Obstruction of View

[340 words] “And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not. because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way” (Luke 19:2-4). Have you ever wanted to see something really bad but couldn’t because your view was obstructed? Several years ago I had the opportunity to see an Ohio State vs. Michigan football game live...

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Watch for Briars

[389 words] “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection” (Luke 8:14). The world has always offered man pleasure. It has always suffocated spirituality because men love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). Men have always wanted to play and have fun rather than work. They have always wanted to be entertained more than to be serious about spiritual matters. This desire is worldliness at its core. What we sometimes fail to realize is that...

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Contentment

[330 words] There was a father who was known by his family to be a chronic growler. He complained about everything. He was sitting one day with his family in the presence of a guest in the living room when the subject of food came up. One of the children, a little girl, was telling the guest what food each member of the family liked best. Finally, it came to the father’s turn to be described. “And what do I like, Nancy?” he asked. “You,” said the little girl slowly, “Well, what you like most is anything we haven’t got.”...

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He Was a Very Meticulous Man

[143 words] He always took his trash to the curb on the day it was to be picked up. He never let his grass grow above two inches tall. He paid his bills a week ahead of time to avoid late fees. He never had over two cups of coffee in the morning. He washed his car each Saturday. He walked two miles a day rain or shine. He made sure his children were honor students in school. He was always working to keep his weight under control. He took care in everything; and then he died! He woke up...

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Tear Jerkers

[231 words] If you are on the internet you have probably received some tear jerker stories that play on your emotions. I have one about a world-wide crisis with a terrible disease and only one little boy could provide a remedy…it would take all of his blood. The mom and dad were asked to sacrifice their son to save the world. This summary is not as emotional as the two and a half page detailed e-mail I received. The e-mail will make you cry. The summary just gives the bare facts of the story. The crucifixion accounts recorded in Matthew...

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Walking the Walk

[252 words] Many give lip service to the Bible and claim to believe that it is the Word of God. When Jesus was walking the earth, the Jews thought they were worshiping God when in reality they were just following the traditions and commands of men. Jesus said this worship was vain or useless (Matthew 15:1-10). Do we really know what God has said in His Word? Do we believe what the Holy Spirit inspired writers recorded for us in the Bible? Are we following God in our worship or like the Jews, are we listening to what men (preachers,...

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Straying

[264 words] Recently I was asked the following question: “We are in a different time, yes, we serve the same God. However if our worship is sincere, yet strays from the old days, is that somehow less pleasing before God? I think not!” How would you answer this question? We do live in “a different time,” but couldn’t that be said of every generation? The people of David’s generation lived “in a different time” than Moses. And the people of Jesus’ day lived in “a different time” than David. Sincerity in worship is no doubt required of all generations (Joshua...

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Failure Need Not Be Fatal

[455 words] History books are filled with biographies of failures who made good. From them we can learn the valuable lesson that failure need not be fatal. The first President of the United States—the father of our country—lost two-thirds of the battles he fought during the Revolutionary War. But George Washington won the war, founded a nation, and succeeded brilliantly in spite of those failures. Who failed more than Babe Ruth? In a baseball career that spanned 21 years, the immortal slugger hit 714 home runs, but he struck out 1,330 times. Until he retired in 1935, this famous failure...

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What to Expect on Your First Visit

[189 words] A warm welcome, but not a twenty-question interrogation. We know the value of low-key. A simple service—no showy production—just ordinary people offering God sincere worship. Communion with the Lord. We take the Lord’s Supper every Sunday, as the early church did (Acts 20:7; l Corinthians ll). It’s spiritual and meaningful. A Bible sermon. Bring your Bible to follow along (Acts 17:11). Feel free to take notes and ask questions of the preacher after the service. Gospel singing. No choir will perform, but the whole congregation forms an a capella “choir” presenting songs of praise from our hearts to...

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Our Treasure

[389 words] As you know, one of Jesus‘ favorite teaching tools were parables. I have heard parables defined as earthly stories with a heavenly meaning. I like that definition, and I think it perfectly describes the short parable we will discuss which is found in Matthew 13:44. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” It is one of the shortest parables you will find, but it may be one of my favorites. It...

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A Listening Ear

[109 words] When a heart is troubled And the pain too much to bear A listening ear is needed. Do you have an ear to spare? Tears flow freely down the face When no one seems to care. Your listening is needed, Will your ear be there? When troubled words pour out, The pain is less to bear, And hurting hearts are eased. A listening ear will care. Gloomy thoughts come often If no one’s there to share. Do take the time to go, Your ear will show you care. Your presence there is needed Not words, just nod your...

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A Judge’s Haunting Words

[217 words] I went to Sunday school when I was small and learned all about God. After I was married I decided to go again and take my children. I couldn’t persuade my husband to go, but the children and I went regularly for a year. Then I skipped a Sunday. And soon I skipped two or three. Then we went only on special days. Soon I joined a bowling team that competed on Sunday. I could go to church and Sunday school, but I would have to give up my bowling. Bowling won the battle. Not long ago in...

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A Lesson from a Child

[440 words] A certain father was trying to teach his son the value of sacrificing for the things we really want in life. At the moment the boy could think of nothing grander than to own a BB gun. His father wanted to help, so he told the son that he would double anything that the boy saved. That sounded pretty generous and the boy began at once. Things went along pretty well for a while, and the funds grew rapidly. There was no mention of it as the funds grew into $10 saved. Not much by today’ s standards,...

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A Loving Father

[317 words] I recall an interview I once read of a young teenage girl. At one point in the exchange, she remarked, ”l know for a fact that my parents don’t love me.” Why do you think this teenage daughter said that? Here’s what ran through my mind when I read those words. Perhaps her parents didn’t let her go out with her friends as much as she would have liked, or perhaps when she did go out, they made her come home much earlier than she desired. Maybe they restricted the time she could spend on her phone and/or...

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Right Thinking

[35 words] Think not of past years, When you fell on your chin, Think not of yesterday, And what could have been. Think of today, And what lies within, Think of tomorrow, And the victories to win. Edd Sterchi Campbellsville, KY...

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What Is Your Focus?

[312 words] Jesus went into the desert looking for a place to pray. However, when he and his apostles went ashore they discovered a huge crowd of people. Scripture says that there were about 5000 men. (Counting the women and children, I’m guessing that there were 10,000 or more people.) After a full day of preaching, the people were hungry but they were in a barren place and the only food was what a boy had taken … five small barley loaves and two small fish. But Jesus took that small amount, blessed it, and started giving it out. The...

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How We Are to Love Others

[328 words] We can see division and dislike for others in our society. The challenge to love others may exist in our community, workplace, or family for one reason or another. Scripture accurately and carefully guides us when it comes to how we are to love others. How can we love? Galatians 5:13 says, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” We love by serving others! We are striving to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We know the lost doesn’t care...

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Indispensable Supports

[327 words] In his farewell address of 1796, George Washington famously stated, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to a political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” A couple of years later John Adams said, “We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion.” We can see the results of unbridled human passions. As we consume the news and learn of those advocating anarchy; as we see people beaten and terrorized at “anti-hate” rallies; while we are surrounded by so much turmoil, we seek answers. Anyone claiming to...

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When Slavery is a Good Thing

[296 words] Slavery. The mere mention of the word evokes emotions of the deepest sort, none of them positive. The thought of one group forcibly taking the innocent from their homes and families, chaining them up like dogs, and subjecting them to merciless physical and mental abuse is repugnant to sensible people, and rightly so. Why, then, would the apostle Paul use the language of slavery in describing his relationship with Jesus? Here are his words, “Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons” (Philippians...

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Does God Hear Your Voice?

[168 words] What better way to begin one’s day than in communion with God? I know that mornings can be among the busiest parts of the day, especially if you do what I do too often – keep hitting the snooze button until I end up in a mad scramble to get out of the house on time. But I have learned that on those mornings when I get up early (having made a commitment the night before to go to bed at a decent hour), and spend some time with God, my day goes so much better. David seems...

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What Did Jesus Give Up For Us?

[491 words] We often talk about what all Jesus gave on our behalf, i.e. He gave His blood (Matt. 26:28; Acts 20:28). And it is right and good to focus on what Jesus gave. But I would like to focus for a few moments on the things Jesus gave up for us. The text in Phil. 2:5-8 gives us four of them to contemplate: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking...

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A Wise Answer

[232 words] A little girl, age 3, was riding in a taxi with her mother when she pointed to the driver and asked, “Mommy, why is he so black?” The mother noticed that the man’s shoulders stiffened at the question. She hastily searched for the right words that would satisfy both the driver and her daughter. “God makes people as He makes flowers in the garden, so the world will be more colorful. Some are white, some brown, some black, some yellow — and there are all shades in between. That makes us all the more interesting to look at,...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (September 2017)

[344 words] Beware of Dog? As the stranger enters a country store, he spots a sign: “Danger! Beware of Dog!” Inside, he sees a harmless old hound asleep in the middle of the floor. “Is that the dog we’re supposed to beware of?” he asks the owner. “That“s him,” comes the reply. “He doesn’t look dangerous to me. Why would you post that sign?” “Before It posted that sign, people kept tripping over him.” Year ‘Round Danger My mother was rushed to the hospital following a serious tumble. There the staff placed a band around her wrist with large letters...

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