What is Your Gift to Him?

[182 words] The Christmas holidays are here upon us, and the world around us is filled with the noble notions of gift-giving. “What am I going to get my spouse?” “Will my kids like this gift?” “What can I do for my boss and co-workers?” Giving gifts is a godly behavior, and we should all remember that our Lord said it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). It is good to rejoice in giving! But in all of our giving, did we remember to put God on our list? Did we remember to present ourselves to God...

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How Bad Can I Be?

[445 words] With the winter holidays just around the corner, we will all be seeing items and hearing stories related to the season. As such, I just read about the fact that there is a website known as emailsanta.com where young ones may write an electronic letter to the North Pole. Several letters from these innocent children were funny, but one stood out to me. Christian, age seven, wrote: “Mommy and Daddy say I have not been very good these past few days. How bad can I be before I lose my presents?” This letter reflects an attitude often displayed...

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A Time to Rejoice

[301 words] Overheard at the Mall: “I just dread the Christmas season.” When I heard these words, I felt sorry for the one speaking them. To me, this time of year lifts my heart because of three nostalgic reasons.  First, I remember how my parents (especially my mother) worked hard to make this season of the year special for our family. We didn’t have much money, but we took out time to do things together. We looked at Christmas lights, we went caroling, took the holiday tour at Mrs. Baird’s bakery, saw the decorated windows at Thorntons, etc. These things...

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Bible Blindness

[283 words] Several videos have been published online depicting colorblind individuals seeing color for the first time, with the help of a pair of special glasses. Valspar Paint partnered with scientists and ophthalmologists from a company called Enchroma to make the seemingly impossible become a reality for the colorblind.  “Oh, look at that!” one man said as he saw the contrast in colors for the first time. “There was this whole end of the spectrum that I was just completely not aware of. This is amazing!” Another man saw the various colors of a sunset for the first time and...

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Without Restraint

[90 words] Near the end of the book of Hosea, the prophet delivers a message from God that relates to the time of the Messiah’s kingdom. That means it is a message for members of the church of the Lord.  That’s you and me. Here’s the message: “I will heal their apostasy. I will love them freely” (14:4). Did you catch that last part? I will love them “freely,” a word that means “without restraint.” A God infinite in power imparting love without restraint? That boggles my mind. How about yours? Eddie ParrishBrown Trail church of ChristBedford, TX...

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Reasons to Rejoice!

[329 words] The Bible speaks a number of times regarding rejoicing. David once stated, “This is the day which the Lord has made,” and then he added, “We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24). Why isn’t that just as true today as the day David wrote it? A celebrated writer once wrote, “Every new day is a miracle.” The point: “the Lord did not owe us another day, but He gave it to us.” In the days of Nehemiah, when the people of God had combined their efforts in a great cause, they were coaxed to rejoice,...

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What Does Humility Look Like?

[220 words] If you were to encounter a truly humble person (at work, school, on the street, etc.), what would they look like?  C.S. Le wis wrote, “Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him” (Mere Christianity, p.128). So, according to Lewis, the humble person is identified most of all by (1) being happy and (2) being interested in other people. Saying the same thing in different words: “If you met a truly humble person, you wouldn’t think him/her humble, but happy...

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The Christian’s Priorities

[240 words] Perhaps certain ones of us need to get our priorities straight. It may seem somewhat naive to some to say that if more professed Christians would “seek first the Kingdom of God,” fewer problems would exist in the Lord’s Church, but the statement is nevertheless true! The reason that early Christians were so successful in proclaiming the gospel was that God occupied first place in their lives. Their religion was not a “once-a-week” affair for Sunday display. To them Christianity was a serious matter which they demonstrated every day! (Acts 2:46) The first-century disciples did not consider religion...

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Am I Being A Good Sibling?

[364 words] As the oldest in my family, I was held responsible for my younger siblings’ actions. There were times I would be put in charge. There were times I just happened to be with them when they got in trouble or hurt. Suddenly, it was my responsibility. I should have been watching them, I should have warned them, I was the one who should have known better. I should have known not to grab the rope swing and jump off the shed in the back yard. Israel was told to warn, speak out, and to dissuade those who are...

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Through Him

[363 words] Christianity is all about our relationship with Jesus. He died for us and we are to live for Him. Upon obeying the gospel, we gain a lot of “prepositional aspects” having to do with ourselves and Jesus: we are in Him, with Him, and for Him. But there is another preposition that describes one more important aspect of our relationship with Jesus Christ – it is the word “through.” Take a look at these passages and see the powerful relationship we are to have “through Him”: • Our salvation is made available “through Him” (John 3:17). • True...

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I-N-V-O-L-V-E-M-E-N-T Equals Church Growth

[540 words] The early church grew (Acts 2:41; 5:14; 6:1,7; 9:31; 11:24). As we read of this growth explosion, we see the key role member involvement played. Christians were spreading the word (8:4), involved in each other’s lives and in the lives of the lost around them. This is such a simple concept, but churches not practicing it are not growing. What is involved in involvement? I – “I” am the heart of involvement. I must resolve to be involved. I must do my part, for I will give an account for my level or lack of involvement (1 Cor....

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We Will Talk Face to Face

[261 words] A line like this can make us curious: “I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face” (3 John 13-14). We can’t know for sure what else John needed to say, but we can glean some principles. Some matters are public. The situation with Diotrephes (3 John 9) needed to be written down and handled publicly because Diotrephes’ actions were affecting the church. He not only refused to welcome brothers himself but stopped those who tried, putting...

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What Percentage is Enough?

[293 words] The Communications Division of Syncrude Canada Ltd. once did research on the danger of completing only 99.9% of some task. Of the many things they studied, their findings on money and the medical world will resonate with us the most (these are but a sample). If only 99.9% of the job is done… • Two million documents would be lost by the IRS this year • 22,000 checks would be deducted from the wrong bank accounts in the next 60 minutes • 880,000 credit cards in circulation would turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic...

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It Isn’t Hard to Find the Flaws

[352 words] Take a moment to think about what happens in the course of a typical day. The coffee’s too hot (or not hot enough) or it tastes funny. The car in front of me is going too slow. The internet’s malfunctioning. The waitress has forgotten me. My coworker is lazy or undependable. My spouse did that annoying thing again. I can’t believe my child left that mess or didn’t do the simple thing I asked. My friend was thoughtless. Think about how easy it is to become critical of everything and everyone. Basic to human nature is a tendency to...

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I Don’t Get Anything Out of the Services

[406 words] Has worship become a lost art? I’m afraid that many of us go through the motions without ever really reaching out to God. Consequently, we tend to leave a service much as we came in. Before long there is the tendency to dismiss the whole concept of assembling for worship. At its best it is boring. At its worst it is almost unbearable. So we throw up our hands, discard church attendance, and find something to do that we really enjoy. We see others that truly look forward to the experience, but for the life of us we...

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Pride

[183 words] Most of us know about a man named Haman. He was the villain of the book of Esther. Haman was a man of pride and his life shows us the truthfulness of God’s word. Proverbs 13:10 says, “By pride comes nothing but strife.” When Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman his pride was hurt and so he determined to kill all Jews (Esther 2:5-6). Pride produces strife. But there is another problem with pride: “when pride comes then comes shame…” (Proverbs 11:2). Haman was greatly shamed when the king told him to honor Mordecai (Esther 6: 1-12)....

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What is a Friend?

[122 words] A friend is someone who knows us and loves us in spite of all our faults. It is someone we can depend on even when it takes great effort on their part (think “Jesus”). A friend is someone we trust, respect and depend on in times of need as well as in the good times (Think “us” as we live for Jesus). A friend is someone we love and appreciate being with whether it is free time, work, or something of a more serious nature. We are glad you chose to be our friend today. We hope you...

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Negative Attitudes

[169 words] Christians must not allow themselves to live with negative, faultfinding and critical attitudes. Decide to be positive and spiritual in both feelings and attitudes. Start acting the way you want to be and should be. When you take that first step, you will see major changes in your life. It is first the action and then the feeling. Attitude is one of the gauges that shows God, others, and you the level of your spirituality. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the...

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Wickedness

[245 words] There are over 200 verses in the Bible which contain the words “the wicked.” The wicked, of course, practice “wickedness” and there are 121 occurrences of this word. Synonyms for wickedness are also numerous in scripture: “evil” (533 times), “iniquity” (229), “sin” (1467), and “malice” (6). In addition to these words we read of the contrast between “what is good and what is bad.” Goodness is the opposite of wickedness. The Bible is a book about the wickedness of mankind and the consequences of such. In Deuteronomy 9:4-5 God told the Jews that the reason He would destroy...

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The Twig

[257 words] “Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined.” — Alexander Pope, 1734. With all the education, all the psychoanalysis experts, and other so-called advancements in child raising, most of us parents still haven’t grasped what Alexander Pope was saying. If we want a straight growing tree, we make sure the tree is set upright at planting time. Then we check it in its early years to make sure nothing has caused it to lean or be damaged. William Pope was saying the same thing about bringing up children. If you want your son or daughter to have...

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What Is Your Life?

[143 words] Life truly begins once you become more loving, proud and boastful of others, than you ever are of self. When you see the needs and desires of others as foremost and any of your own as an afterthought. When you recognize that any beauty in the mirror is pale in comparison to the beauty in the world. When property and wealth become tools for the betterment of others and not something by which you measure or horde away. When a child’s smile drives and concretes one’s own. When a stranger is seen as a soul and not as...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 9:1-5

[43 words] “Then indeed, even the first covenant had __ of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.” “For a __ was prepared…” Name three things in the sanctuary. Behind the second veil was the __ of All. Name three things that were in the Ark of the Covenant. Solution: ordinances; tabernacle; lampstand, table, showbread; Holiest; manna, Aaron’s rod, tablets of the covenant. BulletinDigest.com...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 9:6-10

[79 words] “The priests __ went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.” How many times a year did the high priest go into the second part of the tabernacle? True or false: the high priest offered a blood sacrifice for both his and the people’s sin committed in ignorance. True or false: The sacrifice the high priest made was symbolic. True or false: The tabernacle sacrifices were concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances. Solution: always; once; true; true; true. BulletinDigest.com...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 9:11-15

[55 words] “But __ came as High Priest of the good things to come…” True or False: The greater and more perfect tabernacle is not of this creation. How many times did Christ enter the Most Holy Place with His own blood? Jesus is the __ of the new covenant. The promise under the new covenant is an  __ inheritance. Solution: Christ; true; once; Mediator; eternal. BulletinDigest.com...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 9:16-22

[60 words] “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the __ of the testator.” “For a testament is in force __ men are dead…” True or False: The first covenant was dedicated without blood.  “For when Moses had spoken every __ to all the people according to the law…” True or False: Without shedding of blood there is no remission. Solution: death; after; false; precept; true. BulletinDigest.com...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 9:23-28

[89 words] “Therefore it was necessary that the __ of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” True or False: Christ entered into heaven itself to appear in the presence of God for us. “…not that He should offer Himself __, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with the blood of another…” True or False: Each person will die once, and judgment will come after. “…so Christ was __ once to bear the sins of many…” Solution: copies; true; often; true; offered....

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Quotes and Sayings (December 2019)

[214 words] “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” — Bill Vaughan “We meet today To thank Thee for the era done, And Thee for the opening one.” — John Greenleaf Whittier “Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average. Which means you’ve met your New Year’s resolution.” — Jay Leno “Resolve to be happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” — Helen Keller “Every time you tear a...

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On the Lighter Side (December 2019)

[132 words] Punny New Year A New Year’s resolution is something that does in one year and out the other. Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up for New Year Eve, middle age is when you’re forced to. My New Year’s resolution is to help all my friends gain ten pounds so I look skinnier. I was going to quit all my bad habits for the new year, but then I remembered that nobody likes a quitter. I love when they drop the ball in Times Square. It’s a nice reminder of what I did all year. My New...

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