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Lessons for Life

Lessons for Life

[338 words] “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life” (Proverbs 4:13). I won’t forget that day on the mountain. It was our first time for snow skiing, so lessons were suggested. Not me, I had been on water skis many times. I could...

Annie’s Death

Annie’s Death

[323 words] Charles and his wife were devastated. Their little girl, Annie, had died. Charles blamed himself and his wife because they were first cousins. While such inbreeding can cause birth defects, this was not the cause of Annie’s death. She, most likely, died of...

l Will Fear No Evil

l Will Fear No Evil

[322 words] "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil" (Psalm 23:4). We live in a fearful age: Covid-19, quarantines, economic uncertainty, riots, and Chinese communist belligerence. Many are incapacitated with uncertainty and...

The Ballad of Fort McHenry

The Ballad of Fort McHenry

[318 words] On the evening of September 13, 1814 an American diplomat found himself stuck on a British vessel watching a fierce bombardment of Baltimore's Fort McHenry. The state of affairs looked grim. As he spent the night detained by the enemy, Francis Scott Key...

Why Has All This Happened to Us?

Why Has All This Happened to Us?

[366 words] The history of Gideon is fascinating. There is a reason why his story is so commonly shared with young people at Vacation Bible School, etc. But before he was smashing jars and blowing trumpets (Judges 7:19-21), he was wrestling with difficult...

Trees and Grace

Trees and Grace

[309 words] I have given a lot of thought on how to describe God’s grace, and I have come up with the following: Grace is like a tree. Now, stay with me on this: Only God can make a tree. As we know from the famous poem, only God can make a tree and only God can give...

Lost in the Woods

Lost in the Woods

[377 words] Everyone who has ever spent any time hiking or hunting in the forests of our land, knows of the possibility of getting lost. Some time ago, a teenager hunting in the Rocky Mountains with his father, discovered firsthand what it means to be lost. The young...

Spiritual Growth

Spiritual Growth

[344 words] Parents are rightly concerned about the physical development of their children. They will keep a close check on the height and weight of growing children. They will encourage them to eat food that will be healthy and will help them to grow stronger. ...

Spiritual Myopathy

Spiritual Myopathy

[335 words] Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen” (2 Cor. 4:18). Poor eyesight has plagued me for the most part of my life. After more than ten surgeries, I...

Being a Good Neighbor in Difficult Times

Being a Good Neighbor in Difficult Times

[371 words] In recent days I have seen some concerning trends. With the increase in mask wearing and the need for social distancing, people are becoming more isolated than ever before in our society. People are not talking to each other in public places like they once...

How To Destroy A Country

How To Destroy A Country

[362 words] “One university after another is bowing before the violent demands of a small minority of radicals who intend to overthrow the existing government...The radicals fully intend to overthrow the national government and replace it according to their own fuzzy,...

Condescend to Men of Low Estate

Condescend to Men of Low Estate

[322 words] In chapter seven of his book Balance: A Tried and Tested Formula for Church Growth, Ira North points us to the importance of helping the poor, the downtrodden, and the “lowly.” Brother North quotes Romans 12:16 (KJV) which says, “Be of the same mind one...

Everybody Needs a Barnabas

Everybody Needs a Barnabas

[330 words] Saul, later known as Paul, and John Mark were well-known in the early church. But they might not have achieved their positions of leadership if it had not been for the unique ministry of a lesser known personality, Barnabas. Almost every time Barnabas is...

Stirring Waters

Stirring Waters

[372 words] Many times in my life the calm waters have been stirred. Stirring waters are signs of change. When the water stirs the course of time may be altered. One might be called upon to make some remarkable changes in their life. There was once a man who could do...

Money, Who Needs It!

Money, Who Needs It!

[363 words] Money plays a big part in our world, and I’m not naive enough to think we can do without it in today’s modern economy. The Bible has quite a lot to say about our relationship with money and the dangers of being greedy. It’s good for us to take time to...

We Need Older People!

We Need Older People!

[333 words] Like you, I was taught to “respect my elders.” Of course, my parents were talking about respecting and showing value to those who were older than me. The older I get, the more value I have for those who are older than me. Those who are older than me have...

How High Can You Count?

How High Can You Count?

[336 words] When 156,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers landed at Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. More than 4,000 Allied soldiers died during that World War II battle. What a high price, and an enormous...

Is Racism A Sin?

Is Racism A Sin?

[330 words] Before answering the question, it is imperative that the terms, racism, and sin be defined. First, the term racism is defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race...

The GIFT of a Great Relationship

The GIFT of a Great Relationship

[388 words] We just love getting gifts, don’t we? How wonderful it is having someone think of us and spend time and resources to get us something special. It lets us know that we are loved. And, of course, we should be most thankful for the love and gift God has given...

Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood

Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood

[354 words] Stephen Covey was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His most famous book is entitled, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” This book highlights seven ways one can be more effective in life, work, or their profession as...

As We Listen

As We Listen

[381 words] In Luke 8:18 Jesus warned, “Therefore take heed how you hear.” He had said earlier, “And hearing they may not understand” (vs. 10). The words “hear” and “heard” are also found in vs. 12, 13, 14, and 15. Later, Jesus would add, “My mother and My brothers...

Contentment and Purpose

Contentment and Purpose

[367 words] We live in a country that is wealthy and even though we may be going through a hard time we are still considered some of the richest people in the world. The Bible teaches that contentment with what we have, if we are rich or poor, is an important...

What Made Him Pray?

What Made Him Pray?

[339 words] The scriptures show us clearly that Daniel was a man of prayer (Dan. 6:10), so it’s no surprise to see him pouring his heart out to God in Daniel chapter 9. Several clues in this chapter teach us what motivated Daniel to pray on this occasion. ...

Expressions of Faith

Expressions of Faith

[386 words] Isn’t it frustrating when our plans get hindered? As the apostle Paul was writing the letter to the Romans, he told them that he had often planned to come to them, but had been hindered (Romans 1:13). Many of us today during this current crisis are feeling...

His Eyes Are Upon You

His Eyes Are Upon You

[343 words] Recently, I read a story about an 11-year-old boy up north. He was eagerly looking forward to attending a friend's birthday party. Days before the event, he and his mother had picked the perfect gift. They had carefully wrapped it. Friday night, all was...

Our Strength

Our Strength

[359 words] There are a number of interesting scenes presented in the book of Nehemiah. One, often overlooked, is found in chapter 8. People were gathered in an open square to hear God’s word read to them. Ezra was the reader and it was an extensive reading, to say...

Honey, or Venom?

Honey, or Venom?

[388 words] Honey has a very sweet, pleasant taste. It can be eaten by itself. It can also be used to sweeten other foods. Some believe that there are some healing benefits to honey as well. Most people would welcome having a jar of honey in the house. Venom? Well,...

Let’s Read the Writing on the Wall

Let’s Read the Writing on the Wall

[303 words] In Daniel chapter 5, we read about how a man was stripped of his blessings. The man’s name was Belshazzar, one of the rulers of ancient Babylon. This fellow was rich and powerful. As is often the case with those born rich, he was arrogant and irreligious....

Being a Disciple of Jesus

Being a Disciple of Jesus

[379 words] "But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to the courts, and scourge you in their synagogues” (Matthew 10:17). Jesus was sending His disciples out to preach the gospel of Christ telling the people to repent of their sins. He also told them...

What If God Took Your Excuses Away?

What If God Took Your Excuses Away?

[327 words] Several years ago, while living in another city, one of the elders in the church here and this writer were making some calls on some of our members who had become negligent in their attendance with the house of God at the times of worship. As we sat in one...

What Will We Tell Our Kids?

What Will We Tell Our Kids?

[392 words] Someday we are going to tell our children and grandchildren about 2020. We will tell them about this virus and all of these weird changes that we had to make. We will talk about social distancing and how big corporations turned over their production to...

Shelter in Place

Shelter in Place

[398 words] “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many Americans have been told to stay home.  That means do not go to work, do not go to school, do not leave the house...

Dealing With Chickens

Dealing With Chickens

[314 words] I loved visiting my Aunt Maureen and my  Uncle Tolle Chapman in Nobob, KY when I was a little boy. They always had chickens in their backyard! I would spend hours watching the chickens peck the ground and interact in their little space. My aunt...

Quarantine is a Biblical Practice

Quarantine is a Biblical Practice

[335 words] Peter's first letter addressed the difficulties the church was facing in the first century A.D. Today, we are facing a pandemic unlike anyone has ever seen in our generation. To the faithful, the hardest thing is having to self-isolate away from our...

Finding Some Normalcy

Finding Some Normalcy

[300 words] The other day I talked about my work life during “limited shelter in place.” That reflects part of my strategy for dealing with all of this craziness: find ways to create normalcy. I have found times when I found myself stressed without really knowing why....

What it Takes to Be God

What it Takes to Be God

[310 words] In part of John’s glimpse of heaven, he saw four living creatures who did not rest from praising God saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come” (Rev. 4:8). In this saying of honor, three great attributes of God are given....

Are Monsters Due in Abilene?

Are Monsters Due in Abilene?

[306 words] An episode of the classic TV show Twilight Zone was called “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” In this episode, the power goes out in a neighborhood. Someone suggests the possibility that this is the work of aliens and that one family is in cahoots...

Let’s Read the Writing on the Wall

Yes, It’s a Pandemic

[395 words] Uncontrolled disease can be horrific. With the current worries about the spread of a new coronavirus dubbed “COVID-19,” we have heard the terms “epidemic” and “pandemic” tossed around quite a bit. An epidemic occurs when a disease affects a greater number...

Security of Believers

Security of Believers

[308 words] One of the basic doctrines of Calvinism is the impossibility of apostasy. This teaching says that once a person becomes a Christian there is nothing he or she can do to be lost One man went so far as to say that even if he murdered someone in cold blood he...

My Brother

My Brother

[335 words] “Afterwards the LORD asked Cain, “Where is Abel?” “How should I know?” he answered, “Am I supposed to look after my brother?” (Genesis 4:9 CEV) In 1964, a young woman was stabbed and raped outside her Queens apartment while witnesses observed and did...

The Day Jesus Cleaned House

The Day Jesus Cleaned House

[336 words] Why did Jesus have to cleanse the temple? Why was He not content to just let things go on business as usual? In John 2, Jesus “cleans house” literally because those Jews had made the temple a “house of merchandise” (John 2:16). There were things,...

Of Fools and Blind Faith

Of Fools and Blind Faith

[335 words] Both evidence and reason point convincingly to faith in God. The charge of “blind faith,” often leveled against the conviction of believers, better describes the plight of those who see a world without God. “For every house is built by someone, and He that...

Credibility from Mountaintops

Credibility from Mountaintops

[363 words] There are many people who look on those who are religious as naïve, that is, people with good intentions, but devoted people deluded by ideas not based in reality. Though this is hardly the case, it matters not; some just choose to think this because they...

Are You Tired?

Are You Tired?

[351 words] “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble. He comes forth like a flower and fades away; he flees like a shadow and does not continue.” Job 14:1-2 reminds us life is hard and short.  This is not “news” to any of us! We are all aware...

Wedding Vows Are to Be Honored

Wedding Vows Are to Be Honored

[357 words] “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife…through sickness and health, until death do you part?” “I do.” “Do you take this man…until death do you part?” “I do.” “Before God and these witnesses, I now pronounce you man and wife.” Of course,...

God’s GPS of Salvation

God’s GPS of Salvation

[351 words] Our technological society has become very familiar with the “GPS” which facilitates navigating from point A to point B. When properly set, the GPS ideally prevents one from becoming “lost” when driving. I totally depend upon my GPS to navigate me through...

Beds, Aren’t You Glad We Have Them!

Beds, Aren’t You Glad We Have Them!

[352 words] It was another cold rainy morning. I just wanted to go back home and curl up in my bed. Sound familiar? It got me thinking about the word bed in the Bible. The word bed is mentioned in the Bible about 108 times in the King James Version. We know that...

Ants

Ants

[307 words] In the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, the ant is portrayed as wise because he prepares for winter while the grasshopper lacks the common sense to acknowledge its approach and thus suffers and dies. God seemingly did infuse the ant with an instinct...

Securing Their Hearts

Securing Their Hearts

[387 words] How shall the young secure their hearts and guard their lives from sin? Thy Word, the choicest rules impart to keep the conscience clean! Where in the world can young people learn what is holy and pure and right? The words of that old song clearly and...