An Act of Real Faith

  [278 words] After reading about Jeremiah, I have no right to complain about my lot in life as a preacher. The fact is, I never had the right to complain (Philippians 2:14). God did not give Jeremiah a choice to be a prophet, and times were very bad for good people (Jer. 1:1-10). His message was not only unpopular; it was viewed as treasonous (Jer. 32:2-5). He was a prisoner because of his unpopular messages. Then, while he was in prison, while Babylon had already started the siege for the inevitable destruction of Jerusalem, God tells Jeremiah to buy...

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Mothers, the Lord, and Baseball

  [413 words] It is my good fortune in life to be blessed with a faithful Christian mother. My mother has blessed my life in more ways than I can count. Without her influence and godly example, I might not be a Christian or have a Christian family of my own. I will be forever grateful for the impact my mother has had on my life. If you have been blessed with a Christian mother, I am certain you share these same sentiments. There is no doubt that heaven will be populated with people whose lives have been shaped by...

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‘This Woman was Taken in Adultery, in the Very Act’

  [320 words] “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act” (John 8:3-4). I’m not sure why I chose the story of the adulterous woman brought to Jesus for my personal study this morning (cf. John 8:1-11). Maybe its because I, as I reflect upon my past judgments of others, treated them as did those scribes and Pharisees. Maybe its because I, like this woman, have felt the loneliness and guilt...

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Preparing for Prayer

  [187 words] Talking to the Creator is beyond human comprehension. We’re lifted up when we humble ourselves before him (James 4:10), because our sins can close the ears of God (Luke 18:9-14; Isaiah 59:1-2). Prayer requires preparation because approaching God isn’t a casual affair. The solemnity and reverence in the Father’s throne room in Revelation 4-5 can touch us deeply. Let’s pause and consider the beauty of God’s creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1, NKJV). “The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 33:5). Reverent prayer...

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What Does it Mean to Be Loved by a Father?

  [368 words] What does it mean to be loved by a father? Let the apostle John answer. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1 NKJV). “Behold” See, behold, and understand. God wants us to understand how he loves us. He wants us to see all the ways God has shown his love toward us. God created man to be like him by giving him an immortal soul. God wanted us to be like him, but Genesis chapter three demonstrates just how unlike our father...

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Hand in Hand, a Child and I

  [127 words] Dear Lord, I do not ask that thou shouldst give Me some high work of thine, Some noble calling or some wondrous task. Give me a little hand to hold in mine; Give me a little child to point the way over the strange, sweet path that leads to thee; Give me a little voice to teach to pray; Give me two shining eyes thy face to see The only crown I ask, dear Lord, to wear is this: That I may teach a little child. I do not ask that I should ever stand among the...

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What Could I Preach?

  [296 words] “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body” (Eph. 5: 23). Suppose I should want to preach on some subject pertaining to Christ but not talk about the church, what could I preach? If I should preach about the headship of Christ, I would have to tell about that of which he is the head, and that is his church (Col. 1:18). If I should preach about him as our Savior, I would have to tell that he is...

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The Greatest Gift of All

  [245 words] A long time ago in Persia, a benevolent ruler named Shah Abbis reigned. To get to know his people better, he wore disguises to mingle among them. One day, he went as a poor man to the public baths, and sat by the fireman tending the furnace. At mealtime, he shared his food, and talked to the poor man as to a friend. Again and again, he visited the fireman until the man grew to love him. Finally, the emperor revealed his identity to the fireman. The emperor expected the fireman to request a gift of him....

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Behold, the Lamb of God

  [320 words] Sin has a way of demanding our attention. Whether it is a sin someone has committed against us or our falling prey to our own evil desires (James 1:14), sin has a way of becoming our focus. All sin is against God and carries with it the spiritual death sentence demanded by God’s holiness (Rom 6:23b; 7:11-12). This makes sin in our lives and in our world a truly important fact to be understood. We must let God’s word point out sin so that we are conscious of it (Rom 3:20). However, sin, regardless if it is...

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Important Facts About the Bible

  [258 words] Following are four important facts about the Bible that we should all know. The Bible is the ONLY Book that came to us from the mind of God. All other books were produced merely by human beings. The Bible comes from God’s mind and was revealed through human agents (apostles and prophets) guided by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 2:6-13; Gal. 1:11-12; Eph. 3:1-5). The Bible is the ONLY Book that comes to us from the heart of God. In speaking of God’s people in Rom. 9:23-26, Paul notes that God has called out his people to...

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Praising God for Humbling Opportunities

  [251 words] “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”’ (James 4:6) Life is filled with humbling circumstances. Some of these are instances that we bring upon ourselves, while others are out of our control. They are moments when the right thing to do is to swallow our pride and humble our spirits, yet to do so can be the most difficult part of the entire ordeal. Pride is a strange emotion in that it often seems disconnected with logic and reason. People can be filled with pride when...

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You Scrumptious Beast

  [183 words] There are so many ways we can find ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s schemes. He is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. And he does not starve. There is always someone. There are always Christians who are having the off-days–and Satan knows how to make a bad day much worse. You are a scrumptious beast to him. Oh, but it can’t happen to YOU. Right? The Bible often warns us of the dangers surrounding us, but the greatest danger is what we do not notice about God’s word. “Therefore, we must give the more earnest heed to the...

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F.E.A.R.

  [370 words] Fear–a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. One of the things that causes many in the world today to fear is the “What if…” What if our worst fear were to come true? What if I lose everything? What if my friends leave me? What if my parents divorce? What if I lose the game? What if…. What if…. What if… I saw a saying today: F.E.A.R. has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run, OR Face Everything And Rise. The choice is ours. We face many storms throughout our lives. These storms can cause...

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Freedom from Sin: Before or After?

  [105 words] Read Exodus 14:9-31 and 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. Now, when did Egypt lose their power over Israel? Before or after Israel was baptized into Moses? When did Israel find their freedom from bondage? Before or after they were baptized into Moses? How did Israel end up receiving their God-given freedom from slavery? By faith before being baptized into Moses, or by faith after being baptized into Moses? Now think about those answers and exchange Egypt with Satan, Israel with your name and Moses with Jesus, then read Romans 6:1-18 and answer the same questions to figure out if...

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Just a Number?

  [231 words] There is an old story of a census taker who was making his rounds in the lower East side of New York, who interviewed an Irish woman bending over her washtub. “Lady, I am taking the census. What’s your name? How many children do you have?” She replied, “Well, let me see. My name is Mary. And then there’s Marcia, and Duggie, and Amy, and Patrick, and…” “Never mind the names,” he broke in, “just give me the numbers.” She straightened up, hands on hips, and with a twinkle in her eye, said, “I’ll have ye know,...

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Lessons from the Ant

  [229 words] The Book of Proverbs has so many wonderful lessons for us today. One of my favorite passages is Proverbs 6:6-11 wherein King Solomon said: “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep–So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like...

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Anger and Grief

  [176 words] The Bible has much to say in regard to anger and the life of the disciple of Jesus Christ (cf. Eph. 4:26, 31; Prov. 14:17; 15:18; James 1:19-20; Gal. 5:20; Titus 1:7; 1 Tim. 3:2-3; et. al.). And yet, with all of the Biblical evidence and information, most of us seem to be pretty good at justifying our continued (and prolonged) fits of anger. Let us consider the example of Jesus. When the Pharisees were looking for an opportunity to accuse Him (Mark 3:2), the Bible tells us that Jesus “looked around at them with anger, grieved...

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What God Has Done for You

  [233 words] “Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf!” (Psalm 66:5).  We’ve just been talking about the righteousness that Jesus gained for us while we were enemies of God and dead in our sins.  Because He loved us so much, He sent His only and beloved Son to die on our behalf.  Those who had earned death are given hope that we can rejoice in!  It is only natural, then, that a category of psalms is that of prayers of the community for God’s saving help.  God has done incredible things.  If...

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Why Christians are One in Christ

  [69 words] • We have the same Lord (Romans 10:12; Ephesians 4:5). • We were redeemed by the same blood (Ephesians 1:7). • We obeyed the same gospel (Romans 1:16; Galatians 1:6-9). • We were added to the same church (Acts 2:41,47). • We are heirs of the same promises (Acts 2:39). • We are united to the same head (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22). • We worship the same God (John 4:24). • We all have the same Father (Ephesians 4:6; Romans 8:16-18). • We hope for the same heavenly home (John 14:1-6). via Findlay church of Christ Sparta,...

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My Rules for Life

  [278 words] (1) I try never to say anything behind a man’s back that would give me the least embarrassment to say to his face. (2) I try never to speak back to personal critics. Friends do not need to hear the defense and enemies would not believe it. (3) Every day I greet every person I see with a smile and make a special effort if one is poor or in unfortunate circumstances. (4) The first thing when I awake in the morning I plan what my duty for the day is and try to go beyond it....

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The Most Important One

  [95 words] It is said when the famous missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, started his trek across Africa, he had 73 books in three packs weighing 180 pounds. After the party had gone 300 miles, Livingstone was obliged to throw away some of the books because of the fatigue of those carrying the baggage. As he continued on his journey, his library grew less and less, until he had but one book left: his Bible. Truly today the Bible is the one book humanity cannot do without. “I will delight myself in thy statues; I will not forget thy word”...

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Who’s in Charge?

  [217 words] A certain sea captain and his chief engineer argued as to which of them was more important to the ship. Failing to agree, they resorted to a unique plan of swapping places. The chief engineer ascended to the bridge and the captain went to the engine room. After a couple of hours the captain suddenly appeared on the deck covered with oil and soot. “Chief!” he yelled, wildly waving aloft a monkey wrench. “You’ll have to come down here; I can’t make her go!” “Of course you can’t,” replied the chief. “We’re aground!” That argument between the...

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Humility

[197 words] Many years ago it was not uncommon for individuals to close letters and correspondence with “very humbly yours,” or “Your humble servant,” or some other such phrasing which emphasized the humility of the writer. In today’s world, however, such wording is scarcely seen. Humility has become an unpopular virtue with most individuals. We have become a society of publicity seekers and self-servers. Such attitudes were not characteristic of Christ. The Lord “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant…He humbled Himself… ” (Philippians 2:7,8). The Lord did not call attention to Himself....

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Researching Your Family Tree

[332 words] Have you seen the commercials advertising for Ancestry.com? Every time that I watch those ads I want to sign up for their service to search out my family history. That kind of thing just fascinates me. I remember a few years ago being at Ellis Island in New York and seeing a book with the names of people who immigrated here years ago. There were four names in that book with the last name “Richey.” I figure that they’re my relatives. This morning I read about a couple of guys that were talking about family histories when one...

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It’s Best Said In What You Do

[190 words] There are times when we find those around us suffering. When a friend gets the call no one ever wants to get, the diagnosis comes back worse than expected, when tragedy strikes those around us. It can be a very helpless feeling to try and provide comfort to those is the midst of such pain. We don’t want to say the wrong thing and make it worse or we don’t want to say nothing and seem as if we don’t care. It is hard to know what to say that will help. In John 11, Jesus was faced...

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It’s Hard to Convince Your Children

[271 words] It’s hard to convince your children that the church is the most important thing in the world when you are negligent about attending its services and supporting its work. It’s hard to convince your children that the church is the greatest institution in the world when you permit them to miss services to go elsewhere It’s hard to convince your children that the church is to be held higher than anything when you insist that they do their homework for public school but permit them to neglect their Bible study. It’s hard to convince your children that the...

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The Value of Tears

[182 words] How much value do you place on tears? That question may seem odd, but it is something you should think about! Some tears may fall insincerely, but other tears come when words fail to express an emotion we cannot control. God places a high value on our tears. He knows that some tears show genuine sorrow for sin. A woman washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, (Lk. 7:37-48), and her tears of genuine repentance resulted in God’s forgiveness! Paul shed tears for problems that would consume the church. (Acts 20:31) Paul reminded the Ephesian elders how...

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Father’s Day

[359 words] It was the peppery Erma Bombeck who once said of her father, “I never knew what to do with the daddy doll, so I had him say, ‘I’m going off to work now’; and I put him under the bed.” One of the most precious things a father can give his child is a solid work ethic. It is vital that a child see his father work hard, honestly, and to take pride in what he does. There is nothing sadder than a child whose father is a deadbeat, a bum, or even worse, dishonest. A child learns...

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Are You Prepared–or Confused?

[201 words] Some years ago I knew a man who was always critical of preachers, the church and Christians. He was a man who had been what was once called a “rounder.” He had delved in the pleasures of the world most, if not all, of his life. But, alas, in his old age he became ill. No longer did he make crude jokes about preachers. No longer did he criticize the church or Christians. No longer was he a “rounder.” The man began to worry about his soul. He asked for the prayers of everyone he knew. He realized...

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Conforming to the World

[562 words] One of the most horrific crimes in the history of Israel took place in the days of the weeping prophet Jeremiah. The people built “the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal” (Jer. 19:5). How could God’s people have done something this barbaric? The Lord had warned the Israelites hundreds of years before Jeremiah not to “follow a multitude to do evil” (Exod. 23.2). They were not to follow the ways of Egypt where they had been or the customs of Canaan where they were going (Lev. 18:3). In spite...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (June 2015)

The Atheist and the Bear An atheist was taking a walk through the woods. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself. As he continued walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes. Turning to look, he saw a seven-foot grizzly charging towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. Looking over his shoulder he saw that the bear was closing in on him. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster. He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick...

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