THOROUGH YELLING

July 28th, 2014 | By admin

By Paul Holland

 “You can’t yell at me like that!” Linus said to Lucy. “Oh?” questioned Lucy.

   “I’ll yell at you when I feel like it, where I feel like it,how I feel like it, why I feel like it and as often as I feel like it!” Lucy retorted and walks away.

   “Her yelling is very thorough,” Linus contemplates.

    Raising our voices is an easy response. It’s like hitting. If you hit me, it’s quick and easy to just hit back. That’s child’s play (or worse). Yelling is adult play (actually, worse). If you upset me, I’ll yell at you. What does yellingreally convey? I don’t have enough self-control to reason with you. I don’t think you have enough self-control to reason with me. I want to intimidate you so that you will cower and submit.

    Do you think Jesus ever yelled? He “cried out with a loud voice” when He was hanging on the cross (Matt. 27:46, 50). Besides that context, the only reference I have found to Jesus raising His voice is when He cried out to Lazarus “come forth!” (John 11:43). Of course, Lazarus was dead! Seriously, that occasion was more to showcase the miracle He was performing. It certainly was not due to anger or malice.

    Rather, in Matthew 12:19, Matthew (quoting Isaiah 42:1-3) says of Jesus: “He will not quarrel, nor cry out; nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.”

    You and I should take the example of Jesus, and other New Testament teaching, to heart and work on self-control relative to the volume at which we speak. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ Jesus also has forgiven you” (Eph. 4:31-32).

OBEDIENT CHILDREN

July 25th, 2014 | By admin

By Aunt Mary

Neighbors of ours have a granddaughter who left home because she couldn’t get along with her mother. The grandparents found her living with her boyfriend and they brought her to their house. They set ground rules, which she didn’t like, and told her they’d help her with her college expenses. I commend them for that, but what about the parents? Why are they not being parents?

God blesses us with wonderful children. They are clean and pure when He gives them to us. It’s up to us as parents how we raise them. We can”t leave them to their own devices. A parents’s role is not easy. It’s hard to be the bad guy, but we much to instruct our children. We, as parents, should be guiding our children and nurturing them in the faith of God. It’s our responsibility to train them up to be Christians. Too many in the world today don’t believe that, but it’s the way God intended it to be.

No one should expect the church to teach their children all they need to know. If a Sunday School teacher is lucky, she will have a child for one hour and thirty minutes each week. There is only so much we can teach that child in that time period. Out of the 168 hours in each week, a parent has 166.5 hours to teach their children. By the time you subtract school, sleeping, and a few other activities, a parent has approximately five hours a day to teach their child. That’s thirty-five hours a week that could be spent in teaching.

God saw the need for parents to teach their children. In Deuteronomy 11:19-20, Moses is instructing the children of Israel how to teach their children. This is what God told Moses. “‘You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.’” God is telling the parents to talk to their children about His Word, even have it written where the children can see it.

Parents have other duties toward their children as found in Ephesians 6:4. “and you, Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” We are to train our children in what is write and what the Bible teaches.

Children have responsibilities also as found in Ephesians 6:1-3. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your fathers and mothers,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’” This is your responsibility as a child. Parents should be teaching their children to obey, but sadly that’s not true all the time.

My prayer is that you live in a home where you are respected and you respect your parents.

THE BEAUTY OF LITTLE THINGS

July 23rd, 2014 | By admin

By Katt Anderson

This morning as I looked out my kitchen window, I saw a hummingbird flying from flower to flower. The little fellow liked my roses and my hostas. I smiled before I realized I’d done it. It was such a happy feeling to linger watching the bird and feeling God’s love. Matthew 6:28, 29 came to my mind.  “‘So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’” Christ was showing us the beauty of little things. Things that make us happy.

As a book publisher, I read a lot of books that make me happy. When I smile while I read, I know that’s a book I want to publish. It also makes me happy to read God’s Word and dwell on what He tells me. His love should make all of us smile. I’ll admit I have trouble trying to comprehend all God has done for us and is still doing, but His love makes me smile.

God takes care of us like He does the lilies. Sometimes we don’t realize how He does that, but when you stand back and look at what has happened in your life, you can see His love overflowing. We’re like that little wild flower growing in the field. He’s there with us. If we obey His commandments, He will take care of us. The first thing God wants us to do is to obey Him. With obedience comes trust.

As human’s we have a hard time trusting. How many times have you been hurt by someone you trusted? It happens every day. Some trusted member of the family harms a child, betraying that trust. Someone you thought cared for you does something to sever the trust you had for them. God never severs that trust if you obey Him.

There are so many obstacles in our life and we forget to trust in God. He’s waiting for us to trust Him. Doesn’t that make you happy? The most wonderful happy cozy  feeling is the love of God. When someone has hurt you, you can feel God’s arms around you, comforting you in a way no one else can. The key to all this is to obey God. He cares for the lilies and He cares for you.

FOOTWEAR

July 21st, 2014 | By admin

By Paul Holland

    “Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment …would [betray] what life we have led,” wrote Shakespeare. Some people love shoes. Some people are addicted to shoe-buying. Others are not so impulsive, but do have a plethora of footwear – far more than the average man thinks is necessary!

    National Geographic, September 2006, had an article entitled, “Every Shoe Tells a Story.” The author, Cathy Newman, details the history of footwear and the practicality of various types – sagebrush bark fiber was used in the early stages of this country’s history. A stainless steel, polyester & aluminum space boot will be used on the moon.

    Spiritually speaking, what does your footwear say about the life you lead? Listen to Paul’s words about our God-provided armor: “as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). Notice Paul’s words that our feet are to be clothed, not with the Gospel, but with “readiness.” Our feet are to be shod with “readiness.”

    Are you ready? Do you know that you know what you know? Are you ready to defend the existence of God? Do you know the four major arguments for the existence of God? Are you ready to defend the nature of God as it is depicted in the Bible? Can you defend the deity of Christ? Why do you believe that Jesus is the Savior? Do you have any reason stronger than “that’s just what I believe?” Are you ready to defend the doctrine that the Bible is God’s Word, inspired by the Spirit and without error?

    With what are your feet shod? Readiness? Silence? Reticence? Complacency? Compromise? The apostle Peter writes: “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

    If we want to evangelize our community, we’ve got to put “readiness” on our feet. What story does your footwear tell about you? What are you wearing today? Bible class on Sundays and Wednesdays are designed to help all of us be prepared. 

WHY AMERICA NEEDS THE BIBLE

July 18th, 2014 | By admin

By Paul Holland

    Amos was not a prophet; he was not the son of a prophet. He was a gatherer of sycamore fruit, a shepherd. He was from a little village in Judea called Tekoa, six miles south of Bethlehem and twelve miles south of Jerusalem. He was not trained in the school of the prophets but he had a message for his sinful nation, “Thus says the Lord!”

     The thrust of Amos’ prophecy was against Israel for drunkenness, sexual licentiousness, religious perversion, idolatry, scorning, chastising, and mocking the faithful of God. God warned them to repent. He withheld rain, blasted them with mildew and blight, sent plagues similar to those on Egypt. But the state of the union was lamentable: “Yet, you have not returned to me,” God said. So, “Prepare to meet your God.”

    Nations, as well as individuals, are obligated to live up to the light and knowledge granted them. “You only have I known of all the families of the earth,” God told Israel through Amos, “therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (3:2).

     God would send a famine on the land – not a famine of bread or thirst for water but a famine of hearing the word of the Lord. Men would wander from sea to sea, and from north to east. They would run to and fro, staggering like drunk men. Their youth – their fair virgins and strong young men – would faint from thirst. “They shall fall and never rise again” (8:11-14).

     America, as you know, needs the Bible. We, too, have been blessed beyond any nation ever created by the will of man. Resources in abundance that have allowed human ingenuity to create things that continue to fascinate the human mind and push the boundaries of creativity. God has blessed America such that we are not only the wealthiest nation in the world now, but we are the wealthiest nation that has ever existed. Yet, our society is cutting itself off from the Source of those blessings.

     America needs the Bible because it alone tells us where man originated. Evolution, obviously, is deeply flawed. The Word of God, alone, can tell us what man’s worst problem is. Maslow, Rogers, Freud, Dewey – they can’t tell us what man’s worst problem is. Sin is America’s problem. Not Barak Obama. Not John Boehner. Not Harry Reid. Not the Tea Party. America’s problem is sin. The solution, then, is not political. It is spiritual.

     Sin breaks up homes. Sin leaves little boys and little girls orphans, fatherless and motherless. Sin lifts up the politician in pride. Sin makes the business man greedy. Sin joins man to man and woman to woman in the homosexual relationship. Sin destroys the baby while she is still in her mother’s womb. Sin divides believers in Christ into denominationalism. Sin causes young people to drop out of school because of teen pregnancy. Sin takes the lives of the innocent on every street corner. Sin loads the welfare rolls with people too lazy to work. Sin kills the couple hit by the drunk driver. America’s problem is sin!

     But only the word of God has the solution. It is the Word of God and it alone that has the remedy for man’s rebellion against God. To the Israelites, God said, “Seek me and live” (Amos 5:4). Repentance was the prescription given to the nation of Israel and it is the prescription for America today. “In truth, I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation, whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35).

     America needs to return to God. That’s why America needs the Bible.

ARRESTED BECAUSE HIS SON MISSED CHURCH

July 16th, 2014 | By admin

By Katt Anderson

This morning on Fox and Friends they talked about a man arrested because his son missed church. That got my attention. Why would anyone be arrested because their son missed church? Of course, many things ran through my head, but not the real message.

It seems the father “sent” his children to church on the church bus. The key word is “sent.” The child apparently decided he didn’t want to go, so he didn’t get on the bus. Instead he went, unattended, to the Dollar Store. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the man saw the need for his children to attend church, but what about his need? Didn’t he need to be there with them? If he had gone with his children, he wouldn’t have been arrested. His son would not have wandered into the Dollar Store, and the police would not have been called.

The judge Fox and Friends interviewed thought it was horrible that the man was arrested and now he has a criminal record. The father was charged with child endangerment.  I agree. The man was not supervising his children as he should be. He should have been with his children.

Today we leave religion up to someone else. It seems the majority of the public doesn’t have time to spend with their children in religious activities. As a Sunday School teacher, I see it all the time. Parents do not even see that their children bring their Bibles to church. In my class, that’s important. We read from the Bible during class, and I want a paper Bible instead of an iPhone or other electronic device. Parents do not even make sure their child memorizes their Bible verse. Oh, maybe I’m too strict. No, I’m trying to teach children God’s Word.

It wasn’t stated why this man didn’t attend services with his children, but it is not a good example for a child. When parents go with their children to church, it shows they are interested in teaching them. It shows they have concern for their children’s souls. It shows their love of God.

The headline, “Arrested Because His Son Missed Church,” is misleading. It should have been “Arrested Because A Father Did Not Supervise His Child.” Children need supervision and a church bus is not the place. It’s in the home and with the family.

Parents are told how to train a child in the Bible. Ephesians 6:4, “and you, Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Parents are to “train” their children, not “send” them on a church bus. Deuteronomy 6:4-8 is something parents should think about each day.God was telling the children of Israel, through Moses, what they must do. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all you soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.’” This is God speaking to Moses. Pretty impressive.

So, how do your parents measure up? Are they supervising you and your Christian training? Do they go with you to church, or do they send you on a bus without them? Do they teach you at home? Parents need to be involved with their children, but not by sending them someplace. Involved is being with them.

 

Hear, Oh Israel: The Lo

ARE YOU A FORGIVER?

July 14th, 2014 | By admin

By Katt Anderson

“I’ll forgive, but I won’t forget” is said so many times when someone hurts us. We’ve not forgiven if we still remember what was done to us. We have to forget to receive full forgiveness. I’ve know people who continue to dwell on a wrong done to them and they are very unhappy people. Just like a cut will fester if you don’t keep it clean, so does the mind if you don’t forget someone when asked to.

Jesus taught us in the Model Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13 to “and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (NKJV) This is sometimes called the “Lord’s Prayer,” but the disciples asked Jesus how they should pray, and this is how he replied. Forgiveness was important to Jesus. If Jesus taught forgiveness, we must learn to forgive people.

King David comes to my mind when I think of someone with a forgiving spirit. He had done nothing wrong to King Saul, but King Saul hated him. He wanted him dead, and he tried to kill him. It’s sad to see the hate that filled King Saul’s heart. David did not have that hate. He wanted to “make things right.” He wanted to have peace. What makes it worse is the Cush, the Benjaminite began telling lies about David. Read Psalms 7 and listen to what David said.

We’ve all had someone tell things about us that are not true. It’s sad to see someone with so much hate in their heart that they want to hurt your character, but this happens. David was so distressed because of the lies that had been told about him. Read verses 3-5. David was so upset that he prayed to God that if he had done something wrong, or these things that had been said, that God would let his enemy overtake him and “. . .trample my life to the earth.” How distressed David was! How hurt he must have been! David had forgiven Cush and Saul, but had they asked for forgiveness?

There are two sides to forgiveness. 1. The person has to ask for forgiveness. 2. The person he/she asks has to forgive. I can forgive you without you asking, but it doesn’t forgive you. It helps me because I don’t hold a grudge against you anymore. If you never ask for forgiveness, the Lord doesn’t forgive you. You have to ask God to forgive you when you’ve sinned.

Will you remember the wrong done you? Probably. It’s hard for us as humans to not remember something that happened to us. It does put us on guard, and we are more cautious around that person and we’ll try not to be hurt again. Only God forgives and never remembers. We mush guard ourselves to not make what happened to us a top priority in our everyday life. If I constantly think about it, I’ve not forgiven. If I constantly talk about what happened to me, I’ve not forgiven. It should not be the most important thing in our lives.

It’s hard to not think about what someone did to us, but if we truly forgive them, we will. The hurt will not rule our lives. God will be triumphant. The best example of forgiveness is David. Twice he could have killed King Saul, once in a cave where he cut off part of King Saul’s garment (1 Samuel 24:1-22) and another where King Saul’s army had camped and David took his spear and his water jug (1 Samuel 26:1-25). Yes, David could have killed King Saul and his worries would have been over, but would they? Wouldn’t he have had a lot of grief because he didn’t forgive?  It’s better to forgive and go on with your life than to harbor hatred all of your life.

FUN IN THE MUD

July 11th, 2014 | By admin

By Tim Hall

What child hasn’t had an episode or two of playing in the mud? Making mud pies was a favorite pastime when I was growing up. The feel of cool mud squishing between your toes and fingers was a guaranteed way of cooling off a bit on a hot summer day.

My own children continued the tradition when they were young. One memorable occasion found both of our sons slinging mud at each other. My wife, who was initially aghast as such a sight, decided to let them “get it out of their system”. A hose-down was in order before the boys were allowed back into the house.

The town of Westland, Michigan has tapped into this primal urge. For 26 years they have hosted “Mud Day” at one of the town’s parks, dumping 200 tons of topsoil and 200,000 gallons of water into a pit. Hundreds turned out for this year’s event, made even more slimy by steady rains. And it’s not just kids who are coated with mud; many adults can be found in the mix, too.

I have no problem with Westland’s day of fun in the mud; Toronto, Kansas is another community that has gotten in on the action with a Mud Run. But what would we think of people who weren’t content with just one day per year of fun in the mud? What if that became their lifestyle? Would we laugh at such people?

Peter referenced “fun in the mud” in his second epistle, but he didn’t have a twinkle in his eye as he wrote about it. In speaking of some who turn away from righteousness to go back into sin, he wrote: “But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire’” (2 Peter 2:22). Both of Peter’s images are, well, disgusting.

“Disgusting” is how we also should view sin; that was clearly Peter’s point. Yet so many who claim to have made Jesus their Savior have gone back into the mud pit for more slimy fun. “I’ll just ask for forgiveness,” they think. Then later they repeat the cycle.

Paul wrote to Christians in Corinth, a city that competes for the ancient title of “sin city”. Some disciples were wavering between their choice to faithfully follow Jesus or to return to sinful practices of the past. Paul named several of these sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, and then made this declaration: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

The lesson should be obvious: Those of us who once climbed out of the mire of sin to be washed by the blood of Jesus should stay out of that mire. To return to sin is wrong.

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Copyright, 2013, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

LIVING UPRIGHT IN AN UPSIDE DOWN WORLD

July 9th, 2014 | By admin

By Paul Holland

Micaiah – 1 Kings 22

    Truth does not need updating. A man came to his old friend, a music teacher, and said to him, “What’s the good news today?”

    The old teacher was silent as he stood up and walked across the room, picked up a hammer, and struck a tuning fork. As the note sounded throughout the room, the teacher said, “It is A. It is today; it was five thousand years ago, and it will be ten thousand years from now.

    “The soprano upstairs sings off-key, the tenor across the hall flats on his high notes, an the piano downstairs is out of tune.”

    He struck the note again and said, “That is A, my friend, and that’s the good news for today.”

    Truth never changes because Truth flows from the nature of God and that never changes.

    How do we live upright in an upside down world? The prophet Micaiah will inform us that we hold to the truth, we teach the truth, and we ought to be willing to die defending the Truth.

BAD COMPANY  - 22:1-8:

    King Jehoshaphat was (basically) a good king but the evil he did was largely influenced by his relationship with King Ahab. At the point 1 Kings 22 begins, God has sent Elijah or some other prophet to Ahab at least seven times! And Ahab, at the point chapter 22 begins, has received the grace of God. But, we know that Ahab’s repentance was not very deep.

    Bad company compromises our character, as it does with King Jehoshaphat. It compromises our: morals, our reputation, and our influence.

    Before they go to war against Syria, Jehoshaphat wants to hear a word from the Lord. Four hundred false prophets tell them to “go!” Something tells Jehoshaphat he needs to look further. “Is there not a prophet of Jehovah of which we may inquire?” 

    “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord,” Ahab responds, “but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah, son of Imlah” (vs 8).

THE FALSE AND THE TRUE - 22:9-14:

    Every man who claims to be a teacher of God has to be put to the test (1 John 4:1). But, man likes to make up his own tests for what is true and what is false…

    Look at the messenger’s plea to Micaiah in verse 13. “Tell the kings what everybody else is saying!” But Micaiah’s response is straight from the heart of God: “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak.” Observe the “what” is the same as the “that.”

    When we speak on God’s behalf, we better make absolutely sure what He says is the same as that which we speak (1 Peter 4:11). For example, if, when asked, “What must I do to be saved?” a man does not give a response that is the same as Peter’s response in Acts 2:38, that man is not teaching the truth!

    How do we live uprightly in an upside down world? We have the courage to speak what the Lord says. If the world forgets who we are, the Father in heaven will yet inscribe our name in the Lamb’s book of life from whence no man on earth or demon in hell can erase.LIVING UPRIGHT

YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN

July 7th, 2014 | By admin

By Katt Anderson

Many people think they can do what they want. They can treat their body any way they want to. Drugs, alcohol, sex, anything that harms their body is okay because their body belongs to them. They can be disrespectful, abuse their peers, speak evil of their parents, and I could go on and on. It’s popular to do what “you” want to do. This is definitely an “I” world. But really, do you not have to be accountable to someone? Yes, and although we do not want to admit it, we are accountable to God. Why? Because He owns us. Christ died for us.

Young people resist the above statement. They have been taught in school, and in some churches, that they can do what they want. The Israelite people tried to do what they wanted and God punished them. So many times they would forsake God and worship idols. When they did that, they were taken captive or lost battles. God tried to teach them a lesson. They were His children and He wanted them to obey them.

Are we really our own? 1 Corinthians 6: 19 tells us, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” God puts us here for a little while to honor Him. We are His, not our own. Whatever we do to our bodies, whether drugs, alcohol, sex, cuttings, or whatever we do to harm our body is wrong. When we do this to ourselves, we are doing it to God.

We will be held in account for all that we do on earth. Many do not believe this, but the Bible is true. The Bible is the oldest religion. Moses wrote Genesis. He had probably been taught the Hebrew origin in his early childhood. Remember he grew up in Egypt which was a large nation and had different religious beliefs. His mother kept him until he was probably about four years old. That’s the time most babies were weaned. She most likely instilled in him the origins of the Hebrew nation. As he was taught from then on, he most likely was given a variety of histories to learn about. Even when he became a man, he knew he was a Hebrew.

Besides leading the children of Israel through the desert, he was also writing the first four books of the Bible. He was inspired of God to tell the history of his people. Can any other religion go back that far? Even Muslim wasn’t started until after the death of Christ. God has been with His people from the beginning. We belong to Him. He is always watching us and knows all our hurts, struggles and joys.

The Bible teaches us to respect our bodies and our souls. We are God’s. We are not our own. Everything we do should be to glorify God and please Him.

 


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