What Will You Do With The New?

  [336 words] Toward the end of the year, we begin to focus on the “new.” We enjoy giving and receiving “new” presents, and we look forward to the hope of a “new” year. A blank calendar page represents fresh opportunity, but what will we do with it? Hezekiah was known as a man who received renewed opportunity from the Lord. A godly king, Hekeziah destroyed the idols in Judah (2 Kings 18:4) and trusted God (2 Kings 18:5-6). When Assyria came knocking on the door threatening to destroy Jerusalem, Hezekiah prayed (2 Kings 19:15-19), and God spared Judah. When...

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Rare Bible Found in Trash

  [184 words] In 2006, electrician Michael Hoskins discovered a rare, 188-year-old, King James Bible. He told his hometown newspaper, that he went to drop off his household trash, and there it was. He also related that “There were three or four boxes of books leaning up against the concrete wall behind the dump site. I found the Bible in four pieces, put them together and took it home.”  The sheepskin-covered Bible was printed in Pittsburgh in 1818 and was one of less than half dozen copies in existence. When antique book dealers heard of the find, they called, offering...

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When Giving is Wrong

  [265 words] Ribbons and wrapping paper, shimmering Christmas trees, and children with sparkling eyes are the hallmarks of the “season of giving.” So many of us enjoy the holiday as a time of expressing love through the imparting of gifts. But did you ever consider when giving may be wrong? Our heavenly Father is certainly a giver of good gifts (James 1:17). In fact, Jesus says if we ask, we will receive (Matt. 7:7-11) because our Father is good! So we definitely want to imitate Him in our willingness to give.  However, the Bible also shows us there are...

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The Big Buyout

  [320 words] The line starts to form around 4:30 in the morning. The goal of the people in line is to buy up the stock of doughnuts at Donut City, a small, family-owned shop in Seal Beach, California. By 7:30 the doughnuts have all been purchased. The motivation of the buyouts: to allow the shop owner, John Chhan, to be able to leave work and be with his ailing wife, Stella, who recently suffered an aneurysm. The Chhans opened the shop over 30 years ago and have had a steady stream of regular and loyal customers throughout the decades....

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Upward Mobility

  [300 words] In a tiny coastal Mexican village, a boat comes into port. An American who is nearby compliments the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his catch and asks how long it took him to catch them. “Not very long,” answers the Mexican. “But why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asks the American. The Mexican explains that these few fish are sufficient to meet his family’s needs. The American then asks, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” “I sleep late, play with my children, and take a siesta. In the...

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Cleaning from the Inside Out

  [512 words] The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old, worn out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could. One day, the grandson asked, “Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don’t understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading...

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The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

  [107 words] Proverbs 9:1 states, “Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars.” What are these “seven pillars” of wisdom? Likely the reference is symbolical representing the fact that if we use godly wisdom properly, our lives will be complete. But it is interesting to note that James, in his epistle, chapter 3 and verse 17, in defining godly wisdom lists seven aspects: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” What does your house of...

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Take Advantage of What the Church Offers

  [330 words] Recently, I dropped my son off at the building for an activity that will enhance his ability to develop a budget and be a better provider both financially and spiritually when he starts his family one day. I know our schedules create barriers from time to time and we can’t attend everything. However, I felt badly for those young men who were not in attendance because they missed out on some great information! This event reminded me how fortunate we are to have so many opportunities afforded to us by our church. Allen Webster authored a tract...

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Please Do Not Be Discouraged

  [250 words] Many times our “downs” outweigh our “ups.” We may feel we are going uphill all the while being pulled back. We may be hurting because our loved ones are hurting due to health challenges, financial setbacks, or spiritual deprivation. We may spend our mornings, days, or late nights in tears because of the things life is throwing our way. I beg you not to be discouraged. God’s people can hold on to what is in the Bible! The Scriptures teach security of the soul, true inner peace, and blessed assurance. “For God has not given us a...

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Be the Best Version of Yourself

  [409 words] There’s a saying that has become popular of late that I really like. It is this: “Be the best version of yourself.” I like it because it does emphasize being yourself. It is important to be you, to be unique, and to be who God made you. Don’t change that. But it’s also important to be the best possible you.  Timothy in the Bible was a young man and a preacher. He had been a protégé of the great apostle Paul, and Paul had left him to minister in Ephesus. Paul knew the great potential that lied...

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Read the Manual!

  [490 words] When was the last time you bought something (anything) new? Like most of us, you probably pulled out the new product, proceeded to put it together or plug it in to use based on your previous experience with the product, only to discover that you have that one bolt extra that should probably go somewhere in or on that new product! I am not fond of manuals—too much reading necessary to get to the “practical” instructions. I spend more time trying to decipher the pictures detailing the assembly process, and never mind how it actually works or...

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The Biblical Way of Dealing with a Brother Who Has Sinned Against You

  [338 words] “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector” (Matthew 18:15-17). How often is this passage ignored? Often, a...

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Fooling Ourselves

  [285 words] Three times in the first chapter of James we are warned about being deceived. Specifically we are cautioned against deceiving ourselves. While the Lord does not desire for us to live in fear (cf. 1 John 5:13; 2 Cor. 5:1; Heb. 10:22-23; et. al.), it is dangerous and foolish to act as if we have no sin (1 John 1:8). We deceive ourselves when we blame God for our sin and the consequences thereof (James 1:16). In the context of James 1:13-18, we learn that we are never to blame God when we are dealing with the...

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Thoughts About the Grace of Giving

  [350 words] This time of year, many don’t think twice about volunteering in a food bank, in a soup kitchen, or in taking a neighbor some extra peanut brittle made for an office party. This time of year, it doesn’t take much prompting for someone to drop some pocket change into the rounded-metal canisters sitting near to those folks who ring the hand bells incessantly as you enter your favorite stores. This time of year, everyone seems eager to want to give just a little bit more to ease someone else’s burden. Everyone seems a little more cheerful and...

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Falling Through the Cracks

  [265 words] Sometimes things unintentionally fall through the cracks. We can have lots of events well-organized, well-oiled, and well-planned, and yet have a key event or responsibility go unnoticed or undone. Thus, it appears as if that part of it was unimportant in the first place. Sad to say, sometimes we can let people fall through the cracks. We as the church make a BIG leap when we assume that a fellow Christian knows how much we love them and care about them. We make a BIG leap when we operate under the assumption that someone is ok spiritually,...

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The Two Greatest Problems in the Church

  [206 words] A dedicated Christian once asked a delinquent brother this same question of interest. His friend replied, “I don’t know…and I don’t care!” “You’re absolutely right,” said the faithful Christian, “I don’t know (Ignorance) and I don’t care (Indifference) are the two greatest.” Ignorance? But, wait! If you and I truly love Jesus, we will take advantage of opportunities (i.e. Bible study, worship, mid-week prayer meeting, etc.) to learn as much about Him as possible. We will also be blessed by the opportunities we make (daily devotionals, personal readings, our own private times of worship during the week)...

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What You Take With You

  [294 words] When Abraham Lincoln was shot and killed in Ford’s Theater April 14th, 1865, he had no idea that night would be his last. Lincoln loved the theater and it was his common diversion for his stressful job. So he probably didn’t think much about what he carried in his pocket that night, but maybe we should. In the personal effects found on Abraham Lincoln that night: a small handkerchief, a pocketknife, a watch fob, glasses (one repaired with cotton string), a Confederate five-dollar bill, and wallet with only some worn-out newspaper clipping in it. Most of the...

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To Give, or Not to Give?

  [518 words] It’s that time of year again. You know…cold weather, Christmas decorations, long shopping lines, and “soldiers” in the Salvation Army standing at the entrance of nearly every major shopping area. These dedicated soldiers brave the cold while ringing a little bell, as they solicit donations to help the needy. These red kettles are responsible for collecting approximately $150 million dollars each year to provide food, clothing, and shelter to the less fortunate.  Such good deeds appeal to our sense of benevolence at a time when we are feeling particularly benevolent. Surely there would be no harm in...

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What Can You Do for the Church?

  [489 words] People often wonder what the church can do for them. It seems that everyone wants to be part of a large congregation that has immaculate facilities, lots of activities for the young and old, children of all ages, and a large contribution. When someone is looking for a congregation to attend, these may be some of the criteria used to find the “right church.” Most do not look for a congregation where they are needed to serve. Rather, folks frequently look for a congregation where they can be served. This self-serving attitude seems to be at odds...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (December 2018)

  [134 words] Reindeer Games Q: What do you call a blind reindeer? A: I have no eye deer. Q: What do you call an obnoxious reindeer? A: Rude-olph. Q: What do you call a scary looking reindeer? A: A cariboo. Q: What do reindeers say before they tell you a joke? A: This one’s gonna sleigh you! Q: Why does Scrooge love reindeer so much? A: Because every single buck is dear to him! Rudolph the Weatherman One night a Viking named Rudolph the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.” His wife...

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