Truths That Ground, Blessings That Lift

[237 words] Occasionally, I have to sit down and take stock, remembering truths that ground me and blessings that lift me. 1. God is in control and guides all things toward the end that he desires. No one can block his will. 2. In Christ are all spiritual blessings, and I’m in Christ. I can tell you how to enter as well. 3. Through the Spirit, God is near, so very near, that he abides in me. 4. In Scripture, God speaks clearly and leaves no doubt about what he is doing or what I need to do. 5. The...

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In Opposition to Abortion

  [368 words] Christians have always stood opposed to abortion. Abortion was common in the Roman Empire in which Christianity was born. Though there is no explicit New Testament reference to it, abortion was clearly condemned in the Christian literature immediately following the New Testament. For instance, in about AD 100 the Didache instructed, “And now the second commandment of the teaching. Do not murder…do not engage in pederasty…do not use enchanted potions, do not abort a fetus or kill a child that is born” (2:1-2). A law was passed in AD 374 that outlawed infanticide, child abandonment and abortion...

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Driven or Drawn?

  [518 words] Several years ago, long before children were required to be in car seats, a mother was having trouble with her young daughter staying seated and in her seat belt. The little girl, like most children of that time, wanted to stand up and see where she was going. The mother repeatedly told her daughter to “sit down and buckle up!” The daughter became rebellious, and continued to stand up in the seat while her mom was driving. Finally, the mother pulled over and threatened the little girl with something she could not resist. But, as she reluctantly...

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Unemployment

[332 words] Unemployed is living without a job or without work to be completed. The national unemployment rate as of July 2, 2015 was 5.3% according to a study released by the U.S. Department of Labor. That 5.3% is roughly 8.3 million people in the United States currently living without a job or without work. The unemployment rate for the state of Kentucky for June 2015 was 5.1% with an estimated 102,000 people without work. The work of the Lord’s church is always abounding. We as Christians are called to be working for the Lord at all times. The concept...

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Old, But Great

[213 words] Most of the hymns that we sing in worship service today are old. There are many greatest hymns. The hymn considered by many as the best in the English language is “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” written by Isaac Watts in 1707. This hymn was taken from Paul’s words, “Far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Another well-known hymn is “Almost Persuaded” written by Phillip Bliss. Mr. Bliss, who knew absolute poverty in his early days, got married, bought a ramshackle buggy and a horse named Fanny. He...

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True Idol Worship…Here!

[369 words] It would be foolish to believe that there hasn’t been any worship of graven images, statues, etc. in this country. It has usually been kept very private. We’ve always preached that in this country, our idol worship is material things; activities; money; etc. But now, true idol worshipers have become very public in our country. Worshipers of Satan are planning on securing a building for their temple in Detroit, where they will have public worship and activities. This same group is planning on something in the Oklahoma City area. What makes this story much worse is that there...

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What Can You Say About Matthias?

[152 words] Everything that can biblically be said about Matthias is basically found in Acts 1:20-26, that being: Matthias had a great interest in spiritual matters, since, although not mentioned by name, he was present all throughout the various situations we read about in the gospels, and if not anything else, that alone shows great dedication. Along with the other apostles, Matthias was also a man of great faith in God and in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the world. Additionally, Matthias’ life was greatly affected by prophesy when he filled the vacancy created by Judas’...

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Doing it Right

[374 words] From the book of Exodus comes a great example of doing things right. In chapters 25-29, God gives Moses instructions concerning how the tabernacle is to be built. Many specific directions are given, and God emphasized the importance of following them exactly: “According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.” (Exod. 25:9; see also v.40). Moses and the Israelites had their orders from God. How did they do? Upon completion of the tabernacle, Exod. 39:32 states, “Thus all the...

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What’s Your Preference?

[219 words] A popular Brazilian saying is that one does not dispute preferences. That’s mostly true, I guess, except when it comes to the will of God. The prophets prophesy lies. The priests exercise power by their own authority. And my people love to have it this way. But they will not be able to help you when the time of judgment comes! (Jeremiah 5.31 NET) Jeremiah asks what the people of Israel will do when God’s judgment comes. The great application of this is that, in the end, people will be responsible for believing in lies and submitting themselves...

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Perils to the Soul

[322 words] Have you noticed the growing fascination that some have with other people’s perils? They pay good money to watch stunt drivers jump a string of cars, or a tightrope walker make his way across a tiny rope 200 feet above the pavement. We marvel when someone unnecessarily puts himself at risk. The greatest risk of all is the danger that threatens our soul. Paul warned that perilous times would bring dangers that threaten to undo us (2 Tim. 3-4). These perils include: 1. Ignorance of God’s Word. Some will “creep into households and make captives of gullible women...

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Do It Well!

[104 words] Amateur, haphazard, slipshod, hit-and-miss, inattentive, incomplete, mediocre, shallow, skill-less, unskillful, wanting. All these adjectives are ones we use to describe things that are done but not done well. It’s an attitude that is far too common today. We settle for what is easy, normal, the status quo. But was this the example of Jesus? In Mark 7:37, people in describing Jesus said of him, “He has done all things well…” In everything he did, Jesus held to a higher standard of excellence. He did just do it, he did it well. Why shouldn’t we do the same? Barry...

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Earth’s Cousin?

[238 words] Have you heard about Kepler-452b? Maybe you’ve seen the headlines recently that read something like this: NASA discovers Earth-like planet orbiting “cousin” of Sun. The idea is to emphasize just how un-special we really are. If we exist by complete accident…if we Owe our existence to time and chance…it would not be outside the realm of possibility that other planets and life evolved also. We are not unique or special. However, I would caution you to read such headlines with a critical and discerning mind that has been informed by Scripture as well as science. Currently, there is...

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Well-organized, but Useless!

[203 words] “…I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Rev. 3:1). A German soldier was wounded. He was ordered to go to the military hospital for treatment. When he arrived at the large and imposing building, he saw two doors, one marked, “For the slightly wounded,” and the other, “For the seriously wounded.” He entered through the first door and found himself going down a long hall. At the end of it were two more doors, one marked, “For officers” and the other, “For non-officers.” He entered through the latter...

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Lieutenant David Steeves

[257 words] In 1957, Lieutenant David Steeves walked out of the California Sierra Mountains 54 days after his Air Force trainer jet had disappeared. He related an unbelievable take of survival after parachuting from his disabled plane. For almost three months he said he had eaten berries and dug snow tunnels to sleep in, had seen no one during the entire time and finally walked out on his own. By the time he showed up alive, he had already been declared officially dead. His story was viewed with much skepticism because during that same time frame his assigned unit had...

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I Drive a Donkey

[224 words] There is an obscure Bible character that holds a great deal of fascination for me. His name is Harbona(h) and his name only appears twice, both in connection with the account of Esther. He is introduced in Esther 1:10 and plays a key role in this divine story of providence in Esther 7:9. His name means “donkey driver.” Granted, his name means more than that. The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names says his name means, “Warlike; martial; a destroyer. Ass driver; the anger of him who builds” (Cornwall and Smith 96). Harbonah was the eunuch in Ahaseurus’ court...

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Painting Possums

[288 words] Several years ago we knew a man with the unusual hobby of trapping possums. No, he didn’t eat them. He painted them! That’s right – he would catch these critters in a box trap, and then he painted them with fluorescent paint and released them. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? But this fella had a ball with his “off the wall” hobby. And imagine the folks in the small town where he lived! What would you think if you saw a bright orange possum rummaging through your garbage? And if you came in late one night, it probably would...

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Never Enough

  [140 words] Someone asked John D. Rockefeller, the richest man of his time, how much money is enough? He replied, “Just a little bit more.” Lots of people have that problem. We think if could just make a little more, we would be set. But when we get that little more, it isn’t too long till we are saying the same thing just with an increased amount. The Preacher tells us this truth in Ecclesiastes 5:10-11, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. When...

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What About Our Reach?

[394 words] The Impala is an amazing creature that has a vertical leap of more than 10 feet and can jump an amazing 30 feet. With such abilities, one would think zoos would have to take extraordinary measures to build enclosures to keep these nearly airborne creatures inside the zoo, but they don’t. It seems the Impala will not execute its amazing jumps unless it can see where it’s going to land. So, zoos only have to build a six-foot wall to keep the animals inside. Unfortunately, there are some members of the Lord’s church who have this same problem....

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Five Things No One Will Regret On Judgment Day

[157 words] As Christians, we all have regrets in our lives — things we should have done but didn’t do, and things we shouldn’t have done, but did them anyway. However, there are five things which no one will regret on the day of judgment. If we abide by these principles, we can have boldness to stand before God’s throne on that day (1 John 4:17-NKJV). Putting God and His kingdom first in our lives (Matthew 6:33-NKJV; cf. Deuteronomy 28:45-47-NKJV). Respecting and caring for our parents (Ephesians 6:1-2-NKJV; cf. Exodus 20:12-NKJV). Marrying a faithful Christian (1 Corinthians 9:5-NASB; cf. Psalm...

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More Beautiful Than We Imagined

  [152 words] “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). A young man who had been blind since he was ten years old, years later met a wonderful young lady, and fell madly in love with her. They married, and had lived together for some time when it was discovered that a certain operation would restore the young man’s sight. After the operation, when the...

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Christian Example

[247 words] My Lord said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Mt. 5:16). The best I can tell, there’s no limitation to this. In other words, shining forth a good example is not restricted to the church building, or to Sunday service, or when just around church folks. Truth be told, where it’s most important to let our lights shine is at home, on the job, at school, and even on social media sites. True Christianity radiates from within and is on display everywhere,...

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A Living Martyr

[211 words] “Stephen wasn’t a martyr because he died; he died because he was a martyr.” After reading that sentence, you may be saying, “Steve, I don’t get it. What do you mean?” Well let me see if I can explain. Did you know that the Greek word translated as “martyr” (Gr. martureo) is the same Greek word that is also translated as “witness” and “testimony?” What does that mean? It means that Jesus sent out his disciples to be (Gr. martureo) i.e. “witnesses/testifiers/martyrs” (Luke 21:13; Acts 1:8). But how were his disciples supposed to be “witnesses/testifiers/martyrs?” By faithfully recounting the...

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God’s Word Has Not Changed in Regards to Marriage

[289 words] The Supreme Court of the United States, by a narrow 5-4 margin, legalized same-sex marriages recently after years of debate and deliberation. Gays and lesbians, as well as progressive politicians, took to the streets to celebrate this monumental decision. Our own commander-and-chief ordered that the White House be lit up in the rainbow colors, signifying his approval to the world. While the Supreme Court of the United States declares that same-sex marriage is constitutionally legal, we must never forget that we have a far greater constitution, if you will (God’s Word), written by the Supreme Ruler of all...

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Clear-minded and Self-controlled

[241 words] “The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray” 1 Peter 4:7. This chapter is pivotal for living a life in Christ!  When we become a Christian, we admit that when we lived for “evil human desires,” we made a mess of our lives.  Now, we live for the will of God.  This does not mean that He fills us to take control over us (that might be nice if He did!).  No, but He gives us strength and guidance to “live according to God in regard to the...

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Goals with No Nets

[386 words] Back in the day, friends would invite me to meet them somewhere to play a pick-up game of basketball, and few things are more disappointing than showing up to play a game of basketball and seeing a goal with no net. While I might have verbalized my disappointment, it didn’t prevent me from playing. Nevertheless, throughout the game, we would spend most of our time questioning whether or not a guy made a basket or shot an air ball. A net-less basketball goal can be deceiving and disorienting. Of course, few things bring me more enjoyment than shooting...

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Faith Followed by Obedience

[117 words] If Noah had lived by today’s religious standard, he would have said, “Lord I believe you but you are asking too much, I don’t really need an ark.” Abraham would have said, “Lord, I have great faith in you, but I can do just as much good by staying here in Ur.” The apostle Paul might have said, “Lord do you know what they will do to me if I go to Rome?” James said, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:21). The writer of Hebrews penned, “And (Jesus) having been perfected, He became...

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Tap to Snooze

[510 words] I generally use an Apple iOS device as a wake-up alarm. When the alarm sounds, text appears on the screen of my device and gives me this option: “Tap to snooze.” All I have to do is tap the screen of my nifty device and I’m right back to my comfortable, peaceful sleep for at least nine minutes more. A person’s use of the snooze button on his alarm is not the “end of the world;” however, I want us to think very seriously about the snooze button of our souls—before it is the end of the world....

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (August 2015)

  [442 words] The Coin Toss By the time Bobby arrived, the football game had already started. “Why are you so late?” asked his friend. “I couldn’t decide between going to church and going to the football game. So I tossed a coin,” said Bobby. “But that shouldn’t have taken too long.” said the friend. “Well, I had to toss it 35 times.” A Pain in the Side At Sunday School they were learning how God created everything, including human beings. Johnny was especially intent when the teacher told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs....

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