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  • John T. Polk II 8:39 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , peaceable, , , , troops, , war-mongering,   

    (#207) The Proverbs of Solomon Proverbs 30:32-33-War-mongering Causes War 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 30:32-33: “If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, Or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth. 33 For as the churning of milk produces butter, And wringing the nose produces blood, So the forcing of wrath produces strife.”

    Actions always have consequences, and some actions are clearly illustrated: (1) “churning of milk produces butter;” (2) “wringing the nose produces blood.” Similarly, “the forcing of wrath produces strife,” or even a peaceable king can be forced into battle! Examples in Bible and History are almost too numerous to list. Think of how many lives, either in battles or in individual fights, that might have been spared if Solomon’s God-given Wisdom had been followed: “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:20-21). Many authors, newspapers, radio/TV reporters and demonstrators have sparked and fanned the flames of conflagration!

    If there is “a king whose troops are with him” (Proverbs 30:31), then to rise up with evil plans against him, thus, “forcing wrath” upon him, would surely have a serious consequence: “strife.”

    Leading a rebellion against a King who is beloved by his troops is begging for trouble! Three things (“exalting yourself,” “devised evil,” “forcing of wrath”) can be avoided simply by covering your mouth! It’s bad enough to think the “evil,” but spoken words cannot be taken back, and may have sparked a “wrath”-ful outburst which causes “strife.” “The wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion; Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life. It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel” (Proverbs 20:2-3).

    Just criticism would be welcomed by a righteous king, that is, all words that would help him follow God’s Wisdom: “It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness” (Proverbs 16:12); “Take away the wicked from before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness” (Proverbs 25:5).

    Truly, it’s better not to say so much, than to say so much that’s not so!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:27 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: details, , ,   

    Details Schmetails? 

    I received a flier in the mail yesterday that made me laugh. It advertised a vehicle that was being sold for:

    75% Off

    Original MSRP!²

    MSRP: $25,855  NOW: $6,464  (75% Discount)

    (2) 1 available at this price. 1998 GMC JIMMY #R527. Plus tax, title, license and $459 doc fee.

    “Strangely” enough, the further down the ad read, the smaller the font size became. But still – come on, it’s 75% off! That still sounds like a deal right? Until you find out “the deal” is on a used vehicle, that’s 17 years old in automotive years, that does not have its mileage listed; all of that plus no picture to boot. So how does the eye-catching 75% off sound to your eyes ears now that the details have been given?

    It is not my intent to say that there is something wrong with driving a 1998 GMC Jimmy (I have bought vehicles that were 10 years old and then drove them for another 10 years) or that the car dealership is doing something flat-out wrong, but I point out what I point to make a point – that point being: I know the Devil is in the details. Every promise the devil makes comes with consequences that are only mentioned in the details (see Adam, Eve, and the serpent in Eden for an example of this – Genesis 3). Every sin comes with a headline that promises pleasure, but the details reveal the pain (Galatians 6:8). Sin ensnares and conquers and makes captives of its targets (Romans 7:19-20, 1 Timothy 6:9, 2 Timothy 2:24-26). Like a flier that advertises 75% off of a vehicle, sin sounds like it’s too good to be true, and then the details reveal the reality of the situation that says that it is!

    It is God who urges us to keep the details in mind, because the details of sin mattered enough for the Son of God to fulfill the details of the law in a way that we could know that God’s grace is strong enough to deal not only the with headlines of sin – but the details as well.

    May we be diligent enough to recognize the details for what they are. And may God help us to see the details and repent when we’re too foolish to pay attention to the jot and tittles of his word and to the consequences of not following it.

    For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)

     
    • Randal 8:37 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      So it’s got a few years and miles on it, I mean, look at that discount!

    • James 10:29 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Surely it is worth at most half that!

  • TFRStaff 2:18 pm on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Old cartoon about God’s will 

     
    • Don Ruhl 9:46 am on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      There are now many other books that could be added to the book, “Human Creeds,” such as, “Man’s Psychology,” for that has blinded many to the truths of God’s word.

  • Weylan Deaver 1:34 pm on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Recently I accidentally discovered that my exhaustive NKJV concordance omitted a verse under a word heading. I pulled a NKJV off the shelf and the word was in my Bible, but not in my concordance. Later, I pulled another NKJV off the shelf and, sure enough, the word was not in that edition. So, evidently, the concordance was right, based on the edition it was using at the time. But it does point out the aggravation brought about by publishers updating versions with new language not in older editions of the same version. The result is that not all NKJV’s read the same, not all ESV’s read the same, etc., etc.

     
    • Randal 1:49 pm on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I like the NET Bible approach. They’ve “frozen” the first edition for a designated time period.

      I’ve avoided the electronic Bible searches, to a degree, when I want completeness, out of concern that they wouldn’t get everything. Yours is a good reminder that print isn’t infallible either.

    • Richard Mansel 1:51 pm on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I once took my regular NKJV and my NKJV study Bible with me to a study so we would both have the same version. That, at least, was the plan. However, I was dismayed to find that the Study Bible had different wording than my regular Bible. It was embarrassing.

    • James 9:06 pm on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      There are slight variations in some KJV editions as well. Beyond the obvious changes from the original middle English spellings. That is the way it goes when imperfect people are handling God’s perfect word.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:50 am on September 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Bible Riddle 

    No doubt about it, last week’s Bible riddle about the “secret password” put a strain on the brain, but I believe this week’s riddle might be a little more relaxing:

    What has one head, one foot and four legs?

    Do you already know the answer? Share it in the comments. Need a hint? Check out Mark 4:21-34 and look for the word that best fits as the answer.

    Have a safe and blessed week.

     

     
  • drkenney 6:19 pm on September 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Alexander Campbell and The Spirit of Ecumenicalism 

    Alexander Campbell circa 1830

    Alexander Campbell circa 1830

     

    Today would have been Alexander Campbell’s 226th birthday.  He was born September 12, 1788. Sadly, one will not see many, if any, references to this on newscasts, blogs or websites.  There are those who claim that Alexander Campbell was an ecumenical preacher.  This would depend on how one is using the term “ecumenical” though.

    According to Dictionary.com, the definition of “ecumenical” is:  adjective  1. general; universal.  2. pertaining to the whole Christian church.  3.  promoting or fostering Christian unity throughout the world.  4. of or pertaining to a movement (ecumenical movement) especially among Protestant groups since the 1800s, aimed at achieving universal Christian unity and church union through international interdenominational organizations that cooperate on matters of mutual concern.  5. interreligious or interdenominational: an ecumenical marriage. 6. including or containing a mixture of diverse elements or styles; mixed:an ecumenical meal of German, Italian, and Chinese dishes.” (“ecumenical.” Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 12 Sep. 2014. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ecumenical>.)

    Some use this term in a way that various religious groups may cooperate provided they agree on certain facts such as:  there is a God, Jesus is God’s Son, the Bible is God’s Word and some other fundamental points of agreement.  But, there are some doctrines that must be marginalized in the spirit of ecumenicalism.  So, these tend to dismiss other matters of New Testament doctrine as “differences of opinion” and such like.  These state they believe one can maintain their denominational organizations, retain their creeds, and yet be a part of the universal church.

    Now, contrast this view of ecumenicalism with this statement by Alexander Campbell and see if it squares with those of the ecumenical persuasion of this generation:

    “It is not uncommon for us to mistake living characters, and not less uncommon to mistake the characters of the dead. The Pauls of the Catholic, Protestant, Presbyterian, Methodist. and Baptist churches are very unlike Paul the Apostle. The Presbyterian Paul sprinkled infants and consecrated meeting-houses; the Episcopalian Paul was an Archbishop with a mitre and a surplice; the Catholic Paul always had a vial of holy water in his pocket, and a walking-cane made of the wood of the cross, and was always repeating prayers to the immaculate Virgin; the Methodist Paul was President of a Conference of Clergy, and much addicted to sneezing and shouting, a great lover of camp-meetings, and excessively eccentric in his apparel; the Baptist Paul was a Bishop of four churches, and a friend of Saturday monthly meetings, and extremely fond of annual associations and advisory councils. I cannot enumerate how many Pauls nor how many peculiarities each possess; but one thing I know, that most of them differ as much from the Apostle Paul, as the statue of the Holy Virgin in St. Peter’s Church, differs from the daughter of Eli, the wife of Joseph” (Alexander Campbell, Millennial Harbinger, Vol. 1, No. 2, February 1, 1830.)

    Alexander Campbell advocated the abandonment of creeds, opinions, traditions of men and such.  He pleaded for men and women to come out of sectarianism and unite on the Bible alone.  Unity on God’s Word, the Bible, is what God desires and demands.  Any position that seeks union at the expense of truth would not be embraced by Alexander Campbell and those who hold these truths.

     

     

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:04 am on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: lessons unlearned, , , ungodliness   

    More ungodly in 2014 than in 2001 

    Has America (or even the entire western culture) learned any lessons on morality?

    Has an enemy that vows to destroy us despite our effort to destroy it (including millions of soldiers and hundreds of billions of our currency) taught us anything?

    Has the vanity of the notion of a Godless nation not yet been filled?

    Our politicians still use the phrase “God bless America” while signing laws that attempt to condemn his ways of righteousness and morality. Our very own weapons of war are now being used against us. Our Godless landscape is continually changing into a landscape not void of God, but a landscape full of idols that encourage us to do what we have already decided is going to be done.

    Not a single lesson remains within the American psyche as a whole that was planted on the morning of September 11, 2001. Our media has grown more foul. Our politicians have grown more corrupt. Our moral mindset has grown more numb. Our pride has continually risen. Our ungodliness is evermore present as an example to the rest of the world.

    Have we become Babylon, or is Babylon on its way here? Either way, the results will be the same.

    And by the way, this is not an anti-America rant – this is an anti-sin rant. My prayers still go out to the families that were devastated on this morning so many years ago, as well as for the families that have been separated due to their loss in the armed services. But another prayer still remains as well: that we, as a nation, would see that it is still the most high God who rules within the kingdoms of men, and he gives the power to whosoever he wills (Daniel 4:32), and collective ungodliness will be collectively dealt with.

     
  • Ron Thomas 5:00 am on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    You did not believe me 

    How in the world could the Lord possible say to Moses that he (Moses) did not believe Him (the Lord) in Numbers 20:12 (NKJV)? For 40 years Moses led the Lord’s people through the wilderness toward the promised land; for 40 years Moses taught the people the Lord’s way; for 40 years Moses prayed and sought guidance from the Lord—how could the Lord say that?

    That Moses did believe and trust in the Lord is obvious to any reader of Scripture, but it must have been the case that in Moses’ frustration with the rebellious people of Israel, in his weakness, he exhibited a degree of rebellion (unbelief) himself. It has been suggested elsewhere that Moses was unsatisfied with the Lord’s remedy of the situation, and he expressed it in his actions before the people.

    Whether this is the case or not, one thing that can be learned is this: to him whom much is given much is expected. Moses was given much, very much. The Lord expected better of him, and Moses failed Him on this occasion. How much have you been given?

     
    • Randal 8:51 am on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This is a very, very scary thought.

    • Jack 3:00 pm on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      YAHWEH was blessing Moses with even more power (v.8), All Moses had to to was speak and the water would pour forth, but instead he smote the rock twice. Yet GOD did not shame him before the people and willed the water to pour forth anyway. It cost Moses entry into the promised land, but not his eternal honor.

      Remember Moses (and Elijah) on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus (Matt.7:3) and Peter’s eagerness to build three tabernacles, and that Moses is referred by name 78 times in the NT.

      But for us,
      And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17 NKJV)

      Therefore, … this is the message we have heard from HIM and announce to you, that GOD is light, and in HIM there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with HIM and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we a walk in the light as HE Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus HIS Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:6-9 NASB77)

  • Randal 9:17 am on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , murmuring,   

    Things that never seem to get old in life, and some that do 

    Some things never seem to get old in life. Chocolate, for one. Different qualities of the substance exist, of course, but the pleasure gained from a tasty treat containing it — or from eating a small block of 70% dark stuff — remains constant. My morning almondshake with papaya is another regular pleasure. Such perfect things don’t get old.

    You can broaden that to eating in general, of course. Other things that never seen to get old include a good shower after a hot day or dirty work, a good physical workout (in my case, an hour of swimming), a gorgeous fall day with the turning of the leaves. You can add to this list of course. (Try the comments area.)

    Some things do get old. (More …)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:54 am on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    More concerned about the hundreds than with the 144,000 

    I’m sure it happens to congregations with memberships under 100, but for congregations with a membership of 300+ it sure seems to happen quite often: the “numbers” dip, the “panic” sets in, and the search for a more “open-minded” preacher begins – with the “elders” often leading the search from behind the flock.

    Soon afterwards, grace becomes a concept instead of a doctrine, and doctrine becomes a dirty-word; the concern for the straight and narrow gives way to new horizons, new wineskins and new fellowships. This is followed by “contemporary” worship practices with women becoming a key part to the public services. Ultimately it becomes fashionable to refer to denominations as tribes, the church of Christ included; and then in one fashion or another, the means of finding salvation in Christ becomes completely foreign to the scriptures.

    Such has always been the case, and such will always be the case for those who become more concerned with the hundreds than with the 144,000.

    For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.” (Acts 20:29-30)

     
    • Jack 4:00 pm on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      There is a predictable change in the demographics of a congregation at specific sizes that are determinable even without a paradigm doctrinal shift.

      A change is predictable due to our nature and relationships. I came to realize the change some 40 years ago and was fortunate enough to find some quite accurate number levels, but I am sorry I can no longer suggest specific numbers or sources.

      The change in attitude of the leadership from being shepherds of a unity of saints to being the Board of Directors of a religious membership chasing numbers is an abandonment of Christ Himself.

  • Randal 4:55 pm on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , site hosting,   

    Site transfers in progress, expect a bit of mess 

    Many of the Forthright/GoSpeak sites are being transferred to a new host server: Forthright.net, believingprayer.com, brotherhoodnews.com, and others, including my personal site. Such transfers are always a bit messy, so bear with us.

    We hope two problems will be solved with this change: (1) Entire IPs should not be blocked any longer, so more people will have access to the site; (2) Search engines will have it easier indexing our sites.

    This should encourage many of our Australian and Asian friends.

    Our thanks to Matt Clifton for his help in this.

     
    • John Henson 10:33 am on September 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      AAaargh!

      • Randal 11:17 am on September 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        My sentiments exactly. Creates a bit of work for us. But the long run will bring greater visibility, we hope.

  • Ron Thomas 10:00 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    WOMEN IN TITUS 

    Next to nothing is said by Paul in Titus 1, but there is something we do not want to miss. The Lord’s church is governed by the Lord, but the physical local shepherds are identified as elders. Before a man can be an elder he must have demonstrated leadership at home, and one way this is exhibited is in the leadership of his wife. What kind of woman/wife is the prospective elder to have? To begin, the Holy Spirit wants His local leader to be married. This is not optional, but is required. It is directly connected to leadership. Paul said nothing about the wife in Titus 1, and that which he did say about the woman/wife is found in 1 Timothy 3; couple that with Titus 2, we can gain an adequate picture of the type of woman the elder’s wife is to be.

    There is more in Titus 2 with regard to the female than in any other place in Paul’s letters to preachers (2:3-5). The older women are to be of such a virtuous character that that which they teach will naturally be “good things.” Paul, however, has in mind some particular “good things” that he wants taught (actually, these are the instructions of the Holy Spirit). There is a godly and moral obligation for the older women to teach the younger women particular things. These are basic to healthy relationships and, equally as important, to the asset quality the family exhibits in the community. Above all is the fact that these exhortations come from God and, when obeyed, glorifies the Lord!

    For some in modern day society these words of the Holy Spirit are a bit out of touch. But are they really? Is it really out of touch to teach a young woman what it means to love her husband? Is it out of touch for an older woman to teach a younger woman what it means to be reverent? And what is out of touch with regard to discreetness, chaste, love and nurturing? Nothing of course. What modern society struggles with, and many women who identify themselves as Christians do as well, is what the Holy Spirit said with regard to two things: obedient to the husband and being workers at home.

    For those who love the Lord – nothing is out of touch about anything He said.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:12 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    The scripture cannot be broken 

    The following excerpt came from an article (Baptism for the Right Purpose) written by a brother who preaches in Smith County, Tennessee.

    “If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved out of Christ (Galatians 3:27). If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without putting on Christ. If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without being buried with Christ (Romans 6:3, 4). If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without being raised with Christ. If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without being in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without obeying Christ (Acts 10:47, 48). Please take time to read and study God’s word on this subject.”

    When an individual understands from whom the command to be baptized originated with, with what it gets us out of, and with whom it places us in, then any contrary argument against its necessity can be seen for what it is – wrong. The scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35). So when the scriptures give a plainly revealed principal to be followed, the principal takes precedent over the vain suppositions and excuses that are offered in order to decrease the urgency in which an individual should have toward following the will of God.

    Spurning the grace of God to the detriment of understanding in the hearts and minds of others does no favor for the hearers, the speaker or for the gospel that has been given to save our souls.

    And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)

     
  • Randal 10:05 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Long roads in a small car 

    After a great visit with the overseeing congregation (as usual), we made another trip today from central Arkansas to Nashville, back to our son’s house.

    Somewhere along the way the rental agency goofed or the travel agency in Brazil failed, and we wound up with an extra-small car. None of our suitcases will fit in the trunk. It runs well enough, but it’s a bit cramped. So I’m still unfolding my body after the several hours in the sardine can.

    Good thing we’re not making any of the longer trips out to Texas or up to Illinois.

    We can still be grateful that we’re not in the horse-and-buggy days.

     
    • Eugene Adkins 6:32 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      And think about all the gas you saved! ;)

      • Randal 9:43 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I expected great mileage, but the car’s measurement was at best 32.3. Disappointing for that size.

  • TFRStaff 4:48 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Shorty And Grace) 

    SHORTY AND GRACE

    From time to time, I like to write about some of the great Christians I have known, loved, and appreciated over the years. A few months ago, I wrote about James (Brother Jim) Shelby of Clarksville, Tennessee whom I knew back in the mid-1960s. Today, I want to tell you about James Heulan (Shorty) Lowrey and his wife, Grace, whom I knew in Mobile, Alabama in the 1970s.

    Heulan stood at least 6′ 6″ tall. Hence, he was known affectionately as “Shorty.” Grace, on the other hand, was a real “shorty,” probably no more than 5′ 1″ tall. But they were a perfect match for each other in every way that counted. They never had any children. Shorty was a master craftsman and worked for Delchamps, a well-known chain of supermarkets along the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Gulf Coast. Grace worked at home, when she was not working in the Teachers’ Supply and Resource Room at the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ! Grace was blessed with many skills, including the art of writing poetry. (More …)

     
  • Ron Thomas 10:00 am on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: adoration, spirit and truth,   

    Worship 

    An interesting remark in the Baker Bible Dictionary are these words: “The nature of worship is not about servant entertainment or passive observation; it is an active acknowledgment of God’s worth in a variety of humble ways” (p. 1731). Read what Paul said in Acts 17:24-25 in relationship to these words. Jesus said, in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (ESV). The College Press commentary said with regard to “spirit” and “truth”: “What does Jesus mean by worshipping ‘in spirit and truth’? What has He just been explaining to the woman? It is that (a) the time will soon come when place makes no difference and (b) the Samaritans are wrong because they worship in opposition to revealed truth. Thus, to worship in spirit and truth is (a) to make it a matter of the heart, the will, the spirit and the emotion and not merely a matter of physical atmosphere, and, (b) to worship in accordance with the revealed will of God in the New Testament” (Commentary on John 4:23-24; E-Sword).

     
    • Jack 1:51 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Jesus does this only to show her what accordingly all genuine worship of GOD must be, namely worship “in spirit and truth.” This deduction is not new. For, “must,” is not meant regarding a new precept, a new commandment, or worship. This “must” expresses far more, namely a necessity that is due to GOD’s own nature and that has always held and always will hold true.
      While the fact that GOD is spirit is not stated in so many words in the Old Testament, all that the Old Testament reveals regarding GOD is to this effect. Neither Jew nor Samaritan would controvert the statement for one moment. The prohibitions to make images of GOD, the comparisons of GOD with idols (for instance Isa. 40:13-26), Solomon’s reminder that HE whom “the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain” does not dwell in a house, and many other statements show how fully GOD’s nature was understood. Even the naive anthropomorphic and anthropopathic utterances are made and can be made with such naivete only on the absolute certainty of GOD’s infinite spirit nature. To urge these human expressions against this certainty is to hurl a pebble at a mountain, thinking thereby to knock it over. Accordingly, also the Old Testament is full of genuine worship, of its descriptions, and of injunctions so to worship and so alone. Consider the Psalms, the prayers, Daniel for instance, the many warnings that sacrifices, gifts, lip-prayers, observing festival days, etc., without a broken, contrite, believing heart are in vain. Thus the genuine worship was known well enough. The new feature which Jesus presents is that from now on this worship is enough, i. e., that the ceremonies, restrictions of time and of place, are even now to fall away. In this sense the worship will, indeed, be new.
      (John 4:24 Conclusion – Lenski New Testament Commentary – The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel.)

  • Eugene Adkins 7:01 am on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Bible Riddle 

    This one is tough, so it may be a good thing that this is a Bible riddle:

    You want to go to a secret meeting but to get in you must respond correctly to what the doorman says. The doorman says 12 to one man and the man responds 6, and he is allowed in. Then he says 6 to another man and the man says 3, and he too is allowed in. A third man walks up and he says 10 and the man responds 5, but he is denied entry. What number should he have said to get in?

    Looking for that hint aren’t you? Check out Genesis 6:1-16 and look for the word that best fits the answer to the question. And if you’re feeling spunky, try explaining the “logic” behind the answer.

    Hey, after you answer this riddle everything else this week has to get easier!

     
    • Barbara Ann Oliver 4:51 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Bummer! No answers yet :)

      • Eugene Adkins 6:39 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        It’s probably the toughest one I’ve used. I couldn’t figure it out when I found it and adding the scriptures as a clue probably wouldn’t have helped…but it does give someone a shot at guessing the right answer since it has to be a number.

        The answer is logical, but sometimes logic is only seen after it has been explained – thank God for teachers (Acts 8:30-31).

        And by the way, bummer is not right ;)

    • Chris Barrett 6:24 pm on September 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ok here goes. Total shot in the dark. Here’s my “logic” if you want to call it that. I believe the “mystery number” is 18 which is the length in inches of a cubit. The first two numbers 12 + 6 =18. The second two numbers 6 x 3 = 18. So the third man should have answered 8 to go with the number 10 he heard to equal 18. So 8 is my answer.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:45 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Morning, Chris. Thanks for taking a shot, but 8 isn’t right. I hear your logic, and it’s better than what I came up with when I originally heard this riddle, but the answer doesn’t involve converting a word into a number like you have to do with the word cubit. The answer (the word) can literally be found in the scripture references, and since 8 isn’t mentioned (at least I don’t remember it being mentioned) it’s not right. I bet if you think on the numbers for a while you might be able to connect the dots.

        Since you’re the only one that’s guessed, if you give up and you want to know the answer, make another reply after a while and I’ll give you the answer with the logic that leads to it.

        • Barbara Ann Oliver 9:21 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink

          Are you sure it’s not “bummer” :) Did you have to pick a scripture with so many numbers in it!!

        • Eugene Adkins 7:13 pm on September 9, 2014 Permalink

          Nah, I didn’t have to…but that’s what makes it so much fun!

    • RichardS 11:39 am on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      How about 20

      • Eugene Adkins 7:22 pm on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hi, Richard.

        Thanks for chipping in, but 20 isn’t it. The answer will be one of the numbers that’s mentioned in the scripture reference above. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think 30 was a number that was mentioned.

        Feel more than free to take another swing at it. You have two left…hint, hint.

        • RichardS 1:42 pm on September 10, 2014 Permalink

          How about 2

        • Eugene Adkins 5:59 pm on September 10, 2014 Permalink

          Close, but not it. Check out the reply at the bottom of everyone’s. I’m going to give the answer and explanation for it. Thanks for trying though, Richard.

    • Heather 8:08 pm on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Is the answer 1

      • Eugene Adkins 8:24 pm on September 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hello, Heather. Thanks for commenting on another riddle.

        1 is the answer only if it’s used in the following sentence: your answer is the wrong one :( but thanks for trying.

    • Eugene Adkins 6:04 pm on September 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for trying everybody! I told you this one is tough.

      The answer to the riddle is three (Genesis 6:10). The logic is seen in that the reply to the number given by the doorman is whatever number of letters the number contains when it’s spelled out.

      So 12 has 6 letters. 6 has 3 letters. And 10 has 3 letters.

      Thanks for reading guys. I hope you continue to enjoy the riddles even though they’re not always so easy to figure out.

  • Michael Summers 10:14 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    A Prayer for an Unjust Nation Threatened by Terror 

    Michael Summers:

    When our shock at failures in social justice is matched only by our horror at acts of terror, how shall we pray?

    Originally posted on Call for Fire Seminar:

    He prayed while his contemporaries trusted in rituals and practiced a syncretistic religion that mixed elements of nature religion with nationalism and the worship of God. He prayed while a hostile nation sent its armies to eradicate cities and demoralize populations with sickening brutality. He prayed when he himself had announced that God was judging his people for their unfaithfulness.

    The prophet Micah concludes his prophecy with a prayer. He recognizes God’s care and love for his people even as the nation staggers under the impact of military attack. He believes that God will judge the enemies who are punishing his people. He praises the character and reliability of God. He remembers, when it would have been so easy to forget, that God keeps his promises.

    He reminds the Lord and his people of God’s historic care, that God is the Shepherd for a flock that needs to feed once…

    View original 649 more words

     
  • TFRStaff 2:04 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Learning to please God: Eternal rewards (#13) 

    The death of a saint is precious in the Lord’s sight. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalms 116:15) The death of an unsaved person is a sorrow and grief to God. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8) (More …)

     
  • Randal 11:40 am on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , religious differences   

    “What is the Difference Between Catholics and Protestants?” is the title of an article on a popular Protestant website. You can probably imagine how the author answers the question. (I didn’t bother to read it. I have other priorities.) As a New Testament Christian who eschews sectarian divisions, how would you answer this question? Are there any real differences between the two groups? If so, what are the basic differences? Feel free to share your perspective in the comments area.

     
    • James 3:09 pm on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      There used to actually be some big differences, but not so much anymore. It seems like the whole denominational world is merging into one big conglomeration of believe what you want, worship how you want, live how you want and don’t say anyone else or anything is wrong. The major differences that are slipping away were that 1) The Catholics believed they were the only true church while protestant denominations accepted each other more or less. 2) Catholics had statues, prayed to Mary and saints, and the pope. More protestants are moving toward those things. 3) Catholics said the church overruled the Bible, protestants used to believe the Bible more not so much now. Of course there is the no birth control position of the Catholic leaders that is not followed by most of the members. The Catholics used to believe you had to be baptized (sprinkled) to go to heaven. But this most recent Pope has gone so far as to say even atheists can be saved. It really does seem like we are about to just have individual groups of Pentecostal, Calvinist, “Spirit led”, Catholic, interdenominationalists before long.

    • Jack 6:59 pm on September 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The conclusion of the matter is_ Catholics are saved by the Church_ Protestants by grace.

  • Ed Boggess 7:29 am on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    . Last year MSNBC TV host Melissa Harris-Perry argued for what she calls “after-birth abortion”. She claims that parents should have the right to abort new-born babies. In fact others, that move in the same circle as she does, argue that it should be the right of parents to kill infants up to age three. Are you surprised at this development? You shouldn’t be. When evolution replaces Christian faith, then man is left with nothing more than animal life. If all is matter, there is no spirit and no soul. Therefore, the stronger, in this case the parents, are left to do whatever they want with no regard to the value of human life. Then, if society, which is stronger than a set of parents, overrule the parents wishes, so be it. With what are you left? The survival of the fittest. This is Just-A-Minute.

     
    • Randal 9:50 am on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      People argue against the slippery-slope logic, but in many cases it does exist, as here. Or better, it’s the case of taking beliefs, like evolution and humanism, to their logical end. Or introducing concepts by increments, so they’ll gain more traction in society.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:55 am on September 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    That’s what I meant to sing 

    You’ve probably seen lists like this before, but here are few song titles that have been rearranged to reflect what some people mean to say while they sing during the worship services:

    • Oh, How I Like Jesus
    • It is Fairly Well with My Soul
    • Just as I Pretend to Be
    • Sit Down, Sit Down for Jesus
    • I Need Thee Every Other Hour

    Unbelief is alive and well, and even our singing can reveal it. High-mindedness is not the answer because the unbelief can get any of us (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). So honest examination is key; and drawing closer to God helps to get rid of the duplicitous and even hypocritical song notes that are echoed off the walls (James 4:8). If out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34) then how much more so does this truth apply to our singing?

    Let us consider our desires, our life and the words of the songs that we sing lest we become the one who sings the stanzas on the page instead of the stanzas in our heart.

    Related Article:

     
  • TFRStaff 6:49 pm on September 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , divine commandments, ,   

    Ways of disobeying God (What the Bible says about …) 

    “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).

    “All unrighteousness is sin” (1 John 5:17). (More …)

     
  • Randal 3:05 pm on September 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Couplet on Quiet 

    Ah, Quiet! replete with possibility!
    We long to know and love thee intimately!

     
  • Ed Boggess 7:14 am on September 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    If you turn to evolutionists for an explanation of the consequences of their theory on society, you will read something like this: axiomatisation, “logical necessity”, or “units of selection” and terms like replicators, interactors, species, genes and so on. All of that may be fine for long-haired professors but it is gobbledygook to the average person. If you really want to know the consequences of two generations of evolutionary thought, look around you. Is society marked by a higher moral standard than before? Or are we facing moral decline and ethical challenges that far outstrip increased population or any other offered excuse. Take a moment to think where their yellow brick road leads. This is Just-A-Minute.

     
  • Ron Thomas 3:20 pm on September 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    WOMEN IN 2 TIMOTHY 

    It is not long before one begins to read Paul’s second letter to Timothy that there is notice of Timothy’s heritage (1:5-6; 3:15); Paul writes favorably of two important women in the young preacher’s life, his mother (Eunice) and his grandmother (Lois). Little is known about either, but with regard to Eunice, she was married to a Greek who was not a believer in the Lord (Acts 16:1). Perhaps he had some sympathy toward God and the virtuous life promoted and lived by his wife, but whether he did ort not, Eunice instilled in her son a devotion to things greater in life than the material realm surrounding them all. How would she have gotten this faith she had, but (presumably) through her own mother Lois.

    Though Paul speaks glowingly of Timothy’s heritage, he does not speak along this favorable line with regard to some other women; “gullible women” he calls them (3:6-7). These women are vulnerable to evil men who promote themselves with a form of godliness when in truth they are empty shells. The women are vulnerable for a single reason: sin. They are loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts. One translation reads this way: “Some of them [evil men; 3:13] worm their way into families and get hold of the women-folk who feel crushed by the burden of their sins — wayward creatures of impulse, who are always curious to learn and never able to attain the knowledge of the Truth” (Moffat’s Translation).  

    A couple of lessons to be learned. First, motherhood is a tremendously important work, one so important that much of that which resides in people today can be directly traced to what was learned at home. If that which was learned was television watching, then that lesson will transfer into the adults years. If that which was learned was the reading of Scripture, that, too, will be transferred into the adult years. Again, if attending the services of the Lord’s church is important to the parents, it will become important to the children when they are grown up.

    Second, women who are “gullible” (“silly” ASV; “weak” ESV) are susceptible to all sorts of ideologies that are damning. Thus, the remedy to such is exactly that which Eunice and Lois engaged, that being devotion to the Lord’s word and work. What kind of man was Timothy? Look at his mother and grandmother and one can find out. RT   

     

     
    • James 9:48 am on September 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Regarding Timothy’s mother and possibly even grandmother being married outside Judaism, I have heard some malign them and ask how they could make such a choice, or how Lois if she was godly could allow her daughter to marry a man who was not of the same faith, etc. They often mention that the Jews were not to do this and point out that Christians also are not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. Both of those things may be true but have little bearing on this case. We often forget that in that ancient world women had little or no choice in who they married. The fathers chose not even the mothers had much influence in many cases. We need to be careful not to speak evil of people who lived in another time and in a different culture by assuming that things then and there were like things are here and now.

  • Randal 10:16 am on September 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , glorify God, hearing the gospel,   

    Hearing, salivating, glorifying, and spending 

    hear-gospelGlancing, skimming, surfing. That’s what we do today, mainly. And that lack of focus makes us superficial. We surf spiritually as well. We skim Scripture with quick takes and verse-sized bites. We turn to the visual as often as possible, to the detriment of the audible.

    But the Bible emphasizes — and in the plan of salvation we rightly highlight — the need to hear. “Hear, O Israel,” was the instruction from the Lord. Paul reminded the Romans, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” Rm 10.17 ESV. If we see anything, we ought to see the words of Christ in the pages of Scripture. (More …)

     
    • Jack 12:40 pm on September 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      First thought:
      Romans 12:1-2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the compassions of GOD, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to GOD, [which is] your intelligent service. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [your] mind, that ye may prove what [is] the good and acceptable and perfect will of GOD.

      Second thought:
      Romans 10:13-14 For every one whosoever, who shall call on the name of the Lord, shall be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe on Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without one who preaches?

      To this end besides or local evangelism, we support an effective gospel in Zimbabwe as we send qualified regularly for support and training. as well as facilitating gospel preaching and training in Southern Peru and Northern Chile.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:39 am on September 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Sowing warped seeds 

    The American culture is severely warped. So warped that it uses children to defend and promote perversity. From homosexual talk-show hosts who bring children onto their set to “come out” on national TV, to TV shows that portray individuals as “minors” who commit fornication and practice homosexuality as if it should be completely acceptable; the media has its target set on the minds of children – and they are hitting the bullseye! Don’t think so? Just read this.

    A culture that destroys the innocent in a plurality of ways is a culture that will die in a plurality in of ways; first and foremost, it will begin on a spiritual level, and from there only God knows how far it will fall into depravity with the seeds that have been sown. God takes note of such cultures and sooner or later such cultures will take note of God (just read the three chapters of Nahum).

    When a culture sows warped seeds, there’s no way it can keep from reaping a warped crop.

    But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

     
  • TFRStaff 4:29 pm on September 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Honest searching of our spiritual heart:€“ Question #1 

    Do you believe the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God and that it is without error? ( ) Yes ( ) No

    My answer is YES! The Bible itself claims to be the inspired word of God. (More …)

     
  • Weylan Deaver 10:00 am on September 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    “We have not the sturdy faith, and consuming zeal, and deep-toned piety in the churches now which we had fifty years ago. Instead thereof we have a light-heartedness, and worldly-mindedness which was not so much as named among the saints in those days. We have not the spiritual power and doctrinal convictions in the pulpit now which we had then, but instead of those old-time elements of pulpit strength we have a disposition to astonish and please the world by sensational sermons, ethical lectures, beautiful speeches and soft sayings to which the old-time preachers never gave place for a moment. There is need of a reformation in all these things ‘whereunto you do well that you take heed.'”

    F. D. Srygley in “Seventy Years in Dixie” (1891)
     
    • Randal 10:02 am on September 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      What would he say today?

    • James 11:15 am on September 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      It seems to be that every generation thinks the one following is a total failure, and that when they were younger things were better. God has a remnant in every generation and it is our responsibility to make sure that we are part of it.

    • Jack 3:00 pm on September 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      In 1890 some 6,000,000 were worshipping in Disciple of Christ Churches. Brother Srygley’s comments in 1891 followed by one year six Chicago Area congregations announcing that on the same day they would began practicing 0pen-membership; that anyone from any denomination was welcome to membership.

      Fifteen years later, 1906, several thousand Southern congregations, mainly from Tennessee to Texas withdrew from the Disciple of Christ and were counted as Churches of Christ. In 1926 even more congregations abandoned the Disciples_ and sadly every single Bible College had fallen to the heretics liberalism that denied the inspiration of Scripture.

      While America’s population in 100 years has grown in 1906’s – 92,228,496 to 308,745,538 in 2010_ the churches of Christ have less members now than in 1926. Although the census now shows about 1,500,000 for the churches of Christ and slightly less for the Christian Churches, the overwhelming majority are not worthy of the name.

      From 1980 to 1986 there were fewer churches of Christ in New Mexico with 1,800 members lost. By survey there were among those left in 1966_ 17 different doctrines and practices kong the congregations.

      In the last 10 years our congregation has more than doubled_ 80% by transfer from new comers and from faltering congregations. Yet there is good news and good progress in the foreign fields. Where we wonder what we shall eat at our next meal, there they eat the same simple food every day, or not at all.

      California this week banned all religious groups at every State School that limit leadership by belief.

      How are we doing so far?

    • James 2:33 am on September 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The church has historically grown stronger during times of persecution. The seeming lack of opposition in the U.S. has allowed the church to become lazy and complacent. The coming fires of persecution may yet spark new life if the ember is still glowing.

  • Randal 9:35 am on September 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Our latest GoSpeak report talks about family challenges and opportunities, as well as the local work, the new book, and the children’s home. Many of you know we’re now in the US visiting family and reporting to churches, mainly those in the Midsouth area.

    http://gospeak.org/2014/09/02/family/

    Sorry, but we didn’t mention the Internet work this time around.

     
  • Ed Boggess 7:03 am on September 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Last year MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry on her July 21st show insisted that a baby’s life only begins when the parents say it begins. Quote: “When does life begin? I submit the answer depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents. A powerful feeling, but not science.” Unquote. What is this all about? For years we have fought abortion, the taking of an infant’s life before it is born. However now there is a rising cry for what is called “after-birth abortion”. It is claimed that parents should have the right to kill a new-born baby for whatever reason they choose. How can anyone argue such? It is simply the extended logic of a generation that has been raised to believe man is nothing more than evolving matter. This is Just-A-Minute.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:54 am on September 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Perspective 

    Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning, Lord,” and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good Lord, it’s morning.” (source unknown)

    Perspective changes the things that we see without changing anything that we’re looking at. That’s because perspective changes us.

    Looking at a piece of property from ground level and looking at it from 1,500′ up in the air doesn’t do a thing to the property – but it does a whole lot for our eyes doesn’t it?

    Lots of things can demand our attention and ultimately affect our perspective: jobs, family life, addictions, anxieties, international news headlines, friends and even our faith.

    Some of these things have the potential to improve our perspective while others have the potential of dragging it down to the far-country pig-pen level and keeping it there (Luke 15:13-16).

    Reality will always be reality, and looking at things through rose-colored lenses doesn’t always help. But making a mountain out of a molehill, and a coral snake out of a king snake never helps either. Yeah, I know; you may have to look up that last analogy…if you do, it’ll make sense.

    The best perspective is the one that views things from the heavenly point of view! We may call it the bird’s-eye perspective down here. It allows us to see over the barriers and past the hour that we are facing on the clock. It gives us the opportunity to properly see things as they are; whether we’re talking about jobs, family life, addictions, anxieties, international news headlines, friends and, most importantly, our faith.

    When we stop trying to view everything through a straw then things will begin to make a little more sense (2 Corinthians 5:7) and our perspective will have the ability to change us without changing a single thing around us. That’s pretty interesting if you stop and think about it…and even more so when you’re able to see it.

    For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14-19)

     
  • TFRStaff 5:07 am on September 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: authority in religion, , religious standards   

    Hugh’s News & Views (Religious Standards) 

    RELIGIOUS STANDARDS

    People today follow all kinds of religious standards and have all kinds of ideas about what God will and will not accept when it comes to religious beliefs, religious practices, and moral conduct.

    Some believe that as long as they live up to the Ten Commandments they are acceptable to God.

    Some believe that if they live by the Sermon on the Mount or just the Golden Rule they will be acceptable. (More …)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:52 am on September 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Bible Riddle 

    This one is pretty good:

    What belongs to you but others use it more?

    Think about it for a little while. Still can’t come up with the answer? Check out Genesis 12:1-8 and look for the word, or words, that best answers today’s riddle.

    Good luck, have fun and have a great week.

     
    • Heather 8:09 am on September 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Your name!!!!

      • Eugene Adkins 8:11 am on September 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        You’re right!!!!

        Thanks for commenting, Heather. Which goes to show that the riddle is true!!!!

    • James Craven 8:11 am on September 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Your name, or should I say, MY name ?

      • Eugene Adkins 8:14 am on September 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        As usual, the first thing that comes to mind is usually the right one. Good job, James.

    • Jan Boyle 2:30 pm on September 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      My name

      • Eugene Adkins 3:01 pm on September 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hi, Jan. Thanks for reading and commenting. “My name” could work as answer, but since it’s a Bible riddle the answer is actually “your name” which can be found in verse 2 of the scripture reference.

  • Randal 8:06 am on August 31, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    The most good 

    It’s the wrong question for congregations to ask in missions: “Where can we spend our money where it will do the most good?” Man cannot answer that question. The most good may not be produced immediately. Man cannot see how God will use human effort to produce eternal good.

    “In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good” Ecc 11.6 ESV.

     
    • Jack 1:03 pm on September 1, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Ron McClung, started 35 thriving congregations in Central America in 10 years using the Navigator’s Discipling material (correcting the theological errors with permission). Another evangelist (remain unnamed) spent 5 years without a single conversion at 5 times the cost of Bro. McClung’s 10 year service.

      An 18 year study of religion in Canada a fews years back, (Fragmented Gods) revealed that the only converts were among the immigrants, mostly Asian, forming ethic congregations in the native languages.
      Not to mention that in “progressive” Egypt, a converted Moslem is hung and the church where they were baptized is burned.

      A need does not necessarily constitute a call. Stewardship demand responsibility.

      Mark 6:11 And whatsoever place shall not receive you nor hear you, departing thence, shake off the dust which is under your feet for a testimony to them.

    • Beth Johnson 2:58 pm on September 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Most who ask those questions about where to put their money would think in terms of baptisms.
      1) Who knows if the new members were disciples when they were immersed?
      2) Who knows which kind of soil those new converts might be?
      3) Who can know if they will stand the test of the fire? (1 Cor. 3:12-15)

  • Michael Summers 9:47 pm on August 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Praying Through the Rain 

    Michael Summers:

    Sometimes when we pray, we need to remember that “before the rainbow must come the rain.”

    Originally posted on Call for Fire Seminar:

    It rained today. The forecast called for thunderstorms; for a short time this afternoon rain descended in a downpour. We needed the rain. Grass in the neighborhood lawns was turning brown. Water levels in area ponds and rivers were noticeably lower. However, I run several days a week, but I do not run during thunderstorms. After the downpour, a soft steady rain continued. Since there was no lightning, I ventured out for a short three mile run in the rain. I had a peaceful run today; I saw only five other runners and a few cyclists. As I navigated between puddles on the asphalt trail, I looked through the forest towards the river flowing nearby. Earlier this week, two deer walked across the trail right in front of me; yesterday, I startled a rabbit as I galloped past. I saw no animals today. As I jogged, I reflected on news…

    View original 298 more words

     
  • Randal 12:53 pm on August 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    When first I wake, I want to know
    What God is saying to me;
    With morning’s growing light he’ll show
    The Scripture’s novelty.

    JRMatheny

     
  • TFRStaff 6:33 am on August 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    WRITTEN WHERE? 

    Where, how and on what a message is written sometimes tells us something about it. For example, the expression is used regarding the “writing on the wall” which often refers to something doomed for failure. For King Belshazzar — during the days of Daniel — he literally saw a hand actually writing on the wall and it caused him great fear. (Daniel 5:5-9) The message did spell doom for his kingdom. (Daniel 5:24-28) Yes, the handwriting was on the wall and that very night Belshazzar was killed and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom. (Daniel 5:30-31)

    We also have the phrase of that which is noted as being “written in stone.” As opposed to something written in sand that can be quickly washed away, this expression usually refers to something being more permanent and unchangeable. When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, they were written on stone, but in Moses’ anger at the people involved in the breaking of the very first two of those commands (Exodus 20:3-5), the stone tablets were hurled down and broken. (Exodus 32:15-19)

    Those writings were significant and were destined to duly impact the lives of those to whom they were brought about at the hand of God. Still, where is the most significant place for God’s message to be written? The writer of Hebrews noted what had been prophesied to be where we read. . .

    (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Hebrews 8:10 ESV)

    This was with reference to the new covenant in Christ (Hebrews 8:8-9) as prophesied through Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) However, this was God’s desire all along as even David acknowledged. (Psalm 40:8) With God’s Commands and Will held within our heart, we will be led away from sinning against Him. (Psalm 119:11)

    In view of Paul’s ministry of the Word to those at Corinth, Paul stated. . .

    (3) And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:3 ESV)

    As disciples of Jesus, is this truly showing with us? May we allow the writing of God to be on our heart so that our life can be properly lived according to His Will.

    Have a great day WITH GOD’S MESSAGE AT HEART!

    “teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

     
    • Jack 11:44 am on August 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Well done, thank you…

  • Eugene Adkins 7:11 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , the necessity of religion   

    The liberty of the gospel is not the same as freedom from religion 

    It is becoming ever-increasingly more common to see posts authored by “spiritual” bloggers, hear about sermons preached by “spiritual” speakers or read about books written by “spiritual” writers who make the same spiritual mistake, as politically motivated atheists do, by championing the mantra of “freedom from religion” in such a way to convince others to agree with their point of view. Sounds like religion to me, but anyways. While understanding a person’s point of view is important, it is also true that an individual’s point of view can be easily skewed. That’s because our point of view (our experiences, our study or the lack thereof, our motivations, etc.) can make us completely blind to what we’re saying on a particular topic no matter how plain the truth really is because of the barriers that we self-erect with our position.

    A case in point can be seen in the following “anti-religion” statement:

    We find it fascinating that every single hostile encounter Jesus has is with highly religious people. Not one of them is with a so-called “pagan.” It was religious people who opposed Christ; it was religious people who had him killed. This ought to give you some idea of the pernicious nature of religion. There is relationship with God and life in his Kingdom, and then there is religion. They are not the same.” (here’s the link to the author’s site so you know I’m not taking anything out of context)

    The above quote comes straight from the website of a seemingly fairly well-known author in religious circles…or should I say anti-religious circles? Depends upon your point of view I guess. Either way, the above quote also shows what happens when you want to make a point so badly that you don’t quite stop and listen to what’s being said because it sounds so good to the ears of those who believe it and who want to hear it. So what’s my point about the above point of view? Well it’s this – for multiple reasons, it’s just not biblical!

    1) Of course Jesus dealt with highly religious people on a regular basis – he lived in Israel! Israel was where the very people who had the word of God committed to them lived (Romans 3:1-2). By the time Immanuel was born in Bethlehem, Israel was thoroughly finished with the pagan relationships of the past that are so apparent throughout many of the Old Testament letters. So there’s no real point with that point.

    2) Contrary to the common belief, pagans did indeed cause grief in the life of Jesus even to the point of being co-responsible for taking it! It was the followers of Jesus who made this clear, and it is the very word of God that plainly says, “So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.’ “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.” (Acts 4:24-28 – emphasis mine) Whether you call them religious or not, it doesn’t change the point – pagans (or non crediderunt in unum Deum) played a role in the death of Jesus. And even if Jesus would have gone beyond the borders of Palestine preaching the kingdom of God, he would have received the same treatment that the rest of the apostles and prophets and believers received while doing that very thing as can be seen throughout the book of Acts because that’s how the world has always reacted to God’s light whether in Jerusalem or in Jacksonville (John 3:19-21).

    (More …)

     
    • Jack 6:29 am on August 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You were too kind. I checked the site referenced, they know neither YAHWEH, nor the Messiah; having become idolaters in the image of their own god.

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