Archive for August, 2011

From the Preacher’s Pen: Focus and Effort

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

By Stan Cox

It is commonly recognized that proficiency in any pursuit comes as a result of focus and effort. A mother insists that a child do his best and work hard in school, promising that if he will, he will get good grades. A coach demands that his team pay attention, and give 110% and assures that success will follow.

The same is true with regard to success in spiritual pursuits. Proficiency in the knowledge of God’s word takes focus and effort. Paul instructed Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). The phrase “Be diligent” is translated in the KJV as “Study.” We study to know God’s word, this… Continue reading

“. . .boogity boogity boogity, Amen”

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

by Jerry Fite

These were the final four words of the opening invocation of a recent NASCAR race in Nashville, Tennessee. Joe Nelms of the Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee offered what is called NASCAR’s “best prayer ever”. In the one minute prayer, Mr. Nelms addressed God as his “Heavenly Father”. One could say Mr. Joe was thankful. He thanked God for “Dodges”, “Toyotas” and “Fords”, for “Sunoco racing fuel and Goodyear tires”, and for “GM performance technology and RO7 engines.” If these specific references known by the racing world were not enough to cause reverently bowed heads to begin looking up over their sun glasses, Mr. Nelms brought laughter to the faces of many when he thanked God for his “smokin, hot wife. . . Lisa”, and their… Continue reading

Should Bert and Ernie get married?

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

By Kyle Campbell

An online push is under way to pressure the producers of “Sesame Street” into having Bert and Ernie get married. I can remember discussions occurring for a long time debating the sexuality of Bert and Ernie, who live together on the show.

Homosexuality is clearly condemned in the Bible. It is first mentioned surrounding Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:4‑5 says, “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” God destroyed the cities because of their immorality… Continue reading

Preparing for School

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

The school year is fast approaching. In this lesson we will compare being ready for school and being ready for service to God.


Social Networking from the Christian’s Perspective

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Social networking is how most people, both young and old, communicate. Many Christians enjoy using this service.

Social networking is placing individuals into specific groups based on friendship, community, religion, or other commonalities.

People set up profiles, chat with each other, share pictures, play games, make status updates, and more.

To a worldly person, social networking may seem completely innocuous.

The Christian, however, knows better. There are very real dangers to this.

In this lesson, we will study these dangers and benefits, so that we can be better prepared. This sermon was presented by Andrew Locklair.


The Sin of Complaining

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

By Heath Rogers

James said that the tongue is “a world of iniquity” (James 3:6). Indeed, there are numerous sins that can be committed by or aided with the misuse of the tongue. When one thinks of the sins that are committed with the tongue, he often thinks of things such as lying, speaking blasphemies, using profanity, and gossip. However, we rarely consider complaining to be a sin.

Americans are granted the freedom of speech, and many of us exercise this right with pride and passion. We think very little of voicing a criticism or complaint about another’s driving on the highway or service at a restaurant. We see it as our civic duty to complain about our elected officials. We feel that the price we paid for admission to… Continue reading

From Where I Stand: Music in Worship

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

by Jeff Smith

Maybe you have heard that the churches of Christ are the ones without music. Of course, that is not true – it’s just that our musical worship is confined to a cappella singing and the lack of instrumental accompaniment is jarring to people who have enjoyed pianos and organs all their lives, or who crave a modern rock or R&B sound. Singing is music and an example of the fruit of our lips that God desires in worship, a setting that should be about honoring and pleasing him rather than entertaining ourselves (Hebrews 13:15). Personal preferences will tend toward one kind of music or another and contemporary worship fads will reflect that evolution, but the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs described by New Testament writers communicate praise… Continue reading

From Where I Stand: Gossip

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

by Jeff Smith

Gossip is the world’s foremost delicacy, a taste sensation that excites even the most discriminating palate, and one which is refused with the only the greatest exertion of willpower. The brother of the Lord wrote, “the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell” (James 3:6). Gossip is but one way that the tongue mars our discipleship, but it is among the most destructive. “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:14‑15). What… Continue reading

Faith in the Middle of Turmoil

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

by Kyle Campbell

With the stock market dropping 635 points and going up the next day, only to drop sharply today, peace and serenity are hard to come by. Add to that the problems with our economy, such as inflation and unemployment, and the situation looks very bleak. Worldwide, the situation is not much better. Looting in London and terrorism in Norway simply but sadly demonstrates that, at least for now, our world is in turmoil.

What is a Christian to do? I will admit that 24‑hour news is great, but it allows a lot time for the mind to dwell on all the negatives in the world (which news tends to present out of balance anyway). It is best to turn to the Bible. In Isaiah 43:5, God says… Continue reading

Positively Negative

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

by Joe R. Price

The desire to be positive almost invariably leads folks in the opposite direction. Overwhelmed by the urge to put a positive spin on everything, they cannot help but being negative about people and things that fail to measure up to their subjective standard of positivism.

This reminds me of the approach used by brethren who introduced the unscriptural practices of sponsoring churches and church support of human organizations. They charged brethren who refused their innovations as being “antis” (anti‑cooperation). In fact, they (we) are only “anti” unscriptural church cooperation. Their innovations were (are) without Bible authority; we are “anti” that! (Col 3:17)

In like manner, a large number of brethren are being convinced to avoid public confrontation with error (even privately in some cases) because to… Continue reading