Take the Harder Road

[464 words] Building godly character is hard work. “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7). Every effort is right. That’s what it takes to...

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Clean Air

[434 words] There’s a new heat pump on the south end of the “preacher’s home.” I was there when the repair guys were pulling out the old one. The compressor died. It was no big surprise as all mechanical things fail, wear out, or break, sooner or later. However, there was an unexpected bit of...

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The Need to Be Alone

[409 words] Most of us enjoy the feelings we get when we are in the middle of a crowd. The thrill of the football stadium crowd, the shared enthusiasm when our team scores, and even the disappointment when they lose, are all factors of our delight in this type of experience. Many of us find...

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Far Reaching Consequences

[425 words] God, who alone knows the future, set the regulations for Israel’s kings long before the people asked Samuel for one. All the way back in Deuteronomy the law for the king was clearly described. The king must be an Israelite. He must not acquire many horses or go back to Egypt to get...

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The Patience of Satan

[483 words] Surely you mean “the patience of Job.” Or, perhaps you meant to write “the patience of God.” You can’t possibly mean “the patience of Satan.” And even though it sounds a bit absurd, that is exactly what I meant to write. And better yet, is the need for us to understand the working...

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Choose Your Words Wisely

[498 words] The story is told of a man who called the phone company to complain about how his name was listed in the directory. He angrily insisted, “My name is Sweady, but this is the second time you’ve mistakenly spelled it Cyirwu.” “I’m sorry,” the customer service representative said, “I will make sure to...

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Faith: How Important?

[482 words] “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Christians, in some ways, are like anyone else. We all have a tendency to become lax about matters that should be basic and indispensable. It is like eating well. Anyone can learn how proper nutrition works and can even...

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The Fruit of the Spirit

[462 words] Galatians 5: 22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” This well-known passage commonly inspires us to set a goal of pursuing these individual qualities, and these are wonderful goals to have. However, what many fail...

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Why is Our Society So Sinful?

[413 words] Why will a man throw away the wife of his youth and the children she bore him, all for a “one night stand?” Adults use profanity in public and in front of children. Society is plagued by constant news reports of murder, abuse, rape and theft. Even in a small community, the gossip...

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Father’s Day Perspective

[402 words] Father’s Day, what does it mean to you? Its meaning has changed for me over the years. When I was young’ it was a day to wear a red rose to church. It was a day to say, “Thanks Dad for all the things you do.” Later, when I became a dad, it...

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Giving As God Desires

[448 words] To purpose to give is a godly pursuit that many spend little if any thought. However, the Lord expects us to determine in our hearts to give sacrificially and happily and joyfully.  “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful...

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Is an Active Faith Important?

[431 words] A ship wrecked off the Rhode Island coast, one winter day. A father and son managed to get into a lifeboat. The father refused to let his son help row. Upon reaching land, the father found his son frozen to death. The boy needed activity in order to live. What is true of...

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Honor Your Mother!

[471 words] “Honor your father and your mother” is the fifth of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12). Though we do not live under the Old Testament law today, God brought nine of those commandments into the New Testament, including this one (Ephesians 6:1-3). Giving Mom a card and a box of chocolates on the second...

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Jesus Went About Doing Good

[416 words] Peter made one of the simplest statements about Jesus that you’ll find in Scripture. But it is also packed with meaning and application. He said that Jesus “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). This understated affirmation deserves our deeper exploration. What were some of these good things that our Lord went about doing?...

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Prison Ministries

[448 words] “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’...

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God Isn’t Finished With You Yet

[418 words] For the conscientious Christian, weaknesses and failures can be particularly vexing. To put it bluntly and personally, I hate it when I fail to live up to God’s standard. It irritates me. I know that when it comes to sinners, the apostle Paul staked a claim to the moniker, “chief” (1 Tim. 1:15)....

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Of Facts and Feelings

[436 words] The movie and television industries exist to promote entertainment fantasy. One of the latest fads is the “reality” show. The only problem is that there is almost nothing even remotely “real” about these shows. So what?! Selling fantasy is about creating feelings not delivering facts. Except for a few documentaries and such, the...

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What Should We Do About Sin?

[485 words] If you, as a Christian, know for a fact that your brother or sister is living in sin, what are you to do? Depending on the sin, you might say. If it is a private matter, Matthew 18:15 and following give the prescription for the matter. If the brother or sister refuse to...

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Expressions and Impressions

[449 words] Are you approachable? It is likely each of us can say, “Yes, I am approachable. Why do you ask?” It was not long ago that I heard a sister say to the preacher, “You’re approachable.” This is an interesting remark. Is the case that some in the congregation, perhaps Bible class teachers, other...

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True Forgiveness

[441 words] “For if you forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).”Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins...

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Three Things Christians Need Today

[457 words] Imagine encountering some of the people that Jesus encountered during His lifetime. Would you respond like Jesus did? Imagine coming face-to-face with a leper, a woman with a blood malady of 12 years, a woman caught in adultery, beggars, ingrates, disfigured and unsightly invalids, numerous diseased, tricksters, spoiled rich brats, a traitor, hateful...

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Speak to Us Smooth Things

[419 words] Much of the world’s “political correctness” is in the Lord’s church, just as it was in Isaiah’s day. In Isaiah 30:9-10, God says, “This is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the Lord, who say…do not prophesy to us right things; speak to us smooth things,...

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What We Believe

[440 words] Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). On another occasion the apostle Peter stated, “There is salvation in none other. For there is none other name under heaven given among men, wherein we must be saved’ (Acts...

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God Listens

[416 words] Have you ever stopped in the middle of a sentence or in the middle of telling a story because you thought the person you were talking to was not listening? It is quite a joy when the person notices and encourages you to continue. You feel rather down and worthless when the person...

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Funny Jokes for Church Bulletin

On the Lighter Side (February 2013)

[427 words] On her birthday morning a woman told her husband, “I just dreamed that you gave me a beautiful diamond necklace. What do you think it means?” “You’ll know tonight,” he said. That evening just before her birthday celebration, he came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she...

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America, What Happened?

[469 words] As a nation, we have lost our way. We have become a nation that has forgotten its God days without number. We are a wealthy nation that has become the biggest debtor nation. We tout our country as a “Christian nation,” but tolerate and promote a very un-Christian agenda. We consider our nation...

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Consider Yourself Warned

[408 words] Life is filled with warning signs like, “Bridge Out Ahead.” “Poison.” “Do Not Operate Machinery After Taking This Medication.” “Rip Current” “Soft Shoulder.” “Road Narrows.” “Do Not Pass.” “Detour.” “Travel Advisory.” We are wise to heed them. Have you ever considered the four places God placed a “Be Not Deceived” warning sign in...

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What You Do in the Church Pew Matters!

[461 words] “You mind your business and I’ll mind mine.” That is the motto of many and I, for one, like it! The Bible teaches us not to be busy-bodies. At the same time, we need to remember that what we do has an impact on others for good or bad. One of the reasons...

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The Helpless and the Helpers

[433 words] As all of the miracles of our Lord are impressive, the one about the healed paralytic is especially impressive to me. In Mark 2:1-12 the reader is immediately taken back to a first century home located in Capernaum. It was likely just a small flat, rectangular in shape with an open courtyard in...

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What Some Believe

[409 words] It is interesting the things that people believe religiously without checking the facts with the Bible. In illustrating this, consider three things that people believe about the birth of Christ. First, many believe that the star that led the wise men to the Christ was of the magnitude of a distant super nova,...

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Backsliding Heifer

[431 words] Hosea 4:16 illustrates the rebellious disposition of the northern kingdom of Israel by referring to that nation as a “backsliding heifer.” The Hebrew word for “backsliding” here appears in other passages as “stubborn,” “rebellious,” “revolters” and “withdrew.” This malignant response to a benevolent God led God to remove his benevolent protection from Israel,...

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Is Our Sin God’s Fault?

[423 words] None of us ask to be born, yet we were given life anyway from our Creator (Job 10:8-9; Ps. 100:3; 119:73; 139:14). And yes, we have all sinned (Ro. 3:23; Eccl. 7:20; 1 Kg. 8:46), but isn’t that partially God’s fault? Our omniscient God knew we would be tempted of the devil and...

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The Watchers

[401 words] When I was a kid I loved collecting and reading comic books. Several characters have stuck with me even today. Among them are a group of alien beings called The Watchers. The Watchers are beings that have great powers to manipulate time, material, and space. They spend their time in observance of all...

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Me, or We?

[458 words] The story is told of an encounter between a high school principal and a young ninth grader. The principal noticed the young man in the hallway with a very defeated and frustrated look on his face. He asked the young man, “Is everything okay?” The boy replied sternly, “No. I don’t understand all...

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A Marriage to Consider

[455 words] Marriages in the Bible were like marriages today. Some were better than others and some were worse, but all of them had their ups and downs. We can relate to their joys and struggles and learn from these old stories. Consider the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah. Isaac was the son of promise....

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Life Is Like A Train Ride

[433 words] John C. Maxwell, in his book The Difference Maker, quotes an excerpt from a speech given by former First Lady Barbara Bush at Kennebunk High School in Maine. I thought it was worth sharing: “We get on board that train at birth, and we want to cross the continent because we have in...

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Evil Exists

[411 words] “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men” (Revelation 2:2). Modern philosophy suggests that there is something good in everyone. Thoroughly “bad” or “evil” persons are not even considered to exist. Everyone who commits particularly heinous deeds do so because they are innocent products of...

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Fish

[438 words] It happened off the coast of California several years ago. Fishing boats, many of them, would work the many miles of shoreline, going far out into the bay and gather in large catches of sardines to take them to the sardine canning factory at Monterey. In the area also were large numbers of...

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Similarities Between a Pearl and the Church

[430 words] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matt. 13:45-46). The parable of the pearl of great price is listed among our Lord’s kingdom parables (Matt. 13:1ff)....

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Forgiveness

[428 words] “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). The character of the Christian includes “bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you” (Col. 3:13). What...

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