Handprints Aren’t So Bad After All

[347 words] The bags were packed, goodbye’s were said, and the children were excited as they prepared to go with their grandparents for a few days to Tennessee. My wife and I do not take a lot of overnight trips where we’ll be apart, but on this occasion she and the kids had an opportunity to spend a few days with her parents while I stayed home to attend a week-long seminar class. As they pulled out of the drive, I closed the door and turned toward the empty house. As I turned, an item on the couch caught my...

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Dealing With Controversy

[86 words] A cartoon showed an old man in a rocking chair. As he rocked, loud squeaks could be heard. After several attempts to get rid of the squeaks, the angry man got his shotgun and blew the chair to splinters. In the final frame the old man is walking away, but the squeaks were still there. They were his knees! Sometimes the problems that exist in the church are in ourselves. Before we destroy everything else, we need to determine whether we are part of the problem. The Informer. Vol. 66, No. 42via Faulkner University Preacher Talk...

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Curiosity About the Bible

[431 words] Curiosity is an exciting aspect of life. Parents love to see their children explore and discover their world. Likewise, teachers enjoy seeing students come to class with curiosity and a hunger for learning. Curiosity about the Bible is expected and natural as well. Who can help but be moved to seek answers to questions about a book that claims to be “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16,17)? As is the case with curiosity in general, curiosity about the Bible has healthy and unhealthy aspects. Let’s think about those for just a few minutes. Healthy curiosity about the Bible… • Can...

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What Are We Leaving Behind?

[303 words] We are all familiar with news stories that highlight the “less than genius” decisions made by certain law breakers. Sometimes there are valuable lessons to be learned from these blunders. One particular criminal had been in jail for a short period of time when he was released. However, only a couple of hours after he had posted bail, he was arrested again. This time he was charged with two counts of burglary. What happened? Why was he arrested again so quickly after being set free? It was all about what he left behind. At the first home he...

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Can Any Good Come From Stress?

[549 words] Samuel was one of the best men in the Bible. We read about his good life of faith and justice in 1 Samuel, but it is a statement made hundreds of years later about him that tells us just how godly a man he was. In Jeremiah’s day the people of Judah were so wicked that no amount of praying could save the nation from punishment. God even told Jeremiah not to pray for them (Jer. 11:14). To make this point stronger, God said that even if Moses and Samuel were alive and pleaded with him to spare...

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The Lure of Egypt’s Leeks

[228 words] “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1). It was in Egypt that the Israelites groaned in their slavery. It was to Egypt that many of the rescued Israelites wanted to return while tired of wandering in the desert. It was to Egypt that God told them they were never to return or seek help from, and yet, by verse 5, God reveals the awful truth: “Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent?” This would be the...

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Two Scrawny Frogs

[403 words] A man who had just purchased his first house in the country came into town and asked the owner of a restaurant if he could use a million frog legs. The proprietor asked where he could find so many frogs. “I’ve got a pond at home just full of them,” the homeowner replied. “they drive me crazy night and day.” After they made an agreement for several hundred frogs, the farmer went back home. He returned a week later with two scrawny frogs and a sheepish grin on his face. “I guess I was wrong,” he stammered. “There’s...

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It’s Father’s Day Again!

[278 words] When they came home from school, the first words out of our children’s mouths was, “Where’s mom?” l would usually hear, “Where’s Dad?” when money was needed or a parental decision was required. Such is the common pecking order in a typical family. Moms are always needed. Dads? Well, perhaps not so much, until maybe there’s a loud thunderstorm, or when there’s something lurking outside their bedroom window, or when the bike is broken, or when they want to get their driver’s license, or…well, you get the idea. We dads sort of figure that “need” and “love” go...

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The Importance of Honoring Our Parents

[369 words] Jesus’ mother, Mary, witnessed the crucifixion from the foot of the cross. Despite his agony, Jesus told his best friend, John, to take care of his mom, and to his mother he said, let John stand in my place as your son. John lived a very long life, and I believe he took care of Mary until she went to heaven. I find it important that while Jesus was bearing the weight of the sins of the whole world on the cross, He took out the time to make sure His mother was taken care of after He...

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Jesus is THE Prophet of God

[208 words] Moses told the people of God that a prophet was coming – a prophet whose words would carry with them a weight that would be remembered by God for all eternity (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; John 12:48). This coming prophet would continue to be the cornerstone, central focus and continuing hope for the people of God for nearly 1,500 years until there was a fervor amongst the angels and prophets of God – a fervor that had never before been seen over the birth of such a seemingly insignificant child (Luke 1:59-80; 2:8-38). The prophet had arrived. Never failing to...

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Let Go, But Hold On

[418 words] There is this new movie, Frozen, which is a big hit with my kids, and a lot of others as well. One of the main story lines is about this princess born with great power, but she lives in fear of discovery. Her parents keep her hidden away in solitude. There comes a day when her power is revealed and she runs away to break free. When she is alone on a mountain top she sings a song of freedom from fear and freedom from having to be perfect. Ultimately it is a song of embracing the power...

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Being Men of Leadership

[200 words] As a husband and father, I constantly find myself having to reevaluate my schedule and priorities. You see, our culture pushes us to give more and more of ourselves, even to the sacrifice of other things in our lives. It is for this reason, that I believe men of God tend to neglect the “little things” of spirituality within their homes like: 1. Directing a family Bible study. 2. Turning the TV off to spend “quality time” with the family. 3. Looking for opportunities to demonstrate service for one’s children. 4. Taking time to really listen and provide...

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The Empty Tomb

[376 words] The first attempt to escape the fact of the resurrection of Jesus was the attempt of the chief priests who tried to explain why the tomb was empty! The guards reported to the priests, and even these Jewish leaders did not question the report that the tomb was empty! They did not even go to see if the tomb was really empty; they knew it was! If they did go to the tomb to see, there is no record of such a trip. Suppose they did go to see for themselves, would they not have found it either...

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The Story of Evil

[375 words] “Behold, he travails with wickedness, and he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood. He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, and has fallen into the hole which he made. His mischief will return upon his own head, and his violence will descend upon his own pate”(Ps. 7:14-16). View carefully these three metaphoric pictures of evil and watch its horrid story unfold. First, evil is a terrible birth of a sinister idea. “Behold, he travails with wickedness, and he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood” (Ps. 7:14). As we picture a birth, it is usually within the...

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People and Challenges

[402 words] Why is that so many people take the challenge to run in a marathon, but won’t enter the race of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)? Why is it that so many people develop the skill of self control to engage in an athletic contest, but fail to develop that skill when it comes to their spiritual life (1 Corinthians 9:27)? Why is it that so many people can read for hours in books that are difficult to read as well as interpret, yet neglect reading the Bible, which was intended to be read and understood (Ephesians 3:4; 2 Timothy 3:15)?...

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Forgiving and Forgetting

[228 words] Henry Ward Beecher once said, “I can forgive, but I cannot forget.” Isn’t it wonderful that God both forgives and forgets when he forgives our sins? Hebrews 10:17 says of God, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” God expects us to do the same when it comes to forgiving others. Jesus Christ once taught, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). Yet too many of us feel like...

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It’s a Bad World, But…

[141 words] A third century man nearing death wrote to a friend: “It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world but I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are Christians, and I am one of them.” Romans 8:35-37: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall...

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Personal Responsibility

[119 words] Am I really responsible? If there were only two verses in scriptures, I believe this question would be answered. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). And, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has...

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Hell

[231 words] The prison house of despair.Here are some things that will not be there:No flowers win bloom on the banks of HELL,No beauties of nature, we love so well;No comforts of home, music and song,No friendship or joy will be found in that throng;No children to brighten that long dreary night,No love or peace, not one ray of light;No blood-washed soul with face beaming bright,No loving smile in that region of night;No mercy, no pity, pardon nor grace.No water, o’ God, what a terrible place!The pangs of the lost no human can tell,Not one moment’s ease, there is no...

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There Was a Man…

[405 words] There was a manWho walked this landAnd passed through Galilee.He crossed the fields,Plucked corn for mealsAnd walked upon the sea. Despised of men,Yet without sin,He taught them truth and love.With smiling faceHe told of graceWhich came from God above. Three years He taughtTo turn from naughtTo riches in the sky,To turn from sinAnd start againTo trust the God on high. The chosen raceHad shown disgraceAnd needed to repent.He chose twelve menFrom the world of sinAnd with His gospel sent. While serving Christ,They were enticed,But followed all the way.They stood steadfastUntil at lastThe mob took Him away. He was...

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Your Jericho

[426 words] “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days” (Hebrews 11:30). Forty years before, twelve spies were sent on a reconnaissance mission to see what the land of Canaan was like. The spies returned with reports of a land flowing with milk and honey, but a land filled with fortified cities, strong peoples, and the descendants of giants. The Israelites had just escaped slavery in the land of Egypt and had witnessed the mighty power of God, but their hearts withered now in fear. Only two men, Joshua and Caleb, had...

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Spirit, Help My Weakness

[354 words] Help my weakness of virtue. A primary weakness that we notice about ourselves is our moral weakness, our weakness in the face of temptation. Jesus noted that, like when we want to stay awake but drift into sleep anyway, we are susceptible to the weakness of our fleshly cravings. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt. 26:41). May the Spirit help us when we are tempted to sin. Help my weakness in hope. In the context of Romans 8, in which the teaching “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” appears, the immediate subject matter...

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He That Blasphemeth the Name of the Lord

[503 words] “And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of lsrael strove together in the camp;And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan). And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed...

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Signals

[202 words] While driving to work while the traffic was really slow, I noticed a garden umbrella behind a fence that carried the name of a beer company. One could assume that the owner really liked that brand of beer; or maybe it was a free gift which he took advantage of. The point is, it sent a signal to all who passed that way. After a very short conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well, she said to Jesus, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet” (John 4:19). Jesus’ words sent a strong signal to her. We...

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Getting What You Want

[394 words] Two little teardrops were floating down the river of life. One teardrop asked the other, “Who are you?” “I’m a teardrop from a girl who loved a man and lost him. But who are you?” The first teardrop replied, “I’m a teardrop from the girl who got him.” Life is like that. We cry over the things we cannot have, but we might cry twice as much if we received them. There is ample proof, even apart from the Bible, that receiving what we want does not always work for the best. Take, for instance, Buddy Post of...

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Fishers

[281 words] “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks” (Jeremiah 16:16). The verses that follow speak of God punishing Judah for her repeated departures from His will. Consequently, the mission the Lord had for these fishers and hunters evidently was to round up all of the disobedient in Judah, especially those who might have escaped to the wilderness areas of Judea, and carry them...

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‘But Amnon Had a Friend’

[394 words] “And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil” (2 Sam. 13:1-3). The choices we make relative to relationships can have eternal consequences (positive-negative). This was certainly...

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How to Be Content

[427 words] In Philippians 4:11, the apostle Paul said he learned “how to be content.” How did he do that? Over his years living the Christian life, Paul learned contentment does not depend upon circumstances. Happiness in life can exist in poverty or in riches. It is not the presence or absence of money that determines whether people can be happy. Instead, it is learning contentment without any circumstances at all. In Philippians 4:12, Paul wrote, “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (June 2014)

[374 words] A none-too-alert motorist sat motionless behind the wheel of his car. The traffic signal changed from green to yellow to red and back to green again. Still he sat staring ahead. Whereupon a police officer approached the absentminded man and demanded: “Mister, don’t we have any colors you like?” – There is a charming story concerning the noble statesman, William Ewart Gladstone. Crossing the frontier between France and Belgium, he was interrogated by an officious customs officer: “Have you anything to declare?” “Only a bunch of grapes,” replied the Englishman. The officer countered, “You cannot pass with those...

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