The Hug Heard Around the World

[325 words] Having been convicted of murdering Botham Jean, a member of the Dallas West church of Christ, the last thing Amber Guyger probably expected to hear at her sentencing were the words “I forgive you” from a member of the victim’s family.  After reading a statement which expressed forgiveness and even a wish that she wouldn’t have to go to jail, Jean’s brother Brandt asked the judge for permission to give Guyger a hug. The dramatic scene was recorded on video and shared throughout the world via television and internet. “I wasn’t going to say this in front of...

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Diligence and Neglect

[320 words] The apostle Peter, in the early part of his second letter, gives emphasis to the importance of Christians being diligent in the development of spiritual qualities. How diligent did he want them to be? He urges, “…giving all diligence…” (2 Pet. 1:5). Later, he adds, “…be even more diligent…” (2 Pet. 1:12). Since Peter wanted these saints to be diligent, he also knew the need for him to be certain he did not neglect his duty to call their attention to such important matters. He recognized he would have been negligent if he failed to remind them and...

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The Highjacking of Our Language

[310 words] Over the years, many great phrases and hand gestures have been adopted by anti-Christian people as terms of derision and hate. The most recent has been a gesture I’ve used all my life: the “OK hand gesture.” It’s a simple gesture, you make an “O” with the forefinger and the thumb and the remaining three fingers stick out. It was a sign used to show acceptance and agreement of what was said or done. I’m in good company in using it. A simple internet search showed pictures of such celebrities as President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Jimmy Chou...

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Turn It Around

[268 words] “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country!” This challenge, made famous during the Kennedy presidency, suggests a like principle which should guide every Christian’s attitude toward the church. We should be less concerned about what is being done for US and more attentive to what we are doing for others. Ask not, therefore… …whether this is a good congregation to be a member of, but ask whether I am a good member of the congregation. …how much I am loved, but how much love have I shown.  …how...

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My Tailor-Made God

[316 words] In your Bible reading, do you ever come across something that doesn’t fit into your theology? The margins of my daily reading Bible are full of my comments, references, and a few question marks. The question marks mean that I don’t know God as well as I need to. They say, “Your theology (understanding of God) is too small.” I wonder if we too often pick and choose passages to support our idea of how we want God to be…and ignore others. One of the passages that became popular (used as a basis of articles, books, and sermons)...

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Why Baptism?

[442 words] It seems like such an easy question and answer, and it is. And even though we have tried to explain the need for baptism, we continue to struggle with what it does and is it really necessary? Before presenting several simple answers to the question, it is important to take a moment to define baptism as “immersion,” according to the Greek usage. A good example of baptism (immersion) can be found in Paul’s letter to the Romans, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death…” (Rom. 6:4). But why the need to be baptized? Consider...

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What Is Peace?

[307 words] Peace can be defined as “tranquility, harmony, or security.” Depending on the situation, it could also mean “prosperity” or “well-being.” The different forms of the word peace are found 429 times in the King James Version of the Bible. There are also different types of peace: false peace, inner peace, peace with God, and peace with man. God instructs us to seek peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). We should be a people who are peaceful and seek to live peaceful lives. “Let us therefore make every effort to...

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Riches and Poverty in Proverbs

[273 words] The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: The destruction of the poor is their poverty (Proverbs 10:15, ASV). Surely, as one can see, this proverb teaches that wealth is a strength and poverty is a weakness. As one makes use of his strength, he weathers battles much easier. On the other hand, as the poor man weathers battles he is overcome. Is this what we are to understand? The Greek translation (LXX or Septuagint) of the proverb reads this way: The wealth of rich men is a strong city; but poverty is the ruin of the ungodly...

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Left Behind, Missing Our Family and Friends

[347 words] I am thankful each day to rise and participate in life. However, I am seeing more and more of my family, friends, and those who have meant so much to me pass away. We know grief and death are part of life (Hebrews 9:27), but I think we all yearn to spend more time with those we have loved and devoted time to. We are left behind. What are we to do? Our connection with the one we are missing will dictate our reaction. Our level of grief mirrors the level of our love. We know life doesn’t...

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Be Friendly and Greet Visitors and Guests!

[536 words] Many people know who Glenn Beck the conservative radio personality is. But did you know that Glenn was raised Catholic, but was not practicing anything when he decided his family needed to go to church? Glenn Beck is reported as saying his family tried all churches, “Unitarian, Episcopalian, Baptist, even a synagogue.” His family ended up with the Church of Latter-day Saints. Why? Because his daughter said, “this place makes us feel warm and welcome inside. Can we come back?” (USA Weekend Feb. 19-21, 2011 “Don’t judge Beck by his cover” by Dennis McCafferty). Glenn Beck and his...

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The Gospel

[142 words] The word “gospel” means “good news.” It has well been said that the gospel is the good news about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4). And while that is true, the gospel is so much more. Because of the resurrection of Jesus, His triumph over death, the gospel is… Glorious (1 Tim. 1:11) Optimistic (Col. 1:23) Saving (Eph. 1:13) Powerful (Rom. 1:16) Everlasting (Rev. 14:6) Light (2 Tim. 1:10) Without a doubt, the gospel of Christ is life changing. But for it to change our lives, we must obey it (2 Thess. 1:8). Having obeyed it,...

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First Remove The Log

[174 words] A wife called her husband frantic because she saw a report on the news about a driver that was going the wrong way down the highway he usually used. When the husband picked up the phone, she warned, “Honey be careful, there is one crazy person driving on the wrong side of the road” He agitatedly replied, “One?! There are dozens of them!”  It is hard to be unbiased when we look at ourselves; sometimes we might be a bit too hard but more often than not we have an attitude of arrogance. We are right even if...

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It Goes Without Saying

[318 words] We’ve all probably heard the adage that the majority of communication is nonverbal. This notion is from Dr. Albert Mehrabian, author of the book Silent Messages. In his research, he found that only 7 percent of any message is conveyed through words, the rest (38 percent through certain vocal elements and 55 percent through nonverbal elements) is unspoken.  What we say is more about how we say it and the influence of other factors that make the message. Our smile conveys sincerity. Our dress imparts seriousness (or the lack thereof). A head nod implies conviction. This isn’t just...

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How Should One Read The Bible?

[95 words] We should read carefully, remembering that it is the inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). To read candidly with an open mind, free from prejudice (Acts 17:11) is essential to understanding the Bible. Constant readers we must be. Plan our time with the “book” and do not let other things interfere (Psa. 1:1-2). As we read we must be committed to the Truth that we learn to the extent that whatever that “Truth” is, it is going to be a part of our life. Author UnknownBulletinDigest.com...

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Honest Heart, Open Bible

[161 words] It takes two things to go to heaven. Those two things are an honest heart, and an open Bible. The fog of religious confusion and division makes finding true Christianity difficult in our day. We did not want nor cause the denominational division of our day; we were just born into a world of religious confusion. In less than a ten-minute walk from where I preach at the Walnut Street Church of Christ in Greenville, Alabama, you can physically touch at least six or seven church buildings. At each place, different things are believed, taught and practiced. The...

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For Such a Time as This

[537 words] Esther could have died. Sure, all the Jews were scheduled to die anyway but Esther could have been the first one. She did something that was illegal and went, unsummoned, to the king. The punishment for doing so was a date with the royal executioner. And why would she do such a thing, take such a risk? Let’s rewind a little bit. After finding out about an evil man’s plot to kill all the Jews a man named Mordecai grieved so publicly that Esther (his cousin) heard about it. She asks what’s up and he tells her they’re...

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The Lady And The Cross

[149 words] The Lady stands, Tall and proud,Her silent voice rings clear and loud.Welcoming all unto her shores,As the humble masses arrived in hordes. Thru war and famine, Calm and peace, To weary souls she brought release.From her perch she had to frown, As on that morn the towers came down. Brightly her light has shown thru it all, Reminding us of liberty for one and all.On the hill a cross massive and tall, It’s silent voice hearkens to all. Welcoming all to come to it’s base, To see the One who died for every race.From sin and death comes calm and peace, Where the sin...

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Show Me, O God, How to Hate

  [84 words] Show me, O God, how to hateThis wicked world and all its ways,To hate this life wrapped up in things,In thoughts that throw us far from you. Destroy what cannot remain forever,That I might gain eternal blessing,Release desires and old resentments,For cleansing the heart grown hard by sin. Show me, O Father, how to loveAll heavenly truths that lighten my burden;Let die this seed, enrich the soil,To grow in Christ from the ground of pain.  Randal Mathenybelievingprayer.com...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 6:1-8

[80 words] “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the ___ principles of Christ…” It is ___ for those once enlightened to be renewed again to repentance. True or False: Repentance from dead works, faith toward God, the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment are foundational doctrines. Those who fall away ___ again for themselves the Son of God. True or False: Verses 8 and 9 teach that fruitless servants will receive punishment. Answers: elementary, impossible, true, crucify, true BulletinDigest.com...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 6:9-12

[59 words] “But, beloved, we are ___ of better things concerning you… “For God is not ___ to forget your work and labor of love…” True or false: Ministering to our brethren is rewarded by God. True or false: Diligence in serving God brings assurance of hope. Will sluggishness in faith cause you to inherit the promises? Answers: confident, unjust, true, true, no BulletinDigest.com...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 6:13-20

[50 words] God could swear by no one greater, so He swore by ___. “Surely ___ I will bless you…” “And ___ I will multiply you.” True or false: It is impossible for God to lie. “This hope we have as an ___ of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” Answers: Himself, blessing, multiplying, true, anchor BulletinDigest.com...

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Bible Quiz: Hebrews 7:1-10

[44 words] Melchizedek was the king of ___. Abraham honored Melchizedek by giving him a ___. Abraham received a ___ from Melchizedek. “Now beyond all contradiction the ___ is blessed by the greater.” “Even ___, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak…” Answers: Salem, tithe, blessing, lesser, Levi BulletinDigest.com...

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Quotes and Sayings (October 2019)

[244 words] “Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.” — Benjamin Franklin “Every man should keep a fair-sized cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends.” — Henry Ward Beecher “There is as much difference between the counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself, as there is between the counsel of a friend and of a flatterer. For there is no such flatterer as is a man’s self.” — Francis Bacon “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” — Helen Keller “The strength of a...

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On the Lighter Side (October 2019)

[107 words] High-Dollar AdviceA man walks into a lawyer’s office and asks, “How much do you charge?”The lawyer says, “$5,000 for three questions.”“Wow, that’s pretty expensive, isn’t it?” the man asks.“Yes,” says the lawyer. “Now, what’s your third question?” Silly RiddlesQ: What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?A: Same middle name. Q: How many sides are there to a circle? A: Two. The inside and the outside. Too PunnyI can’t take my dog to the park because the ducks keep trying to bite him.I guess that’s what I get for buying a pure bread dog....

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