Be Strong!

  [96 words] Be strong! We are not here to play, to dream, to drift; We have hard work to do, and loads to lift; Shun not the struggle – face it; ’tis God’s gift. Be strong! Say not, “The days are evil. Who’s to blame?” And fold the hands and acquiesce — oh shame! Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God’s name. Be strong! It matters not how deep intrenched the wrong, How hard the battle goes, the day how long; Faint not — fight on! Tomorrow comes the song. M. D. Babcock via Gardner church of Christ...

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The Keys to Overcoming the World

  [485 words] In Revelation, there is a lot of figurative language and many difficult symbols. Because of that we often avoid reading the book. But in it are some great Bible helps. One of them is found in chapter 12, where we learn how Christians are to overcome the world. To preface what is going on, in verses 7-10 we read about war breaking out in heaven, and Michael and his angels fighting with the dragon and his followers. We see that the dragon did not prevail and he was cast out of heaven. Because of this, Satan (the...

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The Trouble Tree

  [403 words] A preacher told of hiring a carpenter to restore an old farm house. On the first day when the carpenter was to report for work, he was an hour late. His tardiness, he said, was because he found that his electric saw was not working, and in addition, he had found a flat tire on his old truck. Nevertheless, he put in a full day’s work. When finished; he got in his aged truck and turned the key in the ignition only to find that the stubborn vehicle refused to start. Seeing the problem, the preacher offered...

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Spiritual Superpowers

  [223 words] “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” Romans 12:21. My teens have posed the question: if you were a superhero, what superpower would you want to have? Answers range from extreme speed to flight, from x-ray vision to great strength. Everyone wants to be in control and not beaten back by the villains. So, on the surface, everyone agrees wholeheartedly that we shouldn’t be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good—like ‘good’ is some sort of superpower to wield. But, Jesus tells us that only God is good. And yet, we...

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How Do I Keep from Doing a Sin That I Want to Do?

  [478 words] In a Bible class that was discussing the topic of homosexuality, a 13-year-old girl asked, “What about someone who really doesn’t want to have those feelings but can’t seem to stop them?” That is such a great question, for there are many who are struggling with homosexual desires but they don’t want to be. How can they stop? What can they do? First, the first step in stopping sinful desires is to have a desire to stop. The Bible calls that “repentance.” To repent, as defined in the Bible, is to change one’s mind which then leads...

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Is the Young Man, Absalom, Safe?

  [368 words] The question above comes from 2 Samuel 18:32. Absalom, David’s son, had tried to wrest the kingdom from his father. He had slept with the ten concubines (wives) of his father. David had to flee his home when he heard Absalom was staging a coup and left these women to tend the house/palace. There is no doubt that Absalom was a danger to his father the king or anyone else for that matter. David finally takes advice from his military commanders to go to war with his son, Absalom and his soldiers. Before his commanders take the...

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The Irony of Sin

  [202 words] King Ahab called Elijah the prophet the “troubler of Israel” (1 Kings 18:17). Of course, the prophet wasted no time in pointing out that it was Ahab, not Elijah, who was the real trouble in Israel because he had abandoned the commandments of the LORD (1 Kings 18:18). A few years later, Ahab’s daughter will do virtually the same thing. When the people were in the process of crowning Joash as the new king of Judah, Athaliah tore her clothes and cried out, “Treason! Treason!” (2 Chron. 23:13). The fact of the matter was that she was...

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Yellow Jackets in the Church

  [282 words] I hate yellow jackets. Over the years, I’ve had many encounters with them. They are aggressive, mean and they hurt everyone they touch. Have you ever been around someone who is a “fault-finder?” All they can do is point out flaws and faults in folks. They, like yellow jackets, hurt whoever they sting with their abundant criticisms. Did you know that such fault-finding is a sin — as evil as the faults that fault-finders find? Jude speaks to the sin of “fault-finding” in Jude 1:15- 16 (best read in the NIV). Jude uses pretty graphic phrases to...

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Duck Soup

  [561 words] The story is told of a young man who came to the door of a monastery with a large duck in his arms. His uncle, who happened to be one of the monks, answered the knock. “Here, uncle, this is a gift for you and the others. Eat it in good health.” The uncle was very grateful, and that night, with the duck dressed and stuffed, he and the others enjoyed a generous meal. A few days later, another knock came on the monastery door. “I am a friend of the nephew who brought you the duck....

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Mr. Knew-It-All

  [140 words] Experience is a trait that is very valuable for any organization. A person with experience in an area can usually do a job faster, easier and better than those without. However the Preacher tells us in Ecclesiastes 4:13 of a time when experience is wasted. He says, “A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction.” Experience and position are not assets to those that think they no longer need to listen to anyone else. No matter how long you have been doing something and...

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Leaving Your Bible?

  [507 words] My father and mother used to carry a Bible to church with them every Sunday. My brothers and sisters and I, when we were old enough to read, were given a Bible so we could do the same. We didn’t leave the house without our Bible because my father would surely tell us to go back and get it. Many people, however, have stopped carrying their Bibles to worship and Bible study. This is a mistake because it is impossible to study the Bible without one! While it was a long, long time ago, I remember that...

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I Will Not Be Enslaved

  [176 words] “‘All things are lawful for me,’ but will not be enslaved by anything” (1 Cor. 6:12). ESV and other translations put quotation marks around “All things are lawful for me,” signifying that the translators believe–and l agree–that Paul is quoting those to whom he is writing. When he does that, he responds with something like, “Yes, but.” Obviously “all things” is not literally everything. Paul would not say, “Fornication is lawful.” Within the category of things included, he is saying, there are things to be avoided because they enslave. We would say, “They are addictive.” A tall...

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Power of the Scriptures

  [66 words] The story has been told of a South Sea islander who proudly displayed the Bible to a G.I. during World War II. “We’ve outgrown that sort of thing,” the soldier said. The native smiled back and said, “It’s a good thing we haven’t. If it were not for this Book, you’d have been a meal by now!” via San Augustine church of Christ San Augustine, TX...

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The Country of Jesus of Nazareth

  [138 words] Palestine in the first century was less prosperous than some other regions, but Josephus tries to present the country as quite prosperous. He accurately depicts the Jewish population there as primarily engaged in agriculture: “Ours is not a maritime country, neither commerce nor the intercourse with the outside world has any attraction for us. Our cities are built inland, remote from the sea, and we devote ourselves to cultivation of the productive country with which we are blessed” (Against Apion 1.60). The chief products of Palestine were the staples of olives, wine and cereals. The Jordan valley...

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How to Remember How Many Books Are in the Bible

  [40 words] How many letters in the word “Old?” — 3 How many letters in the word “Testament?” — 9 There are 39 books in the Old Testament. Multiply 3 x 9 and you get 27. There are 27 books in the New Testament. via Findlay church of Christ Sparta, TN...

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Portraits of Endurance

  [579 words] Barton W. Stone was born in 1772. In his autobiography he wrote, “My father, John Stone, died when I was very young. I have no recollection of him in life.” He grew up without his father, but he never used his loss as an excuse to rebel or quit. When soldiers returned after the war cussing, drinking, and gambling, he refused to be like them. In spite of an overbearing teacher, he excelled in school. He went on to be baptized and became one of the most influential preachers in his time. When Moses Lard was twelve...

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House to House

  [268 words] Someone once said that “every man needs to hear the call of the Gospel message before he hears the trumpet call to Judgment!” I couldn’t agree more! God has entrusted within us, His earthen vessels, the Gospel treasure (2 Cor. 4:7), and He commands that we share it with those living in darkness (cf. Mat. 13:1ff; Mark 16:15-16; Rom. 10:10ff; Phi. 2:15-16; 2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Pet. 2:9). The Gospel, God’s power to save (Rom. 1:16; Jam. 1:21), will be the Standard by which all will be judged in the last day (John 12:48). The apostle Paul...

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You Preach First

  [183 words] The first sermon preached each Sunday is not by the minister, but by you. You preach a message about the importance of the Scriptures when you bring your Bible. You preach a message of good cheer when you say “Good morning!” to those you meet when you park your car and when you are in the hallway and classroom. You preach a message of hope and joy when you sing enthusiastically during the song service. You preach a message about the power of prayer when you fervently enter into our time of prayer together. You preach a...

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How to Know What God Wants Me to Do

  [321 words] We all face important decisions. These decisions will often have a great impact on us and our families. It may be a question about what job to take, or where to live, or what school to attend, etc. What should we do? Does God offer any help or guidance in making such decisions? We believe the answer is “yes!” How does God give this guidance? In many ways: Through the Word. The vast majority of answers are here. There are positive commands that tell us what we should do. For example, Matthew 28:19 instructs us to teach...

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This is My Blood of the Covenant

  [178 words] Israel was in a covenant relationship with God, but as prophesied by Jeremiah 31:31, it was to be replaced (Heb. 8:8). It was replaced by the covenant Jesus initiated at His death and resurrection. He shared the fruit of the vine with the apostles and said, “For this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Matt 26:28). When we believed on Jesus as our Savior, when we confessed Him as the Son of God, when we repented of sin, when we were united with Him in baptismal burial,...

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You Can’t Cross a Bridge Until You Get to It

  [494 words] All my life I have heard the expression, “you can’t cross a bridge until you get to it,” or “l’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.” These often-used expressions have to do with worrying about things before they happen. A traveler was stopped and informed of some dangerous bridges ahead. With confidence he said, “I’ll cross them when I get to them.” He held the proper attitude. Some, however, aren’t like this traveler. They go through life trying to cross their bridges before they get to them. This will fill their lives with frustration. They...

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What Your Tongue Says

  [492 words] You know that every human being has a unique fingerprint, but did you realize that each person also has his or her own unique tongue print? According to published reports, scientists have discovered that just as no two people have the same fingerprint, so each one of us can–theoretically–also be identified by our own unique tongue print! Now, the scientific report didn’t say how the researchers had convinced their subjects to lick that ink pad, and I’m certainly not going to volunteer for the research project, so I suppose I’ll just have to take their word for...

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God’s Beautiful World

  [144 words] God made a beautiful, perfect world and made people to dwell in it. Everything was good and God was pleased with them. He would walk and talk with these people in the cool of the evening. Sin (the Devil) found his way into the people. God could no longer stand to walk with the people He created and loved so much because they smelled of sin and looked like sin, so He removed them from this perfect world. They would be required to offer sacrifices to appease God for their sins, but this could not remove or...

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National Pride

  [258 words] Have you ever wondered why strong nations fall? Think about it: strong nations always have the best armies, most up-to-date weapons, strongest economies, and the best citizens. So why do they fall? And we must admit that they do fall! The British Empire fell. Rome fell. Alexander’s Greek kingdom fell. Babylon, Assyria, Egypt, and countless other strong nations have fallen and lie in the dust. Why? The Bible suggests two reasons. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). We usually think of the individual when reading this verse, but it seems...

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Don’t Follow the Crowd

  [289 words] God had heard the prayers of His people in Egypt. Though the Israelites murmured and complained most of the way, He had brought them from Egypt to the promised land. As they journeyed God protected them, fed them, clothed them, and had given them everything they needed. But the people still were not happy. Once in Canaan, they wanted a king to rule over them, like their neighbors had. They rejected God to follow a man! Today, some in the church want more than what God has given us. They reject His Word as being “bigoted,” “out-of-date,”...

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The Scope of Our Influence

  [270 words] “Not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us” (2 Thess. 3:9). As I look back to when I was growing up in the Church, the things that stand out to me are not what I would expect them to be. Some of my most vivid memories are of people that I spent very little time with. Many were much older than me, and our social circles only intersected through monthly potlucks. I remember men whose fervent prayers brought them to tears behind the podium, and one...

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What is a Miracle?

  [243 words] On August 28, 2007, just before 11 a.m., surfer Todd Endris’ worst nightmare came true: he was attacked by a great white shark, not once, but three times! Just as all hope seemed lost, Endris was saved by a pod of bottlenose dolphins that formed a protective ring around the surfer, kept the shark at bay, and allowed him to reach shore. There a friend applied emergency first aid and saved his life. “Truly a miracle,” Endris later told a reporter. But was it a miracle? The word miracle is one of the most loosely used words...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (September 2015)

  [426 words] A Special License A policeman looked up to see a woman racing down the center of the road at 100 m.p.h. He pulled her over and said, “Hey, lady, would you mind telling me why you’re going so fast down the middle of the road?” “Oh, it’s okay, Officer,” she replied. “I have a special license that allows me to drive like that.” “Oh, yeah?” Let’s see it.” The cop looked at the license and then concluded, “Ma’am, there’s nothing special about this. It’s just a temporary license.” “Look at the very bottom, though,” the woman insisted....

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