you can immediately identify it. If…

God, Make Us the Men You Want Us to Be

[267 words] Where can we find strong men to standWith us and You, against all odds?The time we live in now demandsStrong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready handsThat will not yield to others what is God’s. Give us men of honor and good willWhom spoils of office cannot buy.Men with great insight, strength…

Breathe On Me, Breath of God

[92 words] Breathe on me, breath of God,Fill me with life anew,That I may love what Thou dost love,And do what Thou wouldst do. Breathe on me, breath of God,Until my heart is pure,Until with Thee I will one will,To do and to endure. Breathe on me, breath of God,Blend all my soul with Thine,Until…

The Master’s Will, for This I Pray

[119 words] The Master’s will, for this I pray, Whatever it may be!I do not want to miss Your best; Reveal it, Lord, to me. My own desires may lead me wrong, I must consult my God;His counsel will be justified, When all the way I’ve trod. O soul of mine, delight in Him! His…

Hold Fast True Riches

[89 words] Let me hold lightly things of this earth;Transient treasures, what are they worth?Moths can corrupt them, rust can decay;All their bright beauty fades in a day. Let me hold lightly temporal things –I, who am deathless, I, who wear wings!Let me hold fast, Lord, things of the skies;Quicken my vision, open my eyes!…

Bible Study is Hard Work

[74 words] Most of us want our Bibles to give us simple black-and-white bumper sticker quotes, often because we don’t want to do the hard work of living with the Bible and letting God shape us in an ongoing engagement with these powerful words. Study the Bible! “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God,…

Trying to Spell God

[86 words] Poet Edwin Anderson Robinson once wrote, “The world is not a prison house but a kind of kindergarten, where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks.” That may be true of people who don’t look to the Bible for the “right blocks,” but those who trust God’s…

What the Lord is to Me (from the Psalms)

[120 words] The LORD is my rock and my fortress (Psa. 18:2). He is my solid foundation and will never let me down. The LORD is my shepherd (Psa. 23:1). He is my provider and guide through life. The LORD is my light (Psa. 27:1). He is my revealer of all truth. The LORD is…

Love the Unknown?

[111 words] The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. These are exhortations from Proverbs. In addition to that, he who loves instructions loves knowledge (Prov. 12:1). What this translates to is this: he who loves the Lord will take time to know the Lord, learn from His will and apply…

Bible Quiz: Revelation 10:8-11

[63 words] Where did the voice John heard come from?“Go, take the __ book which is open in the hand of the __ who stands on the sea and on the earth.”What did the angel tell John to do with the book?“…it will make your stomach __, but it will be as sweet as __…

Bible Quiz: Revelation 11:1-6

[65 words] “And the angel stood, saying, ‘Rise and __ the __ of God, the altar, and those who __ there.’”He was told not to measure the court of the __.The Gentiles would tread the holy city underfoot for __-__ months.“These are the two __ trees and the two __ standing before the God of…

Bible Quiz: Revelation 11:7-14

[77 words] “Now when they have finished their __, the beast that comes up from the __ will attack them, and overpower and kill them.”“Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called __ and __—where also their Lord was __.”True or False: The people buried the bodies of…

Bible Quiz: Revelation 11:15-19

[76 words] “The kingdom of the __ has become the kingdom of our __ and of his __, and he will reign for ever and ever.”How many elders were seated on their thrones before God?“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the __ who is and who was, because you have taken your great…

Quotes and Sayings (August 2022)

“The study of God’s Word for the purpose of discovering God’s will is the secret discipline which has formed the greatest characters.” — James W. Alexander “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” — Dwight L. Moody “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than…

On the Lighter Side (August 2022)

Special Golf Ball Two friends went out to play golf and were about to tee off, when one fellow noticed that his partner had but one golf ball. “Don’t you have at least one other golf ball?”, he asked. The other guy replied that no, he only needed the one. “Are you sure?” the friend…

True Freedom

[357 words] In 1776, the 13 British colonies in North America protested the tyranny of the king of England and engaged in a struggle that gave birth to a brand new republic. The infant nation soon adopted that now famous document known as the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate this emancipation every July 4th. Almost…

Celebrate Freedom

[311 words] In a letter dated July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife: “This will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance,…

Cussing Coaches

[458 words] I have often thought about the challenges of coaching sports. Coaches are often scrutinized and criticized for the many tough decisions they make. I’m sure it is a difficult job. However, all jobs have pros and cons. Regardless of one’s occupation, there will be good days and days when we feel as if…

Don’t Sell the Farm!

[279 words] There was a man that owned a wonderful farm, but over the years he began to take it for granted, and reached the point where he was tired of it. He decided that he would put it up for sale and find a better one. He called a realtor who came out and…

Hearing Your Name

[286 words] There is just something about hearing your name. On some occasions, it is scary. If your mom or dad ever calls you by your whole name—first, middle, and last—you are likely in pretty big trouble. On other occasions, it is a special honor. Graduation ceremonies are a great example of this. Why in…

Abraham and God

[388 words] Among the greatest names in the roll call of faithful saints down through the ages, the name of Abraham must surely rank high on the list. Abraham’s distinction lies in the fact that Abraham listened to God, loved God and leaned upon God. Abraham Listened to God. In Genesis 22:1, God spoke the…

Phone Home?

[569 words] “Mr. Duke, what do you think about the question of life on other planets?” More than one Russian student asked me this question in a Moscow university over thirty years ago. I had expected questions about God, and there were many. But I was surprised at the number of times they asked about…

It’s Okay to Wonder Why, But Don’t Forget Who

[201 words] “O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ and You will not save…For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous…” Twenty-six hundred…

Teaching the Important Things 

[209 words] A mother-mouse was taking her two little mice-kids for a walk. Suddenly, a big ol’ cat jumped out of the bushes. However, the older mouse shouted “Bark!” At that, the cat ran away. Then, the mother-mouse told her youngsters, “See, children, that’s why it’s important to learn a foreign language.” Tongue-in-cheek example aside,…