What is the World Coming To?

[254 words] These days, any number of issues that play across our television screens and newsfeeds may cause us to exclaim, “What is the world coming to!” Murders, violence, thefts, and perversions of all sorts are shocking, to say the least, but even more disgraceful is the lack of concern many in today’s world have…

Living with Dragons

[244 words] One day, in England, a “gentleman of the road” (we’d call him a hobo) stopped by a restaurant named “St. George and the Dragon.” He knocked at the back door and asked if he might have some leftovers to eat. A very stern lady looked the fellow in the eye and said: “I’ll…

Picking Up the Pieces

[261 words] When Asa was about five years old, we bought him a bicycle for his birthday. Given that his birthday is in December, the weather did not permit him to ride it outside for a while. One morning, he decided to ride down our hallway. He did not know how to use the breaks…

Amazing to Think About!

[218 words] “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 the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance…

Heavy Burdens to Bear

[263 words] Anger, resentment, and bitterness are heavy burdens to be borne. Such qualities cause you to be miserable and to miss the joys of life. Sadly these negative qualities could easily cost a person their soul! An understanding of harm done by these negative qualities helps us appreciate what God said in Romans 12:17-21.…

You Have What It Takes!

[241 words] Figure it out for yourself, my lad,You’ve all that the greatest men have had;Two arms, two hands, two legs, two eyes,And a brain to use if you would be wise,With this equipment they all began–So start from the top and say, “I can!” Look them over, the wise and great,They take their food…

A New Year: Time to Take Inventory

[294 words] As we begin a new year, may we “take inventory” of our spiritual lives. Most businesses or organizations (the ones that are successful) will ask three questions in terms of their direction: “Where have we been? Where are we? Where are we going?” Our spiritual lives are of far greater importance than any…

All Things New

[298 words] Happy New Year!  How many times have you heard that phrase in the last few days? Most likely, the person saying it to you sincerely desires for you to have a great 2022.  Of course, it could also mean that they are just thankful 2021 is gone and a fresh new year has…

‘You shall call His name…’

[280 words] One of the earliest predictions about the birth of Christ came from the prophet Isaiah. Seven centuries before our Lord was born, this Old Testament preacher wrote: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). This passage would be repeated later to remind us…

An Exciting Eternity

[248 words] Do you ever wonder how you can live forever without being bored? One fellow said he didn’t want to live forever because life on earth is so monotonous. His comments reminded me of a college professor’s sneering statement to his class (a class I was in) that he couldn’t think of anything more…

Scandalized by Particularity

[288 words] The doctrine of religious pluralism says that all roads, spiritually speaking, end up at the same destination. It’s only that––so goes the belief––we’re all just taking different paths to the same god. But if all religions are the same, Jesus Christ is a liar, and He died in vain. It is the scandal…

Jesus’ Compassion for Lost Souls

[204 words] Matthew describes Jesus’ compassion for lost souls: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). Jesus saw people. He did not look past them, ignore them, or turn away from them. Jesus was cognizant of…

Finding Favor

[257 words] Numerous times in Scripture we read about godly men and women who “find favor” in the sight of God and the people around them. It seems to be a common characteristic. For example:  Esther is described again and again as one who won favor in the sight of the king and his subordinates…

Today

[270 words] Today, I will live as if it is the most important day I possess, because it is actually the only day I have. Today, I will whine and complain less. I will be thankful more, because I know that gratitude makes a better person out of me. Today, I will criticize less and…

Sleep Well at Night

[201 words] Have you heard another say to you, “How does he sleep at night!” This is not a question asked, but a pointed and judgmental statement about the thinking or bad actions of the one this remark is pointed to. How does one sleep at night? Some have a hardened heart, troubled not by…

When We Lose a Friend

[231 words] I once had an elder in another congregation tell me: “You know you are growing old when you walk into a café and see several widows and realize that they were married to men younger than you.” This article is not about aging, but it is about coping with the loss of a…

Rock of Ages

[282 words] As you know, I like rocks and stones. I find them unique and fascinating. I cannot collect enough of them. But there is one stone that intrigues me more than any other: the Stone – the Rock. No, not Dwayne Johnson. Jesus! From 1 Peter 2:4-10, we see Jesus referenced as a stone…

You Never Know

[242 words] Last year we enjoyed a really nice crop of sunflowers. When their time of prime was over, they were cut and cast onto the burn pile. Lo and behold, what should sprout this year in the middle of that pile but a sunflower. I don’t know how many sunflowers or how many seeds…

Only One Right Way

[237 words] There is only right and wrong. In true religion, there is only one right way, and that way is made plain in the Bible. King David learned this. His decision to have an adulterous affair with Uriah the Hittite’s wife was wrong. His adultery with her violated God’s law in the Ten Commandments…

He is Always the Majority

[228 words] Abraham Lincoln understood that while he was in charge of a democracy, his office wasn’t one. Once at the end of a disagreement with his cabinet, he announced the vote, “Seven nays, one aye; the ayes have it.” He was the one aye and that was all that mattered. Some folks have got…

Eat This, Not That…Maybe

[217 words] Many of us are trying to “eat right”, but it can often be difficult to figure out what is really good for you. Products have all kinds of health claims on the label but how do you figure out which ones are really true? Well, that is why the FDA has a website…

No Excuses

[227 words] On September 26, 2021, Elijah Saolo was about to win the Quad Cities Marathon in Illinois. As he sprinted down the final stretch, not only was he in the lead, he was on pace to set a record time!  But then, instead of turning right and following the designated path, he went straight…

A Dogged Servant

[297 words] If you were to go to the Shibuya train station in Tokyo, Japan, you would see a bronze statue honoring a dog named Hachiko.  Hachiko was born in 1923. His master was a professor at the Tokyo Imperial University. The professor would commute home on the train, get-ting off at the Shibuya train…

A Big Name

[257 words] When Walter P. Paepeke started a carton company and called it the Container Corporation of America, his attorney said it was “a big name for such a small company.” Mr. Paepeke’s reply was, “We’ll take the name and grow into it.” That’s the task we have before us. We have taken a big…

Criticism and the Beehive

[249 words] It is said that someone reported to Abraham Lincoln that Edwin Stanton, one of the President’s cabinet members, had referred to him as a fool. Mr. Lincoln replied, “Well, I must check into that, for I have found that he is usually correct in his judgments.”  This indicated President Lincoln’s great capacity to…

Forgetfulness

[277 words] Ever forget something? Sure you have. If it is any consolation, you are not alone. All of us can forget and often do.  Some years ago, a researcher from Johns Hopkins University compiled a list of what we forget most often. At the top of the list was names (83 percent), followed by…

Spurt and Sputter Religion

[219 words] Did you ever have a car that would run well for a short spurt and then the motor would sputter? It appears that some folks have a spurt and sputter religion. Something will stimulate their interest and they will have a spurt of enthusiasm. For a while they will be seen at all…

The God of the Impossible

[291 words] Amy Brockman worked as a ski instructor for the more prestigious ski areas in the world. This allowed her to train for the U.S. Olympic Ski Team while earning a living.  One day a beginning skier accidentally skied into Amy, knocking her into the path of the lift chair. The operator didn’t see…

Loose Leaf Paper and #2 Pencils

[278 words] “Parents that treat the church as optional, shouldn’t be surprised when their children treat Jesus as unnecessary.” — Unknown “Going back to school” is once again upon us! In our part of the world, August always means “school” will soon be starting! Education was always important to my parents, especially my father. My…

Mourning Without Moaning

[202 words] In His “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). Did you see that? Read it again just to make sure you got it right. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” There you have it; what Jesus…

Time Management

[289 words] Living the way God wants us to live requires the proper consciousness, commitment, and management of time. Paul exhorted, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is”…

Open Your Eyes and Heart, and You Will See

[235 words] There is a theory among some Christians that maybe God created the world and the things in it through the organic evolutionary process. This is an obvious attempt to combine macro evolution (being taught in our public schools) and the Bible. But if we read the Bible carefully, we see that this cannot…

Are You A Good Listener?

[251 words] James tells us that we should be a people who are “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). There is certainly a gift that can be learned in becoming a better listener. James is concerned with the anger of man, within the context of this particular verse, when he…

What Can One Person Do?

[291 words] Nearly eight billion people now inhabit this planet! What difference can one person (you) make? Oh, sure, the President of the United States is only one person, but he can make a huge difference. A multi-millionaire can make a noticeable difference. But ordinary folks like you or me – do we really matter?…

The Word Of God Is…

[286 words] Powerful: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes…

Giving Thanks

[209 words] The Apostle Paul gave us an important charge. He said: “Always and for everything give thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father” (Ephesians 5:20). This means going to God in prayer and thanking him for what He has given us. And doing this every day. The word…

Why Should I Attend VBS?

[235 words] Vacation Bible School is upon us again and you may be asking, “Why should I attend VBS?” VBS is another opportunity for spiritual growth! Jesus established His church as a community of His followers to worship God, encourage one another, and spread the Good News. Attending VBS will allow you to grow closer…

Behold, I Thought; Now I Know

[287 words] Despite being a leper, Naaman the Syrian army commander retained his pride. Didn’t his status merit a dramatic healing ceremony from Elijah? “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal…

If You Stand Firm

[287 words] Paul was worried about the brethren in Thessalonica. He barely had any time with them before circumstances have driven him from the city. Paul had wanted to return to them but Satan had kept that from happening. All he really wanted to know was ‘were they faithful”? Finally, when he receives the news…

The Flag We Fly

[279 words] As Americans, there are few sights that thrill us as much as seeing the “Stars and Stripes” billowing in the breeze over a free nation. When July 4th rolls around, many of us find ourselves rallying around our flag, thankful for the freedom we enjoy in our great country. The common purpose and…