The Big Buyout

UNUSED 5  [320 words] The line starts to form around 4:30 in the morning. The goal of the people in line is to buy up the stock of doughnuts at Donut City, a small, family-owned shop in Seal Beach, California. By 7:30 the doughnuts have all been purchased. The motivation of the buyouts: to allow...

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Upward Mobility

UNUSED 2  [300 words] In a tiny coastal Mexican village, a boat comes into port. An American who is nearby compliments the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his catch and asks how long it took him to catch them. “Not very long,” answers the Mexican. “But why didn’t you stay out longer and catch...

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Take Advantage of What the Church Offers

UNUSED 1  [330 words] Recently, I dropped my son off at the building for an activity that will enhance his ability to develop a budget and be a better provider both financially and spiritually when he starts his family one day. I know our schedules create barriers from time to time and we can’t attend...

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The Biblical Way of Dealing with a Brother Who Has Sinned Against You

UNUSED 2  [338 words] “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word...

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Thoughts About the Grace of Giving

UNUSED 4  [350 words] This time of year, many don’t think twice about volunteering in a food bank, in a soup kitchen, or in taking a neighbor some extra peanut brittle made for an office party. This time of year, it doesn’t take much prompting for someone to drop some pocket change into the rounded-metal...

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On Being Thankful

UNUSED 41  [348 words] Thankfulness is an attitude of heart and mind that expresses itself in speech and action. Most of us have experienced ingratitude from another at some time in our lives, and such an experience is less than satisfying. Have you ever done something for someone, only to be received with little or...

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A Total Loss

UNUSED 19  [329 words] A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter was hit from behind by another driver. No one was hurt, and the damage to the rear bumper appeared minimal. The insurance company instructed me to take the car in for a closer inspection and repair estimate. During that inspection, they discovered that the...

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Sinkholes

UNUSED 11  [354 words] A giant sinkhole opened up in Schmalkalden, Germany about 98 feet across and about 65 feet deep that swallowed a car, part of a garage and house. Yet, it was small compared to the sinkhole that opened up in Guatemala City in 2007. Reportedly, residents heard rumblings for weeks but no...

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Prejudice

UNUSED 9  [393 words] The world teaches hate. Turn on the news or any social media and you will be flooded with stories and opinions that drive fear, distrust, and anger. If you are honest with yourself, you know we have all seen prejudice. We are all guilty of prejudice at one time or another,...

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What Defines You?

UNUSED 16  [306 words] Are you known for your knowledge of the great outdoors, your keen political awareness, the expertise in your profession or your ability to understand what it takes to build a superb athletic team? I enjoy hearing good hunting stories, listening to whether or not we are on the right track in...

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Why Love?

UNUSED 10  [369 words] “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). Have you ever wondered why it is that love is the greatest? I mean, faith and hope are two powerful elements of our Christian lives. Without faith, it is impossible to please God...

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Looking in the Wrong Place for Jesus

UNUSED 7  [331 words] Periodically, we read or hear of “sightings” that unbelievers have a field day with. I refer to “Jesus sightings,” people are claiming in such things as clouds, Cheetos, dental X-rays, cooking utensils, windows, walls, and trees. Wikipedia even has an entry for it (“Perceptions of religious imagery in natural phenomena”). People...

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What is the Standard for Our Morality?

UNUSED 4  [376 words] “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21). It seems since the beginning...

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No Stone Unturned

UNUSED 3  [303 words] In Mark 13:1-2 we read, “As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not...

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Biblical Meditation: The Cure for What Ails You

UNUSED 10  [392 words] “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard...

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I Know There is a God!

UNUSED 22  [330 words] There are so many people in the world today claiming that there is no God. Well I am here to state that I know there is a God and I can prove it. You may ask how I can be so confident. I know for one hundred percent certainty that God...

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Marks of the Maker

UNUSED 10  [397 words] As I was laying on the floor of the parking garage at the Fort Bend County Justice Center (for those of you concerned—it was for exercise), I noticed that on the huge slab of concrete above me, it had arrows and notes drawn in chalk on it. Being that it was...

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We Don’t Belong Here!

UNUSED 6  [311 words] “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:19 ESV). The apostle Paul tells us that we are to seek thing that are above (Col. 3 :1-2) so that we will focus on things that are to...

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Calling It What It Is

UNUSED 3  [343 words] The past several years have produced an uneasy, unfounded shift in brotherhood terminology. Much has been written in various journals and papers, and even more has been said in countless lectures and sermons concerning “our movement” and “our fellowship,” with less and less being said about the Lord’s church. Not so...

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Buying Back the Past

UNUSED 7  [305 words] Oscar Wilde once put forth this thought-provoking observation: “No man is rich enough to buy back his past.” To a large degree, Wilde was right. Even Paul, that matchless apostle of New Testament days, was haunted by acrid memories of a wasted and misdirected youth, a time when he had worked...

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No Thank You

UNUSED 3  [327 words] Media advice columnists offer counsel to readers with all kinds of relationship problems. One woman described a situation in which she had offered an acquaintance a ride to church. He usually walked, but the weather was miserable and she said she was happy to help. But when he didn’t respond according...

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Planting a Forest

UNUSED 13  [338 words] He’s known as the “Forest Man of India.” Over the last 70 years, the Brahmaputra River has eroded over half of the world’s largest river island of Majuli in Assam, India. The mighty river has also claimed over 35 villages. Nearly 40 years ago, Jadav Payeng, then 16, in an effort...

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Don’t Quit

UNUSED 12  [321 words] Many times, we encounter challenges that make us rethink our commitment to Christ and the church. When we consider quitting or lessening our relationship with Christ and the church let’s: Remember why we started (cf. Revelation 2:5). The church at Ephesus left their first love. Go back and remember why we...

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Elders Need to Lead With Compassion

UNUSED 2  [322 words] Elders face problems of all shapes, sizes, and colors. A few years of putting out fires can leave them burned out. They can come to rule with an iron fist rather than a velvet touch–more of the shepherd’s rod than his crook. Early Roman philosopher Publilius Syrus said, “You can accomplish...

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A Toothbrush and the Bible

UNUSED 15  [302 words] What do a toothbrush, a scrub brush, and a toilet brush have in common? Each one of these items is a brushing tool that does a particular job. They are all used to clean. Even my two year old knows that a toothbrush is used to clean teeth, a scrub brush...

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Four Commands We Must Live By

UNUSED 7  [367 words] “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that...

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Hide and Seek With a Spider

UNUSED 7  [368 words] As I made my coffee one morning, I noticed the movement of a brown object down on the floor. It was big enough to catch my eye and big enough to make me jump. It was a large (silver dollar-sized) spider that quickly ran and took refuge under a chair. While...

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Teach

Answer Their Call

UNUSED 3  [313 words] Earlier this week, my wife received a call from an unfamiliar toll free number. I answered it for her and it happened to be a computerized message stating that an inmate from the Weld County jail in Colorado has called this number and asked if we would accept the charges for...

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It Makes the World Go ‘Round

UNUSED 3  [301 words] We’re told that love is “what makes the world go ‘round.” An old song suggests, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” And the Bible has been promoting the same message for centuries now: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself . . . let us love one another.”...

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Back to School Challenges

UNUSED 20  [327 words] Most parents will agree that when it is back to school time, there are challenges to be faced. We will be concerned about making sure they have the right school supplies, maybe some new clothing. Perhaps we’ll be worried about our child’s new teacher, or a different mix of kids in...

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Let Us Pray

UNUSED 0  [373 words] How many times have we heard this expression as a prelude to a collective journey of the brethren into the presence of God? I wonder, is it used so much that we forget its importance? Here are some instances of corporate prayers found in the New Testament. In Matthew 26 and...

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That the World May Believe

UNUSED 0  [320 words] Perhaps the Bible’s greatest enemy is preaching; preaching that makes the Bible appear to be a book of conflicting, contradictory doctrines. Robert Owen, the notorious atheist said in controversy with Alexander Campbell that the reason he was an atheist was because he had read so many conflicting doctrines all of which...

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I Don’t Know and I Don’t Care!

UNUSED 1  [366 words] Many years ago, I heard Leroy Brownlow (author of “Why I am a Member of the Church of Christ”) use this illustration. “What are the two main problems in the church?” The question was answered with, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” He hit the nail on the head. Indifference...

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Honor and Obey Shepherds

UNUSED 2  [315 words] Shepherds are a gracious gift from God. God has always known the need for His people to remain faithful to Him, and how difficult, in the face of temptations, it can be for them to do so. Moses, a faithful servant-leader in all God’s house (Heb. 3:2), knew first hand the...

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A Prayer for Parents

UNUSED 0  [361 words] Each of us know that prayer is very important. In our own lives we will pray at different times and for different reasons. We pray at meal times, when someone is having troubles in their lives (such as sickness, death or making difficult decisions). We also know that our Lord and...

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Tell the Story of True Suffering

UNUSED 0  [319 words] A sports news network reported an NFL’s investigation showed an offensive lineman for one of the teams was harassed by one of his teammates last year. An investigation ordered by the league said it found evidence that a player had been the subject of racial slurs and bullying during his time with...

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‘This Woman was Taken in Adultery, in the Very Act’

UNUSED 0  [320 words] “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act” (John 8:3-4). I’m not sure why I chose the story of the adulterous woman...

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What Does it Mean to Be Loved by a Father?

UNUSED 0  [368 words] What does it mean to be loved by a father? Let the apostle John answer. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1 NKJV). “Behold” See, behold, and understand. God wants us to understand how he loves...

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Behold, the Lamb of God

UNUSED 0  [320 words] Sin has a way of demanding our attention. Whether it is a sin someone has committed against us or our falling prey to our own evil desires (James 1:14), sin has a way of becoming our focus. All sin is against God and carries with it the spiritual death sentence demanded...

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F.E.A.R.

UNUSED 0  [370 words] Fear–a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. One of the things that causes many in the world today to fear is the “What if…” What if our worst fear were to come true? What if I lose everything? What if my friends leave me? What if my parents...

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