Just in case someone wants to use any article (or articles) on my Bible study blog relative to Thanksgiving and thankfulness, I’ve consolidated them here: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2011/11/23/everything-about-thanksgiving-and-thankfulness/
Just to let you know that my wife, Nancy, has been diagnosed with vascular dementia. This kind of dementia has no known cure and will get progressively worse. My son and I are presently taking care of her.
We solicit your prayers on her behalf.
Back in February 1996, over 550 employees were terminated from El Paso Natural Gas Co. I was working as an administrative assistant for the engineering department manager. He was a well-known womanizer. Flirted with just about every attractive woman in the building where we were located.
He knew of my faith in Christ and in the church of the New Testament. He also knew that I deplored what he was doing behind his wife’s back. So, when the came time for cutting employees, I was unfortunately one of them. Even though I told him I would gladly move to Houston, Texas where they were going to move their home offices – it didn’t make any difference to him at all. He wanted me out of his sight.
I firmly believe that he was persecuting me for standing up for what was right according to the Scriptures. I made him feel guilty, but not guilty enough to stop doing what he was doing.
What was even more amazing, was that he claimed to be religious – was a member of a well-known denomination – but obviously didn’t follow their doctrine regarding faithfulness to his wife.
He later was promoted from manager to a vice-president and retired a few years ago as such. Guess those flirting escapades paid off.
When I address God in prayer, I usually begin with “Heavenly Father” or “Dear Father in heaven” which denotes the fact that God dwells in the heavenly realm (Deuteronomy 4:39; Joshua 2:11; 1 Kings 8:27,30).
The Hare and the Tortoise is one of my favorite fables:
The hare was once boasting of his speed before the other animals. “I have never yet been beaten,” said he, “when I put forth my full speed. I challenge anyone here to race with me.”
The tortoise said quietly, “I accept your challenge.”
“That is a good joke,” said the hare. “I could dance around you all the way.”
“Keep your boasting until you’ve beaten,” answered the tortoise. “Shall we race?”
So a course was fixed and a start was made. The hare darted almost out of sight at once, but soon stopped and, to show his contempt for the tortoise, lay down to have a nap. The tortoise plodded on and plodded on, and when the hare awoke from his nap, he saw the tortoise nearing the finish line, and he could not catch up in time to save the race.
The moral of the story: Victory does not always belong to the swiftest runner, but to the runner with the most stamina and self-control: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2010/01/07/running-the-race-of-life-every-day/
Solomon described outward beauty as being vain (Proverbs 31:30). The NIV translates the term vain as “fleeting.” Both charm and beauty are superficial and temporary. Real beauty originates from the heart (1 Peter 3:1-4) when a woman displays (1) reverence towards God (Proverbs 31:30), (2) a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4), (3) being submissive toward her husband (1 Peter 3:5-6).
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.
My life without Christ would consist of the same thoughts the apostle Paul uttered:
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
The toughest question I was ever asked, was by an elder in the church before I became a Christian. He asked me, “Have you thought about your soul?”: http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/10/05/have-you-thought-about-your-soul/
I was 15 years old at the time, and I had never been asked that question. For some time, my grandmother had been urging me to obey the gospel. After pondering this question in light of Scripture, I came to the conclusion that my soul was indeed in great jeopardy of being eternally lost.
I quickly decided that my soul was far more important than anything else I could imagine. There was no rational reason whatsoever to delay my obeying the Lord in baptism any longer, and thus I was baptized on January 1, 1960.
I’ve never regretted the decision.
The most sensible word I’ve heard lately was from a Twitter post which said:
“Maybe the USA should consider Mexico’s law regarding immigration.”
After reading their immigration laws, it might not be a bad idea:
If folks can put a man on the moon, why can’t they make a ball point pen that writes (every time)?
When I buy groceries and begin to write a check – the pen doesn’t write, or the ink skips where you can’t read the writing. It’s always been amazing to me, that the more simple a thing is, the more complicated man makes it.
Do you think that’s the reason why folks seemingly can’t understand the Bible — because they make something that is relatively simple (the gospel) complicated?
It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.
An article from the Amarillo Globe News: http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2011-03-13/local-churches-expand-membership-falls
A quote from the article: “What we need to give people is an experience of the holy, allowing them to come as they are.”
Question: Is allowing folks to “come as they are” giving people an “experience” of the holy?
As most of you know, today is another birthday for me. Actually, I’m celebrating the third anniversary of my 22nd year + 1. 🙂
There are many Facebook friends that I wrote personal notes to this morning, thanking them for their well-wishes for me on this day.
A person can never have too many friends. I pray that I’ll be a true and faithful friend in return.
Thank you TFR friends for your friendship as well. You are a bright light in an otherwise dark world. May God richly bless you and your work in the kingdom. I’m reminded of the encouraging words of the apostle Paul:
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).
From a spiritual perspective, the following are some of my observations regarding items or habits no longer in use today (comparatively speaking) as they were three to four generations ago:
1) The Bible is no longer habitually read, studied and used by members of the Lord’s church like it was in the 1940’s and 1950’s (we used to be called “walking Bibles” by those outside the church – http://cedarparkchurchofchrist.org/cpcofc/index.php?n=Articles.2010DailyBibleStudy).
2) Looking at all of the immorality in our society today, we can plainly see that Interest in spiritual values and principles are no longer “in vogue.” If they were, children would be taught these values at home and our society today would be less immoral as a result.
3) Hell fire and damnation sermons are today rarely heard from the pulpit (I grew up hearing these type of sermons on a regular basis back in the 1940’s). And guess what? The Lord’s church grew dramatically.
4) Home Bible studies with others are virtually non-existent today (no time to study, folks say).
5) Personal bible study at home is virtually non-existent today. Too many worldly influences (too many digital “toys”), thus, no time to study.
6) In the 1940’s and 50’s, folks habitually assembled to worship the Lord – so much so, that two to three week gospel meetings were not uncommon (I attended some of them). Today, they are unheard of. If we can get members to come to a three-day gospel meeting, we count ourselves successful.
7) Pews are not being filled today as they were three to four generations ago. The testimony of the “empty pew” is a testimony to our lack of focus on spiritual things (Colossians 3:1-2): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/08/09/lessons-from-an-empty-pew/
I could go on and on and on (like the energizer battery bunny), but the above are enough samples to let folks see the fact that spirituality has greatly waned in our country and in the Lord’s church.
What’s the solution to all of the above? Open the Book! (read it and do what it says do – James 1:22-25): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/01/08/lets-open-the-book/