The Quran

[531 words] Last month marked thirteen years since radical adherents to the religion of Islam organized an attack against our country. It is hard to believe that it was that long ago. However, militants such as these continue to dominate the headlines. Groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram seek to strike fear in the hearts of all “non-believers” with their violent and wicked tactics. In light of this, it might serve us well to look once again at the root of our differences: the Bible vs. the Quran. Both Islam and Christianity claim to be “revealed religions.” That...

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My People

[243 words] Joshua, the great leader of Israel, said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). It has always been up to man to choose his own path. Truth and error is ever present. The sad part is that men often choose to follow the wrong way. The tendency is to choose error. Adam and Eve made that choice. Nadab and Abihu made that choice. And the whole nation of Israel made that choice. God, speaking through Jeremiah, said, “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the...

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Don’t Confuse God’s Love with God’s Salvation

[170 words] God’s wants no one to be lost—fact! (1 Tim. 2:3-4). Jesus Christ died for the sins of the entire world—fact! (1 John 2:1-2). God’s motivating factor behind the death of Jesus was salvation through love—fact! (John 3:16-17). Every sinner will go to Heaven after the judgment because of God’s love—false! (Matthew 7:13-14). There are many people in the world who confuse the love of God with the salvation of God. They fail to understand that even God’s love cannot ignore God’s justice, but His love can answer it in a way that we cannot. Nevertheless, God’s love toward...

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My Wife

[141 words] My wife, sweet wife, my angel fair,My daily source of joy and power;Through day and night you’re always there,In both the bleak and cheerful hour.Through the years, and times of gladness,We’ve walked together, arm in arm;In the times of tears and sadness,We have weathered the darkest storm.One verse from Paul you’d oft repeat:“Things work good to those who love him.”This always kept me from defeat,And made me fight for life and limbIn times of illness and distress,You brought me love, dispelled my fearsNow with my love in your caress,I bathe my eyes with grateful tears.I thank my God...

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Missing!

[309 words] One Sunday morning, a preacher pointed out to one of the elders that the flower arrangement that sits in front of the pulpit was missing. The elder hadn’t noticed it, but he certainly did now. This elder pulled all the other elders to the side and asked them if they had any knowledge of what had happened to the flower arrangement. None of them knew; so the search for the missing flower arrangement was on. The elders called a special meeting with the deacons and asked them to help locate this arrangement due to its great value; after...

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What Does It Cost You?

[312 words] A certain group of teens wanted to raise awareness about the plight of the homeless. They decided that for a week they would live like homeless people live. However, the activity was postponed due to weather! Isn’t that ironic? They said they wanted to live like the homeless, but don’t the homeless get rained on when it rains? Most of us are real bargain hunters, aren’t we? Once, after a run-in a lady literally had with me that totaled my beautiful 1992 Dodge Dakota, which I bought for an amazingly low price, I had to spend State Farm’s...

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Abide in the Same Calling

[621 words] Do the best you can in whatever circumstance you face. Your situation in life is never completely ideal. Make the most of it regardless of the obstacles. There are some circumstances you can change, there are some you cannot. But you can live the Christian life either way. Earthly conditions don’t last. Even here they change quickly. So focus on the state of your soul, not on the advantages or disadvantages of your physical environment. Joseph made the best out of out a bad situation. So did Daniel. Do your best to have the same attitude. This is...

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Every Good Gift

[144 words] A poor man was given a loaf of bread. He thanked the baker, but the baker said, “Don’t thank me. Thank the miller who made the flour.” So he thanked the miller, but the miller said, “Don’t thank me. Thank the farmer who planted the wheat.” So he thanked the farmer. But the farmer said, “Don’t thank me. Thank the Lord. He gave the sunshine, rain, and fertility to the soil, and that’s why you have bread to eat.” Regardless of how sophisticated we may be scientifically, we still can’t create; we still can’t make a kernel of...

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The Formula for Failure

[499 words] I believe each of us desires to succeed. We want to succeed at our business, our families, and in life in general. I think I can also confidently say that we all want to succeed spiritually. It is often said by many a Christian, “I want to hear the Lord say to me, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.”’ However, the harsh and sobering reality is that many will fail. They wish for it but don’t work at it. They adopt the philosophy of the Christian life, but they never truly apply those philosophies, and thus they fail....

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Make Straight Paths for Your Feet

[196 words] While driving to the office, I noticed a slightly battered pickup in front of me. What caught my attention was the rear wheels were not aligned with the front. It traveled slightly sideways down the road. The chassis, or rear axle, needed to be straightened or realigned. This problem is more easily seen by an observer who follows behind. The Hebrew writer penned, “And make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed” (Hebrews 12:13). “Straight paths” is literally “wheel tracks.” Let your...

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On Demand

[507 words] Several factors have led to a trend in recent years concerning television viewing. One of those factors is the availability of digital recording. With digital video recording (DVR), viewers can record and store multiple programs for later playback. They can then recall the program on demand. That is simply to say that they can watch it when they want it, no sooner, and no later. Some of the same programs can also be watched on devices other than televisions, such as cell phones, tablets and laptop computers. The common denominator of all of these things is the idea...

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I Beseech You as Strangers and Pilgrim

[249 words] “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against your soul” (1 Pet. 2:11). I’m often amazed at just how many people there are, both within and without the church, who live as though this life is all there is and will ever be. Their affections center round the things of this world instead of on things above (cf. Col. 3:1-2). Worldly minded individuals will go to great lengths in their quest to establish some sense of permanency here on Earth. And yet, no matter what lengths they go to, no...

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An Angry Death

[500 words] Last month an ugly and tragic incident played out on a racetrack as a young driver named Kevin Ward, Jr. lost his life. This particular driver had apparently been driven into a wall by another driver during the race. Video of the event then shows Ward exiting his car and walking into oncoming traffic in order to confront the other driver. Several cars pass him by until finally the one he was looking for approaches. As it does, Ward walks farther onto the track pointing and gesturing at the other driver. Then, he is struck by the passing...

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Hell is Where They Will Reside

[110 words] (After an impassioned speech by Vice-President Joe Biden on Sept. 3, 2014) “Hell is where they will reside,”Is said of vile and violent men,By powerful heads who themselves divide,And seek to rule again. Hell was made for the father of lies,And all who follow his rebel path;The place where man eternally diesAnd feels God’s holy wrath. Of Hell our Savior often spoke,He knows the danger beyond the grave;From darkness, pain, and fiery smokeWould Jesus utterly save. His followers work, not to destroy,But speak a word of truth to restore;Hell is real, so forces deployTo open heaven’s door. J....

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Two Mules’ Burdens of Earth

[324 words] The story of Naaman receiving a cure for leprosy has been well known in the brotherhood, having been taught by just about every preacher. Most of the time, however, one only hears part of the story and that is the command for Naaman to plunge seven times in the Jordan River. There’s more. Naaman made another request after receiving his cure. He sought Elisha’s permission to take some earth back to Syria (2 Kings 5:17). Naaman wanted to worship the God who cured him when he returned to Syria. Because Naaman was steeped in idolatry, he didn’t believe...

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What Will Be Said to You?

[374 words] This past summer, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in the primary election. It was the first time that a House Majority Leader lost the primary election in American history. In his concession speech, Senator Cantor thanked all those who were loyal until the end of his campaign. At the end of his election, he wanted to express gratitude for those who had been with him. Another story during the summer that gained much more attention is that of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was held as a captive by the Taliban for almost five years before being...

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Commands from Christ Are Not Optional

[422 words] I recently read a Bible Q&A article written by a denominational preacher. In it he was asked, “Can you go to heaven if you ‘trust’ Jesus as your Lord and Savior but you are not yet baptized?” He began his answer by saying: “Yes. Baptism has nothing to do with salvation.” Later in the answer he stated: “Baptism is an ordinance instituted by Christ until the ‘end of the age’…Clearly this command was not only for the apostles who heard it but for His followers throughout the entire age.” Finally, he concluded with: “One is saved without, apart...

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The Prayer List

[260 words] I’ve read it in several bulletins from many churches. It’s called “The Prayer List” and consists of the names of people who have either requested that we mention them in our prayers or who have had a request given by someone in their behalf. Of course, there is biblical precedence for this practice as the apostle Paul requested prayers from congregations on his behalf (Eph. 6:19; Col. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:25). “The Prayer List” is merely a convenient reminder of these requests. I know that my memory is not what it once was, so I am grateful to...

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How Often to Take the ‘Feast of Love’

[359 words] I recently read a fascinating article by John H. Armstrong in the September, 2014, issue of Christianity Today. Armstrong starts out reminiscing on early childhood worship experiences in the denomination he attended. He writes that his church celebrated the Lord’s Supper “four times a year. I remember asking why we celebrated it so infrequently. The answer I got never satisfied, and it still doesn’t: ‘If we do this very often, it will lose its meaning’” (51). He goes on to say, “As I grew older, I discovered some churches took the meal weekly. I was then even more...

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In the Upper Room

[380 words] In Jerusalem, in the upper room of a house, Jesus gathers His disciple s around Him for the last time to eat the Passover feast. This was on the same night of His betrayal. There had been about three and a half years of association between Jesus and His disciples, but that is about to come to an end. One of the twelve, Judas the traitor, had already made a deal with the chief priests to betray Jesus. As Jesus tells the disciples that “He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief...

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Child-Like Humility

[321 words] “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4). As wonderful as children are, we as a society would think it foolish to hold children up as the ideal for adults to emulate in every way. Youngsters are shortsighted, tending to choose the things that bring them ah immediate reward. They are often selfish and need discipline to keep them from becoming little “tyrants.” We are supposed to be patient with these weaknesses, because we know that small children are immature. But, according to the Savior, they do have one...

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What Brought YOU Here?

[388 words] This morning churches across our nation will fill up with people gathering together for different reasons. For some it was the social interaction. For some it was to check the “go to church” box off our checklist. For some it was because someone made them. For some it was a habit. For some it was to see the visiting preacher. For some it was the dinner following services. For some it was the singing. For some it was a search for something that is missing. For some it was a desire to worship God in Spirit and truth....

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Sour Grapes and Justice

[566 words] Ezekiel 18 is a marvelous chapter on the fairness and justice of God. Its message is in an Old Testament setting, but it portrays an attribute of God which is unchanged; and it should be read today—with care. The Israelites had a proverb: “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge,” by which they blamed their troubles on an earlier generation. God said, yes, your fathers sinned, but “ye have done evil more than your fathers.” “Every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grapes, his...

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The Joys of the Lord

[197 words] “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:9,10). The one who trusts in God has a supreme spiritual happiness and an inexpressible joy. They come from the presence of the Lord. Just being with the Lord brings untold pleasures. Joy is found in the fellowship with the right people, but the greatest happiness comes from a continued companionship with God. They come from the provisions of the Lord. As we behold what God has done for us and is...

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Sad Words

[536 words] This past week, I heard someone on TV make this statement: “There is no God. What happens to us, just happens to us.” These are probably among the saddest words I have ever heard come out of someone’s mouth. It’s so pitiful to think that anyone could ever believe such a thing, much less to broadcast the fact of their pitiful condition. Because, you see, it is pitiful to think that someone could feel that way and deny God’s existence and any hope of eternal salvation they may have had. By saying “what happens to us, just happens...

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His Strength, or Your Safety?

[222 words] “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lions mouth” (2 Tim. 4:17). We sing the song: “…though none go with me, I still will follow.” But would we? I’ve been battling a particularly persistent nest of wasps that dig a new entrance from the roots of a forsythia bush every time I destroy a tunnel and kill a number of them. I can’t help but think that is what Satan does...

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Patience and Time

[646 words] Patience and time are closely related, since being patient implies being able to remain calm and not be annoyed when waiting for a long time. As children our sense of time develops along with our other understandings of the physical world in which we currently live, but it does not take too long for small children to develop the desire to get what they want immediately and a definite impatience when required to wait. While I cannot recall too much about the time prior to beginning school, I certainly remember what seemed to me to be endless hours...

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Virtue of the Poor

[143 words] Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21, ESV). Some will interpret the Lord’s words as being the virtue of all virtues—selling what one has in order to help the poor—but this would be a mistake in interpretation. The Lord’s point is not selling and then giving, but getting rid of the hurdle that has now become a hindrance to one’s standing before the Lord. What hurdle is it that you feel like you...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (October 2014)

[430 words] A ten-year old, under the tutelage of her grandmother, was becoming quite knowledgeable about the Bible. Then one day, she floored her grandmother by asking, “Which Virgin was the mother of Jesus? The virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?” — According to a news story, if global warming continues, in 20 years the only chance we’ll have to see a polar bear is in a zoo. So in other words, nothing is going to change. — Six-year old Angie, and her four-year old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud....

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