A Proverb to Ponder

[136 words] Now, not all our attenders are members, and not all our members are attenders, but if all our attenders were members, and all our members were attenders… THEN…we’d have more trouble menders, more gospel defenders and more true soul winners! BUT…we’d have fewer people offenders, fewer spiritual hinderers and fewer religious pretenders! SO…let…

Let Your love Light Shine

[339 words] One of the most famous light houses in America is Minot’s Ledge Light House off shore from Scituate, Massachusetts. It is not known for its age or beauty. Though it has a rich, interesting history, it is perhaps best known for its light flashing, in nautical code, “1-4-3.” The flashing lantern was installed…

Concealed Carrier

[488 words] To get your concealed carry permit for a firearm in Kentucky, you can expect to undergo a background check, complete gun safety training, and pay a fee. There is a minimum age requirement, and there are other conditions to meet while holding a permit (which can be revoked or suspended). Did you know…

The Haste of the Hermandads

[438 words] In the 1100s, in an effort to protect travelers going from northern Spain over the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (Dogs of God, Reston, 50), a military force known as the hermandads (“the brotherhood”) was organized. Soon, these vigilantes spread across Spain and offered themselves as protectors of roads and merchants.…

The Power of Hope

[408 words] Have you been struggling with some feelings of hopelessness lately? Whenever we have a hard time seeing the end in sight or we face uncertainty or are exposed to fears and anxieties, it can undermine our determination to have hope. Yet, over a hundred times in Scripture, God points us to the hope…

I-N-V-O-L-V-E-M-E-N-T Equals Church Growth

[540 words] The early church grew (Acts 2:41; 5:14; 6:1,7; 9:31; 11:24). As we read of this growth explosion, we see the key role member involvement played. Christians were spreading the word (8:4), involved in each other’s lives and in the lives of the lost around them. This is such a simple concept, but churches…

It Isn’t Hard to Find the Flaws

[352 words] Take a moment to think about what happens in the course of a typical day. The coffee’s too hot (or not hot enough) or it tastes funny. The car in front of me is going too slow. The internet’s malfunctioning. The waitress has forgotten me. My coworker is lazy or undependable. My spouse…

Be Dependable!

[465 words] One of the hamstrings of most every church is a lack of dependable Christians. When Christians do show themselves undependable, they contribute so much to a church: much frustration, disappointment, and friction. We should all be dependable. You probably know little about Shelemiah, Zadok, Pedaiah and Hanon. Little is said about them. But…

How Often to Take the ‘Feast of Love’

[359 words] I recently read a fascinating article by John H. Armstrong in the September, 2014, issue of Christianity Today. Armstrong starts out reminiscing on early childhood worship experiences in the denomination he attended. He writes that his church celebrated the Lord’s Supper “four times a year. I remember asking why we celebrated it so…

Have We Misunderstood Grace?

[460 words] Perhaps the subject of grace has been neglected in some pulpits and congregations. Undoubtedly, it has been misunderstood and improperly taught since the first century (cf. Romans 6:1; Galatians 5:4). It is vital to properly emphasize and explain such a huge concept within the gospel message. Why? Because of what it is—the completely…

Longest Speech, Shortest Term

[327 words] The shortest inaugural address was George Washington’s second, in 1793, and it was comprised of 193 words! William Henry Harrison, though raised a cultured, educated man, campaigned on a folksy ticket symbolized by the log cabin. To set a different, more cultured tone for his presidency, Harrison decided to give a lengthy, erudite…

God Hates Shorts!

[370 words] You may be thinking that the title is presumptuous, opinionated, and even out of line. Let me disclaim what follows by asserting that God does not hate all shorts. He does, however, hate the following types of shorts. God Hates Shortcuts. At least, He hates humanly devised shortcuts for which He has given…

Observations From Perhaps The Most Difficult Passage In The New Testament

[348 words] What is perhaps the most difficult statement in the Bible is not grammatically complex or difficult to comprehend from an intellectual standpoint. But what elder, preacher, or other member has not agonized over it many times. Asked point blank for His teaching on the subject of marriage, divorce, and remarriage, Jesus says, “Because…

What Makes ‘In Jesus’ Name’ So Offensive?

[405 words] At Planet Fitness this morning I caught a glimpse of an old “Fresh Prince” episode, where Will Smith’s character was getting married. During the ceremony, the preacher prayed, beginning “Dear Heavenly Father” but ending “in Your Name, Amen.” With the recent controversy about the omission of Jesus’ name in prayers by the Robertsons…

I Drive a Donkey

[224 words] There is an obscure Bible character that holds a great deal of fascination for me. His name is Harbona(h) and his name only appears twice, both in connection with the account of Esther. He is introduced in Esther 1:10 and plays a key role in this divine story of providence in Esther 7:9.…

Looking in the Wrong Place for Jesus

  [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 vehemently…

I Wish the Church…

  [273 words] I wish the church… • Was more evangelistic • Had dynamic worship • Ministered to every age group • Encouraged people to become leaders • Was more visible in the community • Invested in the home • Provided more fellowship opportunities • Had a thriving education program • Had a passion for…

Stubborn Truths

[427 words] • “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Mat. 19:9). • “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts…

What About Me?

[195 words] My sister is taking a meal to the sick My brother has gone a wayward one to see They both were busy, no “convenient” time to pick But what about me? They invite their neighbors to come to church Have over people with frequency and glee For good deeds they seem to constantly…

You Can Be a Teachers’ Aid

  [375 words] Several of our classes have assistants to the Bible class teacher. She (or perhaps in select cases “he”) serves in a support role, helping students do handwork, find Bible verses, or occasionally keep order. These are vital roles, and often a teacher’s aid later actually becomes a teacher. Teachers’ aids are part…

What Vision Is

[419 words] It is the ability to see what a thing could be. A carpenter, looking at a tree, sees with a trained eye much more than others can see. With his expert shaping, appropriate tools, and seasoned patience, he can make out of that tree what was once only in his mind. The Lord…

Longing for the Desert Lodging Place?

The beleaguered prophet, Jeremiah, had had it. He was, in the words of Andy to Barney, “beat to the socks”—and then some! He was surrounded by sin and disobedience. At every turn, he was being disappointed by people he expected so much more from. He was fed up, and he wanted to escape from it…

Is the Church Broken?

You hear comments in Bible classes that amount to what’s wrong with the church, what we’re doing wrong, what we’re not doing, and what it’s doing to us, our children, and the world. You read people’s minds through their social media rants, raves, and ramblings, and the bottom line message is that the church is…

Are We a Friendly Congregation?

[400 words] While we must be concerned with doing what we do in worship according to Christ’s expressed will, we must also be sure to reflect His love to strangers, newcomers, outsiders, and otherwise unfamiliar faces. To improve upon our friendliness, we should consider the following principles: We must stop expecting that others will represent…