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I’ve decided to redesign the site and make it into a repository of studies and documents that I have created through the years. Sometimes a question is asked and I will post that Q&A here too.

This will take some time so please be patient.

A Call for Courage in the Pulpit

Preaching is the finest task a man can do. There is no more demanding work than that of a dedicated spokesman for God. The task is too important to be left to last-minute-find-a-sermon-on-the-internet kind of preachers. The preparation is hard and the presentation exhausting. To be sound, preaching must be done with courage.

Sound gospel preaching demands courage.

The time for men willing to stand and speak plainly is now. It takes little or no courage to preach the trends of today. Few people will complain of preachers who sound more like television variety show hosts or who seem to craft their preaching after a stand-up comic somewhere. However, men who call sin what it is and point out sin in their communities and even in their churches are not terribly popular.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Paul’s carefully worded, inspired advice to Timothy speaks plainly to us today. Continue reading A Call for Courage in the Pulpit

Opposing the Wicked

I came across this passage from Proverbs this morning while working through Bert Sims Bible reading plan for 2009. Of course all of the verses are precious but this one just cried out to me.

“Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law strive with them.”
(Proverbs 28:4)

Given our present culture this verse speaks volumes. So many of our neighbors have forsaken God’s law and God’s plan for their lives. It may be that some are fully satisfied with their accomplishments and their wealth. Perhaps they no longer need God. They have wandered far from the Creator and his blessed son. But notice that Solomon says these people actually praise the wicked! When was the last time you heard someone praising the exploits of a cultural icon? Maybe you have heard about Tom Cruise in his new movie “Valkyrie.” Cruise is the poster child for the Scientology movement which many consider a cult. Why praise someone so far from Jehovah? Cruise is but on example and there are many many more.

Paul had much to say about those who support the unrighteous. In Romans 1:32 he pens, “and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (emphasis mine).

But Solomon is not content to simply rebuke those who forsake, he also reminds the faithful to oppose the wicked. We mustn’t be content to sit back and watch evil we ought do something about it! Perhaps it is the time for Christians to rise up and stand for what is true.

Your comments are always welcomed.

Service for the Community

We know that the present economic downturn is challenging many families, some far more than others. It was so encouraging to se Eastern Shore meeting needs last night as we packed more  boxes for Christmas for those hurting. Among other things, each box contained a gift certificate for a turkey and the makings for a complete meal. Of course extensive Bible materials were included too.

Cards are posted on the board across from the Library from some families we have helped including a woman who was facing the holidays with 5 children, no job and a husband without work. Both were employed recently but lost their jobs when the economy soured. She was in tears as we helped load your gifts in her small car.

I also know that many of you are individually and privately helping people you know. What a blessing to them and to you!

Our Lord was always aware of the poor and concerned that we help them as we can. You are surely meeting that concern with your efforts.

May God bless each of you for your efforts and help!

Gambling: A Cure for All of our Problems

Alabama Governor Bob Riley will be holding a news conference today to announce proration for the state education budget. Times are difficult and tax revenues are falling behind appropriations. Riley will dip into the so called Rainy Day Fund that was created by the legislature.

But already the howls of the gamblers are being heard. The Tuscaloosa News in an Editorial this morning is calling on the state to approve gambling as a means to support education.

There is big money in gambling. Not for the foolish who bet and mostly lose, but for the people smart enough not to gamble. Instead they manage gambling and take a big chunk off the top for their efforts. Let’s remember a couple of things:

  1. Gambling violates the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12.
  2. Gambling violates the work ethic of the Bible by promising much for nothing.
  3. Gambling take a disproportionate amount from those least able to afford it.
  4. Gambling must ensure that more than half of the money bet is lost.
  5. Gambling really does take bread out of the mouths of children.
  6. Gambling creates addiction. Why else would every state have to create gambling abuse hotlines?
  7. Gambling is expensive to police and administer.
  8. Gambling revenues, like taxes, fall in a recession.

On an on we could go. Gambling serves no one but  the managers. Watch the contributions received by our state legislators and see who is in the pocket of gambling interests. NOW is the time to contact your representative and say NO!

Millport To Assist Guyana Christian University

Sunday night I was pleased to visit with the good brethren at the Millport church of Christ in Lamar County, Alabama. Millport is a very old congregation dating back to the earliest days of Gus Nichols preaching. The brethren there have always been special to Bobbi and me as they allowed us to work with them doing fill-in work just prior to our coming to Eastern Shore.

I asked the men at Millport if they would assist us at the Guyana Christian University. They immediately said yes and may consider on-going support next year. This particular expense they will cover is to bring brother Ken Mohammed from Trinidad to the school for a three week period in January. We appreciate the generous gift and know that they will be blessed for their assistance.

At present, Jimmy Bracken is in Guyana teaching for us. He is supported by the Stony Point church in Florence, Alabama. Jimmy will be returning to Barbados this Friday.

Thanksgiving Aide Brings Joy

An assembly line was created to pack the boxes
An assembly line was created to pack the boxes

The Eastern Shore church prepared 36 Thanksgiving boxes for distribution in November. These were given to people in the commnity who were in need. Many were taken to our local schools where school counselors distributed to students in need.

Each package contained ingredients for a large Thanksgiving meal and a gift card for a Butterball Turkey. Stuffing, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, cornbread mixes, cranberry sauce and soft drinks made for a fine meal.

In addition, each box contained a variety of Bible study literature. We provided a letter of invitation for our guests to visit with us, a brochure to acquaint them with the churches of Christ, a calendar of events, contact information and a Bible study course. Each box was labeled to clearly show the package was a gift

We had plenty of help from our young people!
We had plenty of help from our young people!

from the Eastern Shore church of Christ. Boxes were then sealed and stacked for pickup.

Our Thanksgiving project was not only good for those receiving the boxes but also for the Eastern Shore congregation. Participation came from every age group and saw great work especially from our youth. These young people helped to package the boxes but also helped to deliver them. This is an important teaching tool to remind our youth that there are people among us who truely struggle each day. The important Christian characteristics of generosity, compassion and giving are on display for all to see and learn from.

We are especially appreciative of James and Jenny Jessee who organized our Thanksgiving project. They have done this before in other locales and were willing to help us with our project here.

A similar project is in the works for Christmas so be listening for details.


Six little letters that have become so prominent in our culture, C-H-A-N-G-E.

Years ago corporate managers began to teach their employees that change was a good thing. The employees understood that this probably meant layoffs and reassignments were just around the corner. Our recent presidential campaign featured the word from both candidates while the winner was seen by both supporters and opponents as the one to bring the most change to the national political scene. Even within the church we have some who preach change, change, change as the way toward better evangelism and church growth.

Change is almost always at least a little scary. We are not sure what lies ahead and whether some new system or new person will really perform the way we think they should. In spiritual matters change is doubly concerning because we also want to make sure God approves of any change that we create.

Change itself is neither good nor bad. It is the nature of the change that demands caution. As an example, the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo changed forever the prospect of cheap gasoline and forced us to rethink the design of our automobiles. That has re-design has proven to be useful. Change occurs in the Bible too for good and ill. One of the greatest changes for good came in the persecutor Saul (Acts 9:17-19; c.f. 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13, Philippians 3:6). Bad changes are noted too such as the shift from glorifying God the Creator to glorifying the creation (Romans 1:25); an attempt to change worship in the tabernacle (Leviticus 10:1, 2) and an attempt to change the Lord’s Supper into something not intended (1 Corinthians 11:17-22). Change can be good but is often sinful because it changes that which God has not changed.

The question that is most important to faithful Christians is whether change in the church is good or bad. The question is answered simply that it depends on the nature of the change. God has left certain things unstated in Scripture. For example, meeting locations, times of worship, number of services on the Lord’s day, order of worship, Bible translations and styles of preaching are left largely to local elderships within broad parameters. One might question the wisdom or expediency of having a single Sunday service at 5 AM each week but one could not declare it a breach of Scripture because it is never addressed. In these broad areas, and there are more, we ought display great love and liberty.

But there are brethren who have a single minded intent to change the fundamental aspects of worship which have been set by God. Some  25 years ago a faithful devout brother in Tennessee began to slowly change some items which most would consider in the realm of expediency. That brother never stopped and today the church where he worshipped bears little resemblance to the church of the first century. They have gone beyond (1 John 9) God’s authorized worship and introduced mechanical instruments into the worship, they have change the meeting times and times for communion to weeknights instead of the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). Even now they practice “open fellowship” among the denominations accepting  their members even though they were never baptized into Christ (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-7). These are change agents and must be opposed with all of our strength.

What are Christians to do? We cannot oppose change agents apart from a knowledge of truth. Their greatest weapon is ignorance. By knowing the Scriptures we can withstand these traitorous people and defend truth. We must pray intently for elderships that they be strong enough to withstand the attacks of the change agents. They must be willing to mark those that cause divisions and who teach contrary to God’s revealed will (Romans 16:17).

The church of my Lord is perfect. Sometimes, problems arise with members in the church but the church itself, that is, in its design, purpose and intended worship, is pristine. As members of that church we must struggle against those who would destroy her beauty and exchange it for something of their own making.

Sermons for Sunday, October 19, 2008

I am excited about the lessons this Sunday. We will begin with an illustration from American History and then reach far back into the words of David for a strong Biblical lesson on making wise choices in life. Sunday night we will continue our study of 1st Kings. I really hope I can count on each of you for both services.

Corps of Discovery: God’s Pathfinders
Psalm 1:1-3
Kingly Lessons: Humility Goes a Long Way
1 Kings 3

Remember we begin with Bible study at 9, worship at 10 and again at 6. Why not call a friend right now and invite them to join you?