Looking Back, Pressing Forward

[333 words] As a new year approaches, many of us are reflecting upon the past year, and looking toward the hope and promise of what lies ahead. One passage we often turn to when thinking about hope for the future is Phil. 3:13-14. Paul talks about putting to rest things of the past, and pressing toward the future, ultimately the prize of heavenly reward! Putting away the things of the past can be very appealing to us. Sometimes we carry large burdens of pain, guilt, or stress that we are eager to dismiss from our lives. But when Paul says,...

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Good Fruit

[261 words] “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). My brother has worked over 35 years in a produce department. He knows fresh fruit when he sees it and he easily recognizes fraudulent freshness, too. Daily, he’ll pick through each piece determining if it’s genuine or not and if worthy to be displayed and marketed. Likewise, a healthy, vibrant, and delicious fruit bowl requires constant observation of its content by us. The physical fruit we eat will not stay fresh, we understand...

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New Year’s Resolutions

[340 words] Yes, it’s that time again. It is the time of year when we usually commit ourselves to several worthy goals. We do this because we want to make our lives and faith better. We want to improve and that is a worthy goal. I have noticed that most of our resolutions revolve around money, health, and family. While these are worthy goals, what would it look like if you could set the resolutions for the church or your family? I would venture to say that we would set a much more rounded, holistic set of resolutions. As I...

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Do You Believe?

[478 words] A brand new calendar year is upon us! As such it is a great time to evaluate where we stand in a number of different areas. Experts tell us that nine out of every ten “New Year’s Resolutions” will fail…and most of these failures occur by February. This means that for the average person, year after year, they abandon their plans of self improvement after a few short weeks. So, instead of creating some resolutions we will not likely keep, why don’t we take a different approach? Why not ask ourselves some important questions that, if acted upon,...

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Mother of Hope

[309 words] Recently, I wrote an article that was centered around a newborn baby named Hope Holets. Hope was born addicted to drugs and was adopted by the Albuquerque police officer who found her mother in the act of shooting up heroin. Since her adoption, Hope has gone through the agonizing, month-long process of drug withdrawal and is reported to be doing very well. Hope’s story has a happy ending. But the story of her biological mother, Crystal Champ, has not ended very well at all. Hope’s story has been shared around the world. One rehabilitation center in Florida took...

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A New Year with The Lord

[133 words] A new year is about to unfold, With new opportunities to explore. Doors will open for new experiences, New adventures with the Lord. Remember not the former things, The things of this past year. The Lord will do new things in us, Much more than we are aware. For He will make a way for us, As we put our trust in Him. And He will guide our every step, By His presence we have within. What God has placed within our hearts, We find we’ll be able to do. If we look for the opportunities, We’ll see...

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The Two Greatest Dangers in the Church Today

[394 words] In my opinion, the two greatest dangers in the Lord’s church today are that of ignorance and inactivity. Proper knowledge and actions are absolutely essential for a congregation to please the Lord. Consider that… …if a church does not have any biblical knowledge or any activity, then it is dead (or near-dead, anyway). In Revelation 3, the church at Smyrna thought it was alive, but it was dead, or at the very least, ready to die (v.1-2). James 2:26 reminds us, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” To...

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How to Make 2018 Better Than 2017

[455 words] The time for resolutions is here. If you are among those who like to refocus with the dawning of a new year, here are some ideas. Assess the Past Year. Self-examination is important and helpful. “Examine yourselves” is the admonition of 2 Corinthians 13:5. In the spirit of that passage, set aside some time to sit down in a quiet place and contemplate your life. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What temptations seem the hardest to fight? Aside from work obligations, how do you spend most of your time? How often do you pray? What are your...

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Is God Pleased With You?

[226 words] “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way…” (Colossians 1:10). We love because the Lord first loved us, though we were enemies to Him and separated from Him, and sent Jesus as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Christ’s love, therefore, is the motivating force behind all that we do, and from that love come our values of benevolence, edification, and evangelism. This is not just what we do; it is who we are as ‘Christians.’ All three values are wrapped up in...

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Do You Believe the Bible is True?

[210 words] “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). Jesus, the Word made flesh Himself, claims in His Word, that the Word of God is truth. Well, many worldly skeptics would argue that just because the Bible claims to be truth doesn’t make it so (even though they would accept that a boy identifying as a girl allows him to use a different restroom). But they have a point. We should not claim something about the Bible that it does not claim for itself or that God, while He made His dwelling among us, didn’t claim...

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Do You Follow God’s Son?

[175 words] “And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry…” (Luke 3:22-23). After many convincing proofs from His birth and childhood about who Jesus was, Luke, writing from his investigations and eyewitness accounts, ties in John’s role as a forerunner to the Messiah’s ministry and then gives the biggest endorsement of all: the Father’s seal of approval. Without that, Jesus would have just appeared as a carpenter from Galilee who, either through deception or lunacy, was...

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Who Do You Understand Jesus to Be?

[214 words] “Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:20-21). For centuries, God’s chosen people had been expecting a Savior, God Himself. In one of those passages, Isaiah had written over 700 years before that the Messiah would fulfill certain requirements: “The Spirit o the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me...

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National Clean Your Desk Day

[442 words] Cathy brought to my attention Monday morning that Jan. 8 was National “Clean Your Desk” Day. And just for those who have been terribly concerned about my desk “clutter”, here is a picture of my hard work Monday morning. Now just for clarification, I did not clean the desk because of a “National Day”, but I did recognize that it was long overdue. When you find papers at the bottom of a pile dated 2013, then it is really long overdue! Maybe this should become one of my New Year resolutions! As I looked at my clean desk...

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True Food

[157 words] I’ve been told that there’s a health-food restaurant in the northeast with a billboard that says. “Eat here and live a long life!” Not wanting to be outdone, the barbecue place next door put up a sign that reads: “Eat here and die happy! Food is essential to each of us, without it we die. What bread is to hunger, Jesus is to spiritual life. After miraculously feeding bread and fish to 5,000 people, Jesus spoke of a superior bread that every person must feed on when he declared in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life;...

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Our Creator

[112 words] With various shapes and colors Of flowers, trees, and birds, To say there is no God Is really quite absurd. Try to count the stars, The number quickly mounts; God, however, does it, The many stars He counts. (Psalm 147:4) The hair that’s on your head, How many strands are there? Your God is one who knows, He can count every hair. (Matthew 10:30) God knows when sparrows drop, No more songs to sing, While He knows all about us Every little thing. (Matthew 10:29) How great is our Creator, Let us look about to see All the...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (January 2018)

[227 words] All in How You View It An optimist stays up to see the New Year in. A pessimist waits to make sure the old one leaves. Perfect Timing The last time we changed from daylight saving time, a preacher friend posted, “For those who habitually show up 15 minutes late to church, allow me to remind you that tonight is the night you set your clock back 45 minutes.” Half It Your Way The food at the sandwich shop I frequent is good, but any deviation from the norm throws the staff. I once told a clerk that...

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