The ‘Syndrome’ Syndrome

[725 words] The concept of sin has all but disappeared from modem society. We have become quite skilled in justifying our sins. It seems we can always find an excuse or a scapegoat to blame for, and excuse, our bad behavior. One of the most popular ways to do this nowadays is by dismissing our disobedience by blaming an addiction or syndrome of some kind. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Third Edition, Revised) lists the following “disorders:” Conduct Disorder: “a persistent pattern of conduct in which the basic rights of others and major age appropriate societal norms...

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When Dressing, Put on a Smile!

[424 words] We live in a time when fashions can become obsessions with us. Garments are constantly changing style as the fashion designers dictate what the “respectable” people will be wearing this season. And some Christians seem to be caught up in the whirlwind of flashy clothes and all the trinkets that go with them. Sure, God wants us to be properly clothed at all times, but it becomes very easy to take advantage of the accessibility of clothes and become nothing more than breathing mannequins. Christians must allow the purity of the Christian heart to decide what will be...

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What Comes First?

[191 words] Even before his outstanding years as Harding University’s quarterback, Tom Ed Gooden was noted by the Arkansas Gazette as being the best high school quarterback in his district. The newspaper ran a picture of Tom Ed with the caption, “Not On Wednesday.” It seems that another school had tried to schedule a game with his team, Carlisle, Arkansas, on Wednesday evening. But, his coach replied that they couldn’t do it. “My quarterback is a member of the church of Christ,” he said, “and he goes to church on Wednesday nights. He won’t miss for any reason, and I...

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Our Spokesmen?

[534 words] Being ridiculed for our beliefs is a burden Christians must bear. This is not easy but it should not be a surprise. If Jesus was mocked and the early church was called a sect, why should we expect the world to understand us? It is natural to feel frustrated at times. Christians are misrepresented constantly on television and there is little we can do. We have the truth, but it seems the other side always has a bigger voice. We feel cheated and long for someone to sit behind a microphone or stand in front of a camera...

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Don’t Forget to Use All Your Strength

[138 words] A father was watching his young son struggle to lift a heavy rock. The little fellow grunted and strained, but couldn’t move it. The father said, “Son, are you sure you are using all your strength?” The exhausted boy said, “Yes, I am!” The father replied, “No, you are not. You haven’t asked me to help you.” How true is this illustration! We grunt and struggle with our burdens in this earthly life, often forgetting the Father in heaven is always willing to aid us. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,...

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Longest Speech, Shortest Term

[327 words] The shortest inaugural address was George Washington’s second, in 1793, and it was comprised of 193 words! William Henry Harrison, though raised a cultured, educated man, campaigned on a folksy ticket symbolized by the log cabin. To set a different, more cultured tone for his presidency, Harrison decided to give a lengthy, erudite speech on a bitterly cold, early March day in 1841. He spoke for nearly two hours, doing so without benefit of a topcoat or hat. Historians are generally agreed that Harrison’s motivation was to show himself not be a country bumpkin or simpleton. While it...

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Confidence!

[254 words] I love the way the apostle Paul describes the younger preacher Timothy. He liked to brag about this man to others. When he wrote to the church in Philippi, here’s what he said about Timothy: “I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. But you know of his proven worth that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father” (Phil. 2:20-22). Paul obviously had a lot of confidence in...

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Beware Small Problems

[232 words] Take some snow and form it into a ball. Roll the ball downhill and it will get bigger and bigger. The faster it rolls, the faster it becomes a danger. It’s even possible for a deadly avalanche start from the effects of just one small snowball. Take a small problem in a church such as a growing dislike by a few for doing good works. Ignore it and the problem will spread. More and more people will stop doing good works for King Jesus. Soon, the entire congregation is a massive body of inactivity. But there’s more to...

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That’s What I’ll Look Like When I’m Dead

[163 words] There was a lady who had to show her driver’s license at a store for identification, and she told the cashier, “Please don’t pay any attention to that picture, it’s awful! I guess that’s what I’ll look like when I’m dead.” Staring at the picture, the cashier said, “Oh, they’II make you look a lot better than that!” We spend a lot of time worrying about our outward appearance, don’t we? And yet the most important thing about us is who we are on the inside. In fact, that is what God notices about us! As God told...

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Which Way Are You Going?

[271 words] Sometimes there are clues which help us to determine which way people are going. A man with a fishing pole and tackle box is going to the pond or lake; a boy with an armload of books is headed for school; a man carrying a lunch box or briefcase is headed for work. In religion we can tell which way some are going by: The company they keep. To run with a worldly crowd can result in worldly behavior (1 Cor. 15:33). The places they go. When Sunday outings and trips interfere with worship services then someone is...

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Worship in Song

[423 words] As a preacher I often sit and look around at the people who are singing. We are singing songs of praise to the God of the universe. We stand in awe at the power and majesty of God. We know this is the same God who created the universe and who will bring it to an end. This is the same God who raised Jesus from the dead and we are so happy that He did. We believe He is able to raise us from the dead also. We sing praise to God. We also are singing the...

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Healthy Living

[279 words] It seems increasingly difficult to know what is and what is not good for us. When blood cholesterol levels were first identified, we were told that butter was bad for us. Now we are told that butter is better for us than margarine (trans-fatty acids, you see). Eggs were bad, now they are good (“nature’s perfect food,” some say). This preacher wonders: Will worrying about our health (what we eat, etc.) possibly lead to high blood pressure? John suggested a better approach to life. His prayer for Gaius was, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest...

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Fan the Flame of Your Faith!

[642 words] The fire began to burn low, so he got another log and put it in the fireplace. Those who wish to remain warm normally do this. Flames burn their fuel and, without additional fuel, they will go out. Timothy needed a boost; his zeal to use God’s spiritual gift had declined. We do not know the specifics of this miraculous gift, but it had come from the Holy Spirit through Paul for a purpose. Paul gently advised Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the...

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How Do You Approach God?

[207 words] “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Heb. 12:28-29). This description of acceptable worship begins many verses before with a very impressive list of descriptors for God’s dwelling place, then God, then Jesus, and then the power of His will through His voice. Two instructions are given to those who “have come to” Him: “See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks” and “let us…worship God acceptably.” We get the idea,...

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True Joy Was Never His

[414 words] Buck Owens has always been my favorite country singer. Throughout his career he had 21 number one songs, and 15 of those were consecutive hits. For 17 years he starred on the television show “Hee Haw,” from 1969 till 1986. In 1996 he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was also an astute business man, owning several radio stations and a record producing company. When he died in 2006 his total assets were worth one hundred million dollars. Yet, toward the end of his life Mr. Owens reportedly said, “You know, I’ve got everything...

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Look To God and Ask for Strength

[291 words] No rocket scientist is needed here to explain that we are living in challenging times. Many of us are not accustomed to adversity, at least not openly. Human nature, for the most part, is to prefer for things running smoothly, no hitches, no glitches. Roll with the flow, but some things are beyond our control. No, no one enjoys difficult times. Yet, ultimately, they can have some positive effect. By choice, that positive effect should be maximized for the greater good of the heavenly kingdom. God can help us through difficult times to become stronger and more effective...

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Lost Pit Viper

[332 words] “Danger: We believe there may be a dangerous pit viper lost somewhere in the apartment complex. Please watch where you step!” This may sound like the first line from a low-budget horror movie, but for some renters in South Carolina it is all too real. Management at an apartment complex found a snakeskin from a dangerous gaboon pit viper on their grounds and delivered the news to residents this past week. Immediately, residents asked how a dangerous snake from Africa ended up in their backyard. One of the prevailing theories to this question so far is that someone...

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The World’s Most Important Book

[188 words] What was billed as the world’s most expensive new book went on display in 2008 at the New York Public Library. There are more expensive old books, but this is a new book produced by the Italian publisher Marilena Ferrari. Its cost: over $100,000! The book depicts the life and work of Michelangelo, including photographs of his drawings and sculptures, creations from the Sistine Chapel, and his personal poetry. It weighs sixty-two pounds, has a front cover of white marble, and is covered with red silk velvet. Its paper is from one of Italy’s oldest paper mills—the mill...

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The CHURCH of CHRIST

[74 words] The church spoken of in the Bibleis the product of the mind of God.It exists without man-made creedsor denominational structure.It is the church that belongs to Himby right of purchase.The church of Christ hereis striving to be that body.Our purpose is to reach the lostand bring people to a loving, committed,involved relationship with Christ and His church.Welcome to the church of Christ! via Hinton (OK) Church of Christ...

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Speak, Speak, Then Speak Again

[158 words] Fair topic of talk is today’s weather,The rain, tornadoes, cold and heat,And, mostly for men, in sports whetherThis team or that will win the meet. Then comes chat about dramas and series,Movies, actors, and famous folk,Jobs, economy, political theories,Cars and clothes, the inevitable joke. But talk of hope and life beyondThe grave? The spirit’s deepest need?Of faith and works, and how to respondTo Jesus Christ with urgent speed? Where is our talk of these, my friends?Confessing Christ to all we meet?Reminding all that what one spendsOr saves or wears or drives is no feat Worthy of God’s approving...

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A Vivid Memory

[219 words] The purpose of our meeting at the Lord’s Table each week is to bring to remembrance the eternal plan of God to offer His Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. In the ages before Christ’s time, God’s people had offered animal sacrifices to have their sins rolled forward, but the blood of animals could not take away their sins. This is where God’s plan came into effect. He would offer His Son as a sacrifice and His blood would be the agent to wash away all sins. The scriptures tell us that we have...

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Looking Good and Being Good

[609 words] I have owned 12 vehicles before my current car, which is a Scion xB. Included in that list are a number of”luxury” brands, including Audi, BMW, Infiniti, and Mercedes Benz. One would assume that when I identify the best vehicle I have ever owned (with my current Scion xB not being eligible, since I do not know how well it will fare in the long run), I would definitely name one of those luxury brands, as opposed to a Ford, Mercury, or Volkswagen. Ironically, however, the best car I have ever owned (based on my standard of dependability...

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The Value of a Godly Grandparent

[119 words] Godly grandparents are an uncommon commodity. They share the one thing that each new generation needs—advice learned through experience. Few parents like to be told how to raise their child, but advice asked for and advice needed is two different things. When it comes to advice needed, godly grandparents need to do three things: remind their own children about the importance of raising up their child in the footsteps of Jesus, remind their own children about the importance of raising up their child in the footsteps of Jesus, and remind their own children about the importance of raising...

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Calamity Cain

[422 words] In 1852, Martha Jane Cannary, a.k.a., Calamity Jane, was born. When she was 14 years of age her mother died, and then just one year later her father passed away. Following his death, Calamity Jane found work as a scout at Fort Russell. She was well known for being a good shot and an outdoors adventurer. There are many speculations on how she got her nickname, none of which can be factually verified. However, one thing is certain: Calamity seemed to strike this western frontierswoman everywhere she went. There is another famous individual that was known for his...

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Truth is Incontrovertible

[273 words] The Master said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Sir Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” That first sentence, “The truth is incontrovertible,” almost jumped off the page when l read it! What did Churchill mean when he said that truth is “incontrovertible?” Hidden away in the word “incontrovertible” (controver) is the word “controversy.” When Mr. Churchill said that truth is “incontrovertible,” he was saying that trust...

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Am I Your Enemy…?

[393 words] (Galatians 4:16) …if l encourage you (as a young adult) to work through emotions and look realistically (as much as possible) upon the person you are about to marry? …if l note your sincerity and effort in serving Christ and compliment you at every chance I get? …if I take note of your hesitancy and embarrassment in answering Bible question and I try to help you to learn more? …if I see talent within you as a teacher of children or adults, and I encourage you to develop your skills and “launch out” in faith and begin teaching?...

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Who is a Servant?

[247 words] He gave himself, making the ultimate sacrifice—dying—for others; he willingly laid down his life because of his love for the whole world. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…” (Jn. 3:16). Jesus declared, “I lay down my life for the sheep…No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord” (John 10:15, 18). Christ experienced the “suffering of death,” and by God’s grace tasted death for everyone (Heb. 2:9). The Lord said he came to serve (Mt. 20:28). Indeed, the Word left heaven, came to earth, took on...

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Un-Slumping Yourself

[451 words] Most every night, I sit down with my son and read him a bedtime story. He likes to hear some of the stories over and over, and I get so tired of some of them, to be honest. However, there is one that I don’t mind reading over and over. It’s the Dr. Seuss book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! It is a story about traveling through the adventures, struggles, and victories of life. In one of my favorite sections, the story talks about experiencing the bumps and bruises that come in the journey of life. You’ll be...

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Happiness is a Choice

[156 words] Kenneth Joines lost his beloved wife Jan. I can only imagine what those who have suffered such loss are experiencing, but I do appreciate what he has written about it. “This year was the second anniversary without her. I have decided I have two choices: I can shed tears because she is gone, or I can smile because she lived. I can cry because of what she took away, or I can open my eyes and see what all she has left. My heart can be empty because she is not here or it can be full because...

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Why I Go To Worship

[64 words] 1. I want to go, and I am wanted. 2. I need to go, and I am needed. 3. I had rather be there than anywhere else. 4. People will follow my example. 5. My soul is strengthened by the teaching. 6. My heart is warmed by the spiritual songs. 7. I am prepared to teach others. 8. I hunger and thirst after righteousness....

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (July 2014)

[396 words] A little boy and his daddy were looking at a litter of puppies, planning to buy one, and the daddy asked the boy which one he wanted. The lad pointed to a pup whose tail was wagging furiously and said, “That one with the happy ending!” – How Adam Had It Easy 1. He is the only man who has never been compared to the man she could have married. 2. He had no in-laws to drop in. 3. There were no “Jones” for him to keep up with. 4. There were no credit cards or shopping centers....

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